Feb 18 2007


Ok, I’ve had enough winter; I’m ready for spring already. It sure was nice to be able to go outside without gloves today and be comfortable. Bring on the mushroom hunting, garden planting, fishing, picnics, and Cardinals @ Mets on March 1st (if it’s on the radio near enough to catch it).

Is it weird if your dog likes to eat bricks? One place where I walk Pepper a lot, there are some bricks crumbling at the base of a wall, and a couple times she’s found something there to eat. It sure looks like she’s eating pieces of brick, but I guess she could be finding something else in there. Maybe a brick fell on a mouse or something. I can’t imagine what her diet would be lacking that would be in bricks — calcium? She gets more bones than most dogs probably do, considering how carnivorous my diet is. I’ll have to ask at the vet’s when I stop in next month to get her flea medicine.

I’ve been playing through a bridge tutorial lately, because it’s about the only popular card game I don’t know; and wow, it’s complicated. The play isn’t complicated; if you’ve played any trick-taking trump game like euchre or pinochle, it’s even simpler than those, because it doesn’t put the cards in a strange order. But the bidding is incredibly convoluted. If I bid one-club, that means something, and if my partner bids 2-diamonds, that means something else; but if I had bid 1-diamond first, his 2-diamonds might mean something else entirely; and sometimes you bid 2-clubs even if you don’t have any clubs in your hand; and on and on and on. They’ve developed a whole language where you communicate with your partner with your bids to tell each other what your hands are like and how many tricks you think you can win.

It amazes me to think that regular people — not statisticians or people with eidetic memory — consider this a parlor game. The only thing I can think is that this tutorial is going a lot farther into the minutiae than most players ever do, because I just can’t imagine most people picking this up without many hours of watching and having it explained to them. Maybe if you grew up in a house where your parents hosted bridge games every week, but otherwise, I don’t see it. Memorizing all these different bidding options (and I haven’t even gotten into the scoring yet, which is fairly complicated itself) is like memorizing all the rules and strategies for cribbage, poker, euchre, rummy, hearts, canasta, and pinochle combined. No wonder I got nowhere the times I tried to learn it from reading the rules in Hoyle’s.

Last but not least, I’m starting a new job! I’ll save the details for after I’ve been at it for a while and know more about what I’m doing, but it looks promising so far. It’s probably not going to be full-time, at least for now, so I’m still looking for other jobs like I talked about here a few weeks ago, but it’s a step in the right direction.

I’m working up a rant about cell-phone companies, but I’ll save that one for next time; this is already long enough!

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