Big Bear running on empty this week

I just wanted to let you folks know that the next week is liable to be on the erratic side where posts are concerned.

I’m sure I’ll still be posting each day, because I’m an addict, but I try to only post when I’m either happy, excited, or pissed. Not depressed.

And since Thursday, I’ve been fighting severe depression, mostly by playing woW and Guitar Hero 2.

The thing is, we have three cats. We have Molly, who has been with us since well before my son Alex was born. We have Shadow, who my mother in South Florida had as part of a litter, that we met while down there on what we laughably called a vacation (which was actually our secret “Hi mom, we’re having a baby” trip), and whom we loved so much we decided to fly back up to the frozen north to join us. And we have a third kitty, who we were told was named Boo when we adopted him about two months ago, but whome I prefer to call ‘Boozer’.. pretty much just to annoy Mrs BBB.

Well, it’s the holiday season. And for various reasons, it’s been both chaotic, and stessful. I’ve been taking care of our kitties and everything, but I haven’t been spending as much quality time with all three as normal. Molly normally is a little shy, and Shadow and Boo take the lead in demanding affection.

Wednesday it occured to me that I hadn’t seen Molly being out and about as much as normal for a few days, and so I went on a kitty hunt. I found her chilling out in our family room, sleeping on a blanket in a corner. When Cassie and I petted her and said Hi, I noticed that she was feeling awful skinny. Now, normally she’s pretty plump. And has been for years. Not fat, just plump.

Well, she sure seemed pretty damn skinny to me, and it seemed pretty sudden. So I was worreid that Boo, our new cat, who is a voracious chowhound, had been stressing her out fighting over food and she wasn’t eating right. We isolated Molly in a spare room, with her own food, water and litter, and let her chill out for the night.

Thursday, Cassie called me at work to tell me that she thought Molly still wasn’t eating but that the water might have been licked, and she had set an appointment for the vet for that afternoon.

Since then, we have been told that Molly has what is called ‘fatty liver’. It’s mostly caused by a cat stopping eating, for whatever reason. After a while, the cat has no appetite at all, and the liver develops this condition, and stops eating and drinking entirely. And it’s pretty much fatal if untreated.

The vet, whom I have magnanimously chosen not to beat the shit out of for severe incompetance and the worst bedside manner in history (I have given up counting how many times she has hinted that maybe we didn’t want to ‘deal with the hassle’ of nursing Molly through this. I feel like telling her to do her kids a favor and call Dr Kevorkian the next time they get the flu) tells us that it’s fifty/fifty if Molly will survive. And with her incompetance and lack of any organization skills, it takes us a while to forcibly drag out of her that the 50/50 she is citing is if we have complete 24 hour hospitalized care. As in, if we take Molly home like she was suggesting at first, and force-feed her with a syringe to get food down her throat, then the odds go down to like 20/80. That kind if thing is nice to know when making decision, ya know?

Anyway, the only way to help Molly get through this is to force food and water into her and get her liver to regain normal function, until she regains her appetite and starts eating and drinking on her own again.

We’ve had her in overnight care for two nights until we brought her home today, and now we have her back in her room, where she is intubated and we’re feeding her a liquid high-calorie solution that goes directly into her tummy. We feed her every couple hours, plus some anti-nausea medicine every 4 hours to try and prevent her rejecting the food.

We’re hoping she will show some signs of recovery in about a week, although I expect to be keeping her isolated from the other cats to rest and reduce stress for at least the next two weeks.

Anyway… I know that there are far worse tragedies going on in the world, and most likely in the lives of many of my readers’ right now. I’m not writing this to bitch, piss or moan, but just to let you know where my heads’ gonna be at for the next week or so.

Hopefully, everything will turn out okay. But what will be will be, and all we can do is the best we can to help Molly be comfortable and get the care she needs.

I thank you in advance for your understanding and patience. I hope that the New Year brings you and your loved ones peace and plenty.

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Bonus Bagpipe action… for Kirk

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Some lenahan first, as a bit of a warm up… ease ya into it…


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And a few bagpipe ones, from an album called “Pipe Down”. Enjoy!

Raid Song of the Week #13 – Foxhunters Slip Jig

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This one is more of a curiosity, really. My mp3 lists it as celtic Mystery – Foxhunters’ Slip Jig.

I love the song, but I have no idea who the actual artist is any more. My MP3 version is all that has survived, since I had this on a CD that got stolen in a case years ago.

Is it really ‘Celtic Mystery’? I have no idea.

I just know I really like the fast paced music that encourages you to get off your big butt and dance the Shredding dance.

Also, I don’t really want to get into it right now, but I have my reasons for wanting to imagine a sly feline slipping through the trees at high speed, to make an artful and successful escape as the hounds that are hot in it’s heels lose the scent.

In other news, I’d like to report that, thanks to the thoughts and prayers of my fellow raiders, (some of whom I am sure were simply praying for me to shut up about it) my Tier 4 Gloves finally dropped off Mr. Curator last night.

And there was much /cheer to be heard in the shadowed halls of Kara.

Have a great weekend, folks!

How to create colored Guild Notes

This post is 100% in thanks to Girl Meets WoW, who wrote this up a while back. I read her post, went “Oh cool!” and then went and did it… and drove many of my other guildies into frustration because I have been too focused on other things to ever actually let them know how I did it.

In response to their complaints, here. Fine. Now will you leave me to kill my trees in peace?

The whole thing is about changing either your Guild Message of the Day, the public Guild Note of a character, or the ‘officer-only viewable’ Guild Note of a character to be in colors. Girl Meets WoW wrote all about it right here.

I only ever messed with the character public Guild Notes, because that was the funnest part… to drive other guildies nuts.

Girl Meets WoW has the instructions on what to type-in right on her post, or you can go to the Colorizer webpage directly and play around with the code generator yourself.

Personally, I had a few minor problems getting it to work, but nothing too bad. When I tried to make the rainbow effect, I wasn’t able to figure it out. I’m probably just stupid, and I KNOW I’m lazy cause I didn’t spend much time on it. I was too happy to make my Hunters’ public note say “Epic Quality!” in purple.

As I use the GuildFu plugin for my Fubar addon, it is super easy to see everyone in the guild that is online, and all their guild notes… and seeing all those bland grey/green notes, all the same boring color, with my bright purple standing out was very, very cool.

Basically, the first key point is you have to have permissions to change color settings on guild notes. That pretty much means you need to be an officer or a rank in your guild that can make or modify notes in the first place.

Then, to change any person’s public Guild note, you would first open your Social tab, open the Guild tab, and click on the name of the person whose note you are changing.

Open the chat (or ‘Say’) window and copy/paste the following into it;

/run GuildRosterSetPublicNote(GetGuildRosterSelection(),”124cffXXXXXXYOURNOTE”)

For XXXXXX you enter in the 6 digit hexadecimal code for your chosen color, and for YOURNOTE type in your chosen message. That’s it. Dead simple.

What I chose was the following for my hunter;

/run GuildRosterSetPublicNote(GetGuildRosterSelection(),”124cffff00ccEpic Quality!”)

Epic Quality!

On my Druid, I set a long message, and after posting and looking correct for a few minutes, the tail end of it vanished like a Rogue. I changed the note to something shorter, and it has lasted for weeks now. I made this message ina nice, Druid friendly green.

/run GuildRosterSetPublicNote(GetGuildRosterSelection(),”124cff00cc33Group 1 – Bear Tank”)

Group 1 – Bear Tank

In all cases, make sure you go straight to Girl Meets WoW and to the Colorizator pages for more info. I think the colored Guild notes are awesome… and I regret no longer having sole uniqueness, but on the positive side, this should make for more fun notes.

My biggest regret? I was going to add the Public note “Blizzard GM” in Legendary Orange color next to my name, and screw with the new folks in the guild. Oh well, I’ll find new ways to have fun, I’m sure.

I Can Play With the Big Kids Now!!!

YES!!! Finally, it happened last night. I hit level 60! Woohoo!!

