Monthly Archives: April 2007

Lunch Time Tichuers 04/30/2007

This was the Adam show. No doubt about it. He called and made Tichu on the majority of the hands.

04/30/2007 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 Jon & MarkH
  135 T+  
T+   105  
  565 T+  
T+   235  
  765   T+ 535  
T+ 880    
  1010 T+ T-

Bread additives

Bread additives

I bought two items to use in my pizza dough. There is a really great website that explains all of the variables that go into and how to solve problems with pizza dough. The first is diastatic malt powder. This includes an enzyme called alpha-amylase which breaks down the long starch molecules and tenderizes the dough. The second is NFDM or non-fat dry milk powder. This should help with fermentation tolerance and crust browning.

I used the diastatic malt power in the pizza dough recipe first. And I did notice a slightly looser dough and softer crust. But I want to go a little further. The package suggested one quarter of a teaspoon per loaf. My recipe creates 3 pizza pies, so I used one teaspoon. Next time, I will bump it up by 50% to a teaspoon and a half.

Leaking peaches

Leaking Peaches #1
Leaking Peaches #2

I bought four different fruit trees for the house and only one of them actually fruits: my peach tree. However, there is a problem. The sap leaks out of the fruit. I wonder why…

Disc Golf 04/28/2007

hole 3

The group went out to Cat Hollow for some disc golf. I had a good throw on hole 3 and birdied it.


John, myself, Nick, Stephanie, Adam, and Rehana played. And there were no groups this time.

line of discs

Follow the line of discs to the basket!

Bike Crash!

Bike Crash

I tried to go biking today. But it was interrupted when my rear tire blew. Unfortunately, I was heading downhill and picking up speed. I felt the bike twist out from under me. And I knew I was going down. As part of a bad reflex, I stuck my hand out to break my fall. Fortunately, I took most of the fall on my shoulder. I guess I hit my head hard enough to crack the helmet. But I don’t mind that so much. It did it’s job well enough. I will have to buy another one though. Its a shame that the helmet only lasted one ride.

Fortunately, there were no cars near me at the time. And I was able to fall in the ditch instead of on the road. Sadly, the rear wheel is broken and will have to be replaced.

Game Day 04/25/2007

Game #1


Wow, it been a while since I have played this game. It was initially hot. And was played quite a bit. But new games have pushed this one off of the radar. So it was nice to play it again. And I was a little rusty. I mistimed when two of the later rounds would finish. So I couldn’t build as much as I had planned. Which cost me second place. However, it was still a good game.


With only three players who like to play Mu, it is hard to get a five player game of this going. Usually, we have to cajole, threaten, mock, brow-beat, or otherwise forcibly convince other people to play it. And it is sad that, after playing games with us, they still do not see the kernel of greatness that lies within this game.


Sadly, memories of this game are mostly lost to the mists of time. On Adam’s set Tichu, an Ace bomb of his did not help him when faced with Doug’s King bomb.

04/25/2007 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 & AdamR DougG & Jon
  200     0  
  200     200  
  200   T+ 500  
GT+   485  
  T+ 605  
T+ T- 580  
    400 GT-
  920   T+
  835 T-  
  1135 T+   665  


Every one bugged out early, so I played a two player game with Adam. I like this game. It is part Carcasonne and part Go.

28 mile cycling

plane in garage

I decided to try out a longer circuit and follow the 25 mile route on this map. I was surprised just how many houses were out in the country. I wonder where all these people work? Their commute times must be long.

I had one equipment failure when my chain popped off. It was easy to put on. But the repair made obvious that I needed some hand wipes. Grass just doesn’t cut it. So, I rode the rest of the way with greasy fingers. Next time, I will pack some wet wipes!

One of the houses looked interesting from a distance. It had a huge garage with one side open (the side facing me). And in that garage was a plane! When I looked at the name of the street leading to the house, it all made sense. The name was Wilbur Wright Drive. And I was riding along County Road 130 at the time. You can tell from Google Maps that there is an airfield out back.

