&$#@*!, my roses have Japanese Beetles on them right now. Pretty, as beetles go, but they'll make roses look lacy at best and digested at worst. Little jerks. I just clipped off a couple of blossoms that were A)beyond repair and B)full of beetles, and chucked them over the fence. It's important to get the beetles away from the plant, since they leave a scent behind that attracts others of their kind. One repellent is, seriously, to smash them and leave their bodies lying around. (I didn't do that.)

David Mitchell talks to Japan Today about his upcoming novel, which will be about Nagasaki in the early nineteenth century. I heart David Mitchell; go read all his novels. He says some really smart and interesting things about writing and imagination here. (via Bookslut)

rPhone - the finest in steampunk technology. rPhone is the first portable telephone constructed of materials you've come to associate with progressive technology... from its exquisite rosewood paneling to the handsome brass frame, it shouts "This is the 18th century!" (via MeFi)

PuzzleFilter - MeFi post about Puzzability, a puzzle-writing company started by three former editors of Games. (via... duh.)

Scrabble

Aug. 9th, 2005 07:44 pm
So, I need to get a new version of Scrabble one of these days. I can't afford it just at the moment, but I should be able to soon. I do already have a version of the game, but it's been lost in a box somewhere for two years. And it's a travel version, so I'd like something full-size for at home.

There are two versions that interest me.

For $20, there is a new, vintage-repro "Bookshelf" version. This is basically like your ordinary Scrabble game, but it's made to look like a version you'd have bought in the 50s or 60s, and it comes in a woodlike case. The tiles are the standard pale wood with black letters. This interests me because it's relatively compact and stores nicely, and because I have other bookshelf games, and really like the concept of bookshelf games. I don't think this is quite the same as the Nostalgia edition, but if not, it's close.

For $30, there's the "Deluxe" version, which has the cool gridded rotating board. The tiles are dark with gold letters on them. The convenience of the rotating board with grids to stabilize letters is not lost on me. However, it costs more, it's harder to store (the board doesn't fold), I've heard that it's kind of cheaply made, and when I played with a travel set that has snap-in letters (mine doesn't), they flew off the board more often than they stayed in place. I don't know if the Deluxe has snap-in letters or just letters that sit in a plastic grid?

(There's also a more expensive wooden deluxe version, but that's out of my league at $50. And Target sells a "Michael Graves" wooden version that is not a "deluxe" - IE, no grid, no rotating, also $50. It has a new peg-based scoring system.)

At any rate, I'd like your opinions....

[Poll #548834]
Today I won a game of Scrabble, had good coffee, finished watching series 3 of Jeeves and Wooster, and managed to do a reasonable amount of housework without too much exertion. That is, you can see a difference but I didn't break a sweat or feel like I spent the whole night cleaning.

As far as Scrabble goes... I'm lost against anyone who actually has a good strategy. I rely too much on my fancy vocabulary. The good news is that most people won't challenge me when I put down a word because they assume I know what I'm talking about. The bad news is that anyone who is actually a good and frequent player can kick my ass even if they don't have the fancy vocabulary, much more so if they do or if they've made a point of memorizing some of the useful word lists. I rely on "qi" a lot - it's the same as "chi", the energy that's supposedly addressed in feng shui. Apparently I shouldn't rely on it, though, since I'm not seeing it on word lists. ("Xi" IS legal: a Greek letter.)

Very disappointed that an apartment complex that LOOKED nice from the outside, and is in my basic neighborhood, has a plethora and panoply of truly horrible reviews on internet apartment review sites. May be the worst complex in town. Is under investigation by Columbus housing authorities. Overall, it seems like people writing reviews are forgiving of problems in apartment complexes if several factors are in play: the maintenace team must be decent (at least making a strong, skilled effort to fix something properly, as well as being friendly), and the management staff must also be polite, friendly, and effective. Bad maintenance or rude management? Way higher incidence of complaint. I saw buildings with fairly high reviews that had serious problems, but because the staff was kindly and made an effort, people were willing to say positive things about the complex. Places with fewer problems and a very rude, ineffectual staff got lower reviews.
OK, all answers to the LYRICS GAME are up. Thanks for playing - you all got 33 out of 40! We'll do it again some other time.

