Agricola by Z-Man Games

I have to say that there is nothing quite like spending a warm summer evening sipping iced tea, eating watermelon, and playing a strategic agriculture-based Eurogame with family and friends. Being a city girl through and through I was a bit slow on the uptake of the concepts of farming, building, and harvesting in Agricola, but once I got into the groove of the game it was fun and engaging.

Basically in Agricola you and your spouse have settled in a little wooden house on a piece of land, and your goal is to cultivate the land, raise animals, have kids, and make some home improvements. Each of these elements is worth victory points; moreover, you receive a penalties if you don’t have some of everything. The game works in phases, each one allowing you opportunities to take new actions (plant a field, acquire livestock, build a fence etc.) and each phase ends in a harvest when you will be expected to reap the fruits of your labor and have enough food to feed your family. The game ends at the end of the final harvest phase, and the player with the most victory points wins.

It was highly entertaining to watch the strategies my friends and family tried to use. For example, my younger brother decided that it would be beneficial for him to expand his house and have more kids so that they could help "work" the farm (the number of actions you can take on your turn directly corresponds to how many family members you have) but he was always in a wild panic come harvest time because he would not have enough food to feed his giant family. His stress increased as harvest came sooner and sooner with each phase of the game, but he was always able to barely scrape by. I hope that this is not a reflection of how he will provide for his real family in the future.

Overall, we all enjoyed the game. It was the first time playing for most of us, so from explanation of the rules to declaration of the winner it took a little over 3 hours to complete the game. Hopefully the next time we play we’ll be able to take faster turns and the game will move along more quickly. As the manufacturer recommends, this game would be best for ages 12+ due to it’s pace and the amount of reading involved.

Below is the picture of our actual game. Please excuse the random food and napkins 🙂


 

 

 

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Use Your Planner to Create More Time

At the end of the day do you ever wonder where the time went and wish you could have more time? Maybe you need to pay more attention to where your time is going. I heard an interesting suggestion that might help. Much as a dieter might have a food journal to keep track of the calories they eat each day, almost anyone could keep a time log for a few weeks to see where their time is going. A planner would be a handy tool to do this with.

Examining your time log may bring to light some areas for improvement. Are nonessential activities such as watching TV and surfing the internet sucking up too much of your time? Perhaps you could reduce or eliminate things that waste your time and focus your energy on things that are more essential.

Do you find that you are being interrupted repeatedly at a certain time of the day or by the same individuals? Perhaps you could schedule time when you avoid taking phone calls, sending texts, receiving and sending email, etc. Even choosing to do some work in a different location during these times when you often get interrupted may help.

Of course we all need a break and have some down time too. Not scheduling more activity than is possible during your day and keeping a time log may help you get the important things out of the way so that you can enjoy your time for rest & relaxation more fully.

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Introduction to the LAMY 2000

Testifying to the timelessness of its design, the LAMY 2000 has been in production since its introduction in 1966. Gerd A. Müller, a man who was one of the ad­vo­cates of the Bauhaus move­ment, is the designer of the LAMY 2000. The Bauhaus prin­ci­ple of func­tion­al design: ‘form follows func­tion’ is clearly seen in the stylish simplicity of this writing instrument.

The LAMY 2000 is made of a special fiberglass resin called Makrolon that is resistant to impact and weathering, and withstands high and low temperatures. The large capacity piston-filling system of the fountain pen is designed to be used with bottled ink. It has a 14k gold nib plated with platinum to match the color scheme of black with stainless steel accents . The nib is hooded, or mostly covered, by the section or grip area of the pen.

The LAMY 2000 is available as a fountain pen, ballpoint pen, multi-color ballpoint pen, rollerball pen and mechanical pencil. There have been a few variations to the original design, including the Edition 2000 fountain pen, made of brushed stainless steel with a single band of Makrolon; the LAMY 2000 taxus, a ball­point pen made of gold­en-yel­low yew wood; LAMY 2000 black­wood, a ball­point pen made of grenadil­la, or African black­wood; and in 2009 a ballpoint made of solid ti­ta­ni­um with a con­trast­ing shiny plat­inum trim.

LAMY USA warranties its writing instruments for the life of the product, so there are no worries if any repairs are required during normal use of their pen or pencils.

Check out a few reviews of the LAMY 2000:

Julie at “Whatever” wishes she would have bought a LAMY 2000 fountain pen sooner!
Doug at D*I*Y Planner notes this fountain pen “writes incredibly smooth on almost all the types of paper.”
The review by Pigpogm mentions something to keep in mind if you decide to purchase this fountain pen: “The Extra Fine is much closer to what most people would describe as a fine, and even what some would probably call medium. Whatever nib width you usually prefer, go one finer with a Lamy 2000.”
Dave’s Mechanical Pencils gives us some insights on what it’s like to use the pencil version of the LAMY 2000.

Have you used a LAMY 2000 fountain pen, pen or pencil? Feel free to share your thoughts with us about your LAMY 2000 writing experience!

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