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This morning I finished playing through That Dragon, Cancer. I will leave you to your favorite search engine if you have yet to hear about it.

It’s not really a game in a classic sense, although the mechanics are those of a simplified game.

The game isn’t about storytelling properly, either. There are many bits that feel that way, but there isn’t a narrative or story structure you would recognize as such. 

Instead, I feel it was a great way of communicating and inspiring ideas and feelings by leveraging multiple mechanisms: story, dialogue, sounds, music, settings, colors, light, time.

It’s a wonderful accomplishment. Scary, sad, but wonderfully rich. Worth the time, money and spirit you’ll invest in playing through.


Benefits of blogging

If I may start on a trite note, one of the wonders of the Internet is that we’re all connected. But how we discover and engage with each other effectively is not at all obvious. How do we speak out? How do we find something that will truly speak to us?

Blogging is a wonderful tool to address these concerns. It allows for short or long-form writing, thoughtful essays or to-the-point insights, or simply keeping track of your favorite news or sports site. With the long memory of the web, it acts as a repository for thoughts, for help, for experiences to be shared. Generous linking means that finding something that’s good for you can start off on a path to more good things.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we read blogs and wrote a free app to help others manage their reading. I’d like to encourage everyone to share as well – reading is just one side of the experience. Writing is thinking, and it can be hard, but it’s definitely worth the effort – even if you only do it for an audience of one.

Beginning with the end in mind is a good habit that helps with choosing what’s important to us, but the “funeral visualization” exercise described in Seven Habits is pretty terrible. It takes our ultimate goal in life and describes it exclusively in the realm of “what will others think of us?”

Perhaps a better way of going about figuring out what to do with life is to turn the perspective around a bit. Ask instead: after I die, how did I make the people and things I influence better? How did I help them become happier? How did I help them realize their own goals?

Even this perspective isn’t quite enough for something as broad as your whole life. It is a journey after all, and living a good life is more than just heading in the right direction. But please, don’t start by trying to guess what others will think and say of you!


Eleven months of Kindle

I got my Kindle in mid-June of last year. In the first eleven months, what have I been reading? Italics are things I bought and I still haven’t finished.

  1. Dragons of the Hourglass Mage: Lost Chronicles, Volume Three
  2. The Orc King: Transitions, Book I
  3. The Pirate King: Transitions, Book II
  4. The Ghost King: Transitions, Book III
  5. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
  6. Homeland: The Legend of Drizzt, Book I
  7. Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure
  8. Ender’s Game
  9. The Count of Monte Cristo
  10. And Then There Were None
  11. Gauntlgrym: Neverwinter, Book I
  12. Neverwinter: Neverwinter Saga, Book II
  13. Death on the Nile: Hercule Poirot Investigates
  14. Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
  15. The Servant of the Shard: The Sellswords, Book I
  16. The Halfling’s Gem: The Legend of Drizzt, Book VI
  17. The Best Things in Life : A Guide to What Really Matters
  18. Sinuhé El Egipcio
  19. A Spell for Chameleon
  20. Bio of a Space Tyrant
  21. Bio of a Space Tyrant Vol. 2. Mercenary
  22. Bio of a Space Tyrant Vol. 3. Politician
  23. Bio of a Space Tyrant Vol. 4. Executive
  24. Frankenstein
  25. Bio of a Space Tyrant Vol. 6. The Iron Maiden
  26. The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One
  27. Catching Fire
  28. Mockingjay
  29. The Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two
  30. Don Quijote
  31. On a Pale Horse
  32. The Works of Edgar Allan Poe – Volume 1
  33. Thinking, Fast and Slow

So I think I’m putting the thing to good use, with a very heavy leaning to fantasy and science fiction. 18% are “in flight”, which is no horrible, but probably reflects the fact that when something new and exciting comes up, some books are easier to go back and resume than others.

Also, when I find an author I like, I tend to buy more things from the same author, preferably but no always in a series of books. That’s more likely than the other way around – if I find I series I like, I may not get the books that are written by someone other than the ‘starting’ author.

And that’s enough self-learning for today. Time to enjoy a rare sunny Seattle day now.

Feliz navidad

Hace calor, pero esta bueno que la navidad sea así. Helado, aire acondicionado y solcito. Nada mal.

Lifetimes spent on planes

When flying long flights, how come time goes by so slowly? I’ve spent a short lifetime on the flight to Buenos Aires.

Stuff that happened so far: watched two movies, one TV episode, had dinner, a snack, cleaned up after Toto, re-sedated and hydrated the doggies… And still more than four hours to go.

Oh, and I drafted a blog post. With any luck, I’ll have connectivity soon enough and publish it. Well, in a few hours at the earliest.

Waiting at the airport

Currently at schiphol where we arrived in a car we rented yesterday. Driving from Eindhoven was very easy, it’s a simple hop on highway A2 and then following the airport signs after a while.

So I got to drive a bit and even refuel in Dutch, which was an interesting experience. There were pictures to follow along, thankfully.

Now I’m through security and writing this draft as I prepare to head out. The free wifi isn’t working very well, so I’ll have to post in about ten hours from now, once we get to Seattle.

Back to Eindhoven

Awesome wedding yesterday! We had a great time, lots of love all around.

Today, back to Eindhoven in ryanair, the one airline that will make you wait in the snow while dodging equipment so you can board their plane.

Rented a car, we wake in seven hours to drive to schiphol. Looking forward to seeing my doggies, Kerstin has been awesome taking care of them.

Sight-seeing in stockholm

Had a good day yesterday: we had breakfast, walked through central station, walked through a nice market street and then toured the city hall where Eugenia and Benny marry today.

After that, lunch, then on to catch a ferry to the vasa museum (sunk boat), then tram back to somewhere close to the central station, and I crashed at the hotel (the rest of the gang went out for dinner).

Right foot is in good shape now, but my left knee was killing me all day. Today should be pretty tame though, so lets get some marriages going!

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