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Despite signing up for Tom Vasel's Secret Santa event... which was really nothing more than one of many thinly disguised steps in his plan to eventually rule the world and force all humans to rate horrible games highly.... because, as Tom seems to think... nice is just better.

Where was I?

Oh right. So I signed up and sent some lucky sod in the Godforsaken barrens of Australia my newly recieved P500 copy of Combat Commander: Mediterranean. Then I fumbled my way through the rest of December right up until a few days before Christmas I got one of those uh-oh calls that required I drive like a madman 700 miles through the blowing snows of Idaho and Nevada and then the even more treacherous brake-light seas of the SF Bay area... not knowing whether my dear ol' mom would cling to life long enough for me to arrive.

Well... she did. In fact, she's still hanging in there and so, after 8 days of zero games, marginal internet access, no Christmas to speak of and more doctor speak-than you hear in a month's worth of House, MD, I drove back through the snows, ice and sensory assault of roadside fast food joints and arrived safe, but weary in the lovely little hick town of White Trash. And yet, I knew something was amiss... ah... Vasel and his sinister machinations... I had not received a Secret Santa box. Drat.

Well, imagine my suprise when I trekked through the snow and ice and roads clogged with rusty old pick-up trucks and slow-moving hay haulers today to "get the mail"... which I also do because it's a social activity for me... anyway... I found a box or two... or was it three? And they had games!!!!

GMT finally decided (I suppose) that they'd better give all of us P500 victims something for our money and so Conquest of Paradise as well as the latest CC:A expansion were there. And the other? Why it was a Christmas present from some person even more incredibly dense than me... I say that because I'm dense and it's proven by living somewhere that has a winter. This guy? Ha! Makes me look like Stephen Hawkings... except on a Harley instead of a wheel chair.. and not quite so annoying to listen to... unless, I suppose, you were married to me. But then, if you had been married to me you wouldn't need to listen anymore because what's there to say after you already took every last cent I had?

Where was I?

Oh yeah, the SS Geek who makes me look *bright*. He lives in Minneapolis. For those of you not familiar with that place... it's in Minnesota. Which has nine months of solid, below zero winters, followed by three months of dodging mosquitos the size of armored fighting vehicles which are so insanely voracious that residents actually pray for snow.

Well, despite all that, this guy sent me a really cool addition to my library of games-I'll-never-eBay. And what is particularly nice is it's one I might not have actually bought before it went out of print and so the Minnesota Guy saved me the shame of buying something on eBay from a souless shark like me rather than selling it to gamers foolish enough to bid on my auctions.

And after all that I don't know whether to thank GMT, the Minnesota Guy, Tom (the future evil overlord of Earth) or the snow demons who saw my truck barreling along narrow roads at speeds way too high for the conditions and decided I was not the kind of guy they wanted to mess with... so they cleared a small path for me to drive too fast through.

Thanks Minnesota Guy! And GMT... but it's not like I didn't pay for the games, so really, you should be thanking me... and even Tom, you wily old preacher person you... it was fun.

Happy New Year folks! I hope to piss you all off in record amounts for 2008.


p.s. I got this:

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Tom Hudson
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lol

posts like this keep me coming here
 
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Gregory Amstutz
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For those of us in the warmer states, its called Minne-so-cold. laugh

I however, was "fortunate" enough to spend 2 winters in Minot, North Dakota. We had a saying that it blew in Montanna, sucked in Minnesota, and we just got caught in the cross wind.

laugh laugh

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I had a 7th grade Social Studies teacher of Scandinavian descent, Mr Indall, who once said (and I quote): "it's so damn cold in Minnesota, the polar bears wouldn't hunt there."

Don't worry about having the warm fuzzies, Tripp. Your secret is safe with us. And I'm glad to hear your Mom's hanging on. We're trying to get our Dad up here so we can take care of him, but he likes it too much in LaPaz Mexico. (Hmmm... from Mexico to WA state. Can't say as I blame him.)
 
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berserkley wrote:
I had a 7th grade Social Studies teacher of Scandinavian descent, Mr Indall, who once said (and I quote): "it's so damn cold in Minnesota, the polar bears wouldn't hunt there."



In my former career I had a major account in Minneapolis that required my presence 6-10 times a year. I've been in cold places before, but that's the only place where my mustache froze absolutely solid in a 3 block walk to a restaurant. Thankfully it was a Mexican restaurant. Run by actual Mexicans... which made the walk worth it.

