Monday, February 25, 2013

Musical Monday - 'Happy House (Siouxsie and the Banshees)

Today's featured artist is Siouxsie and the Banshees, with their song 'Happy House'.

There are many songs I like by Siouxsie and the Banshees, but I wanted to share this one because it's kind of a fun song....and I'm kind of in a fun mood.

Now, I know this song isn't really  about happy houses...but for the last week things in my "house" have been "happy". I got a promotion at work and have been in a really good mood since.

When asked if this song was "cynical", Siouxsie's reply was (according to the Wiki...yes, I use Wiki a lot),
"...sarcastic. In a way, like television, all the medias, it is like adverts, the perfect family where as it is more common that husbands beat their wives. There are mental families really. The projection is everyone smiling, blond hair, sunshine, eating butter without fat and everyone perfect."
 I tend to not pay attention to the "meaning" of many songs out there. For me, if it has a good beat, or melody, I'll like it. Sometimes getting too caught up in the lyrics ruins a song for me.

Which is why I like this song. It's got a light, and fun, atmosphere to it, if you ignore the meaning behind the lyrics that is.

Friday, February 22, 2013

What it was to be a Hunter

TheGrumpyElf is talking about the Hunter class today and is kind of reminiscing about some of the mechanics that made the Hunter class stand apart from the others. He is also curious as to whether or not players new to the class bond with their pet(s) or not.

Sadly, I cannot offer any insight to his curiosity...but can do a little bit of reminiscing with him.

The first Hunter I ever created was Thelandira, somewhere around Jan/Feb of 2007. I had only been playing WoW for a few months and she was the third character I created.

I can't say that I instantly fell in love with the class...but it didn't take long to do so.

Back when Thela was created Hunters were on their own until level 10. We were pretty much a melee class until then...unless we took the time to learn how to "kite" stuff we were attacking.

At level 10 we had a small quest chain we had to do to learn how to tame pets. We had to tame three different types of beasts (I think it was three) before the quest giver, which was also the Hunter Trainer, taught us the ability to tame beasts. From then on we were allowed to tame any beast that we came across...with some restrictions.

- Side thought - I think we had to wait until around level 15 to learn how to heal our pet.

Restriction number one: The beast had to actually BE a beast. We couldn't go out and just tame any old thing. The prospective new pet had to be of the 'beast' family. (Which still holds true today.)

Restriction number two: The beast had to be the same level, or lower, that we were. (This has changed a few times over the years.)

Restriction number three: You could only have one pet with you at a time. If you wanted to go tame a new pet you would have to put your current pet in the stable or abandon it right there on the spot. (This has changed immensely but still kind of holds true. If we don't have room in our stable for a new pet we have to still get rid of one.)

Restriction number four: Your stable could only hold three pets. If you came across a pet you wanted and your stable was full you had to abandon a pet to make room for the new one. (We now have 20 stable slots along with 5 slots on us for pets.)

Often times this was extremely frustrating. There were many cool looking animals out in the world of Azeroth. However, you would find quite often that some of the coolest looking animals could not be tamed (hydras and thunder lizards I'm looking at you).

Or you would find that cool animal that could be tamed only to realize that your stable was full. You had to either abandon the pet you had with you or travel to the nearest Stable Master to abandon one from the stable.

This was just the tip of the iceberg on the many things we had to do as Hunters with our pets.

Back then pets had ranks to their abilities. And, not all pets had the same abilities. For example, some pets had Bite as their main attack. Some had Claw. If you had a pet that didn't "know" Claw you would have to go out and find one that did, tame it, fight stuff with it until you, the Hunter, learned it and then had to "teach" it to your normal pet.

You had to do the exact same thing for the ranks of abilities. At low levels, when you would tame a pet, its abilities (we'll use Bite as an example) would be Rank 1. In order to learn a higher rank of Bite you would have to tame a pet that had Bite 2, or higher. This meant that both you, and your pet, had to be of a certain level to tame a pet with a rank 2, or higher, of Bite.

The ability ranks went up to 5. This meant that you were taming new pets a lot as you leveled to make sure your normal pet stayed as strong as it could be and always had the highest ranks of its abilities for its level.

Keep in mind, this meant you did a lot of traveling back and forth to the Stable Master to store your normal pet so you could tame a new pet to learn its abilities, or higher ranks of abilities.

On top of this, you would have to keep your pet happy by feeding it. If your pet remained at an unhappy state with you for too long it would run away, or abandon you. You had to keep an ample supply of food in your bags to keep your pet happy.

Also, different pets ate different types of food. Some would only eat fish, some meat, some bread, some fungus and some fruit.  There were pets that would eat a few types of food, but most of them preferred only one type. You had to make sure you had the right type of food on you depending on what pet you were using.

As you traveled around questing, and killing stuff, your pet would stay pretty happy...pets really like killing stuff. If you remained still for too long, like hanging out in a major city, your pet's happiness would start to diminish. I think the levels of a pet's "mood meter" were Happy, Unhappy, Angry. You didn't want your pet in an Angry mood for long. Not only did it risk your pet running away from you, it also meant that your pet wouldn't do as much damage as it would if it were Happy.

If your pet died while you were fighting something it would come back to life in an Angry mood when you resurrected it. You would have to feed your pet a few times to get it back into a Happy mood.

As if this isn't enough to do already, you had to level your pet. If you were level 20 and found a cool animal to tame that was level 5 you would have to level that new pet from level 5 to 20 after taming well as go and learn higher ranks of its abilities, you might not know, along the way. And, heaven forbid, if you were at max level and tamed a low level animal. This was a VERY tedious task...and often a very long grind.

All of this might be a bit overwhelming, but it is what made me fall in love with the class. That I had to maintain anything, and everything, about my pet just screamed, "I AM A HUNTER AND THIS IS WHAT I DO".  It cemented my bond with my pet(s) and made me enjoy the class more than I have any other class in the game.

At one point I was even leveling three Hunters so I could know, and play, all three talent trees they came in. I loved this class that much to put myself through all of the above on three different characters.

So, I'm sorry Grumpy that I couldn't enlighten you on what it is to be a "new" Hunter in today's WoW...but I can say the class will never be what it was...and I miss that tremendously. Yes, there were some aspects of the Hunter class that have been improved over the years for the good....but it's everything I've described above I'd like to see come back...well...except for maybe having to level pets.  :o)

Oh, I also forgot to mention that back then animals in the wild, at your character's level, hit harder than they do now while you were taming them...and the act of taming a pet took longer. If you started to tame an animal and your health wasn't full you would most likely die. You learned right away to drop a Freezing Trap, once you were high enough level to know Freezing Trap, before starting to tame something. Or you asked another Hunter, that knew Freezing Trap, to join you so they could trap what you wanted to tame.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Random Thought #1 - Pajama Pants

Pajama pants with a draw-string are absolutely the most comfortable piece of clothing there is. They are always baggy (at least the ones I buy are) and are never too tight, or loose, at the waist because you tie the draw-string as tight, or loose, as you want it.

But, why on Earth is it that when you have to go to the bathroom really, really bad the draw-string always ends up in a knot?????? Real life RNG smacking you in the face saying, "Hahaha not this time"?

You are then stuck standing there doing the 'pee-pee dance' while trying to untie your pants...getting frustrated to the point where you wish you had a pair of scissors handy so you could just cut the damn string.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Musical Monday - 'I Feel Love' (Blue Man Group)

Here we are...the first, official 'Musical Monday' post. Today's featured artist(s) is/are the Blue Man Group performing their rendition of 'I Feel Love'.

Blue Man Group & Venus Hum - I Feel Love

Donna Summer first recorded this song in 1976 and was released in 1977 on her album titled 'I Remember Yesterday'. According to the song's Wikipedia page, 'I Feel Love' "... reached number one in the UK Singles Chart, number six on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and number nine on the Hot Soul Chart. It quickly became popular in gay dance clubs and was adopted as a gay anthem. "I Feel Love" is ranked #418 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time... ".

It wasn't until 2003 that the Blue Man Group put their spin on it, with Venus Hum on vocals, and performed it live. They also released it on their album titled 'The Complex'.

I've seen the Blue Man Group perform once. Sadly, this song was not a part of their performance.

I have always loved the original version, by Donna Summer, but this version has that extra "oomph" that makes me want to crank the volume up until the walls fall down. I find it impossible to sit still while listening to this version...whether I'm at my desk, in my car or just doing stuff around the house...if this song is on, I'm in overdrive and there's no stopping me until the song is done.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Earlier than planned...

I've been a busy bee the last few days. I've been putting together a collection of music I like that I will be sharing with everyone. My initial plan was to make a post every Monday, called 'Musical Monday - <artist/band name here>, about a song/video I like. It will also include a small blurb as to why I like it or what information about the artist/band I find interesting.

After last night's post, I've had a change of heart. I'm going to share this music with you earlier than planned.

I let myself get riled up over something that I might have taken the wrong way...which, as Navi pointed out, I did take the wrong way. In an effort to calm myself last night, I put on the following music:

(note -This video is the entire album and is quite long)

I first heard of this artist, Andreas Vollenweider, my senior year of high school...some 25+ years ago. One day one of my teachers told us that she was going to allow us to do whatever we wanted in class under two conditions. One, we were not allowed to talk. Two, we were not allowed to sleep. Then she proceeded to play the above artist's album.

