Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Puppy Pics

It's been a while, so feast your eyes on DA PUPPA!

Monday, June 29, 2009

For the Alliance

This past weekend, I spent almost all of my WoW playing time on my Alliance DK, Vanco.

Part of the reason was that Teurion renewed his account for a month because he was bored, and the other part was the Midsummer Fire Festival and the easy XP.

So, Vanco had completed the DK starting area and had made his way to Hellfire Penn, but he didn't have any professions yet. I decided that Mining/Herbalism would be the best fit as all of the manufacturing professions are covered by my other toons.

Now, I'm not regretting my choice, but, dang, it sucks leveling mining. I have already gotten Herbalism to 300+, but Mining is lagging behind at 240. And, yes, I'm using a macro to switch between the tracking when I press 'c'.

The good part is that I've completed the Eastern Kingdoms Fire Festival activities and explored a number of areas so I don't have to go back when I'm going for the "Explorer" title. Oh, and I also dinged 60 in the process.

And, I've made a killing off all the ore, stone, herbs, and other junk by selling it on the AH.

But, most of my time this weekend was spent prepping and painting my youngest son's room. He picked a light gray and a charcol gray; his room used to be yellow and blue, so we had to throw down a primer first. Yesterday, we got the first coat down, and it looks really good.

Tonight, I need to do some sanding and primer the window well (I had recaulked the window, and we couldn't primer or paint it until today), and then tomorrow evening, we'll touch up and throw on a second coat if necessary.

I really don't like painting....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Excited again!!!!!111!!!!ELEVENTYONE!!!!1

I am really excited again about owning a dog! See, for the last couple of weeks, the shininess had worn off Denali, and her minuses were starting to outweigh her pluses.

First a little background. This is our first dog, for all intents and purposes, and we know absolutely nothing about training or raising a puppy. So we bought a book and enrolled in puppy classes at a large pet store chain.....I'll call it Smet Part.

(A little disclaimer: I like the store, Smet Part, but the particular trainer that I got just didn't set right with me. So this post should not be construed as being against the store, but rather the trainer and specifically, the training methods.)

So, for 6 weeks, the SP trainer has been teaching us how to get our dogs to behave using treats. The only negative tool that we had to use was removing ourselves from our dog's presence (because the dog REALLY REALLY REALLY wants to be around you and it doesn't like not being around you so it's punishment).

Well, we have had a problem with Denali biting during play. It's just puppy nipping, but she has broken the skin on more than one occasion, and we were starting to get worried about her biting not only us, but also others.

Unfortunately, the SP trainer only offered the "remove yourself" tool to correct this behavior; I am not by nature a passive person, so I would have much rather taken immediate action towards Denali other than hoping she associated my going away with her biting.

Well, everything changed last night as we engaged the services of Larry Blackburn. This guy is the real deal! Right off the bat he gave us two more tools to actively curb Denali's unwanted behaviors.

The first tool, which was to address the biting issue, was to be used when she was trying to bite or already was in the biting process; we would immediately take our index finger and shove it down her throat until she gagged. Yeah, sounds icky, right?

It works. Larry explained that we were not hurting Denali, but we were making her very uncomfortable, and in the process, preventing her from biting us as she couldn't bite while gagging. I can personally say that I've used the maneuver a couple of times and have noticed a drop in the biting behavior. YAY!!! Denali is becoming a joy again!

The other tool, which address her biting our legs, shorts, and pants, was to step on her back paw. Once again, we weren't out to CRUSH it, just enough pressure to make her uncomfortable (usually a yelp was the result).

The biggest thing about both of these tools is that they're immediate and action oriented. Denali quickly associates the bad behavior with the negative tool and stops the behavior. It turns out that pain and discomfort are much better tools to address unwanted behavior.

Of course, I knew this was true for kids; while my oldest son professes to need positive encouragement, it is only negative consequences that affect a change in him. When I use only positive feedback, it just allows him more time to put off the change until he absolutely has to...ie, when the negative consequences are upon him!

There were other things throughout the hour of training that resonated with me from a training standpoint, but the one that really stands out is his whole philosophy behind why the dog obeys.

