Checkpoint Charlie

Securing Draenor marked a special point for me.

My early experience in Draenor saw Kallixta run up to level 100, build a nice garrison, and then reach the limits of my old machine. It just didn't have the horsepower. So I took time off.

My return was slow, but facilitated by my son giving me his old computer while he took off to Korea. Again. This was a much faster machine, but I had to re-establish atrophied gaming muscles.

I had forgotten how to play a paladin. Now I could certainly relearn, but I decided this would be as good a time as any to learn a new class. I had received a free level 90 at the start of the expansion. Why not experiment. So in January, I brushed off my 91 Feral Druid and jumped in.

And discovered fun. I'm still totally perplexed by how to AOE as a kitty, but I quickly adapted enough to level up and set out with Flying as my goal.

Which I succeeded last week.

As I was finishing up, I started thinking about "What Next"? I don't really know. I've a soft target of finishing So. Many. Pet. (44 to go) but that's more of something to do in between other goals. I need another goal.

One point is that Kallixta/Aldonza/Kallione is a different account from the one I'd started with, so it doesn't have the Achievement Points I had earned in my first few years. I might need to do some catching up.

One thing that has NOT happened has been the RP. I miss that a lot. My guild is quiet and I haven't really gone looking. Kallione's personality is still fluid. Maybe I can find something that will inspire my writing again. Until then...

Korean dinner

Navimie  is the one that inspired me to post food pictures. Complain to her if you get hungry.

My older son, the one that first boght Warcraft, is about to return to Korea for another year of teaching English. He and his older sister have both done this in the past, so eating Korean is not new. For his birthday the whole family went to the best Korean BBQ in Ann Arbor, Tomukun.

We ordered the BBQ Combo Platter which comes with 8 different meats. Prominent in this picture you can see my kids favorite, the Samkyeopsal, or pork belly, aka uncured bacon. There is also seen a bowl of another meat, I think it's Galbi or short ribs. Also to be seen are a wide variety of side dishes and sauces, known as Banchan. Kimchi is the best known but can't be seen in this picture.

Another favorite is the spicy chicken, or Dalkbulgogi, seen here which some of the smaller bits of beef. There is some of the thinly sliced brisket in the left foreground. You can also see the important cooking tool for this meal, the scissors.

Also notice how the grill, despite our efforts with the lard piece, is accumulating, um, "color".
The lettuce is not just for presentation purposes, but used as a wrap, ssambap. We had to ask for more.

Here things were finally winding down, but not over. About all that's lest is a big piece of Korean ball squash. We also didn't finish the jalapeƱo. So here is what the grill looks like by the time we'd finished.

This Season's Games

Yes, I'm playing Warcraft again, but that's not what this post is about.

As Autumn started, my sons and daughter stopped playing Warcraft. I let my subscription lapse while I found other things to do. In particular, the family played other games. Between November birthdays and Christmas, we had lots of new games. The spouse and I had a great time buying presents at RIW.  The store owner knows us and more importantly, knows the kids we were buying for and made some excellent recommendations.

Here are some winners:

Sushi Go!  is an excellent, fun card game that takes little time. It's the family's favorite card game and we'll often grab it to occupy a few minutes, often while waiting for someone to get ready for something else. We've each experimented with different strategies and I've seen different ones succeed.

Roll For It!  is another quick fun game, this time using dice. It's easy to think of it as something like Yahtzee. It's fast and simple and we've enjoyed it. The family seems to prefer Sushi Go, but YMMV and when we want a quick game of something that's different, this has our recommendation.

As for the big games, I received Ticket To Ride: Europe. My sneaky Son-In-Law excels at being quiet and getting away with building incredible links without anyone noticing until too late! One difference this version has from other the other Ticket to Ride games is the Train Station. Few of us paid much attention to them, but last minute stations allowed me to surprisingly jump up into second place. That won't happen next time, sigh. My family learns from their mistakes.

A big winner is Tokaido. Some of us had experimented with it at a games convention last year and we bought it for Christmas. We've enjoyed it more than a couple times. It's very different and somehow doesn't bring out the competitive edge. Well, unless you're trying the two person rules. My son and I tried it with different starting characters and enjoyed frustrating the other. It really is a beautiful game and usually relaxing.

One final word about electronic games. We had the usual electronic games, but those are almost always played individually. In the past, we've had super Smash Bros Brawls and that won't stop, but one present this year was the Jackbox Party Pack. This is a new family favorite, especially Drawful. Oh my gosh we can crack each other up! This can be hilarious and lead to more family in-jokes that can cause disruptions days later.


Dangers of Worgen Posture

I have a personal guild for my Banker Alt that sports a Guild Tabard that proudly recalls the gold earned by selling cookies for the You'll Feel Right as Rain achievement. It's a cute, happy cookie! What could possibly go wrong?
Aldonza was not afraid in the kitchen

Well, do you know what happens when you change your bank alt to a Worgen that crouches over, obscuring part of the Guild Symbol?

How dirty is your mind?

Gee. What craft makes those? Maybe there's a market for that...

Same Old, New Light

My renewed enjoyment with Kallixta led me to review what I might enjoy doing with some of my alts. In particular, Aldonza, the Coward, had managed to get to Draenor and build a Garrison, but I wasn't enjoying PvE content as a mage. I'm not sure why, but I did know I enjoyed leveling her using alternate means, especially Pet Battles. Therefore I made certain she ran through the Pandaren Trainer dailies and at least Ashlei. Following this path, she dinged 94 this weekend and has her garrison at level 2 and is careful to work on her profession cool downs. I expect to add other Draenor Pet Tamers as soon as she can get her courage going.

