Late to the party

Screenshot courtesy my BFF, Saidir.

I picked up No Man’s Sky a couple of weeks ago and oh em gee have I been having fun. The game does a wonderful job encapsulating a limitless feeling of adventure and exploration. I’ve been happily wandering through the galaxy with my bestie, Saidir.

So far, my favorite activities to do in the game are:

  1. Speak to any NPC I come across to learn as much of the languages as I can
  2. Find every buried tech and knowledge stone on my visor πŸ˜€
  3. Work through the main campaign, the Artemis storyline

I am playing on PC but I use a controller to play as I just find the keyboard controls tedious compared to console. I even ordered a new, customized Scuf controller just for my NMS sessions!

Are you playing NMS? What are your favorite things to do in the game?

Tired AF

This was just as good as it looks. πŸ’–

Did you really think I was going to break the streak I’m on with #Blaugust ? Heck no! This one will be extremely brief though. I’m finally back home in Denver after flying to SoCal for a on-site with a brand I admire for a very cool role. The area was gorgeous and the campus is stunning. Tons of amenities and benefits for the people who work on site. We shall see what happens!

The lovely Naithan over at Time To Loot tagged me and a few others in on the Real Neat Blog Award. I’ll be writing my submission of 7 answers in tomorrow’s blog. See you soon!

If you like to listen to podcasts, this ones for you.

New podcast alert! I like to listen to either the interstellar soundtrack or this awesome podcast β€˜Tracks to relax’. There’s a new podcast I’ve been listening to while winding down before sleep β€˜Meditative story’. It mixes a personal story narrated by the author and every few minutes the host will have a mindfulness related prompt for you to consider as you absorb the story. It’s very calming and nice to fall asleep to.

I’ll add links once I’m back home from my overnight trip to San Diego!

Blaugust & Community

I’ve really been enjoying the Blaugust event so far, not because of my own writing, but because of how great this community has proven itself to be. Even this early on its been a pleasure to be involved. Reading blogs, posting comment replies, and while it’s not something I’ve done just yet the event has had people exchanging blog posts on the topic of raid mechanics.

As a blogging newbie this round these past few days of activity have opened my eyes to the community aspect of blogging. It’s especially nice to see all the different types of gamers represented in the event. I even saw a blogger who is involved in second life, I’ve always felt so alone in my interest in SL. I’ve had a avatar for the past ten years, logging in to update her outfit and decorate the house I keep.

I’m hoping I’ll find the thread that will tie this all together for me. Find out what my niche will be. It all still feels very up in the air right now but I am holding confidence that I’ll find a rhythm to fall into at some point this month. In the meantime here’s the latest list of participants, click a random link and discover someone new (to you!).

Equilibrium

I can feel my equilibrium returning just in time for the work week. I cooked twice today! We woke up super late so I made breakfast for lunch, eggs and hash browns. Then this evening I made cheese enchiladas with chili gravy, one of the all time favorites recipes I’ve discovered on the NYTimes Cooking section.

Ian surprised me by making pinto beans in the instant pot as a side. This was a surprise because he actually sort of scared of the instant pot (the whole pressure, can explode thing) and avoids it all cost. However, I was busy frying the tortillas and he stepped up to get the beans sorted so that timing wise we wouldn’t have to wait on them. Since we didn’t have any bacon or ham hock on hand, he pulled out the remaining pork butt he had smoked and we threw that in the beans. It came out pretty dang good! GJ, Ian!

This week will be very interesting, I’m flying out Wednesday afternoon for a final with a brand I’ve grown up with. It’s a very exciting opportunity and I plan on spending the first half of the week prepping for meetings on Thursday with them.

I did a few gearing dungeons on the Paladin today, including a Mechagnon run! I happened to be in the right place at the right time in guild chat. That run would have been impossible with a pug at my ilvl. Unfortunately I didn’t move the needle much on the ilvl, we’re just up to 403, but maybe I will get lucky on rolls and have something titanforge.

I almost didn’t

Excuse the mess. I waffled quite a bit on posting a blog today. Mostly because I’m still feeling pretty low. One of the things I like to do when I’m feeling down is pull up a Nick Cage movie and get cozy on the couch.

I played WoW for most of the day – worked on gearing my paladin with low keys and knocked out both wings of LFR. I also managed to get in the first 4 bosses of heroic on my warlock in a Pug that kicked me 30 seconds before killing lady ashvane because the raid leader raged I moved to a coral even though I was 100% DPS’ing the boss the entire time.

Thank god I have enough distance from the game at this point so that type of shit, while incredibly annoying in its petty-ness, doesn’t effect my mood or enjoyment of the game. I sent the RL a quick thanks, rolled more AP (πŸ™„) and left the instance.

That left the paladin at 401 and my warlock at 418 for the day. I’ll probably look for more gearing keys tomorrow on the Paladin. I’m really disappointed at how weak Destro feels in 8.2. I know I took several months off but I’m barely pulling 20k in a raid. It’s bizarre seeing aff and destro at the bottom of the charts.

Hope you all are having a great weekend.

A bit low

Today was sort of an awful day. I worked from home so that I could have privacy for a meeting. We woke up as normal, let the dogs out, and uncovered the birds cages.

I was upstairs in my room answering emails when I noticed Leeloo was agitated. Magnus was under my chair and I noticed his head was moving in an odd manner and he looked generally unsteady. I pushed my chair back and he fell over on his side. I carried him downstairs to Ian and we sat with him through what I am pretty sure was a stroke. We’ve scheduled a vet appointment and he recovered almost fully after about an hour. I would estimate the worst of the episode lasted about 20 minutes.

There were some other personal things that cropped up and everything happening at once today made my mood pretty low.

Then, this evening, I came out onto the porch for some air to some of the most beautiful light and color from the sun setting over the Rockies. Sometimes we need a reminder we’re part of a glorious bigger picture.

Honolulu , Hawaii

We spent a blissful week in Honolulu in March this year. Ian and I have taken many trips together over the years but we’ve never enjoyed a legitimate vacation thousands of miles from home and surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery – and beaches – one can have the pleasure to visit. After a challenging day at the office, tonight, I am dreaming of Oahu.

A home in Denver Pt 1

My avatar in Second Life

Ian and I bought our first house just a few months after getting married in 2006. The house was beautiful – and huge. Just the two of us in a 2100 sq ft house. It was new construction so there wasn’t a lot of upkeep and I loved working on improving the lawn + gardening. We closed in January of 2006 and got caught up in the housing bubble that happened 2006 – 2007. Seven years later, when we were ready to sell, the market still hadn’t recovered in the rural area we were in.

We were able to eventually sell the house but at a loss which left us with a bitter taste in our mouth in regards to home ownership.

We moved to Denver in 2012 – one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. After renting for about 5 yrs I started to get the itch for a place to call “home”. All of our residences since moving to Colorado have been rentals – I never felt a connection with any of them. The decision mostly evolved around whatever was the most affordable place to live at the time. We were bounced out of two properties in two years because the owners wanted to capitalize on the significant inflation of the Denver market. I don’t blame them, it just sucked to have to move so often.

Once I started to get the house itch I took a serious look at our credit. It wasn’t great. I knew it would take 12 – 18 months to work on the areas we needed to improve in order to get a better rate on a mortgage. I also started pursuing better jobs because buying a home in Denver is nothing at all like the market in Texas. You simply can’t get as much here as you can for your dollar so that meant we would have to get serious about saving. Generally, the fastest way to increase your income is to move positions and possibly organizations.

There were lots of ups and downs, and of course, the IRS cropped up every few months with something or another to take a bite out of the wallet. I landed my dream job and was able to speed up the savings process. In late 2017 I started to really look at the housing that was available in Denver and surrounding areas. We prepped ourselves to consider the worst case scenario for this market which was a condo with no garage or covered parking. I started looking into the other possibilities, primarily town homes and expanded my search area to include everything from Castle Rock to Longmont.

I searched for months… the outlook was grim. We have four dogs and three cars, so a yard or access to one was non-negotiable. Also of importance was a garage or at least covered parking for our vehicles. As you can imagine there aren’t many condos that offer both of these things which meant the most affordable housing option wasn’t going really an option at all. Next, I began looking into town homes which turned up results that were much more palatable including one community that had new construction town homes with a very affordable (for Denver) 2 bedroom floor plan.

It was during the town home research I found out about paired homes. This wasn’t a common style of housing in Texas so I hadn’t ever heard of it. The basic description would be a duplex but paired houses are a bit different from duplexes in the way they’re constructed to offer more security and privacy for the homeowners. We looked at quite a few of these and came close to making a decision but in the end, the timing wasn’t right and we decided to put the research into buying a home on hold for another year.

Fast forward to March 2018 – the itch was back and more intense than ever. We had been saving and getting our credit in order and felt ready to make a decision. We revisited the 2 bedroom town home we had seen before, the builder didn’t have one available so we looked into their other floor plans and housing.

There’s much more to our journey to home ownership. Part 2 we’ll explore the decision we made and the process of building our new home.

Apologies to those who were looking forward to more Destiny Grimoire reading today. Our power was out for 4 hours this evening and I simply didn’t have a chance to record before this entry needed to be published.