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Archive for the ‘Real Life’ Category

After sitting out Shadowlands, BTH decided to give Dragonflight a try. A few weeks ago, he reinstalled the game, subbed up for six months, and blasted through the Shadowlands. Now, for a short time, at least, we can play a game together again while we level through Dragonflight with Kamalia and his Bear Tank.
Due to a confluence of RL factors, we’ve only managed to play Dragonflight for three nights so far. We’ve reached level 63, so BTH thinks we must be mostly done with The Waking Shores by now, right? Um, no, sweetie. He has a tendency to pick a cardinal direction and go do whatever in our quest log is in that direction, then move around the compass clearing out quest markers, and with that approach, we’ve been doing so many side quests that we haven’t even finished Chapter 2 (of 4) of the main storyline yet. From past expansions, I’ve learned that when I am leveling together with BTH, I can only look at quest text long enough to identify the objectives as we barrel along; I’ve learned to save savoring the lore unfolding for my second, solo trip through the leveling experience.
There was no place in the Shadowlands that I really truly loved; it is such a relief to be back in Azeroth. I’m enjoying the sappiness of the side quest stories we’ve been doing. I’m liking Dragonriding, though we haven’t made any effort to collect glyphs and so my poor drake is still so easily tired out. I think my Druid might sit out Dragonflight in protest of not being able to fly with her own wings, however, and if I want to collect Dragon Isles leather transmog, I might have to end up leveling my Monk or my new Rogue (during the end of expansion lull, of course).

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About a year and a half ago, I began allowing my oldest to play WoW occasionally. I made him his own character, a male Orc Hunter. I also let him play with my Night Elf Druid, thinking that shapeshifting and birdie flying would be fun for him.

An evening or two ago, he wanted to change how his Orc looked, so I took him to a Barbershop and let him play with it. He thought the different hairstyles and especially the tattoos were very funny! Then he wanted to play with changing his clothes, since he has occasionally watched while I’ve been making a new Mog for one or another of my characters. Problem was, his Orc has no money. So the next time he was playing with the Night Elf Druid, he wanted to change her clothes. I let him have at it, and this is what he came up with:

Some of these pieces are what she was already wearing; he mostly played around with the helm, cloak, and shoulders.

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It’s been about two months since I finally got started on Korthia.
Today, I finished collecting the Korthia questing versions of all of the 9.1 Covenant sets.
I’m about halfway through Revered with Death’s Advance.
I have 14K Stygia, which is enough to buy both of the Death’s Advance Venthyr sets as soon as I ding Exalted… but I also want the Death’s Advance Night Fae set. I am dreading having to just flat out grind the remaining 4K Stygia for it.

The worst part of Shadowlands, for me, has been the punishing Stygia mechanics. Even with completely ignoring Ve’nari as I did, Stygia is so agonizingly slow to get, and you need so much of it for the Death’s Advance Cosmetic sets, and you lose so much of it when you die in the Maw that it is very, very, very discouraging. Before Patch 9.1, you got 20 Stygia every time a soul entered the Soulkeeper while doing Return Lost Souls, so you could get 400 Stygia per week and that felt like a decent reward for the time invested doing the quest. Then Patch 9.1 removed that, and although I understand why the introduction of the repeatable version of the Return Lost Souls caused the devs to make that change, I still haven’t forgiven them for doing it.

