The Gathering Storm…

I’m referring to book number 12 of the Wheel of Time series. I just finished reading it last night or this morning if you want to be precise – it was around 1 am.

Good book, definitely much like the others but a lot more loose ends getting tied up and more information being revealed. There was one thing that was sort of thrown out there for consumption which was a little bit of a surprise – effectively another loose end to be tied up or explained later. Maybe I’m just forgetting what was said in previous books but I don’t think so.

Anyway, back to the book. It doesn’t end the series, there will definitely be one more book, if not two. I have to admit, I do really look forward to the upcoming books.

SPOILER.

It seems to be going the route of The 5th Element. That’s just my guess.

You have the Shadow which is this big evil force bent on consuming everything and you have the Light, a concept of goodness, love and life that the ‘good guys’ are trying to preserve. In the middle you have this fellow who is going to confront this evil and defeat it.

It looks to be going in this direction where it’s going to come down to this one guy’s choice of wanting everything to end over wanting things to continue. I’m not sure there will really be a significant battle as suggested. There are hints that the previous incarnation of this fellow failed, though if he failed you’d think the ‘world’ would have ended so I think he failed to make a final choice, instead, he killed himself which meant no actual choice was made either way. Things remained as they were until he was reborn and would then be required to make the final choice.

At least that’s my take.

As I said, it all comes down to this fellow making the choice of saving the world or letting it die, much like in The 5th Element where they had to make the ‘perfect weapon’ want to save everything.

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Smile More…

People really should smile more. It makes an average person look good because of the confidence and happiness it exudes.

Avoid smiling if you have bad teeth though. Or if you’re a freaky kind of ugly because then you just look creepy.

Silver Necklace…

I was driving to the mall after taking the Little Big Ogre to see Planet 51 (movie he wanted to see) when he says to me, “Daddy, I have a silver necklace!”

He sits right behind me in the van so I couldn’t quite see what he was talking about so I asked. “What? Where’d you get a necklace from?”

“I made it with my gum!”

5… 4… 3… 2…

“OW! It’s stuck in my hair! OW! OW! OW! I can’t get it out!”

I get to the mall and take a look at it in the parking lot. He had a big clump of gum stuck at the base of his skull. So I pulled some of it out (the part not stuck to any hair) and more and a little more. He’s screaming that it hurts the whole time, and I can see that – it’s cold out and the gum is now freezing.

I ask him if he wants to go home but he says no he will just over it with his hat. We were going to Gamestop to pick up Batman: Arkham Asylum for the PS3, he’s been wanting it for weeks now.

Fast forward to getting home where his mother and grandmother give their ways of getting it out of his hair – none of which work (freezing it with ice and using butter). The wife decides she’ll cut the remaining bit out.

That doesn’t work, it hurts too much and he’s panicking. I offer to use my trimmer and cut it out that way. He’s freaked out about that and thinks it’ll cut him so I show him on my hand that it doesn’t hurt, then on his hand but he still doesn’t trust it – he thinks it will pull the hair and hurt. So I shave a bit of hair off my arm and that convinces him.

Until I trim a bit off.

He panics and freaks out again.

So we go back to the scissors and I explain to him what it looks like and how I won’t cut the gum – which would pull his hair – instead I’ll cut the hair under the gum.

“Will it hurt?”

“I have no idea, I never had gum stuck in my hair before, but if it does, you tell me and I’ll stop.”

He was still nervous but I managed to get the gum out without hurting him any. I have a feeling he’ll be more careful with his gum in the future.

But I also have a feeling that the Little Little Ogre won’t be careful with his gum because he was quite excited about it all and wanted me to cut his hair too.

Which was sort of amazing of him; he was going to let me cut his hair to show his older brother it wasn’t going to hurt. That kid blows me away with how sweet and nice he can be even though his big brother can be quite mean to him.

Old Hat?

Have you ever done something (in various similar forms) for so long that it starts feeling like a dirty old hat that really isn’t so comfortable anymore?

No, I’m not talking about my wife.

I’m actually talking about D&D.

I’ve been playing it in various versions and various ways since I was about eight years old. That’s 26 years of playing D&D and other fantasy style RPGS – though D&D dominated those years.

Not only have I been playing it, but I’ve taken up hobbies (MMO gaming) or directed hobbies (reading) in that sort of direction.

For books I tend to stick solely in the fantasy genre, almost never leaving that sort of series aside from the very limited dip into sci-fi or books for learning some computer tech or practice.

