Showing posts from July, 2013

Exciting Times

No time is better for a sports fan than pre-season. In pre-season, your team is undefeated, hope is rampant, and speculation is made with wild abandon.

I am a Detroit Lions fan. Have been since the late 1970s, when my father told me I had to pick a football team and root for them through thick and thin, good and bad. In that time, I have seen a lot of bad Lions teams and a few good ones. In that time, we have won only one playoff game. In that time, we had Barry Sanders to dazzle and an 0-16 season to shame us.

This pre-season, I'm trying to stay cautiously optimistic and not get too hopeful. I have been jilted before. But, for the first time in a long time, I can say that the Lions actually improved in pretty much every area that they needed to in order to become more successful. They picked up offensive line help, so maybe Stafford can stay on his feet and in the pocket long enough to connect on passes. They got what might be the perfect complimentary running back help so Staffo…


With my health situation, one of my biggest fears is having someone, most likely my wife, tell me I look jaundiced and having to head to the ER only to discover my liver has stopped working. The chances of that happening are low, as I take my medications, I get 3-4 blood tests a year, and I meet with my doctors fairly regularly (not as regularly as when I lived in America, and not so often with my GE doctor, but still fairly often).

I woke this morning to a post on Facebook by my cousin's wife. She said that my cousin is in the ER because he got sick and became jaundiced. Everything is pointing toward gallbladder stones that may also be affecting his liver. He may need to have his gallbladder removed, he's having tests on his liver and liver function, and they are doing surgery today to figure out what has happened.

This is pretty much my worst nightmare come to life. He had no indications of anything wrong except falling ill during the San Diego Comic Convention, so chances a…

More Game Design

I have previously talked about game design changes I would make to games I enjoy playing. Another thought struck me recently: penalizing the player. By this I mean that the player is penalized in multiple ways for using his character/avatar's abilities.

Your character has an Energy bar that is used to cast his abilities and each ability has an energy usage amount. So, for example, a power may "cost" 10 energy to cast and your character may have 100 energy total. If you do not have enough energy to cast the ability, you cannot cast it. The higher the power (or more powerful it is), the higher the energy cost to cast it. There is usually a method by which your character regenerates those used energy points, either over time or via some sort of "energy potion" concept.

In addition, each of the abilities usually has a "cool down" timer. This means that, when you cast it, you have to wait that period of time before the ability is usable again. More powerfu…


In the past, I bowled, rode my bike nearly year round, and played softball. As my health grew worse, I slowly gave up on these activities due to the stress and pain they caused me. What I didn't realize was that when I was still doing at least one of them regularly, it was enough exercise often enough to counterbalance the appetite stimulation (caused by the medications I take) and my caloric intake. However, I have been primarily sedentary with little exercise for the last five years, while still having the appetite stimulation from the meds, and my weight has crept up. A sedentary life plus constant appetite stimulation has turned out to be a bad combination!

My wife has turned me on to a site called "My Fitness Pal" online. It allows you to track your calories and exercise per day to help you realize your intake and output so you can manage your weight loss goals. You can feed the results to your Facebook and Twitter, if you wish, and you can have friends on the site …

Congress Must Go!

"... Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government...". I think it is just about time for us to abolish Congress, both House and Senate, and start over. We need to enact laws that limit the amount of money these positions can accrue while in office, make sure existing laws apply to Congress equally, and to limit the amount of time that one can spend in Congress.
Currently, Congress refuses to work together or with other parts of the executive branch (i.e., the office of the President); refuses to take a pay cut during one of the most dire economic hardships our country has faced; and refuses to hold themselves accountable to themselves or to the American people who, through their votes, have issued directives on what direction and what policies they want to see en…