Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Spite & Malice

I grew up playing Spite and Malice with my Grandma Corky and my family, but it was Grandma that taught me how to play. Recently there was a "rule" question when we were playing with my folks. I googled Spite and Malice and found it is also known as Cat and Mouse, but the "rules" that I found online were not the same that we played with Grandma. I decided to write her version down, because I like it best and it is a very fun family game.
This game can be played with 2 or more just need a deck of standard playing cards (with jokers) for each player. The game we played had four players, so we had 4 decks.
Shuffle the cards, then have the person to the right of the dealer cut the deck.
Start with the person to the left of the dealer...they pick up a stack of cards that they estimate is 27 cards. If the players pick up more or less that's okay...
just make sure there is 27 cards in your "squeak" pile. I always wondered why Grandma called it a "squeak" pile, but it must be what they call it in the "Cat and Mouse" version. All the cards in your "squeak pile" are to remain face down and the players are not to look at them. Turn over the top card on your squeak pile.
Stella loves it when we play card games :)
Picture below shows the "draw pile" in the center and everyone's "squeak pile" with the top card face up.
Dealer then deals each player 5 cards for their hand. Only the player sees the 5 cards in their hand.
Person to the left of the dealer plays first.
The object of the game is to be the first person to get rid of all the cards in your squeak pile. To do this all the players contribute to 1 to 4 piles around the draw pile. These piles all start with an Ace and go in order up to King...then the pile is set aside. The finished piles are shuffled and used to replenish the draw pile.
All players MUST play any Aces or Deuces (2's) that they have in their hand if they can (i.e. if there is an open space around the draw pile, etc...) In the picture below Reeve did not have any Aces, so he had to lay down one card in his discard pile. There can be up to four cards in your discard pile. At the end of each player's turn they must discard one card into their discard pile. The cards in the discard pile may be used during the player's turn, but only the TOP card in each of the discard piles can be played.

Above: Reeve discarded a King...a wise move because then this discard pile can then either be a collection of Kings or he can then lay down a lower card.
Below: Kyle's turn...He had an Ace in his hand. There were four open play piles around the draw pile, so he HAD to play his Ace. He has a 3 on his squeak pile, so he chose to discard a 3. He did not have a deuce, if he had he would have played it and then played the 3 from his squeak pile. Once you play a card from  your squeak pile you immediately turn the next card over. Play it if you can. You can play as many cards from your squeak pile as you can. Jokers are WILD, so if Kyle had a joker he could have used it as a deuce and then played his 3 from his squeak pile. If a player is able to play all 5 cards in their hand before they discard, then they can pick up 5 more cards from the draw pile. Player's turn ends when they discard one card onto their discard pile.
Players 3 and 4 can't play so they each put a card in their discard pile. Reeve's turn again. At the start of each player's turn they draw from the draw pile until they have 5 cards in their hand. Reeve picks up and plays a deuce and then he is able to play the top card (a 3 like Kyle's...which was just pure coincidence that they both had a 3 as the first top card).
In the picture below you can see in the upper left Reeve's 2 discard piles (he can have up to 4) and his squeak pile which looks like it has a 10 on top. Then in the upper right you can see that Kyle still has a 3 on his squeak pile and he has 3 discard piles started. I should mention that each player's discard piles are not community piles, but the four play piles around the draw pile are community piles (everyone uses and plays on the play piles).
In the pic below there are 3 play piles started.
In the lower left corner you can see that I have a King on my squeak pile and I have started 3 discard piles. My first discard pile has 2 kings, my 2nd has 2 queen's, and my 3rd has an 8. Now I can discard ANY card that I want to on my discard piles. I can only have 4 discard piles AND if I want to use cards from my discard piles I can only use the top cards. For example if there was a Jack on one of the play piles and it was my turn I could only play the queen from my discard pile ONLY if it was the top card.
Generally you will want to play as many cards from your "hand cards" (the cards you hold in your hand) as you can vs. playing cards from your discard piles. You will always want to play your squeak pile cards vs. your hand cards or you discard cards.
Reeve has completed a play pile with a King and is shown below removing that pile to be set aside and shuffled with other completed play piles to be used to replenish the draw pile when it runs out of cards.
Below I have reached my allowed discard pile limit. The next card that I discard at the end of my turn must go on one of the 4 piles that I have.
In the picture below we have 4 play piles, so if a player has an Ace they cannot play it. However if they have an Ace and there is an open play pile they MUST play it even if the next player has a deuce on their squeak pile. If there is an Ace on a play pile (as shown below) any player that has a deuce (a 2) MUST play it even if another player has a 3 on their squeak pile. Aces and Deuces are the only cards that MUST be played, if they CAN be played.

In the demo game that we played Kyle won!! The other 3 players continued to play to see who would come in 2nd (me!) and 3rd (Nana), then Reeve :)
Anyone ever play Spite and Malice? Do my instructions make sense? Please let me know if it's confusing or if you think I left out something.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Kalapana Lava Viewing Trip

After a day of projects we had a late lunch and then headed to the coast where the road ends in a lava flow from January 2011.

If you're looking on a map, it's in Kalapana, HI. It was about a 10 minute easy walk on a little paved road.
Just as we pulled up it stopped raining, so that was good timing.
The guides said that about 5 new homes have been started in the last 5 weeks. Lots were selling for about $5K. I'm not sure of the size of the lot. The guides did say that if lava flows on your land and destroys your house, the land is still yours, but you do have to wait 10 years before you can begin building again.

The current flow is far in the distance. About all we could see was smoke. Then at dusk we saw some bright orange spots where the lava is flowing off in the distance. We could get closer to the flow by going into the Volcano National Park and hiking in about 6 miles, but we weren't up for that.
Family pic on lava that flowed on my birthday last year (Jan. 20, 2011).
My folks :)
Crescent Moon and Venus. It was a stunning view! (Venus is not showing up in the picture, but it was there)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!!

Just a few photos from our visit with my parents...around the house and the Big Island.
Above, the weather has been incredibly sunny and dry since Christmas Eve Day. Above Tommy weed wacking the grass.
Above and 3 pictures below: Sight seeing in the largest subdivision in the U.S., Hawaiian Paradise Park.

We saved one day for a trip over to the west side of the island. I drive slow, especially going up and between two of the world's largest mountains (from sea floor to summit...Mauna Kea is the world's tallest mountain). From our house to Kailua-Kona it takes almost exactly 3 hours. Reeve was snapping photos along the way.
Above is Saddle Road (between the mountainous volcanoes Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa). Below is a blurry pictures of some of the observatories atop Mauna Kea. There are a total of 13 International & National Observatories up there.

Snow on top of Mauna Kea, which translates to "white mountain" from Hawaiian.

Switch days...below is a picture of Rd 8 in our subdivision. We're all thankful when we get to Rd. 8 because it is paved. From our house to Rd. 8 is 1.3 miles of pot-holey takes me about 12 minutes to drive that 1.3 miles. I frequently have bicyclists (and sometimes pedestrians) pass me.
Below is one of my favorite spots in Hilo...Richardson's Beach Park along the 4 miles of beach parks stretching out of Hilo.
We always see a couple of honu (Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles) resting on the lava rocks.

Me and my kiddos.

Nana (my Mom) and Stella:
Kyle in the black swim trunks at Richardson's:

Reeve, Stella and my Mom watching Kyle swim:
Now we're back to the pictures from our Kona-side visit. We went to a beach area near the Natural Energy Lab. Next time I'll remember to check the ocean tides. We arrived right at low tide, but it would have been a better visit, for the kids, at high tide.
Our dancing Stella:

My Dad in front of the Kona Airport.

Happy 1st Day of the New Year to you all! We're looking forward to more exploring adventures on this wonderful island!