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New Personal Blog

I love writing about stuff too much to give it up totally so I decided to create a personal blog. So as requested by Kimberly, here it is.

Be forewarned that it will be random stuff as I come up with it. It will not be about WoW although I’m sure I’ll write about it from time to time. It won’t be for everyone, but if you’d like feel free to drop by.

Heigh Ho!

From about November thru February I didn’t have much to do, but now? Yeah I’m going to be swamped from now until August. It’s making it hard to post, but I’m still here.

I’m An Average Gamer…Well, 2 Out Of 3 Ain’t Bad!

OK, so someone anonymously posted a story over at MSNBC about gamers in the comments of my Blocked post. I have two things to say to you.

COWARD!!!

and

LMFAO!!!

First, let me say you’re a coward for not posting your name. Second, you really should get credit for showing me this because aside from not taking offense, which I’m guessing you were concerned about, it’s a pretty interesting article and I laughed when I read the first sentence:

A new study says the average age of video-game players in the United States is 35, and oh, by the way: They’re overweight and tend to be depressed.

Ky’s Checklist

35? Check.

Overweight? 5’9″. 230lbs. According to BMI? Yup. Check.

Depressed? Nope.

Ah well. Two out of three ain’t bad. LOL!

OK, first off let me point out that I’m among many that think the BMI is a load of crap. If I was 5’9″ and 230lbs looking like Stallone did back in the day there’s not a person in the world that would say I’m obese. But according to the calculator I hit a BMI of 34 and obese I am.  To be fair though the site does say, “[BMI] may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.” I come from a long line of short husky men. I’ll admit I’m overweight, but far from obese. 🙂

Now that I’ve got my rationalization out of the way, let me point the one problem I have about the article.

The article tends to imply that video games lead to obesity and depression. This is articulated with the statement, “The findings appear consistent with earlier research on adolescents that linked video game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status and mental health concerns.” The problem with this statement is it doesn’t mean that video game playing is the cause, but that’s what millions reading this article will think. What the findings really mean is that people with a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status and mental health concerns are playing video games.

Who here really thinks that kids playing violent video games has led to tragedies such as Columbine? Who here believes these were really disturbed kids that were attracted to violent video games and unfortunately committed these atrocities?

I’m not an expert and besides each case is going to be different, but I have to believe that video games aren’t making people fat. Our sedentary lifestyles are. If I wasn’t playing video games, I’d be watching TV. If I wasn’t watching TV, I’d be reading a book. Either way I’d still be getting fat.

As for those with mental health issues like depression? Having survived two severe bouts of depression in my past that nearly ended it both times, I think I can safely say I know what video games offered me during those times. They were escapes. Ways to avoid the problems in my life and remove myself from the pain I was going through. But escapes are not ways of dealing with the problems. Video games are attractive to those with issues, but they aren’t the cause. Unfortunately they can make the cause worse when one avoids dealing with the problem.

So what do I need to do? First, I need to get off my butt and exercise. I need to eat a little better too. Second, I need to make sure that if I ever have a problem with depression again to realize that video games are not a solution. And third, since I can’t get any younger I apparently need to get older fast so I’m no longer right smack dab on the average age! 🙂

Winding Down

I can feel it. I’m dreading it. But last week was just a sign that WoW is winding down for me. And it makes me sad.

In the last two years, during the holidays I found extra time for WoW. My kids often watch holiday cartoons or run around playing with their toys as the weather often sucks too much to go outside (it rained all week btw :(). My wife is often in “craft mode” frantically working on lists for Christmas presents which often include scrapbook pages to send to her parents, quilting, crocheting, etc. So even though I spent a lot of time with family and even seeing extended family, I still end up with a lot of “free” time. Just like this last week.

Monday and Wednesday I showed up for raids. Even participated in a ToC10 raid on Wednesday just so they wouldn’t have to pug. I quickly did some of the holiday questing on Tuesday and logged in for literally 2 minutes on Saturday to shoot a Troll Rogue. I couldn’t bring myself to log in to level alts or power-level cooking on them which I had planned on doing.

Work was letting us go early on Wednesday for the holiday. I left even a few minutes earlier than that when my wife called asking me to rush over to someone’s house to pick up a bunk bed. We’ve been talking about getting one for my boys for a while now. It’s a metal frame and nothing fancy, but it was free! 🙂 We then ran to a mattress store to pick up a full-size mattress for the lower bunk.

