Sunday, 24 August 2008

Terrass finished: ready for BBQ

The terrass is finished. This sunday my girlfriend and I finished the last section. We're ready for a BBQ now... waiting for a nice sunny day has commenced.

Thanks mum, dad, uncle and aunt! Without you're help it wouldn't be done for a while yet.

Next up is the garden for which we are deciding whether to do it entirely ourselves or have it done (we will likely end up somewhere in the middle). It is a black wasteland now, and really really deserves some attention.

Any ideas for a garden of 6x10 with a small cabana in the backleft corner are welcome. The objective is to have an easy to maintain garden (not many green fingers in our household) with some grass (mowing the lawn is not a problem). We are thinking of using flagstones to create a path from the house to the cabana. No other concrete ideas yet on our side.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

WAR NDA dropped

The floodgates are open! Be ready to check out the big WAR bloggers for BETA information. Tobold starts of with a generous question to the public on what the most pressing topics are. My advice is to keep an eye out for his blog. This would also be a good time to set up a reader. I use Google reader, but any other would do.

Tobold's MMORPG Blog: WAR NDA is lifted - Any questions?

NDA is now officially lifted. Expect an explosion of WAR related articles all over the MMO blogosphere. I have a lot to say about that game, but I'll take it slow, there are still over 4 weeks until release to fill with posts. But if you have any questions or suggestions what you think I should be writing about first, feel free to ask in the comment section of this post.

Other recommended blogger sites are: Keen and Graev, Waaagh Blog. Special mention goes to Warhammer Alliance, which has been my favorite forum since I found out WAR was in development.

To all; have fun reading all the news and impressions of fellow gamers in the next month.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Massively Pre-NDA look at the Elves of WAR

While many WAR Beta bloggers are waiting for the NDA (Non-disclosure agreement) to drop to be able to hit the fans with juicy information on the upcoming WAR game. It is the game site Massively which has the scoop on pre-NDA information, being allowed to write about BETA information while others are not yet allowed. Reactions to the lasting NDA differ from blogger to blogger.

Syp over at Waaagh Blog goes as far as "treathening" Mythic with hostage actions! Keen over at KeenandGraev is preparing for the NDA drop and is gathering footage on WAR BETA in amounts and quality that will us take a sicky. Tobold remains his calm self (?), although from the increase in WAR topics and responses in comments it is crystal clear also he is awaiting the "go" from Mythic.

All things considered I wonder whether the Massively exclusive is part of the reason the NDA has not yet been lifted by Mythic. What other reasons can there be? Join me in musing other reasons besides boosting Massively's site traffic?

For those interested in reading the pieces written by Kyle Horner and Dan O'Halloran at Massively read on. Kyle and Dan released a number short articles on several of the playable Elf classes in WAR. The articles give an idea of the first few levels of the character, what abilities they have and how they can be used.

Myself, well I am still in doubt between the pure Dark Elf caster (Sorcerer) or one of the Healer-casters (Archmage/Shaman). Regardless of the final choice I'll take my time discovering the game once released in about 1 month.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Travel destinations - Switzerland

Travel destinations continued with our travel to Switzerland.

March 2006 - Switzerland, visiting a friend:

Travel destinations - Groningen

Continuing the travel destination series with The Netherlands.

September 2005 - Netherlands, visting Groningen:

Travel destinations

I was browsing my pictures to clean up my harddrive a little. I stumbled upon a treasure trove; Parties, friends, travel destinations and more. That gave me the idea to immortalise some of the travel destinations my girlfriend and I have visited. From time to time i'll add these as regulars to the blog.

First up is one of our most memorable trips we enjoyed quite early in our relationship. We travelled via Hong Kong to end up in New Zealand.

November 2005 - Hong Kong, stop-over:

We had a couple of hours before our connecting flight and decided to check out Hong Kong by day. HK was the first Asian city that I visited that inhabits millions of people. It felt as if HK dwarves cities like London and Paris.

