Ridiculous Spam Mail #24741: Sad Trip!!!

From: Sally

Subject: Sad Trip!!!………………………Sally

Message:

I really hope you get this fast. I could not inform anyone about our trip, because it was impromptu. we had to be in Philippines for Tour.. The program was successful, but our journey has turned sour. we misplaced our wallet and cell phone on our way back to the hotel we lodge in after we went for sight seeing. The wallet contained all the valuables we had. Now, our passport is in custody of the hotel management pending when we make payment.

I am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but i have only very few people to run to now. i will be indeed very grateful if i can get a short term loan from you ($2,250 dollars). this will enable me sort our hotel bills and get my sorry self back home. I will really appreciate whatever you can afford in assisting me with. I promise to refund it in full as soon as soon as I return. You can have the $2,250 dollars. wired to me via Western Union. Have it wired to my name and present location, here are the details you need to have it wired to me..

Receiver’s Name: Sally
Location: <censored>
Country: manila,Philippines

Once you are done Kindly e-mail me the Confirmation details (MTCN) for the pick up of the funds.

Let me know when you head out to Western Union??

Sally

 

Puzzle Craft (iOS) Review

Developer: AT Games | Publisher: Chillingo Ltd || Overall: 9.5/10

Seldom do games made for a smart phone really impress me.  Puzzle Craft did.

Puzzle Craft is a charming, fun, and simple puzzle game that is the most fun I’ve had with any single phone game yet.  I originally downloaded and played the game to completion about a couple years ago, and introduced it to a some people.  Every now and then I hear about how those people still play it to this day, long after I uninstalled it.  I fully intended to review it, but I never got around to it.  I took pictures of my end progress, but somewhere along the way I forgot to do anything with those screenshots.

Puzzle Craft is the story of your people and your town that you create from scratch.  As you progress, you build out your town, hire more workers, earn gold, and endlessly match a variety of different resources.  As long as you meet a minimum match requirement (the base is three), you can string together as many other items along the way by drawing lines through them only once.  Being able to go in diagonal directions, you have to think outside the box and can get some long matches going.  With limited turns, it is very important to try and maximize each turn you take as it costs resources or Gold to do so again.

There are only two locations to play the matching game — the farm and the mine.  The farm requires only 30 Gold to begin farming.  The mine requires 100 Gold, but you can also use the resources you gather from the farm matching game to begin a mine matching game.  Eventually you gain enough resources to progress your town and gain experience by matching.  Some buildings allow you to gather new resources, use new tools, and eventually new obstacles present themselves within the unique matching games.  The game slowly ramps up in complexity and difficulty to keep things fresh.  You’ll need to learn how to use tools to elongate your turns and set up big matches — it is very important to learn how to maximize your earnings as furthering your buildings and experience will require pulling out every trick you can muster.  Unfortunately, when doing long matches, your finger can also get in the way of seeing what direction you want to go — it can be a bit cumbersome at times to figure out the best path as a result.  I suppose this could be part of the challenge, but I doubt it was designed with that intention in mind.

One of the most satisfying things about Puzzle Craft, is that everything you do adds toward your progression.  As you learn tricks on how to be efficient when farming and mining, you’ll be able to quickly get ahead of the game and build a lot of buildings fast.  A nice part of the building process is you are given the freedom to choose which plots buildings can go, which allows you to customize your town.  Some buildings can only be used in one location, however.

Buildings are very important and offer rewards on cooldown.  Depending on the building it might offer you tools, resources, gold, or simply be part of the cosmetic look of your town after its initial benefit is earned.  You might have learned that it is very annoying to have to try and tap anything on the very sides of your phone, especially if you have a case protecting it.  Unless you know what buildings do what, you have to take a chance that you might place a building in an inconvenient location for your finger to tap.  Sometimes buildings are placed behind other buildings and you end up tapping the wrong one and you are put into a different menu, away from the town, then must try again and be more precise in your tapping.  Considering all of those bonuses are endless and only require time before they are replenished, you deal with it, but it would be nice if there was some sort of catch-all button, as once you build out your town to capacity, it can be a chore to click 50 things every time you start it up after a few hours.  It would have been nice if there was a way to move buildings around, but there is no option to do so.

Gold is essentially the primary resource in the game, and with gold you can buy or do practically anything.  When you grind your resources in the farm/mine, you can sell extra resources for gold at the Market.  Gold is the limiting factor of the game, and if you had a lot of it, the game’s challenge would go away.  Initially when I started playing there was no way to buy gold, but with an update sometime last year (shortly before I uninstalled it) they added an option to buy.  If you play enough, you’ll have as much gold as you could ever desire, so the impetus to buy is pretty low.  Considering once you get to the end you can Reset the game to the beginning and start anew, I’m not entirely sure what happens to the gold you might have bought.  You can look at this more as a “cheat” rather than something that allows you to play longer.  I did get a bit disappointed when that was added, but it didn’t take away anything from the core gameplay, so it is easily overlooked.

Workers are also a nice cosmetic addition, walking through your town when hired.  As you hire more workers, they benefit you in specific ways and you can become more efficient.  You can only hire up to five of each worker, so you have to plan for which workers will benefit you the most at the time of your progression.  They cost resources, so you may have to decide between a worker and a building at times.

The art style really grows on you, and as you get used to it you see the charming aspects it has to offer.  The animals and the vegetables have a lot of character to them, and the workers and buildings all fit in and have unique art.  There are lots of colors and you really feel like you’re in a old time utopia town making your denizens happy with your progression.  The music isn’t terrible, either, and the sound effects also add a bit of fun as the chickens cluck, pigs oink, and the cows moo when you match them.  Different tools also have different sound effects and the dynamite can be satisfying along with its visual action.

Late in the game, you are able to open treasure chests which offer nice bonuses.  To open treasure chests you have to meet the requirements of the treasure map, which may be something like matching 14 grass.  To open the chest at this point, you need to drag your finger through 14 grasses before ending up on the chest.  There are also different levels of chests, and they may require more rare resources being matched to have them open.  This adds a challenge to the game in its later stages, but also can mean nice rewards.  There are also items to collect that appear in your archaeology hut, and once a collection is complete, you gain a permanent buff.

While there is a long end game to play once you’ve completed your village, it can become old fast as it is very grindy.  The exciting part of the game is building up your town and making more buildings.  Once the game changes its focus to completing treasure chests and defeating enemies, it becomes a little frustrating at times and not as light-feeling as it is when you initially start the game.  Fortunately you are able to reset the game and start from scratch, so you are able to play as you see fit.  If you are really good, you’ll have so many tools you don’t know what to do with them.  Tools can be frustrating to use over and over as it takes two clicks to use them, and if you have 80 of them to use as extra, you’re going to have to click 160 times to use them all.  Some tools become redundant and obsolete as you progress, but you are still stuck with them as the only way to get rid of them is to use them.

Puzzle Craft deserves a lot of attention.  It is such a great smart phone game to play, and without being pestered to buy in-app credits every ten seconds, you really feel like the purpose of the game was to have fun rather than sell you endless amounts of digital goods or peddle ads to you all of the time.  A rare thing to see in games, nowadays.

 

#23319: davepoobond -> Automatic Man

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series The Case of the Stolen Backpack

During High School…

davepoobond: my backpack got jacked

davepoobond: during lunch

Automatic Man: LOL

davepoobond: when i was buying my lunch, i bet some kid thought it was his

davepoobond: but there wasn’t any extra backpacks out there

davepoobond: my cell phone, calculator, binder full of all the papers for the year so far, my english binder, and my english notebook are all gone

Automatic Man: that sux

davepoobond: i’m pretty much screwed on the next sociology test

Automatic Man: ya

davepoobond: and the next time my english teacher collects the notebooks

davepoobond: and my squackle notebook was in there too

davepoobond: its vucking gay

Automatic Man: ya

Automatic Man: ull get it back prlly

davepoobond: i dont know though

davepoobond: there wasn’t an extra backpack anywhere

davepoobond: that doesn’t really make sense does it

Automatic Man: the world doesnt

davepoobond: why would someone come back pick up their backpack and keep mine

davepoobond: unless they wanted to keep my shit

davepoobond: for some stupid reason

Automatic Man: ill give it back to you tomorrow

Automatic Man: 😛

davepoobond: did you seriously take it

davepoobond: i dont think you did

Automatic Man: no, i didn’t. and it sux that it was taken.

davepoobond: i had a lot of pens and markers too

davepoobond: and white out

davepoobond: and lead

Automatic Man: ya

davepoobond: scissors. my favorite scissors

davepoobond: my favorite calculator

Automatic Man: lol

davepoobond: my glasses case

Automatic Man: u had a fav.?>

davepoobond: yeah i have a favorite everything

davepoobond: i prefer the scientific calculator i had to a graphing calculator

Automatic Man: lo

 

What’s It Like to Be a Panda?

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Cashier Lesson – Being a Receptionist Without a Chair

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Cashier Lessons

Everyone knows that when you’re a receptionist or manning a desk you either are standing up, sitting down, or leaning against whatever can hold you weight.  But what people don’t know is how to cope with being a receptionist in a situation where the desk is made for sitting but there is no chair!  It’s supposed to make you look more approachable when you’re standing around looking like you’re straining to do everything you’re trying to do rather than sitting in a chair using the desk that is made for sitting in the way it was designed to.

So you are forced to stand, but lo and behold, you’re not four feet tall, so 85% of the surface is out of reach and the other 10% is unusable due to line of sight issues.  That leaves approximately 2.5% of the desk you used to be able to use for use.  The other 2.5% is taken up by the normal useless junk that you’re required to keep on your desk, such as business cards and phones — you never had that to begin with anyway.

There are a number of solutions to tackle this problem.  Pick the most viable solution for your situation:

1. Bring the counter to you.

This solution requires you to engineer the desk or counter in such a fashion that it rises approximately three feet into the air.  You can use anti-gravity machinery or exquisitely stylish cherry-wood wedges to accomplish this.  It’d be like you’re sitting… but you’re standing!

2. Bring you to the counter.

This solution requires you to invent the marmalade that Alice drinks in Alice in Wonderland.  Just make sure you drink just enough to shrink to the size of the desk.  But I guess you can drink enough so that you can swim around in the tears of lazy receptionists who don’t like to stand up while being a receptionist.

3. Pretend like you’re sitting.

Who says you can’t sit without a chair?  You can crouch or sit on an imaginary chair, or develop a jet engine system to keep yourself comfortably levitated at the elevation of your counter.

4. Get a new counter/table.

The most sensible solution of all is to get a new counter.  But sensibility is more expensive than a new counter, so you’ll most likely have to forgo this solution nine times out of ten.

5. Bring the surface of the counter to you.

I suppose this is most sensible low-cost solution.  But this means you spend money on ancillary items when you could just solve your problem by using the chair you already bought instead of raised surfaces to solve a problem you didn’t need to create.  But, who cares, it’s just money, right?

Another challenge that is presented is your ability to be sneaky about things.  While in a chair, you would be able to sneak a snack or a peek at your cell phone just to holla at your homies.  There are only two presentable solutions available to tackle this problem:

1. Hide under the counter/desk.

Hiding under the counter/desk allows you to temporarily shirk any responsibilities you may have been forced to do.  You can hide from customers, managers, other employees — its like a safe haven for about five minutes while you sext that hottie you met at the bar last night.

2. Make the counter into a fort.

Nothing says “fuck you” to customers better than stacking up large amounts of random shit so high into the air so they can’t see you anymore.  Who says you need to help anyone but yourself?  You need some alone time randomly during the day after you’re creeping on the hot guy/girl trying on a shirt in front of the fixture instead of the fitting room?  Time to get some boxes and staple a handwritten “Do Not Disturb” sign so people can’t see you anymore, and don’t come-a-knocking.

 

Quote #21190

“It’s getting warmer, and do you know what that means? Girls are getting into convertibles and driving them, while talking on cell phones and yelling at their friends on the sidewalks. I wish it was cold again. Bad drivers never drive during the winter because ‘it’s too hard’ or ‘there’s too much snow.’ Once it is no longer coat weather, the dumbest girls come out in tank tops and Dodge Neons and terrorize the streets. It’s horrible and there should be a law against it.”

– Matt Sussman

 

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