30 March 2011

Back in the swing of things

Hello internet! I have returned from vacation, and since I haven't had time to prepare any particularly new or exciting posts it's time for a general update post.

I'll start out with meatspace activities, since that's what I've been doing exclusively for the past week! I was in Vietnam for 7 days, saw some very amazing things and took literally hundreds of pictures, and got a fantastic shorts tan. It's been ages since I wore shorts that went above the knee, so my pasty thighs were pretty surprised to be out in the sun again. We didn't make it to the beach, and instead opted for a long tour trip that resulted in a lot of good or interesting food. (A conversation with my friend on skype: "We had offal noodles for breakfast!" "Why were they so awful??" "No, it was offal! You know, like tripe, guts, the butt tubes!")

Now I'm back to work, and of course by work I mean sitting quietly at a desk for 8ish hours a day waiting for the spring semester to start. Which means I'm actually catching up on my feedreader, which had over 200 wow-posts alone. (Goddamn, you guys talk a lot! <3) Which brings me to my next point, which is OMFG Larisa left blogging and I missed it and uuuggghhh!!! Just like many of the other blogs I have enjoyed and lost (or discovered and realized they had already closed down. Heartbreak!!) it was a shock, and I had to once again remind myself that it's not the end of the world and the best thing to do is to wish them luck and give a brave smile. So at Vidyala's request, I would like to compile a list of blogs that are "new" to me and emphasize how lively and vibrant the WoW blogosphere still is. Many of them I find through BlogAzeroth's new writers forum, but still others I find through links and comments on other blogs. MMO Melting Pot is also a constant source of blogs, and even if I don't care to subscribe to the blog they link, it's still a great way to keep up with the "big" posts out there so I feel like I'm on top of blogging news. In no particular order, I present:
  • World of Saz - a very friendly blogger who often shares touching stories about herself, giving insight into both her gameplay and personal life, and how she has dealt with and grown from both.
  • Red Noob Diaries - what is up with druids and the color red? Hi-five, broseph!! This is an adorable catalogue of a noob's journey through Azeroth's community.
  • Avocation WoW - she's currently having a naming crisis, so I don't know if this is the best title, but she is a paladin who loves talking about her gameplay, her personal experiences in the community, and news in the WoW world.
  • Hello Tauren! - how cute is this name? Yaaay, taurens!!! She's certainly not new to blogging, but is to me. Not only does she talk about her general exploits in WoW, but she occasionally posts delicious recipes!
  • The Asylum Wall - snarky, ranty fun! Hmm, I certainly don't want to suggest that this blog is only about angry rants, but I want to say that the quippy, sarcastic tone really appeals to me. Stormy brings said tone to his discussions about tanking and behavior in WoW.
  • Tree Heals Go Woosh - a delightful combination of observations about different aspects of the game along with resto druid and healing tips. (Yay, druids!!) Tzufit always has fun screenshots, too!
  • Elfi's World - a collection of great screenshots and general musings about the game. Elfi is relaxed, random, and entertaining.
  • Blog of the Treant - yet more druidy goodness (I just can't get enough!) with plenty of talk about guilds, raiding, and general WoW fun.
More bloggy things: 

I took down my blogroll in a frenzied attempt to figure out how to use google reader. (Help help, I am learning new technology!) I didn't understand why I couldn't just sort all of my followed sites into categories like blog, podcast, webcomic, etc. I realize now that the problem is the concept of "following", which requires me to have another list of all duplicate sites, except it denotes them as followed rather than the category I sorted them into. This isn't a huge problem since I have learned to ignore that list, but I'm wondering if I should stop "following" people when I subscribe to their feed just so I don't have to keep updating my followed list. Also I am using the extreme and wonderful fulltextrssfeed.com to read sites without having to go to their homepage, but I find that if I don't unsubscribe from the actual site, it defaults in my feedreader as a truncated post, and ignores the update from the full-text version. Any thoughts on the concept of publicly "following" a blogger? Can I just avoid that and continue to subscribe to feeds?

I am finally getting into the world of podcasts, which is exciting. I hadn't really looked into them before because I always heard them described as something you download to your ipod and listen to while in transit somewhere. This would be great for riding to work or to manfriend's, provided that I hooked my ipod up to the computer more than once a month for charging. But now I am using podcasts as background noise for farming, leveling, cleaning my house, and even in the rare event that I cook something! It makes dropping green onions and rice on the floor or slicing off bits of fingernail much more enjoyable. This week, I'd like to make a concerted effort to email each podcast with some comments about their show. It's mostly because I want to show support for the people on the show and the general format, and slightly because I totes want my blog promoted when they read the mail on the show. :B

Gamey things:

The day before I left for Vietnam I had free from normal manfriend commitments, so I buckled down on my rogue and got to level 58. Since my plan was to farm lockboxes in the Burning Steppes, I finished my leveling there and got a happy Flamefly to follow me around in my stealthy adventures. Since then I have dedicated time every night to getting 60 boxes and mailing them off to Aka, and now I am halfway through revered with Ravenholdt!! On top of that I only have 20 major decks left for Darkmoon Faire, and the end to my Insane quest is finally in sight. More on that later, first some rogue hilarity:

I liked the description on the Combat spec when I hit level 10, so I leveled mostly by running up to mobs and stabbing and smacking them with my sword and hammer. Being heirloom-ed out, there was no real finesse required and I had a ton of fun. Now that I will be spending all of my time in stealth, I wanted to the movement speed bonus from Subtlety and respecced into that. Then I picked up my utility glyphs, namely Glyph of Pickpocket, and went out to investigate the Blackrock Stronghold. Have you quested there? There are ranks of 25 mob packs lined up outside, and the only reason an at-level player survives there is because they are in a disguise while visiting. If I wanted to pickpocket them, they had to be hostile, so stealth became pretty damn important. One thing I had not realized is that Pickpocket has a pretty good range - standing at the back of the pack close to the back line, I can pickpocket the very center mob, and everything else from there can be accessed easily. However, I first stupidly attempted to walk down each row, standing directly behind each mob in order to pickpocket them. That's...a terrible idea. The Worst Idea. Do Not Do This. Also, when a mob is patting or pacing, Sap as you run up and Pickpocket. Furthermore, you can pickpocket on the move! That way no pesky loot box comes up, you keep moving, and you get loot!

Now feeling more relaxed about my Insane grind, I've been poking around my other alts, and finally came up with a name for my Dwarf shaman so I could roll her. Meet the bronzed, busty Brandylash, Wildhammer adventurer! (Manfriend talked me out of BrandyWOWSHAMWOW and other ill-inspired names) I've also returned to my paladin and am tearing up Hyjal as ret, which taught me how to play by making all of my buttons light up. She even hit level 81 already! I also returned to my beloved mage and am doing gray quests in Azshara because goblins!! <333 On Aka I have been trying to keep up with Tol Barad dailies and the daily heroic, partially for the rewards themselves and partially because we are leveling our guild!! I hit exalted last week and got my dark phoenix hatchling...maybe one day we will work our way up to the mount. Nefarian attempts start this week :D


  1. \o/ dwarf shaman! Brandylash is an awesome name ;)

    I don't 'follow' blogs in the method you mentioned, but then I'm also self hosted so what I do instead is arrange what I follow by folder in my reader and then use the method here: http://www.mysteriousbuttons.com/2010/04/tech-tip-for-wordpressgoogle-reader-users/

    This gives me a blogroll page that updates dynamically as I move stuff around in my reader, although it does mean that very busy sites I 'sort' of read don't get listed. I used to have a PPI style blogroll on the right for each category too, but I've exchanged that for shared posts.

  2. Welcome back! Are we going to get to see any of the pictures? =P And /agree with Pewter, Brandylash is an awesome name. Especially somehow for a dwarf... and a shaman.

    I also arrange my goodlereader's feeds into folders, but following no particular method other than my own *that one looks like it fits... HERE!" Which might not be the most efficient but works for me. I think that's probably the thing with feedreaders - it's finding a way they work for you. Good luck xD

    Also, thanks for the list of new blogs. There were a couple there I'd not seen before, so adding them to my feedreader too.

  3. Thank you very much for the link, I really appreciate it! I actually found a few other blogs on your list that I'm going to need to add to my Google reader as well - seems like I've added a few dozen now thanks to all the great posts in the last few days.

  4. Re: Brandylash, other options were different booze+weapon names, like Alefist and Meadhammer, but I liked the double-use of Brandy as a woman's name :3 Also mead sounds great but looks really weird written down. (is that just me?)

    @Pewter: I used to have all of my followed sites in one big mishmash in my reader, but ended up separating out podcasts and webcomics because those I can't easily enjoy at work (stupid desk clusters) and wanted to avoid clicking until I was ready to view them. I had been using the blogger widget mentioned in the post you linked, which just takes blogs directly from google reader. I'm going to investigate that more to see if it can make different lists for my categories, or if I would need 3 separate widgets. I do like the idea of the list updating dynamically, though...

    @Rebecca: I guess if there is interest in my RL pictures of (mostly food) stuff from Vietnam. :O Maybe I'll hide some in a totally wow-related post...

    @Tzufit: You're quite welcome! Thanks for entertaining me with your blog :B And yeah, the best outcome of big name bloggers leaving the scene is that at least people are promoting new names and I'm finding loads of interesting new reading material!

  5. Welcome back, hope you had a good time!

    Best.Name.For.Shaman.Ever = Shamaneggs

    Side note on achieves - I left my old guild (Primus Pilus) and rejoined the leveling guild i started with. I am still #1 in acheivement points, my rogue is #2, my daughter's hunter is #3 (I drag her whereever I go to get cool hard to get acheives), and guild master is #4.

    I offered 1000 gold to the next person with 5000 achievement points, and an additional 1000 gold if someone can beat my rogue to 5000 as well. Heh...sometimes I think people ignore me in that guild lol.

    For what it's worth:

    Azgalor US Trail Biters
    Toons: Sizzlelegs and Flutterkicks

    Also, please post pics of food from Vietnam. I'll eat almost anything once, even tried balut once, though there was alcohol involved.

  6. Sarge, I looked up the wikipedia article of Balut and even the pictures were making me a little queasy. I'm impressed that you ate it! I would have needed alcohol to get it down as well.

    We had lots of noodles, mostly with meat most westerners are used to, and twice with liver and/or tripe. I get enough of that in Japan and I hate the texture of tripe so I don't look forward to going out to eat horumon. We did go to a wonderful seafood restaurant that I wish I had taken pictures of, as we couldn't understand the English translations and ended up with a single, whole crab and a bowl of eel-like whole fish. We also got rat, although it was translated as mouse, that had bones still in it and was really hard to eat.

  7. My wife is from South Korea so I love noodles with meat in all forms. Seafood is great as well so long as it is cooked. I never got into Sushi or Sashimi. I have to have my food cooked.

    Not sure if I could do mouse or rat, I'd have to be hungry, drunk, or both.

    I've started a small wow blog as well, not sure how long I can keep it up with my crazy work schedule. Seems like the only time I have to read about WoW is at work. I did add a link to your site on my "Blogs I Follow" portion. Once I actually write some meaningful content, I will post a link.

  8. hello redcow, I found your blog in Blog Azeroth and its my first time here in your blog, I find it amusing and a good read! Keep up the good work, I like to update my blog roll and I will definetely add you... drop by my blog sometimes too I will greatly appreciate it! =) take care hon. =D

  9. @Sizzlelegs: I'm looking forward to seeing your blog! If you want even more promo space, be sure to hit up blogazeroth.com in their "Author Introductions" forum. That's where I get almost all of my new reading material!

    @Christine: Thanks for your comment :) I read your "fave race" submission (I even got caught at work and had to explain the word "gamer" to a Japanese coworker. She made a face >_>;;;)

  10. Arg, I didn't realize I was this far behind in catching up my reading in my feed reader >.< Thank you for the link and the kind words, m'dear!

    Your little Shaman? I approve! Now find yourself some time to level her so you know the awesome that is Shaman, hehe.