Dec 132019
 

Gus-Gus
2005-2019

December 6th was just about as awful of a day as I could possibly imagine. Gus, our nearly 15 year old Yorkie-Bichon suddenly collapsed. When I tried to see if he could walk, he kept going in a circle. We immediately drove to the emergency vet clinic. They found that a tumor, probably on his spleen, is causing internal bleeding. They could perform emergency surgery to determine if the tumor was malignant, however that would mean he only has a couple of months, at best. The hemorrhaging may have caused a lack of blood to his brain, which means he probably also had a mild stroke.

The most humane thing to do was say good bye, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

Why Maharajah??

Yes, I know a “Maharajah” is an Indian Prince and I’m not trying to be culturally insensitive. Gus had a very strong personality. He was very much a “I want to do it my way” kind of dog. If there was a mound of blankets, pillows, or laundry and you turned your back or stepped out of the room, you would return to find him lying at the top of said mound. We often accused him of thinking he was “the maharajah”. He would lay there with a smug look on his face. This was a behavior he exhibited to the end.

Gus hated wearing costumes and clothes

We’ve had him since he was about 20 weeks and over the years he had many nicknames. His full name was actually Gus-Gus, named after the mouse from Cinderella. Gus was the short version. He had a big dog personality; always thinking he could take on Canadian geese or deer. Therefore I would sometimes call him Battousai the Manslayer, clearly he had that man killer instinct.

He could be a little asshole sometimes. For example if it was raining or too cold outside, then in his mind that made it all right to pee in the house. One time we accidentally locked him in the bedroom, so he jumped up on the bed, walked onto the dresser from the bed, and pooped on the dresser. It was his way of saying “How Dare You Lock Me In Here”. His strong personality was his most endearing quality, it is truly one of thing things I loved most about him.

None Shall Compare

I grew up with dogs. We had Labradors when I was a kid. A few months after my wife and I started dating we bought Gus. He was apart of our life before we were even married. He was the first dog I ever personally owned (Gromit was the second dog we bought together a few months after Gus). While I adored all the dogs I had around me as a kid, there is something different about the first dog you bought for yourself (or your family).

When I was talking to my neighbor, he told me about a dog he had. He explained that it was almost as if the dog could tell what he was thinking by a simple look or a nod of his head. He said that dog is the dog that all his other dogs are compared to. This is true for Gus. We know there will never be another Gus, but I know we will compare every new dog to Gus. We have a one year old Westie, and I already comment about behaviors he’s exhibiting that he has clearly learned from “his mentor”, aka Gus.

RIP buddy. I will miss you every day for the rest of my life, but I hope we gave you the best years of yours.

“Dogs’ lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you’re going to lose a dog, and there’s going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can’t support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There’s such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware that it comes with an unbearable price.” – Dean Koontz

minions_icon

I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!

 

Dec 052019
 

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Blizzard Entertainment and the 15th anniversary for World of Warcraft. I have been playing video games since the first Nintendo. Of course Internet didn’t exist back then but we managed to still make it a friends and family activity. As technology evolved so did the world of gaming. Consoles added online, multiplayer modes. PC games added multiplayer mode, which initially became popular in First Person Shooters. I spent many nights in college playing multiplayer Half Life.

Then the MMORPG was born. In my youth, an RPG required a few friends, paper, pencils, dice and some incredible imagination. Then Blizzard created World of Warcraft, which was an evolution from their Warcraft series of games (my favorite being Warcraft III). WoW united us all by breaking down borders, cultural and political divides. I realize that last item isn’t always true, but if you find the right kind of people, everyone can agree to leave that topic alone.

Now the world is so different.

Online Friends Are Real Friends

I know I’ve talked about this before. You can have friends you haven’t met in person. Twenty years ago the only friends you had are the ones you met in school or at work. Oftentimes people outside the gaming subculture tend to think having “online friends” seems absurd. How can you be friends with someone you’ve never met face-to-face? Our physical locations cannot limit the things we have in common with people.

A friend of mine (a gaming friend) once said “friends are the family you get to choose”. This is true. I’ve had disagreements with friends just as I do with family. I also get along with my friends just as I do with family. While I have not met all my online friends in person, I have met a few. In fact some have even been to my house and I’ve even had one live with me for a year. I hope to meet more of them one day. Today I am just as good of friends with people I’ve never physically met as I was with friends I had in high school.

Blizzard has created a huge community. Larger than any community I’ve ever known. I’m grateful for the friendships this game has given me.

duke-nukem-sm If zombies attack the world, everyone will run and hide. Except for us gamers, of course. We’ve been waiting for this all our lives!

 

Dec 022019
 

The Thanksgiving and Christmas season is always pretty busy for me. I have to make sure I’m efficient at work as I usually take quite a bit of time off for both holiday’s to spend time with family. In fact that is the reason I haven’t written a post since the Rise of Skywalker trailer. I have some posts in draft or in mind, I just haven’t had the time to complete them.

Radio City Music Hall Stage

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving (US); mine was excellent. My in-laws know how to provide a wonderful Thanksgiving vacation experience. This year they treated us to the Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes. I have never seen a Rockettes show; its an amazing show. It really put me in the Christmas spirit. I highly recommend going to a Rockettes if you have the opportunity.

It is now the wonderful season of Advent and, therefore officially Christmas season. I have begun decorating, listening to Christmas music and donning my Santa hat for the next 24 days.

Oct 282019
 

Now that I have had some time to digest this new trailer (and watch it about 8 more times), I’ve come up with a few thoughts. Some conclusions I’ve made based on what I’ve gleaned from the trailer; others are based on some of the other things I’ve read on the Internet. Everyone is posting their theories and trailer break downs, but this is my Rise of Skywalker trailer reaction.

If you haven’t watched the new trailer yet, or again (and again), then go do that now (or again).

I think this trailer is much different than the other two; it’s far more nebulous. There were major plot points I extrapolated, correctly, based on each trailer. In The Force Awakens, it was Kylo Ren’s heritage. In The Last Jedi it was the reason for Luke’s cantankerous behavior and hermit lifestyle. This trailer, however, leaves very few clues. Although, the fact that Kylo Ren was the crux for both of those major plot points makes me wonder what will be his final role?

Is That The Mortis Dagger??

Altar of Mortis

At about 1:50 into the trailer we see Rey and Kylo Ren destroy a statue. The scene doesn’t really indicate if they are working together or if that statue is collateral damage. Regardless, what’s important is what Rey is holding in her left hand? It appears to be a dagger which begs the question, is that the Mortis Dagger??

If you watch The Clone Wars then think back to Season 3, episodes 15, 16 and 17. Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka leave for a mission and suddenly find themselves on the planet Mortis. On this planet lives The Father, the Daughter and the Son. All three seem to be incarnations of the Force and all three are immortal. The Son, which is the incarnation of the Dark Side, has become too consumed with his power. The Father helps Obi-Wan and Ahsoka acquire the Mortis Dagger which removes immortality and can therefore be used to defeat The Son.

I’m going to stop there 1) because you should go watch those episodes, if you haven’t yet and 2) I think you know where I’m going with this. Episode IX director, J. J. Abrams, has said that the Rise of Skywalker will “unite all three trilogies”. Granted, The Clone Wars is not a movie but an animated series, however it is part of the Skywalker Saga. Using the Mortis Dagger to destroy the Emperor not only makes sense but would be another one of those brilliant tie-ins. I’m really digging this idea and I really hope the Internet and I are correct.

There is not a lot to glean from this trailer, other than the possible modus operandi of permanently killing Palpatine. Therefore I’m going to move on to other reactions and thoughts I had about this final trailer.

Please Continue Reading

Oct 212019
 

A bittersweet event. The last trailer before the release of Rise of Skywalker and the final trailer for the Skywalker saga, released on Carrie Fisher’s birthday. Here it is!

HOLY KENOBI OMGBBQ!!!

We were regaled with this trailer for the first time during Monday Night Football. Fortunately you didn’t have to watch the game, just half time. Much to Tom Brady’s chagrin, that is the only reason anybody tuned into the game because nobody likes watching the Patriots.

By no means is this the last Star Wars trailer, there are at least three more coming in 2022, 2024, 2026. Potentially more if the rumor mills are correct about Rian Johnson still working on a movie (or two, or three). It is the last trailer we will see for a couple of years (but we have some live action series to keep the geek fires burning).

A trailer analysis will come later.

Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out.

Oct 102019
 

I have been with this Convert To Raid raid team, Humpday Heroes, since the end of Warlords of Draenor. Our goal, as a raid team, has always been to earn the “Ahead of the Curve” raid achievement. Recently we successfully earned the “Ahead of the Curve” raid achievement for Queen Azshara. However, this accomplishment is bittersweet.

Brothers (and Sisters) In Arms

When you take on arduous tasks for months and years with, predominately, the same people a bond is formed. It’s more than just avatar names and pixels. Succeeding and failing together are the ingredients of synergy and the elation of finally reaching our goal is indescribable, however it was also bittersweet.

We often forget that this is just a game. Just like any other game, video or otherwise, it can get stale or life’s priorities change. In our case this achievement is the last one with one of our long time members, and my co-tank. This is the second co-tank I’ve lost this year but real life happens. However, while they are no longer playing the game, they are still a friend. The bonds of friendship will never be abandoned.

As the British say we must “Keep Calm and Carry On”. We are trying out new tanks and regrouping to get ready for the 8.3 raid, Ny’alotha. We have some promising candidates and I’m excited to finish off this expansion with one more “Ahead of the Curve” achievement! I know the Humpday Heroes will continue to prevail!

/cheers

duke-nukem-sm If zombies attack the world, everyone will run and hide. Except for us gamers, of course. We’ve been waiting for this all our lives!