Saturday, December 30, 2006

First Day

Picked up Catnipped today from the airport. Even though her flight came in 45 minutes late, the TV monitor brightly displayed her flight as being "on time". My Xbox360 is working just fine. We spent about 6 hours playing the Gears of War Coop campaign. This was a terrific experience.

The ambient sounds and general atmosphere of the game is just so creepy and very well made. The coop elements made it actually feel like we were helping each other, instead of just the usual "it's just another extra life for me." Gotta pick up Lemon, Tochi, and Ender tomorrow. Should be fun!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Remember, it's Houston, TEXAS

Those of you coming, please remember that your destination is Houston, TEXAS. If you happen to mistype and get yourself lost, I will not be held accountable for your inability to type. However, being the nice guy that I am, I will provide the information on some possible other Houstons that you may end up at:

Houston, Renfrewshire: Claims itself as the "original" Houston. Has some breweries and some castles. Why practice archery, when you can do REAL archery?

Houston, British Columbia: An awesome mining community. Go find some gold!

Houston, Alaska: Sooo, Catnipped, you are coming down here to escape the cold. On the bright side, if you end up here, Washington will seem like a tropical rain forest!

Whitney Houston: Not really a geographical location, but I am sure she can host a better party. You know, drugs and all. "And I will Alllllllways Love youuuuuuuu ouuuuu ouuuuu ouuuu" probably referred to her drugs.

Paris Hilton: Not sure how a person can mistype sooooo badly as to end up visiting her, but just throwing it out there in case

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pure Grillage

Found a nice gas-powered grill, courtesy of Mrs. Papaya's network of friends. Supposedly, it's about 3 feet long! Time to pwn some n00b chicken/beef/etc.

A bit chilly

Might be a bit chilly in Houston, so those of you coming, please bring a sleeping bag or some extra blankets. I have a few extra blankets, but when it gets colder, they may not be enough.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Carry-On please!

Because of the bizarre nature of this incident, I hereby advise that a certain electronic device being brought from Washington be brought on as carry on. =p

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Wedding Bells

Saturday was the wedding of Papaya! The ceremony was held at this medieval castle sorta looking place. It looked more like a medieval chapel than a castle, but the entire atmosphere was still very good. I am probably just too geeky for my own good, but the very first thing that popped up in my mind when I went inside for the first time was: "Hey, this place looks like the final level from Hitman 2!"

We were "supposed" to have a rehearsal the night before at 6 pm. People were told to get there at 5:30 (Me and the Best Man showed up on time) as to give plenty of time to rehearse. Of course, 5:30 actually means "whenever the hell you feel like showing up" in Chinese speak so most people didn't get there until 6:30, leaving only 30 minutes to "rehearse." Needless to say, we got very little rehearsing in, and so I was a bit sceptical about the next days wedding running efficiently. Of course, just the opposite happened. (You know, this is strange as everytime I think something is gonna be totally bad, it turns out totally good. Most of my WoW friends can attest to this. Everytime I complain about a raid being terrible or something, we usually do really well...) We had a rehearsal dinner afterwards at some chinese place and the conversation floated between religion and Chinese much fun, I know. On the bright side, someone managed to get "Do or do not, there is no try" as a fortune from a fortune cookie. It's official, Yoda is now on par with Confucius.

The wedding itself turned out to be very very smooth. The wedding planner, Audrey, did a spectacular job organizing and directing the whole thing. The wedding went off without a hitch. Some points of interest:
1. The grooms side were all very tall, while the bride's side were all pretty short. This lead to some strangeness while walking down the isle as me and the Best Man had to kinda hunch.
2. The bridal bouquet was caught by none other than BluPnutMM. She informed me that she is planning her wedding to be around the same time next year.
3. The bridal garter was caught by.... the flower boy. This was obviously a blow to any of the other guy's hopes as they won't be able to get married for another 15 years or so since the boy was only 5 years old.
4. The wedding rocked because they played Numa Numa as one of the songs.
5. The Best Man (Papaya's brother) gave a spectacular speech. It was funny and heartfelt at the same time.
6. Plum and Squash were hired by the CIA (pictured)

Congrats to the new couple, may they have many happy memories together!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

For Great Honor!...and lewtz

I never actually pvped much in WoW. Always thought it was a pointless grind where the rewards weren't really worth the effort. However, with the recent PvP changes, the rewards became a lot easier to obtain. I was still against PvPing, although probably just based on laziness and not wanting to endure the long long queue waiting times.

However, with some inspirational talk from Ender, (Okay, maybe not THAT inspirational, more along the lines of "yo, why don't you pvp?") I decided to take a foray into the great unknown. Turns out, PvP sure is a lot of fun!! Some observations:

The queue times weren't very long at all. This is because you can queue up for all 3 battlegrounds at 1 time. You can then play in whichever one comes up first (usually Warsong Gulch), but you can STILL be in queue for the other two. I usually just turn on the TV, or play FFXII until they pop up for me. Currently, I am trying to hoard Arathi Basin marks for the Field Marshal/Marshal epic sets for my rogue so I spend a lot of my time in Arathi Basin.

Alliance for the most part, SUCK at AB. Of the 14 or so AB matches I have played, I have only won 2. However, this may be because the Horde groups are almost always premades, and they usually outnumber us by at least 3 or 4.

Alliance for the most part, ROCK at Alterac Valley. Only played two games, and both times, the alliance rushed Drek, and down him in a mere 15 min.

Warlocks suck......Deathcoil, Fear, DoT, DoT, DoT, Death. Repeat at nauseum. I have only managed to kill a warlock twice. First time, I think the warlock sucked or was totally focused on someone else, as he went down before he cast anything (His warrior friend, charged blindly into 2 other alliance, quickly dying as well). Second one, I had to use all my cooldowns and a vanish, only to die about 2 seconds after I killed him from DoTs. The other 80 times I faced warlocks, I get off 1 cheap shot, 1 kidney shot, before I go down.

All that talk about being "pvp" speced and stuff. It all doesn't really matter since it's very rare to have 1v1 situations. The times you win will be when you have numerical superiority, and the times you lose will be when you are outnumbered or facing warlocks.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ringing in the New Year with Yao?

Tochi has added a comment about possibly attending a live Rockets basketball game sometime during the gathering. I have been to two of the New Years games so far, and they were just pretty average games, nothing out of the ordinary. Your thoughts?

World of Gnomecraft

Many people feel slighted that there were no gnomes in the BC intro video. As such, someone has recreated this video as Blizzard INTENDED it to be.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow..

I don't pvp much, but this certainly looks fun =p


ZOMEGADEMONCHAOS. There may yet be hope for the Dodo. To think, it only took a massive historic power outage.... Next step: WoW?? Maybe if we found life on Mars.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

_____ : It's what's for dinner

To the people coming to the nice little BBQ here in Houston:

What would you like to see Kung Grill? So far, we have chicken, beef, beef burgers, corn, potatoes.
We are thinking about maybe some Salmon or Pork ribs.

Just think of some other foods that you wanna try and Kung will grill it. Be reminded that if you request a food then you MUST eat it. Itching for some grilled Bald Eagle? Well, if somehow I manage to get some and grill it, you better eat it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tier 2

I have finally picked up my first piece of Tier 2. It started with the Tier 0 SNES. Afterwards, I was able to do the Tier .5 upgrade to PS. Then I picked up two pieces of Tier 1. One was at half price (Bought used PS2, complained it was broken, got new replacement PS2), and the other one was free (exploitable MS tests FTW!). Now finally, I have purchased a brand new Tier 2 Xbox360 from a member of the evil empire who will remained unnamed. This person also promised a free copy of Gears of War to seal the nefarious.

Apparently, also included in the bundle is Viva Pinata. This game masquerades as a children's game, but I got the inside scoop from unnamed member of evil empire.

These pinatas seem cute but DO NOT BE FOOLED. They are actually vicious cannibals who devour each other in a battle for survival of the fittest. The fittest then get to have incestuous relationships with their fellow brother and sister pinatas to produce pinata offspring. You would think that the best pinata would retire to a luxurious existence surrounded by beautiful pinata cousins, but NO. They get sent to the execution house also known as children's party. At this "party" they are strung up by their necks, then brutally beaten by blunt objects repeatedly until their bodies explode. These "children" then greedily gather up the pinata's internal organs, and hungrily devour them in a violent ritual, often times getting high and causing untold destruction.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Brief Poll

As most people know, there will be a Raid of Houston going on this New Years. Lots of people should be coming, so I am just trying to plan out what sorta activities we will be doing. Here is what is set in stone atm:

January 1st: Hunt down various gentle woodland creatures from Randalls/Walmart. Visciously skin them, grill them, and devour their corpses. Kung will serve as master of the grill. Expecting about 14-15 people here, so it should be a good time. If any druids object, too bad. I personally do not drink, but I am sure some of you do, so whatever you all want, lemme know so I can pick it up.

January ??: Have dim sum at the Kim Sum next to my house. Probably need to get there a bit early so we won't have to wait too long.

That's about all I have that is set in stone. Other things to consider:

Kemah Boardwalk: This place is pretty nice, has some nice views but mostly, it's just a shopping district with some very nice restaurants. It has some rides and stuff as well.

Space Center Houston: Oh yay, Space the final frontier. These are the voyages of the blah blah blah. This place is pretty interesting for first time visitors, but it's a bit too kiddy museum-esque. This will probably be an all day affair if we decide to go as it's FARRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (Mmm, Deviate delight) away.

Galveston Island: Fun place, lots of beach and surf. However, this is the dead of winter and so, going to the beach may not be the best of ideas. Also, very far away.

Museums and stuff around Houston Area: Any of these are fair game. Most of them are fairly nice. Personally, I really have no gift for artistry, nor do I know how to truly appreciate it enough to enjoy Art Museums.

Sightseeing in Houston: Ummm, see this, take a good look. Done? Good, you've seen Houston, Congrats.

Board games/Card games/Video games: We have lots of fun party games to play, including Taboo, Pictionary, Cranium, etc etc. Card games: Mafia (Random, Senseless Killing, so awesome), Bang! (Random, Meaningful Killing), maybe some others. Video games. I am gonna pick up an Xbox360 and Patronus will be bringing some of her games so it should all work out.

Please lemme know what you all wanna do ahead of time so I can plan it out and stuff (Sheep Star, Sleep Triangle, Sap Circle, Kill X, etc etc). If there are other places or events you all wanna go to (Bowling, Achery, Basketball, Movies, Giving Me all your money) let me know as well. Hopefully this will be a blast for everyone and maybe we can make this some kinda annual event.

With no power, comes no responsibility...sweet

Apparently, there was a miscommunication of some type and it turns out that I am actually NOT the Best Man for this upcoming wedding. Papaya's brother, SourTomato, will actually be the Best Man. This makes sense, since he is the brother and all. I am actually just a groomsmen. I won't have to sweat over making a speech anymore....though that might be for Papaya's benefit ^^b

Friday, December 08, 2006

Reservation: Confirmed

Yay, Patronus has confirmed her flight for Houston. Looks like it's shaping up to be a nice little gathering. Change your plans Grapes, change them NOW! =)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

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Edit: Well, apparently, the peer pressure tactic is working and Catnipped is now trying as hard as she can to get tickets to come on down to Houston. While her penny-pinching asian conscience is still nagging at her to not purchase those tickets, I am sure the elaborately spending American cultural influence will prevail. Come on Grapes, I KNOW you wanna come on down too now =p

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


As expected, the servers were down for much longer than initially stated. I think overall, the patched introduced some very good concepts:

The Good:
Arenas: Haven't tried, don't PvP so no real opinion
New Talents: For the most part, the new talents were very good. I didn't actually get to experiment too much except on mage.
Empowered frostbolt is a tremendously awesome talent. I was criting so much with spells, it was rather surprising.
Water Elemental seems like a very good "offtanking" pet sorta deal. It actually does very good damage with the waterbolts it was tossing (~500 average, ~800 crits) and has surprisingly decent tanking ability.
Additional Bank slots are now capped at 25 gold. This is just awesome as storage has always been a problem.
Balance druids got a major boost in this patch. I was watching Molridia in action, and only with a paltry amount of spell damage (~110), she was doing ~400 wraths (700 crits) and ~800 Starfires (~1300 crits). Plus the INSANE mp5 from Dreamstate (10% of intellect) helped keep her mana from going down rapidly. I believe we may have to rename the "Oomkin" to the "Pwnkin".
Purchasable "book" skills: The skills that were previously only available through books are now fully trainable from trainers. I am SOOO glad I didn't pay those ~200-300 gold buyouts for the new skills.
Armor upgrades: Most plate pieces had their AC significantly boosted. Items that add to defense, also had this increased by quite a bit. While I think this is because the formula has changed and you need more defense to mitigate criticals, it's still a solid boost.

The Smern (Bad):
Threat Reduction nerf: I am not sure if this is a bug, or if 20% less threat is just THAT significant. But I was easily pulling agro off the MT with frostbolts. I could usually start dps with 1 sunder and if the tank continued sundering, I could dps the entire time (crits included) and not pull agro. However, last night in BRD, I would start dps at 3 sunders, and if the first hit was a crit, I would instantly rip agro off the MT. This happened many many times.
Hunter Agility->RA normalization: 1 point of agility only gives 1 ranged attack now. This was actually quite a severe change as now, my hunter who previous had around 1100 RA has been dropped down to ~ 980. This makes items like tarnished elven ring not nearly as good as they used to be. +Agility enchant effectiveness is also effectively cut in half.
AQ20 loot: The only real reason to run AQ20 was for the class books. The loot for the most part is pretty lackluster. I am hoping Blizzard ups their loot tables.

The Ethereal Tabard (Vomit-inducing):
Addons: As expected, this patch broke just about every addon. While some have already been updated, many very useful mods remain incompatible: Gatherer, SmartAssist, SmartBuff, Lockbox, Decursive, Itemsync, Theorycraft just to name a few.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


No, not a typo, here is the trailer for FFXIII. Finally, a female protagonist main lead. First one since FFVI. (No, Fanfare Fantasy X-2 does not count)


Since the 41 point talents are made available today for WoW. Here is how I plan to spec my characters:

Cattie: Not as mana efficient as my previous build, but I do regain Ice Barrier and Improved Blizzard. Empowered Icebolt should make up for the lost damage/crit from losing arcane instability.
Lans: Lose Blessing of Sanctuary, but overall healing capacity is much increased
Lilis: Everyone is saying how nerfed warriors are gonna be, but I actually like this talent build a lot more, the only thing I really lose is 10 defense
Velius: No aimed shot...whee. But since aimed shot resets the autoshot timer, probably only get one of these the whole fight anyways.
Xhandra: Should be Just as effective as before
Tishani: Probably massively less direct damage than before, but much much stronger DoTs
Nadiya: Reading up on the new Balance Talents, I would really like to try a Moonkin druid and steal all the casters' spell damage gear. Molridia, give this build a try and lemme know how it works out =)

Monday, December 04, 2006


It's worth mentioning here that the "Veggies" will have a meeting this year to Raid Houston! Ender, Lemon, and Tochi? (I am sure it's a fruit or veggie in some ancient dialect) edit: Tochi are already signed on. Hopefully also coming will be a few members of the newly formed OOM squad on WoW. It's gonna be around New Years and should be a good time. I am hoping this entices fellow members: Grapes and Catnip into signing on as well. A fun time would be had by all. There is plenty of bed/sofa/floor/cardboard box space for everyone!

Once we are all gathered, the plan is to Raid Houston. This probably includes just lounging around and playing video games, but still, other more active pursuits may occur: We will first clear the trash mobs to the local Walmart. Afterwards, we will "take a 5 min break" since it was soo tiring. Then after a prolonged 20 minutes of downtime, we will engage the Walmart boss known as BXox063. The main strategy will be to pull it away from it's adds, WeeWee and the PiEs3. I am hoping to call upon Catnip's expertise in this encounter.

That is just one of many different encounters, all fruits and veggies are welcome.