WoW. I Binge Too Much

So my daughter and brother-in-law got me back into playing World of Warcraft about 2 months ago. I had played it a long time ago, like when my daughter was an infant, and played it pretty sporadically. I spent more of my time and enjoyed playing Final Fantasy XI more anyway. So my character was made around 2005-6, I don’t remember exactly when but it was before any expansions. I played up to level 60, tried some endgame content, and quickly got bored. The game was much more difficult back then. Especially when it came to organizing group content.

A lot of my playing was before even the meeting stones existed, let alone the dungeon finder. You had to physically go to the dungeon entrance, gather up your group then enter in together. Raiding was even more difficult, as getting the 10 to 40(!!!) people together was a logistical mess. I never really got into the raiding scene and without a whole lot of content to interest me I got bored and found something else to play. Or more likely I went back to FFXI.

My gaming habits tend to follow this cycle. I’ll binge on a single game for a while, playing it obsessively until I burn out. Then I’ll start with a new game.

There are certain games that do tend to draw me back, usually the MMO type. I’ve done this with FFXI, FFXIV, WoW, Diablo II & III, League of Legends and others. As long as there’s some sort of accessible endgame content or competition it can usually give me a reason to revisit it. Maybe I just obsess too much. As my wife would certainly tell you, when I’m into a game I’ll spend a LOT of time on it. Perhaps spreading playtime out or ensuring I play a few different games at a time could help lessen the burnout. We’ll have to see.

In any case, meet Drek’thul:

And check out that succubus!
Currently level 100 Rogue

Yet I can't get a single mount drop anywhere else.
Showing off that swift white hawkstrider 😀
Not like he's using it anymore.
Chilling on Nefarian’s throne.

I started this post at the end of May and since then my WoW playtime has dropped off a bit and I’ve been playing a lot of Bloodborne (man is that a weird game, love the Lovecraftian influences though). Working on a couple of things, I’ll keep it updated.

The Hunter Ethos

Yesterday I saved a baby mouse.

I was looking for a hammer in my tool chest out in the shed when I found a nest made of shredded paper, cardboard and other fibers. Being where it did not belong, I tossed the whole nest outside to throw away later as I continued my search. Only a few moments later I began to hear a faint squeaking. I went over to inspect the nest and found a baby mouse, still pink but with a short coat of brown fur.

It was the only one there and I found no traces of other mice. Since mice are significant pests (as my tool chest can attest to), I briefly considered just stepping on it to end its suffering. It’s the same thing many other people would do without even thinking.

However, as small and insignificant as a tiny, baby mouse is, I was taught that all life matters. Even the insignificant ones.

Expecting it to die anyway, I was going to try to feed it to our red-tailed boa, Cynder. At least then its life would have made some impact. And yes I know that pets should not be fed wild rodents. We feed our snake frozen rats purchased from a local pet store. This was a single exception to make use of a life that would otherwise be wasted.

But as luck would have it, Cynder wanted no part of eating this baby mouse. My wife and daughter swooped to the rescue and decided they would try to help it survive.

So far, it seems to be working. It has been eating and pooping, kept warmed and constantly looked after. It may just make it after all. And if so, it looks like we’re going to have a pet mouse.

In any case, my point is that I was brought up with a very strong connection to nature. My great-grandfather was full blooded Native American and much of their philosophy has been passed down through my grandfather to my father to me.

As a family we are hunters. We have the knowledge and ability to kill for our food. But that does not mean we do not respect life. Any time I have taken an animal’s life, or even the lives of trees or plants, I take a moment to thank it for giving its life to me, to provide sustenance, shelter, tools, or whatever use I need it for. As the Native Americans always have, it is also of the utmost importance to use as much of the animal as possible.

I am an omnivore, and I love the taste of meat. But that does not make me a monster. I feel more attuned to nature than many self-professed animal lovers (especially PETA), because I understand that nature, and life, is a cycle. My wife would insert a silly Lion King reference here, but I’m feeling a little to serious for that.

Life becomes death and death becomes life. You mess with any part of that and the whole thing goes down. Celebrate life wherever it occurs and mourn death when it is necessary.

Understanding that is what truly makes you a nature lover.

Random Thought

Nihilism has to be the perfect philosophy.

Nothing can ever let you down!

I Have A Blog???

Holy crap! When did this happen?

Hoping my brain can uncloud enough to get back to regular posting.

Addled Brain

I’ve had a few ideas for posts floating around all summer, but with all the chaos going on and my own issues my brain has been feeling too scrambled to get anything done. Besides trying to get everything back to normal at home, I’ve been trying to get some more answers about my own disability. Which actually reminds me of another post I want to make.

And I’m just now thinking that I use way too many commas. It’s something that I’ve been doing since waaaaay back in grade school. Typically I put a comma in any place where I would pause if speaking. Maybe it’s because I think in terms of speech instead of writing. Who knows?

And now I’m rocking out to Limp Bizkit. Being forgetful and scatterbrained has been my modus operandi this summer. Maybe I’ll get it together enough to make a new post soon.

Still Alive

So yeah. It’s been a crazy summer which is, thankfully, winding down now.

I had started a post before Jenn ended up in the hospital again and would have to collect my thoughts on it to figure out where I was.

Other than that, this is just a heads-up that I haven’t forgotten my blog!

Yell FIRE in a Crowded Theater — It’s Your Right

The Bill of Rights does not *give* us any rights, it recognizes that the citizens of the US have natural rights that will be protected under all circumstances. That list of rights has expanded as we have realized that there are more rights that need to be protected.

I believe that any type of ‘reasonable restriction’ on a right is an infringement. The reality is that there are already systems in place that provide a check on people abusing their rights.

The common example used is that you can’t yell ‘FIRE’ in a crowded theater. That’s not actually true. There are no inherent restrictions in the Bill of Rights, but that does not protect people from the *results* of exercising their rights.

If you yell fire in a theater and cause a panic, you will be held responsible for any damages or casualties that ensue. We already have laws in place against property damage, assault, murder, etc. The courts are the place in which these cases are resolved. Having it codified in law that you can’t yell fire in a theater will not stop someone who intends on doing it and will not add anything to a resolution of the event or charges handed down.

The same thing goes for all the other rights in the Bill of Rights. Use them responsibly and for all intents and purposes they are unlimited. Abuse them and you will face the consequences.

Banging My Head Against the Wall About Guns

Going to post a short list I replied to a gun control Facebook post with:

There are a few facts that need to be acknowledged:

1) The right to keep and bear arms is firmly enshrined in the 2nd amendment. If you want to infringe on it, you need to pass another amendment.

2) A vast majority of firearms, of many different types, in civilian hands cause absolutely no problems. There are an estimated 300 million firearms privately owned in the US. At least 3 million of those are AR-15 pattern rifles. If it truly was a problem with easy access to these rifles, wouldn’t you see much more of them used in violent crimes? Or perhaps the tool used to commit the crime is secondary to the primary reasons for it.

3) On the other hand, there are many other tragedies that occur without the use of firearms at all. Until Orlando, the deadliest mass killing done by a single perpetrator was the Bath massacre in 1927 that killed 45 people, including schoolchildren. He killed that many with homemade bombs. Don’t forget the major other tragedies like 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing. Banning firearms won’t stop things like this from happening.

4) Almost all gun control attempts seem to ignore the fact that firearms in private hands have a huge benefit to society. There’s an estimated 2-2.5 million defensive gun uses per a year. The number is quite difficult to pin down, but even anti-gun leaning organizations like the NCVS accept a minimum of 50,000 a year while some surveys go as high as 4.5 million. If only a fraction of those actually result in saving a life, I would say it is a net benefit to society.

I try to be objective and rational in everything I discuss, but when gun control comes up things just get painful. I see otherwise logical, rational people go completely mad and become caricatures of the very kinds of people they claim to disdain.

