June 28th, 2005


Dabbling in the CoH Cult

Well, I missed the free trial of The Matrix: Online, but this time I didn't miss the 14-day free trial offer on City of Heroes. I do appreciate the fact that when they say free, the mean free: no credit card or payment information needed. Instead of making you cancel the account to get out of being charged, they make you to take affirmative steps to reactivate the account when it times out. I appreciate that.

So I'm dabbling with it to see what the fuss is all about. I played with it for a couple of hours, got a fire-based magical blaster up to a smidgen over level 5 in Atlas City on Liberty server, and it's OK so far. I doubt I'm going to dump Neocron for it when the trial is over, not least of which because it'd be a pain to budget into my non-existent income the $29.99 for the software fee. Of course, depending on the dollar-to-Euro ratio, if the dollar tanks hard enough my Neocron monthly fee could actually rise that high, I suppose. But I might. It doesn't feel as immersive, as gritty, as real as Neocron, but I must admit that it's at least as detailed, and a heck of a lot better looking, and so far a heck of a lot more stable. Right now my biggest gripe, I guess, is that the name filter is about 3 characters too short to let me pick the name I wanted, so I ended up with the Infernal Agent instead of what I wanted, the Infernal American.

So I've long since lost track: which servers do my friends play on? I'm not looking to sidekick, not any longer than I might be on, and so far I'm doing OK for influence points to spend. Mostly I just want to know which one I could pick up the most chat IDs on for when I get confused and have to ask for advice, not to mention the online company while I play.
Brad @ Burning Man

Phone Post:

565K 2:32
“I'm reduced to posting this by phone, even though I hate the phone, because Charter turned off my internet service this afternoon. I thought I had a couple of more weeks, and if I had, I would have beat it; I have a pledge that would cover the difference between what I have and the minimum payment. But that pledge won't hit PayPal before Friday, which means it won't be in my bank account before a week from Thursday, the 7th. What's worse is that they've scheduled someone to come out and cut the physical cable on the 5th, so once I pay them on the 8th or whenever, it'll be probably another week, maybe week and a half before I can get a technician out to turn it back on.

So if I can come up with another $45, and that means in hand and cleared through the bank, by the 2nd, then I can get it turned back on right away. Why the 2nd? Because the 4th is a holiday, so I have to call them during the day on the 3rd. Which, I guess, means that it's already too late for PayPal, because there aren't four banking days between now and the 2nd. So unless someone is particularly generous AND can think of a way to get the cash in my hand by Friday the 1st, so I can deposit it on the 2nd, I guess I'd better assume that I'm without Internet access until some time around the middle of next month.

I have good friends, people who've paid my medical and utility bills these last several months while I was recovering and filing the disability paperwork, who legitimately question if it's worth it. They wanted to know why that was a necessary expense, why I was placing it right up there with keeping the electricity on. What I said at the time was that the roughly $50 a month I spend on cable Internet plus basic cable was self-funding, because donations via PayPal from my readers were averaging about $100 a month. And three months ago, they were.

But in the last two months, I've only gotten thirty bucks in tips, or about 1/3 of what the Internet bill cost me. So I guess that well ran dry, too. And given that I won't know until Friday if the local Community Action Agency was able to find a donor willing to help me keep my gas bill on, I should probably save that last bit of money to have warm water and a working stove instead of worrying about my internet access.

I guess what it comes down to is that Internet service is one of those ammenities that only contributing members of society are entitled to, like transportation and health care and clothes that aren't worn out. Excuse the wallowing in self-pity, but days like this make me want to just give up. Even if the SSI and ultimately the SSDI are going to come through, I feel like I'll never make it that long.”

Transcribed by: bradhicks