Pine Stump

On YouTube I just saw an ad for a video game, full of guns, guns guns, muscles, muscles, muscles, bad guys, bad guys, bad guys and gun brandishing heroes, heroes heroes. The bad guys were big and bad, all different kinds of ugly. You could tell who was bad and who was not, just by looking at them.

I guess that is the appeal of these violence based games, the bad guys, the enemy, is obvious, easily defined, easily targeted for killing, and the player is ALWAYS the good guy who wins, even if the game has to be played over and over and over to attain the win.

The true enemies of humanity are more subtle, far more subtle, than that.

I guess that is why I find most video games so very boring, as the complexity of life, even just breathing in and out, is so much more complicated and fascinating than simplistic good guy/bad guy dichotomies.

I wonder if simplistic game playing leads to simplistic analytical skills? I wonder if the use of violence and physical force is a healthy fantasy? I really do not know, and I don’t think anyone else does either. It feels wrong to me.

The sun has been peeking out from behind the clouds off and on all morning. I have already finished the laundry, the cleaning, and everything on my list for today. Attila is at work, working his “short day”, which is usually eight hours long. That will change soon though, as the short day will shorten to four hours, leaving Saturday afternoons for domestic chores, at least in theory.

I am planning my first canning session, which will have to wait until the weather cools a bit. The canner will need to run for 90 minutes, which will create a lot of heat in the house. On a cool autumn day, that heat will be very welcome.

I talked with Harriet this morning, she is at her cottage, sitting and looking out over the lake. She was enjoying some peaceful moments, while the others were out fishing and kayaking.

Attila will be able to focus on indoor domestic chores today, when he comes home from work. Last night he cleared the final bits of sawdust from the front yard. Last week he felled the thirty foot high stump, single handed. That stump has stood in our front yard since the top of the pine was twisted off and thrown to the ground by a wind storm, crushing my little Argosy trailer, on August 20th, 2009. The tree top was removed and the debris cleaned up during the summer of 2009, but the thirty foot high stump was left standing.

Attila, having just felled the thirty foot high pine stump, is removing bark and preparing to section the log.
Pine stump 2014

Over the last five years we have enjoyed watching the wildlife that visited the stump, there have been all kinds of woodpeckers, including Pileated Woodpeckers, Robins and other songbirds, and squirrels. With the house being for sale though, we decided that the stump must come down. Attila felled the stump, sectioned it, carried the logs to the woodshed, cleared away the bark and sawdust from the yard and cut the grass. The pine logs came in very handy during the Grandkids visit, as we used them for seating around the campfire!

For the moment, all the trees that need felling are down. There were also two dead birch trees, which rot quickly because the bark retains moisture in the wood. The birch trees were so rotten that Attila was able to simply push them over by hand. The stumps were left to rot into the ground, which is a good thing for a healthy forest floor.

Terra has been constructing an elaborate and beautiful exterior door frame for their front door, she sent me a photo and it is quite the thing. Terra is gaining impressive skills as a carpenter. She asked for and received fancy power tools for Christmas, and was over the moon about her gifts.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

23°C
Date: 12:00 PM EDT Saturday 30 August 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 22.5°C
Dewpoint: 16.9°C
Humidity: 70%
Wind: SSE 15 km/h
Humidex: 28

Quote

“Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.”
T. S. Eliot
1888 – 1965

11 Comments

  1. Bex

    Good idea to wait til cooler weather to do the canning.

    We have a large tree stump in the back wooded area behind our house but it’s not on our property, it’s almost in a no-man’s-land area where it’s just woods… so it’s going to have to stay there, sticking up out of the woods floor like a giant sharpened pencil.

    I’ve heard the rat-a-tat-tat of woodpeckers around here lately, once on the side of our house! One over on the fascia board of the neighboring house where the little pecker pecked away all the paint!

  2. Bex

    That got away from me before I said that I’ve never seen or played a video game. And I hope that I never do. When they show trailers of movies that sound just like your powerful description above about the bad guys, I just shake my head and ask Paul “Who in their right mind would EVER want to go see a movie with all that stuff in it?” Neither of us knows. And yet they earn money… it just goes to show what our civilization has eroded into.

  3. Bex, we liked the pine tree stump, but live in an area where superficial appearances are all important. The woodpeckers here seem to prefer the trees to buildings. Your woodpeckers sound confused, lol! I guess though, there might have been insects under the paint they chipped away, they usually only peck to find food.

    I have never played a video game either! But all the young people I know play them. My Grandbabies have been provided with sport oriented games, thank goodness. But even those hide horrors, in my opinion. For example, a sports game I tried out had two players that I created, one male, one female. The same actions on my part for each player resulted in magnificent success for the male, and consistent failure for the female. It was rigged to show females as weak and incompetent, without actually saying so. I was disgusted! What was worse was that neither my kids, or the Grandbabies seemed to notice the disparity and prejudice. Sometimes I wonder if everyone under forty is sleep walking!

  4. Reenie

    We have pileated woodpeckers, which I adore. They speed through my woods at a startling rate – and large and prehistoric and beautiful.

    My husband and I were on vacation once and played Mario… I think that qualifies as a video game. We laughed ourselves silly. The games played today are disgraceful.

  5. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    DH and I do play some video games, here. He plays an online fantasy-based sword and sorcery game. I play sudoku and mah jong.

    Maggie, I’m appauled that you found that female characters had different (failing) outcomes from male characters in your game, even when using the same strategies! I’ll have to have DH keep track of his online game to see if they use a similar strategy.

    In the last 2 years we’ve taken down 4 dying or stunted trees, two of them this year. But it’s only this last month that we were able to buy DH an inexpensive electric chainsaw. After laboring some 5 hours on the trunk of a dying crabapple 2 years ago with a saw and ax, and the another crabapple in half an hour with a borrowed 12 inch chainsaw, DH was finally able to dispatch the rounds left behind in about 20 minutes, using his new 14 inch chainsaw. What a difference!

  6. Reenie, your description of Pileated Woodpeckers as prehistoric seems so apt! Every time I her their cry, I think I am in a jungle!

    Mario! What a popular game that was in its day! Modern games are largely disgraceful, I agree. I wonder when and how the pendulum will swing?!

  7. I know Teri, it was quite a shock to discover the constant failure and poor performance of the female character. The machine had no way of knowing that I was both the male and female character! At first, I couldn’t really believe that anything that blatant would be programmed into a game for families, so I kept on going for a good dozen rounds to make sure, and the female always performed poorly, the male well. I think it was a Wii game, not sure, it was based on Javelin throwing.

    The chain saw surely is a time saving device! We have had one since moving to the country house, and would not have survived without it! Before machines, things took longer, much longer.

    I think we also have Downy Woodpeckers at the country house, I can hear them sometimes, in the bush, as they seem to be able to take insects from live, healthy trees.

  8. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    I talked to DH about the inequity you’d noticed in the game players and he seems to think that it’s based on women being naturally les muscled than men. His take on it is that to win a woman would have to develope different strategies than the male characters, and that the male characters wouldn’t be able to win using the female strategies. I’m not so sure I believe that…

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