Game Day!

Anyone who sees this title and feels excited to read what comes next, sorry. There’s a whole whack of snow everywhere outside and therefore I’m not in the mood today to motivate and inspire. Even if I was, this is for sure not the topic that would do it. I play games on my IPad every day and have gone through some lengthy addicitions with a few of them (Candy Crush comes to mind) but most of the time I download something, try it out, and then delete it, sometimes in a week or two, sometimes all on the same day. The ones that have gone the distance are Solitaire and Words2 and (drum roll here please….) Hay Day. Yes I am a closet farmer. I like the game so much I totally believe I do not need help.

Random View of ”Lins Mad Chickens”

If you have never played this game and you happen to listen to a conversation between two avid players, you will think they are lunatics. But what you think clearly does not matter to us.

The game starts off with a cute little house, a barn and a silo, some fields for planting crops, a roadside stand, a truck that makes deliveries, a boat you can load up with crates full of your produce. And then it just kind of mushrooms from there as you expand your farm with new land, cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, goats, trees, bushes, production buildings (39 of those last count) smelters and a mine, a fishing spot including ducks and lobsters, a town (grocery store, cinema, diner, beach cafe, bed and breakfast, spa, town hall) with a train station and an animal sanctuary (elephants, giraffes, gorillas, zebras, hippos, reindeer, arctic foxes) and a beach (which is kind of useless but fun to decorate in a bizarre fashion when you’re bored).

There are also pets to collect and feed. If you don’t feed them they just sleep until you get your shit together and produce some food for them. Horses, donkeys, dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, bunnies, guinea pigs and peacocks. There are squirrels that collect peanuts and bees that collect nectar. They have added a Valley where you make product deliveries and something called Farm Pass where you complete tasks for level points and rewards. Somewhere back in the middle of all this you can start up or join a neighborhood where you can chat with (complain to) and help out other like-minded farmers who share similar goals for their Hay Day experience. I’m trying to think what those goals are besides levelling up and the accumulation of massive amounts of useless decorations. Lofty aspirations for sure.

And finally, the reason that Tuesday is my intense Hay Day day of gaming self inflicted hell. There is a derby (with imaginary race horses and everything) where my neighbourhood competes with other same size and similar level neighbourhoods for trophies and rewards and it starts here in this part of the world on Tuesdays at 2:00 a.m. There are people from all over the world playing this game, and chatting going on in many different languages in many different time zones. I’ve been in a couple of hoods so close to home I was afraid I might accidentally meet some of the people in person around town because we made up a Facebook group as well, (long story for another time but one I will likely never bother telling you due to the severe boredom factor) but that all fell apart eventually and I lucked out accepting an invitation to Barnyard 10 where I’ve been for….a couple of years? Long time anyway. Half of our members live in Australia so there’s a 16 hour time difference. I farm with people from the future! They start the derby before I do, because I may be nuts but I’m not crazy enough to get up in the middle of the night for this. We are all seriously derby obsessed and focussed on coming in first with a perfect derby score. The derby lasts all week but if you want to place first, you all have to get that perfect score by completing all your top level tasks before anyone else does. A perfect score can end up in second or third place if you don’t get it fast enough. So day one is extremely intense. Because we all chose to make it so. I can’t remember exactly why because the trophies are kind of meaningless, but that’s the way it is, so there you go. Most derbys we finish before the end of day two. So the rest of the week I can concentrate on my real life where the excitement and drama pales in comparison.

If you reach the point where the pressure is too much you can always opt out of the derby and just farm like a normal person. Or, you know, pretending you’re a normal person. I have taken breaks from this game lots of times, some short, some very long. Once I decided to quit completely But there’s always something that brings me back. The last ”break” I took was to temporarily leave my current neighbourhood to join the one some of my family members had started up, so the weirdest break ever since I was still playing, but helping them out was so laid back and the opposite of intense that I stayed for way longer than I intended. Barnyard 10 kept inviting me back like they missed me or something. Then I took over my adult grandson’s farm in the family hood because he has way more important things going on in his life, took my original farm back to my other neighbourhood, and now have the best of both farming worlds with two farms. Double the ”work” but also double the fun.

