Wednesday, October 19, 2016

OCTOBER 2016 LootCrate Review

I'm still not sure if I am going to keep doing these but I really loved everything in this month's LootCrate so I figured I might as well. Let's get right into it!


Camp Crystal Lake pennant
I'm a little too hype for this. I don't know where I'm hanging it up in the house but it's getting hung!


Leatherface Plushie
I would have preferred the sad face variant but I still think he's cool. I'm not super into plushes but I definitely don't mind it. 


Freddy Glove Chop Sticks
To be serious for a moment, forks exist. So I'll never use these but it is an interesting item to have on my collectibles shelf. Also in the picture is the LootCrate magazine that always comes with a box. It's pretty high quality with vivid images and interesting info. 


The Legion of Regrettable Supervillians book
This was a pleasant surprise. I just looked through quickly but the pictures look great, showing the silly or weird villains from the different eras of comics. 


Halloween Pin
Love this pin design! John Carpenter's Halloween is an iconic masterpiece and this pin is fitting for that. All the LootCrate pins seem good quality and this one follows suit. Also pictured is a LootCrate member card. Credit card material not cheap cardboard. 


The Walking Dead t-shirt
Love the shirt, too! Love The Walking Dead and can't wait to see whose head gets smashed with that bat on Sunday. Again, seems high quality. 


And finally the box has a punch-out zombie mask on it this month. Easy to cut out and might get worn on Halloween if I want to scare kids who come looking for candy. 

All in all, I'm very pleased with this month's LootCrate box. I figured the Horror box would be great. Last month's theme was Speed. Not as epic as this month's but still was good and worth the money. It only costs $21.77 (after PA's silly online tax). Definitely a good buy. 

If you want to sign up, follow this link: 
http://looted.by/eeI0z
We'll both get five dollars off!


Thursday, August 25, 2016

August 2016 LootCrate Review


I just received my first LootCrate box so I figured I'd post a review so if anyone else is debating (like I was) they can see what they're getting. I was torn for a while about which geeky kinda box I wanted to get because I loved the idea of receiving some cool stuff and not knowing exactly what you'll get until it arrives. But there's so much back and forth online about Nerd Block and LootCrate, I couldn't decide. 

It was actually a YouTuber I like (jacksfilms if you're wondering, he's hilarious!) that pushed me over the edge. He is often sponsored by LootCrate and I figured why not do that and use his link at the same time. That way, I get something cool and someone who's content I enjoy gets a little something. 

After all was said and done, I paid less then $20 for the box using Jacksfilms' coupon code. Normally, it comes to $19.99 after shipping but Pennsylvania (where I live) charges tax on any online purchase now so my regular cost will be a couple dollars more. 

The box was slightly damaged, but I can hardly blame LootCrate for that. I'm sure it was just the FedEx/USPS combo that damaged the box. 



Right on top was this Archer shirt. Honestly I would pay probably $15 for this shirt, maybe even $20 if I was in a very good mood, so I already feel great about this box. 

The material feels soft but strong and the printing doesn't feel plasticky. Seems pretty good quality. 


Harley Quinn Q-Fig is a nice vinyl statuette, in the vein of a Funco Pop! but a different brand. Harley looks great in her original costume and has one of her hyenas with her. Colors look great, statue feels sturdy. Q-Figs and Funcos usually retail for $8-$12 depending on where you buy them so I'm already ahead of the game. 


Kill Bill socks. They feel of standard dress sock quality, the colors are bright and modeled after The Bride's outfit. It is a LootCrate exclusive, but honestly, I'm not a fancy sock guy so I'll probably never wear them. I might give them to my daughter. 


HellBoy Right Hand of Doom coin bank. Pretty cool. I've never read the comics but I love both movies so I like this a lot! I'll probably never put coins in it though. It'll get placed in my collectibles cabinet. 


Every month you get a pin, this month the boxes theme is Anti-Hero and somehow World of Warcraft falls into that. It's the art on the pin and you also get a month of WoW free if you are a new account. I actually think Blizzard always allows you to try for a month so it's not really any added value to the box, but I do like the art on the pin. 


Every month you also get the LootCrate magazine. It tells you all about the characters and items you've received and this month's also has a preview of Suicide Squad Rebirth No. 1 inside. Just a couple pages. 

Overall I'm very happy with the box and will continue my subscription. I feel as though the products were worth at least double of what I paid and the excitement of wondering what you're gonna get is worth it. 

In case anyone is wondering, I have not been compensated in any way for this review, and I paid for the box with my own money. 

