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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Advance Wars

Advance WarsAs a big fan of the Advance Wars series on Nintendo’s portables, when I saw that the original was available for download on the Wii U I was sure I’d have to download it. I’m pretty sure that the original is the only one that I hadn’t played up to that point.

Since it was originally launched on the Game Boy Advance, the graphics were pretty lousy. Especially when on a HDTV, but the game was still as addictive as the others in the series.

Frankly, I spent a bit too much time playing this one. I found myself doing the whole, well I’ve got time for one more level when I had more important things to be done. I’m just a sucker for turn based war games.

Leave it to Nintendo to make war happy and smiley. While moving tanks across a map to take out the enemy, all my characters are smiling and giving peace signs. It’s pretty amazing, and I think the silliness of it all is what I enjoyed a great deal. It’s not that morbid, but there’s still a ton of strategy going on.

Even though graphically it’s a bit poor from age, it’s still one of the more addictive games I’ve ever played.

Currently 5/5 Stars.

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Logan

I’m not sure what led me to visit Twitter the other morning, I hadn’t really for well over a year. Not sure if I had some weird dream, but something told me to just visit and check in and see if all was well. Much to my utter shock I learned that Logan the Wolverine had passed away last month.

My stomach had completely dropped and I had to read and refresh the screen several times, each hoping that it was somehow an error or I had just read it incorrectly. He was such a nice dog, and not nearly old enough to leave this world. Even though I hadn’t seen him in a very long time, I was still deeply saddened to learn of his passing.

I do consider myself very fortunate to of been able to meet and spend a great deal of time with such a fine dog. He really was great in so many ways, and as sad as I am, I do know that he was alway given the highest treatment a dog could have ever asked for. He was as loved as a stinky, grumpy, loyal dog could have ever been, and truly had been given such a great life.

I have so many excellent memories of him:

  • the numerous times he growled at me when I unknowingly crossed into his territory (apparently this was quite often)
  • the time he sprayed diarrhea all over dog beach narrowly missing another dog’s face (still one of the grossest things I’ve witnessed to this day)
  • taking him for walks (a couple of surprise day visits really stand out)
  • having numerous deep chats with him when nobody was around or in listening distance
  • the time he ate poop and had to have his teeth brushed and face washed to take away the smell
  • faking him out numerous times while playing fetch
  • excellent games of tug-o-war
  • the times I entered without Mr. Guard dog detecting me
  • his uncanny ability at his tiny size to take up an entire bed/couch

He truly was a great guy and am so sad that he is gone. I’m so very glad I got to know him and know that while his life was much, much too short he did really luck out with the amazing life that he wound up with. He will truly be missed, but never forgotten.

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