Dagstine’s Delusions

In another futile effort to claim attention and somehow seem relevant, Sir Larry has posted a question on SL which once again proves, when it comes to writing, to being a writer he completely misses the point. Daggy asks here, http://shocklinesforum.yuku.com/topic/9270?page=1, whether we write for immortality or money.

It’s been my experience that anyone who writes for either achieves neither.  Many writers I know don’t make a living from it; and those that do, are also involed in the industry in other forms. Then there are the bulk of writers, which I include myself in, who write in their spare time and work other jobs to pay the bills. Oh yeah, we dream of making Stephen King money, having multiple book deals, movie adaptations, accolades and sycophants at our disposal; at the end of the day however, we’re simply doing what we’re wired to do. 

There’s something that compels us to write. We’re storytellers, with fertile imaginations and an ability to entertain others. They called this lying when I was a kid. If I never made a dime from my writing in the future, I would still do it, because I don’t know hhow to stop.  If I do it for money, immortality or whatever, not only does my writing suffer (as then it’s filled with purpose and other pretentious twaddle) but I delude myself. 

And that’s why Dagstine, for all his bleatings about his resume, will never be remembered for anything but being an internet douchebag. He sees writing as easy money, as a way to be relevant, and achieves neither. 

He does however serve a purpose; he stands as a beacon for all new writers of what not to become, what not to do, and what not to emulate. In that, his failure is an overwhelming success.

End of an Error…

…and the start of correcting those errors.  President Obama, having taken the oath of office minutes ago, begins the herculean task of giving this country an enema. Flushing out the policies, wars and programs that have plugged up this country to the point we’re about to explode.  

In doing so we wave goodbye to the worst President we’ve had the misfortune of being run into the ground by. We also say goodbye to the era and errors of corporate greed, unrestrained business policies, and the lies of war that caused needless deaths and perhaps irreperable harm to our status in the world. 

President Obama’s innaugural speech wasn’t especially uplifting, indeed there was a somber tone to it. It was also exactly the right chord. This is not the time for a warm Clintonesque speech; not when we’re in deep shit, piled up in large part by eight years of crap hurled at us by Bush and his cronies.  It was important he recognize and remind of us where we are. He reminded us why we hired him. And that’s what we did, we hired him. Not everyone of course, McCain still had the ignorant right wing on his side-but their days are done. All we have to show for their work is a war in two countries, sky rocketing unemployment, record levels of foreclosures and bankruptcies, and a deep mistrust of any form of government.

In his speech, Obama made a comment about his critics arguing about how everything would be paid for, how it would be implemented. “They have short memories.” he said, and he’s right. some of the greatest programs and strengthening of government being done in the great depression, after the assassination of JFK and the start of the Vietnam war.  Great things CAN be accomplished, and government CAN help. However, government can never be the entire answer. Sadly, for 8 years it was never more than a slap down than a hand up. And still there are people so oblivious to the truth of this (Alkilyu among them),  who think Bush was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The good news is, President Obama is their President as well. He even mentioned me, the first time I can remember a President mentioning the unbeliever. 

I have great hope for this Presidency, great hope for this country, and most of all great hope for each and every one of us.

Windows 7 Beta…So Far So Good

Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment. Or stupid. Maybe a combination of both; however, when a public beta for Windows 7 came out, I downloaded it, after some problems with the d/l site. I’ve been running it since Saturday and I have to say, for a beta, it’s been remarkably stable, no crashes, lock-ups and most of all no software or driver conflicts.

Let me repeat that, no software or driver conflicts. Granted, I had no problems with Vista, because when I got the laptop it came preinstalled; but I’ve heard horror stories from many.  Still, I’m a sucker for shiny new things. 

The d/l itself was about 2.44 gigs, so I had awhile to  wait for it to finish downloading. In the meantime I backed up my most important files to a DVD in case things went kablooey, had my Vista image disk from Toshiba, just in case. Once the d/l was fnished, I had to create a DVD copy of the file and install from that.

The upgrade process was as painless and hands off as anything I’ve encountered. It told you not only what step it was taking but what percentage of that step was accomplished.  In all, it took about 2 hours or so for the process to finish. After setting up the date, time and everything else it was ready to go.

