September 12, 2005

Winey Weekend Stuff

Who goes on a vieyard tour and comes back with apple cider?

I do, I guess. Love the stuff (as a search of the blog will reveal). But what was I doing at a winery?

Friday was coworker Nicole’s 21st Birthday. She wanted a bunch of folks from work to hang around Newport with her, so that’s what we did. Attending were Sara, Sharon, Derek, Laura, Doug, Gary, Jake, Amanda, Nicole and Nicole’s Mom (also named Sharon). It took quite a bit of time for us to all get together in the same location (parking issues).

Lunch at the Red Parrot was good. They have a lobster BLT. I have to say, I prefer the D’Angelo’s lobster sandwich. By the time lunch was over we were late-ish for the winery tour, but we made it.

I’m not a huge fan of wine. I’ll drink it, and I especially like it with food. But I don’t get too picky about it. I can’t work up the enthusiasm to care as much as many other people do. It is nice to know a thing or two about wine by the time you’re my age, but I can’t get too excited about it.

That said, I think a winery tour is fun because I’m fascinated by process. The Newport Vineyards wine tour is brief, but interesting. For $5 you get to see some vines, hear about the history of the establishment, see tanks, barrels and bottling machines and at the end of it you taste 5 wines. (additional, higher-cost wines can be added on for $1 each)

Clearly people of advanced taste, most of us put the cider on our list of things to try. It was very sweet for a hard cider, and about as alcoholic as a strong beer. But it was good enough that $11 for a jug seemed reasonable.

Many of the tasters paid an additional buck to try the Vidal Ice Wine, which they all said was quite good. At $30+ dollars for a thin bottle of the stuff, nobody walked out with any of that.

We got to keep our glasses, and I parted company with the celebration, wishing them a good time hanging out in Newport as I returned home.

As luck would have it, Julie came over and we had burgers on the grill and a John Hughes film on the TeeVee. Memories of 80’s synth music and montages. I also introduced Maggie and Julie to Nip/Tuck reruns, and they humored me by letting me catch up on the episodes.

On Sunday our good friends Chuck and Patty shared lunch with us and then went for a walk along the water. Still not quite used to having a camera phone, I failed to take any pictures of Pierce Beach. However, if you poke around my Flickr account, you might see a picture of Chuck playing Runebound with us. About 5 more pictures from the weekend can be found in the photostream, if you care to look.

Posted by James at September 12, 2005 9:19 AM
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I got hooked on some eighties synth music this weekend, Yaz's Situation. Took me a while to deduce what band performed it because radio stations don't identify songs anymore. I guess that's where Harold Faltermeyer got the vibe for Axel F.

Posted by: Mike L. at September 12, 2005 10:33 AM

Thanks for having us over on Sunday.

Looks like your winery trip was fun! Happy Birthday Nicole!

Posted by: Chuck S. at September 12, 2005 10:39 AM


Yes I fail to see how you can get through a game of Runebound in under 2-3 hours. Maybe with only 2 people or absolutely no fooling around (what's the fun of that). Hopefully Chuck had better luck than he did in his inaugural game.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at September 12, 2005 11:06 AM

As I recall, Chuck didn't do too badly on his inaugural game. He might have won if he had been able to move. :)

Posted by: briwei at September 12, 2005 11:34 AM

Yes well, upon purchasing the game I discovered a rule that was overlooked in our first time through regarding movement:

The player may roll the terrain dice OR may simply move 1 space in any direction.

Another thing we did very differently in that game (if I remember correctly) is how we did skill checks and attacks. I seem to remember us using a d20. The game doesn't actually come with a d20 (at least mine didn't). I think you're supposed to roll 2d10 and add them together, that makes a big difference statistically as rolls at the extreme ends of the spectrum become much less frequent than rolls in the middle. This makes levelling up the disciplines and acquiring weapon bonuses crucial before facing the scarier baddies.

No biggie though, the rules are pretty complicated, I had a lot of fun just the same.

Posted by: Chuck S. at September 12, 2005 12:29 PM

We didn't get through the game of Runebound. Not even close. Chuck was doing OK, but I'll say that Patty was the winner. I think she was in the best shape when the game ended, and had some of the coolest stuff.

Near the end we started trying to take on the higher challenges just to see what sort of stuff we could subject to board to. Like forest conflagrations and mutinous men-at-arms.

Mike: Yaz's "Upstairs at Eric's" is an old favorite. Situation is a track off that album, and I think I first heard it when I borrowed the cassette off Maggie in our first year dating. So, it's got memories.

I have to find a way to serve songs off my machine.

Posted by: James at September 12, 2005 12:41 PM


Mine is a 1st edition and I suspect they've played with the rules some. It definately came with the 20 siders and I don't recall seeing anything about the move 1 space option.

Brian if you recall very early in the game we all had extremely bad luck getting killed by 1 or 2 "green" scenario monsters that should have been a piece of cake.

one thing I noticed in the multiplayer game (I've only played 2 player with Ptti prior to that) was it's a lot tougher to accumulate experience and buy followers and followers are definately KEY to doing well (need three attacks and sacrificial lambs at those higher challange levels.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at September 12, 2005 1:56 PM

Oh for the days we could actually spend time doing this stuff like, more than once.

Nowadays I look at a game and wonder if it's worth putting in the effort of reading the rules. Sad.

But I figure it won't be too long before the kids are old enough to play.


Posted by: James at September 12, 2005 2:00 PM

I know what you mean.

We also tried out a new game I picked up that is much quicker and easier called Bang. I had planned on trying it out next time we got together. It's basically an Old West shootout card game that plays very fast. good guys vs. bad guys. Would have been better if Patti had actually shot at someone other than her teammate (me). Like the sherriff. you know being an outlaw and all. But no I'm not bitter.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at September 12, 2005 2:15 PM


Remember "Family Business?"

I think it came up in conversation recently. In that game the backstabbing was part of the game.

Sounds like, in your case, it was just "in the family."

Posted by: James at September 12, 2005 2:32 PM

You deserved to be shot, I'm sure, but seeing as though I have the ability to let things go, I don't remember the circumstances.

Posted by: Patti M. at September 12, 2005 2:36 PM

Card games like Great Dalmuti and Beat the Buzzard are popular in my living room gaming circles. I don't know anyone who has time for the board variety anymore. Unless the game is, you know, Battleship or something.

Posted by: Mike at September 12, 2005 2:55 PM

Mmmmmmm, cider. N and I broke the cider open last night while struggling with excel spreadsheets. It was the perfect drink, in our Newport glasses of course!

Posted by: Sara at September 13, 2005 12:58 PM

It's easy for you to let it go. YOU got what you wanted. :)

Posted by: briwei at September 13, 2005 6:04 PM

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