Monday, May 30, 2011

SU-100, How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways: 0

My Russian TD woes continue and you’d be right in thinking that a smarter man would have moved on. Or gotten better. Neither seems to be happening but the whining continues. The problem is twofold: I am stubborn, yes it’s true, but I have now accumulated enough experience to unlock the Tier VII Russian TD, the SU-185. That 30k experience can not be moved, or transferred so I can either forget about it and move on to another class (approach called sensible) or push on and get the next TD in line (approach called foolish).

Paint me foolish, I’m pushing forward...eventually. The stock version of the SU-185 isn’t going to be all bells and whistles. I will potentially be in higher tier battles, and while it will be a step up from the SU-100 in theory, I will be facing tougher opponents. Be warned the complaining could continue for some time.

In other World Of Tank news (or rather my experiences in WoT) I have gone up the German line and am one step away from the Heavy Tiger....ooooohhhh, The Tiger. Rawr, rawr. 

The answer is: Me. I will soon be your Daddy.
I remember reading about the tiger in WWII books and the comics of my youth and am looking forward to trying it out. That is one of the positive, altoholic satisfying things about this game- there is always a different tank to try out. Fast tanks, heavy tanks, tank’s a virtual (pun intended) steel shopping list. 

Title of a comic, or description of my recent SU-100 exploits?

I am keen to try out the American Medium line as I am having a lot of fun with the RAMII (proudly Canadian), and have been programmed as a child to think they are cool. I remember reading these comics and liking them quite a bit. I took a stack of them with me when I went away and re-read some of them to re-kindle those childhood memories.

Oddly enough I've had moments like this in-game.

My in-game Ram II with Canadian decals as per WWII units.

Just love the name of this one.

World Of Tanks has now set a personal record for me: I recently bought their $100.00 gold package making it the most I have dropped on a single game at one time in my gaming history. Huzza! I guess it also makes it the most expensive Free To Play game I have ever played ($160.00 and counting). My excuses are many but primarily since She Who Will Be Named Later will be losing her ‘day-job’ at the end of next month (through no fault of her own she claims) I decided to get one final (or several final if you count my Wurm Premium and Silver purchases) splurge before our income is reduced.

Nothing to do with tanks, but was likely the inspiration behind my Red Baron gaming addiction back in the day.

Yes, I know, poor fiscal management. The sensible thing to do would be to save that money for when she isn’t working, but we made a pact and plunged in together. I get World Of Tanks gold, and she gets a one years subscription to World Of Horses, or some such equestrian magazine she seems to think is necessary now that she is teaching cash-laden fools how to prance about with their ponies. 

Personally, I think I won on that deal because, as the start of WWII showed us, horses are useless against tanks, especially the German Tiger. I’m gonna tear her a new one if she deploys that on the battlefield, no doubt about it, and trust me, I need the win stats for my TD line.

My money's on the one at the back.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Wurm Collective

I suspect that Wurm is reading my mind. Finding my darkest fears and bringing them forth in a sort of virtual revenge- for what I don't know. Maybe Wurm is like the Borg Collective: all knowing. Whatever the case last night as I was grooming my (virtual) horse the following message- which had never before appeared- came to me:

You pull a tick off Adolescent Fat Horse and squeeze it.

World Of Ticks has definitely gone viral.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fortuitous Friday: Is World Of Ticks Really An MMO?

If its true that you 'lean something every day' I guess today I learned that I don't like fasting. I am quite confident that I could have figured that one out without having to fast, but there you go. The doctor (likely a vampire by night) demanded blood and so it came to pass that I spent 12 hours without food or drink. Okay, okay, it's true that I was asleep for 8 hours of that, but still. If you knew how much I liked food, and especially how much I like alcohol, you'd empathize competeley with me. I had an exceptional week at the old Salt Mine as well so I was in the mood to celebrate. Of course when I have a bad week I like to drink as well.... and by week I mean day. So good or bad I'm drinking is the message here.

