An evening to write home about

These posts are archives of forum / blog entries I made on my EverQuest guild website. The website won’t be around forever, and I wanted the posts all in one place so I didn’t lose them, this blog seemed like as good a place as any.

Our third trip to Anguish, and this time it didn’t crash, yay. Keldovan was no worry, but Jelvan, ah sweet Jelvan why do you always need to be rescued. This event is on the edge of TNF’s comfort zone. We know we can beat it, but we know it can beat us as well, we went into this event 1 win for 3 tries (1 wipe following by a win, followed by a wipe two weeks later followed by a zone crash which stopped us trying again).

I’m sure those of you who’ve raided with me know that I never get over-excited and I never shout in rsay, ever. No really, I’m calm and relaxed and in control at all times.

We beat the Jelvan event – but it took us 20 minutes, and it included these phrases in rsay,

I want to see you pull this out of the hat
if you can rez – go rez someone
stay alive we can beat these two *****
you want a story to tell your kids about?

I’ve never been more proud of the TNF force than when we rescued Jelvan. We did indeed pull it out of the hat, it was an incredible recovery. No one gave up, we never accepted defeat. We beat that event through force of will and determination and you deserve the loot that dropped.

We nailed Ture and Hanvar on a high and we took on the Arch Magus Vangl for only our second attempt – and he died in 3 minutes 59 seconds with about two deaths. Disdain, pure disdain for his AE’s.

Which meant the wall came up on the Overlord Mata Muram for the first time in TNF’s raid history.

It would have been rude not to play with him. None of us were sure how it would go, TNF has proven us wrong time after time, and we’d just nailed AMV like he was an Orc Pawn. But alas, we had too much to learn about the encounter, and at around 80% the Overlord had his way with our raid, and we died, laughing.

An astoundingly good Anguish raid – for me personally, one of the most memorable raids in my EQ history, and certainly one of the most fun as member or co-leader. Next week, back to the Gates of Discord and the Benny Hill Event. But the Overlord shouldn’t rest easy, TNF will be back, and we’ve got his measure.

Happy Mattress Day

We ordered a new mattress and it arrived today 🙂 Yippee. Delivery was ‘between 7am and 8:30am’ – boo. It arrived at 8:00am – yay so not too bad. It’s very very comfortable. Deep mattress with a layer of memory foam on top. Looking forward to going to bed tonight 🙂

Deja blog

I have this feeling, after posting my comments about bread yesterday, that I blogged something very similar a while back. Oh well. My first deja blog experience but probably not my last. Autumn is definately upon us, random use of the central heating, morning breath in the air, that smell that can only be described as the earth taking a breath and getting ready to be freezing cold (well ok, it could be described as other things, but I enjoyed the irony of describing a smell using sounds, and the arrogance of assuming the entire earth is in winter at the same time).

That’s something that while I know it, it doesn’t really sink in. It’s summer in parts of the world while it’s winter in others. And they call it summer, it’s not like December is a warm winter month in the southern hemisphere, December is actually in their summer. How weird is that. December is a cold month, it’s part of my inherent ‘knowing’ of things. I hear the word February and it conjures up cold dark nights and biting wind. That’s not memory, that’s something in my soul which says that is how February is. But it’s obviously not. It’s a weird feeling, I probably can’t explain it in terms that won’t make you point and laugh but there you go. It’s just weird. I can cope with timezones, I deal with them a lot, but I still struggle to get my head around the concept of the seasons being different in different parts of the world.


These posts are archives of forum / blog entries I made on my EverQuest guild website. The website won’t be around forever, and I wanted the posts all in one place so I didn’t lose them, this blog seemed like as good a place as any.

You know you’re raiding the Gates of Discord when the zones you’re moving through sound like bodily functions or tribal sacrificial practices. We went to Inktu’ta, the Unmasked Chapel for the first time on Saturday 22nd September. Startup was a bit slow due to some real life stuff, but the fun thing about Inktu’ta is of course, the first mob you kill drops some Qvic armour. Nijacka the Scourge duly obliged and dropped a Qvic bracer. You can read up as much as you want about a zone, but you never know what you’re up against until you step foot in it and try the first mob. A lot of the commentary on the web about Inktu’ta is pretty old by EQ standards so we really weren’t sure how we’d stand up to the first pull.

Well we stood up easily. Nijacka may as well have been trash. And so started the trash ploughing, until we reached Kelektrix. It’s a fun little event, spawns some shadowstepping mobs with rather nasty AE’s which you need to kill before you can engage Kelektrix, and then when they respawn you have to kill them again. TNF did us proud, beating the event cleanly and quickly, despite the chaotic nature of it and having not seen it before. I have to admit at this point I was worried, Uqua had been seriously tough on our first attempt, and Inktu’ta was supposed to be a real challenge. Had we somehow gone to the wrong zone? Had we perhaps got the level 48 version with no loot by accident?

