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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Wind & Rain!

It has been a bit stormy here on the coast, and another system is moving in. Knock wood, I haven’t lost power at all this time around! The Divines continue to smile benevolently, it appears.

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Thursday Thoughts: 17 November 2016

Wow – this month is just over halfway over, already! What with the recent election and doing my best to meet the daily word-count challenge of NaNoWriMo, I’ve been insanely busy – but it is enjoyable, believe it or not! I didn’t assume that the challenge would be easy…after all, if something is easy, then it can’t qualify as a challenge, now, can it? I will say that it is a worthy challenge, so I’ve been adjusting my writing schedule as needed, so as not to be overwhelmed or frustrated. One cannot force inspiration, and if I’m staring at a computer screen blankly, with nothing coming to mind, then trying to push myself isn’t going to work. Those are the times I unplug from the computer completely and do something else! My “unplugging” is why I’ve barely been able to keep up with even 1/10th of the blogs that I follow! Apologies to my friends and acquaintances for my absence…I at least try to “like” posts here and there, even if I can’t comment as much. The month will be over before I know it, though, and things can get back to some semblance or normalcy…whatever that is!
XD

Speaking of gaming, there is a “free play” weekend promotion going on for the game that I’m hopelessly and shamelessly addicted to. It’s so free, you don’t even have to purchase The Elder Scrolls Online game. Simply click on this link for the details – if you have a Steam account, then you’re halfway there! I do notice though, that many gamers (including myself) definitely have a preference of the genres that we play. Me, I like the MUDs and RPGs, whether they’re MMOs or not. I also like the “collect & build” games, including StarCraft, Command & Conquer, and Total Annihilation. The only FPS-types that I liked were Half-Life and Half-Life 2…it doesn’t hurt that I’m actually in one of those games – at least I can admit my favouritisms and why, LOL

In honour of Skyrim’s newest version recently being released, and the free-play weekend going on, I figured that I’d add the links of my three favourite “Clueless Gamer” clips from Conan O’Brien’s site, TeamCoco.com. They are some of the funniest things that I’ve ever seen, so why wait for Friday to watch them? Thursday has been called “Friday Eve” by myself and many others for a few years, so let’s get the weekend started early, and on a fun-filled note! I hope that you enjoyed the hidden links scattered about, and that the five songs at the end of the post get you dancing around. Later, gators!
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Conan O’Brien: Clueless Gamer – “Skyrim” review

Conan O’Brien: Clueless Gamer Big Game Showdown – “Mortal Kombat X”

Conan O’Brien: Clueless Gamer – “Final Fantasy XV” review with Elijah Wood

Thursday Thoughts…27 October 2016

I was doing a bit of reading today, and found out that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has a re-mastered version coming out tomorrow, being released on Steam for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. From The Telegraph:

In 2011 the Game Director of Bethesda Game Studios, Todd Howard, finished up work on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This Norse fantasy, sandbox role-playing game was one of the most anticipated releases of the last console generation, and the hype was palpable. It shot to unprecedented success, earning countless Game of the Year awards, smashing sales targets and capturing the hearts and minds of millions. As we approach the game’s fifth anniversary, Bethesda is about to commemorate its original release with a remaster. It’s no surprise –– the game still has an enormous fan base, reams of cosplayers flock to dress up as its characters at every convention, and there’s even an upcoming concert to celebrate the game’s incredible orchestral score. Its five-year birthday is certainly a milestone to be celebrated, but the game’s remarkable success –– how the melting pot of chance, luck and sheer artistic achievement brought us here –– remains a bit of a mystery.”

Will I buy it? Most likely. Will I have much time to play it? Not immediately, LOL! Stay tuned and I’ll let you know…I still have to get my main rig back in my hot little hands!

The second story that caught my eye has to do with the dress that First Lady Michelle Obama wore at her final state dinner as first lady. She wore an absolutely breath-taking gown designed by Donatella Versace, but the story behind it is awesome! From the New York Times:

On Tuesday night, at her final state dinner as first lady, Michelle Obama solidified her legacy as perhaps the most adept and successful practitioner of the art of political dressing that any administration has seen.

Her choice of an Atelier Versace gown for the Italy state dinner was not only a nice bit of sartorial diplomacy — Versace being an Italian success story, a company often touted as a candidate for a public offering — but, coming less than a week after her magnetic speech in New Hampshire on women and respect, it went far beyond being simply an ambassadorial nod to a guest country’s talent and made a powerful subliminal statement.

