Mar
16

Naperville’s GoFundMe page

 

Well, 2017 is the year of the Fire Rooster, after all…

ok, from pussies back to birds:

a classic:

and this will either brighten your day or drive you up a wall, but when I think bird-related songs, how could I resist:

 

and this one is completely new to me, but what happens when I ask the internet:

clearly, they’re GOB fans:

Mar
12

Mar
11

I figured I’d try something a little different blog post-wise.  (I end up ranting about politics, but I originally thought of my blog as a space for any random rant that could pop through my head…)  Something uplifting is needed…at least for me in these times…

So I’m a big fan of board games, some card games (video games not so much, though I did have a couple PC favorites, from way back at the birth of PC CD-ROM games, namely 7th Guest, and Timelapse, but I want to talk about board games).

While I was a big board game (and cards, rummy, spit, egyptian rat’s screw etc.) fan as a kid, my immediate family wasn’t/isn’t into games (not to mention that, well, sitting down together, in the same room, at the same time, and enjoying each other’s company… um, yeah).  and I didn’t have too many friends, as the years went by, who were into board games either, so I didn’t really get to play much.  I played the classics, and they’re classics for a reason, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, Clue, and Scrabble, and others.

(It’s this version and this version only! my nostalgia says so. 🙂 )

Anyways, it felt like we had the same-ish games for the longest time, just new variations… Lord of the Rings Risk, the myriad of Monopoly varieties.  But in the past couple years, perhaps related to Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop, I feel like there’s been a resurgence and now there’s quite the renaissance of board/card games.

I thought I’d mention some games I have played that I thought were great, and others I am really interested in.  Throw my two cents into the ring.  I guess some things I like about games:

a) puzzles: puzzles and more puzzles, thinking, strategy etc.

b) story telling, creativity

c) uniqueness

d) physical board games with characters

I don’t know, whatever strikes me.

Before I get to the new games, I thought I’d mention some old games I’ve played in the past, pretty far past, that might be pretty obscure.  At my grandmother’s house, there was the Uncle Wiggly game.  The pieces must have been lost by my mom and her brother decades ago, replaced by a dried rock-like piece of what maybe was gum and a penny.  I’m, um, not sure if it was associated with Briar Rabbit stories, or if it was more just a nice kid’s game.  Anyways, I believe this was the version my mom had as a little girl:

A game I loved as a kid and played circa 5th grade (mid ’90s) was By Jove.  Me and this other gal loved it.  I was big into mythology and it was a Greek mythology game.  I’ve never seen it anywhere.  I think her folks were teachers and they got it from some educational thing.

You got to play as Greek gods/goddesses and you could get stuck in the labyrinth with the minotaur and yeah.  I loved this game no one’s ever heard of.

Ok, entering the 21st century:

Games I have played that I loved:

Pick-a-Pig/Pick-a-Dog:

It’s very much family friendly, only I’d recommend for kids maybe older than 4.  It’s a memory style game, essentially, so if they can handle that.  I played it with my relatives, the 8 year old loved it and the 4 year old was a little too young to actually play, but we kindof let him play his way or, well, he’d be on a team with someone, and he was still having a blast.

(oh, I guess I should say I’m not endorsed by anybody.)

Spinderella:

This is also a family friendly game.  Now this game I think can be played with the little guys.  They might not understand the mechanics of how the magnets work, but could enjoy, then, the “surprise” of the dynamic.  Again, the 8 year old and 4 year old really loved it.  The game was well-made, with good art, and I loved that it was easy to assemble, packed nicely into the box, and that the box was also the board.  It was a fun game for kids and adults.  Now, it was hard for me to find, as I had to order it online internationally, but other than that…  and I never would have heard of it if it wasn’t for the GameNight! guys and their glowing review. (I believe the instructions come in German, English, and French altogether.  probably because it’s a European game.)

Ok, now moving away from the family friendly:

Chrononauts:

I’ve mentioned this game before and I’m really into it.  It’s not that it’s obscene, really, but not for little kids.  The humor is more adult humor and the subject is American history.  I’m no parent or child specialist or anything by any means, but I’d roughly guess for high schoolers on up.  It’s technically a card game as opposed to a board game, but I feel it plays more like a board game, if that makes sense.  i.e. that the cards are the board.  It’s a time travel game based on American history.  I think that once you get the hang of it, it’s not that complicated to learn how to play.  I think the fun is the humor within the timelines… hey, my character is a hippie and just wants to save John Lennon and legalize marijuana…or maybe, when playing the game, I won’t necessarily do something that helps me win, but just for kicks, like kill Hitler or make Sarah Palin president.  You read through the timelines we’re creating… hey, we’re in a peaceful alternate reality, we saved the Titanic and the Lusitania, saved Lincoln, JFK, MLK, and Lennon, prevented WWII and saved the twin towers.  or, um, we’re the anarchic reality where we just really screw everything up.  Not to mention ending the world in, I think it’s 1962.

The game has a couple expansions, early American history, the Gore expansion (1999-2008), and some extra identities.  (I wish it also came with a box to contain all that together, but friends of mine have found such a box elsewheres on the internets with no problem; to play überchrononauts.)  I wish and wish and wish they had a post-2008 up ’till now expansion so badly…so I can, you know, do some not nice things to a certain you know who and change the course of the 2016 election…but they could also throw Great Recession in there as well, and so on.  People tell me they will definitely make this expansion, but it can’t come soon enough.

I guess it goes without saying that you’d have to be into American history to appreciate the game, as a possible downside.  The game plays pretty fast.  It can play a lot of people.  I hear it also has a decent solitaire component, but haven’t tried that yet.  A solitaire component is always a plus for me.  and it is a small portable game.  You do need a fairly large flat space to lay the cards out in, though.

and for the even more adult-themed (aka teenager on up):

Epic Spell Wars:

I guess this game isn’t exactly along the lines of the other games I’ve listed here.  But I don’t always prefer the same genre or what not.  This game is not complicated, is not a thinking game, is not a strategy game, etc.  It’s quick, and basically random.  Do what the cards say.  It’s just good silly metal-y impish fun.  Very colorful artwork and a nice totally superfluous volcano just for ambience.  I hear there’s an expansion now, which I have yet to play, but hopefully soon.  I think it plays from 2-6.  I think it’s best when you have at least three people.  It goes very quick, again.  It’s more one of those, just have fun with it things.  I like the voices, see following:

 

Onto games I have not played myself:

Mice and Mystics:

This one looks completely family friendly, but due to all the small parts and somewhat complicated gameplay, I’m roughly guessing slightly older kids, I don’t know, maybe ten, give or take with some help from others.  As Wil Wheaton describes, I’m a good case for this game, as it’s maybe hard for me to get into RPGs and this is a cross between an RPG and a board game, to make the RPG concept a little easier to understand for the uninitiated, plus actual characters to move across rooms.  I absolutely love the artwork and character tokens, clearly a lot of quality was put into this game.  I love the dynamic of flipping the boards over, and various other physical dynamics, like moving downstream.  And I like the storytelling bedtime story aspect of this game.

Some potential cons: It’s a very expensive game.  It’s going to take up a lot of space and has a lot of parts.  The beautifully painted character tokens they use on Tabletop are not what come with the game.  I believe they come in a neutral off-whitish color so that you can paint them – which I imagine would only be for some people.  But I think the tokens are still detailed and interesting to be visually neat even if not painted.  It could potentially be a little complicated for younger people and maybe potentially a little too “childish” for older kids, so maybe the age-range walks a fine line.  But I’d play it as an adult.  I like, keeping with child-friendly, that the characters don’t die, per se.  Another con might be that the whole package is only one story, so it might not be incredibly replayable.

However, pros, there are expansions and new chapters.  I don’t have the money for this now, but it is certainly on my wishlist.  I also think you might need to have at least four players, but I am not sure.

Mice and Mystics on Watch It Played

Mice and Mystics additional chapters, chapter 3, Meeple Power

Tales of the Arabian Nights:

Ok, this game I would really love to play.  First off, it doesn’t sound family friendly.  I don’t know the recommended ages, so I’m going to say it’s for adults.  It sounds like this would not be a game for everybody.  It sounds like it isn’t so much a game as it is story-telling and choose your own adventure, such that if you’re in it for the story, you’ll like it, but if you want a concrete game structure, plan, strategy, ways to win, not so much.

I don’t know, honestly, if I’d be able to find three-ish people willing to play a game that could take hours and is not exactly game-like and more focusing on stories/choose your own adventure.  Also, I could see how the rubric/matrix set up might confuse or turn off people.  I imagine that while it sounds a little complicated at the start, that you’d get the hang of it.  In any case, I think I’d be an ideal demographic for this.  The concept really appeals to me and I’d love to play it.  I also think it would have immense re-playability.  Finding other people who’d like this might be the challenge for me.  But I think it’s a neat concept.  I guess, like Mice and Mystics, it’s also a combination of RPG with board game elements.  and, again, I love myths and folklore and so on.  and I read a bunch of choose your own adventures as a kid.

 

Anyway, I think I’ll call this a stopping place for now, and maybe make another one of these.

Related Links/Sources/game players:

(it might just be me, but I prefer watching people play games, playthroughs, friends having fun, over reviews)

GameNight! people by Board Game Geek

Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop: YouTube and Geek and Sundry

Beer and Board Games from Blame Society

Watch It Played

 

Mar
10

True story, there was this one time I… but that’s beside the point.

“Statue of Girl Confronts Bull, Captivating Manhattanites and Social Media,” New York Times, (nytimes.com)

The Story of ‘The Fearless Girl,’ From the Women at McCann Who Made Her,” Adweek, (adweek.com)

Change.org’s petition to make the statue permanent (although I don’t know if I believe in petitions any more).

“Ronda Rousey’s newest opponent is Donald Trump and his plans at Standing Rock,” Washington Post, (washingtonpost.com)

since I’m reminded of bulls/cows…

 

um, wtf?

seriously though, um, respect cows? sure, respect cows.

Wish I could find the clip… for any House fans, the opening sequence to “Out of the Chute”, is a great shot of mental preparation and experience of a bullrider, a slow motion six seconds, played to Black Lab’s “This Night.” (spoilers upcoming, just saying…)

which brings me to:

and now we’re back to dark again.  c’est la vie.

Mar
10

(I’m a happy person.)

 

…my blog link to the f*** Trump songs… just a thought to myself, I never did get all the way down the list, and maybe it might perversely perk me up?  music’s kinda my thing. I’ve mentioned Franz Ferdinand’s “Demagogue” a million times, only ‘cuz I love that song so much.  I’d wear out the single.  So I should look beyond my mini-obsession with that song and see if maybe there are some other good gems in there.

Notes: now that I am going through my above-mentioned blog, I am noticing some links/videos not working.  (what a surprise, sarcasm. hard to keep up)  I hear myself whine, “why can’t I just play whatever song I want?” I am so spoiled.  I loved playlist.com, really loved it, then it went under.  then grooveshark, then it went under.  Myspace is a whole other can of worms; I guess it went from fun personal pages to, losing to facebook, a music site, but even that seems to not quite work now.  thing is, I’m really not a bootlegger, I swear.  I’ll pay.  I want to pay.  I want to pay and support artists/musicians.  (I’d buy “Demagogue” if I could, not on iTunes currently.) …I also want to post music here and stuff.  spread the word.  anyways, YouTube is my best go-to.

On Die Toten Hosen (the dead pants – no, seriously):

yeah, I know, German.  for non-german speakers, those titles are:

alles wie immer – all/everything like always

wofuer man lebt – why/what for does man/one live

warum werde ich nicht satt – why am I not satisfied (“satisfied” not quite the right word, more like “content”)

Mar
03

first off, terms, viral not as in actual, but social.

point two, I really don’t understand people.

the picture launching a thousand words, this:

Let’s say, for point of argument, I am aspberg-y and can’t really understand people.  also, me being me, I overthink.

The caption/title to this on Yahoo was “Future that Liberals want” – setting that aside for a moment.

