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Archive for the ‘Real Life’ Category

I’m having a real hard time getting my brain in gear to work today — it must be Thursday (never could get the hang of Thursdays) — so I’m going to write a blog post instead. I saw on Alt:ernative this morning a link to a post about “Maintenance Gaming”.

Yeah, that’s pretty much what I have been doing ever since Kam got to level 100, and it’s pretty much what I will be doing probably until the end of the semester. Classes began on Monday, and because of the way I’ve restructured my courses, I’ve got a lot more work to do. Last semester, I was able to go home for lunch most days of the week, so I’d do the “maintenance” stuff of tending farms/garrisons over my lunch break and then I could “play” — run LFR, do dailies, level alts, whatever — in the evening. This semester, however, I’ll be spending my evening playtime hours on the maintenance stuff at least until I get my prep schedule enough under control that I can start going home for lunch again. The maintenance stuff is really about all I have enough energy for, anyway. Even doing my Garrison Campaign weeklies, which I enjoy, is getting pushed off until the weekends when I’ll have not only more time but also more energy to invest in doing them.

Having to spend more time on work and less time on play also means that blog posts might be few and far between for awhile (though I’ll probably try to put another post up pretty soon, so that I don’t leave this somewhat depressing ramble as the top post for too very long).

In additon to the whole “less time and energy for play” issue, I haven’t taken Kam into Highmaul LFR yet, despite having heard that it’s dead easy, because I’m too scroogey* to want to pay for gems and enchants on the AH when I have alts that have those professions. Problem is, the alts that have those professions are still in Pandaria working on my Bag Operation to get all** of my Bloodhoof-Duskwood characters equipped with Royal Satchels in their main inventories. Turns out, I didn’t spend enough time on “maintenance gaming” during late Mists — if I had kept all my farms running all the time, the Bag Operation would be well over and done by now.

Poor Kaprikka. She’s been stuck in maintenance mode for so long that she’s accumulated over 7k resources… and after she reaches the 10k resource cap, it might be a long time before I log in with her again. Although I pushed and pushed to get Kaprikka to level 90 in late Mists so that I could play through the new Draenei lore as a Draenei in Warlords, rushing so fast with dungeons and such that I skipped large swaths of already-existing Alliance lore in Outland, Northrend, and the Cataclysm zones, recently I’ve been thinking that I should focus on/commit to just one Alliance alt… and I’ve decided that I would rather “be” Kaylynda, the red-headed Human Mage, when I do Alliance things at level 100. Alas, poor Kaprikka… perhaps you can commiserate about the fickleness of your overmind with Tome’s Lokkan?

* Speaking of being scroogey, several weeks ago, I was on an alt when I got a random whisper asking for help. When I asked what I could help with, the person begged for several hundred gold to help them purchase the Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth. I declined, because I always decline gold begging, but I softened the blow by telling them that I myself am saving for the Grand Expedition Yak. Which is true… sort-of. I would like to have my owm personal pocket-Transmogrifier someday… I’m just not saving up for it in a very fast or very focused sort of way.

** Well, all of my alts above level 50, at any rate. I recently decided that, for my sanity’s sake, the alts under level 50 would only get one Royal Satchel apiece, in place of the gathering professions bag I might have gotten them in previous expansions.

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It had only been in the past few years that Tauren Druids had begun to feel Ysera — no, not Ysera, for the Great Dragons had spent their Aspect powers defeating Deathwing — the Emerald Dream itself calling them to walk its green shadows. Having no millennia-long tradition of Dreaming in specially-constructed Barrow Dens, as the Kaldorei Druids did, Tauren Druids who heard the call of the Dream tended to simply shift into bear form and find a snug den before entering the long slumber.

Standing at the mouth of the small cave in the mountains high above Mulgore’s golden plains, watching the gently-snoring gray bear curled into its furthest corner, Kamalia had never felt so lonely.

