Tag Archives: Games

Every Good Weekend Includes Belly Rubs

This is pretty much what Elliot looks like right now.

And with that dear friends, we find ourselves at the end of another weekend.

And what a great weekend it was: a birthday potluck on Friday, gastronomic adventures with friends in Toronto on Saturday, a Sunday that began with Nerd Caucus at Angel’s Diner, and a Sunday that is ending with a scotch on the couch, and a very snuggly Elliot curled up on my lap while I read through a draft paper and make notes on an upcoming Masters defence.

In between the start of my Sunday and the end of my Sunday, there was also much scrubbing and laundering and cleaning, and a most excellent movie night with Dr. Julie and Dr. Mark1.

Yup, not a bad weekend at all.

I think my favourite part to the end of my Sunday is that as I sit here sipping my scotch and reading about the The Seasonal Distribution of Bloater (Coregonus hoyi)2 and Knowledge Acquisition‘s Effects On Knowledge Base Quality3, I know that my laundry is done, the dishes have been cleaned and put away, the carpets have been vacuumed, and the once not-so-shiny parts of my home are now sparkly and almost new. For whatever reason this makes me feel quite relaxed and content.

Of course, I do have a huge list of things to do this week but really, none of that matters right now. I’m just going to enjoy my Sunday night and leave the list for tomorrow. Because for the time being there are more pressing issues at hand – namely a cat that demands his belly be scratched, and a scotch that demands to be savoured. And, although I had almost forgotten, there are also Godiva chocolates that are begging to be eaten. Clearly I can’t ignore their cries.

Anyway folks, that’s all for me for tonight. I hope your weekends were just as relaxing and fulfilling as mine, if not more-so.


1 Our Movie du jourSo I Married An Axe Murderer.

2 Okay, I’m not exactly reading this entire paper. Just the section where the statistical methods are dropped. Because that’s how I roll.

3 I am reading all of this. Just not all tonight.


For those who haven’t seen So I Married An Axe Murderer – you should. It’s hilarious. Take for example the following clip:


KenKen is FunFun

Following my surgery a few weeks ago, my friends Gerarda and Alan dropped by with a most excellent ‘get well soon’ gift. The gift included a hilarious card, a trashy tabloid, and the book that I’m holding in the picture to the left. That book is a book of KenKen puzzles.

What the hell is KenKen?

Think Sudoku, but better.

Like Sudoku, KenKen starts with a grid of numbers. Within this book, there are grids that are 4×4, 5×5, and 6×6, but other sizes exist.

The rules are simple; fill in the digits 1 through n where n is the length of one dimension of the grid (i.e., the grid is n\times n) in each row AND each column. The catch, you must do so while satisfying the hints that are provided in the squares, and each row and column can contain each digit only once. As you can see below, the grid is divided into several sections. One of the squares within each region will have a clue. The clue will give you the result of a mathematical formula, and the operation that is to be used (+, -, \times, \div)

For example, in the 6×6 grid to the right, we have 3 squares in the upper left corner that must multiply to 80 (80x). Since this is a 6×6 grid, we can only use the digits 1 through 6. I begin by trying to figure out what can’t work. Since 80 is not divided evenly by 3 or 6, I can ignore these numbers. That means I could use 1, 2, 4, and 5. If I opt to use 1, that means the other 2 digits must multiply to 80. But, we don’t have digits large enough to get to 80 with only 2 of them. Note that the largest digit available (that being a 5) when multiplied by itself, only brings us to 25. So 1 can’t be used here either. We are left with 2, 4, and 5. Clearly, I can’t use 2 either or the remaining two digits would have to multiply to 40, and as we just determined, we can’t get to that value with the digits we have available. Hence, we need to double up one of the numbers. In this case, we can use 4, 4, and 5.

Since we have the rule that each row and column must contain the digits 1 through 6 only once, we would necessarily have to separate the 4s, as illustrated in the picture. And from this, we continue to fill in each of the rows and columns using the information provided.

Cool stuff!

Anyway, these are very addictive and I’ve been playing them almost daily since Gerarda and Alan dropped off the book. So, a huge thank you to Gerarda and Alan for this. It has made the recovery process so much more tolerable.

For those that want to give it a try, check out the KenKen website. It goes up to the challenging 9×9 grid.