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I have spent the last two weeks on vacation in the spottiest internet country – Southern Utah and Northern Arizona.     These areas don’t believe in Wi Fi, and only believe in 3g/4g quite a small amount.      Motels and areas all promise Wi Fi but deliver something less than solid communications – and certainly not enough to download games onto.     A decent ping is to laugh about.   But tonight, finally, I am home after being burnt while climbing various canyons and keeping the junior rangers happy.

I did barely manage to participate in the Steam Sale.     I watched and bought a fair number of games really cheap.     Fallout : New Vegas for $2.50 had to have been the cheapest.    I bought a fair number of games and am tempted to buy more.    Steam really is the DRM system made for gamers, including such low prices why wouldn’t you buy things ?

With no connectivity, that left Minecrafting over the weeks.     If seeing Zion Canyon doesn’t make you want to dig deep tunnels and find gold, you must not play Minecraft.     I’ve managed to dig another mineshaft and continued stockpiling iron.   It seems I’m not going to stop at the Mooshroom Railroad, instead I’ll be connecting all my far-flung domains with minecart rails, because it’s fun and it gives me something to do in game.

I am thinking about using some of that useless dirt I’m stockpiling as well, and seeing what would happen if I built a dirt ziggarut.    Or pyramid – name it as you please.    The idea is a simple mountain, starting at a particular corner, and it can just get as big as it needs to.

But in the meantime, Steam games beckon.     Universe in a Sandbox is surprisingly fun to mess around with.     My boy and I sat down in front of the computer and started to play around with the solar system.      For a start, we just watched the simulation run; Mercury swings swiftly around the sun, and you get a sense of just how big even the solar system itself it, trying to find Pluto and Jupiter in there along with the Earth.

Then we sped the simulation up a bit.     Or a lot.     The simulation breaks down at high rates of speed, and planets start getting ejected from the solar system, which is great fun.      And next, we wanted to see what would happen if we made Mercury weigh as much as the Sun.     This turned the Earth solar system into a binary-like star system as Sun and Mercury whipped around each other, while Venus was flung off into the void, and the Earth got way too hot and everything burned to a crisp on top of it.

Next time this title is on sale – get it.     It’s a bunch of laughs, and if nothing else, got me and both of my children talking about space.     I’m betting they even learned a thing or two.      And this morning, instead of waking up and playing Minecraft, the boy was trying to log into Steam.    He wanted to hit the earth with some asteroids before breakfast.