Is there a heartbeat?

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Matt Barton
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No friends!
Mark Vergeer wrote:

I can imagine Matt being very comfortable where he is and enjoying the family and relationships close around him. Absolutely nothing wrong with that either!

Well, that's not quite it. I'm actually not comfortable here at all, feeling like I'm in an extended stay hotel with little to no contact with anyone outside of colleagues. I think I'd be much happier in a nice house, preferably one that resembled a cabin in some way. I like the idea of reading a book or such in front of a roaring fireplace when it's really cold and snowy outside.

I notice that I don't have friendships like I did back in high school or college anymore. There's not that sense of camaraderie, I guess. If I go to a club or whatever, the group seems too independent; like just together via coincidence rather than they actually really enjoy being together. I know it's my fault--ought to get out more--but it's much easier just to stay home playing games or what not. It just seems like that with each year I get older it gets less and less likely I'll ever have close friends again. (Outside the web, of course, but that's obviously not as good as having someone to hang out with). I guess this is why people my age have kids.

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Mark Vergeer
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Rodwy Bob, same here. I want

Rodwy Bob, same here. I want to experience living in another place instead of being 'just a tourist'. That's why I ended up being somewhat of a part-time American for about 10 years. Almost ended up living there for good.
Now we have a home in France and we enjoy being and living there. As it is so close to the Netherlands there is no need to change jobs or 'emigrate' to experience the French culture.
Living in a place and integrating into the local society is a very special experience that I enjoy tremendously. And because our lives are so finite, one should embrace the opportunity to see something of the world. That is if you enjoy it. I can imagine Matt being very comfortable where he is and enjoying the family and relationships close around him. Absolutely nothing wrong with that either!

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Rowdy Rob
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International Travelling

I've been to many countries in my life, and even lived in a few, but I'd like to do more international traveling. However, if I did go to another country, I wouldn't want to just see the sites and go home, I'd want to STAY there for a while. Some countries I've always been drawn to are Great Britain (particularly Scotland), Brazil, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands. I'd also like to go back to Japan, and perhaps Korea, but not Turkey!

Just going and seeing sites is fun, but I want to "feel" the everyday culture as well. Make friends, eat their food, watch their entertainment, survive, and just experience life from a viewpoint alternative to my native country.

I live in a tourist area, and I can tell you THERE'S NOTHING HERE beyond the tourist aspects. We have the beach, restaurants, shopping, amusement parks, musical theaters, lots of golf, nightclubs, and a few historical sites. THIS is the place to go if you want to get away from it all and have fun for a week or so, but there's little here beneath the artifice that you can't get everywhere else.

I talked to someone recently who went to both Scotland and Japan, and his summaries were very brief. Scotland: Lots of sheep and beer! Japan: They're just as advanced as us; even though their culture is so different, it all seems to work!

That's not enough for me, and almost seems insulting to these deep and interesting countries! He wasn't there long enough to "fall in love" with these countries and their people. That's why I would want to stay for a while.... Too bad we all have such finite lives!

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

Matt Barton
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I've never been much of a

I've never been much of a traveler (I get nervous if I'm lost or disoriented), so my preferred spots tend to be where I have family or friends who can help show me around. I loathe being on my own in a big city most of all.

One of my profs was always going on about how he spent the summers in a little French village somewhere, just writing and exploring the countryside. That always sounded great to me. However, my lack of foreign languages would undoubtedly get me into serious trouble. I know I've seen lots of scenery in Doctor Who that looks like a perfect vacation spot, but then again there are plenty of places in the U.S. if you know where to go (I don't.)

I'm probably going to Leavenworth for christmas break this year. It looks like fun, and Elizabeth's brother and his wife and child will be there as well. Should be fun. I just hope I can avoid the temptation to overindulge in the excellent beer!!! I haven't had a drop in three weeks now and am not especially wanting to get back into the old habits if I can help it.

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Mark Vergeer
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South America is a fascinating place, what about Asia or Japan?

Matt, I love that part of the US actually. The US is so diverse, it is so much more than the stereotype view a lot of Europeans have of it. Elise and I do want to make a big road-trip sometime in the near future and experience the grandure and the friendly folk out there.
I can tell you countless stories of incredible encounters I have had over the years traveling around the US via Amtrak, Plane, Bus and car.

A good friend of mine went to Japan for three weeks and came back with about 4000+ photos and quite a few movies and as it was a history/culture based trip he got to know quite a few interesting historical and cultural knick knacks (nic nacs? geez non nativeness strikes here) of the country. Makes me want to go visit it badly - very badly. He even got to go see 'videogame-heaven/mecca' and wondered around the shops selling those new Nintendo DS light etc. But the temples and the countryside were the best things I saw.

But I am getting more and more OT here ;-)
Cheers, Mark

p.s. back to brushing up my French vocabulary and grammar

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc. | www.markvergeer.nl

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retroc64
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Funny Matt! The minute I saw

Funny Matt! The minute I saw "Spanish history", I thought Pirates for the Commodore 64. I think that game was more educational than a year of middle school social studies!

Matt Barton
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Oh, BTW, I went to college

Oh, BTW, I went to college at NSU in Natchitoches, LA. That is a very interesting place historically--lots of creole influences from former Spanish and French. Maybe not as much as N.O., but maybe second best.

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Matt Barton
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I find the Spanish history

I find the Spanish history interesting as well. They really got a huge boost after the European discovery of the New World, but bungled up the finances so bad--they were crazy to try to enforce so much Catholicism even in other countries; so wasteful! Apparently, a lot of these monarchs felt that they would go to hell if they didn't try to destroy Protestantism everywhere they could.

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Mark Vergeer
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History - Sim/Civ games

Religious conflicts have been very much a part of European history. The Catholic-Protestant conflict (two Christian faiths) has raged all across Europe. The amount of people that lost their lives in the Thirty Year War is mind boggling. The fact that the war was predominantly fought by mercenaries who didn't even had a personal/religious stake in the matter but just did it for the money is interesting to say the least.
The Napoleontic & Spanish wars are favorites of mine especially because they very much influenced local history of my University town - which is actually still my town of residence. Quite a few Spanish and French genes got introduced into the Dutch gene-pool.

History is fascinating, really any history for that matter. The histories of Luxembourg and Poland are also quite interesting when you look at the populations and languages they spoke. When you look at Poland, it is quite interesting to find out that the country actually disappeared alltogether for quite a number of times and that the actual position on the map varied a lot.
Most European borders have been established after the 1st world war. I often use history as a template for my Civ or even old Sim games.

Matt: I've been studying American history for a bit after Obama got elected, especially the civil war and the civil rights movement. Amercian history is fascinating.
But if you go back a bit further you're able to read about New Orleans and how it was occupied by the French and the Spanish. The Old French quarters actually look (I hope they still do after the floods) more Spanish than they look French.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc. | www.markvergeer.nl

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Matt Barton
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Nice post, Bill. I just

Nice post, Bill. I just wanted to add that if you look at one of those "highly active" forums, I challenge you to calculate the # of worthwhile posts to the garbage, people saying "YEYAAHHH!!" and "U HAAXoR RAWKZ!!" and so on. I figure that the more people you have on a board, the more junk you'll have to sift through. At least here, if you see a post, you know it's going to be good. I never have to think, "Oh, geez, it's that Fighter 17 dude again. Big deal." That's not how I want to spend my free time. I mean, think of it--here you have three of the smartest men in gaming. We even have a real Dutch psychiatrist on board! How many of even the professional sites can boast that?

BTW, Mark, I've been studying the Netherlands' history a bit in the context of the Thirty Years War. Fascinating stuff; I had no idea there had been so much religious conflict there.

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