The biggest cosmetic change (and I’m using that specific term cosmetic because it’s not the biggest change) is the task bar and start menu. Gone is the quick launch toolbar-though you can “pin” frequently used programs to the task bar. Simply right click and select pin to taskbar. When you hover your mouse over a button on a tollbar a preview screen pops up and shows you what’s open.  Aero is still around and looking good.  Have a file on your desktop you need to open? Click on the far right end and your desktop appears. Click it again to reopen the programs running. 

The control panel is far better organized, and makes far more sense than Vista. The search function is actually usable now, and the start menu is about the same as Vista, with some minor cosmetic changes. 

The biggest change is speed. I’ve noticed it starts up quicker, and shuts down faster. It also has improved my fps (frames per second) in Warcraft by about 20%. I haven’t tried other games, as WoW is the only one installed at the moment, but I will load one up and see what the difference is. 

All in all, it’s impressive. As I use it more and learn more about it, I’ll post more. At this point, I’m giving Windows 7 a recommendation.

The Last Bell For Kharisi

It was a moment I anticipated and dreaded. For the past week I’ve been grinding on Kharisi to level him up before the great Hunter Nerf of 2009 comes in the next patch. I did some dailies, sold everything I found to get my cold weather flying and head to IceCrown and Storm Peaks. I flew to the highest mountain tops and to the lowest basins in a continent covered in snow, mountains and nasty creatures. I restored a Taurens memory, fought some elite creatures and fell in love with my surroundings.  And then it happened.

I hit 80. My excitement was palpable.  It’s been a long journey for Kharisi, starting out as a piece of meat with a rickety bow back in April of ’08.  however with the help of my guild, and a pretty casual play schedule I took him as far as he can go, level wise. Now comes some end game content, rep building, and completing quests that I’ve missed or abandoned. And then he rests for awhile. 

For me the content in Northrend is so compelling, I can’t wait to get my other characters ready to go there. Vanilla WoW and Burning Crusade may have made me a fan of WoW, but the Lich King expansion captured my heart. And though I still consider myself a casual player, after all I have yet to do any PvP, my desire to play hasn’t waned. 

One of the reasons is my guild. As big as it is (4000+ and counting), it has a sense of community like nothing I’ve seen. About 3 days ago, I was on at about 4 AM (couldn’t sleep at all) and someone was about to turn in a quest to Lady Sylvanas in UnderCity, where she goes into the Lamentation for the HIghborne, a beautifully sung song that gives me chills.  A few of us met him in the Throne room, kneeled in respect on the steps and listened.

lamentIt’s the small moments like that, which make this game an incredible experience.  As I gear up for some raids, I’ll be working on a piece for our guild podcast as well. As for Kharisi, well my hunter is near retirement, and will undoubtedly show up in an upcoming fantasy novel I’m working on.  He’ll live on, as well as Bobo, Spanky, Detta and my Rhino.

For the Horde!

Finally Got Him!

From the moment I was able to tame exotic pets, I had one thing in mind: a corehound. Those slobbering, two headed beasties were too cool to resist. The only one not in a dungeon was in Shadowmoon Valley.  For weeks now, I’ve gone there one or twice  for each of those weeks to tame the damn thing with no luck.

Unless you consider dying in a puddle of acid luck, which I don’t. It seemed everytime I got close, he’d knock me back, disrupting the training process and I’d have to start over and hope it worked before I died. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve tried. How much gold I’ve spent in repairing equipment as a result of my bulleaded, yet, predetermined death.  Probably enough to get my cold weather flying training, most likely. 

Since I was home sick today, I decided to try again. I mentioned this in guild chat, and made some comment about hoping he doesn’t knock me back yet again.  And then the miracl came.

“Use frost trap, freeze ’em in place.” Someone said.  I’d never felt so dumb in my life. Well, okay I have, but not in a long time. At least three days, maybe two.  Even though I’m a hunter and I’ve trained in traps, I’ve never really used them. Bobo, Detta or the rhino I picked up did well enough, I didn’t need them. I rarely run instances-yet-where they can be used effectively, so it never dawned on me. 

I am he who the name huntard was destined for. 

I go down to Shadowmoon Valley, find my prey, spring the trap and voila! Spanky is mine!

What? what’s wrong with naming a green, two headed drooling monster Spanky?

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The Ultimate Smackdown

I know this will be deleted as soon as Matt reads it, so I’m posting the message in its entirety here.

The post he refers to is this one. http://shocklinesforum.yuku.com/topic/8838?page=1.