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Frivolous Profundity

Friv-o-lous: trivial, unworthy of serious attention … Pro-fun-di-ty: wisdom that is profound, difficult to uncover

So I was watching “Grey’s Anatomy” last night (thus fulfilling my prediction of “in a few hours I’ll be lost in some vapid television show”). It’s definitely a show on my B-list (not an A-lister like Lost or Alias), but for what it is it’s usually enjoyable enough. Anyway, two of the doctors on the show were having a difference of opinion over the nature of reality – Yang is a classic “if I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist” rationalist, and Burke is of the “I’m not religious but I am spiritual” school of thought (which warrants an entire post on it’s own, but not now).

After a few exchanges on the subject the two of them find themselves dealing with a child in need of a heart transplant, and things aren’t going quite as expected, yada yada yada. Afterwards Burke explains to Yang (paraphrasing here): “That sense of powerlessness in the face of that boy’s troubles? That is why I have to believe in something beyond myself. If I didn’t, it would eat me alive inside.”

:: blink ::

What what what? That is the worst possible reason I can think of to believe in something – because it makes you feel better. What is he, 8 years old? Don’t believe in things because they make you feel better, or because your parents believed them, or because “all the cool kids are doing it”. Believe in something because you believe in something – that is, because you believe it is True, not because it gives you warm fuzzies.

I have been a Christian for roughly 22 years now – and I remain a Christian because I have spent countless hours in research and thought and examination, and firmly believe that 2000 years ago a dead man rose from his grave. (Naturally my faith and worldview encompass a great deal more than that, but without that starting point Christianity simply doesn’t stand).

Prior to that I was a generic sort of animist, with a wishy-washy belief in a very undefined “something out there” – because at that time I firmly believed that was the Truth of things.

Even before that, I was a secular humanist (though of course too young to know the term) – because at that time I had never seen or thought anything to make me think otherwise.

If I only believed in things that made me feel good, I would still be waiting on Christmas morning for Santa Claus to shimmy down the chimney with an Xbox 360 in one hand and a sixpack of Smirnoff Ice in the other!

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This question has been my enemy now for the last 12 years (no, that’s not a typo – TWELVE YEARS); it comes, it goes, but I can never get rid of it completely. And since right now, at this moment, I’m in the throes of one of my frequent bouts of melancholy, let me indulge and spew it here before it’s lost again.

The weekend is drawing to a close, tomorrow I’ll be forced to once again endure a week of numbness, and my soul is feeling restless –

I could write – but what’s the point?
I could read – but what’s the point?
I could catch up on email – but what’s the point?
I could work on the website – but what’s the point?
I could make some calls – but what’s the point?
I could go out somewhere – but what’s the point?
I could play some video games – but what’s the point?
I could watch tv – but what’s the point?

You get the idea. This is my prison; this is my dilemma. I have so many projects, so many things that briefly seem worthwhile in the bright light of day. But when the shadows come, when I become lost in my thoughts, they all fall away and I am once again left to ponder the question, What Is The Point?

I have some answers to the question – things that comfort me and help me through the day. But they are all intellectual answers, cold and sterile; they answer the question factually, but they don’t spark my heart, they don’t fill that hollow place that cries for meaning.

So, this will pass – in a few hours I’ll be lost in some vapid television show or twitching my fingers over an Xbox controller, and then it will be time to sleep, and then it will be time to work, and then I’ll forget all about this question I just can’t seem to answer for myself.

Until the next quiet time, when I have moments alone with my thoughts and the question returns. I’ll never get out of this rut until I can answer the damned question…

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Minor Changes

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I’ve made some tweaks / changes / fixes to the site – nothing major, just the usual polishing –

  • I’ve had an embedded ‘random quote’ for a while, which works just fine in the Firefox browser (which, if you’re not using, is definitely worth checking out … as far as I can tell, Firefox is superior to Internet Explorer in every way) — but it was destroying the page formatting when viewed with Internet Explorer. I’ve finally figured out how to force IE to view the page correctly – the quotes should now appear at the bottom of the main site home page, and just below the post Calendar here on the blog page regardless of the browser you are using.
  • Also on the main site, I have changed the gold / yellow background to good old white – you just can’t beat black text on a white background for legibility.
  • On the forums, I’ve embedded the same header as the rest of the site uses to ease in navigation (the “|Home| Blog|…” etc.):
    New Forums Header
  • Changed around the order of the blog links in the left column.
  • Finally, have decided on a name for the blog – “Frivolous Profundity”.

As always, if you have any suggestions or notice any errors, please let me know.

Forum Discussion

Welcome to the first post ever* of “Frivolous Profundity”, my contribution to the bloated and ever-expanding blogosphere. What is it you can expect to read about here? Whatever floats through my fevered brain of course – musings on Life, God, and the Universe, the pursuit of Truth and the ultimate secrets of Reality, role playing games, computers and technology, movies, books, comics, conspiracy theories, theology, philosophy, video games, politics, music – in a nutshell, anything. If I think it, you might read it (whether that’s an invitation or a warning is up to you).

I know Christians who may find some of what I write offensive, and pagans who will be surprised I’m Christian; proper folks who will be shocked if I swear, and anarchists who will think me a poseur. I know priests and writers and strippers and professors and bartenders and soldiers and potheads and pilots and witches and programmers and a multitude of others – and they (you) are all welcome here to peek into my brain. But don’t be surprised if you eventually read something you don’t like, or don’t agree with, or find surprising – after all, tailoring what I post defeats the purpose of writing in the first place.

So there you have it – you’ve been officially invited to visit any time, to enjoy posts both serious and silly. Both the blog here and the main TheMook.Net site are a little sparse at the moment, but hopefully as time goes on they’ll build up. (You’re also welcome to check out the forums – they’re usually pretty active).

Welcome to “Frivolous Profundity”; welcome to TheMook.Net; and welcome to my brain.

* I’m not counting the posts below – they weren’t originally written with WordPress, I just migrated them in for the sake of completeness.

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New IP Again

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We’ve had some recent difficulties with the Kill-a-Rama server, but after a couple of company switches I think we have once again found a more or less stable home. This is the final IP change for the forseeable future! So get in there and enjoy yourselves, and as always please send me an email if you have any problems or suggestions (you’re also welcome to post on our public forums).

LBA Kill-a-Rama:

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New Mapcycle

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After many many moons, I have finally changed the Map Cycle on our “Soldier of Fortune 2” server, The Kill-a-Rama (IP The new cycle is:

1 Raven Offices DM normal
2 Finca Housewarming DM LowGrav, MM1 & RPG7
3 Prague Streets DM normal
4 Cobble (CUSTOM) CTF normal
5 Shop Under Siege DM normal
6 Jordan Market Siege DM normal
7 Airport Warehouse DM normal
8 Italy (CUSTOM) CTF normal
9 Return to Raven (CUSTOM) DM LowGrav, MM1 & RPG7
10 Hong Kong Streets DM normal
11 Hospital DM normal
12 Alcatraz (CUSTOM) CTF normal
13 Shop Invasion DM normal
14 Falcon (CUSTOM) DM normal
15 Prague Street Siege DM normal
16 Sonora (CUSTOM) CTF normal

16 Maps Total
10 Stock Maps and 6 Custom Maps
12 DM Maps and 4 CTF Maps

I ran through the cycle a couple times and everything seems okay, but please send an email if you notice any problems or have any suggestions for improvement.

If you need the custom maps, you can download them individually…

Return to Raven

Once you have the six .PK3 files (those are the maps), just put them in the “BASE” folder underneath the folder where your Soldier of Fortune 2 is installed (for example, “C:\Games\SoF2\base”, something like that).


Forum Discussion

New IP

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Howdy Folks!

I’ve been slacking a bit on Das Blog, I know – lots of tidbits I’d love to blab about, just haven’t made the time yet. I’ll mentally spew here sooner or later, don’t you worry.

However, important announcement about our Soldier of Fortune game server (the Kill-a-Rama) – we have a new IP address! Remember, if you look for us at our “old” address, we will not be there!

The new and current IP for the Kill-a-Rama server is:

Hope to see you there soon!

Forum Discussion

The season finale of Alias was on a few days ago – great show, highly recommended, I haven’t missed an episode since numero uno. As a rule I try hard to not watch shows while they’re actually on, but rather tape them for later – takes less time to watch (FF through commercials) and is more convenient (can Pause, Rewind, etc.). I get into a pretty good rhythm with the shows I enjoy – at the moment it would look something like:

Sunday: Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad
Tuesday: Gilmore Girls, The Shield
Wednesday: Lost, Alias, Law & Order

So here’s what happened on Wednesday – at 8:00pm I hit my trusty “REC” button on the VCR and wandered off to play some ‘Soldier of Fortune’. Two hours later, when I noticed that it was 10:00pm, I popped over to the VCR just long enough to change the channel from ABC (for Alias) to NBC (for Law & Order) and then returned to my gaming. Unfortunately, what I hadn’t remembered is that Alias was a two hour season finale that night, and was on until 11:00 instead of the usual 10:00.

What does this have to do with why I love the net (reason #1138) you may ask? Well, the next day I snuggled my buttocks into the comfy chair, grabbed a drink and a snack, and watched the Alias I had taped. It was fun, lots of action, good plot, and then just as things really started picking up – BAM, the tape switched to the ubiquitous Law & Order “doink doink”! Oopsie!

Luckily I have a good friend that records almost every episode of every show I watch – not only that, but he usually cuts out the commercials and records in HDTV! His name is The Internet (and our mutual friend, Bit Torrent). Sure enough, I got in touch with my buddy and a couple of hours later I had downloaded the tragically missed Alias finale – 42 minutes after that I had watched it. About another 30 minutes after that I had finished my weekly “Jennifer Garner Will You Marry Me?” fan letter, complete with the usual lock of my hair and a small vial of my blood (I hear women find that romantic – at least that’s what Angelina tells me), and added a few new magazine pictures to the altar I keep here at home (the restraining order says that’s fine, as long as I still stay more than 1000 yards away at all times).

And that’s the #1138 reason I love the internet.

Forum Discussion

Shameful Hard Drive Contents

… now may we never speak of this again.

Forum Discussion

So there’s this little doohickey I’ve been messing around with called “Freedom Audio” – it’s a little streaming MP3 player so my happy little visitors have something to listen to as they surf (I currently have it loaded with an AC/DC song trio). Last night I was fiddling around online, as I often do … and the Freedom Audio kicked in to the start of “Hell’s Bells”. I have to say – maybe this is the audio equivalent of “stop and smell the roses”, but the intro to that song is just cool. Regardless of whether you like the entire song, regardless of if you’re an AC/DC fan, those first few guitar twangs and the deep pealing bell, it all sends a shiver down my spine.

Truly one of those elusive “simple pleasures in life” kind of things – 11 seconds or so of just pure escape!

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