A Philosopher's Blog

The Return of the Fourth King’s Game

Posted in Humor, Miscellaneous by Michael LaBossiere on December 15, 2012
Pile of gorgeous gifts

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like most people, I accumulate stuff that I no longer want or need and I like to get rid of it. I also like Christmas gift giving. As an experienced game master, I also really enjoy tormenting others (in the context of the game, of course). Back in 2010 I combined all of these into the much dreaded King Bob’s Game-an event my gaming group has learned to fear and loath.

The theological basis for the game was inspired by the Three King’s Day celebration in Puerto Rico. This is a very pleasant, but very hot, place to visit and I certainly recommend going there. The Spanish fortifications in San Juan alone are worth the trip.

As the story goes, three wise men or kings (not the same thing at all, of course) brought the baby Jesus some gifts. While this served as the theological foundation for the massive commercialization of Christmas, it also gave rise to Three Kings Day, which is celebrated in Puerto Rico. The gist of the holiday is that children put out grass and water for the Kings’ camels and they get small gifts in return. This holiday is on January 6th.

Fortunately, a little research revealed that there was a 4th king, King Bob. Unlike the Three Kings, Bob was not great with directions and ended up arriving at the wrong city, albeit a few days before the other kings arrived in the proper destination.

Since King Bob could not find the baby Jesus, he decided to give away the gifts via a game, which is now known as King Bob’s game. Alternatively, it can be called The Game of the Fourth King.

Here is how the game is played.

 

What You Will Need

Gifts: At least 1 wrapped gift per player, preferably more. Cheap gifts are best.

A typical twenty-sided die

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dice: Ideally you should have a D20 and some D6s, but for non gamers six sided dice will do.

The Roles

There are two roles in the game: King Bob’s stand in and player. King Bob supervises the game but does not play. He also does not get any gifts. Optionally, King Bob can also play and get gifts, but that is bad theology.

Everyone other than King Bob’s stand in is a player.

Setting Up the Game

King Bob sets up the game by creating a pile of the wrapped gifts and defending them from the greasy hands of the players until the game starts. Each player should have a die (or dice) and a board or piece of paper is needed to keep track of the order of play.

Initiative

Gamers will be familiar with this, but non-gamers will not. For the non-gamers, this is how you determine the order in which the players take their turns. To determine this, each player rolls a die (preferably the standard D20). The player with the highest roll goes first, the player with the second highest goes second and so on. In the case of a tie, reroll until it is settled.

Starting the Game

The game starts with the player who has the highest initiative. S/he selects one gift from the pile and DOES NOTopen it. Shaking and such is allowed. The second player then has his/her turn and so on for each player until it is back to the first player. After the first player has selected his gift, the other players will have more options and the first player will also have these options on his/her second turn.

Playing the Game

After the first player has a gift, the second player has his turn and so on until everyone has had a turn. The first player then has his second turn and so on. During play, a player has options. Only ONE option may be taken each turn. A player can take a different option each turn, but is not required to do so.

  • Pick a Gift: the player selects a gift from the pile but DOES NOT open it. The next player then takes his/her turn.
  • Open a Gift: the player opens one gift that s/he has in his/her possession and opens it. The next player then takes his/her turn.
  • Steal a Gift: the player attempts to take a gift from another player. The player who is trying to steal the gift is the thief and the player who has the gift is the defender. The defender has the option of allowing the theft or resisting. If the defender allows the theft, the thief gets the gift and adds it to his/her collection. If the defender decides to resist, then the thief and the defender each roll a six sided die. If the defender matches or exceeds the thief’s roll, then s/he keeps the gift. If not, the thief adds the gift to his/her collection. The next player then takes his/her turn. Defender does not count as the defending player’s turn and s/he can defend as often as needed.
  • Inflict a Gift: the player attempts to give a gift to another player. The player who is trying to give the gift is the giver and the player who has the gift is the defender. The defender has the option of allowing the giving or resisting. If the defender allows the giving, the defender gets the gift and adds it to his/her collection. If the defender decides to resist, then the giver and the defender each roll a six sided die. If the defender matches or exceeds the giver’s roll, then the gift remains with the giver. If not, the defender adds the gift to his/her collection. The next player then takes his/her turn. Defender does not count as the defending player’s turn and s/he can defend as often as needed.

 

Ending the Game

The game ends as soon as no more gifts remain in the gift pile (that is, the players possess all the gifts). Players must take their gifts with them when the game ends, mainly because the game is often played with the intention of getting rid of bad gifts or items that King Bob no longer wants.

Drinking Variant

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some people enjoy adding a drinking element to all games. In this case, a player who loses a roll has to take a drink.

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The Fourth King’s Second Game

Posted in Humor, Miscellaneous by Michael LaBossiere on December 5, 2010

My gaming group had our usual Christmas/Hanukkah event. As usual, I made everyone suffer through my 4th King’s Game. This year I added a new element: cards.

The Fourth King’s Second Game

As the story goes, three wise men or kings (not the same thing at all, of course) brought the baby Jesus some gifts. While this served as the theological foundation for the massive commercialization of Christmas, it also gave rise to Three Kings Day, which is celebrated in Puerto Rico. The gist of the holiday is that children put out grass and water for the Kings’ camels and they get small gifts in return. This holiday is on January 6th.

Interestingly, a little research revealed that there was a 4th king, King Bob. Unlike the Three Kings, Bob was not great with directions and ended up arriving at the wrong city, albeit long before the other kings arrived in the proper destination.

Since King Bob could not find the baby Jesus, he decided to give away the gifts via a game, which is now known as King Bob’s game. Alternatively, it can be called The Game of the 4th King.

King Bob later realized that he could make some fat loots (or “phat lewts”) by converting his game into a collectible card game. The following is King Bob’s prototype. It sucks like a Goblin Hooker, so You Have Been Warned.

Here is how the game is played.

What You Will Need

Gifts: At least 1 wrapped gift per player, preferably more. Cheap gifts are best.

Dice: Ideally you should have a D20 and some D6s, but for non gamers six sided dice will do.

Cards: I made cards for the game using images copied from the web. Since I don’t have the right to distribute them, I cannot include the cards.  If time permits, I’ll add an illustration free set to this post.

The Roles

There are two roles in the game: King Bob’s stand in and player. King Bob supervises the game but does not play. He also does not get any gifts. Optionally, King Bob can also play and get gifts, but that is bad theology.

Everyone other than King Bob’s stand in is a player.

Setting Up the Game

King Bob sets up the game by creating a pile of the wrapped gifts and defending them from the greasy hands of the players until the game starts.

Each player should have a die (or dice) and a board or piece of paper is needed to keep track of the order of play. Each player will also have a Bob Mat.

King Bob shuffles the deck of game cards (or not) and deals each player five cards.  Each player can then set up his Bob Mat based on the placement rules for the Bob Mat.

The Bob Mat & Card Types

Each player receives his/her own Bob Mat. The mat is used for card placement. It can also function as a cheap coaster or a rough napkin. The Bob Mat has spaces for four cards.  These cards can be placed face down or face up at the player’s discretion.  Each space only holds one card, so players must choose wisely (or not). There is also a fifth type of card, the Special Card. Special cards are not placed on the mat. Unless a player wants to show off or suffers from card holding fatigue.

Attack: This space holds cards used to attack other players. Well, not literally. After all, a card would not be an effective weapon. Then again, a paper cut can sting a bit. Cards that are Attack Items can be placed in this slot. A player may only have one attack item equipped at a time. Attack cards have a bonus (or sometimes a negative). This is added to the player’s roll as a bonus when s/he attacks.

Defense: This space holds cards used to defend against other players. Well, not literally. After all, flimsy paper won’t stop much (even if you proclaim peace in our time while waving it). Cards that are Defense Items can be placed in this slot. A player may only have one defense item equipped at a time. Defense cards have a bonus (or sometimes a negative). This is added to the player’s roll as a bonus when s/he defends against an attack.

Monster: This space holds cards used to attack and defend against other players.  These cards stand for fierce (or stupid…or even fiercely stupid) monsters. Cards that are Monsters can be placed in this slot. A player may only have one monster active at a time (there are some exceptions to this). Each monster has a bonus (or a negative). This applies to both attack and defense, making monsters very useful (until they betray you).

