A few of my favorite characters and actresses

original-20188-1396136481-4   Martha Plimpton – from The Goonies to Patty Nyholm on The Good Wife, this woman is tremendously… herself. In whatever version she happens to be portraying, she nails it. Sharp and witty, she is everything I strive to appear to be. As myself. Portraying her not portraying herself. Devin Kelley – she’s been in Covert Affairs and Resurrection, for those of you needing a reference.


An Open Letter to Sunnie Kahle (and Christian tomboys everywhere)

My husband attended Timberlake Christian Academy as a child. Upon hearing this, he was stunned into shamed silence. The fact is, we can each have individual thoughts and feelings, but imposing worldviews upon children in your care and shunning them for not conforming to those views is not a service to anyone. I appreciated the kind and absolutely true words of this pastor to Sunnie. Having done untraditional activities such as tractor pulling as a kid, I appreciate kids who still do what they want to do and are unafraid to be different. May my children be this free one day.

Emily C. Heath

Dear Sunnie,

You don’t know me, but this morning I read an article about you. (You can read it here: http://www.abc27.com/story/25061872/little-girl-taken-out-of-christian-school-after-told-shes-too-much-like-a-boy  ) Ever since then you keep crossing my mind. As I went around town today in my jeans and button-down shirt and sweater, I thought about you. As I came home from the gym tonight, I prayed for you. And all the while, I wished I could write you a letter…the kind of letter I wish someone had written to me.

This is me when I was a few years younger than you. This is me when I was a few years younger than you.

I don’t know how to get one to you, though. I thought about trying to send it to your grandparents for them to read to you, but I’m not sure if it would make it there. So instead I’m writing this and posting it on my blog. Maybe somehow these words will find their way to your…

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Grepolis: Antebellum

The Powell Doctrine

Antebellum strategy is a definite requirement for success. The general view of what General Colin Powell thought necessary for military intervention, which the media coined “The Powell Doctrine” include the principle considerations below.

  • Is a vital national security interest threatened?
  • Do we have a clear attainable objective?
  • Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
  • Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
  • Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
  • Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
  • Is the action supported by the American people?
  • Do we have genuine broad international support?

Grepolis Application of Powell Doctrine

If you have played Grepolis before, you probably understand that if along the way, you make a lot of tiny mistakes, that can ultimately lead to the situation getting out of hand quickly. The best preparation advice I can give – and this should be caveated with the actual worlds I have played in – is below. So here goes: Ithaca, Phi, Upsilon & Ephesus.

I prefer Revolt vs. Conquest, but I have tried both worlds out for fun. I am active currently in all four, but mostly in Phi.

What to Build: Your First City

Your first city will naturally have to be a balanced city- since you have no backup, you will need to be able to effectively attack and defend using just that one city. If you are lucky enough to be invited into a good alliance up front, you will have their support.

As you acquire more, note that specialization will help you to generate more units more efficiently and effectively. Remember that your first city is the foundation of your empire.

Your first city should be constructed with a priority towards getting to academy level 28 so that you can research conquest. However, there are advantages to strategically bringing a particular building up to a certain level, then demolishing it and the specific order in which you develop these is greatly dependent on the local environment. For this example, assume you have no overtly hostile neighbors and you still have city protection for a few days remaining. Build in the following order and you should fare pretty well.

Start with the basics:

  • Senate – LV 15
  • Timber – LV 25-40
  • Quarry – LV 25-40
  • Silver Mine – LV 25-40
  • Warehouse – LV 30
  • Farm – LV 40

Alternate development of these, depending on the quests offered and resulting resources & rewards you may need at the time. Also remember to conquer the local farming villages one at a time, building your military as needed. More on that below.

Build these when you are able. The levels of other buildings dictate the criteria for when you are able to start building them. Don’t neglect your temple in all this. Favor is important. Choose Hera to start, and keep her as long as you need her unique spell capabilities. The quicker you increase the levels of the quarry, silver mine and timber camp, the less you will be dependent on the all-around spells and be interested in checking out the other Gods. Never switch until you have used up all the favor.

  • Academy – LV 30
  • Harbor – LV 20

Once these are accomplished, go for these. If you have hostile neighbors, build your wall sooner and consider increasing troops production 25% from the recommendations below. More on that later.

  • City Wall – LV 25
  • Barracks – LV 15
  • Temple – LV 15-25
  • Cave – LV 10
  • Marketplace – LV 20-25
  • Thermal Baths
  • Oracle


The number of research points needed for all possible subjects is 183; a single player cannot research every topic. If you build a library, you get 12 additional research points, but that still means you are going to have to choose to not research certain topics. Quite frankly, the library is less worthwhile than you might think. You can share resources that extend beyond the three basics such as having two specialized cities in close proximity. When you choose to take a global view of the empire to come, you understand the wisdom in beginning to specialize your cities as you expand and in general, you should conquor vs. colonize to expand for the best benefits.

Suggested topics for research include:


Light Ship
Fast Transport
Colony Ship

Subtotal: 118 points

Can choose from to round out points:
Battering Ram
City Guard
Subtotal: 47

Don’t seem worth it, and you will probably end up costing yourself a culture point to UN-research them later on:

Subtotal: 18

After you have your first city, look to G.R.O.M’s guide to help you specialize your next one. Specialization is key!