Things Fall Apart

Things Fall ApartI’ve found that I’ve been very much stumped with what to read next. I suppose much of that is due to just how much I have read over the past few years. While I know it’s the furthest from the truth, it does feel as though I have read most everyone by now.

So, while at a loss at the library I Googled the 100 best books ever. High atop all the various lists was Things Fall Apart. Lists cannot be wrong, so I went with that.

This edition of the book did have a built in bookmark, which I found to be very cool. A simple string built into the book itself, genius.

While it wasn’t a bad story at all, I’m not sure I’d place it so high on my list. It was good and got you thinking, but I guess I went into this one with a bit too much hype considering the ranking I had found online.

I did agree much with the whole concept of not understanding the customs of others. It does frustrate when I hear others wanting to “fix” others problems, thinking that their way of doing things is of course the “right” way. I see this happen all the time, especially with the ease in which social media allows others to share their thoughts and opinions.

I think if I didn’t get my hopes up so high going into this one I’d of enjoyed it more, but it was still a fine read and glad I checked it off my personal list.

Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

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Shovel Knight

Shovel KnightHad to give Shovel Knight after reading all the fine stuff about it. From the Kickstarter campaign and the excellent reviews, it was just a matter of time before I gave the fine Shovel Knight.

The developers did a pretty amazing job of creating an old school’s NES style game. It was a mix of mostly Mega Man, and Ducktales to me. Both pretty amazing games back when I was just a young lad and looking forward to the next issue of Nintendo Power (the good old days).

Not only was this an excellently done throwback, but it was also very challenging as well. Some of the bosses and pesky jumping levels were very tough! Challenging, but also very gratifying when you do finally overcome them.

This was very well done, even with the cheesy makes very little sense story that goes along with it. Excellent job of capturing the essence of those amazingly fun NES days. Very fond memories of playing those old Nintendo days.

Currently 4.5/5 Stars.

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The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

The Sixth ExtinctionAlways been a fan of the animals, so I gave The Sixth Extinction a shot. Though a book about extinction would be a bit somber, it’s always interesting to learn about what’s going on in this fine world.

Though I already was aware of the previous five extinctions (thanks in part to the recent refresher from the fine show Cosmos), it was nice to learn more about each. It’s amazing just how close all life had come to cease existing altogether on numerous occasions. It make the whole life thing even more impressive.

What’s very sad is the rapid rate of some current trends that are leading many species towards extinction. While I have noticed less of certain critters over the years, it was very interesting to find out about the rapid decline of toads. I was just commenting on how few of the little guys whom I use to see in abundance every summer are around any more where I live.

Also a super bummer was to be reminded about the dwindling numbers of the large mammals and apes. Rhinos and gorillas are so amazingly cool, but sadly there just aren’t many left in the wild. So sad.

This was a very informative book, and kinda got me a bit more reenergized to to a bit more to help the planet out.

Currently 4/5 Stars.

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Water Park Fun

Had a pretty amazing water park fun day at Morey’s Oasis Park in Wildwood. It was Maggie’s birthday and she was kind enough to invite this old kickball captain along.

Getting there wasn’t too bad, traffic wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be for the summer. I was surprised to see all the construction on the Parkway in Cape May County. It was quite a bit.

I went to the Raging Waters park, which was the incorrect one. However I ran into other attendees and we figured out where to go and walked over to there.

The park was really nice! I hadn’t been on a water slide in probably 14 years, so I wasn’t sure if it would still be fun for me. I am much older after all.

Turns out it was a lot of fun, and I’m sure that was heavily attributed to the company. It was quite a fun and energetic bunch, and great to hang out with people mostly out of my norm.

I was scared waiting to go on their super tall slide. The ride itself isn’t too bad, but the waiting in line gave me more than ample time to psych myself out. I did go down, and it wasn’t too bad. Minus an almost lost contact and not knowing where to go to get out of the pool. Ha, I was really confused for a bit!

I guess my finest achievements were climbing in the activity area and winning the race slide despite a huge cheater starting way too early. I just like trying to climb stuff, it’s a really great workout. And racing friends is just super fun.

I’ve had a pretty stinky week or two, and this fine adventure was perfectly timed. It was a very fun time, and good stuff.

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Creativity, Inc.

Creativity, IncI was looking to check out Creativity, Inc, and was glad to see it was available on my last trip to the local library. I like I believe the entire world is a fan of Pixar and was interested in learning more about them.

While this book does go into great details about the interesting history behind Pixar, what I found very unique and interesting about it was that it also covers a great deal of management and the techniques that have been employed at Pixar over the years. Working in a creative department with many creative people, I found much to learn.

Growing up and being very much interested in computer graphics, I really enjoyed being reminded of much of the breakthroughs that took place over the years. Many times I had that “oh yeah, I remember that” moment. That was a very fun time growing up and attempting to push the limits of what hardware could do back then.

This was a very interesting book. Glad I read it, I learned much.

Currently 4/5 Stars.

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Capture the Flag

Just finished up a fine afternoon of playing Capture the Flag at Birch Grove Park. Never played the game before, but it was an excellent suggestion from Caitlin and we got a solid turnout of 11 people to play. Not too shabby.

There was a lot of back and forth and debate about where would be the best place to play. A lot of it really came down to how many people were playing. Too big of an area and not enough people, way too long of a game and the inverse would be true as well.

So I did a lot of scouting at Birch Grove Park to find sections of the park that I thought might work well. This morning I got there real early just to confirm and draw some boundaries on the ground (but it turned out that wasn’t too necessary).

I think we played a total of 4 games, but it could have been 5. We used water guns or 2 hand touch to get someone out. The water guns turned out to be a lot of fun on a hot day. After the first game we did make some rule adjustments which turned out to help out the game.

I think the other team did a better job of playing as a team, they seemed to operate in clusters more and were backing one another up. Our guys were a bit more of individuals doing their own thing. Apparently teamwork won out this day (as it most always does) with the other team taking the majority of the matches.

Another exciting fact that I learned today is that Kevin apparently cannot feel when he is struck by water! I shot him numerous times and I saw Maggie get him a couple times too and he just kept on going. Ha, it’s ok it was still a lot of fun.

Oh and also that if you get a splinter right under your fingernail it will hurt quite a bit for such a little thing. How do I always manage to randomly harm myself? It’s a true talent.

This was another fun and unique Honey Badger Fun Day. Glad I met so many fine people who are willing to play such a silly, yet fun game!

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