“Sorry, I didn’t mean to step on your, uh, whatever that is.”

As usual of late, the title of my journal entry is a movie quote. Who said it? When? Where?

And here are Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems comics for the week:

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #408 – Horror-scope – November 26th, 2007

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #409 – Beef Cake – November 29th, 2007


Health and well-being: Well, this week has been a very strange one. As mentioned in last week’s entry, Mhari was discharged from the hospital a week ago today. Since that time, every 6 hours we do an IV infusion of the special antibiotics that she has to have through this coming Sunday. There have been many ‘adventures’ during this time, what with a pump that was extra balky, and filters that clogged to easy, and, of course, human error causing one filter to burst due to my forgetting to unclamp the end before priming the line. Luckily that last event happened before the line was ever connected to Mhari, and only resulted in the need to change the filter and lots of embarrassment and self-condemnation on my part.

Add to the above the fact that ever 6 hours means Midnight, 6am, Noon and 6pm. Meaning that we both wait to go to bed until after the Midnight infusion, and get woke up about 5 hours later, as an infusion takes 30 mins, and there is about 10+ mins of prep to go through before you can start.

Luckily my boss at work is being very understanding, as is HIS boss. I have been working from home all week, and took Thursday and today as Family Sick Leave to get a little more rest. (5 hours, infuse, 2 hours, wake for work does not make for a happy Jethric.)

The infusions will end with the noon one this coming Sunday. And we are both looking forward to it.


MMOs
Eve Online: My characters are making progress. Luckily that doesn’t need a lot of actually playing the game other than to sign in and change what they are learning as the finish learning something else. A program called EveMon does the checking for me and lets me know when a character needs attention.

Other than that, I’ve done a lot of mining with one character, and a few missions here and there with the other two. Eve makes for something ‘mindless’ I can do while trying to stay up for the midnight infusion.

Lord of the Rings Online: This has been another MMO that is being good for playing while Mhari is having her infusion. As I don’t really care what happens to my character there, I leave him standing in the middle of fields or the road, and sometimes even in the middle of combat. It gives me something to do while waiting to go to bed or back to bed.

City of Heroes/Villains: Issue 11 is LIVE! This means I made a couple of new characters (Fremont Slugger, a Natural Tanker with Willpower and War Mace, but with weapon customization, that mace is a baseball bat! And Sharp Kitty, a Natural Stalker with Dual Blades and Willpower. Weapon Customized to use Sai’s as her weapons). But it also just meant a lot of renewed interest for the game, like a new issue always brings. And the flashback system is already fun for farming low level recipies and invention salvage.

The other big thing related to the city is coming tonight. The big Bay Area Meet and Greet is happening. Mhari is going to have her evening infusion early and her midnight infusion a little late so that week can attend, her endurance willing. We are really looking forward to it as War Witch has already mentioned that we might be in her ‘section’, whatever that means.


Okay, answer time! Last week’s quote was:

"Aw, what the hell. Guys like me shouldn’t dream anyway."

Who: Sonny
Where: In the movie ‘Xanadu’
When: 1980


As always, thank you for reading and have a wonderful weekend and week!

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“Aw, what the hell. Guys like me shouldn’t dream anyway.”

First off, Mhari’s HOME! After 13 days in the hospital, she’s home and mostly well. There will be more things coming in her future. For more, see below.

And yes, the subject line is a quote, another in my sneaky way to get people to post in my comments. Who said it? Where? and When? It’s a quote from a movie again. What I am looking for at minimum is Who said it in the movie, Where, as in What’s the name of the movie, and When was the movie released. Extra credit for the name of the actor, where in the movie it was said, and other little details about the ‘when’ in the film.

And here are Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems for the week:
Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #406 – The Ninja Follies – Part 5 – November 19th, 2007

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #407 – Happy Thanksgiving – November 22nd, 2007


The Events of the week
Anyone that read my last public journal entry from last friday knows that I had to take Mhari in to the hospital two weeks ago tomorrow. It’s been a trying two weeks. Diverticulitis is not fun. And it hit Mhari by total surprise. The first week was the discovery, the investigation and the treatment. This week was the ‘make or break’ cat scan on Tuesday morning. This scan was supposed to result in either her discharge from the hospital, or having to go into surgery.

The scan happened on schedule Tuesday morning… then there was a whole lot of nothing. No word from the surgeon, no word from the primary care doctor… nothing. Other than her no longer having to have the heart monitor on, and no longer being on IV nutiriants. She was on soft solid and it really felt like a ‘any moment now’ thing. Except we got NO WORD that day and she was still in the hospital the next day.

