Posted onApril 25, 2023|Comments Off on How I am playing Wordle these days using Wordlebot as a guide and an opponent :)
If you like playing Wordle, then you should make a guide and an opponent of Wordlebot. I check it every time I finish Wordle.
Using Wordlebot as a guide, I noted which words it used first and second. Based on my notes it seems to always use SLATE as the first word. Of the second word I noticed it uses, CRONY is a common choice. That makes sense: those two words give you AEO and Y as well as CNRST. I find I can get a lot of matches this way. And if I don’t, I know the third word has an O or a U, and the remaining letters are easier to choose from.
Often I will play SLATE and then play CRONY even if I have matches with SLATE. My goal these days is to get it in three. I will only go for it in 2 if there is a good chance I can. (Like one day this month when the word was PLATE.) Currently the majority of my scores are 4: my goal is get the majority to 3. I am not sure that is possible, but it is what I’m aiming for.
While Wordlebot is a good guide, I also use it as an opponent. My hope here is to win by getting the word in less tries than Wordlebot. It does not happen too often. My next best hope is to tie Wordlebot but get a lower luck score. If we tie in tries but it has a high luck score, I also consider that a win.
One reason it is hard to beat Wordlebot is due to the eliminate process it uses. While the first word it uses tends to be SLATE, if it gets matches, it may play a word that comes from out of the blue but it is not. Wordlebot seems to calculate what possible words could solve the puzzle and then play a word to help eliminate them. If I had the ability to do the same, I would! Most of the time I do something less mentally taxing.
Wordle is a fun game, still. I especially love that people still post their scores on twitter. I consider it watercooler material. (“How’dya do on Wordle last night, Bob?” “Got it in 3” “Whoa, nice. Ok, have a good day” :)) Like Wordle, I don’t take Twitter too seriously either. The two go good together, like chocolate and peanut butter.
Posted onApril 14, 2023|Comments Off on Happy Friday! Have a lovely weekend
It looks like it is going to be cloudy but warm here in Toronto this weekend. That’s fine. I am happy for the warm weather and the lack of snow. It’s tulip time and I love tulips, so one thing I might be doing is either getting some more or just window shopping for them.
Do you know someone moving into their first apartment? If so, they might appreciate this checklist . They might appreciate more than that, but it’s a start. 🙂 If they need a new sound system for their place, maybe they’d like this new Sonos speaker.
When I was young, every Christmas my family would drive around our area in Cape Breton to see “the lights”. The lights was a shorthand description for the houses that would be decorated for Christmas. Cape Bretoners were not well off, but when it came to seasonal decoration, they went all out. It was always a happy trip to slowly make our way through the many streets full of festive lighting. It filled us with the Christmas spirit.
Over the las few years in Toronto I’ve noticed people keep their lights up and on well into the winter. I like that. I like that Christmas Lights have evolved to become Winter Lights. For winter needs more light and more warmth.
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Posted onNovember 18, 2022|Comments Off on The Santa Claus parade returns to TO this weekend!
What are you plans this weekend? As for me, I think anything I do outdoors will involve warm clothing because the weather is getting colder. And while I won’t be attending this year, I will be thinking of all the parents and their kids who will be bundling up to go downtown this Sunday and attend the Santa Claus parade! It has been on hold due to the pandemic, but now it’s back! Yay!
I love the Santa Claus parade. When I was a kid, I always wished I could attend. In my 20s I remember seeing it in person for the first time and being a little kid again as the floats and bands went by. And then I got to take my own kids. Some of my best parenting memories are with them at the event. It’s one of those things that makes Toronto great.
(I also use the Santa Claus parade as a reminder than Christmas is coming soon and it’s time to get planning! Perhaps this will be a good reminder to you.)
P.S. Here’s some tips I found to having a success Santa Claus parade:
When I would take my kids, we would go stand to Bloor and Avenue Road. There is lots of space around that area, so there’s a chance you can see the parade. As well, it is near two subway stops (Museum and Bay), which makes it easy to get to and easy to leave if you take transit. Finally, the parade has to turn there which gives you lots of ways to enjoy the view.
Instead of hoping right on the subway, I would find a place to get a coffee / hot chocolate. (There used to be lots of Starbucks and other coffee shops all around Bloor and Cumberland.) My kids loved this ritual, as did I. Just as good too was the fact that it was easier to get on the subway after your drinks since the crowds had dissipated by then.
If it is going to be cold, bring hot pockets or things to warm you up. You might be ok when you first get there, but after standing around for hours, you will get very cold. Be prepared.
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One of the ideas that I really like, from one of my favorite blogs, are the posts they have every Friday. Posts like this: Have a Lovely Weekend. It’s a great idea. Who doesn’t like a nice positive and update piece to read on before you start your weekend?
On that note, here are some links that I think are positive and upbeat and perfect to read on a Friday:
Posted onOctober 31, 2022|Comments Off on It’s Hallowe’en! Here’s everything you need to know about the Home Depot 12 foot skeleton!
For Hallowe’en, people have become more involved in decorating their homes. Nowadays a mere jack o’lantern is not enough. Instead, homes have yards filed with things, from fake tombstones to inflatable animals. A new member of those spooky menageries and a favorite of many is the 12 foot skeleton from Home Depot.
People love the 12 foot skeleton. They are making Tik Toks and Reels with them driving around town. Other people leave them in their yards all year round. They have a weird likability to them, those bony giants.
Posted onSeptember 25, 2022|Comments Off on Do you not have fun any more? Well, here’s how to have more fun as an adult
As kids, having fun seems natural. As adults, it can be hard to come by. Worse, some forms of fun actual harm of us. So how can we have good clean fun as an adult?
Alan McKee has written a book on the subject. In an article in the Times, the writer says that He…
…defines fun thus: “Fun is pleasure without purpose.” In other words, the same qualities that seem to make it so hard for me (the writer) to have pure fun — I need purpose! — make it hard to optimize for; put it under a brain scanner, and it has a tendency to disappear.
Fun is pleasure without purpose. Adults, especially responsible adults, often look to assign purpose to events. That may make them educational or beneficial, but it often robs them of their fun. If that is you, perhaps you need to set aside time for an activity that is purposeless. Play a kazoo. Make playing card towers. Doodle. Solve a puzzle and then throw it away. Go for a slow walk. Dance badly. Sing out of tune. Whatever you enjoy, do it without any aim in mind, other than to enjoy it. Guess what? You may be having fun.
Posted onAugust 18, 2021|Comments Off on You are on social media. Do you need fine print?
Do you have a blog, a tumblr, an account on Facebook, Instagram, twitter? Do you need fine print to go with that?
Well maybe not. But if you did, you could do no better than adopt the fine print of the account PourMeCoffee, here. Read it for the humour, but reflect on the Internet wisdom found there. It’s priceless.
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Posted onApril 12, 2021|Comments Off on It’s Monday. Here’s a good challenge you’ve likely already been doing
The challenge is this: can you get by with 33 articles of clothing for 3 months? Before the pandemic I would have thought: that could be tricky. Now, I think I may be about do 12 months with 20 items!
Why not check out the web site and see if it is for you. Heck, a lot of the clothes you have in your closet you likely don’t want any more as it is. With this challenge, you have a chance to get started on getting rid of them.
This is a game you can play any time, but it’s especially good to play it in a pandemic. What is the game you say? Here’s Siobhan O’Connor to explain in this piece, An Easy Way to Practice Gratitude | Forge. Key quote:
At our dinners, we sometimes played a game we called Five Nice Things. It is what it sounds like: You take turns naming things that are nice. Five is the number. It can be a thing that makes you happy, a compliment for the other person, a win at work, “This broccoli is tasty,” whatever. It’s a bit sappy, but it’s not the sappiest, and the rules were: Don’t overthink it, and be specific. We’d roll it out in other settings: group hangs, work, whatnot. It was, generally speaking, a hit. Even Eeyores can get into it if you bring to the game your Tigger energy. But it was most meaningful when it was just the two of us.
