No monopoly on generosity

Just wrapped up a two-day game of the classic American game Monopoly with Tee and A.J. – they were back at it this morning before I rose, even purchasing a property for me they knew I’d want. They learned a little about investing for the future (“I’m not buying Boardwalk – it’s $400!” – to quote A.J. early on) and I got the satisfaction of garnering over $9000 after giving away at least half that sum in discounted rents and “keep the change” overpayments. We ended on friendly terms with the promise of a rematch soon.

All this in spite of Dy’s and Arey’s refusal to play me this game over past alleged misconduct…which we won’t go into detail about here. (Hey, they can post too.) It was most rewarding to watch A.J. and Tee bail each other out – and even extend mercy to me on occasion. The faster-and-faster pace of the play rate and transactions reminded me of the “rat race” I’m so glad to have avoided in the day job. What a luxury to be able to sink a few hours together into a simulation with bearings on real life – without any danger of addiction.

As was mentioned this morning from the pulpit, inevitably the game ends and everything goes back in the box. Even the players themselves are ultimately liable to that rule. Good reason to exercise generosity that sustains futures and freedom. – j


object of saving brought much closer

A.J. is busy behind me, working on the mastery of remote controlled flight. Never mind that he’s never touched a powered R/C model aircraft, or a glider. It’s all on the PC.

His longings for a radio control model plane started this adventure when Tee suggested we search the web for what’s available. The Wing Dragon quickly became the focus of his savings. And of his entrepreneurial sales of anything not nailed down. His three prize pumpkins went on the auction block, to be snapped up by coworkers – from a department head to the kind lady who empties our trash and recycles.

Unable to double his net worth within the month of Oct. while it was on sale for under $90, A.J. was understandably bummed. Thankfully, the web – and a dedicated bunch of flyers and coders – came to the rescue.

To the free Flying-Model-Simulator we added a free Wing Dragon profile [corrected link with many other profiles] and then tweaked the settings (see #59) to match an experienced Wing Dragon flyer’s. Something similar is available for Macs, tho focused on helicopters.

The result is an enjoyable ride, even on the aging sub-GHz Win98 gift-from-grandparents PC (for which we’re very grateful). As long as you don’t expect too much or know what you’re missing from other game systems, which we don’t. Switch models and environments and viewing angles and you’ve got a new challenge. Occasionally one of us even lands on the runway; all but Dy have tried FMS.

And it led to the disposal of the joystick of suspect quality I picked up along the way – one less thing to gather dust. The keyboard is good enough, and sometimes a running commentary supplants even the need for audio. It’s about as much virtual reality as we can handle.

So, now the thing’s on sale for more than before, but I don’t think he cares as much as he did. I’m sure those savings and earnings will find a good target – and maybe some generous uses. Just as we may. – j