Sunday, January 22, 2017

Why Women Put Up with Dirt Bags

I've seen it, you've seen it, we've all seen it. You have a friend or family member who is with a guy that is so much of a complete waste of oxygen that you keep asking,

Why in the hell does she put up with that guy?

As I was taking a shower this morning (source of many of my greatest insights) ,  I remembered a couple of decades ago when I was teaching a course on History of Psychology, discussing a guy named Alfred Adler who was most famous for coining the term "inferiority complex".

In a nutshell, while his buddy, Sigmund Freud, thought everything was about sex, Adler thought it was all about inferiority. Basically, we come into this world helpless, surrounded by big people more powerful than us and it's in our nature to try to overcome this inferiority.

Adler's theory about people wanting to feel powerful explains a lot of women (and some men) who stick with spouses, friends, significant others who are just plain awful.

Let me give two examples:

Jane is a clerk at 7-11. She graduated high school, got a minimum wage job and has her own small apartment. She's kind of average - which in the U.S. means 10 or 15 pounds over a healthy weight. She's a nice person. She's not setting the world on fire but most of her friends would describe Jane as "okay". 

No one would describe her boyfriend, Bob, that way. The only thing standing between Bob and sleeping behind the dumpster is Jane. In fact, "dumpster fire" might be a good way to describe Bob. He's drunk most of the time, doesn't bathe, has never had a job in his life and his nickname for Jane is "Fat Bitch". Why in the hell does she stay with him?

Jane may tell you that she loves him and no one else understands him. I suspect it is more like this - Bob enables Jane to feel superior and powerful. She has a job (he doesn't). She has friends (he doesn't). She has a decent personality (he doesn't). She's not an alcoholic (he is). Also, he doesn't cause feelings of anxiety about leaving her for a better person - where is he going to go? Even if she is working at a minimum wage job for a jerk of a boss, she can feel like she is a savior in her personal life. Even if Bob doesn't acknowledge it, she knows.

The funny thing is, I have seen many Jane-and-Bob couples and if he happens to sober up and get a job, more often than not, she dumps him!

Let's take a second example:

Janet is a star. She has an MD from an Ivy League university and is on staff at a good hospital. Her goal is to get board certified in cardiology and work at one of the top hospitals in the world. She hits the gym nearly every day, spends a good amount on her hair, nails, make up and clothes so she looks good but not so good that you'd imagine that's all she thinks about. Her friends would tell you that Janet has it going on - but that boyfriend of hers - eyes roll.

Robert manages a shoe store and is a class A jerk. He is always putting Janet down, telling her that she doesn't understand "the real world". He dresses like a million bucks using the credit card on their joint account. He talks down to her constantly about her lack of knowledge of the stock market, economy, etc. - although he dropped out of business school and has zero expertise in stocks other than dropping a bundle of her money. All of Janet's friends and family loathe Robert and have no compunction telling  her so.

So ... what the hell?

From Janet's point of view, Robert needs her. The only thing keeping him from being a social pariah is her.  He'd never go to events sponsored by the American Medical Association if it wasn't for her. She's a good physician but there are better physicians the hospital could hire, but there is no way on earth Robert could find a better girlfriend than her. To her friends, Janet is a star but at the hospital she is just one of several really amazing doctors. Robert, on the other hand, would be nothing without her. By the way, if she admitted that he was a condescending, mediocre creep, what would that say about her for dating him for six years?

So, there you have it, from me and Alfred Adler, why women date douche bags.

My day job is making video games.

Fish Lake runs on Mac and Windows

Forgotten Trail on Chromebook, Windows, Mac

Making Camp on iTunes and Google Play

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Yes, if you voted for Trump, I DO think less of you

I posted this on Facebook in response to a blog post someone shared where the guy said yes, he was appalled by Trump mocking people with disabilities, insulting prisoners of war, insulting parents of a soldier killed in the line of duty, insulting a civil rights hero, assaulting women - but that people who voted against Trump didn't understand how hard it was to make it in this economy. Since it was kind of long, I thought I may as well re-post it here.

I resent greatly the implication that the people who are appalled by Trump either are
a) on the public dole or
 b) never had to balance a budget.

I left home at age 15. Read that again FIFTEEN YEARS OLD.

I have never collected unemployment, food stamps, TANF or any other government benefit. Nope, not even a Pell grant. I earned four degrees while working full time, founded several companies, made a profit every year. I did not start off with millions of dollars from my daddy, like your boy. Nope, I started with clothes from Goodwill and working at a series of shitty jobs as everything from dishwasher to waitress on the graveyard shift at an all night restaurant to file clerk until I graduated with an MBA from a state university because it was what I could afford. Then, I got a decent job as a data analyst, then industrial engineer and worked my way up from there.