We decided to take a tour into the city and split off once we got fed up. We got fed up pretty quickly. Demands of the tour-guide to "take picture" and "take picture now!" repeated mulitple times when we passed anything that she deemed picture worthy. It got tiring fast.

Once broken free of the herd we decided to go to higher grounds. One of the more impressive sights was the spectacular views. The by walk bridge connected towers lead to parks all spread over the inner city, something I had not seen before. In the business area a most peculier sight were the hundreds of women sitting on the floor, playing games, giving and receiving pedi/manicures, chatting or just eating . I later found out that Sunday is the day off for the mostly Philippino nannies working in HK.

December 2005 - New Zealand, being amazed:



We started off on the north Island. I had prepared a tight schedule (in Excel ;p) that would bring us in three weeks from the Auckland on the Norht Island to Christchurch on the South Island and back to Auckland for the return trip. The weather was quite good, so we visited many places. We were not afraid for even the most touristic location (Hot Water Beach anyone?!) Brave souls we were. From there we moved to Taupo. Here we would meet with friends who migrated to NZ. They had some crazy stuff planned for us. Skydiving, Tangairo Crossing with views of Mount Ngauruhoe (aka as Orodruin or Mount Doom) and Kajacking was on the program.


Helicopter drop off

The Kajacking was a great experience. Our friends had arranged to fly us to the Mohaka river in a mountanous area by helicopter. We were dropped on a stony riverbed. It would be a two day easy trip with a minimal amount of rapids. We would spend one night on the riverbank, so we had packed tents, sleaping bags and food in dry bags, which were rigged on the boats. It should have been an easy trip for all of us. It just didn't turn out like that. It was cold, rainy and the water was wild. We could somehow not find out where we were on the map. All orientation points we were expecting were not there. Approaching the end of the afternoon some of us were in danger of hypothermia. We had to stop and find a shelter warm up and stay the night. Luckily we found a fishermans house on a riverbed. There we were welcomed by a local fisherman, a hunter (aka John Darlington "the great white hunter", who gave his insulated socks to my girlfriend) and the wife of another fisherman who could return at any moment. They helped us with our gear, drying of cloth and given warm drinks and fresh fish (with kiwi!). Thanks again all, and a special thanks to John.

That evening we found out that the helicopter pilot had dropped us too high up in the mountains, at that moment we were not even close to the intended starting piont of our trip. We decided to end the trip and go for another pickup point he next day. However, our adventure didn't end there. Maybe a story for a next time if you'd like it.

Fresh fish with Kiwi

Sulfer lakes

After saying goodbye to our friends in Taupo (who now live in Wellington with a baby on the way! - congrats). We moved south towards Wellington to take a boat from there to Picton. In Picton we met with a friend from Europe, lets call him Mao, who was traveling in Australia and NZ. The three of us travelled further in a relaxed pace to enjoy a roadtrip from Picton to Nelson to visit the Abel Tasman National Park. From there we followed the west coast and moved south towards the glaciers.

Old MacDonald's farm

View on Fox

The glaciers were an awe inspiring sight. We shot many beautifull pictures there. Above you see our view on the glaciers. After the glaciers we moved further south to Milford Sound. Here we had our second dolphin sight (our first was at Mount Maunganui) on a 1 day cruise. My girlfriend was in the water when they were sighted. I saw the fins coming out of the water in a distance.. the sight remembered me of other fish. I checked my Lonely to see whether those swam in these waters. Nope.. phew. With camera ready I tried to take some nice shots from the boat. However, just seconds after the sighting the entire boat jumped in the water to "swim" with them. Ofcourse this scared the dolphins off... The evening the three of us spent playing a good game of Cluedo with another cruising couple.



At Christchurch we had our last dinner together. We would fly back to Europe via Auckland, Mao would stay a bit longer. Our last money was spent on a fancy Hotel in the center of Auckland, where we recounted our adventures in Middle Earth.. eurhm New Zealand.


