Bookgammon, v1.0

After my last blog post, I was asked what books I’d purchased (read or in the queue to read), and I thought… BLOG MATERIAL!

Here’s my current list. I’ll add links wherever I can. Don’t worry— they’re not “affiliate” links, trying to sell you something, and I don’t earn a cut. If I link to a book, the link will deliver you to Goodreads (where I keep a queue of “want to read” books) so you can check the crowd-sourced reviews.

The “books” are mainly of the digital sort. I read a lot, and I keep a very active Kindle, but the digital backgammon books I’ve purchased have all come through Apple’s iBooks.…

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1,400 Games

Yes. Yes it did.

After taking nearly four months to play 400 games on Daily Gammon, here I am, just over two months later, with 1,400 games under my belt.

That’s a pretty serious escalation, and I blame it on the doubling cube. The games really start adding up when your matches go to multiple points.

For those who don’t know my “backgammon timeline,” prepare for the boring:

  • Began playing the game in May of this year (2019)
  • Discovered Daily Gammon on May 14
  • While traveling, played one-point matches to learn the game
  • Decided in August I would get serious, bought many books
  • Began playing with the doubling cube for the first time in September
  • Had a Birthday, showered with gammon gear, continued reading
  • Located a local League in October, kept getting crushed using the cube
  • Began clawing back in November, and attended my first League meeting
The ups and downs (and downs, and downs) of learning

So I’ve been playing for six months, three of those with serious intent, and only two of those in multi-point matches using the cube, with one week in a League setting.…

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Pay-Go

“It’s closing?! Oh, no! I haven’t been there in forever!”

I have several friends who are restauranteurs, and I enjoy dining out frequently, myself. A frequent traveler, I’m fairly attuned to the comings and goings of promising new establishments, as well as tried-and-true favorites, in places near and far.

I particularly enjoy patronizing my local haunts, the places that recognize me when I walk through the doors, don’t bother handing me a menu (I know it by heart), and turn in my drink order at the bar before I’ve even had a chance to settle in.

If there’s one thing I know, it’s the restaurant business is tough; openings and closings happen daily, and the turnover and churn is crazy.…

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Sunshine and Tears

I find myself in Pensacola this week, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, with my brother.

My brother, who’s over a decade older than I am, spent his formative college years in the 1970s playing the hottest, trendiest game around at the time: backgammon. He was pretty good at it; good enough he would “earn” tuition and beer money playing lesser-skilled fish in the bars of the era.

When both he and I were slightly older, in the 1980s, my parents would pack me off to stay with him for a few weeks during the summer months. He was teaching college courses and had a lighter schedule that would accommodate our having all sorts of adventures, mainly of the sailing sort.…

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Gammon On The Go

This is what DailyGammon looks like while waiting to pick C up from arts magnet school and tween-taxi her on to arts magnet after-school. And, yes, that’s a lot of art.

Anytime’s a good time for backgammon.

The little dude hanging from the rearview mirror I cleverly call, “Little Dude.” I picked him up last summer from Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo in New Orleans.

New Orleans was on the opening leg of our Epic Nonsense Tour of 2018, a 5,300+ mile / 8,500+ km giant circle of road-tripping. Part of it was my wanting to introduce C to blues roots and jazz culture (stops in New Orleans, Nashville, and Memphis); part of it was B wanting to see some Southern charm (stops in Savanah, and Charleston); part of it was reliving some of my university sailing/drinking days (stops in Thibodaux, and Navarre); part of it was for fun (stops in Orlando, and Virginia Beach); and all of it was for memory-making.…

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Have Board, Will Travel

I unboxed a new birthday tournament board a couple of days ago, and in writing about it I mentioned I own two other boards: an inexpensive attache board purchased from a friend (and then promptly forgotten in a closet for several years) and a travel board I purchased prior to a trip to Europe this past June.

While the tournament board is impressive, and still has that new board smell, I believe the travel board remains my favorite. I carry it with me in a backpack, along with all of the electronics I need for a mobile office, and it’s available to me for a game no matter where I am.…

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Unboxing

What could that be?

Seventeen pounds of UPS delivery.

Let’s open it up and see.

Safety first.

A box in a box.

Safely snuggled in styrofoam.

Getting clarity, now!

The moment of truth.

3… 2…

Open sesame!

A Wycliffe Brothers Tournament 23″.

Aw, you sexy thing.

Talk about trouble with the cube…

Ridiculous. Marvelously ridiculous.

So, you have probably guessed by now that a new backgammon board came in today. I have a birthday coming up and it sort of just happened…

Purchased during the Labor Day weekend (because, sales), it arrived just about ninety minutes ago. My wife, who we’re calling “B” here, lost the inaugural match.…

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400

I’ve just finished my 400th match on DailyGammon, which isn’t a huge number by some long-time member standards, but it’s a milestone for me.

The site’s been around since the early 1990s, and is one of the oldest websites on the World Wide Web (back when it was called that; now it’s just “The Internet”). There are players with tens of thousands of matches under their belts. I’m a babe in swaddling clothes by comparison.

I found DailyGammon during the second week of May this year (05/19) while “going into training” for playing during our trip to Italy. I started off slowly, playing only matches to one point (no doubling cube, which at the time was a mystery to me, and still largely is).…

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