Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BGG.Con Recap

The weekend before Thanksgiving, there's a big boardgame convention in Dallas called BGG.Con. I've been lucky enough to attend all six years of its existence, including this past year.

For me, it's a great way to try out new games and catch up with friends from across the country that I don't get to see very often, let alone play a game with. This year was no exception.

New Games

Because I try to play so many new games, my friend Mark Johnson invited me to discuss the games I played on his podcast, Boardgames To Go. He also created a geeklist on BGG to read along with during the podcast.

So, with a podcast about all the games I played, what more is there to write about here? I'll just pick out a few random highlights to keep this post short.

This year, I had three main goals:
  1. Play games I've never played before.
  2. Play with people I've never played with (or rarely).
  3. Play games that are too long to be played normally.
Overall, I'm very pleased with my results. Out of 18 different games played, 16 of them were completely new to me. As for #2, I did play many games with at least one person I already knew, but that's okay. I also played at least four (that I recall) with a group of total strangers. My third goal worked out just about right. I was able to get in two long (three or more hours) games, which seems about right.

Buy Low, Sell High

Another highlight for me every year is the flea market. It is such a pain to inventory, price, and pack up a huge assortment of games to sell, but it always feels worth it afterward. Not only do I get rid of a lot of excess games that are just taking up space, I can make a little dough as well.

I had the help of a friend, Sean, which made a huge difference. It was fantastic to have someone help me haul in and set up my wares, plus having an extra pair of eyes to keep track of everything. The benefit for him was not only getting to sell a few just-won games, but also to get into the market before the masses for first pick among the booths. A win-win for both of us!

This year, I sold about 75% of what I brought, adding up to over $500. Even better, I managed to get out of there without buying anything! I did make one trade, game for game, but I think I got a great deal on that one.

Check It Out

This was the first year I volunteered at the convention. I worked in the game library, which is a massive collection of boardgames that attendees can check out to play. This was a very easy job, but it was also a lot of fun. I was able to watch what games were hot going in and out, and talk about geeky game stuff with them as well as my co-volunteers. It was a great respite to be able to just sit down and not worry about finding a game or a person or anything.

This has become a great annual tradition for me, but I worry about how long that will last. Several of my friends have decided to go only every other year. I certainly don't blame them, I just hope I don't have to reduce my frequency as well.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Great Pumpkin Fun Run

This post is a little overdue, but I've had lots of other things going on in my life the last couple of weeks. This will just be a quick post anyway.

For the first time in many months, I ran another fun run. I like these little 5K runs because it's casual, quick, and makes me feel like I've accomplished something so that I don't feel guilty for laying on the couch drinking beer and watching movies for the rest of the day. Not that I ever do that, of course.

My stats this time were:
  • Time: 26:26; Pace: 8:30
  • Overall position: unknown, out of probably 1,200
  • Men's 40-44 position: 27 out of 74 (36.5%)
That's a good pace, especially compared to my last race. I know for sure that I run faster in colder weather (which I think is true for all runners).

Unfortunately, on the last little hill before the finish line, I did something funky to my right knee. Actually, I did it while running about a week before, but I had not felt it again until this race. For the most part, it doesn't really hurt when I'm walking or running. But from time to time, I'll get a sharp twinge that nearly takes my leg out. I'm hoping that a few days of rest will give it time to work itself out. Could it be I'm actually starting to get old!? Oh no!

Karen ran as well, but we split up right after crossing the starting line (which, frustratingly for me, was about 2:30 minutes after the starting gun because we were so far back). Usually, she has a friend she can run with at her slower pace, but we forgot to coordinate this time. On the way to the race, this really frustrated her. However, by the end of the race she was very happy about it. "I didn't have to chat or anything, I could just focus on running!" she said. Now maybe she'll understand my perspective a little and won't give me a hard time for running on ahead at my pace. Either way, we both had fun.

We're gearing up for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. In Houston, you never know whether it's going to be warm or cold for that one, but it should be fun either way.

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