Threat: This space holds cards that do unusual, but usually bad, things.  A player may only have one threat active at a time (there are some exceptions to this). Threats include traps, poisons, bags of gold and other useful (or useless) items.

Special: These cards are special, but their mother still loves them. They are not placed on the Bob Mat, but are played during the turn. Some special cards can be played at anytime, even when it is not the playing player’s turn.

Placement Rules: A player can only place a card on a space that matches the card type. Cards can initially be placed face up or face down. Players are not (unless the card specifies) required to place any card. However, all cards except the special cards must be placed before they can be used in the game.

Initiative

Gamers will be familiar with this, but non-gamers will not. For the non-gamers, this is how you determine the order in which the players take their turns. To determine this, each player rolls a die (preferably the standard D20). The player with the highest roll goes first, the player with the second highest goes second and so on. In the case of a tie, reroll until it is settled. Play goes clockwise.

Starting the Game

The game starts with the player who has the highest initiative. S/he selects one gift from the pile and DOES NOT open it. Shaking and such is allowed. The second player then has his/her turn and so on for each player until it is back to the first player. After the first player has selected his gift, the other players will have more options and the first player will also have these options on his/her second turn. Play continues in the order of initiative until the game ends (or a special card changes it).

Playing the Game

After the first player has a gift, the second player has his turn and so on until everyone has had a turn. The first player then has his second turn and so on. During play, a player has options. Only ONE option may be taken each turn. A player can take a different option each turn, but is not required to do so. At the start of each turn, the player draws a new card.  The player can place this card on his/her mat and replace another card, which goes back to his/her hand.

  • Pick a Gift: the player selects a gift from the pile but DOES NOT open it. The next player then takes his/her turn.  A player can also play one Special card on his/her turn, provided that it is playable outside of battle. The player draws a replacement card unless otherwise specified.
  • Open a Gift: the player opens one gift that s/he has in his/her possession and opens it. The next player then takes his/her turn. A player can also play one Special card on his/her turn, provided that it is playable outside of battle. The player draws a replacement card unless otherwise specified.
  • Take a Gift: the player attempts to take a gift from another player. The player who is trying to steal the gift is the attacker and the player who has the gift is the defender. The defender has the option of allowing the gift to be taken or resisting. If the defender allows the theft, the attacker gets the gift and adds it to his/her collection. If the defender decides to resist, then the attacker and the defender enter battle (see below). If the attacker wins, s/he gets the gift. If not, the defender keeps the gift. The next player then takes his/her turn. Defending does not count as the defending player’s turn and s/he can defend as often as needed.
  • Inflict a Gift: the player attempts to give a gift to another player. The player who is trying to give the gift is the attacker and the player who has the gift is the defender. The defender has the option of allowing the giving or resisting. If the defender allows the giving, the defender gets the gift and adds it to his/her collection. If the defender decides to resist, then the attacker and the defender enter battle (see below). If the defender matches or exceeds the giver’s roll, then the gift remains with the giver. If not, the defender adds the gift to his/her collection. The next player then takes his/her turn. Defending does not count as the defending player’s turn and s/he can defend as often as needed.

Battle!

Battle occurs when a player attacks another player (in the game, of course). The battle follows the following order:

  1. Attacker’s Special Card Phase: The attacker plays any special card that is playable at the start of combat.
  1. Defender’s Special Card Phase: The attacker plays any special card that is playable at the start of combat.
  1. Attack Card Reveal Phase: The Attacker reveals his/her Attack card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The attacker does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.
  1. Defense Card Reveal Phase: The Defender reveals his/her Defense card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The defender does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.
  1. Attacking Monster Reveal Phase: The Attacker reveals his/her Monster card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The attacker does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.
  1. Defending Monster Reveal Phase: The Defender reveals his/her Defense card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The defender does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.
  1. Attacking Monster Reveal Phase: The Attacker reveals his/her Monster card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The attacker does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.
  1. Defending Monster Reveal Phase: The Defender reveals his/her Defense card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The defender does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.
  1. Attacker’s Threat Reveal Phase: The Attacker reveals his/her Threat card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The attacker does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.

10.  Defender’s Threat Reveal Phase: The Defender reveals his/her Threat card (if not already revealed) if s/he wants to use it in combat. The defender does not have to reveal the card if s/he does not use it. To be used, the card must be revealed.

