Oak Games
  

Home     About     Games     Library     Treehouse     Contact

 
 
 

games     trivia     culture     food and drink     things you know     other

 
 
 
 

Games


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

We will do an example game of Runners.


 
 
 
 


 

That's a paper board.


 
 
 
 


 

Could a blank paper, no lines be used? Little blue triangles on the edges as indicators. We don't know because I was too lazy.


 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 


 

I really don't know what's going on with sizing.


 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

I like the way he shows the games.
 
 
 
 

Perspectives

The Board Game Detective / Opinionated Gamers
 
 
 
 

Antidote

PEAKD / Casual Game Revolution


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Seaside

publisher / Board Game Geek
 

Quebec designer Brian Burgoyne. Wood discs in a bag. Sandpipers get isopods?


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Trivia


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

During the 2016 election for U.S. president, the state with the highest number of Republican voters was Texas.
 
 

Q: Which state was second?


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Language, Culture and Geography


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Here is how to say Giuliani in Italian. It's what you think it is.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It's time to take a trip to Eritrea. The Italy of Africa?
 
 
 
 

ASMARA - Eritrea: The African City Of Women
 

Do you know anything about African cities?


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Food and Drink


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What would it be like if Trips and Treats went to Eritrea?


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 

Gaat, or geat. Everyone has their spoon stuck in there, then it becomes a mess.
 

This video shows different ways of doing it. No English, but it will give you pronunciation.
 
 
 
 

Eritrean Cuisine

includes beverages


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Things You Know


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Russians are a little confused about Nazism.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Other


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

So you're making a film about the Trump years, roughly the four years he was president in the United States. But since it's such a big topic you will have to focus on one person, although that rule will be bent/broken. Which person will you focus on?
 
 
 
 

I don't think anyone wants a film about Ted Cruz. However, there was drama there.
 
 

Ted Cruz in 2016


 
 

What about Anthony Scaramucci? No, he only lasted one Scaramucci. He was a character, a Long Island/New York character. A poorly-timed dip into alcohol didn't help. You know somebody is going to make a book about drugs in the Trump administration some day. "The Mooch" seems to go to where the attention and action is. I saw him in a video about rich people predating the Trump government. He was one of two members of the Trump administration to wind up on the Big Brother show.

He does show the vicious infighting that was encouraged in the Trump administration. That's what he discussed during the phone call to a reporter that got him fired. He was Director of Communications for the White House. There is a famous photograph of him and Reince Priebus glaring at each other in the White House.
 
 

Robert Mueller? No. But it's not like things were uneventful for him. As a Marine officer he saw combat in Vietnam. He became the head of the FBI a week before the jaw-dropping 9/11 terrorist attacks. He bumped into the controversial issues of the day.

He was made the special counsel leading an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. This was a combination of links with U.S. polical figures, your Flynns, Mannaforts and Trumps, plus social media shenanigans and propaganda, and computer hacking. Alarmed national security people and the Trump administration were on a collision course with each other. You might have forgotten about the issue of obstruction of justice. The Mueller investigation was a big deal at the time. Apparently the right guy at the right time. "Mueller knows all".

The end result of the Mueller investigation, at least in the eyes of the public, was a damp squib. There were various constraints, the summary of the investigation was distorted by Bill Barr, and things were not helped by the eventual presentation of Mr. Mueller himself. However, his investigations led to findings and charges source. Others can take the ball and run with it. Somebody had great intelligence on that Internet Research Agency troll farm, down to who was sitting where. That was founded and financed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was therefore indicted by the FBI.
 
 

Peter Strzok? He was an FBI man who started the Russia probe. Mr. Trump didn't like being investigated by authorities. The MAGA mob turned against Mr. Strzok, using a personal scandal and some private texts where he complained about political matters against him.

Do you know the show The Americans? That was about sleeper agents from Russia living in America, pretending to be a normal family. That show was based on an actual situation, where a couple from Russia moved to Canada to establish themselves, then moved to the United States. These two were eventually caught, and the lead agent was Peter Strzok.
 
 

Rod Rosenstein et al.? Two tectonic forces were grinding against each other, and he was in the middle. Mr. Rosenstein, a Republican, was made Deputy Attorney General by Donald Trump in 2017. Mr. Trump used a memo made by Mr. Rosenstein to fire James Comey. Jeff Sessions, an early supporter of Donald Trump, was made Attorney General by Donald Trump, a job which he took seriously. He was a little slippery regarding his contact with a Russian, so he recused himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Jeff Sessions was under a lot of pressure from Mr. Trump, who publicly ranted and raved about his disappointment with the failure of the Attorney General to squelch the Russia investigation.

