Friday, April 29, 2016

New Music: Big If True

Back in high school my friends started making some music. They talked about forming a garage band. I joined the band. The only problem was my lack of musical ability. I can't sing or play an instrument. I became the DJ!

In a 7-piece band, you would think I would absolutely be the most superfluous member. You'd be mostly right, although we did have a trumpet player and very few songs that included trumpet.

I joined ebay and bought one old turntable and a very basic mixer. I plugged a Discman into the second mixer input. I wasn't good. But it was fun.

We even made a music video. 

I did come through in writing the majority of the lyrics for our second album. Also at this time, I got the program Acid Music and made songs using computer loops and samples from movies.

Ever since then, I've had the bug to make more music. Of course, the lack of musical ability continues to be a problem.

But the internet is amazing. I found virtual turntables online.

So four days ago I started fake scratching. Today I finished a song. You probably won't like it. But that's okay.

As for the name/art, it's really just placeholder. I needed something to put in the video so I made something in 10 seconds. I don't even know if "Big If True" is supposed to be an artist name, album name or song name. This is also what happens when you make music during the NFL Draft. Anyways, here's the first new song I've made in 15 years.

A Big Package of Draft Analysis

The Chiefs drafted the guy who's dick fell out of his shorts in the 40-yard dash. You can't make up this stuff.

Friday, April 22, 2016

I'm not a Blackhawks fan, but Jesus Christ, Kane looks like he's the only one moving while everyone else is standing still. First he creates his own shots with his stickhandling and then he gets his own rebound.






Damn.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Betteridge's Law of Headliens

So first I read about this and it makes so much sense.

And then I'm in a recording studio and see this cover on the wall:


Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Road to 73

To go 73-9, you have to go on some streaks. Here's the Warriors streaks of wins this year, sorted chronologically:

24
5
7
1
11
7
7
6
1
4

For comparison, here's the Bulls 72 win season streaks:

5
5
13
18
0
7
6
6
6
5
1



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Onions

51 players* have scored between 200-299 3-pointers in an NBA season.
0 players have scored between 300-399 3-pointers in an NBA season
1 player has scored between 400-499 3-pointers in an NBA season





*This is not individual players, but individual seasons. So Ray Allen, Korver and Curry among others count multiple times in that list of 51. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Remember how for years I bitched about the Chiefs not winning a playoff game and then they actually won one? Holy crap.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

March Madness/Calcutta Hall of Fame

Just as I've done for the Fantasy Football records, I figured it would be nice to capture the bracket and calcutta history.




March Madness Bracket Challenge
2016: Dave
2015: Savan
2014: Harrison
2013: Savan
2012: Mark
2011: ?
2010: Matt
2009: Dave
2008: Niraj
2007: ?
2006: Sakina
2005: Adam
2004: ?
2003: Nirali
2002: Aton


March Madness Calcutta
2016: Dave
2015: Niraj
2014: Mark
2013: Niraj
2012: Matt
2011: Savan
2010: Matt
2009: Niraj


NFL Calcutta
2015: Niraj
2014: Dave
2013: Mark
2012: Savan
2011: Dave
2010: Dave


NHL Playoffs Calcutta
2016: Dave
2015: Dave
2014: Mark
2013: Mark
2012: Mark



Saturday, April 02, 2016

Favorite Board Games: April 2016

Previous Installments: 
July 2015
October 2015
January 2016

New to this list: nr, 33, 30, 24, 16, 15, 14, 11, 6, 3

[unranked] Eldritch Horror

So this game has been in my possession for three months and it's still in the shrinkwrap. I can play it solo, but I know it takes 2-4 hours to play and haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe once I finish Pandemic Legacy.

37. Scrabble

I've played some good games of Scrabble. But it's slow and being good at Scrabble involves memorizing two-letter words and manipulating the game instead of being creative.

36. Monopoly

For being America's most popular game, it gets a bad rap both from casual gamers and hardcore gamers. Amongst families, it has a reputation of lasting forever and being boring. Among hardcore gamers, they think it's child's play or crap. But if you actually play by the rules of auctioning every property and not placing money on free parking, it can play quicker than you think.

35. Police Precinct

So I bought this game because I was trying to build a detective game and wanted to make sure it wouldn't overlap. Plus, I thought that it would be cool. Well, I only played it once and kind of hated it. This is the first game in my collection I'm trying to sell.

34. Flash Point
A co-op game I got for the kids. I really don't like it. There are so many turns where you're just walking/carrying people that it's pretty dull and not any tough decisions to be made. 

33. Friday

A solo deck-builder that gets rave reviews. I find it terribly difficult and also not very compelling. 

32. Clue

This was my favorite game as a kid. I loved the mystery element and that it required deduction and not luck. Also, as an adult there are advanced strategies that eluded me as a child. Unfortunately, winning is more based on luck (randomly finding the missing cards first) than deduction skills.

31. Roll For It

I bought this both for kids and adults, but in my opinion it's really just a kid's game. It's a little more fun than Yahtzee, but that's about it.

30. Hostage Negotiator

A solo game that I thought would be cool...I figured out the optimal strategy in my first game and the dice make it a little random, but not much replayability.

29. Ticket to Ride

This was the first modern game I was introduced to. I think I played it too much. Also, the fact that it's the same map every time, limits the replayability for me. Basically, to win you need to construct a route that goes from coast to coast and get route cards to match up.

28. Cleopatra

A good game with a nice twist of eliminating the most corrupt player. Has some great mechanics. Still, it feels like the same strategy every time.

27. Lost Cities

A two-player game that is not very complex. The simplicity makes it fun and easy to play but also not very deep or engaging.

26. Clue: The Great Museum Caper

This game really has nothing to do with Clue at all. It's an art heist game, which to me is really the best theme ever. The gameplay isn't perfect but it's still a cool game.

25. Settlers of Catan

I've never owned the board version or even played it, but I have extensively played a computer game version. It's the gateway modern board game for good reason. It requires strategy and a bit of luck, with multiple different ways to succeed.

24. Dead of Winter

I think this game has a lot of potential with the right group and the traitor mechanic. But there's a lot going on for not much payoff, so far.

23. Forbidden Island

This is a game by Matt Leacock, the designer of Pandemic. It's not quite as good at that game, but still has interesting co-op mechanics and great replayability.

22. Carcasonne

Along with Catan, one of the most famous modern games, I think Carcasonne is interesting and fun. I've only played the Android app, which makes it easy to learn the rules. Yet, despite all the strengths, I find it a little lacking.

21. Zombie Dice

This is simple and fun, mostly luck based but with a touch of strategy (when to stop, when to keep rolling). I play this a lot with the kids and it's always fun.

20. A Duel Betwixt Us

This is a two-player game that I bought on Kickstarter. Okay, I didn't buy in on Kickstarter. I saw it on Kickstarter and then bought it on Amazon. It's pretty cool and has some great mechanics, but for the first time ever, I had to make some house rules to fix some broken mechanics. As created, it's way too easy for the game to be lopsided, not fun in a 2-player game that can take 90 minutes to play.

19. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

This is the best detective board game I've come across yet. It very much simulates solving a murder case and gives you free reign to go wherever you want to find clues and piece it all together. There's so much that I love about this. And yet, there are 10 cases. I've only played 2 and once you play them all, that's it. Unless you can forget what happened. Also, I find it terribly difficult. I'm glad it's not too easy, but I was pretty lost in the first two cases. 

18. Splendor

This was one of the most popular games of 2014. (Currently has 566 reviews on Amazon with a 5-star rating.) I wasn't going to buy it, but the app went on sale for 99 cents. I like it better than I thought I would. I like that there are multiple strategies to win. It's basically an abstract puzzle game.

17. Labyrinth

Another game I got for the kids that I like to play. There are people in a maze and by sliding a maze title in from the edge you can shift the maze for everyone. The boys have trouble seeing the moves ahead of time, but I think it's a great game to build those kind of skills. 

16. Onirim

This is the most relaxing game I have. There are still strategy decisions to be made, but I like how chill this game is. Something nice to unwind with.

15. CV

Played with the right people, this game provides a ton of laughs. It's more about the storytelling and having fun, then trying to win.

14. Castle Panic

This is a defend your tower game and I play it with the boys all the time. Good game. It does take at least 45 minutes, but they usually finish.

13. New York: 1901

This has the building placement reminiscent of Ticket To Ride but with layers of strategies. I don't get to play it much since it requires other people and it's above the kids for now. #sologamerproblems

12. Escape: Curse of the Temple 

This is the most intense game I've ever played. You have 10 minutes to escape a temple by rolling dice as fast (and as smart) as you can. It comes with a soundtrack and when I say 10 minutes, I mean 10 minutes.

11. Patchwork (digital version)

Another game in the chill camp. Very relaxing. It can be played without thinking too much, but it's nice when you want to relax.

10. Scotland Yard

Along with Clue, this is a game that I grew up with. But finding people to play it with was always a problem. Well, I just recently got the Android version (4.99) and it's awesome. It's nice to be able to control all 5 detectives against an AI Mr. X.

9. Tsuro

The amazing thing about this game is that it's strategic enough for adults but a three-year-old can play it too. It's quick and fun. Every game is different because of the tile-based gameplay. I think it's a great game for non-gamers. Also, for what it's worth, I learned of Sushi Go, Tsuro, Forbidden Island, Zombie Dice, Love Letter, and Roll For it through Wil Wheaton's Tabletop series.

