Made it through another week

What does one say when one can’t think of what to write in their livejoural… well, I guess I start talking about what I usually talk about. But first, a couple of comic strips from Matthew McAndrews…

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems # 290 – Take Charge – October 9th, 2006
Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems # 291 – Besieged – October 12th, 2006

An on with a week in the life:

Health and Fitness – This week the event of note for my health with my banging my left little toe REALLY hard on the little railing along the top of our tub-shower combination at home. OUCH!!!!!! It was painful enough to make me cry out and Mhari come rushing to see what happened. By nightfall it was a vivid bruise on the inside side of the little toe, between toes. I was limping badly that night, and the next morning. It was so bad Thursday morning that I considered staying home from work. But I went anyways. It wasn’t easy, but I made it in to work. And by evening it was feeling a LOT better. But I discovered that I must have wrenched my back and shoulder some when I reacted to the impact on my toe… as it really is out of sorts. It comes and goes, and likely will be better (it’s already better than it was). And if all else fails, Dr James will put things to right on the 22nd when I need see him. And I can always call him and beg for an ’emergency’ short-slot to put it right.

Now, if only my pride were as easy to heal…
 
Mental Health (Also thoughts on work) – I’ve been doing some self-mental assessment of late. Mostly because I am rather unhappy with my present job. And I don’t really feel I should be so unhappy. It pays REALLY well, and it’s benefit package is what has kept my own health issues and those of Mhari’s in the financially treatable range. Our medications are rather expensive. Though mine, even with her latest stuff, is more expensive than her’s.

However, I finally figured out that I am going through some underconfidence issues. I presently feel that I was hired under false expectations, and I don’t think I am going to measure up well in the coming annual evaluations. I am dissatisfied with myself over my dissatisfaction with my job, and upset about being upset about it. With out going into detail (as some from work may read this space), I don’t feel I am being utilized properly and that some are expecting things from me that I never said I could do. However, at the same time I am afraid to speak up about things for fear of being handed more stuff to do to the point of not being able to handle it all. I am also NOT used to dealing with a company that takes a ‘long view’ about things, and plans and works in that manner. I am too used to short development cycles and outlooks. So I am sort of filling in for the stress that is missing with building stress over there not being as much stress as I am used to in the workplace.

I have also been asking myself the question of "Well, if you are not happy with your current job… what is it you want to be doing to make a living?"

It’s not an easy question for me. Yes, I would love the ‘dream’ gamer’s job of working in the gaming space again. But doing what? I am -not- a programmer. While I am DAMN GOOD at taking a procedure that was designed by someone else and turning it into data for someone else to do something with, I am not a direct innovator. And there are hotshots out there that do things WAY better than I do. I’m a ‘hack’ in that department. Not a ‘brain’. I am a good researcher, in that I can sit down at a computer, bring up search engines and dive into the web to look things up and find out things. I can sift data well. But I am not a genius at it.

I am a good Black Box Software Testing Tech. I can take a predefined or otherwise well defined process/program/device and tell you where it fails to meet the predefined conditions. I can also tell you where it made me ‘frustrated’ and make suggestions for making it less frustrated. I can tell you where something fails to meet my personal usability standards. And I can take a developer document telling someone how to run something, figure that out and write a document giving the step-by-step of how to do that same thing for someone who has never touched the system before. So that they can follow those steps and do it themselves. (This is the sort of document that would then be good for a real writer to meld with the developer’s info into a real user document.)

But I am NOT an innovator. I can not tell you HOW to test that program/process/device WITHOUT first having that predefined expectations all laid out. I won’t be able to tell you WHY the program/device/process is not working. I am garbage in:garbage out, with just a little more garbage that doesn’t fit in with what you fed me. I am intutitive. Sometimes I -will- find something that I KNOW is out of place, but won’t be able to tell you why. I just know it is.

I am good with people, but I hate dealing with them in too large of numbers or too many at once. (Hense, I do NOT wish to be in sales. Or face-to-face customer service if I can help it.) I have the intuitive ability to figure things out given time and ‘space’ to do so. Part of this is knowing how to read a manual, how to search the web for information, and some of it is just being willing to try everything until I either get the results I want or get frustrated enough to throw the ‘dang thing’ away.

Things I know about what I want to do are: 1> I wish to work in something related to computers. 2> It would be nice to work in the entertainment field. 3> I enjoy playing the games, even if they are broken. So Black Box Software Testing of games is good. 4> Something in the Massive Multiplayer space would be good, as I have an intense interest in this field. 5> I like messing with the hardware from time to time, keeping up on the latest technology and configurations. 6> I do NOT want to be Top Dog, but I don’t want to be the lowest of the low, either. Yet I still wish to bring skills to the ‘table’ that seem to be of true value to my employers.

I am presently considering Software Testing for MMOs, be they only Social MMOs like Second Life or There, or ‘Role Playing’ ones like WoW or EQ or CoX.
But I also think it would be equally interesting to work as a Community Rep for one of those places, or Live Help, or GM.
And also something supporting the hardware, from desktop support for the office workers/developers/etc that make those things work.
If that company is also small enough so I am not just another face in the crowd… that would be nice too.
Oh, and all this at a pay scale that allows one to be able to support and care for a loved one without worrying every second about fiances would be nice.
And I am willing to move away from the bay area if I need to, so long as I can take my loved one with me. I’m not leaving her. Not for anything.

