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Brenda Holloway
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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

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The Chronicles of Spellborn lives... sorta...

I took some time to get the beta client for The Chronicles of Spellborn and connect it to the fan-run server this morning. All you can really do is just run around the main city, but dang, how I would love to see what Spellborn would have become if it had made it.

Developed at a time when many new MMOs were content with iterating on the EverQuest/World of Warcraft model, Spellborn was a picture storybook come to life. Player gear was non-visible; you could pick up new display pieces, but they rarely influenced your stats. The intense visual style was entirely appropriate for a game set in the shards of a destroyed world; everything looked alien to some degree.

The innovation extended to the combat, which, unusually for the time, let you make quite individual iterations on the familiar tank/mage/rogue template. The random nature of the combo-based combat meant each encounter was different, and someone who could arrange their skills correctly had a huge advantage in PvP.

We don't get many MMOs out of Europe here in the US. Ryzom, Dofus, Allods Online... whenever we do get one, we get a unique experience. But few were as completely new as The Chronicles of Spellborn.

You, too, can run around in TCoS! Download the beta client and the connection details. Links and information in the official forums at
AcidBurn Elite's profile photoRog Dolos's profile photoAndreas Holzer's profile photoUwe Schirmer's profile photo
Private-servers for the win. I really wish most MMOs would sanction player-run servers, it would breathe new live back into the market.
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Brenda Holloway

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We found a head in the road in D&D... in honor of the head, here's Harry the Head.
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Some trufen managed to reverse engineer a beta version of the super-innovative MMO Spellborn enough so that folks can run around in the setting -- no NPCs or mobs at the moment. More information on the video's YouTube page, and at, where Spellborn lead dev El Drijver reminisces about the game.
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+Czelsior TCoS I am downloading it right now. I can't wait to run around there again :)
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Brenda Holloway

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How can we all embrace the new names for the days of the week? On this, the first Humday, I'll celebrate by sharing a song :) The sad wistfulness of Dido's "White Flag" always makes me sad and also hopeful, even when I hear it playing over the PA in a supermarket.
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Brenda Holloway

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I've been playing around with new names for the days of the week for a few months now. I don't understand why we have to honor the Norse pantheon in this way, or the arbitrary homage to the Sun and the Moon.

When I was taking Japanese, I was struck by how similar our day names were to theirs. 日曜日 -- nichiyoubi -- Sun Day. 月曜日 -- getsuyoubi -- Moon Day. It wasn't a coincidence. Japan adopted its version of the Western calendar during the Meiji Restoration, as it adopted so many Western customs. Thankfully, they discarded the Norse pantheon for the other days in favor of elemental names, with gold (or money) reserved for Friday.

My first pass at this centered the week around the weekend, with the weekdays named according to their proximity to the weekend. We have this in English already with Wednesday, which we call "Hump Day" -- halfway to the weekend! Over the hump!

A shortcoming common both to the traditional English day names, and my first pass, was non-unique initial letters. In practice, this makes us have to distinguish Tuesday (T) from Thursday (Th) and Saturday (S) from Sunday (Su).

My first pass also preserved the weekend day names, but that preserved the pagan names for those two days, so they had to go. Now replaced by ordinal names for their position in the week.

Here's the list of changes.

1. Sunday (Sun Day) => Firstday (F)
2. Monday (Moon Day) => Recovery Day => Recday (R)
3. Tuesday (Tyr's Day) => Thin(g)day (T)
4. Wednesday (Wotan's Day) => Hum(p)day (H)
5. Thursday (Thor's Day) => Penultiday => Penday (P)
6. Friday (Freia's Day) => preSaturday => Anteday (A)
7. Saturday (Satyr's Day) => Sevenday (S)

Sunday is the first day of the week, and is now called Firstday. Monday is the day you recover from the weekend. Recovery Day is too long, so I shortened it to Recday.

Tuesday becomes Thingday, which is actually the literal translation of the German word for Tuesday, Dienstag. An online etymology suggests an origin from the god Thingus, a possible alternate name for Tyr. We're just going to go with "Thing" in its modern meaning, a day for miscellany. It's hard to say "Thingday" without a pause because of the hard 'g', so popular pronunciation will soften or omit the 'g' sound, making it homophonous with "Thinday".

Wednesday already had "Hump Day", and we preserve that here. Since, again, the hard 'p' sound doesn't flow well, so the 'p' is omitted to make it homophonous with "Humday". It's midweek, things are humming along, the weekend is on its way.

The first version of this project renamed "Thursday" to be the penultimate (second to last) day in the work week, or "Penultiday". I really liked that, and used it every time I could, but in the interest of making the new weekday names flow, I shorten it here in this second revision to "Penday". Maybe a day to write letters to friends?

The first version of this project had Friday as "preSaturday", but combined with "Penultiday" and "Postsunday" (AKA Monday), that was three days that started with the letter "P". I rename it here as "Anteday", the "before" day.

Saturday becomes Sevenday, matching up with Firstday on the other side. It's the seventh day, time for a rest.

As a child, I had a speech impediment, and could not pronounce the soft "th" sound, so "Thursday" sounded pretty much like "Firstday". Now Firstday is a day. Take that, haters. Unfortunately, future kids with the same speech difficulty will call Thingday "Finday", but I think that's endearing, personally.

Enjoy your new day names!
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Maybe it should be Doc :)
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Brenda Holloway

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Driving Kasul...

With our free month of FFXIV about to end, Kasul and I had to make a difficult decision. Not about whether or not to continue playing the game -- we're both having a lot of fun with -- but just who was going to recruit who for the recruit-a-friend program. See, in FFXIV, if you recruit someone, you get a bunch of cool rewards, like that two-seater chocobo in the picture. If you're recruited, you get some lesser rewards.

Kasul discovered, though, that we could recruit each other, and so that's what we did. He subbed for longer than I subbed (90 days vs month to month), so I got my rewards first. I didn't realize, at the time, Kasul's master plan: I was going to be driving him everyplace on our story night.

We play for awhile most every night, but the story night is our night to play our main jobs and progress the story. My paladin job is 42; Kasul's been keeping both his scholar and summoner jobs the same level at around 40 to 41.

Last week we ended the story at the Titan fight. When we reported to the Scion of the Seventh Dawn headquarters afterward... well, it was clear the storyline had taken a sudden, unexpected, dramatic shift. The Garlean Empire had gone too far. It was time to take the fight to them.

The eventual goal is to take on the primal Garuda, but Garuda is very well-protected. To get to her, we would need an airship. And to get an airship, we would need to find the legendary engineer, the common thread who connects every Final Fantasy game, Cid.

Cid had (reportedly) died during the Calamity, so this was going to be somewhat of a challenge. But that's fine. Kasul had immediately pegged an amnesiac monk as Cid in disguise. We tried various means to spark his memory, but it took one of those androgynous elf twins to name him and wake him.

Cid's airship was last seen in Coerthas Central Highlands, drifting away after losing its crew in a battle. We eventually determined it had come to rest in the Stone Vigil, one of the four watchtowers built by the city-state of Ishgard. We were finally able to get permission to go there and attempt to retrieve the airship (with Cid and the androgyne elf along for the ride). Unfortunately, the whole place has been overrun with dragons....

The Stone Vigil is the next dungeon in the story. It was just a little too late for me to attempt a new dungeon. I'm hoping we get to it tonight. Dragons. I love killing dragons.

Last night's chapter was filled with running-around quests, but they didn't rise to the same level of boredom as last week's, leading up to the Titan fight. That was partly due to the wonderfully dark, oppressed atmosphere and castles of the Coerthas Central Highlands. Kasul and I had been through there briefly before on some task or other, when we were much lower level. We were finally able to enjoy it, even join in on some Fate hunts.

I did not think we'd be this far along in just a month.

With Stone Vigil being a level 42-44 dungeon, and Garuda herself being a level 45 trial, I feel we're getting near the end of the main, pre-Heavensward, storyline. I can't believe it would take more than a month to close it out. We have lots of jobs to level and lots of dungeons to run before we start in on the hard dungeons that we'll need in order to proceed to Heavensward. I hear that characters with average item level of 100 and more are doing okay in the expansion; my paladin average armor level is in the high 30s. It should be 50 when I start on hard dungeons. I'm a tank. My armor should be the best in the group.

It probably WON'T be, at least to start. It's a goal.
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+Advanced Hybrid Also with FFXIV, you have all your classes on 1 character. Unlike Destiny or WoW where you have separate character for each class. They are all in one spot and its easy to change. 
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Have her in circles
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Brenda Holloway

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I had an idea on solving this puzzle the last time I played TIS-100, but it was late at night and I slept on it... for a couple weeks. But this morning, I woke up with the solution. See, I always do my best thinking when I'm unconscious. Dad called that a weakness. I call it a strength.
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I dreamed about the snaky path of execution.
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Brenda Holloway

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Dear SyncFusion: What happened to the Great Lakes? And OMG what happened to Alaska? I was looking for a good JavaScript map package buuuuut.... dunno what happened here.
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Maybe that's why I can't find anything in this place.
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Uhhhhh..... okaaaay...... Stephen Colbert's new show is going to be weird. I think he basically ruined Eminem's sanity after this....
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Wow first person ever to not have a sense of humor
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Brenda Holloway

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This is why I tank.

Kasul came on tonight after work. I had wasted a lot of time tonight getting my camera all set up to catch the Venus/Jupiter convergence (no dice; thanks clouds) and I'm not sure what else, but I logged in kinda late.

Omuro and I did Haukke Manor with me as paladin, because my marauder is one level shy of opening that dungeon. I do love that dungeon. I did Tamtam as a conjurer on roulette, since it said it needed healers, made level 20 and did the level 20 quest. I did the roulette guildhest as lancer, because it said it needed DPS. First time I've seen it ask for DPS, but I did as it bid and lanced.

Got a couple of the daily crafting quests done, but I need to go out and farm more stuff. I not have Armorer to about 30; Goldsmith somewhere around 20; Mining around 25; and Carpentry and Botany below level 10, both of them. Not really much point in doing any of these jobs, since Kasul is far, far better at them all than I am, and I can just ask him for stuff. But, I like being able to do the daily crafting mostly on my own.

Anyway, I was finishing up the lv 20 Conjurer quest when Kasul logged in. It was Stone Vigil time.

I apologized to the unfortunate elders who drew me as their tank when we zoned in. Usually people are pretty cool with grouping with a newbie if they appear willing to learn. I always make it a point to talk to people at the start, especially if I'm new or they're new. (And I apologize to Omuro for not doing this in Haukke Manor; I thought you had been through all this stuff with another character). I also recap the strats as revealed to me in the wiki and walkthrough videos so that the elder players can comment on it. I never get a commendation as a newbie, but I imagine they appreciate me not barreling ahead like I already know everything. There's not been a dungeon that didn't surprise me, even after I did the research.

Stone Vigil was a heck of a dungeon. I overpulled early on, causing a wipe, but after that I was a bit more careful. Kasul kept me alive somehow, the elder deeps kept things dead somehow, and even the nasty character above didn't cause anyone many problems. I say that, but Kasul explained afterward about how often his healing was just on the edge, and how he had to deal with debuffs as best he could. The fact that I didn't even notice is testament to his skill.

One of the deeps -- Azelia, the Machinist -- had a turret gun pet which was pretty neat. Had no idea those things existed.

Anyway, with that done, the dungeon goes on rotation (theoretically; roulette has never given me anything beyond the first three dungeons). I do hope we get it again. Looks like it mostly drops weapons, which is good, but I could use better armor as well. Cutter's Cry seems to be the place to get some armor.

Marauder is level 28 now. I might as well get the job to 30 and check out Warrior, being so close. I just don't see a real difference in playstyles between marauder and paladin. Tanking is tanking.
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I preferred paladin over warrior, but now I'm a dark knight and despite them having squishiness issues, I love the class.
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Maybe it's just as well that +Pete Smith has never been infected by Blink 182's infectious blend of pop and punk... Until now!
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I can't wait for the new Rock Band because it exposes me to music I don't normally listen to otherwise. Plus I listen differently, if that makes any sense.
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President Obama sings Amazing Grace. I'm so happy to live in this time.
“May God continue to shed His grace on the United States of America." —President Obama after singing "Amazing Grace" to end his eulogy honoring Reverend Clementa Pinckney in Charleston, South Carolina:
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Brenda's Collections
Brenda Holloway's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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