Progress & Updates

The weather has been great over the past couple of weeks, which has enabled us to tackle some of the yardwork and landscaping projects around the house.

New neighbors require a better privacy screen, so the riot of bamboo in the back yard is now lining the fence between our property and theirs. It looks perfect, and I love taking my first morning cup of coffee outside to stand and listen to the leaves rustling in the breeze. A fresh load of compost was delivered and spread yesterday, which should keep the bamboo happy and thriving.

The birds have been active with nest-building and the lawn-scraps make perfect material for them to use. The deer have been running about as well. The young stags are already trying to assert their dominance and territories, even with the velvet still covering their growing antlers.

I’m still gaming and have finally gotten all programs functioning properly. I can now broadcast gaming sessions on Twitch or Facebook, and will soon have new recorded sessions up on my YouTube account. I updated my gaming links as well; go to the ‘Multimedia Links’ page here on my blog to get the new addresses.

Working out and writing round out my daily activities. I have more than enough to make a real publisher happy. I just have to find the right one. Slow progress, but forward-moving all the same. No complaints here.


Skyrim: Progress Update #5

One more time – a new gaming update!  We were out of town over the weekend, but got back in time for me to post a brief recap and then a status update.  Also, I wanted to make certain that I leveled up so that I wouldn’t be at Level 61 – 9/10ths, LOL!  The game continues to go well, and I still enjoy it as much today as I did when I first installed and played it!  I’m kicking ass and taking names… 🙂

Level: 62

Grandmaster Skills: Lockpicking, Sneaking, Light Armor, Heavy Armor and Blacksmithing

Skills in the 90s: Speechcraft (99), Enchanting (98), Archery (97), 1-Handed Weapons (96) and 2-Handed Weapons (94)

Next Skill Focus: Pickpocketing (59) and Blocking (55)

Latest Accomplishments:

Summoned, interrogated, and rode Odahviing – he will now return whenever I need his aid.  Dovahkiin’s honor is absolute!

Defeated Alduin and spared his brother, Paarthurnax.

Beheld Sovngarde – drank and sang with dead heroes.

Obtained the Jagged Crown – intended to turn it over to the Imperial Legion, but grew sickened by their biased propaganda and joined the side of the Stormcloaks.  The battle for Whiterun draws nigh…

New steed: Shadowmere – a proper destrier for a warrior woman!

I’m not certain if I will be able to attain Thane status of the hold of Eastmarch, due to a slight in-game glitch which has made it impossible to complete one of the ‘city favors’ which unlocks that option.  Still, I was able to finally purchase the house in Windhelm and it is now fully furnished – it is called Hjerim.  I now own all available houses in the five major cities, and possess extra lodgings in: the Ragged Flagon (Riften), the Dawnstar Sanctuary, High Hrothgar (the Throat of the World), the Sky Haven Temple, and Nightingale Hall.  I have my suite in the Hall of the Companions as their new Harbinger, as well as my Arch-Mage quarters at the College of Winterhold.

My character has come a long way from nearly meeting an untimely end on the executioner’s block!  😎

Here is the link to my Photobucket screenshots as well.  I added more pics and am updating and editing the captions for them, so if they seem incomplete, no worries…I’ll get to them eventually, LOL

Apologies for any duplicate pics – it’s not easy when you don’t get a pop-up reminder letting you know that you have done so!  Enjoy…  😎

Skyrim: Progress Update #4

Heading to the Bannered Mare - Whiterun

I almost fell behind on my monthly Skyrim progress update – so, here it is!  Also, here’s the link to my Skyrim PhotoBucket album; I uploaded a few of my choice in-game shots to share, so I hope they are enjoyed!  It’s taken quite a while to compile the pics – to date, I have 654 screenshots saved to a folder and am organizing them by type – humorous, scenery, road encounters, finishing moves/battle scenes, and a couple other categories.
The slideshow looks great…check it out!

