Nuadha's Tale

Ignorance can be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. -Thomas Jefferson

Friday, November 29, 2002

The War Prayer
This is long. Mark Twain apparently dictated "The War Prayer" around 1904-05; it
was found after his death among his unpublished manuscripts.
The actual prayer is also sometimes seen in poem form.

The War Prayer

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The
country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned
the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands
playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing
and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and
fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of
flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched
down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the
proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering
them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by;
nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot
oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and
which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of
applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the
churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and
invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause
in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.
It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash
spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt
upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry
warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank
out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came--next day the battalions would
leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were
there, their young faces alight with martial dreams--visions of the
stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the
flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping
smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the
war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden
seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud,
happy, and envied by the neighbors and fiends who had no sons
and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for
the flag, or , failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The
service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was
read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst
that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose,
with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that
tremendous invocation

*God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest!
Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!*

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of
it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language.
The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and
benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young
soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic
work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour
of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and
confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the
foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable
honor and glory--

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and
noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister,
his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head
bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his
shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to
ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he
made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the
preacher's side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the
preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his
moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in
fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord
our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step
aside--which the startled minister did--and took his place.
During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with
solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep
voice he said:

"I come from the Throne--bearing a message from
Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the
stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the
prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such
shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained
to you its import--that is to say, its full import. For it is like
unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than
he who utters it is aware of--except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he
paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two--one
uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who
heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder
this--keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon
yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a
neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain
upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly
praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not
need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer--the uttered part
of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other
part of it--that part which the pastor--and also you in your hearts-
-fervently prayed silently. And ignorantlyy and unthinkingly?
God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the
victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. the *whole* of
the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words.
Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for
victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which
follow victory--*must* follow it, cannot help but follow it.
Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of
the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our
hearts, go forth to battle--be Thou near them! With them--in
spirit--we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved
firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their
soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their
smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us
to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their
wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble
homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of
their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn
them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the
wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst,
sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter,
broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge
of the grave and denied it--for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord,
blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter
pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their
tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!
We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of
Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that
are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts.

(*After a pause.*) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire
it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic,
because there was no sense in what he said.

My Thoughts Exactly
Yeah, what he said. The Democrats dropped the ball. Everything was in their favor but they were too damned worried about Bush's approval rating to do anything.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Vision Thing
I'm the commander -- see, I don't need to explain -- I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation.
-George W. Bush, in this interview

Dear Lord, thank you for this Thanksgiving holiday. And for all the material possessions we have and enjoy. And for letting us white people kill all the Indians and steal their tribal lands. And stuff ourselves like pigs, even though children in Asia are being napalmed.
 -Christina Ricci (b. 1980) in 'The Ice Storm'

Sorry folks. I have to get this out of my system now. It's better here than at dinner.

Bowling for Columbine
I went with a co-worker last night to see Bowling for Columbine. Brilliant. You know how people will sometimes start applauding at the end of a if the people who made that excellent movie is going to hear their applause? I've always found that silly....but I was applauding at the end of this movie. The whole audience was engaged by this movie and at the end there was practically a standing ovation.

In Bowling, Michael Moore takes on the NRA and America's gun culture but he doesn't limit the film to that. The movie also looks at race relations, social services and America's foreign policies and it isn't pretty. Bowling for Columbine was funny at times and scary other times but it gets you thinking and that...I think...was the goal.

If you haven't seen this movie yet, I highly recommend seeing it while its at the theatre. No, there aren't amazing special effects or scenery in it that needs to be seen on the big screen. There's just something special about seeing it with hundreds of other people and seeing how everyone is affected. If you live in the Ann Arbor area, the State Theatre is showing it for at least another week.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Dharma Talk
I call myself a Buddhist. I'm not a great buddhist. I'm not as mindful as I should be and I often let things affect me more than they should. I hardly ever meditate and I always tell myself I will start meditating more. However, I do believe in the Buddha's message which is more than I can say with most religions. I'm not sure it's really proper to call myself a member of any particular religion, but if I were to subscribe to one religion it would be Buddhism.....or maybe New Age since it's a mixture of a whole bunch of teachings including Buddhism.

I am a Buddha. We all are. The teachings of modern Buddhism state that we all have Buddha-nature and the seeds of Buddha-hood are already there. We just need to water and nurture our Buddha. At times, I hit upon a mindful moment where it's there. I am filled with love and compassion and I am completely...there. It's rare... but it happens.

A while back there was an "inspirational speaker" at my work and he made a point of saying how the Buddha said that "Life is suffering." I don't remember what else he said but I know that he did not finish what the Buddha said. He brought up the first jewel of Buddhism without explaining that the Buddha went on to explain that there was a way out.....a way to end suffering. I remember being really offended. He had said that he had learned that the Buddha said "Life is Suffering" because it was quoted in the introduction to some inspirational book he had. This guy kept saying things like how he woke up each morning and "thanked God to be alive", so I understood that he was probably a Christian and had never bothered to read up on Buddhism. Still it bothered me that he was protraying Buddhism as such a pessimistic and depressing teaching when nothing was further from the truth.

I think the reason that Siddhartha started his first teaching after reaching Buddha-hood with "Life is Suffering" is that in order to understand the later teachings and to be able to transcend suffering one must first totally understand suffering...what it feels like when it arises and what caused it in the first place. By being completely mindful of the suffering around us, we can see its source and it will naturally lead into his second teaching (or jewel), which will naturally lead us to the third teaching and so on. But first we must recognize suffering in all its forms.

Like other great spiritual teachers, the Buddha has shown the way to end suffering, not only for ourselves but for our fellow man. He has shown us the door.

If only it were just a door.... The door is just the first step on a journey. I think that's true no matter which spiritual path a person chooses. There is no instant-Nirvana.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Press Release
>A man was in New York's central park, when a dog went wild and
>attacked a young boy. The man was able to grab the dog by the neck,
>pulling it off the boy and choking it to death. A reporter for the NY Times
>comes to interview him, congratulating him on his act of heroism.
>He suggests the headline: New Yorker saves the life of a young boy!
>"But," the man told him, "I'm not from NY."
>Ok, then how about: American hero saves the day.
>"But," the man told him, "I'm not American".
>Then, where are you from? asked the reporter. "I'm from Pakistan," the
>man answered.
>The next day the headlines read:

Thursday, November 21, 2002

I've been thinking about it and taking into acccount some excellent comments below, I will limit myself to four games. Now, I have to decide which four. I have more ideas than I listed below and they all sound good.

One idea, I know I won't run. It sounds really fun to me but I doubt I would ever get players. Some day, I would like to run a free-form game where the players take the roles of "the founding fathers" meeting for the Continental Congress in 1776. Each would receive information of who their character was and what the views of the colony he represents was. The game would start pretty straight-forward as the characters debate the possibility of the colonies declaring indepenence and then...something happens. I haven't figured out the exact plot, but I think it would be interesting to play these roles and as the GM it would allow me to mix two of my favorite topics, The American War for Independence (and what led up to it) and gaming.

One thing that I have thought about as I review my games from ACN is that I don't GM as well in the morning. Creativity-juices are low and no amount of caffeine could possibly change that. So, I think I will try to get most of my games at the next con scheduled at either middle or evening slots.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Gaming: Reruns
At Ambercon North I ran Morpheus Calling for a second time. It was succesful, but I had a tougher time getting into character for the major NPCs (mainly Morpheus himself) and I don't think the game went as smooth as it did the first time. A friend said that it may be because we spend so much time contemplating the game the first time we run it that we are better prepared but teh second time we run it, perhaps it isn't as much in our mind. I know that the first time I ran MC, I watched The Matrix multiple times and tried to get Morpheus's voice and mannerism and the last time I only watched it once, the weekend before ACN.

On the other hand, there is a mystery game that I have run a few times. Each time I have adapted it to a new setting and each time it seemed to run better than the previous time. I seemed to be better prepared for the things players would try and I had more backup plans to fall back on.

This weekend I'm running a game at UCon that I ran before at ACUS. I'm not sure how it will go and I am trying to really prepare, but it has me thinking: Do games usually go smoother for GMs when they have run the game before or does it seem more difficult? Does it depend on the type of scenario or NPCs? Some NPCs take more preperation than others. Does that effect how the GM performs?

I like to re-use mystery scenarios that I ran before because mysteries take a lot of work to plan. Not only do you need to come up with a villian, plot and motive but any good mystery needs a wealth of red herrings. It's a lot of work to come up with multiple suspects so if I can adapt them to a new setting with some changes, I do.


Ambercon US 2003
How many game is too much. Last year, I GMed 3 games and it went well but this year I have so many games I want to run that I'm having problems narrowing them down.

Games I am definately running:

The LARP: "Amberites and the Chaosians that Love Them."

"Love and Loss in the Dreaming City"

Games I am seriously considering running:

"Amber's Game"- Description (First Draft): The second war against Chaos was won but at a terrible cost. The Chaosian's use of magic and strange powers overwhelmed Amber. The city of Amber was left in ruins and most of Oberon's children fell in battle. When Amber's fate seemed sealed, one commander took the initiative and led his small platoon into a decisive battle that changed the winds of war and repelled the last of the invaders. A hundred years has passed. Amber hasn't heard from Chaos since their remaining forces fled back in to shadow, but they are out there. It's only a matter of time before they invade again and Amber must be prepared. To find the next general, Benedict has built a school in Arden to train the children of Oberon's bloodline. He hopes to find the next brilliant general to lead the forces of Amber against the coming invasion. These children are taken from their Amberite parents at a young age and train hard because if a great general is not found in time, then Amber is doomed. (Players take the roles of the Children of Amberites. This would be a new series game.)

"The Heist II: The Melnibone Job" (I'm thinking about running another Heist-style throne war and this time setting somewhere outside of Amber, in shadow. Melnibone comes to mind because it would be so well defended from thiefs and because players wouldn't need any experience with the source material but if they are familiar it won't hurt.)

Other ideas:
Nobilis (I have a plot idea that would tie in to the Amber setting)
Vampire- "All Roads Lead to Rome" (A Diceless Game of Vampire: Dark Ages about a group of Vampires on a pilgrimage to Rome and what they find when they get there.
Morpheus- (A sequel to "Morpheus Calling" for new and/or returning characters)
Robot Murders - (A mystery set in Asimov's Robot setting)

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

What would Jesus drive? A Honda, but he doesn't like to talk about it.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

WISH: Equality
From Ginger: The typical party of PCs appears to be composed of equals. They may have Nodwickian henchlings or distant authority figures, but in most of the games I've played, the PCs are equal with respect to each other. Is this generalization true for you as well? What other group dynamics have shown up in campaigns you have played? What other group dynamics might be workable? What isn't workable, and why?

I used to think that it was very important that player characters be equals. They each have their spheres of influences, but in the end each character is equally effective. Then something changed. I realized that it doesn't always work that way in fiction and it certainly doesn't have to be that way in games.

The important thing is that each character is important and gets equal air time, not that they are equal. Since I realized that, I've played some rather incompetent characters because I've decided to trust the GM to allow my character to shine at some point.

In Champions, characters are point-based and all PCs are built on the same amount of points but that doesn't make them equal in power. I have one character (Chango) in the Champions game I'm in that the GM tried talking me out of how I was spending my character points. "You realize that you have almost no defenses or skills, don't you?" I had spent tons of points on a really cool attack power and left it at that. "Yeah, that's what I want. Someone with lots of power but he's still really incompetent." "Are you sure." "Yeah."

Playing Chango has been a blast and with experience points he has become an extremely effective character but when the game started he was knocked out every other adventure. He was really good at causing damage but half the time he would knock himself out with his own attacks.

He was the comedy character of the group. He was the Xander. He was (and is) a lot of fun.

Now, I'm GMing a game set in White Wolf's World of Darkness (or something close to it) that mixes several supernaturals. In today's adventure the PCs were a Were-raven, two Sidhe (Fae), three vampires, a mummy and a Demon Hunter. In WW's games the different supernaturals are anything but equal. However, each of the characters are equally important to the story. They each will have important things to do and mysteries to solve.

I guess that my answer to this question is that all PCs should be equally important. Sure, there will be times that certain characters will get the spotlight over other but they should all have their moment in the sun. This doesn't mean they have to be equal in powers or abilities. It can be interesting to see how characters of varying power levels can still interact and be involved in the plot. It may take some skillful manipulation on the part of the GM but it can be done. When it is done properly you can have far more interesting group dynamics than may have been possible if all of the characters met as equals.

Roleplaying is not about competition. Noone should be keeping score of who defeats the most bad guys. It should be about telling a good story together and if having a character in the group who is less capable than others makes a plot more interesting than the player that plays that "Zeppo" has been succesfull even if he/she wasn't able to defeat a single bad guy and other characters had to save him/her.

Friday, November 15, 2002

I can symnpathize with these people having had to explain roleplaying to a cop once and a border guard on another occassion.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

One day, I'm gonna' live in a town where evil curses are just generally
ruled out without even saying.

-Buffy in "Incan Mummy Girl"

Spoilers ahead. Be warned.
Last night's episode of Smallville was one of the best yet. It played on one of the themes that is essential to the Superman story:"With all my powers...with all the things I can do, I wasn't able to save him."

Back in the 60's, Superman had been Superboy when he was a kid and one of the most cherished Superboy stories by Superman fans, the story of how Ma and Pa Kent died. Ma and Pa Kent catch a rare disease and young Clark runs/flies all over the world trying to find a cure. In the end there was no cure. He stands at their bedsides as they died.

In the 1979 movie they worked the same idea in with the funeral of Pa Kent. Then, John Byrne re-wrote the Superman story in the 80's and one of his main changes was that Clark's parents never died. Old school fans were upset. He had taken away an important part of the myth: Clark dealing with death and the fact that even with all his powers, he can not save everyone. The new Superman had never dealt with that sense of helplessness. To this day, the modern comic book version of the character has always dealt with things that people can struggle against. Characters have died, but they've been killed by villains, not with something that Clark can't fight.

Last night, Smallville's Clark dealt with that story and it was done well. For a moment there, I was afraid that the producers would wimp out and let Clark save the day. I should have had faith. The producers of Smallville seem to have a better grasp of the character of Superman than most of the comic book writers. I'm sad that the character of Ryan won't be returning but I'm glad they did it.

Oh, and the show had some really neat foreshadowing of Lex's future. "The path to Darkness is a journey, not a light switch that can be turned on or off."

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Upstairs/Downstairs has this article on the growing class divide in the US and what it means. Some highlights:

Upstairs: Former Kmart CEO Charles Conaway received nearly $23 million in compensation during his two-year tenure.

Downstairs: When Kmart filed for bankruptcy in 2002, 283 stores were closed and 22,000 employees lost their jobs. Total amount of severance pay for them: $0.00.

Upstairs: Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott, Jr. received more than $17 million in total compensation in 2001.

Downstairs: Wal-Mart employees in 30 states are suing the company alleging that managers forced employees to punch out after an eight-hour work day, and then continue working for no pay. Nevermind the Fair Labor Standards Act, which says employees who work more than 40 hours a week must be paid time-and-a-half for their overtime.

Upstairs: More than 1 million U.S. corporations and individuals have registered as citizens of Bermuda to avoid taxes, a practice OK'd by the IRS. Although the exact number is unknown, the IRS estimates that "tax-motivated expatriation" drains at least $70 billion a year from the U.S. Treasury.

Downstairs: If you were a worker poor enough to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit in 2001, your chance of being audited was one in 47. If you made more than $100,000 a year, your chance of being audited was one in 208.

Upstairs: In 2000, the average CEO earned more in one day than the average worker earned all year.

Downstairs: In 2000, 25 percent of workers earned less than poverty-level wages.

Upstairs: Between 1990 and 2000, average CEO pay rose 571 percent.

Downstairs: Between 1990 and 2000, average worker pay rose 37 percent.


The people of this country, not special interest big money, should be the source of all political power. Government must remain the domain of the general citizenry, not a narrow elite.... This means that the values and preferences of all citizens, not just those who can get our attention by waving large campaign contributions in front of us, must be considered in the political debate. One person, one vote -- no more and no less -- the most fundamental of democratic principles.
Senator Paul Wellstone
April 5, 2001

Buffy Quiz
Which Buffy archetype are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Election Day
In every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.
-From The Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

Be Nice to Me
I gave blood today.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

In Other News
Pagans and Stonhenge

The newest This Modern World ties in well with what I was just saying. Cool.

Politics: Third Parties
The two-party system hasn't worked in the US for some time. The Republicans and Democrats are more alike than they are different but most voters refuse to vote outside of the two parties even if the third parties better reflect their own ideals. People don't want to throw their votes away and since the third parties don't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning, they vote with the same old parties and nothing changes. Sure, there are some real differences between the two parties but they have a few things in common: Neither group really wants to change things and they both want to mantain their control of the government.

Voting third party can force them to change. If the primary parties see people jumping ship and voting for the third parties, they'll have to ask themselves "why?" They'll have to adopt more of those radical views and fight for the changes that those "radicals" are fighting for. Things like universal health care and fair living wages will never be a reality as long as the parties feel they are only answerable to the big money donors who fund them. If they see people voting for the other parties they will see their stranglehold on american politics slipping. If they lose that, they lose the money and they don't want that, so they will have to do anything they can to regain the votes and if that means they have to pass universal health care even though they would lose the contributions from the insurance companies, they'll do it. That's why voting third party is not throwing away your vote. It may not get your person elected but it could scare the parties the "lesser of two evils" into becoming less evil.

Of course, it's easier said than done. Going into the 2000 presidential elections, I planned to vote for either Ralph Nader or David McReynolds. When the day came, I saw the possibility of Bush winning and panicked. Sure, I didn't really like Gore but the chance of Bush winning was to scary to chance. I panicked and voted for Gore. It ended up that Gore won by a landslide in my state. I felt like I threw away my vote. I could have sent a message to the Democrats but instead I caved and let them believe that Gore was OK.

A few months later, the Supreme Court elected Bush president and he has been every bit as bad as I feared. Still, if the Democrats don't run a more progressive candidate in 2004, I may vote third party. I want change and until the Democrats offer it, I'll feel like I'm throwing away my vote when I vote for them. (I say this now, but wait until I hear that the polls are close. They get me every time.)

The Governor election is coming up here in Michigan. The Republican running is even scarier than the prick in the office now and because of that I may end up voting for the Democrat. Granholm, the Democrat, is not an ideal candidate but she's worlds better than her opponent. Still, I want to vote Green. I guess it will all come down to how close they are in the polls. If Granholm sounds like she's in no danger of losing, I'll vote my with my heart and vote for the party that is closest to what I believe (out of the choices available), but if it's close I'll probably do the same thing most of us do. I'll do the same thing I did in 2000. I'll vote for the lesser evil because I fear the worst.

Grand Theft Auto
Going into this weekend, there were many things I wanted to blog about. Then, Carla gave me GTA:Vice City to me as an anniversary present and that's what I did all weekend. Sure, I did a few other things but for the most part I have been causing all sorts of mayhem in the city of Vice.

The game is amazing. Sure, it's sick and twisted. It's rated Mature for a reason. The thing that is truly amazing about it is how huge the city is. The game is easily twice as big as Grand Theft Auto 3 and once again you have full freedom to go almost everwhere and do what you want. You can advance through the story and complete missions or just steal a car and drive like a maniac. I've been having fun seeing what insane stunts I can pull off on a motorcycle.

Video Game Violence
GTA3 and GTA:VC are the only two games I have ever really found questionable. Sure, I understand the argument that video game violence in general leads to violence. There is certainly reason to argue that. However, video games are only a small part of the violence in today's world and most video games star heroes fighting against evil and in that regard are no worse than fairy tales.

However, the GTA games allow the player to take control of a thug. He's not trying to save the world or anything. He's just a criminal trying to make money. This is no mythic struggle of good fighting evil. This is the exact opposite.

Like The Sopranos and other mafia stories, these games are reflecting the darker side of reality and it isn't a pretty sight. Like The Sopranos, GTA is meant for adults but it is a sad situation in the world today that parents may buy these games for their children. Children shouldn't be watching mafia movies and they certainly should not be let anywhere near the GTA games.

If these games are so horrible, why am I enjoying them? It's the freedom and the sense of exploration. GTA:VC has everything that I enjoy in a good video game. It has a large world with lots to discover, an interesting plot and challenging gameplay. It is a video game marvel.

The games are fun. They are also every bit as bas as you heard. That's why parents need to pay attention to what their kids are playing. Censorship is wrong. The game should not be banned. However, adults do need to be aware. Video Games aren't always for kids.

Friday, November 01, 2002

Gaming: New Tara
Did some research and it's official. New Tara is located in Massachussets.

Part of New Tara's story is that it was founded by Irish immigrates during the American colonial period. To keep some illusion of historical accuracy, I wanted to make sure that I chose an area of the US that Irish immigrates may have come to settle their own city. Well, it ends up that there were Irish settlements in all 13 of the American colonies.

I Knew Her
I knew her.

I knew what kind of woman I could love with all my heart. I thought of all the traits that she would have and when I knew everything that would make her be the woman I'd love, I asked the universe to let me know when I saw her. I asked the universe to let me not only see her outer beauty but her inner beauty as well.

A few months later, I saw her. She didn't see me at the time. In fact, we didn't actually meet until a few days later. She was talking to a guy, a customer where we both worked and she was smiling. There was something in her smile. It may sound cheesy, but everything about her was in her smile and it was the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. I was shaken. I think my heart actually skipped as I paused to look at her. I knew. It was her.

Today is our five year anniversary. We have had our ups and downs and sometimes I have even forgotten. Then she'll smile that same smile I saw on her that day and I remember.

Happy Anniversary, Carla.