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Games and Puzzles



You can click the image to get the rules.

With these eat-or-lose games you get what I call a bald spot in the middle. I see why it has the donut look.

Dice Tower: TZAAR live play


That is nice, with a close straight-down view, unlike this Dice Tower video.

Here is another Dice Tower video with abstract strategy games being played.

What is the best pace for moves, from the audience's perspective?


Karen Puzzles

This channel features jigsaw puzzles, particularly novelty puzzles.




Do you want to have handmade presents for Christmas, rather than plastic from China ordered through Amazon? That's a way of doing things.


Gamaroo is a game where you have the classic roll a die and move your piece down a path. Some of the spaces have challenges on them, often questions. This is intended for a whole family as a Christmas present. Gamaroo has been moved to the Games page, or you can go directly here.

You could make Gamaroo for a family including kids and tweak it for your needs. In theory it could be a lot of fun, with everything from push your luck with dice to trying to make people laugh to a physical challenge. A lot of questions.


You could make Stand By Me (see the Games page) and stuff it in a little Altoids tin. This might not be useful, but now I can entertain the possibility that someone is doing this.

Get two red dice, two white dice, some squares or rectangles of paper, and a small pencil to write names. Cram it all in an Altoids tin.

This has advantages. It is both small and rugged. This handmade, or hand assembled thing is easy to make can be tossed out if you don't want it. The rules are simple. It could be fun.
You just need a dozen willing players to get together to play this unproven game during a pandemic.



Q: Will someone be excited by this?
A: No. Even I didn't give this as a gift.

But let's consider the advantages.
Handmade. You can check that box. Make it from posterboard, or whatever material you think is best.
It is small. With a five-inch width, it could fit in a stocking.
The game is not too long, and the rules are easy to understand (at least I think they are).
This is a good game. It has the right amount of complexity. The two sides will be tend to be even throughout the game, so the amount of challenge is steady throughout the game.


(As someone who does not like gummy candies) I've suddenly taken a liking to Turkish Delight, or lokum. This Usas product comes from Turkey. We're not sure what ingredient makes it what it is. It is something in between food and candy. You won't look at other candy the same way again.

More than one person is going to get this from me for Christmas. You can get it from your local middle east store. It's good for a variety of people, like Aunt Ralph.

I've been debating getting the rose flavour product (read the blurb) for someone named Rose. It has the nice stunt name for my purposes, and a girly look. However, it is an inferior taste to other Turkish Delight. Having said that, I would love to have a box of this right now, with its subtle rose. Unlike the other variants this has a pile of fine sugar on it, which makes it messy.


It has become tradition for me to put a group of four of these Tunnock's bars from Scotland under the tree. Wrap the group in a red ribbon and don't put a label on it. These sweets are nice, but it's the look that makes it extra appropriate for Christmas.

Gingerbread cookies haven't been on the agenda for years, but I love them and they are part of Christmas tradition.


Nuts and metal nutcrackers are on the agenda. They're traditional, nutritious, and fairly fun to eat. You could put them in an inexpensive Christmas basket, or something more pedestrian.


I will give a number of drinks to a number of people. It's what I do. I might find some Moxie in my stocking, and I might find out what that red Cheerwine tastes like. Sorrel, with a red ribbon, has a seasonal red look. There can be an ethnic angle. Peruvians drink purple corn juice, chicha morada. My Trinidadian friend said they would have Peardrax on Christmas.

knitted tapir

In case someone wants a knitted tapir for Christmas. Bonus points for tracking down the associated baby tapir and the babirusa pig.


You could put a wrapped licorice pipe in a stocking. This seems to be a Canadian product. Kids might not love the taste.

I put one mandarin orange in a stocking.

Milkybar is a thin little chocolate bar from Britain. It would be hard to get.

I do not have the opinion that you are obligated to fully stuff stockings with things that are perceived to be exciting, and loads of sugar.




Sick president. Global pandemic. Racial injustice.
Welcome to the U.S. election... of 1920.

Hindsight is 2020.


Samuel L. Jackson's Enslaved and the lost history of Canadian slavery



You got all that?

Greeks called themselves Romans.


You know that Peter Jackson film "They Shall Not Grow Old" about the Great War that got all that buzz? It turns out that a variety of things makes this surprisingly good, feeling new, putting you in a different world from a soldier's point of view. It is focused on the British Army.

Ancient Egypt was old. It was inhabited by gypsies and mummies who all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert. The climate of the Sarah is such that all the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandos. He died before he ever reached Canada but the commandos made it.

Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines. He was actual hysterical figure as well as being in the bible.

The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn't have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a young female moth.

Socrates was a famous old Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. He later died from an overdose of wedlock which is apparently poisonous. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.

In the first Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled biscuits, and threw the java.

Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out: "Same to you, Brutus."

Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was canonized by Bernard Shaw for reasons I don't really understand. The English and French still have problems.

Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen," As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted "hurrah!" and that was the end of the fighting for a long while.

It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood.

Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking.

Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper which was very dangerous to all his men.

The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter.

Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couple. They lived in Italy. Romeo's last wish was to be laid by Juliet but her father was having none of that that I'm sure. You know how Italian fathers are.

Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Since then no one ever found it.

Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backward and also declared, "A horse divided against itself cannot stand." Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. They believe the assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposing insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.

Johan Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handle. Handle was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was very large.

Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf that he wrote loud music and became the father of rock and roll. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up.

Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbits but I don't know why.

Charles Darwin was a naturalist. He sort of said God's days were not just 24 hours but without watches who knew anyhow? I don't get it.

Madman Curie discovered radio. She was the first woman to do what she did. Other women have become scientists since her but they didn't get to find radios because they were already taken.

Karl Marx was one of the Marx Brothers. The other three were in the movies. Karl made speeches and started revolutions. Someone in the family had to have a job, I guess.

Source: the comments here.

This would have come from the book Non Campus Mentis, which I own. I laugh every time I read "The Snerbs".


Music, film, television


Here are three nice songs from The Netherlands ("Diverse Dutch Ditties").


Shocking Blue - Venus

1969 (redone by Bananarama in 1986)


Diesel - Sausalito Summernight

1981. This went to # 1 in Canada.


Urban Dance Squad - Deeper Shade of Soul



The Little Green Bag song (which you can hear at the famous start of Reservoir Dogs) was written by Dutch men. Radar Love was from Golden Earring.


Eddie Van Halen was born in The Netherlands.



I wonder how many takes they did.

Yes, that's the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz. Buddy Rich on the drums.





I sense some stupidity too.


Q: What's green and can fly?

A: Super Pickle.


Boy befriends skeleton

Some lively conversation.