Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oh where is my hobbit?

I've been been neglecting my hobbit for awhile, and doing some work on Star Trek Online, as well as some World of Warcraft.   I love Massively Multi-player Online gaming (MMO's), the chance to wander in a world that isn't our own.   One trouble I have is just sticking to one.   Star trek has been near and dear to my heart, so has Lord of the Rings Online, and I love the superhero genre, so Champions online and City of Heroes also appeals to me.   I find that I'm like a kid in a candy store that just can't seem to find something that he can stick with, so with greedy hands the kid takes as many has he can handle, but at the end of the day, all he ends up with is a stomach ache.   It's easy to get addicted to MMO's with the fun times of leveling, crafting new items for your virtual character, some sense of accomplishment.   Some people take it way to seriously, others don't leave the computer alone, and just constantly game when there's any free time.  
I was watching Season 2 of  Big Bang Theory and there was an episode where the character known as Penny, got addicted to Age Of Conan (easy to do, gorgeous game) and Leonard (a main character) came up to her and tried to point out that she was substuting real life accomplishments with Virtual world accomplishments because they're easier than the real-life ones  (he said this line more eloquently than that, but you get the point).  

I think this is one of the dangers with mmo's.   The life of an mmo'er is filled with giving their virtual character accomplishments, that keeps them enticed to play more.   It's so much easier to see, find, and do these 'accomplishments' online than it is in real life.   This is probably a deeper subject when you get down to the nitty-gritty of it then I'm about to attempt, but it is food for thought, something to contemplate when your killing an orc to get the latest trait; or fishing in Orgrimmar for that accomplishment; or flying through a donut in City of Heroes just to get a badge; or get your next crop in Farmville.

So as I yammer on, I leave you with a picture of my Ferengi, enjoying the sun on Risa ... the closest thing to a tropical beach that I'll see anytime soon.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Buzz about FIFA ...

 I'm starting to catch the soccer fever these days ... or should I say soccer FIFA.    My word I'm having a new respect for the guys trotting all about the huge field chasing the ball around.   I wish watching soccer would, through the amazing power of visual osmosis make me lose the weight that I've been trying to lose.   Well, ok, CASUALLY trying to lose.

Since Canada didn't make it into the tournament, I suppose due to my inherent German background I'll cheer for Germany.    It helps that they won their first game 4-0.   Good going team.   I'd actually cheer for the U.S. as well, if they had a chance to make it to the finals.   To their credit though, the Yanks tied with England 1-1 ... which is actually an accomplishment.   But seriously, I doubt that they'll go farther.

Now, there is quite the buzz about the instruments that the South Africans around blowing about, known as the vuvuzela.   Strange name, but basically it's a plastic horn that in a soccer stadium, gives off a huge background 'Buzz'.   It's like being swarmed by killer bee's .. which, coincidently, also live in Africa.   To be blunt, it's really, really annoying.   So annoying that despite my desire to hear the great commentating of the games, I just put the tube on mute and watch the game.   

There's a bit of controversy about the noise, as you can guess.. most people on the planet can't stand it, but it's an African noise-maker, so in respect to the host country of FIFA, there will be no change in the rules, and people will continue to bring these plastic noise horns to the games.   At first, I was in favor if banning the plastic nuisance, but now I think we should respect the cultural tradition of soccer fans in South Africa, but urge the broadcasters to soften the noise on their end.   You'd think it being a digital age and all, that there would be a way to do it.  

On another topic.   I picked up FIFA 2010 for my xbox 360 yesterday.    Great game, and lots of options.   I'm working on getting Canada into the World Cup in the game, I figure if not in real life, than a virtual win is better than nothing.   GO CANADA!!   So far I really, really suck at the game.    Good news though ... No Vuvuzela in the game .... silence at last.

Abimelech --- the sermon

I preached on Abimelech, in Judges 8:28-9:57 last Sunday, a story of a man whose pride and ambition pushed him away from God.   This is something that we all struggle with to some degree, and which not only affects our relationship with the Lord, but also, with each other.    I enjoy the role of Jotham, and a reminder that no matter how bad things get, God comes through in the end, and righteousness prevails.   Check out this incredible event in history, and keep your pride in check.     I concluded my sermon with a great word from Psalm 25:4-5 "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."   Notice that we ask God to show us HIS ways, not ours, and we are guided by HIS truth, and HIS teachings.   That HE is LORD, not us, and that our hope is in GOD, not is us.    When I read this, I'm reminded that my hope in my own abilities is meanings (Ecclesiastes-ish ... I know ;)   ), but my hope in HIS abilities to work in, through, and around me is boundless.

Just some thoughts.