Friday, April 28, 2017

Mascot Mayhem Begins May 1st!

Even as I write this, the team members of Intelligence Modifiers are opening up their team update e-mail I sent and discovering that the game is afoot!
(I would credit this, but I've long since forgotten its source.)

That's right -- it's just about time for Mascot Mayhem to begin! I have only very briefly (and vaguely) explained what this is, so allow me to elaborate a little more now that I have some solid ideas in place.

First and foremost, Mascot Mayhem is about encouraging the members of my team to do more and take actions that improve subtle habits that help in fundraising endeavors (such as utilizing social media, engaging donors, and being quick to respond). It's also meant to be silly, competitive fun for a bunch of gamers who -- at the end of the day -- just want to play games.

Below is the first draft of the ways the team members can earn points. These may change as I get feedback from them, but are likely to be the foundation for more as the year goes on. I welcome any and all feedback on these -- and suggestions are welcome, too. I did my best to make sure that all options are feasible for all members since not everyone can stream their gameplay.

Not bad, eh? Sometime next week I will be setting up the scoreboard for the team's Extra Life page so we can keep a running tally of points. I also need to find a way to let people cheer for a mascot -- and possibly get a prize at the end of the year if their chosen mascot is the winner. I welcome comments, questions, suggestions, and concerns in the comments. There haven't been any as of yet -- who gets to be the ultimate FIRST?!  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

League of Legends: My First Foray

I killed a champ in my lane, and I liked it. And no, I'm not an impostor. It's really me.

That flashy-lookin' gal in the picture that conjures up some kind of crazy combo of Rainbow Brite, 80's punk, and wannabe raver is actually a special skin for the champion called Sona -- Arcade Sona. This is the skin I had the privilege of playing as with my few player vs. bot matches yesterday.

If you play League, don't go getting all excited -- I haven't made an account. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to make an account or not. For the time being, I have the borrowed use of my husband's level 20 account as he plays alongside me on a level 8 account. Y'see, it's like this... (and you married folk will understand!)

My husband and I struck a bargain. We are similar in many ways, but our tastes can often vary greatly. I recently acquired the DVD/Blu-ray combo of Princess Mononoke, and I asked him to watch it with me since he's liked all the other Studio Ghibli movies I've shared with him. He is sometimes wary of my movie recommendations because he hasn't liked some of them (I still can't fathom a gamer who doesn't like Wreck-It Ralph, but there you have it). He agreed to watch it... if I played a few games of League with him.

A couple days later, he copied the folder and dropped it onto my computer. We had a discussion about the different roles and different champions, and settled on me giving Support a try. Of the list of champions he gave me who are Support, I decided that Sona seemed like my best option. It may have had something to do with the music-themed abilities. *cough*

Now, from my understanding, League is very much like another game I'm familiar with -- Guardians of Middle-Earth -- in that it is a MOBA. The main difference I could spot was that there are vastly more champions to play in League, and the leveling in a match is slower with more choices in GoME to offset the fewer number of champions. I think that is probably why many more people play League -- that and being free to play versus an overpriced twenty dollars (not that I paid that much -- I go for the deep discounts!). Though my husband tells me he has quite a few expensive champion skins that were twenty and fifty dollars apiece... Gotta make their money somehow, right?

I'm going to say something here that I think even my husband would argue with, but please understand that it's coming from someone who's only played 3 matches of League with the same enemy bots. Okay? Okay.

While I enjoyed playing League, and will probably play some more to see if it's really something I can enjoy for the long haul, I find myself more engaged and having to think strategically in Guardians of Middle-Earth. Keep your shirt on and I'll explain myself!

Sona's default appearance.

First, because of the broader range of champions to choose from in League, people don't necessarily have to play AS smartly so long as they have an understanding of the skills. Ultimately, someone who IS a strategic player and knows the skills will fare best, but my perception was that sheer dumb luck could just as easily thwart that (we all know those button-mashers who eat four-leaf clovers for breakfast).

In GoME, there are far fewer champions to select from, forcing a player to be choosy and thoughtful about their leveling selections, slotted gear, and how they interact with the other champions and minions. Having fewer choices makes it imperative that you have a plan and try to get the upper hand using your skills. The downside, of course, is that there ARE fewer options and the game loses some of its replay value in that way.

