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Entry date: 11-19-2023 – Random Things On My Mind – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

As I have shared before, I like to do a little bit of gaming in the mornings to get my brain going. Nothing too fancy, really. I do some Free Cell. I do some Sudoku. I might play a game of Risk, too, but that’s only if I have time. They take about ten minutes, usually, for me to either get wiped off the board or destroy everyone.

I also play two other games I am not so quick to ‘fess up to, but I will for your entertainment purposes. One is one of those puzzle games, Gardenscapes, and the other is Top War. The puzzle one, I got sucked into by the clever ads that run on other games. I like figuring out how to move objects around and such to save the fair damsels in distress or whatever is going on. I also kind of like all the bright colors and explosions and such in the regular puzzles, too.

Top War is just kind of like Risk on steroids, although, to be honest, I really have no idea what I am doing. There are a ton of technical aspects to the game that I just can’t be bothered to figure out. I make my tanks and build my farms and oil drills and try to help the “alliance” I am part of to get prizes. It’s a time and, for some, a money suck, although I can’t really justify spending money on internet games.

Some German guy got mad at me this morning for breaking the rules. He has a much stronger army than I do, so eventually I will be “dead” as he told me I would be. He’ll burn down my base and all the tanks and planes and boats in it. There is no way I can fight him. I should probably read the fine print and not break the “treaties” that are in place with other alliances.

Oh well. I have been burned down before. It was just funny to me how mad this guy got over literally nothing. I mean, if he has nothing better to do than start internet fights with someone he’s never going to meet, that’s too bad.

I must admit that I did not respond cordially when he asked me in the chat if I was stupid. I responded with “Fuck you” then I looked to see what I had done wrong. In the game, I suppose what I did was pretty stupid, but in real life, it is completely inconsequential. In the game, too, it was pretty darn inconsequential, actually, but I fiddled where I shouldn’t have fiddled.

There is a part of me that is ready to die in the game. I kind of wish this virtual military behemoth would crush me into little bits, but I’ll just find something else to while away time on. I used to play a lot of Scrabble, but the online version became a hotbed for people trying to sell bitcoin so I stopped. Plus, my friend, Patrick, who I used to play a lot with died in the spring and that really took the wind out of my Scrabble sails.

I miss Patrick a lot.

I’d be better off reading every morning to get my brain going, probably, then playing cards or virtual board games. Sometimes I read the news, too. Most days, really, but I skip it from time to time because, well, the news. I get curious, though, and break down. What I’m starting to notice is that the Apple news thing has more and more stories that are behind the pay wall.

This brings me to a couple of ideas that have been rolling around in my brain.

1. Clearly the world is set up to keep the rich people very rich and the rest of us doing things that increase their wealth. TJ and I were talking about this on our walk the other morning. No matter when you think you are about to get ahead because you have paid something off or no longer have an expense you’ve been paying on for a long time, you never really see the money. It always goes somewhere else.

For example, when Liam and Teresa started school, there was $1100 a month that we were paying for daycare that went away. We never really saw any of that money. It just found a new place to go. I can probably think of ten other examples of how this has worked in my life.

What if there was a story about how there was a group of auditors who were looking for these situations in regular people’s lives and it was their job to make sure the funds these folks thought they were going to save got redirected elsewhere. They planted little ideas and such to make people keep spending their money.

I know, I know, they are called marketers.

Maybe one of these people gets fed up and decides to drop dime, come clean, and let all of us regular people know how we’ve been duped along. Maybe he becomes a religious icon and just ends up duping people in a different way. Maybe he’s Tom Cruise.

2. As I was driving home from Tucson yesterday, I was daydreaming and looking at Picacho Peak. I thought, what if, all of the sudden, a nice waterfall started going down the southern face of the peak? I was enjoying this a little bit and picturing water just streaming down the side. It would be beautiful.

Then it occurred to me that it would be a fun story to write about these kinds of miracles just happening all over the world. We hear so much about natural disasters and such, that it would be fun to write about good things happening and people trying to figure out why. Maybe there could be some terrible horror behind it all and the world would be plunged into chaos and darkness after these miracles, but maybe it could be something else.

I don’t know yet.


I need to finish at least one more goddamn story, though, before I start a new one.

Here’s to a really nice rest of the day.

See you tomorrow.

It was here, right here, that the Picacho Dream started. Maybe that's a good name for the story.

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