Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Blog

I started this blog... four years ago. Its been a good run, a really good blog. I've posted a lot of stuff and enjoying sharing my life with whatever tiny number of people read this. However, I think I need to move on. I'm gonna be starting a new blog at a new URL. To be honest, its primarily because I want to change the blog name. I'm no longer masterofweirdness. Sure that's still my email, but emails are harder to change, and have another account name as well that I use, plus my School email.

Also: I'm at a different point in my life, and this transition requires... yea... a new blog.

So yea... I'm gonna start a new blog, the link is: lordtoasty.blogspot.com I just posted my first post.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

LoL WCG 2010

So LoL WCG is over. A few things I'd like to say about the games:

First of all, Europe was a one trick pony, and honestly, that's rather disgraceful. Now, I admit its better being a good one-trick pony instead of a bad jack-of-all trades that SEA tried. But nonetheless, in the finals, they showed how bad their playstyle was against a solid, smart team. Sure, Twisted Fate is apparently a hugely powerful hero, but one ban should never shut your team down that badly.

Secondly, South East Asia (SEA) needs, needs, needs, to get better. They certainly redeemed themselves in the 3rd place match, beating China, but I was embarrassed by their play in the Round Robin and the Semi-Finals. They displayed the skills I would expect of a mid-ELO pub team. Something like the DotA teams they compete in Dhaka. My cafe in Dhaka has a darn good DotA team, arguably the best in Bangladesh, and that's awesome. But this WCG. SEA obviously did not have the skill to be playing at this level against the battle-hardened Western teams. That needs to change right away. SEA needs to get its act together and build some seriously skilled and talented teams.

Finally, I'm really proud of North America. Yes, I was rooting for SEA, but North America winning is almost as good. I think it says something that America was able to so quickly identify and shut-down SK Gaming (Europe). What I can't wait for now is ElementZ (of CLG, Team North America at WCG) to update his tier listing, which will no doubt be quite different, I think there will be some serious change ups.

All I can say is that its been a great experience, watching some of these League of Legend matches live. Its been embarrassing and awesome this weekend. I have confidence that South East Asia will get its act together over these next twelve months, and I hope they will bring with them a powerful and expert style of play. I'm happy that North America beat out the rest of the world in this tournament and I hope that CLG and the other high-tier American teams continue to put on a great show.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So, few things...

I just took a Quiz in American Grammar. First of all, the quiz was easy. Second of all, it stressed me like crazy. I think it doesn't help that I always think I'm average in a class, when I know that's not true in a lot of situations. But then people start talking about how “hard” the class is and I'm sitting kinda confused... yea... I didn't really study that much for this quiz. No, I didn't really read the chapters that the quiz was over (yes, I did read them, but not in depth. I saw one guy had highlighted stuff. I NEVER highlight).

I have a mid-term in this class on Monday, another Mid-term in another class this Friday. I'm freaked out about both, but I also know I'll do... fine. I remember when I took the SAT and the ACT, I was as stressed as hell, nervous, jittery, butterflies, EVERYTHING. Then I started the test, calmed down and did great. Yea, I don't like that, but it's apparently the way I do things.

In other news: I'm learning how to play tanks, proper, top tier tanks, in League of Legends. I like playing tanks. I think of my problems with a lot of heroes is that while a hero like say... Ashe or Trist is fun (everyone likes to play carries), they're rather hard to play really, really well. Ashe needs a massive farm to do anything. I mean, if you assume you get 20 gold from each creep wave, that's 120 gold a wave, you need to kill 20 waves straight before you can think about slowing your farm down. You need to farm either 200+ creeps in a thirty minute game, or get a LOT of hero kills.

On the other hand, if you play a hero like Shen, you don't need as much farm. Get a Omen, Merc treads and yea... you're good. Sure, supporty heroes in LoL are still more farm dependent than your standard DotA support but they aren't as farm dependent as carries. Additionally, farming is easier in LoL, so a tank can get good farm pretty easily.

So yea, I'm gonna save up for Shen, now that I have my Warwick runes all set, then I need to buy Amumu. Oh, and I also want to try Xin Zhao and Taric at some point. And Sona, most likely.

WCG Finals are this weekend. ^_^

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yea, I haven't blogged in a while, not sure how long, sorry about that. Its not that I've been too busy to blog, but that I can't be bothered to blog.

Anyways, this is my 4th week of “college life” at St. Edwards University. I moved into my dorm, attended Orientation, signed up for classes, and after several fun days of getting to know some people, began school.

