Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Cat Tragity

There is a cat in my neighborhood that is a stray. She is a rather worn Russian Blue, but sweet and affectionate. A few of the neighbors have ban together to keep an eye on her. The stray has had two litters of kittens, that I am aware of. Unfortunately, of those two litters, she has only managed to raise one kitten. After discovering this, some of the neighbors did what would have made Bob Barker proud, and got her spayed. Personally, I've never been fond of stray animals, so why mother and kitten hung out underneath my girlfriends car is a mystery. None the less, on regular occasions she would have to scare them off so she could back out. One morning she was running a little late to work. She told me in a frustrated voice that those cats were under her car. Not even bothering to look away from my video game my advice to her was to start the car, they will move. I was right, they did move. Mother ran to one side of the street, and kitten to the other. Just as my girlfriend backed out of the drive way and on to the road the kitten decided it should be by it's mother. The rear passenger tire of my girlfriends Kia Sportage came between that little kitten and her mother in an untimely and gruesome way.

The event was sad, there is no doubt about that. My girlfriend, already late for work, was rather shaken. It was unfortunate we didn't have the time to embrace and let her cry. She had to go. My role of the supportive boyfriend was cut short and I felt helpless because I knew, although it was an accident, she felt horrible. After she left I was left alone with a mother cat and her twitching kitten. The mother cat looked up at me, just as helpless as I had looked at my girlfriend. She looked at me as if my mighty opposable thumb could some how turn back the clock a messily 30 seconds and undo the tragedy. The best I could do was move the kitten off the road so that they could be together, out of traffic, as the kitten passed away. I wondered, as I watched them from my window, if the mother understood death? If she would grieve? Do cats even have emotions? There are some who would argue animals are nothing more than biological machines programmed to survive and reproduce. That, we as emotional illogical humans, personify animals around us because we don't understand them. While I agree we don't fully understand them, and to some degrees we do give our pets more credit than they deserve for their actions. After this event I know a cat can grieve. This morning I woke up to see mother Russian Blue, looking at the spot of discolored road where her genealogy ended.

As sad as the story is, I did manage to find some good in it. For one, I finally figured out what my argumentative topic is going to be in my English class that I've been racking my brain over for the past few days. The second is I've joined my neighbors in helping take care of the stray. Her life has been difficult to say the least. Perhaps she was not the best mother, or maybe she just had really bad luck. It's not my place to decide. I can decide to make sure she doesn't go hungry or thirsty for as long as she stays around. I figure, it's the least I should do.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Carrier Air V

Within the mysterious hole in my blog that took place between February and October of last year, I bought a new air conditioner for the trailer. It was a Carrier Air V, and when it was brand new it was cool, really cool.

A little over a year later, the compressor died on me, which basically means new air conditioner. Fortunately, I filled out the warranty paper work and even kept it in a safe place. Because I returned the warranty card I got an additional year of parts warranty.

I still think Carrier is a good A/C unit. South Texas is probably one of the most extreme environments an A/C unit will find itself in. In fact, the guy that installed is said my Carrier was the first he had ever seen go bad. Just my luck. Hopefully, it was a fluke and my new one will run for a good long time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Paying for School

I'll be starting school on August 23rd, but the tuition was due on August 14th. I can't help but feel college is an all around scam. If I fork out enough money, I get a degree. True I have to wait a few years, but it makes me wonder if I forked out enough maybe they would just give it to me sooner? I dunno, but over all it's a scam.

I'll be taking U.S. History to 1865, so it will be interesting to learn about Thomas Jefferson's view on education and how it should be free (like public schools) and cheep (higher education schools) for the masses. I could be totally wrong on what Mr. Jefferson thought about education, but I do know that he was correct in thinking that education has a direct link to being a notable citizen. While I agree with that, why do I have to pay $97.30 for a campus gym I'll never use? I'm there for school, nothing more. If I wanted to work out I'd pay $8 a month and go to a real gym that has much better equipment. It certainly beats my college's $25 a month mandatory gym cost.

I'll also be taking an English class, so there is hope for my blog after all.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Good 'ol Days of Warcraft

I don't blog about World of Warcraft much even though I am an avid player. Partly because I would like to think there is more to my life than that video game. All in all, WoW is actually a very fun, and economical way, to spend (waste) time. I'm going to try and write this post in a way people who don't play WoW can easily understand what I am talking about.

The only reason I bring it up is because today I was talking to my brother and it turns out he's making a character a lot like the one I have, which in itself is flattering. I was telling him about how I play and some of the ins and outs. I'm a Troll Warrior for those of you who are interested. The Warrior class is exactly what it sounds like. There is no magic, it's just simple smack people with my weapon and wear heavy plate armor. I like simple, that's why I went that route. One of the abilities we have is called Intimidating Shout; which is basically where I yell and everyone around me runs away in fear.

Today this ability is limited to only five people. So if I yell and there are six people standing around me, five get scared and one is left to beat on me. This have been done for game balance, which is fine with me. Game balancing mechanics that hinder a character are affectionately referred to as a "nerf" (yes just like the foam balls and arrows made by the company). Warriors have been through many "nerfs" all of which I find understandable. The Intimidation Shout nerf was the first, and so far only, one I found annoying.

Here is a poor quality youtube video of the ability before the nerf. Not the best, but as you can see all the bad guys run away from the warrior for a few seconds. This example was done with a high level warrior against a lot of low level bad guys. The reason this nerf was annoying to me because it took away the fun. The only place you could get away with it the way they do in the video is when you're fighting much lower level bad guys than you. Or when you are fighting a lot of other players. Hence the whole reason for the nerf. Warriors fighting large groups of other players where able to scatter them very easily.

The video sparked a good memory of playing WoW in the past, and I didn't want to forget about so here it is in blog form. Hopefully written in a way I'll understand it many years after I've stopped playing WoW.

EDIT: The first picture is the icon use in game to represent Intimidating Shout. I also added the actual video instead of a link to it because I remembered you could do that.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

July Speding Analysis

It's the beginning of a new month, time for some more pie charts.

Luxury was higher than normal this month because of a trip to Houston to visit my parents. Gas was up for the same reason. It was a very enjoyable trip, and it really didn't hurt that bad. I put off making a larger payment on my credit card, and I didn't save as much this month.

Speaking of savings, I combine savings and investing. I don't know if that's the way to go, but both represents money I'm setting aside for a long term. The only investing I'm doing is Prosper, which is something I learned about on another blog. I'm sure I'll have a post on my Prosper experience later this month.

The only reason Other Necessity even exists this month was because my converter went out in the trailer. I'm proud to say I didn't have to put it on a credit card, I was able to pay for it out right.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

EA part 2

EA's response to me was a nice little message that only said we're going to forward your complaint to someone new. To get it I had to log into their website, they weren't nice enough to send me a convent email. After they sent me that nice generic response, they sent me a survey... to my email! So I posted this blurb at the end of the survey.
Well you guys didn't respond to what I said at all. It was just a "Hi thanks for complaining, we're forwarding your message to someone else."

Not that I said anything that merits a response, it would have been nice if you at lease said, "We're a company, we're here to make money, and if you don't like how we do business you're welcome to demonstrate your dissatisfaction by purchasing games from our competition."

Obviously, the most idea response would have been something to the effect of, "We know we've done fans of Origin wrong, and to show how much we want to make it right we're going to offer you a job as a gaming consultant so that we can try to capture the demographics of gamers that elude us."

None the less, your cowardice auto-response is what I would expect from a big evil company that cares more for making money than actually satisfying customers.