Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, IRL, MMORPGs, Nintendo Switch

Making Birthday Bank

Back when I was a kid, birthdays were a big thing. Even though my family wasn’t wealthy by any means, we always had many presents, a cake and good memories. Then, when you get into the adult world, you get things like… a flamingo light placed on your desk at work to announce it’s your special day. 😀

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This is really a thing in my office.

Well, this year, friends and family made sure I was super spoiled on my birthday. Thanks to everyone who sent good wishes and gifts. I wanted to share some of these, because they were so cool!

Ori

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Ori has been a game that’s been on my Steam wishlist since before the definitive edition existed. I love the art style, and it looks like it’ll be a whimsical game to experience.

Thank you so much, Al!

Nintendo Gift Card

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My sister (Vix) knows I want eShop cash for my Nintendo Switch. In particular, I’m hoping for a digital release of Stardew Valley for the system this summer.

Which is ironic, because last year, she bought me Stardew for Steam for my birthday. So that means she’ll technically be getting it again for me on Switch. I’m excited to see what it’ll play like on Switch (even though I love it and have played it so many hours on Steam). Plus, multiplayer is coming up and we want to share a farm!

Cat-opoly

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My brother-in-law (Xaa) decided that I really needed Cat-opoly in my life. I didn’t know that I needed it, too, until I got it. It’s been a long time since I’ve played any kind of Monopoly game, and this version looks like it’ll be fun! Can’t wait to bring it down during the holidays to try it out.

KoM Free Company Gifts

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Completely unexpected, a group of FC friends – shown here on the right as Bean, Talo, Arky, Arny, Lyra and Quezette – surprised me with not just a fun piece of artwork that I will treasure (thanks Bean!), but a whole treasure trove of cosmetics and fun things in FFXIV.

This included:

  • Eastern Garb for Women
  • Doman Magpie
  • Panda Cub
  • Eastern Dance

I don’t tend to buy myself cosmetics from the Mog Station, so while I really loved all of these, I didn’t own them. I always thought the Eastern Garb was pretty elegant (if not a little leg-showing).

Not all dresses look good on my character (Yuna’s Attire), so I was really pleased with how lovely this one did. I just put a pair of Thavnairian Sarouels that I’ve been saving for glamour purposes under the dress, and dyed it all my favorite metallic sky blue.

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I took a lot of fun screenshots last night. Now, I just have to decide what job gets this pretty outfit. It looks a lot like something Monk would wear, though Amoon suggested that if I mixed and matched, I could make the top work for Red Mage. That’s a possibility!

Or, perhaps, I’ll switch this to my Bard (depends on Amon’s Hat compatibility) and the red robe glamour to my Red Mage… so many thoughts. 😉

Anyhow, thank you to everyone who made my birthday fun and exciting! I really do appreciate all the good wishes and the unexpected gifts!!

Posted in IRL

Another Year Gone By

Google always remembers my birthday. 🙂

This is the last year of my 30’s. I was going to spend some time browsing back over memories and accomplishments of the past 10 years… or what I could remember of them. There are a fair few.

But I’m sleepy this morning, and I don’t have the energy to drone on about RL stuff, which is usually not all that interesting. I’ll sum it up by saying that I’m sitting in a pretty good place in life right now, with lots to still work towards. My health and fitness could use a lot of work, and I have a feeling I’ll be thinking more about that this year (I say that every year, but maybe this time it will stick).

Anyhow. Just being thoughtful right now, and thankful to see another year on this earth. As always, I’ll try to make it better than the last!

Posted in IRL

Bummer Day: RIP TV :(

I usually don’t write about RL stuff, but this has been a pretty rough week, and I just need some blogging therapy. Yesterday was a super bummer day.

Vet Bummer

To start, I had to take Sebastian to the vet for the teeth cleaning that was discussed at his last vet visit. I was crossing my fingers that the antibiotics he took were enough to clear up the tooth issue, but it seems it was more serious than that.

The vet had to pull two teeth – the infected one, and a second one that had a cavity and was being reabsorbed. I knew this was a possibility, and will gladly do that for Sebastian, but it was still a $200+ vet bill in the end.

Storm Bummer

Second, we had that really nasty line of storms roll through the south yesterday.

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Of course, this had to hit the very time when I needed to go pick up Sebastian from the vet. I’m talking the kind of you-can’t-see-in-front-of-you and they-let-schools-out-early rain and wind. It made what would normally be a 10 min drive much, much longer.

I get to the vet and all but one of their computers are down due to storm. I’m also rocking a terrible migraine that just came out of the blue (probably from the meeting I just got out of at work).

My first attempt to pay the vet bill was met with a denial. I told them I had plenty of money in my account, so they entered it manually, and it finally took.

I then had to rush my yowling cat out to the car in the downpour, soaked myself and my best pair of shoes to the skin, and struggled through the storm to drive home. Unpacking the cat was just as soaked… and as soon I arrived home, I knew something was wrong.

Power Surge Bummer

The storm was mostly rain and wind, but there was a bit of lightning and thunder. Nothing that I thought was too serious. I was wrong.

First, I noticed my surge protector/battery was beeping — that thing they do when there’s no power. But I could see power on my microwave clock in the kitchen. My place is pretty old, so it’s been known to lose power to half the house, but it usually takes a pretty good surge. I’ve never seen it happen during a storm.

Well, something had surged and popped two of my breakers off. I flipped those back on, power was restored. I started checking my stuff to see if everything was alright.

It wasn’t.

First thing I checked was my Nintendo Switch. That, my Wii U and my Blueray player were okay – as far as I can tell.

But my Roku, HDMI hub, and TV were all dead. 

I’m not much of a TV person, but this was the TV I just bought a year and a half ago… and I really loved it for gaming. It made Zelda look and sound fantastic. I was so proud of it when I got it to work with my Shield tablet here…

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And I worked so hard to try to kitten proof it when I first took in Spriggan. Only for it to get killed by a power surge. Bummer! X<

I’m kicking myself for not unplugging things before I left the house. I used to never plug in the TV when I wasn’t home, but once I got a Roku and my Wii U, I started leaving things plugged in when I was at work.

I’m still worried that I might have later troubles with my Switch on down the line. I’ve only been able to try it in handheld mode, and that seems to be running okay for what I tested it. It’s just weird that they were all on the same surge protector and some of them blew while some of them didn’t.

Oh, and the surge also killed my happy rainbow lights I strung up in my bedroom around my plushie hammock.

Ugh!

Anyhow, more money lost yesterday on a fairly new and gently used TV.

TV Replacement

I am, however, thinking more along the line of upgrading my PC monitor to something I can use as a monitor/TV combo. This is mostly because I rarely use my TV for anything but Netflix and gaming. But I use a computer monitor all the time. I definitely want some kind of bigger screen for my Switch because when Mario Kart comes out later this month, I can’t see myself playing it on the handheld mode.

Whatever I do get will need speakers – either a monitor or a small TV – and the ability to hook up to my PC along with other HDMI inputs (Switch).

At least I’m getting my tax return back and a bonus from work for my yearly anniversary. So I have money to cover all the expenses. Still a bummer.

Here… have a random Sim City track to end on a happier note.

Posted in IRL, Kitty Korner

Kitty Korner: Vet Visit

Update: After one day of taking the meds the vet gave Sebastian, he was back to eating like normal. Hopefully that means we’ve found the issue and that he’ll continue to get better.

So I know I haven’t been updating the new kitten situation in a while, as things have been more or less alright between Sebastian and Spriggan so far. But some things have come up today that made me decide that blogging a bit about my cats is probably going to be a thing going forward. So I’ve created a Kitty Korner tag for this.

Spriggan Update

The kitten is doing fine as far as kittens do. He’s still a mess and a ball of energy, constantly challenging me to find cat-proofing things, such as my desk, to protect it from prying paws.

He’s a teenaged kitty, and he’s acting like one.

You can’t tell him what to do. You can’t train him. He complains loudly until he gets what he wants. He gets into everything not nailed down.

I keep buying him toys (I should blog about some of those, eventually), but his attention span is so short, it’s hard to keep him entertained. But trust me, you don’t want him entertaining himself.

Aside from that, he gets along with Sebastian well. I’m still trying to bond with him, though, as he’s so flighty, it’s hard for him to sit still long enough to make a more affectionate connection.

Sebastian’s Loss of Appetite

So, on to the reason for this article. My older cat, Sebastian, hasn’t been feeling well.

He is a cat of habit. He also has a duty to ensure all food is properly disposed of (in his mouth) as catly possible. So when I see things out of the ordinary, I know something is wrong.

Last week, he wasn’t eating his wet food, which he gets every morning. At first, I wondered if he was just being picky about the flavor or the texture. He’s not usually a picky eater, but with cats, you can never tell.

Spriggan tested some of the wet food for himself and ate it without problem. Sebastian was eating dry food, so I just kept re-introducing the wet food each morning until it finally got eaten.

Everything was okay Saturday.

Sunday was the first morning I saw trouble. He didn’t meet me at the bedroom door first thing in the morning (to let me know he’s hungry) like he always does.

Second, he was doing something odd — tilting his head sideways, licking out the corner of his mouth. From time to time, he’d hunch over as if he was trying to cough something up, but he never did. I was concerned, but thought maybe he was chewing on a toy and got something in his throat. So I fed him, he ate, and he acted fine the rest the day.

Yesterday, I woke up and he was acting the same way – head tilting, licking, gagging. I started getting worried. Two days of him acting that way was more serious. I fed him and he wasn’t interested in wet food again. I left it out for him, though, to see if he’d eat it while I was at work.

He did eat it by the time I came home, so he was eating and drinking. He acted okay the rest the night.

Today, I didn’t see signs of head tilting or licking, but he wasn’t interested in wet food. Nor had he eaten the food I’d left out for him.

Vet Visit

I decided that was enough of that, and I called the new vet, who had taken care of my kitten’s shots and surgery. This is not Sebastian’s normal vet, but his vet is often so overbooked, there’s no hope to get an appointment with them on the fly.

Last year, he was having trouble throwing up food, and they weren’t very helpful – just telling me to let him eat the dry food if he was only throwing up the wet, or to change the food brand. Eventually, they said it was probably hairballs, and gave me something for that, but they didn’t have time to take my concerns seriously. But that’s a grouch for a different time.

The new vet got him in immediately this morning. I’m very glad I took him in.

They did a thorough check-up for my cat. Instantly, the vet noticed that Sebastian had an inflamed gum and maybe infected tooth. That would explain a lot, if that’s the cause of his head tilting, licking and lack of appetite.

But then, he dropped a bomb I didn’t expect. He told me Sebastian has a heart murmur. I was floored. I’d just taken him in for shots and a check-up at the other vet in December… how did they not catch that then?

Anyhow. This is not good news. But it’s also not the end of the world because…

  • Sebastian is still fairly young (only 6-7 years old).
  • We caught it early. The vet rated it a 3 on a scale of 1 to 6.
  • X-rays showed that his heart has not enlarged, so there’s not much damage done yet.
  • It’s going to be costly, but it can be treated. I will have to take Sebastian to a cardiologist.

It’s likely he’ll be put on medicine when he gets older to prevent heart damage. But the vet seems to feel Sebastian can still live a long life.

For now, though, Sebastian is on antibiotics and steroids to treat the tooth. He’ll be going back in two weeks for a tooth cleaning and deeper inspection. If that problem tooth needs to be pulled, that will be determined then.

If that doesn’t help his appetite, we may have to run blood tests on him to investigate other issues.

Somewhere down the line this year, I will have to get him pre-tested at my vet, and then take him to the cardiologist, which is in a larger city about an hour away. I’m more worried about taking him on a long drive like that… he has a fit about a short 15 minuet drive across town!

And yeah, this is all going to cost money. But Sebastian is my cat-buddy and my literal spirit animal. I’ve not had a cat, or any pet like him, that I’ve connected to so closely. I’m willing to pay what it takes to keep him healthy and feeling well.

At least I finally have a vet that’s listening and taking my concerns seriously!

Posted in IRL, Kitty Korner

Kitten Chronicles – Almost a Month

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written about my adventure with the new kitten, Spriggan. Two days ago, he went in for his neutering surgery and final kitten booster shots. Everything went well, and he’s recovering like a champ. In fact, he had no down time as far as I saw at all.

Due to the surgery, I’m keeping him separated for a few days from Sebastian. When they’re together, they tend to rush around the house like mad cats, and I want Spriggan to take it easy and heal up first. I’ll probably re-introduce them again this weekend. I’ve heard that neutering sometimes makes the kitten smell like a new cat, so I want to make sure I have plenty of time at home during this process.

Before that, I was still keeping Spriggan in his own room at night and while I was at work. I allow the two of them to romp when I’m home and all day on weekends.

Sebastian’s attitude has significantly improved over time. While he still does dominate over Spriggan when he gets in the mood, most of their interactions are chasing and playing. In fact, there’s almost too much cat energy going on around my house! When I have to focus on stuff, like art or raids, I separate them. Usually, Spriggan is pretty patient if I put him in his room for short times… just as long as he gets to romp again later.

Right now, he’s fussy because he wants out, and I’m not letting that happen.

The cats are still working through ownership of things. The cat tree by the window, for example, tends to be Sebastian’s spot all day long. Spriggan instantly took to it, so sometimes Sebastian gets whiney that his spot was taken. I’m going to have to invest in another cat tree, it seems.

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They’re sharing the cat tree for the first time!

I’m also working on catifying the guest bedroom. I’ve made it so that this little cat condo I bought is set up in that window for the kitten to use. This has gone over well.

I have an old, rickety desk that I need to get out of that back room to make more space. I’d also like to change out the curtains in there since the drapery is super old now, and quite enticing for a kitten to climb. Some of this is going to have to wait until tax returns, though! But it’s a project for sure.

Posted in IRL, Kitty Korner

Kitten Chronicles – Week 1 Edition

I still can’t get a good picture of the new kitten because every time I try to approach with a phone, he gets up to rub on me. Anyhow, I decided it was time for another kitty update!

I’m still rolling ideas for a name in my head. I’m thinking about “Puck” as in the character from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The kitten is certainly enough of a troublemaker!

Nope. Ended up going with Spriggan. As in FFXIV Spriggan:

ff14-spriggan

I’m slowly introducing Sebastian and Spriggan for a few hours each night when I get home from work. Spriggan has been enjoying the use of the many toys around the house, and I got him a new collar (seen in above picture) along with a new scratching post and such.

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Both kitties love this toy!

I wish I could say that the introductions have gone completely without incident, but that’s not true. There’s not been a full-out cat fight of any sort, but Sebastian is serious about letting the kitten know who’s the alpha.

Sebastian’s a rather jealous and sensitive cat to begin with. Any little change can send him into a fit of crying. Last night was the worst I saw him. He spent a good half an hour to 45 minutes just complaining loudly about the unfairness of kitten’s existence in his house.

Through these fits, Sebastian psychically asserts his domination over Spriggan by scruffing the kitten’s neck and holding him down on the floor. This doesn’t hurt the kitten, but it does dominate over him.

This is a behavior I’m familiar with through caring for ferrets. Back when I owned several, I had a very alpha male that would go through this same domination ritual whenever I introduced a new ferret to the household. It took a few days for the pecking order to work out, but eventually it did. Afterwards, the ferrets were best friends.

I’d probably be freaking out if I hadn’t seen this happen before. But I know that as long as the kitten isn’t getting hurt, it does more harm than good to interfere too much.

However, last night, Sebastian was just being a whiny-butt in general and not letting up on things. So, eventually I scolded him and told him to stop his behavior. He vocally complained at me in response, as if I should see what all the wrongs of his world were, but eventually chilled out over time.

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A kitten asking for trouble…

I did some reading about this domination behavior, and apparently while it can happen with cats, it’s pretty unlikely. Figures that I just have a weird cat.

Thankfully, Spriggan takes it in stride and usually just sits there in submission. If Sebastian does get too rough, I’ve seen the kitten take a swipe at him to let him know. Sebastian is a big scaredy cat in the end, and runs away.

With the weekend coming up, I can bring the two together for larger tracks of time as I still don’t want to leave them alone when I’m asleep or at work. I hope a few full days of dealing with one another will calm things down more.

Also, in a few weeks, Spriggan will be getting fixed. I don’t know if that’ll make a change in things, but it can’t hurt.

Posted in IRL, Kitty Korner

Kitten Chronicles – Day 4

It’s official that I can keep the kitten!

He had his first vet checkup today, and got a clear bill of health. Thankfully, he tested negative for Feline HIV, parasites and other nasties. He also got his first shots, and will be heading back to the vet in 3 weeks for follow-up boosters and the neutering.

This means that tonight I can finally give Sebastian and Kitten time to meet. This also means I need to be working on a real name for him since (as long as the cats get along) he will be coming to stay with me for sure.

I know he’ll be so much happier when I can let him out of the back room so he can explore and have company. Updates are forthcoming!