Monday, 25 April 2011

My Second Life

This week I tried an online escape very similar to the MMO's(massively multiplayer online games) that I was once addicted to.  It is called Second Life.  I know, I'm a little behind the times but it is a form of social networking that I haven't experimented with until now.  I created an avatar which looks akin to me only he is skinny, young, and can move without any aches or pains...OK, he doesn't look one bit like me!

Perhaps my entry into a Second Life is too late or I haven't yet visited the right places because I have so far found my travels through it to be hauntingly unsettled.  Compared  to WOW (World of Warcraft) which is teaming with people on most of its servers, SL seems disturbingly underpopulated like I have arrived after some sort of major apocalypse has taken place.  I find my lonely avatar walking  (and sometimes flying) through empty virtual boroughs long abandoned by their creators, shopping concourses filled only with the echos of previous inhabitants and customers.  I feel like Charlton Heston's Omega Man.

 This is not to say I haven't met other people.  There are the usual mix of degenerates one should expect from a fantasy world where you can be whatever you want, however, the smaller population makes the freaks shine like beacons.  Do you know how hard it is to have a serious conversation with a man sized toucan, a purple and blue fairy(wings and all), and someone who was flopping around like a seizuring gothic zombie?  I understand that this is exactly the place where someone can and should feel free to interact any way they want.  Perhaps I have outgrown it just like I kicked my dependency on MMO's.

Not all my experiences have been bad in Second Life.  I have managed to find a secluded tropical island very much like my favorite place in real life, Hawaii.  The surf roars in and Hawaiian music, (streamed from a radio station on Oahu) fills my ears as I take in the view and just daydream about really being there.  It relaxes me.  Perhaps I have found a reason for my Second Life.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

The State of Soccer/Football in my household

Now I will never understand how someone becomes a soccer parent.  I have always personally  despised organized sporting activities and avoided them like the plague.  Indeed, I am often found gazing despairingly at the people on our local soccer field, as I am walking or driving by, which seems to run 24/7.  Don't these crazy people ever sleep!  They do it in any weather too!  Somewhere in my head, there is a disconnect between amateur community based sport and professional although I know you really can't have one without the other.  Partly, I think it's because I have observed so many kids, who really don't look like they are having any fun, and their obsessive parents, who appear to be pressuring them far too much.  My wife hated the game but felt compelled to play soccer as a child out of love and devotion to my father in law, who was the president of the local soccer league.

I cheered for Canada's soccer team when we went to the world cup in 1986 in Mexico City.  In 1990 I became fan of the Italian world cup soccer team and haven't missed a world cup match series since... not one game!

 In 2007, I took my father in law to a semifinal match of the FIFA World Cup under 20 and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.   Locally, I took note of our local soccer team as it started out as the Whitecaps, changed it's name to the 86r's, and now back to the Whitecaps again.  Our local team was pretty mediocre until they joined the North American MLS this year, a premiere league.  After going to one of the Whitecap's first home games, I have decided that what makes this soccer (Football Club) truly fun to follow and watch, is their loyal fan base.  Whether it is the rowdy support of the ravenous horde, which call themselves the "Southsiders", or the cacophonous cheering and heckling from the other 20,000 fans, it is an event well worth experiencing.  I have been assimilated into their collective!

This year I am making an effort to spend more time with my 13 yr old son, Aiden.   I have not only been enjoying his maturing company but also his growing interest in the game.  So today was our first Whitecaps game together with , I hope, many more to share in the future. 

Oh and we tied 3-3!