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10/26/2016 Upgrading

I picked up a new phone last week. It's been about two years since I got my Samsung Galaxy S5 and the battery is pretty much shot (I'm lucky to get half a day if I use it for anything other than phone calls). I've been wanting to upgrade for a while, but was just hanging on until there was a good sale. Well, now I've got a Galaxy S7 Edge. Honestly, I don't care all that much about the edge functionality. It looks rather neat, but certainly isn't worth the extra cost compared to the regular S7...except that the Edge also has a better battery which, for me, is worth the cost. And it is a nice phone. Other than the usual Samsung and Verizon bloatware, and Samsung's strange insistence on turning on the Android feature that lets it treat a SD card as internal memory (which would be really convenient), I'm very happy with it so far.

The phone isn't the only tech upgrade I've got planned for the near future. It's about time to upgrade to a new laptop as well, which I talked about a little while ago. There's actually a small sale on the model I want right now, which is tempting. But, on the other hand, it's a brand new model and, while the brand is good, I kind of want to hold off until there's some professional reviews, just in case. I'm sure there'll be a similar, if not better, sale around Thanksgiving.



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If you like what you see why not toss me a couple bucks to help support the site? You can use the Paypal button on the left or you can drop me an e-mail if you want to send cash, checks, or money orders. I'll also accept gifted games on Nintendo Store, PSN, and Steam.
The more donations you guys send in the more cool stuff everyone gets during the following month. If total donations for the month are $25 or more you get commentary on a set of twenty of old strips! At both $50 and $75 you'll get two new Timmy Tonka strips! And at $100 Pebble Version will switch to a Mon - Fri update schedule (five new comics a week) for an entire month!
There's also the special long term bonus which will come when the mystery goal is reached.

10/21/2016 Quick update

The new bonus comic is up so use the TWC button to vote and see it!

Now, you may notice that there's no new comic up today. Or maybe you didn't. Due to a server glitch, the site was down for most of Wednesday and Thursday so this may be your first time seeing this strip. I went back and forth between leaving this one up or posting a new one but, in the end, I didn't have a new one ready yet and I'm swamped with work at the moment (which needs to be finished by the end of today), so that made the decision kind of obvious.

As a final announcement, there will be no update on Monday, since it's the last day of Sukkot. Updates will resume on Wednesday and I don't expect any more missed updates after that for the foreseeable future.

So I'll see you next week (which should be a whole lot less busy).


10/19/2018 Amish

Finally time for that RVC comment abut the Amish to go with my last travelogue entry.

RVC: The Amish
Actually, this comment is more tied to Pennsylvania than Virginia, but anyway...
The Amish are one of the more unique minority groups in the US. They actually live in 27 different states and part of Canada but they seem to be most associated with Lancaster County in Pennsylvania, which is home to one of the largest Amish communities. To the point where they're something of a tourist attraction, though they'd rather not be (they also don't like being photographed, though that doesn't stop people).
So who are the Amish exactly? To summarize... That story goes back to the Swiss Anabaptists, a Christian group who believed that children should not be baptized at birth, but when they're old enough to understand its significance and make the choice for themselves. That was against the teachings of the crown sponsored church, so they were persecuted. They got help from a certain church official, and named themselves Mennonites after him. Later on, a certain Mennonite leader believed that they needed to be stricter on members who broke away from the faith and completely shun or excommunicate them. Those who followed him broke away from the Mennonites and became the Amish. Both groups eventually moved to the US in the 18th century to escape persecution, mostly settling in Pennsylvania with the aid of William Penn, the state's founder (he wasn't Amish or Mennonite, just a nice guy). Later on, the Amish became considerably more distant from the Mennonites with the rise of electricity, when their leadership decided that they should avoid it, and a lot of other modern technology, in order to avoid becoming too enmeshed with the rest of the world.
Amish today live almost just like the Amish of 300 years ago. They drive horse drawn buggies (though they're allowed to ride in a car or bus if driven by a non-Amish), wear old fashioned hand-made clothing, and live simple lives, mostly as farmers, with a heavy focus on God and community. There's a lot more to it (and they do find some creative ways around the electricity restriction in certain limited ways), but that's the basic gist. If you drive around Strasburg, or any of the farmland around Lancaster, you're bound to see a number of Amish farms (easily recognizable by their lack of electric lines) and end up sharing the road with a few carriages. They certainly give the area a unique character and provide an interesting look back at a simpler time.


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