Monday, July 26, 2010

Real Life

We all live in fantasy worlds to one extent or another; whether it is second guessing coaching calls for our favorite sports teams, building up powerful avatars in a computer game, or imagining what we would do with a billion bucks, I think it's safe to say that human beings spend a fair amount of time in musings that aren't related to real life.

Ok, at least I do. How about that? Will you admit that? Sure you can; we all know I'm a nut job and that I have musings. Ergo, I spend time in a delusional fantasy world and describe it to you all occasionally.

Alrighty, there's a starting point. So, now that I have a major source of my fantasy world taken away (World of Warcrack, as if you didn't know!), do I choose to substitute another delusion or fantasy or use this as an opportunity to get involved in the real world?

As tempting the fantasy world is (no responsibility, gain great power over my environment, have unlimited resources), I know I need to grab onto reality. Last night was such a time.

We had some friends over for dinner, played some sort of rummy card game, and yakked. Toward the end of the evening, our friends disclosed to us a problem that they were struggling with (short version, their son is coming back from a 10 day mission trip and his dog died while he was away).

We were able to firstly, comfort them in their hardship and trial, and (hopefully) help them see how God could use it to mature their son through a really hard trial after what is sure to be a huge spiritual high.

Afterward, as my wife and I were taking our evening walk, I felt a deep sense of satisfaction in being used by God in this way. Sure, it was small and somewhat trivial, but I know it was a great comfort to our friends to share their burden with us, and we were happy to help them bear it.

I can't even begin to count the opportunities like this that I didn't even get a chance to participate in because I was too busy with my fantasy world.

I just have to thank God for second, third, billionth chances.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Please Help

Today I'd like to call attention to a devastating chronic disease that has received little to no recognition despite it afflicting literally millions of people in the world.

I'm talking about Cranial Rectum Inversion (CRI) or, in the common vernacular, having one's head up one's ass.

It is estimated that 99.9% of politicians and celebrities suffer with CRI undiagnosed. (The other .1% are reportedly looking at their anus and thinking that it might be a good place to put their head). Notable people with CRI include Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh, Tiger Woods, Nancy Pelosi, Lebron James, and Sean Penn; sometimes whole groups of people, including the NAACP, the KKK, the Democrat and Republican parties, and the vast majority of the media, have been known to contract this nonfatal disease. Our young people, especially teen males, are a huge at risk group for contracting CRI, and unfortunately, there is almost a 100% conversion rate at some point during the years from 13 to 20.

But closer to home, I have to admit that I have suffered from CRI on and off for years, and I'm compelled to write about it to increase awareness of the suffering that not only I have endured, but also my friends and family.

What follows is a list of the symptoms and indications that lead to a diagnosis of CRI.

One of the first indications that a person has CRI is an acute loss of hearing anyone besides oneself. As the head is fully engulfed, the person's ears are flattened against their head and partially or even totally occluded by the walls of the rectum. This situation leads to tragic consequences as the CRI sufferer often either cannot hear what others say or, even worse, thinks that nobody is even trying to communicate with them. Sadly, the only voice that they can hear is their own.

Another readily observable manifestation of CRI is the victim's almost constant complaining of being kept in the dark as well as life being crappy in general. Along with these symptoms, the sufferer complains of everything tasting like crap (usually only teenage sufferers). The sheer volume of feces that one has to deal with while afflicted with CRI usually leads to statements such as "Why do I have to deal with all this crap (or other synonym)?"; "Why are you giving me so much crap?"; and "You don't give a crap about me."

The travesty is that CRI victims fail to see (whether due to the extreme darkness of their rectums or other reasons is unknown) is that they are surrounded by their own crap of their own making.

In some cases, mostly teen males again, the sense of smell is so compromised that they are unable to smell their own body odor, even when the scent becomes overpowering to the normal human and is fatal to small mammals and reptiles. Once again, the sealing of the anus around the neck occludes the nostrils from outside influences; combine that with the overwhelming stink of poop, and it's easy to see why the olfactory nerves become desensitized.