When my husband was sick, I worked three jobs to pay the medical bills, then funeral bills, plus private school and preschool for three young children. I have chopped firewood in the dead of winter and crawled under my car in the snow to wire back on the tail pipe that was rusted by salt and dragging. I know very much what it is like to start with nothing and struggle your way up.

Trump offends and insults every value I hold dear in my life and although I won't necessarily disown anyone who voted for him, yes, I WILL think less of you that you saw someone who mocked people with disabilities, thought not paying taxes was smart, assaulted women, insulted Mexicans, prisoners of war, the parents of a soldier who died in the line of duty, thinks laws regarding ethics and conflict of interest don't apply to him, aligned with people who denied science on everything from climate change to vaccines and so much more and none of that was a deal breaker for you.

Some people, my estimate of them was at 100% and it dropped to 98%. Some it was at 4% and it dropped to 0,  just one in a long list of reasons I think you are a bad person.

The fact is, yes, if you voted for Trump I DO think less of you than I did before. Is that discrimination? If I find out you cheated on your spouse I will think less of you also. If I find out that you drive while drunk or  lie about your income to qualify for loans or scholarships, get investors or avoid paying taxes, I'll think less of you also. It is finding out that you have lower standards, worse values than I thought you did and I will be disappointed.

You have a right to vote for whoever you want and I have the right to my opinion that it reflects your values, which are clearly not my values. To say you are willing to sell your soul for a better economy (which is basically what the author of that blog stated) should make any true Christian wonder what happened to the Biblical injunction that "Man does not live by bread alone". Those of you who claim to be Christian and voted for Trump have just established yourselves in my eyes as the biggest hypocrites on earth. Two gay people getting married threatens marriage but a guy who continually cheats on his wives does not? Give me a fucking break!

 I have been REALLY poor in my life, but never so poor that I was willing to sell my soul.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

People are weird

I know this is a post from Captain Obvious, shown here wearing her obvious hat ...

... but people are weird.

I get some of the seriously weirdest comments. For example, take this one that I have heard more than once,

"You think just because you won a world judo championships, that means you know about judo."

Why, yes, in fact, I do. Now, if those people said that I thought I knew more about judo than anyone else in the world, maybe making that statement would have made some sort of sense, although they would have been wrong (I can name several people who I think know more than me - Ron Angus, Jim Pedro, Sr. and Hayward Nishioka jump to mind in a second.)

I have no idea where those people are coming from, in general. A couple of specific people have said to me,

"You may know how to throw and arm bar people but you have no idea of Jigoro Kano's The WAY of judo as Jigoro Kano defined it."

(For the uninitiated, Jigoro Kano founded judo in 1882.)

These people always remind me of the time I was at a judo seminar and some guy went on and on about how all of us there sucked because KANO didn't want judo to be like this and KANO wouldn't allow these grips and KANO ...

... when the judo coach for the Puerto Rican team leaned over to me and said,

"That guy keeps bringing up Kano. Do you think he knows he's dead?"

Then there are the people who say to me,

"You think you're smart just because you have a Ph.D. Having a Ph.D. doesn't make you smart."

Well, having a Ph.D. sure as hell doesn't make you dumb. I got my Ph.D. from the University of California, not Joe's Clown College, and I worked my way through school from my freshman year of college, so, yeah, I think it does make me smart.

The even weirder people say,

"You think just because you have a Ph.D., you are smarter than me."

I don't even KNOW you , random Bob on the internet, but based on the sole fact I have about you that you have nothing better to do than post on my blog which I just took a break from PHP scripting to post, well, now I think I'm smarter than you, sure.

The weirdest people have to be the ones who come to my blog and then post how much they don't like it. I might understand this once - okay, you came, you did not find it sufficiently enlightening. Fine. You can go read my other blog where I write about stuff like the parallel analysis criterion for determining the number of factors in a factor analysis. (Yes, I have a day job.)

What I don't get is the people who come here repeatedly and post comments about how dumb my blog is. So, don't read it. It's not homework.  

Do they think that because they post something I will say to myself,

"Gee, for the last nine years, when I felt like taking a break from writing software I have just gotten on blogspot and posted whatever random stuff I felt about rambling on about today but now random Bob from Moose's Elbow, Iowa doesn't like it so I guess I will quit blogging."

