Oct 122010
 

It was going to be about traffic. Specifically, how traffic was delightful yesterday and today was back to the usual ridiculous crap. No doubt, this was due to Columbus Day and people taking (or having) the day off of work, thereby decongesting the roads.

Had a fairly excellent weekend. Saw Easy A on Friday, which was surprisingly good. Going into it, we were discussing how we missed John Hughes movies. Lo and behold, this one is of similar spirit and directly references John Hughes in dialog a number of times. Good on them. Emma Stone is gorgeous and Stanley Tucci is brilliant. I shall say no more. Saturday, we spent the evening with Talia and Jeff at Talia’s parents’ lakehouse playing drunken Scattergories. Sunday was another WoW day. With Steve’s timely assistance, Cody got her Glory of the Hero achievement, and I whittled my own list down to 5 achievements remaining.

The three of us and some pugs finished off my Glory of the Hero last night! In before the patch!

Today marks patch day, which in turn means that massive, massive changes are occurring to the way some fundamental mechanics in the game have functioned for several years and, in some cases, since the beginning. Cody and I are both very excited about these changes, as they seem aimed at making gameplay smoother and more intuitive. Of course, the downside is that we likely won’t be able to log on tonight, since the servers are experiencing extended downtime while the patch is deployed. Further, there is already a list of known issues to watch for.

We still have no idea what to do for Halloween.

Zombies everywhere!

 Posted by at 11:38  No Responses »
Oct 042010
 

For as much as I enjoy playing WoW, I enjoy it on a whole different level when I’m playing with Cody. We spent the bulk of our time this weekend grinding out the rep outlined in the last post. We’re still working on both Netherwing and Cenarion Expedition, but the end is within sight on both of those. The only roadblock now1 is money, and that will come soon enough.

We had another smooth Sartharion run for the weekly last night. Having done the raid once before, my confidence in tackling it this time was substantially higher and I dove in fearlessly. Even when we prematurely pulled a pat2, I had no worries about picking them up and holding them while DPS burned them down. Even when we prematurely pulled one of the sub-bosses while fighting a pat, I wasn’t worried; just reacted. Definitely more comfortable in my role than I was a few weeks ago.

We also managed to convince some of our guildmates to stick around and do some achievement-oriented runs with us in both the Oculus and Culling of Stratholme. Cody and I finished our Ruby and Emerald Void achievements, having already obtained our Amber Void one. That leaves me to get Experienced Drake Rider, and then I can consider myself done with Oculus. Culling of Stratholme presented us with an opportunity to try and get Zombiefest…which we did! The strategy is a little weird, but in order to kill the requisite number of zombies, you need to kite3 the second boss into a building, allowing any killed zombies time to respawn. Once you kill that boss, they stop respawning in the front section. Once you down the boss, you proceed through the building until you’re out the other side. Now the fun begins. You go back to the first area and kite all of the zombies—around 85—all the way back through the town, through the building, and to the other side where there are more zombies. Then you AOE4 the crap out of them until they drop. 100 zombies in one minute.

Part of the urgency for doing these dungeon achievements is getting Glory of the Hero, which rewards the Red Proto-Drake. Scuttlebutt and rumor suggests that this reward, if not the achievement, will go away when the next patch drops. We were worried that the patch might drop tomorrow5, but it seems that the patch won’t hit until next week, giving us a little breathing room. It’d be very sad to miss out on such a cool-looking mount.

Speaking of patches, Cataclysm‘s release date has been set: December 7th, Azeroth changes.

  1. For me, anyway. Cody is an auction house maven and is absolutely rolling in it. []
  2. Short for “patrol,” which refers to some mobs that are wandering around on a preset path. []
  3. Kiting refers to pulling aggro on a target, and then leading it to another location []
  4. Area-of-effect; an attack that does damage in a radius rather than just to a single target []
  5. Blizzard always patches on Tuesday []

Great Big Snow

 Posted by at 16:07  2 Responses »
Dec 222009
 

We had our first big snow of the year this past weekend. I kept looking out the windows to see how much accumulated, but it never seemed to be a great deal. Monday morning rolled around and I was hit with the realization that we had close to 20″ of snow. My plan to just plow through it looked less likely all of a sudden1.

