New Cribbage Board Games Shipped!

We have a couple of new cribbage board games shipping early. They might arrive as early as tomorrow. These aren’t just cribbage boards.

One of them is Kings Cribbage. It’s kind of a cross between Scrabble and cribbage. Great, another game Sena can win nearly every time. Tiles correspond to cards. There are only two suits, light and dark brown. You have to try to make the highest scoring cribbage hand. You can score in multiple rows and columns at the same time. They have to be standard cribbage scores. I couldn’t find a YouTube instructional video per se, but the rules are on the web.

I did find a couple of reviews that were interesting and informative, though. It sounds like gameplay can make for complicated strategy building. And like the Tile Lock Scrabble game, the board has rails to keep the tiles in place. You can also spin the board around. The 6 and the 9 tiles are interchangeable. The

The other game is CrossCribb. The rules are also the web. The idea is to peg 31 points on your scorecard before your opponent cab do so. Two players to four players build hands perpendicular to each other.

They sound like fun variations on cribbage. We can’t wait to play!

Featured image picture credit: Pixydotorg.

Cribbage 29 Board Rematch!

Today Sena and I held the Cribbage 29 board rematch and it was unparalleled in the history of the universe! We shot a video of it and posted it on YouTube. It’s about 28 minutes long and we had a blast playing the game.

The last time we played on the 29 board was a couple of years ago. We posted it to YouTube and it has over 700 views so far—and it’s still getting views. I won the first game. You’ll have to watch the video to find out who won today.

The odds of getting a 29-score hand in cribbage is 1 in 216,580. Needless to say, neither of us got one. It’s pretty much a once in a lifetime thing. When it happens, it usually gets reported to local newspapers.

Pegging Around Wisconsin

We played a game on our new Wisconsin cribbage board. We made some miscounts I’m sure, but it was because we had so much fun talking. We lived in Madison for a short time many years ago and managed to see quite a few sights in the south-central region of the state. And even after we moved back to Iowa, we made return trips to visit Wisconsin because there’s a lot to do there.

Madison itself is the capital of Wisconsin. One of my first impressions is that a number of fascinating people live there. I remember we were walking west on State Street, and I saw a guy walking in the middle of the street wearing a live rattlesnake coiled on his head. Sena missed that for some reason. He was moving carefully and slowly, probably to avoid rattling his headgear.

I don’t think the sculpture of Harry Dumpty is still standing in Madison, but for several years it was a distinctive bronze sculpture in front of the Madison Municipal Building just south of the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and East Doty Street. I can’t see it on Google Maps nowadays.

I never knew the sculpture was Harry Dumpty. It sat above a large concrete wall with an inscription on it which I just assumed was connected to the sculpture and probably still sits there although we couldn’t find it in 2012 when we returned for a visit:

“David James Schaefer, 1955-2004
was a phenomenal phenomenon. Though plagued by the progressive debilities of cerebral palsy, “Schaefer” was an uncomplaining and generous friend to many. Disability Rights Specialist for the City of Madison in three different settings, his death of a heart attack in September 2004 made a hole in our community which cannot ever be filled.
Erected by the Friends of Schaefer at private expense.”

It turns out Harry Dumpty has no connection to David James Schaefer. In fact, Harry is one of several similar sculptures created by artist Brent George, who made him in 1997, saying he’s Humpty’s brother. If you look closely at the book sitting open next to Harry, it’s entitled “Harry Dumpty.” Brent George’s name is below it. Brent’s phone number is on the front of the wall. Evidently somebody called him and asked about the sculpture. Brent says there’s no connection between the sculpture and the inscription.

On the subject of art, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (on State Street) is a place to see. Although the art works are free to view on the web, they’re copyrighted and you can’t reproduce them without permission of the artists. However, at the time we were there in 2012 we saw Typewriter Eraser by Claes Oldenburg. I think it’s OK to share our picture of the giant one we saw in Washington, D.C. In 2015.

