Whenever I'm in DC, I try to stop by one of my favorite gaming stores to pick up a new game to play. I found Guillotine on sale, so I picked it up. It's a card game, and Ann and I figured out how to play in less than 5 minutes. It's not a really difficult strategy game, certainly simpler than Settlers or Carcassonne. Nearly all the rules are on the cards, so there's very little to remember. We played it several times and enjoyed it immensely. It played well with 2 and 3 players; we'll try with 5 tonight. If you're looking for a simple game for those times you don't want to think too hard, Guillotine's a good choice.

Guillotine Game Review

PS: Uh, I know you're not going to believe this, but I didn't really plan it so that my review of Guillotine came in the same post where the picture is of me chopping firewood. Honestly.

PT Cruiser

I had a business meeting in DC last week, so I rented a car from National at the airport. One of the cars available was a PT Cruiser, and since I had never driven one before, I took it. On the outside, the car is kinda neat. It's got a distinctive, retroish sorta look. But the inside left me wanting. It was surprisingly not comfortable. It was square, it was boring, and it didn't have much room. And it was way underpowered. Maybe this was the super-cheap version for rental companies, but the engine was pitiful compared to the normal mid-size cars I rent. Wimpy. Anyhow, cool to look at, but I wouldn't buy one myself.


I took Jacen skiing on Snowshoe in West Virginia last week. We drove there Wed afternoon (did you know a 6 hour trip takes 7 hours with a 5 year old?). I put him in ski school Thurs morning, while I attempted to remember how to ski. When I came back, he could get up on the skis and go down the hill, but he couldn't stop or steer. I decided more schooling was in order, so I paid for ski school for Thurs afternoon and Fri morning. I hit the black diamonds Thurs afternoon, then went to pick him up. He could sorta stop, but not real well, and he still couldn't go where he wanted. I dropped him off one last time Fri morning, while I tried a few jumps on their terrain park (I'm lousy at jumping). When I got back, he was much improved. After 3 trips with me down the bunny slopes, he could mostly stop and mostly steer. Good enough -- we headed off to the greens. What a blast! For the first few trips, he held onto one of my ski poles while he worked on his stopping (we used to call this snow-plowing; they call it making the pizza wedge in his school). Then I turned him loose, trying to get him to zigzag down the mountain. He could do it, but most of the time he wanted to point his skis south, go fast, and then crash. I rewarded his crashes by stopping hard and showering him with snow. He loved it! It was really a lot of fun to ski with Jacen. A few more years of ski school and I'm sure he'll be better than I am. This will become an annual event.

Next stop -- Breck in March.

New Room

I painted two weekends ago, and last weekend Emmy's new furniture came. It does fill up the room, but it fills it vertically, giving Emmy 12 drawers and 6 shelves -- space she needs in her small bedroom. The furniture is from Trendwood; it's not real fancy, but it's solid. Grandpa Garriss came over to help take down the ceiling fan and replace it with a simple light. The fan was too close to her bed, and we thought it was a safety hazard. There's still a little bit more work to do, but it's mostly done.

Admit it. You are jealous of the green walls, aren't you?

Small World

One member of my ABF class (ABF stands for Adult Bible Fellowship; it's what we call Sunday School in my church) printed nice-looking business cards for our class and gave them to all the members. The idea is to use them as a tool to invite people to church and to our class. One day last week, my wife got a phone call. Someone had found a briefcase with a Bible in it, but there was no indication who they belonged to. The only clue was one of these business cards for our class, so the lady called asking if we were missing a briefcase and Bible. It wasn't ours, so Ann sent an email to our class, expecting it belonged to one of our members. On Sunday, we found out the truth. A member of our class found them in road two Sundays ago. It looked like someone had put them on top of their car and drove off. So she collected the briefcase and Bible, put the business card inside, and then put them back politely near the edge of the road the following week. We still don't know whose stuff this is, but if you're missing a briefcase...

Multiplayer Fun

What do you get when you mixes 4 XBoxes, 4 TVs, 4 copies of Halo, 10 controllers, 65 feet of network cables, 1 router, and 10 not-entirely-sane people pumped up on pizza, chips, and soda? You get 7 hours of multiplayer fun! I invited friends from work, church, and the neighborhood bring their XBoxes over last night and have some fun. And did we ever! It was super simple to connect everything together; you certainly didn't need to be a network engineer. We put 2 in the living room and 2 in Jacen's room, then ran cables down the hall. This allowed us to play 5-on-5 team games like capture the flag. We started around 6pm and finally quit around 1am. We'll have to do this again.

Good Help

To help break up all the green in Emmy's room, I'm painting a small bookshelf white to match the trim. Jacen and Emmy decided they wanted to help, so I found a way to get them involved.