Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Newest paper sculpt project!

Sonic Screwdriver trio for my friend's birthday.

An interview with Adam Harum of Transolar Galactica.

They achieved their Kickstarter goal, and now the world gets more of their award winning sci-fi comedy!

Doctor Who themed lip balm!

Brought to you from Earthtastic! and A Bit of Geek.

Minecraft paper sculpt!

My submission to the Mojang community art contest. Watch the video!

A TARDIS desk lamp!

Instructions and babbling on how to make a TARDIS lamp from foam core!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How do I watch black and white films? (not literally, of course)

As I plow my way through Doctor Who I know I am growing ever closer to the pre-hiatus days of The Doctor in black and white. As silly as it may sound, I find myself feeling a touch nervous!

I have little to no experience with watching films or TV in black and white. The only one that immediately comes to mind is Clerks, which is modern so doesn't really count, and I watched the first third of Citizen Kane, which felt so old it wasn't that successful at keeping my attention.

The characters look equally bored, so I'm not sure why I found a difference... 


But Doctor Who is different! I'll be jumping into a universe that I'm already familiar with, in a way, and I know I'll find it interesting. And yet I am concerned that the black and white aesthetic and the 60s production value will throw me off. I've touched on this a bit, and obviously it's heavy on my mind!

I'm thinking I can ease myself in by starting with more current black and white films and then work backwards to some older ones. Eventually I'll have acclimated myself to older production values and the shock of pre-hiatus Who won't be quite so strong.

It looks so much different from current Who. How am I supposed to cope?

Does this idea seem sound to everyone else?

My best bet should be starting with The Artist. After all, it did just win five Academy Awards and it broke some records regarding black and white films. It seems that there must be something good in there!

Do you know what would be great? Some recommendations for black and white films! Do you happen to have any? :)


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Hunger Games - likes, gripes and synopsis.

Two days ago I finished reading Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy. I've heard from many reliable sources (friends) that they're fantastic books and that I should read them.  Once in my grasp I finished them within a week, and I find myself at a loss.

I think I simply wanted more from them, and I had to keep reminding myself (when I felt that the narrative was lacking) that they're young adult novels, which was probably accounting for some of my perceived inadequacies. But the story was definitely interesting and I believe that it was worth a trilogy.

 Striking book covers, which I enjoy. source

Here follows a synopsis, spoilers, and thoughts on the story, so proceed at your own risk if you haven't read them yet.

The story focuses on a future Earth that is operating under a twisted government (called the Capital) that forces twenty four children, one boy and one girl from each of what are essentially the twelve poor districts of the world, to fight to the death once a year. This is supposedly a constant reminder that the government has complete control over their lives, and that if any sort of rebellion is formed then they have the power to kill every citizen. That is precisely what happened to the thirteenth district when they attempted an uprising.

Our protagonist Katniss ends up as a contestant (natch) and the readers follows her living hell through the battle arena, forced to kill fellow innocent teenagers in order to save her own life. She's in the arena with a boy named Peeta from her hometown, and together they beat the system of the Games and come out with both of them victorious.

A very cool map made by a fan. It's their best guess as to where each
of the districts in the future United States (called Panem) are positioned.

The following two books follow Katniss as the Captial plots retaliation for her demonstrating that it's possible to make a fool of the Game makers. She and Peeta are forced into the arena of the Games once again, and ultimately a rebellion forms among the aforementioned districts and the Capital is taken down. Katniss is the unwilling head of the rebellion, forced into a whole new set of Games, her life constantly used as a pawn for the fulfillment of another person's agenda.

Interspersed through the war and murder is a love triangle between Katniss, her childhood friend Gale, and her arena-mate Peeta. Katniss and Peeta pretend to be in love through the first and second games, garnering the attention and sympathies of the richer citizens who enjoy watching the children slay one another in the Hunger Games. Of course Peeta is actually in love with Katniss, so there go your heart strings.

The actors cast for the upcoming film. Peeta (left) looks about how 
I imagined in my head. Gale... not so much. source

Katniss constantly worries about how Gale will feel seeing her "in love" with Peeta, seeing as the Games are televised through all regions for all citizens, poor and rich, to watch. It feels as though the story is supposed to have readers wondering who will ultimately win Katniss's heart, but it really seemed plain from the start that Peeta would come out on top.

Mockingjay ended abruptly, with a brief epilogue included. The first two books ended abruptly as well, I thought, and I'm guessing they were cliffhanger tactics.

I enjoyed them, they were certainly worth reading and I can imagine myself reading them again in the future. My largest issue simply rests with the writing style, which I feel badly for saying. There were so many points where chunks of the story felt glazed over, with a paragraph quickly describing days worth of information; opportunities to describe things in more detail, add to a character's background, pull the reader further into the world. They just felt wasted. Sad face.

After finishing the series I sat thinking, unmoving for a while. There's always that odd period of reflection when a book is over, those moments where characters and worlds begin to slip away from my imagination. I immediately miss them, and feel emptiness where before the book I never even knew there was space to be filled.

I am jazzed for the movies to come out. Every promo I've seen has been promising and I am looking forward to seeing the characters and locations come to life.

Katniss played by Jennifer Lawrence. source

Archery will never, ever stop being so incredibly bad. ass.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Seaman - the dirty sounding, strangest game of 2000.

Has anyone out there actually played Seaman, the virtual pet game released for the Dreamcast in 2000? I remember the commercials very well and, even though at the time I didn't own a Dreamcast, I wanted to get my hands on that game so badly.
This was odd, because even though I was intrigued I was also semi-repulsed and completely freaked out. 

You understand why now, yes?

I went through a rather intense virtual pet phase from the ages of 10-14, and I even had a relapse phase when I was around seventeen (Toys R Us came out with infrared capable Tamagotchis, was I supposed to just ignore that?!). Wait, everyone here knows what Tamagotchis are, right? ...

Anyway, this virtual pet loving phase is largely responsible (I think) for my displaced interest in Seaman. I was unable to avoid the siren call of a voice interactive game! Sadly (or fortunately) I never saw my wishes come to fulfillment.

Until now (maybe)!

It turns out it's just a rumor (sad face) but there's a chance that Nintendo is rebooting Seaman for the 3DS. Leave it to them to help me make my childhood dreams come true.

I've said before that I think reboots/rereleases/remakes are good ideas; not everyone had a chance to play games the first time around! Maybe they didn't have the console, or they weren't old enough or hell, maybe they weren't even alive yet. Does that mean they should have to miss out on extraordinary (or horrifying) gaming experiences? I think not!

Think of the poor, unattended, screwdriver wielding, video game-less babies.

If I will finally be playing this game, although there's no word on if or when, twelve year old me will at long last know what it's like and be happy... and a little freaked out.

Something deep within my gut tells me this will turn out to be a bad decision.

Who else hopes that reboots aren't simply rumors?! Are there any third party franchises that you'd love to see come to your 3DS?


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Photo Spot 6 - 'La Luna', stars over South Dakota and a Sci-fi 'where's waldo'

The internet has been particularly amazing this week. Did you find anything good? Here's what I decided everyone has to see!

::: Hipster citizens of Hyrule.

::: This gorgeous, stunning, shiver-inducing video by filmmaker Randy Halverson. I guess now I have a reason to visit South Dakota.

::: Ever wanted to see all of your favorite sci-fi characters in one place? Here's your chance. Of course I see nothing from Farscape (correct me if I'm wrong!) which gives me sad face.

Click for full res! Source.

::: I want this watch!

Source, along with instructions.

::: Who is a fan of Breaking Bad?! It's so amazing, so watch it if you haven't already. Either way, enjoy this really awesome enhanced opening sequence by jamesmontalbano.

::: Neaaaaaat!

::: Ever wished you could express your undying love for an individual and the Decepticons at the same time?

::: This short set to show before 'Brave'. Pixar, I love you so much. Look at those stars, they're mesmerizing. And the music! *swoon*

Some good stuff, m i rite?


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Link Spectacular 6 - Guillermo del Toro, Joss Wheadon, Mario and more!

::: I know Valentine's Day is over, so I really need to stop, but I found more geeky, cute cards that you have to see!

::: If you live in the U.K., your next court summons could be issued via Facebook. This is... weird.

::: Joss Wheadon's 'In Your Eyes' sounds interesting, even though we haven't much to go on.

::: Watch this insanely difficult hacked Super Mario World play through.
Imagine a Mario where there is virtually no safe ground to stand on.
Now weep.

::: Do you hate that every site on the internet not only watches, but records, your every click and move? Here's a tip from Lifehacker for stopping Youtube from doing such a thing, that way you can watch all the NSFW videos you want!

::: Check out these uh-mazing animal sculptures made from shattered CD pieces!
What a cutie. Probably shouldn't pet him though.

::: Limited edition Shin-Ra hoodies and t-shirts for all you Final Fantasy VII fans. They're probably sold out by now, but go look anyway!

::: Guillermo del Toro + Beauty and the Beast = ... something awesome and terrifying, I'm thinking.

Just so you know, sharing links and photos with you all is one of my favorite things about the week!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Episode 3 - Game of Thrones, Double Fine, Eclipse, and more :D

Watch watch watch waaaaaaaatch :D I'm really excited about this one.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gallifrey One - 23rd annual Doctor Who convention! Part three.

Are you all read up on parts one and two? Yes? Ok good.

A variety of Doctors, just for you.

At one point during our Great Ribbon Hunt of 2012, we saw a ribbon emblazoned with the words "I found the hidden Whos" and we enquired as to how we could get it. An attendee told us that if we completed the scavenger hunt in the program then the service desk would award it to us. We immediately found the hunt page and learned that scattered throughout the floor there were photos on the walls outlined in red. If we were able to find each of the 30 photos, and write down where we found them, then a ribbon would be all ours.

 A semi-completed Who scavenger hunt. The photos were of all eleven 
Doctors as well as other major/influential players of the series.

Rachel and I set off like rabid hounds (who else has watched season two of Sherlock? *sigh*), running from one end of the floor to the other searching for the pictures. The pages of the program told con attendees not to share their answers with others (because in addition to a ribbon we also received an entry to win a pass to next year's convention) but we encountered a few different friendly rule breakers anyway.

As we stood and looked around one particular hallway, two young boys (probably ten and thirteen) walked by and one of them whispered, "There's one under the table." We turned and thanked him, then saw the cleverly placed photo lower down on the wall. Another time we walked into a room and as a lady left she whispered, "There are two in here!"

We successfully found them all, as evidenced by my ribbon, but there was a tense moment when we were unable to find Doctor number seven. We slowly backtracked through the whole place and finally found him outside of one of the movie watching rooms, then practically ran to receive our ribbons. 

In addition to the room full of merchandise, the service desk was selling con t-shirts and special Doctor Who/Gallifrey playing cards. Rachel bought two decks, and then gave one to me :3


I have a rather extensive playing card collection, so this marks a notable addition as well as the start of another nail in my Doctor Who loving coffin.

As the day drew to a close we were both exhausted, happy and covered in ribbons. I didn't want to leave, I wanted to go to the opening ceremonies and see the TARDIS that they had on stage, but we had plans elsewhere. She ended up going on Saturday as well, so I'm sure she was able to see the full sized TARDIS up close.

The whole thing was crazy fun and I definitely plan on going next year. I will get even more ribbons, I will do my best to dress up, and I'll actually get all of the jokes that everyone was constantly making.

I'll also be even more excited about things like this.

Has anyone else ever been? Does anyone else want to go? Who has ever dressed up as a Doctor? Who's your favorite Doctor? Do you own a sonic screwdriver? Do you watch the older series? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gallifrey One - 23rd annual Doctor Who convention! Part two.

Welcome to the second part, feel free to dive in! If you haven't read part one, then do that first!

Rachel was really jazzed when we saw a lady in full steam punk attire who happened to have a floating shark balloon with her. I was perplexed, but she explained that it was something from the show. This most excellent lady had grammar ribbons (the 'bad grammar makes me [sic]' one in the ribbon photo from yesterday, which she handed out to individuals who told her their largest grammar pet peeves) and she also had pink pie ribbons for those who could sing the ending song to Portal.

Rachel, the shark lady, and the ribbon that she received as a reward.

One of the hallways contained a giant shopping room, and my goodness I had no idea there was so much Doctor Who merchandise!! Rachel freaked out and exclaimed, "I'm going to buy all the things!" and we waited impatiently for it to be open to the attendees at noon.

The tiniest of samplings of the items available for purchase.

Carpet bags!!! I was so incredibly impressed because I had never seen any in real life! They were made of all different Doctor Who style fabrics. Another vendor was selling a large variety of pins, charms and necklace pendants. Rachel bought a few for herself.

Does everyone love Tribbles?

I was quite taken with the Tribbles claw machine! It wasn't in commission, but it did hold a sizable number of Tribbles. There were all manner of sizes for sale, and the larger ones vibrated when you touched them! I wanted to get one for myself, but I haven't seen that Star Trek episode yet. >.> It's on my list, don't worry!

We consulted our programs to find out which panels sounded most interesting and ended up attending a Cosplay 101 and an Introduction to Old Who session. Between the two of them we watched the Father's Day episode of Doctor Who and my gawd it was so hard not to cry.

Rachel making notes on which panels sounded
most interesting.

The Cosplay 101 was neat and offered a lot of useful information for people new to the scene. I walked away with some helpful internet resources, which is great because I've had a few projects on my mind recently! The panel on the old Who episodes was really interesting because they talked up the value of the old episodes that many "new" fans tend to dismiss (apparently, this was what I was told at the panel). 

Many of the speakers were very touchy on the subject of the differentiation between "old Who" and "new Who", and they discussed the fact that it's all one show, all one entity, just with a twenty-some year break in between seasons. It seems that it's difficult to discuss which era you're talking about without saying old or new though, unless of course you say which Doctor you're watching.

It's all very new to me, but one thing I know for sure is that it's all one show, and watching the earlier seasons is important because it adds more weight and entertainment to the newer seasons. At this point I wonder if I should cease with the 9th Doctor and start with the first one, but seeing as I'm not used to watching anything produced in the '60s, it's probably best that I foster the Who-nger (Who hunger, get it?) with the recent seasons since they'll be presented in a filming format that I'm more familiar with.

Either way I'm anxious to watch the earlier seasons as well.

Come back tomorrow for the final wrap up! :D


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gallifrey One - 23rd annual Doctor Who convention! Part one.

It is amazingly serendipitous that I happened to attend one of the world's largest Doctor Who conventions in the very same week that I started to watch the show. And really, after being in this situation, I am hard pressed to think of a better way to turn a tentative fan into a full blown obsessed individual.

I don't know much about the Daleks, but I know
I want my picture taken with one.

Rachel is a recent, but no less voracious, Doctor Who fan and she had big plans for us to watch a bunch of the 2005 continuation while she was in town. Sadly, with so many other things going on, we were only able to watch two episodes T_T That was enough to have my interest seriously piqued though.

 Control console, anyone? P.S. that's Rachel and she's awesome!

We arrived at the Marriott at LAX around 11 am on Friday and the place was aflutter with individuals dressed in long coats and scarves. I whispered to Rachel that it was difficult to tell who was in cosplay and who was in regular clothing. We registered and nabbed our snazzy badges, then set off looking around.

