Friday, January 30, 2009

You'll have that

Drat! One of the online comics strips I'm following has ended. It actually ended at the beginning of January but I usually only catch up every couple of months. Wes Molebash has had a pretty good series about a young married couple. You can check it out from the beginning here.
He says that he'll start a new series in Feb about a man and his dog. Look forward to it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Double Solitaire

Remove the jokers from two decks and shuffle the rest of the deck together.
Deal out two face-down piles of 13 cards - this forms the Pile for each player. Deal 4 face-up cards to each player – these form the Stock. Deal 5 face-down cards to each player to form the Hand. The remaining cards in the deck go between the players as the Draw Pile.

The top card of the Pile is always flipped face-up in turn. You can only play the top card of the Pile on to the Play Area as allowed. You cannot play cards from the Pile onto your Stock or take them into your Hand.

During your turn, you can keep playing the top card of any column in your Stock to the Play Area as allowed. To end your turn, you must have four columns in your Stock and have to be able to play a card on one of the columns. You can play any card from your Hand to your Stock and can play this card on top of any column in your Stock. If you have less then four columns, you must first play cards from your hand to fill the empty columns before playing a card to end your turn. If you are unable to do this, you draw another 5 cards into your Hand from the Draw Pile and start your turn again.

The Play Area has space for four Stacks. Any Ace can be played into an open space and cards from the Pile, Stock, and Hand can be played on any Stack in sequence from Ace through King regardless of suit. Once a King is played on a Stack, the Stack is removed and placed in a Discard Pile. When the Draw Pile is empty, the Discard Pile is shuffled and replaces the Draw Pile.

At the start of your turn, draw enough cards from the Draw Pile to bring your Hand up to 5 cards. Play cards as allowed from your Pile, Stock, and Hand to the Play Area. When you are no longer able to play, ensure you have four columns in your Stock and play a card from your Hand to the top of one of these columns. If you empty your Hand while playing to the Play Area, draw 5 cards from the Draw Pile and restart your turn. If you empty your Hand filling columns in the Stock before being able to play a card on one of the columns, you get to draw 5 cards from the Draw Pile and restart your turn.

The first player to play the last card of their Pile wins. If playing a sequence of games, the winner scores the number of cards in their opponent’s Pile.

(pics to follow)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Toaster Oven

Before getting married, I used to use the toaster oven a lot. In the middle of the night, or whenever, I would make grilled wiener sandwiches. I would take two hot dogs, split lengthwise, place them on a buttered piece of bread and put a piece of cheese on top of the other piece of bread and then toast. It was a nice, warm snack that was easy to make at 2 in the morning. I would put a piece of tin foil down over the racks to help catch the grease and make clean-up easy. Or so I thought.

After getting married and setting the toaster oven on fire a few times I realized that my mother must have been cleaning out the oven after me all those years; and that my wife wasn’t.
It made the toaster oven much less useful.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Who is number 1? Khan!

Yesterday we lost Ricardo Montalban and Patrick McGoohan.

Ricardo always had a great accent and wonderful way of rolling his words. Some will remember him as Mr Roarke from Fantasy Island or even as Khan from Star Trek, some will remember his car ads touting “rich Corinthian leather”. My kids will remember him as the voice of Senor Senior Sr from Kim Possible.
To me, I remember him in Neptune’s Daughter singing one version of “Baby, it’s cold outside”.
According to wiki, he remained a Mexican citizen his entire life and received a Knighthood in the Order of St Gregory the Great.

Wiki lists Patrick McGoohan as being American born but raised in England and Ireland. He will be remembered as Danger Man/Secret Agent to most but I don’t recall seeing any of them. He was Number 6 in the Prisoner which I did see and enjoy, but to me he’ll always remain Dr Syn alias the Scarecrow from The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. Since those first aired on Disney in 1963 before I was born, I must have seen a rerun some time later.

I have the novelization of the show and really enjoyed the nod to him in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in the paintings of the earlier Leagues. I was looking forward to having them finally released on DVD sometime but it seems that Dr Syn finally came out quietly in November 2008.

Now I just have to track down a copy. I’ll put it on my list.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Books Read - Sept through Dec

40K 4th ed
The Boy Scouts: An American Tradition by Robert W Peterson

Slave Ship by KW Jeter
The Star Wars Vault: Thirty Years of Treasures from the Lucasfilm Archives by Stephen J Sansweet and Peter Vilmur

Starship Troopers: Mobile Infantry Army book by Matthew Sprange and Matt Keefe
Hard Merchandise by KW Jeter
How to Build Dioramas 2nd Edition by Sheperd Paine
Battle Notes for Wargamers by Donald F Featherstone
Starship Troopers The Miniature Game by Andy Chambers
Model Aeroplanes of World War I: Design and Construction by Graham Goodchild
Starship Troopers: Roughnecks Army Book by Matthew Sprange
Starship Troopers: Arachnids Army Book by Matthew Sprange

Starship Troopers: Skinnies Army Book by Matthew Sprange
Serenity Role Playing Game by Jamie Chambers
Starship Troopers: The Roleplaying Game – The Arachnid Empire by Matthew Sprange
Starship Troopers: Pathfinders Army Book by Matthew Sprange
Starship Troopers: Klendathu Invasion Book by Matthew Sprange

Monday, January 5, 2009

Heroclix - 2009 goal

Even though our dollar faded near the end of the year, I was still able to make great progress at filling in my Heroclix sets. I added Infinity Challenge, Clobbering Time, Indy, and Critical Mass to the completed sets. I’m now close on Unleashed (0+1), Ultimates (9+7), Mutant Mayhem (4+9), Legacy (9+11), Fantastic Forces (3+4), Armor Wars (17+1), Collateral Damage (10+1), Supernova (12+0), Avengers (0/4), Justice League (0/7), Mutations & Monsters (1/6), Crisis (0/12), and Secret Invasion (3/7). I’m still working away at Sinister (27+3), Origin (23+2), and Arkham Asylum (34/12).
I have the 2007 Galactus, the Starro, and the ComicCon Fin Fan Foom.

Right now, I still need 239 figures – 152 REVs and 87 U/SRs. This easily clears my goal for last year.

With the future of Heroclix up in the air right now, I’ll set my goals modestly for this year – not knowing how many new sets will be released (between 0 and 4). By the end of the year, I want to be under 150 to 200 figures (depending on if any new sets get released) keeping the Uniques/Super Rares under 100. I’d like to get the Spectre, one of the Phoenix’s, as well as at least another of the Fooms.

With no new Horrorclix sets coming out, I’d like to finish at least the base set and The Lab and get some of Freakshow and Nightmares. I’m at 170 figures right now – I’d like that to be under 100 by next year.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I can solve a Rubik’s cube. It’s not as impressive as it sounds. I picked up a booklet back in the 80s when I got my first cube and learned the moves. I could consistently solve it in about 1 minute.
Like most things from high school, my cubes got packed in the moves and I didn’t really play with them again until a few years ago when I picked one up. Muscle memory kicks in - I was still able to solve it – taking a bit longer though.
The simple ability to solve a cube still impresses some people as most people never did learn how to do it.

I solve the top-down method most people who learned started with. Start with solving the top third, then the middle third, then the bottom corners and finish up with the bottom edges. While this does give you a sense of accomplishment when you are doing it, it is an inefficient way as you have to constantly mess up what you have done and then keep putting it back.

Recently though, I saw a documentary on speedcubing – where people were solving the cube between 14 and 20 seconds. They were solving from the bottom up, turning the sides with their fingers instead of their hands. I’ve found a few links – it may require looking into deeper.