Sep 7 2010

The Settlers of Catan

Welcome to my new addiction…..The Settlers of Catan.  It is a board game, popular in Europe, that my son recieved for a gift.  Many of my friends know that I am a computer gamer and like to play those wonderful online, clan based, team play, military shoot them up games.  My latest love is Battlfield 2, Bad Company. 

Well, that was until I played the game of Catan.  The game is sort of like a turn based strategy game with people trying to gain a hold on resources and settle on lands.  There are not shooters, and this is strictly a game played with others in order to earn Victory Points.  Once the player earns a certain number of points, then viola, they win.  I have been playing this game for about a month or so online and no outcomes of the game are the same.  You can win or lose, but the way you play the game is always different.  Now, the fun part, there are a multitude of versions of this base game.  Multicatan, thus far, is my favorite.  It involves 6 people starting from their own islands.  They are to seek out new land as well as seek out the other players.  It is quite fun and I highly suggest this game.  It really makes you think. 

So check it out at http://www.catan.com/.


Sep 7 2010

090710

What a summer!  I have been inundated with so many things!  But it is now time to get back to my fall/winter schedule.  For those 2 people who read my blog, apologies are in order.  I have no excuse other than sheer neglect.

I promise you two that I will be more timely on my posts…..until then, au revoir!


May 5 2010

What Do You See?


Apr 21 2010

Where I’ve Been………


Mar 24 2010

LOST – Ab Aeterno

This blog is normally geared to the ramblings of a Jane Q Citizen, however, this entry must touch on the episode of the show LOST airing on 03.23.10 in the USA at 9:00 P.M. EST. I would love to recap the entire episode, but due to copyright infringements, possible spoilers, and even possible incorrect assumptions, I will focus on the series as a whole.
This week’s episode is what the fans seem to call “Richard Centric.” It simply means that it is centered around the character of the same name. For those of you who do not watch LOST, forgive me. This episode, is by far, one of the best episodes in the 6 season series. It not only addresses the character of Richard, it humanizes him. It brought me great joy and sadness, and of course in the normal LOST fashion, confusion.

LOST , to me, is one of the best shows on television right now. It makes the viewer think. It allows the viewer to speculate, theorize, and even come up with answers to the ever unfolding series of events. Now, with the vast number of programs available for people to watch today, this is not only entertaining, but thought provoking. Currently there are plethora of web sites dedicated to the show. On these various sites, people post their various theories as to what this show is about. What strikes me as fascinating, is the variation of these theories. They range from religious, to mythological, to science fiction, true science, and even to a theory about the potential future of our world. Now, regardless of the shows outcome, it has made people think.

Reading the Bible isn’t something I have done since the days of yore in the Catholic Church. Currently, the King James Version has been downloaded to my very favorite techie device, the Kindle . Having it at hand allows me to reference it easily. I am not saying that all of you should rush out and find your nearest religious text of your choice, I am just prefacing the effect this show can have on someone. It is refreshing to see a show bring about a change in someone’s life. In addition to the reference to the Bible, the mythological angle has also given me food for thought. For any of you who has taken a World Literature class, you might find this story relates to The Epic of Gilgamesh, Lysistrata, or even Ramayana . Time travel is also another predominant theory. Many books that are read by the characters in the show have also gained popularity simply because viewers are hoping for a clue to the end of this adventure we call LOST. Some of the books on the show include The Third Policeman, Watership Down, A Wrinkle In Time, and a curious one named A Separate Reality. Two popular movies are also referenced in the show, one is Star Wars and the other is The Wizard of Oz . Now considering that many things could be picked apart on each show, I find many of these references telling. One of the characters is named John Locke, who in the real world is known as the “Father of Liberalism.” Jeremy Bentham, an alias for John Locke, was also known as a social reformer.

What this all means to me is that all this information, whether pertinent to the story or not, may instill a desire to learn. To expand one’s horizons. Maybe read a book or revisit their religious beliefs. Regardless of the intentions, judging by the extensive amount of websites, forums, fan clubs, and even blogs, the simple fact remains that this show has something. It has suspense, drama, love, death, emotions, science, religion, and so much more. Even better than that, it is one of the most enjoyable. There are no reality stars, yet the characters are real. It is not a soap opera, yet the drama goes on. It is not a science fiction show, yet the propensity for it exists. What I am trying to say is that the creators of this show have successfully geared a show to all people. There is something in this show for everyone. It crosses every demographic and not only is successful, it raises the bar for future shows.


Mar 22 2010

Stomach Flu

Ughhhhhhhhh.

Be back online with blog ASAP~!


Mar 10 2010

Number 2 Pencil Needed

It is FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) testing time, seemingly the most harrowing event of the year in public schools in the state of Florida. For those of you who have no idea what an FCAT is, think standardized testing for grades 3 through 11. This test is used to measure the child’s progress and ability to meet the Sunshine State Standards benchmarks. My oldest is 8 and is schooled at home. This is not your traditional homeschooling; this is actually a virtual public school. In a virtual public school the child is part of the public school system, but is taught at home. As a virtual public school student he is required to take the FCAT beginning in 3rd grade. Tuesday was his first day of the three sections of his test. I am unsure who was more stressed out about this, me or my son. As I sat in the school office waiting for my son to complete his test, I witnessed the gravity of the situation for the other students as well as the faculty and the test administrators. The front office was a flurry of activity rife with nervousness.  I not only heard about several ‘sick’ children in the various classrooms, but I also heard the mounting calls to the janitor for clean up. As I sat there I found myself anticipating the next call being about my son. It is common knowledge that this is a very important test and many of the students stress out about it. The pressure to complete this test successfully can really put the students in a frenzy and the results can also affect the school’s funding. Another thing I noticed is the number of late arrivals. The students are not permitted to enter the classroom once testing begins. I feel as though many of these students were either truly physically ill or possibly delaying the inevitable. Whatever the case may be, my son remained in the classroom unfazed by all of the unfamiliar stimuli surrounding him.  As always, my son never ceases to amaze me.

Mar 3 2010

Bike Week 2010 69th Anniversary

Welcome to Daytona Beach Bike Week 2010!  The rumble of motorcycles reverberate through the crispy air.  Normally this is an event that Mother Nature caters to.  She has a different agenda this year.  Not only have many of the bikers been delayed due to snow, once they reach Daytona Beach, FL, they are met with below average temperatures.  For those of you living in most of the US, 58 degrees might seem to be a welcome relief.  But for many of the locals, the coats are on. 

Every year, on the first Saturday during Bike Week, the Budweiser Clydesdales are hitched up and stroll down Main Street.  In recent memory, this event has never been canceled.  Due to rain and wind, it was canceled.  Imagine the crowd’s delight when on Sunday, at 2:00 P.M., the Clydesdales made their first, of several, 2010 Bike Week, appearances.  Sunday brought sunshine and smiles as the majestic Clydesdales strutted in full form.  These horses are incredible creatures.  They are strong and yet very gentle.  Barley, the Budweiser dog, even has his place atop the carriage.  He looks down on the crowds with excitement and revels in the roars from the crowd.  The people along the route are being treated to one of the many things that Daytona Beach has to offer during this event.

Interestingly enough, this is probably the most fun event in this city.  NASCAR fans will sneer and wonder how the Daytona 500 doesn’t earn the top spot.  It is a very close second place in this writer’s opinion.  While Speed Weeks are a fantastic time to be had, the bike events have more of a celebratory experience.  Yes, when the 500 is over, everyone is happy for the winner.  But it is a different kind of celebration.  The motorcyclists seem to revel more in each other.   They eat, drink, socialize, and participate in a myriad of activities.  While meeting up with friends they met in past years, they swap stories and trade parts.  Showing off their ride is a major highlight of the trip.  Some even find their way here by plane and wind up riding home on their new Harley.  Thus far, this Bike Week is not feeling the chill of the late winter bite that Mother Nature has for us too much.


