Posted in General Update

Gaming Updates

I figured since gaming is such a big part of my life as a hobby I would give an update.

CURRENT GAMES

Partisan Game: On hiatus. Unfortunately it has been hard to meet up and encourage new players. I think the problem is because its GURPS and a weird niche (WWII Supernatural). I suspect if I compile everything and restart it as an online game it might pick up.

Pathfinder/Ptolus/GURPS: Active. This game is going great. Its a GURPS conversion of a Pathfinder game set in Ptolus. Its been fairly steady and my conversions of D&D classes/races to GURPS is pretty effective.

Solo games: Active. Currently have two solo games with the wife that are active. I have a solo character she runs that is also mostly active (recent events are always getting in the way but that is the way it goes.

 

FUTURE GAMES

Shadowrun 4th edition: Upcoming. I have started putting together an online only Shadowrun game. I suspect this will be the wave of the future. It will allow a lot more flexibility and enable people not to have to drive long distances to come to game (I suspect the Pathfinder game will go this direction after our move to Lynnwood). I doubt Dunk will want to drive to Lynnwood on Thursday nights.

Anyone is welcome to play Shadowrun. If you read this, and are interested in a Shadowrun 4e game let me know. I think the way this will work is the player submits me a history and I will design the character to fit in the game. This way it encourages people to do more in depth histories. This game will probably start in September some time.

One Shot Games: upcoming. I am also going to start quarterly “Halloween” games. They won’t be based on Halloween but one shot games are easier for some people and so in the spirit of my old Halloween games I will run horror based one shot games. These games are easy because I will provide the characters and the games, I just need the player to show up (I think this will be online, but  not sure at the moment). The advantage to surviving? You will get to keep the character for the next game 🙂

There is my gaming update for the moment 🙂

Posted in General Update Internal Thoughts Opinion

Not an Atheist

Honestly I am really surprised at some of the reaction to my breaking apart of the hypocrisy of religion (especially Christianity). Several unfriendings on facebook later (and actually not sad at all about that) I think I need to reiterate, unlike my wife, I am not an atheist. My problem with religion lies not in their belief that there is something more, but their refusal to adapt their outlook based on what we have discovered. The whole head in the sand avoidance of science is where I have the issue. Most of my problems are with Christianity because that is the dominate religion of my area, and the religion I see the most hypocrisy in.

Here is a very brief list of 3 of my issues with Christianity (and not even close to all of them):

  • That the bible was direct from god to man. Let’s be serious about this, it was written by man. They have already shown dozens of books from the bible are missing and were kept out due to politics. This doesn’t even count the fact it was written be sheep herders from two thousand years ago without the knowledge of any science or rational explanation. Also not including the issue that a lot of the stories were copied wholesale from other cultures that the hebrews traveled through. I am not saying that there may be something to it, rather that its possible that the authors misunderstood things, and the explanations were wrong. So its the literal belief that is wrong for me.
  • That there is any rational reason from the outside to believe Christianity over another religion. There is no proof or reason an outside person should believe Christianity is more accurate then Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, or the worship of the Greek Gods. It is a paradigm that isn’t even understood by most of its adherents. I would like someone to show me a reason to believe in Christianity over even the Greek gods that doesn’t involve “read the bible” or “faith”. What rational example can be used to show that the bible is any more accurate than what Homer wrote about the Trojan War (and to be honest the same story that Homer wrote about Greek gods actually helped archeologists discover the city of Troy, not sure the bible can claim to help archeologists find things that wouldn’t be found elsewhere).
  • The hypocrisy of the believers. This is the absolute worst part of Christainity for me. From everything I read, the Quakers are by far the most adherent to Christian principles as spoken by Jesus. For some reason the right has decided to forget that Jesus was a socialist hippy (take care of the poor, give your goods away, render unto Ceasar and turn the other cheek). How a Christian can be pro-military, pro-capitalism and anti-help the poor makes it so mind twisting it hurts. People will try and point at either old testament or what Paul wrote but in my opinion neither works. Old Testament was superceded by Jesus (and if it wasn’t, then why aren’t those same Christians following the other Old Testament requirements) and the writings of Paul were from a man who claimed to be an apostle, but who never met Jesus (and none of the Apostles witnessed the whole scales over his eyes) and who had a dispute with Peter (whom Jesus is quoted as making the rock of Christianity). Everything I read about Paul makes him a mysoginistic rabble rouser who was in it for power and who never met Jesus, especially since a lot of what he wrote seemed to go against the words of Jesus.
    • Ok, the whole Paul thing is probably a bias. Most of the catholic families I grew up with actually didn’t acknowledge Paul. I realize that isn’t the Church’s doctrine, which is why I claim to be from Pagan Catholics (also believed in Purgatory when that wasn’t sanctified by the Vatican). Our group of Catholics definitely were not traditional catholics.

