How I’m preparing for the new Star Wars movie.

I’m set. We have evening tickets in the swanky-wide-butt seats at the local omniplex.

But, I want to revisit the story line prior to the event. So, off to watch the six previous movies I go.

Or do I?

This post in a local fan group on Facebook has me thinking… do I need to see them all in the order they were created?

“You watch new hope, watch empire, GO BACK and skip phantom menace because it is garbage, watch clone, watch revenge, then finish with return”

OK, interesting idea. Switch up the order a bit and nuke the Phantom Menace. Sounds like a plan.

And another response mentions making sure to watch the Despecialized versions if available. Here’s a mini-documentary on the creation of these versions:

Because, frankly, too many changes (not for the better) were made to the various versions through the years. I want to live in a universe where Han shot first 🙂

Team Tracy Mod – A Thunderbirds House Rules Modification

Update: TL:DR – we were using the Disaster track wrong.  Details at the end.

Last night was our groups first playthrough of Thunderbirds. We’d played various co-op games, and specifically Matt Leacock designed games, before. We knew we were in for a challenging yet fair co-op gaming experience in the Thunderbirds universe. Fun!

Well, maybe.

The first and second games ended rather quickly. We understood the rules, but the characters we had were unable to coordinate quickly enough to avert them.

So, in the interest of salvaging the evening and getting back to having fun, we decided on the following modifications:

  1. All Characters are participating in the game, no matter the number of players. In our case that left two characters without human players. Every human player controls one character, but extra characters are controlled by the group.
  2. We altered the Turn Overview. In our game, Turn order varies during a ’round’ depending on the strategy the group decides is going to be executed for that round. As each player takes a turn, they flip their character card over so we can remember that player has played. The same applies to group-controlled characters. Once all character cards are face down, the round ends and the character cards are reset, and a new round begins.

We felt that these modifications allowed the entire Tracy family to participate in the game, as they usually do in the TV show. And by allowing the turn order to be flexible and responsive to the current situation, we felt it better reflected the TV show’s theme of teamwork — hence the name, the Team Tracy Mod. Also, it made for a much more fun and involving game.

Update:

Well. It seems we were doing something wrong.
You know the disaster track at the bottom of the board? The one where the current disasters all pile up and eventually overwhelm you? Yeah, that one. Well, it seems that we were using that wrong.

As we drew a new disaster card, we placed it NEXT to the existing disaster card, in the slot HIGHER than the previous one. We should have been sliding all the existing disasters down one slot and placing the new card in the FIRST SLOT. The way we were playing it, every new disaster assumed a higher priority than the previous one as we had to reduce the total number of disasters to stay alive.

Played properly, we could take two or three turns to map out a multiple rescue strategy and eliminate disasters more effectively.

/facepalm/

We’re enjoying the game much more now

I will vote Oct. 19. Will you?

Every so often we have the ability to influence the future. Oct. 19th, Canadians will have that opportunity, if they choose to.
I will be voting for a change of government. This one has failed repeatedly and has not earned my trust for another term.

So yes, I will be voting on October 19th. Will you?

Testing a new plugin suite – Shortcake Bakery

Shortcake Bakery uses the Shortcake plugin and extends use of WordPress shortcodes. Makes embedding content in my blog pretty easy.

 

[facebook url=”https://www.facebook.com/RHCPChad/videos/904042432993659/”]

The above video link from Facebook via the Shortcake Bakery.

Last week, Daniel Bachhuber and the engineering team at Fusion releasedShortcake Bakery, a plugin that extends the Shortcake project to supply a suite of handy shortcodes for publishers. The plugin currently includes the following:

  • Image Comparison (powered by JuxtaposeJS)
  • Facebook embeds
  • iFrames (require whitelisted hostnames)
  • Infogram embeds
  • PDF’s (powered by PDF.js)
  • Playbuzz embeds
  • Rap Genius annotations
  • Scribd embeds
  • Scripts (require whitelisted hostnames)

Plugin writeup and detail found here.

Google Photos – another one joins the club

This weekend Google unveiled their new online image storage service – Google Photos.

It’s not Picassa, though it can use it. It’s also separate from Google+. Interesting. Meh. I’ll stick with Flickr. Here’s why.

If you want unlimited free storage, this may work for you, though when you upload your photos, you have to use Google’s ‘high quality but free’ setting, not the original setting. This means RAW and other file formats will be converted.

Also, there doesn’t appear to be a way to share the link directly to the image file — rather all shared links jump to a Google Photos page with the image embedded in it. Not a big deal but that means you can’t directly embed images stored at Google Photos in a blog post, for example. You still have to use services such as imgur, etc.

And the image editor built into Google Photos creates unusual artifacts around the image while in edit mode.

 

It’s fine when you accept the changes, but in my case, the image appeared posterized while I was editing it, throwing a blue tint in some areas. Not great.

As I said, I’ll stick with Flickr.