Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quick Mind Dump on Gaming


Pieter Brueghel, Children's Games

I loved playing Stratego as a kid. We raised our kids on (among other things) Husker-Du. Vicki and I would play Scrabble till the wee hours of the morning. When I was a youth pastor I met fans of Dungeons and Dragons.  I joined a chess club once (and quit when 10-year-olds kept beating me). Our three sons (Mario, Luigi, and Bowser) play uber video games (especially Portal). I notice Facebook folk play a variety of games. My guy friends are enthralled with baseball. I've known guys absorbed in fantasy sport games. I tweak Solitaire on my computer once in a while. I've visited several mega game stores in recent weeks. I delight in game reviewers on YouTube. We live in a gaming culture. There are lots of games out there!  I want to invent a new game and am looking for ideas. What are you favorites?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Stalking the Wild Dragonfly

Apart from the fact that I probably looked pretty goofy prancing around VanDerYacht Park in Ferndale with a plastic shopping bag chasing bugs, I was very happy when I nabbed this baby--all luminescent, glowy, with neon greens and blues.  This bug was thinking just before I caught him, "Even though mom said to stay away from tall spindly things waving white shopping bags I'm in no dan-" and then Snap! He just became an involuntary artist's specimen.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Homage to the R. A. T.* Boys** of Bellingham***

Homage to the R. A. T.* Boys** of Bellingham***
C. S.  Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien had their Inklings, Joseph Priestly and Ben Franklin had their Club of Honest Whigs, Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley had their Algonquin Club, Dante Rossetti had his Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Picasso, Matisse, and Sartre had their Left Bank, Ken Kesey, Wavy Gravy and Stewart Brand had their Merry Pranksters, and Martin Luther had his Diet of Worms.

*R. A. T. = Readers and Thinkers group includes (from left to right): Marriage and Family Pastor in Cornwall Church of God, former CEO of mega food chain and current business consultant, baseball historian and senior pastor of Bellingham Covenant Church, flash fiction writer and head of the INN (college group at Western Washington University), baseball artist and senior pastor of Birchwood Presbyterian, counselor/mediator/erstwhile cartoonist, CEO of the NW's largest camping ministry (FIRS), and career coach and pastor of Christ the King.

** Not Pictured, Writer in Residence Second Baptist Church, Houston, TX

*** Best city in America

Monday, August 2, 2010

How Do You Say Moth?

Young Huck Finn calls his mother, “Hey Ma!”

Hear that “ah” sound in the word, “Ma?” Making an “ah” sound requires a wide-open mouth like when we say, “father,” “gaga,” or “Ali Baba.”

A sympathetic friend hears your tale of woe and says, “Aw!” This “awe” sound requires a circular mouth like when we say the words, “often,” “fawn,” or “shawl.”

There’s a subtle but important difference between these two sounds, “ah” and “awe.”

People on the east coast call the creature that flutters around porch lights, “mawth” (rhymes with “awe”) which is to me a richer, rounder, more manly way to identify this bug.

People on the west coast call these guys, “mahth” (rhymes with “ah”) which to me sounds smarmy, shallow, and insubstantial. It’s a wimpy way to identify a bug.

If you shouted at me, “Look out! Here comes a flying mahth,” I’d casually glance up with a disinterested air wondering what all the panic is all about.

But if you shouted, “Look out! Here comes a flying mawth,” I’d duck and cover and ask questions later.

If we’re going to talk about these critters, we have to get our dialects in sync. For practice, please repeat after me, “I often put a shawl around my fawn to protect it from moths.”

Do not say, “Ali Baba goes gaga when his father swats moths.”

So please, west coast folk, stop calling them “mahths” and start calling them “mawths.” It’s the right thing to do.

And think of the lives you’ll save.