GamePolitics closes its doors

As a long time blogger I’ve seen a lot of sites go under for a variety of reasons. Some good, some bad, some life, some tragic.

Unfortunately, this past week GamePolitics, one of the only sites to attempt to address video games and political considerations in the last decade, has decided to close its doors as well.

Its sad really. The ongoing debate between video games, whats appropriate, what isn’t, whats sexist, whats misogynistic, and whats feminist is not going to go away anytime soon. If anything with trends such as #GamerGate, it is likely going to ramp up further. So having a voice in the realm such as with Game Politics was a good thing.

Sadly that voice has had to close their curtains at a time when rational discussion is sorely needed both now and in the future. Another story in the digital dust.


Still grinding

So as I mentioned earlier my classes for the semester are almost over. In fact this is the last week. I will get a week off, which frankly will be nice, and then I start my last college class I will take. From here on its all research and trying to write a thesis that meets APA and everyone else’s requirements.

So if updates are slow this week, that’s the reason why. I’m just  trying to get through my finals for the week while maintaining my sanity and keeping my job.

Finally getting to kick off my project in Indiana, so I am looking forward to seeing how it will develop. I am also still working with my management to develop a team of people who do what I do. Its nice being the guy in the box but for the last 5 years all I have done is trail blaze, and truth be told its tiring.

Having a team will help. Even then, it will be a year or more before they can get their feet under them well enough to manage on their own.

For now I just need to make it through the week, however.


Delta: Catering to the 1%?

This post was updated 4/15/2016 at 0826CST with Email communications from both the author and Delta Airlines Customer Service

I have been a Delta customer for over twenty years. I have been a loyal one at that. I know that everyone’s perspectives may vary, and some have had bad experiences, I on the other hand, never have.  In full disclosure I’m not a super Elite member of their SkyMiles program, I’m a Silver Medallion, the lowest of their platform aside from a plain Member. According to TripIt however I have logged over 17,000 miles this year and spent almost 45 days traveling since January.

Two years ago Delta totally revamped their SkyMiles program, making it almost twice as hard to achieve Medallion status. They also added a section called Comfort. I did not like the SkyMiles revamp. However, the Comfort program, and the ability to upgrade my own seats after my company purchased a ticket made it something I could continue to deal with.

Until Now.

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Traveling Road Show

A wise man once told me that if you weren’t a 10 when you arrived, you aren’t a 10 when you leave, and she really isn’t in to you because your a hottie.

The point being pretty straightforward, if she (or he as the case may be) is treating you like you are Adonis, its probably not because you can quote Plutarch and Goethe.

As such traveling can sometimes be a minefield, especially here in the states. While romance is always in the air if one seeks it, the fact of the matter is just as many folks lose their wallets, their credit cards, and their jobs by being ….well…frankly….stupid.

There is not enough vodka in the world to make a unattractive person hot despite the common Beer Goggles myth, and if you are willing to lose complete control of your sensibilities and perspective then frankly you deserve what happens to you. I have heard it all in my day. “You look like a friend I know.” “You look like George R.R. Martin”. “You remind me of my best friend”. None of which changes the fact that at the end of the day I’m a short fat white guy who could probably pass for an extra on Jeremiah Johnson.

In the words of Band of Brothers

“Flies spread disease… keep yours closed.”


Hard to believe my stats class is almost over. 2 weeks of it left in fact.

This makes it harder to believe my educational journey likewise is nearing its end. I have 1 elective class remaining, DDBA 8592 – Business Infrastructure Vulnerability Analysis, something that I thought would blend well in what I do for a living now: building facilities and their network infrastructure as a quasi Construction/IT Project Manager.

The only thing left is my dissertation. Hard to believe I have made it this far frankly. I was barely a D student in high school and spent more time partying than I ever did applying myself. I’ve started my educational journey literally decades after my high school peers. I sometimes wonder how it would have been different had I not chosen to see the world first. That’s not a regret, though it may seem like it, more of a whimsy. A muse if you will, of what could have been versus what is, and what I hope will be provided I can write my thesis in something resembling the correct fashion.

Its been a long journey, and to be certain it is not over yet, but I can see the city limit signs anyway on this trip and I’m beginning to count miles.

The biggest question yet remains…..what do I do next, and where do I go from here? Do I stay with my employer? Do I hang my shingle? Do I try to do something new? Do I move, relocate? Or do I hope that something, someone, somewhere notices what I can do and am capable of and has a use for me?

Time will tell.

