Playing favorites

I got to thinking this morning.

If you have been around for long you know that usually is followed by some random observation about life, Warcraft, or the state of mind I happen to be in. Today however, that is not the case.

Instead of reading the news or any other such thing I decided to look through my past posts. I have quite a few posts I really enjoyed writing. Some were funny, some were serious, some were not even about Warcraft. Hell some were not even on this blog.

Anyhow, since I spent my time woolgathering instead of brainstorming I don’t have any good ideas for todays post. On the plus side I did spend a good amount of time enjoying some of my other stuff. 

I suppose instead of just ignoring my friends on the intertubes I’ll just afflict you with  “best of” list.

Well, maybe not the best, but some of my favorites anyhow.

Not so funny stuffs:

Casually Addicted (um, yes)

What are epics worth? (whatever your willing to pay)

Will heal for food (I never feel like this anymore, thankfully)

Everything I needed to know about WoW I learned in the Barrens (yep)

Something was missing (They nerfed it to the ground, then kicked it)

Kinda funny stuffs:

This just in (Arena really would make more sense like this)

Dads kiss up points, or DKP for short (yes, it’s working)

Way beyone grumpy (a rant, but a funny one)

/Headdesk (I still do things like this, often)

Blah (all purpose patch notes)

Stories about that place thats not Azeroth:

Five hours and counting (from yet another meme)

Escape to Azeroth (like a vacation commercial, only not)

Farewell old friend (once upon a time I lived there)

What would you ask? (what the next gen’s genera is going to be)

Oh, snap! ( I hate it when that happens)

Fan fiction/ stories:

And the lights grow dimmer (my all time favorite post, it just felt right)

Blood in the water (why don’t they clean up after themselves?)

Mirrior mirror (it would  be an odd feeling)

The same, except completely different (Mmmmm…. beer)

Missing (a diferent take on Mirror Mirror, and better written IMO)

Stuffs from my other distinctly non-WoW blog what might be entertaining:

A line in the sand (I wonder what I would have done?)

Frogs (still makes me laugh)

Oh cool, I found it! (yes I know it’s a recent post, but it’s a good one)

Mans best friend (sadly only one is still with us)

A ride (makes me want to get the bike out and go)

And there you have it, the perfect post for a day when I had no idea what to write.

The State of the Blog

November is a wonderful time.

The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, things are starting to settle down for the winter.

There are holidays such as the Day of the Dead, Veterans day, and Thanksgiving. It is a wonderful relaxing time of the year.

This year though, along with everything else, there is a little something new.

Something that will likely consume all my free time, making blogging infrequent at best.

 

For the curious, it is a challenge. An attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. Needless to say I likely won’t be posting much here during the month of November.

I do have a few things that I have already written that are scheduled to go up, but not much. A Winters Veil guide to the achievements, a veterans day post, and a mostly finished post on leveling tailoring similar to the way I did Alchemy (although I would still have to do the experiment).

So there you have it. I’m not going away for good, but taking an insanity break.

I’ll stop by to check comments and respond to emails, but otherwise the blog is on autopilot until December.

Kick back and enjoy the archives, theres beer in the cooler and a pot of chili on down by the fire.

Try not to mess the place up too much before I get back.

Escape to Azeroth

I, like thousands of others, just had a really interesting post from Wow.com drop into my feed reader. The Breakfast Topic is generally something they post to bring about a bit of discussion. Most days I simply skim over it, but todays post about real life cataclysms kinda hit close to home.

I’ll briefly recap for the one person out there that may actually follow my ramblings and yet not read Wow.com. The post was about how at times the game can reflect the suffering in the real world, and yet at the same time be a refuge from that suffering. If you have not read it, go check it out. It’s worth your time.

Be advised, this post is not so much about Wow as it is about my personal experiences and those of my family. If you choose to read on do so knowing that. Also know that this is my life I talk about today, not just the game. If you choose to comment please keep that in mind.

 

A little over three years ago… has it really only been that long?

Life was a lot different back then. So was I.

I was talking to a friend of mine from work about the game that he played. He was far from pushy about it, but got across the basics of the game. I picked up a copy and started goofing off with it, not realising where it would lead me.

Have you ever noticed how the smallest things seem to loom with importance when looked back upon through the lens of experience?

I was bored, all the shows I cared to watch were in reruns, and I picked up a game to amuse myself. I had no idea where that path would take me. I still don’t know where it will end, we shall see.

Slowly as I played the game I made friends online. Starting with the coworker who had introduced me to the game and moving on to guild mates. I have made some very good friends in Wow, and honestly I don’t know how I could have dealt with the next few years without both their support and the separate reality that is Azeroth.

About six months after I started playing, shortly after The Burning Crusade my mother made a mistake. She was living on her own after the death of my dad and doing relatively well. My family and I visited often, and when we were not there we were on the phone. She never went more than six or eight hours without someone either calling or stopping by.

The doctor said that is probably what saved her life.

 

One day I called to see if she would like to go out to dinner with us, as we often did back then. When she did not answer we waited a few minutes and called again. When she did not pick up that time we just hopped in the car and headed over, figuring she was napping.

When we arrived I saw what no one really ever wants to see…  mom on the kitchen floor laying in a puddle of spilt orange juice, the refrigerator door hanging open.

