Two Very Interesting But Time Wasting Applications on Facebook

OK, I admit I am old. I can remember when there were no answering machines, much less cell phones with voice mail, and when only rich people had color TV. I remember when my dad brought the first microwave oven home back in the early 1970s, and when you could easily buy a damned good car for $160. (That’s what I spent on my first one.) If I stretch my memory, I could probably tell you about when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. That was back when it was flat.

But, I’m not that old. One “with-it” thing I did in the last couple of years was to get on Facebook, once they cleared a path through the coeds and college guys. But, no, I didn’t join on my own. I don’t think I could have figured it out.

My son invited me, okay?

At first it was just to keep up with him and his buds at school. Then my daughter joined, and of course I had to spy on her, too. Well, those of you who know me well, know that she got herself into quite a mess over on MySpace when she was 15. I’d rather not delve into the grisly details, but let’s just say she was a bit precocious for her age. A-hem…

Then, of course, some of my online pals joined and it was a party of sorts. A party where I would swoop in but only occasionally and chit chat as I was checking in on the kidlets.

It wasn’t long before MIB (my internet boyfriend) began to invite me to partake of some Facebook games. He’s big into the Knighthood thing, and he spends a lot of time on it as himself and his alter ego. (I’m not sure how that works. I tried having an alter once, but it got to be too confusing for me. Every once in a while, I’ll slip into that personality, but I there is no way I can be both at once.) One of our other mutual friends hangs out there a lot as well.

I couldn’t get Knighthood, but I kick ass at Scrabble. Facebook had a “Scrabulous” game, very much like Scrabble. In fact, they ripped it off so well, that Hasbro had a fit and commenced to sue. Facebook unceremoniously dismantled Scrabulous, without a so much as a head’s up. I was right in the middle of a great game, beating my son, soundly I might add.

In wake of the demise of Scrabulous, I was turned onto a couple of other games. It was slow go at first, but now I can see that if I don’t stop myself soon, I’ll be ready for an intervention, rehab and a 12-step program.

One of the games is PathWords, which is Scrabble on Adderall. I was terrible at it at first, because successful playing requires good peripheral eyesight and a fast draw on the mouse. My eyesight is, well, failing. I have two sets of bifocals, one for reading and the other for computer work/violin. It took a while before I could get used to seeing the entire board instead of concentrating on one word or area. As for the fast draw, I’m pretty quick with a traditional mouse, but slow down with the laptop. I also play (sometimes) while working, and have had to minimize the screen when taking important phone calls. I’m still in the game when I do that, but my score suffers.

The other game is one my son turned me onto. It’s called Kanji Box. For people who know me, they know I am learning Japanese. Sort of. Kanji Box is helpful with the characters, but it has no sounds, which makes relating one symbol to a word rather difficult. Sure you can print out the Kanjis for study, but I find I learn better in the altogether. Kanji Box is a quick drill of assorted Kanji symbols. You have to get 40% to move up. I started at the Grasshopper stage and at 30% I’m still there. Last night, I vowed to get 40%, so I sat online for two hours trying to achieve that. No such luck. The Kanjis are so difficult (like righteous and parliament), I’m wondering if native Japanese even know the terms.

Just think. I used to be addicted to Bejeweled.

Those were the good old days.

Advertisements