When Words With Friends is Words With Strangers

So I quite enjoy a game of Scrabble every now and then… only most people I know won’t play with me anymore.  No idea why.  Enter Words With Friends on my iPhone.

I quite like to play, but every time I go away and find myself with limited internet, I end up forfeiting a bunch of games from them timing out, and you have to start from scratch when you get home again.  Which I have fallen out of the habit of doing because I tend to look at it, and think ‘I’ll just forfeit when I go away again anyway.’  Long story short, I recently updated my app and noticed some changes, and started playing again because I’m not going away for a few months.

The new version of the app, though, has made it quite ten times easier for people to start games with randoms on the Internet and unfortunately it seems that there are plenty of guys who appear to be primarily playing to basically try to meet women… who’d’ve thought? Within the space of a week, I’ve had about half a dozen guys hitting on me via online Scrabble.  :/

It started off innocuously enough, a few ‘Hi, how are you?’, ‘Where are you from?’, ‘Are you married?’, ‘Is that really you?’, type messages from guys who started games with me, and then this guy turned up:

My, who’s that handsome devil in the seriously impressive uniform?, Richard !!,,   Anyway, Lt. General Richard !!,, invited me to play a game with me and it was going fine. He was playing some obscure words that I’d never seen before which is rare but always great fun – I like a meaty game – and then about three moves in I get this:

Ummm… Do I have to answer this?  Is it rude to just ignore that and just play my next move?  Do we really have to make chit-chat to have a game of Scrabble?  Why is this unsolicited compliment making me uncomfortable?  Seriously, do we really have to talk at all?  :/

I left it for a few hours, but wanted to follow the game through so I eventually answered him and over the next day or so the conversation went along pleasantly enough…

Which was an honest enquiry.. how does someone at his rank on a peacekeeping mission in Syria have times for things like playing word games with strangers on the Internet? My curiosity however, was met with open hostility.  Whereupon the conversation, with no warning whatsoever, spiralled downhill rather rapidly… Errr… whoa there Nellie!?  That seems kinda special.  😮
Now I’m not one for being ordered to do anything, and especially not from a total stranger on the Internet. But curiosity kills the whatsamadoover and all that… And I was going to leave it there – but at this point I was pretty convinced that this wasn’t Lt. General Richard!!,, but rather more likely, a fucking boorish stockbroker named Ralph living in his Mom’s basement somewhere.

With minimal effort (a single Google Image search and a response within microseconds) the photo of this very smartly Lt General in the US military with the name, Richard CLARKE (Yes Dick, the name badge is quite legible in the photo) was not exactly hard to find, and according to the profile that Ralph probably stole the photo from, he’s a Director for Strategic Plans and Policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff!   IE:  someone you would very likely imagine is way too busy to be playing stupid word games with strangers.

So I decided to throw an extra volley across the bow…

Predictably, Dick didn’t respond and ended the game…
What a shame.  He was winning too.  :/

Pokemon Go Egg Hatchings

If you usually tune into this blog for travel updates, you will just have to ignore a couple of posts… rest assured, the travel will be back shortly!  😀

I have been playing Pokemon Go since coming back from Barcelona and have to say it is sure keeping me active.  I have walked nearly 300kms (time that I undoubtedly would have couched) in the last couple of months, and that’s nothing to sneeze at for a chronically pained person… pain levels are through the roof of course, but an extra bonus, I’m down a few kilos.  Go me.

Anyway, we have a little Facebook group chatting about Pokemon Go, called the Magikarp Appreciation Society, and I said I would post up some experiences with egg hatchings because most of us in the group have some level of OCD/compulsive behaviour going on in varying degrees 😉 and the randomness of egg hatchings is driving some of us crazy!

5km egg 1

I decided to try and hatch whole batches of the same egg to try to not keep getting ‘random’ shit hatches.  It felt like every 5km egg I was hatching was a silly Psyduck or a Polliway, and every  every single time I hatched a 2km egg it was undoubtedly a Zubat or a Weedle, and of course all of those are everywhere!  Now I can’t really back that up with empirical evidence, because I wasn’t writing them down, but it certainly felt like every hatched 2km or 5km egg was completely common rubbish. So I thought trying to hatch a bunch of the same kms eggs together was worth a crack (pun intended).

The first clutch of the same eggs I managed to get together were 5km eggs… Took a little while to get most of the screen full of 5km eggs, but by walking off the 2km ones, and leaving the 5km ones behind, I eventually got what I was hoping for.  It seems 10km eggs are hard to come by in Pokestops hereabouts.  I picked up a bunch of incubators from The Shop, and off I went.  Results were:

5km egg 2 eggsAt this point, I was pretty happy with my wash – eight 5km eggs hatched and every single one of them a different creature.  Plenty of candy and no Psyducks or Polliwags in sight!  If this works, and eight eggs reliably ends up with eight different creatures – I wanted to work my way into having a whole page of 10km eggs to try and get something other than another common-as-all-giddy-up-annoying-as-fuck Pinsir from a 10km egg!

So I tried it again… with eggs as per image to the left.  10km being held over to hopefully one day get a screen full of them.  Results were, again, pretty good… some the same as last time, but importantly, all eight were different creatures.

This seemed to be working, so I kept up with the mass evolvings rather than just walking them off sporadically or starting them out of time with each other.  The next batch, I only had six 5km eggs (as I was hoarding 2kms and 10km ones so I could try and do similar mass evolvings…

As you can see, this batch of four sadly hatched two Psyducks, which blows my theory that the game isn’t mean enough to throw up multiples of the same creature in a mass egg hatching.  Though I have vague recollections of having to stop part way setting these going in order to fetch another incubator from The Shop, and was doing it in the car while Mr K was driving, so it’s possible that the last Psyduck wasn’t in the batch but rather 100-200m behind the others, but popped up at the same time because the in-game GPS and pedometer is a bit fickle.  I’ve notice big discrepancies between what my Apple Watch says I have walked compare to what the game thinks I have walked… Watch will say 2.2kms walked, game will show only 1.8kms walked..?  Go figure, they’re both running off the same phone.

The next batch was all different again – and this time I know they were set going in one hit at home…

So by now I am sitting on three 10kms eggs waiting to get a whole batch, and a few 2km eggs that I thought I’d try and get going together. I’d say about 75-80% of eggs I pick up are 5km eggs, which will make getting eight or nine 10km eggs quite a lengthy process.  The first 2km batch looked like this:

Charmander and a bunch of candy – very cool; Magikarp candy never goes to waste, and the rest is what I usually see when I hatch a 2km egg one at a time.  Second batch of 2km eggs yielded pretty much the same deal, one ‘coo’ hatch and rubbish:

I have run two more batches of 2km eggs, and each time got one ‘good’ Pokemon – another Charmander and a Pikachu – each of which hatched along with three really common ones: Pidgey, Zubat, Weedle or Caterpie (sorry, I stopped screen-grabbing the commons because I am sick to death of goddamn Weedles!).  So far, I feel that hatching in batches is definitely worthwhile.  The bigger the batch, the higher likelihood of getting a few decent egg hatches in one hit.

After that I had enough for another batch of 5km eggs… again, all different.

So overall, my very unscientific, completely subjective user reinforced opinion is that it is much better to hatch a bunch of eggs together than to walk off just one at a time, or to walk off a few that have been set going at different times to avoid Zubat overload.  However, yale has rightly pointed out that this could just be a really obvious case of subjective user confirmation bias.  🙂  So take it with a grain of salt.

Oh, and I will totally update this if I manage to get a handful of 10km eggs together to hatch all at once… I have four so far.

Update 11th Sept…

currentI am currently sitting on five 10km eggs and still trying to fill a screen full of them to evolve en masse. It’s certainly taking quite a while to get there with the 2km and 10km eggs hardly ever coming from the Pokestops.

I’ve been walking off smaller batches of three and four 5km eggs while I slowly accrue 10km ones, and some singular 2km eggs (which have yielded largely Weedles, Rattatas, Zubats, but also one Squirtle and one Pikachu).

The more recent 5km batches have spat out the following:

Very disappointing to see the double Krabby hatch – completely blows my theory that the multiples will be different.  I guess they are ‘predominantly’ providing different monsters if hatched in batches, but not always… still, now I know I could do all this only to hatch a bunch of Scythers and Pinsirs when I get all the 10km eggs going.  :/

Oh dear lord, not more Psyduck candy?!  How many Golducks does one girl need?

Apparently, many, many, more Golducks are needed.  :/

 

golducksHelp!!!
My Pokebag is turning into Golduck central…!

Phew, some relief from the Psyducks.  Now to go out and find some Pokestops and spin me up some more 10km eggs… come in spinner!
pokemon egg hatch

Kiwi Cop Humour

A North Island police station received this question from a resident through the feedback section of a local Police website:

“I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?”

In response, a sergeant posted this reply:

First of all, let me tell you this … it’s not easy. In the Palmerston North and rural area we average one cop for every 505 people. Only about 60 per cent of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as “general patrols”) where we do most of our harassing.

The rest are in non-harassing units that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. At any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60 per cent of general patrols are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So, roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 6000 residents.

When you toss in the commercial business and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 15,000 or more people a day.

Now, your average eight-hour shift runs 28,800 seconds long. This gives a cop two-thirds of a second to harass a person, and then only another third of a second to drink a Massey iced coffee AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to the challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilise some tools to help us narrow down those people we can realistically harass.

PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. “My neighbour is beating his wife” is a code phrase used often. This means we’ll come out and give somebody some special harassment. Another popular one is, “There’s a guy breaking into a house.” The harassment team is then put into action.

CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or drivers with no licences and the like. It’s lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light. Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding warrant on file.

LAWS: When we don’t have phone or cars, and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called “statutes”. These include the Crimes Act, Summary Offences Act, Land Transport Act and a whole bunch of others… They spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people. After you read the law, you can just drive around for a while until you find someone violating one of these listed offences and harass them. Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, the book says that’s not allowed. That meant I had permission to harass this guy.

It is a really cool system that we have set up, and it works pretty well. We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because, for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they pay us to “harass” some people.

Next time you are in Palmerston North, give me the old “single finger wave”. That’s another one of those codes. It means, “You can harass me.” It’s one of our favourites.

hqdefault(via Derek Tidwell on FB)