links for 2010-04-27

Butter fried bacon wrapped filet Mignon

In response to a friends post about buttersteak-mignon and his harassment about my not cooking any more I decided to construct the most delicious steak ever made.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (2-inch thick filet mignon steaks (2 pounds each)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, crushed raspberry, cheery tomatoes, hemp hearts
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Bacon 6mm thick (super thick)

Directions

  1. Fry up some bacon in a pan, the bacon should still be soft. Do not drain the bacon grease.
  2. Lightly sear the sides of the filet mignon steaks in the bacon grease…
  3. Wrap the bacon around the filet mignon steaks using WOODEN toothpicks to hold it place.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the bacon grease.
  5. Add 4 crushed garlic cloves,
  6. Sear the flat sides of the filet mignon steaks.
  7. let sit for 5 mins
  8. Serve with salad, (avocado, raspberry vinaigrette, baby greens, hemp hearts)
  9. Enjoy

Settlers of Catan: Tricks and Tactics

Settlers of Catan is a multiplayer board game designed by Klaus Teuber.
It was first published in 1995 in Germany by Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-Gmb H & Co. (Kosmos), under the name Die Siedler von Catan.

Tricks and Tactics

Placing Your First Settlement and City
Place your first settlements with access to brick and wood.  This will help you get your first roads and settlement out faster.

Next try to monopolize locations at the intersection of wheat and ore hexes, these are useful for building cities, which double production and speed up the game significantly.

Placing settlements and cities
Make sure that you don’t place your cities at an intersection with one good number and two bad numbers or the robber can make your very expensive city worthless.

If there are two different players already on a hex, and a third position is open, seriously consider building there.  It is very hard for the robber to stay on a hex with three players who all want him off.  And fewer players will place a robber there in the first place.  Also, with three players on one hex, the chance of getting production from that hex improve greatly.

Ranking intersection
So, if you have a settlement on a 3/5/10 intersection the chance that it will produce something that turn will be 2/36 (the chance that a three will be rolled) +4/36 (the chance for a  five to be rolled) +3/36 (the chance for the ten), or 9 out of 36 in total.  The ranking for this intersection, then, is 9.  Any intersection can be ranked on just production value from zero (the edge of a desert on the water) to 15 (the intersection of three hexes having an 8 or a 6).  Note that an intersection ranked 14 or 15 is not supposed to occure in the basic game (as an 8 or 6 hex should not occur next to each other), so the effective range is zero to 13.  The intersection with the highest rank should get you more resources.  If two intersections both have the same ranking (for example a 6/10/4 intersection and a 5/9/4 intersection, both ranked at 11), consider the one without the six or eight (less chance of the robber).

Longest Road.
When playing for the Longest Road, don’t settle for simply having a tie in length, or even one extra segment.  If the game is on the line, make sure to add two or even three extra segments to your road, to prevent an opponent from playing a road-building card and stealing your two-point advantage in one move.

It’s rare, but be aware of the 13-segment limit; if you are in a race with an opponent, make sure you get to 13 first so he or she doesn’t steal it from you.

If an opponent builds a settlement in the middle of your road network, your routes are split in two for purposes of determining longest trade route, so remember that ‘k.

Your ships do count for the longest road and an opponent can not split up your shipping lanes by intersecting them with another ship.

Play by the numbers
For example, consider the player who wants to go to a single-hex island early in the game to get the extra victory points.  In one Seafarers scenario it costs three ships to get to a single-hex island, and then you need to build a settlement that only borders on that one hex.  That is a total cost of ten cards (six for the three ships, and four for the settlement).  Let’s see, say the hex produces on a ten, that is once every 12 turns.  This means you might get back your investment in 120 turns,  not a good idea early in the game.  The moral is keep your eye on production the first few turns.

Ports
You will probably need a port to win the game, or a lotta luck.  Don’t stress too much over ports early on, they are usually more important in the mid- and endgame (unless a resource is particularly rare).  But don’t get blocked from reaching one, either.

If you are in danger of getting cut off from any one resource type completely, you must pursue a harbor strategy.  This means both securing a 2:1 harbor and developing very high production of that resource type.  Failing that,  a 3:1 harbor will have to do.  Examine the board to see which commodity will be the hardest to get and consider putting one of your settlements on the best tile for that commodity.  A supply of a rare commodity may be more important than an extra 2/36 chance of a sheep.

