Category Archives: Games

Are We Really Ready?

The headlines today say that Facebook is creating  “an immersive environment called Horizon to tempt people into spending more time in virtual reality.”  They’re calling this virtual world “Horizon”.

I just recently finished reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which is about a future in which a worldwide virtual reality called “Oasis” has become the reality for most people.  Despite there being some seriously bad guys in the story, Ready Player One is much more optimistic about this future virtual world than I am.

Having just written yesterday about my unhappiness with my phone game addiction, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to jump into a virtual reality world with both feet. I mean, if you spend lots more time in “Horizon” or “Oasis” or “Eden”, who does the dishes and vacuums the dog hair?  My job of physically sending people to exotic destinations would be kaput.  In Ready Player One, many people got jobs in the Oasis but it still doesn’t answer the question of who makes your frozen burritos and who maintains the building you live in.

So I think I’ll pass. At least for now.

You just got a new planet for your birthday. What would you call it?  Anything special about it?

Bad Habit!

I’ve picked up a very bad habit over the past several months. Like way too many other folks I have succumbed to apps on my phone, three in particular: two games and one “paint by number” program.   It wasn’t too worrisome until a few weeks back I realized that I’m reading less, mostly in the first hour after I get up in the morning and at the gym, both prime times in my reading schedule.   It’s showed up on my reading log that I have read less at this point in the year than I have in the last five years.  This is a horrifying revelation to me.  In fact, it took me two weeks to decide to divulge this on the trail.  Just embarrassing.

So I’ve made the decision to try to give up all three apps for the month of October. At first I thought I would just do a week, but I’m thinking to get them out of my system, I need to delete the apps and give it a solid month.  I can always re-install the games if I think I can be more circumspect in my usage.  They do say you have to do something for at least 21 days to have the habit sink in.  We’ll see.

When have you quit something cold turkey? How did you do?

First Day of School

The other day I came upon one of the most charming news clip ever:  someone from MPR had interviewed Kindergarten Alumni (aka, First Graders) about how to survive the first day of kindergarten. It is part of a story by Elizabeth Shockman, “Five Tips for Kindergarteners’ FIRST Day of School”, with content actually aimed for their parents.

In a video by Derek Montgomery,

“We asked first graders from Duluth, MN, what advice they had for this year’s kindergarten class.”

These were the topics the kids were asked about:

Friends:  how do you make them?

Food!  What’s on the menu?

Is it scary?

What about rules?

I will personally never forget my first day of kindergarten – as a teacher, that is. Boy, was I nervous! It all went fine, apparently – once I was able to pry them out of their parents’ arms. I eventually managed to get all forty of them to sit down in their seats – at seven little tables with forty-odd little chairs. They would have received their personalized box of crayons, and tried them out on some paper handout I would’ve prepared. Some of them would have been able to write their names – wish I knew what percentage. (This was 1970, so most of them would not have been to a pre-school or day care.) I would have directed one table at a time to take the crayons, when finished, to their “cubbies” – their special place to keep their things. I would have tried herding them to the carpet area for a story, sung some songs, and had recess outside in our own private little courtyard. I wish I could remember more.

Do you have any memories about your first day of kindergarten? (You can use the questions above to jog your memory…)

How about memories of a first day of any new school year?

Feeding Frenzy

Photo Credit: RitaE

In odd news this week, Molly Schuyler, a competitive eater, has taken the Z Burger Annual Burger Eating Contest for the fifth time. This year she ate 32 burgers in 10 minutes (complete with buns), breaking her record of 27 burgers last year.

I’ve never understood competitive eating. I’m not sure why being able to stuff your gut with massive amounts of food is something to be lauded. There is a show on the Cooking Channel right now called Man vs. Food and each episode ends with the host (whose name I can’t remember) takes on an eating challenge.  I haven’t watched a whole show but have seen bits and pieces, enough to know that there is always a crowd standing around urging him on as he gorges on whatever platter is in front of him.  Why is this interesting, I just don’t know.

And competitive eating during which the contenders eat hot things like peppers baffles me even more. I think it would be a sad thing to say about my own life if I’d need to get a high from torturing my digestive system.

Have you ever won a contest?

Ritual

The neighbors across the street are a hard working, industrious couple who spends every weekend at a little, man made lake about 50 miles east of here. It is a murky hole in the ground that greens up quite soon after the temperature gets warm, but people from around here flock there, mainly for spots to park their campers and get away from the hectic bustle of city life. (Such as it is out here!)

Every Sunday afternoon they return home and we get to observe the ritual washing of the pickup. They have only been gone two nights, they travel mainly on paved roads, yet that pickup gets washed and vacuumed inside and out.  It never fails.It is as though they can’t settle down and relax until the pickup is spotless and back in the garage.

I suppose we all have rituals of some sort. Many rituals serve as declarations of the sacred, whether we are religious or not.  Other rituals serve to bring families together.  Many folks out here have a ritual of playing pinochle after extended family dinners, or rituals involving  sausage making during deer season. Some hunting families  out here have a communal shoot into the air before starting hunting to honor family members who have died. Morning coffee has become a ritual in our home, as the person who goes to work later makes the coffee for the person who goes to work earlier, and the quality of the coffee is always evaluated. The point is that we have coffee together before anyone goes to work.  We will attend the Twin Buttes Pow Wow this weekend, a celebration full of rituals.

What rituals do you observe and participate in? Did your family have rituals when you were growing up? Are you a creature of habit?  

Decade on the Trail – Pictorial

Today’s post is Part Two from Barbara in Rivertown

Today we have a pictorial history to go with Tuesday’s written one. Thanks to all baboons who sent me photos – I’ve used only those that have two or more baboons in them.

I think this is the earliest one in my collection – taken with Dale Connelly at the MPR booth at the State Fair (in 2009? 2010?) Not all in it became baboons, but I do see Sherrilee, Beth-Anne, and Linda in the middle row, and Jim and thigh (that guy in the hat) in the back.

The above is a smaller group in the Seed Art room, maybe 2011

Below was taken at our first meeting, at a picnic table in Wabun Park, by Minnehaha Falls in S. Mpls. BiR, Jacque, and Anna in the background. Also present were Sherrilee, Linda, and Steve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know whose idea it was to start going to museums – the first one I attended was, I think, the Russian Art Museum in S. Mpls – Anna, tim, Joanne, BiR, VS

Then there was the Swedish Museum circa 2012… extra points if you can remember what the exhibit was. VS, tim, Linda, Lisa, BiR, PJ

There have been gardening adventures – at PJ’s yard.  The group shows Bill, Robin, Lisa, Krista, PJ in back; ljb (Edith), BiR, Linda, VS

 

…. and in PJ’s kitchen, where Lisa modeled her prom dress

At Steve’s – well, at Steve’s we took down a tree limb in the back yard of his darling bungalow.

Chain Saw Gan – madislandgirl and S&H(son & heir), Lisa, tim, YA (VS’ young adult), Bill, Robin, BiR, Linda, Michael, and Ben!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had Steve’s surprise birthday party, also at Wabun Park – tim managed to get him there after some ball game, I think. VS, Steve, tim

There have been several trips to Rock Bend Folk Festival. Here’s City Mouse, with the Morning Show’s producer Mike Pengra on the drums.

It’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it… And admission is still FREE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda, BiR, Krista, and I think Holly, at Rock Bend – not sure which year…?

There have been a number of events that didn’t get photographed: PJ organized a Guthrie outing for, was it? H.M.S. Pinafore? There have been game nights at tim’s, a painting party at Steve’s before he moved, Pi Day at Sherrilee’s.

But we do have one of a Solstice Parties at Sherrilee’s – Steve, Linda, tim

A few made a weekend trip to Steve’s cabin, up by Cornucopia, WI: Linda, Steve, tim, Krista, Jacque

 

 

 

 

 

 

and a few went south to Donna’s cabin at Spirit Lake, IA – but no photo!

North Dakota Renee made it to a BBC at tim’s when she was in town, of which we have no photo. But Steve provided one of her and husband Chris, taken when they were visiting near Steve’s place in Portland.

There have also been sad times… not only the ending of The Late Great Morning Show, but also the memorial after

Jim Ed Poole’s (aka Tom Keith) death in 2011. This proves that you can get baboons to smile for anything: TGith?, PJ, tim, Joanne, Anna, mig’s S&H in back; Linda, VS, madislandgirl.

A quick meet-up of Barbara and Joanne of Big Lake after the 100-Mile Garage Sale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I didn’t have my camera back in April when I met another baboon Linda at baboon Chris’ book signing at the lovely Fair Trade Books in Red Wing. But here’s a photo taken at another of Chris’ signings:

And here is from Chris’ FIRST book signing!

And we even had a congratulations gathering when Beth Ann won the Kemps State Fair Ice Cream contest

No baboons in this shot, but here are the fixins!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s been your favorite Baboon gathering or outing? What/who got left out here? (I’m sure I’ve left out some baboons…)

What field trip shall we do next??

Crunching the Numbers

Two years ago this month we hit 5,000 followers on the Trail. So I thought I do some stat updates:

Followers: 7,892
Total # of views: 858,848
Total # of comments: 146,681
Most active recent day: March 22, 2019 (That Ole Devil Moon – VS)
Most active day and time: Tuesday, 8 a.m.
Most viewed post:   R.I.P. Tom Keith – November 1, 2011
Most commented posts:
Chores & the Great Depression (182) – Jacque’s
Finding the Back Roads (180) – BiR’s
Banished Words (180) – also BiR’s
Top recent commenters: PJ, BiR, tim, Renee, VS, Linda, Steve
Today we have folks viewing from: US, India, Netherlands, UK, UAE, Canada, Kenya, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

Nothing earthshaking, I just thought this was all very interesting.

Anybody have a question to go with our stats?