Monday, December 22, 2008

There are 195 of these things?!

How many countries of the world could you name in 5 minutes? I could name 45, which I thought was pretty decent.


The timer will start without you. Just refresh to get a new timer. I'll post the list of countries I named, along with the list of ones I very obviously missed in a few days!

Good luck :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Top 3 Finest Futurama Episodes!

Futurama. Great show, or greatest show? The movies don't quite compare to the TV-show, so we'll have to reminisce about the good old days! Without further ado, here's my top 3 episodes, in no particular order!

Roswell that Ends Well
Why it's awesome:
- Truman busts out of a wooden box
- Space Time Paradoxes
- Lots of Zoidberg!

Favorite Quotes:
Truman: "Bush wa. No what's your mission? Are you planning to make some kind of alien human hybrid?"
Zoidberg: "Are you coming on to me?"
Truman: "Ha! Crackers, I take exception to that!"
Zoidberg: "I'm not hearing a no…"

Fry: "But, but, won't that change history?"
Professor: "Oooh… A lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-my-own-grandpa! Let's get the hell out of here already. Screw history!"

Spanish Fry
Why it's awesome:
- Human Horn
- Lrrr
- Bender 1-liners for days

Favorite Quotes:
Shady Salesman: [whispering; on TV] You're not a cop, right?
Lrrr: [on TV] Oh, no, no. I'm just some guy ... ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8!

Lrrr: "Guards, seize him! Prepare to harvest the lower horn."

Lrrr: "Mmm, this jerked chicken is good. I think I'll have Fry's lower horn jerked."
Bender: "It's used to it! Woooo!"

Anthology of Interest I
Why It's Awesome:
- 3 episodes in one!
- Gary Gygax and Al Gore make appearances
- Zoidzilla

Favorite quotes:
Gary Gygax: "Greetings! It's a" *rolls dice* "pleasure to meet you!"

Farnsworth: Now we just need a guinea pig...
(Cut to a scene with a guinea pig)
Zoidberg: *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* "What's this? Two meals in one week?"
Guinea Pig: *squeak*
(Tube comes down, trapping Zoidberg)
Gang: "Gotcha! Sucker!"
Zoidberg: "Friends, help! A guinea pig tricked me!"

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Quest for the Best: CoCo's Grill

CoCo's is a relatively new contender in the Grandview area. This was my second venture into the restaurant, and again they did not disappoint. However, I find their lack of spring rolls disturbing! But enough about that, on with the chicken!

Restaurant: CoCo's Grill
Location: 845 W 5th Ave
Call: (614) 429-0790‎

Chicken: Soft, but not soggy. A little chewy in spots. About half chicken and half breading, so there is room for improvement, but overall well prepared.

Veggies: No veggies in with the chicken. I think I'm noticing a trend... however, there were peas and carrots in with the rice so I'll let it slide!

Sauce: Tangy, spicy, and thick. Very close to a perfect sauce for a General Tso's dish. A litle lacking in quantity, but the taste is spot on.

Rice: Fried rice with peas and carrots, and some traces of egg. The rice itself is quite soft and pleasant. This is the best fried rice I've had thus far on the quest!

Spiciness: 7/10. You know your General Tso's is packing heat when you have to refill your drink before you're even halfway done. I give the spiciness of this dish a 10/10 in tastiness, but for clarity I've given it a 7/10 in spiciness (10/10 being an experience where you can't down enough water fast enough). It was right on target for a General Tso's dish in terms of spiciness.

Amount of Food: More than satisfying. Plenty of delicious fried rice, plenty of soft spicy chicken. Enough for two meals? Probably. Will you want to stop eating whats in front of you in order to save it for later? Probably not!

Price: $5.95, about average for a lunch-time Chinese meal.

Overall: 7/10 - I was really a fan of the sauce that came on this chicken. It was hot and tangy, two excellent qualities for General's Tso's. In addition, I enjoyed the peas and carrots that came in the fried rice. The chicken was a little lacking, but overall a very pleasant experience from CoCo's Grill.

Cookie: Very sweet, but sadly stale. Brand: Winner (Unknown Origination)
Fortune: "You are interested in public service and would make an outstanding statesman"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Quest for the Best: Happy House

When I think cheap Chinese, I think Happy House. That's not necessarily a bad thing; it's just quick and dirty, like my love. And that can never be a bad thing.

Restaurant: Happy House
Location: 1267 W 5th Ave
Call: (614) 488-2088

Chicken: Equal parts chicken and breading. Crispy and chewy, but not chewy in a good way. A bit overcooked. However, there is a LOT of it. Half the box is chicken!

Veggies: None. None? Surprising, but it doesn't take too much away from the dish. Still, I can't help feeling a bit like a hedonism bot, only eating chicken and no veggies, but my guess is I'll get over it.

Sauce: Thick, hot, and some decent kick to it. I'm putting my official endorsement behind this sauce!

Rice: Fried rice with no add-ins. Traces of egg and carrot present. Can't complain or lavish praise here.

Spiciness: 3/10. One day I'll find a Chinese place that knows how to make a spicy General Tso's without me explicitly asking for it. It is not this day.

Amount of Food: A lot! Both the chicken and rice are overflowing their respective compartments. Enough food for two meals, no question.

Price: $4.95, and this also includes a drink! When I said cheap Chinese I wasn't kidding!

Overall: 5/10 - I can't say too much bad about this dish, but I also can't say too much good. It has it's ups and downs, but in the end it comes out pretty average. Can't beat the amount of food and drink for the price though.

Cookie: Somewhat stale, not very flavorful. More like fortune styrofoam. Brand: Golden Bowl (New York)
Fortune: No harm in putting all your eggs in one basket - just watch it closely.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quest for the Best: Mark Pi's Express

Today's installment of QftB takes me to Mark Pi's, a staple of "americanized" chinese food. Typically Mark Pi's is a flagship for tasty chinese food, but today they seem to have missed the boat. Read on for more detail.

Restaurant: Mark Pi's Express
Location: 1290 W 5th Ave
Call: (614) 488-6336

Chicken: Crispy! More breading than meat, but still good.

Veggies: Carrots, Celery, Water Chestnuts, Green Peppers, bamboo shoots. I'm glad to see bamboo shoots make an appearance, but what really dominates the veggies is the celery, cut length-wise isntead of in cross sections. Actually it's more of an angled cut, but I don't see the purpose. It just makes it hard to eat.

Sauce: Not quite enough sauce for the amount of rice. This may be due to the fact that the dish was poured over the rice instead of being on the side like many chinese restaurants do. Also it's not very flavorful nor is it any kind of spicy. More like any traditional brown sauce than a general tso's sauce.

Rice: Plain white rice.

Spiciness: I'd give it a 0/10 on spicyness. Very mild, and that takes away from the flavor of what General Tso's should be.

Amount of Food: Not the most food I've gotten in a meal, but more than ample still. There seems to be an excess of celery, or maybe it's just the odd way they've cut it (length-wise, why?)

Price: $4.95

Overall: 2/10 - The sauce really did this dish in. It was lacking at best, and bland at worst.

Cookie: Overcooked, dark, and dry. A sad experience Brand: Golden Bowl (New York)
Fortune: There will be many surprises; unexpected gains are likely

Monday, August 4, 2008

Review: Panda Express

I know it's not technically a QftB post, but the girlfriend demands a written review of my lunch today. So what the girlfriend demands, the girlfriend gets.

Today I experienced Panda Express for the first time. I must say, I'm quite impressed!

Panda Express handles things a little differently than most other Chinese places. Firstly, they don't cook the food on the spot; they have it waiting there for you in pans like you would see at a china buffet. Secondly, you don't just choose one entree. You can get two or even three entrees on your plate as part of their "standard" meal. Thirdly, you get your choice between white rice, fried rice, or lo mein noodles (yay!).

Finally, they have an event running currently where Beijing Beef and Orange Chicken are squaring off to win over the hearts and minds of the consumer for the next big thing at Panda Express. So I decided, hey, I get two entrees anyways. Let's get ready to rummmmmmble!

Restaurant: Panda Express
Location: 5th ave, between Gerrard and Hess.
Call: (614) 486-6630

Orange Chicken: Although I did not taste anything that could be described as "Orange", it is still quite a tasty dish. Think of the fried "sweet-and-sour" type chicken, in duck sauce. Crispy chicken, good amount of meat (as opposed to breading), very tasty.

Beijing Beef: A spicy counterpart to the Orange Chicken; it seems to be fried as well, before being covered in a delicious dark sweet/spicy sauce. The batch I got was perhaps a bit overcooked (it was a little chewy) but left my nose watering and my mouth wanting more.

Veggies: Orange chicken has no veggies in it. Beijing Beef contains green, red, and orange peppers, in addition to onions. The Lo Mein contains celery, cabbage strips, and sprouts. A well rounded mix!

Sauce: Not a lot of extra sauce for either entree, but the sauce that is on the meat sticks well, so it wasn't really an issue.

Rice: Lo mein! And fantastic lo mein at that. It tastes like it has been grilled, got a little "charred" taste to it. Pure win!

Spiciness: The Orange Chicken is not at all spicy. In fact it's mostly just sweet. The Beijing Beef brings my nose to water, and I'd say it's about a 6 on a 1 to 10 scale. Not burning my face off, but enough so I know it's there.

Amount of Food: I'm more than satisfied with the amount of food given. Add to it the fact that every bite was delicious and I couldn't be happier.

Price: $5.75

Overall: 8/10 - Not much to complain about, and I was very happy with my first visit to Panda Express. The beef was a little overcooked, but flavor wise everything was great.

Cookie: Light colored, but not light on taste. Surprisingly sweet and flavorful.
Fortune: People enjoy having you around

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quest for the Best: Nong's Hunan Express

All epic journeys start with but a single step. Starting today I vow to find the greatest General Tso's chicken in Columbus. I will not falter, I will not fail. I will be judging the dish on many facets, which are listed below. Without much more further ado whatsoever, I present to you the first installment!

Restaurant: Nong's Hunan Express
Location: 1634 Northwest Blvd & King Avenue
Call: (614) 486-6630

Chicken: Off-taste for chicken, like more dark meat than usual? Not sure, just tastes a little strange. Not very much of it either, which I suppose isn't such a bad thing since it's not that great.

Veggies: Carrots, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Cabbage, Water Chestnuts, Snow Peas. Ample and crisp!

Sauce: Thick, darker than some other Chinese places, appropriate level of spiciness.

Rice: Fried rice, no add-ins, small traces of egg. Standard fare.

Spiciness: Right on target. Not too spicy, not too mild. Made my nose water just a tiny amount. Perfect.

Amount of Food: Rice was more than sufficient, in fact I threw some away. As I said, there was a bit of a shortage of chicken (only got about 4 pieces) but the meal as a whole filled me up. Good amount of veggies.

Price: $6.95

Overall: 4/10 - On a General Tso's chicken dish, it's all about the chicken. While I couldn't complain about the veggies, rice, or sauce, the chicken was both odd tasting and minimal. And for $6.95 at lunch, that's not going to cut it.

Cookie: A little thicker than most fortune cookies I've had, and much more flavor. THIS is what a fortune cookie is supposed to be! Brand: Fortella Co, Inc. (Chicago, IL)
Fortune: You will live long and enjoy life.

Friday, June 20, 2008

American Family Insurance is greedy

Latin Fest is this weekend. I'd like to say a few things about it.

- I'm fairly certain the webpage was designed by the Bubble Yum corporation. Honestly, who goes with teal, pink, and bright yellow?

- The picture of the boy on the front page is a ridiculously bad photoshop. No, I don't have to tell by the pixels. Maybe it's a joke by the webmaster?

- $1 tickets on Friday? Awesome! Pure win! I pay $1, I walk around, browse vendors, eat some sweet food, hear some music, take in some culture. Vendors get paid, I get entertained, it's win-win.

- $30 tickets on Saturday? Epic fail! Wait, I get to hear two bands I've never heard of! Sweet! Well maybe they are famous in the Spanish community!

- Lucero Terrazas - first act of two on Saturday. In theory, she's half the show, so she should be worth about 1/2 of the second act (if I know anything about how concerts work, which I obviously do). So say 10 bucks to see her? Lets see what google knows about her... expecting wikipedia page... dont see it... links to her stop at about page five. Must not be that great. Did they just get a spanish girl to make this pose? That's not gonna trick me at all. Anyone can make that pose. Look, I'm doing it right now.

- Who doesn't have their own wikipedia page?! Look, even I've got one. Seriously, this chick is just some stripper they found down at Columbus gold who could sing Feliz Cumpleanos and maybe do a sweet booty shake. It's not that hard to make it in show business with a little T&A.

- Los Huracanes del Norte - Hey hey, this looks a little more respectable. Google knows about em, wikipedia knows about em. But are they 30 dollars good? Eh, not to the average person at Latino Fest. I mean, there's a large population of latinos in Columbus, but how many of them are willing to drop 30 bucks for these guys? It's not like Christina or J-Lo or even Ricky Martin (she bang! she bang!)