While in Paris for a language course (a topic for another post) I visited FNAC (great store concept) as I most often do when there. At the bande dessinée section I found a WoW BD (comic): WaoW - 1. Les Crèvemines.

Those who play WOW will find great fun in the story. I lol-ed and rofl-ed quite a bit. I played the english version and as such am not familiar with all french names and references to ingame NPC's, locations, Quests, Dungeons etc. depicted in the BD. However they where drawn and situated in such a manner that even a 1 week newb (no pun intended) will recognise quite a few.

The story unfolds .. well like a newb starting off for the first time. The reader follows the story of the experienced character Badorin, who has received the Quest to take care for the young newb Darkill. They set out in Razemoth (Azeroth) to level up young Darkill and find him an instance (dungeon) to XP in. Overconfident and eager to gain XP Darkill finds his first death at level 2 against a neutral NPC he wildly charges. His first graveyard experience is very recognisable for those that played WOW as their first MMORPG (lol!). Skipping several DINGS of Darkill by courier Quests Badorin uses a walky talky to request quests available for level 10 to everybody in the zone (cleverly found way of explaining general chat). As you may already expect their journey brings them to Westfall and Sentinel Hill, where they que up (lol!) to receive the Quest chain to kill Devias scum. It all goes horribly wrong when the two find a group to enter Les Crèvemines (The Deadmines) and face the final boss.

A scene from within Stormwind:
a group of xp hungry players running to the Stockades

Friday, 15 August 2008


Mythic, the developer of the hit MMORPG title Dark Age of Camelot (2001) is about to release their newest game (announced release date of September 18). Warhammer: Age of Reckoning or WAR for short. Previously succesful with it's Realm versus Realm concept in DAoC Mythic hopes to gain the masses by combining their RvR concept with the IP of the Warhammer Fantasy miniature model tabletop game of Games Workshop.

Early in the design phase (2005) of the game Mythic has started to reach for their target audience and beyond in an attempt to create hype. With appearence of enthusiastic Mythic representatives calling for "WAAAGH" in games shows in recent months all over the world, they have succeeded in just doing that. The hype is there. Captivating game trailers (see below), monthly news letters and website(s) keep the future customers coming back; wanting more.

With WAR Beta applications of 800.000+ and counting the question arrises whether Mythic will rival World of Warcraft (the leading running MMORPG with a current estimated account base over 10.000.000). That WAR will be a success seems almost certain, whether it will rival and more importantly can rival WOW is to be seen. Will WAR fans care? No. As long as Mythic will be able to deliver the game in line with (hyped) expecations the Road to WAR will be open for fast profits.

You will be able to find me on that open road marching on the forces of Order. See you there?

Sorcerer of Destruction

Friday, 8 August 2008

My journey has started and I am not alone

My life is in turmoil. I do not know who I am. I live by expectations which I believe others have of me, the who I should be.

My past, present and future are like a dark fog that slowly glides over the land. I am afraid.

In the fog I started seeing a light more clearly, only recently noticing it was ithere to help me find a way out. The light, It illuminates from her. With her love, her challenges, her being she nudges me back to reality, to now, to what is important.

Oh, I realise the journey out of the fog is still mine to take. That it will be slow and difficult. Fear still lingers and some days I am afraid I will fail. But first steps are taken and I am not alone. That encourages me, it fills me with strength.

My task is to keep this strength, to keep momentum by taking one step after the other. To defeat the fear. To find who I am, to find my goal.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

EVE Personality

Industrialist with teeth
Industrialist with teeth
Take The EvE Personality Test today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You enjoy Eve's economic model and you find that the greatest challenge of the game lies in mastering the market. System security status is a matter of profit/no profit for you, and you always factor in the possibility/probability of PvP in your estimates. To you, Eve isn't a PvP or a PvE game. It's a simulation of capitalizm in its purest form, and a place where the savvy wins the day.

Does this EVE Personality test fit into MBTI (see previous post). Anyone? Some more known bloggers took the test too: TAGN, Morphisat and Godlesswanderer. What personality type would fit them? TAGN is an ESFP, The Performer or also ESTP like me? What personality types do play EVE? Would there be a mix of personalities that matches Real Life? I wonder..

Saturday, 26 July 2008


Mozaik comes in many colors and materials. I had not yet come accross a Superhero wall of fame in Mozaik. It's pretty neat. It has heroes and characters from Marvel, DC, Disney, Pixar and many more on it.

Lisboa (Portugal) close to the Art's Hotel - Avenida D Joao II Lote 1 18

I ran into the wall by coincedence at a Hotel I was lodged at with a couple of my colleagues for work in Lisboa. The Hotel itself has a decent quality for it's price (I think I had corporate rates). One major caveat for me as a YCP is the lack of a water cooker and iron in the rooms. Luckily the iron can be requested (have Euro 20,- in your wallet for a deposit!). The location is convenient. It is close to a large shopping mall and a promenade at the riverside with some restaurants and bars. A train station is on walking distance just accross the mall. The airport is just a 5 to 10 minute dirt-cheap taxi ride away.

People in Lisbon are quite friendly. Received a grand tour of the coast area from a Lisboa based colleague. She showed us the seaside at Estoril and Cascais . Thank you Sofia!

Again I didn't have time to visit Lisboa itself. Flew back on Friday evening with TAP.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

What is your personality type?

Are you a believer?

Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator offers a way to map your personality. It is often used in corporates as part of recruitment assessments or personality awareness sessions. There are other methods to map personality and personal preferences, for example Belbin (which focus lies more on preferred team roles). I've only got experience with MBTI and performed the test about a year ago. Ran into the information pack this week again and thought I'd share a little of myself - ESTP (with respective preference scores 15/25/53/23). Im unsure whether the ESTP profile still reflects me, might be time for a "second opinion".

A nice informative site on the MBTI types can be found here.

Note on the linked webby. It gives an option to perform an MBTI questionnaire. I did not do my MBTI via this website and have also no experience with it.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Anonymous reference checking

After reading an article by The Whisperer I got interested.. ever wanted to ask someone about their salary, but wasn't sure whether it would be appropriate? Or feeling you'd want to do a reference check on your future employer's work ethics, treatment of work life balance etc.? This site is for you!

Be aware though that you give away personal information, which may never be used as you expected. For those that are uncomfortable with that I would recommend not to use the site and find other means of reference checking.

As it is anonymous some care may need to be taken with the correctness of the information on the site. The user review questionnaire is quite rigid and therefore as any anonymous questionnaire it allows for rigging. The user giving a review of an employer has to rank their (former) employer on several categories on a scale of 1 to 5. Additionally, he/she has to fill in several text fields with Pro's, con's etc. After registering and browsing it I found it provided me with quite some information. Especially for bigger US corporations it showed a significant number of reviews. Enough to form a solid image of the employer and salary levels. Smaller corporations may be harder to find. I found general industry search on comparable companies resulted in some decent information on expected salary levels.

Considering the site only just started and is in it beta I give it a "thumbs up".

Saturday, 31 May 2008


Those are flight hours, not the american hitseries. Flying from EU to New Zealand took me 24 hours, including a stop over in HK. I'd like to share a couple of snapshots from places visited.

First stop Hong Kong:

Final destination Auckland - NZ:

With my girfriend in the US (West Coast) in the same period I was able to experience a whopping 19 hour time difference. Her being a day behind me most of the time felt strange. Especially monday around 6PM just after work, at which time she was in full party mode in San Fransisco on Sunday evening.

I enjoyed the stay. Eventhough it was short the spaciousness of the country and friendliness of the kiwi's made me feel relaxed. However, back and forth in 7 days, just over 2 of which spent in the air did leave me exhausted. I am happy I have been able to enjoy bits and pieces of both Hong Kong and New Zealand several years before.

Next destination unknown.

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