Friday, December 31, 2010

Winter Break

So I'm currently just past the midpoint of winter break.
So far this winter break I have:

Learned how to play League of Legends (level 8 Summoner)

Built a EDH deck (angels, angels, angels)

Made cinnamon rolls

Made cheese rolls (that got all moldy due to not being eaten fast enough)

Got 91 Slayer in Runescape.

Cleaned the cabinet that has the towels and stuff in it

Cleaned the living room

Vacuumed the couch

Cleaned the fridge (oh my God...should really clean more than once a year...)

Gone for the fire cape repeatedly (no luck yet)

Completely reversed my schedule...I now get up around sunset and go to bed after sunrise

Completely failed to main or murder people in my vicinity

So far...a successful winter break.
What have the rest of you been up to?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

RS: Elf Sphinx and the Big Scary World

If I was to come up with a proper title/subtitle for this, or, as in some older books where they manage to cram the entire chapter into several phrases, it would be:

The Adventures of Two Runescape Characters
Elf Sphinx gets 30 Dungeoneering -- Elf Sphinx Leaves Daemonheim -- Elf Sphinx Dies in New Ways -- Elf Sphinx Goes Back to Daemonheim -- Rebel Dragon Get 121 Combat -- Rebel Dragon gets 88 Herblore --Rebel Dragon Completes Seer's Diary

Now with pictures:

I don't actually roleplay a lot with my RS characters, but with Elf Sphinx it's kind of hard not to. She's probably the daughter of two adventurers who got lost in Daemonheim and as such doesn't really know a world outside the confines of Daemonheim (which she herself is not totally acquainted with). Upon hearing rumors of curious other dungeons in the land, she set out in the Big Scary World to hunt them down and learn from them. First, she uncovered the one close to Daemonheim, that took her to an island of trees. She then used the one ritual spell she knew to take herself to Lumbridge, and from there she ran through some dark woods full of spiders and found a trapdoor in a place known as Edgeville. She did not stop to talk to the people there, as she was questing for this peculiar dungeon. She had no armor or food, since Daemonheim does not allow such items to leave its tainted halls. She encountered some skeletons that were like none she had ever met, of a great size and ferocity. She also encountered hill giants, curious monstrous humanoids she had not seen before. But she found the dungeon. On her way out of this horrid place, she thought she got murdered by a skeleton but found herself laying on the steps of Lumbridge castle, instead. No matter; she ran all the way to Ice Mountain, to investigate the Dwarven mines for a dungeon there. There were some scorpions but she managed to evade them.

She then reached Port Sarim, to catch a boat to Karamja, but discovered the ten gold in her possession did not allow her to sail to that island. Being unacquainted with the standard niceties of civilization, after killing some goblins and getting naught more than a sling, she took to murdering a man and wife in their house until she had enough gold to make passage. She then made her way to the volcano on Karamja, and found an entrance into the belly of the mountain. Here, she saw Lesser Demons, although if these were the Lesser she would dread to meet  Greaters. Upon discovering the special dungeon hidden here, she was promptly murdered by one of these Lessers, and found herself on the steps of Lumbridge Castle again.

Having seen enough of the world and having discovered the dungeons she had set out to discover, she returned to Daemonheim, with the determination to not leave until she was better able to face the frightening world outside its confines.

Now for Rebel Dragon:

Seer's diary is something I've been wanting to complete for awhile, but luck and Evil Dave's stews have not let me. Once I figured I had the herbs for 88 herblore, I decided to take another stab at it. I ended up spending the last half of the level chugging Greenman's Ale and making Extreme Attack potions, but no worries. I then hauled out the cat (Sivir) and popped into Evil Dave's basement. I discovered a wiley cat is so much better than a normal cat for rat-catching purposes. Then it was over to Seers Village to buy 10 stews and then I stomped off to the ranging guild to have a go at it.

Three bowls in and success! However, apparently the diary was not finished. I stared at my screen, and then opened the Tasks tab. Apparently I also must drinks a dose. So I did. Then it was off to Sir Kay to claim my reward, which, the most excited part for me is that my Enhanced Excalibur heals 400lp instead of 200lp! W00t!

So that's what I've been doing in Runescape lately.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday vs. Christmas.

So what is the proper name for this thing?

Some would say "Christmas tree," while others would argue it's a "Holiday Tree." I am hoping to explain, in a few short sentences, which one of these I feel is a more correct terminology.