The dress, after all, was made of rose gold … chain mail. As much as it was gracefully cut and draped, it also spoke of armor and female strength, of the need to gird yourself to fight for what you believe in. And it was designed by Donatella Versace, a woman who was famously thrust into one of the most difficult situations of all: having to take over and preserve the company founded by her brother after his murder in Miami. And who, despite a fair number of doubts, has ultimately triumphed — in part by transforming the aesthetic of her company from one built on the power of sex to one built on the power of self.

After all, Ms. Versace did describe her most recent women’s wear collection, shown in Milan last month, as, “all about a woman’s freedom: freedom of movement, freedom of activity, freedom to fight for their ideas, freedom to be whomever you want to be.” And she set it to a soundtrack by the trance duo Violet + Photonz that featured the statement that it was time for women to “take the leap.”

I love that dress. May I say it again? I absolutely LOVE THAT DRESS! I love the craftsmanship that was involved, because making a dress out of chain mail, especially of that fine of a gauge, takes much time and skill…this, I know! I have some jewelry and clothing made out of chain mail, including a dress – but my dress is nowhere near as fine as the one worn by the First Lady. It is well-made, but extremely heavy; definitely more utilitarian than fashionable, and the links are much larger. I’d love to see how it was made, from start to finish…truly a masterpiece! Warrior women certainly need our armour – wherever we go!

Finally, the most recent take on the election from John Oliver – his perspective, along with those of Trevor Noah, Conan O’Brien, and Stephen Colbert, make these last two weeks far more palatable. I cast my vote already, and my conscience is clear. My duty is done…there’s nothing left to do but wait until the final vote is counted and the official decision is handed down.

Pictures & Screenshots for Post #1,005

The title says it all…enjoy! The screen-shots are from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and TESO, respectively.

Friday Theme Day!

The title says it all…enjoy.

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LOL – “Deez Nutz” for president, 2016!

“Intelligent Abnormal” – I resemble that remark!

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Did you catch the theme? I hope so. Closing with a good song…see ya tomorrow!

Mindless Midweek Musings…

Credit: jamesticknor.blogspot.com

Jumping right on in: may I say that I’m tired of politics already? Ye gawds…2016 seems so far away, even though it’s already halfway through August, which is more than halfway through this year. The so-called presidential ‘campaign’ is already taking its toll. Yes, Jon Stewart is no longer at The Daily Show, but Trevor Noah will soon be taking the helm – that will be awesome. To my knowledge, he debuts on Monday, 28 September. Stephen Colbert will launch his show on Tuesday, 8 September, and the new Doctor Who series airs on BBC America on Saturday, 19 September – so I’m set. In the meantime, Larry Wilmore and Conan O’Brien have my political information at the ready, so that I can deal with all of the horror involved in politics, and the news in general, without feeling the need to weep uncontrollably. I can actually watch and laugh at the idiocy of it all. Speaking of which, here are two links to the most recent episodes of The Nightly Show. They are well worth watching, IMHO!

The Nightly Show: 10 August, 2015

The Nightly Show: 11 August, 2015

Also, here’s a re-posting of one of the funniest video game reviews that I’ve ever seen – just because!

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Conan O’Brien reviews The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Xbox360)

Credit: memegenerator.net

What else…oh, yeah – baseball! The Seattle Mariners helped make MLB history last night in their 10-inning, 6 – 5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Every team that played at their home stadium yesterday came away with a victory on the same day…that’s 15 teams. First time ever!

Austin Jackson, who hit the winning run, gets doused by team-mate Logan Morrison

Hisashi Iwakuma pitches a perfect no-hitter in his first complete major-league game

Secondly, Hisashi Iwakuma pitched a perfect no-hitter today, elevating the Mariners to a delicious 3 – 0 win over Baltimore! It was the first time that an A.L. team had pitched one since…well, when “King” Felix Hernandez did it on 15 August 2012! Ah, I love my team…win or lose, I really enjoy watching them. At the end of the baseball season, I plan on doing my usual tribute to my favourite players of the season, as well as a small recap of the top three or five Mariners commercials. There are always some great ones, LOL

