This post is dated back.
Welcome in 2014. This year started with the mitigation from POP3/IMAP to Exchange. I’ve rented a small Hosted Exchange Server from Apps4Rent and transferred my mails over from Bytecamp. They are still hosting my Websites and are handling my Domains, but since they didn’t offer any different Mail plans I had to search for an external hoster.
The setup went smoothly (after I had to contact the support since I had to change some settings due to some security measures) and after I transferred 2.6GB email archives I was able to setup the mail rules. Finally synchronized email/calendar and contacts across my pc and phone, plus I was now able to access my mails comfortably by web app.
As some of you might know, I commission several artists to draw images and paintings for me. Mostly consisting of fan art or my OC Blackbird. One of those artists is Veroro who designed Blackbird for me and has since created many images featuring him. You can see some of those at the left side and some others on the lower right around my homepage. One day Veroro offered to send out the paper sketches of her drawing to those who commissioned her for a little more than postage fee, so I went ahead and got all of my commissions plus some personal art from her which had inspired me to order from Veroro in the first place. When they arrived I got me a huge frame and arranged all those images to a collage which I hung up in the hallway.
In February Elizabeth and I decided that we would start another relationship with each other. She had just parted from her husband and since we were hanging out with each other anyways this was just the next logical step. Lizi and I had a long history with each other, we first met during our school time when we were shared the same thesis class and later we went to catholic confirmation together. During that time we did many things together and finally started a relationship after a nice weekend in a monastery (organized by the church). This was my first “real” relationship back then and thus it was quite chaotic. Overall it was a really great time, but when we broke up with each other after nearly two years I acted like a little child and wasn’t very nice. During the following years we would run into each other once in a while on the streets and share a little small talk, but it never went much further. When Lizi married Sascha some years later it was the last time I saw her until she suddenly called me and asked if I would like to meet again. Well, due to a misunderstanding we sat together with my mom in my living room and shared a bowl of strawberries. During the following weeks and month we went on to several events together and she forced me to get out of my man-cave more often. One thing led to the other and well now we’re in a relationship again. It won’t be much easier this time around, since we’re still very different – but meh, what’s a relationship without a little bit of challenge? =)
One of the things we did together was visiting the Cabaret “Villa Sonnenschein” (Villa Sunshine). Since Lizi is working in a retirement home she had kind of a different relation to the play, but for me it was great fun. The play itself revolved around the residents and their nurses of this retirement home and also things like the shortcuts some of the more profit orientated bosses would take. All with great humor and some very catchy songs. I can really recommend it.
Another trip took us to the Serengeti Park near Celle where we spent a whole day watching and petting wild animals. Most of the trip was done in a bus tour that took us from place to place, but some areas we travelled by foot as well. There were also some kind of “adventure” jungle tours (basically like a ghost train ride you can visit on the carnival – just with a jeep) where the different animators would take great length to bring a smile on everyone’s face. It was a great fun, especially for the children we had with us. We saw many different animals that usually are home in Africa. Sadly I wasn’t allowed to cuddle with any of the big cats. I would have loved to share a hug with one of the Lions or Leopards, but well… maybe I wouldn’t be able to write this text then. Meh.
But as a small compensation Lizi and I decided to get our own cats. A bit smaller than those in the Park, but well at least something. When we first visited her friend whose cat gave birth to a litter 4 weeks prior we couldn’t really decide between two of the black ones, they both were so cute and curious. So that when we wanted to take one home a few month later we ended up with getting both of them. Meet Blacky and Rambo, two brothers that since make our house a home and purr us to sleep every night. They simple house cats without any special breed. Blacky, who has chosen me as his owner, is 99% black with only a few white hairs here and there and Rambo, who likes Lizi more than me, has a white patch on his throat but is otherwise also mostly black. When we got the cats we found out the hard way that my girlfriend is allergic to them. Luckily Cetirizine is helping her cope with the symptoms, but this also means that the cats are living with me and Lizi is only visiting them.
