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.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Guild Wars Winterday in July events

Besides the Guild Wars specials (Snowball Arena and special drops) for the Wintersday in July event (3pm July 17th - 2:59am July 20 ET) there are also 2 other groups giving away free stuff.

General Freebies will be giving away stuff in the Snowball Arena International District 1 on July 19 at 2-3pm ET.

Blade Radio's DJ Bacon has 6 days of giveaways, but there are no times listed.
July 17-19 Snowball Arena International District 1
July 20 Lion's Arch American District 1
July 21 Kamaden (NightFall) American District 2
July 22 Balthazar American District 1

The Snowball Arenas and Balthazar should be accessible to anybody that plays Guild Wars. Hope to see you there. Oh and if you don't know I am Outs Ranger or may be playing Lady Coriander in Guild Wars

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

suggestion for next Guild Wars LAN party

I have a suggested task(s) for our next LAN party. It would be to complete the Villany of Galrath quest (found under Kryta Quests) given by Firstwatch Sergio in Lion's Arch. Since this ends in Kessex Peak the best point to start this quest is Temple of the Ages in Cursed Lands. There are other places we could start this from but if we use the Temple we get a party of 8 (2 hero healers, so we could just concentrate on killing - lol).

I just got Lady Coriander from Bergen Hot Springs to the Temple in about 30 minutes using heroes and henchies, so we could also do that if everybody has not been to the Temple yet. If you want to go this route it is mostly all undead, so fire and interrupts are the best spell/weapon types. Below is a map with the route.

If everyone has not got to Bergen Hot Springs yet that would take about 45 minutes from D'Alessio Seaboard.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Guild Wars Nicholas the traveler sighted

Nicholas the Traveler is directly south of Piken Square in Ascalon at the wall. He is fairly easy to get to and if you are above level 10 all you should have is a healer in your party. Levels 15 and above could do this solo. He is requesting 1 charr hide (maximum of 5 per week) for his gift and these can be obtained from drops in the area. The gift could be anything from a green (highest level) item to alcohol or sweets. This is a lot better deal than the recent festivals because charr hides are pretty easy to get and even the sweet items can be used in explorable areas for various boosts. He will be in this area through noon PDT on Monday July 20th.

My 5 gifts were:
- 10 sparklers (used in "towns" only for Party Animal title track)
- 10 aged hunter's ales (used for Drunkard title track and to boost the Drunken Master spell)
- 10 honeycombs (used for Sweet Tooth title track and to give a 5% morale boost in explorable areas)
- 5 red rock candies (used for Sweet Tooth title track and for 30 minutes in explorable areas gives 33% boost to movement speeds, 33% boost to attack speeds, and 33% reduction in skill activation times)
- 5 mysterious summoning stones (for 30 minutes or until its death in explorable areas gives you a random ally of your level, only 1 can be used per hour)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

a few corrections on Guild Wars and some new stuff

In my July 8th post I mentioned hero professions that you could get in Eye of the North. While I was doing some research on another subject today I read that a hero from each of the 10 professions can be obtained there.

In my July 10th post I mentioned that the Wintersday in July festival had begun. I actually misread the date. The post has been corrected to show the new date of noon on Friday, July 17th till 11:59pm on July 19th (all times PT). I also mentioned a difficult quest to get the Eye of the North, Deldrimor spell named Drunken Master. It seems that this spell is given to you at the beginning of the quest and abandoning the quest (as I did) does not take it away.

The "new stuff" - I had been playing a bit this weekend (thinking it was Winterday and wondering why I was not getting the special drops) on both our characters......
Lady Coriander (Cindy's) got a bit further through Kryta in Prophecies and got new maxed armor with a dye job to match our guild's cape. It will be a while to get the gold to upgrade her runes and insignias though. While doing some research on PvXwiki Elementalist/Necromancer builds I realized it will be a while before we can get her the spells for any rated builds there......
I also played a bit on Outs Ranger (mine) doing some quests/lots of exploring in Nightfall and completed a couple of Zaisen challenges. Much more exciting to me is I am only 3 spells (4 days of Balthazar points) short of getting ALL my heroes the spells for PvXwiki "great" hero builds. However after that there are still a LOT of weapons, runes, and insignias to acquire.

