Bear Bearns

Am I the only one who checks their mental health with Solitaire?

I’ve had a bit of stress lately, barreling down on deadlines, clicking away, getting things down between visits with ornery children who like to sneak out of the yard and “prank grandma” with fake serious injuries. I also slid my little Queen across the board to put that old King in check… but, that’s real life chess and solitaire is cards.

Virtual cards. I play Microsoft’s Solitaire Collection on the computer. The”Daily Challenge” is fun. It’s one each of five different types of Solitaire games: Klondike, Spider, FreeCell, Pyramid, and TriPeaks. Every day is different as you never know if the objective for a game will be a card, board, stack, score, or solve challenge. It is good practice for Events.

That is a screenshot from Today’s Easy Street Event. Guess I got lucky, landed in a group of slow pokes. If you want to put my time in perspective, just take a glance at the global board. Some players are so scary good and wicked fast that they can finish under 15 minutes.

Odds are, I won’t keep that #1 spot, be lucky to stay in the top 10, as not everyone in my group of 100 players was done yet. I have no idea who those other players are… upwards of 300,000 people sometimes play in an Event and I think they just divvy players up into groups of 100 by their start times, but sometimes I think there’s some algorithm grouping by skills, too.

It doesn’t matter.

The thing is, playing solitaire is way to check my mental health, my concentration levels, and all that. When the fog rolls in, I can’t play. I can’t even do basic math when depression sets in, which is bizarre, as I was an engineering student who tutored math as a side job in college and then did trig almost daily after I became a tool & die maker. I don’t understand it, it’s just a strange phenomenon, suspect it’s got something to do with brain chemistry.

My mind kept wandering today. I found myself puttering around playing for a solve, wasting time when I should have been focused on that particular game’s objective. Maybe I just need some sleep. Yeah, that’s it… a good night’s sleep without a care in the frikkin world.

Thanks for reading!

PS: no one I personally know plays Microsoft Solitaire events so I have no friends on there… if you play and want to friend me, look me up, I’m Bear Bearns.

59 Days

At 8:20 AM EST today, I will begin my 60th year on this planet.

Okay, before a sister corrects me… yes, I’m only “turning” 59, but it actually celebrates the completion of another full year. To celebrate, I’m giving myself 59 days of taking better care of me. They might not be consecutive, which would royally defeat the purpose, so I’m thinking every time one of MY days gets blown off, I should start the count all over again.

The 59 days is a journey of sorts… I’ll blog about that later… right now, it’s late and I have babes on the porch. The feral cat that I call “Quarter Cat” has been bringing her 4 kittens over here to eat at night. They’re almost as skittish as she is… I can sit quietly and watch them, but they will bolt off the porch at my slightest movement. Quarter Cat avoids humans. After months of eating here, she still watches me from a distance. Even when her kittens are on the porch, she will stay out in the shadows if I’m there. Or, hide under the old wicker “cat chair” that KiKi claimed as her own, close enough to hiss a warning when I go to walk into the house.

Considering the uncanny resemblance to Max, I think he’s the daddy.

That surprised me because I didn’t think he was old enough… seeing how they look to be at least a month old, Max couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 months old himself around the time of conception. We talked about getting him fixed, the vet (as in military veteran, not a pet doc) asked me not to, so I put it off for a bit.

I like watching how they interact as a family unit. Max guards the kittens while they are on the porch at night. I’ve seen him walking the perimeter, staring off into the shadows.

MORNING: Here’s a photo snapped Wednesday morning while peeking out the window… Max and Quarter Cat are the two near my neighbor’s skillet (she tried to lure the babes to her house with a pan of food, got hissed at, and left it on my porch.) And, that’s KiKi Gath Ddu, the neighborhood Queen of Cats, sleeping on concrete while another cat’s kittens are curled up in her chair.

Trump could take lessons… that’s KiKi’s chair, she rules from that chair, but even a cat knows you don’t let babes sleep on concrete.

I call KiKi the Queen of Cats because she is the Alpha Female on this block. She controls which strays are allowed in my yard. I tried to adopt her last year, but she flat out refused to be domesticated. She’s an outdoor cat, wants life on her terms, and pretty much told me how it is… even when temps dropped below zero, she flat out refused to come in. So, I started feeding her on the porch, setting out enough for her and her feral friends, and my neighbor set her up with an outdoor shelter. Yes, she turned my porch into some kind of midnight diner for cats who totally avoid humans. I suspected Quarter Cat was one of the few she allowed to eat here, but never saw her on the porch until she started bringing her kittens.

That same neighbor who left her skillet on my porch wants to neuter all the cats. She’s going to have to TNR their ass as KiKi is the only one who will let a human close enough to pet her and she’s already fixed.

Well, suppose I should start this day… or go back to bed. Thanks for reading!