First appearance of the Probe that was Broken. (Although it didn’t actually get broken until the next chapter.)

Life in Galaxion Central is finally back to normal after the long school break! I admit to taking an actual break for most of it, so I now have to work work work to make up for it!

This holiday turned out to be the season of games. It started with me listening to the audiobook version of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One (most excellently read by Wil Wheaton). Having spent my teen years as a geek girl in the ’80s, I swear that book was written just for me. I am recommending it to every Gen X-er I know (but I’m not so sure how it well it would go over with anyone much younger). And then there were the board games. One of my son’s gifts was Settlers of Catan, which is an award-winning game I’ve heard great stuff about for well over a decade, but only this year finally got around to purchasing. All of us, including our 8-yr-old daughter, got addicted to it pretty quickly. It didn’t take long before we started thinking about expansion sets and fancier playing pieces! (I bought some Fimo clay to make them.) With a gift certificate I had leftover after the holidays, I also purchased another equally-recommended game, Carcassonne. We’ve only played it a couple of times so far, but it certainly seems we’ve got another winner. A weekly Family Game Night is one of those things we’ve always talked about wanting to do, but with these great new additions to the house it looks like it might actually happen. Or maybe our delight has more to do with the kids finally being old enough to a) be able to handle more complex games, and b) not throw a fit all the time if they lose. Anyway, with all the expansion sets and tons more similarly-marketed board games, I expect we’ll have lots to entertain us for a good long while.

(Actually, I should also mention that we got a bunch of LEGO Heroica games as well, which we thought our son would love since he’s a LEGO nut. We played them, and they were interesting… but I have to admit, they didn’t enchant us in nearly the same way!)