Blog of Doom Personal thoughts of a total stranger.

16Jun/13Off

Father’s Day Poem

Posted by Michael

fathers-day-australia

Saw this poem on The Art of Manliness and liked it, so I thought I'd share it with everyone on this Father's Day.

A careful man I want to be –
a little fellow follows me.
I do not dare to go astray,
for fear he’ll go the self-same way.
I cannot once escape his eyes.
Whatever he sees me do he tries.
Like me he says he’s going to be –
that little chap who follows me…
He knows that I am big and fine –
And believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see –
that little chap who follows me…
But after all it’s easier,
that brighter road to climb,
With little hands behind me –
to push me all the time.
And I reckon I’m a better man
than what I used to be…
Because I have this lad at home
who thinks the world of me.

 
9Jun/13Off

Will E-books Kill Hardcopy Books?

Posted by Michael

e-books2

Will e-book readers kill hardcopy books?

This post was inspired by the Kaizen Reading blog. I don't know the answer to the question posed in the title, but I will share my thoughts.

Upon reflection, I came up with a few main points. First, computers didn't end pen and paper or hand writing, but they certainly affected them. Second, this reminds me of the fountain pen vs. ballpoint pen debate. Ballpoint pens have replaced fountain pens for most people, but some still use fountain pens. Their reasons sound very much like the same reasons people still read books, i.e. the feel of a fountain pen in your hand is more satisfying than a ballpoint pen. In the same way the feel of a book in your hand is just better than reading it on a screen. Third, there are parallels with the rise of electronic movie and music formats. Now, what format will e-books take? I used to think that they would be like CDs. One book loaded onto a disk that you pop into an e-reader. That would leave the book publishers in control of their books. But… now I don't think that is what's going to happen. Music evolved past CDs into purely online electronic formats with DRM, and I think that's the same way e-books will evolve. I think e-readers may take on characteristics of expensive books. They may be made of more expensive materials and made to mimic old books at first, then simply be made of expensive, non-plastic materials, such as wood and metal, to appeal to aesthetics.

In my opinion, not only are e-books here to stay, they will replace books in the same way that ballpoint pens replaced fountain pens. I think some people will still prefer hardcopy books just as they prefer fountain pens. However, e-readers have access to a huge library without the need for corresponding storage space. In the same way storage of newspapers was replaced by putting their contents on microfiche, most books will be replaced by e-books. I love that e-books can now be self published as easily as music can. Just put it up online and anyone can enjoy it. If you want to make money, slap some DRM onto it, or maybe don't even bother if you charge a price most people think is fair.

Another consideration is the content of books will tend to increase in importance as the book's cover is no longer an issue. The phrase "Don't judge a book by it's cover." will become something you have to look up to find out why it's used. In the same way that "Going off half cocked" is a phrase we don't have any current experience with, you'll have to do some research to find out what that phrase means.

The one objection to e-books that I've heard and agree with is the difficulty of citing a page from an ebook, especially one with no page numbers. Different readers have different pagination. What's on page 300 in one e-reader will be on page 312 on another, so if you're reading a reference book or scholarly work and you need to cite it for your own work, how do you do that? Well, it turns out there are a few ways to cite e-books. A few methods are listed below. There are more:

1. The Chicago Manual of Style

2. The APA (American Psychological Association

3. MLA (Modern Language Association)

4. Turabian

Different editions of a hardcopy book will have different pages cites, so I think if people start to follow a convention in citing e-books, it won't matter as much since they'll just be considered a different edition.

Those are my thoughts on e-books vs. hardcopy. Not as polished as I would like, but you get what you pay for. Comments and differing opinions are welcome.

 
Filed under: Books, General No Comments
9Jun/13Off

My Take on Circumcision

Posted by Michael

Why am I writing this now? Because it has come up recently on a Facebook page I follow, I think it is important, and I need to get this off my chest. So, here goes:

1. I never had a choice. It was done to me without my permission or consent. (I understand it was the thing to do at the time, and my parents didn't know any better, so I'm not blaming them, but I'm still ticked off.)

2. It is not necessary to circumcise. Being intact is the norm for human males.

3. It is generally considered illegal and immoral to circumcise girls, so why it is ok to do the same to boys?

4. The doctor should have refused to circumcise me because it was medically unethical to do so. (Yes, I do blame the doctor for doing this. He should have known better and he took an oath.) It was medically unethical in my opinion because of reason 2 above. The surgery was unnecessary. I was not having any problems with my foreskin, so I think cutting it off was highly unethical, especially when you consider that it's done because there is a very profitable market for the foreskins. They don't just throw them away, they sell them and make a ton of money while charging the parents to have it done as well.

