I recently took a stress management class at work. Along with breathing exercises and time management tips, I learned that playing games in your free time, like crossword puzzles, could help to relieve stress. One of the instructors said she enjoyed playing sudoku puzzles. Sudoku? This was the first time I had ever heard the word. I jotted down the word phonetically and looked it up when I got back to my desk. When Google led me to Websudoku.com I did not hesitate playing my first game. I also did not bother wasting my time reading up on those silly helpful hints.
Hmm, 20 minutes to solve my first “Very Easy” game; this is kind of fun. When I got home I found out this is not some brand new game, but something that has been going around for some years. Nothing new for me, though, to come in late – I did not start this blog until about three to five years after the craze took off; I am always behind the curve.
Another thing I found out when I was back at the ranch is that 20 minutes is an abominably slow time for a so-called Very Easy sudoku puzzle. For once, I would like to discover something and find out I am good at it. One more reason I will not take up New York Times crossword puzzles: If I worked on them daily, I would probably die an old frustrated man with a messy, smeary, Monday puzzle in my claw. Another thing I found when I started playing sudoku puzzles – trying to solve them does not manage my stress. While anyone will tell you, I am not a stressful person, sudoku puzzles bring out the Godzilla in me.
Like chess, I think I need a mentor to show me the hidden nuances of the game and to beat the bully sudoku puzzles that make my morning and evening coffee times a bitter reminder that I am number challenged.
I need a Mr. Miyagi!
In the film “The Karate Kid,” Daniel, played by Ralph Macchio, has finally had enough of waxing Mr. Miyagi’s car and painting his house and fence – all for karate lessons that never materialize. Mr. Miyagi, played by the late Pat Morita, tells Daniel-san in the stereotypical broken English Hollywood would give a Japanese apartment handyman by day/Black Belt Karateman by night, “Not everything is as seems.” When Daniel challenges this comment the pivotal scene in the film comes – the reason Daniel has been doing the handyman’s handy work: it is revealed that the workout Daniel has received on his hands, wrists, and arms while painting and waxing just so happens to be the very same movements used in karate. Only in Hollywood could household duties turn you into Bruce Lee. We never see Daniel-san do any chores with his legs and feet so we just have to assume Daniel-san held Mr. Miyagi’s pressure washer with his toes while cleaning the master’s deck.
If I find my own Mr. MiyagiI I hope that he looks more like a Toshiro Mifune rather than a Pat Morita. I hope he will give me the speed to drop my time on hard puzzles from hours to minutes. I do not think I have the time to pressure wash his deck, wax your car, or paint your house and fence. I mean, if I will not do that stuff for my own home how can I justify to my wife doing that kind of stuff for him?
Every time you buy something, add up all the digits in the total, and in your change, and divide by the approximate age of the clerk. Do this every time, without fail. This mental mathematical workout will make you a Sudoku champ in no time!