Sunday, July 16, 2017

Learning Mah Jongg -- July 16, 2017 -- Nothing About The Bakken

Another great day with Sophia. Several years ago while visiting the Bakken, Chuck Wilder (Books on Broadway, Williston, ND) and his wild and crazy group invited me to an evening of Mah Jongg (and lots of great food). I had never played Mah Jongg before but was always interested. The basics of the game were picked up easily but it was obvious I only knew the very basic of the basics.

Shortly after that I bought a very elegant Mah Jongg set, and opened it rarely. Today I decided to re-learn the game with Sophia. She was quite excited. One-hundred-fifty-two (152) tiles. Apparently the Chinese set has 144 tiles; the American set has 152 tiles (the Chinese set plus 8 jokers). Three dice, although technically, I suppose only one is needed. And then all those plastic racks and plastic counters. She was quite critical of the instructions; apparently not enough strategy, just the basic rules.

By the way, Mah Jongg is the ultimate betting / gambling game (makes poker look absolutely trivial). It is amazing how the rules of the game minimize any chance of cheating or "counting" tiles. 


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Ms Du Maurier

Some years ago before I discovered the internet, and when I was deep into my reading program, I stumbled across Daphne du Maurier and was in a "du Maurier" phase for quite some time. It was a real thrill to see a book review in this weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal: "Daphne du Maurier in Her Prime. Rebecca is derivative and full of cliches. It doesn't matter. The novel is still compellingly alive. Allan Massive reviews "Manderley Forever" by Tatiana de Rosnay.

The review begins:
Daphne du Maurier was born in 1907, in London, into the upper reaches of bohemia. Her grandfather George was an artist and the author of the best-selling novel “Trilby” (known best for the character Svengali). Her father, Gerald, with whom she had an intense, perhaps unhealthily intense, relationship, was a star of the London theater. Her cousins, the Llewelyn-Davies boys, inspired J.M. Barrie to write “Peter Pan.”
There was something of Peter in Daphne. As a young girl she wanted to be a boy and invented for herself an alter ego called Eric Avon. The boy never quite died in her.
In addition to a copy of Rebecca, three other du Maurier books on my shelves:
  • The Winding Stair, Daphne du Maurier, c. 1976 
  • Daphne du Maurier, Twayne's English Authors Series, Richard Kelly, c. 1987 
  • Daphne du Maurier, The Secret Life of the Renowned Storyteller, Margaret Forster, c. 1993
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Pet Peeve

Frankly (and quit calling me "Frank" -- LOL) I'm getting tired of all these writers wringing their hands over FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google). In this weekend's edition of The Wall Street Journal, this "cover story" in the "Review Section": "Can The Giants Be Stopped?"

One wonders if, in 1903, the horse and buggy industry was publishing press releases with this subject, "Can Ford Be Stopped?"

This anxiety over FAANG is so tiresome.

Yes, things are changing. Get over it.

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Vic Hanson

Early this morning I spent the better part of two hours reading the Vic Hanson blog. I could have picked any number of his posts to highlight but for some reason this one struck a chord. I hope the link never breaks.

Vic Hanson is linked at the sidebar at the right.

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TV Trivia

What is the connecting dot between Miami Vice's  seventh episode (first season), "No Exit" and my alma mater, Augustana College (now Augustana University), Sioux Falls, SD?

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