Between reviewing my pet collection and questioning why my Mage wasn't more fun, I considered poor Kallifornia, my neglected shaman. I had carried her into Pandaria as a low level, battling wild pets in the western part of the Valley of Four Winds. She's managed a few levels and does things like leveling up the lowest level pets so they won't be one-shot when being carried in a trainer battle. I really think I'd enjoy taking her back into PvE exploration. In preparation, I freshened her heirlooms.

This spoiled her old Bronze Fenclaw transmog. She has sat so long, it's strange to see her in anything else. I absolutely need to change her shirt.

If the only K-pop you've ever seen has been synchronized dancing, you have never seen a "Dramatized" Music Video. Here the boy band Super Junior put together one that I think folks might enjoy.

OLRG and Feeling like I've found a new home

The stars aligned and I had nothing prevent me from joining the planned OLRG run on Saturday. I think the last time I was in ANY dungeon or raid was when OLRG got me to join a Molten Core during the Anniversary and earning a Crown of Desolation.

To start, I discovered I didn't have a quick method of travel to the Caverns of Time. Without quick access to Dalaran, I might have been faster to port to Ironforge and sail to Theramore!

Setting up on Mumble was easy for me. I just asked my new son-in-law for help. Five minutes later, I was GTG. I'm not sure what he uses as a serious StarCraft player, but he had a spare microphone for me.

The computer location is not optimal for a raid. It's in the family room and next to the kitchen, which is great when all I'm doing is Pet Battles or Dailies or whatever, but in future there are better locations in the house that would be less disturbing for me and for my family.

It was great to talk to Matty and Helke. I'm sorry Tome was silenced. In retrospect, I'm surprised our conversations didn't have more digressions.

As far as raiding, Dragon Soul was easy until he got to the Spine. At that point, nothing we did seemed to work. I think we've all revisited strategy guides since and should be better informed next time, but as it was, we spent too much time on it.

I did manage a selfie while there! I know someone wanted to try the PhotoBomb toy, but I don't think we coordinated properly. I was aiming to include the others in this snapshot!

I was happy to continue with Matty after Tome and Helke ran out of time. We decided to do Firelands. I say "we", but I had very little opinion. Matty could have talked me into anything. At least with Firelands, I'd been inside before. Our only problems came from things like staying "In Combat" after a boss went down. It mostly was a problem because we couldn't mount up for a time. The only things I'm short on for the Glory of the Firelands Raider now are "Bucket List" and "Only the Penitent". Both of these are a pain and our purpose was fun instead. And we had a good time.

All of this activity made me feel more welcome than I had in ages, more so than the WoD activities in my guild. I had "Come Back Home".

In general on runs like these, I only bother to pick up loot no one else wants. I ended up with one Tier 13 Plate item from Dragon Soul and another Tier 12 Plate piece while in Firelands.

I thought my Guildies had be encouraging when we split up loot, but when Spaulders of Recurring Flame dropped, things went in a new direction. It's not like I avoided Transmog nor do I dislike it. Instead I was starting from a single piece that unexpectedly dropped. It has a really cool animation. It deserved solid treatment.

Now "I gotta Do what I gotta do". So I spent almost all my time on Sunday researching the Molten Giant Lookalike set. I loaded more Addons with better see what I already owned in my Banks and Void Storage. I then needed to change my default ground and flying mounts to match my new outfit, choosing the Black Drake and the Fossilised Raptor for now.

I'm using a Trident with good animation, but I'm not thrilled with it. I also am not happy with my navel showing. Did y'all know the Scarlet Filigree Shirt, while the correct color, is too short? Thankfully with my cloak, there's no chance of showing the T-back of a thong. That'd just be embarrassing to all.

The music stuck in my head today is the Korean group 2NE1 and their song "Come Back Home". Instead of the usual M/V of this song, I'm linking their Unplugged version.
While the rest of my family love 2NE1, I'm not thrilled with most of their stuff, but if you want the English translation (using the "plugged" music)

Aldonza refreshens her To-Do list

Some times things build and the pile gets so big, it's easier to ignore and let it fester.

Time to pull the band-aid off.

To Do List

  1. Make a To Do List (X)
  2. Check off the first thing on the To Do list (X)
  3. Realise you've already accomplished two items on your To Do list! (X)
  4. Reward yourself with a nap (In Progress)

Kallixta has been happy in Draenor, running around and doing things, some new some old.

But once Aldonza got her Garrison up, she wouldn't leave it. She's sent her four followers out, but her cowardice had returned and she wouldn't budge.

Aldonza'd log in, clear some old missions and start new ones with her four followers, but now they're all Level 100, but only with only four it goes slow.

Under Kallixta anything-but-subtle coaching, the Mage returned to her roots and is leveling via Pet Battles. She can teleport to the Shrine, run the circuit of top Trainers, and level at least one pet to 25. She can port to Kalimdor and excavate a few Archaeology sites. She can port to Dalaran or old Shattrath or any number of places at the twitch of her fingers. I forgot how fun and easy Mages have it.

We have 67 pets at level 25. There are a bunch of rares waiting their turn and a handful of hopeful non-rares. Actually, I still have 4 level 25s in need of stoning, but I keep forgetting. I see the Molten Corgi, Frostwolf Ghostpup and Soul of the Forge in my queue, which also remind me I haven't been collecting the newest pets.

Obviously I have some decent teams for all the current Trainers in her circuit, but I think I'll solicit suggestions on folks favorites among the newest pets. Have you a Draenor Pet that you think should be a regular?

I was looking for a response video for Matty about the thug raccoon problem I have and found this. Don't be put off by the Hangul! These 3 boys are Americans (The Raccoon Boys!) that were competing in a Korean "Idol" contest and sing in English. My son was disappointed they didn't win.