Friday, July 10, 2009

more Guild Wars foolishness

The Guild Wars Wintersday in July festivities will start Friday, July 17th at noon PT and runs through the weekend. The snowball fights may be fun, but all the prizes and special drops are mostly ho-hum. Mostly sweets/alcohols that only can be used for Sweet/Drunken titles. The alcohol (and much later Drunken title) can help if you have the Drunken Master (Deldrimor-EN) spell. You can use the fruitcase to increase your speed, so might be able to use that next time we are playing with Brian to run from the trouble he usually gets us in (and then come back to rebirth him). LOL

Jill and Brian - The armor you can get in Boreal Station (first outpost in Eye of the North) may not be as fancy, but it is as powerful (stat-wise) as anything you can get in Droknar's Forge.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lady Coriander reaches lvl20 in Guild Wars

I decided to get Cindy's old laptop updated and ready for our next LAN party. Had a little bit of a problem getting Norton updated, but finally got it and Windows all up to date (including Internet Explorer 8). It is having intermittent problems running Internet Explorer (both 7 previously and 8 now), but Guild Wars seems to run fine. It is still a little slow when loading new files in Guild Wars, but the area changes seem to be much faster.

Last evening I started to get Cindy's Guild Wars character a little bit further along. Started at level 16 in Lion's Arch and finished early this morning at level 19 3/4 with the Norn primary track pretty far along in Eye of the North (EN). Played for a bit this morning (on my computer while her laptop was updating) and got her level maxed, the Norn primary track done, and got her to the starting area for the Ebon Vanguard primary track. She still has most all of Phophecies from Lion's Arch on to finish and I probably will start working on that just to get her armor upgraded.

Some answers for questions that Marty asked me:
1) You can go to EN when you are under level 20 and with the huge amount of experience points you get for quests there I would recommend it. One restriction is that you can not add attitibute points you get for leveling there, but a map move to Lion's Arch does let you do that.
2) You get a Monk and an Elementalist hero at the first outpost in EN and after a short ways to the EN outpost you get a Mesmer hero. About 3/4 of the way through the Norn primary track you get a Warrior hero. If you do the Ebon Vanguard track after that you get a Ranger and Assassin hero before it ends. A Paragon hero is found in the Asura primary track and I think a Necromancer shows up there also. That just leaves Ritualist and Dervish and I am not sure when/if they show up.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Update on my Diagnosis

I got a call at the ungodly hour of 9 am. My "New Patient Supervisor" Patty, informed me that she had a problem with Aetna. She had tried to get my Sept 15 with the Rheumatology Associates group pushed to an earlier date. Aetna informed her that they would not accept my referral because it came from a "specialist."

Well, he was not acting as a specialist when I saw him at the urgent care clinic; just the doctor on duty at that time. But, of course Aetna does not give a flying fig!

So Bob got on the computer and tried to find us a Primary Caregiver. We found a few that were both taking new patients and practiced within a two hour drive. After phoning around (the first was a CPA, second and third numbers were disconnected, 4th was out of town for the week.) I finally found a woman who would take me as a new patient, accepted our insurance and could see me on July 22. Phew! Now I just have to find Patty on the stupid phone tree at the clinic to get back to her, lol.

Hopefully, she will give me a referral to the Rhematology group after she gets a look at my feet and hands.

In other news - we had a great dinner with Bob's brother and his wife last night and are planning to go down to his Mom's for her birthday the weekend of Aug 8. I always enjoy seeing her, she is such a wonderful person.

I am so sad about the poor kid that died on the Monorail. He seems to have been the most wonderful person. My heart goes out to his family and friends. Like his girlfriend said on Facebook - at least he died doing what he loved best. RIP you lovely boy.

Guild Wars' Dragon Festival

From last Thursday around noon till last Sunday at midnight (PT) Guild Wars had their annual Dragon Festival. This was my first and let's just say I was mostly very unimpressed.

The double experience points were nice for my heroes that were not yet already maxed out in level, but did nothing for me and the majority of my heroes that are. The plentiful victory tokens that you got from drops were nice, but the things you could get with them weren't all that great. I got a little over 350 tokens in about 10 hours of gaming. It took 250 tokens to get a dragon mask, which is only good for decoration purposes and this was done without your consent if you had the tokens on you when the "emperor" showed up on Sunday. The other prizes were all either 5 or 10 tokens and consisted of sweets/fireworks that only go toward sweet/celebration titles, alcohol for drunken title or buff for "Drunken Master" spell, and a cupcake that gives you temporary increased stats in the wild.

The part of the celebration that I was most looking forward to and was the most disappointed in were the battle reenactments that we got to participate in. There were 4 different ones where you had to take 8 areas from the enemy and 3 different ones where you had to hold the enemy off from taking an area. I may not be the best of gamers, but I thought my 3 heroes and I (all maxed in level and with PvXwiki "great" builds) might stand a chance. However in the 5 times I tried the capture area and the 1 time I tried to hold an area I never got past 1/4 of the way to finish. I would not be so disappointed with this if I at least got some decent purple/gold/green drops before I died, but that never happened either.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

more Guild Wars (can you say OCD)

Got back into playing Guild Wars the last 2 days. Mostly Nightfall campaign, Zaisen challenges, and Temple of Balthazar random arenas. Getting quite a bit of gold and drops to sell, even while doing as little fighting as possible to complete missions/quests.

I salvaged a Vampiric bowstring and a bowgrip of Fortitude from a couple of drops to finish my Ranger/Monk character's weapon. I think I have almost all the gold I need to buy the runes and new Tamer's Mask to finish his build.

I got a nice Gold weapon from a drop for my Monk hero, so his build is now complete. I also finally salvaged a hammer handle of Fortitude from another drop to complete my Warrior hero build. After I finish my Ranger character I will just need more gold to get my Ranger hero a couple more runes.

Other heroes are getting weapons/armors updated as items are dropped/salvaged and getting spells as I gain Balthazar faction points. I think in about 4 more days of random arena battles I will have all the points needed to get all the available spells needed for a complete set of heroes (1 from each profession). It however will be a long time to get the gold needed to buy the runes/insignias for all these heroes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

some recent WDW stuff

Cindy's foot feels better since her Gout caused infection has gone down, so we got to the parks last Saturday and Sunday.

The summer tribute band series at Epcot has started, which means we will be going pretty much once a week for the next 2 months. Coming up are Bon Jovi, Abba, U2, and Tom Petty tributes. On Saturday we saw Hotel California (an Eagles tribute band) and I thought they were much better than when I saw them a couple years ago. Of course this might have been because our seats were 3rd row center, the weather was actually a little cooler than we have been having lately, and there was a nice breeze.

I had a pretzel and Cappuccino smoothie while waiting for the show, so it was only fair to get Cindy a Lime Marguarita after the show. We also stopped at Mouse Gears for some cooking stuff for Cindy and a new pink Tinkerbelle ("Not Every Morning Is So MAGICAL") nightshirt for me. Was so excited about getting rid of a lot of change to buy the shirt, I forgot the $75. Disney birthday gift card I had.

On Sunday Cindy and I took our friends Lisa and Marty to the Magic Kingdom for the DVC / AP exclusive preview of Hall of the Presidents with the new "RObama"! I really love the changes they have made to this show and want to see it again, even when I don't need a cool-down/nap.

However when we got there at around 4pm they had opened it to all guests. This really packed the lobby and made it very hard to see all the changes in there. Next time Disney decides to open up a previously announced exclusive preview I hope they let us know in advance, so we can stay at home and have a chance to see all the changes after the buzz wears off. VERY BAD SHOW DISNEY!!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

What has happened lately

We spent yesterday farming. Bob took out the outdoor tomato plants (Sweet 100 performed amazingly well; but the end is the end.) We still have one tomato growing on the "Mr Stripey" so that is left. Then I asked him to help me replace the last of the "Salad Greens" from our original 7 pod Aerogarden.

I had already harvested the last of that lettuce (and a wonderful run we had for months with it!) So all that was left was to clean it out and replant with Cherry Tomatoes.

Ha Ha! Cleaning it out was a 3-4 hour job. Once Mr. OCD had cleaned the entire thing (note - use filtered water to water them, it cuts way down on lime build-up) the pump wasn't working properly.

Fortunately we had a new back-up pump courtesy of a shipping mistake on Aerogrow's part. Finally got it fitted in. Up and running with new plantings of cherry tomatoes. I later found the totally great instructions on the Aerogrow website about how to install a new pump or clean an old one.

Our other garden is planted with "Edible Flowers" (thanks again Ben and Angela!) We have budding and a new flower on the marigolds, yay!

Today we were bummed out and blindsided by the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Not to mention the rumors of other deaths that were totally bogus. Sometimes the Internet just makes me mad.

We will be going to see the Eagles tribute band at Epcot within the next couple of days. Looking forward to it.

As for reading, I am totally enthralled by the Vampire Finishing School series. Marked, Betrayed and Chosen so far (yes they put #3 on kindle) got the 4th today.

Still playing Wizards and I really am taken in by the new stuff on the Test Site. Crafting like mad; but it is getting time consuming and expensive.

My appointment with the rheumatologist is for Sept 15. My dental appt is for July 21. So guess the rehab of my body parts will go forward. Yay!

A new bakery is opening in our little Town Center. They were giving away samples of Lemon Squares yesterday at the Farmers Market. Really good, with a soft crust that even I could eat. Will check them out soon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

yes Gracie, more Guild Wars stuff

Some might call me OCD (I prefer COD - Crazy On Demand). If playing Guild Wars for over 500 hours in the last 5 months is evidence of that so be it. I just happen to love the no-monthly fee and the fact that this game takes me back to some of my earliest video game playing (Shining Force series on the Sega Genesis and Saturn).

In any case, after collecting the 22+ platinum and 8000 Balthazar faction points I updated my Warrior hero this morning to a very complete "great" PvXwiki "W-Earth Shaker" (hammer weapon) build. All that is needed to complete this build is a Fortitude weapon upgrade for the hammer. I have not used this build in the wild yet, but it worked excellently in the battle arena.
In the first training set I got 4 flawless battles with a 14-0 timed battle win. In the second training set the only non-flawless battle was the flag battle and I got 12-0 in timed. Will be interesting to see how the build does against different and sometimes bigger enemy gangs.

Monday, June 15, 2009

more Guild Wars and thoughts on Cindy's gout.

Luckily before I used Balthazar faction points to get any spells for my Guild Wars Warrior hero's PvXwiki "great" W-Quivering Blade sword build, it was delisted. It seems there are new and better sword builds, but they do not work well with the hero AI. So now I have built up points, found a weapon, and have started to collect money for runes/insignias toward a "great" W-Earth Shaker hammer build. I think I will like this better. The hammer is a little slower to use, but has the potential for much more base damage and also will do an AoE knockdown sometimes that works well as an energy drain and interrupt.

My Ranger/Monk player just needs some weapon upgrades and runes to complete a "great" R-Barrage build.

The heroes that I use most of the time (Warrior is in first paragraph) are at this point:
Ranger/Monk (not sure how he got monk) - needs weapon upgrades and 1 rune to complete a "great" R-Barrage build.
Monk - I just have to decide and get what weapons would best fit for a "great" M-Word of Healing build.

Other heroes I have decided to work on at some point:
Mesmer has a complete "good" M-Mantra of Recovery build. Like the Assassin there are no "great" builds I can get without a second profession.
Dervish, Elemantalist, and Paragon - I either have or can get for Balthazar points all of the spells I need for "great" builds. I was working on Dervish, but need an Ebon weapon upgrade to make the main spell in the D-Ebon Dust build work.
Necromancer and Ritualist - There are spells for these that I can not get for Balthazar points. Will try a similar spell for Necromancer and hope the Ritualist spells pop up when I get further into Factions.

