Other than experiencing the sarrow of seeing my Aunt D so ill in the hospital last weekend, then her passing on ‘home’ on Sunday (and me hearing of it on Monday), this week was ‘just a week’. Here’s Matt’s Modem Problems Web Comics for the week:

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #346 – That’s My Plan – April 23rd, 2007

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #347 – You MONSTER! – April 26th, 2007

Well, I finished my 14-day Trial of Eve Online. And now W, N & K are all playing it. (Names turned to initials because I am not doing my best typing this morning.) So likely I will be activating the full game sometime in the next two weeks. Maybe as soon as Monday. It’s worth doing if you have friends to play it with, otherwise it’s more of an uberscreen-saver of the interactive sort. Unless you get truely deeply involved in it.

Played some EQOA and last night Mhari got her warrior to level 50. The rest of the team will likely get theirs on Monday. She’d been out fighting light blues while waiting for us to sign in each session. So she got a little ahead of us.

Didn’t play any EQ2 and didn’t miss it, really. Sorry friends.

Played LOTS of City of Heroes on the Training Room (Test) server. Issue 9 is NICE. My character, Axe to Grind, a Stone/Axe tanker, is level 15 now. And has over 10 million influance from selling her salvage on the auction house. And it wasn’t a matter of me putting things up for high prices and them getting bought. I was putting common salvage up for 1000 Inf, Uncommon for 2000, and Rare for 10000. And buying the ones I needed for recipies I got as drops for 10,000 to 100,000 Inf, depending on rarity. What got me the Inf so fast was that people were putting up 500,000 to 1 Million Inf as the prices they were willing to pay for the same things.

The way the Auctions work on CoH is that all bids are Blind. You get to see how MANY of an item is up for sale, and what the last 5 prices were that the item last sold for. If you are buying a specific item, you bid the amount you are willing to pay for it. If there is someone selling that item for that price or less, you get it. If no one is selling that item right now, your Inf is put on account for the moment that someone puts it up for sale that would qualify (your bid or less). (This is called a Buy Order.)

If you are selling, you get the same info, and you put the item up for sale and give it a price. If someone out there with a Buy Order for that item, that is bidding the price you are after or higher, it sells and you get the INF. If not, the item stays on account until you take it out, or someone DOES offer the amount you are looking for.

Since there are level 50’s with millions of Inf out there (transfered from the live servers) that want to buy the salvage they need (as getting the lower level salvage might be a little annoying (extemplar down to a low level and grind through mobs), they pay good amounts for things. Then those of us that have benefited from that can afford to pay higher for things because now WE have the Inf.

What I did was that I am using the barest drop in the bucket of my earnings to buy the best enhancements I can for every slot in my character. Of course, I am also stockpiling as best I can the items I will need to build the things I want to have for my powers… once I can get the recipies.

One of the things that is keeping the market moving (when it isn’t down due to server bugs or overload) is that no one person can hold more than a certain amount of Invention Salvage at a time based on level. At level 14 it caps out at 30 items of Invention salvage and 10 recipies. At level 50 (without any of the accolades or badges that change it), it’s 50 and 20 (or was it 30). And you have a personal vault that can hold the same amount in addition to what you can carry personally. So while you can do SOME hoarding, there is usually going to be at least ONE piece of salvage you are going to need for the non-common recipies.

Oh, and yes, there IS a Base item that lets you store Invention Salvage. But as far as I know it is ONLY an alternate way to access your personal vault. NOT a shared resource for your supergroup. But I can’t confirm that without asking on the forums, and I haven’t done that yet. I’m not a part of a supergroup on the test server.

All in all I think Issue 9 is going to breath some extra life into City of Heroes and Villians that was starting to fade a little. And it’s sure bringing a LOT of new options to how you ‘build’ your character over time. The new stuff will not be NEEDED to ‘complete’ the game (get your characters to Level 50). But it will make the experience different if you choose to go that way.

Lastly, the invention system is bringing in new costume pieces. The recipies for these are ‘uncommon’ drops. Right now it only appears to be varient wings. But as the ONLY way to get these is to either build them yourselves with a dropped recipie you get off defeated foes or by buying the recipie from the market, which isn’t going to be cheap… it means that when you see someone with them, it means they were either very lucky or put a LOT of work of SOME sort to get them. You can’t build new characters fresh with the new pieces. As ONLY the character that builds it from the recipie gets access to the costume part. I like that. It gives the players another ‘bragging right’.

Enough about CoH… I also got on Second Life a little. Luskwood has come out with a new edition of their skunk avatars. And they are EXCELLENT and more than worth them. And existing customers that bought the earlier version get the upgrade free. (And likely already have, as I sure did!). I plan to go back and get a couple more varients of them when I have the L$ again. My shape shifter has under L$500 right now.

Well, that’s all for now…gotta get to work.

In Memorium:Dorthy Virginia Coker – 1918 – 2007

On April 22, 2007, 10:08PM Dorothy Virginia Coker passed away after a sudden illness. She was born September 23 1918 in Bluefield, West Virginia to George Harvey Roy Thompson and Mary Viola Turner. She was a long time resident of Pioneer California and made many friends here.

She is preceded in death by her son, Charles Gordon MacDonald and sisters; Charlotte Hazel Dickson and Gertrude Helen Maurer.

She will be missed by her sisters; Ruby Mae Williams of Louisiana, Nancy Fern Conner of Texas and Georgia Lee Currier of California and her brother, Paul Amos Thompson of Nebraska. She leaves behind grandchildren, great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Dorothy sang on the radio station KRKG with Leonard Franklin Slye who became Roy Rodgers. At the time he was with a group called the International Cowboys. The group later became the Sons of the Pioneers.

She helped her mother who took in laundry for the Krispy Kreme employees in Southern California.

During WWII, Dorothy worked at the Alameda Navel Air Station as a machinist. After the war She stayed on working in the PX for over twenty years.

A Picture of Aunt Dorothy from before I was born.

Ten! Just 10 more weeks!

This has been a slightly disturbing week. Read past these two comic strips from Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems to see what I mean…

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #344 – Plan A – April 16th, 2007
Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #345 – Then & Now – April 19th, 2007

Well, other than the following, this was a standard week, with the standard things of MMO’s, Work, commuting and health.

But early this week I got email from my eldest sister. It would appear that my Aunt D was just getting out of the hospital and going home after having a cold go a bit far. I felt relieved. Then two days later I got a call from that same sister, Aunt D was in the hospital again and NOT doing well. It was looking REALLY bad. As in maybe only days left for her.

I was in shock. This is my eldest surviving Aunt. ‘Next in line’ after my own departed mother in age. While she and I had never been as close as my youngest Aunt and I, she is still one of those near and dear to my heart. And considering that I still have some lingering guilt from not going straight to the convelsant home that my mother was in when I got ‘the call’ from them… and thus missing being at my Mom’s side when she passed away… the idea of Aunt D passing away before I had a chance to get to her side and let her know ‘we loved her’… it tore me apart,

So, the next morning (tuesday) I went in to work and arranged to take the balance of that day and the next as sick days and go visit my Aunt in the hospital.

Aunt D is in a hospital in Sacramento, and thus Mhari and I got in the car and took the few hours to drive there. Once there I found she was out of her room for a ‘test’ and a ‘procedure’. And when she got back I stayed clear of the room while they got her moved back into her bed and settled and stopped swarming around her. Then finally went in after speaking to one of the doctors.

Oh, lord… it hurt to see her there. She had gotten old and small. She was weak and scared. Very scared. And so alone. Mhari and I spent about an hour there before I just couldn’t stay any longer. And we headed home.

According to the doctor there were things going on that they would try to correct. Their priorities were to get it so she could breath easier, and to make some tests on some growths they had found. But things looked really dire. Though, thankfully, Aunt D was okay mentally, other than being so scared. And I think Mhari and I helpped with the ‘alone’ part.

I continued the next day to consider it a sick day and had nothing to do with work at all. It helpped me get my brain back together. Get some rest. And come to grips with things. Later in the day I called up to my eldest sister, who had promised she would be visiting Aunt D that day. She was lost, having a hard time finding the hospital. Being lost is not unusual on trips for my eldest sister. Poor dear. So I called Aunt D and let her know that my sister was in the area. Thankfully Aunt D sounded stronger, and like her breathing was better. And my eldest sister DID make it there.

On the phone later my Eldest Sister called me… Aunt D’s heart and lungs were good. And Aunt D was stronger. But the growths looked like they may be Cancer. About 90% certain of that. And if not that, then they didn’t know what they were. And all told, the overall prognosis was better than they expected. Rather than being in the ‘days to a week’ catagory, she was moving into the ‘6 months’ one….