Mom was diabetic, badly so. Somewhere in the afternoon she had made a mistake with her insulin and diet, Taking her shot and then falling asleep before she ate.

She never did remember what happened. I can only assume she awoke on the couch realising that her sugar was low and tried to get some orange juice into her system before it was too late. She lost that race.

Had we not stopped in when we did she would have ben gone that day.

 

When she got out of the hospital a bit over a month later she moved in with us. I learned way more about diabetes during the next two years than most folks learn in their lifetime. I also learned about other things like Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain management, and drug side effects and interactions.

For two long years my family and I watched her slowly come unglued as her health failed. We spend countless hours with the doctors working to make things better. Even the doctors eventually said all we could do is keep her comfortable until the end comes.

By all rights we could have simply put her into a nursing home and awaited the inevitable call. Most folks would have, especially towards the end.

We could have, but we didn’t.  As long as the doctors who were monitoring things said we could still handle it at home we did. As long as they are able a family takes care of their own, thats just how it works. Anything else is so foreign to me that it doesn’t even register.

Watching it all happen was, shall we say, less than pleasant.

During one of her stays in the hospital, a bit over two years after moving in with us, the call came. My brother and I needed to be there… like now. We made it there just as she finally was too tired to keep fighting and passed away.

 

During those two years I found refuge in the game. I could log in any time day or night and know that everything would be right where I left it. I might be up at three in the morning farming primals, I might be pugging my way through Shattered Halls, I might just be sitting in Shattrah watching the trade chat trolls banter back and forth.

Escaping into a virtual world could not make the pain go away, but it could make it slip to the back of my mind for a little while. It was never completely gone, but for a little while I could slip away to a place where things were easier.

It was a place I could go and have fun relaxing with friends, while still being home if I was needed.

Friends that sat up talking to me all night long when things were so bad I could not sleep.

Friends that said not a word when I left with no more than a quick “Afk” before I vanished, sometimes for days. No matter what we were doing in Azeroth I could walk away and it was understood.

Friends that in some cases I have now met in real life and talk with more out of the game than inside it.

The friends I made in that virtual world are just as real as those I have made anywhere else.

Many, many a long night I sat up with them, one ear on vent and the other ear listening. Waiting for any change in her ragged breathing, or a call to come help her.

 

The world of Azeroth may not be real, but the people there most certainly are. During my own personal cataclysm it was a refuge. A place I could go where I could still have control. A place where things made sense and the reward always came if you finished the quest. The quest giver never said “sorry, you did everything right and it still didn’t matter”.

 

A lot has changed in the year and a half she has been gone. I don’t play nearly as much anymore. Most of the friends I had then are scattered across different servers. Some have quit the game entirely, some just want different things from the game than I do now.

One thing I have learned though, is when things were really bad one of the things that kept me sane was Warcraft and its virtual world.  I could log in, if only for a while, and take a mental vacation there.

Almost as though, before it all happened,  my friend had sent a touristy postcard saying “Escape to Azeroth”.

Rolling up my sleeves

As I said in yesterdays post, Dechion’s place is going to be taking on a new direction.

I thought a good bit about this last night. There are ten classes, call it nine since DK’s start at 55, and are well covered.

Even if I just gloss over faction specific or race specific information that’s an awful lot of ground to cover, just to get the basics down.

Then we start getting into professions…. (I call can ‘o worms on those, lots to go over there)

I can do this but it’s going to take some time to really get the ball rolling. Honestly I am not sure if the current layout of the blog will handle what I want it to be able to do.

I suppose i’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.

The first thing that needs to happen is a re-labeling of all my older posts. Some may be more relevant than others, but all deserve their place in the tag cloud. When I originally went through and posted things I did not so much keep track of how I tagged things.

One example, I had tags for Wow, WoW, Warcraft, and World of Warcraft…

Kinda makes it difficult to find things.

Well, that and the fact that nearly every post was tagged with one of those and little else. Over 250 posts and even I had a hellava time finding anything. Everything having the same tag is as good as nothing being tagged at all.

confusion

So, my plan for the next few days is to go through and organise the site to be much more user friendly. With any luck I will be able to adapt the current format to my new needs, if not… well lets just hope I don’t have to go there. I really like this theme and would prefer not to have to change it.

Another major change that is going to happen is the posting schedule. Up until now I have simply posted as the muse took me. Sometimes more than one a day, sometimes only a few times a month. This needs to be more regular.

The types of posts I am going to be working on take a lot more time than something like what you are reading now. Particularly since I need to double check all my information. I don’t actually play every class, so I will be learning a good bit of this as I go.

So, while I will still drop in the occasional odd day post like this one, as the muse takes me,  from here on my plan is to post once a week.

Tuesday sounds like a good day.

 

Until next week, Keep your powder dry.

Good hunting.

Welcome aboard

Well this should be interesting, This will be my first attempt at trying to put a Blog together.

We will probably be seeing lots of changes coming around as I try different things.

I will be posting about many different topics. Mostly World of warcraft, but other things as well depending on what strikes my fancy. I do not pretend to be a journalist, reasearcher, or an accompished writer. I just happen to like to talk. Some of my posts may be funny, some informative, and others interesting only for their poor grammar. I have no idea where this will take us, but lets enjoy the ride.

Welcome aboard.

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