2014 Jun 29 | videogame party, toga bicycle bar crawl

I love this bent tree in the middle of the field.

And this lone tree in the middle of this one.

A breakfast spot set up for all of the Mexican workers near Home Depot.

Appropriate license plate for a Prius.

Purple car.

I always forget there's a tollway down here, but I always exit right before I have to pay.

Ready for the 4th of July.

We went down to Newport Beach for a toga bicycle bar crawl. We got there pretty early to get parking and the lot was fairly open.

We wandered around a bit until we found a cafe for breakfast. We could even watch the World Cup game on my phone.

Oops, dropped a piece of strawberry in my OJ. Although it's almost the same as a mixed fruit bowl.

There were lots of people already set up on the beach with their pop-up canopies.

God forgives you.

Seeing the Jesus up top just verifies it.

A cute lifeguard chair at one of the beach houses.

The parking lot was almost full now. This guy was standing in a spot to reserve it for his friend.

We looked around at a few places to rent a tandem bicycle, and this was the cheapest.

A few of us first met at Cabo Cantina then headed out. It was only five of us, but most of the others met us the next stop, Mutt Lynch's.

Cool lights.

Uh oh, broken piece of glass. Thankfully this guy fixed it fast.

Lots of big drinks.

Our group.

Bicycling to the next stop. Ogii and I had a tandem.

Time for some food at Newport Beach Brewing Company, where a few more people joined our group. There was a couple who sat at the table next to us who had been at Mutt Lynch's as well; we accused them of stalking us.

Nice footwear.

The women outside. The group kept going to more bars, but we had to take off.

A neat lighthouse decoration.

The blimp over downtown.

Behind some palm trees.

Time for another videogame party. Everyone loves Mario Kart.

Some fun, some concentration.

NFL Blitz. Ogii and I could have won if she had a little more practice, I think.

Cheryl brought two-player Tetris, which was a ton of fun.

Smashed by the spikes.

Me trying it out.

She also brought South Park, a four-player game kind of like You Don't Know Jack mixed with Mario Party. Also very fun.

Everyone jamming on the buttons as fast as they can.

Back to normal mode.

Some GoldenEye.

Close game.

Mario Kart in the kitchen.

Ogii playing Candy Crush between rounds.

And finish the night of with some Tekken 3.

Very shiny glasses cases.

None of the large grocery stores in LA have plastic bags anymore, but some out in the suburbs do.

"Ogii, what did you do?" "You said to mix them." "Yeah, the pasta and the sauce, not the sauce and the corn."

This bathroom sink was overflowing. You had to set the handles just right to make it stop. Not that hard, but if you just flip them and walk away without paying attention, it'll still be on.

Aw, this car in the garage was scratched pretty badly.

Some were fairly deep, too; you're not going to just buff those out.

And it matches up perfectly with this pillar. Must have taken the corner a bit too tightly.

One player went all in. Another player called, then another. I had AA, so I went all in. Everybody called that, and this was the result: I got everything. Whew.

Me with my aces.

Two people with AAA but the KK for the full house beats them both.

The A8 was just losing to the A9 until the last 2 came to make a full house to split the pot.

Aw, the dumb 10 came on the river to split the pot when I had the straight before.

Four players all in.

Not sure why he's even in the hand with T5.

Nice to flop the second-nut flush. Seeing the K of spades would have been nice for a royal flush.

Good hands on both tables, but they both could be beat. If I switched the hands, though, they'd be almost the best hands possible.

Whew, just barely won that. Glad he had the Q and not the A.

JJ is ahead of AK until the cards came.

Same rather crummy hand on both tables. At least the right one is suited.

The 8 on the river definitely kept him in, but I already had the better two pair.

Always good when your opponents have the exact same cards as it takes away some of their outs.

Aw man, I had him crushed until two pair on the board, then both of our aces play.

That's a pretty good board for AA, except I can't make any money on it.

And this time I got lucky that a full house came because he had me out kicked.

Nice flopping a flush, but again, it's kind of hard to make any money.

Great flush draw, but I didn't make it and he made a full house anyway.

Two pair vs two pair, lots of straight draws, though, so scary board.

My thinking: "I have two over cards. He probably doesn't have anything and I'll win." Hitting the A on the river hurt, too; you don't want to improve your hand to a still-losing one because you'll tend to lose more money whereas with just A high it'd be easier to fold to any bet.

40-minute wait time? That's nuts.

Pinned his queen to his king.

Close game, but with the extra knight, he should be able to win, I think. I believe this draws because he can't protect his knight and stop my pawn, but I'm not sure.

A fun series. I had my pieces all around his king trying for a mate.

Pushing him back.

Aw, I think he can slip out or defend. Sacrificing a bishop for a mate is fine; sacrificing it for a missed mate, not so much.

Beginner's trap: I get his bishop for a pawn. If he tries to run back, I just put the other pawn up. Most people know to leave an excape hole my moving one of their pawns, but not always.

A new opening I'm trying, but the opponent recognizes it. I like it because it's super-aggressive and has lots of little traps.

It only works against the Queen's Gambit. You push your knights and queen out and there are tons of pins and revealed attacks.

I win. We both had bishops, he sacrificed his to move his pawn up, but now I get his pawn. If we had more time, he probably would have avoided it, but with only 10 seconds left for both of us, you miss a lot.

Goodbye kingside pawns.

Another close one I think I win now. Rook and pawn endgames are tough; one mistake and you lose.

Just have to be careful to not stalemate him.

Aces and kings and 5s all over the place.