At the time that I first went to Korthia, I wrote, “I think I’ll go do the 9.0 Covenant Campaigns for Night Fae and Necrolords with Kaelinda — putting Chapters 5-9 of Korthia on hold until I do — so that I can do each of the Covenant story-advancing chapters of Korthia as a member of the appropriate Covenant”. Then I spent the past two months feeling completely psychologically blocked about playing through the 9.0 Necrolords and Night Fae Campaigns again. It took being halfway through Revered and realizing that if I wanted to get any Death’s Advance reputation from doing the rest of the Korthia Campaign, then I needed to start working on it for me to finally push past the block. I did Chapters 3 & 4 of Necrolords, then swapped Covenants and did Chapter 3 of Night Fae yesterday night. Now if I can just keep going…

So, I’ve still got to do the Korthia and Zereth Mortis story Campaigns. I’d like to get a few pieces (definitely belt & robe, perhaps also cloak pants and boots?) of the Sepulcher of the First ones set via items purchased with Sandworn Relics and upgraded using the Creation Catalyst. I have 54K Anima left of Kyrian Cosmetics to acquire. I’ve also got to finish the 9.0 Night Fae Campaign with my Druid (she’s stalled out at the beginning of Chapter 5).
Of course, my current state of lagging has arisen almost entirely from my own play decisions, which have in turn been influenced by the circumstances of my out-of-Azeroth life. I’ve learned from the last several expansions, though, that I’ll need to stay in Shadowlands until these goals are Done, because if I leave, I won’t come back later to complete them.

But then, it might not be so bad to already have the first round of catch-up mechanics in place by the time I finally get to the Dragon Isles 😛

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I’d been thinking that Blizz had better give us a release date for Dragonflight sometime soon, but this date for the release date — November 28, the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend — is somehow sooner than I’d thought it might be.

I’d already been thinking that I had so much I still wanted to do in Shadowlands that I probably wasn’t going to be heading out to the Dragon Isles on Day 1.

In 9.1 content, Kaelinda’s still got Chapters 4-9 of the Campaign to do, over 3/4ths of the Death’s Advance reputation grind, and Korthia dailies Mog collecting — both Venthyr sets, the Night Fae set, and the Kyrian set — but when it’s the Necrolords set, I’ll stay one of the other Covenants and take the Anima, Catalogued Research, or Death’s Advance reputation tokens instead.
As for 9.2 content, I’ve still barely begun it — and while I plan to ignore almost all of it except finishing the Campaign and getting the base pieces with Sandworn Relics to upgrade into Tier pieces, that’ll still be quite a bit to do.

Kaurinka and Kamalia still need to get through the Night Fae Campaign, too. And depending on how Zereth Mortis goes for Kaelinda, I still might want to try to take Kaurinka there, as well.

And the other day Kaurinka was suggesting that when she finishes in Shadowlands, instead of going on to Dragonflight, maybe she’d rather go back to Uldum and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms to work on getting the second appearance upgrade for the Shroud of Resolve, so we can use that Mog appearance for reals, and not just temporarily from Wrathion’s box of fancy cloaks.

Last week, I was all excited about having finally started doing Venthyr Travel Network Broken Mirrors, and Covenant Twisting, and Korthia, and the Ember Court, and I was staying up way too late too many nights… This week, I’ve been wallopped by this awful cold and I’ve haven’t had the energy to do more than collect my Anima Conductor Treasure Chest to slowly replenish all the Infused Rubies that I spent rerolling the Guest List for my next Ember Court.

So, when everyone else is gleefully leaving the Shadowlands behind to ship out for the Dragon Isles, I’ll be waving goodbye to them from Oribos and then going on my way to Korthia or Zereth Morthis.

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Normally, I try to save Sundays for Sunday on the Promenade. Sometimes, it’s nice to make exceptions 😀

This is the computer I’ve been using since January 2020:

My preschoolers broke the right lid hinge after I began I letting them play Bloons Monkey City during Summer 2021 as a babysitting device when I wanted some mid-day quiet time (both before and after Baby’s birth); then I busted it further while toting the poor thing back and forth from home to campus and from one building to another on campus to use it for teaching during Fall 2021*.
It only has a 256 GB harddrive, so after it began continually complaining of being out of memory during the past several weeks, I decided it was time to buy a new computer.

After nearly 20 years of using a laptop exclusively, I decided to buy a tower, hoping that it would be more robust toward use by small children. It arrived mid-week, but I saved setting it up for Saturday night as a treat for myself after getting my classes fully prepped for the First Day of School** on Monday.
The laptop I was replacing was an ACER and I’d been happy with it, so I bought a $1K pre-built ACER with a 1 TB harddrive:

~*~*~

* I began using my personal computer for school in Spring 2020 when Covid threw education into disarray; the sound card on my 5-years-old campus laptop had died in Fall 2019, and I couldn’t teach over Zoom without a working sound card! Late in Spring 2022, I finally got around to asking my Dean to buy me a new device for school use. I got a Microsoft Surface because I have loved writing directly on my presentation slides using a Wacom Tablet with my laptop — and because all the Cool Kids among my colleagues are using Surfaces to do that.
** For me and for my Kindergartener! My stress levels are going to be sky-high tomorrow!

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Meanwhile, in Shadowlands

For awhile, I had all four of my mains in the Night Fae doing the Queen’s Conservatory. Kaurinka recently got hers upgraded to Tier 4. The others waited until they’d gotten their Conservatories upgraded to Tier 2 before beginning to nurture Spirits so that they could use 2x Wildseed Root Grain for every Spirit. Collectively, we’ve gotten the pets multiple times and a few of the other things, but we’re still trying for the Spirit Tender’s Bulb. Kaurinka has restored all of the Spirits she collected before she began actively doing the Conservatory and is only getting new ones from Fair Exchange for a Soul and an occasional Return Lost Souls, so she doesn’t have any active wildseeds right now. Kaelyla and Kamalia both have collections of Spirits that they are actively nurturing, but they’ll run out in another week or two. Kaelinda hadn’t even done the Conservatory Tier 1 activation yet when she was in the Night Fae before, so after she got it going, she only had a few Spirits to nurture. I only really need one Mage to upgrade the Conservatory to Tier 5; while Kaelyla is working on that (recently upgraded to Tier 3), Kaelinda began using the Anima she collected to buy the Renown version of the Faewoven set. Kamalia also began using her Anima to buy the Renown version of the Runewarden’s set; she decided the autumn/fire orange of the Renown version of the set was more interesting to her than the green of the Conservatory version of the set. But having four active characters was exhausting, and having all of them in the same Covenant was, quite honestly, boring. Kaurinka and Kamalia are therefore currently resting; I’m only checking in with Kamalia to turn over wildseeds.

After Kaelinda had restored all of the Spirits she’d gathered (she had only gotten 4/9 of the Night Fae Renown pieces, but she can come back for the rest later — or Kaelyla can get them), she went back to the Venthyr and began doing the Ember Court. And my goodness, the Ember Court is a lot of work!

Kaelinda and Kaelyla are in what I have been thinking of as “Anima Vacuum” mode — trying to get as much Anima each night as I can with both characters — though I don’t do all the available Anima WQs, just the ones I feel the most like doing.

I’m also attempting to get ready for Fall Semester, which will be beginning all too soon. It didn’t take long to get my GE courses ready to go for Fall semester. It’s taken me awhile to get mental traction on reworking my Organic Chemistry course, for which I am doing a substantial overhaul, though. OChem will continue to occupy a lot of time and attention as the semester progresses because I’ll be working on updating my day-to-day course materials as I go along.

With all of this, I’ve been routinely staying up until about 2 am — which isn’t good for my physical or mental health…

~*~*~

I sorely need a new computer to play WoW. My current laptop has a 256 GB harddrive which is somehow almost completely full, to the point that every night it complains about being out of memory and sometimes I can’t take screenshots or the game crashes. I’ve also been getting an annoying lua error which keeps resetting all the UI tutorial banners on some of my characters. I’m getting tired of turning them off every time I log in. I definitely need a new computer before Dragonflight — and before I do Korthia, Zereth Mortis, or the 9.2.5 Blood Elf questline, so that I can take lots of story screenshots that I will probably never look at again! 😛

