Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Monopoly Rules

So for Christmas, Santa brought two Monopoly sets. A Junior Monopoly that is a bit easier for the kids to play, and "regular" Monopoly which we decided to fire up a few days ago. 4-year old Kyle was on my team, and 7-year old Dirk was with Wendy. While I had the upper hand for a while, the dice turned against me and it was downhill from there. I was getting pummelled, but instead of running out of cash, Dirk and Wendy were willing to take properties. They ended up owning the whole board, and even with some then amazing rolls (I kept landing on Free Parking), I was finally down to my last dollar.

I should have taken a picture of the board, but every property had hotels or 4 houses on it as I rolled the dice while holding on to my last dollar ... and landed on "Go to Jail." So I'm thinking what are the Monopoly Rules for this situation - I don't have the $50 to bail me outa jail. And even if I roll doubles, everywhere I land bankrupts me. But then I roll double-sixes ... which puts you on the Chance spot ... HEY, not bad! ;-)

I draw the card ... and it says "pay poor tax of $15" - boy, was that ever a unique way to lose!

A mouse in the house ...

So a couple of weeks ago or so, Dirk (my 7 year old) said "I just saw a mouse" in the kitchen. Dirk is actually a darn good wildlife spotter (takes after his mother) ... but I wasn't sure until later that night, my wife Wendy screeched - the last time I heard that was when we had a bat in the house - so yeah, there is a furry critter around. I thought maybe he would go away, but even I saw him two days later ... so my wife then picked up a couple of victor rat traps.

I said lets wait until he shows up again, so needless to say, we didn't see him for over a week. But I just went downstairs to finish up the dishes, and I see him scurrying across the kitchen. So I start the dishwasher, unwrap the two traps, put some peanut butter on them, and place 'em on the floor next to the cabinets.

Not even five minutes later, I hear a SNAP ... and lets just say that mouse won't be making any more appearances around the house. I asked Wendy if I should re-use the trap ... she said my decision, but said they are two for a dollar ... so I decided it was a one-time use. I left the other one out in case there are more than one - it has been 15 minutes and no SNAP yet.

Update: So several hours later that night, I heard another SNAP ... and mouse #2 is history. I told my wife that I guess we need to buy a few more mouse traps in case any others are around. Here's a picture of the black hat rat.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Rocky Mountain News versus Denver Post

In addition to the local Republic of Boulder Camera, there are two major daily newspapers here - the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post. I have subscribed to the Post for probably close to a decade, although I get the Rocky on Saturday since they have a Joint Operating Agreement. Since they both report the same basic news, probably not a lotta difference between 'em ... but I've noticed that the Rocky seems to do more in-depth narrative articles - one of my favorites was Final Salute. That's a pretty somber piece, so here's a more uplifting story about our men and women in uniform and how jet noise is the sound of freedom.

But one very significant difference recently highlighted is their willingness to correct errors. Rivaling "Deway defeats Truman", almost every US media outlet incorrectly reported that 12 of the 13 Virginia Coal Miners were alive - unfortunately, it was the opposite. The Rocky goofed as did the Post.

However, in the very next day's Rocky Mountain News, the publisher, John Temple, had a lengthy explanation/apology that ran on page A2 with more info on his blog. Since I get the Denver Post print edition, I looked ... and zippo beyond a generic article about the national media's boo-boo (but not mentioning the Post's snafu) by their TV critic buried halfway in. I saw nothing until almost a week later when in a postscript to "The curse of the news cycle" editorial, the Post added "Early editions of Wednesday's Post carried the headline mentioned in the column. Later editions reported 12 miners had been found alive, while final editions reported only one survivor." Not quite as timely and prominent as the Rocky correction, 'eh?

John Temple is right - there is a difference between the papers. I switched my subscription from the Denver Post to the Rocky Mountain News.