Determination – Do U Haz It?

When everything is going great, it’s easy to be positive and keep going.

But how are you at staying focused and positive when things get difficult? When it takes effort?

Do you have the determination to keep going, to recognize that it’s go time, and to push ever harder?

When the raid wipes for the 157th time on Heroic Ragnaros, do you pull the plug and fake a power outage, or do you repair, refresh, swear and then step up to go again, determined to damn well put your very best effort in this time. Yes, you thought you did that last time, but you can do better.

You WILL do better.

Bacon. The power to get things done.

Do you have the bacon in YOU?

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Even Bear Butts Get The Blues

You ever just write something, and you’re pretty happy about it, and cheerful, and walk away smiling, only to come back and find out that what you wrote, and the feeling you had when you wrote it, and your entire attitude and mental state that allowed you to hold the world view when you wrote it, were all read by other people who interpreted what you said in a completely unexpected way that takes you completely by surprise…

And makes you feel like maybe you just came off like the biggest, most arrogant, egotistical asshole in the world?

Doesn’t matter what was in your head at the time. That’s what came across. As the meme says, offense is in the eye of the beholder, and the internet has no tone of voice.

If that is what people read into what I said… then hell, maybe I AM the most arrogant, egotistical asshole in the world. I know for a fact I’ve got some former guildies that would so aver.

Or at the very least, I am king of the asshats of my own little corner of it, population me.

I’m gonna take a little break, get some down time, relax and wait for my attitude to bounce back. I’m a bouncy bear, and NOTHING can take my butt down and keep it down except me. Just takes a bit of attitude adjusting, that’s all.

I’ll eat some M&Ms, have a bacon sandwich, hug my son, listen to March of Cambreadth, read some Terry Pratchett, play alts with my wife and generally do some of the things that recharge my battery back to POWERING THIS GALACTIC-SIZED TESTAMENT TO WHINY POUTINESS, DAMNIT.

I’ll be back to the blog in a few days.

In the meantime… let’s revisit my first ever Raid Song of the Week. It bears repeating. And it’ll kick my good feeling into overdrive NOW.

[audio:https://thebigbearbutt.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/March-of-Cambreadth.mp3|titles=March of Cambreadth]

I’m so glad we have this time… Together!

Thank you all for continuing to read and visit me here. I hope that when you stop by to visit, you feel welcome. This isn’t the Pink Pigtail Inn, but you can be certain that whenever you stop by, you’ll find a metaphorical Guinness, Captain and Coke, and bacon sandwich all ready and waiting for you. Pull up a chair, enjoy your drink, and if you finish your bacon early in your stay… there is ALWAYS more. Always. 

I joke around that nobody comes by to read this stuff, Gnomer just sits there in between slaughtering Horde in BGs hitting ‘refresh’ on every post that mentions him 1,000 times a day. 

The truth is, though, while I am the one that keeps on writing, it’s not all me. Not even slightly. When you comment, even just when I see you’ve come around, it is part of the conversation here. You teach me, encourage me and give me the inspiration to continue to feel that we are all having fun together, and I guess that means, in a very large, real way, the continued existence of this blog is your fault.

Bears may not be able to parry, but clearly we can deflect. 🙂 

As much as I thank you all, I also want to give a huge thank you to my wife Cassie, who has been with me every step of the way as we danced this waltz of blogging craziness together, even as she thought I was a blithering idiot, and I did my best every day to prove her right.

As I mentioned to Lier the other day, my blogging goal every time I sit down is to write a post that will amuse and distract someone for 5 minutes during a lunch break.

I like to think I achieve that goal at least a few times a week, and if that’s so, then world peace and a united earth government can’t be far behind. Right?

In conclusion…

You will believe that a Bear and his love can dance!

Inspiration and Transformation

The meme has come, the meme has gone… let’s move on.

Gnomer may have unleashed the latest iteration of 6 of 6 upon us, but he isn’t just a cute little hairy gnome with a mighty awesome (if familiar) butt. He also writes inspirational posts.

In Gnomers latest article, he challenges us as bloggers to write posts that get our meaning across, and along the way link to those who may have inspired us to think about it.

For good or bad, he says, if someone inspired you with love or hate by the ideas they shared, they made you think, and there is little enough of that in the world today. Let’s link to those inspirational people and share them with our readers.

I like the idea of taking the time, while writing a post, to think back to the people who have helped influence me in my opinions and link to them.

I also like the idea of searching through my own archives looking for things to torture Gnomer with.

I started skimming through my archive of posts, looking at titles, starting from the very earliest.

I’ve got over 1500 posts in my archive. What shocks me is how some of them are still very much in my mind, as if I wrote them just last week. Like the Storytime posts on the sidebar, I remember writing them and know they are there.

Like the post I wrote when Cassie first made the decision WoW was a game that was worth spending a little money on. That was a huge leap. What a vivid memory, and the post captured my feelings perfectly.

Speaking of my strongest source of inspiration, here is a post about my thoughts on playing WoW that sounds eerily familiar, a post that was inspired by discussions Cassie and I had back in 2008. The biggest laugh in that old post is my somehow thinking that the longer WoW was out, the fewer Tradechat asshats there would be because they’d jump ship to troll other games! Ahh, I crack myself up. /wipestear

In going over those earliest archived posts, there were two inspirations that really jumped out at me.

The first was when I struck out on my own to create a guild website… way back in April of 2008, Pugnacious Priest put a guide on her website where she taught me how to make a truly awesome guild banner image.

Think about that, Pugnacious Priest has been influencing me and inspiring me from the very beginning. From insight into Shadow Priests, a class I think is awesome, to being the one that helped me create a guild banner, to being a great writer year after year… my how the time flies, right?

The other post I found was directly inspired by, surprise ANOTHER gifted author who liked writing about priests.

Kirk was the long time author of a blog called Priestly Endeavors. Kirk stopped actively playing World of Warcraft in October of 2008, a long, long time ago, but his influence during his tenure was profound. Some of the best writing I did in the early days was usually inspired by him.

This other post from my archive was directly inspired by a comment that was left on his blog, and his reaction to it, and… well, I’ll let you read it, since his website is still very much alive for history to enjoy.

When I read what had happened with Kirk, and right around the same time something similar happened with Big Red Kitty (who still writes about WoW as well as life and craziness on Brain Needs Space), I was inflamed with outrage! Inflamed!

I do that sometimes.

What Kirk and BRK inspired me to write, I just read over, and I’m still very happy with it. I am delighted to find that even four years later, I can read what I said about why I do this thing I do, and it is still true. I could post that on the sidebar permanently as my first post for new readers, and consider it a job well done. It still says how I feel.

Isn’t that the best kind of inspiration? When someone helps you realize how YOU really think or feel about something, and brings it out of you?

I want to thank the Pugnacious Priest, Kirk, and Dan Howell for being such strong inspirations on me, and for still being there inspiring others. While Kirk doesn’t continue to blog the way the others do, he still to this day comments and emails me and helps guide me, even to the point of helping us with our Walt Disney World planning!

For those of you who blog, I really do encourage you to take the time to look at your past archives, or think about who has influenced you or inspired you, and take a moment to give them the best sign of appreciation a writer can have… a damn good post of your own for all of us to enjoy. 🙂

Oh, and Gnomer, buddy… remember how you said to mention how people inspire you? Yeah. Hey, do you remember that time you asked me to let people on the blog know about those awesome mage forums at Mana Obscura? Yeah, you are a true inspiration to me, and that’s a fact. Love ya, bud. 🙂

WoW is like a….

Heads up new readers…. it’s that time again.

I feel like starting some shit.

If you’re new, buckle up, you’re probably going to see a side to the Bear that only comes out to play when I’ve had good coffee instead of the cheap crap.

Notice I didn’t apologize. You’ve been warned.

There are a lot of great MMOs out these days, and many of them are going free to play, for a given value of what is “free” for you to actually “play”.

There are lots of new ones coming soon that look great.

Excited? I know I am! I love to see new ideas conceptualized and made real for our gaming enjoyment.

We are living in exciting times. DAMN! Isn’t this great?

Every time someone sells an idea and brings it out, we win. Maybe some don’t reach their hype, maybe some blow past all expectations. We still win either way, because our dollar is a force to be reckoned with and pandered to.

People want our money. And to get it, they are trying to figure out what we like, and they make us shiny things.

Take movies.

Do you know what we would have done if someone dropped one of these modern Marvel superhero movies on us in the eighties?

Just look at this. I am actually having minor difficulty in tracing back all the damn good movies that will feed directly into this summers The Avengers, so I can have the entire range of them ready to watch. And how many of them are just so damn good? Captain America, Iron Man 1 and 2, Thor (god, I love the Thor movie), The Incredible Hulk (the Edward Norton one), and we’re not even including any of the Spider-Man films, X-Men (I love the Wolverine movie), the new Fantastic Four films, etc, etc.

Maybe you loved some, maybe you hated some, but holy shit.

We live in strange days when someone can make a film as kick ass as The Incredible Hulk (the Edward Norton one), and it vanishes without notice. My generation had Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk for five minutes in an episode and 55 with Bill Bixby looking depressed, and we convinced ourselves we were happy with that, it was all good. Secretly, we cried ourselves to sleep with dreams of a giant green monster smashing combat gunships out of the sky and smashing the shit out of an Abrahms.

New things are great, and what we pay our money on paves the way for the next awesome thing they make for us to spend our money on, and bless them for it.

I dreamed of a tricorder when I was a kid, and did YOU see smartphones the way they are now even five years ago? Yeah, you who dropped $400 on one of those flip phones 5 years ago, I’m talking to you. Sucker.

About ten years ago, I was excited because I had a two way text pager with keyboard, and my wife could login to a website on her computer to send a text page directly to my pager. And I could type a reply back. From my pager. This was awesome technology… for about 6 months.

I welcome all the new MMOs coming our way.

I welcome the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO, I welcome the upcoming Guild Wars 2 MMO, and I wish we could have serious Babylon 5 and Buffyverse MMOs. Bring them on.

The more the merrier, damn it.

But here’s the thing.

I play World of Warcraft. That’s what I do.

I try other games, I even buy other games, I bought Kingdoms of Amalur and I love it.

But World of Warcraft, I always come back to you. You are my one true gaming love. I have played you for almost the entire life of my son. I have written about you with enthusiasm, I have had highs, and I have had some incredible lows. I have had my guts torn apart by people I have met in this game that I trusted, and I have had my life enriched by the relationships and friends I have been fortunate enough to make.

This is the game I play. I played it yesterday, I played it today, and you know what? Forecasted chance of WoW tomorrow approaches about 100%.

Death, taxes, I play WoW.

Now, we all joke about this, it’s a concept as old as time, but here it is.

Playing World of Warcraft is just like being in a relationship.

People used to talk all the time about “WoW widows”, and how a persons obsession with WoW could consume their lives and cause their real life marriages to break up, and other things, and I’m sure they are all true.

That some of us, myself among them, feel that an addictive personality that is trying to retreat from a reality (or a real life relationship) they don’t want to face might have chosen any vehicle for escape, be it World of Warcraft, alcohol, rock music, an affair, knitting or spending all their time in sports bars with the buds is besides the point.

The concept of World of Warcraft as a relationship has been around for a long time.

But here is where it gets tricky.

I am married to WoW.

So why the FUCK is it that some people can’t seem to grasp that I can still find WoW interesting, exciting and enjoyable?

I’m married to a wonderful woman in real life. She is simply amazing. No, really, you have no idea. She IS that good. She’s a freaking badass killer angel and you do not deserve to have her DPS in your raid, she is so awesome. Plus, she does taxes, raises children, works five jobs all hours of the day and still manages to kick my ass in You Don’t Know Jack.

Now, I have to ask you.

I’ve been married to this amazing woman for over ten years. I have come to know her very well. She still has the capacity to surprise me, and she is still endlessly exciting to me, and yet we fit together so well. I know her moods, her attitudes, her outlook on life. We are a team, and she is my best friend.

So, do you people come by the blog and wonder why I haven’t gotten bored with her and dumped her for something more interesting because by now we must have run out of things to say to each other?

And yet, I’ve played WoW for fewer years than I’ve been married to my wife. It has grown as we have, expanded (my wife, let me point out, has not expanded over the years in any way except emotionally. My butt has, but she most emphatically has not. )

So, can you please finally grasp the simple concept that some of us HAVE THE CAPACITY TO BE HAPPY IN A COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP AND DON’T NEED TO DUMP OUR CURRENT LOVE WHEN A HOT NEW MODEL COMES ALONG BECAUSE ITS SHINY AND NEW.

I love my wife, can’t imagine a world without her. Just cannot do it.

I also love WoW. I love that, as long as I’ve been playing it, and as incredibly comfortable the knowledge I have of the game, it’s rules, the underpinnings of the gameplay and the vast world of lore gives me, I STILL find something new and fresh or changed and rediscovered all the time.

It’s the wonderful video game hobby that I know so well that still manages to surprise and delight me.

I love my wife far, far more than I will ever love a video game, even WoW. Let me make that clear. This is a comparison to make a point, not a comparison like they are emotionally equal in my life.

The point being, I have the capacity to enjoy being in a relationship.

I get asked, and I see comments all the time from people wondering “How is it that you’re not bored yet? Everyone else is bored, your creating that new alt is another sign that you’re bored, you’re supposed to be sick of WoW by now, how can you continue to play that tired old boring game?”

And I keep wondering to myself, “How is it that you can’t grasp the concept that someone may actually ENJOY playing a game that they have known for many years, have grown very familiar with, have developed years of wonderful memories with, have explored and grown so used to that logging in is like returning to visit an old friend that is still your best friend?”

And I still get to make new characters and discover NEW ways of playing this game! Un-be-lievable.

If you can’t conceive of how someone else can play the same game for years and years, if the very idea somehow offends you…

In the immortal words of Jeff Foxworthy, MAYBE THE PROBLEM IS YOU.

Please, play your other games. Have fun. I know you will like them, because they are damn good, and getting better all the time.

But please, stop acting as though I am the crazy one for still enjoying the game I’m playing.

Let’s just agree that we do not understand each other and leave it at that, okay? I won’t ram my game down your throat like it’s the one true game to tie and bind all the rest, and you don’t come here and act like every time I mention something irritating me in WoW that day that this is one more sign why the entire game sucks and only stupid people play it.

Deal?

I like trying other games myself, I’m always keeping an open mind, maybe the next great video game love of my life is out there waiting to be found. Maybe Cassie will try one, love it, and tempt me to come along and keep her company.

Maybe.

I really don’t think so, though.

Just like my relationship with my wife, I cannot imagine playing another video game in the same way that I have loved and still love playing WoW.

Someday, WoW will be shut down. Maybe even when Blizzards new MMO comes out.

And when that day comes, I will be one of those people you read about, 12,000 people left on one consolidated server on a 15 year MMO running an operating system that isn’t supported by Microsoft anymore, and you’re saying to yourself, “Wow, people still play that tired old game when all these new ones are out? Geez, what is wrong with them?”

And I’m good with that.

Jumping on the IMWC bandwagon

I didn’t do it when it was the cool, in thing to do. All the really cool people leaped into it, and gushed about it, and made it sound very neat. Fun. Mahvelous. Challenging.

The Iron Man WoW Challenge.

I was really tempted, it sounded pretty fun to set those kinds of limits on myself, see how crafty I could be for the love of the game, and of arbitrary self-imposed limits to fight off ennui.

Then Blizzard themselves came out and did all but endorse the IMWC as an official game mode.

That is a lot of “ooh, that sounds so awesome but is overhyped so I must avoid it like the plague” to overcome.

Well, I pushed past it. I was strong!

I am going to do it… but at my own pace. Kinda have to, so much to do, so many characters to play, so little time.

The rules, as I understand them from this thread and upon which I shall abide, are;

Get from level 1-85 using the rules below.

Ironman Challenge Rules

1. All gear employed must be White or Grey. Also, no Heirlooms of any sort.
2. No transfer of gear, items or money from any other character (yours or others)
3. No gear enhancement(s), thus no Socket Gems, Enchanting or Reforging. Exceptions exist for class abilities. (example: Rogue poisons)
4. No specializations, talent points, or glyphs. This restriction also applies to talent points for pets.
5. No professions or secondary skills. An exception is made for First Aid.
6. No potions/flasks/elixirs (except those labeled as Quest Items)
7. No food buffs or other external buffs (this includes buffs from items and other players).
8. No grouping or assistance from other characters, even if not grouped.
9. No dungeons/raids. No battlegrounds/arenas.
10. No guilds. An exception is made for Ironman guilds (no perks)
11. No Refer-A- Friend activities. The intention of the challenge is that it be done without assistance.
12. No add-ons that assist in combat (try to challenge yourself and do the most with the least).
13. THE BIG ONE: No deaths. Character death for any reason disqualifies the character.

Permitted:
– All mounts
– All bags/containers
– All quests (including holiday and daily quests)
– You may train and use all your class skills (including your own buffs)

The one thing that I have to admit I don’t like is that I can’t specialize or use talent points. I like talent points, and getting more abilities. When I asked for suggestions on race/class on Twitter, Tish Tosh Tesh suggested Draenei Frost Mage, and I said great… not remembering you’re not allowed to spec frost, or anything else.

I will try. I will see how well I can do. Bigironbutt is live, somewhere, and we shall see if I make it to level 10 and am qualified to join the WoW Ironman Challenge website roster.

If you are taking part in this as well, I hope I’ll see you alive and still kicking!

Not Quite a Guest Post

I have here some alternative lyrics for the classic song, “The Gambler”, and I’m going to share them here with you. Right now. Any second now. No really, look down there. Those are lyrics. Stop reading this and look, damnit!

This was written by Sidhebane, and I hope you enjoy it. I thought it was just the thing to kick off the week with a smile.

The Death Knight (by Sidhebane, inspired by Kenny Rogers and BBB)

On a cold winter’s evening, on a tram bound for Stormwind,
I met up with a Death Knight, we were both too tired to queue.
So we took turns a-staring through the portals at the lake-bed
Until his head turned to me, said “I’d like to talk to you”

He said “Son, I’ve made a living out of reading monsters’ stances,
And knowing what their tricks were by the way they held their swords.
And if you don’t mind me saying, I can see you’re low on chances.
If you lend me some hitpoints, I might lend you some words.”

So I handed him my potion, and he swigged it in one motion,
Then he bummed a Healthstone, and chowed down on that too
And the night seemed frozen solid, as his armor frosted over
Said “If you’re going to be the tank, boy, the mobs will look to you.

You gotta know how to fight ’em, know when to kite ’em,
Know when to pop your shields, know when to run.
You don’t loot no corpses if there’s bad guys up and able,
There’ll be time enough for looting when the fight is done.”

Every tank should know, that the secret to survivin’,
is knowin’ what to blow away and knowin’ what to sheep.
‘Cause each PUG has a whiner, and each PUG has a bruiser,
And the best that you can hope for’s that your healer’s not asleep.

And as he finished talking, his armor came defrosted.
His shoulders seemed to slump and his ghoul keeled over dead,
And right there in the darkness, the Death Knight he cast Deathgate,
And still his final words, they seemed to echo in my head

“You gotta know how to fight ’em, know when to kite ’em,
Know when to pop your shields, know when to run.
You don’t loot no corpses if there’s bad guys up and able,
There’ll be time enough for looting when the fight is done.”