Happy Christmas! from a galaxy far, far away

A very happy Christmas to all my readers who celebrate today!

My gifts from B this year had a special delivery service.

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“Han and Chewie had to travel 12 parsecs with an overloaded Falcon to get your gifts here by Christmas!”

He made this while I was at Christmas Eve Mass.  He even put a dish on top, and made a spot for the cockpit to come off the side (he didn’t have time to get it attached because the glue was still drying).

There’s a bunch of candy inside!  But it got boarded by an unwelcome guest:

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Even I get boarded sometimes.

Our cat Juhani thought it looked very similar to the Ebon Hawk:

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She’s more interested in her new cat toy that B was waving around.
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Eye Spy

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This photo was taken under our bathroom door by my husband, B.  This is Jolee, named for Jedi Knight Jolee Bindo (keeping with my Star Wars theme for the month).

Like his namesake, a character from the Knights of the Old Republic video game, our Jolee sometimes get a little cranky.  Particularly when we shut him out of the bathroom.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eye Spy

Revisiting KOTOR II: Getting Updates

It’s been awhile since I had a chance to play KOTOR II; just when I was going to pick it back up, I got a surprise: an update!

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For some reason, 10 years after the game was released, KOTOR II got a big update in Steam.  Check out the screenshot for a full list of the details.

For me, the biggest changes were the widescreen resolution support (which I actually changed back because widescreen stretched things out weird) and the achievements.  I got my first achievement for stopping the coup d’etat on Onderon!

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Some achievements I won’t ever get unless I go back and play the beginning again, which I’m not planning on doing until I’ve finished this playthrough.  But I am excited to see what I’ll get next; there’s 37 achievements total.

I’ll be continuing with my series in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for that.  And if you were thinking about playing this awesome Star Wars RPG, now might be a great time to start.

Read my series on replaying KOTOR II starting here: Revisiting KOTOR II: (#1) A Fresh Start

Kotaku’s Q&A with KOTOR II lead writer Chris Avellone

You’ve probably seen that I’ve been replaying KOTOR II, and blogging about it, so I was quite excited that Kotaku had a Q&A session with the game’s lead writer Chris Avellone, who works for game developer Obsidian.  He’s also worked on other famous games such as Fallout 2 and Planescape: Torment, which happens to be getting a Let’s Play treatment by William Hohmiester over at the Sourcerer blog.

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You can check out the whole session here; there were actually quite a few questions about KOTOR II.  Avellone mentions that he loves Empire Strikes Back, and its tone probably influenced him to take a darker direction with the KOTOR sequel.  He also says he appreciates the fans mods that have fixed bugs and re-added a lot of cut content (I’m playing with the Restored Content mods this time).

He also touches on one of my big problems with the KOTOR games, that the morality system rewards only going strongly lightside or darkside, when I would prefer to play a grey character.

Lastly, Avellone says that if they were to do the game again, he would have reduced the number of companions (great!) and cut the minigames (NO!).  Not that I play pazaak (it’s no Triple Triad), but it just wouldn’t be KOTOR without it and swoop racing.

Welcome, Juhani!

After at least a year of “thinking about it,” my husband and I got a new cat in January!  Her name is Juhani, after the Knights of the Old Republic character.  You may recall that our other cat is named Jolee, also a KOTOR character.

Juhani (left) and Jolee from Knights of the Old Republic

Juhani is a female Cathar whom you meet on Dantooine; I think she is the only character where you have a choice as to whether she joins your party or not.

Our Juhani is around 4-5 years old and came from the local humane society where I used to work.  We wanted a cat that would be able to play with (or just tolerate) Jolee, who very active and attention-hungry.  In fact, we wanted a cat that was as little like Jolee as possible.  I love him, but one is enough.

Juhani arrived at the shelter with a broken jaw, possibly as the result of a car accident, and was healed enough to be put in the “adoptable” category just a few days before we came wandering into the shelter.  We thought she was beautiful, and my husband even suggested that we could call her “Juhani” due to the orange stripes on her head.  Her left ear is “tipped,” probably due to a spay-and-release program, and the end of her tail is white, just like Jolee’s.

We kept her separated in the spare bedroom for about a month, slowly introducing her to Jolee a few hours at a time.  It was actually a lot of work.  She is not super timid, but he has no manners and is overly enthusiastic around other cats.  He still occasionally greets her by walking up and swatting at her tail, or licking her paws while she naps.

We started by feeding them treats together, and then playing with a wand toy.  He got squirted with the squirt gun when he was too aggressive and jumped on her (doesn’t help that he’s got several pounds on her).  At some point, she bit him on the neck and it got infected, which earned him a trip to the vet and some antibiotics.  Unfortunately, they made him nauseated, and he threw up all over the house for several days, including on our bed, in the office, and on a living room chair.  At least he shouldn’t have any hairballs for awhile.

After about a month, she was unhappy being shut in the room every night, so one weekend we let her out 24/7 and no one died, so we have left her out ever since.  They eat together beautifully and even chase and roughhouse a bit with no hissing involved.  She is really a wonderful cat: laid-back, sweet, playful, and very much a lap cat.

We are making progress <3
We are making progress ❤