Today was the inaugural game on our new Sasquatch cribbage board. It’s a very handsome item, made of walnut by the maker, David Sprouse, in Ferndale, Washington. His website is 3MoonsMakerSpace and he markets the boards on Etsy. It was delivered only a couple of weeks ago. It came with pegs and deck of cards. It has a hole in the back for hanging on a wall, if you want.
We played the game to 61 just for the sake of brevity since the point was to show off the board itself.
I don’t know really what to make of Bigfoot stories. Many claim to have spotted the creature way out in places like Washington state and elsewhere. There are reports of a few sightings even in Iowa.
I wonder why you never find corpses or even fossils of Sasquatch? Probably because extraterrestrials beam them up too quickly in order to harvest the fur for throw rugs for their space ships. The usual problem, of course, is getting the smell of beef jerky out of them.
I have announcements that you don’t want to miss! We got our Sasquatch cribbage board and it is gorgeous. We hope to have a YouTube video of us playing a game in a day or two.
The Amaryllis Star of Holland continues to open, almost before our eyes. It’ll probably be in full bloom before Christmas.
I have been working so hard on my juggling practice, trying to get so I can do a behind the back throw—I got a bruise on my right wrist without even realizing it. I must have got smacked by the ball. More on the agony and the steady but slow progress coming soon!
We’re trying out some cribbage variations. One of them is the old 5-card variant that was probably the original version of cribbage. That makes it historically important. I think it might still be the preferred version in some regions of Britain and Australia. It’s simpler to play and is faster. You play to 6, but pegging stops every time you get a 31 or a GO. The non-dealer gets to peg 3 points at the first deal.
We also played seven card cribbage, which presents a ton of opportunities for scoring. I know that every expert says there is no way to score 19 (or 25, 26, or 27) in cribbage, but both Sena and I thought I got a hand score of 19. We counted it three times. Could one more card make that possible? The highest possible score is 46! The rules are outlined here.
Did you know there’s a song about cribbage? I didn’t either until yesterday. I hear one line in the song, “19 in the box.” I looked up “in the box” and it means generally to be in a bad situation. That makes sense because that essentially means you got zero points in your hand. Maybe I’m making a mondegreen out of it.
Since it has been almost a year since we last played Chicago Cribbage, we decided it was high time to break the laws of cribbage again. Short story—I won this year. Sena won last year, so we’re even.
We played to 61 because the game can take an eternity to play using the Chicago cards: Deal Again, Cut Again, No Fifteens, Trade Hands, and Reverse Count. Each player gets 7, two each of the Deal Again and Cut Again. See the web page for the full rules.
The Chicago Cribbage 7 is now your license to cheat. You can demand to deal again and cut again at will if you don’t like your cards. The other Chicago cards are even more brutal.
You can deal again and cut again all you want, but you’re screwed if Reverse Count is played. However, the damage you cause for your opponent by playing the Reverse Count, while cruel, be mitigated by your opponent playing the No Fifteens card. If you can’t count fifteens, you can’t count backwards. Playing the Trade Hands card can backfire in a big way, trust me. You win by being merciless.
The artwork on the cards fits the criminal theme of the gameplay. There are pictures of gangsters and gun molls.
By the way, a few words about the background picture of Crystal Gardens in the video. It is or maybe it’s more accurate to say it was at Navy Pier. When we vacationed in Chicago in 2007, we went to Navy Pier, but neither of us can recall actually going to the Crystal Gardens.
When we searched the web, we discovered that we had missed what many Chicagoans felt was a Chicago icon. Thousands signed a petition protesting the plan to close Crystal Gardens as described in a web article in 2021. The plan is to replace it with something called the “Digital Entertainment Experience.”
That sounds like something anybody who has a smartphone can get these days.
We have a lot of fun playing Chicago Cribbage—although it can be a little frustrating. Give it a try for a change of pace!
It’s not common to get skunked in cribbage—but it happened to me yesterday. Sena has a way of getting very high scoring hands and this led to her winning the first of three games in a big way.
I was stuck well behind the skunk line. This led to some questions by both of us as to what exactly happens in a tournament when a player gets stuck behind the 91-hole on the peg board after the opponent reaches the winning 121 hole.
The American Cribbage Congress (ACC) website says the winner gets 2 points. I think that’s because the scoring in tournaments is done by points.
Other references say that the winner gets 2 games. That means something if you’re playing the best out of, say, 3 games and the like.
There is such a thing as a double skunk, which is getting stuck behind the 61-hole after the opponent reaches 121. Then the winning opponent wins 3 games.
