Thursday, April 21, 2011

Enter the Machines...4/21 and the end of life as we know it O_O

According to the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles tv show, Skynet became self-aware at 8:11pm Tuesday, 4/19/11, and will begin the global attack today (4/21/11).  There's even a FB page dedicated to it ^_^.

PhotobucketAs many others have said, I for one welcome our AI overlords, and plan to see if they can do something about this TS3 Forum business.  Maybe they'll come out with a kick ass new EP, or a reeeeeally sweet SP.  Being that yesterday was 4/20, a lot of people won't really care too much...lots of folks still in a bit of a 'foggy haze' today heh, ^_^  buuut I'm getting a few signs/posters ready for the big willkommen.  Signs and beer and yummy yummy nachos.  And gummy Nerds.  And Doritos!!  And...chocolate bars...and queso & guac.  Oh man and like one of those Edward's Key Lime pies, and piiiiizzzaaaa with Wing Stop wings & blu cheese dip.  And Wing Stop's cheese is sooo good...and my kingodom for some Now&Laters...

I need to go eat - can't welcome the overlords on an empty tummy o_O

And if you don't know what the hell I'm going on about...disregard this post but REMEMBER - resistance is futile. ;)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What is YOUR experience with the TS3 Forum?

When I got on the pc today and tried to get on the TS3 forum, of COURSE it didn't work -- I got the wonderful blunderful 404 error.  Whenever that happens I have to clear my cookies for AND in order to access the damn thing.  Not too much of a hassle per se, but annoying as all get out, especially having to do it nearly every day.

I've tried using other browsers, but it's basically same script different cast - I always have to clear caches for the site in order to get on.  I only see Liam once in a blue moon, but it seems that others get the lil' bastard all the time.  And then it seems that some people rarely have issues accessing the forums.  Funny that I neeeever have problems accessing the laughably-priced beautiful Store items.

Obviously in the grand scheme of life these forum glitches aren't the end-all-be-all, and I don't really know jack about maintaining a site as robust as the TS3 site, but's STILL that bad?  After so long, after SO many complaints, after so much frustration from the consumers?

What is YOUR experience with the site?  Do you continue to have errors, double-posts, Liam visits, and the like?  Do you have periods (not counting scheduled maintenance) where you can't get on at all, or have to pull out a bag of special tricks to access forum sections? Or have the issues actually lessened, gotten better, or even gone away completely on your end?  I know this has been discussed ad nauseum but I'm curious to know exactly what experiences other people are having with it now, good or bad.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Faerie Folk Assignments #8 & #9 Photo Spam + Outtakes

Heh, finally getting around to posting these here. *As usual, click for full-sized images*

Assignment #8:  Poem on your mind, Song in your heart

This was a more common competition theme:  choose one poem (any) and one song (any) and portray each in a picture.  Sounds easy enough, but I haven't been in any comps that featured this theme (or advanced far enough to reach it).  By far one of the toughest, most head-pounding, swear word induced situations I've been in so far with a photo.  I won't even go into took me FOR E VER to finalize a song & poem.  For 2 weeks straight pretty much EVERY song I heard was potentially "the one", and considering the song could be instrumental-only, it was almost impossible to choose just one.  I had a better idea earlier on of a possible poem:  boring story alert - one of my all-time favorite books is A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein.  I dunno, it always brings back awesome childhood memories of being in the library at school and learning about books which had received Caldecott (and other) awards.  Anyway, I thought it would be a fun idea to go more light-hearted for the poem, and A Light in the Attic has so many fun poems full of innocent (and not so innocent) imagery.  I finally decided on "The Pirate" because we have a few good CC pirate items floating around.

Oh, the blithery, blathery pirate
(His name, I believe, is Claude),
His manner is sullen and irate,
And his humor is vulgar and broad.

He has often been known to imprison
His friends in the hold dark and dank,
Or lash them up high on the mizzen,
Or force them to stroll down a plank.

He will selfishly ask you to dig up
Some barrels of ill-gotten gold,
And if you so much as just higgup,
He'll leave you to fill up the hole.

He may cast you adrift in a rowboat
(He has no reaction to tears)
Or put you ashore without NO boat
On an island and leave you for years.

He's a rotter, a wretch and a sinner,
He's foul as a fellow can be,
But if you invite him to dinner,
Oh, please sit him next to me!
--Shel Silverstein

A few shots of the extras:

Nice profiles - male extra #2 with his rugged Errol Flynn thing going on...

The second part of the assignment was representing a song, and I chose "Feather Moon" by Vienna Teng.  Definitely one of my favorite songs of hers, though I can't say there's one I DON'T like lol.  The song has this...reflective feeling to it.  A little dark, a touch somber, and a bit meditative I guess.  As usual I had no idea in the world what I would do for the picture, but, despite a few hangups here & there, I was satisfied with it. Kinda.  The only thing edited in is the sky, besides a little color filtering. I took the shot right at dusk so the purple/pink hue is very close to the in-game shot.

Feather moon
Scarlet sky
Living clouds
My blinded eye
Waters black
Wood in snow
Dead of night
How bright you glow

Breathe in breathe out
Exhale and inhale

Seven sins
God of stone
All is true
Down to the bone
Feather moon
Scarlet sky
I love you endlessly
Not knowing why

Breathe in breathe out
Exhale and inhale
--Vienna Teng

I hate that the details of the faces and costumes don't show up in the submitted picture, buuuut that's what outtakes are for I guess!

An idea that diiiiidn't quite work out...I'll use it sometime in the future


Assignment #9:  A Lil' Change O'Pace

Another assignment where each contestant had a different assignment.  For these 2 pictures I had to first show & explain Ennui's favorite childhood memory (from when she was young, innocent, & Good), and then portray her view of either the mortal world or the faerie world, and how that view has changed or remained the same.  Of course I waited til the last minute to work on them...procrastination has been my drug of choice lately for some aggravating reason o_O.

Anyway, Ennui's story is basically that she was a faerie destined to aid mankind in swallowing up mortal sorrows at the expense of her own happiness.  She was taken away from her happy home at an early age and sent to work/train/study under the tutelage of the Guardian Architect, sort of a god-like parental/guardian figure.  I hadn't done much in fleshing out the faerie world so it was a big challenge to come up with one idea.  When she is a child, Ennui knows nothing of her fate and knows little about the world of men - she lives an idyllic, innocent, sugary-sweet fairytale life.

Like 'life size' My Little Ponies...I wonder where mine are now...?

This day is imprinted into my psyche, and it is so pleasant to revisit. I can travel back to that time, in spirit of thought and with youngling eyes, and rejoice in how spectacular it was...

Oh shalhma'èh it was the most blissful day! Eiichi was finished with his meditations and training and finally had time to play with had been ages since we had been together, and brother begged to visit Fel Nyetai's outskirts by chance to catch a glimpse of wandering Chu-rhe-uen. We know them from infancy as Thunder Stallions, Druid Stags, Empyrean Moon Striders...know of them yet rarely see them. Shalhma'èh, how elusive they are! Mother speaks of creature beings, "man", who worship Chu-rhe-uen as the very sky above them, with shimmering hooves beating thunder and swift tails stirring ferocious winds on their world. What intelligent beasts these "mans" seem to be...I want to learn more about Eiichi looks at me saddened when I say such things.

However on THIS day his essence was filled with warm bright light! Fel Nyetai has a potent affect on our kind, I understand why the Moon Striders revere it so, their ancestral lands. They come here to drink and play and pass along fables and tales to one another, and teach their young. Moon Strider foals, chu-chéshis! Only in art have I seen them but what adorable things they are! How would I have ever known, or scarcely DREAMED that we would see them here, that they would of course know of our presence, and not stand ground or chomp off our heads (as they normally would with unwelcome, unlucky strangers), but invite us into their haven! A generous gathering of Chu-rhe-uen is a rare miracle indeed, at least for fae eyes to witness, fae that are not Holy Ones or fated for some greater task, greatly, out in the great great beyond.

I could take to the air just from the memory of it! They know our tongue and spoke it well, spoke it perfectly indeed. And their coats! 'Ma'èh, I have never seen so many glorious colors....they seem to change at will, changing into whatever they see, or whatever they are feeling. What a blessing....the Chu-rhe-eun matriarch and patriarch took an exceptional liking to me, these hallowed sovereigns who have traveled the great River and speak every tongue, more ancient than I can imagine. I concealed my wings and tried to bow to them, but they nuzzled me endlessly! They told us stories and asked many questions as well. Eiichi was tranquil and relaxed and not at all his usual unrestrained, raucous self. It made my soul glad to hear him say over and over and over again that *this* place was where I belonged, this place and no other. What a curious and wonderful brother I have, I adore him so! So serious in the face of something so could I ever dream of leaving my new friends?

This day is imprinted into my psyche...this memory and all that is endearing to me. How was I to know what lie ahead...?

For the second picture I was hoping for something a little darker.  I actually did this one first, then the trip to Bubblegum Junction above lol.  One of the unique things about this part of the assignment was that Ennui did not have to be the focus - Blair was more interested in seeing the world around her.  This was my backup idea -- I wasn't able to pull the original idea together the way I wanted in time.  The 'car light' lines are drawn on & brightened, and the in-game sky is edited to look like clouds, and I did some contrast & a little color editing.  Nothing is pasted on (including Ennui).  I reeeeeally disliked this picture at first, partly because I had procrastinated so long and partly because it was a last minute idea, but it's grown on me.  I dunno.

Spider Man & Where's Waldo wrapped up in a pretty blue faerie package...

I perch on a hollow structure like an avian being, midway above the city.
Looking downward gives me comfort. There is security here in the clear air above them.
Sleepless city bathed in light, moving, moving, endlessly traveling nowhere. Human mortals are so busy with their triflings, little worry of whether or not it means anything in the grander picture, on the broader scale.

They never cease to amaze me with their wandering. I peer down at their world, my world...most do not know and cannot see me, only ones that have drunk of the River in sacred ceremony. The Believers, Ail'Nàhe. Few in number, feverish in devotion. I do not understand why they are branded as witches and heretics here.

This bustling city teems with a distinct heartbeat of its own, and I hear its cries in somberness not unlike the sorrow songs of the people I am tasked to appease. Those wails echo in my fibers. In these heights there is at least an illusion of quietness, distance.

These human being mortals know EVERYTHING. What do they know of Qo? Of the river of all existence? Of any beings other than themselves? Look at hostile and ill fated. Guardian, they perpetuate their own sorrows! Ahè, must I forever watch over these mammals? In my blind youth you warned me that the burden would be massive...warned me of the treacherous ways of those they call "man". My naive faerie eyes could not see past the curiously wonderful nature of these little beings who entertained me so. If only they understood how capable they truly are! But lo, have I witnessed the truth of your words, Great Guardian, in these many mortal years, as did the ones before me, the tortured fae that absorbed men's sorrows. Woe be to these animals....for you, for *this*, I was wrenched from all that was endearing to me...

...And yet I remain here, watching over them. My thoughts are scattered and contradicting now as ominous clouds pass overhead, the clouds that look down on them as I do, and as do the beasts of their skies and even the towering steel and mortar behemoths they construct. My poor little mammal beings - rattled by even the glorious lightning. How can I despise them and live in the stream of existence that is their world, in the restraint of these silvery skies?

Curious. This must be what a 'love/hate' relationship is. They have taken so much from me....but by my burden, and for my taint, it is theirs to take. 

I thought that shooting the picture inside of the dome would create a cool effect, and it was a bitch trying to get an angle that wasn't too much or too little grid.

I love this 'caged' feeling...must be what animals feel like...being able to see, even feel and smell and hear everything around you but being trapped behind cold steel

The lighting at sunset in this game is incredible...something about sunset (in real life) makes me feel sad & isolated & reflective, ever since I was little...

Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-... That's all, folks!  :)