Notes from a fantasy filled weekend.

It’s Monday already? Damn, was hoping I still had more time in my weekend. Which is saying a lot considering I took Friday off to go to my sister-in-law’s wedding.

Another of Anne’s sisters has taken the matrimony plunge and did it with style having a Fantasy themed wedding with dragons and castles aplenty. So rather than dressing up in formal clothes we ended up busting out the Renaissance Fair garb and going as a merchant and wench.  Courtney was in the wedding party as a bridesmaid and as such had a custom costume made for her ahead of time. The groomsmen rented knight costumes from a local costume shop and we even had at least one relative of the groom show up in full knight regalia (he was a SCA member). It made for an odd site with most of the guests in traditional formal clothes and the rest of us looking like extras from a bad dragon movie. I have to admit to being very impressed with the reverend who did the ceremony, though, as in addition to the traditional Christian style marriage he also performed a fairly decent – and very pagan – handfasting! Either he’s very progressive or fairly ignorant of the significance of a handfasting, either way it was a pretty cool addition to the ceremony.

Spent a good chunk of the rest of the weekend hopping in and out of World of Warcraft as the zombie invasion world event they’re running to herald in the upcoming release of the expansion has grown progressively more complex. By the time I went to bed on Sunday the amount of time between being infected to becoming a zombie had diminished from 10 minutes to one minute and many of the Argent Dawn healers that were curing folks had left the cities as the Lich King’s necropolis started appearing near the capitol cities once again (this happened once before with the opening of the Naxramas raid dungeon). New argent dawn NPCs have shown up in the cities handing out quests, some of which hint at a cure, and flying scourge fortresses are showing up in several high level areas such as Winterspring, Eastern Plaguelands, Tanaris, etc. that require players to go battle the invading scourge. The zombie problem has gotten so bad that small towns are completely overrun and even the capitol cities are in danger of being wiped out of NPCs. Needless to say this is making questing for the lower-level players a lot more difficult as even if they manage to make it into a town without being killed by the wandering zombies they may find they can’t turn in a quest because the quest giver is dead and hasn’t respawned yet. Needless to say some people are complaining it’s gotten out of hand, but it’ll improve over the coming days as the story progresses so their pain shouldn’t be too lengthy. [Minor Update: It appears the zombie plague will be ending around 12 noon PST today. It’s not the end of the world event, but the cure appears to have been found.]

All of that is going on at the same time as the Hallow’s End holiday event. So in addition to zombies all over the place players are contending with frequent visits from the Headless Horseman setting various buildings on fire in Goldshire and other newbie zones as well as trick or treating and making the trek to the Scarlet Monestary to put down the Horseman where he sleeps. Toss in all the changes to the game from the new 3.0.2 client and things like the new achievement system and it makes for a lot of chaos in the game at the moment and I’m having a blast with it myself.

As if all of that wasn’t enough we had good friends Bob and JethricOne out on Saturday night to watch a couple of fantasy themed DVDs: The Gamers and The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. Both are very low-budget comedies about a group of pen and paper role playing gamers playing through a campaign. We see not only the players playing, but also their characters as they act out what’s happening in the story. If you’ve ever played Dungeons and Dragons or any other RPG with a bunch of hardcore gamers then you’ll find a lot to laugh at in these movies. It’s geek humor at its low-brow best.

So it probably goes without saying that I’m way behind on what’s going on in the world this morning. On booting up Google Reader I noticed that my “Friend’s Shared Items” was up to almost 70 entries let alone the rest of my RSS feeds. There’s probably lots I’ve missed so if I post anything that’s a few days old, well, now you know why.

We’ve broken the 6,000 entry mark and a few other random notes.

So I see that SEB broke the 6,000 entry mark today with my posting on the Access Hollywood interview with the Obamas. It’s only taken me almost a full seven years to do it, but I got there eventually. Considering that folks such as ***Dave broke that milestone years ago probably says a lot about how lazy a blogger I really am, but we can’t all be superstars like ***Dave. I’ll just have to be content with the simply staggering comment count SEB has racked up over the years. Almost 71.5K as of this very moment. Our daily traffic fluctuates between 1,200 and 2,100 people and that’s nothing to sneeze at either. Nor is the amount of bandwidth the site makes use of at roughly 1.12GB a day. That doesn’t take into account the amount of email we sent out on notifications as that’s handled by a different server.

In other news, I got my midterm grade in my Networking class and I’m sitting pretty with an A for the moment. Out of the six or so tests we’ve had so far I’ve been wrong on a grand total of three questions and one of those questions was one I didn’t see at all because it was on the back page of the test. Sometimes I feel it’s not really fair as I already know 90% of the material being covered. The OSI model is one of the few things (so far) I didn’t already know, but the class promises to be digging into more arcane knowledge as the weeks progress so I’m hoping that feeling that I’ve got an unfair advantage will pass soon. The instructor thinks I’m great, though, because I’m able to answer even his tricky questions during the lectures. When he was discussing standards the other night he made a point of how the standards groups don’t always agree on a standard for quite awhile and he asked what current standard we could cite as an example. I spoke up with the 802.11 N wireless standard—we’ve not gotten into wireless networking in the class yet—which was exactly what he was thinking of. Of course Blu-ray and HD-DVD would also fit the bill.

Lastly, the folks at Blizzard have started the World Event that heralds the pending arrival of the WotLK expansion. Mysterious crates have shown up around Azeroth that, when opened, infect players with a plague. If not cured within 10 minutes you turn into a zombie and can run around using special zombie powers killing and infecting other players and NPCs. This has been great fun and I unleashed my zombified self on the middle square of Stormwind last night taking out some 20 people before dieing from the resulting melee. So far the outbreaks have been relatively easy to contain. Players of the Priest and Paladin classes can cure disease and there’s a number of Argent Dawn healers spread around various cities that will also heal you of the disease, but Blizzard warns that this is only the beginning and that things will get much worse before the expansion hits. Player controlled zombies run amok in Azeroth? How cool is that?

“28 Weeks Later.” It’s not over.

I thought the movie 28 Days Later was a pretty cool reinvention of the zombie movie, but I wasn’t sure how you could do a sequel for it. It’s probably a good thing I’m not a screenwriter then as the folks who produced it have managed to come up with one themselves that looks pretty good.

You can check out the trailer for 28 Weeks Later here.