… a level at a time.

Posts tagged “Vacation

Minor Update for a Major Gap.

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I updated. I’ve been pretty busy with photography & school, that’s probably why I haven’t updated.

Back in January before classes started I went out to California again. That trip wasn’t for pleasure… I went out to visit and support my mom, while she had surgery. Everything went well, and she’s recovering relatively quickly. I wish I could have spent more time out there with her, but I had to get back for classes.

Right before school started, I quit World of Warcraft. It’s weird not playing, but it’s nice. I have more free time to do all the other things that I would put off because I was being lazy. I replaced WoW with more productive things like taking pictures, messing with Photoshop more, hanging out with friends, playing some of my Xbox 360 games I still haven’t finished [Dragon Age: Origins], catching up on movies/tv shows via Netflix. Ok, those last two aren’t so productive… but I can only sit in front of a computer messing in Photoshop for only so long, and I can only do so much with night pictures.

I spent time playing Battlefield 2: Bad Company again, I’ve missed that game and some of my friends have played it recently. Actually, it’s the same with Borderlands too… a few friends have messed with it on occasion the past couple of weeks and I’ve joined them a few times.

This semester is going better than the past two… I’m enjoying my classes a lot more! My favorite classes are Design and Foundation Drawing. I love doing something for the class and not sitting there and listening to lectures. English is surprisingly good, even though the class is mainly lecture… Dr. T keeps the class interesting. It’s a bit small, so there’s not much discussion which kinda sucks. The one class I’m having the most problems with is Art History… I wish the professor was a bit more captivating.

I switched majors about two weeks into the semester; I went from Information Technology to Fine Arts. My school doesn’t have a Photography degree. Once I finish up my Fine Arts degree, I’ll be transferring to a school with a Photography degree. I’m thinking about doing a double major Photography/English or Photography/Journalism, but I haven’t decided. I guess it depends on where I want to go with the course my life has taken. I’m going to take some time and think about it, see where this semester leads.

So… I stopped typing this update mid-March [saved a draft] and now resume it mid-April. I’m really slacking with the blogging thing this year… gotta work on that! >_<

I have to reload my laptop after I get stuff backed up. Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 [64-bit] pulled a number on the system… most systems from what I’ve found online. It now takes 20-30 minutes from hitting the power button til I’m logged in and the machine is “ready” to run. I put ready in the quotations because even though the machine has booted… it takes about 10 times as long to do anything. I can’t even boot into my Ubuntu partition now, which is even more frustrating. This is what I get for being lazy and not reading up on any issues the Service Pack might have before I installed it. >_<

On a brighter note, it turns out the only thing wrong with my desktop is the RAM is fried. I thought there was more wrong with it… from what I could find online – I thought it was the motherboard or CPU. I’ll be replacing the RAM as soon as I can.

I have to swing back out to main campus and drop off a form. Since I last worked on this post, I’ve decided that I am changing my major again… slightly: I’m going to do a double-major of Graphic Design & Fine Arts.

This semester has my first ever art classes [actual classes, not counting art in Kindergarten]. Andrea [my Foundation Drawing professor] is awesome… over the semester I’ve gotten to know her pretty well. She asked to see some of my photography when I mentioned how much positive feedback I was getting for just starting out. I brought my laptop in one day so that she could see some of my stuff. After she saw some of my work she told me I should start networking and she introduced me to Liz.

Kurt [Liz’s husband] is a professional photographer… Andrea told Liz that she liked my photography and she thought Kurt would be a good contact for me. Liz suggested I email Kurt and mention that Andrea & Liz and she had sent me to him. She also suggested asking about going to see his studio and meet up with him sometime. I’ve since heard back from him, Kurt invited me to come and sit-in at one of his shoots [should happen in the next few weeks]. He said he would email me once he had a date finalized… I can’t wait! ^_^

Andrea is also encouraging me to put some of the work I’ve done this semester in the Student Art show on campus. I’m my own worst critic… I know this. I don’t feel like any of my stuff is good enough, but a lot of that is because I’m comparing my work to extremely talented artists that have done it for a long time. She pointed out two things that she thinks I should put in the show; I probably will enter them. What’s the worst that can happen? They tell me I need more practice? I’ll be practicing either way. I also have to look into if I can submit stuff that wasn’t done for class… if I can – I’m going to submit some of my photos.

I think that’s enough for today. It’s late and I was up most of the night last night and I had class early this morning… time to kick back and watch some Netflix before bed.


Expansion.

I’ve decided to expand this blog beyond just a gaming blog & include a little more insight into my life… how much insight will be given has yet-to-be decided. I will continue with my thoughts & ramblings about the games I play, so don’t worry.

