Leader of a Golden Age, and Points for Good Penmanship

I spent too much time playing the latest game in the series known as Civilization. It is the flagship of a game genre known as 4X: eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate. You play the leader of a civilization and you must raise your civilization to be the greatest one in the world.

At the start of each game, you choose which historic culture to base your civilization on. This has been eye-opening for me, because I discovered I was much more familiar with Philip of Spain and Peter of Russia than I was with Poundmaker, a great leader indigenous to my own continent.

So as I adopt the cultures of these great leaders in the game, I take a little time to read up on the actual historical figures. I recently totally crushed the world as Tamar of Georgia. I had not heard of her before, but she was king of that country and presided over a golden age, after a perilous political dance in part because no one had ever ruled that country who didn’t also have a penis.

Her timing was good; when the fourth western crusade smashed itself against the muslim states to her south, Tamar was able to expand her nation significantly. Her second husband was a capable and savvy guy, and went out to kick ass while Tamar kept things running at home. (The Official Sweetie of Muddled Ramblings and Half-Baked Ideas and I are a very similar team.)

Tamar’s first husband, was, apparently, a pretty-boy asshole, and her shucking him marked a major turning point in Tamar’s independence from the families that meant to control her.

Here is Tamar’s signature:

If I hadn’t already been convinced that she was awesome, that would have done it. Just even try to follow the pen strokes. And the dots! The dots! It’s not so much a signature as abstract art. Even when we write letters with our hands anymore, they don’t look like that.

We have that document, but we’re not exactly when she died or where she was buried. But in Georgia, they remember her. And now I do, too.

The Apocalypse has Arrived

I bicycle through a cemetery every day. It’s peaceful. Today, however, the place was filled with zombies. I think you know what kind.

Zombies, Run!

Bought a new bike this weekend, an event probably worth more than a mention in passing, but we’ll see about that. Naturally, when one buys a bicycle, one must also download the right bicycle app. I mean, come on.

While perusing the health and fitness apps I stumbled across one called “Zombies, Run!”. Mis-filed, I thought, but understandably so.

Except, get this: “Zombies, Run!” is a game all right, but you have to actually run to play! You go through a series of missions that involve running (or walking, or treadmilling – whatever your style is) and as you complete the missions you get stuff to save civilization and unravel the mystery of the Zombie Plague.

I’ve not played it, mind, but I think I’m going to spring the four bucks for rainy days when I need to get my exercise on the trainer, rather than on the bike. Not only is it a new approach to fitness, it opens up a whole new form of literature. Pretty sweet.

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