Tuesday, December 28, 2010

SnoutCast #47: "Before Midnight"

This week's guest: Don Luskin, one of the creators of "The Game" which directly inspired the movie Midnight Madness. See Puzzalot's history posts for more background, including newspaper clippings.

ALSO: We're on vacation for the next two weeks. SnoutCast will return on January 18, 2011. Happy New Year!

[ Download mp3 - 37 MB ]

No show notes this week--just listen. It's good for you.

Music: instrumentals from "Code Monkey" and "A Talk with George" by Jonathan Coulton

[ Subscribe to SnoutCast / iTunes link ]

CKL DeeAnn Jasper

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Xmas Tree Update

We've procured and personalized our final 2010 ornament:

I was surprised to find that we don't actually have that many photos of both cats sitting close together and looking at the camera. The following picture was my second choice, but it's a little dark and Tye's eyes are closed:

That one and a few others will probably end up at ICHC later, for your lolcatting pleasure.


SnoutCast #46: "Teamwork or Something Like That"

There is no "I" in "team," but there may be "meat" in your "machine." Or possibly next to it. I DON'T KNOW.

[ Download mp3 - 32 MB ]

01:01 - "cooperative"
01:48 - why we're talking about teamwork
03:55 - why you might (not) want DeeAnn on your Game team
06:30 - checklist city
09:10 - other teams can be a puzzle-solving resource
12:22 - Introverted Xenophobes™
13:46 - semantic wars: "average" vs. "normal"
15:37 - two possible irrelevant charades examples
18:56 - intra-team cooperation; explicit and implicit roles
20:44 - deconstructing "dude" and Tron Legacy
21:30 - "Teamwork is good! Drugs are bad!"
24:18 - the pros and cons of parallel puzzle-solving
30:04 - digression into the definition of "drug"
32:14 - upcoming events: JoCo Cruise Crazy (Florida, 1/2-8), Puzzled Pint (PDX, 1/11), Iron Puzzler (Jan? 2/26-27), Game Control Summit (Feb? 2/12)
34:11 - The End

Music: instrumentals from "Code Monkey" and "Tom Cruise Crazy" by Jonathan Coulton

[ Subscribe to SnoutCast / iTunes link ]

CKL DeeAnn

Monday, December 20, 2010


DeeAnn and I saw Tron 2: Electric Boogaloo on Sunday, and weren't that impressed:

FB thread

Feel free to continue the conversation in comments below (or on Facebook, if you insist).


Friday, December 17, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

SnoutCast #45: "The Return of Iron Puzzler"

Iron Puzzler mastermind Greg deBeer reveals the history of this unique event and how you can participate in the upcoming fifth iteration!

P.S. If you're in Portland... come to Puzzled Pint tonight!

[ Download mp3 - 24 MB ]

00:00 - Kinectikvetch™ teaser
01:53 - "culinary"
02:33 - what is Iron Puzzler?
03:02 - secret origins; props to BATH and Iron Chef
06:55 - (but you know, that should be the past tense of "go")
07:41 - how fledgling GCs can benefit from IP and have fun!
09:45 - the very fluid IP scoring system; originally inspired by Barbarossa
16:29 - who plays Iron Puzzler?
17:42 - paper vs. non-paper creations
19:09 - a memorable, high-production-value puzzle from a past IP
21:30 - interested? e-mail ip2011@ironpuzzler.com
26:15 - The End

Music: instrumentals from "Code Monkey" and "First of May" by Jonathan Coulton

[ Subscribe to SnoutCast / iTunes link ]

CKL DeeAnn Greg

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Our Geeky Xmas Tree

Our old digital still camera has been slowly dying for several months, but our friends Kathy and Brian were kind enough to send us a newer camera they found in a box of spare electronics. Thanks, guys!

To try it out, I snapped some photos of our geeky Christmas tree, a low-maintenance Sole-Chen family holiday tradition:

We got this small, artificial, pre-strung-with-lights tree at Walmart after moving to the Portland area in 2008. We used to have a different artificial tree, but we divested ourselves of that when moving out of the bay area because we figured it would be cheaper to buy a new one than to store the old one (which was true for many of our worldly possessions).

Our tree is non-denominational, but I continue to be amused by the two old Jewish snowmen on top (constructed on a whim at one of Loren's holiday parties years ago):

We've also been collecting a new ornament each year since 2002 to commemorate our togetherness:


I'm pretty sure this came from another of Loren's crafty decoration parties.

No idea where we got this one, but it does celebrate my Irish heritage.

We spent the night on the Delta King, ate in their restaurant, and saw their performance of Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol, all very enjoyable--and scouted the location for Hogwarts Game.

We couldn't find a satisfactory ornament until we located this free gift which had come with a Monopoly money clip we'd ordered for our wedding. Win!

Hallmark's Wrath of Khan ornament, because I am a huge nerd.

A digital photo frame running a slide show of selected pictures from our 2008 road trip.

We rescued this misfit pinecone-hedgehog from Target and gave him a custom-made sash.

Placeholder for this year, acquired at Geek the Halls; we've since decided to replace it with a still photo frame. Stay tuned for updates!


Friday Flash Fiction: "Shibboleths"

I'm glad at least one person spotted that reference to The IT Crowd which I snuck into this week's story.

Read "Shibboleths" at 512 Words or Fewer


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

SnoutCast #44: "This Clue Is Not The Game"

To make up for our missing last week, here's an extra-flavor, extra-fun, extra-long episode to celebrate the return of DeeAnn. You're welcome.

[ Download mp3 - 51 MB ]

01:03 - "catholic"
02:29 - DeeAnn advances an unpopular viewpoint
03:03 - how is The Game like a wedding? (we seem to talk about this a lot)
05:46 - the Double Down sandwich exception
08:21 - free advice for first-time GCs
10:18 - "...unless you're making a turkey cake"
13:45 - how Team Snout GC sets goals and evaluates success
16:19 - let GC be GC
19:08 - puzzle quality is not a deal-breaker, Q.E.D.
20:47 - the super-importance of clear communications
24:23 - ("Cake of Arsenic" is the name of my Korn cover band)
28:30 - Listener Mail:
28:47 - ...from Brett, re: "Supplies!"
34:44 - ...from Alexandra, re: "The Muppet Movie Game Update"
39:17 - ...from Matt, re: "Ghost Patrol BANG Debriefing"
41:36 - sidebar: what is the plural of "shout out"?
42:58 - (this happens more often than you might imagine)
49:59 - Upcoming Events: Puzzled Pint (12/14, Portland), Iron Puzzler (?), GC Summit (?)
51:19 - (I'm sure someone will run an Inception Game at some point)
53:06 - wait for it...
55:05 - The End

Music: instrumentals from "Code Monkey" and "Chiron Beta Prime" by Jonathan Coulton

[ Subscribe to SnoutCast / iTunes link ]

CKL DeeAnn Jasper

Monday, December 06, 2010

Postcard #56

A somewhat late but still very welcome missive from Yuan, a fellow DASH collaborator and PAX convention-goer!


Friday, December 03, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Exterior, Alley, Daytime"

Today's flash is not a complete story. It's not even a complete scene. It is another small piece of my current novel-in-progress, and a companion piece to "Gone But Not Forgotten," featuring the same main characters in further dialogue.

As for the title, my submission to my Sunday Skype critique group this week was a half-hour comedy pilot. I finished polishing the current revision this afternoon, so I had sluglines on the brain. Occupational hazard of writing broadly.

Read "Exterior, Alley, Daytime" at 512 Words or Fewer