Salutations and Welcome!
The Bride of the First House.
bride (at) livejournal (dot) com
If you can call it "winning" when none of the other cars actually matter.
The driver is alive and recovering. As expected, he has minor complications, is still not awake and is being monitored very carefully. But he is technically alive.
The car is not quite in one piece.
The spoiler and one of the side mirrors fell off. Some of the paint is smudged because it didn't dry properly. The breast cancer ribbon is still on the antenna, though it's not in the best shape and may need to be replaced.
Also, it turns out that the transmission was actually not working. We're not entirely sure when that happened or how it broke. But it was found broken.
So, we have to get everything sorted out ASAP for the Press Conference and Exhibition Race.
And I think we're just going to shoot anyone who starts talking about the next major race altogether.
Apparently, aside from the heart transplant, a clot also had to be removed from one of the major arteries in the area that the partially remote surgical team only saw once they started.
And then, the driver's appendix burst.
As foreshadowed by the bumble-bees previously, the owner of the car sold it, mid-race. The new owner had to have the car re-painted yellow and black immediately. The lawyers demanded all logos on the body of the car to be swapped out. The new owner's wife insisted a pink breast cancer ribbon be tied onto the antenna.
All the while without stopping.
Final lap. This weekend.
We're required to win this race with the driver alive.
So, with no love lost there, it would just be easier to have all our characters on one server to share resources and be able to group up for dungeon runs and what-not. I would move my Paladin Girl and my Druid Girl (the one with the Totally Rockin' Mammoth Ride) back to our original server.
Yes. USD $50 for both.
The Husband Guy would move his almost level 80 Druid back to our server as well. And we'd foot the bill to move his Cousin Dude's Shammy.
Yes. Another $50.
We're just feeling so bad that we were the ones who inspired him to play again, level his Shaman to 80, then he paid to transfer to my friend's server so that he could play with us. And now we'd be ditching him again. =P
I don't quite know if or when we'd do this yet. We're kinda hesitating because of the money involved and ignoring the guild isn't too hard anyways. And also because my friend was showing signs of playing a bit more in the last little while =P
What would suck the most about moving back is The Husband's second Warlock. He spent all that time levelling another Affliction Warlock to 80 *wince* He really doesn't need another one on our server. You can only have 10 characters on one server and he's already making plans to delete one so that he can create a Goblin once Cataclysm comes out. They may raise the per server character slot max, but I'm not sure if that's a certainty yet.
I don't think there'd be any way to petition Blizzard to let us do that... The only possible legal way we could do it would be to have him create another Battle.Net account under his own name. Then he could transfer the Warlock #2 from His Account 'A' to His Account 'B'. That way, if I wanted to play the Warlock #2, he could be logged in to His Account 'A' while I'm logged in to His Account 'B'.
But we'd be maintaining a third on-going Battle.Net subscription which, of course, we would have to purchase a security authenticator for. We'd have to pay for the character transfer from His Account 'A' to His Account 'B' ($25). We'd also have to pay for the Realm Transfer from my friend's server to our server ($25). And that's without any other changes to pay for, like name change, gender and race change.
*shrug* At this point, it's looking cheaper and easier if I levelled my own Warlock. Mine is already level 42. I stopped because I'm at that weird level range when the blueberry can't quite keep aggro on the mobs. So, I get pretty hurt killing stuff because I'm really squishy.
Thinking back, I wanted to buy a pre-levelled 80 Hunter at one point. And I ended up levelling my own. I'm glad I didn't just buy it now because I quite enjoyed levelling the Hunter. I may yet finish levelling my Warlock one day.
But I'm having too much fun levelling a Rogue Girl at the moment. The cute sneaky is level 30 now and lots of fun to play. I can't wait until I get Fan of Knives. =)
She's also excited about Star Wars: The Old Republic because she used to play Knights of The Old Republic and says it was superior to WoW in many ways. So, she's very looking forward to at least giving SWTOR a good go. I will probably try it out as well.