Feb 24 2010

Madness

While out driving on Monday, I encountered what I believe to be sheer madness. As the day wore on, the madness continued. Approaching an intersection, not even a tenth of a mile from my home, the first madman refused to merge. No problem, some people weren’t meant to drive. Sauntering along, the next unhinged driver thinks it is his/her right to drive and weave at speeds reaching 65 mph. Mind you, the limit is 40. Driving a Volkswagen has privileges. Not even a mile away from my home, the next person to come along has the right to cut people off. VW and #3 almost crash due to their need for speed. This day is young. Approaching the 2 mile mark is uneventful. Maybe those 3 are it for the day.

Surprise, surprise, surprise, approaching the destination only 6 miles away, no more erratic drivers. Sitting in the dentist chair allows time for reflection. Curiosity gets the better if me. What is so important about driving like Mario Andretti? Why do people find the need to text, dial, apply makeup, and even read the paper while operating a 3000 pound moving vehicle? Our society has become very impatient. With the invention of time saving goods has actually made society more impatient.

Not too long ago we actually had to use a map, a pay phone, and we also used our vocal chords. Now many people hardly look away from the QWERTY keyboard to communicate with someone less than 5 feet away. Technology is very much a part of life. Accepting it makes for a better lifestyle in some, if not most, cases. Somehow in the mix of efficiency society is evolving away from personal interaction. Patience is lost. Time becomes more precious as more tasks are included in each day.

Feeling better and realizing the need for these people to impart their Earnhardt like driving on our city roads, the dentist chair is vacated. Back in the car for a 6 mile trip seems like it would be easy. Again with the idiot drivers. One who is texting, one who is dialing, and the handicap tagged vehicle who needs to approach the interstate at 50 miles per hour. Is there a free pound of twenties along the road? Back to the task at hand. The driver who is in the far left hand lane who decides to get off at the exit on the right within yards of it. Apparently the cars on 95 do not exist. This nearly causes us to become very friendly with the vehicle in front of us due to the severity of his braking.

Back in the city, a city of less than 65k, more erratic drivers begin to come out of their cages. The incessant horn blower, the turn signal optional party, and even the ‘I really like you so I want to ride your bumper’ person. How much of this can one take?

Next stop a parking lot of an eating establishment. This is a pit stop for us. A break from the extreme driving competition we involuntarily became a part of. Some of those people need to stop as well. The Subaru driver thinks that parking between two straight lines is not for him. He wants to somehow slip the car in to the space at an angle. Then a woman driver, on the phone, is unable to park. By her expression she is unsure of how to handle this. Perhaps she needs to find another space, but hope is that she uses her supersized SUV makes mince meat out of the Subaru. Only in dreamland.
Finally I realize why people are so impatient. Why people have no desire to communicate or even venture from the laptop they so need to tote everywhere. They are trying to zone out from the madness. They are hiding from this evolution of impatience. They find safety in the laptop, texting phone, and what not. What they do not realize is that this shouldn’t be done from the driver’s seat~!


Feb 19 2010

Questions????

Trying to compose a blog is much harder that one may think.  One can either have nothing to say or, in my case, have too much to say.  So in the interest of my readers, I want all 4 of you (lol), to send me things you would like me to talk about.  Tell me what aspect of my life, what view, or what question you would like answered.  This could be a fun project.  Would you like pictures included?  G rated of course.  What funny story can be shared, what hearfelt moment expressed?  In order to do this without causing much hassle to you, the reader, post a comment or even email me at laptoplady@cfl.rr.com.  Giving out my real email address is a big jump here, but isn’t that what writing is about?   Taking a leap, extending one’s boundaries?

I will continue to blog about the everyday conundrums and happy stories of my world, but perhaps with a little help from you, my stories can serve you, the reader.