After a rather frustrating day of working in a room, rather than exploring the city I've traveled to, I went out in the evening to see my wife's brother+ and father+.
I haven't been around Halloween for around 17 years. I remember going trick-or-treating until I was around 7. It was then that the teachers in my school told me that Halloween is a pagan holiday in origin and therefore Jewish kids shouldn't celebrate it.
Not that there's any real pagan ritual left in it, any more than there is in St Valentine's day. Anyhow, we could always get our dressing up and candy kicks from Purim, although on Purim we exchange candy, rather than simply beg for it (or threaten for it).
My mom was a bit of an alarmist, and there were fears circulating when I was young about razor blades or poison given out in the candy by sick people who got their jollies in hurting kids. While it pays to be a bit cautious, it turned out that these stories were based on a anecdotes, rather than an actual trend. No one was ever poisoned to death by Halloween candy from a stranger, and the majority of the very few cases of needles or razors in candy were mostly pranks by kids who were aware of the legend. Still, the fears and knowledge of the razor blades in your candy reverberates to this day.
Anyhoo, Rachel went off with my nephews while I toured her brother's palatial new house. Rachel's brother has been making a living buying expensive houses, fixing them up with expensive renovations, and then selling them for much more than the cost of house plus reno. When the new owners buy the house, the first thing they do is rip out all of the renovations and redo them.
It's a lucrative line of work, but they may finally, with their oldest kid now 10 years old, be tired of moving every year or two.
They do have incredibly good taste, and their house is beautiful and really big. Among the more unusual items they have is this chair:
Yes, it's made from hockey sticks.
When the kids came back from trick-or-treating, this was one of the items in their bags, among the chips and candy:
SimplyFun announced a voluntary recall of 1500 games of Ribbit fearing possible lead contamination.
Little Frumhouse on the Prairie points us to this amusing little video on Jewing up your board games.
Gialmere points out on BGG that Wikipedia is actually an excellent source for learning about board gaming, while BGG is more an intermediate and expert site.
Redbook Magazine is giving away 45 copies of Cranium in a sweepstakes.
The Spokane Valley board game company Chum Chum violated state law by raising at least $354,000 from investors without offering necessary information about the company's finances, sales projections or risks.
Games Magazine's games of the year include Pillars of the Earth, Easter Island, Khronos, If Wishes Were Fishes, Bull in a China Shop, Shear Panic, GiftTrap, Unspeakable Words, and Ran.
Wired Magazine also doesn't think much of Eye of Judgment. I think most people won't once the novelty of the camera tricks wears off. Although I haven't played it, so take my advice with a bucket of salt.
Darf creates board games that you can play with your dog.