September 23rd, 2002

digimind

Thanks, Sheriff. :)

On my way home just now in the wee late/early morning hours, I hopped on Towline Rd, a notorious speed trap in this area. The speed limit is 35, but most people go 45ish. I set my cruise control for 44. It's a long stretch of straight road and you can easily get significantly over the limit if you don't keep an eye on your speedometer, so I just set the cruise to avoid that problem.

Half way down the road, I notice some headlights behind me that weren't there before. At this time of night I was nearly the only car on these roads. There wasn't anyone near that last intersection before I turned onto Townline, so I had to figure it was either someone who pulled out of a business or home along the road, or a cop. The headlights looked pretty fancy. They were right on my ass. I turned off the cruise and slowed down to around 41 anyway, as I got closer to the light where I had to turn left.

I pulled into the left turn lane and the car behind got in the straight lane to my right. Looking in my mirrors, with street lights at the intersection I could see the body of the car now. It looked white, but I didn't see any decals or light mechanisms. Before it came to a stop at my side the light was green so I pulled out into my left turn. The car went straight and I took a look out my passenger window.

Howdy, sheriff! Thanks for not pulling me over. :) I guess he was camped out back on Townline and decided to follow me a while and see if I get excessively fast, but I didn't. He must've been hiding good though... I always look for cops along that road just out of habit. Something to do while driving that boring stretch of road so slowly. Heh.

Say, I wonder if during that whole time he was on my ass, he was looking my plate up in the computer to see if I had any sort of record. Hmm... Well there wouldn't be anything to find anyway. I've never even been pulled over. *knock on wood* And I keep saying "he" although I never saw the driver. Are there female sheriffs? Wouldn't want to be politically incorrect, oh no. :)
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digimind

Neuron Rewiring Game

At least, that what I've determined it to be. The card game is called Egyptian Ratscrew.

In a large nutshell, it's played with a normal deck of cards minus jokers and as many people as can fit around a table. Cards are dealt out evenly until they're gone so everyone starts with (almost) the same number of cards, which they hold face-down in their hands and don't look at them or show them to anyone else. First person lays the top card from their hand in the center of the table face up. If it is a Jack, the next player has one chance to pull a face card or Ace from the top of their hand. Queen, two chances. King, 3 chances. Ace, 4 chances. If a face card or Ace is played, it goes on to the next player with the same rules, otherwise if all the chances are used, the previous player takes the entire pile and places it under the stack in their hand. If at any time a card played on the pile matches the previous one (a "Double"), any player may slap the deck to take the pile. The hand on the bottom wins the slap. There's also a "sandwich" rule where a double can be separated by 1 card and still be slapped, but we don't play that rule. The player who ends up with all the cards wins. If a player runs out of cards, they may still get back in the game by slapping doubles. If a player runs out of cards mid-rule, the next player with cards finishes the rule.

Anyway, I hated this game at first because I sucked at it. The combination of figuring out how many cards to play when it's my turn and stopping when I play a face card or Ace, PLUS watching for doubles at any time, was just too much for me to keep track of at once. I found myself taking 1-2 seconds to think before playing each card, while my friends who play the game more were playing 4 cards per second and I could barely see what was going on. While I'm taking my 1-2 seconds trying to keep track of what's going on and remember the rules and watch for doubles, other players would see a double and all slap the pile, when I didn't even START to try to slap the pile yet.

This is why I think this is basically a game of rewiring the neurons in your brain. The way to get good at it is simply to play it so much that your brain rewires in such a way that doubles are detected without even thinking about it (well, thinking about it using a shorter neural pathway, basically) and it's turned into practically a muscle reflex.

I think tonight I was just starting to into some of that rewiring because I successfully slapped my first double ever! In fact, I think I did it 3 times! :) But my friends are still way better because they can keep track of who slaps doubles and wait for them to reappear later on if that player plays 2 cards in a row. That basically amounts to counting cards ON TOP OF keeping track of all these rules. I have a long way to go. :)
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