Monday, August 21, 2017

Tag: The Sunshine Blogger Award!

Please take note that I did not come up with that decidedly unmanly title.


According to the rules of this tag, you have to answer 11 questions (on your own blog) and then "tag" (I would prefer the word "poke" because its funnier) 11 other bloggers to do the same. I'm answering the questions, but I am not bothering to tag 11 other bloggers. Maybe one or two, but that's it.

Anyways, let's get to it.


1. You are stranded on an island, and it's guaranteed you won't be rescued for a whole year. You have only one book and one CD (along with the means to listen to it). Which book and CD would you have, and why?

The means to listen to it? I take it you mean a solar-powered disc player? I'm being funny, but that actually makes a lot of sense on a island with lots of sun. We are talking about a classic tropical island, right? The kind you get stranded on in the movies? Part of me would want "Tropical Depression" by Alan Jackson  playing 24/7 but that would be a bit rediculous. I would probably take a CD of classical music. Not my usual kind of jams, but if I'm going to be there for a year, I don't want any lyrical songs getting stuck in my head and getting old. Classical music doesn't seem real catchy and it's supposed to make you smart, so I wouldn't want to lose all my brains cells by listening to 80's rock or country for a whole year straight.

For a book, I would take a New Testament Bible. But since that is an obvious choice and since we're only talking hypotheticals, I would take a big thick book about martial arts.

I would train myself.

 I would train day and night. I would crush seashells with my bare feet and wrap them with bandages, using the blood to lure sharks into the reef, where I would spearfish them and eat them for dinner. I would beat coconut trees with my bare palms, hardening them with calluses you could strip paint with.
I would make necklaces of shark teeth and call myself the "Samurai of the fin". I would would work up an eight-pack and karate-chop coconuts with one hand, roughly equalivant to the action of breaking someone's skull. And then when Nick Fury and the U.S. Navy rescue me, I would go to Russia and enact my revenge on the Soviet frogmen who sunk my boat.

Yes my friends, that is what I would do.



2. What's your opinion on ghostwriting?
I daresay I can't say. I don't know. Ghostwriting is where someone writes and someone else takes the credit, right? If that's the case, I think that is stupid.

3. Have you ever had an experience that deeply influenced your art?

Hmm... let me think. I can't really recall a single big event that dramatically influenced my art.

I drew pictures from a early age, and I have pretty much always been doing that sort of thing. But it probably wasn't until a few years ago, (or maybe several) that I have really recognized my art as something I'm good at and something that I want to keep on doing.

Video games, movies, and concept art are my main sources of inspiration. Being able to draw well is a great blessing, because I can take concepts and images from my mind and translate them onto paper. I don't have the money to make video games and movies, but with good drawing, much of that visual information and those ideas can still take physical form in a compelling and dramatic way.
And it hardly costs anything.

I do pretty much everything in pencil, but if I was to pursue art as a career, I would probably want to learn how to make really great concept art with other mediums.


4. If you had to perform in a play, which one would it be?

Play or musical? You have to be more specific. I guess I would be a French policeman in Phantom of the Opera.

5. Which book have you read recently that resonated with you long after you finished reading?

What is with these questions? How can I tell if a book has resonated with me long after reading it, if it is one that I read recently? Gosh. Well, I always thought "The Last Mission" By Henry Mazer was a really good book. It had some serious issues in terms of bad language and a few other things, but it was well-written and the ending was quite good.

6. Would you volunteer to join a space mission in which you would attempt to create a Mars colony?
Why or why not?
         

 Yes, I totally would go. Whether I would actually contribute to creating the colony... uh... that would probably depend on who you asked.I would vlog the whole thing, suggest cool stuff to build like a movie theater and gaming rooms, and probably do simple tasks like moving parcels of food, tool packs, and other supplies around the base. I would be like the gopher for everybody. and I would take samples of the soil and bottle it as souvenirs, and I would go off exploring every chance I got. And I would have a dance party and make sure that I am the first person to do the Macarena on Mars.

I assume that I wouldn't have the scientific skills to do a whole lot of technical stuff, but I would like to be the mediator whenever it came to arguments and discussions among the crew. If I could understand the situation, I would love giving advice.