I was mezmerized. It was the most beautiful music I had ever heard...and I grew up in a house where my mother always had some sort of music playing.

I don't remember what I ended up doing that day in class. I do remember, however, falling in love with this album.

A few years later I was lucky enough to see Andreas Vollenweider in concert. I remember being blown away. Not only by the music I was hearing, but by watching Andreas, and his ensemble, create his music with such a wide variety of instruments. The one item/instrument I remember most was this enormous sheet of metal hanging from the ceiling/rafters on the left side of the stage. It was probably 6 feet wide (or more) and some 30+ feet long/tall.

When the performer started striking this sheet of metal it created the most wonderful sound and feeling. It was a deep, resonating rolling thunder...that struck me to the bone. That might not sound that pleasant, but it's the best way I can describe it. It really was an amazing sound and feeling.

Andreas Vollenweider is one of my "go to" artists when I'm stressed out and needing a good dose of relaxation. I hope you enjoy(ed) it.

You can find out more information about Andreas Vollenweider here.

To Comment or Not...Yea, I'm Gonna Comment

So, I get home from work tonight and get online to see if some of my favorite bloggers have posted anything new. What I end up finding kind of pissed me off.

Navimie, of The Daily Frostwolf, is talking about a topic, posted at a blog she reads, about why she writes and reads blogs. I was enjoying what Navi had written...until I got to this part:

"Do one thing. Do it well. (Don’t write a smattering of garbage nobody reads…unlike a certain other blog I could name. *ahem*)"

The above is a comment that someone left at the blog Navi was referring to/writing about. Navi stated that she thought that comment might have been about her.

Two things piss me off about this comment.

One, if that comment was about Navi, the person who wrote it has no idea what they're talking about. Navi writes about a variety of things and NONE of it is garbage. She expresses her thoughts in such a way that it gives you insight as to who "the person behind the curtain" really is. And to (possibly) attack her like that clearly shows that the commenter has no clue as to who Navi is.

Because of how, and what, Navi writes she has a following of some WONDERFUL people who care about who she is as a person and not just what she can bring to the table/raid...which is pretty much all you get from some other sites out there...some of them are all, "...if you can't do such and such, or have such and such gear, you are pathetic and should cancel your subscription right now".

Yea, I don't think so. To me it's those kinds of people that need to cancel their subs. To get so intense and focused on a GAME like that goes beyond my understanding. And it's the comments like, "Do one thing. Do it well" or "Be the best" or "If you don't play to win why play?" that puzzle me the most...and is the second thing that pissed me off.

To see comments like that about a video know...something virtual, not real, not tangible...just confuses me to no end. I can understand those types of comments if they are about a career or education...but a video game? Really? Something there is my opinion.

This lead me to the commenter's blog. I wanted to see what they write like/about. I was a bit surprised at what I found. I read two of the most recent posts and found it could be considered as the same thing the commenter is saying not to do/write. This kind of pissed me off even more.

Why attack a blogger for "writing a smattering of garbage" when your own blog isn't offering much different?

Then, as I was about half way through the third most recent post, I became irate...but this time it was at myself. I was actually identifying with what the post was about and was starting agree with the writer when it dawned on me...I'm supposed to be mad at this person for possibly attacking Navi...I can't "like" what I'm, no, no, no, no...this can't be happening....KHAAANNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the last sentence from the third post I read:

"World of Warcraft should be a game, not a homework assignment.”

...and it has left me bewildered and at a loss for words. It's not the kind of comment you would expect from someone who also stated, "Do one thing. Do it well. (Don't write a smattering of garbage...)".

I've also lost my train of thought throughout all this. I think it's time to head back to YouTube and continue building my list of music/videos I'll be sharing with you all soon. Since I posted the other day, about sharing music I like with you, I've been unable to pull myself away from my music list and YouTube.

Sometimes I forget how much I like music. I have it on so often that it becomes background noise. Focusing on it so much over the last few days has been wonderful and something I have needed. I haven't even logged into WoW.

Music really is good for the soul...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blogging soon?

Now what????

I'm not sure if a blog was the right thing for me to begin. Over the years I have had random thoughts that I thought would be worth sharing. I would then think, "I really need to start a blog to get these thoughts out there".

Since starting my blog those thoughts have gone on vacation. I've not once said, "I need to remember to blog about this". sigh....

In hopes of trying to come up with content to write about I've decided to design a game plan to follow...maybe that was my problem to begin set course of action so to speak.

Initially, my blog was going to primarily be about World of Warcraft. But, seeing as how I get tunnel vision while playing and forget to take screen shots, or jot down things I notice in game, I'm going to change things up a little bit.

I've decided that I'm going to have a few days a week for set topics. One will be about music I like, another about some of the things Dharm and I cook up for dinner (we tend to experiment often with things we make) and another is a secret until I can find out if I'll have copyright issues with it or not (all I'll say is it will involve pictures from movies/tv shows).

Hopefully, this will get the creative juices flowing enough that those "random thoughts worth blogging about" will come back.

So, please stay tuned...there are new things to come.

Monday, February 11, 2013

My Latest Transmog Entrants

Matty, over at Sugar & Blood, is hosting a Movie Mog Contest!

Yay! Another reason to play dress-up!

This particular contest is just for fun and we do not have to follow the normal "transmogrification rules" that the game imposes on us. We can mix and match armor types if we want. We don't even have to collect the items for the set...images taken from the addon MogIt, or from the WoW Model Viewer program, are allowed.

The outfits we need to come up with must represent characters from one/some of our favorite movies. We have to create a look for 3 characters.

I'd like to show you all my entries from one of my all time favorite movies, 'Star Wars - A New Hope'.

First up, Obi-Wan Kenobi:

Obi-Wan is wearing:

Next, we have Luke Skywalker:

Luke is wearing:

And, for my last entrant, I give you Han Solo:

Han is wearing:

Han was, by far, the hardest outfit to put together. WoW is very limited on its selections of plain black clothing/armor.

Not to mention there are no handguns at all in the game. The one I have him sporting is the closest you'll find to a "hand gun" look.

I hope you liked my outfits. I've seen some of the outfits other contestants have put together...and all I can say is there's some tough competition out there. May the best transmogger win!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Orange They Purdy?

(This is a re-post of my last entry at my old blog location)

  About a week ago Euphyley, of WoW rare Spawns, posted about a large green worm that Hunters can tame. This pet, the Gorashi Grub, cannot be tamed after patch 5.2 hits, so Euphy was letting us all know to go get it soon if we wanted one.

Image courtesy of Euphyley of WoW Rare Spawns

  I hadn't quite decided if I wanted to tame this pet or not. It's a cool pet mainly because of how large it is....but for me, that's about it. I'm not overly crazy about the worm pets, or the color green for that matter.

  Thankfully, Cymre, of Bubbles of Mischief, posted information about a different worm we could get. Again, not so crazy about worms....but this one is all big and orange and pink.

  Me likes ORANGE!

  I don't think I finished reading Cymre's post before I logged into WoW, snagged one of my hunters and headed out to Dread Wastes to get my new pet. I would like to introduce to you Ziggy.

  Sadly, I took these photos before giving him a name. I chose the name Ziggy because of this man right here:

Ziggy Stardust - aka David Bowie

  Just look at all that orange! And back in the day, this man was larger than I thought the name Ziggy was appropriate for my new LARGE, ORANGE worm.

  I'd also like to mention that, while I was out in Dread Wastes getting Ziggy, I noticed a rather large scorpid that looked interesting. (You can see it in the background in Ziggy's photos)

  I strolled over to get a closer look and instantly fell in love with this pet. I mean, it's a BIG, ORANGE (and black) SCORPID!!!

  My zodiac symbol is Scorpio, and sadly I have not liked the skins of ANY of the scorpids that roam Azeroth. That is until I spotted this one.

  I haven't decided what to name him/her yet. I'll have to run around with him/her for a few days to see what pops into mind. Maybe I'll name her 'Cymre'. I probably would have never seen this scorpid if Cymre hadn't told us all about the big worm we could tame.

 Thank you Cymre for your post on the big worm in Dread Wastes! I am very happy with my two new pets.

My New Home

I'm sorry my move happened with no notice. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing...kind of. For a little while now I've been fiddling with Blogger to see if I could design my blog in a way I was happy with. Don't get me wrong. I loved the look, and layout, of my old blog location. But, there were elements I wanted to add that I was unable to.

The final straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, and made me decide to make the move, was the fact that comments/feedback was broken at my old site. Even though all the settings were correct, I just couldn't get them to work.

- Sidenote - Thank you Cymre for pointing out the comment system was broken. All this time I was just thinking that nobody had anything to say about my posts.

So, here I am at my new home. Hopefully I'll be happy here.

I haven't decided if I'm going to re-post things from my old blog. I think I might just take this opportunity to start fresh.

Then again, maybe not. I'm still a little excited about the two new pets I've tamed on my hunter, Sheeturself. I might re-post that one...just in case any of you out there missed it the first time.