Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rant: Cramping my style

For those of you that have left the simplicity of bachelorhood behind, have you ever noticed how having young kids/pets cramps your ASL-style?

Before you get the wrong idea, let me first say that I LOVE my kids. As much as I don't want him to know, I even like my cat, Rambo. However, working 60 hours a week every week does not leave much time for ASL. When I get the energy I want to get out the counters and play, but a couple of hours of ASL does not allow me to play a full game (I'm not speed racer when it comes to this game).

My 9 year old daughter has learned to leave my stuff alone. My 6 year old son, however, still looks with his hands. As for the cat, do a search on the Gamesquad forum for "FOBA" (or Feline OBA) - enough said.

The next response is usually "go with VASL". This is a hard one for me. VASL is a wonderful program (I say that as both an end user and as a programmer - though not in Java). The community should be forever grateful to Herr Kinney for his creation and CountermanCX for his ongoing contributions, not to mention all the map trolls and extension elves quietly and diligently adding their two cents. The fact of the matter is, I use a netbook for most of my computing. Screen size is an issue. I have, however, also done VASL with both one and two monitor setups. 2 monitors is tolerable. I don't happen to have two monitors at home.

Another problem with VASL is that I spend much of my day on a computer anyway. Often, I have a hard time generating the desire to get back on even to play this awesome game. This doesn't seem fair to my opponents to me so I am extremely hesitant to even begin a game. Case in point: my last attempt ended as a miserable failure. I had a very patient and understanding opponent. I am almost certain he bears no ill will that life was stepping in the way, but I feel guilty all the same. We did not even finish a single game.

Perhaps the more important and less concrete reason is that there is some aesthetic attraction for me to pushing cardboard stacks around a hard board (and occasionally tipping them over). There is also something about actually looking your opponent in the eye. I suppose I have been spoiled by living in Spokane and having a friend like Mr. Wolkey living so close. Here in Lubbock, I have not found nor been able to make a regular opponent.

It makes me wonder if any of my other "readers" suffer in silence. Speak up! Tell your stories. I'd love to hear them as well.

And so this doesn't end on a negative...Play often and roll low!!! Happy ASL-ing.