This continued into the late afternoon with both Mhari and I doing worst-case imaginings and things. Not knowing was driving our blood pressure up with the stress of lack of knowledge. But finally word came. And the started the ball rolling until it slammed into a new wall. The blood cultures from the abcess they drained in the first week were revealed to have a ‘resistant’ strain of bactieria, and the antibiotics she was on were not available in an oral form! So… as this would be requiring a home care nursing situation, and it was too close to the Thanksgiving Holiday… well, she’d be in the Hospital for another 2 days.

But Mhari took it in stride. NOW she Knew what was going on and was given a why. So on Thursday I took in a little flat pannel TV and hooked it into the portable DvD player I had brought her, and we watched The Runaway Bride, the 2006 Doctor Who Christmas Special and the companion episode of Dr. Who Confidential that covered the charity special that happened the night before the Christmas Special aired. It was a great three hours. Oh, and I had stopped Wed at the bookstore and got her more books to read.

Also on Thursday Mhari had a PICC line put in, which was part of what would be needed for her to keep getting the IV-only antibiotics for it’s full course.

And today, she came home. My love is back! It’s feels so good. There are going to be more visits to doctors and things, and an eventual ‘elective’ procedure to repair things inside her. But she’s not stuck in the hospital now. I missed her SOOOO much even though I visited her in the hospital every day. Usually twice a day.


MMOs:
Eve Online: I sort of played a lot of this in the last week. Mining is something I can sort of do when I don’t have braincells to rub together because I am worried for my wife. I’ve gotten along quite well with all 3 characters… and I’m nearly reading to consoladate account #2 to account #1 and live with just account #1 and #3. *chuckle* And this is still a game that I’m not that interested in. But it fills a nitch.

City of Heroes/Villains: Played a lot of this, too. Though not as much as you would think. Did the regular thing on Monday, and sort of the regular thing on Wednesday… but other than that I sort of marked time. I am really looking forward to the NCSoft CoH/V Meet and Greet on the 30th!.


Time for the answer to the quote from last week…

Quote: "Everything made sense… until Box."
Who: Logan
Where: Logan’s Run
When: 1976!


Thank you for reading, and thank you all for the prayers and good thoughts for Mhari. They were quite welcome, and always are.

“Everything made sense… until Box.”

Yes, it’s another movie quote. The questions are: Who said it? Where? When? And don’t forget to let me know if you had to resort to using a websearch to figure it out. And there are bonus points for detail. Remember, this is mostly for fun, there are no real prizes and the scores don’t mean that much. 🙂

Here are Matt McAndrews’ Modem Problems comic strips for the week:

Matthew McAndrew’s Modem Problems #404 – The Ninja Follies – Part 3 – November 12th, 2007

Matthew McAndrew’s Modem Problems #405 – The Ninja Follies – Part 4 – November 15th, 2007


So first, the serious news: Mhari went into the hospital on Saturday with diverticulitis. It’s an icky painful thing with the bowels. She’s had a number of catscans, and is on a full course of antibiotics and is responding well. I’m visiting her 1-2 times daily and have worked from home the majority of the week though I will be going into the office today. She’s going to be in there until at least Monday. And there will be some surgery of some sort in her future. That’s all the very cut and dry unemotional version of what went on. I’ve been posting near daily updates in friends only posts, as they contain detail only of interest to our close friends and family. No need for the whole world to see them.

I, myself, am doing okay, with mixed levels of emotional angst and instability. But I am weathering it well, for the most part. This is so much better than the last time I took her to emergency in 2006, even though it has already resulted in a longer stay in the hospital.


MMOs
Eve Online: Don’t know if I mentioned this last week or not. But I am up to 3 accounts. About to pair back to 2 again. But there was a thing called ‘power of 2’ that gave a great cut-cost deal on a second account for 6 months, and I took advantage of it and moved my miner character to it so she can learn more. Been playing the game a little more as a means to get away online someplace where I am not expected to do anything in particular and yet still be on line someplace, if that makes any sense.

Lord of the Rings Online: What’s that?

City of Heroes/Villains: With Mhari out of commission this week, things have been a little slower. The Monday crew got together though without our healer (Mhari’s Jandre) we spent a bit more time tasting ground than usual. Late in the night I swapped Professor Thrill out for Strange Forces, a Gravity/Kinetics Controller of mine, and things went a little better. But I’m not used to having her in a group, so it took a little to get up to speed. She’s not a full healer, really, but did okay.

Tuesday the villains got together and I enjoyed playing Commander Kitty and ordering her soldiers to shoot everything in sight and then some. Unfortunately this got FullDark and Broulin into a bit of debt. Sorry guys.

Wednesday, Knight and the Angels got together, but we missed Katiri (Mhari’s character on the team) and her Teleport Foe. Pulling via Lightning Bolt works, but it’s a little more difficult. We spent most of the night in the Rikti War Zone street hunting, then went and did a door mission which worked out all right. I conk’d out early after that as I tire swiftly currently.

Thursday I blew off the night. I went to Hooters for dinner and realized the nice bodies on almost-display didn’t really do anything for me. But the food was good. And the people friendly. Gah! That place has more flat pannel TV’s than I have CoH characters! Yikes!

Tonight is supposed to be a villains night. Don’t know if I will play or not. Tomorrow is a Role-Playing day Saturday. Don’t know what I will be doing Sunday. Likely will do the Work From Home thing all the working days of next week.


Okay, for the most part I am done. The other things I did this week was visit OpenWorld on Tuesday afternoon and got blissfully lost in the masses of humanity being assimilated by the grand Oracle. I entered a number of contests, won a spot in a Wii contest (in other words, I ‘won’ a chance in a raffle where the prize is a Wii, awarded randomly to one of those that ‘won’ an entry into the contest), and brought home 2 plush animals (an Owl and a lion), 2 stress relief hand-squeeze-things, 5 t-shirts, 1 coffee mug and 2 fabric carryalls/bags… and sore feet from walking all over Moscone South and West.

I better finish this up… so here’s the answer to last week’s quote…


Quote: "My God, man. Drilling holes in his head isn’t the answer."

Who: Dr McCoy

Where: In the movie

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

in 1986.

“My God, man. Drilling holes in his head isn’t the answer.”

Yes, it’s another quote. Who said it? Where? and in what year? I will post the answers next week at the end of my posting. Please, try not to do a websearch for the answer. But if you have to, be honest about having done so. *grin*

So, here are Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems comic strips for the week:

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #402 – The Ninja Follies – Part 1 – November 5th, 2007

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #403 – The Ninja Follies – Part 2 – November 8th, 2007


It was a week.


Health: I’m fine. Mhari’s fine. We’re all fine here… how are you?


MMOs:
Eve Online: Okay, so I have characters. And they are still learning skills. One of said characters is getting REAL close to my goal for her in the way of skills. Once she is there I will have to actually PLAY the character for a while to earn the ISK to be able to purchase the ship(s) and weapons to support my new skills. I did do one mission as her, and it was so easy with her improved skills that increase her damage and her resistance to damage. All it did was take time. There’s only so fast a single projectile weapon can take down big repair stations and point defense batteries. And scavenging things from the wrecks also takes time. So, maybe I will take a break here and there from CoH/V to do a few missions in Eve. Oh, and the upcoming Eve Trinity expansion looks SWEET. I wonder when it will be released.

Lord of the Rings Online: Nothing to report here…. move along.

City of Heroes/Villains: Things are back to normal now that the Halloween event is over. We did missions on Monday, fighting Kurse as an ArchVillain (since we had a large team) twice. It was pleasent. And Professor Thrill only tasted floor once.

On Tuesday it was Villians night. We worked on getting FullDark some more XP, doing various missions… which also, in my Commander Kitty’s case, works on getting her INFamay, which she will need when she starts working on her Field Crafter Accolade.

Wednesday also most didn’t happen. But Knight and the Angels got in a couple of missions and it felt rather good, even though we were missing Storm Warning/Miss Farad.

Last night I blew off the game and did other things. Don’t know what went on online. Tonight will be Villains again. Plan is to get FullDark more XP and Commander Kitty more INF. 🙂

The other big news in this game this week was the purchase by NCSoft of the entierty of the City of Heroes/Villains intellectual property and development/support crew. NCSoft is creating a Northern California office in Silicon Valley and calling it NCSoft NorCal, and all the team from Cryptic that was still working on the City franchise moved with the IP to the new company. It’s exciting because it means more money will be pumped into the City franchise and more manpower along with it. It’s a GOOD THING(tm) for the game!


In other things, I have a number of programs I have wanted to watch with Mhari on my computers, but setting up things for us to watch it on one of our computers is usually problematic and saved for when we go on vacation and watch things on my laptop while we are away. So, I have been hankering to set up a seperate computer or net appliance to watch these from. The solutions I thought up included buying a low end computer and all that. But what I figured out was a way to do it without spending a dime. I merely dug up an S-Video cable I have, a old 20-gig drive of Mhari’s and an external usb 2.0 drive enclosure that I had laying around. Then it was just a matter of hooking one of my computers that is in the living room in any case, to the TV, and figuring out all the settings I need to do to make the rather dumb Nvidia FX 5200 video card talk with the TV properly. I had all the software, all the cables, all the goods, it was just a matter of educating myself on how to make it work. And it does! Wheeeee! Now I can do things like watch Netflix’d streaming movies on our TV, or from other sources… all without buying a single additional thing…. yet. I will need to get a longer video cable for the non-TV monitor… OR a longer S-Video cable. And it would be nice to get a cable to go from the sound card output to the A/V Receiver I have and pump the sound through the good sound system. But all that is more logistics. And some of those cables I might have. And some may cost under $10 to get. The moral is to never forget that if you are a packrat geek-nerd, you likely have all you need already for those personal projects… without a trip to Frys.

The plan for this weekend is simple. I have a Further Confusion staff meeting on Saturday, and a visit to Dr. James on Sunday evening. My weekend is set.


Answer to last week’s quote:

Quote: Let’s see what happens when we take away the puppy.

Who said it?: Egon (Harlod Ramis)

Where?: In the movie Ghostbusters II

When?: 1989.

“Let’s see what happens when we take away the puppy.”

Another episode of ‘Name that Quote!’.
Where is it from? Who said it? What year was that from? And be honest if you use a search engine to figure it out. But it will cost you ‘points’ if you do it that way.

And here are Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems comics for the week:

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #400 – Consequences Somsequences – October 29th, 2007

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #401 – Happy Halloween – October 31st, 2007


Well, another week has gone by. Nothing significant really happened other than the EARTHQUAKE! that we had on Tuesday night. And the aftershock on Halloween afternoon. Nothing significant to report on either of them. For the first we feared it was going to get worse and turn into ‘the big one’ but it then settled down. We had some stacks of paper fall over, a tape dispenser that jumped into a waste bin, and my sculpture of Millennial Gaia jumped into the cushioning of my big paper recycling bin along with my 20th anniversary copy of the animated Transformers: The Movie. We were playing City of Villains at the time ‘Trick or Treating’ during the Halloween event they have been having. We were on voice chat with friends and shared the scary moment with them.

For the aftershock I was at my computer working from home when the jolt hit, startling me a LOT more than the main ‘quake did. But it was way shorter and weaker… nothing fell during that.

So those were the only real things of note for the week.


Health:
Both Mhari and I continue to suffer with minor back issues, sometimes flaring up into something annoying. Dr. James took care of -most- of my back issues on Sunday at our regular appointment, but something has started with my right hip the last couple of days. Likely I just ‘slept wrong’ or something and it will ‘go away’ on it’s own before our next appointment. But it sure is annoying.


MMOs:
Eve Online: *shrug* I am still training both characters. One is getting ever closer to Heavy Assault Cruisers, and the other is working on Cruise Missles, as their goals. When the one studying up to fly Heavy Assault Cruisers gets done with that, I will transfer her to my main account and my Miner will be transfered to the ‘alt’ account so I can start training Her up with even better mining and processing and trading skills so she can make even MORE ISK for the other two. So I will likely keep my 2 accounts for a while. Sure wish they had the ability to use the ‘power of 2’ promotional price for accounts you already have. Oh, well.

Lord of the Rings Online: I see they released ‘Book 11’, so I went ahead and launched the updaters for the game on the 2 machines I have it installed on. Then I ignored it from there. Someday I will go back to this. It is worth that much time spent. But not right now.

City of Heroes/Villains: The big news here is that the Issue 11 beta has gone ‘open’ for the general playership and the NDA I was under while in Closed Beta has been dropped. So I can talk about it at last! Dual Blades is VERY cool for Scrappers, Tanks and Brutes. Less so for Stalkers, but they are working on that. Most of what the problem here is that for Stalkers an attack set has to have some form of ‘Assassin Strike’ (a signature Stalker power) and an ‘Placate’ (the target of which forgets you were attacking them and makes it possible to strike them from ‘surprise’ again) power. That means that 2 of the attacks that all the other Dual Blade users have, stalkers do NOT have. And it sort of messes up the whole ‘combo’ system that Dual Blades has as it’s ‘unique’ element. And this whole combo system is a new concept for the game, and still needs a little work to make it work right.

The other new power is defensive, also for Tankers, Scrappers, Brutes and Stalkers. It’s a ‘non-powered powerset’ meant to emulate all those heroes in comics that are not truly powered, but instead seem to stand up to super powered foes due to shear force of will. Personally, I think it ROCKS. But again, Stalkers get the short end of the stick on this set. They have to give up one of the powers to fit in their signature ‘hide’ power. And as another power in the set, called ‘Rise to the Challenge’ is so out-of-character for the Stalker’s ‘intended’ playstyle, that power was replaced by Reconstruction, though it may get renamed to something else.

The order in which these powers in the Willpower set become available was changed during closed beta, and may be changed yet again before it hits live. But this powerset is really, really good. A bit of invulnerability, a bit of regeneration, a bit of super reflexes and a whole lot of fun.

Also in this issue comes something called Flashback. It’s a means, with the help of a time traveling secret society, to go ‘back in time’ and play missions you played before… or even ones you missed. It’s very nice, but is still being tweaked to make it really work. Most of the work needed for this is in the terminology and the UI and making things clearer to the player before they perform the missions. The biggest point about ‘flashing back’ is that you do NOT typically earn experience as you are ‘powered down’ to the proper level for the mission(s) in question. But you can earn badges, unlock the ability to do task forces that you somehow missed, and in a couple cases, do missions that are no longer a part of the main game.

Also in this issue is ‘Weapon Customization’. This is a small part of one of the biggest requests that the players of the game have. Namely the player base has made it clear that they want to be able to customize their power effects as much as they can customize their costumes. Well, this doesn’t really allow that… except in part. ANY character that has some sort of ‘held’ focus, like a sword, a gun, a bow and even claws (as in the powerset, not just cosmetic or ‘monstrous claws), can change how that looks in the same way they do their costume. For example, a War Mace tanker can now change from using that mace, to using something like a sledge hammer, or a baseball bat or even a shovel. There is more than one bow available for the Archers, more than one type of Assault Gun for the Assault Gun Blasters and Masterminds. There are multiple choices for claws, swords, and of course Dual Blades folks can select different (or matching) blades for each hand. It really opens up a wide range of things. For Issue 11 this is just going to open up to things that already exist in the game and a few other new things. But for the future this opens things up even further. And there are some badges you can earn during play that may grant you the ability to use the weapons that the members of that enemy group that got you the badge use out there.

Lastly, as part of the new stuff that lets you access the new ‘Flashback’ system, there is that secret organization I mentioned. Called Ouroboros, they are from ‘the future’ and are here to prevent some sort of mysterious event. And there are a number of new missions with them that you can access starting at level 25, that involve going back in time to try to ‘fix’ things that someone else is trying to change about the way the timeline SHOULD be. They are some fun missions and bring back some old foes and add new ones. Again, this issue is really only adding about 5 new story arcs with this plot gimmick, but it leaves the way open for the Cryptic folk to add in more anytime they want! Lots of area for expansion that wasn’t there before, without ruining the main story of the MMO as a whole.

As to what we did on CoH/V this week… it was Trick or Treat almost all the time. So much so that last night we got tired of it, and started doing missions again. The event ends Sunday Night/Monday morning. And while it was fun, I am looking forward to getting back to normal, getting a little more time on the Test Server with the Open Beta, and then moving into the Winter Event and the launch of Issue 11: A Stitch in Time to the live servers…


Well, that’s it for me. I need to get to work so I can get on with my weekend afterwards. And I sure am looking forward to that extra hour of sleep I get Sunday morning!


Oh, and follow up on my brother from last week: My eldest sister called me just after the earthquake this week and I asked after my brother. She said he had been in Hawaii that week and was due back home this week. His home and business should be fine as they are not in the area of the fires. But the place where he had his wedding reception was in the area of the fires, and we don’t know if it was affected. I hope to hear more, but have not as of yet. Thank you whyaylooh for getting me feedback from the Lake Forest area.


Answer to last week’s quote:
Who said it?: Dr Ray Stantz (played by Dan Aykroyd)
Where?: At the Library, in the movie Ghostbusters
When?: 1984.