- The group members of Los Huracanes is pretty stacked. Check it out:

* Heraclio "Rocky" Garcia
* Jesus "Chuy" Garcia
* Guadalupe "Lupillo" Garcia
* Francisco "Pancho" Garcia
* Antonio H. "El Guero" Garcia
* Jose Luis "El Chapete" Mejia
* Rocky Jr.

Rocky Jr?! Tell me thats just not the most awesome thing you've ever heard. I imagine a midget running around punching people with his maracas left and right. I hope I'm right. I am a little sad though that Jesus Garcia doesn't have a nickname involving tap dancing though. Those spanish people will never learn.

Will I go to Latin Fest? I'd say it's a solid maybe, depending on whether or not I can get some people to join me. $1 margaritas to go along with my $1 admission? Hopefully. See you there!

She bang!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sometime I could use help in setting up my PC so that when in Outlook and I go to see Deleted e-mails & then want to return to the deleted email again, I end up at the Inbox. Same thing happens when go to Send.


I work as a systems specialist. Which is a fancy way of saying I do tech support for a building at Ohio State. The above is an email that we recently received asking for... something. I don't get it. I still have to acknowledge it. So, I'll head up there and slap them silly soon enough but in the meantime...


Thursday, March 27, 2008


Today's random wikipedia page: Paper size

I've always wondered what the difference between A4 and Letter sized paper is. Well, not always. But a good portion of my morning was spent wondering. At least the last couple of minutes. As it turns out, a "letter" sized paper is actually just slightly shorter than an A4, but it's very close. However, the printer knows. Oh yes, the printer is well aware of your attempts to feed it A4 sized paper when it expects Letter. This is the premise of the message PC LOAD LETTER.

The problem with PC LOAD LETTER is that each word can be misconstrued. The actual meanings?

PC = Paper Cassette
LOAD = Place the paper in the paper cassette
LETTER = Letter sized paper please, not A4!

See, it's so simple now. Remember, check your paper size and you won't have to sing Die MF Die MF Die in an empty field.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Solving the heart rate mystery

Happy belated Valentine's Day everyone! Hope you got to spend it with that special someone!

Last two days at the gym:

1 mile on treadmill
20 min on elliptical
20 min on bike
2 x Fish Game! on rowing machine (about 1600 meters, 10 min)

30 min elliptical
30 min bike

So, I don't know about your gym's machines but at the gym I go to, each machine has a little heart rate chart on it. On the left side of the chart is a set of values that correlate age and optimal heart rate for "fat burning". On the right side of the chart is a set of values that correlate age and optimal heart rate for "cardio". The reason I'm going to the gym is to "get healthier" and more specifically to lose this damn gut! So, while the "cardio" side of the chart seems intriguing and is useful, I should probably be more interested in the "fat burning" side of the chart.

Well for my age, it says that I should be at a heart rate around 130-140 for fat burning and 150-160 for cardio. At this point I usually tilt my head to the side and give a hearty "Whaaaa?". See, when my heart rate is at 130-140 I'm barely even moving in my opinion. My breathing is only slightly heavier and I definitely don't even break a sweat. At 150-160 I'm starting to "feel it" and start heavier breathing and sweating, which to me feels like I'm doing an actual workout. So where's the discrepancy?

After reading multiple websites about heart rates and the many heart rate "zones" I feel like I finally understand the low rate. It turns out that at the lower heart rates your body burns a higher percentage of fat and a lower percentage of carbohydrates (sugars). The actual number varies widely from site to site, but that's the general consensus. A couple of examples with made up numbers:

In your "fat burning zone" you burn 100 calories. Lets say 50 of these are from carbohydrates (immediate energy source) and 50 come from fat (stored energy).

In your "cardio zone" you burn that same 100 calories. Let's say 70 of these are from carbohdrates and 30 are from fat.

So you can see the "fat burning zone" is more efficient at burning fat. However, the point to note is that while the fat burning zone is more efficient, you will generally burn total calories much slower than in a "cardio zone". Take this example from this website:

So, let's say you're exercising at a fairly low intensity that burns, oh, 100 calories in a half-hour. Let's say that 70 percent of those calories come from fat. Your neighbor, however, is working out much harder, outside the magical "fat burning" zone: She's burning up, say 300 calories in that same half hour, but only 50 percent of those calories are from fat. Now do the math. You're burning a higher percentage of fat, but 70 percent of your 100 calories equals 70 fat calories burned. Your neighbor, on the other hand, is burning a lower percentage of fat, but she has burned up 50 percent of 300 calories, or 150 fat calories, more than twice what you've burned in the same period of time!

So you can see thats it really a personal preference. It makes sense that they balance out. Work long and easy and burn fat. Or work short and hard and burn fat. Either way, it goes back to my original mantra which was -- "as long as you are getting your heart rate up, you're doing well!". It's just a matter of how high you go and what your time schedule and preference is. In any case, I am glad to have that mystery solved!

Sources: (1 2 3 4 5 6)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I forgot how much I love the gym!

Went to the gym last night for the first time in a long time (probably about 5 months!) and all I have to say is ... wow! I forgot how much I love the gym! Now, maybe it's the OSU gym that I love so much. There's 4 levels, hundreds of machines of all types, and lots of lovely ladies!

Going to the gym is great because there's always entertainment for when you are working out. The place is always teeming with life, and even though there are a lot of people there is always a machine you can use. There are two types of people at a college gym: those who are incredibly fit and those who are unhappy with their bodies. I guess that's kind of a cop out, but it's true when you look around the place. Also, it does remind me of my favorite nerdy joke:

There are 10 kinds of people in this world. Those who understand binary, and those that do not.

In any case, looking around while I'm at the gym (I can't find my mp3 player dang it!) gives me inspiration to keep it up. I could look like that guy, or be able to do the exercise that guy is doing, or have the confidence to ask out that girl. It's all great inspiration. Plus I just feel better being there. It's warm and cozy in there, and everyone is friendly. No one can be a grouch when they are working on their glutes! Or maybe they are just too tired to be grouchy, who knows!

Being at the gym really makes me into a butt man (dunna dunna dunna dunna butt man). I don't mean to be chauvinistic, but it's not my fault! The girls always wear those black workout pants that show off the nice butt they are trying to get rid of (Stop! Keep it please!). If they didn't want me to look they'd wear something more moderate, right? Right?!

Anyways, here's what I did:

20 minutes on stationary bike
20 minutes on elliptical machine (love EM, and I don't care who knows it!)
0.5 mile on treadmill (a weak spot for me still, wanted to get at least 1 mile in)
10 minutes (2000 meters) on the rowing machine

All in all, a pretty good first workout. I'm going again tonight because I feel great (not too sore at all- guess that means I should push a little harder). I feel like I could just stay at the gym for 4 hours at a time. It's just a good feeling being there! I forgot how much I love the gym!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Maybe we can work it out (work it out)

One of my goals now that I've stopped playing World of Warcraft is to eat better. When you take a look in the mirror and get a surreal feeling like you're looking at someone else you know something is askew. I'm not chubby, husky, pleasantly plump, or any other niceties. I'm fat. Plain and simple. Let it all out. Yeah, see that there? Looks like a 8 month baby waiting to get out of my belly.

So to lose the weight, what do I have to do? Two things. Buy some HydroxyCut and wait. No wait, that's if I want to fail miserably at losing weight and keeping it off long term. What I need to do is very simple, and it's time tested and true.

1) Watch my intake
2) Increase my output

That's it. Simple, effective, and straightforward. I've read a lot, talked to a lot of people, and seen results in people I know. The ONLY way to lose and keep weight off you is to watch what you eat and exercise. It's a lifestyle commitment, not a one time journey.

Here's how your body works. You eat food, which contains energy. Throughout the course of a day you use energy. If you eat more food (consume more energy) than the amount you expend each day you have a surplus. What does your body do when there is a surplus? Well the human body came prepared to deal with a surplus, and it stores it away in fat cells. If you expend more energy than you take in a given day, your body grabs some of the stored energy out of storage to compensate.

Very simple and easy to follow. Eat more food than you need, gain fat/weight. Expend more energy than you eat, lose fat/weight.

Watching intake
People make two common mistakes when starting a "diet". If you can avoid these two pitfalls, half of your work towards getting healthy is done.

Firstly, they shrink their portions to almost nothing. Your body needs food to survive. If it does not get this food it can not function properly. You've heard it before. If you starve yourself, your body will think it is starving! It will feel the need to immediately store any food it does get, and this will lead to slower results and unhealthy weight loss. Also, you'll be cranky because you'll always be hungry. The important thing is not to eat tiny, but to eat moderately. Eat a portion which will make you feel satisfied. This does not mean full, but it also does not necessarily mean the "suggested" serving size. Everyone is different and has different serving sizes that will make them feel satisfied.

Secondly, they stop eating foods they like. People seem to think that once they start watching their intake they have to start eating like a rabbit. Sure broccoli, lettuce, and celery are good substitutes for potato chips, fries, and nachos but they aren't the end-all when it comes to eating more positively. You CAN still eat cookies, beef, and your favorite sugary cereal (hello Golden Grahams!) it's just all about moderation. Become aware of what you are eating. I like both Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies and Fig Newtons. I choose the latter because when you check the nutrition information, the Newtons are an order of magnitude better for you than the Oatmeal pies. Choose the lesser of two evils when you have a choice. If there is no alternative, don't sweat it. Eat what makes you happy, and if its terribly bad for you make up for it in another area.

Remember, it's not about eating tiny or eating foods you hate. It's all about moderation and taking in fewer calories than you expend. Which leads me to the other half of getting a healthier body.

Increase Output
So the second half of the equation is to increase your caloric expenditure. The most important thing to exercising is to get your heart rate up. It does not matter how you do it, just that you get it up. I hate swimming. I can't do it very well. I get tired after one lap and my head hurts. Instead, I go running, rowing, or biking. I actually enjoy doing these things, and they all get my heart rate up. Hell, if you can get someone to have sex with you enough and that gets your heart rate up, go for that! Whatever you choose, aim for a certain amount of time each day that your heart rate will be elevated. Don't worry about calories burned or total time spent each week. Just get that heart rate up. In time you'll find your comfort zone of how long to go and how much to push yourself. Just remember to keep on pushing.

If you aren't motivated enough to do a full workout, just take it in steps. Tell yourself that you only need to go for 10 minutes, and gauge if you should continue after that. My guess is you'll feel good after those first 10 minutes :)

As long as you take in fewer calories than you are expending each day you'll meet your target weight in time. Remember, its not a race to lose weight and a healthy loss should be anywhere between 1-3 pounds per week. With time and consistent behavior you can reach your goal. Remember it's a lifestyle change, not a temporary inconvenience and as long as you stay committed, you'll start to notice very positive results. You can do it!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Videos are my achilles tendon

Not much can tempt me to come back and play WoW. However, when I watch WoW videos I get a certain desire to play. In particular I watched a video over at Crusader Aura which made me wish I had leveled my paladin more. Ahh, the lure of big numbers. It's all too much for me because in my head I know how overpowered an offensive holy paladin can be. I've watched Nomakk play his paladin in the 49 bracket. He can take on 2-3 guys at a time and either outlast them back to his team or kill at least one before they take him down. Talk about staying power!

Sigh.. no WoW though! I have no desire to come back, I just need to stop reading blogs. In order to do that I need to build that damn static blogroll already. It's really not that much work, right?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Firefox is tempting me

One of the reasons I gave for quitting WoW is that it took up too much of my time OUTSIDE of actually playing the game itself. This includes reading wowwiki, scouring thottbot for gear upgrades, the armory, the many MANY blogs that various people have, and a veritable plethora of random guild sites and strategy guides for various encounters.

Looking back through my bookmarks shows that a large portion of them are WoW-related. I'd say the number is close to half. Most of them are tips on playing classes I'm not used to, links to macros, or detail some minuscule nuance of the game that I wanted to reference later. All of these can be safely deleted, as there is no reason for me to know which type of tank is better for tanking encounter X or phase Y.

It's a lot harder to delete blogs off of my google reader. First and foremost, my google reader dynamically creates my blogroll on Laser Chicken. Even though I have no intention of continuing to post in Laser Chicken I would still like the content to remain the same for anyone who decides to visit it. I know when I was first getting into blogs and blogging it was nearly impossible for me to find the types of blogs I wanted to read about the class/spec I loved. This was the primary motivation for me to create a more organized (than most) blogroll on my site. When I found out how to create the blogroll directly from my google reader it was fantastic. I was able to find a blog I like, add it to my google reader, categorize it, and it would automatically show up on my blog roll. It was great for people who would sometimes switch, say from Balance to Resto, because I didn't have to change any html, just update their category. However, now that I'm finished with Laser Chicken, I do not wish to see those blogs in my google reader. This means that I have to convert my dynamically allocated blogroll to a static one, which requires a rather arduous task of coding up an html linked list. As with all projects that are large, I'm having a hard time starting it, so those blogs are all still sitting in my google reader.

In addition to the blogroll aspect of it, I'm having trouble deleting blogs out of my google reader because I like the authors. I like their writing style, I like to read what is going on in their lives, and I like to read the comments. This leads me to a big dilemma. Take Pike's most recent blog entry for example. I like reading Pike's material but if I keep her blog around I'll see stuff like this and think about my old days of alting it up. Now, I've been reading select blogs since I left (they are still in my google reader, I have no choice!) but up until this post none of the entries had given me pause to think about coming back. It's a slippery slope, if you see what I mean. Even once I make my blogroll static, I still have a tough choice to make about which blogs to keep and which to wave goodbye to forever.

Finally, I must and will stop checking the old guild forums. I spent two plus years with these people and I like them as individuals. If you cant tell though, I'm a little perturbed about their apparent lack of empathy for my departure. So I deleted my account from the site and won't be returning even though those forums are more often not about WoW than about it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Life after Lasers

aka "I used to be a Chicken"

Welcome to my life after World of Warcraft. Previously I wrote a blog entitled Laser Chicken where I detailed some of my (mis?)adventures in WoW and some theory about being a druid in the game. Recently I stopped playing WoW because I'm tired of being a slob, I'm tired of looking at my dirty room and chores gone unfinished, and I'm simply tired of being tired. In replacement of my Laser Chicken blog I will be writing a blog entitled "That's Gold Jerry, Gold!" which will be a place to put all of my thoughts and ideas for a stand up routine I soon hope to build and exhibit at a local comedy club. However, that blog isn't exactly the best place to put my personal thoughts, which is why I decided upon the creation of this blog.

I stopped playing World of Warcraft on Friday, I cleaned up my mailboxes on all my alts (at least 14 characters!), and sent all my worldly (of Warcraft) goods to friends/guildmates. At first I considered not sending the items/gold. Of course this was a thought that would lead into regression: "if I don't send away my BoE blues I've been hoarding I can always come back and make some nice gold on them". So off they went. I sent my roommate Nomakk at least 15 level 70 blue BoE items that I had amassed from the days when farming the Mechanar by rogues was all the craze. Englehart (my rogue) got a lot of playing time back then. So Nomakk got all those blues, and the guild got everything else I though might be of importance or usefulness to someone.

The minute I logged off I felt great. I had no obligations anymore. I didn't have to worry about how we were doing in arena this week, or if I had done my daily quests that day, or fret about how I didn't get enough honor today to meet my goal of a piece of PvP gear every two weeks. Let me tell you, it felt great to not have to worry about any of that stuff.

People get addicted to World of Warcraft for different reasons. I think the reason I got so addicted was due to the fact that I'm a very competitive person. I want to be the best at everything I do, and it's not easy to be the best in WoW. It takes hard work and most of all it takes lots of time. In order to be the best you need to have the best gear, and getting that gear isn't always a guaranteed. Then when you do get that gear Blizzard comes out with an expansion with newer and better gear. One of the things I saw that really got to me and helped me to quit was a comic by Ken Harrison over at mmolecule. While it is a hilarious representation of the green armor that characters will probably be getting upon entry into Northrend, the point still rings true. All the gear we are amassing right now pretty much means nothing. When the next iteration of the development cycle comes around we'll have to start all over at the beginning. It's kind of disheartening when you think about it in that light.

So here I am, finally out of WoW. I've tried to quit before and was moderately successful at it. I stopped playing for at least a couple of months right before the Burning Crusade came out. Then Nomakk got me back into it, and I was good about my playing time for a while. Things can so easily spiral out of control though when you're a competitive person, and soon I was back in the game, lock stock and barrel. This departure will be a permanent one, and it's my intention to never play WoW again. I'm not even sure I'll play another MMO again. I don't have an addictive personality but I know what I can't handle and, for whatever reason, MMOs fall into that category.

Disclaimer: It is not my intention to "convert" anyone reading this blog who is an avid WoW player to stop playing. However, if there is someone reading this blog who wants help, I of course would be willing to provide that assistance. WoW is not the devil but for some it can be a personal demon. I've been there, I know those people are going through. It's tough, I know, but help is out there.