Monday, August 12, 2013

Pteromerhanophobia

This weekend I went on an excursion to Long Island to visit my cousins with my father in his little plane. It was some of the nicest flying we've ever done because of the CAVU (ceilings and visibility unlimited) skies and severe clear days.

Pteromerhanophobia is the fear of flying. It's not something I have. I'm probably the calmest flier you've ever met. Usually I end up sleeping because the sound of the engine makes me instantly soothed. 40% of people have anxiety about air travel. I know people that will literally not get in an airplane. Although it makes no sense to me to be afraid of flying I can try to be sympathetic. I know you can't logic your way out of phobias, but you can try. Here are a few things  that are more likely to kill you than airplane crashes.
  • car accidents
  • fire
  • pneumonia
  • poison
  • boats
  • hot tap water
  • ladders
  • lightning
  • strokes
  • bicycle accidents
  • cancer
  • heart attacks
  • depression
  • falls involving a chair (beware of chairs)
  • obesity
  • stairs
  • dementia
  • guns
  • drowning
  • motorcycles
  • terrorists
  • nuclear power
  • cold
  • drug use
  • influenza

Friday, August 2, 2013

Cutthroat Politics

This message is sponsored by Team Gnashblade for the Captain's Council.

In a recent update to the game Guild Wars 2 there is an election going on. Arenanet has asked the players to decide which fictional character should be a leading member of the most important city in the game. That city, Lion's Arch, can either be led by the human Ellen Kiel or the Charr Evon Gnashblade. I am here to campaign for everyone to vote Evon Gnashblade even though Ellen Kiel is currently in the lead. I know that Ellen Kiel is offering reduced fees for one month for all waypoints, but I hope I can convince you that is a good offer, but only a temporary thing to bribe you for votes. There are many reasons you should vote for Evon and I can't make him win alone so your support tokens are appreciated. 

Reason 1- Evon is a freaking Charr. I know that Lion's Arch is a city for all people and we shouldn't be racist in its borders, but Charr are cool whether I'm aloud to think that or not. Ellen and Evon have both overcome great difficulties in their lives just as I have, but Evon is more ferocious just because of his upbringing. You don't grow up a Charr and lose. They're great because they never fail to get what they want. They conquered Ascalon from the humans in just the same way Evon will usurp this position from the ape Ellen Kiel. 

Reason 2- Evon runs The Black Lion Trading Company. I don't know if you remember, but I named The Black Lion Trading Company during my Make-a-Wish trip. I never thought it would grow to the point it has. I didn't think it would be the basic trading system in the game. I didn't think it would get so much lore about the current and past leaders. I never could have imagined that it would have competition from such sketchy individuals as the Consortium. Now it completely blows my mind that the leader of the Company could be one of the leaders of Lion's Arch, but that is something I really want to happen.

Reason 3- Ellen Kiel has been out of town for months. Since May 14th she has been investigating events in Southsun while Evon has been primarily in Lion's Arch promoting trade. She is out of town and out of touch. The events on the beach were important, but people on the Captain's Council have had to split their time between personal matters, world events, their ships, and city concerns since the founding of Lion's Arch in the 1200s. In recent history Ellen Kiel has been remarkably bad at this with her extended trips to the beach. Evon has been much more focused and present.

Reason 4- The Game Director Colin Johanson says to vote for Evon. Well he only partially endorsed Evon as a candidate, but the internet doesn't care. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. The legend that Colin has endorsed Evon has become fact so I can officially say there are reasons we don't know (that the gamemakers do) as to why we should vote for Gnashblade.

Reason 5- This is the most important. Abbadon. Wooden Potatoes explains this better than I ever could and it takes him quite a while to do so, but there is a lot of lore in Guild Wars about a god called Abbaddon. If you vote for Evon we get to see some of that lore. There was a big fight in which five gods banished the sixth, Abbadon, to a place called the Realm of Torment. It was a massive battle that occured in a sea battle with a group of people called the Margonites. It was massively scaled and turned the Crystal Sea into a beautiful, but dangerous location called the Crystal Desert. I want to go there explore really cool places like the Malafarium in the Atrocity Library. I play Guild Wars games because they have good story as well as good mechanics so please allow me to experience this rare piece of lore. It will be amazing. I promise.


A vote for Gnashblade is a vote for progress. I hope you'll agree with me and throw all your support tokens in for Evon. It is imperative that you do this quickly because voting ends this week and the race is very close. Every vote counts.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Homeland

I'm going home to Queensbury from Boston in about a week. Right now I'm missing everything about where I live. I was born in Boston and I like it here, but it's not my home and I can't imagine it will ever soothe me in the way the plot of land I grew up on does.
My home is brilliant. It's a farm in a city. We have a barn and a house made of brick, but I could ride my bike to Stewart's to get ice cream or milk for breakfast. We have forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, and cities. When I go home I feel local. People not only know me on sight, but many people know my grandfather and my great-grandfather and they judge me positively because I come from a good family. The longer I stay in Boston the more I brag about home. After a few months without a swim in Lake George and a trip to Saratoga Springs it becomes almost a magical land in my imagination that will solve all my problems. The lake gets cleaner, the house gets older, the snow gets thicker, the garden gets bigger, and the barn gets redder the more I stay away. I'm sure it becomes ridiculous and hyperbolic, but the people around me never complain about the way I portray my home.


None of my friends from Boston have ever been to my house so I can make it sound as spectacular and fanciful as I want and they can't call me on it. I want to bring people home and show them how fantastic life is where I grew up even though I know that they wouldn't see the same things in it I do. They'd see the barn and think it's quaint while I look at it and see my whole family history. We'd go out to eat and they just wouldn't have the same memories of the Harvest pizza or Martha's ice cream to be nostalgic about. Whether I took my Boston friends to the spectacular Adirondack Balloon Festival or the representative, but dubious Americade they wouldn't understand my feelings about the events. When I talk to people about my home they assume it's just another farm in some corn field, but it's not. It's a desirable location that people travel the world to visit and I was lucky enough to come from there. I haven't been able to convince anyone from Boston to come see where I come from, but I want to share it so they understand me just a little better. Places are a part of you. I want to share my whole self with certain friends and I feel that won't be complete until people see my farm.

I'm sure most people feel about their home the same way I do, but my house really is a very very nice house. I would live there forever if I could. If I didn't have career objectives and a crippling inability to drive (get on it Google) I would move home in a heartbeat and never leave. My parents are cool and they throw great parties. I like being in a place where everybody knows my name. Someday, maybe, I'll be able to really go back home, but for right now I have to accept that three weeks in August is really plenty of vacation.