RIP My Old Friend 2

Once again I say goodbye to a trusty friend. Zebra Sarasa number 2 has finally given up the ghost. Once again, my feelings of sadness are tempered with the satisfaction of using a pen up all the way and not losing it or having it stolen. Here is hoping that Zebra Sarasa number 3 will continue the legacy of stellar service you and your brother, Zebra Sarasa number 1, have established.

Goodbye, dear friend. May you enjoy all the benefits of pen paradise that are bestowed on pens that serve their masters well.

*note: Photo of pen may be a retread of Zebra Sarasa number 1.

Jinkasaurus

Jinkasaurus

Awesome, I thought to myself. I’m the first person to notice that Nancy Grace pronounces her regular contributor’s name so that it sounds like some freaky kind of dinosaur. Jean Casarez – Jinkasaurus. Heh, heh. I really nailed that. I wonder why no one else figured it out.

I know! I’ll tie it in with WoW by naming a raptor pet Jinkasaurus! So, after heading to Outlands and getting a new raptor, I name it Jinkasaurus and take an awesome bunch of screenshots. You know what? I’ll need a picture of Ms. Casarez to go next to it, so let’s go and Google. *clickety clackety typety type* Jean Casarez *enter*

Me: “…”

Upon noticing a ton of pictures with her head tacked on to the body of various dinosaurs… and those weren’t even under Jinkasaurus, which has even more.

*sigh*

Well, at least I think I’m the first one to make a Hunter pet from it.

The real Jean Casarez
Jean Casarez

Jinkasaurus
Jinkasaurus

My hunter pet is the one on the bottom.

Dark Side of the Moon

The Moon

Secret Alien Bases on the Moon?

Sadly, it appears not. However, the NASA Grail mission sent back video and photographs that turned out to be very interesting indeed.

First, the moon was really surprised that we came around and started looking at the dark side. In this photo, taken shortly after the moon noticed the Grail spacecraft, it gives a classic look of surprise, perhaps even dismay.

OMG a spaceship!
Grail Mission surprises moon.

In this second photo, taken of the other quarter of the back side, it appears that the moon is missing an entire quarter section. This doesn’t look like a natural phenomena, and could mean that aliens were indeed setting up bases on the far side of the moon. If they knew about the Earth’s planned expedition to photograph the dark side of the moon, they may have removed the section where their space cities were located, or perhaps they are using advanced cloaking technology that just went a little too far.

They cut out part of the moon!!
Photo reveals a missing section of the moon.

Either way, kudos to NASA for getting these sensational photographs, which just proves that astronomy isn’t as mind numbingly boring as some people think.

Fashion Plate

I finally got all the transmogrification gear I need for my priest in WoW. I have three sets of gear (yes, three!), so it took a little while. I know, it’s not that important, but I like for my toons to actually look good and not like mismatched patchwork colored clowns.

This first set is for when Krupp is healing in dungeons and (rarely) in raids. I like the wings and such, just gives it a kind of holy look in my opinion. The originals actually looked pretty good also, but just don’t look as good without the shoulders to match the head, so I’m going with this until I get the shoulders (assuming that ever happens, which it might not).

Krupp Healing Gear
Healing Gear

Next is my shadow set, for when he’s in shadow spec and out questing or generally traveling around the world, ready to take on any mobs who object to his presence. He occasionally does dungeons in shadow, but normally heals. I love the shoulders most of all for this spec. It has the same robe and gloves as the heals. The actual set has red and blue in the robe and gloves, but I didn’t like it. I thought there was just too much red, so I just took the shoulders and hood. I like the faces covered with blindfolds, because he’s in shadow spec and doing things the Light would probably rather not see.

Krupp Shadow Gear
Shadow Gear

Finally, the PvP set. When I was looking for transmog gear originally, I wanted something with pants and not the robes. I saw this nice set, called Silver-Thread, and got all the gear over a few weeks scanning the auction house. The headgear is just a black bandana that Krupp made as a tailor. His staff is something I saw when I was looking for something else and I thought it went really well with the clothes. He wears this set whenever he’s in Battlegrounds or other forms of pvp, such as defending Goldshire or Stormwind from those nasty Hordies. This is the only set with a tabard, which happens to be his guild tabard for my guild, Elite Forces, on server Darrowmere.

Krupp PvP Gear
PvP Gear

Did I Stop Sucking?

Yesterday I had a small realization that maybe I don’t completely suck at PvP anymore.

“What!?” you exclaim! “Michael, don’t you know that one of the cornerstones of the universe is that you totally suck at PvP, so bad you actually go heals in Battlegrounds (that’s BGs to the elect) so you can excuse getting ganked all the time.

Yep. I know. But I’ve been playing shadow spec on my priest in BGs and I think I’m getting better.

“Wait, why the heck are you playing shadow spec, Michael!? You know you love healing in BGs more than anything.”

I’m glad you asked, anonymous reader.

First, I wanted to melt some faces. I was getting tired of being the healer in PvP and Dungeons. I don’t mind Dungeons, because it makes my queue times much shorter, but that’s not a problem in BGs, so why not go in as DPS and see what that’s like?

Second, I was tired of having that huge target on me from my Chakra state, which meant everyone knew Krupp was a healer and didn’t even need an addon to tell them to target him. If a big glowing ground effect blinking on and off didn’t get their attention, I don’t know what would. As soon as Krupp put a toe into the PvP pool, two Death Knights, a Paladin, Warrior and a couple of Rogues would surround him and whoosh, everything turned grey and there’s a guy who’s going to resurrect him in 25, 24, 23 seconds, etc.

Third, as a corollary to first and second, I got tired of no one having my back as a healer. One of the things I thought would happen is that when I was healing people, they would come to help me when I got targeted by the “Gank a priest” gang. Nope. What happened was they were really grateful to me for getting four or five guys distracted for a few seconds killing me so they could cap the objective in peace and get those extra honor points, or make a quick getaway because things were going south and frikking Horde were everywhere.

So, those were the three main reasons I stopped healing in BGs and decided to start killing Hordies (or trying to at least).

How did you get better, you ask?

Well, first off I got better gear. I ran BGs over and over and over, pulling up the honor points to get a full set of gear, starting from the top left and moving my way down. I’m not quite done. Krupp still has some jewelry items to get, but mostly he’s decked out in full Season 10 honor point gear, which isn’t bad for someone who only runs in BGs at the moment. Better gear means you live longer, and are not a “speed bump” in the road being run by the Horde juggernaut. Living longer means you don’t get killed as much, and you can attack people for longer. Attacking people for longer means you have a real chance to knock them out of the fight.

Next, I’m getting a clue. I’m seeing what is going on around me and I’m not completely confused. I’m making sense of the ebb and flow of a huge battle around an objective, and I kind of know what I’m supposed to be doing. (Kill the healers, if you don’t know that yet. After you kill the healers, burn their bodies and try to kill them again.) When Krupp gets singled out by an opponent, he actually has a chance to take them down. There are some PvP gods in BGs who Krupp will probably never be a match for, but often he can either take out the average PvPer or run away effectively until an ally picks them up and takes the pressure off.

Finally, Krupp is getting healed. People are actually taking the time to heal Krupp when he’s concentrating on taking out enemy healers. I’ve noticed this, when his health gets low and suddenly there’s a green glow on the ground around him and his health is steadily going back up. Wow! Someone thinks Krupp is worth keeping alive! That’s very gratifying.

So, what specifically made you think you don’t completely suck at PvP?

Well, Krupp is getting specifically targeted as a shadow priest. This happens usually after he kills his first healer and starts in on the second. Suddenly he becomes the focus of several Horde PCs, specifically DKs and Rogues. Maybe they hear the pitiful wails of their healers dying and decide to take out the culprit? Also, a couple of weeks ago Krupp managed to use his Mind Control ability to make an enemy run off a cliff and die. That was so cool. I didn’t think I could top that feeling. I did, when a few days later Krupp was at the top of the scoring list at the end of a BG. I’ve never been there. Usually Krupp is in the middle to near bottom, though I can’t remember him ever being at the very bottom. Being the top scorer topped the running a guy off a cliff feeling. But, topping even that was taking out a Paladin in world pvp.

Now, normally I don’t get involved in world PvP, mainly because I usually get my butt handed to me. This time, I was annoyed enough not to care, and I was getting the idea that maybe I didn’t completely suck and could at least make an impression. I was questing in Outland with my leveling Shaman when I start reading the message, “Honor Hold is under attack! Honor Hold is under attack!” over and over and over. This means one or more Hordies are attacking the main quest hub and generally making things unpleasant for everyone else trying to get their quests done. Quest givers are dead and now you can’t turn in your quest, so you sit around and wait for them to respawn and here comes the Hordie again, killing them before you can turn in the freaking quest. Argh! Really annoying. My Shaman headed over to the quest hub to turn in quests, because maybe they got bored and left. Ha! Nope, there is a lvl 85 paladin and his lvl 60ish hunter lackey taking out Honor Hold NPCs and quest givers. I notice a Dwarven priest fighting with them, but they’re taking him out fairly easily, as paladins do to cloth wearing spellcasters. So, I was sitting there annoyed. I decided “Screw this, I’m going to try and take this guy out.”

I log off my Shaman and log on Krupp. He quickly heads over to Hellfire Peninsula and flies to Honor Hold. The paladin and his hunter pet are still there, being watched pretty helplessly by a small group of Alliance players who have no chance to take this guy on because they’re the same level as my shaman and the Paladin can take any one of them out with one hit. The Dwarf priest is gone, probably got tired of being a punching bag. So here’s Krupp, another priest, getting ready to throw down. I notice a lvl 85 Alliance hunter so I’m thinking this might not be so bad. I watch him for a while and wonder if the two of us can just intimidate him into leaving. Nope. I think he figures he can take out a hunter and priest without too much problem, and I would tend to agree with him, but I’m pissed off, so when the hunter just sits there on his mount and does nothing, Krupp start to drop DoTs on the paladin, followed by a mind blast and then mind flay. Well, his health starts to go down nicely and I guess that got his attention, because now he’s coming for Krupp. But, unlike before, when an icy grip of fear would clutch at my belly and I’d think, well, he’s dead in a few seconds now, I just thought, “I know exactly what he’s going to do.”

He gets in melee range and Krupp cast Fear. He starts running away in fear, but pops his trinket and starts running back at me. “Yep,” I think, “That’s what you were going to do.” Next, Krupp cast Psychic Horror. Oops! You weren’t expecting that, were you? Oh… no trinket now, so you just sit there and tremble while Krupp casts a few Mind Spikes on you, followed by an instant cast Mind Blast… Finally, a pair of Shadow Word: Death spells and you’re falling down with that awesome death animation Blood Elves have, and Krupp has actually won. I can’t believe I actually downed a paladin with a clothy spell casting weenie. The paladin returns after a few minutes, so Krupp rinses and repeats on him, after which he decided to stay away from Honor Hold.

Does this mean that I still really do suck and PvP, but he just sucked worse? Maybe, but until now, I was always the one who sucked worse. Now there are others who do PvP, but suck worse at it than me, so I feel good.

She Didn’t Know She Was Pregnant

One of the shows Anne watches occasionally is “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant,” which is, coincidentally, about women who have babies and who didn’t know they were pregnant before they gave birth. After being exposed to several episodes of this show, I have come to the conclusion that yes, it is indeed possible to be pregnant and not even know it, for many different reasons.

Sometimes a woman will go to the hospital, thinking they have an appendix about to burst or some other affliction that is causing acute abdominal pain, and they will get an ultrasound, which is when they’re told they are pregnant. This got me to wondering what would happen if their doctor was a few pigs short of a poke.

“Mrs. X, the ultrasound seems to indicate that you have a large growth inside you much larger than the kidney stone we were expecting to see.”

“Well what do you think it is, doctor?”

“Well, Mrs. X, I’m going to do everything I can to figure that out, and I’d like to ask you a few questions that might help me narrow it down.

First, have you ever been in outer space? No? Alright.

Have you ever found a small organic pod-like object and had it open in front of you? No? Well, has anything like a squid or octopus ever attached itself to your face and inserted a tube down into your stomach through your mouth? No?

Hmmm….

Oh! How about this? Is your husband an astronaut? If so, was he ever out of touch with the earth, like behind the moon or something, for a period of time? And, did he come back with a completely different personality than before he left? No?

Hmmm…

Well, I think we’ve eliminated several possibilities, and the only thing I can conclude is you have some sort of tumor. We’re going to have to operate as soon as possible to get it out of you.”

Later….

“Mrs. X, we managed to get the tumor out, and the strangest thing is it was actually humanoid shaped and attached to you by some sort of cord or tube. Even more strange, it appeared to be moving. I was going to biopsy it, but the nurses took it away for some reason. I’ll check into it for you after I get back from vacation, but meanwhile the head nurse has something for you to look at.”

The Most Awesome Holiday Card Ever

We were watching a commercial for Holiday Greeting cards today when Anne mentioned she’d like to see one that burst into flames. This was the result as I took the idea and ran off a cliff with it.

The Mission: Impossible Holiday Card, infused with a flammable chemical triggered by body heat.

“Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to enjoy Happy Holidays!

This card will self destruct in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… ”

Whoosh! Card catches on fire and burns up like cigarette paper in the reader’s hand.

Scrooge Option: Paper is infused with Napalm, which burns the reader’s hands horribly and can’t be put out.

Happy Holidays everyone!