As of yet, nothing has been too hard. Its been easier than I imagined, and I keep waiting for the hammer to drop and for me to start begging for mercy or something. Yesterday I actually got to the point where I didn't... have anything to do but play video games by 4PM, which has never been the case. I got one homework assignment... and yea... it wasn't very much work.

So I'm taking 5 classes: The Printed Page and the Silver Screen, which is a literature/Film class that is... passable. It gets away with having irksome subject matter by having a lot of discussion (its an honors class, they like discussion in such classes) and fun people to discuss with. My American Grammar class is interesting, we're doing lot of diagramming and stuff, which I'm finding fun (!) for the first time. Ms. Gaines, you failed, sadly, to teach me diagramming very well. Then I have College Algebra, for which I will take my first major test at 1PM, hopefully that goes well. Its math, I don't like math, whatever. Then I have my “Freshman Studies” classes which are Rhet and Comp 1 (English 101, boring) and Current Events and Political Controversies. Political Controversies basically is 200 people (yea, biggest class I'll ever have) get together in a room and our prof makes us discuss (in small groups and standing up and saying some stuff relevant to the topic at hand) various Controversial topics. I just did an assignment on the current military policy regard Homosexuals.

And that, that brings me to the main reason why I'm blogging right now. See, now, how to do say this...
the discussion question we had in class was: “Is Freedom to marry whom you wish an individual right, or does society have a legitimate interest in regulating marriage?”

So, basically, can I marry whoever I want, or do I have to follow the standards of my society? Immediately, I realized that of course society has a interest in regulating EVERYTHING, and that, furthermore, if a society is trying to make their society better (in their opinions) then I'd call that a legitimate interest. However, this brings me to a problem: what do I do about societies that have different values than me? To the point that these societies may openly practice or allow behavior I consider immoral and unbiblical? For instance, currently, in my States, in most “societies” in the United States, Gay Marriage is illegal. This is changing, in some places, and it may get to the point where Gay Marriage is legal all over America. As someone who believes Homosexuality is immoral, this makes me sad. I don't want homosexuals in my society, as people who can actually make laws and challenge the ideals and principles of my society because I believe that they, as homosexuals will have an unbiblical worldview and that unbiblical worldview will be reflected in their preferred laws and principles. Its the same reason I count a person's lifestyle, including religious beliefs, against them if they differ from my own in regards to political decision-making.

However, the thing is, while I'm against Homosexuality I don't exactly see the problem with Gay Marriage. Okay, I'll be honest and say if I had to vote for or against Gay Marriage I would probably vote against it just because... yea... homosexuality isn't my thing.

But this opens another can of worms. In the times of Jesus, Tax Collectors were corrupt thieves, yet Jesus loved them and counted some of them among his closest friends (Matthew). He didn't condemn the lot of them as men stealing from their brothers and cousins, as most of them did, he loved them. Jesus didn't stone the adulteress, he forgave her sins and told her to stop sinning. Jesus has a legitimate interest in punishing the sins of people, but he outright condemned a very select number of people, basically the Pharisees (he didn't like what some guys did to the Temple Outer Courts, and called them thieves/robbers, so I guess that counts too). However, the Jesus I get the picture of is a man who loved first, and then dealt out judgment later, much later, in fact.

At the same time, Society has a legitimate interest in protecting itself from views that directly conflict with its own. As a person committed to building a Biblical Society, I am have a legitimate interest in preventing the spread of homosexuality and don't think homosexual marriage should be legitimate. However, my problem is, again and again, how do we let people, sinful people, be sinners, make their own choices (as God himself did in the Garden of Eden) without endangering ourselves. When do we cross the line and say “This is wrong! This will damage our society!” When do we stop the people of Bangladesh from mistreating their women? When do we stop the druggies from destroying their bodies? How do we stop them? How a society thinks reflects how a society acts, and a society that allows gay marriage, apparently, has no problem with homosexuality. That's my problem. I'm opposed to homosexuality, but I can't... I can't bring myself to the point where I can honestly say with 100% certainty that we shouldn't give homosexuals the same legal rights (Which is really what this is about. Its not about forcing churches to marry people its about Homosexual couples getting the same healthcare benefits, etc, that heterosexual, married, couples get). I don't want these people to be making the laws of the nation, but in country like the United States, I have the choice to vote for who I want and hope they will do what they promised me (I can vote them out of office if they don't...).

I think things like drugs and homosexuality are harder to deal with than Abortion. Abortion is murder and it physically harms a person who has no say in their death. Homosexuality, directly, effects no one. What is dangerous about homosexuality is that when a society, as a general whole, accepts such behavior they become a sinful society. Sodom and Gomorrah didn't exactly have a happy ending, neither did any society that allow open homosexuality (I don't have the evidence to back it up, but I've been told, and I believe it, that every society that has openly allowed homosexual behavior has eventually crashed and burned horribly). As an American citizen, I'm obviously concerned that my nation might follow Sodom and Gamorrah and other such nations. I'm already convinced America will not be the nation it is today when my kids are my age, but that doesn't mean I can try to prevent that.

Such a declaration also brings up the interesting question that, as a TCK, should I really invest all my energy in America? But that's a question for another time...

So, in conclusion, I'm torn here. I want to be the man that Jesus was, the man that showed love towards everyone, even the worst of sinners (the women at the well? Talk about scandalous!). But I also want to be the man that Jesus was and be firm in my principles and not... not let Satan destroy the world. And so yea... how do I do that? Where do you draw the line between love and judgment? Between condemning sinners to the punishment that they deserve and loving them? Old Testament law called for the death of homosexuals and the death of adulterous persons, but Jesus forgave such people (well, adulterers, there is no mention of homosexuals in the Gospels, to my knowledge). Its... its a really, really interesting question.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Transition Seminar Thoughts, Day 1

So I’m at my “Transition Seminar” here in Colorado Springs. I have a splitting headache due to dehydration and altitude sickness, as well as a sore throat, but I’m having a good time.

First of all… I wasn’t sure why I came to this place, and I still don’t have everything yet, but its been very successful for now. I think one thing to say is that, obviously, I’m in Transition and I have a feeling that not only this week here in Colorado, but also the next few weeks leading up to my first day of classes in Austin will be very important. Right now what I’d say is that last time I had something this significant happen to me was two years ago in Scotland while my parents did the LDC. That was an amazing time and that was an amazing event, so I’m excited to again be part of such an event.

Thinking about Scotland, I am actually reminded of that experience in a lot of ways, some of the dynamics were different, and I was there for different reasons, but I have to say that I am very happy that I’m here.

So, first of all, this Transition Seminar is for people like me, TCKs, who are now in the process of Transitioning from living in a culture that is not their passport culture into their passport culture. So, we set up the basics of “Who We are.” Fun stuff like how many languages we speak, how many countries we’ve gone too, how many times we’ve moved houses. This morning and this afternoon we discussed so more important stuff, starting with the basic of “What is a TCK?”

Now, I sorta had a definition of a TCK, but I think what happened for me this time was that my definition was expanded. TCKs are not only people who lived outside of their passport country’s culture, but are in fact, a separate culture themselves. TCKs are people who accept and identify with all cultures, but feel at home, truly at home and truly comfortable, in no culture, except of course the culture of other TCKs.

I think that’s probably one of the more awesome things that hit me today. Not only am I a TCK, but I am part of a nation of people like me. Now, not to say that I didn’t enjoy Bangladesh, or that I don’t expect my time in America to be, overall, a good thing, but it hit me that I now know where I can have an identity, where my culture resides. Sure, there may not be a specific country or city or town, but there is a group of people who are, no matter what their passport says, part of my culture.

Now, when I realized that, I gotta say something really did click in my brain. I think a lot of you know that I have and probably always will, struggle with rejection. Now, again, I don’t think I was ever, exactly, or particularly, rejected when I lived in Bangladesh, I don’t expect to be rejected in College exactly or particularly (it could happen, I don’t think it will), but I think when I realized what a TCK was, and how we are our own people group, our own culture, I realized that I have been accepted, and that I will be accepted within my own people group.

And this is the interesting thing, by passport I am American, and, I want that association, for better or for worse. I like the fact that I am, after a fashion, American, and that is a heritage that I want to take with me, but, I feel more comfortable saying I’m a TCK and seeking a peer group of TCKs rather than Americans. I would say the same of my heritage from India and Bangladesh, I like those countries and I want what I have from them, but I’m not Bangladeshi, I’m not Indian.

So… I’m a TCK, and I’m really, really excited about the thought of being a TCK and continuing to use that to my advantage.

Another thought that hit me today, both as I was talking with someone else here and also as I was listening to the teaching/session/hearing the voice of God, was several thoughts that went back to Scotland and some of the things people told me in Scotland.

