The Game of Life - 2009 Edition
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"1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an Annus Horribilis."

- Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom

When I think back upon 2009, I recall Queen Elizabeth's comment on her 1992. My year was not as bad, but it certainly had its ups and downs.

A look back at my 2009...
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1. Board Game: Monopoly: Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl XLI Champions Commemorative [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
brian
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January

The world economy was in shambles. I had survived the company layoffs in October but being in construction, my future was uncertain. So after much hand-wringing, I decided to do the fiscally responsible thing and not renew my season tickets for the Indianapolis Colts. Not the worst of things but not a good way to ring in the new year.

January also marked the last month of averaging a game played a day.

Games Played: Bohnanza, Catch Phrase, Chicago Express, Dominion, Kingsburg, Memoir '44 (AP, OL, PT & TP), Pandemic, The Princes of Florence, Red November, To Court the King, Yahtzee

Games Acquired: Bohnaparte, Jamaica: Extra Treasures
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2. Board Game: Chaos in the Old World [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:59]
brian
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February

This is where my world felt like it was going to implode. After a couple days of a tingle slowly creeping up from my feet to my stomach, I went to the doctor. A few tests later, it was determined I had Multiple Sclerosis and was ordered to stay in the hospital for a week.

This was scary because all I knew about MS was that it turned you into a bag of bones in a wheel chair. At least, that is what happened to the mother of a girl I dated in high school. But with treatment, I have continued a mostly normal life. The downside is having to get shots 3 times a week when my biggest fear in life is needles.

The other effects are being more tempermental at the end of a stressful day, getting overheated if I exert myself too long, and since the treatment suppresses my immune system, catching every sniffle and cough that comes my way. My mind also seems to be spotty (literally as well according to the MRIs) so I sometimes mix up the thought process as it travels from my brain to my mouth or hands - something becoming more noticeable on the Geek as my rule interpretations become less precise or flat out incorrect when I type it out.

Games Played: 10 Days in Africa, Bohnanza, Cartagena, Jambo, Quelf, Say Anything, Ticket to Ride: The Card Game

Games Acquired: Acquire, Battlestar Galactica, 10 Days in Africa, Jambo, Medici, Trivial Pursuit Digital Choice, WordSpot, Aquaretto: The Trains, Aquaretto: Three Coworker Tiles, ESPN Jeopardy!
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3. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:29]
brian
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March

Thankfully February was a short month. As bad as it was, March would prove to be one of the best months of 2009.

For my contributions to BGG, I ran Sky Knight X's GeekMadness Tourney and created this little thing called the Battlestar Galactica Play By Forum. Both have been a blast and seem to be enjoyed by the Geek.



In my personal life, we had our own little contribution. Perhaps it was getting released from the hospital on Valentine's Day. Perhaps it was the healing steroids they pumped into my body. But we learned on the Ides of March that we were 4 weeks pregnant and would be having our first child in November! That set into motion a whole series of decisions and events that would impact most of the rest of 2009.

Games Played: 10 Days in Africa, Battlestar Galactica, Goa, Jamaica, Jambo, Medici, Memoir '44 , Red November, Say Anything, Who's the Ass?

Games Acquired: Goa
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4. Board Game: A Dog's Life [Average Rating:5.52 Overall Rank:8803]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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April

The tide turned again as April was a downer. My dog Maximus turned 7 the first of the month but I discovered a lump on her backside after I noticed her licking the area more than normal. It tripled in size in a matter of hours. I took her to the vet who thought it was an infected "gland." After a couple surgeries, a week at the vets, a week back at home with blood and pus everywhere, and the return of what they removed, they determined it was some sort of cancer. With a final ice cream cone and many tears, we had to say our goodbyes and put her down.

Rest in Peace, Maximus T. Dog.


Games Played: Battlestar Galactica, Memoir '44 (EF & AP), Say Anything, Taj Mahal, To Court the King, Who's the Ass?, WordSpot

Games Acquired: Beowulf: The Movie Board Game, Dominion: Black Market Promo Card, Dominion: Envoy Promo Card, Amun-Re, Jericho, Munchkin Cthulhu 3: The Unspeakable Vault
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5. Board Game: Dream House TV Home Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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May

With Max gone, our focus once again turned to buying a bigger house. We settled on one a half hour farther south and the home town of my wife. We figured out that with an FHA loan (about all that was being approved in our area anyway), we could purchase the new house (which was basically move-in ready) and not have to worry about selling the old house first.



Games Played: Bang! The Bullet!, Battlestar Galactica, Memoir '44 (AP, TP & PT), Timbuktu, Wyatt Earp

Games Acquired: Timbuktu, In the Shadow of the Emperor, Catan Card Game, Wyatt Earp, Morgan's A'Comin'!, Ship of the Line
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6. Board Game: Monster Day [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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June

Not much to report with June. Frantically packed while Christie still had energy and got moved in to the new house. After more than a decade of collecting toys and other junk, it was a long day to move it all. It was my first new house since moving after Kindergarten. It was the same for my wife as well.

One side note: it was neat to finally be able to have enough room to line up the bins and have most of my games all in one area - the basement. Of course, I have since spread them all over the house again.



Games Played: Memoir '44 (busy month as you can see!)

Games Acquired: Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror Expansion
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7. Board Game: Monopoly Express [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:4644]
brian
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July

July is always my favorite month - it's my Birthday month! And what better way to enjoy the day than to play a game!



