"I would not like nights so bright you could not see the stars." -- Akira Kurosawa

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Atlanta
I grew up in a family of Southern storytellers. Back in 2004, I started Whole Bean to continue the tradition in a new medium. Over the years, I've written about families and friends, peculiar situations, extended road trips, recalcitrant home appliances, and many things for which I'm truly grateful. I hope you enjoy your time here.
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The Trials and Tribulations of a Virtual Farmhand


Hello from a rainy morning at Cafe au Lait coffeehouse. It's nice to be inside on such a chilly November day, I must say.

So this FarmVille thing on Facebook is getting out of hand. I liked the original incarnation of this game, a scaled back SIM-type diversion that I could actually handle. Those of you who know me know that I am not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination, so for me to even become involved in something like FV is a bit of a stretch, but I admit that at first, I found the game strangely fascinating.

But as with almost everything these days, the developers have not stopped with a good thing. Now we have gentrified chicken coops, random storage sheds, animals that are supposed to move but don't, and just plain too much work to do, unless you're sitting at home with nothing else on the agenda. The same thing happened with Microsoft Word back in 2007, when a perfectly good product was dolled up beyond recognition into something that requires an advanced degree to be utilized to its fullest.

Earlier this morning, I saw the most disturbing FarmVille-related thing that I've yet witnessed -- an online offer for a book called "Farm Domination", a step-by-step guide which promises to make you the undisputed FarmVille champion of your county, state, nation, and hemisphere. I don't know about you, but something about that title does not sound right to me.

So FV folks, I say let us have FarmVille Lite, the FarmVille for the rest of us. Oh, and while you're at it, is there a way we can pick our farm's location, maybe add some weather, and bring on a plague of locusts so we don't have to do so much work on the farm? But wait...those would all be enhancements. Forget I said that stuff.