thessalian: (Default)
So ... okay. You know how awhile ago, I was talking about that 'Scent of a Warden' thing - my little side project of perfumes themed on Dragon Age characters? And ... also Mass Effect characters? And a couple of WoD characters now? (I expanded operations 'cos someone wanted a perfume themed on their Corax and I couldn't say no, 'cos ... y'know, Corax and now I've done someone's Son of Ether...)

ANYWAY. Point is that this is still going on. And San Diego Comic Con was just this weekend gone (I think; recently, anyway). There were Mass Effect people there. There were also people I talk to regularly on Tumblr. Some of them were wearing SOAW perfumes. One of them happened to get to talking to Courtenay Taylor, one of the voice actresses from two of the Mass Effect games - does a character named Jack of whom I'm particularly fond - who also does Ada Wong from the Resident Evil games, among others. Apparently, someone who bought the Jack scent showed said scent to Courtenay Taylor and according to Taylor's Twitter feed, she was 'huffing' it. Next thing I heard about it was a couple of days ago, when a friend of mine was one of many to mention who I was to Taylor via Twitter - just she was the only one who knew I was on Twitter to mention me in the post. Because apparently, Taylor had dropped a few Tweets asking how she could get in touch with me for a bottle of this perfume.

So to clarify ... voice actress for character I love in game series I adore likes my perfume. And wants a bottle.

The reason I am still awake and bouncing up and down now is because apparently I am not as good at setting my Twitter text alerts up so they don't wake me up at 1am. This one was from Courtenay Taylor (I Tweeted her myself when I knew she was looking for me). So now I have a Tweet from voice actress about whom I fangirl-squee, telling me that something I did is awesome and that she will be in touch about a bottle of this stuff.

I just ... can't sleep. Too much SQUEE!
thessalian: (Default)
I have been excessively busy. Admittedly, largely with Tumblr. But with other stuff too! Honest!

First is the new job. I'm back to temping, but once again, the agency I'm with is more or less keeping me in the same hospital and has been for over a month now. Big difference? It's a private hospital. The pay's way better, there are fewer people yelling at me and they don't expect one person to do the work of three! (Often.) All in all, it's better, and the only thing that really sucks about it is having to go through Victoria station every morning. I thought King's Cross was bad...

Also, Mass Effect. I preordered the Mass Effect 3 collector's edition but I have been playing it veeeeeeeery slowly because I don't want to play through the ending. Not because I never want it to end, but because ... well, from the massive spoilers I've had about the end, I just don't want that. I'll play it through until the end eventually, but I'm approaching it like a chore, not a thrilling thing. Which is sad because the rest of the game is awesome. Just ... put it this way. When I was presented with a choice of playing through the last half-hour or so of Mass Effect 3 and starting a right-from-ME1 playthrough of my Engineer Shepard ... I chose the latter option. I chose the Mako, the somewhat clumsy combat mechanics and the godsawful approach to mineral surveying over playing the ending of ME3. This ... should tell you something, if you remember me bitching about the Mako the last time. But it really is only that last ten minutes! And I don't know what's happening with that because people seriously got up in arms about it and there's going to be 'clarification' of that mess, according to Bioware. Protip: if you need to sit down and explain the ending to what looks like a pretty hefty majority of your fanbase, you screwed up your ending.

Yes, I know I'm a collosal geek. Still, geekdom can be fun and even a bit profitable. About a month ago, I started a little project I originally referred to as Scent of a Warden, which involved people sending me descriptions of their favourite headcanon Wardens from Dragon Age: Origins (or Hawkes from Dragon Age 2) and I made a themed perfume based on said description. Kind of like BPAL. But on the very first run someone asked if I would consider doing NPCs and then I thought it would be nice to add Shepard blends and then the Mass Effect NPC requests came in and long story short? It's going well. People love the idea, it has been incredibly fun and I'm thinking of trying out bath gels. And maybe learning to make solid soaps, or scented candles. Hey, I found a useful way to channel my geekery and my aromatherapy hobby! I can't really complain.

So in short, all's more or less well in the wide world of Thess. I will try to be a better LJer, I promise.

The Future

Jan. 26th, 2012 09:07 am
thessalian: (Brosca)
There is not enough coffee in the wooooooorld.

Still playing Mass Effect, obviously - the problem I'm having at the moment is that playing in the evenings, combined with my general being-bad-at-this, is sort of giving me a choppy game experience. I'm pretty sure I will get into it, and want to very much, but that starts getting hard when you have to break every few minutes to do something with dinner and do all the other things you want to do while still getting to bed at a halfway decent hour. (Not that I actually got to sleep at a halfway decent hour, as for some reason I ended up tossing and turning until about half-two, but never mind; at least I tried.) Particularly when you're as bad at this as I am. It'll be different come the weekend, I'm pretty sure.

It really does amaze me how video games have changed, though. There wasn't a lot of story to get invested in when I was younger. We played games to say we beat them, and that was more or less it. Now the story's why a lot of us play. Sure, there are the people who only live to play X game on Nightmare mode, but ... well, then there's the rest of us, who appreciate a good, character-driven story and look at the mob-killing as a secondary bit of fun. Put it this way: I wouldn't use a 'KillAllHostiles' cheat but when I heard that ME3 would feature husks that were faster, nastier and harder to kill, I got kind of annoyed. Harder != better, y'know.

Technology just in general has changed so much in my lifetime. I've seen music go from vinyl albums to mp3 players. I was around to see Betamax and VHS fight it out for dominance of the video cassette market. I remember when the Commodore 64 was a big deal, and now I have more processor power in my cellphone. Hell, I just about remember a time before cellphones, even taking into account those bricks they had in the early 90s. I saw the rise of the home video games console and the home computer - when I was growing up, not a lot of people had a computer, and now you practically can't live without one. And, of course, I remember a time before the internet.

I wonder if some of the younger people I know actually understand how ... well, science-fictiony the world is, even from when I was a kid. Okay, we don't have flying cars (and I'm actually quite glad, considering the drivers I've encountered over the years), but seriously, think about it - not so long ago, you needed computers that filled rooms to store the kind of data that you can now store in something that fits in the palm of your hand. That's a little before my time, but I do remember when a laptop (hell, most desktops) couldn't store what you'd fit on a flash drive today, when portable music involved carrying around a briefcase-sized monstrosity, when researching anything involved trips to the library and the home set of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, when you'd need a payphone and a quarter to make a phone call while shopping in town. We can carry around a thousand books on little devices we can fit in handbags and briefcases now; we can store thousands of songs on devices that fit in the palms of our hands. For someone who remembers the boom box, that's pretty impressive.

Well, that wasn't entirely where I was going with that, but it'll do. Certainly food for thought.
thessalian: (Talking Too Much)
I decided yesterday that I was going to treat myself, godsdamnit. I figured I more or less deserved it. And I also needed to feel accomplished about something. Just a tiny something. So I thought to myself, why not combine both? I have both Mass Effect games and Assassin's Creed that I haven't been able to play owing to serious keyboard-play issues. I thought a controller might help. But the cheap-arsed one I bought didn't work very well so I decided to pick up a decent one when I finally headed home last night and try to play Mass Effect. I don't know how I've managed to avoid spoilers (oh, yes I do - most people talk more about how much they love the LIs than they do about the actual plot, at least in any way that makes sense to me), but I have, so I honestly, honestly am approaching this blind. I'm even bad with names so while I know that the names Kaiden and Ashley and Miranda and Garrus and Thane mean things, I don't really know when they're going to turn up or how. Well. Ashley and Kaiden, I know, but ... that's another story.

First I came home to find that my shiny new controller was not working. A short while of Googling later, and I discovered that this game, which I understood as being coded more for console gaming than PC gaming, didn't have controller support coded into its PC version. So ... no, my shiny new controller wasn't going to be any more effective than my cheap-as-shit controller, and I had wasted my money yet again. Woe.

But! All was not lost! My Google-fu is strong! I found a rather charming little bit of software called Xpadder, which circumvents all those nasty support issues! It's actually really interesting because it generates a layout of your controller and then lets you create different set-ups depending on what game you're playing. So creating the ideal Xpadder set-up for Mass Effect is ... well, let's call it a work in progress.

Moving swiftly on ... well, to embarrass myself completely, the first time I tried playing it, I was so shit at the controls that I couldn't even manage to get into the comms room, never mind to any part that might involve my Shepard seeing combat. I seriously just couldn't deal with keyboard-only at the time. I was used to clicking to where I wanted to go and having my character run there! Since then, I have at least got the hang of the "Use the W key and change direction with the mouse" style of moving from point A to point B in video games, but I will admit that the controller makes it easier, particularly since I set up one of the joysticks to change camera angle. I just need to practice with it because sometimes I try to move and I must prod something the wrong way because I end up facing behind me getting shot at.

I also need to figure out which buttons I need to have right at my fingertips (no pun intended) and which I can leave on the keyboard. Possibly J for 'Journal' is not as important as R for 'FLING A GRENADE NOW', as I discovered to my great shame when I got myself killed the first time. Though I didn't actually do too badly, for all my targeting sucks rocks. I think I just need practice. Lots and lots of practice. And a few tweaks to the Xpadder settings.

So ... yeah, I have walked into this game almost entirely blind. I have no idea what's going on or what's going to happen. The closest thing I have to a 'spoiler' is what happens at the start of ME2, but I don't know what leads to that point. There are a lot of things I am experiencing for the first time in this game. For instance, it took liveblogging my first attempt at the whole mess on Tumblr to find out that the 'glowy colonist zombie-kabobs' left around by the Geth were called 'husks'. And that they are bad. And very fast. And like to chew on people. I also didn't know that if Shepard dies, it's Game Over. I'm used to Dragon Age, where you have to have a full party wipe to get that kind of result.

In short, I am bad at this but I am learning and quite curious to see what happens next. Thus I will probably reload the game from more or less the start point and keep practicing on Geth perimeter drones until I get the hang of the controller. I am allowed to suck. Sucking is the point from which one improves. I will just have to remind myself of how f'ing badly I flailed when I first started playing games on the PC at all. Like ... oh gods, FFXI, where I actually could not access my menu options to do things like, I dunno, equip a damn weapon. It probably sounds a little bit stupid to work so hard and get so frustrated over something that's supposed to be fun, but I really do think it's going to be worth it. And getting the hang of this will be way, way more satisfying than anything my job can offer. It's a challenge!

In other news, I am still up to my eyes in fic projects, I still don't entirely feel well (stupid headache), and I am rambling about this kind of crap predominantly so that I don't have to think about being at my job. Which, yes, I am also doing. Just if I don't have something else to think about, I will get depressed again and I really don't want that.
thessalian: (Rant)
[ profile] yuki_onna recently posted a blog-link from Charles Stoss (which I can't link to right now because the computer I'm using at work is shit, but I'll fix that when I get home) about what the future's going to look like in 20 years, and in 80 years. Given these are speculative fiction writers doing the telling, a lot of it is probably pretty trustworthy, and it's enough to give people a pretty serious case of the depressions as we realise that a lot of jobs are going to be replaced by technology.

But nowhere near as many as this article seems to think.

Consider my profession - I am a secretary. People have been trying to automate this job until I am obsolete for decades! Computers found their way into the office predominantly because a computer meant that boss-types could feasibly handle things on their own - their own correspondence via email, for a start - and thus negate the need for a secretary. I have never met a doctor who answers their own email. I know several who won't even look at it until it's been printed out and handed to them. Word processing programme? They'll use it at home all the time but in the office, it's gathering dust. They don't have the time. They're too busy running around seeing patients. And gods forbid they ever pick up the phone.

Now, maybe one day a computer will be able to do all those things, but it's already fallen at the first hurdle - namely, voice transcription software. It works wonderfully from text to voice, but the other way around? It really doesn't do very well with accents. The software advertising blurb says that it's supposed to get to grips with a specific user's accent and specific terminology, but it doesn't generally speaking work very well. It actually takes longer to dictate something and then have a secretary go back and fix all the mistakes the software made than it does to just have a human being type it in the first place. And let's not talk about the fact that most of the doctors of my acquaintance need their entire sentence structure rearranged to make their letters make the remotest bit of sense - and I'm not just talking about the non-native English speakers here.

Look, there's a lot of stuff that computers can do that humans can't, but most of that is to do with speed rather than ability. Give us world enough and time, and we can calculate large numbers - we know the principles, at least. Thus we programme a computer to use those principles, and it can do it faster than we can. The problem with speech recognition is that it doesn't really have principles in that sense. We don't pronounce words or phrases the exact same way every time. Most humans have a hard time deciphering someone who's mumbling into a microphone, and computers can only work with what we give them. If what humans give them is unworkable ... well. Computers don't work all that well at guessing through context. Xref: Word for Windows Spelling and Grammar Checker.

As for the rest ... well, the first time something with an automated driver crashed, the lawsuits would be epic. Epic enough to make no other company want to take the risk ever again. Computers fail. They get infected with viruses. They short-circuit. They inexplicably die. They do weird shit that no one thought was possible! And people are still making them, and since they'll be commercial commodities, the manufacturers will cheap out. Yes, even on life-saving equipment. Humans may be fallible, but so are computers, and when a human fucks up, a company can place the blame on that person. If a manufacturer's product screws up, the manufacturer takes the blame. No one wants that in this age of cronyism. Humans make better scapegoats.

My real depression comes when you combine the climate issues (because let's face it; that ship has sailed and all we can do is try like hell not to make it any worse, which of course we're not doing) with the iron fist rule governments in supposedly democratic countries are trying to impose while talking about "democracy for all!" I figure that by 2032, I'm going to be living in an underground bunker somewhere, organising the supplies for the resistance and telling stories to the kids so they have some distraction from the fear. I will come bearing printouts of fan fiction and an iPod that I can charge once a week and play for a couple of hours a day, through my iPod dock, for morale purposes. 'Cos gods know I'm not a combatant.

No. Seriously.
thessalian: (Yay)
Because of some conversation on Tumblr, I decided that this weekend was Fereldan Food Weekend and set out to make some interestingness. The first thing I tried - ironically the quickest and easiest of the dishes on offer - was what I call Sten Approves +100 Chocolate Chip Cookies with Seheron Spice. Because I am a fangirl and an utter dork.

My base recipe was Felix's Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I made the following changes:

1) At the 'flour/bicarb/salt/baking powder' stage, I added a quarter-teaspoon of nutmeg, a teaspoon of ginger powder and a teaspoon of cinnamon.

2) Instead of just softening the butter, I melted it down on the stove on low heat, adding a quarter-teaspoon of whole clove. I let that stand for a few minutes then strained the cloves out, then added the sugar/eggs/vanilla extract.

3) Instead of chocolate chips, I crumbled a half a bar of chilli chocolate and half a bar of orange chocolate into the resultant dough.

After that, I followed the recipe as written. Then I tasted the dough. Raw chocolate chip cookie dough is always awesome, but this was truly spectacular.

Then I baked them and tasted the result.

I HAVE CREATED THE ULTIMATE COOKIE. Seriously, try this. It is gorgeous.

Next up? Alistair's Fereldan Lamb and Pea Stew (with Improvements by Leliana).
thessalian: (facepalm)
Dear Blizzard,

After about a month of more or less abstinence (because I could not be arsed), I decided to switch on Warcrack again. I went back to Azeroth and sent my belf pally to the soaring heights of level 80. Thank you for the charming little congratulations pack you sent me when I hit level 80, by the way; that was very nice of you. But then, of course, the XP rewards for the mobs I killed in Northrend went way, waaaaaaaaaaay down, and I decided, fuck it, I'll go see what level 80 has in store for me elsewhere in Azeroth.

At first, I dodged your "Hey, there's this new island right off Stormwind and we're gonna occupy it for the Horde and beat the shit out of the Alliance's capital!" quest, because I seriously could not be arsed. However, then I tried the stuff you were throwing at me at Mount Hyjal and decided I wanted to climb a couple more levels before I even touched that shit because I was getting pasted.

I thought I hated Tanaris because it reminded me of Valkurm Dunes. I thought I hated Outland (or at least Hellfire Peninsula) because it was ugly as sin. I thought I hated Northrend because ... well, it started to get old three levels ago. However, I do not hate any of those places as much as I hate the living shit out of this underwater quest chain upon which you have shanghaied me. At least at Mount Hyjal, the enemies did not attack you from all sides, including up and down. I hate underwater. Even if I do have a 'breathe underwater' spell on my character right now.

Also ... you just did a patch, people. I know because it still hasn't fully finished downloading. So please explain to me why the hell there is still a bug in a specific quest, which has been an issue for at least a year, where completion of the quest relies entirely on you committing character suicide? Seriously; apparently you do not get the credit for quest completion - signalling a fellow shipwreck victim to let her know that she can come to safety - unless your character dies. HOW THE HELL DOES THAT INDICATE SAFETY?!?

Sort it out, Blizzard. SORT IT OUT.

A Blood Elf Paladin somewhere underwater.
thessalian: (facepalm)
I am having One Of Those Days.

I was late for work owing to the more-or-less standard public transport woes. I guess it froze last night, to judge by the salt scattered all over the train platform this morning. Anyway, I wasn't very late, so that was alright. Still, not a great way to start the day, particularly when you have no idea what desk you're going to end up sitting at when you get in. (I know more or less what department I'm working in until mid-January. What I don't know is exactly where I'll be sitting on any given day.) As it happened, the other float temp wasn't in so I was offered her desk. However, I figured that it would be just my luck if she turned up while I was mid-letter, so I declined and took the desk of the IT guy who sits across from her desk instead. Unfortunately, there is only one foot pedal for our shiny new digital dictation machine, so I nabbed that.

Well ... I nabbed that after I got my computer access back.

Yeah, imagine my shock when I tried to log in and got beeped at with an error message saying that this user account had expired. Apparently, IT got really confused when my job spec went wibbly and I ended up doing the typing for half the damn hospital. Or they mistook me for one of the temps that float through the place sometimes. I honestly don't know. Either way, they somehow thought that my contact was ending and pulled the plug on my account on Friday night. So ... that was a truly unpleasant surprise, about which I thankfully got immediate reassurance. Things got settled on that end ... mostly ... except that I'm now having some issues with my EPR account that IT hasn't sorted out because EPR helpdesk is a separate department, which is traditionally staffed by lazy twits. But at least I can more or less type.

Unfortunately, the other secretary can't. Look, we have exactly one foot pedal up here. Headphones we have in plenty because there are still some of the old transcription machines kicking around (because, despite us having gone live with digital dictation over a month ago now, some of the consultants still refuse to use it altogether and so we have to make special allowances for tapes, because consultants are Speshul Snowflakes and anyone who's trying to maximise the efficiency of the NHS really needs to crack down on that bullshit, JUST SO YOU KNOW), but that doesn't work for the footpedals. I found my colleague trying to plug a foot pedal from a transcription machine into the microphone jack of her computer. Then she wandered away and found one that would fit an old-fashioned pin socket. Which our computers don't actually have anymore, given that I think those gave way to USB ports about five years ago and not even the NHS is that bad about updating its equipment. Sometimes. Mostly. Anyway, point is that she is boned. And if she hadn't had a worse time on public transport than I did, that'd be me.

The only cup of coffee I could get this morning was some incredibly disgusting instant. We were out of sugar so I had to use someone's artificial sweetener, which only made it worse. My tiny bag of dried apricots was not suitable for breakfast and it's at least an hour 'til lunch. I have a headache. My knees are really feeling the change in weather, as are my sinuses. I am tired and unhappy and I want to go hooooooooooome. And one of the doctors not only cannot figure out that he needs to hit the record button before he starts talking, but also has not yet worked out that the digital dictation system means that you have to dictate each letter as a separate sound file. So I'm going to look real forward to formatting this sucker when I finally get this sucker typed.

[Edit: Also, when I have cleared out three months of your typing backlog, do not turn around to me with bitch-face and tell me not to do your typing anymore because you don't need the help. Not when I have managed to clear the backlog that you've been leaving sitting there since June because you've been too busy reading the Metro or talking too loudly to your colleagues to actually do a damn thing. And this is the woman who bitches about how coming in on weekends isn't worth the overtime she gets! I don't even know what the hell she does! Argh!]
thessalian: (Yay)
I seem to have gone more to a video game place these days.

Sims 3: I decided to try actually playing this over the weekend, as [personal profile] courtcat was telling me about how your Sims-kid can have imaginary friends. I somehow ended up with a family of eight - three sets of twins. I will eventually go back to that family to actually complete the mother's lifetime goal of 'raise five kids to teenager' but right now it just scares me. Looking very forward to Sims 3 Pets, the new expansion coming out in mid-October. (UNIVERSAL RELEASE DATES, FUCKERS!) Cats in particular. I am a cat person; it happens. Plus their animations are adorable.

Dragon Age: I'll end up picking up Mark of the Assassin when it comes out on these shores, but I have to admit that I'm not really all that thrilled by the sound of it. Mostly I'm just getting it to see what it's about and so they don't take away my Dragon Age Fangeek membership card. I also went back to Origins recently, and had a bit of a play with the graphics settings, since this was the first time I had really played it on Morrigan. (I feel a little remiss about this, but I did mainly spec Morrigan for DA2, so I suppose it's not terribly surprising.) I ... frankly had no idea the graphics could be that clear. See, Morrigan's graphics card and processor can handle 'very high' detail rather than the 'medium' I'd been running on, and I remembered to tweak my screen resolution. Damn, that game looks good. Anyway, I'm looking forward to having Origins endgames to import to DA2 that I didn't make with someone else's mod-hack-thing and aren't kind of buggy as a result. Y'know, the ones where my Warden dies.

Warcrack: Not been on as much as I could be, but noodle around with it now and again, mostly to find a quest that is simply 'Kill X Number of Specific Mob/Mob Type' to vent some aggravation. I did do a quest clear-out recently, though ... and, of course, got more quests. Bloody quest chains. Anyway, point is that I hit level 74 on my Belf Pally. I've got a few other characters to occasionally level (Gnomelock, Dwarf Pally, Goblin Shaman who's now discovered the not-so-gentle art of alchemy, a couple of others that are probably destined for the bin and I'm only counting characters I've played to level 10 and up) but it's vaguely important that I keep the Belf Pally active because she's the one in a guild. Of course, my guild is notoriously inactive and I think someone whose first language is definitively not English is trying to take it over and turn it into a PvP guild, so I may have to bail out, but for now, I enjoy the minor benefits of being with a guild - namely, the fact that my hearthstone recharges in half the time. *shrug* It's a thing.

