A Short Break

My father is visiting for a few days, so I probably won’t get the chance to put out anything new til Sunday, unless I manage to grab an hour here and an hour there. (They take a lot longer to make than you might imagine!). We shall see. At any rate, normal rates of production should return next week!

If you usually only watch the videos through this site, you might enjoy a rummage through my YouTube channel, where you can find my (horrible audio quality) original Minecraft series from Alpha/Beta, and a few other gaming videos.

Site Issues

My host seems to be having some problems at the moment. It took me about 10 attempts to get to the page to write this post! I apologise for any inconvenience, and hopefully things will sort themselves out soon.

If you’re after my Minecraft videos while the site problems are still going on, you might have more luck over on my YouTube Channel.

The Newbie Blogger Initiative!!

Lo, for on this day the MMOsphere has been overtaken by posts announcing the beginning of the Newbie Blogger Initiative. For the next month, many more-or-less established gaming bloggers will be trying to encourage and guide the next wave of eager writers!

We bloggers may appear as giants, striding across the web striking down all who oppose us with our vorpal opinions+1. Or we might just seem a bit noisy and annoying. Either way, it’s right easy to set your own site up and share in the fun. While I’m running a self-hosted WordPress install, you can do just as well with any of the free hosted options such as WordPress.com, Bloggr, or even Tumblr!

Where you choose to host your blog isn’t really that important. All you need are some words worth reading, and I guarantee that you have some of those, even if you might not have found them yet. Toddle along to the NBI’s forum, where bloggers young and old are gathering to share in the mysteries of our ancient art.

At the moment, I’m a rather horrible example, as I’ve not really been posting terribly much, devoting most of my output to various podcasts instead. So you’d be far better off absorbing the wisdom of some of the other folks that are participating. Nevertheless, I am happy to answer any questions that you might have, be it here in the comments section, or on Twitter, where you can find me at @Arkenor. I’m also signed up to write a proper advice post some time this month, and it might even get written.

Til then, write what you know, what you love, and what you believe to be true.

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New theme in progress

My old theme was rather old and couldn’t handle a lot of more modern WordPress features. So today, I’m going to be breaking things left right and center, as I try to get a new theme to behave itself. the site may look a little odd at times. Wish me luck!!

An Overly Personal Growth.

I’m sorry I’ve not been posting much here recently. Truth be told, I’ve had a lot of other things on my mind. While I have gotten some gaming in, I’ve not really felt much like saying too much about it.

I was hoping that I was going to be able to write a relieved post today about how it turns out I don’t actually have cancer after all. Unfortunately, after my hospital appointment today, we still don’t know, and so I have a whole spectrum of interesting tests coming up in the next few weeks.

Lets lay it out. It’s a rather squeam-inducing and embarrassing topic for a chap to discuss, but I might as well be open about it.

My body has been in a state of decline for a few years, with various organs deciding that they could no longer be bothered to work properly, not least of which was my brain, which has not been feeling particularly sharp of late. Why all this was happening was a bit of a spooky mystery, but we suspected that the toxins that my liver was steadfastly refusing to filter out of my blood were probably not doing the rest of me any good.

Anyhows, that was the state of play until a few months ago, when my good friend, Dave Fuller, suggested to me that maybe I should get my testosterone levels checked. Testosterone is an incredibly important hormone, and low levels can trash your concentration and energy, cause depression, prevent muscle growth no matter how much you exercise, and even, in extreme cases, cause your organs to pack up. Well, this sounded sort of familiar, so the next time I was at my GP I asked him if I could get that tested for along with all my usual blood tests.

The thing is, male hormone-replacement therapy is getting to be a bit trendy, and GPs are somewhat beset by middle aged men trying to persuade them to put them on it. That particular therapy, for folks with normal hormone levels for their age, is not available on the NHS. There was, then, a bit of resistance from my GP. I argued that it might be the root cause of my depression, and that it would save us all a lot of trouble if that turned out to be the case. Largely, I suspect, to humour me, he agreed we’d test it, just to see.

The results were devastating. My testosterone levels are, well, practically non-existent. How long this has been going on is hard to say at this stage, but it seems likely that it has seriously messed up a good portion of my life up until now. I spent a month or more being pretty damn angry and bitter about that. I’m largely through the anger now, and looking forward to the possibility of getting a fully functional body and mind. Should that come to pass, I do, I shall warn you, reserve the right to catch up on some of the youthful adventures that I missed out on.

First though, we needed to find out exactly why my testosterone levels are so low. I’m pretty much hitting the embarrassment wall here. Suffice it to say that parts of my body have been poked, prodded, and scanned. It was during an ultrasound that the operators found something of interest. They were actually just supposed to be checking the blood flow (which turned out to be fine), but there it was; a dark blob, its dense structure absorbing the ultrasound far more than the surrounding tissue, or anything else that ought to be there.

Funny thing is, it probably has absolutely nothing to do with my low testosterone levels. We just happened to be looking in the right place at the right time to catch the very early stages of whatever it is. We still don’t know its exact nature, but it scares me terribly. It perches upon my shoulder during my waking hours, pregnant with dark possibilities. It is difficult to think of much else, and I’m afraid that I have been not been feeling terribly inspired to write about games, even when I feel well enough to play.

But I will. Don’t go deleting me from your RSS just yet. I’ve a whole lot of scans to get through, and likely a fair amount of being needled, stabbed, and sliced, but I’m going to get through this, and with any luck, I might even end up with a properly working brain again, and the strength to use it.

Follow Me on Twitter!

Follow Arkenor on Twitter

Or don’t. That’s cool too. The chances of you missing anything vital to your well-being is slim, unless your well-being depends on what I have for lunch or what I think of the latest MMO outrage! I do usually tweet if I’ve posted anything substantial here though.

Update: Changed the date on this to get it back on the front page for a bit!

In Which Ark’s Ark Is Subject to Mysterious Assault

Strange and deeply worrying things are afoot.

An increasing number of WordPress sites around the internet appear to be getting hacked, and having invisible links placed within them that bring visitors to medicine related posts on this site. Posts that do not exist. Visitors I would rather do without. It started with the Infendo site. If you look in its source code, you’ll see a load of links here, but I’m seeing more sites doing this every day, and it is wigging me out big time.

I have no idea why this would be happening. It is bringing in a bit of traffic, even though for the life of me I can’t figure out how anyone is even clicking on them. But why would someone be doing this? I thought perhaps I’d been hacked too, but I can’t find anything amiss, and the post addresses they’re being sent to just get my generic “page not found” page. The only thing I can think of is that it is to somehow trash my ranking with Google. But this is a tiny little site in the general scheme of things, and I can’t imagine why anyone would go to such trouble. Did Lordcraft finally get fed up with me making fun of them? Has Lord Everling finally figured out how to use the internet? I don’t know, and if you’ve got any ideas then please share them in the comments.

Anyways, this post is largely to get my defence in first, because at some point somebody is going to see that their site has been hacked, and they’ll come over to yell at me.

Update: Infendo seems to have rectified the situation after I posted in their comments, though they haven’t actually answered me. I’m trying to find out from them exactly what was causing the issue.