I had hit 58 over the weekend, happily ran into Outlands immediately, tried a quest or two, killed a few bad guys, fell into the Hellfire Citadel area and got my butt killed by 62-63 level guys, had to resurrect near there, got killed again, and finally escaped where I quickly ran back to my safe and happy Azeroth. LOL

Finished up some quests around the areas there with BBB’s help on some group ones. Did some more solo work and hit 60% toward 60th level. Decided to cautiously try Hellfire Peninsula again, but this time with lots of food, lots of healing potions and stealth firmly equipped at all times, except when necessary to fight a single bad guy at a time. It was exhausting work having to heal after every single fight when I’m used to my powerful rogue self quickly taking down baddies everywhere and then having to stealth the vast area of HFP. But I finally finished another quest, happily ran back to Honor Hold to turn it in and went, “AHHHHH, what do you mean I’m at 99.1%” So I ran out of the hold, killed 3 boars and hit 60. Yippee!

Now the fun could begin. I had done a bunch of work over the past few weeks to hit exalted with IF. I’ve been exalted with SW for months as a human rogue who did just about every quest in those areas. But I had to really work for IF (turned in lots of cloth to get rep). So I hit 60 and immediately ask BBB if I can learn 150 riding in IF or if I have to go all the way to the logging camp near Goldshire to get that. He says “uh, I don’t know. I’ve never talked to anyone who hit 60 and was already exalted with another faction from their own.” Yep, that’s me, I’m special (or maybe just neurotic) LOL

I decide to give it a try and head out to the riding trainer in IF and yep, he teaches me 150 riding for the cost of 400G (20% exalted discount) and then I browse the herd of swift rams trying to make up my mind. I draft BBB and our son to help look at them and choose. I finally settle on a Swift Brown Ram.

However, being a very indecisive person, I can’t JUST have a ram. I mean what if I’m playing and I’m not in a ram mood. That’s why I had a chestnut mare and a black stallion slow horse for those days when one just didn’t feel right. LOL

So I fly to SW and ride myself out to the logging camp on my new ram, happily telling BBB and Daak that I may give up questing and fighting entirely and instead just ride the worlds on my speedy mount.

I get out to the horse vendor and again I’m presented with a choice of 3 colors of swift horses. Ugh, choices, choices. I run back and forth among them trying to decide and at one point, ask BBB and Daak if it’s wrong that I’m trying to decide on a horse by standing behind it and looking at its butt, since that’s what I’m going to see anyway. LOL

Finally I decide on a Swift Palomino.

So that was my evening. Oh yeah, and I also trained 6 upgraded skills, learned 2 upgraded poisons, made about 25 of them, make 40+ potions from herbs that BBB sent me, and hit the AH to make some money again (after all, 2 mounts and riding are expensive and I only have 1100G left. And there’s still flying mounts and epic flying mounts to buy eventually (plus BBB insists that I have to buy him an epic flying mount for his hunter – what a whiner) LOL

Cassieann

Hello, I’m Bigbearbutt, and I’m addicted to killing trees

“Hello, I’m Bigbearbutt, and I’m addicted to killing trees.”

[chorus]”Hi Bigbearbutt!”


Oh sure, it all started innocently enough. I dropped Mining on my Druid to get Herbalism up to 375 for some high speed, low drag herb farming. Cassieann has some Flasks to make, and her itch for herbs ain’t gonna be satisfied with any measly old 100% speed griffon. Hypersonic Herbing FTW!

So boom, I drop my Mining, and pick up Herbalism. One afternoon later, 375 Herbalism and a bank alt full of low level junk herbs.

For those interested in my preferred leveling areas that I’ve used for both Windstar and Windshadow, see me at the end of the post.

So. I go off herbing… gathering, sorting, shipping ’em off to Cassie and the bank alt. And all is right with the world. Fel Lotus, which is needed for Cassies’ Flasks, is pretty rare, but I still grab 10 or 11 of ’em off random herbs in a couple days. Not bad.

But then it happens. I get asked to come help finish off Zuluhed the Whacked so some guildies can get Neutral with Netherwing.

I’m exalted already, which used to mean you couldn’t help with the quest. But these days, you open up your reputation tab, flag yourself as ‘At War’ with Netherwing, and you are good to go. And no, you don’t lose rep if you do it. At least not as of this writing.

As we gather for the beat down, Whirlish happens to mention, being an Herbalist himself, that he does the herb farming, but since he doesn’t have an epic mount, he likes to go on his Hunter to Skettis, and solo taking down the big tree dude elites. He tells me that they drop mad herbs.

“How mad are these herbs we’re talking about?”

