Monthly Archives: April 2008

Full Moon Tree

Full Moon Tree

This tree is more imposing in real life. I will have to try again sometime. I did mess around with the color balance though including some LAB colorspace correction.

Forgotten Graveyard

Forgotten graveyard

This is a graveyard that no one seems to know or care about (at the corner of 1460 & 186). Usually you see a manicured field with a couple of flowers here and there. Not so at this location. It has flowers everywhere and an empty spot or two.

Disc Golf 04/18/2008

Hole 8

I practiced a little bit around the hill again at Old Settler’s. I saw John’s vehicle but no Gravitt. And, then on hole 12, I hear “four” and notice John’s disc hit the ground close to me.

Hole 14

I had a couple of good initial first throws. But I couldn’t convert them into birdies. John did throw a thumb on this hole this time. He considers it a safer shot. I just he is afraid of these trees…

I didn’t stay that long. I wanted to take some pictures during sunset. The sky is nice and cloudless and there is going to be a full moon out.

Car trouble

Rental Car

I took my car in for service today. Last August, I received mail that there was a factory recall for my F-150. Well, it seems that the engineers screwed up and they had to recall the recall and redesign the parts. Luckily, I procrastinated and missed that whole fiasco. But it took them forever to get the new parts in.

I bundled up a bunch of problems for the one trip. And right off the bat, the dealership was annoying me. I had an outside oil leak and an inside water leak. My service adviser said that to investigate those problems I would have to pay $60 fee for each. My car is still under and extended warranty. And I consider both of those issues to be warranty issues.

While I don’t usually buy extended warranties, I did for my vehicle. I drive the snot out of it. “Drive it like you stole it is my motto.” So I wanted to make sure that what ever broke would be fixed.

Well, around 1:30, I get a call from Shaun (paraphrased, of course).

“We haven’t found the leak yet. But my mechanic suspects that it is in the cylinder heads.”
“Okay. How long is that going to take?”
“Well, that’s a complicated process and it is about a 14 hour job. We can’t finish this today and we don’t work over the weekend. How is this going to affect you?”>
“That is my only vehicle. I live in an non-commuter city and I need to use it over the weekend. Is this covered under warranty repair?”
“Well, I don’t know what part needs to be replaced. Before I know it, I can’t tell you if it is covered or not.”
“Surely, the list of parts is finite! Why don’t you go through the possible parts and tell me which ones are covered!!”
“I’ll call you back…”

“Okay, it seems that all of the possible parts are covered. Since this is covered under warranty, we will pay you $30 a day for a rental vehicle.”
“See, this is what I wanted to hear in the first place. That everything is taken care of and I don’t have to worry about a thing.”

Conveniently enough, they rent a Ford Escort for $30 a day. The only problem was that I would have to pay for taxes. Sigh. But that should amount to a dollar or so a day. I did luck out when they were out of Escorts and upgraded me to a Ford Fusion.

Game Day 04/17/2008

Game #1


Wow, it has been a long time since we played this game (or its identical twin Santa Fe Rails). I would like to play it again while the strategy is still fresh in my memory…

Game #2a
Game #2b

Big Three

Another game of big three (which seems to be Jon’s favorite three player game to finish out the evening). I had one great hand. And it got even better when I picked up three Aces and one three! No contest really…

Bridge 04/15/2008

Bridge lesson

Nick, Wayne and I played bridge. Well, at least practiced somewhat. Nick was kind enough to give me a placemat that had a bidding convention on it. But that convention is different than what Nick uses.

What I would like to see is for Nick to create a Finite State Machine that gives all possible outcomes of the system. That would appeal to my inner nerd.

Disc Golf 04/12/2008

Circle C

Well it looks like the Meetup group finally took a trip down south! Today, we played at Circle C. Thanks to one of our new members, Jason, we actually played doubles. And we played at the shorter tees. This made for a much more relaxed and enjoyable experience. Gravitt was kind enough to car pool Jon and myself down to Slaughter Lane. We left ungodly early though. When I asked him why, he responded:

Contingency, practice, taco. It takes longer than you think.

Icy beer

Unfortunately, I had a Sobe Power Fruit Punch with my breakfast taco and the Taurine or the Guarana gave me a pounding headache. I could feel it build up at hole one. And I was miserable during almost all of the round of golf. Sigh.

We stopped by the south Twin Peaks for lunch. The tall mugs were frozen. And this iced up our beer. For some reason, our waitress was not very friendly. She never sat with us or talked with us.

Gravitt teaching Tichu

Gravitt took this opportunity to teach Tichu to Javier. Javier was nice enough to play along with us. I don’t know if he will play again though. It was amusing that he was on the opposite team from mine. Yet he kept asking what the special cards were. I tried not to use that knowledge. It was just a friendly learning game.

Disc Golf 04/11/2008

Hole 8

Today I practiced Old Settler’s Winter holes around the hill. There are six holes that you can play that center around the small hill next to the water park. And if you play them three times in a row, that would make a round of 18.

It seems that I kept running into a group of people. At first, I thought that if I waited for them to finish a hole, I could be rid of them. But I discovered that, like myself, they were playing holes out of order. At least I was doing a sequence of holes. They were just jumping around…

Hill of dirt at hole 2

Since I was colliding so often with these people, I wandered off across the street. It looks like the damn improvement has left yet another obstacle for me. There is now a hill of dirt on the left side of hole 2!

Game Day 04/10/2008

Game #1a
Game #1b

Pampas Railroads

I finally finished my custom board for Pampas Railroads! And, to celebrate, we played a game of it. Bidding was interesting. The initial stocks went for quite high prices. This meant that people, who bid high, ran out of money. After that I was able to get some shares for cheaper prices (essentially one dollar more than what other people had).

I had shares in almost every railroad. And the one railroad which I had a lock on (3 out of the possible 5), was doing the best in income. Chapel had the other two minor shares. So I was able to keep a delta over him. For Chapel’s majority railroad, I had the other two shares. His railroad was lower in income. And I would be able to keep my railroad’s income higher than Mike’s. Unfortunately, Jon had neither of those two railroads. He did have controlling interest in one railroad. But it was not enough to account for our double arrangement. So that was one negative aspect of this game for three players.

Game #2

Big Three

We finished off Pampas Railroads early when it was clear that the standing were not going to change. We finished off the night with a game of Big Three. Nice and light.

Twin Peaks

New Twin Peaks

When we went down to Zilker park on March 8th, Gravitt had wanted to eat lunch at the Twin Peaks near Stassney. But we never did. He had mentioned that a new Twin Peaks was being built on Louis Henna Boulevard. I later discovered that it is right next to IH-35 and it is now open.

I am surprised that so many pretty women restaurants can operate next to each other. Hooters is across the street (well, if you call IH-35 a street). And the Tilted Kilt is a half of a mile away. The food is not very good. But the beer and views make up for it. I guess that the best thing about this chain of restaurants is that there are more waitresses here. And they are friendly enough to sit down and talk with you!