Long weekend Monday

It always feels like a Sunday again when Monday is a public holiday. Sleep in a bit, got out for a bit, get nothing done.

I recently got a new expansion set for the board game Carcassonne, The Tower, and my wife and I wanted to try it out. We played a game yesterday, and I offered her a bit of tactical advice with the new tiles and rules, and she beat me 102 points to 99.

Today I didn’t help her so much, and she beat me 138-98! Here’s the game in progress:

Carcassonne + The Tower

And at the end, after we’d removed all our final scoring pieces:

Carcassonne + The Tower

Next time we play I’m not offering her any assistance at all!!

New content today:

Handy hand day

My bandaged hand gave me grief during the night, with some pain that kept me awake a bit. The thumb had become bruised looking and tender, and there were areas that felt a bit numb. It was a little bit concerning, and the fact that it’s my hand meant that I really didn’t want to risk not seeking medical attention if there was any possibility of something serious happening. And given that it was Friday and this coming weekend is a long weekend with a public holiday on Monday, I didn’t want to have to end up in emergency on the weekend rather than the hand clinic (which keeps more normal hours).

So I phoned the hand clinic and described what was happening, and asked if this was normal and nothing to worry about, or if it was potentially a problem. The doctor there asked me to come into the hospital so they could have a look. I went in, and after a short wait (maybe 20 minutes), a doctor examined my hand, removing the bandage and inspecting the stitches and the bruising around the hand. He said it looked to be healing normally and the hand looked fine, with no infections. He said the bruising was to be expected, and prodded various parts of my thumb to check the numbness. He said it was localised to an area that was not concerning, and may have been caused by the tightness of the bandage pressing on a nerve, which matches my experience with the bandage pressing a little painfully on the inside of the base of the thumb.

A nurse then cleaned and rebandaged my hand, with a lighter dressing that isn’t quite as tight, so I now have a bit more movement. It feels much better than the old one. So all seems good! I still have my appointment on Tuesday to have the stitches removed.

This evening I’m playing my fortnightly board games night with my friends, in our current COVID-safe online mode. We’ve played some games of Dice Forge, Seven Wonders, and now Kingdomino.

New content today:

Long slog

So yesterday I intended to write at least three Darths & Droids strips, and got zero done. Rinse, repeat. I did however, get some story planning done, and discuss some plot points with fellow writers. So that wasn’t a total loss.

What did I get done today? Hmm. Oh that’s right, I played golf this morning with a friend, at the pitch ‘n’ putt course (all holes par 3). After last time I lost badly with a matchplay/skins handicap of 16, my friend granted me an increase to 17. But today I played a lot better, and ended up winning 12-6. So next time we play there I’ll go back down to a handicap of 16. My total round for 18 holes was 79 strokes, which was 2 better than my previous record of 81. So I was pretty pleased with that!

I didn’t get home until after lunch, so that’s where half my day went. I spent some time dealing with housework stuff – we had to buy a new vacuum cleaner because our old one broke the other day, and I had some unboxing and then discarding of packaging and the old vacuum cleaner to do.

And there was some Scully walking… in the rain, as the weather closed in a bit after lunch. Walking a dog in nice weather is fine, but having to do it in inclement, cold weather is a bit of a chore.

This evening I’m playing some Codenames online with some friends. My team-mate just clued “LINUS 2” and I guessed the words PUMPKIN and VAN (from the grid of 25 words), and got them correct. And both of our opponents were absolutely mystified as to how I managed to guess the correct words!

New content today:

Fortnightly games night

It’s the Friday of our fortnightly board games night, and I am currently in the middle of a game of Bärenpark as I type this up, via Tabletop Simulator as we hold it virtually during COVID lockdown.

This morning I did a weekly grocery shop. I’ve scaled down the shopping list after realising that I was buying too much food for us to eat in a week, so it was a smaller shop than it has been the last few weeks. After that I spent the rest of the morning photographing the new batch of Irregular Webcomic! comics that I finished writing last night, which took up until lunch time.

This afternoon I went out with my wife and Scully to check out the new premises of her doggy daycare and grooming place, which is moving this weekend. It’s near a kitchen supply shop, and I went in to buy a new kitchen knife. Turned out they had a huge sale on knife sets, so I ended up getting a set of 6 knives and matching knife block. I’m quite excited, as we’ve only ever had cheap knives before, and now I feel like a proper chef with a fancy set of knives.

New content today:

Goldfish updates

This morning I took Scully for a walk and along the way passed a banksia tree which had a couple of rainbow lorikeets feeding on the flowers. I was pretty close, and wondered if I could get close enough to take a decent photo with my phone (which like all phones doesn’t have much telephoto capability). I was within a step or two of the tree and aiming the phone, but I scared the birds away. But I was reasonably quick on the shutter button, and managed to get this.

Taking flight

Not too bad for an opportunistic shot.

I spent some time updating the Magic: the Gathering Goldfish Draft website that I maintain, adding/updating results from tournaments and adding a bunch of the card lists we used. You can now see the evolution of the card list as we gained experience with various combinations and the potential for ludicrous scores. The recent tournament we did (mentioned here when I was actively playing it out) now has the scores in.