Because Jeff Sessions had relinquished control over the investigation, Rod Rosenstein was now responsible for shepherding the Mueller investigation in spite of all the pressure. I don't know if Mr. Rosenstein was a hero, a more rodenty bureaucratic survivor, or a guy just doing his job.
 
 

Chris Christie / the Kushners? Now we're cooking with gas. Mr. Christie was originally a prosecutor. Jared Kushner's father got himself in trouble for doing sleazy things, where the most colourful was witness tampering. You can read a bit about it here. It was a New Jersey affair. Prosecutor Christie sent Kushner senior to jail in 2004. In 2010 Mr. Christie became the Governor of New Jersey. In the end many people in New Jersey did not like him. There was a scandal with a bridge, and also showing up at a closed beach. Both involved an abuse of power. I find him likeable, but objectively he is what he is.

Mr. Christie ran for president in 2015/2016, gave Marco Rubio a hard time, then dropped out. Surprisingly, he endorsed Donald Trump as the Republican candidate. The superficial meme crowd got excited about a photo of Christie behind Trump, apparently pondering what he had done. Maybe they were on to something. Mr. Christie was put in charge of the transition team, and he would tell you he was trying to get the right people in the administration. Then he lost that job. The administration was a battle royale of people and factions. Jared Kushner was behind Mr. Christie losing his job.

Democrats and Republicans couldn't agree on anything. But they did agree that they hated Jared Kushner. Jared Kushner purchased 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan for 1.8 billion, then it ran into financial trouble. During the Trump administration he sought investment from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and even Chinese investors. Meanwhile he was the son in law of U.S. President Donald Trump, and formally joined the administration in 2017. He was not given a security clearance because of his foreign entanglements, but this was overruled by President Trump. Mideast geopolitics were buffeted based on Jared Kushner's money needs.

Mr. Christie caught covid during a White House event.

During the first debate between Trump and Biden, Mr. Trump harangued and harassed Joe Biden nonstop (in striking contrast with the next debate). Mr. Christie had coached Trump for the debate, encouraging him to trigger Biden's stuttering.
 
 

What about the recent noisemakers and troublemakers in Congress? The Boebert, MTG, and Gaetz fringe? I don't think they deserve the attention they crave, and they're also more recent. Regarding George Santos, with his endless lying and different identities, we could have a conversation about making a film about that.
 
 

Did you forget that Steve Scalise was shot and badly injured during a politically-motivated mass shooting? Well, it would have been dramatic to him anyway. They've got a problem with mass shootings down there.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Certain states have their own stories. This will emphasize the scummy and the scandalous, not the pedestrian construction that happens everywhere. Some of these are the nailbiter voting states.
 

A lot happened during the Trump years. One day the people of Hawaii were told to seek shelter because they were about to be hit by a ballistic missile. How would you react to that? Jim Carrey in Hawaii talked to his loved ones, and got a screen shot. That became the cover of his autobiography.

Unpredictable North Korea had nuclear weapons, and tossed the odd missile around. Mr. Trump made dangerous comments about buttons and "rocket man". Could Mr. Trump start a war by Twitter? Also tensions with an expanding China.
 
 

Michigan? Something to look into. Things happened in Michigan. Dissatisfied folks with guns. Don't mess with Michigan women.
Wisconsin? Nah. There were people and events, but they are too disconnected. Paul Ryan had an arc, and wound up in the dustbin of history.
South Carolina. No. There are some characters, usually doing their thing elsewhere. Nikki Haley was the Governor, before becoming Ambassador to the U.N. in the Trump administration. Lindsey Graham played golf with Mr. Trump. Representative Clyburn nudged things so that Joe Biden became the Democratic presidential candidate for that very important election. Some civil war stuff there.
California had fires, among other challenges.
 
 

Florida. Mar-a-Lago. Some misplaced documents. Covid policy. The inevitable mass shooting. Colourful demographics. Ron Desantis (you can watch his ad if you are bored). A couple of years back there was talk about Trump and DeSantis vying to be the king of Florida. That tickled me. Shady characters including Matt Gaetz, the earlier Jeffrey Epstein, and Roger Stone has a place there.
 
 

Georgia. Yup. There was Mr. "It has to stop". Attorney Pak did something, then was out of a job. CNN is based there. Football player Herschel Walker ran for Senate in 2022. They're fond of food down there.
 
