Flowers Found on the Greenway

I was scouting a greenway today to see about hiding some geocaches, and I noticed these blossoms.

20130519-154207.jpg

20130519-154218.jpg

20130519-154226.jpg

20130519-154236.jpg

20130519-154315.jpg

20130519-154323.jpg

20130519-154332.jpg

20130519-154340.jpg

20130519-154406.jpg

20130519-154414.jpg

20130519-154422.jpg

20130519-154429.jpg

20130519-154450.jpg

20130519-154458.jpg

20130519-154506.jpg

20130519-154442.jpg

.end.

Published in: on 2013/05/18 at 11:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Through the Sycamore

Just a couple of shots through sycamore branches on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

20130519-153712.jpg

20130519-153723.jpg

.end.

Published in: on 2013/05/12 at 2:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Just Some Daisies

I noticed these daisies growing wild at the site of one of the geocaches I found today, so I decided to capture them with Hipstamatic.

20130512-002020.jpg

20130512-002030.jpg

20130512-002038.jpg

20130512-002044.jpg

20130512-002050.jpg

20130512-002057.jpg

20130512-002102.jpg

20130512-002112.jpg

.end.

Published in: on 2013/05/11 at 11:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Game Design

(Left to right) Danny, Joey, Frank, and I (not pictured) play a game of Lancaster during our weekly game night at the coffee shop.

(Left to right) Danny, Joey, Frank, and I (not pictured) play a game of Lancaster during our weekly game night at the coffee shop.

Several months ago, my friend Frank Hamrick gave a presentation at his church on his 2011 trip to Turkey and Greece to study early church history. The map of the ancient city of Ephesus and the slow movement of its harbor over time immediately suggested to me possibilities for a strategy board game. Since then, I’ve been pondering and making notes as ideas have come to me. I spent some time on it again tonight, and I feel that I made significant progress toward a clearer vision of the objective and the mechanics.

The movement of the harbor due to the influx of river sediment effected in some part the decline of the Ephesian popularity and economy. This suggested to me a timing mechanism for the game as well as a tool for regressing the commerce in the city.

The various buildings on the map of ancient Ephesus, such as the market, theater, civic center, and library, offered avenues for a variety of methods to gain points. I imagined the possible ways these various sectors might affect each other and provide alternate strategic paths.

Although my current designs don’t focus on the apostle Paul’s activity in the city, the influence of his ministry there provided an opportunity for a persistent threat mechanic to challenge the players stratagems. According to Acts 19, when the silversmiths who crafted shrines for Artemis (Diana) felt that their livelihood was threatened by the number of people converting to Christianity, the silversmiths started an uproar. The town clerk, fearing that Rome might come in force to quell a riot, quieted the crowd and encouraged them to take their grievances to the courts. Shortly after this, Paul departed Ephesus.

The notion of Roman forces coming to quash a potential uprising gave me the idea of having safe, non-threatening player actions as well as dangerous but more profitable actions that might incur Roman retaliation. So, the players would have to decide whether to play it safe and accumulate long-term benefits or to risk Roman wrath for more immediate and substantial gains.

I don’t want to go into too many details here and possibly give away the design, but I think I’ve come up with some really interesting game play possibilities and strategic options. I’m looking forward to discussing the details sometime with Frank who is also an avid gamer and was responsible for my introduction to European-style strategy games. My brother Brent is a mathematician and has studied game theory, and I also look forward to discussing game mechanics with him.

I feel that things are really starting to come together for this game. Hopefully, I’ll be able to have a workable rough draft for some playtesting within a few months. I’m really excited about this!

.end.

Published in: on 2013/05/09 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Single Guy’s Game Night Rules for Parents of Small Children

“Aw, isn’t widdle puddin’ head so cute when he cries / slobbers / shoves dice up his nose / etc.?”

No! Your “widdle puddin’ head” is noisy, messy, destructive, and distracting. Yes, children are wonderful miracles; but they can also be little curses sometimes.

I have a theory. I think that some parents of small children, having spent so much time around their little ones, have become desensitized to just how annoying their children can be to the general public.

As a single guy, I am, of course, an expert on relationships and parenting. So, today, I offer valuable child-rearing advice to parents who are board gamers. As an added bonus, many of these rules also apply to parenting in general.

Yes, yes. You’re welcome.

  1. Not everybody loves your baby. Your child is not a darling who can do no wrong.
  2. No matter how much you ooh and ahh, no matter how much you call it “sugar,” it is still baby spit; and it doesn’t belong on me or my stuff. The same thing goes for your dog’s saliva.
  3. Children aged 1 minute to 4 years do not belong at game night, nor do children who have not learned to consistently obey simple commands such as “sit still” and “be quiet.”
  4. If you have to ask if your child is bothering someone, always assume the answer is “yes” because most of the time it is. When people say “no,” they are usually just being polite.
  5. If your child is misbehaving, go to him and take care of the problem yourself. Do not shout at him across the room. Do not ask your spouse who is currently taking a turn to deal with the child. Get off your backside and deal with the problem yourself.
  6. Do not take your child to the potty until after you have finished your turn.
  7. Do not allow your child to have a beverage near the game table. Do not allow your child near the game table – period.
  8. Do not allow your child near the stack of games beside the game table.
  9. Do not use someone else’s game as a toy, pacifier, or snack for your child.

.end.

Published in: on 2013/05/08 at 12:40 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

More Playing Around with Hipstamatic

This set of photos was taken at my late grandfather’s farm.

Old Cedar Stump

20130505-000938.jpg

20130505-001004.jpg

20130505-001018.jpg

20130505-001028.jpg

20130505-001037.jpg

20130505-001047.jpg

20130505-001059.jpg

20130505-001113.jpg

Rabbit Tobacco

20130505-001244.jpg

20130505-001339.jpg

20130505-001349.jpg

20130505-001403.jpg

20130505-001423.jpg

20130505-001444.jpg

20130505-001455.jpg

20130505-001508.jpg

Briar Blossoms

20130505-001617.jpg

20130505-001628.jpg

20130505-001637.jpg

20130505-001647.jpg

20130505-001659.jpg

20130505-001709.jpg

20130505-001719.jpg

20130505-001734.jpg

Face in the Tree Stump

20130505-001923.jpg

20130505-001932.jpg

20130505-001940.jpg

20130505-001952.jpg

20130505-002003.jpg

20130505-002011.jpg

20130505-002022.jpg

20130505-002031.jpg

Barn on the Horizon

20130505-002326.jpg

20130505-002335.jpg

20130505-002342.jpg

20130505-002350.jpg

20130505-002400.jpg

20130505-002419.jpg

20130505-002430.jpg

20130505-002442.jpg

In the Trees

20130505-004239.jpg

20130505-004248.jpg

20130505-004257.jpg

20130505-004317.jpg

20130505-004324.jpg

20130505-004331.jpg

20130505-004345.jpg

20130505-004415.jpg

Reaching

20130505-004556.jpg

20130505-004606.jpg

20130505-004616.jpg

20130505-004639.jpg

20130505-004703.jpg

20130505-004718.jpg

20130505-004731.jpg

20130505-004741.jpg

Stripped

20130505-004848.jpg

20130505-004855.jpg

20130505-004902.jpg

20130505-004912.jpg

20130505-004925.jpg

20130505-004938.jpg

20130505-004945.jpg

20130505-005032.jpg

Blossoming Briars

20130505-005201.jpg

20130505-005211.jpg

20130505-005218.jpg

20130505-005226.jpg

20130505-005233.jpg

20130505-005243.jpg

20130505-005249.jpg

20130505-005257.jpg

Thorny Blossoms

20130505-005433.jpg

20130505-005442.jpg

20130505-005448.jpg

20130505-005456.jpg

20130505-005502.jpg

20130505-005507.jpg

20130505-005518.jpg

20130505-005526.jpg

Toadstool

20130505-005608.jpg

20130505-005615.jpg

20130505-005620.jpg

20130505-005627.jpg

20130505-005632.jpg

20130505-005636.jpg

20130505-005644.jpg

20130505-005649.jpg

.end.

Published in: on 2013/05/04 at 8:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Playing Around with Hipstamatic

A few photos from my parents’ farm.

Pale Blue Flowers Beside the Wheat Field

20130504-235422.jpg

20130504-235434.jpg

20130504-235456.jpg

20130504-235512.jpg

20130504-235534.jpg

20130504-235559.jpg

20130504-235616.jpg

Barn at the Old Hog Pen

20130504-235635.jpg

20130504-235645.jpg

20130504-235655.jpg

20130504-235714.jpg

20130504-235729.jpg

20130504-235745.jpg

20130504-235755.jpg

20130504-235825.jpg

Shed Beside the Hog Pen Barn

20130504-235910.jpg

20130504-235919.jpg

20130504-235939.jpg

20130504-235953.jpg

20130505-000018.jpg

20130505-000036.jpg

20130505-000049.jpg

20130505-000101.jpg

.end.

Published in: on 2013/05/04 at 3:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

April 2013 Geocaches

A visual journal of the geocaches I found this month.

April 1

20130527-001204.jpg

20130527-001215.jpg

20130527-001231.jpg

April 5

20130527-001505.jpg

April 6

20130527-001539.jpg

20130527-001547.jpg

April 7

20130527-001623.jpg

20130527-001632.jpg

20130527-001641.jpg

20130527-001657.jpg

20130527-001704.jpg

20130527-001800.jpg

20130527-001807.jpg

20130527-001816.jpg

20130527-001824.jpg

April 8

20130527-001959.jpg

20130527-002007.jpg

20130527-002017.jpg

20130527-002030.jpg

20130527-002043.jpg

April 11

20130527-002122.jpg

April 12

20130527-002159.jpg

April 13

20130527-002333.jpg

20130527-002347.jpg

20130527-002355.jpg

20130527-002406.jpg

April 14

20130527-002624.jpg

20130527-002632.jpg

20130527-002640.jpg

20130527-002652.jpg

20130527-002703.jpg

20130527-002725.jpg

20130527-002735.jpg

April 15

20130527-002821.jpg

April 24

20130527-002910.jpg

20130527-002920.jpg

20130527-002937.jpg

20130527-002954.jpg

20130527-003014.jpg

April 26

20130527-003202.jpg

20130527-003212.jpg

20130527-003222.jpg

20130527-003237.jpg

20130527-003256.jpg

April 27

20130527-003343.jpg

20130527-003356.jpg

20130527-003405.jpg

20130527-003415.jpg

20130527-003425.jpg

April 28

20130527-003615.jpg

20130527-003627.jpg

20130527-003638.jpg

20130527-003652.jpg

20130527-003706.jpg

20130527-003727.jpg

20130527-003757.jpg

20130527-003816.jpg

April 30

20130527-003916.jpg

.end.

Published in: on 2013/04/30 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Hooked on Geocaching

20130428-194853.jpg

Several years ago probably between 2003 and 2006, my gamer pal Mark mentioned geocaching. It’s a kind of scavenger hunt that utilizes the GPS network to navigate to hidden containers called caches. When you find a cache, you sign the log sheet, trade items called swag if you like, and then return the cache to its hiding place so other geocachers can find it, too. It sounded interesting; but, at that time, I didn’t have a GPS, and smart phones didn’t have GPS capabilities. I didn’t want to invest in a unit, so I didn’t give it much more thought.

Fast forward to March 4 – 8 of this year. I was a chaperone on an art student spring break trip with photography professor Gerard Lange. He mentioned that there were a number of letterboxes hidden near one of the sites we visited in Philadelphia. Letterboxing is similar to geocaching but without GPS coordinates. Well, that got me thinking about geocaching again. By then, I owned a new iPhone with GPS functionality; so I decided to give it a try.

I found my first geocache, a small blue tube, on March 12, 2013. I’ve been hooked since. As of this writing, I have logged 89 caches. Not bad for a month and a half in the hobby, if I do say so myself.

I have thoroughly enjoyed caching, especially discovering locations that I might not have visited otherwise. I’ve got several ideas swirling around in my little noggin for some caches that I want to create.

I tend to be very sedentary, but geocaching gets me out and about. The adventure is satisfying, and some of the locations are beautiful.

I heartily recommend this hobby. Give it a shot. It’s free. It’s fun.

Now, off to find a few more!

.end.

Published in: on 2013/04/28 at 7:24 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

Strategic Satisfaction in Suburbia

Had a great time at Game Night this evening playing Suburbia with Frank and Danny. Several people have described it as Sim City: the Board Game. Each player manages a borough, or suburb, in the city and seeks to increase his suburb’s population by adding various buildings that will increase its reputation and income. The player with the highest population (points) at the end of the game wins.

Gameplay is very simple: place a building tile in your suburb, adjust your income and reputation track, and collect income and population points. The strategic component involves picking the right properties for your borough as they can score based on other properties in play. The game seems well-balanced and offers plenty of strategic and tactical choices. An elegant and enjoyable game!

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/123260/suburbia

.end.

Published in: on 2013/04/24 at 12:18 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,