Winter’s log, earthdate 201503.31

Oh dear, the last day of the month – it’s back on those wretched pills again tomorrow, April 1st – so it’s sort of like a cruel April Fool’s Day joke, on me! 😦 Oh well, it’s only 10 days of fluid retention… and I have until mid July to get under 90kg… :/ So… today… well, most of this morning was spent in organising a new, non-Free, blog Template. Once again, the last of the Big Spenders (me) coughed up $24.00 for a template that (so far!) seems to work (cross fingers and touch wood!) I hope you all like it – it’s a little different, and apart from the fact that the blog text and the header seem to be a little… off centre? on the page, I quite like it… In the process of getting the header done, and because I’m still searching for Art Nouveau and/or Art Deco elements for my desktop wallpapers, I didn’t get as much Rifting in as I’d have liked, this afternoon. I did start, and I did get Satai up one level to level 21, but then I felt too restless to continue, and I went font hunting again. You’d think that 2000+ fonts would be enough for anyone, wouldn’t you, but not to the truly dedicated fontaholic that I am. I started off Googling “Art Deco fish images”, and then “Art Nouveau fish images” (I’m still looking for something that I can incorporate into a Pisces symbol) and actually found quite a nice lot of Art Nouveau images… and then somehow or other, (I wasn’t deliberately looking, I swear! 😉 ) I ended up on a site that had a lot of Art Deco corners and frames fonts. I downloaded, and installed, fifteen of them – fourteen, actually, as I found I already had one of them, but they’re going to be a big asset in my font arsenal! There are so many things you can do with corners and frames – use them “as is”, or chop them up and “whiz” them around in a kaleidoscope (the graphic equivalent of a blender) to make “interesting” patterns… all sorts of things. Thinks: I used to do a lot of that, way back when, with photos of flowers, and abstract patterns, and stuff – the resulting images made very nice repeatable tiles (if you can count pixels and know exactly where to cut things to form an even and seamless edge! Ahhh… the good old days! 🙂 ) So, after all that reminiscing, I might just be tempted away from Rift again tomorrow! 🙂 Then again, I might be tempted away from Rift tomorrow by the Great Outdoors! Yes, himself has to go out on a foray, and I might just invite myself along – I’d like to go to Office Works – I need to get something that (knowing my weird wants and needs) probably doesn’t exist. I want to get a clipboard with a “thingy” on the back so that it’ll stand up, like a photo frame, if you know what I mean. I also need to get a second warm jumper – at the moment I only have one, and it’s not even mine! It’s Julian’s, and I’ve been wearing it for a couple of days and it really needed to go to the Dry Cleaners before it got up and walked there on its own – so I don’t even have that any more… and it’s getting cold, Garfield! I have plenty of T-shirts (most of them too big now!) and low necked tops, but my neck gets terribly cold and I don’t want to get a chill or a stiff neck (I do have lots of scarves though… maybe I should start wearing them again… it’s certainly getting cold enough for them!) So… tomorrow I shall either Rift… or Graphick… or go shopping. Speaking of shopping, the rug that we ordered from a shop at The Glen isn’t available. We got our deposit back, and now we have to start looking, all over again. I also need to get a new coffee table for the lounge room, and have the Italian tiles from the old coffee table turned into wall panels, or hangings. Now that the spare room is all but finished, I don’t want to lose the re-decoration momentum – the lounge room is still unfinished – hardly even started, actually! All we’ve done there is replace the entertainment unit and the matching side tables. The curtains have to be changed, and we need a nice big “neutral” coloured rug. We need a new, and much bigger coffee table (on castors) and the small round table has to be carted over to my favourite youngest daughter’s place. The window wall that’s eternally kept curtained needs to be turned into a wall, so that we can eke back some desperately needed hanging space (for all the pictures that are still in storage!) Yes, perhaps I’d better go along tomorrow…. (*evil laugh* 😉 )

Weigh-in this morning. A little disappointing – I didn’t go down at all… however, I didn’t go up, either! I stayed the same, at 97.1kg. And tomorrow morning I start on the fluid loving pills *gloom* I thought I had until August to get down below 90kg, but I don’t… I only have until mid July. At a rough estimate (counting on my fingers!) I have about 12 weeks? If I lose approximately a kilo a week (but sometimes a fair bit less), let’s say that I could, theoretically, get down to – what? 75kg? My goal weight? Impossible! I don’t believe it – my maths was always hopeless… let me work it out again – on paper, this time. There! See?! I was wrong! (well, I did tell you my maths was hopeless!) I carried a “1” where I shouldn’t have – so, in fact, I could, theoretically, get down to about 87kg. That sounds a bit more reasonable… Oh well, as long as I’m under 90kg…

And that, gentle readers, was “My Day” – oh, I also filed my nails down, to try to match the extremely short thumb nail that tore off the other day. I must say that it makes typing a whole lot easier and more comfortable! How do secretaries and receptionists manage with their great long (usually acrylic) talons? Anyway, come and visit again tomorrow night – who knows what marvels and surprises might await you! Will I have gone shopping with himself, and found my up-standing clip board? Did I stay home and get Satai up another couple of levels? Have we managed to find a nice replacement rug for the one we liked but is no longer available? Will we ever decide on what style of curtains we want to get for the lounge room, and where will we ever find the sort of coffee table that I want? I can’t promise that all of those questions will be answered by this time tomorrow night, but some of them will be! The thing is, which ones will be answered! Stay tuned to find out! In the meantime, please try to curb your impatience 🙂  So bee good, don’t drink too much coffee, and above all…. stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201503.30.2

Hmf! Well, here I am this morning with “Part 2” (30.2) of last night’s blog – no thanks to Word Press! As you can see, I’ve had to purchase another theme – one that would allow me to put in a personalised header that actually worked! See?! Miracles do still happen, after all! (especially when it involves the exchange of $$$’s!)

