Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bloodbowl '11

"Dad, can we play the spiked football game?" the boy said. It took me a few seconds to realize what he meant, because we hadn't played Bloodbowl for quite some time.

I dragged everything out and laid the teams out for him to choose from. He went with the Orcs so I tossed in an unpainted Varag Ghoulchewer, then decided to choose the more completely painted (but no less poncy) Wood Elves and their star player Jordell Freshbreeze, over the hardier but lesser painted Dwarfs.

The Elves won the toss and elected to receive, forcing the boy to set up his Orcs first. Not knowing how to play to their strength he started with his two Black Orcs on the bench, and I took advantage of his inexperience, sending one of my fast & agile Catchers up the left wing on my first Turn, and scoring a touchdown with him on my second.

I scored another quick Touchdown within the next two Turns when I was able to bring down the mighty Varag and strip the ball from him, although the huge Orc's armor prevented me from doing any serious damage. The high Armor Value of the slow but tough Orcs would be a boon to the boy as I brought down Orc after Orc, only to see them get back to their feet on the next turn. Meanwhile, my nimble but far less armored Elves were taking a beating. The low point of the first half was a ball-carrying Jordell being caught by a solitary Thrower mere yards from the end zone. A series of lucky rolls from the boy not only brought my star player down, but took him out of the game permanently.

Meanwhile, back on the line of scrimmage, the rest of my Elves were not faring any better. It was my own fault for teaching the boy the flanking maneuver that begins with the end model Blocking his opponent and freeing himself up to Assist his neighboring team mate with his Block, and so on down the line. The results speak for themselves.
In case it's not readily apparent, of the 9 Wood Elf models in this picture only 4 of them are still standing.

We put up a valiant fight but the Elves are not made for stand-up, knock down fights, not against Orcs. They're good at the second part, but not so good at the first. The boy was able to keep control of the ball and so control the play, and as the first Half drew to a close a lone green Lineman ran into the end zone while his team mates looked on (and probably gave the Elf at their feet a sly kicking for good measure).
The Elf's dugout was a sad and miserable place at halftime. It's hard to inspire the lads when almost half their team are Knocked Out, Seriously Injured, or worse.

Note: This is not the way to coach the Wood Elves to victory. Maybe the Dwarfs could hold on in this position long enough to scrape out a victory, or at least play to a tie. We're three turns into the Second Half, and Varag has the ball again, but this time he's flanked by his team mates as he prepares to stomp his way to victory. Not even the three Elves who ganged up on a prone Orc behind the play were able to slow down the green tide of destruction.

This game is not over yet, but the best I can probably hope for is a draw.

Monday, June 13, 2011


My son graduated from 5th Grade & Elementary school last week, which resulted in me having a mini-vacation from Wednesday through Monday, during which I:
  • inflated and tied over 100 helium balloons, blistering the side of my finger in the process (something I didn't realize I'd done until the blister burst around the 90th balloon);
  • ran security/crowd control on 200+ proud parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., all intent on getting a photo of their little angel receiving his/her "diploma" while being completely oblivious to who they stood in front of to do so;
  • co-chaperoned 100+ screaming 10 y/olds at a graduation 10-pin bowling party, where I discovered 10-year old kids not only know the words to Gaga's Poker Face, Taio Cruz's Dynamite, and Katy Perry's Firework but how to dance along to them, too...except for my son. He's a chip off the old block, he is ;)
  • helped my 6 y/old daughter finally beat Kirby's Epic Yarn, Lego Batman, and Mario Galaxy. (Note: we only beat them, we didn't complete them. I later returned to Mario Galaxy and collected a few extra Power Stars but turned the game off when the Developers confused "challenging" with "frustrating".)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I don't honk when you're in MY lane

The right-hand lane which I use to enter the bus station's parking lot is not a right turn-only lane, so cars are free to use that right hand lane to continue straight ahead, and most vehicles in that lane do because they prefer to park in the next lot, or they're heading for the Freeway just a little further down. I find this annoying because in California, unless there are signs saying otherwise, you can make a right-hand turn on a red light, and if I don't catch the green light inevitably I find myself stopped behind someone who wants to go straight ahead. But as it's not a right turn-only lane they're doing nothing wrong, so I sit patiently and wait for the green.

Unlike most Southern Californians I always use my turn signal, and sometimes I'll pull up right behind this car, barely inches from their rear bumper, but slightly off center so if their mirrors are angled correctly my blinking turn signal is being reflected in their right-hand mirror. At times like these I'm even tempted to honk my horn at them, as if to say, "Come on, turn already." Except that's rude. They don't have their turn signal on, and if they wanted to turn they would have done so, so I sit there, patiently waiting for the light to turn green. Of course when it does there's always a couple of pedestrians from the parking lot waiting to cross the road to the bus station, so as a courteous driver (for the most part) I now feel compelled to wait for them too.

And the situation I've just described is exactly what happened this morning.

When the light went green the car in front of me drove on, straight ahead, and I pulled forward, turn signal still blinking, just like it had been doing the entire time I sat there waiting patiently for the light to turn green, then I stopped. I stopped because George, the old man who rides my bus, who had a stroke a few years back and so now walks with a pronounced limp/shuffle, good old George had stepped down into the crosswalk and was slowly hobbling across the road into which I wanted to turn.

Now I'll admit that maybe I didn't pull forward quite as much as I could have, but as far as I'm concerned yielding to pedestrians does not mean stopping your car halfway into the crosswalk so they're forced to walk around you. As far as I'm concerned, yielding to pedestrians means coming to a complete stop before your car even enters the crosswalk, and so I did.

For some reason this offended the driver of the car behind me. At first I wasn't sure if he'd flashed his headlights at me, but then he honked his horn, and then he flashed his lights again.

"Hello!" I said to myself with malicious glee. "Yielding to Pedestrians here. FUCKING wait!"

The horn honked again, accompanied by more flashing of head lights.

Now I don't know about you but when I'm being a courteous, considerate driver and yielding to pedestrians in a crosswalk, particularly slightly disabled pedestrians, specifically, slightly disabled pedestrians who I happen to know, and you're a rude, impatient, arrogant prick of a driver behind me honking your horn and flashing your lights, you've just accomplished the complete opposite of what you were trying to achieve; you've just made damn sure I'm going to completely yield to the pedestrian.

Which is what I did.

When there was enough room for me to pull forward, and even drive through behind George as he hobbled across the crosswalk, I didn't. I sat there. I would say I ignored the honking and flashing of lights, but in all truth they amused me as I waited to make sure George was well & truly clear of my path before finally driving through behind him.

Yes, I deliberately pissed this other driver off, but I don't care. I don't honk at drivers blocking my path just because I want to turn and they want to go straight ahead. If you don't want to sit behind me while I yield to pedestrians, don't drive in MY lane. It's that fucking simple.