But the day would end in disaster. My parents came over and called me out on the porch as they were leaving. They warned me of the newspapers coming out the next day and my mom was in tears. My stubborn brother had been involved in a bar altercation that morning. A man was dead and my brother in jail. My only consolation is that he believes it was self defense but the trial has yet to occur. It is an event I still cannot fathom and haven't spoken about outside the family until today. But it will be a birthday memory forever now.

Games Played: 10 Days in Africa, Battlestar Galactica, In the Shadow of the Emperor, Jambo, Keesdrow, Memoir '44 (AP & PT), Small World, Snow Tails

Games Acquired: Carcassonne: Cult, Siege and Creativity, Jambo Expansion, Small World, Snow Tails, Snow Tails: The Leap of Death, Alhambra: Big Box
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8. Board Game Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
brian
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Cedar Lake
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August

Christie's birthday was in August and we all went to Medieval Times. Good times.

The highlight for me was to go to GenCon finally! In addition, I was able to volunteer for FFG in their event room. I was able to demonstrate Middle earth Quest, Battlestar Galactica, Runebound, Arkham Horror w/ Kingsport, Moto Grand Prix, and this great little game that I think is the best game of 2009: Chaos in the Old World. I had planned on spending my "FFG cash" on MEQ but once I played CitOW, I was in love! I still can't get enough of this game.



GenCon was fun and the staff at FFG is outstanding. I really enjoyed hanging out with them and hope to be able to work with them in the future.

We also had the baby shower and revealed to family and friends that our baby would be a boy and that we would name him Joshua, after one of my favorite Bible characters.

Games Played: Alhambra: Big Box, Chaos in the Old World, Chicago Express, Condottiere, Elefun, Memoir '44 (EF), Scattergories, The Settlers of Catan, The Settlers of Catan Card Game, Small World

Games Acquired: BattleLore: Heroes Expansion, Chaos in the Old World, Condottiere, Candy Land
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9. Board Game: The Anniversary Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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September

After the tumultuous start and the ups and downs of the first 8 months, things seemed to stay on the upswing. Not much to report in September, which in itself, is something to report!

The biggest news was that we celebrated our one year anniversary. But as we think back to laying on a beach in Jamaica in 2008, we never imagined our life playing out this way. But she's been the best partner in gaming and life!

Zoe
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Indiana
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Games Played: Apples to Apples, Catch Phrase, Chaos in the Old World, Party Pooper (as you can tell, we had a party at our house this month - break out the party games...)

Games Acquired: Dead Man's Treasure, Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm, Battlestar Galactica: Pegasus Expansion
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10. Board Game: Champions of Faith [Average Rating:6.24 Unranked]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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October

Technically this started at the very end of September and continued through November, but the majority of it happened in October.

As you recall, we bought a house without first selling the old one. With the urge to unpack and paint rooms, we had little motivation left over to travel to the old house to finish getting it ready to put on the market. Though it sounds like the American Dream, this was not how I wanted to be the proud owner of two homes.

As Christians and leaders of the college-age Sunday School classs, we placed our faith in God that he brought us to this point in our lives and would take care of this sale. Even though house prices were dropping, sales were flat, and my short street had 3 other houses up for sale, we decided to forego a realtor and sell on our own. Christie used her limited real estate training to put up our own fliers and get our own sign in the yard.

I am told that a house has somewhere on average of 25 showings before an offer is made and that this process can take up to 6 months in a vibrant market. Our first and only showing resulted in a sale. They offered our asking price (though the bank appraised it for lower and we had to agree on some repairs). It was a relatively smooth process that took about 6 to 7 weeks start to finish. Even better, we were able to continue our witness (especially to the financially strapped college students in our class) demonstrating that we had complete trust in His power to make this out of the ordinary happen.

Games Played: 10 Days in Africa, Android, Battlestar Galactica

Games Acquired: Pirate King, Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #4 – Imperial Rome, Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #5 – Epic Ancients II
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11. Board Game: Who's Having This Baby Anyway? [Average Rating:4.80 Unranked]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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November

The month we had all been waiting for. Little Joshua was due on the 17th but he didn't want to come out. Given the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, the doctor and Chrsitie decided to induce on the 19th. We thought we would be going in at 2:00 PM but got pushed back until the evening. We weren't even admitted until 8:00 PM and they didn't induce until almost 11:00 PM.

After 24 hours of labor, he still wasn't coming. In fact, he started going backwards and retreated back in. With a showing of Twilight: New Moon on the line, the doc decided a C-Section was best and Joshua was born at 11:30 PM on November 20th. All 10 pounds, 6 ounces of him. He wasn't coming out that small hole and knew it!



Games Played: 10 Days in Africa, Chaos in the Old World, Snow Tails

Games Acquired: Carcassonne: Der Tunnel
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12. Board Game: A Christmas Story Board Game [Average Rating:2.82 Unranked]
brian
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Cedar Lake
Indiana
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December

There is less than a week left in December so things may still change. The economy is still in the dumps but my job seems secure for the (hopefully) final weathering of the storm in 2010. Mama and baby are healthy and recovered.

Faith, family, and friends are firmly established and the roller coaster ride is over ... for now.

Merry Christmas to all!



Let the Games continue on in 2010!!!


Games Played: Battlestar Galactica (PE), Bombay, Chaos in the Old World, Gloria Mundi, Masons

Games Acquired: Conflict of Heroes Expansion Pack: Map Board #6 – The Marsh, Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42, Gloria Mundi, Key Harvest, Masons, Tower of Babel, Bombay, Leaders of Small World, Cave Troll, Chinatown, Drakon (third edition), The BoardGameGeek Game
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