Friday, February 26, 2016

Old School Games for fresh little brains.

I have a kid or two now so things are a little different at the Song of the Day. For example, I just wanted to say that Roman's Favourite game right now is "Heroes of Might and Magic III" which originally came out 1999.

This makes me think things have changed. The whole "newest is the best"-thing with video games -- I think it is coming to an end. There is the graphics push that will always keep the "need for the new" going but I think classics are starting to emerge. And Heroes of Might and Magic is one.

I think strong classic candidates will be those rendered out 3D games like Heroes III and Balder's Gate and Diablo II. They look great and I think it is still a better way then real-time rendered, it is a pain-in-the-ass but the curves are real, not approximated by straight lines. Sorry but we notice and when we do it ruins the suspension of disbelief.

Today's Song of the Day is Take on Me by Aha off their 1985 album "Hunting, High and Low".

Crazy Fact: When Roman was just 10 months old I would put him to sleep 5 days a week and he would fall asleep in my arms to this song 4 out of 5 nights. So sweet.


Friday, February 05, 2016

No early departures, no funerals.

I don't want a funeral when I'm dead. I guess it is up to everyone else, but, for me, I just want a wake. Burn me up, no body rotting in the ground. Have some drinks and talk about me, talk about each other, remember me well, make some friends, reconnect with old ones. I know good people.

I say this because, I went to a funeral for a friend who committed suicide.

It was sad, as expected, but it made me sadder than I already was. His suicide is baffling, he was a happy, take-it-easy, happy-go-lucky guy. I shouldn't say happy-go-lucky because at this moment I feel like I have no idea what it means. He was a good guy, loved his kids -- had some on-going martial troubles, but seemed to be dealing with it well. Then suddenly he is gone. It is confusing.

No note. Seems like a mistake to me -- an impulse he wasn't prepared for and he went with it. He was an impulsive guy. It is perplexing that so much is based on that impulse, that if one extra boundary was in place, one chance for the right kind of second thought, his future would have continued. His kids would have a different future, one with a dad. His parents and siblings would have had one more loved one, to call, to see, to talk to, to get mad at, to laugh with, to reminisce with. But for one moment, one dark impulse -- unabated -- flew through him and carried him off to a final place, the final place, it brought him to an end.

If one thought could have said, "Ok, but before you go, what do I get your Farley on his next birthday? Oh and just one last thing, what kind of girl do you think Rhupert will marry?" Something to pull him out and look at the future of his children and not just his own, his navel-gazing that brought him to an end. His self-reflection, his sad self-reflection.

It is such a lie. We are not ourselves, whatever we THINK we are at any moment of the day, we are not. Our past is a distorted memory, our future is a complete fabrication -- a grouping of weighted probabilities  -- without a wit of certainty, our present is a tiny, filtered window where we can only sense, attend to and perceive a tiny fraction of the world in earshot, barely a grain-of-sand of the actual beach with is the 'now' moment. In actually, we are a collection of connections between humans and memories, sensations and imagination. Our momentary self is constructed by us into a tableau of these things, then our attention pulls us by the nose to look it over, give it focus, moment-by-moment. It is this ad-hoc connect-the-dots that gives us `the meaning of it all'.

A dark impulse would paint a dark future and broken past in only a few moments. But the dots overlook the true source of life's happy times, of it's greatest moments, that self-reflection is flawed at the root: it is other humans that light every achievement, the piercing light of friendship that makes the banal glitter, the blinding light of children themselves that turns the burden of their care into the meaning of your life. It would be a dark place inside if not for the light of the souls that surround you. They will show you what you are, who you are, what you mean. You yourself are a terrible judge, temperamental, biased, fickle. Fill your days with fellowship, and remember your people in dark times. Your future is not your own, it is shared with those that live next to you. Look up, turn your attention from yourself and look to them, attend to them and your future will look, not empty, not lonely, but full of people and shining memories yet-to-pass.

Today's Song of the Day is Miserere by Ennio Morricone off his 1986 soundtrack "The Mission".

Crazy fact: Ennio Morricone has sold over 70 million records.