Let’s get to games. New this year were Titanfall, Watch Dogs and Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls. The first is a 1st Person Shooter where you can call down a huge Mecha-like Titan when you accumulated enough points. As usual with the current shooters you can edit your loadouts both for your Pilot and your Titan. Weapons range from Assault Rifles, Auto-Aiming Pistols up to Grenade and Rocket Launchers. You can also equip some perks like a Parkours Kit or a Stealth enhancer. The game itself is pretty nice and well done, only the anti-cheat protection is more or less non-existent and after a few weeks the servers were flooded with aim-bots and teleporting players. Yey.
Watch Dogs is an open world shooter similar to GTA V where you can hack into almost every device, cause mayhem and save the world. Imagine that for example a company like Apple has grown into a world-dominating corporate giant and releases a system called “ctOS” that is soon installed into everything. Cameras, Traffic Lights, Bridge Controller, TVs, Mobile Phones, ATM Machines, you name it. Now imagine that such a system can be hacked (surprise…) and you have a phone that is capable of doing so. You can transfer funds from several passersby onto your own account, track their phone calls or when you’re pursued by the police you can change the traffic lights and cause huge car accidents or escape by raising a bridge you just passed over, etc etc. The game is well done. The story is nice and the competitive online mode is also pretty fun. One of the most interesting things is that you can download an app onto your own mobile phone and from there play with other hackers online in a special “hacker vs. police” mission. You will control the police forces from your phone and activate traps, deploy vehicles, helicopters, etc to stop the hacker from getting away.
D3:RoS was… well… short. It introduced a new plot and the Paladin class to D3, but overall it felt pretty lacking. Sure the non-story events like the Nephalem Rift or the Bounty Missions were really fun and provided hours of activity but the prolonged story was mediocre at best.
In League of Legends I finally started to play Ranked. I got placed into Bronze I after we were unable to carry most of the games due to players being afk or feeding like hell. I don’t want to say that I play anything near perfect or that I’m even good at this game or anything, but if you play 4v5 most of the game there’s only so much you can do. We’ll see if this trend continues with the next games or if I’m able to climb the ladder at least a bit. I would love to be at least Gold V at the end of the season to get the rewards.
Two large things happened in EVE Online so that it gets its own paragraph this time. First is a kill that was target=”blank”>viewable on the public kill boards. A former WoW player started playing EVE and bought over the mentality that the biggest, best equipped ship would be best, like in most MMO. So the player, who worked as a lawyer, bought himself a Caldari Navy Raven, equipped with billions and billions worth of Officer Modules and was then suicide ganked while on the way to a mission. His loss during this time was worth about 1.800$, but that’s not all – the player bought yet another CNR, equipped it similarly and was scammed out of it, some plex and other wealth by a recruitment officer of Goonfleet Federation. So his overall loss was around 3.000$ in the end. EVE Online: ethics – strictly optional. Here’s a nice summary of what exactly happened.
It has to say something about the game if a classic newspaper is writing a story about a fight that took place in it. Hello battle of B-R5RB, the largest player fought battle in ANY video game today with an estimated loss of 330.000$ if you would convert it into PLEX. Yes that is a six figure number. I won’t write what happened here, because that is best covered in several articles (I recommend this one, since it has links to several others and also some videos). Just one word – awesome. I am so happy that I was able to be part of such an epic, historical moment. Even though I lost a lot of ships and it will take several month until I am able to replace them I don’t regret a single moment.
In November we first went to a concert of Linkin Park in Hamburg and later spent a weekend in the Wyndham Hotels in Stralsund to celebrate Lizis Birthday and relax a little. The hotel it right next to the Ostseetherme, a medium sized pool with a wellness area. It was pretty nice there, the massages are amazing and they provide access to several different sauna. On her Birthday we received a complimentary bottle of champagne at our room, which was a nice gesture. I can really recommend the place, if you’re not there to swim but for the wellness area.
Here are some images of this year: