Happy 9th Anniversary to This Blog

And Happy almost 2nd Anniversary to my last post. Anyone playing any fun new/old games?

Strange Feeling – Wanting to Restart FFXIV

The past few days I have had this odd desire — to return to FFXIV, and to a lesser extent, FFXI.

I played 14 for about 6 or 7 months, completed 2 relics, and was on my way to being decently geared. I found the time commitment was very strange. From lvl 1-50 it was a casual game. Then suddenly at lvl 50 the game became a complete time suck. My work schedule never allowed me to try Coil runs as I never had a consistent enough schedule to join a group. But maybe now it is a different game.

As to what I’ve been up to, in the (more or less) 4.5 years since I’ve had a new post, I have been traveling and continuing to work on my photography. Here’s some of my favorites from the 6 months.

Humming Birds at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens in Costa Rica

Illuminated Bamboo at the Hanatoro Festival in Kyoto, Japan

Fireworks on the Space Needle, after the Super Bowl
Fireworks on the Space Needle, after the Super Bowl. Seattle, WA, USA.

As a side note, I’ve begun to reread all of my old posts. Some of them are really embarrassing today, some of them are still funny. But I am making the decision to leave them all posted, at least for now. I originally took down the blog because I forgot to keep the software updated and it was compromised. This time, that should not happen, even if I forget about it for a year or so again.


Well, isn’t this strange

After forgetting about this blog and leaving it deactivated for a few years, I managed to reactivate it from the archives in a bit over an hour.

I think everything is here, in the 2011 greatness it once existed in, with the original posts and comments from as far back as 2007.

So for the big question, am I playing FF14? I did play for a few months. I was on Balmung with some old friends. But I didn’t have the time to do Coil and there wasn’t much else to do aside from grind up new classes, so I stopped playing.

Let’s see what happens.


Not Dead

Well, I’m still here.

And I’ve reactivated the blog and brought the WP install up to date.

Been playing for a few months off and on. Even managed to get a job past 90.

The game is very different than the pre-Abyssea land that I left. I even managed to get a Black Belt item on my first day back. Something I had tried, unsuccessfully, for years to get.

In real life, I spent a week on intensive photography instruction in Maine, a week in Yosemite for photography, a week in San Francisco because I wanted to and because I like wine, a week skiing in France last winter, and most recently 17 days in Hawaii for vacation and another photo workshop.

I also started scuba diving again this summer. Took me about 3 dives to really remember how to do it. The jumps in technology over the last 8 years (since I last went diving) are incredible. But my ‘classic’ Mares gear and Suunto Stinger computer were conversation starters. I also managed to confuse a few dive masters with my Metric gear. In Hawaii, I actually had to ask “So, all of my gear back home is metric, how much air should I come back up with? Normally 100 bar is turn around and 40 bar is start to surface, what is that in PSI?”. Terrified one dive master, which I found funnier than I should have.

What really got me to start playing again was the demise of Caitsith (and I guess to a lesser extent, Diabolos). I wanted to come back for a last days on the server. Then the Japan earthquake hit and I ended up missing the death of the server because I was out of town. Such is life.

Anyways, I’m back, and I may even update every so often.


No Hope, No Love, No Glory. No Happy Ending

My brother has been trying to get me to listen to Mika for years (Happy Ending, go youtube the song if you don’t know it).

Back in November I did not totally realize what quitting reading the FF-wiki forums would have.

In truth, they provided a very needed service.  A place to ensure that everyone thinks about the game during the times they are not playing about the game.  I really needed that little bit to make sure that I stayed in the mindset of continual play.

At work, I actually have a WoW support group.  That little bit every day ensures that I think about WoW a few times during my work day.  It keeps me playing for about 5-10 hours per week.

I have a new love interest in my life.  And it is a good thing.  They are trying really hard to get me away from watching TV and playing video games and out into the world.  While this person is a vegetarian, we have an agreement that this belief won’t be forced upon me.  Which is good, because without chicken I’d be in trouble.  We have an agreement that I can play with my photos as much as is needed, which is really good, because I’d go crazy w/o that.

As far as quitting the game goes, I plan on canceling my older account on July 7, 2010.  Which is 6 years to the day after I started playing.  My younger account will probably linger around for a few more months while I give away everything.

If all goes as planned, by September, both Pyra and Atalantia will be no more.  A very bittersweet thing for me to do, but something that was fairly inevitable if you’ve known me well enough for the past few years.

To all the friends I’ve made over the years, on both Diabolos and Caitsith, as both Atalantia and Pyra, I wish you all the best.  In the end, it comes down to the people more than anything else.  Those who are my closest friends are already on my Facebook friends list.  I do consider them friends, no matter how far away they live.  All attempts will be made to keep in touch.  And if we lose contact, I will miss them.  I never forget people I meet, which is actually a huge problem for me in real life.  I never forget a face, but quickly forget a name.  On top of that, I’ll be able to recite the conversation back years after it happened.  One of the negatives of having a photographic memory is that it is hard to forget. 

