Shadowrun

Since I discovered Shadowrun back in 1992 I’ve been in love with it. I never really got the chance to play it until much later, but in the meantime I tried to read up on as much of it as I could, though I never bought any of the books until I actually started playing. Before that happened however, I knew I wanted to play it, but I had to wait until the time was right, and I had to make do with the SNES and Sega console games that were available at the time. So we start playing, and I’ve always been the GM for the game. I’ve got an excellent gaming group, who all enjoy Shadowrun, so things were good. Sadly, since about a 18 months now I’ve suffered a severe bug in my system and I just couldn’t really offer it the time and attention it needed to maintain a consistent campaign, so I shelved it. With it went the development of the Shadowrun section of this website, much to the dismay of many of the regular visitors to wRx. But slowly the desire to start playing and developing is returning. I felt it today as I read a Shadowrun 4 game review and cruised by the Official Shadowrun Website. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new edition. Until that time, however, I’ll be playing D&D and World of Warcraft, and developing the back-end of this section so that I may use it for the new incarnation fo the Shadowrun section, once I start playing again. What? You didn’t think I would let a new version of Shadowrun pass without updating my website, did you? :)

Buggy Code

I hate it when I make mistakes, or when I overlook things that lead to mistakes, especially when coding. There was an bug in the weblog I made to keep track of who comes to this website. Well, actually, there was a bug in the monthly process that stores the statistics to a different table, to increase performance. I lost the data for the whole month of May. Grrr.

European Constitution

I have very mixed feelings about the European constitution, and the referendum coming up on June 1st. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like the idea of a democracy, for the very simple reason that I don’t want ill-informed people to determine, through a referendum, which direction this country is going to take, and in this specific case, which direction it will take within the European Union. Most people I’ve spoken to are badly informed, and know it, but some people – and I’m afraid these people represent a significant part, if not majority, of this society – are goign to vote against the constitution because they misplace the blame of the economic recession ( I know, I know, technically it’s not a recession ) on the introduction of the Euro, and equate the Euro with the European Union, since that’s the only way that most people are exposed to the Union in their day to day lives. What people here don’t realise is that Dutch exports have increased and become more profitable, and the most optimistic figures suggest as much as 80%, money all of which floods into our economy and improved the general wealth of this country. We don’t immediately see it, but the European Union benefits all of us, even if the Dutch put more money towards the Union per person than any other member-country.

So, I say; for shame that we’re not better informed. For shame that our political leaders didn’t do more to inform the public. For shame that the public didn’t do more to inform itself of this important decision. For shame that we misplace blame. For shame that we’re on the verge of voting against the constitution, en masse, simply because we don’t understand, nor care to understand what it stands for.

But, on the other hand, the constitution looks to be pretty shitbox, and incredibly open to differences in interpretation, definitely when the cultural differences of the different members are pretty significant. What will happen is that these differences of interpretation will have to be settled in the European courts, making this constitution as controversial and contested as the constitution of the United States of America. They can’t seem to agree on anything, neither. So perhaps it’s best that this constitution is shot down. Perhaps it’ll lead to a more carefully deliberated and a more conservative draft of the constitution, less likely to lead to conflict.

But of one thing I am very sure; the European Union is necessary in order to remain at our current level of welfare and to remain competitive on a global economic stage. But not only economically, but also interpersonally, we need a better cohesion, not so that we can be stronger globally, but also intra-continentally. The European Union was born in a post-WWII time, where everyone wanted some peace and quiet for the first time in over 30 years. It’s important that we get along with our neighbours, it’s important that we have a common cause.

And this is why I’m so conflicted, because I want to go forward, and I know it’s important that we do, but I also know that now is not the time yet.

The Gut is Unhappy

Traditionally, I’ve had a tremendously reliable stomach. I could eat anything, past its expiration date or not, with or without fungal growths, with or without a heartbeat and cognition, and I would still be fine. Where lesser men would tremble and fall to the ground, clutching their bellies, crying like children and occassionally bleeding from several orifices, I would walk tall, and unaffected.

My stomach lining was made of asbestos, but alas, not no more. Yesterday it started, and it lasted throughout the day, and well into the night. I went to sleep super-early because the occassional jets of pain were making very tired, but in the middle of the night, the pain woke me up. Well, it’s not really even pain, I guess. It’s just more of an occassional serious discomfort. I hope it fades soon.