I think Kelekdrix may have dropped some loot, honestly I was too busy at this point to notice. I want to sneak in a thanks to the full raid leadership team at thsi point, a raid like Inktu’ta takes a lot of different co-ordination action behind the scenes and it’s fully a team effort. We dropped into the next section and started setting off traps (which root anyone in range), we stumbled through that, took out a couple of door guards like they were level 5 orc pawns and entered the Stonemite event.

I’ve read a lot of reports of Inktu’ta, I’ve read a lot of information about this event, I’ve read a lot of stuff on the Sony boards about it, so I was a bit apprehensive. TNF showed once again that we need not worry – we moved calmly to our positions despite the short notice of the required activity, we killed anything which annoyed us, and on cue we triggered the right phrase and unlocked the door. I was starting to wonder if I have already awakened from this nightmare and was in fact just dreaming.

The corridor of deadly golems was up next – a raid wiping event with golems which trigger in fours and AE rampage. We prepped, setup, warned the heal team, advised the tank team, and engaged … and didn’t really notice the first set. Or the second set, or the third set. The final set died with a bit of a whimper. Quality tanking, healing and solid DPS meant we basically dealt with the golems like we’ve been dealing with their kind since Ikkinz one. Trash to be tossed asside.

Ah but finally, the event anyone who’s read about Inktu’ta was waiting for – the Cursecaller event. Or as we prefer to call it, The Benny Hill Event. While killing a bunch of rooting mobs, you have to avoid fast spawning death-touch mobs which chase you until they catch you, getting quicker and quicker as they run. It’s chaos in a tin. Confusion in a bucket. Had we finally met our match in Inktu’ta, could we handle the chaos and rez quick enough to stay in the game? Of course we could, with aplomb. Lessi reports getting the emote almost instantly and completing 138 laps in record time before finally dying to her curse bearer. Others weren’t so lucky and died within seconds. But none-the-less, we killed the Cursecallers, rezzed the fallen, and tried to get the Benny Hill Theme Tune out of our heads.

And so the final event. The deadly and deceitful Noqufiel. Another chaotic encounter, in which you must constantly strive to engage the True Form of Noqufiel while ignoring his deadly Mirror Image. Of course, it would be too easy without the additional benefit of high-speed death touching ghosts, so some of those are thrown in as well. Finally a challenge for TNF. This event kept us on our toes, but due to sterling healing, tanking and solid teamwork from everyone, Noqufiel fell and TNF left victorious. Txevu and Tacvi await, a class above Inktu’ta no doubt about it, with complex events, nasty spells and just brutal damage output. We’ll be ready. We’ll soak up whatever they can give and give back double for no charge.

We are TNF, and we are not afraid.


… and, Cats. Ours decided to get us up at 6am this morning. Obviously it was incredibly important that she was outside. So, I was in the office by 7:15am. Which of course means now I’m knackered.

When I was 17 this wouldn’t be an issue. Now it’ll take me like 5 weeks to get over one early start. This is her, playing in the mulch. Cute you might say, but try thinking that at 6am when she’s meowing in your ear non-stop for 20 minutes.


Yeh it’s weak, but it was the best pun on Thumb Update I could come up with. Within 1 day of taking the tablets the ‘contact’ pain was gone (i.e. if I banged my thumb it didn’t hurt), and only stressing the tendons still hurt. A few days in now, and the pain comes and goes. I’m obviously still using my thumb too much, because at the end of the day it’s pretty sore. I need to try and relax it more I guess. Not easy to do in my line of work. Today the skin where the tendons go from my thumb, past my wrist to my arm is very tender, I wonder if that’s referred or if it’s the actual tendons themselves I can feel which are sore.

Anyway, overall I’d say it’s making good progress. How exciting for you all 🙂

In other news, got back in touch with my oldest friend from school – which can only be a good thing. I’m very happy about it.

Tendonitis (in my thumb)

I went to the GP yesterday because the pain in my thumb wasn’t going away. It was a normal cycle of stuff for me, started about 4 weeks ago, perhaps 5. A slight pain in my left hand, I get it every now and again, either hand. I use computers too much, it’s no surprise. Usually it’s in the wrist, but this time it was nearer my thumb. Anyway I used the compression bandage we have for a few days, but it didn’t really help. In fact, it seemed to make it hurt more (which I can understand now, knowing where the injury is). So I took it off, and left it for a week or so. That’s my initial – it’ll get better and go away on it’s own – cycle. 99% of the ailments I get do that.

But this one didn’t. So, I spent a couple of days looking around on the web. It’s worth saying that I’d chatted to Grete and we’d both concluded it was Tendonitis. I’d taken some Ibuprofen and it helped a little. Anyway, I did some searching and some checking, but couldn’t find anything specific. I found a couple of pages which had recommendations on bindings for thumb injuries. What was bugging me most was that the pain wasn’t always in the same place, wasn’t consistent, and didn’t seem in proportion to the amount of force I was exerting on the thumb.

We looked for hand/wrist supports with a thumb covering but couldn’t see any, so a few more days had passed. Eventually we found some binding tape in Tesco, like the stuff fabric plasters are made from but in a long reel. I bound my thumb, and then strapped around my hand down to the wrist. My thumb was still free to move, but bending motion was restricted and it was held straight ‘at rest’. More importantly, it reminded me that I had a sore thumb so I didn’t use it without thinking.

