Dragon Age Redemption

Dragon Age Redemption
Originally uploaded by felicia.day

I’m so excited to see this web series this summer. Felicia Day is so amazingly inspiring. She has self-started, self-promoted, and had enough self-belief to really make it.

So impressive. The hard work and energy required to make it in this way is so impressive!! I’m torn between being intimidated, inspired, or totally jealous.

Anyway, I’m going to go dig out one of the boys’ copies of Dragon Age: Origins and try it again. Last time I tried I sort of failed miserably in the opening stages of the game and left it. I’m starting to think that was a mistake – everyone says the story is epic.

Ow I just have to decide: PS3 or PC version?

Joint Present for ourselves

Some of you already know that we are avid bibliophiles.

I got our first first edition about 14 years ago. I started very grandly with a first edition of The Tale of Two Cities.

Collecting that kind of classic first editions is NOT cheap. I’ve had my eye on a $6000 first edition of Wuthering Heights for a while. But if I go buying that, my kids won’t be going to college. Not with our help anyway.

We have, however, started buying much more modern first editions here and there. When I was browsing Alibris.com (where you can filter for first editions and signed copies) last week, I came across this first edition of The Life of Pi. We both loved this book. Like a lot. If you have not read it, you must rectify this mistake immediately. Popular modern first editions still aren’t cheap. Especially if they are ‘famous’ or prize winners.

This copy of the Life of Pi is a signed true Canadian first edition of the book. I am thrilled to add it to our collection!

I suggested to hubbie that instead of buying each other separate gifts we get each other this. He was actually really pleased with the idea. I am hoping it can become a tradition. I guess jewelery will have to be a birthday thing ūüôā

Residential Data Transfer Limit Rubbish

I am a Comcast customer. I can’t help it. ¬†They’re the only cable internet provider that offers service in my area, and I refuse to go back to anything except cable broadband ever.

But this also means that I am trapped, of course.

There are four of us with various mobile devices in the house.  iPads, iPhones, iTouch.  We have an x-box player or two.  We have a few WoW players.  We like music.  We like movies.

And Comcast has this ridiculous data transfer limit for residential customers per month. The limit is 250GB a month for residential customers. ¬†You can’t get more by paying more, unless you get a business customer account. ¬†No idea what’s involved with that.

If you hit the limit they cut you off. ¬†They don’t slow you down or anything. They cut you off for excessive use.

The usage is for ALL data that comes through my cable modem, including on-demand movies from Comcast/Xfinity TV.

The closest we’ve come to our limit so far is 75%. ¬†It does worry me though. ¬†What if we download a lot of music and films one month? ¬†It’s a constant worry for me towards the end of the month, and I check our usage every day the last few days.

So, I have canceled my cloud-based backup service.  The last thing I need is Carbonite eating up data allowance.  I have set up my own backup system here at home.  Sucks to be Carbonite with such shitty plans from Comcast.

And then, today, I find out that Comcast has launched video streaming on it’s Xfinity TV iPad app. Huh?!? Don’t they realize they’re going to have to do something about this data limit at some point? With more and more opportunities to stream content, high usage households like ours are going to get nearer and nearer that silly limit.

Tufty is Getting Old

Tufty was born April 4, 1999. This makes him almost 12 now.  He’s a purebred Norwegian Forest Cat.  The year I showed him in TICA, he made was the 3rd best altered male in the country.  He was actually a GREAT show cat.  Knew exactly how to show off – would stand up and puff out his ruff as if telling everyone “look at me”.  And he’s gorgeous. And such an amazingly calm kitty cat.  The Tuft is awesome.  He has been with us through so many moves, including over to Australia and back again. He survived a snake-bite in Australia – after 3 days on an anti-venom drip.

But he’s definitely getting older.  I know there are stories of many Norwegian Forest Cats making it to 20 or so.  And I hope his current problems resolve themselves and he will be one of them.

He has, for the past 6-8 months however, been suffering from recurring upper respiratory infections.  They make him snore something dreadful.  I keep wishing he would sleep in a different room so that he doesn’t keep me awake worrying about him all night.  I feel so bad for him.

The vet has been treating him with a big anti-biotic shot every time.  Today, after the nurse gave us the shot as usual and sent us home, the vet called me back to talk to me.  He wants to find out what’s causing the problem.  Yes, that would be nice. 

My vet has two theories, neither of which sounds particularly wonderful to me. Although one has potentially really scary implications.  

Theory 1: Feline Leukemia is compromising his immune system. (Also called feline AIDS).  This is so scary I don’t even know where to start.  Feline leukemia is very very contagious, and it would in all likelihood mean that Toulouse is ill too.  Thinking about this possibility has me all worked up and barely able to breathe.   I’m taking him in for a blood test this afternoon, and we should know if that’s the case by Friday.  It’s really important, for Toulouse’s sake, that we find this out as quickly as possible.

Theory 2: As he has gotten older, his skull has grown and may be clogging one nostril.  Apparently, the vet has seen this before.  This would not necessarily be treatable other than simply treating the infection every time he gets it, like we have been.

The blood work could, of course, reveal something else that we haven’t thought of when compared t his ‘old guy baseline blood work’ that he got two years ago.

Anyway, I am trying to fill my time as much as possible between now and Friday.  But I know I’ll be worried the whole time.

What a way to say goodbye to 2010

I’m not going to lie. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had such an amazing year in 2010. My life feels charmed at the moment, and I don’t want that to end. ¬†At the same time, I know I have more than one good friend who is more than happy to kiss the ass of ’10 a cheery good riddance.¬†

So I will cross my fingers and happily usher in ’11 in the hopes that some of my happiness will spill over into the lives of those I care about. Bring it!

Today, I said goodbye to the year in the best possible way.  I got to see my best friend from high school, Adria.  We were inseparable back then.  Many things happened that separated us in the early years of our 20s Рmany of which I am not proud to admit were my fault. What a totally self-centered and insecure cow I was back then.  Anyway, we got back in touch a few years ago.

Geography, logistics, and life circumstances have prevented us from actually seeing each other in person until today.  She is sooooo pregnant.  Still sooooooo beautiful.  And it totally fed my soul to see her. It feels like two halves of my life have been united.  

I hope I have a chance to spend time with just the two of us sometime not too far in the future.  But for now I am happy just to have seen her and hugged her.  Seen her happy and met her beautiful daughter and delightful

And I’m so grateful to hubbie and the kids for indulging my need to see her and driving all that way.

I wish you all the best for 2011 – all my imaginary and real friends.

I will add an image when I have had a look at ones taken of us together.

— Post From My iPad

When did you last …. ?

I don’t know about yours, but my life is busy.  Busy busy busy.  And, while I still listen to music every day (where would I be without it?  Life just wouldn’t be the same), I don’t listen like I did in high school.

In high school, I remember countless afternoons, evenings, mornings, whatever, sitting on the floor next to my turntable.  And I would sit there just sketching, scribbling, and listening to the music.  Sometimes I didn’t even do something THAT productive.  Sometimes, in fact OFTEN, I would just sit there fingering my album covers.  Reading the lyrics, looking at the artwork, deciding what I would play next, and LISTENING.  Living it.  Letting the music totally fill me.

This afternoon, my first non-working Monday in 3 years that hasn’t been off because of a child’s or my own illness, I have been listening.  Really listening.  And oh! how good it feels!!!

Give yourself a present this holiday season.  Take an hour to listen to a whole album (there ARE still such things out there, even if you have to get nostalgic to find them!), or listen to your favorites playlist while doing nothing but something mindless that lets you still listen.

Soul nourishing stuff.

Personally, I am listening to Crystal Bowersox’s new album “Farmer’s Daughter, but I’m pretty sure yo can pick your own stuff!

My favorite couch corner

Desk 365.98
Originally uploaded by Strumpet101

It’s been a tough week. Having hubbie gone in Argentina since last Saturday has been harsh. It’s been a long time since we’ve been apart more than a night or two. We’ve got 3 sleeps to go now – which still feels like a really long time!

I have to say I feel even more sorry for hubbie though – he really is very very ready to get home. He’s had it with the Spanish, the hugs, the kiss on the cheeks and the full-on with the client for a whole week. And he’s lonely in a stupid hotel room. At least I have the boys and the cats and the dog here.

Anyway, I have taken advantage of my evenings at home to watch Battlestar Galactica marathon style – something I couldn’t get away with to the same extent if he WAS here. AND I’ve finished signing and addressing all our Christmas cards. So early! At least I made good use of my evenings!

Three more sleeps!

The X-Box Card

I was never going to be that Mom.  I was never going to be the Mom who took her kids’ X-Box hostage to achieve desired results.  
As a matter of fact, I believe I have, in the past, agreed vigorously with this gaming article on MMO family.   Today, this had to change.  When I announced on Twitter that I have indeed, withheld the X-Box to achieve desired results, @emused replied, referring me to point 3 in that article:

Manage game time as a logical consequence of available time. Don’t position gaming a “reward” for good performance, and don’t make the suspension of gaming privileges a “punishment” for failing to comply with rules. This may seem like semantics, but you’re setting attitudes that will last a lifetime. Like any other recreational activity, access to gaming should be a function of available free time. If grades are slipping, for example, more study time = less gaming time.

I find myself needing to explain why I have veered from this principle.  

Normally, I would completely agree.  And, normally, this is the principle that works really well in our family.  And it has always worked for the other son.  Lately, however, we have found that it is just not enough for my second son.  When it is not grades that are slipping, but assignments that are not being handed in, and ‘fibs’ that are told about ‘having done them’, ‘having asked’, ‘not having any homework’ – then more drastic measures have to be taken.  

The transition from elementary to middle school has been hard for the youngest.  He has never had to work for a good grade before now.  Until his 9-week progress report, I really don’t think he realized how much a zero would bring down his grade.  But that was 3 weeks ago.  We handled that by being understanding, and trying to teach him what needed to be done in order to fix it – and he did MOST of it.  But not all. And there continue to be issues with incomplete and missing work.

I am sick of Call of Duty being his number one priority.  Until he shows that fixing his school work is his number one priority, there will be consequences. So, every missing assignment on Parent Portal (handy stalking device for parents to see grades etc), he will miss one day of access to his x-box.  Other gaming is still allowed, and TV is still allowed.  

I don’t know why I feel the need to justify myself.  We are good parents, but we are also taking to desperate measures.  I refuse to let him fall now.  So, please don’t judge me.  I know of many parents who would have taken a far more strict approach.

Phew! I feel better now!