Pat and Bee's Life

At the speed of crazy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blizzcon 2011 Costume Contest

The costume contest at Blizzcon was a LOT of fun! The finalists are here:

The winner had THE most beautiful costume I think I've ever seen. It was simply stunning. STUNNING! I wish I had those skills, but as I don't - I shall admire them from afar.

You can find the entire contest here:

Beware, people fall off the stage. I hope they are all okay. It scared and horrified me at the time, but since they all walked away (albeit with a limp) it was rather amusing later.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Some Blizzcon Moments

Pat and MikeB aka Fony - From a ton of stuff we listen too. It was fun getting his pic. He thought Pat was someone he met last year, so he came over to talk to us - but he was nice even when he figured out we were random nobodies! :)

The only pic with all four of us, in front of the new Kerrigan statue. She's AWESOME! Also, OMG are we tired. I mean T-R-I..nevermind. you get the idea.

The pre-entrance crazy. It wasn't that bad actually. Would have been WAY worse had Pat not had his DS though. Thank God he did! And Mo only had to tell the guy who kept whapping her with his backpack once! I was so proud of her!!

There's a TON more pics to put up, but that requires a lot of photoshopping for lighting, removing red eye, and general uploading and editing - and I'm lazy. So that's all you get for now.

Blizzcon Review

 I'm still working on getting the pictures up. I really hate Picassa and my Flickr sub ran out, so now I have to decide who to go with. In the mean time, here are the words.

       Blizzcon 2011 was attended by between 28,000 and 32,000 people from all 50 states and more than 26 countries. It was an amazing tribute to the community that online gaming companies and players can create when people are willing to share their passion with fellow players. THANK YOU BLIZZARD!

Monique (Snique), John (Kirach), Pat (Dimli) and I (Tovin/Tinaryn) were able to get tickets and boy, did we have the best time ever! Mo was her normal smiling happy self, and made friends all around the con! No hotel keys were exchanged though. Maybe next year?

Next time we'll probably rent a house for guildies and do the parties (and maybe Disneyland), but we probably won't ever get the chance to attend again. Knowing this, I am super glad we had a chance to go and really just soak it all in.

       We attended the WowInsider/Wowhead/
Wowinterface/Tankspot party on Thursday night and it was packed! I had a chance to talk to Fox Van Allen (WowInsider) for a few minutes and his enthusiasm was simply splendid! Great to see some passionate people out there. Drinks were a little expensive (okay, a lot expensive) and we didn't stay long. But we did get to see folks jump into the pool. Unfortunately, the big draw for us was Josh Allen (Lore from PST, Legendary, Tankspot, Weekly Marmot) and he didn't get to the party until long after we left, so we were a little sad. I did get Pat's picture with MikeB (ZAM/Legendary) though, so that was fun!!

We did not get to the Curse party on Friday night. People were exhausted (old people....sigh), so we ate pizza and then passed out.

The Hilton afterparty was cancelled due to Hilton staff being back-stabbing jerkwads, so we went to 7-11 for cheetos and snacks (mmmmm cheetos!) before passing out on Saturday night. Kimberis and the rest of the party council is planning something awesome for next year, I'm excited to see what it is! Also, BOOO HILTON ANAHEIM! BOOOOO!!!!

       Blizzcon 2011 featured the first Starcraft 2 Global StarCraft II league (GSL) finals ever competed outside of Korea. Day9 and Artosis commentated an excellent set of matches while JP and Tasteless were not to be outdone with their color commentary.

Lots of folks from Team Liquid were in attendance and fans of all SC2 ladders were there, cheering on both SlayerS and MMA as they battled it out for the final GSL match. MMA won, but SlayerS definitely showed he was back in the game! We saw one young fan with a shirt signed by SlayerS, MMA, MVP, NesTea, and many other competitors. Who would have thought that could have ever happened?!? We talked to him for a few minutes and he was clearly so excited about his shirt, it was infectious!

For the Blizzard Invitational finals, IMMVP and IMNesTea fought a nail biting 2 sets. MVP went 2 of 3 in the first set, forcing the second set which went to 2 of 3 as well. While NesTea won easily in the first bracket, the finals showed MVP was not to be outdone by his teammate. The final match was easily the most awesome SC2 finish ever. NesTea just couldn't keep up with the nuclear attacks from MVP, and while a record setting 29 broodlings were brought to bear - they were downed so quickly it was painful to watch. MVP walked away with one of the closest match wins ever in a final event.

