soapbox

As a general rule, I’m a mostly non-confrontational sort of person, so its actually pretty rare that I feel the need to get up on the box and start yelling and screaming about something. But when I do, its because I really feel like its important. So maybe thats a decent window into who I am and what I care about. I don’t know. It does seem like you’ll miss out on things that fall below that ‘anger threshhold’ though, so don’t think I’m all piss and vinegar just because thats all you see here.

WoW

I’ve been playing the World of Warcraft beta for about 2 months now, and I figured I’d post a few thoughts about that. The first though is: THANK YOU FOR GIVING MY WIFE HER OWN ACCOUNT.

There, now that I have that out of my system.

Its fun. It still has the level churn and burn. The quest system is one of the best developed I’ve seen. They can also thank AO for instanced dungeons in their design. They took it a little further, especially with the group play and how death affects it, but its there. Loot gradiation based on level. YAY! No more power levelling folks with tremendous loot they could not have gotten themselves, since its level restricted. Graphically excellent. Combat is easy to manage, but with quite a bit of depth, especially in group play. A well tuned group can complement each other class-wise by using their abilities to the group’s best advantage. Nicely done, Blizzard. Player economy is very rich, and the soon-to-come ingame auction system should only further that end. I’ll probably add more comments as I continue to play.

Politics

Okay, first and foremost, I happen to believe I live in one of the greatest countries in the world. I enjoy freedoms that many are denied because of the particular style of gov’t they live under. I can’t argue that. However, I also believe that for a gov’t to remain static in some of its principles for over 200 years is not going to work in the long run. Yes, our forefathers were literal geniuses to have come up with a document that was adaptable enough to handle as much as it has up to now. Astounding really, when you think about it.

I’ve put some thought into it, and tried to think of ways we could put more control back into the hands of the common citizen, as opposed to the way things currently are. I’m fiercly opposed to lobbyists, and the level of control that money has in the top line gov’t thinking. It seem ridiculous to me (for instance) that just because the cigarette manufacturer’s of this country have such a huge amount of money, that legislation restricting the use of such a poison is so slow in coming.

Another example of the this. Whether or not you realize, the largest lobby in the country is the aged. The largest single contributer of campaign monies is still people over 60. I actually remember a commercial during the last campaign which at the very end proclaimed in large text “Vote for <x>, and put money back in the hands of the elderly”. Astonishing. Now, I’m not saying that the aged don’t have a right to be represented in the election process… what I *am* saying is why should they have more say than the geeks, or the homeless, or those attracted to poodles?

I’m also not saying I have all the answers, but here’s one idea.

First, get rid of campaign commercials, and all the campaigning monies needed to run for high office. If we need to see our soon to be elected officials in debates, then sure, let’s get them up there on publicly broadcasted, and heavily mediated and controlled questioned environments by a third, and hopefully objective party. Maybe even base all questions on input from a user community that has decided on a set number of questions they want to hear the answers to. Also, no going back and forth, dragging each other through the mud. Each person gets one chance to say how he feels on the subject asked about.

Second, it would be nice if we could vote on ‘topics’, instead of people. If we could have electronic forums (newsgroups, if you will) in a heirarchical format, divided by region (federal, state, and local) and topic, where people who were interested could go to discuss, and then finally vote on particular issues, we would see several results. First of all, only people who were informed enough about a particular topic would typically vote on them. Sure, you’d still get people heading to particular areas of the heirarchy, and just randomly voting on things, or voting based on relatively uninformed opinions. But hey, I still see that as better than the MASS MAJORITY voting on issues they only know about because of some biased tv ad they just saw. We’d see important issues being resolved by people who were seriously interested in the results of the issues.

It seriously bothers me that the ‘popular vote’ is so swayed by money and media. Those are two things that should have absolutely NOTHING to do with decision making on serious issues.

Conversion

So this will at least be an experiment in conversion from the old format of this page to this style. I will be incorporating graphics back into this, despite the urging of most other people who blog to keep the formats as simple (and image-free) as possible.

I’m a visually oriented person. So sue me. On second thought, don’t.

Man + Guard

A gentleman approaches the White House gate one day, and tells the guard, “I’m here to see President Bush”. The guard replies, “I’m sorry, sir … but he no longer works here. He’s no longer President.” The man thanks him, and goes on his way.

The following day, the same man approaches the same guard, and once again asks to see President Bush. The guard, now a bit confused says “Sir, I’m sorry, but you can’t … he’s not the President anymore, and isn’t here”. Once again, the man thanks the guard, and goes on his way.

So on the third day, when the same man once again approaches the same guard again, the guard questions a bit more. When the man asks to see President Bush again, the guard says, “Look, I’m not sure what your problem is, but as I’ve told you the past few days, you can’t see him!”.

The man smiles, and quietly says, “Oh yes, I know … I just really like hearing it”.

The guard salutes the man, “See you tomorrow”.

Preparations continue

This time of year always feels like you can never quite do enough to get everything in place before the people begin to arrive. Cesium was first this year, but only because he’s moving out here. Everyone else is being good and checking in around Friday.

I need to try and reach Tooker/Danno to see if they want to take crash space in les Casa des Hombres to save themselves a bit of cash. I seem to recall something being said about cutting the trip short due principally to hotel bills, etc … so that might very well help out.

Lots left to do. 6:30am concall at work, 8am all hands (CJ), 9am meet with Morris(server at the ok prompt) and 10am normal staff meeting with people who could care less. Hopefully, after all that, I’ll have put in sufficiently much time to release me from duties for the day. At least, assuming I can get Susan over into the lab with a good list of stuff. We’ll see.

On the list for today at home? Call eye doctor (thanks Sasha … my glasses really did need replacing anyway), call Western to remove the big ass garbage bin, dig out second horseshoe pit, clean desk, NOT play WoW. Yeah, right.

I will say, though, thats its really great to have Cesium out here. Its about damn time. Hmm, let’s see…. who can I convert next.

Due to extenuating circumstances, the Church of Potts will not be in session this week. It seems the worshiping is taking a field trip to a remote location. The king is dead, long live the King.

– g

Continuing

Templates. Fun to play in, but you can tinker forever. So is the nature of all such things. Whoosh.

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