Monday, June 20, 2011

New Blog Series

Since A to Z wound down and the cool days of spring are shifting into the warmer days of summer I've been pondering what to write about for my blog. I do like blogging about writing but I don't want to only blog about writing. I want to get some more of my other interests in here, which I'm sure others share some of them.

With those thoughts, and thanks to Julie's Travel's with Clancy I decided it might be fun to have the occasional blog post of my visits to various places around my area. I live in central New York state and I enjoy getting out into more natural settings. Luckily we have parks galore around here; nestled in the rivers, lakes, and mountains. I'm probably going to put up a wish list of places I'm planning on visiting soon along with farther away places that I would like to visit someday.

For this summer I'm hoping to get to both Letchworth state park and Chimney Bluffs. Both destinations are under a two hour drive from where I live.

Letchworth is referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the East". The Genesee river flows through a gorge in the park and down waterfalls. At one of the falls there is a set of stone steps that lead down into the gorge for a closer view. I've been there several times and I'm looking forward to visiting again.

Chimney Bluffs is a park along the shore of Lake Ontario consisting of a series of pointed bluffs perched on the edge of the beach. It looks like some rock formations from the US southwest were dropped into New York. The Wiki page has more detail on this park than the state website does. I've been here once before and unfortunately didn't have time to explore the various hiking trails. When my husband and I heard a thunderstorm approaching we went to the local winery instead.

If I get out towards Buffalo, there is Chestnut Ridge park. I used to go there fairly often when I was younger and wander the creek with my brother. In a book my mom had picked up a few years back I read about the Eternal Flame. In a waterfall just outside the park proper there is a natural gas fissure that causes a flame to burn in a grotto behind the falling water.

So basically this is the start of figuring out where exactly I want to go and what I want to see. I'd really like to go to Letchworth for a weekend trip. While it is fairly close I'd like to stay at the Glen Iris inn. I read in the AAA magazine that the inn has a porch with plenty of chairs within earshot of the falls. It sounds like a relaxing way to enjoy the day after going hiking and taking pictures.

Of course there is Niagara Falls not to far. But for this blog series I think it would be more fun to focus on lesser known places. Though if I wind up at the Niagara Falls park I'd like to photograph Tesla's statue and the three sisters islands are always interesting.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Introducing Mr Whiskers

Awhile back I had posted about my three cats. It was for my T post in fact for the A to Z challenge. Well my DH and I recently adopted another cat. Our next door neighbor passed away in early May, leaving behind her four year old male cat. No one else in the neighborhood could take him in, and the plan A house didn't work. So my husband and I decided to provide a home for him.

Here is is. I took this picture a few weeks back. He was sitting in the window watching the birds outside then he had turned to look at me. Luckily I had my cell phone handy.

Here he is outside. His previous owner used to put him out in her backyard on a tie out. He would sit out there enjoying the fresh air and watching the yard from underneath the bushes. I'm getting him used to a harness and leash. I took this picture yesterday while following him around in the front yard. The only time I had directed him was when he tried to crawl into the basement window well.

I'm not so much training him to walk like a dog would. Rather I'm aiming to have him comfortable wandering at his pace. We do have a tie out which I'll have to see where in our yard he would like to spend time. It would be someplace where I could keep an eye on him while gardening. With all the neighborhood cats wandering through our yard I don't want to leave our cats outside on their own. Plus to if the cat moves just right they can back out of a harness, and they can manage to get their leads/tie out tangled in ways a dog rarely could.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Games Blogfest

I signed up way back when for Alex's Games Blogfest. Here is my post with my favorite games.

Drod - I love this game. I first started playing it years ago when I bought a disk with many various games and Drod was one of them. This is part puzzle, part monster slaying and it now has more games. The first game starts in King Dugan's Dungeon (KDD) where Beethro is tasked with cleaning out said dungeon. The player controls Beethro through various rooms on various levels of the dungeon slaying all the monsters. Each type of monster has specific rules it follows, moving only when Beethro moves/"waits".

In addition to many many puzzles in all the various rooms across the three games there is also a level editor. Anyone who wants to can create their own levels to play through and can share them on the community forum. I'm still working on the official game levels so I haven't downloaded any other levels yet. I have played with the level editor though and have had fun doing so.

Sims - I've played this game for years starting with the original Sims on the PC. I even had downloaded a tool to make custom objects for the game. Right now I have Sims 2 and various expansion packs for my computer. Because I'm going to be upgrading my computer soon I'm waiting on installing everything and I miss the game. Maybe it's because I'm a writer, but my favorite way to play Sims is simply making up families/friends and seeing how they interact. I don't get into the game aspect of it as much, I don't pay much attention to getting my sims to the tops of their careers or having them make tons of money.

I do have Sims 3 for the Wii, which I've played a few times. While I like it I'm still getting used to the console controls for everything. My poor sim family has a couch facing the wrong way because I can't get it to rotate. (Then again I had cat on lap while playing and the instruction  booklet was out of reach).

Labyrinth - The game not the movie (though the movie is great to). This is something I played with my mom and brother when I was a kid. I couldn't not include a board game for this post. For the game play each player has several cards each of which have the picture of an object on them. The player's token starts at a corner of the board then has to move around the maze of the board to land on the spots with the matching object pictures. The first player to reach all their pictures wins.

The challenging part comes in with changing the maze. The board is comprised of flat pieces with pictures of the maze walls/path on them. Some pieces are permanently fixed on the board while others move. At the start of each turn a player picks up the extra maze piece and has to shift the maze once before moving their token.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Blogfest approaching

Alex J. Cavanaugh: A to Z Challenge - Y - Blogfest!!!

I signed up for this awhile back and am looking forward to it. The event is on the 6th, almost here. I've gotten a draft post started with the three games I want to blog about.

If anyone else wants to join in the signup is on the post I linked to.