Monthly Archives: November 2006

Pizza quadux

Pizza for dinner

Yep, the rotisserie burner cooked the top nicely. But the problem now is that it is done in four minutes. The dough needs a little bit more time to cook all of the way through. So, for the next time, I will try turning off the burners, removing it from the screen, letting it cook, and then finishing it off with the rotisserie. Will that work?

I am starting to get sick of pizza by now…


Living What You Do Every Day link via

re: Am I the only sane lesbian with a house, an income >100,000? link via

Is this the end of the road for traffic lights? link via

Office Space trailer as a horror flick link via

The 10 Regions of American Politics link via

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FSM sighted in Germany link via

A Florida voter may have unwittingly lost hundreds of thousands of dollars by using an extremely rare stamp to mail an absentee ballot in Tuesday’s congressional election link via

What looks like a landlocked aircraft carrier in China link1 link2 via

Time gun map for Edinburgh link via

Security that is small and imperfectly formed link via

Dice stacking moves link via

“The monkey works 10 times quicker than a man” link via

Little People – a tiny street art project link via

2006 NFL TV distribution maps link via

“Bush hid the facts” Notepad bug link via

I was a 20-something dethroned dotcom ceo that went to work the counter at mcdonald’s link via

Candlestick rockets link via

The Secret World of Lonelygirl link via

In flight safety demo link via

Samsung develops machine gun sentry robot costs $200k link via

New movie theater


Cinemark opened up a new theater recently just 2 1/2 miles from my house. How convenient! Its got 14 screens, what seems to be a smaller parking lot, and a really lame name (Cinemark 14 Round Rock). Being so close makes it possible to leave quite late and still get there in time to watch a movie. But the quickest route is Sunrise Road. So you can’t speed like you might on IH-35.

Unfortunately, they converted Round Rock’s original theater into a discount movie theater instead of a theater that shows less mainstream and more artsy movies.

I christened the theater by watching Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. This is a film that tries to push every boundary. I am surprised that it made an R rating. America needs to distribute more NC-17 and X films in theaters.

Pizza tridux

Pizza for dinner

I made pizza again tonight. I used the dough that I made two weeks ago. There didn’t seem to be any problems using it. This time the bottom crust turn out nicely cooked. The pizza stone was at 750 degrees and I used a screen for almost all of the time while it was cooking. I think that I won’t bother taking it off for the next attempt.

One problem though. The top didn’t cook enough. Well, it did melt the cheese. But I was looking for some nice browning. For the next time, I am going to turn on the rotisserie burner when the pizza is in there. I probably let out all of the heat when I open the grill and put the pizza in (as well when I check on the progress). To bad I dot not have a Salamander burner on top.

Disc Golf 11/18/2006

Disc on a tree

The group went to Wilco today. I got there early and walked around the course taking pictures. Sadly, there is still no progress on course improvements. This course really needs signs for tees, garbage baskets, and par and yardage information. It looks like someone got fed up with their disc and nailed it to a tree.

Group photo

Today, there were six people which made three teams. What was strange was that it took us a long time to finish the course. Not that I noticed when we were playing, but we ended at 12:45pm. I wonder why?

And it seemed that it was butterfly mating season. So the phrase for today was “butterflies!”! B u t t e r f l i e s ! 

good shot

I still haven’t mastered this course yet. There is not a lot of room for error here. So I didn’t do too well today. Although I did have one great first throw under the basket.

Disc Golf 11/17/2006

Event parking

John and I played at Old Settler’s park today. I was a little worried when I drove in and saw that the Texas Country Music Festival was starting up. That would have made a couple of holes difficult to play with the cars and all. But we played the winter course and all of those holes were free. Cool!

Disc by flag

On the first hole, my second throw landed pretty close to the basket. And this flag too. Which John claims is the closest to the pin flag.

Last hole birdie

John and I were pretty close today in the score. First I was leading and then John was. But on the last hole, my first throw landed close to the basket. Close enough to get me a birdie and the win! Good game, John!

Game Day 11/16/2006

Game #1a
Game #1b

The Downfall of Pompeii

Ed and Susan came tonight for one of their biannual gaming fixes. Six is a hard number to resolve — do you play one game, or two? We chose the two route with a heavily meaty table (Neuland) and a light meaty table (Pompeii). I chose Pompeii because I haven’t played it before and would like to try it at least once.

This game is quite thematic. You are trying to save your villagers before the volcano erupts. And you get to sacrifice other people’s villagers into that volcano during the beginning portion of the game. There is a nice, large plastic volcano as part of the game board. Believe me, I was tempted to put some baking soda and vinegar into that thing…

The game is divided into two phases. During the first phase, you place your villagers onto the board by playing one of four cards and drawing up. Obviously, you want to put them into buildings that are close to the exits of the village. When you place a villager into a spot that is already occupied, you can place relatives equal to the number that were there. This gives you more chances to successfully place people who can escape this nightmare situation. If a puff of smoke card is drawn, you can choose one villager and toss that person into the volcano in a vain attempt to appease the gods. Don’t forget to make a show of dragging the helpless villager up the slope of the mountain…

Ed started out by sacrificing one of my people in a prime building location. I planned to retaliate. But my chance didn’t come around for a while. By the time I drew a smoke card, Ed had been thoroughly picked on by his family and I felt bad. So I chose some one else.

Once the second volcano card is drawn, we immediately move into the second phase of the game. Now, on your turn, you draw a lava chip and place it on the board. You may then move two people. A person can move as many spaces as there were people on their start location. If they move outside of the village (past the gates), then they are turned into a victory point.

There are six types of lava. And the first of each type must be placed on its starting location on the board. After that, each piece can be placed orthogonally next to other pieces of its type. If a piece of lava goes on top of some people, then too bad. Those people are burnt to a cinder and die. They are taken off of the board and are thrown into the volcano. The game ends when the last lava piece is drawn and placed.

If there is a tie, then the tie is broken by whoever has the fewest of their pieces in the volcano. It is a short, simple, and lightly meaty game. Thankfully, the Rozmiareks were mainly picking on each other and I was able to sneak past the lava flows to win the game.

Game #2

Ta Yü

Susan had to leave to pick up her son after a basketball game was over. I say make him wait there and work on his homework! So, Ed and I played a two player game. He chose Ta Yü. This is a game that I played once long ago during the now defunct Russcon.

This is a simple tile laying game where you are trying to create routes from one side of your board to the other side. All while your opponent is simultaneously trying to do the same.

I started off slow and was not trying to connect either of my sides. Ed got off to a good run by setting up three routes on one side of his board. When I noticed that a route was going to make it to the other side for Ed, I shook myself awake. I started to place pieces that would hose Ed on that other side. And I was pretty successful by cutting off a rather large section of the board. Now my goal was to make connections on both of my sides before Ed could retaliate. Thankfully, I was able to draw enough pieces to make connections for me and Ed was not able to hurt me with his pieces. This gave me enough points for the win.


To finish off the night, we played some Tichu. I had the option to take Jon as my partner or cut for partners. I chose Jon. Little did I realize that that was a very bad choice!

On the first hand, John calls Tichu and goes out first. Usually that is not a problem. Of course, when someone on the opposing team calls Tichu, you try to set that person. When that person goes out, you must now really try hard and stop the teammate from going out second. So, when your partner is currently winning a trick, and you can overtake that trick. You must decide if you are guaranteed to go out second. If you believe so, then do it. Otherwise, let your partner win that trick. Unfortunately for me, I was winning a trick and Jon overtook it. Adam was able to take the next trick that Jon played and went out second. If Jon had not played, I would have been able to go out second. The sad thing is that this happened twice during the game. Sigh.

On the last hand of the game, I called Grand Tichu. Little did I know that my partner was actively playing against me. He passed me a two and then wished for an Ace! John had none and I was forced to play one of mine. I gave up at that point and called the game.

11/16/2006 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 & Jon AdamR & JohnG
  0     300 T+
  155   T+ 645  
  250 T+  
  T+ 895  

11/16/2006 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 & Jon AdamR & JohnG
  200     0  
T+   155  
T+ 515    
  515     485  
    620 T+
T- T+ 765  
  T- 710  
T+   710  
  790     1010 T+

Lunch Time Tichuers 11/14/2006

Wow, Jon was able to have lunch with us and we were able to play a game! I need to find more Tichuers out there. Ed was smacked down once today. Jon played the Mahjong and made a wish (2?). Ed satisfied it and called Tichu. I played a low card. Ed wins the trick and plays a length 10 straight. I play a higher straight (Adam also has a length 10 straight and the Dog but it can’t beat mine. I play Ace+Phoenix (and then one other card?) and go out. Setting Ed.

11/14/2006 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 MarkH & Jon
GT+   20  
  295   T+
  325     475  
  375     525  
  610     590  
GT+ 1240     660  

BGG.CON: Sunday

Game #1


Last night, Mike told me to try out Balam. He had liked it. So, when I saw
it in the library, I checked it out. And for the first thing today, I sat
down and started puzzling out the rules. Luckily, two people came by and I
convinced them to play the game. There were English rules, but the translation
was really, really, bad. It lead to a lot of confusion. But we persevered
and finally figured out how the game play went.

The first city that I built was simple (two villages and a palace). The
next city was placed on a 4 spot obsidian tile and built two villages and
two garrisons. This immediately caused a reaction as the other players
scrambled to build garrisons as well. I was not going to provoke a fight
yet. However, Nightmare
decided to attack me. I was a little suspicious when she picked me and
not her boyfriend. But I could see that my city was undefended and his
was not. She rolled a two and got to destroy my palace. I realized that
this effectively took me out of the game since I could not move the goods
that are produced into my king’s personal finances. Which meant that I
could not build buildings anymore.

