Saturday, 25 August 2007

I'm back!

After 2 weeks of sun in Menorca, I am back, and it is almost like I have never been away.

Had to check over 700 emails (over 500 were deleted without even opening), after suitcases unpacked and the washing cycle started.

Now we have to go shopping, retrieve some (hopefully still alive) goldfish, and take our daughter to a birthday party!

I'll tell more about my holiday later, but right now I have other things that need to be done!

Friday, 10 August 2007

Almost time to go

The suitcases are packed. Everything on the list is ticked off. Valuables hidden away.

No we are not escaping from a visit from grandchildren (not that we are that old anyway!!!); we are off on our hols for 2 weeks - our first 2 week holiday for 10 years (before the kids were born!)

So no blog for 2 weeks... ...I am sure you'll manage!

Thursday, 9 August 2007


Ok, I went to court, and the judge found 100% in my favour, which is a result! My solicitor wasn't expecting this at all, so she was very happy. I was awarded just over £1,300, which is great news, but now the hard job starts with actually recovering this from the other party.

For now, though, I am just pleased that the judge found in my favour. He totally rejected the statement that the defence made, and stated that he preferred my statement, and that of my witness (there were 2 witnesses, but one hadn't provided a proper statement, so it wasnt included in his deliberations).

Work and court

I had an interview for a job this morning. I am not particularly satisfied with things where I am; they promise much but fail to deliver, which seems to be the norm with jobs at the moment. Even though I am self-employed, the amount of autonomy you get where it really matters is minimal, and if you try and do something off your own back you get blasted for it. That is not my impression of self-employment, so I am wondering whether I made the right decision earlier this year to turn down an employed post, which was offering a good basic salary, company car, group pension, etc, etc, etc, plus support for further qualifications. This is quite important as it turns out, as the UK Financial Services industry is likely to be going through some quite significant changes, and I need to be better qualified to avoid being shoved out of the way by the banks.

This afternoon is busy for me too; I am appearing in court over an incident that happened in 2003. What happened was that I was riding on my motorbike when a woman ran out in front of me and I hit her. Obviously there was no insurance company to claim damages from, so I lost my no-claims bonus and my insurance premium doubled, as I was perceived to be in the wrong, even though I have 2 independent witness statements which prove otherwise.

Anyway, things have been moving forward quite slowly over the past 3 years or so, and to be honest, I am only continuing with it because the legal cover that I had with my insurance policy is paying for it. This may sound mercenary, but I want to claim for the financial losses I suffered as a result of someone not paying attention to crossing a busy road, less than 100 yards from a pedestrian crossing!

I am not really sure what the outcome will be, but it seems that pedestrians are normally favoured over motorists, so realistically my chances don't look that optimistic. I shall keep an open mind though.

The person who I hit has come back with a claim that all she saw was a motorbike travelling at speed, on its side, towards her and hit her leg. When I read that, to say that I was incredulous was a bit of an understatement! It is physically impossible to do that without hitting other cars, as I was coming uphill and round a bend - I would have been travelling at no more than 25 mph (around 40 kph). No other cars were damaged, and I am sure that the repair bill would have cost more than £1,000 if what she said was actually true.

Karazhan and Badlands

My internet connection was down most of Wednesday, and when it returned it kept dropping off and coming back, so my WoW connection had serious lag (at some points over 10,000ms latency), and numerous disconnections.

I did however manage to get to Karazhan and pick up the two attunement quests, and start one of them, but it was pretty unplayable with all my connection issues, so I had to give it up as a bad job.

My warlock is now sitting outside the front door of Karazhan with his Felguard to keep him company, until I go back and continue the attunement quests, in between continuing in Nagrand. I really want to hit 69 before I go on holiday, so I have pretty much one evening to get it done, then it will be a push to hit 70 before the end of September.

As my warrior friend was on-line I got my priest out and we finished off one of the Uldaman 'outside instance' quests - the Power Stones, and just pottered about Badlands really. I dinged 43 with my priest, added another talent point to my holy tree, and with the quest hand-ins, I am not far off halfway through the level to 44, where I get more spells.

