Sep 192018
 

Phasma (Star Wars)Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson
My rating:

Captain Phasma is the Boba Fett of the sequel trilogy. Mysterious. Ruthless. The stomp of her chrome boots and her clipped Imperial accent makes her both menacing and intriguing. There is clearly a story to tell and Delilah Dawson is here to tell it.

Vi Moradi is a Resistance spy, often given tasks by General Organa herself. On her recent mission she is captured by Captain Cardinal, a stormtrooper of the First Order. Instead of turning her over to his superiors, he secretly interrogates her for evidence against his rival, Captain Phasma. Since the day Brendol Hux brought Phasma on board the Absolution all his hard work has been marginalized and his pupils reprogrammed to be heartless killers. He believes that she is responsible for murdering his mentor. He wants Phasma gone and he’ll do what needs to be done to see to it that she is removed from command.

Biggs Review

I really enjoyed this book. I love the austere and ruthlessness of Phasma in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. The thing that I enjoyed most was that the author didn’t just give us a full origin story. We learn about the kind of person Phasma is by second-hand stories. I didn’t want all the secrets revealed to maintain the elusiveness of the character. The use of interrogation of a spy, and friend of someone from Phasma’s past, is a great mechanism for maintaining the enigma.

I like the fact that throughout the whole book you’re never really “rooting” for Phasma but you do develop some revere for the character. You begin to understand the character more from what she has endured before joining the First Order. You even learn why she doesn’t wear the typical plastoid composite stormtrooper armor and where the chrome armor comes from.

Finally, much like Boba Fett in the sarlacc, I do not think she is dead after she is bested by Finn in The Last Jedi. Phasma knows exactly what she needs to do to survive and I think we will see her again in Episode IX.

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diablo3-reading“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss

 

Aug 122018
 

We are a week away from the Battle for Azeroth worldwide launch. Our magnificent raid team completed what we set out to do (Ahead of the Curve and Violet Spellwing mounts for all raid members). We still had several weeks between the last AOTC run and the BfA launch. Kudos to the team leadership for finding things to do to keep us all hanging out over the last several weeks. This is the most fun I have had in WoW since Wrath of the Lich King. Aside from the group events, I set out to complete a list of toon-specific goals to complete before the expansion. There are less than 8 days left, how are my Battle for Azeroth pre-expansion goals looking?

Character Goals Progress Update

Quite a while ago I posted a little chart about the goals I made for my alts before Battle for Azeroth drops. At the time of that post I still had 3 alts that had not reach level 110. Of those three, two of them are now at level 110 (the remaining Alliance warlock may get the free 110 boost because I don’t think I am going to try to hit 110 over the next week). Be that as it may, that does mean that I do have a level 110 of every class (including a level 110 Horde character). So having all classes/alts at level 110 before launch … check.

Now the more daunting task is completing the Order Hall, Class Mount and at least one hidden appearance for each of those classes. So here is an updated chart:

Class Order Hall Hidden Appearance Class Mount
Paladin
Priest
Demon Hunter
Hunter
Death Knight
Druid
Shaman
Warlock
Mage
Rogue
Monk
Warrior

As you can see I have made quite a bit of progress, unfortunately I am not finished yet. I am working on the hidden appearance quest for the warlock. The hidden appearance for the warrior requires an exalted reputation with Valarjar before the pieces drop, so, in essence I am working on that as well. The important item of note is that I FINALLY got the hidden appearance to drop for my shadow priest! I hate being at the whim of the RNG, which is why I worry about the Rogue and Warrior hidden appearances. I think I will be able to finish the Order Hall and Class mount quests for the Monk and Warrior, however I don’t know about completing the remaining hidden appearances.

Speaking of Artifact Appearances

Aside from trying to get the hidden appearances, another thing I set out to accomplish was working on a couple challenge appearances. I particularly focused on my paladin and shadow priest. Their gear scores gave me the better advantage. The protection challenge appearance is no joke, just as all the posts said. It is difficult but, in all honesty, it was fun. So I managed to complete the protection and retribution paladin challenge appearance and the shadow priest appearance. Here are some screenshots:

Prot Challenge Appearance

Ret Challenge Appearance

Shadow Challenge Appearance

 

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!

 

Aug 062018
 

During my run this past Friday, I wanted to increase my distance but I have to change the route. School will be starting in a few weeks so I can no longer use the elementary playground (because I don’t want to look like some perv creeper). I thought the route I picked would be longer than the 4.4 miles I have been running through all of July. Unfortunately it is actually shorter so I ended up forcing myself to alter my route at the last minute to try to at least hit the same distance. As a result, I had to double back on parts of my route. I hate that!

Symmetrical OCD?

When I go out running, for some reason I have it in my head that I cannot finish coming from the same direction in which I left. For example, if I turn East at the end of my driveway, I should be coming from the West when I get back. I also hate going the reverse direction on the same side of the street. If I am going East on the North side of the street, the next time I go down that street I need to be going West on the South side of the street.

Yes, I know I am strange. It’s some weird symmetrical OCD. I would hypothesis that most runners are more concerned about the distance and the pace instead of the route. This Friday will be different. I have already plotted out my route and yes, it is a complete circuit and it will be longer.

The things that go through my mind when I’m alone with nothing but my thoughts for entertainment is dangerous. Some might even say eccentric. Consider this your warning when reading my Random Thought of the Day

 

 

Jul 282018
 

It is a tumultuous year for the Star Wars franchise. The polarizing effect of The Last Jedi likely contributed to the lackluster box office of the Solo movie. This is unfortunate because the movie is actually quite good. The trolls and sniveling “fans” have been posting diatribe after diatribe that Disney is ruining Star Wars. The real fact of the matter is, these manbabies are ruining the franchise, not Disney.

Let’s Compare Actions

Disney has not only brought Star Wars into the lives of our sons and nephews but also our daughters and nieces. While I absolutely appreciate the nostalgia of the original trilogy, modern times calls for modern movies. Making new trilogies and new movies (i.e. A Star Wars Story series) is how we keep our children as excited about Star Wars as we are. Kathleen Kennedy (et al.) brought Star Wars into the context of the modern world. They do this with a more diverse cast, a female protagonist, and modern dialect (ex: Poe’s “mom” joke).

So while Disney is trying to be more progressive with Star Wars, how are the jaundiced fans responding? They bully and bigot until the stars of the movies are forced to abandon social media. They create fake accounts to drive down audience ratings, create phony online petitions, and other nefarious acts that are an embarrassment to all Star Wars fans. Their chronic bellyaching and narrow-mindedness has no place among real fans. The moniker of “manbaby” is well-earned. They are better off denouncing Star Wars (all of it, original trilogy et al), and go live under a rock or DIAF. I’m tired of reading about it.

DIY If You Think You Know Better

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. If you think you can write a better movie then write the script, hire the crew and make the movie. I look forward to seeing it in the theater. If you are unable to do any of that and you can’t be a little more open-minded, then Shut The Fuck Up!

The Force. It calls to you. Just let it in.

 

Jul 102018
 

Gregariousness is optional for most introvertsI’m a homebody. I think many of my friends, family and co-workers don’t understand what that means. The definition is as simple it sounds “a person who prefers staying at home.” When I was in college I did attend quite a few parties and football games; I even helped start a tailgating tradition that is still going to this day. College were my gregarious years, all that is different now. I am, undoubtedly, an introvert and for introverts, gregariousness is optional.

I don’t mind small social gatherings, as long as they are short. In large social gatherings I eventually feel uncomfortable, even among my peers. I hate cliché small talk. Why does small talk always involve the weather? A piece of my soul dies every time I say something about the weather because I’m uncomfortable or bored. My home is my sanctuary, a place where my thoughts can dwell without explanation or judgement. It is the biggest reason I am more productive working at home than sitting in a cubicle.

Bewilderment is Two Sided

A while back I wrote a post about how I do not like the beach. My desk chair or recliner is an environment I greatly prefer over sitting on a sandy beach. I know that is probably as bewildering to you as I am bewildered by your bewilderment. (Wait, what did I just say there?) In other words, you are confused that I don’t like the beach because everyone likes the beach. However, I’m confused because you find that confusing. Why is it so hard to believe that I would rather sit at home, in air conditioning, reading a book or playing video games than sitting on the beach? This kind of goes back to that feeling of discomfort or boredom.

Just sitting there is boring, not to mention that I burn very easily and I hate sweating (unless I’ve earned it, i.e. jogging). I cannot sit comfortably reading a book while baking in the sun and if I have to make “cliché small talk”, I’d prefer not to have to squint to do it. The more effort it takes to be comfortable the more uncomfortable I feel. I’m using the beach as an example because it best illustrates the dichotomy. While going to the bar or singing karaoke is a fun activity for most, sitting at home reading, working on projects around the house or tinkering on the computer is equally as entertaining. If I find those things comparable, why do I prefer the latter? By now that answer should be obvious … Home Sweet Home.

/cheers


When I was a kid, it was a huge insult to be a geek. Now it’s a point of pride in a weird way.” – J.J. Abrams

Jun 202018
 

Ahsoka (Star Wars)Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston
My rating: 

The description of this book states “Fans have long wondered what happened to Ahsoka…” and I am one of those fans. Ahsoka Tano is one of my favorite Jedi from the Clone Wars series. Ashley Eckstein brings such wonderful life to the character and her contributions to the Star Wars universe are extraordinary.

Order 66 has been issued and Ahsoka survived. As with most Jedi that escaped the slaughter, she is in exile, hiding who she is to stay alive. She finds herself on the distant moon of Raada, trying to live a quiet life, away from the Empire. However, hiding from the Empire is easier said than done when a detachment shows up and begins enslaving the farmers of the planet. Ahsoka may have to remember who she is and why she became a Jedi to help free the people.

This is a fairly short book and, therefore, a quick read. We all know that Ahsoka is a bad ass Jedi, Anakin Skywalker was her Master after all. After what she has seen during the Clone Wars and the eradication of the Jedi, her mental state seems accurately depicted in this book. I love how the author gives us glimpses of more Force sensitive users, despite the fact that the Jedi are “all but extinct”. I also love how the author shows us more about Jedi teachings, including how a Jedi chooses their lightsaber crystals; this book, in particular, provides an interesting twist.

If you love Ahsoka as much as I do, I definitely recommend this book. It’s a great filler story between the end of Clone Wars and Rebels.

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diablo3-reading“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss