Friday, April 29, 2011


So I know it has been ages and ages since I have talked about World of Warcraft. Pretty much gave it up since I started my new work because after I finished my first week I realised I would not really have the time I used to devote to it. Now after all this time I have settled into a slightly better routine and I have been thinking for a few weeks that I need a game to distract me in my off hours. I had been thinking about whether or not I should go back to World of Warcraft, on the plus side of things I am well established I know well what I am doing within the game though with those patches and hotfixes sometimes you feel like you are playing a different game. I have in game gold reserves and a good mix of characters and I know well that with MMORPGs at least as I experience them are a little underwhelming when you are just stuck levelling up.

The problem with WoW was that when I quit playing I was just not having any fun playing. I thought Cataclysm would revitalise thing because good grief the game was so dull and dead in the last say two months before the expansion finally launched. I have been reading about the patch changes and I think that I am going to give things another go, equal parts to see if the game is worth playing and to at least say goodbye to the people in game who have pretty much been my constant companions, I would give them a proper farewell.

The other choice is going for Rift which is currently doing very well according to most reviews with those that could be considered negative merely saying that the quests are too boring and the game is too much like World of Warcraft lite. Those seem like good things to me but due to a lack of hardware I will have to put off getting Rift until I upgrade my computer or rather buy a new one entirely as I am currently using an old gaming laptop.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

iPhone knows where you've been, mahahahahahah


Surprise, surprise the Apple iPhone makes a record of where you are with the handset and stores it away without your knowledge, plus copies the information to your computer. I first saw this story on the BBC News site but of course something of this prominence has been doing the rounds all over the news outlets. I, however, don’t really think of this as news surely anyone who owns an iPhone (and those can be a strange bunch) knows it has a GPS function. They must also realise that GPS is there to track you, heck if you lose the phone you can remotely shut it down and render it inert. Recently in the news here UK side with a tragic death we here that the police track down the victims movements by tracking their mobile phone.

How naive can you get? Let me state for the record that there is no evidence that the iThings send off their information to the evil shadow government or Apple for that matter but the information that they store is unencrypted. Now what happens when you’re the most popular brand leagues ahead of your competitors, well ask Microsoft it is only a matter of time before some technical savant figures out a way to remotely copy the data information and send it off to somewhere.

Another thought that would get the conspiracy theorists going crazy is how the authorities must be salivating at this news. If they think you’re dodgy all they need to do is seize your phone and have access to your movements for the past year or so and all that without the usual issues that sort of invasion of privacy would entail. That for me is the scary thought.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thoughts on Summer and Men's Fashion

So the summer time has decided to grip up in its stifling embrace as hell of a lot earlier than normal. The press are saying it is set to be one of the warmest Easters on record but they are oft wont to do (wondering about the old style language blame listening to 50+ hours of A Song of Ice and Fire stories). For me that means getting to work with a shirt already soaking in the back from my sweat thanks to my 20 minute walk from the train station to my place of work with no discernible cover from the sun no fun at all let me tell you. I’ve never been a sun worshipper far more the kind who fear its intense gaze.

Now why can't we all get to wear such snazzy clothing, comic courtesy of Nerf This!

This brings me to the seed of the idea I had that made me start writing this little blog post of mine. Men and our distinct lack of fashion alternatives when the weather gets like this, as I sit in my office which thankfully is less hot than when the weather was cooler (someone finally realised that heating isn’t necessary this side of February) the women around me in the office have their short sleeved tops which are not much more than fitted T-shirts and a dozen other designs and styles that I could not hope to describe properly without the help of Gok Wan and co.

For me though I am stuck in a shirt (but thankfully not a tie) and dark trousers, I suppose I could go out and purchase some white linen dress trousers (if such a thing exists) but I have this thing about being laughed out of my place of work that prevents me from that particular choice you see. Also women have the choice of skirts and dresses not that I think such a look would be all that flattering on me. It just seems to me that as we moved through the ages that men’s fashion went from a wide array of capes, breeches, long boots and cravats to just a few scant choices that say nothing about a man’s individualism.

Long gone are the times when a man walked around with his coat of arms proudly displayed on his person, though to be sure I am sugar coating it as this was for men of high standing and not for commoners but surely equally now when there is less of a social divide than there was even if seemingly the economic divide is ever on the increase.

The chief argument I always hear for school uniforms at least is that they allow for students of different socio-economic backgrounds to be on a level playing field (which is a false argument let me tell you as anyone who ever went to a normal school would know). I know this is of course a somewhat localised issue to the Western world and its predominant style of dress, I wonder if the men of other cultural backgrounds look back on earlier times and wish they could be more like their ancestors, perhaps a thought for another day.

So women out there in your finery suited to summer spare a thought for your male colleagues baking like a potato in their skin in their dark suits and ties as decreed by the code of the uniform.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Work hard, Pay harder

So it seems that working doesn’t necessarily pay more than being unemployed and receiving the accompanying benefits. Now that I have a job I thought my money troubles were going in the right direction hopefully being able to pay off my bills and maybe by the end of this contract I might be debt free (excluding student loans of course) the reality though is quite different.

Let me give you an idea of how things are for me. Before I was gainfully employed I was on JSA I had most of my rent taken care of only liable for about £50 a month and free to take some part time work at the cost of some of JSA money. It certainly wasn’t perfect but I was far more worried about not having the money for eat instead of not having somewhere to live.

Now I am working although part time and rent and council tax account for half my take home salary, unfortunately living along also generates a lot of other bills that need to be taken care of which further reduces down the money add in the travel costs for the new job and I realise why some people choose not to go back into work.

I will keep going though, the job itself is alright and the experience can only help in the long run as the job is only maternity cover so may be finishing in a matter of months. Give me a month or so and I will be able to say how the finances are fairing.

UPDATE: Apparently a job is not enough to justify an overdraft, I need a higher credit score. Just wait three months and then try again they say which is no help to someone who is trying to deal with the ridiculous costs of coming off JSA and moving into a job. That £100 job grant is great and all but doesn’t really go very far when travel costs per month are £150 and then you get hit for rent the next month of £230.

Sorry that was a little depressing but I thought injecting some real life experiences into the blog might be interesting and it is highly relevant in these financially unstable times to talk about work and the issues of coming off benefit to work.


Books are very important to me and I like to share what my current reads are. At the moment I am reading A Song of Fire and Ice by R.R. Martin, I had planned on reading the first book in the Pretty Little Liars series but had a problem with that so I went with A Song. I love fantasy stuff like this and Ranger’s Apprentice. The political intrigue is great and all the interconnecting stories just keep you eager for the next character chapter so you can learn about things from another angle.

Also I realised that ages ago I took out a deal offer for the new Twilight Encyclopedia but I have not taken it in yet I might pick it up for my birthday. I wonder what is in to be honest but hopefully it might lead into some insight past what the books have covered but we shall see.

I added some books to my Goodreads account for those that are interested, I should really sit down though and crank out some proper reviews. Well there are some holidays coming up so maybe I should add that to my holiday to do list.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Is it just me or is Jim Powell on No Ordinary Family getting slowly scarier? I am not sure if the writers are so nuanced as to let us see every now and then that flare of righteous anger that comes to the surface when his family is threatened. The first time we saw this was the fight with Victoria Morrow, the shapeshifting menace. This fight was easily one of the most genuinely violent specatcles I have watched this side of YouTube. It wasn’t the flashy overly dramatic special effect fare you might see done well on Vampire Diaries or awfully on The Cape, it was down and it was mean and it was dirty.

Though we can debate well over whether or not Jim actually intended to kill her, in the end it seems that he didn’t lose a heck of a lot of sleep over her death. Now we have moved on to the more recent episode where Jim is fighting the Were-Super (see what I did there) protecting his daughter for a hardened and seemingly psychotic who just came very close to killing his wife. Though this time he manages to hold back at the behest of his daughter. If we ever get a second season for this show I bet we have not seen the last of dark Jim.

So this is my birthday month which I realise may not mean much to you but it is reasonably important to me, marking as it does my downward spiral towards senility. Fortunately though birthdays are not all about dying and how much closer you are probably moving to the point of your death, as such I am also thinking about things I want to come to pass.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I have left it to the last minute as usual which is just dumb of me but hey. I thought a Part Time job would leave me some time to get stuff done but I didn't realise that working would put such a strain on my body as even now I am having trouble walking and my skin definitely suffers. Anyway tomorrow is laundry day so hopefully that will afford me the time.