Casual Legion Time

When Legion launched, I was excited and participated more than my usual. In particular, I actually joined a couple dungeon queues until one horrible Maw of Souls run where I couldn't figure out where I needed to stand without dying instantly. Dying, being Combat Rezzed and dying immediately again before I could move must be counted horrible.

I continued to play, just avoiding dungeons, yet again. Things went well until the holidays arrived. My son returned for a visit from Korea and we had plenty of other things to do than play Warcraft, including helping my daughter move apartments and go to movies. Guess which movie has this for a sign:

It was actually Hidden Figures. Their spelling is as bad as by dungeon experience.

Sometime in January, my daughter and her husband were waxing excitedly about how their Guild was doing and I realized I had effectively stopped playing. It was on their encouragement that I started back up. We had long talks about what we each enjoyed in Warcraft. I pointed out that I still didn't enjoy dungeon groups.

Of course, you can't complete the Order Hall Campaign without killing Dungeon Bosses. So, my daughter goaded me into agreeing to be carried by her and her friends so I could get through it.

And it was clearly a Carry. On my first run I did about half the damage of the TANK!

Yes, I got a Legendary on my return to dungeons. Shouldn't I be happier?

Of course, the tank was my son-in-law doing mad damage as a Bear and the pair helped me with reviewing my equipment, rotation and some other tips. The next week when we ran a few more dungeons, I was relieved to discover I was only doing about 3/4th the damage of another kitty. It was substantially better.

I also subsequently realized they had me doing these dungeons at Mythic. Oh. Non-observant much?

With the breakthrough they allowed me, I managed to finish up my Campaign and reexamined where I am. I just need to spend more time in Suramar and make the Nightfallen happier to finish Pathfinder Part One. Okay, I can deal with that.

I have not been keeping up with the World Bosses. Ok, you dang fool. Pay more attention.

The other thing I've at least managed has been Pet Battles. I just need to be more organized about it.

Yes, I enjoy my time in the World of Warcraft.
It's just that I'm a casual.
It's not like Nothing Else Matters.

More Q&A

I've been enjoying the answers others gave to these questions and I found myself asking Navimie and Cymre to answer some of their own proposed questions. I'm not ready to restart blogging about WoW, but since Kamala mentioned she missed reading, I thought the least I could do was give some more answers about myself.

If you couldn’t blog about Wow anymore, what would you blog about?

I'll start this by answering a bit of "Why haven't you been blogging about WoW anymore"?

I'm trying to write for publication. When I have spare time, I've been participating in a writer's forum and write there instead of blogging. I'm not going to say more unless it gets further along than the pitiful scribbling it is currently, but it's in the Historical and Science Fiction genres.

What’s your favourite achievement in WoW?

Collector's Edition: Netherwhelp. Owner of the The Burning Crusade's Collector's Edition Netherwhelp pet.

My son asked for and received Burning Crusade for Christmas, 2006. My first character started during the "Love is in the Air" holiday, February 2007. That Netherwhelp was my first pet and still a favorite, except it's on the account my daughter plays on, not mine.

My son-in-law and I still bond over talk about our Burning Crusade experience. He was actually a Vanilla raider.

How long have you been playing computer games?

I was profoundly influenced by playing Star Trek on a mainframe in 1975. It was part of the reason I became a computer professional. I remember transcribing the Basic program from a listing in Creative Computing and playing it on the school's Commodore Pet, but that was a couple years later.

Oh, yeah. I'm old.

Where do you prefer to go, Mountains or Beach?

We spend every summer at a lake cottage with a small beach. I still build sand castles.

My preference for beaches does not mean I dislike Mountains. I grew up camping in the Appalachians and have hiked part of the Trail. My most profound religious experience was watching sunrise from atop the highest point east of the Mississippi, Mt. Mitchell. I'm still proud of a very technical climb (5.5) of the very recognizable Mount Moran.

Transmog, yay or nay?

I love having my characters wear transmogs. I've discovered I'm horrible at making my own. I should have had a clue because I need my spouse to put my own outfits together. Maybe I was in the military because that meant I didn't need to think about what to wear?

What kind of car do you drive?

Until last year I drove my Ford Escort for fifteen years.

My father-in-law loves gadgets and cars and often gets the latest thing. He currently drives a Tesla. When he gets a new vehicle, we often purchase his not-very-old car, either for ourselves or our kids. Thus I have a Toyota Prius and a Chevy Volt I drive now.

What locations in WoW have the best background music?

I wanted to answer this because it needs to be said. I almost always play WoW with the sound turned off. Even when I turn sound back on, I usually keep the music off as I prefer my own playlist of music.

Which calculator format do you prefer? 

I'd prefer RPN, but my HP 12C sits unused in my drawer at work.

Give me a recipe for something that you like to make for dinner when you don’t have much time or energy for cooking.

Chicken Carrot Soup is my go-to recipe:

1 onion, chopped
1.5 cups chicken, cut up
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
1.5 cups chopped carrot
6 cups water
2 T chicken bouillon
Half bag of Whole Wheat Egg Noodles

Saute the onion, add in chicken. I usually used cooked chicken, but if it's raw, continue sauteing until cooked. I usually only add less than 1/4 t of garlic powder.

I typically throw the carrot in as I'm chopping them and when I finish, that's when I add the water and bouillon. I cook this about 20 minutes, mostly to soften the carrot.

We've recently switched from the egg noodles to soba noodles. All of these amounts are subject to change. This is just a fast and easy bit of comfort food for us.

If you could choose your spirit animal, what would it be?

I find it awkward that my spirit animal is boring compared to my sons proudly claiming Otter and Elephant. Mine is a wolf, but it's never been in a lycanthropic way. Still when I'm feeling particularly ornery and misanthropic, I do snarl a bit more like a Lone Wolf.

Real Neat Blog Award

There’s a meme going around and Cymre picked me and awoke me out of a slumber, something like Sleeping Beauty.

How awesome is that?! I mean, if you're going to be awakened, who better than Cymre, right? And she's having me grouped up with folks like Coolidge and Dragonray.

Here are the rules:

  • Thank and link the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the seven questions your nominator has provided.
  • Nominate 7 other bloggers and create 7 questions for them.

And the questions I have to answer:

1. How would you pass the time during a blackout?

I can tell you exactly how I spent my last couple of blackouts. We sat around playing cards by candlelight, especially  Sushi-Go. When a prior blackout turned out to be extensive, we went out to a restaurant and after the meal, played more cards. I should point out, my family doesn't need a blackout to initiate a game of cards.

2. If you could be any superhero for a day, who would you be and why?

Squirrel Girl. She's unbeatable. It says it right there in the title of the comic book "The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl".

I'll add here that when the question was "favourite villain", I think the Phantom of the Opera gets a bad rap. Raoul is colourless. All that Erik has done for Christine and she chooses Raoul? Bah.

3. What is one thing you love collecting or loved collecting as a child/adult?

I collected many things as a kid, but one of the few things I continue to collect are coins. However, saying that sounds boring.

Something less prosaic is my now huge Map Collection. I save every map that is put in my hand, including some on placemats or brochures. My kids know when they return from a trip, to give me their maps, too. I think they make fantastic souvenirs, but I also just love maps. They are like puzzles!

4. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

My spouse and I were just discussing this. I was charged with being unimaginative in my initial answer. I can now say  "Boryeong, South Korea". Well, in summer. Otherwise maybe Jeju Island, Mont Saint-Michel, Capri or another Island I think I'd like, Bennelong Island. I bet you can guess how I'd answer the "Beach or Mountains?" question.

5. If you could only take one item to a deserted island, what would it be?

My Hearthstone, so I can leave when I want.

6. Who is your main and who do you love playing her/him?

For Legion, it has been Kallione, a feral druid. My main has been a Human Mage and a Dwarf Paladin in the past. I like trying out new characters each expansion or so. I'd rather learn something different and have some variety than staying with one character for all time.

7. Favourite phone app?

Kakaotalk. It's how my family stays in touch, especially as my son is overseas. Again. For another year.

As far as nominating other bloggers. No. I'm the sad type than breaks the chain. Yes, I'll pretend it's a matter of principles, not that the only bloggers I'd be comfortable with nominating have already gone or something.

Checkpoint Charlie

Securing Draenor marked a special point for me.

My early experience in Draenor saw Kallixta run up to level 100, build a nice garrison, and then reach the limits of my old machine. It just didn't have the horsepower. So I took time off.

My return was slow, but facilitated by my son giving me his old computer while he took off to Korea. Again. This was a much faster machine, but I had to re-establish atrophied gaming muscles.

I had forgotten how to play a paladin. Now I could certainly relearn, but I decided this would be as good a time as any to learn a new class. I had received a free level 90 at the start of the expansion. Why not experiment. So in January, I brushed off my 91 Feral Druid and jumped in.

