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.