Plants vs Zombies: I am remarkably unsure as to how the hell I got into this game. It ... seemed like a good idea at the time? It's a fun game, if unutterably nuts. Maybe I ought to check and see if Worms World Party and Lemmings work on my computer. If I can ever remember how to work the controls on the former, at least.

Actually, being able to actually work the games via the keyboard is an issue with a few of my games, not least of which being the Mass Effect games and the American McGee's Alice in Wonderland games. Then again, I've been practicing with the WASD keyboard configuration ... sort of. It's one of those situation where I basically keep holding down the W key while I angle the camera, and thus the character, in the direction I want to take. It works for the DA games and Warcrack; should hopefully work in Mass Effect too. And if it does, maybe it'll work for others as well. And in that case ... well, the world is my mollusc! At least as far as video games are concerned.

I'm not really sure why I got into this stuff so late. I honestly didn't care that much past age thirteen, and now all of a sudden, it's twenty-one years later and I'm hooked. The response I got to the question of why I suddenly have more video games now than I did when I was a teenager was 'money', but ... what happened to blowing it on sourcebooks? Or books in general? ...I mean, besides the fact that a RPG sourcebook costs nearly as much as the average computer game these days and I haven't actually got that much space to put books and I'm really not up for getting a Kindle and... Yeah. Well. I suppose it's at least keeping my brain busier than watching TV or whatever.

...Speaking of, I haven't watched the last two episodes of Who yet. I've seen comments though, and now I'm a little afraid to watch. I probably will, but ... maybe on Friday. See, Friday is going to be treat day and I will probably need gummies to ease the pain. Or possibly liquor, but ... gummies are good.

There may be more ranting about the workplace when I'm not actually in it, but right now I'm going to polish off one last letter and then go home, because I still feel miserable (yay flu) and I can't take much more of today. And then I will probably go home and beat on things for awhile. That'll be fun.
thessalian: (Yay)
My internet at home works again! Seems to be going pretty well, too, though I'm not jinxing anything by talking about definite improvement until I've been through a few nights without a connection drop. Or ... well, maybe I can talk about it if I get through a few nights without multiple connection drops. I'm not asking for very much, I don't think - just a solid week where I don't have to spend half the night glaring at my router until the little lights stop blinking and give me my internet back, and where I don't have to glance at said router routinely the minute a site hangs, all grumbling paranoia about whether all of the little lights are on. I pay enough for it, you'd think I could get my internet fairly regular. Yeesh.

So it's Friday. Yay Friday! Particularly given the fact that my breakneck pace of the last few days has seriously paid off. The typing? Is gone. Cleared out. Done. Entirely. I've got a few letters that have been checked and signed that I need to print off and send, but mostly ... it's looking like today is going to be fairly relaxed. I think it helps that one of the consultants is away on leave this week ... but then, he's only one of three, and never mind the half-dozen nurse specialists, registrars, honorary clinical assistants and whoever else I work for. And OtherAdmin is away. Still no clue about what's going on with Schrodinger's Admin, but I think I've sorted out an awful lot of her mess. Though let me tell you, there was a lot of mess to sort. So to summarise the summary, today is a day I can more or less coast through and I think OtherAdmin is going to be pleased with what he finds when he comes back. No terribly urgent messages, no big backlog of typing and overall ... this is the way an office is supposed to be. Now I just wonder if it'll last.

I also wonder if the usurping psychologist who keeps needing me to log her into the system is ever going to remember to log off when she leaves for the day. Seriously, if there's a security violation because she left everything logged in and ready to poke around in, it's my arse on the line, not hers.

I've actually started putting fingers to keyboard on fiction again. Fine, it's DA2 fic and it's nowhere near done and I'm not sure where it's going so it may just end up a dead end, but ... baby steps. I've been looking over Access Mundi for the last couple of weeks but have just not had the energy or the inspiration to write much. That may be changing, though, so ... well, at least I'll have the satisfaction of having finished it, whatever else happens.

So ... LJ is more or less back, from the looks of it. Sort of. Kind of. Maybe. Apparently the Russian government is partially to blame. Well, yay for Dreamwidth and cross-posty goodness, say I. Particularly now that I've actually been bothered to change my crossposting settings to reflect that I am crossposting. (Anyone who wants to add me on Dreamwidth should, of course, feel free. And I think I have invite codes floating around, if anyone wants. Given the LJ issues, Dreamwidth is looking pretty swish right now.)

And finally, now that I'm about done checking through an entire clinic list from late April to discover that none of the letters were actually checked and signed off (and thus having to take a whole bunch of steps to ensure that I can know when people have at least read the emails I send listing all the typing I've done for them that needs to be checked so I can send it out and not look like a lazy mare), I suppose I should probably get back to it. Though one last thing: one of my last BPAL purchases involved an imp of Alecto, which is one of the ones I really, desperately wanted. I'm trying it out today and it is everything I hoped it would be. Joy!


Jun. 2nd, 2011 04:27 pm
thessalian: (Default)
So I finally got around to calling the people at BT about the fact that my internet connection keeps dropping. After a protracted conversation with someone who was clearly not even in England, let alone from England (or indeed any English-speaking country) in which I had to explain the same thing three or four times in increasingly simple language, the man agreed to do a line test. This proved conclusively that it is not my router. It is, in fact, simply that my line is faulty. This is apparently going to be fixed. Sometime in the next two weeks. But they 'value customers like me'. Uh-huh. To be fair, 'two weeks' is the absolute outside, but ... dude, seriously, come on. Anyway, it basically means that as much as I might want to faff about on Warcrack and RP and stuff over the rest of my week off, it's going to be very bloody hard to do so because odds are high that my connection will simply drop for two or three hours at a time. Or it might just intermittently hiccup. Which is almost as annoying, if not more so. Seriously. Sheesh.

