EverQuest will be free to play in March

I don’t sit and watch the live feed on Facebook as much as I would like to because I have better things to do, but today I saw a friend comment on a post from EverQuest.  They are turning 13 years old in March and as a treat for us players, they are making it free to play.  Check out the article on the EverQuest Players website.

I had played EverQuest from 2002 until 2008 and loved that game so much.  It got old the last year that I played because I spent more time twiddling my thumbs since people were abandoning the game and I was left by myself.  I could have gone out to the zones and LFG’d, but it just wasn’t the same anymore, so I quit.

I have wanted to go back to the game but haven’t because I’ve been happy playing Lord of the Rings Online since that is free to play.  Now that EverQuest will be free to play, I will be able to go back.  Although I won’t be quitting LOTRO, I will just play both, obviously not at the same time but you know, I will split my time between the two.

I actually haven’t really had any time to play any games because I have been too busy trying to get my book ready to publish, so games really aren’t on my mind as much as I would like.  Knowing that I will be able to reactivate my account and have my Gnome Wizard at the ready whenever I am ready to play will make me happy.

Just like LOTRO, EverQuest won’t be totally 100% free to play, you will most likely have to buy points for buying in-game items just like in LOTRO, you just won’t have to pay a monthly fee.  Although, you could still pay a monthly fee if you are a silver member, but now you have a choice so you aren’t forced to pay even when you don’t play.  That is actually the reason I closed my account.  I had paid for 2 years and then a few months later I stopped playing.  I forced myself to get in the game to raid because I wanted to get my moneys worth for a year, then the second year I decided that I just wasn’t into it.  When my membership was up, I canceled.  If I had a choice to not pay but keep my account active I would have done that, and now I can.

So thank you Sony Online Entertainment for making EverQuest free to play in March 2012.  I can’t wait to start playing again.

The Never Ending Book

Just when I thought my book was finally ready to be published, I read it again and found more mistakes and then have to start all over again.

I sent my book out to several people a few weeks ago and they sent me feedback with highlights and notes so that I will know what needed to be fixed.  Up until recently I thought my grammar was correct considering I used spell and grammar check “After The Deadline” which told me I was right.  Apparently not.

I went through the book correcting everything that was highlighted.  I did search and replace and fixed countless issues and read the book again to be sure I had it right.  Naturally I found more errors.  I fixed the new errors, but to be 1,000,000% sure that it is ready, I will have to read it yet one more time.

The more I read my book, the faster I get at reading it.  When I first began, it used to take me a week or more to read it, now it takes 2 days.  I guess the more you read the same story, the easier it gets.  Now if only I could read other books that fast, I would have a bigger library under my belt.

I will start reading it again tomorrow from the beginning and hope that I don’t have to make any more changes.  I feel that when I can read my entire book without opening the document file on the computer to fix something, that is when it’s finished.

I’m going to be blind by the time this book is done lol.  At least I’m learning better grammar which will help me be a better blogger.

My Book for the Kindle – Issue Solved

I mentioned yesterday that I had a few issues with my book on the Kindle.  There was a lot of strange code in the .epub file that was making it look funny.  I spent countless hours over the last couple of days trying to fix the issue and unfortunately those fixes removed 200 words from the book.  I found out last night that all I have to do is convert the book to .mobi format to publish to the Kindle, which I did and it is now perfect.

I have learned so much from writing this book, it’s amazing how horrible my English was before.  I mean, I never understood punctuation because I just let the spell check do all the work for me.  Apparently the spell and grammar checker that I have been using is crap because it told me that I was right when I was clearly wrong.  Unfortunately, that has made me question every blog post I have ever written.

As far as I am concerned, my book is finished, but I am going to go through it one last time to make 100% sure that it is before I publish it.  I want to say that I will publish it on February 1st 2012, but I don’t want to promise it.  I will write a post the day it is published though.

