Post-Christmas Pre-New Year’s Danny Update

Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. First, I would like to express my hopes that each and every one of you, My Dear Readers, had a wonderful Christmas. That your Christmas was spent with; family, friends and loved ones whom you enjoy spending time with the most. That you ate as much, if not more, than you wanted and that it was good. That it left you full not only physically but spiritually and emotionally full, as well. Second, I hope that all of you gave and received presents that brought happiness, and gave you happiness.

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I feel, and this is my humble opinion, that a lot, today, is made of what is ‘missing’ from Christmas. The desire to “put Christ back in Christmas” and that somehow the materialism of Christmas is all bad’. You might not know this but, a majority of America retail corporations go from red ink to black ink, during this holiday season. That is to say that Holiday sales are where these American retail corporations become profitable. These American corporations greatly depend on holiday sales. As well, when holiday sales are down that is bad for the G.D.P. (Gross Domestic Product) of this nation.

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Don’t get me wrong I am in no way advocating for people or you, My Dear Readers, to go out and ‘max out’ your credit card(s) or worse overextend yourself during the holiday season. I am just saying that materialism is good for our nation’s retailers and that (truly) the giving and receiving of presents (at this holiday season) is an expression of the love so important to Christmas. Even I, with my greatly limited the financial means, spent money this holiday season.

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Allen received a whole new outfit of clothes, two packages of underwear, a package of socks, and various kinds of chocolates and sweets. Unlike many Christmas past, my portrayal of ‘Mr. Christmas’ did not happen. I was unable to go out, behind Allen’s back, and purchase Christmas presents for him.

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There was no awakening, on Christmas morning, to Allen finding presents under the tree that were not there when he went to bed Christmas Eve. Further, I did not receive any Christmas presents at all. Allen having clothing for his new job took priority to me receiving any presents. I knew this to be the case, more than a month ago. I feel that some of the depression I have felt… I tired my best to find ways to finance a better Christmas. I failed.

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Thanks to the generosity of one of My Dear Readers, a benefactor in England, Allen and I enjoyed a very nice Christmas Dinner. If you have me as a friend on Facebook, check out my Photos, and you will see several photos I took of our Christmas Turkey, Green bean casserole, and my famous Garden/Herb Stuffing. Ian’s generosity was pivotal to our Christmas Dinner. I am forever in his debt.

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I did also purchase a black ink cartridge for my printer. I needed this cartridge so that I could print up a Demand Letter. This letter is going to the gentleman that stole $300 from me in October of this year. For those of you that are just beginning to read my blog? I will explain this, briefly.

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In October of this year I was in the process of moving out of the apartment I had been in for the past decade. My caregiver and roommate of the past 26 years, Allen, was out of town on family business. I did not know when he would return so I was using Craigslist to help me find someplace new to live. After speaking with 8 to 10 people, over a period of three weeks. I ran across a gentleman by the name of Lawrence. Lawrence and I corresponded several times via email, culminating in us setting up an appointment for me to meet him in his home.

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I met Lawrence and his home, looked at the room that was available, discussed my disability and that Allen was my caregiver and would be moving in, eventually. The gentleman, Lawrence, understood all these things and made it clear that if I wanted to move in I needed to leave him with the deposit on the room before I left that day. Quite luckily I only had $300 of the $400 he was asking for deposit. I left him with a $300 and got a handwritten receipt from Lawrence. Roughly 60 hours later I found out Allen was going to be back much sooner than I thought. In fact he was going to be back in time to move in to the new apartment the day I moved in.

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I immediately contacted Lawrence and let him know that Allen would be moving in as well and asked him if this was a problem. Lawrence immediately indicated, without hesitation, that it was not a problem that everything would work out. As well, expressing that in the worst case scenario Allen would rent another room he had available in the same house, at a much reduced rate. Later that evening Lawrence called me up on the phone to tell me that he had changed his mind and “feel you have harmed us both… Therefore I am keeping your entire deposit”.

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That is correct, without ever moving in, without due consideration, and without any legal reason to do so; Lawrence stole $300 from me when I needed the most. His action nearly resulted in me ending up homeless. I have corresponded with him, one sided, since October. After contacting the Civil Court system, here in Orange County, I was instructed to send a ‘Letter of Demand’ and on the 2nd January, if Laurence does not repay the deposit money, I will be forced to take him to court and sue him.

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$300 is a lot of money to me, My Dear Readers, is nearly 1/3 of all the money I get to live on every single month. Quite frankly if he had returned that money I would never have needed Ian’s generosity, and I might’ve actually got at least one Christmas present this year… for myself! I am hoping to put together, and published, this coming week a ‘Year in Review’ for this blog.

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However, there is a bit of a problem. Starting Wednesday evening of this week I begin to experience a new type of pain in my left hand. Shortly before sitting down to have Christmas dinner I noticed that my left hand was quite swollen, and red at the knuckles. As the evening wore on my knuckles began to pop repeatedly and there was a feeling like someone had poured hot sand in my knuckles. Searching on Google, Web M.D., and other online sources I think that I have developed arthritis in my left-hand. I have greatly decreased use in my left hand, shooting pains in my left hand. This has resulted in me using my left hand very little. From what I’ve read the fact that I don’t use my left hand and that it sits, most of the time, beside me in my lap has led to arthritis developing in the hand. I don’t really have much feeling in my left hand I’ve burned it stuck it with sharp objects, all accidentally of course, and felt very little. However, this pain is in the bones and in the joints and is carried in a different nerve velocity… Regardless of all the medical mumbo-jumbo this pain I do feel. This onset of arthritis in my left is the reason I haven’t written in the past few days. I apologize that I have allowed this condition to come between you and I My Dear Readers.

