Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Three percent . . . that is my winning percentage at Solitaire this go round.  I play Solitaire on my computer—a hundred games a round.  After 67 games of Solitaire my winning percentage is three percent.  This is about the worse percentage I have ever had in playing Solitaire on the computer. 

I think the computer switched dealers on me.  Typically I have an average winning percentage of around ten percent . . . but it has been many months since I have seen any number close to that.  For some reason the games have gotten more and more difficult to win.  I know that it is not my lousy play . . . it has to be the fact that the computer switched dealers. 

Solitaire is the game that I play when I have a few minutes to kill when I am on my computer at home.  I do not play it at work as it would be too distracting . . . not for me, but for my co-workers.  I do not think that they could handle the constant swearing that would be coming out of my office.  As a courtesy to my co-workers I have refrained from playing the game at work.  For the most part I think that they are thankful and continue to put up with my other idiosyncrasies with grace . . . besides they hear enough swearing out of my mouth about other things.  Work seems to bring out the best of my laments and whines!  We have a lot of cheese at work.

Still, three percent is terrible . . . it is embarrassing.  I never tell anyone about my playing of Solitaire because they might want to know what my winning percentage is.  Three percent!  The laughing would deflate my already deflated ego . . . three percent!  How can a computer whip my butt to the tune of 97 percent?  It must be that new dealer.  That is the only thing that it could be because I am a good Solitaire player—no one ever helps me.  I do this all on my own . . . isn’t that why they call it “solitaire”? 

The law of averages—which I seem to have broken quite often with my lousy playing, would figure out to be at least fifty percent.  In flipping a coin there is a fifty/fifty odds that it will either be heads or tails.  In Solitaire you either win or lose . . . doesn’t that make it a fifty/fifty proposition?  So one would think that after a hundred games I would have won at least half the time instead of 97 percent of the time!  Someone tried to explain it to me that because there are 52 cards in the deck used in Solitaire there are millions (if not billions) of combinations that could take place . . . thus making it difficult to win.  I think that is hogwash!  You either win or lose—that, my friends, makes it a fifty/fifty proposition.

I once told my son-in-law what my winning percentage was in Solitaire.  The news was received with this look of unbelief and bewilderment . . . like he didn’t believe me.  Like he couldn’t believe that it was so low . . . like his was somewhere around 60 or 70 percent.  He just smiled and walked away leaving me confused.  Confused that someone like me with twenty-two years of education, a college degree, and two master’s degree could only be winning three percent of the time.  I think he expected more from his father-in-law.  I don’t tell the son-in-law anything now . . . I have my dignity to protect!  As smart as I am, the problem couldn’t be me . . . it is that dealer hidden in my computer.

I checked all the settings on my computer . . . but they are the same.  I checked myself out . . . older, but better, but still the same.  There are no weeds growing in the ol’ rock garden yet.  I have had no blows to the head.  I can still see fairly well even with tri-focal lenses.  So the problem is not me.  It has to be some sort of conspiracy by Mircrosoft . . . some sort of counter in the computer that keeps track of one’s wins while playing Solitaire.  Get too many wins and it switches dealers on you.  That is the only explanation I can accept.

Now, humans created the computer and the game of Solitaire.  Humans created it all.  I have a firm belief that no machine should ever beat its creator.  After all, we humans created it all.  Yet, the stinking computer keeps whipping my butt at a rate of 97 percent.  I am getting tired of losing and losing big time.  The darn computer has even taken to teasing me . . . letting me get within a couple of cards of winning and then pulling the plug on me.  That really makes me mad . . . mad enough that I have threatened to pull its plug!  No machine should ever beat its creator!

I once won on the very first game of a new round.  I was tempted—really tempted, of quitting the game forever at that point.  At that point my winning percentage was a hundred percent . . . it was perfect.  I would have been at the top . . . king of Solitaire . . . victor and master of the game.  But I didn’t.  I got greedy and played on—99 more times to the tune of a three percent winning rate.  I figure at this rate I will eventually end up at 100 percent after 33 rounds . . . if I add up all the times I only win three percent of the time.  I can hear the computer snickering at me now . . . it must be the dealer hidden in the bowels of the computer . . . darn computer!  When will I ever learn? Quit while you’re ahead!

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