link

January 11, 2011

I have a tumblr now:

comfypants.tumblr.com

Lots more posting going on there than here.

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Best of 2010

December 29, 2010

Note that, as usual, these lists are the best of my year, not the year.

The Top Ten Books I Read in 2010
#1. John Wyndham. The Day of the Triffids. 1951.
#2. Larry Niven. Rainbow Mars. 1999.
#3. Dashiell Hammett. The Thin Man. 1933.
#4. Pierre Boulle. Planet of the Apes. 1963.
#5. Cormac McCarthy. Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West. 1985.
#6. Philip José Famer. To Your Scattered Bodies Go. 1971.
#7. Raymond Chandler. Farewell, My Lovely. 1940.
#8. John Steinbeck. Of Mice and Men. 1937.
#9. Robert E. Howard. Conan the Conqueror. 1936.
#10. John A. Lomax & Alan Lomax. Our Singing Country: Folk Songs and Ballads. 1941.

There are some truly wonderful books at the top there, but honestly I could crop it down to a Top Five and not feel like anything was being left out. I only read about 40 books this year, so it’s not a bad list considering.

The Top Ten Albums I Heard in 2010 (in alphabetical order)
– Johnny Cash. American VI: Ain’t No Grave. 2010.
– Blossom Dearie. Blossom Dearie. 1956.
– Blossom Dearie. Give Him the Ooh-La-La. 1957.
– Blossom Dearie. Once Upon a Summertime… / My Gentleman Friend. 1958 & 1961.
– Fats Domino. Rock and Rollin’ / This Is Fats Domino. 1956 & 1956.
– Buddy Holly. Buddy Holly. 1958.
– The Muppets. The Muppet Show 2. 1978.
– Dave Rawlings Machine. A Friend of a Friend. 2009.
– Otis Redding. Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul. 1966.
– She & Him. Volume Two. 2010.

Even cheating (if they’ve been repackaged onto a single CD I can count them as one album, right?), there are still a lot of great albums that didn’t fit on this list. And I couldn’t put them in order; every one is one of my favorites.


game: Checkers

December 19, 2010

My wife and I have decided to play every board game/card game we own (including every game that we have an official set of rules for + the necessary equipment to play – close to 80 games), and blog about them together. Here’s one now:

Game: Checkers
Overview: a two-player strategy game in which players try to capture their opponents’ pieces
Edition: A cheap magnetic travel set. Instructions from Play According to Hoyle: Hoyle’s Rules of Games, edited by Albert H. Morehead & Geoffrey Mott-Smith, 1946, re-published 1983.
Duration: less than a half hour, including reading instructions

Winner’s Impression (Lynn)
I can probably count on my fingers the number of times I’ve played checkers in my life, and I suspect that this is the first time I’ve actually won the game. Games which incorporate strategy, as we’ve noted, are not my strong point. Honestly, this game should probably have ended in a draw. As for the game itself, I could take it or leave it. Mostly leave it.

Loser’s Impression (Daniel)
A simple, abstract strategy game should be the sort of thing I love, but for whatever reason I never really get anything out of playing checkers. It just seems sort of automatic, kind of like tic-tac-toe. I mean, obviously there’s more to it than that, but it has that sort of flavor to me. Nom nom. Whatever. Must stop typing now. 5/10 (Indifferent).


game: Cribbage

December 4, 2010

My wife and I have decided to play every board game/card game we own (including every game that we have an official set of rules for + the necessary equipment to play – close to 80 games), and blog about them together. Here’s one now:

Game: Cribbage.
Overview: A two-player card game in which players score points to move pegs around a board.
Edition: Instructions from Play According to Hoyle: Hoyle’s Rules of Games, edited by Albert H. Morehead & Geoffrey Mott-Smith, 1946, re-published 1983. A cheap plastic cribbage board and a standard pack of playing cards.
Duration: Less than an hour, plus 15 minutes reading instructions.

Winner’s Impression (Lynn)
I grew up playing cribbage. With my mom and grandparents, primarily. So I have a lot of positive associations with the game. I like a nice game of cribbage. I wish we had a wooden board though. It’s nice to finally be a winner.

