Sunday, August 31, 2008

Romans 5:18

"Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men." (NIV)


"So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men." (NAS)


"Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (KJV)


I feel that all salvation hangs on this one phrase in Romans. It is Paul's legal proof of Universal Salvation. I know many disagree, but I feel they do so simply because they CHOOSE to do so.

People may ask, but what about all those quotes of eternal damnation? Damned if I know. This baby seems to trump them all.

This says to me that ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS is imputed TO us, even the righteousness of belief. Therefore, all sin, even the sin of unbelief, is covered by the righteousness of the one.

No matter what else is in scripture, I can't argue against Paul's declarative statement here. Does ALL mean ALL? I say it does.

Now, just because we don't have to believe, does that mean we should not believe? No way! Life with God in your heart and guided by the Holy Spirit is a blessed life; that combined with the certitude of Salvation is an infinitely blessed existence.

This brings about Joy -- a true connection to the perfect love of God. In other words, KNOWING you are saved through Christ awakens you to a bold, God-filled life. Then you are free enough to set others free. Only the free can free others.

More of the same...

With supporters like these...

...Obama doesn't need enemies.

This is Fun

Did you know that…

Sarah Palin does not have 5 kids, she actually has 7. Their names are Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, Trig, Chuck Norris, and Jack Bauer.

The Northern Lights are really just the reflection from Sarah Palin’s eyes.

The Russians sold Alaska to America because Sarah Palin would not submit to autocracy.

The Arctic Circle runs through Alaska so the Sun can have some relief from Sarah Palin’s bright glare.

Sarah Palin is allowed first dibs on Alaskan wolfpack kills.

Sarah Palin is so pro-life that she personally hog-tied two reps from Planned Parenthood who came knocking at her door.

It’s not raining in DC. Those are God’s tears of joy that McCain picked Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin’s hotness is the largest single contributor to melting polar ice caps.

Sarah Palin is the “other” whom Yoda spoke about.

Sarah Palin’s presence in the lower 48 means the Arctic ice cap can finally return.

Sarah Palin fired Jack Bauer because he was too soft in dealing with terrorists.

Sarah Palin’s pageant career ended early so other women could have a chance.

Sarah Palin’s son Track is going to Iraq after the Surge, because a Palin during the Surge would have been unfair.

Sarah Palin wears glasses lest her uncontrollable optic blasts slaughter everyone. (X-Men reference)

Sarah Palin actually has Big Foot in her freezer.

Sarah Palin gave a speech in Texas after her water broke before flying home to Alaska to give birth. (Actually true)

Sarah Palin doesn’t need a gun to hunt. She has been known to throw a bullet through an adult bull elk.

Sarah Palin once spilled coffee on Joe Biden & one of his $400 ties from Pink.

Sarah Palin keeps her hair in a beehive to hide her ninja weaponry.

Sarah Palin will personally open a homemade can of whoopa** on Ahmadinejad, Putin, and Chavez as soon as she’s done making mooseburgers for her kids.

A grizzly bear once tried to stare down Sarah Palin. Once.

Sarah Palin will send Joe Biden a pre-debate cheat sheet. The sheet will have tips on defending against Kung Fu Death Grip.

Sarah Palin became governor because five children left her with too much spare energy.

Sarah Palin will give birth to the man who will lead humanity’s war against the machines. (Terminator reference)

Three of Sarah Palin’s 5 kids came out sideways and she never flinched.

Global Warming doesn’t kill polar bears. Sarah Palin does. Generally with her bare hands.

Sarah Palin was the original “Deadliest Catch.”

Sarah Palin paid her way through school by hunting for Kodiak pelts with a slingshot.

Alaska is the 49th state solely because they knew even in 1959 that Sarah Palin never finishes last.

Chuck Norris wishes he was Sarah Palin trapped in a man’s body.

Sarah Palin got Tom Brady pregnant, and then left him.

Sarah Palin killed and ate the Grizzly Man.

Sarah Palin killed and ate Frank Murkowski.

