November 2023 Wrap-Up

The year is almost over, which means I've always got a lot of going on due to the holidays. I thought this month's post might not be as long, but I think it's actually longer than the first one. I'm going to try to keep them from getting out of control, but I added a new segment that will likely stick around and have more ideas for others. Any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy!

Blah Blog Log

November was a fairly busy month on the blog. Here are the links to each post, if you haven't already read them:
  • Solotober 2023 - I covered my participation in the solo gaming challenge known as Solotober.
  • October Wrap-Up - The inaugural monthly wrap-up post that is formatted similarly to this one.
  • The House On The Hill - Reading, PA - A great getaway spot that Christine and I stayed in for a couple nights.

Bored Board Games

November was a tough month to meet in person because of the holiday, but I still found a way to get a lot of additional plays in thanks to Board Game Arena. The vast majority of my all time plays have been done on BGA and mobile apps. Following last month, I'm going to highlight a few games that really stuck out. In January, I'm thinking of doing a long form post about a single game each month as well.

Piepmatz - I played a prototype of this at Unpub 6, back in 2016 when I was really into designing my own games. It's a mathy card "game with numbers" from the minds of Ben Pinchback & Matt Riddle, the duo behind a couple dozen published games at this point. I also currently own Three Sisters and Cow, Tiger, Santa Claus by them. I used to have Fleet, but my group at the time didn't love it so it got traded away. I'm going to at least play this on BGA soon and see if it's something I might want to reacquire. Anyway, Piepmatz always stuck with me because I'm a sucker for drafting, hand management, and set collection games. When one has all three of those, it's pretty much going to be a lock for me. Add in some pretty art and a clever way players have to play their cards, and you've got yourself a nice little card game. This game is also on BGA if it sounds interesting to you.

Rauha - I won a copy of this in a giveaway online. I had never even heard of it prior but was pleasantly surprised with the gameplay. It's available to play on BGA, so I went on there to learn how to play and ended up with over 10 plays last month. It's a really interesting pattern building and drafting game with multiple scoring rounds. Players draft cards and place them on their 3x3 player board and then use the cards' abilities to collect crystals (money), score points, and create spores. Adding spores to the cards allows you to activate that card's ability every scoring round. There are also Divine Entities that you can acquire by placing three cards with the same biome symbol in the same row or column. They allow you to do all sorts of things, but mostly they're a great way to score points. It's a great game that does some unique things. Definitely give it a look on BGA to see if it's something you might enjoy.

Enjoyable Eats

Franklyn's Breakfast Burgers & Shakes - While we were at the House On The Hill in Reading, PA, we stopped for breakfast at this little hole in the wall spot in downtown. It was kitschy diner-esque place that seemed like the place to go for breakfast according to Yelp and TripAdvisor. The reviews weren't wrong because we had great meals. I went with a basic sampler type breakfast that had bacon, eggs, sausage, home fries, and pancakes. Everything was good, but the pancakes had a great nutty flavor which I think might have come from wheat or buckwheat flour in the batter. 
Christine got a Philly cheesesteak omelette that came covered in a very tasty tomato sauce. Franklyn himself came over to our table after the food was delivered and chatted for a bit. Between that and all the post it notes on the walls from customers, it was an entertaining meal too. If you're ever in Reading, don't overlook the outside and give the place a try.

I'm Watching 👀

Wish - While we were in New York, my sister-in-law treated us and the kids to a showing of Wish. I knew absolutely nothing about this movie going into it. I didn't see a trailer or even know what the premise was really about until Christine told me when we driving up. The best way to describe it is that it's a typical Disney movie about all things Disney. There's Easter egg after Easter egg from the many movies Disney has put out over its 100 years. The story really only feels there to be a medium for the references being made throughout. That being said, it was cute and the music was good. It's not my favorite Disney movie, but far from my least.

Resolutions Update

If I'm checking in monthly, I feel like I might be able to do a better job of reaching my New Year's Resolutions. This year hasn't been great, which is partially my fault and partially a scheduling issue that I had no control over.
  • Goal #1: I Will Lose At Least 5% Body Fat (and keep it off) - Trying to at least get to 2.5% by year's end. The biggest hurdle will be trying not to eat my Christmas cookies.
  • Goal #2: I Will Eat at a Michelin Star Restaurant - We're looking for a place to go this month.
  • Goal #3: I Will Attend a Colorado Avalanche Game - As previously stated, not going to accomplish this one before the end of the year, but will see one in early 2024.

TikTok Time

This is a new segment that I see making a monthly appearance, assuming I continue feeding my Tiktok addiction at night. There are so many entertaining accounts on TikTok that I thought I would share a favorite here because we all need a laugh at the end of the day. This month's highlighted account is @GamingJadenWilliams.
Jaden Williams has a main account that he does skits on, which is also very funny, but his gaming account makes me cry laughing with every single video. They're clips from his live streaming playing a driving game and then crashing at some point while in character. What kills me is his dedication of throwing his body around like he was actually in the accident and the stuff that he says to his "passengers" throughout. I don't know why I find this so funny, but it gets me every time.

Whatcha Snackin?

Something I've been snacking on for a couple of years now, but more often recently, is Simms Aloha Teriyaki Pork Jerky from Aldi. I've been buying a bag each of the Aloha Teriyaki and Spicy Garlic to keep in my desk at work. I used to treat myself to beef jerky every once in a while and teriyaki is one of my favorite flavors. Jerky tends to be quite expensive, but in typical Aldi fashion they have their own brand that's fairly reasonable. The three flavors they carry are the two I mentioned in pork and Hickory using beef. That's what I started with originally, but took a chance on the two pork flavors after never having pork jerky before.
While I still love beef jerky, the pork jerky is just as good flavor and texture wise. There isn't a huge difference in nutrition, but the pork is a little lower on calories, fat, sodium, and cholesterol. It does have a few grams of protein less per serving, but I think it's a goo trade off overall. 

Wrap It Up

Please comment below with any thoughts or comments on anything I've covered. Thanks for reading!


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