[Here be Dragoness...]

Dragoness Eclectic's Lair

Welcome! Make yourself comfortable; you're just in time for dinner!

You have entered the lair of the Dragoness Eclectic, legendary monster of alt.gothic and alt.vampyres, fanfiction writer, and occasional gamer.

[Here be Dragoness...]
Updates from Dreamwidth Highlights
Feb 7, 2017: Netflix did what?
I hear Netflix is going to be discontinuing streaming "Clone Wars" in March. Guess what I'll be binge-watching? I'm already halfway through season 3, so it's not that far to go to finish it.

On WoW, I got Bedewyr (my warrior) to level 10 (woo-hoo!), found the bank in Stormwind, and finally unloaded all those crafting ingredients into storage. Not enough bags, captain! I also learned the sad news that WoW does not have shared banking slots. WTF? How are you supposed to trade gear between alts? Later, Becky told me that you use mail to send stuff to your alts. That's all well and good, except where it isn't: one, as a trial player, I don't have access to mail; two, I tend to use shared slots as a central depot that all my alts can come pick over for supplies. I don't see how to use mail for that. So, when it comes to altoholic friendliness, WoW is not so friendly as EQ2 or EQ1.

I also started my Tauren druid, Finvarien. Gee, I see why Becky said the human zones suck--the Tauren starting zones are so pretty! Even the hideous Thornsnarl area appears to be a shout-out to a certain Disney movie. Even if the mixed fantasy native American aesthetic of the Tauren is wildly anachronistic, it's a refreshing change from pseudo-medieval European everything (also usually wildly anachronistic).

I figured out how to reset the tutorials, so I would get the explanations again. Yay me! Low-level stuff is still very handholdy--I have yet to be in serious danger from anything. Even with Bedewyr, the only time he took enough damage for me to bother eating some food was after fighting 5 wolves without pause (3 at once during the fight). Does it get tougher at higher levels, or is this a sign I should be pushing on to tougher stuff?

ETA: Craftwise, Bedewyr is a Blacksmith/Miner, and Finvarien is a Leatherworker/Skinner. No doubt I'll have others.

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Feb 5, 2017: Superbowl
No post about today, because I'm still reeling from the game. Wow, that was one hell of a Superbowl! Free football, records broken, edge-of-the-seat nail-biter game. The Pats won, but I don't feel too bad about that, because they earned their victory. It was an incredible game between two very good teams, and the Patriots showed why they are champions. Atlanta did pretty well too, with an impressive early lead, but I think they got complacent with the lead they had going into the second half, and the Pats showed them why that was a mistake.

Just, wow! Awesome, incredible game!

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Feb 4, 2017: Somewhat annoying Saturday
Everquest2 is having login issues. For long stretches of the day, it wouldn't let us log in, which squelched a lot of our plans for the day. No Sammie & Deanne, no guild run. Bleh. Steve ended up installing WoW to try out, though we finally did manage to log in to EQ2.

Instead, I did a major grocery run and we cut down more bamboo in the back yard, which exhausted us both. Steve was shocked by how low his blood sugar was after all that work; fortunately, I'd picked up plenty of sugary snacks. I dug out the TV antenna and hooked it back up in preparation for tomorrow--I do love me some Superbowl commercials. The game might be mildly interesting, if only to boo the Patriots. I loathe cheaters, and always want to see them lose.

At least the bamboo cutting gave Elsa something to do outside with us; she had been frustrated all morning because Steve wouldn't take her for a walk, because it was so cold this morning. It got to the point where she was all but standing in his lap trying to get his attention for the walk she wanted. I finally took her for a short walk, which made her very happy, before I went on the grocery run.

Worked on some of my baby characters instead of the big guys. Mallard got a bunch of tradeskill quests caught up, and Natashae finally made 75. Okay, she's one of my big guys in the crafting department. Made some improvised stir-fry for dinner, and concluded that stir-fry needs some kind of sauce to keep from being incredibly bland. The vegetables themselves aren't strongly flavored, nor is chicken, my usual meat of choice. I noticed that most actual Chinese stir-fry recipes have some kind of sauce, so I need to figure out what I'm going to do for my generic improv stir-fry.

One of these days I need to stop staring blankly at my RP tags and actually respond to them. I've noticed that people RP with me more if I actually respond to them. Weird coincidence, that...

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Feb 3, 2017: It's Friday!
I see I forgot to post yesterday. Well, I don't post about work, but I will say that yesterday I took some time in the middle of the day to attend a lovely retirement luncheon for a co-worker--specifically, our office manager and de facto "office mom". As far as I can tell, everyone in the local office turned up for the luncheon, including some of our retired guys, which was held at a nice beachfront bar & grill. It was a perfect day--beautiful, sunny, not too hot and not cold, and the sun just glittered off the water. Just lovely. Everyone was nice, it was a wonderful and moving get-together, (her out-of-state kids who couldn't be there sent videos) and we'll all miss her. Seriously, she was one of those wonderful "office moms" who hold things together and helps everyone find their shit when they've lost it. I don't know what we'll do without her.

As her husband tells it, it was originally supposed to be a temporary gig, just 3 months. Over 20 years later, she's retiring from that "temporary" job. So, you never know...

I crashed early last night, after all that. I'm still under the weather a bit, and seem to run out of energy easily. Going to finally take my doctor's advice and see a specialist about these recurring, chronic sinus infections; I'm getting tired of being debilitated and tired all the time.

