Cookies. Squirrel!

I lost my momentum when I was momentarily distracted by a squirrel.

Cookie Clickers is a completely ridiculous, no-point-to-it, time-sucking, free game app for your phone.

Fact is, there’s no real competition. Unless you happen to know other people who are playing the game, and decide to be in competition.

Truly, this has to be the dumbest game ever invented, and I’m dumbly addicted.

The premise is to make as produce as many cookies per second as possible, by tapping on the big chocolate chip cookie in the center of your phone screen. You read that correctly; yes, I do mean “cookies per second.”

To level up, you simply need to accumulate cookies. You will use your baked cookies to purchase Power Clicks, Auto-Clicks, Grandmas, Robots, Various levels of Cookie Farms, Cloners, Atomic bakers and Aliens who run labs and factories, all of which will enable you to make more cookies. Which you’re only doing because you can, and because it satisfies some strange self-competitive thing deep inside you.

At the time I began jotting notes for this week’s Knabble, I was making about a little over 17,000 cookies per second. My bank is only currently 64 million for two ridiculous reasons. The first is that I accidentally bought something for 100 million cookies. I have no idea what I bought, but it grabbed 100 million cookies out of my jar. I was so close to the 200 million I was aiming for to level up.

Exactly, how did that happen? Well, it’s like this…

There are golden cookies which fly across the phone screen. These gems are randomly tossed, at a high speed. If you happen to be clicking when one drops, it is worth beaucoup cookies. If you happen to be paying attention and fast enough to catch it.

There also is a timed conversion to chocolate milk instead of regular milk. You can see that one coming by monitoring the brown fill-up line at the bottom of the screen. You’ll want to be ready to click s little faster for the short amount of time the choco-milk is flowing. Clicking during the chocolate phase increases the tapping cookie production by 10%. If your click is worth 16 cookies, fast-tapping into the chocolate river earns 160 cookies, and so on…

Then, there is Cookie Rain; a shower of golden cookies predetermined by the completion of the yellow at the top of the screen. Golden cookies rain falls for a very short span. In order to catch any, you must directly tap on the individual golden cookies. If each golden cookie is worth 2,000 (beginner status), swiping 10 golden cookies has just increased your stash by 20,000 cookies, in approximately 10 seconds.

Bottom line: fast and frequent increases cookie dough. Should you be distracted from this hardly riveting game, yet keep blindly clicking, you risk ending up in a danger zone. At least that’s what’s happened to me… a few times.

The first time, I was sitting on my couch waiting on company, and tapping my phone screen rather seriously when I was momentarily distracted by a squirrel. Seriously, there was a squirrel at my living room window, and a lot of pitiful kitty crying because there was an obstructive glass between them and nature. I may have looked away for 10 seconds. Just long enough to glance away and back for a second glance. I can’t say for sure that my fingertips were on auto-pilot, but I never stopped clicking. I was close enough to almost purchase a level-up booster. When I checked my gains, I was unpleasantly surprised to discover I had accidentally tapped myself into the Shop. That’s that cute little store front with the red striped awning icon at the lower right of the screen. That’s where you will find and be able to purchase cookie-making upgrades with cookies you’ve earned. You’re beginning to see the cyclical nature of this useless endeavor, yes?

Unbeknownst to me, I had been continually clicking on purchases. I needed 200 million cookies to get to the next level where I could spend my cookies to purchase more factories to make more cookies. I’m not sure what I ended up buying to the tune of 100 million cookies. I had been at 164 million. That was a bummer. Even more of a bummer was that I managed to do it again. And again, once more after that.

Like I said, I’m never going to catch up to the one person I know who plays. But, I was honestly disappointed to have lost so much ground. I figured I had a few options. 1. I could stop playing this ridiculous game. 2. I could give my uninterrupted, full attention to where I was clicking. Or, 3. I could turn the phone upside down and play upside down, which would make it rather unlikely that I would blow cookies… again. Option # 3 won. I purchased the S-factory at 260 million. Oh, did I mention that following purchases, the price of other purchases go up? Well, they do. That’s why my 200 million S-factory ended up costing me 260 million.

So, there you have it. The game is very helpful in long lines and waiting rooms. I have been doing a lot of waiting and silently clicking lately. The dinging and ringing kinda get to you after a while, so I politely assume they would probably annoy those nearest to me. I’m a hundred percent sure I will never catch up to the person who introduced me to it. They’ve got somewhere around 200 million-billion cookies in their bank.

Current status, as of this evening, is a little less than 900 million. The next level – Alien Tech – is available for purchase at 780 million, and it’s “Decision Time.” Decision Time is a conundrum concocted solely by me. Do I go for the next logical level up, or hang out for the Alien C-X at the current purchase price of 1 billion chiparoos. Alien Tech raises production by an additional 20,000 per second. Added to my current CPS (cookies per second) of 52,697, that means my leveled-up CPS would be 72,697.

