Wandering N.Y. Route 80–The Prettiest Drive
The New Covenant vs Old, as Explained in the Letter to the Hebrews

Still More Games

Well, I ordered dominoes today - not the pizza (Lord, how much can we eat??) I mean the tiles just to shake evenings up around here.  The estimated delivery was like 2042. Recommend other good games for two??? Something without screens!

Scrabble works well if you are not playing someone uber-competitive who will die before he leaves you access to a triple word score, like my brother.

After this evening’s Scrabble game, my brother checked the bottom box.



On the way to crushing my brother, I counted a 27, I counted a 33. I counted a 64. I counted a 28. “I don’t like your countenance!” he said. He complained that he’d had only had one good letter. So I told him about Barney Fife, who begged for bullets but was only allowed one (and he had to keep it in his pocket) because he was too irresponsible for more. And even one was risky. Wielding power instantly went straight to his head.

Like the episode in which Barney is fidgeting as always and almost shoots himself in the foot. Against Andy’s better judgment, he gives him another bullet on condition he keep it in his pocket. In no time at all, temptation has overcome him and he puts it in his gun. Now, there is a confidence man—a famous swindler, a dapper man—that the State Police have asked Andy to keep in this cell a couple of days pending transfer. In short order he proceeds to sweet-talk everyone and while Barney is seeking his favor because he is so famous, he grabs his gun from the holster—now he will make his great getaway. Andy enters. The con man points the gun at him and orders him into the cell. Andy just smiles, He knows the gun is not loaded. Barney is not allowed to load his gun. (Barney is sweating —um—bullets, because he has indeed loaded it. Andy walks to the con and he fires a warning shot. Click. He fires another. Click. The guns not loaded Andy says, and puts the fellow back in the cell before all. ‘Imagine thinking he could threaten me with Barney’s gun,” he smiles again as he pulls the trigger, gun pointed in the air. It fires. He turns sheet-white. Barney doesn’t ask for another bullet—at least for the duration of the show.

“As long as your brother does not start keeping an extra letter in his pocket now,” someone said, getting into the spirit of things. He usually does do this. But when he keeps two in his pocket, they click together and i catch him red handed. His ’repentance’ is like that of Adam.



“Come on, Tom—it’s only a game,” my brother says when he’s clobbering me and I am sweating to recall just what can be done with four ‘i’s and a ‘v.’ He will also say it when he has a tray from hell himself and wants to detract from my inevitable glorious victory. But if he has a decent tray himself, and the game is anyway near competitive.....

From the day of his birth, my brother has lived to torment me. In his defense, I must point out that he maintains it was irresistible, since I took everything so seriously. Maybe in those words someone will read a how-to directive on side-stepping torment, so I leave it in without comment.

It was a stupendous battle of monster intellects—when drawn upon full throttle, the very Einsteinian time-space heavens bent around the board, snarling traffic citywide. Through Herculean mental effort I eventually squeezed by my brother, 198 to 196‬

‪And my wife—who atypically sat in for the game, had 235‬

Obviously, when my I beat my conniving brother 198 to 196—drawing on brainpower that at its peak depleted the power generation of Niagara Falls—and my wife scored 235, we could have beat her. Don’t think for even one second that we couldn’t. No way would she not have fallen before we two titans locked in a war of superheroes, had we diverted even a hairsbreath of our mighty intellects. Surely you realize this. But who wants to beat up on a girl? we said chivalrously.

Usually in a 3-way game where I lose to my brother, I can (and do) blame it on my wife. She gives him easy setups—access to triple words and so forth. Softballs she tosses at him, whereas he fires hardballs to me. “I’ll give you a break, Tom” he says as he technically gives access to a triple that you would have to have a one in a million trayful of letters to reach. Taunting me all his life, the little snot.

No, there’s no sibling rivalry. Why do you ask?



The skunk! My brother’s a no-good skunk. Firmly behind, he Scrabbled and went out at the same time with “steering!” Oh—and the ‘Q’ that I would have used next to score 44 points, regaining the lead? He wanted to count that against me! “We don’t play that way!” I told the cheater!

Laura Lampert Who played "pully"? I'd have challenged that word for being spelled wrong.

Actually that was mine. It went unchallenged. I got a lot of points for it, too. Of course, I didn’t mean that round thing. I meant the word used for people who are too clingy.


Eric Snitel, the weather guy, tweeted a photo of Bolt, his Siberian Husky, a dog that always looks like it is about to nail you for larceny: “Monopoly night at our house. Katie cheats, so I employ Bolt to keep an eye on things.“ “I need that dog bad,” I responded. “My brother does nothing but cheat at Scrabble.”