I ran one of my EQ2 dudes through a bunch of tradeskill quests he'd fallen behind on, and yet again mused on all the decorating I want to do when I have the time. After being inspired by DW20's Let's Play series yet again, I built a Buildcraft Filler, and used it to clear the ground for my giant stable wherein I will move the sheep to. I also used to lay the foundations; it's a serious labor-saver. I built a Malisis' Carriage Door for the stable entrance, and will build the rest of it sometime soon. It's visible on the map. I need to find some spruce so I can make medieval castle doors for the main entrance of my lair, though.

I've been reading some old mystery novels I found in a used booksale, or possibly inherited. This time it's George Simeon's Inspector Maigret. It'll be interesting to compare and contrast with the other stories in the omnibus, all published in 1958. Simeon is French; I'm pretty sure the other authors are not. Cultural differences are always interesting; for example, the French justice/legal system is quite different from the American or the British one.

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Feb 1, 2017: Uninteresting Wednesday
Played some EQ2 with Sammie and Deanne; we ran around one of the floating islands in the disturbing and unnatural Bonemire area killing things and pillaging. I'm still working on getting enough Drednever Expedition faction to buy their cool decorative items.

Poked at Minecraft enough to even out floors on that huge cyst I dug out of the mountain, moved some storage around, and built a Forestry worktable after seeing how handy it is in DW20's Let's Play series. I've already filled up the 9 recipes slots with common stuff I make all the time. Finally built a Forester's backpack to go along with the Miner's and Digger's backpacks, and set up my wood barrels so that I can just dump off the contents of the Forester's backpack into a sorting chest. In theory. Testing may reveal a few holes in this scheme.

Trump actually picked a mostly-okay judge for his Supreme Court nominee, so I'm not going to fuss over that, and I'm not going to call my Senator and ask him to block the nomination. If I call him, it will be to encourage him. Democrats would be stupid to block this nominee, and people should stop insisting that they do. Dems aren't going to get to pick their own nominee, and if they obstruct mostly-okay guy, I bet the next nominee won't be "mostly okay". Don't be obstructionist just to be obstructionist; obstruct the bad, encourage the good, and don't obstruct the acceptable.

Besides, Gorsuch seems to be a good pick on several details: he stands behind the 2nd Amendment as an actual right, not an obsolete footnote that too many liberals want to think it is, and he's against Chevron deference, which deference I learned from reading law blogs is a bad thing for protecting your rights against regulatory overreach. He's not too fond of abuse of the commerce clause, either. The only thing I have against him is his appellate court opinion on that infamous Hobby Lobby case, but all in all, I think he'll make a good Supreme Court justice.

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Jan 31, 2017: Tuesday with Jack London
Finished reading The Sea Wolf by Jack London, one of his slightly lesser-known novels. (Lesser known than Call of the Wild, probably better known than White Fang). My first impression was that it was a debate on ethics framed as an adventure novel, in the same way that The Picture of Dorian Grey is a debate on ethics framed as a horror novella. In this case, the villain, Wolf Larsen, spends quite a bit of the story debating ethics and morality with the protagonist--like Lord Henry in Dorian Grey, his ethics are a deliberate refutation of the prevailing conventional morality and ethics. While Lord Henry was more a "Do What Thou Wilt is the Only Law" sort of guy who likes to hang out in the smoking lounge and corrupt young minds, Wolf Larsen is a hardcore social Darwinist, nihilist, and sociopath. "Might makes right, and everything dies, so nothing matters except myself". He's also completely terrifying to be stuck on a small schooner in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with. A schooner that he's the Captain-Owner of, and thus has pretty much absolute power of life and death over all aboard. He's also a vindictive bastard. (Wikipedia tells me that London intended this story to be an attack on Nietzsche's "superman" ideal; I can believe that, as Wolf Larsen is a classic Nietzschean "superman").

The rest of the story is a variant on the classic coming-of-age plot: middle-aged nerd (or as they called it in those days, "scrawny bookworm") turns into a manly man and finds the girl. Unlike the way C.S. Lewis treated Eustace in Narnia, Jack London did not take away from Humphrey van Weyden his love of books and literary criticism--he just had the guy put on muscle, toughen up physically and mentally, learn to rub shoulders with the less privileged, and learn a bunch of new skills like cooking, sailing, shiphandling, ship's carpentry, seal-hunting, navigation, etc. Oh, and fall in love. The damsel in distress, his lady-love, the poetess, turns out to be a tough woman in spite of appearing to be a delicate flower. She survives the same harsh conditions that our hero does, and helps him to the limits of her strength. In fact, she continually proves to be tougher than our hero expects.

I think the difference (between C.S. Lewis's depiction of Eustace on the Dawn Treader and Jack London's depiction of 'Hump') is that Jack London actually did everything he writes about his characters doing, and knew all those types of people. He actually knew what it was like to be a Yukon prospector or a sealing schooner crewmen. He was a journalist, and I've noticed that journalists turned fiction writers are some of the most observant writers of characters--in a period when class and race stereotypes were prevalent, late 19th C/early 20th-C journalist-writers such as Jack London, Earl Derr Biggers and Wilkie Collins wrote lower-class, non-white people as real people instead of walking stereotypes. (Compare non-journalist writer Sax Rohmer's truly awful "Oriental" stereotype characters, or non-journalist writer Agatha Christie's walking stereotypes of the servant classes).

Watched another episode of "The Clone Wars" for the first time in a while--while nominally it was an Ahsoka episode, the blue dudes (Patronians?) were the brains and most of the heroes of this episode. I wonder if they will be recurring characters?

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