 

New York. Queens man Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Michael Cohen, the Cuomos, and Anthony Scaramucci are clearly New York characters. Notice how people share the same building, and they are generally close to each other in Manhattan. Early in the administration President Trump was based in the White House, and also Trump Tower. Old dog Schumer. New kid on the block AOC. The Apprentice Opening (there's Omarosa). New York was hit very hard early in the pandemic. Saturday Night Live, with Alec Baldwin doing a memorable impersonation of Donald Trump. Other late night shows (here if you really care). I was partial to Late Night with Seth Meyers (who has a history with Mr. Trump). NBC/MSNBC, including Bronx boy Chris Hayes, is based there, in its big building. So is Fox, in its big building. There were strict covid policies in that building. Property deals, Kushner.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hillary Clinton had a roller coaster ride. She graduated from Yale Law School. She is not a stranger to the White House, as her husband Bill Clinton was President of the United States during the 1990s. There was a sexual scandal involving Bill Clinton that became widely known by the public. Note that Mrs. Clinton was a victim. She became a New York senator. Then she was the Secretary of State in the Obama administration. A lot happened, and she worked hard. Did Hillary Clinton have faults? I don't know; I'm the wrong person to ask. Not the most inspiring speaker.

She ran for president. During the 2016 Democratic National Convention the Bernie Sanders supporters became unruly, not helped by e-mails indicating the Democratic National Committee was biased against Bernie Sanders (who is not a Democrat, which always hurts my head). She came out on top, and with Donald Trump as the Republican candidate she was on a path to becoming president. Stop and think about that for a moment.
 
 


 

It was a rough election period. She referred to supporters of Donald Trump as a basket of deplorables. "She"! (Michael Flynn) sounded unmistakeably misogynistic. Lock her up. all upset about a server for some reason, with the FBI looking into it.
 
 

Miscellaneous officials, mostly Republican, who followed the rules and did their job during the 2020 election period. There was retired conservative judge Mike Luttig, who provided nation-saving learned advice to Mike Pence at the right time. Dan Quayle, another Vice President from Indiana, had some things to say to Mike Pence. Top Department of Justice officials threatened to resign if Jeffrey Clark was made Attorney General. Mr. Clark ended up being arrested sans pants. The January 6 storming of the Capitol by a malodorous mob was deceptive. There were actually multiple different plots to enable Mr. Trump to stay in power, and the storming was a last ditch effort. I used to say that if I had a choice between sending Mr. Trump to jail or Bill Barr, I would send Bill Barr to jail. But he did make no bones about the fact that Joe Biden won the 2020 election.
 
 

Rudy Giuliani. I'm not going to go over his recent embarrassments, scandals and misdeeds. I'm not comfortable with making fun of someone's makeup mishap. I'm not going over his time as mayor of New York city, 9/11.

But two things:
1. As attorney in the Southern District of New York, Mr. Giuliani sent heads of the five mafia families in New York to jail. That's cool, a word I rarely use. No doubt he did this with the help of many other people, institutions and legal tools. Mob Museum
2. He's a bad man. He's mendacious (i.e. he lies), he became willingly ensnared in Russian schemes to corrupt American democracy, and he has done some low things with women.
 
 

The Conways. This pair are a key inspiration for this list. Mrs. Conway, who persistently did something in the Trump administration, is famous for the iconic "alternative facts". Meanwhile her husband George Conway was a conservative after initially pride
 
 

Russia, Ukraine, United States politicians. I wouldn't know what to do. But they keep on getting tangled up with each other.
 
 

Spooks. Intelligence, police, national security. See above. Just picture the daily briefing early in the administration, where somebody has to tell Mr. Trump to his face that Russians are using people in the Trump administration, not least Mr. Trump himself. Do you remember when Mr. Trump brought Russian bigwigs into the White House and invited the media Russian media? During that meeting President Trump did give away a sensitive Israeli secret about a spy in ISIS. This was one of a number of hair-raising incidents. There was also an attempted coup in the United States.
 
 

So how about Mr. Trump himself? Eating hamburgers, watching television, tweeting, and engaging in monologues with people? No thanks, not for me. The Trump family, peculiar relationships? No thanks, not for me. I do wonder how much the kids were shaped by their environment.
 
 

The virus itself. Points for creativity. Alien, destructive, unfeeling, mechanical. Does not care about partisan perspectives. Biblical. Takes advantage of weaknesses. There was an interesting period when the virus manoeuvred into the White House. Mr. Trump's bout with covid was worse than you think. Chris Christie was taken down so hard I wonder if it made him rethink life. A million people died in the United States. Any thoughts on how it would be presented?
 
 

There's more. Good ones too.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

top