Another Shameless Gaming Promotion!

*** Disclaimer: I receive no compensation, monetary or otherwise, from these personal gaming promotions. I enjoy The Elder Scrolls Online and will talk about it on my blog from time to time. I have done so since I began playing it in 2014; I’ve been blogging and writing much longer than that!

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Guess what – it’s time for another shameless gaming promotion! The latest seasonal in-game event, the Witches’ Festival, begins this coming Friday and runs until 1 November. This festival was the very first seasonal event, which I acknowledged in a post that can be found here. There will be a chance to earn special gear, recipes, and costumes which might have been missed out on the first time, and there will be new costumes and a special polymorph to wear for those massive zerg-raids!

A limited-edition abode of sorts will also be available for purchase during the event – if you earn the right to own it, that is. If you’ve ever wanted your own private, haunted hovel shrouded in mist at the edge of the moors, now’s the time to get it! I have a few creepy pets which would feel right at home…

Last but not least, the latest addition to the in-game world drops on Monday, 23 October. This chapter re-introduces a very popular part of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and is loads of fun for the Steampunker which resides in many of us die-hard geeks, freaks, and nerds! If you’ve wanted to explore the lands on your very own clockwork mount, with a fabricated replica dragonfly hovering behind you, then this downloadable content (DLC) can be yours for free if you subscribe to the game. If you don’t subscribe, you can get the DLC for in-game crowns, which is a good option – the package gives you a special mount, non-combat pet, and a few extra trinkets to get your character off to a quick start.

I will be broadcasting my gaming sessions this weekend in order to share the fun and festivities, just click the link here to go directly to my Twitch channel. Enjoy the show!

I Know That You’ve Already Forgotten This, But…

the residents of Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands are still in dire need of assistance, and they are your fellow American citizens. If you truly have empathy for others, and you really want to help your fellow Americans, then why aren’t you doing so? Quit talking and do something already! Following are links to reputable organizations which are doing their best to provide assistance.

Direct Relief

American Red Cross

Americares

Humane Society of the United States

Here, too, is an informative article about those territories and how hurricane relief isn’t the only problem they’re facing. Following is a small portion of it, from The Atlantic:

Puerto Rico Needs More Than Relief—It Needs Reconstruction

Recovering from the devastation of two hurricanes raises tough questions about the legacy of American colonialism.

Right now, it’s hard to tell in what direction Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands are heading after sustaining hits from Hurricane Irma and then Hurricane Maria in September. The picture of the damage in Puerto Rico verges on the apocalyptic now, and much of the situation is currently deteriorating. Millions are still without power, fuel, food, and water are running out, hospitals are overwhelmed and mostly inoperable, and bodies are “piling up” in morgues. Struggles in the Virgin Islands are less documented, but no less real: Power is still tenuous, flooding is still rampant, most of the hospitals have been damaged or destroyed, and many roads are ruined.

Federal aid is arriving to help deal with the onslaught of disasters, but even if that aid were adequate and weren’t heavily criticized by residents for being late or ineffective, aid alone won’t lead to recovery. Existing challenges that plagued the territories before Irma and Maria multiply the effects of the storms, and must themselves be dealt with in order for recovery to be a reality. But dealing with those issues will require examining the legacies of colonialism, racism, and erratic federal policy in shaping the destinies of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and how those forces contributed to the destruction on display today.

President Trump has—if nothing else—outlined just how deeply those legacies run in his direction of the federal response. When Trump attacked San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Twitter last weekend, his remarks that the relief effort was hampered by “poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help” and that “they want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort,” played on similar themes as an 1899 colonial governor bemoaning the lack of “Anglo-Saxon energy to face a gloomy outlook” among his black and brown constituents on the island, which had just been taken from Spain as the United States built its own empire.

When Trump expanded on his comments Tuesday, just hours before his first trip to San Juan, he paired praise to federal responders for “the great job we’ve done” with criticism of the efforts of local officials. It was a contrast that recalled the opinion of Justice Henry Billings Brown in the 1901 Downes v. Bidwell case—one of the so-called “Insular Cases” that now form the basis of governance over the U.S. territories, and helped create the status quo where residents of the territories are citizens who pay taxes and serve in the military, but have neither representation in Congress nor sovereignty. There, Brown said that for the “alien races … the administration of government and justice, according to Anglo-Saxon principles, may for a time be impossible.”

