Time … what is it good for?

So, what do I talk about?  There’s no shortage of topics in the world today.  US politics, North Korean nuclear war, natural disasters around the world.  Maybe something more local?  Health care.  Nah … more local.  Local to me and my immediate family.  High school football?  Video games or movies?  My bills/money problems?  Kids activities?  All seem like good topics.  None of which I have time for.  Ah … there’s a topic … time.  Limited amounts of it and how we spend it.

There’s a good TED talk about time management.  In it, the presenter mentioned the phrase, “I don’t have time” and what that actually means.  Her example is, you work and do things with your family all jammed in a schedule that leaves you time for nothing else.  In fact, you tell people that you don’t have time for certain things that they request of you.  But then you have a water heater burst in your home.  You call a plumber and meet him/her at your home in order for them to fix the heater.  The call and meeting of the plumber takes some hours.  Well … you just had hours of time appear from the ether.  Where did that time come from?  What suffered?  In the talk, the presenter says that “I don’t have the time” really means “That is not a priority.”  Because that’s what it actually is.  The plumber you made time for to get something fixed was a higher priority.  Maybe by using the words “That is not a priority,” we can really stay focused on those things that are a priority as opposed to just free-balling the phrase, “I don’t have time.”

That kind of hits home.  I don’t have time because I do the things that I see as a priority at the time.  Making meals, driving to a sporting event for the kids, going to work, going to school meetings, going to doctors appointments, laundry, etc.  There are just a lots of each of those items and not much room for entertaining things that I would like to do.  Sometimes I wonder if I should prioritize other things, but then other things would suffer.  Most things I prioritize currently can’t suffer without some real consequences.  But the fact remains, prioritize what matters most and put those in schedule first.  Make sure to add something enjoyable.  This, I rarely do.  Look at this blog … nothing for over a year !!  I guess I finally prioritized it.

If there is anyone out there, how do you prioritize your time?  If no one, I’ll just talk to myself … it’s fine.

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Orc Slayer … Fulfilled

It’s been, what …. about a year since I made that longing post for Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and I’m happy to say that I’ve experienced what it’s like to decapitate and wreck each orc I come across.  And it was/is glorious.

Let’s backup a bit to how this came to be.  In my last post, I mentioned that the largest hurdle to overcome what the lack of a next-generation console (at the time a Xbox One or PS4).  Recently, the prices of these have been falling due the shear amount of time passing and technology evolving as it always does.  But the price never dropped to a satisfactory level. One day, I noticed an online contest on a website that I frequented for a new Xbox One.  No frills.  No extra controller.  Although it did come with an online code for Halo.  Well, it didn’t cost me anything other than time to enter … which was minimal.  And sure enough, I got an email about a month later from that website saying, “Hey !!! You won !!”  As I am an perpetual skeptic to all things that would seem to benefit me (especially in email form), I thought this to be a rouse.  I sent an email to website asking if that particular email was legitimate and the responded with a yes !!  In a week, I was the proud owner of a new Xbox One that I did not pay a single cent for.  It’s also fun to note that I did purchase Shadow of Mordor before the Xbox arrived, although I did have tracking information about the shipment.

So I jumped right in and started cutting off heads and slicing throats of orcs with the fervor of a blood thirsty pirate (or ranger in this case).  With all my video-watching on the game and lusting over it, I took to the task with ease.  There was very little any orc captain or war-chief could do to prevent my reign of terror.  Within a couple of days, I had successfully completed the main story-line of the game and felt the overwhelming rush of a job well done.  And since I had purchased the Game of the Year Edition, I immediately dove into the DLC content in order to exert my dominance in those stories.  The satisfaction felt is akin to finally relaxing after an exhausting day of work or drinking a glass of your favorite beverage after feeling parched.  The sense of completeness after a long time of wondering what it would be like was tranquil.

This happened a while ago, but even to this day, I turn on the console and run around Mordor, dispensing justice against perverted versions of Elves and Humans.  But now I can move on to other things and maybe experience a similar rush of anticipation with some other task/game/obsession.  Hopefully it will be soon.  Hmmm …. there is Pokemon Go ?!?

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor – Game Longing

This is not a game review as I have never played the actual game.  This is my description of my longing for the game.

There are plenty of good reasons for this game winning the Game Developers Choice Award for Game of the Year 2014.  Large open world, full of dirty, dirty orcs to hack up or bend to your will.  Glorious looking combat animations that give a grim satisfaction each and every time an enemy falls.  The Nemesis System, which gives each player a different encounter with captains and war-chiefs, each with a distinct personality.  These things alone give me the overwhelming urge to possess and play the game, but since I lack a powerful enough computer or a latest generation console (XBox One or PS4), playing this game would take a considerable monetary investment on my part.

So I’m left with watching others play on YouTube or Twitch.  Some may think this would diminish my enthusiasm for the game, but this is far from the truth.  My urge to slice off heads of orcs with a blazing stroke of a sword, shoot arrows at heads to make orcs crumple to the ground, and throw helpless bodies from a cliff to plunge to a sudden stop, have been heightened.  Many of the videos are well produced and provide much entertaining commentary.  One YouTube channel to note of is TearofGrace.  Excellent work in providing hilarious and satisfying gameplay.

One day I may think that emptying my home’s septic tank is worth less than a next-gen console, but today is not that day.  So many other responsibilities and needs that far outweigh a need for entertainment.  And that’s all it really is … entertainment.  But it looks like so much fun !!  And unfortunately I tease myself with emails about XBox One and PS4 deals and bundles.  Almost everyday I see a good deal, just so hard to justify couple hundred USD investment.

And games/game systems are so fleeting.  New technology arises and the old stuff never makes a real comeback.  I remember I used to play Guitar Hero quite a bit, but no one plays or talks about it anymore.  Sitting in the corner, collecting dust.  Never to be used again … mostly because the game system I have for it has fallen into a state of disrepair.

Maybe I’ll wait till the system is old and inferior and hopefully, a bit cheaper.  I actually joked about waiting till the game is abandon-ware before I actually play it.  That sounds like me.

*Moral ahead* The longing continues and so does life, which contains much more important things than video games in this man’s opinion.  Feel free to contradict.

Do What You Say – What Really Grinds My Gears Series

What Really Grinds My Gears

Welcome to part 1 what is a sure-to-be reoccurring theme called “What Really Grinds My Gears”. Special thanks to Fox Broadcasting Company and the TV show “Family Guy” for the image.

This part involves people and not doing what they claim. Recently, I had to make plans based off the decision and plans of another person. Doesn’t sound like much, in fact, it probably sounds quite normal. Most people’s plans are directly affected by others. Shouldn’t be of a surprise at all. Here’s the difference: this person claimed that he needed time to make a decision on his/her plans. One month went by. Each week that go closer, I increased the frequency of my inquiries. One week before the date of interest, he/she told me that they all the information in front of them, and that a decision would be made that day. Well, that didn’t happen. It got down to the literal “day before”. Same question, same result …. absolute nothing.  I told him/her that I made the plans without his/her assistance or input.  They had the nerve to say that I couldn’t make that decision without their plans.  I told them that you can’t dick around for a month with no progress.  Absolute nothing had been done. Of course, indications were given during the entire time period.  Indications of progress, when clearly there was no progress. Why the deception? Why the purposeful misleading? They only reasons I can possibly think of are these three:

  1. They forgot (each and every time I reminded them)
  2. They have no idea what to actually do therefore a decision cannot be made
  3. The decision is actually not theirs to make.

One is impossible. Two is highly likely. Three would be surprising, but not out of the realm of impossible. It just really grinds my gears that people don’t do what they say. I almost feel like a minority in that if I say I’ll do something, I do it. If there is possibility that I won’t be able to/want to … I say that. Treat others as you would like to be treated.  Making a decision that is unpopular is better than none at all with a false pretense of arriving at the decision.

Makes me want to reverse the roles of this scenario. Purposefully delay, delay, delay until the exact last minute and then do nothing. And then have the balls to be pissed after the fact that they would be pissed at my indecision.  I don’t really care what the actual reason for delay is.  In fact, per my luck, I’m sure it’s completely reasonable and something that I am not thinking of.  But you know what, I don’t care.  Recently, It’s proven more and more than people do what is best for themselves and don’t care about the plans or designs of others as long as it does not affect them.  Clearly, in this situation, my plans did not affect him/her in the slightest.  So, you can’t be pissed.  And if you are, I don’t give a rat’s butt.

Moral of the story: Sh!t or get off the pot.  Don’t mislead, tell the truth no matter how difficult or shameful it may be.

Secondary Moral: Do what every else does and think about yourself only.  You are the only one caring about you.

More to come:  Maybe some movie and/or book reviews.