I want to go out to Hart Park and have Darrin take a picture of me for the About The Author page.  I thought about doing a joke picture of me sitting in robe wearing an Ascot and smoking from a pipe in front of a green screen to add a picture of a library with a big fireplace behind me, but I don’t have any of those things.  I think it would look more genuine if I had a real picture taken, and not in a studio where they would charge me $60 just for the digital copy for publication.

So that’s it, I can stop obsessing over formatting and get back to the real issue which is making sure it is ready to publish.  Updates coming soon…

My CR-48 Brick

In the middle of December of 2010, Google surprised me by sending me an email asking me if I wanted to test a laptop with the new Google Chrome operating system if I sent in bug reports.  Happily I accepted the task and received my free laptop 2 days later.  I was shocked that I actually got it and I did the happy dance.  It’s sometimes mistaken for the pee pee dance, but it was a happy one.  I have had a wonderful year testing out this wonderful toy, but sometimes good things have to come to an end because it’s a brick now.

Ok to clarify, the laptop isn’t broken, it just won’t stay online.  I have it connected through my WiFi network, but as soon as I try to type something, it loses the signal.  The only way to get it back is to reboot.  Rebooting used to help, but now it just won’t stay connected anymore.  It will stay connected for hours, but as soon as I try to type something, it goes offline.  I can watch videos on YouTube, I can browse people’s Facebook page, I can look at any website in the world, I just can’t type anything.

At first when this would happen I would switch over to Verizon 3G, but I only get 100MB free data every month and I have already used 50MB over the last few days every time I want to type something.  At this point it’s just a waste of electricity having it on because if I want to type something, I have to do it on the desktop.

I tried doing research to get it fixed.  I went to the help section and looked at boards and found out that this is happening to a lot of people.  Someone said that Google was in touch with him and sent him an email with a link to a website that has instructions on how to take the laptop apart to re-seat the wifi connection, but I’m afraid I might just make it worse.  I really don’t know if that is the problem because it never gets moved, so there is no reason for anything to be loose in there.  It stays on my desk in the same spot all the time.  I rarely if ever bring it to another room of the house, and when I do pick it up, it’s to dust.  And, it only goes offline when I try to type something, why would it stay online for hours at a time, but then shut off as soon as I try to type something if the problem is that the wifi connection is loose?  I don’t think they are related.

A few of the people say that it’s not a software glitch, that the hardware needs to be re-seated, but that does not seem to make sense in my case.  I think it’s a software glitch and the only thing I can do is wait for Google to put out a new update.  How long will that take?

I have cleared my browsing data, browsing history and emptied the cache.  Before that whenever I would move the mouse it would go offline, so now at least it stays online until I type something.  It has gotten a little better, but not by much.  I deleted the cookies, cleared saved passwords and autofill form data and I deleted all of my files because they were redundant anyway.  I most likely downloaded images for blog posts or to transfer to the micro SD card for my phone.  The remaining files that aren’t on my computer were transferred to a USB flash drive.

I will continue to do research on the matter because I really want my CR-48 back.  I have lived my whole life without it, but I don’t know if I can live without it now.  I know that’s sad, but it is such a cool thing.  For anyone who doesn’t have one, they don’t know how awesome it is so they don’t know what I mean, but trust me, if you had one you’d understand.

I posted on the Google help boards, so hopefully I will hear from someone who can help.  Will update on the matter.

My book is almost ready to publish, only one tiny issue left…

My book files came back to me a couple of days ago (two beta readers as I like to call them) with highlights of things for me to fix.  I have read my book at least 30 times and I was just getting so sick of reading it and they wanted to read it so I figured they could read it early, but I’d love to have bug reports.

So I went through the highlights which weren’t all that major.  I missed a few capitalizations and punctuation issues.  There were also a few words where I forgot to add a letter, like instead of writing the word “from” I wrote “for”, don’t ask why lol.

As I was getting the paper book put together with all of my corrections made, I noticed a little issue which turned out to be a major issue.  There were grey boxes where spaces were supposed to go.  It wasn’t everywhere, but it was annoying that there were so many.  I was able to delete them as I went, but that didn’t help because it was still messed up.

The paper book got put together and turned in to check for errors, which I’m happy to report weren’t any.  I converted the .odt file to epub and was going to publish to Amazon for the Kindle and Barnes & Noble for the Nook.  It looked great on the Nook, but the Kindle wasn’t doing so good.  Here is what I was seeing…

You see the top paragraph?  It’s not exactly a paragraph is it?  That was what happened because of the square boxes.  Also look at the other paragraphs, they weren’t indented, except for the last one.  I went into Sigil to look at the html code of the chapters and this is what I saw.

That is supposed to be a little paragraph.  Those <.span.> things were out of control.  That is what was causing the text to move down.  So the only way for this to work is to cut all that crap out.  I tried to do find and replace, but unfortunately each one of those lines has its own number so it’s not like I can replace all of them throughout the entire document, they have to be deleted one at a time.  ANNOYING!

I worked for 8 hours to get rid of them and then discovered that if I converted the file to .html, it got rid of all that.  So that was a waste of time, but it was a learning experience.

I fixed all of the capitalization and punctuation issues, but I have a feeling I am still missing something so I’m going to have to read the whole thing again.  It sucks but I don’t want to publish a book that isn’t right.

I said I would get it published by January 1st and here we are nearing February and it still isn’t ready to publish.  I don’t know how long it will take but I will get it out there eventually.

5-Hour Time Lapse – Red Lava Lamp

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BuXTJBAD2w

I have loved lava lamps since I was a kid when my parents had one.  Since I saw it every day, the novelty wore off so I kind of took it for granted.  I never had one of my own until this Christmas when Darrin bought one for me.  We watch it every night because it is so mesmerizing, so I wanted to do a time-lapse video of it so I can see it at really high speed.  Oh yes, I am enjoying my new lava lamp.

The background by the way is a pillow case because my wall is plain white.  I probably should have bought a tie dye t-shirt to put up against the wall, but this was all I had.  I think it looks cool anyway.

Pre-Lit Christmas Tree Lights

Darrin bought a Christmas tree at Sears in 2007.  We never celebrated Christmas with a tree before that because it was Chips job was to decorate Trees every year at department stores, so he just didn’t like the thought of having to decorate trees anymore.  He didn’t think I would want to so we just never had a tree.  I was so happy that he bought this one because I just love to decorate it every year.  It was a tradition throughout my childhood to have a tree and I never got that as an adult until the last few years.

Unfortunately, when you buy a pre-lit tree, you have complications with the light sets.  This one light set in the front went out last year and I could never figure out how to fix it.  I tried pulling out the fuses and replacing them but that didn’t work.  I tried pulling out every light from the whole set, but that didn’t work.  I was at my wits end with this tree because it wasn’t just this T shape in the front, most of the lights in the back were out too.

I finally found the problem today.  The tree is still up because I didn’t want to take it down until I found the issue, and I did.  Here is the issue.  The first light in each light set has a white plastic … what are those things called?

The white one is a different shape from the green one, so you can’t just put the green one in it’s place; and the bulbs in the white ones are glued in.  I was afraid if I tried to pull the white one out, the bulb would break and cut my fingers.  I did eventually get it out though and was able to take the bulb from a green one and put it in its place and replace the bulb which lit the whole set back up.

I am down to 4 replacement bulbs and there are still at least 3 sets that are out so I’m going to fix them today.  I tried looking for these bulbs to buy a new replacement pack, but nobody has them.  It’s just my bad luck isn’t it?  I did find that they have them at NewEgg, but they are out of stock.  I clicked the “AUTO-NOTIFY” button and left a note saying “I need these in about 11 months LOL” so when they get them in, hopefully I can buy them for $14.99.  I don’t need the set, just the bulbs.  If I can find the replacement bulbs at the hardware store in a little pack of like 10 or 20 then I’ll buy that.  I don’t care how I get the bulbs, I just want them because they don’t last very long; I have already gone through the entire package of replacement bulbs that came with the tree.

So if anyone else has had the same issue, now you know how to fix it.  It’s the white one…

My Net10 Phone Works

Two weeks ago I bitched that my Net10 phone was rubbish and I would like to give an update on that issue.

Last year I bought my Net10 cell phone because my old T-Mobile phone had been disconnected for a long time because I just never used it.  It was an old phone I bought in 2002 and it wasn’t working anyway so I just let my service lapse.  I bought my new Net10 phone so that I could ride my bicycle for exercise without worrying about not having the ability to call 911 if I had to.

On December 1st Darrin bought me a $25 phone card for my phone.  I normally buy the $20 cards because they only have 200 minutes and the $25 card is a monthly plan with 750 minutes that don’t roll over.  I don’t use my phone enough to need that many minutes, but it was a nice gift and I accepted it.  I just assumed that I would keep the $25 plan so I wouldn’t have to worry about buying a card every month, I could just let Net10 charge me automatically with the plan.  Bad idea.

On January 1st, Net10 was supposed to charge my debit card, but they didn’t and I was unaware until January 3rd.  I went to make a phone call and my service was deactivated.  I went to the Net10 website and clicked reactivate which brought me to the menu to buy time.  I started up the $15 plan which is 200 minutes that don’t roll over.  I figured, if I am going to do a plan, I might as well go with the cheapest since I don’t use my phone that often, but that didn’t work because my phone never activated.

I called Net10 and told them what happened and they told me to wait 1 to 24 hours for it to activate, but it never did so I called them on the 5th.  They walked me through the process of reactivating the phone by going into the code entry mode.  I punched all these numbers in and did everything the guy told me to.  We were on the phone for a little over an hour and he came to the conclusion that my phone was the issue.  He sent me a new phone and told me that it will come with an envelope to send my phone back to them.  I wasn’t happy about that because I lost all of the games that I had bought for my phone.

I had to wait until Monday when the FedEx guy delivered my new phone.  I activated it, but I thought I must have done it wrong because it didn’t activate.  I waited an hour but nothing so I called them and they told me to wait 1 to 24 hours.  If after 24 hours it doesn’t come on then call them back, and I did.  They told me to wait an hour and if it isn’t working call back, which I did and the woman told me to wait another hour and I said no, I want my phone on NOW!  Not in 1 hour, not in 24 hours, I want it on NOW!  She walked me through the code entry bull again and it changed my phone number.  Now all of a sudden my phone number was gone, but she told me it was ok, it will go back to my phone number, but it didn’t so she told me that I needed a new SIM card.  UGH!

I had to wait for my new SIM card to arrive, when it came I called Net10 to activate it and they told me 1 hour.  I called back in an hour saying it’s not working, so they said 1 hour.  What the hell is up with them and 1 hour?  I was sick to my stomach and Darrin had called and said he wanted to go to dinner.  I didn’t want to go because I was too upset to eat, but he wanted to go so we went.

Saturday I called them as soon as I got up and I was on hold for 2 1/2 hours.  I got so tired of waiting so I just hung up and watched Grimm on Hulu since I missed it because we went out to eat.  I called them back and was lucky that I only had to wait 10 minutes.  I spoke to a guy for 90 minutes and he kept telling me that I need to buy a new phone card.  I kept explaining to him that I paid $15 and that was all I was willing to pay because why the hell should I keep buying phone cards if my phone isn’t working?  He tried my debit card and despite the fact that my bank had $400 in it, the card declined so I gave him my master card number and that also declined.  He told me that I need to call the bank and I told him absolutely not.  2 different cards from 2 different banks are not going to just decline when I know both accounts have money in them.  The problem isn’t me, it’s you.  He wanted to hang up on me because he didn’t know what to do and I told him to connect me with a supervisor.

I talked to a supervisor for at least 30 minutes and she couldn’t figure it out so she connected me with a tech person.  Um… aren’t they all supposed to be tech people?  I talked to him for another 30 minutes and he told me that there was an error with my account.  He told me he was going to personally try to fix it and if he does by that night he would call me, if not he would call me the next day.

This morning I woke up and tried my phone and it was still not working.  I went to the Net10 website and saw that the new and old phone were in my account so I called that direct number and was connected immediately.  I asked them if I bought a new phone card and entered it, would my phone work?  They said sure, go for it, so I did and it didn’t.  I called back and gave the guy the whole story from the beginning and he walked me through the code entry mode BS again with 3 different codes.  I gave him my phone card code and viola, time appeared on my new phone.

My phone works and I have 30 days with 200 minutes.  That $15 card that I got never got put on my phone, but at this point I don’t really give a crap, I just want my phone to work and that’s all that matters.  My phone number is different, but I didn’t really give the number to too many people so it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is that my phone works and I will never do the plans again, I will just have to buy phone cards every month and deal with that.

I know what people are going to say, drop Net10… blah blah blah.  Look, I was already told on Google Plus that I should just drop Net10 and go with a reputable phone company, but what people don’t realize is, I can’t afford to pay a reputable phone company for their expensive prepaid service.  I hardly ever use my phone so I can’t afford to spend $50 or $100 a month for a phone I never use.  I can’t really afford $20 either, but that is the only way to keep my phone active.  As long as I keep up with buying phone cards, then I will be fine with what I have.

Now that is solved so I can go back to worrying about other things.

 

The Golden Corral

Darrin has wanted to go to Golden Corral ever since they opened their doors last year, but we just never made it.  We tried to go there a couple of times but their line was so long outside the door that we just said screw that, and then we would go to either a chinese restaurant or Hometown Buffet.

Last night as I was about to prepare dinner, I emailed Darrin asking him what he wanted.  I gave him choices, Beef Ravioli or lasagna.  He emailed me back saying neither, he wanted to go to Golden Corral.  I was a bit irritated because I knew we would be standing in line outside for at least half an hour or longer.  Fortunately there wasn’t a line at all so we only had to wait 10 or 15 minutes to get to the cashier.

We have never been to a Golden Corral so we weren’t sure how things worked.  At Hometown Buffet you pay for your dinners and drinks and then get seated and go get your drink and food.  At Golden Corral you get your drink before you even pay, then they seat you and you don’t even have to get your own drinks, your waitress does that for you.  All you need to worry about is getting your food.

The only thing that irritated me was the cashier.  They have signs posted all over the place that said that it was 2 for $20 Mon-Thurs after 4pm and then under that “the whole restaurant.”  OK when you read that, what goes through your mind?  Food, dessert, drinks etc. right?  WRONG!  They charged us for drinks,  $2 each in fact.  That is a bit misleading and so I mentioned it to Darrin and made him ask the cashier and she started laughing at us.  That put me off because I don’t like being laughed at and that was a legitimate question.  I feel that it’s false advertising because the drinks are in the restaurant, so why wouldn’t that be included in the deal?  She told us “nice try” and we shrugged it off.

The choices of food at Golden Corral were vast.  They had this long salad bar that seemed to go on forever, across from that were the cooked foods where you had to stand in line for your steaks which you have to wait to be cooked.  Their steaks were so frickin’ good too.  I mean, can we talk?  Their steaks were so good that if it were possible to have an orgasm from eating meat, we would have been screaming “OH GOD, OH GOD” at the top of our lungs while pounding on the table with our fists, that’s how good it was.  I didn’t want to stand in a long ass line to get steak, but Darrin gave me some of his.  He on the other hand kept coming back with more steak and I didn’t understand how he was getting them so fast.

My first plate was a salad and oh my goodness, the thousand island dressing was so good.  I have never had thousand island dressing that tasted like that.  I love Bob’s Big Boy thousand island, but golden corrals was even better, and that’s saying something.  Next time I want to try their ranch.

My second plate had fettuccine alfredo.  Again, orgasm.  Their alfredo sauce was so freakin’ amazing.  I also had some bourbon chicken, I don’t know the exact name but oh my goodness, it was so fantastic.  I was in awe of the flavors that were dancing with my taste buds.

