Shannon and I have been into playing board games lately, and have just ordered a few games of our own. Other than the occasional deck of cards I’ve never bought a game before. I did make several copies of a three dimensional 4x4x4 tic-tac-toe variant to give as Christmas gifts once, but gave them all away, and I’ve yet to make one for myself. I should, though; it was fun.

Games I particularly enjoy are those which are not heavily turn-based, don’t take overly long to learn or to play, and require you to constantly change your ideas about what a good strategy for winning the game would be. That is, it should draw you in quickly, and keep you on your toes. With that in mind, I’ve ordered a copy of Bohnanza, and two sets of scrabble letter tiles (English and French, for our francophone friends) for a variant of scrabble where players simultaneously draw tiles and compete to build their own grid. Bohnanza is a German card game which has been popular in my family for a few years now, but nobody we know here has played it, so it was an obvious choice; Ann and her circle in particular own many of the top ranked games on boardgamegeek.com, and there didn’t seem to be much point in buying one they already have. The scrabble letters are also pretty exciting; I find ordinary scrabble far too slow but this version developed amongst my family is a hit with everyone I’ve ever played with. I was hesitating on buying two $30 scrabble sets just to throw away the box and board but happily hasbro.com sells “replacement” parts and for under $20, including postage, will ship both sets of letters. Now we just have to wait a few weeks for delivery. Sigh… maybe I’ll spend the time finally finishing that tic-tac-toe game.

On the home front, Shannon and I have finally put up the shelves in our living room, which meant we got to unpack the last of the boxes onto them, and now our place feels much more like home. I think part of the reason we procrastinated so bloody long is this ongoing battle with our landlords, but when I took a copy of their latest request for an eviction hearing to the legal aid clinic this weekend the lawyer snorted, told me their application was bullshit, and assured me I had nothing to worry about. It was a relief to hear that, and it made me feel much more relaxed about settling in here.

Now that we have the shelf space, I pulled the two old TVs friends had given us out of the basement and plugged them into the VCR to see if either worked, and make sure they were in colour. But the movie I had grabbed at random was Casablanca… which is in black and white. Heh. They turned out to both be colour, but the picture quality is so much worse than either of our computer monitors that we agreed they were only fit for the landfill. Actually, one worked fine with the VCR, but not once we ran the DVD player into it, so it’ll probably go to some thrift shop. I’m not sure how those signals are different, but as we’re down to owning just two video tapes and I can’t remember the last time we rented one, there doesn’t seem to be much point to owning a TV at all.

Especially not with all those games to play. Whee!