What’s special about a bunk bed? Well, remember creating forts when you were a kid? Yeah, apparently that’s still fun as hell! Dad (a.k.a. me) decided that once it was up it would be a great idea to scrounge up all the large unused blankets and make a fort! Which the boys had a great time with and we did that for an hour or so.

Aside from all the house cleaning my oldest boy and I did, I just spent time goofing off with the kids and relaxing. Finally caught up on all those Flash Forward episodes stored on my DVR. I must say that the show didn’t really appeal to me much, even with recycled Lost actors, but my wife insisted and I must say that once it gets going you sort of get sucked into it.

And as a side note, I’m really disappointed that after V just barely started, we now have to wait out the holiday TV season until it comes back. No wait! I’m just pissed! Because not only do we have to wait out the standard holiday season that usually comprises December through half of January, we also have to wait until March until we get new episodes!!!

Anyway, most of my “free” time was spent playing Assassin’s Creed 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. I think I’m almost done with AC2. I’ve unlocked all The Truth videos and I must say…cool. Now I know why they put the announcement on the start screen that this game was made by people of various religions and beliefs. I find it ironic that I believe more people would be offended by this video than by the fact that you’re playing a guy that goes around killing people. But then again if they can handle The DaVinci Code they should be able to handle this.

Call of Duty is just awesome! At least the multiplayer is. I still haven’t gotten close to finishing the single-player game. I’m just working on getting to 70 so I can start Prestige mode! I think I’m into it almost 40 hours of play time and I’m only level 52 or so… Gotta love this time sink!

I did spend a couple of hours playing Warcraft 3. I got through the first few Scourge campaign levels. That game is still enjoyable after all these years.

Anyway, back to the point. Last week I spent a lot of time doing things other than WoW and it was great! Unfortunately, I can see the draw of WoW begin to ebb and the draw of other things begin to brighten. I’m not quite there yet, but it’s making me wonder if I can even last until Cataclysm?

Altitis

Tituslogo

I’ve really got altitis right now. If you’ll notice on my sidebar, all of my alts at this time are currently at least level 30, except the mage.

Try as I might to love the Mage, I just can’t. I was leveling frost spec until last night. It’s boring!!! So when I hit 24, I switched to fire to change things up. Problem is it’s still the same at level 24. Boring! There is a good chance that I’m dysfunctional and don’t know what the hell I’m doing… Frostbolt, Arcane Missiles, Fire Blast, Ice Whatchamafreezethemob*, run away or Blink, and continue blasting until dead. At least fire spec changed it up a bit so instead of Arcane Missiles I was using a lot more fire spells for the hell of it. Saw a little faster damage, but overall still boring. 😦

The Warlock finally got a little play time and to be honest, it isn’t as much fun as it once was. My little tank fiend is getting better at holding aggro, but I still often have to just dot the mob and wand away. Pretty boring. I was finally able to practice aoe’ing a little bit though since I’ve noticed his threat has jumped significantly in the last few levels. But it’s somewhat difficult to do still since I end up aggro’ing extra mobs and even when I do survive the downtime of getting mana back sucks. Then again, I could totally be doing it wrong and I’m just one of those noobs.

The Hunter is fun. I tamed a raptor in Wetlands the other day to see what that was like compared to the bear. Works pretty well! 🙂 Mana is an issue though. Seems like I always run out way too fast so I usually end up hitting a mob with poison and then auto-shooting. Not sure why that’s more fun than wanding with a warlock, but it is. Maybe it’s the sound of the gunshot? 😛

The Warrior is surprisingly fun! More so than I thought it would be. It used to actually be the one class I disliked above all others, but it’s definitely picked up some. Especially now with dual-wield I can generate enough rage to keep going. And I can even hit multiple mobs with little downtime. 🙂

The Rogue is fun. I never thought it would be. I’ve tried leveling them in the past, but I never could get past about level 15. The combo point mechanic was just too weird for me, but after having leveled a druid it definitely is a lot easier to understand and stealthing is always fun. 🙂 I’m also motivated by the potential of pvp’ing with the rogue. There’s some definite sense of satisfaction about sneaking up on an enemy and hitting him while he’s trying to cap something.

