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Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars


Since beating the main story line of Lego Lord of the Rings, Richard and I have started more avidly playing War in the North. We originally started working on this game in October, but only recently have been putting in some serious hours. The game allows you to play as 3 different heros, Farin the Dwarf, Eradan the Human, and Andriel the Elf. Richard is playing as Eradan and I am playing as Andriel. As a group (Farin accompanies us as well played by the PS3) we travel to various towns in the Lord of the Rings storylines and complete various quests. This game is considered more of a background story to the main LOTR lines, and we encounter the regular cast of characters such as Bilbo, Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, etc. throughout our travels.

Eradan is a ranger and Richard usually equips him with dual blades, and I am a mage and usually have a staff equipped and prefer ranged combat vs. hand to hand. Farin is slightly helpful, but mostly just gets in the way and pulls way too much agro and dies often. Your armor in the game is constantly being changed and upgraded by wares that you find during quests and in various towns. It also degrades as you fight, so it is important to repair your items or carry back-up gear in case your items break. So far, I have not had the latter happen, fingers crossed. As a mage I pick up various herbs and craft potions and edibles, Richard’s ranger abilities allow him to follow various side paths that only rangers can see. Some of the battles have been exceptionally hard and we have died countless times, but luckily we have been able to apply different strategies to our approach and have been able to keep the story going instead of rage quitting (which we have done as well).

We are currently in Mirkwood fighting the last portion of the quest. So far I have really enjoyed this game, now that I have got a handle on the various menus for my learned skills.

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

Do you think you’re yourself at work, or do you think your co-workers don’t know the “real” you?

I like to think that my co-workers know the real me. I make no effort to hide my interests and hobbies, as some of them are tattooed right on me for everyone to see. For the most part, I tend to try to not talk religion or politics because it usually ends up with peoples feelings hurt. I always try to bring a nice mix of professionalism and my nerdy quirky self to work – and hope that my co-workers are not putting up a front to me.

14 December, 2012


(photo taken by yours truly in San Francisco, CA.)

You guys, I must confess, I am a huge nerd. Okay, that probably didn’t shock anyone if you have read more than 1 entry on my blog. But there are a few things that I do that take nerdiness to a new level. One of those is geocaching. What the heck is geocaching you may be asking yourself?

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

My friends Dawn & Jack introduced me to geocaching in 2008, but I did not officially start caching until April of 2009. Since then I have found over 600 caches in the Northern California area and have attended various geocaching events. This evening I attended a 12-12-12 event and had a wonderful time. It was amazing to spend time with my lovely friend Dawn and her parents as well as catch up with old caching buddies and meet a few new people. I was honestly surprised by the turn out for a Wednesday night but I guess we know how to party.

One of my most bragworthy accomplishments as a geocacher has been finding 100 geocaches in a day. This was no easy feat. We started at 5 AM and cached through the entire day before calling it quits at 6PM. For good measure we picked up some extra caches along the way for the people in the group that had already found a few on the list selected to find that day. This brought me to 103 for the day. I have cached with my friends, my mom, and in another state. It is exceptionally fun and something that you can do anywhere in the world! You also don’t need a fancy GPS to play, as I cache right on my iPhone (previously my BlackBerry).

Do you geocache? What is your cacher name?

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

What do you think would be the hardest job for you to do?

I think the hardest job for me to do would be to either have to notify families that their loved one or pet had passed away. Or any job that would require me to deal with foul smells, as I tend to gag pretty easily when it comes to certain odors.

12 December, 2012

Christmas Mix Tape


Looking for a little something different to listen to this holiday season? Years of retail have left me jaded of the traditional Christmas music and it’s always nice to stumble on something new, especially when performed by some of my favorite artists.

The Bird And The BeeCarol Of The Bells

She & HimHave Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

The RaveonettesChristmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Brenda LeeRockin’ Around the Christmas Tree



Type O NegativeRed Water

BryfaceLast Christmas (Chiptune cover of Wham!)

Death Cab For CutieChristmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Lemmy KilmisterRun Rudolph

Bob RiversGrab Your Balls Like Michael Jackson

AnberlinChristmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Zooey Deschanel & Joseph Gordon-LevittWhat Are You Doing New Years Eve?

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

If I could have any job in the world, it would be a tie between two things. First I would want to be a trauma nurse. Nursing is something that I am extremely passionate about and an adrenaline rush like you would not believe. The satisfaction of helping others in their most desperate time of need is exceptionally fulfilling. Second I would want to be a full time artist. I often day dream about spending my days creating. As my of you can relate to, creativity does not always come easy, so it would be nice to be in a position that would allow me to create whenever I feel inspired, and work without time constraints.

What would your dream job be?

11 December, 2012

Pretty in Black

As usual I am late to the new album game. If only there were an app that would allow you to see all the new releases coming out each week. What makes this situation even more sad is that I follow The Raveonettes on various social media outlets and knew that this album was coming out, yet neglected to actually figure out when. I was introduced to The Raveonettes in 2007 by my friend Chris. He worked at a local coffee joint and I would spend my nights hanging out, drinking soy peppermint hot chocolates and we would talk music. We were introduced through a mutual friend and our common bond musically made for awesome conversations. One band that he introduced me to were The Raveonettes, a indie rock band from Denmark. The Raveonettes could best be described as a two part band with duo-harmonies mixed with electric guitars mixed with heavy distortion mixed with the 50’s and 60’s rock vibe meets a hint of surf rock. I had the pleasure of seeing them at a small venue in San Francisco for my birthday in 2008 with Be Your Own Pet (who you should also check out).

Their newest album Observator falls right in line with their previous stellar works. I think my main draw as to why I love this band so much is their vocal pairing and subtle electronic elements. Despite the usually dark lyrics most of their earlier albums have a rather upbeat vibe to them versus the more mellow tone of this album. This album was created after a few day bender by Sune in Venice Beach where he spent his time people watching. “Young and Cold”, the opening track on the album happens to my favorite mostly because I can identify with how he is feeling, each year of my life passing me by faster and faster.

If you like groups like The Bird and The Bee, Blonde Redhead, Mew, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Velvet Underground, you will probably enjoy The Raveonettes.

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

Do you enjoy teaching others? Talk about a time you taught someone how to do something.

Do I enjoy teaching others? Short answer, No. But I don’t think this question is so black and white, or maybe it is and I choose not to see it that way. The reason why I say no is because I am somewhat of a control freak coupled with a slight compulsion of OCD and sometimes get frustrated easily. Sometimes I forget that things that I find easy are not easy to others, this especially rings true when it comes to technology. When it comes to a menial task such as teaching someone how to use Word or how to send an email or take a screen capture on their computer, if they don’t pick it up quickly, I find myself getting slightly frustrated because these are all things I can do without even thinking about it. One thing I learned from my Mom was teach people by doing. Instead of completing the task yourself and asking them if they understand, have them complete the task and guide them. I find this yields better results.

A time that I had to teach someone was actually a time where I had to teach over 200 people. When my former employer added a department to the store, all of the employees had to be trained on all the various procedures, safety precautions, etc surrounding that department. Because I had been promoted to take over this department, I was in charge of ensuring that everyone was trained within a 2 week period. I started by reading over all of the information that I had to cover, because not only did I want to be informed and ready to answer any questions pertaining to the training materials, I wanted to see if there were any portions that I could change or omit to keep my audience engaged. After jotting down key points of all the topics that I needed to cover, I broke the entire building up into small groups that would be more manageable. I engaged the employees by asking them what prior knowledge they might have of the subject and then proceeded to break things down in visual way with props and whiteboards instead of standing in front of the room and reading from my notes. I felt that this approach was more effective than dumping a ton of information on them and expecting them to pass a test in 45 minutes. In the end most absorbed the material and passed the test and I was able to spend time with those who needed a little more help.

5 December, 2012