Many cribbage boards will not mark where the skunk and double skunk holes are. Tournament board makers often don’t mark them—but will if you ask them to do so.
We have a so-called tournament V-tournament board which marks both skunk and double skunk lines. You can see the V-shaped track on it, which is supposed to help players avoid pegging errors.
This reminds me to mention the brand-new Sasquatch cribbage board we just ordered. It’ll be a hand-carved walnut board in a circular shape. Sasquatch will be carved in a deep 3-D relief. We are very excited about it. We hope it arrives around Christmas time. There will be no skunk lines.
By the way, I ended up winning two of three games because we typically ignore the skunk rule.
I’ve been working on my juggling form—and it’s only somewhat improved, but I’m getting 30 throws (good for the personal Gold Trophy milestone) without dropping more consistently just since yesterday.
I’ve got about a dozen video clips with me getting at least 30 throws, one with 36 although I’m weaving, lunging, rearing, rocking and rolling all over the room, nearly crashing into the computer. You can read my lips to see I’m counting in the video.
I’m hoping that getting to my Juggling Gold Trophy milestone will help make it easier to do tricks.
Sena and I played cribbage yesterday and, of course she won. She has been on a spectacular winning streak. She got a hand score of 21. I don’t know what I’m going to have to do to come up with a win. Cheat? I could keep extra cards up my sleeves and elsewhere, but I doubt it would help much.
I downloaded the Cribbage Classic computer game, the on-line version of which I reviewed recently. The game was made by Jeff Cole and is available for free on the Microsoft Store. And it’s fun to play–although it’s always more fun to play cribbage with a real person.
I think it’s a good game for learning how to play if you’re a beginner or to relearn if you haven’t played in a while and need a refresher. I still make suboptimal tosses to the crib, which the computer reminds me about every single time. I reviewed the game using a screen recorder.
Well, just a few days after picking up a kit on how to juggle, complete with 3 juggling balls, I’ve now graduated to the 3 Ball Flash, which I can more or less do consistently—or at least more times than not.
The 3 Ball Flash is to toss and catch 3 balls. You hold two balls in your right hand (or left depending on hand preference) and one ball in your left. You toss one ball in your right hand first over to your left hand. You toss the ball in your left hand over to your right after the first one hits the apex of its arch. Then you toss the second ball in your right hand and catch it in your left so you end up with two balls in your left hand. It’s one, two, three.
If you can do it without dropping balls, the teachers tell you to pat yourself on the back because it’s a big milestone.
You’ll notice in the YouTube video that I make a lot of beginner mistakes. The chief one is that I’m often doing what the author of the juggling manual calls “sprint juggling.” This means that I tend to toss way out in front of me and I end up chasing balls.
There’s this thing called the juggle space in which you’re supposed to toss the balls within a fairly tight space fairly close to your body. The idea is to imagine a sheet of glass in front of you. The bottom two corners are your two hands; the top is in a line just above your head.
When I toss the balls within the frame (which isn’t often!), it’s much easier to toss and catch the balls. What you’ll see me do in the video is the basic 3 Ball Flash, but I sneak in an extra throw or two occasionally—when I feel lucky.
I’m learning to juggle—sort of. I bought a kit for juggling at Barnes and Noble the other day. It came with a manual, Learning to Juggle, and 3 juggling balls. The manual is published by Sterling Innovation in New York. So far, I can sort of juggle 2 balls. I don’t know when or if I’ll ever learn how to juggle 3 balls.
It was tough to find any juggling balls in stores. Some experts on YouTube recommended starting off juggling socks or hacky sack balls. The trouble with rolled up socks is that every time I threw and caught them, they tended to change shape just from my grabbing them. They quickly got flattened.
I couldn’t find any hacky sack balls except at Scheels. They were selling single hacky sack balls for $8 a ball.
I actually got started by trying to juggle with dryer balls. They were bouncy and could smart when they hit my hand—or my head.
Juggling is a great workout when you’re just learning because you spend so much time running after dropped balls. One expert suggests juggling over a bed or couch because they don’t drop so far. That sort of works.
It’s fun and absorbing. You can learn a lot about it from YouTube videos. It takes a lot of practice, although the author of the juggling manual says some people pick it up in a half-hour.
That’s funny, just about all I pick up most of the time are the balls I drop.
Part of my motivation to learn juggling is to also build on my one leg balance skill. For the last couple of months or so since my “Balancing Act” post, I’ve been working on my ankle wobble. I can now stand on either leg for 60 seconds.
I can barely “juggle” on one leg. I have a long way to go.