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News from Year Fourteen

Lucky thirteen [permalink]

08nov2011: Today marks the thirteenth anniversary of my website. It has had a news box here for most of that time, right here at this URL.

Even thought I resisted thinking about it as a blog for the longest time, I recorded trivial progress in my life: Travels, weather, side projects, and a random scattering of whatnot. Because I didn't lock myself into any particular blog software, the entries did not get reset by a software update along the way.

I realized the peculiar status of this when I was writing the previous post and trying to remember how long I had owned my Trogdor hoodie. I owned it when Cristyn was still living in San Diego, which was before we bought our house. How long ago was that? The readiest way to sort it out was to look at the old news.

As a footnote to the earlier post about storms: This year's weather oddities were compounded by an accumulation of snow before Halloween. It melted away by pumpkin day and the weather now is slightly chilly but sunny.

Cinema superposition [permalink]

04feb2012: Cristyn and I watched the 2010 version of True Grit tonight. It was definitely worth the watch.

Often when I see a movie, I think to characterize it as the sum or superposition of two other movies. This was a game that I was introduced to by Ryan Hickerson, back in graduate school. (It's only a game in a loose sense. Perhaps 'conversational gambit' or 'intellectual calisthenics' would be better terms.) Here was my first thought for tonight's showing:

True Grit = The Big Lebowski + Escape From New York

I picked Escape because of the manhunter with a troubled past and an eye patch. As a corollary, Rooster Cogburn is Jeff Lebowski meets Snake Plissken. Both Lebowski and Escape are a bit too campy, however, so the combination gets the tone wrong. Reconsidering...

True Grit = The Big Lebowski + Unforgiven

This seems better. It still has the manhunter with a troubled past, but adds the old west and a female to instigate the manhunt.

Shooting blood out of my eyes [permalink]

16feb2012: My undergrad alma mater, TCU, has always spent too much money on football. For years, it has been spending to position its team in a major conference. They bought their way into something called the Big 12. Of course, this spending does not directly make TCU a better college. Yet defenders tout the indirect effect of publicity for the school. People outside Fort Worth know TCU for its football. Admittedly, people in the rest of the country often have one of two reactions when learning that I went to TCU: (a) They hear 'Texas Christian' and conclude that it is a little bible college (It's not.) or (b) they recognize TCU because of its football team and its mascot, the horned frog. (The mascot gives TCU a great avatar. Don't confuse my dissing on football for dissing on horned frogs. Horned frogs are cool.)

Today on the LA Times website, sandwiched between the headlines McDonald's hamburgers lure naked man off downtown tower and Man suspected of killing, eating cats in Kern County, is the headline TCU football players arrested, accused of selling drugs. Similar news items appear, in the midst of other headlines, across the internet.

Publicity? Yes. Good publicity? No.

Fair notice: I never went to a single football game as a TCU student. I remember TCU mostly as an academic community where I learned a lot and made friends. The philosophy department had just four faculty, but a surprising number of philosophy majors went on from TCU to top-notch graduate programs. This and parrallel successes in other disciplines are what redeems TCU as a college, in spite of the money pit of scandalous football.

Font crime is double plus ungood [permalink]

Deco Card!

29mar2012: Today I was looking at an episode of Dresden Codak that ran last December. The protagonist is skulking around a technopolis and walks past a bunch of deco style posters; at right is an image of one of them.

Something was familiar about the typeface, but I look at a lot of different fonts. After a moment, though, I realized that this was one of mine: Deco Card!

If I recall correctly, Deco Card is the very first thing I made when I started making my own truetype fonts. I offered it for free years ago. Even though my fonts are out in the world, I don't see them in the wild very often. Given the context of this specimen, I feel like I should fess up to that 'M' as a serious infraction.

UPDATE: The artist has the posters available for sale.

Esteemed honorable font [permalink]


15apr2012: Another of my fonts seen in the wild. The subtitle and credits for the forthcoming boardgame Edo are done in Gomo. It can be seen in the promotional images of the game box and several components. With any luck, it will make it into the finished game.

UPDATE: I have a copy of the game. I've played once and won, so I see it through the lenses of victory. With that proviso, I think it's a fun and clever game. Sort of like Agricola meets Roborally. And they used my font in the final version.

