Gaming Prejudice

OK, I get it. Easter and Christmas are big deals. You guys celebrate them loudly enough to make that very, very clear. And I get special events in all my facebook games for them, and for Valentine’s day and St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s and Fourth of July. Awesome, and I enjoy them.

Here’s the thing. We just passed a holiday with no gaming fanfare at all, and I’m so damned used to it that it didn’t even occur to me to complain.

Yesterday was Rosh Hashanna. The Jewish New Year. Where the FUCK was my little Jewish guy in Castleville with his yamaka and peyos, walking around with a Torah and giving me quests to do with apples and honey?!

Dude, you’d think I’d get that, considering the Chinese New Year gets events, too, with the dragons and the lanterns. Where’s my stereotyped event?!

I know, it’s a ridiculous question. But that’s what bothers me – it’s a ridiculous question. The very idea of folding the Jewish holidays in is absurd, and that in itself is a problem. If we hit Easter and Christmas, I want Rosh Hashanna and Passover. I don’t think this is too much to ask. Just a few matzos and some apples and honey aren’t exactly hard to pull together for a game. You could do it if you really tried.

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No, I did not get the email you sent me this morning. If it was sent after 10am, I already checked my email for the morning and closed the tab.

No, I do not sit there with the tab open all day and perpetually check my email.

No, I do not use a program to alert me whenever a new email message comes in.

No, I do not check my email on my phone.

No, I do not check my email on my iPad. As a matter of fact, my iPad has an unrelated email address attached to it so I can send stuff easily without having to sift through my entire inbox every damned time I turn the tablet ON.

I’m going to say this once and I really need everyone to pay attention: I check my email a max of three times a day. Once at around 10am to get last night’s and first thing in the morning’s emails. Once at around 3-4pm to get the rest of the day’s emails. And once, MAYBE, late at night, and I stress the MAYBE, to see if anything interesting came in.

That’s. It. It’s not an instant message service. It’s not a phone. You cannot immediately get my attention with email, and I do not appreciate the FIFTEEN EMAILS in my “priority” section demanding to know why I didn’t respond now, now, now, now!

If you need me that badly, pick up the freakin’ phone or text me. Or hell, IM me. I’m on Gtalk pretty much all the time – if I’m at the computer, I’ll answer you. No, I don’t get my IMs on my phone either. I’m 30, not 60, but I do have this thing about getting stuff DONE, and constant connectivity doesn’t exactly help. Read Lifehacker sometime.

I will answer your email when I flippin’ get it, ok? No, that’ s not likely to be right when you send it. I swear to GOD, you won’t die if I don’t answer right this very second.

Otherwise, pretend it’s 1994, and you need something from me. There’s this cool invention called a telephone. Still works great, even in this modern age. Use it. Your fingers aren’t broken, you can dial.

Otherwise, how the hell’d you type so damned much?!

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I read too fast.

Seriously. I got so used to reading three and four-hundred word files in a day or so that faced with a slightly-longer-than-average novel, I ate through it in a single day.

Here’s the thing: Ender’s Game was daunting to me in file form at one point, so I held off. I bought the ebook because everyone said it was a great book, but I never got around to reading it.

So when I pulled it up on a whim last night, I thought “I’ll read this over the next week” because I like to have something up in the background to read.

Except that lately, I’ve been reading through SERIES’ of files, and it didn’t occur to me that the fact that I had to change files two and three times a day meant I was reading faster and faster.

I started really READING at around two pm. At nine, I was done. This is with normal background reading while I did other stuff through the day.

I wanted to have something to read over the week.

I did not meet this goal.

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So I use Spotify free most of the time. I’ve paid for a month here and there, but mostly it’s just not in the budget right now, and that’s fine. I don’t mind the ads.

HOWEVER! That does mean that I get to see how hard Microsoft is pushing with their new ad campaign. Use IE! It’s SHINEY! NEW! Use Bing Search! It’s a social search!

…it’s the second one we’re talking about here today.

I use Google. I use a lot of Google products in fact. I have an Android phone, I use Chrome to browse, I use Google for search, Gmail, Gtalk, G+, Google Hangout, Google Calendar. Seriously, I loves me some Google. And therefore, I know something that Microsoft is apparently unaware of.

Google was doing the social search thing like six months ago, folks. The instant you signed up for Google Plus and agreed to the terms, your searches got “personal” results. You can turn ’em off at any time, though. Which is kinda the thing. You can’t with Bing.

Now, I did use Bing for a bit, because for a half second, they had the size-specific image searches and Google didn’t. I give ’em that. They were a step ahead there. But then Google picked that up and all was well again.

That said, there WAS a short stint during which I used the engine. I came away very happy to go back to Google. It’s not that there’s anything WRONG with Bing, but it felt clunky and rarely found the sites I was specifically looking for. The algorithms weren’t as clean, I guess.

Then again, it could just be that I’m USED to Google now.

However, I can’t help but notice that GOOGLE is not ADVERTISING their services. They just figure you’ll use ’em if you like ’em.

And that’s always been a big thing for me. It’s refreshing. Yes, they have ads ON their site, but they’re still, after all these years, unobtrusive, quiet, off to the side. The sponsored search results are actually often helpful. And I never have once had to sit through a Hulu or Spotify ad for them.

That pretty much does it for me.

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Leave the box alone!

Before I begin, let me make this clear: I usually am indeed in a relationship on Valentines. When I haven’t been, I’ve spent it with my mother and we’ve had a blast…because even before my father died, he wasn’t exactly a big gift giver…and he was a musician. Which means on any given holiday he was working.

So, my fiancé sent me this cartoon tonight:

(courtesy of xkcd – a great, GREAT strip)

While this is a great strip (seriously, I love them)…it demonstrates a basic flaw with this holiday – it’s simplicity and people’s failure to understand and embrace that. Folks, this is the most turn-key, push-the-button-and-you’re-done holiday ever, ever, EVER.

Now, before we go farther: Yes, it is a created holiday. Yes, it’s entirely commercial. No, there is no real meaning behind it in any way. And YES, she’s STILL GOING TO THINK YOU’RE AN ASS if you SKIP IT based on ANY of that, or really, any other reasons. So stop trying to reason a way out of it or around it, and seriously, STOP trying to “think outside the box”.

This box is fine.

So, now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s take a look at what you should do this valentine’s day:

Non-sexual relationship (re: underaged, not ready, only been together two weeks, whatever the hell the reason is)
FOR HIM: A video game, a book, a movie, or a gift certificate.

FOR HER: A box of chocolates and some flowers.


New sexual relationship (re: together less than six months, still humping like bunnies)
FOR HIM: A video game, a book, a movie, or a gift certificate, and a gift certificate for oral sex.

FOR HER: A box of chocolates, some flowers and a gift certificate for a massage – one you give is good only if you’re willing to do it.


Established sexual relationship (re: together a while but not married, engaged or living together)
FOR HIM: Porn. Seriously, give the man porn. He likes porn. So do you, if you’re honest with yourself.

FOR HER: Take her to dinner somewhere with a view. Give her a small, not expensive necklace. And chocolate. You do not get out of giving her chocolate. You know what she looks forward to on Valentine’s day? Going home and eating that damned chocolate.


Entrenched sexual relationship (re: married, engaged and/or living together)
FOR HIM: Porn to SHARE WITH HIM, and buy yourself something sexy to wear. All he cares about on valentines is getting laid…he’s already stressing about the day enough.

FOR HER: Flowers, a gift certificate for a PROFESSIONAL massage, and chocolate. Also, take her out to eat, but if you’ve been married a while, give her notice. She needs to buy something to wear. And let her know you remember – because at this point, that’s all she cares about. That you remember the fuckin’ day and think to do something special. Jewelry if it’s been a few years since you did that. If you’ve been married more than ten years, and you don’t know these rules, you’re lying about being married anyway.


Entrenched relationship that’s lost it’s sexual fire (re: married fifty plus years and not apparently a member of my family :p )
FOR HIM: Yeah, if it hasn’t happened in 5+ years, it’s not going to. Buy him a movie, a book, or a gift certificate, and a nice watch or something comfy to wear around the house that doesn’t remind him of the lack of sex in an overt way.

FOR HER: Again, if it hasn’t happened in 5+ years, don’t make it worse by hinting for it. Buy her chocolate, flowers, and whatever sparkly thing you can afford and know she’ll like. Take her out to dinner, and just have a nice evening.


And that covers it. Seriously, that’s it. And hey, you know what wasn’t in that list? Him buying HER lingerie. Do not do that. She doesn’t like it – and it probably won’t fit. She’s either much larger or smaller than you think and either way she’ll be insulted both that you thought that was her size, and that you got her a gift that was basically a gift for YOU. This holiday can be SO easy, and you can just get on with your damned lives if you just stay IN THE DAMNED BOX.

Seriously, this is not the time for creative thinking. It’s not appreciated unless you REALLY know what you’re doing. Most of the time? You just want to get her the damned flowers and candy. She really only wants the candy anyway – the flowers are to show off to her friends.


(note: I’ve edited this post like three times. I do not know why it’s doing funky things in Google Reader. I’m sorry :p I don’t think I can fix it.)

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Hey, the site’s back up!

We got hacked yesterday. And I don’t mean “We” as in, “these sites that my family/company owns”…I mean “We” as in my freakin’ HOST.

Now, there are ups and downs to being on a small host – the upside is that this rarely happens, because you have to know the place exists in order to hack it. And you have to care enough. So this doesn’t happen frequently by any means. HOWEVER…

…when it DOES HAPPEN it’s a PAIN. Because it’s a small company. No one’s there to answer the phone, no one can answer any questions, and the problem is never solved quickly or easily. I mean, they got it done in about 48 hours from what I can tell, but that wasn’t quite fast enough for us, as we had a networking meet last night we had to skip, because that’s…a lot of first impressions to blow if people look up the sites right there and then, as current tech allows people to do.

So while I DO love VividHosting (seriously, they’re awesome – unlimited emails, additional domains, it’s kickass) it’s kinda a pain when something goes wrong to not have the kind of coverage/protection the big boys provide.

On the other hand, we have one account and, like, seven sites, all hosted neatly and cleanly under their own domains and accessible from one central place. So I should stop complaining :p

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