The bar at the Breakers resort is pretty swank. It is a huge aquarium filled with tiny fish and shrimp and snails. Actually, the whole resort is pretty swank… at 300-600 a night it pretty well damn be…Maybe if I win the lotto will I stay here some time…
Finally, a beautiful day out. No rain, partly cloudy, and the ocean was nice and warm. I walked a couple of miles and then went swimming.
The weather forecast still calls for rain for the next 5 days, and it it currently raining now as I type this, but I am happy that at least this morning was clear…
We ate lunch at John G’s which is only a couple hundred feet away from the ocean. Lunch was okay. I like the breakfast here much better.
It seems that the rain has followed me here. For lunch, I dove out to Havana and ordered the Bistec de Palomilla with black beans and plantains. Mmmmm… I have been seriously jonesing for Cuban food for a while now… I won’t mind eating Cuban food as often as possible while I am here.
Afterwards, I dove by my old neighborhood. It is amazing how much it has changed. South Olive Avenue is now two lanes. I could have sworn that was four lanes when I lived there back in the 80s. I couldn’t even see my old house as the front is blocked off by a hedge of ficus 12 feet tall.
And I stopped by the Lake Worth Pier. There is still a beach there. And half a pier. And rain.
I woke up pretty freaking early. When I turned on the TV I was shocked to hear that Marble Falls received more than 18 inches of rainfall in a couple of hours. And the weather radar was not looking good. An obvious squall line was heading south east out in the hill country. But I hoped that I could leave Austin before any serious rains hit. I safely arrive at the airport and, after getting a special screening, I see that my flight is scheduled to be on time. But then it changes to delayed because of mandatory crew rest (and not weather oddly enough).
I make it into Houston at 10 and run to my next flight which is a different wing of the airport. This entails fast walking a long distance, getting into a bus, waiting for the bus to fill up, waiting for the bus to backup and turn around, waiting for the bus to drive a short distance around the complex, and then fast walking another long distance. When I make it to my next gate, I still see my flight number so I have hope that I arrived in time. But it changes to another flight and I realize that it is too late. So I walk to an agent and change my ticket. Fortunately, they have held a seat on the next flight for me yesterday.
This flight leaves at 2:10 and I have a couple of hours to kill. I go to eat lunch but am faced with a dilemma. Do I eat in the B section or do I eat in the E section where my new gate is. Well, I chose badly and decide to eat at a pizza place in the B section. I know that they never have the same restaurants in the different sections. After lunch, I arrive in the E section only to encounter a Pappadeaux! Gah! I could have had seafood but ate crappy pizza. This makes me want to throw it all up…
There were no problems with my next flight and I finally arrive in Florida. I wait for my luggage only to have it not show up. So I walk to the baggage claim area and find out that it had made the previous flight! How can it get off loaded, sorted, and reloaded faster than I can get to a gate!?
I get a car at the airport and get transported to the Hertz location. However, when I walk up to my car, there is a lady getting into it. It seems we were both rented the same car! We both walk back in to sort it out and I leave with the car…
I planned on taking the 3:35pm flight out of Austin today. So I arrive at 1:30 to eat some lunch at the Salt Lick. Austin’s airport recently made the news out having good, local eateries inside of it. But, that was the only good news of the day.
Apparently, there were some severe storms in Dallas/Ft. Worth. All flights into and out of it were canceled. Although there was a little bit of hope when we boarded the plan after announcing that there might be a window open. However we were quickly told that the flight was delayed once again. We were also given the choice of staying on the plane or leaving. The majority voted for debarking.
I heard that the W.P.B. segment was canceled. So I headed down to the ticketing booth and waited in a huge line. With only two ticketing agents serving the line progress was slow. And while I was in the line I worried that my luggage would actually fly to Dallas without me. I finally got to the head of the line and was able to get my ticket changed to a flight for tomorrow on a different carrier (Continental) and a different hub (Houston).
The next ordeal was getting my luggage back. Fortunately, the flight was canceled. But the problem was that all of the luggage was dumped onto one carousel (out of five available). I don’t know where everyone was (probably in that huge line), but there was no one to pick up any luggage. It piled up and piled up until it overflowed and the system stopped. At that point I noticed a passenger offloading the luggage. So I helped out as well. Finally, an employee came out and reset the system. And eventually I was able to retrieve my luggage and make it back home at 8:30pm.
I had a couple of things break in the house recently. My exhaust fan was not working and making snap-crackle-pop noises. Which is acceptable in breakfast cereals but not in light switches embedded in walls. At first I thought it was the fan that shorted out.
So I yanked off the cover and investigated the fan. I like how they use a small plug for the fan module. How convenient! But it took me a while to pry the fan out.
Notice how someone wrapped duct tape to stop drafts? But when I plugged the fan into an electrical outlet, it worked fine. Sigh. All that effort for nothing. So I removed the light switch and went to Home Depot (another new one on Braker and Mopac. Man, they are spouting up all over the place!). I also found out that if you turn the power back on with the light switch missing, then nothing else on the circuit works. I should know that everything is wired in series…
Next up was the garbage disposal. In my peach pitting marathon, I accidentally let one of those suckers escape down the drain. Where it promptly wedged itself in the disposal. I was able to fish out two pieces with my hand but there was still more in there. Fortunately, my model has a slot for a big Allen wrench to fit into. And I was able to turn the blades and clear the blockage.
John and I went to Wilco again and ignored the closed sign. The course was actually dry enough to play. We spotted a baby deer and a jackrabbit out on the course.
I finally had a good first throw on hole 3 — probably my best throw ever on that hole. It landed right in the middle of the fairway. This hole is pretty tough. You have to throw a curving left shot that misses the wall of bushes on the left, the tree in the middle, and the cactus and brush on the right.
We ended early when it started to rain again. We didn’t want to destroy the course. It was interesting. You could actually feel the temperature drop before the rainfall. Talk about evaporative cooling…
Tonight was all new games for me. Sometimes I think that too many games are released. First up was Colosseum. Which was a game that I was interested in playing. Being that its theme was about Rome. But John described it as putting on a play, and while that analogy was appropriate, it kind of ruined it for me. So Chapel and I amused ourselves by naming one of the play elements Christians. With Gladiators and Lions out to get them and cages to put them in. Fortunately, John is forgiving enough not to make a big fuss about it.
There are twelve possible components to a play and 30 different plays (with titles like The Galleys of Apollo, or The Cavalry of Spartacus). With only five game rounds, it doesn’t seem like there is a lot of things to do in this game. And you do not track cumulative victory points but the victory points in your best play (which generally progress to bigger plays with more victory points).
There are a lot of random aspects to this game. You roll dice to move spectators around a track and hope that they land inside your Colosseum. There are five groups of three tiles that you can bid on and you hope that useful tiles are drawn from the bag. Also, in the version of the game that we played, money was largely useless after a while.
I will have to take a wait and see attitude with this game. If I play it more, and if it turns out to be a better game, then I will buy it. Otherwise, I am content with letting someone else own it.
Next up was Arkadia. This was a more interesting game. No theme was explained to me which was fine in my book. It left it as an abstract game which is what worked best. Essentially, you are trying to collect tokens (of which there are colors) by surrounding a building with your pieces, other player’s pieces, neutral pieces, or other buildings. When a building is surrounded and the tokens are handed out, then the player will take a castle wall and place it on one of ten spots. This changes the number of visible colors when you look straight down. You may optionally cause a scoring which will allow you to trade your tokens for victory points. With only four possible scoring choices, you have to wait for the best time to use them.
This was an interesting game. And one that I am willing to play again.