The Silver Ingot: A Las Vegas Text Adventure Game

I've written a short text adventure game you can play in your web browser. It's called "The Silver Ingot: A Las Vegas Adventure" and it's based on actual events.

To play, just click this link: Play Now

It has been decades since I last wrote a "choose your own adventure" game, and I used this opportunity to learn a more modern authoring and coding approach. (It's written using Twine2.) I hope you like it. If you've ever played ZORK or Colossal Cave, you'll feel right at home.IngotLogo

A Cat at Begraafplaats Huis de Vraag

Begraafplaats (cemetery) Huis de Vraag (House of Inquiry) in Amsterdam isn’t near the tourist center of the city. To get there from our apartment in Plantage we took the subway to Centraal Station, then a tram, then walked for about a mile. Totally worth it.

The 1800s-era cemetery is a controlled wilderness surrounded by urban development, and if it weren’t home to at least 12,000 graves, it would have been lost years ago. It’s open to visitors during limited hours, but is no longer accepting new residents.

cemetary gate

After circumnavigating the cemetery’s boundaries (because we couldn’t find the entrance), the first thing we noticed was an old pixie ring in the yard of the caretaker’s house.

fairy ring

Just beyond the gates proper, we were immediately met by a black cat who seemed to have been waiting for our arrival.

black cat

Seriously, and without exaggeration, after greeting us the cat begin walking down the pathway and kept turning back and mewing to make sure we were following.

black cat

Whenever we stopped to look at a grave, she would wait, then continue on — guiding us into corners and nooks we might not have discovered ourselves. It was a strange and delightful experience.


After several minutes of following the cat, when it was 3 or 4 meters ahead of us, it turned a blind corner. When we made the turn we were surprised to find a quiet lady tending to one of the graves. The cat had vanished — we never saw it again.


Nor did we see any other humans. Although prior visitors were in evidence as many of the graves were decorated with carefully laid nuts, which were plentiful from the low-hanging trees.


After our visit we stopped at the nearby Pipes and Beans cafe where we were the only Americans, and probably the only tourists, present. We loved the coffee and cake, and the proprietor asked with a wink if we were in town for the Amsterdam Dance Event (a citywide rave festival).

Addendum: Our visit was in October 2019. Several months after returning home I found this fun story about another couple who had almost the same experience as we did.

Announcing: Bizarre Fact Files

My newest publications are now available!

Bizarre Fact Files are pocket-sized books of Chicago neighborhood history and tidbits.

Bizarre Fact File boolets on table

Fact File volumes now available:

  • Bucktown

  • Wicker Park

  • Notable Neighbors

  • Notorious Neighbors

For sale now at Quimby’s bookstore (mail order and curbside pickup). #LoveYourLocals

For more info or to order directly, visit Bizarre Chicago

Our Will o’ The Wisp

Gale noticed it first, a strange ball of light dancing high in our living room. I immediately recognized it as as a legendary Will o’ The Wisp and grabbed the closest camera. (Which, thanks to a quarantine cleaning binge, was our old camcorder.)

Click the image below to view the video on Flickr.

Our Will o' The Wisp

Admittedly these apparitions — sometimes also called “spunkies” — are more typically seen outdoors. They are also known to lead humans to danger. In this manner, this one was true to its reputation, as it was a remarkably lovely day in Chicago and it was very tempting to defy the Governor’s “stay at home” order and venture outside. Fortunately, the Wisp vanished before tempting us further.

We remain alert in case it decides to return.