Why Undead Fish?

It's fairly ridiculous, actually, but if you really want to know, here's the full story: Back in the day, I played a necromancer, a sorcerer with power over the undead, in the MMORPG Everquest™.  Over the 4+ years I spent playing, I made more than a few friends and many of us hung out in various incarnations of chat rooms during the day when we should have been working.  Some have speculated that this phenomenon was a direct contributor to my year on the unemployment line, but I digress.  During the slow times in chat, people took to writing what we considered to be clever emotes, short snippets of text that describe an action (i.e. Samadhi bonks you on the head).  One day, I typed "Samadhi whacks you with a fish".  One of my fellow slackers (Hiya, Shank!) commented "You're a warlock. Shouldn't that be an undead fish?"  It seemed to fit, so from then on, that's what I used.

Fast forward a couple of years.  I had retired from Everquest, but still kept in contact with just about all my former guildmates.  I was renewing the domain for my employer, the Wizard, and thought it would be kind of neat to own one myself.  Choosing the name was almost a foregone conclusion.

That's all there is to it.  One flippant, throwaway comment by an internet buddy and all of you have to suffer through all of this.

Who the hell is Samadhi?

When I first started using it, Samadhi was just a name.  My Everquest™ necromancer needed a sinister and unusual sounding name. I had read The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever several years earlier and thought using the name of the evil Reaver would be both cool and obscure enough so as not to be recognized.  As I played the game, however, I got lots of people asking me if it was a "secret", an apparent reference to the album "Secret Samadhi" by "Live", although I had never heard of either.  Further research also revealed the significance of the name in Buddhism, where it is loosely translated from sanskrit as "enlightenment".  After 4+ years of EQ, I've grown more than a little attached to both the name, and my interpretation of the character.  As a result, although I no longer play Everquest, I've adopted the persona on message boards, and in just about every other game I've tried since.

The latest incarnation is Samadhi, the Undead Warlock of Shadow Council in Blizzard's World of Warcraft.

About Me

I'm not as cool as I think I am.  In real life, I'm a completely average, middle-aged (ouch, that hurts to type), divorced, computer programmer.  I've got two kids that I don't get to see nearly often enough.  I love reading, music, movies, and beer.  I'm heavily into all things computer-related.  I enjoy tackling programming problems and finding solutions.  I build my own PC's, although I have little time to do so these days.  I feel compelled to be the first on my block to own the latest and greatest technology, when my limited budget permits me to do so.  I haunt message boards with alarming frequency, although much less so now that I'm actually gainfully employed again.  I'm hopelessly addicted to computer games.

I'm a college graduate, with a useless degree in Economics that I've never used.  I aspired to be a writer, and have a completed novel in its 813th revision that never managed to find a publisher.  In my younger, cooler past, I spent 11 years as an attack pilot for the United States Marine Corps.  After that I fell on some hard times from an employment perspective.  I tried and failed as a marketing manager in Silicon Valley, CA and was forced to flee for home with my tail between my legs.  After that, things got worse and I was laid off from my job as a computer programmer for a small software company due, in no small part, to my inability to put things in perspective.

Desperate for work, I accepted a position as the sales and IT manager for a rinky-dink online magic company where I sacrificed the last shreds of my dignity in a desperate but ultimately failed attempt to avoid bankruptcy.  It's around that time that this site was born as I used it to chronicle the pain and suffering I was forced to endure on a daily basis.

I was forced to take a job as a manual laborer at that point, but I had learned several valuable lessons and had finally recognized that I wasn't going to be able to just fake it any more.  Fortunately for me, my long-time friend put in a good word for me and I was re-hired by the software company from which I had been laid off two years previously.  I had just started getting back into the flow of things as a Technical Analyst when we were gobbled up by a gargantuan consulting firm.  Needless to say, things are different now.

Recently, I was shifted to another department and am now a full-time java coder. This has been a big step up, and it seems to be going exceedingly well, thus far. As to what the future holds, well, time will tell...

What games do you play?

