Peculiar People

So we went to Peculiar pub in the West Village of Manhattan on Saturday and we sampled several dozen of their four hundred or so bottles to choose from. Microbrews often taste wonderful, but to save on bottling costs they’re often unfiltered, so one’s head starts throbbing from all that extra debris that your body knows shouldn’t be there. It was okay though, as yesterday I got to swim in my brother-in-law’s pool while a thunderous storm dropped icy cold water on top of us. It was quite exhilarating, especially when my cousin wouldn’t get out of the water even as the thunder tumbled right through the neighborhood. “What are the chances lightning will strike here?” he said.

Zork!I found this book at a used bookstore in Hoboken and I couldn’t resist. Who could forget the wonderful Choose Your Own Adventure books which combined the forking logic of the video game mentality of the day with the literary form creating what I believe to be classic works of art (nevermind they were designed for children)? To compete with the ballooning sales of the Random House books, Tor released their “What-Do-I-Do-Now?” books, hardly an eloquent paraphrase of the much better Choose Your Own Adventure books, but they offered more of the same. This one at left is based on the text based fantasy game called Zork, which, as the website suggests, requires 32 K of memory to run. Ladies and gentlemen, the image of the cover you see here is about 124 K. I find it amazing that these programmers could fit an entire game in such a small amount of memory. Lately, however, I’ve been reading the more popular, “We’ll-pick-the-ending-for-you” books of which Barnes and Noble seems to have many.

And, if you haven’t seen this yet, you must. The computer geek that I am, I still hadn’t ventured over to Google Maps to see what it could do until my brother-in-law showed it to me yesterday. No longer do you have to be a CIA operative to see such detail across the globe, although I did notice conspicuous lapses in places like Israel and across the mideast. My parents’ home from up high, so green and lush from ground level, looked nearly urban from space. And take a look at central park (zipcode 10024) in satellite mode. Because it’s difficult to map the entire earth at once due to various weather, angle, and lighting conditions, one part of the park was photographed in winter, the other in summer. Cool stuff.

One Reply to “Peculiar People”

  1. Zork rules! I used to play it all the time. That and the choose your own adventure stories. 🙂

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