Updates complete

The community centre Vista computer updates all finished! And it only took about a week what with there being a few technical issues needing to be resolved too. Next week may be a good opportunity to consider doing a full backup of the machine to help prevent against such long-term delays from happening again.

Newsletters

The monthly community newsletters arrived this morning and I’m the only person here this morning to fold them and make arrangements for their delivery. Fortunately I have a folding technique that does them in groups of 5, and combines them them in lots of 50, which means that dividing them up later on in to delivery batches is much easier to achieve. But still, even with such techniques it still takes a good part of the morning to deal with 1161 of them. I may hold off next until others can be conscripted in to helping out too. *rubs shoulder* Still, they’re now all ready for others to deliver around the neighbourhood now.

Tidying up

I’ve taken the dive in to programming with Clipper properly now, with Strahley’s Programming with Clipper, from where I’ve been learning some interesting details about good compile options to use to help ferret out certain coding issues, which results in me making beneficial changes to the code that helps to reduce its footprint by a fair margin. I’m looking forward to getting more involved in this side of things, but it seems that John is wanting me to pound the streets to drum up businesses to use his product.

Because I’m not being paid for any of this I’m not keen on pounding the streets for him at no return, so I’d better come out honest and up front to him about this. I don’t want there to be any false illusions about things, and I don’t relish him dangling carrots in front of me with the promise of perhaps taking over his business in several years time. It’s best to get this dealt with up front – especially since he now knows what good computer work I have done with his machines at his home, and am achieving with his existing programming code.

Games night

Tonight’s games were up in Northcote and involved quite a range of short to play games.

Apples to Apples is a card game that involves things and descriptions. Your hand of 7 cards have different things on them such as famous places, people, and ideas. A description card is turned over by someone and everyone else can put facedown the best thing in their hand that matches the description. The person who turned over the card shuffles the things and shows them on the table to everyone before choosing the one that best matches the description. That description card goes to the winner, and the next person around picks the next description. The person first to win 5 description cards is the winner. It ended up being a fun wee game to play while waiting for others to arrive.

Bacchus’ Banquet was the nicest looking game we played tonight that is set in Rome around the time of Caligula. Each player starts off as a different unknown character who needs to achieve certain tasks. It could be to acquire a certain amount of food and drink, or to acquire different presents, or to assassinate the emperor. The player chooses from a range of 7 items any 3, and picks one for themself, discards one, and gifts the third one unseen to someone else. The person doesn’t have to accept the gift and can pass it on to someone else who hasn’t received it yet. If it gets back to the original player then they have to accept it back. Whoever accepts the gift has to play next, but a danger in accepting is that it may be poison or something else unwanted. The challenge in the game is that food and drink have different values, and you have a belt buckle going up to 10 that you must prevent from becoming too big and exploding, resulting in your character being killed off and having to start with a new unknown character.

Perudo also called Liar’s Dice is a dice bluffing game that originated in Peru, where you are given 5 dive that you roll in a cup and hide the result in, before making successively higher declarations about how many of a certain pip that all the players have. When someone contests the bid and calls the last bidder on it, everyones dice are revealed and the person who was incorrect loses one of their dice, before another round is played. It starts off as quite a friendly game but it gets highly intense as the game nears its end with the two remaining people vying to outdo each other.

Kakerlakenpoker is a bluffing card game played with 8 different types of bugs. You pass one of your cards unseen to any other player and bluff them about what the card is, for example you might say “This is a spider card” or “You could do with another stick bug”. They can choosing to believe you or doubt you and the card goes to whoever was wrong, or they can take a look at the card and then pass it on to someone else to potentially bluff them about what the card is – “He’s right, it is another stink bug”. It may or may not be one, but that now gets resolved between the two new players, the receiver who once again decides whether to believe or not, or to take a look and pass it on to someone else. The loser of the game is person who ends up with 3 of the same type of bug.

Trans America is a simpler version of Ticket to Ride. WIth Trans America you are given 5 cards that have destinations across America that you must reach. You start laying railroad on the board from a single starting location of your choice, and on each turn can only add more rail to lines that are connected with your starting point. So connecting to other’s railroads is vital but can end up helping them out too.

Category 5 is a card game that we ended the night on, where you want to end the game scoring as few points as possible. Things start with 10 cards for each player numbered from 1 to 104, each with a scoring number on it which is the magnitude of that particular storm. The table has 4 cards placed on it to which players will add their own cards to each of those 4 rows. Each round you choose one of your cards and place it face down on the table. The cards are revealed once everyone has chosen their card, and starting with the lowest numbered card they are added to the rows on the table in increasing order, to the card that is nearest to the numbered card you are playing. If any row gets to be more than 5 cards, the player has to take those 5 cards for scoring at the end of the game, and place his card in that now empty area instead. If you play a card that is smaller than any of the places you are allowed to play, then you have to take an entire row of your own choice for scoring later on and put your low card there instead, which can be quite a strategic play to make. This was quite an appropriate game to finish up the evening with, and things ended on a nice note.

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