7. If you could choose any book to be made into a movie, which book would you pick?
Honestly, I don't read that many books. *UPROAR
But, hmm... let me see here. Nothing's jumping out at me. If I had to pick... I'll say The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry. I'm not dying for it to be made into a movie, but I really liked the book, and it would be an okay movie. But that's pretty much just because I can't come up with anything better.


8. What would you do if video games were the only creative outlet in the world?
I would be ok with that. But this question lacks some plausibility: How can I create video games without writing scripts and drawing concept art and composing music for the soundtrack? Whoever wrote this question apparently didn't realize that video games are a creation composed of many forms of art.

But suspending those issues, I would start a video game studio, whip together a team, and start developing video games by the dozens.

WWII First Person Shooters, WWI First Person Shooters (basically clean versions of COD and Battlefield, with no language and blood) a range of tank simulators spanning from WWI to Modern,
FPS games covering Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. They would be like COD and stuff, but some would be more focused on historical accuracy, while others would be more COD-tacticool style.

I would also want to do a lot of post-apocalyptic and sci-fi projects as well.

And I would put a lot of effort into developing VR games, too. A WWI VR game, tank simulators, (which would be very cool, because you could look around the entire interior and load shells and manipulate controls with your hands), An Iron Man suit simulator, a medieval combat game, (picture using a sword and shield with VR controls) and more.


In other words, I have a lot of ideas, and that would be a very cool job to have...






9. You get a package in the mail with enough money to travel anywhere and vacation for a month. Where would you go?

I would go to Germany. I would stay at a really cool Bavarian-style hotel, which would be in the country, but within easy reach of all the major cities. I would rent a very nice German sports convertible, with a bright red paint scheme. Part of me would want a classic, but a sleek modern car would be nice too. Not to mention it's hard to choose between Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes. No offense to Audi. And I would get a bike to strap to the back, because I would want to cycle around too.

I would want to go to Berlin and other big cities, the Panzer museum, sites of WWII significance, and a lot of fancy restaurants. Plus, I would really want to take in the night life, provided that it isn't too crazy.

And I would like to spend a lot of time in the country and farmside too. And probably a little time just exploring the woods as well. Given that I would be there for a month, I should have plenty of time to do all that. Good thing I got Rosetta Stone German, looks like I am going to need it.




10. In your opinion (educated or otherwise), what do you think would happen if a world government was established?

It would take a lot of work for one thing. But overall it is difficult to answer, actually. I suppose an effort would be placed on creating and phasing in a common language (which would take several generations, if God even allowed it), and I suppose efforts toward disarmament would be started. And individual cultures would still exist within the entire culture, but culture as we know it would probably change dramatically. But it seems like the whole thing would be such a tall, teetering tower of politics,that it is hard to say if it could even be pulled off in theory.

But if it did get pulled off,I guess the short answer is that the whole world would become a post-modernist dystopia ("utopia" in the eyes of liberals) where every single boundary and moral anchor would be cast aside in the  name of "logic and tolerance".

It is kind of an interesting story premise.


11. You're about to get a song stuck in your head for a whole week. Which song is it, and why?

Well a week is a long time. But not that long. If it had to be for the rest of my life... well, then I would think much more carefully about my answer. I'm going to go with YMCA by whoever did that song. It's upbeat, (so hopefully it wouldn't negatively affect my mood) it's from the 80's, (a good reason in itself), and I like it. Stop judging me.





And now for the questions I need to come up with. Oh boy.

1. What would you do if you got a date with your celebrity crush?

2. Which do you like better: Science fiction or medieval/fantasy?

3. If you could rewrite history and take the place of a person who fulfilled a monumental historical event which would you choose?
(For example, if you chose the moon landing and you took the first steps on the moon instead of Neil Armstrong).

4. If you could choose your death, what would it look like?
(who would be there, last words, cause of death, etc.) You know, kicking the bucket in style.

5. If you could replace today's fashion with fashion from another time period, which would it be?

 6. Most embarrassing song that you like? Be honest.                                                                                                                                                      
7. A fictional character you would want as a sibling?

8.  Do you prefer movies or books?

9. If you could take one of your own story ideas and make it into a movie, which would it be?

10.What is a talent/skill that you don't have but would like to have?

11. Would you rather be a famous musician or a world-renowned sports star, and what would your music genre/sport be?


Okay that's it! Hopefully those are good questions. Shout-out to Josiah Dyck at The Steadfast Pen for doing this tag. If he didn't do the tag, I wouldn't have found out about it. And his good questions are what tempted me to do the tag in the first place.

Have fun kiddos!



Sunday, August 20, 2017

Introducing THE RUSSIAN GOPHER!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow! What did I do to my blog? Pretty snappy, right?





I totally revamped everything. Including the title!  Other than a name and super-cool looks though, nothing's really changed! 
The new face of my blog. An angry Russian gopher sporting an AK and a molotov cocktail.
(A classic improvised weapon much associated with the Russians).


Same guy behind the keyboard. Same posts. Just new ones and hopefully lots of them!
Big thank you to all my current readers and subscribers! Thank you for wasting time that could be spent outside in the sun by roasting your eyeballs on the computer screen reading about stuff I like. I love you guys so much. 




But no, seriously, I do really appreciate my readers. I hope you like the new look, feel free to say it if you don't, (because I probably won't change it) and go forth and make the best of the rest of your day!

I'm getting more sarcastic with age, aren't I?

-Andrew

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tasty toxic marshmelllows


Let's make a bonfire. For our stuff!



Make it big, make it hot, make it last a long time.



The kind of  bonfire that I'm calling for is one that gets rid of our junk. Our dead weight, our hoard, our crudola.
The junk, the refuse, the STUFF, that just keeps piling up.

Have you ever been to a garage sale? Sometimes you can find a decent sale with some diamonds in the rough (like $75 gaming headphones for four bucks) or you come across one of those clunker trash-sales, disgusting piles composed of ratty clothes, cheesy 90s movies on VHS and mildewy baby toys.

Don't even ask me where that stuff has been.

People (including myself, I'm not gonna lie) have a habit of accumulating things.
But how much is too much? Well, when it is gathering mold in your garage, you're probably a little farther than close.
The point is that we all have too much stuff, and too much of that stuff, is junk!

Why is this? Well, there is a lot of reasons. All of man's problems come from sin. So asking why is a really simple question to answer. Sin. Greed. Laziness. Idolatry.

But I will give some secular reasons as well.

America has not fought a serious, civilian-affecting war since WWII. In all conflicts large and small the loss of life is devastating, and the economy can be hurt, but since WWII, we have never faced anything that threatened the homefront, or caused serious cuts in the average family's budget.

We are still making huge, gas-guzzling cars, pretty much everyone and their five-year-old nephew have a smartphone, and food is produced in a overwhelming amount. I would assume that we would have plenty of food in the US, even if we divvied up 2/3rds of it to other countries.

Starving people in America are most likely due to people who can't (or worse, won't) get jobs, and other people who are limited by peculiar circumstances. But I don't think it has anything to do with the amount of food, but simply where it is going.

So I was getting a little off-track. But the point is that America is so peaceful, pampered, and plush, that we are completely free to pursue the acquirement of material possessions. #Greed

The result? Disgusting, filthy hovels crammed to bursting with junk.

Garages filled with random items, clothes, movies, TVs, bins of toys, you name it. Not to mention the three rust-bucket Pontiacs on the driveway.

What has America come too?

So why don't we fix it? Why instead of the endless cycle of garage sales and Goodwill stores, why can't we just burn the junk? I know this is asking a useless question. This whole post is just a complaint against American society, really.


But we can at least take something positive and applicable from this. Look at your stuff. Do you need it? Do you use it? Does it provide enjoyment? Is it an asset or just baggage?

Useful tools, or useless gizmos? Fun toys or wasted money? I spent $104 on a R/C tank and it is one of the worst purchases I have ever made. I rarely ever use it. Just talking about it makes me sad, in fact.

But sometimes you've got to admit you've made a mistake and cut the extra weight loose. I bought a camelbak and I never got the water to taste good. And I never really used it for anything. I got rid of that. I still got the tank, but that's beside the point.

And finally, when you do get rid of something, how are you going to do it? Are you going to pass it off to somebody else or will you burn it?

Sometimes burning is the right answer. I didn't burn the camelbak, but that's beside the point.

Anyways, I'm done. I'm out.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Monster Mountain excerpt

Okay, so I finally posted some of my writing! I was hoping to post some of my sci-fi/apoc writing (since that is what most of my ideas center around) but I didn't find anything that was good enough quality or something that I wanted to start with.

"Monster Mountain" is a idea, that like pretty much all of my stories, is a concept shaped by inspiration from movies and video games. I'm a very visual person, but I don't have tons of money to make movies. But writing is free.

My various concepts are all work-in-progresses, and they kind of all roll around in a big inspirational washing machine, being affected by all the different sources of inspirations and ideas that I have, changing and adapting as a result.


Feel free to rip this from stem to stern! But no grammar Nazis, please.








Tethamar walked back home. His cabin in the woods; his existence. A tiny construction of stone and wood, his dwelling carved into his corner of the earth. 

He carried a bundle of firewood under his arm, and his Skeffspar in his other. The cabin sat there, warm and inviting. 
Like a mother beckoning its child home. Firelight peeped from the windows, the dark trees encapsulated the cabin in a shadowy embrace, their shadows painted long and soft against the silent snow. 

Tethamar opened the door and latched it behind him, shutting out the cold for the night. No matter the dangers on the outside world, this would always be solace, the one safe place from all evils. 

Fairbain, a mountain wolf lay in the corner of the room nestled upon blankets of rich fur. His ears perked at the sight of his master, his eyes sparkling, as if tiny glimmers of the animal's devotion and intelligence were about to burst out. As if this one night his dumb animal tongue might break loose and tell of stories never revealed to human ears.

Tethamar set the wood down and placed his hat on its place on the peg. He gingerly grasped the iron tongs of the fireplace and retrieved the coffeepot from its stand, setting it down on the hearth where it gave off steam like a sleeping dragon. 

The wind whispered around the cabin, to say that it was still there, but no, it would not come in. For even the wind will respect a person, after they have lived together so long.


Fairbain stared intently. Tethamar narrowed his own eyes, to decipher the beasts language. They both knew what was imminent. The mountain had been trembling and moaning, the wind was still calm. But the breath of a monster was haunting and lurking, beneath the surface; at the outer edges of perception. Tethamar went to bed that night; calm, but no longer with the inner peace of known safety.

His sword, Eskelionarris, lay beneath the bed, like a warrior lying in a tomb. Soon it would be needed. The song of evil was silently singing at the door, the wind was telling him softly, very softly, that it was there. 






I do not own this image

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Yeah, yeah, I know

Yeah, I know. I dumped my blog again. Whatever.
I'm back right?

So here I am, 16, single, (technically you can get legally married at 16) out of a job with most of money locked up in my bank account.
I can't drive, I have no car to drive, but I don't actually need one because my family has three cars already.

I could keep complaining, but there isn't much to complain about. Ha ahahaha.







So I am going to try to post more stuff here, I need to get my art out here, and some of my various story ideas and the like.

I'm not going to bother with much structure or uniformity though. Why bother? I'm not getting paid for this.



See you around. Bye. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My EDC

I bought a new knife. It is the Guidesman Stem, a very small knife in the ten dollar range.



I already have four knives, a Victorinox Officier Suisse, which is a model from the famous "Swiss Army Knife" family. Its quality is very good, and it has a nice selection of tools, though there are some that I use very rarely and could do without.



Then I have my "Rambo" knife, an eight-inch sword with a hollow grip for a survival kit. It also has a built-in compass in the pommel cap. I do not use it very often, and the scabbard that came with it was garbage (the knife literally cut the scabbard apart) and so it is hard to carry.



But for goofing around it isn't bad, being very cheap and reasonably useful at that.

I also have a knife that I got from a garage sale and it is so cheap I'm not going to waste the time given me on this earth writing more about it.
                                     
My best knife (other than the SAK) is the Kershaw Lifter. I got this on sale for about half the retail price and it is very cool.
It has a very macho finish, and is military/street fighter in its looks and design.