Loser’s Impression (Daniel)
This is my least favorite card game. You get a hand, add up points, and that’s about all there is to it. There are so many things I would rather do with my time than basic arithmetic. Also, the scoring system is too arbitrary to remember without constantly looking things up. 2/10 (Terrible).


nativity

December 1, 2010


movies: what we watched in November

December 1, 2010

Here is a condensed version of my movie blog – everything we’ve watched over the past month.

in the theater:

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, 2010. A boy fights for the girl of his dreams. 8/10 (Great).

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, 2010. Teenage wizards are on the run from magical fascists. 8/10 (Great).

on video/online:

MASH, 1970. Hijinks in an army hospital. 7/10 (Good).

Grand Illusion, 1937. French POWs in WWI attempt escape. 6/10 (Okay).

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: Season One, 1995. Hercules saves people by fighting monsters and villains. 6/10 (Okay).

– [re-watched] Alice in Wonderland, 1951. A little girl wanders through a nonsense world. 9/10 (One of my favorites).

Doctor Who: Silver Nemesis, 1988. Cybermen vs. Jacobean time-travelers vs. Nazis, plus a lot of other stuff. 4/10 (Eh).

– [re-watched] The Last Temptation of Christ, 1988. Jesus wants God to leave him alone. 9/10 (One of my favorites).

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968. A single father renovates a car, then tells a story about it. 2/10 (Terrible).

Climax!: Casino Royale, 1954. Special agent Jimmy Bond plays cards to ruin a Soviet agent. 7/10 (Good).

A Bit of Fry & Laurie: Season Three, 1992. Sketch comedy. 7/10 (Good).

– [re-watched] Doctor Who: Series Five, 2010. A mysterious alien travels through space and time with a human girl. 10/10 (Favorite of my favorites).

Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen, 1975. A conspiracy involves a space outpost, an inhabited moon of Jupiter, and an approaching Cyberman ship. 6/10 (Okay).

– [re-watched] Peter Pan, 1953. Three children follow Peter Pan to Neverland. 6/10 (Okay).

and from The Top 63 Marathon:

#13. [re-watched] Casablanca, 1942. A wealthy, powerful rogue in WWII Morocco refuses to take sides. 9/10 (One of my favorites).

#12. [re-watched] Star Wars, 1977. A farm boy stumbles across information needed to save the galaxy from a giant death ray. 9/10 (One of my favorites).

#11. [re-watched] The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2003. Desperate battles against the forces of evil. 9/10 (One of my favorites).

#10. [re-watched] The Dark Knight, 2008. The Joker hatches schemes. 10/10 (Favorite of my favorites).

#9. [re-watched] The Empire Strikes Back, 1980. Rebels run away from the evil Space Empire. 9/10 (One of my favorites).

#8. [re-watched] One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975. An apparently sane convict is transferred to a mental hospital. 8/10 (Great).

#7. 12 Angry Men, 1957. Jurors deliberate on a murder trial with mandatory death penalty. 8/10 (Great).


game: Chess

November 28, 2010

My wife and I have decided to play every board game/card game we own (including every game that we have an official set of rules for + the necessary equipment to play – close to 80 games), and blog about them together. Here’s one now:

Anyone Can Play Chess WITH THIS COMPLETE SET OF LARGE CHESSMEN AND CHESS BOARD

Game: Chess
Overview: A two-player strategy game in which players move men to try to capture their opponent’s king.
Edition: Wm. F. Drueke & Sons, Inc., published some time after 1963. Plastic men with felt bottoms and an unreasonably large, green box. Very retro and 100% awesome.
Duration: about ½ an hour

Winner’s Impression (Daniel)
My very favoritest game. I mean, come on, it’s chess. If you don’t like chess, you might be a bad person.

Loser’s Impression (Lynn)
Chess frustrates me because I know if I knew some strategy I could be a lot better. But I don’t. Even though we own a strategy book. So I continue to play with my gut. Which involves chaos and carnage. And, today, a particularly humiliating loss.