Driving to my brother’s place, I missed a turn. I told my wife I hoped I was not going senile since I would need my noggin for at least the next three hours to trounce the big cheater per usual in Scrabble.

The skunk! My brother’s a no-good skunk. Firmly behind, he Scrabbled and went out at the same time with “steering!” Oh—and the ‘Q’ that I would have used next to score 44 points, regaining the lead? He wanted to count that against me! “We don’t play that way!” I told the big jerk! FBE56BE1-193F-4B57-9C83-3D0C16C91EF1

NO, he didn’t beat me! Why do ask? I took the big cheater by 70 points! And doesn’t he wish he opened his Christmas gift early? “How to Beat Your Bigger BETTER Brother at Scrabble” I broke all the rules to put the book by his tree. You would think he could at least open it early.


My brother was due for his bi-weekly Scrabble drubbing, but last night it had to be postponed. After the game he tried to follow me out to the car in order to rub in his 80 point win, but his big head got stuck in the doorway.



Midway through the game, my brother poured concrete on the board, eliminating use of the upper left half. I began to think I had been overconfident and I untied the hand behind my back, but he eaked out an 80 point win anyway. What a miserable Scrabble game!

The game had started so well. I had pulled the dictionary off the shelf to help my brother in case he wanted to cheat and look up some words. As long as I had it in my hand, I checked on the spelling and the existence of another word. Discovering I had a green light, I had jumped to a 4 point lead!




I forgot my clandestine sneak-a-peak pocket dictionary and I knew my brother would take advantage of that oversight to cheat. During the game I scrabbled, but he unfairly disallowed it because it was spelled wrong.

After my brother beat me two times by 80 points, I said NO MORE!! He beat me by only 60 points last night. It is getting awfully hard to put lipstick on this pig. (When he bent over to tie his shoe, his extra stash of Scrabble letters fell from his pocket, the big cheater.)



I used my blank to #Scrabble by making “berriet” but my brother screamed that there was no such word!

Check it, I told him. “And if you don’t find it, try ‘berries.’”

The big baby.

I won, but it was not easy. He’s very good.



I Scrabbled to make “longers,” but my brother challenged it: “Use it in a sentence!” he taunted.

“I see some longers,” I said. (the big baby)

I made other cool words, too, and he STILL beat me: 379 to 351.

He is very good. (and he cheats)




When I used my blank to scrabble by making “toggues,” my brother howled that toggues was not a word. So I told him it was really “toggles.” After the game I asked if he would mind posing by the board and looking real sad, but he was not cooperative.



My brother drew a low letter through cheating to have the first turn. But the baby only scored 10 points with ‘oy.’ I got 40 with ‘jar’ but he whined that I had blocked up the board. Just because no one can play does not mean the board is blocked up. He always was a crybaby.



Can you believe that my brother challenged “ai?” It’s a 3-toed sloth! Duh.

And if there can be one, there can also be many—to reach the triple word score, which I did my next turn.

He had started by dishonestly scrabbling with “weaning” but later I did the same with “panamas” and beat the cheater by 50 points.

He got so mad he almost ran over a pack of ais backing out the drive.


It’s unbelievable! My brother—the cheater—scrabbled on his first turn: “pointer” to open a 40 pt lead! I closed the gap and regained the lead. HE DID IT AGAIN with “jockies.” I never liked him. Even my wife who has been known to take his side said that was unfair! But if you take away the 100 “bonus points” that he claimed (is that really a rule or did he just make it up?) then glorious victory is mine!



See how my brother stuck a Q up there to seal off the upper left? Do you think he cared?

Never have I seen such a tray of such filthy, cantankerous letters that hate each other (and me) and refuse to cooperate. My brother’s, in contrast, sung “I Want to Hold Your Hand”! all game long! He had a love-in with his!

I do beat him sometimes. I do! I really do. I crush him SO BAD! But he gets so mad when that happens that he instantly hurls the board and letters at the wall before I can take a picture, so the only photos i have are of the rare times that he beats me!


“You even had the J!’ said my victorious, cheating brother. Yeah, well what of the Z, the Q, the X or any other DECENT consonant?!!! 


Trade in five vowels in & draw six! “Well, you HAD the J,” the odious skunk says. 


NO, I AM NOT UPSET!!!!! A7DA817D-65CD-4CFA-A2AE-8385DE0B8387

I Scrabbled! A brilliant Scrabble for a stunning come-from-behind WIN!!!! Except I didn’t. He beat me 337 to 335!


He had the Q, the Z, the X!!


Oh, and did I mention he had the J?


How do you spell: “IDONTLIKEMYBROTHER!” ?



Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'


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