See, the SP guy, by using treats, teaches the dog to perform for the treat; Larry, on the other hand, teaches the dog to obey me, regardless of any treats.

SP method: I'm a vending machine
Larry method: I'm the master

Personally, I like Larry's way much better, and after thinking it through, I came up with an interesting thought about the difference:

SP thinks that I am fostering a loving bond between me and my dog by not using negative reinforcement, but in reality, I'm just getting my dog to love/obey me because I'm bribing her. And we all know what happens when the bribes stop.

Larry, on the other hand, actually teaches me to create this bond through positive and negative tools, and Denali loves/obeys me because of me, because of her desire to please me, and because of her respect for me. No bribes needed.

And, for the parents out there, I'm sure you can relate to the difference between having your kids obey you because you bribe them and having them obey you because they respect you. In the former case, the kids are constantly wanting more. The latter is a world of difference and makes the home much more pleasant.

So, here's to Denali and a home more pleasant!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Milestone

On this very day, 16 years ago, my youngest son, T, was born.

It's hard to believe that my little baby is 16 all ready.

I know I should have seen it coming; I mean, he's been having birthdays at the same rate for the last...well, fifteen years. But, it seems that this one has kinda snuck up on me.


Wow, where have the years gone? Happy Birthday T!


I realized today that I've never had to catch up cooking to my current level; I've always leveled cooking along with my toon level.

So, running around collecting low level meats is new to me and, if I may be frank, isn't all that exciting. Also, since I collect recipes during my leveling process where ever I find them, I'm having a bit of an issue remembering where to go for the next recipe.

Now, I could level fishing along with cooking. /sigh. That would set me back some time, and I'm starting to get itchin' to move on to leveling Daxjin, who hit 60 last night by completing the Honoring/Desecrating the Flames of Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms.

I had another epiphany recently...if I really enjoy playing Death Knights, then maybe my army of alts, who are created solely to cover the rest of the professions, should be DK's. That way I can level them 10 levels and be done as far as toon leveling goes. I can see it now:

"Yeah, I served Arthas, killed innocents, pillaged villages, and generally wreaked havoc in my past, but now I like sewing...."

The downside is that BoP recipes found in instances would be out of reach unless I leveled my profession DK's. I'll have to think about it more.

On another note, someone is trying to corner the market on Netherweave bags, or at least they are buying up bags that are below their set price, and that smells of profit for me! I'll keep on listing bags about 50 silver below their price, 2 at a time and take as much money as they'll give me! Of course, once they realize that I won't stop suppying the bags, they'll have to switch to another tactic if they still want to set the price at 7.75 gold, namely, undercutting me and driving the price down.

Of course, they may just accept the fact that they'll lose a little business to me, but also realize that their bags will sell after my two have been bought up. Or they may flood the market with cheaper bags and accept the lower profit (or even a loss) in order to drive me out of competition. Or, they may just move on to another segment of the Auction House and leave me be.

The key to making money in this situation is to take advantage of the other person thinking through and trying different tactics:

First, he attempts to deplete my stock. Once he realizes that I just keep making more, he'll stop buying my bags (and that tactic). The amount of time that I sell him bags depends on his market savvy; I've sold him two bags, will he buy more and how long will he hope that I run out? I make money from him (and others) while he plays out the scenario.

After this, he may just accept the loss in business and leave me a small share of the pie. This is probably the best course for him as it takes the least amount of capital and effort.

He may undercut me. Now the ball would be in my court, but I won't play (probably)! I'll continue to list my bags at my set price in the hopes that once his bags sell, mine will sell. If my bags won't sell, then I may lower my price to compete and repeat the original scenario, albeit at a lower price.

He can drive me out of the market if he lowers the price of the bags below what a stack of Netherweave + 1 Runethread costs; it would be ludicrous to sell a manufactured item for less than the cost of the mats. Of course, his costs and my costs are probably different (mine are probably higher), so he could still make a profit selling the bags below what the mats cost me.

One more observation - if I continue in this particular market, I'll make sure to buy my Netherweave cloth on the weekend as the price climbs significantly during the week.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I realized the other day that there's one more skill I need to grind out on Daxjin before heading to Outlands: Cooking.

Hmmm....maybe I should start now and get cooking up to my current levels of my other profs, that way I can work all three skills at the same time for a given area.

Thankfully, First Aid was already up to Heavy Runecloth bandages at the start.

So, watch out wolfies, I'm coming for your Stringy Wolf Meat!!

Business and Dying

I have a little business going that takes advantage of the depressed Netherweave cloth market on Andorhal. I've been able to buy stacks of Netherweave for under 4 gold (5 in two cases) and send said stacks plus one Runethread per stack to Robin to make Netherweave Bags, which I sell for around 7.25 gold. The current market price is between 7.75 and 8 gold.

I'm only listing 2 at a time, and I'm making a killing! I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep it up, but by limiting my production, I'm not flooding the market with cheap bags, so I should be able to keep it up for a while.

I also invested 10 gold in an Eternal Fire as the Crystallized Fire sells for about 2 gold each. Once again, I'm limiting the amount I auction so as to not flood the market. I've sold 4 so far, so my investment is almost paid off, and the remainder is pure profit!

And finally, this morning I thought I'd squeeze in a couple of Fire Honorings. I grabbed the Sepulcher and headed for Tarren Mill. I died upon landing.

The Alliance were running amok, killing everything in sight, so I corpse hopped my way over to the flame, waited right by the quest giver until I thought I had a chance, popped a rez, completed the quest, and died.....satisfied. lol.

Now I just have to make my way over to Southshore to desecrate their fire....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fail post is....Fail

I have failed recently.

Yesterday, I failed to keep my WoW play in check. I played pretty much all day after leaving work for an emergency Dental appt at 9 am, and then topped it off by playing from 8:30-10 pm and NOT going on a walk with my wife and Denali.

Now, I was pretty tired, but still, I chose veg time over wife time, housework time, and finances time. I chose...poorly.

So, I may play after work (no, I need to get on something!), but I'll probably not play much tonight. Of course, patio contractor at 6 pm and puppy class at 8 pm will help me stay off the computer, but I need to get back into balance.

I think one of the things that threw me out was the current holiday (I really like the XP gains), as well as trying to get over the Mithril hump in mining on Daxjin. fail.

So, I need to remember, the holiday is going on for the next two weeks or so, and I have plenty of time to get all that XP. Also, eventually, I'll have time to mine all of that ore and get my skill levels to 300.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Musings from the weekend

not to be confused with "Some Musings."

I rolled a DK over on Andorhal just so I could farm up cloth and Greens for Daxea, and a funny thing happened on the way to the farmer: I actually enjoyed playing her.

Now you guys know me - Mr. Ranged DPS, but I have to say that the "Yank and Spank" kind of fighting is kinda cool. I have yet to take her into Outlands to test her mettle there, but I'm looking forward to it.

The reason I haven't taken her to Outlands yet is two-fold:
1. I need to get a grip on how to play. I know, I know, I made it through the starting area, so what more do I need to know. Well, between you and me, I pretty much just spammed buttons (like the last time) until the mob was dead. I know the "Yank" button and have learned the "Spread the disease to others" button, but I really need to look at my other spells to figure them out, especially if I'm expected to PvP with them...

2. I want to get my tradeskills (Mining/Blacksmithing) up to Outlands level - 300, before going there, so I'm running around Kalimdor looking for nodes. I am trying to catch the flames for some XP during my travels, so I'm not totally wasting time. Besides...what's the rush? Oh yeah!

I decided to do a little role playing with making my DK; I picked a Troll female and named her Daxjin. Yeah, I know...very...little role playing.

And the final highlight from the weekend occurred while Daxjin was in TB, minding her own business at the forge when another Troll opened a trade window with her. I thought that he was probably going to ask for money or had tried to throw something away but had accidentally clicked on me. I just closed it without a thought.

He then opened it again and said, "Hold Still". Then, he dumped 1350 gold in the window and clicked trade!! I hurriedly clicked trade and said, "Thanks a billion!!"

It turns out he was deleting his toon, and I was the luck recipient of all of his hard work (he was level 66). Yay on me!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I always feel like...

...somebody's watchin' meeeeeeeee.

So, last night, I get a tell from some dude named Vishni. Hmmm...that sounds a lot like...JOE!!