I realize this all makes me sound exactly like an atheist, but it isn’t true. In the end I do think something is out there. Do I believe the adherents of Chrstianity are correct? Not at all, but it doesn’t make them totally wrong. Part of me hopes there is something after we pass on. Whether its a heaven/hell paradigm or a reincarnation situation I don’t know.

However, with that belief there are things that I think still qualify me as a skeptic:

  • I am willing to admit part of my belief in something else is probably fueled by a fear that my family is mortal and only here for such a short time. Because of this I have to keep an open mind and not just stick my head in the sand in fear.
  • I believe science is impartial, and my belief in anything must be subject to revision depending on what we learn about our world.
  • I don’t believe any governmental or society decision should be based on religion. Government should at all times be secular in its outlook and not push religious doctrine. One god is no more provable as real then the others, and even if they were people should not be forced to follow religion.
  • Morals are not based on a specific religion. Cultures learn naturally that murder is wrong, rape is wrong and theft hurts society. We don’t learn how to be a civilization because a “god” writes it on some tablets. Hell, the Code of Hammurabi (from Babylon) predates the hebrews by a thousand years and had no influence from the Zorastrian/Hebrew paradigm.
  • Oh, and back to science, I firmly think science should be the most funded aspect of our society. Our quest to understand the world cannot be confirmed in religious texts, it can only be confirmed in science. So I will take science over religion anytime.

So, evidently I stepped away to handle something and have lost my train of thought when I came back. I thought I had something to wrap this up. I guess mostly I just wanted to reiterate that while I am not religious, I am not a stone cold atheist (which makes for some uncomfortable interactions at the atheist meetups as well for me).

 

 

Posted in Events General Update

Relocation

I realize it has been a few since I last posted. I have submitted multiple Let’s Plays, but those aren’t my blogs :). I have had a lot of things pop up.

The job for the accounting manager at the city of Mukilteo didn’t work out. I don’t feel too badly about that though. There was two CFO’s, an interim accounting manager already working there and two CPA’s that were applying as well. I was pretty happy that I even got called for an interview.

I don’t feel bad because I have a steady job. If the interview doesn’t work out, I am still making the money I was before, I still have the healthcare and most importantly I have an awesome wife. Also, I found on Friday that the City of Seattle now wants to interview me as well as a senior accountant in their Department of Retirement Services. It actually pays about the same as the accounting manager for Mukilteo and Seattle’s benefits are very good (way better than state benefits). I have the interview next Friday, and I have two other entity members who have agreed to give me a professional reference (so its not just other auditors).

The next two weeks are going to be a whirlwind. This week I work Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday is a staff meeting, and Thursday and Friday I am out of action due to having my little boys snipped :). Then the week after I have to take the 24th off to take the wife to CWU’s orientation, and the 27th I am off in order to go to the interview in Seattle.

In other news, yesterday we decided to move. The wife has health issues as I have probably posted on several occaisions. This has made her have difficulty traveling 45 minutes or more in each direction for school. She gets sick and I never want her to undergo that kind of pain to go to school. So we decided to find a place near her school. I don’t mind driving an extra 15 minutes each way for her. Its easier with me and the car, and I don’t get sick. Also, it helps because in the future I will probably end up working in Seattle with some future employer. That means I would be 30 minutes closer to my jobs down there then I would be here (its only a total of 45 minutes to catch a bus from the college which is one block away to the city of Seattle and King County’s main offices (and most federal offices in Seattle as well). Especially since parking in Seattle is so horrible.

