Category Archives: Random

Stop! It’s Liebster Time!

Liebster-AwardI’m not usually one to participate in chain letters or “random things about you” memes in social media, but I really like the Liebster Award meme that is going around in blog circles, because it does allow us to learn a little more about people in our community. Zyngor recently got his Liebster nomination from Fredelas, and Zyngor in turn nominated Tomeoric and anybody else that wants to join in the Liebster fun. So I’m going to nominate a handful of blogs at the end of this post – read on to see if you were nominated!

First, 10 Factoids about me:

  1. I love animals of all sorts. Growing up our family had 2 dogs, a cat, hamsters, and a rabbit, but I was always catching other critters in the woods behind our house: turtles, snakes, bugs, etc. The snakes were always fun, my mother wouldn’t let them in the house for obvious reasons. The biggest one that I ever handled was a black snake about 2 inches in diameter and 7 feet long. I was 9.
  2. However, I’m deathly afraid of spiders. I will not touch a spider ever. Ever. I prefer to use blowtorches on them if at all possible. Or 2x4s. šŸ˜‰
  3. I was homeschooled for 12 years. The first day that I ever stepped foot in an actual classroom was my first day of college.
  4. When I was 5 I won a bubble-gum blowing contest on-stage with Dolly Parton at Dollywood in East Tennessee. 15 years later I met Dolly Parton again while interning at Dollywood’s business office. She was a doll – she’s exactly as she comes across in the media. I still love blowing the biggest bubbles possible and popping them loud enough to rattle my brain.
  5. The scariest movie I remember was Return to Oz. That was a freaky movie for a little kid. Seriously. A witch that can change heads and those crazy wheelers? I had nightmares for weeks. I love watching it for nostalgia purposes now.
  6. Hidden Talents: Sewing, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, floral design. My first job was at a fabric/craft store. I learned how to do pretty much everything and taught classes. My current retirement plan is to go back to teaching classes again.
  7. I first learned to game when I was 3 and my aunt taught me how to play Pole Position on the Atari 2600 with a joystick. There are a LOT of girl gamers in our family, starting with my aunt and on to myself and several of my cousins. We’re already teaching the next generation of girls. šŸ˜‰
  8. I play the fiddle (badly) and the piano (badly). I tried to learn percussion for a while as well, at this point I’m pretty sure that I have zero instrumentalĀ talent.
  9. ButĀ I can sing. My voice is a deep alto with a “blue-eyed soul” flair, like Adele or Joss Stone. Throw on some old-school bluesy or jazzy soul music and I can rock it. I’m painfully shy though, so I only ever sing to myself. Such is life.
  10. I’m too sweet and nice and people tend to take advantage of that. I also have a wicked and sarcastic sense of humor that I usually keep a lid on. It always surprises people when I let it out because they have no idea that I think that way.

Now on to the questions that Zyngor posed!

1.Ā Tell us a game (computer, console, board, outdoor) that almost always makes you happy while playing, regardless of outcome.

Animal Crossing. I’ve played each one since the original came out for the Nintendo Game Cube years ago. The gameplay isn’t super-deep, but it’s incredibly happy and the music is sooo relaxing. It always makes me happy to see all the little townsfolk trading shirts, catching bugs, and fishing.

2) If you had one choice of food to solely eat for the rest of your life, regardless of normal dietary needs, what would it be?

Good homemade lasagna. It’s my favorite thing ever.

3) Which piece of gaming equipment started off your hobby?

Technically my aunt’s Atari, but I think it’s also worth mentioning that about a year or so later, my parents bought a Commodore 64. We played games on that and I even started doing some rudimentary programming on that old system. Then another year or two later, we got an NES and that was my first “real” gaming system.

commodore-765

4) What is your favorite soda? Or, other drink?

For soda, I like a 50/50 mix of Coke and Diet Coke. My favorite drink though is a Starbucks Raspberry Mocha Frappucino.

5) If you were to travel across country, would you prefer to go by plane, train, or automobile? Steve Martin or John Candy?

I’d be open to any of the above, but train would be awesome. You’d get to see some of the country while relaxing the whole way. Steve Martin is funnier as far as stand up goes, but I bet John Candy would provide better conversation, so John Candy.

6) Right or left Twix?

Right. Always right.

7) Name a strength of yours that helps define your online persona.

Probably the aforementioned niceness with the wicked sense of humor. I’m typically looser with my thoughts (and tongue) on Twitter than I am in real life, so I guess who I am online is closer than the “real life” me, oddly enough.

8) Which two combined gaming genres strikes your fancy the most? Ie Action & RPG, FPS & Strategy… go wild.

Sandbox Survival and MMO. Now wait, I know you’re thinking that Sandbox Survival MMOs exist. And they do to an extent, but what I’m thinking of has only ever come to actual fruition in Wurm Online. A massively multiplayer persistent world where players get to stake their claim on an area and have to build/create everything needed to survive, but with far more depth than Minecraft. It’s a combo that doesn’t currently have a lot of options – either theoverly simplistic Minecraft or the overly punishing Wurm Online. I’d like something in the middle.
9) Do you even ranch, bro?

Ranch dressing? Sure. I guess?
10) If your life were a meme, what would the tagline read?

“Just be you. Everybody else is taken.”

11) Which movie character/hero would you like to be, and why?

Oh man… definitely Dylan Sanders from the 2000 movie Charlie’s Angels. This is why:

Now as for my nominations, I nominate Aywren,Ā Gryph, Ysharros, and YOU! If you haven’t been specifically nominated but want to participate, absolutely go for it! My questions to you are:

  1. What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?
  2. What would you change about yourself if you could?
  3. What would you sing at Karaoke night?
  4. Who is your favorite author?
  5. List two pet peeves.
  6. What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
  7. What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
  8. What song would you say best sums you up?
  9. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
  10. What is the best gift you have been given?

WordPress and Bloggy Things

Since we’re in Blaugust, lets talk about blogs. I don’t know about you guys, but I am never really satisfied with my blog layout. I don’t know why, but I see awesome looking blogs like Mama Needs Mana or Tales of the Aggronaut and mine just seems like fail. I don’t think it really is fail, but I suppose that’s a little bit of the perfectionist side of me.Ā In the past I’ve tried both Blogger and WordPress, and IĀ LOVE WordPress. IĀ hadĀ a WordPress blog set up at Battlepriestess.comĀ a long time ago, but funds grew short so I ended up canceling that domain/site and moved overĀ to the free WordPress.com instead.

I really like WordPress.com – if you’re on a budget it is great as far as having a lot of good free themes and some basic customization. For a fee, you can upgrade WordPress.com to give you unlimited storage and amazing customization. Last year I paid $30 to get CSS/HTML customization, which worked great and is budget-friendly. However when I went back over the weekend to update/renew that, I found that the $30 option is no longer there. It’s all been rolled into the $99/year premium package with a bunch of other frills that I don’t really need.

So now I’m shopping around. It turns out that I can get a hosted WordPress.ORG setup, with whatever theme, customization, and storage I want, for around $3.99-$4.99/month, which is still cheaper than $99/year, and includes a free domain that I can hold on to. Given the competition, I’m not sure who the WordPress.com premium package is marketed to. You still can’t use your own themes or Google Analytics, so perhaps it’s for people who want more options but are ingrained at their WordPress.com blog address.

I’ve decided that if I can hold out for all 31 days of Blaugust, my reward to myself will be a splurge on a site with a WordPress.org setup. I’ll probably end up spending about $100 by the time I get a nice theme and all that, but at least I’ll be back on my own domain and not under the thumb of WordPress.com. What say you guys? If you have a blog, what host do you use and would you recommend them to others?