Credit: consumerist.com

I’m working on a huge, nerdly, self-indulgent project that involves Twitch, learning live-streaming, and gaming, although learning that Amazon owns Twitch and it’s been hacked fairly recently makes me a bit nervous. I sincerely hope that I don’t need a camera on my computer; if so, then I’m not doing it, LOL

In nerd-speak, my project essentially involves this:

Gotta hook up the TS chat-line and group with some friends and guild-members to do a major zerg-ball on the castle. First, though, we have to do an extended siege and get some point-farming done on the bridge, because we can expect the heaviest resistance there. Watch out for the gank-squads on the way; we have some spotters hunkered down at the well to take out any noobs, and we have some small scouting squads checking the outpost perimeter so that they can’t flag it and cut off our mode of transport if you need to rez. Take care if you see the emperor or empress – you’ll get rekt hardcore and they will t-bag you mercilessly if you make a move on them!

Sorry if that wasn’t understandable…I speak geek (and Klingon, if you really must know)!

Finally, don’t forget to cast your vote on if you think I should change my avatar or leave it the same. The link to the post with the vote in it is here – I hope that I don’t have the settings buggered on it!

XD

Credit: managewp.com

Springtime Sunshine!

Ah, yes…Spring has sprung! Yesterday was the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It entered the Pacific Northwest at 9:57 a.m. PDT (16:57 UTC) and the day was beautiful – mostly soft sunshine with a few light showers passing through. Other parts of the country aren’t as fortunate, as the snow on the ground reflects any sunlight, preventing it from melting. Since there is so much of it, it could be another two weeks (at least!) before people in Chicago or New York will see any bare ground. More sunshine today with intermittent showers, and a light, warm zephyr wafting gently – it’s positively idyllic.

Spotted towhee

It’s been fun identifying the various small birds that flutter around the house. Besides the hummingbirds, we have chickadees, spotted towhees, and dark-eyed juncos. I’ve been able to get some of them to respond when I whistle, and a few will stand by the porch when I scatter seed for them. Sometimes they forage on the porches if they don’t see me moving by the window – they’re so cute! I refuse to have birds in cages…it’s such a cruel thing to do. I like watching my little feathered buddies doing their birdy things in their own environment! The deer mosey through the yard regularly now that the shrubs are leafing out, and Mr. Fluffy-pants paid us a visit a couple of nights past.

Dark-eyed junco

Springtime means that baseball’s Spring Training is going on, and the Seattle Mariners home opener is 8 April – I’m looking forward to it! Their lineup has changed slightly since some trades were made, including the addition of Robinson Cano. Hisashi Iwakuma has been rehabbing a sprained tendon in his finger, Taijuan Walker was recently diagnosed with bursitis, and Stephen Pryor is recovering from a torn lat. Hopefully they have swift recoveries and return soon; their presences on the team are solid and their contributions are necessary!

There are many interesting happenings in the world, lately. Vladimir Putin missed the Cold War so much that he’s decided to throw the U.S. right back in the middle of it, what with his figurative buttocks-baring towards NATO, the EU, and President Obama. Not sure what can be done if Putin brings back the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, remodeled in the image that he grew up under as the son of a KGB agent. It’s fascinating that the FauxNews fucktard crowd seem to want a fascist like Putin for POTUS – they positively drool over Putin’s shirtless horseback-riding. Xenophobic racists have their new poster-boy for the 21st Century! Meanwhile, their juvenile name-calling of President Obama finds new lows on a daily basis. When the next white is elected POTUS, you can bet that they will get treated with kid gloves…especially if they are a darling of the RethugliKKKans or the nazis who are toolin’ for a warm tea-bag!

The Malaysian airliner is still missing and unaccounted for, even as the focal point of the search is now somewhere off of the southwestern coast of Australia…halfway to Antarctica. My husband and I had talked about what might have occurred and came up with an interesting probability, but I don’t want to speculate here – especially when there are so many grieving families. I will say, though, that the lack of a debris field immediately following the disappearance indicates that the plane didn’t crash after takeoff, as initial reports suggested. If and when the plane is found, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, the black box and the data recorders reveal.