8. Sushi Go 

I picked this one up in Target right before Christmas 2015 as sort of an impulse item. This has all of the same qualities as Tsuro. Kids can pick up and play but I'd play this with adults only too. What I love is that there's so many different ways to win, so you really have to adapt to the cards in front of you and not rely on any one strategy.

7. Love Letter 

This is a simple, light game that's nice because it only takes about 3 minutes to play. The more I play this, the more I like it. 

6. One Night Ultimate Werewolf

I think this has so much potential but it fell flat with my group. I would love to play it with the right group.

5. Burgle Bros.

I love co-op games and I love heists. And this game pulls off both with new interesting mechanics. Where Forbidden Island takes Pandemic actions and waters them down, this takes the actions and reinvents them through the theme. Great game.

4. Codenames

This is a word game that revolves around making strange connections. It seems like a party game but it is actually intense. I think it's awesome. Although there's a 2 or 3 player variant, and you can play standard with 4 or 5, this game shines when you have at least 6, but it's flexible up to 12 or more. One game can be finished in about 20 minutes, but I always want to play 4 or 5 at a time. 

3. Deception: Murder in Hong Kong

I taught this to my non-gamer work group, and they loved it. I think it's fantastic too. It's basically a deduction game, but there's also a lot of social mechanics. Fantastic. It's going to be somewhat impossible for any game to outrank Pandemic/Pandemic Legacy, so the #3 spot should be considered #1 in the not-Pandemic division, a coveted spot.

2. Pandemic

Do you have what it takes to save humanity? I love this game. It's a co-op game. Either everyone at the table wins or everyone loses. What makes this game #1 for me? You can use cards in different ways and you have to balance priorities: finding cures and removing diseases from cities. This game is intense. With the game on the line, you could have three equally viable options to decide between. And the difference between winning and losing can be razor thin, so every decision is important.

1. Pandemic Legacy: Season One

So you take my favorite game of all time and then you create a game that unfolds over 12 months with new rules, characters, and pieces. This game is incredible. It very much feels like the story is alive, like you're in a movie, instead of just playing a game with a theme.






Ordered April 7

Skull (good for work & family)

TIME Stories (good for solo play)

Archaeology (good for family)

Right now my three possibilities for gaming are solo, work group, kids. So in this order I made sure to get one for each group. I'm thinking Skull can pull double duty. A game like Dead of Winter or CV doesn't fit into any of my gaming groups (except for maybe when Bridget is here) something I neglected to consider last order.

(digital) Camel Up, Galaxy Trucker

Onitama (2 player game somewhat similar to chess but modern)

Secret Hitler



Possible Wish List

Captain Sonar (real-time hidden movement game for 8 players but looks sooo cool)

GenCon2016: Beyond Baker Street, Vast, Kreo, Last Friday

Ice Cool


Imhotep (cool, simple family friendly game of building, somewhat similar to Archaeology)

Back to the Future?

Oregon Trail card game

Quadropolis (city building game for 2-4 with unique cool mechanics) maybe hold out and hope they build an app

Between Two Cities (don't have the group for this, but another cool city building game)

Dice Town (old west themed, dice rolling, economy game, when the kids are older)

Arboretum: (tree planting card game for 2-4 players, inexpensive)

Mafia de Cuba (secret role game for 6-12 players)

Operation FAUST (bluffing art game for 3-8 players)

Robinson Crusoe (longer, complex survival game for 1-4 players)

The Networks (tv executive game, 1-5 players)

Freedom: The Underground Railroad (co-op historical game with serious theme)

[redacted] (bluffing, hidden information spy game best with 4 or 6 players)

The Resistance (like Mafia but without eliminating players, 5-10 players)

7 Wonders (civilization game, 2-7 players)

King of Tokyo (good first serious game for kids, 2-6 players)

Two Rooms and a Boom (cool party game for 12+)

Tesla vs Edison: War of Currents (complex invention and stock market history simulation, 2-5 players)

Letter Tycoon (better version of scrabble gameplay where you can patent letters, 2-5 players)

Colt Express (western game on a 3-d train, good for kids, 2-6 players)

Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game (cool theme, not sure if good gameplay, 2-4 players)

Jaipur (quick two-player game, selling cards at the market)

Tobago (deduction and competitive treasure hunting, 2-4 players)

Train Heist (family game, 1-4 players)

Nations (civilization game, 1-5 players)

Glass Road?
  
D-Day Dice

Infection: Humanity’s Last Grasp 

Nations Dice?

Here's Why I Thought Tournament Teams Looked So Much Bigger Than Big Ten Teams

Here's an approximate angle that feels like what I watch from Illinois' Assembly Hall State Farm Center and similar Big Ten venues. 



And below is the angle that TBS and CBS use for the tournament. Notice how much taller everyone seems. I assumed that teams like North Carolina and Kentucky were just bigger (and they may be, slightly) but it's 95% in the camera angles. Nutty. 25 in blue looks like he gained a foot.