The Ballad of Ankh and Smokem

It’s been a while since I told you of my brother exploits in the World of Warcraft. Has he stopped playing? No, hell no! Read on for his exploits, straight from his fingers to your brain!

What a difference a year makes! I searched for “warcraft” on your site and discovered the last update on Blaniage was entered on April 18, 2008. Where did the year go? Why am I squinting, why is my butt asleep, and why does my back hurt?

Blaniage was only level 43 then. He’s level 80 now, the maximum level achievable. Last year at this time the maximum was 70, but a new expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King (or “WotLK” for those too busy playing to type), increased the ceiling by 10 levels. In addition to Blaniage leveling to 80, Pantespani the Blood Elf Priest is now level 61, and Gastrin the Blood Elf Paladin is level 40. The other desserts are between levels 24 and 31. If memory serves, the first incarnation of Baklava (a Night Elf Druid) only made it to level 27 before I killed him off. Baklava the Undead Mage is level 24.

In order to describe the highlights of the past year I need to describe a little bit about a playing World of Warcraft (“WoW”). A style of game play that many people enjoy is “raiding.” Raiding is basically grouping together with 9 or more players to explore an “instance” (game-speak for an in-game dungeon). Instances are populated by elites, which are monsters on steroids, almost impossible to kill single-handed. Killing them is desirable because elite creatures drop the best items, many of which are ~only~ available by killing instance elites. Because it is advantageous to be comfortable with your fellow raiders’ playing style, and because communication is vital during a raid, many people form more permanent groups called guilds. Because I am mostly interested in questing, I wasn’t really all that into finding a guild. They struck me as a WoW fraternity, and I wasn’t into those either. However, I met a really nice guy in-game named Smokem, and he was in a friendly, “casual” guild called Ankh. He invited me to join, and I did.

I say that Ankh was “casual” because it was a group of more mature players, less obsessive about conquering every level 70 instance (this was before WotLK). But, if you want to see instance content, you have to have at least 10 players who log on regularly, so, you end up recruiting. And when you recruit, you open up the ranks to players that are less casual. Believe me, there are players that take WoW ~very~ seriously. Questions like, “who gets an elite item should it drop?” mean a great deal to some players. Guilds have to have rules, and some people are always unhappy about how the rules affect them. Ankh grew and grew, and eventually became a victim of its own success. A large group of players within the guild disliked the guild master’s (GM) approach to the distribution of instance loot, left the guild, and formed a new guild which promptly started bad-mouthing Ankh on any available public forum. Ankh was reduced to a few players, and the GM was burnt out. He stopped playing, and Smokem and I went on to a different guild. However, I left all of my lower-level characters (9 in all) in Ankh. I guess I felt a little sentimental. I had dabbled a little in raiding with Ankh, and I was still proud to wear the Ankh tabard (a piece of clothing displaying the guild crest).

One nice thing about a guild is that they frequently have a guild bank. A bank is a large repository for all of the crap that a player accumulates over time playing the game. You have your own personal bank too, but a guild bank is much bigger and allows for players to share items that they find that might be of use to guild-mates of a different class or level. Ankh had a guild bank, and all of my toons in the guild were permitted to withdraw a single item per day. Well, the GM had quit playing, in fact I was about the only person in Ankh that ever played, so I began to feel a little entitled to the guild bank. I’m not proud of this. Anyway, one withdrawal per day for nine toons adds up, and after a few months the guild bank was looking a little thin. Meanwhile, the new guild which Smokem and I had joined was not feeling like a great fit for me. They were a very nice group of people, but their interests were almost purely running level 80 raids (now we are post-WotLK). I tried running a few, but I just wasn’t into it in the new group. As I mentioned, I am primarily interested in questing, so when I logged on, I had little to say to others and they to me. All of the conversations were about last night’s or tomorrow’s raids, and I felt on the outside. In my opinion, being in a group but feeling like an outsider is far worse than not being in a group at all.

One day not long ago, much to my chagrin, the Ankh GM (remember him?), suddenly logged back into the game. He had purchased WotLK, was rested from his breather, and decided to give WoW another chance. Holy. Crap. Well, he wasn’t angry at me, which was a surprise, but my days of having a guild bank at my sole disposal were over. Additionally, I had all but stopped playing Blaniage, preferring instead to level my priest. So, I was again a toon without a guild (or so it felt), but I had had a taste of having a guild bank. So, about a month ago, I formed “Just Desserts,” a guild with only 10 members, all of them mine. We’re not recruiting. Just Desserts sucks as a raiding guild, but you should see the guild bank.

Blaniage, Level 80

Pantespani, Level 55 Shadow Priest

Svinghi, Death Knight (and proof that I have toons that are not Blood Elves)

The first of four bank tabs of the “Just Desserts” guild. Lots of valuable rocks!

The Webkinz Grind


All of my children now have WebKinz.

While they sleep peacefully in their beds, I have been logging some time answering stupid math questions and working menial Webkinz jobs with the hope that the meager “KinzCash” I earn will be enough to satisfy my children’s voracious WebKinz needs. WE NEED A TOILET, STAT!!!

I think WebKinz is probably a lot like World of Warcraft, except you don’t ever get to kill anything, despite the fact that it would be a really pleasant thing to do every once in a while.

Dungeons And Databases

It’s been a couple months since I last provided you with an update as to my brother’s progress on World of Warcraft (WoW).

My brother has a little problem. He’s got a little something I’m going to call “organizational mania”. It’s probably more correctly identified as a strain of your garden-variety anal-retentiveness, but lemme just call it what I want to call it.

In WoW, one’s character (or as they say in WoW, “toon”) has lots of different body parts that can be festooned with gear, and a variety of weapons that can be wielded as well. For someone playing multiple toons, it can get rather confusing as to what toon is wearing what equipment.

When I was playing WoW’s predecessor Diablo II, I would occasionally scribble down some of the belongings of my various characters. This is not a valid approach for my brother.

So, enter a new Microsoft Access Database application called Toon!. My brother wrote Toon! to keep track of all his characters’ gear.

In my brother’s words:

I created it was so I could check to see if any new item that dropped would be an improvement in equipment on any of my characters. In order to complete the database I had to overcome the following challenges:

1. I needed to concatenate all modifications into one line because MS Access does not permit nesting sub forms.
2. I needed to be able to minimize the application window to use as little screen space as possible (allowing me to easily enter data while having the game running).
3. Also wanted a “nice to have”, that any new modification type encountered (strength, intelligence, attack power, etc.) would be automatically added to the modifications table.

Originally I was planning on using the report as a paper print-out and marking it up with updates, but I’ve since streamlined by making updates directly to the database. Still, the report is useful to have as an “at a glance” tool while playing.

So, please enjoy these screenshots of Toon!, a database application written by my crazy-organized brother.

Please note that in some of the thumbnails only a partial view of an application screen is displayed. Click on an image to view the app in its full screen glory.

Main screen (it’s more functional than fancy-looking)

Screen to add a new toon:

Screen to edit an existing toon (can update toon data and edit equipment carried or worn by toon):

Screen to edit an individual piece of equipment on a toon:

Report of all items worn by toon:

World Of Warcraft Greek Dessert Rundown

A list of my brother’s current roster of WoW characters, with their accompanying dishes.

BLANIAGE

The character:
Blaniage is a Blood Elf Hunter. He is aligned with the Horde.

The dessert:

From Aunt Marikaβ s blaniage
Ingredients:
1 kg of milk
1/2 a pack of corn flour
5 tablespoons of sugar
1 lemon peel or some s of vanilla essence

Instructions:
Add the corn flour in the cold milk and mix until it is dissolved. Heat the mix in a saucepan and add the sugar and the vanilla essence or the lemon peel. When the cream is thick, remove it from the stove and pour the mixture in a cake tin sprinkled with cold water and let it cool down. When it is cold, empty it in a platter and garnish with fruits in syrup or marmalade or even chocolate syrup.

BAKLAVA

The character:
Baklava is an undead mage. He is aligned with the Horde.

The dessert:

From Baklava – Allrecipes
INGREDIENTS

* 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
* 1 pound chopped nuts
* 1 cup butter
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 cup water
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup honey

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C). Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9×13 inch pan.
2. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 – 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 – 8 sheets deep.
3. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
4. Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
5. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

KATAIFI

The character:
Kataifi is an Orc Warrior. He is aligned with the Horde.

The dessert:

From Greek Recipe.com

Filling
350 gr. walnuts or almonds, coarsely chopped
55 gr. sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon cinnamon if walnuts are used, or 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel for almond filling

Pastry
500 gr. thread-like kadaifi pastry
170 gr. unsaited butter, melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon, for the top

Syrup
500 gr. caster sugar
500 ml water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 pieces of lemon rind

Serves 18 persons!

METHOD
Mix all the filling ingredients well, in a bowl. Brush a large baking dish with butter. Pull a small handful of pastry lightly and spread it flat on a wooden board or a marble slab. Place a large tablespoon of filling at one end of the pastry and roll the pastry rightly over it, making sure the filling is securely enclosed. The result should resemble a cylindrical fat parcel, about 10 cm long maximum. Place these parcels in rows in the baking dish, leaving a little space between them, otherwise they do not crisp on the side. There should be approximately 18-20 pieces by the time you finish. Heat the butter and pour 1-2 tablespoons over each piece of kadaifi. Bake in a pre-heated oven, gas no. 4/ 350 grades F/ 180 grades C), for 30 minutes; increase the temperature to gas no. 7/ 425 grades F/ 220 grades C and cook for a further 10 minutes. The pastries should have a crisp and pale golden appearance. Let them cool while you make the syrup. Dissolve the sugar in the water, add the lemon juice and rind, and boil gently for 8-10 minutes, until the syrup thickens slightly. Pour the hot syrup slowly over the cool kadaifi and let stand in the dish until the syrup is completely absorbed. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on each piece.
Allow one piece of kadaifi per person.

PANTESPANI

The character:
Pantespani is a Blood Elf Priest. He is aligned with the Horde.

The dessert:

From Recipe Link

5 eggs — separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 lemon rind — grated
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter — melted

Syrup:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups water
juice of lemon

Beat egg yolks and sugar several minutes until light and creamy. Sift dry ingredients together and gradually add to batter. Add lemon rind and vanilla. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold gently into batter.

Pour into greased and floured 13×9-inch pan. Spoon melted butter evenly OVER top. Bake at 350-degrees for 25 to 30-minutes. Slowly spoon cooled syrup over hot cake.

Syrup:
Combine all ingredients and gently boil for 5 to 7-minutes, or until candy thermometer reaches 205-degrees.

KARYTHOPITA

The character:
Karythopita is an Undead Warlock. She is aligned with the Horde.

The dessert:

From Greek Food

INGREDIENTS:

* FOR THE SYRUP
* 3 1/2 cups of water
* 2 2/3 cups of sugar
* 5-6 whole cloves
* 1 stick of cinnamon
* juice and peel of 1/2 lemon
* —————
* FOR THE WALNUT CAKE
* 10 eggs, separated
* 10 tablespoons of sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon of baking soda
* 2 teaspoons of baking powder
* 4 tablespoons of self-rising flour
* grated peel and juice of 1 orange
* 2 tablespoons of brandy (or flavoring)
* 6 tablespoons of toasted breadcrumbs (or crushed zwieback)
* 10 tablespoons of finely chopped walnuts
* a pinch of salt
* 1 tablespoon of water
* butter (to grease baking pan)
* coarsely chopped walnuts (topping)
* ground cinnamon (topping)

PREPARATION:

Make the syrup: In a saucepan, add all syrup ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring well. Reduce heat and allow to boil gently for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Beat egg whites, salt, and water to the firm peak stage.

Preheat oven to 340F (170C).

Make the walnut cake: In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, and ground cloves very well until creamy and smooth. In a separate bowl, mix the baking soda, baking powder, and flour, and stir in to the mixture. Add grated orange peel and juice, brandy, breadcrumbs, and walnuts. Finally, and carefully, fold in the beaten egg whites.

Lightly grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan (or equivalent) with butter, pour in the batter, and bake at 340°F (170°C) for 40 minutes. Cake is done when a knife inserted into the middle comes out dry.

Soak in syrup: Spoon the cooled syrup evenly over the hot cake. Sprinkle with walnuts mixed with a little cinnamon. Allow to cool before serving.

Note: Make sure the syrup is completely cooled to room temperature before adding to cake. If necessary, refrigerate for a few minutes.

GASTRIN

The character:
Gastrin is a Blood Elf Paladin. He is aligned with the Horde.

The dessert:

From Greek Food
Sesame seeds, pepper, and poppy seeds are only some of the unusual ingredients in this ancient recipe. Petimezi (a sweetener made from grapes), used long before sugar arrived in Greece, adds to the unique taste. If you’re hooked on the Ancients, give this recipe a try.
INGREDIENTS:

* For the dough:
* 4 cups of all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon of salt
* 1/4 cup of olive oil
* juice of 1 lemon
* 3 1/2 ounces of toasted sesame seeds (a little over 2/3 cup), ground
* ———–
* For the filling:
* 2/3 pounds of chopped hazelnuts, unsalted
* 2/3 pounds of chopped almonds, unsalted
* 2/3 pounds of chopped walnuts
* 1/5 pound of sesame seeds
* 1/5 pound of poppy seeds
* 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
* 3/4 cup of honey
* ———-
* For the syrup:
* 2 cups of sugar
* 1 cup of water
* 1/4 cup of petimezi *
* 3/4 cup of honey

PREPARATION:

* Petimezi: a syrup made from grapes (recipe).

Combine the dough ingredients and knead to form the dough. Roll out into 3 equal-sized sheets about 1/8 inch thick, large enough to cover a medium baking pan.

Combine all filling ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Place one sheet of dough in the bottom of a lightly oiled baking pan.

Cover with half the filling. Add the second sheet of dough and the remaining filling. Place the third sheet of dough on top. Cut into squares and then diagonally to form trianges. Sprinkle with a little water and sesame seeds.

Bake on the rack just below the middle of the oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 30 minutes.

When the pastry is cool, combine all syrup ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Pour the hot syrup over the cooled pastry and let sit until syrup is absorbed (about 3-4 hours).

Riding High on the Sale of Small Eggs

Pull up a stool and order a pint of mead!

Here are more details on the fall of Baklava, and the ascendancy of Blaniage, as told by my brother.

****

In the vernacular of World of Warcraft (WoW), my “main” (my most powerful or highest level character) is now Blaniage, a Blood Elf hunter. He’s a Horde “toon”, which is to say he is at war with all Alliance toons. Baklava, my Night Elf Druid, was in the Alliance.

Although I already had one Horde toon (Mazgul, the unfortunately named Undead Warlock), Blaniage was my first Horde character after my upgrade to the Burning Crusade (the WoW expansion pack, the purchase of which serves as irrefutable evidence of my growing WoW addiction). The Blood Elf race was added in the expansion pack. I started playing Blaniage around Christmas. I remember this not because of anything occuring in the real world, but because Christmas occurs around the same time as the Winter Festival in WoW. As in the real world, the Winter Festival means baking, and baking means small eggs.

There is an economy in WoW. Toons needing supplies can go to a number of vendors specializing in various products or disciplines, but some items must be found or purchased at a considerable mark-up from other players via the Auction House. Think of the Auction House as an in-game eBay. Blaniage was not born with a silver spoon, but he was born next to a thriving colony of relatively weak dragons whose corpses were lousy with small eggs. Through hard work and the exploitation of other players frantic to complete Winter Festival quests involving the baking of gingerbread cookies, Blaniage made a killing in the small egg market. At the peak of the gingerbread cookie frenzy, a clutch of small eggs normally fetching 10 silver sold for 5 gold. That’s a five thousand percent mark-up!

I now had a very poor Alliance Night Elf Druid, desperately in need of cash to complete his training, and a very wealthy Horde Blood Elf Hunter with nothing on which to spend his vast virtual fortune. Fortunately, WoW has a mail delivery service so that different toons can trade objects, money, and well wishes/death threats. Unfortunately, mail sent to opposite sides of the WoW war is not permitted. It seemed I needed to choose sides myself: the virtuous but poor Baklava, or the opportunist and wealthy Blaniage. Blaniage it was. I stopped playing Baklava at level 27; Blaniage is now level 43.

I’ve mentioned before that my biggest complaint about WoW is that it takes so long to get from place to place. This is primarily due to the fact that there is no transportation for low-level characters. Lower level toons literally run across continents to complete quests, and there’s no “wake me up when we get there” for the toon owner. You have to plod right along with your toon. Baklava once swam across an entire ocean just to open a trunk containing an item required to gain his water form. I sat there with my forefinger pressed firmly against the up arrow button for a solid hour, watching Baklava swim. At level 40, characters rich enough can purchase a mount. Blaniage, once lousy rich with gold, is now poor, but he does have a mount.

****

Blaniage

Blaniage and his mount

I asked my brother a little more detail about the mount, how much does it cost, did you name it, etc. Here is his response:

The mount only cost 8 gold 50 silver, but it cost 90 gold to train to ride it. Can’t name a mount, unfortunately. They’re chattel.

Baklava, Death and a Giant Broom

It’s been about two months since I have provided an update on my brother’s adventures of Baklava in the glorious World of Warcraft (WoW).

Well, I hope you’re happy now. Baklava the Night Elf Druid is dead.

You may or not may realize the nature of these kinds of games, but during play a character can die many, many times. When this happens, the worst you have to do is traipse through the wilderness in a non-corporeal, non-playable form and retrieve your carcass. Once the carcass has been claimed, you’re free to again wander about the countryside, killing things and being killed by things.

I’m not talking about that kind of death. Baklava is *dead* dead. He is gone. My brother killed him. He got tired of playing a Night Elf Druid who was constantly getting his elven ass kicked. My brother is still playing WoW, but is now primarily playing a Blood Elf named Blaniage (another Greek dessert, for those keeping score at home). People interested in the exploits of Blaniage will need to stay tuned. I can promise you exciting tales of mounts, mayhem and fortuitous investment opportunities.

For those shedding a few tears, the spirit of Baklava the beloved Night Elf lives on. My brother has created a new Undead Mage character, also named Baklava. For you Mazgul the Undead Mage fans out there, I have some terrible news. My brother has killed Mazgul, and has no intention of bringing him back.

Baklava the Undead Mage is hovering around Level 10 and has pretty crappy equipment. Mages are able to wield weapons, though they are stronger in the art of magic. In one of Baklava’s first quests, he had to steal pumpkins from farmers. After finally killing a farmer, he realized that a broom of the farmer was far more powerful than the two-handed staff he was fruitlessly whacking at things with.

So now, Baklava the Undead Mage has a large, slightly silly broom hanging off his undead back.

Baklava, The Phenomenal Cat

Hi, here’s another update on my brother’s progress at World of Warcraft (WoW).

I must apologize to all the Mazgul fans out there. My brother has stopped playing him, instead focussing on developing the wily Night Elf Druid Baklava.

Baklava is now Level 24! He is able to shift into two additional animal forms. He can now transform into a sabretooth tiger-like cat, which currently is his best mode of delivering damage in hand-to-hand (claw-to-claw?) combat.

The cat also has the ability of becoming partially invisible (I think he called it “cloaking”), though if a character or monster is enough levels higher than Baklava, the cloaking doesn’t work very well.

Baklava has also completed a quest which now gives him a “water form”, basically an overweight seal. I guess it makes it easier for him to swim in water, or makes him cuter to attacking monsters, I don’t know exactly.

Baklava is now a member of a guild called “Legionofdragons”. The other guild members are much higher level than Baklava, but he’s trying to advance himself.

A guild in WoW can have its own bank within the game. Guild members can deposit and withdraw items from their bank. Baklava has been able to upgrade his gear by picking out items from the guild bank.

My brother thinks that Baklava may be gay, as he is obsessed with finding clothing patterns he can use to stitch together pieces of leather into wearable items, using his increasingly honed leathermaking skills. Plus, the last two things he withdrew from the guild bank were dark leggings and a lustrous pearl. What’s next, a Judy Garland album?

Baklava is nearing 200 points in his cooking skill, which is apparently equivalent to a sous chef at a mid-priced fancy restaurant. A few more points and he will be able to make spider sausage. That last sentence wasn’t a joke. He really does need a few points before he can make spider sausage.

Okay, now a few more pictures. You can click on them to get larger versions of the images. I’m sorry, but I am most likely going to discontinue the tradition of including a gratuitous photo of female night elf cheesecake.

Baklava as cat, with a classy NPC female night elf sentry.

Baklava as cat, cloaked. If you look closely, you can see his eyes and fangs to the right of another classy female night elf sentry.

Baklava from the rear, in his fat-assed “water-form”. In the distance, some svelte female night elf sentries.

UPDATE: My brother sent me one more picture.

Baklava trudging by some fetching female night elves. This picture reminds me very much of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. If Baklava gets a mohawk, I would probably steer clear of him.

Balkava The Cat, And A Request For Feedback

Here’s a very small World of Warcraft (WoW) update. My brother has just informed me that Baklava the Night Elf Druid now has the ability to transform into a cat! Screenshots are forthcoming.

He told me that as Druids get higher in level they can transform into additional animals. So now, Baklava can be a bear or a cat.

The other day MizSplotchy indicated to me that my regular inclusion of night elf cheesecake has ruffled her feathers a bit. I was genuinely surprised. Perhaps it was triggered by a reader’s comment (a funny one, I thought) on a recent post intimating that some pubic hair was visible in a night elf drawing I had included.

I mentioned this to my brother, who retorted, “Oh, no. Night elves don’t have any pubic hair. Everybody knows this.”

I really like finding and including these night elf pics in WoW updates, but also understand and respect my wife’s point of view as well.

Perhaps we could get a little of direction from the readers of this blog?

So, I ask you, would you like the following to happen:

A) No more female night elf pics!
B) Keep the female night elf pics, but let’s shake it up by including a little beefcake night elf from time to time!
C) We want sexy female night elf pics, 24/7!

Thanks for any assistance in this matter.

[THIS IS WHERE A NIGHT ELF PIC WOULD NORMALLY BE]

UPDATE:

Just so you don’t think you’ll be disrupting the marital bliss of Splotchy and MizSplotchy by giving your opinion, she has seen this post and is cool with my solicitation of feedback from my readers, who, I should tell you, she believes to solely consist of World Of Warcraft night-elf cheesecake lovin’ freaks.

Baklava In Hot, Rabid Thistle Bear Killing Action

How can I live up to a post title like that? The truth is, I can’t. I’d love to show you a video of Baklava killing rabid thistle bears, that, despite being rabid, were honestly doing no harm to Baklava before he made vines shoot out of the ground and entangle them. Unfortunately, that video does not currently exist.

I *can* give you an account where I witnessed the druidy punishment dealt by Baklava firsthand. Well, I was sitting behind my brother when he was doing the killing. The family Thanksgiving dinner was actually had at his house. After dinner, I asked for a brief display of his World of Warcraft (WoW) prowess.

Baklava is Level 19 now. I saw him kill some rabid thistle bears, some moonkin, and other things I can’t remember. He was shooting bolts at them, turning into a bear and swiping at them, etc.

One funny thing I noted during the gameplay was that when you are exiting a game, there is a 30 second delay before you get completely logged off. During this time, your character sits down on the ground and quietly waits. No matter how foul or evil a character you play in WoW, at least he or she will have the common decency to know when to sit and when to stand.

I thought the game looked decent enough, but I confirmed my feeling that I do not want to wander down the path to WoW any time soon.

I’m not sure if it was from seeing the game played earlier, but for some reason after we got home and put the kids to bed, I felt the need to watch Return Of The King. What time was it when I started the movie? Oh, around 9:00pm. And we have the Extended Edition. And I had to go to work the next day. What the hell was I thinking?

MizSplotchy was gracious enough to sit down and remain awake with me for the movie. Right after the ring was destroyed (a little after midnight), I asked her, “Do you mind if we turn the movie off now? I just wanted to see Sauron get his ass kicked.” She thankfully agreed.

Something funny occurred to me in viewing Return Of The King. In the films, we hear the scary, disembodied voice of Sauron at different points. I thought it would be cool at the end, when we see the tower with his eye on top collapsing, that you hear some final words from him:


The above images were modified from original screenshots here. Go there for a quick, web-based way of whipping through the trilogy!

Here’s one of the scenes I skipped over in last night’s viewing, with the audio tweaked a little for humorous results.

And now, here’s a little purple elf cheesecake for you.

P.S., for all you Mazgul fans, I saw him kill some bats.

Baklava And The Italian World Order

Hi, here’s a very short update regarding the adventures of Baklava, the Night Elf Druid that likes to kill defenseless deer and sit on campfires.

Baklava is now Level 16.

My brother recently made an adjustment to his character. Characters in World of Warcraft, when not killing deer, can focus on pursuing two professions. My brother recently learned that you can pick two professions that have synergies.

If you pursue Herbology and Alchemy as your professions, you can take the flowers and plants you pick and make potions. If you choose Tanning and Leathermaking, you can make items from the pelts you collect from animals.

Baklava’s professions of choice were Herbology and Tanning, which have absolutely no synergies whatsoever. He was essentially able to gather raw materials for two unrelated things, but couldn’t actually do anything with them. Baklava has now “unlearned” Herbology and is on the track to be a Leathermaker.

For those of you who might miss Baklava’s spice bread, please do not worry. It is still possible to have hobbies. Cooking is one of Baklava’s hobbies, and will always have a place in his dark purple heart.

While online, Baklava has been invited on numerous occasions by a persistent fellow who wants him to join a guild called the “Italian World Order”. My brother would understand Greeks seeking him out, as he bears the name of a sweet dessert, but was surprised to be contacted by Italians. Baklava is uncertain about the purpose of this guild, and how serious it is about Italian global domination. As of yet, he has not sought further information or expressed interest in joining.

And now, another Night Elf babe.