Ry – Can I put stickers on my seat belt?

Me – No.

Ry – Why not?

Me – We shouldn’t put stuff on safety equipment like that.

Ry – Why not?

Me – It might interfere with it and then it wouldn’t work right.

Ry – How can a sticker do that?

Me – I don’t know. Maybe it would make the belt sticky and then it wouldn’t work right.

Ry – I don’t think so.


Ry – Has a kid done that?

Me – What?

Ry – Has a kid done that?

Me – Done what?

Ry – Had this conversation. Has a kid put a sticker on his seat belt and then crashed and died because of it?

Me – Um, I don’t know.

Ry – See.

Me – Okay, I change my answer. We don’t put stickers in the van, you know that.

Ry – Hmph.

Got this link from a friend and it is a chock full of life-saving information. It is from the blog of Mario Vittone, a marine safety expert for the Coast Guard. I recommend everyone read it, including parents.

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

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Man, this blog has been badly neglected the last few months. I actually feel like getting back to it, but my free time is eaten up with a lot of World Cup soccer right now, and various summer activities. Okay, July 12th I’ll get back on the wagon!

  • Jan 2010 = 196.5
  • Mar 2010 = 194.5
  • Apr 2010 = 190.5
  • May 2010 = 193.0
  • June 2010 = 193.0

Not so good on the weigh-in this month, and I was expecting that. We had a stretch of nice weather with lots of cookouts and eating out, and I’ve discovered I always overeat when we have a cookout. The problem (for me) is that I want to eat everything: a hot dog, a brat, a burger, every side dish. I really need to quit that.

  • Jan 2010 = 196.5
  • Mar 2010 = 194.5
  • Apr 2010 = 190.5
  • May 2010 = 193.0

I have been pretty spotty on the exercise (running and pushups) but I feel we’ve made some solid progress on improving our diet. I’m putting tons more veggies in everything I cook (my chili this month was outstanding, if I do say so myself, with yellow bell pepper, onion and shaved carrot that practically dissolved after simmering). I’ve also started logging my food intake on SparkPeople.

Both Wii Fit and the bathroom scale are showing me with a good weight loss in the last 35 days.

  • Jan 2010 = 196.5
  • Mar 2010 = 194.5
  • Apr 2010 = 190.5

Sweet! I’ll be rocking if I can keep up 2-4 pound monthly loss for the rest of the year.

The “Themed Rummy Design Contest” over at BGG just completed. There were 24 designs entered by the Dec 7, 2009 deadline, including three from me (Wu Xing Rummy, Nobles of Venice, and Cold War Rummy) and one from Brian (WW2 in Europe Rummy). Preliminary judges graded the games and chose nine finalists, announced in January, including CWR and WW2. These finalists were then sent to Mike Fitzgerald, a well-known and respected game designer (in gaming circles, anyway) of many card and board games, as the final judge.

Yesterday, the contest sponsor, Cate108 on BGG, announced the results. Mike (and his playtest team?) graded the games on four criteria — rules (10 points), concept (10 points), creative elements (40 points) and gameplay (40 points). Brian’s WW2 game finished ninth overall and my CWR game finished second overall. The top three were actually very close in points:

WILD KINGDOM = 70 points total

  • Rules = 7, Concept = 8, Creative elements = 30, Game play = 25

COLD WAR RUMMY = 68 points total

  • Rules = 8, Concept = 10, Creative elements = 25, Game play = 25

GASTON GAME = 66 points total

  • Rules = 8, Concept = 8, Creative elements = 30, Game play = 20*
  • * GASTON GAME would get more points as a game to be played with small children, which is its target audience. This ranking is as a game between adults

I emailed Mike just to say thanks for judging the contest and got a nice reply back from him:

Thank you for letting me see one of your designs. Very creative and playable. I love Twilight Struggle as well but would never have been able to come up with a card game like you did.

I also received very good feedback on all three of my games from my first round judge, Sean Ross (of the Game Artisans of Canada). I will probably tweak all of them eventually, but for now I’m focusing on CWR as it is my favorite game of the bunch and had the best feedback from multiple sources. In fact, I already took some suggestions from Sean and have ordered 21 replacement cards from Artscow for updated cards in the next version. I plan to playtest them here and then send them to Dan’s gang down in Austin for more external playtesting.

Oh, this contest also had awards. My second place finish was worth $30 and 70 GG (geekgold, a virtual currency on BGG). This brings my lifetime design income to $280:

  • 4GxG Project = $100 for a winning mechanic.
  • Small World contest = $150 for a winning special power.
  • Rummy contest = $30 for second place.

Not that I’ll ever make much at this, but I like to think this offsets some of the costs of paper, cardstock, ink, blades, bits and components, etc. I’m excited about working CWR up to the point of publication, be that via a publisher or a POD/self-published route (being ideal for that as a card game).


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Phew, my posting has been sucking hind teat this year. I’ve been meaning to get back to it, really I have.

Anyhoo, weighed in at the end of February and was surprised to see I was down a couple pounds. We’ve been making an effort to eat more veggies, which is going really well — it just sucks doing dishes a lot more because we’re cooking at home more, but that’s a good problem to have. We’ve also decided to start cutting high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from our diet, especially in products the kids consume. I’ve actually started using the Wii Fit for some daily exercise, although that is far from a habit yet.  I went running once when the weather warmed up, then we’ve had a few weeks of illness in household that put a damper on things.

  • Jan 2010 = 196.5
  • Mar 2010 = 194.5

I need to get a habit going for both exercise and blogging. I think my eating is under decent control, if I could just get the exercise going along with it.

Well, finally got around to my official year-end weigh-in. Actually, I stuffed myself so much at Christmas and New Years Eve that I was afraid to weigh right away, haha. Anyway…

  • Jan 2009 = 197.5
  • 2009 Goal = 180.0
  • Jan 2010 = 196.5

So, officially down one whopping pound for the year, which is almost progress toward my goal. Over in the half-full end of the glass, though, I didn’t gain back any weight, which means I’ve been sub-200 for two years now, yay. I think I’m still aiming for 180 pounds, and I don’t think 1-1.5 pounds per month is at all unreasonable; I just need to actually get with it on the exercise.

Apparently, I don’t look at my blog while on vacation, heh. A belated Happy New Year to everyone. We had a good time, with our friend Marty visiting for his birthday, chili fest part two, and gaming. We actually played a $5 game of hold-em with five people, which was really fun since we haven’t played in two years (or longer?).

Out with the old, in with the new!

Merry Christmas, or if you prefer, Happy Holidays. Looks like we’re going to have a white Christmas here with a NWS blizzard warning in effect for the next 12 hours — which is fine with me since I’m not working and we’re not driving anywhere for the next few days. Woot!