Three vials (filled with my precious life-blood) later I was free, free! I won't trouble you with images of what had to go into the fourth vial or how I got it there.

She Who Will Be Named Later, The Sultan of Smart, and The Duchess of Dumb accompanied me on this task and I can confidently say they too, do not like me fasting. Crankiness thy name is Gank! Once they were sufficiently calmed from my tea-less fit of rage and secured at home I left for my daily labors....... only to be attacked by a Dog Tick.

Anyone else want my blood? I am no stranger to ticks, believe me. As a dog owner I've had and seen plenty though the first time I encountered one on my dog I had no idea what the hell it was. As a result the 'mysterious thing' just under his eye kept gettting bigger, and bigger....and bigger until I finally clued in and got it off- much to his relief, I'm sure altough it is debatable how grateful he was since I nearly took his eye out with my inexperienced and frantic pulling.

Now I am a wizened veteran to dog ticks. In fact, I had a competition with my dog last year, and I won with seven confirmed, attached ticks. He only had three, likely due to the fact that I give him fea and tick medication- lucky bastard. My all-time record is six on me, at one time (long story involving an ungarded Mexican/Belizian border crossing and a dodgy river).

So with the addition of a second dog (apparently 'dumb' is no defence against ticks), and She Who Will Be Named Later's new career as a horse-instructing person (hmmmm horse blood) I should expect an influx during this summer's Tick Season.

Let World Of Ticks begin- come on, we can all play! It will be massive, multiplayer, and we can post our results online: the perfect MMO. So far I'm up 1-0. Let the games begin.

Bring it on, Tick.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wurm Online V Or The Sandbox Challenge Takes a Summer Vacation

It turns out that you can butcher the corpses of players but you can't eat them. The corpse of my cave’s previous owner began to annoy me. There he is, everyday, just laying there. He’s not contributing (if you ignore the fact he built everything I’m now using of course). He’s just taking up space and I can’t get rid of him. Even after butchering....there he is....staring at me with those lifeless eyes. Oh god, it’s the sound of that hideous heart pounding from beneath the floor boards.

I have also seen corpses floating in the lakes. I wonder how long you have to be logged out before you die, and why do the corpses stick around- assuming of course they are not going to rise and try to eat our brains? It’s an interesting game mechanic and one that I haven’t encountered any where else: dead players become part of the perpetual world. Life after death- like Jesus, or maybe......Black Jesus!

It's only sacrilege if you're Christian.

I think it would be an interesting option to be able to eat them and have it affect your mind/soul attributes. To be frank, this server is too safe. No one can steal, no one can attack. If all we can do is build in relative safety how long until a player gets a bit bored........?

Yes, how long indeed? That was the last thing I wrote during the Sandbox Challenge portion of Wurm online (way back at about 25 hours of game time). Things have gotten a little out of hand now with my logging almost 5 days of game-play. Yes, that's 120 hours, or three times what I had said would be my maximum allowed time in-game. You could say it's all gone a bit pear-shaped . It doesn’t help that I had three weeks away from home with nothing to do in the evenings and Wurm was the only thing that would run on my minimum settings......with no sound. Okay, let’s face it, I like the game. A lot.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Blueberry Muffin Surprise

So thanks in no small part to the fact that I was playing Wurm online, I missed my flight home last night. If this was a movie it would be Airport Reloaded. My breakfast this morning? A Blueberry Surprise Muffin. The surprise? There is actually a Blueberry. Just one, but I was surprised, in the end, to find it on my last bite. I guess they delivered on that promise.

So once again I'm about to go home and this time nothing will stop me....although I think the airport has wifi so maybe I could get a quick game of Wurm in. What could possibly go wrong?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fortuitous Friday- Home for a Rest

By the time you read this I'll be gone. Or at least in the lounge of an airport drinking my way into forgetting that the past three weeks ever existed. Can I have it back please? No. Gone. 21 days I'll never get back but at least there were no 'infected', though they would have been more intellectually stimulating than most of what I endured over the past weeks. Can I haz bitterness?

