Poet

Trying out the Topps Disney Collect app and comparing it to Quidd

I discovered the Topps Disney Collect app and of course I had to try it.

Compared to Quidd, which I use currently, it has a few pluses and minuses.

Plus: The animation of the opening of the pack is WONDERFUL! I totally wish Quidd had this. It just makes the collecting way more fun. who doesn’t like the fun of ripping into a shiny papered pack?  To be fair, I really, really like the way Quidd celebrates on the screen when you complete your collection while clicking through cards. I just think the personal touch of seeing an animated pack ripping open is what card collectors really cherish when doing the same thing in real life.

Both Apps give lots of freebies.. but Topps does way more than Quidd. On Quidd, selling is the only way to make real coin for purchases without resorting to spending your own cash. (They do give 1000 coins on a timer but, it means logging in constantly.)  Of course, Quidd also gives way more bang for your buck if you do spend your cash on there. ($2 buys a hell of a lot of coins!) There is a kind of balance then between the apps…it just comes down to if the player is really wanting to spend real money or if they are focused on only using in-game funds. I like Topps for making it feel less like force. You can easily play without real money..but, because they don’t make me feel forced..I kinda want to more.

Quidd makes spending money worth your while, but it is pretty obvious that if you want to complete the sets you are going to either need to cough up the cash or get really, really good at selling your stuff…which can be a more involved process than some players want.

Topps has a trading set-up that helps you get the cards you need. It even has rewards for doing a certain number of them and they make communication between negotiators very easy..though, it isn’t as flexible or easy to navigate as Quidds selling system.

The art on both Apps is beautiful and the information about the cards are quite very well displayed on both..though, I gotta be honest,  I like the look of Topps a bit better. They really have the graphics thing down on Topps..coupled with really quality sound and animation. Quidd isn’t that far behind though..theirs have a more cartoon-like animation which isn’t as slick as Topps..but, hey! They both have their place in the world.

Topps gives entire pack bonuses and progress rewards, Quidd has some but definitely not as many.  Topps is also much more clear on the question of cost. They give you the option to go with low level spending with 1:5 ratio pulls or higher spending with a guaranteed pull from the targeted set. This is where they kick Quidd in the ass! Quidd only offers these when you use real money.

Minuses:

Topps doesn’t do that great a job showing what print number the card is out of the batch. Quidd always displays it prominently and let’s be honest, it’s part of what makes you excited. Getting a low number on a rare card is just awesome!  Topps leans more towards trading instead of selling (in fact they don’t let you sell only trade) and they go primarily by rarity listing instead of print #, (though they do include it in info…it’s just hard to find).

Speaking of hard to find…Topps navigation arrangement is fiddly as hell. The screen on my cell makes swiping pages harder and it doesn’t help that it sometimes takes the swiping motions as selection and changes to another screen when all you were trying to do was go down and it sure doesn’t help that it returns to the top of the page or first screen every time you do something! Nobody likes having to flip through pages to get back to the one they were using ok!

Soo..basically I love it..but it has some annoying bits.

Trade seems too complicated compared to Quidd but, they make up for it with really excellent graphics, animation and sounds.

My final analysis:

I won’t be deleting my Quidd account and I’ll be playing Disney too. They seem solid competition with one another..but, honestly..if Disney gets a bit more user intuitive in the flipping pages thing, they might just give Quidd a real run for their money.

As for game play alone.

The very 1st collection ended up being for Toy Story 4. Duke Kaboom featured prominently…woot woot!

Damned if his card wasn’t the hardest one to get too!! But, you know me! I never give up on a good collection.

I got my man..muhahaha!!

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Poet

I’m impressed by this lantern

Ok, so this isn’t a sponsorship or anything, but I wanted to tell you about this product I bought. There is this lantern thing from Bell + Howell that I bought on a whim before I moved and, to my surprise, I kinda use this thing more than I thought I would.

It has 3 Super bright LED lights in it.

My bedside closet has metal doors and I simply used the 3 magnets on the bottom to mount it to the door. It also has a hook so you can actually hang it up in a closet too (I hung it off the shelf rod)

The LED light is soo super super bright that it helps if you adjust it by closing it halfway instead of fully open.

The reason I like it is because it’s perfect for closets with no light..but you can also use it for car repair where you need a light (the magnets can mount right to the underside of the hood) as well as, when a main lightbulb blows or the lights go out in a power failure. You can also use it as a lantern for camping or walking at night.

I suggested it to my son because it’s perfect for hurricane season in Florida and because it runs on 3 AA batteries.

I found out they have them for about $13 at Wal-mart.

Here are few photos.

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Poet

Z’s Super Awesome Gift Has Arrived!

I can’t tell you what it is because Z reads my blog but, I will say, that it was a fantastic black friday deal. My son is an artist so I think he’s gonna flip when he sees it. I’ll post and reveal all after Christmas.

For now here is a photo of the box.

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(Heh)

That’s mostly to mess with Z when he reads this.

Neener neener neener!!

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No peeking boy!!

Poet

Home sick

Well, my tooth has gotten worse. I stayed home from work today. Here’s hoping the dentist doesn’t cost too much. I’m waiting until Monday to go because I’m pretty unsure about how much it’s going to cost and I want to be as close to payday as possible before going.

Right now I’m as numbed up with Ambasol as one can safely be. Some slight throbbing is present but not as bad as it was. I finally got some sleep yesterday. I worked my shift on 2 hrs sleep…(I don’t recommend it) and my tooth got way worse. Poor Cindy took me to 3 places trying to help me find Ambosol for it. (Thanks Cindy!!)

I considered the ramifications of calling in and finally decided my health is more important. I am generally the type that calls in very little (maybe twice a year?) so I did have to convince myself to do it.

I got bored lying here (too sore to sleep anymore)and my online friend sent me a youtube link. She laughed when I saw the topic and sputtered my horror. “What will married life be like for you?” I might have scoffed a bit at the idea of anyone wanting to put up with me for life. (Did I mention I have a horrible addiction to projects, travel, and an incurable curiosity that makes men weep?)

I did do it though. It’s a pick-a-card tarot reading and you basically pick the one that resonates with you and then fast forward to the timestamp of your group. I picked card pile #1.

Tarot reading

Feel free to watch it if you are curious what I got.

Anyway, I have a tooth issue and hopefully in a week I will have it sorted out to my satisfaction. I might even have to use TDCC (That damned credit card) but so long as I take care of myself properly it’s ok in the end.

I’m also watching a lot of Dancing Bacon videos. I like that he doesn’t talk but takes you on journeys with him. I laughed on the vending machine one because he bought Arizona Green tea which is exactly what I am drinking ( I couldn’t find any without sugar and this was the closest to just straight green tea I could find.) I need to buy Green tea bags next time I shop.

My newest blanket purchase ($17 at Joann Fabrics) is a total hit. It’s like a crocheted sweater material and it’s making me slightly less sad.

Love and stuff

B❤

Update** I discovered that I don’t have an abscess, I have a sinus infection that is affecting my cavities. Once I was working on the correct thing I got less pain almost immediately. Using boiled water and salt on my nasal passages really released the pressure and I feel soo soo much better.

I am soo glad I can work tomorrow with less worry.

 

Poet

It was terrifying but, I made a cake

Yup. Me. I made a cake. The girl who is often asked, by family members, not to bring anything to the potluck parties because what I make isn’t often identifiable. Yup. Me.

I made a cake. Let the angels sing Hallelujah!

I made a complete mess of my kitchen, got powdered sugar in places I shouldn’t mention, and used utensils I didn’t even know I owned (Why hello there thin metal spatula where did you come from?)

