Monday, March 20, 2017

RIP Chuck Berry

Rock N' Roll legend, Chuck Berry is dead. Bursting onto the scene in 1955, Chuck Berry nurtured rhythm and blues into rock n' roll. John Lennon once quipped "If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry". Such was Chuck Berry's influence on the sound and presence of the genre.

Chuck Berry had a number of hits over the years, such as "Maybellene", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Rock N' Roll Music", "Johnny B. Goode", "No Particular Place To Go", "You Never Can Tell",  and "Nadine" But, for me, Chuck Berry's defining song has always been "Johnny B. Goode", a song that Berry has said is somewhat autobiographical. It's a song about an illiterate country boy who plays a mean guitar and wants to see his name in lights. It's a song that was put onto the golden records on the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecrafts. Eons from now, an alien culture may find those spacecraft and play those records and Chuck Berry will be seen as a significant part of Earth culture. So, as those spacecraft sail through space, the man who wanted to see his name in lights will have done better than he could have ever hoped, for his name now flies among the stars.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Monopoly Is Changing Their Tokens Again

Looks like the makers of the board game, Monopoly, is trying to modernize the game once again by changing out more of their tokens. The boot, thimble and wheelbarrow are out, and the T-Rex, rubber ducky and penguin are in. Over 60 other potential new tokens were up for contention including an emoji and a hashtag.

I suppose I'm a bit miffed at losing the boot, which was my go-to token whenever I played Monopoly. I was always thrilled to boot other tokens as I passed them by on the board. What am I supposed to do now, pretend to eat them with the T-Rex? Really, though, the tokens are secondary to the gameplay. Back when the game was originally produced, it didn't come with tokens. Players provided their own, often using charms from bracelets or toys from Cracker Jack boxes. An honestly, making the player use whatever was handy is more in-line with the game's Depression Era roots. I can recall using bottle caps and pull-tabs to replace lost Monopoly tokens back when I was a kid. Perhaps a return to this "make do with what you've got" spirit of the game is just what is required in order to make Monopoly relevant again.

Games featuring the new tokens will be available starting in August. Anyone want to bet on when a version of the game called "Monopoly Classic", priced slightly higher than the "mainstream" version will come out?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I Spend All My Money On Your Mom!

Yet another "lower your interest rate" credit card scammer called me. When he asked me if I had over $3,500 in credit card debt, I told him that I did, and that had spent all of my money on his mom. He tried to roll with it, but he quickly gave up and hung up on me.