Grudges are a waste of time. They accomplish nothing and only make you unhappy. So don’t hold grudges — especially against yourself.
The character has one or more bases of operation, equipped with supplies and equipment reasonable for the character’s background and skills. If the character is a member of a team, the base(s) might be shared with the other team members, at the player’s discretion. A headquarters is primarily a convenience for the GM and a fun asset for the character. It is not generally useful in combat, and is mainly used for flavor and a setting for roleplaying. For example, a high-tech base might have an air-tight security system, complete with laser turrets and knockout gas, but this won’t keep the base from being broken into by villains or taken over by an evil computer virus.
My black Swingline stapler broke a week ago, and I finally got around to buying a new one today. When I got home and was looking at the packaging, I noticed that it had a limited lifetime warranty. Wondering if my old stapler was also under warranty, I called the 800 number on the package.
After navigating through the menu, I finally reached a human being: a young woman, judging by her voice.
“ACCO Brands customer service. How may I help you?”
“Hi. I have a Swingline stapler, and it broke, and I was wondering if it was covered under warranty.”
“What is the model of the stapler?”
“It says Model 646 on the bottom.”
“And how long have you owned the stapler?”
“About fifteen years.”
… pause …
“Are you serious?”
“Yes, I am being serious.”
… pause …
“Okay… I think the warranty on that is one year, but let me check… Ah. That has a lifetime warranty. We will send you a new stapler. May I have your address?”
So I gave her my address, and she said the stapler should arrive in seven to ten days.
Now that’s a warranty.
I read an article a while back comparing how Japanese people express emotion in public to how Americans express emotion in public. The gist of it was that Americans tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves, while Japanese people generally don’t. That’s probably not news to anyone with a passing familiarity with Japanese media.
However, an interesting side effect of this is how Americans and Japanese people tend to interpret the emotions of others, based on what the other person is expressing. Japanese people, according to the study I was reading, tend to assume that people are feeling more than they are displaying, when compared to how Americans would interpret the same person’s behaviour. There is (according to that study) a common cultural bias in Japan, and everyone adjusts their perceptions up accordingly. Or, to put it another way, there is a common cultural bias toward excessive displays of emotion in the United States, and Americans reduce their perception of the other person’s emotional state accordingly.
(I am giving the study I read astonishingly short shrift. If you want a scholarly evaluation, there have been a number of studies done on the topic, and you’ll have no trouble finding some.)
This came to mind recently when someone assumed I was insulting them when I expressed enthusiasm over something. I said, effectively, “This is awesome! Check this out!”. The other person interpreted this as, “You are an idiot if you don’t try this!”
I freely admit that I sometimes get wound up about things — quite often, things that have no real importance. I am a fount of misplaced enthusiasm.
However, if I think someone is an idiot, I generally say so. My personal bias is that I say pretty much what I think, and I expect that others are doing the same. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about whether people are sincere: I assume they are until I find out differently. I think this is a good way to live. If you trust too much, you will occasionally be deceived, but you will live in torment if you cannot trust enough.
However, I have known for many years that not everyone shares this cultural bias. Some people do, in fact, mean “you’re an idiot if you don’t like waffles” when they say “I like waffles”. And so, they expect that other people mean that, too. They project onto others their own nature.
I think that’s really sad. I can’t imagine how dismal it must be to live in a world like that.
Rested for a while, and I’m feeling marginally better. Stomach is still uneasy, but perhaps it will settle down. Wondering whether eating something would be a good idea or a bad idea. Today was almost a total loss. Aside from a fifteen-minute bit of philosophizing around lunchtime, I don’t think I accomplished a single useful thing today. Which is bad. And I seriously doubt I will rectify the situation this evening. Still so nauseous…
But tomorrow is a new day! I’ll get an early start, tackle a project that I have been banging my head on for much too long, finish it, and start the weekend knowing that I have accomplished something!
In honor of my upset stomach, queasiness, and general malaise, I bring you “I’m so sick”.
I am going to post a photo of a coffee mug every day in August, and talk a little bit about where we got it and why I like it.
This is a very large Star Wars mug, given to me by my mother for Christmas last year. I am and always have been a huge Star Wars nerd. I saw Star Wars (not “Episode 4″, not “A New Hope” — that crap came much later) when it opened, and over a dozen times more before I was 11.
As it happened, Susan and I watched the Phantom Menace this afternoon. First we watched the Red Letter Media review, which is both hilarious and insightful. Then we watched Hitler’s reaction to the Phantom Menace, which is, surprisingly, also hilarious and insightful.
In a strange bit of synchronicity, we had Black Swan (another Natalie Portman movie) on Netflix sitting here, so we watched that afterward. Strange film. It reminded me of American Psycho — what is real, and what is in the main character’s imagination? I won’t give anything away, but I will say that Black Swan is slightly less surreal than American Psycho.
Netflix recently announced that their prices will increase slightly in August, which is too bad, but not really a source of major concern for me. On the other hand, they separated the streaming cost from the DVD cost, and since Netflix foolishly and inexplicably uses Microsoft Silverlight for their streaming, their streaming service is unavailable to the bazillions of Linux users — including me. I was therefore able to cancel the streaming service (which I am unable to use), thus reducing the cost of my Netflix subscription ($3 less than its current cost, $8 less than its post-increase cost). In other words, Netflix lost $8 per month from me by not supporting Linux.
I love you Netflix, but crippling your service by using Microsoft Silverlight was a stupid, stupid move.
I took a brief break from my awesome (but slightly behind schedule) project this morning, and had a conversation about the Kentucky Fried Chicken “Double Down“.
Me: I still say the Double Down is not a new thing. It’s just two perfectly ordinary things eaten simultaneously rather than sequentially. It’s as original and innovative as eating french fries two at a time.
At which point I wondered: Why do I feel the need to mock something someone else likes? Why do I even care? When did I became so negative? Was I always like this? And the thing is, I think I was. I recall thinking this exact thing before: that I don’t want to be bitter. I have resolved to be more upbeat.. how many times?
It would be easy to blame the rest of humanity. There’s no shortage of people who are vapid, grasping, immoral, or irrational (or all four — but I’m not naming names). There’s plenty of ammunition for someone looking to complain.
But complaining about stupidity and evil certainly doesn’t make me any happier. And it doesn’t accomplish much. Complaining about other people’s irrational beliefs is as likely to change their opinion as complaining about other people’s driving is likely to get them to use their turn signals. Sure, it’s fun to read about clowns mocking racists, but there are beliefs every bit as irrational and reprehensible as racism that are far more common, but mock those and you’ll have family members and treasured friends un-friending you on Facebook. So what’s the point? You can’t change anything. It’s like trying to convince the winter to turn to spring. If it happens, arguing and complaining won’t make it happen any faster: it just makes the winter less pleasant while you wait.
And hell, I belief all sorts of nutty things. Who am I to judge?
When I was younger, being cynical made me feel hip and edgy. Now it just makes me feel old. But it’s a hard habit to break.
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“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.”
— Robert H. Schuller