Monthly Archives: October 2006


Trying out the Canon 1200mm f/5.6 lens link via

Building Stonehenge with one person link via

Ms. Dewey search engine link via

Lonleygirl15 is asked by the U.N. to fight poverty link via

Liberty and habeas corpus link1 link2 via

Top 10 ad-tricks in Tokyo’s train stations link via

Anti-tank dog link via

Sony Bravia Paint commercial link via

One Citizen’s Bill of Impeachment link via

Lords of the Logistic link via

Cops Use Suspect’s GPS to Find Pot Fields link via

One grain sushi link via

Telemarketer Nightmare link via

Fastest street legal car (2000hp, 0-60 in 1 second) link via

The Onomy Tilty Table link via

DM of the Rings link via

“Paris Syndrome” leaves Japanese tourists in shock link via

Pi in colors link via

Subliminal Nude Pictures Focus Attention link via

Disc Golf 10/21/2006

First throw at 1

The group went out to the Rivery today after realizing that The Hairy Man Festival was being held at Cat Hollow and The Outlaw Trail 100 was being held at Old Settler’s Park. Unfortunately Jon didn’t receive the memo in time to switch to The Rivery. I was teamed up with John today and my first throw was great (matching other’s seconds).

First throw at 10

My first throw at hole 10 was also great. 2 of 18 is a good percentage, right?

Hole 11

The next hole, 11, looked to be a muddy mess! Adam and Rehana didn’t want to deal with it. John, however, being an ex-caver, was adventerous enough to give it a try. I threw as well. Fortunately for me, I was able to carefully walk around the edges and make it past the obstacle.

Hole 11 spray paint

That big rock that you saw in the previous picture had this spray painted all over it. Vandals? Future construction?

Hole 11

We ate at Dos Salsas again. We seem to be stuck in a rut and are not trying different Georgetown restaurants. I ordered the Queso Flameadado this time. Every time that I have gone here in the past, I have been tempted to try this dish. Flaming cheese! How much more satisfying can that be? Unfortunately, our group has different tastes, and noone can agree on one of the four choices available. So this time I told myself: “screw it!”, and I ordered it.

There was a lot of cheese in this dish. It turned out to be very gooey and stringy and fun to play with as you tried to separate a portion for yourself. It would make a good Knizia game.

Afterwards, our group played a quick nine at San Gabriel Park.

Disc Golf 10/20/2006

Adam putting

Adam, Rehana, John and myself played the “winter course” at old Settler’s Park. We used different tees and threw towards existing baskets. Well, not every tee was different. Some of the holes were the same as the original. When you approach a basket that you know well but from a different angle and path, it gives you a new experience. It is definately gives the course a different feel. Much shorter holes as well.

Mark long throw

On hole 10 (same as the original), I had a long throw. It looked like it hit the trees and stopped. When we finally found it, we realized that it had punched through and kept going. Right in line with the basket.

New cars

Shelby Cobra
Outrageous sticker

I went to Leif Johnson Ford today for my 30K checkup. While I was waiting, I looked around in the showroom. They had three new 2007 Shelby GT500 Cobras there. These are the Mustang versions of my truck. The new model boasts 500hp! So very tempting. However, I don’t think that they are pretty and, at 45K, they are expensive. I think that I would rather get a Corvette at that price. Look at that sticker in the second picture. There is a 20K “fair money adjustment” charge added on. And it was sold! For 65K, you are in performance Corvette territory.

Ford GT

They also had two Ford GTs there for 150K a pop. Definately a pretty car, but it costs as much as a house.

Ford Mach 1

They even had a 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 for sale for 40K. While old cars look cool and retro, they do not have all of the technology that has been discovered in the past 30 years. Technology which I would consider as critical.

Ichiban toilet

I stopped by Ichiban for lunch afterwards and was greeted with this sight in the restroom. A urinal full of ice. Must be a Japanese thing…

New toy for a present

New toy #1

For my birthday present and Christmas present, I bought myself another camera lens. A EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM lens. This complements my already existing EF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS lens. I hope to take some birding pictures with it. Since I am a member of Amazon prime, next day shipping is only $4 per item. Pretty cheap given the price of the lens. Also, Canon came out with a rebate program that included this lens. So, I decided to order it. What I was not expecting was just how long it would take to deliver the lens. I waited around my house all day for the delivery person to arrive. So long that I gave up hope. It arrived at 8pm at night! After being “out for delivery” at 6:30am in the morning! Gah! That is not next day air. I am sure that businesses get packages early in the morning when they can actually use them that day. I was reduced to taking a picture of the refrigerator magnets at night. That depth-of-field is razor thin!

new Toy #2

In fact, you notice it when using this telephoto lens. By default, the picture that you see through the viewfinder is at maximum aperature of f/2.8. This allows for the brightest picture. But the trade off is that the amount of the picture that is in focus is thin. When you zoom in and out, you can see that thin field moving back and forth.

This lens is also big and heavy. It is almost 8 inches long and weighs 3 1/4 pounds. The lens is so heavy that you mount both the lens and the camera at a balancing point on the lens itself. Which is what alot of people complain about. They prefer the much lighter and cheaper f/4.0 (at 27 ounces). But you loose a full stop of light gathering ability. At an equivalent ISO film speed, your shutter speed will be twice as much.

This lens also has a gyroscope built into it. Which will allow it to be stable at slower shutter speeds. The trade of is a slight loss of image quality as you add more glass elements for the gyroscope bit.

I also bought the Extender EF 2x II. This doubles the focal length of a lens at the cost of 2 f/stops of light gathering power. That water tower is at a 385mm focal length from my back porch.

Game Day 10/19/2006

Game #1a

Gloria Mundi

Another playing of Gloria Mundi for me. I am trying to see if this game is not flawed. This time, I am trying to keep my resource cards alive as long as possible in order to gather more income. However, we played this game with 6 people. That seems like a lot of people. You only get three white and yellow cards. Things went okay at first. Everyone was paying off the barbarian. However, when it got around to Adam, he didn’t pay off the barbarian. At this point, Mike and John were able to build victory point generation building. So Adam was trying to set up a group-think situation where we could hurt him. However, he had to work through both Jon and myself before getting at Mike. And both Jon and myself have different opinions on what is the best course of action for ourselves. He proved to be unsuccessful at his attempts.

Towards the end of the game, it really broke down for me. I was able to generate three greens and one victory point for every green card that was played. I also had one yellow card with a yellow building and one white card with a white building. In my hand were only green cards. Every time that it was my turn to play, there were no green building cards in the display! So I did nothing. This went on for four turns. I collected so many green blocks that we ran out. And yet no green building was seen. How very flawed!

The order of winners in this game corresponded to the victory point cards that they were able to buy. Every other building card was essentially worthless. This game needs some fixing. Either the ability to trade cubes for other cubes, or score points for cubes at the end, or auction off building cards, or something.

Game #1b

During the game, Adam is bored and plays with his white peace chiklets.

Game #2


John had to leave early. So we had 5 people for a game of Mu. Adam and Jon are both aggressive bidders. Here, my 8776 is not worthy of attraction from a potential chief. Mike though was. His 99997 allowed Adam and Jon to over bid even more. Jon won that battle with a 9 card bid. He called green as trump and Adam called 1s. Sadly, he was set by 4.

Game #3a
Game #3b


Ahh, Tichu was next when Mike left. The first picture is my hand when Doug calls Tichu. Say what Dougie? You know you need some control cards in your hand, don’t you? I was able to help him make his Tichu call and go out second for the 1-2. The next picture is Jon’s hand for his Tichu call. Pretty unstoppable.

10/19/2006 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
MarkH & Doug AdamR & Jon
  345 T+   55  
  395   T-
  440   T+
  370 T-  
T- T+ 755  
    655 T-

Game Day 10/16/2006

Game #1a


John held another day-gaming session. Since I was on vacation and had nothing better to do, I went. Susan showed up. And Ed took off work to play with us. So John did some research and came up with a list of 5 player games based on Ed’s recommendations on the ‘geek and John’s games that he has not played. Evo was first up. I always like to play it. I may not win it. But it can be fun at times to play.

Game #1b

Especially when you have horns. But the auctions were such that I got another horn. Over specialization is a bad thing. You really want a balanced creature. Able to move fast, have lots of babies and survive in inhospitable climates. Which is the opposite of my creature. I could only do one thing — attack. And I went on a rampage. Much to Ed’s dissapointment. He wanted to be left alone but he looked like a tasty morsel to me. The only problem with attacking is that you are not guaranteed to always win. So you should only attack as a last resort. My clan slowly died off. So sad.