I have recently respecced my mage from fire to frost, for Searing Gorge, and so far I am not impressed; she hits nowhere near as hard as she used to, and I am wondering whether I should have taken the pain with the fire-immune mobs and blasted my way through everything else - I know an arcane-specced mage of a similar level to me who is also in the Gorge, so I may enlist his help. He is, incidentally, also the warrior that teams up with my priest!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Nagrand and Scholomance

No real news on Formula 1 at the moment; it is just more of the same, save that Ron Dennis has said that Alonso is free to leave McLaren early if he cannot live with the fact that he will be treated the same as Lewis Hamilton; he will not be given preferential treatment.

I ventured ever closer to level 69 with my warlock, by completing the first part of the hunter quests, which are collected at the Hemet Nesingwary encampment in NE Nagrand. It was a little boring having to kill 90 creatures, but also strangely relaxing - there was no real pressure as the creatures are not hostile until you attack them, so you are not going to get bogged down with multiple mobs attacking you, unless you inadvertently run into an elemental, of course!

I also did a guild Scholo run, as I needed some ingredients for my enchantments for my mage, and was told that Scholo was the best place to collect them. Although it was a guild run, to begin with I was the highest level player, which surprised me somewhat. After a while though we invited a lvl 70 player in to speed things up as people were on timescales. I got a few shards and essences, which helped, but to really progress my enchanting (and tailoring) I need to get my mage to level 50.

The only other thing I did recently was do a couple of Uldaman quests with my priest and a warrior who is in the guild. The quests we did were not in the instance itself, but concentrated on the entrance and the first dig site. We'll need a full group for the instance, and I would rather run it with the guild, however one of the main players was watching football...

I am hoping to do the next round of Nagrand quests, hand in some others that I have completed along the way, and hopefully start working toward the magical level 70 where I can hopefully start to work towards Kara attunement.

My gear will need a complete overhaul before I go to Kara, but without the benefit of having run various instances I am not really sure how I am going to achieve this, as a lot of the epic gear is picked up in raids and not possible to sell in the Auction House.

Any suggestions gratefully received!!!

Monday, 6 August 2007

Formula 1 and computers

2 different things to cover, but 2 things that have been important over the last day or so.

Firstly, Formula 1. When I checked the ITV website at around 11pm on Saturday night, it said that the stewards were not going to take any action regarding the shenanigans in the final qualifying session, and that Alonso would retain his pole.

Imagine my surprise then, when I subsequently found out (when I turned the TV on to watch the race) that they had decided to not only move Alonso 5 places down the grid, but also not to award any constructors points to McLaren.

So apologies for the misinformation, but it was my source that was incorrect!

I think the stewards should have kept out of it personally, even though it would have meant that Alonso would have retained his pole position. (My friend wanted them to take each other out in the first corner so that Kimi could win, but that is another issue entirely!) Not for the reasons that they would potentially have denied Ferrari the additional points, but from the point of view that McLaren had the front row, and Alonso was (allegedly) acting on the instructions of his engineer. Additionally, it seems that Lewis was partly to blame for the mess, so should they not have penalised him as well? (I can see eager nods from Ferrari fans here!!!)

Anyway, 3 weeks now to Turkey, and if anything of note happens in the coming week I'll include it here.

Second subject: computers; specifically, mine! I went to visit my friend yesterday, and I took my PC with me so that we could play some WoW while I was up there. After spending some time tinkering with trying to get me on the wireless network, we eventually gave up and didn't manage to play at all, which was a shame. I did get to see WoW on a big wide-screen tv, and I have to say that it looks fantastic.

Anyway, I set my computer back up at home, and for some reason it a) wouldn't automatically connect to my wireless network, and b) once I forced it to connect, it wouldn't stay connected.

I tried various things, all to no avail, then remembered that I had swapped my sound card and my wireless network card in my pc, as we thought that it might be better for the graphics card to have more air to circulate round it. Fair point, but I swapped the cards back round to their original spots, and hey presto - everything now works fine.

Still no solution to my gaming problems though, the visits to Shattrath City still produce the same results, and even my friend and another guildie (who popped round so that I could meet him) thought it was really strange; they have never seen that before.

Anyway, time to finish up here for now - but one last note - 5 days to go to my holiday!

Saturday, 4 August 2007

It seems that it was Lewis's fault...