Since a port will always have at most 2 land hexes, it’s generally a good idea to put a settlement only on the port.  Save your other resources to build the city at an  intersection with thee land hexes.

Monopoly
Some players will adopt a monopoly strategy, to gain more or less exclusive control. It is usually attempted by trying to control all of the good hexes (usually just one) of a resource by yourself.  It seldom works.  The major problem with this strategy is that the robber almost always sits on the monopolized hex.  As you are the only person on that particular hex, the robber will stay there until YOU move him (or a seven is rolled), unlike shared hexes.  Also unlike shared hexes, every player EXCEPT YOU considers that hex to be fair robber placement territory, especially since they want a chance to grab that monopolized resource from your hand.

Basically, this strategy is about identifying the rarest resources, and making sure you have access to them.  There are two types of rare: rare in overall production (due to bad numbers being on them), and rare in position availability (fewer number of hexes have the resource, like ore and brick in the basic game, which only has three hexes each instead of four hexes like wool, grain, and wood). In many cases both will happen, such as when ore and brick have bad numbers on them in the basic game.

Sequences

Sequences is a dice game.
This game is a version of an old game called ‘Hearts’ or ‘Hearts Due’ that is played with a special set of dice that have the letters H, E, A, R, T, S printed on their sides instead of numbers.

This game is also known as ‘Straight Shooter’, ‘Hearts’ or ‘Hearts Due’.

What You Need to Play

  • 6 dice

The Object of the Game
To be the first player to reach 100 points.

How to Play the Game
Each player in turn rolls the six dice and scores points for any sequence of consecutive numbers (1,2,3,4,5,6) thrown beginning with 1.  If two or more of the same number are rolled only one counts (1,2,2,3,4,2 = 20 points).  If a player rolls the dice and three 1s show their score is zero and they pass the dice to the next player.
1 = 5 points
1, 2 = 10 points
1, 2, 3 = 15 points
1, 2, 3, 4 = 20 points
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 = 25 points
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 = 35 points
1, 1, 1 = Players turn is over

Variations of the Game
Some people play without the three 1s rule.  Some people  play where six 6s is worth 70 points.

Looking for a new host

I been with a bunch of different hosts over the past few years

  • Hostgator (Good)- Reseller account, only positive things to say about them so far. Good phone/Chat/Email support. Great response time for there servers. ect…
  • Dreamhost (OKish) – 1800+ domains on shard hosting?! decent email support, lots of features, funny newsletter, downtime every month, and ping time is getting slower each and every month.
  • Media temple (Never again)- Complete and utter garbage, slow, lots of down time. Only used there servers for 2 months before moving.
  • Hasweb (Bad) – Good for years and they botched a server move horribly. Lost everything; files, EMail, databases. ect… Luckily I had regulate backups, weeks of downtime and bugs afterwards. It was so bad that I didn’t want anything to do with them ever again.
  • Hostdime (Bad my association)- After my issues with Hasweb (sister company to Hostdime) I moved my domains away from there servers as well.
  • GoDaddy (Annoying)- Never had a problem with there servers although I was only with them for a short period of time. The reason that I left was every month they would send me 10+ add on services emails, they would out right spammed me. In a single month I got +30 emails from GoDaddy on extra products that they wanted to sell me.

Currently Hostgator is at the top of my list and i have never had any problems with them so far. But I like to spread my websites across many different host just in case one of them goes down for any reason, diversity ect…

So I am in search of a new cheap shared webhost.

Things that I need

  • Unlimited MySQL databases – A must have for settings up sandboxes and testing things.
  • Unlimited e-mail aliases and Catch-All – Spam tracking
  • Unlimited domains, sub-domains – Great for settings up sandboxes and testing things.
  • Email, Chat support – I want instant gratification when something is wrong.
  • POP3 (SSL), IMAP, – As much as I “like” your custom build web mail I would much rather download my mail to my own PC.
  • SVN repositories – At lest one, it just makes my life easier.
  • SFTP, CRON, MyPHPAdmin,
  • LAMP style setup (Apache, MySQL, PHP5, ect) – It works and I don’t care about anything else.

Things that I would like

  • Phone support – Not a requirement as I prefer chat support.  But it is nice to have someone to talk to when things are not working.
  • Ruby/Python support – I am thinking about trying these languages out but my current host does not support it.
  • The ability to see the current load on the server with history – Is it time to move to a new server yet?
  • Opt-in emails about planned downtime – If I can’t access my server I freak out, if I get an email telling me that I probably won’t be able to access my server for a few mins at such and such time i’m much more calm.

