My Return to EverQuest

 

I stopped playing EverQuest in 2007 because something tragic happened in my life and I just couldn’t justify playing a video game while shit was hitting the fan, so I quit.  I had paid for a whole year and I didn’t want to waste it so I forced myself to play out of principle, but I found that I had lost all of my enthusiasm for the game after playing for 6 years.

It has been 5 years since I’ve played and I’ve wanted to get back into it for so long, but I couldn’t really justify spending $15 a month to play a game when I could play Lord of the Rings Online for free.  I have already started getting bored with LOTRO so I haven’t really been playing that anyway.  I wanted to get back into EQ so I did.

A few days ago I started playing again and I got on my character named Xanapus and walked around for a bit to look at all of the places that I had missed all those years just to see if anything had changed, and it hadn’t.

I decided that I really didn’t know what the heck I was doing anymore.  You would think it’s like riding a bike, you never really forget, but I have.  I’m sure I will get the hang of it again, but it will take time to relearn my class and which spells are appropriate for which region and which mobs etc.

Instead of playing my main character that I missed so dearly, I thought I’d get on one of my newbie characters that I created but never really progressed.  His name was Voldamort, but someone apparently took that name over the last 5 years so it had an X on the end.  I logged into the account and it said I was eligible for a name change.  What better time to add an “Evilxanapus” character lol.  People joke that Xanapus is evil some days because I accidentally killed the mob that I wasn’t supposed to kill during someones EPIC quest.  Oopsie!  This level 12 necromancer is now my evil guy.

I managed to level him to 16 in just a few days of playing, which back in the day wouldn’t have been possible, but I guess it’s easier to do now.  I swear, it took me at least 6 months to get Xanapus to level 16, so it is a bit frustrating that I got this necromancer from 12 to 16 in just days.

My old guild is still active, but nobody is ever online.  There are maybe 2 or 3 active players, but they aren’t on everyday.  I don’t think that I will leave my guild that I have been absent from for 5 years, but at the same time it’s lonely in there all by myself.  I don’t really know if I will be playing the game full time or if this is just a 1 month thing.  I want to play full time again, but I have too many things to do in my real life to focus on a game.  I don’t know, we’ll see what happens.  Being in an active guild with people who want to play with me and talk to me would justify me paying $15 a month that I would normally spend on something more useful, like oh I don’t know, a small bag of groceries.

EverQuest is fun and all, but their graphics don’t even compare to LOTRO’s.  I forgot how much I hated “zoning” in EQ.  There are only a few times in LOTRO when you have to actually “zone” so it was quite annoying having to zone every time I went from Crescent Reach to Blightfire Moors and to the Plane of Knowledge.  Ah memories of time wasted zoning lol.

I am playing this game for two reasons, one because I missed it and wanted to play it again, and two for research for a book I want to write.  I think it would be worth my time playing if I had some people to play with to give me ideas on a story or plot. Playing by myself isn’t going to give me any ideas for content.  Although I already know what the book will be about, I just want to add more interesting stories and conversations that I actually have with people.  Playing the game gives me inspiration, but playing it with people is where my story comes from.  We will see how it goes.

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Happy Holidays 2011

I forgot to send out cards this year.  Oopsie!  So instead of sending our cards out late, this is what everyone is getting lol.  If you are wondering why it’s not a photo of us, neither Darrin nor myself are photogenic (we hate our pictures being taken) so you get to see our tree instead.  Hey, Darrin just got his new iPhone, I don’t want to be responsible for breaking the camera with my image LOL.  No but seriously, I would like to get a picture of us together but I’d prefer in a more professional setting.  Maybe in the year 2025…

Every year since the 90’s, I have spent Christmas with either my family, or with Chips.  This year we are going to stay home instead of traveling.  It is fun to drive south for the holidays, but Darrin just can’t get the time off.  I actually don’t mind staying home because I’ll be able to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special.  I would hate to have to wait for the next series to come on when it finally repeats.  That has happened every year too so I’m looking forward to finally watching it the day it actually airs.

Santa has already visited us, so we really don’t have much to celebrate anymore.  Darrin bought himself, or should I say Santa bought Darrin a new iPhone 4S with a 2 year contract with Verizon.  And I got some new underwear.  Yes, I asked for underwear lol.  That was actually what I really wanted so I’m happy.  I was down to 3 holey pair, so I was long overdue.  I would have asked for an iPod Touch 4th gen 16GB, but Santa has already spent too much money on one apple product, so I can wait to see if I get any money from book sales for that, or an iPad2 lol.

