A week since my last post…

Needless to say, I haven’t done as good as I had hoped I would.

This week has been a rough one, to be honest. Things at work have actually picked up a bit. I was hoping it would be fairly quiet until the end of the year, as it has a tendency of being this time of year, but a few major software updates made things a little shaky for a while. Plus I found out earlier in the week that a couple high school students wanted to job shadow me, of all people, for their senior projects.

I find it amusing that there are kids in high school eager to join the IT market that don’t have the faintest idea of how the guts of a computer or a network work. I can’t blame them completely. There’s not really a curriculum here that covers something like that. The vast majority of computer oriented classes at the school I work at consist of how to touch type and use Word and Excel. Which are excellent skills to have, to be sure. It’s just pretty far from things like actually building your own computer, for example. Or putting together a simple network.

I guess that’s why they have job shadows.

Although the blank stares I got while describing what I was doing as I added a VLAN to the network for use with our DMZ was entertaining.

All this has meant, though, that I have been having a hard time finding moments to dedicate to my goals.

And I’m upset at myself because of that.

Thankfully I was able to get a little bit on track last night, though it meant that I didn’t have the time really to post things here. So this a little later than I wanted it to be, but the good news is that I’ve actually made some progress… and spent some time away from work.

Shawn, Danie and I spent most of the day yesterday in Moses Lake. Just having fun for the most part. We were able to have a nice dinner at a favorite mexican restaurant in town, and fit in a little bit of shopping as well.

And me, being the impulse purchaser I am, managed to snag up a movie I’ve been looking forward to tremendously.

So, needless to say, we watched a movie when we got home.

Howl’s Moving Castle is another gorgeous work of art from Hayao Miyazaki. I am slowly beginning to collect all his pieces, including Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke. Howl’s Moving Castle is actually more straightforward than most of his others works, with a storyline that is fairly simple, and familiar in some ways, echoing a lot of fantasy tales. It is, however, still stunningly animated and an absolute joy to watch. I’ve found out the story is actually based on a book, which I may have to track down and read. If I ever get around to doing so, I’ll have to compare and contrast the two here. This is something I would actually like to do more often when watching movies, as most of them actually are based on some literary piece of some sort. I know that when I watched the first Narnia movie, the desire was quite strong to go reread the books… and see if somehow my childhood memories of them where somehow rose tinted compared to my mixed reactions of the movie.

At any rate, so far its been a rather pleasant weekend. I’ve even managed to get a couple more chapters into The Wayfarer Redemption, and it is still my solemn goal to get the rest of the way through it before the end of the month. Which I think is still entirely possible at this point.

I do have to admit another addiction that has been stealing away some of my time once more as well, though. World of Warcraft. I’ve tried to hide this addiction for the longest time… because there was a time when it was actually a serious problem for me. Though not lately, thankfully. When I was inbetween jobs and wasn’t sure if I was going to have full time work at Royal, you could almost gaurentee that I was playing that evil game. That was a dark time for me… where I didn’t know where my life was going or how I was going to make ends meet. That game was an escape… and much worse, in ways, than drinking. I’m not saying it’s evil incarnate, because honestly, I had an absolute blast playing for the most part. Blizzard has done something amazing in building a game in the massively multiplayer genre that is genuinely fun to play. They make it easy to get started, make questing easy to do, and weave in a storyline that is actually quite intriguing. There are still some balance issues between classes, but considering the choices you have and their very differing skillset, I think there are some things that can be forgiven. That being said, I reached a point playing where I lost a lot of interest in the game. And, thank god, I was able to start working full time in Royal, which simply made it so I couldn’t put in the amount of time required for one of the most frustrating aspects of the game.

The end game content.

Unless you have absolutely no life and all the free time in the world, World of Warcraft becomes virtually unplayabe at level 60. At that point it stops becoming a matter of questing or simple runs through dungeons with a small group of friends. At level 60 you have to start running instances that require raids of 40 people… with the hope that something for you drops that you can use… and that you don’t get out-rolled or out-bid on the item by one of the others in your class that is going to invariably be there. These raids generally will take multiple days to complete… and will require being in a guild that takes such things seriously. And will likely kick you if you don’t have the time to seriously take part.

This is where it all falls apart, and, in my opinion, the game stops being fun.

I hold out hope that the expansion pack will solve some of these problems, but honestly I doubt it will. At least until you hit the level cap at 70 once again. But I have found myself playing the game once again despite these drawbacks. Because, honestly, though reaching level 60 might be rather anticlimatic, getting there is still an absolute blast. I’ve been leveling up a character with my little brother once more, and having a fun time doing it. Partly because I’m playing an Alliance character for the first time, but also because we are playing on a PvP server, which is a different experience entirely. It adds a level of apprehension to the game that constantly keeps you on your toes while you’re playing. And, of course, there is something satisfying about randomly battling the other faction and, hopefully, coming out victorious.

Add to that the fact that two other good friends have started a character on another server, and I find myself once more happily trying to level and quest to catch up to them.

The game may have its faults… but its still well worth a play through in my opinion. And maybe some day they’ll fix those end game issues.

Until then, I’m not too worried about it sucking my life away again, at least.

There are too many books that need to be read instead.