Happy Monday–or if you’re in Massachusetts, Happy Snow Day. We’re getting another foot or so dumped on us right now, and total snowfall for the area this winter is clocking in somewhere around my height (I’m 64″). Oddly enough, I’m still excited about each snowfall that we’ve gotten, though I think my delight has something to do with the fact that I don’t need to shovel a 70′ long driveway, plus a sidewalk and stairs. Plowing services are magical–not perfect, because sometimes they just do a quick once over and don’t always get the sidewalks–but it makes a world of difference in my attitude toward the weather. Sure, we still have to shovel out our car, a feat that can take up to an hour, depending on how much snow we get. That’s proving to be plenty of shoveling for me, thank you very much. If I had to do the entire driveway as well, I’d be crying. Sure, I’d be happy about the exercise I was getting, but I’d be crying at how much of my day was spent outdoors with the shovel.
Monday here on the blog means a Jill Moves update, and as you can imagine, the snow is putting a damper on things. I don’t live in a town that tickets if you don’t shovel your walk, so you can be shuffling down the sidewalk one minute, then the next, have to wade through the slushy snow on the side of the road, hoping that drivers see you walking down the street, because, well, Massholes.
This pretty much dictates that I walk outside, which is mighty slow-going these days. I make those walks even slower because I’ve started playing Ingress with a vengeance, and I’m spending a lot of time capturing portals, deploying resonators, creating links and trying to destroy enemy portals. It’s a lot of work, keeping the Enlightenment in control, but it’s fun, and it keeps me on track.
Wait–what? If you’re not really into mobile games, you may not have heard of Ingress, which can best be described as a game of capture the flag that uses landmarks all around you. These landmarks are called portals, and you capture them for your team and try to link them to other captured portals to create large force fields and hopefully control the planet.
There’s some mumbo jumbo about a new energy existing on our planet, and the two teams are built around the perception of this energy–are we scared of what it can do, or can we harness it for good? So it’s Resistance (blue team) vs. Enlightenment (green team).
At least, that’s what I make of it. I’ve been very lackadaisical in completing my “agent training” (which has to be done in front of a portal. It’s too cold to stand around in one place for that long. I mean, videos are involved), so I’ve been learning on the fly. Mostly though, I wander around, do my thing and try to contribute to my team. I like to level up and figure out all the things I can do within the game, but I’m not completely intent on being atop the leaderboard–if there’s a leaderboard. Is there a leaderboard?
Mostly though, because you have to play outside–and you really need to walk around–it’s a big driver in getting me outside and continuing my do-mileage-outdoors-every-day streak. Since I’m still in the “this game is so much fun” stage, I don’t mind wandering an extra block or two–or six–to find another portal and see another landmark I’ve walked past a hundred times and have never noticed. This is one one of the elements about the game that’s really cool. Get outside and explore. Move around. See the details of the world around you. And if you happen to be helping the Enlightenment, that’s even better.