If she's not playing WoW, there isn't much point to us playing on her server either.
The Husband Guy and I had noticed that her guildies tend to only be nice to us when she's around. When she's online, they'll chat and joke with us. When she's not around, most of them ignore The Husband and me. When I would request Profession Links in guild chat, no one responds... and yes, I would know to check to see if they're in a raid, arena, battleground or otherwise likely not able to respond. If people are sitting in Dalaran and Orgrimmar, I would think that someone could pipe up without me being pushy and cornering them about it.
I wouldn't have minded so much if they were just not the warm-fuzzy-helpie kind of guild. But I see them chatting up a storm in guild chat, scrambling all over each other to help everyone else. Other new guild members included. Most of my gem cuts, crafted plate tanking armor, flasks and anything else that I needed were made by random players outside the guild who were looking for work in Trade Chat. I found many of the other players on her server much more friendly and less cold to us than her guildies. It was a bit baffling.
I was particularly nonplussed with one incident. I had wanted some raid flasks made; Endless Rage for me and Frost Wyrm for the Husband. We weren't raiders, but it was a way to not look so Noob and Fail in random Heroics.
I had asked the Guild Alchemist if she could make my flasks if I provided all the materials. She was busy at the time but I could mail them to her and she would mail me back the flasks. I wasn't in a hurry so that was fine with me. I mailed Alchy Girl two full sets of mats (vials included) and a 10 gold tip for each set. That's about how much you would earn for an easy quest.
She didn't ask for 10g per set. We just thought it would be a friendly gesture. Usually, people don't charge guildies because it's just clicking a few buttons. And guildies usually would do the same for you without charging. But we were new. We didn't have a bunch of 80s on the server that could reciprocate for them. And we know the kind of effort that's involved in levelling professions ourselves.
One of the mats - the Frost Lotus - is kinda hard to come by. They're a bit rare to farm and very expensive on the Auction House. Alchy Girl sat on my mats for over a week. That's long enough that I had just about mentally written off the flasks as a learning experience.
I wasn't impressed about the fact that I _did_ see her online and in guild ICC runs. Having been a raider and a bench-warmer myself, I know how to tell when the groups wipe and are no longer in combat. I whispered her in between fights and while she was sitting in Dalaran/Orgrimmar about once every 2-3 days to ask if she got my mats in the mail. I never got a response from her. I even explained that I was just trying to determine if I had sent it to someone else completely. I thought it was very unlikely because I picked her name twice from the name suggestion autocomplete.
Husband Guy suggested that I wait until my friend was also on, then ask her directly in guild chat and see what happens. It finally took my friend asking about it before I saw the flasks in my mailbox.
And she kept the tips >.< Sure, it was my choice to tip, so I suppose I'm not entitled to complain that she didn't understand it was just a gesture and she was expected to return it. But if I've dropped the ball on someone like that, I'd be looking to make it up to them somehow... like, at least returning the tip from a guildie that I wouldn't have taken unless they really insisted.
Our raiding guild sort of collapsed since the last time I wrote. The Guild Leader was sick of having people only show up on the first raiding day of the week to down the easy bosses that we already have on farm. Then they would just not appear on the second and third raid day of the week for the encounters that we were still learning and, thus, wiping on.
Prior to this, the guild officers had announced that they were keeping a log of attendance, carefully logging who said they were coming, whether they showed up and if not, whether they left a note saying they would not be online. It's just common courtesy that you would expect from any kind of group event.
The attendance log was originally meant to help the officers deliberate and break unlucky streaks for good raiders when we went to a Loot Council Assisted Need/Greed Roll loot distribution system. But when it became obvious that there were members who expected to be carried and given free loot, by both their words and actions, there was a mass gkick of all the individuals who only came for the easy kills or did not consistently attend raids.