If I can say nothing else about FFXI, it has one heck of a fun ride.

I will probably not play FFXIV.  And I may not ever play another MMORPG.  But I will never forget the friends I’ve made and the good times I’ve had.  To all of you, I salute and thank you.  I also wish you the best in all of your endeavors.

Happy 200th post to teh Pyra.


[Real Life] Seriously, eHarmony is a Waste of Money

So this is a real life rant.  I know I don’t post very often, but I really wanted to share this.

After 9 months on eHarmony, and getting past the initial stuff once, I think I can say it was a complete waste of money.

Once I was on the pay as you go schedule, I would get a lot of nothing during most of the month, followed by a large number of matches right as my account came up for renewal.

That’s how they get you.  You get distracted with 5 profiles to check through and suddenly you forget to cancel.

One or two might start sending you messages.  These will stop a day or two after you have to pay for the service.

When I was on a multi-month subscription, the same thing happened – lots of nothing for weeks, maybe 1 or 2 people, then right as renewal hit, bam, lots of matches.

Now my settings were not terrible.  I did have a few things that I wanted – no one morbidly obese was one.  Most people are just not honest with themselves.  I’ve seen some of the fattest people put down as one thing they are good at “staying in shape”.

I was also somewhat picky as I wanted people who had never been married before and no kids.  One person listed as something they were most happy about as “my divorce”.

In 9 months, no one returned my hellos.  I had 4 people send a request for a photo when I clearly had 4 posted.

I’m sure everyone knows one person who had success on eHarmony, which is probably how they keep going.  I too know 1 person.  1, and only 1.  Of the people I talk to who have tried eHarmony, we are about 1 out of 25.  Seriously, 4% success rate.

In my opinion, I should have just gone to a bar and ordered a couple drinks every week.  It would have been cheaper and I would have at least enjoyed the money.

In short, 225 matches.  Lost track of how many I sent initial questions/received them from, 3 answered those questions, 1 made it to open communication.





I Think I Hate the FF-Wiki’s Forums

I’ve been noticing a trend lately, especially in the General Forums, where people just want to start a fight all the time.

I had a discussion (well I can’t call it that really) about whether a smn’s auto refresh counted as the first –1 perpet cost or if the lowest you could get the perpet cost was 1, with auto refresh covering the last 1mp/tick.

They even went so far as to say “you’re arguing against an established and provable fact that the minimum perp cost for any avatar is 1”.  I guess the past oh 3 years or so of having a lvl 75 smn to your lvl 40 smn makes you know all of the established and provable facts.  Because, of course, #1, it makes no difference in practice which of us is right, and #2, I can make up ‘facts’, declare them ‘established and provable’ and throw them out there, then edit the wiki to match my point of view too.  The guy even went off onto a rant about FoV refresh and I’m not sure what else just to prove me wrong – when I specifically didn’t mention FoV refresh in my original comment.

This isn’t the first time either.  I know I pick fights when people deserve it or when I’m just really, really, bored, but the number of fights and the quality of posts on that forum, and especially General, have gone down so much lately.  The mods don’t help, but at least charitwo has mostly shut up at this point.  Tahngarthor interjects his opinion into everything, and is usually just wrong.  Sadly my ‘foes’ list keeps growing, but I can’t add Tahn to the ignore list.

If it wasn’t for my overwhelming boredom at work, I’d likely never check those forums again.

I Just had to Post – 3/5 Homam

Yeah, long time no post don’t care.

Homam Body = MINE!


And just a few days after I managed to get myself a pair of Thief relic gloves +1.

Good week for me.

Also, my friend Gilg got his Homam Pants today.


Overall, it was a fairly good day in FFXI-land.  RL, not so much.


Revisiting the Past

I was discussing some things on the FF Wiki forums today and the discussion about the Crags came up.

Some people were saying that they have always had the shattered telepoint and the portal, or nothing was there before.

I disagreed, but had nothing to back up this claim.  So I went searching.

Sadly, when CoP was released I was still a newbie.  It has been nearly 5 years since the expansion, and way back then, I didn’t take a lot of screenshots.

What I did find, however, was my earliest screenshots.  Complete with an absence of proof that there ever was ‘something’ where there is now the entrance to sea or the entrance to the hall of transference.

This is the first screenshot I can find.


This is the first image I can find.

Sadly, it from the SE screenshot maker and the quality is low.  The file name suggests Aug 15, 2004, which is a full month before the CoP release.  I think you can faintly see a telecrystal on the pad.  But it is far too difficult to make out.  But there is ‘something’ there.

In the sense of curiosity, I went to find this place.  5 years later.

This is what I found.


Or so I thought.  It is close, but this is the west side of the crag.  I thought this was the right spot due to the ground markings, but I was wrong.

The real spot is here.


And it took me an hour to find this place.

This is the North side of the crag.  Which is still a telepoint today.  Which neither proves, nor disproves what I was going for.

If anything, it just shows how little does change over the years.