I have now got all of the missions (with bonuses), quests, and exploring done on the islands in Nightfall. Just got to the mainland last night. Not as far in Factions, but have lots of quests to finish there. Really do not like the city in Factions and especially not all the levels to it. It will be interesting to continue with Prophecies and Eye of the North once I get my Warrior hero closer to done.
I am extremely glad that Cindy finally got most of her medical problems diagnosed as Gout, since it is somewhat managable. Will be nice to make plans that involve walking and not have to cancel at the last moment because of an attack. I do not really mind pushing her in a wheelchair around places, but sometimes even the walk to the chair can be painful for her. Also will be glad once we get her dental work started. It might help some other medical problems she interrmittently has.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Yesterday morning, Bob took me to our local urgent care clinic with an infected toe. When the nurse was looking at my foot she asked "What is this?" about what I had been told several years ago was a bunion that would probably need surgery some day. Told her it was a bunion.

The doctor on duty that day was luckily an orthopedist. He came in, took one look at my foot and said, "That is not a bunion, it is gout." It turns out that what I had been thinking were bunions on my feet, my bad knees and lumpy fingers that I thought were arthritis are all gout! I am a very bad doctor.

He was very impressed with the gouty toe (the infected toe was another one - also gout) and asked if he could take X-rays (free!) so he could show them to the guys back at his regular practice (a Sports Medicine Institute.) I said sure.

While the X-rays were being taken, he printed out some info on my gout - Tophacesus Gout - and the names of some rheumatologists that I would need to see.

He showed me perfectly awful pics of other gout victims and said with glee - that I was worse! I felt so proud. Coming in first in the uglies feet in the World competition is quite something, apparently.

He prescribed antibiotics for the infection. Then said he would take my X-rays back to his people and maybe there would be something they could do surgically to "improve the quality of my life." We'll see.

Anyway, the upshot is that tomorrow I have to start calling Rheumatologists in the area (and surprisingly enough, for a place where the aged abound, there are very few rheumatologists. So I have to find one who A) is taking new patients B) accepts our health plan and C) works within an hour or two away. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Back to Books and Stuff

I tried to order the next in the Vampire School series last night. One thing about Kindle is that they sort of leave out some books! Book two in the series is available and not three! Four and Five are available - sigh. I will soldier on!

I am saving up books for my dental nightmare. Rediscovered an author I used to love- Alex Kava. Total suspense! Ordered her stuff published since I moved here. I am saving up ordering the new Dean Koontz until just before the dentist stuff, since I think I will really need him!

We plan to go to Animal Kingdom on Bob's b-day next Tuesday. Groom the goats and shop a bit. Then on to Logan's for dinner. Should be a great day!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

mostly about books

I pretty much have no idea what Bob was talking about with "Guild Wars", but I am sure I will be brought up to date soon - sigh.

I really need to get into this game since I have lost a couple of others.

I must say that the info packet that came with my new "Eye of the North" gives me a lot to read and learn from.

Both of us have eye appointments tomorrow. Yay, no pain involved.

Visit to SweetBay after to look for KerryGold cheese (thanks Kate, did not even know it existed)

Watched "Time Bandits" the other night and passed it along to Lisa and Marty. That was a very "unusual" movie. Glad I saw it though.

I just finished reading a series of Contemporary Amish Romances. It is really better than it sounds. Written by Cindy Woodsmall. They are amazingly engaging, they manage to combine the conflict between the Amish and the English.

Also just started a vampire series written by a mother and daughter team. They are sort of a Harry Potter with a vampire school instead of Hogwarts.

Yeah, I know, I thought it was stupid at first, but the first one is pretty good! It is the "House of Night" series. I am reading the first "Marked" authors are PC Cast and Kristen Cast.

I am saving up books on Kindle to have them read to me through earbuds while undergoing my upcoming dental work - Arg!

Thanks to Jill and Susan for your support and advice.

more Guild Wars

Just got and input the Guild Wars Eye of the North code on Cindy's account. Once we get her from Lion's Arch to there it will be open for a group explore at out next LAN party. I also could use all the Norn points I can get as one of my spells is based on my Norn level and I am close to the next level.

Also this weekend (from noon on Friday I think) is double Sunspear and Lightbringer experience points, so playing Nightfall may be advantageous.

Guild Wars & Free Realms

After a couple of days of spending quality time (watching tv) with my wonderful wife I decided to get back to Guild Wars and trying to get my character and hero builds up to the highest PvXwiki standards.

With quite a lot of gold and some Balthazar faction points finally got my Monk hero to a complete "great" Monk-Word of Healing build. Still have to do some weapon research to determine the best weapon combo for him though.

My Ranger/Monk character and Ranger hero are also very close a "great" Ranger-Barrage (slightly modified for each character) build. Got all the spells and insignias, but the final runes needed for this build will take a lot more gold and the weapon upgrades will have to be found.

My Warrior hero is waiting for 4000 (2 days) of Balthazar faction points to get her final 2 major spells toward her "great" Warrior-Quivering Sword build and then I will work on getting her 2 minor spells, insignias, runes, and weapon upgraded.


Free Realms announced at E3 last week some of their upcoming updates:
- They will get Friends working.
- They will be adding stuff to do after you hit the job level cap at 20.
- They will be adding housing.
- They will be adding Guilds and Guild Halls.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Star and Guild Wars e!

Had a very nice time at Star Wars Weekend in WDW's Disney Hollywood Studios yesterday. Got there around 11:15 am and found a good handicapped spot for the Legends of the Force parade. The parade was very nice, but was sped up due to impending rain. Love the Jedi Mickey leading "float" in the shape of a X Wing Starfighter. There also was a very large contingent of the 501st Legion in the parade.

After the parade we headed to Wicket's Warehouse for the exclusive merchandise. Between the 2 of us we got 4 tshirts, 3 pins, and a couple other inexpensive things. The Big Figs this year just did not appeal to us at all. They best was Jedi Mickey (as Luke) carrying a great Yoda on his back. Glad we got the Jedi Mickey and Darth Donald (Maul) when they came out.

After shopping it was sprinkling as we headed to Stars of the Sega - Star Wars Celebrity Talk Show. This was a very enjoyable show with Jay Laga'aia (Captain Typho), Jeremy Bullock (adult Boba Fett), and David Prowse (Darth Vadar in the original trilogy).

The sprinkles had stopped after the show and we headed to the pin shop for the first, limited edition Annual Passholder Star Wars Weekend pin. This is the third weekend, so it was sold out. On the way out of the park we stopped at Mickey's of Hollywood, so I could get a replacement for my increasingly holy nightshirt and Cindy could get me a birthday gift (has pointy things, is small, and doesn't box well??).

My only disappointment was we did not take the time or have the occasion to see many of the walk-around Star Wars Characters. With the opening of Pixar Place there is no place in the park where a lot of them congregate anymore.
On a very upbeat note - all but a couple of the spells I need to finish making "great" PvXwiki hero builds are now available from the Temple of Balthazar. Guess I will be spending some time in the training arenas there, getting gold for the runes & insignias needed, and trying to get the weapon drops needed.

Friday, June 5, 2009

just a reply to Cindy's last post

Koyaanisqatsi was pretty good with some absolutely amazing photography. Being mostly visual it was very relaxing to me and I did catch my eyes closing a few times.

Actually our next Netfilx movie will be "Time Bandits". I really liked it the few times I have seen it and Cindy does not remember seeing it before. Will be interesting to see how she likes it.

Rain would definitely put a damper (had to say that) on Star Wars Weekends. The characters walking around (Aurra Sing & Zam Wessel e!) and the parade would probably be cancelled. However there is some event exclusive merchandise I would like to see and a pin Cindy wants to buy. We also could see a couple of the indoor Q&A or panels.

Got the notice today that Cindy's Guild Wars Eye of the North expansion will be here on 6/12. Sounds like a good reason to have another LAN party soon thereafter.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

NetFlix update

Bob and I watched "Koyaanisqatsi" tonight. I have seen it a few times over the years; but Bob never saw it before. Not quite sure he liked it; but he did not fall asleep or start playing Pogo, lol.

If you have never seen it, it is difficult to describe. Completely visual with Philip Glass music. Changing views of the world and sometimes relaxing or moving or just shocking.

Next up that old favorite "The Gods Must Be Crazy"

We went to the little local Farmers Market again yesterday, only a bit of rain. Got some more amazing veggies and I bought an orchid plant to replace one I had in Danville. The flowers smell like chocolate! Hope I don't kill this one. We split a watermelon with Marty and Lisa.

Hope we don't get rained out of Star Wars Weekend on Sat. Heck, we might just go and take ponchos.

New color scheme

We changed some of the colors for the backgrounds, text, and links today. Please leave a comment to this post if you are having any problems reading now. We also updated our profile a bit, so enjoy.

Thanks, Bob and Cindy

Our Guild Wars updates

I got the Factions and Nightfall campaigns last night, so I now have all of them. Will be able to help Brian out when I get up to that point in Factions.

I also ordered Eye of the North for Cindy this morning. That means we can do some gaming there during our next LAN party.

Will be trying to do some research tomorrow on best way to get more of my heroes a PvXWiki "great" build. Doesn't seem it will be as easy as I thought. Did however complete a "good" hero build for my Mesmer. The only way to get her a "great" build is to get her a Ritualist secondary in Nightfall. More on this later:


My Defense!

I do not just sit around watching soaps and reading my Kindle - well, I do that - but I also do lots of housework and take care of our outdoor "farm"

I also cook a lot, so that Bob no longer has to rely on microwave popcorn to survive. And he would be the first to say that he appreciates that.

We hope to be able to use this blog to keep up with our kids. (They have blogs as well, so it only seems fair)

Also hope to be able to keep up with our VMK families and friends.

I guess old dogs can really learn new tricks, at least I hope so.

Love you all!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Just an introduction to us in our blog's first post.

We met in Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) online game in June 2005 right before it went live. Over the next 15 months we found we had some common interests (online gaming, Disney,, Star Wars, etc.) and were close in age. However I (Bob) lived in Florida and Cindy lived in California. In September 2007 I flew to California to meet Cindy, see her house, and visit Disneyland Resort with her. After this we flew to Florida, so she could see my apartment and visit Walt Disney World with me. We found out that we were very compatible! In January 2008 she flew to Florida to visit me again and to start things moving toward her moving in with me. In June of 2008 I flew to California to help her pack and drive her back to Florida. We found a bigger apartment in the same general area. Things continued to go well and in March 2008 we got married.

Since then I quit my job at 7-Eleven and we both are now free to do what we want. My usual routine is to get household chores done first, read EMails and forums most of the day, and then play online games at night. Cindy watches daytime soups and evening TV, while sometime reading on her Kindle or playing on the computer. We do get out shopping at least once a week, get to our local farmers market on Wednesday afternoon, and get to Walt Disney World whenever we want (seems to be about every other week).

We are more casual gamers than some, but have been gaming for a little while. Cindy started playing Pogo in 2001, played VMK from June 2005-May 2008, and played Pirates of the Caribbean Online (PotCO) for a while. She is still playing Pogo and also plays Wizard101 (W101), Free Realms, and Guild Wars (when we can talk her into it). I started gaming in 1995 with Sega Genesis and Saturn. For the Genesis I have all 3 Shining (Force) games, 2 Phantasy Stars, Beyond Oasis, and a couple others. For the Saturn have 3 Shining (Force) games, Legend of Oasis, Albert Odyssey, Magic Knight Rayearth, Mystaria (Blazing Heroes), Panzer Dragoon Saga, and a few others. These kept me busy till VMK came along in June 2005. Just before VMK closed in May 2008 I started playing PotCO and still dabble in it sometimes. Presently I am playing W101, Free Realms, and really enjoy Guild Wars (3/4 done with Prophecies, 1/2 done with Eye of the North, and just started Factions/Nightfall). I also dabble in Metaplace.

As a side note: Cindy's daughter used to be a gaming magazine editor and now works for a company that does public relations for gaming companies.