Sunday, October 10, 2010

Life on 10-10-10

Hi folks, hope you're having a good day, it's 10-10-10, interesting date, and it won't happen again for another 100 years, pretty cool ain't it? Let's all just hope that the numerologists don't tell us that the number "3" that this date adds up to doesn't spell doom and gloom or anything. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

I'm sitting here alone, late at night, on my day off, it kinda happens that way when you're on a third shift schedule like I am. Everyone else is snug in their beds, those on a day schedule at least, and so I have hours and hours of being alone, really and truly alone.

I don't see it as a bad thing though, I'm never "alone" in my mind, I have myself, I can talk to me just as well as I can to another person, strange as that sounds. But I have time to think, time to be with myself, it's kinda nice actually.

Today, like any other day, I stayed at home and played around on Facebook, frustrating thing that can be, I mean who else puts out software for public use before fully testing it for bugs? It's a wonder any of us stay with it, what with all the times things refuse to load, the comments that can't be made, the messages that can't be read,  and the posts that magically disappear, only to reappear later when we no longer need them to be there. I guess the developers figure that we the people will put up with a little frustration from time to time as long as we get to visit Farmville at least once during our day, or in my case, Happy Pets and Frontierville, oh and let's not forget Millionaire City, and yes, even though I'm a guy, It Girl. That one is a lot of fun. There's just something about searching through racks of clothes, looking for just the right thing to make that girl just as "hot" as I can make her, so she will win that 4th showdown and finish yet another quest. I gotta be honest, I think if they made a game like that for guys, it just wouldn't have the same appeal. So yeah, I guess we WILL put up with a little frustration to get our app fix for the day.

And speaking of Facebook, there seems to be a prolific amount of greed that some people demonstrate when playing the games. Of course there is money spent on Facebook, that's the main reason these developers keep punching out more and more new games, but what does it say when you have people who will shamelessly advertise on their status updates that they want to "trade" a pet for cash items in the game? I've been playing Happy Pets for probably a year or so now, and recently it seems there are those who have decided that it's ok to ask other people to buy them the cash items from the games' "store" in order to be allowed to trade for a certain and not necessarily unique pet. For those not familiar, the premise of Happy Pets is to acquire and care for and breed a variety of "pets", be it cats, dogs, pigs, horses, and more recently, iguanas, bears, and even butterflies. Some of these pets can be bought with game "coins" that are acquired from doing things such as feeding and cleaning up after the pets, and for making them "happy", none of which requires spending any real currency. Many of the animals however are only available by spending real money on facebook credits which are spent in the "store". Along with pets however, there are things called "love potions", which guarantee success when attempting to breed the pets, and "mystery boxes" which may contain accessories for your pets or in some cases the pets themselves. There is a wide variety of items to decorate the rooms your pets stay in, and many other items to further enhance the enjoyment of playing. What bothers me is that the people who ask for cash items in trade for pets is that in most cases, the pets they are offering are not worth spending real cash money to get. They are more or less asking others to do the spending for them, instead of using their own money to buy the items they want, and to me that's just greedy and downright rude. That's like me asking you to buy me tires for my car because I gave you a ride to work one day. I mean really, is it right to exploit other people because you're too cheap to spend the money on your own? Granted, SOME of the pets they offer are pretty unique and sought after, but the fact is, the people that are practicing this exploitation technique came upon those same pets by using the same tactics. Personally I find the whole thing deplorable and I wish there were some kind of rules and regulations governing the "business" conducted between the players of games where real money can be spent. Of course that covers just about EVERY game on Facebook. And then there's the "it's a free country" thing too, I mean it's not like what they are doing is illegal per se, just immoral. And in this country, there are no laws against greed and exploitation when the other party is willing. Anyway, I suppose if one wants a certain pet bad enough, one might be inclined to pay through the nose to get it, so who am I to judge? I myself am not one of them, but to each his own. But remember folks, in the end they're just pixels, just saying.

There's another game on Facebook I just started playing, called My Mad Millions, or MMM for short, where the object of the game is not to gain millions, but in fact to lose them, 300 million of them. It got me to thinking about what it would be like if I was actually given that task, to blow 300 million bucks straight out of my keister. It's surprisingly hard given the rules. They stipulate that at the end of the given time period, I think it's 30 days, you should have a balance of 0, with no assets, no cash, no nothing. So just spending money to buy things is out, you have to rent everything so as not to build up a tremendous amount of assets like houses and cars and material possessions of all types. Without those rules you could blow through 300 million in less than a day in real life, I mean things aren't cheap here in 2010. The economy sucks, the housing market is terrible, but money still spends, and it doesn't go nearly as far as it did before the Big Dick took us off the gold standard. (For those too young or too uninterested in politics to remember, the Big Dick was our 37th President, Richard Nixon. He was actually known as "Tricky Dick", but I like to refer to him as "the Big Dick" thanks to Robin Williams in the movie "Good Morning Vietnam"....) Right now I bet you could find houses on sale that would easily take up half of that 300 million, to say nothing for the taxes you'd have to pay to keep them. But what I was thinking was that I would buy a modest home, as I have no need for all the "finer" things in life, I mean I don't have them now and I am just fine, so why spend out the wazoo to get them just because I can "afford" it? I would certainly buy myself a nice car, and by nice I mean one that was less than 23 years old and had less than 265,000 miles on it like the one I'm driving now. And then I would buy a boat, or rather, a ship, something longer than 100 feet, to be able to take ocean cruises on. But I would save some money for later, might need it for something, you know, like helping out the people in Louisiana who were affected by the now infamous oil spill in the gulf. And what about that homeless guy that bugs you for change when you go to the office every day? What if he had oh, say, a couple thousand of those 300 million dollars? What would he be able to do with it? Sure, maybe he would go and buy more booze, but then when he discovered he had lots of money left over, he might just decide to find himself a decent place to live and get his life back together. What if the waitress at your favorite diner found a tip for a thousand dollars under the check? How many diapers could she buy for her new baby with that, and then have some left over to buy herself the textbooks she needed to put herself through law school? And what about that door greeter at Walmart, so tired and doped up from the pain medication after his hip replacement surgery? What could he do with a few hundred smackers? Might help to pay for some of those perscriptions. What I'm getting at here is that while having a bunch of money is great, giving it away would be a whole lot sweeter. I only hope that sometime in this lifetime I have the chance to do just that.

So now it's 3 in the morning, I've been writing for almost an hour and a half now. I really like talking to you guys, you're always a great audience, thank you for that. And feel free to talk to me too, a lot of times you guys just sit being quiet, listening, and while that's wonderful, I mean I appreciate you letting me have my "time" and all, but it's ok to speak up if you have an idea, or a question about anything I've said. I always love hearing the perspective of others, no one else sees the world like you do, because you are the only "you" there is. Makes you feel special when you know there's only one of your kind doesn't it? (Only trouble with that is, if EVERYONE is "special", doesn't that mean that NO ONE is?) Every single person on this little blue ball is unique, the only one like themselves, the only one that's ever lived, at any time, in any place. That's what I read at least. My belief is that we ARE indeed unique, each one of us, but as I mentioned in a post recently, I believe that for some of us at least, this is not our first time being human. It's nice to know that I could have been there when Mozart composed "The Marriage of Figaro", or I could have been one of the Persians that invaded Sparta, or how about having been one of the Egyptians that built the pyramids? Those must have been some incredible experiences, and may be why I feel such a connection to them now. But who knows?

I'm not sure what this lifetime has in store for me, but I feel very strongly that the next chapter is the beginning of the best parts of this life. Things may not happen like I want them to, or in the timeframe I have chosen, but I feel that before I started this life I did make a plan, and even if I don't have the blueprint in front of me now, I still know in my heart that this is the way I planned it to go. And that's exactly the way it should be.

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