The SC2 stage was easily the busiest of all the areas during the con, as many attended for their one chance to see the global leaders of eSports compete in a U.S. venue. The enthusiasm, and excitement from the RTS stage was truly incredible to behold. While I'm not an RTS fan (reflexes of a camel on sedatives), I will definitely be attempting an SC2 run just to see what it's all about!

       Mists of Pandaria (MoP) was announced as the newest World of Warcraft expansion to the horror of many and the joy of most. PLAYABLE PANDA's BABY! Pandaria brings monk as the new playable class, available to all races but goblins and worgen.

The new expansion will feature pet battles, challenge dungeons, new ways to achieve valor points, and some great movement towards casual support WoW hasn't done in years. While many may see this move as not supporting a viable and raucous raiding community, those who've waited six years for this type of support see it as a long owed update to an alternative playstyle. MoP was playable at the event and the feedback was incredibly upbeat, while the internets were alive with mocking and disbelief.

Also coming in the new expansion, slated for a 2012 release, is a change to the skill talent system. Greg Street (Ghostcrawler) was enthusiastic that this change would help players to expand their character types and lead away from the cookie cutter specs we all know. Will this mean more time on elitist jerks, trying to figure out a min/max way to play? Or will it give players a chance to play what they enjoy and eliminate the need to have one spec to rule them all? Only time will tell!

While some may call it World of Pokemon, I'm personally excited for an alternative advancement system aimed at a non-raiding crowd! Also, PANDA'S!!!!!!!!! PandaBee is going to be an awesome Mistwalker melee healer! YAY for PandaBees!

We got to watch Blood Legion represent Horde and Vodka represent Alliance in a head to head 25 man heroic run with no trash. Vodka was ahead until they almost wiped on Baelroc. While they were able to pull it out (with the crowd yelling "BURN HIM!! BUUUUUUURN HIMMMMMMMMMM) with only 8 men left alive, they were unable to overcome heroic Rags. It was a valiant attempt and it was awesome to see the very best U.S. based raiders of tiers 11 and 12 go head to head. After wiping on Rags, Blizzard dungeon creator and all around best dev ever, Scott Mercer, popped in a version of Hogger that basically one shotted the entire Vodka group to the jeers of Horde players in the crowd.
NOTE: To the guy yelling "VODKA SUCKS!" every 15 seconds - I don't see YOU doing heroic rags. STFU, srsly. These guys are amazing competitors!! It was really neat to see a heroic firelands run in less than an hour - trash or no!

Blood Legion were great competitors, and Vodka was so nice to talk to at the WowInsider party. Class act all the way! Hope they get world first MoP kills! Also, Blizzard needs to get Day9 to call the competition as whoever was doing it sucked, and Greg Street, bless him, is a developer - not an eSports guy. Let's keep it that way!

       Fans eagerly awaited a release date or entrance into the much awaited beta, but were foiled on both counts. The Diablo 3 box art was announced, and WoW players who sign up for a one year subscription will receive the D3 software free.

A new cinematic, Black Soulstone, was featured, showing Leah and a new archvillan, Azmodan the Lord of Sin. The cinematic was lush with monsters waiting to take over the world, but no word has come yet of the future of Sanctuary.

Panels for the real money auction house and D3 gameplay were heavily attended and the QA period was filled with both dread and excitement as we were informed on plans for launch. (NOTE: I did not attend these panels and have not had time to youtube or read for updates, so news is a little weak here. Sorry!!)


       The Blizzard in house band, The Artists Formerly Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain (TAFKL80ETC), opened the concert on Saturday night, playing new songs and some old favorites. Sam Didier as lead vocalist did not disappoint! Atendees not in seats by 6:30 were not allowed in during the show leading to a constant chorus of "LET US IN" during the event. During the concert the band changed their name to Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftains (L90ETC). Can't wait to see what they have in store for the next expansion!

The Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighers rocked the house on Saturday night after the L90ETC set, while hundreds of fans filed out to see the rest of the show and those yelling to get in for L90ETC were not interested in attending. Who would have though Blizzard's own band would have a larger following than the Foo Fighters?

Quotes of the trip:
       "You'd have to suck on those knobs for a REALLY long time to have any ill....SHUT UP I HEARD IT!" Me, talking about lead painted knobs at Disneyland.

       "These people have NO lives" - Mo - VERY loudly after the concert Saturday night (she was SO deaf!!!) while surrounded by thousands of geeks who'd paid thousands of dollars to attend a gaming convention, while looking at a homemade GIGANTIC dragon body. I didn't stop laughing for at least 20 minutes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Post While I'm Gone!

I grew up playing Shigeru Miyamoto games. I mean really, anyone with any sort of Nintendo product has played something he's touched. While I'm not about to give him credit for who I am today - I certainly have a lot to be thankful for to this person who shared so much of himself in his art and gaming.

It's a great video and brings back beautiful memories of playing these games growing up. As a family we struggled through Link games, or watched my dad heroically do his "Link No Die" challenges (if you wonder where I get my crazy "I must do this the hard way" mentality - that would be my dad!).

Great memories. Really, truly.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

So Glad I Don't Play EVE Anymore

WARNING! I see CCP coming to a very catastrophic diversion of roads here very shortly. ANNNND there it is!

It's hard to say how I'll feel about the CCP 20% layoffs after a few days. It's even harder to say how I'd feel if it didn't directly impact people that I've known for years and feel privileged to call friends.

If I was a player and CCP just laid off my community staff, I'd probably be fuming. I'd probably say this was a clear indication of what CCP Hilmarr meant by " restore the partnership of trust upon which our success depends" in his letter earlier this month. He also said:

In the last months, we’ve taken a hard look at everything, including my leadership. What I can say for now is that we’ve taken action to ensure these mistakes are never repeated. We have reexamined our processes, hired experienced industry professionals for key leadership positions, reassessed our priorities, moved personnel around and, above all else, recognized our limitations.
 I would have to say that if you think firing community people is the way to restore the trust of your community - you are an unmitigated fool. Now, I'm not necessarily saying it wasn't the right business move - but it sure as hell wasn't handled well from a community standpoint. Probably because they laid them all off....

Getting rid of people who are passionate about and supportive of, a game which has made giant steps in the wrong direction - is a direct command to immediately quit and take your $15 a month elsewhere.

Since I don't play EVE anymore, I'll simply say: What the hell were you thinking CCP? I realize having to lay off people is a part of the business. But did you really choose the right people to lay off? Community folks who were loved, supported, and passionate about your product? Who took the flack while you made mistake after mistake and paid no attention to the cry of horror at the outcome?

My issue here is less the layoffs (Sper and beans aside) as the words coming out of CCP are not matching the actions. Again. And again. And again. Hence why my money no longer goes there.

Can they recover? Maybe. I guess it depends on what they accomplish from this re-focus. If in three months they start taking names and kicking ass, I might retract the thoughts. But for now, this is just another step towards the "Put up or shut up" where CCP just isn't putting anything at all up.

I will have to take a look at this in a week or two and see where I stand.

Sper and beans, you have my undying thanks for what you've accomplished in EVE, a world I truly love. For years I've been a fan of your work and I've loved CCP as a company, even when people denied me interviews and previews of upcoming ingame stuff. I feel really sad I never had a chance to work professionally with CCP.

To the ex-CCP folks - I'm sorry that they chose not to keep you. I hope you all go on to do something you are just as passionate about. Players out there deserve it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blizzcon 2011

Thursday we head off to major geekdom - Blizzon 2011!

Our plans are simple. Try to take over the wor....wait, wrong plan.

Since we're going off our diet we're taking a ton of foods we haven't eaten in many months. Twinkies, pringles, smarties, granola bars, trail mix, and candy bars. We're hitting Wendy's on the way to Anaheim for frosties and fries (OMG! I GET TO EAT FRIES!!!!), then Costco for breakfast we can eat in the hotel like danishes, croissants, and muffins (OMG! I GET TO EAT BREAD!). In case you haven't figured it out, this trip relies heavily upon food.

Thursday we arrive and will probably do some shopping in Downtown Disney as I really need some new travel bags with my beloved Mickey on them - and we'll pick up stuff for Christmas for Alayna and CJ.

Then it's off to the Anaheim Convention Center to pick up our tickets and swag bags and after thoroughly looking through them to find out what we got for our goodies we're heading to the Wowhead, WoWInterface and WoW Insider Party where we'll get to stalk see the guys from the Legendary Podcast and Lore from the Weekly Marmot and PST videocasts. We are VERY excited!!!!! Also, there may be food and, depending on cost and lines, alcohol.

Then Friday it's the CON! We'll be in line by 7AM, doors open at 10 and opening ceremonies and the day will be awesome! Filled with cosplayers (if you don't know, I'm not explaining it!), panels filled with Blizzard awesomeness, and some really great hanging around with others who get the geekness of MMOs  WoW, Starcraft, and Diablo.

Friday night is the Curse Party (just got our invites! OMG TOTAL AWESOME) and then some passing out until Saturday.

Saturday is more Con, and it ends with a Foo Fighter concert and some incredible partying at the After Party at the Anaheim Hilton. Really can't wait to see what Kimberis looks like. I've read a ton of their posts on the forums! 

Sunday we head to eat (of course), and on the way home we'll stop at Costco (We never pass up ANY chance to hit Costco when we're out of town - we never get to go!). Then, passing out from all the sugar and back to work on Monday!

I am so super ready for some gaming geekness and a great time! Dimli (Pat), Tovin (Me), Kirach (John), and Slavina (Monique), ROCK THE HOUSE AT BLIZZCON!  WOOT WOOT! *dances*

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dinner = Yummy!

Tonight's dinner was a whole boneless chicken breast cleaned up and smushed to about half an inch thick. Sprayed some Pam on the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish and stuck the chicken in it, then sprinkled on kosher salt, pepper, chili powder, Mrs. Dash, and garlic powder.

Covered the chicken with a zucchini that was sliced, some mushrooms, a green pepper all diced up (I like bigger pieces rather than little itty bitty ones), and on top of that goes a can of diced tomatoes that's been drained. Sprinke a little regular salt and some pepper on the veggies (not a whole lot). Then cover with foil and stick in a pre-heated oven at 435º for 50 minutes.

After 50 minutes take it out of the oven and place thin slices of mozzarella cheese over the chicken and then stick back in the oven for about 6ish minutes (want the cheese a little brown and crusty).


mmmmmmmmm! Healthy dinnah!

Pat Disc Golfs!

My husband has the weirdest tastes in sports. He owns his own ping-pong paddle and carries it around in his bowling bag he had when we met.

He also disc golf'd in college, and found a group of folks here that go to a local course and in the nice months travel around So Cal to other places to disc golf. We take his discs when we go out of town (Vegas, Reno, San Diego) so he can try courses elsewhere.

So here are some videos of Pat battling it out with nature for his disc (he may have won, but he came home with some nasty scrapes) and of him and the guys up at a place called Wrightwood.

When he goes on these day trips he's normally gone 8-10ish hours, which gives me time to get stuff done in the house - or to get some Vanguard playing time in! He walks usually 10-17 miles on these out of town days so it's definitely something I'm glad he's doing and he seems to really love it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Help! Help!

I'm re-reading the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. I'm sure no one is shocked this is a regular occurrence for me. But it got my thinking last night about my love for fantasy and Sci-Fi.

It all started with my dad.

When I was little he read me Farmer Giles of Ham. He did the voice of Garm the dog and Chrysophylax the dragon and lots of little characters. Then we read The Hobbit. To be honest, I don't know what else he read to me - but I was hooked. I tore through every J.R.R. Tolkien book I could get my hands on, including The Silmarillion.

Then I moved onto Isaac Asimov. His Foundation series and Lucky Starr series had me hooked on sci-fi and the possibilities of technology in the future.

I've read (or been forced) to read many book. Classic novels, biographies, fantasy....I went through a huge Nancy Drew kick around 17-18 which disgusted Dad because they had little challenge in them, but I had spent so much of my childhood reading difficult and challenging books it was nice to just read mindlessly.

Right now I'm struggling to get through Norman Schwarzkopf's autobiography, It Doesn't Take A Hero. I struggle with it because, well, it's really long and heavy and by the time I get time to read it's hard to remember where I was and pay much attention. It's a great book though!

But my true love is in fantasy. David Eddings, Robin Hobb, Asimov, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis - and at least once a year I need to read George MacDonald's The Princess and The Goblin - which Dad may have read to me. I ADORE that book.

No matter how far away I am from Dad, there's something about reading these precious words that makes me closer to him. Makes me appreciate his love for reading that he instilled in me, and makes me wish we would make time to just sit and talk about why we love books.

We're going to San Diego for Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll just sit him down so we can chat. We hardly ever do that. I miss it.

Now, I'm off to bed and have to choose between page 24 of The Fellowship of the Ring and about a third of the way through the General 's book. I have a very good feeling it's going to be hobbits all the way.

Love you Daddy. Thank you for giving me this awesome gift.