Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Previously on LOST

Just in case you have been living in your own bomb shelter (and if you have, get back to pressing that button!), the final season of LOST premieres next Tuesday.  To be honest I don't really remember what happened in last years' finale.  If only there were a way to find out....if only.

Since our guild's name was inspired by everyone's favourite creepy hippy commune I made our own Dharma Zug Initiative Logo!  Right between the Pearl and the Swan is the Zug Station.  No one knows what goes on there but some very good looking characters have been sighted fishing and cooking and dancing - sounds suspicious!  Some only have three fingers too! Now that's just crazy talk!

I have been trying to avoid as many spoilers for the season as I can and I'm hoping that they will continue to find ways to blow all of Sawyers shirts off. I mean...solve mysteries....(I mean shirtless Sawyer!)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

You Better Rankwatch Yo'self

Wheee!!!  We are famous!!!

My claim to fame (other than these tasty Warcraft cupcakes), can now include being married to the guy who Rankwatch'd BBB.  Luckily it all turned out for the best.  BBB and his friend came along with The Zug Initiative when we were feeling adventurous enough to peek into Ice Crown Citadel.  While we didn't manage to get the boss down due to real life committments we still had a blast wiping on trash and chatting on vent.  Both BBB and his friend were very friendly and I really enjoyed chatting with them on Vent.  Hopefully they come back again, but they better update their spell bars!! (/shakes fist)

(We also got a lot of mileage out of bone prison related jokes which always makes for a good time.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I was saddened to hear that folk singer, Kate McGarrigle, mother of Rufus and Martha Wainright, died yesterday from a rare form of cancer.  I didn't know that I had heard any of her music until I learned she and her sister, Anna, sang on The Log Driver's Waltz.


If you grew up in Canada through the 1980's you watched many National Film Board movie shorts in school or in between programs on TV.  The Log Driver's Waltz is beloved by all and if you haven't watched it in a while, please go right now to enjoy the music, animation and peek into Canadian history.   Kate and Anna's voices are so sweet and lovely - the song will stick with you for a lifetime.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Don't Do Drugs Kids

What's that?  You wanted more Jem?  Well, okay!

Most guys probabaly did not watch this show, but I think every girl will recall what happened the day that Laura met Bobby Braddick - a very good looking jock at school who preys on orphans with low self-esteem.  Bobby sweet talks Laura something to help her with her anxiety, school work and song writing. (You can skip to 5:24 to get to the good part).

I give you a very special episode of Jem: Alone Again

Oh snap!  Did you see that guitar!!! What about that lunch box?!  It can fly!

I WANT TO FLY!!!!!   Seriously, after this episode, I didn't think drugs would be so bad if it meant trippy hallucinations like that huge toucan.  I figured I would be safe from jumping because my room did not open onto a third floor ledge. (Way to be safe Jerrica!)

Unfortunately there was a lesson to be learned and later Bobby gets busted for drug possession and dealing at an arcade.  There were no more drug scenes, Laura gets to perform a song with Jem and we never, ever see her again.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Born Again Hunter

I levelled 1-80 as Beast Master and loved it but now it seems like a lifetime ago.   I was, grudgingly, a part of the "BRK Switch to Survival 2009" phenomenon that gripped the hunter world early last year.  I knew I was following the raiders and the dps nerds who were already flying through Naxx while I still found Heroic Gundrak a challenge.  

I cast Bestial Wrath for one last time and said goodbye to my beloved Devilsaur, Benton. With a /pat and /wave (followed by a /tear) turned my back on the Beast Master path I had walked for my entire WoW life. 

Then with one explosive shot I never looked back.  I instantly loved the engaging play style and selection of shots the spec carried.  With Hunting Party, Expose Weakness, Sniper Training, Master Tactician and Lock and Load proccing there was a lot going on and it was thrilling.  Agility into attack power! Two free explosive shots! Mana for everyone! CRITS! CRITS! EVERYWHERE CRITS!  I had to carefully watch my positioning and learn a new shot priority while weaving in the extra explosive shot during Lock n Load.  The game began to feel new again and I absolutely loved it.

Unfortunately, my pet began to suffer in this switch.  Before I kept a close eye on his health bars and used Intimidate for a well timed stunned, now he would be dead before I remembered to cast mend pet.  He contributes so little to my overall damage I end up paying very little attention to him – poor fella.

I recently did a 0/15/51 cookie-cutter Survival spec to get Aimed Shot, an instant shot that averages between 3000-4500 damage, does an additional damage tick and reduces healing on that target.  It has yielded some nice results and I think it puts me in the dps range of what is expected of a SV hunter.  It was particularly handy in Ulduar during our Ingis fight on the weekend; taking down the adds during the brittle stage was no problem.

This is not to spread the Survival Hunter Gospel to gain converts.  I am very aware that BM and MM are just as good and sometimes better than SV.   I have a pang of jealousy from time to time as ethereal spirit beasts pad by me Dalaran and wistfully remember the days when my pet could hold aggro.   I'm still very happy that I made the switch and until Blizzard makes a pink baby bear that can fire rainbows out of its pudgy tummy, a Survival hunter I will be.   

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Final Note on Oculus

I'm tired of you now. 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

When it comes to naming my characters I have struggled, agonized - lamented even.  It always feels so final and I want them to be endearing, fun and reference things I love: TV shows!
Here’s some of the inspiration behind my characters. First up is my childhood favourite: JEM!

Rio Pacheco was Jerrica Benton’s boyfriend who also had a thing for Jem (Jerrica’s holographic rock-star identity).   Sometimes Rio would struggle with his crush and refuse Jem’s advances and other times they would make out. While we won’t delve into the fact that Jerrica was okay with a boyfriend who was cheating on her…with her…Rio was awesome, had purple hair and saved Jerrica/Jem from the Misfits and Eric Raymond's goons time and time again (or showed up directly after they were safe to give comfort).

Ba Nee (also from Jem) was a Vietnamese orphan in Jerrica's Starlight Foundation.  In a Ba Nee-centric episode she (mistakenly) thinks that Randy, the drummer of a Bruce Springsteen knock-off band is her father and to test her theory she uses the old standard paternity test of jumping into a bear pit at the zoo to see if he saves her.

(This was before Maury Povitch)

The Holograms form a human chain and Jerrica slides down to save Ba Nee! In the end Ba Nee is saved by the people who truly (Truly, Truly) care for her, gets a minor scolding and settles for being friends with Randy who looks pretty relieved he is not a baby-daddy.  He presumably celebrates this by banging all of the Holograms, Synergy and Roxy from the Misfits, because let’s face it, she’s illiterate and dresses pretty sleazy.

Other Shows:

Ianto Jones is a character from Torchwood, a Doctor Who spin-off that is like a sexy and quirky X-Files set in Wales.  (Aliens just adore Wales, didn’t you know?)  In the first season he is basically the assistant to the Torchwood crew, fetching them coffee and cleaning up their messes, so I felt an instant connection with him.

Gene Hunt, also known as The Gov, is the Detective Chief Inspector from the shows, Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes.  He’s outspoken, misgongyistic and downright nasty, but oh so awesome!  Note – I’m referring to the original series from the UK and not the US remake.

Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place is a very silly show that spoofs a Stephen King type horror hospital.  The writing, acting, production is terrible and cheesy but that’s the fun of this very short series.  

Harry Potter:

Gwenog Jones was the captain of the Holyhead Harpies!  DUH!

I have another Harry Potter character that is just a nameholder and I probably won’t even use it for my goblin, but I don’t want anyone else to have it!

Hello and Welcome!

With 100% more cuteness!

Like naming of my characters, sometimes they are a perfect fit and sometimes I regret them a touch.  Tauren Gravy was born out of my neglected cooking blog, Bacon Gravy.  This evening after a delicious meal of slow cooked roast beef, steamed rice and a vegetable stirfry I decided to rename my blog.  I still love taurens, but I don't to eat them...or be associated with their gravy, of any kind - even me.

Thank you for reading and I apologize for the inconvenience of updating any links or rss feeds!


May the Heavy Breathing Begin!

I spent last evening thrilled to bits. Why, you ask? Because, thanks to Darthregis, we now have Vent for our guild family! Hearing our friends’ voices sent me into fits of delightful giggles and even though I could only respond through guild/party chat I was having a great time. I squealed with joy when I heard my sister hunter, Chawakanda, for the first time since oh...2007?  I’m equally looking forward to hearing our New Zealand branch on Vent!

Then everyone died in Heroic Forge of Souls while I was healing and that was a bad time. I was quite confident that I had healed it on heroic before and I think this was merely a matter of some poor timing/positioning on my part. I tend to run around needlessly and I still have to practice on calming down. Our second attempt proved easier and we all survived (yay!), plus a few of us got some nice upgrade from the run (double/triple yay!).

I’m looking forward to going to our next peek into Ulduar with people on Vent. It’s going to make the encounter easier to explain (hopefully) and I think it will be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Oculus and You

I'm actually starting to like not hate Oculus but I'll be the first to admit that it is not my favourite - it's confusing, it's loud and the boss mechanics are ugly.  Even with the nerf people still drop their LFD groups when they end up there. For sticking it out Blizzard is going to give us a chance at getting nice rewards and even a mount – how kind! 


I've never attempted to tank it because when it comes to the dragon mounts a) I don't know where I'm going and b) people don't know where they are going.  After doing it a few times with the guild and in LFD I've learned a simple solution to make your experience better in Oculus for yourself:


Follow. The. Leader.


Look for the red dragon and target it.  Look at what they are targeting and target that dragon.  Mount when they mount and land when they land. Don't wander, don't stray and don't make the tank chase you because it's annoying. This should sound familiar, as in it should sound like what you would do in any dungeon and since Oculus is now an instance worth doing you may as well make it as enjoyable as possible. 


Thank you!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

For Christmas I gave my husband what would be one of the geekiest gifts since the TARDIS cufflinks: The Mechano-hog!

My original plan was to switch my priest's jewelcrafting skill to enginnering so I could do it entirely in secret, but thanks to a very generous rogue in our guild all I had to do was grind a bit of gold :)

Here we are taking a lovely drive through Dalaran! I do admit that one of the reasons I wanted him to have it was so I could ride in the sidecar - something that I have always dreamed of doing in real life.

Friday, January 1, 2010


We just finished watching Doctor Who: The End of Time (Part 2) which was also the end of David Tennant as the tenth Doctor.  I've never been good at goodbyes and Russel T. Davies milks them for all they are worth.

All I can say is that I'm devastated.  Some of the saddest tears are also the nerdiest tears.

Happy New Year!

As a follow up to yesterday's post regarding ugly PuGs (puglies?) we did have a nice experience last evening in LFD.

Four of us were on and wanted to run a dungeon (DK, Rogue, Mage and me on heals).  To make things easy we popped into regular Forge of Souls and ended up grouping with a nice paladin from Stromreaver, who was talkative and responsive and overall, very nice.  After a successful run we decided to continue onto to Pit of Saron which was new to both the paladin and our rogue (and to me - healing wise).  Even with one wipe, it went well and a few people got upgrades! (yay!)

So there is hope that out there in the big WoW universe there are players who are courteous and pleasant and play the game to have fun- people like the Zug Initiative! It was a nice way to end 2009.

Happy New Year to all!