Adding some oddball stuff…

Seems time to add some new things:

I’ve decided to add a couple pieces of “writing” that differ from the rest of my blook in that they make no attempt whatsoever to unravel the mysteries and frustrations of the so-called “real” world.

First, “Imaginary-world Game Notes”: I’m a big fan of a kind of computer game that’s rarely played these days: Imaginary-world puzzle games. The starting point for all these games is Myst. Video games seem to be almost exclusively of the shoot-em-up and blow-em-up these days, not worlds one can wander through at one’s own pace, trying to solve a visual (and occasionally auditory) puzzle. When these games first came out, I’m sure lots of folks solved them as a sort of “community,” sharing what they found out. I’ve worked on them on my own, resorting to on-line hints only when desperate. Few people apparently play these games very much, though I think Myst was a decent “hit” on the iPhone a couple years back. That’s where I found it. I’ve looked for ways to play games like this on the Mac and found that Myst, Myst II (Riven), and Myst III (Exile) can be made to work relatively easily on a Mac. I also found a fascinating game called Alida.
These are games for a particular kind of person: one with a fair amount of time and not in any big hurry to “solve” something. They create visual worlds that I’ve found engaging. If you’re into this kind of game, you might find it interesting to follow my journey. The trick is to learn just enough to get oneself “unstuck” without learning so much that there’s nothing left to solve. I make no guarantees. One person’s hint is another’s spoiler.
If you like Myst, though, I strongly recommend these games. They provided my with hours of useless amusement.

And this venture into the world of the purely fantastical wouldn’t be complete without my adding a couple of my attempts at Sci-Fi stories. The sad part of writing Sci-Fi is that one quickly learns that there are a thousand-and-one stories that follow the exact same idea and do a better job of it. Oh, well, here are my attempts. Hopefully you may find them entertaining.

At the same time, I figured I might as well start blogging my own NYT (New York Times) Crossword experience. I’m well aware that Rex Parker pretty much has this market cornered, but I personally tire of the combination of his occasionally bragging about how good he is (He’ll throw in, just often enough to make sure you know, how it took him extra-long – ┬ásay, 5 whole minutes – to solve a puzzle most of us spend half a day on). Nor do I care much for his “critiques” of the puzzles. (Well, except when I found a puzzle particularly miserably hard and so did he!) But thought there might be some folks who’d like to hear some more or less random comments from a more down-to-earth solver like themselves. I’ll try to “cover” the Thursday through Saturday puzzles for a while and see what happens. This blog starts with this Saturday. Entries will generally be quick and dirty.

These categories, Sci-Fi, Imaginary-world Puzzle Game Notes, and NYT Xword notes make no pretense of being anything but what they are: diversions that amuse me.