So here I am, feeling better (and feeling a little guilty about that) that I had managed to do what I felt I needed to do in visiting Aunt D in the hospital. Let her know ‘we’ loved her. (Meaning ‘me’ but also speaking for my brothers and sisters, as part of the ‘we’.) I also feel sad. For Aunt D, strong fighter of a woman that she is… survivor of so much in her life… has a new fight. One that few her age tend to win. I’m going to try to be supportive. Try to be a better nephew. But I don’t know if I have as much strength as she has…

In any case, I am going to go visit her again tomorrow. And she is hoping to go home next week. Her youngest sister (my youngest aunt) and her sister’s daughter were visiting her when I called yesterday. Aunt D said she wasn’t doing so good but liked the idea of going home. I will call her again today during or just after my lunch.

Naturally this is bringing back memories of my mom. Of going through all this with her. She died of complications from Diabetes. I have the same sort of Diabetes my mom had…

Anyways, of my ‘usual things’ I do in a week… well, I didn’t play any EQ2. I’ve lost interest in it. Sorry Whyaylooh… but if I am going to ‘grind’ XP, I would rather do it with my Mastermind, Commander Kitty, in CoV than my Bruiser in EQ2. I really should have made a healer for EQ2 rather than a ‘DPS/Tank’. Then maybe I wouldn’t feel the way I do about fighting in a duo in EQ2. Just a look of the pleasure went out of it when K&N left. I’ll see if I can get interested again. But right now, going to bed early on Monday and Thursday nights sounds so much better to me.

I also played around with Eve Online during the past two weeks on the free 14-day trial. It’s interesting. And so very much better than it was back when it was in beta. But alone… no, I am not going to subscribe. If K&N&W get involved, then I will, as a replacement for EQ2, if that’s what people want to play. Personally I would rather MXO, SWG or VSH to Eve Online. The reason being that I wouldn’t have to pay extra to play one of those, since I am on station access. Oh, and I followed through with my plans to cancel my WoW account… it’s cancelled. I will likely go back some time. Just if all I was going to do was play solo, no reason to pay for it. There are plenty of solo games I can play.

No Pen & Paper Role-playing this weekend. One of the major players, Ray P, is on a road trip this week. And the character he plays are vital to one of the games. And we all decided we wouldn’t mind skipping this session. Everyone has things they can do. And I will be seeing my Aunt D.

I just want to hide. To bury myself in CoH/V and work. I don’t want to feel right now…

I really do need to think about the rings…

11 weeks is too long…

And here I am at home sick on Friday the 13th… go figure. *sigh*

Here are Matt’s comic strips for the week:

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #342 – Shake, Rattle and Role – April 9th, 2007

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #343 – Genie – April 12th, 2007

Best way to review the week is to go back to last week’s entry. Remove the reference to there having been april 1st in the mix, and the fact that I didn’t build anything this week. And about the only thing different is that a week has passed, and I processed all the Further Confusion 2008 Dealer Room applications and Mhari got the confirmations out by email.

It was a week. I did the usual things in the usual order, and other than being sick today, nothing is different. So there.

Thanks for reading…

12 weeks of time to go… 12 weeks of time…

Take one down and pass it around… oh, wait… those are weeks, not bottles of …
Oh, well.. so here’s Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems for the week. (And the spelling on the first one is his.. maybe he has a reason for it.)

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #340 – Costomer Service – April 2nd, 2007
Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #341 – My Li’l Pony – April 5th, 2007

It was a week.

It had it’s ups and downs.

It included April Fool’s Day in it.

I played EQOA.

I played EQ2.

I played City of Heroes and Villians. (Issue 9 is on test!)

I was on Second Life.

I did NOT play World of Warcraft (I am cancelling my sub again – As I haven’t played in a month. Why pay for something you don’t play.)

I did not play Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (It will get uninstalled this weekend.)

I bought and played Prey.

I had health issues.

I got better.

I built my other computer desk and now have a more egonomic computer space in my home.

I adore the RaidMax Smilodon computer case.

I read books. (Reading ‘Kissing Sin’ by Keri Aurthur now.)


I -SO- need this weekend.

I can’t think of anything else to say.

We are not Ninja.

We are a hedge.

Nothing to see here.

Move along.