Here are the answers which nobody got, even with a second hint.

20. a. Was ich kann und was ich konnte, weiss ich gar nicht mehr.
20. b. I think I'm drowning - this sea is killing me.
ANSWER: Sisters of Mercy - "Marian"

25. a. I can still remember you with coronets, white horses.
25. b. I've burned one hundred photographs or more.
ANSWER: The Tear Garden - "Romulus and Venus"

27. a. There's a train I want to catch, but it won't leave here for a while.
27. b. Looking like the spring, like the winter, and the morning...
ANSWER: Belle and Sebastian - "Waiting for the Moon to Rise"

28. a. You were barking at a bear.
28. b. I miss her little kitty touch.
ANSWER: Nellie McKay - "Ding Dong"

33. a. Why can't you see you torture me? You're already thinking about someone else.
33. b. You know it'll turn you on.
ANSWER: The Descendents - "Hope"

34. a. He got old like everyone. Was he somebody's son?
34. b. I know he's dead, and I know what he said, but I think I know what he might mean.
ANSWER: Rasputina - "Mr. E. Leon Rauis"

36. a. If I'm having fun then it's breaking your heart.
36. b. I went to a party last night... what sick things I saw.
ANSWER: Jawbreaker - "Bad Scene, Everyone's Fault"
... and I've tried to make it a little difficult. Or at least to rig it up so that not too many people could possibly get a LARGE chunk of these.

Of course, it is easier if you are, like me, a filthy Google cheater. So let's make it interesting. If you cheat, G-d will smite a kitten. And a baby pony. That should discourage your wicked ways.

So, name the artist and the song. If there's a popular cover of the song, name the ORIGINAL artist. If it's a traditional song, say so. Some artists may appear twice; most will never appear at all. (Mua-ha!)

1. The monk bought lunch.
The Doors - "The Soft Parade" - [livejournal.com profile] piratehead

2. Tonight I'm tangled in my blanket of clouds, dreaming aloud.
Foo Fighters - "Walking After You" - [livejournal.com profile] defensor

3.
a. I am the trigger. I choose my final way. Whether I bloom or fall is up to me.
b. Rosier ai shita kimi ni wa rosier chikazukenai.
Luna Sea - "Rosier" - [livejournal.com profile] robotazalea

4. There is a love that's inherently given - a kind of blindness offered to appease.
Sarah McLachlan - "Wait" - [livejournal.com profile] abbeyrd


5. When the world was the street where she lived, and a young man sailed on a ship in the sea...
Elvis Costello - "Veronica" - [livejournal.com profile] ragdoll

6.
a. Tears drown in the wake of delight.
b. Time is like a broken watch.
Interpol - "Take You on a Cruise" - [livejournal.com profile] verian

7. Evil is an exact science - being carefully correctly wrong.
Shriekback - "Nemesis" - [livejournal.com profile] lilactime

8. Its news is captured for the queen to use.
Yes - "I've Seen All Good People" - [livejournal.com profile] trystbat

9. I fear the crazed and lonely looks the mirror's sending me these days.
A-ha - "The Sun Always Shines on TV" - [livejournal.com profile] kateherself

10. My luck's like a button - I can't stop pushing it!
General Public - "Tenderness" - [livejournal.com profile] ragdoll

11. Black chariot for the redhead dancing girl.
Tori Amos - "Mother" - [livejournal.com profile] star_power

12.
a. Then she turned homeward with one star awake, like the swan in the evening moves over the lake.
b. This she did say, It will not be long, love, till our wedding day.
Traditional - "She Moved Through The Fair" - [livejournal.com profile] verian


13.
a. In the attic with the stars, I read your letters to feel better....
b. What is it you want? What is it you want to change?
Smashing Pumpkins - "I of the Mourning" - [livejournal.com profile] verian

14.
a. It's an Assisi lie!
b. I understand the fascination, the dream that comes alive at night.
Placebo - "Commercial for Levi" - [livejournal.com profile] verian

15. I've asked myself - how much do you commit yourself?
Talk Talk (NOT No Doubt) - "It's My Life" - [livejournal.com profile] ayun
(I like the No Doubt cover OK, but the original is a classic.)

