Archive for the ‘counter strike’ tag
I have felt a bit out of the blogging groove as of late. Even in years past when I have left town for vacation, I still found time for a post or two, as in 2008 when I wrote from Boston about the presidential debate between then-candidates Barack Obama and John McCain or in 2010 when I marveled about how difficult it was for a tourist like myself to get a clear view of the ocean on the coast of Maine.
So, let me briefly review what I’ve been up to the last couple weeks. As I hinted, I was on vacation in New England last week. Unlike in 2010 or 2008 (or the time before that), I didn’t bother to actually go into the city this time. My friend lives about 10 minutes north of Boston on the North Shore, so I mostly stayed in that general area, visiting numerous used book stores in Rowley, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Danvers. Among them were the Used Book Superstore, (This is a chain store, but the one I visited was in Danvers), Broken in Books (Rowley) and my favorite, Manchester by the Book (Manchester-by-the-Sea). In total, I came back to Georgia with seven books, and while I did visit Barnes & Noble once in Peabody, Mass., I resisted the urge to buy any brand new books. Prior to making it to Boston, I stayed over a couple days in Plymouth, where I drove past but did not actually see, what others described as “unimpressive” rock of that town’s fame.
I have also been reading quite a bit. Since the editor of the paper where I work seems fond of calculating the completion percentage of whatever history book through which he’s currently plowing (I believe he’s at 90 percent), I recently tabulated mine. I am about 72 percent done with From Sea to Shining Sea (not to be confused with this one), the former of which is a 600-page romp through the War of 1812, the war with Mexico and America’s westward expansion. It is an elegant and entertaining read and not so erudite that it’s inaccessible to the common reader. I plan to begin “The Religious Life of Thomas Jefferson” next, which will no doubt make the incontrovertible case that while Jefferson made outward shows toward religion, he was privately more likely a deist and did not believe in the various miracles attributed to Christ. According to Charles Sanford:
From the evidence of his life, we may safely conclude that Jefferson remained a member in good standing of his local Episcopal church all his life, in outward form at least. His inward convictions were another matter, however. His great-grandson described Jefferson’s religion as that of a “conservative Unitarian….He did not believe in the miracles, nor the divinity of Christ, nor the doctrine of the atonement, but he was a firm believer in Divine Providence, in the efficacy of prayer, in a future state of rewards and punishments, and in the meeting of friends in another world.”
Jefferson also famously said in a letter to Benjamin Rush:
I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every from of tyranny over the mind of man.
In any case, I’m quite anticipating reading the book on Jefferson after I finish my romp through America’s expansionist years.
Otherwise, I have been catching up on my Counter Strike: Source, which I did not get to play at all while on vacation. This is a super high priority, I know, especially for someone who puts so much importance on reading and studying, but since I don’t watch much TV, I’ve got to have an engine by which to channel a little nightly frivolity. Of course, even at that, I am quite competitive and probably take it too seriously. Before going to Boston, for instance, I was quite disappointed with the my so-called “KDR” or kill-death ratio (It was o.95 or something. Quite unacceptable), but happily, the server was reset, and so too were the stats. Now, I’m at about 1.07. While some players’ KDR is above 1.50, anything above 1.0 is respectable in my case. I tend to quit the round or “spectate” if I find myself slipping too far below 1.0 so as not to totally screw up my stats. So much for the mirth.
Site notes: I just updated the software to version WordPress 3.1.3, and for anyone who uses WordPress plugins, you may want to shy away from Statpress. Although I had been using it for quite some time, it apparently caused some overload issues on one of my web host’s servers. My host, IXwebhosting.com, had to disable my database until I detected and fixed the problem. Luckily, the word “statpress” actually appeared in the error message generated by the server, so the culprit was clear.
1. I rarely wear jeans and would probably never where jeans lest they were given to me. If you gave me a pair of jeans as a gift, rest assured I DO wear them. I just wear slacks more often.
2. I can eat multiple packs of Twizzlers in one sitting.
3. I’m a fan of the Denver Broncos and the Clemson Tigers, the former mostly because of John Elway and the latter mostly because I went to school there and live there.
4. Can’t for the life of me beat Lou on Hard in Guitar Hero III. Stupid “Devil Went Down to Georgia!”
5. Listening to less new rock ‘n roll and more synth, spacey, emo, something or another music.
6. Can balance up to 20 or so pennies on my elbow and catch them into the same hand.
7. Can spin a mean yo-yo.
8. Can eat breakfast anytime, day or night … and would, in fact, if it were practical.
9. Can drink coffee anytime, day or night … and would, in fact, if it were practical.
10. Has to avoid bookstores lest I walk out with five books that I won’t have time to read until 2012.
11. Plays guitar and to a lesser extent, piano. Used to play trumpet, but at this point, I think it’s safe to cross that off the list.
