Monday, October 31, 2005

BGG.con: Monday, Oct 31

Today is Halloween, a strange pagan holiday we don't know anything about in Israel (I'm originally American, however), but you wouldn't know about it in our part of Dallas, aside from a pumpkin here and there and some newspaper ads. No trick-or-treaters, no costumes, no craziness, nothing closed.

Since I had no other plans, I decided to play around with the public transportation system and cruise around town. I left the house without a jacket, of course, and stopped in Tom Thumb to pick up a lunch. By the time I came outside, it was raining and cold. Oops. I don't remember anything about rain in the weather report I looked at before leaving Israel. Now what?

I ran across Preston to one of the other strip-mall corners, looking left and right to see if I had missed any men's clothes stores or umbrella stores somewhere. I got a little wet, and I knew I would not be able to make it all the way home without getting thoroughly soaked. Nothing looked promising. So I stopped into the Clotheshorse Anonymous to see if they carried men's clothes. Nope.

Inside, however, the salespeople all gathered round, trying to help me come up with a solution, and then one of them offered me her umbrella to keep. I was stunned; I offered her something, but she wouldn't take anything for it. Well, well, a stolen jacket, and a given umbrella. The wheel keeps on turning.

The umbrella helped, and I would have made it home even drier if I had not turned down the wrong street. Somehow I made it halfway down the wrong block before noticing my error. It was then I noticed the small hole in the umbrella ...

Back home I decide to stick it out and spend the day cutting and assembling more copies of the game. I managed to get through about nine copies. Takes a bloody long time. (Coldfoot - I'll send yours out tomorrow.) In the meantime I learned that daytime television sucks.

Big game news of the day is Rick Thornquist planning to start something new. I can't see how it will pay him any more than he was getting from Gamefest, but I guess that depends on how much he was getting. Good luck, Rick.

For dinner we went out to a local restaurant, which shall not be named. The last time my friends had been to this restaurant, the waitress (plus staff) had misdelivered half of the order. This time they managed to improve on that by misdelivering almost the entire order.

The waitress was on her first day. We don't blame her, because she should have someone standing next to her during her training period for a few weeks. She didn't know most of the items on the menu, or what was allowed or not, so she went back and forth to the kitchen to answer our questions. After placing our order, the fun really began.

Only my friend's daughter got what she ordered. David ordered broiled tuna and received canned, which he was not happy about, and had to send it back while being informed that they don't have any fresh tuna to broil. Sharron and I both ordered but we received only one plate, with her main dish and one of my side dishes, and one cup of soup that could have been either of ours, but we couldn't tell what type of soup it was because it was opaque and came without a spoon. We were also missing dressing for the potato and the salads.

We tried to correct this and received a large salad of some type (which we didn't order), and sometime later a spoon. Eventually a more experienced waitress came over to try to solve the problem, but the only thing that happened was that she took the complete order again and promised to bring back the correct items but never did. Eventually the manager came out and we bantered a bit, feeling like the entertainment was worth it all. David got a new salad with roasted salmon but no dressing. Then we got dressings for all items and identified the soup (Sharron's). We had to leave soon, so we couldn't start ordering an entire meal again, but when I told him that I had also ordered a soup, he said he could at least bring that out quickly. So he did - without the spoon. I felt like calling him over to ask him to "taste the soup" like the old joke.

The whole thing was ridiculous, but the food - I tasted some of what actually made it to the table - was good. The "new" waitress was apparently the sister of the waitress that had done the same thing last time. Ursula, maybe? We received a $25 coupon for the next time for our troubles.

On the way back to our house, we stopped to let Sharron sign up her daughter for basketball, which apparently involved a reading of the entire set of rules and regulations to all parents. David and I strolled around playing mental Go on a 5 x 5 board, since we had no equipment. I was pretty sure that first move could force a win, but David believed that we would tie.


Me: B2
David: C3

David seemed to think that the center was a winning move for him. I disagreed.

Me: B3
David: C2

Me: C4
David: D3

I was rather happy with this, as it looked like I might end up with 16 spaces to his 9. David disagreed, of course.

Me: D4
David: B4

I said that that was suicide for white, since I will just capture him. I think David was having a hard time trying to remember which position was which at this point.

Me: B5
David: A4

I said that that doesn't help since I will just reduce it to one liberty again well before he can capture anything of mine.

Me: A3

At this point, David was obviously having trouble visualizing it; the women came out and we went home. The first site on Google detailing how to solve Go on a 5x5 board can be found here. It's cute, with animated games for many of the typical openings. The optimal opening is, indeed, the center.


No comments: