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!

Try to Keep Your Buns Warm

I was out shoveling snow this morning in the subzero temperatures.  It’s getting down to 20 and 30 degrees below zero with the wind chills today and tomorrow—and likely beyond. Try to keep your buns warm in weather like that. Sena helped by making hot cocoa when I came in for a break. Little things like that make a big difference. Like many other people in the country, we’re getting out despite the wind chill warnings. There are a couple of reasons for that. None of us want our neighbors falling on our sidewalks. The other reason is that you look for just about any kind of a break from the indoor routine caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, part of which is the TV show lineup.

On the other hand, I get a kick out of the Ancient Aliens program. Last night, William Shatner, the Star Trek star who has his own show about the weird and wonderful, UnXplained. He sat at the head of a table lined by a group of Ancient Aliens heavy hitters, along with video guest stars including physicist Michio Kaku. I think Shatner was playing the role of devil’s advocate, apparently trying to argue against the idea that aliens are driving their UFOs recklessly around our planet while intoxicated on oregano, crashing them on the Weather Channel’s Highway 401 in British Columbia, forcing the Heavy Rescue crews to pull them out of ditches using 65-ton rotators (which look like they’re from another planet, by the way) and occasionally kidnapping various humans for the odd anal probing.

Anyway, I suspect Shatner was playfully provocative and this got the Ancient Alien crew to talking loudly and rapidly all at once, interrupting each other and challenging Shatner to a knife fight and whatnot. Just kidding; they were all very polite and respectful.

Me at the Star Trek Museum in Riverside, Iowa in 2016

I think it’s possible to take the Ancient Aliens show too seriously. I really wondered why Shatner was invited as a guest on Ancient Aliens. Maybe they don’t take themselves as seriously as some people think. Well, OK, they probably do.

In fact, I don’t think Shatner takes his own show, The UnXplained, seriously. I wonder if the title of the show is a sort of jab at the X-Files? Remember the 1999 episode, “The Unnatural”? Josh Exley (played by Jesse Martin) was an alien who took the form of an alien and was an excellent baseball player. He hid among an all-African American baseball team in Roswell in the 1940s but was executed by an alien bounty hunter who didn’t want him mixing with the human race. Think about that irony. The episode was warmly comical and at times, even poked fun at the preoccupation with alien invasions. I actually liked Jesse Martin’s version of the gospel song “Come and Go with Me to That Land.” There is no full version of it, but I also liked Sam Cooke’s rendition. Sena and I both really enjoyed watching the X-Files while eating popcorn. I treasure the memory.

Well, the sun is shining and it has finally almost stopped snowing. I have to go back out and finish shoveling.

Have a great Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

Me and my valentine in New York

I’m Late for Valentine’s Day

I’m a little late for Valentine’s Day, but you could give me a break because I’ve been a little busy being retired. Don’t throw things at me because I’m getting too old to duck. And I did get my wife a card, flowers, and some candy on time.

It was something else I forgot. It’ll take a few days before I can tell you what it was.

We made a Valentine’s Day wish by breaking a chicken wishbone the other day. I believe that was before Valentine’s Day. In fact, it was about a week prior.

I don’t know if there are any rules about how to you’re supposed to hold the wishbone. Some will probably say our technique was poor when they see the video.

I think if you talk about what you wish for, you’re liable to break the spell and you won’t get what you wish for. I believe you’re allowed to hint, though. Pay close attention to the video.

Happy late Valentine’s Day!

%d bloggers like this: