Archive for the 'Games' Category

License to gamble

November 27, 2007

But that would mean illegal aliens can’t gamble:

SPRINGFIELD — Gamblers, no matter how old they are, may eventually have to show their driver’s licenses and have them scanned before entering Illinois casinos.

The Illinois Gaming Board is considering the card-everyone idea as a way to catch people who have voluntarily agreed to be arrested if they board one of the state’s riverboat casinos.

Those who have “agreed to be arrested” are compulsive gamblers who put themselves on an exclusion list and are then subject to trespassing charges if they break down and show up anyway. Heck of a way to live.

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Guilty, a pleasure

September 18, 2007

I don’t have any guilty pleasures, because I don’t even accept the concept — I like what I like and make no apologies for it. But if I did have any, one would me my addiction to TV game shows that are Too Frivolous To Be Taken Seriously — “Family Feud,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “Card Sharks,” “Hollywood Squares”; I’ll put down the “Remembrance of Things Past” or  “The History of Civilization” that I’m reading in a heartbeat to get sucked into one of those diversions. Only my best friends know that “Jeopardy” — at which I excel, naturally — is not my only game show.

One of my favorites was the 1970s show “The Match Game,” with Gene Rayburn controlling the staged frivolity with that silly, long-neck microphone. One of the mainstays of that show, Brett Somers, has just died. I knew, from some of her asides on the show, whom she was married to and that it probably wasn’t the greatest union in the world. But I didn’t  know this:

Somers married actor Jack Klugman, the future star of the television shows “Quincy” and “The Odd Couple,” in 1953. The two separated in 1974, but never divorced.

They made many television appearances as a couple. Somers appeared on several episodes of “The Odd Couple,” playing the ex-wife of Klugman’s character.

Separated but never divorced. These days, that seems almost so traditional that it would be Republican-pirmary-friendly.

“The Odd Couple,” by the way, was one of those shows like “M*A*S*H,” in which the TV version went far beyond the movie in scope and execution. “Quincy,” on the other hand, ended up sucking. In the last couple of seasons, Klugman gave these excrutiating liberal lectures to the camera about this or that evil that the government had to address, much like the excrutiating conservative lectures to the camera by Jack Webb in the second incarnation of “Dragnet” about those who insist on self-destruction despite government’s best efforts.

Walk it off

September 12, 2007

Build them and we will walk?

Nearly one in four people in the Atlanta area are exercise enthusiasts stuck in neighborhoods without sidewalks or other walking amenities, according to a study that illustrates a problem for many Americans.

Researchers said the findings point to the need for more exercise-friendly places to live.

“The bottom line is the built environment really does matter to health,” said Lawrence Frank, a University of British Columbia researcher who led the study.

Walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods have sidewalks leading to nearby shops, restaurants or other destinations. They are built in a way that makes it easier to walk and get to buses and trains. Many are older neighborhoods, located in more urban areas.

Frank is among a group of scientists who have shown that people who live in walkable neighborhoods tend to weigh less than people who live in more isolated and car-dependent areas.

Americans are fat and unfit because our neighborhoods aren’t walkable? Sure, I believe that. People can walk anywhere. I had an pedometer once and used it to calculate that I walk two miles a day just at work.

The pretense continues

September 5, 2007

WNBA. Come on, does anybody really care?

Indiana beats Detroit in WNBA Eastern finals opener

Tamika Catchings had 22 points and 11 rebounds to help the Indiana Fever beat the Detroit Shock 75-65 Friday night at Indianapolis in Game 1 of the best-of-three Eastern Conference finals. Catchings set a franchise record with her fourth consecutive double-double.

They’ve had plenty of time to build an audience, and I’d bet half the people who do watch are only pretending to be interested. Women’s tennis, I’ll watch. Golf, bowling, skating, diving, you name it. But the only reason to watch a contact sport is to see how men measure up.

A dark and stormy post

July 31, 2007

This year’s winner in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which annually honors the worst opening sentence for a nonexistent novel, to honor the Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1830 novel “Paul Clfford” famously begins, “It was a dark and stormy Night”:

Gerald began – but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten per cent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them ‘permanently’ meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash – to pee.

Long sentence pauses — which are entertaining but can be distracting, especially if the writer loses track of where he is, and more so for readers who might not be paying as much attention as they should, a description of most readers, really — are a specialty of mine as well.

Fun Monday

May 8, 2006

Construction Here’s a fun way to get through those tough Monday morning hours. If you go to this site, you can create your own construction-zone sign, like the one I did at right. That’s just one of many fun toys here, a collection of random-generator sites. You can create your own hillbilly name (I came out as Little John West and Goober Montana the first two times I did it). You can randomly generate a monster or a name for your cat, scramble text, add a cartoon text bubble to any picture you choose. There’s so  much more — I’d hate to say how much time I spent there.

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