Gaming is enjoying a great period of diverse appreciation. Growing up I played board games and card games, added RPGs with AD&D in 1983. Gaming can be a great way to avoid the trap of political and religious discussions that sometimes haunt us when we're visiting our relatives. Gaming can also assist with math skills, money handling skills, analytical thinking, conducting civil competition, learning from errors, appreciating chaos, and light hearted laughing at one's mistakes.
I suggest a varied approach, card games, traditional board games, modern tabletop, RPG. Find your favorites, explore what works with different people and in different social situations.
Most importantly, have fun, laugh a lot, and build great memories.
I spent just over 16 years devoloping and providing support for software used by continuing educators to manage classes, students, enrollment, money and the rest of the many details involved connecting people with enriching self improvement.
My own personal education experience and the experience of those administering education helped shape my strong opinions regarding education. Education is one of my strongest passions. I believe one of life's best gifts is to be a continual learner who never stops seeking self improvement.
Want to enjoy a few hours over coffee or other tasty beverages? Engage me on this subject.
Books, books, books!
Fill them with poetry, short stories, novels, and I'm happy. Tales of characters traversing human emotions, human failings, human conflicts. Journeys which I can navigate along with them and consider my own responses to their situations. It's a great way to transmit observations and lessons regarding being human.
Skimming blurbs just won't cut it.
Read. Read to your children. Read to each other.
Music has played, and will continue to play, a significant part in my life. The years have included early attempts of my mother to teach me piano, to guitar lessons at school when I was seven, saxophone as part of public school, electric guitar during high school years, a regionally successful metal band in the early 90s. Today I'm still playing, creating, buying, listening, and being shaped by music.
I had the privilege of working music retail from 1987 to 1996, during the height of American shopping malls which happened to go along with the newness and popularity of compact discs.
Music rewards in so many ways.
Technology, the application of science that ideally has the goal of making life less difficult and raising our abilities to do, and be, more.
When I use the word 'technology', I mean the entire human history of technology; the wheel, hunting tools, writing tools, levers, printing press, steam and combustion engines, and not only computer based technology.
My approach is one that views the technological advances as tools, not as social strata indicators or magic pills to solve our ills. Technology should be viewed for its benefits as well as with a cautious eye to its impact on the experience of living as a human in a complex and interconnected biosphere.
The gifts of science are immense. Modern, first world, society owes everything to science.
At its core is the scientific method, something that seems to get glossed over by those who attack science, attacks that attempt to deny or obviscate.
Science allows us to explore and increase our understanding of the mechanics of the Universe. Those mechanics include understanding our amazing, beautiful home, Earth.
Explore science. Learn. Question. Grow.