Things to do on a Rainy Saturday – Make a Chinese Chess Set

A while back (as discussed in this post) I became obsessed with finding a Chinese Chess set that would fit my needs. After failing to easily find one that I liked, I decided to spend a rainy (I’m not sure if it actually was, but I’m going with it) Saturday and make a very simple set on my own (using images from Wikipedia).

I used a few simple materials

  • ¾ inch wooden cubes that I had laying around
  • Scotch tape
  • Printed Icons from Wikipedia (with one set color inverted)
  • A Saw, scissors, and possibly an X-acto Knife
  • A cheap suction table clamp
  • Sandpaper

A few of those items won’t even be necessary for most people; this can be easily modified for the type of set one wants.


First I cut the pieces out (square pieces would be better, but the circle is more traditional) and taped them over the cubes, making sure the tape ran down the sides so it wouldn’t be easy to peel up. I did this on both sides of the cube. I placed the cubes in the clamp and sawed them in half roughly (I’m not very good with a saw, and I was impatient with this project). Then I took the pieces and rounded off the corners on some inexpensive sand paper, really just for aesthetic reasons. Afterwards I cut away any tape that was left up after the sanding.


None of this was very difficult and I’m sure you could figure out what I did by just looking at the photos, but in the end I got a quite usable, if not very pretty, Chinese Chess set that I could use with a player who didn’t know Chinese characters. I then drew a simple board on a sheet of paper that I glued to a small piece of cardboard and cut out. Then, to cover the edges (again for aesthetic reasons really) I used white Duck Tape (as in the brand, not a misspelling of the product). I actually made the board incorrectly and forgot to include the river (making it a Korean Chess board, actually) but this I was able to fix with minimal problems.


The set was great for introducing me and a few other people to the game while I waited to receive better sets. It now resides in Altoids tins in a magnetic “traditional” style set I got online so I can play with either characters or pictures.

Book Review – Damn You Autocorrect by Jillian Madison

I guess you could say I “read” Damn You Autocorrect, even though the book is mostly photos. This doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s just the nature of taking photos of phone conversations. I’d consider the book a picture book, but it does require reading. With that out of the way, Damn You Autocorrect is a book filled with peoples’ phones changing the words they were intending to type into a funny misunderstanding or the like. I read a lot of these things online and quite enjoy them there.  I also like to read books, so the book version was quite welcome.

damn you autocorrect

I won’t say it was an amazing read. It’s what one would expect.  If you like reading autocorrect fails on the internet, this is the same thing in book form, some of which you might have already seen, some you might not have. In the book there is no (bad) swearing.  As that kind of censoring isn’t possible on the internet, I still wouldn’t give it to a kid or even some teens. But it isn’t the swear-fest the same kind of thing is online, which could be good or bad. I found it no less funny.

The chapters are roughly categorized, though they aren’t very different from one another. The screen-caps are all easily visible and in the correct proportions. Full names are omitted, which is always a good thing in these situations. It’s well put together in what seems to be an attempt at justifying it being a physical book. But hey, I bought it, so no need to justify to me. One little snag is it’s all in black and white. I’m guessing this is to keep the cost down since you are just paying for a collection of screen captures.  I can’t fault this, but the online viewing experience is better.

Overall, I like the book, and I’m glad I purchased it. Would I purchase it for full retail price? Maybe, if I had the money to buy more than a few books at full price. Is it worth it? Not really, in my opinion, but I can look at them when the internet isn’t available, I have a reference at least, and I got some laughs I wouldn’t have gotten before. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it’s far from a necessary

Speak Your Mind 152 #756-760


1. People often hold money between their lips to free their hands. Do you think this is a problem?

2. What would you rather buy: a comic book or some stickers?

3. Do you like to take pictures?

4. Do you ever have to take the garbage out?

5. Do you think daylight savings time is a good idea?

ANSWERS By: Austin Smith

1. I’ve never seen anyone do this, and I would consider it a problem.

2. A comic book gets you way more milage for sure.

3. Yes, but not of important events, I like mindless pictures.

4. Yes, that is my chore, or one of them.

5. Yes, but I think it should be permanent daylight savings time.