World of Warcraft Pet Battles Attacking/Defending chart

When World of Warcraft announced they’d be adding the equivalent of Pokemon, POKEMON, to the Mists of Pandaria expansion pack, I vowed, VOWED, that I wouldn’t have any part of that silly nonsense. And neither would I be following the crowds down the path of creating either monks or pandas. No, no, no! NEVER!!!

So, anyway, my panda monk Jaybbles (right) has been happily leveling her cute menagerie over the past three week. I first started off with pets inspired by my real life animals – a black cat, a chicken and a pig (Mr Wiggles) to represent Lily, the tubby, grunting dog – but quickly discovered that my beloved pets would get their arses kicked in Azeroth. Now Jaybbles has got a more exotic/deadly team with which to stomp various beasties as she sees fit. However, silly Jaybbles sometimes sends the wrong pets into the wrong battles and the fight ends with loud boohooing. What Jaybbles needs is a clear chart to show her which pet is good – and bad – against what.

There are, of course, other charts out there on the web but I found them confusing so made up my own. (click the pic for the bigger, clearer version)

(I’m not 100% happy with the column headings but they’ll do for now.)

My initial plan was that this chart would be the basis for an embroidery pattern but it’s ended up being a lot more complicated than I thought it would be, so that will have to wait for now — there are critters, horny toads and goddamn foals to beat up first!

Biography/map project – all the places I’ve spent the night

A few weeks ago, in those crazy moments between turning off the light and actually falling asleep, I had an idea to make this map as a way of preserving memories: a map of everywhere I’ve spent the night in the UK.

View Places I’ve spent the night in a larger map

I’ll call it an ongoing project because a) I’m not dead yet and will (hopefully) spend the night in other places in my life, and b) I might remember some things I’ve forgotten thus far, but I think it’s pretty complete. (The one major exception at the moment is the location in Wales where I spent my first birthday – got to find our roughly where that was. I suspect there also might be a few more around Merseyside – mum & dad’s friends/family – from when I was very small.)

The pinpoints with a dot in them are precise, the ones without a dot are not as precise either because it’s really hard to pinpoint exactly where it was (such as camping at a festival) or for privacy reasons (nearly all private houses are dropped at the nearest cross-roads). The only one that is inaccurate because I can’t remember exactly where it was is the one in dropped in Hexham – we got a lift from Hexham station to a nearby village, and I don’t think I ever knew what that was called.

The colour of the pins represent how many nights I spent in the location in a nice spectrum- light turquoise-y blue is 1-2 nights, mid-blue is 2-4 nights, deep blue is 5-10 nights, pinky-purple is more than 10 nights and red, a home of less than a year. Long term homes (a year plus) break the nice getting-redder colour sequence and are in green.

From the map, it appears I have never spent a night in Lancashire proper, including Greater Manchester (unusual given the clusters on either side of it), or in Wales apart from when I was very small.

On the off-chance I’ve spent a night at your house, or spent a night with you somewhere I’ve forgotten, do please let me know so I can add it to the map. Either leave a comment or email me.

I very much like the idea of making a hard copy version of this from a big map and a whole lot of coloured pushpins. One day…

My life so far in video games – in a venn diagram

After doing the last ones, I just had to do it for this too.

And it was almost as fun as playing the games ;)


(Click to enlarge, naturally.)

My life so far, in video games

Age 5-10:
Platform: ZX Spectrum, ZX Spectrum +2, ZX Spectrum +3
Games of note: Horace Goes Skiing, a Scooby Doo game, some adventure game where I couldn’t get passed the fourth screen no matter how hard I tried, Mailstrom, Paperboy

Age 9-11:
Platform: Commodore 64
Games of note: Snare, Football Manager, Split Personalities, Skool Daze, a Bubble Bobble game, Daly Thompson’s Decathlon,

Age 12-14:
Platform: NES
Game of note: Super Mario Bros 3 (far eclipsing all others to the point that they’re not worth mentioning)

Age 15-19:
Platform: a 286 PC
Games of note: Moria, Monkey Island 2, Indiana Jones & the Fate of Atlantis, Pinball Fantasies (many keys broken), Chemquiz (which is why I know the periodic table and all the elements now)

Age 18-19:
Platform: D’s brother’s PC in Bradford
Game of note: Transport Tycoon Deluxe (my first very antisocial addiction!)

Age 19-21:
Platform: our PC in Liverpool
Games of note: Civilisation 2/Civ 2 Test of Time, Tropico, Age of Empires & Age of Empires 2 (played over the LAN with Alex), The Sims, Shadow Warrior (not the actual game, just the level editor)

Age 21-23:
Platform: Yahoo Games while bored at work
Games of note: Literati (*cough*Scrabble*cough*), Chinese Checkers,

Age 22:
Platform: PSOne at Dan’s and at ours
Game of note: (ours) Tekken 2 & something Tony Hawk-y and (Dan’s) Bustamove 2 (many hours spent putting the world to rights)

Age 23:
Platform: laptop running Debian
Games of note: Five or more, (what is now) Swell Foop

Age 23-26:
Platform: XBox
Games of note: Psychonauts, Fable, something in the Tony Hawk series, Super Mario Bros 3 on an emulator, Soul Calibre 2

Age 25:
Platform: PC
Game of note: World of Warcraft, oh yes.

Age 27-onwards:
Platform: laptop running Ubuntu
Game of note: OpenTTD (Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe)

Age 28:
Platform: Nintendo DS
Game of note: Harvest Moon DS (gardening and keeping chickens before I could in real life)

Age 28-onwards:
Platform: Nintendo DS
Game of note: Scrabble DS, Zookeeper

Age 29-onwards:
Platform: On ubuntu under WINE
Games of note: Age of Empires/AoE 2, Theme Hospital, Tropico

Age 29-30:
Platform: XBox 360
Games of note: Fable 2, Hexic

Age 30:
Platform: PC
Game of note: World of Warcraft, oh yes again.

Five favourite games overall (in no particular order):

  • Super Mario Bros 3
  • World of Warcraft
  • OpenTTD
  • Tropico
  • Psychonauts

Housekeeping post

Shiny new blog design, ooooh. I’m taking the opportunity to move some stuff around too.

The biggest changes:

  • The front page of is now my blog. The About Me has moved to the About Louisa page.
  • I’ve moved all my Three Beautiful Things (3BT) posts to their own blog as they were rather overwhelming this one: Update your bookmarks/feedreaders, pretty people :)
  • The addition of columns on the right there -> means I can now have navigation on my blog, oooh!
  • More excitingly than that, I can also have an auto-updated list of all the stuff I’m doing and updating – this blog, my 3BT blog, my Twitter account, Recycle This & its Twitter feed and my brand new blog, The Really Good Life & its Twitter feed. More will be added as needed but already it’s a good way to keep up with everything I’m writing/updating regularly.
  • My photos are still stuck in the old theme and not clickable from the new theme. They can be found here for the time being – – and I’ll move them to a new gallery thing soon. Photos viewable now – click the tab at the top, then select the album/gallery.

10 goals for 2010 – progress update

Right, we’re a quarter of the way through the year – am I a quarter of the way through my goals? Nope.

1. To make a meal using only ingredients I’ve grown, raised, caught or killed myself.
This feels like it’s moving on a bit now as the sun is shiny and there are potatoes chitting, seeds in pots of soil and many more seeds to meet their soil this weekend. Plus, there is more wild food about now – I “caught” some wild garlic the other day and have plans for the nettle shoots springing up everywhere (and maybe even try the cleavers).

2. To travel to a place on my “top ten places to go before I die” list.
The only places I’ve travelled to this month have been Liverpool and Bingley. So, not got any further with this one.

3. Finish writing my second novel.
Thought about it this month than I did last month. Have yet to apply pen to paper. Sigh.

4. Learn how to make sausages – wet English style ones and cured ones too.
We unfortunately couldn’t make the wonderful course at Old Sleningford Farm last month but are trying to organise going on another one with them, maybe later this month. Still can’t wait – was gutted about having to miss the last one.

5. Spend at least a day fishing out on the North Sea.
There has been preliminary talk of a week in a cottage on the coast in May-ish – my fishing may coincide with this.

6. Finally finish learning how to drive.
Nothing happened with this. Buses from Bingley still frustrating but I’m now passing the time crocheting & listening to TTC lectures — much more productive than if I drove.

7. Make a full outfit’s worth of clothing for myself – including spinning any wool used.
I’ve pretty much stopped playing WoW again for now so I’m crafting more. Working on a (dog) blanket at the moment but I’m determined to start something clothes-y soon.

8. Learn how to program and make a mini-game/application using Ruby.
My progress has slowed with this but I’m still doing bits. My book suddenly got less usable though so I’m looking for other resources.

9. Climb a mountain or at least a jolly big hill.
Last month, I alluded to something happening that would make this goal a lot easier to accomplish – the arrival of Lily. We’ve walked so much this month! Actually, it’s lessened a bit over the last week or so – the initial excitement of her new environs has worn off and she’s happy to run about everywhere off-lead while we dawdle a shorter route behind. Still, way more exercise than we used to do.

10. Participate more in the real world – plan/run a real life green event or scheme.
Getting out and about more with the dog has made me a) talk to more local people (albeit just doggie small talk so far) and b) see more of the area. The brain cogs keep turning.