Now if I can just get all the stickers on the new CC:A expansion, figure out the Conquest of Paradise rules and trick someone into playing War of the Ring (with expansion) I may be able to get through to Spring.
 
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John Maddening
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DWTripp wrote:
In my former career I had a major account in Minneapolis that required my presence 6-10 times a year. I've been in cold places before, but that's the only place where my mustache froze absolutely solid in a 3 block walk to a restaurant. Thankfully it was a Mexican restaurant. Run by actual Mexicans... which made the walk worth it.

Now if I can just get all the stickers on the new CC:A expansion, figure out the Conquest of Paradise rules and trick someone into playing War of the Ring (with expansion) I may be able to get through to Spring.


That's why we have our extensive skyway system: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minneapolis_Skyway_System

My girlfriend works downtown, and is able to park her car then walk to work, go to a nice restaurant for lunch, see a movie, shop at Target or Macy's, or go to a doctor or dentist appointment all without going outside.

It's why we're all so damn pale here.
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Myke Madsen
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jeremyffg wrote:
That's why we have our extensive skyway system: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minneapolis_Skyway_System

My girlfriend works downtown, and is able to park her car then walk to work, go to a nice restaurant for lunch, see a movie, shop at Target or Macy's, or go to a doctor or dentist appointment all without going outside.

It's why we're all so damn pale here.


I was in downtown Minneapolis for about 36 hours last summer, in August, and the skyways at that time seemed so bizarre. Walking through them felt a lot like walking through an airport -- you feel completely sealed off from the outside world. Such a bizarre experience.
 
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HappyProle wrote:
jeremyffg wrote:
That's why we have our extensive skyway system: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minneapolis_Skyway_System

My girlfriend works downtown, and is able to park her car then walk to work, go to a nice restaurant for lunch, see a movie, shop at Target or Macy's, or go to a doctor or dentist appointment all without going outside.

It's why we're all so damn pale here.


I was in downtown Minneapolis for about 36 hours last summer, in August, and the skyways at that time seemed so bizarre. Walking through them felt a lot like walking through an airport -- you feel completely sealed off from the outside world. Such a bizarre experience.


They are strange. The first couple of trips to Minneapolis I stayed in a downtown hotel and used the skywalks. Then my account moved their headquarters to a suburban location and it doomed me to arctic blasts or heat that actually boiled the sweat in steamy clouds right off of my arms.

Now my daughter, who lives in Chicago, might transfer there and I have warned her to prepare for the worst... she seems to think Chicago winters are bad. I told her it just seems that way because, well, it's Chicago. Minnesota is much worse and what makes it almost unbearable is that the residents are waaaay too nice about the whole thing.
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John Maddening
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DWTripp wrote:
Minnesota is much worse and what makes it almost unbearable is that the residents are waaaay too nice about the whole thing.


We love it here!

(also, we're all crazy)
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DWTripp wrote:
I have warned her to prepare for the worst... she seems to think Chicago winters are bad. I told her it just seems that way because, well, it's Chicago. Minnesota is much worse and what makes it almost unbearable is that the residents are waaaay too nice about the whole thing.


Heh. I marvel at the horror with which people react to *GASP* low temperatures and snow. The humanity! Nothing a good coat and hat can't take care of (heated seats don't hurt, or an engine block heater for the ultra paranoid). I don't get all fired up about it (is that what being "waaaay too nice" means?), but you make the choice to live here, you accept the consequences.

I'd take the winter conditions here over...say....getting two feet of lake-effect snow at a time in Buffalo or the Upper Peninsula.

I'm not a fan of the skyways. They effectively killed off any kind of street-level activity even in good weather. Most of the time it doesn't even feel like a downtown because of them.

Chicago winters might well be worse in terms of what you do with a car during a snow emergency. Off street parking is much more scarce there than here.

Having said all that, my wife is pretty parsimonious with the heat in our place, so I'm off to put on some long underwear.
 
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If you continue with entertaining posts like this, I'll start to not hate you. Neither of us needs that.
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JoeyHemlock wrote:
If you continue with entertaining posts like this, I'll start to not hate you. Neither of us needs that.


I agree Mark. The world needs a balance between hate and... and... that other stuff. It's a new year and I'm certain I'll be provided many opportunities in 2008 to keep the animosity levels at their proper place.
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You are scaring me. I was thinking of attending Con of the North next month in St. Paul and now I am having second thoughts. I am from Michigan and we have some bad weather, but your reports make it seem like summer here (we got 10" of snow on New Years day).
 