I really could go on and on about this for pages, but that is my opinion in a nutshell.

 
Filed under: General, Tangents No Comments
5Jun/13Off

Happy Facebooking!

Posted by Michael

Happy Face

Finally I found a nice WordPress plugin that will allow me to update Facebook with my blog posts. Yes, I haven't really been updating my blog recently, but that's going to change since I'm on a kick to record all the stupid and banal things going on in my life for everyone to fall asleep reading. Seriously folks, you ought to have figured out that I write this stuff for me, and if you enjoy it and find it interesting, then I'm happy for you. However, in the end it's for me and if nobody in the entire world likes it, I don't care. Well, maybe I care a little.

Oh, it's called Facebook Page Publish 2 if you're looking for something similar.

 
Filed under: General No Comments
5Jun/13Off

Rocks that roll back downhill

Posted by Michael

Well, I was planning to get back into World of Warcraft in the near future, as soon as I started earning some money from a job. I started doing the updater to make sure I was all up to date and would only have to buy Mists of Pandaria and then activate it, but I kept getting an error message.

Now, as usual, when I get an error message, I fire up my trusty web browser and hit Google with the exact text of the message. This has always given me good results, linking to forums and even the software support pages with other people having the same problem, and super smart nerds telling them what to do to fix it. (Yes, I'm also a nerd. Shut up.)

This time, it was talking about the launcher having compatibility issues with the version of WoW and if you didn't update in a timely manner (which I didn't, having quit WoW when I was short on money because I was totally not addicted. Shut up.)... um... oh... if you didn't update in a timely manner, you couldn't update after a certain version without performing some software gymnastics. I tried some of the solutions they offered, but none worked. Kept digging and finally discovered that since my MacOS has not been updated past 10.6 yet (because once you do that, you can't run Neverwinter Nights), I can't update and run WoW.

Now, once I update my MacOS, I'll have to create a new partition for Windows, and I have and old version of Windows XP hanging around. That's all I need to run Neverwinter Nights anyway. It's not like I'd ever use Windows for anything else. So, the current problem is that since I'm sharing my computer with Anne until we can fix hers, I can't create another partition, since we don't have the room on the hard drive.

So... my grand re-entry into WoW is once again delayed. I'm going to blame Windows for this because, hey, why not?

Shut up...

 
11Apr/12Off

Rogue!

Posted by Michael

Inspired by the above movie, I made another character. This one is a Rogue, called Grimsieg, a name I shamelessly stole from one of my brother's D&D characters. His Grimsieg was a half orc assassin. Mine is a human. Instead of rolling him up on my usual server (US-Darrowmere), I made him on a RP server I have heard good things about (US-Wyrmrest Accord). Everything I've heard has been confirmed. I knew I picked a good server when I didn't feel like I needed to take a shower after roaming around Goldshire and Elwynn Forest during my leveling, like I did when I was leveling on US-Moonguard. That place is the most populated RP server, but also has the most sickos. Fortunately they all seem to congregate in Goldshire at the inn, but still… ick.

I've been playing him for about a week or so now, and he's at level 51. I specced him as Combat at first, but now I've switched over to Subtlety since I don't have problems with his energy generation (there is a talent you get at around level 40 with Subtlety that pretty much solves your energy problem. I like both Combat and Subtlety specs, and my intention was to level with Combat and do PVP with Subtlety, but I'm enjoying leveling with Subtlety as well. I really enjoy Shadowstepping right behind someone, hitting Premeditation, Ambush, then one Hemmorhage and Eviscerate as a finishing shot. Sometimes they die at Ambush. Subtlety does a nice huge burst at the beginning, but can't stand in melee like the Combat spec. The nice thing about Subtlety is that you don't have to stand that long, because your Ambush and Hemorrhage has knocked down the health of your opponent quite a bit, so you have only a little while until they're dead.

So far my experience has only been with PVE questing. I haven't ventured into dungeons or done any pvp yet. I'm would be ok with dungeons, but with PVP I think I still need some practice and to get my keybinds set up intuitively. Right now I'm struggling with getting them set up in a way I like. I think I've figured out how to do it, but I have to switch over and see how it works.

 
26Mar/12Off

Void In My Heart

Posted by Michael

Walking Dead on AMC

This Sunday evening, there's a void in my heart that can only be filled by zombies.