By the way, Iowa, moose don't have elbows.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

I have this to say about my daughter, Ronda

Like every mother and daughter on the face of the earth, Ronda and I don't always see eye to eye. However, there is one situation where I am pretty certain.

All of those who have criticized Ronda for taking a loss so to heart, for not just 'shrugging it off' don't understand that what made Ronda so successful is that she cares DEEPLY about winning to an extent that I don't believe the average person can wrap his/her head around.

Caring deeply about something and working your hardest to achieve it doesn't mean you make the right decisions 100% of the time. Wouldn't it be a nicer world if it did?

Those of you who want to criticize Ronda, I just want to point out a few things. First of all, I know her better than you and she is a smart, kind, talented, generous, hard-working person.

Second, I'd like to list some of her accomplishments, and note that she isn't yet 30 years old.

  • Junior World Judo Champion
  • Panamerican Games Judo Gold Medalist
  • First American woman in a decade to win a world cup in judo (and then she went on to win several more)
  • U.S. Open Gold Medalist
  • World Judo Championships Silver Medalist
  • Olympic Bronze Medalist
  • U.S. Senior National Champion
  • First UFC World Champion
  • First woman to make a million dollars in martial arts
  • Co-authored sports book of the year - My Fight/ Your Fight
  • Acted in three movies

That's just a partial list, but let me suggest that someone who has been world level athlete in two sports, written a best seller, acted in movies and made millions of dollars, all before the age of 30 has a pretty darn good track record. On top of that, Ronda has been part of the USADA drug testing since she was 16 years old, never failed a drug test,  always paid her taxes, never been arrested, never been to rehab, has zero divorces, zero DUIs and zero children. While you might think that is to be expected, look how many celebrities (heck, look how many of your neighbors) can say that.

I am very proud of my daughter.

As my other wonderful daughter, Maria, told her ,

"We love you just as much 10 minutes after every fight as we did in the 10 minutes before."

Edit: Since so many people asked me "What do you mean zero children? Children aren't a bad thing." I agree.  I have four. I meant that she did not have children before she was able and willing to raise them. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December 30 Tweetup & other life events

It's a crazy busy time of year. Ten days ago, we released our first game on Steam.

That same week gamers extraordinaire Jessamyn Duke and Shayna Baszler streamed Fish Lake on Twitch in a competition to see who could win $500 donated to their charity.

 Jessamyn won and $500 will be donated to the World Food Program on her behalf. It was pretty funny seeing her twitch stream followers helping her with the math.

Right this minute, I'm in Missouri about to head out to meet with teachers who use our games in their classrooms to get their feedback and some advice on ideas we have, like whether we should make the wolves in Spirit Lake more realistic and scarier.

Next, I fly to Las Vegas where on December 30 I will be part of the 'buy Ronda's mom a drink so she doesn't worry' um, I mean 

"Join us December 30th at 12pm for our #UFC207 #ArmbarNation & 7 Generation Games Tweetup for a chance to win Ronda Rousey autographed prizes. "
They told me to say that.

I'll be there at 1 pm, because it is a work day - who am I kidding, any day is a work day for me. Anyway, if you are in town, please drop by The Lobby Bar in New York casino. Maria will be there, too, and since it is a work event, for anyone who donates a game or classroom license, we will enter you in a drawing for prizes that include copies of My Fight/ Your Fight (and Maria will be there to sign it), Winning on the Ground (by me!) and other prizes.

If you are a teacher, we'll have a gift pack for you with games, stickers and other stuff for your classroom. All you need to do is show up and give us your email.

Gotta go. It's about 45 minutes to where I'm meeting with the teachers and as everyone who ever went to high school knows, teachers hate it when you are late.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Jessamyn and Shayna Twitch for Charity

What's a twitch and why are Jessamyn and Shayna doing it?

For the uninitiated among you, is where you can watch your favorite gamers play your favorite games. A friend commented to me that was pretty lame but this is someone who watches fishing shows and golf so, yeah, just quiet down over there. 

You can find Shayna Baszler at where she plays games and rants about all things fighting and wrestling.

Jessamyn Duke, another fighter, also has a channel on twitch

When Jessamyn was over at our house on Thanksgiving, I showed her the new Fish Lake we are RELEASING ON STEAM IN THE NEXT WEEK (can you tell I am excited?) and she offered to stream it on her channel when it came out.

I actually watch twitch at least a couple of times a week myself to get ideas for our games, when my own personal favorite gamer, Ronda, is not available.

