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Brenda Holloway
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Brenda Holloway

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People rappelling down the Hartford Hilton as part of the Shatterproof Rappel Challenge. The things you see on the way to work when you're not in a car :)
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Brenda Holloway

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Yah, I've been playing Pokemon GO! Took my bike out and rounded up Pokemon until I leveled to 5, then lost my first Pokemon battle at a local gym. I'll probably head to the park tomorrow, maybe, and level up a bit.

I should ALSO be playing INGRESS, since it uses the same nodes, mostly.
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Yaw he he
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Brenda Holloway

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The Pokemon GO! servers were being stupid last night, so I didn't get to play. But everything was working fine on my way to work this morning; caught several pidgeys, a staryu, a couple weedils... I could have gotten more but I had to get to the bus stop on time to, like, get to work and stuff.

The days when I bike to work are going to be much worse. I don't think I'll be able to play it -- would be stopping too often to catch stuff. Back when I played Ingress, I could plan my commute around portals that were in known locations, but randomly spawning Pokemon make that impossible. Though just making plans to hit pokestops and gyms and ignoring the spawns could work...

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Exercise! Grrrr!
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(Edit: fixed G+ formatting error)

The fight against the mosaic chimera was more troubling than I'd imagined. Though we'd fought a dragon together, the tiled terror, though defeated, must have held some existential terror to Peren and Mel, the Waladin and Druid who had pleaded with the Council to let them join our quest. They retreated through the dungeon at top speed and that was the last we saw of them.

I hoped dearly that they weren't holding the party's gold...

And then, with a small disturbance in the dead air of the tomb, Gina appeared. She nodded at us, swung her battleaxe a couple of times to loosen her arms, and we continued on.

The west door, marked "Safe", led to a well. We'd looked there. The double doors to the north were barely barred against something that had been trying to get out, or in, and clearly weren't anything we wanted to toy with.

That left the sloping, chute-like passage to the southeast (the map is rotated clockwise 90 degrees, or minus pi/2 radians if you're metric). A tile representation of a sun marked the start of the passage. We remembered that we were supposed to be seeking light and avoiding darkness, or so Diderius' voice had told us, so we started down the hall.

About halfway down, it looked like part of the floor was a pressure plate. Zalandrin, after much investigation, gingerly triggered it. The tile sun slid aside and from beneath rose a sphere of bone, which began to trundle down the hallway, gathering speed. The others ran screaming like ... scared screaming people, but I stood calmly and spoke but a single word as the sphere bore down on me:


That sphere stopped and shot back up the corridor like a bullet from a boomstick. It shattered noisily against the far wall of the tile room.

I casually joined my cowering comrades at the bottom of the chute, brushing imagined specks of dust from my sleeve.

The room beyond was empty. A painting on the double doors to the north showed people bowing while lifting their hands to honor someone we could not clearly see. A noiseless voice instructed us to submit as one would to the dead goddess Mystra if one would seek to pass on. We all bowed and lifted our hands in front of the door, and it creaked open.

Inside was a godlike man seated on a throne, with treasure and items of less value scattered at his feet. Though a wind we couldn't feel moved the stone god's hair and beard, he was nonetheless not living. We all added some treasure to the pile, and all felt enlightened.

The southern double doors, the ones we hadn't come through, had an illustration of an enormous library. We opened the doors, and found that the library was empty. Without stepping inside, I sent a Mage Hand to see if the shelves were really empty, or if it was an illusion. They were really empty. The dust disturbed by the Hand, though, settled on an invisible creature moving all around the library. I sent the Hand to touch it, and it stopped, coming into sudden visibility. It was a ghost of a woman who rushed at us, enraged at us disturbing her endless rounds.

Once we'd assured her that we had no intention of looting the empty library, she went back to her rounds and we moved on.

Zalandrin opened the west door, and his elven ears could hear the quiet tones of learned discussion coming from the room below. Moving as stealthily as elves don't, he stomped down the short stairs but did not disturb the talkers. He peeked around the corner and saw five demons casually holding forth. Taking his bow in his hand and an arrow in the other, he slid out along the southern wall. The demons stopped a moment to look at him, then continued with their discussion.

The rest of us followed but still the demons were unconcerned. They were hardcore.

I put on my kobold costume AS ONE DOES, cast Tongues on myself, and went respectfully to their table. That did pause their conversation, and they stared at me as I begged their pardon and told them about our mission. They knew of Varram, and in fact were part of Varram's party. They'd been instructed to wait in this room while Varram and the others continued through the northern door, and so that's what they were doing. Waiting in this room. They'd had no instructions to kill anyone, and so they weren't going to kill us. Nobody told them to bar the way north for anyone, and so we were free to continue on, if we'd like.

I thanked them, moved away respectfully, and informed the others of all I'd heard. Zalandrin swiftly sent two arrows plunging into the eye of the one on the end hadn't heard the bit about them not being hostile, but once explained, he lowered his bow and nodded at the demons, who continued to talk among themselves.

The demons had mentioned that the stairs to the south led to a treasure room, but a quick jaunt down the stairs showed a door spiked shut with the word "DANGER!" written on it.

Circling carefully around the demons, we went through the north door, around a short passage, and into a room where there'd clearly been a battle. Blood everywhere. A large brass cistern at the west end of the room seemed to have contained a monster, possibly? A dead human with a spear through him, dressed in purple robes, was the only casualty we could see, but the bloodstains led to a northern door that had a picture of a man -- Diderius, we now knew -- at rest. We opened that door and found a gleaming sarcophagus. As we neared it, a voice told us that it knew of our mission and that Varram, the mage we were seeking, was just beyond. He would open the path to peril for us.

Part of the wall slid aside to show a tunnel carved crudely into the rock -- and six lizardmen, who calmly looked at us and lifted their weapons.

I put one to sleep with a song, then killed it while it was helpless as the others did their part. I'm not sure if any of us took damage from the fight. I was kinda thinking that maybe we should have taken on those demons after all...


That was it for the night. Thanks to +Scott Geeding for stopping by to play Gina :-) We'll be having a new face joining our little band somehow in two weeks -- looking forward to that!
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What can I say? Rogue instinct - see a trap, tinker with trap - er, disarm trap, I mean disarm.
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Brenda Holloway

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Oooo Gravity Falls is on Hulu now! I'll finally be able to see what all the excitement is was about.
Twin brother and sister Dipper and Mabel Pines are in for an unexpected adventure when they spend the summer with their great uncle in the mysterious town of Gravity Falls, Oregon. Upon their arrival, Dipper and Mabel's huckster great uncle, also known as Grunkle Stan, enlists the siblings' help in running The Mystery Shack, a fun tourist trap he owns that overcharges unsuspecting customers. Although Dipper and Mabel quickly discover The Mystery ...
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I enjoyed this show, still have it on dvr
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Brenda Holloway

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After all the issues with my "main" bike from the Hudson Valley ride last weekend, I've been forced to use my father's old bicycle, that I've been slowly restoring, to get to work past few days.

I've been adjusting the fit after each ride. Last night, I raised and rewrapped the handlebars. Note to self: NEXT TIME, don't use white tape. My crappy dirty bike gloves messed up the tape first time.

Dad bought me a 10-speed, an Iverson, back when I was a kid. I only wanted kid bikes, but he figured it was about time I got a real bike, and so there it was at Christmas. Forest green with white tape. I rode that thing constantly until I got a car, at which point I think I abandoned it somewhere on the University of New Hampshire grounds. It was coming apart by then, anyway -- it was not a really durable bike.

Riding this bike is like going back in time thirty years, and really makes me miss my father.
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Have her in circles
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Brenda Holloway

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FFXIV Monthly log?

Since Kasul and I moved to Neverwinter Nights 2 for our weekly gaming sessions, I haven't really been moving forward in FFXIV.

Sure, I've been doing the Moogle crafting quests, and now Armorer is maxed out, Blacksmith nearly so, and I started on Weaver. I figure I'll eventually be able to craft all the parts I need for both the Zeta weapon and the Animus weapon. Grinding the Moogle quests also earns Kupo Nuts that can be exchanged for the bits needed for the Animus weapon, so it's good in so many ways.

The last time Kasul and I played, we failed on the Final Steps of Faith, the confrontation with the Nidhogg-Estinien hybrid. I eventually joined up with the Free Company to finish that off and finish the storyline, though I still haven't done all the new content that arrived with that patch. Someday, Kasul may play again and we can do those :)

I was hoping to lure him back with the Palace of the Dead, FFXIV's throwback to those bonus towers in the console games where you have to challenge ever changing floors in a vast labyrinth and every ten or twenty floors is a boss fight.

Same thing here. Right down to the save points at the end of each block of ten floors.

You can pick from any class you have unlocked; irregardless, when you enter the dungeon you are level 1, and all your gear has been replaced with Aethyric armor and weapons, also level 1. You (and your party, if you aren't gone in solo) have to level up both your own class and your armor and weapons enough to beat the boss and reach the save point. If you fail, or run out of time, then you have to restart from the last save point.

Once you've gotten through all fifty levels and powered up your armor and weapon to 30, you can cash it in for a weapon that can be used outside of the dungeon. That resets your progress back to 0, and you must start over from the beginning in order to earn another weapon.

I'm unsure of the stats, but it's a level 60, i235 weapon for whichever job you're presenting as when you cash in your progress.

Since you have two save slots available, I've taken up one with Paladin (my main job), and the other with Summoner. That was a smart move on my part last night, as the random party I drew had no healer or tank. Summoners can heal, a little, and for me especially since I have my stats allocated for healing stats (to support the alternate Scholar job). My tank pet tanked, and we pretty much did okay.

By the time I have finished the 50th floor with both save slots, the weapon should be powered enough for me to cash it in. Out of the four level 60 jobs I have at the moment -- Paladin, Warrior, Astrologian and Dragoon -- I'm not sure who should get the weapon. Paladin is my main, but also has the best weapon so far and is closest on the Animus, too.... I'll probably still go for it. PLD should always get the best gear.

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Brenda Holloway

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The Agincourt Carol was written soon after the actual Battle of Agincourt in 1415. I saw an illustrated manuscript of the carol, but I can't read medieval music. Of course, though, someone had put it on Youtube :)

It was written by the victors, so it's in English...
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Weirdly, I think I have their Silly Sisters CD around somewhere... I saw Maddy Prior and Steeleye Span in concert a long time ago.
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"A Pair of Dicks" - AdvCo plow through the dungeon despite a lineup modification.

Sometime between last session and this session, the composition of AdvCo…changed. Gone were the waladin and the druid, called off by some unheard yet apparently powerful klaxon that demanded their attention. In their place saw the return of the dwarven…
Sometime between last session and this session, the composition of AdvCo…changed. Gone were the waladin and the druid, called off by some unheard yet apparently powerful klaxon that demanded …
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"Dead Parties Tell No Tales" - AdvCo tracks Varrum, but fights a kitchen backsplash instead.

The airquote town of Boarskyer Bridge airquote was nothing more than a collection of tents and carts, reminiscent of that crappy carnival that the the local Lions Club insists on bringing to your town once a year…the one with the questionable rides run by…
The airquote town of Boarskyer Bridge airquote was nothing more than a collection of tents and carts, reminiscent of that crappy carnival that the the local Lions Club insists on bringing to your t…
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Brenda Holloway

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After a few nights of roleplaying, we had a chance last night to put the word "dungeon" back into "Dungeons & Dragons".

Our erstwhile guide brought us to a collection of shacks and rubble that would give the word "shantytown" a bad name. As desperate as the place was, it at least had a bar.

The halfling bartender was having an argument with a supplier over the cost of northern vs southern ale. I had to grin to myself, because none of these foreign beverages could ever hold a candle to what we who live beneath the rocky hills of fair Scornubel call "Gnome Grease". Which isn't technically alcohol. But it works the same way once you understand how alcohol causes pleasure from the tiny deaths of a handful of headthinkyites. Gnome Grease goes at them with a flamethrower and an evil grin.

My drink order consisted of good southern ale and dwarfs wearing white dragon masks. Peren considered this somewhat unsubtle and got into an argument with the hostess that didn't seem to be going anywhere until I started clumsily dropping gold pieces on the floor.

That jogged her memory, and she told us of a dwarf who had been by recently along with fifteen or so close friends and had ended up stabbing a "lizard man" before heading in the direction of the Serpent Hills.

Further discussions revealed that the barmistress was a little behind on her herpetology, as the lizard people were, in reality, SNAKE people! OOOOH! A SNAKE! MUSHROOM MUSHROOM!

Peren went on to explain about snake people, which he called Yawnty. A good gnomish word that means the compulsion to yawn when someone near you yawns. Turns out these sleepy serpents have a home nearby....

Zelandrin, the ranger, soon discovered the tracks of a large party that included a dwarf as we fled into the Hills. These tracks brought us to ruins which had clearly been recently involved in a large battle. Fresh graves were prestidigitated open to reveal human workers. It seems they'd been working the ruins when ambushed by a very well organized and powerful raiding party. All signs pointed to the party continuing up some stairs, up a ladder, onto a platform, and through a door leading into a cliff face.

As we headed toward what was clearly a dungeon entrance, we passed between two statues which turned to us, and demanded we choose between knowledge and wisdom. Peren chose wisdom for us.

We entered the dungeon and found ourselves faced with a number of statues whose heads were shrouded in shadow. A soundless voice begged us to not seek knowledge in darkness. This, then, was the path of wisdom. Presumably, choosing knowledge would have had us look into those shadows and upon the faces of the statues, which would certainly have made them come alive and kill us.

We moved on to the next room. The northern door looked like it had been nearly smashed open from the other side, but nonetheless had the word "SAFE" scrawled upon it. Well, we'd make that decision for ourselves, thank you!

The floor was made of a mosaic showing a helmeted knight fighting a chimera. A strangely vibrant chimera. A strangely vibrant and ALIVE chimera! The tiles shook themselves free of the floor and went on the attack.

Wait -- an inorganic monster? SHATTER!

SHATTER! I waited impatiently while EVERY OTHER PERSON, EVEN THOSE WHO WEREN'T THERE, went before me.

SHATTER! The elf tried to attack it, but the chimera kept turning so that like a priest in Edwin Abbot's Flatland, it looked one dimensional and messed up the ranger's attacks.

SHATTER! Ellryn punched it a million times.

SHATTER! Peren did something to it.

SHATTER! I cast SHATTER! Everyone complained that I had not given warning that I was going to cast SHATTER! in character.

I asked everyone to please lend me their ears and listen carefully.


Well, even though the mosaic chimera had disadvantage, it still managed to save and take half damage.

Zalandrin, Ellryn and Peren took full damage, though....

Ellryn frantically worked to heal himself, as did the others, and I helped out for the rest of the battle. By the end, the fighters were only a little damaged.

The room to the north had only a well in it. Clearly something had risen from the well and tried to get out, but it had also obviously been dealt with by others.

We returned to the mosaic room to see that the tile-mera was slowly reassembling itself. Not wishing to fight the monster again, we starting along a passageway leading down and to the southwest...

... and that's where we ended the night.

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Brenda Holloway

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I saw someone else share a picture from Ilvemorny, the wizarding school atop Mount Greylock. Well, this is mine.
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Brenda's Collections
Web developer, bicyclist, gamer, writer, Supra and Celica owner.
Interested in web development, programming, photography, 80s Toyotas, gaming, blogging, bicycling, puns.
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Tipa Tanglewood, tipa, tipa16384
Brenda Holloway's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Why Bother - Scenes From A Multiverse

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a review of Silence Is Deadly

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a review of Leviathan Wakes

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a review of The Peripheral

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Humble Indie Bundle 12

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Oversized portions. Fantastic food.
Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago
Pretty good used book selection. A little overstocked on romance.
Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago
3 reviews
Lovely place with great staff.
Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago