hats! safari hats for everybody! blizzard appears to have finally gotten the taming the world achievement working properly, and julie's and my characters all got their own hat in the mail. so that's a yay. they all also got loremaster tabards, which was a little baffling since i got that achievement over a year ago, but whatevers.
been doing a lot of leveling lately. mostly taking the various rares i've captured in pandaria and pushing them up to 25, so the top stable now has a number of bandicoons and plains monitors and marsh fiddlers. along the way i hit the pro pet crew achievement. pro pet mob will happen at some point, but not a high priority for me at the moment. at least the reward will now be a rare singing cricket - i feel for those who pushed hard to get the achievement quickly only to get an uncommon one.
was talking to tome of the ancient about pet leveling, and told her that my preferred method was to let two lowbies pick a fight with a critter in the valley of the four winds, let them each take a hit and swap them out, then send in a level 25 scorpion to rampage on the critter's ass. it gives you a boost over your base damage, in exchange for locking you into the same move for three rounds. not a great move against an opponent than has a real brain and can respond, but against wild crickets and bandicoons it's like a chainsaw vs butter.
i've picked up five flawless battle-stones in something like 400 battles now - all in pandaria. fighting low-level pets in old azeroth, the drop rate is much lower. four were the same family as the wild pet i battled, and one was a "any family" one. can confirm that you don't need to capture a pet to get the stone, and you don't need for any of the three wildlings to be rares. looks like it's simply a flat percent chance (1%? 2%?) for one to drop, and any special tricks people claim help are just the result of the human brain's ability to see patterns when there's really just noise.