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

A pilot’s prerogative.

Buzzing around SFO Terminal 3

End of the Creative Strategies course yesterday and flying out today.

Upon takeoff the pilot of my Skywest United flight throttled back and levelled off at about 5000 ft.

Then we flew up the bay, slowly, and banking to view all the landmarks.

This could have been a mere coincidence between other craft in the air and instructions of the departure controller.

But it seemed too perfect. The confluence of beautiful sunny San Francisco morning, a perfect viewing altitude, and a pilot who didn’t race for altitude and then flip over to autopilot.

What a way to end the trip.

Godspeed Commander Hadfield

Canadian astronaut, space enthusiast, educator, social media sensation, and now entertainer? Yep, those are just a sampling of the roles that Commander Chris Hadifeld fulfilled during his 146 day posting to the ISS as Station Commander.

His Soyuz capsule returns to Earth tomorrow evening, but as a last surprise, the Commander released this video reworking of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Enjoy, and thank you Commander Hadfield! Have a safe journey home!

Lawnchairs in Space!

You likely are aware that I’m a fan of the Kerbal Space Program, a very cool and fun way to safely explore the process of designing, building, launching, navigating and landing spacecraft. Yep, cool and safe.

Totally unlike reality. Earlier today I stumbled across this video that, while hosted by a Kerbal Space Program fan, goes into a lot of detail about LESS, the Lunar Escape Systems.

Lawnchairs + Rockets. That’s it! No computer. Navigation handled by the Mark I Eyeball and stopwatches.

Wow.