And discovered fun. I'm still totally perplexed by how to AOE as a kitty, but I quickly adapted enough to level up and set out with Flying as my goal.

Which I succeeded last week.

As I was finishing up, I started thinking about "What Next"? I don't really know. I've a soft target of finishing So. Many. Pet. (44 to go) but that's more of something to do in between other goals. I need another goal.

One point is that Kallixta/Aldonza/Kallione is a different account from the one I'd started with, so it doesn't have the Achievement Points I had earned in my first few years. I might need to do some catching up.

One thing that has NOT happened has been the RP. I miss that a lot. My guild is quiet and I haven't really gone looking. Kallione's personality is still fluid. Maybe I can find something that will inspire my writing again. Until then...

Korean dinner

Navimie  is the one that inspired me to post food pictures. Complain to her if you get hungry.

My older son, the one that first boght Warcraft, is about to return to Korea for another year of teaching English. He and his older sister have both done this in the past, so eating Korean is not new. For his birthday the whole family went to the best Korean BBQ in Ann Arbor, Tomukun.

We ordered the BBQ Combo Platter which comes with 8 different meats. Prominent in this picture you can see my kids favorite, the Samkyeopsal, or pork belly, aka uncured bacon. There is also seen a bowl of another meat, I think it's Galbi or short ribs. Also to be seen are a wide variety of side dishes and sauces, known as Banchan. Kimchi is the best known but can't be seen in this picture.

Another favorite is the spicy chicken, or Dalkbulgogi, seen here which some of the smaller bits of beef. There is some of the thinly sliced brisket in the left foreground. You can also see the important cooking tool for this meal, the scissors.

Also notice how the grill, despite our efforts with the lard piece, is accumulating, um, "color".
The lettuce is not just for presentation purposes, but used as a wrap, ssambap. We had to ask for more.

Here things were finally winding down, but not over. About all that's lest is a big piece of Korean ball squash. We also didn't finish the jalapeƱo. So here is what the grill looks like by the time we'd finished.

This Season's Games

Yes, I'm playing Warcraft again, but that's not what this post is about.

As Autumn started, my sons and daughter stopped playing Warcraft. I let my subscription lapse while I found other things to do. In particular, the family played other games. Between November birthdays and Christmas, we had lots of new games. The spouse and I had a great time buying presents at RIW.  The store owner knows us and more importantly, knows the kids we were buying for and made some excellent recommendations.

Here are some winners:

Sushi Go!  is an excellent, fun card game that takes little time. It's the family's favorite card game and we'll often grab it to occupy a few minutes, often while waiting for someone to get ready for something else. We've each experimented with different strategies and I've seen different ones succeed.

Roll For It!  is another quick fun game, this time using dice. It's easy to think of it as something like Yahtzee. It's fast and simple and we've enjoyed it. The family seems to prefer Sushi Go, but YMMV and when we want a quick game of something that's different, this has our recommendation.

As for the big games, I received Ticket To Ride: Europe. My sneaky Son-In-Law excels at being quiet and getting away with building incredible links without anyone noticing until too late! One difference this version has from other the other Ticket to Ride games is the Train Station. Few of us paid much attention to them, but last minute stations allowed me to surprisingly jump up into second place. That won't happen next time, sigh. My family learns from their mistakes.

A big winner is Tokaido. Some of us had experimented with it at a games convention last year and we bought it for Christmas. We've enjoyed it more than a couple times. It's very different and somehow doesn't bring out the competitive edge. Well, unless you're trying the two person rules. My son and I tried it with different starting characters and enjoyed frustrating the other. It really is a beautiful game and usually relaxing.

One final word about electronic games. We had the usual electronic games, but those are almost always played individually. In the past, we've had super Smash Bros Brawls and that won't stop, but one present this year was the Jackbox Party Pack. This is a new family favorite, especially Drawful. Oh my gosh we can crack each other up! This can be hilarious and lead to more family in-jokes that can cause disruptions days later.


Dangers of Worgen Posture

I have a personal guild for my Banker Alt that sports a Guild Tabard that proudly recalls the gold earned by selling cookies for the You'll Feel Right as Rain achievement. It's a cute, happy cookie! What could possibly go wrong?
Aldonza was not afraid in the kitchen

Well, do you know what happens when you change your bank alt to a Worgen that crouches over, obscuring part of the Guild Symbol?

How dirty is your mind?

Gee. What craft makes those? Maybe there's a market for that...