I spend an inordinate amount of time goofing off. I like it. It keeps me busy. I have some favorite ways of whiling away my time. One of my favorites is drinking a cold beer and sitting in front of the computer. Sometimes I even get a little crazy and I drink a cold beer and turn the computer on. Those are some wild times, let me assure you.
What I like about the computer is the fact that it is everything the t.v. isn't. Sure you can watch shows and movies on it but the selection is so much better, and the only interaction that I have with the t.v. is when I change channels or PBS is guilting me out of some money. T.V. is so passive and uninteresting. Every five minutes there are corporations who make lots of money and are spending it to assure themselves that I, the consumer, will purchase their goods or services, when 99% of the time I wouldn't want them for free. I am comfortable with my selections of soap, car, sandwich, insurance and feminine hygiene. I don't need you to make me question my desicions, thank you very much. Regardless of how much you spent on this time slot; piss off.
The computer I find fascinating. It has everything, and is the repository of the grand sum total of all human knowledge, although most of it seems to be dedicated to porn and American Idol. But I can sit down in front of this keyboard and find anything, from whole books of classic literature for free, to snow cone makers, to videos of the Berlin Wall falling, or Dr. Martin Luther King's speech "I Have A Dream". This is the most powerful tool ever invented.
But mostly I just screw around with it*.
I like to play games on it, but only a couple.
Solitaire- I can waste hours on this and it is on every computer I have ever seen. The game on this computer records that Flannery and I have played 2711 games and have won 425, or 15%.
Sid Meier's Civilization- I love this game, it appeals to me as a history buff and I suck at fighting/flying games as I can't seem to control twelve buttons at once or fast enough. I learned to play games that involved dice, not typing contests. Which brings me to my next game.
Monopoly- In my family, we played this like Flannery's play poker: cut throat. You have to get good quick or you don't last long, even if you play with Free Parking, and I do. Not to mention, I learned from a couple of masters. My brothers and sister were ruthless and cold blooded when it came to Monopoly. I learned quickly to only buy the green properties for trade or to mortgage, as they never make the rent that Boardwalk and Park Place do, but the houses are just as expensive on that side of the board. And always buy utilities and railroads. It won't make you rich, but it is a steady income. The cheap side of the board is affordable to develop, but even with hotels, you are unlikely to bankrupt anyone as the just passed GO, even if they hit Income Tax. On the next side of the board, these hold a lot of promise as St. Charles Place and New York are some of the most hit of the board, especially leaving Jail. The Reds and Yellows can be a goldmine, as the income is great and you only have to pony up $150 per house. Shoot, the Yellows draw almost as much rent as the Greens, but at a $50 dollar discount on the price per house. The only trouble is that the Yellows often tend to be split three ways and can be hard to trade for. It has been my experience that you can't win with Boardwalk and Park Place alone, you have to other income, and if you can't finagle a Monopoly, you are just walking cash.
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri - I have played the heck out of this game, as it is one of the many sequels Civilizations and it is a thought provoking game, and there aren't that many thought provoking games I could name. The music and sound effects are engaging, but the films and voiceovers are priceless. And one of the things that I love about all of Sid's games is the fact that you can load the whole thing up and never have to root around trying to find the disk again; you can just sit down and play it.
Blogs- I know mine consumes a good deal of my free time as I am a slow thinker and a painfully slow typist, not to mention that keeping up with your blog is quite a distraction. I try to read and write every day, because it tends to keep my mind sharp, and it is a genuine pleasure to read what you have written and experience your adventures with you. Oh, you do get around!
Lego Indiana Jones- The girls got me this for Father's Day and I can't put the dang thing down. I'm telling you, if you have never converted Nazis to a pile of Lego bricks, you haven't lived. I am not ashamed that I am an unabashed fan of Jones, but this shouldn't count against me in my next quarterly review. At least I hope not.
Mythbusters- I know I ranted earlier about t.v. but this show, you have to give it a nod. I have never seen a program that investigates science with a more Ben Franklin approach. "Is lightening electricity? Well let's find out by floating a kite in a storm!" For example.
Through The Wastes Of Time- If you read through my blog roll you will find one with this title. It is a blog written by my good friend Err. I am a Dungeons & Dragons geek. I admit it, but since I no longer have whole weekends to devote to saving damsels or slaying dragons, I play online with Err. This on takes place in the far-flung future and is loosely based on a short story I wrote about a time traveler who works for the Smithsonian Museum. The way it works is very simple: Err writes an installment and I write what I want to do in the comments. He keeps track of all of the rules and dice rolls and writes the next installment based on that and his own wildly warped imagination, much like the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books from when we were kids.
M*A*S*H/ The Red Green Show- I knock t.v. regularly, but these are some of the best written in my book, and I still watch them all the time. Sometimes I watch Night Court, just because I find it a hoot and for no other good reason. My tastes are low-brow, but consistent.
How do you spend your free time?
*Other than these I'm pretty much on the job all day, every day. These are my escapes and I make no apology for them. I don't garden much and I gave up chewing tobacco, as well as square dancing.