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Blogs / So this is Christmas
« Last post by Dragon on November 29, 2023, 22:16:08 »
We are less than 30 days away from Christmas already, so I decided to use a title inspired by one of my favorite Christmas songs - Happy Xmas by John Lennon. That song, along with The 12 Pains of Christmas by Bob Rivers, and You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Thurl Ravenscroft make up my top 3 favorite songs for the season.

Now, moving on from music to games, I have quite a few boardgames in my collection now, so much that I my Amazon Wishlist currently doesn't even have a game in the top 5 spots. However, I just watched a great video on YouTube called 11 Gifts for Board Gamers (That Aren't Games) by Actualol which I found entertaining on top of suggestions that I'd agree with. So... if you have a gamer in your life, you might want to check out that video for suggestions.     

Table-top Games / The Crew
« Last post by Dragon on November 26, 2023, 17:32:40 »
On Thanksgiving, Isaac, Tim, Beth, LaZer and I played The Crew: The Quest For Planet Nine. Most of the rounds, Tim ended up randomly being the commander (with the Rocket 4 card), but he wasn't paying as much attention to the game as he was his phone, so it took some time to get everyone to understand how the game worked. Before we retired for the night, we did manage to complete Missions 1 - 4.

Blogs / Happy Thanksgiving with The Crew
« Last post by Dragon on November 26, 2023, 17:25:46 »
Thanksgiving, for most of my life, has been my favorite holiday. It has been a time for family to get together and enjoy each other's company, great food, and games. It also marks the anniversary (at least in my mind) of the first time that was able to join the grown-ups playing Conquest Of The Empire many years ago. That year, on top of being my first time playing, was one of the few times that I beat my Uncle Sheldon at a boardgame. He was most certainly the one that got me interested in playing strategy board games, such as Cathedral, Othello, Battlestar Galactica (the one from 1984, not the more recent one), and Conquest Of The Empire.

Earlier in the week we were having a rough time. We had discussed having Tim and LaZer over for dinner and games, but weren't even sure if it was going to happen at that point with all the chaos in our family. Thankfully we were able to have a nice, fairly calm day. The food that Beth and I prepared turned out tasting great and was conveniently on-time, despite having some oven issues. Tim and LaZer had arrived a bit later than I had originally hoped, but with all the food that we wanted taking longer than I had expected, they arrived close to the time that the food was ready to eat. We had a nice traditional Thanksgiving, with turkey (oven-roasted turkey breast, not a whole turkey), mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, home-made cranberry sauce, Stove Top stuffing, corn, macaroni casserole (more like mac & cheese than macaroni salad), corn and yams. We also had 4 pies that Beth made - her mom's cherry pie recipe, my mom's apple and Paradise Pumpkin pie recipes, and a standard pumpkin pie.

After dinner, we played a few rounds of The Crew, which is a co-operative trick-taking card game that everyone was new to, other than myself. The game was part of a "megahaul" that I picked up recently thanks to Isaac searching the internet for deals on games. (This set of games was sold as a bundle that we only knew some of what we were getting ahead of time, but even at that point, the breakdown was nearly $4 per game, and some of the games could be valued over $50!) Anyway, it took some time to get everyone to understand how the game worked, but we did manage to complete Missions 1 - 4. Maybe we'll get closer to Planet Nine next time...
Table-top Games / Re: Rival Troops
« Last post by Dragon on November 21, 2023, 17:26:57 »
I recently introduced Rival Troops to my friend Rick. He is a non-gamer, meaning that he will play board games with me, but I don't think he'd ever seek them out on his own. He did catch onto the game quickly though, as I had hoped, and had no problem disrupting some of my potential campsites. Final score: I had 67 points; Rick had 44.
Table-top Games / Re: Sushi Go Party!
« Last post by Dragon on November 20, 2023, 23:02:48 »
Once again, we played Sushi Go Party! Anna and Grace both enjoy the game. This time we played using the original Sushi Go set of cards. Grace still won by 3 points. I got second place and Anna was close behind. Grace made the most of the Chopsticks during the game. Although Anna and I both played Chopsticks at different points in the game, Grace was the only one that used them, and multiple times at that. In the end, all 3 of us had 3 Pudding cards, so the Dessert scoring didn't change the standing.
Table-top Games / Sushi Go Party!
« Last post by Dragon on November 19, 2023, 23:05:25 »
Today, amongst a megahaul of games purchased today, we got Sushi Go Party! I've played Sushi Go with friends before, but never owned it before. This deluxe set of the game adds different cards and a menu/score board. My 12-year old daughter saw Sushi Go Party! in the stack of game and asked if we could play it. She said it looked cute.

