Friday, June 29, 2012

Wizard 101

What the heck is Grandma doing here??

 The email popped up in a corner of my screen: What is your player's name on Wizard101 and what time do you get on?

(Huh? Uh…) I'm not playing. I just got on the site to buy the membership for your birthday. (My 13-year-old granddaughter actually thought I’d PLAY? Yikes!)
Well, I have 3 wizards: (and she names them, plus the level each is on.)

Wow! What great names! I am exploring the site right now, but I'm afraid games like this have never been my "thing"!

Well, Mommy doesn't play the game, but I showed her a few spells and she likes it.

No kidding. Mommy used to kick butt playing her dad and brother on Dungeons & Dragons, Utopia, Zelda, etc. back in the day. Me? Completely pathetic. Couldn’t even venture an inch from base without GAME OVER blasting across the screen.

Well, I think you'll love the game!

We'll see. Downloading now. (I can’t believe I’m doing this. Thank goodness! The dryer buzzer.)

 Are you fixing to play it?

Not now - dryer just quit so gotta fold laundry. seems to be stuck.  Well, I'll just have to get back to it. Sigh.
I’m back. Closed out and re-entered. Looks like it’s doing something this time.

Awesome! (Animated smiley)
I’m in. Ambrose, the headmaster of Ravenwood, is taking my measure. Whoa! I have flowing turquoise hair! Oh, no! I’m supposed to fight something! I was instructed to draw a card and then click on a monster. I’m clicking like crazy - don’t seem to have any control. Am I supposed to move forward while I click on the monster??

But when I try to move forward the room spins around!

It gets easier when you know what you’re doing.
So when’s THAT going to be? Help! I don’t know what the heck I’m doing!! Stuff’s happening all over the place! Why aren’t I dead? How do I get outa here?

Do you want me to meet you in the Commons?
You can do that? Uh, too late now. Already hit ESC.
Well, let me know when you get back on.
(Get back on? Seriously?) Sure, Sweetie…

Saturday, June 23, 2012

God’s Politics

Why the Right Gets it Wrong
  And the Left Doesn’t Get It
Common sense may be making a comeback. Listen to this:  “God is not a Republican…or a Democrat. Since when did believing in God and having moral values make you pro-war, pro-rich, and solely pro-Republican?  And since when did promoting and pursuing a progressive social agenda with a concern for economic security, health care, and educational opportunity mean you had to put your faith in God aside?”

 And that’s just the beginning.

 This compelling, enlightening and blatantly revealing tome by Jim Wallis should be on every required reading list. He lays out the facts and stats and calls to task every public leader who’s thrown aside the common good or, worse, misused Scripture to further goals of power and greed.

Wallis proves without prelude how wars, terrorism and domestic strife are the direct result of poverty.  People who enjoy basic rights and a chance to earn a living wage create a healthy, thriving environment. Where human rights and opportunities for honest labor are deliberately tossed aside, wars and terrorism can be waged to profit a powerful few.

This book had a profound effect on me mostly because I’d read two others first: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins, and War is a Racket, by Brig. Gen. Smedley D. Butler. Having been thoroughly introduced to the dark underbelly of the world’s workings,  I understood very well the urgent need to eradicate the causes of poverty – and who we have to fight to do it.

Jim Wallis

Jim Wallis is described as a public theologian, nationally renowned preacher, faith-based activist, author of seven books, and the founder of Sojourners, a nationwide network of progressive Christians working for justice and peace. In this capacity, he has become a familiar figure to political leaders the world over.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Discovering Dorothy Gilman

It was an old, old-looking book - a Fawcett paperback printed in the 60's - lurking between much larger volumes in a remote, dusty bookcase. The cover was loose, the pages browned, the print tiny. But the title: The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, was irresistable. I drew it out and put it on my desk for future consideration. Finally, about three days ago, I finished all my other reading projects and picked it up.  

"Unexpected" is the operative word. It's a whodunnit on par with "Murder, She Wrote." A retired lady roughly my age ditches the garden club circuit to seek adventure. Somehow she scores an interview at the Langley CIA headquarters. Though not in the least taken seriously, she ends up on a mission anyway when mistaken for the agent actually intended for the job. Needless to say, things go south in a hurry.

Despite her gentility and naivete, she proves to be remarkably resourceful. It was a delightful, albeit suspenseful, romp. The only thing that bothered me was the dialog. The words of Mrs. Pollifax were totally in character, but not even back in the 50's and 60's would a seasoned American agent on his home turf use "quite so" and "rather" in the manner of a cultivated mid-century Englishman. I was convinced Miss Gilman was either a Brit or overly influenced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The truth is that Dorothy Gilman was born June 25, 1923, in New Brunswick, NJ, and lived mainly in Maine and Connecticut. I was startled to learn that she only recently passed away on February 2, 2012.  She wrote a whole series on Mrs. Pollifax along with several childrens' books and other mystery novels. Needless to say, I've hopped onto Amazon and ordered three more Mrs. Pollifax titles.