Kamalia and her closest-age cousin, Ronada, had been inseparable companions since childhood. They had traveled and explored the whole world — and the other world of Outland — together, growing in power and skill side-by-side. Karazhan, Zul’Aman, Serpentshrine Cavern, Naxxramas, Ulduar, the Trial of the Crusaders, the Bastion of Twilight, Blackwing Descent, the Throne of the Four Winds, the Firelands… all of these dangers to Azerzoth, they had faced together, with Ronada tanking and Kamalia healing.

That year in Northrend when the guild needed a moonkin more than another healer, so Kamalia’s sister Kerisa had raided Icecrown Citadel with Ronada instead, began the cousins’ slow drift apart. During the Cataclysm, Kamalia became so weary of the demands of constant raiding that she quit shortly after the defeat of Ultraxion and the reclamation of Wyrmrest Temple and the Dragonblight. Ronada, however, continued on to help bring down Deathwing. When Pandaria had been discovered, Kamalia and Ronada traveled together again to explore the new continent… at least until Ronada began raiding the Mogu and Mantid strongholds, and Kamalia declined to participate.

Though she no longer spent most of her time with Ronada, Kamalia hadn’t been alone. Her sisters, some Tauren friends, and her Sin’dorei friends had all eventually come to Pandaria, and they saw each other frequently. She’d also made many new friends among the Pandaren, especially in Halfhill and the surrounding farming communities.

After the Siege of Orgrimmar had dragged on for six months, Ronada, too, had wearied of raiding. The Emerald Dream was calling her. Kamalia had not felt sad or lonely when she had come to see Ronada safely off into the Dream half a year ago, but now…

When the Warchief’s Heralds had brought the news of the bizarre change in color of the Dark Portal and the invasion of a new, strangely-equipped sort of Orc, Kamalia had not gone immediately to the battlefront. She had come here, hoping to be able to rouse Ronada from the Dream, so that they could once more fight together. Kamalia had not begged or pleaded for Ronada to come back, merely told her cousin of her own excitement and anticipation. For a few moments, she had thought that Ronada might be waking. But then the bear settled back down into what seemed to be an even deeper sleep.

Sighing, Kamalia turned from the cave and began attuning her Astral Recall. Whatever strange new world now lay on the other side of the altered Dark Portal, she would be exploring it on her own.

~*~*~

In the spring, BTH decided to take a break from WoW. His guild had defeated Garrosh on normal mode a few times and was banging its head against the heroic modes — and after it had attritted enough people that even forming a 10s group became difficult, BTH decided he needed some time off from raiding, too. Plus, Elder Scrolls Online was coming out, and he’d really enjoyed Skyrim. He’s spent the past six months or so playing ESO and a variety of non-MMO games. Since D&D 5e came out a few weeks ago, he’s really been getting back into D&D.
Now, with Warlords just around the corner, BTH is not sure he even wants to come back to WoW. His guild hasn’t changed their raiding times, and the raiding times that worked well when we were in Atlantic Canada don’t work well now that we’re in the Mountain West. The guild has also decided to server transfer, and he doesn’t really want to server transfer his character. So he’d have to look for a new guild if he wanted to raid — and if he’s going to play WoW, he wants to do real (not-LFR) raiding. He’s not much interested in all the stuff that I still enjoy doing in Azeroth.
Which leaves me looking at playing through a new expansion entirely on my own for the first time… another indicator that Warlords has a fairly high probability of being my last expansion of playing WoW.

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Tonight, I was too busy grading my general chemistry class’s second midterm exam to do more than take pictures of my characters’ new forms on the character selection screen. I’m mostly okay with what I saw; only two characters seem like they’ll be needing prompt facial reconstruction.

My sweet yet serious Gnome has turned into a witch!

And my solemn, somber Night Elf has turned smirking and supercilious. Plus, her current eye tattoos make her look like some kind of super-villain! I’ll probably end up changing her tattoos as well as her face.

