Supergirl on Television

“No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that’s in the right and keeps on a-comin’” Texas Ranger Bill McDonald (1852-1918).

Supergirl!

I set aside my evening. No World of Warcraft. No Monday Night Football. I was going to watch the series premiere of Supergirl on network television. And … I recorded it too.

I’m a fan of Superman. I’m a fan of Supergirl too; from the lost city of Kandor which was shrunken down by Brainiac.

I liked it a lot. Early in the episode, she saves a jet plane (May Day! May Day!) just like in the Christopher Reeve movie. It felt so very good.

The script was written by four teen-agers who had only seen Superman, The Movie. No, that can’t be true: it just felt that way.

My complaints are fundamental story-telling complaints. In the first episode, our heroine has to fight people from her own planet Krypton — completely negating the whole reason that we are watching, because she is super.

Why do they have to be alien threats? Don’t we have enough problems here on Earth? We need a hero!

Her alter ego is one of a confused young lady, unsure of herself. This would be awesome if we all knew it was a ruse. That is what made Clark Kent so fun, we knew he was really Superman and that Clark’s role was merely a role. We were in on the joke. That does NOT exist in this series, at least so far.

What makes Superman work is that along being super he is also about truth, justice and the American way. You feel that he would be fighting for right even if he wasn’t super. He is noble and kind.

Supergirl’s mom in a Kryptonian video projection (I told you they’d only watched the Christopher Reeve movie) has the following advice:

“Be wise, be strong and always be true to yourself.”

This is a great message for girls but I see nothing about justice or right and wrong. It’s all about you, honey. Superman’s strength is in his confidence: in himself and in a world that is fundamentally good.

I think they did a great job with the visuals. I think the actress playing Supergirl is great. The other actors are fine eye-candy. It’s good to see Ally McBeal back on screen.

I hope she never has a love interest. The Superman, Lois Lane and Clark Kent dynamic is fantastic and (I think) is the main reason this character has had appeal for 80 years (or more?). So far, Supergirl has told everyone her secret identity … so, the fun is gone.

I look forward to seeing future episodes. So far it feels like some Hollywood screenwriters who are not fans are directing the ship. It feels way too much like The Flash and The Avengers. Not nearly different or awesome enough.

Supergirl may need a huge support group. She may be insecure and unsure of her skills in the human world as a human and as a super hero.

We hopefully will see her grow.

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Terky Dancing — Toy Box Macro

Michigan J. Frog: [singing] Hello, my baby / hello, my honey / hello, my ragtime gal. / Send me a kiss by wire / baby, my hearts on fire / if you refuse me / honey, you’ll lose me / then you’ll be left alone / Oh baby, telephone and tell me I’m your own.
One Froggy Evening (1955)

It’s almost Halloween in this country. I took a long walk today, it was lovely outside. I saw a lot of homes decorated for the holiday. Of them all, my favorite was this small front yard.

Around a mound of loose dirt was a bunch of plastic Easter eggs, many of them broken. Jutting out of the mound was one long rabbit ear (I suspect a wire hanger stretched out, covered in old terry cloth). Yowza! A zombie Easter Bunny is coming to haunt your trick or treaters!

Today’s visitors to this site are from United States, Belgium, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom. I have more views than visitors which means someone is coming back for more!

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Okay, let’s get down to business.

With the arrival of patch 6.2, a designer gave us something we’d not had before; a murloc battle pet. He hid it in a cave, under water, in the Borean Tundra and didn’t tell anyone.
Months went by. Finally a player found the pet (it is an egg, believe it or not). The news quickly spread and we all ran to get this new battle pet, named Terky.

Sixty years ago, Chuck Jones the famous animator made a cartoon called The Singing Frog. In it, a placid frog suddenly leaps up with a top hat and cane, dances and sings My Rag Time Gal. Terrific stuff.

What if I were to tell you …

That YOU could be that dancing frog? … er murloc?

Using our toy from our Toy Box the Magic Pet Mirror, we can reflect the magic onto our Terky and become Terky. And then … we dance.