My score last night was 1,950


Jessamyn and Shayna will both play Fish Lake on the day it comes out on Steam. (It should be this Friday, I'll let you know as soon as we get the go ahead from Steam.) Fish Lake is sort of like biathlon of video games. In biathlon you have to be good at cross-country skiing and shooting and you can't win the Olympics unless you are good at both of those. In Fish Lake, you have to be good at both playing games - shooting, canoeing - and fractions. Yes, it's an educational game.

Both Jessamyn and Shayna will receive the link for the game as soon as I finish this post. You can get it yourself on our website for $9.99 

They'll play it on twitch and I'll be donating $500 to the winner's charity.

#Gunclub charity : World Food Program - they feed hungry people around the world

#QueensArmy charity : Children of the Night provides a home, school, counseling and transportation to the shelter for children in the sex trade in the U.S.

Working on Fish Lake is why I have been barely visible the past two months. Download it for yourself or someone you like.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Mostly harmless

I often think we admire the wrong traits in people. On the long (three hour!) drive from Fort Totten to Minot in the snow, my mind had a lot of time to wander, when I wasn't concentrated on staying on the highway I could barely see under the ground flurries.

 Ground flurries, for those of you lucky enough to spend all of your life in non-snowy places like Southern California, Honduras or Australia (does it ever snow in Australia? Quick! Somebody let me know!) Ahem, ground flurries happen when it is not actually snowing from the sky any more but there is a whole lot of snow on the ground and wind that blows the snow around so you have snow flurries anyway. If it blows the snow into a mound, that's called a snow drift, and the highway had those, too.

 I digress. I was going to talk about a couple of people I like who crossed my mind in my wanderings. I like both of these guys and since I call everyone who shall remain nameless Bob, let's call them Bob1 and Bob2.

Bob1 is somewhat successful in the entertainment business and every time I talk to him, he is telling me a story about some famous person he has been with or some other famous person he knows. Some of my more judgmental relatives (you know who you are!) might call Bob1 a name dropper and might not like him. He IS a name dropper in the sense that he always wants to make sure you know that he knows Mr. Famous who won three Oscars, a Grammy and a megaphone.

However, Bob1's stories are actually pretty interesting and always true. They're about how he and M. Famous were doing this movie in Thailand and they decided to go to ride elephants and since Bob1 had been a gymnast in college and so was Famous, after a few shots they were doing handstands on the elephant. Okay, I totally made that one up, but you get the idea and Bob1 could definitely do a handstand on the back of an elephant after three shots of Jameson, which is one think I like about him.

The thing I like most about Bob1 is that he is not only amusing but he is completely harmless. Most people think of that as not a particularly complimentary term, but I mean it that way. I've never known him to say a false thing about anyone, to do a single mean thing. He isn't rude to waiters, doesn't kick dogs, wouldn't take advantage of you in a business deal and would feed your cat while you were out of town. Can you honestly say that you've never hurt anyone?If so, you are a better person than me.

 Bob2 is very similar. Also very rich. Every time I talk to him, he is telling me how much money he has and about the new thing he just bought. For some reason, I find this hilarious. I know he does this to impress people and, again, some people might think he's kind of a jerk for that, but again, he's harmless. I AM interested sometimes in the new Lamborghini or Van Gogh or whatever he has bought himself. Not in a "oh, you are so awesome, I wish I was you" but honestly, like, "Oh, so that's what that looks like. " Or, "So, that's where you would go to buy a customized genetically modified Christmas tree shaped in your own self-image." Bob2 made his money the old fashioned way, by working, and if he wants to spend it on the world's largest ball of string, he's not hurting anyone.

Before you jump to conclusions and say, "They're not helping anyone, either" I would disagree with you. First of all, you don't know that and secondly,you're wrong. They do help people in various ways, sometimes a lot. That's not the only reason I like them, though. Plenty of people who give to charity or help out their friends are awful human beings who made their money on things like predatory loans to poor people on whom they then foreclosed and sold their homes for pennies on the dollar, or as lawyers defending those practices.

What I find funny is if you asked Bob1 why I liked him, one of the reasons he tells you might be all the famous people he knows. Not only do I not care but I don't know the difference between a Grammy and and Oscar and I don't think a megaphone is an award but I don't care. I'd be just as interested in his stories if he was hand-standing on elephants with my neighbor, Shannon, next door. If you asked Bob2 why I liked him he would immediately tell you it's because he's rich followed by a summary of how much money is in each of his investment funds and bank accounts. The truth is that one of the things I like about both of them is that they are harmless and I think that is a good thing.

And if you recognize yourself here, please don't stop working into the conversation every time you see me, "You know, I'm really rich" because I find it hysterical.