Free Agency and Superstardom

I’m no huge follower of sports, but I do have spurts of interest.  Free Agency has always interested me – huge amounts of money are thrown at players who sometimes (and sometimes don’t) turn out to be worthwhile.

Today’s annoucement by LeBron James doesn’t seem to come as a surprise to many in the sports reporting world.  He joins (arguably) the other top two free agents in Miami.  My friend Alex Abboud has really driven a few good points home on his twitter feed.  The first: LeBron is a bit of an ass.  Second: Miami doesn’t have any money left for other players.

To me, looking at this situation after thinking about it for a bit, I’m wondering if LeBron is the superstar we all think he is.  If he needs to play on a team with Bosh and Wade to win a title, is he really the same caliber of player that Jordan was?  I don’t think so.

Yes, Jordan had amazing teammates – but if the game was on the line, Jordan would step up and he’d find a way.  Kobe seems to be the same way.  LeBron – doesn’t seem to want that responsibility.  If you’re not the clutch player – are you really a star?

To me, being a star is being the guy that you can depend on to win games that matter.  You can’t share that.

Now that the LeBron show is over, I’ll go back to ignoring the NBA.

Boardgaming

Back in 2008, I met some people who brought me back into the world of gaming, which I believe I’ve talked a lot about since then.  It started with a return to pen and paper RPGs (which, in all honesty, hadn’t really left, I just only played online), and was quickly followed by boardgaming.

I was pretty satisfied with playing my handful of RPG titles and Arkham Horror, until one day, my friend pointed me at the Fantasy Flight Games website, specifically to look at the game, Android.  Android looked like a really cool game, so I started to look at more games.  I quickly found that I had been stuck in a very narrow world of ‘mainstream’ boardgames.

Fast forward to now.  My closet is pretty much full of games now.  I made some trades with various individuals to get things I wanted in exchange for things they wanted.  With all that said and done, I have more unplayed (by me) games than I do played, I think.  The collection can be viewed here: Boardgame Geek

Thankfully, I was able to play two games for the first time last weekend.

First up was Small World.

The object of Small World is to generate more victory tokens than your opponents in the number of turns available (which varies based on the number of players).  The mechanics of the game are pretty simple, to conquer a territory, you need to attack with 2 more attackers than there are defenders.  Your territory must always have one of your units on it in order to collect victory points for it.

There are a few things that I like about this game.  First, it comes with 4 different maps, each designed for a different number of players, which forces interactions between the players.  The second is the way the races and abilities match together.  There are a number of races, with special abilities, plus additional special abilities that grant additional bonuses.  Finally, the in decline mechanic is neat, which adds a layer of strategy to the game – when should you pull the plug on your current race?  Very neat.

The second game that we played was Pandemic with the expansion, On The Brink.

Pandemic is a co-operative game where the players race against the game to cure 4 (or 5) viruses that are plaguing the world.  Again, a very simple game with simple mechanics, but we found it to be a good challenge.  Each player has a different role, which grants them special abilities.  These roles are assigned randomly at the start of each game.  Through our play, there are clearly a few roles that make the game much easier (Medic, Dispatcher).  The game does a good job of raising tensions, as drawing the wrong card can really make things difficult.  The expansion adds new ways to play, which also ramp up the difficulty.  In three plays, we only won once (which, in hindsight, was luck on our part), which gives the game replay value, as we still have to work on the strategy on how to beat the game.

I really enjoyed both games and I look forward to playing them again in the future.

Wow…

Today, Emily and I take posession of our house.  We’re very, very excited about that.

While we still have a few hours before everything gets finalized, but barring any really strange things happening, we’ll be getting our keys this afternoon sometime!

Anyway, we wouldn’t have made it to today without the help of these individuals:

Matt Gaglione – Realtor – His Website : Matt showed us a bunch of houses and didn’t try to sell us anything that didn’t really work for us.  He came through huge for us with the house we ended up buying!  He also recommended the other people we worked with during this process, which was very helpful.

Lee Politano- Mortgage Manager, TD Canada Trust – His Website : Lee worked hard to get us our mortgage and all things considered, I’m pretty confident that we got a pretty good rate.

John Lemieux – Lawyer – His Website : John did all the legal stuff.  That’s a technical term (mine, not his).  He made the paperwork easy.

<edit>I can’t believe I forgot the home inspector!  I’ll have to look up his name, but he was from Housemaster.  He was very knowledgeable and did a lot of teaching while he did the inspection to help Emily and I out with maintenance.  I highly recommend using this service.</edit>

I’d recommend working with any or all of these individuals when looking to purchase a property.  Thanks for making it (relatively) easy.

Finding the time

So, its been difficult to find the time to do everything I want to do lately, thanks to the new job, which keeps me very busy (which, I’m thankful for) and near full time school.  I quite enjoyed my bi-weekly Star Wars games this summer and unfortunately, I’m not sure I’ll be able to continue that trend through the school year, which is disapointing, since it was alot of fun to play and really gave me a recharge from the stress of real life.

I’ll have to get into a groove here in the next few weeks and find some time.  There’s alot of story to tell still.

Contributing to Society

Several weeks ago, I started a new job with Allarco Entertainment, which operates the premium subscription service Super Channel.  Its been an excellent experience so far and I’ve finally been getting the accounting experience I’ve been looking for.

I’m also getting very excited about heading to Vegas.  Emily and I have a lot of great things to do planned.

Flatlined

It’s officially dead.  I’m cool with that.  I produced nearly 11,000 words in a relatively short amount of time.  What I wrote turned out to be alot different than I had originally set out to write on.  When I finally reeled the story back into my main loose plot idea, it just died.

I didn’t really like any of the characters that much.  It makes it easier, I think.

I think the real reason that my creative ‘juices’ stopped flowing was because I finally got back into regular Gamemaster posts in my Star Wars and d20 Modern play-by-post games and Darren restarted his Dark Heresy play-by-post game, which I’m playing in.  I much prefer to ‘write a novel’ collaboratively in the play-by-post game than writing on my own.

I played Arkham Horror for the first time on Friday.  It is quite enjoyable.  I’m trying to convince Emily that she’d like it, but she won’t believe me.  Oh well.

In other news, Emily and I celebrated our second anniversary on Monday.  We’re looking forward to many many more!

Roadblock destroyed!

Ever since I started writing this NaNoWiMo UofA Edition novel, I set my sights on 10,000 words as my first major milestone.  Today, I broke 10,000 words.  It’s an amazing feeling.

Especially when you consider I gave up after only 400 words last year.  I’ve accomplished so much more this year than I ever thought I could in this competition so far.

Now, for the rest of the month.  Bring it on.