"Full Adult" =D I'll talk more about the 
amazing ribbons in a minute.

I felt really out of place and overwhelmed; I was completely surrounded by all manner of intense, die-hard fans, some had been watching the show since the '60s! I was blown away by the generational gaps in fandom: teens, children, adults and grey-haired ecstatic old men and women. I've been to conventions, and I'm familiar with the immediate companionship and camaraderie present among the attendees, but this Doctor Who con was centered on only one thing and that was a different experience.

We noticed right away that many attendees had colorful ribbons hanging off of their badges, but I paid them no mind. I figured it had something to do with their rank as Who fans. As Rachel and I walked the halls and got a lay of the land for events we wanted to see, we were called over to a vendor and told that if we filled out a survey then we'd get a muffin and a ribbon. It sounded simple enough, so soon we found ourselves with food and a brown ribbon to fasten to our badges. It was then that we understood the intense power of the ribbons, and we had ribbon fever badly. I had never been to a con with ribbons before; what a game changer!

The rest of my ribbons from the day. We ran around
like crazy trying to collect as many as we could.

Through the day we were confronted with really fun cosplay and some even better recreated creatures from the show. The dedication was admirable!

 A full sized remote controlled Dalek was wandering the halls, as well as
this super adorable K-9 that could be seen following people around.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the second part of our adventures!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Messed up schedule!

Hi there everyone! My schedule has been turned on its head lately and for that I am very sorry! Tomorrow things will return to normal with as honest an account that I can provide of my day at the Doctor Who convention! More exciting news in the vein of board games is coming as well.

I included a sneak peek photo from my post for tomorrow as well. Enjoy!

Thanks for your patience!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Photo Spot 5

Let's get started with fantastic photos from around the web!

::: This undeniably amazing photo of Nick Offerman

::: It's so creepy, but funny.

::: Pretty kitty!

::: Now this is a great card.

::: This brave soul dedicated his sanity to educate the masses about the internet.

::: I need these Minecraft LEGO.

::: "Anti-Super Mario propaganda posters"

Anything amusing head your way this week?


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Link Spectacular 5

::: Ever wish you could erase background people from a picture?

::: A Final Fantasy rhythm game, apparently.

::: Valentine's Day may be over, but there's never a wrong time to be so creepy.


::: Kingdom Hearts 3D footage!

::: Weekend entertainment suggestions from Giant Bomb.

::: Now you can sing karaoke and not bother anyone.


::: A Starbucks order that causes hospitalization. Exciting!

::: Have no fear, your Fire Emblem 3DS characters don't have to die forever!

What have you found this week?


I'm a little "who"-ccupied at the moment.


This was supposed to go up yesterday, and my phone decided to rebel!


Normal posting will resume tomorrow, but as for today I'm a little busy.

Expect a full report on Monday!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Doctor Who? Exactly. Doctor Who?

Two days ago I finally started what will surely be the most epic adventure of my life: watching Doctor Who.

Disarming the horrible metal spider thingies with the help of Jade.

One of the roommates' girlfriends (Rachel) is in town and she happens to be a huge fan of the Doctor. Before arriving for her visit she boldly proclaimed that we would spend the week watching Doctor Who, and I was greatly excited.

I've heard such good things from a wide array of individuals and as a result I've been meaning to start the show for quite some time. I was stumped as to where to start but, seeing as Netflix has the most recent iteration up in its entirety, I now have my answer!

We sat down in front of the screen, season one episode one paused and ready to start. I snuggled down into the couch and enveloped myself in a blanket to stay warm and comfortable. The episode started, and I immediately couldn't stop talking. I apologized to Rachel for being a "talker", but I simply couldn't help myself. There was so much going on to exclaim about out loud!

My ear is going to be well trained to rapid, British accents in no time, and soon my brain will find nothing strange about the fantastically cheesy visual effects. I was assured that, for the most part, the effects were intentional as a throw-back to the original show from the '60s. Thank goodness. 

