Monthly Archives: June 2007

Peach cobbler

Peach cobbler

Now, is this post really a surprise to you? I mean what do you do with four bags of peaches? And a love of cobbler? Make peach salsa? What is this, New York city?

Now isn’t that a commercial? The interwebs, why do they fail me?

Peach tree overload!

Peach tree bent in half
Peaches on the ground

I walk out and notice that my poor peach tree was having serious issues with the weight of its fruit. Look at the poor branches. They are bending over and about to touch the ground! So I stop what I am doing and pick all of the peaches off the tree. Any obviously eaten peaches, I throw on the ground next to the tree. Which is already littered with them. Otherwise, I fling the peaches out in the yard to sort later. The tree is actually helping me out by bending its limbs to the ground. I start at the top of a branch and work my way to the base.

And end up with eight grocery bags full of fruit either perfectly fine or with a little bit of insect damage. I definitely do not use pesticides! And I figure that I can use the ones with some tiny damage as cobbler material (cutting out the bad spots). Sadly, I also end up with six garbage bags filled with rotten fruit and insect eaten fruit.

I estimate that there were approximately 300 peaches. Which seems like an awful lot. I mean look at that sad tree. How do they survive on their own in the wild?

Peach bird nest

And there was even a bird’s nest built on some of the peaches. I only noticed the bird as it flew away when it was startled. Which was surprising since I was picking peaches from the tree non-stop for 40 minutes.

Disc Golf 06/16/2007

night lights

The group decided to play Cat Hollow today. Or, should I say that John decided to play Cat Hollow and everyone else agreed. It looks like someone was out putting on hole 18 during the night. And they left a bunch of mini glow sticks taped up on the basket. And they also left about 8 laying around on the ground as well. Sigh. I wish these people would clean up after themselves…

Group shot

Roxana finally played with us after about a year of an absence. Nick taught us the game of Troll (which is a five player game). An ordering of the group is determined. The last player will get to pick which one of the previous four that they will partner with. However, they must decide after each person’s first throw. If someone is picked, then they will be a team against the other three players. And if a team wins the hole, then all players on that team will get a point. If no team wins, then it is a push and the points are carried over to the next hole. The last person also has the option of deciding to go by themselves (making a team of four against that person). Whichever team wins the hole will score double. On the next hole, the ordering is rotated. So every person will have a chance to go last. Also, we only play 15 holes (an even multiple of 5) for the game (only in the case of ties will we continue playing more holes).

Some interesting dynamics come up in the course of playing this game. You may want to purposely throw into the ground in order to make the person who is choosing pick someone else (or even be forced to go by themselves).

John also decided that the group would eat at Extreme Pizza. I was not in the mood to eat pizza, so I went somewhere else…

Disc Golf 06/15/2007

Close shot on hole 1

John and I bit the bullet and bought a yearly pass at Wilco. Since the tennis pro shop closes at 1pm, we show up at 12:30ish. Which is right when it starts to rain. Gravitt calls me up on the cell phone and asks if we should abort disc golf, but I tell him to toughen up. When I park, it starts to rain very hard (at least a couple of inches per hour hard). However, after we finally pay for the memberships, the rain stops. So we head out…

I had a good approach shot on hole 1. With trees in the middle of the course, my usual throw goes off to the left and then fades much harder to the left. So when this shot angled off to the far right and missed the trees, I was happy.

The course was muddy. And this course needs a lot more improvements to be made. Like: more mulch where there is just dirt paths, concrete tee boxes, and perhaps some buffalo grass seed planted in the middle of the course. But what was really surprising today, was when we got to hole 16, the ground was completely dry! There was no sign at all that it had rained not an hour earlier. Talk about the ground soaking up all the water…

Game Day 06/14/2007

Game #1


Chapel suggested this filler as we waited for people to show up. I took a bold strategy and took some high number cards with many chips on them. In this game, I started out with the 33, and , later on, got the 34. So when the 30 shows up, I am willing to keep adding chips to it until the pile builds up quite nicely. Ed surprised me a little bit by taking it with, I think, 10 chips on it. Of course, I was going to take it soon. But it still is -20 points to someone else…

Doug took low cards but was never able to fill in gaps. No one ran out of chips in this game. Although it got close some times. I ended up winning the game with close to half the score of the person in 2nd place.