This left us with about 15 core, dedicated raiders. Which isn't enough for the 25-mans. It was sad that we lost many of our best players at that point too. They wound up leaving to join other guilds because they wanted to continue doing 25-mans. At the time, I was wanting to take a break again from raiding anyway, so I didn't bother joining another guild. I also didn't like the name of the guild that most of the better players went to and didn't want that in the name plate over my head. IMHO, there aren't very many guilds with cooler names than my current guild, so I have no desire to join another one.
My Huntard has become my main character. The Old-Timer's raiding schedule of one night a week has been suiting me just fine. Some weeks, we don't raid at all because people are busy or have other things planned on the designated raid night. With three raiding nights a week, I'd want a break after a few months. One raiding night a week is comfortably sustainable for me. I feel like I have time to myself and not have to spend my off raid nights farming boring-ass dailies for money so I can pay for the ever increasing equipment repair costs from wiping.
And if I feel like running more in the week, Icecrown Citadel on 25-man is very puggable now, even though they're more rare than 10-man ICC pugs (which I can't pug because I need to keep that open for my Old-Timer's group). I'm almost never denied an invitation on my Hunter with my gear score and experience.
I did pug a 25-man Ulduar Hard Modes group the other day and they reminded me a lot of my current guild on a good raid night, back in the day. They're a laid back, dorky, they did and said hilarious things, but at the same time, didn't tolerate bullshit. I watched them kick an asshat DK out of the raid, then immediately from the guild. Asshat DPS DK ran into a group of ranged DPS and TAUNTED the boss just for giggles.
They're in nearly the exact same situation as my current guild just before the implosion... 11/12 ICC10, on Putricide in ICC25 and having a tough time getting enough people for the 25-man ICC runs. They sounded willing to pug me until they have enough people to fill all the spots consistently. I was very tempted to join them, because they're a really fun bunch to be around. But, I realize that I've never seen them on a bad raid night, so they may also be remarkably similar to my current guild on bad night. And I'm not sure I want the three raid nights a week again.
Talking on a cellphone without a hands-free device is against the law in BC. It's fairly recent legislation, but we think it's long overdue.
Anyway, the dealership set up her car for her phone while they did the orientation with her. Part way through the orientation, we stepped off to the side of the car for a bit and her phone rang. But we were close enough to the car that the car still picked up the signal.
The husband and I laughed at her. "Your car is ringing... you should answer your car." =D
[Update - Saturday, May 01, 2010]
I was too drained to write any more yesterday. All I can manage even this morning is this token lament on the quality of my penmanship spiralling quickly downwards.
And yes, it's been five years at Work. That's the longest I've ever been at one company. Work is undergoing a sudden and large shift right now. It's a large shift in size, culture and scope. It's made everything very very trying.
My title is still "QA Analyst". I figure if one day, I have enough white hair, they'll put "Senior" in front of it. Or not. I don't really care.
It sounds like I'm something between a QA Analyst and a Business Analyst these days. I'm still not convinced I know what the difference between the two roles is. Honestly, I don't care what I'm called or even what my role is.
I just want to do the best I can to help my team produce the best quality software we can in the time that we have. And I want to make it "no extra work" to compile statistics and higher level reports for managers and others who are not involved in our day-to-day activities, who neither know nor care about the nitty-gritty.
Requirements, in whatever form they're given to a Development team, is only a starting point. A Functional Spec is rarely ever followed to the letter or kept up. User Stories are just "a promise for further conversation".
The TRUE Requirements and Acceptance Criteria are in the test cases. They are always kept up to date, always tell you exactly what the software will and will not do, in the most granular detail.
I had always thought that, but I thought it was because I was QA and I believed that the world revolved around me. =D But my previous CIO also said it many times in our big department meetings. So, I've kind of taken that to heart.
I had always felt a huge responsibility to understand the business context in which the requirement came to us. Every day, I make small decisions and small judgements on the "correctness" of my team's work that are not covered anywhere, written or verbal. I have to guide the system's behaviour towards what the business needs and not away from it. I wouldn't want bugs to be fixed the wrong way.
