Tuesday Tidbits: 28 February 2017

‘tis Tuesday – the last day of February! I’ve been busy editing my NaNoWriMo novel of fiction; I will have another excerpt posted here before the week is out.

Zenimax Online Studios (ZOS), the geniuses behind the marvel that is the Elder Scrolls Online, have decided to do some in-game testing this week, so there will be no Twitch broadcasts from me in the interim – watching endless loading-screens and constant crashes would be as boring for you as they are frustrating for me, LOL! Here’s a little in-game background: The Elder Scrolls Online was officially launched in April of 2014, but I began playing during the last week of March of that year. I was a beta-tester, and decided to pre-order the game for an extra week of gameplay before anyone else jumped into it!

Anyway, the base character levels are from 1 – 50. Once you hit level 50, you become a ‘champion’ and earn ‘champion points,’ or ‘CP,’ which can be applied to your character and enhance the build and skills you have exponentially. The old system used to just allow you to be a ‘veteran’ to a certain level and there were no champion points, initially. The only challenges available to veteran characters were a daily ‘grind’ in the PvP battlefields of Cyrodiil. With the addition of CP, many players feel that Cyrodiil is imbalanced, even though there are PvP campaigns which have CP disabled – so, those buffs don’t apply to your character, whether they are a lowbie or a veteran. This week’s testing has disabled CP for all players in all campaigns, and will give a double bonus of Alliance Points (AP). These points are only used in the PvP / AvA area, and can be used to purchase items such as siege weapons or specialized armour / weapon sets which are of great benefit on the battlefield.

The amount of AP you can earn or ‘farm’ gets you on the Emperor ‘leaderboards,’ where you can see how your score stacks up against other players. These numbers can give one a false sense of superiority, especially amongst people who run in the middle of a zerg-swarm. Safety in numbers doesn’t equate fighting skills, but telling that to some players is like telling a cosmetic-surgery addict that their looks don’t make them anything special. The responses from that are equally petty, as the suggestion to “GIT GUUUUD!” makes as much sense as the accusation of “you’re just JEALOUS!”

Anyway, this test requires as many players as possible to be online at the same time, spamming massive AoE spells of offensive and defensive nature; full raiding groups, and as many zerg-swarms farming AP at various choke-points as possible…more changes will be happening in-game in the near future, which is a good thing! Stagnation of any sort is undesirable, don’t you think?

Time for a bit of music while I take a gaming break, check my email, and get some dinner cooking. Beef stew is on tonight’s menu! Talk at you all laters…

Testing Time: Computer Performance!

Well, I’ve had my computer hooked up for about a week, and it seems to be running quite smoothly – so, it’s time to put it through some strenuous paces! I need to figure out how to utilize the recording / broadcasting program that came with the new GPU, and it is quite a bit different from the one that I used with the AMD video card. Yay – I get to learn something new! Once I get that nailed down, I’ll finally start learning how to create music videos on YouTube and create a few of my own. That might lead to doing the odd vlog post here and there; it’s about time that I jumped in that pool, LOL

While I get familiar with the GeForce(R) Experience(TM), settle in and enjoy these vintage clips of my Elder Scrolls Online in-game footage! Quite a bit has changed since I uploaded these videos many moons ago, so I apologize for the poor quality. It will be nice to compare these clips with the new ones which will be posted…eventually!

This first clip shows the defense of a keep, which I “claimed” for my guild, then a subsequent bridge battle – and, ending with a lovely loading-screen of eternity!

This second one shows the completion of one of many in-game storylines. I titled it “Kingslayer,” for lack of any better description!

Finally, my favourite clip – collecting a battlefield bounty!

Midweek Memes & Music: 18 January 2017

I’m working on a post that should be done by the weekend; it’s basically my review of a blogger-to-blogger (B2B) ‘interview’ that finally got completed a couple of days ago. It was an interesting experience, to say the least! I hope that you enjoy the review, and of course will link to said ‘interview’ in the post. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, my followers and / or readers think about it. My thoughts will be made known, for certain!

Anyway, here’s a bit of midweek music to keep you entertained while I get that post put together. Also, I finally have my other computer back, built (mostly) to my specifications, so we’ll see if it performs to my expectations! That will possibly warrant another salty, snarky review…stay tuned for it, LOL

Chicken Soup Sunday

I love cooking – it’s a relaxing, enjoyable activity, and consuming a delicious kitchen creation can’t be beat. Some dishes that I especially enjoy making are soups, stews, and chowders, using a variety of meats, vegetables, and spices. I experiment with different flavours once in a while, or substitute one ingredient for another if I’m short on something. It doesn’t take a whole lot to make a great soup, with or without meat proteins!

