Happy Birthday Archshrk!

Well it’s been another year and I’ve survived it (sort of). This year me and Mrs. archshrk (aka PhotoJulia) went to Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Of course, I still think of it as just Disneyland (vs. Disneyworld) but I’m old school.


Now I probably never mentioned how we went there last year for our 1yr anniversary, but we did, and it was great. We did the 3-day park hopper and stayed a local hotel. We’ve never been there together and last time I was there, they had just remodeled Tomorrowland in that retro 50’s Buck Rogers look and feel (used to be stark white) and California Adventure wasn’t even an idea yet. But this time we went with a couple of friends and their 6-month old baby girl. Going the day before Thanksgiving is not the best idea but it’s better than going the day after. The message sign outside the gates said ALL PARKS – VERY BUSY and they were right. Still, we had a good time and headed to my folks that night for the Thanksgiving weekend. All-in-all a good time despite getting lost after stopping for In-N-Out.

Archshrk and Astro Blasters

As you can see from the picture above, I ruled at Astro Blasters

Since we aren’t going to see my family during Christmas we decided to exchange gifts on this trip and among the gifts we gave were two of our favorite games. Mexican Train Dominoes (double 15) and Carcassonne. Both of these were big hits and saved us from playing Ten Thousand for hours on end. While we were there, a friend of my cousins brought over his new Nintendo Wii system. We played a few rounds of Wii Sports which is pretty funny. You see, aside from the cool interactive controller (you physically swing it to swing the bat, racket or golf club) the characters are not very realistic. Kind of like weeble wobbles or VegiTales style. No arms or feet, just bodies with detached heads (and they all look silly)

The object of Mexican Train Dominoes is to be the first player to play all of your dominoes or to play a domino on the Mexican train. Add to your own train, start a new one on the central hub, or play on an opponent’s “stalled” train. We play a slightly different version than the traditional rules describe but over-all the concept is the same – play your dominoes before anyone else. Count the dots on the un-played tiles, try to get the lowest score. We start with the double fifteen and each round start with the next lowest double until all have been played. Since you can quit after any round the game could last from 20 minutes to several hours – depending on the number of rounds played.

Carcassonne Game

Carcassonne is a simple, clever tile-laying game that brings new challenges with every turn. The southern French city of Carcassonne was founded on an important trade route between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Because of its strategic location, the city was often conquered and has known many rulers. As a result of this varied history, the city is famous for its unique mixture of Roman and Medieval fortifications. The players develop the area around Carcassonne by placing land tiles. Each turn the area becomes larger as the players expand and add roads, fields, cities, and cloisters. The players may also deploy their followers as thieves, farmers, knights, and monks to control and score points for the roads, farms, cities, and cloisters. As the players have only a few followers, the wise player will plan his moves carefully and deploy followers when and where he can earn the most points.

So how was your holiday?