The apartment we found is smaller, and cheaper as well. Its in a poorer neighborhood, but less meth heads then we see here. Its within six blocks of multiple grocery stores, Trader Joes, Hobby Lobby, Joann’s Fabrics and a ton of other places. There is a transit center one block away and a host of other things within a short bus ride from there. Plus, if I get my masters in evening courses I would only be one block away from school.

So there is a bit of insomnia and anxiety I am experiencing. We will be moving in a couple of weeks if nothing pops up. I may have a new job within a month if the interview goes well, and even if it doesn’t I can start taking evening classes within 3 months or so. Although strangely enough I am always nervous about new apartments. I worry there will be problems that pop up, cockroaches, crime, and the wors thing ever… that the wife wont like it.

 

 

Posted in General Update Internal Thoughts Life Update (all) Opinion

Church and Taxes short rant

I was reading about a petition to enforce federal 501(c)(3) regulations by removing the tax-exempt status from churches that engage in political activity. Basically a lot of churches support political positions or candidates from the pulpit.

I firmly think the second a priest/minister/or someone else in a church starts supporting anything on the ballot, or political driven, that church needs to lose its tax exempt status immediately, do not pass go, do not collect your $200.

It’s horrible that they claim tax exempt to begin with (actually I don’t think anything should be tax exempt, including charities, etc, you only pay taxes on profit so therefore everyone who makes a profit should be paying). It is especially horrible to be up there promoting politics of any sort without having to pay the tax man. You don’t get benefits from both sides, or you shouldn’t at least.

I am not sure if its this way now, but a few years ago the only IRS recognized church that paid its taxes voluntarily and didn’t claim “exemption” was the Church of Satan headed by Anton Lavey. It is sad when the only church with ethics is the Satanic Church.

Posted in Events General Update Internal Thoughts

Work

Well it has been a week off from work and I am feeling much better. I am still off on Monday and Tuesday so there is no complaints. However I have determined some sad facts about my job.

1. Our office is becoming more political, we are told to play nice far more often now with other entities then when I first started. I had one audit finding opinion changed on me in Olympia to something not quite so bad. However, the error was so bad that I had to do a write up in my audit workpapers saying that I didn’t agree with Olympia and why. I think I covered that a little.

2. I have always worked a lot of overtime, I work extra on the weekends, evenings, whatever it takes to get my job done. I don’t get paid overtime (whereas if I worked somewhere non-governmental I would either get OT, bonuses, or a raise).Hands down I am the hardest worker out of all the auditors on my team (and the other team members will say it).

However, I needed to take the wife to several doctors appointments and I asked for the hour off for each appointment (however, I would make it up same day, I was actually working more than 8 hours a day, I was just asking to take an hour off in the middle to take her). They had a cow because of the deadlines. They didn’t force me to do anything but there were intimations that I wasn’t working hard enough.

Funny enough, the temporary manager (our normal manager is out on maternity leave for the next 5 months) kept going on how my supervisor was implying I was slacking off. I asked him if he had looked at my schedule and noticed I was working triple the amount of overtime as any two other auditors. He said no, he hadn’t the time to look at that and he had to just trust my supervisor. Yet the very next words out of his mouth were “But don’t have a knee jerk reaction and maliciously work only 40 hours a week”. WTF!!!???!?!?!

I kept my words to myself, and moved on.

3. We just got informed that for the fourth year in a row we won’t get a Cost of Living increase, plus we will maintain the 5% paycut. In addition we just found out that the state is raising my rates for medical this month (not at the end of the year when we can select a different plan). I am now making what I was making in 2008 when I got hired…. A bit of frustration.

I do like the variety of my job though, although that is starting to fade with the politics.

4. Two of my coworkers are getting hired away for a lot more money, and the last two audits I have done the people who receipt payments for water bills make 15% more than I do (and they only receipt a few customers a day).

I just thought I would bitch and moan, but I do have some possibilities.

I just got a call from the City of Mukilteo, I applied for the Accounting Manager position and they just called asking if I wanted an interview on Wednesday. I am stoked. The payrange at the very minimum is 15% more than I get now, plus better benefits and will max out at 50% more than I get. I could focus on getting my CPA and CFE as well. The other cool thing is they have the same retirement system as the state so my retirement won’t be effected.

Honestly the biggest deal would be better pay for no travel. Right now I average about 45 minutes to an hour and a half travel each way (unless I luck out and get an Everett audit). Its not a big deal, but it eats up my time and four years later I make the same now that I did before.

I am not expecting the job, I know several people who currently do that job at other cities are also applying, but I am crossing my fingers. If this doesn’t pan out I will probably settle down for the rest of the year and at the beginning of the year I will start applying for federal auditing jobs (maybe even IRS Revenue Agent if I can swing it). It would still take six months to a year to get hired (if I got hired) and that would let me vest my 10% of retirement from the state.

I am feeling better though, this week off has been incredible (and I still have 3 days of furlough time and 6 weeks of vacation still available). So this summer I am going to take another week off in August.

Posted in Dreams Internal Thoughts

First time in a long time

I was awoken this morning at 1:28am. It sort of caught me off guard really, I haven’t been woken up like this in a few months. Even now almost a half an hour later I am still disorientated. I even considered doing a video post, mainly because I never do, but I saw what I looked like and gave up on that.

The dream that woke me up is gone now. I am sure it was caused by a pile of different things, including work, parental items, meeting new people, and maybe just being old. Overall I am sure it is just another anxiety dream. Nothing new, but frustrating nonetheless.

The strange part to it really wasn’t the dream though. When I woke up I laid in bed for a little bit. I couldn’t move, but I swear I could hear things. Now, its fairly warm right now so our windows are on and we have fans all over the house going. But it sounded like someone was in our apartment and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Unfortunately I couldn’t get up either, the sleep paralysis hadn’t worn off all the way. So  I laid there wondering if someone was inside the apartment, or if the fan was carrying voices up from the under-apartment parking area (which happens all the time anyways).

It is funny though, for a brief moment I wondered if there were people in the apartment, if I would be able to move to stop them from taking stuff. Yet I still couldn’t work out of the sleep paralysis (I know it has a name, but I can’t remember it and evidently I can’t be bothered to google it). I also considered I could still be asleep enough that my mind was in a dream state while I was in a waking state (which is probably another way to say the sleep paralysis thing I guess). The one other thought that bothered me was maybe I was having a psychotic break and that what I was hearing wasn’t real at all…. that was a weird thought to have.

Well now that I have been up for 30 minutes things have mellowed out. I am in the living room listening to the rain fall, oh and the hamster running in his wheel thing. My anxiety or whatever it was has pretty much passed. So I will try and go back to bed for a few more hours of sleep, after having posted a useless entry 🙂

PS: its Hypnopomic or postormtal form sleep paralysis (I had to look it up here: http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/paralysis.html)

 

Posted in Health

The bane of my existence…

It has been a struggle, my health that is. Unfortunately over the last twenty years or so I haven’t been as physical as I was when I was 21. Partially because of responsibilities, partially because of bad ankles or allergy to my sweat. However, let us be honest about this, it is mostly because I am lazy. 

For years my diet consisted of fast food, pop, candy and pretty much everything else standard in the American diet. I have for the last few years pretty much stopped pop, and fast food is actually really rare (less than once a month, and usually only if I am traveling up to Bellingham for a tattoo and I need to eat something before getting worked on). What hasn’t stopped is candy and sugar.

We actually eat meat fairly rarely, especially red meat. We also do eat a lot of bread products I am cutting down on both and I am currently staying under the 2,000 calorie diet. This has all been fairly stable except my love for the sugar. Even eating sugar I don’t break 2,000 calories very often, but its a waste to use those calories for that. Pop was really hard to stop, but I can say that I no longer like it, although on occaision I do break out a diet pepsi or a pepsi zero (although the whole 0 calories is a lie of measurement).

What I need to do now is get back to working out regularly and stop eating sugar. I am going on vacation after today until the 11th of July. We aren’t going anywhere, but it will alleviate the pressure of work. I was surprised to figure out I eat when stressed, it was more surprising that  I eat when I am bored. I have noticed I actually eat less on the weekends then I do during the weekdays. So this vacation time I am going to focus on my eating habits. It will give me almost two weeks of practice without “hurrying because of work”.

Also during this time I am going to get back into working out. I did it for awhile last year and within a few weeks the wife noticed muscle building up on my chest and shoulders (and even arms). I want to get back into that. Almost two weeks of no work means there is no excuses and I can start on a regimen. The reduction on calories and increase in exercise will hopefully start me on a path to not have lovehandles of DOOOM!!!! 

Oh, and unlike what my trainer tried to tell me to do, I won’t eat my calories I burn working out. The wife introduced me to some good books and resources on the science of weight loss and working out. Eating your burned calories is very bad for you and definitely stops you from losing the weight you want. I won’t be doing that.

So here it goes, starting tomorrow the beginning of cutting out sugar and working out (I wont cut out caffiene yet, I figure that is way too much to do).

Posted in General Update

Two Posts, Two Days

I know, this is a surprise for me as well, but a second post in as many days. Its like a Christmas miracle. I just thought I would try and keep up on reporting my boring daily life as I go.

Yesterday was a normal payday. The money slipped into and out of my bank account so fast I couldn’t even be sure I had it. Paid a little on credit, got the wife a haircut/bleach and dyed my hair black. I am now the evil whisper, a coworker thinks I need to grow back my goatee. Maybe I will, it will complete the look at least.

Work is going fairly well honestly. Another coworker of mine got hired at the DCAA. She is taking a 5% paycut this year, but after one year with the feds she will shoot up to GS-11. This means she will be making about 10k more than me. In another year she will be a GS-12 and that will pay about 20k more than me a year. She will wrap up the quick rise as a GS-13 in 3 years and that is making about 40k more than me. The DCAA opened up application process through October for next year. I think I will apply. It means if I got hired in the next round it would be about this time of year and I will have hit my fifth year here at SAO, thus vesting the retirement I have put in.

Gaming life is going pretty slow at the moment. I had to put one of our games on hold until fall at least (I suspect when I start the second game again in the fall it will be Shadowrun, I just can’t get enough interest in the GURPS Partisan game). Also in the three months wife and I are developing the online capability. I know I have several people available online, so we will see how that goes.

Relationship wise things are great. The wife and I are getting along fabulously, and I go on vacation starting Saturday. We also went to the Everett Poly Munch last Friday. That was pretty cool. We met several nice people and we may do breakfast with them at the Hitching Post on Sunday. We also got invited to a lot of different events. I am still a little nervous about that, but I am taking it slowly and if I don’t feel comfortable I won’t do it.

Well, thats it for now. Better get to work 🙂

Posted in Internal Thoughts Video Blog

New Additions to the Family

Its been a few months since the loss of our cat, we got a few additions on Sunday.

 

Posted in Events General Update

Endings

Endings always suck, and I have been trying to avoid this ending. Although we all know you can’t avoid death and taxes. Unfortunately its the reaper who is showing up, I wouldn’t mind paying the tax man for some extra time for the cat.

Our cat Orpheus has finally hit the stage where the renal failure is final. We have known for two years, and he has kept himself going really well for those two years. However, about a month ago he started getting thick around the abdomen. As of last Saturday he has finally started to lose his appetite and he has become skin and bones. Although he is still bright eyed.

In fact, not more than 10 minutes ago the cat noticed that I was laying on  and the problem with that is he thinks that is unacceptable. So twice tonight although he has been huddled on his electric blanket, he has gotten up when he saw me paying attention to the wife. He then both times walked over and started howling at me to pick him up. So he got his way yet again, he always thinks the wife is a whore who I shouldn’t touch when he is crabby like that. It was funny enough that I think we both almost cried.

We got a hold of a vet, Dr. Kaftanski. She was awesome on the phone and was incredibly reassuring. In addition she uses an anesthetic before actually euthanizing, so Orph won’t be freaked out, except for a possible pinch.

So the deed will happen at 2pm tomorrow (Tuesday). I realize its stupid to think this way, but I have always hoped there i something else after this life. If there is, I hope at least the animals get to go there (or come back). Of course that goes for everyone else as well, but since Orph is the one leaving next, animals are my focus.

I have always been weird that way, if I could buy my friends and family an afterlife with my own destruction/damnation I would do it and not even blink in the decision.Ok, that was a  weird side tangent, probably because I just took all my meds and I only slept about 3 or 4 hours last night.