5 On Friday: Mercury Retrograde

Happy Friday, everyone! Mercury goes direct on Sunday, 19 August so enjoy these selected memes and music to tide you over until then.

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Five On Friday: The ESO Multiverse

I’ve been playing The Elder Scrolls Online since it first launched in 2014. With the Midyear Mayhem event in its final few days and the Orsinium anniversary event commencing today, I figured I’d give the top five reasons why I enjoy playing this MMORPG. The 5-year anniversary of the game’s launching is in April of 2019.

1. User-friendly: I love the fact that, like with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, one doesn’t need to have played the entire series to know what is going on or how to play. You can just jump right in and run anywhere you wish. In many ways, starting the game as a newbie is easier now than it was when ESO first came out. For example, there are now in-game tutorials for new characters. The load-screens also show useful tips and hints for where to find crafting materials, or when there initially weren’t. Also, a subscription isn’t required; I personally subscribe due to the benefits and bonus perks of doing so.

2. Diversity, endless variety, and multi-layered gameplay: I love the fact that designing and customizing your avatar is available, as many games have very limited “cookie-cutter” options so your character looks pretty much the same as any other person’s who might be playing that specific character class. I love going into a bank in-game and seeing all of the different appearances and costumes of other players! One can create a short, stout Orc or a thin, lanky Dark Elf. In ESO there are 10 playable races, each with their own unique passive abilities. There are five character classes, each one with a unique set of offensive and defensive fighting skills. The ranges of weapons and armour-sets that can be used are nearly countless. I enjoy playing around with different combinations to see which ones complement each other the best.

3. Puzzles: In your travels you come across many different dungeons, or quests which may have you delving underground to locate specific items. Some of these quests require you to solve a puzzle of some sort in order to advance, and I find those to be loads of fun! They could be picture tiles, riddles, or light-shifting pedestals, just to name a few. Some are easy to solve, while others are real brain-teasers. They definitely provide a perfectly valid excuse for reading the lore-books you run across, which brings me to the next item on my list.

4. History and lore: Just as with the real world, the virtual world of ESO has a varied and rich history, and mythology and lore unique to the specific races. There are countless books which can be found almost everywhere you go, and reading them can teach you newer skills, raise your character level, or mark locations on your map for future exploration. Some give you clues to a quest you might be undertaking, and some are just plain entertaining. The people who created and developed this series get high praise from me and all of the other gamers who enjoy and appreciate the historic depth put into this game.

5. Last, but certainly not least, the graphics and details: I can’t say enough about how awesome the graphics in this game are, and the various little details which make it stand head and shoulders above other games which are more popular with others. For example, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, just as in real life. When the day is clear and the sun is out, the shadows cast are incredibly sharp and match the form of the object casting the shadow. Sound-effects are top-notch as well: when you’re riding your horse, for instance, the hoof-beats make a different sound depending on what terrain you happen to be crossing at the time. Water splashes around your feet if you’re jogging through a swamp, or you can hear the rustling of grass if you’re taking a short-cut across a farmer’s meadow. Birdsong and animal noises are also noticeable when you happen to be in the proper areas; everywhere you go, there is something to see and do!
There are a dozen more reasons I could list and I could go on and on, but that would interfere with important gaming time. I also need to update my guild-recruitment script and update the guild message of the day since I haven’t done so since the beginning of the year.

This weekend I will be hosting an in-game house-warming party to celebrate the latest acquisition of a lovely new abode. Sorry to disappoint you, but the celebration will not be broadcast on my Twitch channel. It’s a private, intimate party for a few select guests, and is by invitation only.

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Five on Friday: Faith No More

For today’s “Five on Friday” post I picked my top favourite songs by Faith No More.

It’s a full moon Friday and the ESO Midyear Mayhem in-game event is in high gear! I will be streaming some of the action over the weekend, so click on the Twitch link in the “Multimedia Links” page and bookmark my channel to view the fun.

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5 on Friday: Recent Screen-shots

Bonus Fives

This bonus “5 on Friday” post is about my five favourite British comedies. I figured an extra post was due on this final Friday in June. They are listed in reverse, from fifth to first.

5. Red Dwarf. This sci-fi-based comedy was accidentally introduced to me by my two older brothers during a Friday Dungeons & Dragons game-night. We had the TV on when there was a break in the action and were dealing with the minutiae of experience points, levels, and divvying up of treasures. One outburst of “Oi, you smeg-head, get me a smeggin’ curry!” from the television speakers made me whip my head around to see what the hell was going on, and I was promptly hooked! That show was hilarious, and I wish it would get the re-airings that it deserves.

4. One Foot in the Grave. This sitcom was about an elderly gent who was forced into retirement. Curmudgeonly Victor Meldrew drives his wife, Margaret, to distraction as he wanders about the house and tries to stay busy while she goes to work and keeps up the bills. He’s a decent enough sort, but never seems to get on well with others, try as he might. An Aussie friend of mine introduced me to this show about 15 years ago and I’m quite glad that he did. I have the whole series on DVD so I can watch it at my leisure, and enjoy it just as much now as I did when I first watched it. It’s funny, poignant, and deliciously dry – perfect for my sense of humour.