Suppose, though, I decided the hang to my hoard in favor of a higher level by accumulating an overage. The Alien C-X will increase my current rate by 30,000. It’s tempting, but here’s the rub: the additional 20K will get me to the next level of an additional 30K faster for a total jump of 50,000 CPS. If I skip Alien Tech and go baking all the way to Alien C-X, my CPS will only be +30K plus current.

Well, huh. Maybe it’s not so mindless after all. Maybe it’s a lesson in patience, or concentration. Or maybe, it’s just a lesson on greed. Maybe, it’s a disguised exercise for the analytical mind. Maybe all these fake cookies are supposed to kill the appetite for real ones. Maybe it’s just a plain old nothing-else-to-do waste of time. Or maybe, it’s a really addictive, well-thought-out, optionally ponderous, remedy for the average Joe’s over-abundance of stressful, restrictive time management and having to wait… a lot. Maybe…

Just so you know… I went with the Alien Tech and the 20K increase. I mean, who wouldn’t, right?



 Quotes for the Week:


“People have got to learn: if they don’t have cookies in the cookie jar, they can’t eat cookies.” Suze Orman


“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.” Barbara Jordan


Enjoy this week’s discovery links:

The Science of Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Cookie Clicker – Apparently also available @ iTunes:

The  Badger explains Game Addiction:



Facebook requests come at me often. General inquiries aimed at anyone, mostly themed around the current child’s worlds.

I’ve never been an expert on children. I’ve never been an expert on anything, truly. I can only help out with bits and pieces from research and my own formulated impressions.

Personally, I’ve always objected to being labeled “nice.” For me, the word implies satisfactory, fine (acceptable), merely pleasant, nondescript, and definitely non-remarkable. Interestingly, the Merriam Webster definition of nice includes the word “kind.” I disagree, based on nothing more than self-derived semantics. The subtle difference is in the appointment.

Nice is surface: it’s how you behave when meeting a new person, politely with reservation. There is no investment in nice, no kindred-ship. Although, in most situations, the world and all its inhabitants, are a little easier to handle when everyone is “nice.”

But, kind…

Kind is deeper: it’s actually caring. Again, from Merriam Webster: showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others : wanting and liking to do good things and to bring happiness to others.

My interpretation and aspiration of kind is spiritually and/or physically drawing others near enough to determine what is needed, and providing it.  This is my problem. I want to invest… in everyone. And, depressingly, the number of people willing to be kind in return is extremely, extremely small.

I’ve lost the lead-by-demonstration battle so many times, and yet, I go at it again and again. It’s crucial to my existence. Not quite like breathing; more like inhaling deeply to oxygenate places unreached by shallow draws. It’s my expansion into the world; my Spirit Life; my Rise.

It runs a little low, at times. Periods of pull-back, of recoup, aren’t as uncommon as I’d like them to be. I am always drawn back, thanking Ephesians, the Dali Llama and Steve Earle for my repeated resurfacing.


Quote for the Week:

kind fierce brave






Enjoy this week’s discovery links:


Dalai Lama:

Steve Earle. I’m the Other Kind:

Kate Forsyth:

Playlisting: Treadmill Time, 03 14 2014

Today’s Ancient  iPod Shuffle treadmill playlist:


Avril Lavigne. What The Hell.

Bush. Machine Head.

Duncan Sheik. Barely Breathing.

Rodney Atkins. If You’re Going Thru Hell.

Cee Lo Green. F**k You.

Del Amitri. Sometime I Just Have To Say Your Name.

Carrie Underwood. Jesus Take The Wheel.

Ne-Yo: Closer.

Crosby, Stills & Nash. Southern Cross.

Kid Rock & Martina McBride. Care.

AllStar Weekend. Undercover.






Playlisting: Treadmill Time 03 13 2014

Today’s Ancient  iPod Shuffle treadmill playlist:


Joss Stone: Tell Me What We’re Gonna Do Now (…because some songs deserve double play.)

Rob Thomas: Give Me the Meltdown.

Blue October. Into the Ocean.

Van Morrison. Full Force Gale.

Marillion. The Uninvited Guest.

Counting Crows: Open All Night.

Uncle Kracker: Drift Away

The Delevantes: Pocket Full of Diamonds.

Aaron Shust: Give Me Words to Speak.


Playlisting: Treadmill Time 03 12 2014

Today’s Ancient  iPod Shuffle treadmill playlist:


Joan Armatrading. Is It Tomorrow Yet

Lifehouse. Wrecking Ball (…not the Miley Cyrus song at all.)

Evanescence. Call Me When You’re Sober

Color Me Bad. I Wanna Sex You Up (…truly, not sure where this track came from.)

Dashboard Professional. I Know About You

Rob Zombie. Dragula

Melissa Etheridge. Bring Me Some Water

Blues Traveler. Run-Around

Chris LeDoux. Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy

Joss Stone. Tell Me What We’re Gonna Do Now


Playlisting: Treadmill Time 03 11 2014

Tonight’s Ancient (250 songs max) iPod Shuffle treadmill playlist:

Blue Rodeo. Till I Am Myself Again

Lady Antebellum. Slow Down Sister

Ed Sheeran. You Need Me, Man (I Don’t Need You.)