I tried anyway, and got the car stuck about 1/3 of the way down our 100′ driveway. Cody trudged off to work on foot2 and I stayed behind to free the car and then attempt to clear the driveway.

Some quick math: 100′ of snow, 8′ wide driveway, at 20″ deep works out to about 12 tons of snow. Suffice it to say, my back and hips3 are not pleased with me today. Took several hours to clear it all with the little, dinky, collapsible shovel I was using.

Next time, I’m going make sure I have a proper shovel or two and lay down rock salt4 in advance, so it keeps the snow from even accumulating. Not sure if that’ll work or not, but I can hope.

  1. Remember, dear readers, I drive a Jetta. []
  2. Thankfully, a passing coworker drove by and picked her up not two minutes later. []
  3. Remember, lift with your legs, not your back. Though by the feel of things, I did most of the lifting with my butt. []
  4. Not actual rock salt; calcium chlorate, which is substantially better for the environment. []
Oct 122009
 

No, really.

This weekend, I decided to put some extra work into mowing the lawn. The first change was bagging the grass, which was a mixed blessing. While the lawn looks better for it, bagging works out best when your clippings are small. I hadn’t mowed in a couple of weeks. My clippings were not small. I have an awesome pile of grass behind my shed that must weigh in excess of 200 pounds.

Anyway. Our front yard has a pair of maple trees spaced about 15′ apart. Instead of the usual up-down pattern, I moved the mower to the base of the tree and mowed in growing spiral pattern. Once I hit the half-way point between the two trees, I moved to the base of the other tree and repeated. The result was a nice water ripple effect on the lawn, with the trees acting as the ripple source. I’m pleased with it.

In other news, I need to start devoting time every day to the various skills I want to improve—writing, drawing, and playing guitar. I haven’t drawn in ages. I last picked up my guitar weeks ago. I don’t know how to get into a good pattern with it. Any ideas?

Moving Forward

 Posted by at 12:45  No Responses »
Sep 282009
 

This weekend, Cody and I finally finished the last milestone in making the house “livable:” painting the kitchen. The kitchen’s modification has been a long, arduous process that started in mid-June.  The first hurtle was getting rid of its hideous pineapple wallpaper. This took an army of people to do (who have my everlasting thanks) over a period of several weekends. Once finished, we still had to patch some substantial holes and cracks, sand down spackle, prim, and finally paint.

To celebrate, we threw our first proper house party.

It’s a little odd to walk through the kitchen, dining room, and sunroom now. They’re so open. Before, they were cluttered with boxes, tools, and debris. Now, the floors are clean, the walls are brightly painted, and the boxes have been tucked away. It feels like a home.

With the major house construction projects out of the way–the pantry still needs the same treatment the kitchen got, but it’s a small space and low priority; the upstairs bathroom just needs to be repainted–I can start focusing on writing. NaNoWriMo is still a month away, but I’m going to try to amp up my daily wordcount and plow through a novel by the end of November.

The trouble is, I have yet to decide which story is the most promising. I’ll probably end up writing both at the same time, depending on which strikes my fancy at any given moment.

Progress!

 Posted by at 11:24  No Responses »
Sep 142009
 

This weekend, thanks to the assistance of our friends Keith and Lisa, Cody and I managed to finish painting the dining room. All that remains now is the kitchen! (Technically, the pantry off the kitchen still needs to be de-wallpapered and the upstairs bathroom still needs to be painted, but those are very secondary compared to the dining room and kitchen.)

Cody and I have created a deadline for ourselves, in that we’re hosting a party on the 26th. This should be no trouble at all to hit, assuming we spackle the kitchen throughout the week and then paint this weekend. In general, we can do two coats in one day. I don’t think the kitchen will need as-extensive priming as the dining room did. The kitchen is going to be almost entirely spackled due to the underlying surface.

So, the light from the end of the tunnel is bright!

On the downside, my seasonal allergies are starting to kick in. Ugh.