Introducing: The Caves of Planet Karvakus

I announced this on social media, because I wanted people to actually see it, but I suppose I should comment on it here: I have invented a new kind of maze! You know, like when you have a maze in an activity book? And you have to draw your way through? Well, what if one of those was partially an RPG? With hitpoints and stuff? I invented it! I call it an “adventure maze”!

Okay, I fully admit someone has presumably designed something like this before, but that didn’t stop me from doing it too.

The Caves of Planet Karvakus a science fiction adventure maze about a spaceship crew who have crashed onto a dangerous planet and have to explore a series of caves to find the materials needed to repair the ship. There are three characters, some with special powers, and the caves are filled with traps and monsters. The maze is designed to be challenging, hopefully appealing to an older audience who might enjoy this sort of thing (though my seven-year-old nephew did one of the mazes and enjoyed it). I feel like it would have appealed to me when I was a young teenager.

I’ll be honest, it was a lot of work, but I assume if I do it again it’d only be easier. And I do want to do it again. I hope there’s someone out there who would enjoy it.

The Caves of Planet Karvakus, as well as other printable colouring and activity books I’ve made, is available at Bottomless Hippopotamus.

Holiday Hairstylin’

Yesterday morning I spent some time with my family. About fifteen minutes (or more) of this were spent with me getting my hair styled by my four-year-old niece. She was very good at being a stylist, making conversation with her client, which included the following exchange that came as she was working on the top of my head:

Her: “Why is there so much skin on top?”

PDR: “I don’t know.”

Her: “I know. It’s ’cause you’re old.”

She was right, of course, so I wanted this recorded for posterity.

Just A Cute Thing I’ll Want To Remember

I was on the phone just now with my nephew, who is four, and he was getting his little sister, who is two, to say words for me to show how much he had taught her. He would say “Say ‘House'” and she would say “House!” and so on. But when he tried to get her to say “Furniture” she couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. “That’s a complex word,” I said “She can’t say it yet.” He agreed, but was proud he could say it. He went on, saying “Mama has furniture, and Nanny has furniture,” so I chimed in “I have furniture too, but mine isn’t as nice.” This is demonstrably true, given my history of financial woes combined with my lack of interest in acquiring anything that matches or whatever.

He has never seen my furniture in person, given that the only time he’s been in my apartment was when I was moving in and the furniture wasn’t even here. A large chunk of the kid’s life has been during pandemic, so he’s certainly not visited any time since.

But when I was self-deprecatingly putting down my furniture, he told me that “You do actually have nice furniture. I kind of love it.” It’s cute enough that he takes pride in teaching his sister, but it makes me extra happy that he cares enough about how other people feel to say something like that. It’s a sign he may not wind up a jerk.