Right now, it's almost exclusively World of Warcraft, although I still dabble in a couple others when my kids are using my account. My latest flirtations have been with:
    Sam & Max: Season 2
    Eve Online
    Darkwind

I also recently purchased an XBox 360. After years of being a PC snob, I'm forced to admit this thing is actually a lot of fun! Check below for my GamerCard and add me to your friends list!

And here's the newest little game-tracking widget I've discovered. It actually keeps track of all your games across multiple platforms.

What kind of music are you listening to?

Does anybody really care? I always wondered why people insisted on posting this. For the sake of argument, let's just assume my MP3 player has the 80's on an infinite loop.

Whatever happened to your novel?

Nothing at all. I sent it out to about a dozen agents over the course of a year or so, but was rejected by all of them. Shortly thereafter, I decided it needed a major rewrite, but I just haven't been able to muster either the time or the motivation to go through the 700+ pages. Every few weeks I have a flash of inspiration, but whatever muse possessed me sufficiently to churn out the original manuscript has apparently abandoned me. If you're interested, I've posted the prologue under the Novel menu option to your left. I'll put the rest up whenever I get around to converting it from Word to HTML.

Samadhi vs. The Wizard

It's been more than 3 years now, and I've finally put this behind me for the most part. I drive by my former employer from time to time and have even managed to stop feeling the need to flip him off as I pass, so I was tempted to just drop this entry from the site entirely. Given its importance in the very existence of Undead Fish, however, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention it. There's enough bad blood here to fill an entire site, but I'll try to sum it up as best I can so that those who arrived late to the party can get a sense of what Undead Fish was all about back in its infancy. Just by the way of clarification, I have been known to exaggerate for comic effect, but everything there is 100% true. Even *I* couldn't have made up anything as bizarre as things actually were back then.

Back in 2002, I was out of work and had been for some time. I was a computer guy with very little practical experience and the market had pretty much just collapsed so every day I spent hours searching the various job sites looking for something that I was qualified to do. Virtually every day, I saw the same ad from a small, mail-order magic company searching for an "e-Commerce and Sales Manager". Unfortunately, the scheduled hours were longer than average (10+ hours per day) and the salary was barely half of what I had been making at my previous position, so for the better part of 6 months I simply continued searching. Eventually, however, I had no choice but to lower my expectations and make the call. My unemployment benefits were exhausted. I had a family to support and a mortgage that I could no longer afford to pay so I bit the bullet and emailed my resume.

I should have probably known that something was amiss when the owner and president, loathingly referred to henceforth as "The Wizard", emailed me what can only be described as an IQ test in his response and scheduled my interview for 9pm, rather than during business hours. Unfortunately, I was desperate, so I swallowed my apprehensions and accepted his job offer when it was made.

The rest is history. For the entire sordid tale, I'd recommend you read the Saga of Samadhi vs. The Wizard. This page details the sum total of everything I posted regarding my job from the start to the very bitter end. In my defense, I can only say that I tried my hardest to accept the cards I had been dealt. Despite my rants and my "uncooperative attitude", I really wanted to succeed there.

The following few months were the absolute worst of my entire life. Thankfully for me, and for those around me, that was rock-bottom. Things have been improving ever since.

You're amazing! Want a job?

Ha, funny. Believe me, I wish people asked me that question. I'm actually fairly content where I am right now, with the caveat that things are currently in a state of flux due to the acquisition. I'm not looking, but I'd certainly consider the right opportunity.

Why did you pick The Horde?

Alliance have night elves.  Any other questions?

Why did you name your World of Warcraft guild Undead Fish?

Believe it or not, it was about the only name we could agree on. Back in Everquest we were known as "Oasis Covenant", but as there seemed to be no oases in Azeroth, it didn't make much sense. Additionally, I think people were looking for a change. We tried using "Undead Fish Local 354" but it wouldn't accept numbers, so we shortened it to just "Undead Fish". Given that I already owned the domain name and had the forums up and running, it only made sense. Sticking with the theme, our Alliance-side sister guild is called "Live Bait".

No point in taking things too seriously, right?

I'm new to the Guild. What do I need to know?