We were able to watch two episodes before it was time to stop and eat dinner and it is safe to say I'm already hooked. Our goal is to get through the whole show by the time she leaves on Monday.

Challenge accepted.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book on tape - Redwall!

cassette tape
Clunky, classic and so romantic.

How many of you have ever listened to a book on tape while driving? I did for the first time just a few days ago! I started the return portion of my first interstate drive (alone) and was wondering what I could do to make the whole thing more entertaining. On my way north I listened to music, but it didn't pass the time adequately enough.

I ended up listening to the 1997 edition of Brian Jacques reading his novel Redwall, and it was so awesome. I had it playing via auxiliary cable from my phone, so whenever I received a text message or 'new e-mail' alert the recording would stop, but not pause!, and I'd let out a cry of distress over missing a line of dialogue.

The 18 hour trip ended up positively flying by. I was carried from state to state by the comforting sounds of Brian Jacques reading his enthralling novel of mice warriors. Until this time I had never actually read the book; in elementary school it was read aloud to us, but I recall finding it dull and so I paid it little attention. As a result, everything in the story was new and exciting to me and I found myself caring so deeply about each creature. At the conclusion of a chapter where something sinister or sad happened I would gasp audibly, sometimes even raising a hand to my mouth in true emotion.

A Redwall graphic novel, how exciting!
[Image from]

Having never listened to a book on tape I was unaware of how engrossing the various voice actors would be. The voices of Cluny the Scourge and Asmodeus Poisonteeth were frightening and shiver inducing. I hated the hissing ring that signaled the presence of Asmodeus, and the deranged screams of Cluny actually gave me goosebumps a few times.

I'm now kicking myself for not having read this book sooner, and on the same token I'm so pleased to have it be the book that christened my book on tape adventures. I will be reading more from the eloquent Brian Jacques, may he rest in peace. Anthropomorphic mice and other woodland creatures is a brilliant way to demonstrate war, allies, and goodness triumphing over evil.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Recreations of iconic characters.

Before I started my Saturday Link Spectacular posts I decided that I wanted to create some sort of header for each Saturday. Just a simple, quick visual cue that all readers are in for a Link filled treat! My first thought was to try a little doodle of Link to my own imagining; I have seen such a huge variety of personal recreations that I figured I could do one for myself.

The color scheme is most indicative of his identity.
Other than that, not so much.

I've never been great at drawing, and I haven't quite mastered the use of a tablet. What you see above is what I created and in my mind it simply wasn't cute enough; it didn't have enough flare. It got me thinking more about what other people do and how talented they are to take a character so easily recognizable and iconic and make it all their own. Like Zac Gorman!

I positively adore his Magical Game Time pieces, and everything else he does for that matter! 

Who couldn't love that ridiculous looking Sonic?

In looking at these pieces I see that the most important things are including what is, exactly, iconic for the character. How often does one see a blue hedgehog? Never, really, unless one is playing Sonic the Hedgehog. Add the white gloves and red shoes and you're ready to rock and roll. But what if I tried to do that? 

I'd rather not.

Olly Moss is another spectacular example.

So kind of him to provide a step by step, so even though
I know how he did it, I still won't be able to do it.

All of his work completely blows me away. He uses more clean, sharp shapes though. A lot of what I've seen of his work is more about texture, patterns and use of color than necessarily manipulating the shape of the character in question. Yet another way to recreate the character!

Penny Arcade is how I am most frequently exposed to creative interpretation. Gabe's drawings definitely have "his" style, and you still always know who the character is. I'm actually not too fond of these Mario Bros. though, funny enough. I DO love his imagining of Link from Skyward Sword:

It is my hope that by paying closer attention to artistic recreations that I'll someday be able to do heartfelt drawings of my favorite characters, too. Whenever I try I end up with a poorly drawing exact recreation of the original, or a nonsensical mess. Honing my drawing skills with my own made-up characters would help, I'm thinking.


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