It has an assisted opening which is very fast, and the blade has a Tanto-style point. I chose this knife because I wanted one for self-defense. Okay, that and looking super cool carrying it. But anyways, the tanto is a good blade type, because it is designed for penetration. The Chinese invented it for piercing metal body armor.







So an assisted opening knife with a tanto point and 3 and 1/2 inch blade is pretty fearsome.
However, upon researching my state's knife laws, it seemed my knife was questionable.


Now I realize that most weapon laws are absurd, but my main concern is obeying God's Word in regard to obeying the law.
Where that ends (for example, obeying the letter of the law, or using common sense) is something I'm still not sure on, but that's a topic in itself.

Long story short, I just keep that weapon in my room for the most part. Also, it is worth noting, that knives really are not optimal self-defense weapons. Basically anything that is longer than a knife and strong enough to mess someone up if  (i.e. crowbar, 2x4, sturdy broom handle) than that weapon trumps the knife.

That's why cops in the UK carry batons. Because even Joe Mcdoe with a knife and a bellyful of beer is no match against Constable Thornton and his oaken nightstick.

But I still think knives have some value. Small knives can be gripped in the hand like a Wolverine claw and then used in a punching manner. If aimed at the face and neck, this would probably be doing considerable damage. In the movie Captain Phillips (2013) a Somali pirate gets his hand cut trying to guard himself from a sailor with a knife.

I don't know if that incident happened in real life or just the movie (one must be extremely cautious about taking any combat advice from Hollywood) but it seems like a realistic scenario. An unarmed predator is probably going to rethink his approach about physically assaulting anyone if they are holding a sharp object in their hand.

But I'm getting off track. So I bought the Guidesman Stem as a fashion statement and as a tool. Self-defense still factors into the equation, but not as much as the other two factors.

Being so much smaller than the Lifter, even if it technically broke some laws or was legally dubious depending on whatever situation, it is at least much less threatening and alarming, and wouldn't brand me as a hardened street criminal.
                     
It also has a camo finish which definitely gives the knife a "hunter" look which is probably the least likely to alarm anyone. The only thing less scary would probably be a knife with a wooden handle and brass plating.

The blade came fairly sharp out of the box and if I remember correctly, it is 2 and 1/2 inches long.

I find the thumb switch tricky to use, and it is much easier to simply open the knife with two hands. The blade is tight in the housing, and it definitely doesn't flick open with any amount of swiftness. The blade locking mechanism is a bit rough and the whole knife is not built to very high standards of precision. But it is cheap, and I like it a lot.

 I've had times where the locking mechanism didn't click into place, but it is hard to say how often that happens and it doesn't really bug me personally.

The real problem I have with it is that the pocket clip is very, very, tight. I have been trying to get the metal limbered up, but it hasn't really worked so far. So it is really hard to clip it on your pocket. Update: I bent the clip (at the bolts holding it in, actually) and I have generally loosened everything up. A bit rough, but now it works.

It is very comfortable for everyday carry, being so small and light. 


So that is my review. I have never really done an EDC, but since the Stem is so small and light I have been able to comfortably carry it pretty much all the time.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Random Cool Things lately

Random cool things lately:

Helped to build a waterline at my church and did minor maintenance work with my friends.

Was bicycling and happened across the local shotgun club, got to watch the high school team practice skeet shooting.

Spotted a nice Pontiac GTO in the wild. I don't know which year though, I'm still fairly illiterate with cars.

Used an edge trimmer and hit the edge of the sidewalk by accident, with a few sparks as a result. That thing was a bit of a pain.

Spotted a Dodge Challenger in the wild sporting a nice purple paint job. (I've seen Challengers before, but not purple ones).

Dropped a WHOLE piece of pizza onto dirty pavement, and decided not to eat it.

There are chipmunks where I live.

Watched Thor for the first time and really liked it.

I have an air conditioner sitting in my room doing nothing.

As I watched the skeet shooting I realized  that one sweep of a shotgun in the wrong direction could nail me.

Awkwardly waited around for the shooters to get out of the building so they could start shooting.

Broke the wristband on my watch and now I use it as a pocket watch.


Okay I'm done.