Sunday, July 28, 2013

Return of the Pungent Chicken Podcast - Episode 1: Revenge of the Cyst

Episode 1: Revenge of the Cyst


The Podcast about something! I'm at a loss for what to talk about, so I'll just go ahead and talk about everything. Movies, music, entertainment, social observations, cupcakes....nothing is safe from my purview. I'll do my best to be entertaining as long as you do your best to listen!



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Return of the Pungent Chicken



Thursday, July 25, 2013

...Movie Review!


I rarely go to the movies now days.  When I do, it tends to be for the types of visual stimuli that my childhood dreams were made of.  Comic books come to life.  Graphic novels leap to the screen...and fantasy stories materialize from the fog.

One genre that I have always pined for live action adaptations of has been the Mechanized Armor Anime.  The cartoons of Japanese origin that depicted bleak futures wrought with monsters and turmoil.  Mankind always found ways to fight back...often leading to epic, mind bending battle.  The likes of Robotech, Macross Saga and Gundam.

...along comes Pacific Rim.



































Not the cleverest of titles.  Nor the most compelling of casts (there are those that absolutely love Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba..and they both do a fine job with the portions of the plot availed them).  However, there is a well done composition to the substance of the movie that I found compelling.  Or rather, this was a movie that I was not compelled to tear apart.  The action sequences were believable in there scope and style. 

The ensemble cast does a great job providing comic relief and subtle, effective texture.  Charlie Day provides the type of off the wall humor that's made him so popular on "It's always Sunny in Philadelphia".  Ron Perlman shows up to give us his now typecast (but still effective), heavy-weight spiel.

Where this movie really shines is with the battle scenes between the Gigantic Kaiju (Japanese for "Strange Creatures") and the saviors of humanity, the Jaegers (German for "Hunters"...giant robots, manned by two pilots linked neurologically to each other and the robot).

Kaiju:


















Jaegers:




















The movie progresses effectively, with only a minor lag due to the development of the love story between the hero and the heroine.  It is a passing phase of the story and ultimately results into nothing of substance, though they do seem to have a good screen chemistry.

The battle sequences are fantastic, with each Jaeger manifesting it's own unique capabilities, load out and fighting style.  The teams of pilots provide a unique character to there steeds; you tend to forget that they are in essence just tools to be used by their masters.


















The storyline culminates in two epic battles first with four Jaegers versus two Kaiju.  The monsters continue to adapt, evolve and get stronger as the plot progresses.  The final battle unleashes a new level of terror that gives our heroes pause, but ultimately, as predicted by probably 99% of the audience, they prevail.

I won't give away the rest of the story, but suffice it to say, director Guillermo del Toro crafts exactly what the doctor ordered.  This flick gets the two birds up!







Wednesday, July 24, 2013

...yea though I drive through the valley...

The ride in to work sees me traversing through the desert approximately 45 miles in each direction.  It is not a terrible commute, but oft times a boring one.  Palm Springs is no joy until you reach it proper.

There are benefits, though.  

I drive through a forest.. A forest made by man. Where no trees grow from the ground... Simply power churned from fan.

Monday, July 22, 2013

...Avenged!

I found these interesting pictures on the Interweb of some of my favorite superheroes.  I couldn't decide how to post them on here, so here's an amalgam of them all:


...Raging Bull

Drool..... ;-P



Sunday, July 21, 2013

...Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Bonus points:

What movie is the title from this post quoting?

Taken from the car last night with my iPhone:


Friday, July 19, 2013

...What I'm hearing

I've decided to add a little blurb anytime I start listening to a new musical artist. Just assume that I like 'em.  I came across this first in a series of new-to-me artists on Itunes.  Sometimes just poking around can lead to great discoveries.


Bastille - Haunt
http://www.bastillebastille.com/ 























This is an EP with 4 songs on it:

1) Pompeii
2) Overjoyed
3) Bad Blood 
4) Haunt 

They're a British band that straddles the fine line between Pawp and Rawk.  I guess "Alt-Rawk" is appropriate in this scenario.  By far, my favorite song is "Bad Blood"...moody and a 'lil dark..sounds a lot like me ;-).