Today, I decided to cook up a nice, big pot of chicken soup. I always use fresh herbs and ingredients, and wanted to list a few of my favourite veggies that I toss into it. Onions, shallots, garlic, and carrots are always used; they make up the base for my stews as well. In chicken soup specifically, I am likely to use these other garden items:

Kale (purple variety)

Bok Choy

Swiss Chard (rainbow variety)

Corn (fresh when in-season)

Parsnip

I used to put noodles in, because chicken-noodle soup was always a staple when I was growing up. After moving to Seattle and getting access to fresh vegetables and herbs, courtesy of the famous Pike Place Market, I began experimenting with the old recipe and tweaked it to where it suited my taste. I make it with chicken or tofu; either way, I think that it’s delicious. I also feel that it gives a healthy boost to my immune system, which is a bonus: good, healthy food, made with fresh ingredients, is one of the primary foundations of living a healthy lifestyle…and, it works!

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Excerpt: A Letter Home

Author’s Note: This is another excerpt from my work of fiction – I thought that putting some screen-shots in would be a nice touch!

Dearest Mother and honoured Father – it has been a fortnight now since I left home, and such wondrous sights have I beheld! Sister’s advice has held true to date, as I have apprenticed myself to a chef with a travelling caravan. Their numbers will conceal and guard me as I make my way across this strange, new land. We are just over thirty in all, including myself. My duties vary depending on where we venture. When we are in a community of any size, I help out the chef and his assistant with food-preparation – I am being introduced to all sorts of new spices, seasonings, and cuts of meat from a variety of exotic animals. Other times, entertainment is the order of the day, so I get to play my lute for customers from time to time. I’ve earned a fair bit of coin in this fashion! Also, sometimes I play the drum while the other entertainers dance – they like the rhythms that I beat for them.

When able, the dancers show me some of their moves and steps, and seem to be impressed by how quickly I catch on – they say that I could earn even more coin if I were to dance, but I don’t know how I feel about trying that out, as of yet. At least the costumes worn aren’t scanty or overly provocative! I don’t know that I’d want to dance for others, especially if wearing little but filmy, gauzy, see-through material that is only appropriate for one’s bedchamber.

You will both be happy to learn that I have finally learned the art of the sword! Please do not fret and question the tutors you hired for me – they simply weren’t able to impart their vast knowledge in a way that I could understand. One of the entertainers, a fire-eater and sword-dancer, has taken me under her wing and helped me with my skills. She said that I have much aptitude and natural talent, but tend to over-think every move – if I were to relax and let the motions happen naturally, I would be much more successful, in her estimation. I have chosen to use the great-swords, as the sword and shield combination still feels clumsy to my hands. Using a staff feels more comfortable to me than sword and shield! I know that Sister is well-versed in that type of combat, and will ask her for assistance at a later time. For now, I must concentrate on my chosen weapon.

We have been on the road for three days straight as I write this – our next destination is a fortress on the edge of the mapped lands that I’ve seen and sketched out, so far. I have made note of the transitus shrines that you told me about; knowing where they are will be of enormous help in the days to come, especially whenever and wherever I part ways with the caravan. At least I have time to mark the locations of the shrines, as the day that I take my leave is still in the unforeseen future.

Father, I wanted to say to you that I have seen the circles in the sky: the huge, black anchors and the massive chains that you’ve told us of. The ugly noise that heralds their appearance sounds for miles across the land, and they can be seen fading into view from a great distance, if you happen to look in the right direction and see their fell glow. The abominations that fall from them can barely be described – my hands shake the pen so when I attempt to sketch them. My mind wants to block out their horror. I have joined others in fighting them, but only once to date. It was a terrible battle. I can still smell the reek and stench of the disgusting undead, and have nightmares of the various golems and their twisted, constructed forms. I vow to destroy each and every dark anchor that I come across, whenever and wherever I see them. I will do anything to assist in yours, and Brother’s, healing from that harrowing ordeal those 25 long years past. I also hope to avenge the deaths of your crewmen and shipmates…so many good men lost, and families harmed!

The candle is burning low, so it is time for sleep. It has been a long, profitable day, and tomorrow is a day of rest, relaxation, and leisure for us before we set out on the following day. The weather has been mild and the winds in our favour; the ash from the great volcano has blown away from us for five days, now. Because of this, we have made good time in travelling to the fort, as the trek usually takes a full cycle of the moons from start to finish.

I close this letter with love and respect, dear Mother and honoured Father. Please give my salutations to Brother and Sister; I hope that they are well and happy wherever they are roaming today. I am hale and healthy – the gods and goddesses are smiling their favour.

Cordially, fondly, and with utmost respect and love,

~Sepultur’a

New Life Festival Screen-Shots: 1st Post 2017!

Well, here we are…1 January of 2017! I say “1st Post 2017,” because it is my first original post typed with my own fingers, not a re-blog of someone else’s post. I’m going to be doing some gaming and live-streaming the footage if the program decides to cooperate. In the meantime, please enjoy these in-game screen-shots that I took while taking part in the New Life Festival. I’m enjoying the fun, seasonal things that are being added to the game – they’re very entertaining. I’m also looking forward to checking out the player housing on the Public Test Server in a week or so! I usually don’t do ‘spoilers,’ but I really want to see what’s in store.

Talk at you all later!

Happy Final Friday of 2016!

I’m putting the finishing touches on my post for New Year’s Eve, for all of the good it will do – that’s the price I pay for being a touch of a perfectionist, but no harm done, there. It’s not something all gooshy-mushy, or full of woe, or a massive pity-party. It’s just your average, run-of-the-mill, end-of-year post!

I found some good music for this final Friday of 2016, so I figured I’d share it – hey, some of us started celebrating early, LOL! New Year’s Eve on a weekend is a good thing, I think. Talk at you all tomorrow!

Tuesday Tuneage…27 December 2016!

It’s a lovely, lazy Tuesday! Relaxing and gaming; made up a nice big pot of seafood chowder, and staying warm while it’s rainy and blustery outside. I think that it’s time for some music – enjoy these selected songs! Later, ‘gators…

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Random Friday Ramblings…23 December 2016!

It’s Friday…whoo-hoo!!! I always love Fridays, whether I’m working or not – go figure, eh? Anyway, I just put in my annual calendar order today, along with some necessary, much-needed workout gear. It’s been a while since I bought workout clothes, and what’s really funny is that my workout gear doubles as ideal gaming gear! So, to bore you all to tears, here is what I wear whilst working out or gaming…and hard-core gamers know that an intense PvP gaming session, or a mindless XP grind, is a workout in and of itself, LOL!

DISCLAIMER: I receive no compensation for the products that I use, so this is strictly my opinion only! Would I love to get some free gear and do a review? Sure! But, I’m not on Facebook – that’s why I don’t get free products. I pay real money for what I use, LOL

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First off, I prefer Tommie Copper clothing. Comfort, durability, fit, and it looks good on me – those are the reasons I like it. Other fitness brands just look ugly to me, and seem to be made for anorexics who do nothing but spinning classes. I do circuit training and yoga, mainly. My elliptical machine is for fall and winter, or rainy days in the spring and summer, but I enjoy getting out on my bicycle and riding on the beach. I’m still on the lookout for a decent rowing machine, too – almost got one at the same time I bought my weight machine, but it was already sold out…so, I’ll keep looking!

Anyway, the workout gear is this:
-Gloves
-Compression wrist supports
-Comfort / support top
-Back brace (upper-body workout days)
-Compression shorts
-Knee supports (or full-leg compression for lower-body / leg exercises)
-Compression ankle supports
-Vibram(R) Five-fingers(T) shoes

For gaming, I wear the gloves and the wrist supports, a t-shirt with a smart-ass saying on it (for proper gaming saltiness), and jeans or yoga pants. Others can schlub about in house-coats or sweats…not me! Comfortable doesn’t need to be slovenly, ROFL

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I planned on writing up a schedule for my live gaming broadcasts, but it’s impossible to do with such a temperamental computer. Actually, the computer isn’t temperamental – either the Twitch program decides that it doesn’t want to work some days, or the ESO game itself is! There are always random crashes that happen whilst gaming, especially during ‘special events’ such as the ongoing ‘New Life Festival,’ but they’re expected. When one has been gaming for as long as I have, bugs and crashes are a given – so, we just roll with it and wait out the inevitable patches! Speaking of special stuff…player housing is FINALLY coming to ESO, and I can’t wait – I’m ready to check it out on the Public Test Server (PTS) when it gets loaded there in January! It should be interesting, to say the least. Below is a short video showing some of the houses that will be available.

Well, that’s it from me for now – time for some gaming! If you want to watch, click on the ‘Multimedia Links’ at the top of my blog and find the Twitch channel…if it says ‘LIVE,’ that means I’m online and the programs are cooperating with me, LOL

Otherwise, enjoy these three selected songs…happy Friday, all! Oh, while I’m on the subject of music – please don’t go reading something into the songs that I play. People get all bent out of shape or butthurt over my music, when I’m simply playing what I want to hear, when I want to hear it, if I’ve been inspired by reading or writing! I don’t do hidden meanings – now, if I do a theme-related post, that’s another thing entirely! Talk at you all later…

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Midweek Music…Merry Solstice!!!

Merry Solstice, everyone! Here are five songs celebrating the “official” first day of Winter – enjoy!

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