So it's all over. My 'training' is done, my country is proud (probably) and all those silly citizens (noobs, really) who benefit from my Top Secret Work are safe...or are they.....what the hell am I talking about? Who knows.

There is no place like home, dammit, Dorothy you were right (though very annoying and quite cruel, really).

So I will soon be back to regular blogging, World of Tanks, and multi-boxing Wurm as I need a mining slave.

Most importantly I will be reunited with family both furry and furless. All reports indicate the dogs need a good beating, my orchids need tending (oh my beloved orchids how I've missed thee) and as for She Who Will Be Named Later? Well, this is a family-oriented blog so no more will be said on that.

Happy Friday Everyone.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday Lols

Thanks to Chris for this. It filled a portion of my rainy Saturday with laughs.

"Relaxed, comfortable, always by your's like dating your hoody."

Absolute gold.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fortuitous Friday- Riddle Me This

Another (lazy) Fortuitous Friday is upon us and I was quite hoping you'd give me a hand writing this one. I find myself in the rather lovely position of having my holiday plans canceled for the summer. I know that at first glance that sounds bad but it has in fact opened up a wonderful opportunity.

We were set to head back to the UK and Ireland for the obligatory family/friends holiday when we were handed a reprieve. No, no, insisted said family and friends, go somewhere you really want to go. Have a holiday. We can wait. Nice. One. Brutha.

So I'd like to ask you- If you were given this opportunity where would you go? Your time off is booked and the money is in the bank. You can choose to go anywhere you like, but you only have two weeks. Money is an issue so you can only take one return flight. What travel spot would you most like to visit? Would you return to somewhere you loved, or strike out for something new?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


So it turns out that I'm not dead. It is unusual to go from blogging almost daily to days of silence. I am currently away from home and my plans for blogging on a regular basis have gone by the wayside. Anyone who is, or has been in the military (or other traveling professions) might understand this: sometimes when you are away, and missing home, the only way forward is to put your head down and get through as best you can.

I have managed to get Wurm to work on this old laptop and have been occupying every spare moment (sans gym time and eating) playing it. If Ultima defeated me in a bad way, then Wurm has defeated me in a good way. I have paid to play this one and have now met the 40 hours which was supposed to be the maximum for my challenge.

Rest assured I am still alive and gaming and anxious to continue blogging. For the next few days as I am away from (and missing) She Who Will Be Named Later, The Duchess of Dumb, The Sultan of Smart, and World Of Tanks (not necessarily in that order) I will be a bit quiet. Missing in Action, but not dead!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

At The Same Time?

Maybe I read these things differently than most folks but I couldn't help picturing how this would look:

Coffee, sex and blowing your nose could increase the risk of a type of stroke, say researchers in the Netherlands.

I also wonder which one your partner would find the most upsetting: drinking coffee while having sex, or blowing your nose? Likely, in the end, the stroke.

Maybe it's just me?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fortuitous Friday: I Should Have Been A Forest Ranger

Or park warden. Whatever they are officially called these days. The older I get, and the better I get to know myself, the more I think that this would have been an ideal job for me. It has a lot of elements that I like and crave: Isolation, nature......isolation......isolation......did I mention isolation?

Yes Please.

I spent my teen-age years suffering through the 80's (and if you think they were cool you are just too young to understand) and there were a lot of us affected by the great recession of the times. As the son of middle class parents- which is to say working class for my British readers (thanks to She Who Will Be Named Later for the lecture on the British class system).
I say, did you see this darling? I was reading the blog of the son of a mere bricklayer? Preposterous, I say. I shall delete him from my blogroll at once. I must say, that was a dreadfully close brush with the lower classes. I think I’ll have a brandy to sooth my nerves.
Yes, well, not even a bricklayer to be honest. A mere painter- and not the artistic kind. Why, that’s not even a real trade is it? Any idiot can slap some paint on the wall and call it done, can’t they?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Sandbox Challenge: Wurm Online IV

