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Random Update 8/13/13

On 08/13/2013 at 12:33 PM by Ranger1

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Ah, August! The month when everyone suddenly realizes that summer is winding down and they need to frantically fit as much as possible into the next few weeks. And they take their frustrations out on park staff, store clerks, and other hospitality service employees. I have been very busy lately, of the go to work, come home, walk the dog, shovel dinner down my throat, and fall asleep in front of the TV variety. I did do some fun stuff in the last week or so, though. My mom came up to visit and we just hung out for the day, did a little shopping at Target, Reny's (local chain of discount department stores - they're awesome!), and I slipped into an independent gaming/comics store. The Gamebox has comics, current gen games for purchase and rental, a fine selection of retro games for all systems, and table top gaming. They also run table top games in the back of the store. The staff was friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and relaxed. I will be shopping there in the future for most of my gaming needs. They also repair most consoles and some handhelds. I see myself shopping there for most of my future gaming needs and desires.

My mom is a bit forgetful (minor strokes will do that), and left her meds in on my futon when she left to visit some old friends who live up the coast. I noticed them too late, and decided "what the hey, it's a lovely day for a road trip!", picked up Jason, got stuff for a picnic, and we hit the road. I stopped at a roadside stand and bought two quarts of heaven: Maine wild blueberries. Cultivated ones taste nothing like them, by the way. Sweeter, juicier, and smaller that the cultivated ones. Next stop was our picnic site:

Ft Edgecomb

This is Fort Edgecomb State Historic site. It was built for the War of 1812, and the octagonal blockhouse is all that stands of the original fort. Inside, there is a lot of graffiti left from the very bored soldiers stationed there in the 1800s, all of it very intricately carved with fancy lettering.

picnic view

And you can't beat the view. This was from our picnic table. The dots in the water are lobster buoys. From there, it was up to New Harbor, where my mom was staying, to drop off her meds. Jason and I did a little roaming around, I stopped in and visited with former co-workers at my first posting (no pics of that, unfortunately), and then we went down to the lighthouse. The place was swarming with people, I like it better in the winter when there aren't any tourists!

Pemaquid Light

This is Pemaquid Lighthouse, or "The Point" as the locals refer to it as. It's the lighthouse featured on the Maine quarter, by the way. Jason leaned back so I could get this photo without people in it. He's such a good sport! We went back to the family friends my mom was staying with and visited with them for a bit before heading south again. And that was my big adventure so far this summer, lol.

Gaming: While at The Gamebox, I saw LBP Karting for $19.99, which was my magic number, so I bought it. I also found out that they have a rewards system at The Gamebox that is way better than GameStop's. So I've been playing story mode and swearing a lot at the non-racing levels. I hate mini-games. It's OK, I think the Sonic and Sega kart racers are better games, but it is a lot of fun being able to customize your costume and kart. And I may try my hand at  level creation, if it doesn't seem too difficult. The main thing is that it is (mostly) fun. And isn't that what gaming is really all about? Still playing AC:Wild World sporadically, and I need to get back to Tomb Raider soon, because I was almost at the end when I stalled out. And I really, really want Tales of Xillia, I just can't afford it right now.

Also playing games on Kongregate. Lots of point and click games on there, plus many more time wasters. I know they're owned by the evil GameStop empire, but the games are free and don't involve me downloading them onto my laptop. Two of the most recently played ones were Panda's Big Adventure and the sequel: Panda's Big Adventure 2.

Listening: Been listening to a group from Newfoundland called Rawlins Cross lately. My friend Gary posted  a link to one of their videos on my friend Kat's memorial thread and I really liked it. Also been listening to a couple of old Madonna CDs from the 80s. She's talented and I like her music, I just can't stand watching her perform it.

Reading: Still reading Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century series, I like how they're all connected but you don't have to read them in order. I also read Bloodshot, which is about a vampire thief/PI. Normally I'm not into vampires, but this book was worth reading. I think Cherie Priest may be a new favorite author.

Ranger Stuff: I'm totally into dragonflies at the moment. Did you know that there are tons of different species in all different colors? And that the males are much more brightly colored than the females? My yard is full of them - at least five different species, plus all the ones at the frog pond and the marshes nearby. And the ones at work are different than the ones here in the field. I have a field guide to dragonflies that I'd forgotten I owned and I've been very busy identifying the ones that will stay still long enough for me to get a good look at them or take their picture. This one sat on my porch for hours Saturday morning and chased away all the other dragonflies that came by. He's a Common White-tail, which is a member of the Skimmer family.


There ya go: another installment of the exciting adventures of Rangergirl.



Matt Snee Staff Writer

08/13/2013 at 01:30 PM

that game store sounds awesome. I'm going to have to check to see if they have anything like that here in Phoenix.  Is your job winding down?  Are you seasonal?


08/13/2013 at 01:33 PM

I'm seasonal again, I have a 26 week position. I've got about another six weeks to go. My boss would like to have me on for at least 40 weeks, but I don't see that happening under the current Maine government. However, I live in a small town with a crap-ton of retail outlets, and Target said they'd hire me back, so I'm not too worried about winter job prospects.


08/13/2013 at 02:23 PM

I picked up LBP Karting about a month ago on PS+ and either it's just me or this game is seriously hard. I may just suck but I have to replay each level like 4 times to get a top 3 finish. Customization is really fun though and some of the pre-rendered characters are awesome


08/13/2013 at 02:25 PM

I don't think it's you, I think the game is seriously hard. Especially those stupid egg levels in the second world. I have yet to beat the last one so I can go on to the next world.


08/13/2013 at 02:36 PM

I'm still on the 1st world as far as I know. I like playing the game in short bursts for like 30 mins. Maybe my patience just wears thin if I go any longer Laughing


08/13/2013 at 02:50 PM

It gets easier the more you play. I've starred and sacked all of the non-versus levels on that planet, and if I can do it, you can do it!


08/13/2013 at 02:39 PM

Love the lighthouse photo. When I was doing more photography, I was shooting dragonflies too and looking them up in my Audubon field guide. I had so much fun doing that.


08/13/2013 at 02:53 PM

I'm getting back into photography after my depressed four years. That photo of the lighthouse doesn't do it justice, it was just a quick snap for this blog entry. The best time is sunrise, sunset, or a full moon. Especially when all the wild roses are in bloom or the sea is wild. But thanks for the compliment! As for dragonflies: they're fascinating! I think I'm addicted. I'm pretty sure I'll be doing a nature program about them next summer.


08/13/2013 at 03:02 PM

What an awesome thing to do. If I could go back to high school again I would go right for the nature science stuff. I wish I were doing that today.


08/13/2013 at 03:10 PM

It's never too late, John. I recruited a volunteer in her fifties who is now an intern for one of our parks. You can take a master naturalist course that is cheaper than going back to school and won't take as long, and will give you a better education than college courses. I just googled PA Master Naturalist Program. The whole course costs $300.


08/13/2013 at 03:14 PM

Ooo cool. I'm going to look into this. Thanks!


08/13/2013 at 03:18 PM

Even if you never do anything with it other than enjoy learning about natural history, it's still worth it.

Super Step Contributing Writer

08/13/2013 at 06:39 PM

The whole course is WHAT?! So what the hell am I doing? Being stupid, that's what. But I did figure out a budget already, and I need to be doing something, may as well be getting a Master's in my field at my alma mater (one of the cheaper universities). 

Your adventures are more exciting than mine. lol 


08/13/2013 at 07:44 PM

I dunno about that, I'm just really good at story telling, lol.


08/13/2013 at 06:24 PM

Mmm that sounds like a cool gamestore all i ever shop at is Gamestop and Buy backs how sweet of a daughter to take her meds to her mom, i wish i had a relationship with my mom or heck my entire family for that matter, but i dont, and dragonflies are very cool but the main reason i like them is they eat Mosquitos yea good dragonflies lol!!


08/13/2013 at 07:41 PM

My mom's on blood thinners because of her minor strokes and triple heart bypass, so I needed to get them to her. But yeah, me and my mom are pretty close, even though I've always been a daddy's girl. And did I ever mention it was a lovely day for a road trip? Perfect Maine summer day, beautiful scenery, and all the traffic jams were going the opposite way that we were. As for gaming stores, there are several in the area like that, and all the Bull Moose Music stores sell retro games, too. I am spoiled for choices! Anything that eats mosquitoes in my book is amazing, awesome, fantastic, and super-duper! That includes bats.


08/13/2013 at 08:05 PM

Yea i have to catch bats in my schools all the time but im very careful to not hurt them or get bit i had a biology teacher tell me to grab them behind there neck and they cant bite and dumb me tried it and got bit, so needlessto say after five rabie shots i dont listen to teachers aanymore lol!!


08/13/2013 at 08:14 PM

Wrap 'em up in a towel is the easiest way, just like birds. Are they Mexican Freetails?


08/13/2013 at 06:30 PM

Dragonflies are awesome. Cannot decide if I like them more or less than preying mantises. They're kind of tied for me.

I still want to try the more recent Sonic Cart Racing games but working on my own game,Dragon's Dogma, and Dynasty Warriors 8 are taking up all my time. lol. My hands have certainly not been "idle".


08/13/2013 at 07:43 PM

Praying mantises are way cool, but I think dragonflies have the edge with me. Especially the more I learn about them.

If you get one of the Sonic karting games, let me know which one. It would be a lot of fun to get together and play online with friends.


08/13/2013 at 09:02 PM

I love lighthouses but since I live in a landlocked place with no huge lakes we don't see them. I have dreams sometimes where I simply am walking around meadows and forests and I come across any random lighthouse along a shore and I can walk up to it and explore all the insides and get to the top and everything. And there's sunlight pouring in through the little windows on the way up. I love games that have levels where I can explore a lighthouse, like Half Life 2, parts of Bioshock games, even Oblivion had a cool lighthouse to explore in the town of Anvil (that was my favorite area in the whole game).


08/13/2013 at 09:32 PM

That's it. Open invitation to come to Maine any time. I will show you more lighthouses than you ever dreamed of seeing at any one time. There usually aren't windows on the way up, though, or very few. Pemaquid Light is one that is actually open to the public now, so you can go up inside. It wasn't when I was growing up, though. I grew up three or four miles from that lighthouse. Have you ever played the Golden Sun games? Not the DS one, but the two GBA games? Lighthouses are central to the story. BG&E's Jade also lives in a lighthouse.


08/13/2013 at 10:04 PM

Smile I'd love to visit Maine. I like seafood and lighthouses so I think there'd be tons to see and do, I bet Maine is my kind of place. I've never even seen the ocean with my own eyes before. The biggest body of water I've ever been around was Lake Michigan when I was younger and mom took me to the beach in Michigan City, Indiana. It was a long time ago but I remember seeing a lighthouse there on a pier of some kind and it was awesome. In Maine you guys have an actual ocean, and a ton more lighthouses I bet!

I never played Golden Sun but I do remember Jade living in a lighthouse in BG&E, that's really cool. I'd like to see as many lighthouses as I can so that I can build cool ones in games and have lots of references to pull from. Every time I see a picture of a lighthouse it seems very unique, like they all have their own identity.


08/13/2013 at 10:12 PM

Every lighthouse is unique. They are designed that way so that sailors would recognize them on sight. And every lighthouse has a different light so that they can be recognized in the dark. As for seafood, I can get you lobster for boat price, which is much cheaper than buying it in a restaurant. Right now the lobstermen are making less than $2/pound, and the average lobster weighs 1.5-1.75 pounds. That barely covers bait and fuel, not to mention insurance, boat maintenance, and loan payments. I think the fishermen should be paid more, as hauling traps is dangerous, back-breaking work. A lot of kids I went to high school with had small strings of traps and lobstered in the summer. I think they were making more then than the lobstermen are now. Pretty sad.


08/13/2013 at 09:33 PM

I love the photos of the old fort. I enjoy visiting historic places. Thats nice to see the real light house that is on the quarter.  I enjoy the main story of LBPK. I really need to get back into it.  It's been so long since I've played I think I should start all over. Also, now you can import all of your costumes from LBP.  When I first bought the game, that was not possible.


08/13/2013 at 09:45 PM

You and Mrs.GH are going to have to come to Maine some summer. I will give you the historic fort tour and take you to Colonial Pemaquid, site of one of the earliest English settlements in North America. It was contemporary to Jamestown and resupplied the settlement at Plymouth Plantation. There's a small museum, the replica of the fort that stood there between 1692 and 1696 (the second or third on the site, depending on who you talk to), an archaeology dig, and the lab is open to the public. Plus, it's the first park I ever worked at, and I'm good friends with the manager, so I could probably get you behind the scenes, if I asked nicely enough.


08/13/2013 at 11:35 PM

There are places in Houston that sell retro games. I'm scared to go into those kinds of places though because I always end up spending too much money. Nice pics Tami. Your life certainly sounds more exciting than mine lol. Sealed


08/14/2013 at 08:28 AM

The secret is not taking any money or plastic with you, Aaron, lol. The Gamebox just has that nice, relaxed "come in and look around" feel to it.

Chris Yarger Community Manager

08/14/2013 at 07:49 AM

Taking your mom's meds to her and turning it into a road trip/vacation? That sounds like a pretty nice win for you!

And Court and I tried Little Big Planet Karting, but we couldn't really get into it. We tried and tried, but it just didn't mesh with us.
We'll have to play it online sometime!!


08/14/2013 at 08:31 AM

I only had to drive an hour up the coast, so it wasn't too farout of my way. But yeah, definitely a win!

Once I got done with the tutorial level, it got a bit better, but it's definitely not one of the best kart racers out there. Would be fun to play with you and Court, though!

Patrick Kijek Contributing Writer

08/15/2013 at 03:09 AM

It was fun when I played it with the wheel, but that's also because it was before the game had been released (there was a booth at Lollapalooza last year). The controls weren't great, but it had that fun -- I'm not completely in control -- feeling to it. Not too many interesting powerups. How are the courses?


08/15/2013 at 06:27 AM

The courses that are straight-up racing are a lot of fun, with hidden shortcuts and interesting and fun obstacles. The battle arenas are pretty fun, too, even if the AI cheats. The mini-games like the keep-away level flat out stink. And unfortuately, you have to beat the keep-away level in order to proceed any further.


08/15/2013 at 10:52 AM

I think dragonflies are interesting. I have only seen a handful here,but they were all enormous. The lighthouse looks cool too. I went to one when we lived in Virginia and it was spectacular,really big. If it were not for stores like Gamebox we'd all be at the mercy of Gamestop. And even Wal Mart,which is far worse. Ours are called Vintage Stock and we have 6 of them locally. Have to admit I like Madonna's earlier music. Heard a really old song of hers the other day called "Sidewalks Talk". Seems like she lost something when she decided she was English. She was Spanish before that!


08/16/2013 at 09:29 AM

This morning there was a little red dragonfly zooming around and resting on the blades of grass inbetween zooms. It was probably one of the meadowhawks, but according to the book I have, they're really hard to tell apart. Dragonflies need water, their nymphs are aquatic, so if you live in an area without a lot of water nearby, that may be why you don't see many.


08/15/2013 at 11:24 AM

I need some of those Dragonflies in my AC village. I keep catching darner dragonflies and they are boring and not worth much at Re-Tail. Money Mouth


08/16/2013 at 09:25 AM

You really need an ebony jewelwing. This isn't a very good photo, though.

ebony jewelwing


08/16/2013 at 09:44 PM

I'll get my net! I love Dragonflies. Smile


08/16/2013 at 11:19 PM

Looking at all the people from my work taking vacations you are so right that everyone is scrambling to get stuff done before the end of summer! I guess I was thinking ahead by taking mine in July. Your picnic site looks like a great place to spend a nice summer day.

And yeah, $20 is pretty much my magic number as well. It takes quite a lot to get me to spend $60 on a game, but at $20 it could be an impulse purchase!


08/17/2013 at 12:52 AM

Hey Kevin! Haven't heard form you in a while! I've been a park ranger for 26 years, been following the trends, lol. Fort Edgecomb is a pretty awesome spot, pity more people don't get off the beaten path to find it. Doesn't take long to see the whole thing, though. Only the blockhouse and 3.25 acres. But a nice spot for a picnic. I miss my friend Jim who used to be the manager, though. Just not the same without him.


08/17/2013 at 01:50 PM

sounds like a fun and full update to me. Good to see having out with family can still be fun for many. always wanted to travel north to see maine when I was living in conntecticitia. But after seeing how some new engladers were like I'm sure I'd be shoved in that fort after I killed a few of them.

so that's how you come to realize Online pass with LBP Karing. Even at 19.99 I wouldn't waste my money on that waste of a game disc. Now 1.99 on the other hand...

Again with another person reading something vampiry right now! I keep seeing these signs of fall coming yet for me it quasifeels too soon! Must hold onto summer til the end....

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