Monday, November 9, 2009

Cindy's Part


I'm walking! I'm walking! After weeks of being tested, poked, prodded and ultrasounded, the new medicines are kicking in. I can feel my feet for the first time in forever. The bumps and lumps are shrinking, and I was able to walk down to our complex's little shopping center and back on Saturday. The shop we were going to visit was closed; but I made it there and back!)

I will still probably need a wheelchair for visiting the Parks for awhile; but hopefully not forever.

I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through all of this without Bob. He drove me to appointments, waited for hours in waiting rooms and stayed positive the entire time. I am so lucky!

Also excited because it looks like all the kids will be able to come for Christmas. It's been too long since we've seen them.

Now that I can sit at the computer for as long as I like without my feet swelling, I am getting back to Wizard, Webkinz and Kate hooked me into Happy Aquarium. Also reading Nene Leakes book, "Never Make the Same Mistake Twice." She is a hoot! Yes, one of my guilty secrets is watching "Real Housewives"

Looking forward to Thanksgiving with Brian (ElectricLime) and Jill (DisAeryn) Marty (Martydog) and Lisa (Alyce.) We will get to play WII Beatles band, yay!

We look forward to seeing any of you who are able to make it down here anytime!

Hugs, Cindy

a LONG overdue update

I am pretty much done with my medical for this insurance year. Might have a weak heart vslve that showed up on EKG, but has not caused any other problems. My right hand seems to be much better with the tingling being much less. My glucose is still borderline high, my triglycerides are high, and my cholesterol has gone down to within range. Only have 2 cleaning appointments to finish up with dental. My vision did not change much, so got prescription sunglasses for driving. The insurance for 2010 is going up ~$35. a year and the vision part of it does not cover polycarbonite or maybe photosensitive lens anymore, but we will be continuing it anyway.

On the fun side: I have really been enjoying playing Guild Wars. I have now finished the primary story lines on all 3 campaigns and the expansion. I also have finished all but a very few of the secondary quests in all of those. My time in game now is spent doing the Zaisen Missions, Zaisen Bounties, and sometimes Zaisen Combat in hard mode everyday. This gives me gold, experience points, sometimes reputation points, and copper coins (which I am now accumulating for rare pets). On Mondays I farm for items that Nicholas the Traveler trades gifts for. Other than this I have been farming for drops to salvage for crafting materials used to make rare crafting materials and for items that collectors will trade for weapons that I want for my heroes.

I am ever thankful for that silly kids game (Virtual Magic Kingdom - VMK) that I met Cindy in. I love her more every day, but still do not understand why she puts up with me.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

mom's birthday, Cindy's crafting, and my Guild Wars

My mother's 85th birthday was August 7th, so on August 8th we "sprung" her from the nursing home to celebrate. Tom (my brother) and I had planned to give her a small party at a Longhorn restaurant as it is easy for us to get her there (both her legs were amputated, so any movement is by wheelchair and slideboard), easy for us to get her back to the nursing home by midnight, and we all like the food there. However she asked to go to someplace that had music and the celebration mushroomed from there. Either Tom or Sandy (my step-sister) decided on Capt Hiram's resort (inn/restaurant/sandbar/marina) in Sebastian, FL ( Sandy picked up mom at the nursing home and drove her to Capt Hiram' along with Sandy's roommate, son, and her son's girlfriend. I drove down to Tom's that morning and soon Linda (a long time family friend and mom's unofficially adopted daughter) met us there. Then I drove Tom, his girlfriend, Linda, and Cindy (my wife) to Capt Hiram's. After we arrived we were first joined by Renee (Tom's daughter) her husband and 2 children. The last group to join us was Debbi (another of my step-sisters, but from a different marriage), her husband, and daughter. It was really great to see everyone there, as I do not get to see Renee's or Debbi's families much.

Capt Hiram's is a great resort with a fairly small inn, open-air restaurant, outdoor sand bar, and a couple of docks. It also has a small beach for kids to play on and the water is shallow enough that many locals just come with their small boats or jet skis and beach them in the water. It is right on the land side of the Indian River, so the constant breeze off the water keeps it cool in the Florida summer. The party started at 4pm and we were all seated at a long table in the back corner of the restaurant. The food prices were reasonable and there was a great variety, so all were happy with their choices. Around 6:30pm when the eating was done we all went out to the sand bar (an outside bar built on a raised, sand covered platform). The kids played in the sand on the beach, while the adults just talked. At 7pm a live (soft rock) band started playing. Debbi's family had to leave earlier, but the rest of the party stayed till around 10pm.
On a very happy note: Cindy finally found the last blood moss, crafted the last crimson book stand, and completed her quest for the Master Artison badge/title in Wizard101 last evening. It has been a long 4 weeks of very long days to get through the crafting quests, but she persevered and finally completed them. I am very proud of her and will be happy to get her back LOL. Now she can craft anything, but will only have to craft what she wants. I think her plan now is that we both will start following the main storyline quests again until she reaches Grandmaster at lvl 50. At the moment she is at lvl 48.5, I am lvl 49.5, and we both are ready to start the Labyrinth in DragonSpyre.
Not too surprisingly I have still been playing Guild Wars. I have been playing Cindy's character to get her caught up with our other guildmates. Mostly have been doing the training arenas for spells and Zaisen chest keys, Zaisen missions/bounties when she can do them, and just got her through the primary Eye of the North Ebon Vanguard storyline quests. For her it is now onto the Asura storyline quests. For my character I have been doing the training arenas, Zaisen missions/bounties when I can, and some side quests in Eye of the North. I have also got all the spells needed now to make touch rangers for the Heart of the Shiverpeaks quest in Eye of the North.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Guild Wars updates and Wizard101 !@#$%