I went back for another plate because I am a glutton for punishment and of course I got more bourbon chicken, macaroni and cheese and a slice of pepperoni pizza.  I just had to have all of these flavors in my mouth all at once.  I knew my stomach couldn’t handle all of the food but I was just too curious.  The pizza was better than Pizza Hut and Dominos combined.  I kid you not, it was amazing.

I was already full by the time I finished eating my three plates, but I wanted dessert.  I went to stand in line for the desserts and I noticed a machine that was supposed to squirt batter into grease to make these little mini donuts, and there were these arms that were supposed to flip the donut so it could cook on the other side too.  I didn’t actually see any donuts being made because it didn’t have any batter in it because their donut bowl was already full, but my mind was blown away.

I grabbed a slice of chocolate cake and put 2 marshmallows on a stick and dipped it in some chocolate.  Speaking of which, they didn’t have a chocolate fountain like in the commercials.  I asked the waitress about that and she told me they were missing a part so it wasn’t working.  That was disappointing, but the taste of the chocolate on 2 marshmallows that I put on a stick made up for that disappointment; it was AMAZING!

They have really put Hometown Buffet to shame.  In fact, I have noticed over the last few months when we go there that they are always empty.  I mean not empty empty, but when we go there, we don’t have to wait in a line, we just go to the counter and pay for our meal and we don’t even need to wait to be seated because there is usually plenty of seating, and now I know why.  I guess when Golden Corral opened up, everyone abandoned every other restaurant in town, and with good reason.

We went to the Golden Corral on Ming Avenue here in Bakersfield and our waitress was Denise, and she was the sweetest waitress.  When the manager told us to come back, I replied “Oh we will, you can count on that” and I meant it.

Information Regarding Walgreens, Express Scripts and Tricare

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Walgreens

I have been going to Walgreens ever since we moved to Bakersfield in 2000.  What I didn’t know was that Walgreens and Express Scripts are in the middle of a dispute.  Apparently over the last year, Walgreens has been negotiating for a new contract for 2012, but they were not successful.  What does that mean for you?  It means that if you are a part of the Tricare network, you will not be able to fill your prescriptions at Walgreens, which is totally unfair, not to mention uncool.

If you are unaware of who Tricare is, which I was until now, they are for military personnel.  How does this affect military?  Well, it makes getting your prescriptions difficult if you are constantly moving around because of the military.  As long as you are a member of Walgreens, you can go to any Walgreens to fill your prescriptions.  I’m sure it’s the same for other pharmacies, but if you are used to and loyal to Walgreens, you won’t like this change.

Express Scripts is saying that you will not have to pay more for your prescriptions through them, but that just isn’t true because they will just raise their prices.  It’s the same rule as movie theaters and airport food, if you are forced to buy it through them, they will raise their prices.  They want you to get your medicine directly through them and they are just the middle man in this whole thing.  They are doubling their profits which is unfair to Walgreens.  If they raise their prices, then they would more than double their profits and who loses in all of this?  Not just Walgreens, but you do too.

If you are part of the Tricare network then you are being affected by this, if not then you don’t have to worry about anything.  If you are affected, join the Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens and cut out the middle man.  Why should you have to put up with unfair practices by Express Scripts?  Life is difficult as it is, there is no reason that we as a society should have to pander to these 1% fat cats.

Raise your voice in this issue by contacting the local media and telling them how pissed off you are.  Follow Walgreens on Twitter and become a fan of Walgreens on Facebook and let them know that you still support them.

We as a society are who pay these fat cats their salaries, so if we (and I don’t mean me because I don’t have Tricare) don’t stand up for what we believe in, then they will just get richer and we will get poorer.  Let them know you aren’t going to take their abuse by boycotting them and going directly to Walgreens.  They will get the message when their profits are no longer doubling, and in fact decreasing and they will change their practice.  You have a voice, use it!

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