The Sims: Analog Version

Yep. In the teeny world where I am a giant, people like to relive the fun and adventure of painfilled dentistry. They like to relive it so much, they go on Ebay and buy the moment for $300. And, if they like it for themselves, there are five additional offices available to give to friends and family so that they can enjoy the dentist in old fashioned style.

I love it that one of the sellers calls themself, “Precious Places” because that truly is all that. When one searches vintage dollhouse, that is when the wonderful and wierd pops up…along with Lithuanian couples (dolls) in national costume and of course, the servant class in uniform, ready to provide you a delicious dinner or neaten up after you. I wonder if they do dental exams or whether the Lithuanians have that skill.

Then there is the magic that only the Chinese can bring to this wonderland. The view of the  these “precious places” through the asian lense is a miraculous thing indeed. There are exotic hotels, and beach houses….little vacation get away cabins, and then mansions that only princesses can live in. They have pets, and horses, and all sorts of fabulous things though it does surprise me that the fascination with bling has not manifested itself in furniture, frames for mirrors etc…but believe me, I do keep hoping I am going to hit a rich vein of absurdity sometime soon. More later on this silliness.

Just finished a wonderful read that lead me on a journey almost Harry Potteresque only instead of witches and magic, it wove technology, Google, cyberspace, antique books, codebreaking, graphic design and fonts—in a wonderful chase for an answer-to let the good guys “win”. I highly recommend Robin Sloan’s “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore”.

“Robin Sloan cleverly combines the antiquated world of bibliophilia with the pulsating age of digital technology, finding curiosity and joy in both. He makes bits and bytes appear beautiful … The rebels’ journey to crack the code—grappling with an ancient cult, using secret passwords and hidden doorways—will excite anyone’s inner child. But this is no fantasy yarn. Mr. Sloan tethers his story to a weird reality, striking a comical balance between eccentric and normal … The pages swell with Mr. Sloan’s nerdy affection and youthful enthusiasm for both tangible books and new media. Clay’s chatty narration maintains the pace and Mr. Sloan injects dry wit and comedic timing suited to his geeky everyman … A clever and whimsical tale with a big heart.”
—The Economist

I was so taken with Mr. Sloan’s wonderful tale that I read his earlier book immediately after the Bookstore fun. “Annabel Scheme” started as a kickstarter project about the relationship of a detective and her cyber sidekick, a computer. Not as refined and as wild a ride as Mr. Penumbra, but none the less loveable heroine, loveable sidekick and a topsy turvy story that kept me turning pages at my 3 a.m. wakeup time. I wish there were more books from Robin Sloan as it was a dreamy place to go. I highly recommend both. They will be in the present box for the holidays.

More later.