About Me

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Cedar, Leelanau County, Michigan (near Traverse City), United States
I am a 76 year old (born 7/4/1937) retired Public Radio Engineer from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Happily married to the love of my life, Teddy (nee Teddy Schlueter). Teddy is a retired Medical Records Clerk from Theda Clark Hospital in Neenah, Wisconsin. Two children, Michael and Lon. Lon passed away in 1994. Michael is married to his wonderful wife, Toni and lives in Appleton, Wisconsin. For photos click on link below or visit our photo site http://www.flickr.com/photos/igboo NOTE: Click on photos for full-size images.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Larry's Pegs & Jokers project

At RV parks across the nation retired RVers often enjoy a number of daytime outdoor leisure pastimes such as golf, bocce, swimming & horseshoes. Indoor & evening activities include pool, puzzles, dominoes, and a variety of card games such as hearts, cribbage, poker and "Pegs & Jokers". We had never heard of P&J until we came to Arizona four years ago but quickly became fans. It is a derivative of the old Parker Brothers board game, Sorry and it's popularity has spread rapidly in RV parks probably due to the mobility of RVers. The game boards as of yet are all hand made, usually of wood and are quite easy to make with just a jigsaw and an electric drill. A Goggle search will find several entrepreneurs making and selling them on the Internet. As might be expected there is some variation in the rules from park to park as there is no official ruling organization.
Two years ago Teddy and I purchased a set of game boards from an internet website. It is an excellent set and well made. However, since I am somewhat of an internet nerd as well as a retiree with time on his hands, I continued to a search the web every so often just to check out P&J boards. This led to me to last winter discovering a seller making boards from "Corian". So then I began to muse on what would be the ultimate P&J board set and my tiny brain seized on polished aluminum. I could find no such thing on the web and began to wonder how difficult, and expensive, it would be to make them myself. All of the other guys here at Havasu Falls told me that I was crazy to even consider it...but then again they pretty much think me to be nuts anyway.




In late November I ordered eight pieces of 6061-T6 extruded aluminum bar 3/4" x 3" x 13" from a metal supplier in Seattle, Washingon. I drew up plans on my computer and then made a couple of prototypes from pine using my jig saw. I then borrowed a tabletop drill press and set up shop right here in the trailer. Using 3/16" jobber's bullet drill bits & Tap Magic Aluminum Cutting Fluid, I drilled and countersunk all 216 holes without breaking a single bit. I then rough cut the first board and quickly came to the conclusion that I was not going to be able to cut them by hand. Having come this far there was no turning back so I found a local machinist to cut and mill the boards. When he was finished I had them polished and the result is downright beautiful, albeit expensive. To make them into an anniversary set I've had Teddy & my name and our wedding date engraved on them by a trophy shop. We will be married 45 years on February 22 and according to the charts the wedding anniversary symbol for 45 is Sapphire but as far as we are concerned it is Aluminum.
I then sealed them to prevent oxidation & tarnishing.

Then to complete the project I purchased some metal pegs from Pete's Pegs, an internet site that sells cribbage pegs. For additional colors Pete also made me matching white & red pegs from nylon.



Here is a photo of a mock set-up for eight players.


So in retrospect, I'm happy and proud of the way the boards turned out...everyone that sees them oohs and aahs. They are more than game boards, they are art.
"Would I do it again?"
Considering the expense, probably not, but one thing is certain, we have what is probably the most beautiful, the most perfect and the most expen$ive Pegs & Joker set in existence.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pegs & Jokers rules of play

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Pegs and Jokers Rules
as played at
Havasu Falls RV Resort
Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Pegs and Jokers is a North American race game for four, six or eight players, using playing-cards to move pegs around a board. It is also sometimes known as Jokers and Pegs. It is clearly derived ultimately from the Indian race game Pachisi, a race game using dice for movement, perhaps via its American derivative Sorry, in which pawns are moved according to cards drawn from a special deck.
Pegs and Jokers is a partnership game played with standard playing-cards on from four to ten linked boards. It allows extra scope for strategy by giving players a choice of cards to play. Each player has five pegs, and the winners are the first team to move all their pegs from their START area to their HOME areas. Boards are usually made from wood and can be home-made or purchased in sets from sellers found on the internet. They are usually linked with Velcro or hinged pins. The pegs are usually made from golf tees

Players and Equipment
The players are divided into two teams - two against two, three against three or four against four. They sit alternately - each player seated between two opponents.
Standard decks of cards are used, with two jokers in each deck. Three decks (162 cards including 6 jokers) may be enough for up to six players: eight players should use four decks (216 cards including 8 jokers).
Four players use a four-sided board; six players use a six-sided board; eight players use an eight-sided board - one side for each player, each associated with a different color. Each player has five pegs in the color that corresponds to the side of the board nearest to them. Each side of the board has a straight section of track 18 units long: there is a corner hole at each end, shared between two adjacent sides, and 17 holes between them. The 8th hole after the corner is the "come out" position for the pegs on that side, and next to it is the colored "start" area with five holes where the pegs of that color are stored at the start of the game. The 3rd hole after the corner is the "in-spot" for that color, and branching off at the "in-spot" is a colored private track of 5 holes, which is the "home" or "safe" area, where the pegs end their journey. The diagram below shows one side of the board.


Here is a typical game set. You hook the individual boards
together according to how many players you have.


Object: To move all five pegs, clockwise around the board, from your HOME position, to your SAFE position.
Set-Up: Playing field is assembled with as many individual board sections as there are players.
Players: Six or eight players use the board and three decks of poker cards with the Jokers (two per deck). Play is either two, three person teams or two four person teams. Four players use the board and three decks of poker cards with the Jokers (two per deck). Play is two, two person teams
Game Pieces: Each player chooses five pegs in a unique color.
Winning: First team to have all of their pegs in the SAFE position wins the game.
Dealing: Deal each player five cards. Player to the left of the dealer makes play by playing a card to his discard pile and then making his move. He then draws one replacement card from the deck. Penalty: if player fails to draw a card from the deck prior to next player making a play, on the players next turn he must play from the four cards he has in his hand and can then draw two cards.
Card value for making board moves: Play begins by using a Joker, King, Queen, Jack or Ace to move a peg from any of the five HOME positions to the COME OUT position.
After a piece is out it’s HOME position play is as follows:
Ace moves forward one hole
2 moves forward two holes
3 moves forward three holes
4 moves forward four holes
5 moves forward five holes
6 moves forward six holes
7 moves forward seven holes, but must be split between two pegs
8 moves backward eight holes
9 move is split backward and forward in any combination. Examples: One space backward and eight spaces forward. Or, three spaces backward and six spaces forward, etc.
10 moves forward ten holes
Jack moves forward eleven holes
Queen moves forward twelve holes
King moves forward thirteen holes
Joker is a wild card and replaces any other peg in play with one of your own pegs whether your peg is in play or in your Home position. If you replace a partner’s peg, it goes to his CASTLE IN SPOT. If you replace an opponent’s peg, it returns to his HOME position.
Anytime, your peg lands on your partners peg, you send it to his CASTLE IN SPOT.
If your peg lands on your opponent's peg, it goes back to his HOME position.
Once a peg is in the SAFE position, it is safe and cannot be removed or backed up.
You cannot back into the SAFE position.
When entering the SAFE position, if your only move is for more holes in the SAFE position, you cannot enter the SAFE position and must go around again.
You cannot pass, or land on, your own peg. This is true even when you are in the SAFE position.
You must move if you have a play.
You must use the full count of the card played; i.e. a four card requires four moves, even into the SAFE position.
If you have only one peg that is not in the SAFE position, then a seven or a nine card moves a full count forward.
If you complete your board with a seven or a nine card; you finish the move on the first clockwise partner still in play
Each player must play his own pegs until all five pegs are in the SAFE position. Then he can help his
Teammates. When playing with partners, you will help the teammate player to your left (clockwise), if he still has playable pegs. Once all of his five pegs are in his SAFE position, then you help the next clockwise teammate.
If you do not hold a COME OUT card on your turn and you have no other possible move, you discard a card from your hand and make a draw. If on your fourth turn you still have not drawn a COME OUT card then you may start with any card from your hand. If you should draw a COME OUT card you must use that card on your next turn.
Hints for good play:
Avoid, if possible, positioning your peg 1) in your opponents COME OUT or eight back from his COME OUT spot; 2) in the opponents CASTLE IN SPOT.
The area between the opponents COME OUT and CASTLE IN SPOT tends to be a safe area.
Variations:
1 Another deck and as many as four (4) more jokers can be added.
2 Games can be played with as many as ten players. And it can be quite fun this way, especially if you add another deck and at least four more Jokers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stupidest thing (Part II)

My brother, Lyle sent me this email suggesting other "stupid mistakes" I've made in the past and suggested that I add them to the blog. So at the risk of further humiliation, here is his email:

Larry,
I think you should update your blog with other things you have done while RVing.