I look at the photograph.  look at its visual appeal and contrasts.  Then start to analyze.  I speculate – and all of this is speculation – that a tourist took this photograph.  a regular subway traveler doesn’t have a camera out, and sees this all as normal.  so a tourist.  and someone from arguably a less diverse area to whom this seems as a strange juxtaposition, plus the visual color contrast.  I imagine a random tourist/artist took the photo.  and that yet someone else re-appropriated it to sell their little ignorant bigoted tagline.

I suppose that if the person having the said tagline also took the said photo, then the photo wasn’t so much taken as a candid artistic shot, but as someone with a bias looking for images that would back their world view.

Ok, now insert my thoughts on the image.  I like the image for a number of reasons.  as that non-new yorker person, I am not desensitized, so I notice it.  and see it as interesting, for good and bad.  artistically, I like the juxtapositions and color contrast.  after that, philosophically, I like the juxtaposition.  if this is the “america liberals want,” then I don’t see that as a bad thing.  (caveat, I have spent some more than a small bit of time in suburbs, urban metropolis cities, and far rural country to be more than a tourist to any)  I do like the idea that a person in full covered garb can sit next to a fully exposed person, that a traditional “old world” person can sit next to a “new world” person, fully female, whatever.. fully clothed and black clothes, and as they say modest, next to scantily clad and bright colors and potentially drag, and that, more than that, the subway as a great equalizer.  no one’s fighting.  no one’s glaring at each other.  they just sit like any one else on the bus, all equals.  and that is the america I like and want.

on to the “troll” hypothesis.  is someone trying to state their views – i.e. this is wrong – or are they trying to “get hits/views”?  my theory, maybe the later.

maybe people learned that if they gave facts, who cares, boring.  then the soft news, hey if I show puppies or kitties, and they do get some views, and some viral-ness.  maybe now, that has gotten old.  maybe the next wave is (back to) vitriol.  look, if I post something controversial, say something blatantly mean, then I’ll get a million views, because people will look and respond to argue against me.

on a small scale, I anecdotally see this.  look, I don’t really believe the opposite, but let me say so because I want to see [this person] mad and that’s funny.

so anger is the new viral.  i.e. forget facts, boring.  forget cute, short lived.  if you really want clicks, say something mean, because you’ll get a lot of attention trying to disprove you.

in a sick way, it’s also sort of the same theory towards mass shooters.

ugh.

I can’t even begin to understand how to combat it.

what am I supposed to do?  am I supposed to not care? like if I didn’t respond, then I wouldn’t give them their rise.  all well for them, but then I let myself down for not standing up for myself.  not to mention that if I don’t react, they’ll push the envelope and push the envelope until I do react.  so I guess they want me to a)react or b) concede their nastiness is correct or c) believe that words don’t matter, which ironically includes theirs… so in re-cap:

A) I can speak and lose – they got their rise.

B)  not speak and they keep pushing until I do – they get their rise

C) or not speak at all, and I lose to myself for not standing up for myself and tacitly condoning them.

and I am at a loss.  should I say words matter or don’t matter?  or that my views matter as much or as little as theirs. or call them out on just trying to get a rise out of me?  I also can check my biases.  (my snowflake-ness, I guess)

but what about the apathy?  the whole “all it takes for evil to succeed is for good to do nothing” and “and they came for them and I did nothing, and they came for them and I did nothing, and then they came for me…”

or what do they want, apathy?  to what degree?  where’s the envelope? do you want me to say pedophilia* and bestiality is ok?  what if I do, then what? (I don’t, just saying they wouldn’t stop)

*
(i.e. their beloved Milo)

I don’t know.  I get exasperated.  if you give a troll attention (if you give a mouse a cookie), even negative attention, they thrive.  but what are you supposed to do, turn a blind eye?

I guess it sucks to care.  and to think.  (much less overthink.) and you’ll be alone and hated.  people (chronologically) call you “pussy,” “liberal,” “sensitive,” and then “snowflake,” and now “sjw.”  and now I have to unfortunately learn about “trolls” and “sjws” – I think it’s more modern lingo for bully slang.

I guess I’ll just go with my usual.  I’m always alone.  and I am “too sensitive.”  “heart on sleeve.”  that makes me a freak and unsocial and hated, and it is what it is.

blah.