So, where was I last night? Oh yes, that’s right, fruitlessly attempting to get a header to work on a Free Word Press template! I eventually gave up. I had ended up not having time to write my nightly blog, and in Rift, I didn’t have time to do more than check my Minions – I didn’t even have time to put a bag’s worth of items up on the Auction House – items which might have earned me virtual $$$’s (erm – well, platinum, actually, but at the moment, $$$’s, + Word Press are a bit of a sore point with me) But apart from wasting a great deal of my time, what else occupied me yesterday? Let’s see…

I had my hair done in the morning, and at least I’m looking human again now 🙂 Then sat and chatted with a friend until lunchtime, when I set off on my three floors Stair Walk. I think it’s doing me good – I was starting to get a bit complacent just doing the two floors – it was getting just a bit too easy (hehe! “Two too easy”! 😉 a fun pun!) – this third floor is making me work a fair bit harder, especially coming up the very last eight steps to the fifth floor. This is good, and it means that I’m slowly getting fitter! The day before yesterday I did something that I haven’t been able to do for goodness knows how many years! I put my slacks on without having to sit down to do it! I’m quite proud of that achievement! 🙂 Oh! I just had a thought! It’s good to have goals, and to aim for a particular end point, right? And it’s nice to receive acknowledgement and a pat on the back for milestones passed… In Rift, when you accomplish something that’s not exactly quest related (though they can be, sometimes!) you earn an “Achievement“. They don’t really do anything, other than make you feel good about it, and you don’t get a plaque or a Blue Ribbon to hang on your wall – but they’re things you can look back on and say things like: “Oh, I remember having soooo much trouble finding the exact right place to jump off that bridge, to get that one!“, and “That one was so hard to get – I reckon I must have fluked it! Tell you what, I’m never going to take any of my other characters to try getting it!” (and then, of course, you do! In fact, you take all of them, and even with 57+ characters, you’ll probably never manage to “fluke” it again!) So I think it would be a good idea to create some sort of “Achievements” (or similar) for the Dieter – like a little card saying something along the lines of “I’m Standing For It!” An Achievement for having put your slacks on standing up, for the first time in 25 years“, along with a pretty little icon to stick on your desktop calendar, on the day that you achieved it. Well, I think it’s a good idea, anyway! Someone ought to tell Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig to trial it! I reckon it’d be very popular! 😉

We also got the news yesterday that my favourite eldest daughter’s back was no better – in fact it was a lot worse! She had to get a locum to come in and see her last night, as she was in too much pain to get to a doctor herself. Apparently it started when she and Neale went out to play cards, and she had to perch on a stool all night (she’s a very big girl!) – she probably pulled a muscle, or stretched a ligament, or something, and it’s just got steadily worse from there. She’s decided not to start her VLCD* until after Easter (I wonder why she decided not to start until then?! 😉 ) She has an appointment to see the Doctor on Thursday evening, to which himself will have to become Mr. Taxi Man again, as Neale won’t be home in time to take her. Unless stricken down by something like this, she is mobile, and would do well to go and see Ian Anderson (the Personal Trainer I used to go to until I decided that exercise was just… “not me” :/ ) at Bounce Health Group in Blackburn. *sigh* Why is it, that no matter how old they get, you can never stop worrying about your offspring?!

Weigh-in this morning. Wonderousness!! Down 4 points, to 97.1kg! But, never fear! I shall pay the price tomorrow – I’ll probably bounce back up to 97.9kg, or something stupid and horrible like that :/ Innit always the way? A big drop, and then wiggle, wiggle, see saw up and down, but mostly up, or the same! I wish I could skip over that wiggle, wiggle, see saw up and down bit, and just get on with the big drops down (and if wishes were horses, beggars would ride! 🙂 ) So let’s wait and see how much I go up, but hopefully go down, tomorrow. Don’t forget, tomorrow is my last day before I go back on those fluid loving and retaining pills! I hope I do go down – I really need to get as low as possible before I start taking those ‘orrible pills again!

And that’s about it from me for today (well, yesterday, really, but we’re pretending it’s still “today”, aren’t we! 😉 ) Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Apart from me struggling with wretched Word Press’s recalcitrant free themes (and their refusal to either tell you the correct size for their headers, or to work properly even without a personalised header) that is. Hopefully I’ll find a bit of time to get back to Rift – poor Satai has been sitting around, twiddling her virtual thumbs, for the past two days – it’s about time she started her sprint to level 40! So stay tuned for what happens tomorrow! What news, scandal, or comedic muddles will we have gotten (*cringe*  “gotten” – I really hate that word!) ourselves into, I hear you wondering – well this time tomorrow night, you’ll know! So until then, bee good, don’t touch that book!, and above all…. stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

VLCD* = Very Low Calorie Diet

Winter’s log, earthdate 201503.29

It was quite an interesting day in Telara today – we didn’t realise we were so close to the end of the Shimmersand zone… We actually finished it off this morning, with a rather spectacular Grande Denouement… a quest Rift to put an end to the main villain of the zone, and close his Rift. It almost got derailed – all the way through the area, and the next zone we went into, the place was pretty much deserted – there didn’t seem to be any other players, anywhere – until we got to this Rift. There were three or four other players there, who didn’t have the “Draw out and kill Hazeed” quest – but decided to “help” us anyway, and managed to kill Hazeed before we managed to get a shot in, causing us to fail the quest and have to start over. They managed to muck us up twice, actually, until himself pointedly asked them to leave – I’m choosing to believe that they were just trying to be helpful, though I do have a niggling feeling that they were just stuffing us around. Anyway, when we started the quest (which we’d already done several times in the past, so we should have known better!) we made a major mistake… When you’re closing Rifts, mobs come out in Stages, or waves… as you clear out each wave of mobs, a fancy banner (for want of a better word) pops up in the middle of the screen, saying “Stage Completed” – then there’s a lull of a couple of seconds before the next wave arrives. Normally, at our level, these waves are just ordinary mobs – nothing too fancy or special about them. Except in “special” Rifts, like the end of a zone, or something… like this one, where they’re all Elites. Elites – extra hard to kill, remember? Well, we didn’t remember, did we… and we managed to “pull”, or call them all towards us, all at once. Julian got killed – I managed to cast Feign Death (playing possum!) just in time – which was where that “helpful” band of players stepped in and killed everything in sight. Bingo! Fail quest #1! We tried again – this time we stayed well back and tackled the mobs one by one. Worked much more betterer that time! 🙂 The second wave came, and we repeated our pattern, only this time the “helpful” players kept mowing down our mobs, and by the time Big Bad Boss Hazeed made his appearance. they killed him for us, almost before we were even aware that he’d appeared! We were not amused! Fail quest #2. We politely asked them to leave… they did, and we started all over again, and this time managed to finish everything off nicely. We returned to the quest giver to hand it in and get our big reward – and another quest, or a “breadcrumb” quest to another zone. Nope! We got our reward, but nothing else. We had no quests left. There wasn’t anything in our quest list that we’d turned off, so as not to see it listed on our screens, either! What to do? Shimmersand is supposed to be for levels 45 to 50, and we were level 46 – but there were no more quests! Over lunch, I realised what we’d done wrong. We’d been questing in Droughtlands, the area before Shimmersand, but we were finding that the quests there were all Green, and too ridiculously easy, so we decided, off our own bat, and with no breadcrumb quest to get us there, to simply pack up and go to Shimmersand, for quests that might be a bit more of a challenge. By the time we’d finished Shimmersand, we were level 46 – the level at which we were supposed to have been when we started the zone! In other words, we were questing a level above ourselves. It was a bit of a problem! Well, there’s another zone in Telara for levels 45 to 50, it’s called Stillmore, and I hate it! I always go out of my way to avoid it, but this time… I couldn’t. We were still too “young” to go to Ember Isle – you can’t (officially) get to Ember Isle until you’re level 50 (and nobody goes there anymore, anyway, except for the scenery), and we couldn’t just run around killing things to level ourselves up to 50, it would have taken a year! So… Stillmore, it had to be. Don’t ask me why I hate Stillmore so much – I just do! Anyway, we’re not doing too badly there – the quests are Yellow to us now (they were Orange and Red in Shimmersand, but we leveled up to 47 in Stillmore) and starting to get horribly easy again… But we’ll persevere until we get to level 50, and then we’ll skedaddle… 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. Well, as I predicted, I went up. Only one point, to 97.5kg, but still, it was up… and even though I was expecting it, disappointing. Oh, and I have a confession to make. We were so busy wondering what we were going to do, with no quests to carry on with, and I was so busy trying to work out why we had no more quests to do, that I completely forgot my pre-lunch Stair Walk! And I didn’t remember it until it was time for my evening Stair Walk! Julian suggested that I do what I did when I forgot it once before, and do it on my way down to the Den after we’d finished watching TV for the evening – but I didn’t want to do that – I did something different instead. Instead of going down two floors and back up two floors, I decided to double my evening Stair Walk instead. I went down four floors, and back up four floors. Himself was agin’it, but I thought I’d be able to cope with it, and I did! And we noticed something odd about the stairs, too! 🙂 It’s 8 steps down to the mid-landing, and another 8 down to the next floor. Then another 8 steps to the mid-landing, and another 8 down to the floor after that. Repeat that for the next floor. But the one after, my fourth floor down (I guess that would make it the first floor of the building?) was only 7 steps down to the mid-landing, and 9 steps down to the floor! Then I turned around and came back up again. And I made it all the way, too, and I don’t think I went much slower than I normally do, either – nor was I very puffed when I finished – as I said to himself, I get more puffed out racing back to the apartment from the fire escape door than I do climbing the stairs! Anyway, I’ve decided that I’m now fit enough to increase my daily Stair Walks from the usual two floors down, two floors up – not to the four that I did today, not quite yet, anyway – but to three floors down, three floors up. It’ll be good for me (I must be getting fitter, surely! I’ve never walked so much in the past five or six years!) and I hope it helps keep my weight going down, too… :/

So, that’s about it from me tonight – stay tuned this time tomorrow night for more news and gossip from chez nous. Will I really increase my three daily Stair Walks to three floors? Will my weight have gone back down, or will it be up – or even worse – the same!? Who knows? But you will, this time tomorrow… So until then, please continue to bee good, stop reading the back of the book first, and above all… please stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201503.28

Another Saturday… another day… spent Rifting – what else? I did get Persha up to level 40 – about mid-afternoon. I could have got there earlier, but I kept getting sidetracked, chasing after “special” hunting trophies – not at all conducive to getting one’s levels up, I fear! But, you know, the thrill of the hunt, the lure of the unobtainable… I even went shard hopping (you can do that now – have been able to for a while, really) trying to find these elusive – and some even say mythical – creatures. Each one will gain you a special Hunting Token, five of which will win you a (*gasp!*) special Achievement award, and, I think, a Title (but, as seldom as it happens, I might be wrong about the title part!) Anyway, I got carried away, chasing all over Scarwood Reach for these “specials”. They “spawn” (that is, suddenly appear) in specific areas – some as large as a couple of football fields, others as small as the topmost branches of a tree – and it’s just a matter of running round and round these areas, spamming “tar/[insert name of creature]” – “tar” meaning “target”, of course. If the creature is within a certain distance, a little yellow dot will light up on the map, indicating that this is where it is. Then you run off, kill it, and claim the trophy to take back for your Hunting Token. When you finally get five of these tokens, you can hand them in to the Hunt Master for your Grand Reward. If you’ve had no success in finding the beastie, a quick right-click on your top left hand portrait will allow you to magically “teleport” to the exact same place… on another shard! Chances are that this creature may have spawned there – and you have six shards that you can teleport to. When you’ve either bagged your beastie, or decided to give up in disgust, you can, just as magically, be whisked back to your original shard. Easy Peasy. So there I was, as I said, running after these shadows, these will-o’-the-wisps, these chimeras… when I happened to look at the time… Crikey! Not only was I wasting valuable leveling time, I was wasting expensive, as well as valuable experience boosters! Hunting Tokens might win you an Achievement award, but they won’t boost your experience! Hastily I took off for the next little quest hub and worked really hard for the rest of the afternoon, and at about 3 o’clock I “dinged” level 40! As I was in the middle of a quest, I finished it off, handed it in, and spirited myself back home to Sanctum. I dusted down, got rid of my junk, put my prizes in the bank(s), and mailed my water breathing necklace off to Satai. Then I spent the rest of what was left of the afternoon, setting Satai up and making sure her boots were polished to a high sheen! I won’t be able to start out with her tomorrow – it’s Sunday, and himself and I will be happily terrorising all the mobs in beautiful downtown Shimmersand 🙂

I might have made a ghastly mistake in not doing my nails a couple of days ago, when I was supposed to… :/ Quite some time ago now, I’d snagged my left thumbnail rather badly, but I filed it, and shaped it, and nursed it along until it grew to a stage where I thought it’d grown past that snag… Apparently it hadn’t outgrown the snag, and the snag had become a tear mark. It was probably only the nail polish on my thumb nail that had stopped it from tearing earlier (I know I’m short-sighted, but surely I’m not so short-sighted that I wouldn’t notice a tear starting across my nail?!) Anyway… last night it said “I give up! I’m going home to the big Thumb Nail in the Sky“, and it… tore off 😦 So I didn’t do my nails today because, quite frankly, it’s too short to paint – it’d just look silly. I’ll just have to wait until it grows a bit longer – I hope I have enough nail and cuticle oil to last that long… :/

Weigh-in this morning. A trepidatiously good result. I dropped down to 97.4kg – down four points! Of course, this means that I’m probably destined to bounce back up again – goodness knows by how much. Hopefully not too much, but one never knows, does one?! Especially with my body, which doesn’t seem to know what it’s doing anymore than the man in the moon does! Oh well, I don’t think it can bounce back over into the 98kg zone – it is possible, I suppose, but not very probable. I hope. Let’s see what the morning brings…

I was reading an article (blog post, actually, I think) that my favourite eldest daughter linked on Facebook – very broadly, it dealt with how the people who congregate within a given game “sphere” (e.g. Rift, World of Warcraft, Halo, et al.) tend to think of those within their game group as a sort of “family” – like-minded people gathered together to play this particular game. That made me think – going off at a complete tangent from the rest of the article/blog post, that we do tend to feel a certain “affinity” with those who play the same game or games that we do, when really, we know next to nothing about them, unless we happen to know them in real life, outside of the game, of course. It’s the same with other interests, too, from fan fiction to animals – “Hey! That person thinks Professor Snape (in the Harry Potter books) is a really cool person! I think so too – we’d get on well, I’m sure!”, and “Oh, they must be a nice person, they like cats too!” The ubiquitous “They” say that we judge others by our own standards… Perhaps so… but… is it a good, or a bad thing? I’ll let you all think about that for a bit… Let me know your conclusions – I’d be very interested, if you’d care to share… 🙂

So there it is – another day, another blog post, another grizzle, and another slightly philosophical query… Tune in again tomorrow night and find out all the latest news and musings from moi-même. Will I decide to paint my nails after all, and just try to keep my left thumb hidden under a glove, or something? (I could, you know – that’s a thought – I might actually try that…) How will Julian and Winter fare tomorrow, pushing Orange quests in Shimmersand? Will we die? (we’ll get better though! 😉 ), and what will my weight do? See-saw back up? Continue on its slow downward spiral? Or annoy the hell out of me by staying the same? All will be revealed to those who want to know, this time, tomorrow night. And so, gentle readers, once more the time has come for me to admonish you all to bee good, make sure the cat is warm enough tonight, and above all…. stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201503.27

Well, here it is again – the almost end to yet another day. For me, it was a pretty quiet sort of day – himself was out most of the day, once again ferrying my favourite eldest daughter around. She’s managed to hurt her back, and is finding getting around extremely painful and exhausting. Welcome to the club, dear! (mind you, hers will hopefully get better…) It was a pretty miserable and dismal morning for me – a good friend and I managed to get our wires slightly crossed, resulting in a bit of a disagreement, but we sorted it all out after lunch, and I hope that everything is good between us again. I also had a good long Rifting session, finishing off in Gloamwood – and I just know I’ve missed heaps of quests, but I couldn’t find them… However, having said that, I quickly logged on to check in my “Achievements” log! I can go back and kill another 107 Goblins to get the “Wanton Destruction” Achievement (kill 200 Goblins), and I need to explore five more caves. There’s also a puzzle to complete (something about putting shields in the correct order – I might need a bit of help with that one!) so I think I might go back and see if I can get them done – and add to my “Achievement” count! 🙂 (the trouble is, I’ve moved on two zones and almost ten levels since then, and the Goblins will probably all just fall over dead as soon as I look at them – which may negate the “kill” objective!) Yes, Persha is now level 36 and questing in Scarwood Reach, a “shared” zone, with the Defiants operating in the Southern half of the zone, and us Guardians (this time around – next time it’ll be vice versa!) in the Northern half. More or less. A lot of it is sort-of shared area, but not shared quests. So only four more levels to level 40 🙂 and then it’ll be on to Satai, the little Defiant that triggered off this whole shift over to Hailol, simply because I wanted to use the name, and it wasn’t available on any of the other shards! *sigh* the things I’ll do, simply because I like a name, and there’s no other way of spelling it so that it still looks “proper”. (I’m just having a drink of my tea – a different one tonight, it’s called “Berries and Orange”, another of the flavoured black teas from Tea Leaves – it’s really delicious!)

Once again today I didn’t get a chance to do my nails – with himself out most of the day I just sat in here and Rifted – I couldn’t do my nails because I wouldn’t be able to answer the phone if my nails weren’t dry without smudging the polish, or getting nail polish in my hair! Duzza matta though, it means they get (yet another) night of hand cream and cuticle oil – and I have to admit, my nails aren’t looking as dry and cracked as they were. Tomorrow though, himself wants to stay home and do nothing, which means that he can answer the phone, and I’ll be able to (finally!) do my nails… unless I get too wrapped up in finishing off Persha, and starting in on Satai… which is quite possible (and even probable!) No, I must make the effort! The nail polish is sitting forlornly in the bathroom, staring accusingly at me with no eyes… I’d better do it, I guess. I’m also starting to plot and plan my eating strategies for when I finish this diet. My goal weight is 75kg, but, quite obviously, when I start eating “proper food” again, I’m going to put on weight (maybe I should re-think my goal weight to 70kg – then I can afford to put on up to five kilos…) However, the main cause of my previous weight will be gone, and won’t be allowed in the house again. I will be a lot more careful this time around, and I’ll still be eating pretty much the same as I am at the moment, with the exception of dinner at night. For instance, I’ll still have the same breakfast – mainly because I really do like it, but if I can work out the right kilojoule amounts, I might alternate it with porridge during the winter months (except porridge with half a banana sliced on it? It doesn’t really sound terribly “tasty” – I might have to eat the half banana separately… and porridge without brown sugar or golden syrup on it is actually quite nice, I’ve discovered (to my great surprise!)) Lunch will probably be something like crispbread with low fat cottage cheese and a bit of sliced tomato, or cayenne pepper, or celery… and I’ll still keep getting the Optifast bars, because once again, I really like them, and I get my chocolate “fix” with them, too! 🙂 Or I could even have one of the Optifast soups for lunch, if it’s cold and wet and typical “soup” weather. Dinner at night will probably be a “normal” meal, only quite small. If we go out for a meal, I’ll simply switch lunch for dinner, or dinner for lunch. I’ll stay with my diet jellies, too, coz they’re really nice, and they’re easy to make (alright! they’re easy for Julian to make, OK?!) So all in all, I should be able to cope with the end of diet maintenance, “should” being the keyword there! Unfortunately that old, old adage keeps running through my brain… “The best laid plans of mice and men… often go awry” (originally “gang aft a-gley”) but, I shall prevail!

Weigh-in this morning. Quite pleasing, actually… down to 97.8kg. Hopefully it’ll be down a bit more tomorrow – it’s starting to get close to the end of the month, and the dreaded “fluid retaining” pills 😦 If I could get down to… uhhh… 96.8kg by then, I’d be happy – I’d probably still creep back into the 97kg zone, but hopefully not too far…

(Damn! for no apparent reason, I’ve just developed an ear ache… I’ve taken some Panadol, and I hope it goes away soon! 😦 ) So anyway, that’s about all from me for tonight – drop back again this time tomorrow night to find out all the latest! Did I paint my nails, or are they still wallowing in cuticle oil at night? Have I thought of any new strategies to help me cope with maintenance, when I finally finish this diet? Did I get Persha up to level 40, and have I started working with Satai? Has my weight dropped some more, or is it sulkily and moodily sitting on the same 97.8kg that it was on this morning – or, heaven forbid! has it gone up!? Will my ear ache have subsided, or will I be groaning in agony on a hospital gurney somewhere, waiting to have my ear amputated at the neck? (the mind positively boggles!) All these questions, and many, many more, will be answered right here, at the same time tomorrow night! So until then, bee good, don’t forget to brush your teeth before you go to bed, and above all…. stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201503.26

Here I am, writing this early today, for a change. Well, this morning we went across the road, and I had some blood taken – I have no idea what the results will be, Dorevitch haven’t SMS’d us about it yet (I guess it’s still a bit early – it’s only just gone 4 o’clock – sometimes they don’t notify us until after 8pm!) so for the moment I’m still on 3mg and 2.5mg of rat poison (Warfarin), on alternate nights. While we were over at Shoppingtown we saw a stall with some of the darling-est little nick-nacks, so I just couldn’t resist getting a few for Easter presents (seeing that my two favourite daughters and myself will not be participating in the usual chocolate eating orgy that passes for Easter these days! 😉 ) So thank goodness that’s out of the way! I was wondering (and worrying) what we could get them for Easter, and lo and behold, there they were, staring at me without eyes… 🙂 Usually we have pretty much a second Christmas Dinner on Easter Sunday, but this year the request has gone out (or perhaps that should read “come in”?) for roast lamb! So roast lamb it shall be, with all the trimmings – but I’m not sure what we should have for dessert. Occasionally, in years past, we’ve had a (bought) Simnel Cake, the best place to get them is Phillippa’s Bakery in Armadale, though you really need to order them in advance. I think they’re delicious – but then I like (love!) anything that has even the faintest whiff of almond essence, almonds, or marzipan! (drool!) However we’re not having one this year – it would really be too, too cruel to have all that beautiful, yummy, delicious marzipan sitting right under my nose, and me not being able to even have a teeny, tiny taste! I really think that would scar me for life! So I have no idea what they’ll be having for dessert – perhaps we could get a Colomba – made roughly in what’s supposed to be the shape of a flying dove, it’s an Italian Easter Cake, similar to Panettone in that it’s made with yeast, but substituting almonds for the candied fruit – and the top is usually coated with sort of cooked-to-crunchy sweetened egg whites, and extremely, very liberally sprinkled with little lumps of sugar. They’re really nice, but a nightmare to clean up after! Bits of sugar lumps, and shards and fragments of crunchy meringue stuff get every which-where! However, there are going to be two of us – myself and my favourite eldest daughter – who will not (or at least should not) be participating in the consumption of such a cake. I will forgive Lee her participation in the roast lamb with all the trimmings luncheon, but it would be very hard for me to sit back and watch serenely, as she munched on such sinful pleasures as a Simnel cake, or a Colomba. Personally, I myself will be having my usual celebratory dinner – a glass (or two) of mineral water, and an Optifast bar, followed by a coffee, with a teaspoon or two of skim milk in it. All I have to do now is find appropriate Easter Cards, and I’d say that that was Easter, all taken care of! 🙂