He rolled a BE hunter just to be near me....awwwwww; the words from Weird Al's song "Do I Creep You Out" ring through my head.

So, I dinged a lvl on both of the PvP toons, and I even got to play a bit with Jay! Yay!

At the end of my session, I went to mail stuff to my bank toon and realized...I didn't have one! Whoops. So, I created a BE pally (cause they have the best...everyone say it with me....judgments) and was very disappointed that the name Smoochie was already taken.

So, Oldladydax was a suitable substitute...I guess. I'll have to form her guild later when I have some extra cash, but for now, she's just an extra bank and hangs around Silvermoon so my other toons don't have to.

I'm really hoping that I'll be able to get in more play time tonight and this weekend. I've only been able to log on for an hour or less at a time this past week, so ya know I'm jonesin'...

Oh, and I do believe this weekend's BG is WSG, so Daxen will get double honor for her efforts. Yay!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wasting Time

One of the reasons I came back to playing WoW was the mechanics of the game. I enjoy playing a ranged class that has a pet to keep the mobs at bay. I also enjoy the healing aspect of the game.

I did not come back because I missed the social interaction; in fact, so far, the majority of my play has been solo and more so recently since Jay and Robin transferred their mains over to Andorhal. I've done just two instances since coming back and really haven't had any desire to do any more.

I didn't even come back because there was content that I felt I was missing (raids and the like); when I quit, Uldar was yet to be released, and I had seen (not downed) all of the current content. Also, I had all of the tradeskills well above 400, and some of them were capped.

So, I guess I'm saying that I had beaten the game or as much as I wanted to beat, so why come back?

That's a good question. I've been pondering it a bit lately, too. I came up with some facts about the current state of the game as it appeals to me:

1. I'm having fun. This is the single most important item to me, and when I quit, I wasn't having fun. I'm not worried about capping any levels or tradeskills; I know I'll get there eventually.

2. I look forward to playing. This is closely tied to #1.

3. I don't mind wasting my time inefficiently gathering resources. Ole Rysteranch has solo'd ZF twice in as many days in order to gather up Mageweave and Greens for Daxea. While I'm still opposed to wasting those resources in inefficiently using them for my tradeskills, I don't mind the gathering part of them.

4. I've started reading WoW related blogs again. This is almost exclusively at work during down times, but still, it's an indication that I have a peaked interest in the game.

5. I've been blogging about WoW stuff recently. Of course, you guys already knew this.

6. I am dropping WoW in favor of wife/family stuff that comes along instead of declining the activity in order to play WoW. This is a caveat that I force upon myself to keep from becoming unbalanced like I was not too long ago. Case in point: Last night I really wanted to play my little PvP Daxea (and did for about 20 minutes), but my wife thought the dog wanted to take us for a walk, so I bailed (and left Daxea out in the middle of nowhere) and went for a walk.

So, the answers that can be denied are:
1. I want to raid. Uh...NOPE.
2. I want to level to 80. Nope.
3. I want to pwn noobs. ....uh...maybe....nah.
4. I miss all my friends. If that was the case, I'd pick up my Alliance toons again, ya know!
5. My RL sucks, and I need to escape. Quite the opposite - my RL is outstanding! My marriage has never been better; my financial situation has never been better; I've never been paid so much to do so little in my life; and the stresses that I'm under at home and work are easily bearable.

The answer that I keep coming back to is: I'm having fun again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Resistance is....futile

Yeah, I rolled a BE priest named Daxea over on Andorhal. She's up to level 6 and picked up Tailoring/Enchanting as her profs.

Since Jay flipped me 50 gold, (thanks again, bud!), I'm not hurtin' to level Daxen's Leatherworking or either of Daxea's professions, but I still haven't leveled them very much. What's stopping me? Well, time, for one. I haven't had time to really play over the weekend or yesterday.

Another issue I have with leveling each of these specific professions is the "free" skill points that I get from:

Tailoring: making linen bolts
Enchanting: DEing items
Leatherworking: making Light Leather from Ruined Leather Scraps

Now, the debate I find myself getting into is this:

Self: I can't make any useful armor or enchant anything until I get all the free skill points.

Me: Balderdash! You need some better armor, besides (in a snide voice) you aren't worried about leveling. What's the rush?

Self: Hey, I'm just trying to be efficient with my resources; some of those later skill points can be a bear to get. I need to get all the easy ones that I can.

Me: But time's not an issue, remember? You're not in a huge hurry to get to end game.

Self: Well, I don't really like grinding unless it's on the dance floor....

Me: You're gross.

Self: You're an idiot.

Me: Shut the hell up.

Self: Make me

....and then the fight starts....

Monday, June 15, 2009

I did what???

So, Jay and Robin over at Fuzzy Soup enticed me to roll a Hordie over on Andorhal. It's a PvP server.




Well, since I've been thinking about it and thrust Daxen into the lvl 3X WSG, I figured I might as well try out a PvP server again. A lot of things have changed since I rolled my first toon on Spinebreaker.

So far, Daxen the PvPer (as opposed to Daxen the PvEer on Suramar....yeah, I know, she's PvPing too, but work with me here, people!) has made it up to level 12, picked up Skinning/Leatherworking, and is sitting at the Crossroads.

I've also resisted rolling another toon on this server, but I may break down and roll a priest. Can't.....stop.....my....self.......

Friday, June 12, 2009

Who says the Horde always wins BG's?

Cause that certainly wasn't the case last night. I think I was involved in one winning Warsong Gulch attempt in 5 or 6 (maybe 7 - I wasn't counting).

Maybe it's me....

Anyways, yes, Daxen got her first taste of Alliance blood. She dinged several achievements including Know thy enemy, Perfect WSG (my only win), and WSG Win. I also did better than most of my team mates in the areas of Honorable kills, Killing blows, and Damage done. I didn't top the columns in any of my battles, although I tied for first a time or two in one or two columns.

My worst battle was the one where I tied a person for most Honorable kills.....for the entire battle....with a grand total......of one. ONE Honorable kill for the entire team. Yeah, we got owned.

The best skirmish was the Perfect one, of course. I hooked up with a shammy in the Alliance base (just outside of the tunnel on the path that tees off to the roof). I'm not sure how many kills we got but I do know neither of us died, and eventually, we had to go in search of new victims. I love getting heals...lol.

Now a question: I could not for the life (pun intended) of me kill a warlock. I focused both myself and PuddyTat on him, but he just kept draining life on me. It didn't seem to matter that I had Viper Sting on him, and I also couldn't get out of that spell's range without getting out of range myself (I need to re-talent to include that extra 6 yards).

Oh, yeah, the question....How am I supposed to kill a level 39 'lock? I have Scatter Shot, so I can interrupt one drain life every 6 or so seconds. I suppose I could Disengage as soon as he casts the spell to make him waste the mana. Does Feign Death break channeled spells? I could do that.

OK, next question: Is one particular BG Tier more brutal than others? e.g. 19 is tougher than 29? Daxen was 37 last night in most of her WSG's and 38 for the last one, and I'm wondering if the 39 BG's are a target tier for twinks. Of course I know 19 is, and I'm not sure if I'll be participating in them with Daxenos and Oldmandax.

Also, from my experience with Dwarfvader, I think 59 is a somewhat neglected BG because everyone wants to push on (I may be mistaken now that 80 is the cap instead of 70 when I did DV's PvP) to the level cap.

And finally, Rysteranch the Troll spent a long time at 49 collecting all his Honor and WSG tokens (It's been over two years!), and I can say that that BG was pretty cool, but then again, I had semi twinked him out.

Anyways, I'd really like some feedback on you's guys' experiences in the BG's at the lower levels. Of course, eventually, I'd like to know about level 80 PvP as well.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rediscovering the little things

So, by not worrying about leveling, I've rediscovered some of the joys and benefits of leatherworking.

While my two little hunters required a number of items that provided small upgrades, Daxen's gear was just atrocious! I guess I've been just taking what quest rewards I could get and not worrying about it. Now, that's not really a mistake(especially if leveling isn't your goal), but still, since I'm going to have the extra leather anyways, I figured I'd craft some pretty good upgrades for her.

