two days to go

Only two days to go until I’m on holiday for 9 straight days including weekends; and I need it. I covered for my team leader last week (major stress) and I’m on call this week (minor stress) and I need a break. Of course, a break means going to bed late, getting up early and playing too many computer games, but still, it’s a break of sorts.

I’m still chugging through the Harry Dresden books (by Jim Butcher), they’re slowing and getting a little samey but hey, I’ve read 5 or 6 of them in about 3 weeks so what can I expect. At least I’m reading again which has to be a good sign?

Right, shorter entry than I was going to write, because it’s late and I’m tired and I really should try and get some sleep (which translates to it’s late, I’m tired and I’m going to go and read another 3 or 5 chapters before bed).

Perhaps one day I may write a few …

Battlemaster Prattlemaster – beaten broken bashed

These posts are archives of forum / blog entries I made on my EverQuest guild website. The website won’t be around forever, and I wanted the posts all in one place so I didn’t lose them, this blog seemed like as good a place as any.

It was a grudge match. Only one other mob has eluded our grasp as many times as Battlemaster Rhorious. It was time for him, and his hangers on to meet the blunt end of a TNF shaped Wedgie. We were light on clerics when we started the move, but a few more bolstered our numbers by the time we arrived. We had more necromancers than a goth party in a morgue, enough DPS to handle just about anything, the time was right.

But hell was it ugly. BMR tanking was fine, he died as he should, carefully, well managed, until his golem buddies rushed the raid. And all hell broke loose. The golems started their fun little knockback. Casters got thrown into the path of Snakes-on-a-Dress, and the goat just kept chasing down our ranger and kicking their ass. It was messy. We nailed BMR, killed the golems next, struggled with the snake but finally got her flattened and then just did the goat from afar. Awesome work from everyone, I’d like to think we can tidy it up in future, but hey the loot rocked and we had FUN!

After beating Ikkinz 1 in the week, and beating BMR, we felt it was time to step into the Muramite Proving Grounds and take on a trial. The MPG Trial of Hatred to be precise. Holy chaos in a bucket batman. The short summary is that we ‘learned some lessons’ and ‘made some valuable tactical progression’ which means we got our asses handed to us *but* not because we don’t have the power, skill and tactics to beat the trial, just because it was new and we had to deal with some new situations. We can beat that trial, we will beat that trial.

To round off the evening we took out Ritesmaster Verok in the Ruins of Illsalin and boy does he drop some nice loot 🙂 Overall a great evening, grats to the 4 people who got level 70 spells, grats to the winners of the loot from BMR and from RV and grats to everyone for a sterling effort in MPG.

Ikkinz 1 – Trial of Righteousness – Beaten

These posts are archives of forum / blog entries I made on my EverQuest guild website. The website won’t be around forever, and I wanted the posts all in one place so I didn’t lose them, this blog seemed like as good a place as any.

It started as a scouting mission. To see how long clearing into the temple in Kod`Taz would take. To see what the trash inside Ikkinz hit like. To see how few hitpoints the priests had and how bad they hit. To get a feel for how many people we’d need to beat the pit. Just to put our toes into the water.

We discovered we don’t need to paddle, we can swim. TNF beat Ikkinz 1 with 25 people. It was a challenge, it was fun, it was a learning experience, and most importantly, it was a huge success. Thank you to everyone who turned up and put in the effort. Thanks to the folk who grouped with myself and Siddhaya over the previous months to allow us to farm the pieces needed to trigger the raids. Thanks to everyone who’s run Tipt runs to get people flagged. For some people this was a return to Ikkinz raiding, for many this was their first experience, and for some it’s just another raid in a long series of raids. For me, it’s just amazing that we’re back in Ikkinz and beating it with friends.

And of course, no trip to Ikkinz would be complete without loot. The bosses in the Ikkinz raids tend to share similar loot tables, and the loot in Ikkinz 1 is very nice.

Grats Simes and Rabbe on their new legs – Runed Flesh-Banded Leggings (sorry for the picture)

Grats Lessi on her new aug (Blackstone of Radical Thought)

Grats Rowenna on her new sword (Darkglint Blade)

And last but not least, grats Runenblastem on his new mantle (Mantle of Mending)

Storm Front (Jim Butcher)

It’s been a long time since I read and subsequently reviewed a book. That’s mainly because it’s been a long time since I read (or at least, finished) a book. I asked Grete specifically for something that was easy to read and entertaining, and she had no problem recommending the Jim Butcher books, of which Storm Front is the first.