Things I don’t care about

  • Unlimited space – At most all my websites together are going to be less then 60gb
  • Unlimited bandwidth – At most I would be using less then 100gb of transferrer a month across all my domains.
  • On click installs – I don’t care how many apps that I am not going to use that you support one click installs.
  • CPanel – I don’t care what frontend you have as long as you have one.

Things that I don’t want

  • VPS (Virtual private servers) – I am not a server admin, I’m a programmer. I don’t want to have to deal with upgrading the server software or dealing with any server issues. I don’t care what Linux distro is install as long as it can serve my files to my users.  I don’t want to have to deal with server issues thats what I pay you for.
  • Constant Add-on services emails – I’m looking at you GoDaddy, If I don’t ask for it, I don’t want to hear about it. Stop trying to up sale me.

Since I manly host very low traffic wordpress blogs and hobby projects I kind of don’t want to pay more than $20 or so a month, but then again I’d also love to never have to move again, so I’m flexible.

How about it? Any suggestions? :)

Every Night Erotica

Every Night Erotica online magazine launching May 1st 2010.

Vancouver, Canada – April 13, 2010 - A new web magazine publishing an erotic short fiction story each night is now accepting submissions. Every Night Erotica will launch with their first sexy short story May 1st 2010.

All genres of erotica will be accepted; stories may be up to 2000 words in length and are meant for a mature audience, 18years+.

“Use your adverbs and adjectives wisely and you’re welcome to open the door to sex, raunchy details and explicit lovemaking,” says Jennifer Case, ENE Editor, “And while we’re well aware that reality stimulates creativity, we’re only looking for your fictional tales.”

For more information on the writing guidelines, submissions process and compensation, visit the Submit a story page at http://www.everynighterotica.com/submit-story/ .

Story submissions can be tendered using an online form found here http://www.everynighterotica.com/pages/stories/add.

Beginning May 1st 2010, Every Night Erotica will publish a new erotic tale each evening at 9pm.  Your free subscription will ensure you receive the sensual, sometimes risqué, and always alluring tale discreetly to your inbox. Visit www.everynighterotica.com

Screw Your Neighbor

Screw Your Neighbor is an elimination card game.  After each round, one player is eliminated (or loses a token).
When all players but one have been eliminated, the remaining player wins the game.
Known as ‘Cuckoo’, ‘Chase the Ace’ or sometimes ‘Go Round in Britain’.  In the US it’s called ‘Screw Your Neighbor’.

What You Need to Play

  • A deck of cards
  • 3 or more players
  • Coins or chips 2 per person

Object of the Game
The object is not to be the player left holding the lowest card.

How to Play the Game
The dealer deals one card face down to each player.  Each player then looks at their card and decided to keep it or trade it.  Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player in turn can either keep their card or trade with the player immediately to their left in hopes of getting a higher card.
If a player is asked to trade they must, unless they hold a king, at which point they can show the king and block the trade.  If a trade is blocked, the player who asked for the trade must keep the card they are holding.

The dealer, whose turn comes last, can try to exchange with a card cut from the undealt stock, but if the card obtained is a king, the dealer must keep their original card.

After the dealer trades the round is done.  Everyone must show their card and the player, or players with the lowest ranking cards (aces are always low and suits don’t matter) must place one of their chips into the pot.

If a player has no chips they are eliminated.

If several players tie for lowest they all lose a life.

The next round begins with the next player to the left, dealing as above.
Play continues until only one player is left in the game. They win, and collect the pot.

Suits are irrelevant and the cards rank K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A (low).

Optional Rules
Some people play that anyone who is dealt a king must flip it face-up immediately after the deal.  If there are any kings in the deal then no one is allowed to trade and whoever was dealt the lowest card(s) loses a chip.
Kings get flipped over when someone tries to trade with one and no further trading takes place on that deal.
If someone tries to trade with you and you have a queen, they instead must trade their card with the person on their right. (If that person also has a queen, the player or players between the queens are not allowed to trade).
If you have a jack and someone tries to trade with you, you show them the jack and they are not allowed to trade.  Trading continues with the person whose turn comes next.

links for 2010-04-10

Round The Clock

Round the Clock is a dice game.

