Five Fun Facts

Today’s “five on Friday” post is dedicated to the household items I own. I listed them in the order they were acquired.

1. I have a lava lamp, which I purchased in Seattle in 1998. It has travelled with me from Washington State to Oregon and back again. I like lava lamps.

2. I have a globe, a gift from a family member and received in 1999. It’s very nice, mounted on a hardwood stand with a wheeled base. It once belonged to the California State University in Sacramento according to one of three labels stamped on it. It has a date of 1915 etched into it as well.

3. An antique typewriter graces one desk in my writing room. It is a manual, Royal typewriter of 1930s vintage and I use it to type out rough drafts of my book chapters. It was a surprise gift from my husband a couple of years ago. He brought it in one day after running errands. He knew that I’d been looking for one, and it made my day when he carried it in the house.

4. A seven-foot tall grandfather clock catches your eye when you first walk into our living room. It is a Trend model, which used to be manufactured by the Sligh clock company. It is quite stately, with a glass-paneled wood casing and brass hardware. I’d venture to guess that it has more moving parts than the exercise machine does. The clock is our engagement present to each other, since we both saw it at the same time and made the joint decision to buy it. We call it our “engagement ring.” It’s definitely a source of pride and I hope to keep it running smoothly for years to come.

5. Last but not least, the Marcy home gym. I’ve been wanting a universal exercise machine for years, as circuit-training has always been an important part of my workout regimen. I finally have one of my own! No more dealing with questionable fitness centers or sketchy, so-called “personal trainers.” They can do far more harm than good, from what I’ve seen.

Geeking Out on Gaming!

It’s been quite some time since I indulged in a proper, old-school-style geek-out over gaming! It looks like the last Skyrim update I did was 30 April 2012, so I figured I’d bring you up-to-speed on my virtual adventures. I’ve also updated my PhotoBucket with an arseload of new screenshots from Skyrim. I’ll be adding my Half-Life screenshots at another time; hope you like them!

I know; a lot of you could care less about gaming, and that’s fine with me. To each their own, and all that! However, when one considers how much time many people invest in being Twitter-pated idiots, or Facebook ‘gawds’ with a bajillion ‘friends,’ then the amount of time invested in gaming becomes downright sensible and logical, in comparison! There are blocks that (used to? still?) keep people from gaming online from a company computer, but I’ve yet to see any blocks to so-called ‘social’ media at a workplace. Digressing…

First off, there have been a few changes and upgrades to Skyrim since I started playing it a couple of years ago: the main ones being the Hearthfire, Dawnguard, and Dragonborn additions. These added some characters, new dungeons and lands to explore, additional armor, weapons, and clothing; and a few more options for houses and living locales. Some dialogue has changed slightly – for example, the Jarl of Falkreath used to send a courier your way once you reached Level 5, and he would request you to fetch a bottle of well-known mead because he was sick of sucking down “the local piss.” Now, he sends you a courier at around Level 10 or so, as he’s heard of your “deeds throughout the land.” I have an idea about how to get him to say the old line, especially now that we’ve decided to do one character at the ‘Master’ difficulty level, and make a final, showpiece character at the ‘Legendary’ difficulty level. My fiancée and I started playing at ‘Expert’ level about three months into the game; ‘Adept’ is the default, but we like challenging ourselves and the limits of the game! There will be an online version of the game released sometime next year, but I won’t be involved in it. On a side note, there are apparently player-created ‘mods’ of the game available. Most of those look boring as hell! Seriously – one mod seems to have been created solely for the purpose of making one of the in-game ‘tavern wenches’ a marriage partner! *YAWN*

Anyway, I’m close to Level 70 with one character, while my Orc languishes at Level 65 – all she has yet to do is face Miraak at the summit of Apocrypha!

We decided to go old-school and go back to playing the original Half-Life. It’s been about 25 years since I last played it, and it’s funny to see how the graphics, which used to be state-of-the-art back in the day, now seem quaint and archaic in comparison to games such as Starcraft 2 or Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic – and, of course, Skyrim! Also, I’m finally going to be able to play Half-Life 2 and see how the graphics compare between the two, now that I have a computer that can handle the load – I’m hoping to find my ‘face’ and wonder if it was also used in the Half-Life 2: Deathmatch edition…it will be interesting to find out!

Speaking of quaint and archaic, we’d gone to a Shady Old Rack…I mean, Radio Shack…to get some items for our Sirius radio. It was a fairly large store and had a good-sized section of electronic toys, R/C vehicles, and various games. One was an old Atari™ joystick which had been rebuilt into a 10-in-1 controller for some of the ‘classic’ games programmed into it; in a fit of childlike nostalgia, I purchased the thing for $25 USD.

It’s hilarious to see those ancient, primitive graphics on my flat-screen TV and hear the old bleeps and bloops of Asteroids, Missile Command, Yar’s Revenge, and Adventure! To get a good idea of how my fiancée felt when he tried the games, here’s a funny skit from Conan O’Brien’s show. It’s his Cluless Gamer: Retro Edition; in it, he sits down with Aaron Bleyeart, his gamer pal, to try out some of the original classics. He also completely destroys at least two of the games by pulling them out of the system when the power was still on! It was so easy to ruin them, way back when…

Conan O’Brien – Clueless Gamer Throwback Edition: Atari 2600

I noted that he must have had some sort of mini-contest where viewers could pick a game for him to play, and people chose E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. I’d almost forgotten just how crappy that game was! Personally, I would have chosen Adventure! for him to play, as that game had some sort of plot and three difficulty levels to choose from. It would have been awesome to see him get comically frustrated as hell with it, much like I did when I played it for the first time in, oh, about 30 years! Level one was easy; level two presents the difficulty of three different dragons and a bat that takes items from you and exchanges them for something you might not want (like a dragon!), and I have yet to defeat level three…I used to kick ass at that game, and I’m still trying to remember how to take the ‘magic dot’ from one dungeon and place it in a wall so that you can see the names of the game programmers. Speaking of game programmers, I can tell that there are a few Trekkies in the team who created and developed Skyrim…does the name ‘Temba Wide-Arm’ mean anything to you? If so, you just might be a Trekkie! Also, it isn’t lost on me that there are some elements of the saga Beowulf scattered throughout the realm of Skyrim.   😀

Yeah, I’m a gaming geeky girl from the old school, and I’m proud as hell of it! In fact, my level of geekiness rivals that of the annoying people who take the time to learn how to speak Klingon or Elvish, LMAO

Case in point: “Laas…Yah-NIR…”

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