This is just about my favorite trick in Words With Friends. If you have an S, try to use it for two purposes. First, to extend one of your words to its plural tense in order to gain a double or triple word score, or, even better, use it to pluralize one of your opponent’s words, and build a new word with it. If the word you’re building off of has quality letters in it, you get those points, plus the points for your new word, which is obvious. What may not be obvious is that this tactic can also cut into any major gains your opponent received from double word or triple letter scores, as you are getting all the ‘base’ points for your opponent’s word and then gaining points of your own, turning their epic play into just another word.
I know I’m a bit more extreme on this than most. Living in a northern climate (in the Northern Hemisphere) allows me the luxury of rarely using air conditioning. The winters are another story. I have found that my entire family can enjoy a cooler house in the winter comfortably (low 60s F). Yes, we wear clothing in the winter, as in a flannel shirt or other such comfy warm garment. The wife and kiddos cover with a blanker when watching TV (me when I read). The cooler house means we sleep better at night, too. During the summer we adjust to the warmer temperatures. When it gets hot in July we draw cool basement air into the house. Rare is the year when we kick on the AC. (I actually have a geothermal heat pump for space heating, water heating and AC.)
The default Photos app carries a Memories feature that combines your recent photos and creates a video out of it using animations and other cool tricks. In iOS 15, you can now set any music clip from the Apple Music app and make your memories even more beautiful. Memories will change the slideshow look and feel based on the song selection with custom filters and animations.
When I dominate at Scrabble or Words With Friends, inevitably someone will champion my vocabulary or knowledge of big words. My vocabulary has nothing to do with it. Words With Friends is a board game, and the key is the board. A word like ‘Ox’ in the right spot is infinitely more powerful than more complicated words without any bonuses or modifiers. Thus, in the early going of the game – be mindful of what letters you’re using and where you’re using them. For example, if you’re going first in a match and can’t make it to the first double-letter score, it’s okay to ‘punt’ and play a simple word using common letters, saving your best letters and combos for a more advantageous board position. As a soft rule, you shouldn’t be playing any letters worth more than 3 points unless you’re going to get bonus points on the board somehow, unless you’re desperate.
This is a simple but effective strategy. Stumped? Hammer that shuffle button. It’ll re-arrange the letters over and over again, and if you’re mindful of common letter combinations or vowel placement, you’ll find yourself coming across the beginnings (or endings) of words you can use on the board. Since there’s no time-limit in Words With Friends 2, you can literally do this to your hearts content.
This was already possible in Safari on macOS Big Sur. iOS 15 carries the same wallpaper customization trick to the iPhone as well. Open Safari on the iPhone and scroll down to the bottom. Select Edit, and you can pick a relevant wallpaper from the Background Image menu. One can also go ahead and add wallpaper from the gallery on the iPhone.
It is well known that I sin when it comes to buying books. I love owning books. It is my one non-frugal habit. However, several local libraries still know me on a first name basis. Some books I borrow from the library. But the library is so much more than books, books on tape, music and so forth. I encourage you to read this post on all the surprising things you can get for free from the library. (Did you know your library might offer free college courses, tutoring and more? Some libraries have fishing equipment and one I interviewed even had a sewing machine they borrowed out.)
Similar to the macOS Safari browser, users can now use the same extensions for the Safari on iPhone as well. Previously, it was limited to ad-blockers only. iOS 15 open the doors for developers to create mobile-friendly extensions for the Safari browser. The collection is slim for now. But we can expect to see more developers creating Safari browser extensions in the future.
Enchanted Learning describes the concept I’m about to explain best: Consonant blends (also called consonant clusters) are groups of two or three consonants in words that makes a distinct consonant sound, such as “bl” or “spl.” Consonant digraphs include bl, br, ch, ck, cl, cr, dr, fl, fr, gh, gl, gr, ng, ph, pl, pr, qu, sc, sh, sk, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw, th, tr, tw, wh, wr. When playing Words With Friends (or Srabble) these are the things you look for first. How can your letters combine best to form a good word worth a lot of points. Keeping this in mind turns ‘Hot’ to ‘Shot’, ‘Hone’ to ‘Phone’, and so on. The idea is to get as much bang for your buck, and to do that, you need the ability to extend words a couple of extra letters – ideally to a double or triple word score. Knowing your digraphs, prefixes, and suffixes, are absolutely fundamentally key to that – especially if you’re trying to extend another player’s word.
One of the most frugal things you can do is give yourself down time. Bill Gates has a “think week” several times per year. Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs both scheduled “no time” where they had no duties or interruptions so they could focus on just thinking creatively. While it might be hard to understand how down time is a frugal activity, it is time where you are not spending money and instead are focused on making good decisions in your life, finances and business. Creativity happens during down time. When I write I close the door. This is “me time”. I’m actually talking to myself and letting you listen in. Time spent with the door closed and the internet and email off is vital to mental wellbeing and financial wealth. Your best ideas will come from the quiet time where distractions are not demanding your attention.