Monthly Archives: September 2011

To Die a Slow Death; The Catastrophe of Cataclysm. Part 4

Thanks for coming back for the forth and final part of my history with World of Warcraft. Sorry it took so long.

Brilance and Brallinoth soon followed the success of my Warlock hitting level 80. My Hunter, Drushi, was still stuck in the Outlands. Except for the Death Knight, these were the characters I made in my first month.

The grind continued, when I didn’t get bored with my Hunter I worked on getting him to 80. Every once in a while I would get tired of WoW and experimented with other MMORPG’s like Eve Online, Star Trek (which I couldn’t wait to play and sadly wasn’t pleased with), Lord of the Rings (another disappointment) and Rift. None of them compared to WoW, and I always came back.

One of the greatest things about World of Warcraft was the lore. In WoTLK the questing and dungeons were immersed in it. The normal quests of gathering supplies and odds and ends with a lousy drop rate were still there, but they were always the same quests, always the same dungeons. Even with the guild I joined things were going a little slow and it was beginning to deteriorate.

With all my travels to different realms, and my habit of starting new toons when I got bored, it wasn’t hard to notice that things changed. The beginning areas, where everyone went from level 1 to level 10, were easier. Someone took a nerf stick and started tapping at the Tree of WoW. It felt like they were making the whole game simpler for people that never played MMORPG’s, like me when I first started. As bad as I was at playing this game I really didn’t think it needed “fixing.” The idea of upgrades is to make the game better not easier, in my opinion anyway.

Just as I was getting fed up with the game, they decided to announce Cataclysm. In this expansion everything changed. The story goes that a giant dragon escaped imprisonment and scorched Azeroth, changing it forever. It also introduced two races you could now play, Goblins, for decades they worked with the Horde as indentured slaves. When they get the chance to make their own name in the world they take it. The other race was the Worgen, a werewolf type race that came out from the scourge attack on Gilneas. I wasn’t as excited about this as I was WoTLK. However – when I heard they were taking applications for Beta testers I jumped at the chance.

Two months before its release I was playing it. In less than a month I got a toon Worgen from level 1 to 60. Next was moving Artlu over to the beta server and I took him from 80 to 85. I enjoyed being a beta tester – where you give your thoughts on the quests and notify Blizzard of any bugs, and there were a lot of bugs. I was beginning to think that Blizzard was getting it right this time. The greatest new thing they added was the ability to fly on your own mount in Kalamador and the Eastern Kingdoms, where you leveled from 1 to 60. It came with a hefty price. The starting out quests in Gilneas were fun, a little easy to figure out. I was surprised at all the people in chat asking where everything was. I also started out a Gnome and worked my way out of the startup area. I played the beta for about a month before it was shut down to get ready for the release. As much as I disliked the first 80 to 81 leveling area I worked through it quickly, and the next and the one after that…and so on. There are a lot more breadcrumb quests now, taking you from one place to another, along with the usual delivery ones – now to a NPC standing ten feet away.

A few things that I loved about Cataclysm: the art work and the new profession of Archeology. Here was a gathering profession that no one could swoop in and grab from

One of the best new areas of the game.

you at the last minute. Speaking of the gathering professions, now you earned experience points from the herbs and ores you gathered. These are radical changes – since those are points you use in leveling you could go all the way to 85 just gathering things, but it wouldn’t be much good at getting reputation points and take way too long. There was that nerf stick again – it seemed to be doing more harm than good.

Soon after Cataclysm came out – I moved everyone I could to a different realm to meet a more mature guild – I got tired of the idiocies of the young.

I don’t know why, but after the grinding of dungeons and everything else looking for better gear, I have finally given up on this game. I will stay away until they put down the nerf stick – it isn’t making the game better. It feels like they took a huge nerf stick and beat the tree of WoW to a bunch of splinters.

I can still play till the middle of October, I don’t think I will. I did jump on to clean up a little; I’m down to two realms and eleven toons, including my originals. If I ever decide to go back, they will be there and I shall dust them off and try to remember how to play them.

But until then, rest in peace WoW, I’ll find something else to entertain me when I need a break from the real world.


To Die a Slow Death, part 3, lets do this again.

In Wrath of the Lich King (WoTLK) they introduced the Death Knight, a hero class toon that started at level 55 as a pawn to the evil Lich King. You leveled in a specific area and eventually learned the truth about your beloved King. You could play this as Horde or Alliance, I did both. You also got introduced to a new area on the map where everyone struggled played to hit 80, Northrend.

Changes are good sometimes. When I first started you walked everywhere, unless you could afford a ride from one of the few flight points, until you hit level 40. Not only did they change it to 20, they made the cost cheaper. This pissed me and a few other people off because even at 40 I had to grind for days to get the amount of gold I needed to learn how to ride. Other changes that happen during WoTLK included flying. At first you couldn’t have your own flying mount until you hit 70, and the speed wasn’t that fast, yet the price was high. Once hitting Northrend you couldn’t fly until you hit 73 or 74, I honestly can’t remember. You had to shell out 4000 gold for that also. I suppose this made people upset because it was changed again, I’m assuming because of the large amount of complaints Blizzard received. Flying level went down to 60 in the Outlands, where the Burning Crusade took place, and you could now fly in Northrend at 68, as long as you had a character that could already do it. I think the price went down too. This also let you travel faster, if you could get your hands on a good fast mount.

And if you ever got tired of the same old grind you could try some of the achievements they came up with. Artlu managed to get a white dragon after finding 50 mounts, but they were expensive. My step daughter did most of the work in getting them.  Now he is up to 61.

Other things began to change, a little for the best. Now you didn’t have to ask in chat to see if anyone cared to join you in a dungeon, all you did was hit a button in the interface and you were in a queue for the next available one. You could either select a specific dungeon or do a random one and have no idea where you were going, hence the term “random.” I had to explain that to a few people that were new to the game – newbies.

The problem with random dungeons is you never knew where you would end up or who you would end up with. In my case – I wasn’t that good, but I wasn’t as bad as this guy,

If that video doesn’t work try this

That video was from 2006. One of the achievements pinned the last name Jenkins to your character if you managed to do the same thing. Luckily for me I had a pretty decent guild that didn’t mind working with level 70 to 80 newbies. To get the good gear you had to do the dungeons or the dailies in Northrend that would raise your reputation with that specific fraction. That was something everyone wanted to do not only to get the good gear, but to get special gear that you could use on any of your toons and never have to upgrade again. There was one batch of daily quests set in the frozen mountain waste of the Stone Peaks that had so many sexual innuendoes in the titles I knew they were written by men.

I surprised myself by finding out I actually liked doing these quick little dungeons, I also figured out how to fight my opponent more effectively and which spells would do the most damage. Not to mention all the advice everyone gave me on armor and talents. I even got to the point where I could go through an entire dungeon and not die. With the two difficulty levels, regular and Heroic, you had to run the dialies and do PvP Battlegrounds to get the gear to do the Heroics. I discovered I enjoyed killing other players, and they enjoyed killing me.

I had some bad experiences doing randoms, but not because I died. Sometimes you would get a great group of people together and manage to run threw faster than ever. Other times you got the idiots that had thier own way, which was wrong. (That isn’t really fair because different people have different styles.)

Once, my Death Knight pulled the Boss that the tank was beating on. The tank does the most damage while every one else pummels him a little softer so the Boss would focus most of his attack on the tank. Well Brilance “accidentally” used a death grip spell (that button was right next to the button I wanted to push.) which picked up the Boss and put him infront of me. Opps. No one died but the tank yelled something insulting and called me a name I refuse to dirty my blog with. All I said back to him was, “I’m sorry, I just paid $300.00 for this toon and this is my first day.” I clicked on the exit dungeon button and he faded away, but not before he said, “Sadly, I actually believe that.”

