Saturday, July 28, 2007

Carcassonne: Ark Of The Covenant

Like many other games including Monopoly, Mad Gab, Pictionary, and more, someone out there decided to make a Christian version of one of our favorite games, Carcassonne (click the 'carcassonne' link at the bottom of this post to see all of our other posts about the game). I'm not interested in buying Christian versions of games because we are Christians, but because they are good games, and in this case, that's exactly what it is.


Carcassonne variant: Ark Of The Covenant

The game is very similar in play to the original game, but because they had the benefit of time and experience, they were able to modify certain rules, and incorporate some other aspects of expansion sets into a single stand-alone game. Some reviews claimed that the Ark of the Covenant was a better game than just the basic Carcassonne.

We've played it just once, a couple of days ago, and we really enjoyed it. I'm leaning towards it being a better game on its own, but will need a few more plays (and with more people) to really tell for sure. In any case, the modifications made to the game are really smart. They remove some of the more strenuous aspects of the game, and changed the way a few tiles score to make the game a little more even between players.

Hopefully we'll get a chance to play this with our gaming friends, and if we get some photos of the board layout, I'll post them to show what the game itself looks like.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

New Star Trek Film: Dec 2008

After the successes of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation followed a series of movies based on both shows. I've wondered from time to time if they would ever make movies out of the other Star Trek shows, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager, but as of yet, nothing is forthcoming.

And then this news shows up on the web... a new movie is scheduled for development and release in December 2008, based on the original Star Trek characters, but taking place back when they just finished their Starfleet Academy training.

"This version of the much reprised TV series and film franchise is set in a time before the original series, when Kirk and Spock are newly graduated cadets fresh from Starfleet Academy."


New and old Spock

Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock in the original series, will be returning to play himself (there must be scenes from multiple times) and Zachary Quinto will play Spock as a young man.

""This is really going to be a great movie. And I don't say things like that lightly," said Nimoy, 76, greeting the crowd with Vulcan salute."

Well, it's a long ways away with few details as to content, but it sounds like it could be really interesting.

Reference

CBC: Casting of Spock in new Star Trek film 'logical,' says Nimoy
Leonard Nimoy to have role in new 'Star Trek' film

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

MacBook!

We have a new addition to the family! Introducing our new MacBook laptop!


This post brought to you on the Mac!

After working with Mac's for the last four months at my new job, I'm convinced that it's one of the top systems to use for both business and personal. I've been concerned over the direction Microsoft has been going with Windows and looking for alternatives. One of those alternatives is Linux, and open source operating system. And then there is the Mac OS, which has recently switched to a Linux back-end. It's like having my cake and eating it too!

What is really interesting is that in a way, I've actually come full circle. The first computer I ever used was an Apple IIc, belonging to my cousin, Dean. Coincidentally, I still have the old Apple IIc, and when I get a chance I'm going to get a side-by-side photo to show the change in technology over the last 15 years. Another interesting side-note is that you can see the Apple IIc in the museum in Victoria, BC, and I've also heard it's in the Smithsonian!

Along with the laptop, I also got a wireless router so I could connect to the internet from the comfort of my couch, kitchen, patio, bedroom, etc. I had some difficulty with it, however, and after much frustration, suddenly today it started to work, seemingly without me doing anything about it. Very odd, very disturbing, but it works and I'm happy regardless of the reason.

The posts will continue as usual now, and there's one or two lined up already. Set your bookmarks and check back every few days!

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Picture Downtime

Update: July 26, 2007

Seems like things might be working. If you are reading this and see photos, please press the Refresh button on your browser. If everything still looks okay (you see all the images, including the top banner), please leave a comment to let me know. I'm getting conflicting reports.

July 22, 2007

I've purchased some new equipment (check back for further details) including a new router. I've put it all into place, and while it works good for most things, somehow it is blocking external web access to my web server. That being the case, until further notice, some images on my blog will not be visible.

Please bear with me and I should have things up and running full again within a day or two.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Importance Of Fun

I think it's important to add an element of fun, especially in such serious things like marriage! I notice that my sister, Susanna, and her husband, Brian, do a lot of interesting, entertaining, and fun things. And now that they have a cute baby, Silas, it's just not getting any less!

Even a quick photo edit can create a few laughs:


Silas, Baby Padawan

Move along.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Garage Sale

We went out to my parents' place on Friday night. There was some talk about a garage sale, but it was decided there wasn't enough time. Then on Friday evening, we went for a walk down the block and saw another house preparing their garage sale.

What a great opportunity, with someone else advertising a garage sale, why don't we just put out a few tables and cash in on all the traffic?


Andrew at the garage sale

And that's exactly what we did. We started digging through our stuff, cleaning up the junk, and labeling everything for the garage sale the next day. What you see in the above picture is later on in the day when we sold most of the stuff. My parents sold their kitchen table and chairs, coffee table and end table. And a whole bunch of other stuff I wouldn't have thought would sell went fast.

In the end I made only $11.50, but I was selling a lot of smaller stuff. Books, magazines, etc for 25 cents a piece. None of my "bigger" stuff like the fish tank sold. In total we sold over $200, split amongst various family members.

The day started off nice, but got really warm by the end. I didn't wear my hat for part of the day, and got a pretty red neck. Oops!

After that we has some BBQ pork chops and played a few games of Rook. Overall, a fun day with the family!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kwik-E-Mart

I'm not a Simpsons fan by any means, but there's so much advertising surrounding the upcoming movie release it's hard to miss. Particularly when your local 7/11 is converted into the corner store "Kwik-E-Mart" from the show. I couldn't resist stopping for a couple of pictures, and a Squishee. Those are the show equivalent of a slushie, along with Krusty-O's and Buzz Cola, which they are also selling.


The outside has been completely changed


Oh yeah, forgot about the special donuts

The place was busy, and I heard that when they first opened with the new look, there was a line-up around the side of the building to get in. Good marketing, that's for sure!

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Heat Wave

After months of cool, cloudy, and rainy weather (and much complaining by most people), it's finally turned around, and today we've hit right around the +30C mark. Unbelievably, weather.ca is actually reporting +37C tomorrow in our area:


+37C, now that's toasty!

Of course, the people who just two weeks ago were wondering why they live in such a dreary place, are now smiling and telling everyone how great it is to live here. BC.. .the "best place on earth"! You can even get that on your license plate now, for a fee of course!

I guess I'll be down at my local 7/11 getting a slushie on my regular lunchtime walk! Enjoy the great weather, everyone!

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

The "Chicken Ball" Combo

There's a small Chinese restaurant next door to where I work that sells tasty yet cheap lunch combinations. Until now, most of the employees have been happily eating there, but a newer employee discovered that the restaurant had been shut down earlier in the year due to "inadequate hand-washing stations, unsanitary conditions, and mouse infestation".

To be completely honest, you never know what's going on in the kitchen in any restaurant you visit, so something like this doesn't even make me think twice. Many places of this type have been shut down for one reason or another, and if you like the food, you're just going to have to accept the fact.

I decided to write up a humorous rebuttal to this situation and emailed it around to the office staff. Here's a copy of it:

After the unfortunate discovery of the one-day shutdown of our favorite local Chinese restaurant, I feel it necessary to send out a message to counter the points listed in the health report.
  1. Inadequate hand-washing stations  - The health inspectors are obviously uninformed when it comes to the preparation of Chinese food.  Much of the food is chopped coarsely with large knifes, cooked in woks under high temperatures with large spoons, and piled nonchalantly onto rice or chow mein.  There is little or no need to come in contact with the food by hands, thus the lack of hand washing stations.
  2. Unsanitary conditions - Apparently the health board hasn't seen some people's kitchens at home yet!  When the chef drags the side of beef across the floor, it actually leaves a clean spot!!  And the coating of grease on the counters just helps things move quicker!
  3. Mouse infestation - This has to be a fabrication because the restaurant was re-opened within a day.  There's no way a serious infestation could be resolved in that amount of time.  A day later, to bring back customers and reassure them, they introduced a new "Chicken Ball" combo!
This PROVES, without a shadow of a doubt that the food is completely safe for human consumption!  I'd like to suggest a special lunch visit for those who are convinced (or were never swayed by the propaganda).

Now, while this is mostly humor, the part about dragging a side of beef across the floor is a true story I heard from a relative who worked delivering meat quite a few years ago. So this stuff happens!

After my email, some people really decided to go, and I had to put my money where my mouth is. And was it ever tasty, as usual! Sweet and sour pork, beef and veggies, and chow mein, with a bowl of hot and sour soup. Mm-mm-mmm!

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

Happy 4th of July to all my American friends, family, and readers! There's nothing I would like more than to spend the day with you, playing games, having great BBQ, and setting off fireworks. But alas, I'm stuck at my desk working.

Enjoy the holiday!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Canada Day Long Weekend

It's been a busy three days and they went by without me having any time to make a post about Canada Day or anything else.

First of all, hope you Canadians enjoyed your day off and perhaps got to do something Canada Day related. Fireworks or something? We came near to some but weren't in a place where they were visible, and simply got caught in all the traffic leaving the area afterwards.

Natasha's Mom is here to visit with us, and arrived on Saturday afternoon. She'll be here for at least a few more days, and longer if she decides to stay. She wasn't feeling well yesterday, so we spent most of the day at home. Still, it was a restful day and I feel a lot more caught up on sleep than I have over the last while.

On Sunday night, while driving home from Langley, we got detoured onto the Fraser Highway, and towards and unfortunate object lying on the road. I hit it pretty hard on the left side and I could hear the air escaping in a loud hiss. We pulled over and I swapped the flattened tire for the spare.


Punctured tire, Dented rim

It was nearly midnight and dark, so we were unable to walk back far enough and see what it was. Whatever it was, it was either very large, or sharp, because it put an inch split in the tire, and dented the rim. Unbelievable. Now we're scrambling to find one if we can get it cheap, or consider having it repaired at a lesser cost.

Oh yeah, and I cleaned the BBQ on Saturday. It was packed with so much stuff under the grill, it's no wonder it was always on fire. I scooped everything out, wiped the grills as well as the outside, and it's ready to use for the summer. It's not sparkling, but at least it's not covered in grease anymore. Last night we grilled some tasty pork sausages and a skewer of mushrooms basted with sundried tomato dressing. Mm-mm-mmm! I'm really loving the grilled veggies these days, and hope to do a lot of it this summer.

The business continues... keep your eyes peeled for the next post!

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