Author Archives: Silverangel

About Silverangel

https://kittykittyboomboom.wordpress.com/

March To Minas Morgul + Stock Market Commentary

gladden fields


Lord of the Rings Online


Minas Morgul went to the LotRO store a few weeks ago, and that was enough to return to LotRO. My last attempts to play LotRO ran afoul of patching failures (unable to install the MM patch), and previous to that, no idea how to get the epic questline when the Vales of Anduin released. I thought it was bugged.

Let’s just say the returning player experience caused me to uninstall months ago, and this time it was still pretty bad. There was no quest popup or lead-in when I bought the Minas Morgul ex-pack, for example. I was a bit bewildered.

The good news is that Standing Stone is making “all Lotro quests, instances, and skirmishes, including those in expansion packs, open to everyone through April 30.”(Source.)

So if you want to jump back in without a subscription, now is the time. So far I’m having a fair bit of fun in this era of social isolation, and I feel like I’ll be able to stick with it to the new level cap of 130.

The spring festival also started today in Middle Earth. Per the announcement, we will also have some special events to cheer people up during these difficult times. Honestly the Landroval server is crammed with people right now, for whatever reason. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen such a player population in LotRO.


Pathfinder: Kingmaker


This is on 60% off sale this weekend on Steam. I’m going to highly recommend this game as a fantastic Baldur’s Gate style experience. I’ve been watching a Twitch streamer play it (HazVsRPG).

Personally, I find Keep and lands management to be a bit tedious, and I’m looking for more social online experiences that make me feel less lonely and depressed. So I might buy this, but I’m not sure I’ll play it over LotRO right now.


U.S. Stock Market


I was reading an article today about the stock market during the 1918 Spanish Flu. The market then sold down 30+% very early in that time, the same as now. That was also months before the worst of the flu hit the world.

The market never went below that point afterwards. These are very different times, in all kinds of ways. Nonetheless, some people are speculating this could be the bottom, or very near it.

I’ve legged into Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX), Akamai (AKAM), Verizon (VZ), and Tencent (TCEHY) in the past week. This is all for the stay-at-home economy. I was on top of this before people started writing about and buying into these stocks, as well. So I’m still doing quite fine.

Akamai was up 10% yesterday on reports of various internet outages (Akamai serves to mitigate overloads with their server networks.) It’s down today though, and I haven’t researched why.

I am also legging into Silver (SLV). A soaring dollar has crushed silver and gold, among other things. During 2008, silver dropped as low as $8.50/OZ. So I’m prepared to double down at that point and triple down if even lower.

I was previously considering buying a PC manufacturer for the work-at-home economy. Articles this week have mentioned laptops disappearing from shelves in stores. It’s hard to buy a pure PC manufacturer, although Lenovo (Chinese) on the pink sheets is a possibility.

Today Logitech (LOGI) was soaring 10% on articles about the need for its products for working at home, as well as exposure to gaming. That’s a great pick. I wish I’d thought of it before the 10% up. Now it’s a little late for my taste.

Instead I pushed a bit into Tencent today. I don’t like buying a giant diversified company in general (i.e. Sony), but it’s a good global play on video game demand. Also, China has contained its virus for now. Who knows what could happen at Blizzard HQ in California, for example, possibly setting fire to your ATVI.

Let me be clear that all of my positions now are half-positions. Small stuff, so I can buy more if the markets do indeed go another 10%-20%.


Personal


My cough continues to be severe. I got tested for Covid-19, but my doctor didn’t do the test properly I think. In any case, the lab could not process it. So I still don’t know.

I do have some issues breathing at times. That could just be mucus buildup, or a panic attack since I’m having real issues with stress.

Anyway, if I stop posting you’ll know what happened to the kitty. Creative work on the game is on hold, for the most part, until I feel better both physically and emotionally.

The Cursed Tombs dungeon has been patched up a fair bit, however, and is still open for business here.