For games I play in a pen and paper group weekly (when possible) and on those days I don’t see the kids outside of the morning rush. My oldest hates Wednesdays and calls them bad days because I’m not around – they literally cheer if it is cancelled or I’m home for what ever reason.

Video games go in the same way, it’s all CRPGs or MMOs based on fantasy. I’ve deviated a little into FPS types (Left 4 Dead 2 and I’m eye-balling Call of Duty Modern Warefare 2) and the very rare RTS (which aims towards fantasy type of content). The little deviations from the norm have been fun, I have to admit, but also a little short lived.

Maybe I’m just burning out or starting to lose interest or simply bored.

Not sure.

Icecrown Citadel – Wing 2…

Fun stuff.

I think the trash mobs were actually tougher than most of the previous raid bosses. If you’ve been there, you know I’m talking about the dogs.

Each one had about 10 million HPs and a decimate ability much like what Gluth did in Naxx. On top of that, one has this big nasty AOE DoT and the other one summons up a ton of zombies every few seconds.

Good times that.

We decided we’d take a crack at the DPS required fight. It’s another boss mob that has about 9 million HPs and all sorts of weird abilities. The main one was raid wide DoT, some spores that spawn and reduce that damage, the odd CC against random raid members. He also does some stuff to the tanks and they have to switch off.

Oh, and you have about 5 minutes to kill him.

We took a few stabs at it and got him down after about the third or fourth try – we were ahead on DPS but the heals got to be a little rough, especially if one of our healers got CCed.

Next boss wasn’t a DPS race so much as a circus act. While fighting him, tubes spew green toxic stuff in each corner of the room – as one clears up, another one gets filled up. This means you have to cuddle up to this beauty and DPS from in close.

This is fun because he occasionally turns in a random direction and vomits on people there – it’s a sustained ground targeted DoT so you can move out of the way.

If that wasn’t enough, people are randomly covered in sludge which needs to be dispelled. On doing that, a slime will spawn at that person’s feet (the slimed one, not the dispeller) and start attacking. These slimes grow in size the more of them that spawn – thankfully, they grow into one big slime. Once this slime reaches a certain size, it will explode.

So, you have some poor soul trying to get the attention of these slimes and keep it while kiting them away.

Did I mention you take A LOT of damage when you are slimed and that why the dispelling has to happen fast?

Like I said, a bit of a circus act. Unfortunately, we only had time for about three attempts on him. The second one seemed pretty decent, the third wasn’t horrible until both Hunters misdirected the big slime to the tank instead of the person kiting the slimes (healer agro is a bit of an issue with the slimes).

Good times.

Yes, I was one of the hunters that made an oopsie.

Just Don’t Move It!

I drove into work with the wife this morning and as we got off the highway at her exit I discovered my parking pass was missing.

Usually, it is tucked into one of the slots on the coffee tray where it’s easily accessible and visible. I know exactly where it is and it’s not in the way at all.

But she keeps moving it.

And I keep telling her not to move it.

But she still keeps on moving it.

Most men with wives or girlfriends that live with them have experienced this:

Man: “Where is {item x}? I put it right here.”
Woman: ”Oh, it wasn’t supposed to be there so I moved it.”
Man: “What do you mean it wasn’t supposed to be there? I put it there so I’d remember to take it in the morning.”
Woman: “Well, it looked messy.”
Man: “I put it there at 11 in the evening and it’s now 6 in the morning – who is it going to look messy for?!”
Woman: “Well, put it somewhere else.”
Man: “Fine. Where did you move it to?”
Woman: “I don’t remember.”

Let’s take a quick look at the word, “woman”. It’s made up of “wo” and “man”. Clearly the name came from a wise man that quickly understood that women really were woe to men.

Fortunately I can get my parking validated so I don’t have to eat the ridiculously high price for parking.

But still…

Just don’t move my stuff around because you’re going to forget where you put it.

Ulduar Hard Modes Done…

Last night we finally got Mimiron Hard Mode done which completed the four hard modes needed to get the key into the Observer’s room. I was present for one other attempt at him which resulted in failure, not even getting to the final phase.

Well, last night we did it and it took us almost the entire three hours to do it. We tried different things here and there which resulted in better or worse progress until finally we beat it.

There was much rejoicing over Ventrilo. I’m not sure who was screaming, but there were several people.

That fight looked to be painful enough without all the fires popping up all around – unfortunately, I never got to try him on regular mode but I did get to kill each of the other Keepers on hard mode. Those were pretty easy, except maybe Freya.

Next up Algalon.

Or however it is spelled.