So, after we had discussed this all out, I retaliated and picked one of
her undefended cities and rolled a 3. This destroyed her palace and a
village. Two people out of the game on turn 3. And upon a reread of the
rules, I notice that we missed the “Leniency of Chaak” bit where we get
two more corn goods on each round before the Eclipse.

We decided to call the game at that point. I was happy that I played it
though. That play certinally took it off of my buy list. Because I have
heard that the bad events are really nasty in this game. Maybe it just
needs the proper mindset from the start to plan for catastrophies or
wars to turn it into a better experience.

Game #2


We tried a hand of Control Nut and then moved to the game of Mu. Marty went
out looking for a fifth and found Lewis. So we taught the game to him. I was
successful in my powers of suckup. He picked me twice as a partner because
of the cards that I was displaying. Unfortunately for us, we failed our goal.
I was also more agressive in bidding in this game. I made one goal and lost
another (to Gravitt of all people ;).

Minor regrets:

  • Not playing more new Essen games. My main goal of this con was to check out
    all of the releases and determine if I should buy them.
  • Some new Essen games had no English rules translations yet.
  • Not playing a full game of Tichu at all! WTF?
  • Being burned by the camera flash. Apparently, it was not having enough
    power to recharge the flash. But it had enough power to keep the display on
    and make the capacitor whining noise. Which made me think that it was on but
    not working for some unknown reason.
  • Not playing disc golf in Dallas or in Waco on the trip up or back. No biggie…

Interesting facts:

  • I only checked out two games out of the library (Fiji and Balam) and I didn’t
    bring any games from home to the con.

Still, it was a blast.

BGG.CON: Saturday

Game #1

I was reading the rules to Fiji, but had to take a break. For it was flea
market time. What a madhouse! I did buy Goldbräu but had to leave
since the mad press of people was getting to me…

Game #1


The first of the new Friese games that I played was Fiji. It is a quick and
light filler game that uses simultaneous reveal as its mechanics. There are
four rounds of the following:

  • Distribute beads: Everyone gets 5 green, 4 red, 3 yellow, and 2 blue beads.
    Put the same amount in the center of the board.
  • Determine exchange conditions: There will be four groups of two cards. The
    first card says what the goal is. The second card is the action that is taken
    if the goal is fulfilled. A goal can be the most of one or more colors or
    the least of one or more colors. The action can be to take some number of
    gems (varies based on the color), or half rounded down of a color, or everyone
    else but you takes one, or some funky actions like mess with the ranking
    of colors or take back what gems that you showed.
  • Determine goal conditions: There are four cards (one for each color). The
    card will say if you are going for the most or the fewest of a color. Remember
    that when you shuffle these cards, suffle their orientations as well! The
    order of the cards determine tie breakers. The color on the leftmost is the
    one that you are going for with ties broken by the next leftmost.
  • The exchange: There are three rounds of exchanging. Players simultaneously
    pick from one to four beads and place them in their hand. They are revealed
    and we will check the four conditions one at a time. The trick here is that
    if players are tied for the most/least of something, then the next place
    person wins. If everyone is tied, then noone wins.
  • Distribute shrunken heads: The first place player will get a number of heads
    totalling the number of people in the game minus one. The second player will
    get one less. And so on…

All in all, it was a light game. You must like the simultaneous revealing
of gems part because you do a lot of it. Of course, it sucks to have your
count be duplicated by people for one or more goal conditions and therefore
be nullified.

Game #2


I was happy when Kevin was carrying around Perikles and wanted to play it.
We found four other people and started explaining the game. Unfortunately
for me, it was right around 1pm when we finished the first round of the game.
I was hungry for lunch and wanted to run down to get something to go. Sadly,
no one else wanted to do that so they used that opportunity to stop playing
the game. So not much to report here as I need a full playing of it. Gah!
Too bad my gaming group is anti-Wallace.


I went to lunch with Kevin, Debra, Kevin, Tim, Mary, and Marty. During
lunch, the topic of which show had the most spinoffs. Both Happy Days and
Cheers were discussed. Of course, there was massive verification as
three people in this picture web surfed on their PDAs. Such geeks…

Game #3


Another playing of Imperial. And this time I knew what I was doing and I was
France. I was able to build up her forces rather nicely. Which painted a
hugh bulls-eye on me. One of the interesting things about this is that there
are two ways people can resolve this. They can either beat the country down
by taking back the territory and destroying the armies/navies. Or, they
can just buy shares in that country. If they go the shares route, then
they can either go for a minority holding in your country and let you run
things because you know what you are doing. Or, they can go for a hostile
takeover and do something else with the country. Interesting.