Archive for the ‘Non-MMORPG’ Category

Guest Posts Update

7th_guest

Insert witty remark about 7th guest post here

Thanks again to everyone who helped brainstorm some guest post ideas a couple of weeks back and allowed me the honour of writing for them. The response was absolutely fantastic and it makes me proud to be part of such a great blogosphere.

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How A Paper Clip Saved My Sanity

I know what you’re thinking. You read the title of this post and assumed it’s got something to do with me escaping from a Vietnamese prison with nothing but a paper clip and my boyish charms. Well, sorry, but you’re wrong. This is actually a pretty dull tale about how a paper clip diagnosed a problem with my spare PC and has thus stopped me tearing handfuls of my rather thick and silky hair out.

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Guest Posts Galore

Here’s a little secret just between you and me: I’ve been having trouble performing lately. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking but it’s not that (in that area I perform like a chipmunk on a caffeine high). I’m actually talking about in a blogging sense and I guess I’ve just been feeling a little uninspired lately. Maybe it’s just a current dip with the MMORPG genre or a preoccupation with other things in my life but, whatever it is, I’ve decided to take action and try to shake things up a little. My solution? I’d like to write a guest post for your blog.

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This Is Not A MMORPG Post

As the title suggests, this is not a post about MMORPGs but rather just some real life waffle. Feel free to skip it and come back tomorrow although Heaven knows why you’d want to do that. I’ve been informed by a reliable source that reading my blog, no matter the subject matter, is akin to be smothered in honey and having it slowly licked off.

What I’m Reading

She's going to poke someone's eye out with that knife

She's going to poke someone's eye out with that knife

I’m currently reading Cell by Mr Stephen King although that’s going to stop today. I’m about 2/3 of the way through and I am not enjoying it at all. It’s downright dull and predictable and I’ve not bonded with any of the characters which is a real shame. Stephen King is one of my favourite authors but his material can be really hit and miss sometimes and Cell is definitely a miss. Time to halt my misery and move on.

Instead of Cell, I’ll be starting a new book called Out by Japanese author Natsuo Kirino. It’s a dark, psychological thriller/horror about four women who work in a factory and, after one of them murders her husband, craziness ensues. What type of craziness I have no idea cause I haven’t read it yet but it all sounds very interesting.

What I’m Watching

Mad Men season 3 is currently airing on BBC Four and it’s absolutely magnificent. Mad Men is without a doubt the most enjoyable thing on TV since The Wire and I look forward to it each week like a puppy does a bone. It is bizarre though finishing an episode and realising I’ve just spent 45mins been engrossed by the exploits of a chauvinist with problems expressing his emotions and a housewife with insecurity issues.

What I’m Wearing

Right now, a grey tracksuit with a hoody that makes me look like a convict from a chain gang. Classy.

What I’m Thinking

Politics mainly. The UK just had it’s annual budget released and it’s not too bad actually although it’s provoked the usual angry response from the Right Wing about how it’s raising taxes and costs for those that can afford to pay them. To be fair, I’ve almost given up all hopes for any of the political parties here and am now filled with a mixed sense of fear and curiosity as I await the whole system to implode in on us.

I’ve also been following the health care reform bill that just passed across the pond. Seems like a good thing to me. What’s not to like about tightening up the system to help protect those that need it most? Democracy at it’s best.

Stay frosty everyone.

-Gordon


Would You Like Some Cheese With Your Whine?

Today is international Whiny Post Day. It’s also St. Patrick’s Day but considering I’m neither Irish nor American I don’t celebrate it (on a completely unrelated note, does anyone else always think about that chase scene through the New York parade from The Fugitive everytime someone mentions St. Patrick’s Day?). Anyway, since I love silly holidays (only six months until International Talk Like A Pirate Day!) I figured I’d uphold the spirit of this ancient tradition and bore you all to death with some annoying, whiny post.