According to Ron, it was Lewis Hamilton's fault that he didn't get his last timed lap in, as he apparently should have let Alonso past in the final qualifying session.

The stewards have also ruled that nothing was amiss in the pitstop as well, so Alonso's pole stands.

All well and good, but the engineers, or someone in the team knew that Lewis would miss out on his final hot lap due to the delay and should have sent Alonso out immediately, shouldn't they?

I guess it doesn't really matter to Ron, as both his cars occupy the first two spaces on the grid, and also the first space in the Constructor's Championship, which is all he is worried about; the Driver's Championship is secondary to him.

Which leads me on to another point, if he is not bothered as much about the Driver's Championship, then why doesn't he allow his drivers to keep their trophies? He gets a trophy each time one of his drivers wins a race, and I would have thought that anything less than a win would be a painful reminder for him - he has been known to say that losing races causes him pain (poor cherub - how does he manage!).

All that aside, looks like it could be a good race tomorrow, but I hope Damon Hill's commentary improves. I for one wasn't impressed by Martin Brundle's replacement this year. Last year it was Anthony Davidson, who I feel did a great job, and it was especially good as his (then) team celebrated his maiden victory.

Sorry about the lack of WoW blogging today, but I don't normally play as much at the weekend!

Was Fernando a naughty boy?

This blog is 'mainly' about WoW, but it does include other interests of mine, one of which is Formula 1.

I have just watched the qualifying session for the Hungarian Grand Prix, and it seems that Fernando Alonso (2x World Champion) behaved in a very unsportsmanlike fashion, when he appeared to hold up his team mate Lewis Hamilton, and in doing so, prevented him from making his final qualifying run.

Ron Dennis looked furious, and Lewis Hamilton was clearly unhappy with what happened. My guess is that a bland statement will be issued, but strong words will be had behind closed doors.

So at present Alonso is on Pole Position for tomorrow's race, and Lewis will line up second. It will be interesting to see how things pan out tomorrow.

Ok - the latest news is that the Hungarian stewards are investigating the incident. I await their ruling with intense interest...

Friday, 3 August 2007

The next WoW expansion

It seems to be official: Wrath of the Lich King will be the name of the next expansion, and will be based in Northrend, which is a large glacier in the north.

This information can be seen on, but I have put it here for ease of reference:

*It is going to Northrend! With level 80 and new abilities! If some Objects are achieved, you can create a new Character. The Death Knight. He starts straight in High Level Area.
*In PVP there will be finally be the long-ago announced siege weapons available and there will be destroyable buildings, plus a new battleground
*The Deathknight will be a kind of Damage Dealer and at the same time a Tank with so far non existant new abilities. He will be playable by Alliance and Horde, but it will be just certain Races who will have the possibility to create a Death Knight. He is the first Hero class and other will probably come in the following Expansions.
* New possibilities of designing your Character.
* You will fight against the Lich King Arthas!
* Leveling from 70 to 80 will take as much time as leveling from 60 to 70.
* Howling Fjord will be the first area you will arrive to. Afterwards there will be areas following like Grizzly Hills and Dragonblight.
* The first Dungeon will be Utgarde Keep. You will be able to enter it at level 70 and it will be a 5-man Instance. 25er Dungeons will still be existant, just as well as Heroic Instances.
* New Profession: Inscription – Enduring amplification of spells and abilities.
* There will be a Cinematic Intro.
* Northrend will be about as big as Outlands.

Sounds interesting, although some people in game have expressed concerns about levelling a new character to 80. Others have said that perhaps a re-tune of the levelling from 1-60 would maybe be a good idea - I myself have said that there is a spot in the early 40s where it is a bit of a grind.

Saying that though, got my priest up to 42 last night on the back of some questing in Stranglethorn Vale with one of my friends who is a tank. Almost perfect combination; healer and tank working together. Unfortunately the 2 officers in our guild are on holiday at the moment, and we really want to do Uldaman sooner rather than later, and with my holiday looming, it seems that it may be nearer September before this happens.

The other 2 are a pally and a mage, so a warlock in the party would be ideal, in my opinion.