I am proud to say that I grated my own Ghirardelli baking chocolate and managed NOT to flay the skin off my hand. Yay!

I used the grated chocolate on the cream cheese frosting center layer of the cake and it worked beautifully.

I didn’t realize that each box of cake produces enough for 2-9″ cake pans and used 2 boxes. I ended up overfilling the pans. I had to use the cool floss hack suggested on the cooking site online to level my layer out a bit after it was done baking. The second one I left a bit rounded as it added to the look I wanted.

The outside of the cake looks goofy but I kinda liked it that way. White chocolate shavings and dark chocolate buttons over dark Ghirardelli cocoa frosting.

I think it looks pretty if a little unprofessional. Nonetheless I am quite proud of it.

For someone who can’t really cook I think I did pretty dern well.

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Poet

Me, as a mom

I’ve been asked to describe myself as a parent.

Let us begin:

I’m the type of mom who’s child learned, early on, how to roll his eyes and say “Mooooommmmm!!” with complete exasperation (think age 2 or so).

The type of mom who had to politely step out of the room during shots because of her overwhelming protective impulse to punch the doctor whenever he made her baby cry.

The type of mom who taught her child, rather young, that there was never a “no” answer when a book was requested, that stories were meant to be acted out, and that it was perfectly acceptable to hide behind the sofa during the scary bits.

The type of mom who answered every question truthfully, even the ones about sex, because she was taught “If you are old enough to ask the question, you are old enough to hear the answer” by her own parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

The type of mom who had to be asked to let the kids have a turn on the kid toys.

The type of mom who followed through on promises, the ones that lead to discipline AND the one’s that lead to reward.

The type of mom that played videogames and didn’t let “the kid” win. (Muhahaha..eat my dust sucker!!)

The type of mom who burnt dinner but never dessert.

The type of mom who loved making up new traditions.

The type of mom who knocked.

The type of mom who paused until they cracked.

The type of mom who listened even if what was heard hadn’t been said out loud.

The type of mom who wrote down the memories that got retold until they were legends.

The type of mom who didn’t need to be told the “big secret” first, because he already knew she’d understand, accept, and embrace the truths shared.

The type of mom who loves without barriers, without requirements, without end.

I’m the type of mom who admits mistakes, flaws, and errors.

I’m the type of mom who enjoys embarrassing her son, teasing her son, making her son roll his eyes while saying “Mooooom!” for the 1000th time.

I’m the type of mom who is herself. Who is just plain messy, clumsy, forgetful, and confused.

I’m the type of mom who shows up, makes room, creates possibility.

I’m the type of mom who loves being a mom…even if the kids aren’t hers.

I’m a mom. This type of mom.

 

Poet

Nice Try Asshole!

I got a VM message from an “FBI agent” telling me that I must contact an FBI agent regarding my taxes. “I’m an F.B.I. Agent!” (Keanu did it better) Heh!

The government has spent the last 11 years taking every single one of my tax returns for Child support. I looked up the number. It’s definitely a Government-based Scam on Robokiller. Yay!

I have my phone programmed to only answer for people on my contact list, all others go to Voicemail. I don’t do threatening phone calls. Government employees of any type only communicate through mail. They don’t do email and phone calls, in case you wondered (I could wallpaper my bathroom with the ones I have received over the years)

B

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Poet

Christmas stitching

I bought both the current Crosstitcher Magazine and The World of Cross Stitching Magazine. It’s no surprise that both are British based. Cross stitching isn’t as popular in the USA these days and shopping for products makes it very obvious.

The only annoying thing is the way they jack up the price of the magazine in the US. I know for a fact that The World of Cross-stitching and Crosstitcher both sell for £4.99 in the UK (abt $6.50 in conversion rate)

They sell them for $14.99 (World of Crosstitching) and $12.99 (Crosstitcher) here. Quite a difference.

With my two magazines I received additional gifts with purchase. (The two magazines are highly competitive with one another, especially at Christmas!)

I’m just finishing the tree ornament from Cross-stitcher and look forward to doing the 3-in-1 stitch kit from the other. Both will be gifts.

While I absolutely adore the projects in both magazines ( most especially the floral bunting pattern, in The World of Cross-stitching) I am totally over the moon for the Spirit of Christmas Angel by Durene Jones featured in Crosstitcher Magazine. It even has an option to get the kit instead of shopping for the materials. Also, the Christmas shop series which is being featured over the course of 3 magazines (October, November and December)is also quite tempting.

Anyway, check out my progress.

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I have just the detail work and backstitching before I can sew it into a tree shape. This project was kinda fun. Most of the reviews I’ve heard about this free gift with magazine, is from trying to sew the tree together. I’m thinking that if it gives me too much trouble I might just hot glue the sucker or use Velcro.

Poet

Doing it a bit differently

I have a confession, I don’t really like Turkey enough to cook one. I don’t really like the whole traditional feast menu, to be honest. I’m not a fan of gravy. Don’t really like Turkey off the bird. Don’t really enjoy cranberries and totally miss the point of grinding up turkey parts and putting it into a stuffing.

Pumpkin pie however, is definitely on the menu!

Therefore, I’m planning on doing the whole thing my own way this year.

Since I will be alone this Indigenous People day, I decided to do what I want to do, instead of what everyone always says I should do.

Soo..I donated my free 16 lb turkey (from work) to the city mission, bought the makings for The Ultimate Awesome Nachos Feast, bought a pumpkin pie and ice cream, and cued up the entire Indiana Jones movie series for Thursday viewing. I also decided which cross-stitch project I want to tackle while enjoying the mentioned marathon (Doxie present for Patt Sutton)

Indigenous people day is going to be lit!

Any day off work is to be celebrated.

Poet

The way others see us

I’m posting a story written by my friend M, about an adventure we had while I was staying in the UK. I always find it interesting how others describe me or share things I have also experienced.

(May 2015)

Matt would like to share a story about one of our most “interesting” adventures:

A couple of years ago, B and myself went for a walk starting off from a different part of the local forest than we normally tend to set off from. After walking a while, I spotted a steep hill with a ridge on top. It looked interesting and for some reason, it drew me to consider scaling it. Half joking, I suggested climbing the hill to B as there looked like a mini trail leading up to it. We’d done some long forestal walks up to that point on previous days, including at times, minor hills and it seemed no less doable. There was even a narrow channel surrounded by roots and hardy little shrubs leaning in with plenty of places to grab something if necessary. It didn’t look too bad a climb, not really. Ten minutes of effort, if that. A bit of a mistake. We got half way, and suddenly it loomed ahead much higher than it looked from the ground. Higher and steeper. You could say, it was almost vertical. I think I slipped a little in the loose earth and grabbed out at a root, and then B missed her footing and it all felt like a place that we shouldn’t be. That neat leading trail up the hill was more of a water gulley once you were inside it. Anyway, we somehow struggled to climb on, and by that time it would have been worse to slip down than continue on to the top. There was some panic in B’s eyes. Actually, there was terror in B’s eyes in the variety of “I’m going to die, and it’s your fault, Matt!”

We didn’t die. We struggled though and cursed and wished we’d not been so ridiculously naive and idiotic to attempt that particular climb, but die we didn’t. Sometimes, you just do these things because you can and because they happened to be there I thought to myself at the time, obviously having learnt nothing! It was less rational, more let’s do something we haven’t done since being a kid. We made it, half stumbling, half on our knees, clawing to the safety of the softer heather at the top. This hill was easy, I then went on the tell B as she was too tired to answer back. She rolled her eyes, it was all she could do while getting her breath back in large gulps. I then went on to reassure her that if she did die up here, then it was definitely a good final resting place, although the ground was too hard to dig. It would have to be an off the cuff funeral pyre. It wasn’t of course, easy that is, never again.

When we got to the top, and then to safety, and beyond, and a few steps further (just to be certain), B collapsed as if she’d just scaled mount Everest and done it without equipment or oxygen. It was quite exhausting, but a beautiful contrast once on the plateau with the soft heathers all around gently swaying in the breeze. After the climb it all seemed like an oasis as we gathered back our strength and had a drink of water, taking in the surrounding views by sitting and then finally, laying on our backs and looking up at the sky. So, we did do some resting, finally.

A little further on, after we had recovered and the air began to taste sweet again instead of a life necessity, we saw some deer in the distance, down a hill in a valley, and took some photos with the zoom lens. We didn’t want to get too close as they are easily spooked. They were quite a way away. Some were sitting in the foliage, apparently enjoying the day. The deer then moved off, and we continued on to where they had been to look for traces of them, chatting as we did so, recounting our experiences of “The Hill” and “What the damn frick were we thinking of?” and so on. We turned a corner past some trees and came face-to-face with the same pack of deer. Literally less than six feet away. Nose to nose to our noses. Their deep brown eyes wide as they realised we were human. They were as surprised to see us as we them!

They obviously hadn’t heard us as we walked down to where they had been, and were grazing. It was all the more strange because we hadn’t been quiet in the walk towards them, we must have been downwind or something and the trees masking our sounds. Deer around here are very shy and elusive, you can go for years and never see any. After they had loped off and scattered, we looked at each other and half smiled, half laughed at the little treasure we’d been given. It’s one of those walks I’ll never forget. It’s these sort of accidental experiences that always draw me back.

Poet

The weight of time

There was a time when life was weightless, undemanding, endless.

But dreams and concerns entered my soul, infused my spine, made way with my heart.

These memories that become heavy.
These lessons that argue to be shared.
These moments that I would not wish back.

Time is heavy but, It leaves me feeling grounded where once I felt a lack of anchor.

I am at one with my life.
My heart is just soil and my memories are marbled rocks along the garden path.

 

Poet

Dr Tooth decided to kick me in the mouth

I am going to be dead honest with you. For the last 8 years (before moving in with my sister Shay, for the last year and a half) I could barely afford food, much less the dentist. Things improved once I did move in with my sis, but not enough to be able to take care of two things, my vision and my teeth. I’m wearing 6 year old glasses and I have 2 cavities.

There are many, many reasons I feel blessed this year and having the funds to finally take care of myself is just one of them. Only…I really want to have Z here for Christmas. That means using my funds for tickets, presents and decorating..only, seems life has just decided that self-care has been put off much, much too long.

Basically, cavity #1 just broke my damned tooth. Well, shit.

Now, don’t think I’m lazy. I’m never lazy about certain things. I brush and care for my teeth rigorously. The problem is that, with existing cavities you can only put off problems, not solve them. Only the dentist can fill a cavity. Paying my bills is my biggest priority. I’m not always good to my body and that needs to change.

My body clearly wants me to take better care of it.

Well hell.

I’m going to try and put it off until January (I even set up the appointment) but, if my body needs it sooner that’s just going to have to happen. My life may have taken awhile to own, but it’s mine now and I deserve contacts and healthy dental.

Soo..My plan for 2020 is self-improvement.

I’ve worked on my inner me, my surroundings, my creative work, and my spiritual needs. Now it’s time to work on the me others see.

I worked on better clothing and having a beautiful apartment during 2019.

Now, 2020 is all about making a healthier outer me.

Let’s do this!

Poet

Meet Theo

This is Theo. He’s my Charlie Bear made exclusively by Isabelle Lee.

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He joined my family in February 2008 while I was visiting the UK for a 2 weeks visit. We returned to the UK, for a years time, before returning to the US in April 2009.

When Theo learned we were moving back to the US, he was really sad. He’d miss Britain quite a lot, but he did admit that he’d kinda missed American food, especially Pizza with extra cheese and mushrooms.

Since then, we have been back to visit the UK 7 times, this makes Theo less homesick and started a tradition of him joining me on all my traveling adventures.

Here are some facts about Theo he wanted me to share with you.

His name: Theobald Quinnley Clendon-Bedow

His fur: Chocolate Tipped Praline colored dense long piled plush fur with matching Praline Paw pads.

His height: 13 inches (and all of it quite serious about keeping people’s secrets)

Age: A mature bear never reveals his true age, but Theo does want you to know he was born September 12th and is a Virgo.
According to his astrology book,
bears born on September 12 are very neat and prefer to keep everything as orderly as possible, whether we are talking about their professional or home life. They are eager and amicable although sometimes they can appear as a bit uptight. They need time to disconnect and chill although they sometimes overlook this necessity. They can’t be more disturbed than by having to deal with ignorant people and enjoy their time very much when in the company of those they can look up to.

Theo’s Favorite Celebrities are Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston. (British is best! says Theo)

Likes:
Pizza with extra cheese and mushrooms.
English tea with milk served in an Emma Bridgewater teacup (none of that American Coffee-mug nonsense!)
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Long Walks by the water.
Long stories and short wait times.
Christmas trees
Candy-canes
Shooting stars.

Dislikes:

Being away from loved ones.
Falling over
Indecisive people
Losing his scarf

Favorite Disney Bear: Kenai (Brother Bear)-Topping Loyalty
Least Favorite Disney Bear: Baloo- Much too lazy.

Wants: Letters from children who like British bears.

Care of Nectarfizzy@gmail.com
Subject: Theo Bear!

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Current affairs: Theo just adopted a little sister! Her name is Thelma, and she’s a Gund Bear.

Poet

The Bekki Test (Answers)

How well do you know Bekki? Take the test and find out!

1. Bekki can withstand all kinds of junkfood cravings but, if you wave this in front of her nose. She’ll succumb 100%.

A. Jelly beans

B. Cheetos

C. Hot Tamales

 

2. Bekki likes Ice Cream from a specific company best. Which one?

A. Ben & Jerry’s

B. Sweet Me Creamery

C. Baskin Robbins

3. Bekki cannot be trusted with what?

A. Pumpkin Pie

B. Pets

C. Secrets

4. Bekki’s favorite hobby is?

A. Sewing and singing badly along with the radio.

B. Writing and arguing (loudly) with her imaginary characters.

C. Both.

5. Bekki is a master at:

A. Cooking

B. Traveling on planes.

C. Doing her hair.

True or false questions:

6. Bekki makes her bed every morning?
True
7. Is a Virgo? Capricorn actually..my Moon is Virgo though.

8. Talks to a man she has never met and who doesn’t know she is talking to him?
Yup. I’ve dreamt about TMW5T since I was a child..weird? Yes. (Don’t ask me…I have no idea why)

9. Has a lovely singing voice?
Hah!!! Nope. False.

10. Has a bear she takes with her whenever she flies?
Yes, his name is Theo. He’s a Charlie Bear from the UK. I should do a post about him next week. (schedules)

 

Poet

I can barely walk

Friday and Saturday are generally very busy days at my work, which is why, I was unprepared for my work only scheduling my 1st co-worker to work until 2:30. That left me fending for myself for 2 hours until my other co-worker came in but, Hey! No biggie! We deal when we have to right?

Only…my 2nd co-worker called in. Yup..screwed. Totally screwed.

I am not the type to “just do what you can.” I’m more the type to “kill herself trying to do it alone.”

Yup. I am soooo damned sore.
I completed my tasks on time. Because I’m an idiot…

My legs hurt soo much I can barely walk.

The thing is..I know myself pretty well…

I’d do it again.

(Shrugs) I’m not sure yet if this makes me completely cool or completely stoopid.

Probably both.