I promise that I will redouble my efforts to get back into posting every week, as many times as possible. This arthritis in my left hand is just terrible. The grinding… the painful popping and the redness and swelling. It is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my entire life, to this point. However, I’m going to do my best to not let this new disease state increase my depression. I don’t enjoy being depressed. If you know me from high school, or from working with me or as a friend in real life you’ll know I’m an extremely gregarious upbeat fun loving person. This depression, I’ve experienced, is very much out of character for me and I find it difficult to cope with, the medications are helping.

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That brings us to the end of this mid-holiday week update, My Dear Readers. I hope to have more for you soon. Again, I hope that everyone, each and every one of you, had a very Merry Christmas and spent it with lots of the people that brought you happiness and love. I hope that you got everything that you wanted under the Christmas tree, and even more. I will write again soon, I’ve missed you dearly, and in case I don’t write before. I would like to wish each and every one of you a very happy and prosperous New Year.

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As always I am deeply honored that you come here and read my work.

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Thank you!

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Just a shot of a VERY thankful Danny in His Power Chair

Just a shot of a VERY thankful Danny in His Power Chair

Twas the Night Before Christmas – By Danny

Alexander R Hanning at Christmas 2013

Alexander R Hanning at Christmas 2013

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    Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. I am happy to announce, and quite proud to share. A reading, as promised, for your Christmas cheer. A reading by me, and one most dear. “Twas the Night Before Christmas’ as done, and performed, by Yours Truly – Daniel Hanning.

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I have not gifts to give, except those I make in my mind. And I give them, all, to you!

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Enjoy!

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Pope Francis Condemns Racism And Declares That “All Religions Are True” At Historic Third Vatican Council

Pope Francis is working hard, from day one, to move the church and Christianity into the 21st century. I applaud his work and salute his efforts. Time for racism and all forms of social abuse and inequality to end.

Diversity Chronicle

Francis

For the last six months, Catholic cardinals, bishops and theologians have been deliberating in Vatican City, discussing the future of the church and redefining long-held Catholic doctrines and dogmas. The Third Vatican Council, is undoubtedly the largest and most important since the Second Vatican Council was concluded in 1962. Pope Francis convened the new council to “finally finish the work of the Second Vatican Council.” While some traditionalists and conservative reactionaries on the far right have decried these efforts, they have delighted progressives around the world.

The Third Vatican Council concluded today with Pope Francis announcing that Catholicism is now a “modern and reasonable religion, which has undergone evolutionary changes. The time has come to abandon all intolerance. We must recognize that religious truth evolves and changes. Truth is not absolute or set in stone. Even atheists acknowledge the divine. Through acts of love and charity the atheist acknowledges God…

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MMORPGs And YOU! – Requiem

          

Requiem - Enzo Loading screen

Requiem – Enzo Loading screen

 

          Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Today I present number Nine in my ridiculously popular series ‘MMORPGs And YOU!’ Requiem. Requiemis a FTP (Free-To-Play) MMORPG that launched in June of 2008 by Gravity LTD. Gravityis game developer located in South Korea and is known for such titles as; Ragnorok On Line, Dragonsaga, Steal Fighter, and Requiem. I was still writing for a gaming web site, as Lead Gaming Writer and Editor, when Requiem went into Beta.

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I was contacted by the development team and offered a (much desired) opening in the Closed Beta in exchange for exposure on our web site. I, of course, jumped at the chance to get into (yet another) Beta and had the opportunity to help guide the final development of this game. First, if you have a Goth child or grandchild that is into PC gaming… well then this IS the MMORPG made for Goth kids. It is a “horror based” MMORPG and is one of the most gory and bloody of the genre. I would not suggest this game for any minor under the age of 16 or 17.

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Requiem Enzo Warrior Class

Requiem Enzo Warrior Class

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There is no real problem with language, or sexual (well, overtly sexual) content in this title. However, the level of blood shed and decapitation and mutilation is on the level with ‘Age Of Conan’. The game started out as a paid membership model with over a dozen servers, in the US and Canada. Now, it is completely Free to Play with a marketplace for game boosts, toon enhancements and content expansion. The number of servers is now down (in America and Canada) to one.

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During Beta I gave this game very good reviews and a solid recommendation for purchase. Gravity is a sound developer with a very good track record and, at the time of release, this was the only Horror based MMORPG on the market. I knew that the horror vehicle for the game was not enough to keep the title competitive, and it appears that I was right. Though, even back five years ago, and today, I find that this game has much mo0re going for it than just the horror and gore.

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(An Example of the Graphic Depictions of Death)

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Originally released as Requiem: Bloodymare, the game is now called Requiem: Memento Mori. The story of the game has remained the same through all the changes over the past five years. It is a story of recovering the lost history of the ancients, and reconstructing the loss of four of the eight original races on the planet. You play in a barren world, brought to its current state by a war between science and magic. It is your role to protect the rebirth of humanity… at all costs. The plot and story do not play as large a role in game play as, say, World of Warcraft. You are given basic information, via quests and videos, of the past and the Ancients but having this knowledge is not essential to winning game play.

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The gore decapitations and mutilations are all brought to the screen with the (extensive) use of the Havokphysics engine. This adds greatly to the whole horror theme of the game, and makes for some incredible decapitations and multiple mutilations. If gore and decapitations with ragdoll get you going… this game is (quite simply) as ‘Must Have’ for you. The game visuals, textures, and engine are really nothing spectacular. They are not rendered in, like, the Unreal 3 Engine or any modern day 3D graphics engine. This is good in that it will run of virtually any PC and most laptops/notebooks. There is no need to upgrade your computer to play this game on highest settings.

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Requiem Enzo on  Mount

Requiem Enzo on Mount

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One of the better features of this game, and something that I have not seen in but a few other MMORPGs is the Possession beast system. This aspect of the game allows you (once leveled and properly altering your DNA) to  transform into a horrific beast that has greater attack and decapitation abilities. The downside is that egven with your higher level and the transformation of your DNA, you have to work hard to kill a lot of beasts (in a short period of time) to fill your ‘Hardcore Bar’. Once the bar is at 90%, you are given the opportunity to transform into the Possession Beast and go on a rampage of gory mutilation and decapitation. It can get quite bloody and dismember(y) if you transform in an area rich with beasts.

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Requiem Enzo Caster Class

Requiem Enzo Caster Class

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There are four races to choose from, in Requiem. They are the;

 

  • Turan – The race that most resembles humans. It is a well-balanced race between strength, agility and intelligence. Their one pitfall is a weakness to magic.
  • Bartuk – A race with exceptional physical strength, but are easily angered and have a very low spiritual ability.
  • Kruxena – The darker race of the four, they do not get along with any of the other three races. Physically and spiritually superior to the other races they are lacking in tenacity, compassion and are quite inhumane.
  • Xenoa – Unmatched among the four races in intelligence they lack physical strength they have good hand skills and eyesight. This helps to compensate for there other weaknesses.

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Each race has  limited choices in classes, mostly based on the strengths and weaknesses I have outlined above. If you would like to be a caster or long range weapon type, then the Xenoa race would be the best choice for these classes… and so on. The game does not drawn you in with plot, or character development. The game deosn’t really draw you in too well at all. This is, likely, the reason for its failure in the long run. Lacking in plot and character development, it is a very easy game to play and master. Combine that with the completely open world Free To Play model? This is what makes this game so desirable in gamers new to the genre and casual MMORPGers and Goth kids.

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(A Walk Through the Main City in the Inro Area)

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I would recommend it for newbies to the genre, and young people fond of the Twilight movies and books and Vamp Kids. I still have it installed on my gaming rig, and it is always updated, too. That means I play the game regularly and that it brings me happiness.

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I hope that you have enjoyed my review/overview and the screenshots and videos I have shared here, today. I do not know if there will be another in this series. I cannot think of another MMIORPG that I already own, and I do NOT have the money to go out and buy any games that I do not already have… at least… now,

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(A Ride in a Christmas Themed Vehicle in Requiem)

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As always I am deeply honored that you come here and read my work.

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Thank YOU!

The Essential Introduction…

The Essential Introduction to ‘The Adventures of Princess Nadia – The Healing Light’

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As Promised this will be the introduction to the first of my (hopefully) series of novels ‘The Adventures of Princess Nadia – The Healing Light’. I ask that you share this article, but also fervently request that you do NOT; redistribute without my permission, quote without giving me credit, or in any way reprint or distribute this introduction as your OWN! This is my ‘Christmas Gift’ to all of you, My Dear Readers.

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Finally; .I have not gifts to give, except the gifts I make in my head… and I give them ALL to you.

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The story you are about to read is completely true. Well, that is a bit of a stretch. I always have been known… even as a child, as a person who could weave a mighty tail… tale.  My Dear Readers the story you are about to read is no exception. I love to tell stories. There a way for all of us to escape the things that make us unhappy and, for a moment, go someplace that makes us very happy.

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When I say this story you are about to read is completely true, it’s just that it isn’t true… yet. I hope and pray that, in my lifetime, this story does come true. But if it does not, I have complete faith that you, My Dear Readers, will live in a world where this story is true.

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All of the main characters in this story lived. Nakita, Alice, Nadia, Alexander, the Albino Twins, and Ben all lived with me at some point in my life. They were as real as you or I. They walked the earth, they breathed the air, they played, they thought, they laughed and they cried. They have all the same thoughts and feelings as you or I.  They love, and they were deeply loved by me.

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As they are in the story, they were in real life, rats. Now before you get all squeamish, before you start to judge, let me set something straight in your head right now. Rats are people, they’re just people you haven’t met. My father used to have a saying it goes a little something like this  “There are two kinds of people. People that fly and people that don’t.” Very much the same is true about people, and rats. There are people that have had the wonderful pleasure of knowing a rat, and then there is everybody else.

If you’re very lucky, and I hope and pray that you are, you will have the privilege to know and love a rat, too. Like us they; play, and laugh, run, and think. They love, and they long to be loved. They do and think everything you or I do or think. The only thing that separates us from them is… our prejudice.