So, both games have pros and cons because of their plethora and lack of champion options -- I'm merely speculating from my limited experience. Who knows? Maybe in a few months I'll blog again and tell you just how wrong I was!

Ultimately, what made it enjoyable was that I was playing alongside my husband. He, uh, isn't a fan of the toxic people who happen to be a lot of League's players, but he makes the most of it by simply enjoying the game despite other people. If you demonstrate to him that you're a jerk in some capacity, he'll make your match a nightmare -- even if you're on his team. But that's my attitude about multiplayer games in general: games are for fun, so stop being jerks to other people because you base your self worth on your imaginary game achievements.

But back to the actual game experience: The first match was terrible. I hadn't even done the tutorial, so I had no idea how to even move much less understand what was on the screen. My previous experience with GoME was the only help I had until I figured out how to work my questions for my husband. By the second match, I was doing somewhat better and at least knew what my skills did. By the third, I'd already purchased my initial gear by the time my husband was heading down our lane -- and I managed to kill some enemies all on my own.

He keeps telling me there's a steep learning curve -- and I can tell you that the learning curve lies in knowing the champions and what their abilities are. Knowing you need to get out of range of one champion or use a specific skill on another can make or break your match. In my head, I've categorized this learning curve with the likes of Mortal Kombat and Soul Calibur -- once I learned who did what and how, I was unstoppable in those games. I feel this one will be similar, and I'm looking forward to playing some more to really decide if this will be a game I keep installed.

Stay tuned -- I'm going to play more than just Sona to get a feel for the game! And if you absolutely hate my guts because you think I've dissed LoL, that's fine. See that header waaaaaay up top that says I'm a terrible gamer? I'm not doing this to prove anything -- I'm doing it #ForTheKids!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Calling All Monsters!

This is an open invitation to anyone reading my blog!

I'm inviting every gamer I know (or don't know!) to come play with Nimrodel Exiles in LOTRO PvMP. Wait! Don't stop reading yet! I know what you're thinking, because I thought it before, too. You think PvP is a waste or that the people who PvP are jerks. Well, yeah -- sometimes that's true. But neither applies to Nimrodel Exiles. These people are mostly all members of the kinship I play with in regular PvE.

Hm. I guess maybe I should explain a few things for people who might have no clue what I'm talking about!

PvE = Player versus Environment. This means all of the quests you get from NPCs (non-player characters) in an RPG (Role-Playing Game). You know, the ones that tell you to go kill ten of this creature or twenty of those bandits, and then when you come back to the NPC to turn in the quest... they send you back out to the same place to kill the creature alpha or bandit leader -- because clearly that wasn't the priority the first time you went there.

PvP = Player versus Player. Games have varying versions of this, usually in one of two extremes: everywhere in the game is open to it, or only only one segregated area. The first is either an attractor or detractor for players since it means you have to be ready for a backstab at any time. The same can be said for the latter, since some players consider it stifling or limiting -- or dull after a while.

PvMP = Player versus Monster Player. This is the terminology used in LOTRO because it allows you to take your elf hunter or your hobbit burglar and travel to either The Ettenmoors or Osgiliath to fight against other players who are playing Monster characters instead of Free People. The two are often referred to as Creeps and Freeps as a result.

Going back to that invite!

In order to play a Creep (Monster character) on the Moors, you must first have leveled a Freep (Free People character) to level 10 on the server. So if you normally play on, say, the Arkenstone server, but you don't have any characters on Landroval yet -- you would have to make a Free People character first and level it before you can make your Monster character to play on the Moors. (Bummer, I know.)

If you haven't played LOTRO at all, but are interested in doing so and interested in Creep Night, please don't hesitate to drop me an e-mail! I'm more than happy to help people get started on the right foot (or the left if you're so inclined). Not only can I introduce you to one of the best kinships I've ever known in my five years of gameplay, but those same awesome people are behind Creep Night as well. You won't regret it if you give them a try!

That said, if you do already play on the Moors, you're welcome to join Nimrodel Exiles in our shenanigans on the Moors without the pressure of having to join the tribe. The more of us there are, the easier to collect Hobbit Feet, Elf Ears and Dwarf Beards, amiright?

