Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ashamed of WoW?

For some reason I try not to Blog about what I do in WoW, maybe because I want this to be a Blog about me, and not a What I did in WoW Blog...but maybe it's also because I, like many others, am perhaps embarrassed to admit that I spend a lot of my leisure time pretending to be a Dwarven Hunter running around a virtual world accompanied by my pet Pig.

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That's not to say everyone who plays WoW is also playing a Dwarven Hunter with a pet Pig, but there does appear to be quite a few people embarrassed to admit that they spend a lot of their leisure time playing a computer game.

WoW Insider wrote a very short article on this topic, and asked for readers' comments, and some of the comments were very interesting, very interesting indeed.

In my opinion the most thought provoking comment, if you follow the above link, was #9 by Mekias:

"The weirdest thing is that, at one point, I was obsessed with internet poker. I got less hassle from people about the poker than I do about WoW. In fact, most people wanted to know my strategies and tips on how to play poker.

How is it that a gambling addiction is somehow cool and playing an MMORPG is considered pathetic?"

Now I'm still not going to turn my Blog into a "What I did in WoW Blog" because that would be boring. "Today I killed 53 Kobolds and looted 10g and 3 stacks of Linen Cloth. One of the Kobolds had an Uber Hammer of Thumpiness which I later sold to a Paladin for 25g! After that I sat on the pier at Steamwheedle Port and fished for two hours, maxing out my Fishing Skill."

Yah, enthralling stuff, but that's pretty much what I do, in-game. I also chat with my Guildmates, either in-game or via my headset and a VOIP program, and sometimes I Raid a Dungeon (called an Instance by WoWers) with them.

If I were to turn this Blog into a What I did in WoW Blog, it would be much the same thing, day after day.

Now I also have a coworker who is hooked on one of his X-Box Live games. I'm not sure what one, but he apparently spends a lot of his leisure time playing that game, too. So sometimes we'll talk games because he knows I play WoW, a lot, and I know he plays his game, a lot. But strangely enough we both seem to get a little embarrassed if someone walks past and overhears us.

As Mekias said, why is it socially acceptable to have an online gambling addiction, but playing video games is not?

Here's a better picture of my pig, "Cyboarg".

Monday, February 26, 2007

Public Service Announcement

More directed to the guys than anyone else, coz almost all women are already aware of this, and it's probably not relevant to all guys, especially those living by themselves, but to those guys who may become a Mr. Mom, this one's for you.

You may already be aware that laundry consists of coloreds and whites, but there's actually one more category; pinks.

I spent most of this weekend doing laundry and I decided that just to play it safe, anything in a pink or purple shade was getting washed separately, that is, with the other pink or purple clothing. Now all the laundry is done, although that phrase is never accurate because there's always more laundry.

I'm getting the hang of getting the kids off to school in the morning, but my hat is still off to all of you mothers and Mr. Moms who do this all the time. In a week (or two) Liz will be up and about and able to resume doing this herself, and I'll go back to getting up 2 hours earlier and once again being responsible for getting only myself ready for work. I've had it slightly easier than most mothers and Mr. Moms in that I've been able to work from home, but I've also had it a little tougher in that I've also had to take care of Liz, and this is where I salute those people who dedicate their lives to taking care of other people; the Nurses and Professional Caregivers.

These past few weeks have been an eye opening experience and I simply cannot imagine making the decision to look after someone (who's not even a relative) every day of their life, and yet that's what Professional Caregivers do. In some cases they even move in with their charge so if their services are needed in the middle of the night, they're there. Every minute of their day is spent taking care of someone else, feeding them, washing them, doing their laundry, etc. I know there are a few bad apples in the bunch who take advantage of their charges, robbing them or weaseling their way into the Will, but most Professional Caregivers are Angels on Earth. I belong in the Customer Service field, it's what I love doing, but dedicated Professional Caregivers take Customer Service to a whole different level. They're not just at the PGA level of Customer Service, they are the Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods of Customer Service. And I can't give any higher praise than that.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sometimes it's scary...

how smart my wife is. I don't think I'm giving her too much credit, I think she really is this smart.

We signed our son up for T-Ball and today I took him to his first practice session. We got there a little early because we went straight there from school. Actually we went to the local second-hand book store first where I was unable to find Books 2 & 3 of the Icewind Dale Trilogy, but we did pick up a couple of books for JE. Then we went to T-Ball, but we were still early, like close to an hour early.

We threw the ball back & forth for a bit then JE needed to use the restroom, which was a good 1/4 mile away, on the other side of the tennis courts. We took the long way back past the big baseball diamond and discovered that while there were closer restrooms to our baseball diamond, those closer restrooms were sealed shut. Not just locked, but they had plywood nailed across the doorways.

We arrived back at the smaller baseball diamond with a few minutes to go to Practice Start Time and discovered the Coach had arrived, so JE put his glove back on and took the field. One by one the rest of the kids and parents arrived and finally we had a full T-Ball team. While the Assistant Coach kept the kids busy the Coach came and spoke to the parents about how T-Ball isn't just for the kids, but that if we all get involved it makes the season a lot more fun for everyone, kids and parents alike. So when the Coach resumed practice with the kids, several fathers, led by yours truly, took the field with him...and despite knowing very little about America's National Pastime I somehow became 1st base Coach, which means when the kids run from home plate to 1st base I'm there to shout encouragement to them, or make sure they run from 1st to 2nd base when it comes time to do just that.

Despite already being a Tiger Cub Scout leader, out of the last eight years of being in America this one hour of T-ball practice somehow made me feel more like I belonged than anything else. Not even playing Aussie Rules for the L.A. Crows gave me this feeling. While I did make a Very Good Friend playing Aussie Rules, playing the game here in the States seemed more like trying to regain something I left behind; Taking part in T-ball somehow just felt "right".

Maybe I'm giving my wife too much credit, but I doubt it. Somehow I think she signed JE up for T-ball knowing that it wasn't just going to be good for him, but good for me as well.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Good friends, and really good friends

A good friend will bail you out of jail the next morning.
A really good friend would have been sitting next to you saying, "That was freaking awesome!"

A good friend will help you move.
A really good friend will help you move a body.

Sometimes in our lives we get thrown curve balls, and it's times like those that we discover that some of our good friends are really good friends. Now I don't mean I just spent the weekend in jail, or was busy moving a body ;)

One summer, a long time ago, I discovered I had a really good friend, who chose to spend most of his summer break (away from work) with me.

A couple of years ago at one of the darkest times of my life I needed another really good friend.

And this weekend life threw us another curve ball and another really good friend was there for me and the wife when we really needed her.

Sometimes we ignore our friends, even our good friends, even our really good friends. What makes a really good friend though is that they will still always be there for you when you need them.