Sarah Palin once won the Iditarod without any dogs. She simply willed the sled to victory.

Sarah Palin wears half the makeup that John Edwards wears and still looks like twice the woman he does.

Sarah Palin once guided Santa’s sleigh through an Alaskan blizzard with the light from her smile.

Sarah Palin fishes salmon by convincing them it’s in their interest to jump into the boat.

Any other Sarah Palin rumors that other people want to start?


--from Eagle Watch

Huh?

"'The fact that John McCain does not know how many houses he owns when millions are struggling to stay in the only house they have shows he's out of touch with the lives of real Americans,' said Obama spokeswoman Linda Douglass Saturday afternoon."

Okay, I've seen some really bad reasoning done by political people, but this one is simply stupid. The fact that someone doesn't know how many houses one owns only shows they are out of touch with their personal wealth. That could be for many reasons, the most likely being they don't care about their own wealth because they spend their lives in public service and let their rich wives worry about such matters.

It says nothing about how they understand what the lives of "real" Americans are. This maybe the dumbest personal attack I have ever seen in politics. I'm far from a McCain fan, but this once again shows how inept the people from Obamaland are, and how out of touch they are with how a reasonable case is made.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

"Soon I Will Be Invincible" trailer

One of my favorite books I've read recently. Found this fun trailer on the author's blog:


Right Here, Right Now

I've heard it said a few times in the last twenty-four hours, but I think it bears repeating. No matter who wins, we are about to make history this November. Either we are going to have our first African-American president, or our first woman vice-president.

I am thrilled to witness and be a part of this coming monumental event. If that doesn't make you love being an American right here, right now, I don't think anything will.

More Man than Mike Dukakis

Hello, Tank Girl!

Faster Pussycat...

Didn't I see her in a Russ Meyer movie?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin?

Wow. As bad a choice as Senator Biden was for Obama, Sarah Palin is a good, even brilliant choice.

Not only is she NOT a Senator, not a Washington insider -- but she is cool. She hunts, fishes, and snowmobiles.

The only issue is she is young. Well, she has more executive experience than ANYONE on the ticket; and in that the Democrats have nominated the least qualified individual in human history as their candidate, I don't think it matters all that much.

Personally, at this moment, out of the four, she's the one I'd MOST like to see in the White House.

Good move, Senator McCain. Good job of trying to pull me away from Bob Barr. You've given me much to think on.

Great Ad

Another great one swiped from Jeff Freeman:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama's Speech

Well, there were two contradictory speeches slapped together in a fairly decent manner. The first speech was the same old junk we have heard from leftists and other statists for oh, about a hundred years or so. That part may have pleased his leftist base, but I am sure America's business owners, small and large, shuddered. He wrapped this in his own messianic crapola, pretending he can do things that quite frankly no government can do.

The second speech however, was quite good, and spoke to what is truly great about this country, and, if he was sincere, I applaud.

He claims to be ready to debate Mr. McCain. Why is it then that he hasn't agreed to very many, and those he seems to be agreeing to, are only three and only the most controlled kind? That calls into question his sincerity, and his real confidence on what he said tonight.

In the end, all I can say is, not bad. Not that good either.

In fact, after looking at how some folks look to the good Senator as some kind of a Messiah is: Senator Obama, I serve the Messiah. I know the Messiah. The Messiah is a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Messiah.

Bush or Batman?

I found this on Jeff Freeman's blog and I thought it was cute:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More Of The Same; or, In Which I Plagiarize a Page from Darth Plagiarus

Barack Obama will spend more of our money on alternative fuels that cost more than oil and increase food costs for everyone on earth, that's not change, that's more of the same.

Barack Obama will spend more of our money on health care, and continue turning the greatest health care system in the history of medicine into another socialist mess like Canada, England and France. That's not change, that's more of the same

Barack Obama will take more of our money and spend it on education, further wrecking what was once the greatest education system on earth by throwing money at the problem, when for generations, that hasn't made the situation better. That's not change, that's more of the same.

Barack Obama will rob from the rich and give to the poor, eroding America's wealth and further destroying the incentive for the small businessman to succeed. That's not change, that's more of the same.

Barack Obama will raise minimum wage, throwing the poor and unskilled laborer out of work. Then he will throw more of our money to the unemployed that he helped create. That's not change, that's more of the same.

Barack Obama will make government bigger, and bigger, and bigger. He will take more and more of our money to do so. That's not change, that's more of the same.

You want change, vote for Bob Barr. You want more of the same, choose from Column A or Column B. Either way, it's more of the same.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hillary's Speech

Well, Hillary Clinton once again proved that she would have been a much better choice for Democrats to nominate for the White House, and right now she would be kicking McCain's butt in the polls.

She was also obviously the best candidate for Vice President as well, but Obama, in what I feel was a combination of weakness and hubris, chose Darth Plagiarus instead.

She made a fine speech for unity, a fine speech against McCain, but not much was there specifically praising Obama. Perhaps because there really isn't all that much there to praise.

By the way, I'd never vote for her, or just about any Democrat -- too much government cheese for my taste. I am writing purely to give credit where credit is due.

Here we are in a year where ANY Democrat beats any Republican by a wide margin, and Mr. Obama can't get more than a point ahead of McCain. His choice of Darth Plagiarus actually HURTS him, and thus far, he hasn't gotten a bump out of this convention.

I bet there's a lot of buyers' remorse among Democrats right now.

Democratic Convention Night One

Very touching Kennedy bit, Obama's kids are soooo cute.

Wake me up when something cool happens.

Monday, August 25, 2008

KOTOR Online?

here's a nice collection of the facts, rumors, conjectures and whatevers about the new Bioware/LucasArts project. I am cautiously optimistic, as always, about this game, but either way, I'm excited about ANY news. Anyone out there have any juicy tidbits?


http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/151383

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Love that Jestor!

For those interested in the saga of SOE and SWG, and all that Jazz...and those who just want to see some crazy, fun stuff, check out the Rodo report. This is the most recent one, I believe he has earlier ones archived :)


Check out this video: The Pre Dragon Con Rodo Report

The Jeff Freeman archive -- one game developer's redemption

Let's start this by saying I LIKE Jeff Freeman, and think he's a really good guy, and from what I have seen, a good game designer. I think he got a very bad rap way back when when he was part of the team that developed the NGE.

He also posted a fairly dumb blog piece about it that has flown around the web a bit (I saved that too, hehehe). As somone who has been posting dumb things for years, I know how that can be ;)

Anyway, once on a now seemingly defunct site, he came forward and shared a lot of info, and really came off rather well.

Kefkah over at MMOfringe.com has grabbed it and stickied it for posterity.

Here's the url:

http://www.mmofringe.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=18

Cool new site

A neat site started by a friend of mine to talk about MMOs:

http://www.mmofringe.com

If you are into the topic, see ya there :)

Darth Plagiarus for VP

Yes it has been confirmed that Obama has picked Senator Joe Biden from Delaware as his Veep. I prefer to refer to him as Darth Plagiarus, to remember how ol' Joe once plagiarized Neil Kinnock, as well as committed plagiarism back when he was at Syracuse Law school.

Thus, I name him Darth Plagiarus. To think Obama chooses an old political hack, just to shore up his lack of gravitas.

Well I guess we now have gone, in just the course of one Summer, from "change we can believe in" to "same ol' same ol'."

Friday, August 22, 2008

D&D in the White House?

I recently received this from my friend Tony. He got it from Rick Gallagher of Bookazine:

McCain Camp Links Obama Supporters to 'D&D'
Pejoratively
August 20, 2008
The 2008 presidential campaign has now made a connection, albeit a negative one, to pop culture; a spokesperson for Senator John McCain has tied supporters of Senator Barack Obama to #1 RPG Dungeons and Dragons. In a post on the McCain Website on Monday, Alexander Goldfarb wrote, “It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons and Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman’s memory of war from the comfort of mom’s basement, but most Americans have the humility and gratitude to respect and learn from the memories of men who suffered on behalf of others.” The post was responding to a blog on Daily Kos in which McCain’s story of a Vietnamese prison camp guard drawing a cross in the dirt is tied to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s similar story from the Soviet Gulag.

This isn’t the first time McCain spokesperson Goldfarb has inexplicably used Dungeons and Dragons as a “negative” association. In early August, he compared the editors of the New York Times to a blogger “sitting at home in his mother’s basement and ranting into the ether between games of Dungeons and Dragons.”


Now, first off, I am NOT an Obama supporter. I don't see higher taxes and bigger, more intrusive government as being the kind of change I wanna see.

That being said, the idea of a president who knows what a D20 is is a change I can believe in :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Jihad wins another round

We must understand that there is a Jihad against us, a rather large group of a militant faction of a religion who have ALWAYS been against us, who use whatever excuse we give them to fuel their hatred and lust for power over us. They have been fighting this Jihad for a very long time.

Thomas Jefferson himself knew this, and wrote:

"It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy's ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once."


This is not a new war. I find the term "War on Terror" to be an insult to human intelligence, and just prefer the terms "struggle for civilization" or "resistance to the Jihad" or simply "human progress," but no matter. This is a war all people who would be free must understand we have been engaged in all along, and now we are in another "hot" phase.

I bring this up because they just recently had another major victory. They have made us cringe and cower in fear, and have won.

From the New York Times:

"Random House has reversed a decision to publish a historical novel with Islamic themes, saying the company feared the book 'could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment.' The novel, 'The Jewel of Medina,' by Sherry Jones, was scheduled to be published on Tuesday by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House. The 432-page book was described by the publisher as 'a fascinating portrait of A’isha, child bride of the prophet Muhammad, who overcame great obstacles to reach her full potential as a woman and a leader.' "


Now, I don't give a damn what this book was about; it certainly doesn't sound like a book I would want to read. But they bowed down to evil and kissed its boot, and that makes me angry.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Original Version for the sake of the Record...

This is the original version of Dan's blog, which he rather quickly deleted. here it is for the sake of history.

First MY caveat: some bad language is about to follow...

In which I start a flame war with the internet.
06.12.08 |Comment?


Caveat - This is not an argument. I will attempt to speak honestly about these elements, to give you perspective. For those of you who want to misconstrue it, or perceive it as some “ZOMG YOU ROONED SWG”, please proceed to the back of the room where you can quietly eat a dick. OM NOM NOM.

For the rest, I look forward to a well versed and intelligent discourse on the nature of a creative business, and how to better approach difficult situations in the future.

begin article here. You dick eaters quiet down. *om nom nom*

So, I just logged back in to discover that a bunch of you whackjobs have turned one of these threads into some misguided personal grievance with the SWG NGE.

So first.

If I have ever created something that you didn’t like or that brought you sadness, I apologize.

That is never the goal of a game developer.

However.

Let us set the record straight.

Let us set the history of the Star Wars Galaxies NGE into something that makes a little more sense to those from the outside.

First, some ground rules.

I am a game designer. I make video games. I manage teams, develop features, and turn the creative insanity that is game development into demonstrable and sellable products.

A lot of this manifests itself in the form of direct implementation. Scripting, writing, hands on content development.

I do not sit in a room and give orders. Generally, nobody I’ve worked with ever did this.

We provided a means to create something to make money.

As professional developers, it is our job to execute on these types of creative endeavors within the context of limited finances, linear time, and sometimes explicit creative direction.

Sometimes this context is direction from Raph Koster. Sometimes it is to meet a marketing need, other times it is one of business decisions.

At times, I describe it as, ‘If someone asks for pink fluffy bunnies, we give then bunnies done to the best of our abilities. If we don’t like those, we can still deliver the best bunnies based off of our understanding of the marketplace.”

That is what we do. All of this is tempered with reality. Sometimes people get sick. Sometimes things take longer than we’d like. Sometimes things end up more or less fun than we intended.

This is the job of a designer.

This is what I did on UO, Galaxies, JTL and every other game I worked and am working on.

So we were given the directive to make Galaxies better.

Not just make Galaxies better, but make it succesful. Not the 200k subs it had, but really succesful. The idea was that we had the most valuable IP in the entire world, and we fucked it up to the point of having 200k subs.

And yes, all 200k of you were important, but 200k means nothing in the scheme of things.

I worked on Galaxies for around 5 and a half years. That’s a long time.

Before we launched, I wrote the combat system, mission system, spawning system.

I wrote the combat model for JTL, implemented Content development tools and ship interior systems and more.

Hell, I implemented the original Jedi System in 2 weeks after we launched. Not because it was how we wanted it, but because we had 2 weeks to do it.

I have the understanding of where we went wrong and how. I see the misteps and how the experience was misaligned with what most people wanted from a Star Wars game.

So, when the NGE push came along, we were asked to reimagine the game.

Not just small changes, but rebuild it.

And it was needed. When we were asked, we were bleeding subscribers.

If I remember correctly, somewhere around 10k a month. LOSING 10,000 subs a month.

It was not idyllic. You can remember it as an amazing game, but it wasn’t.

Hell, all of you who recall the grand ole days of launch seem to conveniently forget that everyone quit shortly afterwards.

It’s similiar to the UO rose colored glasses. Everyone remembers the positives, but nobody remembers how unpalatable UO was before Trammel. Nobody acknowledges that after Renaissance, UO’s numbers rose from 110k to 220k.

But I digress.

WOW was out. SWG was niche and clunky.

We were asked to imagine something new and unique. To push it to the next level. Originally, it was specced as a tutorial. A tutorial paired with a new marketing push, new and grandiose relaunch that would recapture the magic that we missed when we first released.

But a tutorial wasn’t enough. We scrambled to come up with something more impressive.

We tested out a new combat system on a whim. I did a quick prototype and we discussed it internally.

The difference was the control scheme, not the rules. You clicked, You shot.

When we demonstrated it, the first comment was “Wooooah….”

And the producer left the room.

He came back shortly and was torn. He knew that we had to make the change. It was THAT much better.

We did a side by side comparison. We tried to play the old system. We couldn’t.

However, we made a mistake.

Somewhere during the discussions it was strongly recommended that we streamline our characters.

People wanted something simpler, more direct, more accessible.

We told them. “If you do this, you will lose all 200k subscribers. It is that significant.”

It was explained that we would gain more due to the marketing push and relaunch.

So, we pushed forward.

If I remember the dates correctly, we did our NGE conversion in 2-3 months of solid crunch. It was some of the heaviest crunch I’ve ever done.

We had an immovable date, and an insane set of features.

We were working in parallel, maintaining old code on the off chance that we would pull the plug on the implementation.

We launched, the marketing push failed, and we lost subscribers.

It was a misread at an organizational level. Marketing, Production, community. You name it.

Epoch grade fuckup.

But.

The fuckup was NOT the changes.

Let me say it again, louder, for those who do not get it.

THE FUCKUP WAS NOT THE CHANGES.

Galaxies NGE made it more playable. I think it lost a lot of the Raphy goodness that makes MMOs work, and that was a profound loss.

But the general idea was sound.

The control scheme was a good idea.

Losing the character skill system was not.

But, that’s not the point.

The point, the fuckup, the mistake that we made, was answering an unasked question.

“Can you change an MMO drastically after it launches?”

Categorically, NO.

If we were to do it again, and wanted to make those types of changes, you have to make a new game.

Relaunch with a new title.

Or shut down Galaxies and relaunch for real.

You cannot change it at runtime.

BUT!

And this is a HUGE but.

Right as I left SOE, post NGE..

Galaxies was subscriber positive.

A few thousand, but it was a far cry from the 10k per month we were losing.

A lot of you were upset. A lot of you still seem to be upset. I’m sorry if you feel betrayed, or that we ruined something you liked.

But I’m proud of the work I and the rest of the team did. I’m proud of the choices we made, the direction we took. ALL of SWG.

JTL, NGE, Launch, Jedi Fuckups. You name it.

We made mistakes. We made a LOT of mistakes. We crunched, we argued, we fired people, we hired people.

But we fucking launched a goddamned game. We launched a SECOND succesful MMO (post-uo). We made a fucking amazing space game using the same fucking game engine, integrated action combat, interior spaceships and in 9 MOTHERFUCKING MONTHS, all while running a succesful, cash positive product.

NGE was done in 3-4 months by a team of people. I am proud of the work that we did, even if I am torn about the end product.

So those who think it’s about blame or credit or who ruined what or how great it used to be when kids didn’t swear so much…

Take a deep breath and move on. Times change. Games don’t last forever.

Except UO. It’s still running. And I bet people are still pissed about some fucked up code I wrote in 1997.

That, I am genuinely sorry for.

And Finally, a telling Anecdote that I think came from Gordon Walton originally.

A cancellation email from UO came in. A diatribe, really.

It want on and on about how shitty the game was, how it was the worst piece of crap he’d ever played.

So, someone called him to find out some information.

They asked how long he played for.

His answer?

2 years.




Remember folks, this ain't my writing -- this is all Danny boy. I'm just reprinting it here for posterity.

This is the guy who designed the Death Star they took to my favorite game

His name is Dan Rubenfeld, and this is his blog:

http://rubenfield.com/?p=86

This is a heavily edited version of a blog posted some time ago in which he tries to explain himself. I will add the original version when I find it.

Is Batman a better guy than Jesus?

Batman, the Caped Crusader, has always been one of my favorite heroes. If you were hanging from the side of a building, and needed a strong hand to lift you up, you know Gotham's Dark Knight would be there to save you.

Now, you and I know Batman is really billionaire Bruce Wayne in disguise, but that doesn't matter, whether you know who he is or not, he'll be there, yanking you up. Many people do not believe in costumed vigillantes, but no matter what, batman will save you.

Now,let us look at Jesus according to some Christians. Unless I know Him, unless I declare Him my Lord, unless I accept Him, He will let me fall, and burn in Hell for all eternity.

According to that line of reasoning, Batman, or heck, any firefighter or cop, is superior to Jesus Christ. I find that hard to believe.

They took a Deathstar to my favorite game

When I heard that Lucas Arts had started work on an online game, way back around 2001, I was extremely excited. The idea of a virtual world where I could create my own character and "live" in the Star Wars universe intrigued me and excited me. After numerous delays the game was finally released, and I joined up early on (September 1st, 2003).

Here is a very good review of what went down from gametrailers:



This will provide some background for future posts...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Proclaim Liberty throughout the land..."

"...unto all inhabitants thereof."

And so it begins. This blog is because YOU demanded it. You, my friends, fans, enemies -- you have been asking me for years to do this. I've never done one of these things before, so if it seems rather amateurish, or lame in any way, the fault is mine, not YOURS for asking me to do this.

I'll do my best to fill these pages with interesting thoughts rather than lists of what I had for breakfast (today: coffee); and yes the goal of this blog one can get straight from the Bible: to set the captives free.

My goals are as always to promote human freedom, to that end blogs are created among men...what-evah. There will be some politics, to be sure -- I am now collecting my thoughts on the upcoming election, and if I can keep from barfing long enough, I'll post on that subject.

There will be some discussion on matters of faith, particularly my specialty, that shadowy corner, similar to the twilight zone, where faith and reason meet.

I will also be discussing a certain passion of mine: MMORPGs, which are a type of game that the general public doesn't know a lot about but we have a small but mildly insane community that I have been a part of for a few years now.

At times I will also post on books and movies I have seen (Batman: the Dark Knight -- LOVED IT!!!) and maybe even my favorite shows when the September season gets going, as well as whatever music I may happen to be liking at the time.

I'll keep an eye on the media and have a running commentary on that when I can.

Okay, I've broken the ice. I've started my blog. Whoopie.

God bless you, and God bless America.