Speaking of my book, I had hoped I would have been finished with it by the day after Christmas but I am still in editing.  I finished my final edit, but then I went back to the beginning and have found more issues.  I am working on my final final edit so hopefully it will be finished by January 1st 2012.  I can’t promise anything because when I finish with my final final edit, I will of course have to read the whole book again to make absolutely sure it’s perfect before I publish it.  I don’t want even one word out of place or misspelled lol.

In case you are wondering, yes I have been working on this book for the last 6 months.  I actually started in 1989… started over in 1997… started over summer 2010 and only wrote 3 or 4 chapters.  Started over again in May or June 2011 where I rewrote the chapters that I wrote in 2010 and wrote the rest of the book.  It only took 2 months to write it, but it has taken me 4 months to edit it.  Writing is hard ya’ll!

Anyway, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you all.

My Faster Bike Rides and New Goals

I was riding my bicycle this morning and was paying close attention to my average speed.  Lately it has been 11.5 mph give or take.  Today it was 12.5 mph.  That meant that I got home 30 minutes earlier than I usually do.  Riding faster doesn’t just mean that I will exercise faster, it also means I will burn more calories every time I ride.

I have these index cards which I used to use to keep track of my bike riding.  I would write it out so I had a hard copy because digital seems to get deleted a lot.  I first started writing it down on November 3rd 2008.  My average speed was 10 mph and I only rode for 38 minutes burning 345 calories.  Gradually over time I can see that my speed goes up to 10.7, 10.9, 11.1 etc.

My last entry was when I hurt my shoulder and I stopped riding, that was July 20th 2009.  My average speed was 14.0 mph.  That of course was doing 23 miles in 1 hour and 38 minutes.  Of course I was probably gone from the house for 2 hours with breaks but I don’t seem to recall.  I also see that I started riding in October 2009, I only got 3 bike rides logged then stopped, my shoulder was still in a lot of pain but I wanted to get exercise.  Then my shoulder got better and I started riding again and had 2 entries in July 2010 for 23 miles each but the next day after my 2nd bike ride my back wheel broke and the log entries end right there.  Of course I wasn’t used to riding anymore so my average speed was only 11.9 and 11.0.

I will add all of those old logs to my Bike page soon.

Today my average speed was 12.5 mph which has gone up from 11.2 since July 6th, 2 weeks ago when I started logging my cycling times again.  I had been riding since early June but couldn’t get my bicycle computer to work since I put the tire on backwards which meant the magnet was on the wrong side.  Oopsie.

I think that I am progressing very well and I’m sure that it won’t be too far off when I’m going 14 mph again, or even 15 mph.  The riding times will get shorter even though I will still be doing the same 23 mile route.  If that becomes the case then I will step it up and continue on to Hart Park.  That will add 10 miles to my route, 5 miles each way.  I have mapped it out:

That start point (A) is my halfway point where I stop riding and rest for a few minutes so this still might be a resting point before I continue on to Hart Park.  Once I get used to the ride then I will probably just continue on until I get to Hart Park and rest there.

Of course I’m probably talking many months before I’m in enough shape to do it but I will eventually do it.  When my average speed gets up to 15 or 16 mph then I will definitely do it.  In fact, I was ready to start doing it just before I had to stop riding because of my shoulder in July 2009.  I made a video and put it on YouTube that showed my bike ride from where I get on the bike path over on Truxton all the way to Manor St. and made a sequel from Manor all the way to China Grade Loop.  I wanted to do a 3rd video from China Grade Loop to Hart Park but… my shoulder and all.  So that never happened.

My goal now is to continue as I am now (training) until I am not in as much pain from the bike ride so that I may ride to Hart Park.  The day that I plan on that is the day I will bring my video camera with me to film it.  I know it’s boring to most people but it is an achievement to me and I’m sure to others.

I can’t wait to see how many calories I will burn from riding 33 miles every day.  The fat will just melt off, I hope lol.

Our Trip to San Diego

We went to San Diego this weekend to celebrate Chips brothers 50 year anniversary with his wife.  We left Bakersfield on Friday before lunch time, got gas, got food, then got more gas from the food then drove down to San Diego.

Because the I-405 was closed all weekend, the I-5 was congested more than usual.  It’s normally always congested due to LA traffic but it was even more so this time so it took us about 7 hours to get there.

