Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wow... lots of stuff

One of weird things I always think about when I see the new year coming is how I don't view the world in yearly blocks like some people. I look at events in my life and in my world that happen on a different time scale. So... in a lot of ways, this year started about the same time my school started. In Late August my family went to Thailand for a vacation. And, while my parents had a good time, I did not. All my life I've been a introvert and I've never needed much social interaction, but this year I've found, more and more, how I really do enjoy the social interaction that I get and how much I cherish social interaction. I think if I hadn't been homeschooled I would probably enjoy social activities with my friends a lot more than I do.

Anyways... so I didn't enjoy myself because, at nearly 18 we were on holiday at a place in the beginning of the school year for most people my age. Ergo, there was no one but my family and a bunch of little kids or adults (neither of which wanted to spend time with me, really). The vacation wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t amazing either. Plus, the hotel we stayed in while in Bangkok was… horrible. Bangkok has the worst spiritual atmosphere I’ve been in ever I think. Stupid prostitutes ruining my vacation. -_-

Okay… I need to remember to not ramble here… so anyways, from there I went to Texas where I had a WONDERFUL two weeks with my grandparents, dad and aunt. I visited Baylor University and St. Edwards University and made my decision about college (St. Eds here I come. (: ).

Then the school year hit like a bomb. Now, I’m not an idiot or anything, and I do work hard (not hard enough, perhaps, but there is always room for improvement) I’ve always been satisfied with my grades and yes, there have been many moments when I wanted to scream in frustration, but that’s part of life. Well this year school hit me hard. Math is hard. And, for the first time, I realized why I am NOT going to pursue math. I knew I wasn’t good in it, but wow… this year has been really hard for me in math. Physics is actually fun, but I’m bad at it. Again, no science for me. Latin and Logic have challenged me, but with hard work I know I can make it up and do good in these classes. I won’t be taking latin in College though, I think I’ll try an easy language and one that might actually prove useful (well, more useful that Latin), like Spanish. English has been fun, but I wish I could focus more energy into it. With more editing, and more time, I might have been able to swing an A this semester, as it is I’ll have to deal with just an 85 average.

Wow… this is long… *sigh* I can’t seem to sum things up.

Okay, so, big picture: This year has, in many ways, been a hard year. I’m in a time of transition and that’s hard one anybody. I remember four years ago when “college” was some magical land in the distant future. But now it’s a stark reality and I have no idea what exactly its going to be like. I’m sure a lot of you know what I mean, being juniors and seniors. I have this sense of dread and excitement. I’m looking forward to America a lot, but at the same time I know I’m going to hate a lot of it. Not one of my friends who have made this transition in the past few years has had a lot of good things to say about America. I know at least one of my friends has really struggled and hates America. I’ve always tried to have a positive outlook on this transition, but at the same time I’m… afraid (?) that I’ll end up hating America and alienating a lot of people because “I’m different”. I’m afraid of rejection and I’m afraid that I won’t have a place in the world.

Random stuff, right? I mean… come on, I know in the back of my head that I will have a place in the world. God has done so many wonderful things in my life these past few years, preparing me for the future he has planned for me. He’s not gonna abandon me all of the sudden. I’m gonna be fine.

But, then, you know this Christmas, for all I know, could have been my last Christmas in Bangladesh. Forever. That scares me. A lot. I came to Bangladesh in 1998 when I was almost 7 years old. Eleven years later I’m 18 and I have had an awesome life in this wonderful (if corrupt, overpopulated, stinky and annoying) country.

I guess I just need to trust God and try and focus on small things, one day, one week, one month at a time. I’m now almost half way done my senior year of High School. In six months I’ll be done Highschool. Forever. In 12 months I’ll have made a HUGE transition from on continent, one culture, to another. It’s a big deal and if I think about it too much (like I am now) I get all nervous.

Annd that was a bad big picture. I’d go back and edit but honestly, I think my thoughts work best just as they are, maybe badly written and a bit confusing, but this is, literally a thought dump, so I think I’ll keep it as it is.

That’s all for now. I probably won’t get another update in until school starts again.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

So on Friday night I watched most of The School of Rock. Awesome show, and anyone remotely interested in Rock n’ Roll (Read: Modern Music) should watch the show, because its so dang funny.

Anyways, the one thing I have to say I thought was slightly annoying was the use of the term “facemelter” for a the solos that were NOT facemelters. Maybe its all the metal I listen to but its not a Facemelter unless its:

2 Minutes long
Twin Lead
All of the above

And yes, I know at least one solo I’ve heard (Iron Maiden, I think it was Rock in Rio, they were doing the Trooper), anyways, I believe it was Gers and Smith, playing two separate guitar solos at the same time for about at least a minute and a half straight. Those guys are epic.

Another good facemelter is Twilight of the Thunder God’s Guitar solo. Roope is an amazing, amazing guitarist.

What is not a good facemelter is the stuff most rock bands call solos. They’re not fast, brutal, long, or well… good. No, that’s not true, there are some good rock solos, but considering the face that metal is like… built around solos in a lot of subgenres (let’s be honest, the entire reason bands like DragonForce exist is because of their solos) its kinda funny to see someone term a solo a “facemelter” and I’m going… “meh… I have a friend who’s better.”

Now… onto the more important stuff:

So yesterday our youth group had a “night of testimonies” which was, as I expected, incredible. A lot of it I had heard before, but certain details I had missed out on. The best part, however, came after the testimonies, we had an ending time of prayer and out of nowhere the Holy Spirit hit us right at the moment. After thirty minutes (at least it seemed like thirty minutes) of praying and worshipping we left, but honestly, it had to be one of the most amazing youth meetings we’ve had all year. A lot of times when we get to praying for a really long time I get sorta bored. I mean, prayer is important, but I don’t enjoy listening to other people pray that much. This time it didn’t matter, and I loved every moment of it.

As a minor tangent, I’ve come to realize over these past two months how blessed I’ve been in my spiritual journey. To be completely honest, I’m probably quite spoiled, because I’ve had access to men and women of God who could blow your mind. Thinking about, at least on my paternal grandmother’s side I’ve probably had about 100 years of Christianity in the family. 4 generations (myself included) of God-fearing men and women who followed Christ to the best of their ability. All four of my grandparents are amazingly godly people (thank god) and seeing as my parents work as missionaries I have been constantly surrounded by people who have done tremendous things for God. The stories I’ve heard from their National Director, the guy who founded our organization here (25 years ago, he came a young man with little English and no Bangla; he is now married to a Bengali women and has two wonderful sons, my friends, both of which have grown up in Bangladesh). My former Youth pastor was… amazing. That’s about all I can say, and it’s hard to describe him in any other way. He was serious, stupid, smart and wise all at once. Without him I know for a fact our Youth Group would not be at the situation it is today (which is, FYI, a very good situation; we have problems, but I do think each and every one of the people who attend 4him regularly have seen marked improvement in their faith over the past 3 years). And of course, I could talk about my parents, who have done an amazing job of parenting (and teaching!) me.

So yes… that is all I have to say right now.

Friday, December 4, 2009

You know, its funny, one of the chief complaints that I’ve heard about CCM and most Christian music is that much of isn’t Christian enough. I’d agree that much of the lyrics are rather generic and not that good, but its something that most bands have. Actually, I’ve heard worse when it comes to lyrics. If you want cheesy, lame, formulatic lyrics listen to power metal. The words steel, heart, fire, and other such often appear. HEARTS ON FIRE! HEARTS ON FIRE! BURNING! BURNING! WITH DESIRE! Burning for the steel! Hearts on Fire. THAT is bad lyrics.

But anyways, Christian bands tend to have bad lyrics (but like I said, this is normal even in the secular realm. There are few bands that I know of that have good lyrics. Nightwish and Kamelot being two bands out of the like 50 bands I listen to regularly, there are others, but they stand out a good bit), but then… then we have Demon Hunter.

Demon Hunter is, for those of you woefully uneducated, a Metalcore/Hardcore band from Seattle, Washington. Ryan Clark, founding member and chief composer is someone who, besides being a really cool frontman, also happens to be well… an amazing artist. His lyrics may not be “poetic” (but seeing as I don’t like poetry to much that’s fine) but darnit, they are some of the most thoughtful lyrics I’ve ever heard of.

Storm the Gates of Hell, the title track from their latest release is a song that I could spend HOURS mediating over. The bridge, a single line, Hell Hath No Fury at all has to be the most powerful phrase I’ve ever heard in a song ever (except perhaps so worship songs). Songs like Fiction Kingdom, Storm the Gates of Hell, Thread of Light, Not I, and Undying are powerful, powerful reminders of just how powerful our God is and what we are called to do as his servants.

I think one really interesting comment that Ryan Clark once made regarding his music is that if Christians are at war against Satan and the Force of Darkness, we need war music. And, though he does respect many CCM artists (as do I!) CCM is hardly what he would call “war music”. “God I love you” or whatever is a really good thing to say, it’s a really important thing to say; I can never say “God I love you” enough. But there are a whole lot of psalms that don’t say “God I love”, there are a whole lot of psalms about war and violence.

Of course, the funniest thing about this band is that I can bet that so many people would be put off by Demon Hunter’s appearance and musical style. Tattoos adorn all the band members (last I checked at least; Ryan Clark has tattoos all down his arms), I have their live DVD and their bassist is a crazy headbanger. Plus there is the whole “loud music” thing that Metal has.

Yet, despite all this, Demon Hunter is amazing. Their musical ability has never impressed me overtly (they are good, but not amazing) but they are one of those ands that you just have to go “wow” to.

Aaand… in other, unrelated news, yesterday I played a 5v5 Single Draft DotA match that lasted 72 (!) minutes. Most games usually last 55 minutes.

In essence, we were losing, they we MESSED UP and got stalled and then the game tettered back and forth for about 15 minutes until my team finally regained the advantage and we destroyed their base. It was a fun, fun, game.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Google, Internet, and Privacy

This is an interesting article if you ask me. I just read on Facebook how Facebook now has 350 million people registered, and, even if that includes inactive accounts and spam accounts, that’s a lot of people, more than perhaps most countries, independent of each other at least.

So anyways, basically, everyone is on facebook. I have just 184 friends, many of whom I don’t really know that well, but many who I do talk to a lot. I see maybe 20+ of my friends on facebook regularly and the rest are people I want to keep in contact with that I’ve known from before or are TPS friends. But the thing is, while 184 sounds like a lot, it’s not. I have friends with nearly 500 friends on facebook, some with perhaps close to 1000. It’s not that hard to get that many friends, especially if you go to a big school and add anyone from your school.

But, that being said, I think it will be interesting to see how social networking sites like Facebook continue to expand and continue to grow and how we, as people, treat them. Right now, when people think of making money via facebook they think of creating an application that will allow for monetary gain. Games like Mafia Wars and Farmville. However, I do not think it impossible that in the near future many business transactions will be done over facebook. Business will create pages with their sales and specials advertised on facebook. I can easily see facebook and other such social networking sites soon replacing things like Email and possibly even text-based chatting. I do think Facebook’s chat system needs serious improvement before the former can happen, but seriously, with 350 MILLION people onboard, Facebook has the ability to knockout Google Talk, MSN, Yahoo Messenger and AOL if they devote the time and energy into doing it.

And while we’re on the topic, the BBC did an interesting article on Google previewing their new OS, Google Chrome. This OS is, for now, just going to be for Netbooks, but what google is trying to do really is amazing. Microsoft has always been about expensive software you buy in a store and install onto your machine. Windows was invented when the internet was hardly even available to the public. My parents, in 1989, used Fax and Long Distance Phone Calls to deal with people in the US while they were in India. Google is doing their best to show how “old” and “obsolete” MS’ design of “you don’t need internet” is. Google basically is assuming that the users of this OS (which is designed to run on netboooks, so it makes sense) will always have access to the Internet. Everything on this machine is designed to be done on the internet, Word Processing, Spread Sheets, everything.

On one hand, its exciting, on the other, I do find this somewhat scary. See, I love the internet, and I love it when in Star Trek the Captain will say, “Computer, play some 20th Century Jazz,” or whatever and some Random Jazz plays. That’s amazing. I want to be able to listen to ANY music from ANY era like that. I remember in one episode Riker and Deanna research something and instead of working their way through dusty tomes they use the computer to cross-reference topics. Their computer database as all sorts of information readily available for people and while searches can take a long time, they can be done without much need for manual labor.

This type of stuff does exist to a point now. Assuming I have a large database of Jazz music, I can pull out my computer and listen to Jazz, and with the likes of Google I’m sure there are programs that could, somewhat accurately, cross-reference searches done on google and stuff. But, its not the level where everything is on the net, freely available via the Socialist/Communist society of the Federation. But it’d be nice to such a society, methinks (it’s a Utopia. What’s NOT nice about it?).

So, one side, I’m all for this kind of awesome technology, but, I’m also apprehensive. I think one thing that I always want to know is how secure things are. If I am hosting all my Spreadsheets, which contain all my Financial data on the Web, who has access to them? Nothing is unhackable, yes, but it’s a whole lot harder/worth less to grab my personal data from my personal harddrive on my personal computer than it is to break into the Google mainfraim and steal data. I wonder how easy it will be to do this, and while I do realize that it’s unlikely that such hacks will happen, having lived in the third world where all the hackers and pirates operate. Every supposedly “unpiratable” game has been pirated within a week or two of release and distributed.

So, I kinda get this feeling that as more and more stuff gets on the internet, I wonder how privacy will develop. I realize there are some things that people will just have to deal with, stuff like me having my profile pic on Facebook open for all to see (though I can change that I think…) but at the same time I wonder what privacy issues will be enforced, and how they will be enforced.

Anyways, I think the development of the Internet is very interesting. 10 years ago no one could have known what the Internet today would have looked like. 20 years ago the internet hardly existed. And 30 years ago it basically didn’t exist. That means, for anyone 40+ years old (read: my parents) we have gone from an internetless society to one that will soon be (if google’s schemes work out, which I think they will, eventually) completely dependent on access to the Internet. It will be interesting watch both how this happens, and the response on MS as they try to fight to keep their dominance in the market of OSes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Rants and Stuff

Someday, maybe the world will understand. Someday, people might just, maybe, get what video gaming is all about. Someday, people will realize that video games are NOT “murder simulators” or whatever you want to call them. Yes, in games like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor I can kill hundreds of humans, and in Modern Warfare II there is a level where you cut down dozens of civilians while masquerading as a Russian Terrorist. As a “normal” “average” gamer, I was disgusted by this little sequence. Yes, I played through it, yes, I shot at civilians (and made a point to kill a few who were crawling away) but… that’s disgusting.

I think this is the key thing that far too many non-gamers don’t get: Fantasy and reality are two independent things. In the real world, soldiers don’t regenerate health, they aren’t skilled in dozens of different guns, they don’t reload after every third shot. In the real world war is brutal, hellish and well… not fun. In fantasy war is awesome. War is made of win and nothing is greater than a good battle with EXTRA violence. (Okay, maybe not extra, but you get the point: violence sells). But the thing is… we all know that its fake. Honestly, how is it realistic for there to be something like 500 “militia” armed with SMGs, Shotguns and Rifles in the slums of Rio, Brazil? How is it possible for Russia to invade the EAST COAST just as British and America forces attack the Russian West Coast with commandos? It. Doesn’t. Happen. But its darn cool. I mean, let’s face it, fighting through the White House and flying a helicopter around the DC is darn cool. Seeing the Washington Monument in flames and the White House reduced to Ashes is neat, in a sort of depressing way.

Another thing that I find funny, is how much people criticize games like Modern Warfare II, GTA: San Andreas (Hot Coffee, people?), but then games like Dragon Age: Origins and Fallout 3 haven’t really received much (well known) criticism. Dragon Age: Origins is violent, grim, gritty and well… very Mature. Fallout 3 is the same, if not worse: Sex, Language, Drug Use, and humans exploding into gore. So… why exactly do these games not receive critism? Because they’re not “real”? Come on, Russia invading the East Coast is hardly “real”. SAS forces running amok in Rio being chased by “200 militia” and killing DOZENS of said militia hardly strikes me as an everyday, run-of-the-mill SAS operation. Modern Warfare II is a fantasy game. Now, if this was Iraq or Afghanistan, and they did their best to really remain realistic, then I wouldn’t mind the criticism, but this game IS NOT realistic. So why the criticism?

And while I’m talking about video games, what is up with singleplayer FPS games these days? CoD 4 has a 10 hour campaign, and it appears Modern Warfare II has a shorter one! I won Crysis in like a week (during school!). It appears that the traditional linear FPS game is just… dead in singleplayer. Actually, this appears to be a cause of a very deadly disease that Video Gaming has recently received: graphics.

See, ten years ago, good graphics were… Half-Life. And I’ll be honest say that game had BAD graphics compared to modern times. But the truth is, I played that game, and once you start playing, it doesn’t matter! The game is still AMAZING. It has GOOD gameplay and FUN levels, once you start playing, you won’t care that the game really shows its age, graphically.

But then you have games like Prototype, which, despite me having a good computer that meets the minium requirements, doesn’t run very well on my computer. The same can be said with Assassin’s Creed. Now, the really funny thing about this is that both of these games, as far as I can tell, are games that do not appeal to me at all. I’ve never been a fan of the “run around the city” “freeform” games like that. I prefer the more RPG freeform games. But, the point is, these games were huge. People love graphics. They’re obessesed with graphics to what I consider an unhealthy level. I didn’t realize this until someone else told me, but this overreliance on graphical power has detracted from video games on the whole, in my opinion. Actually, I just remembered something I heard a long time ago when the PS3’s graphical power was unveiled. This Japanese guy said, “the PS3 is great. Those graphics are great, but to develop that level of graphical realism will cost lots of money and take lots of time.” He didn’t sound very exicited when he said this and I kinda agree with him. I’d rather have Half-Life Gameplay and Half-Life Graphics instead of Call of Duty 4 Gameplay (fun, but SHORT) and Call of Duty Graphics.

It would seem, sadly, that I am the exception to the rule. I prefer long singleplayer games. RTS, RPG, Long, Linear FPS games (Far Cry 2 was okay, but I prefer CoD4, honestly. CoD4 was cooler). *sigh* such is life.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


So recently, I’ve been playing this game called Torchlight. I haven’t played it that must (just maybe 4 hours yesterday) but I gotta say its an amazing game.

Torchlight is a Hack-n-slash “Diablo clone” (no duh, its made by former employees of Blizzard North, the CREATORS of Diablo). In the vein of Diablo there are three classes, melee smasher, ranged sniper, and magical dude. The game is set in the village of Torchlight, a mining community that operates around a mine near the village where a mystical crystal called “Ember” is found. You arrive at the scene to find monsters have overrun the mines and a two other adventer types (Brink and some girl… forget her name) fighting back the monsters. And there the game begins.

So… it’s a hack-n-slash. This means that the basis of the game revolve around one thing: kill monsters, loot them. You run around, fighting hundreds of different monsters (so far I’ve encountered rat-men, trolls, constructs (harder trolls), zombies, skeletons and various magical types) and then you loot their bodies and open the treasure chests they were guarding.

What I find so amazing about games like this is how stupidly unrealistic, yet amazingly satisfying they are. In a good story, the protagonist as a good reason for going on dangerous quests and often had lots of help along the way. Frodo never would have made it to Mt. Doom if it wasn’t for Gollum, Sam, Gandalf, Aragorn et al. But yet, in this game, besides I think the two levels, I, basically, am alone (you have a “pet” that helps you, but it’s basically a tank/low damage dealer) the entire game. In Lord of the Rings, Aragorn had a special sword, just one, and he used it throughout the book. He didn’t walk through orc corpses saying, “hey! That looks shiny! Who cares about this old sword, I’ll use this one!” Granted, Aragorn already had an amazingly good sword, but I’ve never heard of a single hero who fights through hordes of unnamed creatures and then takes whatever random weapons they were using for himself.

Furthermore, there is the whole question of “Why is this monster guarding a chest of weapons that he doesn’t use himself?” Question that I find myself asking. I mean, think about it: If that sword is a “OMG! UBER RARE TOTALLY AWESOME!” weapon, why isn’t the rat-man guarding it using it? It doesn’t make sense.

So anyways… yes, it’s unrealistic. Yes, its kinda stupid. Yes, its not that original in gameplay (the setting is a fun steam-punk type world. My character has a sword and shield and some PISTOLS! w00t!). But darnit, this game is amazingly fun.

Oh, do you know what the best part is? It'll run on just about any machine out there. It even has a special "netbook" setting if you're running one of those. Awesome, no? (Obviously its not that big a deal for me and my Duo Core CPU, Geforce 8 and 2 gigs of RAM, but hey, not everyone is like me. :p)

Website is its $20 off of Paypal, and the game designers claim 10-20 hours of gameplay every play through. I dunno about you, but with 3 classes, randomly generated dungeons, and gameplay this addicting I could play this game forever and ever. Assuming of course, I don't find another really fun game (like for instance... Dragon Age Origins or Borderlands, both of which seem like they're really good) *nods*

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I've been negelecting this blog. I'm sorry for those of you who are missing my updates.

Anyways... so what have I been doing?

I finished Tyranny of the Night by Glen Cook (if you like Glen Cook, read it. If not, try his first novel: the Black Company, first) and started Dune this week (dune appears decent)

I've been playing Mount and Blade a lot.

I've been doing lots of school. Argh. I feel like I have this mountain of homework that doesn't ever get any smaller, just bigger. Really frustrating sometimes.

And... and nothing special.

Also, everyone should go and listen to Wanderer by Elvenking (its somewhere on Youtube). That song is one of the greatest songs ever.

Random Thought of the Day: The reason that I like Heavy Metal is because Heavy Metal guitarists and keyboardists solo. A lot. Not enough Rock musicians solo, or if they do its not often enough. A good album should have like 10 songs and at least 5 solos, preferably 10. If at all possible the solos should 4 minutes long (yes, I don't mind 8 minute long songs. One of the best songs I've ever heard is 14 minutes. The Poet and the Pendulum is brilliant).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dota and God

So I played dota today; first GOOD games I've played in like a month or so.

First game was five on five, me and my friends against some other guys in the cafe. We lost, very badly. the game lasted seventy minutes because they messed around with us (plus we got two really good ganks on them that were amazing) and let us see if we could win with two of our lanes destoryed; we couldn't.

And now, it wasn't completely our fault... they had broodmother and she was FREAKING VICIOUS. In ten minutes she destroyed the 2 mid lane towers. Her creeps owned us. After about twenty minutes into the game I realized that this wouldn't have been a problem if I had picked Pit Lord or my bro had played and picked Lich or some AoE Intel dude (who was practing for his first "concert" with some friends).

Second game was three-on-three. I played Treant Protector, Saad and Derek played Rhasta and Voidwalker repectively. We one that one, though it took us some time. Essentially we one because their carry, Bone Fletcher, was played by Mukit and we all knew how to counter Mukit's Bone Fletcher; late game he just wasn't that big of a threat. Then, we'd combine ultis in late game and people would just DIE. 2 Overgrowths (I had refresher), Chrono, and Serpent War... three heroes dead easily. We had to build up, but it worked out very well.

On a somewhat more important note: the pastor gave an excellent sermon today. Very good sermon. I think two things he mentioned that need to be repeated over and over again: If the Gospel is so important, why do only foreigners follow it? And if the gospel is so important why do Christians only share it with the poor (not entirely true, but I will say the mission organizations here in Dhaka do very little with the Upper Class - its all about the poor).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Christian" Music and Ramblings

You know what I think is maybe the stupidest question I’ve ever heard? “Are they a Christian band?”

Why is this such a stupid question? Well, let’s pick some “Christian” Bands:

Kutless is a “Christian” band. They sing “Christian” lyrics, are signed to a “Christian” label and tour with “Christian” bands.

Switchfoot is a “Christian” band. They sing “Spiritual” lyrics. They are signed to a “secular” label and tour with both “Christian” and “secular” bands.

As I Lay Dying is a “Christian” band they sing “secular” (but not sinful) lyrics, are signed to a “secular” label and regularly tour with “Secular” bands, but also with “Christian” bands.

Now, the thing is, all of these bands have been identified as “Christian” some, like Switchfoot has attempted to deny this altogether. Yes, they admit their Christian Faith, but they don’t claim to write explicitly Christian lyrics (“thinking man’s band”; IE Christian, or Biblical Lyrics, but they’ve never mentioned Jesus or God or something directly Christian) and they do try to tour and work with more secular bands. Others, like As I Lay Dying simply claim that they aren’t a Christian band, but Christians in a band. No Christian Lyrics or Christian Music Festivals (well… okay if there is ever a Christian Hardcore/Metalcore festival then they’d go to it, but there aren’t enough Christian bands for one of those. That being said the Christian Hardcore Scene is big enough they could tour with only Christian hardcore bands. But they don’t. They do “secular” festivals/tours like Wacken and stuff as well).

What is my point? The entire “Christian” label is meaningless. The First problem is that we one can never truly know how Christian a band is until they talk to them in person. The only “Christian” band I know for sure that has a relationship with God is Leeland, and that’s because I heard Jack Mooring preach to me, and then have him pray for me. I do honestly believe that most of the Bands out there that end up labeled “Christian” do in fact have some sort of relationship with Jesus, but I can’t be sure.

Another thing that bugs me is that we have this label of “Christian” but it only really deals with lyrics. Bands like Third Day are more Country-Rock, Skillet is Hard Rock, As I Lay Dying is Hard/Metalcore. These are all rather different genres yet all the bands get labeled “Christian”. I will admit that there is a CCM industry and a CCM sound along the lines of soft-rock/pop but there are also a LOT of bands that don’t fit that genre that get labeled “Christian” (POD, Switchfoot, Kutless to a degree, Demon Hunter, UnderOath to name a few).

Another thing I think that saddens me about the entire “Christian music” thing is how by labeling bands as “Christian” you alienate a section of the music listening population. Bands like Switchfoot and As I Lay Dying have avoided being labeled for just this reason. They want EVERYONE to listen to their music, and, especially in the case of Switchfoot I suspect (As I Lay Dying seems more to be just “Christians in a band”; they’re not really trying to reach people, just entertain) this is for evangelism purposes (though, it is hard to do evangelism from the stage, it can be done in a lot of ways. Demon Hunter is my favorite example because while in the Live in Nashville concert they don’t ever really mention God, they lyrics in all their songs are so Biblical etc it’s hard not to know what they’re talking about.

… I’m starting ramble here, so let me try to get to my point:

While I understand the Labeling of bands “Christian” (and honestly, it’s the best label for people like Chris Tomlin, who basically does Worship music) at the same time I wish people would stop it. I believe, that Believers should be at the forefront of every single thing in our world: Creative, Political, Economic, etc. The Top Songs on the Charts should be by “Christian” artists, not people like Kayne West or Britney Spears (okay, she is old news now, but it’s the best name I can get right now; I don’t listen to pop). One of these problems is a dearth of musical talents in the CCM Industry, but bands like AILD, Switchfoot, Relient K and Skillet have proved that one can be both “Christian” and “good” so I think that’s more of a general “90% of stuff is Crap” (Moore’s Law?) than anything.

I think in a lot of ways that my passion. I want to see Christians at the forefront of huge, multi-million international businesses, proving that you don’t have to be immoral and greedy to be successful. I want to see Bands like Switchfoot grow to become the next Iron Maiden or Nirvana. I want to see Christian authors to write good, not sappy, moral novels. I’m constantly disappointed by the amount of language and sex in novels these days, but I’ve yet to read a Christian Fiction that I’m truly, truly pleased with disregarding CS Lewis and Tolkien. Two authors out of the dozens I’ve read. How depressing is that?

*steps off soapbox*

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thailand/USA Trip Part 1

*sigh* I think this is like the third time I’ve tried, and failed, to write an update this blog. Its been a while and I’m sorry, but that’s what happens when I go on holiday and get a bunch of new video games.

So… I suppose I should like… start a series on the States/Thailand and ignore the more boring, mundane life here in Dhaka. That sounds like a plan if you ask me. :P

So, first off, a very brief mention of Thailand:

It was okay I guess. Not our best holiday in Thailand. I had fun and managed to relax a fair bit. I watched GI Joe in theaters (reaction: it was good, but suffered from mediocre acting and rewriting characters in a fashion I did not enjoy. But as far as Action Movies go it was good), watched Black Hawk Down for the first time (depressing, confusing, but very good war movie. Not as violent as I thought it would be, surprisingly) and Saving Private Ryan for the second time (I say again: EXCELLENT movie).

Now, the US:

*sigh* the US. There was a lot of stuff that happened in the US. I mean, I’m making some very important decisions over the next few months regarding College and what I’ll be studying etc. I spent two weeks in the US with the primary purpose of looking for a college where I can continue my studies. I’ve pretty much made up my mind I want to be an English Writing Major, probably with a focus in Professional writing (though minoring in creative writing, for fun really, could does appeal to me). Before visiting the states I had three colleges in mind for my future studies: Uni of Mary-Hardin Baylor (UMHB), Baylor University, and St. Edwards University. Both UMHB and Baylor are Baptist schools and pretty much have a strong Christian Worldview. St. Edwards is “Catholic Heritage” meaning it was founded by the same guy as Notre Dame, but felt (to me) a whole lot secular than the schools. No one assumed my parents were missionaries as St. Edwards…

Anyways so I went to the US to specifically look at these schools and try and determine, assuming I could get into all of them (I had already been accept to UMHB with a decent academic scholarship) and see which one seemed like “the best fit” for me.

I visited St. Edwards first and I was very, very impressed with the school. When I visited it a year ago I didn’t seem as impressed. I mean, I guess it was a decent school, but I didn’t really know if liked it that much. This time I had a very different feeling. I went to a Freshman Worldview Class that was very interesting (read: Logic + Modern Politics = Isaac goes debate crazy) and all the students I talked to (a grand total of… 4; which is a lot for me seeing as I’m nearly anti-social sometimes) were very friendly and helpful.

I also talked to two different Admissions Counselors (the homeschool one and the International Admissions one) both of whom were very helpful and had a lot of information that they were able to give me.

To make a long story short: St. Edwards seemed like a very impressive school. Academically I’m sure I can find enough challenging course for me (if not regular, then honors; but I do want to be challenged. Not so much that I overwhelm myself, but I don’t want to feel like I’m wasting time in class or not learning anything), and as far as social stuff: the school is decently big AND its in the middle of Austin. Austin may be small by my standard (1 million people? Pft that’s less than 10% of the population of Dhaka) it is also “the live music capital of the world” and should have enough stuff for me to find myself plenty happy. All I need is a RPG/Wargaming group and I’ll probably be set. I’d like a good DotA group but I’ll be happy without that. I think.

We also visited Baylor a few days later. I personally think that Baylor has a better campus and nicer looking buildings, but that’s kinda to be expected considering Baylor’s bigger budget and general prestige; those get you a better campus.

However, other than that, I was, surprisingly, unimpressed. I mean, the people were knowledgeable and helpful (plus I got a lot of freebies; I got a Dr. Pepper in a glass bottle!) but to put it in simple terms: it appeared God was telling me to go to St. Edwards.

Like I said, I was surprised, I really though Baylor would be my ideal school, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The more I think about it the more I want to go to St. Edwards. I don’t want to start saying “I when I go to St. Eds” instead of “when I got to college” but… I guess I could say that unless there is a serious act of God I plan on going to St. Edwards.

That’s all for now, I’ll post another update later.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


So on Friday as normal, I played Dota with my friends. This time I had a really good time. Both games were well balanced and it easily could have gone either way; that’s something that doesn’t happen every game.

First game I played Avernus and let me just say how much I love this hero. He really is a good unit. His passive rocks for chasing, his heal/nuke is good for support and his shield is by far one of the best spells in the game. That and borrowed time is just… epic. 7 seconds with scepter at lvl 16. AMAZING.

Anyways… I won that game. It was interesting. 4v4 and my team had Bone Fletcher, Bounty Hunter and Viper, plus me. Our problem was that in the mid game me being a strength hero, I wanted to push and fight in team battles. But my allies, being the frail agi heroes that they were didn’t. Bounty and Fletcher were all over the map with windwalk and viper (played my Manik) was played in Manik’s usual carry style: slowly, surely creep in the lanes and never stay anywhere too long so that he can’t get ganked.

The second game I played Spirit Breaker, another hero I really like. Its really fun running around the map at 417 MS and bashing people o death. Once again the game was really balanced. My team didn’t have any support hero or real carry, but the opposing team had an axe who played badly (instead of him, viper ended up the tank. Go figure). That being said, in the end my team lost (after 70 minutes of fighting!) because Viper and Omniknight were just too good of a combo. Viper had Khadgar’s Pipe, Omniknight had repel and his ulti and that meant that Viper was pretty much unkillable for much of the team battles. Still I had some pretty amazing moments in that game. I charged axe from my base and killed him before anyone could come for help, that was fun. Then Twice I had amazing battles with Specter. First time we both started at the same amount of health, but he was doing more damage. It was after a team battle so neither of us had much mana. However, I risked that my regen was good enough for me to be able to charge at the last minute. It was close, but when I had about 200hp I killed specter with my charge of darkness.

Second time similar situation. Little mana and low health, except this time Specter was attacking me. I knew I was gonna die, but I hoped that if I turned and attacked I’d manage to get a bash. I didn’t, but I swear if I had gotten 1 bash Specter would have been killed.

Anyways… really awesome time I had. I can tell that I’m improving in DotA, and learning my play style. I play strength heroes, it would appear. I mean, I can play agility heroes and probably should branch out into some Intelligence heroes, but basically I like Strength heroes. Avernus, Nightstalker, Spirit Breaker, Pit Lord, Earthshaker (need to practice with him a bit), Admiral, those are my favorite heroes, all of them are strength heroes.

Anyways… nothing much else going on. I go to Thailand on Wendesday, that should be a fun holiday. I’ll write more later.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Politics and College


You know what is sad about democracy? Everyone gets to have a say. Now, I realize this is a much needed right, but, sometimes, I wish people would shut up or get thrown in jail for not doing so. Not for long, but just a few days.

I mean, it’s great that people are talking about the health care system in the US, because, frankly, it NEEDS reform. When people can’t afford to take care of their health, we have a problem. I’m not saying what the democrats may or may not be proposing (I’m not sure what they’re proposing, but it’s the dems, and they’re Pro-big government, something I’m not) is the answer, but I don’t at all like how people are reacting, AT ALL.

I told one of my friends that the politics that are happening remind me of politics here. Politics here in Bangladesh involve two parties fighting, often violently, all the time. Neither side is interested in what the other has to say; it’s a miracle that they get as much done as they do. That’s what I’m beginning to see in the US. It hasn’t gotten to that level there just yet, but it bears a scary resemblance.

On a brighter note: I think I’ve gotten a bigger scholarship from Mary-Hardin Baylor (UMHB). 8k, which is double the old one (IF I’m remembering correctly). Now, I don’t particularly want to go to UMHB but… that’s a big chuck of my tuition. I’ll just have to see what kind of money I can get out of Baylor and St. Edwards.

Also, I’ll be able to participate in an Overnight stay at St. Edwards! I’m very happy about this because I think I should be able to ask people a lot of questions.

College… is going to be a big step for me. I’ve begun to realize this for the past few weeks as I’ve began to fill out college applications for St. Edwards and Baylor. These are big, life changing, decisions I’m going to have to make and I don’t want to make the wrong choice. Not only that but I’m going to enter into a completely different stage of life. I’ve had different changes and stuff but none of them as radical or as sudden as moving to the States (for what will be the foreseeable future. I’ll visit Bangladesh but I don’t intend to live here after College). I suppose the only thing I can do for now is fill out the applications and pray. I have an idea of what I want to do in College… but making those decisions and then succeeding are going to be challenging for me.

Anyways… I should get ready for bed. I’ll write more later.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Played a Pro

So… yesterday I played DotA as usual, but with one exception: two of the games were played with a DotA pro (whom Jacob called Werewolf… his screen name was ).

Anyways, two games, first one was All Random. I repacked Ogre Magi and proceeded to work with Manik (who played Razor… not amazingly well but he did okay). The two of us faced off against Specter and Phantom Assassin in what was actually a very heavy killfest.

Now, the pro player, werewolf, played Tinker and faced off against Derick (forget who he was playing…). In the words of Derick, werewolf had “constant Double Damage”. I never watched them but I assumed he had a bottle and put wards around the runes and was grabbing them like crazy. The first thing Tinker did was farm travel, and he then proceeded to move around the map killing and pushing like the amazing player he was. Twice he just walked (or TPed) into my lane and killed people. He was amazing.

The thing was, Tinker is an early game nuker/ganker dude. As the game continues he gets worse because, like most Intel heroes his spells just don’t do enough damage late game. So, we were able to push long and hard and pwn them in the long run. Still, it was a good match.

So… the second game was AP. I think I knew from the beginning my team was gonna lose because it was AP. Anyways, we picked Lich, Sandking and Drow and then Werewolf pulled out Invoker. We then picked Naga Siren (cuz Manik is epic with her) and I took Tidehunter because we needed an AoE stunner. We faced off against Treant (Mumu), Jakiro (my bro), Earthshaker (Saad), Invoker (werewolf) and Skeleton King (Marcus… someone I’ve never played with before but appeared to be Derick’s friend).

From the beginning, we were going to lose. There wasn’t a whole lot we could do about it really. Werewolf played Invoker FRIGGIN GOOD. I mean seriously… he knew all 11 (I think 11… not sure) of Invokers spells and on top of that made the most imba build for him. I think his first item was like… heart of tarrsque. He also made Guinsoo and Shiva IIRC.

Oh… and Saad… Saad was a ever evil Earthshaker who built and played his hero perfectly. At least twice he used his blink dagger and ulti combo to get like a double kill.

Anyways… we managed to make the game last seventy-five minutes, but in the end we knew we would win. It was really inevitable.

So… what can I say? Well first off… I felt like I did really horrible in both games. Maybe if I had played a hero I’m more comfortable with, like Nightstalker, Razor, Dark Terror (actually he has a new name but I forget what it is) or Dragon Knight then I would have done better. However, I don’t think it would have mattered that much really because I just died a lot. I couldn’t farm because Invoker would nuke me if I did and I couldn’t kill because I was often the first death in the battles, as a result I had a crap build. It took me the entire game to build one battlefury and one heart. If I had played well I would have managed to get Power Treads, Heart, Battlefury, Satanic and maybe even Buzi or Hyperstone.

So… what does this teach me? It means I need to learn to play Tidehunter better. Play him with a Blink Dagger, actually. I think that might have helped some. Not a lot, but some.

Anyways… it was a good game. If given the chance I’d love to play with the guy again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Earth 2160

So the past few days I’ve been playing this game called Earth 2160.

First off, I got the game from a website called (GOG = good old games). The website is designed to sell high quality, but older, PC titles (games you can’t find in the stores very often now) for low prices (6 or 10 dollars). Furthermore, they do so completely 100% DRM free. I think the main reason they have been sticking to Older games is that I know a lot of companies probably would never release their games DRM free on the internet if they were new. Even so they have yet to score a big contract with Activision-Blizzard or EA, so they catalogue is still pretty limited. That being said they have some great games.

Earth 2160 is a RTS game and the 3rd addition to the Earth series. The original two were set on Earth while the United Civilized States (USC) and Eurasian Dynasty (ED) fought a bloody war that ended with lots of nukes and an asteroid setting Earth off its normal orbit with its new orbit setting on a collision course with the Sun.

So… anyways the USC and the ED (along with the Lunar Corporation (LC), a faction based on the Moon) fought for resources, grabbed what they needed and flew off into space. Now they fight each other in Space on planets like Mars and Titan (which, is technically a moon, but whatever). All in all, it’s an awesome game.

