Ikariam – Don’t Bother

I have been playing a simple online game called Ikariam for about a month or so, when out of the blue I am banned with this very informative and detailed message (click to enlarge and read):

Ikariam - Don’t Bother


I’m not going to link to it because I don’t want to encourage anyone to go and play it. It’s a simplistic ripoff of Civilisation (which is a great turn based game), but it had its moments of mild enjoyment. The reason I a so annoyed is that they never contacted me with any form of message to tell me what warranted the ban, there are no contact details or any form of communication I can access to talk to them, and I have no idea what “for the time being” means.

I checked over their rules and conditions and the only think I could put it down to was that a mate was over here and we created an account for him and he played for a bit while I played. I think in their legalese they say something about having to notify them to get permission to do this. Honestly, who does read all that cr@p? My slip in studying their rules in intimate detail aside, anyone with half a brain would provide a warning, or at least tell me why I am banned, and for how long.

Now – instead I am going to avoid anything made by GameForge and their dodgy affiliates (free or otherwise), and tell anyone who will listen not to waste their time with their smelly pile of digital dog cr@p.

Frets on Fire – More Addictive Fun

In my recently aquired addiction for all things Guitar Hero (‘GH’ for the true fans) related, I have come across an excellent free GH clone called Frets on Fire. It does not have the flashiness of the GH series, or the battle modes etc, but if you are thirsting for some guitar action on the pc, then this is definitely it. The best thing of all, is that you can just use the humble PC keyboard to do it! You can download a lot of free songs, or convert your own with their editor so there is no end to the choices of music, which is a definite plus of the GH series, where you are restricted to their music selection, with the option of purchasing a few select song packs from their site. Ive shown it to a few people and they are hooked too!

Whispering to Ghosts

I’m a bit of a fan of The Ghost Whisperer. I like it partly for the the pleasure of watching Jennifer Love Hewitt walking around on screen, and partly because of the supernatural theme of the show, and partly because of their almost cliche’d “Highway to Heaven” style of tear extraction methods. It’s a nice and fun show, and it has some nice messages.

The Ghost Whisperer follows a fairly straight forward formula. Ghost appears, usually mysteriously, causes a few scares, then Melinda (played by Jennifer Love) does some sleuthing to find out who the person is. This is usually followed by her seeking advice from a friend or relative. The friend or relative gets mad at her for dragging up the memory of the dead person. She talks to her husband, co-worker, the local parapsychology professor (is’nt there one in every small town?!), and usually the ghost, all who give her perspective on the situation. She then approaches the friend/relative with some token of proof that she is whom she claims to be. “How could you possibly know that?!” statements usually follow. Then she addresses the problem that is keeping the spirit earth bound, resolves the outstanding conflict, and the ghost moves on, while Jennifer Love and the audience shed a few tears, and learn a few lessons about human nature.

But it also gets me angry sometimes because it also teaches a few not so nice lessons about human nature. I know that the writers and producers (Jennifer Love among them) do not intend this, and I mean no disrespect to them. What gets me mad is that here is this beautiful and well meaning person going out of her way to help other people solve their problems and make their lives better, and all she is met with is anger and scorn.

Sure, people would probably think she is a kook at first for walking up to them and saying “your spouse / brother / sister / dad etc is dead, but I can see their spirit, and can you help me to help them move on“. They counter with “what the hell is your problem lady, and whatever you are selling, I’m not buying“. A fairly expected response. But when she tells them she does not want anything, it’s still an uphill battle.

Melinda Gordon has the patience of a saint. I would have long ago said “Stuff you! If you want my help, here is my card, and here are some references of people I have helped. When you are ready to pull your head out of your ass, come and see me and I may help you.” If I was feeling generous. Or, if the ghost was really bugging me, then it would probably be the reading of the riot act to the living relative or friend, and definintely not as nice.

Its sad firstly that even the writers are inclined to pen that most people are so selfish and rude to act that angrily in the first place (not discounting that it adds to the drama of the show), and secondly that this kind and selfless person continually gets abuse from all angles for what she does (see previous comment about drama).

If it was the real world, she would probably be in jail for trespass, break and enter, or even stalking, or she would be in a mental hospital forcably receiving “treatment”. And if she was in the real world, she would definitely not be as kind and patient to all of these angry and selfish people anymore! Thirdly, the show highlights the glaring flaw in humanity that so many people live their lives with little regard for others, until its too late to do anything about it.

Regardless, you should give the show a chance, if for no other reason than to perve at Jennifer Love Hewitt, or maybe to recieve a little television based therapy, and a few lessons in humanity.

Home Renovations Update

Vanity.jpg Admittedly, I have been slack over the summer, but it’s time I got back into some projects that I have had planned.

Im currently getting quotes for a new drive way and carport (OMG – cement is EXPENSIVE!), and have started doing some designs for new built in wardrobes, and a new bathroom vanity unit.

I have designed them in Google SketchUp, its a fantastic program for quickly drawing up 3D models of stuff, and best of all, its free!