Blaugust Update and Stuff

blaugust_2015_logo

Blaugust: I can’t believe that I’ve posted something 9 days in a row now. I won’t lie, it’s been a little harder that I expected. I was doing pretty well for a while at writing my blog post the night before and queueing it up to publish the next day, but I took one night off and I’m off schedule. This post is actually being written on the 8th and will be published on the 9th to try to get back on track.Ā Once Blaugust is done, if I can keep up this pace I may also try this on other good habits that I am working on… exercise being one of them. 31 days…. just 31 days…

I’ve failed utterly at commenting on other posts – I think I did that for the first couple of days and then fell short. That’s okay, I’ll keep pushing forward. Know though that I AM reading the other Blaugust blogs and so far I am really liking what I’m seeing and all the support for each other out there. Keep at it y’all!

RAH RAH GOOOOO BLAUGUST TEAM!!

2 – 4 – 6 – 8! Those Blaugust posts just can’t wait! GOOOO TEAM!!

Gaming: It’s no surprise that I’ve been playing WoW lately. The paladin alt that I’ve been working on-and-off for about 3 years now is level 92, and I’m pushing her to level 100 as quickly as I can. After I level cap her I want to get all her professions capped, start running some older instances for mounts and cosmetics, and focus on pet battles and goldmaking.

  • Cap Jewelcrafting
  • Cap Mining
  • Cap Fishing
  • Cap First Aid
  • Cap Cooking
  • Get the Ashes of A’lar Mount
  • Start Pet Battles
  • Grind reps with interesting tabards/mounts/cosmetics
  • Play the AH (my favorite mini-game)

I do think that she is going to be my main going forward. I’ve been having a lot of funĀ being a paladin and I’m looking forward to the paladin class halls coming up in Legion. Plus, it feels homey being a dwarf again. šŸ™‚

Blaugust Begins!

blaugust_2015_logo

In case you didn’t know, today is the first day of Blagust Blaagust BLAUGUST. Belghast started this event last year as a way of getting bloggers into the habit of making one post a day every day during the month of August. I didn’t participate last year but I’m going to give it a shot this year. There’s two reasons for this:

  • To learn to spell Blaugust. Seriously, I’m an excellent speller 99% of the time, but I can’t ever type Blaugust correctly the first time. B-L-A-U-G-U-S-T.
  • To try to get back into swing of blogging. I love blogging, and I love writing. What I am not good at is time management, so inevitably blogging gets pushed to the backburner. I miss it though, and I love reading other blogs for inspiration, so I’m going to give it my best shot. If I don’t hit all 31 days, I’m not going to beat myself up over it. If I hit half of that it’ll be far more than what I was doing before.

I’m currently on vacation which means that I’m running to and fro doing fun non-computery things, so I have a couple of posts queued up until I get back. These are old roleplay stories that I wrote a while back, so they aren’t your typical blog posts. I may try to write at least 2-3 more during Blaugust to stretch my fiction muscles a bit, and write about the activity of roleplay in MMORPGs as well, in addition to WoW expansion speculation, what I’m doing in-game, and general MMO commentary.

Here’s to my fellow Blaugustionians – may you all be verbose and prolific this month! ā¤

Schizophrenic Gaming

This weekend was all about schizophrenic gaming – during my downtime I managed to play 4 games, sometimes in tandem, in a mad rush to try to get stuff done in three games, while beta-testing another. At times it left my head spinning as I jumped from game to game, much like a kid on Christmas Day trying to play with all their new toys. Time for a gaming update!

World of Warcraft:

I spent the least amount of time here, and to be honest, I’ve spent very little time here over the past few weeks. It’s a combination of pre-expansion doldrums and good ol’fashioned burnout, as usual. Most nights I log on to chat with guildies, fly around Stormwind a bit, and maybe do a cooking or fishing daily. I’m still on the fence about Mists of Pandaria – on one hand I’m hopeful for what it may bring to the game and there are a few little things that I think are really neat – specific new mounts, account-wide mounts & achievements, the Tillers faction, and so on. On the other hand, there’s just so much more with MoP that I feel fairly indifferent to: the pandas, Pandaria itself, monks, new raids, the re-vamping of Scholomance and Stratholme, and so on. This is honestly the first WoW expansion that I haven’t been absolutely giddy with excitement over. My annual pass expires in October, so whether I’ll be investing in MoP remains to be seen.