As in most syndromes of this nature, there are severe cases as well as mild cases of CRI. The more severe cases (teen males, politicians, celebrities, and professional sports people) often present themselves with not only the cranium inserted firmly into the rectum, but the subject's hands are often observed to be grabbing onto the hips and their arms are bulging with the strain of trying to shove the head up farther.

Thank God that He gave us shoulders or we might just disappear...

So, what now?

It is my belief that all of us have suffered at one time or another from CRI (especially if you are a male above the age of 20). Recognizing the symptoms in your coworkers is fairly easy, but admitting that you or a loved one might be suffering from CRI can be a difficult and taxing process that is sure to test the limits of both physical strength as well as mental fortitude.

But it is well worth the effort to disengage a cranium from the associated rectum, especially if that effort results in what I like to refer to as "the big pop" or "that popping sound" or "the great uncorking" as the head is released from the rectum and makes, for lack of a better word, a popping sound. POP!

At the great uncorking, a critical juncture is met, and it is essential that great care be taken in order to prevent an immediate relapse, which happens in most cases with the aforementioned politicians, celebrities, and the like.

It is of utmost importance to make the person aware of their surroundings. Some suggestions are:

- Comment on the light that is sure to be blinding them and assure them that it means them no harm. Explain that the normal order of things is to take advantage of the light rather than live in darkness. Some people prefer to keep their deeds in the dark and will attempt to self inflict CRI, such cases are, unfortunately, usually permanent.

- Draw their attention to the fact that they can hear you much more clearly. While there may still be some crap in their ears, there is a marked improvement in auditory reception when there is nothing actually pressing up against the ear canals. Once again, assure them that this is perfectly normal to hear other people clearly; you may want to use subdued tones in order to not frighten them.

- Point out that the world is not full of their crap. Remember, up until now, they have only seen, tasted, heard, smelled, and felt their own crap; it's all they know. Gently guide them to the realization that the world contains more than just them; yes, it's scary, but necessary.

- Make them aware that they have been suffering from CRI (feel free to use this post as a reference and teaching tool). Be sure to comfort them with the fact that it is not fatal in most cases, but it is a serious condition that needs to be addressed.

Despite your best attempts, you or your loved one may insist upon self initiating CRI. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RESTRAIN THEM! Feel free to implore them, berate them, yell or scream at them, but do not in any way try to lay hands on them as you may get caught up in their efforts to reinsert their head in their rectum; that only ends up badly.

In conclusion, Cranial Rectum Inversion is a serious, nonfatal, debilitating condition that affects humans (and in the case of teen males, possibly small mammals and reptiles), and it usually results in narcissistic behavior and disregard for anyone but themselves.

It can affect anyone that is a human being, but is especially prevalent in politicians, celebrities, teen males, and certain groups. It is observable in singular instances as well as mass infestations. The disease knows no racial, political, sexual, occupational, or national boundaries; anyone, anywhere can be affected.

CRI's symptoms include a lack of hearing, compromised olfactory senses, a sense of always being in the dark, and a general crappy outlook on life. Sufferers may or may not be engaged in pushing the head in further on an active basis.

At present, there is no permanent cure for CRI; usually the only time one realizes that they suffer from CRI, is just after they have pulled their head out. Repeated entreaties from outsiders to disengage the cranium from the rectum fall on (somewhat) deaf ears, although there are a few cases in which this tactic has been successful.

The biggest tool that can be used to combat CRI is awareness. Speak to your loved ones before they contract CRI, and talk to them about CRI during the time that their heads are out of their rectums. And always, while CRI is almost always self inflicted, remember that the roles between you and your loved one could easily be reversed.