1. Showing off on your Segway and breaking your arm with 3 operations and numerous $600 trips to hospitals around the country.
2. Dropping your 5th wheel on the siderails of your pickup.
3. Backing into your 5th wheel and cracking the plastic siding after you picked the 5th wheel off the siderails. See #2
4. Destroying your pickup tailgate by having it up and driving off with your 5th wheel unhooked.
5. Driving under a tree and punching a hole in the roof of your RV.
6. Looking out your window and watching a gun fight, not taking cover, in Pahrump NV.

These are just a few things I can recall off the top of my head ! ! ! ! ! I'm sure there are may other things that you have not shared with us and also things I don't remember. The shower door was nothing compared to this list.......

With love,
Lyle


Now in my defense, some of these I've already blogged about
See blogs of: 5/2/07; (4/25, 5/1, 5/13, 5/30, & 8/28)08; & 10/1/08
The tailgate incident (#4) was in '05 before I started the blog and #s 2 & 3 were when we were preparing to leave Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado where we hosted as volunteers in the visitors center from Sept. 1 to Oct. 15, 2006. It happened as were were leaving and was actually caused by a problem with hooking to our hitch. ;-(

Now that I have my tail tucked firmly between my legs, I must say that there have been several brilliant things that I have accomplished through the years and someday I'll list some of those in a subsequent blog. ;-)

Oh! I almost forgot. Notice that Lyle still says "Love" at the end of his message. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :-)))

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stupidest thing I've done since RVing (well one of them)

In our Cardinal 34TS Fifth wheel there isn't a good place to hang your bath towel after showering so I decided that I needed to install a towel bar somewhere. However there wasn't a good place large enough except on the shower door itself. Knowing that it wasn't feasible to try and drill holes through tempered safety glass I abandoned the idea. But upon discussing my predicament with my fellow RV snowbird friends over morning coffee they were all of the opinion that the "glass" was not glass at all but hardened acrylic as glass was surely too heavy to install in an RV. So upon further examination (finger tapping etc.) I became convinced that they were indeed right. I then ordered, on line, a $55 shower door towel bar which was delivered by our friendly UPS man yesterday afternoon.
I happily got my drill, bits, & tool box from the RV basement an headed up to the bedroom. As I began to drill a mounting hole in the proper position, I thought to myself, "Wow! This hardened acrylic is really hard". After about a minute or so of steady drilling I decided that I should give the drill a rest. Now here's where the story gets real nasty! As soon as I released pressure on the drill and was drawing it back from the door...POW...instant crazing of the entire door into tiny glass pieces. Obviously, it was indeed tempered glass. I've since checked on the internet and these doors cost in the neighborhood of 6 to 8 hundred dollars. Ouch!!
And needless to say, I'm not too popular with Teddy right now. She had to clean up all the glass...as I was too busy trying to drink up all of my scotch..so now I'm also out of scotch and I have a headache. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to get up in the morning!
On the plus side, the boys at coffee this morning got a good laugh!

PICTURES FOLLOW!



Click on pict for fullsize image.
You can actually see the "epicenter" midway up the right side.



































Glass everywhere!





























In the words of Frank Barrone from, "Everybody Loves Raymond"
HOLY CRAP!!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009

Last evening we welcomed 2009 with a new years eve party. Around seven p.m. or so, about fifty of us park residents gathered in the clubhouse for snacks & drinks.




We began with a scavenger hunt that Pat Schumacher had organized. Those of us who wished to play lined up and counted off like we used to do in high school gym class to chose up teams of six people each. And then armed with a list that Pat handed out off we went. To the amusement of the rest of us, the members of the winning team were each awarded a prize of a roll of toilet paper.










After that we attacked the "Goodies Table" and settled in for drinks and conversation. And later on we turned the lights down low and had music from the Jukebox for dancing. Of course because we are all "Seniors" everyone was partied out by about eleven p.m. and by eleven thirty all had gone home.








After all, the ball had dropped in Times Square at ten, Arizona, time and that was good enough for us!
We're looking forward to a great 2009 and good riddance to 2008.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS