It’s hot and it’s hot.

If you follow me on Twitter or are a friend on FaceBook, then you know that our AC quit on us yesterday. Yup. It sure did. Hubby had been complaining a few days ago that it seemed too hot in here. I didn’t think anything of it, as it was still cooler in here than outside. Should have listened to him then and maybe (a pretty big one) we could be having no AC issues and I wouldn’t be missing work for this shite. Yes, I called out. I have a few reasons behind it too, and none of them related to the whole “I had a very busy weekend and I’m exhausted and don’t want to work” excuse. Nope. I rarely play that card, as it’s not really worth it. No, my reasons are pretty sound. The major one being the animals. We have a metal roof, and no matter what kind of shade the trees offer, if the sun beats down on us at about 3 PM, then this place is an absolute oven without the AC on. Yeah, I have the windows open, but w/ that metal roof, it really does not make a lot of difference. I could sit here and rant and rave about metal roofs and the impracticality of such things, but that’s not my point. Nope, my point is with 2 dogs and all the cats inside, and no place to put them outside (especially if we aren’t here), is they all suffer. The heat is not good for them.

Vader is part Husky and has that thick, water proof under coat that makes him so much fun to bathe! It also makes him become very hot, very quick. The heat has never really bothered Cujo, but seeing as how he is getting on in years, we need to treat him like an elderly person when it comes to this. Then there are the cats. Last night was a little scary. Poor Trouble, my fat girl. You could tell she was miserable. And the Kitten Horde was so lethargic I was almost afraid I was going to have to find a vet that had weekend hours or an emergency number. I did keep up with the cold water for them yesterday by putting lots and lots of ice in their water dish and encouraging them all to drink. I was so worried about them that when Smoker decided to lay down on the table I didn’t say anything, he must have found a cool spot and I wasn’t going to take that away from the little puff-ball. I have been conversing with a few friends and brainstorming ideas of how to make the animals more comfortable. Getting a few of them ready now, so when the heat really hits and maintenance is not here yet, I can make sure they are comfy.

And speaking of maintenance. Most landlords will have their normal business hours that you are guaranteed to get them for what ever problem or concern you may have. They will also have a way for you to contact them if something happens in the off hours that needs their immediate attention. Um, yeah. That latter part, not so for ours. They have an answering machine that they do not check on the weekends after they close shop on Saturdays at 1PM. So if you have a pipe burst, a fire or an AC unit quit on you, you are SOL. Unless you have the money or the know how to fix it, you have to wait until Monday (or whatever day) at 9AM. We did get a cell number from the head maintenance guy, but we’ve had no luck there. I don’t know if he doesn’t know how to fix it or if he didn’t feel like coming out. So I have to call the landlord to let them know and have them send the guys out. Here’s where it gets fun. Now, in the past I have described in pretty good detail, I thought, the problem we were having. The lady at the office writes it down and leaves it for the maintenance guy. THEN he shows up and it’s like we played the Telephone game :(. He has no idea and I was thankful I happened to be at home to let him know what was what. Since it is very difficult to live comfortable in the South without an AC, I figured me missing one day of work to make sure the damn thing got fixed was worth it. Now they just better make it worth it or I will be pissed. I still do need money, as much as I don’t want the stuff right now. And no, Hubby couldn’t stay home today to handle it all. He had class, and the WIA program through unemployment that pays for his schooling is very strict about attendance. And frankly, right now, we can’t afford to lose that. I know, it’s messed up that we are putting his non-money earning activity above my job, but the potential income from this outweighs it. It still sucks and we will have tighten a belt or two, but it will be fine. As long as they show up TODAY and not tomorrow.

Ok, I know I am behind in letting you all know how the rest of my vacation was and I think I’ll do the abridged version here, and then later post a few pics and go into more detail. It’s been about a month since that week, and sometimes I wish I could go back to it, it was so much fun, even if it was busy. So here we start with Wednesday of that week:

Had a nice visit with my mother-in-law. Vader was disappointed that Grace wasn’t with her, but we all agreed that due to the number of animals and Zombie & her Horde, that it would be best for her to stay behind this visit. Grace is pretty cool around cats, and the cats have never really cared one way or another if she was here. But Zombie has never been around Grace, and has been very touchy about her kittens, so we wanted to make sure there were no problems. Everytime Grandma went to her bags or came back from outside, Vader would sniff and insist that she was hiding Grace somewhere! Poor guy. Hubby took Grandma up to his campus for a tour of the kitchens and they had fun. The rest of the day was pretty much spent relaxing and getting things ready for the next day.

Thursday was a whirlwind! After I got the Youngest and Hubby off to school, I came back to finish getting ready for lunch and then the trip to Charlotte! Lunch was awesome! I went with Grandma and an old friend of Hubby’s to his Dinning Room class. His teachers and classmates thought it was funny that it was Hubby’s mother, his wife and his ex-girlfriend all sitting at the table together eating :). Yes, his ex and I are friends. In fact I daresay she and I talk more than they do! The food was fantastic and we ended up with Hubby as a server. Yes, he did a good job, which I wouldn’t have expected any less from him. His back up server was not as good, but that’s a longer story than I care to share here ;).

Shortly after lunch my friend and I headed up to Charlotte for Bon Jovi! That was a trip! On the way up we had a tiny adventure. It felt like it was straight out of a horror movie! You know the one: You travel into a town that appears to be totally deserted and no one seems to know anything! Yup. We were looking for a place to grab a quick bite before we went into Charlotte and the Burger King was closed, and the gas station guy didn’t know what Mickey D’s was (“Who?”) and so it was a bit freaky. But the concert made up for it. I’m not a familiar with Bon Jovi’s new stuff, but I really enjoyed it and LOVED seeing Jon and Richie on that stage. And it was nice, I didn’t feel like the old person out of the bunch either. There were a lot of people around my age, a few older and a few younger. I didn’t see many little teeny boppers in there, which was wonderful. It was bad enough that Jon had made us feel old by reminding us that a particular song was 28 yrs old and I remember hearing it on the radio when it came out! That was mean!

But the whole concert and trip was fun. it was nice to get out and away from the family and be just me. Hubby and I don’t get to do that very often, so when we do we try to enjoy it to the fullest. Friday we came back to the house and visited for a while and then it was time to get ready to head out to Charleston for the scattering of Richard’s ashes and The Taste of Goose Creek with the family. Both were good. I needed the distraction before going to the beach. The food was great and the Youngest had a blast with the games! Before I met up with Richard’s boyfriend to head on down to Folly Beach, we went to Grandma’s where Popeye told us we could watch his copy of Avatar if we wanted, so we did. Very good movie if you can get past 1 or 2 things ;). The visuals were stunning. The ash scattering was good, I guess. I don’t want to sit here and say we had a blast, but at the same time we weren’t 100% somber. It was somewhere in between. I think relief and closure are better words. Being able to finally say goodbye, we all needed it. One of Richard’s former roommates (one of the good ones) helped to set up stuff for the scattering – Nice little cups with some Lavendar on top, one of his favorite scents. I know Richard would have loved it.

The rest of the vacation was spent mostly resting and catching up on a few things. Well worth it, the entire week. Funny thing though – I was so busy I barely gamed at all! It was wierd.

These last two weeks have been busy with the Girl Scouts. Last weekend we have a slumber with the girls to get them ready for the big camping trip for this past weekend, and I’m glad we did. I don’t recall hearing any “I don’t have this” or “I forgot this” from any of them :). So good on the leaders for doing the Sleep In. The girls all had a blast, going shopping so they could make breakfast in the morning, making smores with the fire they helped collect wood for, making swaps for the Camping Trip and just having fun. I know we are a fairly new troop, but I do have to say that they all get along pretty well with one another. Things aren’t perfect, but I have yet to see any major fights or disagreements between them all. Of course, now that I’ve said something … ;). They showed that during the Sleep In and especially during the Camping Trip. They all looked after one another and if one wasn’t feeling well they all helped out and made sure they were all ok. Which was particularly good since a few days after the Sleep In one of the girls ended up hurting her knee really bad where she had to have a leg brace on it and was not able to move it, so crutches were out for her. Thankfully arrangements were made for a golf cart for her so she could get around camp, but it was great seeing all the girls in the troop helping her out, helping to keep an eye on her and to make sure she was included in the activities. It felt good seeing that. I think the only thing that really stunk about the whole weekend was the weather. Friday night was wet and a little rainy, but it mostly stopped before we got up there. Saturday was humid and damp and it rained that evening. Sunday was cool, sunny and breezy up there. And the girls didn’t want to leave the brook or one of the trees up there! Yup, the gods have a sense of humor :). 

One of the troop leaders and I talked briefly yesterday about how it was nice that we had so many adults on the trip as well. I saw a few of the troops with pretty much only the leaders, and maybe a parent. If you have a few girls, that’s fine. But our troop right now is 11 girls, and if there had only been 2-3 adults as opposed to the five we had, I don’t think we would have been able to handle it like we did. If one of the girls wasn’t feeling well (about 3 or 4 ended up going back to the cabin at one time or another for this), they could go back and the rest of the troop was fine. Same for one of the adults too. That humidity was a killer for all of us. And it made it possible for me and one of the leaders to sneak away after breakfast to the nearest Wal-Mart (I think it was about a 15 or 20 minute drive) to pick up some healthy snacks and stuff for the girls. See, we are a new troop and it was our first time doing this, and we didn’t know that we would have a small kitchen in our cabin, or that we could bring snacks and stuff for the kids (at least I didn’t). So she and I ran up there real quick, while the others took the girls out.

All in all a great weekend and I would love to do something like that again. I think the girls would too. Once the Youngest and I get ours done, I’ll post pictures of the Charm Bracelets they gave out to everybody who participated over the weekend. I’ll also add some pics of the camp grounds too.

Boy, this has been a wordy blog post! I guess I’m trying to distract myself from the heat. Will need to turn the PC off soon, though. Blasted thing generates a lot of heat. And I need to see if I can get Tux back inside. Little brat knocked one of the screens out last night and decided she was gonna spend the night out there. I’m not sure but we may have to make here an indoor/outdoor kitty. I know Hubby is not keen on it, but if it would stop the Houdini antics, then I’m for it. And I’m going to take the boys out for a little bit. We have a nice breeze that is making it cooler than was supposed to be, so I hope that helps them cool down. The ice has been put in the water dish and I have a few towels in the freezer that they can lay on later to cool off with. Vader had his last Frosty Paw too. He looked so pitiful, I had to give it to him!

 I apologize for any typos, spelling, and grammar errors. Too hot for me to go through this seriously. Later in the week I hope to get to some Dragon Age and Stargate Universe posts. So I hope you all are nice and cool and I will talk at you later!

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Mass Effect 2, Pt 2

Yes, I know, I owe a blog update on the vacation and recent happenings in the world. BUT, it appears I’ve had an influx of Mass Effect fans around here, so I figured why not? I owe the rest of my Mass Effect 2 review.  Maybe later today I will actually finish up the BIG blog update, but for now, here is the rest of my Mass Effect 2 post, and as always, here are two warnings:

1- If you are not into Video Games, go check out one of my other posts. This will be full of gamer jargon and what not.

2- Spoilers will be all over the place here. I make no apologies for them, and you have been warned, if you have not played the game or finished it yet, you may not want to go any further.

Tali, Shepard and Thane

When I left off in the last post I think I had gotten to most of the loyalty quests for my first play through. I have to say that the first play through was full of awesome, and the last mission… Holy Fuck does not cover it :)! The loyalty quests were fun and added to the story of each character, and made you feel something for them all, rather than them being JUST a teammate. Now, once you go for the Reaper IFF so you can actually go through the Omega Relay, it sets off the last loyalty mission along with being able to control Joker (that was a blast!) right onto facing the Collectors head on! Wow. The graphics were fantastic and seriously helped to suck you in further into the story. Now, a hint for people who don’t know yet, before you go for the IFF, make sure you have everything done, except for Legion (you can’t get him until you get the IFF). Any delays in rescuing your crew will result in the death of one or all of them. They will become goo and it’s not pretty.

I was nerve wracked the entire time I was planning on who to send out and with who, who was to stay with me, and just everything! I didn’t want anybody to die and I knew ahead of time that if you didn’t do things JUST so, you end up loosing teammates, and that’s not cool. Not after all that time I invested in the loyalty missions. Oh and FYI, once you complete Jack’s loyalty mission, she goes after Miranda. If your Paragon or Renegade stats aren’t as close to maxed as possible, then you will end up loosing one of their loyalties. The special paragon/renegade menu options are not available to you and you have to choose who you like better. Now, Jack (yes, I went for Miranda) did survive the final battle for me, but I was very careful on where I placed her and made sure that she was not in any position to die. It was not easy, but I kept her with me right up until I needed a Biotic to help me through the swarm and then I stuck her with Garrus. So, yes, I was forced to choose between the two of the ladies, and I went with Miranda. Not an easy choice.

If memory serves right here is my line up (this is before Kasumi was released):

Tali was my tech gal and I had her going through the vents and it was not easy always getting to her

Mordin was sent away with the crew (yes, all of them were alive when I got to them). I know a lot of people lost him if they didn’t sent him with Chakwas and group. Hubby lost him, and was pissed. He sent Zaeed (sp?) with them back to the ship and both of them ended up dying.

As for the team two leader, I had Garrus. I felt Miranda could be a good one, but Garrus was always my buddy.

For the Biotic to help you through the swarm, I went with Samara. I felt with her being nearly 1000 years old and an Asari who happened to be a Justicar would be the best choice and more powerful. Some people went with Miranda or Jack and were fine. Jacob was not the right choice for this one. I have yet to hear of someone using anyone other than one of the three ladies I listed having their biotic survive.

For the final battle against that freaky Human Reaper (why do you think they were nabbing human colonies in the first place?) I had Miranda and Jacob. I left Garrus to guard the rest of the crew and I knew he’d do an awesome job. And somehow I defeated that stupid Reaper and managed to get me and the rest back to the Normandy to see Joker firing his gun to help keep the Collector’s off of our asses! I love that man!

As for the Illusive Man, I told him to go screw himself and I was very pleased when Miranda decided to tell him to do the same. Felt good after all the shit he put us all through during the game!

He was not happy with me at the end :).

Now, for the whole romance thing. This was my fem!Shep that stayed loyal to Kaiden (I tried to go w/ Jacob if you remember and messed it up somehow). Right before you hit the Relay you get your encounter with whoever your romantic choice was in the game. If you happened to stay loyal to your romantic choice from the first game then you get a little cut scene in the captain’s cabin. Nothing big, but at least it’s a nod to the fact you stayed loyal. Can’t wait to see how that pans out in Mass Effect 3. So listen up Bioware! I best get my Kaiden back in the next game, or I will be so pissed! Please? :p

You listening BioWare? I want my Kaiden back for the next game!

I do have to say that last picture you see in the game before the credits role, when Joker hands Shepard the  datapad, I about fainted. That’s a shitload of Reapers! That’s what we get to deal with when we move onto the next game?!?! YES! Cannot wait! Bring on!

Can't find the final pic from the game, but just imagine 100s to 1000s of these things getting ready to come into the Milky Way. Holy Fuck man!

I’m now almost done with my second play through and it’s a little slow going. Mostly due to real life interfering and some frustration on my part. As I stated before, I don’t like Shooters. Halo is the sole exception. This play through is rougher due to that fact. I’ve got a male!Shep Vanguard who does not access to the weapons my fem!Shep Soilder had. Yup, I don’t have an easy time with Biotics and the fact that I can’t bring out my sniper rifle (how I miss it) is very realistic, but it makes it harder to survive battles. Many restarts this time around. May also have to do with the fact I upped the difficulty as well. Stupid me. Anyway, I am well on my way to getting everyone’s loyalty, and yes, I have both Miranda and Jack on my side (maxed the paragon bar!). I’ve got a few little side missions I’ve got to get done first, and then I can go onto the IFF and Legion. And my male!Shep is romancing Miranda this time round. Yes, he dumped Ashley. Sorry. I wanted the achievement, and I never really felt a lot of loyalty to her anyway.

Besides the fact that Ashley is alive in this play through, there were others and it was neat to check them all out. Kaiden was dead and Ashley alive, Wrex lived, and lots more. I had lots of money this time around, thanks to the Mass Effect 1 play through and having tons of money. So I’ve been able to get almost ALL of the upgrades, etc. The whole mining thing really stinks still. I hate it and have not done a lot of it this time around, but then again I’ve cheated with the strategy guide to get to the planets that have exactly what I need in large quantities. I just don’t like it, but realize that I need the materials you get from it for the upgrades.

The DLC. Lots of DLC so far for Mass Effect 2 as compared to the first game. New armor items, alternate clothing for some of the characters, the Hover Tank, and Kasumi. So far the latter two are my favorites out of the DLC. The Hover Tank was fun, and reminded me a little of the old Mako. Just wish we could do more with it. Kasumi was fun, and a new way to enjoy the game. And she is a pretty powerful character once you learn how to use her. I’ve had fun paring her up with Grunt when I go out. Lots of fun!

This is Kasumi, not Tali...
The Hammerhead Hover Tank...

All in all, still very happy with this game, and am planning on one more play through, mainly so I can get the last achievements, but also so I can romance Thane. Very cool character. And my Shepard for that play through will not be imported from the first game, just so I can see how that all pans out.

Ok, time to go. The Horde is settling down for their naps, and Vader is terrorizing Tiger. And Hubby is about to leave for work (yes, he has a job!). And I have chores :(. What did I do last night? Oh, right, played Mass Effect 2 ;).

 General disclaimer: Mass Effect is owned by EA/BioWare and protected by the copyright laws. Any images and info used in thsi blog post are not meant to infringe on those rights, only to allow this fan a postive outlet and to share her thoughts about a game she loves and adores . 😀

Also, if you are interested and missed it the last time, here is the first Mass Effect 2 post.