Monthly Archives: April 2008

Tichu and Texmex 04/27/2008


The group finally went to Monument Cafe. Unfortunately, they ordered sandwiches and burgers. To me, the daily and varied vegetable and dessert selections make this place special. Also, our waiter was rather disappointing. He ignored refilling our drinks. And, while he offered to split up the bill, he wouldn’t actually split the bill up. I had to write down everyone’s name on the bill to mark what items were ordered by what person. He then took our credit cards and cash and came back with the change and the credit card bills. You had to trust that he entered everything in correctly for each person.

While I think that Traci understands the mechanics of Tichu well enough. It seems like she doesn’t understand the subtleties in playing with a partner. Whenever Nick would play and John would pass, Traci would go over Nick. This happened whether she called Tichu or not. The most egregious example was her playing the Dragon on top of Nick’s Ace. You need to keep in mind that your partner should have your best interests in their decision making process.

Perhaps we should play more games of Suicide Tichu. My one game of Suicide Tichu distilled and exemplified the “teamwork is essential” experience quite nicely.

04/27/2008 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 & JohnG Nick & Traci
  10     390  
    515 T+
  400 T+  
  600     600  
  745 T+  
  830   T+ 870  
    810 T-
  1025 T+  

Disc golf 04/26/2008

disc in the water

The group checked out the new disc golf course near the Benbrook subdivision in Leander. The course is brand new. And it shows. They are still working on clearing out trees. A crew had come by earlier, cut some tree branches down, and left them laying in the course.

There is a creek running through the course. Of course, we lost discs in it! You had to cross the creek at different points. Each time, the only way to get across was one thin board. The only problem with that was that one end was usually in the water.

John in the thick growth
John in the thick growth again

The greens are pretty narrow. And the rough is very rough. It is quite easy to loose discs in the tall grass. If that wasn’t enough discouragement, right next to the rough is an impenetrable wall of brush and trees.

Lucky throw

I had a couple of good throws. But I tried to generally play it safe. Can you see that body of water in the distance? Well the basket is on that small hill behind it. There is about twenty feet of green around it.

Jon in the water

Jon threw his disc in the water. And if I wasn’t spotting his throw for him, he would have never found it. It disappeared into the muck without any trace.

Aggressive water moccasin

Apparently Jon stirred up more than just muck in that pond. An aggressive water moccasin started swimming around in it after he left. It went back and forth towards people. Can you spot it just past the green pond scum?

John throwing across the water

That wasn’t the only time you had to throw across the water either. The tee for seventeen is on the other side of another pond.

Pizza pie

Game #1

It been a while since I have made pizza. So sad. I was distracted by high-tech gadgets. Don’t worry though, Mr. Pizza. I would never put you in a vacuum bag and submerse you in water!

High gas prices

75.00 gas

I had an interesting experience at the pump today. With gas at all-time highs, I finally hit a limit. The pump stopped at exactly $75.00. But the tank was not full yet. When I inquired within, I was told that my credit card must have a limit on it. So I swiped the card again and put the last couple of dollars in to top it off.

Sigh. What a stupid security measure! The company does not want me to spend more than 75 dollars on gas at one time. But they do not mind if it do it immediately again.

I should figure out what car I want to drive next. I would love to get a 2008 Corvette ZR1. 638 horse power! Mmmm. But I can’t really justify spending 65 thousand dollars (assuming that I can find one at that price). A Volkswagen Jetta Blue TDI diesel would be interesting. At least in theory (making your own bio-diesel ). But diesel, which was once cheap, is now more expensive than super-unleaded. Plus, I would want to cut down on weight and get a two seater version. And it would be nice if it was a plug in hybrid as well.

Game Day 04/24/2008

Game #1

Das Zepter von Zavandor

Cool. We played a game of Zepter. I started off strong. I was able to build my economy up to four diamonds before everyone else. But I just kept it there and let the other people catch up in income generation. The endgame took far too long for my strategy. We did have an amusing ending though. Someone myself, Doug and Jon ended up having the same number of victory points. And this game does not have a tie breaker!

Bridge 04/22/08

A Tichu hand in a bridge game
record keeping

We had another session of bridge tonight. And it was quite boring. Wayne played 5 hands. Nick played one hand. Stephanie played two. And I played one hand. Well, I would have played another hand if I would have remembered the “Rule of Twenty.”

I definitely like Tichu much better than bridge. You are more involved. You don’t have to sit out on hands. And good hands don’t necessarily mean good cards. For example, my hand could make Tichu if the opposing team had got down in cards and I was able to play a single 8 (then bomb, play a jack high straight and then the 4).

Out of curiosity, how should I keep and present the bridge score?

Tichu and Texmex 04/20/08

Marty came into town and was looking to see if Tichu and Tex-Mex was going on tonight. Since Gravitt was out of town, I took the task of finding two other Tichu players to make this happen. We met at Serrano’s. I haven’t been there in a while. Which is a shame. I like their Chile Relleno.

04/20/2008 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 & Nick Marty & Wayne
  -200 GT-   200  
T+ -45    
T+   365  
  435 T+   265 T-
  T+ 400  
  550     450  
T+ 1245     755  

Salmon Sous Vide

Salmon Sous Vide before

Next up with the sous vide experience was cooking Salmon. I bought a half of a pound of Atlantic Salmon and brined it in a 10% salt water solution for ten minutes (to help prevent the albumen from leaching out during the cooking). After patting the salmon dry, I then cut the it in half. I salted and peppered the fillets, poured a little bit of olive oil on them, and also put some garlic power on them. In one bag, I placed some tarragon. In the other, nothing else was added.

Salmon Sous Vide after

I cooked the fillet in 116 degree Fahrenheit water for an hour. When I removed the fish from the bag, I patted the top dry with some paper towels and then used a culinary blow torch to brown the top.


10 impossibilities conquered by science link via

The longest Turn link via

“We know that people are going to use the printer to try to make weapons [and] sex toys and drug paraphernalia,” he says. “This is obviously not what we’re hoping they are going to build. We are hoping they are going to build more and better RepRaps.” link via

The mother of all cul-de-sacs link via

Reproducing a $100 bill by paying 10,000 people 0.01 cents each via Amazon’s Turk link via

Human/chicken foetus link via

The script of the Godfather is used to create a picture link via

The difference engine link via

Sierpinski cookies link via

Fractal pizza link via

48″ Star Destroyer model link via

Lost is like W.o.W. link via

Skull camera link via

Ten weirdest computers link via

Real men don’t drink and drive link via

Cluttered desktop folders become art link via

The laser elevator link via

Kite camera link via

Trapped link via

Super Mario Brothers theme song link via

Excelsior 1968 link via

LOL grues link via

Bento boxes as album covers link via

Archisuits link via

The race to save the Cougar Ace link via

Jessica Rabbit Untooned link via

Detecting planets by using Canon 200mm f/1.8 and a custom CCD link via

I’m with stupid link via

Need for speed link via

Disc Golf 04/19/2008

Walk with us to cure lupus

The meetup group met at Old Settler’s Park for the winter variant. There were a lot of people that showed up including two new people (Jim and Tyler). The only problem was that there was a charity walk going on at the park. Oh well, it makes for a target rich environment…

Hole two

The is another mound in front of hole two from the dam project. It was a damn, damn mound that sucked up a lot of discs…

around the mound

Fortunately, my disc went around the mound.

Jon putting

But, unfortunately, we could not convert it into a birdie. Jon was off of his game today. And I blamed him, of course. Its never my fault!

Hole 10

There was one amusing incident on hole 10. A couple and their child were taking pictures in a tiny patch of blue bonnets. John, who definitely does not want to include hitting children in his list of accomplishments, went down to protect them. We threw discs down to the basket and John would try and knock them down when they got too close. Finally, they got the clue and walked off…