I have evolved the way my team tracks User Stories. I've changed the way our User Stories are written, for the better. I have evolved the way my team tracks Test Cases and Testing Coverage. It's been a gradual process of getting something that is light weight enough that people can do the day-to-day upkeep and capture useful enough information for future reference.
You press a button and it runs around the room vacuuming as it goes. It comes with a docking station and runs on a rechargeable battery. Once it gets low on battery power, it will go back to the docking station and recharge itself. For the size of the rooms in my house, one pass lasts for an hour, then goes back to the docking station and recharges for a while.
It has a bumper and sensors in front so when it senses that it's approaching large objects, it will slow down, touch it, back up a little, turn and move in a different direction. Sometimes, if the object is thin (like a table leg), it won't "see" it until it's too late and ram into it without slowing down. But it doesn't go too fast, even at full speed, so it's not doing any damage to the furniture.
It can also sense an "extra dirty" area and will circle the area a few extra times to do extra spot cleaning. The noise level is about the same as a regular vacuum, maybe slightly quieter. It is loud enough to be as annoying as a vacuum cleaner though.
It does corners better than you'd imagine. It has a little spinning brush that sticks out of one side. This spinning brush pushes dirt under it so it can suck it up. But it still can't get things that are in the very corners of the room. My experience though, is that the corners of my rooms are less dirty than the rest of the room, so this isn't really a problem.
If you want to keep it within a certain room or area, you can either close the door or use a Virtual Wall. It's a little black thing that takes two C batteries. It sends out a signal outwards from it across a doorway or opening and the Roomba knows not to cross it.
If it gets itself into an error situation, it tells you what the error is and tells you what to do. IT SPEAKS CHINESE!!! Among 13 or 14 other languages. I thought that was AWESOME. =D
The first time it did my bedroom, it tried to turn out of a corner that it had gotten into. When it turned, it scraped the bumper along my floor molding leaving a black skid mark. I was upset at first, but the skid mark came off with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
It can clean both carpet and flat surfaces. It will flip rug tassles around, but it won't actually get caught in them. It also knows not to fall down the stairs. It has a drop sensor, so it usually gets to the stairs, turn and move in a different direction. I once saw it go towards a flight of stairs at a very acute angle and one wheel went off the edge. It didn't have enough traction to move backwards and get itself unstuck, so it just said there was an error and told me to pick it up, move it somewhere else and restart. In Chinese. =)
It doesn't do as good a job as you can with a vacuum cleaner. Part of this is actual fact. When I run it again in the same room, I see that the collection bin does contain more dirt after the second pass. But part of this is just perception though, ie. it's the randomness of its path. If you stand there watching it, you'll get really frustrated with how bad a job it's doing. It looks like it's missing a lot of stuff on the floor.
But if you run it enough times in the same area, it will eventually get the entire floor clean.
I find it doesn't do really small rooms very well. I have a large walk-in closet that's about the size of a small room. It just runs around in the middle. I have boxes on the floor around the edge of the closet. I don't know if it's just that it sense my stuff differently than walls and is staying away from them. But it wouldn't go to the edges like it would with the other rooms. And it wouldn't come out of the doorway, even though it had a straight path out of the closet door. It got to the doorway, turned around and went back into the closet again. I thought that was bizarre. I finally had to just pick it up and take it out to do the rest of the room. =P
In the first week I got it, I started it just as I left for work in the morning. I came home and it was ready to go on the second pass again. I thought that was great. Since my model has a scheduling feature where I can set it to run at a certain time, I thought I could get it to do the same room three times in one day. Kick it off once manually in the morning, scheduled run mid-day, kick it off again manually in the evening when I get home from work.
But it set off the motion sensor of my house alarm. So I won't be doing that... =P
It seems like every time I write about WoW, something different happens almost immediately. Shortly after I wrote about raiding in July, I stopped raiding. Shortly after I wrote in October about how I stopped raiding in July, I returned to raiding again.
