Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lovebirds of doom

Take one female lovebird, ideally fixated with nesting, eggs and populating the world with more lovebirds, add the top of a huge dresser where they can hide and play without being annoyed by the two legged food providers, throw into the mix twin and earth cabling.

I present a work of modern art, or possibly a suicide attempt.

MPs whining again about expenses

Well things are in full swing and MPs are bitching about having to claim expenses and justify what they’re claiming for, like the rest of us.  I particularly love this one.

“Labour’s Nick Brown asked for examples of other jobs where people had to “spend their own money up front to carry out their job. What’s the comparator?” he asked.”

Ok, let’s see.

  • I travel to a customer site in the UK, I pay for the fuel and have to claim it back at the government set rate for my size of car.
  • I travel internationally, I have to cover everything out of my pocket except the flight (unless I’m pressured into taking the likes of EasyJet which can’t be booked through the central system in which case that goes on the card as well), I then have to claim it all back, with receipts and in the case of meals within the limit set for each type of meal.

This is not atypical, it’s normal within industry.

If someone in my company had tried to do what MPs did with their expenses and got caught they would be facing gross misconduct and a sacking, no chance to pay back and let it lie there, no chance to announce retirement and pick up the resettlement payment many MPs have taken.  Out, no notice period, and possible legal action.

So before whining and bitching about how this is unfair remember what brought it about.

The discussion I had with a party worker in the run up the election summed things up when I asked about the horseshit he claimed on expenses for his garden.  Apparently the system was ripe for abuse and everyone was doing it, he didn’t have a comeback when I pointed out that surely this meant it was a test of character for MPs and his candidate had therefore failed.

BBC report


Ahh, the smell of freshly minted drama, nothing like it.

So thanks to a collision of events (personal and the world cup) we were short on numbers and there was no way which we could attempt anything other than Sindy (she and LK being the only bosses left on the lockout).  The team was suboptimal, a single tank healer and a number of new bugs and it was what I’ve come to term as a “grumpy raid”.  Some of the leads were snappier than normal in vent, more crap from various raid members than normal, the usual suspects slacking off and not flasking.

All avoidable fun and games.

So after a couple of nabbed up wipes a certain dps drops without warning, notice or comment.  Just “poof!” and gone.  Colour me completely unsurprised when the forum post turns up a few days later announcing that they’re leaving.

So analysis, it’s been coming for a long time, this member is consistently the last to flask and has probably added 5-10 minutes of downtime to raids thanks to not flasking / eating / buffing because he’s off slacking or doing something else.  Will he be missed, certainly in the short term, dps numbers continue to be a problem, though less so now that there is no obvious “farm night”.  He was one of the higher signups, so did bring that utility to the raid.  In the long term it’s unlikely it’ll change anything, drama comes and drama goes, we’ve plenty of angst coming wih the raid lockout changes in Cata and what they’ll mean for 25-man raiding, whether it remains possible to build the numbers to do it or whether it becomes a vehicle for building multiple 10-man raids.

Causes of manic laughter (and possibly breakdowns)

“Your admin assistant will know”.

This pretty much sums up the problem with orkplace, all the bits which were there pre-merger are “big corp” and have structures and lots of people employed in lots of jobs giving lots of capacity and people who are there just to be assistants to other people.

Enter this bit of the org, we were an aquisition, purchased for the software we write and were a small startup, these structures don’t exist but the assumption is that they do.  It is assumed that there are teams dedicated to all sorts of things, people on hand to leap on issues 24×7 and so on.

The latest fun involves some testing which has been dumped on my team and which last time sucked up weeks worth of effort for an entire section.  This time round we have been talking about it, $BOSS has been informed what the realistic timescales are and lo and behold… rather than the six weeks it will take we’ve committed to the customer that it’ll be three weeks with one person out for the entire period and during the summer holiday months….  Of course there will then come the pressure for weekend working and excessive overtime on that part of the team, so I’m starting the fight back now.

There are times when I think upper manglement are determined to either break staff so we’re short again or piss them off to the point they leave taking experience with them.


Blizzard announcement about AVR

Firstly I’m not surprised, this is the sort of thing which comes damm close to automating boss encounters.  There have been some comparisions of this and DBM flying around but there are some major differences.

AVR allows the environment itself to be altered, putting circles down on the ground for where the bad is about to happen, dropping symbols to confirm where people have to run etc etc.  DBM will mark up players, but it doesn’t tell them where to run, it’ll shout when the bad is going to happen but it’s still up to the player to remember and work out where it is they’re meant to be heading for.  AVR is designed to provide unmissable visual instructions on where to run, where to run from, how the strategy is meant to work.  As a pre-pull briefing tool it would rock and be no different to the various slides and screen shots out there which have been marked up.  During the raid it’s akin to asking the boss “can you hold on a moment we need to put some paint on the ground to tell everyone where you’re dropping the bad”.

It also changes how we learn encounters, in my mind it’s learning a dance.

Take your partner (a big shambling undead thing) over to the side, step to the left, smack him over the head and twirl… (or when healing, know the flow of the fight, when could I come off healing to let the 5-second rule kick in and rebuild some mana, be aware of when the oozes are dropping keeping an eye on rottie to step out of the bile etc etc).

and so on.

So being explicitly told where to go each time actually reduces the need to properly learn how to react and puts a dependance on the addon to a level that it becomes impossible to have a decent attempt without it.

Nice technology, wonderful concept, but I’m personally not sorry to see Blizz break it.

Arthas, wipe-weekends, weekly raids and stuff

The decision was taken again by the officers that we would extend the lockout (last week’s attempt was aborted due to excessive server lag, we’re in the EU so Wednesday is the first day of the raiding week and tends to be busy).  This week however the gods of lag were kind and we managed an entire evening of having our faces kicked in by Lichy Boy (gee thanks, call yourselve a Paladin?).

P1 is pretty solid now, the first edge phase is sorted and defiles in P2 proper are settling down.  We managed to hit the second edge phase.  So hopefully the pain of an entire week of wipes will pay off by Sunday and we can get himself down and move onto the heroic mode kills.

Estimated repair bill for this week… 500g or so.

The dren hunter is coming along nicely, he’s hit 72 and is merrily skinning his way through the Tundra, I think a namechange might be in order on him though.