ltmurnau: (CX)

The second issue of YAAH! magazine is out, containing three abstract games by me (Army of Shadows, Guerrilla Checkers, Uprising). I also wrote a short simple article on the think-value of abstract games, these in particular, hooked to Ben Franklin’s love of chess. It’s partly adapted from a presentation I gave at Connections-UK in 2013.

Perhaps you'll find it interesting:

Or the original item:
ltmurnau: (CX)
Reposted from t'other blog.

Games referenced: Labyrinth, Train by Brenda Romero, and A Distant Plain. As you might expect though, the article is illustrated with a stock photo of Risk.

The writer, Matt Thrower (“MattDP” on Boardgamegeek), had a long interview with Volko Ruhnke and while I am certain that Volko mentioned it, there is nothing in the article to indicate that ADP was a co-design. The writer also indicated in the comments that he had a lengthy discussion with Volko where he vigorously defended the bipolar political model in Labyrinth, but there was no room for it in the article. Sigh, so it goes.

James Kemp ( pops in to mention megagames, the ones that he and Jim Wallman have run are very good examples.

The comments also contain this gem by one “Winston Smith”:

“Any 5 year old can create a board game, but the same can not be said of Crusader Kings II, one of the most genius strategy games of all time. I’ve played thousands of board games, and none of them come close to CKII. You have to be a moron, or have some secret agenda to think board games will ever hold up as anything other than a novelty in 20 years. “

ltmurnau: (CX)
Constant Readuhs will know that most of my posting these days is on my game design blog "Ludic Futurism".
There appears to be no way to automatically publish or otherwise connect a Livejournal blog with a Wordpress one, so I will pop in here to post when I've done something over there.
Here is the first such:

Go and look if you like, if this game design thing of mine interests you.
I have really fallen out of the habit of blogging about my life, in general things are pretty OK - it seems lately I just pop in here to post some especially upsetting bit of political news or foreign policy development.
Even the novelty of that is waning as there is more and more bad news to relay, we seem to be heading down the De-evolution slope....

ltmurnau: (CX)
I hate reading stuff like this.
It's so discouraging.


CBC Asks: Many Canadians distrustful of federal politics, poll indicates
4 in 10 Canadians never talk politics, Samara Canada survey suggests
CBC News Posted: Mar 25, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 25, 2015 4:02 PM ET
A strong majority of Canadians don't take part in politics beyond voting and don't trust their federal parties or MPs, a new report suggests.
What's more, four in 10 Canadians said they hadn't had a single political conversation in the past 12 months, according to Samara Canada, a non-partisan charitable organization that works to improve Canadian democracy.
In Democracy 360, Samara's report card on the state of Canadian politics, a wide-ranging poll of Canadian residents shows strong levels of distrust and disengagement.
Among the highlights:

  • Only 40 per cent of Canadians say they trust their MPs to do what is right, and only 42 per cent place some trust in political parties.

  • Sixty-two per cent feel politicians only want their vote.

  • When asked to rate MPs across six areas of responsibility, Canadians gave failing grades in five categories, including helping people in their riding and explaining decisions made in Parliament. The only passing grade was for "representing their parties' views."

  • Thirty-one per cent of Canadians say they have contacted an elected official in the last year.

  • Thirty-nine per cent of Canadians say they haven't had a single political conversation in a year, online or off.

  • Many see politics as irrelevant

Samara says in its report that Canadians are withdrawing from the democratic system, because they see politics as irrelevant. Less than a third of Canadians (31 per cent) believe politics affects them daily, and slightly more than half (54 per cent) believe MPs can shape the direction of the country.
Despite the apparent negativity toward the country's democracy, 65 per cent of poll respondents said they are "very" or "fairly" satisfied with democracy.
Samara said in its report that there is some cause for hope: while only 37 per cent of Canadians give time or resources to political activities between elections, 83 per cent did participate in at least one civic engagement activity such as donating or volunteering.
"This is proof that many citizens do care about their communities and their country and are willing to give their time or resources accordingly. But this activity is often at a distance from politics." the report says.
Samara plans to use their report as a baseline and re-do the survey in 2017 in time for Canada's 150th birthday.
Samara Canada conducted its survey online, surveying what it called a nationally representative sample of 2,406 Canadians in English and French from Dec. 12 to Dec. 31.


Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ, how can people see politics as irrelevant?
I guess they do, if they can't even see past the plate of nachos set in front of them.
Small-p or large-P, politics horns in on anything and everything in modern life.
You can try and live without, but it will come and get you, and bite you in the ass eventually.
But it will be too late by then.