I've downed Rotface and Festergut on 10-man and 25-man. I was approached by several guild officers to come back, so I did. The Husband Guy is a guild officer and he tells me that Officer Chat was abuzz with excitement from the news that I was returning. It was really nice to be wanted =)
And I'm now in an Off Again state with raiding. The guild seems to have done enough recruiting that they have another good Enhancement Shaman around. So I don't feel so bad about leaving the mêlée without their Unleashed Rage AP buff. They have an overabundance of people online on Tuesdays (first raid night of the week), so they're sitting people out. But for some bizarre reason, we don't have enough people on Thursdays and Sundays for the 25-man and have to break into two 10-mans. This means there would be a few people left out.
I was worried that we'd lose the new Enh shammy because they sat him out for 2 weeks in a row for the 25-man. I was beginning to _hope_ I'd be benched so I could level my Paladin =) I was even whispering the Raid Leaders that I don't mind sitting out. I told them that I didn't mind if they invited the other Enh shammy in my place either. I don't know why they weren't inviting him... he had better gear than I did and from the damage meters, he was doing more damage than I was anyway.
My hunter was invited to the husband's super casual, once-a-week, old-timer's raid group, so Huntard Girl has also seen some of Icecrown Citadel from the inside. She's decently geared now too. The only thing I'd like now on the hunter is more Pet slots so I can collect more animals =) I reallyreallyreally wanted a red Core Hound from Molten Core to go with my Core Hound Pup companion. =D But nobody really wants to do Molten Core anymore. It's an old world raid, there's no motivation to do it, no worthwhile loot, huge map, fights are generally a pain in the tuchus.
On my friend's server, I had the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth by the time the two lowbies were level 35, but I sat on the money until we got to level 40 before we could use it. And now I've lost all motivation to play the Druid and am kinda wishing I saved the rocking ride =P I occasionally get shocked whispers about how the bloody hell I got it though, which is kinda cool =D
Initially, the Druid Girl's sole purpose in life was to drag my friend's main character through the Wrathgate questline. This long(-ish) quest line comes available by about level 71 and opens up an in-game cinematic that shows a battle sequence where the Horde and Alliance factions are joining forces against the Lich King. Everybody and their dog has done it multiple times now.
But this Friend Girl of mine has done little bits and pieces of it, but has no idea where she left off or what to do next. I found it wholey unacceptable that she's played this long without finishing that quest chain. But since the Druid wasn't happening, once my Paladin on my server reached level 71, I decided it would be easier if I just transferred her over to help. I'm glad she's finished it before Cataclysm came out. -_-
And now at level 80, I thought it'd be cool to try tanking. So, Pally Girl has gone Prot. I've collected up "The Starter Kit" of gear. I've been reading on tanking spec, stats, rotation, movement and stuff. I'm Defense capped, everything is gemmed, I have reputation item enhancements. I still need a few more enchants, but other than that, I think I'm good to start tanking Heroic dungeons.
The Husband Guy continued to power-level his Warlock Boy on my friend's server. The Warlock Boy was level 42 and was at the same place as my Druid Girl. But he is now level 74 and running around one coast or another of Northrend. =)
We bought a house in mid-September. =) It wasn't the birds. We didn't get any complaints, but we're just very much house people, in the end. Although we did worry when Skippy and Sid went crazy in the evenings. Apartment living has its advantages. 5 sushi restaurants, one small independent, constantly packed but excellent coffee shop, other McCoffee[tm][R]-type ones that shall remain nameless and just about any kind of food you could ever want, all within 2 minutes walk in any direction. In the summers, when our windows were always open and right above the entrance door, I'd stand outside the door fishing for my keys in my purse. I'd whistle up to our window and the birds would get super excited and squeep and chatter back at me. The passersby would always be amused =)
We weren't going to buy a house until after the 2010 Olympics when we were predicting a housing market slide in Vancouver. We were going to get something nice for cheepz... or as cheap as it can possibly be in Vancouver anyway. But the Brother-In-Law got married at the end of September and we needed somewhere for the out-of-town guests to stay. It was either, rent a house for them to stay in for a few weeks or buy a house ourselves and have them stay with us. My Mother-In-Law wanted them to stay with us, so we began an all-out house-hunt.