Buuuuuuuut, if this compels you to sign up, feel free to use this link: http://looted.by/eeI0z and we'll both get $5 off! 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

On Parenting



There's been a time or two in my life when someone has remarked about my parenting. Mostly good, I'm glad to report, as I'm always making an effort to be the best father I can be. But the praise I get tends to be about the things I do visibly, like taking my daughter to the park or out to eat or just generally doing stuff with her. And while yes, doing stuff is important since children just adore doing things, that's not really the area I want to write about. I don't really want to talk about parenting style, though I may touch on it a bit, and I certainly do not think I have all the answers. I know I don't.

I would like to express the things I think about when I think about parenting.

BALANCE

I think finding a balance is THE most important part of parenting. It's a part that a lot of couples seems to forget about when they have a baby. It's an important part of life in general. You've got to balance work and play, the good and bad, fun and serious. 

I see a lot of parents finding a singular role: Mom's the nice one, Dad's the mean one or Mom's the punctual one, Dad's the goofball. My ex-wife and I split up when my daughter was 2 so I quickly needed to adapt to both sides of the coin. 
I am authoritative when I need to be and easy going when needed; I'm strong when I must be and gentle when I must; punctual when there's a deadline or appointment and laissez-faire when there isn't.

An important part of that is that I'm not always trying to be DAD. When she's at her mother's house, or I'm at work and she's at school, or she's safely in bed for the night, I make sure to take some time and be myself. Just forget the dad part of me and enjoy something I specifically enjoy greedily for myself. It could be a beer with a friend, or just playing a video game without taking turns, or even just a cup of coffee since she's not old enough for it yet. Just my time and my interests to refocus my mind and have a quality of life that's not driving one to madness.

Balance comes into play with discipline and safety too. With discipline, I try to gauge which battles to fight. Find what's really teaching them a valuable lesson and work with that, worrying less about things that you just don't like. With safety, and I know it's really hard, I try to protect her as much as I can but I know I still have to let her get some bumps and bruises along the way. Sometimes a hardship is a great way to let a lesson sink in.


NO CHILD ASKED TO BE BORN

Now, it seems obvious but I don't think people think about it much. And I know a lot of people take it out on the kids. No matter what shitty circumstances brought this child into existence, it's not their fault, they didn't ask for it.

There are parents in this world angry at their children for needing their natural needs. Food, shelter, attention. I know this may come as a shock but YOU caused that child to exist so you're on the hook until they can fend for themselves. I suggest that you accept that they will need constant attention, constant feeding, constant shelter, constant parenting until adulthood and probably beyond. Find those times for yourself when you can but not at the child's expense because YOU made that child exist on this planet so don't be mad that you're inconvenienced at the kid, be mad at yourself.

I know it's incessant, and sometimes I wanna run away, but this is my duty. I chose to make a child, so I parent.


EVERY CHILD IS AN ACTUAL HUMAN BEING

Shocking! Those little people are actually people! With their own thoughts and feelings! 

I've never been a fan of "Because I said so!" I guess the theory goes: Tell your child something and they should immediately understand why you want those things. Even if they don't understand you don't respect them enough to try and teach them? 

You tell them "To get respect you have to give respect" so don't forget that lesson yourself. As soon as a child starts asking why, they deserve to be explained to. Curiosity is amazing and something lots of adults lose. I'd hate to stifle that in a child because I felt like they should just jump the second I tell them too. They ask because they want to understand, if they understand the reasoning for a rule or whatever, maybe they will respect the rule and adhere to it. 

Or maybe they won't. But you keep trying, as is your duty, like we discussed previously in the section above this one. They didn't ask to be born so you might as well help them understand the world that YOU'VE subjected them to. 

If you don't know the answers, there's no shame in telling a child "I don't know". They won't think less of you. They'll see that no one has all the answers, and if you make it a quest to find out the answer together, they'll see that learning can be a wonderful, lifelong pursuit. 

Along with that goes the fact that every child is different. You've gotta adjust your methods and expectations for each one, as they are all unique humans and their slight difference in experience and neurobiological make up is going to skew their perspective in their way. 