The night we arrived there was nothing to do but talk and reconnect with who was there for a couple of hours before everyone went to bed.  We all got up at 6am and had breakfast before setting everything up for the party.

Since they live on 1 acre of land there was a lot of work to do.  There was setting up tables on the front lawn and setting the tables with the champagne glasses (for Martinelli’s hehe) and the plastic silverware that actually looked silver but felt plastic.  I had all the plates on the table put down before being told it was buffet style, everyone had to grab their plate at the food table.  Oopsie.  No big deal getting the plates stacked up again.

There were candle centerpieces which weren’t really lit up since the sun didn’t go down until after the dinner was all eaten.  There were Chinese lanterns with battery-powered lights in them.  There were 3 large Styrofoam boards with pictures stapled to them which were all screwed to the garage door.  The buffet table had tons of great food to eat.  It was a great party.

They have this block of cement on the side of the house that is meant for a flat even surface for like a picnic table for summer BBQ’s but it’s big enough to use as a dance floor so they rented a wooden floor to put on top of it.  It was really cool and the couple had their first dance on it, actually they shared 2 dances before anyone else came to dance on it.  At first there weren’t anyone on it but eventually there were many people on it.

I don’t dance.  Plain and simple.  In order for me to dance I must have 1 thing, Rhythm, which I don’t have.  I was being dragged to the dance floor and was like whoa, hey no I uh, I don’t think so.  Of course that made her a tad upset and disgusted with me but whatever.  I don’t dance, especially with girls lol.

I sat on the bench near the dance floor watching and people were telling me to come dance and I had to decline.  No means no people!  I did eventually do the cabbage patch in my seat which is about the best I can do.  I’m not a complete fuddy duddy.

The party was very fun and even though I was a bit antisocial because I didn’t really know 85% of the people there I still had a good time.

The cake that you see in the image above was made by one of the family members who is a baker.  She used fondant which I have never actually had before.  I’ve seen them using it on all of those cake shows on tv but I’ve never actually tasted it before.  My first thought was, boy this stuff is hard.  It was very difficult for the person who was cutting the cake to cut it because of how hard the fondant was.  I mean she was having a heck of a time.  I think she needed a serrated edged knife like a steak knife to cut it.

I did like the fondant though, it wasn’t too sweet, although Darrin would disagree with me on that one because he said it was too sweet, then again everything is too sweet for him.  The cake was good too, I don’t know what was inside of it but it had a texture of like pudding in the middle.

I got lots of pictures and I got a few things on video which were very dark since there wasn’t a lot of lighting out there so I’ll have to fix all that in editing on my desktop.  I would like to get other people’s pictures and make it into a slide show with some music and add the videos into the slide show then put it on a DVD and send it to them.  They can add that to their photo album.

I’m glad we went there to share their happy day with them.  I applaud people who have shared 50 long years together.  It’s very rare to find a couple who can last more than a few years, let alone 50.  So that’s pretty cool.

We were given an alternate route to go home which was a really good route too.  We didn’t have to stop once.  I mean, besides stopping at the gas station and jack in the box for lunch.  The traffic wasn’t at a stand still which is what it usually is on the I-5.  We got home 1 hour earlier than we would have if we had gone the way we came.  I’ll definitely have to keep those directions for future visits.

Edit: I don’t know why I said “40” in the first paragraph, it was their 50 year anniversary.

PlayStation NGP Debut Trailer

The PlayStation NGP debut trailer looks pretty cool but it doesn’t tell me everything about the future for the PSP. Check this video out that comes straight from the G4 website.

http://www.g4tv.com/lv3/50948

I did see something about the NGP that showed an image of what it will look like and they said that it has PS3 quality games. The icons on the home screen look way cooler and those are the round icons you see in this trailer and I’m pretty sure it’s a touchscreen. You could kind of tell in this trailer because of the way he was picking people up. If it is touchscreen then that would be pretty cool especially if you could play the game with touch as well as the directional buttons and/or analog stick which there are 2 of, one on each side.

It also seems from the video that it has the award system just like the PS3 has, which I have no clue how that works since I still don’t have a PS3 :(.

It looks really cool and I would love to upgrade but I’m still using the PSP Slim (the 2nd gen PSP) so I don’t see an upgrade in my future, no matter how cool it looks lol. That is unless my PSP suffers an “accidental” fall in my toilet. Oopsie.