- Just a little update on my last post about my Guild Wars Eye of the North dungeon crawling. I did try to complete the Heart of the Shiverpeaks dungeon and failed, but did better than expected. I got all the way to the last boss fairly easily, but it is a bear (actually a fire siege worm) to kill. I only tried it the standard way and could barely affect his health bar. Next time I will try a couple of tricks to arm my rangers and necros with certain life-stealing/poisoning spells to see if that works. Unless I can get 8 players (rather than me with heroes and henchies) that will be my best chance.
- I did get a couple of "master" quests at the same place as the Heart of the Shiverpeaks and finished both of them fairly easily. They gave me some gold, some dwarf and norn reputation points, and some Deldrimor title spells that I will need for later, game-ending quests.
- I also was able to complete 2 Zaisen quests (1 mission and 1 bounty).
- It seems that my Word of Healing Monk build at PvXwiki has fallen off of the "great" hero builds. So now I am trying an Unyielding Aura Monk/Elementalist build.
- I did complete this week's Nicholas the Traveler task. One of the gifts he gave was 5 "Merchant Summoning Stones". It does just what it says in that it adds a merchant to your party for 30 minutes. This will be especially helpful at the end of some dungeons/quests that have a lot of drops. You can sell the drops to the merchant or buy salvage / ID kits from him.
- Last night I was working on my Tyrian Cartography title by exploring the Southern Shiverpeaks. Not sure how much I advanced it, but did get a good amount of ground covered.
- For the first time last night I was told I could not sell anything because it would take my gold over max (100 platinum), so I had to bank some gold to finish clearing my inventory. I have been saving for some Runes of Superior Vigor when their price dropped a bit, so hopefully that will happen soon and I can use most of that gold.
On the Wizard101 news - After 5 full days of farming Cindy finally got her 50th blood moss last night and made her 5th bookcase. However all her happiness was dashed when she realized she never got the crafting quest and all her work was for naught. She went to bed very upset after this, but is back farming today for cattails, black pearls, and blood moss again. Sometimes she seems more persistent than I am OCD.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

and yet more Guild Wars (Dungeon edition)

I have been trying to do some Guild Wars Eye of the North (EotN) dungeons to complete my Dungeon Master Guild - normal mode.

I finished Darkrimes Delves and found it fairly easy - mostly titan enemies. With the confidence I gained there I attempted Shards of Orr with its undead enemies and could not even get past the first level. That was a shame because it also was a Zaisen Bounty quest. After my bad defeat there I thought I would attempt an easier one. I was able to complete Vloxen Excavations and it was not too bad.

All I have to complete now is Shards of Orr, Heart of the Shiverpeaks (this is also the end of the EotN primary story line), and Slavers Exile (the only Elite dungeon in EotN, which can not be done before Heart of the Shiverpeaks). I have traveled through Heart of the Shiverpeaks before, so this will most likely be my next dungeon to try.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

an update on the last update and a bit new

Just some corrections/additions on our last update.

Besides all the "cleaning up" of stuff we have been doing, we recently gave our 1993 Saturn to an old work mate of mine who just had 2 of his family's cars fail. Since the car was not worth more than $750. blue book and the annual insurance cost was more than that for a car we have not driven in 9 months, it was a win-win donation.

My dental is now almost done. I had my periodontal check up on Monday along with a little cleaning. On Tuesday I had my lower gums cut back in places and a graft onto my lower front gum. This really has kicked my ass energy and headache wise, but I am glad that it is all done now. All that is left to do is to pull the stitches, check the rest of the gums healing, maybe a better cleaning, and have my regular dentist do his checking.

