Friday, March 05, 2021

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The Big Year (PG):
A quiet, low-key movie about bird enthusiasts trying to see the most different bird species in a single year. It's not hilarious (although it seems like many of the reviews online hoped for 100 laughs per minute), but it's not really trying to be. We watched this because Rebecca had just read and enjoyed the source book.

Final Grade: B

7 Wonders: Duel:
This is our favourite two-player game at the moment. The instruction manual reads like an awful translation, where the writer tries to avoid confusion by overexplaining things but just ends up making it more confusing. Once you've played a few games, you'll find a nice little strategy game where there are always plenty of levers to pull and potential paths to victory.

Final Grade: B+

Vice Principals, Season One:
I picked this show out because I missed watching Walton Goggins star in things. This is a dark comedy about two vice principals competing to become the principal of a high school. It goes a little bit too far, especially in the second and penultimate episodes, but it owns the vibe it's trying for and has some really funny scenes. The show is at its best when it focuses on the teachers acting less mature than the students, or on the budding bromance between the two leads in spite of the fact that they detest each other.

Final Grade: B

Weighted Blanket:
To make up for the lack of crazy holiday party this year, my company bought everyone their choice of swag in the $100 range. This weighted blanket (twin size) was the least useless gift in a sea of Bluetooth devices, air fryers, and unnecessary electronics. While it did help me stay asleep more consistently in the few days I tried it, it made getting up to use the bathroom a war between bladder control and gravity. It also exacerbated my constant feelings of cat-flattened ankles. I might try it again someday when Rebecca sleeps with fewer than 500 pillows of her own, but it just doesn't fit my lifestyle right now.

Final Grade: B-

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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 3 years ago today, on March, 3, 2018.

Maia was about 8 months old and in the awkward phase where she wasn't quite crawling yet. While this was a good time for making sure she didn't get away, it required a lot more intervention to move and position her (or her toys) to reset her rapidly decreasing interest meter.

This particular use of a Walmart mirror of questionable construction integrity probably lasted for about 3 minutes before she needed a new experience.

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Monday, March 01, 2021

BD Cartoon Day, Part II

a selection of original cartoons from the business development Slack channel I maintain at work

Other posts in this series: Part I | Part II

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Friday, February 26, 2021

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2021 album.

  • Events
    • Snow continued to fall gently through T 2/2.

    • Got rid of our pool table on H 2/4.

    • Mask visit to the Smiths on S 2/6.

    • More snow on S 2/7.

    • Rebecca started working Saturday afternoons at the Inova vaccine clinic on S 2/13 during an ice storm.

    • Maia switched to the 2.5 hour pre-pre-school class on W 2/17.

    • My mom got her 2nd vaccine shot on W 2/17.

    • More snow on H 2/18.

    • My dad got his 2nd vaccine shot on S 2/20.

    • Farm visit with the Uri grandparents on T 2/23.

    • Backyard visit with Rebecca's parents on a warm W 2/24.

    • Basement visit with the Smiths on S 2/28.

  • Projects

  • Consumerism
    • Enjoyed watching Vice Principals, Truth Seekers, and Lupin this month.

    • No new music or games this month.

February's Final Grade: B, Cold but moved fast.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Azul:
We purchased this two player game based on our enjoyment of Patchwork. You compete to get tiles and gain points for deploying those tiles in different patterns. It's fun and easy to pick up in spite of the length of the rulebook, but it never really feels like you're in control of your fate. It feels impossible to plan more than a couple moves ahead, and some portions of the gameboard feel useless other than as a holding pen for discarded tiles. We'll try it a few more times to see if it clicks, but it's not our favourite.

Final Grade: C+

The Expanse, Season Five:
The Expanse continues to be a good show, with a good ending and great individual scenes. There are still way too may CGI space shots slowing down the momentum. Season Five splits the main characters into individual stories (possibly related to COVID filming restrictions?) and the strength of each story is uneven. One particular episode featuring one of the actors all alone in space really wore down my patience. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B

Animal Crossing: New Horizons:
I was bored by Harvest Moon on N64 and Stardew Valley, so the only reason I bought this game was to have another activity to share with Maia during the cold winter months. This time around though, the problem isn't that I'm bored, the problem is that the game itself is boring. We've played it maybe 5 or 6 times so far and there's so little to do that we eventually just turn it off and do something else. Apparently, everything interesting in the game is behind a real-world time gate, meaning that time has to go by between gaming sessions or you never get to the good stuff. While Maia likes the sound that the NPCs make in the game, this is never a game she wants to watch more of on her own volition. Now, we just play Zelda.

Final Grade: Not Graded

Truth Seekers, Season One:
This is a fun new series from the minds behind the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. Nick Frost stars as a broadband installer by day who runs a paranormal Youtube channel at night. Though it has a little unsettling horror imagery, it stays squarely on the comedy side of the equation with great guest appearances by Simon Pegg and Malcolm MacDowell. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: A

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