I've had Rysteranch out in Tanaris collecting Scorpid scales, so it was pretty easy to skin enough Heavy and Thick Leather to make some nicer gear. I've gathered up 30 scales so far and have 198 more to go to complete three full Tough Scorpid mail sets for my three lowby hunters.

A hundred....and Ninety Eight. I reckon I'll be spending a lot more time down in Tanaris. Of course I could break up the monotony a bit since Daxen is the only one that is even close to 40.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

WoW Ketchup


It's been a week since I started playing Warcrack, so I figured I'd post an update of sorts.

I've been playing my Horde toons exclusively over on Suramar. I've been trying to take it easy and have mostly succeeded (RL has helped in keeping me on the run).

Since Oldmandax and Daxenos (both hunters) are in their teens, I figured I'd update their armor with some leatherworking recipes. Rysteranch got the call to go take on Wailing Caverns for some Deviate/Perfect Deviate scales as well as Light and Medium leather.

One big plus to the take it easy approach is feeling free to mess around in low level areas gathering stuff and not worrying about the leveling that I'm missing. So, I've always liked to have updated armor and weapons for my leveling toons, and now I don't feel like I'm missing out by taking time to gather up the stuff for it.

In that same vein, Sunday, I took Daxen out mining Copper for Oldmandax so he could get his Engineering up to a respectable level. Now, she did get a bit of XP and an acheivement for exploring Mulgore in the process.

So, since I have three up and coming hunters (Daxen - 36, Daxenos - 17, and Oldmandax - 16), I've also decided to farm up the Tough Scorpid armor for all of them. I've got the totals at home, but I'll need some where in the area of 2-3 hundred scorpid scales; the flip side is that I'll probably get the leather I need in the process of gathering up the scales.

As an aside, the AH on Suramar is totally devoid of scorpid scales and the Tough Scorpid armor pieces, so I may just try out the money making end of this niche after I've made my three sets. Of course, by then I might just be sick of killing scorpids and move on to something else.

And speaking of the Tough Scorpid armor, I am so glad that Blizzard changed some of the lower level crafted armor to be more viable to certain classes. I love the fact that the Tough Scorpid armor now has Stamina instead of Spirit; that's the kind of common sense thinking that players have been begging for from developers for years. I'll have to look, but I think they took the Spirit off of the low level plate too; wonders never cease!

I've been playing Daxenos lately; it's fun just knocking around the Barrens. I dueled a lvl 20 druid at 16 and almost beat him. Then another level 16 hunter asked me to duel him, and I beat him twice. The first time, he made the mistake of siccing his pet on my pet, while I put PuddyTat on him. After I pointed this out, the second time he put his pet (a spider) on me, which made it a closer duel, but I still came out on top.

With the dueling, I'm starting to think more about getting into some PvP. I'm not too shabby at Warsong Gulch (see here), and it would also provide some adrenaline rushes as well as some nice gear. Also, Rysteranch has over 1800 kills (I think...definitely over 1000), and it would be cool to add to his total....stinking Alliance scum! Oh, and he's over half way to lvl 69....hmmmm.....


Monday, June 8, 2009

Teh Most Awesomest

No, that's not some movie tough guy; that's Poppa! My mom gave me this picture while I was down in So. Cal. for the day on Friday.

Doesn't he look awesome?? I had never seen this picture before and had only known him as a mid-50's+ grandpa. Of course, I started paying attention to stuff when he was in his 60's and 70's, so I know him best as a gentleman quite a bit older than this picture shows.

So, my whirlwind trip to Cali went just fine. I left Indy at 6 am (EDT) Friday, went to the Memorial service at 2 pm (PDT), left at 6:30 pm(PDT), and arrived back in Indy at 5:40 am(EDT), Saturday.

I got to see some relatives that I hadn't seen in years! Of course, I got to see my mom, but I also got to see Great Aunts Flo and Leila, Great Uncle Ken, and numerous second cousins.

I got up during the sharing part of the service and gave a synopsis of what I wrote in my post here about Poppa. Everyone who shared added to the honor of the moment, and we all agree that each of us was blessed by his life. I only hope that I can affect the people that I come into contact with like Poppa did. Everyone he met saw what a genuine, honest man he was.

