The new arrivals are here! Now it’s time to work out what’s what!
On a regular basis, Mrs J and I with a few friends, get together for a games night, its a chance for us all to catch up, eat good food and play table top games.
One couple hosts and feeds, one couple supplies pud, one couple brings the beverages.
Tonight its our turn to host, and I’ve gone slightly off piste.
A few months ago I had a bright idea, a ‘why not for a change create a fun competition for games night’ kind of idea.
I ran the idea past Mrs J who was on board then drafted an invitation email to send to all parties, the response was positive so being the geeky kind of chap I am I then made a trophy and various other ‘bits’.
All is a suprise for now!
I will post an update of the night, im just finishing the last bits now! 5 hours to go!
Update:Unfortunately one of our friends was not able to attend so we have postponed the GNWC evening till we can all participate and enjoy together.
Making the crib board really captured my imagination, but it took a while for my next project to form and develop.
The idea started developing when we downloaded a Backgammon game for the Blackberry, Mrs J and I downloaded the game and started playing the AI and then each other and we came to the conclusion that instead of playing on a small screen we would probably enjoy play a real game opposite each other! Pah who needs technology!
As with the Crib board I started the backgammon board over the Christmas holidays a year after starting and finishing my first project.
Instead of using a log and using natures natural form to create a covert game I used the following materials:
Two laminate floor boards
10mm wooden beading
Hinges left over from the making of the crib board
A clasp ‘reclaimed’ from an old tool box.
For two days I was back in the garage forming the materials into a box, scoring the points (triangles on the board).
By the end of the second garage day I had the base shape, and then I have to admit thats where the project stayed for 18months!I don’t know why or what made me stop when I was passed the hard bit but I just stopped.
When ever Mrs J asked when I would finish the board my usual response was ‘I’ll get round to it’.
I never did.
Then after our honeymoon, after feeling relaxed and enjoying married life, this happened:
I went to the nearest DIY shop and bought some paint testers. I had caught the bug again, the enthusiasm was back.
I ended up sending the colours to family and friends to see what the general consensus for the best colour combo was and ended up choosing these:
I really liked he way the light orange and the dark blue stood out on the light wood. I masked, painted and filled the front room with paint smell for a few nights, finally I was brave enough to remove the masking tape.
To finish the game board I treated it to the softest steel wool to remove the bobbles and treated the board to a generous helping of varnish.
Now for the outside! I opted for an all surface paint, this was a good choice for the board finish but not a good idea to paint the board in the front room, at night, with no ventilation! Headaches kicking in the door and stayed till the smell had completely disappeared!
The real sticking point was the checkers, I had not learned the lessons from Project #1, its best to find the pieces or at least choose a standard size for your proposed checkers that you could possibly in standard circular sizes.
I made the mistake of assuming that I would easily find the exact sized circles I would ned. Wrong!Unbeknownst to me my FiL (Father-in-Law) had seen this point comming, approximately 18months before I got to this point and then subsequently lost interest. FiL had been looking in a toy shop for playing cards to fit in the storage box he had just finished when he found just the parts required for the board and had kept them till the backgammon board was nearly complete.
Fast foward to 18months later, after the relaxing honeymoon and mid way through the paint induced headaches FiL and I were talking and the immortal words ‘I think your ready for these now’ were said.
FiL proceeded to hand over two draught piece boxes that had been sat in storage in the dresser for quite a while.
They were bigger than was needed but this was when the engineering experience came into practice.
‘Use your bench grinder’ FiL said,
‘What bench grinder?’ I asked confused,’The bench grinder you bought 18months ago, its been in garage with the pillar drill for the last year!’ FiL updated.
‘Oh’ I responded positively.
After a quick lesson I went off home with tool, draught pieces and enthusiams and spent the next day grinding the pieces down to the size required.I can smugly say I only tried to reduce he circumference of my fingers twice!
The checker transformation:
A quick walk to the local independant toy shop, some printing and laminating of the set up picture the board was finally finished!
Since finishing the board, Mrs J and I have played few games and I am prouxd to say my loosing streak continues, I lost the first three games played!
The board has travelled with us over the Christmas holidays and is best described as a Sunday afternoon game, the type of game where your happy playing whilst relaxing and competion doesnt really come into it, he enjoyment of playing does.
For me this project made me realise that sometimes there will be projects that will make you think, and there will be areas that could be tricky to overcome BUT if you plan and research things should turn out how you expect!
Till next time!
Part of my daily activities include driving, sometimes this means mainly driving, others it means a quick trip, my average monthly miles for the last few months is 2,850 miles. Invariably I have to enter into battle with the M25. Whilst this may seem like a task many would find a chore, well your right it is, but the battle gives me chance to think while staring at the back of a HGV’s rear end.
Today’s excursion gave me chance to contemplate what makes a geek. By definition a geek is either a ‘unfashionable or socially inept person’ or a ‘knowledgeable and obsessive enthusiast’.
WOW! I wasn’t expecting that!
Analysing those statements I found I was trying to measure myself against them:
Unfashionable: debatable, probably can’t choose them most stylish outfits to walk down the town but I don’t look a mess. I understand what clothing is appropriate dependant on the situation you will face that day. (Not yet have I walked in to the post office in shorts or a balaclava because I like the feeling of openness and warm cheeks.)
Socially inept: Nope, I can manage to express my feeling of a situation in the best way possible. (I tend not to shout if I am stood next to someone, expletives tend to be deleted when speaking to customers)
Knowledgeable and obsessive enthusiast: In certain areas yes, but wouldn’t call myself obsessive.
Then it hit me, the term geek now essentially means doing something which gives one pleasure. In short doing something which you enjoy and love doing.
One of the things that has brought me the most enjoyment recently and shown my geek side, has been introducing our family to Qwirkle. Qwirkle is an amazing tile strategy game that brings Dominos Rummikub and Scrabble together, essentially you either create a row of six shapes of different colour or a row of six different shapes of the same colour.
I found this game via Wil Wheaton’s excellent TableTop on the Geek & Sundry Youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp3IwPbZYSE&feature=share&list=SP4F80C7D2DC8D9B6C&index=38 watch and if you enjoy subscribe it is extremely good!), I then showed it to Mrs J who after some persuasion to watch the video thoroughly enjoyed watching the game and would like to play it.
So inevitably we ordered and took delivery of Qwirkle. Qwirkle was then taken to the family gathering over New Year and was played all night.
What brought me the most joy was not that every played a game that WE found, but that everyone enjoyed playing a new game, so much so my Mother and Father in law have a Qwirkle set, my Sister in Law has a set and it is played almost each time there are three family members together.
This in a nutshell is why I am a table top game geek amongst over geeky activities, you can communicate, laugh, enjoy the time you spend with each other. I love finding new games and sharing them to whoever.
So here goes, my names J and yes I am a geek of most things.