While we were over the road shopping, I also bought a brown mascara…. and…. a purple mascara! I can’t wait to try it out! Why did I get it? I hear you ask… Quite simple, really! 🙂 As soon as the nice young shop assistant uttered the words “purple mascara”, I knew, instantly, that I had to have one! 🙂 We got home around lunch time, so I flew upstairs, ditched my shoes, grabbed my propping open book, my rapidly wearing out protective finger-less glove, and my keys, and lolloped off to do my lunch time Stair Walk (actually on time, for a change!) I’m noticing more and more that I’m not nearly so puffed when I get back from my Stair Walks – I’d say that in another couple of weeks it’ll be time to extend the Stair Walk to three floors, instead of the current two. Oh, and I must tell you all! While we were in the supermarket, a complete stranger, a woman, came up to me and told me how nice my hair looked, and what a wonderful colour it was! I was really pleased! 🙂 It’s the first time my new hair colour has left the apartment, not counting the Stair Walks, and really the first time anyone other than Julian and my favourite eldest daughter have seen it! 🙂

After lunch, I worked on the header for this blog theme – what do you think of it? The symbol on the left is the Kanji symbol for Autumn, and of course, the thingys on the other side are… guess what! Autumn leaves! I was going to Rift after that, but I looked at the time and decided that I’d write this early, instead. I could have put a coat of nail polish on my nails, but once again, I didn’t really have the time (in fact right about now I should be waltzing off for my afternoon/evening Stair Walk!) – so it looks as though my nails are going to have another night of being pampered with hand cream and cuticle oil! 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. Getting better – I went down two points to 98.0kg – I only wish I could keep it up! Two points down per day surely isn’t asking too much, is it, oh Great Galactic Ceiling Cat? Pretty please? I’d put out a saucer of double cream for you, but I know how you despise people who try to bribe you… Sorry! Offer you “incentives“! 😉

So there it is! I’m afraid you’re probably going to have to wait until tomorrow night to find out what happened with my blood test, but I’m sure that you’ll be able to contain yourselves until then 🙂 I should have time tomorrow to paint my nails, and to do a bit more “serious” Rifting (there was another Patch today – not terribly big, and it won’t really affect any thing we do) Weight-wise, all I can do is cross my fingers and hope and pray that I go down again, enough to place me firmly in the 97kg zone, anyway! 😉 So tune in again this time tomorrow night, and catch up on all the latest hot goss and news from chez nous! However, at the moment, all I can say is… bee good, don’t touch that dial! and… above all… stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201503.25

Why can’t Word Press get their (free) Header sizes right? I’ve just spent nearly an hour trying to make the header for this theme! Actually, it only took me about twenty minutes, but when I uploaded it, naturally, the size was completely out, and I had to waste my time trying to guess what size it was actually supposed to be! Grrr! Not impressed (again), Word Press! What I’ve put up can stay up for tonight, but it’s not what I wanted, and I’ll have to re-do it tomorrow 😦 when I should be busy getting Persha up her last ten levels to level 40!

Yes, that’s right, I got Persha up from level 22 to level 30 today (with a little bit of help from an experience booster potion or two 😉 ) but even so, not bad going, especially as I broke off for a while this afternoon to draft a letter to my favourite eldest daughter about the Optifast VLCD* that I’m on, and how to handle morning and afternoon teas (which, of course, I haven’t been having for months now!) It was only going to be a short note, with a few quick tips and work-arounds, but it sort of grew, and grew, and after more than an hour of writing I realised that what I was really doing was writing a dietary version of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and if she was going to finish reading it before she died of old age, I’d better stop writing, like right now! So I saved it, and will copy and paste it into an email for her tomorrow. I only open my email once a day, first thing in the morning, and I refuse to leave it open or check for new mail again until the following morning (unless I’m expecting something important from friends or family) because it distracts me, and wastes my time, when I’m already too busy wasting my time and distracting myself on Bored Panda, Rift, Photoshop, or Facebook 😉

Now, on to the new Healer-Mage “Build” I’ve been trying out. I abandoned the new character that I’d created on another shard to experiment with, and bought Persha a couple of new “souls” (please don’t ask – I don’t really understand this business with creating a “Build” on a soul myself!) and gave her the new “Build”, to see how it’d go. All I can really say is that, well, it works, in that she can still go around killing mobs with the greatest of ease, but from habit, I’ve been putting nearly all my points into the Warlock and Necromancer parts of the “Build”, and very little into the Chloromancer (healer) part. I did say “from habit”, but I’ve looked at what abilities and spells I’ll get with the Chloromancer part of the “Build”, and really, they’re more “Support” spells and abilities, that would only be of use in a group that needed a healer. So I don’t know – it sounds really great in theory, to be able to have a Healer-Mage “Build”, but in practice, it’s a bit of a fizzle. One thing I neglected to say in my post about “Builds” last night is that each “Build” consists of three elements. You’ve heard me refer to my (pretty regular, got it down pat sort of thing) Warlock-Necromancer “Build”, but what I’ve never mentioned before (and I suppose I should have – sorry!) is the third element of my “Build(s)” You could always have pretty much anything in your “Build”, as long as it pertained to your “Class”, but points generally only go into one or two of the three elements you have, otherwise as you level up, you’re not going to have the points available to put into the high level spells and abilities that you’re going to need to be able to bring down the higher level “Elites”. So, in selecting my third element of the “Build”, I usually pick something that will give me an advantage in the very early levels – for instance, choosing an Elementalist will give you a slightly more robust “Tanking” Pet than the wimpy, skeletal Pet that your Necromancer starts out with. But you never put any points into the Elementalist part of the “Build” because once you get to about level 20, you no longer need this Elemental Tanking Pet – by then, as a Necromancer, you get a pretty powerful one of your own. In fact, by that stage, you really don’t need the Elementalist part of the “Build” at all, so putting valuable points into it is a waste. So, what’s with these new combinations? How do you allocate your points? With this Healer-Mage “Build”, do I put points into Chloromancer, to make a better healer? Doing this is going to considerably weaken either my Warlock (and I’m going to really need those D.O.Ts as I level up!), or my Necromancer – and you have no idea just how handy a spell like “Feign Death” is! (You’re standing there, getting killed by something. Discretion being the better part of valour, you cast “Feign Death”, go “Arrggh!”, spurt something that looks like blood, and fall over, apparently “dead”. The mobs think “Oh look, she’s dead!”, and lose interest in you, wandering off to look for something else to kill) It’s commonly called “Playing Possum” 🙂 So… I’ll leave Persha with that particular “Build” for now, but I really can’t see any point in it. So much for “innovation”, and new “Builds”… :/

Weigh-in this morning. Not too bad – I would have liked a bit more though… I went down to 98.2kg – one point down on yesterday. *sigh* I feel like a child waiting for Christmas – it never seems to get any closer – it’s always “a whole ‘nother year” away….

So drop by and catch up with all the news this time tomorrow night! 🙂 I didn’t re-paint my nails today, I thought I’d give them another day in the fresh air, and with some nice, nourishing, cuticle oil… and I think they actually do look a little better for it, too! But they will get done tomorrow – I’m going to give that Estée Lauder Chrome Violet one another go – it seemed a bit thick last time, and dried too quickly (and didn’t last long! Only a day or two! Very disappointing!) but as I said, I’ll give it another go… it is a beautiful colour… and you’ll find out tomorrow how it went. You’ll also find out – no! Indeed, you’ll be able to see for yourselves – how I go at concocting another header for this blog (I’m not even sure if I’ll stick with this colour scheme – it’s not “locked in” yet!) and you’ll even find out how my Warfarin blood test tomorrow morning went. I usually only go back once a month for a test, but I think the iron supplements I’m taking put my blood thickness out of whack – it’s only a week, and I have to go and have another test! 😦 (still, it’s better than getting more blood clots in my lungs again!) As for my weight – well, surely you’re not interested in that little factor, are you? You are? Oh well, I guess I’ll tell you how that went too 😉 …And I think that’s about all from chez nous for tonight, so until this time tomorrow night, I shall, as usual, exhort you all to bee good, don’t be lazy, and above all… stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

VLCD* = Very Low Calorie Diet

Winter’s log, earthdate 201503.24

Today was quite a full day! When I was going through my spam email this morning, there was a missive from Rift… they’re introducing new builds for all Classes! (You’re all looking a bit blank – let me explain…) “Class” is what… profession? or calling… that you are – for example you could be a Warrior, a Cleric, a Rogue, or a Mage. Each Class has several different “Builds”, or ways in which you can utilise various abilities within your Class. For instance, a Mage could “build” a Necromancer, and use the undead to fight for them, so all their experience points would go into spells that would further them along that path. Or they might “build” a Warlock, and use their Pet (see previous post!) to Tank for them, while they stand back and hurls D.O.T’s. A Warrior may “build” a Beastmaster, and have their Pet fighting alongside him (or her), and a Cleric may “build” a Druid, and have a Pet acting as a Tank, while they hurl Righteous spells at the enemy, or, have a Pet which heals the Cleric and his (or her) group. Lots of different Builds, but up until now, Classes have generally not been allowed to “mix and match” too far outside of their designated palette of abilities. A Mage, for example, was not able to properly heal others or themselves. A Rogue wasn’t really cut out to be a Tank, and do a lot of up close and personal fighting – and so forth. Today, however, all that changed. Now you can “mix and match” – if you can imagine the build, no matter how unlikely, you can build it, and use it. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to try to build a Healer Mage! I started out by creating a new character on another shard (yes, another one, but this one is purely experimental – if the build works out, I’ll use it on some of my higher level characters on Laethys, or Hailol) Unfortunately, it’s still too soon to see how it’s going to turn out – I’m using a Chloromancer (healer), Necromancer (uses the undead), and Warlock (D.O.Ts, lots and lots of D.O.Ts!) build – so as I said, it’s still too soon to see how this Healer-Mage business is going to work out, or if I’m only going to be able to heal others, but not myself (in which case I won’t be very impressed! The whole point of this exercise is to see whether a Healer-Mage is going to be more successful as a solo player than a straight Mage!) Besides, my favourite eldest daughter was over today, so I only had very limited time to create, set up and play with this new Build…

Yes, Lee was over this afternoon, after her dental appointment this morning. I think she’s trying to fight the siren call of the “Diets Never Work” temptation – “Give up!”, it’s saying to her “You know it’s not going to work!” (it said it to me, for many years, until I eventually ended up not caring, one way or the other…) So she needs to get a good pair of scales, and someone to organise her and start her off (her husband’s a nice enough person, but quite frankly, he’s not the most supportive of husbands…) After lunch (sushi for her and Julian, a Cappuccino bar for me 🙂 ) we went and watched two episodes of “Person of Interest” – only two episodes this time, because we’re starting to catch up on the pre-recoded ones, and we only have a few more to watch before we run out 😦 So we watched the first episode of another show, called “The 100” (pronounced “The Hundred”) The series is set 97 years after a devastating nuclear war wiped out almost all life on Earth. The only known survivors are the residents of twelve space stations in Earth’s orbit prior to the war. The space stations banded together to form a single massive station named “The Ark”, but now their resources are dwindling, and within months they expect the life support systems to start failing. So they send a group of a hundred (hence the name of the show) young juvenile delinquents back down to Earth to see if it’s habitable again or not – only it’s not a hundred any more, because one of them has just been killed… And that’s as far as we got in it, so I can’t really tell you any more about it. Lee describes it as a sort of “Lord of the Flies meets (the CBS show) Survivor” – hmmm… sounds interesting! I totally and completely detested the story of “Lord of the Flies”, but I do like Survivor… 😉

Weigh-in this morning. Well, I did a little better today – I went down two points to 98.3kg, but who knows what tomorrow will bring? Place yer bets, ladies and gentlemen, place yer bets! Will Winter’s weight go up? down? or stay the same!? Your guess is as good as mine… I just want to get down to the 97kg zone!

So call in again tomorrow night, and find out if you’ve won, or lost, a fortune! 😉 Though I’m sure you all know better than to bet on something as mercurial as what my weight might, or might not, do – besides, don’t you know that the House always wins in the end? 🙂 I did manage to find the time today to at least remove my raggedy nail polish – and I even found time to give them a nourishing wipe with cuticle oil – my poor nails are so dry and flaky, I think they’re actually enjoying a day without nail polish! I’ll give them another dose of cuticle oil again tonight, before I go to bed, but tomorrow, it’s back under the nail polish they go! And poor old Flipper has to go off to the V.E.T. tomorrow morning, to have her next Cartrophen injection for her arthritis… she’s going to hate us for a while tomorrow afternoon… I’ll continue “experimenting” with the new Healer-Mage Build – I’m sure I’ll have lots to tell you about it tomorrow night, and how it’s working out. So that’s about it from me – all that remains now is for me to once more admonish you all  to bee good, don’t eat that second slice of chocolate mud cake, you know you don’t really want it, and, above all, stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201503.23

(*slurps tea*) Well, here it is, another Monday almost over… A good day, all round, really – I had my hair done this morning – and I got my new colour, too! It’s…. quite… “startling“, is a good word! Yes, it’s a bit startling, at first – it’s very red, but not the same red as I had last time – it’s quite a lot darker, and a very different type of red – this one has a lot more blue (perhaps “violet” would describe it better) in it, so it looks almost like a light burgundy? A deep magenta? The top colour on this page is close-ish… only shiny, and mixed in with blondish streaks and strawberry blond streaks… I’m not doing a very good job of describing the colour, am I? Suffice it to say that I like it, and himself likes it, and Josh (who’s responsible for it) likes it too! 🙂 It took quite a while, and when it was “done” and washed out, it was decided that a few more stripes and dabs were needed, so yet another twenty minutes was spent while a bit more colour was deployed. The final result, while a trifle startling at first, is very pleasing! Unfortunately it will fade a bit, as all chemical hair colours are wont to do, but by the time it’s starting to look a bit wan and anemic, it’ll probably be time to re-do it. I took my new hair colour out for a test drive when I went on my lunchtime Stair Walk, but as I didn’t run into any of our neighbours, it wasn’t really much of a test drive. They’ll see it soon enough – probably next year – that’s how often I run into our neighbours, anyway. I’ll take it across the road to Shoppingtown on Saturday and see if I get any surprised reactions from the Valet Car Park people 🙂

After I came back from my Stair Walk and had lunch, I hopped into Rift – I wanted to get Persha started off on her journey to level 40. Guess what! They were having one of their multi-massive Rifts and Invasions affairs – no-where was safe! It was a matter of give up and go play in a Dimension for an hour, or join in the fray. I joined in the fray. And promptly died…. but I got better, and honestly, I really can’t see the enjoyment people get from participating in these things – all I was doing was standing there, in the one spot, going “Tab Target, cast a couple of D.O.T’s*, Tab Target, cast a couple of D.O.T’s”, over and over again (which was exactly what everyone else was doing) as the Invasion mobs keeled over in their droves, and more kept coming to take their place. You should have seen the area map! It was covered in little Rift symbols, and there were little crossed swords (the Invasion symbol) scattered liberally between the thousands of Rift symbols. It was a nightmare! Eventually we killed enough Invaders for the Big Bad Boss to make an appearance, and after a great deal of work, we got him down, and the Rift closed. Then everyone else raced off after the next Rift, and I dropped out of the Public Group and was finally able to resume questing in peace and quiet, now that the wretched Rift had been closed 🙂 So by the time I finally got around to some actual questing, it was close to three o’clock, and I didn’t have much time left. I got Persha up to level 22 (from level 20 – I don’t think that two levels, sans booster, in about an hour and a half is too bad going! 😉 ) and finished off the final Boss in Silverwood. I could have gone straight on to Gloamwood (the next zone to Silverwood) Persha’s gathering skills were probably high enough, but I decided to take her over to Freemarch to get her Butchering and Foraging skills max’d out first. There’s nothing worse than entering a new zone and finding out that you can’t skin anything, or pick up any flowers and/or wood, because your skill levels are still too low. You have to turn around, trudge back to the previous area and run around trying to get your gathering skills up – most humiliating! Let’s hope I don’t arrive in Gloamwood tomorrow to find a Gloamwood multi-massive Rifts and Invasions affair in progress! I will not be amused!

Weigh-in this morning. That was something that didn’t amuse me, either! As I’d predicted, I went up. Only one point, but still, it was up! I was not a happy little Vegemite! 98.5kg 😦 “Do Not Want!” – I wonder if forgetting to do my pre-lunch Stair Walk yesterday, and doing it in the evening instead, had anything to do with it…? Well, I definitely must not let that happen again! I was a bit late for my pre-luncheon Stair Walk today, not because I’d forgotten again, but only because my hair was still in foils, and I couldn’t go Stair Walking with foils in my hair – what if one of the neighbours had seen me?! They would find out that my brilliant hair colour wasn’t natural, after all! Anyway, I hope my weight will be down again tomorrow, but I’m not holding my breath…. :/

So call in again tomorrow night – find out if my hair still looks as good as it does now, and if I managed to find the time to do my nails (they’re still sitting here, looking all raggedy and moth eaten – I just haven’t had the time to even remove the old polish!)(well anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Heaven forbid that you should ever realise that I’m just bone lazy! 😉 ) I’ll also tell you if my favourite eldest daughter and I watched any more “Person of Interest” (a most excellent show!) and whether or not I’ve been able to get Persha any closer to the ever elusive level 40, and what type of Bar I had for lunch (it sounded good when I thought of it!) You’ll probably all be champing at the bit to find out “What Winter’s Weight Went and Did Next”, won’t you, so I suppose I’ll have to tell you all about that, too. Ah me, ’tis indeed a busy and hectic life wot I lead, to be sure…. and you’ll find out all the answers to the above questions, this time tomorrow night – so until then, please bee good, don’t annoy your old grandmother, and above all…. stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

*D.O.T’s – in case you’ve forgotten, it stands for “Damage Over Time spells” 🙂