It's not hard to look at that picture and see the twinkle that was always in his eye and the half grin that seemed to always be affixed to his face.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Holding Back

Well, yesterday, I was able to control my WoW cravings and didn't log in for more than a minute. Of course, my current server, Suramar, was down all day, and I only logged in on my little Pally, Daxenos, to see if any Pox Redux toons had moved on.

On a more serious note, I've been holding back some information from you, my faithful readers. I'm really a Klingon...no, that wasn't it. Actually, on May 22, my maternal grandfather passed away at the ripe old age of 88.

So, this Friday is his memorial service in Southern California, and I'll be flying out there for the day (leave Indy at 6 am, arrive back at 5:47 am Sat).

I will now attempt to write out just what Poppa meant to me; forgive me if it's a bit jumbled.

Of all the father figures in my life, I think Poppa made the biggest impression on me. No, I didn't spend a great quantity of time around him, but I always held him in high respect and, since my own father left my mom when I was pretty young, feel like I learned a lot about being a real man from him.

There was no beating around the bush with Poppa; he said what he meant and meant what he said. He didn't sugar coat things or try to soften reality. He always gave it to you straight; I guess you could say he was brutally honest before the phrase became part of the vernacular. He also didn't do a lot of yakking, so when he did speak, you tended to listen up.

Of course, he had a great sense of humor, and it seemed that he always had a twinkle in his eye. Even when he had to correct me (he never spanked me - that was my mom's job...lol), he would usually just say something like, "Are you going to play with that trowel all day or actually do some work with it?" Simple, but effective.

One of the things that I learned recently (within the last 15 years or so) from Poppa was faithfulness. According to my mom, who was much closer to the situation, Nana and Poppa were in a difficult marriage with most of the blame being put on Nana. I saw my grandfather stay faithful to my grandmother until death did them part.

But that's not the kicker. For the last few years of Nana's life, she had Alzheimer's, and Poppa bore the lion's share of the burden of caring for her. He refused to put her in a nursing home, and as a result, his health deteriorated quite a bit. I will always remember my grandfather's example and standard that he has left for me regarding commitment and marriage.

Another sign of the respect that I held for Poppa was the fact that I seriously considered changing my last name to Erisman to more closely associate myself with him and his side of the family. I didn't end up changing my name, but I am definitely proud to be part of his posterity and the Erisman's rich heritage.

I can't really remember the last time I spoke or saw him, but I do wish now that I would have taken the time to keep in contact. And in this, he teaches me another lesson.

I'll miss him.

William "Bill" Erisman
Oct 30, 1920 - May 22, 2009

EDIT: Link to obit.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Back Home(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Yeppers, I got back home on Friday night and took some time off from the blog, work, and thinking. Ok, I didn't totally give up thinking....

It is very nice to be sleeping next to my wife again and being able to steal looks at her over dinner or lunch. The hugging and smooching is nothing to sneeze at either! I mean, no, I didn't sneeze while smooching my wife...that's gross!

My little girl, Denali, is quite a bit bigger - around 6 pounds now. She's got a wild streak in her, and we're having a lot of issues with nipping and biting, ftl...which is totally at odds with her absolutely adorable look. We joke about her being Demon Dog...lol.

While I was away, it seems that my youngest son was up to no good....GROWING! He has shot up about an inch or so in the last month and is nearly as tall as I am. He towers over his older brother now...which is pretty funny.

And finally, I am taking a new/old approach to playing WoW: What's the rush?

The premise behind "What's the rush?" kind of playing WoW is that I already know what's at the end of leveling and maxing professions, so why am I in such a hurry to get there? I know it's a mental game to help me temper the temptation for overdoing it, but it's MY mental game!

So, when I find myself plotting/planning for stuff in WoW, I'll only let it get so far before asking, "What's the rush?" I also use it when I'm tempted to put off RL stuff in order to do something in game. I really need to balance out WoW to put it in its proper place - last place! I can play, but I need to prioritize a lot of other things before it, which I have had a very difficult time doing in the past.

And lastly, I've stopped the weight ticker, but I'll continue the mileage count by month. I fell far short of my goal, but I'm ok with that. I really should have had a more realistic goal; maybe I'll hit 500 miles for the summer!