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today's diversion

Sometimes I work hard on gardening and woodworking and cooking and go on exciting adventures, and sometimes all I want to do is breed pretend monsters. This morning I capped off our study on reproduction by introducing a very simple pencil-and-paper monster breeding simulator, and it was an immediate hit. In the original version Zion and I worked to breed vicious fighting machines, and Harvey bred the cutest monsters he could; for his part, Elijah picked his breeding pairs pretty much at random and came up with the best names he could for the offspring. Only, since we had only seven traits and they always bred true if both parents shared one, by the fourth generation all my monsters were perfect and the only thing that kept me from keeping the lines going indefinitely was the small number of original stock. So we made a new version after lunch. That one incorporates dominant and recessive traits, with six traits that follow simple Mendelian crosses, plus four more numeric ones that are more fuzzy in their connection to actual inheritance but hopefully represent some actual real breeding goals. Which is great, but now it takes more than twice as long to generate a monster. So now I'm wondering how I can put the whole thing on to the computer, which is why I'm still awake past 10:00!

Leah is mildly interested in the genetics—she watched a video on Mendelian genetics this afternoon to get back up to speed—but her real priority is creating a game you can win. So she's figuring how to add money, and building a monster store that will offer set prices for monsters that fit particular characteristics. She's also telling us we should be charging stud fees. So there's lots more to develop! Will it take up all of our time tomorrow too?

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