Monthly Archives: September 2008

Now I know the extended warranty was worth it

Another rental car

When I bought my super-truck, I bought an extended warranty to go with it. I liked having the peace of mind that goes with a warranty and I knew I would be driving the snot out of that truck.

When the head gasket failed last April, I thought those problems had been fixed. So, when I started to smell burning oil, I thought that something else was broken. Perhaps the transmission was leaking or the fluid was burning out. This time I took it to Leif Johnson Ford instead of Mack Haik Ford. It is interesting how different these two dealerships are. Leif did not charge me investigatory fees. And they drove me to work in a huge F-250 diesel.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that the head gasket failed again. Apparently, there are two sides to this engine and they only replaced one of the sides. What a coincidence! I wonder if it is anything like the analogy of when two new lights have been on for ages — when one fails, the other is surely near its end of life. It is strange that, when they had the engine apart, why couldn’t they replace both gaskets? I don’t think that the gasket price is that expensive.

Another difference between the dealerships is that they did not talk about the deductible on the rental. Although, this time, the charge to fill up the gas themselves was a ridiculous 7 dollars per gallon.

So it seems that my warranty has saved me around five thousand dollars so far I imagine. That is, if I would have fixed this on my own dime.

The Monument cafe is moving

Monument Before
Monument After
Monument face

According to this article, The Monument Cafe is moving. So I went to see if it was true or not. And it is. They are moving North 11 or so blocks. The owners will keep the old location. And there is no definitive word on what will replace it. I do hope they repair that old parking lot. It is rather bad.

Disc Golf 09/06/08


Jon and I did another round of disc golf at Wilco this morning.

Outlaw Singles

Man, this course was crowded this morning. I am guessing that the upcoming Outlaw Singles might have something to do with that.

Hole 17

On hole 17, my Wraith barely made it around the huge group of trees on the left. And I was able to putt it in for a birdie.

On hole 18, I found a blue Valkrye which had no name on it. I left it on top of 18’s basket. Later on, when we left (because we had skipped the first 6 holes due to congestion), someone was asking about that disk. I told him where it was (and I hope that it was still there).

Game Day 09/04/08

Game #1

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization

It’s been a while since we have played TTA. Especially a four player game of it. This game is tough to balance. There are just so many variables to juggle. And, for tonight, my problem was science and rocks. My lack of science kept me from putting down a lot of buildings. I had to really pick and choose. And my lack of resources coal/iron/oil kept me from building more high value buildings. Especially my army. I knew it would be scored at the end of the game and I came in last in that race. But no one attacked me during the game which was nice. And I was able to keep in second place. Ahead of Marty, who seemed to pick up steam in the last couple of rounds.

Bridge 09/02/2008


Rachel joined us for bridge tonight and was my partner. She did pretty well considering that she was new to bridge (or, at least, her handicap was higher than we started with).

The date is 09/02/2008

The players are:

North East South West
MarkH Nick/JohnH Rachel Wayne
A 9 4 2
A Q 9 8 6
9 8 2
5 4 2


W         E


A K 9 6 3
K Q 10 7 5 J 3
J 7 10 3 2
Q 7 3 K J 5
Q J 10 7
8 6
K 5 4
A 10 6 4

Bidding was as follows:

South West North East
pass pass pass 1♠
pass 2♠ pass pass

A 8 was then led.

The score turned out to be -1

The IMP turned out to be -2

10 2
A 8 7 5 4
A 8
A J 9 5
9 5 3


W         E


A 8
Q J 9 3 2 K 10
Q 5 3 K 9 7 6 4 2
7 2 10 4 3
K Q J 7 6 4
J 10
K Q 8 6

Bidding was as follows:

West North East South
pass pass pass 1♠
pass 2 3 3♠

A 3 was then led.

The score turned out to be 5

The IMP turned out to be 4

I actually missed an Ace during my first bid. Oops.
I would have bid 1 if I would
have seen it originally. But, wait, that’s not all. When Rachel bids
1♠, I think “jump to new suit” but say the next valid heart level.
Apparently, it is both a jump and a shift.

A Q 8 6 4 2
K 8 6
Q 7 5
10 7 5


W         E


K 6 5 4 Q 10 9 7 3
4 Q 10 9 7 5 3
K 10 9 6 3 4
K J 3
A J 2
A J 2
A J 8 2

Bidding was as follows:

North East South West
2♠ pass 4nt pass
5 pass 6♠ pass

A Q was then led.

