Friday, May 29, 2009

Cathi calls me lukewarm

I call it "laid back". Sometimes when I let the kids watch a mild PG-13, or if I do a minor sabbath breaking activity, Cathi will chide me with "Luke, Luke". I guess I could tell her "at least I'm not a Laodicean".

Laodicean? Yes - I'm expanding my vocab which is probably about as high as a fifth grader. Last night we watched the National Spelling Bee on TV. I wanted the kid who took 2nd place to win. Some facts about him came up and he liked They Might Be Giants. What a down to earth kid! I was sad when he missed the word that opened the door for this girl to take first place. Oh well.

Lots of brainy kids out there. Very scary. I was hoping they'd ask one kid to spell my favorite Napoleon Dynamite word:


Monday, May 18, 2009

Gords Dice Game Rules

Goal: Be the last person remaining with at least one die.
Players: 2 - 6
Setup: Each players starts with 5 dice of the same color.

Every player shakes their dice and conceals their dice from other players. Using the results of their own dice as well as the knowledge of how many dice are left in play by other players (which can be determined by looking at the board for the available slots), they estimate how many dice of a particular number are in play.

The person to "call" from the previous round always goes first (unless they are eliminated, in which case the next person in the rotation goes). When starting play for the very first time, just select someone to go first. The first person makes an estimate of how many dice they believe are in play of a particular number and announces it. Using the one white die to locate their estimate on the board (ie 4 x sixes - put the die on 6 and put it on the number four on the board).

The places on the board with a star only represent 1. Everywhere else, ones are considered wild which are set by the last person making the estimate. Once an estimate is made, the next person in play can continue increasing the estimate or "calling" the previous estimate if they doubt there are a sufficient number to meet the estimate.

Once a "call" is made, everyone reveals their dice and places up on the board all their dice for the number used (ie - 4 x sixes - everyone puts their sixes AND ones up on the board to be counted).

If the number is met or exceeded, the person who challenged and made the "call", loses a die and places it on the game board at the next available slot to help identify how many dice are available in play.

If the number is NOT met and the estimate is too high, the person who made the estimate loses a die.

The person who made the call starts the next round.

With less die available to a player it becomes increasingly more difficult to estimate with any accuracy. Players are also known to bluff which can really throw off other players in their estimations. That is legal.

Going "up" on the board can involve staying on the same number on the board, but going up on the die. For instance if a player says, "4 x three's.", the next person can stay on 4 and say, "4 x fours, fives, or sixes", but cannot go with "4 x two's" since they must go higher on the dice. If they want to go with two's, they must go up on the board to "5 x two's". Play must continually go up. In some cases, some people go up not just by one, but several places. This strategy is helpful to avoid the risk of being placed in a position to estimate too high.

Once there is only one die left remaining, that person wins the game.

Call Gords at 801-776-5083 if you have any questions, or email me at: if you need some replacement colored dice. I have a ton of many different colors.

Here is what the board looks like. Here's how much it costs to make one game, if you're interested in making your own board.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Utah Renaissance Festival

Well the long anticipated day had come. I heard about this festival last June, just after it was held last year. Being a fan of Blackmore's Night, Lord of the Rings, and having visited Europe last year, I thought it would be a fantastic festival to visit.

I took the kids thinking they might enjoy it too. Nevermind that it cost $6 per kid (over 3) to get in, and $12 for adults. For my family, this wasn't a cheap admission price. I was hoping they would have pony rides in there. There were thank goodness. $2 for a two minute ride. Oliver loved petting the little goats too. There were tons of vendors selling trinkets (fake knives, bows and arrows, fancy renaissance wear and jewelry. I only had $60 and it seemed that each trinket cost about half that. There was no way I could afford to get something for everybody.

Jacob saw some "Flower sticks" that he tried and he fell in love with them. They wanted $40 for them. No way was I going to pay that. Jacob pouted the entire time after that. Which almost ruined the rest of the afternoon for me. I was really tired of it and tried my best to ignore his attitude.

There were a few places where they were playing games (Tug of war on a block). Jacob and Austin went at it with each other. While the other kids colored some pictures with a princess. There were a few performers.

One performer that was especially impressive to me was Marty Smith, who playing an instrument that was a bunch of wires stretched out that looked like he was playing a marimba, but it was just wires. I looked it up and it's called a Hammered Dulfimer. He was very very good at it. He was selling CD's, but again, I didn't have much cash available to purchase. I couldn't find where to buy one online. But here is a video of this guy.

We waited around for the jousting that was supposed to happen at 4:30, but they stalled and stalled with all sorts of stuff, and finally got around to it 5:30 and by this time I was cranky with Jacob's attitude and the other kids getting filthy in the dirt and throwing stuff at each other.

When I got home I went to Home Depot, bought some PVC and those floating noodle things you take in the pool and made swords. They wanted $20 each at the festival and I made 6 of them for about $30. So I saved a ton.

To be honest I was a little disappointed with the visit. Considering that the entire trip cost me around $100, I felt a little robbed. The experience was good, but not enough to feel that the price was worth it. If I go again, it'll just be a few of us and not the entire fam.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sad, sad day

This morning I got to work late. I saw the light on my phone showing I had messages was on. Mom left two messages. Apparently a childhood friend of mine, Patrice Bolyard Coffman had passed away last week and the funeral was today. Mom said she could pick me up at 9:15am to go to the funeral. Problem was I didn't get into the office until 9:45am.

If I was a better facebook person I would have caught this fact last week when it happens, but I don't get on facebook more than probably once a week. I was sad that I missed the funeral. Patrice lived right next door to me growing up. My biggest memory of Patrice is that we walked to school sometimes together and one day she had some lip gloss on that smelled so good! I was 8 years old and on the way home from school I remember I was overcome, I went up to her and grabbed her by the shoulders and went to kiss her and she fell backwards on the grass. I got down next to her and kissed her on the lips real quick then got up and ran home really fast.

I went home and told my Mom and she said, "Gordon! Don't ever do that again!" I took that command to heart and didn't kiss any other girl after that until I was 18. The total girls I've kissed in my life totals 3 including my wife, Cathi. Patrice was my first kiss, although not very romantic.

Patrice was born on Feb 27th, 1972 so she had an interesting birthday situation. She was only able to celebrate her birthday on the actual day once every four years. So this made her significantly younger.

She was a good friend when I was a kid and we got along very well, I don't recall ever having an argument with Patrice. Her family moved away when I was around 11 so we kind of lost track of each other. But I remember asking Patrice to one of her High School's proms. We had a fun time.

I don't know the details of Patrice's passing, but it comes as a shock to me today and I'm saddened to hear the news. I'm praying for her family as they go through this difficult time.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What started the whole swine flu hype

When you're at the petting zoo with your kids, don't let them interact quite so intimately with the little piggies!

Gotta love all the hype! At least it's distracting the media and I don't have to keep hearing how sick the economy is as much.

Thanks to Temaire for posting this picture. It's a classic.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Warning to email forwarding junkies

Why is that people feel the need to forward emails that are supposed to be "funny", "inspiring", "patriotic", or otherwise "cool"?

Why don't these people just post their crap on facebook or a blog instead of filling up my inbox with their spam? But alas, there is the inbox filter which ends up shooting these emailing newbies in the foot. If they ever send me a personal message, it will go straight in the trash!