Speaking of tragedies, Seattle residents were horrified as a KOMO-TV News helicopter plunged from the station’s helipad as it was taking off in the early hours of Tuesday, 18 March. Both men aboard the chopper were killed on impact, while a third man is receiving excellent care and treatment in the burn unit of Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. The man was in a car stopped at a traffic light when the chopper landed on the vehicle; he managed to extricate himself approximately 2 minutes afterwards, with his clothing alight, and a security guard at the KOMO studios helped snuff out the flames. That footage of the burning fuel from the chopper, running swiftly down Broad Street, was unbelievable…

What else…oh, it seems that some troll, who is overtly obsessed with Seth McFarlane, simply can’t stand that fact that I had the audacity to criticize the Family Guy creator in a post I wrote quite some time ago. They keep begging for my attention in a manner that befits a desperate, pathetic creature who needs the firm ministrations of a mistress. Backhanding them in the mouth with the butt of a whip would be a fun start! Anyway, I might get around to giving them the attention they’re crying for – when I get really fucking BORED, that is!

Back to important shit – yes, I’m still gaming…why wouldn’t I be? As long as computer games that appeal to me keep getting made, I’ll keep on enjoying them. It beats being a sad, little Internet troll with no life, LMAO! I’ve been sorting out some new and recent screenshots from HalfLife and Skyrim, and having a lot of fun exploring  Morrowind…that old game still has plenty of appeal! I noticed that there’s an expansion pack for Starcraft II coming out soon; I will definitely scoop that up and see if it’s any good…and, we’re seriously considering checking out TESO. Our curiosity got the better of us and we enrolled in a couple of Beta tests, so now we got sucked into another MMORPG. Oh well!

Belated Ostara blessings, dear readers…have a fantastic weekend!

Random February Ramblings…February 2014

It’s a nice, relaxing day – I was doing some work around the house and took a break, so I figured I’d jot down some random thoughts and upcoming topics. It is high noon and “beer-thirty,” so wander with me a while, won’t you?

First off, it is February, which has been designated as “African-American History Month” or just “Black History Month.” I am working on a long post about that, which will be published by the end of the month since I’m still doing some research – but it will be worth the wait!

February means that spring is just around the corner…well, actually, that depends on your location! Here in the Pacific Northwestern corner of the USA, it’s been positively balmy and mild. Sure, we’ve had a little bit of blustery weather and a couple of decent snowfalls (snow on the coastal beaches is beautiful, by the way), but nothing compared to the deep freeze back east and in the deep south, or the storms hammering the UK and other parts of Europe! We have some clouds moving in at the moment, due to a system coming in off of the Pacific Ocean, but the sun was shining beautifully this morning and flowers are starting to bloom on some of the bushes. I love it when the wind kicks up and I can hear the ocean roaring when I open the windows or doors! It will be a wet spring and a beautiful summer, from what I can see. If the wind and rain keep kicking up, I have a feeling that March will roar in like a lion!

Injustice, again, in the state of Florida – isn’t it sad to not be surprised by bullshit like that? A panel of stupid people deadlocked on whether or not Michael Dunn of Jacksonville, Florida, acted in self-defense when he murdered 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Remember, Mr. Dunn was the instigator when he walked up to that Dodge Durango in that parking area and demanded that the teenagers inside turn down their music. Mr. Dunn lied when he said that the youths had a gun. He fired 10 rounds in all, 9 directly into the vehicle – the 10th shot was fired AFTER HE STEPPED OUT OF HIS OWN CAR AS THE SUV WAS IN MOTION. There should have been no question that he was guilty on all five counts, but morons in this country believe that when a Black person is murdered, that person must have brought it on themselves – regardless of the situation. Just like Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, Rekia Boyd, Oscar Grant III, Renisha McBride, Marshall Coulter…the list goes on. It is virtually impossible for Black people to get true justice in this country. We are constantly and consistently vilified, dehumanized, minimized, and marginalized – it’s disgusting. This idiotic comment from this Al-Jazeera article says it all:

“Clay Hickman
NEW
5 days ago
 
Michael Dunn is another idiot that has abused the right to self-defense. I will use deadly force when my family is threatened but I KNOW what a real threat is. A bunch of wanna be teenage thugs with their ground pounding thug music is NOT a threat. I’m white and listen to rap and hip-hop but I don’t turn it up loud enough to piss off everybody in the area. Teach young black men to respect everybody, white, black, men, women, and themselves.”

