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Some of you might saw my monthly blog, where I post some statistics, mostly here on this forum. Usually updated the first weekend of a new month.
New Designs can bring new great stuff, but it completly ruined this monthly blog now, most stuff like received brohoofs are completly gone, other stuff increaded or decreased heavily trough the new design, to put it short:
This months update was the last. Sorry for everypony who enjoyed my little silly statistic stuff, but that it is. Thanks for everypony who enjoyed it.
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So, since the forums went down, I decided to compile a list of cartoons and anime that I feel like I need to watch. I felt like I've been missing out on good cartoons for the past or 8 years, and have a faded memory of the classics. Here are some of the inclusions:
- Star VS the Forces of Evil- I've actually began watching it. I really like it so far. It reminds me of earlier episodes of Adventure Time, with a little bit of Regular Show and anime-esque animation and themes thrown into the mix.
- Gravity Falls- I've heard so much good about this cartoon, though I was initially dissed for some reason. I guess I felt like it'd be like Breadwinners or something...
- Inuyasha- From what I've read, it's a solid start for anyone who wants to get into anime. (It's also not Naruto...)
- Bleach- I read the manga and absolutely loved it, so why not the show too?
- Rick and Morty- Supposedly really good, and my brother references it A LOT.
- Steven Universe- From what I'd heard among my old circle of real life friends (imagine THAT...), this show is the BOMB.
- Makai Senki Disgaea- An anime for one of my favorite video games of all time. I hope it doesn't disappoint!
- Death Note- I've heard so much about it that I felt like I should try it.
- Fullmetal Alchemist- One of my old friends in high school CONSTANTLY talked about this show whenever it wasn't Bioshock. I've experience neither unfortunately.
- One Piece- I don't know why this one specifically. I guess because it was the basis of a not-bad fighting game I played plenty when I was "Ash's age."
- Black Butler- From the people that have watched it, I've only read how amazing of an anime it was.
Of course, there's NO WAY I'm going to watch entire shows yet. Seriously, if I had to watch every episode of One Piece... That would take me months if not years alone. IT'S SO LONG.
Any others you'd like to recommend? I have some others on the list, though, so it may be already on there.
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So what activities that I've run have had the highest impact to effort ratio?
Probably "20 questions" and "Telephone Pictionary".
These two take almost zero time to setup, and result in grand times, with people laughing, discussing, and smiling.
A game where the players create the content on the fly is not for EVERY group, but the are so strong for so little prep time that they are probably worth trying.
They aren't effortless though.
For 20 questions, I created an idea list, so that people that didn't know what to do could look at the list. typically, they'd then figure out what we were looking for and pick their own thing.
For telephone pictionary, you need merely to go to a store and buy notepads, enough for one per person and also bring some pencils.
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I have finished more translation,
as a thought I'm able to handle.
So enjoy a new chapter in both of my ongoing stories.
First a double chapter of a loving family.
You can decide in which direction I shall write.
And second a new Chapter for a Game of Homes.
Enjoy my work and comment if you like.
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POSTED ORIGINALLY APRIL 25TH 2015!
Welcome back and here's the latest installment in the 5th season of MLP. As many of you know our writing team seems to be understanding (or at least being let off the leash) deeper storylines. This one is so far my favorite! It's Rainbow Dash, who is as usual more action then brains, and her pet, Tank! (You remember Tank right? He came along after someone in the writer's room realized Dashie didn't have one sometime after the first season )
Where do you suppose those spilling rainbows are coming from..or why they terminate so early?
Opening remarks show us Winter is on the way, and an interesting point Dash makes is that Cloudsdale moving closer to Ponyville is indicative of the changing of seasons. This seems to re-inforce the idea that Cloudsdale isn't entirely stationary all the itme, though we haven't honestly had any elaboration on it's flight patterns (Is it like the Floating island on Mobius with a constant path or is it similar to the traveling weather platform?) After we establish this is a Rainbow Dash/Tank episode we find out the main theme of this show is Tank having to go and hibernate. This opens the portal for the writers to tell viewers a great deal about denial, and personally, I see this episode being about Death.
Yes, I'm hearing ALOT of backlash from that idea so far, but, I think it's on a fundamental level about death and I'll tell you why as I go! Stay with me I didn't pull it outta my rear.
Correct me it I'm wrong, but didn't Spike see a Vet? Shouldn't Dashie be using the vet?
After the intro, we have Fluttershy telling Dashie that point in fact, Tank needs to take a loooong nap. Hibernate until spring. Bury himself underground. This seems to TERRIFY Rainbow Dash but she quickly throws up an emotional barrier of non-acceptance, seeking a second opinion, which she also casts aside. This begins Dashie's descent into the first stage of grief / loss:
You obviously don't know a THING about animals. I'm going to get a second opinion, then ignore it also!
She moves forward from this one rather quickly and steps right into a deep puddle of stage 2, one we all know as:
"They didn't green-light my spinoff? I have to be with the REST of them in Equestria Academy?!"
She starts snapping at everyone who dares bring up the idea of Tank leaving at all or the concept of them being seperated. The very MENTION of the word 'hibernate' sends her into a spin. Interestingly still is that she cannot bring herself to even SAY the word.
Rainbow Dash then gives us a look into the deeper interworkings of her mind, or lack thereof. It seems that without proximity to her friends, her rational thinking always tends to lose out to baser mental thoughts. She enters the more dangerous of the stages:
Where we will do ANYTHING to keep our loved ones alive, bring them back, or keep them from leaving. The last one applies here of course. Dash comes to the final conclusion that if Tank hibernates in the winter, then she just needs to stop winter. Totally reasonable! Right?
"Don't you see?! If I stop the world from turning, winter won't come and Tank won't ever leave me! EVER EVER EVER! It's the only way!"
So, Rainbow Dash and the ever more sleepy each scene Tank head to Cloudsdale, the headquarters of all weather, and head to the winter section of the factories. Several moments in the new set make me want to know where the Rainbows are made. Those of you who read “Cupcakes” and “Rainbow Factory” will chuckle at that idea of Dashie running smack into the heart of the dreaded Rainbow Wing.
"Scootaloo, did I ever tell you exactly HOW rainbows are made?"
A set of almost Acme / Warner Bros chaos ensues and Dashie overloads the factory inadvertently creating one GIANT dose of...well...winter! In the form of a giant snowball it fires forth from Cloudsdale and hits Ponyville and gives new meaning to the term “Nuclear Winter”.
After facing the fact she now can't stop winter, and in the end, accelerated the process, our dear Dashie is not the same one we saw just last week. She's dressed in sleepwear and so is Tank, both in the bedroom of the house many of the fans fantasize about being asked into! Then, her friends, ALL of them, come in and try to both cheer her up and make her face reality. (No one really makes an attempt to explain why the Earth Ponies are able to walk onto a cloud house. A decent theory lends itself back to my question about furniture in Cloudsdale. Mainly it requiring a spell or just the fact a Pegasuses set it down on the cloud, it maintains it's ability to support any and all types of ponies. That leads to a while new road of question I may address later.)
Dashie finally comes spiral down the grief and loss pit and hits...
I love how the outfits each have compliment each other xD But honestly, I think Dashie was suffering from Depression WAAAY before, look at the room. NO decorations o.0
She bawls at the final realization that Tank is going to die and there's nothing she can do to stop it. I mean that Tank is going to leave for a while and there's nothing she can do to stop it. It's very humanizing to see this finally hit one of our characters, personally I find them much more real when faced with situations that humble them from this world of Happy Happy. This really was a tear jerky for some on Twitter from what I read, some folks were very upset the writers hurt Dashie.
The voice actress even took me by surprise on the oddly realistic portrayal of a pony having to say goodbye to her friend for months. Well done!
Finally, after this long 30 odd minute train of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Depression...we hit the final stage. The one we hit when we finally realize our Uncle or Cousin or Mother or Best Friend just isn't going to come back.
Acceptance is magic. Incidentally, I love Rarity's hat in this episode, she looks so Russian
Dead is dead. You need to let go and despite the fact Dashie is as Awesome as She Wants to be she's still emotionally driven like most of us. She gets through the stages quicker then most of us who are awesome (Heck, Darth Vader takes WAY longer then Dashie). She brings the very sleepy Tank to a place near a pond, where he bids her farewell and she sits with him until he goes to sleep.
So, sure one could say this episode is about Acceptance, and I wouldn't really argue against that, but personally I see this entire episode about what we go through with Death. Rainbow Dash's reactions are very close to those of a near-psychotic break but despite that, her friends are there to help her, playing into the entire overall arc of Friendship being point in fact, Magic.
The song was nice too, I enjoy the harmonic style that's present, not sure what it is, despite it being a solo piece, she's singing with herself several different layers of her voice if I hear it correctly.
Overall I give this a 8 out of 10. I was pleased with the message, consider which you think it is, and I was happy the song wasn't entirely forced on us like it was a union rule. Character wise I learned ALOT more about Dash and her mental state and sadly, I can see Rainbow Factory being more possible
Stay tuned, I'll be doing these faster and faster! Like Me, Post me, Hit me with your thoughts on anything and more!
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I'm still kind of dead from "Rainbow Falls"...*vomit*
God I hope this is better than "Rainbow Falls". "Three's A Crowd" opens up with Spike receiving the mail. Twilight immediately murders Spike, however, so that she can catch hold of the mail and see if Princess Cadence said yes to coming over this weekend. Is this the Equestrian equivalent to going down in the DMs? Then Fluttershy rudely barges in to tell Twilight that the Rare Creatures Preserve, aka Pimp Hotline, has allowed her access to observe the endangered Breezies.
