Just a thought… Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. [Oprah Winfrey]
Welcome to a brand new week! Not often this year have I felt a twinge of envy about the weather in the place I used to call home, but hearing about temperatures in the upper 20s made me a little wistful. While we were treated to two days of on and off rain (mostly on), I still couldn’t complain: Alberta had snow last week and it’s still summer! And, of course, one needs only turn on the news to see how a few days of intermittent rain is nothing like what’s happening in other parts of the world. I love a tweet from former CBS news anchor Dan Rather yesterday:
Just a perfect bit of perspective.
And now, to something completely silly.
A strange bump has arisen on the inside of my wrist, between the base of my thumb and my watch band. At first, because of a tiny red dot at its center, I figured some spider had munched on me in the night. It didn’t hurt and isn’t itchy, so I figured, no harm.
Our of curiosity, I Googled “spider bites” and my first diagnosis was wiped out. Nope, not a bite; I’m pretty sure it’s something that has an awful name but is pretty benign: a ganglion. Pronounced “gangly-un” it’s just a cyst that should disappear with time. But I’m embarrassed to tell you how I think I got it: gaming.
Yes, playing an online game. It’s no secret that I’ve got a competitive streak half a mile wide; I come from a family of four sisters who were raised to meet and surpass each other’s accomplishments (whether overtly or implied). It served me well in my career and a shared drive to be number one in the highly competitive radio business. But now, I have channeled that into a silly word game. It’s called Wordscapes.
You are given a certain number of letters and you connect them to fill in blanks. There are no time limits and you earn coins that are only good for buying hints, should you need them.
Wordscapes is similar to the immensely popular Words With Friends. Just before the Labour Day Weekend, I saw on my iPhone screen there was a tournament for players. So I got in. I played game after game and was leading at various times during the weekend (despite being offline while volunteering at the fair for big chunks of three days).
Still, on Monday evening, I was surprised to see player Kate come seemingly from nowhere and beat the pants off me. Rob suspected a bot; although he was being supportive, I was doubtful. Still, it appeared highly unlikely that anyone could rack up the points she was accruing in such a short time.
So, this past Friday, I saw a tournament posting again and thought, why not? I started playing. Rob played along, calling out words as he sat next to me and spotted them.
As the weekend progressed, I bounced between first and second place among the 50 players. Last night, we were pleased to have held on to earn another 2000 useless coins. Here’s a screenshot of the close-to-final tally. Yes, the game name I used was Lauren. I had been using one of our silly nicknames for her and then thought I might as well use her name instead. No idea why I didn’t just put in my own name! I guess I wanted her to be playing with me. Who knows? Anyway, here are the standings with 38 minutes to go.
So what’s this got to do with my wrist? Partway through the weekend, I noticed some pain in my left thumb and knew right away it was because I’d been holding my iPhone for hours. It didn’t stop me from continuing to compete; I wanted to see if something popped up near the end of the game to sweep through to first place. It didn’t.
But I’ve a souvenir of that win that I didn’t count on. At least I think that’s what it is. One thing I do know for sure: I probably won’t be taking part in another one. It was fun, but there’s a lot more to life than a word game, no matter how it got the juices flowing and my brain clicking again or what a lovely diversion it was from the rain!
Have yourself a gentle Monday and thanks so much for coming by. We’ll see you here tomorrow.