I've been sucked back into my MMORPG addiction, today's drug of choice is World of Warcraft. I had broken free for quite some time, but after a recent visit by some friends of ours from California that were playing the game as a family my wife decided she wanted to play and that was all it took to put me over the edge again. Not a totally bad thing really. Its hotter outside than I care to deal with, and with the price of gas and my wife's unemployment (recently ended, but still need to play catch up), $15 a month for something I can spend hours doing without going any where isn't the worst investment of entertainment dollars. And I must say that so far it appears Blizzard has gotten it right. Its an easy to get into, fun, and engaging game. I don't come away from the game feeling like I've been punished for playing like I often did with EQ, and especially with EQ2. Blizzard also isn't nickel and diming me to death if I actually want access to all the storylines of the game, or enough characters to experiment and learn what I like. Its a game, it should be fun. If you are going to waste that much time you might as well have a good time doing it. Work has been interesting. I've been temporarily reassigned to fill in for a co-worker that is on maternity leave. I believe I was suppose to try and implement some big changes before they got back, but I have less than a month to do so, and not enough relief from my regular duties to really dedicate my total energy to the temporary position. Nice change of pace though. I just wonder when corporations will start figuring out that there really is a point of diminishing returns when they keep cutting staff. A couple of years ago we would have had the coverage that we could absorb someone taking some leave without things really falling apart, but since multiple layoffs and workforce reductions (mostly by attrition in my dept thankfully), we just don't have the means to get everything done. I'm sure that they money they lose in upset customers and bad word of mouth is more than made up by the amount of salaries they no longer have to pay. Its actually a pretty cool cycle. They cut the staff, things don't get done as they should, customers get fed up and go somewhere else, and then since we have fewer customers to take care of they can cut the staff further. Soon they will be able to save a ton by simply not having any staff since there will be no customers left. Those MBA guys at corporate have it all figured out.
The other item of interest for the week is that after the DVD Burner in my computer went haywire and my system would no longer boot I had to open up the case to remove it. Not a huge loss, it was an I/O Magic which had never really worked well, and which I will never make the mistake of buying again. However when I got the system open I discovered that some mice had apparently taken up residence in my case. There was the rather unpleasant evidence of them inside, including a mysterious fluid that I can only assume is mouse urine on my video card, (one more time for effect: MOUSE URINE ON MY VIDEO CARD) and bits of shredded paper in an unused drive bay. Luckily, it appears that no damage was done, I don't think they were responsible for the death of the drive. It seems they gained entrance through a hole that was originally for a window kit in the top of my case. After my cats (that seem to have done nothing to prevent this violation of my most prized possession) had caved in the window several times by jumping on top of my computer, I had removed it and placed a VCR on top of my case. This kept the cats from putting their paws into the guts of the computer, but apparently did not prevent mice from climbing down inside to create a well heated rodent condo.
The cats are being written up for dereliction of duty.