Typewriter Eraser in Washington, D.C.

One of the more relaxing times we had was having pizza for lunch at Paisan’s in Madison. We were outside and had that breathtaking view of Lake Monona, the breeze was coming off the water, cooling and refreshing—like the Moose Drool brown ale, which is not a Wisconsin brew; it’s made in Montana.

Wisconsin is known for its beer, among many other virtues. New Glarus Brewing Company is famous. I tried a few of the brews. One of them was Stone Soup. It had oil of clove in it and my lips got numb.

We took a dinner train ride at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom. It was great food and great company.

One of the more interesting stories about Monroe, Wisconsin is The Great Limburger Cheese War, which I mangled during the heat of the game. I first heard about it on a TV show; it seemed to me it was on Mysteries at the Museum, but when I googled it, I couldn’t find it.

We had a great time in Wisconsin. Maybe someday we’ll go back for a visit.

Wisconsin Cribbage Board Arrives

We got the Wisconsin state map cribbage board yesterday and there’s a little story behind it, right off the bat. It was delivered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and I remember the slap as it hit our porch from the USPS worker just tossing the package.

When we opened the package, it turned out to be not the board we ordered. It was not as thick as the Iowa cribbage board and it didn’t have a storage space on the back for pegs. The packing material for the Wisconsin board was not as interesting as that used for the Iowa board, which was packed using a local newspaper with a sermon on one of the pages, “In times like these we turn with trust to God.”

In contrast, the Wisconsin board was shipped from the same place in Minnesota, but this time in a plain white USPS envelope, conventionally secured with eBay tape, bubble wrap, and a plain brown shopping bag. No sermons.

Wisconsin cribbage board packing

Sena arranged to return it for a refund (which was the only choice other than having the exact same item reshipped from the seller), carefully rewrapped it and drove out to a couple of the UPS stores—both of which happened to be closed yesterday. She was late by just a couple of minutes.

This morning we noticed that the seller sent an email apologizing about shipping us the wrong board and offered us the choice of shipping it back for the full refund or keeping it at 70% off the price. We took the latter.

We’re now brushing up on our memories of Wisconsin, chuckling at our snapshots, and considering using the deck of cards we got at Lost Canyon gift shop at Wisconsin Dells, where we took the horse-drawn wagon tour 13 years ago.

Lost Canyon wagon tour in Wisconsin Dells

Scrabble Babble

The other day Sena and I played a close game of scrabble—close that is until I challenged her play of the word “Xi.” I lost a turn because in our brand spanking new Scrabble dictionary it’s defined as a Greek letter.

Later, I knew better than to challenge her play of “Ka,” which I looked up after the game. It means the spiritual self of a human being in Egyptian religion. I ended up losing the game.

She plays a Scrabble video game and got a Bingo recently, which got her 80 points. On the web a Bingo is defined as playing all seven tiles, and you get 50 points. I guess that’s the difference between playing the video Scrabble game and playing a human being, whether of the Egyptian religion or not.

We also used a brand-new Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, during a different game. We used that and I challenged her play of “dic.” I guess you know what’s coming.

As you can probably guess, “dic” is not a word, but those of us with dirty minds know full well that “dick” is a slang term that can mean penis, detective, or surprisingly, nothing. The nothing definition reminded me of the Men in Black scene in which the soon-to-be Agent J is riding down the elevator with Agent K, explaining that because he was chosen by the MIB organization, that means they recognize all of his skills. Agent K makes the deflating remark that all of his skills mean “precisely dick.”

I know you’ll be fascinated to learn that the nothing meaning of dick is not in the Scrabble dictionary nor is it in the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

So, remember that the next time you play Scrabble. On the other hand, if you don’t play Scrabble, this means precisely—detective.

Iowa State Map Cribbage Board Size Matters?

