Tag Archives: gaming

A Tale of Technology Trouble

For Christmas I was a very lucky person.  I got some pretty cool gadgets.  After loading in my apps and learning about the Cloud, I was faced with a dilemma.

I want the Daughter to be up to date on technology and know how to use a computer and all the other gadgets that are eventually going to become the tools she will use throughout her education.  But I am still a little unsure of the best way to do this and still have her benefit from knowing how to use these devices.

A year ago, when my mother got her iPad, she loaded a few educational apps for the Daughter to play with.  Needless to say, the Daughter loves playing with Nana’s iPad.  Then the Husband got an iPad and he loaded some different apps on to it, all educational, and the Daughter excels at those apps too.  So, when she saw my Christmas gift, she wanted to know what apps I would get for her.

I found myself apprehensive.  It was my gift wasn’t it?  I was being greedy and didn’t want to share.  But then I thought about how these apps are built and created to help children read, learn math, learn foreign languages, and so I began my search through the thousands of children’s apps in the App store.  After all, I wasn’t going to have the iPad mini welded to my hand was I?

Let's pray we don't get to number 10.

Let’s pray we don’t get to number 10.

After purchasing a few of them, I have realized that there are benefits from the Daughter using the iPad.  She knows how to use it for starters.  She can turn it on, find her apps, turn her apps on, find her name/username, and the start of the game.  She then can play (most) of the games that are provided for her.  She can navigate the screens, type in letters, and take amazing self-portraits (sans that god-awful duck face pose).  She is slowly learning to read and write.  She is learning basic math skills.  She is learning.

So now the dilemma is trying to figure out what the appropriate usage time for this treat.  I am thinking that it now becomes part of the allotted television time.  If she wants to use the iPad, it comes off that block of time that we usually allow for “her shows.”  Even though the iPad has more educational functions, it’s still a screen and it’s still just sitting and looking at a screen.

What do you do with your youngsters and technology?  Do you let them use the educational side of it and limit the usage or do you have a different plan of attack when it comes to the new technologies that are eventually going to be a key part of their life?

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Filed under Family, Kids and Technology

Confessions of a Trivia Junkie

I have a confession.

I am a trivia junkie.

I read Trivial Pursuit cards.  I read Mental Floss from cover to cover, twice and then I check the website once a day.  I watch Jeopardy and try to beat the contestants to the answer.  I take the Jeopardy test every time it is offered.  Speaking of which, next month is usually when they offer the online test…I should make sure I’m signed up for it.

I have always had this ability to remember the most useless trivia.  I suppose it’s a stupid human trick or a cool party trick.  I’m not sure which.

I mean who really needs to remember that  when a baseball player hits a home run, he (or she) runs 20 yards longer than goal to goal on a football field?  Or that the guy who invented the Pringles can had his ashes put in a can when he died in 2008?

Looking for a national park in Delaware? You won’t find one because Delaware is the only state without a national park.

A group of rhinos is a crash; a group of crows is a murder.

A Crash of Rhinos

A Crash of Rhinos

I really could go on forever with the useless things that fill my brain.  I guess that’s my specialty: useless trivia.  I kind of enjoy it though.  Lots of situations can benefit from useless trivia.

Parties where you don’t know a lot of people, dates, dinner conversation, blog posts…useless trivia is fun and it’s even more fun when you find someone who has a new nugget of information for you to learn!

I don’t know why this makes me so excited, but it does.  So now, you know my secret.  I’m a trivia junkie and proud of it!

What’s your favorite piece of useless trivia?

I’m participating in NaBloPoMo DecemberCheck it out! 

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Filed under NaBloPoMo, Random Thoughts, Writing

Wreck-it-Ralph Full of Sugary Sweet Kindness

Once upon a time, you were in school.  You can easily remember the groups of kids, the cool kids, the kids in sports, the kids who were sitting in the front row of every class that didn’t have alphabetical seating.  Chances are pretty good that you also played one or two video games, whether in an arcade or at someone’s house at some point in your childhood.  Combine those two main themes and you now have the basis for Wreck-it-Ralph, Disney’s latest animated feature.

Disney’s Wreck-it-Ralph

The video game, Fix-it-Felix Jr. has its virtual world rocked when their nemesis, Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) leaves the game to search for a medal of his own so that the residents of Niceland will love him just as much as they love their hero, Fix-it-Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer)  In order to win the medal, Ralph must jump to another game where anyone can win a medal.

His first attempt to win a medal in the game Hero’s Duty under the command of Sgt. Calhoun (Jane Lynch), ends somewhat disastrously and causes him to flee the game.  Crash landing in Sugar Rush, Ralph makes an unlikely friend in Vanellope von  Schweetz (Sarah Silverman).  The little girl wants nothing more than to race in her game’s big race but, King Candy wants to stop her and will do anything to make sure she does not ruin the race.

Ralph and Vanellope team up and work together despite being considered outcasts, even by each other at first, to prove that judging people based on how they look is not the way to live life.

Disney, once again, hid a very valuable message for kids in this fun adventure through the video games of Mom and Dad’s childhood.  The Husband got quite a kick out of seeing all the old video game characters and references.  I got most of them but, I will admit there were quite a few that I missed.  All of those references went over the Daughter’s head but the main point of the movie did not.

People just want to be appreciated and sometimes it’s the smallest action or a simple thank you that will help that person realize they are not invisible.  It was a lesson in doing acts of kindness and appreciation despite whatever preconceived notions we may hold.  Get to know a person or just show them some kindness and that simple action can have a very lasting effect.

So during the next few months, when stress levels reach critical mass, take a minute and do something kind for someone.  They may be feeling invisible and you just might be able to make them feel a little better.

And go see Wreck-it-Ralph.  But, word to the wise, buy some candy, not popcorn.  Forgo the popcorn because after watching all the candy and sweets in Sugar Rush, you leave with the oddest craving for some Twizzlers, Mentos, chocolate in any form, Laffy Taffy, cookies, Little Debbie snacks of any variety, and hot chocolate.

 

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Filed under Family, Movies