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Lately, I’ve been faffing around with my Warlock, grinding her Undying Army rep so she can use the Necrolords bone wings and Death Fetish backpieces; she’s about 20% of the way from Revered to Exalted. I’ve been doing Queen’s Conservatory with Kaurinka and being disappointed by the RNG. I got my Tauren Paladin and Priest to level 51 with Bastion WQs and the Bastion Threads of Fate quest, and then I was just Done with leveling in Shadowlands by any method and have left them idling, dormant, at Heroes’ Rest. I’ve been attempting to work on prepping my classes for Fall and have not made nearly as much progress as I could or should have. After fizzling out on The Wheel of Time earlier in the year at about 70% through Book 4, I decided to skip to the end and read the last three books (the ones co-authored by Brandon Sanderson). Although STUFF obviously happened between Book 4 and Book 12, there has been so much resolution of plot threads that began in Books 3 and 4 just now happening in Books 12 and 13 that I understand the criticism I’ve heard of the middle section of the series as being 800-page books in which nothing happens.

Sleepers’ Keeper


Nordrassil Headpiece, Living Wood Spaulders (H), Faewoven Pack, Nether Shadow Tunic, Rich Purple Silk Shirt, Springrain Bracers, Replica Wildheart Belt, Replica Wildheart Kilt, Mok’Morokk’s Beat Stick
Although the bone wings were fun for a little while, soon Kaurinka wanted something more recognizably Night Fae. She hadn’t used this Night Fae backpiece style yet, so that was the starting point for this kit.

Gormhusk

Gormhusk Armor with Dazzling Spectacles, Shadowlace Cloak, Steelscale Crushfish, and Extinct Turtle Shell
Mail World Quest set from Ardenweald. I’m not quite sure why I wanted to put the silly weapons with it, other than that they had good colors.
Other colorations of this set:

Forgehand’s (Bastion), Fleshscale (Maldraxxus), Darkwing Rebel’s (Revendreth), Shadowscale (Crafted)

Undying Exemplar II




Fel-Proof Goggles/Mag’hari Ritualist’s Horns, Spirit Tender’s Mantle, Death Fetish, Master’s Vest, Master Builder’s Shirt, Colors of the Undying Army, Prime Conjurer’s Gloves, Ruthless Gladiator’s Cord of Accuracy, Shrouded Cloth Pants, Prime Conjurer’s Slippers, Gorewrought Wand + Frigid Invoker’s Focus/Shard of Azzinoth + Lambent Plaguetouched Focus
An upgraded, Cloth-Class-agnostic version of an outfit originally designed for my Warlock (#77), using Necrolords set pieces instead of Warlock set pieces.
The Lambent Plaguetouched Focus is a nicer match for the Shard of Azzinoth, but the Frigid Invoker’s Focus is a nicer match for the backpiece.

~*~*~

This series of posts began because I set myself a goal to document new Transmogrification outfits in a more timely fashion. As soon as I create a new outfit, I write it up in a draft post. As the weekend approaches, I start working on taking fashion screenshots, processing them, and updating “Things my [Class] Wears” posts. On Sunday — though not every Sunday — I publish the collection of my recent efforts. Then I begin the next “Sunday on the Promenade” draft post.

Occasionally, I have ideas for themed Transmogrification collections that take several months to completely assemble. Thus, some of these outfits might get re-posted at a later date as part of such a themed Transmogrification collection.

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After school was over for the year, BTH took a week of vacation and we went to see some national parks that are within reasonable driving distance from home, considering our small children. We checked out a suitable number of volumes of the How to Train Your Dragon series on audiobook CDs to listen to during the drivetime; of our local public library’s selection of audiobooks for kids, these were the books I thought would be most enjoyed by both the kids — our five year-old loved them! — and the parents.
The Barrens:

Thousand Needles:



Stonetalon Mountains:


I didn’t get any pictures of the grasslands on the interior of the top of the plateau, as I would have had to take them out the window of the moving car, but they put me in mind of Mulgore.