Mistakes like that made me glad I not only played with random people, they were from random realms and chances were I would never see these people again.

Like the tank that materialized in a dungeon wearing nothing, except shorts. He was immediately kicked and I waited for five minutes before I left. Those and a few other incidents convinced me to only do randoms if I could get some guild members to join me.

My warlock, Artlu, was the first to hit 80 and I yelled “Game over!”

Part 4 hits tomorrow, stay tuned.

To Die a Slow Death, Part 2 of my lives and deaths in Azeroth

Please refer to part one of this series on my experiences playing World of Warcraft .

As my first choice I made a Dwarf rogue named Brallinoth. Since I started out after the release of The Burning Crusade I had the possibility to take him as high as level seventy. Each level gave me new and wonderful talents like stealth, pick pocket, ambush…I could go on. Every five levels – if I remembered – I also had to change my armor into something a little more kill resistant. There were professions I tried out – finally settling on one much later in the game. I also discovered quickly that there are many ways to die; one included leaving my character in the middle of the wilderness so I could use the restroom. I looked for the pause button, but never found it. After I died about twenty times, before level fifteen, I decided to experiment with more races and classes. I had a lot to choose from in the beginning, human, Orc, Tauren, Troll, Undead, Draenei (which came out in Burning Crusade), Night Elf, Blood Elf (which also came out in BG), Gnome and eventually the Worgen and Goblins. I stayed in my comfort zone for a while and just made Dwarfs, only reaching out and doing a Human once or twice. When I made a warlock – the game changed for me, I wasn’t dying as much but I still had trouble finding my way around. I ended up trying out every class and every race – yet I played my hunter, rogue and warlock more than anything. The warlock was the most fun for me. All the other ones I eventually deleted or made into bankers.


My first toon, Brallinoth the Rouge

Being a little bit of loner I preferred to play by myself. If I ever needed help killing one particular Boss I would ask my stepdaughter to assist me – until I got my sister sucked into the game. She enjoyed it almost more than me, but she always wanted to group up and run through dungeons. I did a few, died a lot. I didn’t like dying.  Every so often we would get together and start a character, usually a Dwarf, from the very beginning and see how fast we could level them. Something always came up and we had to stop, leaving our toons safely at the closest Inn.

Since I didn’t like doing dungeons, or PvP Battlegrounds, my gear normally sucked and I had to rely on the Auction house, what I jokingly referred to as WoW-Bay. The prices were outrageous, but they had a point – if you really wanted a high end pair of boots you would buy it. Of course being so new to the game I was never sure about what gear would work best for me, but at least I didn’t insist on making it color coordinated like some new players. And if you didn’t like it you couldn’t take it to the closest Wow-Mart for a refund. Since the best stuff was also the most expensive you had to make the gold to spend it, that’s where the professions helped the most because you could make stuff one of your toons could utilize or just gather things (farming) and sell them on WoW-Bay. I hated to farm, preferring to level with quests. However, there was that dying issue again. Even adding player inspired add ons didn’t help that situation and I had over one hundred and twenty. (Add ons, not deaths. I think.)

Finally, after making and deleting over a hundred toons (it seemed like it) I sat down and decided to really concentrate on one and only one character, a Human warlock named Artlu. After searching around the internet for information I finally got an idea of how to play him so he wouldn’t die as much. It took a lot to kill him; luckily I could bring him back to life quickly with a spell if I remembered to stock up on the soul shards that made the spell work. I played him nonstop from level forty until he hit the cap at seventy. Next, I went back and leveled my original rouge from twenty-five, still having trouble learning how to stay alive. I thought it would be easier because I had just done these quests on Artlu. I was wrong. Before I had a chance to finish him up at level Seventy – Blizzard decided to add an expansion pack called Wrath of the Lich King. Now you could cap at level eighty – and you had a chance to make what they called a Hero Class toon, the Death Knight. You could only start one on a realm that had a level sixty (I may be wrong on that since they have made so many changes since then.) I grimaced a little at this news, dreading the climb of ten levels when I still had over twenty characters below level thirty.

The level 85 Warlock.

On November 13th, 2008 – I got off early from work (don’t ask me how) and became one of the 2.8 million people that bought The Wrath of the Lich King within the first 24 hours of its release. After fighting the packaging, almost as hard as some of the quests, I eagerly pulled the disc out and loaded it into my computer – ready to play NOW – but having to wait almost an hour before I could. Once it was loaded and working right, and all my add ons were disabled (they tend not to work after patches   which happened a lot), I made a Death Knight. I didn’t start on him right away – I had to wait for my sister.

Yeah – I had it bad. Now I knew I was officially addicted to WoW.

Come back tomorrow for the third and final part of To Die a slow Death – my life as a WoW head.

The Beginning: Part one of four posts on the World of Warcraft

The following is my personal thoughts and knowledge of this thing called Warcraft. Most of the pictures and info I got about the beginning of the game I learned from Wikipedia and if I got anything wrong – oh well, we know what a wonderful source that is.

I think it was four years ago when I finally gave into the friends begging me to try World of Warcraft, including my stepdaughter. I played it carefully at first, only taking the ten day free trial, before digging in full force. I was drawn into it like a hypnotic dream; traveling to the world of Azeroth was all I thought of.

I found the game slightly difficult and if you never heard of it before here is a little information I gathered just from playing. Azeroth is a world created by the fantastic minds at Blizzard Entertainment . Lush with history that goes back thousands of years this place is inhabited by Humans, Drawfs, Orcs, Night Elves, Blood Elves, Goblins, Trolls, Gnomes and creatures you can only think of in your wildest nightmares, and in some of your most disgusting. There are two separate fractions fighting for control of this world, the Alliance and the Horde. Of course the good looking races belong to the Alliance and the ugly ones are on the other side….Okay, I’m sorry – that wasn’t politically correct. Humans, Dwarfs and Night Elves gathered to form the Alliance and the Orcs, Trolls and Blood Elves formed the Horde. They would constantly battle for a grasp on the two continents- each progressing a little at a time.

Playing field of Orcs and HumansBlizzard first introduced the world to the universe of Warcraft with Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in November of 1994 as a real-time strategy game (RTS) where you could play either single or multiplayer. The game play was simple yet hard, two players (or one and an AI) trying to build an army to conguer the world – one Orc, one Human.

The sequel, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, came out in 1995 for the desk top computers and won enough awards that they decided to do an expansion pack, Beyond the Dark Portal. It was still a RTS game, same as above and sold over 2 million copies.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos was released in 2002 – this version was still RTS and sold over 4.5 million games (one million in the first month). I Tides of Darknessthink they made versions for all the game consoles at this time too. It also won Game of the Year from six different sources. As an idea of how far we have come in shrinking things, and a lot of you are very aware of this, the recommended system requirements on a PC to play this game was a 400 MHz processor and 256 megabytes of Ram. My cell phone has 14.8 gigabytes, that’s a lot of bytes. There was also an expansion pack on this one too – The Frozen Throne. These also introduced the Undead and the Draenei as well as the Naga.

On November 23rd, 2004 – ten years after the release of the first game – Blizzard released World of Warcraft, a Massive Multi-player On-line Role Playing Game, MMORPG. This was not your run of the mill computer game – and I know it wasn’t the first – but it was the first I ever played. Here, you didn’t have just one little section of the world to explore, you had all of Azeroth – and you were not alone. You didn’t compete against just one player or an AI – you competed against other player controlled characters, toons, and non-player characters, NPC’s. Since then, three expansion packs have been added to the game, The Burning Crusade in 2007 (which is where I think I came in) that took you past level 60 and to a different world to get to level 70. The Wrath of the Lich King in 2008 took you up to level 80 and the latest is Cataclysm, which lets you climb all the way to level 85, and fly everywhere – for a price.

One of my level 85's.

I was drawn into this game like a spaceship circling a black hole. I would play it from the time I woke up, never admitting that I woke up three hours before I had to work just to play a game, and continued playing once I came home until I went to bed. I would play in my office until the wife got home and stop, at first. Then I would sit down in the living room with my laptop and play as we watched TV. I would cease and do a few things, like fix dinner, let out the dogs, use the rest room – but that was it. The questing is what I loved the most, having to go kill bad NPC’s for the good guys – I started on the side of the Alliance and spent most of my time there.  Tried the Horde every once in a while and found all the story lines as enticing and almost as original as the alliance story lines. I even went so far as to try pvp, player versus player, but it was very hard to level when every one you met was trying to kill you.

Please come back tomorrow for part two. I know I don’t like reading long posts either.

Adventures with Bilee

Since I have been working only half days three days a week I decided those afternoons I am off would be a great time to walk the dogs. My only issue is sometimes it is difficult to control three forty pound Whippets and two ten pound Italian Greyhounds at the same time. (I know – I should do them all in one day – but they get plenty of exercise if they are outside for thirty minutes to an hour.) There is only one problem with doing them one at a time; the other five like to protest. At least I don’t have to listen to it until I return.

Yesterday was Bilee’s turn.

Bilee almost in the lead!

He isn’t the heaviest, but he is a fast walker which means I am constantly pulling him back. Not to mention he is a little dense at times – lights on, no one is home.  He was very excited to take his walk and eventually calmed down so I could put his leash on him and we started out – to the discontent of the rest of the pack. I began with an iPod, my smartphone (measuring the distance), an empty poop bag and clean hands. Because he is very hyper he was bouncing around and I lost the bag. Of course I didn’t realize this until he decided to take a dump on the sidewalk. I continued on, no bag and a dog that kept wanting to run after every noise. As I hit the mile mark of the journey I saw a coupon bag in the middle of the street.

‘This would do well enough.’ I thought. Most dog owners would not worry about their dog dropping a load in the middle of someone’s sidewalk – but I do. My normal route would wrap me back the way I came so I would be able to pick it up.

A few minutes later, my phone rings, an unlisted number. It is the cardiologist that was working on my mom over the weekend and they were calling to make a follow up appointment. They claimed they didn’t have her phone number but I know they did. It is hard enough to read that screen so I told them I would call them back in about twenty minutes but I needed their number. I suddenly got the bright idea of sending a text to my mom, but first I had to get to the application. This is something I don’t normally do but I managed, throwing Bilee’s leash on the ground and stepping on it so he would not run away and I could use both hands while I held on to the empty bag. Finally I manage to send the text message to mom with the phone number, name and people that are calling me telling her to call them as I was talking to the lady that called me. (It is very difficult to see that screen in the daylight). Before I finished, Bilee saw something a lot more interesting them watching me play with my phone and he started to take off. He almost got away, but I grabbed the leash in time yet I dropped the bag. A cold gust of wind grabbed it before I could and the bag disappeared.

I continue on – getting more pissed at this dog every minute. He is the only one that cannot just walk and ignore everything else. He is also the only one that takes a dump during the walk.

I saw visions of me getting home, grabbing a bag and driving to the spot where Bilee left the present. Then I smiled, there in the middle of the sidewalk – another bag! This one is smaller and cheaper than the last one. I continue on…find the poop and manage to pick it up as Billie is trying to get away to catch a tree bunny, again. I’m not laughing as my fingers break through the bag and I now have Billie’s little present all over my hands. Then my mom texts me, “What’s the rush, I’ll get to it!” So now I have to call her, as I am juggling a bag of poop, a dog and earphones that just do not want to stay in my ear on this windy day. I try to explain the situation to her – but with the wind blowing harder she can’t hear me so I end up raising my voice and now I am yelling at her.

I think Bilee either got worn out or knew I was having a bad walk because for the next few minutes – until we got home – he walked slower, head and eyes straight ahead and ears flat against his head.

I don’t think I will be taking him for a walk next week.

Today – I’m taking a twelve pound Iggy (Italian Greyhound).

Inner Peace

Let’s see how quick I can do this before my human comes back. Hi, I’m @Razzziee and I am a whippet, no I am not starving and not a baby greyhound, so don’t ask. My human left his computer on this morning so I thought I would check some things out. Luck for me, I found his blog open.

I was sent this email the other day called “Inner Peace” that I would like to share with you:

If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when the ones you love are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment, 

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without alcohol,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs

You must be a dog…

…Oh, a bunny….

Oh boy, I’m away for two seconds and that damn dog is at it again, never should have given him that phone. But I’ll fix him. There are two sides to every story.

If you can start the day without caffeine, (Not on your life)!

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains, (I am fairly cheerful and have to ignore my aches and pains every day.)

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles, (If it deals with me it isn’t complaining or boring to others.)

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it, (I am fine with eating the same thing – especially if peanut butter and chocolate are involved.)

If you can understand when the ones you love are too busy to give you any time, (happens every damn day!)

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment, (I am perfect and there is no criticism – and the blame is with others.)

If you can conquer tension without medical help, (Why – drugs are so much easier.)

If you can relax without alcohol, (What is the fun in that – alcohol is a great relaxer.

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs, (I am so important and busy that I can’t turn off my brain unless I use drugs; it’s just the nature of the beast!)

You must be a dog human.

Life in the fast lane?

MOVIE: We had two movies on our list to watch this weekend, Friday was Little Fockers. To be honest, I was playing Civilization V and didn’t even watch the movie. The wife said it was cute. I always loved Robert Di Niro when he plays tough serious guys, and the humor he does in those roles makes me laugh, but I thought the first one was stupid and I knew this one would probably be worse. I find it hard to believe they made three of these movies. I never could get the humor of Ben Stiller and I simply hated Zoolander. I know sometimes a silly stupid comedy is what you need. I suppose this is something I never really got into. I have always gone by the theory that if a movie doesn’t make me laugh in the first ten minutes I won’t like it. Maybe I should change that to thirty. I bought Civilization two nights before just so I would be ready.

LIFE: Saturday morning, as I was trying to conquer the world instead of writing, my mom called and said she wasn’t feeling good so I took her to the ER, alone. To make a long story even shorter than it needs to be, she was admitted and is currently having a large amount of tests done to figure out why. The thing about Medicare is that since she doesn’t have to pay for it the hospital insists that they run every test they can, she doesn’t pay for it but they get their money either way. And they wonder why Medicare is having financial problems. She has improved since she has been in. This isn’t the first time she had heart issues that the hospitals never seem to find anything when she goes in. I was there from 10 AM until 5 PM, and I needed to be. When I got home – the wife couldn’t come because she was playing taxi service – we settled down and watched another flick:

MOVIE: Unstoppable (2010) is the tale of a runaway train speeding through Pennsylvania. (This is based on the true story of engine 8888 from the CXS stables which ran away in May of 2001. It traveled from Walbridge, Ohio to a town about 55 miles north of Columbus reaching speeds of up to 47 MPH.) This had enough nail biting suspense I had to stop playing my game and actually watch it. Chris Pine and Denzel Washington star as the two heroic engineers, actually Washington was the Engineer and Pine was the Conductor. (Is that type casting from Star Trek?) They ended up stopping the train and saving a city from almost total destruction. Type casting again? This is a great movie with enough action and suspense to keep your heart racing and your toes tingling. Writers did take advantage of a few plot twists I am sure, like making it go faster and carrying more than just two cars of dangerous chemicals, not to mention a steep curve they had to negotiate. I’ll have to dig a little deeper to find out more and wonder if my favorite line in the movie was real dialogue:

“How’s Will (Pine)?” Connie asked when he made it back into the cab.

“He’s ahh…He’s different. Over” Frank (Washington) replied perfectly straight.

Guess you will have to watch it. I did find this new clip from the real incident:

And this trailer:

TELEVISON: Sunday was a little different too. This time the wife was gone all day and I was stuck at home. You would think I would get more writing done wouldn’t you? I watched my Star Trek marathon; I’m just now finishing up the second season since the kids have an issue with Sci-fi, as I continued conquering the world on Civilization V. I think I have three more nations to kill before I manage it.

WRITING: As I might have mentioned in a previous post, I signed up for the NaNoWriMo, the grueling month of November when the only thing I will be doing is writing. I have three plot lines in mind:

1)      A sequel to Journey of Tara where Dirk and Tara search for someone behind the killing of thousands of people.

2)      A Sci-Fi story that involves time travel and dimensional shifts.

3)      A Fantasy that sends a Prince on a journey to find the murderer of a King that leads him into a land of dark black magic (maybe – I think this has been done before.)

One thing I have been trying to do is type at least 1667 words per day, that is what you need for 50,000 a month, and I got close Friday on a small piece I was working on, 1250 words. Need to do better.

As a side note, I would like to thank everyone that downloaded my books last week – it was a record breaking week for me and that always makes me feel good, as do positive reviews. (Hint) {If there are any negative reviews please send them to me so I can add comments as needed and I will return them.

Just kidding…


It was a joke. }

Answer me this;

Are you signed up for NaNoWriMo? I’m looking forward to it myself, just need to do it!

Weekend movie torture

A little history lesson if you don’t mind. The Green Hornet arrived on the airwaves on January 31st, 1936. Britt Reid was a newspaper owner by day and the Green Hornet by night, a vigilante crime fighter. The radio series went on for about 10 to 12 years then the creators decided to make a couple of movie serial’s, One was The Green Hornet in 1940 and The Green Hornet Strikes Again in 1941. The original radio actor, Al Hodge did the voice over whenever the mask was on – dubbing the original voice of actor Gordon Jones in the first movie, the second movie stared Warren Hull, as to the voice of the Green Hornet – I am not sure if they used the same one or not. Keye Luke, the number one son of Charlie Chan in the movies and Master Po from the TV show Kung-fu, played Kato. He also played a part in Star Trek: TOS as Dr. Cory in the episode Whom Gods Destroy. Between 1966 and 1967 I got my first introduction to The Green Hornet through the TV series starring Van Williams as Britt Reid as the Green Hornet and Bruce Lee as Kato. It also starred an awesome car with a tone of gadgets called The Black Beauty. In the show The Green Hornet was labeled as highly intelligent, a master Detective that’s fights more with his brain then his brawn.

You may be wondering where this is going, well here it is. Over the weekend I had the unfortunate experience of watching Seth Rogan (?) as The Green Hornet and all I can say is “Boo!” This is the worst adaptation of a classic superhero movie I have ever seen. I understand the theory behind making it different, changing a few things that always crop up in super hero movies, but it didn’t work for me. Rogan wasn’t just the star (and I use that term loosely) he also wrote and produced it. The real star was the Black Beauty; the surprise was Jay Chou as Kato. Chou is a superstar in China – and from what I saw is very good at what he does over there. Hopefully this will not ruin his career.  My thought is, if you are going to make a super hero remake, get it right. If you are going to do a satire, rename it something like…The Green Bee. Enough said. I also refuse to put the trailer for that piece of junk in here, so we will stay with this:

Another movie we caught over the weekend was The Tourist.  We figured with Johnny Depp (I accidently told my wife his name was Johnny Deep and she thought it was a porn movie) and Angelina Jolie it couldn’t be too bad. The story is of spies, mistaken identities and deception, filmed against the beautiful back drop of Venice. It wasn’t horrible, I gave it three stars – but even with all the twists and turns I easily figured the ending out. A couple of times I thought I was wrong so it kept the suspense up anyway. It was a lot better than the other one.

We also tried to watch Michael Caine in Harry Brown. It was moving so slow we decided to stop it after a long 30 minutes.

As a reminder, you can get my books for free this week on Smashwords.

Journey of Tara is free with coupon code MZ72A until September 10th, 2011

The Set’la is free with coupon code ZR48R until September 10th, 2011 (This may need a little editing but I think it is still a great story.)

Next week it will be Little Fockers (Gee, who picks these any way) and Unstoppable.

Happy Birthday to me!

After a fabulous weekend that started off Friday walking around Kings Island, on the hottest day of the summer and riding roller coasters till my brain was scrambled, the wife and I took off yesterday and did absolutely nothing. (I didn’t even write or edit – I am bad.)

Yet I am trying, as a writer and an old man, 54 today, I tried to figure out the attraction of getting locked in a metal box and having your body strapped down into your seat so tightly you couldn’t breathe and then being shot down this winding course as fast as 80 mph. The first one we hit was the Diamondback. This ride starts off slowly, climbing a 215 foot hill. When you get to the top of the hill it is straight down. Well the web site says 75 degrees, my heart said straight down.  With twists and turns so abrupt I think my soul left my body a few times. One of the interesting things about this one, they actually have a camera somewhere along the track that takes your picture. Everyone of me is holding on for life screaming as loud as I can. We rode this one 3 times. When we first got there at noon I noticed this little guy around 50 wearing a t-shirt that said, “Diamondback rides 5,400 and counting.” We left at 7pm, our last ride on the Diamondback and he was still doing it.

The Firehawk was a fun one also, first you sit down and right before the ride takes off your seat is reclined so you are lying straight on your backs. Then it takes off, gaining speeds of up to 55 mph. At first I didn’t think this was too bad, until we were flipped over and staring at the ground as you flew by at least 10 feet above it. Makes you really think about your live as you see it flashing before your eyes.

The Vortex wasn’t as bad as it looks from the ground, with all the loops and corkscrews all you feel is the speed and if you keep your eyes glued to the back of the seat in front of you, the loops and other things are not even noticeable.

Fight Deck was cool, after a ten minute walk from the entrance to the ride itself which only lasted about one minute and thirty seconds; we were suspended over tree tops traveling at 55 mph. It had to be the smoothest ride I was on.

Flight of Fear was in inside ride, ahh…air conditioning! You feel like you are shot out of a canon and travel 0 to 54 mph in just four seconds. Twists turns and loops and corkscrews are less scary because all you see is darkness and a few flashes of light. Strobe lights and darkness and speed, can we say seizure?

Riding those convinced me that the reason we love rollercoasters so much is because we need the danger, the adrenaline of doing something that is life threatening. It’s all in the mind.

Between the hard core coasters we relaxed a little doing Adventure Express, Backlot Stunt Coaster and Boo Blasters On Boo Hill. They were all inside, little and air conditioned. Delirium and Invertigo were shut down. For a few seconds, we stood and watched as a couple took to the air in Slingshot. On the third bounce we looked at each other and said, “Nope.”

And of course we rode The Racer, it hasn’t changed much in 20 years except the seats got smaller.

Once I got my wife to the top of the Eiffel Tower, which was difficult because she is afraid of heights, and we took a few pictures. We even got our caricatures done by her daughter.



And she got me the coolest t-shirt, Airbrushed. I May wear this one out.

Add to this the shameless self-promotion I am doing to today, I hope this is going to be a good month.

From now until September 10, 2011 both of my books are free if you grab them from Smashwords.

Journey of Tara, which is normally 99 cents, is free with the coupon code MZ72A.

The Set’la, which is normally $2.99, is free with the coupon code ZR48R.

A word of warning, the Set’la needs a little editing and other fixes. I am trying to get my editor to read it, but she is stalling. I hope that isn’t a bad sign.

Everyone have a great week and a fantastic Labor day.