Saturday, April 28, 2012

History is Fun

The only thing that I knew I wanted to do today was go to Monticello.  I hadn't been there in at least four years, so I wasn't sure what would be different.  As it would turn out, more than I thought.  First, there is a nice little exhibit hall attached to the visitor's center complex with some interesting interactive exhibits.  My favorite part was the word tile thing on the floor, where a projector would slap a bunch of moving letters on the word, which would then move to the wall to make a quote from somebody relevant to that word.  Pretty interesting.

Also, I was sad to learn that the two huge trees flanking the rear of the house are both gone, victims of disease and storms.  As is my wont, I got there before 10AM and didn't leave until after 3:30PM.  I then visited a mountain-top orchard selling their own cider and apple butter.  After that I had to visit multiple grocery stores before I could successfully find some Dominion root beer.  I drank a bit of that stuff when I lived in Arlington.  Then I lucked into a really authentic Chinese restaurant, where I got a mix of really and really not healthy foods, and now to watch some playoff hockey.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hold Your Horses

Greetings from Charlottesville, VA!  I am here for a long weekend away from work.  When I mentioned to one of my colleagues (who used to live in Virginia) that I was coming to Charlottesville he asked if I was here for the races.  Alas, I am not, but there are a LOT of fairly fancy people at the hotel, so that is probably what they are here for.  Instead, I am going to Monticello tomorrow, and will probably hit the walking mall downtown in the evening.  I am unsure if I'll be able to find someplace with the Blues game playing, but I'll give it my best shot.  Sunday is a wildcard, as of yet unplanned.  I'm sure I can come up with something to do, though.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Panzer Blitz

A year ago I wrote about the board game Panzer Leader.  The next game up in my random walk through my board game collection is Panzer Blitz, the predecessor game to Panzer Leader, being published first, in 1970.  While the games are quite similar, in some ways I like Panzer Blitz better, probably because the rules are even simpler and artillery don't have a completely different set of rules to resolve fire.  The main differences are thematic, with Panzer Blitz's situations covering action on the Eastern Front (German vs. Soviet).  There are some different unit types in this, including Russian cavalry, which are way more fun than they should be, but otherwise it is feels very familiar.  Panzer Blitz uses the same style of modular boards as Panzer Leader, so it is possible to combine the games together and have really huge battles if you want.  So if you want to know my opinion of Panzer Blitz, just take what I wrote about Panzer Leader and put it in a slightly more favorable light.