I am ashamed to admit that I did gank someone last week. I was level 28 and snuck up behind a level 29 Horde paladin near Southshore. She was leveling near Southshore and I stealthed with the intent to move to another area when the bright idea hit me to see what all the fuss was about:

    You know. That paladin probably wouldn’t hesitate to gank you. You haven’t yet run across a single Hordie on this server that hasn’t at least tried to kill you if they were anywhere close to your level or much higher.
    Yeah, but I don’t play that way. I have nothing to prove by being able to kill someone. At least not outside arenas and battlegrounds. It’s why I never accept duel requests.
    You don’t accept duel requests because you suck at PvP!!! Besides she’s one level higher than you! It’s basically equal footing. It’s not like you’re 10 levels higher which would prove nothing more than you’re an ass!
    I got better things to do, like questing.
    Come on! Just try it! First, you’re dying to see it from a rogue’s point of view and second, you’re curious as to why people do this. Try it! You may find out why the average rogue is such an ass!
    Fine. Let’s see what happens.

Anyway, all I proved is that when you engage someone while they’re already in combat with mobs, you generally have the upper hand. I did feel somewhat guilty after the fact because this isn’t how I play. I did however try to console my guilt by saying that this person probably ganked me on her main at some point. 🙂

But why the sudden altitis this past month?

I’ve been debating for about a week whether to bring this topic to light. In fact, I hinted at it recently. Then Amber, Rivs, and Cel all hinted at it too so what the hell.

Bottom line, I’m tired of raiding because of attitude. It’s negative. We all know I don’t care about loot. I have sufficient for the content we’re doing. I’ll get sufficient for the content we’ll end up doing. I’m not worried. It’s the fact that raids are no longer fun.

To be fair to all, I must point out that I have little to no detail in some areas and am guessing at others. Bottom line it appears that illness and real life issues have cropped up in the background. The added stress has not helped the raid leaders and complaints in guild, raid, healer, and officer channels have brought a couple of people to the breaking point where tempers flare.

Whatever the causes it has finally been acknowledge by our officers. We had a brief meeting after our so-called “fail raid”.  We will be working on it further so that even if our raids are still “fail” in the sense of difficulty on bosses, they will not be “fail” in the sense of fun. 🙂

P.S. Mach, I really miss this…

amber

P.S.S. To the rest of you, we were having a little trouble with this fight way back when. Amber abused Raid Warning while Mach calmly explained the fight in Vent. Now one might find that distracting and annoying while an explanation is going on and perhaps it is, especially by someone not as entertaining as Amber, but I think the added effect was it made the raid a little more fun.

Now I don’t have a recording of her in Vent, although I should probably start doing that, but Amber is also very good at voicing things in a certain way. Her tone doesn’t carry the harsh accusatory tone you often hear in pugs. I’ve heard her get that motherly tone in her voice where she starts to speak softly when she says something like “Ky, dear. You have to stay out of the fire. Standing in fire is bad, mkay?” If most of us tried to say something like that, it would come off as condescending. Perhaps some people think she is, but I for one find she’s not and it’s a lot easier to accept her comments as constructive criticism than accepting someone yelling “Ky! Stay out of the fucking fire!”

As an officer, and more importantly as a raider, it’s my responsibility to help out the raid leaders in whatever capacity I can. They aren’t getting paid to provide me entertainment. What they do can be very difficult and like I said I’m no good at it and don’t want to be. I’d rather someone else lead the way and I’ll enjoy the ride.

So basically I just need to help out by being a little more positive. Maybe that attitude can be contagious. 🙂

So in the interest of being positive about negative things, have fun with this.

Man I miss his show! 😀

*You have to give me credit for even remembering the names of the first three spells. I can’t ever remember the names of my healing spells!

Random Friday

Pretty busy at work today, enough so that I’m distracted. Distracted enough to not write about my scrub DK anyway.

Anyway my distraction for some odd reason has led me to feeling a little homesick. But I’ve lived in 3 countries and 9 states. Where’s home?

The place of my first memories: Georgetown, Idaho.

