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Hi All, Cassie here taking over the blog for a moment.

I had to share that I thought of all of you today (especially BBB) as I was a chaperone for Alex’s school field trip.  Thanks to the grandfather of one of the first graders, all of the kids got to visit the Shrine Circus today for free.  They’ve been on spring break for the last week and a half and their first day back to school is going to the circus. Gotta love school these days :-)

Anyways, after watching the acrobatics and little puppy show and some beautiful white horses, suddenly out come the 2 brown bears and their trainers to put on a show.  Day after day, I read the posts and comments on this blog about your experiences as a WoW bear, but I ask, can your bear do these things?

Ride a bike?

Look this fashionable?

Walk on a moving barrel?

Balance on a moving beach ball?

Ride a very tall bicycle without falling?

And finally, ride a chopper IN bear form?

I didn’t think so!

I now return your to your regular WoW blog  :-)

Cassie

Disclaimer to prevent the comments that I know will come if I don’t say anything – For those who find the circus and what they make the animals do offensive, I understand and partly agree.  But I also remember being a 7-year-old going to the circus with my mom for the first time and how great it was.  So that is the spirit of how I choose to view today’s event.  There will be plenty of time for Alex to think about the animal issue later on, but for today, we had fun watching all the fantastic human and animal talent.

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BBB is having a horrendous week at work and hasn’t had time to write anything in between super long hours there and snow-blowing out the driveway every night for the last 3 nights due to the blizzard stuff that we’ve been having (and not the good WoW kind of blizzard stuff) :)  So he called and interrupted my lunch today to beg and plead with me to put some kind of post up.

I don’t have anything really exciting to share right now, so if you’re looking for cutting edge WoW news, you can pretty much stop here.

But in general here’s what I’ve been up to –

For several weeks I was doing the first random heroic on both my mains (rogue and ret/holy pally) every day, but that got old as I encountered all of the horrible behavior that people have been talking about with pugs. After I dropped 3 groups in the same day about 3 weeks ago (after never having left a group early), I decided to take a break from that. I still occasionally do a random here or there, but much less often. I’ve already become “the Patient” on both toons and have found that the experience of pugging with 200 random people has really used up most of my real world patience. :) I’ve been messing around with some low level alts on occasion to just have some questing fun and not think about gear upgrades or serious stuff.

Upgrades and loot and the game are such a tough thing to balance.   I’m a list maker/planner in general, so all my 80s have detailed lists of what gear is the best that they have a hope of getting and where to get it and how many emblems of what kind I need. It’s so easy for me to get sucked into that mentality where it’s super important to always be working toward a goal and convincing myself that it’s ok to spend so much time in the game because I’m having fun and playing with friends or whatever my reason is that day.

However, after the guild went through some tough stuff during the last couple of months, I realized that I didn’t want the game to have such a huge place in my life anymore and that a lot of the reasons I’d been using for playing (friends, etc) weren’t really good ones. Because many of those people that I considered friends, I found out really weren’t and it soured me a bit on the game (and the random pugs with horrible behavior hasn’t helped).  There are many days I haven’t even logged in lately other than maybe a quick mail check or gem transmute for BBB. It’s still an important hobby in our lives, but I’m not letting it be more important anymore than other hobbies or interests that I had been neglecting in the past to put so much of my energy into the game, the guild and all the admin duties that I handle for the guild.

Back when Alex was born, my sister who is a total scrapbooking nut, started a book for Alex. I had done a family website back then where I’d post pictures and short notes about his adventures. I’d order prints of those pictures and give them to her and she’d do a book. Well, sort of….my sister is about the nicest person you’ll ever meet and just doesn’t know how to say “no” to anyone, so she’s always super busy and overcommitted. She did the first 6 months of Alex’s life and then I started getting into scrapbooking (ok, because she was hosting those parties and I’d feel guilty not buying something), so she turned the book over to me since she had so many projects going. I finished up that one and kept going with additional books. I’m now up to when he was 3 and a half (um, yeah, he’s going to be 7 next month, so I’m a bit behind). But I’ve been making that a priority to do at least once a week for an extended period of time because I want to get those important memories down and saved for him. I’ve definitely learned over the past few years that you never know what the future will bring and shouldn’t put off important stuff, so I’m making this project a key focus right now.

We’ve also been trying to get out of the house more with Alex to do fun stuff. There’s a climbing place nearby with all kinds of tubes and slides that he loves to go to.  Last weekend we took him sledding at a public golf course close to our house. That was a ton of fun, but next time, I want a sled too! Having to walk up and down the monstrous hill was a lot of work for an old person. :)

I’ve also been watching tv more again.  In addition to current shows,  I’m watching How I Met Your Mother through Netflix. I’m up to the end of Season 2 now. It’s a show I’ve always heard good things about, but didn’t start watching in the beginning, so I just ignored it.  I’m really enjoying that one now.   I also got the first half of Glee and am trying to catch up on that before it returns in the spring.

On nights I do log in and play, I sign off at 8:15 pretty much no matter what is happening because that’s my storytime with Alex before he goes to bed. He’s been learning to read in school this year (and is doing so great at it), but still enjoys having stories read to him. We’ve just graduated to chapter books in the last couple of weeks. We’re currently reading Magic Tree House books and also Magic School Bus chapter books. It’s a lot of fun for both of us (BBB even sat and listened to the story last night) :)

So that’s basically what I’ve been up to.   One other thing that those with kids in their lives might be interested in –  I’ve been following some of the news about the new Lego MMO that is being created and it sounds pretty cool. They’ve just started beta signups this week. It’s not a guarantee of a key if you sign up, but if you want to try, you can register here.  And it’s a game that is definitely marketed toward and protective of kids as when it asked for username, I tried to use various versions of Cassie and was not allowed to because that contains the word “ass” in it and that’s not permitted.  :-)

And now, I shall stop babbling and get back to work now.

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Today the Bear is a year older (and a year grumpier?).

I just wanted to take a moment to say Happy Birthday and that I’m thinking of him while he’s stuck at work today (with another hell day scheduled before he even got there this morning).

Love you dear!

Bearbday

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I wanted to say a quick Happy Father’s Day and share a special story from our vacation last weekend (which seems so very long ago already) :(

As you may have read, we took Alex to the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells.  It was a wonderful weekend!  Five days before we were scheduled to go, I got a confirmation email and a “looking forward to seeing you, check out these things while you’re here” newsletter.  In the middle of the busy newsletter, it detailed their plans to open a new interactive game/exploration center in July and then mentioned at the end “Wiley’s Woods will be closed during your stay in preparation for this.”   I was immediately NOT happy because Wiley’s is Great Wolf’s dry play center that is one of the things we were looking forward to Alex being able to do.  It was also one of the reason’s we chose the cheapest room to stay in.  We figured we’d either be in the water parks or Wiley’s and only in the room to sleep, so the extra $100+ for a Kids themed suite wasn’t going to be worth it.

I emailed the hotel and expressed my displeasure at having to tell a 6-year old that he couldn’t do the thing he had seen pictures on the website of and asked if there was any chance we could be upgraded to a kids suite (since I’d read in reviews that they frequently upgraded people anyway when capacity was low), so I’d have something to “sell” to him about how vacation was still really fun.    I got a call back the next day from one of the lead front desk people who explained that they didn’t have any of those suites available, but instead he was upgrading us to one of their condo units at no charge.   So instead of a hotel room with a king bed and sofa bed for Alex, we ended up in condo with full kitchen including granite counter tops and full appliances, kids themed bedroom that slept 3 (so Alex got to pick 2 different beds for the weekend), a master bedroom, huge bathroom, nice living room with 42″ plasma tv and gas fireplace, and a loft bedroom upstairs that came with a 1/2 bathroom (which was wonderful when you had 3 wet people wanting to change).  Yeah, mighty nice place to stay and has probably ruined all future hotel getaways since Alex now thinks this is the standard of vacation we should have :)

We had a wonderful time in the water parks.  Alex loved the kid slides and his absolute favorite was the wave pool.  He started out nervous about it by then was lying back in a tube while we helped steer him over the waves and by the end of the weekend was standing in the waves to body check them and punch them with his fists while yelling “got you wave!.”  :-)

But finally it was time to check out on Sunday morning.  We decided we’d hit the cub club and arcade after check out since we hadn’t got there during our stay.  So off to the arcade first.

(This is where my actual story comes in now)

Once we hit the arcade both BBB and Alex were in heaven.  BBB spotted Guitar Hero and found songs he doesn’t have on our games at home.  So you can imagine the 40-year old “rocker” playing in the middle of the kids arcade (I have a photo but in honor of Father’s Day, I will resist sharing it) :-)

We all played some games for a bit, starting out with $5 in tokens that I grabbed from the machine.  We quickly finished that and BBB being a good daddy forked over $5 from his wallet this time to continue his…I mean, Alex’s fun.  He and Alex even played a game of air hockey together with Alex narrowly pulling off the game winning point and then jumping up and down and modestly yelling “I won. I beat you”  :-)

Finally, the tokens were gone and it was time to figure out what to get from the prize counter with Alex’s 153 tickets (while trying to explain the concept of “no, that costs too many.  No, you can’t have the 3000 ticket remote control car that’s worth $5 at Walmart).  I’m trying to steer Alex to the appropriate number of ticket items and pointing out good stuff (to speed the process along since we have a 3-hour drive yet and a t-ball game to attend in just 4 hours time at home).

BBB disappears and comes back with 4 more tokens.  He walks over to the big wheel game nearby (think Price is Right wheel) and says, “Alex come try this one.”  I’m immediately displeased because this is interrupting the time table of ever getting out of the arcade when we start the “just one more game” practice.  But fine, he’s already got the tokens, let’s get it over with.

Alex and I go over and he pulls the handle, the wheel spins and this is what we see at the end when it spots spinning:

dsc00198sm

Yes, our little guy has it stop in the 1 inch spot on the entire wheel that awards you 1000 tickets (which spit out of the machine in two stacks of 500 and take about 5 minutes to come out) while lights flash and sirens play (think casino slot machines).   We explain to Alex what he has just done and he is now jumping up and down yelling “I did it. I won” while all the kids (and parents) in the arcade come to watch in awe and are congratulating him.

So instead of a mere 153 ticket prize to take home, he ends the day with 1153.  He chooses a full size kickball with little spikes on it and a set with 2 monster trucks with various signs and obstacles to get in their way.

So, it seems that sometimes, dads do know best and know when to push their luck with “just one more game.”

Happy Father’s Day dear!

Cassie

PS – Happy Father’s Day to everyone out there!

If your dad is still in your life, make sure you treat him nice today and tell him how much you love him because someday he’ll be gone like mine is (2 years to the day today) and you’ll wish you had “just one more time” with him.

Comments 7 Comments »

Here’s what Blizzard had to say:

Now for the final installment of our preview of the new art for druid cat and bear forms, we’re taking a look at the new textures for night elf druid cat form. Here’s a comparative peek at the current look of cat form along with the five new textures, which can be selected by switching hair color in the barber shop.

From the Bear: Thank you to Cassie for posting this for sharing.

Okay… um, hold on a second. I have to stop laughing before I continue.

Oh, screw it. Look at ‘em first, I’ll comment afterwards.

necatsmall

Just… oh wow, the freaking mind boggles.

Sigh. Let me get the obvious jokes out of the way.

Yes, yes… thank you. Now we can all proudly announce that we are playing our “Night Elf Mohawk”. Thanks Mr T, always appreciated.

And yes, we are a bit into leather. The wrist cuffs are quite… butch.

The necklace? Can the necklace bobbles GET any more phallic?

And do Night Elf kitties really need three dangling balls? Aren’t two enough?

Yes, I know “A Wizards’ Staff has a Knob on the End”, but why does “The Big Bad Kitty has Hanging, Dangling Balls?”

Yes, I like them. I’m not that hard to please, really. (Take that sentence however you’d like, I’m feeling generous.)

But good lord, I can see the tag line NOW, when a Tauren Kitty and a Night Elf Kitty meet in the Dalaran Bar…

“Butch up, Sally.”

Okay, and one last thing…

I looked at them, and as the implications of them sank in, I had this little image inside my head…

To misquote Monty Python… “They’ve got great, heaving… balls of lead.”

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