>"You keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

>I’m beginning to believe that half of all arguments in good faith are based off of folks not meaning the same thing when they say something.

Example: most of my friends here on the ship believe that most of the US is homophobic. I bristle at that based on the use of a psudo-psychiatric word to describe a point of view, since they consider evidence of this “opposition to gay marriage.”

Ok, then we’re also Mormon-a-phobes for not letting THEM marry anyone(s) they want, we’re incest-a-phobes for not letting lecher fathers marry their daughters, andwe’re Islama-phobes for not letting extremist Muslims blow up anybody they wish.

Or, perhaps, there are other reasons for these reactions besides “an irrational fear or hatred.”
(I do try not to assign evil intents to those who disagree with me. For example, I prefer to think that pro-abortion folks really don’t realize, at a gut level, that they are killing a human being. That’s straight science, for anybody who just bristled– but I’ve got sympathy for your reaction, as much as I abhor your view. If I wasn’t a ranch kid I’d probably agree with you.)

Perhaps, in the case of gay marriage, the fact that the original reason for marriage is to religiously join a man and a woman to have children? Traditionally, marriage didn’t even have to involve love– it usually developed, I’d like to believe, but it was a social contract between families.
Government is involved because most religions don’t talk to each other, so you need someone to keep track for legal problems. (This is a major simplification. Down, boy.)
At least in the Catholic Rites, it’s not required that you be able to have children to be married, just that you be able to have natural sex that, if all was well, would result in children. (check http://www.jimmyakin.org, he’s got posts on it and explains better than I do.)

There is no tradition of homosexual marriage. It wasn’t even thought of until very, very recently, and there is no real purpose to it. The best argument I’ve seen is “to make it easier for their partner to inherit/see them in the hospital.” So make a will or change the laws about who gets to see who when deathly ill. Don’t monkey around with a tradition as old as civilization.

Well, that was a tangent. Back to the point! They swear that the cities are “vast boiling cauldrons of anti-homosexual hatred.” (My words, after listening to them for about ten minutes. All five thought a moment, then nodded their heads and said “yeah, most cities. There’s a few that aren’t. Like San Fran.”)

They then proceeded to tell me that I didn’t know this because I grew up in the country, and country people are a lot friendlier. This is odd, because I grew up around a lot of homosexuals, and most of them griped a great deal about how terrible the country was for gay folks as compared to the city. Notably, they didn’t move back to the city full-time.

The main examples my friends came up with to prove how terrible the cities were tended to be stories about a homosexual guy walking into a bar and getting beat up and tossed out. It’s assumed it’s because he’s gay. What if he was just a drunk jerk? Here’s a story: two long-haired guys walk into a cowboy bar. A half hour later, one of them runs out, but the other is caught and beaten so badly that by the time the other comes back, he’s on the porch with his eye in a cup.

Is it because they were a couple?

No, it’s because my quasi-hippy uncle has a life-long bestest-buddy who started insulting the cowboys.
(Uncle won’t say what he said, so it was probably an insult to a female in the bar) That best-buddy is why I call that uncle my “one-eyed crazy uncle.” (It’s fitting, really, although his kids may or may not agree. Not sure about his wife—I love her because she’s family, but he must love her like life itself, because she’ kinda hard to get along with. First thing she ever said to me, as an individual: “do you know that you have the thin, bloodless lips of a natural born killer?”)

For those of you gearing up to say they’re a couple: my mom really didn’t like this guy. She would have mentioned if he was Unk’s boyfriend, and you can’t hide that from a pest of a little sister. Not to mention that Granny would have had a heart attack.

Back to the topic: so, nobody is using the same words to mean the same thing, then they fight over what they THINK they said.

What triggered this post? The example one of the guys came up with to my arguing back: “it’s like trying to convince a Christian that God didn’t create the Earth.”

How much do you want to bet that he meant that he doesn’t believe in a 24-hours to the day week of creation? (Which very few folks believe in anyways.)
Personally, I don’t really care how He made the Earth, or how He made people. I just care that he DID it.

Although I do rather like to poke holes if I think folks are being smug about a false theory…. (Nope, not convinced by classic evolution. I can see the whole fins-to-arms-sometimes-back-to-fins-sometimes-wings stuff, but where do you get extra legs showing up? Or the first fin-thing? I don’t disbelieve in it—but you know, I don’t disbelieve in elves, either.)

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>For those who have military loved ones:

>This is a guide on what they can and cannot tell you about where they are and what they’re doing, assuming that there is no other classified reason for them to be silent.

(It’s from the plan of the day from my ship, and I thought it might be liked.)

3. OPSEC NOTE: The following operational information is considered classified and should be protected as such:
a. Precise current or future operational deployment location of surface ships.
b. Planned foreign port calls for all U.S. ships. Foreign port calls of all U.S. vessels are NOT classified after the host government approves visit.
c. Detailed employment schedules are classified due to aggregation of data.
d. Actual dates of current and future surface ship routine operations of any duration, including deployments. All personnel must do their best not to disclose future operational planning. A terrorist group cannot plan an attack if it does not know when the ship will be inport.

OPSEC is Operations Security. Apparently, taking the first letters of words is passe. All the cool kids take chunks out of their words to make super-cool secret names.

>Some things just don’t translate….

>I log on this morning– we pulled into Guam, and we just got out on liberty– and started going through the blogs I look at everyday.

My boyfriend, who is also a geek who plays on his computer on a tropical island, is across the desk from me. He still isn’t quite getting why I’m excited about “some guy called Vodkapundit” putting up a post that has my screen name in it.

This is about as nifty as anything that’s happened since…. *thinks a moment* I made second class, actually. (AT2) (It was only about 8 months ago, probably a bit less, but still!)

I’m nearly positive that mom won’t understand the nifty aspect….

Anybody who comes from Vodkapundit, this place has none of the cool design and such, only odd rambling from my POV.

Be well!

>Oh, the irony–

>Tell me, is it not ironic that various members of the Church, who– quite reasonably– get peeved when folks throw fits about what those folks *think* the Church is/does/believes, then turn around and make it look silly by doing the same to a game? I’m speaking of Dungeons and Dragons. If you’re convinced that that 80s movie is The Whole Truth and that anything I say against it is mush, please leave now. Don’t waste your time. That movie was based on the story of a guy with serious mental problems who got involved with a strange LARP group (Live Action Role Playing– as opposed to D&D, which his pencil and paper).

That’s not even getting into the whole bearing false witness stuff. This guy claims that D&D writers contacted him to make sure that the rituals in the book are accurate. Here, let me go get my D&D player’s guide– find one short enough to quote– ah, Bear’s Endurance, page 203 of the PHB 3.5. I’ll spare you the whole gibberish on who can use it and tell you that it’s a transmutation spell, available to clerics, druids, rangers, and sorcerers/wizards as a level 2 spell. It’s a touch spell with a will save negetation, and spell resistance applies.
description: “The affected creature gains greater vitality and stamina. The spell grants the subject a +4 enhancement bonus to constitution, which adds the usual benefits to hit points, fortitude saves, constitution checks and so forth.
Hit points gained by a temporary increase in constitution score are not temporary hit points. They go away when the subject’s constitution drops back to normal. They are not lost first as temporary hit points are (see page 146).”

I’m not seeing any rituals.

After some searching, I found a spell that might upset folks– Augury. Basicly, seeing if anything outstanding will happen in the next half hour. It lists a material component of “incense worth at least 25gp” and a focus of “a set of marked sticks, bones or similar tokens of at least 25gp value.” (A gp is a gold piece.) The rest of it is much like the paragraph above– informing you that a good base likelihood of a relevant result is 70+1 per caster level, with a max of 90%. (possible results: good, bad, good and bad, no result)
Anybody about to jump on that and say “see! See! Magic!”? It’s game mechanics. Everyone has to list what they’re carrying, and for that matter they have to *buy* what they’re carrying. In most games, 25 gold is a lot. This spell could be very overpowered, so they added difficulty to using it– although some Dungeon Masters ignore material component requirements in favor of the simpler, classic “I cast magic missile.” (Those of you who added “at the darkness!”– welcome, fellow geeks!)

Alright, so you might think I’m biased, given that I do play D&D. (although I prefer BESM– Big Eyes, Small Mouth– an anime based RPG. I adore my 5′ mini-gun wielding gun bunny/werefox schoolgirl. Er…it makes more sense if you played. That sort of over the top stuff is pretty common, kinda like the ninja who had a demon in his gut that made him a great fighter, but kept trying to eat party members. Or the giant gnoll samurai who dyes his hair black and only speaks Japanese and goblinoid…. Anime style weirdness.)
yanks herself back to the topic at hand
Well, perhaps I’m biased, and perhaps I just am familiar enough to know that many of the things D&D is accused of either aren’t so or are way overblown. How about this discussion from a website I adore? A joke post that requires familiarity with D&D, and not a single post saying “No! Dungeons and dragons is evil!” How about this one that directly comments on the moral dimensions of D&D? Although I disagree on the alignment mentioned– frankly, I’m the only one in my gaming group who will play a Lawful Good.

Alright, let me explain alignments.
There is Good, Neutral and Evil, with the adaptors of Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic. The former three are pretty obvious, and the Lawful means you follow laws to the exclusion of all else, while Chaotic basically does whatever it feels like.
To make it a bit easier: The Pope is Lawful Good, a Judge– that is, one who cares only for the law– is Lawful Neutral, a serial killer is Chaotic Evil. If you’ve got a good DM, he’ll make sure that either you act like your alignment or you actually change the alignment.
For example, if a player is a necromancer (raises and controls undead monsters) they have to be of an evil alignment. If the player acts like a good character– say, saving someone when there is every reason for the character to want him dead– then he might have to change alignments and lose the undead powers. On the flip side, a Paladin– Lawful Good requirement– who’s going around killing people who ask for mercy, ignoring calls for help or ignoring laws all together is likely to lose his alignment and powers as well.
Most players try to do what they think is right, but sometimes ignore laws or conflicting calls. (Like Spiderman when he could save the bus full of kids or MJ. If he’d chosen the kids, it would be a lawful course. If he chose MJ, it would be chaotic– the good that felt best; what he did was neutral good, because it attempted to save both.)
My favorite character, the gunbunny I mentioned above, is chaotic neutral. For example, when the group is fighting something, she tends to mow it down with her gun. If someone runs in front of her, she will try not to hit them and will yell for them to get down. If they don’t, she’ll fire anyways. (Unless it’s one of the characters she has an emotional attachement to. Which, luckily, is most of the party.)
My boyfriend’s favorite alignment is Lawful Neutral, because of the interesting situations it can bring up. (Can’t be that he’s a rulemonger, right? ;^))
Another friend loves being Chaotic Evil and trying to kill off the party without anyone noticing. (He usually fails.)
Oh, and the joy of role playing is that you can’t use out of character knowledge. It takes real skill to KNOW that your character will probably die if she walks into the next room, but do it anyways because that is what they’d do.

Long story short, one reason I love D&D is that it has good, evil and isn’t shy about separating the two. Good people you would want to know. Evil people you want to be gone. Although BESM is still better for the humor aspect!

>Oh yes I do love these…

>Although I’m a bit worried at #2. Spiderman and HULK?!?! I can see Peter Parker with a couple of d20, but… I’m accident prone, not homicidal.

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Spider-Man
90%
Hulk
85%
Superman
65%
Green Lantern
60%
Catwoman
60%
Supergirl
55%
Wonder Woman
50%
Robin
48%
The Flash
45%
Iron Man
45%
Batman
30%
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

>Heh, I love these things….

>

You scored as Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica). You are leery of your surroundings, and with good reason. Anyone could be a cylon. But you have close friends and you know they would never hurt you. Now if only the damn XO would stop drinking.

Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)

81%

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)

75%

Moya (Farscape)

75%

Serenity (Firefly)

69%

SG-1 (Stargate)

69%

Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)

69%

Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)

63%

Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)

56%

Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)

56%

FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)

50%

Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)

50%

Enterprise D (Star Trek)

50%

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
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A former sailor's ramblings on anything from family, country and Church through general geek-ness.