Ken's Skagafjordur Archaeological Settlement Survey Journal

Holar Visit
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As anticipated, I did stay up late last night playing poker in the traditional Friday-night game. However, the night's playing turned profitable: started with 361 kronar and ended with 391 kronar after a few hours.

These days the most popular poker game is called Texas Hold 'Em, and it seems that many people who "play poker" play only that particular game, and equate the one with the other. Of course there are many, many more games that can be played with a deck of cards and betting units. We played a variety of games, none of them Texas Hold 'Em.

The best game of the night turned out to be Country Store. Every player gets two cards down, four up, and a final one down (as in Seven Card Stud) but rather than simply being dealt the four up cards one at a time, and then betting on each round, players have options. In each of those four rounds, players can choose either to be dealt from the deck for no cost, or to pay into the pot to buy one of three cards face up on the table.

Those three face-up cards cost 2, 5, and 10 in a specific order. Whenever a player buys a card, it's replaced immediately so every player always has three cards showing. This game increases the options and interactions a great deal. Instead of just betting on the cards dealt to you and others, you can influence your hand and the hand of other players. You can buy cards to help yourself, or hinder your opponents, or both at the same time.

Anyway, I slept in this morning, put one of the free clothes washers in our house to good use (what a convenience!), then grabbed a seat on a car heading up to Holar for a visit. Holar served as our base of operations in 2001 and now hosts a rather large multi-year dig being run by Icelanders. It's good to visit it again. I shot a few panoramas there and will post them later.

This little cat hangs out near our house, and occasionally comes in for some attention. Sometimes he pushes his luck and jumps up on the food areas. He's been named Buckets by the students.

On the drive up to Holar we passed some people herding horses from and with their cars. I've cropped off the cars here, in this wide-angle shot made by sticking my camera out of the car window as we drove by.

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