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Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) Browser Game: Land of Destiny


And I’m back (again – I know). For the next couple of days I’ll be posting links to various browser games that I’ve been indulging in (or perhaps, wasting time in). I’m not so much into the shoot-em up type games and/or the SciFi/Fantasy type games that are so popular these days. For some reason I’m not big on all of the Facebook games either – probably because my news feed is full of them (which I block by the way). Anyhow, there will be a few games that I have started to play a bit over the next couple of days.

Land of Destiny is a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) browser game. It is a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game in which you are up against thousands of other players building online villages at various levels of development. The game is set in Roman Times and your objective is to quickly build a village and then participate in defensive/offensive strategy/battles. Not only is it necessary to be aware of potential attackers, you also need to contend with the weather (the season changes on a weekly basis and each day the weather can be different). Of course there is a lot more detail to the game than that.

The current online world is coming to an end in early July 2011, so a fresh start is just around the corner. I am using the remaining time to learn the game and develop my strategies for the new gaming world when it arrives.

Play the Game at:
http://www.landofdestiny.com/

 

Grou.ps – Free, but Not Really


I haven’t posted for a few days on this Blog. Reason? I have been busy deactivating social networks and deleting information I have stored on the Grou.ps platform. I have also been advising members in these communities to do the same.

I was once an advocate for Grou.ps, despite the many problems that existed there, sure that the service was improving and there was great potential in the platform. Now I feel that I have been betrayed by a platform I defended and pushed. Why do I feel this? The service has decided to go premium – though there is a free option also. However, the free option removes the privacy and moderation that owners of Grou.ps communities were assured of. You can just imagine what will happen with spam and privacy under these circumstances. Added to that, the platform is plagued with performance issues and seemingly full of bugs (at least that has been my experience and that of many others in the support forums).

I will not be supporting Grou.ps and longer and withdraw all of my endorsements of their product. As someone in the support forum said, they don’t mind paying for a service that works. Neither do I, but there is also the issue of the bad taste left in my mouth as a result of the way Grou.ps has ‘betrayed’ their loyal members and users.

http://grou.ps/

Indian Hawthorns are in Full Bloom


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Another sign that spring is here is that the Indian Hawthorns (Rhaphiolepis indica) are in full bloom and looking spectacular in the Tea Gardens Grange gardens. We have a large number of these plants with some planted in mass plantings and others in hedges.

The Indian Hawthorn is an evergreen shrub that usually grows 2-3m tall x 2m wide. There are several cultivars, with one having completely pink flowers. The flowers are generally followed by a black to blue berry. Flowers appear mainly in spring, though there can be some flowers at other times. There is a slight perfume, but I barely notice it.

Indian Hawthorns can be used as specimen plants, tub plants, hedges, in drifts and in coastal areas (salt tolerant).

Indian Hawthorns are best grown in full sun (though they tolerate semi-shaded positions in hot climates) with reasonably fertile, well-drained soil. They will respond well to regular shaping, including the use of hedging machinery.

Plants can be propagated by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer.

For more Indian Hawthorn pictures visit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinmatthews/sets/72157622203247845/

BUSHFIRE SEASON HAS ARRIVED


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On Friday I was visiting the Bulahdelah Cemetery in order to photograph headstones for my family history research. I decided to go up to Bulahdelah after work, it being only a short journey from Tea Gardens.

What I had noticed over the last week or so was that as the temperature had begun to rise so the number of bushfires and controlled burns had increased around the area dramatically. In fact, there have been quite a lot of bushfires burning around the area. Though this photo was taken on Friday, bushfires are continuing to burn around the place, driven by the very strong winds and dry conditions that currently exist. There is a massive fire burning over toward Nelson Bay by the look of it, as there are huge plumes of smoke in that direction.

This photo was taken from the Bulahdelah Cemetery toward Alum Mountain, where the fire was burning. The air throughout the area, from Tea Gardens to Bulahdelah, was full of smoke and there was a thick smoke haze. I wouldn’t say the air was choking, but every breath certainly had the taste of summer upon it.