Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Picture Kaleidoscope 3/30/16

Morning! The weather is looking frightful for this afternoon. Eek!
Red Deer During Rutting by Dirk Manderbach at Interesting angle! You just have to look at it. Heh heh. No website for Mr. Manderbach. :(
La Haya by Renato Lopez Baldo at Has a neat fairy tale look and feel to it, don't you think? His gallery is full of cool stuff, even National Geographic covers!
Sunset Over Washington by Davo Muttiah at Lovely composition. More lovely stuff at his site. :)
Have an awesome day! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Mind Sieve 3/28/16


Fan Fun

The Looking Planet - CGI Short - it's 16 minutes but well worth it. Once the boy shows up you won't be able to look away. :)

The Genius Official Trailer #1 - about Thomas Wolfe and his editor! Hee!

The Legend of Tarzan Official Trailer #2 - looking forward to it! woot!

Social Media/Author Platform

Facebook Enhances Video Metrics: This Week in Social Media by Grace Duffy at the Social media Examiner. 
5 Ways to Use LinkedIn Publisher for Business by Viveka von Rosen at the Social Media Examiner

Writing Advice

13 Ways Writers are Mistaken for Serial Killers by Kristen Lamb. Too cute! 
Egos in Publishing: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly by Jami Gold. Some good points to think about. :)

Have a great week!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Virtual Tourist - Grim Fandango 3/27/16

Rushing through this morning! Wheee!
Petrified Forest
Trying to use the street sign to discover a secret tunnel out of here.
Found it! Whoohoo! 
And the key to the locked gate! Booyah!
Driving over the bone bridge out of the Petrified Forest
Where will the road lead?
First sign of civilization!
Exploring the edge of Rubacava
It's a dinner!
An ex-client!
A misstep! Eek!
Meeting someone new the hard way. Good thing Manny is already dead. :P
Have a great one!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Movie Review - Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, Gal Gadot, Callan Mulvey, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Michael Shannon, and more.
Directed by: Zack Snyder Written by: Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer Based on characters created by: Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, and William Moulton Marston Cinematography by: Larry Fong Music by: Junkie XL and Hans Zummer
Premise: A year and a half after the events revealing Superman to the world, there are those still trying to decide what threat this all powerful alien is to Earth. As an incident in the Arab nations suddenly brings a dark cloud over Superman's reputation, Bruce Wayne starts to believe it might be time to do something about him sooner rather than later. (Rated PG-13)

1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Ben Affleck does a great job as an older, less trusting Batman. Henry Cavill reprises his role as the man of steel, making it look easy. Jeremy Irons brought some lovely acerbic spice to the role of Alfred. Gal Gadot was fun as Diana Prince, letting out a little of her inner Selina Kyle (Catwoman). :P Jesse Eisenberg was interesting as Lex, though the character was written a little bit too manic and psycho, giving him shades of the Joker.  Amy Adams did more lovely work as Lois Lane - showing what makes her such a great reporter and friend. Holly Hunter was a hoot as Senator Finch. And though uncredited, it was lovely to see Papa Winchester (Jeffrey Dean morgan) as Thomas Wayne.
2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: Tons of special effects fill the film. (I know - DUH!) :P  We get cool lab tech, new Batman toys, and destruction galore.
The recreation of Superman's battle with Zod but done from the perspective of a frantic Bruce Wayne on the ground was some lovely work. 
The battle clash between Batman and Supes was very well done and gratifying. (Even though I did want to smack them both in the back of the head.) :P
The short video clip files for the origin of Cyborg (as they move the movie franchise towards the Justice League) are totally awesome!
3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: Before the film started, they showed a short video where the filmmakers ask the audience to please not spoil it for anyone else by revealing secrets, plot twists, etc. Not sure what they were thinking would be all that surprising to give away (I had a good idea where all this was going and why just from the previews!), but I will attempt to not do any spoilers.
Anyone who's ever read Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns miniseries will know where a lot of the material is coming from or have seen it explored before to some extent elsewhere. (Frank Miller was given credit for contributing in the film's credits - yay!) All people and beings can feel helpless, regardless of how much money or power they hold - something both DC Comic lines have played with for years. Interestingly, they included several offshoots from other miniseries/standalone graphic novels with regards to alternate timelines/realities for Batman and Superman. That was rather fun - but also a little confusing. 
One thing I must point out though - Batman does NOT kill. While they did a decent job working up why he'd change his usual MO to get rid of Superman, they did nothing to show why he's suddenly killing human criminals. Guess you can't have big explosions to light up the screen without killing, so killing happened. Boo!
I found it odd too how they imbued Diana Prince/Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor with traits from Catwoman and Joker. These two characters are plenty fascinating on their own without needing to be tweaked. And Lex might be insane, but he's more sociopathic than psycho. And making something without a way to control it? Lex? Doubtful! (We also get a complete Batman origin replay, but nothing for Supes, which seemed odd?)
The only true flaw I found, however, was in one of the most important driving pieces of the plot itself - the altercation in the desert! People there died from bullets, so how the heck does that translate into Superman killing people? If the mercenaries had come back later and altered the scene, it would have been nice for the congressional hearings to have mentioned what was found to make it look like Superman committed unnecessary slaughter - otherwise, it makes no sense at all! 
But, if you ignore that, the rest works for the most part. Those who know the comics and characters well, I doubt will be that surprised by the progression of events.  
4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: A ton of stunts fill the film from one end to the other. CGI was thrown into the mix as well but is very well integrated with the real sets and fights. You'll grunt and hurt for them. :P
The hand-to-hand fight in the warehouse was awesome! (Even though Bats does not do guns, ya'll! (Still looked awesome though.))
5) Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Lovely cinematography work by Larry Fong. Seeing Wayne manor in ruins was creepy. Tons of overhead shots or panned back shots to really bring home the scope of the battles. And nice closeups in the middle of the chaos too.
Conclusion: Batman v Superman (Shouldn't that be vs. ? Guy in the pre-film thing said 'v' instead of 'versus' too - what was up with that?) is a fun ride full of things to think about as well as tons of action. Pay close attention to the closing scene! No extra bits during or after the credits.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Picture Kaleidoscope - AllCon 2016

This past weekend we were at ALLCon 2016!
Energizer bunny!
New setup we tried out for AllCon. Have an extra side table to give us more room. :)

Not your typical caped crusaders. :P
Umbrella Corp Security - Japan branch. They mean business! :P
Who said skeletons can't be cool? :)
Clockwork woman! You can see her gears! Eek!
Steampunk Scottish Soldier. He looks swank!
They look serious! (Can't for the life of me remember the character's name. Wah!)
The Light and Dark sides of the Force.
She is so CUTE! 
Daughter came up with this during the con. Came out Fab! Deadpool Chainmail Dice Bag. :)
Xavier and Cerebro - sweet!
Mrs. Frizzle and friend! From the Magic School Bus!
We finally remembered the pixie lights to add to the chainmail sphere. I think it looks like the Deathstar now. :)
A gaggle of Disney Villains! No one is safe!
Have a great one!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Virtual Tourist - Final Fantasy XIV 3/20/16

Morning! Running late! Rush rush rush!
Final Fantasy XIV
Chocobo Farm outside of New Gridania. Lovely building!
Love how they built the fortified gates into the side of the stone mountain/cliff.
Such lovely architecture! So many lovely little touches. Swoon!
Inside the same building. Really lovely. All the stone carvings and metal brackets. Squee!
Are these not the cutest things EVER?! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Picture Kaleidoscope 3/16/16

Going to be a quick post today. :)

ChibiChains - super small earrings
My daughter does chainmail jewelry. She created these two pairs this week. She's upped her game. These are made with super tiny rings! Aren't they gorgeous? Blows my mind. :)

We have a red leafed tree in our yard. It goes through a transition very fast once it flowers. It's so quick, I've missed it before. :P Thought I would share three different moments from 2016 so you can see what it does. I LOVE the cute little blossoms. :)
The in between stage - half flowers half leaves.

The final stage - mostly leaves. :) And all this before spring is even officially here! 

