Archive for the ‘games’ Category

Book to game to book

Saturday, 15 January 2011

NaBloPoMo Jan2011We’re just finished setting up for my first game of Samurai Swords and it reminded me I hadn’t discussed this book yet. The game was originally titled “Shogun” itself, until the Clavell estate apparently objected and it was renamed. It is decidedly set at the time and along the theme of the book. We also have another game with a related theme, Ran, as well as a few real classic Japanese games, but we haven’t played the former yet, nor the latter in awhile.

Cover of "SHOGUN: A NOVEL OF JAPAN (CORON...

Cover via Amazon

50. Shogun by James Clavell

I must say I liked this book. I feel like it’s awhile since I’ve read a historical novel where I knew so little of the ‘real’ history being referenced, so I really can’t comment on its authenticity. I would now like to learn more about 16th century Japan, but don’t really know where to start. Suggestions are welcome!

One thing I liked is that while there is a central Western character, the book really isn’t about him. What it is about is power and politics at a time of technological change and increasing outside influence. At its core, though, is how much will and can the Samurai leadership use and accept non-Samurai ideas, inventions, manners and people, while definitively retaining their own culture and powerbase.

Quick question re NatCroMo

Thursday, 13 January 2011

NaBloPoMo Jan2011March – International Crochet Month – is coming up, and if there’s anyone still here who enjoyed the CALs I hosted here for the last three years (Freeform in 2008 and 2009, and a mystery pattern in 2010) who has some thoughts or feedback on what you’d like me to do this year, I’d like to hear about it. Ideas from people who haven’t previously taken part are very welcome too, of course!

Braving the elements

Monday, 16 August 2010

NaBloPoMo August logo(Apropos of yesterday’s post, the teddies are playing another game of Castle Risk, and we’re taking progress photos, so I can add some exemplary ones after that.)

22. Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

I was thinking of this as a reread (and it is), but apparently my previous time through was actually the Librivox audiobook. This copy must be one my DH had, although I’m not convinced he’s ever read it (or seen the film).

I’m amusedly thinking that this would be a classic for a boy’s school to dramatise (one, maybe two very minor female parts, which could probably be entirely left out if need be), and a definite ‘Boy’s Own’ type adventure. It also mostly centres around what could be one basic set (the inside and outside of the fishing boat We’re Here). Still, it doesn’t ignore the emotions involved on all sides.

This is very much a book set at a very particular time – Harvey’s father is a millionaire in the new fast-travel industries of rail and steamships, but ship-to-shore communications are either non-existant, or only for the wealthiest and fanciest ships – certainly not something a fishing vessel could afford, even when away from home for months on end, as these are. The prevalent attitudes, then, while not exactly politically correct today (and I have no problem with reasonable political correctness) are easily assigned to that time and the cultures described.

Uses for teddy bears

Sunday, 15 August 2010

NaBloPoMo August logoThis post really needs photos, but our teddy collection (mostly bears) has been very useful this weekend. My DH wanted to show me what a six-player game of Risk was like, so we double-soloed it (each of us controlling 3 players, but often discussing who should do what), with Lily, Yudel, Smudge, Sam, Perach and Yehuda as the players on Friday evening. Then on Saturday afternoon we played Castle Risk the same way (except that the unnamed little koala replaced Yudel).

Sam won both games, and interestingly, he’s the one with nearly a quarter-century’s experience (that’s how long my DH has had him, and Sam’s always helped with game soloing in this manner).

Tonight I cut into all that fabric I bought, to make a simple stretchy wrap for baby-wearing, and Smudge (as the most human shaped of the lot) has been acting as practice model. I think we’ll need a lot of practice before anyone who can’t be dropped gets worn in it, though! (As my DH said, “Smudge is a very brave bear.”)

So that’s this weekend’s crafting too, although getting to make something by roughly measuring and then cutting a not-very-straight line seems excessively easy! 😉

I’m going to post this now, as I haven’t even taken any of the pictures I need (the games were on Shabbat, so none got taken then), but I’ll plan to add some in later.

Wordy turns

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Well, my DH is feeling very inspired, so I figure if I write blog posts whenever he does it might actually get me somewhere!

So, to some books. Like last year, with all the phone problems and general blogging delays, I am going to claim (perfectly legitimately, I think), that some books I’ve read have got forgotten, but it definitely isn’t that many…

12. The Scrabble Book by Derryn Hinch

A few months ago we really got into playing Scrabble quite a bit, and then in one of our regular (ie pretty much whenever we pass them) perusals of the local second-hand bookshops we found this book from 1976 (which the author has since expanded and rewritten more than once, so far as I can tell) and had to get it. He interviewed the original creators, developers, manufacturers and early players of the game for a comprehensive and interestingly written history of it, and also has a long section on hints and playing advice. While much of the book is outdated, in that championships have by now long been formalised and so on, it’s a fun and fascinating book, that can be enjoyed by the casual player as well as the budding Scrabble champion. It seems (from what I’ve read online) to still be available in several library systems around the world, and is worth reserving, in my opinion.

13. Tales from the Public Domain: Bound by Law? by Keith Aoki, James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins

For all of us who create and use books, online media and more, knowing the basics of copyright law and protection is important. As someone who has worked extensively in libraries in the past, and hopes to do so again, I also find the topic interesting, so when I came across this comic strip/graphic non-fiction work from Duke University‘s law department, explaining (precisely for those of us who are online as consumers and/or producers) the basics of copyright and fair use (specifically in reference to US law, but with wider value) I really appreciated it. It’s well enough done to be worth a look even if you think you don’t care about this topic. Highly recommended by me!

Last few instructions

Friday, 26 March 2010

I’ll aim to tell you what it is on Sunday! 😉

UK: 24. Tr 2 in every dc around, in B. Sl st in A to side of dc. Turn.
US: 24. Dc 2 in every sc around, in B. Sl st in A to side of sc. Turn.

UK: 25. Dc in A in each tr around. Sl st in A to top of tr in A, and in next dc.
US: 25. Sc in A in each tr around. Sl st in A to top of dc in A, and in next sc.

UK: 26. Cut A. Sl st in B in middle dc. Htr around corner curves (tr 3 in two stitches) in B, sl st in each side mid-point. End.
US: 26. Cut A. Sl st in B in middle sc. Hdc around corner curves (dc 3 in two stitches) in B, sl st in each side mid-point. End.

Oops – double instruction

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

UK: 22. Tr 1 in A and 15 in B in corner. Sl st in A to side of dc. Turn.
US: 22. Dc 1 in A and 15 in B in corner. Sl st in A to side of sc. Turn.

UK: 23. Dc in A in each tr around. Sl st in A to top of tr in A. Ch 2 in B, ch 1 in A. Sl st to top of next tr in A. Turn.
US: 23. Sc in A in each dc around. Sl st in A to top of dc in A. Ch 2 in B, ch 1 in A. Sl st to top of next dc in A. Turn.

Headache alert

Sunday, 21 March 2010

UK: 21. Dc in A in each tr around and in next 8 tr across.
US: 21. Sc in A in each dc around and in next 8 dc across.

(As in, I’ve got one, not that I think this part of the pattern should be one.)

Hm…

Saturday, 20 March 2010

I amn’t sure what size to make that gift item I’ve mentioned a few times. (That should have been finished and sent off a couple of months ago.) I just looked in a single crochet book that has two patterns for such items, and one is nearly four times the size of the other!!!

Anyway:
UK: 20. Tr 2 in every dc around, in B. Sl st in A to side of dc. Turn.
US: 20. Dc 2 in every sc around, in B. Sl st in A to side of sc. Turn.

7 instructions to go

Friday, 19 March 2010

UK: 19. Dc in A in each tr around and in next 4 tr across. Turn.
US: 19. Sc in A in each dc around and in next 4 dc across. Turn.

Have you guessed what it is yet?