Undead Fish has been around in spirit since 1999 when a group of us met up in Everquest. Some names have changed over the years, but most of us are still around in one form or another, which helps to explain why some of us are referred to by names other than what's on our character sheets. If you hang around a bit, you'll pick up on it all. Most of us are over 30. That's not to say you have to be an old geezer to fit in, but if you're a young whippersnapper, understand your audience. There's very little you can say in guildchat that will get you in trouble, however, the majority of us prefer you to type out "you", rather than "u". We have an open invite policy. If you know of any other players that you think would fit in, please let one of the officers know and we'll toss out an invitation.

UF, the guild, doesn't have a lot of rules. We do, however, expect you to refrain from behavior that'll make the rest of us look bad. No ninja looting. No harassing the lowbies. No scamming. No begging. We don't require any addons, however, if you wish to be a part of our raid teams, then we'd hope you'd come as prepared as possible for the challenge. To that effect, the following addons are highly recommended: Omen and BigWigs (or equivalent)

UF has a "Need Before Greed" looting policy. Blizzard implemented code to support rolling on drops; we use it. That means if an item is an upgrade for you, and you'll use it, you can roll Need on it. There's no need to pass and discuss BOP items. In guild groups, unwanted items generally go to enchanters for disenchantment rather than being sold to a vendor. As a result, UF enchanters do their magic free of charge for guildmembers.

Undead Fish maintains its own internal guild roster with data captured from within the game. Prior to the armory, this was the only way for us to keep track of people's progress. With the release of the Armory, most of that data is available there, however the UFRoster still tracks things the Armory doesn't and provides additional functionality unavailable elsewhere. For instance, you can see who else in the guild is on the same quests as you, determine which enchanter has the enchant you're looking for, see who in the guild has keys to the heroic instance you're hoping to run, determine which tradeskill recipes you're missing, or see what gear is stored in the Guild Bank. It'll also allow you to attach your character to your forum posts as a signature. As a result, we still prefer everyone to continue to upload their character data after every play session. We've created a tool to make this process virtually foolproof. You simply run the application prior to starting your play session and your data is automatically uploaded when you log off. As an added bonus, all of the recommended addons listed above can be automatically installed for you via the same tool. You can find more information and instructions for installing and configuring the Uploader in our Forums.

The Undead Fish ventrilo server is available 24x7 for use while in game. You can find all the relevant information here or by checking the guild information tab on your guild panel while in game. It's not a huge server, so please don't share the server information with non-guildmembers without approval.

UF isn't a raid guild, but we're trying our hand at raiding. Our current focus is Karazhan, but we hope to move on to bigger and better things in the very near future. All UF raids are currently being scheduled through the UFRaid tool. If you're registered for the forums, you're automatically registered for the raid tool, so feel free to add your character(s) to the database and either join an existing raid, or create one of your own.

Why do you keep pestering us to "Update your Profiles"?

In general, I'm pretty laid back, but on occasion I get wrapped up in something and I like to be thorough. Believe me, I don't enjoy having to pester people to update their profiles every single time I log on but I've spent a metric butt-ton of time setting up the Roster pages, doing custom coding on the "Gear Snapshot" addon, configuring the uploader front and back-ends, and I want to make the most of that time. If people's profiles are out of date or non-existent, much of the roster functionality is nerfed. For instance, I can't see who else shares the same quests I do if half the people haven't uploaded their quest logs.

I've tried to make things as simple and painless as possible for everyone so that everybody can just play the game without turning it into work. All I ask is that people take that one extra step to keep their data updated.

Warlocks are nubsauce/OP/noskill/lamezor/LAWL

So's your mother. I've been playing a warlock since release, so I'm totally not interested in your critique. Please go back to your Night Elf Hunter and leave the real work to the professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Undead Fish?
How do I post something on the front page? Who the hell is Samadhi?
About Me
What games do you play?
What kind of music are you listening to?
Favorites that didn't make the Sidebar
What ever happened with your novel?
Samadhi vs. The Wizard
You're amazing! Want a job?
Why did you name your World of Warcraft guild Undead Fish?
I'm new to the Guild. What do I need to know?
Why did you pick The Horde?
Why do you keep pestering us to "Update your Profiles"?
Warlocks are lame.

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