We said goodbye to Rosie last week.

She was 14 and a half, but you wouldn’t know it to look at her. She was still alert, interested, excited to go wherever you were going. But she couldn’t do that any more. Her body was failing her, letting her spirit down, breaking bit by bit. She just couldn’t come with us any more. We had to say goodbye.

Rosie came into our lives in 2010 when she was just 8 weeks old. We found her through some backyard breeder who posted a classified ad on, I don’t know, Gumtree I think? Or even the fucking Quokka, if anyone remembers that? We didn’t know what we were doing. We just wanted a puppy, and she saw us sitting there on the grass in some bloke’s yard in Wanneroo, and she got up and left her littermates behind, and wandered over to come and say hello to us. And we got a puppy.

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The Takeover

“The elites are taking over,” the man told me as we stood in line together at the coffee shop. He had a common and sensible face, the sort of bloke who I could instantly see was, like myself, a graduate with honours summa cum dilligaf from the School of Hard Knocks.

He was gesturing at the paper on the table nearby; a fifteen-page spread from an everyday multinational media conglomerate explaining how one of their columnists had been fired simply for being racist to a child.  “See that? They’re taking over,” he repeated.

“That’s the elites for you,” I agreed. “They think they’re better than us.”

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Getting Over Watch

Lately Jess and I have been playing less and less Overwatch, down from 15-20 hours a week (if not more) to two, three or even zero hours. Without meaning to, we kind of drifted away from a game where each of us have sunk a nearly four-digit number of hours, which is easily a record for the both of us. It’s on my mind a lot lately and I really just want to get some thoughts down on paper about why that is.

A lot of it comes back to the new Role Queue system. Blizzard introduced Role Queue in July last year, strictly limiting the 6-person team to two DPS, two tanks, and two supports. If you ask Blizzard why they did this, they’ll say it was to make sure games remain “fair and fun”. If you ask literally any member of the community they will tell you in no uncertain terms it was because the GOATS composition was an unstoppable strategy which was dominating all levels of play and making things boring at best and stupid at worst.

Named after the team who invented it and used it to steamroll everyone, the GOATS composition is as simple as it is effective. Ignoring DPS entirely and only having three tanks and three healers creates an unstoppable rolling murderball of endless barriers and hitpoints with a surprising amount of damage output (mostly because some of Blizzard’s “tank” characters are just DPS characters who switched their name-tags when Jeff Kaplan’s back was turned).

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Never Tweet

Every union member knows that the CIA will attempt to murder them sometime, although I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be in the form of a tweet that encouraged its employees to practice deep breathing on a #wellnesswednesday. What happened to the good old fashioned ‘trip-and-fall down an elevator shaft onto some bullets’? Would it have killed them to smuggle Soviet-branded weapons into the country, put those weapons into the hands of corrupt soldiers, and then organise a masked death squad to come to my house and blame it on Russia? Would it have killed me as well? Yes, I suppose so. Fucking hell.

How is anyone supposed to deal with this level of comically absurd, transparently asinine, boringly dystopian, nightmare world hellshit? I logged off immediately following that tweet in an act of instinctual self-preservation, like the way your reptile brain engages to snatch your hand away from a fire before your higher brain functions have had their morning coffee. Feeling a bit down after organising the assassination of a democractically elected leader? Got a case of the Mondays after diverting a black ops budget into a cheeky bit of state-sponsored ethnic cleansing? Why not get yourself a standing desk? Fucking hell. Just kill me (please don’t).

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Roads travelled, literal and metaphotical

All right, that’s it. It’s time to stop putting it off. Writing a little summin’ summin’ at the end of each year has become sort of a tradition in the Colwill household and this year I did more things, pushed more boundaries and learned more about myself than your average year. And yet for some reason, when I think about sitting down to write this time around, my inner eye glazes over and I find myself doing something else instead.

For some reason, even though there’s more to report on in every facet of life this year, I’m more loathe than ever to sit down and report on it. 

But one of the lessons 2019 has taught me is the value of record keeping, journalling and otherwise ensnaring the moments that disappear like so much clumsy metaphor. Another is that something doesn’t have to be perfect to have value and that I should embrace the opportunity to learn and grow regardless of how much “worth” I perceive it to have.

And so! I will begin! I will stream-of-consciousness this bitch out on to the digital parchment and so help me, it will be adequate!

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