“Oh, mad. Crazed herbs.”

“Hmmm” I muse… “I wonder if I can solo them on my Druid… 71 Elites tend to be wonky. On the other hand, if a Hunter can solo one… how bad can they be?”

Just kidding. You know I love tha Huntahs.

So after Zuluhed, I dutifully head on over to Skettis to see what’s what with this tree dude thang going around.

So I find one, I gear up bear style, I pop my butt in front of him in a clearing with no adds around, and I pop a Moonfire in his leaves. Quick shift to bear and we’re off to the races!

Okay… these guys are just plain silly.

I’m Mangling, and just slapping it around… and my Improved Leader of the Pack is popping the self-heals… and I haven’t hit my trinkets. I notice that my health drops a bit, and then returns to full. Over and over.

I’ve got the tree to about 15% health left, and I’m still at full.

“That can’t be right” I mutter grumpily to myself.

So I pull up my info tabs, I’m looking things over… nope, that’s right. My Improved Leader of the Pack is equal to his damage output when you compensate for my gear.

So if I go into a fight with an elite tree-dude, I should get out with the same health I went in with. Unless there are adds. Lesson? Take down adds first.

The first tree-dude drops… and when I herb him I find… 3 Mana Thistle, 4 Felweed and 4 Motes of Life.

“What the f…?”

That had to be a fluke. Right?

So I go after another. This time… 3 Ancient Lichen and 3 Felweed and 4 Motes of Life.

Okaaaaaayyy……

“Just one more”

Four hours later…..

“Cassie?”

“Yes?”

“Please help. I’m killing trees, and I can’t make myself stop.”

“Go do something else.”

“Okay…”

An hour later….

Cassie walks in on BBB… “What are you doing?”

On screen, a tree dies, falling as silently as… well… as only a lonely tree can die.

“Ummm…. nothing.”

“You’re still killing the trees, aren’t you?”

“I can’t help it! You just can’t stop with one! They’re the Doritos of the herbing world, farm a bunch, they just spawn more!!!!”

“That’s nice dear… I think it’s time you went and played Guitar Hero, there’s a good bear….”

“But the trees! Who’ll kill the trees?”

“There there, it’s for your own good. There! See? that lovely Blood Elf Warlock is killing the trees now.”

“A Hordie?!? Killing MY trees? NEVAH!”

As she reaches for the bat, I turn my attention back to the screen… and then the world goes black….

Did the server crash? Oh! Look at the pretty birdforms dancing around my head!


Okay, for those of you interested in knowing how I leveled my Herbing… quick and dirty.

I start in Darnassus. I go to the level 4-10 area and farm the heck out of it. It is a very under-visited area, and with a mount you can cover a lot of ground fast. In fact, there tend to be so many herbs there, that I just stay in Cheetah form. You do know you can farm herbs in cat form, right? Run, run farm, run, run farm.

Darnassus takes us to 75… but after that it’s time to move on. So let’s go… right to the Barrens.

Barrens is another place that has tons of herbs of varying levels. I tend to farm the herbs continuously until I reach the level where I can gather Stranglekelp. Guess what? If you’re not actually looking for Stranglekelp, you don’t stop along the way to grab it. It’s all along the coast of the Barrens, and along the coast of Wetlands, and in swimming form you can gather the Stranglekelp all day long.

About the time you’re getting Stranglekelp maxed out is a good time to hit Wetlands. A larger concentration of higher level herbs gets your level up even higher nice and fast. Soon, you are finding it hard to get more points… well don’t stick it out, move on. Where? To Swamp of Sorrows.

Swamp of Sorrows has a good amount of Fadeleaf, Goldthorn and Khadgars’ Whisker, but it truly is wallowing in Blindweed. But it is a hell of a jump from the lower levels to Blindweed at 235. So what you do is farm your Fadeleaf, Goldthorn and Khadgars’ until you hit 205, and then pop on down to Blasted Lands and hit up the Firebloom. Run that one until 235 and back up to Swamp of Sorrows for the Blindweed.

Ride the Blindweed train until you reach 250, and then it’s back on down to Blasted Lands for Sungrass and Gromsblood. This should easily take you to 280… and from there, you can move to Felwood to top you off to 300.

And at 300… well, at 300 ladies and gentlemen, the world (of warcraft) is your oyster. Head to Hellfire Peninsula where the Felweed is under-farmed, and old school herbs still give you points, and start traveling. It is only a matter of time until you hit 375 now, because everything you grab is likely to give you points.

Ta-daaa!

“Now, where are those trees…. Druids harvest trees, it’s part of the natural order. So stop fighting it and line on up. I gots me my pruning shears all sharpened up. Who’s first?”

EDIT: Oh, and yeah, I’ve seen too many herbs lately. Cassie called me to let me know I’d screwed up and wrote Strangleweed isntead of Stranglekelp in the post. Funny thing is, originally I’d written a mix of Strangleweed and Stranglethorn. So maybe this time I got it right. 🙂

Does this make my butt look big?

Well, Merry aftermath to you, my fine friends.

I hope you had a great time!

Yes, yes, I’m sure you’re bored hearing about it. It’s over now, you’re bored at work or at home, yadda yadda, get back to the cranky. Well, here we go. Let’s get back to wasting your time reading more of my idiocy.

Now, way, way long ago, back in the early days of this blog, I wrote about some of the incredible crankiness that the commenters on articles in WoW Insider or at blogs can spew out, particularly at that time to our good friends Kirk and Big Red Kitty.

Most of the bitchiness at the time seemed to be from readers over there that didn’t appreciate BRK’s writing in his fun, irreverent style.

Now, I’m not going to pretend to understand what goes on in some of those folks’ heads, but it seemed like the most outraged were pissed that he dared to interject his own personality, sense of fun, and opinions into an article written by… brace yourselves!… Big Red Kitty!

I had no idea who BRK was before I started getting into blogging. I was enjoying my hunter alt, and reading WoW Insider, and I came across an article about Hunters, written by someone referred to as Big Red Kitty. And it mentioned a blog. So I went out there looking, and found BRK’s blog. Lo and behold, here was a veritable treasure trove of Hunter stuff.

Now, these days I myself write a Druid column for WoW Insider. So let me clue you, my good friends, in on a little secret… they encourage you, in the FAQ they give you access to when you start writing for them, to continue writing in your own style and voice. They specifically say that you shouldn’t turn into a little soulless robot, because you aren’t writing for a daily newspaper like the Times or the Post. (See what I did there?)

No… we’re bloggers, writing columns containing news and facts and opinions, from our own unique, often crazy, perspectives. Hopefully, the folks reading enjoy it at least a little. Part of how you can tell it’s a blog experience, is the way there are comments. You know, so if you disagree with an opinion expressed in an article or column, you can say so. Your opinions can be heard.

Well, this is my blog. Unpaid, free range open forum for me to say whatever the hell I want. And there are comments. How about that? Ain’t we upscale?

What I want to say is, if you don’t like an article on WoW Insider, then please stop reading it. If you disagree with any of the points raised, then please comment on why they are wrong and teach us.

But if you read it, and see that it does not personally apply to where you are currently at in the game, and it doesn’t interest you… please just shut the fuck up and move on. Read about something else. There are tons of articles to peruse. Knock yourself out.

If you don’t like the article because I make mistakes and will lead readers astray, well shit. I need to know, so I can at least try to do more better. 🙂

If the reason it offends you is that you feel it is beneath you, and thus by definition, the rest of the known galaxy, then frankly my dear Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.

If you are so l33tsauce that every article you read must be aimed strictly at you and you alone, and to hell with anyone that may be picking up the game for the first time, or trying a class for the first time, then go to the Elitist Jerks forums and wallow in your superiority. It’s cool. They kick ass over there. Really, go ahead.

But again… if it sucks so bad… here is my challenge to you. Start your own blog (it’s free btw) and prove it. Write. Be brilliant. Show us how awesome you are and how crappy we are by comparison. Don’t just say it, DO IT.

Put up, or shut the hell up.

Oh, and if you do choose to write a blog, please make sure you let us know. Maybe you are great, and we get the joy of a new, informative, brilliantly written blog. God knows you won’t find one here.

If you’re not all that brilliant… well, at least you’ll be so busy writing that maybe you won’t have time to critique everybody else, and maybe you’ll chill the hell out a little.

Either way, pure win.