Archives for the month of: September, 2008

In the beginning I didn’t have a clue about using the AH, then muttering aloud to myself ingame, I indicated I was losing more than gaining on the Auction House. A passerby hearing my lament told me of an auction house addon and sent me to the curse. The Curse.com, the wow lovers paradise, IF you know what to look for, AND stay away from out dated addons.

I don’t use the “latest” AH addon because it garbles up the parts of the WOW AH that works just fine thank you very much.

I don’t need or want to change the look of the AH UI, I just need to know the going rate based on vendor resale value, vs original vendor purchase value (what you would pay a vendor), and what the item might traditionally go for on the AH.

Be careful about using the AH all time high as any kind of a guide as it records the most an item has ever sold for, and not necessarily, the items average realistic value.

Bloaters
Some folks find it funny to stuff the AH with items for 345G when the value is more like 23S. NOOBS then see the inflated value, post items too high, while the bloater comes in with additional items at the more realistic rate. Indeed, perhaps even priced a little above the normal rate and make a killing. Meanwhile the NOOB whose eyes were bright at the prospect of easy gold is left hanging with many items unsold back in their pocket sans the AH fee.

Sounds like real life sometimes.

So what you really want to do is watch the vendor rates and get familiar with the AH by using it, and learning by experience and what you see there.

Most of the time, asking for just a little more than a vendor would sell will net you a gain. There are however exceptions to the rule….exceptions where you really can dream of selling for obnoxious prices, IF you hit the right day. Swifthistle for example is really hard to come by. I’ve seen some sell a single plant for 4g. Swifthistle isnt a plant you can easily grind for as it only ocasionally appears when you harvest briarthorne and mage royal.

Rogues love this plant as it is the only plant they can brew, and the only plant that results in a tea that renews their energy. Hence the price gouging on AH for it.

I personally will never pay 4g for it, not even if one of my alts can afford it. Instead I keep my eye out for it and whenever its presented at a reasonable price, even if little high I will snag it. ALternatively grinding the above named plants will yield a small, but useful bounty.

Another item that historically goes for unrealistic high amounts of gold is wool. Tailors need it, and it never seems to be prolific when its required for some bit of clothing to be made. Pay the G IF your alt is made of money, otherwise, go grind for it in the old english forest just down the road from Stormwind, Goldshire. Horde not recommended in Goldshire unless you are unflagged for PVP as its is alliance territory and seems to attract all the kill crazy young ones regardless of the server realm!

Another secret of the AH I learned the hard way, if selling in quantity, do it at the end of the week or on saturday (th, fri, sat). And dont sell in bulk. Instead of selling 20 silk for 4G, break it up into lots of say 4 and offer it for say 60 silver. THere are two reasons to do this, one, you have to consider who your buyer is. Most often your buyer is someone looking to level up a skill, probably only needs a few, and a level 20 isnt going to have large qty of gold. Better to sell to 5 level 20s then to hope you will get lucky and laiden by some level 70 looking for a bargain. Level 70s have the G, but they arent looking at leveling, so they don’t need what you have, unless you’re a level 70 selling what they need. Basically, consider this, if you are a level 29 grinding silk, chances are your seller is also going to be a level 29 and probably doesnt have a sugar daddy guild shelling out gold, even if you do!

THe second reason to break your quantity into smaller lots is a nifty little marketing strategy. Twelve items at 23s just looks more affordable than one lot of 12 items selling for 3-4 gold. This is true even when the larger lot is the greater bargain. How can that be you ask? Again, two reasons, one, most people don’t want to do the math. And people looking to level usually just need 4-5 not 12 so even if 12 offers a slightly better deal, you’re going to see a pass.

Im not saying no one buys in quantity. I used to do just that until I realized it was better to get just what I needed, and have money left over for something else.

Yes, you can sell the extra back on the AH and that works some of the time, unless the market gets an influx of what you want to sell and offers their items for less than yours.

So many variables, so little time. You can get what you need and play the game, or, maybe the AH is your game!

Selling:
The secret of the acution house, INMHO, in a nutshell, stay a little above the original vendor price, don’t get greedy unless its an item like swiftthistle and there isnt any to be found in the AH, supply and demand. Watch the days you sell, more players are online end of the week than early in the week. Don’t sell in bulk unless you’ve got something hard to find and in demand. Remember your buyer is most likely at or just below your level. If you dont have 4g to throw at it, don’t assume your buyer will.

Buyers: For the most part only buy what you need unless the larger lot is at a reasonable price and you really can use all of it. If you play in a guild, or like me, have lots of alts, keep your eye out for items like swiftthistle that often sell for unrealistic prices and snap it up if and when you see it at a reasonable rate. You’re finesse here can aid your alts, or, your fellow guildmates.

White, green, blue and you
You’ve been on the battlefield, or garnered your plunder from a great quest, and now you are ready to sell. White items dont go as easily as green, blue or greater unless you under sell the original vendor sale price.

Im not sure why white is so often overlooked, because Ive often purchased white items, and though having no magical qualities, was perhaps a higher armor rating than the more expensive green item.

In fact, it often seems to me, that people selling green or blue items, for example, have an exaggerated sense of the items worth. And I suppose they do manage to sell to folks who automatically think green is better than white. Sometimes it is, often, based on an over-rated value, its not. But judge for yourself.

Good luck.

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I remember a long, long time ago hearing some news person say that the average person has seven career changes in their lifetime. I thought that was bunk since careers aren’t cheap to come by and you can’t just snap your fingers and come up with a new one.

Today, however, Im wondering if he was using the term “career” rather loosely to include any kind of job from flipping burgers to changing the sheets at the local hotel.

If I count every kind of job I have ever had as a career, then I am well beyond seeing seven.

A a child, I was a babysitter, not just for my own brothers and sisters but for whomever else my parents chose to draft/volunteer me for. Not very lucrative as careers go and not a lot of fun when you are 12 and have the charge of 10 other kids ranging in age from 2 to 10 while your parents and theirs, booze it up in the pasture. But it felt like work, hard work, so I will count it as “career” one.

Raising my own kids was the hardest job I ever did, but raising kids is really BIGGER than anything that can be defined as work so, for the sake of the seven career changes, I’ll leave it out. Raising your kids isn’t something you switch away from, or change to something else.

Once you have children, even when they are grown, your children and their children are the very essence of you. A career might temporarily be the very essence of you, especially if you take your work to heart, but jobs come and go, children are forever.

So back to earning a buck. After babysitting, and later, as an adult, I tried cleaning hotel rooms. If you think the people who clean your room don’t take their jobs seriously you have been going to the wrong hotel. I worked for the Cosmopolitan in downtown Portland for a very short time that, for me, was all too long.

It was colorful, it was boring. It was back breaking and I hated it. Though the people I worked with were awesome, the people who stayed in the rooms we cleaned, were the real eye openers. Pilots and Stewardesses, who would have thought that people who looked so elegant and so refined could be so, so, icky. But this was in the 70s, decade of free love when pilots were men and stewards were stewardesses and not men.

Until I cleaned up after them I thought it would be cool to be one. If you ask me, in those days at least, the pilots spent way to much time dipping the stewardesses. I think you get my drift.

The pilots rooms were always a mess, smelled of sex and booze and they were messy. It was also the first time I ever saw a playboy and a hustler magazine. The playboy was naughty but the ladies seemed somehow, hmmm, upheld? Like art or a beauty standard? I know, that’s pushing it, but that’s what it seemed like compared to hustler. Hustler, the first page I flipped to showed only the vaginal area of the woman with a kitchen sink drain plug in it. It was repulsive, objectifying and it made me feel like I’d stepped into a sewer.

I didn’t clean rooms for long, but not because of the magazines insulting my young intelligence (I was 17), but because of the dust bunnies and the toilets. I hated cleaning toilets other people had used. Drunk men miss the bowl and aim everywhere. And I was forever forgetting to vacuum under the bed and having my left over dust bunnies pointed out to me. I knew enough about dust to know, if the room was really, really vacuumed every day, under the bed, as the training maid had indicated, there wouldn’t be a dust bunny there in the first place!

Two months of that and I was outta there!

Two career changes and on to three.

Three was as a cashier at the grand opening of a Fred Meyers back in the day when Oregon City still had miles and miles of fields. Amazing how a landscape can change in 25 years. Not a bad job, terribly boring. I got in trouble once for helping a fellow cashier straighten up the box in front of her station. The PIC said I needed to stand at my cash machine even if there were no customers in the store.

The truth is the store had hired 300 people too many. Some folks they outright laid off, or made uncomfortable until they quit and if that didnt work, they whittled your hours down to nothing. Which is pretty much what happened to me. I went frm 35 hours a week to three. The cost of the monthly union dues cost more than I was making. It wasn’t worth staying. Though I will say for years this remained my fav Fred Meyers and as the community rose and usurped the fields it became, as far as I could tell, a whopping success.

Four was flipping burgers at the small town local blackman’s corners. The work wasn’t all that bad but the “lead” girl was insane. The first night I was there she said she could do anything she wanted and say someone else did it and the owners would believe her over anyone else.

When I was young, I was so naive, so, innocent. I didn’t understand what she was getting at. She threw a small package of ketchup on the floor, slammed her foot onto it. It burst. She said, “You see that? I could leave this mess, say you did it, and they would believe me.” She cleaned up the mess, and said, no worries, she was just demonstrating.

I thought, she can’t really be crazy. But if you consider that several years later her brother raped and murdered the verym very, old lady next door to his parents house… I count my lucky stars I left that job after two weeks. The owner was awesome but this girl was just too creepy.

Sometimes I think we really are six degrees, not from anyone we want to know, but from anyone we’d never want to know.

Job five was cashier at the local small town video store. Nothing too exciting but it was the first time I ran into the exciting world of having two bosses, each with a counter goal to the other. A Husband and wife team, with big egos (they thought they were the next Tom Peterson). In the end it was too much like being inside a soap opera and I moved on.

If you’ve stayed with this boring tale this long you are wondering what 6 was.

I went to college. My kids were all in school, I was in my 30’s, and needed to be busy, but as far as jobs go, I was done with boring. I wanted something more challenging.

I worked while in college, odd jobs, one in publications that included deliveries of printed materials by hand truck, gluing paper edges to make note pads, chopping papers into specified sizes with a machine that required two buttons be pushed on opposite sides of the machine. The buttons were a safety feature to ensure you didn’t chop off your hands or fingers. Trust me, it was a GOOD feature!

I did that for two years, at community college, does it count as a career?

Next I went to university. I loved Oregon State! I had several years of archeology under my belt before our professors decided to fess up and inform us that the kind of jobs we dreamed of just were not possible unless you had LOTS of money or all the professors in the world dropped dead. I switched, long story short, to graphic design. Meanwhile my employment was in the financial aid department.

I loved the people I worked with. I didn’t love all the data entry and filing of papers.

Luckily I had discovered the internet. It was NOTHING back then but ugly gray pages but I was so excited about it. I got hate mail from some physics kid who said the web wasn’t for images but for information. Not sure how I had attracted his attention. All I had done was take a MM class, build a web page and put my pic on it as was the required assignment.

For me, the burgeoning, big wide world of web, was absolute bliss, and this is what led to my next paying job.

While other graphic designers had non-paying internships their last year of college, I was paid designing and building the graduate schools website. It only paid 7 dollars an hour, the most any student could make working for the University, but I loved it.

While at University I was allowed to design the Art Departments website as well as a favorite professors, both gratis. Both great experiences.

The Art Department was my first experience working with people who had assets I needed to acquire for the site. While some, thought little of the webs future, others were often “too busy” to provide slides of their work. I finally found an advocate who most of the staff really liked. He wasn’t a nobody student, he was a professor on their level, and once they saw his outstanding work on the web, then they wanted theirs online too.

When I was at OSU, I had friends who made $20,000 (yes twenty thousand) a page for other companies. I never saw that kind of money, not even close. I’ve often been in the right time, but never quite the right place!

I consider myself lucky to have graduated and with paid web experience under my belt. Ive been a web designer (with the occasional print project here and there), ever since.

How many careers? if all that counts, I guess I am at eight. if you only count the career that cost the most money, that I went to college for, that I am still paying for, then I guess I am still at one.

I’ve been at it professionally since 1996. Despite layoffs, companies that closed, or companies that changed hands, I’m not ready to give up on this career just yet. However, I am wondering what comes next. Im 50, you don’t get to be 50 without wondering what the next 40-50 years are going to be about.

So how many careers have YOU had?

The forthcoming demise of my sister-in-laws mother has made me think about how much things have changed in so little time.

Im only 50 but I remember life before todays modern washers and dryers.

For example, I remember when I was a kid of around 11 or so, we didn’t have washers and dryers as we know them now. Im not saying no one else had one. I dont really know. I never saw one until I was 13 or 14. But I remember clearly what we did because it was all my dad, an airforce man, could afford.

Our “washer” was a ringer machine and you used it in the basement. it was electric and it churned the clothes back and forth, it didn’t spin out and didn’t drain automatically. Instead, you set a timer, or kept and eye on your washer for however long you wanted to wash.

I used a stick to push the clothes down and around a little…to help the machine get everything good and soaked. If the power was out, well then,  the stick came in very handy to churn the clothes around with, but it wasnt easy, wet clothes can be very heavy to churn armed with only the might of an 11 year old arm and the power of a stick.

When ready to ring,I unhooked the drain tube and placed it down to the floor near the drain hole in the basement. This could be messy if one was not experienced as the water didn’t politely wait to shoot out of the drain tube. You had to be fast and make sure you didn’t squirt your mum with the bloody thing on its way down or risk getting quite a smack upside your head.

Next, ready to rinse, I filled the washer tub again with another hose which was connected to the faucet above the  two giant, ugly, old, tin-looking sinks,  people would have used in the “way old days” before electricity. Yes, imagine that, to wash clothes by hand, some old houses were so modern they had built in sinks in the basement! 

When I was satisfied the soap was all out, I would drain again and turn the ringer on so I could feed the clothes through it to ring them out before  hanging up to dry. In winter we hung the clothes on basement clothes lines, and on backyard clothes lines in other seasons.

Sounds lovely archaic but it was scary for a kid. One had to be careful, of that ringer, because your hair, your fingers, or even your arm could get pulled into that bloody thing and it did some damage if it got you. I was lucky, the one time it grabbed my long hair, my mom was there to turn it off. It literally could have torn the hair out of my head. Scary fucking machine. I HATED IT.

I remember times when Carl and I were married, apartments didn’t have washer and dryers in them. Sometimes we didn’t have the money to go to the laundromat and I would wash clothes in the bathtub before hanging them to dry on a rack. It didn’t take an hour to dry. If it wasn’t warm enough to put the rack on the back patio, it could take days for a pair of jeans to completely dry standing in a bathtub.

And just think, my grannies generation, when they were kids, if you couldn’t afford the ringer you always had the old tub and scrubbing board that great granny grew up with. Or if you were lucky, basement wash sinks!

Only four generations of change. We take so much for granted. And I am so spoiled, I won’t even rent an apartment if it doesn’t come with a washer and dryer! But Im not ashamed of my love of this luxury. Tongue in cheek, armed with past experience, I know what to do it civilization falls. 😉

Saw Thoq running from the plaguelands, stopped dead in my tracks because this was an ogre of mighty size and I didnt know of any ogres in tristfal, let alone players who could be ogres.

I said How? he said his mother and father loved each other very much and that was how he came to be. Oh I thought that was terribly funny, but then THOQ told me he had an ogre icon and sent me his blog url.

THis is a must see! Very funny and its obvious Thoq is having a LOT of fun!

Check out Thoqs diary. But go to the bathroom first, you don’t wanna pee your pants!

http://thoqdiary.blogspot.com/

Baby kittens no more. My little kittens are the equivalent of teens. Still into anything that suits their fancy, but now with a sullen pout, and a “I don’t care what you say” attitude so reminiscent of my sons as teens.

Little bear is insouciant, and though the smaller of the two, he IS the defacto dominant puss (for the moment). Fat Freddy, whose name I can never settle on even now that he is over 6 months old, is quite the lady. Yes, I know he is a boy, but he is ever the damsel in distress. Oh save me mommy from my little bully brother! And despite his large size, he is convinced he is demur. He comes in dainty, flops on the floor, rolling belly up with little soft paws begging to have his tummy rubbed. And dare I say it, he is somewhat the coquette. I swear its true.

Little bear, little bully, despite his lack of balls, is ever the male between the two. He LORDS it over his larger brother and gives no quarter to his brothers’ plea when little bear decides to bite too hard.

And the jealousy! OH my! Should I not pet prince bully first, but instead lift up and caress the sweet softness of fat freddies adoring head, when down he goes, little bear slaps him so! As if it were fat freddies bad to have usurped little bears turn!

At times I am amused by their antics, at times bewildered and at times annoyed. I am a typical human, so deficient in my knowledge of the ways of the cat. I understand they have their own ways, but sometimes I find myself annoyed by the way little bear treats his brother, ensuring he remains submissive. Yet I know if he did not, this is exactly what fat freddie would do to him, for at one time, the roles were reversed.

I have to understand and accept that they operate on a more primal level. There is no equality between brothers in their world. One must rule. One must have ones territory and ensure everyone understands their limits in access to it. Access being granted. And in being granted..isnt that in itself a sign of some sophistication, some thought being given beyond, this is mine?

The thing I enjoy most is their affection for one another. And the range of emotions. I think that alone is the thing that sometimes makes me wonder if cats will one day take one more evolutionary step forward. Oh don’t laugh. You know there was a time when humans were as primal, emotions activated on reactionary levels, and then through the process of evolution emotion and considered thought came hand in hand.

I see my cats range of emotion extremely interesting. I swear, aside from jealousy, I’ve seen pride, happiness, disappointment, surprise, momentary fear (on those rare occasions when freddie has snuck up and scared bear silly), delight, annoyance, anger, pensiveness, excitement, apologetic (when bear has scared the bejesus out of freddie and felt bad for it) and more cross my little cats face. Perhaps bear is the dominant puss, not just because he chooses to bite harder, but because on some level he is thinking harder on this or that and it comes across as intelligent emotion?

I don’t know. I suppose it doesn’t matter. As long as my little purr balls are content, I suppose, I am too. We just have to get through the teens!