11.  Roll: The Attacker and Defender each roll 2D6 (or 1D10 for gamer nerds). Each player adds his/her modifiers to the roll. The higher roll wins.

12.  Attacker Replacement Phase: The attacker can discard any or all of his revealed cards. The attacker can replace any cards s/he discarded (unless the card specifies otherwise). The attacker can then place cards on his/her Bob Mat.

13.  Defender Replacement Phase: The Defender can discard any or all of his revealed cards. The defender can replace any cards s/he discarded (unless the card specifies otherwise). The defender can then place cards on his/her Bob Mat.

End of Turn

At the end of his/her turn a player can discard any cards and receive replacements. These replacements can be placed on the mat at the start of his/her next turn.

Ending the Game

The game ends as soon as no more gifts remain in the gift pile (that is, the players possess all the gifts). Players must take their gifts with them when the game ends, mainly because the game is often played with the intention of getting rid of bad gifts or items that King Bob no longer wants.

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The Fourth King’s Game

Posted in Miscellaneous by Michael LaBossiere on January 3, 2010
The classical definition of probability works ...
Image via Wikipedia

My gaming group normally has a Christmas party, but this year events conspired to prevent us from gathering. However, we will be gaming again tomorrow, thus creating a need for a post Christmas event.

One of the reasons we did not get together earlier was due the fact that some of us travelled for the holidays. In my case, I went to Puerto Rico. While there I learned of a post Christmas holiday that inspired me to a solution to the post-Christmas problem.

As the story goes, three wise men or kings (not the same thing at all, of course) brought the baby Jesus some gifts. While this served as the theological foundation for the massive commercialization of Christmas, it also gave rise to Three Kings Day, which is celebrated in Puerto Rico. The gist of the holiday is that children put out grass and water for the Kings’ camels and they get small gifts in return. This holiday is on January 6th, which is too late for the post-Christmas event.

Fortunately, a little research revealed that there was a 4th king, King Bob. Unlike the Three Kings, Bob was not great with directions and ended up arriving at the wrong city, albeit a few days before the other kings arrived in the proper destination.

Since King Bob could not find the baby Jesus, he decided to give away the gifts via a game, which is now known as King Bob’s game. Alternatively, it can be called The Game of the 4th King.

Here is how the game is played.

What You Will Need

Gifts: At least 1 wrapped gift per player, preferably more. Cheap gifts are best.

Dice: Ideally you should have a D20 and some D6s, but for non gamers six sided dice will do.

The Roles

There are two roles in the game: King Bob’s stand in and player. King Bob supervises the game but does not play. He also does not get any gifts. Optionally, King Bob can also play and get gifts, but that is bad theology.

Everyone other than King Bob’s stand in is a player.

Setting Up the Game

King Bob sets up the game by creating a pile of the wrapped gifts and defending them from the greasy hands of the players until the game starts. Each player should have a die (or dice) and a board or piece of paper is needed to keep track of the order of play.

Initiative

Gamers will be familiar with this, but non-gamers will not. For the non-gamers, this is how you determine the order in which the players take their turns. To determine this, each player rolls a die (preferably the standard D20). The player with the highest roll goes first, the player with the second highest goes second and so on. In the case of a tie, reroll until it is settled.

Starting the Game

The game starts with the player who has the highest initiative. S/he selects one gift from the pile and DOES NOT open it. Shaking and such is allowed. The second player then has his/her turn and so on for each player until it is back to the first player. After the first player has selected his gift, the other players will have more options and the first player will also have these options on his/her second turn.

Playing the Game

After the first player has a gift, the second player has his turn and so on until everyone has had a turn. The first player then has his second turn and so on. During play, a player has options. Only ONE option may be taken each turn. A player can take a different option each turn, but is not required to do so.