I wouldn't be so upset by this if democracy would stay the same whether these butt-scratching schlubs were around in such numbers or not, but this is no longer the case - there's less and less of it to be had these days, and a certain fraction of people would seem to be just fine with that.
But the roof will fall in on all of us.
ltmurnau: (CX)
A few days ago I was looking at the FB feed and someone had posted a link to a news story about a pastor in Flyover Country somewhere had been harassed and abused by the local rednecks for being especially welcoming in the way he was running his church.
The illustration was of an unsigned letter, or maybe it was a printed email, from a local anonymous troglodyte full of misspelled obscenity and abuse about all the n-words and q-words he was letting into his church, we know where you live, you should leave, etc. etc..
The email went on to dump on Obama, with the usual string of epithets, except that at one point the current  President of the United States is described as a "scholiast".
I thought, what an odd term of abuse to use on someone... not that offensive, rather bizarre in its application.... like yelling at someone and calling them a "Babylonian accountant".
It amused me for a couple of days before I realized that the Faithful Correspondent had meant to write "socialist", which completes the Rosary of Obama Abuse, and was either the victim of a very creative spell-checker intervention or the proof that a monkey can use a typewriter in an interesting way after all.
Ho hum.

Son, 20

Nov. 18th, 2014 11:40 am
ltmurnau: (CX)
... is about all I can say for now.
Once there was this little baby I could hold in both hands, and now there's a man living in my house who calls me "Dad".
I'm so proud of him in so many ways, and he is still surprising me in new ones.

Happy birthday, Akito.

(and no, I won't embarass him with a picture!)
ltmurnau: (CX)
Okay, I can't seem to place two lists of things next to each other in an LJ entry, but here's a comparison of the deeds and official treatments of cop-killer Bourque and soldier-killer Zehaf-Bibeau.

Read more... )

Links to the two newspaper stories, in the same paper on the same day, that prompted this post:

What do these incidents share?
How are they different?
Which one is/was the greater threat to Canada?

Anyway, just putting this here for now, no answers or rhetorical flourishes....

Meanwhile, we've started arresting mouthy senile angry old men:

The arrest of a 70-year-old man who made threats against the B.C. legislature while on a ferry underscores the challenge police face, in the wake of the Ottawa and Quebec attacks on soldiers, to determine if such statements pose real dangers or are merely empty threats.

...a man on the 7 a.m. ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay was heard making reference to the Ottawa attacks, followed by threats against the B.C. legislature. The man was not physically violent and did not have any weapons.

B.C. Ferries staff called Sidney/North Saanich RCMP at 8:19 a.m. Thursday and kept the man in a secluded area of the vessel, said Island district RCMP spokesman Cpl. Darren Lagan. Mounties boarded the ferry at 8:35 a.m. and arrested the man. “Throughout the day, investigators undertook a full investigation and assessment of the man’s actions, and determined he posed no threat to public safety,” Lagan said, citing existing mental-health issues as a significant factor.

Lagan said the man was released from police custody later in the day, after mental-health professionals became involved. He will not face any charges.

A second man who was set to meet the older man was also detained and questioned. He co-operated and was released without charge.
ltmurnau: (CX)
I am 50 today.
That is all.
ltmurnau: (CX)
This just in:

The comedians include Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara, Olivier Guimond and (kaff) Martin Short.

Big deal, I got there first with this rubber stamp I made in 1986!

Funny thing, the "real" stamp for Martin Short has the same Ed Grimley image (his only genuinely funny character)....

ltmurnau: (CX)

Nash the Slash, a.k.a. Jeff Plewman, dead at 66
Bandaged musician a mainstay in Toronto music clubs during '70s and '80s
CBC News Posted: May 12, 2014 3:59 PM ET| Last Updated: May 12, 2014 5:07 PM ET

Jeff Plewman, the musician behind the experimental rock persona Nash the Slash and the band FM, has died at age 66.

Nash the Slash was a mainstay in Toronto live music clubs throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He was known internationally after a world tour with Gary Numan and Iggy Pop and had opened up for the Who. Before performing as Nash the Slash, Plewman played in the prog-rock band FM in the 1970s.

Two of his longtime friends and colleagues confirmed Plewman's passing to CBC, though details are sparse.

Nash the Slash appeared on stage in a black tuxedo, top hat, dark sunglasses and wrapped in bandages. It would become his signature look. His bandaged appearance from 1979 onward prompted many questions about his mysterious identity.

He started the independent record label Cut-Throat Records, which he used to release his own music. Among his albums was Decomposing, which he claimed could be listened to at any speed, and Bedside Companion, which he said was the first record out of Toronto to use a drum machine.

His biggest hit was "Dead Man's Curve", a cover of a Jan and Dean song.

More recently, he played at Toronto's Pride Festival and toured up until 2012. In 1997 Cut-Throat released a CD compilation of Nash the Slash’s first two recordings entitled Blind Windows. In 1999 he released Thrash. In April 2001, Nash released his score to the silent film classic Nosferatu.

