Trina Machacek: Playing a Google card

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My mother could beat me at cards no matter what game we played. Cribbage? She would 15-two me shamelessly as she rounded the second turn when I was just coming out of the gate! Gin rummy found her laying down as I sat there with too many cards to hold in one hand. She was a whiz at bridge and also taught me how to throw quarters expertly while playing Pan. I watched in amazement as she would stack card after card on the piles along the top row as we played double solitaire. I missed all my card whippings when she moved away. It would have changed anyway when the computer games became the new way to play solitaire.

Playing solitaire on the computer is kind of fun. I still play solitaire with cards occasionally just because I like to shuffle. I knew a single-deck 21 dealer a long time ago who taught me how to shuffle. That’s a vanishing art, along with cursive handwriting that might someday be just a memory, too. Come on, as you sit there reading this, you are itching to find a deck and give shuffling a try, aren’t you? Let’s shuffle on back to where I was going … Googling.

It is just amazing, this Googling phenomenon. Google is, for me, the new Funk and Wagnall encyclopedia. So far, I haven’t been able to stump Google. Concerning the cards, I started to wonder as my percentage of wins on my Freecell games hit 61 percent if that was a good average. Moreover, if what I have been told from someone at some time, if in actuality every single game of solitaire is winnable — if you play every single game and make every move correctly. Most importantly, if you don’t miss a move that is hidden in the game! Spoiler alert — I’m going to tell you the answer pretty soon.

But, yes, slipping in a “but” card. But not until I tell you this first. The world is becoming smaller and smaller. You can find friends whom you have lost contact with by just clicking away on your computer or phone or iPad or now, apparently, your watch! So, with that knowledge and knowing Santa coming soon — ya better watch out. Be as good as you can. Somebody, somewhere at any or all the time is watching your every move. That is not always a good thing, like if you are hiding from the long arm of the law — unless, of course, you are part of that long arm. See, it doesn’t matter what side of life you are on, this ole world is truly getting smaller.

Oh and don’t worry any more if you are going to another country and can’t speak the language. Your computer will translate for you. That means no more packing around that little translation book. I still have one of those. It is an English-Spanish version. Once, a woman came into a store we owned and she was trying to explain she needed a funnel. She spoke Chinese and, of course, we only spoke English. It was quite entertaining. Like playing charades without cheating or clues. My little book was of no help. Imagine getting to “funnel” from Chinese to Spanish and then to English — and back again! We did it though-uh without the Spanish. We got her a funnel, and a silly translation computer program wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun.

Oh, I have tried to stump Google. But haven’t made it stumble yet. I wonder, maybe you do, too, who puts all that information into Google or other search engines. I get that nearly anyone can add information to Wikipedia, but if you Google something, anything, you can get that little line that says there are 14,682,470 more or less responses to your inquiry. What? Whoa, there, who wants to know that much about anything? Who types up all that information? Besides, really, do you ever go past the first page? Really?

Now the Google answer to that solitaire thing. The short answer is “no,” not every single game is winnable. I was very glad to read that I am not a doofus. I am just your average loser. I can continue to happily lose to my plastic box with its flying cards, fireworks and a very annoying way of reporting, “Good game!” Even when I lose in just four moves. And yes, I only needed one page of the 102,604 pages of information offered to me on the subject in an amazing .53 seconds. Unbelievable!

Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Share with her at Really!


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