Game #2


Next up was this classic game. Which I love. I mean come on. It has dice, pushing your luck, and even some strategy to it. Maybe it was because it has been quite some time since this group has played this game. What ever the reason, the group dynamics were quite amusing. I would even say that they were the best I have ever seen. Jon (to my right) took the slow and steady approach. He would roll low the first time and then place the dice on the first spot. I could never roll great either, so I would use his protection factor and place my dice on spot number 2. Well, John would place his dice on 3, Doug would place his dice on 4. And Chapel would have no choice but to place it on 5. Each person was not risking a re-roll either. This left Ed severely hosed. All he could do was try and roll a number which would clear the board and place it on 0. Or roll and X and lose his turn. But he was in last place anyways. This kept happening and happening and there was nothing he could do about it. Finally he was pissed off enough to, instead of placing a rolled 76 on an open spot 5, place it instead on 0 and kick every one off. Somehow, I managed to eek my way into second place. Gravitt was able to be in a winning spot with no one else kicking him off. So I let him ride in for the win with me in second place.

Game #3


Nick for some reason was running late. So we played yet another light and fluffy filler game. The dice, of course, acted strangely. I could rarely roll many fives at one time. While Chapel would. And then sometimes people would crap out only having two numbers locked out. Even though I could not roll well, the dice still loved me enough to give me the win.

Game #4a
Game #4b

Magna Grecia

Finally, we got to play a meaty game. One I think gets far less plays than it should. Perhaps it is the horrible color scheme. What ever the reason, it remains on my list of hidden jewels — rarely played but great games. I was the brown color in this game. For the first tile that was turned up, it was orange (Chapel), red (Ed), yellow (Nick), and brown (me) with 2 roads, 3 cities, and 3 resupply. Mike, as the first player was somewhat hosed. He did what I would have done and built a city (1) which connected up to a oracle. Ed was somewhat in a bad situation as well and decided to build off of Mike’s city and create a two city spot (2) hoping to eventually grab and control oracle B. Nick was new to this game. However, he made an excellent move. One that I desperately wanted to make myself. He built off of Ed’s city and created a three city spot (3). This would give him a commanding control of oracles A, B, C, and D! In fact, the very process of building roads to those oracles both claims the oracles (4 points) and gives his market 1 more point. At the end of the game, he could hope to have a city with ten connections and 4 oracles. Which would give him 26 points! Ed, of course, connected to oracle B with a road on aa. However, Nick did make a mistake and place a road on spot bb which connected to oracle C. This forever cut off his access to oracle B. He should have instead built a two road connection on spot bb to oracle B. Surprisingly, Nick left oracle A alone. Even though it was two spots away. I decide to build off of Nick and create a three city spot (4) as well. I had hoped to control oracles A,J, and H. However, as it later turned out, someone built on the village spot north west of my city and connected to the oracle. This cut off my ability to reach oracle H with my city. It turned out to be sad, but not entirely unexpected.

During the game, I noticed that Mike was planning to take over oracle J. I knew I had to act immediately. If Mike was able to place a road to oracle J, he would have a city with one more connection to it than I would have. This would give him final control over it and 4 points. So I placed a road along path z to connect to a village. This both cut Nick off from being able to connect to my oracle and stopped Mike from taking control of oracle J over. Since you need to have a city with more roads connected to it for its allegiance to switch over.


To end out the night, we played a quick game of Tichu to 500 points. To start off, Mike made a rather non-standard Tichu call. John had already called Tichu and was winning tricks. Mike makes a Tichu call but does not play anything. Finally, he starts playing. But was not able to stop John and go out first. His had was revealed to be AAKKQQJJJJ085. I made a Grand Tichu call on two Aces and the Dog and was successful. On the third hand, I made another Tichu call. However, on the fourth and final hand, the other team made a Tichu and one/two for the win.

06/14/2007 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 Nick & JohnG
T-   120 T+
GT+ 200    
T+ 310    
  310     590 T+

Serious spider’s nest

Spider's nest

Walking back from Taco Deli, I notice this huge spider’s nest. It looks like something straight out of Lord of the Rings. Perhaps a mini Shelob is eating a mini Chihuahua in there?

