Game Review: Set Building “Pilfering Pandas”

Those poor pandas, stuck in the zoo when they want to be out and in the wild. Who wouldn’t prefer their natural habitat to a zoological park where everyone just stares at you all the time? Fortunately, these pandas are savvy and have cut a deal with the sneaky meerkats just over the wall; it’s a zoo break! In Pilftering Pandas from Wren Games, it’s your job to help your panda collect sets of food…Read More

Game Review: Light Card Stacking “Sky Towers”

Gaming can be an expensive hobby. Check out the latest well-funded campaigns on Kickstarter and you’ll assume you can’t get a new game for under $150 and to have all the cool components it can cost twice that. Daunting! Fortunately, there are people who are fighting this tide, game designers more interested in having others play their games than in making lots of money. People like Charles Ward at Ex1st Games, who creates “Forever Free”…Read More

Need Help in College? Strategic Mentoring has Tutors with PhDs

When Strategic Axiom Mentoring founder Sam Peurifoy reached out to me about his business, I was intrigued. Tutors are a great addition to any educational journey and my daughter K-‘s math tutor has helped turn her most hated subject into one she loves (and has straight A’s in), so I get the benefit. But PhD tutors? During our conversation back and forth it became obvious that there were some pretty interesting questions to consider. The…Read More

Game Review: Murder’s Afoot in “Foul Play”

Deductive puzzles based on a process of elimination are a mainstay of family games, best represented by the popular Hasbro game “Clue”. Everyone’s racing around the board trying to collect as many clues as possible to eliminate suspects, weapons, and locations to be able to narrow down that classic question: whodunit? This entire class of games requires patience and a good memory, and you typically need to know the entire field of suspects (weapons, locations,…Read More

Film Review: Scary, Intense “A Quiet Place Part II”

One of the great changes to the horror genre over the last few years is the increased speed of the monsters. Gone are shambling zombies that you could outwalk while enjoying an ice cream cone and a blob that oozes down the street at an amusingly glacial pace. Because of improvements in visual effects, monsters are bigger, faster, and much more intense. Jumpscare, meet terrifying visage! And yet, the buildup is part of what makes…Read More

The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat: A Beast In Disguise

The lure of a supercar is that even sitting still it looks fast and sexy. Then there are the more pedestrian vehicles that look like they’re parked even when they’re zipping down the highway. The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat I was loaned by Dodge lands somewhere in the middle: In fact, it’s the Clark Kent of cars. From the outside, it’s a rather mild-mannered SUV with very little exceptional about its design, but under…Read More

Game Review: Mind Bending Puzzler Katamino

You’ve probably heard of Tangrams. It’s a puzzle with seven shapes, called tans, which are put together to form shapes. Mostly triangles, they might include a square or a rectangle. Katamino is the next evolutionary step of this type of puzzle; a collection of a dozen different “pentaminos”, each of which is five units in size, that you have to fit together to fill a rectangular space. The bigger the grid, the more pieces you…Read More

Livin’ the Van Life with the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica LTD

Cargo trucks, vans, and small buses were great utilitarian vehicles but they also beget a new type of vehicle: The minivan. First introduced in 1983, the Dodge Caravan (and its sibling the Plymouth Voyager) launched the segment, a category of vehicle that was destined to be a craze for many years. From its peak of almost 7% of all vehicle sales in the mid-2000’s, the minivan has subsequently lost market share year after year to…Read More

Film Review: The Endlessly Weird “Undergods”

Film is all about metaphor. We know that they’re actors, we know that there’s a cameraperson pointing a lens at the actors, a sound person holding a mic above their heads, a director telling them when to start and stop the action, and an editor chopping up the scenes to establish a certain tone, rhythm or emotional response. We happily ignore the technical in our desire for a good story. The dead can resurrect, people…Read More

Reinventing My Sleep with an Organic Mattress from Amerisleep

Considering that we spend approximately one-third of our lives sleeping (at least in an ideal world) it’s remarkably difficult to test out mattresses, understand the differences between mattress technologies, and end up with a great mattress on your bed. Furniture shopping is worse, so if you want to get a great bed frame to pair with your mattress, it’s an even more challenging task. It’s hard to say why this is the case; people spend…Read More

The Sporty 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid TRG Review

The last few vehicles I’ve driven have all hovered in the mid-20’s for fuel efficiency, but the latest generation of engines and vehicle design can support driving a lot further per gallon of gasoline. I’ve wondered if perhaps too much of the industry’s attention focused on electric vehicles and SUVs? Maybe not, if the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid TRG is representative. Its sporty lines, peppy drive, and smart interior design demonstrate how far Honda’s has…Read More

Getting Started with Lawnbright: Regional Lawn Care In A Box

Living in the ‘burbs, I have grass in both the front and back yard of my house. As does every one of my neighbors. It’s a curious aspect of suburban life, the desire to pretend the big housing complex construction project didn’t eradicate a field and replace it with driveways and roads. Be that as it may, however, there is something delightful about a thick, plush, healthy green yard. Unfortunately, I’ve learned over the years…Read More

Film Review: Half-Baked Thriller “86 Melrose Avenue”

Films can profoundly impact our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, but to really work their magic, the best subtly weave their message into a compelling story. People prefer watching a robot run amok to a scientist standing in front of a whiteboard, lecturing about the dangers of robots. Indeed, sharing a well-told story is a profoundly human experience. And that’s the core problem with the new indie thriller 86 Melrose Avenue; writer/director Lili Matta has so…Read More

I Try “Liquid Einstein” Nootropic Brain Supplement, And Here’s The Result…

A few weeks ago the team at Liquid Einstein generously sent me a box of their “brain supplement” formula. This is what’s known as a nootropic, a “drug used to enhance memory or other cognitive functions”. Intriguing, right? I’ve been waiting until a particularly cognitively foggy morning to try it, however, and that’s exactly how this morning started out. I slept poorly, woke up too early, and had to help my youngest get her luggage…Read More

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 SUV. Yes, A Mercedes SUV.

There’s really been no way to ignore it, consumer zeal for sport-utility vehicles has just kept growing and dominating the car marketplace. Just about everyone in the biz makes one now, from the Porsche Cayenne to the Rolls Royce Cullinan, to the somewhat awkwardly named Lamborghini Urus. BMW has an entire lineup of SUVs with its terrific X5 as a centerpiece. But Mercedes-Benz? The first Mercedes I ever drove was my father-in-law’s older sedan and…Read More