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Evernote and Moleskine Perfect for Blogging

One thing I would definitely recommend to someone who is starting a blog is to always have some way of taking down notes. Personally, I have 2 ways of taking notes virtually all the time, and I find myself writing down post ideas in some of the weirdest places at all hours of the day.

Moleskine

The first method of note taking is pretty traditional – I have a pocket size Moleskine that sits in my back pocket most of the day and I am always ready to write in it with my Fisher Astronaut Space Pen. I jot down ideas for posts or web links or just notes from articles I read online.

Evernote

The other way I take notes is with a wonderful application called Evernote. This is a great app that I use on my Mac Book Pro, my PC, my iPad, and my iPhone. Because it runs on all my devices, I can take notes with it at anytime or place. I'll use the virtual keyboard a lot of the time, but when driving, I can dictate notes and Siri will write them out for me or I can make an audible note. Along with post ideas, many of the blogs I follow have tags, I created in the app, that I apply to posts I have saved from their sites. So when I read a post I like, I save a copy to Evernote and often go reread it to get further post ideas.

I think between the 2 methods, I have all my note taking needs covered and would recommend that if you start a blog, you give both of them a try. As things stand now, I have dozens of post ideas in both systems that I go through whenever I can't think of what to write about – and this post idea was pulled from Evernote.

#NBI2015 #NewbieBloggerInitiative #Blogging

 

 
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NBI2015 Talkback Challenge week 1

In the first Talkback challenge of #NBI2015, Izlain posits the question: How did GamerGate effect you?

I guess I'd have to say that it scared me off. This was a topic that I wanted to understand, but did not have the time to fully comprehend what was going on. I heard snippets here and there about what was being discussed, but I never dug in. And one thing I try to avoid, is stepping into something I know little about and making uninformed comments. So I backed off and just played games.

I don't play games to make a statement or to be political, I play games as a diversion and an entertainment, so when things started getting all wonky, I buried myself in the games. I played a lot of League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm and some single player games – I didn't even really want to go into MMOs because I knew the people I interact with there were talking about the controversy. And I cut back on posts here. I wanted to let the discussion continue without me, and it sure did.

I still don't know what all the hubbub was about and I suppose to some degree the issue is still out there, but I am not really interested in getting involved with it. I am actually glad it has fallen down on the internet priority list – I guess the Black Widow/Joss Whedon thing is trending now, but whatever GamerGate is, I'm not really motivated to discuss it.

So I guess the effect GamerGate had on me was that I opted out of participating in the discussion.

 

 
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Star Wars, Star Trek & the Newbie Blogger Initiative

May the Fourth be with you

Well actually, the May 4th thing has been going on for Star Wars Day for decades – since 1979 – and it looks like it will be going for a long time with the new set of movies coming out.

Yeoman Rand R.I.P

Over the weekend the actress that portrayed Yeoman Janice Rand – Grace Lee Whitney – passed away. Another of the icons of a show I love is gone and I am saddened.

From Charlie X to The Enemy Within, she may have been a lesser officer, but she was there when the crew needed her. Without her, the evil half of Captain Kirk may have tricked everyone and destroyed the kind half.

Newbie Blogger Initiative 2015

I started loading the new blogs from the Newbie Blogger Initiative into my blogroll and I figured I would highlight them in a post as well. So far there's a pretty good crop of new blogs and some that have been posting for a while but are new to the NBI.

Return of the Retro

Soultamer

Chaotic Pixels

Gamer Girl Confessions

Gaming Adventures

I look forward to reading what these new bloggers have to say and am glad they have joined the community.

#StarWars #StarTrek #NBI2015

 

 
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A SWTOR update is out and some Videos

So I just saw that Star Wars the Old Republic is coming out with another expansion – Rise of the Emperor.

I haven't played that game in a while, but I've always been meaning to get back into it. My main was a Sith Inquisitor-Sorcerer and as a lightsaber wielding magic user, she was pretty fun but I never got hooked by the storyline after a certain point. With all the hype about the upcoming movies and my attendance at the Star Wars Celebration, I think this summer maybe a time when I get back into the game.

Speaking of the upcoming movie, I'm sure everyone has seen the latest trailer that was released during the Star Wars celebration. If not here it is…

One of the great things I think about Star Wars and video games in general are the universality of their appeal. Here is a wonderful video of a priest that I am familiar with – Father Roderick – who is watching the trailer for the first time. It is pretty incredible.

#StarWars #SWTOR

 

 
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Newbie Blogger Initiative 2015

Published on May 1, 2015 by in NBI

Even though the countdown clock on the website says there are over 2 days until the kickoff, the Newbie Blogger Initiative for 2015 actually started today.

Newbie Blogger Initiative

This is the fourth year of the event and I am eager to participate once again. I actually started this blog the first year of the initiative so I suppose this is going to be my third anniversary. While I may not always be consistent, I really enjoy commenting here and as I mentioned the other day, I think blogging is as good for me as exercise.

As usual, the idea of the initiative is to encourage new bloggers to join the community and have fun with the rest of us.

According to the website for the event,

The most important steps to follow to get involved are as follows:

Follow @newbieblogger2 on Twitter. If you don’t have Twitter, get it. Everyone uses it, and it will keep you the best informed.

Bookmark and/or add www.newbiebloggerinitiative.com to your reader. It will have major announcements posted on the front page.

Sign up for a forum account, and add your blog to the list of sponsors or newbies depending on your status. Don’t know which would be more appropriate for you? Feel free to ask.

Come join us, game with us, and start up a new blog.

 
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What I did during my sabbatical

Gaming

League of Legends

On the gaming front I played a lot of League of Legends – I made it to the promo series to get into the silver tier, but then I went on a losing streak and ended up down in bronze three. I'm currently fighting my way back.

Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans has seen me become a little more active now that I reached townhall level seven. Using dragons during clan wars really makes things a lot easier and I am making three star attacks now.

Wurm Online

In Wurm Online, my neighbor decided to quit the game – it looks like. He left a bunch of livestock and provisions and everything that he had built was degrading including the guard tower that helped protect the area. I gave it a few days and then started pillaging. I got a horse out of the deal and a couple cows. I've ridden the horse around a little bit to get a better sense of where I'm at in the world but there seems to be quite a bit of open and uncivilized space in the areas around me – Xanadu is a pretty large map after all.

Eve Online

Lots of stuff has gone on in Eve Online. The CFC is no more they transformed into a new alliance/coalition called the Imperium. The Brave Newbies, who my corporation is a part of, have relocated into Fountain and I am excited to get back to somewhere familiar. I jumped my clone from Catch where I had been with the Newbies and headed over to Aridia in order to be prepared to move into Fountain. Hopefully this'll be as fun an excursion into the area as it was here last time.

Conventions

WonderCon

During the break I also went to a couple of very fun conventions. The first was WonderCon which is the smaller sibling of San Diego Comic Con. WonderCon was up at the Anaheim convention center next to Disneyland and it was only a little trip up the freeway to get to. I got to go to a few panels – one on horror films and filmmaking and another on the current seasons of TV. Listening to the panel talk about Bates Motel and other shows that I am currently watching is always enjoyable and makes me look forward to the episode even more. The exhibit hall was much smaller than San Diego but it really gives you the flavor of going to a big comic convention – I had a great time.

Star Wars Celebration

A couple weeks later the Star Wars Celebration came to Anaheim. This was a blast! I got to see many cosplayers and even attended a steam punk Star Wars panel which was very interesting. I love the new trailer and I am definitely excited to see the film once it shows up in December.

#LoL #Eve #WurmOnline

 

 
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Exercise and Blogging

I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that blogging is similar to exercise for me.

Exercise
It is something that I enjoy doing and I think it is good for me similar to exercise. I find that when I am doing it consistently either exercising or blogging that I feel happier and I enjoy it. While exercise works on my physical and spiritual being, I believe blogging works and my social, emotional and intellectual side. I also find that when I am away from either for a bit of time that it is difficult to get started back up. Both take time that I could be doing other things – gaming, reading, sleeping, or any number of activities, and both are things I do primarily for myself rather than others. With that in mind, I feel it is time for me to come back and start up again after my brief sabbatical.

 
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Frustration with Dark Souls 2

I had hoped to add Dark Souls 2 to my gaming rotation this week.

But it was not to be…

Apparently there is some server connection issue that tends to be common, but with no solution I was able to find after about an hour of searching.

Some day I will get to play the game I bought (there is an incoming patch later this week I learned of), but for now, I will see about playing the previous game – Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition – and add it to my rotation.

#DarkSouls2 #DarkSouls

In any case, I spent too much time searching for a solution to the connectivity issues that I did not get a chance to play. Tomorrow is another day though, and there will be some Dark Souls in it.

 

 
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Ch…Ch…Ch…Changes…

Wow – so much craziness! I may be late learning of the news, but I finally am catching up…

A day after seeing multiple game commercials during the most extensively watched television program of the year, I learn of chaos in the gaming industry.

Sony sells SOE and it becomes Daybreak Game Company – DGC anyone?

AOL shuts down Massively and WoW Insider.

So while it is apparent mobile gaming is experiencing an upswing and making some dough, traditional PC games and gaming journalism is suffering.

I'm not really sure what this means for me, but I did visit Massively quite regularly, and I did buy a Landmark founders pack.

I think I'll feel the Massively closure the most as I'll have to find another source for information. While I didn't read every article in depth, I did enjoy the fact that they covered parts of the industry that I did not always get to. They introduced me to Wurm Online, and even though I did not always like what they had to say, they helped increase my appreciation of Eve Online. And when City of Heroes was shut down, they were there with the rest of the community. I am sad to see them go, but have faith that something positive will come from the vacuum that will be left.

As for the SOE deal, I became disenchanted with Sony over a decade ago when they stopped making their Clié Palm PDA, and since then, have expected the worst from them. I did dabble in EverQuest and PlanetSide, but I never made much of a commitment. While this is not the end for those games, it does bring up the question about how they will survive, and if they will last much longer if they are not making the kind of money an investment management firm requires to keep them afloat. I wish them luck.

 
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A Second Three Star Attack

I don't usually put much credence in advertising, particularly commercials with actors saying they use some product or another. So I was surprised when I saw an actor I tend to like in movies promoting a product I enjoy using.

Liam Neeson wants revenge in Clash of Clans

It was interesting to see the game I play daily advertising during the biggest and most watched game in the world. They must be making some dough to be able to pay for that spot and I wonder what kind of bump in players there will be from the ad.

For myself, I have continued regular play and I made my second 3 star attack. This time against a level 5 base.

I used similar tactics as I did against the th4 base I destroyed in the previous war, and the Giants did a great job against the th5 defenses. One thing I made sure of this time was that I brought a contingent of Goblins with me that would clean up after the Giants. I added them into the tactic when I saw a previous attack fail because they ran out of time.

Giants are great for taking out the defenses of the opposing village, but they are slow and single minded. Too many times have I sent them in to attack and they went right past the town hall – destroying the town hall guarantees at least a single star – to attack cannons and archer towers and then not have the speed to get back to destroy all the buildings. While the Giants focus on defenses, the Goblins focus on resource buildings – including the town hall – and they move quickly. By sending in Giants first, the Goblins don't get attacked and can destroy everything the Giants pass by.

I think I am starting to get a better understanding of this game and am building some better tactics. It's definitely still fun and obviously, still has contains things I need to learn.

#CoC #ClashOfClans

 

 
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