To be fair, my week off's been pretty glorious so far. Not that I've done much with it, but that was kind of the point.

I had a bit of an issue with Warcrack the other day. I tripped over my first instance. However, I did not realise that it was an instance. So I stumbled into Ragefire Chasm, smacked an elemental upside the head ... and to be fair, lasted a good five minutes before I died a horrible, screaming death. There's only so far Healing Wave will take you. So I need to figure out how to form groups. But who's gonna want to, damnit? I'm a level 17 moocow. Orgrimmar is full of high-level people. This, I suppose, is why one needs a Guild. I hardly ever see anybody in starting-level areas these days. I feel like I'm so behind. This is why I wonder why I bother with MMOs, y'know. Still, it's fun to noodle around with and at least I'm making progress with the soloing.

I could go back to bed and nap now, if I wanted to. I might do, but I require food that isn't sugary cereal with marshmallows. (The soya milk thing is a godsend. Not really what I'd call 'drinkable' but fine for cereal.) Also coffee, which might preclude my need for napping.
thessalian: (facepalm)
Having ergonomic woes. The main problem with hot-desking, as it were, is that everyone has a different way of sorting out their office chairs and none of them seems to suit me much at all. Currently I am borrowing the desk of one of the secretaries in Movement Disorders who's on jury service for the next two weeks, and there is no way of rearranging this stupid chair in a way that doesn't end in screaming back pain for me. The worst of it seems to involve a knot in my left shoulder, but that does tend to knot up on me anyway, and I'm not sure whether this is because consistent bad ergonomics has screwed me up or because I'm just prone to that. Either way, there is pain. I don't like pain. This is the kind of thing that drives me out of the office early. I just wish there were decent chairs. Hell, I just wish I had my own desk. That'd be nice.

The saga of that yutz who's supposed to be doing all the admin stuff to leave me alone with the typing has ended in a very anticlimactic way, by the way. I haven't heard anything from him and the bits and pieces that I send him to do on the admin side only get email replies of 'thanks'. I am taking this to mean that my office manager had her word with him, but I never entirely heard how that went. So long as he's not trying to stick me with admin work that I am not in any position to do, I guess I should be happy.

Yesterday's World of Warcraft experiment was Worgen Warrior. I might try with a different class, but at the moment ... not just no, but hell no. I thought the gnome thing was bad for being thrown into plot: turning up in the middle of a war zone? Seriously? There's this one quest where you have to survive for two minutes while being dog-piled (no pun intended) by rampaging Worgen and ... just ... no. Not with a greatsword with hideous delay, thanks. And thus far, as far as I can tell, character is still just human anyway. How far along do you have to go before you end up werewolf? It might have been a lot more interesting had I started with a different class. As it is ... again, not just no but hell no.

I just hope my internet connection works when I get home. I think the little switch box whatever burned out again because it was hiccuppy for about an hour last night before I went to bed and then this morning it just wouldn't connect at all until I changed the switch box whatever (the thing that you attach to the phone jack to plug the broadband cable and the phone cable into both at once). Then it seemed to be fine. Do these things burn out regularly? If so, I might have to pick up a few extras if I'm going to have to change them once a month or whatever. At least I know where my nearest Maplin's is...
thessalian: (Default)
Professional letters of any sort, particularly not from doctors or anyone government-funded (or, in the case of the NHS, both) typed, printed and sent out to others in Comic Sans font.

Seriously. Senior Clinical Nurse Specialist just doesn't read right in Comic Sans.
thessalian: (Default)
My router is still hiccupping like I don't even know. It's frustrating and disheartening and I'd rather not have to call BT. I just wish I knew what was wrong with the bloody thing. If I dropped £45 on a router I don't even need, I am going to be so pissed off. But I'll have a play around with it this weekend. Possibly at around the same time as I try to move furniture around. Yes, I am considering moving the furniture, mostly because I'm bored with the current arrangement and it's a little bit clumsy anyway. I already moved the desk (hoping that taking the router off my PC tower would help matters, which ... no) but I think the bed needs shifting. Hell, I need a single bed. It's not like I use more than half of it anyway and it just takes up space. But I suppose that's one for the landlord.

In other news, today is a beautiful, bright sunshiny sort of day. So of course, I am miserable. The bright shiny sunshine is a fast-track to migraine, and my sinuses are screaming their displeasure at the pretty flowering things because the pollen is really not helping matters. At all. Of course, it also didn't help that walking to work from St Pancras this morning, there were people scrubbing the steps of the Brunswick complex (shopping, dining, cinema specialising in foreign films) with industrial bleach. Inflammation of the sinuses + bleach fumes = owwwwww. Just FYI.

So grateful it's the weekend. This week has been a bit of a slog, all things considered. Not that this weekend stands to be a whole lot better, if I'm going to turn it into a router-prodding, laundry-doing, furniture-moving, bookshelf-tidying, CLEAN-ALL-THE-THINGS-ing extravaganza, but at least I get to sleep in. I just don't like mornings very much, I guess.

For those of you who don't follow me on Twitter, I realised I never actually mentioned the name I gave my lonely Forsaken warlock lady wandering around Bloodhoof at the moment. In a stroke of questionable inspiration, knowing that people have been on this server for awhile and most of the 'generic fantasy' names have likely already been used, I gave my zombie chick the name Porphyria.

Sounds real classy until you click on the link, no? *g*

Anyway, I have decided that from now on, all of my MMO characters are getting medical terminology names. Might as well put my medical secretarial training to good use, no? So I'll see how that goes. I mean, this is always assuming I can get my stupid connection to stop kicking me offline every ten minutes or so. It's really annoying...
thessalian: (Default)
So okay. I got told how to change WoW servers today. But of course, characters don't carry over. Not that I'm overly fussed, because Gnome did not get very far on the random!server, but still. Anyway, instead of starting over on Bloodhoof as Mage!Gnome (though I'm going to, because, well, gnooooooome) I rolled up a Forsaken. Yeah, I know I said I didn't want to play Horde, but what the hell. If I was going to play a demon-summoning Warlock, I figured I may as well do it in an area where the demon-summoning types get some actual fucking respect. *g*

(Plus, it gets fun when the sentient humanoids you're throwing spells at get down to, like, 5%HP and then try to run away in abject terror. Eeeheehee.)

One minor problem, though: I'm having router issues. As in, the damn thing keeps resetting every few minutes.

Ever try to play a MMO when your connection keeps dropping every few minutes? Let's just say it's an ultimate pain in the arse. I'm glad I haven't been in groups or they'd have hated me. I don't know what's wrong with the damn thing, but it's got to be the connection because I bought a new router at the same time as I bought the stupid game that I'm having trouble playing because of the stupid connection issues. I have no. Fucking. Idea what the problem is at this point but I wish it'd fucking stop. I'm going to shut the router down overnight, I think; maybe it's just been running too hot lately. I dunno.

So therein lies the current frustration. How's y'all?
thessalian: (Default)
So ... I might actually be ever so slightly stupid.

Look, y'all remember a few years back when I got really heavily into FFXI Online and I'd yammer about yon deathgnome until people's brains threatened to dribble out their ears? Yeah, I kind of got disenchanted with the Deathgnome. This may have had something to do with having hit the approximate point in game where I could not particularly advance because I needed way more high-level help than I could ever actually manage to get hold of to advance anywhere, ever. I hate level capping. It makes me want to claw things.

Anyhow, FFXI was more or less the extent of my video gaming at one point or another, unless you count the Sims. (I do not count the Sims. I do not play the Sims. For me, it's a character creation/interior design tool that I will occasionally play and then either abandon the entire household or, if I am in a particularly vindictive mood, find some way to more or less kill every single one of the little Simlish-spewing bastards. Usually with mods. I don't have the patience to wait for a fire to start on its own; for Sims 2, I had a buyable fire mod. That was fun.)

Anyway, then I got into Dragon Age. Or rather, was dragged into Dragon Age and got into it more than [personal profile] mitchy did, seeing as I'm not entirely sure she's even done one full playthrough yet. :) Anyhow, the DA-love is spreading as a friend of mine off of Chicago got the game for a Mother's Day present and now it appears that I am partially to blame for said friend wandering off on hiatus. Which wouldn't be quite as big a deal if she wasn't the ST. Hoist by my own petard? (Seriously; I'm just glad she's having a good time, and I like being the DA Mage Tactics Guru. Given seven or eight playthroughs as Elven Mage alone? I think I should be preeeeeetty good at it by now.)

Anyway. None of this is why I might actually be ever so slightly stupid. The reason for that involves ... well, other games.

For a little bit of my video game history ... I've been an off-and-on video gamer since I was very, very small. One of my earliest memories involves playing Ms Pac-Man and Centipede and Space Invaders at a Montreal bowling alley when one of my parents or relatives or someone was playing in their amateur league. Or something - I was maybe four, so the fact that I remember at all is a thing. Our first 'computer' was actually a glorified audio cassette player that plugged into the TV, and upon that little bugger I played shit that looked kind of like Bubble Bobble but wasn't? Honestly, this is all bits and pieces of childhood memories of gaming. But after that and a brief infatuation with Lemmings when I was ten and my first 'boyfriend' (if you can call them that when you've only just hit double-digits) had an actual, honest to gods computer ... well, I kind of forgot video games even existed for a few years. Then the NES came out, and I wanted one desperately. And, in fact, got one. So I played Mario Brothers and the first Final Fantasy and Duck Hunt (that stupid fucking dog with the giggling) and all the rest of it. I lost interest, though my mother continued to play with it long after I gave up. More or less the same thing happened with my Game Boy, although that stopped when I went through my 'what is in these technological gadgets, anyway? Let's take it apart and see what it looks like inside!' phase in high school. Most of the things I could put back together (the stereo, for instance). The Game Boy ... I lost the screws.

So here I am, 34 years old and more prone to focus on and stick with a video game than I was at any point in my childhood or teenage years. A little fucked up, but there it is. But lately I've had issues. I can't make my USB controller work and I utterly suck at navigating via keyboard so most of my PC games ... I just can't play. This includes Mass Effect 1 and 2 (the latter of which keeps changing the key settings anyway), Assassin's Creed and even freakin' Worms World Party. Dragon Age 1 and 2 are okay because I can point-and-click to navigate, like I did with FFXI. If I can find a few more games like that, I'd be good.

And all of this is still beside the point, and still not why I might actually be ever so slightly stupid. It is a lead-in to some sort of rational explanation for the stupid, mind you - I like video games, I particularly like RPG-ish sorts of video games, I need to be able to navigate by mouse for the moment and overall, I am running out of games to play. And getting bored.

So the reason why I might actually be ever so slightly stupid is ... I'm considering picking up World of Warcraft. I could just reactivate the Deathgnome, but I hear Warcrack allows more for soloing than FFXI ever did. (And I can actually play a gnome.) I might actually be every so slightly stupid because I spend my day dealing with idiots and shouldn't really want to spend my evenings with them either. But if I stay off the PVP servers, I should be fine. Right?

thessalian: (Default)
Scene: the office, 4:55pm, after a tea break that included various tales of How My Life Is Insane.