I think the way to make it easy to play is to avoid trying to find the five NICEST things. Five low key nice things are fine. For example five low key nice things for me are:
Waking up in the morning and feeling good and energetic
A bright sunny day after days of overcast skies
Walking by a store with lots of tulips for sale in buckets on the sidewalk
Buying a hot mocha on a cold winter day and sipping it as I walk
Late at night, looking at a yard filled with new fallen snow and seeing how uniform it is and how it sparkles
Just thinking about them makes my brain feel better. I think once you come up with some, your brain will feel better too.
Gardening is a tricky hobby. I’ve always associated it with older people. Which makes some sense: if you go to a gardening center in spring, it will be packed mainly with old folks. This is a bad prejudice to have. As this article by Samin Nosrat showed me, gardening can be a great activity to help with one’s mental wellness.
Last winter I suffered a devastating bout of depression. Unable to do much else, I took to the neglected beds of the vegetable garden I share with my neighbors. Weeding and composting for hours a day, I was regenerating both the soil and something deep in myself. It felt so crucial to my well-being that sometimes I wore a headlamp to extend my work time past the waning daylight.
It’s worthwhile reading the entire article. She makes a great case for the goodness that gardening can do for you. After you finish it, you may want to rush out to a garden center and get started on your own garden and improved mental health.
For a generation of oldesters like me, arcade games were what we grew up on. They seem quaint next to games on XBOX of PS3 or 4, but compared to games like Animal Crossings or other Nintendo games, they still seem relevant. Anyway, whatever your take, if you are into old games, check this post out: The Best Websites to Get Your Retro Gaming Fix.
I was over at archive.org playing my old favorite, Berzerk! Still fun! And hard! 🙂
Note to Mac users: I had a problem with the Fire button on my Mac. So I followed the advice on this page to map my SPACE bar to the fire button. Then I was fine.
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Posted onNovember 28, 2017|Comments Off on How to be a better conversationalist, starting with 100 questions
When you meet someone at an event or at a party, the inevitable questions come up: What do you do for a living? Where do you live? Whom do you know? These are safe questions, and they lead to tepid conversation most of the time. If such conversations had a colour, it would be beige.
Some of them would still be pretty safe at a work function, such as: What’s your most urgent priority for the rest of the year? Others could lead to some pretty funny stories, such as: What’s something you’ve tried, that you’ll never, ever try again? or What’s the strangest date you’ve ever been on? (These may result in the same story!) Some are fairly personal, such as: What’s one mistake you keep repeating (and repeating)? (You may want to have your own example in case you stump someone). Finally, the last question is one most people should have an answer for, and is likely one that will tell you lots about the person: What are you most grateful for, right now, in this moment?
A great list. Throw some of them in a list on your phone and use them at the next get togther you attend. Better conversations await.
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Posted onOctober 20, 2017|Comments Off on Best way to host a dinner party? Like a Parisian
The wise David Lebovitz has great tips on how to host a dinner party in the manner that Parisians do. If that sounds daunting to you, it shouldn’t. It’s filled with such smart advice such as “Keep it Simple” and “Finish with chocolates”. If you have a dinner party hosting coming up, drop everything and read and follow this: How to Entertain Like a Parisian Tips – David Lebovitz. . From the good people at Food52.com.
Posted onSeptember 30, 2015|Comments Off on Adulting: a funny self help book, not just for young people
For anyone starting out on the road to being an independent adult, the book Adulting (from Hachette) is a good guide to have. It is packed with tips – 468 to be exact – on pretty much any experience you are going to go through in your early 20s. If this is you or someone you love, this book will have an obvious appeal.
It’s not just for young people though. I think all adults could benefit from parts of the book, especially if you are having to start out on some adult experience that is either new to you or something you haven’t done for some time. It’s good advice, and good advice never goes out of date.
Even if you don’t need good advice, read it just for the humour. It’s a very funny book. (Note, there is a fair amount of profanity and references to sex, but if that doesn’t bother you, then you’ll be fine.)
Finally, if you want to have a better understanding of what life is like for that young person you know, this book can help you achieve that.
By the way, if you want a preview of it, you can check out the Adulting blog. Also very good.
I was killing time in a bookstore last night and I thought it looked good. I ended up reading it from cover to cover.
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