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Long day’s journey … … into knights

mud treatment, the old fashioned way

mud treatment, the old fashioned way

I had the pleasure of spending the day with jousting knights, wailing winches and dueling swordsman.

The economy is in shambles. A new and terrifying disease is spreading throughout the area. People are making the most of tough times.

Welcome to England, circa 1543.

This was the final  weekend of the season, the Ohio Renaissance Festival in Harveysburg, Ohio and has again brought people from across the area together for some good very, very old-fashioned fun.

“It’s a cheap thrill,” Higgins said, dressed for the occasion in a black corset and appropriately antiquated pants. “It’s eight bucks more than a movie ticket (for admission to the festival) and you’re here all day. And the people-watching is great.”

The festival is a time warp back to the days of King Henry VIII, offering all manner of escapes from normal life. Wandering through the 27 acres of woodlands, visitors clap along with fiddlers and other traditional musicians, laugh as jesters in big floppy hats perform, and catch passing glances of men dressed as knights and women in bust-heaving dresses.

The festival also offers a multitude of stick-mounted foods – macaroni and cheese on a stick, steak on a “stake” and chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick. All this food on a stick apparently makes people thirsty, as guests consume 250,000 glasses each of beer and soft drinks, as well as 200,000 bottles of water during a season.

Unusual food is not the only draw for visitors, as actors, acrobats and magicians perform at stages and in open areas throughout the venue. Many shows require a great deal of audience participation, this full-on experience is what sets it apart from other forms of entertainment

Many of these performers – as well as the artists and craftsmen who make the festival run – travel a circuit of renaissance festivals throughout the country, starting in Arizona in February and ending their season in November. I had a great time again this year and I will be sure to make it back again next year.

Click the link below to see the Interview with Jake “the Wildman” from the picture above.


Fatal Car Crash on Rt. 32- Sardinia, Oh

A pickup truck and semi-tractor trailer crashed on eastbound Ohio 32 at Sardinia Morrystown Road in Brown County on Tuesday, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The driver of the pickup truck, William R. Taulbee, 63, of Mowrystown, Ohio, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the patrol. He failed to yield at a stop sign at the intersection, a dispatcher said. The truck driver, Michael Rogers, 56, of Bowden, Ga., refused medical treatment at the scene. The crash occurred at 5:25 a.m. and closed the eastbound lanes for several hours. The road is now open to traffic. The accident remains under investigation.

Photos of Crash

Review: Batman Arkham Asylum

If we went back in time two years and tried to convince ourselves that in 2009 Palm would release a damn fine phone, people would be excited about a new Windows release, and Batman would star in a game-of-the-year contender, what do you think we would say to ourselves? We live in interesting times.

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I was able to take the time today to take the new game by Rocksteady Studios,  Batman Arkham Asylum, for a spin. I have had the game sitting in my car for a couple of days and have not really been super excited to try the game, but today I had a day to be lazy and spend some quality time with my 10 year old daughter and thought that today may be the perfect chance for us to both do something fun and interesting together. I was not overly impressed with my first 10 minutes of game play, but found myself starting to get drawn into the character and begin getting woke up and put on the edge of my seat with the fight scenes that had you rolling with several of the Jokers thugs in a gritty street brawl.

There are two forms of combat in the game. The hand-to-hand fighting is limited to one button for attacks, but the action is far from simple. You’ll have to continually attack while careening from one target to the next, all while countering their attacks and dodging blows from pipes and knives. It only takes a moment to understand the combat, but mastering it will take quite a bit longer. The more I play the game, the more elegant I find the combat, and it never becomes tiresome.

The second type of combat comes in the Invisible Predator areas where you have large spaces to terrorize your opponents. As the game continues and you unlock different attacks, you’ll be able to quickly snatch enemies from above, glide down and land with both feet on their chests, or string up the baddies from your perch. As you take down your enemies one by one they become increasingly scared, agitated, and erratic in their motions. This is when you feel like you have become Batman; in any fair fight the Joker’s henchmen would beat you easily. It’s your challenge to make sure the fight is anything but fair.

It’s hard to single out what makes Arkham Asylum such a great game. The voice acting is amazing, although Commissioner Gordon and the Riddler are a little bit less polished than the other characters. The writing is top notch, and follows through from the dialog to the Joker’s crazed rants over the Asylum’s PA system to the inmate interviews you find scattered throughout the game. The world is absolutely jam-packed with inside jokes and references to the lore of Batman and the characters that surround him.

In conclusion

This is the part of the review where we dig for some flaws so as not to appear to be gushing, so here goes: the aspects of the game where you track your prey in detective mode are lame. There! I feel better.

If the main game wasn’t enough, there is a series of Challenge Rooms for you to practice your combat and go for the high score, and they are way more fun than they sound and should make for some great times passing the controller back and forth between your friends.

This is a completely satisfying experience from start to finish. I’ve been up for several hours grinding through it and I am not even close to being through the games content.This is one of the standout games of the year, licensed or not. There is a lot to do, multiple ways to do it, and one of the most popular characters of all time finally gets a video game worth his name.

School Shopping: Put Hand Sanitizer on the List.

Extra caution is being taken to be sure schools are particularly clean and prepared when the students return to school this fall. With concerns about a more potent round of swine flu arriving, officials are concerned that outbreaks can happen and schools are potential hotbeds. The extremely contagious strain of flu is expected to spread more rapidly in a highly concentrated area, as it did at summer camps throughout the summer. A worst-case scenario developed by the Centers for Disease Control anticipates that 40 percent of the country may be infected this fall. Health officials warned school administrators across the nation last week that student absentee rates from swine flu might reach 30 percent. Parents should send their kids off for the first day of school with hand sanitizer and instructions to wash their hands often with soap and water and avoid touching their faces, which spreads germs. Health guidelines suggest that students and staff with flu like symptoms stay home for at least 24hours after they no longer have a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines. High-risk people, including those who are pregnant or have asthma or diabetes, should contact doctors immediately if they become ill. The first step in detecting the flu is to evaluate the person for common symptoms, which include a fever of 100 degrees or more, cough or sore throat, body aches, headache, runny nose, chills, fatigue, diarrhea or vomiting. Health departments are preparing the H1N1 seasonal flu vaccines for early September. Public health department clinics, community clinics, doctor’s offices and some pharmacy and retail chains will carry the single-dose vaccine, either a shot or nasal spray. Since the first outbreak last March, 353 people have died from swine flu nationwide