A Personal Life Update From Cooks Beach


The beach you are looking down on in this photo is the where I am currently living. I’ve been here just about 6 weeks now, and will stay another 4 weeks before returning to Colorado. I don’t think I’ll go into why I’m here; I’ve covered that plenty in other places.

I love it here so much. The experiment is going incredibly well, So well, in fact, that we are making plans to spend every Southern hemisphere summer here from now on. And hopefully, in the future, even more than that – but that’s not something I’m completely ready to confirm here yet.

Next year, the husband should be able to join me for most or all of the 3 months, which is wonderful. This is the longest we’ve been apart in 19 years, and it’s the very real downside to this year’s arrangement. I miss him so much. Luckily, we live in the time of FaceTime and Skype! I miss the cats and the kid too. The kid is horrible at keeping in touch, but he’s a boy. The oldest kid was already in New York before Christmas, so I had gotten more used to missing him.

So, the details of beach living!

Getting things set up for more than holiday living has been interesting.

It turns out that the waiting list for a ‘port in the cabinet’ for any kind of DSL is over 700 days long. AT THE TOP. And rumor has it that even when you get connected, that connection is pretty piss poor. It took over two weeks to actually get that confirmed from anyone who would give me any straight facts. So I got hooked up on the Rural Broadband Initiative with a fixed wireless antenna. It’s actually not bad, although I am data capped. Data caps are ridiculous and impact your way of life a LOT if you are used to unlimited data and truly broadband speeds. I keep a close eye on my streaming, and have had to turn off photo syncing between most of my devices. Auto uploads of photos to Amazon or Flickr are out of the question. Keep in mind that I’m a photographer. I take a LOT of photos, and many of them are high resolution images.

I can’t even imagine the stress that leaving BAttle.net on would put me through.

Actually, I think I’ve put my gaming on hold until I arrive back in my office in Colorado. The weather has been beautiful, I don’t have my PC, and it’s actually been incredibly nice to have a break. I’m starting to feel the itch increasingly often, but my life is really sort of full of swimming, walking, photography and reading at the moment. And I’ve been pretty busy dealing with practical issues here. While the itch is returning,  it hasn’t gotten to the point where I want to scratch it yet. The only game I’d probably even open would be Hearthstone. But I’m not ready to be sucked back in yet. I AM enjoying thinking about what I will play when I get back home though. High on my list is World of Warcraft and Hearthstone. But I will be behind in WoW. Very behind. And I don’t think I will rush to catch back up. Being away puts a real perspective on what it is that *I* actually miss doing in WoW and racing through content to race through heroics is certainly not one of them.

When I’m not trying to get my life here organized, I’m behind the lens of my DSLR. I’ve mostly only shared my iPhone photography on social media, but I have filled a few memory cards on ye olde Nikon too. I am looking forward to many happy hours editing them during my ‘Colorado months’.

Pretty much without trying too hard, I think I’ve lost weight too. I don’t actually have access to a scale, but I had to pick up a new belt last time I was in Thames (about 1 hours’ drive away), because all my shorts were falling down.

I finally got my New Zealand driver’s license sorted last Friday, Once I get the permanent one in the mail, I can head over on the ferry to Whitianga to the Post Office and finalize my Real Me account (a way of confirming your identity with a lot of agencies online). Speaking of the mail, it took me a while to get set up with the Rural Delivery service. We have a letterbox now, and my rural delivery man is delivering mail, so even though we’re not officially listed on the website yet as ‘receiving mail’, it certainly seems that in reality we are.

A bank account is proving very difficult to open online, so I will have to do that next time I’m in Thames as well. All of these things are probably easier for me to achieve than an American citizen, since I am actually an Australian citizen. This gives me quite a few advantages when dealing with official stuff in New Zealand.

That’s probably way more detail than you wanted.

One last thing. The English Major in me has always wanted to put the possessive apostrophe in Cooks Beach (Cook’s Beach), since it’s named after Captain Cook who observed the transit of Mercury here over two centuries ago. But the official mailing address I have received is Cooks Beach – so I will cringe for the rest of my life I guess!


The Horde Hearthstone Tax

Gnome at work - Hearthstone

So, I’ve been playing this gnome. And I hope to go into way more detail about WHY  I would do such a thing very soon. Hoping. Because I have a lot to say about it. But, putting aside your incredulity, glee, or rage for the moment, can I direct your attention to the Hearthstone TABLE she is sitting at? Yes, it is a table. And it was just magically THERE at my level 1 Garrison! Helvette was overjoyed when she could PURCHASE, for ONE THOUSAND gold, the board when her Garrison was Level 3. And she has to sit on the cold snowy ground of the Horde Garrison.

I call Horde Tax shenanigans

It would be nice, though, if some of my followers and NPCs would actually PLAY.

Gnome with Naeeemantie at Hearthstone

This Coming Weekend ….

Don’t forget to Weeeeeeee ….

Christmas comes whether you are ready or not

Normally, I am the person that everyone gets irritated with for being SUPER organized for the holidays. I order my cards and custom calendars in November, get my cards out the door a week before the recommended deadline. And I always give and send gifts that are thoughtful and often unexpected. And I get them out the door with plenty of time to spare.

Today is December 24th and this year I am just NOT that person. Half my cards are in un-addressed envelopes. The rest made it out the door on Saturday – miraculously. I barely remembered to buy something for John, let alone other people in my life that I like to give something to. Not because it’s expected, or because I need reciprocation, but because I like to give them a little something to show them they are important in my life – to make them happy for a second.

A few people DID receive something. But one person’s gift is still on my kitchen counter. And WAY TOO MANY just aren’t getting anything from me this year.

Yesterday, I felt so terrible when I received such wonderful and personal gifts from Bob and Mikaela and I had nothing in my hand to give them in return. How … thoughtful of me. What can I say? Christmas is not something I looked forward to this year. It’s an odd time of year for many people, so I won’t get into that. But I just couldn’t muster up the ‘I really give a fuck’ attitude this year.

So if you normally receive a token of my affection at Christmas this year and you normally do, it’s not YOU, it’s ME. You still mean the world to me in so many ways.

My goal is to send an unexpected gift in the New Year to make up for it.

Hell, my SISTER didn’t even get a card.


Rock Lover


THAT, my friends is a Draenei Hunter. She was born in the Burning Crusade. She has been living in Deepholm for the good part of a year (possibly more). When she hit 83, I parked her there to get Exalted with those rock people. Then to get the Rock Lover Achievement.  Rescue Pebble 10 times? How hard can THAT be. Well. It’s a daily that SOMETIMES appears. Kittyne is today level 87. And TODAY she rescued Pebble for the 10th time. Finally.  I tweeted sometime in the fall that I only had one to go … I’d have to check my Twitter stream to be sure exactly when.

But I have him. He goes in the menagerie with everyone else.

Not sure what to do with Kittyne now. Tempted to have a look at the Alliance side of Draenor. As if I need MORE Garrison work!

The Hearthstone is Real.

Yes, I think I am hooked. My son didn’t realize how basic his explanations would have to be (when I first started a few weeks ago) for someone who had NEVER played a TCG (Trading Card Game). I was missing very rudimentary information – like what counts as a ‘spell’.

But I’m learning! Slowly! And I am hooked!

You can follow my adventures in this playlist!




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