Have an awesome day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

AllCon 3/17-3/20/16

This upcoming Thursday through Sunday ChibiChains and I will be at AllCon!
AllCon Dallas
Here's a little info on what AllCon is about:
Imagine a 4-day festival where a person could sample and participate in the finest content that many different communities and conventions have to offer. All-Con fills the entire venue with exhibits, workshops, discussions, game shows, performances, and competitions. The selection of activities changes every hour from the start of the day until 2:00 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights and until 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.
All-Con offers the core structure expected of most conventions. The vendor room and exhibit halls have 80 booths and tables.
With over 300 different choices to offer in one weekend, All-Con has a set of headlining features around which the convention is constructed each year. Thursday is our free day, open to the public. The traditional Cosplay competition and Rocky Horror Picture Show shadow casting performance are Friday. Saturday has a ball jointed doll mini-con, Ms. Star Wars pageant, Maid contest, Texas Hold'em poker tournament, Costume contest, professional burlesque performance, and a themed dance. Sunday's signature is an overall super hero theme, ending with the Super Hero Sunday competition.
The rest of the two hundred and ninety-plus events are a combination of All-Con supplied content (like our many game shows throughout the weekend), performances hired by the convention, and a recipe of the best community run features that change year-to-year.
Featured guests this year are:
Brian Muir (created Darth Vader's original armor from Ralph McQuarrie's concept sketches)
Gigi Edgley (Chiana from Farscape)
Paul Blake (Greedo from Star Wars: A New Hope)
Chuck Huber (Dr. McCoy on Star Trek Continues and voice actor for SyFy and Cartoon Network)
Tim Lawrence (Ghostbusters I & II; puppeteer and modeler; Academy Awarded team member)
Russ Adams (Jim Henson's Creature Shop)
Neil Kaplan (Optimus Prime and hundreds more animated characters)
Michael H. Price (Founding President of Fort Worth Film Festival and owner and lead author of the longest-running film-study franchise in commercial publishing)
Marshall Barnes (global leader in time transverse technology application and currently speaking on real world mechanics for a functioning warp drive)
Payton Schmall (Cosplay Guest of honor)
Jessica Van Braun (Artist Guest of Honor)
Damsels of Dorkington (Performance Guests celebrating their 2016 reunion!)
You can get the full scoop at
Hope to see you all there!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mind Sieve 3/14/16

Another MONDAY!

Fan Fun

Captain America: Civil War Official Trailer #2 - huh, not especially excited as to where this seems to be going. *pout*  (And no, it has nothing to do with Spidey. Ironman calling him Underoos? Priceless! lmao)

Hardcore Henry Official Trailer - love the concept, but probably will have to skip it. Looks like a motion sickness nightmare for me. :P

Black Road Official Trailer - Sci-Fi thriller. Looks bizarre!

Social Media/Author Platform

 Pinterest Promoted Pins Open For All: This Week in Social Media by Grace Duffy at the SocialMediaExaminer. The bit about Pinterest was weird to me. The stuff has been available to me for a long time. There are bonuses for signing up for stuff early! :) Still, there's so much out there! 

Writing Advice

 How to Weave Story Elements and Avoid Info Dumps by Jami Gold. Great post!
 Self-Care for Writers by Jami Gold. (Yeppers! Double the Jami today! She's been on a roll!) :) Lots of great advice here. :)

 Good luck this week! (and every week.) :)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Virtual Tourist - TERA 3/13/16

Haven't had a chance to play more Grim Fandango and wanted to give you a break from FF XIV, so here's pics I still hadn't shared from the TERA MMO. :)
Southerns Arun
Not a happy looking place, is it? :P
Neat bridge! Our white tiger mounts, Love them fuzzy wuzzies!
Crystal flowers!
That's one scary looking rock formation!
This NPC has class! Love her outfit! 
Let the lava flow!
So many mouths! So many teeth!
She looks nasty too!
Closeup on the lava.
Not a friendly looking place.
Bad things have happened here. Doh!

Some nice looking player clothing and armor. :)

Have a great day!
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