Brian B

Brian B
Thunder Bay, Canada
November 14
Devil's Advocate
The Sort of Company your mother warned you about
A Work in Progress. When not doing the devil's work, I'm the single parent of two great young men, living playing and working in beautiful Thunder Bay Ontario. That's at the western end of Lake Superior - the North end of Highway 61. from here, you can just drive all the way to New Orleans, though I have yet to do it.


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MARCH 7, 2009 6:42AM

10 Things I Learned Playing Freecell

Rate: 18 Flag

I assume that most of you know "Freecell", the solitaire game popularized as an add on with Windows. Initially it was justified as a way to improve mousing skills. In spite of that the Powers That Be at Satan Central banned it in our office.

 Which may be why I developed a serious Freecell addiction early on. I play it here at home, in between visits to OS. In spite of numerous efforts to quit "cold turkey", just when I think I'm out, it pulls me back in. And in spite of thousands of games played, my mousing skills are still totally less than my cats'.

I take comfort however in not being a hard core addict. You know them. The three pack a day smokers who whine about wanting to quit even as they suck the last shards of tobacco onto their chapped lips, in the outside smoking area at 40 below (aka "where Celsius meets Fahrenheit"). Hard core addicts long ago gave up any justification for their habit beyond need.

Not me. I have at least 10 Things I've learned playing Freecell:

  1. Pattern recognition skills. I score high on every part of standardized tests other than spatial and pattern recognition. Apparently, people with my sort of brain defect enjoy "mapping difficulty". Play enough Freecell, I won't get lost a block from home any more.
  2. Patience. Sometimes staring at the screen really works.
  3. The merits of procrastination. Sometimes, putting a game aside and coming back to it later allows me to spot new moves. I am applying this to wasting the rest of my life as well.
  4. Going with the flow. If I'm on a roll, stopping to think usually leads to a loss.
  5. The value of being systematic. After the initial roll is over , if the game is not won, dig out the aces, to create new opportunities.
  6.  Look before I click. See above re bad mousing skills.
  7. The value of the "undo" option. See 'look before I click' . If only life had an 'undo' option.
  8. The value of 'thinking outside the box'. When the game seems lost, it is time to be bold. What do I have to lose?
  9. Accept that losses are part of the game, but we live to play another day.
  10. Not quitting until its really over. I cannot count how often I think I have lost a game, only to come back later, or apply out of the box thinking, and go on to success. This is a life lesson I need , even though, given that I must have learned it as a child unable to walk or talk properly, I keep relearning it. Sometimes I think being stubborn is my defining personality trait. Freecell rewards this. 
But I can quit any time I want, really, I can, I just don't want to...


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#7! #-friggin-7.

(Hi, my name is Anni, and I'm an addict to ... Spider Solitaire.)

Free Cell was my gateway game.
Right there with you. I identify with every lesson. I amaze myself with my ability to see many moves ahead in Freecell when I am unable to do so in any other game. And the stubborn thing? Yeah.

I am currently in the process of playing 1000 games and looking at my percentage of wins to uh, what? Not sure, but I assume I then determine if I have mad skills at Freecell.
Oh, so funny Brian! watch out for carpel tunnel syndrome!
i play just plain solitaire, constantly. shit, now i'm going to have to try freecell. i love your list. it's a great set of parameters for life, especially the not quitting until it's over. and, of course you can quite...any time you want to... love love love and gratitude.
Anni... do you think we should start Solitaire Anonymous...?
Serial... I constantly hover at 59 to 61 %...mediocre, but at least steady.
Mich: my wrist is fine so far, but I have this callous on the edge of my palm from rubbing agaisnt the desk...
Theo... yes, lessons learned over and over are often the best...or a sign I'm learning disabled ? maybe just about life?
I think we should be all inclusive and just call it "____ Anonymous".
OMG, I love Freecell, Spider Solotaire too. Their addiction is almost as bad as this.
Anni, Pam... a think we have quorum. 7 more we have a minyan (did I spell that right? I'm not Jewish)
More proof that the internet is the most efficient technology ever invented for procrastinating and wasting time. Oh, and not making money. There are new applications being devised daily on all of these fronts, but I think you've found a keeper. I wrote a "deal with the devil" story where the hero has to go to the Devil's websitr and click confirm to set the pact in motion. He's a little startled.