With no iron anywhere to be found in my newly discovered mine I decided to keep moving. It wasn’t a very nice looking spot either. There was more to explore and hopefully more to scavenge. I continued eastward, following the shore and after a slight fall, and a short swim, lady luck, again, came to visit. Just at the edge of a settlement (ie a claimed area where I can’t steal, cut, or farm) I saw a cave. Scrambling up to the entrance I peered inside. Just inside was the corpse of who I presume was the previous occupant (I didn't do it, honest, but I would have if I was allowed). Behind him was a standing forge and a vein of iron in the far wall. Get In!

I may be a Wurm noob but I realized this was a lucky find. This land was not claimed so I could mine it to my hearts content. It was located in a rather nice spot at the edge of a lake with a boat moored nearby (yes, I tried, and no, I couldn’t steal it because it was locked). Nearby I found a cart (which no one seemed to be using) so I dragged it home. I lit the forge, grabbed my pick, and began mining, cooking, and smelting. It did take some time to re-make the anvil’s but in the process I leveled my skills and in between I fished, explored, and chatted. All in all, not a bad way to pass the time.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Sandbox Challenge: Wurm Online III

The adventure continues and the good news for my neighbors, who kindly donated their entire harvest of cotton and wemp to my cause, is that I have moved on (yes, I checked and no new crops had ripened since my last visit). In my quest for clay, to make a pot, to make the fish casserole, so I could stop being so hungry all the time, I ran to a nearby lake and began scouring the shores while fishing for food.
There was no clay but in a brilliant, and coincidental, turn of events there was a pile of dropped items lying in the lake- one of which was a clay pot. Get in! I chopped a tree and cut it up into logs, and from the logs I made kindling. The kindling, combined with a flint and steel, makes a fire pit with which to cook my fishy dinner. While not quite as good as the local chippy I added a herb to the pot and made a warm casserole which is more filling, and more nutritious than the raw, straight off the hook, fish I had been eating.

With the immediate danger of starving passed I gathered my wits (such as they are) and continued exploring the area. I found a few abandoned homesteads and houses but the contents are protected by the deed rights so I couldn’t ‘borrow’ anything inside them. I continued scavenging along the shore and foraging/botanizing hoping to get some food or seeds I could plant (onions, potato, barley, corn) and fishing/cooking to store up some food because, as I found out, food spoils in Wurm. I logged in to be told that my fish was no longer edible and had to be thrown out.

It seems obvious that fish will go bad. I’m just not used to that level of realism in a game. Usually what goes into your inventory stays until you decide to throw it out, sell it, or in my case, transfer it to a mule-alt. Remember when I said Wurm will work your thinking muscles? If the fish went bad, like in real life, how could I help preserve it. Cooking, yes, but I was curious. With no refrigeration could I use a cool, wet sack QUOTE? Or some other water-holding container? The clay pot won’t hold water (I have no idea why) so I put that idea on the back-burner and continued on.

A short time late I happened upon a lucky find. Some (sucker) had spent ages carving a cave into the mountainside and left behind a fully functional forge, anvil(s), a box full of half-finished tools, and a lump of iron. Happy days. I quickly figured a few things out:
 The forge can be lit with a flint if you have kindling in your inventory.
  1. The iron lump has to be heated to glowing hot.
  2. The iron lump can be used with a small anvil in your inventory to make a variety of tools.
  3. The large anvil lets you make a cauldron (among other things).
  4. A cauldron will boil in the forge and you can add fish to make stew.
  5. Stew is the bomb and increases my nutritional value better than anything I’ve yet found.
 I made as many tools and items as I could with that iron lump. By the time it ran out I had gained some skills and some gear. In an ironic twist of fate, I forgot to keep the precious anvils in my inventory and when I logged in the next day someone had taken them. I guess I can’t complain because although I’m anvil-less I still have my precious cotton to keep me warm at night. Mmmmmm, cotton.