Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Do you ever play games on your computer?  I don't mean the ones you have to buy or that you play on-line with a bunch of other people you don't know, I mean the original "vintage" ones, like Solitaire, Spider and Free Cell; the ones that actually come free with the software.  I don't know why but I love these games.  When I finally win I feel like I can accomplish great things. 

Solitaire is fast paced and you can play 15 - 20 games in as many minutes.  I don't win that one very often but I have found the secret to winning is playing your cards on the ace piles. I used to think it was better to form great big long rows starting with the king all the way down but that doesn't help you win.  Play those cards on the ace pile as soon as you can. 

Spider is a bit more complex.  After playing solitaire for a bit, I switch to spider and it takes me a few minutes to realize I am no longer playing black on red or red on black.  I've screwed up many a game stacking these incorrect cards on top of one another, only to find I'm so buried by the time I realize it there's no digging out.  That's when I just restart the game.  Sometimes I find it hard to believe it's possible to win every game.

Free cell is probably the easiest of the three.  I win more often than not.  There's no secrets there, just luck. 

My mom and dad, who are in their late 70's and 80's never touched a computer until we gave them one we were upgrading from and now they sit and play card games several times a day.  They talk about games they've won and games they've lost.  They talk about the games they like and the ones they don't like.  We even bought my dad a hunting game and he can go wild turkey hunting any time he wants.  You should see him brag when he gets a 21 pounder.  I think it keeps their mind fresh.  They know how to turn on a computer and use a mouse and a keyboard.  I'm very proud of them because they keep learning; all thanks to a couple of "vintage" games.

Many people find these types of activities of waste of time and I can see that.  But to me they are relaxing and a great way to wind down after you've been doing real work on a computer all day. One of my favorite comics is a picture of these older gals sitting in an office environment.  One said, "The computers are down so we have to do everything manually today."  The next frame they were all sitting there playing Solitaire on their desks with a deck of cards.  That's some funny stuff!