This is not my main blog. I have a self-hosted WordPress blog at Ravven’s Glass, go there. This blog only still exists because wordpress.com has locked down their comment system which really, really sucks. It is extremely difficult to comment on WordPress.com blogs anymore, and if you can I would suggest self-hosting. It’s cheap, it’s just as easy as this version, and anyone will be able to comment on your blog.
Due to the problems with my ISP, as well as the desire to dick around with customise my site, I’m moving my blog to a self-hosted site:
It’s definitely not ready for primetime, and I have layout issues right now with the main index page (blog index displays ok, but root index page REFUSES).
Anyway, I’m not going to update this one anymore (unless everything goes titsup and I have to resurrect this one!).
The servers were up last night, so I created a second character for the beta (since I realised that I had royally messed up my choices for the first one). I went through the tutorial intro again, and then the servers went down for an extended period of time. By the time they came back up, I was tired and veryvery ready for bed. I understand that they’re better during the day, when less players are on – a lot of the game bugs that I thought I was having were evidently due to massive lag and server instability, since they evidently disappear during the day. Hopefully they can get the server issues worked out prior to headstart.
The game is fun, and it will be something that I’ll enjoy – especially since pvp is supposed to be great fun. Will it be a main MMO? No, I’m pretty sure that it won’t – but it will be a nice change. In the limited time that I’ve been allowed to actually play, it hasn’t felt as much like a universe as EVE does…and that bothers me a bit. As inpenetrable as EVE can be (figuring out for yourself the right kit to train for and buy – even down to the type of ammo to use and when, it’s quite difficult to get a grasp of what choices you should be making), it still feels like a real place. As nice as the interiors and ships are in STO, at the moment it doesn’t – and that is what I play for, the total immersion in an environment.
Part of that is the multitude of loading screens. Especially when there is a lot of lag, you seem to spend a good portion of your gametime staring at loading screens. Games with high levels of instancing, that have very slow loading screens, tend to really bother me. Again, it’s an issue of immersion and feeling that you are in a real, seamless environment.
But this is very early days, and I know I haven’t been able to play much with the servers being up and down like a bride’s nightie (such lovely expressions they have here in the UK!). So I will cross my fingers and hope to be able to spend some serious time in my starship this weekend.
Ravven is now flying into the black in her new ship. The Star Trek open beta started last night, and I had a chance to play a bit. I say a bit because the servers spent so much time going up and down, and I finally gave up. But the initial impressions of the intro tutorial section is that it’s unfinished, yes, but fun. I’m looking forward to it.
I’m really loving some of the recent ads for Virgin Atlantic on TV recently. They’re monochrome except for the red fans, both classy and classic, with a sly sense of humour. The burlesque dancer is perfect, with a cheeky, lovely wink. Very, very nicely done.
Advertising can be horrible, crass and devoid of creativity. On the other hand, it can cause me to buy things that I wouldn’t normally buy, such as Pot Noodles…just because I love the ad concept so much. (I didn’t actually eat them, mind you – but I did buy a Pot Noodle because I loved their “Slag of all snacks” campaign.
Do you know someone who not only isn’t online, but doesn’t understand what value or relevance the internet could have to their lives? I think we all do – probably an older person. That opinion astonishes me, as I can’t imagine living an unconnected life.
For instance, yesterday I read King Rat by China Miéville for the first time. I think he’s a gorgeous writer, but I haven’t read many of his books – Un Lun Dun and The Scar only so far. King Rat was lovely, with a nice political twist at the end. On the commute in this morning, I mentioned the book, and P. and I had a conversation about the book, Miéville’s left-wing opinions, and socialism. I realised that aside from some vague recollections from school that socialism was “for the workers” or “for the people” or something (hey, I said it was vague!) I didn’t actually know what it was. So I looked it up. According to Wikipedia, Socialism is:
Socialism refers to the various theories of economic organization advocating public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals with a method of compensation based on the amount of labor expended.
Well, there you go. All the reference libraries of the world at our fingertips. This morning I also googled “david lee roth california girls” to settle the question of what familiar voice was featured on that cover on the radio. That kind of information is priceless, I’m telling you!
Anyway, back to China Miéville – if you haven’t read his books, do so because he’s an extremely talented writer. How can you not love someone who once described Tolkien as “the wen on the arse of fantasy literature”?
Yesterday we tried to drive into work, and turned around about two miles away from home – visibility was very low, and the car was sliding all over the road in the snow and ice. We managed to find a pub car park to turn around in without getting stuck, and headed back…only to realise that the very scary narrow downhill lanes were now uphill. In a car that can barely keep on a flat section of road, much less make it up a hill.
On the very steep lane coming into our village, the car was kind of crab-walking sideways as it struggled for purchase. We were in the opposite lane (fortunately the oncoming cars were waiting for us) when a red van charged around the outside, driving OVER THE SIDEWALK ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE. All I could see was red van side, and somehow he didn’t hit us.
Sir, you are a tard and an asshat.
That night P. and I walked to the hospital to visit his grandfather, who fell ill over the holidays. He is, what, 97 or 98, and he and P’s grandmother have never been parted throughout their entire marriage, so the days he has spent in the hospital have been quite difficult on them both. (She hasn’t been able to visit due to the snow and the steepness and iciness of their drive – impossible for her to walk down unless someone can make it up to the house and pick her up.)
We gave him a mobile so that he could speak to her, and sat there trying not to overtly listen to the conversation…but it was so sweet. He told her that it felt wrong because he kept reaching out to her side of the bed during the night, and she wasn’t there. Awww…after 70-something years of marriage. So lovely.
“Don’t fret – we will meet again” he said to reassure her.