Sunday, March 26, 2006

Old Man in a Young Man's Body

With the spring and summer fast approaching, I'm looking forward to the activities that filled my warm weather months last year.

While most folks in their mid-twenties look forward to going to the shore, I look forward to going to the track and betting the ponies. I look forward to the return of baseball season and minor league ball in Wilmington. And most of all I look forward to relaxing on weekend afternoons in the shade with a cool drink.

Tonight I went to the Talleyville Fire Department for "Monte Carlo" night. This is an event held by the Ladies' Auxiliary of the TFD every other month to raise money. The average attending age for this event is probably over 40. For $5 you get in the door, get all the beer you can drink, all the sausage and meatballs you can eat (or until the ladies run out), and you can play table games like blackjack for a buck a hand.

I had a blast.

I invited some friends from up in Philly to come out. I'm not entirely sure they enjoyed themselves. There were some mitigating factors: there was another party they were going to after the stop in Wilmington, one of them wasn't feeling well, etc... but on the whole I don't think they enjoyed it nearly as much as I did.

Am I really a 40 year old trapped in a 27 year old's body at this point?

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. I've always looked forward to getting older, because there is so much less social pressure on you with each passing year. I like "old man" activities, like betting the ponies and playing dominos. I like not having to drive more than 20 minutes to get a bite to eat, have a beer, go shopping, or pretty much do anything. I like going to bed before the bars close, and getting up before noon.

Am I really that out of touch?

Eh... probably. *shrug*

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A New Daunte, A New Prank

The lovable Daunte Culpepper is taking his small, carny hands and his fumbling ways to Miami.

Since I was out of the office yesterday, a fellow developer took it upon himself to update an old prank.

The following pic can be seen all over my working area:

And, of course, my speed dial has been updated to accomodate the trade (available on the left, click to enlarge).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Faces Behind the Toons

I am one of the 6 million people who play World of Warcraft. This should be no surprise. I've blogged before on the topic, and most folks know I enjoy my weekly Dungeons and Dragons games, and this game appeals to those fantastic sensibilities.

I'm also a member of a guild on World of Warcraft called "Sadhus of the Smoke" (I assume no responsibility for the dreadful animated gif if you follow this link). I've been a member of the guild for a good long while now, and have even made a couple of real life friends there. In fact, the girl who invited me into the guild in the first place is now dating one of my buddies!

Last weekend, a few of the guild members came to Philly, at least one coming from as far away as California. I got a chance to meet a lot of them in person for the first time, and the experience was unique to say the least. If you looked around the room, there were a bunch of people that, on sight, you wouldn't figure would be very likely to hang out together. Outward appearance, however unfair, is the only measuring stick available in most social situations for people to gauge who they'd like to approach.

But in this case, appearances were right out the window because most of us had gamed together for a long time now. The connection, or pretext for conversation, was already there. We drank a couple of beers and played some board games and had a good time. And it was really refreshing.

World of Warcraft has come under some scrutiny of late, and not all of it undeserved. There was the lamentable handling of a gay and lesbian guild on one of the servers. A recent editorial claiming that Warcraft teaches kids the wrong things makes some interesting points and is seeing some circulation around the web.

But I have a hard time believing that a game can be good or bad on some fundamental level. I would be lying if I said I haven't seen some people engage in addictive behavior over this game... I've heard some disturbing things in chat channels where parents are ignoring their kids because they want to make "one more run through the battlegrounds" or "turn in this last quest". I've seen claims of classes, and work, being skipped for days on end to play the game. That behavior is just not healthy on any level.

But I still maintain that's NOT THE FAULT OF THE GAME. That's the fault of the person playing the game being unable to prioritize properly.

And if people can make lasting connections through a game like this, I fail to see how playing this game is any less healthy or antisocial then going to a bar or club every weekend to try to meet people.