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Because, you see, unlike us rats do not judge. They come in all different colors. They come in black, they come in white, they come in blonde, they come in brown, they come in blonde and white, they come in black and white. Yet, unlike us, no matter what color they are… they love each other like brothers. They do not judge based on the color of their fur.

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Unlike us rats love each other regardless of the color of their fur, regardless of the color of their eyes. Quite simply, regardless. My Dear Readers that is just the beginning of what rats have to teach us humans, and if you allow… you. Now let me leave you with words of caution, and please read what I say. Do not go out and pick up a rat, off the street, and try and make it to a friend! The rats that I speak of are bought at pet stores. They are called ‘Fancy Rats’ and they are of a very special breed.

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The very first time I had the pleasure of meeting a rat was my sophomore year in college. I was a liberal arts major, studying communications. In high school, I had great interest in science. Actually, until my first time on stage I thought I would go to college to study in a scientific field. In college I kept in touch with other friends that choose that discipline. One day, I was approached by one of those friends with a request for help.

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They had just finished a year of studying some odd thing, with the brains of rats. Long story short, she had a rat that they were done experimenting. They were going to put the rat down, but she had another idea. She brought me a rat, in a large bird cage, with wires still sticking out of his head. He was a large black rat, and he looked mostly unhappy. She told me that we would, likely, not live a year. It was just she wanted the rat to die naturally, and maybe get treated well before he died. He had given so much to her research, she had developed feelings. Fellings that he deserved better than just being put to sleep after her work was done.

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I told her that I would be happy to ‘help’, not fully knowing what I was getting myself into at the time. I took him into my home, yet it was my life that changed. At first he was very agitated, and did not want to be held or out of his cage. He would sit, sulking, on the bar in the cage. Like a small vulture, having a bad day. I spent time with him every day. Every day I talked to him. Every day I feed him some by hand, and tried to pet or hold him.

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After about a week, the most amazing thing happened. I had him out, and he was letting me hold him… without biting me. I stroked his body and his face. He closed his eyes and relaxed. Then I think he felt loved. I say this because he did something, interesting. At first it felt like he was purring, like a cat. I kept petting him and holding him close talking to him. When I felt he was comfortable, I shifted him in my hands and looked at his face. He was not purring, he was grinding his teeth.

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Unknown to me at the time, rats in the wild use their teeth to communicate to one another. Through a series of; grinding, gnashing and popping their teeth they can communicate. Now, when I was a boy my father taught me Morse Code. It is a language, used in early communication, where a series of dots and dashes (sent over wires using a simple contact device) used to communicate. Dot Dot Dot, Dash Dash Dash, Dot Dot Dot equals S.O.S. (Save Our Ship) known as an international call for help.

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About the time I realized that Benjamin’s (I named him Benjamin) grinding and gnashing was a pattern, I felt his back leg grip one of my fingers. I feared I had upset him… then I realized… Benjamin was hugging me!  They do that, rats will hug you when they feel love. As well, I did not know it then but later I realized that all  rats (when held, and loved), once they develop trust with you and then love. All of them… grind in the same pattern.

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Later in life I realized that this common grinding, gnashing pattern was my rats saying “I love you.” They often grab your finger and grip it tight, while grinding this same pattern. Now, they don’t all do it exactly the same way. Some pop their teeth louder, some grind longer and faster before gnashing then popping. However, each and every rat I have owned has eventually communicated in nearly the exact same pattern… while ‘Hugging’ a finger. Rats love, and rats can and do love humans. My Dear Readers, it was this realization that is the motivation for this book (hopefully series of books). If rats can love humans, and I can love rats. Then this story must be told. This book must be written.

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In my book, this book you now hold in your hands, you will learn of the many different kinds of rats. You will meet them all, and get to know how they are different and how they differ. Not all rats are smart. The Fancy Rats were breed to be; intelligent, social, loving, playful, and soulful. You cannot expect a rat that lives in the sewer to want to treat you as a friend. However, if after reading this book you would like to be as I? A man that knows and loves rats? Have your parents take you to a good pet store and purchase a Fancy rat, they will make a very good friend to you for years to come. If I have my way, and often I do, soon there will be a new pet rat for you to buy and love. They will be called the ‘D&A’ rats. These rats will be a very very special breed, created by me out of a deep sense of love for these wonderful loving beautiful furry friends.

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And now, with that all behind us and firmly in your mind, I would very much like for you to turn the next page and join me in ‘The Adventures of Princess Nadia’!

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As always I am deeply honored that you come here and read my work.

Thank you! &

ENJOY!

Just a shot of a VERY thankful Danny in His Power Chair

Just a shot of a VERY thankful Danny in His Power Chair

Coming SOON to The Other Shoe!

Dear Family, Friends, and Followers at The Other Shoe and Facebook,

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            Later, today, I am sharing… something very special to me. I have a ‘Christmas Present’ for you all. As most of you know, and realize, I am quite poor. I have a blog… a roof over my head…  and an ever dwindling supply of food… and someone I deeply love and admire… that I am ashamed I cannot give a Christmas too.

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            However, later today I have a present for you all. I know, I promised to read you “The Night Before Christmas’ on a video… and I do have a wonderful voice for it… It is just, that I cannot get through the poem… without crying. I keep trying… and I will keep trying… but I just keep crying.

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            Back to the present I have for you. Later today, at my blog The Other Shoe, I will be posting… something very special to me. It is more than just an excerpt from

            ‘The Adventures of Princess Nadia’

It is the BEGINNIG… You will be privy to how the whole world of Princess Nadia starts. This is very special to me… very personal… very dear. I have not gifts to give, except the gifts that I make in my head,… and I give them all to you.

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Please check back… I do love you all so very much…

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Daniel Hanning

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One Week Until Christmas, An Update from Danny…

                        Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. It has been five days since my last article published, and five days of my primary blog location not working. I long to write. I long to publish. I long to be heard. I long to share. I do not like publishing articles to just one of my two blog locations. I feel as though I am leaving half my family out in the cold. In the past five days I have written nearly a dozen requests for assistance. I have yet to receive any answer to my pleas, and my blog is still malfunctioning.

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My time is not wasted for I am busy creating my world, the world of ‘The Adventures of Princess Nadia’. With every passing day, the world comes more into focus, the characters fill out in my mind. My only fear? That someone… perhaps even someone I know takes my idea. I think that is a common fear among struggling artists of all disciplines. For me, they are not just characters in a book, they live in my heart, mind and soul. They tell me their secrets, they share with me their fears.

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For me, they are quite real. Their namesakes I have raised, loved and lost. Though it is not apparent. You do not see it or hear my words, each and every day I write. Writing in life, there is no life without my words. When I am absent, I am in pain. Yes, physically I am in pain each and every day. So much worse, of late. Yet, I speak of another pain. A pain spawn of longing, desire. My Dear Readers, you know it not, but you give purpose to my life.

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I struggle with darkness. I live in poverty, but I struggle with a growing darkness. I must thank two of you, My Dear Readers, two of you that have reached out from your world and into mine and shared. Shared of themselves so that I might have some short respite from my fiduciary woes. Because of their kindness, I will have a turkey this Christmas Day. From the very depths of my heart and soul I say “Thank you!” … You know who you are.

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I am not much for begging. Not much for asking for help. Each time I have sought to raise money, I have worked ever so hard. Hard to write, to entertain, and to repay. Repay the kindness that has come my way. My works… my articles, and yes even ‘The Adventures of Princess Nadia’ I write out of love… but I also write, to repay. For the debts that I owe, they are debts I fear I may never be able to repay. Repay the kindness that has come my way. When I am absent… this is what darkens my mind, most. That I am failing to repay, your kindness most dear.

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I write, today, because I do so deeply care. One blog, only, on which this will appear…. I fear. Better one blog… one article… One “Thank you!” Tis better than none.

 

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I fight with the darkness, the darkness that seeks to surround. In each and every day, I fight with every fiber of my being, I fight the growing darkness. For those that have never known… poverty… being without. This is a darkness I hope that you never know. It is a darkness that comes from without, yet it grows within. It weakens the ground beneath your very feet. It attacks your sense of self & selfworth, and works behind your back to darken your tomorrows. I am far from alone. I know this to be true. This darkness I share with millions, unknown.

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We suffer in darkness, we suffer in silence. For (some bloody reason) it is taboo to speak of what one is without, but not taboo to boast of what one does have. A world, upside down, it would appear. A world of grim darkness, for some so dear.

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I cherish my time in the light of other’s kindness and support. I write in hopes that one day… this darkness I will banish from my life, for all time. With each and every work that I write, I take a step out of darkness and into the light. The light of your kindness. The light of your ‘Like’(s). The light that I feel when, your smile, I make bright. Since childhood I have bathed in this light. At first while singing in choir, at my school. Actually, I sang in choirs in each and every school I attended, since Mading Elementary in Houston in grade three.

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From grade third until I graduated at Pearland High School, I sang and I sang and I cherished those smiles… the longest of all. Once I moved, and was in Middle School I stepped out from the crowd of my choral group. I stood out in front, and sang… all alone. That was the beginning, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. I sang all alone, in front of so many… and I made them laugh… and I made them smile.

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From that point, all the way through college, I stood (without singing) in front of large crowds… and with the words of other men (or women) I made them smile! For the next nine years I stood before crowds. Small crowds, and large.. sometimes as many as twelve hundred… and I made them smile. I breathed life into the words of another, and I did it quite well. Looking back… on that decade… I was happiest, up on that stage. I won awards, and accolades. But, most of all… I made them smile.

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Know only to a handful of friends, all the time I was singing… all the time I was on those stages… I was doing this. Behind the curtains… when not on a stage… I was writing. Back then, hardly anyone had read my works. I understand, my long curly locks, my presence on stage… and my voice. They all worked to upstage what I was doing (myself) with words. I put them on paper, and most of the time that is where they hid. I doubt, that if you knew me at all, back then,… and are reading these words, you can (for the life of you) remember one thing I wrote.

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I am not hurt by that reality. Nope, not one bit. During most of that time I was bathing, regularly, in applause. I wrote, for myself. I wrote, because I love words. On more than one occasion, I have been told, that those words… they do love me back.

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Finally, again I do apologize for the absence this past week. I do despise writing for just one blog. I (honestly) feel, when I publish to just one blog, that I am having an affair. An affair behind the backs of My Dear Readers of the other blog of mine. I am hoping and praying that soon they will fix, the problems that are hampering The Other Shoe at blog.com. I do sincerely promise, that as soon as it is fixed? I will write everyday that my health possibly allows. I still have plans of making a video. A video present of ‘The Night Before Christmas’ performed by me!

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At the company Christmas Party of Domino Realty in 2002, I did perform that very poem in front of a crowd. It was the very first time I had been on a stage, in decades and decades. God how I loved those moments, and the smiles! The owner of Domino Realty called me, the next day. Stephen Gordon told me that I was “the best act, last night…”. This is a man worth millions, and a man whom I had a deep respect and adoration. Stephen was the man that imported Jordache Jeans, all those years ago. That put Brooke Shields in that commercial, in jeans he imported from France. He took the millions he made, from that venture, and put it into real estate in Southern California.

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For many years, I honestly thought my time with words, had passed. Replaced with an ability to lease properties… like few men he had seen. I was being groomed for an executive position, for Domino Realty, when my spine started attacking me… causing me growing pain. Earlier this week, I published copies of old newsletters that I wrote, edited and published for another landowner. For several years, I had a captive audience, the residents of Plaza Woods Apartments. If you haven’t checked them out, I think that you should. A long way I have come, since writing those newsletters. However, it gives you a chance to see just how far I have come.

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            “I cherish my time in the light of other’s gains. I write in hopes that one day… this darkness I will banish, for all time. With each and every work that I write, I take a step out of darkness and into the light. The light of your kindness. The light of your ‘Like’(s). The light that I feel when, your smile, I make bright.”

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As always I am deeply honored that you come here and read my work.

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Thank you!

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P.S. Look for pictures, after Christmas, of the feast I will soon make… thanks to the kindness of two of My Dear Readers. Thank you!

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Just a shot of a VERY thankful Danny in His Power Chair

Just a shot of a VERY thankful Danny in His Power Chair

Speaker Boehner Stands Against Far Right Jabs

House Speaker Boehner

House Speaker Boehner

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Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. In a completely unexpected, yet much welcomed, reversal of an earlier position the Speaker of the House of Representatives has garnered the ire of the talking heads of the far right. It was just six months ago, July 21st, that Speaker Boehner made the most infamous quote. Saying; Congress “ought to be judged by how many laws we repeal”[1] in response to a question asked by Bob Schieffer and written by yours truly.[2] (Evidenced in my article MY TOPIC Opens ‘Face The Nation’ TODAY”)

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This week sees a completely new and different Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Instead of further advocating the repeal of Obamacare Speaker Boehner is working to actually pass a budget without a government shutdown. This budget, if passed in its current form, will work to ease some of the painful cuts America has been under since the beginning of the sequester. In responding to attacks by the Heritage Foundation, Freedomworks, and Americans for Prosperity the Speaker states that their attacks are “ridiculous” and that these groups have “lost all credibility”.[3]

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Either the Speaker of the House of Representatives has been a victim of the “Invasion of the Bodysnatchers” or, Speaker Boehner has decided to wrestle control, of the Republican party and Congressional Republicans, back from the Tea Party fringe. Either way this is a bold move on the part of the Speaker and completely unprecedented based on the previous two years of his Speakership.

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I would like to extend my personal congratulations to Speaker Boehner for standing up to the intransigent members of the United States House of Representatives. Further when Speaker Boehner, earlier this week, said “Frankly, I just think that they’ve lost all credibility.”[4]he pretty much slammed the door in the face of radical Republicans. Now, My Dear Readers, this is a course of action that I have been advocating since the early weeks of the 112th Congress, last year. I have seen comments, on Facebook, stating they believe that the Speaker “has grown a spine”.

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It is my belief that this new course of action has a different source. I believe that two factors figured predominately in this 180° reversal, on the part of Speaker Boehner. First, I believe that the Speaker, and Rep. Paul Ryan, have grown extremely tired of the abysmal single digit approval ratings the Republicans in Congress and the Republican held Congress. I believe that the Speaker and Rep. Ryan are working to try and save the Republican Party from a complete route in the 2014 off-year elections.

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Second, I believe that between the public statements made by Pope Francis, regarding the grave nature of financial inequality in America. Combined with recent statements made by Pres. Obama, regarding the financial inequality in America. These concerted efforts have worked to give the intelligent members of the Republican Party no choice but to completely alter their course of action. No longer can the Republican Party merely stand for the interests of the wealthy. No longer can the Republican Party cut benefits for food for; seniors, veterans, the disabled, and poor children. No longer can the Republican Party be the party that tries to stop unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. No longer can the Republican Party merely be the party of “No!”.

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My Dear Readers I am sure you understand the unmitigated glee I feel at the complete turn around that we bear witness. For two years now I have used this blog as a bully pulpit to speak out against; the intransigence and the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives, the control of a small number of radical far right Republicans in the House of Representatives and the grinding policies of said Republicans against the least among us.

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This new course of action, by elements of the Republican leadership of the United States House of Representatives, is very welcome by yours truly. I am extremely elated to be able to write an article praising the actions of the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the first time in two years. If this is the course they plan to keep, for the immediate future, you will continue to see articles here that are positive and supportive of these new efforts of these Republicans.

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I am very happy that at this holiday time of the year… At Christmas that I am able to write and report that the Republican leadership is backing off of the screws they’ve had on the poor and the least among us. I hope and pray that this new leadership will prevail and that Speaker Boehner will not buckle to the attacks of the talking heads of the radical right.

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As always I am very flattered that you come here and read my work.

 

Thank you!

Daniel’s Past Publication…

            Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Today we are taking a little trip down memory lane. Some of you, My Dear Readers, might remember me mentioning that I; wrote, edited and published a newsletter for a building I managed back in the 90’s. Well, low and behold I stumbled across some of the newsletters just the other day. In the spirit of the holidays (sharing) I have scanned these little wonders and are bringing them to you here today. I hope that you enjoy these old newsletters. Please understand that these were done over thirteen years ago, and I had far less experience with editing and publishing back in the late 90’s. ENJOY!

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I started this newsletter in 1997. I am still looking but 1999 is the only year I have been able to locate. The first two images are of the (first) front (then) back of the newsletter for January 1999. .

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January 1999 Front Page Plaza Woods Courier

January 1999 Front Page Plaza Woods Courier

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January 1999 Back Page Plaza Woods Courier

January 1999 Back Page Plaza Woods Courier

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Now, a year has passed and I, think, I am using a different publishing software. Over the past year I have taken to adding; recipes (sound familiar?), and an editorial column. This was the very last newsletter that I published for Plaza Woods, and the very last newsletter the residents of Plaza Woods ever received. Reason, on January 1st, 2000 I was fired @ 3AM. That’s right. My apartment was adjoined to the office and at 3AM I was waken by someone going through my office. I put on my bathrobe, went to the office to see what was going on… it was the owner and an armed security guard.

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I was being terminated for “Insubordination”. The previous day I had requested to be paid for the previous year of; writing, editing, and publishing the newsletter and web site. In January we had agreed to $1,200.00 a year to cover my work on both publications. I had maintained the web site, even adding an application process (in 1999) and managed to publish a newsletter all twelve months. I was in the office, the day before, and he told me “I do not feel that I should have to pay you for doing the newsletter and web site. As manager I now think they should be a part of your job…” Needless to say I was outraged at the theft of $1,200.00! I expressed my discontent and invited the owner (Mr. Charlie Roy) to “find a manager that would do; maintenance, leasing, rent deposits and spreadsheet, and publish a monthly newsletter and web site for the $12,000.00 a year he was paying me.

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He fired me, and he never had a newsletter again. Greed is an awfuyl thing. And, like a shotgun it harms innocents with its spray of lead.

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Below are the four pages of the very last issue of the Plaza Woods Courier.

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Christmas 1999 Plaza Woods Courier Front Page

Christmas 1999 Plaza Woods Courier Front Page

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Christmas 1999 Plaza Woods Courier Second Page

Christmas 1999 Plaza Woods Courier Second Page

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Christmas 1999 Plaza Woods Courier Third Page

Christmas 1999 Plaza Woods Courier Third Page

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Christmas 1999 Plaza Woods Courier Fourth Page

Christmas 1999 Plaza Woods Courier Fourth Page

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As always I am honored that you come here and read my work.

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Thank you!

 

MMORPGs And YOU! – World Of Warcraft

Danny at Stormwind Gates after Dragon Attack

Danny at Stormwind Gates after Dragon Attack

            Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. This is the eighth article of this series ‘MMORPGs and YOU!’ here atThe Other Shoe. Since the very first article of this series I have wanted to bring you screenshots and video of game play inWorld of Warcraft. However, it was not until this week that, through the kindness of an online friend, I had access to my World of Warcraft account. I was given a ‘Scroll of Resurrection’ from a good friend of mine in World of Warcraft. This ‘Scroll of Resurrection’ can be given to any player who’s been away from the game for more than three months to, quite literally, bring them back to life in the game.

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So for the next seven days I have access to all the characters on my account, there are seven characters in all. I will not be able to show screen snapshots or give video for all of my characters. So I have picked to of my favorite characters to play and throughout this articles you will see screenshots and in game videos of these two ‘toons’. The past three days have been set spent taking screenshots and making videos. At the end of each day I sort through the screenshots and videos to find the ones that show the most and look the best for this article today.

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For anyone that is thinking of expanding their PC gaming experience to a new genre. Or for anyone thinking of making their first venture in PC gaming the genre of massively multiplayer online role-playing games. World of Warcraftis quite definitely the game for you. My Dear Readers I played in many role-playing games, both on personal computers and in board games, previous to my introduction to this now world-famous game. First, a bit of irony. World of Warcraftmade its world debut November 23, 2004. November 23 is just three days after my birthday. However, in 2004… At the time of my birthday, I was not able to afford to purchase World of Warcraft.

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It was not until January 4 of 2005 and then I finally made my entry into this wonderful game. Unfortunately when I started playing there were huge lines, one had to wait in, just to get in and play your character. Often you would get kicked from the server, sometimes at very and opportune moments. I remember I was in the very first dungeon that I never played in World of Warcraft. The name of this instance is Deadmines. If you pick either human or dwarf for your first character this will, most likely be, the first instance you encounter.

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Allen and Daniel on Bear Mounts in WOW

Allen and Daniel on Bear Mounts in WOW

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Now, My Dear Readers, I could spend hours upon hours writing basically a died to play of this game. I do not want to do that, instead I would like to introduce you to the game give you a little bit of the language the game show you pictures from the game in the videos. At the end of it all more than anything I would’ve liked to have peaked your interest in playing this MMORPG. Quite truthfully, nothing would make me happier than encountering one of you in Azeroth.

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World Map _ World of Warcraft Azeroth

World Map _ World of Warcraft Azeroth

(Azeroth – The World of Warcraft world)

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At the time this article was written there are four continents in Azeroth. They are; Kalimdor, the Eastern Kingdoms (where Humans and Dwarfs begin), Northrend and Pandaria. The next thing you will need to know is that this world is started out, in the very first game, (which in now referred to as Vanilla) with a just the continent of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. The continent to the north, Northrend, was added in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion and Pandaria was added most recently. There have been  four expansions to this world.

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The very first expansion to this game was released in January 2007, named ‘The Burning Crusade’. The next expansion was released in November 2008, named ‘Wrath of the Lich King’. The third expansion was released in December 2010 and was named ‘Cataclysm’. The fourth expansion, ‘Mists of Panderia’, was released September 2012. There is a fifth expansion planned, named ‘Warlords of Draenor’. I do not have the release date of this expansion. With each expansion the world of Azeroth has been an enlarged and the level cap has been increased.

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Each character, known in the game as a toon, grows with experience. The experience you gain as measured in levels. The original game, Vanilla, had a level cap of 60. With the most recent expansion you can now level your toon up to level ninety. Currently I do not have a level ninety toon. One of the few things that I’ve really wanted this year, for Christmas, was a extension of my membership to this game. With me not working, Allen being knowingly person in the house working, and me only bringing in a little over $900 a month I just… I just cannot justify the $15 a month subscription fee to continue playing the game. It is a sacrifice I willingly make so that my family has more money for food and the things we need.

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There is a reason this game, at one point, had 12 million subscribers. There is a reason that even though there are literally dozens of MMORPGs on the market several million people continue playing this game. As well, whenever I think of playing an MMORPG World of Warcraftis the one I have the most desire to play again in the best memories of playing. One of the reasons for the great success of this intellectual property is that it contains elements from fantasy, steam punk, and science fiction. There is, quite literally, something for everyone in this game. If you like rolling hills, forests, babbling brooks, blue rivers and sunny skies then you will most likely want to start out as a human. Your capital city is the grand city of Stormwind. Each race has their own capital city within the game.

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Enzo Worgen Toon in Shattarath

Enzo Worgen Toon in Shattarath

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There many races that make up this game. On the side of the Alliance you have; Humans, Dwarves, Draenei, Gnomes, Night Elves, Worgen, Tushui Panderaen and High Elves. On the side of the Horde you have; Orcs, Forsaken, Tauren, Trolls, Blood Elves, Goblins, Huojin Pandaren, and Orges. (For more information on these races you can look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_of_warcraft_races#Humans)

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If you are a darker person, or a ‘Goth’, then you will like one of the darker races like; the Worgen, Goblins or Gnomes. The best way to find out, if you’re interested in joining this fantasy realm, what race would fit you best would be to visit the link I have left above. One of the most interesting aspects of this game is that Alliance and Horde cannot understand each other speak. If you are a human, for instance, and you are in a PvP (Person vs. Person) battle with an orc you will not understand a single word they yell at you. And, they will yell at you. The same goes for the Horde side, too. When we speak to each other, in these battles, they cannot understand what we say, either.

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This adds to the mystery of the game but also serves a function. In these battles where players battle each other we cannot understand them discuss their battle plans nor that can they understand us discuss hours. The next major choice you need to make will be what type of server you would like to play. There are two basic types of servers. There are Player vs. Environment and Player vs. Player servers in the game. In the Player vs. Environment servers it is you, and your allies, playing against the wild creatures and ‘Bad elements’ of the world. In Player vs. Environment you cannot be attacked by a member of the opposing faction while casually playing. You must enter a PvP battleground prior to engaging in battle with the opposing faction. This means, that as a low level player, you cannot be ganked (overwhelmed by) members of the opposing faction going out to do quests.

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On the other hand, in a PvE (Player vs. Environment) server you cannot get ganked. This is the major reason I have always played in a PvE server. However, this is the main reason that, some people, prefer the PvP servers. They like the thrill of confrontation, the allure of happenstance meetings with opposition parties and the possibility of death. I can completely understand why these people enjoy the PvP servers. I just happen to not be quite as quick, with my hands, as I used to be… and I enjoy tranquility when I play. If you are like me, not wanting to be jumped and killed at random, then you should pick a PvE server. If you like the thrills I have outlined above, then you should pick a PvP server. Each world has both kinds of servers. Currently all my toons are on the Alexstraza PvE Alliance server. If you would like to try this game, and honestly if you are a PC user and play games… well, you have no idea what all you are missing if you have never played. If you would like to play, I would be happy to show you around and help you get started. I am the Guild Master of the Guild ‘Legion of Dragon Slayers’. We have Guilds in; World of Warcraft, Rift and Aion (currently).

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Enzomatrix on Dragon Mount

Enzomatrix on Dragon Mount

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As well, right now is a very good time to start playing WoW. Right now you can have the base game and the first three expansions for ONLY $4.99.  (Here: https://us.battle.net/shop/en/product/world-of-warcraft). There has never been a better time to get into this genre and this game. As I stated above you can find me (Enzomatrix, Enzomatrixlt, Goodgulf [from ‘Bored of the Rings], and Devonshire) on the; Alexstraza PvE Alliance server.

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As always I am deeply honored that you come here and read my work.

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Thank you!

 

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