Rift:

So this weekend I jumped back into Rift with the 3 Free Days that you get when you do the security update on your passwords, and it’s been a bit of an overwhelming experience. I jumped back on my little Rogue Bard on Faeblight, was immediately coin-locked (Yay! Thanks Trion!) and started trying to clean out my quest log & bags, getting re-acquainted with my abilities, trying to remember where certain important NPCs are, and generally wandering around with a confused look on my face. It’s been a solid year since I last played, so the amount of content and updates that have happened since then has been staggering – and that’s a good thing. I love how Trion has continued to plug away at pushing out updates so frequently this year and putting in features that encompass the entire spectrum of playstyles. I’m also super excited about the Storm Legion expansion – compared to the other expansions that are coming out this year, I’d say that Rift’s easily tops the others in terms of content and new features.

The Secret World (Beta):

There’s no NDA on the TSW beta, so I’ll go ahead and share my impressions here. I’m intrigued by the setting still – I love the modern conspiracy theory/paranormal theme they’ve got going on, and I love the non-traditional riddle and sabotage quests. Zombie-ridden Kingsmouth is about as close as you’ll ever get to playing The Walking Dead Online – shooting zombies and setting them on fire just doesn’t get old.

TSW feels like it’s been set up very well for future monetization. Given the lack of leveling and the way that skill advancement is set up, I could easily see them selling costume parts, new weapons/powersets, new zones/storylines, etc. My gut feeling is that TSW will be F2P in a year. It’s not a bad MMO by any means; it does have some rough edges but the setting and uniqueness of the game makes me think that it’ll have a small but loyal & dedicated following, and it’ll end up being a niche MMO. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, as long as Funcom has budgeted and forecasted correctly.

Will I be playing? Maybe later – probably not at launch. If it goes F2P, I’ll most definitely jump in.

Wurm Online:

And while I’ve been playing the games above, I’ve been running Wurm in the background, finishing up the landscaping and busily attaching bricks and mortar to my new workshop and inn. I’ll have a bigger update with pictures coming later!

One More Thing

It seems that there are some folks that feel it’s hypocritical for me to play WoW again after I’ve been so vocal in the past regarding my disappointment in Cataclysm. I get that, and I knew that it would be perceived as such when I made my previous post. And yes, perhaps it is a bit hypocritical.

However, one thing is true:

Personal relationships with my husband and my friends will always, always come first for me.

Meaning, if I decide to resubscribe to a game that I’ve criticized in the past in order to play with my family and my friends, because I find playing with them fun, then that’s fine. My time with them matters more than the opinion of a random Twitter follower or blog reader. I love my Twitter-folk and readers, and I certainly want folks to continue reading! However if you don’t like my subject matter, it’s your choice to unsubscribe, just as it’s my choice to use my gametime in the way that I wish.

The past few months, my husband and I have been largely spending our gametime in separate games. But we prefer to play video games together. The old adage is that couples that game together stay together, and for us it’s true. It’s a common interest that we share, and we enjoy being able to play together. And if that means that we’ll be playing World of Warcraft because it’s the one game we can agree on, then so be it.

Likewise for my guildmates, most of whom I’ve run with for years now and whom I consider good friends. We keep in touch outside of the game, we send each other wedding photos, we know when people have babies and when family members die and when people are going through divorces. We’re there for each other when times get rough, and we have a darn good time playing games together. It just so happens that the game that everyone is in is WoW.

And ultimately, we’re talking about video games here. Not politics, religion, or social justice. It’s not a crime to play a game that you have issues with. If that were the case, then most of us wouldn’t be playing games at all because no game will ever be 100% exactly what we want. I’m still playing LotRO, still playing Guild Wars, still looking forward to Guild Wars 2, all with gusto and happiness because they all have strengths in areas that WoW is sorely lacking in.

So unfollow me if you must. I wish you well in whatever games you play, no hard feelings. šŸ™‚

Blog-cation

I’m shutting down Twitter & Facebook for Lent, and I’ll also be taking a blogging hiatus until April 24th-25th. Hope you all have a fantastic month and that all your loot is epic & your rolls 100.

Take care all!