Monday, February 4, 2013

Geek Day

This Sunday was the last day before I resumed my work schedule of irregular hours. As a result, Seth and I wanted to make it quite a fun day.
We decided to kick things off by playing the new Star Wars card game (by Fantasy Flight) that we had purchased on our adventure on Saturday. The card game is what's called a living card game, meaning that you can play the game with the base set that you get and never increase your cards. However, you can occasionally purchase either expansions or small booster decks. These add some additional options to game play. With the Star Wars card game, very few options are available for customizing your deck. This approach is somewhat different from card games like Magic, where you customize every card in your deck and are constantly purchasing cards so you can have the best deck possible.
Seth had watched some how to play videos online on Saturday and read the rule book as well, so he helped guide me through our first trial game.
The game started by both of us assembling our decks. The game has pre-set decks, as I mentioned previously, so you don't have to worry about selecting every card you need. I like this approach, as it streamlines the process and allow you to focus on strategy during the game, instead of strategy based on deck selection prior to game play.
I'm not going to go into a complete write-up of how the game is played. After one play-through I'm hardly qualified. I did find the game to be fun. In brief, the goal of the game differs depending on if you're playing the light or dark side. For the light side, you want to destroy three enemy objectives. This means you want to attack strongly and quickly. For the dark side, you want to complete building of the Death Star. Since the Death Star gets closer to being built each turn, you want to draw out the length of the game.
One highlight for me was the interesting combat mechanics. Before each combat, you do something called an edge battle. This is supposed to represent your forces doing reconnaissance. Winning the edge battle gives you an edge in combat. This added a new layer to the game that differed from what I've seen in card games in the past.
The game wasn't too hard to learn, but, as with most card games, there are lots of steps to each player's turn and also lots of details on each card to keep track of. We, of course, failed a little at this during our first play-through, but I'm confident that we'll be able to just fine in the future.
After we concluded our game, we started work on dinner. Because I have to bring dinners to work when I work my second shift hours, Seth wanted to make me something with lots of leftovers. Solution: matzo ball soup -- yum!
We also made a spinach bread to go with the soup, as this is a family tradition.
Dinner was amazing, but I wanted to make sure not to eat too much, as we had plans to have tasty treats during our "Super Bowl party." I put this in quotes because Seth and I couldn't have cared less about the Super Bowl this year. I never care about football. Seth does care about football but really only for the Patriots, so this game was of no interest to him. However, we had a mission to complete for the Star Trek Into Darkness app that made us both eager to watch.
The app told us that during the second quarter of the game, there would be a new Star Trek Into Darkness trailer. We had to scan the audio with the app to unlock the trailer on the phone and get experience towards increasing our rank to Ensign.
This was too good a chance to miss. We watched the game, enjoying the ads, and were easily able to scan the new Star Trek trailer when it came on television. (My new favorite dialogue. Kirk: Who the hell are you? Harrison: I am better. Kirk: At what? Harrison: Everything.)
After successfully completing our mission, we decided to make some snacks. Since I'm much better at making beverages than food, I had offered to make something exciting and new. I chose a recipe from the book Green Tea by Mary Lou Heiss. I made toasted coconut iced green tea. It was excellent -- the toasted taste of Genmaicha green tea paired really well with the coconut flavors. The tea was subtle underneath the coconut and pinapple tastes, but a very nice touch.
Seth also made his famous dip to go with our beverages. I don't usually eat chips and dip, but I make an exception for this tasty treat.
This was a very fun evening and a wonderful way to round out the end of my much enjoyed six weeks of normal work hours.
Today, before work, I got up early to do some exercise. My legs are still bothering me a slight bit (although probably now more because of how Lily slept on me two nights ago than because of anything I did). Because of this, I though I'd do a round of the Strength workout from Insanity: Asylum: Volume 1. This is a fullbody workout, but it definitely focuses more on the upper body than the lower.
I hadn't done this workout since I completed Asylum: Volume 2. This workout is no joke. As with all of Shaun T's workout, it involves a lot of push-ups. In the past, I've always had to do at least half of these on my knees due to fatigue. I was interested to see if today, having completed Asylum 2 (and the crazy Upper Body Elite workout session), I would do better.
And did I! Not only did I make it through the entire workout without dropping down to my knees once, I also kept up completely with the people on the video and didn't have to rest or miss a rep even once. My upper body strength has always been my weakest link in my fitness, so I'm very very excited to see this progress. This bodes extremely well for the Tough Mudder in May!
This weekend and today's workout have been an excellent start to the month of February. I'm planning to keep focused through my crazy work hours and make sure to spend as much time as I can with Seth.
I'm ready -- let's do this.

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