Monday, July 23, 2007

The Random Stuff First

Magic - There is a tournament at Heroes Kingdom I will probably go to on August 4th. Hopefully Hilary or Jeremy can build me a deck and lend me some cards. All my cards are digital these days.

World of Warcraft - Having finally tamed Rak'shiri I headed back over to the Burning Crusade to explore. The first two quests vastly upgraded my bow and my melee weapon. But I kept seeing mining deposits that I couldn't touch because my mining was only 240. The only way to fix that was to head back to the old world and spend a week or five raising it up to 300. Could I really do that and just ignore all the new things to explore?

Hey look, I only have 47 gold in my pocket.

So, I guess, yes, if I ever wanted to buy anything again, like, say, my epic mount, then yes, I would be heading back to the old world to level my mining. That was three weeks ago.

This morning it hit 296.

Mixed Martial Arts - My weight continues to hold steady at 170. Wendy and I run often and continue to increase our distance. My Concept 2 rowing machine beckons me and soon I will be watching UFC while it hums along beneath me. I still plan to return to training at some point in the future and hope to have some more fights. Probably a few years off as I get this whole writing thing off the ground.

Going right along with that, thanks to my goatee, mustache and new wardrobe, old friends look me right in the eye in the grocery store and then look away, having no idea who I am. I'll catch their eye again, smile or say their name and they'll blankly look at me for a second say "hello" and about 5 seconds later a little light goes on and they say soemthing like "Holy Shit" or "I didn't even recognize you. When did you get back into the states?"

In real UFC news, a match of good versus evil has been scheduled. At UFC 74, the man I loathe most in the UFC is fighting the man I admire most in the UFC. Sadly, evil will probably win it.

Travel - 5:45 am. Eyes closed. Mind wide awake. "I should go downstairs and update my blog. I need to tell everyone about "Replay" and lecture them on a life worth living" I think to myself. But if I do get up, I will feel like crap all day. And Wendy and I have a lot of stuff to do today. Family stuff, chore stuff, work stuff, shopping stuff. I need to go back to sleep. Of course, I could get up and see if they have updated info on the Continental website about where my bag is. Man, that bag better get here. If that is lost, that is a big problem.

I open my eyes and look at Wendy's tan freckled shoulder, her long black hair lazily falling down her back. Still deeply asleep. At least, I think she's still asleep. She might be lying there thinking about all the things we have to do today. Jet lag has hit us both hard. Comparing notes in the past few days has found us both struggling to get back to sleep past 6 am. Well, that's noon in Madrid and our bodies haven't adjusted yet I guess.

I should go downstairs, get some coffee, raise my mining a few points in WoW and then get to writing. Well, after I look for updates on my bag. And check email. And go next door and say hello to my folks. And read a little more "Replay."

Oh and "Quest for the Pro Tour" came in. The jacket and pages look good. Quality stuff. But the inside margins are too wide and the spacing is off. I need to fix that, should be an hours worth of work. Upload it to Lulu again and then make a link to it on my blog. Gotta do that soon too. I'm anxious to see how many people will actually buy it. Fifty? A Hundred? Five Hundred?


Probably seven...

The problem is, if I get up too early, the day is essentially ruined for me. I feel shaky most of the day, still half asleep, can't summon the urge to do anything other than read or watch TV. The only way to save even half the day is if I can get a nap in later and that almost never happens. And when it does, my mind won't shut up, just like now, and I can't sleep.

Anxious for news, I get out of bed, go downstairs and check status on my bag and there is nothing. Damn it! If that bag does not get here, I am really screwed. It has all of my writing burned to DVD in it. Wendy's power cord for her computer. My suit. My entire new wardrobe. Damn it!

I go back upstairs and fall back asleep after a half an hour of tossing and turning.

I check status again at 10:00 am.

Woohoo! They have found my bag.

It will be delivered in 4 hours.

Thank God.

Joshie comes over and laughs at my new look. Wendy comes in and hears the laughter and doesn't like it.

"Hey Joshie, nice haircut."
"You lose a bet and have to get that?"

I love that woman.

We went grocery shopping, sorted a mountain of mail, had dinner with my folks, showed them a slide show of pictures on the computer, had dinner with Wendy's dad and his girlfriend of ten years and then went to a wedding in Rhode Island this weekend. As I pulled out of my driveway, the battery light on my dashboard came on. Wonder what that means? It remains on all the way down and all the home.

Until Concord NH when it, and everything else electrical in the car, goes off. Including the electricity needed to fire the pistons.

This was the best breakdown ever.

The car starts to sputter and fail right at an exit so we are not stranded on the freeway, but make it off the exit ramp before the car sputters its last. I call my folks to get my brother's phone number. It is rare they are home, or inside, on the weekends, but for some reason they are. I fill them in on what is going on and mom says she will call John and have him call us.

Wendy and I walk a mile into town and find a nice service station that doesn't have a tow truck, but if we can get it to the garage, they will be happy to work on it the next morning, it being a Sunday and all.

It is rare that John is home on the weekend. He and his family are frequently fishing on the lake. And being avid Harry Potter fans, they might be at his new movie today. (John is mad for Harry Potter. He dressed up like a wizard to get his copy of the new book at midnight this week. I find that a little odd for a 44 year old executive, but, hey, whatever floats his boat.)

Oddly, he is home as well and calls me right away. He says he's twenty minutes away and will be there soon. Wendy and I read "Time" and "People" magazine in the air conditioned lobby of the Sunoco station.

John arrives beaming. "Shit man, you look great."
"Thanks John, you too. Nice cape. And you've lost more weight. 155 now?"
"158. And I'm not wearing a cape you jackass, why are you telling people I like Harry Potter?"
"Artistic license. I have to keep my readers amused."

John suggests we go down to Walmart and get a new battery. I tell him I don't think that's it since the light has been on since we left and the car started right up this morning. If the battery was dying it would have been harder to start this morning.

Again, luckily, there is a Walmart 3 miles away.

We buy a new battery, some tools, get back to the car and before we change batteries, I try to start it up. Nothing. And it all clicks into place. The alternator is dead. It's not recharging the battery. So we drove it until it died and a new battery will get us home.

We put the new battery in and the 1998 Rav4 roars to life. I shake hands with John, his cape blowing in the wind, his little wand that he waves at the car jauntily held in his left hand and he wishes us well. We make it home with no problems.

Lucky 1 - Right near an exit.
Lucky 2 - Right near my brother's house.
Lucky 3 - Mom and Dad home.
Lucky 4 - John home.
Lucky 5 - Air conditioned waiting room with magazines.
Lucky 6 - Walmart 3 miles away.
Lucky 7 - New battery gets us home rather than waiting a day to get it fixed.

Some good.

Wendy falls asleep reading the new Harry Potter we picked up in Rhode Island. I finish Replay for the fifth time.

I am awake at 5:45 and cannot get back to sleep.

Today, Wendy is on the back stoop reading in the sun.

I am finally writing again.


  1. Look at this map:

    Follow the big arrow. It takes you across a bunch of low hills in a big line, most of which feature Small Thorum veins. In the SE corner, you have a pretty good shot for a Rich Thorium vein. Then at the end, if you're feeling feisty, pop into the insect cave for a couple Ooze-covereds (equivalent to small). Occasionally Truesilver will pop up, and there are one or two Mithril nodes along the way too. Untouched, the whole sequence should get you 6 or so resource nodes and can be done in 10 minutes. The bugs in the cave are level 52-54: small enough to not be any harder than, say, the ogres in Burning Steppes, but they actually give a little XP at 60.

    In case you have nothing better to do, there are a few other places in the zone: spot A, around the mountain has 2 or 3 potential pops, Mithril/S Thorium, spot B, the gorilla cave, has a couple, and there's a mini-hill run like the main one around the hills I've marked with C. There are also a few nodes in the mountains rining the zone. Rather than mess with those, though, I'd generally do my 10 minute run, then camp either in the cave at the end of the run, starting there the next time, or back out at the start. There are elites in the SW corner, but at 60, avoiding them is easy.

  2. So... what's Replay? By context, it sounds like a book of some kind... is it this one?

    By the way: is Harry Potter 7 everything Wendy has hoped for?

  3. Wendy loved Harry Potter 7. Everything she wanted and more she said. She finished it in 2 days.

    Replay is the subject of a "very soon" entry. Today hopefully. And yes, that's the one. Excellent book.

  4. Hey Jamie,
    I know you're not writing a ton about magic these days, but I was kinda curious what you thought about nats this year. Control (using sorta green spells with uw) ruled the day in the US this year, but the UK had a RG deck with (the Prof!). Plus, how do you feel about tarmogoyf?