February 21, 2005

Too much time on my hands...

In case you're wondering, I haven't forgotten about this blog.

I've just been way too busy playing World of Warcraft for anything else to distract me at the moment. Over the weekend I clocked approximately 20 hours or so, a staggeringly hugely unusual amount of time. And it's not just me either - check out this press release from Blizzard. Now correct me if I'm wrong but that's a lot of players out there!

I've finally decided on playing on the Al'akir PvP server - I'm on as Crucifer, a level 16 Tauren (that's a minotaur by the way) Hunter accompanied by a level 16 pet - a lion called Battlecat.

A couple of guys I work with have joined the same server. Scythe is on as Shibby - a level 14 Tauren Warrior, Kitten is on as Saffyre - a level 12 Tauren Shaman, and Kaynej is on as Horse, another Tauren Shaman though level 16. Also, another of my friends is on as a level 7 Troll Shaman - though he's miles away in another area of the world.

And if you think I'm spending too much time on a game - check this out. And nope, that's not a joke either. I just hope WoW doesn't go the same way. Or if they do, they choose a better pizza make.

Last week, I took a brief hiatus from playing WoW to celebrate a special occasion. Susan and I celebrated our Seventh Anniversary. It was 7 years ago that we met at Heathrow Airport for the first time and spent a glorious 4 weeks travelling around London and England seeing sights, etc. 7 years down the line, we're now living happily together in domestic bliss (apart from the odd argument about my spending too many hours on World of Warcraft).

Bookwise, I've just read The Legend of Huma by Richard A. Knaak. Of all the Dragonlance writers, I love his books the most. He has a most vivid way of humanizing his heroes. By that I mean, they're not these epic heroes of legend, just every day guys and ladies who end up being immortalised in stories.

February 12, 2005


After managing to copy all my relevant documents and files to Susan's computer, my windows 98 Operating system finally gave up the ghost and refused to boot up due to a .dll error. Fortuitous to say the least, it's an indictment of exactly how bad my computer has been for the past six months or so.

Windows 2000 is the shiny spanking new operating system of choice but already I feel despondant about connecting to the internet. This bold new frontier is already filled with so many scripts, trojans, worms and viruses that apparently an unprotected pc will last up to 12 seconds without some kind of protection before it succumbs and becomes infected. That's a shockingly short amount of time...

World of Warcraft (WoW) went live yesterday. I've already received the wonderfully packaged Collectors Edition which contains The Art of WoW Book, the game in both DVD and CD format, the full soundtrack on CD, an hour long Behind the Scenes DVD, a cloth map depicting Azeroth and Kalimdor and other sundry items. It looks very well packaged and I'll be looking to pick up any other Collectors Editions from Blizzard in the future.

Hopefully, I'll be able to meet up with a bunch of other players from a guild called Inner Circle. Most of them are decent players (apart from Hei Tiki) and I've played with them before during my year tenure on Asheron's Call 2.

At the moment I'm torn between 3 different characters - the Troll Hunter, the Tauren Druid and the Undead Warrior. I'll probably create all 3 and try them out to see which one is the better class to solo with.

Finished reading The DaVinci Code by Dan Browning. It was a pretty good read but I kept guessing the twists. I suppose they were very cliched. A much better book read was The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, and it's in the same genre as well. Actually, I couldn't help shake off the feeling that this was The Name of the Rose Part 2.

Work continues to be busy and exhaustive and I'm continuing to complete as much as possible whilst being plagued by support calls. Some good news - I might be able to buy a 17" monitor and an old USB scanner for £20. Hopefully, I'll be able to buy it soon - this monitor is starting to show its age (8 years old).

February 05, 2005

Getting Underway

After an exhausting week at work, it's finally the weekend. I think it's been all the more exhaustive because I had the week before off. All manner of things have been going wrong at work and I have had less and less support in finishing projects. My boss did have a quick chat with me just before I left on friday to say she had noticed a high rate of calls completed in the last week - Hurrah! someone finally said something positive. Not that it will stop me from writing up my cv and looking for work elsewhere...

Next big piece of news is that World of Warcraft will go on sale on February 11th. I have already pre-ordered my Collector's Edition so hopefully I will get this before that date but you never know with distributors.

Ladonna is now level 21 and exploring all parts of the WoW world. She's even managed to take parts in some Horde raids (players join together to go raiding into enemy territory - it's called Player vs Player and manages to poke fun at other players). Unfortunately, the servers will be wiped on the 10th and Ladonna will cease to exist. When the servers come back up, the chances are I will be playing Horde as Scythe and Kitten (and Kayne and a few others) will be playing that Kingdom. I loved the Hunter class so I think I'm going to go with that again.

Before that happens though I'm going to wipe my hard drives and install Windows 2000. Lots of things have been going wrong with my computer and I can only imagine it's because I've updated from Windows 98 First Edition to Windows 98 Second Edition. Apparently (although no one explained it to me before which makes me think that no one knew and only now claiming they knew all the time), upgrading always leads to instability in the OS.

So for the last week, I have slowly been uninstalling applications off my computer. All I have left are the basic internet tools and World fo Warcraft. And 1.5Gb of files. I'll copy those over to Susan's pc, fdisk my C: and D: drives (they're on the same hard disk), blow away the partitions, create a brand new 20Gb one and reinstall Win2k. Then I'll slowly add programs and convert drive E: (which will become drive D:) to NTFS. At some point I'll purchase a bigger hard drive but I don't need anything fancy for now.

Now, a word of explanation. People keep asking me "Oh. So not XP then?" The answer is NO! XP may have all the bells and whistles and look nice but it's also memory intensive. Plus any DOS programs will cease to work.
I've also noticed that XP tends to fall over a lot - far more than 98 ever did.

Other news - last week, I was watching a particularly interesting programme on TV, called
"Undercover Angels", about the shocking practices in hospitals by nurses (you know, not administering medicine properly, not sticking to protocol, essentially not giving a shit) and they featured Ealing Hospital.

Now, I've been to Ealing Hospital recently and I can confirm a lot of what the programme said. Last October I took Susan to Accident & Emergency because she had a really bad migraine and was throwing up (we were actually advised to go by NHS Direct). After she was checked and admitted, they left her for an hour and a half whilst they sat around a table and chatted. The only people I could see being looked after were the people being the noisest or making the most racket.

I've also been several times when my father has been ill and each and every time I wonder just what is going on behind the scenes in the wards. You can just stroll in and have a good look around before walking out (you're meant to be questioned by the nurses). God forbid I actually wanted to start screwing around with drips, etc. It's really that bad.

Finally, we're off this weekend to investigate getting a 0% Balance Transfer credit card so we can do something about our credit card debt. We've looked at the ins and outs and we've decided to take the initial step with a real bank (so if anything goes wrong we have a face to face explanation) - in this case Halifax. We've calibrated our budget and worked out we can make lots of savings. This will force us to spend those savings on the credit card repayments rather than just spending them on booze and takeaways.