While "Holiday tree" is supposedly multicultural in appear and covers a wide variety of belief systems, it is a bit of a misnomer. There is only one holiday at this time of year that normally involves a tree, and that is Christmas. To call the tree you erect in your home, decorate, and put presents under, anything other than a Christmas tree, you must be celebrating some holiday other than Christmas. And if that's the case I'd dearly love to know what this holiday is called, because Christmas is the only holiday I know of at this time of year that traditionally has a tree associated with it.

On the other hand, it's perfectly okay to say "Happy Holidays" as there's multiple holidays this time of year and it's shorter than saying, "Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, etc etc etc" to cover all of them.

Happy holidays, everybody!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

OMG Wildy and Free Trading!

Runescape has put up a 'poll' to see if people want the old wilderness and free trading back.

Lots of people have talked about this:

Helm Larder

The World Portal

Runescape Reader's Digest

Xelronia mention a few.

Just a few thoughts:

WTH is up with the poll?! You can only vote 'no' by not voting?!! You don't need to enter your password?!!! You can enter other people's names?!!!! You can vote multiple times?!!!!!

Bull patties, I tell you, putrid runny bull patties!!!!

Bacon Turtle

So I learned about bacon turtles from a link a friend sent me when he read the name of my blog. I've been plotting to make one for months.

Well, here it is.

Before oven:
 After oven:

Nom nom nom nom...

Stop looking at mine and make your own!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Evil of Deliberate Inequality

So, in a perfect world, everyone would be valued for who they are as a person, rather than for who their ancestors were, or the color of their skin, or gender, or sexual orientation, or disability. Right? A person should make their own value rather than it depending on arbitrary and harmful ways of thinking.

When I was a child, my mom (who is a long story in and of herself) got into a legalistic/religious fanatic phase that, among other things, let to a very isolated childhood for me and my siblings and a series of what now seems increasingly bizarre things.

Dress and toy and playmate issues aside, the most horrifying (to me) concept that I had forced into my sensitive little brain was that girls are doomed destined for a life as housewives, spawning children as if
they (women) were brood mares and this idea that a girl could not be a guy's equal in, well, the interesting stuff. Like science, math, having a career, that sort of thing. That they were easily 'led astray' and must be protected from everything.

Strangely, however, these fragile, must-be-protected females apparently could wield massive power over men by dressing in an immodest fashion. And immodest meant single-layer clothing, uncovered ankles, skirts shorter than mid-calf (even that was pushing it), sleeves above the get the drift. It was the whole emphasis on this while letting guys essentially wear what they wanted as long as it fell into the shirt + pants category that made me wonder if males, for all their posturing, weren't mentally weaker at the expense of being physically stronger.

This is only one of the many contradictions in this school of thought, which, for lack of a better word I'm going to call 'patriarchy' as other people have taken to calling it. Whether or not you believe that the Holy Bible is God's word to man or not, the fact remains that this whole cultish, oppressive way of thinking is based on cherry-picking a few verses while deliberately ignoring those that speak of "all are one in Christ" irregardless of race or gender (Gal. 3:28 if you want to look it up). It's selecting who gets to go one-on-one with God. According to this theology, females need a male to talk to God for them. As if God wasn't capable of talking to certain parts of His own creation. Face it, either He can talk to all of it or none of it. Trying to restrict access of people to God is simply a recipe for abuse.

These people try to hide their destructive theology by trying to make it sound 'Biblical' and that a person's salvation depends on a strict following of their made-up laws, all the while talking about "freedom in Christ" while imposing their chains on people, many of them young and impressionable children who are growing up.

How many great and wonderful things and discoveries have not happened/are being kept from happening because of these horrible people squishing the bright young minds of their girls (and boys) and forcing them into a life of servitude and reproduction and calling it a 'salvation' thing? And they think God wants them to! How ironic is that? Christ came to set people free and these people would see everyone subjected to the legalistic standards that they uphold and they would kill the spirits of their young with the misguided notion that they are saving their souls.

Some people (like my mom) get tangled up in this way of thinking because they're trying to do the right thing. But it doesn't mean it's not wrong.

Some realize that their souls are being crushed under this system and try to escape. Some successfully, Razing Ruth being one example of this. Another website that's good for finding out what this horrible way of thinking does to people is No Longer Qivering. This site is full of examples of how degrading and ultimately corrupt patriarchy is.

For the love of all things sacred. For humanity. For equality. For the future. Let your girls play with guns and let your boys play with dolls.The allowance to be the best you can be, without artificial cultural impositions, should start from the moment you first open your eyes.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On the Subject of Currency

I discovered that I tend to not think of things in terms of dollars and cents.

I tend to think of them in units of what's important to me at the time.

For example:

Pack of Magic cards: ~$3
Month of Runescape subscription: $5
Box of 36 Magic packs: ~$90

Everything else tends to get thought of in terms of these.

