Monthly Archives: August 2006

Game Day 08/31/2006


Yea, I finally got to play this game. It had been out on the table for a while now. It is a light filler game of set collecting. However, if you have more than one set at a time when you are collecting, you receive less money. You also put cards in your store front in order to tempt someone to buy it and give you a dollar. The person with the most money when the game ends will win.

It is a simple enough game and I was lucky enough to be able to collect sets without any contamination.


Another playing of Tempus and I am starting to suspect that there are a couple of things that unbalance this game. The first is the Religion card. This card allows you to convert one enemy token to one of yours. It is unbalanced because you spend one action to have babies and (usually) one action to move that token. Now, on some other person’s turn, they play the Religion card which does not cost them an action. This essentially gives them a free baby and movement where you lost two actions. You can then be attacked now that you are unexpectedly weakened. Not fun.

The second problem is the turtle strategy. If you have three stacks or less, you cannot be attacked (however, you can do the attacking). Someone who uses this wisely, will build up many cities and then turtle down to three stacks. This will make them invulernable. Fortunately, having 3 or less stacks usually makes you weaker in the game. It was discussed on the geek here.


Our team was having all the luck. Although I did learn thing. If your partner passes you the Mahjong, then they usually want you to play it singly and to wish for the (usually) low card that you pass the person on your left. Jon passed me the Mahjong and I used it to increase my straight (from 2-6 to 1-6). Unfortunately, Jon did not get a chance to take the lead even though he had a Tichu hand. Next time…

I was able to finally record a full game! But it was not without problems. In trying to recover from missing pictures, I felt like a CSI detective. For example,

CSI Problem #1

I did not take a picture of when John played a pair of sixes. Fortunately, my hand was visible in some of those pictures. And, since I was the last player out, I was able to figure out that John played the red six and the green six.

CSI Problem #2

Jon plays a straight incorrectly. Usually we (Adam) catch this, but not this time. I notice that I can only account for 13 of Jon’s 14 cards that he played.

CSI Problem #3

However, when Adam was the last player out, he showed his hand to us when I was taking the picture. And I was able to figure out that the missing card was the black six. That card should have been in the straight but Jon must have played it later.

08/31/2006 The scorecard for a game of Tichu

GT or T bet made or lost

This team scored more points than the other or one twoed

GT/T Team #1 GT/T GT/T Team #2 GT/T
AdamR & JohnG MarkH & Jon
  230   T+
  240     560 T+
  300     800  

Taco Deli / The Blue Cupcake

Sadly, our Tichu game did not make. Something about a new lunchtime meeting. Lunch times are sacred, I.B.M.! Leave ‘dem alone!!

Taco Deli

So I went to Taco Deli for lunch. It is another one of my favorite lunch places. And it is a bonus that it is within walking distance! I like the concept: Order individual tacos from a large selection. Why eat a lot of something when you can eat many different small portions? My only complaint/upgrade would be for them to purchase a tortilla making machine like the one in my super-H.E.B. You would get bonus flavor points for freshly made tortillas!

The Blue Cupcake

After lunch, I stopped at the Blue Cupcake for dessert. The employees are all T.C.A. students which gives it some charm for me. However, their dessert selection is slim and they are usually out of some things. I had a cupcake. It was good, if expensive.

Traffic analysis

Walking back, I took a picture of where someone had been sitting. I guess they were doing traffic analysis or logging or some such… Not a very busy intersection if you ask me.

Lunch Time Tichuers 08/29/2006

Ed was a real trooper by playing Tichu with us when he had a headace from his shingles outbreak. I really appreciate his willingness to both administrate the group (attempting to get each game going) and play when he rather wouldn’t. Thank you, Ed!

On to the post-game analysis… For my first hand, I had a Tichu hand. Which I worked down to three aces and a ten. Unfortunately, I wussed out and was worried about a straight bomb potential. So I played the 10. Adam then over tichued and went out first. Sigh. Next time, screw the bomb scare!

08/29/2006 The scorecard for a game of Tichu

GT or T bet made or lost

This team scored more points than the other or one twoed

GT/T Team #1 GT/T GT/T Team #2 GT/T
Ed & AdamR Jon & MarkH
T+   -65 T-
  205   T+
  270   T+ 430  
T- 270    
  310     990  
GT-   1000  

European Unsalted Butter


Our local grocery chain/monopoly fustrates me. If it was a person it would have multiple personality disorder. What am I talking about? Their inventory. Each store has slightly different products than the other. The biggest difference is a Central Market store compared to a entry-level H.E.B.

The current example is the lack of butter selection. I used to shop at the H.E.B. on 620 and Great Oaks Drive. It was more upscale than the one on IH-35 and 79. But now that the supersized version has opened a mile away from my house, I have changed stores. What I don’t understand is the super-sized version is supposed to have a better selection. However, in terms of butter, it plain sucks. It does not carry the above H.E.B. brand butter (which is shipped to the 620 store).

Why do I want that version? In one word, fat! It has one more gram of it on the label. And that gram makes a difference in taste. Although it is an example of a marketing lie. 12 grams out of 14 should give a butter fat percentage of 85.71% But the box clearly says it contains 82%. Which would make it 11.48 grams and that would mean that they would have to round down to 11. Since they only have whole numbers (creating a whole lot of confusion, I say).

Grrr… Damn you, H.E.B.! I really want to only shop at one store!

My House

Home sweet home

Experimenting with a pinhole camera “lens”. Being a hardware/computer/camera nerd, it would be neat if they made a more sophisticated version that tells the camera the actual aperature. Not like it matters, but still… The dust on this picture is scaring me!

Disc Golf 08/26/2006


The group went to Wilco course today. Which is somewhat wooded and shady. But when we were out in direct sunlight, it got hot. We started late with a large group of seven people. This course is pretty tough.

Stuck in tree

Adam got his disc stuck in a tree.

Jon climbs tree

So we called the big guns in and got Jon to climb the tree to rescue it. Sadly Adam lost that disc for good a couple of holes later.

Round Rock

Round Rock

At lunch today, I photographed the round rock that this city is named after. Whee… To bad, I forgot my phone books. I wanted to find the plastic army figures that made the front page of the Austin Statesman, but was unsuccessful.

Disc Golf 08/25/2006

Gravitt celebrates #1
Gravitt celebrates #2

Old Settlers Park. John celebrates on hole 1. He birdied it from quite a distance (60 feet). And he always complains about not being able to putt…


The city employees were out in force today. Performing maintainence and cleanup.