I wrote most of this post while waiting for our internet service to reconnect, which it finally did.  I’m pretty sure the wintry mix ice caused the outage night before last.

Despite the icy conditions yesterday, our Iowa State map cribbage board was delivered. One of the first things Sena said about it was, “I thought it would be bigger.”

This triggered a couple of memories. When we were on one of the tours around New York City in 2017, someone remarked on the size of the Ball in Times Square that drops on New Year’s Eve, saying it was smaller than she thought it would be. Apparently, this was the tour guide’s cue to deliver a few well-rehearsed jokes about size that all related to a man’s penis size—which I am not in the least sensitive about at all in any way, shape, form or size. Can we talk about the weather, please?

The other memory is the Men in Black II scene in which Agents K and J are grilling Frank the talking alien Pug about the whereabouts of The Galaxy (which is the best source of subatomic energy in the universe), which was small enough to fit inside a thumbnail-size jewel attached to the collar of a cat. While shaking Frank vigorously, Agent K demands that Frank tell him where The Galaxy is.

Anyway, the Iowa map cribbage board is smaller than our Jumbo board, but it’s a little bigger than the 29 board.

It’s made by D&D Custom Laser Designs. The name is lasered on a little cover which fits over the storage hole for the 4 wooden cribbage pegs. Below the name is “Custom Made & Designed in Randall MN, USA; In Loving Memory of Kevin Deick, Creator and Co-founder.”

I saw one review of the board on the web in which the reviewer expressed doubt that the maker knew anything about cribbage because the description indicates that it includes a pre-installed hanger so it can be used as a wall hanging. The hanger doesn’t interfere with it being used to play cribbage and the board even has small rounded feet in all four corners so you can set it on a table. And it does include pegs.

You can see the names of major and even small cities, the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and major highways. It reminds me of places we’ve been and what we did in those places. We haven’t played a game on it yet, but we plan to make a video of that in the near future and post it on YouTube.

The Iowa cribbage board came wrapped in something we usually don’t see. It was a crumpled-up issue of a local newspaper in Minnesota. The board itself is made in Randall, Minnesota. The newspaper is the January 30, 2022 issue of the Morrison County Record.

I haven’t read a regular newspaper in a long time. The Morrison County Record has a lot of the features I remember from several newspapers like the Des Moines Register and the Globe Gazette (Mason City). I noticed a large column in a section titled “Religion.” I can’t remember the last time I saw a newspaper column like that. The title of the column was “In times like these we turn with trust to God,” with the caption Inspirational Message with a small drawing of a church and the byline was Tim Sumner, evidently the pastor of River of Hope Ministries, Little Falls. So, this newspaper was published in a place called Little Falls in Minnesota.

Little Falls is about 10 miles southeast of Randall.

Anyway, Pastor Sumner (I don’t know if that’s his title, but I’m hoping it’s safe to assume that) wrote what could be given as a Sunday sermon. Because this issue of the Morrison County Record was used as wrapping paper, I had to hold the ripped pieces of it together to read it. The link to the whole sermon on the web is here.

One quote from Sumner:

Today, we regularly face situations that bring us to a place of not knowing how we will get through, how we can survive. The future can look very bleak when we try to predict what will happen and we try to manipulate people and things to do what we think is best. And without trusting in the faithfulness of God to bring us through these situations, the future is bleak.

I have not thought about God in a very long time, but when I was a child, I read the Bible a lot. And I remember the pastor of our church, Reverend Glen Bandel, who was my family’s hero when he took care of mother when she was very sick, and welcomed us in their home when times were bad. Mason City’s local newspaper, the Globe Gazette ran a brief story about his life and ministry when he turned 90 years old a few years ago. You can read it once before the web site requires you to subscribe. It won’t tell you even a tenth of what I and most people feel about his kindness, courage, and wisdom. He has a heart the size of a galaxy.

