The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mothers, don't do this to your children

Hello, my name is Douglas (waits for murmurs of "Hello Douglas" to die down) and I am an addict. My "drug" of choice is Freecell. Yes, I admit it... I am hooked on solving Freecell games. I am so addicted that I was gleeful when I learned I could "cheat" in Windows 7. Of course, I have cheated this way ever since I started playing solitaire card games... with real cards instead of virtual ones... as a young child. I never considered it wrong. I just figured that solitaire was not like life. I have since learned that some... let's call them "offenders"... believe life should be that way too and have found a way... let's call them "lawyers"... to help them get "do overs."

After a few years of blissful fudging of the rules, I purchased a tablet computer. A fine little machine that has almost become a constant companion. I then, of course, found an App for Freecell. So, now I spend a lot of idle time playing Freecell on my tablet. One would think my addiction is being fed almost painlessly, without problems like withdrawal symptoms.

To a great extent, perhaps my addiction is well enabled by technology. Only one small problem... the tablet App does not let me cheat.

I cannot escape a loss by "opting out" (as I call it) by backing up to the beginning and then "X-ing" out of the game. No... the tablet Freecell App doesn't care... the App just retains that game for the next time I execute it. I must either successfully finish the game or admit defeat. I cannot escape this even by shutting down the tablet. The next time I boot it up and open the Freecell App... there is that game staring back at me... smirking... taunting me... exposing my fragile ego to almost certain humiliation at its digital hands.

So far, I have not found a deal which I could not beat. Though it has taken some time to do the hardest ones... something like just under 90 minutes for the longest solve time and it takes some pigheaded stubbornness to play one game for 90 minutes!... I still have a perfect record of no losses after some 2000+ games.

The App also does something else: it keeps statistics. Not merely the number of games won and lost but the longest (89:52) and shortest (01:30) winning times, fewest (86) and most (1147) winning moves, average winning time (05:47, currently), and something called "Wins Without Undo" (1075, currently).

Why do I do this? I have no idea. I could blame my mother for introducing me to solitaire card games. But I know it is my fault for being addicted, it was (and continues to be) my choice to play.

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