Unwritten Rules: The Ability to Pause

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Our dishwasher went out about a month ago. That same weekend, my weed eater engine decided to freeze-up, and I discovered that I owed the government money. Needless to say, I found myself feeling overwhelmed by brokenness tossed with a side of bureaucracy.

In pulling out the dishwasher to measure for a replacement, I discovered that the washer was directly plugged into the house’s electrical system. A direct electrical connection, I Googled, was a normal way of wiring dishwashers twenty years ago. Who knew? But in our modern day, the dish cleaning device is supposed to be plugged in to an electrical outlet. Something goes wrong with the dishwasher, no need to panic. All one has to do is unplug the washer and move on versus making a frantic trip to the breaker panel.

I mentioned my dishwasher dilemma in small group this past Sunday. One of the guys told me that he could help. So this past week, Brian came over and helped me wire a new electrical outlet so that I could plug the new dishwasher in. In the course of the evening, after we had finished installing the outlet, I grabbed the Nintendo Switch to show him.

As we were talking, I said something I realized I needed to write down here and share. This is one of those unwritten rules I have:

As a husband/father, who plays video games, I have to be able to immediately pause or quit a game at a moments notice.

This unwritten rule means that the games and the systems I play them on must fit the criteria of being able to pause, save, and quit on demand. I have learned:

  • To avoid gaming genres built on needing excessive amounts of time to advance/play (the MMO genre).
  • To embrace gaming systems that feature a sleep or suspend feature/button.
  • To play games that feature short core gameplay loops (the main activities that structure a game, that a player repeats over and over). These types of games allow me to feel like I have progressed/accomplished something with my gaming time.

The ability to pause at a moments notice, allows me to feel less frustrated, when I need to suddenly divert my attention to what is going on around me. Communicating, hopefully, to my family that they are important (because they are!) and worth me being present and available for.

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2012 Vice Presidential Debate Recap

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The dreaded morning after the debate. Today is the day that the media puts its own spin on how the current Vice President and potential Vice President fared. Words such as “feisty”, “fiery”, and “sparks fly” will be used. If you were a web editor, which headline do you think would generate more clicks?

  • Vice President Joe Biden Schools A Young And Dumb Congressman Ryan
  • Acting Like A Child: How Joe Biden Acted Like My 3 Year Old Last Night

As I sat on the couch watching last night, I heard a lot of numbers being thrown about. Numbers concerning social security, troop withdrawal, and the impending debt crisis. Had this been a church sermon, I would have had an easy-to-follow outline. Alas, I did not have that outline and that is what killed the debate for me. I wanted solid answers; I wanted to see two men act like men. All last night left me thinking was:

  • How/why has Joe Biden been in politics so long? He kept referring to his track record, to historical events he was actually present to vote for. All I could think was that he is a part of the cause and a major part of the problem our nation faces today. When the Vice President wasn’t acting like a child by making faces, interrupting, and generally being rude, he took on the tone that was demeaning. I didn’t appreciate his demeanor.
  • On the other hand, we had Congressman Paul Ryan. Ryan would often answer questions and then point blank dodge others. At times all he needed to do was answer a question with a simple one sentence answer. That was all I needed to hear. I did like how he would sit patiently and wait his turn. Ryan came across as civil. We need more civility in politics. I do wish though that he had kept his answers shorter and more concise.
  • The moderator, Martha Raddatz, was a breath of fresh air. She asked thoughtful questions that demanded thoughtful answers. Very rarely though did I feel that either candidate answered her questions well. Disappointing.

The countdown to the election draws nearer. Are you going to vote?