The population of Randall, Minnesota is 625, and the population of Little Falls is 8,664 (as of 2019). Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re not important.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Boy, are you guys lucky! I woke up yesterday morning with the crazy idea of making a video of me singing “L-O-V-E.” You know, the one Nat King Cole made famous. What do you mean, “No, what are you talking about?”

No kidding, though; I even cleared my throat a couple of times just thinking about it, getting ready to burst into my full-throated, only slightly phlegmy 60ish voice. I let that go after my first cup of coffee, thank goodness. You don’t know how close you came. My singing would kill a cat from a hundred yards.

Anyway, Sena got a kick out of my Valentine’s Day card because it had a scrabble theme. The top line actually is made of 3-dimensional Scrabble tiles. I bought that card before I found the Tile Lock Scrabble game.

By the way, I’m zero for 3 games so far. We really need a Scrabble dictionary. Sena plays the video scrabble game a lot and she played the word “Qi” twice (at right angles to each other) in our second game, claiming it’s a real word. I didn’t argue and without a dictionary, I couldn’t challenge it. But she didn’t know what it meant. “I’ve been meaning to look that up,” she says.

It turns out Qi is a variant spelling of CHI (pronounced like the first syllable of cheapo, a variant of cheapskate, as in a guy who spends the least amount of money possible on a Valentine’s Day gift for his wife). Qi is defined as the energy or life force in everything and it’s the basis of most of Chinese medicine and philosophy. It’s also the single most commonly used word in Scrabble tournaments.

We made this deal a while ago. If we buy a cribbage board in the shape of the state of Iowa with a road map and names of major cities, etc. on it, then I would agree to play Scrabble. We got the Scrabble game first. A deal’s a deal, even if it’s backwards. Sena ordered the Iowa State Map cribbage board yesterday. She wins most of the cribbage games, too. Here’s how she counts her scores: “15 for 2, a run of 3 for 19 (laugh it up you people, these are the jokes; hint, you have to know what scores are impossible in cribbage), and a flush for a total of 29; hey, I win again!”

You guys need to thank for me another thing. At first, Sena allowed me to use just one snapshot of us in this post. It’s of us at Niagara Falls in front of the helicopter we took a ride on to get a fantastic view of the falls. But we got to looking at a ton of pictures. We laughed a lot. We chose more pictures.

Have a great Valentine’s Day!

Unboxing Tile Lock Scrabble

I just wanted to alert you about the unboxing of the Tile Lock Scrabble game (Hasbro). Sena and I used to play scrabble back in the day, but for the past few years, I’ve been reluctant because the typical board can usually be positioned only so one player can see it right side up. The opponent has to view it upside down-usually Sena, who always says she can read the tiles just fine that way. And the tiles slip all over the place if you move the board.

We used to have a scrabble board that sat on sort of a post on which the board rotated, which made it easier for both players to view right side up. I wonder if that got lost in a move between houses. I have not been able to find one like that lately.

We have a couple of old Scrabble video games on CD and she plays those. It’s easy to forget the rules on some video games because the computer makes moves and scores automatically. I sometimes play cribbage video games that way although the most recent one I got actually has a mode that lets you score your own hand, crib, and pegging. I notice I don’t play cribbage as well with Sena after I’ve played the video cribbage game.

I finally found this Tile Lock Scrabble game at Barnes & Noble the other day. It’s an early Valentine’s Day gift. I telephoned Sena from the store and spilled the beans in order to avoid having to return it if she didn’t like it. Just like a guy.

I couldn’t figure out how to get the box open. That’s how I am. I nearly crushed it before I figured out I could use one finger to flip one end out (you can see the dent in one of the pictures). That’s why I included the slide show below.

You can also see the cool feature, which are the tile locks. Little retainers at the 4 corners of each square hold them in place so they don’t slide off. The rules are included in the box. You can also find the rules at the scrabble web site.

Wait’ll she sees the card

Update: Sena wins the first game on the tile lock scrabble, 291 to 266!

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