 

anyways… so back to the photo, yeah I do want an America where this is cool.

but the kneejerk thought that if I say this, that only gives satisfaction to them.  they got their rise.

I’m stuck.  if I react, bad.  if I don’t react, bad.  if I don’t care what they think, probably the best course of action that I know, still bad, because everyone hates you because you’re the weirdo that doesn’t care what anyone thinks.

this is me ranting, and not understanding people, and frustrated.  I try to think with facts and feel with my own personal moral compass.  people attack, but I still try to stand by those.

now I don’t want to be around yes-men.  I’m up for discussion, especially with people holding opposing points of view.  but I prefer it to be based on fact.  and open-mindedness.

and I can’t understand why people think it’s funny to make me mad.  and should I still consider those people friends?  or am I “too sensitive”?

 

 

 

Mar
01

trump1

LoBianco, T. (2/24/17). “Five takeaways from the Republican town halls,” CNN, (cnn.com)

Peters, M. (2/25/17). “Trump Will Be First President in 36 Years To Skip White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” NPR, (npr.org)

Feb
28

For me, it’s hard for me to find a good TV show that I am really into.  Though when I get hooked, I get really hooked.  I love Timeless.  It’s probably the only TV show I talk about right now.  What’s not to love?  It’s smart, it has funny moments, action, adventure, features a 3-person lead cast with some dimensionality.  Oh, and time-travel.  Time travel.  In short, each episode is a potential vignette into American history, down to period costumes, and showcasing unique historical people who might have been overlooked.  For one, Bass Reeves.  There’s also an ongoing story arc of conspiratorial nature which reminds me a little of X Files.  Not to mention each episode ends on an edge-of-the-seat cliffhanger.

The show doesn’t shy away from treatment of women and black people in American history.  And, even with war and action and the intense nature of the show, it is still PG-13 enough that I can watch it with my mother, and she’s getting into it.

But, to my surprise, Timeless may not be renewed for a second season.  (and they renewed Good Place? a show with its out-there premise that I wanted to like it, but had to stop watching because the main character is an immensely dislikeable person.)  cancel Timeless? um, how, why?  One of the only good shows on TV right now.

Granted, even I don’t watch it live, only because I don’t have traditional TV here by me – can’t pick up antenna signals via converter box in the basement.  But, evolving into the 21st century, even old curmudgeon me, I watch the episode as soon as it comes out online (NBC, Hulu).

The show is clever and hasn’t settled down into a formula, so you don’t know where the episode is going to go, and I love how the “villain” isn’t one-dimensional either.  It’s just an all-around great show.

So anyway, I thought I’d use my tiny little platform if it might help launch a save-this-show campaign.  Here’s Eric Kripke, one of the show’s creators:

deadline.com: “‘Timeless’ Awaits Renewal Decision By NBC As Season 1 Ends: Is It Out Of Time?” 2/20/17

 

Also, if you’re into time travel: I suggest the card game Chrononauts.

My dad was a fan of all things time travel, and I think I’ve picked up on that.  (with the glaring maybe unforgiveable exception of I just never got into Doctor Who, don’t know why, it just hasn’t clicked with me yet, and now it’s hard to find where to watch them, for starters…)  Whether various episodes of Star Trek, to Lost playing with time.  there’s Rick and Morty… I even liked the unloved Butterfly Effect movie. and so on…(Back to the Future, obviously…)

 

 

Feb
26

Take the White House survey (whitehouse.gov) to let the administration know your input.

Feb
25

Latest updates (4/26/17):

 

The following video is not intended to be pedantic, rather, for some levity and nostalgia (Dave Frishberg, Schoolhouse Rock!, 1976):

*some caveats: With this Trump administration, there are so many issues to tackle.  A woman at a meeting the other night described it like needing to wave fly paper around to try to catch them all.  Gerrymandering (which I write about every election season, here, and here, way back in the happier times of 2012), Citizens United, the two party system skewed against third parties, voter suppression, Muslim ban, attacks against the free press, propaganda and “fake news,” Sean Spicer, Russian involvement in the election and administration and whatever else, anti-immigration raids and policies, anti-transgender policies, anti-LGBT and Mike Pence, repealing Obamacare aka Affordable Care Act, misogyny, the border wall, almost all the Cabinet picks, trying to destroy public education, trying to destroy the EPA, climate change denial, anti-science, the Dakota Access Pipeline and steamrolling Native Americans, neo-naziism, nativism, isolationism, corruption, undoing Dodd-Frank and sub-prime-mortgage loan preventions, undoing forcing fiduciaries to act in their clients’ best interest, authoritarianism, potential fascism, incompetence, destroying diplomacy with China, Mexico, Australia et al., nepotism, conflict of interest, and on and on and on… not to mention covering protests and petitions, marches

So how do you fight it all?  I figure I should pick one issue that is most important to me and focus on that primarily.  So my one (umbrella) issue, for me, is LGBT rights.  So this post will focus mainly on that topic.

 

17 Anti-Trans Bills That Could Become Law Next (rollingstone.com)
Everything You Need to Know About the Wave of 100+ Anti-LGBT Bills Pending in States (huffingtonpost.com)
Everything You Need to Know About the Debate Over Transgender People and Bathrooms, Jul. 2015, (time.com)

Illinois:
source: ilga.gov

– Women’s Health:

  • HB40 – protects female reproductive health care (vote yes)

-LGBT:

  • SB 64 – Religious Freedom Defense Act (vote no), allows people to discriminate against same-sex people without penalty
  • SB 2164 Religious Freedom Defense Act (vote no), explained by Huffington Post
  • HB 4474 – “SCH CD-PUPIL PHYSICAL PRIVACY (vote no), IL’s version of the anti-trans “bathroom bill,” states that schools must designate their public restrooms for kids according to sex, as defined by their chromosomes and anatomy at birth (imagine having to carry your birth certificate around to use a public restroom, or getting turned away at a restroom because you look androgynous or not like you “pass”)…did you know intense waiting/”holding it” of not going to restrooms can lead to urinary infections, trying to not go to the restroom can cause someone to become dehydrated, not to mention many conditions which may cause an individual to need to use a restroom nearby and/or more frequently, source: CBS, for one.

Federal:
source: hrc.org/resources/federal-legislation

ask to reintroduce to 115th Congress and vote yes:

– pro-LGBT:

  • Customer Non-Discrimination Act – amends Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity in public accommodations, public spaces, services, retail, healthcare, transportation…
  • Equality Act – amends Civil Rights Act of ’64 to protect LGBT

(The Equality Act is being re-introduced on 5/2/17, contact your representatives to support it, updated 4/26/17)

 

 

World laws pertaining to homosexual relationships and expression
By Various (Initial version by Silje) – Own work

This vector image was created with Inkscape.
Other sources
Nigerian Sharia states based on File:NG-Sharia.png
Merida (Venezuela) from File:Venezuela Merida State Location.svg
Wisconsin: File:Blank US Map.svg
Law in Russia restricting freedom of expression and assembly [1]
US after DOMA decision [2]
Syria: [3]
Belarus: [4], CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Wikipedia: LGBT Rights by Country or Territory

————————————————————————–

vote no and/or don’t reintroduce:

-anti-LGBT:

vote yes and/or reintroduce:

-Racial/Religious Discrimination:

-Voter Suppression:

————————————————————————————————-

Other bills, not Illinois or federal:

  • Iowa: Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (see above): HF 2032, HF 2200, SF 217 (vote no)

——————————————————————————————–

Helping fight voter suppression:

League of Women Voters (lwv.org):
their petition

Election Assistance Commission article: The Atlantic

Voting Rights Act articles:
The Nation
Daily KOS
Brennan Center: “Restricting the Vote”
Brennan Center: “Voting Laws Roundup 2017”

In Illinois: support same day voter registration and automatic voter registration

The original automatic voter registration bill, HB4208 or SB 250, was vetoed by Rauner, and the veto was not overturned.   It’s status is “sine die” – which means set aside indefinitely.  The new version is HB 6627, introduced Jan. 2017, also set aside indefinitely.

  • support IL HB 6627, for automatic voter registration

Tracking Legislation:

Additional Sources:

Related Links: