I’ve been blogging about video games for a long time now.  Interests change, however, and both my interest in video games and in writing about them have declined quite a bit.  I still like playing video games now and then.  And every once-in-a-while something will impress me enough to think about writing about it.  But those days get fewer and fewer as other interests are taking time away from games.

So I’m fading this blog indefinitely.  There are many fine video game bloggers out there.  I have a bunch of them linked in my sidebar.

Farewell, readers, and thank you for your kind attention.

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.”
~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here, obviously.  I’ve debated whether or not to just close up shop with an official blog fade and be done with it or try to muddle through somehow.  While my interests in life are many, my interest in MMO gaming has dwindled.  I’ve been playing LotRO off and on and actually returned to WoW for a bit too.  The thing is: I really don’t have much to say about either game.  Turbine continues its history of near-but-not-quite-excellence which keeps players believing that some great stuff is possible in the game but never managing to deliver; and WoW is, well, still WoW.  Blizzard has made some solid game changes, screwed up some minor stuff here and there and still presents itself as the 800 lb gorilla in the room.

While I could find some things to babble about to fill up page spaces, it’s really nothing that hasn’t been said before and nothing I feel like proof-reading (and publishing, and realizing all the stuff I still screwed up, and going back and fixing it, and getting comments on the stuff I fixed because I didn’t save it right the first time … and well, you get the idea) again.

So rather than close up shop, I’ll be mentioning more of my out-of-MMO-land interests and having fewer posts related to WoW or LotRO or whatever other MMOs I may bumble into from time to time.

I moved from Rochester, NY to Dallas, TX a while ago.  It was quite the move.  I went with a friend and she and I alternated driving / sleeping.  27 hours later we unpacked the boxes at my new place.  I’m happy to say that I made it safe and sound … just really, really tired.  🙂  Recently got the Internet back and have set up my LotRO gaming stuff.

After a long time without the Internet, I couldn’t wait to see all the stuff I missed in LotRO while I was traveling, recuperating, or getting to know my new home.

I wasn’t disappointed.


I’ve been goofing off in LotRO now and then but I’ve also been catching up on my reading a bit more this summer.

Starting off the line up of books I’ve completed already is Neil Gaiman’s NeverwhereNeverwhere is a modern fairy tale for adults.  It’s central character, Richard, is a normal business man in London when, one day, he helps a stranger and is dragged into the London Below.  It’s  a good read filled with twists and turns and plenty of harrowing adventures.  Highly recommended.

Along with Neverwhere, I’ve been reading the Annotated Grimm’s Fairy-tales.  It’s fun to read the old, and some new, tales as recorded by the Brothers Grimm.  The notations add some interesting points along the way.  The stories are also supported by period artwork.  Recommended if you’re into old fairy-tales and myths.

In my almost-finished pile is Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of Craft.  I’ve been a fan of Stephen King’s work since High School.  (And for my money, It is the scariest book I’ve ever read.  Something about that damn clown freaks me out!)  Whether you’re a King fan or not, On Writing offers some biographical information on King and a lot of sage advise in creating fiction from one of Horror’s masters.

In my just-getting-started pile are two books.  The first is Neal Stephenson’s AnathemAnathem is a science-fiction work focusing on a group of academic monks.  It’s one of those books like Dune where the author not only made up a world but also added a significant amount of vocabulary to support it and give it a sense of history.  It can be a hard read due to looking up words (like speelycaptor, bulshytt – it doesn’t mean what you think, and Kinagrams).  It’s off to a slow start.

The other book I’m just beginning is American Gods by Niel Gaiman.  Like Neverwhere, American Gods is minimalist, fast-paced and fun.

The summer festival is back in LotRO.  There’s  a lot of the same old stuff to do (the Tavern League is back again and the horse races).  There’s also some of the fun things like the hobbit food race out by the party tree and the dwarf keg race by Thorin’s Hall.  There is a new festival horse / pony this go-around so if you’re a collector,  get to the races.  Enjoy it while it lasts, folks.  This is the closest we’ll see to new content in a while.

In other news, I’ve been trying out Facebook for giggles.  A number of friends are on it and they badgered me into giving it a try.  It’s not bad.  It’s a nice way to keep in touch when you and your friends are separated by long distances (I’ve found some friends in Philly and Texas).  Of course, I had to try out the games too.

Frontierville is a neat Flash game where you play a pioneer.  There are a number of tasks players need to accomplish (like clearing a plot, building a house, planting crops, etc).  The downside is that players generally do not have enough energy to accomplish much themselves past level 10 and they rely heavily on having neighbors to help them complete things.  It’s Facebook, so a high social component is to be expected, but it’s a bit too much work for my tastes.  A couple days away and my plot is overrun with trees and weeds.

I’ve also been trying Cafeville (many Facebook games seem to involve a noun followed by “ville”).  In Cafeville, players own and operate a cafe.  They prepare dishes to serve NPC customers via an NPC waiter/waitress.  Dishes make money and also increase the “buzz” surrounding your establishment.  The more buzz, the more customers.  Just like in Frontierville, you can visit neighbor’s cafes and help them out.

Overall, I don’t care much for Facebook games.  They’re too labor-intensive for me to get into them much.  I like that they’re social but they’re not all that fun.  I’d rather see something like an avatar-based meeting room a some simple Flash task-based game to get folks together to chat or adventure.  Then again, it’s Facebook so I wasn’t expecting much going in.

A Pearls Before Swine comic

I haven’t posted in a bit.  I ran into a writing dry spell and there hasn’t been much interesting going on with the gaming front (still in LotRO, playing alts, blah blah blah).  Since I’ve been scaling back the gaming time, I’ve been reading more and watching more TV.  I think the current trends in TV are great – they’ve encouraged me to read more.

The History Channel:

I remember when the History Channel used to be about … you know … interesting things that happened in the past.  But these days … sheesh.  The History Channel needs to change its name to the Nostradamus channel.  He was a doctor during the Black Plague in Europe; the prophecy crap is the least interesting thing about the guy.  Babbling incoherently over swirling water isn’t interesting, it’s a typical “morning after” when I was in college.

And what’s with all the Ghost Hunter / Monster Hunter shows on lately?  Are there no longer any real phenomena to investigate, experiment with or just gawp at in wonder?  We have to settle with made up stuff now?  What’s next?  Pixie Quest?  Hillbilly Troll Slayers?  Dude, Where’s My Alien Landing Site?  (Note: Ghost Hunters is actually on the “SyFy” channel.  Given their predilection for low-budget movies, I don’t think anyone’s expecting much from them.)


The other day I was in a turtle raid with my new kinship. As a level 65 burglar, it’s still nice to go in and help out other folks in getting their first radiance armor set. It’s still a fun fight too. In an unusual confluence of events, the rare turtle pet dropped and I actually rolled decently this go-around. When it came my time to select what I wanted, I got the turtle pet. My new kinnies met my decision with some teasing and good-natured humor. As the “useful” loot got handed out to the rest of the raid, it got me to thinking about my motivations for playing vs those around me vs why Turbine seems to think I play.

Ysharros over at Stylish Corpse has a great post about game play in MMOs which compels us to get that next bauble, gizmo, sword of more-epicness-than-you-have-currently-but-not-as-much-as-the-next-sword-to-grind-for. In LotRO, I currently have a max-level toon and the pressure to conform to the drive of the need more loot crowd is rising. Players are gearing up for the big Dol Guldur raid so they can … um … do things … to bad guys … and get … stuff. Ok, I’m not sure why they’re going blind on Sword Halls runs, and I’m not sure most of them know either, but that’s what everyone in my kinship is doing these days.


It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I’m still kicking around LotRO at the moment.  I was subscribed to SWG but my old PC bit the dust and I had to get a new one.  SWG is a moderately fun game but, with the new machine, I don’t feel like reinstalling a game I’ll hardly play across the Internet.

I’m interested to see what will come up in the Siege of Mirkwood expansion for LotRO.  There’s a dev diary about the skirmish system – sounds neat.  I’ll have to wait and see how the whole thing turns out.  I know MoM was devastating for my kinship.


I was on a “staycation” recently – that’s basically me taking my required time off but being too broke to go somewhere cool.  I did a couple of non-sitting-at-home things but at night I found myself back in my apartment.  I figured why not also make it a gaming break from the norm too?  The only MMO I’m currently playing is LotRO, so I put that on a back burner.  I rummaged through my old gaming CDs and there amidst the WoW expansions and old games I haven’t played in years (Heavy Gear 2, Quake 3 Arena) was my Elder Scrolls: Oblivion CD.  Oblivion is a game I remember fondly from a couple years back, so I checked my PC and I still had it installed.  I popped in the game disk and away I went; I created a new character and entered the tutorial.

The introduction tutorial features the player escorting the current emperor Urial Septim on his escape through the city jail area.  As players use different skills, the game is making calculations about what kind of class they should be.  Like using stealth and ranged attacks a lot?  Perhaps you’d like to be an Agent.  Want to charge in and bash heads with a heavy two-hander?  Maybe a warrior-type would be more to your liking.

Once you’ve made your selections about what kind of character you want to be, you’re off into the world of Morrowind.  And once you’re out, you don’t have to do anything!  That’s one of the things I really like about Oblivion – players can follow the main quest line immediately and do everything they’re “supposed” to – be the hero, rescue the embattled people of wherever – or ignore the main quest and do whatever you like.

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