You can find my spider (pictured above), Manticlyn, on Landroval -- as well as my warg, Cavixa, and my defiler, Haniaru. Happy hunting to all you Monsters!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My First PC Game

Special Edition box & booklet cover.
Lords of Magic was a turn-based strategy game in the high fantasy genre, and it was released in November of 1997. Not long after, they released the expansion called Legends of Urak which included 5 campaigns with specific objectives which each told a unique story within the world of Urak. Lords of Magic: Special Edition included Legends of Urak. It was the Special Edition I unwrapped on my 15th birthday, and it was my first real PC game.

Prior to that wonderful birthday present, I had been limited to a variety of games available at school only -- Oregon Trail, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, a Muppets learning game, and a scant few others I don't even remember now because of how little I was able to play of them during the after-school Computer Club times. I didn't have a computer at home until the summer prior to me starting high school, and there I had been limited to Minesweeper, Solitaire, and this weird match game with mutant creatures -- it came with our Dell software package, so don't ask me any questions!

My dad had been the one to gift me Lords of Magic, and my mother heartily disapproved -- I still don't know the reason why. Reasons could have ranged anywhere from her mindset being determined to detest video games because of stereotypes, to the simple fact that my dad had given it to me and they were divorced and that inherently obligated her to be displeased. The game wasn't taken from me, though, and I dove right into it.

I'm not writing about this game from memory, either -- I still have the game, have always kept it installed on my computers, and played it today simply to get the screenshots to support this blog entry. (Note: I used some cheat codes to expedite the game today so I could get the screenshots, but I advise against using the codes if you ever wish to truly enjoy the game.)
Sierra's logo from Lords of Magic.
I don't know about you, but my favorite game company for many years was (and in some ways still is) Sierra. One of my other favorites from them was Torin's Passage, but that's another blog entry altogether. They brought us games like the King's Quest series, Diablo, Half-Life, and many other titles. They also came to possess the copyrights for dozens more through mergers -- including Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. Alright, so maybe I'm getting a little off track -- my point is that they are special to me and for good reason!

Getting back to Lords of Magic, the game itself is pretty simple in both story and mechanics. The game world is called Urak, and there are 8 separate faiths the inhabitants can follow (you might consider them factions, but in the game these faiths are represented as religions complete with great temples). The faiths are arranged in a circle, with cardinal opposites being hostile to one another by default. They include: Death, Air, Order, Fire, Life, Earth, Chaos, and Water. When you start your game, you select one of 3 classes for your Leader: Warrior, Mage, or Thief; and then select which faith. In conferring with an old review posted by Gamespot, I agree that you only ever want to choose Fire if you want a challenge. Nearly every other faith is biased against Fire for some reason, and they're tough to build up in strength as a result.
Three classes to choose from.

When I was playing the game as a teenager, I often chose Life or Chaos (pretty apropos for a teenage girl, eh?), but sometimes dabbled with Water or Order because of the units available. Eventually, I had played every faith -- including Death, which becomes unlocked once you've beaten the game story's bad guy, Balkoth, who is the Death Lord. The generic start, if you don't use the available editor, has your opposite faction revved up to oppose you and with their Temple already secured. What does that mean? I'll explain.

Order's default beginning.

Each faith has a section of map that's designated for their faith, including styled land textures and unique buildings. Each faith also has a Temple which contains a 2-part battle with some heavy duty mobs to fight against in order to claim it for your faith. Having the Temple claimed means the faith can level-up their capital and buildings, and once their mage tower is level 3 they can summon legendary creatures from the Temple. These creatures have unique powers and can make a big dent in your enemies when used appropriately. The wisest course is to keep them close to the Temple as part of its defense.

That may sound complicated, but the game does a very good job of explaining the situation when you start, as well as explaining what changes when something momentous happens -- like when you liberate a Temple, or free Champions, or even when you defeat another Lord. If I could figure it out as a teenager without any previous experience with strategy games, I think just about anyone could figure it out.  


One thing I did not bother to get a screenshot of is the combat map itself once you enter into a dungeon area. You can scale down the world map to see things well, but you can't do so inside a dungeon. The most you can see is part of one of your own groups and can't even get your own and the enemy into one shot -- so I didn't bother. 

Map editor.
One aspect of the game I never spent any time with is the map editor. It lets you build your own map -- everything on it, however you want it -- and then you can play on it. I can't recall if you were able to use the custom maps for multiplayer games since back then I didn't have anyone to play games. I imagine multiplayer in this game would have been rather entertaining and I'm sorry I missed out on it.

Hidden Legends of Urak campaign.
The Legends of Urak campaigns in the Special Edition were another facet I didn't really do much with. I played each of them through exactly one time and was satisfied knowing I had finished them. Four of them are shown on the selection screen as their featured Champion in the faith circle. There is a fifth that is hidden and you reveal it by clicking the very middle of the faith circle - as seen in my screenshot. This fifth one is the only one that is terribly engaging or challenging and it involves defeating the dragon Fafnir.

As many times as I have played this game, I don't think I've ever uncovered all of the available spells or artifacts without the aid of codes or the Lord editor. That in itself lends itself to the quality of the game, in my opinion. I've read that the original game had a lot of bugs and shortcomings, not all of which were corrected with the release of the Special Edition. I suppose with the sheer number and varying quality of games I have played over the years that I easily overlook any problems in this older game that is so very near and dear to my heart.
Credits screen.

If I've intrigued you at all, there's good news: You can still purchase this game for $5.99 over on's website. You even get the manual with it (which covers all of the artifacts and spells!) as well as detailed trees for tech and units. I might also be jealous of the HD wallpaper, though I have no idea what it even looks like. If you feel inspired enough to make the purchase, I encourage you to let me know!

Thanks for reading. I encourage you to comment with any feedback or questions. And as always, please consider making a donation to Extra Life to help me be a hero #ForTheKids!

💕  Donate Here: My Extra Life Page

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Extra Life: Hospital Numbers and Gamer Facts

Click for an enlarged view of the infographic.

These are the numbers that inspire myself and thousands of other gamers to participate in Extra Life every year. Maybe you're sick of seeing me post about it on Facebook, Twitter, and Steam. Maybe you had an unnaturally healthy childhood. Maybe you're not a parent or sibling or best friend of someone who desperately needed the care provided by CMN Hospitals. 

Or maybe you look down your nose at the Extra Life charity because of the stereotypes about gamers? I hate to burst your bubble, but we aren't all unhinged teenagers with unhealthy addictions and a lack of morality -- that list of problems isn't caused by games. I recommend you read Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked, posted on the PBS website and written by an MIT professor -- with listed sources!

Regardless of your possible biases, the infographic's numbers should send the message home pretty clearly. These hospitals provide care to terminally ill children as well as emergency care to children who are victims of accidents, violence and natural disasters. It's the children who didn't ask for cancer, who didn't ask that other driver to hit their parents' car, who didn't ask for fires and earthquakes. They could very well be any of the children in your life or in the lives of those around you.

These are the children we are trying to be heroes for by simply doing what we love and sharing it with others. All we ask is that you find it in your heart to make a donation. Your donation is tax deductible and goes directly to the hospitals we're playing for. 

In my case, I am playing for Children's National in Washington, D.C. -- a wonderful hospital which also treats international children who cannot receive the care they need in their home countries. This is my fifth year playing for them, and they are wonderfully supportive of their Extra Lifers.

Please donate today and help me be a hero #ForTheKids!

💕 Donate here: Carla's Extra Life Page
💡 Click here for more information about Extra Life.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Behold the Tentacle Monster!

Lore-master Birle takes on The Watcher in the Water in The Drowned Treasury.
(Moria, The Lord of the Rings Online)

Just putting this here because I can. This would have looked better if I had post-processing turned on, but I'd honestly forgotten this was the instance where The Watcher comes back.

My kin on Landroval has had fun the last couple weeks taking Birle into the 12-man Vile Maw raid (where you finally kill this tentacled beast after two previous fights against it). Why has it been fun? Well, I may have complained about Birle dying before being able to move out of the way of the very first attack and then remaining dead through the rest of the fight.

They kept her alive, finally, last night (they cheated and had a lot of 'big kid' characters), and this one-on-one picture is from the Epic storyline instance I ran today.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Meet The Team: Intelligence Modifiers

Some of my teammates are going to cringe when they realize I've posted this in my blog, but I think it's important for the people following our cause to know that I didn't just recruit any ol' person who wanted to be cool by signing up and then doing nothing. On the contrary -- I recruited people I felt confident were going to make an honest effort at both raising awareness for Extra Life and raising funds for the sick kids at our hospitals.


Silver Dragon
1st Year
Team Helmsman
Silver Dragon is my friend Robert, and probably one of the best friends I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He is also the team mate I have known the longest. We first became acquainted when we were teenagers -- fighting the good fight in AOL chat rooms. He is now a happy and proud husband and father living in Georgia, and what better way to play games and support a relevant cause than to participate in Extra Life? You can watch him stream on his Twitch channel.

Black Koi
1st Year
Team Surgeon
Black Koi is this roleplaying guy named Sean whom I really haven't known all that long. What I DO know about him is that he's wildly funny, loves a good story, and is immensely supportive of his friends' endeavors. I know he's also very busy with school and a relationship, so I haven't pestered him too much about keeping up with the rest of the team. (If you're reading this, Sean, drop me a line? Thanks.) I met him in the game RIFT last summer, and I miss getting to talk with him and other guild members like we used to. Real life likes to get in the way!

Purple Squirrel
1st Year
Team Boatswain
Purple Squirrel is my friend Lyrak, who is (to my knowledge) the most creatively diverse member of the team. We met in a quasi-roleplay dream in Furcadia about fourteen years ago, where I made many other friends over time. She was the person to convince me to give Second Life a try, though she and I have mostly kept in touch through LiveJournal and Facebook since then. She is artistic, sarcastic, nerdy, and an all around great person who is always at war with the weather in Ohio where she lives. You can follow her efforts in her Skyrim blog.

Blue Wolf
1st Year
Team Navigator
Blue Wolf is my friend Kris. I've known him for about nine years, though there was a decent-sized gap in the middle where I didn't really know how he was or what he was doing. We originally got to know each other through a convention-sponsored sim in Second Life, and I've always admired his devotion to music and creativity. He is a music teacher in Colorado these days, and I don't think his favorite game has ever NOT been a Zelda title. You can watch him stream on his Twitch channel.

Green Owl
1st Year
Team Lieutenant
Green Owl is a friend of mine who goes by the nickname Reset. He was one of those crazy space pirate roleplayers I became acquainted with about nine years ago. Being from Spain, his English wasn't very good at first, but he picked things up very quickly over the years and I'm proud of how much better his English has become as a result. He loves his wife, a good indie game, and is also a fan of science, astronomy, cats, rock music, and Cthulhu. He's sort of new to it, but you can watch him stream on his Twitch channel.
Gold Deer
5th Year
Team Captain
Gold Deer is me! I had wanted to use a hoofed mythological creature for my mascot since most of my non-game internet friends associate me with kirins or unicorns. That's when I turned to Greek mythology and recalled The Golden Hind. Well, as it turns out, this was also the name of a famous ship known for privateering. It was the perfect choice and helped flesh out our spectrum for the Mascots. You can follow my blog entries here because I live in Mississippi and internet here is a joke. (For real. Fourth slowest state of the fifty.)

Orange Lizard
1st Year
Team Striker
Orange Lizard is another Second Life acquaintance -- he's also all about dragons, but Rob beat him to the punch for that particular Mascot. Most people in SL know him as Lit, but I also know him as Carlos. During my last few years of Extra Life, Carlos has been a staunch supporter and donor. He's also the team member in the lead for donations this year! You can watch him stream on his Twitch channel.

Red Tiger
3rd Year
Team Gunner
Red Tiger is one of my best friends. I have known Brionne for nine years and we tried to date seriously for a few of the years in between. Known for his robot avatars and love of Transformers, this Nebraskan makes many Second Life people jealous when they see what he is capable of building. He pays close attention to detail, and is many times better at action games than I will ever be. He doesn't stream, but you can follow his game playing through his Steam profile.

Pink Aardvark
1st Year
Team Goofball
Pink (Polka-dotted) Aardvark is my husband, Steven. You probably won't see or hear much from him this year, but he wanted to be supportive of my charity efforts. He said if I made him a pink polka-dotted aardvark mascot picture that he would sign up. It was a deal. He DOES play several games on his PS4, but only has Linux on his laptop. To support this, I might post a blog article for him about one of his games. Since he's a busy man with multiple jobs, it's not very likely.

Brown Bear
1st Year
Team Cabin Boy
Brown Bear is another one of those space pirate roleplayers, but also one of my LOTRO friends. He gifted the Riders of Rohan expansion to me when it came out and I couldn't have been more grateful! I've recently introduced him to my secondary kinship on Landroval, and I'm hoping we can show him all the awesomeness in the game that comes after Moria -- he hasn't reached the light on the other side yet. You can watch him stream on his Twitch channel.

Is this not the most amazing group of gamers this side of the galaxy? Well, perhaps not, but they're all wonderful people and I'm glad they're on my team. You'll hear more about their endeavors throughout the year, and more about our competition with each other: Mascot Mayhem. If you want to see the full team bios, you can visit our team Extra Life page: +INT [Intelligence Modifiers]

Please consider supporting our efforts to help sick kids in need: visit Extra Life to donate, and/or share this blog with others so we can be heroes #ForTheKids.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Story of Aarawynn Athanestel

"...but what happened to Aarawynn?"

That has been the most popular question I've received since my last blog entry about the various photogenic views in LOTRO. Every time someone asks me this question, I chide myself in my head with, "Yeah, Carla -- who wants to see your silly screenshots, anyway? Elf hunters trump that every time." I get it. I totally do. So I'll humor the curiosity of the masses and focus on Aarawynn this time -- you may wish you hadn't asked.

As mentioned previously, Aarawynn was originally a character created by others and they asked me to roleplay her. She was the daughter of a ranger-cleric named Baer and... well, I never really got an idea of what class Cayley was, as I never saw her in combat. Even so, the two were delighted that I had agreed to roleplay as their daughter. But real life has a way of wrecking plans for roleplayers, and I soon found myself without either of them to roleplay with. Not wanting to let go of a good foundation, I gained permission from the RP leaders and we sped up Aarie's aging process. Since she was an elf, that was no small bit of permission to obtain!

She soon became my 'fun' character who did what she wanted, flirted with young men, talked to animals, and became extremely proficient with a bow. My time with that roleplay group came to an end not long after, however, and Aarie had herself a good nap for about ten years until my first foray into LOTRO. She seemed the natural character to select from my arsenal of personas, as I'd never played an elf anywhere else aside from a very shy avariel cleric -- but I doubt anyone even remembers Celestia Wynd'mere.

I learned very quickly that ranged damage was amazing and I loved it. I hadn't had much experience with action games before this point, and my few experiences with NES and SEGA Genesis games had proven to me that I was not good at melee or anything that required a quick reaction. So this buffer I now had, which was proportionate to the distance between myself and my enemy, was the best thing since Van Halen's "Jump!" reached #1 on the charts (i.e. when I was born).

Excited that I was playing an action-based game and not failing all over the place, I recruited my best friend, Brionne. He chose to play an elf guardian named Dvaran, as he has always preferred to be up close and personal when fighting and we both figured that would be a decent balance for my ranged damage. We were proven right as we progressed through the levels and worked very well as a team.

As the levels wore on, however, he became less enthralled with the game and had problems staying awake long enough to get much accomplished. This led to me creating alts so I would have other characters to play when we weren't playing together, but eventually it became obvious that I should just forge ahead on my own. This is why Aarie is currently level 104 and Dvaran is 91.


Now, while I have recently created a handful of new characters on a different server (Landroval), I still log into my characters on Arkenstone -- though I dearly miss my days on Elendilmir. People were much more laidback on Elendilmir and it seemed like there was a lot less lag-causing congestion. Even so, Aarie is very much my favorite character since she was my first, and I am determined she will make it through end-game content before my main character, Birle, on Landroval. That being said, she's going to need some help. Dvaran was crafting her armor but no longer has the recipes to outfit her. She's also so much of a glass cannon that she is stuck in an instance in Central Gondor. I will be attempting to invest in some landscape soldier tokens to remedy that situation, but if anyone reading this is playing on Arkenstone then I encourage you to drop me an e-mail and play with me!

Do you have feedback or questions about my blog content? Please send me an e-mail or comment here on the blog itself. Feedback helps me determine what I should be writing about. And if you are enjoying my blog entries, please consider helping me to be a hero for sick kids and make a donation on my Extra Life page!