I added a new menu in the top right [the idea came from looking at the layout at Keep Me Running Wild]. It has a mouse-over drop down function [just for the Gaming and Life tabs: as I create more posts this feature will be more useful] that has different categories available if you would like to focus on something specific.

Still no luck with any of the mounts I was attempting to get on Deathengine. But I only tried for about another week before I went on vacation. I spent the first two weeks of July out in California visiting fiends & family. I took my laptop with me & actually ended up playing more games than I wanted to… leveling alts mostly. I also had a problem with my debit card shortly after I got out there, so I had no money to go and do anything for most of the time I was on vacation. My brother took me to the shooting range where I got to shot a few different guns [for the first time]. I want an AR15 now, heh.

I went to the beach for the first time in a long while. I love the beach & miss being able to go there regularly, I can’t wait til I can move back out to Cali.

There were many barbecues while I was out there. I had a great time hanging out with friends & family. Thankfully, I managed to make it into San Francisco one day and meet up for lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in a few years.

I played disc golf with my family while I was out there. It was, odd… but fun. After I got back, I picked up some disks so that I can play with some friends around here. So far we haven’t been able to get out and play a game, our schedules keep clashing; hopefully we’ll get a game going soon.

When my brother took me to the airport for my return flight, he kept poking at me to stay… I was almost to the point of not returning. If any of my nieces or nephew had been there & even mentioned the thought of not leaving, I probably would have not gotten out of the car & told my brother to drive back home.

Since I got back, I’ve invested more of my gaming-time into the 360 & finishing a few games that still needed work. I managed to finish Mass Effect 2. I forgot how much fun that game is, I’ve already started a second-play through. My first run I went through as a Paragon. For some reason I always play the “good-guy” when I play games that give me the option to be “good” or “evil”. My second play-through I’m playing as a Renegade… it’s time to change things up.

Two of my friends just got Borderlands, so I started playing that again, I forgot how much fun that game is. I’m debating getting new Downloadable Content for it, I already have Zombie Island. There’s a DLC that increases the level cap to 61… I might pick it up. I’ve been messing around with a Soldier and a Hunter lately, levels 19 and 26 respectively. I might wait to pick up the DLC until I get those up to the current level cap [50], or at least close to it.

I haven’t played much more of Final Fantasy XIII, I was too preoccupied with finishing ME2. Now that I’ve finished that I’m going to invest a little more time in FFXIII & get that finished up as well.

I still have to finish a few other 360 games & will be doing that over time. And other than Halo: Reach, there aren’t any more console games that I’m very interested in picking up [at least at the moment], so I can catch up on all the other ones I slacked off at.

Since I got back, I haven’t played much World of Warcraft. I’m probably going to take another small break from it again, at least until Cataclysm is released. If I don’t take a full-on-break, I’m definitely will be cutting down on my time spent in WoW. Saturday was the first time I’ve logged into WoW for more than 30 seconds… not to mention it was only the third time I’ve logged in since I got back. It had been so long since I played a computer game, let alone WoW & Deathengine that it took some getting used to again, haha. It probably didn’t help that I was really tired from spending the day walking around  Park Ave Fest.

I started doing a little more photography & messing around in Photoshop. I don’t have a ton of new stuff, but a few things, they’re up on my DeviantArt page.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done any sort of photography, photo manipulation, or digital-art. I really need to get back into it. I’m not phenomenal or anything, but I do have my moments. I’ll only get better if I practice.

I went to see Inception yesterday [now that it’s 1am] with a friend. That was an intense flick. Good thing I went with a buddy, we had to bounce ideas off each other after the film ended. One of those films that really make you think, & I love movies like that.

I also saw Kick-Ass with some other friends. That was definitely not what we were expecting. We didn’t pay much attention to the trailers or rating. We didn’t know much about that one other than the talk about how the movie was awesome and it was some sort of super-hero wannabe movie.


There’s an unholy presence… do you feel it in your blood?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, I’ve tried to spend more time outside, enjoying the weather now that it’s summer… even though I hate the humidity, it’s much more enjoyable than freezing during the winter.

Since I last posted, I’ve started farming for mounts on my Death Knight, Deathengine. As stated in a earlier post, I already got the two Drake mounts from The Oculus & The Culling of Stratholme. I also have the mount from For the Horde! [as seen in the picture to the left]. I’m currently trying for the mounts out of Zul’Gurub, Magister’s Terrace, Stratholme, and Sethekk Halls. I can solo them all except for Sethekk Halls, I need my brother to come along on his Druid to summon the boss [Anzu]. I bring my brother along for the other runs most the time since he’s helping me for the one mount in Sethekk Halls. I’m also picking up the Mysterious Egg from The Oracles when I get a chance… no luck yet though.

