Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Every year, I try to create a family movie that I can send out to the people we know. It's a bunch of video clips with some music in the background that lets people know what we've been up to. This year, I'm mostly done, I've got about 5 minutes of video left to put together.

But I'm stuck. I thought I would be done by now, but several things have come up that have delayed my progress:


1) Biking: We've had a lot of nice weather recently. We've been taking advantage of it by going on family bike rides. Sometimes, the boys and I will ride around the neighborhood a few times. Other times, we'll take the whole family and go down to the park and ride the bridge over the river. It's been great fun, and it's hard to stay inside when the sun's shining. LilKat2 has been having an especially good time bike riding. When he was 2, he got a small 12" bike for his birthday. Now he's approaching 4 and it's clear that his bike is a bit too small. When we go on our rides, his legs are pedaling furiously, but he just can't keep up. We bought him a 16" bike that we were going to give him for his birthday, but we decided to give it to him early so that he could be able to keep up with his big brother. Now he flies around everywhere and he loves it. It's a little harder to get on and off the bigger bike, but he's pretty good at it (although, last night he almost got hit by a car pulling out of a flag lot. Oh man, that was toooo scary. Praise God for taking care of LilKat2).

Now combine this with the time change, and it means that a lot of our time has been taking up riding bikes.

2) Sunday School: As I mentioned here, I've been spending a bit more time preparing for my Sunday School classes. This will usually eat up an evening. It's been going great and I definitely think it's worth the extra effort. But it just means that there's one less evening to do other stuff.

Oh, here's one great piece of Sunday School news. I have a new volunteer in my class. I've worked with her before, and she's great. She does a great job with the kids and wants to take part in planning the class. It'll be nice to be a part of a Sunday School team again, so that I don't have to be so much of a one man show.

3) Race for the Galaxy: What's that? You don't know what Race for the Galaxy is? Well, you don't know what you're missing! It's only my new favorite game of all time! This is great! It's a card game, so it sets up fast. It plays quickly so you can always fit it in the evening. And it plays great with 2 players (it supports 2-4), which is good because it's usually just me and Mrs. BigKat.

Now this game is a bit more complex than most of our other games. It has a bunch of different cards with a bunch of different icons on them. There are several actions that you can take, and many different strategies for winning. But it only took a couple of games for me and Mrs. BigKat to get the basic rules down.

In Race for the Galaxy, you're trying to get points by either settling new planets, creating technological developments, or producing and consuming goods. It sounds complicated, but the cool thing is that all of these things are represented by your cards. To settle a world, you play a card with the world you want on it. To create a development, you play a card with the development on it. To produce a good, you put a card on the world that is producing a good. To sell the good, you discard your goods and take points. So that part is pretty simple. The interesting part comes when you start trying to figure out what combinations of cards will work the best for you. There are 95 different cards so you have a lot of options. But you only have so many cards in your hands. The more powerful cards have a higher cost. And you know what you use to 'buy' the cards in order to play them? Your other cards! So if you have a hand of a bunch of cards that you like, you have to discard some of them to play the card that you want.

And there are many ways to get points. You could produce and sell goods. You could build up your military strength and conquer worlds. You can get cards through exploration or trade and use them to settle worlds or get developments. Which mean that there are a lot of different ways to win.

You also have to be aware of what the other players are doing. Keep in mind that this is a Race! I'm not going to go into the rules too much, but one big part of the game is taking advantage of the other players actions, so that you can build your system faster than they can build theirs.

I love this game. When we play games in the evening lately, this is always my game of choice. We're both still learning how to play the game well. I understand some of the strategies, but am not real good at actually putting them together in a game yet. But this learning process has been a lot of fun.

And I will pretty much always choose playing this game over working on the computer.

4) Spring: Spring is here. Which means...yard work! There are a bunch of things that I want to do to fix up our yard. Last year, I decided to get rid of all of our grass. I'm almost done, and I hope to finish that this spring. But that means I have to put something else where the grass is. We're going to have a little area where our table and chairs will go, along with a raised bed for some vegetables. I think it'll be nice when it's done. And I won't have to mow any more!

6) Game Room: My office used to be in part of our bedroom. Now we're making that area into a room where I can store and play my boardgames. But I decided that if I'm going to do that, I should probably go through all of my old stuff, organize the good stuff, and get rid of the junk. And there's a lot of junk! Old hard drives, all sorts of cables, little toys that people have given me throughout the years (I think I'm tossing a good half a dozen Pez dispensers), old maps that I used to keep in my car before the days where you looked up where to go on the internet. So this will take a while, but when it's done, I'll have a place where I can set some of my longer playing games up. That way, if we start a game like War of the Ring (big huge Lord of the Rings game), we can leave it set up and play it over a few days, rather than have to try and cram it in all at once and end up being zombies the next day from lack of sleep.

7) Taxes: I haven't done my taxes yet. This always takes a little while.


So what once was looking like a February release date for our movie is now looking like April. But at least we're not doing sports this spring. That would be too crazy!

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