My first foray into games beyond Monopoly and Risk was "Wooden Ships & Iron Men", which I bought when I was a freshman in high school. "Ogre", "GEV", and others followed, and I found "Settlers of Catan" in Games People Play in the mid 90's, which started me on "euros", which I enjoy, though I'm still a wargamer at heart. That said, any kind of game, so long as the gameplay is good, is generally fun for me.About my avatar:
My avatar animates a couple of moves from the excellent game, Bonaparte at Marengo
. I used graphics from Brian Mullin's CyberBoard gamebox files and used Photoshop and Illustrator to manipulate and animate the images. Specifically, the animation shows an Austrian unit (red) threatening a French unit, which moves to engage. A second Austrian unit, specifically cavalry, charges around the flank of the now-distracted French and drives them off (inflicting some damage on them on the way).About my tea microbadge:
Tea is an interest of mine. Not to the extent that board games are, but yes, a hobby, and so the microbadge. I get my tea from Upton Tea Importers
.Current teas in my kitchen, in order of preference (updated 7/11/08):
- Halmari Estate Assam CTC FOP
: This is a "crush-tear-curl" style of leaf. I like that it steeps quickly with good flavor, but when I use a strainer, more tea seems to get through than when I use larger leaf tea. That minor quibble aside, this is a very tasty tea.
- Mabroukie Estate Kenyan CTC BP1
: another CTC tea. Tasty, but not as good as either the KTDA Kenyan nor most of the Assams I've had (including the Halmari).
- Kirkoswald Estate Ceylon FBOP
: nice flavor, but somewhat weak; I have to use perhaps 50% more leaves for a good cup.
- New England Harvest
: a blend that my importer makes. Some type of China black tea, with vanilla, apple, cinammon, and a few other flavors. Really really good! A great winter holiday tea (though I drink it all the time).
- Midsummer Dream
: this is a black/green blend by Upton Tea Imports. Specifically, it's China Black tea with green Sencha. They've add some sunflower petals, cactus flowers and a bit of rhubarb. Surprisingly tasty and refreshing. Great on cool summer nights. A seasonal counterpart to the New England Harvest blend.
- Chinese Jasmine with flowers
: wonderful refreshing green-based tea. I love the flavor of Jasmine.
- Japanese Sencha Yamato
: the green tea I'm currently trying. Tasty and a bit sweet.
- Formosa Oolong
: I really enjoy Oolongs and this is the one I'm trying now. Nice flavor.Former teas:
- Khongea Estate Assam FOP
: I love a robust cup of tea, and this is a tasty Assam. I may order a second Assam type in my next tea purchase.
- KTDA Co-op (organic) Kenyan BOP SP
: undecided on this one. It's good, but I'm not yet sure it has a flavor distinct enough from the Assam and Ceylon teas to continue to order.
- China black FOP
: nice flavor but the slight smokey flavor is a bit off-putting to me to make this a regular choice.About my other microbadges:
I only had a tea microbadge for the longest time, but then broke down and started buying a few others. Most are self-explanatory, but I'd like to talk about a few...Chocoholic
chocolate. When I still cared about religion, I gave chocolate up for Lent. After two very successful weeks, my girlfriend-of-that-time asked me to start eating it again. I don't know in what way I was acting differently, but apparently I was.Vernor Vinge fan
If you like SF at all and haven't read this fellow's stories, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of A Fire Upon the Deep
. One of the best SF books I've ever read. His other books are also fantastic, but AFUtD is awesome in its creativity, scope, and fun.The Bonaparte at Marengo and Napoleon's Triumph badges
Clearly from my avatar, I love BaM. NT is even better. If you are a cerebral gamer who likes tense, direct-conflict games (even better if you're a wargamer, but in my experience, that's not necessary), you should try these non-luck wargames. A mix of wargames, chess, poker (in NT's case) and stratego, these games scratched an itch I never knew I had. Truly works of art in every sense of the word.Star Fleet Battles
, while having a very daunting rulebook, is incredibly fun and fast playing. A newbie can literally be taught in ten minutes enough to allocate the power on their ship, fly it around, and shoot at the opponents' ships. All the advanced rules can come later. It's a thinky, fun photon-shootin' wargame.Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
is the best anime series I've ever seen. Cyberpunk, philosophy, neat story arcs, it has it all. Highly, highly recommended.Lost and Battlestar Galactica
Two of my favorite shows. I came late to Lost
, picking it up when the 4th season started. A friend then lent me the first season, and I was hooked. I'm partway through the third season at the moment.
As for BSG, I was skeptically optimistic when I first heard about it, but the miniseries blew me away. I couldn't wait for the series to start, and I haven't been disappointed yet. The best show currently on TV, hands down.
(The two counters above started on 1/15/2010)
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