Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Other Kind of Rock and Roll

Post soundtrack: “I Feel the Earth Move” by Carole King

It’s been an…  interesting week down here.  We had a little 7.1 magnitude earthquake here in sunny Christchurch early last Saturday morning, and things are only just starting to settle down (finally).  Thanks to a combination of timing and a solid building code, there was only one death (a heart attack during the quake) and two serious injuries (a man injured by a collapsing chimney and another man badly cut by glass).

If anything can sum up Christchurch's reaction to the quake and it's aftermath, this would be it.  (Makes me proud to be a Cantabrian)

Fortunately the suburb that I live in didn’t suffer any serious damage (both the power and internet remained on for me, as did the water although it was necessary to boil it before use for a few days as a precautionary measure); unfortunately, other areas haven’t been as lucky.  A sizeable number of buildings have been left damaged, especially in the CBD and the east side of the city.  Still, barring a much larger aftershock than the 3-5 ones we’ve been enjoy since the quake, the drama is all over and we’re working on picking up the pieces and getting our lives back in order.  (And we don’t need charity; we’re pretty well supported already)

Personally, I’m still kind of on tenterhooks to some degree; I wasn’t particularly anxious during (and after) the quake itself, but the steady stream of aftershocks are starting to leave me feeling increasingly shaken (both literally and figuratively), especially when they’ve been going on for days as is the case here (apparently as I write this there’s been anywhere between 200 and 400 magnitude 3 or greater aftershocks since the quake a week ago, depending on which expert you ask).

Needless to say, my pc gaming has been pretty sporadic.  I’ve spent more time over the last few days playing tower defense games on my ipod than I have playing much else on the pc.  (And doesn’t the new ipod touch look appealing? I’m seriously considering saving for one, and maybe one of the new shuffles to free up space on my touch for more games if I pick up the cheaper 8gb model.)

Touching on WoW briefly, it was interesting to see the new Gnome and Troll quest chains have finally gone live.  I wonder if that means we’re getting even closer to the Cata launch – anyone care to put money on it being under 3 months away?  Needless to say, the news of something new to do in-game made me consider whether it’s time to re-sub to the game, but after reading of Gnomeageddon’s disappointment I’ve decided to give it another month.  (I’d have to finish levelling a horde-side character to do the troll chain as well)

I very briefly logged into LotRO for the f2p headstart, but haven’t bothered to go past the store after finding that the turbine points I was supposed to have earned haven’t shown up yet.  It turns out that a number of players are in the same situation, and leaves me wondering why they bothered going ahead with a headstart if they couldn’t give players their stipend to spend before the event ended. (The word “bone-headed” comes to mind…)

My time in EQ2E has also dwindled for some reason. I’ve joined a couple of guilds (each character in a different one), but for some reason I just haven’t been able to settle into the group, and my play sessions have been generally dissatisfying. It’s probably more my solitary nature coming to the fore, but it’s still left me irritated (albeit with myself).

On my ipod, on the other hand…  Between Fieldrunners, The Creeps and TowerMadness, my TD itch is being well and truly scratched (and that’s not counting the other 6 TD games I have installed).  I’m kind of ambivalent about the Game Center functionality that Apple added with OS4.1 though; it just looks like an unwieldy version of what you can already get with OpenFeint and Plus+ (and probably a number of other social platforms offer).

Well, it’s getting late so I’m going to cut my post short around here.  I’ll just add that I’m now on twitter (like all the other cool kids), but don’t say much (in much the same way as I am IRL).

Two more links before I go: “Thirteen things I learnt from an earthquake.” and an alternate version of “I Feel The Earth Move” by Loretta Swit and the Muppets.