Move-in week, before and after [permalink]

3jun2012: We are in the rotation to host a weekly potluck dinner. Since all of the painting was finally done, we hosted last Tuesday at our new house. We set up folding tables in the living room:


Since then, we have moved the actually dining room table into the dining room and moved the usual living room stuff into place. We mounted curtains, assembled the sofa table, and...


Decktet data points [permalink]

5jun2012: The Decktet was reviewed in the July issue of Games magazine.

I commented long ago on the Decktet's rank in the Boardgame Geek database. For months recently, it has been hovering in the mid 1100s. Recent ratings have put it over a hump, and it's presently 1099th.

The print version of Revised and Expanded Decktet Book is sales rank 2294 at Lulu, and the electronic version is sales rank 295. I'm not sure what the population is here or which sales count, since the print version has sold more than the electronic version.

And copies of the Decktet itself, printed on-demand by The Game Crafter, continue to sell at a reasonable rate. To give a sense of it, the last five orders have gone to Bardon in Queensland, Australia; Gatineau, Quebec; Sudbury, Massachusetts; Križevci, Hungary; and Portland, Oregon.

A small update in the old style [permalink]

26jun2012: Very little of my output to the web goes to my personal homepage anymore. Yet today I made two small additions to the fallacies page and to the God-Man Fan Page.

When your day is done, and you wanna run- Propane [permalink]

4jul2012: We have now been moved in for a while, even though some of our stuff is still stored at the old house. That stuff included our grill, and we were unsure how to move it. We had considered buying a new one, but after a little shopping we realized we wanted more-or-less the one we already had.

Today began with pulling the old grill from the shed. We realized that its five-years had not been kind to it, and maybe we wanted a new one anyway. So we were going to remove the propane tank to use with out new grill. Except that the tank was mostly empty.

In the end, we put the old grill at the curb with a sign that offered it for free to a good home and traded in the almost-empty tank.

Soon, grilling will begin. Having a grill makes the new house really our home in a smoky, sentimental kind of way. It also seems like a suitable way to celebrate the 4th of July, even though we probably won't see any fire works this year.

As an aside, the kind of photos that I used to sometimes post here are now more likely to end up in my Google+ feed. Posting to G+ from my phone is almost effortless, and so I also post silly stuff like a record of fortunes from fortune cookies every time I eat Chinese. The upshot is that the pictures are usually over there now. They are typically unrestricted, so you can see the #fortunecookie series without having a Google+ account.

Buffing the site [permalink]

11aug2012: I've made a number of changes here at the site in the past week. Part of it is to polish out elements which were aspects of sensible web design twelve years ago but which really needed to change. The table of graphical links on the left has now become a <div> of text links, for example.

The bigger motivation was to integrate my ongoing ludographic activities. First, I wanted to eliminate the duplication and confusion between the decktet homepage, decktet.com, and the decktet wiki. Then I wanted to make space for some new releases: Ice Weasels, Planetfall, and the Proxy Suits deck.

I am thinking about starting an actual personal blog, probably using Wordpress. Unless that will be shunted in here on the homepage, this news box might finally be retired. Neither is happening today, though.

Blog result: d6 fragments [permalink]

7sep2012: I have been thinking for a while about replacing this news box, which is held together with some custom scripts and duct tape, with a proper blog. One reason is that I I might post more pictures here if they were easier to upload, but a bigger one is that I occasionally hanker to write longer entries about gaming.

Today I decided not to do that. Rebelling against every impulse I have to keep all my output stored on servers where I'm paying for the space, I've set up a blog at Boardgame Geek. It's tentatively titled Trumps, sheep, and old dice with the subtitle P.D. Magnus' ruminations on gaming, along with shrill promotion of his own designs.

As I churn more blog butter, I still endeavor to spread it thinly on the toast of the internet. I still intermittently maintain a philosophy blog, Footnotes on epicycles. And there's the news box here, where I yammer on as I just have.

Slowly I take over the world [permalink]

8sep2012: Yesterday I stumbled across a review of the Decktet in Slovak. It appears generally positive, with a long list of green bullet points and only one red one in the summary. Google's translation, although somewhat fractured, confirms the positive gist of the review.

UPDATE: There is now a parallel review that's originally in English. If you want Google's automated translation into Slovak, you can find the URL for yourself.