"When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around"


By Shanathalas

Well I’ve had this blog for quater of a year now, and I can’t believe this is my first post about Wow. Wow being World of Warcraft, the Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game I’ve been playing since Christmas 2004. Being the first, and hopefully only, MMORG I’ve played, the experience of dealing with people in a virtual world was completely novel to me. I got to play with good friend’s I already know, and I got to meet new people through the game. My guild members, a group of a kiwis and aussies, are a great bunch of people, though some of them worry me with the amount of time they play. /played is the command you type in to see how much time you’ve spent in game with that character. My time is 28 days (and thats 24 hour days) in just over a year. I thought that was bad. But one of my guildies has played 102 days. That amazing. How does one have any life outside the game?

Sometimes I think my days in the world of Azeroth are coming to an end. My main character, a Night Elf Hunter named “Shanathalas”, has leveled to 60 (the highest level attainable). Once I got as far I could, my big task was getting a giant riding cat (Swift Stormsabre) that lets me travel fast around the world. Once I managed to get enough gold for that (Thanks Bepa!) I felt I had a achieved much of what I set out to do. At level 60, playing seems to involve large amounts of time (4 hours +), that I don’t seem to have. I prefer to play in little hour blocks.

Hence I have succombed to “Altitis” - the creation of many low level alts that can offer the easy satisfaction of quick leveling up. I now have a level 27 Troll Shaman named Oubliette, a level 23 Gnome Mage named Metragnome, a level 19 Night Elf Druid called Angua, and a level 16 Human Warrior called Hatshepsut.


MRI - Miracle of Modern Science or Extreme Torture Device?

By Shanathalas

So I just had my first, and hopefully my last MRI. Due to a severe migraine storm, and the constant sound of my own pulse in my ears, combined with five years of fatigue, the docs thought they’d have a look inside my head. So they sent me off to have a Magnetic Resonance Image. I’d never had one before, so I thought, “hey, this will be interesting”.

I was prepared to be put in a small space in a large machine, but I was underestimating things a bit. The machine was the size of a room, and the space was a tiny tube i could barely squeeze into. I was shoved in with instructions not too move, and given headphones that didn’t fit my ear very well. They were suppose to pipe in music from a cd I brought and to filter out the loud noise of The Machine - they did neither. And the sound that The Machine made. It wasn’t just loud, it was scary. Every horrible siren and alien sound you’ve heard, combined with loud tappings. And it wasn’t constant - that would have been alright. It would go for a while, and then a different noise would come in, both different in timbre, rythme and velocity.

I tried to go my happy places - memories of Jaime and I cuddling in bed on a lazy sunday morning, or floating in the salt water pool on a holiday in Queensland. I even tried the old “Hail Mary”s. Anything to stop the impulse my brain was throwing at me to scream my head off and worm my way out The Machine. I finally took solice in that fact that I might of been uncomfortable in a squishy, very loud place but I wasn’t really in pain. After what seemed like ages, the techie slid me out of the machine. Finally, I thought, its over. Then he leans over to me and says “The doctor is just going to come down and inject you with a contrast agent”. And sure enough a doctor comes down and injected me with some rare isotope and they shoved me back into the machine for another aoen in The Machine (I was smart this time - I shoved my earphones as far into my ears as possible so that I could just drown out The Machine enough to hear a small amount of the Vivaldi Cello Sonatas).

Eventually it ended. I now have a bunch of photos of the inside of my head - Weird, Weird, Weird. I now get to play the waiting game. Waiting to see the doctor again in a week to find out if the inside of my head is supposed to look like it does.


Too Hot!!!

By Shanathalas

I’m officially over this heat. Its just too damn hot! having suffered through six Australian Summers, I have to say that this is the worst. Maybe its because the humidity is back - the drought kept it a “dry heat”. Or maybe its because my usual places of refuge (the office, movie theatres, shopping centres) can no longer keep up with heat. I’ve never seen so many air conditoners fail in my life. My office is currently a balmy 29 degrees. How on earth I’m expected to think or create stuff is beyond me.

I suppose if I was on holidays it’d be ok. If I was sitting on the edge of a swimming pool, wearing nothing but my cossie, legs cooling in the beautiful water, a pina colada with tons of ice in my hand, then I’d say “lovely weather were having today”. But as I’m at work slaving over a hot computer, I say “its too damn hot”!!!

Last night I got so desparate I had to watch a doco on Penguins just to cool down!


Say it isn't so!

By Shanathalas

I read the most disheartening article in the Globe and Mail the other day about how Stephen Harper is the new John Howard. I’m terrified that this horrible man, who looks to be the next Prime Minister of Canada, will change Canada from a socialist and egalitarian society towards a bigoted, self-serving, environment-munching society like the US is and how Australia is becoming. At a time when many people round the globe admire Canada for its tolerance, many, what I can only describe as absolute ass-heads, are thinking of voting for the conservatives in the upcoming Canadian election because of the machinations of the former spin-doctor for Howard. He plays on people’s fears and greed, and obviously weak-willed people must be blind to how they are being manipulated.

I take heart in hope that what makes Canada such a great place is in the very nature of its people. Canadians created Medicare, Green Peace, Chocolate bars, bras and BC bud. They’re without a doubt the most honestly polite people in the world. I’m sure they withstand Harper; I only wonder how long it will take to undo the damage he will do.


Happy New Year!

By Shanathalas

44 degrees on New Years Day!!! It was sure a hot one. We escaped to the cinema to avoid the heat. We took in “Good Night and Good Luck”, which was very good. An American film that makes the audience think.

But at this time of year, one is encouraged to make some resolutions. Though this is not my new year (shanathalas years run from November 1 - October 31) I figured I’d make a few resolutions:

    Lose weight
    Get to bed on time
    and clear up all the clutter at home

Oh, and my new calendar for 2006 … The Pop-Up Dinosaurs 2006 Calendar