Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Rules of Liverpool

  1. One of the things that the Brave Astronaut Clan has been doing during this time of quarantine is playing a card game popular in our family, Liverpool.  It is a contract rummy game that was taught to us years ago by our cousin, while we were visiting our grandmother's house in Owl's Head, Maine.  It is a contract rummy game with a series of hands varying in melds.  A minimum of three players is required for the game.  The game is played with two decks, including jokers.  An additional deck is added for every two players (5 players, three decks, 7 players, four decks, etc.)
Here are the hands:
6: Two sets of three (three fours, three jacks, etc.)
7:  One set, one run (three of a kind, one straight flush - for all you poker players out there)
8:  Two runs
9:  Three sets
10:  Two sets, one run
11:  Two runs, one set
12:  Three runs (no discard)

  • Aces and Jokers are 15 points each
  • Face cards are 10 points each
  • All other cards are face value
  1. There is no buying of cards in the first round.  Beginning in the second round, a player may buy the discard of a player out of order.  The discard goes to the next player to the left without penalty. If the next player to the left wishes to buy the card they may do so, with a penalty card from the top of the pile.  The right to purchase a card moves around to the left.  The player who originally discarded the card may conceivably repurchase the card if they wish to - if no one ahead of them wishes to purchase the card.
  2. When using jokers, a set must contain at least two natural cards and a run must contain at least two natural cards.  If a joker is used in a run or as the third card in a set, the joker may be "stolen" by a player who holds the card for which the joker is holding the card's place (for example, 8, 9, Joker, Jack of clubs may be replaced with the 10 of clubs and used elsewhere on the board).  If the joker is placed on a set, the joker is "dead" and may not be taken.
  3. In a hand where more than one run is required, runs of cards may be constructed in the same suit as long as they are separated by one card (for example, 4, 5, 6, 7 of hearts and 9, 10, J, Q of hearts.  Duplicate runs may also be constructed with overlap (for example, 5, 6, 7, 8 of spades and 7, 8, 9, 10 of spades).
  4. As noted above by the numbers preceding the hands - that is the minimum number of cards required for each meld in the hands (6 - two sets of three cards each, 7, one set of three and one run of four, etc.).
  5. Aces may be high or low, but not both, for example, J, Q, K, A of diamonds or A, 2, 3, 4 of diamonds, but not K, A, 2, 3.
  6. For the first four hands, 10 cards are dealt, for the final three hands 12 cards are dealt.
  7. Once a player goes down, a player may no longer purchase cards.  A discard may be picked up by a player who has gone down only if it can be immediately played on the tableau.  Only players who have gone down may play cards on the tableau.
  8. In the final hand, no discard is allowed.  Only one player will go down in the final hand.  The card that is picked up, either from the discard pile or from the face down pile, must fit into the meld to end the hand.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Posts From A Pandemic

Today is Sunday May 10, 2020.  LBA's last day of attending school was Wednesday March 11.  SoBA's last day when he was present in school was Friday March 13.  Mrs. BA's last day in the office was Tuesday March 18.  My last day in the office was Tuesday March 23.

As of tomorrow, we will be starting on our 8th week of quarantine under the stay at home orders in our state.  Mrs. BA and I have been 100% teleworking since coming home.  Both of the boys have been doing online schooling.

100% teleworking in my line of work is difficult - for those of you who know what it is I do (or do the same sort of work) - you get that - but I'm managing.

Here are some of the things that I have accomplished over the past eight weeks.
  • Completed a finding aid for the Brave Astronaut Family Archives.  There is more work to be done - I am moving on to Mrs. BA's papers next.  I am also planning on working on the Special Media Archives for the Brave Astronaut Clan - I have possession of the family home movies on 8mm and have been meaning to putting them on DVD (I did it a while ago - but it needs to be redone).  I also have tons of photographs that I have plans to digitize - this was a goal during the government shutdown in 2019 - but I didn't get to it.  This will likely be a long term project and I'm looking at finding outside help to get this done.
  • Other records management tasks undertaken involved updating the Brave Astronaut Library on Library Thing - the collection is only about 500 books.
  • I'm trying to get out a walk a little each day.  My FitBit mocks me each weekday - I have reminders set up to make sure that I get up and move each hour.  As a result of this, I've gone from an average of 6,000 steps a day to less than 2,000.
  • I'm sleeping well (not as good or as much as LBA - who is going to bed late and getting up even later - ah, the life of a teenager).  I also started out by not setting an alarm but am now trying to get out of bed by 8:00am - that allows me to get to work by about the same time (no more commuting!).  
  • Speaking of work - I am doing what I can under the circumstances - as I often note, it is hard for me to do my job without being with the records, but it has allowed all of us to do some stuff that we don't normally get to do and we are managing the best we can.  It has been said that we aren't necessarily working from home - we are managing the best we can while staying at home.
  • Mrs. BA is working from home in the bedroom in the basement - collectively known here at the Launchpad as the Sewing Palace.  She started out working at the kitchen table but the distraction of people walking by the house proved too much.  She has also produced hundreds of protective masks for the local hospital, part of a local group here in town that has been providing needed masks to local frontline providers.
  • Both of the boys are doing online schooling - LBA has an A day and an B day - the B day involves a math class, which doesn't really have an online component, lunch, gym, and band - so his B days are definitely less taxing.  LBA has about two weeks of school left.
  • I go grocery shopping every two weeks or so.  The new normal is of course, waiting on line and then making one's way around a store.  I've described grocery shopping in this time as what it would have been like to shop in the Soviet state, if it was in the market, it went in the cart.  It didn't matter what it cost, if it was there and maybe we could use it, I bought it.  I also have been giving gift cards to the checkout staff - because they are working under extremely trying circumstances.
  • The four of us are playing a lot of cards, specifically Liverpool.  As of today we have played about 30 games.  The next post contains the rules of the game.  One other thing that has taken place during this time - is that Mrs. BA has created a database of games played by the extended Brave Astronaut Clan (I have been the official scorekeeper of games since 2003 - dutifully recorded in notebooks - the first volume has been accessioned into the family archives.)
  • Interior Home Improvement (working from the top down):
    • Attic:  I moved some stuff around, I got rid of stuff (including sending two boxes of shirts to my sister to make quilts for LBA and SoBA).  I also have three bags of school uniforms that don't fit SoBA any longer - but no one is going to be needing school uniforms anytime soon.  There was some talk about putting the Christmas lights back up, which are stored in the attic - that's certainly an option - I could get a jump on the town lights contest for 2020. (The lights discussion reminds me of my idea for a set of lights that could be changed based on the holiday / season (Feburary: pink/red, March: green, April pastels, May, June, July: red, white, and blue, August: ?, September ?, October: orange, November, orange, December: multi, red-green)
    • BA Bedroom: I'd like to install a closet system.  The kitties have clawed a hole in the mesh of the box spring and we are going to lay a piece of plywood to cut off access to their favorite lair.  I'd also like to paint.
    • Bathroom: I'd like to remove an old tile towel holder and also repair a missing tile space (from where the other tile towel holder was).
    • LBA bedroom: in pretty good shape.
    • SoBA bedroom: he needs curtains.
    • Living Room:  I've hung some new artwork, and I would really like to replace the furniture with a set that somewhat matches.  Currently the couch, 2 chairs, 2 end tables, and coffee table are all different.  The pieces of furniture that are staying are my mother's desk (command control for the Launchpad and my home office) and my father's bar (which could benefit from refinishing).  I'd also like to paint.
    • Dining Room:  I've wanted to replace the dining set for a long time.  Wayfair is my new best friend.
    • Kitchen:  I've done some routine organizing.  I pulled out the drawer where the ziploc bags live and found that nearly 40 gallon size ziploc bags had fallen behind the drawer.  Mrs. BA and I are contemplating replacing the microwave and I'd like to replace the dishwasher - then all of the appliances will be stainless.  And the kitchen needs painting.
    • 1/2 bath: I'm proud to say that just yesterday I replaced the fill valve and the flapper on the toilet and did not flood the house or otherwise screw it up.  I also need a piece of replacement glass for a shelf or two new shelves for the bathroom.  There's also the matter of the window, which LBA broke part of, probably 5 years ago.
    • Laundry Room:  I've wanted to replace the utility sink for some time. Earlier this week I replaced the furnace filter and switched over from heat to A/C, then it got cold again.  Go Home Mother Nature, you're drunk.
    • Family Room:  I've hung some new artwork in the family room - but I'd really like to paint and there is another poster print that someone gave us for our anniversary that would look good there, but wall space is becoming precious.  I'd also like to replace the sofa bed with a new one.
    • Basement bath: recently painted - there's not much to do here.
    • Basement bedroom:  Currently the domain of Mrs. BA and the Sewing Palace, I'd like to get in there and paint.
    • Archives and Under Foyer area: the archives are currently being processed (see above) and the under foyer area needs some additional organization - though I have already been through there once.
  • Exterior Home Improvement: Part of my day involves opening the front door and looking out at the yard or the house and think about what it is I would like to do.  The big ideas involve building a new shed toward the back of the yard, demolishing the existing shed, and extending the existing deck off the kitchen to the porch.  What I am hoping to do is paint the screened in porch (replacing all of the screens, which already have holes in them, so it's needed), possibly replacing the screen door, painting the brick, the floor, the ceiling, and the metal trim.
  • Yard Work: I think that I mowed the lawn for the earliest time ever - I pulled out the lawn mower on March 31.  I have mowed the lawn several times already and the lawn service has been by a few times to fertilize the lawn.  Unfortunately the moles may be back and are not adhering to their stay at home order.
I've also come to the realization that I don't own enough loungewear.  How are you?