Posts Tagged ‘Real Life’

What Laptop Should I Get?

Aion on a laptop

Aion running on a laptop? Probably just a screensaver.

It’s that time of life again when hardware starts to die, make strange noises and overheats enough to fry the treasured contents of the lap on which it sits atop. Yep, my notebook is on it’s last legs and it’s about time I got a new one, a matter that I need a bit of help and advice with.

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Warning: This post contains contemplations of a highly whimsical nature.

So I’m right in the midst of moving flat now.Today we hauled our most precious items (my wife’s jewelry and immigration documents and my computer – always good to know where one’s priorities lie) to our new abode and tomorrow we face the tiring wrath of the full furniture removal adventure. Top it off with the fact that Scotland is currently being hit with the heat wave of the century (24C/75F, people were collapsing from sunstroke in the streets today) and the next 24 hours don’t appeal to me very much. In fact, I might just crawl into a ball right now and die.

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What’s The Value Of Your Blog?

This is a topic that I’ve wanted to write about ever since I read Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik but didn’t because I know how uncomfortable this sort of thing makes most MMORPG bloggers. However, after a fascinating post from Tobold and some really interesting comments, I figured what the heck.

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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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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.


My 300th Blog Post

I just noticed that yesterday’s article was my 300th blog post. Absolutely insane, I tell you. For some reason the number caught my attention and really sticks out to me as a landmark. I guess that when I first started my poor little blog back at the end of the 2008, I never thought I’d stick it out for so long. And not only have I stuck it out but I’ve been loving every minute of it (except for when I get called a cock for writing provocative guest posts… well, maybe just a little).

300. Good comic. Good film. Good number of blog posts.

300. Good comic. Good film. Good number of blog posts.

If you look through my archives, I started off pretty strong in January 2009 and posted very frequently but it then it all took a big nose dive in the Spring as my commitment wavered. Back in March and April 2009, the pressures and commitments of work and relationships made it difficult for me to clear a path for my budding blogging hobby and I found things just weren’t clicking.

However, I woke up one day in May and decided, with sheer utter determination, that I was going to make a solid go of this whole blogging lark and since then I’ve been blogging almost every day with no sign of stopping. I think now I can honestly understand the whole mentality behind mind over matter and all that guff. If you want to accomplish something, you just have to make it happen regardless of the obstacles. Of course, now it sounds like my blog has done something tremendous like found the cure of cancer which it hasn’t (yet… that tomorrow’s post) but it’s still a personal sign to myself that I can actually do the things I want in life.

I’ve gained so much out of blogging that I never anticipated. I’ve made great cyber friends through other blogs and social networking and learnt more about MMORPGs than I ever could have imagined due to all of the great feedback I’ve had and other blogs that I’ve discovered. It’s all been very rewarding. If, of course, you think knowing a lot about an addictive video gaming genre is valuable.

My writing, another passion of mine, has also developed a lot in my last 300 posts. I started off very self-conscious then went through the stale, purely objective phase and now I’m entering more of a subjective, personal and intimate phase. I’m restraining myself less and writing more sarcastic and opinionated articles which are hopefully more humorous and engaging. It may not be to everyone’s tastes but it’s very interesting to me to see my style of writing evolve this way. I guess now I’m off the opinion that I want to challenge and shake things up a little (in a very British mild-mannered and sexual repressed kind of way).

So that was post number 301. Tomorrow, more interesting facts such as how I’ve received 4,033 comments, some not even spam. Excited? I bet you are.

Samsung Monitor Lust

Ever since we got some new 22″ and 24″ widescreen Samsung monitors at work I’ve been fantasizing about getting one for my home PC. I can’t really afford one and gosh knows I don’t technically need one (as my wife keeps reminding me) but the other week I came to the conclusion that I just can’t live without one. I don’t know how or why this fixation suddenly occurs but I name it the “Call of the Geek” and I react to it like a canine hearing a dog whistle.

Suffering is desire. Desire is Samsung.

Suffering is desire. Desire is Samsung.

Acquiring new bits of technology reminds me a lot of the drive behind MMORPGs. There seems to be a little bit in our brain that tells us that if we get another item or another upgrade then our lives will be easier, faster and more efficient. Perhaps it some sort of subconscious Nietzsche desire to become supreme beings and reach a state of utter perfection but it seems to really stir us onward in everything we do, and I feel particularly affected by it being a geek and gamer. I’m sure psychologists have a clever name and reasoning behind why we behave like this but all I know is that Samsung monitors are black and shiny and I want one.

The big problem is that there seem to be so many different models of widescreen monitors out there and I have no idea which one to pick. The P2250 or the P2270 or the SM2233RZ or the SM2333SW? Who would’ve thought picking a widescreen monitor would be so difficult? And that’s just from one brand. Plus I have no idea about what to look for in terms of specification. I know I want a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and nothing less but that’s about as far as my knowledge goes. Anyone got any advice?

Of course, I’m also open to suggestions for recommendations on any widescreen monitor, it doesn’t have to be Samsung (they do look very sexy though). I briefly considered Dell but dismissed them due to price and I always considered other brands like Acer to be a bit shoddy.

All of this does really remind me though of the four noble truths of the Buddha. For all of those non-Buddhists out there, let me summarise: suffering is desire. Pretty apt in this case huh?