The coolest thing about the game is the variety and various tactics you can try. Each race has its own weaknesses and strengths. ED seems to be the most balanced race, with a slight reliance on Lasers, while the LC has high technology and lots of lasers. The USC uses mechs and lots of standard weapons, while the secretive Aliens (did I mention them? No? Well anyways this game has aliens) I believe use lots of chemical weapons. When you research a new technology you can use that technology to upgrade existing units. So if you research RPGs then you can upgrade all your jeeps and buggies to have RPG launchers. Or if you research Chemical Weapons you will now have access to Chemical Cannons and various Missiles.

One of the coolest moments I think I’ve had with the game was in a skirimish against the ED (while I played… USC?) I was doing fine until they research Chemical Weapons. Now my reflective Armor (anti-laser armor) was useless and my units were eaten up. By the time I researched and applied Chemical Armor to my units I had already lost.

As a side note: the campaign is boring. I’m playing it, but the voice acting is TERRIBLE and the plot is horridly predictable. I didn’t realize how good some of the more average story-lines I’ve dealt with are until I’m faced with a truly horrible story.

So, if you’re interested in the game (and paying for it *cough*) then check out They accept paypal. ;)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

4him Last Night

Hmmm. So I have a lot on my mind right now, I think I should start with what we discussed in 4him last night/evening/afternoon.

Basically, Steve spoke on a simple idea: “what is God to you?”. We all got into small groups and we wrote down our ideas. Then we put all the ideas on the whiteboard. Things like Head of Household, Bodyguard, GPS, Entertainer, Provider, Mr. Fix-it, and the like were examples we had.

Now, Steve said one very important thing: “many people think of God like a Vending Machine,” and while I don’t, I don’t and I don’t think I’ve treated like a Vending Machine that much (I probably have, but I can’t remember specific instances). One thing that he said is we’ll pray things like, “God, help me pass this test.” And I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever prayed that. My prayers involving tests and exams have never been, “give me knowledge I don’t have,” its always been, “give me the ability to use that knowledge. No freak outs or panic attacks.” (Which I have all the time. In times of emergency I have a tendency to panic and freak out. It’s a bad habit I need to break).

Anyways… that lead onto the idea of pray in general. Why do we pray? Well because we are supposed to ask God for things we want. He told us to. But why? God is sovereign and he already knows what we do or don’t need. So why pray? And it’s a good question. I don’t think I have an answer for it but I think it does have to do with the nature of God.

Why do we exist? The Westminster Shorter Catechism says to “Worship God and Enjoy Him Forever.” I disagree. And I think most of the leaders in 4him disagree as well. We exist to have a relationship with God. In a relationship you communicate. You talk to each other. God talks to me and tells me His plans for my life and I talk to him and ask questions about those plans. He tells me He’ll give me stuff to help me achieve His plans, etc. Even though he doesn’t need to be told that we need stuff or that we want stuff or whatever, God still wants us to tell him because well… in a relationship you communicate.

I think the best thing Steve said during his talk was he asked a very common question, “why do good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people?” Or at least a variation thereof. Its another question that I don’t think anyone is able to answer. Why is it that some people are born blind and others have better than perfect vision? Why is it that I have friends who are super smart, and others who are average or even below average? Again I can say that God is Sovereign and there are things that we cannot understand because we are mere mortals and don’t have the worldview that God has. But also I think I need to remind people that we live in a Fallen world and until Jesus comes again it will remain that way. God did save us from Hell, but this planet and this existence (weird to say but accurate I suppose) still remains in its depraved state. As such we’ll have trials and tribulations and problems. God made it very clear that, if anything, following God in this life will only make it more difficult (shouldering a cross? Those things are big and heavy!). It might not be “fair” that your brother or whatever had something horrible happen to him or her but God never said he’d make life fair.

So yes… that’s kinda what we discussed at 4him yesterday.

Monday, July 13, 2009


SO I’m almost done my Chemistry Course. Finally. Just about 5 more days of work, and then I’m done. Three days of reading, one of review, and then the final chapter test and I’m free.

So I suppose I should finally say this, but I think, though it has taken me nearly 12 months to do so, that I finally understand Chemistry. It only took me the entire year, but now I get it. I’m not sure what happened, but these last few weeks everything has just well… clicked and I’ve been able to absorb the information at a good rate and understand it all. I don’t like Chemistry, and I still want to avoid all forms of Science while I’m in college (Sorry Brian) but I understand how it works and I have been able to enjoy a few different bits.

Also… I’ve been playing Moo Moo Town the last few days and yesterday I beat the game. Yes, I beat it by mself. Sure it was on the easiest mode and in the end I got an item that granted me unlimited reincarnations (it only took me like 20 minutes of hitting this guy with something like 99% DR) but I did win the game.

On the other hand, I don’t think I’m going to be able to play Moo Moo again for a few days. I spend over 2 hours beating that map and it got REALLY boring by the end.

What is Moo Moo? Well, in short it’s a Warcraft III Custom Map (that is, a mini-game that uses Warcraft III’s powerful map editor to make a different game inside of Warcraft) where up to 6 players face several waves of monsters that attack “Moo Moo” a big giant Minotaur in the center of the map. Each player controls one “hero” and uses gold gained by killing the enemy units to build items that buff your hero. It’s a fun game, even if it takes FOREVER to beat.

Oh, and with the end of my Chemistry will come the beginning of my College Applications. I’ll tell you how those go later, that is, once I’ve actually started them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sims 3

So… Sims 3. Been playing it for quite some time now… maybe like 15-20 hours.

In short, it’s a good game. EA may be the Nazis of video games, but they have managed to, once again, make a solid Sims release. One that is sure to have dozens of “extras” like all the others.

Anyways… so, how to begin?

I’d say that the first thing about the Sims is that each one had a specific outlook, goal or whatever you want to call it. The first Sims was just the basics. You have a family, they get jobs, go to work, meet people, fall in love, etc. The 2nd Sims had all sorts of family tree stuff plus extra relationships, new graphics, and the community lot feature added on from the beginning. The Sims 3 improves upon all these features and adds more. Jobs have been tweaked, as have relationships and the various services (fyi maids are now overpriced. In the others they were far too cheap).

But the biggest change is how the neighborhood works now. In all the old Sims when your sim(s) went to a community lot time on your house lot froze until you came back. This had some advantages, of course. You could go out and play video games at the arcade and get home three hours later all prepped for work, for instance. However, it also had the annoying effect of spending two hours shopping only to come home tired and come to work. In general, it was annoying and I didn’t really like the system.

Not so in the new Sims game. Now, the entire community can streamlessly be visited. Sims can drive (yes, you get your own cars without any expacks) to the park while their children stay home and do homework with the babysitter. Or they can visit friends at their houses, or they can see a movie, or they can search for bugs, or go fishing. You get the point.

On the downside, you can no longer play multiple families in the same neighborhood. At least, after 20ish hours of playing the game I haven’t figured out how to… IMO this is a (sole) step backwards. Part of the fun of the Sims was creating your own neighborhood (you can’t do this either; you’re stuck with one neighborhood, two if you download the extra one) and then filling it with your own sims and giving the neighborhood its own story. Now, you can do that to a degree, and the seamless neighborhood makes visiting and meeting people easier, but its not the same in my opinion.

There are a lot of other little features that I could mention about the sims, but honestly, those are the two things that struck me the most. All I can say is that I think the Sims 3 is better than the previous two releases. That being said, unless you’re a die-hard fan of the game I would encourage you to wait until EA releases some tasty expacks and the original game’s price goes down form $50 to like…. Well $30 or something.

Oh, and on another note, if you buy a pirated version the game will tell you that its pirated. It won’t stop you from playing, but it will ask you to buy a real version.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

CoD 5: World At War

So yesterday I played CoD 5. I played and won CoD 5. Let’s have a moment of silence to realize that this means that it took me like 8 hours to win a game that, should I have bought it retail, would have cost me perhaps $40 dollars (I don’t know what the price is, I borrowed it from a friend).

$40 for that?! No. Just no. I realize that it has multiplayer, but I would never have bought it for multiplayer considering I have CoD 4, which is better. It makes no sense. The game isn’t worth that price.

Anyways… the game itself. First thing I noticed is that Treyarch did attempt to make it a “different” WWII shooter. Instead of the typical Stalingrad/North Africa/Normandy campaign game it had a Battle of Berlin/Pacific Theater Campaign. Both were fun and I enjoyed them. As usual, my favorite campaign was the Soviet Battle of Berlin Campaign. Why? I think it has something to do with me really enjoying running through ruined buildings and killing people. Its fun. Though I didn’t like the Story line that much. It was really… brutal and sad, because the soldiers in question fought for a horribly abusive regime and the sole motivation of your CO was revenge. A boring, horrible motive if there ever was one. I much preferred CoD 2’s story of defending Stalingrad (your homeland!) from the evil Nazis. I felt sorry for the Nazis because at that point they were fighting for a lost cause and they were going to die and have to rebuild their nation, which was in ruins. Russia one the other hand, came out of the war as a Super Power.

CoD 5 added a lot of new “features” to the game. Rifle Grenades, Bayonets, Flamethrowers, Molotovs and possibly another thing I’m forgetting. All of these features were nice, but they weren’t needed. The flamethrower was fun, but… meh. It got boring after the first time I used it. I much preferred using a submachine gun or repeating rifle.

Everything else, the bayonets for instance, were really gimmicky. They didn’t, as far as I could tell, add ANYTHING since you already had a melee attack. If it was better I missed it. I only used Rifle Grenades once.

By far the coolest level was this level where I was the gunner in an airplane shooting Japanese fighters and ships. It was really, really fun. I mean amazingly fun. Good enough to make an entire game about you being the gunner for a airplane. Shame it was so short and easy.

One more thing: none of the characters were memorable. I remember in CoD 2 how memorable the characters were. How I loved McGreggor and Price. Both of them were amazing. I want more of those two guys. CoD 5 didn’t have anyone like them.

I’m installing Sims 3 now, btw. I’ll tell you how it goes later.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

SHOUT 2009: Return of the Light

So last night was SHOUT 2009: Return of the Light.

Shout is a worship concert our Church organized, well I really should say our Church Youth (4him) and the Worship team organized. In simple terms the concert was well… AMAZING.

So we had three “bands” performing. Two of which were our Church Worship team, and one was a special team from Thailand called the Leviticans. The Leviticans is a worship team that my friend Caleb plays Bass for, he managed to get his band to come and play for us, which rocked.

So… basically, there were a TON of people. I thought there would be more but I think that we had just about the right number of people. A lot of (boring, or too old to be jumping, or they couldn’t take the noise) people did sit in the back but the (standing/jumping/dancing) crowd in the front did a very good job of jumping about and having lots of fun.

The first band didn’t sound that good and they probably had a good number of reasons why. First off, the power went off and we went to generator, which probably messed up the speakers a good bit. Second off I heard that the monitors went off and that probably messed everyone up. Still, the bass and the drums sounded great for most of the performance.

The second band was the Leviticans, and they were AMAZING. Everyone else had vocal issues (because the mics weren’t loud enough) but Chris (their vocalist) has a very loud voice and he managed to sound pretty good throughout his performance. The band was also very good. I heard them play one song on Friday and I wasn’t too impressed with their drummer (who didn’t seem to build up properly) but he was amazing during the concert. Their lead guitarist did an amazing job IMO and had a pretty cool solo (as always, I love guitar soloing, shame he only had one). The crowd was really wild during their entire performance. We had a train going through, some people (like me :D) were headbanging and EVERYONE was jumping up and do during the choruses, if not the entire performance. I think the best song was their ending song (because the “encore”) “Solution” which was AMAZING.

Last performance was also not that bad. Max did vocals and he has a nice voice. His only problem is he needs to learn to control it more and not sing off his throat. He’s getting better, but by the last song (Paint this Town Red???? Chorus was “we’re gonna paint this town red with the Blood of Jesus) his voice sounded pretty… well screechy and bad. The crowd didn’t have that much energy by that last performance because well… we were all really tired! Still, we had a train and during the last song, “One Way” any energy the crowd had left was used up.

I had an amazing time there. I think the entire thing was a testament to how good God is. It took us three years to organize the event and a lot of things went wrong, both during and before the concert, still, the entire thing went off well. All the bands played as good as they could and besides the first band, which sounded pretty band, everyone did great.

All I can really say is I can’t wait for SHOUT 2010! And that hopefully it will happen before I leave! :D

Also personally, I think with this concert each year should be bigger. First time it was kinda just thrown together by a few key people. We had like 4 bands and it lasted FOREVER. To me I remember it feeling more like a somewhat louder worship session than a proper concert.

However, it took us three years to organize a second one. I think our major problem this time was money, because we had to pay for our speakers and our budge was actually really small. However, we did get everything together and managed to get all the money we needed, which was awesome.

I think our next goal for SHOUT should be to rent a Hall or proper place where the concert can take place so that we can have better acoustics, because, no matter how you work it, our church has just plain bad acoustics. Eventually I do think it would be great if a big band from the US like Switchfoot, Kutless or Leeland (actually it would be EPIC if Leeland could come and give us a proper full on concert!) could come and give us a performance. Matt mentioned it would be weird our church band performing with them but I think, if our Church band could open for them that would work perfectly. That and actually I think our church has some very talented performers. They might not be as technically proficient or as good song-writers, but they have the anointing of God to worship and that’s all they need!

And… I’m rambling. Chemistry beckons… I’ll write more later.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

GBA games

Recently I’ve been replaying some GBA games that I never won on a GBA emulator I got from Jacob. The two games in question are Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, both of which are very highly recommended Japanese RPGs.

Final Fantasy is fun, though its gotten somewhat boring now. The battles are all very similar and after a time training your characters gets a bit boring. Still, I’ve played the game so many times… and its quite fun so I did enjoy it for the week or so I played it.

Now I’m playing Fire Emblem, which just so happens to be one of my favorite Japanese RPGs of all time. I’ve played three games in the series and all of them are amazing. These games all work as turn-based RPGs where you lead a small band of warriors through various maps fighting lots of other games. The amazing thing about these games is a very simple, very logical game feature: if a unit dies he is DEAD. As in, no resueraction, no KOs; dead is dead. If that sounds harsh, then you’re right: it is a harsh rule that makes you actually care for your units.

On top of this you’ll often find yourself with rather weak units, but units that you NEED to use to make them strong so you can have strong units later on. This means you’ll have to put them on the front line, but in such a way that they don’t die.

Add to the fact that you have weapon triangles, magic triangles, special weapons that destroy other weapons, and most of the games don’t allow you to save in the middle of battles (well… they do, but once you access the save it deletes itself), it all makes for a very challenging tactical experience.

Anyways… so I’m gonna probably play a level now… see if I can finish it this time without losing my thief.

NOTAE BENE: I say Japanese RPG several times. What I mean by this is that I find most Japanese RPGs are rather different from their western counterparts, such as that they should be in a different subgenre of RPGs. If you want more information on RPGs you should wiki it or something.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I wish I was good at titles...

Before you read any further, read the following article:

Now that you’ve read that, I’m going to comment.

What’s my initial reaction? They’re still missing the point. Quote from the article:

“[Nicholas Sarkozy] expressed his strong distaste for the head-to-toe Islamic veil, calling it not a sign of religion but a sign of subservience.”

Sadly, this “head-to-toe Islamic veil”, goes hand-in-hand with much of Islamic doctrine and teaching. Yes, it is a sign of subservience. Yes, it is in fact a sign of subservience that the Koran and many Muslims want. I don’t see the Burka as anything other than one of the many methods Satan has invented to oppress the crowning jewel of God’s creation.

That being said, the fact of the matter is that the Burka goes hand-in-hand with much of Islam, and you cannot force someone to without the Burka without infringing on their freedom of religion. It’s like asking some of my friends to wear a Bikini while swimming or that Amish can’t wear their Colonial Era clothing, doing so would go against their beliefs and I don’t think anyone would dare to force them to do so.

This article, to me, shows how people have failed to realize that religions are not just beliefs and religious acts; they are living, breathing things that infect people at every level. When someone adheres to a brand of Islam (I say brand because there are various sects and groups, like there are in Christianity) they agree with beliefs of that sect, and should act upon those beliefs. The belief that one should pray five times a day means that if you truly believe that you WILL pray five times a day. The belief that women should wear a Burka means that you will do your best to make your female relatives and the women around you wear Burkas. Both of these things stem from Islam and to forbid either is a breach of Freedom of Religion.

Despite all this: that much of Islam and many other religions have creeds and laws that go directly against what God teaches in the Bible, as far as I can tell, Freedom of Religion remains a powerful and important right. The United States’ Constitution has Freedom of Religion in it and I belief that this right remains one of mankind’s most important rights. However, I struggle with the fact that I see much injustice in the religions around me. What some people have done in the name of their religion (and atheism counts as a religion, by the way) disturbs me in ways beyond belief. So the question I pose, constantly is this: Where do we draw the line? When do we say, “live and let live?” and “No! You can’t do that!”? How to we respect one’s religion when we know that doing so means accepting, to quote Monty Python, the violence (or injustice) inherent in the system?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Summer Update

So its summer... I've been on holiday for a couple weeks now. I have some school in the morning but its only a little bit of work. I took the SAT and I'll get my grades for that and the rest of my grades for all my classes should have come in by now. I'm generally pretty pleased. An A in English and Math (my two best subjects... don't ask how, but I do good in Algebra. I'm also very good in English. :))

Major updates in the past few days:

I played most of HL2. I might finish it again, I might not. It's an awesome game with a lot of fun parts. I loved, loved, loved escaping from City 17 in my little airspeeder boat thing. VERY fun. Valve really did an amazing job with this game.

I played enough of Half Life (the original) to understand why it was such a good game. Its not your typical FPS in the sense that you shoot everything that moves with really cool guns (read: Halo, Gears of War, Call of Duty) but it instead focuses on figuring out puzzles. You do fight monsters and bad-guys but they are not at all the focus of the game. This of course makes it rather different from Half Life 2. Still it seems to be an amazing game in its own right.

Also, IceFrog released the latest version of DotA (6.60) a few days back. I played with it for a few hours on Friday and wow... its a big upgrade. First off, a bunch of changes to heroes in some minor things like stat changes which I never pay attention to (I'm not good enough or concerned enough to notice an extra 1 str to my favorite hero or whatever). Then there were the bug fixes and the new heroes. There are now two new heroes: Tauren Chieftain and Troll Batrider. Both look cool, Tauren, as a Str. Hero sounds fun.

Most important though were three things: they rebuilt razor, and changed the organization of both the Heroes and the items. Razor is now very different with some weird spells that seem pretty cool. I personally loved razor as his old self: boring, simple and very deadly. Still, he seems to be slightly better and perhaps less boring and more balanced. That's always a good thing.

The tavern and item redesign? At first, everyone hated it, but I instantly saw the reasoning to the new organization and realized exactly why IceFrog did it. After reading the changelog my reasoning was confirmed. He reorganized everything to make it newb-friendly. Now the defensive items are together. The orbs are together. The early game items are together. It makes sense instead of having a bunch of random items in the new item shop and then everythign else sorta placed willie nillie. Also he added the talisman of evasion. I need to check if this thing stacks (I assume it won't) but 25% evasion sounds... amazing. Really, really amazing. Expensive, yes, but still amazing.

hmm... Oh, I got an new album: Twilight of the Thunder God by Amon Amarth. The band is a swedish Melodic Death Metal (read: Death Metal but with more melody and generally less crazy/heavy stuff). Its the first time I've listened to an album with nothing but "extreme" vocals (in this case the semi-understanable growls of whoever their vocalist is) without pause. This of course means I LOVE the album.

The band itself is a Swedish band (IIRC) that gets lyrical inspiration from Vikings and Norse mythology. So stuff like Thor, Ragnorok, etc are common themes in their music. Their name is a mountain in Mordor from LOTR. The music is all very good. Just enough melody to keep me interested and very good stuff in general.

Played a good bit of Far Cry 2. I'm now pretty good at it, though the repetative quests got pretty boring. I might finish it, but I'm not too interested in it anymore. I will say this is the first game where I've used a sniper rifle a lot though. That is no mean feat since I generally prefer shotguns and SMGs (close range action FTW). Still, this is a game that seems to reward stealth range and avoiding enemies (or engaging them from a distance) so the sniper seemed to fit.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Far Cry 2

So I started playing Far Cry 2 yesterday.

It’s a fun game, low on plot (which is good… few FPS games are able to give their players a really good story to follow) and high on action and stealth. So far only a few things bother me:

1. How hard it is to figure out WHO is shooting me and how many of them there are. I sneak into a village and get shot at, but can’t tell from where, and if there are two, three, or ten of these bad guys. ARGH!

2. Not enough stealthly stuff. This is obviously a game that rewards stealth and the like, yet I find it hard to tell if I’m about to be seen, or my enemy is going to ignore me. Crysis had a “stealth meter” of sorts, I’d like one of those in this game.

3. THE GUN! IT DOES NOTHING! Well, not really… but the fact that it took FOUR shots to the chest/head (all of which hit, btw) to down a guy a medium range is STUPID. This is on easy too (I died 5 times on medium… argh!).

These are all somewhat annoying, but I can live with them. I just need to remember to be very careful and shoot lots. Anyways… other than those things the game is rather fun. I’m trekking around a war-torn African nation killing soldiers and doing jobs for both sides in an attempt to find the location of “the Jackal” a notorious arms dealer who is arming both sides. Of course, I need to KILL the jackal, because I’m a good guy. ;)

The game seems to do a decent job of pretending to be realistic. The currency is rough diamonds… you need to use stealth… car get wrecked and brushfires start easily. Its open ended so you have lots of different options for completing missions. From sniping everyone to sneaking in and stealth-killing (read: use machete) the guards. Or a mixture of both. OR like me you could attempt to use stealth, fail, get angry run around crazy hiding and shooting and hiding and shooting and using a health pack to stay alive. This method seems to be working great though.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Metal and Summer

Hmm… I feel obligated to explain something.

The coolest thing, in my mind, about metal, is the amazing amount of variety you can find. From the technically masterful works of Dream Theater (even if the band looks like a bunch of hippies :D) to the amazing melodies of Nightwish to the piercing screams of Black Metal to the guttural roars of Death Metal.

On top of sounds, we have lyrical themes… from serious stuff like the meaning of life (or other such philosophy) to well… crap. By crap I mean anything from Alexander the Great to Fatal Tragedies like murder to well… pirates and LotR. :D

Now, I’ve talked to various people who say they like metal (and in the case of at least one, I know he IS a metal fan… the other, I’m not so sure) and they don’t always seem to like the fact that some bands (Alestorm, a pirate metal band, or DragonForce, a “cheese” metal band as I call ‘em) give metal a bad name. Now, while I realize these bands aren’t exactly serious or anything, I respect them as musicians. Neither DragonForce nor Alestorm are musical geniuses and I’ll be the first to admit this, but they can play their instruments (to a degree; I have conflicting reports on DragonForce from THEY SUCK AND ARE CHEATERS! To they’re okay, to they’ve gotten better, and they did use to suck).

My question to people who say these bands give metal a band name is why? Or how do they do so? Yes, they sing about “souls shining onward” and “Captain Morgan's Revenge” but to any arguments about that being geeky or cheesy I have a few words for you: Iron Maiden.

Iron Maiden song titles: “the number of the beast”, “two minutes to midnight”, “the loneliness of the long distance runner”, “Out of the Silent Planet,”, “The thin line between love and hate”… need I say more? If Iron Maiden, one of the most respected and well known Metal bands in existence (before I was a metal band I knew of about 2 metal bands: Iron Maiden and Metallica, so I’d say they’re pretty well known and pretty well respected) can sing about fantasy, science fiction and history, then Alestorm can sing all the drinking songs they want!

Now, I’m not saying that metal should not be serious. Serious lyrics are good. But, every so often you need some humor in your life. That’s why I listen to bands like Alestorm, Sabaton and DragonForce. They don’t take their lyrics completely serious but they’re good fun. There is a place for humor in all genres of music, I just wish I could hear more pop bands taking their lyrics a bit less seriously.

Now… a personal update. Its summer… and this summer I have a very simple, very important, goal: do not get bored.

How will I accomplish this goal? Video games, books, movies and friends. I bought the “half-life 2 collection” (thank you pirated games. :D) yesterday and I made my way through City 17, to the canals then to Black Mesa East and now I’ve just exited Ravenholm (darnit… that level is both creepy and awesome). I forgot how amazing HL2 is… in my mind it’s the greatest FPS game for single player value at least, that has been released in a while. Of course, I haven’t played Far Cry 2 yet (I will though) and I don’t really count Fallout 3 as a FPS… it’s a hybrid RPG FPS type game.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


You know what’s kinda annoying? Most of you should know that I listen to Nightwish and that after Nightwish finished their tour for their Once (2005) Album, they fired their lead vocalist Tajra Tuuren due to a wide variety of reasons.

Well, anyways, Tarja released a solo album that I have and most of it isn’t really that good actually. I mean, she has a wonderful voice and she does a good job with the vocalization, musically the thing is a far cry from Nightwish’s release with their new female vocalist.

Anyways, the best song, imo, on Tarja’s album (My Winter Storm) is a Alice Cooper cover called Poison. Good song, makes me want to get the Alice Cooper original… but anyways, at the end of the song they have some male vocalization and what’s really annoying is the guy SOUND EXACTLY LIKE NIGHTWISH’S male vocalist… you know, the guy Tarja DOENSN’T work with anymore? So… yes, that’s rather annoying. I mean, seriously, have all the male vocals you want, but don’t go and find a copycat for the guy you used to sing with. Marco doesn’t work with you, don’t pretend he does. When Nightwish fired Tarja they didn’t find a Tarja copycat to replace her, they found a new vocalist who sounds nothing like Tarja, specifically so that no one would compare the two.

Also… I finished my programming class today. Took me forever, but thanks to my classmates and my teacher I finally got all the bugs out of my Chutes and Ladders assignment and I now have a working Chutes and Ladders game in Visual Basic. Very nice. But seriously, I had one major problem and a few bugs that, in total, took me and one of my classmates an entire HOUR to figure out. Crazy, no?

*sigh* I’m so glad to be done with programming. I mean I enjoyed the class, but it was very frustrating for me because I felt like I wasn’t able to learn at the pace the class expected me. At the same time, while I did enjoy parts of the class and the many moments where things just “clicked” were amazing, most of the time I got really frustrated in the class and felt rather… stupid. Though, I do have to say it was a very informative class because I now know what programming is all about. Can’t say I exactly like it… but I do still really enjoy technology and I do want to be involved with computers and software stuff in the future. I think the key is figure out how I can be involved with software development (especially in the form of video games. :D) while at the same time not do a large amount of programming itself. Of course, the problem is how do I work with programmers without knowing what, exactly, they do? It’s a question I’ll have to answer at another point in life.

And I am so tired… I think I might actually take a nap today… wow. Anyways, next week is my last official week of Eleventh Grade. I have just 4 more latin Lessons, a final test and then my Math and English final and I’m on summer holiday. Yippee!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Final English Class

Well I had my last English Class for 11th grade this year. Lots of fun [i]was[/i] had. ;) Anyways… I’ve decided to show you guys how much my writing has improved. I’ll post two of my papers; my first Comp and my 2nd semester midterm. I got a 68 on my 1st comp, and a 93 on my semester midterm.

Read and enjoy!

First Comp:

Goat Fell: The Conquest

My summers usually end up rather normal, even boring, sometimes. Not this summer. Not once during my summer vacation did I fear that I would run out of activities. One of the first memorable events this summer involved climbing Goat Fell, the highest mountain on the Scottish Isle of Arran. While my parents participated in the Leadership Development Course (LDC) our family resided in Scotland. One weekend several of the male “LDCers” decided to take a day trip and climb Goat Fell Mountain. Of course, I assumed nothing unusual would happen during our trip. I expected an ordinary hike, I found an extraordinary adventure.

So, early one Sunday morning, ten set off for an adventure that none of us would soon forget. Our journey to the foot of the mountain did not take long. A short car ride, a quick wait for the ferry, a relaxing ferry ride, and another short ride, this time on a bus, and the footpath that lead up the mountain; the adventure had begun. When I began this climb, I assumed that I could handle the physical stress it would place on me; I assumed wrong. Reaching the top of the mountain all but exhausted me. By the time I arrived at the peak, my body ached, protesting at every unnecessary movement I ordered it to complete. With my body in such a condition, I greatly enjoyed the rest I had on the mountain peak.

It felt good to be on the top of Goat Fell, it gave me a sense of accomplishment to be able to say, “I climbed Goat Fell!” I have not climbed to many mountains and it felt good to sit on the top of that mountain, eating some lunch and rest, knowing that I had just completed what a great feat of physical strength. Little did I know that a true test of my endurance still lay ahead. Eventually, we decided to finish our journey and start our trek down the mountain. Still tired from the climb up, I headed down at a rather slow pace, ending up at the rear of our group. We had no problems going down until someone realized we should probably pick up the pace. His exact words being, “If we are going to make the five O’clock ferry we are going to have to significantly increase our speed.” We needed to run the remaining two miles, in other words.

Of course, my body told me that I should not start running, but I needed to catch that ferry. Ignoring common sense told my body to shut up and began to run. I ran, and I ran, and I ran, and with the ferry still not in sight, I kept running. Forest, field, and beautiful Scottish landscapes, failed to make an impression upon me as I struggled to simply put on foot in front of another in a timely fashion. The running eventually got to me, I had to stop, I could not go on. Never before had I pushed myself so hard, and no matter how much I wanted to catch that ferry, I knew in my current state completing this feat of endurance would not happen, I simply did not have the energy. With all my hope of returning home in time gone, I neared collapse, but at that moment, my savior appeared, this savior came in the form of a bus driver. Overjoyed as the bus stopped and allowed me to board, I lay on the seat, sweaty, tired, and a dull throbbing pain effulging my entire being.