Stay safe, stay at home. I see pictures on Tumblr of everyone in 1918 wearing masks. Why are we still not wearing masks??? China, Hong Kong, and South Korea have all contained their virus. They are also all wearing masks. HMMMM.

Well, I’m still trying to get some masks delivered from Amazon. My first order still hasn’t shown up after 3+ weeks. Crossing my fingers on the second attempt. I bought a water filter. I bought a lot of food. I bought a very large bag of cough drops.


MMO Purgatory, Stock Market, & Other Updates


The Game Situation

Last month I re-subbed to WoW Classic. I reached level 50ish and called it quits again. The grind is brutal, basically. Even though I’m playing a mage!

When I first started playing Classic at launch, I was thinking – these kids today aren’t going to make it! They don’t have the patience!

I just assumed I would be able to do this without much problem. I was too overconfident.

Blizzard is also a complication. I’m not such a fan these days. I’m not so thrilled to give them $15/month, for the main game. Classic is just a perk. I’m not actually using what I’m paying for. Feels weird man.

I tried Bethesda’s Doom. It doesn’t have the feel of the original, to me. There were no swarms of enemies in the original Doom.

If you faced 2 enemies at once in the original Doom, you needed to be careful. If you faced 3+ at once, that was a big battle. There was also more dreadfulness and suspense, because each enemy was more deadly.

Or at least, that’s the way I remember it.

I’ve also been playing Dragon’s Lair, the classic arcade game on Steam. I was doing well until I ran into a bugged room that has been bugged for 2 years, apparently, and another sequence that appears bugged because it isn’t showing the direction hints. So I have no idea what to do.

So I’m searching for a game, as usual. I don’t know what to play. The big Baldur’s Gate 3 gameplay reveal was earlier this week.

It was OK. It didn’t blow me away. It looked a lot like NWN2 to me. Other people say it is more like DOS3, because Larian studios is the developer.


U.S. Stock Market

The U.S. Stock Market crashed 10% this week. The consensus is that the crashing is far from over. There are a bewildering array of problems caused by the spread of the coronavirus.

For example .. no, I’m not even going to get started.

I sold 50% of my portfolio on the bounce first thing Monday morning. So I’m doing fine! This afternoon I nibbled back at Netflix (NFLX)and Akamai (AKAM).

I’ve been watching Akamai for a while. They had a great earnings report. In a world of major teleconferencing rollout, Akamai should benefit, as well as from increased home internet usage.

Netflix seems like a no-brainer, but of course it was sold off severely along with all overpriced tech stocks. How can Netflix not do very well in a world where everyone is staying home, schools are being shut down, nothing to do etc.?

The thing is, all of these tech stocks are bundled up into ETFs, such as total market ETFs, S&P ETFs, etc.. And the biggest tech companies are a large percent of the market now, like 20%?

So, as always but more than ever before, the broad market is much more important than an individual stock.

I also like Tencent (TCEHY), but that was a stock I took profits in on Monday. I had way too much of the stock. So I plan to start rebuilding my position at some point.

I also sold NVidia on Monday, because of large profits I wanted to turn into cash. Today an analyst said NVidia should do well regardless of the virus because of cloud and gaming. People jumped in today to run up NVidia!

Well, the cloud needs businesses doing well to need more cloud capacity. If businesses start sending people home, hunkering down worried about financial conditions, etc. the cloud is going to get hurt.

The call on Nvidia today, while notable, or else I wouldn’t note it, seems pretty suspect to me. It caused a bunch of chip stocks to do well today. Really? I think Americans just love chips. I’ll get back into NVidia at some point, but I’ll be waiting a bit on the chip stocks.

The virus is going to get far, far worse. I can see the market dropping another 10% or 20%. I can also see Trump making more of an effort to fix the stock market than fix the completely incompetent and failed response by the American government to the arrival of the virus.

So. I sold my portfolio down to like 75% cash at about 3% from the top, and I started nibbling a bit at the down 10% mark today, on companies that the virus shouldn’t hurt so much.

Of course, if I’m dead from virus it won’t matter. I’ve already been sick for the last month from something.


Personal Project

I’ve been working hard in the last 2 months on my game’s first dungeon. (Game art shown above.) The beta playtesting version of The Cursed Tombs is online here.

(Please note that if you play from this link, and you don’t have a saved code, you will do very poorly as a default non-statted character.)

The title of the dungeon is pretty generic, but it’s just the first entry level dungeon? I learned a lot while making this dungeon. Developed far more tricks and techniques than from any other effort previously.

So that’s good. Now I just need to get healthy so I can get back to working at full strength.

Feb. Updates:

Illustrated the first Owl River dungeon, approx. 70 pieces of art in 1 month despite having a virus and working full time.

Added a fourth fight and two more rooms.

Some playtesting, still needs Spanish translation.

Redesigned character panels to be more like a familiar classic character sheet.

Added another gear slot “Jewelry” slot, to go with the previous “Accessory” slot. Jewelry is now a separate and equal category to Accessory, which includes misc. trinkets, tomes, magical belt buckles, whatever.

Recruited a new dungeon developer, who is working on a second dungeon.

Planning and plotting second chapter of main storyline.

January 2020: Updates/Fixes

A3: More bug fixes, added Seelie Court rep. Archmistress Glumskayah now has wings? Not sure about the wing thing. I wanted to make her more devilish and less human, basically. I have a big problem with all of my non-human NPC’s managing to look lamely human. More dialog and options. Fixed removal of Learaiche’s wand.

A4: A few minor bug fixes, dialog cuts and improvements, added a skip option for theatre talking.

A5: Several bug fixes, broken conversation lines. Preloads.

A6: more bugs fixed, extended ending, new longest, most complicated module by far. Preloads.

D1: First dungeon is in development.

Tarot Training– added preloads for tarot cards

French Club – fixed more bugs, broken dialogue, Spanish language

Connor library – edited, translated.

Help – another edit through the dialogs to update for diplomacy changes

Library – fixed map, reduced high rate of special encounters prior in place for testing


Fungus Facts, Big Nasty Rats

Bracket Fungus Illustration


Personal Game Project: Elven Academy


In the last few weeks, I wrote a new book for the in-game library: Fungus Facts! I also re-branded the game to be named “Elven Academy.” I feel like this is a huge improvement, and a much more descriptive, albeit “meta” title for the game.

I also wrote a detailed blog post/essay (part one) on Diplomacy in video games. To sum up, I am adding six new Diplomacy skills to the game. This is very ambitious in terms of game writing, but I’m looking forward to going back and re-writing the existing modules.

Currently, Charm and Cunning are just out of control in terms of how much they are used. These two overused stats will become more like Light Side/Dark Side stats, as well as their contribution to spell power.


LotRO


I got kicked out of my guild. Again.

That makes 5 times in LotRO? Those bastards! If I’m ever a guild leader, I won’t do that to lifers who have been in the guild for years. Am I going back though? I doubt it.

Still, was it necessary to boot me out of the Discord channel? So I can’t even see if anything is happening in the Alliance that might make me go back? Damn.


Warhammer: Vermintide 2


I bought this on a Steam sale some weeks ago. Playing it with family. It’s a slick, fun game. Even a great game. So much potential gone to waste in this game, presumably because we are in a profit-based video game world.

Make a barebones game with addictive qualities, intense action, and lots of random boxes to open.

(edit – Visually it’s not barebones. The level designs and landscapes are huge and luxurious, as if they were trying to win awards. Some places are maybe a little too big, because at times the city locations can feel lifeless.)

Various levels that tune up to being nearly impossible. Let dedicated players grind the same small amount of content until their eyes bleed. Make a profit. Make another game. They’ve had a few small DLC’s that basically add one level for half the current price of the game.

I also bought and completed (!) Injustice 2, which is DC Universe fighting. It was only like 6 hours of storyline, but it was really fun, and it’s been forever and a half since I finished a game. Thanks to Angry Joe for his review that got me to spring for it.