/summonpet Terky
/cast Magic Pet Mirror
/dance
/s It's Terky Time!

This is a two-part macro. Clicking the macro will summon Terky, start you dancing and make your announcement. Your mouse pointer will be primed with the toy spell to click on your pet for the transformation.

It is quick, silly and fun … my kind of toy box macro!



A Diary from Draenor

Man Number One: I see you have a cold.
Man Number Two: (sniff!) See it now?
— a joke from my Dad

A Diary From Draenor

I don’t like being sick. All day long my nose … well, whatever. I’m on the verge of being sicker, I think! Our raid tonight was totally fun but afterwards my stomach cramped up. I slept for two hours this afternoon. Sleep is great when you are not feeling well.

Patch 6.2.3 can not come too soon. It is a pet peeve of mine that Blizzard will announce new patches and have a list of details and then not share the date of delivery!

I think it will bring a good boost to our players. Valor Points is an old mechanic that we know pretty well. I wish I knew when it was going to arrive. A break from the game until the patch would be perfect for me … if it was two weeks from now. But we don’t know! It could easily be six weeks and that is too long.

Blizzcon is the uber-convention in Anaheim, California. I’ve been to many conventions in my lifetime and they were necessary and useful. I can’t imagine myself enjoying a gaming convention — I’m a fan of a game but the designers are not special to me. They walk out to applause and I just … shrug. There is plenty of work that I’ve enjoyed when I was not really a fan of the artist. They don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

The convention will be November 6 and 7. You can buy a virtual ticket (not me!). It is hard for me to get excited about the next expansion when I know it’s six months away. They will “reveal” the new mechanics and zones and artwork but it is too far away. I’m still in this expansion, right here, right now.

I know I read a bit negative and that really isn’t my intention. This is simply a Diary from Draenor, where I’m at in the game today. I will be following Blizzcon as it is (parsed?) put together by the reporters. Nonetheless, I’ll be excited when the expansion comes out, not on November 6th.

The storm that is passing across America right now, I tell you: it’s a lot of rain. But the days that follow have been beautiful. I stood on my little porch this morning and loved it. Then I went inside and youtubed a song from Oliver!

Who will buy this wonderful morning?
Such a sky you never did see!
Who will tie it up with a ribbon,
And put it in a box for me?

They’ll never be a day so sunny,
It could not happen twice.
Where is the man with all the money?
It’s cheap at half the price!

Toy Box Macros: How To

If you give a hacker a new toy, the first thing he’ll do is take it apart to figure out how it works.
Jamie Zawinski

Toy Box Macros: How To

Adding one of your toys to a common click is a lot of fun. Blizzard has been generous in giving us a nice range of sounds, animations, transformations and look-at-me’s.

My strategy is just my own. I prefer stacking most of my toys with mounts and my hearthstones. If you are at this page from searching Fun Toy Box Macros (the tag is to your left), then all my pages on Toy Box Macros will be listed and you can see some examples.

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NB: the following examples are not meant to be copied and pasted. These are simply examples and I’ve not formatted them like I do others in my blogs.

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I always start with the #showtooltip command. This will put your icon on the button.

For example:
#showtooltip Albino Drake
/use Bubble Wand
/cast Albino Drake

This puts the Albino Drake icon on your action bar. Every time you mount (and dismount) the Bubble Wand will show it’s fun.

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The /use and /cast command seem to be the same, mostly. One will use the /use command on “on use” trinkets. One typically casts spells with /cast.

All toys that I have seen can be macro’d using either /use or /cast.

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There are some odd commands. /summonpet will summon a battle pet.

#showtooltip Albino Drake
/summonpet Emerald Whelpling
/cast Albino Drake

This will call your pet when you mount. This can be wonky as it will unsummon when you dismount. However, you dismount without commanding to dismount all of the time; like when you click on a flight path. So, the summonpet command is not a straight up off/on.

Still you could make a macro that shoots a firework, calls your pet and you use /s to say “come forth, little partner.”

#showtooltip Emerald Whelpling
/cast Bubble Wand
/use Everlasting Alliance Firework
/summonpet Emerald Whelpling
/s Come forth, little partner!

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Stacking toys is a lot of fun. Bubble Wand, Fireworks, Transfigurations are ideal. If there is a cast time to your spell, then it is hard to stack as a toy.
Typically, I stack all of the instant cast toys first and then the one with cast time last (like a hearthstone). With the hearthstone, all of your exotic visuals are on display while you are casting your hearth and then … you disappear!

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Things change in the UI and on Blizzard’s end so it is best to test your macro’s. For a while, you could summon a random mount in a macro. And then you could not. THAT macro had to go away.

Research is limited. Some can be found on Wowhead. Finding the commands is helpful. This site (Coffee Cakes and Crits) has some research and a lot of examples.

The best tool, as always, is your imagination. Think on which toy you’d like to see in a situation and try it out!

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Happy Hunting and may all your hits … be crits.

A-Wondering

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”
― Socrates

A-Wondering

I wonder what the developers mean when they say that they want to add more “fantasy” to the classes. Bloggers and writers are certainly chiming in with their own fantasy. I think I’ll just wait and see what is on the plate when delivered.

I wonder if I will reach my goal of One Million Gold. With Cataclysm I thought I was building an empire. Now I think that I’ve built a factory.

I wonder how players fit everything that they want to do into a week of playing.

I wonder if, during the drought in California, they have been building dams, reservoirs and aqueducts so this doesn’t happen again. Water management sounds so basic and yet El Nino will hit us again hard this year: the whole planet!

I wonder what is real.

I wonder why I think odd thoughts like if billions of people believe in the Rosary for prayer, would I be crazy to think that my healing in a game might really be healing people?

I wonder if George Orwell was from the future. That guy nailed it. Among many ideas, his of “to keep the classes separated, instead of bringing prosperity to all — spend your resources on expendables that are meaningless and must be constantly replaced: like bullets, missiles, jets and the NSA.” (paraphrased, my apologies)

I wonder how game designers do their job.

I wonder, sometimes I wonder out loud.

Killing Time in WoW

Killing Time In WoW

I’ve written before how shocked I can be when we get a quest that says “go kill (whatever)”. It is pretty straight up with few euphemisms.

When I first began playing WoW, I was fairly sensitive to the violence. This is because of all the trumpeting from the News Media on how violence in gaming is effecting our youth. Would I feel more violent? According to the news, it surely would.

I think I could kill in real life.

Could you? For me, all the qualifiers kick in: to protect myself, to defend my family, to stop a mad man. Like the rabid dog in To Kill a Mockingbird.

I don’t know. I don’t own a gun and have no knowledge of “means to kill”, no idea about explosives or planning or poisons. Still, I can imagine myself as a soldier.

Once upon a time, the lines were very clear on who was the enemy. Cowboys vs Indians. We write now about the American Indian as victim but he surely wanted to kill you, dismember you and kill your wife and babies.

Music was supposed to make us violent too. Remember Tipper Gore? She had the backing of Congress and questioned rock and rollers like Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and Frank Zappa. It was a debacle.

There was a line of questioning on one of Dee Snider’s songs; it was written by him about his guitarist who had throat surgery and how scared he was. Tipper’s questions were based on what she saw in the lyrics. Dee explained the lyrics and concluded with, “Tipper, I’m sorry you have such a dirty mind.” It embarrassed the hell out of her and it should have!

We all think of killing. I enjoyed the movie 9 to 5, with Jane Fonda, Lilly Tomlin and Dolly Parton. In it, they have a very funny fantasy sequence in which they imagine killing their boss, Dabney Coleman. Dolly is a cowgirl in one. Lilly is a Disney Princess who poisons her boss. We laugh at it, I think, because we all have fantasies but know we’d never carry them out.

There is a lot about changing our gun laws in the US of A. It will be part of our coming elections. It seems that the biggest mystery in our culture is why are our teenage boys loading up with guns and killing people? This is very real. I think that besides the strident panic of the parents and news that we now know that it’s not the World of Warcraft and Frank Zappa songs. It even seems terribly naïve now though the witch hunts by the media then were real, irresponsible and hurtful.

I’m reading a brilliant article in The New Yorker about this subject. It goes into the psychology of rioting and applies it to these teenage shooters. It’s smart. One of the interesting points is that many of the shooters are looking back and admiring the Columbine Shooters. I look forward to finishing the article.

I would like to ask a question. It is a question to which I have not the answer. What is the role of the News Media in the violence in America and specifically as concerns the teenage shooters?

I remember Columbine. My impressions were like yours, shock and horror. But the shooters, they were cool. I remember them as cool. I could only do this because I was told that they were cool by the delivery of the message. I remember the long coats (called dusters). The awe and amazement of the reporters at the planning.

How can the News Media be accountable for itself? There is no one to call them on their actions.

I think that it began with Watergate. The writers talked about “taking down the President”. The reporters were glorified by … the media (duh). And this started Open Season on all politicians. Our politicians are spending more time today covering their butts than they are leading our nation.

Was the Watergate scandal appropriate news gathering and delivery? Does anyone ask this question? I worry about Investigative Reporting (how old is this term) because it feels like it is dirty with any glory going to the reporter. Something is wrong. Is Geraldo Rivera a reporter? When did reporting the news become grandstanding like 60 Minutes? Something is ugly. We have no forum to question agendas or motives of, with or by the News Media.

The majority of the teenage shooters model themselves after the Columbine Shooters. Could it be, just maybe, in how they were depicted by the News Media? That is my fundamental question.

People are talking about mental illness. People are talking about gun control. These are important things. But really, who made the Columbine Shooters cool?

Hallow’s End — 2015

It would be easy to get lost in infinity and immobilized when considering that we are standing on sand.
Dr. Michael Kroth

Hallow’s End — 2015

The holidays in real life and in the World of Warcraft are here. We just finished Brewfest and a new holiday starts today. Holidays are wonderful to break up the “every dayness” of life and play.

I am excited this year because there are new things to do! New pets, toys, achievements and a battle on a bone ship against a skeleton king! I’ve yet to see any of it, it starts later on today and runs for about ten days.

Data Mining is common in gaming now. It is possible to find and learn all of the additions to a game before it hits your computer screen. I am a fan on one level and simply loathe it on another.

To find my gaming balance, I do a quick scan to see the over all scope of the new material (a bone ship battle!) to get a sense of how much I’ll be playing. And then I leave all the details to be discovered and enjoyed. As time passes, I’ll delve into the research to make sure that I’m not missing anything.

Of course, there is still the old stuff of Hallow’s End. Especially the Headless Horseman encounter! After he has set fire to our villages, we can face him once a day for loot, fun and a chance at the rare mount.

It is one of my favorite dungeon encounters, the Headless Horseman reminds me of the Wild Hunt of our own lore; especially the iconic mount.

(Player) says: Horseman rise…
(Player) says: Your time is nigh…
(Player) says: You felt death once…
(Player) says: Now, know demise!
Headless Horseman: It is over, your search is done. Let fate choose now, the righteous one.

Classic dialogue, fun stuff.
Which brings me to:
Back in my day.

Back in the early days, if you wanted a chance at the Headless Horseman:

  • Stand in Stormwind and wait for someone to offer a LFG.
  • HH run, LFM, 2DPS, Healz
  • You’d ask (and hope) to be invited.
  • Once grouped, you’d fly to South Shore (then an alliance city).
  • Mount up and ride across the ground to the Scarlet Monastery — through Horde Territory!
  • The Summon Stone was a riot of PVP. Players would stack on the stone to get you flagged.
  • Finally, in the instance, you’d fight your way through the grave yard.
  • Face the Headless Horseman and hope you’d win.
  • After all of that, your hearthstone is off it’s ONE HOUR cool-down and you could hearth out.

Still fun today, I’m glad it is easier to simply get there than it was … back in my day.