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What I really mean by that title is “Enjoy the Break (from WoW)”.

Which is a little misleading. As stated in my last post, playtime from WoW is down significantly. But it’s still not zero. A little bit of LFR on a weekend, maybe. And I’ve logged a few hours in the Beta.

I don’t want to put TOO much time into the MoP Beta, as I don’t really want to ruin the leveling/story experience. I’m mostly dabbling to see how the changes feel, particularly with the talents. So far, the Mage, DK, and Hunter all seem to play mostly the same. The talents seem to meet what Blizzard has intended – more for personal style than a “must have” increase to DPS/Threat/Healing output. I mostly have trouble with the PvP-centric talents, and that’s because I build my toons mostly for PvE. But as I said, I believe that’s intended.  As for Monks…it’s an interesting dynamic, and I find them pretty fun.  I’ve only tried the DPS spec up to level 11 and the tank spec at 85 (no dungeons, though).

Anyway, I’m enjoying taking some time off from WoW to do other things. I’ve been able to play other video games, watch some TV series and movies, spend more time with Chawa doing non-computer stuff…and with the onset of summer, probably a few more outdoors-y things, such as walking, bike rides, and barbeque (or as Texans cal it: grilling). I’m also going to play Diablo 3. I’ve been watching some game play videos and trailers, and it looks quite interesting. I have played D1 and D2, but never got into them too intensely…so we’ll see how D3 goes. Given that it was free with the annual pass, it’s really no loss on my end. (I say “free” because I would have been paying for my WoW sub for a year, anyway.)

So, that’s WoW stuff. Now for some Pulled Pork.  This is mostly inspired by @Dechion and his Pulled Pork Recipe post.  This version is mega lazy.  And to emphasize my laziness, I am also not going to show any pictures. :)  Note that this will feed four people with two hefty sandwiches each, or feed two people twice.  It freezes and reheats without concern.

Things you need:

  • A crock-pot to do the cookin’
  • 2 lbs (0.9 – 1 kg) Pork Loin roast (don’t trim it yet!)
  • 1 large red or white onion
  • 1.5 Cups of your favourite BBQ sauce (mine is Cattle Boyz Original)
  • 3 TBsp Cider Vinegar
  • 1.5 – 2 TBsp Worcheschire Sauce
  • 1.5 – 2 TBsp Molasses
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano (fresh if you have it, but dried works just dandy)

Add sauces and dry product together in the crock-pot and stir thoroughly.  Remove the string from the pork loin roast, but leave the fat on!  Chop the onion as you like.  Add the pork and onion to the crock-pot and use a spoon to coat the pork and onion with the sauce.  (If you don’t coat everything, don’t panic!  Everything will get coated eventually as it cooks.)

Set the crock-pot to High.  After at least 2 hours (3 – 4 hours is also fine), remove the pork.  Now you can trim the fat, which slides off very easily.  Discard accordingly.  Now take two forks and shred the pork and shred it good (I prefer mine finely shredded).  Return shredded pork to the crock-pot and set the crock-pot to LOW.  Stir to ensure the sauce is mixed nice and evenly.

Allow the shredded pork to cook for another 4 hours on low.  I also recommended stirring the pork every so often to minimize any searing of the mixture to the sides of the crock-pot (this may or may not be a problem with your particular model).

If you want to make your own slaw, I again refer you to Dech’s recipe.  Otherwise, any store bought mayonnaise based coleslaw will do. (Vinegar based slaw doesn’t work as nice, IMHO.)

Buy some nice buns or rolls, cut in the middle, put the pork on, top with some slaw, and then close the roll.  Open mouth, bite down (watch your fingers!), chew 26 – 32 times, swallow, and enjoy.

Now it’s time for me to see how my Tiny Tower is doing…

Meh.

As you may or may have not noticed, things are hella quiet here.

A lot of that has to do with not accomplishing much in-game.  I actually had started working on a post about how the changes to raiding affected guilds like mine and people like me.  Things became a little stagnant.

Then LFR came out and that changed everything for guilds like mine and people like me (if they wanted it to, of course).  Epic post abandoned.  Things became fun…and then quickly went back to stagnant.  Dechion actually captured a bit of the LFR feeling here.

But we’re also playing less WoW.  No, we didn’t switch to SW:TOR (well, sort of…I did, but I play very infrequently.)  We’re playing less games in general. 

I went to Texas for two weeks before Christmas.  I came home to a massive wake up call; I had to sort out my priorities and I had to make some lifestyle changes.  The priorities were fairly easy.  Lifestyle changes are a work in progress, but things are going in the right direction. 

So, we’ve gone from playing lots of WoW and talking about it lots.  Cata meant playing lots, but we didn’t have nearly as much to talk about.  And now that we rarely play, you can surely imagine how little there is to talk about the game now.

No, we haven’t quit.  And there’s always the chance we’ll play more when MOP comes out.

We had a good run over two years and even managed to get linked by WoW Insider once.  So no complaints.  But as it stands, I wouldn’t expect too many more posts from The Wayward Initiative.  They may happen, but likely few and far between

For those stalker-licious people, you can still find me (@darthregis) on Twitter.  And for those that care enough to have hung out over the years, I sincerely thank you. :)

Until then,

Reeg

WTF Blizzcon Weekend?

This year is the first year that Chawa and I have purchased the Blizzcon live stream, which airs tomorrow and Saturday.

As such, we’ve made some plans around it:   Take Friday off, do some chores in the morning, watch stream, eat chips, etc.  Saturday, hang out with Vidyala and Vosskah and watch the Con with them.  Some fun coupled with relaxation.  Good times!

Well, because I have plans for the weekend, people suddenly decided they wanted to invite me to things.  I turned down a round of golf for tomorrow because I have plans.  I turned down box seats for a Calgary Flames game on Saturday because I have plans.

I look forward to those plans…but did golf and box seats have to be THIS WEEKEND?!?!  *shakes fist into the air*

I know ultimatums are kind of silly, but Blizz…hear me now…this Blizzcon better be freakin’ amazing.

PS:  You may want to check out the book, “The Patrol“.

The Wayward Bloggers

It’s been just about two months since our last published blog post.  There are a couple of scrapped ideas, but yeah, it’s been awhile since we’ve posted.  And by the time I’ve articulated my thoughts on some on “hot topics”, most of it is old news.  So yapping about it more seemed senseless.

Unfortunately, there just hasn’t been a whole lot to say in the last few months.  The guild was a little under-staffed over the summer months, although we didn’t miss out on any raiding because we weren’t raiding in the first place.  Regardless, it made getting groups for heroics a little tricky at times. 

I mentioned awhile back that I’ve made my way onto Twitter and managed to start following and chatting with a few interesting folk from the WoW Blog’o’sphere.  From that, I’ve found a few people that are in the same province and found a couple of bloggers that even live in the same city.  Since then, both Chawa and I have ventured out to meet Vidyala and Vosskah on two occasions.  Even though, as Draenei, it’s all their fault that the Burning Legion showed up to Outland in the first place, they’re pretty awesome folk. :)

More recently, the guild is picking up in activity a bit.  We’ve gone in to do Firelands trash, just to check out the place and take advantage of rep rewards.  Our first time in, we were doing the trash with seven people.  The last couple of times, we’ve done it with nine and ten people.  We even tried Beth’tilac once…which, as one might suspect, was a complete disaster.  It was neat to see, but we really didn’t know what the hell we were doing. :)  My hopes is that if we start getting 10 guildies on regularly, we actually go into the T11 raids and do those bosses.  We, as a guild, don’t overgear the fights, nor are we practiced enough that the fights will be easy.  Post-nerf or not.  (Please note, this isn’t meant as a criticism – it’s just my perception of things.)

In regards to Patch 4.3, which is currently on the PTR, well, it holds some interesting changes.  The ones that catch my mind the most are the buffs to Fire Mage DPS and some tanking tweaks for Death Knights (30 second CD on Outbreak…hell yeah!)  But those are relatively “small picture”. 

The “big picture” change for me is the introduction of the Looking For Raid tool (henceforth, LFR).  For those of you not-in-the-know, how the hell did you find this blog?  Er, I mean, the LFR tool is basically a clone of the Looking For Dungeon (LFD) tool that was introduced in Wrath.  The notable features about this tool are:  It’s for 25-person raiding only, it only works for the 4.3 raid (at this point), and it essentially introduces a toned down version of the regular raid (aka: easy mode).  There are some other little features I won’t divulge into because it’s not critical to me.  While I don’t like the fact it’s 25-man only, it allows small guilds like mine to group up with others to see some content.  Also, while I know some people may scoff at the idea for an easy mode, this is only good news from my perspective.  I’m in a very casual guild and we don’t put any demands on our members outside of “don’t be an asshole”.  So, we can hopefully still be successful in raids, even if we also happen to be “under-geared’ or fairly rusty with our skills.

In other news, this weekend is Blizzcon.  While we’re not going, we did manage to order the live stream.  With that said, I’m kind of flustered that the posted schedule is a bit vague.  I’m not sure what I should or shouldn’t be watching!  Like, I wouldn’t mind missing some lore stuff, but I would hate to miss any announcements about Diablo 3 or the next WoW expansion.  But I’m looking forward to be vicariously part of the experience.

Also, Hallows End starts today.  I hope to pick up some fancy rings and a new Headless Horseman’s helm for my DK.  I have the old one…but my DPS helm kinda sucks, so an upgrade would be fantastic.  And my mage could use the HH mount.

Anyway, I’m done rambling right now.  I’m not going back to read or edit this post, mostly because I’m lazy and just felt the need to ramble for a good half hour over my lunch break.  I hope to collect and organize my thoughts on Cataclysm, one year after release.  My own little spin on things from casual land.  But for now, it’s back to work.

Lok’tar ogar, friends.

Today, The Wayward Initiative brings you our VERY FIRST GUEST POST!

Hooray!

It is my absolute pleasure to feature this post from Reverend Unk, both friend and guildie.

He offers us a frank reminder of how tough it can be to new to the game and that we should take the time to help out some of our newer friends.

Thanks for the contribution, Fal!

Please keep reading, after the cut:

Continue Reading »

Already put up a WoW post, so now it’s time for a cooking post!  (Yes, I actually cook.)

As the title of the post suggests, the meal of the day is Beef Bourguignon.  Recipe, pics, and such are all after the cut.

Continue Reading »

Stick It Out

We’ve all been there at some point.

Whether it be in a PuG or with friends, your group ends up wiping on a boss or, heck, even a bad trash pull.  Then one impatient (and/or intolerant) bozo decides to drop group.  Then someone else drops and before you know it you’re back in the queue all by yourself.  It’s unfortunate, because most of the time, just working through the mistakes made can end up paying off in the end.

The biggest pay-off is learning.  Learning the strategies and the fight mechanics will mean that it will be easier the next time you face the encounter.  Whether it be five minutes later after you wipe or tomorrow when you hop in the dungeon again.  Or you may just be learning how to adjust to the rest of the group should you be in a PuG or grouped with Alts.  On top of that, you can learn when it’s best to use your cool-downs and push the limits of your character (DPS, heals, or tanking tools).  Maybe it takes up to three, five, or ten times to get it, but as long as you’re learning and adapting, it’s worth it; you’re becoming a better player.

The secondary pay-offs are the rewards and the sense of accomplishment.  The rewards being JP’s/VP’s and, of course, phat lewtz!  The sense of accomplishment will vary depending on the situation.  Varying from “Thank goodness, this dungeon is over,” to something as wonderful, “Hot damn, it was great to finish this with my friends!  VICTORY IS OURS!”

So, when you’re getting frustrated with a certain fight or run, just remember that if you stick it out to the end, it may end up being worth every minute of the struggle.  Just hang in there and do your best!

Take care and have fun, folks.

- Darth

Now, here’s some music for fun:

PS – A special thanks to The Zug Initiative.  We had a couple of tough Zul’roic runs this weekend, but thanks for sticking it out and getting those bastards sorted out!

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