  • Pick a Gift: the player selects a gift from the pile but DOES NOT open it. The next player then takes his/her turn.
  • Open a Gift: the player opens one gift that s/he has in his/her possession and opens it. The next player then takes his/her turn.
  • Steal a Gift: the player attempts to take a gift from another player. The player who is trying to steal the gift is the thief and the player who has the gift is the defender. The defender has the option of allowing the theft or resisting. If the defender allows the theft, the thief gets the gift and adds it to his/her collection. If the defender decides to resist, then the thief and the defender each roll a six sided die. If the defender matches or exceeds the thief’s roll, then s/he keeps the gift. If not, the thief adds the gift to his/her collection. The next player then takes his/her turn. Defender does not count as the defending player’s turn and s/he can defend as often as needed.
  • Inflict a Gift: the player attempts to give a gift to another player. The player who is trying to give the gift is the giver and the player who has the gift is the defender. The defender has the option of allowing the giving or resisting. If the defender allows the giving, the defender gets the gift and adds it to his/her collection. If the defender decides to resist, then the giver and the defender each roll a six sided die. If the defender matches or exceeds the giver’s roll, then the gift remains with the giver. If not, the defender adds the gift to his/her collection. The next player then takes his/her turn. Defender does not count as the defending player’s turn and s/he can defend as often as needed.

Ending the Game

The game ends as soon as no more gifts remain in the gift pile (that is, the players possess all the gifts). Players must take their gifts with them when the game ends, mainly because the game is often played with the intention of getting rid of bad gifts or items that King Bob no longer wants.

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Puerto Rico: Understanding

Posted in Miscellaneous by Michael LaBossiere on January 1, 2010

A person can be alone in a crowd. A person can even be quite alone in a room awash in conversation. I had the opportunity to experience this sort of loneliness in Puerto Rico. Being a Yankee from New England, it is hardly a shock that I do not speak Spanish. While I have been diligently studying the language for months, my command of it is extremely limited. I can speak a few basic sentences and recognize many words, but my conversational skills come to an end after basic inquiries about name, occupation and views on Plato’s theory of forms.

Since I visited Puerto Rico so as to meet my girlfriend’s family I spent a considerable amount of time visiting relative after relative. While Puerto Rico is often presented a bi-lingual country, this is not the case with her family. As such, I would go to a house and be introduced. After that, everyone would have a great time catching up and relating stories. Everyone that is, except me.

What would happen was very much like what happens when a group of top runners allows a beginning jogger to try to tag along with them on a training run. At first, there is a good natured attempt to help the slowpoke keep up, but then it becomes obvious that dealing with the slowpoke simply ruins the run. The slowpoke falls behind, wheezing and puffing as the runners continue onward, perhaps with a final wave, smile and encouraging word.

In the conversations, I would quickly lose the details and, at best, have a vague idea of the topic. My girlfriend would initially try to let me know what was going on, especially when the subject was me. However, that would prove awkward in a matter of minutes and she would simply stop trying. I would then sit there while the conversations went on and on around me, picking up a word or phrase here and there. But, it was like trying to watch a movie by opening my eyes a second or two every ten minutes-it just didn’t work.

Conversation is, of course, a bond that ties people together and helps make people feel that they belong. When you cannot speak with someone in a meaningful way, it is hard not to feel alone-even in a crowded room.

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Puerto Rico: Differences

Posted in Miscellaneous by Michael LaBossiere on December 31, 2009

One point in going someplace new is experiencing new things and seeing differences. Before I went to Puerto Rico, I thought it would be different from the States, but also similar in many ways. What I found confirmed this.

Being what my Puerto Rican girlfriend calls an Americano colony, it is only natural that Puerto Rico would have many similarities to the States. Of course, American cultural influence via our products and culture is huge all across the world. On the plus side, it can be useful and even re-assuring to have familiar stores and brands on hand. On the downside, such glomogenitzation (global homogenization) means that when you go someplace new it is less new and different than you might hope. Fortunately, the corporate cultures have yet to assimilate and destroy all the differences. When that day comes then there will be little reason left to travel-after all, all McDonalds are basically the same.

One of the main differences I noticed is that Spanish style architecture and color schemes are predominant. Naturally, chain stores and businesses follow the standard plans and colors. So, for example, a Walgreens in Puerto Rico looks just like a Walgreens in Tallahassee. Of course, Florida (which was once Spanish territory) also has similar architecture and color schemes in many places.