Hey, my kid is no angel and I'm just some guy on the internet, but I try to guide her on the path that leads her to the skills necessary to have a happy life.  My final advice would be to do it with love and try to see the world from their perspective, so you can find a way to show them yours. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dearest Montgomery


Dearest Montgomery, 
     I hope this letter finds you well. All is grand down here on the plantation. Why, mother just whimspiddled her sootmunter the other day!
     Unfortunately, Martha had a right spell of consumption and was defecating profusely all over the fore and aft of the veranda. My heavens, the smell was incontrovertible proof of the existence of demons. That odor could only have been produced in the bowels of the underworld itself. 
     In better news, Arthur has met a fine young woman. Her beauty knows no bounds and Arthur will not stop singing her praises. He claims she even takes deliveries in the rear entrance, often and superbly. 
     Well, the visitors should be returning shortly so please forgive the brevity of my correspondence. I must sing their song promptly before the clock strikes three or the innocents shall bear the brunt of their vengeance. I certainly hope my harp plucking is quick enough to appease our furry travelers of the aether. 
                                                                                  Sincerely yours,
Maxwell

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dreams (Short Fiction)

I've never been one to recall dreams. Yet, last night's was so vivid and abstract that I can't shake the images from my mind.

I was trapped in a dark space. The feeling was as if it was an earthen grave but I had no visual stimuli to confirm this; just blackness. Slimy creatures crawled over and under my whole body, sending shivers up my spine. I began forcing my hands up into the dirt above me, reaching for something, anything to grasp. I felt insects crawling into my ears and heard them whispering unintelligibly. My hands found a large metal object just as the pressure on my chest grew immense. I grasped it as tightly as I could manage and it rocketed me out of the ground and into this blazing white light.

I woke, drenched in sweat, sitting upright in my bed, with my hands reaching towards the ceiling.

[I wrote this a while ago. It was meant to begin some sort of short story (a very short story). I can't remember at all where I wanted to go with it so I'm posting this draft because why not?]

Sunday, July 28, 2013

United we stand, Divided we do exactly as we're told like good little peasants.

An alternate title to this post could be, "Let's have fun and hate each other!"

I don't claim to have all the answers, nor do I even claim to have the right questions. I can only observe and try to quantify the world around me with my admittedly limited intellect. I feel there's a few things readily apparent if you choose to analyze our current media and political systems.


They want us divided. They don't want us united, on any front.

By "they" I mean the media and the government. If you want to be more conspiratorial then we can say "they" represents the shadow government, the Illuminati, the Rothschilds, the Bilderberg group, the reptilian hominids living in hollow earth. It doesn't matter, just know when I say "they", I mean those people in charge and/or disseminating information to us.

By "us" I mean the people, the regular people, average human beings, not just of America but of the world. I was born and have always lived here in America, so of course my perspective will reflect that but I'm sure the same things can be said around the world.

Discussions with friends about the death of Trayvon Martin and subsequent acquittal of George Zimmerman, have really sharpened my opinion of "They want us divided." It seems clear to me that the media has presented this case in such a way to strengthen the racial divide in America. No other time have I seen them show us a picture of a clearly Latino male and call him a white man. His mother is Peruvian and he clearly has inherited her racial looks.

Now, I don't care if the guy is blue, it doesn't matter to me. But, they want it to matter and it has. Many whites have rallied around Zimmerman, claiming he was being a good citizen, protecting his neighborhood. Many blacks have rallied around Martin, feeling he was unjustly murdered by the overzealous "white" man. It seems as though a lot of racial tension was easing in this country until this case.

Maybe if we could get past white and black problems and really see each other as equal human beings, we could take a good hard look at our government and laws and maybe, just maybe, we could fix things. Stop making laws that cost the people freedom, stop wasting taxpayer money to make corporations richer, stop hidden agendas, start putting people first, and start rebuilding the world into the peaceful place it could be.

I hate to have that "us vs. them" mentality, but it's all I've been taught. At least my "us" is all of us, and my "them" is anyone who puts monetary gain above the people as a whole. I think I've lost the whole point of this article, but it doesn't really matter.

Let's just stop hating each other over arbitrary bullshit like skin color, religion, liberal/conservative, dem/repub, psx/xbox, coke/pepsi, rich/poor, gay/straight, missionary/doggy.

Let's start giving each other hugs and telling each other that we're "Totes adorbs", you know, after we have a big argument about how skinny to make our skinny jeans, meanwhile totally ignoring the fact that it's now US law that we can't sue drug companies if their medicine has horrific side effects that weren't disclosed.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Phew!

Yes, you can finally release that deep breath you've been holding. I've returned to the world of blogging.

I know your mother told you never to trust a man like me, and you shouldn't. She was right, like always.
There's a time and place for everything and this isn't it. So pack your little flowery knapsack and hit the bricks.
If you're reading this right now, you've failed miserably.
There's literally millions of other things you could be reading on the internet and you chose THIS?
What is the world coming to? I hope I'm dead before I have to see what kind of person you become. It can't be good.

Don't expect any semblance of order here. It will mostly be chaos, from my commentary on the world at large and bits of fiction, to images I make and rants about ideas from science-fiction you don't give two lumpy turds about.
Enjoy.