Ensuing Chaos

Man, have I been slacking on Blaugust! I was doing pretty well that first week. Week 2 devolved into well, chaos. Summer was quickly ending, and we have a camper that needed to be brought out of storage, cleaned, checked, unwinterized, rewinterized, and put back in storage for another long, cold, Alaskan winter. So we took a 4 day weekend to get all of that done. Successfully, I might add.

Then, the new parts for my desktop PC came. A shiny new GeForce RTX 4060 OC GPU to replace my original 1070, two 4TB SSDs to expand my storage and speed, and two new 8GB RAM sticks. Everything installed well and ran well for….about a day. Then in the middle of a battle in Baldur’s Gate 3, it turned off. I got it booted back up, tried again, same result. Booted once more, did not turn BG3 back on, and blue screens became a plague upon my house. I open it up, check all of my connections, restart and…BSOD. It was at this point I started feeling some serious rage.

I removed the new RAM, put the old RAM back in its original slots and tried once more. Windows went into repair mode, and so far so good. It was during all of this I realized my CPU fan wasn’t spinning.  It tried, so I hit it with some compressed air, but the fan is dead. /sad trombone.

So, today the new one arrives, I have never installed one so it should be interesting. My parts knowledge is limited to GPU, RAM, and now SSD. Wednesday, two more RAM sticks to match the first two new ones arrive so all four RAM sticks will be identical. That’s when I’ll install the fan, and then do a complete wipe and reinstallation of Windows. Get a fresh start and Hopefully, get back on track.

The good news is, my photography monitor had an extended warranty I forgot about, so it’s off to see why it looks like someone dumped coffee in the lower half of the screen, and get replaced.

It was a WEEK. Let me tell you.

Who Are You…Doot doo, Doot doo

This week is intro week for Blaugust 2023! When we had writing in high school, we were taught about the 5 W’s. Who, What, When, Where, Why. Sometimes How tags along for the ride. And since blogging is a form of journalism, I think those same questions apply when meeting your audience. So first up…as The Who once asked, Who am I?


I’m a nearly 50 year old, but NOT YET wife, Mom, and Grandmother. I’ve been married to Mr. Jess for thirty years now, my oldest daughter will be 30 this month, and my youngest just turned 28, her daughter is now SIX! I was born and raised in a small town back east.  I was the square peg in a round hole all through school, and I never did well, so I dropped out as soon as I was old enough to sign the papers. I eventually graduated through a correspondence school, which was much better for me.

In 2001 my husband went to the store to get a couple things, and came back 2 hours later armed with all the info he needed to enlist in the Army, and convince me it was a good move for us. I begrudgingly will admit he was right, we had no money, no insurance, something had to give. And that is how I have lived in Alaska, Washington State, Georgia, South Carolina, and back to Alaska! It hasn’t been an easy life, but it’s been interesting, and an adventure and I don’t think I’d change it given the chance.

At 40something I decided to go to college. It took me much longer to finish than it should have but I’m bad at being a student. Good at learning, just bad at the student part. I graduated with an Associates of Art in Letters, Arts, and Sciences, and then reenrolled to get my BA in Law and Society with a minor in Sociology. I graduated last year from Penn State, one of my most satisfying achievements.

If asked about my political affiliations, my answer is Chaotic Good.

And that’s pretty much WHO. What will have to wait until Friday!

My House…is a Very, Very, Very, Fine House

Today is a screenshot day! I’ve been meaning to post these somewhere, and now that I’ve shaken the dust off of this blog, it seems appropriate. I’ve had a house in FFXIV for quite a while now. It’s a nice medium plot in Mist, and I’ve recently redecorated. Except for my basement because I can’t make myself do it. Having joined The Maelstrom, I blew a bunch of their currency to build, what I like to call…

The Storm Cellar! (Pun absolutely intended)

The Galley, right side. Where the cooking is done.
The Galley, left side for storage of the ale, breads, herbs etc.
View from the stairs of the galley entrance.
Ale on top and a nice cozy fire great for a rousing game of Triple Triad. There’s even a bunk in the corner. Don’t drink and drive.
Last but not least, the Storm Captain’s alcove and war table.

It’s one of my favorite rooms, and the only one I haven’t changed since I put it together. I have been considering making it a greenhouse since renovating to a more flower garden theme in other areas. But…for right now, it remains. Until Sea Swallows All.

The Devil Went Down To Faerun

Yesterday, after years in Early Access, Baldur’s Gate III finally released in full. It took me three tries, but I finally created my tiefling bard, Tavi. Her chosen instrument? Violin! Because I couldn’t resist the bad reference! The character creator is really well-designed, allowing you to choose from small previews on the buttons for the face, scars, tattoos, makeup, and hair. This makes my life so much easier than trying to remember which number style I had liked 5 minutes ago when I wasn’t paying attention to the numbers or forgot the strange name they assigned.

I didn’t make a lot of progress, even though I wanted to. But when I came home after physical therapy, my life lived up to my blog name. You see, I live on a military installation, which means there’s an ID check to get to my house, and I totally failed the dice roll! My ID had expired almost a week ago. Whoops! I thought I had another year. So I spent half an hour getting a pass to get through the gate, then went straight to get a new ID, only to remember I need my husband for that. So I called him, he got there, did his part, and went back to work. And I ran back to my house to get my second form of ID! I couldn’t use the old military ID like one would if they had paid attention to the dates and gone before it A: expired, and B: got confiscated due to said expiration. So I drove back (it’s literally 3 minutes from my house) and finally got a new ID. Yay! I’m legal again.

Now I could finally dive back into the character creator and play! Easier said than done. I went through several attempts to create and play, but every time, I found something I didn’t like or forgot to change the name. As you do. Finally, about two hours before I went to bed, I did it. And I got through the initial tutorial, found most of my companions, and set up camp! Maybe today, after I hit “publish,” I’ll actually get somewhere.

Knock on wood.

So Excited!

I’m as excited as a bunny in a basket of carrots!

The day is finally here!! I have been DYING for a fully involved, in depth, beautiful to look at RPG for at least a year. I’ve played Mass Effect and Dragon Age (all of them) to the point of burnout. Like, seriously y’all I have the dialog paths memorized. I need STORY, I need choices and consequences, adventure and romance, and finally I can have it when Baldur’s Gate III releases! I’ve sunk 99 hours into the early access version and it was only ONE chapter!

In those 99 hours, I saw something I’ve never seen in an isometric game, high quality voice acted cinematic conversations. The character creator is detailed and the character models are gorgeous. So excuse my brief but enthusiastic blog post today, but I have spells to learn and weapons to polish, and a cast of characters to adventure with!

Recovery Gaming

So my comeback to WoW didn’t pan out, what did I move on to while I was basically tied to a recliner and only had one arm? Anything I could play with a controller, that’s what! The following games helped me keep my ass in the chair, and out of trouble while my shoulder healed.

First, I tried a stealth game, A Plague Tale Innocence, and it was HARD, but the story was engaging as heck so I kept going. The atmosphere was gorgeous, yet terrifying, the playstyle was a new thing for me but I pushed through it. In fact I was so happy with it, I played the sequel.

The sequel was even better than the original. It had some very nice quality of life changes that made like easier for me. The accessibility options allowed me to just relax and enjoy the game rather than tense up and aggravate my very sore post-op shoulder.

The coziest of cozy game, Disney Dreamlight Valley quickly became a favorite past time before surgery, but I bounced off of gaming all together for a time and it sat unplayed. But being controller friendly at a time I couldn’t use a mouse it quickly became a time killer for me. Its low stress, Animal Crossing meets Disney style really just tickled my fancy for a while.

This one! Roots of Pacha took a lot of my time. Imagine Stardew Valley, but in prehistoric times with prehistoric animals! Or as close as one can get I suppose. It’s at least as charming as Stardew was, I played through it once, and plan to do so again at some point.

Finally, Harvestella! This is the one I probably spent the most time with. It got some mixed reviews but I enjoyed it. It, to me, was a nice combination of farming sim and JRPG. The story was engaging, the characters were varied and interesting, and it was more challenging than I expected. Definitely worth playing, but maybe wait for a Steam sale, $60 was a pretty steep cost but I was desperate.

I Miss Blogging

When I say that I miss blogging I mean so many things. And most of them return for a time when Blaugust comes around.

Back when I first started blogging, I was using free open diary. I loved the community based journaling I found there, at a time when I really needed it. That was in 2001 when my husband had suddenly enlisted in the Army and I had a LOT of adjusting and learning, and whining and venting to do.  People with like interests seemed to just find each other and from those connections more connections were made with friends of friends. Eventually I outgrew those sites and they staarted losing members to new ones, and I found myself at Live Journal, loving the same things there. But with my decorative control.

That decorative control led me to start poking around with geocities and I eventually had my own website, then my own domain, a passing ability to manipulate html, and still people managed to find each other and make connections, and a whole community. This first happened with web rings, and then yahoo groups made it even easier. My sites grew and changed, and topics came and went, but I always had a home in blogging. Especially when WoW blogging was huge. That’s how I got to know Beghast over at The Aggronaut in fact, and many others who I still stay connected to on social networks.

But one day, it felt like the Blogosphere just…stopped turning. The updates stopped, the comments stopped. Where I used to find my gaming info from a friendly blogger, I was presented with ad riddled SEO filled magazines, wikis, or reddits, or videos. And I still miss it. Because without other blogs, it’s like shouting into the void.  So here I am, doing Blaugust 2023 with the hopes that I find that village again, because I really miss emptying my chatty brain into my blog!


It’s Blaugust!!


Every year, Bel over at Tales of the Aggronaut holds this month long blogging event to help build the blogging community, and get some of us lesser motivated bloggers writing. I signed up last year and never quite got moving. This year I’m going to do my best to keep up. As you can see, my last post was in 2022.

At the time I was excited about going back to World of Warcraft and making it casual myself…well, that didn’t last. As it turned out, I’m the oddball that hated dragon riding. I was dealing with a seriously jacked up right shoulder which made the mouse movements torture. A few months later I had my rotator cuff repaired, my labrum repaired, my clavicle excised, and my biceps tendon relocated to avoid future impingement. There wasn’t much gaming after that. Or anything else besides binging Netflix and recovering.  I’m 6 months post op now, and pretty much back to normal activities, and back to gaming and knitting and photography!

I was going to do a full reintro now, but since that’s the theme for week two, I’m just here to say…Welcome to Blaugust!

Two Years Off

It’s been two years since I last picked up World of Warcraft. And two years since I wrote for this blog.

 I bought Battle for Azeroth, and never finished it. I bought Shadowlands, never finished it. Then, Dragonflight came out. I was bored between major game releases that fit my niche (ie: picky) needs in a game. And I had even grown bored with Final Fantasy A Realm Reborn (FFXIV from this point on).

But in the two years of playing FFXIV and not playing WoW, I may have learned some things that help me not quit at the end game. 

You see I’m not a raider. I don’t do mythics. In fact, I only really care about doing things that continue the story or reward pets or cool weapons and outfits for transmog. 

But it never failed, I’d hurry to get to the end and level to max, but then what? There’s not much left if you’re straight casual. So I’m slowing down. I’m not rushing to the end, I don’t care how long it takes to hit whatever the magic number is now. In fact I haven’t even started the new zones yet.

I’m traipsing around Shadowlands in the hunt for some Dark Ranger transmog armor. I’m taking a lowbie lightforged Draenei through Battle for Azeroth to hit 50 and get the heritage armor. Maybe I’ll unlock some more allied races and make more characters. 

Blizzard may never make WoW casual or semi solo player friendly, but maybe I can. 

A Decade Resolution

I didn’t intend to make a New Years resolution. It happened pretty organically, and seemed fitting. So here I am.

I’ve been thinking about our grandparents a lot lately. Specifically my (paternal) Gram and my husband’s Grandmother, and the houses they kept. I don’t remember my Mum Mum and Pap Pap in anything but an apartment but I assume she was the same.

It started when we lost Hubby’s Pap last month. I spent many a holiday in Their kitchen over the last 27 years. It always, always felt like home. It was warm and inviting, and tidy, everything had a place, it was the heart of the house. My Gram’s house was much the same. I want that feeling in my kitchen, and much like those old houses space is an issue. I always end up with a cluttery blank room.

Then my Mom gave me this amazing Christmas gift. A Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Something I have always wanted and absolutely couldn’t afford. Even on the rare occasions I could spare the money, I talked myself out of it. Now here I am with a mixer that may outlive me. And that’s when it clicked.

Our grandparents didn’t have a lot of money. Buy what they did have was a healthy appreciation of value. You get what you pay for. They didn’t buy things for a kitchen just to have them. They bought things that would last through the years, buy it ONCE and keep it for years, decades even. Cast iron skillets, aluminum bakeware, wooden utensils quality over quantity. 

As I stood in Grandma’s kitchen one last time, looking at the decor on the walls, and rescuing some of my husband’s (and my) memories from the wall, I put my finger on what made that room special, and homey and didn’t feel cluttery. Everything on those walls carried a memory or meaning. It brought joy.  The plates surrounding the upper perimeter of the wall, the collected magnets on the fridge from all the states they visited.

So going into this new decade and preparing for his retirement in a couple years, my goal is to change my house into a home. I may still battle clutter, but going forward my plan is to be more like our grandparents. Buy it once, and make it meaningful.