Plewman retired in 2012, bemoaning file-sharing online and encouraging artists to be more independent. "It's time to roll up the bandages," he wrote.

He will be remembered for his experimental ethos as well as his unusual stage presence.

"I refused to be slick and artificial," Plewman wrote of his own career.

There has not been word on how the musician died.


I loved this guy's music and his weird persona.
I was a fan from the time that I started to get into music, over 30 years ago.
I would play one Nash cut every time I would DJ Circuit Breaker (which, by the way, is still going on after almost 3 1/2 years - sorry I have not been posting setlists here, it's all at and last night I played "Citizen" from his album And You Thought You Were Normal.

ltmurnau: (CX)

Went to the Canada Revenue Agency website to find out where to mail our tax returns (since the tax people did not only print insufficient forms, they also dropped out the pre-addressed envelopes... my tax dollars at work, on something else obviously) and was greeted by the above jigsaw puzzle.
ltmurnau: (CX)

We're sending 50 paratroopers to Poland to "conduct training in parachuting, airborne operations and infantry skills alongside Polish and American counterparts in this United States-led exercise with a view to enhancing Alliance interoperability and readiness," (according to a release from the PMO on Friday).

So, we got all three services in play now.
Ready for something something....
ltmurnau: (CX)

HMCS Regina is being removed from "anti-terrorist" duty in the Arabian Gulf (where one Canadian ship at a time been steaming in small circles for some years looking for dhows, feluccas, and xebecs up to no good), and will redeploy to an "assurance" task force in the eastern Mediterranean.

What they will assure, and how they will do it, remains to be seen.
ltmurnau: (CX)

Half a dozen CF-18s and 200 ground crew etc. are headed for Somewhere in Romania... to stand by to Do Something Useful... Maybe... Just In Case....

Keep 'em flying, Zoomies!

ltmurnau: (CX)
Wow, actual bread and circus.
It's not surprising that the Legions feel cut out of things, since they haven't exactly been following the script lately...

Afghan mission Day of Honour planning catches legion off guard

Legions across the country have had only days to prepare for May 9 commemoration event
By Leslie MacKinnon, CBC News Posted: Apr 28, 2014 11:18 AM ET| Last Updated: Apr 28, 2014 4:53 PM ET

A May 9 National Day of Honour commemorating the Afghanistan conflict will include a parade in Ottawa and a breakfast for families of soldiers and others who died during the mission, the government announced today.

But the commemoration is also supposed to be celebrated across the country at legion halls and military bases, and the Royal Canadian Legion says it has had little time to prepare.

Scott Ferris, director of marketing and membership at the legion's national branch, said in an interview, "It's just that with 10 days to plan it doesn't give anyone time to do the great justice to this day that it really needs."

A total of 40,000 veterans will be honoured, as well as the 158 soldiers, one diplomat, one journalist and several civil servants who were killed in the conflict.

Rick Hansen, the B.C. Paralympian whose Man in Motion world tour in the mid-1980s raised money for spinal cord research, and whose foundation still raises money for the cause, will emcee the event.

The government says former prime ministers and former Govenors General to attend the ceremonies.

The day will also feature a relay called Soldier On — runners will carry the last flag from Afghanistan from Trenton, Ont., to Ottawa. The flag, inside a specially built baton, will be passed on through Napanee, Kingston, Perth, Kanata and Gatineau.

The concept of a special day on May 9 to mark the Afghanistan conflict was announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on March 18 when the last Canadian military contingent pulled out of Afghanistan.

That's when the legion started asking questions, but Ferris said it was impossible until last week to even find out when the two minutes of silence would occur in order to co-ordinate the timing in legions across the country. (It will be at 1:30 p.m. E.T.)

"This could have been a fantastic national event with thousands of legion branches getting involved across the country, hundreds of thousands of volunteers. The best we are left with now is scrambling to make something happen," he said.

The tribute breakfast for the families of the fallen will be sponsored by the organization True Patriot Love, which raises money to support soldiers, veterans and their families, and is receiving offers of financial support from the private sector.

Although the breakfast is described as private, corporate sponsors will be able to buy tickets at $1,000 per person, or $3,500 for a group of four.

Controversy over costs

There had been some controversy over the Day of Honour when some families received notices they would be expected to pay their own costs for travel to Ottawa.

However, the government announced it will pick up costs for the families' travel, meals and accommodations while in Ottawa, if True Patriot Love can't raise enough to cover the expenses.

Ferris doesn't have any problem with corporate sponsors paying for families' expenses and says he's glad the private sector is "stepping up." He worries that if government picks up the entire cost, a precedent would be set for several other commemoration events coming up, such as the 70th anniversary of D-Day in early June.

At a news conference Monday a spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office couldn't give even a ballpark figure for the Day of Honour's budget.

