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.

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!

Moderna Booster Jab Today and Mindful Zombies

I got my Moderna Covid-19 booster jab this morning. That was quick. A guy (probably about my age, I’m not sure) waiting for his booster behind me chuckled and asked, “Did she even let you sit down for it?” I was in and out that fast. It’s the same as the primary series, only half-dose. Sena and I are now both fully vaccinated and boosted.

According to the FDA and CDC guidelines, I could have gotten a heterologous booster, but I stuck with what I got for my primary series. There was no problem with vaccine supply; it was already on the shelf, so the only thing different was the smaller dose. Since there’s not much else to say about it, we’ll move on to other more exciting news.

Sena ordered the Zombie cribbage game I just had to have. It won’t get here by Halloween, but that’s OK. I know the board is a folding plastic affair and there’s only enough peg holes for what would be half a full game (61 instead of 121). The pegs are zombie figures—which may or may not fit in the holes.

But it’s zombies! This is what happens to you in retirement, people. My gratitude to Sena for getting Zombie cribbage will be to play Scrabble with her.

That reminds me of a cribbage story I read on the web about a game between a couple of old guys in a senior community in Minnesota. One of them, Harry, was 108 years old and the other, Don, was 105. They were long time cribbage players, but they’d never played each other. The young guy won. As soon as he did, he got back on his walker, saying, “Just another game,” and left. In fact, neither player got as excited about the affair as everyone else including spectators, family, and staff, talking it up like it was a championship boxing match. Don’s family said that his attitude about the win was probably part of the reason for his longevity.

I liked Don’s reaction to winning the game. I don’t know if Don’s approach to cribbage is the same as it is to life in general. Maybe it’s about living in the present. When something is over, it’s in the past and it’s time to move on. There’s probably no point in worrying about the future either, especially when you get pretty old. There’s not much of it left.

Maybe this mean that retirees should be more like zombies—we should just play cribbage, eat brains mindfully, and forget about tomorrow. You’re welcome.

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