Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Picture Kaleidoscope 4/30/14


Aurora Ice Caves by Bill Cady at Almost looks like a curtain for the cave!

Bill Cady has some lovely panoramic shots as well as a plethora of other photos. Nice work!

Symphony of Sunset by John Fan at Very cool play with the light. Lots of cool nature photography and more at this site.

See you next time!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mind Sieve 4/28/14

Morning all!

Fan Fun

Sex Tape Movie Official Trailer - The name made me raise an eyebrow but this actually looks utterly hilarious!

Boyhood Official Trailer - they actually used the same actor and filmed this over 12 years! How bizarre is that? 

As Above, So Below Trailer #1 - oooh Parisian catacombs. Not your typical horror flick location. 

I Am Soldier Official Trailer - Dr Who fans will recognize someone in here. Heh heh

Social Media/Author Platform

Blogging: Tips, Tricks, and Knowing Your Goals by Jami Gold. Great stuff for author bloggers and more!

12 Types of Blog Posts To Drive More Traffic To Your Blogs by Rich Brooks from the Social Media Examiner. Great list! I think he's covered almost everything out there. :)

Writing Advice

The Single Best Way To Sell Books (Or Lose A Sale) by Kristen Lamb. Eye opening stuff as always!

Rape In Fiction (Or: "Oh, Game of Thrones, Really?") by Chuck (NSFW) Wendig. He's got some definitely vital points in this for us as authors.

I have somehow managed to finish this at a decent interval. YES!
Have an awesome week, ya'll!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Virtual Tourist - Everquest Landmark 4/27/14

Running late today! Noooo!

Everquest Landmark

Burled Wood Tree. CAn you see the face? Reminds me of the God Wood in Game of Thrones. Depending on the facing, you get a different face! Love these!

Occasionally, when I teleport or am in a hole, the world gets funky!

The yellow and blue are my property zones. Eventually turned that off as it get in the way. :P

Friends discovered a weird glitch. When they switched to low graphics, it changed the skin color, hair color, but also gave us skirts! Mind boggling.

Hubby's place - construction in progress. He's had a lot more time to build than me. He has some stairs, sandstone floor, and looks to have marked where he'll be adding walls. (Don't know why my pics got thew extra header there. Sorry!)

My pick and I in a partially mined out vein of gem stone. Grouping and staying within 200 meters of each other give both parties whatever one digs up.

Moon rise by my property

A super cool set up on one of the other zones. Guy went totally Egyptian. Wish I'd turned off the bloody property viruals before taking these. Argh!

The genie in the lamp!

Pyramid with and Anubis head for an entrance. He even had a trap inside! Amazing work.

Can you see the floating pentagram in the distance?

A buddies place. Done a lot of work on columns and minipixels for his guard rail. He was nice enough to let me make a schematic of his column. I've since cut out 3 pixels from each side and make them shorter to use in my own master plan. Bwahahahahaha!

Have an awesome Sunday!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Picture Kaleidoscope 4/23/14


Pics from work

Lovely sunrise just a couple of days ago

Molten gold

Look at that cloud cover!

I really need to get back on track! Sigh

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mind Sieve 4/21/14

Morning~! Back to the weekly grind. Wheee!

Fan Fun

Cold in July Official Trailer - based on the novel by Joe R Lansdale. Looks intriguing!

The Rover Official Trailer 1 - Gonna be a weird one. Could be good!

Jersey Boys Official Trailer - I like the way they speak to the audience in the trailer. Fab music too. :)

The Hero of Color City - not sure what I think yet. Heh heh

Social Media/Author Platform

Twitter Cards - Cards Drive Engagement From Your Tweets - from the Twitter Developers. A new thing to add to webpages and blogs. Stumbled over this over the weekend. :) For us technically inclined authors. Now to see if I can make it work here. Heh heh.

Twitter Real-Time Notifications: This Week In Social Media at the Social Media Examiner by Cindy King. Too much stuff! Nooooo!

Writing Advice

5 Warning Signs Your Story Needs Revision from Kristen Lamb

The Business Rusch: Stand Up For Yourself by Kristine Katherin. This business is definitely not easy. Whee!

Have a great week!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Virtual Tourist - Thief 4/20/14

Happy Easter!

Mission 3 - Dirty Deeds
(Got these out of order - doh!)

Final hidden room in the library.

Hidden treasure at tone of the windows in that room

The book! Had to use the weird puzzle key to open this compartment as well.

Now to get out!

Entry into the room with the book.

This whole zone is multilevel and all over.

Lighting was creepy! They have bats flying around too, but too fast to get a good pic

Important clue for making sure to get the moving stairwells aligned in the right order.

Place is a mess! Heh heh

Moving staircases. Oh yeah!

Mechanism to move the stairs.

Sadly my sinuses have not been happy. Got the book, made it partway out, then had to stop. Soon, Thief, soon!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Movie Review - Transcendence


Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, Clifton Collins Jr., Cory Hardrict, and more.

Directed by: Wally Pfister Written by: Jack Paglen Cinematography by: Jess Hall Music by: Mychael Danna

Premise: A terrorist group executes simultaneous terrorist acts on scientific labs and scientists working on artificial intelligence. Recent breakthroughs by one of the killed men, however, gives hope to Evelyn Caster as her own husband lays dying from a bullet laced with radioactive material. But the terrorists are still out there and want to stop them, no matter the cost. (Rated PG-13)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: It was a lot of fun watching Johnny Depp as the brainy scientist later turned computer. Rebecca Hall did well as his passionate wife and scientist in her own right, despite the bad writing which pretty much left her with nothing in the second half. Paul Bettany's emotions on both sides of the issues presented were definite bright spots - well done. Kate Mara was very convincing, and even creepy, as the young terrorist leader.

2) Special Effects - Thumbs Up: Special effects were very good, though sadly most of them were nothing we've not seen before. Really nice job with the explosions and the nano repair sequences. The lab scene where we see what Will has been working on came out nicely. Best work though was with the repair work done on Martin. The little machine tubes on the med table moving about on their own was cool and creepy all at once.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Down: Sadly, as my husband put it, the plot of the film was "Beautifully Bad". The movie's premise was interesting, but the bad science and the shortcuts, as well as the turning of Evelyn's character into a passive lump, blackened what good was in there.

Some science fallacy is usually expected in movies, but the glaring holes in this one were too large to ignore. A virus made to destroy specific code infecting most systems might bring the internet and other systems down when it first hits, but reloading the original untainted software and rebooting/repairing other systems would allow us to have technology again - not send us into a new dark age. But sadly, this is the status of the world at the point where they begin the film and eventually circle back to.

With the computing power they claim Will has, and which he continues to exponentially increase, there's no way the terrorists would have figured out where they'd gone, as he could clean up/erase transaction trails even as he made them. And since Will put the FBI onto where many of the terrorists were located so they could be apprehended, he would have known, and taken steps, to help out his friend Max. Yet he never even knew his friend had been taken.

If a bullet is so radioactive it can poison someone to death from just a graze (I'd thought from the commercials he'd taken it in the gut) half the people there with him, and especially the cops handling evidence, would have died too.

The biggest error in my opinion, however, was the character assassination of Evelyn. She was the dreamer, the one who wanted to change the world - but after Will is transferred and comes back, she soon becomes an emotionless lump. When she first discovers what else was done to Martin, all she does is say she can't deal with it. Never once mentions to Will the fact (as the woman with the determination and intelligence we were introduced to would have) that he's bypassing people's freewill. There should have been raging arguments over this alone. But sadly, much like was done to Amidala from the "Star Wars" films - a strong willed woman is presented and then turned into a turnip because her strength and intelligence was no longer convenient to the plot.

And let's not forget the fact the terrorists pretty much brought their own fears to life due to their actions - a fact no one mentions or seem to notice. As Will said, the irony that they would take life to achieve their goals of stopping the creation of artificial life was quite ironic. The fact the main instigator never paid for her crimes? Even more so.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: Some quick fights as well as explosions dot the film, so some adrenaline gets pumped into the audience here and there. Car flipping and even machine throwing thanks to the nanites livened up a few other scenes as well.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Thumbs Up: There are several gorgeous shots of nature, rivers, mountains, and some lovely CGI representations as well. The town Will picks to 'lay low' at definitely looked to need saving. But though Evelyn spoke of Will buying most of the property of the town, and the amount of work they brought to the place, I was surprised at the lack of improvement of the impoverished town. Worse, the town itself became a sore point in the bad plot when those opposed to the machine decide that's a good place to set up operations. As if Will wouldn't have put surveillance equipment on his properties? (It's even worse due to other reasons I'll leave you to discover on your own.)

Conclusion: Cool premise, horrible execution. Between the bad science and miraculous intelligence gathering efforts of the terrorists after they've ditched their electronic equipment, there sadly wasn't much to love.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Catch it on Cable)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Picture Kaleidoscope 4/16/14 - Disney Cruise!

Yep, I was out of town for a short vacation for our second Disney Cruise. We'd been chomping to go ever since we went for our 25th anniversary. 8 years later, we finally made it! Was a ton of fun. :)

I split the pics into 4 albums, so I will put in a few pics and links if you'd like to see more. :) It's kind of funky how the album shows all the pics at once and you can then pic and choose the ones to look at for commentary and more detail. Still, it gives you a quick feel for what's in there.

This voyage we were on the Disney Wonder!

Chip N Dale Dancing and welcoming people once we were all on board.

The first album is pics of the ship and while at Miami and when we left.

Isn't he CUTE?!?!?!  I learned you can rub the baby sea turtles under the neck to calm them down. They were adorable!

The second album is pics we took at the British Island Grand Cayman. You'll even get to see HELL. Heh heh.

Igua! I was surprised at the size of the iguanas at the island of Cozumel, Qunitana Roo, Mexico. 

The third album is pics we took at Cozumel.

And a cruise is not a cruise without awesome food!

The fourth album is full of food and pictures of the different areas of the ship. I didn't go as pic crazy as on our first cruise - I think. Heh heh.

Enjoy~! (We want to go back NOW!)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mind Sieve 4/14/14

Back from vacation and ready for another as work has been tough! lol.

Fan Fun

How To Train Your Dragon 2 - Trailer 2 - this looks like it will be a lot of fun.

Crazy Time - Simon's Cat - Hah! Captured Chaos Kitten perfectly. Heh heh.

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn Trailer 1 - Robin Williams! And peeps from the Crazy Ones - awesome!

Social Media/Author Platform

Four Ways to Promote Your Book Before Release by Michael R Underwood at the Book Country Blog.

How To Promote Your Content With Social Media by Mike Ball at The Social Media Examiner. Some nice bits of info in here!

Writing Advice

From Jami Gold - Building a Theme Through Character Arcs. Awesome stuff as always!

That's all for today. May I catch up some more this week! Please! lol.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Virtual Tourist - Thief 4/13/14

I'm up way too early today. :P

Thief - Brothel

The ruins now serve a different kind of purpose.

Party town! Has a nice Asian slant. This part of the game went from PG-13 to almost R. So beware. :P

Some gorgeous architecture here and there. See the column in the back?

Cool instrument

The brothel interior

Lovely decor

Collectible hidden in a hidey hole in the attic. Squee!

Some really lovely images

Yes, red in all the decorating. :P

Hidden room/section off the Madam's room. You cannot go back from here, so make sure you are done with the brothel before going here!!!!

This takes a key, which is also a semi puzzle. Opens into a giant area. The peep holes have the hints. This is where the almost R stuff comes in. Also had a programming bug here as one of the peep shows sounds continues to blast at full volume even after you quit watching.

Zone beyond the wall after the key is used.

Coolest flowers ever!

The zone leads to more ruins that lead to an immense library

The stained glass was lovely!

Been missing playing. Need to sneak some time in for it. Everquest Landmark is still on learning curve and mostly building, but I do not have a good grip on it yet or the time to have built anything. Will try to take pics of what the others have been up to.
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