U2. Stuck in a Moment

Bone Pony. Poor Boy Blues

When In Rome. The Promise

Brother Phelps. The Other Kind

Chris Rene. Rockin’ With You

Jason Isbell. Super Eight

Muse. Super Massive Black Hole

David Ford. Pour a Little Poison

The Wreckers. Leave the Pieces

Crowded House. I Walk Away

Works Progress Administration. Always Have My Love

Keane. Is It Any Wonder



what goes


Circumstances have allowed me to allow routine into my life.

If I were to write an advertising tag-line, it would most likely proclaim:

Routine: Makes Everything Easier

My main objection to routine has always been, “It’s boring.” We ate, as a family, every evening at 5:30 pm. Sunday we had tuna sandwiches for lunch. Tuesday was the day assigned for emptying the indoor trash bins in the bathrooms; Thursday was “strip the bed day,” which later morphed into strip the beds, wash the sheets, and replace them, on all beds.” I knew what was expected, and it made my parents’ lives easier.

My no-longer-living-at-home vow was to not restrict myself; to just do things as they needed to be done. My first independent living experiences were… messy. I rarely put things back where I found them, kept multiple sets of sheets to avoid laundering every week, stockpiled magazines and cleaned only when company was expected.

Routine, although seemingly boring, becomes manageable once a pattern sets in. One key ingredient for routine is limitation. Limiting choices is a personal challenge that has become important and more comfortable for me. There are circumstances that simply do not require 17 choices. 17 choices require 17 analyzations, ranking, reanalyzing, paring to a smaller palette, and a smaller palette, and possible an even smaller palette; then, finally, a final comparison and decision A basic palette of 5-8 colors produces unlimited options; no one really needs 120 tubes of paint. We can get where we want to go to with fewer choices, a little less expensively. I admit the big, big Crayola 150-count Telescoping Crayon Tower has caught my fancy. I can’t mix crayons the way I mix paint; and I’m not discounting the possibility that layering and overlaying could lead to something amazing. I’m also not likely to hang my own crayon art on my walls, or give it away as gifts.

In any case, as I mentioned, my desire to embrace routine is coming to place where my working theory has become an almost-realized vision. Working out once a day is a routine: changing the mode, incline and speed are variables.

I tend to have the same things for breakfast: Oatmeal OR Yogurt, and a fruit.

What I want to stress is my late-bloomer discovery that routine doesn’t have to mean boring. My morning fruit could be an apple, pear, clementine, banana or grapes. Based on my rate of use, I tend to only keep three types of fruit at any time. My oatmeal could be sweetened with strawberries or blueberries, or become savory including cheese, and sometimes a small amount of leftovers. Dinner could be chicken, sprouts, and a baked pear or it could be EggBeaters with spinach, cheese and potatoes and one wild-card item, usually a protein or additional vegetables.

I also adore my FoodSaver. I standardly cook a meal for 2 or 4. I vacuum-seal and freeze the leftovers. These small stockpiles of choice are easy. I currently have cooked ground beef, pork roast, steak and chicken ready for the after work-out dinner grab. I keep frozen spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, and fresh carrots, onions and peppers. I prefer fresh tomatoes, but in the off-season, canned tomatoes join canned mushrooms, olives and beans as other staples. I have nothing again fresh, except that I don’t tend to use it fast enough to avoid waste. I have a box of macaroni, a box of spaghetti, and a few cans of tuna should I ever feel the urge. I do keep emergency treats: frozen cookie dough (cooking up just a few at a time), hard candies, gum, and a cake mix, just in case. Chocolate isn’t on my emergency list because it’s part of my daily routine. One piece, every evening. 🙂

Long-lasting, shelf-stable items provide a sense of security for me. I still want freedom of choice Limiting the number and types of pantry items I maintain requires more creative use to avoid boredom. I’m pretty creative with food. Sometimes to the point that others question my taste, but as long as it tastes good to me, it’s fine. There’s lots of creativity out there on the internet – from 5 ingredient dinners to using different spices or vegetables.

I am happily sticking to what I know works for me and what fits into my SparksPeople diet plan. It makes meal planning easier. It allows meals to be made more efficiently.  It makes grocery shopping easier, although I do still read the weekly ads to see what is on sale. Sometimes, there is some sort of “treat” that sounds really good, so I add it to my list. It could be a healthy treat such as crab clusters, or could be an unhealthy treat such as ice cream.  Mostly, that item never makes it into my grocery cart. That’s due to another game I play: that challenge is called “Budget.”

2 Corinthians 8:15  As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

Quote for the Week:








Enjoy this week’s discovery links:

5 Ingredient Dinners:

Basic Pallettes:

Vacuum Sealing Guidelines:

Sparkspeople (a free nutrition and fitness tracker, specialized):