Saturday, March 9, 2013

Games, whiskey and internet shows

I had a chance to play Eclipse and Agricola last night.  Both pretty good games.  Of the two, I think Agricola is the better game and I would be much interested in playing both of them again so that's a success I guess.  Agricola I bought like a year and a half ago at Hammercon with money I made selling a couple games I probably wouldn't be playing again.  I'd like to do more of that since I'm not as hung up on collecting as I am about having the right game available these days and I'm already making my list of 'trades' for the next con I go to.  It's been a thorn in my side to look over and see Agricola but not play it, and although I did do the usual learn the game run through, it hadn't clicked for me.  Now that I've had a chance to play it I know I will be bringing it out more.  I can see it as a light version of Le Havre in many ways - the shorter play time is a definite plus and the farming theme makes it more family friendly than the commodity theme (got to pick up some sheeples for this game, that would up the chances of playing it considerably) although I'd still probably want to play Le Havre if I had the time and the right group of players.

I don't think I'd buy Eclipse, at least not at it's current price.  It was a good game and I enjoyed it but I really thought the components were crap and although the mechanics were interesting I don't know if it's something I'd play over say Galactic Emperor.  Certainly not Twilight Imperium.  Ok, now that I've said that I can see how Eclipse has a more interesting research/upgrade mechanic than you see in most of these types of games.  If it had better components I'd probably buy it.  I played a three player game and it worked pretty well with three, the victory point mechanics offsetting the traditional last to fight wins the game problems so many three player war games have, so there is that.

I've also been sampling a number of single malt scotches in the last six months.  I made the mistake of cultivating the habit, and now I'm spending too much on it.  I started by trying a budget McClellands speyside single malt and it was alright but nothing special and I figured I just didn't like whiskey.  I much preferred a cheap bottle of St. Remy VSOP  or a dark rum.  However after buying a 12 year old Bowmore single malt on recommendation from a fellow at work, I realized that I really (really) like the single malts as long as they are good ones.  I like the peaty ones and Bowmore is my favorite as yet but I have been enjoying all of them quite a lot.  I've had a chance to sample about 8 or 9 different bottles now having worked my way through some Aberlour, Jura, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Glengoyne, Auchentoshan, and I just got a bottle of Glenrothes which I'm eager to try.  All these are in the low price range and between 8 and 12 years but are still  more than twice as much as I used to spend on a bottle of booze. I do like a good glass of whiskey now, which is something I don't think I would have said last year. I'm both interested and horrified to realize that I am now becoming very tempted to spend even more than that to try something like a 15 year old Laphroaig or a 18 year old Bunnahabhain.

I've been drinking that whiskey and watching a lot of CrashCourse on YouTube.  This is a series of short educational videos that are both interesting and entertaining.  I have waded though the world history and the literature and am onto the biology and chemistry.  I think that these are a wonderful example of the best of the internet, engaging content designed to be accessible and done with a genuine joy.  I have to salute these guys (the Green brothers and all the folks they have contributing to this) for doing something so valuable and then giving it away to the world instead of hiding it behind a pay wall or using it as fodder for a premium cable channel.  The old promise that television would be a revolutionary medium for educating the masses has not seemed to pan out so it's nice to see another medium take a shot and that quality educational content is being developed alongside the dancing cats and extreme cooking videos.  I think there is a conscious philanthropic component to this as well, likely it has something to do with their DFTBA (Don't Forget To Be Awesome) tagline.  Maybe I'm wrong about that and they are truly evil men in pursuit of unspeakable ends (the more terror connotation of the aforementioned "awsome"), but I am going to give them a big bravo regardless, since they are still very probably inspiring people, especially young people.  We can thank John Green for informing us that authorial intent means squat anyway.

1 comment:

  1. I never tried the 12 year old Bowmore. Gonna give it a go. And thanks for the link to Crash Course - I didn't even know these guys existed!