Baby Tank Gets an Upgrade – Part II

Here’s to all the doctors who said she’d never stand and walk.

She’s having fun proving you wrong.


Eight Years


Of this little Rogue putting up with me.

Happy Anniversary, Baby.

I love you.

Don’t Be That Guy

Overheard in trade chat (although you could have probably guessed that had I not told you):

Random Dude #1: “ilvl 359 mage lfg firelands trash”

That Guy: “359s aren’t worth that much anymore”

Random Dude #2: “hey, does anybody use gatherer?”

That Guy: “I use gathermate2 it’s better”

I don’t know why, but I find that significantly more obnoxious than “Anal” spam and people inserting the word “Murloc” into movie names.

Shut up, That Guy.


Some things happened in the blogosphere during my hiatus. Lots of things, actually. A few of them hit me pretty hard, and while i haven’t commented on them and am, admittedly, very late in mentioning them at all, I wanted to take a second to say a few things to a few people who inspired me and have since either moved on from blogging about this silly game or just aren’t posting as regularly for one reason or another.


When I first started tanking in TBC yours was one of the first blogs I found. When I had an issue I couldn’t resolve about how to gear, what abilities to use, or anything else having to do with being a Prot Warrior, I went to you. You were one of the most knowledgeable and accessible tank geniuses out there. Thank you for your contributions to the community. You are and will always be missed.


I found your blog, along with Keredria’s, right around the time our guild started raiding in TBC. At the time, the Left Claw was hitting Kara for the first time, too. Most of what I found online was theorycrafting and number crunching, but here were two bloggers who not only discussed class and boss fight mechanics but also just shared experiences…experiences that were similar to those I was having in a different guild and on a different server. I looked forward to every single Pretty in Plate and Tree of Life post. You showed me that you don’t have to fill every post with comparisons between parry and dodge or how to gem or enchant to have a brilliant blog. All you have to do sometimes is write about what you did and what you’re feeling and people will read it and enjoy the heck out of it because they relate to it. You and K are two of the biggest reasons I started blogging. Thank you for that.


Tam, there are few bloggers who made me laugh (not fake “lol” internet laughing, but actual, honest-to-goodness, people are staring at me at work laughing) quite as hard or as often as you. Not only that, but you inspired me more than once while I flailed around desperately seeking something to write about. I wish I was around a couple of months ago to give you a proper good-bye on your blog, but I hope you happen to see this and know that Bloggeroth is a little less hilarious these days.


I know you’re still kind of around (and you’ve got a new blog), but I wanted to let you know that the work you’ve done for the past several years on Tank Like a Girl has been so incredibly helpful to me. I suck significantly less because of you (documented fact). As I near 85 in my less-than-glorious return to WoW, one of my Safari windows on my iPhone is locked on your pre-raid gear shopping list and will be for quite a while. You’re one of the best tank bloggers out there, and don’t let anybody (especially some troll) tell you otherwise. Oh, and thanks for still being on Twitter, because I may have some stupid questions for you as I stumble my way back into this game.

There are others who’ve come and gone, so this is by no means an all-inclusive list. Just some things I wanted to say to some people who I deeply respect.

Thank you. Every one of you.


The starting area so nice I had to do it twice.

Rolled a Worgen Druid (Crann) the other night out of a desire to play coupled with a lack of desire to play any of my existing characters. I had a Nelf Druid at one point, but I lost interest and deleted him (I did, however, name my Hunter’s bear pet after him to honor the fallen).

I considered possibly rolling another class or another race, but something about Gilneas just gets me. The atmosphere and storyline are really well done. I’ve also become a big fan of the Worgen race itself. Granted, some of that may be because they’re the new kids on the block and sooner or later they’ll lose their luster just like everything else, but, for now, I’m enjoying the heck out of them.

I decided to give the Druid class another go due to the lack of healers currently on our (very, very small) roster. I have three characters now (all under level 20, incidentally) who can heal. If I give them all a fair shake and get the necessary motivation to do some hardcore leveling, the odds are good that at least one will stick and I’ll have an option other than tanking when we start doing some high-level content.

I don’t imagine I’ll ever be a full-time healer, but it’s certainly something I wouldn’t mind trying and keeping in my back pocket as a second option…if I can manage to convince myself to actually get one to 85. My old “tank or nothing” way of doing things wasn’t very helpful back when we were raiding as a decent-sized guild, and it’ll likely be less helpful this time around with our roster as small as it is (no offense to the Gnomes).

We’ll see what happens. For now, Crann is level 7 and can’t even turn back into his human form yet, let alone a bear or cat.

Will I successfully level a Druid this time around? Stay tuned.

Side note: A big, hearty welcome to the individual(s) who found my blog whilst searching for the term “Worgen Love.” While I don’t know exactly what you intended to find (although I could venture a guess or two based on my knowledge of Rule 34), I hope that you enjoyed your stay here at Aggro Junkie and, eventually, found the content you desired.

Baby Tank Gets an Upgrade

For those of you who’ve been following me a while, I’m sure you remember Baby Tank. For those of you who are new, here she is:

Baby Tank (almost 5 years old now) was born with myelomeningocele (L3-L5), a type of spina bifida, and a number of conditions that are related to it (hydrocephalus, Arnold-Chiari II malformation, etc, etc, etc). She has no feeling from the middle of her thighs down, but has some control over her right leg. She’s been in a wheelchair since she got out of the stroller.

Well, Baby Tank went to the doctor yesterday and got fitted for something called a Reciprocating Gait Orthosis, or RGO. This little piece of equipment will enable her, with the assistance of crutches or a walker and after quite a bit of practice, to walk.

She’s incredibly excited about this, and, as you can probably imagine, so are we. They have to order some of the parts, and we’re taking her back in on July 7th for a final fitting. After that, she has to go through some training to get the hang of it.

This is a big deal for us and an even bigger deal for her. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.

Edit: My photography skills are, as Sir Charles would say, “turrible,” so Cheesi insisted that I post this so you get a better look at Baby Tank:

Running Wild

20110601-010926.jpgSo this guy manages to hit 20 last night. Much achievementy fanfare ensues:

Ciunas has earned the achievement [Level 20]

Ciunas has earned the achievement [Giddy Up]

Also on my screen, I got a little popup that says (paraphrased):

Hey, man. You can totally do this now.

No visit to a trainer. No little quest where you have to go see somebody in Darnassus who shows you how to get down on all fours (shut up, sicko). Just a couple of popups and a spell instantly appears in your spellbook.

Aside from the lack of drama, I have to admit I’m a fan of Running Wild. The fact that it doesn’t cost anything at all makes it really difficult to criticize, but even beyond that I like the concept and the animation.

I’m disappointed that I can’t stock up on Worgen mounts for Misneach the way I did with the other Alliance races, but, all in all, the pros outnumber the cons for me on this one.

My master plan for the week is to take Ciunas on a lowbie instance run this weekend that some folks in the guild have been planning. I haven’t done an instance at less than max level since TBC, and I rarely do any instances on anybody except Mis. I’m kind of excited to give it a go. Nothing too serious, just a little bit of fun.

From Scratch

So we finally managed to get a whopping five guildies online simultaneously over the weekend. Yeah, five. We’re up to six active players. Yes, Dear Reader, that is a big deal.

Vyc, Paeya, and Jaz made their way back into the fold to join Eck, Cheesi, and me. We goofed off in guild chat, shared what knowledge we had with one another to try to get up to speed on the changes that have happened in-game (Vyc and Paeya haven’t been around since TBC, so I’m sure this is overwhelming for them), and immediately rediscovered the chemistry that made our old guild work so well to begin with…back before the raiding, drama, and general nonsense that causes people to quit altogether.

It’s back to the basics, really. We all have a lot to learn (and we’re learning it mostly from Eck, at the moment). These, however, are some of the smartest and most capable players with whom I have ever played. They’re not afraid to do a little homework to figure out what they need to know to get what they want from the game.

We’re sticking to our “no commitment” mantra and I couldn’t be happier about that. That’s not to say that we won’t ever raid or PvP as a guild, but the point is that the expectations aren’t there. That makes a huge difference for people who have families, jobs, and other responsibilities that place demands on our time and energy. When WoW becomes a task on our list that we need to check off, that’s when the grown-ups get burnt out. At least that’s what happened to me.

So, for now, it’s all about fun. Sooner rather than later, I’m sure we’ll all be at max level and we’ll get ourselves into a heroic or a raid and see what kind of trouble we can cause, but maintaining the “we’re busy people and this is supposed to be fun” mindset is the key, I think, to making this work.

We really want this to work.

We’re all over the country and we’ve never met in real life, but we consider ourselves friends.  After we all stopped playing, we hardly communicated except to check on one another via Facebook if we noticed that somebody was sick or going through something tough. This guild reunion is an opportunity to get back to interacting regularly and, once in a while, accomplishing something…even if that something is as silly as killing a digital dragon or helping to get digital materials together to make somebody a digital motorcycle/helmet/sword/whatever.

It’s just as important to a relationship to share the mundane and unimportant moments of our lives as it is to provide a shoulder for the hard times. As ridiculous as it seems, it doesn’t make it any less true that WoW facilitates that kind of interaction and, subsequently, truly and legitimately facilitates real friendships.

We’re starting over, and this game is fun again.

Putting the Band Back Together

(Please note this is my first ever mobile post, so forgive the lack of screenshots and epically fancy formatting.)

Last Saturday, while I was spending the day freezing at a softball tournament, I got an email that injected 1 bazillion cc of awesome into my renewed WoW experience.

Vycodin, Pally healer extraordinaire and one of the coolest human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, sent word off to Cheesi, me, and some of the old crew, Jaz and Fai, saying that he and his lovely wife Paeya were planning on getting back into the game. Jaz, who had been playing Rift but was missing the “good ol’ days,” and Fai were in, and off we went.

After lamenting the lack of EoF activity in my last post, all of a sudden the old crew is getting back together.

We have no grand aspirations outside of getting online when our real lives will allow it and having as much fun as humanly possible with people we actually (gasp) like. What a frickin’ concept that is in an online game.

We’ve been trading emails since, just getting everybody up to speed on some of the basic changes and new stuff Blizzard chucked our way. We’ve also gotta figure out if our Vent server has been pirated by an old PuG or hipsters who think Skype is too mainstream (Related: Cheesi and I need new gaming headsets because, apparently, preteen/teenage girls get their kicks completely demolishing them. Honestly, these are the problems I deal with).

Bottom line: This is gonna be fun.

Stay tuned.


In the event that you don’t follow me on Twitter, or you’re not hooked up with me on Real ID, allow me to announce my less-than-triumphal return to WoW.

I woke up a few Saturdays ago with Cheesi sitting up in bed playing WoW on her laptop. Neither of us had been online in months, and I honestly had no intention of starting to play again. Furthermore, I wasn’t excited about the prospect of going through the process of installing Cataclysm on my computer and waiting for the patches to download. She had already installed it shortly after it was released, but hadn’t touched it since. That morning, however, she woke up, patched, and started playing.

All it took was an hour or so of watching her for me to make the fateful decision. By that afternoon I was swimming around killing stuff and mining Obsidium.

All of our former guildies are basically gone. Our buddy Eck still has a character in EoF, so we catch him online once in a while, but when we’re online, we’re generally the only people online.

Misneach is currently a level 81. I’m working on Mactire simultaneously, because he’s still in Northrend and Ink of the Sea is making me a metric crap-ton of gold on the AH. I’m hoping that, at long last, I can manage to have two characters at max level simultaneously.


I also rolled a Worgen Rogue named Ciunas (name borrowed from my old Rogue, who was unceremoniously deleted due to lack of interest).

Regarding the Worgen experience: Love the starting area. Love the storyline. Love the hat.

I doubt EoF will ever set foot into a raid again, unless we can get some of the old band back together. Most of them are happy in their new guilds or are simply not playing anymore, so I don’t expect that will happen any time soon.

I’m not going to twist any arms or throw any fits, though. I mostly just want to have fun. That’s been my goal with this game since I first logged in back in 2007 and it’s still my goal today.

So there you have it. The shield’s been dusted off and the drake’s been fed and watered.

Mount up. Let’s do it.