For example (all figures are approximate):

No-frills dinner for two at favorite place(s): 10 Magic packs or 6 months of RS
Dinner for two with alcoholic beverage and dessert: 15 Magic packs or 9 months of RS
Rent/month: 3 Magic boxes
Car payment: 1 Magic box
Fable III Collector's edition: 1 Magic box
Coffeemaker of the gods: 2 Magic boxes
Trip to Costco: arm, leg, body, soul

It's really simple when you think about it.

Does anyone else do this?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2200 Total Level

Well, Rebel Dragon got 2200 overall yesterday. Back when I started playing (2005) that would have been more than enough to get a person maxed in everything.

But I still feel like a big gurl all of a sudden.

A little later I got 90 def and 120 cb:

 So, with winter break literally just around the corner I intend to slay like it's going out of style. And who knows, maybe I'll get that firecape.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Runescape December BTS

Well, I realize that there's already been an update so this will be more of a 3/4 BTS and 1/4 in-front-of-the-scene, haha.

The first update, Dragon Defenders, seems to have lived up to expectations of the various people who have been wanting it. I find it nice that they 'finished' that line of weaponry. From what I understand they drop fairly regularly, but I haven't spent much time trying to get one on account of the Warrior's Guild being crowded every time I go.

Supposedly coming this week are damage-soaking and differently-colored hitsplats. This is supposedly the first of a series of updates trying to increase the players' damage capacity to better withstand the amount of damage being dealt. I rather like the idea of Defense counting for more than it currently does. Damage soaking is being added to most armor, but since the bar is set at 200 life points I'm not sure if it's going to make enough difference to really matter to me, since I hardly ever fight bosses and seldom PVP. The 'max hit splat' idea is a good one, I think.

The Christmas update should be fun. Having it in Daemonheim should be interesting, but since we've had a werewolf involved in Christmas before I guess it's not too much out of the ordinary.

This month is rather low on my list of things-to-be excited about, but that is certainly subject to change. For those of you working through finals before Christmas break: we're almost there!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Saga of Stupid Freaking Metal Bits, Part III


There are certain negative side effects of being a student on financial aid.

I'm not referring to the extra pressure one feels to ensure one stays on financial aid. Or the filling out of applications entreating the government or other entities to please continue funding my education. Or the ever-impending specter of what student loans might do to me once I stop getting educated.

There's this whole matter of what counts as income. Especially when it comes to things like getting credit for a car.

LOML and I found this out at the first car dealer we stopped at. After talking to the super-friendly salespeople, surrounded by big shiny worth-my-financial-aid-packet cars and finding out that I have a decent credit score, we discovered that the vast majority of lenders do not consider financial aid or grants to be a "steady source of income," so for all practical purposes my income is solely what I get from working in the library.

Which would not be enough to pay for my rent each month, by itself. The salespeople regretfully ushered us out the door with business cards and the recommendation to see this other place that would accept funky sources of income.

After going to this other place that packed 976 billion cars to the square foot and partially filling out the application, we were shown three different cars. Two of them looked a little scruffy around the entire body but I was immediately attracted to the third car. It was shiny. Gold. We look it for a spin. I decided I liked it.

Spent the rest of the afternoon calling friends and relatives to get their addresses for the application. Signing papers. Paid a down payment (that was less than it would take to repair the old car)

Drove away with this:

What can I say? 11 days later it's still working, but that Service Engine Soon light hasn't turned off in spite of changing the battery and the oil. I've been reading online you can reset it by disconnecting the battery but that would require me actually tampering under the hood of my car, which I'd rather not do.

Incidentally, the other car was sold for $100. Just enough for my first car payment.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Saga of Stupid Freaking Metal Bits, Part II

The saga continues....

The tow truck shows up before I can finish eating my nachos. It manages to alternatively dump rain and not rain repeatedly during the whole interaction with the tow truck driver. The driver brings over a portable jumper cable thingy with it's own battery so we can roll up the window, get the shite out of park, and back it into a parking space across the row so the tow truck can actually hook up to it. LOML gets out an umbrella to keep us from getting soaked. Good thing, because I wouldn't have thought of it. When your car is on its way to a career as a scrap heap, what's a little chilling rain to a stressed little soul?

Originally, I planned to take the scrap heap to our place and dump it in our front yard, but the tow truck driver mentioned his shop and I thought, why the hell not? Would save me having to tow it again. So it was towed to a shop tucked behind a 76 station and a local drive-in and I tenuously abandoned it for the night, leaving it all alone in that dark place....

I did briefly think about finding a cliff to push the car off of, but the towing company didn't offer that service.

What this meant was that my next day started hellishly early--I got up at 6 am after about 4 hours of sleep. I called the shop at 8am only to be told that they hadn't looked at it yet. I then called AAA to secure my complimentary 2-day rental--which was some big black Dodge tank of a car. I checked for missile launchers but there didn't seem to be any. I then went to a doctor's appoint at the health center at college, splurging a whole $3 for a park-anywhere pass so I wouldn't have to trot the entire way from the Far Wilderness lot to make it on time.

After the kind doc suggested I turn into a grazing animal start eating 3 servings of fruits and veggies a day (which is like 21 more pieces than I do in a normal week) I dragged myself home to catch a nap before heading to classes.

Except the repair shop called and told me the bad news....
  1. Alternator was completely shot
  2. Radiator had big crack
  3. Serpentine belt needed replacing.
Total repairs = $800.

After the world faded back in to reality, I asked the repair shop lady if I could call back. LOML was stirring and I felt a need to consult him on the topic of 800 buckaroos.

LOML started talking about options and before I knew it I was calling the teachers of the classes I had that day to let them know I was going to be absent on account of my car being a POS. LOML then hijacked the wheel of the black rental tank from me and we set out for the afternoon...

to be continued....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Saga of Stupid Freaking Metal Bits, Part I

So this past week has been longer and more tiring than usual.

Monday night LOML limps into the house after his class and falls on the bed in a nigh-catatonic state due to his knee being super messed up and him falling on his way to class. After devoted a lot of time to knee-rubbing so he could actually speak coherently, he looked at me with sad pathetic puppy-dog eyes and asked if I could go for Taco Bell. Being not completely hard-hearted, I headed out the door and to my Ford Escort '94, drove to Taco Bell, placed an order, and waited patiently behind the car that was currently at the window.

Then I realized that my radio wasn't playing. I didn't think that I had turned it off, but whatever. I went to turn it on and it stayed cold and dark. Oh well, just another stupid thing to break down on my car. The car in front of me went to pull away and I went to pull forward.

Sput, sput, sputter, silent, went the car.

"What the hell!" I said. Turning the key did not get the car to start again; however it had enough power to beep annoyingly at me as I opened the door to inform the lovely Taco Bell denizens that their drive thru was blocked. They took it better than I probably would have. They even got all helpful and started climbing through the window to attempt to push it out of the way.

Except it was in park and couldn't be gotten out of park with the engine off. Which meant my erstwhile POS wasn't going anywhere. One of the TB employees brought his car the wrong way in through the drive thru and we hooked up jumper cables, enabling the car to get out of park. Upon removing the cables, however, the engine died faster than a canary in a bad coal mine. However two TB employees were able to at least push it out of the drive through. I did collect my order first and called LOML to tell him that if he wanted num-nums in the next several hours he was going to have to come get them. I then called AAA (I knew I was paying for their membership for some reason) and summoned a tow truck.

This is exactly what tow trucks look like.

Meanwhile, my driver window was down and it started to rain like the wrath of Poseidon. I ended up sitting in the middle where there's no real seat and waited patiently for LOML and tow truck to show up. I got a call from AAA in the meantime to inform me that it was going to be about 40 minutes before the tow truck showed up.

LOML showed up and, instead of taking the food and running away, stayed and helped me while away the minutes while we ate our TB food.

To Be Continued....

Friday, December 3, 2010

Runescape November Review

Well, November was a rather successful month, with several much-anticipated updates and a decent quest.

The warped floors in Daemonheim I can't really comment on as I don't have the level to do them, but I'm glad they finished skill all the way out to level 120, as that means I won't get the cape before they complete it, hehe. I do think the Mercenary Leader may be too difficult in general, as I've heard the boss and minions are the same level all the time and not based on your level. I could be wrong about this. There were no awards that made me want to get them immediately, so this was sort of a no-update week from my perspective, but I look forward to trying it out.

The BOAESU (Bank Op And Equip Screen Update) was next, surprisingly, as I was expecting Herblore Habitat. It still has made life quite a bit easier, with the whole switching-of-armor-and-gear between slayer tasks. Or outfits.

I only briefly visited Herblore Habitat when it came out. Other people seem to like it, but I didn't really get the hang of it and all I could think of was how many bank spaces this was going to take. Bankspace is rather precious to me at the moment, so I didn't really do this game.

Do No Evil was fairly challenging without being too frustrating--except for the bit where the pharaoh queen sent me off to Sophanem to learn about Apmeken -- I hate useless running around. The choc ice thing was a bit annoying until I figured how to chill it. But helping the monkeys set up a colony was rather nifty.

All in all, a good month for Runescape.