3. Absolutely Fabulous (AbFab). Most people here in the States only know of the show because of the movie which came out last year, but I first saw AbFab on Comedy Central just before Y2K. Blame my Aussie buddy for turning me on to this hilarious sitcom about two boozing, drugging, party-hearty broads who hate the idea of getting old! Patsy and Edina act as if they’re high-schoolers getting up to all sorts of antics, driving Edina’s straight-laced daughter, Saffron, mad with their shenanigans. That series will be the next one purchased on DVD, as soon as I’m able to do so.

2. Blackadder. I had been a fan of Mr. Bean, but knew nothing of the conniving and cunning Edmund Blackadder until a co-worker at one of the radio stations I worked at introduced me to that series. He lent me the first two seasons to take home and watch and I was in stitches the whole time. That show was only aired on PBS during their annual fund-raisers, so I didn’t get to watch it as much as I wanted to. I have that entire series on DVD to view whenever I wish.

Finally, the number one spot on my list goes to The League of Gentlemen. This show shouldn’t be confused with the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as they are completely different animals. It aired on Comedy Central not long after AbFab was taken off; again, my Aussie buddy encouraged me to give it a chance. I’m glad that I took the time because it was well worth it. The little town of Royston Vasey has a unique population, to say the least. The only answer to the question “Are you local?” is “Yes!” This show was warped,dark, demented, and insanely hilarious – emphasis on “insanely.” I even recorded one of my favourite lines from it on my phone so that people hear it if they call me and get my voice mail. One of my sisters had called the other day, and all I could hear was hysterical laughter on the voice message. She wasn’t expecting to hear what she heard, and it definitely took her off guard.

This post wouldn’t be complete without at least one clip from each of these shows. A bit of laughter is perfect for this fun Friday, and the best way to start the weekend off with a smile.

Five On Friday: Celeb Spotlight

Today’s “Five on Friday” post puts the spotlight on my five favourite living celebrities. They are the people who I always enjoy seeing when they’re being interviewed on the few late-night talk-shows that I watch.

1. First off, Whoopi Goldberg. She was hilarious when she first started her comedy career back when I was still a wee kiddie, and she’s funny as all get-out when she sits down with Conan O’Brien or Stephen Colbert. She pulls no punches and speaks her mind, similar to yours truly. I don’t watch her on “The View” because I’m not really into daytime shows of any sort. She was excellent in her role as Guinan, the manager of Ten Forward on the starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation. I also enjoyed her performances in The Color Purple and Serafina.

2. Next, there’s Wanda Sykes. What can I add that hasn’t been said already? She does a bit of everything and does it well. I first saw her on the Keenan Ivory Wayans Show, and liked her recurring role on the Drew Carey Show – she played one of Drew’s love interests. I have her book and enjoy reading it from time to time. She’s funny, talented, and has a distinctive voice that stood out on the Comedy Central show Crank Yankers. Look that show up sometime if you need a laugh or ten.

3. Ricky Gervais: he cracks me up whether he’s being interviewed by Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, or Trevor Noah but his interviews with Conan really stand out. I think that he’s the only person I’d follow if I had an Instagram account. The selfies he takes are fucking hilarious, and I think the selected image illustrates it well.

4. Terry Crews: he’s just awesome! I thought he was great in the role of Chris’s dad in the series Everbody Hates Chris, which is based on the life of actor / comedian Chris Rock. He wasn’t bad in The Expendables either, and his last interview on Conan O’Brien had me falling over with laughter.

5. Finally, Jeff Goldblum: he plays many serious roles but manages to interject his own personality and sense of humor into them. I loved him in Jurassic Park, Independence Day, and his brief role as detective Zach Nichols on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. I also look forward to seeing him as the Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok. Whether he’s sharing the stage with Conan O’Brien or Stephen Colbert, he is so off-the-cuff funny he can take you by surprise at the most unexpected times.

Finally, here is a funny video starring Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien, and Stephen Colbert. This is the infamous “Late Night Wars” from a few years back. I would apologize for the poor video quality, but it isn’t mine so I’m not responsible.

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5 On Friday: Billy Squier

For today’s “Five on Friday” post I chose my top favourite Billy Squier songs to get the gaming weekend started off. This is the last weekend to get those quests and achievements out of the way for those of us with early access to Summerset! I go back to the mainland to complete other quests in peace when the regular population pours into the new lands.

Keeps interference from time-wasters down to manageable levels, and keeps lagginess to a minimum. Better for live-streaming my gameplay.

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5 On Friday: The Eyes Have It

Today’s “Five on Friday” post puts the focus on the organs purported to be the windows to the soul: the eyes.

Some people can never look another in the eyes when they speak. This is because they are deceitful liars with no souls. They sold them at an early age.

I suppose it was worth it to them, yes?

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Five On Friday: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2018

For today’s “Five on Friday” post I decided to play one song each from my top five artists who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year. Choosing one good song from these talented people was difficult, but I managed to narrow it down.

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5 On Friday: Clueless Gamer

For today’s “Five on Friday” post I offer up some excellent “Clueless Gamer” clips from Team Coco. The weekend is almost here so it’s time for some gaming.

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