I’m assuming if you have read this far you are now shaking your head in confusion wondering what could possibly make all of this FUN. Well the big thing for me is not the competing or the levels or the rewards, it’s the organization and the rearranging of everything so it all works efficiently and smoothly and looks good. Really. If I couldn’t move everything around all the time, I would not be playing. The smaller farm I took over is perfect for this because it’s growing and every time there’s an expansion I have to change where things go. I can spend an entire morning rearranging all of it. Or little tiny parts of it. Or preparing room for what happens next. Or rethinking what I just did because it’s stupid and won’t work. I do this with my living room in real life, and other parts of the house if I can stop farming long enough to get to them.

Okay! What have I missed telling you that you could easily live without ever hearing? My second farm is called ”Margaret’s Icky Biscuits” for my mother who made the most delicious food ever and always apologized for how it turned out. All my farm pets are named for characters from Shakespeare. My reindeer on my first farm are Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew. See? Totally fun. Totally. Not even kidding. I swear. You should try it. Or avoid it at all costs. You’re welcome.

Sharing My World 33

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SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2015 WEEK #33

What are some words that just make you smile?

Hi grandma!  (Those never fail to put a smile on my face.)  However, there are more, but they’re less popular;  skullduggery, skedaddle, brouhaha, mollycoddle, doozy, lollygag, shenanigans, bumbershoot, malarkey, kerfuffle, gonzo, humdinger, fuddy-duddy and gobbledygook.  I also like namby-pamby, but I’m not sure how to use it in everyday conversation.

You’re given $500,000 dollars tax free (any currency), what do you spend it on?

I have everything I need and more.  So I would like to get rid of something.  My debt.  And the debt of my children.  The reason we are all in debt is because we want for nothing.  Except for the cash to pay off everything we owe.  Half a million dollars would be very helpful.  I thought once we had our vehicles and mortgages and credit cards all paid up we would be debt free, but our line of credit does not want to go quietly into the night.  There’s always something.

What subject would you like to study in depth, if given the time to do so?

Zen.  Although I expect it would just give me a headache.  I have a little book of Zen sayings.  In the introduction Zen is described as “spiritual, uncluttered, calm, mystical, enigmatic – all at the same time.  It might be easier to describe the sound of one hand clapping.”  Many of the parables, haiku and quotes are simply beautiful.  And many confuse the living hell out of me.  Which is probably not a very Zen thing to admit.

Would your rather be stuck in a small plane with bad turbulence for 2 hours or be a passenger in a car racing the Daytona 500?

Seriously, if those are my two choices, just shoot me now.  Small planes bouncing around in high winds have a way of reminding you how fragile life really is.  And racing around in circles at ridiculous speeds is just dumb. That being said, I will admit I admire the people who are good at it.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for getting to see my grandchildren, at home and away in the last 2 – 3 weeks.  They are all growing older and growing up.  Although their parents may think it’s a slow process, I know better.  I am grateful for a new (some might say time-wasting) game that my son and two grandsons play and now I’m hooked on it too.  Thanks guys.  Of the four games I play religiously, at least one of the old ones must go.  Perhaps two.  My sanity is at risk.  And don’t tell me it’s too late.

The break from blogging has been good, although it wasn’t planned and just happened, and then kept on happening for much longer than any normal kind of break should.  I am a creature of habit, both good and bad.  If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I must be almost there. And feeling like I have nothing but time to do whatever I want is almost as dumb as car racing.

Well all that didn’t sound very grateful.  No worries, I am getting back on a schedule.  Home delivery has ended here and I am walking to the new post boxes daily to get the mail.  Two days now, and no mail yet, but the walks are good.  I will get back to doing my art because now I have a mission!  I have a purpose!  Someone actually asked me for something!

Enough of the gobbledygook and lollygagging, it’s time to skedaddle and make some sense of the kerfuffle in the art room and create a doozy of a humdinger!  Or I could maybe take a break and play my games…..

share-your-world2

 

 

Game Quotes

games

“Take someone who doesn’t keep score,
who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing,
who has not the slightest interest even
in his own personality: he’s free.”  
―     Rumi

“Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.”  
―     Dr. Seuss     Oh, the Places You’ll Go!   