If I’m not mistaken, and I very well may be, this picture is taken from the side of a hill next to the field my grandfather used to own. Although maybe I’m thinking the field with all the cows in it…

Who wouldn’t want to live there? Roughly 500 people. Close to the mountains. Absolutely beautiful! And I’ll probably never visit again, given that my grandmother passed away last year.

9-11

September 10th, 2001 

I had just recently started working at Sundance Resort. Yes, the same place Robert Redford owns, who by the way is a pretty cool guy, not that he’d ever remember me. I was working in the Maintenance Department at the time and let me tell you this was one of my favorite jobs ever. I loved working there. One of the best friends I’ve ever had still works there. It’s a beautiful place if you ever get a chance to visit.

Because I enjoyed it so much, I loved waking up and going to work. But tomorrow was going to be a day I would never forget…

September 11th, 2001

Approx. 7:00am MDT – I turn on the TV to watch the news while getting dressed for work. A news chopper is headed towards the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center to investigate an apparent plane crash into one of the towers. I remember thinking to myself, “How blind do you have to be to fly into a tower?!” In the distance, you can see smoke billowing from the side of one of the towers. The cameraman zooms in on the tower in an attempt to see the tower a little better. The chopper is still a couple of miles away from the building.

7:03am MDT – As I sit at the dining room table putting on my boots a second plane appears in the lower corner of the camera and slams into the other tower. Shocked and confused I drop the laces to my boots…

The rest is history.

Today

It’s been 8 years. Sometimes it feels like a lifetime away. Other times it feels like it was only yesterday.

I remember being afraid. Very afraid. I was afraid of what was to come. I was afraid for my family. But as a wise one once said, “Fear leads to anger.” And like a prophecy my fear quickly turned to anger as I reached the point where my body could not live with the fear any longer. I found myself an Angry American among many. But as angry as I was, as scared as I was, I still to this day cannot imagine how the survivors and loved ones of those that lost their lives must have felt or still feel today.

angry puppy

I know that I’m angry. I think I’ll be angry for the rest of my life. And although the fire doesn’t burn as it once did, the embers still glow. Those embers burn because I’m angry that people exist out there that can treat others with such disregard. That some will hide behind religion to further their goals and recruit others to help them is something I’ll never understand. Sadly, many of those recruited probably believe strongly that they are doing the right thing.

I’m not picking on those in the Middle East. I strongly believe that Muslims as a majority are good people, but I believe that they have some rotten apples just like any other group of people. Anyone remember David Koresh?

Remember, it is one thing for God to condemn and persecute someone for their sins. It is entirely different for a person to do the same. We have no right to treat someone badly for their beliefs, but we just can’t seem to get past that whether in the real world or the world of Azeroth; just look at forum and trade chat trolls if you don’t believe me.

Remembering 9-11

I don’t work at Sundance anymore. Haven’t for many years now. I do work for a company that was fortunate enough to be a part of remembering this tragic day. Although I was not personally a part of this great monument, I am proud of the contribution we made in building the Pentagon Memorial that was dedicated last year on this day.

memorial

Each bench is oriented along the path of the plane as it crashed into the Pentagon. Each bench is inscribed with the name of one of the 184 victims on the end of the bench. If you are reading the name and see the Pentagon, that person died in the building. If you are reading the name and see the sky in the background, that person died on the plane.

My Request To You

I have several requests of my readers.

First, take a moment to remember and try to live this day with a little more understanding and acceptance than normal. Even if it means not making fun of that noob in trade chat for one day.

Second, I would ask you to forgive, but I don’t know that I can yet so that would be hypocritical. But if you’re able to, you’re a much stronger and better person than I. And for those of us that can’t, I ask you to not make the mistake of directing our unforgiving nature towards the innocents that are maligned due to their associated heritage.

Third, although I was taught that part of forgiveness is forgetting, I still view them as two entirely separate things. As such, if there’s one thing all of you do this day, regardless of what nationality or background you come from, please make sure to never forget.

9-11-01-logo

Never forget the people who lost their lives on this tragic day. Never forget the heroes of Flight 93 that lost their lives fighting back and through their actions saved the lives of an unknown number of people by preventing the terrorists from reaching their target. Never forget the courageous firefighters, police officers, and other emergency workers that lost their lives attempting to save others. Never forget this tragic day when a nation, when a world, mourned together. For a brief time, we were one. Never forget.

Fourth, where were you when the world stopped turning?