The Cultural Appropriation of “Rising Sun”. Or Is It?

My gamer friends and I have been discussing the release of the massive new board game Rising Sun. Developed by a group of successful game designers, it’s described by the publisher thusly: “Rising Sun is a game about honor, negotiation, and warfare in a feudal Japan where the ancient gods (kami) have returned to rebuild the empire… Rising Sun claims Diplomacy as its distant ancestor. Tackle negotiations, alliances, and war. Capture hostages and commit seppuku….Read More

New Grain Bowls at Mad Greens: Delish!

Had a great opportunity a few days ago to meet up for lunch with Lucas Clarke, the Chief Marketing Officer at Mad Greens. I invited my oldest daughter along, an avowed vegan, since I thought she’d be most interested in talking with someone whose business is finding the intersection of healthy and popular. We met up at the Boulder Mad Greens, a restaurant we have frequented many times, and tried out the newest items on their…Read More

Good Day Chocolate: The BEST Way to Take Vitamin D

While there are big pharma companies encouraging us to get a flu shot it turns out that there’s some interesting research that suggests dosing up on something as simple as Vitamin D can significantly help you fight off that nasty influenza bug. For example, one researcher points out that “there is a seasonality to influenza that correlates well with the seasonal drop in vitamin D levels” while another observes that “some studies have shown that…Read More

Film Review: Maze Runner: The Death Cure

There’s an entire category of films which I call teen dystopia cinema. You’ve seen some of these movies, I’m sure, whether it’s The Hunger Games, Divergent, City of Ember, The Golden Compass, The Mortal Instruments, The Fifth Wave, and, of course, The Maze Runner. Maybe it’s simply because teens make up such a large percentage of the movie-going public that this is such a popular theme. Then again, odds are good that we adults are…Read More

Planning and Hosting Teen Parties as a Single Parent

My youngest just turned 14 and we missed her birthday weekend because of this darn flu. Second year in a row that it’s kicked her down and she’s missed a week or more of school. Next year I’m definitely going to push daily vitamins, lots of extra vitamin D and oodles of overprotective personal hygiene into her daily routine and hope that helps. This year, however, we missed it entirely. Her birthday lands right in…Read More

Game Review: Manhattan Project Chain Reaction – Solo Play

James Mathe really hit on an interesting worker placement theme when he created the original Manhattan Project. Players are competing to build atomic bombs, which means you have to manage workers to mine and produce yellow cake, then refine the yellow cake into uranium. Scientists + Engineers + uranium lets you build bombs and earn points. Someone else getting too far ahead? You can bomb their facility or even steal resources from them. My friends…Read More

Psychologist Recommends Children not have Best Friends?

Childhood is tough. We all have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as kids, whether it was a years of ongoing bullying and hassle from other kids or whether it was a string of sleights that grew over time into A Big Deal. I’ve seen all three of my children have to wrestle with one of the great challenges of adolescence time and again: exclusion. This doesn’t go away as an adult, of…Read More

The Pesky “Holiday” of New Years Eve

I’ll own it. I don’t like New Years Eve. I haven’t liked it since I was a kid and many years I just pointedly ignore it as a sort of protest against the hype, craziness and rather mindless optimism that “this year is going to be better”. Do I set New Years Resolutions for myself? Nope. If I want to do or change something, I just get started rather than wait for an arbitrary date…Read More

Christmas as a Single Dad

It strikes me that you, dear reader, might be interested in hearing a bit about how a two-household family splits time with the children during a big holiday season. The wrinkle is that that I don’t celebrate Christmas, per se, but instead have brought my own Jewish traditions of Hannukah into the family instead. That makes holidays pretty easy in that there’s never a conflict over who has the children Christmas Eve or Christmas morning…Read More

Newly Divorced Dad Feels Like the Babysitter…

Hey Dave! I just read your article about newly becoming a single father and I really wanted to know how you handled your ex-wife when she started dating again, knowing that person was going to be around your kids more than you. My daughter is only 18 months, me and my ex-wife divorced back in June and I believe she is already seeing someone. I know that it was bound to happen but I feel more…Read More

Film Review: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

The line between gaming universes and reality has always been a bit fuzzy, whether it’s the 70’s angst some parents felt towards their children playing D&D and being adversely influenced to more modern video games that make us all raving maniacs. Prior to the introduction of engaging computer and video games, stories that blurred the lines revolved around board games. The imaginative original 1995 film Jumanji revolves around three children who are pulled into the…Read More

Film Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The great Star Wars saga last ended on a dark note at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens [my review] with scrappy rebel fighter Rey (Daisy Ridley) having finally found the semi-mythic Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in his remote island hideaway. The Rebel Alliance was in a shambles and the Empire was clearly on the ascendancy with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) as heir apparent to its new incarnation, The First Order. In the latest…Read More

A Week With Bumblebee, A 2017 Jeep Renegade

Most cars are pretty dull colors. White, black, grey, dark blue, those encompass most of what you see on the road, and I’m just as susceptible as the next car buyer too: My last few cars have been white and blue and my current vehicle is, yes, white. Boring, I know. That’s why when I was loaned a bright yellow 2017 Jeep Renegade my first reaction was “Wow!” and, well, my 13yo daughter immediately requested…Read More

TV Review: “Knightfall” on The History Channel

One of the great joys of studying history is that there are so many fantastic and exciting stories left untold. The bravest of heroes, the most cowardly and despicable of backstabbing conspirators, the obsessive greed of despots and the nobility of commoners, all captured in the pages of history. From both a historical and religious perspective, few groups are more interesting than the Knights Templar, however, whose exploits have been mostly hinted at or obliquely…Read More

Movie Review: The Shape of Water

Rarely does a film grab me from the very first frame, pulling me into a world of imagination and wonder, offering up a compelling, fascinating and peculiar story, but that’s exactly the experience of watching the brilliant film The Shape of Water. It’s best described as “phantasmagorical” and is a love story between a lonely cleaner at a creepy Cold War research facility and a creature from the Amazonian jungles. But there are so many…Read More