Thinking About Astronomical Distances Makes My Head Spin

Wow, already I’m slacking with my posting. Oh well, I just need to get into the swing of things.

So anyway, lately I’ve been thinking about an interesting fact of astronomical observation: When you look out across these huge distances you are actually looking backwards in time. This is due to the fact that while light travels incredibly fast (186,000 miles per second), it is still dwarfed by the distances between objects. For instance the nearest star to us is Proxima Centauri which is located 24.94 TRILLION miles away. Even at its incredible speed it still takes light just over 4 years to get from it to us. So when we see the light from Proxima Centauri we are seeing it as it was when the light left– 4 years ago.

And this is the closest star to us. Other objects involve much greater distances. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, for instance is about 100,000 light years across. That’s equal to about 621,000,000,000,000,000 miles. If you stand at one edge of the galaxy you’re seeing the opposite edge as it was 100,000 years ago.

While thinking about this, I came across an interesting question: If the further distance you see is further back in time, you can’t see the entire galaxy from the same time perspective. While the far edge would look 100,000 years old to you, the middle would be only 50,000 years ago and around you would be the most current. As the galaxy rotates around its axis, things should look ‘smeared’ out from our perspective. So how can we get a good idea of what the galaxy looks like if we can’t see the entire thing as it is at one time?

Interestingly enough, I came across the answer to this in a sheer matter of serendipity in a video I was watching:

In short: Yes we are seeing different sections of the galaxy from different moments in time, but because the galaxy rotates so slowly in relation to the distances the effect is negligible.

So there’s my answer. Something that bugged me for a while actually and I just accidentally stumble upon the answer while cruising YouTube. Funny how things work out that way.

Hobson’s Choice

There is a story about a man named Thomas Hobson, a 16th-century stable owner in Cambridge, England. When a customer came in for a horse he would see a large variety of horses available. However, the only horse Hobson would hand out was the one closest to the stall door. He did this with the intention of rotating his stock and preventing the best horses from being overused. Today the phrase ‘Hobson’s Choice’ is meant to say that the only choice is no choice at all– take it or leave it.

With the news of the presidential primaries ending and the candidates being chosen, it certainly seems like we’re faced with a Hobson’s Choice. Neither candidate is a good choice for the position while many other more qualified individuals have been ignored or eliminated. I’m not going to harp on the shortcomings of Clinton and Trump; there’s certainly an abundance of it elsewhere. However, many disgruntled Democrats and Republicans are unhappy with the candidates and feel that they have no choice at all– either vote for the candidate chosen for them or don’t vote at all (or even worse, vote for the candidate or *gasp* the other party will win!, which is a complete lie). So it seems we are stuck with Hobson’s Choice. Or are we?

Voters who identify as Independent are at an all-time high at 39% of the population, compared to 32% Democrat and 23% Republican. What this means is that more people are dissatisfied with both major parties than the number of people in those parties. If all those people pooled together and actually voted for a 3rd party we could have some meaningful change in a government that currently 81% of the public is dissatisfied with.

And that 3rd party candidate doesn’t have to be perfect. As much as I dislike his economic ideas, I would vote for Sanders as a 3rd party. We do, however, have a candidate who is already running as a 3rd party: Gary Johnson as the Libertarian candidate. He’s not perfect but he’s a hell of a lot better than Trump or Clinton, and with 39% independent voters he has a good chance of actually winning the presidency.

Let’s stop fooling ourselves into thinking we’re stuck with Hobson’s Choice.

Even if you don’t like Johnson, please vote for some other 3rd party candidate. Write in Sanders if you have to. In any case, we have to stop just sending the message that we’re unhappy with our government and actually start making changes. Of course I’m going to encourage everyone I can to vote Johnson since I see him having the best chance of winning.

To many people libertarianism seems like a dirty word, but it really isn’t. There’s plenty there to appeal to both disgruntled Democrats AND Republicans. If anyone is interested in learning more about it please let me know so we can discuss it.

Give it some thought, and spread the word!

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