"Remembrance is fundamentally a key issue of the legion's mission statement," Ferris pointed out. "But back in 2012 we knew it was going to cost approximately $30 million to commemorate the war of 1812. We have seen nothing from the government in regards to cost."

He pointed out Remembrance Day is considered a day of honour for all veterans, and no one special ceremony was held for veterans of Bosnia or Rwanda.

Ferris continued that the government has been closing veterans affairs offices, and cutting back on some veterans services.

He said the legion's mission is split between honouring veterans and serving them. "We have to do both. But there has to be a balance."

NDP thinks government should pay families' costs

Jack Harris, the NDP's defence critic, said it is "totally inappropriate" to leave families at the mercy of voluntary donations and charities. "Are we trying to save money?" he asked. "You're left with the impression that the government is doing this without spending any money or doing it on the cheap."

Laurie Greenslade, whose son David was one of six soldiers killed on Easter Sunday in Afghanistan in 2007, told CBC News she and her husband planned to pay their own way to Ottawa. Then her husband's employer offered to pay "for everything."

"They wholeheartedly offered to do it, and they wanted to, and we were glad they wanted to, so we said 'yes,'" she said.

Other events for the Day of Honour will include:

■Displays of a Leopard II tank, a rigid hull inflatable boat, a military medical display and other displays from military engineers, Canadian Special Forces and the Foreign Affairs Department.
■Events across the country, in municipalities, local military bases and legion halls, some organized by MPs.
■A two-part fly-by salute. One will include a maritime patrol aircraft, a Globemaster, a Hercules, an airbus, and Griffon and Chinook helicopter, all used in Afghanistan.
■A ceremony for the families of the fallen in the Senate chamber with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Governor General, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson and Chief of Defence Staff General Thomas Lawson.
■ A 21-gun salute, and a single gunshot followed by two minutes of silence.
The Afghanistan memorial consisting of 190 plaques within eight panels will be on display in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill.

The parade will include 300 Canadian Armed Forces personnel, 32 RCMP members, local police and 50 civilians who were part of the Afghanistan mission. Along the way, veterans of the Afghanistan war will join in .


'an that's that about that.
ltmurnau: (CX)
I just look at this and think, "whu...?"
Really, what next...

May 9 Afghan tribute cloaked in secrecy with two weeks left to go
No detailed information available on upcoming event
The Canadian Press Posted: Apr 23, 2014 7:06 AM ET| Last Updated: Apr 23, 2014 7:06 AM ET

A Royal Proclamation, a moment of silence in schools, and the heavy beating of helicopter rotors over Parliament Hill are slated for May 9, but the Harper's government attempt to turn commemoration of the Afghan mission into a national event is facing delays, confusion and the sting of politics.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently designated May 9 as the day to honour the sacrifices in the 12-year war against the Taliban.

Aside from cursory references on two government websites, there's little information about the event.

Read more... )
ltmurnau: (CX)
Mark Campbell, who was the best Platoon 2IC I ever had when I was in the Army and who later lost both his legs in Afghanistan, is one of the six plaintiffs in this lawsuit.

Veterans don't have social contract, Ottawa says in lawsuit response
Federal government responds to class-action lawsuit aimed at New Veterans Charter
By Kristen Everson, CBC News Posted: Mar 18, 2014 5:00 PM ET

The federal government is arguing it does not have a social contract with veterans in response to a class-action suit brought by veterans upset with the compensation arrangement offered to wounded soldiers under the New Veterans Charter.

The veterans' lawsuit claims the charter and the changes it brings to compensation for veterans violate the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Read more... )

God damn this government, saving a few dollars on the backs of these maimed people.
Aki has never voiced an interest in serving in the military, but if he did I would counsel him not to, not when your own government comes right out and says, you get what you get, and if that's nothing, well then you get nothing.
ltmurnau: (CX)
Canadian military involvement in Afghanistan formally ends

Understated ceremony held under heavy guard at NATO headquarters in Kabul
The Canadian Press Posted: Mar 12, 2014

Canadian troops capped a deadly and dangerous 12-year mission in Afghanistan on Wednesday, hauling down the Canadian flag at NATO headquarters in Kabul during a ceremony that was held under heavy guard.

"We were quite explicitly told today in Kabul that we could not even report on this ceremony until after it was done because of security concerns," CBC correspondent Paul Hunter said from Kabul on Wednesday.

"After all this time, they are still worried about security here in Kabul, and I'll tell you, the streets are filled with checkpoints and barbed wire and giant concrete blocks."

The ceremony, held under sunny skies, ended with Canadians involved in the NATO training mission leaving aboard a U.S. Chinook helicopter. The remaining Canadian personnel will leave by the end of the week.
Read more... )

The link ( leads to the site, where there are some infographics on the Canadian involvement in Afghanistan.
Twelve billion dollars in direct expenditure and 158 lives.


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