Monthly Archives: March 2007

Disc Golf 03/31/2007


There was a small group today. Perhaps yesterday’s rain scared them off. Perhaps they didn’t get enough of a warning. Or perhaps they had a life.

Only Mike and John showed up. I was not doing so well today and was off in my throwing. No biggie. It was still beautiful out. Here, everyone is searching for my blue disc in the middle of a field with blue flowers…


Old Settler’s used to handle rain beautifully. But now there is this new tiny stream on the course to avoid. And when a disc inevitably goes in the drink, we play that temporary water does not count. But I made Mr. Gortex shoes stand in the water when putting.

water sensations

Only John and I went to lunch. He suggested Bennigans (which I have not been to in like forever). We both ordered fajita salads which were so so. It amused me when John orders water. When it arrived, he dumped out the lemon and squeezed in a packet of lemon Water Sensations (Citric Acid, Potassium Citrate and sucralose).

Game Day 03/29/2007

Game #1


Wow, Jon suggested that we play Perikles and everyone agreed. Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

I was definitely glad that I got a chance to play this again. But it will probably be my last time with this group. I don’t think others came away with a good impression of it. Doug kept loudly proclaiming that I was in the lead and everyone should get me. However, in the end, Doug won the game and I came in third. Sigh.


To finish out the night, we played Tichu. On my failed Tichu call, I knew it was a risk when I called it. And Doug confirmed it when he over Tichued.

03/29/2007 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 Doug & AdamR
    130 T+
  270     330  
  415 T+  
T- 350   T+
  385   T-
T+ 595    
    820 GT+
  695   T+

Lunch Time Tichuers 03/29/2007

Ugh. The run of bad luck continues. And, as you can see, one team was getting all of the points. Until Ed was set. Then, it went our way. But our desperation Grand-Tichus sealed our fate.

03/29/2007 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 & Jon AdamR & MarkH
  290     10  
T+   20  
  760 T+  
  GT- 35  
    -145 GT-

Breakfast for dinner

I have always felt that eating breakfast foods at dinnertime was extravagant. And, boy, was I in the mood for some comfort food tonight.

I started out by cooking some of the bacon that Marty bought for me at Cooper’s. I have found that the easiest way to cook bacon is in the convection toaster oven. Yeah, you heard me right. Just place it on the top rack of the oven and put a pan on the bottom rack to catch the drippings. Set the temperature to 200 and leave it alone. That strategy makes it pretty hard to over cook it and the fat helps baste the bacon. I made extra for a future BLT.

Next up was biscuits. I used Alton Brown’s biscuit recipe. And was shocked when I forgot just how incredibly sticky that recipe was. What is frustrating is that you really want to combat the stickiness by folding the dough and using lots of extra flour. But that is the last thing that you should do. If you overwork the dough, the biscuits will loose their fluffiness and turn tough. So I ended up with some rather interesting looking biscuits. But that doesn’t matter much in your stomach.

After the biscuits were in the oven, I made some white hominy grits. With butter…

And last, but not least, was a cheese omelet with poblano peppers. Don’t forget to add half ‘n half or whipping cream to your scrambled eggs! Very important.

The biscuit recipe makes far too many biscuits for one person. So, after eating one, I threw out the rest. So sad in a way to waste food. But a necessary evil to enable my indulgence.


When you are the last home that hasn’t sold out link via

Cute bento boxes link via

30 strangest deaths in history link via

1:1 Subaru Impreza wire frame sculpture link via

50 states in a week’s vacation link via

Karoshi: death from overwork link via

Tardis MAME console link via

Pranking Super Bowl XLI link via

First ever three-way tie in Jeopardy link1 link2 via

Solving Sudoku with regular expressions link via

The Most Powerful Bomb Ever Constructed link via

Natural snow doughnuts link via

Japanese knife wielding car cuts a cucumber link via

Blast destroys camera but flash card survives link via

Scientist makes ice hotter than boiling water link via

Every cry echoes in a McMansion link via

China’s National Swimming Center link via

Socially Rhythmic Robots link via

How camera lenses are made link via

The difference between a Republic and a Democracy link via

Argument to Beethoven’s 5th link via

Seitz 6×17 Digital link via

Disc Golf 03/24/2007

Course improvements

The group decided on playing at Wilco. I was up early and in the mood for some practice. So I arrived at 8:40. I was able to get in a complete round of golf before everyone else was ready to start at 10.