The score turned out to be 1

The IMP turned out to be 9

My first big hand and I mess it up. The Spades were not split evenly and
I did not draw the last one out. That proved to be my downfall when I
played a Diamond. Oh, and by the way, I had rule of twenty here but
went for the 6-card length bid. Not that it mattered, 4NT was the response
either way.

9 7 5
10 8
Q 5 3
Q 9 7 6 2
J 8 6 2


W         E


Q 10 4
A K Q J 5 3
A J K 9 8 7 2
K 10 8 A 4 3
A K 3
9 7 6 4 2
10 6 4
J 5

Bidding was as follows:

East South West North
pass pass 1nt pass
2nt pass 3nt pass

A 6♣ was then led.

The score turned out to be 4

The IMP turned out to be 5

K Q 8 3 2
K J 10 7 6 5
10 5


W         E


9 7 6
J 10 A 9 6 5 4 3
3 2 A 9 4
Q J 9 8 7 5 4 K
A J 4
Q 8 7 2
Q 8
A 6 3 2

Bidding was as follows:

South West North East
1♣ 3♣ 3 3
double pass pass pass

A Q was then led.

The score turned out to be -4

The IMP turned out to be 13

J 6 3
J 8 5 3 2
K J 10 2
K J 9 5 2


W         E


A Q 10
9 4 2 K 7
10 Q 9 7
A Q 8 3 9 7 6 5 4
8 7 4 3
A Q 10 8 5
A K 6 4

Bidding was as follows:

South West North East
1 pass pass pass
pass 1♠ 2 2♠

A 3 was then led.

The score turned out to be -2

The IMP turned out to be -5

10 8 6 4 3 2
A J 10 4 2
A 7 5


W         E


K Q 9 6 5 8 7
6 4 2 A 9 8 7 3
10 8 A J 9 6 2
Q J 9
Q J 10 5
K 7 5 4 3

Bidding was as follows:

North East South West
2♠ 3♣ pass 3
double pass pass pass

A K was then led.

The score turned out to be -2

I did not notice that I qualified for a rule of 20 here. But, even if I did,
I still would bid the 6-card suite length. Which apparently pissed some people

Game Day 09/01/08

Game #1

Shadow Hunters

We started the game day off with a filler game. Which was so-so. We probably should have waited for some more information on who is your enemy and who are your allies before attacking. But as we gathered information, we just started wailing on each other. Which is a good thing as it sped the game up.

Game #2

Stone Age

Next up was a game that I wanted to play. It had dice in it and sounded interesting. You collect resources to trade in for victory points. There are some factors which mitigate dice rolls. First, you can gather tools which will bump up bad dice rolls. Next, the only critical dice roll is where you gather food and you start out with enough to last you for two turns.

I liked this game and would buy it.

Game #3


We played this classic game. But the new version. Which I hate compared to the old. The graphics are worse. The changes to the rules are horrible. Ugh. Give me the old version anytime. Fortunately, we used the old rule set with the new board (we did have to use a special counter to show where your turn ended ten spaces away from your current start position).

In this game, two things were painful for me. Both the mines and the coal mills were far away from my starting position. So I ended up being very inefficient. I also took a huge risk and left my food generation spot unguarded. I did this for two turns. But I was rewarded for this. I was able to get ahead of the pack and acquire the resources to build the final victory spot.

Game #4

Can’t Stop

There was some serious Grimming going on in this game. So we started up a game of Can’t Stop at the table. That game is easy to pick up and leave. You do not need to remember any strategic information while you are away.

Game #5

Ricochet Robots

Marty wanted to play this classic Russcon game. I was a little worried though. We had two new gamers at the table and I didn’t think they were up to the spacial challenges that this game requires. But, towards the end, they started to get the hang of the game and even scored a victory point. Without Jeffles or MarkY at the table, this game is much easier to win.

Game #6

Gipsy King

We ended out the night with this abstract game. I like it and should add it to my shopping list.

Disc Golf 09/01/08


Before we headed up for Ed’s game day, we played at the Rivery. Man, its been a while since I have played here.


On the course, Jon spotted a snake. He hates snakes, apparently. After I took this picture and left, I looked back to watch Jon attack the poor snake with a branch…

Hole 15

That was also at the hole where I made a birdie.