…note how the commenter states that only “young black men” need to “respect everybody” but no other group is given the same directive – also, the telling usage of the term ‘thug’ illustrates the hateful stereotypes the ‘concern troll’ has chosen to use to demonstrate how ‘inclusive’ and ‘progressive’ they are…FUCK that racist nonsense!

More needs to be done about addressing that issue, not spouting off ridiculous, phony statistics about crime rates and so-called “Black-on-white crimes.” In fact, there is some new online movement of whites who claim that there is an upsurge in ‘retaliatory crimes’ where Black people are randomly attacking whites anywhere and everywhere. There is some WordPress site called ‘Violence Against Whites – the fallen’, which I have no intention of linking here whatsoever, but it is easy to find! Talk about recycled bullshit – there is plenty there.

No, I see the reality so I see otherwise – I mean, the white guy who got shot in the movie theatre in Florida was murdered by another white guy, who happened to be a retired police captain, over a fucking TEXT MESSAGE and THROWN POPCORN. I’m shaking my fucking head over that one…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. On a side note, I’ve been working on a post about guns and concealed weapons permits, since I recently obtained my CPLs. Stay tuned for that one to be published!

I’ll be glad when Putin’s Bazaar of Bigotry the Olympics is over – the Winter Olympics might as well be called the “All-White Games” or “Nazis on Ice,” no? Oh, sure, there is a smattering of darker-hued individuals this time around, including the ever-present Jamaican bobsled team that inspired the crappy movie “Cool Runnings.” Remember the sister from France who was a dynamite figure skater? Reports on her always had a negative tone to them – she would be described as “arrogant” or “cold” on a regular basis, while her talent was minimized. The women’s U.S. bobsled team has some Black female participants, and one of the male U.S. speed-skaters is Black. Funny how people find a reason to dismiss Black athletes who participate in cold-weather sports! Speaking of the Olympics, everyone knows that these games were bought and paid for by Putin. Russian corruption is notorious, so why are people acting surprised over the shoddy conditions of hotels and other facilities? Newsflash, people: just because a country is all-white, doesn’t mean that it’s superior, progressive, or ‘safe’ – Eastern Europe and a majority of the former S.S.R.s are some of the most backwards, crime-ridden, dangerous places on earth. I mean, all you have to do is take a look at what’s going on in Kiev, Ukraine right now to see what those people are like!

Winged Twilight in Morrowind

Subject switch: My husband and I purchased The Elder Scrolls: Anthology; it contains all of the Elder Scrolls games, including Skyrim, and all expansions of all of them. I love the maps that came with the set! They’re always nicely detailed, making it easy to follow the roads between the towns. I always like taking the scenic route so I can get my skills up by fighting monsters or assisting NPCs, and oftentimes, you can find interesting things along the way. Anyway, trying to play the first two installments was tedious at best – they are Arena and Daggerfall, respectively. After fumbling around with them and getting killed by rats, we have been pleasantly surprised by Morrowind, which is Elder Scrolls III. Even though the graphics are dated (similar to Half-Life), the game has enough challenges and puzzles to keep us as entertained as Skyrim has – it will be interesting to see what Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is like! I’d forgotten how intensively and extensively detailed certain things were, particularly in the spellcasting department – needing to have certain reagents and equipment on your person for alchemical needs, for example. Gamewise, the graphics made a quantum leap between Daggerfall and Morrowind, so seeing the shift between Oblivion and Skyrim will be the final comparison. On a final note, I’m pleased to see that the Redguard character has been dark-skinned from the beginning of the series…it is definitely the first game I’ve played that has the option of being a darker-skinned person, with realistic skin-tones. It would be nice to have more variety of hairstyles, though – especially longer dreadlocks or Afros for the women!

Trophy Room screenshot from Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Hearthfire

I’m looking forward to seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson hosting the new Cosmos – I used to watch it back when Carl Sagan hosted it on PBS; I hope that it doesn’t get bastardized by FOX, but I’m certain that Mr. Tyson will do an excellent job…he’s brilliant!

Last but not least, I was saddened to hear of the death of yet another DEVO member, Mr. Bob Casale. He joins fellow bandmate Alan Meyers, who passed away in June of 2013. Rest in peace, good sir…the music you made kept me moderately sane during my ‘teens-ages.’ The link about Mr. Meyers has my five favourite DEVO songs in it, so enjoy them while you research the band and their contributions to the socio-political music scene.

Bob Casale: 14 July 1952 – 17 February 2014

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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