Thursday, October 23, 2014

1000 - looking back, looking forward

When I started this blog up way back in 2005, I had no idea I'd reach 100 posts, let alone 1000. When I had the break from the blog between 2006 and 2008, I didn't think I'd come back. Glad I did :-)

It's curious to look and remember back to see what happened over those years.

2005 - I'd just come out of a relationship that had run for a few years. I should have seen the end of that coming really, the warning signs were there. I just couldn't figure a reasonable way out until the shock "I can't bear to live like this any more" came from the other person. The second half of that year involved making the arrangements to decouple what we had, namely the house.

She also took more than half the Pocket Dragon collection ! Fair enough really, she'd bought most of them :-).

2005 also saw me writing about cricket a fair bit. I was still running the indoor cricket team for my project. That was ... fun, educational, challenging, expanding. I'd never really been in a regular leadership role before, outside of being thrust into captaining the cricket teams at certain points. The indoor cricket saw me as a full time captain and I like to think I did pretty well at it. Our team didn't have the strongest players but regularly ended up in the top 3 of the league. But I ended up spending more time at work organising the team than actually working - that's not sustainable so I wrapped up that team.

There's quite a number of posts about World of Warcraft through 2005 and 2006 as well. The end of that relationship saw me filling the void by being the Guild Master for the Mercenaries Of Darkness. That lasted for about 6 months before various psychological pressures ended up ripping holes in my psychological state.

That's another recurring theme actually - I don't handle being alone too well. Ok, I've been ok living on my own for the past 9 years but when it comes to reaching out to people, I don't handle a lack of response very well. That's one of my own personal flaws. I think I interpret it as a "Why don't they want to talk ?" "Is it something wrong with me ?" which hits me pretty hard. Yet the reason can actually be "Oh sorry, I was really busy and didn't notice your message".

Anyway - end 2005 saw me hand over the reins of the Mercs to the fella who eventually killed the guild. I don't blame him for that, he was going through his own problems which were messing with his head but he should really have passed on the reins to another person before it was too late.

2006 saw a massive milestone for my last project and it was an awesome sight. The one post that says what I do is in there. Why don't I talk about my work too much ? Cos it gives away a little too much personal information and one thing about the internet is that once you put info on there, it can be very difficult to remove ...

The blog kinda fizzled out over the course of 2006, I just ran out of things to write about. Or perhaps I didn't want to write about some things. There's only so many "We raided the Core" posts people can handle before pulling out the massive yawn (It wasn't called Molten Bore for nothing).

A recurring theme here has been the meme and the reactivation in 2008 very quickly saw a Thursday Thirteen appear. I've not done one of those for ages, perhaps next week.

I just looked at Feb 2008 and there's some good ones in there. Remembering the Scruff is one I always go back to. Scruff was an amazing dog. He was our faithful four legged adoring friend for many years after turning up on our doorstep in Ireland. He would have died literally that night if we hadn't taken him in. And he rewarded us with total devotion for the rest of his days. Rescue dogs are the best dogs.

I talk about the gadgets a fair bit too. And that's things like going from IpodFM where I had my iPod sending the music to the car through an FM retransmitter. That didn't work so well, I needed to take the aerial off the car so the retransmitter wouldn't get jammed out by commercial radio. I also tried iPaqTV where I wanted to send camera video from a laptop to my iPaq (precursor of iPhone from HP). The main reason was to be able to see the satellite signal strength when I was up a ladder adjusting the dish but ... somewhat doomed due to lots of lag between camera and iPaq. It wouldn't have solved the problem anyway, I was losing the satellite signal due to a big tree growing right in its path. I switched back to cable TV to get around that.

I got into trouble with the Mercs around this time too by saying a few negative things about them here. The hotheads reallllly didn't like that. I found a new home in the Violence Reborn guild as that Swedish dominated group happily took me in. They're still going now, some old faces, mostly new faces and the relationships have evolved too. I enjoyed my time in VR.

Closing out 2008 was the Xmas party and coining another nickname. One of my biggest friends and most trusted confidantes over the years has been the Snow Queen. Well, this year she appears in a new haircut, shiny and glistening framing that little smile of her's. And in an outfit, the combination of which stole my heart at least for that party. (She's married, so that's as far as that goes). The original Snow Queen story was on Sci-fi channel at the time, which gave me the idea for that name : The beauty that steals the heart of the bellboy.

Looking at 2009 and it's strange to think that the world's ecomonic struggles go back that far. They seem never ending. Perhaps 2009 is the last time I had a pay rise ? We were prepared to tolerate that for a few years but it's been too many now. Dissatisfaction is rising, particularly as the politicians continue to vote themselves rises.

2010 sees more technology issues - I bought an Xbox 360 which was fairly fortuitous with what came later. I enjoyed games like Forza Motorsport but thought Final Fantasy XIII was a bit lame (still need to play FF 7) and Dead Space on the console was quite poor, having come from playing similar games on PC. Mouse and keyboard thrash a controller for these games. Forza was good because the controller was better for that game. Anyway, while I didn't use the Xbox for games that much, it lets me play Dvds at high quality without the annoying silent blips I get from the bluray player.

I came back into cricket this year too, having had a few years off. There were two reasons for the break :
1 - my old partner was going out with another member of the team and I didn't know how I'd react. It was still too raw.
2 - me saying "I'm not in great shape but pick me if you're short" led to me getting ignored and the team playing shorthanded. I really didn't appreciate that and gave up on that particular selector. This was the real reason for the break and I came back in when the team organisation changed.

Oh I blew up the old groin strain during that first game back too - it's a funny injury. I can go Warp Speed in a straight line with it but can't turn or go sideways quickly ... Anyway, that old groin strain is still slowing me down now, it's in the same place as that poorly hip problem. But ... it wasn't the biggest injury woe of this year, I got smashed on the shin which I believe caused a hairline fracture. I could walk and put weight on the leg but putting power through the leg hurt like hell. Also had a bruise about 8 inches long !

2011 saw me entering the wonderful world of the hybrid car. These have an engine and an electric motor, which share the load between them. I'd thoroughly recommend them for power, economy and flexibility and they've also been totally reliable. And with Lexus also comes high quality interiors. Yep, thoroughly recommended.

Looks like 2011 is also when the problems with my skin started. Hard to believe it's been 3 years and counting. But I finally seem to be coming through that as good, soft, delightfully smooth skin is reclaiming the broken bits.

And that skin has been the ongoing theme ever since. The "Wall Of Text Megapost" alarm is now going off so I think I'll summarise the most recent bits :

Infected leg became major skin problem, hopefully now fixing.
Cricket - fun for a while but bit old for it now.
Cars - now on my second hybrid.
Gaming - turned from playing to watching.
Relationships - tried, failed, now back to hoping.

But the dominant thing over the past few years has been bad health and the struggle to get better again. I hope I reach 2000 posts :-) I'm pretty confident I will. And one change I'd like to put in :

I love to write nice things about other people. It makes me feel better to think those thoughts and I hope it makes the target smile as well. But I'd like to write about one person in particular.

Who will that be ? I don't know yet. I know a few people I'd like it to be :
The Pocket Lioness if she'd have me;
The Okcupid lady I mentioned yesterday if she wants to meet me for a coffee;
Possibly Miss Barbara if she's available ?

Closing thought - one thing I have noticed, the skin thing seems to affect other people more than it does me. I have to live with it so perhaps I'm used to it. But with others, I've seen people stop talking to me when they realise I have the problem and others will demand I make sure the desk is clear. Yes, I make more dust than average people but ... my desk is still clearer than most people ! Including those who complain.

Time to wrap up - I hope the route to 2000 sees lots of good news :-) But for now, it's back to relaxing for me ahead of Comic Con tomorrow. Cross fingers for good selfies to post here :-)

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