March Passing

So with the end of March having occurred I no longer have an excuse to be lazy. The truth is I have written so many articles over the years about Ireland and the Irish, that in March I rarely add new stories any more. I try to make an effort, however, to add at least one new one each year. End result is I have a plethora of Irish work on the website, which is ok, because it seems to drive a wealth of traffic as well. In previous years I changed the visual theme of the website to the current theme you see now. We used a different visual theme the rest of the year. The woodland theme more reflects my thought process these days.

With all of that I always feel sad to see March pass. While an excuse to be somewhat lazy on the site it is also a nice time to share heritage, heraldry and see days like St Patrick’s Day as being more than just a drunken rampage (not to say I haven’t participated in a few). There’s a reason its a known holiday, beyond green beer and shamrocks as well as silly hats. Learn it, understand it, then celebrate it.

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Simple Life

Things sort of slowing down finally. I let my school work get away from this week, as I usually try to make sure that I have no assignments due on the weekends so I can spend time with my family. However, I failed yesterday to get one item done so I’ll be trying to handle it this morning instead.

Got home last night and got most of our garden planted, the carrots will have to wait until summer. The apple tree’s we planted a few weeks ago are doing well, and actually are budding. We mulched around them last night as well.

I got a good portion of our yard cut with the mower last night. Our new mower has headlights and I find myself wondering Why didn’t you think of this before? Why should I cut grass in July when its 110 when I can cut it at night when its 70 or 80 and no sun beating you down?

I’ll have to ponder that one some more between now and hot weather.

Today is finish the grass cutting, pull a old gate out of the ground, and clean our house (spring cleaning). Kick back with some grilled hot dogs later.

Should be a nice weekend if all goes well and with the exception of this post, it will be nice to shun technology for about 48 hours.

Lex: End of line

I wrote this in March of 2012 once it had finally settled in to my brain on the passing of Neptunus Lex. Brother in Arms, Brothers in Ink, Milblogger, and a man I’d like to consider a friend. I think it needs to be reposted as its that time of the year again.

It is Ireland’s sacred duty to send over, every few years, a playwright to save the English theatre from inarticulate glumness.
Kenneth Tynan, Observer, 27 May 1956

We didn’t send him to England. But really, for an Irishman there really isn’t much difference between death and England.

For me, it didn’t really click until this morning.I had an eval with my current employer, I sat in front of my laptop at 4 o clock this morning with my coffee, and on impulse clicked Lex’s blog link from my bookmarks. My nerves akimbo. I wanted some peace.

Over the years the people I have known via websites have waxed and waned. When I first started writing on line back in 1995, there was one other site I visited with regularity. In 2000, there was eight. In 2002 twenty two. In 2007 almost 52.

Now? 17…and of those fully half are inactive links. Its a testament to my love for Lex’s work that I kept him on my book mark list. The others I liked and I keep hoping that they will update. I have been reluctant to remove the inactive ones from my bookmarks for this reason.

As I clicked his link, and the page loaded the hot coffee turned cool against my lips as I was reminded by whisper…he’s gone. His words will not grace us any longer, save for works in days gone by. His thoughts of previous days left to haunt us in the present. No new posts will cross our screens, no sea stories to grace our world.

I set my cup down and wondered. This digital snap shots in to our lives. Where will they go? What will happen to them. For many, when the costs come due our families will shut them down, turn off the lights, and our words will vanish in to the ether at some point.

Our words left unread by those in the future whom may read them. It is one advantage our print and media brethren have over us. Our archives are only around as long as someone wishes to pay for it. There are no libraries whom receive our subscriptions, no history scribes whom will hallmark our work and words. It is up to us to find ways to back up these works, save them, and distribute them in some fashion for others to hold dear.

Our children may not come of age knowing our works, or what motivated us without these very lines I type. How we thought and the people we sought to be, in the end are portrayed here, in black and white and sent to you in hi definition on 1,024 x 768 pixels through a OC48 pipe from one coast to another.

Lex is gone. That much is final. His words may one day slip in to obscurity. Like my other blog friend triticale whom we lost in 2007, or Acidman whom we lost in 2006, their websites stand testament to their sentiments, themselves, and their values. Digital monuments.

But one day those digital monuments can and will fail. Companies get sold, servers crash, people move on, costs become exorbitant. For me a culmination of almost two decades of writing belong on two websites…the thought crosses my mind…what will happen if? I have no regular blog partner with keys. My wife has no interest in these things, and no interest in voicing her own ideals. It will simply become like my coffee, cold, and one day to vanish in to the electronic ether.

End of Line as Tron repeated so often many years ago in its interpretation of the digital world.

Maybe I am bleak because a little light has left this world. Because one who continued, with others fell to the way side, to provide us with measured, rational doses of words, wisdom and work. Who shared with us his day to day experiences, struggles and life.

Maybe I am bleak because how many of us, in that former profession, had those narrow misses? Those brief glances in to our future? that feeling that all we knew and had was about to change in a single instance….and once he was past that point he chose to go back to it, willingly, knowing the costs at stake? Only to be snatched at the last possible instance mere feet from safety?

It seems incomprehensible really. But the Banshee does not care about prose, wit, or talent and at some point when she calls to us to warn of us of An Bás, the time to prepare will be over.

I prefer not to think that those engines final whine were the cry of the Banshee for Lex, although fitting it may be.

When An Bás came calling, I choose to think that someone, up there….just wanted a good debriefing on how life is down here these days. And to keep it interesting he picked the best writer we had.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam
May he rest on peace

Irish Stew

I first published my recipe last year, thought I would share it once again! -BS

Currently being made here at the Wilderness Retreat

Currently being made here at the Wilderness Retreat

Folks who say the Irish are horrible cooks are fools. Just my opinion. The Irish have some of the best meals around in my book, and if your a meat-and-potatoes kind of person who has been eating pasta instead, you are truly missing out.

You don’t have to just eat this recipe on St Patrick’s Day. While it is traditional, much like eating black-eyed pea’s on New Years Day is in America, Irish Stew can be made and eaten pretty much anytime just as its American counter part.

I recommend it throughout the winter months, and if you have friends over.

This is my family recipe mind you, so treat it well, Aye?

If you don’t like it feel free to blame us. If you do, just share a wee bit o the credit. :)

Recipe after the Jump

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The Starvation Orders: The Greatest Generation?

(Editors Note: I first published this at the beginning of 2012. For March, I thought it was a good story to bring back up and republish. Enjoy!)

The Irish and the British will always have issues because the British never remember, and the Irish never forget.

It’s a hot button issue in Ireland.

At the time, and now to an extent, many feel that the over 5,000 Irishmen who left Ireland to fight against Nazi Germany in World War II were  and are criminals, or deserters.

They left the Irish Army, leaving Ireland who was neutral, to fight to stop the Nazi’s in World War II.

Today, there is a possibility they may be pardoned.

The Starvation Orders were the orders to blacklist those 5,000 troops upon their return. They could not get jobs, welfare, pensions or any assistance what so ever, some of them made a go at it. Others left the country yet again. Whats more the orders extended beyond just the individuals, but their families as well. It’s how my own family ended up in America.

Five thousand Irish soldiers who swapped uniforms to fight for the British against Hitler went on to suffer years of persecution. They were formally dismissed from the Irish army, stripped of all pay and pension rights, and prevented from finding work by being banned for seven years from any employment paid for by state or government funds.
One of them, 92-year-old Phil Farrington, took part in the D-Day landings and helped liberate the German death camp at Bergen-Belsen – but he wears his medals in secret. Even to this day, he has nightmares that he will be arrested by the authorities and imprisoned for his wartime service.

“They would come and get me, yes they would,” he said in a frail voice at his home in the docks area of Dublin.
And his 25-year-old grandson, Patrick, confirmed: “I see the fear in him even today, even after 65 years.”

Mr Farrington’s fears are not groundless.


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World of Beer Internship

So I applied for a Internship with World of Beer

It’s a pay cut for certain, but I intend to ask my employer for a leave of absence if I am selected.

My reasons for applying are pretty straight forward

  • First: I like Beer
  • Second: I like Beer
  • Third: Having a internship, while not required by my doctoral program, can’t hurt.
  • Fourth: Its a good experience.

So do me a favor will you? If you can, drop a line to them either on their website, or via Twitter and tell them what an awesome candidate I am please? Hell, call them!

Of course I’m asking you to lie but we don’t have to tell them that :)

County Armagh: A look at Bandit Country

(BloodSpite’s Note: I originally wrote this in March of 2011. I’ve republished here for this years Irish Heritage celebration. I hope you enjoy!)

I’ve mentioned before that my family hails from County Armagh. However, my family does not align itself with the Ulsters. It’s one of the reasons we left Ireland in the 1940’s my grandfather having had enough of the frictions between the North and South, “We were all Irish, dammit.” he would often curse in his latter years with a shake of his head.

This post isn’t about politics however, it’s more about a place that politics happened.

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The Fields of Athenry

I first wrote this back in 2010. I have reposted it for our Irish Heritage Month – BloodSpite

Without a doubt this is my most favored Irish song. It’s not really traditional, having been written in the late 1970’s.

However, the story behind is as saddening as the lyrics.

More after the Jump

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Chris Muir must be channeling me

On more than one occasion I’m asked how I can work in IT and want a home that is off grid, why do I not have Netflix, Hulu, etc. Why I don’t move where internet is faster, better, more reliable, with more data. Why I don’t have the latest geek gizmo, or smart phone. Why do I still blog on my old desk top PC.

The simple answer is IT is where I work as I have too much vested in it over the years to change. However, now I live to work, not work to live and I don’t have to take part in the system anymore if I don’t want too and I don’t.

I’m tired of instant video. I’m tired of instant access. Tired of the constant barrage of advertisements at my gas pump, at the check out line. I’m tired of folks using my purchase history to try to sell me something else via my Email. I’m tired of being pushed to buy something 24/7. Tired of hearing what the Kardashians did this week, what Beiber did last night, and what Hillary is doing tomorrow. I don’t care whose phone was hacked anymore. I’m tired of hearing about government officials who stay out of jail after breaking laws that you and I would never see daylight again.

I’m just tired. Of all of it.

Chris Muir of Day by Day, got it perfect with this one.

Down to the Wire by Chris Muir March 22, 2016

Down to the Wire by Chris Muir March 22, 2016

Madness…or why I hate Statistics

Compose an experiment design for the hypothesis you selected for your chosen data set. In your response, address all the factors that potentially jeopardize the validity of your design. Describe the methods, variables, and measures of control as well as the corresponding research statistics that will be employed. Address each design component in 1–2 separate paragraphs

What the actual hell.

I often question my decision to continue my education past my masters degree. I often wonder if I am just a glutton for punishment, am secretly a masochist, or just feel like I need to experience some cerebral variety of self flagellation.  Eric never gets this type of thing in his classes.

Today is especially one of those days. I literally look at this assignment and I am asking myself

“What the flying tee total hell does this even mean?!”

Oh and I have to figure it out by Wednesday. No pressure.

The Orangemen of Ulster

(I first posted this on March 10, 2007 at it has been reprinted here for posterity and your enjoyment)

The Orangemen are a peculiar amalgam of history, anger, controversy, patriotism, and pain.

The Orangemen of Ulster March

It was founded in the same County that my own family heralds from…Armagh. Given Armagh’s heritage with apple’s it’s no surprise that we settled in Ellijay then, the Apple Capital of Georgia. The Orange Order is a Protestant fraternal organization based predominantly in Northern Ireland and Scotland with lodges throughout the Commonwealth, Canada and in the United States.

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St. Patricks Day: About St. Patrick and his Day

I first published this at Techography on March 17, 2007. I’ve reposted it here for posterity and your reading pleasure!- BS

    I, Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the faithful and most contemptible to many, had for father the deacon Calpurnius, son of the late Potitus, a priest, of the settlement [vicus] of Bannavem Taburniae; he had a small villa nearby where I was taken captive. I was at that time about sixteen years of age. I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people, according to our deserts, for quite drawn away from God, we did not keep his precepts, nor were we obedient to our priests who used to remind us of our salvation. And the Lord brought down on us the fury of his being and scattered us among many nations, even to the ends of the earth, where I, in my smallness, am now to be found among foreigners.
    St. Patrick, The Confessio

The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about AD 385. His given name was Maewyn Succat, and he almost didn’t get the job of bishop of Ireland because he lacked the required scholarship.

Far from being a saint, until he was 16, he considered himself a pagan. At that age, he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village. During his captivity, he became closer to God.

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So I have been experimenting with Tumblr for a little while now. For fun I have added a widget off to the right, as you may be able to see, which will not only show you my Tumblr activity but if you click it will take you to my Tumblr site.

I confess to finding it mildly entertaining. The bigger facet it is it is simple easier to share pictures via that system than it is this one. That doesn’t mean I will stop putting pictures here.

Rather it means my more random, day-to-day picture taking will like end up there, while my written visualizations and etc will continue to be here.

All clear as mud I am sure. Meanwhile feel free to check it it out at The Prodigal Stranger.

  • photo from Tumblr


    Trick or treating haunted houses in Detroit 🎃👻 #halloween #raveoutfits #cybergoth #cyberpop #ravegirl #gothgirl #treackortreat #detroit #fluffies #ravestyle #gothstyle #plurvibes #evolutiondivision

    Very cool….and hot :)


  • photo from Tumblr


    Well said


  • photo from Tumblr

    Another day another airport


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