For as long as I have been complaining about the lack of necessary improvements to this course, I was surprised to see one improvement actually made. They installed small numbered signs on the rocks next to each tee. I guess they finally clued into the fact that people had taken some initiative and had wrote the numbers in magic markers on the rocks. I guess that blob is supposed to be an oak leaf?

needed course improvements

The next thing they need to do is to install concrete tee boxes. That would handle the erosion caused by the many people throwing discs during the year. Or, at least they should put some visible markers where the tee box is. You can’t see anything in this field of dead oak leaves.

Birdie on 11

Our group was doing well compared to the others. Adam, Mike, and myself were each doing our share in good throws. My best throw came on hole 11. Within putting range for sure! And were were able to make that birdie. Adam stepped up to the plate on the next hole and we were able to make back-to-back birdies. We finished four ahead of the other two teams.

Disc Golf 03/23/2007

long putt

Today, the weather was threatening rain. But fortunately, that threat never materialized. I saw a couple drops splattered on the windshield during the drive, but nothing when I arrived.

I did have one good moment on hole 2. I sank a long putt for a birdie!

Game Day 03/22/2007

Game #1

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization

After taking some flak on Rozmiarek’s site about only having a meaty diet when gaming, I was ready to play some lighter weight games tonight. Unfortunately, the other people wanted to play TtA yet again. Mike has declared that this game is in his top 10 game list and that he had to own a copy at all costs. So he bought one copy of this rare game (only 500 were made). He quoted a price of between 100 and 200 dollars for what he paid. I suspected that the location was Gnome, Alaska in that price range.

The actual game has some nicely produced components (the box, the center boards, and the rules) and some poorly produced components (the cards and the player boards). I consider these poorly produced because, although the look nice and colorful, they cannot stand up to repeated game play. My copy is perfectly functional and I will wait until the second edition is printed before purchasing a real copy.

This game has a couple of flaws. First, is that it is played slowly. There is not much that you can do about this. Hopefully, we will get faster as we are more experienced with it. The second is the drawing of cards from the military deck. For the civil deck, you see thirteen cards and can choose from them (paying more action points the farther to the right that the card is located). However, for the military deck, its just a random draw. The problem is that you need a good balance of cards in the different categories from this deck. You want some defensive cards, some tactics cards (to boost your military), and some attack cards.

In this game, I never drew a defense card during the entire game! Gah! Total suckage. I believe that we need a house rule to fix this. Use the same face up setup for civil cards.

Because we only played until the end of the second era, we played with a house rule of you couldn’t use St. Peter’s Basilica with Michelangelo (and also, we discovered, with Joan of Arc).

In our game, Mike was clearly in first and I was clearly in second. Then, much farther back, was Adam and Jon bringing up the rear. I was doing good with keeping an army of three warriors using Legion tactics. The problem was that I had to spend them a couple of times on bidding for colonies. So I had to rebuild them. Unfortunately, my food and ore production was entirely consumed when I did this. So I was riding a thin line. That line broke when Adam first attacked me. He had taken Joan and built up his army enough to jump ahead of me in military strength. I decided to spend my entire army in stopping that attack. And I never was able to recover from that attack. I had missed my chance to take some stronger troops (swordsmen or riflemen). And I didn’t have enough stockpiled food and ore to rebuild.

In this game, when you attack someone, your best bet is to attack the weakest player. That attack will cripple that player. Which makes it much harder to recover and build up your military to become closer in relative military strength. This game definitely proves the old adage of the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.


