Date Night – Playing Detective


A few weeks ago, I noticed that Portal Games was offering a free print n play / standalone short case for their Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game (you can find that link here). Having never played the game, I thought to myself:

“This looks like a perfect date night for Tab and I.”

You see, Tab and I love a solid police procedural. There is nothing quite like the two of us sifting through clues, testimony, and evidence in order solve a crime.

So, I printed out the:

  • Board
  • Tokens
  • Cards
  • And the “Suburbia” case introduction / information

After dropping Wyatt off with the grandparents, Tab and I picked up Thai food and headed home. Reading through Detective’s instructions, we decided that we did not want to play with the provided board. The game’s time element, where each player action equals a certain amount of in-game time, sounded a bit too constraining for us. Instead of following the game’s rules, we started reading through the individual cards; Each card offering branching story paths with different decisions to make.

Detective game components

We had a great evening reading through the cards together. As we played, I entered some of our case findings into the game’s online database (Antares Network). When we thought we had finally reached a solution, the Network then asked us a series of questions in order to solve the case.

We won!

Thai food + detective-ing made for a pretty amazing date night.

Is there a recent date night/date night idea you would like to share? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Pushing Through the Fog of School


Sending your child to school isn’t easy. You’re sending them off into the unknown. Sure, you know that there is safety and structure, but you have no clue what their teacher might be like. No clue what is going on in the classroom or the playground. Unless you ask.

To cut through the fog of school, you need to frame questions in a specific way. Questions that move beyond simple one word answers.

Instead of asking: How was school today?

Ask: Who did you play with today on the playground?

And as a follow up: What did you play?

Parenting is all about playing the role of the detective. Ask questions and then listen. Be present. Avoid distracting thoughts. Your child knows when they have your full attention.


Questions to further push through:

  • What made you laugh today?
  • Who did you sit by at lunch?
  • What was the most fun part of your day?
  • Did anything surprise you today?
  • What did you learn in music (P.E., computer lab, etc.) today?

As you listen to your child, you’ll discover what frustrates and excites them. Don’t be afraid to turn one of their answers into a teachable moment. It is your job, as a parent, to help your child make sense of the world. To cut through the fog.

What questions do you ask your kids?

Story Corner – Greensburg


Welcome to the first edition of Story Corner. Each and every Tuesday you will find a new work of fiction. Some weeks will feature continuations while others will feature all new works of art. If you have a small work of fiction you’d like posted, please feel free to contact JBG in the comments below.

Before we get started this week, I’d like to introduce our first piece, Greensburg. Written in a time long ago (possibly high school), this detective story begins with a hint of ugliness to it. Read on dear readers and feel free to leave some feedback.

.: Greensburg :.

The gasoline pumps have flowed like water, ever since Joey Boca and his boys rolled into town. Greensburg was a dot on the map, an oasis in the great Mohave Desert; a mere rest stop for weary tourists on their way to the Grand Canyon and other glorified holes in the ground. Off historic Highway 56, this blink-of-an-eye town rested. Flashfloods, lightning storms, and other natural disasters Greensburg had weathered. The day Joey Boca had arrived though,  he had brought a disaster that had taken over many major cities, the mob. Quickly the local police had been paid off and the church minister soon after. The town was infested and rotting with blood money. The stench somehow managed to drift all the way to the California coast, right into my office in San Francisco. I was sitting there at my desk when a dame with red hair entered in unannounced.

“Your secretary said you weren’t busy, mind if I sit down?”

For a dame of such bad looks she sure had moxy asking to sit down in front of me. Being a ladies man though, I motioned with my hand for her to sit.

“How may I help you Miss?”

“Honeysuckle, Mrs. Honeysuckle.”

The more I looked at her the more I could imagine how many times she had been hit with the ugly stick.

“So Mrs. Honeysuckle, how may I help you?”

She sat there trying to look pretty, batting those lash-less eyes at me. I felt sorry for her…but then I also felt sorry for dogs on leashes.

“I need help sir, its about my husband Foster Martino.”

Martino? I thought her last name was Honeysuckle! Things were starting to smell rotten, and I didn’t think it was her breath either.

“What’s wrong with your husband?”

“Nothings wrong, I’m just concerned with the people he hangs out with.”

That mole on her right cheek was really starting to get to me. A plastic surgeon would have a field day with this one.

Trying to focus, I replied, “What type of people?”

She leaned in real close-like and whispered through her crooked teeth, “I think he is apart of the mob.”

The mob huh, this wasn’t making sense at all. Guys in the mob usually pick better-looking dames than this. My interest intrigued, I decided to help her out.

“I think I’ll help you out. What is it you want me to do?”

“Go and snoop around Greensburg and find out what Foster has his hands in. I won’t stay married to a man of crime!”

With that passionate exclamation, she went running out of my office, faking a cry no doubt. At least she had some class not wanting to be married to a mobster. That still did not excuse her bad looks though. With my jalopy humming along, I started my journey towards this haven of crime, Greensburg.

More to come next week!