Other Reflections of a Madman
|Travel Europe blog
This idea may be the first which occurred to me. I was young and often helped my mom carry up groceries from the car parked in the garage of our apartment building. Id have one massive bag of groceries in one arm, stick the key in the lock, and always struggle to open the massive heavy door, which didnt want to open because air would suck into the building and I always had to struggle with this.
Well, so I imagined that you could have a sleeve around the lock, which would have a
spring mechanism. When I put the key into the lock, their would be a hook through which I
could loop my index finger. As I turned the key to the right to unlock the door, my index
finger would rotate with my hand also the right, pushing against the light spring
mechanism. Now that the door was unlocked, I simply pulled on the hook, attached to the
outer sleeve around the lock, and pulled open the door with my index finger around the
hook, instead of trying to pull on the key (which could break), or even massive
irritation, put down the grocery bag and accomplish the entire operation with two arms.
Then lift up the bag while holding the door open with my foot, etc. etc. Generally an
annoying experience and I think such a hook system could be standard issue with all such
A friend of mine introduced me to speed chess and it was fun indeed. But a speed chess
clock was prohibitively expensive in North America, so we had to get one shipped from
Russia, even though it still cost 15 bucks.
But this seems something one can easily make with a digital clock, although probably not great demand for it around the world. Nevertheless, if it is cheap enough, perhaps the demand will be high enough.
Anyway, a simple digital clock with a button each end. The clock display can prop up, with the button laying flat on the ground. Folds up and something small you can throw into your pocket. Sure, the big clocks are fancy, but hard to get and carry around.
Some usual disco song, but laced throughout with the various common ringing tones of
mobile phones, to make fun of people who try to answer their phone in the grocery store or
tram when someone else with the same ring tone gets a call.
Well, I certainly didnt invent these games, but after many years of contemplation I came up with a brilliant yet absolutely simple (dont these two often come hand in hand?) way of playing these games over the internet. One obvious solution is to find some online system, and I am sure there are many, but the problem with that is both players must be online at the same time. Not the best option since many of my friends are on different time zones, my internet might be limited while I travel around the world (check out my Travel Log link top left of this page), both of us may have work, and generally it is difficult to find a time when both of us can or want to sit in front of the computer to play these games. After all, if playing real time like this, it is better to find a real person who sits in front of you. Other websites allow you to make a move and then go offline, but with limited internet while traveling, I'd rather save the game playing for offline hours. This system is simple and I prefer to just email my moves to the other guy. We can play many games at once. We exchange the file one or two times a day, and its chill and relax. For the Go/Pente games, simply click on your colour piece, copy it (press CTRL C), click your mouse into a chosen square, and paste it (CTRL V - the piece pastes in the bottom right hand corner of the square, on the intersection of lines, as the rules state). For chess, just drag the images where you want. If you gobble someone, move their piece off the board so that you can keep track of who ate what, and so you do not lose the image once you want to start a new game. Obviously, if you'd rather play 5 games of chess at once and only a few of the others, just create new sheets and copy/paste the contents from one of the other sheets, by clicking on the corner row/column header to select the entire sheet. You can download our simple Excel file from here. Click on the link with your right mouse button and choose "Save target as". Enjoy!