Smoothies for Everyone
Every so often either my wife or I will get an idea in our heads and ultimately it leads to the other person either embracing it… or getting so sick of hearing about it that we simply give in. Several years ago I got it stuck in my head that I really wanted a juicer. I did copious amounts of research and finally ended up with a rather expensive model by Breville as it was the highest rated. After attempting to make juice a few times… I deemed it simply was not worth the effort and the colossal mess that went into the process. When you watch a juicer commercial they always seem to produce the prettiest almost Technicolor juice you could ever imagine. In reality what you produce is a lot of various shades of brown, and while it tasted just fine… you had to pour a lot of fruit into even a single glass. Ultimately the juicer is being loved by a far more sensible family right now, and I gave up on the notion… happy to see it getting some use.
So when my wife decided that she wanted a Nutribullet because one of her coworkers used it… I thought we were just about to walk down this same path. Surprisingly this I guess is a “juice” maker that we can exist with because it is so damned simple. We picked it up on Thursday and over the last few days we have been making all sorts of concoctions. My wife has been hitting pinterest and finding various recipes, and me… well I have just been trying to perfect a breakfast shake that combines my morning coffee with enough nutrients to keep me going until lunch. The trick seems to be to make my coffee the night before and set it in the fridge so that it blends better. Right now I am mixing in a banana, some peanut butter, some nutella, coffee and some honey to sweeten it all. I think I am pretty close, but I think the secret will be to fix my coffee like I normally would before setting it in the fridge. In any case the resulting smoothie is shockingly filling. Other than that I have been fixing a wide array of orange juice based drinks when I feel hungry. If nothing else this is already far more of a success than the juicer ever was.
Since I have been sick so much lately and realistically it has been too cold to do much of anything at all… I have spent a lot of time on the couch watching television. By watching television I mean either watching shows steaming over the network or on demand cable. I really don’t spend too much time passively watching live broadcast television other than adult swim. Over this period I have caught up with Scorpion, watched Halt and Catch Fire season 1, and finally got around to watching the last season of boardwalk empire. I might be going into some spoiler territory here so if you have not watched the show you might want to skip ahead to the next segment. For me this show has been about my love of Steve Buscemi, and without him I likely would not have ever watched it. I mean I have enjoyed watching “gangland” movies in the past, but I am not really the godfather type. What made this series so interesting for me was the fact that they took this favorite character actor of mine… and crafted a complex character that only he could bring to life.
Nucky Thompson is at the same moment repulsive and endearing… and you are never quite certain which side of him you are going to get. He is one of the more brilliantly flawed characters I have seen on either the small or large screen in a long while. Sitting down to watch the show from the first moment… you get an impression that none of this is going to end well. All the while you watch however you find yourself secretly rooting for Nucky to finally reach whatever pinnacle he is trying to reach, and that he can finally find some happiness. So as I sat down to watch this final season, I ultimately knew that all gangland themes end in death and destruction. To the last moment however I wanted Nucky to find a way to trick fate, and sidestep his own demise. The way that they brought this chapter to a close was so perfect, so touching, and at the same time so satisfyingly “just”. If you have not watched Boardwalk Empire… and ignored my warnings about spoilers… I still suggest you go watch the show. The end result of the experience is overwhelmingly positive and something I would suggest to almost anyone.
One of the awesome things about having so many people around lately in the Free Company is the fact that we can actually pull together impromptu group content. Last night on a whim when we realized we had eight geared 50s on at once… we opted to give Odin a shot. While the ilevel requirement is something small… it is a trap. This is probably the most difficult and chaotic fight we have experienced in awhile. The healing and dps requirements just seemed brutal, and we did not even make it to what is termed the “heal check” of the encounter. As the night went on we got better at the “dance” of moving in and out of the circles of death, and given more time I think we could have probably beaten him. This is a single tank fight, and our combination of players last night ended up giving us two dragoons and three bards…. which was a strange combination of abilities. I could have potentially gone bard and had more dps time on the boss, as he is constantly spawning circles on to of him that have to be moved out of… or you essentially die. Additionally we will probably do this fight in the future using a Warrior tanking it rather than a Paladin because of the insane amount of damage… and simply needing the larger health pool to soak it.
Other than that I spent most of my night running random primals in one form or another. The chant of “Hards for Cards!” is still alive and well in the guild. Over he course of the night I managed to pick up both the Ifrit Triple Triad card and the Gilgamesh and Enkidu Triple Triad cards. The big bonus of running all of these hard mode primals is the fact that I am also collecting so many of the cool weapons that they can drop. My ninja is going to be set when I finish leveling it as far as cosmetic weapons go. Right now I am focusing Garuda who has yet to drop me a card, but we did as a guild get a few more people flagged for Titan Extreme by killing Garuda Extreme. I am super happy with the current state of how the guild and the game are going for us. We keep getting a slow trickle of new players, which keeps giving us a reason to revisit older content. This is the thing that I wish World of Warcraft could figure out. Running old content, and making it still be relevant helps to bond players to the guild as a whole. Final Fantasy XIV does so much right to get the social aspect of an MMO perfectly, that I just wish the other games I played made half that effort.