Dragons and Things

Dragons and Things

Life, Gaming, Fandom & Pretty Things with Dragons

Rejoining the PC Master Race

Well, we did it, took the plunge and rejoined the PC master race…by which I mean got a very high spec machine that I fully anticipated only playing The Sims 3 on…

New PC

Pug for scale.

I got this beauty from PC Specialist (the monitor, though, is from Amazon – PCS do put a cheeky markup on monitors if you buy from them, I find) because after combing through the usual crappage in Dixons and PC World and suchlike I just wanted something that would last a good few years. Barring, you know, sudden leaps in quantum chips or something. I’m unfortunately nowhere near coordinated or capable enough to build my own rig, much as I’d like to as I’m reliably informed it comes out even cheaper, but I’ve never had issues with PCS in the past and they once again delivered.

  • Eight core i7 processors @3GHz each with a 20MB cache
  • 64GB of RAM (hot DAYUM)
  • 500GB solid state hard drive (cos why would you not get an SSD these days)
  • 4GB AMD Radeon graphics card (I like nVidia but I’m not paying what they ask for a shedload of 3D and whatever that I don’t need or want)

Well sufficient to say it is blooming gorgeous. It starts up so fast that I did my previous plan of turn on and go to make a cup of – oh, Windows is loaded. Holycrap.

Sims 3 runs nicely (natch), I’ve got the Sims Medieval running as well (after a bit of wrangling; turns out it has problems with Windows 10) and I’ve finally been able to dive into Elite Dangerous, which is an absolutely beautiful game.

Elite Dangerous

It’s tricky to get the hang of – the tutorial videos are pretty useless and the default controls for mouse and keyboard are fairly diabolical. Fortunately I found some fan-made guides and “let’s-play” type videos on YouTube which got me sorted out. By the time I figured out how to sort out the controls so the blooming yaw on the ship wasn’t controlled by moving the mouse (who thought that was a good idea as the default), and mastered the art of slowing down to exit hypercruise, I was able to start actually making money.

I’m still pretty poo at the combat, but you can’t have everything at once. But at any rate that’s why I’ve been rubbish at blogging recently!

Garden Musings (And Garden Dragons)

It’s been oddly sunny recently, and with Tali having just had her second set of jabs and thus being allowed outside but not “run loose in puddles and whatever” outside, we’ve been spending a bit of time letting the pugs hurtle around the garden. I took a ton of pictures of the pair of them speeding around like little fuzzy rockets, but in a rare break in the action I also got this which is by far and away the best pug pic I think I’ve ever taken…

Pugs In The Garden

The problem is that while the pugs were doing low orbits we had nowhere to sit except on the ground on the patio, and the cats just sat behind the closed doors looking mournful. They’re indoor kitties both because we live not too far from a main road and because Leela in particular is a blooming idiot who can’t be trusted not to get herself stuck in a bin or something.

We’ve attempted in the past to secure the garden for safe kitty explorations, but the last try resulted in Leela (of course) getting herself lost for most of the night, only to drop in through the bathroom window in the wee hours of the morning with a loud yowl of objection. They’ve been absolute indoor kitties since then, but now we’re in a house we own I’ve been thinking it would be nice to have a sort of garden room that is secure enough for us to sit in with the cats (so the little blighters can’t get out and into trouble in the wider neighbourhood) while still letting them get a bit of sun and fresh air. It would also mean we could leave the patio doors open in the summer to catch a breeze when things get too tropical indoors.

After a bit of rummaging I’ve come across this concept of a pergola – a kind of roofed gazebo thing – which can be given trellis-type walls. I’m thinking if we could get one of these built over the patio with a door to let the pugs out, and then meshed over to be cat-proof, like a screen room in the USA, that would probably work great. I even found some good sort of examples from Western Cedar Pergolas, but unfortunately they’re in Illinois…anyone know the sort of place that would do this kind of thing in Kent?

Garden Pergola Idea Garden Pergola Idea Garden Pergola Idea

Anyway, that’s enough about pergolas and pugs. As and when I get around to doing something properly with our garden it is going to involve garden dragons (of course). There are a whole bunch of cuties I’ve previously cooed over at The Brilliant Gift Shop, so I went a-Googling and found some more…

Baby Garden Dragons

Cheeky and adorable little baby garden dragons, in three colours – found on Amazon.

Dreaming Garden Dragon

A dreaming (or bashful?) little dragon for a cosy nook in the garden, found on GardenSite.co.uk.

Grey Garden Dragon

I love the classic design and face on this beautiful grey garden dragon, found on Mill Race Garden Centre.

Kissing Garden Dragons

These comical kiss-me-don’t garden dragons are a cute little comic ornament! Found on Berkshire Stoneware.

Red Garden Dragon

A beautiful Western-style red garden dragon. Found on HomeAndGardenCentre.co.uk.

Scaly Garden Dragon

A fierce and proud-looking scaly garden dragon (one for each gatepost, what what)! Found on Garden4Less.co.uk.

Sky Gazing Garden Dragon

This cute little sky gazing garden dragon is ready to admire the sun or stars for you. Found on PerfectPlants.co.uk.

What’s your favourite thing to do in the garden, with your pets or without?

(More) Designer Dragon Charms

Despite the fact I don’t own a charm bracelet I do like cooing over jewellery charms, as my previous entry on dragon charms and my themed Game of Charms post clearly demonstrates. It’s been a couple of years now though, so I decided to see what kind of designer dragon charms the big name jewellery brands are pumping out these days now all the Year of the Dragon business from 2012 has more thoroughly died down.

First off is the classic Trollbeads brand.

Trollbeads Spiritual Dragon Charm

This “Shenlong” the spirit dragon is supposed to (apparently) generate “wind and rain for the benefit of mankind.” So next time you forget your umbrella, you know who to blame!

Trollbeads Baby Dragon Charm

This little baby dragon is very cute – he’s so teeny and young that he just wants to curl up and eat his own tail rather than be a big dragon.

Trollbeads Love Dragon Charm

This little love dragon is curled tightly around so he’ll keep anything you want to give him wrapped up all safe and snug in his wings and claws.

Trollbeads Dragon Charm Bracelet Lock

As well as dragon charm beads, Trollbeads also do this lovely dragon bracelet lock to keep things secure on your wrist and your chain.

The next lot are from a place I’ve just discovered called Soufeel – I really like their jewellery, it is designer-type stuff but at a lot more of a reasonable price point.

Soufeel Dragon Zodiac Charm

As well as being the fifth sign of the Chinese zodiac, this lovely oriental zodiac dragon charm is made from 925 sterling silver.

Soufeel Dragon Charm

This Chinese water dragon pendant charm has a polished silver cuff and two little Swarovski crystals, one on the cuff and one as a tiny beady eye.

Soufeel Cartoon Dragon Charm

I love this adorable cartoon dragon charm. He’s all cuddly and plump but he still has teeny wee horns and wings and a lovely pointy tail.

The next two are from Links of London – really lovely jewellery worth paying for, I used to have a necklace from here but the chain broke and I lost the pendant (sad face).

Links of London Chinese Zodiac Dragon Charm

This unusual Chinese zodiac dragon charm has a little yellow gold on the winds and ears as accents. I love his tiny silvery jowls!

Links of London Chinese New Year Dragon Charm

I really like this older charm from Links because he’s a Western-style dragon but was made for their Chinese New Year line. He’s even got cheery little enamel spots on his back to give him a festive air.

These last three are from a few other places.

Glamulet Dragon Charm

I’ve never really heard of Glamulet before but I like their zodiac line, like this little dragon zodiac charm who is really adorable with his yellow eyes and tail fan.

Luxe Design Personalised Dragon Charm

This cool personalised dragon charm from Luxe Design lets you put a combination of letters on his chest and tail. Not sure what the derpy SSS SSK K example is in the picture but like the teeny name engraving.

Tiffany & Co Dragon Charm

Sadly you can’t get this Chinese zodiac dragon charm from Tiffany & Co any more, but he’s very delicate and lovely-looking, almost like he’s made of lace rather than silver.

Which are your favourite jewellery brands for dragons, charms or both?

Dragon Dog Toys

Since pug #2 arrived in the house we’ve been more preoccupied than usual with keeping the pair of them out of mischief. Moya already had a decent array of toys but we wanted to get some more so there were plenty for them both to play with…although of course they mainly play with each other! Naturally I started looking for dragon dog toys first, although in my defence they also have a squirrel and a fluffy elephant and some little beany ball things.

Tuffy Mighty Long Dragon Dog Toys

These Tuffy Mighty dragons are great – the girls have the orange one and we often end up with a pug at each end, tugging violently in opposing directions. I love the ickle hydra as well!

Tuffy Mighty Dragon Dog Toys

It was a toss-up which of these Tuffy Mighty Dragons to get for the girls but in the end I got them the green one. Tali went nuts for it for about ten minutes and then wandered off to play with some fluff instead. Sigh.

Kong Dragon Dog Chew Toy

We’re currently on our second Kong dragon chew toy after Moya ripped the innards out of the first one when she was a little puppy. Tali seems less interested in it although she does pounce on the tail squeaker now and then.

GoDog Skinny Dragon Dog Toys

These are again by GoDog, charmingly named “skinny dragons.” The girls have a purple one and it has the weirdest deep honk of a squeaker noise, but they seem to really like it.

GoDog Dragon Dog Chew Toys

More from the good folks at GoDog, these tough dragon chew toys haven’t been particularly popular with the girls. We have the green one and it is pretty resilient, to be fair, but also lacks much in the way of stuffing so I think the pugs don’t like it much as there isn’t a load of mass to stuff into their mouths!

GoDog Dragon Dog Chew Toy Colours

Some more colours of the GoDog dragon tough chew toys. I’m still not 100% on what this “chew guard technology” is but it seems to mainly involve not putting much of any filler into the toys…

Huggle Puff Dragon Dog Toys

I’ve never heard of Huggle Hounds but I love these little corduroy dragon toys, available in a range of colours and sizes. We had a couple of different corduroy toys from Pets At Home (not dragons, alas) and the pugs seemed to adore them, so I might have to order one of these!

Other Dragon Dog Toys

I found a selection of other oddball little dragon toys for dogs in my perusals on Amazon. The little purple plastic squeaker is a cutie but the girls don’t like plastic toys, only cloth stuff. The little green dragon plush is okay, but the Grriggles Darling Dragon is absolutely amazing – forget the pugs, I’d get this fella for myself!

I did try to get some pics of the girls playing with the toys but of course it was impossible because they chose to play with anything but the thing I was trying to get a picture of…so here’s some gratuitous pug pictures instead!

Moya & Tali Meeting

Moya meeting Tali for the first time – definitely love at first sniff!

Moya & Tali Playing

Rough ‘n’ tumble time is best time – they love to wrestle and play with each other, and it isn’t just Tali who ends up on her back with limbs flailing either…

Moya & Tali Sleeping

Once mischief time is over for a bit they love to cuddle together in the same bed…as Tali grows up I think we’re going to need a bigger one!

Playmobil Dragons

I was never really into Playmobil as a child. It seems like most kids either go Lego or go Playmobil, and rarely the two intersect. Then again when I was small the Playmobil range was mainly boring everyday stuff, no real fantasy or scifi sets on offer, and definitely no dragons, so that’s probably as much to blame as my parents for leaning me towards Lego rather than any alternatives!

These days the Playmobil ranges are considerably more enterprising than I recall from my (admittedly very cursory) glances back when I was part of the target demographic. As well as the City Life stuff (planes and trains and mums and pets and other everyday stuff) they now have their own superhero range (Super 4), Future City for the fledgling SF fans, dinosaurs, Western, ancient history (the mammoths are pretty cute!), fairies, princesses and – hurray – knights and dragons. Oddly enough over half of the Playmobil Dragons range seems to feature more wyverns than dragons, but whatever. We’ll take our dracoforms where we can get them!

Playmobil Blue Dragon

Dear Playmobil: this is a wyvern. And why does he look stoned? Seriously, check out those eyes. Weird. I like the scales down the back and tail though, and his head design.

Playmobil Giant Battle Dragon

Now THIS is a dragon. A Giant Battle Dragon, to be precise. He even has his own kickass lance-sword-thing (now that’s awesome)! Plus he comes with batteries for his fire to light up and glow. Fire breathing AND armed? That’s one seriously aggressive dragon.

Playmobil Knight With Dragon

This doesn’t seem like a Knight With Dragon so much as “knight with slightly weedy-looking wyvern” but whatever. I like the colour blend on the wings of this one, the red and black swirly paint is actually quite cool.

Playmobil Shield Dragon

I’m not entirely sure what qualifies this as a Shield Dragon, and not just because he’s really a wyvern. He isn’t very shield shaped. I guess maybe it is because he shields his rider while the dude works his crossbow? I like the colour though, the sparkly blue-green with the turquoise highlights is very pretty.

Playmobil Great Dragon

My favourite of the Playmobil range is this Great Dragon – as well as being a proper dragon shape with appropriate limbs she also comes with a little fiery nest littered with bones and a teeny baby dragon in a newly-cracked egg. How cute is that?

What do you think of the dragons (and wyverns) in the Playmobil ranges? Were you a Lego or Playmobil kid, or one of the rare ones that played with both?

Ruth April 24, 2016 Leave A Comment Permalink