Okay, I’ve bared my soul enough… back to other things.

TV:
Recorded Heroes… haven’t watched it yet. Too much Baseball.

MMOs:
EQOA – Same old same old. We’ll all ‘ding’ 47 on Monday, net-connection gods willing.

EQ2 – Filthi hit 40 on Monday. THANK you guys! Thursday I got in about another 10-20% towards 41. And picked up a bunch of resources in Zek.

CoH/CoV – Bought the GvE prestige items Friday. Nice. Finally Heroes/Villians have a way to ‘go home’ (or at least to Pocket D) like characters can in most MMOs. That’s what the Pocket D VIP card power lets you do. It’s a long to act, interuptable teleport to Pocket D’s VIP area. With a 30 min recharge time. And the Jump Jet Pack is nice. We’ll see how it will change things. Especially for the starter character. Just note that unlike Super Jump, it does NOT help you avoid the damage from falling once you are up so high. So be careful.

Otherwise not much to report. We did the massed villians thing adventuring with the trampling of Fulldark on Friday night (likely will again tonight). And all three masterminds are level 39. With Commander Kitty really heading for 40. Fulldark got 21, I believe. (Or was that the week before that… it blends in my head.)

Tuesday it was Avenging Flame (Whyaylooh), Momcat (Mhari) and Stand In (myself) out there battling. Momcat got KO’d once, but Stand In brought her back. And things were tight more than once. But I think we all got out of debt. Don’t know if anyone leveled or not. Don’t remember as it’s not my focus on things any more.

I am looking forward to Vet Rewards that they will be bringing to the game. There’s some nice abilities coming up from that. Ways that will make it easier to varry one’s character further. And Issue 8 will have a lot of things to make things more varried for the heroes. They talk about bringing the Heroes all on par with the types of things that villians have, but with the hero flavor. And turning a hazzard zone into a city zone, with missions and things. But Heroes will still have something villians don’t yet have… a prestige ‘class’ character unlockable by getting to level 50. Villians still don’t have that. Maybe they will once I get Commander Kitty to level 50. 😉

Second Life – Spent a little time on here. Dancing in Club Chaotic.. and weathering the grid-wide attacks that SL suffered. It was some BAD times for LL last weekend. It was the first time since I have started my Second Life existance that I was Glad NOT be a Linden Labs employee. One or more Griefers released a pair of attacks upon the grid. In both cases it was though some sort of self-replicating thing. And the self-replicating things also finds the nearest characters and starts endlessly giving them item after item. This spams the chat with messages about it, and also fills up your inventory with thousands of useless items. And like email attachments carrying viruses, you ‘drop’ one to ‘open’ it and it spawns more and more and more… It was icky. Dealt them a blow that took them offline for like 20 hours over 2 days… or more.

WoW – Well, thanks to some of the attacks on Second Life, I did a bit more in WoW than I would have this week. Made another fighter character, this time a Nightelf. Got him to level 11, I think. I’m losing interest again… you can only play solo in this game so long until you are just repeating content again and again. Of course, I did do somethings with my new Nightelf I had not done before… hadn’t gone south much from the regularly travelled areas. I might look at this some more. But still, without companions…

Conventions:
FC – Got all my event entry items into the staff wiki. Just need to upload the maps of my spaces for the BEOs. And Mhari is going to send out the reminders to the prospective dealers that they need to get their forms in with payment by November 1st or forfit the offered space. I also need to make the Phase 2 FMP forms up and send them out to the webmaster tonight. Phase 2 of FMP sales starts Nov 1st.

BC/WC – Nothing new.
 
DDC – Made my hotel reservation

Consonance – much chatter. will likly result in an update for the convention website soon. Just need the progress report from the chair, since we might have something to report soon.

Pen and Paper gaming:
It was ‘BuddyCon’ this past weekend. That’s a gathering of friends that all have done pen and paper gaming together in the past. It started as a gathering at a local convention in Sept each year. Then when that convention got flaky, and we all discovered we were only going to the convention and gaming with each other at it, we skipped the convention part and started the annual gathering privately. And called it ‘BuddyCon’. It was great seeing Leo and Ed and gaming with all the folk. I would have spent more time at it (It went Thursday to Monday, I only was there for Saturday), but I didn’t feel 100% well, and didn’t want to spend that much time away from Mhari.

I played Father Peter Parelli, my ‘Fist of God’ character in a Dark Champions game run by Eric Z. and featuring The Regulators. We are vigilantes. We got pulled in on the search for a missing son of a contact that the leader of the group has. It took us to a almost empty town where somehow we ended up ‘someplace else’ that was also the town. But with strange otherworldly creatures and nasties. Totally different sort of thing for this group. It was a good game. The Father is NOT a combat type, but with his dice of luck (which can allows me to declare that any roll can be rerolled to get a better result, so many times in a game) and his blessings (helpping the good guys fight better and the badguys fight worse) and healing, he’s a good utility character and force multiplier. And a change of pace for me. It made for a good game.

Well, I’ve nearly made myself late. Not going to have time to upload this until I get to work. So off onto the flash drive it goes and up to the journal sometime during the day. If you’ve read all this, thanks for reading. If you didn’t read it all, I will sure understand.