Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Picture Kaleidoscope 7/23/14

Half the week is almost over and ArmadilloCon lays in the horizon. Woot!

Fell in love with this one at Alessio Albi's site - Rebecca. Nice! Lots of gorgeous work! 

Totally love this one too. Mr. Malkiewicz does incredible work. (I have a friend who LOVES trains. Had to instantly send an email. Heh heh.)

May your day be filled with awesome sights!

Monday, July 21, 2014

MInd Sieve 7/21/14

Greetings, all!

Fan Fun

Campaign for raising funds to make a long Simon's Cat Cartoon at Indiegogo. Should be so cute!!!!

Syfy is doing a TV version of 12 Monkeys! Could be fun!

Sharknado 2 The Second One - official trailer. HAH! Didn't see the 1st one but this one looks fun. lol.

Appleseed Alpha Official Trailer 1 - CGI of the anime/manga series - sweet!

Crimson Skies Official Trailer - Woot! Dragon apocalypse!!!!

Writing Advice

From Jami Gold - Building a Character ARC Starts From the End. Great stuff!

Why You Should Act As Your Own Author-Publisher (At Least Once) from Chuck (NSFW) Wendig. Pay close attention to #6 though! There really are no shortcuts. If you're new to writing, you must never assume you actually have a clue - because in the beginning, most of us really don't! :P

Out of time. Stay healthy!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Virtual Tourist - TERA 7/20/14

Morning all!
Running late. Been fighting a cold and it tricked me this morning. For shame!

Crecentia/Lumbertown areas
(I think)

Like totally friendly decor here, right?

Portable campfires to regen health, mps, and stamina. 

Totally cute!

Yeah, totally friendly area. For sure! NOT

Such cool architecture!

Teleport portal. These guys do use antlers in all their decorating! Hee hee!

Cutest bag guys ever!

All sorts of interesting stuff.

Doesn't he look cool?

Latest armor of the moment.

Hubby's. Too cute

This thing was so creepy looking! 

The rows of eyes. Eek!

Bunny in a rock. 

Baby dragon!!!!!

Isn't that a glorious sky?

Gave a great day!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Picture Kaleidoscope 7/16/14

Feeling a little under the weather today. Ugh.

Some unusual cloud formations for Texas recently. The weird cotton pattern is not what you normally see here.

Sometimes I really wish you could pan back. This made for a cool giant sized wing. :)

Fighting the wind to take a pic of the bud. Wind kept winning as it wouldn't let the image focus. lol.

Took this on the way in this morning. More cotton looking clouds.

But I did something because instead of one pic, I heard the phone do multiple.

Hadn't touched the main button, so no idea what happened. But it does show how fast the clouds are moving.

Giant cotton balls! They look even more defined here at work. 

Have a great day!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mind Sieve 7/14/14

Happy Monday!
(Yes, I realize that may be an oxymoron, but to survive me must fool ourselves where we can. :P)

Fan Fun

Exodus: Gods and Kings Official Trailer #1 - This should be cool. Haven't had Egyptian stuff in a while. Sweet!

Unbroken Official Olympics Trailer - will be a definite tear jerker.

Ping Pong Summer Trailer - comedy set in 1985 - might be cute. :P

The Identical Trailer - what's truly funny about this is that though it is not Elvis Presley, it's definitely treated as if it were. Which is super cool and creepy since Elvis seemingly had a twin that died at birth! So you could look at this almost as a what if. Go Seth Green!

Social Media/Author Platform

From Facebook for Business - New Direct Response Features: Multi-Product Ads and Enhanced Custom Audiences from your Website - man, I really, really need a clone. So little time...

How to Schedule and Edit Facebook Posts Using Facebook - from Ravi Shukle at the Social Media Examiner. Ooooh, schedule ability! Nice!

Writing Advice

Want More Conflict in Your Novel? Go DM & Balance the Party by Kristen Lamb. Hah! Using ye old D&D alignment rules to help figure out characters. Heh. Being a gamer does have some advantages. Nice. (Though a few of the alignment examples I could argue with. But this is a subjective thing. Heh.)

Sycophants and Stockholm Syndrome: More Publishing Rhetoric, YAY by Chuck Wendig.

See ya!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Virtual Tourist - TERA 7/13/14

Morning, all!


Some kind of light thing. The rose will glow. Really rather cool.

NPC with a cool outfit

I would definitely live in this tree house!


Why, yes, she'd love to kill any of us. 

Horns in all their decorating! Really looks cool, doesn't it?

Summoning device of some sort.

Back in the more civilized zone.

The sky is so awesome here!

Town folk.

That is one BIG statue

Isn't the cottage just too cute?

Newest set of armor for hubby. Isn't it cute?

This is mine. Heh heh. 

Have an awesome Sunday!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Movie Review - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Starring: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Toby Kebbell, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirk Acevedo, Nick Thurston, Terry Notary, Karin Konoval, Judy Greer, Jon Eyez, Enrique Murciano, Larramie Doc Shaw, and more.

Directed by: Matt Reeves Written by: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver Based on Characters Created by: Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver Based on the Novel by: Pierre Boulle Cinematography by: Michael Seresin Music by: Michael Giacchino

Premise: Ten years after the events depicted in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes", Ceasar and the other simians have created a home for themselves in the forest, while humanity has been under siege by a deadly virus strain. Thinking the humans possibly all gone, two apes have an encounter in the forest as a group of humans travelled the woods from a nearby dam. Despite being allowed to return to the city and told not to ever return, Malcolm goes back into the forest to ask permission from Ceasar to fix the dam. What little fuel the humans in the city have is about gone and they're desperate not to slide back into chaos. But though Ceasar is willing for the two factions to get along, there are others who disagree. (Rated PG-13)


1)  Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Andy Serkis did a phenomenal job as Ceasar. Toby Kebbell was brilliant, his switch from hatefilled ape to comical monkey will totally catch you unawares. Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Kodi Smit-McPhee and others, really sold the wonder, the fear, and the amazement as they spend time with the apes.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: The CGI in this film is phenomenal. You forget the apes aren't real. The amount of detail and expressiveness of their features is amazing. They way the apes move, how they land on tree limbs, even making the limb rock from their weight, how they walk and climb, it all looks natural and real. And wait until you see the baby. Wow.

The combat scenes with the humans are as jaw dropping as they were horrifying. The image of Koba on the horse with the rifles and the fire will stick with me for a long time. Really well done. And wait until you see them take the fight above ground.

Tons of gun play and explosions once things go bad. The bus scene was great. The big tower fight sequence was also very good. And the home the apes made for themselves on the cliff looked very cool and seemed an amalgamation of both ancient Medieval castles and ape habitats.

Totally loved the jungled look of the city as well. The view from Ceasar's home toward the city looked fabulous.

3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up: The quick intro did much to set the mood and flashed enough information for the audience that they could get to the actual story quickly and with a good grasp of what's been going on. That they started us with the apes was a good call, letting the audience get a feel for the developing simian culture and the dynamics in play.

A lot of near misses as the two cultures clash, multiple attempt to reach understanding, and sabotage by those clinging to fear and hatred. Then they build it as high as it can go, only to bring it all crashing down and not in the way you'd expect.

Family - both simian and human - are central themes in the film and get explored from several angles. So are fear and hatred for its own sake. Koba shows all that apes are more human than they ever suspected. Well done!

A lot of homage is sneaked in too, harking back to the original films - the apes riding horses, and later toting firearms, humans (and apes!) in cages and other iconic images. The fact Ceasar's son is called Blue Eyes, the name Zira gave the character George Taylor in the 1968 film. So lots of fan fodder to be found.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: Apes riding horses, humans and apes shooting, cars exploding, simian and human violence. The CGI and real people were meshed seamlessly making the action and stunts even more awesome.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Some very nice work with the cinematography. From the neat shots of the apes swinging in the trees, to the long shots of the streets filled with simians, humans packed together in a cage of their own making and later one made by apes, even the wide shots of both the human and simian homes - yummy food for the eyes. The moving 360 shot during the heat of combat in the city? Priceless.

Conclusion: "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" not only pays homage to the original films of the 60's but carves out it's own permanent wedge in the franchise. Great effects and solid plot totally entertained.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Paying Full Price to See Again)