The Results May Vary

Observations from my Mixed Up World

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Plague Inc. (killer app)



Milo recently added the most charming app to his IPad.  Plague Inc. is a delightful romp of a simulation where you take the role of a new disease and to win you need to wipe out all of humanity.  What fun!  It is a surprisingly realistic simulation of how diseases evolve and spread.  My years of enforcing healthcare regulations in various acute and chronic care facilities has gifted me with a pretty good idea of how a superbug can spreads.  So, I am correspondingly really good at wiping out all life on Earth.  Who said that knowledge transfer is a bad thing?  I worry a little bit that my gaming history will fascinate and worry a jury someday, but I’m sure all the research linking violence to video games is fabricated by far left radicals anyway.


Plague Inc. Screen 5

It is a great deal of fun to pick your type of disease and then go along developing new and nasty symptoms.  You need to stay stealthy until you have a critical mass of infected people and then unleash nasty and fatal side effects.  But wait, is your disease not spreading fast enough?  Well, evolve some new ways to travel.  I can imagine the signs in the bacterial travel agencies… “See the world by vermin!  There’s no better way to avoid drowning at sea.”  Or perhaps “Travel by water and infect millions.  It’s a rush.”

This game is also a 30 minute cathartic release for when you really feel the need to strike out at countries you despise.  Take that Japan… see what you get for inventing electronics that need 3 remote controls.  Bye bye Iceland… finally payback for when Bjork wore that stupid swan dress.  You’re next Puerto Rico… I once drank a beer there and got the shits!  All over for you Malta… years ago my old neighbour got gout when he visited your country.  Adios Holland… you made my in-laws hard headed and stubborn.  Oh, the list goes on and on.  You get to remember slights from countries you didn’t know you held grudges against.

I’m sure my therapist won’t be cheered by my new found app of choice, but hey, everyone needs a creative outlet.


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Of Course I Needed a Cleaver!

I’ve had something of a knife fetish since I was quite young.  In fact, my mom reminds me that I always used the biggest knife  I could, regardless of the task.  Cut you a piece of cheese?  Sure, let me get the 8″ cook.    Yes, I do know there are no bones in Cheddar.  Please!

When I went to pick up the kids from my parent’s place after their week of vacation, I took all of my kitchen knives along with me.  They were in need of a good sharpening and I can only trust my dad to do it right.  I’ve since had to re-learn good knife handling techniques due to several near misses… of the bone that is.  He did warn me that they were very sharp.  I’ve had to ban Milo from casual knife use until I can get his technique up to par.  After all, he can hardly text me for help with only 6 fingers left.

Just before I left, indeed as I was packing the car, Dad wandered over and asked if I had any use for a cleaver.  He’d bought it for my mom who apparently laughed in his face.  Now, Dad knows me pretty well so he dropped it into the bag I was holding before I even needed to say yes.  Oh Yeah!!  And my wife was at home and didn’t have a chance to editorialize.  Double Yeah!!  So the cleaver went home.

More famous than my knife fetish is my legendary lack of short term memory.  Despite all of my excitement, by the time I got home the cleaver was a forgotten relic of the past.  Until my wife was helping Maya unpack.  When Maya drew forth the cleaver from the bag full of Barbies and started to swing it around, well… that part was more exciting than when I got the cleaver.  It seems that there were certain rules regarding the transportation of dangerous goods that I neglected.  Cheerfully, there wasn’t any associated lopping of limbs.  Her’s or mine.

Now the cleaver lives safely in my kitchen.  It is something else.  Nothing seems to stain or mark its surface.  It’s forged from a single piece of metal.  And oh the cleaving it can do!  Why I’ve cleaved chicken breasts, beets, carrots and garlic.  Not one of them interrupted the swing of my mighty cleaver.  Nothing stands in its way.  I’m told it was made in China,but the arcane runes etched on the blade that don’t look Chinese to me.  Perhaps Elvish or Goblin.  I’m just certain that if I ever decipher them I will learn the true name of this magnificent instrument and unleash unheard of powers of cleaving.  Powers of evil beware.

Then again, I may chop off my own hand and curse the damn thing forever.  But until then, I can live the fantasy.