Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

It's an Honor Just to Be Nominated

I finally got picked! Chestnut from Gamer Girl Confessions and Stubborn from Sheep the Diamond both linked to me for the Liebster meme/chain letter. I am not as curmudgeonly as Jeromai about stuff like this because I like finding out about my fellow bloggers. I rearranged the questions to flow from blog- or game-related to more deeply philosophical, but kept them separated by who asked.

Let's start with
Eleven Random Facts:
  • I am a U.S. Army Veteran.
  • I have sported a beard for most of my adult life since graduating college, with the biggest gap being during my tour of duty.
  • I am the youngest of three boys in my family.
  • I was not a "dog person" until about 4 years ago.
  • I am very conscious of grammar errors when reading, but have realized it's not worth pointing them out unless I've been asked.
  • I use a standing desk at work.
  • I wish I had time and space for a woodworking shop.
  • I am wicked good at trivia games.
  • I have very eclectic music tastes, ranging from classical through classic rock to modern pop.
  • My left big toe is bigger than my right one.
  • I can't think of another random fact worth sharing.
Chestnut's Questions:
Tabletop, PC, or Console?
PC, though I'd love to get involved in a tabletop game some time.

What is your favorite game?
I can't say I have a favorite game right now, partly because I seem to be bouncing around a lot.

Do you have a favorite zone from a game? What is it? Which game?
Thinking about it, I would have to say the Eversong Woods in World of Warcraft, because of the idyllic autumn atmosphere (see below). A close second would be the Grizzly Hills (again from WoW), because it is so evocative of the Sierra Nevada, which I visited often in my youth.

Do you see yourself still enjoying gaming when you hit 100 years old?
All things being equal, yes. We'll see how my senses and reflexes turn out to be at that age.

What prompted you to first start your blog/site?
I wanted a specific place to post my thoughts and stories about World of Warcraft, and eventually other games I play. As I said in my very first post, "I don't promise to stay on topic. I have no overarching plan for this project. Much like playing with my Legos as a child, I will just put stuff together and see how it looks."

How did you choose your blogging name?
I just sort of fell into Rowanblaze, which was actually my WoW main. When I started raiding regularly during Wrath of the Lich King, they called me Rowan on voice chat, and it stuck. The rather uninspired name of my original WoW blog was "Rowanblaze Saves Azeroth." Ironically, my handle in STO is another WoW character, "Sunsage," because I had not fully settled into my Rowanblaze blogging persona.

Which blogger/podcaster would you like to meet in real life and why?
I have actually met a couple fellow bloggers because my job involves semi-regular business trips. Of those bloggers that I have not met, I most want to hang out with Belghast and Scarybooster. I would also love to have a big meet-up with Xander and the rest of the folks on Holosuite Media.

Name three bands or singers that would be in your dream concert lineup.
Right now, Pentatonix would top the list. Meghan Trainor would be fun, too, I think. Hmm, a third one is actually really hard. Taylor Swift, I guess? My kids are right; I am a 16-year-old girl. Really though, between the huge crowds and the less than ideal acoustics, I don't like big concerts.

What is your favorite season? Why?
Autumn, I love the display of colors and the cool, crisp air—such a relief after the heat of the summer. And because we celebrate my two favorite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving, in the fall.

What is your dream career?
I'm almost—but not quite!—to the point in my life where we should be discussing my dream retirement. :P If it paid enough, I would teach high school. I just don't think teachers get enough credit or compensation.

If you could change one thing in your life, would you? What and why?
Scooter and I have a plaque on our wall that says, "If I had my life to live over... I would find you sooner, so I could love you longer." Most of my go-back-and-change-things fantasies involve her.

Stubborn's Questions:
What game has influenced you the most over your gaming years? How so?
I would have to say World of Warcraft. It's the game I played the longest, and only since then have I considered myself any sort of gamer. As I cut my MMO teeth on it, I have compared every game I have played since to WoW, favorably or unfavorably. I haven't really played heavily since Cataclysm launched, so Wrath is my frame of reference. There are plenty of games I like better at this point, but my yardstick will always be WoW.

Which blogger(s) did you find most influential when you started. Have you contacted them recently? Why or why not?
I would have to say MMO Gamer Chick was my biggest initial influence, simply because she encouraged me, and I borrowed a lot of ideas for posts from her. She is still one of my closest blogging friends. I also want to mention Scarybooster, since I thought he was huge stuff back then, organizing the Developer Appreciation Week and all. I love his easy sense of humor; it's a style I can't possibly emulate. We're in regular contact through Twitter and G+.

Do you have pets? What are they? How did you choose them? Or if not, why not?
We currently have six dogs, two of which belonged to Scooter when we met. Two are a brother and sister we took in from a coworker that was moving to a location where he couldn't have a lot of animals. The last two are a stray Scooter rescued from the street and her pup. I can't imagine parting with any of them.

What movie / TV series / book / or music (or all of the above) do you wish more people had been exposed to?
Joss Whedon's Firefly in its initial run, if for nothing else because we would have more of it if more people had watched from the beginning. The exigencies of TV production make hidden treasures more likely, I think. Movies, books, and music tend to get the exposure they deserve, in my opinion.

Do you vote? Why or why not?
I do vote, even though I have little faith in the power of the individual voter in the U.S. system of government. I feel we have to exert what influence we can or we will lose it completely. After all, "What is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?"

Did you like school? Why or why not?
Which year are we talking about? I struggled through my early schooling due to undiagnosed learning disabilities. I liked most of high school and college, though. I am "good at school." Life is harder.

On the same note, did you have a teacher who meant a lot to you? If so, have you contacted them recently? Why or why not? And if not, why do you think you didn’t?
The teacher that influenced me most (that I can remember) is my high school choir director. Choir dominated my high school social life, and helped give me the confidence I had needed to excel academically. Lest you think this was some tiny club like on Glee, during my senior year (about 25 years ago) the choral music department constituted about 10% of the whole student body and was the largest individual organization on campus. A great deal of that can be attributed to the way my choir director ran the program. He is one of my friends on Facebook, so we correspond occasionally.

What’s the most important lesson kids should learn when growing up? Why?
There will always be someone better than you at a given activity, and someone not as good. I think it's important for kids to find their strengths and play to them. I also think our education system is woefully inadequate to help kids do this. (Not individual teachers, mind you; most do their best within the constraints of the system.)

If you feel comfortable talking about it, what’s your biggest vice?
My biggest vice—that I feel comfortable discussing—is my tendency to procrastinate even mildly unpleasant activities. Heck, I'm procrastinating something right now.

To balance that out, what’s your biggest virtue?
I had to ask Scooter for this one. She says "kindness" and "sense of justice." I think these are somewhat related, honestly. For example, I used to not like pets and, for a long time, had only a rabbit left behind by my ex-wife. People thought I loved animals simply because I have always treated them kindly. But not liking to be around animals and abusing them are two very different things. And I get very angry when I see people (or creatures) being treated unfairly or abused.

Describe in detail something that makes you very happy.
Holding my granddaughter always makes me happy. I'm not sure how much detail I need to go into with that.

And now I challenge nominate the following brave souls:
My questions for you:
  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What is the origin of your blogging name?
  3. What was your very first MMO character and why did you choose that race/class?
  4. Did you stick with that character as your main as long as you were playing that game? Why or why not?
  5. What is your favorite zone in any MMO?
  6. What gaming innovation are you looking forward to or hoping for most in the next twenty years?
  7. What is your favorite pastime besides video gaming or blogging?
  8. What house would you be sorted into: Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, or Slytherin?
  9. What is your favorite holiday?
  10. What is your favorite vacation spot (or dream vacation)?
  11. What brings you joy?
Thanks for reading, and thank you ahead of time to my nominees.
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  1. Well, challenge accepted. I love getting to read and learn more about my fellow bloggers. So thank you for not being a curmudgeon and sharing and for electing me to do the same, though the answer for #8 may be controversial in nature. :-p

    Also, if you are ever in Nashville, I'd be happy to buy you lunch and/or show you the sights!

    1. There are a few Liebster posts floating around.

      I'll have to remember the Nashville thing, I think you've mentioned it before, but I haven't been through there in a few years—and it was in a blizzard, iirc.

  2. Thanks for nominating me! You didn't make it easy: I've been thinking for over a week about how to answer certain questions. Then again, I'm a perfectionist and I tend to feel awkward talking about personal stuff.

    I did really enjoy reading these Liebster posts popping up everywhere, including yours above, so I did my best to live up to them. Here you go. :)

    1. Thank you very much. You did great. :) I like reading a little more about my fellow bloggers.