My hope for you is that soon, you or your loved one suffering from Cranial Rectum Inversion will look around and wonder, "What was that popping sound?" Peace be with you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Aftermath

"My mind rebels at stagnation" - Sherlock Holmes

I'm just two days out and while I don't miss WoW, I am starting to miss the mental stimulation that it provided. I have found some other outlets, namely, reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes material and doing difficult - very difficult Sudoku's. That's short term, though. I'm going to start getting my wife and my youngest son sucked into some sort of table top strategy game.

With such a game, I can fulfill my desire to RULE OVER THEM WITH AN IRON FIST!!!. I mean...engage more with both of them. Yeah, that's it, engage....commune....STRIKE FEAR IN THEIR HEARTS AT THE SIGHT OF MY AWE INSPIRING TACTICS AND AWESOMENESS!!!



Like you aren't thinking that...

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's Over

I canceled my WoW account this morning, and my time runs out Aug 7th. I only plan to log in long enough to send my gold and some items over to try to repay Teurion for when he last quit.

TL:DR version is at the end.

Alrighty, as many of you know, I take my relationship with God pretty serious, and lately, I've started being convicted of how much time I've been spending in WoW. In fact, it's more sinister than just time; I've actually made an idol of World of Warcraft.

I heard someone define an idol as looking to anything except Jesus Christ for identity, meaning, and ultimate purpose. That describes what WoW had become for me.

I got a sense of accomplishment from my activities in game, whether it was topping the damage meter, downing a boss, or leveling a new 'toon. I took pride in my deeds in game, and they were a source of identity for me (witness all the blog entries that speak to this).

Now, I'm not back at the point I was in 2007/2008 when I was consciously putting the game before my wife and family; I have somewhat of a balance going on in that respect. No, the bigger issue is the fact that God alone needs to fulfill those areas in my life (and is more than able to), and that I need to look to Him instead of a game.

For anyone who's read this blog for a while, I'm sure you recognize the struggles that I've had with balance (or addiction if you will). I've known for a while that I had been placing too much value on WoW and using it for a source of "feel good" for lack of a better word.

...But I've always been left wanting more, which is the nature of things outside of God. Only God can satisfy completely, everything else is just temporary. And in this case, not only temporary, but only existent in a virtual world!

Call it a mid-life crisis, or burnout, or whatever; the truth is that I now see my activity of the last three and a half years as worse than useless. I've spent more time in game than with my wife, my kids, or my God, and that is really messed up.

I won't be playing WoW again; I'll transfer my stuff to Teurion and be quit of the game. I need to focus on what really matters.

P.S. Oh, I won't stop blogging; you aren't that lucky. And I am still going to Gen Con, that doesn't have anything to do with my idol worship of WoW (although I will avoid the WoW booths I think...).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Following my plan....NOT

Yeah, so on a multiple choice test, usually, your first answer is the correct one, and unless you are presented with overwhelming evidence as to its incorrectness, you're better off not changing it.

How does this apply? Well, I decided to take Daxea into a fresh ICC25 run with The Ebon School. Let's take a look at why it was stupid for me to do so:

1. I had no way of knowing that one of our DKs had switched mains to a melee Shammy, so when he started spending DKP for Hunter gear instead of rolling for it, I knew that I would have a very hard time getting any drops. (Loot rules, TL:DR version: Mains spend DKP, if no mains want it, Offspecs /roll for it, if no Offspecs, then Alts /roll for it)

2. Rotface dropped a trinket that Daxie has been wanting, and someone won it for minimum DKP. /sigh

3. Daxie got pulled in anyways for Professor and Blood Wing, because we struggle to down these bosses with people on alts.

The only bright spot for either Daxie or Daxea was for Daxea getting just enough rep to get the lowest level ring from the Ashen Verdict. It was a significant upgrade, so I'm happy about that.

I should have stayed with my original plan of running Daxie this week. Oh well, life goes on.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What Now?

Daxea has met her goal of a 5k gear score and according to one of the raid leaders, that's the minimum to run in the ICC25 raids when alts are allowed. So, I'll be doing that some time in the near future.

But first, I need to build up some DKP on Daxie; I saw the haste trinket drop again in Ruby Sanctum and lost it because I didn't have very much DKP. But until (unless?) we do hard modes, I'm comfortable with where I'm at gearwise on her.

My poor shammy is still sittin' at 28; I've been neglecting her while I've been busy gearing Daxea. Maybe it's time to pick her up again. And I don't even want to think about my PvP Rogue. /sigh.

Then there's all my Horde toons over on Suramar that I'm sure would like to get some attention.

But what I think I might do is cut back. I've regained about 8 lbs of what I lost over the last year (weighed in at 191.2 lbs this morning), so I'm trying to get back into exercising. My torture of choice this time is...running.

Yeah, I know, running is for suckers. Well, I bought some running shoes and downloaded a copy of the Couch to 5K schedule for my wife and I to follow. We were supposed to start last night, but she had a drug rep dinner to attend, and we were both bushed by the time she got home. So our sights are set on Thursday.

And that brings up another thing - I need to spend less time on the computer and more time with my wife. Back to balance young padawan, remember balance. My shoes are New Balance.

See how that all worked in there? It's the circle of life.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Tale of the Damage Meter

As any of you who have followed this blog for any time at all know, I like to be on top of the damage meter, I mean, who doesn't!

So, tonight, Blood Wing and Plague Wings were up. I started slow on Festergut, only rockin' twelfth place, but then on Rotface, I ripped off this gem:

Booya! Number one! Next up was Blood Princes. Now, I have to say that Shadow Priests have a bit of a cheat in this fight as our DoTs continue to count as damage even though the Prince that they're on may not be the active Prince. So, due to that, I've been able to get in the top five most of the time.
As you can see, I was a full percent higher than number 2. /preen.

And lastly, I submit to you, the pinnacle of my epeen, the Total Damage done for the night:

Ah, it feels good to be on top again!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Yes, we finally did the dance right on ICC25. Here's the proof:

And here's the damage done for the entire evening, First 4 + Frost Wing:
I don't know if I could be more pleased...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The gearing process

Daxea went from a 2900ish gear score on Friday to just over 4100 gear score as of yesterday. Not too bad, if I do say so myself. Of that gearing, only one piece required me to rob Daxie, Dwarfvader, and Daxxy to pay, erm, for the crafted Crusader bracers.

Now, I'm wondering if for my soloing old content, if PvP gear might be better due to the higher stamina, with some defense or dodge or stamina gems in the sockets. Now I know that I hopefully won't have to be tanking the mobs, but I'm sure I'll take a shot or two in the process. And also, I know my pet gets contributions from my stats, so the more stamina I have, the more my pet will have. Anyways, just thinkin'....

Daxie went to the Ruby Sanctum and saved the day. Yay. The iLevel 271 haste trinket dropped; I only had 200 DKP, so I didn't win it. /sadface. I am doing significantly better on the damage chart though. We have yet to get in a fresh ICC run due to the holiday and the RS work, so I'm not sure how significant my improvement is yet.

It's been 4 weeks since my last fingernail biting incident; I should make a gadget for the sidebar...

Friday, July 2, 2010

And then there were five

Last night, I ground out the last couple of experience points for Daxea to ding 80. I had spent most of the night lounging around with my wife, but after she decided to go to bed early, I hopped on the computer and got 'er dun.

So, now it is time to gear her up and level my new pet bear. I'll also be picking up a Beast Mastery second spec for my soloing adventures. Oh, and I need to grab a wolf; I'm thinking a red one from Burning Steppes or a white one, if I can find one. Of course, I'll have to level it as well.

Now, there are two ways I could go at this juncture:
1. I could upgrade to epic ammo, only level my pets outside of instances in order to not burden others, and buy shiny new gear so that I can pull my own weight. Or,

2. Use the same junk I have now, level my pets in the LFG cause it's easier, get whatever gear drops, and generally let the others boost me through Heroics.

Yeah, I'm thinkin' #2 also...