Friday, August 25, 2017

It wasn't even on a screen

I am have some bizarre DNS issues at the moment - I can get to the blogger page to add posts but I cannot get to my actual blog. I know that the blog is there, as I can get to it on my phone and tablet, but it times out on my computer. I know that it is DNS related because if I start up a VPN that using different DNS than I am using the site comes up.

The real kicker is that I am using Google DNS (8.8.8.8) and I am pretty sure that Google owns blogger. Way to go, guys.

...

Yesterday, thanks to a hefty Grupon, Mrs. Chamberlain (yes, she is real) and I tried out one of many Escape Chambers spin off franchises  that have been popping up in just about every tourist trap that we have been to. Think about it: you don't need a ton of space or any special utilities and can run it with just a few employees. Hell, I may start one.

Anyway, for the uninitiated, Escape Chamber puts you and your party, in my case just the two of us, into a room with very basic instructions. Find you way out, figure out what is going on, etc. Our room was a literal janitor's closet, complete with dim lighting and a dirty wash basin, and we had to figure out where he disappeared to and what his plans were.

The first thing that jumped out at us was an oversized rubik's cube that only turned on its horizontal axis. My video game addled brain screamed at me that this was important but we did not have the combination. My wife found a note in a book that had cryptically written instructions in the form of driving directions. Between the two of use we got it open, which gave us a key, which opened something else, and so on.

What I did not know when I signed us up was that I had chosen the most difficult room. Rooms, to be more specific, as once the janitor's closet was complete it opened up a secret door with a fucking bomb on a desk and creepy pictures of local landmarks. We almost solved it before the time ran out - the last puzzle was a combination of blacklight coordinates on a map, a chess board, and a riddle about being in front of or behind your court. It was fucking hard.

What was most interesting was the combination of thinking between my wife and I. I, in case you just got here, play a lot of video games. My puzzle solving skills are built around manipulating items in space and recognizing patterns. My wife does not play videogames but she has been a teacher for a long time and is an avid reader. She was able to pick apart the riddles in ways that I would have missed completely without her.

...to be honest, she did more of the heavy lifting. I just followed instructions and dug around in dark corners of the room for clues.

It was a lot of fun and I heartily recommend it. I would suggest keeping the group small. Any more than four and you will spend more time talking over one another than solving anything. Two worked for me but my wife is awesome and not everyone is so lucky.

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