What you need to play this game

  • 2 dice

Object of the game
To be the first person to reach 12 o’clock

How to play the game
Everyone starts at 1 o’clock.
Each player tries to roll 1-12 (hours on the clock) in sequence.
By either rolling the required amount on one of the die or by totaling the two dice to the required amount.

For example:
If a player is on 1 o’clock, he has to roll 1 on one of the two dice since no other number can be added  to equal 1.
If a player is on 6 o’clock, he can roll a 6 on one dice or adds both dice to equal six (3+3=6 or 2+4=6, etc).

Players continue to roll as long as they successfully roll the required amount.  The next time it’s their turn they start at the last number they left off at.

For numbers greater then 6 both dice will be needed to roll the required number.

Example game play
Player one is on six and rolls both dice and gets 2,3 for a total of 5.  He failed to roll the required amount and passes the dice to player two.
Player two is on four and rolls both dice and gets 4,6.  He rolled a 4 on one of the die and continues on to five.
Player two is on five and rolls both dice and gets 5,2.  He rolled a 5 on one of the die and continues on to six.
Player two is on six and rolls both dice and gets 2,4 for a total of 6 and continues on to seven.
Player two is on seven and rolls both dice and gets 2,3 for a total of 5.  He failed to roll the required amount and passes the dice to player one.
Player one is on six and rolls both dice and gets 5,1 for a total of 6 and continues on to six.

Questions

Questions is a drinking game.

This is a favorite drinking game, although it’s often difficult to find people willing to play it.  Mid-level buzz factor. Basic supplies only: people and beer.  It starts with a room full of people, the more the merrier.  The object is to ask a question when it’s your turn, but this is much more difficult than it seems.  The rules are:

  • Obviously, the infraction of any rule is punishable by drink.
  • You can only ask one person one question at a time.
  • The person who asks the question must address the person querried by name; no pointing (newcomers to a crowd are allowed some leeway until they learn names).
  • The questions must be answerable with “yes” or “no”, (This rule is optional, but be certain beforehand if it will be observed.)
  • The person asked the question must immediately ask another person.
  • Any hesitation, answering the question, laughing, or doing anything else besides asking somebody a question is punishable by drink.
  • Asking a question back at the person who just asked is punishable by drink.
  • All questions can be asked only once.  Simply rephrasing somebody else’s question is a cheat.  A person who repeats a question must take a drink.

Other notes:
If the crowd cracks up (for example,after  a spectacularly personal question), a “Team Drink” is called.
The best way to play is to keep a question or two rolling around in your head to be spewed out after you are asked a question.  Good questions are the innocent sounding ones: “Has the game started yet?” “Is it past midnight?” “Is that button on your shirt undone?”
Another good way to play is to get personal (the game usually descends to this level fairly quickly): “Do you often pick your nose like that?” “Do you masturbate often?” “Are your breasts really 36DD?” “Does your girlfriend arch when you make love?”

Qualify

Qualify is a dice game.

What you need to play

  • 5 dice
  • 2 or more players

Object of the game
To have the highest score after rolling the dice 5 times.

How to play the game
The first player rolls all five dice then sets aside the highest dice and rolls the remaining dice.  After the first player has rolled five times and set aside five dice, the dice are totaled and the passed to the next player.

You have to set aside at least one dice each turn.

After everyone has had a turn the player with the highest total wins.
If there is tie a sub game between the the people that tied is used to determine a winner

Variations
Sometimes people will play for bets where everyone antes up a token and the player with the highest score at the end wins all the tokens.

Other people play where you can set side as many dice as you like instead of just one.

Pyramids

Pyramids is a drinking card game.

What you will need to play

  • A deck of cards
  • 2 or more players

How to play the game
Each player is dealt four cards which they can look at, but shouldn’t let other players see.  The dealer then deals out a pyramid of cards, one card at a time face up(diagram below).  If you a card that matches the card dealt face up, you can tell someone else to drink the number of times for the row in which the card was dealt.  However, considering this is a game of bullshitting and lying, you can even tell people to drink when you don’t have that card.  But, if the person thinks you are lying, they can call your bluff  which doubles the drinking stakes.  If you are suspected of lying, you must show your card.  If you are caught lying, you drink double for the number of that is being dealt. Likewise, if you are not lying, the other person drinks double.
6 x x x x x x
5 x x x x x
4 x x x x
3 x x x
2 x x
1 x

When you finish the pyramid, the game is over.
If you want to keep on going, simply bring the sixth row back down into another point.