After playing TtA, Mike was up for a game of Tichu. And my one-sided run of bad luck continues…

03/22/2007 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 & MikeCh AdamR & Jon
  T+ 115  
  260   T+
  260     540  
  290   T+
T+ 405    

Lunch Time Tichuers 03/20/2007

Jon continues his streak of being bad luck for me (that’s my story and I am sticking to it!). Towards the end, I was forced into making a desperation Grand-Tichu call (Jon picking up all of his cards first). Which I should not of made in the first place, but oh well. On the next hand, Ed calls Tichu when his team only needed 35 points for the win. When we set him, we once again had a little hope of making a comeback. And Jon kept hope alive when he made a Tichu call. Unfortunately he made an ace wish when he played his eleven card straight. And I was able to satisfy that wish by breaking up my thirteen card run (leaving me with a 2, a 3 and a jack). Jon had no aces. So he was trying to improve his hand by forcing an opponent to play an Ace. It was a risky call. But when you are behind, you need to take chances…

03/20/2007 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
  T+ 115  
  485 T+   115  
  635 T+   165  
  855 GT+  
T+ 960    
  965   GT-
T- 885    
  1085     215 T-

Game Day 03/17/2007

Cherry pies

Ed was holding another long game day. So I made cherry hand pies. They were fun to make. But towards the end, I was overwhelmed by the effort each pie took. First I had to mix the ingredients together and stick the bowl in the freezer so that the mixture would harden up. Then , for each pie, I had to:

  • Take the bowl out of the freezer.
  • Scoop out some of the mixture and weigh it (trying to get similar sized pies).
  • Possibly put the bowl back in the freezer if I took too long making the pies
  • Flour my hands well and put the scoop of the mixture and form a ball
  • Put the ball down and start to roll it out
  • At some point, put more flour on the circle of dough
  • Stop when it is rolled out 5 inches in diameter
  • Scoop out some cherry filling onto circle
  • fold half of the circle over top of the cherry filling with a bench scraper
  • Crimp the edges with a fork. Remembering to flour the fork because it occasionally sticks
  • poke holes in the top for steam
  • Pick it up with the scraper and put it on the sheet pan

My only problem with them was that I didn’t let them dry out enough after cooking.


Ed installed a flash for his camera. Its interesting just how much light a camera needs in order to take a picture. For this picture, I used ISO 1600, a shutter speed of 1/30, and a f-stop of 5.6. 1/30th of a second is pushing it at this focal length (28mm). And an ISO of 1600 is pushing it with this camera as well. Sigh. I can’t wait to get an 1D Mark III. Having an extra stop of ISO will certainly help.

Game #1


John started off us with a new game, Nottingham. This game was billed as a light set collecting game. However, it turned out a be a hose everyone and random play game. There are seven suits of cards. On your turn, you flip over a card. You can either take it or use its power to mess with people. There are cards to seal from people, rob from people, force people to show their hands and take from them, force people to possibly give up cards, or to stop once those painful things from happening to you.

Theres no planning on what cards to collect. Only to hope that you can fulfill one of the set types that score lots of points. Playing those can’t be stopped. Otherwise, you are at the mercy of someone screwing with you. Such fun.


Susan showed us the extremely cute and furry bundle of energy called Riku.

Game #2

Through the Ages

Marty had wanted to play TtA. So I brought it over. However, he only wanted to play it three player due to time restrictions. Tim joined in.

This game was close! In the end, Marty pipped me by a couple of points. Towards the end, I had a good leader (James Cook) with some territories. So I was scoring well. However, Marty was able to put Iconoclasm into play during the third era (discard all leaders not of the current era). This made me loose Cook and his point generation. Marty was able to play a good leader (Elvis Presley) and able to get his victory point generation up to 16 points a turn.

I knew I had to respond somehow. Fortunately, my army was bigger than his. And, I drew Annex (take a colony), Assassinate (kill a leader), and Spy (take 5 science points). I played Annex first and won. Later, when I was 18 points ahead in military power, I played Assassinate. Unfortunately, I did not bother to sacrifice some units to increase the power. And Marty was able to play 3 six point defense cards to keep his leader. I should have went all out.

Still, it was a fun and close game.

Game #3

Age of Steam: Western U.S.

To end out the night, I played another meaty game: Age of Steam. We tried a new board as well. The board was interesting. There were two clear choices of starting locations. However, towards the end of the game, everyone was close in points. Apparently, all four corners of the map were decent starting locations. But the western half of the board had a lot of mountains. And building on mountains is costly. That probably hurt Ed and Jon somewhat.

The final scoring was nail-biting. It looked like a close race between me and a new-comer. We were tied in the first calculation. And I turned out to have built more track than he did for the win.