Tichu and Tex-Mex 06/10/2007

John is trying to put together a Tichu session on Sunday nights. We shall see if I can make more of them, but I was able to finish all of my chores in time to make this one. There were a couple of new people present. So it was a good opportunity to increase the local Tichu skills.

However, my partner made some mistakes. One thing about this game that can be counter-intuitive is the fact that this a team game. One example is going over your partner’s plays when they call Tichu. When Traci called it, I was waiting to help with a Dragon and a Dog in my hand. After an opponent played an Ace (and the Phoenix was out), I stepped in and played the Dragon. So Traci shocked me when she bombed the Dragon. She then led a low sequential pair which was overtaken by the other team. At this point, my hand was cratered and I could only sit by and hope that she could go out first. My partner should realize that I am not going to play on top of their Tichu call unless I have a strong reason to.

The next mistake was knowing how to stop the one/two. The other team was about to one/two. Wayne only had one card left. So I saw an opportunity to stop him. I played my last Ace and would play three low pairs. However, Traci went over my pair with a higher pair. And then lead a low single. Which I could not stop. Here is another case where you should not play on top of your partner unless you are guaranteed to go out next.

This game had a lot of bombs in it. I counted ten of them. And it was a long and drawn out game. We were even on Tichu calls and one/twos. But we were seriously out-pointed.

06/10/2007 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 & Traci Wayne & JohnG
  30   T+
    50 T-
  300 T+   100  
  515     185  
  515     385  
  715     385  
  665 T-   435  


1 trillion-pixel image link via

Student creates map of school for a game, gets expelled as a terrorist link via

Solid freeform fabrication: made of pure sugar link via

The king of speed link via

The mystery of the 5 cent Coca-Cola link via

5 different disciplines of sports acrobatics link via

Dr. Strangelove stills link via

A mean chocolate chip cookie link via

Polar fire bear link via

Tamanoi vinegar robot link via

I get to do this and get paid? Whats the catch? (NSFW) link via

Pulp fiction link via

Electronic Go board link via

The Civil War in four minutes link via

United 300 link via

Ankle injuries link via

VW’s 1 liter car link via

Slurpr link via

Modest Mouse Video Animated On 4133 Kinko’s Photocopies link via

Lightning lithium superbike link via

Amazing Jenga move link via

Mr. Lee CatCam link via

What happens when a ball is thrown at 100 km/h when the truck moves at 100 km/h link via

Sin City breakfast tacos link via

Disc Golf 06/09/2007

Disc Golf sign

The group decided to play at Old Settler’s Park today before it got too hot (since there is scarcely any shade trees around). They have recently put some signage up. Also, there are signs at the park entrance for all of the sports (baseball, tennis, etc) except for disc golf. Glaring omission, I say.

Gravitt in water

We started out strong with our first shot bouncing off a tree and into the water. It was just not John’s day.

Birdie on hole 12

I had a birdie on hole 12. And on hole 9, I was almost beamed by a disc. I was out in front of the group (usually not a good thing). I heard “four.” And then “really four.” When I turn around, I see a disc about to hit me. As I duck, the disc brushes my hair!

Flood stage

You know, this new flood stage marker is quite scary, if you think about it. The mark just under the sign at the top is twenty one feet above the water level. Do they really think that the water will get that high? I mean, that is over my head on top of this dam! If it gets anywhere near that level, I will definitely not be playing disc golf. Instead, I will be building an ark…

group shot

Seven people made it out today. Two teams of two and Curt, John, and myself playing solo.

Jon in the water

Stephanie managed to throw her disc in the water. And Jon took that opportunity to go wade in the water and retrieve it. He found another disc for his efforts, but didn’t keep it.

Disc Golf 06/08/2007


This Friday I decided to go to Wilco. As I need work on precise throws. Old Settlers with its extremely wide open areas really does a number on you. It shows when you try and keep your disc in a twisty corridor about forty feet wide. And it shows when you lose to Gravitt two or three strokes per hole. Not fun…