 
Filed under: General No Comments
26Mar/12Off

Our Saturday Schedule

Posted by Michael

On Saturday, Morgan handed me a schedule of things we were going to do together that day. Here they are:

1. Interrogation
2. Do Songs
3. Dance
4. Do Writing
5. Do Super Heroes
6. The Michael will be a judge at courthouse.
7. Party
8. Do Work

We got through 1 and 2. Interrogation consists of Morgan setting up a TV tray in front of me, sitting down in it, and having a conversation with me. This is him asking me questions like "Hi, how are you doing?", then moving on to the next question without waiting for an answer. Kind of fun.

Do Songs means Morgan gets out his Casio Keyboard, lays it out on the TV tray, plugs it in and has me play it while he sings improv songs. However, I am required to play in a specific way for each song. In one, I have to twiddle my fingers on the keyboard doing mini scales; in another, I have to keep my hands stiff and hit the keyboard with my fingers, keeping them in the same position but moving up and down the keyboard, similar to chopsticks. Keep in mind that I don't play the keyboard, and while there was definitely noise coming from the Casio, I wouldn't call it music. It was good enough for Morgan though.

After songs, he got bored and drifted off to other things. It was extremely fun while it lasted and I'm a little sad we didn't get to any of the other items. We've done them before and they're all fun.

 
25Mar/12Off

More Fashion Plating

Posted by Michael

Once again I've done some transmogrification to a couple of my characters to make them more pleasing to me aesthetically. This time around my vict... umm clients, I mean, were my Paladin (aka Goldoath) and my Death Knight (aka Wraithstar). Both are Draenei, and so taller and bulkier than humans. I like that for melee characters, because a hulking guy with a sword is more intimidating in my opinion. That's why I like Tauren warriors, for that matter. These looks are subject to change if I come across something I like better, but for now they're good.

Anyway, first up is the paladin. He has a set of tanking gear used in his Protection spec, and a set of pvp gear used in his Retribution spec. For his tanking set, this is the one set I'm the most unsure of. I basically set him up in armor identical in almost all ways to the Stormwind guards. Very smart looking, but I'm looking at a few other choices.

Goldoath Tanking Gear

Goldoath in his tanking gear.

For PVP, I went to an old set of PVP gear, which had some major advantages. First, I like how it looks. Second, it was relatively cheap. Third, it isn't being copied by a lot of people. I like the blue as well. It kind of reminds me of stained glass, which reminds me of cathedrals, which goes well with paladins. This one I'm very sure of and doubt I'll be changing as things stand.

Goldoath PVP

Goldoath in PVP gear

My next one is for my Death Knight, named Wraithstar, and currently my favorite. For a long time he was just there to make gems for my other characters, but I decided to give him a spin and look into gearing him up for pvp and pve, so he's the one I've been playing the most recently. This first picture is his DPS gear, worn when he's running dungeons and such. This is the same armor you get after you graduate from Death Knight trade school. A nice set of blues that pretty much hold you for several levels. Silly me, I threw the originals away as I upgraded them, but in my defense there was no transmogrification at the time. This set is available at The Ebon Hold, or DKHQ as I like to call it.

Wraithstar DPS gear

Wraithstar's DPS gear

Finally, we have his PVP gear. At first, his gear had the same look as the gear Death Knights start out with before they graduate from DK trade school. A set of greens that look like cultist robes. Kind of nice, but I really don't like robes on my Draenei for some reason. I should point out that the "cultist robes" are pretty popular in the DK community, just not with me. Anyway, this set is very similar to Goldoath's PVP set (above), since it comes from the same PVP season. The colors are different, as befits a dark and brooding DK. I like this much better than the cultist robes.

Wraithstar PVP gear

Wraithstar's PVP set

And there you have it. In future I'm sure I'll have more gear transmogrified to suit my fashion tastes on different characters. For now this is it. Feedback is always welcome.

 
18Feb/12Off

Stupid Criminal Names

Posted by Michael

I have to say that recently I've been very disappointed in our local police. Why, you ask? Well I'll tell you. Stupid criminal names are rampant. The most recent example is "The Handsome Guy Bandit," so called because he wore a latex mask when he robbed banks. Really? That's the best name you could come up with? Why not, "The Guy Who Robs Banks Robber?" He's been caught, but I wonder if he let himself get caught so people wouldn't use that stupid name whenever he robbed a bank in future. Oh! I know! How about "The Pistol Wielding Bandit!" That's much better, don't you think?

Seriously, it's like recently they're just phoning it in when it comes to making up names for criminals. Don't they have to take a class on that in the police academy? Naming Criminals 101. Because guys, when you catch "The Handsome Guy Bandit," it isn't nearly as impressive as something like, say... "The Hollywood Bandit." Now there's a bandit you could be proud of catching.

 
Filed under: Humor No Comments