How are you today?

Trying not to tax my brain too much but I found monotonous PCB-design tasks to do.

Otherwise, I’ve started watching Andor.


Today’s professional life tip: if you take anti-anxiety medication, do not decide to just not pick up your prescription because you “feel fine”. Guess why you feel fine? :woman_facepalming:

(I do have my prescription now though)


In less than 48h I will be in a plane (first of many) to go back to Gran Canaria for the first time since we moved to NZ back in 2018. I am awkwardly not too excited, concerned about the marathon of airport stops we are going to have (Napier-Auckland-Singapore-Munich-Frankfurt before the final stop), how will my daughters deal with that, and how will I see my parents and my brother; how much they have aged, how is my father’s dementia going. I am also anticipating the endless remarks about my children not speaking enough Spanish, the why did you move so far away…

I look forward to catch up with old friends, but on the other hand, I know their lives have moved on, and I am anticipating some disappointment when some cancellations will happen, and how there will be some people I will not spend so much time with as I would want to.

I know most of the issues lay with me, and I can deal with them, but I still feel some anxiety.


Travel anxiety is a thing I get. Adding family meetings will certainly not be making it easier. Usually my anxiety gets better when the trip starts (unless flying because I am scared of flying which I do rarely any way). good luck and safe travels.


Thanks @yashima. I am pretty sure that it will be better than I think, and on some bits worse. Which is fine. I was just venting a bit… First World problems, huh.


I know how you feel. Visiting where I grew up holds little appeal for me, for almost identical reasons.


Have definitely also made this mistake!


“Hi! Can I help you find anything today?”
“Yes. I need a game for my friend.”
“Sure! What kind of games does he like?”
“He loves One Night Werewolf…”
“Oh, good! A Fake Artist Goes to New York is probably the second best game in that genre. I am sold out of the only one I think is better, Mafia de Cuba, but Fake Artist is great.”
“Are all these other ones (pointing at the shelf of Oink games) all the same?”
“Nope! None of them are the same.”
“Can you tell me about all of them?”
“Oh boy. Sure! This is push-your-luck, this one is awful, this is a set collection game, this is a rythme game, this is a word game, this one is awful, this is another set collection game, this is a town building game, this is a weight guessing game, this one is another set collector, and those ones I haven’t played.”
“Will my friend like them?”
“I have no idea. But if he likes One Night Werewolf, he will probably love Fake Artist!”
“Do you have that Mafia one?”
“Nope. Sold out.”
“Oh. Well then, what do you recommend?”
“Fake Artist is real good if he likes Werewolf.”
“I don’t know if he likes One Night Werewolf. What do you recommend?”


I feel you.

But I also feel them. Sometimes I ask for a recommendation (mostly not these days) and the one I get just doesn’t feel right but I cannot always tell why. They might have said something along the lines of “meh no pink is for girls” (I reserve hot pink for myself) or “I hate drawing games” to give you a clue what was wrong with Fake Artist, though.

I often end up saying: “I have something way too similar” or “Two player games just don’t work for us”
(really embarrassing if I stand there staring at Targi afterwards)


Oh, I get it. A lot of my job is trying to put aside my personal biases in order to give the best recommendations I can: If somebody is pretty sure they’re not going to like a game because they don’t like the artwork… they’re probably right?

My big issue at work these days (specifically November to end of December) is trying to stretch past usual recommendations and to remember that many people don’t actually want good advice: they just want something, anything, and then to get out. “What do you recommend?” means less “Tell me about games you think I’ll/my gift recipient will enjoy” and more “Just put something in my hands and let me get out of here because I have fifteen other stores I need to shop at and I need somebody else to blame if they don’t like it.”

And that’s really hard for me. I have an annoyingly honest (and, admittedly, specifically confrontational honesty) approach to questions. The customer I listed above had no idea what a “Set collection” game was, and so I tried to explain it quickly (“Have you tried Tokaido? What about Cover Your Assets? Okay, have you tried Sushi Go?.. well, it plays a lot like a game you haven’t played”) but his shifting needs and inability to tell me anything about what he wanted meant that I ended up going with the standard “There are hundreds of board game awards and all of them are meaningless except this one.” (Pointing at Spiel Des Jahres) “Any game that has that award on it is probably a good choice for people who don’t play a lot of games but are looking for something they’ll probably like.”

It’s a cop-out, and a not-strictly-true one (not all Spiel games are great intro games, and some of them have specific player count requirements), but I just had nothing else I could say to this guy that wouldn’t lead into a hundred other questions, each of which was way beyond his capacity to grok. Not because he was stupid (he may be, I have no idea, but that’s not what I’m trying to say) but because he had no idea what he was looking for or asking about.

Anyway. I’m off today, going to spend all day working on an essay that describes the way Toni Morrison uses emotional violence to reinforce existing power structures in “Sula”, so that will help decompress me a bit before jumping back into the fray on Monday.


I think Friday was the kick-off to the meh-season for anyone working in stores where people buy presents. Wasn’t it?

For what it is worth what I have seen on the forums you seem to know ALL the games and give great recommendations. Some people just cannot be helped.

I would probably have given up long ago and got frustrated by the people who know not what they want except that they do not want that one game you are telling them is what they are looking for.


My guess would have been that the guy who knows nothing about games thinks this friend likes One Night Werewolf because it is about werewolves, and so cannot see any connection with or reason for the recommendation of Fake Artist (while Mafia at least shares an “edgy” theme). But trying to guess at stuff like that would no doubt frustrate me immensely.


On Saturday, the household started feeling a bit sickly. Sunday, it was worse. Today, my wife and I tested positive for Covid. And we’d avoided it for so long! Not sure if we should bother testing the kids or not, as likely they have it as well. Honestly, they may have had it first, they were both rather sniffly the few days before we all got sick.


Oh noes.
It is almost inevitable that one eventually catches it with how well we managed to keep it contained.
I wish you all a speedy recovery.
Gute Besserung!


Last night’s lateral flow test was negative which I guess is something. I’m still feeling a bit out of sorts but I did manage to WFH today.

Speaking to a colleague today he said his family have given up taking tests with the regularity they have colds at the moment. He did caveat that by saying they don’t go anywhere when they have colds.

Shame that the guy who sneezed while I was sitting next to him on the tube didn’t have the same common sense.


Apologies to everyone who is in a game with me on BGA at the moment. I’m having a deadline-induced panic about my Open University coursework this week :grimacing: I promise I will take my turns as soon as I have some brain space…




Me: I’m on strike! I will use this time productively to finish writing this scenario :nerd_face:

Brain, screeching to a halt by the curb: Get in, loser. We’re writing psionic powers for GURPS.

Me: But-

Brain: GURPS. Psionic. Powers.


Are you a nurse, a postie, a BT engineer, a train driver, or another underpaid person whose striking I’ve missed?


University Lecturer?