Tag: fun

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Computing, Technology

Back in my day…

There was a time when the computing universe was fun. Men were real men. Women were real women. And small, furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small, furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.

Just thinking about the early days of the cyber frontier… they were simpler times. Personal computers of the early 1980s were rarely connected one with another. Most likely, your computer sat lonely, by itself. Not serving any functions, except maybe exclusively running any program you’s care to run through it. A word processor, maybe. Spreadsheets? Sure! Games? Yep. Nothing multiplayer, unless your friend happened to be sitting next to you, joystick in hand.

Hacking meant trying to figure out how to get a clean “backup copy” of the latest game with Fast Hack’em. If you had a modem, you might try to dial into some local BBS, which, more often than not, was run out of someone’s home via a second telephone line.

Even video game systems were simple. Atari 2600 “joysticks” consisted of one “stick” and one button, called “fire.” No bumpers, triggers, d-pads, x, o, triangle, square, select, start, etc.

And we had patience. Yie Ar Kung-Fu would take over 20 minutes to load before presenting you with this awesome intro screen and music: (Plenty of time to get some snacks and a cool soft drink prior to a gaming session.)

Now, if YouTube video commercials are over ~10 seconds, I basically decide it’s probably not worth that wait.

Then the lawyers appeared. And whitepapers. And phrases like “life-cycle management,” “total cost of ownership,” and “best practices.” And the fun went away. It was no longer the wild west.

Toby
This is Toby. He is here to put an end to the fun.

Today, the fun continues to be sucked out of computing in slightly more disturbing ways. Modern society has dictated requirements like the EU’s GDPR legislation. Websites now require you to verify that you are not a robot (…what?…) and that you agree to accept “cookies” from almost every website. And the amount of data Facebook has on you (yes, just you) could fill encyclopedias…

To see “how far we’ve come” (for better or for worse) check out the trailer for Do You Trust This Computer below. The movie is a couple of years old, so some of the discussion around some far-fetched ideas is just that much closer to becoming reality.

So, I have some questions.

Where is the fun now?

I don’t even mean that in a snarky way. Literally. Where is the fun now? Cause I want to go there.

Was it worth it?

Should we have navigated this technological minefield for the last 40 years in order to end up having people die while texting and driving? Or even getting killed while looking at their phones and crossing the street? I’m not blaming the tech itself. More our reliance on it. When the space junk apocalypse occurs in a few years due to the thousands of satellites that are being released to circle the earth, and all GPS is lost, will we be able to get around?

Was it worth the privacy cost?

I don’t know.

Birthday, Event

Can You Xscape at the Wharf?

Or… “Ryan’s 16th Birthday”

Well that was fun. Ryan and a few of his friends headed to Morgantown last week to get Taken. Not literally “taken,” but instead, participate in Morgantown’s premier escape room experience.

The four of us had participated in an escape room in Ocean City, Maryland over the summer. It was a fun experience, but it was definitely a work in progress in O.C. I’m sure over time, the O.C. escape room will be terrific. But this one in Morgantown was the full package.

The general idea behind an escape room is to solve a series of logic puzzles, have keen observation and great teamwork. You must use all of these abilities to escape a room or series of rooms within a certain time limit. In the games that we’ve played, we’ve had one hour to escape. In this case, the kids had just 54 seconds to spare… Nothing like cutting it close guys!

Click here to learn more about the Xscape room in Morgantown, or click here to learn more about the Taken adventure that is offered there.

Event, Sports

More than just a game

Ryan and I went to see the Harlem Globetrotters strut their stuff at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown on Monday.

I had never seen the Globetrotters in person, but I’ve probably globetseen them do their routines on TV 50 times.  I think what we saw on Monday was probably the same Globetrotter material they’ve performed for the past twenty years (at least).

Of course there are some new wrinkles, like Globie’s music.  But I think I’ve seen Globetrotter football many times before; it never gets old.

It was great to hear Ryan laugh at the fun stuff and even get concerned when “Handles” starts playing for the Generals.  I think he saved his biggest laugh for “Big G” smacking the ground repeatedly and generally just flipping around in a goofy fashion.

It was just nice to sit and enjoy watching a game where no one was concerned about the final score.  The game was more than a game… It was an event.

Vacation

Just Beachy…

We really had the time of our life:

Thanks to Shasta and Chad for providing some of the pictures.  We had a really great time, and it all went by in the blink of an eye.

I chose this song, even though it doesn’t directly relate to a beach trip, because it kind of sums up that feeling you get when you come home from a vacation.  Sometimes you want to be a part of something more and you know you’re ready for it.  It’s that feeling of “I’m ready to not be just a face in the crowd.”  And it also helps you keep things in perspective… you know, you’re living your life now. This is it, this is the time of your life, and you need to taste every moment and live it out loud.

Vacation

The Time of Our Lives

Well, the beach vacation is winding down.  We’ve all had a great time this week, swimming in the ocean, visiting the souvenir shops, going to the pool, and just generally relaxing.  We got up to watch a sunrise on Wednesday morning and it looked a little like this:

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I’ll post a few new photos to flickr tonight, but I’ll add a ton more when I get home this weekend.  Or early next week.  Or surely before the month’s out, anyway.

Event, Family

Idlewild Park

So, a couple of weeks ago we headed to Idlewild park in Ligonier, Pa.  It’s a nice little family park that includes Storybook Forest and Soakzone, but we didn’t do either of those this time.allison-dance-idlewild

Allison dances with a local dance group, and this year they performed their routine at Idlewild.  They usually have a trip at the end of the year after their recital.

Like I said, Idlewild is a nice little park.  There a few fun rides… quite a few for little kids in Racoon Lagoon.  There are no blazingly fast roller coasters, but there are a couple that are appropriate for kids around Ryan’s age.

He’s actually getting too big for the kiddie rides.  He rode around in the airplanes and drove the little cars, but he just looks too big.

We got quite a bit of rain in the afternoon, and our day was cut a little short.  But the kids had a good time while we were there.  More photos on the Photos page…

Family, Friends, Food, Fun, and Football

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Saturday was a very busy day this past weekend.

Ryan had to be in town at 11:00am to line up for the big Shinnston “Frontier Days” parade. His flag football team rode along in the back of pickup trucks and tossed out candy.

After the parade we decided to stick around in town and visit the carnival and ride some rides. I rode the Hurricane one time with Allison, and that was plenty. Ryan rode a few of the kiddie rides.

Then, it was off to Stydahar Field for Ryan’s first home flag football game this season. The team looked pretty good this weekend, much more organized than last week at Tygarts Valley.

Finally, in the evening we had a get-together at our house to enjDSCN0863oy a home-cooked meal made by Tina. The food was excellent and the company was wonderful. We all shared a few laughs and played some games.

My aunt Diana and uncle Derek are currently visiting us from England. They’ve been visiting friends and family and taking in some of the sights while they’re here.

Also, the Mountaineers beat the ECU Pirates Saturday 48-7. So they remain undefeated. They play again this Friday against South Florida, their first Big East opponent of the season.