Friday, July 12, 2013

...tea & crumpets?

...I stand corrected.

I've never been known to be amongst the most spiritual of men, but today...after a long day at work. The culmination of an even longer week. Through my trials and tribulations.  Feeling like nothing but a beast of burden and definitely when I least expected it, he presented himself above me:


I take it as nothing but a blessing.  "Go forth and be everything that I created you to be."

... Oh, the Iron-e

...Man of Iron



Thursday, July 11, 2013

...the little things

A little voice inside my head told me to take up poetry.



...the little things prove often large.  

The words not spoken.  
The deeds not done.  
The emotion not shared....
Can cause more than just distance between two hearts.

The love can seem a token.
The spirit undone.
The will despaired....
Can bring pain to the souls of these two parts. 

and yet...

These hearts cannot be truly broken.
Not as they beat as one.
The will can be repaired...
So long as they choose not to stay apart.



Monday, July 8, 2013

...Snapseed

After posting some recent pictures (both "drawn" and photographed) and mentioning that they had been processed by my favorite "quick-editing" software (Snapseed), I received a few messages asking to demonstrate the process of editing on the iPhone (though this is equally simple on the iPad).  Once upon a time Snapseed was also available for purchase as a Windows application, but no longer.  I purchased it when it was and so have it installed on my Win8 sled as well.

Here's a brief rundown using a picture of one my favorite sitcom characters:


















Begin by opening the Snapseed app (second in the top row in this screen shot from my iPhone 5):






















Import the picture of your choice by pressing the camera icon in the top left corner of the app and selecting the source of the image:











































This is what your work space should look like now:






















Snapseed allows you to apply a number of preset templates labeled as drama,vintage, black & white, retrolux, blah blah blah.  In addition...and this is the coolest feature of the app..you can create a "tilt-shift" effect which gives you that minaturized look that is so popular with the kids now days.  Something like this:












Back to the story...

You can now apply whatever effects you should desire.  I chose to apply a vintage effect along with a mild tilt-shift and a center focused brightness enhancement.





















Once you've got your image edited to your satisfaction, tap the save button in the top right hand corner as in the image above and select your save location as in the image below.






















The finished product:

 
































Bazinga!!



Sunday, July 7, 2013

...put some rounds on 'em!

My my...it's been some time since I've put a few down range, but on my last outing with my brother-in-law, my groupings were still tight. Came across this picture and decided it needed to be on the blog.


..El A...

We went to Los Angeles last night to celebrate our good friend Warren's 30th birthday.  The rooftop bar/lounge at the Standard Hotel is a fantastic place to enjoy a beautiful night with some great company and well made drinks.

I took some pictures of the surrounding concrete jungle, though only with my iPhone 5.  Post processing gave me some interesting results:






Saturday, July 6, 2013

... Where ART thou?


My creative juices have been flowing recently.  Freely in fact.  I've been exercising little restraint in trying my hand at a fair few different art forms.  My most recent rediscovery is of drawing/painting.  Now, I never really was too much more than a prolific doodler, filling up notebook upon notebook with Ninja Turtles, G.I.Joes, Transformers and the like. Hey!?! I was 12!

Fast forward a couple of decades and I've been too busy to expand on these abilities.  My weapon of choice had always been black ink, as using a pencil has never failed to give me a chill down my spine. However, with the advent of the iPad, Apple totally changed the way we can create and distribute art (along with music, video and literature).

My recent discovery of an iPad-only app called "Paper" has afforded me the ability to produce art that otherwise would have taken hours...in minutes. 

A brief idea of what this app is:





As you can see, one can create a number of sketchpads that one can fill up to one's heart's content.  The first two pictures I created were featured in the two blog posts immediately preceding this one.  The first is our beautiful pup, Sophie and the second a simple tree (well maybe not too simple).

I used "Paper" along with an editing app named "Snapseed" to create the following:







I hope you all enjoy!