Wednesday 4 June 2014

Now Hibernating...

This blog is going into hibernation until further notice. I had hoped to make a post on this blog at least once a month, but various circumstances have intervened.

I have been rejected for treatment by the district health board for my rare dental condition, on the grounds that I'm not sick enough, and as a result I have sought treatment for depression and PTSD resulting from the prospect of becoming an American-style medical debt statistic. Despite the best efforts of my usual dental professionals and my local MP, the health board has so far refused to budge. From the Health Minister's response, he seemed to recommend an instalment plan, which would only paper over the cracks - I'd still be out of pocket for the same amount regardless of whether I pay up front or over time. I could get subsidised dental surgery if I had a Community Services Card, but to qualify for one I'll have to take a pay cut, although in fairness I'd probably get a shorter working week in return. Besides, I'm already working 6 days a week and my work-life balance needs fixing.
You know a nation's priorities are screwed up when it supposedly can't afford medical treatment for its citizens, but it can somehow afford to dole out pork barrels to industries with all the right political connections, especially sunset industries like the Tiwai Point smelter.

I went to the Armageddon Expo over Queens Birthday weekend, and that still didn't cheer me up much. Most of my friends decided not to attend this year's event, and many of the more novel attractions have been cancelled or have otherwise faded into oblivion. A case in point was the anime music video contest, largely due to rule changes that effectively strangled the creativity of its entrants. In fairness, anime itself also seems to have reached a saturation point.

On top of all that, my current job is facing obsolescence due to changing trends in technology. My skills are effectively out of date, and upskilling doesn't come easy or cheap these days. My future career hopes now hinge on a mentorship with the local branch of an ICT industry organisation.

I've also been finding that much of what I'm currently writing about is already being covered by others, so I am feeling a lesser need to reinvent the wheel. I'll still be active in the Twitterverse and various specialist Web forums, since micro-blogging seems the best alternative for me to long-form blogging, and you'll see my Twitter feed on the sidebar.

Now hibernating...

Monday 27 January 2014

Just when I thought I'd broken the habit

If you're wondering why this blog has been a bit quiet lately, I regret to inform that just when I thought I had broken the habit... I've started playing World of Warcraft again.

This time round, I've been power-levelling a new warlock toon who has reached level 66 as of writing. And as you can see, she's a bit on the shameless side. Some people still take the issue of female armour a tad too seriously though.

With yet another expansion announced, there's still more to come. It's nothing short of remarkable that a game originally released 10 years earlier - albeit with mid-life upgrades - is still dominating its market segment, despite sagging subscription numbers and challenges from various competitors. Star Wars: The Old Republic & Twin Galaxies, City of Heroes, DC Universe, All Points Bulletin - all have attempted to make a dent in WoW's grip on the MMORPG sector, but have either shut down or gone free-to-play. EverQuest, EVE Online and Ultima Online still have a small but loyal following, but aren't about to knock WoW off its throne anytime soon.

At this stage, there seems to be only one thing that will kill Warcraft, and that's Warcraft itself. Pathfinder Online, which has successfully crowd-funded its way into progress, remains the only potential contender that could take on the Warcraft franchise at its own game.

In the meantime, there'll be new lands to explore, and more demons, ghouls, beasts, elementals and bandits to hack into little pieces. Or in the case of my warlock, burn to a crisp with the utmost glee.