Welcome to Bob & Eileen's web site. Bob generally blogs here while Eileen blogs over at her site. You can see our photos from here or click the little camera in the upper right corner.


May 2024

July 16, 2013

Kerbal Space Program

Filed under: Games,Space Exploration — Bob @ 7:35 pm

So back in May someone I know mentioned a game about launching rockets and getting into orbit. I asked for more details, he told me about the Kerbal Space Program. Its a simulation (more than a classic game) where you design and launch rockets into orbit, on to the planet’s moon, and beyond into the solar system. I’ve been really busy getting my Kerbals into space, with orbital rendezvous, space stations, and getting rovers onto the Mun.

Best $23 spent in a long time!


Space Station

Mun Landing

January 10, 2013


Filed under: Games — Bob @ 10:03 pm

cover_smQuite a few years ago I received the card game Munchkin as a gift from mom. I recall reading through it, finding it quite silly, then putting it away and never actually playing it. I regularly play lots of other games with friends, but never this one. Everyone once in a while I remember Munchkin, sitting on a shelf, but I’d never actually played it until today.

Tonight I played a round with friends after work and it is great. Wow! I was really missing out! The silliness does add to the fun, but I must say the mechanics of the game really work. Its not a long or complex game like Twilight Imperium or even Battlestar Galactica. You can play it in 45 minutes with three people, if everyone keeps the pace moving.

Can’t wait for another round. Highly recommended!

August 1, 2009


Filed under: Electronics,Games,Robots,Work — Bob @ 10:57 am

From the exceptionally low frequency of updates to this site this year you’d think that I have nothing interesting to post about. Not true. Things have been exceptionally busy at work, and I’ve also managed to find some interesting things in my pursuit of building robots.

I took a trip for work to the Sophos HQ in Abingdon, United Kingdom a couple of weeks ago. Its just outside of Oxford, and its a great place. It was really nice to meet people I’ve been talking to (over the phone) for quite a few months now, and the week I spent there was incredibly productive. This was the culmination of a lot of work since spring, and it seems like its only getting more busy now through the summer.

For my robotics hobby I picked up a Hammer board from Tin Can Tools. This is a development board built around a Samsung processor with an ARM 920T core. I have this crazy idea of making a Line Maze robot that runs Linux for the Seattle Robotics Society Robothon event this October. Seriously!

The other major “toy” is my new iPhone 3GS. I’d been waiting for the new model to come out, and I even took time off from work to go stand in line on the morning it was released. I really like it, definitely another solid Apple product. I’ve slowly been re-incorporating Apple products into my household: a 15″ MacBook Pro, a Time Capsule, and now an iPhone. It is just so much better than my previous phone (Motorola Razr) and its also much better than any other device I looked at including the Blackberry product line and the phones running Google Android. I’ve got the iPhone SDK installed and have started writing my first applications. Learning Objective-C is nifty although it makes my brain hurt a little after so many years of writing C++ and Perl/Python/etc.

The day I bought my iPhone I left it with Eileen and I went out to play golf with a friend. By the time I got back she had fallen in love with it too, and demanded we go out and buy her one. So now we are a two-iPhone household.

Golf. Yes, golf. I’ve been playing pitch-n-putt (par 3) golf with people from work this summer and having a great time. I’m not that good but still its a great way to be outside and includes a small amount of physical activity. I don’t think I’ll graduate to playing a full-size course but these short courses are a lot of fun. We’ve lived around the corner from a course for a number of years but never been there. Now I will often get home from work, pick up the clubs and walk five minutes down the street to play nine holes. Lots of fun!

March 1, 2009

Battlestar Galactica, the game

Filed under: Games,Work — Bob @ 2:03 pm

pic354500_tIts been a long time since I updated this site, so let’s start with what I did last night. A few friends I used to work with at Kodak were getting together to play Battlestar Galactica, The Board Game. The fellow organizing it was also the one who introduced me to a number of excellent board games such as Ticket to Ride and Modern Art. There were six of us in total, the game is much better with a large group.

The BSG game uses the storyline through Season 2 as its backdrop. The basic conflict pits the humans against the Cylons, but initially the identity of the Cylons is secret. Each player is one of the cast members although the “who is a Cylon and who is not” is still very much in play. For example, Boomer is already a known Cylon by this time in the storyline but in the game there is no guarantee. In a six person game at least one person is a secret Cylon from the beginning. Their job is to sabotage the work of the humans for as long as they can, and they can choose to reveal themselves as Cylon to gain new and different ways to play the game. Halfway through the game one of the humans is privately informed they are really a Cylon too, and their goals then switch to insure the destruction of the humans. This tension creates a lot of paranoid decision making, and if the humans are truly unlucky the Cylon can be a very powerful figure such as the President or the Admiral of the Fleet (or both, as happened in one of our games).

If you are a fan of the series and really enjoy moderately complex board games I’d recommend this one. It takes a bit of time to find the optimal move for each player on each turn, but the basic rules are pretty easy to learn and it moves along at a reasonable speed. The first game can be pretty long (ours was about four hours long) due to having to learn the rules. The second game went much quicker, once everyone was up to speed.

One word of caution: don’t play this game with people who are easily upset by duplicitous behavior. The whole point of the hidden Cylon agenda is to wreak the most havoc on the humans at the worst possible time. Get used to it, this is how the game works.

April 29, 2007

Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii !

Filed under: Games,Humor — Bob @ 8:37 am

wii.jpgI’m not someone who plays video games very often, I own two or three games and have lost interest in all of them. I’ve never owned a GameCube, XBox or Playstation. I never really caught the game fever.

Then comes the Nintendo Wii. I’ve seen the advertising. I’ve heard about it from other people. But never played one until a work event a few weeks ago. It took exactly one game of the Wii Play cow racing to hook me like an addict.

I came home and revealed my new weakness to Eileen. Even my verbal description was enough to get her interested in the idea too.

Of course wanting a Wii isn’t quite the same thing as owning a Wii. They are still in short supply and finding a store with some in stock is rather complicated. Speaking with others in the know, it requires investigation not unlike something out of a Mickey Spillane story.

You must call around to every electronics store in town hoping they’ll know something. You must stop into stores early in the morning to corner the underpaid, overworked staff and convince them to reveal the shipping schedule. You might get lucky enough to overhear about it from someone who’s cousin knows a guy, etc.

Last week we scored. Eileen had phoned a store near us and got the news, delivered in a faint whisper so nobody could eavesdrop: they had them in stock right now. I raced over and of course there are none on the shelf. I managed to corner a staff member who was appropriately cagey about the exact status, but was willing to look around in the back. Another fellow was also buying one and we both felt very cool.

A few minutes later the fellow emerged from the stock room with a plain brown box. He looked around, spotted us and casually strolled over like he was not carrying anything important. We got to look inside the box to see our Wii but couldn’t touch it. We got the long lecture about accessories and extra games (I bought some) and the extended service plan (bought it too).

Then the plain brown box was paraded through the store to the check-out desk, with the small group of people trailing behind like it contained a holy relic.

We’ve had the Wii for several days now and find it screaming fun. My favorite Wii Sports game is the bowling, favorite Wii Play game is the cow racing. I’ve started the Zelda game too, its pretty well done although not as well integrated with the Wii-style controls as I’d hoped.

Is there a Wii in your future?

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