Game Day 04/21/2007

Ed holding card

There was another game day at Ed’s house. I had brought my camera with the 70-200mm lens to the tournament. But I was too nervous to bring it outside. If I had then it would have been amusing since someone else brought a Canon 20D with a 70-200mm lens as well. We would have looked like Paparazzi. When I brought it inside Ed’s house, I decided to take a picture with it on. I had to walk off into the other room to get this framed. With an effective 1.6 multiplier, this lens at 200mm turns into a 320mm lens.

Game #1a
Game #1b

Dragon Parade

Ed brought out a new Knizia game for us to try. It is a rather simple game. A dragon starts in the middle of the board. People will play a card that moves it towards one of two gates (a red one and a yellow one) and they will then place a token that will mark where they think it will finally end up. When it stops, they get points based on how close they were to the Dragon. If they were on the other side of the market, then they will get negative points.

As you can see from my one of my hands, I had a mostly one sided card distribution. Which is good if a couple of people before you send the Dragon marching off into your direction. And that is what happened for me. It also helps if the person before you sets you up to be able to end the round early by marching the Dragon past a gate. John on my right did it for me one time. And I was able to get Ed (on my left) to do it on another round. That helped cement me into winning the game.

Game #2

Age of Discovery

Ed brought out another free (review copy) game on the table. This game had a theme (boats and exploration), but, for some reason, didn’t really grab me. One of the interesting things about this game is that, at the start, each player is given a secret goal card that scores extra victory points for them. They are mostly different and incompatible goals. One is to be the only person at a site. Another is to have at least one ship at a site. Next was to have 50% of the ships at a site. And the last one was to have the majority at a site.

Mike’s goal was obvious when he immediately filled up a site that didn’t require too many ships to complete. I think mine was obvious as well, when I was placing small ships at a lot of sites. Only Ed and Susan were not obvious as to their goals.

Game #3a
Game #3b

Honey Bears

Honey Bears was next on the plate. I like this game. The theme works (bears going after honey). The rules are easy. And the concept is simple: cards, at the end, are worth victory points. However, the cards also move the bear towards the honey and make the bear worth more victory. So you have tense balancing act to perform: you have to play cards to make the bears more valuable but hold cards to score the points.

One of my hands was simple for me. Go yellow bear!! Go red bear!

After the game ended, we tried one round with the following variant. Everyone plays their card at the same time and face down. Starting with the start player, each person reveals their card and moves the appropriate bear. Which was interesting. Often times, only a couple of bears would move because everyone played one of two colors.

Game #4

Canal Mania

To end out the night, I played Canal Mania. Which was alright. But after playing so many games of Age of Steam, I miss having the ability to pick which tracks to lay. In this game, you only have a couple of choices (from five to one) of segments to build. And once you have made your choice, you next have to concentrate on building the segment before you pick another segment.

Disc Golf 04/21/2007

marked tees

Instead of going somewhere else to play disc golf today, John wanted to check out the Texas Woman’s Tournament. At least the setup part of it. They had clearly marked the tee box. And placed advertisements up.

short holes

And it looks like they created a set of alternate short holes. Which were pretty much a straight shot at the basket.

flags on baskets

The baskets had flags on top of them. (In case you could not see the bright yellow metal band).

rest stations

And it looks like local clubs set up rest areas. With water and fruit and other things.

Hole 1

After giving Stephanie some moral support, we headed off to the Rivery. We got a late start, so we only played half of the holes.

Disc Golf 04/20/2007

disc golf is free for the Texas Women's Tournament

John wanted to play at Wilco today since Stephanie was going to enter the Texas Woman’s Tournament tomorrow. Man, was it packed. It seemed that everyone wanted to practice on this course. And it took forever to finish. I think we finally left at 8pm.

hole 12

I did have one nice throw on hole 12. Close enough for a birdie.