5 On Friday: Pre-Eclipse Music!

Happy Friday, everyone! We’re getting ready for the total solar eclipse, which is set to occur on Monday, 21 August. The local time of the totality is 1023 PDT, and we have our official eclipse glasses at the ready. My husband picked them up from our optometrist a couple of weeks ago; we wanted to be prepared and have the proper eyewear. Ordering the eclipse glasses online seemed like a stupid idea, and from what I’ve been reading, my thought was correct! There are many things which shouldn’t be purchased sight-unseen, obviously.

My “Five On Friday” offering for today is strictly musical, since I’m going to be gaming like a fiend all weekend! Pop in anytime to watch the action, if you’re of a mind to.

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Silent Moment Saturday…Domestic Terrorism in Charlottesville, Virginia

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia of last night and today leave me heartsick, speechless, and sadly, unsurprised. It was only a matter of time, what with the hateful and vitriolic language and attitudes spanning the internet. Pointing out the obvious was labeled as “ranting” by others and deemed unworthy of listening to, while those who spread the racist rhetoric are adored and fawned upon. The amount of sickness out there is staggering, to say the least. The articles below are testament to how little is really being done to address this madness, which has long been festering in the hearts and minds of many.

Charlottesville: One killed in violence during U. S. racist rally (link to BBC article)

Fascist, neo-nazi groups on the march in Charlottesville chant: “Blood and soil,” echoing the words of their hero (link to HuffPo article)

One dead as white terrorists march through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, USA (link to CBC article)

Shameless Gaming Promo: Mid-Year Mayhem!

*** DISCLAIMER: As always, I wanted to clarify that I receive no compensation of any sort for these personal gaming promotions. I do these of my own free will as a dedicated gamer, and as a long-time subscriber to this awesome game! ***

I’m happy to announce the fourth installment of an in-game, seasonal event: Mid-Year Mayhem will be celebrated in the battlefields and war-zone of The Elder Scrolls Online! As you might recall, the first event was the Witches’ Festival in October of last year. That was followed by the New Life Festival in December, which began on the Solstice and ended around the New Year.

The Vernal Equinox was celebrated with the Jester’s Festival, where one of the mementoes that could be earned was a branch of Sakura (桜 or 櫻): you can festoon fellow gamers and guild-mates with a shower of fragrant flower-petals whenever you wish. If you’re feeling particularly salty, you can spatter others with a nice, wet, gooey ball of mud – watch their avatars grunt in disgust as they try to shake and scrape off the filth!

Anyway, the mayhem begins at 0700 PDT, and I will be streaming some of the gaming madness live throughout the weekend. Click the link here to bookmark my Twitch channel, then tune in to watch the insanity. I will also be testing out some recording in another attempt to get some new footage posted on my YouTube channel, in order to utilize that medium much more than I have been…so keep your eyeballs peeled!

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Friday Fun-Time: 5 Favourite Celebs!

Today’s edition of my “5 Fun Facts / Friday Fun” series of posts puts the spotlight on my five favourite comedians / actors / celebs, people who I will always be sure to watch when they’re being interviewed on the late-night talk-shows that I watch. With that – on with the show!

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, LOL! No, I don’t watch her on “The View” – not into daytime shows of any sort, when it comes down to it – but, she was excellent in her role as Guinan, the manager of Ten Forward on the starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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 awesome and talented, and has a distinctive voice that stood out on the Comedy Central show Crank Yankers…look up that show sometime, if you dare!

3. Ricky Gervais – OMG, 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 he’s the only person I’d follow if I had Instagram – the pictures he takes are too much, and I think the one I picked illustrates it well, ROFLMAO!
XD

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, and his most recent interview on Conan O’Brien had me rolling!

5. Finally, Jeff Goldblum – he plays many serious roles, but manages to interject his own personality and sense of humor into them, no matter what. I loved him in Jurassic Park, Independence Day, and his brief role as detective Zach Nichols on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and 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 and leave you howling!

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t post at least ONE funny video! This is the infamous “Late Night Wars” from a few years back. I apologize for the poor video quality, but it’s still funny!

Celebratory Screen-Shots: TESO Anniversary Event!

In light of the special events taking place during the three-year anniversary of the launching of The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO), I figured that I’d share a few screen-shots of the fun and festivities! If this doesn’t entice at least ONE of my readers to join in, then nothing will…but, that won’t stop me from enjoying this multi-layered, engaging, hellaciously fun game. With the upcoming addition of the Morrowind expansion, I expect to be playing for the next five years, at least!

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Anniversary voucher

Hmmm…a special cake?

The well-renowned chef

Better-looking than Gordon Ramsay…

…far easier to speak with…

…and much easier to please!

Giving the required ingredients

Waiting patiently with the crowd

Yes – it’s done!

Freshly-baked goods…

…let us eat cake!

Anniversary gift box after completing a daily quest – there are many!

Relaxing at a keep after battle

4 April 2017: This Day in History

Today marks the day that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated by a rabid racist at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. It was a year to the day that he gave a speech that is lesser-known, but infinitely more powerful than, the often-mentioned but woefully mis-quoted “I Have a Dream” speech. The “Beyond Vietnam” speech, given at Riverside Church on 4 April 1967, caused his relationship with the Johnson administration to deteriorate:

King had been a solid supporter of President Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society, but he became increasingly concerned about U.S. involvement in Vietnam and, as his concerns became more public, his relationship with the Johnson administration deteriorated. King came to view U.S. intervention in Southeast Asia as little more than imperialism. Additionally, he believed that the Vietnam War diverted money and attention from domestic programs created to aid the black poor. Furthermore, he said, ‘the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home…We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem.’” King maintained his antiwar stance and supported peace movements until he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, one year to the day after delivering his Beyond Vietnam speech.”

That deterioration is prime evidence of the way white people expect Black people to toe the line of “respectability politics” by “taking the high road” while demanding that we “know our place.” If we dare speak out about our personal experiences in an open, honest fashion, whites close their ears, turn their backs, and accuse us of being “unreasonable” and “racially charged” – the same accusations which were levied against Dr. King during even the most peaceful marches he organized.

Dr. King was instrumental in advancing the cause for equality, even in the face of segregation, Jim Crow laws, and personal attacks on both himself and his family. He accomplished much in just under 13 years:

Some of Dr. King’s most important achievements include:

~ In 1955, he was recruited to serve as spokesman for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which was a campaign by the African-American population of Montgomery, Alabama to force integration of the city’s bus lines. After 381 days of nearly universal participation by citizens of the black community, many of whom had to walk miles to work each day as a result, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in transportation was unconstitutional.

~ In 1957, Dr. King was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organization designed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. He would serve as head of the SCLC until his assassination in 1968, a period during which he would emerge as the most important social leader of the modern American civil rights movement.

~ In 1963, he led a coalition of numerous civil rights groups in a nonviolent campaign aimed at Birmingham, Alabama, which at the time was described as the “most segregated city in America.” The subsequent brutality of the city’s police, illustrated most vividly by television images of young blacks being assaulted by dogs and water hoses, led to a national outrage resulting in a push for unprecedented civil rights legislation. It was during this campaign that Dr. King drafted the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” the manifesto of Dr. King’s philosophy and tactics, which is today required-reading in universities worldwide.

~ Later in 1963, Dr. King was one of the driving forces behind the March for Jobs and Freedom, more commonly known as the “March on Washington,” which drew over a quarter-million people to the national mall. It was at this march that Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which cemented his status as a social change leader and helped inspire the nation to act on civil rights. Dr. King was later named Time magazine’s “Man of the Year.”

~ In 1964, at 35 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. His acceptance speech in Oslo is thought by many to be among the most powerful remarks ever delivered at the event, climaxing at one point with the oft-quoted phrase “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”

~ Also in 1964, partly due to the March on Washington, Congress passed the landmark Civil Rights Act, essentially eliminating legalized racial segregation in the United States. The legislation made it illegal to discriminate against blacks or other minorities in hiring, public accommodations, education or transportation, areas which at the time were still very segregated in many places.

~ The next year, 1965, Congress went on to pass the Voting Rights Act, which was an equally-important set of laws that eliminated the remaining barriers to voting for African-Americans, who in some locales had been almost completely disenfranchised. This legislation resulted directly from the Selma to Montgomery, AL March for Voting Rights lead by Dr. King.

~ Between 1965 and 1968, Dr. King shifted his focus toward economic justice – which he highlighted by leading several campaigns in Chicago, Illinois – and international peace – which he championed by speaking out strongly against the Vietnam War. His work in these years culminated in the “Poor Peoples Campaign,” which was a broad effort to assemble a multiracial coalition of impoverished Americans who would advocate for economic change.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s less than thirteen years of nonviolent leadership ended abruptly and tragically on April 4th, 1968, when he was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. King’s body was returned to his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, where his funeral ceremony was attended by high-level leaders of all races and political stripes.”

It’s a shame that the political landscape is returning to those days. The Voting Rights Act has been virtually stripped by the same people who most likely cheered and celebrated Dr. King’s assassination. People tell themselves the lie that racism is over, simply because the U.S. had a Black president, and use that as an excuse to denigrate the Civil Rights Act and claim that discrimination simply doesn’t happen to non-white people anymore. That is a load of rubbish that raises huge red flags to me whenever I see or it claimed anywhere, by anyone. I look at his words and actions as a whole and in context. Cherry-picking two quotes from one speech, as many are prone to do, is limiting and insulting – but it is the modus operandi of the covert racist, a group that has come out of the woodwork over the past couple of years. They have been emboldened and empowered as of late, so vigilance and resistance is a necessity – more so now than ever.

Mid-Week Amusements: Food & Comedy!

It’s a nice, relaxing Wednesday, and the delicious aroma of home-made beef stew is wafting through the house. Cooking is such an enjoyable thing to do, especially with fresh ingredients! I figured that I’d show a few of the vegetables which I like to use in stews, much like my previous post about the things I toss in with my chicken soup.

Onions, shallots, and garlic make up the base – I don’t think that any dinner is complete unless it has at least one of those flavourful bulbs included! Carrots may or may not be used, since the variety of root vegetables used more than makes up for their omission. These herbs and vegetables round out the meal:

Thyme

Rosemary

Oregano

Parsnip

Turnip

Rutabaga

Red potatoes

I love using fresh herbs of many different types…the picture below shows a few of my go-tos.

Baseball season is just around the corner – I’m looking forward to it, as always! When spring arrives, the “Boys of Summer” aren’t far behind…also, my comedy shows are back with new episodes, after being pre-empted by the overly long and drawn-out “March Madness.” Don’t get me wrong, I like basketball well enough. I just happen to prefer baseball, football (American, non-arena), and rugby if / when I can catch it on television!

Anyway, since I’m amusing myself with some choice comedy bits, I thought that I’d share them with you. Sometimes, a good laugh does a body good, and these clips had me in a fit of giggles!

Shining the Blacklight on American Democracy

Drumpf’s Agenda: Today, America…Tomorrow, the World!

Conan O’Brien talks about the United Airlines dress code

Conan O’Brien hits Comic-Con(R) Mad Max-Style (2015)

Finally, this post wouldn’t be complete without a couple of nods to yesterday’s post about bots and the role they play in various online scams. Behind every bot, troll, sock-puppet and cat-phish is someone looking to give you the old “Rick-Roll!”

Sunday Screen-Shots: Jester’s Festival!

Beginning last year, seasonal festivities began in my favourite MMO, the Elder Scrolls Online. The first one, appropriately titled the Witches’ Festival, was in October. The second one, held in December, was called the New Life Festival.

With the advent of Spring, the Jester’s Festival is in full swing – perfect timing as April Fool’s Day / All Fool’s Day draws near! Here are a few screen-shots of my various characters making merry, playing pranks, and having all sorts of fun with other players. Sometimes, one has to stop and smell the sakura ( / )!

I’ll have live footage of my festival antics broadcasting shortly. I think that people know where to find the link by now, so tune in and watch the show!

Savage Smilodon

A happy merry-maker

Marketplace merriment

Dancing at dawn

Playing with fire

Kicking back

Flashy fireworks

Dazzling the crowds

A sprightly dance – see the staff?

I found the Lord of Misrule: Drumpf the Jester-King!

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