"You're on the internet?" he asks.
"I invented the internet," the Devil responds.

Crafty fellow ...
You are so right about "Freecell" being addictive.. I could sit for hours playing it and not get a damn thing done.
Hilarious post.. Thanks for the AM laugh..
thats just another thing i need to add to my list of things life needs..
-undo button
-flattering lighting
-background music..

and I get frustrated with regular solitar, i dont even click on the other satan designed games
I've never played ... but just for the 1st reason stated perhaps I should! I get lost coing around the block, and without a GPS I couldn't leave the county ... Tho the last thing I need is another reason to be on the computer! Bad computer, bad. No more. Nope, can't do it...
I am addicted to Tut's Tomb.
Bejeweled. On my phone. Makes waiting room time fly by.
Anni, are you sure you're not me? I'm completely addicted to Spider Solitaire, and Free Cell was also my gateway game.

Brian, because of this post, I just had to play my first game of Free Cell in ages, and I won! Guess I'm sucked back in ... thanks a lot. :-)
thanks for the coments all. Good things happen when I go shopping and not just for the economy. I also helped the environment (wine bottles to return depot).

steve - I don't play online...yet
BBE - tried that - the problem is, I can only go back one move & usually I play on past the point of no return
fe24... feel free to join our support group
Barbi - I'm sure any lighting is flattering
Cindy... is Thunder Bay in that GPS?
Lee- never played it. I better not start I bet
VR - my berry only has brickbreaker - sufficient for waiting rooms, not addictive
dogmom - you're welcome ;)
BBE you made me laugh with your game pattern, its a great idea tho "undo and replay".
Brian B I haven't the least experience of playing on the computer I get bored, but enjoyed reading your post immensely. it was fun, thanks.
Spider is worse, much worse. I don't think I've played more than one game of Free Cell since I discovered Spider. Evil, evil game. ;)
This. is. why. I never have Free Cell on any computer I use!

Compulsive. Completely compulsive when I used to play.
Rolling - glad you enjoyed the post.
mer...good thing I don't hace Spider then, or I'd be like suz...
I too have avoided computer games since I already have a problem getting distracted with anything that comes across my line of vision. then my daughter put Labyrinth on my iPhone. You'll see me tilting the thing and getting both little balls into the center but only during down times I can't help like waiting rooms. Really. I can quit any time, but I don't want to.
Carol... I think Anni would agree that our support group stretches to iphone gamers.
it's boggle for me. that 'just one more' syndrome can go on for hours.
Cap..welcome to the group
Well I am a spider solitaire addict.

I tried freecell but...let's just say that I never managed to get the hang of it ( my frecell champion mother's taunting didn't help either).

Whenever I get stuck with a bug in some code or I feel like I just can't proceed with wahtever I am doing at work. I open spider and play away. Two games later I am all recharged and energised to have a go at the stubborn code again.

So as far I am concerned if windows did not have that game, I would have been fired long back!
thanks, Moana, for pointing out another, work related reason to like Freecell...
Years ago I decided to switch mouse hands and used Freecell and regular old Solitaire to begin with since they didn't require fine motor skills. It really worked! And was justified by the Wholly Pure Cause of being able to write with pen and paper while mousing. Yessirree, right! And, your no. 6 resonates with that. We are mavens of multi-tasking!

Thanks for the additional mental bulwarks to industrious Freecell playing. :)
Wow, Maria... you could be an advertisement for Creative Gameplay...
free cell addict here too, rated!
I have a friend that recorded his Freecell wins by number on an Excel worksheet, so he could systematically play and conquer them all. This post is fantastically funny. I started laughing with this line, "In spite of numerous efforts to quit "cold turkey..." and didn't stop.