Anna, Grace, and I played the game using the My First Meal menu. Grace won! I thought I was doing pretty well, staying close to Grace, but she beat me by 12 points. In the end, even Anna passed me by with the points from desserts.

The second game, Anna dropped out, so it was just a two-player game. Grace was very confident about her skills and decided to use a custom menu since she wanted to have the "peas" because they looked cute on the box. We found the cards and saw that it was the edamame, but unfortunate that card says it's for 3-6 players, so she picked some other stuff. We ended up with all new menu items compared to the first game. All 3 rounds were pretty close for us, but I won by 12 points this game.

Blogs / Re: Raspberry Pi and Python
« Last post by Dragon on November 17, 2023, 23:29:21 »
Still having trouble getting scikit-learn installed, I noticed by running top that the system was running out of memory while trying to get the dependencies installed. I suspected that running straight from the command console instead of using the GUI desktop might help. I used sudo raspi-config to change the boot config and rebooted to the console. After that, I ran the install commands individually for the dependencies before trying to install scikit.

Code: [Select]
pip3 install -U numpy
pip3 install -U joblib
pip3 install -U threadpoolctl
pip3 install -U scipy
pip3 install -U scikit-learn

Finally... it all installed successfully... supposedly. To test, according to, I also installed pytest, pip3 install -U pytest. Unfortunately, running pytest sklearn still failed. has more installation and troubleshooting steps that I'll need to go through.

Blogs / Re: Raspberry Pi and Python
« Last post by Dragon on November 15, 2023, 20:54:39 »
As a follow up to my previous comment, the USB adapter for Wi-Fi is working now.

Continuing into the 2nd chapter of Raspberry Pi 3 Cookbook for Python Programmers, I've found that I needed to install scikit-learn to have the necessary datasets. While trying to install scikit-learn on my RPI the other day, which was taking a very long time, the system went to sleep. The screen would go black after about 10 minutes and I was thinking it might be helpful to adjust the power settings so it wouldn't do that. The GUI doesn't have anything that I could find to change it, but I did find some command line stuff that worked without installing anything more.

Quote from:
I found there are two settings that have to be changed as either one of them will blank the screen in ten minutes under the default settings.
set screen saver timeout to zero:

xset s 0

and set dpms (EnergyStar) to disabled:

xset -dpms

This way I haven't needed to install anything (no screensaver). It was confusing because I'd tried both items, but it wasn't until I learned they both were blanking the screen at ten minutes that I saw what was going on.
As this has tested out OK, the next step for me is to put them into an autostart routine.
ps Verify your settings with

xset q
Blogs / Re: HP Victus - Bad Omen
« Last post by Dragon on November 08, 2023, 20:08:15 »
I have a laptop for work that charges via USB, which is handy because a powered docking station can be used to connect multiple monitors along with charging the HP Probook laptop without needing a separate power cord. That lead me to another discovery about my HP Victus - USB-C charging is NOT SUPPORTED. There's a little lightning bolt icon next to the USB-C port, and I was able to try it out with a powered docking station with USB-C, only to discover that it doesn't charge the laptop at all. Apparently the charging feature that it has is just to provide a little bit of charge to other small devices, such as a phone, even when the laptop is powered off. So... there's another thing to consider for this laptop and future purchases.
General Discussions / Re: 3D Printer Projects
« Last post by Dragon on November 05, 2023, 21:24:20 »
Since the wind-up car turned out so well... I was thinking this 5-speed gear box would be a neat one to put together.

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