Plans are a Crutch
I had these plans yesterday of running the last part of Siege of Orgrimmar, but didn’t actually do that at all. I queued for it at one point, but after seeing it would take an hour I bailed and gave up. After being iced in for several days, we were out of a few things… not the least of which was toilet paper and paper towels. The above picture is to show the extent of the icing… for years I have gotten in the habit of raising my wiper blades so they don’t get frozen to the window. As you can see it is like everything had been sealed in plastic to preserve it for eternity. If nothing else I knew I had to clear the vehicles so we could leave if we absolutely needed to.
It actually did not take as long as I expected. I went outside in my pajamas and started my jeep, then went back inside to take a shower and get ready for the morning. When I got back out the heater inside and engine had managed to warm the ice up enough to where I could start breaking it off rather easily. Roughly 20 minutes later I had cleared my Jeep and was headed back inside to let my wife’s vehicle warm up. I could barely feel my fingers… but it was at least clear. When I cleared my wife’s vehicle I had the foresight to actually wear gloves.
We made it out of the house pretty easily, and I have to say this is the weirdest ice storm I have ever experienced. Everything is absolutely coated in a layer of ice… the trees, the vehicles, the grass, anything elevated even slightly off the ground. However the roads are almost completely dry. It is like the perfect ice storm… all of the pretty with none of the consequences. Granted some parts of the city are out of power as the ice snapped powerlines… so they would definitely question my assessment of no consequences. All in all however it could be been and likely should have been much worse.
I Hate People
I mean this in the nicest possible way… but I hate people. When you put me in a room with more than a half a dozen people a severe fight or flight instinct triggers. Now imagine how that instinct multiplies when you put me in a busy store during the holidays filled with hundreds of people. I am generally pretty good at swallowing down that feeling, but the more stores you expose me to… the more of an asshole I become. I am thankful that my wife realizes this because by the time we reached the last two stores of the day I am sure I was an absolute bear to be around. We had several things still to pick up on our list, so while we were out and about… and since we were both going a little stir crazy we decided to try and knock as many things off the list as possible.
Target was both the worst and the best place we went all afternoon. It was the worst because it was inanely busy and as I rounded the corner near the seasonal area… the instinct kicked in harder than it has in years. There was this huge zombie-like shambling mass of people migrating back and forth between toys and electronics. I gave up on any notion that I was going to go check the Lego isle and got out of there as soon as possible. It became a logistical exercise to even navigate my shopping cart through the narrow passages left by gawking customers. I suddenly realized why a lost child just sits down and cries… because at that point I seriously did feel like surrendering to the hopelessness that was all of those people pressing in on me.
That was the worst part… the best part however is just how efficiently they were managing the checkouts. They had roped off the area in front of the cash registers and while this caused the line to snake all the way down to the pharmacy area, it did make it move faster. They had a worker acting like a traffic cop to funnel people down the little shoots and to the next waiting cashier. Additionally they gave us a 10% discount as an apology for the whole credit card fiasco. Since we were actually hit during that event… I felt like we had more than earned it. Last weekend my discover card was off in Oklahoma City and Norman making purchases without me… and we are assuming since we still have our credit cards… it is tied to the whole Target event.
I probably would have gone postal at some point during yesterday, but we went to eat at Monterry, a Mexican chain restaurant we go to regularly. When I say regularly… I mean it, because the waitresses know our order by heart and often times fight over who is going to wait on us. Yesterday we had Daisy, who is extremely awesome and has the same pen fetish that my wife does. Over the time we have been going there, we have become rather social with them… and eating there act like a reset of my buffer. It was a happy place that helped me cope with the madness that was stores like Old Navy. Still by the time we ended our tour at Big Lots, I was so far past going that I am sure I was acting like an ass.
Relaxing with Friends
Yesterday before the madness began, I noticed that my good friend Vernie had managed to hit 90 on his mage. I did my normal song and dance about how awesome the Timeless Isle was for catching up, but as a very squishy class it seemed that soloing out there was just not something viable. We made tentative plans for me to grab one of my characters and help him get some gear after I got back from the holiday craziness. It was shortly after I got home that he logged back in and we did just that. At first I tried to use Exeter my paladin, but I quickly realized that I already had gotten the weekly chests when I swam him out to get the chest in the pirate cave. I grabbed Belgarou my druid, because I knew I had not really played him in a few weeks.
It turns out that this was a great call as I ran out of leather some time ago and could greatly use a run to replenish it. We faffed about the island for several hours and in the process we managed to get him Helm, Chest, Bracers, Belt, Gloves, Back, Legs, Ring and Trinket. Which in itself was a pretty amazing haul for our first outing. He had not really played since Cataclysm, so there are a ton of systems that simply did not exist back then. The big one is the LFR system, so as we hunted for gear on the island we queued for Mogushan Vaults. The queue was surprisingly short and we managed to make it through the three boss raid in extremely quick time.
I guess the game did not want him to have an unrealistic view of how the LFR system worked, because when we queued up for the second part of the raid… it went horribly. Someone pulled the boss too quickly, the tanks had no clue what they were doing… and we wiped. Moments after the wipe the raid just disintegrated in a matter of seconds. I told him that sadly that was also extremely common. While we waited for that raid to officially die we went out to Dinosaur Island… or more properly Isle of Giants. We had zero luck in both pets and eggs, but we killed quite a few and I got some more leather. I am not sure if it was in the first raid or the second… but at some point Vernie managed to pick up shoulders.
During the course of our faffing about he managed to go from 450 something to 474 and if we can get him a few more upgrades he should be able to start doing Throne of Thunder…. which I think is one of the more enjoyable instances of the expansion. After we finished the second raid, that went surprisingly successfully. Elegon managed to eat a half dozen people to the “floor boss”, but all in all we pulled out a win. Will of the Emperor was a wipe at first, namely because the tanks didn’t really know what they were doing. However someone luckily explained to them and we managed to pull that victory out as well. All in all it was a really fun night, and I was happy that we got Vernie a ton of upgrades in the process. Once again Faffing about pays off.