Our ferry back provided me and the rest of my group some much needed rest. No one, not even the fittest amongst us had any energy left. We allowed silence to overtake us. Washing the salt and sweat (mostly salt) off my face, I enjoyed a soda and a much needed period of not using my feet. I had survived. As we sat on the ferry talking and drinking our beverages, I realized what I had just experienced would be a memory that I would cherish for years to come.


The Miner’s Journey

“Morning again. Morning means… breakfast,” Griwn the dwarf thought. After getting out of his bed, he made his way to the tavern’s common room for some breakfast. “Today I’ll finally reach the Steelcap Mountains,” he thought as he sat down at his table in the common room.

Sitting down Griwn ordered his usual fair: bacon, eggs, sausage and bread, all washed down with cold, refreshing apple cider. He put the sausage, bacon and eggs on the bread and made himself a sandwich. Griwn savored the meal since he would not get another meal cooked by Ian, the tavern’s chef, for several weeks. His meat had the exact right flavorings, grilled sausage never tasted so amazing. Ian claimed his great-grandfather had stolen the family bacon recipe from the gods themselves. Griwn believed him; never before had he tasted such amazing, such succulent bacon.

When he had eaten all the food on his plate, Griwn returned to his room instead of ordering a second round, as he had done so the past three days. He checked his gear, which he had carefully cared for all his days as a miner. Pickaxe, shovel, camping equipment, he had everything he would need once he reached the mountains and their iron-filled mines. Griwn also made sure his weapons still remained in good working order. Gertrude his custom made, custom scoped, dwarven longrifle, needed some cleaning. Picking the weapon up Griwn admiringly felt the smooth, well crafted weapon and looked at its sharp features and wonderful lines. Ever since the gnomes invented gunpowder rifles and muskets became the dominant weapon on the field of battle, but unlike other races the dwarves had a special relationship with their weapons

Griwn paid his bill and left the inn, again ready to walk the winding paths of the Empire. He had traveled these roads for decades now, moving from one mine to another, never staying more than a year or too. This nomadic lifestyle suited him, as it did many of his people. Griwn found the idea of travelling from one location to another, never staying in one place, but always on the move, irresistible. In love with travelling, Griwn did so constantly, always taking time to observe the sites, hear the sounds, and smell the wonderful fragrances of a long and rarely traveled highway, the smell of blooming flowers his ultimate favorite amongst.

He now looked about and took in the sights and sounds. Despite the hilliness of this part of the Empire, Griwn found himself surrounded by trees, beautiful, green leaves on every branch with the wind rustling through them. From time to time he would spot a rabbit, squirrel, or perhaps even a deer on this rarely-travelled path he now took. “Ah, the wonders of nature,” Griwn mused. Griwn happily took a minute to rest on the path. He took a seat on the ground, near a rock and ate a piece of jerky. Some sparrows landed near him and he watched them as they pecked at the ground and chirped. Simple pleasure like these sparrows always made Griwn’s journey’s all the more memorable.

As the day came to its close Griwn finally cleared the forest and came to the beginning of the mines. When a few lone prospectors had discovered iron in these mines, they discovered it here, at the foot of these grand and majestic mountains. Griwn originally avoided the Steelcaps because soon after the discovery of iron in the mountains dozens of mining companies had moved in, using cutthroat business tactics to make as much money as possible. These companies left little room for a small time operation like Griwn’s. But six months ago, after three years of hard work and labor, Griwn finally procured entrance into the Dwarven Miners Guild, and told his first assignment required him to report to the Guild leader at the Steelcaps.

With the forest finally clearing, Griwn glanced up at the mountains and became caught up in the breath-taking view of the mountains. “Beautiful,” he said, a smile on his bearded face. He then glanced at the sun, realizing that if he wanted to find his foreman before nightfall he would have to pick up the pace.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hell Hath No Fury Et All

Hell Hath No Fury Et All – Demon Hunter

I know this might sound ridiculous, but I can’t get over that line. It’s just… so amazing to think about.

Demon Hunter is a “Christian” “metalcore” (those are in quotes because I’ve never understood why we have to label all bands made up of Believers “Christian”, the second one because I disapprove of the genre label of Metalcore. It doesn’t make a lot of sense) band that I really like. Primarily they’re a band I appreciate because of their lyrical content versus their music. Ryan Clark, their vocalist and chief songwriter, primarily writes heavily Christian lyrics, but does so in a different fashion than many famous Christian bands/artists like Kutless or Third Day. As a metalcore band they tend to have rather aggressive lyrics, much of which are often growled or shouted. These lyrics often focus on war or struggles, and are always written from a Biblical perspective.

Anyways… so the line I have above, Hell Hath No Fury Et All, is the bridge of Storm the Gates of Hell. The song itself is really good, great lyrics and awesome style, but its that line in the song that resonates the most with me.

We live in a fallen world, and one that is in constant turmoil. In America people are losing their jobs because of a recession. In Africa people are dying in senseless wars that serve no purpose. In South Asia people are starving and dying because they don’t have access to proper medicine or health education… I could probably spend the majority of my time writing on this blog writing about the troubles of the world and still have plenty left over.

The reasons for this fallen world is, of course, mankind’s inherit sinfulness. Even if every man and women on earth served God we would still have many of these problems, though one would belief that they’d be significantly less.

However, much of the world does not serve God. Some of it in fact, is in direct opposition to God’s will and his commandments. From Atheistic professors who mock all religions to Islamic Clerics who preach their intolerant and unjust views. NOTE: I’m not saying all Atheists or Muslims are evil or anything. There are extremes to all beliefs and religions, even Christianity; these are just some examples that came to my mind. These people have set themselves up in direct opposition of our God and aligned themselves with the Devil and his minions. They serve no purpose other than to weaken the cause of Christ.

Now, while we are all called to love our neighbor and our neighbor are the Samaritans of this world (that is to say, people whom we hate and despise), people need to realize that ideas of those who preach against God and the Bible must be refutted. I don’t necessarily mean debates or open discussions, actions (such doing things that certain religions/creeds/beliefs do not allow or accept) can often speak louder than words. However, people need to realize that Satan rules this world and he doesn’t want mankind to have a happy life with God. Furthermore, mankind is a fallen race and that as such many humans will refuse to see the light and in fact oppose it at all possible turns.

Demon Hunter sees this and through their music encourages their listeners to fight against the enemy. Now, like I said, they don’t mean literal physical attacks and armies or something, they mean fighting their ideas, their lies and their false thinking. Where unbelievers kill, steal, lie and hate, Believers must remember to heal, give, tell the truth, and love.

Now, I’m sure many (if not most) Believers do in fact heal, give, tell the truth and love quite often. And I know its discouraging to see all our hard work go to waste. What is the point of teaching a man how to farm when he can’t buy seeds to plant? What is the point of giving health care to a family when they refuse to change their health-damaging ways? What is the point of loving a man when he refuses to love back? Etc. In moments like that, we need to remember: Hell Hath No Fury At All.

Despite the fact that at times our actions seem pointless, hopeless, and fruitless, Hell Hath No Fury Et All. No matter what Satan or the Forces of Darkness do, no matter how many times a person rejects the Gospel and in fact fights against it and the principles it stands for, Hell Hath no Fury Et All. In the end, Jesus WILL come, Jesus WILL reign and peace WILL be restored. Our world WILL become perfect and happy and if you believe in Christ then you have no reason to fear or despair, because Satan already lost 2000 years ago. Hell Hath No Fury Et All.

Just thought I’d share that with you.


Well recently, I’ve been playing some Werewolf games on the internet.

What is werewolf? Well this game was first introduced to me as Mafia a long time ago by some people in Thailand while we were on vacation. In mafia the game is divided into two rounds: day and night. During the day all the players get one vote and can vote to kill a player. During the night certain players with special roles get to do various actions.

Now, in mafia, there are two teams: the mafia and the villagers. The mafia (usually 2ish of them) must kill all the villagers, (and can kill one player of their choice every night. As well as voting during the day) while the villagers must find out who mafia are. On the side of the villagers is the sheriff and the doctor. The sheriff can investigate one person every night to discover if they are the mafia or not. The doctor can choice to protect one person every night and if that person is targeted by the mafia they will not die, but live because the doctor arrived at the scene of the crime just before the person who was attacked was killed.

So anyways… this game was always played in real time face to face with other people. Roles were dealt with via playing cards and the game generally moved fast and the mafia rarely won. However, I also learned of a different version of mafia called werewolf:

Werewolf is basically mafia but with a fantasy village setting rather than a small town setting. The roles are the same but there are extra ones: the lovers (one dies, both die) the village idiot (if he dies, he can kill someone as well), etc.

Anyways, so I discovered that one website I visit regurlarly, (primarily for the webcomics) has lots of werewolf games going via PBP. (these games can be seen under the “structured games” subforum of the “Silly message board games” forum. I’m registered as toasty on this website if anyone cares) I started playing in these and after two somewhat boring, but still decently fun games and one game where I got to play the devil (similar to the sheriff except I am a wolf (mafia) and my “investigations” reveal a players role, not if he is a werewolf/mafia or not) and managed to have some good fun because one of the werewolves managed to convice everybody he was a villager (we killed the villager’s seer (sheriff) and baner (doctor) in the first few rounds of the game very easily, primarily because they trusted the wrong person in the early game) and thus we won.

Now I’m in another two games and loving them both. I’m a villager, so while I don’t have any special role to play I’m beginning to see the intricacies of how the game works and learning to trust no one except myself and the like. One of these games is really crazy right now… I’ve changed my vote like 3 times and everyone agrees that the game has become really confusing. Best part is we’re only on day two! :D

What I think makes these werewolf games so fun is the fact that because they are doing via PBP instead of real time there is a lot more elements of deception and logic and stuff. People have time to plan their actions, look at how other people have voted and work out who is lying and who isn’t. This kind of stuff can be done in a face to face werewolf game, but it often generates into random “I think its Isaac!” with no logic to back the statement up.

And… I need to get to bed.