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Earthquake Shenanigans, Acquisitions, Improving Approach to Gaming with Health Issues, Creating a Solo Game Selector/Utility Book

Sara Bear
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Earthquake shenanigans

The recent earthquake didn't knock anything over, not even the boardgames. It did come close to sending some Star Wars vehicles on an unexpected journey:

From gallery of sarebear62

From gallery of sarebear62


Groot was safe in his social distancing pot (obviously not 12 foot diameter, but we don't have a pot that big, nor room for it):

From gallery of sarebear62


I set up a game after, to help detect aftershocks, though I debated whether the clatter of pieces might be too jarring:

From gallery of sarebear62


The aftershocks were much fewer and far between (after the first two days) than they'd estimated, so it didn't stay up for more than a day or so. It didn't go up until the next day, and didn't do much of anything, despite the plethora of 2.0 too 3.ish shocks that day.

It's funny how engaging the scientific observation part of your brain, helps to reduce anxiety about the aftershocks, because it's hard for both anxiety and curiosity to co-exist. They did, but the curiosity significantly reduced the anxiety, so I'm tickled I could use gaming in a way to help with that.

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Happy Birthday to me, feeling like a Ferengi (acquisitions), some things I've been playing

Between the rest of my Christmas money, and my birthday in February, and a bit of trading, acquisitions were more than they've ever been in a several month period. Probably more than any half year, and definitely more than most years (a couple years ago I had alot, for me, going in and out)

From gallery of sarebear62


My husband got me the DC101 two pack Funkoverse expansion for Valentine's Day, as I'd recently gotten the 4-pack DC set for a steal of $10. I later got with Christmas and Birthday money, Harry Potter both Funkoverse sets, and Kool Aid Man. Bandido, and the expansion to Fallout (not WWF).

From gallery of sarebear62

Fallout, birthday present, played with my husband and not likely to be solo'd as we love playing it together.

I traded for a batch of mosty PnP's. I'm kinda spacing out trying them, as it's nice to have new without having to spend to get it, and I've been trying so much new to me this year, I'd like to play more tried and true in there as well.

The Oceans pnp I got in that batch, while it will probably be quite some time before I try the actual Oceans game, I am in love/joy with the art, and have pulled some themed or matching sets of cards, ten sets, 4 of each, or 4 that fits a theme like jellyfish, or tentacles. I use these to play Daniel Solis' Year of the Dragon, that was designed for when the system/deck Book of Dragons was published.

I love playing that with a vareity of decks, especially as the original cards are tarot sized and take up more space, which is an issue when out and about (pre-pandemic), and I like the variety of having options. Oceans is near or at the top of the list for this game, for me, though. LOVE it.

From gallery of sarebear62

The sets of 4 identical cards, and some sets of 4 different but categorized cards, to make up the 10 different sets of four I need. Teeth, tentacles, jellyfish/bioluminescent, are several of the four differeent cards, sets.


Other games played recently include:

New to me:

Deadball, Ada Lovelace: Consulting Mathematician, Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game, Groves

Tried and true:

Fields of Green, various Fluxx'es, Castles of Caladale, Das Labyrinth des Pharoa

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Gaming more frequently; changing my approach, health issues and gaming

I have been working on playing more games; rather, of having an attitude that it's easier than I think to get up and play something, and that I can take small steps and small decisions to make this happen.

When you live with a variety of health issues that can really make the inertia of continuing to just sit/lay down and continue what you are doing, generally be, or feel, rather, much easier, less stressfull, less painful than other things, thats often what you do.

But, I've working on changing the attitude about it. Which has been leading to good success in playing more, and some good efforts on organizing things in a way to make playing easier, or even choosing what to play, easier.

It doesn't take a huge amount of effort to make this change, but it does take trying to apply an attitude more consistently, and a bit of targeted self-talk to help push through the fatigue, fog, pain, and inertia of not getting up and doing much that comes along with these health issues, or often does.

Sometimes for a week or two when I'm on the edge of a migraine, or other issues that interfere, then no, but generally, I'm finding I can do more than I thought I could, I just need to make it as easy as possible, in my push to play more games.

With that push, though, a problem that had beeen increasingly on my mind since oh maybe August or so, and increasing with time and acquisition, especially the explosion of new lately, is the following, which deserves it's own marked out section in this long blog post.

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Making a physical solo games selector book, to help with remembering what I have to play, and for which moods/brain fog levels they are suited for

From gallery of sarebear62

Cardstock and leftover plastic from plastic binder dividers I cut up and disc-bound punched for my planner.

I'd been finding that I was having an increasingly difficult time remembering everything I have available to play solo, and then choosing from it. Apparently I've surpassed some threshold of having more than I can easily remember without aid. I remember most, but it feels like I'm scrabbling to pull it all togeether, and that's not the most pleasant feeling, so I'd decided I would get around to making a physical solo games selector aid for myself.

From gallery of sarebear62

There are multiple sizes of sheets, usually more than one per "page", to accomodate my need to update/add/move info and things around to suit my needs. I include a variety of differently sized "pages" at the front, with my games listed undere various categories, that I tried to put categories on each "strip page" that sort of went together in some way.


After all the Christmas and Birthday money and other acquisitions, it's really come to a head. I put it together in the days following the reecent 5.7 earthquake in Salt Lake City; though losing power was a mild concern at that time and for a week or so after, it wasn't why I made the book.

From gallery of sarebear62

The rest of the book is sorted by the heaviest fibromyalgia brain fog level I feel a game is suited for. You see that on the left, a list of ones for that brain fog level. The first three strips making a "page" are on the right, starting with the lowest BGG weight game in the fog category, and going up from there. Most games are this 1/3 of a "page" size, but there's several I made bigger, like Deadball and Funkoverse, for reasons.

Some of the strips for the games have a variety of spots to put specific information; I stopped after awhile putting that, since it was too many games to do that (I can do it over time as I play them) and I may want to change what information I'm putting. I will list these things farther on.

This is a usable, complete (for now, mostly) proof of concept as far as what it is, the size, and stuff. That's why it's only cardstock covers and not laminate.


I needed something relatively simple, but also with enough to it that it suited my particular needs; that it would have some other utility in it besides solo game selecting, like perhaps logging gameplays, so I can put them in BGG later, logging game trades/incoming/outgoing, especially outstanding Kickstarters, a dry/wet eraseable scoresheet, and maybe a few other things. The plastic you see on the cover, and 6 or 7 pieces of various sizes between each fog level section, will serve to record this stuff with a wet erase marker.

From gallery of sarebear62

A closeup of a "page" of three game strips. Though I stopped putting every spot of info on all the strips, I kept the most thought through stuff, the most frequently referenced info, along the top of the page strip. Things like My rating, BGG rating, 1pg People's Choice last year/overall, players, play time, BGG weight, where it's physically (or digitally, in a few cases) stored, and Brain Fog Level. Game name on next line.

It might sound ambitious, but I've been thinking about it for awhile. When my mind whirls and whirls with anxiety, I'll often set it to work on something productive/creative like this instead, and it works nicely to do that. It means I think some things through to an exacting level of detail sometimes, though.

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Tools/materials/other info about my Solo Selector book

The discs are Happy Planner discs you can find for that brand at various craft stores. The punch I used is a heavy duty, $80 Levenger Circa one that will punch through multiple pages, chipboard (to a point, extra thick ones might be an issue) and I've used it on some plastic, transparency stuff, and laminate. I'd prefer to not test it on the thicker laminates (not sure what thickness of laminate I've punched for my planner).

These are used for disc-bound planners; the punch creates a mushroom shaped hole in the paper. You can pull pages and things out and rearrange as needed. Some disc-bound brands/systems are compatible with some other ones, some are not, or are compatible with the other ones that don't play well with other types either.

I cut the disc bound punched white paper, into strips exactly in half between disc-bound punch spots, by centering adjacent mushroom punchhouts on lines that were an inch apart, straddling the cut line which was halfway between them. Some trimmers don't have measuring lines that close to the cut line, though.

I also used a We R Memory Keeprs heavy duty corner chomper. Each of these does two sizes of corner rounding, but one of the two for sale gets worse reviews. I have the better one, I wish the other was good too . . .. anyway, I use it to round the corners on everything, including the plastic used in this book. Sometimes I need to clean it up a little, but I'm still perfecting my punching technique. And the type of plastic that I need to clean up, is different than the laminate I've used.

Cardstock was from a big pad of scrapbooking, thick linen finished nice rebound to ot cardstock, teal front, purple back, so I don't mistake which side is front.

