Fire of Eidolon Game: Solo Play Review

My buddy Chris turned me on to Fire of Eidolon, a simple dungeon crawler game that’s easy to explain and great fun to play. It supports 1-6 players and is budget priced, even with a ton of expansion options and alternative challenges, tokens, squares, and more. At its most basic you’re wandering through a dungeon, exploring as you go, trying to collect Tokens of Power so you can destroy the three Relics of Power. Once…Read More

Film Review: Annihilation

Most genre films are trapped in their formula, a sequence of tropes and cliches that leave you confident you understand what’s about to happen next and unsurprised by the Big Twist ending. Science fiction is no different, and there are so many films that take place in a future that’s ripped right out of Blade Runner or on a space station “inspired” by Alien or in the midst of an epic space battle that’s just…Read More

The Big New World of a Public High School

I went to a public school throughout my childhood, K-12, though my ex was at a rather elite prep private school for her childhood. Two very different experiences. When our oldest began her own journey through schooling, we agreed that we’d like to do something different and enrolled her in a Waldorf School. Actually the Santa Cruz Waldorf School because at the time we were living in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Silicon Valley (and…Read More

Meeting the Boyfriend / Girlfriend…

One thing that’s hard to wrap your head around as a parent to young ‘uns is that someday you’ll be with your child and not their friend or BFF, but their boyfriend/girlfriend. At seven, a “girlfriend” is innocuous, but as they grow up and hit those teen years, well, the stakes go up and the chance for getting into serious trouble increases. To make things more complicated, we live in a highly sexualized society where…Read More

Game Review: Sakura by Osprey Games

There’s a continuum of game designs ranging from total strategy with zero randomness to completely random where strategy and tactics are pointless. For the former, chess and go are good examples, and for the latter a game like craps or Killer Bunnies demonstrate that fun can be had even when things aren’t predictable. Landing somewhere in the middle is a lovely new game from Osprey Games called Sakura. Sakura means “cherry blossom” and that defines…Read More

DVD Extras Review: “Blade Runner 2049”

I’ll admit it, I loved Blade Runner 2049. It’s no surprise, I think the original dark Ridley Scott movie Blade Runner is one of the best sci-fi films ever made and even when it was released loved its grit and texture, the surprisingly lyrical dialog and the imaginative noir-inspired sets and setting. And I’m not alone; it’s clear how much Blade Runner inspired the genre every time another movie or TV show — like Altered…Read More

Rebuilding my Hallway Video Set, Behind the Scenes

I’ve really jumped into the world of video in a big way and my YouTube channel – AskDaveTaylor – now has over 8500 subscribers and I’ve uploaded and shared over 500 videos. Mostly their product reviews of consumer electronics gadgets, but along the way I’ve also picked up a bunch of commercial clients and do video work for companies big and small too. Some of them I’m in the kitchen, in my car or even…Read More

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