16. Incantation with magic black, and silver buttons all down her back.
Book of Love - "Witchcraft" - [livejournal.com profile] grrwoo

17. I still haven't got over it even now. I want to spend huge amounts of time on my own.
Everything But The Girl - "Rollercoaster" - [livejournal.com profile] beatnikside

18. Although I ended up with sore lips, it just wasn't like the old days anymore....
The Smiths - "Still Ill" - [livejournal.com profile] beatnikside

19. How old are you, my pretty fair maid? How old are you, my honey?
Traditional - "Seventeen Come Sunday" - [livejournal.com profile] aranel

20.
a. Was ich kann und was ich konnte, weiss ich gar nicht mehr.
b. I think I'm drowning - this sea is killing me.
Sisters of Mercy - "Marian" - NOBODY


21. You see the bow, and the belt, and the girl from the South. All favorites of mine. You know them all well.
Tori Amos - "Here. in my Head" - [livejournal.com profile] szkradz

22. You won't be happy with me, but give me one more chance - you won't be happy anyway!
Magnetic Fields - "100,000 Fireflies" - [livejournal.com profile] quietjenn

23.
a. There's a bright one caught your fancy eye.
b. It's a light you're after, 'cause light moves faster.
Mirah - "Cold Cold Water" - NOBODY [livejournal.com profile] verian got this and I missed it!

24. Planets spin around your head - milk and sugar in my bed -
Lush - "Fantasy" - [livejournal.com profile] greycat

25.
a. I can still remember you with coronets, white horses.
b. I've burned one hundred photographs or more.
The Tear Garden - "Romulus and Venus" - NOBODY


26. What do I get out of this? I always try. I always miss.
New Order - "Subculture" - [livejournal.com profile] missv

27.
a. There's a train I want to catch, but it won't leave here for a while.
b. Looking like the spring, like the winter, and the morning...
Belle and Sebastian - "Waiting for the Moon to Rise" - NOBODY

28.
a. You were barking at a bear.
b. I miss her little kitty touch.
Nellie McKay - "Ding Dong" - NOBODY

29. How does lemur skin reflect the sea?
Pixies - "Velouria" - [livejournal.com profile] robotazalea

30. Look into your glovebox heart.
R.E.M. - "Star Me Kitten" - [livejournal.com profile] abbeyrd

31. Give me your eyes that I might see the blind man kissing my hands.
The Cure - "A Strange Day" - [livejournal.com profile] suburbangoth

32. I would never want to leave this country, where roads are fast, and knowledge, easy.
Kitchens of Distinction - "Drive That Fast" - [livejournal.com profile] kateherself

33.
a. Why can't you see you torture me? You're already thinking about someone else.
b. You know it'll turn you on.
The Descendents - "Hope" - NOBODY


34.
a. He got old like everyone. Was he somebody's son?
b. I know he's dead, and I know what he said, but I think I know what he might mean.
Rasputina - "Mr. E. Leon Rauis" - NOBODY

35. Now watch what you say, or they'll be calling you a radical....
Supertramp - "The Logical Song" - [livejournal.com profile] missv

36.
a. If I'm having fun then it's breaking your heart.
b. I went to a party last night... what sick things I saw.
Jawbreaker - "Bad Scene, Everyone's Fault" - NOBODY

37.
a. And fingres faire for to folde - God wolde she were mine.
b. Send thou me my sweting.
In all likelihood nobody will get this one. It's "Blow, Northern Wind" by the Mediaeval Baebes.


38. The less room you give me, the more space I've got.
Bjork - "Alarm Call" - [livejournal.com profile] szkradz

39. You will all go directly to your respective Valhallas.
Tom Lehrer - "We Will All Go Together When We Go" - [livejournal.com profile] sanpaku

40. This'll be the last time I ever do your hair.
Scissor Sisters - "Laura" - [livejournal.com profile] missv

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