We started the house-hunting in earnest around June/July and scooped a good deal. =) It's a property that most people would pass up just on principle. It's on a major street and it has a strange shaped lot. Judging by the circumstances before we went to see it, it's not an investment property at all. It's solely a personal residence, which is exactly what we want; we just wanted something to live in. The building itself is almost brand new, as far as houses go. It's lovely, open and bright. It's surprisingly very quiet inside. It's naturally hidden behind trees and foliage, so privacy is maintained without being severe or walled off. We've driven by it regularly for over a decade and have never really noticed it.
Almost everyone tells us it's so much better than the previous house. I'm much happier with the size and overall floorplan, even though it's actually smaller. It's spacious without being a waste of space. It feels well-planned with everyone in mind, not just one person. The room sizes are well proportioned for their designated functions and the basement was built to be rented out as a separate suite. All the utility companies that we talk to, kept asking us if we were the basement suite of that house. XD
September was a zoo. We packed up the Kerrisdale apartment and moved into the house. And I can't believe all that drama fit into the less than ten words of the previous sentence... We had barely moved in and barely set up the the guest rooms when the family members from Taiwan arrived. Barely unpacked the kitchen stuff in time for the groom's family luncheon on the Brother-In-Law's wedding day.
I'd stopped raiding in WoW since I last wrote. I wanted to get my hunter up to 80, which I did... and then didn't feel like asking for my raid spot back. I was asked to join another friend's guild. I really wanted to, but the problem is, she's on a different server. It's $25 to transfer one character across to another server. I'd be paying $50 for both level 80s. W also wanted to move one or two characters over if I went. We couldn't justify spending the money, so we said we'd just power-level two new characters to 80 on her server to play with them.
Since we had no other characters on her server, it was going to be hard with no money and no resources from high level characters' professions. I started selling things on the Auction House to make a little bit of money to help with the cost of training, repairs, better gear and what-not. The Auction House business just took off like a shot. =D I've been making money hand over fist. In about a few weeks, I've made over 12,000 gold. That's just doing it in the evenings and weekends. If I were doing it all day, I could probably be making a lot more.
I was bitched out by a competitor for selling things at a much lower price. =} I've seen this kind of behaviour on Etsy as well. Some people just don't seem to understand that they're not entitled to exclusive selling rights and charging exorbitant prices. I didn't see why she was charging insane prices for things that were easily purchased from an in-game vendor for much much less. My mark ups were based on the cost of travel and a little extra for the 'convenience' factor.
I just said to her that if she thought I was doing something against the terms of service, then report me. I think she did try to report me because a day or two later, she asked to form a partnership with me. We were both to sell at her insanely high price and each were to, somehow, receive half of the proceeds of sales. I told her to buy out my auctions and put them back up for double. Lol... XD
Meanwhile, it's been the SLOWEST power-leveling EVAR XD ... and that's with a Druid and Warlock pair. It's easier to level in a pair to begin with and those two are high damage output classes which is good for killing things fast. XD
But I figure, by the time we get to about level 40, I'll have made enough to get Traveler's Tundra Mammoth which costs 20,000 gold without reputation with the Kirin Tor. We've already negotiated a summon to Dalaran by level 11 or so. But I can't get someone else with reputation to buy it for me at a discount because it's only usable by the same person who buys it.
From the WoW Wiki article:
This mount comes with two vendors: Drix Blackwrench <The Fixer> and Mojodishu <Traveling Trader>. You can dismiss one or both of them to free up a spot for a friend in your party or raid.
That is ... one ... sweet ... ride ... =)