I am, and I will be, a nation-builder. I think now, for the first time in a while I’m getting a picture of what that means. Also, I remember when Jan told me that I was called to be, after a fashion, a missionary to my own nation. However, I want to link that statement (links within links, ha) to a thought my dad once taught/shared. God, for whatever reason, has this fascination with the Nations going to the Nations. My parents were called from America to South Asia to serve God. They would have had an easier time working America, perhaps, but there is a spiritual dynamic and something magical about Nations leaving their Nation and going to other Nations. Now, think about this, as a TCK, I am not part of the Nation of America from a cultural perspective. So, to link this back to Jan’s words, I will be a missionary to my own country, but I still get that magical, that spiritual dynamic that happens when the Nations go to the Nations. Awesome.

Secondly, I realized something about nation building. One of the problems inherent with Nations going to the Nations is that each nation has their own way of doing things. Now, that doesn’t mean one is perhaps right or better. That is, of course, sometimes the case, but it’s not always. This was just a random thought that popped into my head, but, “Will I be a better nation builder because I am a TCK, a person of many nations?” And another one is, “how does, and who will, my own culture effect the way I build nations?”

So yea, that’s what I’ve been thinking about over these past two sessions. I’ll probably write more stuff later tonight or tomorrow. Expect a lot, because a lot is happening.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Starcraft II

So, Starcraft II is now in my possession. Yes, I now own what may be the most important RTS release of the decade.

Now, Starcraft II has been in development for a LONG time. The original was released in 1998 and is recognized as one of the premier strategy games of our time, arguably the greatest, and for sure the longest lasting. With people still playing Starcraft VERY seriously it’s no wonder that a lot of people watched everything that Blizzard did with a lot of criticism.

Blizzard removed LAN, they divided the Single-player into 3 separate games, they require online-activation, the want you online the entire time you’re playing the game, the entire RealID fiasco, etc. Blizzard has had a lot of PR systems that have messed them up, but I think most people are being far too severe.

Starcraft II is amazing. Blizzard is still one of the best Video Game Studios in existence, and they’re still making amazing games. Yes, the game costs $60. Yes, it has online activation, yes you aren’t getting a Zerg or Protoss campaign (YET!) and yes, RealID was arguably the stupidest thing any video game company has ever envisioned, but beyond all of that, beyond all the PR mistakes and Nerd Rage Blizzard has encountered, I think that Blizzard has created a great video game that, assuming Multiplayer Balance, will have the staying power of Starcraft, Warcraft III and World of Warcraft. This is Blizzard people, and I think it’s a bit of a shame they’ve received all the criticism they have. Some of it is valid (RealID, and perhaps even no LAN) but some of it (3 games, Online Activation), I don’t think that’s an issue. Blizzard knows their market and their market is gonna be with how they dealt with everything.

And now, I’m gonna play Starcraft II.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

More DMore LoL, Music

So, I think I';ve figured out who I can play in LoL pretty confidently without fear of being bad or anything. Probably my best hero is Warwick, who I can play pretty well on both 5v5 and 3v3. At this point I changing my build up a bit. Normally, I was building Madred's Bloodrazor pretty much every time as my main item, but I'm thinking that unless I play a tank/HP heavy team, its not worth it, so usually I'm just building Madred's Razor and then a Black Cleaver, then if I get the super farm I'll build Infinity Edge, but that rarely happens.

After Warwick, my next Phsyical Carry and my primary mid Solo is Ashe. Ashe is, honestly, the best easiest hero in the game. She is just so freaking good. Put in the mid, farm up your basic build (Regrowth into Philospher's, Swiftness, Vamp. Scepter), then work on Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer. The super build is stack Bloodthirsters.

My secondary heroes are support: Kayle and Soraka. Soraka is almost always banned so once I start playing ranked (they raised the level requirements to 30... I'm not. Ugh) again I probably won't see much of her. Having said that, I really like Soraka and she is an epic support hero. Finally there is Kayle who I play hybrid DPS/Support Caster, Nashor's Tooth and Guinsoo's Rageblade.

I don't have a real team yet, but I know a few cool guys who have a pretty good idea of the metagame and how to build teams. We're not brilliant, but we're not horrible either. The main thing is they are nice and don't insult you, which is something that I value highly. There are so many idiots on the internet. -_-

On the music side, I've listened to Children 18:3's 2nd album and I've decided that it is really pretty good. At first I thought it was a bit too Mainstream in its sound, but now that I've listened to it quite a bit I think its a pretty solid Punk Rock album. Yes, it is more mainstream than their previous album, but its also a better album. The vocals are amazing, with strong punk sounds. Several of the songs scream, "MOSH TO THIS" and have all sorts of energy. As the previous album, they have witty and entertaining lyrics: its a great album.

And well, that's about all for now. Starcraft II comes out soon, so I'll probably start playing that and take a break from League of Legends. I can't wait for that, it'll be awesome. :D