UPDATE:
So I went to the Barbershop and succeeded in finding some faces were both suitable matches for my poor girls’ original faces and adequately conveyed their personalities. But now, if after a month trial period I just haven’t gotten used to the new models and decide to toggle on the old models, I’ll have to visit the Barbershop again to change their faces back…


There was a face that actually matched Kelilla’s original face a little better than this one — but it had too much of what Zel so appropriately described as weepy mascara.
Somehow using the Barbershop also undid Kelilla’s mogging. I’d better go fix that…


I did decide to change Keriluna’s tattoos, too. I’ve always been fond of this particular design, and the higher resolution upgrade was good to it.

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leadership experience

Today, my Organic Chemistry class was visited by a couple of representatives from the pharmacy school at one of the big research universities elsewhere in the state. Toward the end of their presentation, when they were reviewing the application requirements for the program, they said, speaking of the leadership experience requirement, that just about anything would do — school, church, scouts, clubs, anything where you might have been in a position of responsibility/authority for other people. So I asked, because I was pretty sure my students wouldn’t, if guild or raid leadership in an MMO counted.

“What’s an MMO?”

A multiplayer online game, I said, like World of Warcraft, Rift, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Wildstar

Blank looks. They didn’t know what they’d do about it, because no-one has yet put that type of leadership experience on an application for their program. But maybe I gave them something to think about…

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considering the calendar

Hmm, hmm, let’s see here now…

Warlords of Draenor releases on November 13th.

The WoW 10th Anniversary event begins on November 21st.

Fall Semester classes end on December 8th.

Final Grades are due on December 15th.

Spring Semester classes begin on January 5th.

The WoW 10th Anniversary event ends on January 6th.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get Kamalia up to level 100 and into the “Maximum Molten Core” LFR during those last two weeks of December. It helps that we won’t have to do any traveling involving airplanes and extended stays at houses that are not our own dwelling place this year. Maybe I can even manage to take Kam to L100 MC LFR to get a fire hat from Ragnaros 3.0 as a birthday present to myself on December 28th…

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I first posted this in June, while we were in Paris. It didn’t get a lot of response, and I wondered if people had just missed it due to time-of-day issues — it was about 3 am for North American time zones when I published the post. So now that the Darkmoon Faire is here again, I’m re-posting it.

Since After I finished my little dragons, I’ve been working I worked on this when I go went to my [Halifax] ward Relief Society’s Tuesday morning sewing group. It’s been It was quite a fun little project. The finished banner is about six inches wide and ten inches long. The white crescent is two layers — otherwise, it wouldn’t have been opaque enough. The star and the pupil of the eye are embroidered on the felt. I’d like to do another little banner like this, though I probably won’t start the project until after my move later this summer I’m not quite sure where I’ll find the time. Of the city banners, the Ironforge banner seems like it would most easily translate into a felt-and-embroidery design.

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You guys… I knew that this having a full time job thing would be a lot of work, and that it would be hard, and that it would keep me very busy, but ai yi yi… I managed to be prepared enough for the first day or two of classes, but I’ve had to spend some late nights on campus this week to stay even just a little ahead in my prep of where I am in class. I’m struggling with the pacing; I am about a lecture behind my syllabus schedule of topics in both my classes and will probably have to push back the dates for my first midterm exams. I’m going to have to put in some serious prep time over the next couple of months to get enough ahead that I’ll actually be able to afford to take the night off from work to go to Draenor and meet the Warlords on November 13th. I’ve also been developing a crisis of confidence this week as I’ve overheard what my fellow new-hire professor in the next office is doing with his students. I have to keep reminding myself that just because he’s set himself the goal of being the BEST chemistry professor on campus, this isn’t really a competition. I don’t have to try to do the kinds of things he’s doing — I just need to be the best I can be with my own personal teaching philosophy and style.

Classes have been in session for a week and a half now. Before that, I had a week and a half of various sorts of faculty meetings. I drew a lot of doodles in the notebook I was given at the first of those meetings… (more…)

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