The Netflix Queue of Life

One of the downsides of being self-aware enough to know what you enjoy is that you can be overwhelmed with things you want to do. A lot of people are unfortunate enough not to have this problem, so I don't mean to be whiny, because it literally is a case of drowning in one's own riches. I look at my Netflix queue, with over 140 movies and shows, and I want to see it all at once. The same with fun stuff in my life.

Having a cornucopia of delectable activities to pursue makes the opportunity costs that much more acute. Experiencing flow doing one thing can be interrupted with thoughts about what else you could be flowing while you do. Or just trying to choose can be tough. But you can be relieved that whatever you choose will be something highly enjoyable.

A number of years ago, I decided to teach myself video game programming, in addition to writing a novel, playing video games, reading books, watching movies (and a few TV shows) and of course spending time with the rest of humanity including Dr. Trackball. Obviously, this was not going to work and everything else got less attention, especially the novel. So I had to jettison the project. It had a huge learning curve and the prospects for finishing anything were slim. (Most video games are done by experienced C++ programmers spending a ton of time on them.)

Woody Allen keeps making films in part to distract himself from the empty abyss he thinks that follows death. Not distracting himself just depresses the hell out of him. I have the other problem. I look at any reasonable length human lifespan and lament the inability to do all the really cool stuff one wants to do. My queue runneth over with things.

Currently, in addition to being papa and husband Trackball, I have the novel and other writing, reading books, blogging, working, watching things on my HDTV (Netflix and DVR'd goodies) and of course, playing video games. Oh, too many video games, too little time. And they just keep coming.

In the last bunch of months I've played Pirates, Civilization IV, Space Rangers 2 and Galactic Civilizations II and now am really into Star Wars: Empire at War. I could dive back into any of these. I have dozens more that have aged but not faded. I don't really have time to do all these. And there is one other game out there that has been calling me for months. I can't get it out of my head. Do I put it in the queue? Do I move it to the top?

Is the Queue of Life already overstuffed? Will I ever get to it all? This'll have to wait till next time because Minnie Trackball wants to read a book with me. See what I mean?

UPS and AVADirect: Great Service

The new computer arrived a little over two weeks after I ordered it from AVADirect, a custom computer builder. UPS kept me up to date on every step of the shipping, even down to the minute when they tried to deliver on a weekday, found no one home, and when they talked to my wife about dropping it off for us to pick up. They let me know all my options for retrieving the package, including picking it up at 8pm that night from a nearby customer center. Kudos, UPS.

The computer was packed in the computer case's box and all the documentation was in the box that the mother board came in, including the original CDs for Vista, etc. Talk about recycling! Hooked the computer up, turned it on and it was great. The only complaint I have is that in naming the computer account, they typoed it 'valued cusomer'. Not a big deal, except it is apparently impossible to rename folders in Vista, so even renaming the account to 'Dr. Trackball' didn't prevent 'valued cusomer' from reappearing on various folders. But that's a Vista problem.

Vista itself is pretty nice and the folder rename is the biggest problem. Games work well on it so far (gushing about Star Wars: Empire at War fits the positive comment thing but will bore you readers) and everyone's happy. The kids can fight over their own computer, we can share the new one and I am still smiling over great service once again.