Yesterday after getting the old laptop all updated for the Guild Wars LAN party we will be at Saturday evening, I decided to do full backups of all 4 of our computers. Except for this taking a long time and 2 problems, everything went OK and I finished all 4 this morning. One of the problems was when I kicked the cord of the external backup drive while it was backing up Cindy's new laptop. Even though the backup failed with write errors, I was able to restart it and a full disk check this morning found no problem with the backup drive. The other problem could have been more serious in that I had problems with my new desktop RAID0 drives and I could not get the Vista disk image past that point. Luckily a check disk seems to have fixed the problem (free space on the drive showing as allocated) and the image worked this morning.

In more "fun" news:
- Cindy is now farming for blood moss in Wizard101. Even after she persevered through 75 diamonds and 105 black pearls, she says farming for blood moss is going "not well"!
- Not doing much different in Guild Wars than when I last updated. I did get a very nice fire staff from the Zaisen Chest. That will complete my 2 elementalist's weapons until I can get them 40/40 weapon sets. I also got some more prizes from Nicholas the Traveler and one of those prizes help me...
- Finish Rrager's Menagerie dungeon. I came to a point I could not get through with my -60%DP. Using all the honeycombs I got from Nicholas allowed me to decrease the DP and get past that point rather easily.
- I also was a little confused about the item I mentioned in the last post that the Ooze Pit collector had. The item stats I mentioned were for an item received from the end boss there. The collector actually has an item that will remove up to -15%DP.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

an update on us!

It has been a busy couple of months, so haven't had much time to read / post on this blog, Facebook, or Twitter. The next few months may be busy as well, so time to give everybody an update.

Since I have been retired for 4 months now and have the time we decided to get a lot of things done that should have been done before. Little things like correcting addresses on a few of Cindy's old accounts, updating beneficiaries on insurance and bank accounts, and getting some of Cindy's small value IRAs that are losing money just because the fees are greater than the interest closed.

I retired in mid-March, but for a number of reasons never got my COBRA notice till the end of May. So with only 15 1/2 months of COBRA left we got moving on our vision / medical / dental appointments.
--Vision has now been complete. This worked out well, since we will be able to fit in another visit under the COBRA. It also was very nice that our vision changed so little that Cindy got a spare pair of glasses and I got prescription sunglasses for driving.
--Dental is a little slower, but progressing nicely. Cindy has now seen the dentist who just took a quick check and referred her to a periodontist. The periodontist cleaned a bit and will be doing a couple of scaling/planing sessions. They both seemed to think that she had little bone loss, so the only gum work needed will be getting them healthy again. After they get the scaling/planing done then they will decide what other dental work is needed (there will be at least 1 crown needed). My dental work was up to date until last November when the periodontist canceled a cleaning session with me and my yearly insurance allotment had run out for gum work. So I will be going in tomorrow, so the periodontist can do a check and then will schedule the cutting back of my lower gums ASAP.
--Medical is also on the way, but there is still a lot to do there. I will be making an appointment for a checkup soon. The only problem I currently have is a constant tingling in my right fingers and not being able to fully close my fingers on that hand (carpel tunnel/arthritis ?). Cindy went to a primary care provider and had a good checkup. Cholesterol and triglycerides were a little high, but nothing diet modification can not handle. She also got an immediate referral to a rheumatologist for her gout, but the doctor's office is working with the insurance for a proper "insurance referral". A not-so-immediate cardiologist referral was also given her for a slight arrhythmia.

As far as good things that are happening:
--Cindy has been somewhat obsessed lately with crafting in Wizard101. It took her 5 VERY full days farming for 75 diamonds for the Dragonspyre crafting quest, but she finally got them. The black pearls for the crafting quests after that seem to be coming easier for her.
--I on the other hand have been spending some time in Guild Wars. Been running the training arena with both of our characters almost daily to get Zaisen Keys. Nothing much has come from this yet, except in-town sweets and alcohol. I also have been doing the Zaisen Missions/Bounties (getting copper coins and sometime Eye of the North [EotN] points) and finding Nicholas the Traveler (mostly alcohol and sweets) for both of our characters. I just recently began doing some of the EotN dungeons I had not done to get the end boss chests, collector items, EotN points, and completion credits. The Ooze Pit dungeon I did on Friday was all oozes in the first part and the collector there gave you an item which removes all death penalty and gives a 10% bonus to boot. I will be farming there for a while!!!

Many may not know about our apartment's little patio-farm. Besides lots of plants (including herbs and recently a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes) we keep a bird feeder out there. After we first started putting the bird seed out we got a pair of Sandhill Cranes that would visit us almost daily. Last year they took a month break around this time, but after that showed up regularly. This year the break lasted about 3 months, but that may have been caused by the apartment construction behind us and the redesign of the retention pond. About 3 days ago Cindy saw them walk by outside and yesterday they came back twice to feed. The starlings, doves, squirrels, and one mouse that also come by to eat the seeds will be very happy now that they are back out.