On the front, in silver gel pen (because when I'm using the clear plastic for scoring a game, I don't want text on the cover competing visually with what I'm writing on the plastic) I've written: Sara's Solo Game Selector, "Shall. We. Play. A. Game? - WOPR, Wargames"

The other info currently on some of the page strips, besides what I listed under the last photo, are:

RBL (rulebook learn)
RBR (rulebook refresh)
S (Setup)
T (Teardown)
FP (Physical fiddliness)
FM (Mental fiddliness)
Vis (visual aesthetics)
OS (Other sensory)

next line:

Org (organized)
PA (player aid(s)
Type of solo (self-explanatory) further info, if needed, like variant author, variant rating, will go on the back of the strip - I might change this and put the rating for how solo plays, next to the type of solo)
TS (I've forgotten what this one means, I need to go back to my notes from making the book)
Thm /I (Theme score, and Implementation of it score)

Next line:

Relax/Tense/Puz (With my TMJ, I've been becoming increasingly aware that a few board games increase my physical tension; these things are partially an attempt to become more aware of how I feel, and give me an idea of what games might be better avoided when my TMJ is acting up) How reelaxing/How tense/How puzzley the game is
UIXVis Dis (User interface experience issues, visual discrimination; this one will go on the back of the strip, only for the few games that have any issues here)

I just thought of another option to add. How involved is scoring, is there a scoring pad?

Because I've been meaning to come up with a way to assess what is important to me in games, to define the issues, and measure or score the things that would be useful to me to do so, and figure out a selectionof these things that would give me an overall picture of why and what I like about the game, and how much or how little it fits some of those things.

I don't have to track everything, but this is a stab at starting to define the ins and outs of what works for me in a game, what doesn't, and why. To various degrees. I think some of the things I'm coring, like physical and mental fiddliness, rulebook issues, and other things, are partly why some games that are weightier than you'd think would work at a certain brain fog level, work. It's because they run smoother in those areas than other games, even some lighter games, do . . . We'll see over time how this turns out.

Anyway, I've gone on too much. If there's anything else you'd like to know, just ask. Oh, yes, I do feel I need to add a list of my topj x number of games to the front, that's been feeling like it needs to be in there. A legend for the abbreviations in-book would be good, too.
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Wed Apr 8, 2020 7:16 am
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Storing game accessories, and a bit of beautiful woodworking

Sara Bear
United States
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Microbadge: Paper Plane PilotMicrobadge: Watch it Played fanMicrobadge: Dwarf fanMicrobadge: I've been blamed on SGoYT made me buy this!Microbadge: It's all gone pear-shaped
These things take up an inordinately large amount of room. The really enhance playing in a neater, more organized way, and it's generally the easier to clean up when the bits are in muffin cups, silicone ice gem trays, dollar store small containers, and the like.

So, I made a place to store this gorgeous wooden box my dad made, right next to where I game a lot. The Fun-Sense kit on top has a lot of fun and sensory objects and activities. Just the other night we went outside for a lightsaber battle.

From gallery of sarebear62


The carpet in this place was shot when we moved in sixteen years ago. I game in the recliner on the right, on a board, or on the tables you see put away on the left. We have one more folding 4x2 table, but it sits a touch lower because the rigidness lock works differently than our newer pair. So it's stored elsewhere, and only considered for things like Firefly.

We will slide the portable games kit on the top shelf, if weight balance is right for the tower, when the crafting project we are working on is done.

From gallery of sarebear62

From gallery of sarebear62


The storage ottoman you see was made by my dad. I need to get better pics of the intarsia on the sides and front. A lighthouse is on each end, and dolphins on the front. We turned the bottom cube of this no longer available craft storage system, a two drawer unit, to the left.

From gallery of sarebear62


Some small to medium games are stored within the bottom drawer. I'll probably put some of the Uberstaxx that aren't stored next to the wooden box, in the top drawer down there, and maybe some other game stuff.

On the middle three drawer cube, remotes, chargers, cable, camera are in the bottom drawer, medical stuff, physical therapy bands, handiwipes and sanitizer, Lactaid, and stuff like that for when I am supposed to stay off my leg, go there.

Top drawer we haven't decided, but it's currently holding stuff for that craft project.

Now, this beautiful wooden box my dad made, was the impetus for putting that tower there. I wish we'd done it long before. It keeps the stuff inside handy for use with games.

From gallery of sarebear62


From gallery of sarebear62

A surprise inside!

I started out storing the stuff inside in the most compact way, but it was awkward having to pull the bigger muffin tray from underneath everything so often, so we reversed the order, though it's not as efficient, it works better for the purpose. I could always put the large stuff in the drawer with some more Uberstaxx.

I have nested dice cups, with dice inside (it has a lid), snap up pleather dice trays from Target's bargain spot, silicone ice gem trays, small dollar store containers and lids, a couple packs of cards, and the bathtub draw and discard tray. A pad of paper and pencils with sharpener needs to be added. I can make my ow disc bound notebooks, that is the craft project in progress, so scorepads are no problem.
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Mon Jun 4, 2018 1:09 pm
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