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15 February 2012 @ 01:16 pm
Our newspaper had this great Valentine cartoon in the Op-Ed page yesterday. Boy, does that cover a lot of Obama haters...

Our own Valentine's Day was nice, though my daughter torpedoed our late-night plans. Augh! She's 14 and won't stay in bed at night—it's like having a 2-year-old with night-terrors all over again. I will be SO glad when Mock Trial is over for the year. It's given her all kinds of personal confidence and social skills, but it eats up too much time and makes her anxious about tests and schoolwork, hence the insomnia and the night-wandering. Boo.

In other random news, I've been trying out the 4-suite version of Spider Solitaire, just to make myself nuts. I looked to see if there was any "help" for it (i.e., strategy information), but no. If there were, it would probably just say, "Ha-HAH! Suckerrrrr!"

I actually won a game over the weekend, but the odds are against me.

We're getting caught up with Fringe, and just finished 4x11 with the visit from Alternate-Astrid. She broke my heart at the end, in the way that Fringe's moments of unexpected pathos so often do. I ♥ her.

Still in the queue: some Once Upon A Time, a buncha Chucks, Raising Hope, a Burn Notice, a Grimm, and all the SPN S7 stuff I haven't gotten to. And that's not counting the Netflix or library disks on the DVR...

Today, though? Reading LJ Idol fics. Voting ends tomorrow!

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brigid_tannerbrigid_tanner on February 16th, 2012 12:43 am (UTC)
You won a game of 4 suite Spider? I'm impressed! I tried it a few hands, and went running back to the 2 suite version where I win about half the time.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Yay!halfshellvenus on February 16th, 2012 01:11 am (UTC)
I was really surprised about it! I've toyed with 4-suite before, but kept going back to 2-suite out of frustration.

But then I remembered that after I abandoned Spider Solitaire for over a year (because of the, um, addictive nature of it), when I tried to play it again, I'd lost the "knack." It seemed so mystifying at first. So I figured that the 4-suite thing would, at some point, start to make more sense.

And it does! I'm better at it now, after about a week, meaning that there are moments when it seems like I could win while playing it (as opposed, "God, this is all crap-chaos").

FreeCell was like that, too, partly because there are no helpful hints on how to play that game. You have to mess around with it awhile to figure out how it even works. Would it kill these people to have a demo? :0
i'm chris, not dustin (bella)accrues on February 16th, 2012 12:15 pm (UTC)
I play 4-suite all the time, needed a harder challenge when I was in the psych ward last year. Here is how I play it:

1. obviously try to stick to suites
2. black goes on red (and red on black) before it goes on black (or red) because that way you definitely know what is a spade and what is a club (etc).
3. if you don't get to the back of a pile by the first round (ie. no moves left without dealing) you are not going to win. I've tried this out and the statistics are incredible. Maybe I'm just not good enough! So I try to get to the back of a pile asap. That way you have room to negotiate.
4. try to sort out your runs as soon as possible, even if it takes a million moves to get them all neat, because you'll thank yourself later.
5. if it already has another suite on it, try to put it on another pile instead eg. if there's a 7H6C and you want to put a 5D on it, put it on a pile which is just 6S or something because it will make it easier. Probably.

Some of that might be superstition?

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Yay!halfshellvenus on February 16th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
These could be very helpful, actually!

I do try to free a clear space somewhere ASAP. (#3) I'm not sure I've ever made it there in round 1, though, which may be why my lose-rate is so epic.

#2... I've toyed with this, because it IS easier to see what you're dealing with when the suites are different colors. But I generally will mix suites of the same color if I'm desperate. Especially in the first round, when my goal is 1)Collect suites and 2)expose as many cards as possible.

#5 might help me, too.

So, do you win more often than, say, "practically never"? Because if you do, your method clearly works! I probably win about 50% or more of the 2-suite games (more once I've gotten into the groove and am less hesitant to mix early, because it really does help to reveal cards ASAP).

I'll try your tricks! Thanks for the suggestion, and so much more helpful than, "Try to accumulate suites in order," which is about all the game's help gives you. Basically, it's a directive, not a guideline. ;)

Edited at 2012-02-16 06:39 pm (UTC)
i'm chris, not dustin (bella)accrues on February 17th, 2012 12:50 am (UTC)
Oh! I just remembered the rule I always abide by: Higher numbers first. If there's a QC and a KC, and a 2C and a 3C, and you don't know which to move first, move the queen. Underneath might be 2D or something, which you can use that 3 for, even though that's mixing. It might help get the stacks down?

Yeah I win a lot of the games I choose to continue. Like I say, I re-deal if I haven't hit the back of the pile by round one. Of those I do hit the back of, I usually win 70%?

I stopped watching Raising Hope after I got out of hospital like, a year+ ago. Is it worth continuing? I only watched a few episodes.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 17th, 2012 01:26 am (UTC)
Ooh, I think that one's a good rule.

One of the things I hate in Spider Solitary is what I call the "King Bomb." Life is going well, and you're just waiting for one or two cards on a cascade, and then you have to hit "deal" and WHAM! Stupid, unbudgeable King right on your nice cascade.

I really like Raising Hope, because I like the little moments of irony and also the sweetness. It's a family of stupid people who know they're stupid, but they love each other and they're wacky. That appeals to me. :)