Other things I’m working on the Glory of the Hero achievement [I only have 9 more requirements/achievements left to do to get GotH], and the different Holiday World Events that exist.

I’ve also spent a little time on my Paladin, Texhnolyze. I wanted to gear him up a little so I could start tanking things with him. I’m not too worried about achievements or anything on Tex… not like Death. I got the mount from The Culling of Stratholme on Tex [honestly though, what group running a heroic can’t get to that boss in time?], but I haven’t bothered getting him the Epic Flying skill yet. His engineering is one point from being maxed out, I’ve just been too lazy to farm up the mats to finish it off.

Tex is almost ready to tank heroics, I just need a few more pieces. Interestingly enough, Death is already tanking heroics… even though I originally didn’t set out to have him tank anything. I just kind of ended up with tanking gear from greed rolls in all the heroics I had run on him. I decided to give it a shot & swapped Death’s dual-wield Frost spec for a Blood-tanking spec.. It’s not the same as tanking with a Paladin [which I prefer]… but it’s decent enough that I’ll do it when necessary [like the other day when the tank randomly bailed right after we got into the instance].

I took Deathengine to Icecrown Citadel [25 man] again this weekend. We had to PUG a good chunk of the raid so we didn’t get as far as we’d hoped. I did manage to improve my DPS significantly since my last run in ICC [at least on group pulls]. I had changed his Unholy spec a bit in hopes of improving DPS, along with a few gear upgrades. The last time I was there I was pulling 6-7k DPS at most for group pulls… this time? Roughly 14k DPS! The third time I went to ICC I managed to walk out with a Deathbringer’s Will & something else [I don’t remember what now]. Shortly after the ICC run this weekend, my guild decided to run Trial of the Crusader [25 man]. The other trinket I wanted [Death’s Choice] dropped… I almost had it, got beat in a roll by one person, and only by 7. What pisses me off more than that I lost it, was as soon as the guy who won it was given it… he said, “Sweet! This is the only thing I wanted out of here!” and quit [ALT+F4] out of the game and didn’t log back in. After we lost that DPS, the raid slowly began to fall apart. We made it to Anub’arak, but without the DPS & heals [because of the people who had left], we weren’t able to down him.

I set up a half-assed layout a few weeks back & decided it really needed cleaning up. It was a bit of a mess and for no reason other than I got lazy. It was so messy, I’m not going to post a screen shot. So far I’ve made vast improvements, it looks much cleaner. I enjoy the minimalist display for the most part, but at the same time… I like to have info in front of me.To the right is a picture of my what my UI looks like when I’m soloing, and below is a picture of my UI when in a group [and in combat]. I still have a few tweaks I need to make… I’m not sure what I want to do about Omen. As you can probably tell, Omen is in kind of an odd spot..  I have to figure out where & how I want it before I finalize my UI and stop messing with it. I can be a bit OCD when it comes to things like that [hell, I’m even being OCD about this post.. 2 days working on it]. If you would like to see a labeled version of each picture – here is a labeled version of my solo picture, and here is a labeled version of my party/combat picture. I believe I will be removing Forte, even though it’s nifty because it tracks my Diseases on multiple targets. As long as I know the time left on my main target, I don’t *need* to know the status of my diseases on other mobs, it’s not important because I have the Glyph of Disease to refresh the diseases on my main target. So long as I keep the Diseases up on my main target, I don’t have to worry about how much time is left on the other mobs. Forte would probably be a bit more useful as a healer to keep an eye as to who has HoTs or bubbles. *shrug* I’ll just have to test it out once I get my Priest or Druid leveled.

To change the font of the combat text over the mob’s heads I use xDamageFont. I also use Prat for the chat window modifications. I have two chat windows to keep the more important stuff separate – Guild. Party, & Raid are in the right chat box, everything else is in the left. The name-plates over the mobs is CaelNameplates.

I ended up dropping Skinning and picking up Enchanting on Death. Enchanting was pretty easy to level… until I hit around 300. Damned Arcane Dust… not really, I just haven’t had the chance to go farm items to DE. Currently Enchanting is sitting at 340/475. JewelCrafting is still about the level it was a month ago [80ish]… mostly because I’ve been too lazy to farm up the materials needed & too poor to just buy everything I need out of the Auction House [I *hate* farming].

Next week I will be going on vacation for two weeks, the plane ticket was and awesome birthday gift from my dad, woot!  I’m flying out to visit family, and I’m not sure how much gaming I will get to do. I know I’ll get to play WoW a little… after all, both my brothers play.