Another difference I noticed is that the ACLU and PETA would have two fits and a half here. When we went to see the Christmas (and here they are Christmas lights-not “winter holiday” lights) and New Year lights at a town square I also noticed a manger scene. While I have seen manger scenes in the States, this was right in the town hall. While I am all for the separation of church and state when it comes to keeping religious dominance at bay (and protecting faith from the corrupting touch of politics) I actually enjoyed seeing the manger scene there. Of course, it might have been the fact that was the way things were when I was a kid. It might also be the fact that I’m not a big fan of the way political correctness and “sensitivity” is handled and imposed.

While rooster fighting is generally illegal in the States, it is legal in Puerto Rico and is, in fact, openly advertised. Naturally, I am a bit appalled at the idea of making animals fight for the amusement and profit of people. Then again, I have met a few roosters that seemed to be in need of taking a spur or two to the face. Now, if they had geese fighting each other, then I would be for that. I am not a big fan of those feathered bastards other than having them served alongside some mashed potatoes.

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Puerto Rico: Running

Posted in Miscellaneous by Michael LaBossiere on December 30, 2009

Being an obsessive-compulsive runner, I have to run even when on vacation. While visiting Puerto Rico I ran everyday. For the most part, running in Puerto Rico was just like running in the States. Just like in the states, I had a few drivers honk and flip me off as they drove by. That made me feel right at home-after all, senseless hostility towards runners is all part of the American running experience.

There are two main differences between running in the States and running in Puerto Rico. The first is that it is always hot here. I would get up between 5:30 and 6:30 each day to run and it was typically in the mid 70s already. During the day the temperature would soar up into the high 90s. This is, I should remind you, in December. December is winter here, although winter seems to mean that it is marginally less hot that the summer. By “marginally less” I really mean “not at all.” By way of comparison, December here is like August in Tallahassee, Florida. So, if you plan on running in Puerto Rico, be prepared for the heat.

The second difference is that many community tracks have a shirt rule for men. I found this out when I was stopped by the track guard (tracks there also seem to have official enforcers of the track rules) and told, in Spanish, that I needed to wear a t-shirt while running on the track. At first I thought I was just being messed with, but the track rules had the shirt requirement posted. After I got the t-shirt and returned, I saw that there was a uniformed guard at the track and she watched me the whole time. Two of the tracks I went to did not have the t-shirt rule. Naturally, I did not bring any running shirts with me since 1) I knew Puerto Rico would be incredibly hot and 2) I had never heard of any track or city having a rule that required men to wear shirts while running. I had heard of some isolated communities that did have such ordinances-typically put through by mean old ladies who are apparently driven into righteous frenzies of anger by the sight of a man’s bare chest.

So, if you visit Puerto Rico and plan to run on the tracks, be sure to bring a suitable running shirt. I only had normal t-shirts and they made running around the track in the sweltering heat rather unpleasant.

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Puerto Rico: First Impressions

Posted in Miscellaneous by Michael LaBossiere on December 30, 2009

I’m currently in Puerto Rico, having flown her from Orlando on the 21st This is my first trip here, so it is all new to me. Or, rather, new in some ways and old in others. Naturally, I am inclined to try to wedge my experiences here into familiar categories and ways of seeing things. For example, since I am from Maine and have lived in Ohio and Florida, I tend to see things in comparison with those states. Interestingly enough, Puerto Rico has similarities to all three. Not surprisingly, the temperature is very similar to that of Florida in the summer-that is, way too hot for a Yankee like me. There are also similar plants such as palm trees.

The sidewalks and general feel of the smaller towns reminds me a great deal of many small Maine and Ohio towns. I know that might sound odd, but sidewalks say a great deal about a place-at least to runners. I rather like the fact that sidewalks are common and I had no problem running around safely. In contrast, Tallahassee has fewer sidewalks relative to where I have been.

The architecture shows, obviously enough, strong Spanish influences. Oddly enough, this makes some of the public buildings convey the same sort of old European feel as some buildings in New England. While the Spanish style is different from the old English style they do seem to convey a similar sort of feeling. Or perhaps this is just me. The towns also have a town square, which is very similar to the New England approach of having a town center. Not surprisingly, the coastal areas have a similar feel to Maine coastal cities. My girlfriend, who is from here, noted that Portland looked very similar to some places she had been in Puerto Rico.

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