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Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Behind the scenes

Dispatcher: I have a request for a non-smoking cab... eh... Twenty, can you have that cab aired out by the time you get to (such and such address).

20: Probably not.

Dispatcher: Thirty, how about you?

30: I doubt it.

Dispatcher: Anyone?
40: I'm on the other end of town, but I'm wearing a nicotine patch today.

Dispatcher: It's all yours.


Wouldn't have been the shortest trip ever... but close.

Some drunk people called for a cab at the Klondike hotel.

They wanted to go from one room in the motel to another room in the motel, and back.

Sounded like this could turn into a story for the blog, so I went along with it.

Turns out they were too lazy to pack the beer from one room to the other. The plan was to load up the cab with beer from one room and return to the first room.

Two seconds later, when we arrived at the destination, it was determined that all the beer was gone. They decided to get more beer from the store, so I at least got a trip to Safeway and back for my trouble.

Monday, December 22, 2008



Daniel Frederick (Known to Fairbanksans as Blondie)


Didn't really know him personally, like most Fairbanksans I just saw him puttering about his property downtown. I miss him already. Won't be breakup until I see him watering his yard.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


The boardgame Mt. Rushmore

Noted some discussion on Boardgamegeek about who would be on the Mount Rushmore of boardgames. Good question. One that has kept me thinking throughout the day.

Keep in mind that the faces on Mt. Rushmore are those of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. The first three are solid picks in any one's book. But Roosevelt? Roosevelt is kind of an iffy pick. In my book that gives us a little leeway for our boardgame Rushmore.

My first three picks are solid. Sid Sackson, Charles Roberts and Gary Gygax. (The father of German games, the father of modern wargames, and the father of role playing games). Don't dig RPGs myself, but the impact of RPGs on modern boardgames and gamers is undeniable and will be confirmed when boardgame history books are written.

The fourth person is less obvious. I like Reiner Knizia a lot. A whole lot. I also like Francis Tresham. I also have a notion that other people would expect to see Richard Garfield on my list. Knizia is the most prolific of the three designers, and has designed my two favorite games. Tresham has designed few games but two of his games define genres and have spurred numerous copies, 1829 and Civilization. Garfield created collectible card games and, as such, gave a boost to the entire game market. I am not convinced that CCGs will have as lasting an effect on games and gamers as RPGs undeniably did. If anything CCGs will be on the Mount Rushmore of marketing.

That leaves me with Knizia and Tresham.

18xx and Civilization will both have their own chapters in the history book of boardgames.

Knizia will have his own chapter, but so far has not designed a game that is deserving of its own chapter.

Gotta go with Tresham by a nose as the Teddy Roosevelt of the Boardgame Mount Rushmore. He is a true godfather of gaming. Knizia suffers the misfortune of being first among a slew of active, talented designers. Tresham distinguished himself in the second wave of pioneers.

Sackson, Roberts, Gygax, and Tresham. Four greats of boardgaming.

Friday, December 19, 2008



Mandi Israel


This must be how paranoid crackheads must feel.

Pushing hack one night I noted that the police were out in force on the southside of town. Good, I thought. This part of town could use some patrolling.

Later, I noted that the police seemed to be out in force on the west end of town. Hmmmm, I thought, something must be up. They are canvassing the usually uneventful west end.

Still later, I noted that cops seemed to be everywhere.

Wait a minute..... all these cops seem to be following me.

Yeah. They're following me.

There's another cop. He's waiting at that intersection.... he waited too long... he waited for me to pass and fell in behind me.... what is going on?

What the hell is that car following me? No lights, but it has an unusual number of antennas.

What? I now have two cops following me... a trooper and a city cop?

And again, cops in my rear view mirror.

And again.

This is too weird.

Fifteen years ago I owned a late 70s model, grey Cadillac. One night I had the distinct feeling that cops were following me. Turns out they were. The lead item in the news the next day was that the police were looking for a late 70s model, grey Lincoln involved in a hit and run that resulted in a death.

I was kinda getting freaked out. I hadn't done a damn thing, but I know from experience that doesn't stop someone from making outrageous claims. A couple frustrating trips from passengers at a couple different crack houses (which is normally just to be expected) coupled with the feeling I was being followed was enough to push me over the edge. I decided to go home early that night. Very early. I still had five hours left in a twelve hour shift.

On my way home I noted a bunch of cops swarming a car. A half dozen cop cars had this guy surrounded. The car was a civilian owned, police interceptor, with the same color scheme as our taxis. For the record many of our cabs are second hand police interceptors with the driver side spotlight and specialty-push-bumper still attached.

Sumanabitch. I bet they were following me. Swarming a car that fit the description of my taxi except for the company logo right down to the police-push bumper and a spotlight? Nothing in the following day's newspaper, though.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008



Heinz Wiechen


Monday, December 08, 2008


Dude, I gotta ask....

There are three hookers standing in front of that liquor store.

Why are you negotiating with the one who keeps scratching her crotch?

Friday, December 05, 2008


For you football fans. I got a chuckle out of this.


After determining the Big-12 championship game participants the BCS computers were put to work on other major contests and today the BCS declared Germany to be the winner of World War II.

"Germany put together an incredible number of victories beginning with the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland and continuing on into conference play with defeats of Poland, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands. Their only losses came against the US and Russia; however considering their entire body of work--including an incredibly tough Strength of Schedule--our computers deemed them worthy of the #1 ranking."

Questioned about the #4 ranking of the United States the BCS commissioner stated "The US only had two major victories--Japan and Germany. The computer models, unlike humans, aren't influenced by head-to-head contests--they consider each contest to be only a single, equally-weighted event."

German Chancellor Adolph Hitler said "Yes, we lost to the US; but we defeated #2 ranked France in only 6 weeks." Herr Hitler has been criticized for seeking dramatic victories to earn 'style points' to enhance Germany's rankings. Hitler protested "Our contest with Poland was in doubt until the final day and the conditions in Norway were incredibly challenging and demanded the application of additional forces."

The French ranking has also come under scrutiny. The BCS commented " France had a single loss against Germany and following a preseason #1 ranking they only fell to #2."

Japan was ranked #3 with victories including Manchuria, Borneo and the Philippines.

Some comments that followed:

We beat Italy. I know they're in a lower division, but they're the toughest team in that division. I mean, we can't all play Poland, ffs.
I think Russia got screwed by the BCS!
Yeah they had it rough vs Germany in the beginning, but they came out undefeated in conference!

Sure they lost a non-conference game against Finland, but Finland is tough, and that was on the road and really early in the season.
I don't think that being pushed around for 4 quarters (years) and only being allowed a FG here and there should matter when it was two late bombs that helped us win.

They should have dropped further down in the polls to #5 or #6.

I think their own admission on deck the Missouri is proof of that.
I think it is BS. Sure all of Germany's wins were road wins, but hell, they barely had to travel to get there. We went all over the world, kicking peoples' asses at their house.
I agree with your assessment on Russia. I had forgot about the Iron Curtain Defense. Pretty tough to penetrate.

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