Level: 58
Master Skills (100): Heavy Armor, Blacksmithing, Sneaking, Lockpicking
Soon-to-be-mastered skills: Archery (96), Speechcraft (93), 2-Handed Weapons (92), Enchanting (91)
Skills to work on: Light Armor (85), 1-Handed Weapons (74)

Thane Status: Of the 9 Holds in Skyrim, I am Thane of 8. Their capital cities are listed below, along with the ‘Weapon of Status’ presented.
The ‘Thane quest’ for the Hold of Eastmarch will unlock when I choose a side in the civil war, which is causing major tensions in the land.  Windhelm is the capital city of Eastmarch.

Thane of Whiterun – presented with the Blade of Whiterun
Thane of Riften – presented with the Blade of the Rift
Thane of Markarth – presented with the Blade of the Reach
Thane of Solitude – presented with the Blade of Haafingar
Thane of Morthal – presented with the Blade of Hjaalmarch
Thane of Dawnstar – presented with the Blade of The Pale
Thane of Winterhold – presented with the Blade of Winterhold
Thane of Falkreath – presented with the Blade of Falkreath

Houses owned:
Breezehome, in Whiterun
Honeyside, in Riften
Vlindrel Hall, in Markarth
Proudspire Manor, in Solitude

Side Accomplishments: ‘Married’ Balimund, owner of the Scorched Hammer in Riften.  He’s the town blacksmith.
Blood-kin of the Orcs of Skyrim: This opens access to the Orc strongholds and their mines (mining = good gold to be made!)

In Memoriam: Lydia – housecarl assigned upon being named Thane of Whiterun, killed in battle with draugur near giant camp of Secunda’s Kiss.
Boadicea – valiant steed, killed in battle outside of Morthal.
Vigilance – war dog (Irish Wolfhound), killed in battle with dragon in the streets of Shor’s Stone.

Titles: Guild Master of the Thieves’ Guild – Honorary ‘Nightingale’
Harbinger of the Companions – Honored member of the Inner Circle (Beastblood; adds temporary werewolf transformation – 1x/day)
Arch-Mage of Winterhold College
Newly-appointed member of the Dark Brotherhood – Assassin’s Guild

Member of Bard’s College in Solitude: restored the local ‘Burning Man’ Festival

I love wandering the roads of Skyrim – there is so much to see!  ‘Hoofing it’ on your own two feet is a lot of fun; roaming on all fours as a werewolf is the best!  Going on a hunt, bringing down your prey, feeding on your kill…ah, yes.

In the northern part of the province, the chill winds blow on a regular basis.  I’ve crossed the ice floes during treks to far-distant dungeons and shipwrecks, facing the mighty snow bear on his own turf!  A deep-diving expedition to the unfortunate remnants of an ill-fated armada of pilgrims was one of the more notable parts of that trip.

When you walk the snow-covered paths and trails, the snow crunches under your feet.  Fat snowflakes dance in the air at times; it’s nice to wander off the path and delve deeper into the forests, and use the weather to shroud yourself as you explore.  If you happen to be walking through one of the cities during a thunderstorm in the evening, the reflection of lightning can be seen in many windows; you can hear the rain falling, and the peals of thunder are perfectly captured.

Further south and inland, the weather is milder and temperate – evergreen and deciduous trees mix on the mountainsides, and plains, grasslands, and steppes are common terrain.  Thunderstorms are a regular sight near the city of Whiterun, while the lakeside city of Riften is often shrouded in fog – the fog can sometimes linger into the early afternoons!

Here’s a little recap of a funny Skyrim skit, simply for shits and giggles!
Conan O’Brien: Andy Richter’s Skyrim voice-over

…and, one of the writers on his show, Deon Cole, with a relevant observation:

Conan O’Brien: Deon Cole talks about hoodies

Deadly beauty

Blood-covered statue of Malacath

Skyrim: Progress Update #2

At long last, a new update!  I know you’ve been eagerly awaiting this news, LOL – so, here it is!

Level 33
Fighting skills: Heavy Armor and Two-handed Weapons specialist; Archery secondary (skill level 60+ in all three)
Stealth skills: Sneak (93) and Lockpicking (74)
Magic skills: Destruction magicka and Enchantments (still building)
Miscellaneous skill: Blacksmithing (52)

Thane of Whiterun – presented with the Blade of Whiterun
Thane of Riften – presented with the Blade of the Rift
Thane of Markarth – presented with the Blade of the Reach
Thane of Solitude – presented with the Blade of Haafingar

Houses owned:
Breezehome – located in Whiterun
Honeyside – located in Riften
Vlindrel Hall – located in Markarth
Proudspire Manor – located in Solitude

Side Accomplishments:
‘Married’ Balimund, the owner of the Scorched Hammer – Riften
Blood-kin of the Orcs of Skyrim, opens access to the Orc strongholds and their mines (mining = good gold to be made!)

In Memoriam:
Lydia – housecarl assigned upon being named Thane of Whiterun, killed in battle with draugur near giant camp of Secunda’s Kiss
Boadicea – valiant steed, killed in battle outside of Morthal
Vigilance – war dog (Irish Wolfhound), killed in battle with dragon in the streets of Shor’s Stone

Best dragon battle:
Streets of Karthwasten – I rushed out from under the porch overhang of the inn and into the street.  The dragon, weakened from arrows, lands directly in front of me.  I switch from my Bow of Thunderbolts to my Elven Battleaxe of the Blaze.  The dragon rears its head back, then it thrusts forward to take a bite of me.  I stand firm and deliver a two-handed power-blow; the animation of the coup de grace shows my character smashing the dragon’s head to the side as it strikes out.  As it shakes its head to clear it, I jump on its neck, just behind the head as if I’m going to ride it, and deliver a skull-crushing blow!  The dragon drops and I leap lightly to the ground.  It was a great battle!  🙂
I wanted to post a screenshot or a live-action clip, but couldn’t get it to work.  My fiance saw it, though, so at least I have a witness to my might!  Just call me ‘Dragon-Rider’, LOL – some lizard dude, an Argonian, located in the Riften marketplace calls me ‘Land-strider’ because I brought back some items for him to sell.  As soon as I find one more flawless sapphire in my minings, I can bring those back to him for a tidy sum of gold.  Gotta keep my coffers full!

Here’s a map of Skyrim – that way, you’ll know how well-traveled I am!  Enjoy…  🙂

Skyrim: Progress Update

Well, I’ve been playing Skyrim for about 3 weeks now.  I limit my time on weekdays (between 1 – 2 hours per day) so that I’m not up late and too tired at work the next morning – I’m not much of a morning person anymore, so I need my 8 hours to feel semi-human!

So, here’s my progress update: my character is almost level 20.  I’m creating a stealthy warrior who specializes in heavy armor and 2-handed weapons such as warhammers, battle axes, and greatswords (claidheamh mòr).  I’ve also completed a few quests and have attained some nice collections to display in my ‘home’ in the city of Whiterun; I may purchase another house in another city but haven’t decided which one – Solitude will probably be it, as Winterhold seems to have the most inclement weather (hence the name), Markarth is under the dictatorial grasp of a wealthy, power-mad family, and Riften is nice but has fewer quest opportunities than some of the other cities.

I’m balancing my character out with proficiency in archery and lockpicking, as well as speech to help with haggling for better prices when I sell my hard-earned items!  So far, my development strategy has been successful.  I have also killed 15 dragons so far, two of them in face-to-face shootouts – I was firing arrows as quickly as I could, while the dragon chomped at me while I dodged and weaved behind trees!  I haven’t figured out how to get a good screen-shot yet, but I’ll post some when I learn how…

I had to boost my computer’s performance a bit as well, so I added another 2 GB memory stick for a total of 8 GB, and I upgraded my video card so action flows very smoothly now, and I’m able to see much more detail such as arrows left in the grass after a battle, fish swimming underwater, individual drops of rain, and sparks from signal-fires.  It’s fucking awesome!!  🙂  See my previous posting from October of last year, regarding the purchase of that computer, for the original specifications.

Here are some of my screenshots – enjoy, and good gaming, my fellow freakazoids!


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