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Also, there are pockets of Minnesota that are markedly different from the rest of the state, such as beautiful Mankato:

http://city-mankato.us/

Mankato, Minnesota is truly a wonderland. Tucked into the Emerald Green Valley in Southern Minnesota, it is the hidden vacation Mecca of scores of knowing Midwesterners. Mankato has everything thanks to a freak of nature: the Sclare/Far Fissure. This fissure in the earth's crust takes water seeping through the earth, heats it to well over 165 degrees, and sends it back up to the surface in steam pits and boil holes. The heat from these pits and holes heats the valley air to such an extent that the winter temperature in many Mankato neighborhoods has never dropped below a balmy 70 degrees!!!! Come enjoy our winters! Let's "Make It Mankato" ! !
We are real, we are warm and we would love to see you!

 
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craniac wrote:
Also, there are pockets of Minnesota that are markedly different from the rest of the state, such as beautiful Mankato:

http://city-mankato.us/

Mankato, Minnesota is truly a wonderland. Tucked into the Emerald Green Valley in Southern Minnesota, it is the hidden vacation Mecca of scores of knowing Midwesterners. Mankato has everything thanks to a freak of nature: the Sclare/Far Fissure. This fissure in the earth's crust takes water seeping through the earth, heats it to well over 165 degrees, and sends it back up to the surface in steam pits and boil holes. The heat from these pits and holes heats the valley air to such an extent that the winter temperature in many Mankato neighborhoods has never dropped below a balmy 70 degrees!!!! Come enjoy our winters! Let's "Make It Mankato" ! !
We are real, we are warm and we would love to see you!



Hmmm. I just checked the weather online. Mankato is currently enjoying a balmy 21 degree heat wave. But it feels like 4 degrees because of the 25mph winds that are ripping through the valley.
 
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Great post!

Hope your mom is doing better!
 
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The cold is nothing! I can always put on more layers and I can burn things, plus drug dealers freeze on the corners.

The heat, humidity (11,000+ lakes generate a good amount of moisture don't you know...yes, we only claim 10,000 lakes--it's not nice to brag), and the mosquitoes--as Tripp noted--well, they're all the real challenges.

The heat and humidity rival Florida at times. They can really suck in combo! I mean, I can always get warmer in the cold, but I can only get so naked in the heat; trust me, nobody wants that.

I'm thinking of summering in Alaska--a more temperate climate...it's almost balmy in the summertime months as I hear it.

And, should your daughter end up here, please note that we ALL go a bit summer nuts up this way: you can't schedule almost anything with anyone during those 3 precious months as we're all out at the lakes and enjoying this blue sky and yellow moon thing.

In fairness, mosquitoes do have an upside: bug zappers make a nice sound and glow pleasantly in the evening with barbecue and a cold beer.

If you are ever unsure about the effects of a Minnesota winter, I'll ask you to watch the films of Terri Gilliam and the Cohen brothers to see how it plays with your mind.

Humor aside Tripp, I wish nothing but the best to you and your family. I really hope your mother comes out of it all in style and can pester you about your room and life choices for many more years to come.

Honestly, I'm pulling for her.
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P.S. another tidbit about Minnesota: the Laurentian Divide and the Northern Divide.


edit: added a PPS, removed a PPS.
 
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Quote:
Hope your mom is doing better!


Quote:
I really hope your mother comes out of it all in style and can pester you about your room and life choices for many more years to come.


Thanks guys. I'm optimistic, as is my brother. We're all planning for her to hit 90 minimum and that's a ways off.

Though she's beyond what might be considered prime game geek age, my mother is a real fan of word games and we used to play a lot of Boggle back in the 70's. Earlier still, in the 60's, she designed a few word games, made DIY copies of them, and enlisted me to help her play test them. My memory of them is sketchy but what I can recall is that they worked quite well... though more slanted towards education than I liked at the time.

Nothing ever came of it... mainly because she didn't have a clue what to do with the games once she'd designed them. My current plans are to have more opportunities to get trounced by her in Scrabble or Big Boggle the next time I go to California.




 
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DWTripp wrote:
My current plans are to have more opportunities to get trounced by her in Scrabble or Big Boggle the next time I go to California.


Tripp, if you can find a copy, might I suggest an old Pressman game called Wordsearch. It may be hard to find, but I have a copy in a one of my packing boxes somewhere. It's quite liked by some word game friends (and myself). If I can find it, I would be willing to loan it out to you for your trip--and for your mom--as a surprise for her.
 
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