Tuesday, August 15, 2017

TI7 Recap

Just got back from Seattle where Breaky and I attended The International Dota 2 Championships. And by "just got back" I guess I mean I've been back for like, three days, but only now have the energy to actually write anything.

While this wasn't my first video game tournament I have attended. I went to the Heroes of Newerth Grand Finals in Las Vegas, but let's be honest, I spent quite a lot of time by the pool during that time. I also attended Blizzcon, but that whole convention was a little different.

Full disclaimer, I have never actually played Dota 2 (or HoN or Heroes of the Storm or any other MOBA) but obviously the game and the scene is super important to Breaky, my husband. Therefore, it is a huge part of our family. So when it came about that we would have the opportunity to go to The International (or TI) in Seattle in August, I decided it would be good for both of us to go.

Because I work full-time, we decided I should just come to Seattle for the second half of the week, and Breaky would fly in Monday morning and I would fly in Wednesday and just take off 3 days of work.

The set up around the Key Arena where the event was actually held was really nifty. There was the Beer Garden, which was open to the public, as long as you were over 21. They had a bunch of screens showing the games, and they had beer, water and cider for sale also. Within viewing distance of the Beer Garden was an huge screen and a huge field area for people to sit and watch. Note: we were extremely lucky with the weather. No rain and hardly and clouds that I knew of.

Big screen showing the game

Breaky and I split a lot of our time between going in the Key Arena to watch the matches (shout out to those who helped Breaky and I get passes, you know who you are!) to going outside to the Beer Garden and around the park in general.

We met up with a lot of people whose names I recognized from what Breaky tells me about how his stuff is going. Speaking of which, huge shout out to the BTS, Pvgna, and DotP guys and gals! Lots of fun meeting you all.

DotP meet up

Proud spouse time: On top of meeting up with people he knew, Breaky would be approached about, on average, 6-8 times a day by a fan. I played the ever-proud spouse with a huge grin on my face as many talked about how Breaky was the reason they got into the MOBA scene in the first place and how they have followed him since Honcast. Breaky was always so very gracious, always asking for their names, taking pictures (I helped with a few of those!) all the while being super humble as always.

Breaky is the best teacher a wife could ask for. I knew very, very little about Dota 2.

Let me put into words what I knew about Dota 2 before TI7.

  • I knew towers had to be destroyed. I figured this was the goal of the game. Little more complicated than that I guess
  • There were creeps. No context to what they were. For all I knew they were equivalent to trolls. 
  • When a caster like Breaky would get loud and shout fast and a bunch of colorful sh*t was happening on screen, a big fight was happening, although this rarely means the game is over. 
  • Because I am the household keeper of all things appointments and calendars, I knew that a game could last as long as 5 minutes (someone cancelled or postponed a game) to as long as an hour and 15 minutes, but on average was about 45 minutes. 
  • I knew where the kill count was, which usually gave me a good idea if someone was really winning and the game could be over soon (again, mostly so I could plan our lives around when the games started/ended)
After learning more of the basics, I do have to say, I have mad respect for anyone who plays and enjoys Dota. It is a grind, but I can see now why people enjoy it so much. 

Without prompt, Breaky would explain things that went on with the game, from why a pick in the beginning of the game was good or bad or even different, to what creeps actually are, to the whole net worth thing and touched briefly on some items. If I tried to list everything Breaky taught me about Dota 2 during TI I would still be typing this into next month. Let's just say, I now understand the basics, but definitely couldn't pick up the game and play.

By the end of TI, I do have to say, I really enjoyed watching the games now that I knew more than just "loud noises and bright colors=fight". I was able to cheer along with everyone else because I recognized that things were happening. Super cool to be able to appreciate the game so much more.

As a wife, I found this experience to be absolutely helpful in understanding what my husband does everyday for a living and the environment he deals with. I think this brought us together as a couple and I hope to continue to learn about the game and interact with the wonderful community (most of them at least) that I experienced this past week.

What did I do when I got back from TI? Bubble bath of course. We did a lot of walking and talking and all that, and I was sore and exhausted. This geek wife needed her R&R.

Thanks again to everyone we hung out with, and thanks to those who helped hook us up with passes and swag and stuff! I look forward to attending more events, and tuning in and understanding more and more Dota matches! 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Hendy's Pancakes-Guest Blog

What the Hendy’s?

Hello Bloggers! I have the privilege to be the Good Geek Wife’s younger yet taller sister. She has asked me to be a guest recipe blogger for your enjoyment.

This recipe has now reached a new generation. Every Sunday growing up, my mom and her family (her Mom, Dad, and brothers Jim and Rick) would have a big Sunday breakfast. This breakfast would put many breakfasts to shame. It consisted of eggs, toast, fruit, bacon, hash-browns, sausage, and the Hendy’s. Now Hendy’s is a name of which my family does not know the origin. Those who would know it, are sadly no longer with us. Glad to get that question out of the way. Now the moment you all are waiting for…what are Hendy’s?

Hendy’s are defined (Family dictionary) as silver dollar pancakes. So these pancakes are supposed to be small and bite sized. That small quirk is not the only quirk about these amazing treats. The Hendy’s mix has to be mixed and made the night before your breakfast.

My family is known for these pancakes. There is no judgement on how many you can eat, because they are so small, having 25 to 30 pancakes isn’t much at all! (Although I would not suggest it.)
My Uncle Jim is the Maestro of Hendy’s and has taught me well. So I hope you enjoy using the recipe for your next breakfast.

To prevent the use of many dishes, I suggest mixing the Hendy’s mix in the container you use to pour them on the skillet in the morning. We often use an old juice container. This offers a more precise way of pouring since your pancakes have to be so small.

Here are the ingredients you will need to make Hendy’s: (4 servings)
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of half and half
3 eggs
1 small teaspoon of salt
1 cup of baking mix (Bisquick/Jiffy mix)
1 teaspoon of baking soda

The night before:

Mix the baking mix, salt, and baking soda. Stir in eggs and add sour cream and half and half. Mix all ingredients with a whisk. Make sure that you get the baking mix that inevitably is sitting at the bottom of the container. Make sure there are no “clumps” of baking mix at the bottom or floating around in the container. Place the container in the refrigerator overnight.

The morning of:
Warm up a griddle. I would suggest the griddle to be on medium heat. Remember that these pancakes should be small, so if medium heat is not hot enough and your pancakes begin to look like Pangea, please adjust accordingly. My Grandmother suggests the griddle to be at 380 degrees if yours has a temperature gauge. Take the container out of the refrigerator and grab something with which to stir. You will realize that the batter is much thinner than your normal pancake batter, and that is very normal.

Pour the batter on the griddle into circles only about 2 inches in diameter. I gauge when to flip them based on the bubbles that are created when poured. I would suggest you not flip them too early, because, well…they won’t flip especially due to the very thin texture of the batter. If you flip them too late, meaning all the bubbles have popped, then they are silver dollar hockey pucks and serve no use for your tummy. Since these take a longer time to make and flip, my family often has the oven on the keep warm setting, and I put the pancakes on an oven safe plate in there. So while I make 12 to 15 on the griddle at a time, I will put those 12-15 right onto the plate in the oven. If they are left out, they will stick together and won’t be as tasty!

It is suggested from the recipe to serve these with melted butter and warm maple syrup.
Every person has their own way of eating these. I am a melted butter and syrup girl, but many of my family members mix them with their eggs or cover them in peanut butter. Don’t even get me started on those in my family who turn the Hendy’s into tacos with the sausage or bacon in between the Hendy’s.

I hope that these little pancakes will be a staple at your next breakfast!

Thanks for having me on your blog sis! Hope you all enjoyed!

The photo below is the recipe we use. This recipe is on the last page of the Gourmet Gab: Presented by the Junior League of Saginaw.

Mrs. Richard Wendland is my Gaga…my Grandma who without her this blog post wouldn’t be possible. For You Gugs!