Except I’ve got nothing to whine about. I mean, I’ve got plenty of genuine, bonafide complaints but they’re all about real problems in the real world that are really hard to fix. Y’know, stupid stuff like recessions and house prices and all that guff. But small niggly things I want to whine about? Not so much. I’d love to say it’s because I’m filled with a deep compassion that oozes out of me and infects all who I come in to contact with with a beautiful and gentle karma but I cant. Honestly, I think it’s just because I don’t care. Sure, there are times where I write blog posts that I worry are going to upset people or things happen in a MMORPG that tick me off but usually theses concerns melt away as I switch off my PC and settle down to watch the awesome Don Draper in Mad Men with the wife. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

Still (and I’m really stretching it here), I may have something I can whine about. Time. I just don’t have enough of the bloody thing. There’s so many things I want to do that I just can’t fit them all in. Write. Read. Blog. Game. Love. Work. Sleep. There just aren’t enough hours in the day and I find myself trying to wring every minute out of the clock like a four year old replicant from Blade Runner.

How do other people manage it? How do they manage to juggle work, families, gaming, blogging, ranting, tweeting, buzzing and everything else that tickles my geeky fancy into a single full rotation of the Earth? I try little tricks like reading in the bath, writing mental blog posts in the showing and even not washing at all but it never works and something always gives. Unfortunately right now that thing tends to be sleep but, sod it, as Bon Jovi once sang “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. Cause I’m that hardcore.

So there you have it, my half-arsed attempt at a whiny post.

Do you have anything you want to whine about?

In fact, don’t tell me. I don’t care.


New Design Preview

As part of the on-going process to keep impoving We Fly Spitfires, my fantastic team of Norwegian android designers (they’re more Photoshop than man now) recently came up with a new and improved design for the blog. I thought it would be fun to let y’all have a sneak peak and take a look so you can leave any comments or feedback you might have about it.

New design sneak peak

New design sneak peak

The design incorporates both small tweaks and large changes. For instance, the banner has changed from green to blue and the nav bar from blue to red yet the right hand side is quite a bit different and footer is entirely new (I love big chunky footers on websites). We’re also trying to change the main content area too to make it bit more user friendly than just being one gigantic list of all the posts from the past seven days.

This design isn’t the end of the road though and we’ve got ideas for move improvements after I get this built (it likely won’t go live until mid April). The next step, design wise, is probably to make more use of icons and content description. For instance, I want to rework my tags and actually make them mean something and properly describe the content of the post. If I write something that’s going to piss you off or make you laugh, I’d like you to know that it was my intention.

So what do you think? Speak now or forever hold your peace.


You Know You’ve Made It As A Blogger When…

It’s often hard to gauge the ’success’ (if we can use that word although we really shouldn’t) of a blog. To some, 10 regular readers is a success yet to others only 100,000 will suffice. It’s all relative. And even then, rewards can vary and are often very subjective. Professional bloggers are successful because they make enough money to earn a living; I’m successful because I get the occasionally flattering email or comment that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Regardless, success is hard to measure. But there is one way…

Here are the steps, in ascending order, of knowing if you’re blog is successful:

1. You get automated spam comments advertising viagra, dental floss or facelifts

Receiving that first comment in your spam folder is such a lovely feeling. Finally you know that the world of the Interweb has accepted you into it’s emotionally scarred bosom. Enjoy this first moment and soak it up, it will never feel the same again.

2. You get automated spam emails from people looking to advertise their online casino or Flash based MMO on your blog

Now you’re warming up! Not only are the spammer targeting your comments section with automatic spam but they’re now sending you direct emails too! Those clever devils. Advertise for an online Chinese casino on my blog? Sure, thing! Need my bank account details to send me my massive cheque? Of course!

3. You get personalised spam comments from trolls

What’s that? Someone took several minutes out of their lives to think up poorly worded insults and badly written slurs? This is the sign you’re truly starting to make it as a blogger so savour every moment of it. Take a screenshot of those comments and email it to your mum for her to see your new found success.

4. You have your own nemesis

Ahh, now you’re starting to get really popular! Your own personal stalker who can’t write their own original blog posts and instead has to counter everything you say with their own parasitic rebuttal. The nemesis is rare and few and far between so count yourself lucky if you’re one of the few with their own personal stalker. And remember, underneath that veil of pretence is someone who admires you deeply.

5. You have your own parody

Whoa! Jackpot, baby! Imitation is the highest form of flattery, as they say. Very few bloggers have had their own parody before and it’s truly a sign of greatness when it happens. Highly sycophantic, incredibly funny and very flattering, just be wary that the person parodying you is probably fantasising about wearing your skin as a mask.

I reckon I’m just starting to edge into #3 and I’m looking forward to achieving the next few steps over the years to come (one can only hope). Where does your blog reside?