Archive for January 17th, 2016

Day 15 of 100 Happy Days – Bored? I’m game…

Day 15-100

Pennsylvania, B&O, Reading, Short Line Railroad or the Mexican Cardinal Train?….

Day 15 of 100 Happy Days

I really enjoy board games and card games. We used to play board games a lot when I was a kid. My mother and father loved them and it was a family thing to do. I remember lying on the living room floor, we did not have a table big enough,  and playing all sorts of games with my brother and sister and my parents.

Charades, Snakes and Ladders, Checkers, Chess, Parcheesi, Yahtzee were the kind of games we mastered when we were younger. And as we got older, we moved to Sorry, Dominoes, Risk, Monopoly, Operation, Scrabble, Life, Mouse Trap, Jenga, Yahtzee, Trivial Pursuit, Master Mind, Clue, Charades….the list goes on and on.

It was fun to play, even if my Dad invented the most annoying song in the world, which he sang after each of his victories…”Loser the packer! Loser the packer!…” The words ringing in your ears as you collected the pieces and placed them in the box.  I am sure he helped, but I don’t recall it!

It was serious business back then. Winning and losing was important. I suppose it still is, but now it is just as fun to play.

For a brief period, the video game ruled. I still enjoy the infrequent jaunt on the game console…even if I am rubbish at it. But that is not a very social event, even if I am getting my butt kicked on line.  But the board game, or family game, is a whole different experience.

As opposed to a gang passively watching someone punch on a game controller, many are  involved in the same game at the same time.

Today the games can move into the ribald and risque, but the spirit is still the same. Balderdash, Pictionary, Cranium…and the game that shall not be spoken aloud – Cards Against Humanity!

No matter the game, it is always full of laughter, excitement, and fun…the jibes, the jokes, the taunts.  They are interactive and so engaging. Hours can while away as you spend time with those you care about trying hard to be a good sport!

This Christmas was a board game renaissance. It was great to reconnect with family over the kitche table, enjoying the spirit and the spirits. Good times!

This afternoon in the warmth of the kitchen, my lovely bride and I whiled away an hour or two playing Mexican Train – in which game she seems to have a lucky horseshoe!  In a few days it may be Scrabble, or Pick Up Sticks, or Yahtzee. And so we will continue with the games and enjoy being together, keeping our minds and hearts active.

I am even happy when I am losing…which is a lot of the time!

Later,

ASF

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Day 14 of 100 Happy Days – Have a Hug, Old Man Winter.

Day 14-100

Day 14 of 100 Happy Days

It was -21*C in Edmonton yesterday. That was the air temperature. With the wind, it felt like -30*C.  That’s cold. That’s 10 minutes before exposed skin freezes. It was only 10*C colder on Mars…

I often wonder why Canada is populated.  Why didn’t the first settlers just say, “Damn it’s cold. Let’s move South”? Who knows, but they didn’t.  Instead they hunkered down in their sod huts, their layers of fur and toughed it out.

We sort of do a 21st century version of that, too. It is funny the coping mechanisms we use. Having lived all across Canada, I have heard all the catch phrases.

At least it is not -40*C for the 14th day in a row like on the Prairies,” they say in Eastern Canada.

At least were not getting hit by another blizzard like in the Atlantic Canada,” they say in Central Canada.

It’s a a dry cold!” they say in the West.”At least you can dress for it.”

Oh my, shut down the City…we got  1 cm of snow last night!”, they say in BC.

We use many strategies to deal with the cold. There are two extremes: to hunker down in your Snuggie, jam on the Netflix, and hibernate for a few months, or to kit up with super high tech materials and equipment and embrace the cold. I’d say that equal amounts of both are the best way to get through the dark, cold, Canadian winter.

There is some perverse satisfaction in having faced Old Man Winter, having stared him down – asking him to throw all he has at you – and coming out on top.

“Is that all you got, Jackie Frost?”

And as you warm up in the comfort of your house with the fireplace working overtime, the furnace humming efficiently, watching Netflix as the warm winter sun comes through the window, the fact that you took the cold on like a true Canadian creates that tiny aura of contentedness and happiness that comes with facing a little adversity.

Bring it on, Winter; I can handle it – I am a happy Canadian.

Later,

ASF