Me: So glad it's the weekend. Though actually, I want it to be next weekend.
Co-Worker: Oh? Why?
Me: Well, there's this thing whose release date is the 11th and I'm really looking forward to it...
Co-Worker: Oh! So is someone you care about getting out of jail?
Me: ...................No!
Co-Worker: Oh! Well, it's just that your life is like a soap opera and I just figured...
Me: No, it's a video game!
Co-Worker: Oh. All right, then!

Moral: sometimes there is no percentage in trying not to look like a geek at work. Especially when conversations like that are followed with:

Me: Actually, I'm really looking forward to next month, 'cos Doctor Who is back!
Half the office: Yes!
thessalian: (Default)
Dear London-based friends (or anyone who might be in London before April):

There's a free exhibit on the evolution of the English language on at the British Library 'til about April. Anyone game to come with me to see it? Looks pretty interesting. But then, I would say that. *g*

So I finally slept reasonably well. This is a good thing, as I have Things To Do today. I have to go out and get some groceries, and a screwdriver. Then I have to ... erm, well, dissect Hardison. Want my hard drive, damnit! Anyway, after that comes the usual deal of reinstalling everything. So far I've got the essentials - Firefox, Trillian, iTunes, Avast, stuff like that. And I'm working on getting the Dragon Age 2 demo on here so I can see how pretty it looks with the new graphics card (and not have it grind to a slow crawl during some bits of combat - so annoying when it did that on Hardison) so there's that 'essential' dealt with. But I've got to put my Sims game and expansions on, and Dragon Age... As much as I'm hoping to be able to rescue the hard drive out of Hardison for my music and writing and stuff, I'm just as much hoping that I'm not going to have to go digging through the Sims 3 fan sites and Bioware forums for all my custom content. I will if I have to, but I'd rather not if I had my druthers.

Getting a new computer is really kind of weird sometimes, y'know? I bitch-bitch-bitch about how I don't really want to reinstall everything, but there's a kind of quiet joy and pride that comes out of getting it set up just as I like it. I'm not really sure what's up with that, but part of it at least was the setting up of my Windows 7 desktop theme. I really like this theme thing. I've got the whole thing set up to reflect my current Dragon Age obsession, and I'll be happy when I find another few good wallpapers to add to the shuffle. Sometimes good desktop wallpaper is hard to find! And the downloading is kind of sucky, but hey; when it's all set up, it just feels more or less awesome. Can't say fairer than that.

So now Dragon Age 2 has downloaded and so I shall install it. And then we'll see what we see. I have to finish my coffee and then I have to go dismember Hardison. (Poor Hardison; we've had to move to Plan M.) A busy-ish Saturday, then.
thessalian: (Default)
So, after a bad night's sleep and a hard day's work, I shlepped off to Tottenham Court Road and went to see if I could get a new computer (or at least, the tower and necessary components therein) without breaking the bank or buying cheap crap.

I neither broke the bank nor bought cheap crap. I just went into a little dingy-looking place that pinged up on my usually stellar radar (though to be fair, my radar is most often restaurant-oriented, but it has its moments on other bits of shopping), and ended up with a bunch of really charming Turkish guys staying past closing to assemble a computer to my specifications, and the prices weren't bad for what I got. So now I'm running Windows 7 on a fairly good motherboard, Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB storage and my nifty new graphics card. Now all I have to do is take a determined screwdriver to Hardison to get my old hard drive back (I think I see how to do it but it's like a puzzle box, seriously) tomorrow, and all will be well!

Of course, this one needed a name too, and I thought about it on the way home. From Goodge Street to bloody Tulse Hill. Lugging a PC tower onto and off of a bus, onto and off of a train, and through various turnstiles and crowds and roads and doorways ... yeah. Bit of a bitch.

...So my PC is powerful, useful, beautiful, entertaining ... and a bitch to travel with for any real distance. There's only one name that fits.

First Crudpuppy, then Frankenbox, then Eshu, then Hardison ... and now I have Morrigan.

In other news, does anyone know why a hundred-odd cyclists (emphasis on 'odd') insisted on rolling up Tottenham Court Road towards Camden at 8pm or so? En masse? It was kind of awesome to watch, but a little weird. And frankly, the drivers didn't have to be such dicks about it.
thessalian: (Default)
Well, things are basically just a little bit sucky right now.

I was so chuffed and generally thrilled - I had new memory for my computer and a new graphics card and I was just going to log on to squee over it before installing...

And Hardison wouldn't start up. The fans were going, all was fine there, but it just wouldn't boot. Which ... well. That makes it a little problematic to use, doesn't it?

So last night was entirely dull. Thing is, I don't own a TV or a stereo. I have my computer for that. So when my computer is down, it doesn't just mean no chat. It means no movies, no TV, no music beyond what I can drag out of my iPod through my iPod dock ... I have books. And there's nothing wrong with books, but it takes away a good 75% of my entertainment options.

I'd just order a new one, but ordering a new one involves it not being delivered for at least three days. The word I am looking for there is "FUCK". Not to mention that this kills my budget in ways I never even dreamed of. But I cannot do without a computer. At all. In any way, shape or form. I don't even know if I'm going to be able to get all my information off Hardison - I swear, that mini-thing? NEVER AFUCKINGGAIN - but ... yeah, no, I can't do without a computer. End of statement. So ... bye-bye budget, hello serious financial juggling, and hello trip to PC World or somewhere equally stupid. Hu-freakin-zah.

*sigh* Fare thee well, Hardison. You served well and faithfully.

(I am currently at a King's Cross internet cafe. Woo.)


thessalian: (Default)

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