Back to School Time
I’ve said this before but the two most frustrating times in the life of a teacher spouse are the beginning of school and the end of school. It is hard to watch your spouse going through a stress filled ballet and not really having much that you can do to stop it. Here in Oklahoma it is of course the beginning of a new school year, and while my wife does have have students yet she has been back officially at work several days now. To be truthful this summer she barely got any time off at all considering she was up in her classroom almost every day. Apparently during the welcome back speech that the principal gave he mentioned this fact.
Today we are going out on that ritual of rituals… back to school shopping. It is in fact not just a ritual that the students go through. I am sure we will be hitting lots of different clothing stores in search of that “first day” outfit that we always seem to get. Back to school sales are like porn for teachers, and I am not sure if the rest of the world knows this or not. The odd thing is that this year the sales are just lacking. I am not sure what exactly it is, but so far it is not only that the stores don’t have much in the way of sales going on, but they don’t have much in the way of interesting stuff either. In the past Target and Walmart both would have these dollar sections full of all sorts of organization ideas that my wife would come away with inspired from. This year they are pretty much non-existant… and I don’t think Walmart even has their dollar section.
The biggest disappointment I have is in Office Depot. Once upon a time they were among the most supportive businesses for teachers. We had a teachers appreciation card that gave us a discount on damned near everything we bought, and while the discount wasn’t amazing… it felt like it was something. Several years back they replaced this program with one similar to that of Best Buy where you get gift cards for every X dollars that you spend. Even this has been reduced to a pittance. On top of this the stores themselves seem to have gone through a state of decline as they just don’t have the stock that they used to. I think this is the first year that I can recall where they didn’t have a teachers appreciation day, or give teachers the ability to buy more than the limit on the sales. In any case it has been frustrating to watch this, and for my wife it is like ruining Christmas morning.
Death By Adorable
For some time I had been blocked from progressing along the main storyline quest by the Thornmarch Hard primal fight. Instead of waiting for the rest of the guild to catch up so we could do the fight legitimately as an 8 man team, several of us decided to go ahead and knock it out of the way. The fourth primal of course is Good King Moggle Mog the king of the Moogles. It is a council fight of sorts, but to really call it a council fight is a bit of a misstatement. It is a fight of sheer chaos for the most part. First you are presented with a series of Moogle adds, each one representing a class in the game. Some of these are more important for you to kill than others, and as DPS I pretty much just followed the marked targets. After defeating all either of the Mooglesguard the king himself spawns and the actual fight begins.
The fight itself is sheer chaos and the hardest part about pugging it was that no one seemed to be able to agree on the “correct” kill order. In many ways it reminded me of the Paragons fight in Siege of Orgrimmar, but at least there everyone agreed that one target was far more important than the others. I am glad to be through the fight and able to move on with my main storyline quest. That said I would gladly go back and do it another time. Extreme mode sounds like insanity, because supposedly you have to carefully dps down each of the Mooglesguard without killing them, because the king himself is immune to damage… however when any member of the Mooglesguard dies he heals all of them back to full from his own health pool. So in theory you have to burn down all of the moogles down to near death and then kill one off draining the health of the King in the process. The madness of constantly having to fight all eight Mooglesguard and deal with the king at the same time just seems like pure hell.
The only other big thing that I did last night was work through the quest chain leading up to the next step of Crystal Tower. From what I hear Syrcus Tower is a significantly different beast than Labyrinth of the Ancients. Whereas in Labyrinth you could theoretically get a piece of loot from every encounter, each time you chose to run it, in Syrcus you are limited to receiving a single piece of loot per week. This has made it a frustrating time for a lot of people as they watch so much really good loot rot. I guess the bulk of people running it are doing so in hope of getting a piece needed for weapon upgrades. So no one actually rolls on the gear, and that means in general if you are going in there for gearing purposes you have your pick of whatever you could want.
The only problem is it takes awhile to run and I have yet to actually have time to really queue for it. Instead of doing it I ended up doing a random hard mode dungeon with the guild. So hopefully tonight I will be able to dip my toes into the dungeon proper. At this point I have progressed significantly gear wise. Right now I am sitting at 83 ilevel and the only pieces that are sub 90 are my boots, belt and gloves. All of which can be upgraded through a number of means, not the least of which are running hunts and gaining bookrocks. Additionally I could luck out and get replacements for any of those slots while running Syrcus. It seems like the hardest thing to get is jewelry as far as drops go, and as a result I have spent most of my bookrocks and hunt tokens on getting those sorted out. Still really enjoying the game and pumped to see more people joining in every few days. Our hope is that as some point we can try the actual raid the Binding Coil of Bahamut which is an 8 man duty.