Ever worry that you’ve been singing along out loud to a song that you’re listening to at work without realizing it?

Me neither.

I lie.

I have moments where I’m listening to a song and once it’s done I wonder if I was singing it out loud because it is the type of song I sing along with in the car or at home. Given who I work with, I suspect if I ever did people would let me know in some way or another.

Vegetarian Cuisine Not Open for Breakfast…

… which is probably a good thing because I was going to ask for some eggs, bacon, sausage with some hashbrowns on the side.

I don’t think they would have been too pleased with me.

Oddly enough, you’d think ‘healthy’ food places would be open in the morning. Don’t healthy people get  up early? They’re the perky people you just want to slap out of the way so you can get to your morning coffee.

Oh, speaking of coffee, pitch organic coffee or tea at us, through in various non-meat breakfast items like fruit salads or some sort of fruit dish. I can see the menu would be a little short, maybe tack on Fruit Loops?

I kid about the Fruit Loops, but you’d think they would have some sort of breakfast menu, no? I mean all they had to do was Google it for some ideas. Like these.

Yes, I’m aware of difference between vegetarians and vegans. I just get the impression this place would cater to the lowest common denominator (i.e. vegans).

Offend anyone?


Please stop eating so many plants and plant by products. Because of you we have fewer filters cleaning the air which is leading to global warming. If you ate more cow (and saved the plants) we might not have as many methane emitters around.


Here’s a number of excuses for my weak ass raid DPS last night (by weak ass I mean not getting over 2500DPS).

1. My glyphs were in an experimental state; I didn’t have Vengeance or Exorcism glyphs.
2. I do have a sub-par enchant on my chest (+8 to all stats instead of +10 to all stats)
3. I have some crappy gems slotted; yellow +8 to str +8 to crit instead of +10/+10 and a +30 to stamina instead of a prismatic +10 to all stats to meet my meta gem reqs.
4. I don’t think my Berserker enchant proc’ed at all and I’m starting to think the straight up +AP enchant is better.
5. I could probably use  better Trinkets.
6. I’m using a new UI and whenever I switch my UI there is always a period of adjustment. In this case, I have to adjust where I look to see what’s enabled; Exorcism and Hammer of Wrath – which never looked like it was lit up.
7. I was actually dropping some heals here and there instead of focusing totally on DPS. Hey, when Art of War is up and Exorcism is on CD, why not drop a Flash Heal here or there? Aside from the slight delay in getting to some DPS abilities.
8. I died near the begining of one of the worm fights.
9. Having to run back and forth from healers who had snobolds on their back to the boss cost me.
10. I was wearing pants. EDIT: I completely forgot that Holy Wrath also does damage to all creatures so it wasn’t in my rotation.

I’m having a hard time stretching the excuses to 10.

Either way, my DPS was way off and I need to make some adjustments. The first four items listed are something I can work on, in fact, I’ve adjusted my Glyphs. I have materials for enchantments on #2 and I’ve got the cash for #3.I think #4 is just a matter of getting mats together for that enchant. Item #5 is going to take some luck or a lot of coin grinding.

Gearwise, I’ve got what ever I could get with Emblems to the point where I don’t need Emblems of Conquest anymore. I’ve also grabbed two pieces of T9 gear from running 30 days of Heroic Dungeons (I now need to run about 25 days of those dungeons for 1 more piece; with 3 pieces available). EDIT: I did some more research and found a small number (roughly 4) of potential gear upgrades that I can get from running instances and a couple of odd upgrades from Emblems of Conquest or even Valor (apparently I missed a ring that was available using EoVs).

Sad thing is I don’t think I’ve gotten a single gear upgrade for my main spec since raiding with NFD, most of it has come from Emblems of Conquest or I got while raiding with my previous guild. A couple of pieces that I think I might have gained while raiding with NFD are for my offspec. EDIT: This was just an odd observation or a, “Hmm.. what have I been doing?” sort of thought. I had gained no upgrades from raiding Ulduar with my previous guild and I hit Ulduar more often with them – 25 man flavor at that!

That strikes me as odd, though I admit I have missed a bunch of Ulduar raids (wife faction, too many people signed up or what ever) or the ones I went on didn’t drop upgrades for my main spec. Regular ToC (or CC) is also scheduled for Wednesdays which is my D&D night and I’m not going to skip D&D to taid.

I guess that means I’ll need to hit up more Ulduar or regular ToC raids by PUGing if the schedule doesn’t change. I’m always hesitant to PUG raids. You never know if you’re just going to get one big fail and get saved to only having beat one boss. You never know what the loot rules are, even if they’re stated before hand there is a worry that someone is going to come up with some obscure thing to swipe loot out from under someone else. And I’m sort of saving myself for my guild.

That’s a big part of it. I don’t want to miss a guild run because I’m saved already because my preference is to run with guildies.

On the other hand, maybe my DPS role as a Paladin just doesn’t suit me? Maybe I should switch mains to the Hunter once I get him to 80 (half a level away)? It’d involve investigating a whole other set of mechanics and abilities to get him up to snuff. I’d have to grind through all the factions again. Hunters are DPS focused mainly, while a Paladin is supposed to be further down the totem pole for DPS. And Hunters are ranged DPS, something the raids I attend seem to be lacking – it’s usually filled with melee DPS.

Maybe I should step away from the DPS role and go back to what I used to do in raids – heal. I could get my Priest up to 80 fairly quickly if I focused on it. He’s already duel spec’ed to have Shadow and Holy. As a healer it’s about keeping people up and staying mobile in some cases. Beauty is that I think gear for both specs would be pretty close to the same. Again, I’d have to look up the mechanics, see what’s what and learn something different.

That was in there just for UFTimmy who keeps telling me I’m going to switch mains. I’ll admit, it is tempting, but I think I have too much invested in Lannister to switch mains. 🙂

The Thought That Counts and Musical Interlude: OLP…

Here’s a newer Our Lady Peace song. Be warned, this is Canadian content so you might find yourself craving maple goods or bacon.

LiveNot Live There is something to be said about using proper recording tools to record someone.

On to the thoughts that count.

This weekend we had my youngest son’s ‘friend’ birthday party. He’s just turned four (closer to the beginning of the month) but he hasn’t been in school long enough for him to make friends, but being four his whole class are his best buddies. Anyway, it turned out to be mostly really close friends and his cousins. A good time was had by all.

One of our close friends bought him and incredibly thoughtful and inciteful gift; a MP3 player. Now the LittleLittleOgre really loves music. LOVES IT. He is constantly borrowing my iPod Touch and surfing iTunes (I don’t have purchasing credentials locked in there) or listening to stuff I have on there. So it was a great gift for him.

The downside?

As I mentioned, I have a lot of stuff ordered from iTunes and I’m not sure this MP3 player supports that format. I’ll have to look into things a little more because I don’t want to purchase all the music again in a different format just so he can have it as a MP3 or WMA format.

Anyone who knows me should know I won’t resort to piracy.

Great idea though it’s actually something we were planning on getting both of them for Christmas because they both really like music.

Undocumented 3.2.2 Hunter Changes…

I admit, I noticed that Kill Shot wasn’t available when the mobs were close to me but I didn’t notice an increase in Volley’s damage – probably because I don’t get to use it too often while soloing.

So apparently Kill Shot being able to fire at point blank range was a bug that was fixed. Alright, it makes sense since it does rely on a ranged weapon.

The other tweak was increase in AP value for Volley… I think. I admit, I skimmed these notes:

Thanks to UFTimmy for the link.

Paladin Seals…

I ran around a bit trying out the various Seals I had in different scenarios.

First one I tried was Seal of Vengeance (SoV). I ran with this through Heroic Trials of the Champion instance and my DPS was under 2k.

For me, that is horrid. I usually hit over or around 3k DPS. Now some of that might be that we were having a hard time with some of the other members in the group and we wiped on the second boss twice, though it definitely didn’t help that my DPS was around 1200-1700.

I’m really going to need to check this out more carefully because I suspect my DPS was impacted because the tank was a Paladin who was running SoV as well. Remember there was a change in how damage was calculated based on the number of stacks so that only your stacks mattered? I think this might have been the case, but I’ll need to investigate more.

I ended up switching to Seal of Righteousness for which I have the extra 10% damage glyph and I was back up over 2k DPS though around 2200-2500 DPS.

After running this I realized my gear manager wasn’t updated for my Ret set. I picked up the T9 gloves for my Ret set the other day and forgot to update my gear manager set for it. That meant when I switched from Prot (soloing Threat from Above daily) spec to Ret spec for the H ToC instance I still have my Prot gloves on. Now they’re still epic,  but they’re not slotted for STR or even enchanted for extra Attack Power. Instead they’re slotted for STA and building threat… which might explain why I had to Hand of Salvation myself a bit hehe.

That one piece of gear might actually make a 200 DPS difference so my numbers are skewed a bit for the first trial.

Later on I ran the Heroic Daily Dungeon, Drak’Tharon. For this one I ran with Seal of Command for the trash and for the bosses. And yes, I was using my full Ret set without any Prot gear sneaking into use.


On the trash I was hitting between 4k and 5k DPS! On the bosses it was tough to tell if it was worthwhile or not. It ended up being about 2-2.5k DPS unless there were adds like with the troll that eats other trolls or on the T-rex boss where we decided we’d go for the achievement and so we fought the boss and a bunch of raptors as well as the T-rex boss. The Prophet boss is a tough one to get a good measure on.

I think to test out which Seal to use on bosses I’ll do a Heroic Gundrak run. All the bosses are singles and have decent HPs so I should get a decent read. Another option is to hit up a raid instance and give it a shot.

My current belief is to use (as a Retadin) Seal of Command if you’re dealing with lots of trash and use Seal of Righteousness on bosses – but Seal of Vengeance might still be worth it, I’ll have to give it another chance. The benefit of SoJ over SoC is that SoJ always procs while SoC is more a chance to proc, it’s still a really high chance, but still. I believe the Glyph (enhances spells or abilities) for SoC only increases the chance it will proc but I’ll have to see.

I did notice Righteous Vengeance crits, but they scrolled too fast for me to catch how much they would have been adding to my DPS, I don’t think it’s too significant (that ability criting is a set bonus for having 2 T9 pieces which I now have).

Upgrades Are In With Only Slight Pain…

The hardware items I ordered arrived yesterday which I gleefully opened while wandering downstairs to the computers. The wife waved good bye to me for the rest of the evening. I don’t even think she called me for supper, I’m pretty sure I heard her calling the boys though.

Operation Alzheimer:

I had picked up four sticks of Corsair DDR2 at 800mhz RAM at 2gb per stick for my PC (running Windows 7 64-bit). Unfortunately that was the best my motherboard would support and they replaced four sticks of OCZ Platinum DDR2 at 800mhz at 1gb per stick. That means I went from 4gb of RAM to 8gb and I believe the timings on the Corsair RAM were actually better.

I had no problems doing this at all.

Operation Cataract:

My old computer, about five years old, was intermittently shutting down while my son was playing various games. I adjusted the video drivers (they were using 32-bit Win7 default drivers) and next time he had an issue the driver caught that the card was overheating so it throttled things back. No system crash happened however there was clearly an issue with the fan on the card (I checked temperature inside the system and it was fine) so I figured I’d order another one.

The problem was that the motherboard on that system only supports AGP. Fortunately, some decent AGP cards are still being made so I ordered a PowerColor ATI HD 4670 AGP card – it has 1gb of DDR3 memory on it and it might actually be a little better than my main system’s 3870 HD card.

I love that my cases are easy to open (Antec) so I popped it open and right away I noticed a sticker on the video card was peeling off. Not good. I attempt to remove the card and it’s being quite resistant so I removed the panels in the back that were next to it since it looking like it was overlapping. Still tough to remove. Double checked that the clip was up and it was.

I’ll admit, at this point I was really tempted to give it a good yank which might damage the motherboard. If that happened, I’d pass down my current machine and simply need to get a whole new system. As appealing as that was to me, I’m sure the wife wouldn’t have been pleased with that idea.

I wiggled it a bit more and eventually got it out. The other card popped in just fine so I screwed it in and added all the other panels in.

Hardware installed successfully.

Software not so easy.

The drivers on the CD were only for XP and Vista. I hoped Vista drivers would work for Win7  but they didn’t. So I had to flush those. I went to the ATI site and grabbed the latest set of Catalyst drivers, a set for 4000 series cards (just in case) and I noticed an AGP hotfix set which I grabbed as well.

None of them worked. Win7 defaulted to a VGA Display Adapter.

I uninstalled all those and hit up the PowerColor site for drivers. It had some there which looked to be newer than the ones on the CD so I grabbed those and installed.


I fire up WoW (which had the odd crash if I was running at higher settings) and cranked up the settings. Gave it a quick tool around and it was really smooth. I logged off and let my oldest know the new card was in and ready to go.

He didn’t touch the computer at all, the little bugger. On the other hand he was reading French with his Grandmother and reading some other books with his Mother so… I was free to play WoW alone.

This morning he ran downstairs and fired up WoW. He was pretty excited that it looked better and was smooth. He said his guy used to walk funny and showed me sort of stutter stepping but now it was good. I don’t know if he’s clued in that The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Battlefield2 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare will now play and look better too. Which reminds me I need to fire those up and adjust his settings for them.

I think I need to update my own video card now…

Food and Time of Day…

This morning I had to explain to my son that ketchup chips did not make a suitable breakfast which got me thinking about how some things are just tied to times without any real thought behind them.

Let’s consider Person A. Person A gets out of bed at 7am, has breakfast, does the typical morning routine and then gets to work by about 9am where he has a nice big fat Oh Henry chocolate bar. Too early right?

Person B is seen eating an Oh Henry bar at a little after noon. That’s okay right? Well, what you don’t know is that Person B only just rolled out of  bed an hour ago. Is it still okay?

Person C eats their Oh Henry bar at 7am. That’s sort of wrong no? Well, what if Person C was on a night shift so to Person C 7 am is more like 3pm. Still wrong?

A number of people (my wife included) will be disgusted more about A and C than B even though B is really the one having an Oh Henry bar for breakfast.

Of course you might reason out that Person B is a lazy sack of shit anyway so who fucken cares what he’s eating…


I’m sure some of my long standing and loyal readers are asking, “Smaken, why aren’t you playing Aion? The blogosphere is abuzz with talk about it but you haven’t said anything about it yet. What gives?”

Okay, I’m kidding myself here. No one is asking that and if I did have loyal readers they probably would have phrased it differently.

The short of the matter is; I have not tried Aion yet. I have not been in the beta, I didn’t apply for the beta, I didn’t borrow any keys for the beta, I didn’t pre-order and cancel to get into an open beta and I didn’t buy the game.

I simply have no interest in it at the moment.


From the pictures others have posted, it looks pretty. Even the GUI looks nice, almost edible like chocolate. Hey Turbine? Take note. That’s how you do a nice UI, none of that crap you have in DDO or LOTRO.

You can move along now, nothing to see here.