My score was 10148.9 points, or 7.775×10148 in standard scientific notation. You might think this is a pretty high score, but that only managed to place me sixth out of eight players. The winning score was about 10↑↑↑4 (using Knuth’s up-arrow notation for large numbers). Suffice to say this number is so large that it’s impossible to write it down in the form 10101010… because the number of 10s you’d need to add to that continued exponentiation itself is too large to write down.

Yeah, this is pretty nerdy stuff.

New content today:

Late Monday

I got stuck into a few cut-throat games of Codenames last night with friends via online chat, and before I knew it the evening was over and I hadn’t written my Monday blog post. So here we are doing it over breakfast the next morning.

On Monday I went for a bit of a walk in the morning, around the local shops. I noticed some places newly closed and the premises up for lease. I hope the COVID restrictions don’t cause more shops/cafes/restaurants to go out of business. There were also some places renovating and fitting out for new openings, including our vet, which is moving premises in a week or so. Their old building is being demolished to be redeveloped – almost certainly into new apartments. The building never ceases in Sydney, as more housing is needed for the ever-growing population.

I took a photo of what may be the most hipster barber shop ever:

Most hipster barber ever?

Last time I did grocery shopping, I noticed that the supermarket was still selling hot cross buns. (I actually think they sell them year round now, because they’re so popular, rather than just around Easter.) I bought some, because they’re so good. In the past I only ever had them warmed up with butter melting on them. But inspired by Japanese melon-pan ice cream, I’ve taken to heating them up and then putting on a scoop of ice cream, which works amazingly well.

But in the first post-Easter COVID-lockdown-approved visit my wife made to her mother’s place, she came home with some chocolate Easter eggs. So I’ve been trying heating the buns with a chocolate egg inside, which melts and makes a delicious filling. And then I recently bought some bananas…

Hot Cross Banana Split

Behold the Hot Cross Banana Split! I heated the bun with the chocolate egg in it – so it’s all melty. Then added sliced banana and a scoop of ice cream.

Hot Cross Banana Split

Close the lid and squash it all together…

Hot Cross Banana Split

Oh my…. Highly recommended!

New content today:

Banana bread

I was just trying to remember what I did today, and nothing came to mind… It was one of those days. Goofed around a lot. Well, I cleaned the bathroom window flyscreen and sill. Exciting.

I baked a loaf of banana bread, to use up some old spotty bananas. My wife suggested adding some yoghurt, so I Googled up a recipe that included yoghurt in it. It turned out nice – better than the last time I made banana bread.

I’ve been playing the game Wavelength with some friends via Discord. One guy coded it up as a Discord bot, and it works really well. He’s also coded Codenames into the same bot, so we have a couple of things to play when a few of us are hanging out in chat. It’s a good way to keep social during this virus distancing stuff.

New content today:

Goldfishing

I’ve been busy today participating in a Goldfish Draft Magic: the Gathering tournament with my friends. This is a tournament format invented by one of my friends, in which we draft cards (a bit like a normal Magic draft), then build a deck and calculate our score based on how much damage we can do to an unresponsive opponent in 7 turns. That is each player’s score – we don’t actually play any games of Magic against one another.

We’ve done this style of tournament several times in the past and it’s always a blast. But it’s truly mind-bending. My score in the last game was 3.75×1040, and I’m pretty sure that was a losing score.

Yes… in fact after checking with my friends, we have records that the winning score in that tournament was approximately 10↑↑↑7, where the arrows are Knuth’s up-arrow notation. Calculating one’s score usually involves a spreadsheet. Yes, we do this for fun. Yes, we’re nerds.

I also wrote some new comic scripts for Darths & Droids. And did various cooking and housework stuff.

New content today:

More Pirates!

Firstly, Scully is feeling much better today. Her appetite is definitely back, thanks to the barbecue chicken the vet suggested we try giving to her. She seems to like it a lot better than the plain boiled chicken we’d been trying. She’s also active and behaving like normal too. So hopefully she’s well on the road to recovery.

We went for a bit of a walk this morning, a big loop that we commonly do, up and down some hills, through a big park, and then back along the waterfront. Here’s Scully at the marina.

Scully at the marina

She has several interesting bandanas. I think she has a bigger wardrobe than I do!

This afternoon my wife and I played Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates! again. This time she’d got the hang of it and the game was much closer. We both ended up on 37 points, and I had to check the rulebook for the tie-breaker condition. And using that… she won!

The other main thing I did today was cooking. I made another loaf of bread using the “sourdough light rye” bread mix packet, and it turned out great again. Scully’s vet had also suggested we try white fish if the barbecue chicken didn’t work, so I’d bought a fillet of barramundi yesterday. Given she liked the chicken, I now had a piece of fish to spare. I don’t normally cook with meat or fish since my wife is vegetarian, but now I had to think of something. I decided to make myself a Thai green curry with fish pieces, broccoli, and green peas, with some jasmine rice. And oh my goodness it turned out delicious. (I also made my wife a vegetable omelette for her dinner.)

New content today: