Puzzling Times

A puzzle of fantasy tropes including a wizard with a staff blasting something with magic while riding a dragon and protecting a castle with a comet and a moon thrown in for good measure.

I had to end my post yesterday rather abruptly to run my Saturday morning errands. During my jaunt around Leavenworth, I stopped in at Wal-Mart for the second time in a week, which is very unusual as I avoid shopping at Wal-Mart. If I can’t get it at Dillons, my only other option in Leavenworth/Lansing is Wal-Mart, outside of places like Dollar General and large pharmacy chains like Walgreens or CVS. K-Mart/Sears closed over a year ago and is now a very large U-Haul dealer next door to Home Depot.

This week they demolished the Payless Shoe Source store that previously resided in the same plot of land as K-Mart. And the biggest development project of the year is wrapping up. Quik Trip is nearly ready to open where the Leavenworth Co-Op was for decades on the northwest corner of Eisenhower and Main Street (US-73/K-7). I’m not looking forward to the traffic headaches that configuration is going to cause especially in the mid-afternoon when all the people on Post head home (to Lansing from Fort Leavenworth).

The other large roadwork improvement project that was causing me inconvenience completed last week as well. My alternate route to Dillons using 4-H Road to DeSoto is now open and the northern half of DeSoto now sports a middle turn lane and wide sidewalks. The intersection of Eisenhower and Desoto (on the south) and Shrine Park Road (on the north) also got a complete makeover including left turn lanes and signals for all directions and right turns lanes in some directions. Traffic should flow better in the mornings and evenings now.

But back to my second trip to Wal-Mart.

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WorldCon Withdrawals

Despite what my husband thinks, I have not over-dosed on science fiction since last Wednesday when the 74th World Science Fiction Convention (commonly referred to as WorldCon) arrived for the second time in Kansas City, Missouri.  MidAmeriCon II ended yesterday and of course the highlight of those five days was the Hugo Awards Ceremony held Saturday evening.

20160817_073751In fact, I sincerely hoped when I woke up this morning it wouldn’t be to the harsh reality of a Monday morning workday.  Ah, but life is cruel and the alternate dimension I’d enjoyed for five days evaporated into the dreary doldrums of gainful employment.  Well, not completely dreary.  Perhaps dreaded would be more like it, since I knew I’d be walking into some ‘hot potatoes’ once I strapped myself to my desk.

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Hugos in the Heart of America

I am attending WorldCon this week since it’s basically in my backyard. I’ll be tweeting highlights and photos throughout the con. I’ve also signed up as a volunteer so I’ll be behind the curtain so to speak most mornings. Follow me on Twitter @mossjon to see my updates and outtakes.

The 2016 Hugo Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 8 PM Central Daylight Time in the Kansas City Convention Center’s Grand Ballroom in Kansas City, Missouri. The Hugo Awards web site will once again offer text-based coverage of the Hugo Awards ceremony via CoverItLive, suitable for people with bandwidth restrictions. For…

via 2016 Hugo Ceremony Coverage Plans — The Hugo Awards

Portable Puzzling

I remember spending time with my grandmother putting together large landscape jigsaw puzzles as a child.  I have always had exceptional pattern recognition abilities, probably a direct result of my photographic memory.  Whether it’s puzzle pieces or star hopping using binoculars and a telescope, I can look at the missing space once and sort through hundreds (or thousands) of pieces and match it in my memory before confirming it by snapping it into place.

But with the advent of my own children, and then followed by large dogs who think puzzle pieces are dog treats, I just haven’t thought it was worth it to do jigsaw puzzles at home for quite a long time.

Spurred on by the “Exercise Your Mind” Bingo card challenge, I went searching for a 21st century alternative to thwart my Rottweilers.  I found an app for my tablet that allows me to complete a puzzle and never worry about dropping a piece to be snatched up by the mobile black hole on four feet padding around my kitchen.

Here’s the Flickr album I created today to track my progress while completing my first virtual jigsaw puzzle of “The Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh:

Jigsaw Puzzles

This satisfies my love for great works of art, astronomy and puzzles. My mind is doing mental cartwheels right now.

My First Zentangle

I learned about Zentangles yesterday, which is a more focused form of doodling (in a nutshell).  Also, you’re supposed to do them in pen because you are not allowed to erase any ‘mistakes.’

Here’s my first attempt at a Zentangle:

20160607_184515

I may color parts of this one with colored pencils tonight.

I updated my “Exercise Your Mind” Bingo card to reflect my progress.

Next up:  Jigsaw Puzzles.