Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Back in November my wife surprised me with what may be the COOLEST birthday present EVER! A Kindle Fire.

Admittedly, I was one of those "I'll never do Kindle because; I like the SMELL of books, the TACTILE experience of turning pages and the self satisfaction of FILLING book shelves with MY BOOKS!!!" But not anymore.

Yea. I still LOVE books-I still buy books and read books and I hope my new friend the Kindle will never completely replace my relationship with books. That said, as much as I love, love, love my books-a BOOK won't show you a MOVIE, let you SURF the web, check your EMAIL or set you up to play WORD FEUD with your Mother-in-law in Cincinnati.

And speaking of WORD FEUD-It's variation on a theme and like all the Scrabble Rip Offs on line in smart phones etc.- it's addicting! Ask Alec Baldwin. Doh!

My Mom got me hooked on scrabble when I was a kid. I think I was 13. She would beat my Dad, my great Aunt and all other takers
99% of the time.

Mom LOVED her Scrabble, and she LOVED to win. If you were stuck for a word she'd say "let me see your letters" and sure enough-she'd pull out some high scoring word for you...so yea, sometimes Mom was actually playing herself. AND SHE WOULD STILL WIN!

Here's some WORD gaming advice: If you want to learn how to play a game-then play with someone who KICKS YOUR BUTT ALL THE TIME! Ha!

I learned a lot from my Mother about playing that crazy word game-all of those sneaky 2 letter words & how to snag the MOST points out of the J, the Q and the Z!! and how it's NOT so much WHAT word you play, but WHERE you play it!!

I loved playing Scrabble with my Mom. Even though I seldom won (even with her help). It brings back happy, warm & wonderful memories sitting around our kitchen table.

Before we had the SUPER DUPER Scrabble board with the "little plastic lock in tracks and spinning base"-we used the cheapo cardboard version. Turn that sucker the wrong way or too fast and you'd spend most of the game trying to remember where all the letters went.

Cut to 2012 and my Kindle Fire! After downloading a little Word Feud app. , I was in business. No board, no letters to fuss with, NO KEEPING SCORE!!! my little Kindle buddy does all the work. And you can play with opponents ANYWHERE in the world! How cool is that???

Okay, here's the catch. Say I make a blockbuster opening move and score 30 points. Now I wait, and wait...and wait and who knows when Sue in Cincinnati is going to make her move? Is she sitting there thinking? strategizing? getting ready to make a big move any minute? OR is she in the car on the way to the grocery store? Who knows?

When you play face to face you can make little grunting noises to indicate your impatience. That's impossible to do long distance. And so the typical Word Feud game can last
THREE OR FOUR DAYS! Boring!!! My extremely short attention span does not find that entertaining.

Then Miracle of miracles!!! I discovered a feature on WF that allows me to invite a TOTAL STRANGER to play. There is no "stranger danger" either because everyone is anonymous. Cool.

I've resorted to "Stranger Word Feud" a few times while waiting for one of my relatives to get around to making a move. Those games always seem to fly along at a really nice pace. You can actually finish a round in ONE DAY! It's practically FUN!!

Yesterday my Kindle randomly picked a stranger named Doug0003#. After 3 moves-Doug0003# had 48 points and I had 107.

As all loyal word game addicts know-especially if you have ever been beaten by Sue in Cincy...you can be up by a hundred points one minute and then suffer a humiliating loss the next-SERIOUSLY!

Apparently Doug0003# looked at the score and decided he wanted to bail. Ten minutes into the game and a message flashes on my screen that says: "you have won against Doug0003#" and I thought-"I have? How did I do that?"

Word Feud has a "forfeit feature". Forfeit? Huh? the thought has never occurred to me. Give-up? You gotta be kidding me. No matter how many times you LOSE a true Scrabble Lover NEVER GIVES UP!! EVER!!!-NEVER!!!

So that was kind of weird that Doug0003# waved the white flag...
WIMPED out...pulled a big chicken move...but hey-that's his prerogative right? Of course QUITTING was not enough for my "Stranger Gamer"-he also left me a message. Did I forget to mention-messaging is another one of the dandy features of Word Feud on Kindle?

The message Doug0003# sent me said: "F**K old people and their Scrabble".

and I thought "No wonder they call it WORD FEUD!"

Look at that Mom. See what you got me into?

BTW Doug0003#-THAT word, played on a triple word score is worth 39 points!!