“Games give you a chance to excel, and if you’re playing in good company you don’t even mind if you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game.”  
―    Gary Gygax 

“Much of life is a game. If played skillfully, with an intelligent and fascinating opponent, it can become almost a dance. One challenges and moves, the other teases and skips away, only to dart forward later and strike a telling blow.” ―     Elizabeth Hoyt – The Ice Princess

“That’s what games are, in the end. Teachers. Fun is just another word for learning.”  
―     Raph Koster –    A Theory of Fun for Game Design

game over

Cin’s Feb Challenge Day 25 – Games

Play

kids

There was a childhood game we played on our front lawn at the farm, on warm sunny afternoons when a sufficient number of cousins showed up to join us. It was better than Simon Says, Hide and Seek,  Red Light or Mother May I, although we gave all of those a thorough going over too.

If this game had a name, I don’t remember what it was.  Everyone played a role, and the ‘play’ had a predictable plot that hardly varied.  And yet we repeated it over and over.  There was a parent (usually a mother), a wicked old witch, and the rest of the cast were the children.

The mother gave each of her children a name, based on some previously agreed upon category, the most popular being ‘fruits’.  These names were not shared with the witch, so Blueberry, Banana, Lemon and Purple Grape had to keep their identities to themselves.

After making the following little speech –

“I’m going down town to smoke my pipe and I won’t be back until Saturday night – DON’T LET THE OLD WITCH IN!” –

the mother would saunter off to the sidelines leaving her children home alone (on the front veranda) to fend for themselves.

Enter the old witch center stage, respectfully knocking on the door and asking to come in.  Well of course the children say no because they are good little children who always do what mother says.  Then the witch explains to them that she is making a pie and needs to borrow some fruit.  Do you have any apples, she might ask.  She continues to guess until she hits on the name of one of the children, and then off that child must go (across the lawn to the snowball bush beside the lily pond) to where the wicked witch resides.  Here the witch changes the child’s name to a category of her own choosing – birds, for instance, and Blueberry might become Sea Gull in the blink of an old witch’s eye.

Mother saunters home, noticing immediately that one of her children is missing.  The kids are afraid to tell her the truth and make up various stories as to where their sibling might be, but eventually they have to admit that the old witch got her.

Mother and children don’t learn much from this, and keep repeating the same mistakes of going down town and answering the door until all the children have been kidnapped by the witch and all their names have been changed.

Now it’s the mother’s job to march across the lawn to the snowball bush to confront the witch with her crime.  The witch tells her that the only way to get her children back is by guessing their new names. There are no fruits here, only birds.  If mom looks ready to give up, the kids or the witch can give her hints. Maybe the witch is having second thoughts about all these kids cluttering up her living space and making all that noise.

One by one the children are released and returned to the front veranda, renamed as farm animals this time, and on the game goes until all of them begin to suffer from identity crisis issues and start asking – “hey, wait, who am I again??”

Why did we love this game so much?  Why was the mother so negligent, and the witch considered wicked?  She was just taking abandoned children to a safe place after all and never harmed them.  Unless naming someone Watermelon can be considered a horrible thing.

I know there are many variations of this game, although the pipe smoking rhyme seems to be the one thing that doesn’t change.  Did you ever play this?  Or was there another childhood game that you loved and will never forget?

Cin’s Feb Challenge/Witchy Rambles

On My Own Again

The pony tail girls with newly pierced ears!  All pictures for the next little while will be posed sideways.

My fridge has a new look, thanks to some industrious grandchildren.  They were here for two days.  I imagine if they stayed for a week I could get them to paper the entire house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a great visit – they got to spend a day at Galaxyland, go to the Wimpy Kid movie, color and paint, play some kind of queen/guard/chef/servant/royal dog game (I didn’t get a lot of the details straight since all of them were elaborating on them at the same time),  turn the basement into a disaster zone while watching tv (they are great multi-taskers), do stuff on the computer, decorate the driveway with chalk, eat A LOT of pizza and freak out about the crazy rain and thunder storms.

Then just like the end of a wild storm they were suddenly all packed up and gone.  My part-time loaner dog has happily left me too, picked up by the vacationers on their way home from the airport early this afternoon.

And here I am, alone again.  The silence is deafening.  I think I need a nap.

This Week

It’s catch up Thursday!  Just because.  Getting to the end of week two with four grandchildren who all went trooping off to catch the school bus today leaving me home alone!  So no excuses.

For some unknown reason I still cannot access Plinky from here, but I get a summary of the prompts via e-mail so I’ll just answer all their questions in one fell swoop. Going backwards chronologically, just to make my life seem ever so slightly more interesting.

Describe your favourite way to prepare Thanksgiving leftovers.  Thanksgiving here was a month ago.  If the leftovers aren’t finished up by now, you have a problem.  Best way to use them up is to make up a plate that replicates as much as possible the original meal, cover it in plastic wrap and zap it in the microwave.  When it’s no longer possible to do that, throw whatever bits and pieces are still taking up space in your fridge into a frying pan and stir fry it all in a bit of oil until it’s crispy – potatoes, vegetables, turkey, etc.  Then add zapped globs of congealed gravy.  Yum.  Finally, last but not least important by any means, dump what’s left of all that into the compost bin.  Another thanksgiving dinner disposed of successfully.

What holiday traditions does your family celebrate?  We eat a big meal, make a big mess, and then sit around texting or playing games on our phones.  I’m pretty sure there’s other stuff that happens, but those are the highlights.

What does wealth mean to you?  The first thing I think of is financial wealth, but there’s all kinds of good fortune in this world having little to do with the accumulation of money and possessions.  Good physical and mental and spiritual health.  Knowledge.  Rewarding relationships.  You really can’t put a price tag on any of those things. A whole whack of money is a nice thing to have, but it ain’t everything.

Does silence make you uncomfortable?  Only when there are noisy little kids around and the bedlam suddenly stops.  Chances are good that they’re up to something they shouldn’t be.  Best to check that out.  All silence is not golden.  Other than that, I love silence;  peace and quiet, no tv or radio, nothing to break my concentration.  Because gawd knows paying rapt attention to things is not my strong point.  The term ‘scatter-brained’ comes to mind.

What’s the best way to cure a cold?  Well if I knew the answer to that one I’d be rich, wouldn’t I?  And not likely to give up my secrets about it here.  But there are good ways to cope.  Get a flu shot.  Stay home from work so you don’t give the germs to everybody else.  Use a nasal decongestants so you can breathe and get sufficient sleep.  Use a humidifier.  Drink and eat hot steamy things.  Whine incessantly about how rotten you feel and how it’s the worst cold you’ve ever had in your whole life or that anyone has ever had in the entire universe.  That last one works well for W.

Do lazy days make you feel rested or unproductive?  Lazy days make me feel ecstatically happy.  I live for them.  When I know there’s nothing that MUST be done, I do all kinds of things simply because I feel like doing them.  And if I don’t feel like doing them, I don’t.  What luxury to have such choices.  After a lazy day I feel both rested and restored and thrilled that I’ve actually accomplished something without resenting the process.  And not the slightest bit guilty if nothing got done because lazy days are no pressure days.  I’ve spent entire days doing nothing but reading.  Is that productive?  I’ve filled my brain with words and ideas and strained my eyes all to shit so that I can’t see the dust settling around me.  Hard to beat a day like that.

What are your must see TV shows?  I don’t have any and I don’t even know what’s on the boob tube anymore.  Who knows what I’m missing out on?  What I do know is that when someone asks me if I watched something and I say no and then they start to tell me what the show was all about I generally find myself wondering why anyone would want to sit around watching that kind of crap.  I do have some ‘must have’ apps on my I-phone though.  Post Secret is fun to read;  Netflix for movies when it works;  Angry Birds of course;  Kindle linked with my actual Kindle;  You Tube;  Weather so I can see what the temperature is in Cancun;  Talking Tom (and Ben and Gina and Roby and Larry and Rex and Santa and John and Hippo and News…..) because little people love them and five minutes of playing them on grandma’s phone is a fantastic reward for good behaviour.  The latest one I can’t seem to get enough of is “Unblock Me”.  It’s a simple little puzzle game that after over four hundred games completed in the beginner level has yet to get old for me.  Huh.  One of those lazy day activities to keep my mind sharp.  Or sedated, I’m not sure which.

Well, there’s another Plinky Week done;  signed, sealed, delivered.  I’m heading home in a couple of days and will hopefully be much much more appreciative of the days on which I do not have to help dress a small child in hockey equipment.  Getting everything on in the proper places and in the right order is not as easy as you might think, especially if you’ve never played the game yourself.  Nothing fell off of any of them on the ice (that I noticed or heard about anyway) so I guess I did an acceptable job.  Corey told me he wants me to live here with him forever and never go home.  A wealth of praise indeed.  I’d do it all again if just for that.