The first thing that struck me about the book is the similarity to the Dirk Gently stuff by Douglas Adams. This isn’t a bad thing, I loved the Dirk Gently books and the Dresden Files (the name of the series for which Storm Front is the first one) felt comfortable almost from the first chapter.

Jim’s writing is clean, tidy and easy to read. The books are detective novels in the classic style with the current popular added theme of the supernatural / magical / mythical world playing a great role. Our hero is Harry Dresden, the only wizard in the phone book. The first person style makes it very easy to get into Harry’s head early and within a few pages we’re already empathising with him and feeling his pain. The pace is good, carrying us through the introduction of the world (modern America) and the principal characters, and into the story all in a fairly short time. We meet pretty archetypical police staff, paranormal magazine reporters, bad guys and people who need the services of magical private investigators.

The story arc is pretty simple, I can’t decide if I was pleased or upset at the lack of major twists. I certainly felt that there was going to be a huge twist at the end, and it never arrived. Having said that I don’t think the story suffered for it, it was unpretentious, and delivered exactly what it set out to do at the start. There was plenty of action, humour and good character interaction. In any first person style work, you spend a lot of time in the head of the main protagonist and so you have to feel something for them, otherwise the story just isn’t going to be worth reading. Harry Dresden is interesting, witty and worth spending time with, so it was no chore to listen to his thoughts and follow the story through his eyes.

It was a fun book, worth reading, and although I don’t think it made me laugh as hard as it could have done, it certainly kept me interested all the way through, and it’s a long while since I actually finished a book as quickly as this one. Worth getting, worth reading, and easily worth the price.

Frustrating day

I’m trying to stick to being good about the diabetes, I really am. But it’s getting frustrating. So I had four slices of toast at the weekend and my blood sugar was over nine mg/l two hours later. Ok, I get that bread is bad. Today I thought I’d try harder, was pretty high after breakfast but under 9, wasn’t too bad after lunch, was pretty good when I got home. Felt like I was making progress. Had tea, went for a walk, out of the house for nearly an hour. Got around to checking it again at 10:40pm, and it’s over 8 mg/l 🙁 Four hours after I ate, and it’s well above what it should be even two hours after I ate. I don’t get it, and not getting it makes it very frustrating. Also, I’m feeling really hungry and basically with my blood sugar that high I shouldn’t really eat anything to give it a chance to drop before I go to bed.

Anyway, the walk was nice, we wandered along the canal (pictured left) which is about 800 metres from where we live. It looks nice most of the time, plenty of wildlife which I think is good considering it’s right next to a main road and a school. We were passed by a narrow-boat while we were feeding the wildlife (pictured belowI think). The swans, ducks and other stuff seems pretty well trained to come to people and beg for bread. The big swan you see actually swam up and started hissing until we fed it, so someone’s trained it to beg I guess. Still, at least they’re not struggling to survive against the toxins in the water like they may have been a few years ago.

It was a relaxing walk I thought, and I’d hoped it would go some way to helping with blood sugar. Perhaps we walked too soon after we’d eaten? Ah well, just have to see how tomorrow goes I guess. My fingers are sore from all the testing I did today, and I’ll just have to do the same tomorrow.

Tired omg

Decided to try reading. Got 3/4 of the way through Storm Front by Jim Butcher. Reminds me a lot of the Dirk Gently stuff by Douglas Adams (which I loved). Jim’s stuff looks very entertaining, easy to read, fun and kept my attention (until far too late into the night). I would have included a cover image but it’s a pretty boring cover. Enjoying it so far, really must try and read before I go to bed though rather than after 😉 I’ll write a full review when I’m finished.

Trolls and Friends!

Fiona’s visiting at the moment, she’s lovely and we love her. We went bowling on Monday night (was fun), Andy popped over and visited last night and we were knackered this evening so ate and watched The Princess Bride on dvd. Fiona is crazy enough to cook for us when she visits so we had pasta bake tonight before watching the dvd. She also brought us a gift (she’s too kind!) which we both totally LOVE! So as you can see from the picture, our garden is now the proud owner of a troll protector!

He weighs about like 2 tonnes, and we carried him from the road to the bottom of the garden next to the shed (so he has somewhere to go if it gets too warm). Bubbles did try to make friends, but I missed that photo opportunity, so instead I ‘placed’ her in front of the troll and took another shot, you can’t tell she’s been placed 😉

and in the darkness find them

Rang the restaurant and they found it straight away where we’d been sitting. Haven’t been to pick it up yet so there’s always a chance it’s the wrong one, but I am SO relieved if it is the right one.