Another month, another WoW title to earn

Late January brought us The Lunar Festival, and now at the tail end of it, we have Love is in the Air. While I don’t expect to be able to raid much on my rogue, I still consider that toon my main, and my achievement sponge, in spite of some achievements being easier to get on my healz priest.

So far, I have completed the Winter’s Veil and the aforementioned Lunar Festival title, and I’m not planning on losing momentum with this next one, in spite of the short period in which it’s available.

Kel’thuzad Downed!

This week was the first week that my guild had even made it to Sapphiron in 10-man Naxxramas, and only my second week raiding on my discipline-specced priest. After a frustrating night of wipes to the dragon, we managed to get together after the Super Bowl last night for another go at him, and downed him in two shots. It helped that each of us had a piece of frost-resist gear.

Afterwards, we tried Kel’thuzad, and downed him on the 4th attempt. It’s one thing to read up on the boss descriptions and to watch the boss kill videos, but nothing beats the experience of going through the fight.

I also got the opportunity to raid 25-man Naxxramas in another guild’s run leading a PUG. Many of the people I was with didn’t step foot in even 10-man Naxx before, and we could only down the Arachnid Quarter bosses. I felt vindicated in not wanting to start my Wrath raiding career with this experience of a lack of focus to the tasks at hand. It only goes to show that attitude and determination trump luck with gear.

Since I was a healing-specced priest, I had plenty of opportunities to raid in Naxx before I joined my current guild, but I declined each invitation firmly. I did not want to raid with a bunch of strangers in a PUG, I wanted to learn the fights in the team environment offered by a guild. I had not been able to do that before now because of the scheduling problems of a PST player in a largely EST guild, or not being able to tolerate nasty high-ranking guildies.

Of all the people who say that the current endgame is “too easy”, I wonder how many of them are comparing the current experience of being able to even attempt Naxx in questing greens and blues and the sheer drudgery of gearing up for Karazhan in the days of the Burning Crusade. Naxxramas may seem “easy” to a person who has experience with the sort of group coordination it takes to down bosses in the hardest heroic instances, and has already experienced raids. Once again, attitude and determination trump luck with gearing, and a Blizzard had made sure that a determined and focused group of raiders can more easily meet the requirements posed by the challenges in a raid instance.

My Main Time Sink

I am still reeling from financial burdens left over last marriage was, and I find myself with a lot of time, but not a lot of money to spend on things that make it “worthwhile”. I know it may seem shallow, but all the really enjoyable solo and social activities that I find also come with a pricetag attached, like watching movies, going out to dinners, picking up a hobby—which means buying materials to pursue that hobby. All that is going to cover paying my part of the mortgage and my rent.

As shallow for me to say this, but money does buy love. What relationships can start off without the courting phase that brings with it the bearing of little gifts, exquisite meals, and time lavished upon the woman would be monopolizing my attentions?

When I’m not working, I’m usually at home playing World of Warcraft, a game I started playing in March of last year. I have an addon that tells me how long I’ve played on all my characters, and it’s already over 100 days, so that means that nearly one third of my time, almost half my waking hours, have been spent in that game.

In all this time, I have 12 characters, or toons, on 3 different servers, 2 of which are at level 80. Of my level 80 toons, my favorite is my first, a female undead rogue, on which I collect as many achievements as I can get. My other level 80 is a female troll priest, specced for discipline—for some reason, I tend to raid and PUG more on the priest. Who wants to run with some stinky ol’ rogue when you can have a healer?

At the moment, I am experiencing the Wrath of the Lich King endgame content, and enjoying it. The guild I’m in is running 10-man Naxxramas weekly, and I get to run it on my priest. When I’m not raiding, I try to PUG heroics on my rogue, and grind out reputation with various factions, partly so I can collect mounts, pets, and titles. At level 80, the various outland factions are dead easy to work on, and the factions in Wrath have plenty of dailies in addition to the tabard system, which means I can have more and more time to devote to my lower-level toons.

So all in all, I am enjoying my timesink, and the guild I’m in is pretty laid back and easy going, so I do get plenty of social contact, if not being the face-to-face kind.

Indie Is Dead, Long Live Indie

My favorite radio station, Indie 103.1 just announced that they will soon cease broadcasting over the airwaves, and instead broadcast over the internet via SHOUTcast. I have noticed a shift in their playlists to less quirky styles of music, and a cutback on some of their more eclectic programming and changes in personnel. David Lynch was no longer delivering the weather forecasts, and Joe Escalanté had stepped down from being the morning show DJ to focus on an expanded Entertainment Legal Advice Radio Show.

According to Ars Technica, station representatives have not released further word about their intentions for future programming.

I’ve listened to their stream for part of the day, and the quirky and energetic playlist is back, but I have yet to hear anything from a live DJ.

Rewriting English at Work

I’ve worked a wide variety of jobs in my time, throughout college, grad school, and beyond, having had blue- and white-collar jobs. Throughout my time, I’ve been irked by what seems to be a conscious effort to bend the English language in unnecessary ways for the sake of exclusivity.

Having a science education, I know every field of study has its own specialized jargon, but it’s done with entirely new words that have been coined to describe new concepts. Why is there an organizational push to rewrite English for something where there’s a perfectly good vocabulary already in use?

Most of the examples that I have to draw from are in the world of business, and I’m not the only one who’s noticed. Attack of the Zombie Copy on A List Apart points out the inanity of most advertising copy for technical products. A company neither offers products, nor performs services, but has “Solutions”. Companies do not use, utilize, take advantage of, or plain ol’ exploit practical know-how—they “leverage”. The to-do list and the agenda have gone the way of “task lists” and “action items”.

The shift in mindset and vocabulary to work in a modern white-collar job is something alien to me, as there was no preparation for it in my science-heavy education, nor do I have the inclination or perversity to further seek out its origins. Could this have started as some business-school fad that virally spread out to other business schools, yet contained within their walls?

Even at Domino’s, I could tell there was a recent change of guard in the leadership when “Safe Driver” was dropped in favor of “Delivery Expert”. Along with branding changes, I view this is a trick that new C*Os use to show that they’re making concrete progress in their goals, and laying the foundations of their empire.

Edit 2009.01.16: grammar fix

I Have Moved to WordPress

I’ve installed and configured a WordPress blog at work, and found enough neat features in it to prompt myself to drop development on my blog software so I can get on with writing content. After all, that’s what a blog is for.

I will reintroduce my old posts, if not in full, and begin to unleash my opinions to the world at large once again.