Meanwhile, in Nagrand, my warlock managed to get some assistance with the bird in the quest Bring me the Egg - I eventually managed to land in the nest, after some issues with trajectory. You remember I said yesterday that you can cancel the buff immediately? Well you can, but you need to be 100% certain that you will land in the nest if you do this; I died a few times as I was off target, so best to wait until you know, and if you are off target, you leave the buff on and land safely!

My friend in WoW doesnt seem to have any motivation to get his character to level 70; he seems happier questing in old world. Each to their own, I guess, but I want the chance to get attuned for, and play, Karazhan, with my guild. Now that the new expansion has been named, it will probably be before the end of the year before it is released, and if it renders the currently 'new' instances obsolete like The Burning Crusade did, Kara will remain unexplored for many, just like Black Rock Depths does for me now.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

On to Nagrand!

Terrorclaw, Mragesh and the venom quests were done quickly and easily, as I thought. I then wandered over to Sporeggar to hand in my 60 Glowcaps, but after handing in one lot I got to friendly rep, so now I have 50 Glowcaps that I don't know what to do with.

I could save them for my next char to get that far, but the time it has taken me to get my lock this far, it could be another year before she is ready! Maybe Auction House or simply vendor them, but I'll decide later, when I keep running out of bag space.

I had a look at the newly available quests in Sporeggar, but declined them for now; I may go back later to complete, but I am not particularly motivated to go back to Zangar right now - I still have Blades Edge, Shadowmoon and Netherstorm to do after Nagrand, which I have just started, and with me being halfway through 68 I will be 70 before I finish at Nagrand.

I got that egg quest today as well - the quest called 'Bring Me the Egg!' After several attempts and wondering why I was sailing straight over the top, I managed to work it out, and landed in there on my first attempt. I tried to demonstrate a bit later to another player, and missed the nest and died from the fall!

The key to this is to aim for the bit that sticks up from the nest, and cancel the buff just before you get directly above the nest. I have seen comments that say that you can cancel the buff immediately, but I haven't tested this, so can't confirm whether it will work. It is a good idea to unequip any items with durability ratings to reduce the repair bill from fatal falls.

I have seen other suggestions to go to a big hill which I think is south east of the nest, and use a carrot on a stick or other speed increasing trinket or buff with your epic mount, and jump with the buff from the trampoline. This saves you from a sticky end, but as the graveyard is so close, it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Anyway, I got the egg from the first attempt, but then the bird got me, even with my felguard helping. Apparently it is fearable, so that is something I shall try next time. The recommended way of killing the bird is dot, dot, dot, fear, rinse and repeat, so I shall try that next time.

I don't tend to use fear very much as I had it instilled into me at an early stage of my playing life that fear is BAD, as more often than not the feared mob collects his mates who come back and finish you off. I have tried fear (and its variations on my other characters) and used it to good effect, but only when I really think about it - perhaps it is something I should try more often (but not in an instance like Gnomeregan...)

This is old news, but I heard that Blizzard will be introducing a guild bank, and in-game voice chat. I can see good and bad about both of these new features - I am sure there will be cases of ninja looters with the bank, and to suddenly find out that female priest you have been questing with for 3 months is actually a 12 year old schoolboy could be a bit disconcerting, to say the least!

For someone who was wondering what I would write about to begin with, I do tend to waffle, but anyway, back to work for me!!!

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Zangarmarsh and Nagrand

Just found out something quite important today - you really do need to do all the quests at Orebor in Zangarmarsh if you want to do much in Nagrand.

Quite annoying really, as I thought my lock had finished in Zangar as far as levelling was concerned. Still, at least it was easy, although I mistook one boss for another, so ended up killing an elite twice for no quest reward - all I got out of it was a ghost mushroom, plus a little xp.

Then I went upstairs - I was in the Ango'Rosh Stronghold, and killed the boss I needed to, which surprisingly was easier than his mate in the bowels of the earth.

Now I have Terrorclaw, Mragesh and collecting venom to look forward to, as well as the Underbog quests which have been in my log for weeks now, then hopefully I can go to Nagrand and do some more questing.

I hit 68 as well, so although it has taken me ages, I might get to 70 sometime in the next month or so - I have got a 2 week holiday coming up, and its taken me nearly a year to get this far!