March 25, 2007

Weekend Visitors

Had a pretty good weekend here at the old “homestead”. We had Joe & Bethany Tolman come up from Salt Lake City for a weekend visit. Originally we were planning on playing the third round of the 1st ever HackMaster Wurld Open tournament. There were issues getting the tournament out in time, so we simply changed plans to, well pretty much do nothing. It was a nice change of pace to just “hang out” with friends instead of having a big agenda.

The Tolmans were up Friday afternoon and after a quick visit to Hobbytown we all went home and I made dinner. I guess Joe really likes lasagna and Bethany doesn’t make it much. I’ve never really tried so I figured I’d give it a go. It came out really well, but I made some changes to the recipe I had (ok, the one off the back of the pasta box). Instead of hamburger I used hot Italian sausage. I just cut the casings and cooked it up. Coupled with the fire-roasted pepper sauce and the whole dish was a bit “warmer” than I’d normally make. Joe and I loved it, but it was a bit much for the wives.

We just kind of hung out, but everybody was pretty tired and we all were ready to crash a lot earlier than Carolyn and I are used to. The cat’s weren’t really cooperative this weekend and Obie was quite pissed as being displaced from “his” room. He never did seem to get a good grasp on what was going on, but he did pretty much get the run of the house at night which is not normal. Crystal was pretty social and seemed to like Bethany and tolerate Joe (she seems to favor Carolyn and just tolerate me too). Miu spent a lot of time strolling by and saying “hi”, which normally means licking any exposed feet, much to Bethany’s chagrin.

We all woke up far too early (for my tastes). I heard Bethany up and around quite early, talking to my cat. Hearing voices wakes me up rather quickly. Of course it didn’t help at all that I went to be so early and can’t think of staying in bed past 9 hours. I had woken up several times earlier in the morning, and by the time I heard Bethany up I was needing to get out of bed. Since it was so early by the time we were all up and ready, we thought we’d take then down to Goldy’s for breakfast. If the farmer’s market was open we could just stroll that and eat whatever there (a fun thing to do). Unfortunately the market wasn’t open, even though it was a beautiful spring day. On the way into downtown, we passed by Moon’s CafĂ© and on a whim we decided to eat there. Now I like Goldy’s, but I’m glad we changed out mind at the last minute. The food was great and it seemed more like an old diner, which I like.

Afterwards we wrestled with the parking stub (it fell into the emergency brake housing never to be seen again) and headed off for some casual shopping. Bethany really wanted a VW hubcap so she can make her very own “Hubcap of Shame” for her home group. I own a 66 Beetle, but I wasn’t planning of donating any hubcaps, so after a quick side-trip to All About Games here in I took her to my auto parts store: Bow Wow Auto parts. $21 later and she has the principle component for embarrassing players at her table as required. The Hubcap of Shame is a joke from Knights of the Dinner Table. Since we were out & about, we figured we might as well make a grand tour of all of the game stores Boise has to offer. We stopped at Empyre Games , the only place in town you can pretty much find HackMaster product on the shelves, and then Magic Dragon games. I was actually surprised at some of the older/used product that Magic Dragon had (Joe found some older Rolemaster products).

We also stopped by a local convenience store (sorry, no linkage) to try and nab a soda mentioned often in KoDT: Faygo. It’s actually a pretty good soda, but out here you can only find it in vintage styled large glass bottles. Back east you can buy it like you buy Pepsi. The location we went to only had Root Beer and Black Raspberry. My favorite is Rock & Rye. Oh well. We grab our sodas and get back to the house and vegde. The girls did their thing and Joe and I spent the early afternoon playing video games. Joe brought his laptop and played World of Warcraft while I fired up the Playstation 3 and played Call of Duty 3. There was a problem with the Activision servers this weekend, so I couldn’t play multiplayer like I normally do. Instead I furthered the single-play game and realized I had gotten quite used to a few features only found in the multi-player version. Whoops.

While Carolyn and the Tolmans watched the new James Bond flick, I made dinner. I invite a co-worker/friend form work and her husband (nice guy) and we all had a turkey dinner. I like making turkey since I’ve figured out how to make a good go of it. We were all a bit crowded around my rather small kitchen table, but I don’t think anyone minded…..or if they did they were very polite about it. After dinner I showed off the PS3 and HD television by watching the only Blue Ray DVD we own: Sky High. Staurday ended rather late.

Sunday we all stayed in, ate left-overs, and played a couple games of Power Grid. The rules could be written a bit better, so of course we (actually I) ran things the totally wrong way. After sending the Tolman’s off in the afternoon (they were going to visit family on the way back) I looked up Power Grid on Board Game Geek, I found some downloadable quick-reference sheets that will make our next game a bit easier to play.

All in all, we had a great time even though we didn’t do much. I hope I don’t get to do much next weekend too!

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