Game Review: RAILGRADE

It’s embarrassing HOW many hours I spent playing Railroad Tycoon, SimCity, A-Train, and Locomotion in my formative years. RAILGRADE is the penultimate evolution of those precursors with great storytelling. And IF you love trains and logistics, it’s the perfect title because it comes without all the complexity of some of those earlier titles. I think ALL were ambitious in their own right, but sometimes those ambitions outstripped the processors available at the time. What I really love about RAILGRADE is they’ve ditched the clunky consist management. The user face is intuitive while the onboarding tutorials are engaging. The supply-chains are equally intuitive and not unnecessarily complicated (or before you’ve played scenarios to build the requisite skills to solve correctly). The emerging theme here is simplicity and it’s likely by design― the creators focusing on problem solving versus a classic business simulator. I also love the latter, but sometimes don’t want the tediousness of managing my share price, engaging in fare wars with my competitors, and selling/buying stocks. IF you get lost anywhere in RAILGRADE it’s the hours you’ll spend following your trains in the rail view.

A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism (YouTube)

Weekend 583.0

This is a sad postscript about Bermuda.

(1) A quarter-century of economic drama (The Royal Gazette)

The Front Street retail flagships disappeared over time, along with the traditional horse and carriage and welcoming tourist activity.

As the Bermuda recession dragged on, with the usual inflationary cost-of-living increases, I invited the late Larry Burchall, of Nanci the Spider fame and a brilliant journalist who understood the Bermuda economy better than anyone, to lunch. We both were concerned about the recession and its long-term impact on the community. I asked him what his thoughts were for the future.

His answer: “Bermudians will survive this latest setback, they will get by, but the recovery will not return to the lifestyle they have been accustomed to.”

Weekend 581.0 (…beautiful but woefully unkempt)

(1) The End of the Beer Option? Thoughts on the Closure of Spencer Trappist Brewery (Building Catholic Culture)

(2) The One, True, Imaginative Vision (The Imaginative Conservative)

“When disordered, it can also become a source of tremendous disorder: It is the raw nerve that Socrates set on fire, when he sought to teach Athenians to live an “examined life,” a choice to question even one’s own presumptions in favor of the truth; it is the painful climbing out of the Cave and learning to look at things by the light of Reality, not one given by the Puppet Masters of the age one inhabits.”

(3) A couple of UK Films on TUBI for your consideration:
(a) Albatross (um, Felicity Jones)
(b) Fever Pitch (NOT the version with the insufferable Jimmy Fallon)
(c) Tamara Drewe
(d) Ginger and Rosa
(e) The Bromley Boys
(f) Cemetery Junction (um, Felicity Jones) [added on 11/26/2023]

Also Strongly Recommended by Our Proprietor:

Bermuda 2023 (The Alley of Limes)

“…few who have visited this spot, only accessible in the calmest of weather, where not a seabird finds a resting place, can ever forget the impression of silence and solitude which it leaves on the mind.” — General Lefroy, Governor of Bermuda, 1871-1877

“Oh! could you view the scenery dear,
That now beneath my window lies,
You’d think, that nature lavish’d here
Her purest wave, her softest skies,
To make a heaven for love to sigh in,
For bards to live and saints to die in!
Close to my wooded bank below,
In glassy calm the waters sleep,
And to the sun-beam proudly show
The coral rocks they love to steep!
The fainting breeze of morning fails,
The drowsy boat moves slowly past,
And I can almost touch its sails
That languish idly round the mast.”
— Tom Moore

We were in Bermuda during Hurricane Lee. It was an amazing trip despite the tough weather. The only museum we missed on our itinerary was the National Musuem of Bermuda.

Smith’s Parish
(1) Spittal Pond
St. George’s Island
(2) Unfinished Church (Flickr Album)
(3) Gates Fort
(4) Sea Venture Memorial

“In memory of our great deliverance, both from a mighty storm and leak: we have set up this to the honor of God. It is the spoil of an English ship of three hundred ton, called the Sea Venture, bound with seven ships more (from which the storm divided us) to Virginia or New Britania, in America. In it were two Knights, Sir Thomas Gates, Knight, Governor of the English Forces and Colony there: and Sir Geroge Somers Knight, Admiral of the Seas. Her Captain was Christopher Newport, Passengers and Mariners, she had beside (which came all safe to land) one hundred and fifty. We were forced to run her ashore (by reason of her leak) under a Point that bore Southeast from the Northern Point of the island, which we discovered first the eight and twentieth of July 1609.”

St. David’s Island
(5) St David’s Lighthouse
Pembroke Parish
(6) Bermuda Historical Society Musuem & Public Library
(7) Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity
Southampton Parish
(8) Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
Sandy’s Parish
(9) Somerset Bridge
(10) Scaur Hill Fort
Hamilton Parish
(11) Crystal Caves & Fantasy Caves
(12) Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo
St David’s Island
(13) Carter House
St. George’s Island
(14) St. Peter’s Church
(15) Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church

(1) ‘Full update’ on Fairmont Southampton promised (The Royal Gazette)
(2) Bluck’s of Bermuda Store Closes After 175 Years (Bernews)
(3) Milestone reached in recovery of endangered cahow (The Royal Gazette)
(4) Premier: Fairmont Southampton deal ‘very close to closing’ (The Royal Gazette)
(5) Springfield: Quaint, Charming and Historically Significant (The Bermudian)

Limestone Archives
Bermuda Redux
Weekend 565.0
Odes to Nea written in Bermuda by Tom Moore <<< Transcribed from Tom Moore’s Bermuda Poems by William Zuill

Spittal Pond

More prose from Tom Moore:

Farewell to Bermuda, and long may the bloom
Of the lemon and myrtle its vallies perfume;
May spring to eternity hallow the shade,
Where Ariel has warbled and Waller has stray’d!
And thou — when, at dawn, thou shalt happen to roam
Through the lime-cover’d alley that leads to thy home,
Where oft, when the dance and the revel were done,
And the stars were beginning to fade in the sun,
I have led thee along, and have told by the way
What my heart all the night had been burning to say —
Oh! think of the past — give a sigh to those times,
And a blessing for me to that alley of limes!

The greatest saint ever to have lived…

(1) The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Westminster Cathedral)

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of three liturgical feasts in which we celebrate a birth: Christmas, the Birth of Saint John the Baptist, and the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Only the three most important figures in the Bible receive the honour of a liturgical celebration to commemorate their nativity.

(2) A quote from The Gift of Silence by Jerome Kodell, OSB:

The favorite images of Mary in art are the moments of silence: the annunciation; the scene at the crib—as a Christmas carol says, ‘How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given’; and Mary holding the body of Jesus in her arms beneath the cross. The silence of Mary is not an empty silence. It is a silence of contemplation: of waiting, of pondering, of loving. Mary pondering the message of Gabriel at the beginning and Mary with Jesus at the end: these are two different moments—of bewilderment, surprise, and apprehension, and loss of life, pain, and sorrow. The word that comes out of these moments is then and for all eternity the word of acceptance, submission: Fiat, ‘let it be.'”

The Visitation
The Visitation from the Stained Glass Museum in Ely

Kingdom Hearts Updates

(1) What Kingdom Hearts 4’s Lost Master Arc Could Imply (GAMERANT)

(2) Quote from The Legend of Kingdom Hearts by Georges “Jay” Grouard:

“Tetsuya Nomura was born on October 8, 1970. He grew up in the south of the island of Shikoku in a city located in the delta of the Kagami River with a castle perched above it. From its forests, to its beaches, to its limestone cave, and of course its various capes jutting out into the Pacific, Nomura’s hometown is heaven on earth. It was like the Destiny Islands for the young man, who felt restless and dreamed of adventure and becoming an artist. His life has been marked by the many people he has met along the way. He became a protégé to several important creators who “connected” with his heart and soul so that he would never lose sight of how yesterday’s principles can guide the way tomorrow too. Having gone through his own Mark of Mastery exam over a decade, he ultimately became the Master of his own destiny: an exceptional architect. Through great selflessness, ingenuity, and cleverness, he was able to convince the biggest entertainment empire in the world to yield to his genius, giving rise to one of the greatest works of our time; indeed, one of the greatest because it is much more than a video game…”

(3) This is my KH3 tribute video. Each scene is from KH3 and was taken in-game (not from cutscenes). The track is “Music from 358/2 Days” by Yoko Shimomura. Can you name the land each photo was taken?

(4) Do think now that Rapunzel has been reunited with her family that the festival for ‘the lost princess’ has been repurposed as the festival for ‘the hero’?

The Old Mansion in Twilight Town