12. Likes to travel and experience the feeling of being nowhere in particular.
13. Has a constant nagging that I should devote more time to writing.
14. Feels more alive in the winter than in the summer.
15. Career goals include becoming an editor of some form at a major newspaper, preferably The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and having at least one book published and some short stories.
16. 25 of these? For real?
17. Plays a first-person shooter called Counter Strike: Source under the name Paripatetic. The real word begins with “peri,” actually.
18. Thinks one of the greatest tragedies of modern America is that most work their entire lives at jobs that may or may not like just to make ends meet, when, in the end, they are for the most part, only putting more money in the someone else’s pocket. Teachers, nurses, doctors and scientists are largely excluded. I’m certainly not.
19. Is scared of heights and tries to avoid anything that may cause me death via freefalling. Rollercoasters are a no-go for that reason. The Scooby Doo ride at Carowinds: No sir! I sometimes have a dream of freefalling from a light pole. Bizarre stuff.
20. Somewhat frequently has dreams about relatives who have passed away.
21. Misses his grandfather.
22. Has a large collection of live Counting Crows shows on CD.
23. Wanted to be a computer programmer, hence, creating cool programs like facebook, hence, making more money, but my left brain seems to be entirely non-functional.
24. Has an extensive collection of song lyrics floating around in the attic and sometimes posts them as my status. Before there was free access to computers, I wrote them in some school notebook.
25. Wonders what everyone did before there was facebook … or Google … or computers. I remember those days. OK Computer.
Bonus No. 26! Wants to visit California, London, Ireland and Alaska at some point. (Runners-up: Chicago and Holland)
Shew. It’s been a rough week. What with spending time with my family, work, eating, sleeping, Counter Strike:Source and the like, it’s been a challenge to get in as much reading as I would have liked. Right now, among other things, I’m reading Bertrand Russell’s “My Philosophical Development,” and Thomas Paine’s “The Age of Reason.” Those aren’t the types of volumes one can just hop down to Barnes & Noble to pick up, so I went to the local university library and got them, which is something I hope to do more often.
I’ve concluded that for one to develop a reasoned worldview (What other sort of worldview should we seek that ultimately governs our entire journey through life?), the set of ideologies, beliefs or understandings that largely guide how a person conducts his or her life (my definition), one must, first, in this age of religious fervor, read the Big Three in full: the Hebrew Bible (which is the Old Testament in a different order; see Jack Miles: “God: A Biography” for more information), the New Testament and the Koran. This is essential for understanding what might cause someone’s son to annihilate himself via a car bomb or to hijack a jet plane and aim it at a skyscraper or massacre millions of Jews, outright unbelievers, disabled people and gays for the false assumption that they are inferior or drown and burn hundreds women for the false assumption that they are witches. It’s also essential in understanding the opposite: What causes someone to give to the poor, devote one’s life to missions work and build safe houses for the derelict. Is it pure by inspiration, command or calling from God or do some people simply lean toward faith and/or good works as character traits, as others lean toward abuse or bullying?
Second, one must delve into philosophy: Bertrand Russell, Thomas Hobbes, Hume, Heidegger, Hegel, Derrida, Habermas, Nietzsche and scores of others. One must investigate science, as one’s educational capacities allows, since this is weighty stuff: String theory, the universe, etc.
When one takes all these steps then one make a reasoned assessment of how we fit into the cosmos. Some say we fit perfectly: that we are as much a part of it as it is of us. That we are home here in this place. Some say we are not at home here: That this place is merely a stepping off point to eternity. That, for those who accept God or Christ (depending on the belief) can look forward to eternity in a place free from sin, pain and guilt.
One of my favorite poets, John Milton said, “The end of learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love Him and imitate Him,” which seems to imply that if one gains all knowledge that is possible to know (Which is impossible because our knowledge of the world and the universe changes daily and one would have to research day and night without sleeping to continually soak in new discoveries.) it will lead to a knowledge of God. Symbolically, this works and is a profound statement, since Milton is clearly stating that all knowledge that can be known points to God. Literally, it would only lead to a learned individual who has a better grasp of these weighty concepts than you or I. My point is this: Many of us spend 20, 30, 50 years or a lifetime floundering in beliefs, and more so, living and dying for beliefs, and giving no evidential proof . Truth-seekers must analyze these works meticulously and obtain a firm knowledge of the great intellectual breakthroughs in our history for a reasoned worldview to surface. All else is conjecture. If, after reading the holy books, investigating the sciences and philosophy, one concludes there is no god or if one concludes God is unmistakable and evident: the same conclusion stands: At least that person has put in the effort. At least they cared enough to find out why they believe as they do. The tragedy today is that most are too lazy or busy to do the work. Perhaps this is where our modern, hustle, bustle society skipped a disc.