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Games and Puzzles


The Royal Game of Ur could be made so it can be stuffed in an Altoids tin. My dad suggested using coins as dice. Canadian coins can sometimes have striking faces, like a red poppy. I've got some small stones from a beach in the Gimli area, some dark and some white quartz. You can make a board out of just paper, which can be folded up.


Something seems suspicious there.


farmer, boat, fox, chicken and corn riddle

I think this should be made on hand-drawn cutouts on something paperish, not a link on the Internet with a solution next to it.

Is this too dweeby to put under the Christmas tree?


I developed a new game, called bilsang.


I was pondering the old Korean game four field kono. This is an awful game with an intriguing type of capture. Actually I forgot and misinterpreted the capture; I thought you jump over an opponent to land on a second opponent. So what if you combined (my interpretation of) the four field kone capture for some pieces plus other pieces that do capture by jumping over, like checkers? You make holes in formations, then have the pawns take advantage of that.
This quickly switched to chess knights and a bunch of pawns on each of the two teams. I never did try four field kono capture. The pawns have unique rules. The board is smaller.
I tried several different setups and board dimensions, but just wound up back with the original idea, which is a 7 x 5 board and a Dablot Prejjesne setup.
The gameplay for bilsang is interesting, and I played it many times. However, the ending is dreary, and surprisingly even. The game needed a goal other than attrition. I tried getting pieces to the other side of the board, or planting yourself on the centre cell, or an attrition points system. As of writing, the goal is to take a ball from the centre position. You aren't really taking it somewhere; the game ends when one player can not take possession of the ball and resigns.

Bilsang (I never could figure out if these names are capitalised) is a meaningless word. I had the name kicking around forever as a folder name for a game that is long gone and forgotten. I remember it as being exciting but a failure in the end. I've run through so many game ideas that I can forget what I've done. This might be similar to the original rules for bilsang. A glitch in the matrix there.

Components and names:

I made it with blue plus mostly clear turquoise glass pieces, with blue and white dice as the knights. Those pieces are pretty.
All this goes on a tightly-packed 5 x 7 inch little board now made with paper.
The ball was a dime. The hidden dime is awkward and extra work to move around. I changed this - now called a crown - to an invisible piece. When your piece has a crown you turn it upside down. A die which would normally have a 1 on top would have a 6 on top.


What gameplay is like:

How good is this game?

I keep playing it over and over and over. It clearly works for me.


















Language and Culture


If you heard an advertisement with a British accent, would you be more likely to believe it?

In the U.S.A. and Canada, advertisers often use someone with an English accent. This bothers me, and I have a hard time explaining why. It insults my intelligence and is also inauthentic.


At work a few years back a lady pronounced inquiry rhyming with furry. I thought that sounded weird.

I used to always hear inquire pronounced as inquire, and inquiry pronounced as inquiry, like wire -> wiry, fire -> fiery.

Americans pronounce inquiry as inquirry, like empirical.

The pronunciation inquiry seems to be one of those chiefly British things, so you would also hear it in Australia. Did they say inquiry in the U.S.A. a few decades ago? I don't know.

I think the focus should not really be on the vowel, but the syllable emphasis. Americans are inclined to emphasize the first syllable.


Music, film, television



Suburban Sasquatch. Forty minutes of silliness from the Red Letter Media people.


Devo - Through Being Cool

New wave!

Eliminate the ninnies and the twits.




some articles:

Governments race to beat Facebook's cryptocurrency, libra, at its own game

Watch Consumer Behavioral Shift From Celebrative To Status-Seeking Purchase Habits

from A Blog To Watch

Hamburglar strikes again

I would like to use a colourful Hamburglar character in fiction.