Game #2

Il Principe

Next up on the table was a game that Mike had bought a while ago. We played it once (incorrectly). And then never played it again. So it was mostly a new experience to me. Not one that I liked either. It went on too long for the type of game that it was.

Game #3

Loopin’ Louie

Ed and Susan had to leave. So did Gina when her loud and annoying alarm went off (reminding her to pick the kids up from school). John tried to tempt me to stay to play another game. However, I was leaning against that. But I spied the title of “Loopin’ Louie” and I wondered what it was. John takes it out and sets it up for me. So we play it. Its a cute manual dexterity game of trying to knock down the other person’s chickens with a common plane. The only thing that you can do to affect the plane is to spring it up in the air when it passes you. If you time that move perfectly, you can bounce the plane up and over the opponent’s spring and have it hit their chicken. A little bit off, and you can have it go far enough to not let the opponent get a swing at it. Mostly, you just take a stab at it. Which is returned by the opponent. When Clint showed up from school, he jumped right in. I was out early. So I helped him get his father out in revenge.

Just the sort of game that would make Adam’s head explode in a cloud of fluff.

Game Day 10/15/2006

30 K miles

Guh, my truck is getting so old!!!! Everything is too spread out around here.


On the drive out to South Oklahoma, I mean Liberty Hill, I passed a Circus. What a rainy and miserable day for a Circus.

Game #1


Ed held a game day. Its been a while since I have been to one. We started off with Hornochsen — a milder form of Take 6. You have a hand of card to get rid of. You are trying to avoid negative cards. And you place the cards following simple rules of closeness. But it plays differently. You still have a sense of impending doom. However it is very watered down and dampened. In this game, I had no opportunity to take stacks of 5 positive cards. So I waited it out. I had a feeling that others would soon be forced to take the stacks which held the big negative cards. And it worked out that way for me. I ended up finishing the game with a small positive score. In this game, that is a good thing.

Game #2

Gloria Mundi

After playing two very flawed versions of this game, I had to give it one more chance. Rio Grande does not publish bad games. However, after playing it, I think we could have played it better. You see, this game is a return on investments game. And you should be trying hard to keep your income generating cards in front of you. Instead of discarding them in order to hose your opponents.

Game #3

Leonardo da Vinci

My second playing of this game. And basically, the same thing happened. You finish the game and punish yourself for playing it inefficiently. You do not want to have, in your possesion, unused resource cards. They are useless and you have wasted money and meeples to get them. Also, you want both your labs to finish a work before the game ends. If one or both are idle, it costs you victory points. The problem with this game is you just cannot predict which invention cards will come up and then properly plan for them. Yeah, you can look at the next four in the queue and reorder them. But other people will as well.

Here, Ed takes a picture a picture like this.

Game #4

Nexus Ops

Adam got me to play Nexus Ops. Which is a positive rating for me. He likes meatier games. So if he is willing to play a dice-fest game, there must be something to it. And I didn’t mind playing the game at all. It reminded me a lot of Samurai Swords. There is a heirarchy of troops that you can buy. The more expensive hit first and are more likely to hit. The cheapest hit last and rarely hit. You manuever over territory to acheive secret objectives that you collect. And it is relatively quick to play. I liked it.

My problem was that I was to timid in attacking others. I was building up for a big fight. But Carl was able to win the game before I would. I should have went for it one round earlier.


A Jeep and a snowmobile race across a lake link via

Make love not Warcraft link via

Stalking Haruhi Suzumiya link via

Handheld printer link via

Facadeprinter link via

“I’m wearing boots of escaping” link via

The Atheist Tapes – Steven Weinberg link via

Free Hugs Campaign link via

What would happen if man would dissapear today? link1 link2 via

The World’s Highest Resolution Seamless Display link via

Man shells out 14k Pounds on army tank for supermarket run link via

A useless home security system link via

Conformal mappings link1 link2 via

Deep fried Coca-Cola link via

Observations on Arabs link via

Bugzilla Bug 95849: Lack of Sex is interfering with my ability to triage bugs link via

The perception of beauty link via

Who killed the Electric Car (this is going to be removed soon I bet as it is a MPAA screener) link via

Repairing Canon’s Gem of a Zoom, the 70-200L link via