Looking for a Game I Played That May Not Have Been a Game

Hive-mind, I have a question. I’m trying to find a piece of software (hopefully it’s been updated a few generations) that I used in the mid- to late-1980s. There’s a 25% chance that it was for the Apple II plus, a 35% chance that it was for Windows 3.1, and maybe a 40% chance that it was DOS. It had a German name, I’m 90% certain it began with a “Z.” It may have even been “Zettelkasten.”

I didn’t use it for “Smart-Noting,” I thought it was a game, a murder-mystery-solving game. It had virtual 3 x 5 cards. You could write one item on it, maybe 100 characters? You could tag each card with a 15-character tag and mark it with colors indicating

  • who
  • what
  • where
  • why
  • when
  • or how


Then the fun began. You had two kinds of windows to then look at the data. If you used it sort-of like a spreadsheet, you could sort it in various ways. That was kind of useful, but I tended to prefer the window where you “dropped the cards all over the floor and drag them when you thought you saw relationships.” Either way, when you looked at the information, you would often see a new bit of information based on what you could see. And then you would create a new card.

Does anyone else remember seeing this software? How difficult would it be to create?

Lisa PLAYS: Dungeons & Dragons

In the time of Covid 19, I’m getting to experiment with entertainments I’ve wanted to try, but haven’t taken time for. I’ve heard of Dungeons & Dragons for decades, and sort of played for a short session or two, but not enough to know whether I really like the game. So… I discovered Roll20, a virtual gaming tabletop.

I couldn’t find a group that was comfortable with beginning players that met at a convenient time. Almost all of the games lasted way too long for me! When it comes to fun things, my attention span can be shorter than what a squirrel would have on crack cocaine.

There probably are a lot of things that I don’t know about the website. I’ve seen videos talking about horrible things that the owners/runners have done for all kinds of nefarious purposes. I just haven’t seen any of that myself.

They are open to all sorts of games. After I tackle Dungeons & Dragons, I may try DIALECT or DENIABLE or one of the space-related games.

ANYHOW, I couldn’t find a group that met my needs and interests. Instead, I decided to invite a few friends and running a game myself. TALK about the blind leading the blind! Only one of my players has ever played before and I don’t know what I’m doing. This should be GREAT! I’m learning mapping skills, plotting for games instead of stories, and all sorts of other things that I didn’t know I needed to know to have a full life!

I’m also getting to explain concepts to people. For example, alignment… To a group of LCMS Lutherans… I’m just having to explain that good and evil in this game isn’t exactly like good and evil in our universe. As part of the explanation I’m using this website http://easydamus.com/character.html and this is the result of the quiz asking what my character would be if I was a Dungeons & Dragons character:

You Are A:

Neutral Good Human Cleric (7th Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength- 8
Dexterity- 9
Constitution- 11
Intelligence- 15
Wisdom- 16
Charisma- 13

Neutral Good- A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Clerics- Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron’s vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity’s domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric’s Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Detailed Results:

Chaotic Neutral – XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (16)
Lawful Evil —– XXXXXXXXX (9)
Neutral Evil —- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Chaotic Evil —- XXX (3)

Law & Chaos:
Law —– XXXXXXXXX (9)
Neutral – XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Chaos — XXX (3)

Good & Evil:
Neutral – XXXXXXXXXXXXX (13)
Evil —- (0)

Dwarf —- XXXXXXXX (8)
Elf —— XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Gnome —- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Halfling – XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Half-Elf – XXXXXXXX (8)
Half-Orc – (0)

Barbarian – XXXX (4)
Bard —— XXXX (4)
Druid —– XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Fighter — XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Rogue —– XXXX (4)
Sorcerer — XXXXXXXX (8)
Warlock — XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)


Sometimes, the Small Things Mean Something!

I know it’s not really important, snacks are probably a waste of time and calories and all sorts of other stuff. I should focus on meaningful eating.

Guess what! Sometimes small treats are important, too.

I used to thoroughly enjoy popcorn. It’s a simple treat, light and Buttery. It makes me smile, or at least it used to. It doesn’t anymore.

You know those hulls, Nibs, and other nasties that come with popcorn? They bother everyone. For me, they are also a choking hazard. It has been decades since it was worth risking catching something behind my epiglottis and having it turn into something dangerous. Nope, no popcorn for me, thank you!

Until recently! Another friend with a neuromuscular disorder recommended Chester’s Puffcorn. <https://www.fritolay.com/snacks/product-page/chesters-snacks/chesters-puffcorn-butter-flavored-corn-snacks>

OH MY! (In my best George Takei voice…)

They look like popcorn. They taste like buttery popcorn. They are so light that, if I look at them too hard they dissolve.

I would have to work hard to choke on these!

One of my nephews isn’t incredibly impressed. He calls them “Cheetos without cheese.”

I Can live with that description. At least I can enjoy “popcorn” occasionally.