I’m interested in Red Dead Online, but I don’t want to pay full price for the game, since I likely won’t play the main campaign without a female character.


U.S Stocks


Two months ago I called for the market to soar higher. It did. I bet on it. Profit.

Right now, I’m not sure what will happen next. We could have another leg up to January 1, but we are still very extended over both the S&P channel and the breakout level. We could flag sideways or down for a few weeks. It depends on the political situation. Data is good and bad.

I’m ruing the day I sold Valero (VLO) at break-even. I rue every time I sell anything, basically. I sold AMD at $6 at break even. It’s more like $26 now. Still, Valero is big oil. Its days are numbered. I want long term holdings.

Currently I’m watching VLO, CCI, V, CSCO, TWLO, and AKAM.

Akamai (AKAM) is my biggest winner ever. I bought it for approx $2/share in 2001 after the dot com crash. I sold it for close to $40? (I bought another dotcom crash victim that later died, figuring one of the two would survive.) After a decade and lots of sideways, AKAM is lately pushing up over $80 with the growth of the cloud. I wouldn’t mind getting back in.

I’ve seen the CEO do interviews. I don’t know why, but he strikes me as sketchy. I’ll bet his stock has underperformed a lot of other big tech companies, at least in recent years.


Video Games Coming in 2019


Hell yeah! Let’s get the hype going and support Vampire: Bloodlines 2 and Cyberpunk 2077!

Wasteland 3 is also scheduled, but I was really bored with the strategy combat scenarios in Wasteland 2. It would take a lot of RP injection to even get me to look at it.

W3 is an InXile production, still headed by Brian Fargo. Fargo said on Twitter that Wasteland 3 is a “massive step up” visually from Wasteland 2. Honestly, visuals in W2 were fine. It’s not something that bothered me. Giant hordes of enemies, one enemy behind every goddamned old tire, rock, and corn stalk, did make me quit playing the game not too far in.

We’ll see! In the meantime, it’s definitely worth following Brian Fargo on Twitter, for any RPG enthusiast. Happy holidays, and happy gaming!


Tarot Card Training

tarot card training


RPG Project


At the start of August, I was finishing Tarot Training for my online RPG project. In Tarot Training, you can drill on card meanings, take a quiz to test your memorization, study the symbols of the Tarot, get a simple romance card reading, and get some advisement on further study. (This last could be improved, among other things.)

Since my previous blog post, I have also developed a French Club module. You try to learn some French, learn some clichés about why French is cool, and then you have a quiz contest against Chary, who is also a new French student.

Currently I am polishing and translating French Club. (The ending is also unfinished at the moment.) I am also reviewing and QA’ing Jeanie’s romance, Connor’s romance, Module A5: the Peacock Queen, and Tarot Training. That’s five modules in line for completion this year.

I was considering pushing hard to get a darker themed module planned and put together for Samhain in the month of October, but I am starting a new job, and I don’t think that’s going to happen. I would rather do a final, solid release of my current WIP.

I’m continuing to work on sound implementation. In modules with strong sound in certain sections, other sections seem eerily quiet. For example, after looking at Tarot Training, the French Club module silence is deafening.

So it’s a challenging balancing act. I definitely need more forest sounds and bird chirping in the Jeanie romance and Connor romance modules. It’s on the to-do list.


WoW Classic


I subbed for one month. I leveled to 40. My few family members and friends didn’t want to play. I was turned off by most social interactions that I experienced in that game. If you want to be in a guild, you have to participate in a Discord popularity contest with a legion of jobless kids, trumptards, and neckbeards.

This is a modern society where zero respect is the default. You earn respect by acting stupid and telling poop jokes.


LotRO Minas Morgul


The one exception to my bad experiences with guilds and discord is my guild in LotRO on Landroval. Unfortunately, the new LotRO expack looks a lot like a cash grab, selling a quest pack as an expansion. Instead of giving you things to achieve in the game, they add all the goodies for cash money upgrades.

I hate the motes and the shards and all the mini-currencies, partly because they are confusing, and partly because the grind is insane, and also simply pointless. I just went to the LotRO forums to take another look for some hope, and immediately I run into this:

Quote Originally Posted by Lady_Lethargy:
Thank you for clarifying! If you or anyone else can answer, how would I go about getting monster detection auras?

Levaqian Levaqian, The Lord of the Rings Online Team:
Currently, you can only get the Morgul and Normal (or “Null”) auras through the Minas Morgul Ultimate edition.

OK, so.

If I want cool stuff, I have to pay these people $129.99 like an idiot.

OK, so what story can I expect? Where is Minas Morgul exactly? Are we going back to Mordor? What NPC’s will I meet? I have no idea because the description of the game on the website doesn’t tell me anything that actually interests me. A bunch of quests, what else is new. Some useless extras. Some dungeons.

Guess what, the most recent big zone pack was amazing for solo play, but the batch of LotRO dungeons sucked. And were pointless to run, and didn’t drop any useful loot when I ran them. Go pay in the store instead? I think that has been increasingly the answer.

I won’t completely write off some LotRO this fall/winter, but the odds are pretty grim. I’d bet on the Trump stock market before LotRO, and that’s very, very bad.


U.S. Stocks


I reluctantly took profits near the top in Silver (SLV), scoring a 30%-ish gain on a full position. A month later, that appears to have been the correct play. I will watch, wait, and reload on silver when the time is right.

I am still watching Valero (VLO) for a re-buy, but it still can’t break out of the longterm downtrend line it is trapped under, which is why I dumped it recently at break even. I am also watching Nvidia (NVDA), which recently broke out of a nice downtrend and came back to the trend line perfectly, but then bounced very high on Thursday (4%), too quickly for me to get in.

That’s because NVDA is currently a darling hot stock. It’s the only high P/E growth stocks with a positive analyst report and expectations that I know of going into the fall earnings season. I’m also watching Twilio and Zillow to break out from their downtrends.

I added to my ETF (VGT) on the current dip this week because the indicators and sentiment were so abysmal, but the market ended the week going up instead of down. This is a confirmation of my feeling that the selling is simply exhausted after the market basically going nowhere for the last year. I can see the market making new highs from here, which seems completely crazy, but that’s my read.

A quick google confirms my feeling. “This week’s 21% reading on the Bull Bear spread is among the lowest of the last several years, and most of the time a very low reading like this will be a good marker of a price bottom, due to washout…So here we are in the scary month of October, just following the scary month of September, and investors are following the script pretty well by saying that they are scared. Right on time for a nice seasonal bottom.”

Larry Kudlow dropped a very fat hint a few days ago that some kind of surprise with China is coming soon, so I am still holding onto my small gains on full positions in Alibaba and Tencent.


Personal


In my last post, I wrote about obsession with learning to play an instrument. I gave up on that and decided to stick with painting, since that’s what I’m good at. So I bought a new set of oil paints and brushes, and I’ve been working on some oil paintings in the last month or two.


Elf In Real Life: Fire And Tarot Cards

kenzi hoop

My internet is out tonight due to Cox repairs. So after cleaning house, I guess I’m writing.


Hearthstone


The Hearthstone expansion, Saviors of Uldum, releases tomorrow. “SoU” is another Blizzard overwrite of a more venerable game acronym, which is Shadows of Undrentide for the original Neverwinter Nights.

I’m not buying this expansion. The cards are very strong for Druid and Shaman, which are classes I don’t play. So I’ll be dipping into my 11000 gold to buy a modest amount of cards to get enough dust to skate by and craft only the cards that turn out to be mandatory for my main classes.

Oh, Blizz is also double-dipping again. They are staying purposefully silent on the adventure component of the expansion, so the Blizz sheep won’t realize they are being asked to pay for the expack twice. $50 or $80 now, and then $20 more in 3 weeks.

Very sneaky and greedy marketing tactics. Coming for your credit card now 3x per year.


U.S. Stocks


Stocks died in a fire today because Trump promised huge new tariffs on China, and China retaliated immediately. So I’m entirely cheering for China. I’m starting to dislike the U.S. after I see all the Republican prejudice, hypocrisy, and slime on display after these very real mass-shootings last weekend.

It’s disgusting. I don’t even know if I can believe any of the slander towards China anymore. I know I like Xi Jinping, except for banning Winnie the Pooh in China. That’s simply ridiculous.

After this crash, I’m now break-even on Alibaba and Tencent holdings for this year (after selling them early last year for ~100% gains, and buying them back), and I have a small 7% loss on China MCHI ETF. So I was disciplined and sold the latter to cut the loss, a strategy from a classic investing book.

I also sold Valero (VLO) at break-even today, to reduce exposure to the clear forming bear trend in energy, which is apparently due to slowing world growth and lower demand, despite middle-east disruptions around Iran.

I was also expecting a large benefit of VLO selling ethanol to China. I have no idea where that stands now, so forget it. It’s also a big oil company, and I’m an elf. I’m comfortable with a 55-60% cash level close to all-time highs.

Because even if we do fine this year, next year will be an election year with a huge amount of financial uncertainty in the outcome. I will only put money back in at extreme fear/extreme VIXX levels.

I have a large loss now in SQM (Sociedad de Mineria de Chile), but it’s a small position, and I will add as it bottoms. It’s also a dividend stock. That’s why it’s an exception to the 7% rule. It’s also an example of what bad things can happen if you make an exception. It’s also offset by a gain in my other dividend investment, the real estate ETF, VNQ.

I continue to watch and drool over the chart of Equinix, which I could have had a double with now, if I had simply kept holding it. VNQ holds EQIX among other internet/tower companies, however, and reduced investments in losing mall companies these days, seemingly, so that’s good enough. EQIX has a ginormous P/E ratio.

I don’t know what that means, or why it is so high, to be honest. Currently on my radar to put money back to work is BOTZ and SOXX ETF’s.

SOXX is a way to hold both AMD and NVDA without single-company volatility. I’m still trying to get back into one of those after taking profits in NVDA, again correctly, several months ago.

I’ve also wanted to be invested in robotics, and two new ETF’s have come onto the market in the last year or two. BOTZ is one.

IRBO has the lowest fee, but I like the larger companies and positions in BOTZ, like Fanuc, and Nvidia is actually its #1 holding right now. So my pick is BOTZ.

The problem is that the robotics ETFs are industrials, which, like energy (XLE), are still in a very clear bearish downtrend. So it’s not a buy. I’m not going to make the same mistake as I made with SQM, jumping the gun buying a downtrend instead of waiting patiently for months for a breakout from that trend.

My pick from my last post, silver metal (SLV), is up 15% now in 7 weeks. So that’s a huge winner. Back then, CNBC was saying to buy gold. I bought silver, CNBC is today saying this morning on the Halftime Report to buy silver. They say it’s possible silver could go to $19, or a 5-year high.

It’s also possible that if something is called on CNBC, it’s near a top. So. There’s also that.


Tarot Training


In the past few weeks, I finished a Tarot training class for my elf/witch school game project. You can sit in the library and review all 78 tarot cards and their meanings, study tarot history, study tarot symbolism like the elements of water and fire, take a quiz to test your memory, and also receive a tarot reading from your in-game friend, Leonie.

I happily mentioned this last weekend to my mother and father-in-law, who are both in their seventies. They basically said I can rule out any Christians or conservatives ever supporting or playing this game, and no schools would touch it either because of the tarot. I’m not even kidding. Hello? Witches? Harry Potter?

In other words, my parents appear to be actually living with decades-old, common American prejudices about the devil and witches, and the disturbing evil inherent in tarot cards. What kind of response can I even have to this?

First of all, tarot was greatly influenced by Christianity in France and Italy in the 1500s through 1800s. The modern tarot we know, the Rider-Waite, was created essentially by Christian mystics, who modified and developed the deck for the twentieth century based on many historical versions.

Maybe the Devil card is disturbing? Let’s pretend the Devil actually means the devil, which it doesn’t. It’s a symbol that means a lot of things, not necessarily that the person is certainly a witch under the influence of the dark Lord, and needs to be burned to death.

Well, is the devil ever mentioned in a church? Of course. That’s how it got into Tarot cards in the first place, because pagans don’t even have a “devil” per se. It’s a Christian thing. Is the devil ever brought up by Christians? Of course, all the time.

So when Christians bring up the devil in their cult rhetoric, threatening little gay kids with eternal burning in the fires of hell unless they change their ways, they are basically turning up the devil card. I mean, it’s the same damned thing. So to speak. Or at least, that’s where it came from.

Leonie, your tarot training partner in the game, is a Christian witch, the only Christian in the school. Until I researched the issue while developing the historical component of the study, I wasn’t aware of how deeply Christian the cards are, and how much Christian symbolism is in them.

I’ve mostly used the Aquarian Tarot in the past, because I love the art and feel of the cards, so maybe it has less Christian iconography, and that’s why I was so unaware. Or maybe I’m just dumb. That’s also likely.


Elf Music


This summer I’ve been semi-obsessed with learning an instrument. That’s what elves do. They love music. I’ve never studied an instrument. I come from a very non-musical, generally low-class mid-western family.

I was thinking kids with better and well-put-together families probably are required to learn an instrument as part of their upper class upbringing, their ivy league prep and formation schooling. I was encouraged to do dumb sports instead, because that makes more sense in Indiana. And music lessons are expensive.

So what would an elf play? According to the internet (which I do not have access to, which is why I’m writing, let me re-iterate), they play mainly harps. Fiddles are also big, like, from Ireland historically. And flutes. And lyres.

I researched the antique instruments like the harpsichord, mandolin, and lyre, and it turns out they are antique because they just aren’t quite as good as modern instruments that are actually used. They are also very expensive to acquire.

So I researched harps, and I listened to a lot of beautiful music on Youtube, and realized harps are really a girl instrument, which is good. The most popular professional harpists on Youtube seem to be right up there with women’s soccer for beautiful, talented women to watch and drool over.

For example Valérie Milot, Canadian harp goddess.

Two problems with harp. Real, quality harps are insanely expensive. They also seem to be very hard on the fingers, and I already type and mouse all day for a living, with Elder Scrolls Online at night. That’s a lot of finger stress already.

A harp, I’ve concluded, is basically a piano with no keys. The professional harpists are actually playing piano music in many cases. You take the lid and bottom off of the piano. You turn it on one corner, balance one side on your shoulder, and then pluck the strings inside the piano.

That’s quite a lot harder than pressing keys, which might be why piano is a thing for playing the most impressive virtuoso music, and harp not so much. Fiddle is the same as a violin, which isn’t very enticing as a solo instrument. It also looks exhausting.

Flute is too loud and embarrassing in an apartment, and I have lousy lungs. An electric instrument can be played with headphones, so that would be useful. Electric harp doesn’t sound good. So at this point, I’m all the way down to a bog-standard electric guitar, which isn’t very elven. So I still don’t know about this one.


Denouement


Also this summer, I’ve been studying lots of French and Chinese on Duolingo. I wanted a break from Spanish. I’m Ruby league now, on the leaderboard with the most ardent language scholars (Kappa). Ardent is from the French, from the Latin ardere, to burn.

I’m currently working on a French class for my bilingual English/Spanish game project. If that sounds off the rails, you might be right. I want to get back to the stories and adventures, and finish the first chapter of the main storyline maybe this winter at best.

My internet is now back! At 2:30 a.m.. Hearthstone tomorrow. Open card packs. Wait at least two weeks for the meta to start settling before actually playing and crafting anything. High Elf in Elder Scrolls Online is my current thing otherwise.

Thanks for reading, and happy gaming! Elves forever! Humans and hobbits are fine too, and wretched hobbits are generally accepted peacefully into the elven lands.