Friday, January 8, 2016

That Liebster Award-Nomination Thing

So, Spica at Spicasmagoria Extreme (or is it just Spicasmagoria now?) nominated me for this Liebster Award thing. As most of you know, this is another one of those blog/social media chain letter things and if you've ever gotten a chain letter, you know there are dire consequences for breaking the chain. If I remember the ones I used to receive by snail mail back in the day, Joe Smith broke the chain and died 20 years later at the age 102 in a legal brothel after a weekend of partying! So, better not tempt fate.

Anyway, here are the eleven questions I was asked and my answers. Remember that the root of Liebster is LIE, so you'll have to decide for yourself how much inspiration I've taken from that in my responses.

1. Fantasy or science fiction? Or both? Or neither? (if neither what genre do you like?)
- I lean more towards Sci Fi since I'm not much of a traditional "Sword and Sorcery" fan. Honestly though, I don't read any contemporary Sci Fi any more since so much of it is anvilicious drivel trying desperately to seem edgy and provocative. I mostly read non-fiction history and current affairs when I get the chance. I'm trying to read a book on world architecture right now and I enjoy a lot of Simon Winchester's stuff (Krakatoa, Crack at The Edge Of The World), just for a couple of examples.

2. Who or what is your childhood hero? Do you still look up to them?
- I don't know if I could say "heroes" per se but as a child I admired Ruth from the Bible, Benjamin Franklin, Davy Crockett and Neil Armstrong to name a few that come to mind. I think they've all generally held up to my admiration over time.

3. What fictional character do you love to hate?
- Hmmm…. I think I'm becoming curmugeonly because nobody is really standing out right now. I love fluffy moe anime series but let's face it, most of those characters are a collection of tropes and archetypes thrown in to a series of predictable plot turns and twists. 

4. Three things that make you happy? (or more if you get inspired!)
- That's a tough question when the "Black Dog" lives at your house but I love and am grateful for my wife and kids.

5. What movie/TV-show did you watch last? How did you like it?
- Probably something involving Thomas the Tank Engine. It blends together after a while and I don't know if I liked it or not! LOL

6. Your favorite restaurant/shop? Tell us a little about it!
- I miss my favorite restaurants in New Orleans but that was a long time ago in a life far, far away. Currently, the restaurants I like are Jutama's (Thai), Tabella (Italian) and Crescent City (US Southern/Creole). I rarely get to go to any of them nowadays but I still like 'em.

7. What kind of things do you keep always with you? Or do you have such things?
- My iPhone is pretty much always with me until someone actually tries to call me.

8. What kind of music do you listen to?
- REAL music! None of that crap you young whippersnappers call "music" nowadays.

9. Do you believe in magic? (the nature of magic not defined)
- Not in the traditional sense of a magic user casting spells and that sort of thing. I would call myself a grumpy empiricist except for the Christianity part. On the other hand, I have very little patience with this faux rationalist cargo cult who insist "Science!" has the answer to everything.

10. Internet memes! Like 'em or hate 'em? Favorite/least favorite meme?
- Total guilty pleasure and the more stupid, silly, rude and annoying, the better. I wish I could think of some better ones but "Drive Me Closer, I Want To Hit Them With My Sword!" and "Oh, The Huge Manatee!" still make me smile.

11. What do you think about tattoos? Do you have one(or more)? If you would get one what kind of a tattoo would it be?
- I'm tired of them, like worn out, eye-rollin', ovah it, DONE! I ran in some "artsy" crowds once upon a time and the folks with extensive ink, lots of piercings and wild or retro hair were already common 20+ years ago. To me, it's not fresh, rebellious or counterculture; it's what your grandma did back in the day. And yes, I know at least one 60 year old woman with ass antlers! I don't have any ink but if I did get a tat, it would be a naked Obama on a winged unicorn wielding a hammer and sickle. Because, why the hell not? LOL

I can't think of eleven questions because my two year old fell asleep late today and is now wired and ready to go while I'm tired as heck. Besides, I'm old enough to be your dad anyway, so get off my lawn, wipe that smirk off your face and turn down the damn noise! LOL

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Defender Of The Glorious Revolution!