It was an instant relief. No random pain, still some pain trying to tie laces or buttons and stuff, but a lot better. Prolonged typing made it ache, and certain grasping actions were out of the question, but it was a great improvement. So, now to keep it bound during the day, free overnight, and let it rest until it goes away.

Which it didn’t.

If anything it was worse in the mornings, and unbound was very painful. So after a total of about five weeks I went to the GP. I didn’t feel bad it had been so long, I think it’s important to try and make yourself healthy, not just rely on someone else all the time for any old ache or pain that comes up. I described the pain, I could be pretty specific since I knew exactly where it hurt, doing what and what didn’t hurt. Tendonitis he concluded after a few moments (although, he’s an NHS doctor, so he actually said ‘it’s probably tendonitis and probably not anything else’, heaven forbid he get it wrong and someone suit him).

We then had what for me is a first. We reviewed all my medication. I’ve never had ‘medication’ before while suffering something else. Being diabetic means checking everything I’m on, making sure they aren’t the cause and making sure anything he prescribed wouldn’t react. It was ok, he was pleased at my sugar control (not my regular GP) and seemed happy I knew not only the names of my drugs but why I take them and what they do. I do wonder how many people just take what their given without understanding it.

Anyway, 3 x 50mg anti-inflammatories a day, on top of the 3 x 500mg metformin, 1 x 20mg simvstatin and 1 x aspirin. Yay, I feel more and more like a jar of pills.

Took one anti-inflammatory yesterday, and 2 so far today and …. it feels better. Using the thumb can still hurt, but it doesn’t hurt if I just rest it at an odd angle or catch the knuckle anywhere. Many people may have gone to their GP earlier, but I really feel that we owe it to ourselves and to the NHS to at least attempt to resolve these issues on our own first. I’m not saying we should have life threatening ilnesses quietly, or that we should ignore obviously serious issues (lumps, for example), but for aches and sore fingers, I don’t think we should expect the GP to be the first port of call, they’re already too busy.

I’m not hypoglycemic

it just feels like it. Almost as soon as I started bringing my blood sugar under control I started suffering uncomfortable symptoms, usually between lunch and evening meal. As the evening meal got closer, I would feel more and more uncomfortable, and checking various lists of symptoms they most closely matched hypoglycaemia (hypo) which was a bit worrying. However, I do test my blood (obviously) and it was never low enough to be classified as hypo nor low enough to be dangerous.

We surmised that my body basically wasn’t used to having ‘normal’ blood sugar or long periods between meals. It was also possibly even related to the idea of having food. For example, sometimes if I knew it was going to be a while before I ate (going to the cinema or shopping) the symptoms wouldn’t be anywhere near as bad until after that activity. It was almost as if my body was acting hypo to get my attention.

Anyway, I had a regular diabetic checkup a month or so back, blood sugar average still really good (I may have blogged it?), and I spoke to the nurse about a few things. She confirmed that in some people who’ve had high blood sugar untreated for a while, they can suffer feelings of hypoglycaemia while having normal blood sugar levels. At the time it was good to hear.

Doesn’t make me feel any better when I find I’m shaking while trying to cook something or I end up being dozy and not remembering things people have said to me. I’m going to try and increase the distance between my breakfast and my lunch, at the moment they’re far too close together through habit. That will in turn reduce the time between lunch and my evening meal hopefully reducing the feelings I get. We’ll see how that works out.

Since it’s been a few weeks since my checkup I’m also entering the ‘I’m not doing well’ stage where I decide I’m eating the wrong stuff and my blood sugar average is going to be terrible. Even though I do spot checks and my sugar is usually pretty well within the right range and what I’d expect I still start to doubt myself and second guess and worry. The annoying thing is that it doesn’t really change what I eat, or if it does it can have a negative effect (stuff it, I’m having some biscuits my average is already shot). But I guess I just have to recognise the problem and stay on top of it. Grete’s great as always.

I have moments where I look back and wonder how it’s not worse than it is. I can recall some days in 2004 where I might get to work, have a 500ml bottle of coke with breakfast, have another can of coke in the run up to lunch. Have some lunch, not actually too bad, but with some kind of sweetened drink either more coke or a non-fruit fruit juice. Perhaps share a couple of packets of chewy sweets with the rest of the team, or eat half a packet of wine gums during the afternoon. Of course that would be washed down with another can of coke. Those moments help me realise that staying on track isn’t actually going to be that hard. I don’t drink regular coke any more, I haven’t had a sugar-based sweet since I was diagnosed, and I avoid any fruit drinks other than actual bona fide fruit without anything added.

Which means the big culprits are bread and erm, bread mostly. I’ve virtually given up white bread, instead sticking to Tesco’s Finest Rustic Multi-grain, which is tasty and doesn’t usually appear to impact my sugar badly.

My two most deadly nemesisses (hah and it’s a real word) are Pizza and Bacon Sandwiches. I mean come on, you can’t have bacon sandwiches in multi-grain bread. It’s got to be white.