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WordPress reminded me that today, March 9, is my blogiversary — my 12th one, in fact.

Red and I were having a little conversation about cosplay. I mentioned that I sew, and though I don’t do anything complex or demanding, I did make my own Senior Prom and Wedding dresses. I used simple patterns and let the materials make them fancy. Red wanted to see them, and I thought they’d make a good Special Milestone blogiversary post, so here they are.

Senior Prom, 25 years ago

Renaissance Faire dress, 15 years ago
this picture is from the weekend BTH and I got engaged

Test run of the wedding dress pattern, 15 years ago

Wedding dress, 15 years ago


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My husband came down with Covid a week before Christmas, so we were in quarantine for the holidays. I’ve had all three of my shots and my husband has had one, so our symptoms were relatively mild. My husband was achy and spent as much time sleeping as he could. I had a persistently scratchy throat, slightly achy lungs, and a noticeable decrease of stamina for reading stories or singing bedtime songs to the children. The kids had sniffles and some coughing, but otherwise seemed to be fine — no fevers, and completely normal behavior. We think the cat might have gotten it, too, because he was lethargic and sneezing for a few days.

My husband has long been a fan of the Wheel of Time series. Not having gotten into that series myself while I was a teenager/young adult, I used to say, somewhat flippantly, that maybe I’d read them while I was breastfeeding, if I ever had a biological child. Somehow, that didn’t happen this summer and fall. During the past couple of weeks, my husband watched the Wheel of Time TV series on Amazon Prime, and I got sucked into watching the last couple of episodes over his shoulder. He described the earlier episodes as being more like Peter Jackson’s treatment of Lord of the Rings… and the later episodes as being more like Peter Jackson’s treatment of The Hobbit. Naturally, then I had to find out for myself just how different the TV show was from the books. I read New Spring and Eye of the World with the baby either nursing or just sitting on my lap, while the older kids played with their Christmas toys or on the computer (they loved the Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar that my Mom always gets for me). I found myself sufficiently interested by enough of the characters that I might have continued on to The Great Hunt — except that by then I’d received a book I was much more interested in, Rhythm of War, as a birthday present from my husband. I am currently about a third of the way through that tome. Speaking of Brandon Sanderson books, before reading the Wheel of Time books, I read Cytonic, which I gave to my husband for his birthday a month ago, after he finally finished reading it.

~*~*~

In Azeroth, Kateleina and Kaelyra have reached Renown 79 with the Necrolords and the Kyrian, respectively. They’ve also gotten their Covenant Sanctums as fully upgraded as I intend to do. So I guess it’s time to go do the 9.0 Campaigns for those Covenants. Then I suppose it will be back to their home Covenants and off to Korthia — and flying! — at last.

After getting all four Covenant Sanctums upgraded to level 3 Travel Network and level 2 Anima Conductor with the Treasure Box and World Quest reinforced, here is my personal ranking of the Travel Networks. The Kyrian Travel Network is the most useful because it is a true network, because it has points right on top of the Anima Conductor features, and because it has other points that are very conveniently located for other Bastion World Quests that I like to do. The Night Fae Travel Network is the next most useful; it has a point close to the Treasure Box and points close to some of the Ardenweald World Quests that I like to do — but for the Anima Conductor World Quest, as well as other Ardenweald World Quests that I like, there are conventional flight points that I find more convenient to use. The Night Fae Travel Network also has associated with it the Marasmius dailies, which give Night Fae characters an advantage for quickly collecting Anima. The Venthyr Travel Network I found to be much less useful. The Anima Conductor features are more easily accessed from conventional flight points. I only ever used two Venthyr Travel Network points — the Eternal Terrace mirror when “Secret Service” was up and the Feeder’s Thicket mirror when “Parasol Peril” was up. And the Necrolords Travel Network? Completely useless for getting to the stuff in Maldraxxus that I like or at least am willing to do.

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