a radioactive quandry

As a long time fan of the original games, I like many others have waited with palpable anticipation for Fallout 3. But since I haven't really played any PC games since Counter-Strike had to be copied into your Half-Life folder manually, my desktop isn't really up to the task of playing a modern 3D game. However since Fallout 3 has been released on a couple next gen consoles as well it occurred to me that I might save myself a some bucks by spending only a few hundred on an Xbox 360 instead of well over a thousand on a new gaming rig.

Like a lot of oldschool PC gamers however I just can't give up my keyboard and mouse for a joystick when playing things like first person shooters or role playing games. As a southpaw many FPS games that don't feature a stick-swap option are completely unplayable for me anyway. I keep running into corners and pointing my gun at my feet or the sky. But no problem I thought, Microsoft makes Xboxes and keyboards, should be pretty easy to get them working together right? Nope.

The only keyboard officially supported on the 360 is the piddly little add on that snaps onto the controller for chatting purposes. Kinda hard to get my WASD on with this ...
I guess that flowchart was right all along.


songs that i like

I would never ask you to like my music, but if you do that's just fine with me.

"I'm tired of everyone I know,
of everyone I see
on the street
and on TV.
On the other side,
on the other side
nobody's waiting for me.
On the other side
I hate them all.
I hate them all.
I hate myself for hating them,
so I'll drink some more.
I love them all.
I'll drink even more.
I'll hate them even more
than I did before.
On the other side,
on the other side
nobody's waiting for me.
On the other side.
I remember when you came,
you taught me how to sing.
Now it seems so far away.
You taught me how to sing ...
I'm tired of being so judgemental
of everyone.
I will not go to sleep.
I will train my eyes to see
that my mind is as blind
as a branch on a tree.
On the other side,
on the other side
I know what's waiting for me.
On the other side.
On the other side,
on the other side
I know you're waiting for me.
On the other side."


with apologies to plato

disclaimer: I put off writing this post many times to avoid offending anyone, but this topic keeps coming up and it's on my mind, which means it's on this page.

I am by no means what anyone would call a renaissance man, with a wide range of passions and varying talents.  I would be the first to admit that I'm more or less, a pretty simple guy with a few interests and a handful of skills that might be called proficient, or at least adequate.  As such it is quite often the case that I find myself involved in conversations about say, soccer, or sailing, or travel, or art, or politics, or any of the many subjects upon which I am woefully ill equipped to tread, where I have both nothing constructive to add nor the faintest inkling of the issues being tossed about.

Having become accustomed to such situations I usually try to ask some intelligent (or at least intelligent sounding) questions.  Maybe I'll make an observation or, more commonly, agree with someone else's.  Sometimes I wind up just nodding like an idiot, but however it's done I've learned to get by without railroading the discussion or dying of boredom.  Lately though it feels like something has changed in one particular arena; talk of elections.

Did I miss a meeting?

Maybe it's just that there's so much crazy shit going on in the world that average folks can't do much about that gives this one act so much meaning for so many.  I'm curious what the correlation coefficient of voter turnout to world crisis looks like.  Somehow, somewhere along the line my political ignorance has made me a thing to be vilified, to be cured.  I've become every acquaintances "lost soul" who absolutely must hear their reasoning to lead me back to the golden path towards a ballot box in a school gymnasium.

I find myself subject to a dizzying array of "reasoning" meant to assuage my errant civic nonchalance: "It's your civic duty", "If you don't vote, you can't complain when the government does something you don't like", "You should at least go and spoil your ballot, that'll demonstrate your unhappiness with the candidates", "My grandfather DIED protecting your right to vote, does his sacrifice mean nothing to you?", "There are people all over the world who would kill / have killed / are killing for the right to vote, would you toss yours aside so easily?",  "If everyone thought like you, the system would fall apart!".

An endless stream of rhetoric with no real impact.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not some anarchist peddling anti-establishment nonsense, I'm glad people smarter than me are in charge and making the important decisions.  I'm glad better informed citizens are out there choosing leaders they feel best represent them.  And I'm REALLY glad everyone does not think like me, or the world would be one big mottled clump of dive bars serving cheap whiskey, cartoons, GHz, and Doritos.

But really ... spoil my ballot?  What a colossal waste!  A waste of my time, the time of the real voters in line behind me, the time of the ballot counters, the trees carved up for that ballot, etc.  Your grandfather gave his life in a war?  I'm sorry to hear that, and I laude his valiance and his sacrifice.  My fathers grandfather also made sacrifices in war, but not to protect my right to vote.  He was protecting my freedom, and my very right to breathe.  What kind of freedom demands that I vote?  Am I not free to leave those decisions in the hands of those more capable than me?

I'm not trying to dissuade decided voters out there, and I'm not inviting debate about my stance on the issue (If you feel you must vocalize your disapproval, feel free to insult me in the comments below.  It will probably be shorter than your argument.)  I'm just tired of being made to feel like some sort of lesser creature for being honest about my position.

Consider the argument of those trapped under dictatorships out there with no right to vote and their struggle.  I have no doubt that they would leap at the chance to elect a leader of their choosing, but let's take that line of reasoning a bit further.  Do you think they would rather be given just the right to vote, or would they prefer to live in a country so safe, so clean, so prosperous, and so free that they could choose never to vote and still live long and prosper?  A country like this one?

I think they would.  I know I do.