Not Another New Year’s Resolution Post New Year’s Resolutions are a tried and trite trope. When our planet returns to its arbitrarily determined starting point in its orbit around the sun we decide to start anew and resolve to do things that we quit, failed, or forgot to do in the past year. New years symbolically have a tether in our brains to new beginnings, and I hate it. I hate it because it’s trite and phony since we all try to do things that we hate doing. Stop me if you heard these before. Pay my credit card bill on time Join a gym
I’ve been a tabletop gamer for most of my life. My parents kept eternal stalwarts like Monopoly and Scrabble in the house for as long as I can remember. After my first D&D game at 10 years old, gaming became a lifelong hobby. Games help me and countless others learn valuable lessons that are applicable at the table and in the real world. This is the beginning of a series of articles on lessons I learned from marathon nights killing dragons and stealing from cyber-orcs. Today, I write about one of the more important and difficult for me to learn: expected value. Quick EV Lesson
This past June, I had the chance to attend a huge Magic: the Gathering tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event hosts thousands of the greatest players gathered to sling spells in the 1v1 Main Event. Blood, sweat, tears, tireless days and sleepless nights, all lead up to this point for many of them. As for me? I was over at the round tables off to the side, laughing and eating overpriced convention hall food. I sat patiently waiting for my turn as five other players were chatting, joking, and quietly planning their next move with every change to the board. There was no pressure
I must give proper credit to Kriz (of the sorely missed The Girlfriend Bracket podcast) for this post’s existence. I initially told this story as part of a Girlfriend Bracket fan challenge, and recent events in my life inspired me to revisit it. You can find Kriz on Twitter and on WordPress. Now that we have that out of the way, on to the meaty part. (P.S., thanks, Kriz, you’re great.) Sometimes People are Awful I started playing Magic in 1996 at the age of 11. I was lucky to have many friends who played between school and my Boy Scouts troop. However, after a
Yesterday, I got an idea for a new Magic deck: red & black artifact aggro. It is still a work-in-progress, but you can see it here. I use the website TappedOut to manage my deck ideas and share them with friends; it’s typically a friendly site with a ton of great ideas. While I perused to see if anyone had done anything like my idea before, I found this. I know, I know, you should never read the comments section. Since returning to Magic, the experience has been wonderful. Most events I attend are friendly, fun, and everyone just wants to play. No one judges
A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about rediscovering Magic: The Gathering. The honeymoon isn’t over yet, but my return to gaming culture opened my eyes to an intriguing phenomenon that occurs when nerds grow up. I call it the Neverland Effect. Let’s rewind a tiny bit. When I moved to Portland a little over two years ago, I worked in a college library. The college dress code is business formal: shirt, tie, the whole nine yards. I have a tendency to showboat, so I frequently wore a waistcoat as well. I often went to my local comic store straight from work on Fridays.
Last month, I had an extended trip back to my hometown: the bustling metropolis of Naugatuck, Connecticut. I helped my parents pack up my childhood home in advance of its sale, and was a groomsman in my sister’s wedding. I expected it to be an emotionally difficult trip. Conventional wisdom says that going back home reconnects you with the person you were before you left. I didn’t realize how true that was. One of my best friends Jeff and I go way back to 1996 where we bonded over a mutual love of the music of His Weirdness, Sir Alfred Matthew Yankovic, and a shared affinity for a
Hi there! I’m Mark. I want to introduce myself and give you my credentials. In short, what makes me qualified to be an ambassador on the Geek Embassy. Like most people, my interests are varied and I have several hobbies that I can talk about. Let me walk you through what sort of things you’ll most likely be seeing from me in the future. My first love growing up was music. The first LP that I ever received was “Destroyer” by Kiss at the tender age of 5. It was in my Easter basket of all things! I still haven’t figured out if this was an incredibly