Game Review: Cute Battle Royale Card Game “Battle Pufs”

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and plenty of games have picked up the theme with one v. one combat. Co-op? That’s for softies! If you’re really tough, if you’re gaming with equally tough folk, you want to battle for dominance. Sure, most of your characters might die in the process, but hey, that’s why they invented the concept of collateral damage, right? As long as you come out on top when the dust settles,…Read More

Solid American Luxury: The 2022 Chevrolet Traverse AWD RS

It used to be that American cars were made in America, and foreign cars were made overseas and imported. In that environment, it wasn’t a surprise that many people sought to “buy American” to support American workers. That simple vision has long since become obsolete, with “foreign” cars manufactured in factories based in the United States while “American” cars are manufactured overseas then shipped in for sale. The Chevrolet I’m reviewing is similar, with less…Read More

Maxxed out Luxury with the 2022 Infiniti QX55 SUV

Prior to the mid 1980s, Japanese cars were defined by the pedestrian brands of Datsun, Toyota, and Honda. All huge manufacturing keiretsu, all producing construction equipment, heavy machinery, even lawnmowers and motorcycles. When Honda introduced its luxury brand Acura in 1986 to compete directly with the European luxury brands, it proved an inspiration for the other two companies. 1986 had Datsun rebrand its American lineup under the Nissan identity, and in 1989 Nissan introduce Infinit…Read More

Game Review: Sudoku + Dice = Indie Puzzler “Disuko!”

You’d need to have hidden under a rock not to bump into the engaging and popular mathematical puzzle game Sudoku. Invented by Japanese puzzle enthusiast Maki Kaji, it’s a 9×9 grid comprised of 9 3×3 boxes. Each 3×3 box, each row, and each column can only contain a single occurrence of the digits one through nine. Each box, then, ends up filled in with 1, 2, 3, … 9, as does each row and column….Read More

Film Review: Fun, Overly Long “The Matrix Resurrections”

There are a very small number of movies that have had a profound impact upon our culture, jumping immediately to the status of cult classic or, in some instances, genre classic. The Matrix, released in 1999, was just such a hit, a film that turned actor Keanu Reeves into a star, catapulted director siblings The Wachowski’s onto the A-list and had us all marveling at the “bullet-time” super-slow-motion action sequences. The story was engaging, a stunning…Read More

I Saved $$ On Health Insurance through Connect for Health Colorado

I’m a healthy guy but according to actuarial tables and statistics, I should probably be suffering from a long-term ailment and be taking a couple of pills every morning. So far, so good. But being over 50, it does mean that my health insurance ends up being painfully expensive, and doubly so since I’m self-employed and don’t have a company or organization underwriting some of the cost. To put it into numbers, my individual health…Read More

Thoughts on How To Talk With Your Young Adult Children

There are plenty of parents who believe that good parenting is basically telling your kids what to do and having them listen and do exactly what you suggest while thanking you for your splendid advice. Except that’s not at all what parenting is about, though it is true that when your children are young, you have a reasonable amount of power and control over their day-to-day lives. Bedtimes, playdates, what books they read or TV…Read More

A Week With the Unimaginative 2020 Kia Sportage SX AWD

I’ve driven quite a few Kia vehicles over the last few years and generally have been quite impressed with them all. Like fellow South Korean auto manufacturer Hyundai, Kia keeps improving their cars each year, now delivering some of the best budget vehicles on the road. But the journey to being an A List car maker isn’t without its bumps, and after spending a week driving the 2020 Kia Sportage SX, I have to say…Read More

Film Review: Exciting Chinese Actioner “Shock Wave 2”

I watch a lot of international action films. Hollywood might have a visual effects company around every corner, but it turns out that a lot of overseas production groups have their own amazing vf/x companies ready to work on films outside of the USA. Foreign films also have a different sensibility and different approach to the storyline, often along with an interestingly biased cultural skew. No question, seeing how other countries portray Americans holds up…Read More

Game Review: Highly Thematic Japanese Tactical Card Game “Sashimono”

It’s 1600s feudal Japan and you’re a warlord, preparing your troops for battle. Battles in this era are quite formalized, however, with troops trained to be offensive or defensive. Rather than squads and battalions, specialist teams are known as “Kumi” and are generally categorized as polearm units (melee), ranged units, and cavalry. A group of nine Kumi are known as a “Sonae” and they were expected to demonstrate ingenuity and adaptation to changing battle conditions,…Read More

Film Review: Epic, Moody and Excellent “Dune”

Widely considered one of the very best science fiction books, Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel “Dune” was also my favorite book as a teen. It’s set thousands of years in the future and humanity has spread across the galaxy. Great family clans called Houses run various planets in a feudal society and the Padishah Emperor rules over it all, seeking to balance the power of each great house to ensure none become so powerful they can…Read More

How to Be a Friend (My Review of “Ron’s Gone Wrong”)

Just had a chance to preview the new family animated film Ron’s Gone Wrong, which is about – surprise! – friendship, and how our devices are proving an obstacle to making meaningful connections. Instead of just reviewing the film, I thought it would be more interesting to talk about the theme and the ideas within the movie. At the end of this essay, I’ll give you an assessment and a go/no-go recommendation. You don’t have to…Read More

Film Review: Engaging and Provocative “The Last Duel”

When a woman receives unwanted attention from a man, is she playing coy or legitimately saying “no”, to which the man is morally obligated to listen? The consequence of him going further is that it become rape; intimacy without consent. The woman then might opt to tell others, too often just to be told that she’s lying, that she invited it, that she didn’t protest or fight the advances with sufficient vigor, that women ‘secretly’…Read More

Film Review: Weird Horror Mashup “Ouija Japan”

Horror films often revolve around fears and desires, generally with dire consequences for anti-social or blasphemous beliefs. As a genre, they reinforce community standards and behavioral norms, which is one reason that audiences perpetually ask “what did they do to deserve this?” when someone is possessed, haunted, or otherwise experiences evil. With a sort of evil spirit realm paralleling our own, sometimes all it takes is opening the wrong door, unsealing that basement cupboard, even…Read More