Hello, and welcome to the all new 2016 version of Republic Of Geektopia! Oh wait, it's looks like it'll be more of the same, lame old crap. Never mind!

This month's Photoblog post is another Let's Joe! entry. The subject is the recently released collaboration between customizer Mark Cole and Cotswold Collectibles of a Cold War era Soviet paratrooper. This particular set owes a lot to the original 1980s movie Red Dawn in that the uniform is based on the impressionistic, fictional camouflage from that film. To the basic uniform set, I added some Soviet/Russian equipment from my spares, including an ammo pouch and gas mask bag from DAM Toys, a canteen from KGB Hobby and a bayonet from Armoury. Mark sewed the uniform and beret while Cotswold provided the belt (including a vintage die-cast Action Man buckle), t-shirt, boots, rifle, pistol and holster. I added a Cotswold "Carl" that I already had in my collection and there you have it! While not 100% authentic, I had a lot fun putting this guy together and I hope you'll like him too!

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Obligatory "Year In Review" Post….

First up, let me just say that if years were body parts, 2015 would be the a--…uh, never mind!

I'll save you all the complaining about personal life stuff and just stick to the hobby part of it. Which was, oddly enough, rather good. At least in the first half of the year, I managed to acquire a number of items on my wish list.

Saru Inu-Ya JGSDF soldiers.

Made in the classic GI Joe style, these guys are the modern style Japanese soldiers that Takara would've made if they'd still been making Combat Joe in the late 1990s. Actually, I'd say these are better than the Takara figures since they didn't skimp on pouches and web gear and generally have nicer detail. I'd been wanting these guys for a while and was glad to finally add them to the Joe crew, at reasonable prices too! This was a series of three, so there's still one more out there somewhere. However, I'm happy with these two and I'm a bit farther along in my weird fascination with collecting 1/6 scale modern Japanese soldiers.

Takara Combat Joe.

Speaking of Takara Joes, I finally decided to get one this year. This Combat Joe was a birthday gift from my family and was quite an awesome gift. While not shown here, he came with all of his gear and represents a US soldier from WW2. I might eventually have to track down another one of these but I'm fine with this one example for now.

Azone Shana.

Although I'm not really a fan of Shakugan no Shana, I've always thought this 1/6 Azone/Obitsu hybrid was just too cool. With the the dollar to yen exchange rate being great for early 2015, I was able to pick this girl up for a very reasonable price. In fact, I managed to add a few Azone/Obitsu hybrids to my crew this past year and hope to share them on this blog and Instagram in the coming year.

Azone Pure Neemo Yuzuha.

Yuzuha has been a bit of a frustration for me. I loved "Rocker Girl" and "Sweets ala Mode" was OK too but I never could seem to buy one in pre-order. The after-market prices were more than I wanted to pay as well and I was starting to wonder if I would ever have one. I have to say though I'm glad I was able to get this version because I think she's just adorable and maybe a bit more unique than the previous versions. I only regret that she doesn't get more time in front of the camera because I'm really fond of this girl.

Is there more? Heck yeah! In fact, from a purely hobby perspective, this was a very successful year. Too bad the suck of other parts of the year totally overwhelmed these little bright spots of fun. The monthly photoblog project was not as grand an endeavor as I hoped it would be, in spite of setting the bar pretty low to start with. Nonetheless, I plan to continue the project at least into the early months of 2016, mostly because I still have a backlog of dolls and figures I'd like to photograph and post. As I mentioned previously, I also have this idea for a story line that ties some of my figure projects together. I'm not making any promises here but maybe I can find some way to present it. We shall see….

Anyway, here's hoping everyone has a Happy New Year and a better tomorrow! Take care!