.......................................OH SHIT, NO, THAT EPISODE'S COMING TOO. FUCK ME! FUCK ME! GGHAGAGUIORIJHJUIOPSAOKJHNBGHUIOLKMNBHJKLNBVhjkSELECTIVESERVICENUMBERafter the title sequence foams my thighs into twigs, subsequently burning all muscles in my face and causing me to convulse in a seizure-like fashion, we see everyone at the train bidding Fluttershy farewell for her trip to see the Breezies, as Twilight awaits the arrival of Princess Cadence. She hopes that the two of them can spend some quality-ass time together, and it's about damn ready for it too. Fucking every time the two characters would interact the fate of the goddamned world has hung in the balance. Rainbow Dash calls Twilight's wishes to go to some Starswirl the Bearded museum lame..................Rainbow Dash will be tasting the fury of my assault rifle in the near future. Now that I have expendable cash I'll probably buy a giant Rainbow Dash plush just to blow it up. That means I can fund the franchise and blow off some steam all at once. Suddenly, Flash Sentry makes his first appearance since Equestria Hurls to welcome Princess Cadence to Ponyville!
And thus, in this single appearance in which he lacks dialogue, Flash Sentry's presence spawned endless forum threads of tantrum.
So the two go off and about their day, and the remaining friends briefly talk about how they wish their day goes well. Then Discord spins like a frisbee from out of the sky and into a tree near the train station, and henceforth, this episode earned a million points. Except, Discord's skin is completely blue and he's sneezing out his ass, indicating he has some influenza. A scene occurs where he directly sneezes on Rainbow Dash and covers her in snot. Ten million more points for that. Discord is the true creator of the universe. So he says he needs Fluttershy to nurse him back to health, but she's obviously gone. So he turns to the other four ponies, which scares off Rainbow Dash. Victory is sweet. He for some reason tells Pinkie Pie to fuck off and instead chooses Applejack and Rarity as his personal caretakers. But once he learns that Twilight and Cadence are painting the town, he gets those two sick so he can crash their party....in.....diabolical genius? Erm, Discord, you're my spirit animal and everything, but your motivation seems...shaky at best. What does he possibly have to gain from fucking up their day? Twilight and Cadence of all ponies? Why not Rainbow Dash. She's the one that needs to swallow a shit ton of cyanide! Alas...
Twilight, in deep mediation, has no time for Discord's decapitation.
Discord weasels his way into Twilight's day, and even still with a really odd persistence of his..."goals". It works, and Twilight takes him back to her library and puts him in bed. Ah, now I see why he wanted Rarity initially. Lap dance all day and night. Before Twilight and Cadence go, Discord makes one small request....that he get his own musical number. That's right. Discord + Musical Number. *jizz* *jizz* *jizz* *jizz* *jizz* ........................... *jizz*, with just a hint of cringe in some spots. He goes through a whole list of inane things that he'd like to have, but ultimately ends up deciding on a glass of water, which he ends up spilling after the song is over. Comedy gold as always. Later, Discord explains that there is a cure to this blue flu, but it comes from a flower on a hill at the edge of Equestria that must be plucked at sunset, and then turn into an elixir to cure him. Because of course. Also, since Discord is in no condition to travel, but is still really the only one who knows where this flower is, some arrangements will have to be made to transport him there. And all I'm thinking is, "Discord..............you really didn't have anything else you wanted to do today, huh?" Alas...
Bullshit. Nothing that size could possibly be airborne. It's wayyyy too small..................................like my dick.
When Cadence and Twilight arrive, they find this flower is much bigger than Discord described, but since they're both magical gods, they can lift it together. Thing is, this unleashes a giant snake with a tri-lipped vagina mouth that springs coils that was living underneath it. Of course. Through the next minute or so, the two of them have an epic battle with the beast until they decide to trap it back in its hole.....with rocks. You.......fucking idiots. They're just rocks.....ROCKS that you JUST put there. Do you really expect that to be stable enough to trap that giant thing?
It, apparently does.
That...doesn't making any sense. Then, of course, Discord reveals that he was faking the flu this whole time, which is of course completely obvious to Twilight and Cadence.
What? You're telling me they were shocked that Discord was faking it? Even though they gave him suspicious looks every time there was a plot hole in his story, they still managed to be shocked?
But to top it all off, Discord's motivations are finally revealed. He wanted to see if, since Twilight has apparently said that the two of them were friends, she would literally go to the ends of Equestria for him. And...she passed.
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-I can buy that. It's not exactly a particularly strong motivation, but it at least seems like something Discord would reasonably do. He also reveals his own edge of wanting to sabotage Twilight's day with Cadence, though, which I still can't see him reasonably caring about. Discord's always had a fuck-all attitude, what's the deal here? What did Cadence do to him? Granted, Cadence says that her day-to-day life has been boring and that this adventure was change in the status quo. In which case........Shining Armor definitely needs to up his game in the bedroom, but I digress. Everyone basically goes home happy, and Twilight gets to write in her gay ass journal that even chaotic days can be a great experience that brings friends closer. Until it's revealed that the snake thingy got Discord sick for real this time. It's okay, though, 'cause Rarity's here to give him a lapdance now.
"I've been a baaaaaaaaaaaaad boy, haven't I?"
Egh, so concludes "Three's A Crowd".
This episode's probably bad. On one hand, the comedy styling of Discord never ceases to entertain, and seeing Twilight and Cadence interacting on a less stressful level than Equestria's fate has certainly been long overdue, plus the Discord song made me cream buckets. However, the story in this episode isn't very strong. The concept itself of Discord fucking with Twilight's day just because is already thin. I mean, really, in concept it's funny, but it's not like you can take it very far given this show's television rating, and really it doesn't make sense for even Discord to embark on such winding quest to sabotage Twilight and Cadence's friendship considering he has nothing to gain from the experience. You can't really argue that he's jealous, because Twilight and Discord don't exactly have a strong bond to begin with. Discord's jealousy in "Make New Friends but Keep Discord" makes more sense, though that episode has its own problems. So it just rubs off as lazy writing to give the plot a foil. Then, the fact that Twilight and Cadence seemed to be catching on to Discord's bullshit but still end up shocked at this is completely clumsy. Others have commented on the flanderization of Pinkie Pie in the first act of the episode, which I can see as well. There's also Rainbow Dash's "lame" line which, when I first watched this episode, I hated because it seemed like a regression of the maturity of her character and seemed like especially unfounded hostility. So, there's a lot of shit in this episode, and most of what's good about it is really trivial. I think "Three's A Crowd" deserves a 5/10.
Yep, that was at least better than "Rainbow Falls"...*vomits blood*
...I need therapy.
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(Been Away Helping Family in Japan, Now Lets Start The Countdown to 200!)
A perfect example of how a private entity should serve the people, Kokusai Kogyo is well known in Tokyo for its public transportation services.
Kokusai Kogyo Isuzu Erga
Union Representation: Not Unionized
Fleet Size: 500 Isuzu Erga Low Floor buses, 150 Isuzu Gala Highway Coaches, 50 Toyota Century Limousines, 20 Subaru Legacy Sedans
Routes: 400, covering both Metropolitan Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture
Manufacturer and Powerplant: Kokusai Kogyo makes exclusive use of the Isuzu Erga and make use of its V8 Diesel engines. Newer models use hybrid technologies.
Kokusai Kogyo Isuzu Erga
Fare Collection: The contactless card payment system in Tokyo is called Pasmo, it is often paired with the rail only Suica card. Pasmo cards can also be used to purchase goods at local shops as well as online.
Pasmo and Suica Cards
Livery: Kokusai Kogyo buses on fixed route service are painted green and black and feature "arrow" styling features, Buses used for Charter and Airport services are painted Blue and White and feature stripes. Kokusai Kogyo does sell the sides for advertising space.
Kokusai Kogyo Isuzu Erga
Innovations: Kokusai Kogyo Holdings Limited is a massive company which operates Public Transportation, An Airline and a Travel Agency which operates numerous Hotels. Its public transportation branch operates major routes in Tokyo on Fixed Route scheduled service. They also operate the airport shuttle as well. Charter Buses can be reserved for moving large groups point to point across the service area. The company also maintains a fleet of Limos for VIP services for professionals in need of a driver. And to top that large list of services off, they also operate the Machida Driving School the largest in North Tokyo using the Subaru Legacy.
Kokusai Kogyo at work during the Cherry Blossom Bloom
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I'll whine forever that my rageretirement ruined my channel, costing me 751 subscribers from peak count to current lowest count. But 1 perk about the long break was that it let me reset my perspective and strategies for what I do. I escaped the mental trap of routines and could start planning with new strategies. My video banners aren't well designed. Initially, I trusted FoxInShadow (the best clop artist ♥) to design them for me and they have flaws. The controller my OC is holding looks much more like a PS2 controller than a Gamecube controller. The names of my channels are too boldly written and there's no description for them. Both sides have my OC which is redundant. These flaws need to get fixed and I'm waiting for him to finish his backlog so I can get mine drawn next. I'm also going to ask for a commission of a better avatar, 1 where my OC and Peach are cutely posing together so that viewers will be able to guess that I play Melee
Another problem is my conversation mic. A cardiod mic pointed up blocks controller clicking well, but it also blocks the audio from people talking. It's too weak and gets drowned out by the game's direct audio. I should have bought a shotgun mic and an XLR interface to capture conversation audio while avoiding capturing game audio. They're much better designed to capture what they point at while blocking sounds outside of the desired angle. I'm considering making a $250 or $170 purchase tonight to improve my moment video's audio as soon as I can. I think I might also be able to connect it to my weirdly made mic stand that uses an acoustic shield to block noise from below, ideally controller clicking. And since it has a Blue Yeti shock mount, I might be able to easily connect my potentially new shotgun mic to it. Shotgun mics are very sensitive to shocks so this will help greatly. I could probably use my Blue Yeti Pro for home use only, which will make transporting my gear easier. Maybe I could try commentary/vlog videos on 1 of my side channels
I never had opportunities to record/stream for the MeleeAtlNorth channel because other streamers have already established themselves in the region too well and they're simply better streamers than me. But now I'm using it again for reuploading grand finals of their streams to entertain people online again and promote the other streamers of Virginia. I might also expand to other states, but I'm starting the idea small for now before expanding it into anything. Of all people, I know I'm 1 of the best for this service because I had a little known reputation for getting tournament videos on Youtube quickly. I can do it again. Secretly, hopefully this service also helps me grow my channel too. A link to my channel will be hidden below the links to the other streamers' channels. At least if these channels grow, my region will improve its reputation and maybe I can grow indirectly. I hope other streamers would like to help me grow too
Aside from special events, requests, or free events, I'm no longer entering any tournaments. It'll only make me hate myself if I do. Trimming $5 per event will help me cut costs because I do not have any money saving skills. There is a reason why my bank account gets drained of money so often. Trust me. I'd rather avoid publicly disclosing it
Being active on Smashboards drained me online and I don't like talking to people. I'd much rather silently do things. This time, I'm never logging back into my account, aside from 4 more video self promotions happening on March 31 and April 1. Maybe if I can get away with spam again, I'll spam Reddit some more, but more slowly, and with compilations, maybe. IDK. During my freetime, I'm going to somehow keep working out to maintain my health and good looks, if that's possible. Workaholism makes it difficult. I can get very tired after Smash sessions and I rarely have opportunities to do my ideal 1.75 hour full body workout. I'm likely going to trim it down to 1 hour to keep my whole body in shape. It'll simply be easier and more motivating, rather than daunting. Everything I do will be cut in 1/2, going from 100 rep limits on almost everything down to 50. It's either that or nothing. Too often it's nothing. But I still want abs worth showing off, so my sit up limit will still be high, at least 200+
Hopefully I'll be doing things better soon
Okay, now I know exactly what I want to do, and how to do it! Every pony, your attention please! I have officially started my own Youtube channel called Rhapsody'sRambles that I ask you to check out right away! This is my first time doing something like this and I would really love some feedback from you guys! More episodes will be coming soon, I promise!
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Jessica Rice ~Just Jessi
February 26, 1977 - January 21, 2017
"I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when the day is done.
I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways
of happier times and laughing days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun
of happy memories that I leave behind when day is done."
I want to be upfront about something, and that is the purpose of this blog entry. This is not solely to eulogize my wife. I did that already at her memorial and on my Facebook page, and from what people have told me ... I did her proud. This isn't that exactly, though I suspect that there will be passages that will invoke her memory in a way that will feel like a eulogy. In truth, this is more about my personal observations and thoughts over the last few months, and some thanks. Musings about the randomness of life and death, its inherent unfairness will abound. This blog's emotional theme, if I were to suggest it has one, would be sanguine ... with a heart shaped cherry on top.
The Story Ends
Two months ago today, my wife Jessica passed away. Her journey ended in peace as she took her last breath at out home, surrounded by her family, cradled in my arms. She had the faintest hint of a smile, but perhaps that is just in my head. I'm not completely sure what the rules are, but I think I am allowed a little leeway to believe that was the case. This all happened as the the window she lay next to highlighted a gorgeous beginning of a sunset. All day there had been a gentle breeze, a perfect temperature, and blue clear skies. I say this, because it seemed poetic. A little sentimental, I know, but it was something that many of us pointed out later as something we noticed. It sounds absurd to me when I say it, but her last moments were ... well ... beautiful. It was as radiant as the life she led.
My wife and I met in the early 90's. Started off as practical adversaries with common friends, and eventually grew to be friends, and later in college ... much more. I touch on our beginnings here and here. Before we started college we were best friends. She saw me through the sickness and death of my father, the realization that I would need to take my kid sister across the finish line of adulthood, and the ensuing fallout. We grew even closer after I transferred to a university in Orlando, one that she attended. I would come to find out that she harbored a desire for a relationship since high school, but never acted on it. Eventually she got tired of waiting for me to come to the same conclusion, so she took the initiative during what I thought was going to be us simply decompressing before finals. This was one of the few times I can say that Jess truly came across as nervous, but there was this endearing and adorable quality to it. I said yes, obviously.
Looking back a few years later as we were married, started careers, had kids ... it all felt like destiny. There was a fairy tale element to how we met, became besties, dated, and fell in love. Some of the moments we experienced seemed that magical. If you were to ask me today, I would say our story has a definite Nicholas Sparks quality to it. We were living a romance novel bathed in a dream. The odd thing about that is that even through the fairy tale nature of it all, it seemed natural somehow. I often remarked in those first few years that we must have started our relationship on easy mode, because we were so much in tune and synced to each other. It never felt hard. When arguments came, they were rarely dramatic. In fashion, the holy grail of clothing is finding that perfect fit for your body. That was us. We just ... fit. She was my 'perfect'. I was her 'perfect'.
23 years, 7 months, 8 days, 22 hours, 16 minutes. I had to pull out an old box with things I saved to confirm this, and even had to go to the library to look at theater showtimes to be certain, but from the moment of our first interaction at the movie theater to her poetic last breath, we had known each other for 23 over years. I look at that figure, and even though the clock stopped the love doesn't, I find myself reassured by a simple inescapable thought ... I would rather a limited slice of magic, than a lifetime of mediocrity. What we had was ... well ... a living dream of the heart, soul, and mind.Jess was my guide, my partner, my lover, my collaborator, my greatest friend, my staunchest ally, and one half of the strong parental powerhouse that was Jess and Joe. I was blessed to have her by my side, and honored that she picked me for this unbelievable ride. I have to laugh, as I type this, I can almost hear her voice in my head, refusing to accept these accolades with a simple redirection, "You weren't a passenger in our relationship Joe, just remember that."
When, several years ago, we found out that she was sick, we were told it would be manageable and that it would not be a real issue until she was in her 50's. We went forward with our lives, made long term plans, and ... expected the best. In the midst of this, I rediscovered MLP, joined this forum, talked to what seemed to be an endless supply of diverse and interesting people, grew close with a goodish amount of them, and even found the opportunity to pitch in as a member of the staff. As the months wore on we came to find that her liver was anything but manageable. In April 2015 she was in decline and was eventually hospitalized, but recovered. It was a preview of what was to come. 2016 proved to be a nightmare. It started with my wife receiving a procedure and shunt to prevent a build up of ammonia (hepatic encephalopathy). That failed by May and it caused her brain to swell. She recovered mostly and found herself listed for a liver transplant. It was short lived as they found malignant carcinoma on her liver and had to remove her from the transplant list. It was at this time that her team re-managed our expectations. They prepared us for the possibility that she would not be a candidate again, and if that happened they gave her through the end of the year and even though they rarely hang their hat on prognosis ratios ... they estimated 20% odds of her beating cancer and getting a transplant.
We reset our expectations, but that woman refused to give up. Following the aggressive cancer treatment the tumors shrunk allowing her to be relisted. We finally received the call that they had a liver and she underwent liver transplant surgery which was successful. Her recovery was grueling, but still going amazingly well. She nailed every single benchmark, and her prognosis was very good. Months went by and everything was coming up Jessica. At this time we started allowing ourselves to make plans again. She was even looking at the possibility of a loan for a clinic and preparing to get back to work. She beat every major obstacle, and was going to live. For the few people who were in a Skype and later Discord group with me during this time ... my optimism and joy was palpable. It was short lived.
She caught an infection, likely during a routine outpatient procedure. She was on immunosuppressants ... required to ensure her body doesn't reject the new liver. If they fought the infection, they lose the liver. If they don't she could die anyway. The medical staff worked for days trying to fight the infection without impacting the liver. The infection became dangerous and required an aggressive approach. Left with little choice they stopped her liver meds and fought the infection with a vengeance. It worked ... it worked too well. The treatment fought the infection and her liver started to enter acute failure. It was being rejected. They tried to restore function, but at this time her other systems started to fail. It became a matter of stabilizing her. We spent Christmas in the hospital, and as the New Year approached ... we were made aware that there were no more options. No emergency status liver transplant as her body was now too weak to survive the operation. No miracles. Instead of speaking and game-planing with her medical team, I was now making arrangements with home hospice. Jessica was dying ... and decided to do so in grace and within the place she most loved ... our home.
In her last weeks, Jessica seemingly had boundless optimism and surprising energy. She went to work immediately recording messages, writing letters for family to read after she was gone, talking to old friends, putting affairs in order, and spending as much personal time with family. There were countless personal moments and touches. Conversations over simple activities like building a puzzle, or constructing famous buildings out of Play Doh were typical fare. Looking back at these conversations, I found validation in the truth that the world was soon to lose an irreplaceable person. She dedicated her life to helping people cope with trauma, tragedy, and pain. It seemed every waking moment in the last weeks and days followed that philosophy of hers. She was helping us prepare mentally and emotionally. She even made arrangements for upcoming birthday gifts, and little touches that would serve as reminders of our shared love. She tried to tie up as many loose ends as possible, even making certain that she could talk with people she recently found a kinship with, like a particularly generous Texan and her husband.
The vividness of her last waking day is remarkable. I will save most of that for myself. Some moments are so blessedly personal and perfect. I will share this though - after we finished a long and poignant conversation she called the kids over for a hug goodnight, whispering something in each of their ears. Tearful goodnight's followed. She commented that she was tired and asked me to sit next to her for a few minutes. I leaned over her in my chair to kiss her goodnight, something I had done countless times before. As I did this she pulled her signature move - her palm placed flat upon my chest over my heart - the origin of that slight gesture made this instance far more emotional for description. After our embrace, she looked at me tears in her eyes, smiled, and mustered one last exchange.
"You know when your life was worth it, that the people in your life were worth it, when you realize you have said everything that needs to be said."
"Kitten, you never had to tell me anything. I just needed to see your face to know how much we all meant."
She welled up, and nodded. Her palm was still over my heart.
"I love you. Thank you, Smiley."
She gracefully lowered her hand, closed her eyes, and drifted off to sleep. She would not wake up.
A Family Says Goodbye
The memorial was a small personal affair. We tried to keep it down to 100 people, but at last count some 250 found their way to the house and paid their respects. It was more of a celebration than a sad affair, though tears weren't uncommon. There were a lot of planned moments that Jessica secretly set up for other family members and friends. Two moments showcase the type of person she was - a sentimental and a clever troll.
I linked that above in this overlong document, but it's important enough to do it again, besides you would have to scroll up.
That is my sister-in-law on that recording. Jessica asked her sister to sing this during the gathering at an appropriate time. It was one of our songs, and contains a extremely personal line that invokes how we felt about each other, and the fact that we started out as ... well ... rivals of sorts. She asked her sister for another reason though. You see, Jessica and her youngest sister sound identical. I can't tell you how many times that they have screwed with family using that uncanny vocal likeness over the phone. This time, it seems that Jess and her sister used their powers for good.
As her sister started to sing during a outdoor balloon release, you couldn't help imagining Jessica singing it herself. If I closed my eyes, it isn't just the message that felt personal. It was Jessica's way of telling me and the kids ... she is still with us. I think it took me 30 minutes to stop feeling goosebumps. It was one of many such moments.
Then there came an impromptu musical moment or a different sort. About 60 minutes into the party (I can call it that, because it certainly felt more like a party than not), a familiar song came on .... the Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Many of her friends, myself, and my kids rushed into place ... we knew what this was about. I don't know who was responsible for this little gem, but for the next few minutes all of her high school and college friends started to do the Time Warp. The look on the older crowd (what Jessica and I would amusingly call 'the adults') was priceless. Here we were, in the middle of a memorial party, gyrating and stepping and having a blast. Gg Jess. Gg.
I've been to post funeral gatherings, and rarely did they feel as festive and emotionally healing as this. People will be talking about it for a while, that's for sure. The whole affair seemed fitting, and it was as perfect a sendoff as you can have.
On Grief and Grieving
So I intend to answer the question that I field at least once per day: "How are you doing?"
You know all of those clichés you have heard about? What it feels like when you go through the pain of losing someone close to you? The weird thing is that they they are all accurate, yet ... they are laughably insufficient. If you ever want to a rather accurate description of grief, check out Patton Oswalt's Facebook post on his view regarding the turmoil one can face. Since this is already a huge ass blog, I'll quote the part that seems the most descriptive below.
Thanks for making depression look like the buzzing little bully it always was. Depression is the tallest kid in the 4th grade, dinging rubber bands off the back of your head and feeling safe on the playground, knowing that no teacher is coming to help you.
But grief? Grief is Jason Statham holding that 4th grade bully's head in a toilet and then fucking the teacher you've got a crush on in front of the class. Grief makes depression cower behind you and apologize for being such a dick.
Yeah, that is our very own Daring Do loving pony, Quibblepants. It may be a tad over descriptive to some, but the thing is, he isn't entirely wrong. Everyone has heard that saying right? "Each person's grief and grieving process is unique"? At least something to that effect. I would have to agree, but even though dealing with the loss of a loved one seems like a 'custom made' experience, Mr. Oswalt's rather expressive and revealing detailing of his journey does at least do justice to what one can go through. Yeah, it sucks ... so ... bad. So bad. It sucks for reasons that are obvious to all, and it sucks for the less obvious reasons.
If you haven't figured it out by now, I thought pretty highly of my wife.
We lived a fairy tale story, and I couldn't imagine how we could have done any better with our marriage and relationship in general. It all felt perfect. With her by my side, I felt like I was living in paradise. It was that kind of good. The more luminous the light, the greater the blackness feels in the light's sudden absence. She had been sick before, had been battling declining odds for so long, it was hard not to try and mentally prepare you for the possibility she wouldn't be around. As my wife and I discussed the home hospice option, I accepted that my wife was going to die. I prepared myself. Well, I thought I did. I had faced death before. I lost my father to suddenly when I was 18. Years later, Jessica and I had to bury our third child. I thought those experiences prepared me well enough. My God what a fool I was to think that. Not all grief is the same.
Grief is potent. When you think of emotional suffering and loss, it's easy to treat it differently than physical pain. Well, the emotional pain certainly feels physical, and also so completely engulfing. There are times that it feels as you have a physical weight in your chest. I think I can empathize with those that have described a panic attack or anxiety to me. I thought I could imagine this pain, but the truth is you really can't. Grief is suffocating in nature, and can be downright paralyzing. John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars writes that 'Some pain demands to be felt'. I have to agree.
Grief is a sneaky bastard. Yes, there are obvious things that I miss, namely Jessica's presence. The big things hit you. For example, mornings and evenings were rather difficult as my wife was no longer the last person I saw at night and the first person I laid eyes on in the morning. She passed away weeks before her favorite holiday, my birthday, Valentines Day, and even her birthday. Her absence was almost its own presence, holding a flashing neon sign declaring, "She's not here." Then little things hit you. I caught a wiff of jasmine and ... bam. I get a letter in the mail addressed to her ... bam. A check box on an IRS tax form asking if my spouse is now deceased ... bam. I start cleaning out the fridge and I find sauces that only she liked. I went grocery shopping and as I grab something that I always have on these trips, I realize that Jess was the only one who ate it. These little things have the devious ability to break through any defense you have, simply because you can't account for them.
Grief makes you do odd things. I talk to her. Meaning that I will make an aside as if she was right there in the room. I would tell a joke when I am alone that I know she would react too. I know that speaking out loud to a deceased love one is common, and it does help, but it in't me. Or, I should say it wasn't me. The night she passed away, after the kids finally went to bed, I started to purge the house of any and all prescriptions and items specific to her illness. I called the medical equipment supplier the day after begging them to prioritize a pick up of things like her oxygen tank, medical bed, etc. I wanted it out of our house. Looking back, it have no doubt you would have seen the eyes of desperation. And yes, I have listened to saved voicemail, watched home movies, and gone through more photo's than I ever knew we even had.
I can tell you that every single day that Jess has not been here, not been by my side, that it has felt like I have stumbled into an alternate reality. A bit like I have stepped into a life that isn't mine but has many of the trappings of my reality. It is disquieting sensation going about the day feeling that the world is off, askew ever so slightly. I remember reading that Stephen King's favorite description of horror is walking into a room that is exactly the same as it always was, but feeling that everything was replaced. That. That is what I feel like most days, it doesn't always last long, but it is there nonetheless.
There is an inherent selfishness about grieving that doesn't exactly agree with me. I'm not a selfish person in general, yet there is no escaping that ... well ... I miss her. I miss everything she was and what we had. I miss all the moments we had and I mourn the memories that we will never create. Yet, with each of these thoughts, part of me feels a bit like a selfish prick. She is the one whose journey was prematurely cut short, not me. There is a strange guilt in that. Not survivors guilt, but finding myself focusing on how I was impacted. I absolutely hate that part of this process. I know what she would likely say. Something along the lines of, "Mourning what you miss about me is just proving how much you loved me you dork." She would be a bit on the mark, though it doesn't make hat icky feeling go away. Turns out, the perfect remedy for that is actually the worst aspect of grieving.
I have kids. I know I am not even coming close to doing it justice, but the weight of what you feel ... it can be soul shattering. The scary thing, and perhaps the real horror for me, is that I am not alone in bearing this torment. Our kids are amazing and as much as I talk about her as a phenomenal wife, she was just as successful as a mother. Our kids are kickass ... plain and simple. (This is objective of course ... not at all biased. ). Each time I feel the weight of Jess no longer being here, I am reminded that they bear that pain, likely to an even greater degree. She will not be there for their graduation, for college, for weddings, and should they decide they want kids. I feel my loss, and I think of them ... and I imagine theirs. it all feels overwhelming. You can easily feel helpless against the torrential onslaught of it all. Even though you feel as if your kids are coping well, you don't trust your instincts. I put every ounce of energy into them, and it still feels like it is not good enough. I admire their bravery and their strength. I can't take away their pain though ... it demands to be felt ... but God damn it they don't have to feel it alone. So we do the only thing we can, we talk, we cry, we mourn, we remember, we love.
One final thing. You know that "stages of grief" thing. Guess what? It is really accurate ... except it doesn't quite work the way you think. It isn't sequential or ordered. You can feel them in any order, and they can come back with a fun little angle when you feel you have already dealt with it. Nope. Grief does not have stages or levels. It works far more like Chutes and Ladders. You climb up to Acceptance and two hours later you spin a 'five' and ... down the chute to denial. I always hated Chutes and Ladders. Stupid game!
We lost someone who was our fulcrum, center, and heart. No denying it, this is what a shit storm feels like. So, the answer to "How am I doing?" is simple ... I'm here. No. That is not an answer. That is the blasted answer I give that people expect to hear. No. The truth of the matter is that I am ... well ... I am OK.
Gratitude and Moments of Peace
I'm OK. As impossibly hard as this is, somehow I find the strength to find my motivation to move forward. I actually did a dumb and answered a question Jessica asked me in early January with honesty. I must have had a look on my face, but she knew there was something bugging the shit out of me. She was good like that. She asked me what was on my mind. I said, "I'm worried how I am going to react ... how I am going to cope. I'm scared Jess. I'm worried I won't be able to deal with this." She laughed. It was a forceful enough laugh to actually cause her pain. I thought she was reacting to the fact that I was focusing on me when she was the one dying. I'm going to be paraphrasing a little here but when she caught a second wind she finally said,
"I'm not worried one bit, not about you. My parents, yes. My sisters, yes. The kids, well, of course I am worried about them, but then I know that they have you. You aren't built to self-destruct. You don't know how to quit on people you love, it's a skill you never learned, thank God. I know the kids will be fine because you are you. You don't even need to pretend strength for them. Shit, do you know how much that is used by people. They don't face what they feel because they need to be strong for someone else. They sacrifice. You don't even need to worry about that. You don't bottle-up. Some people are diamonds. They are impervious to life's challenges. You are different. You aren't a diamond. You allow yourself to be affected and to feel it as strongly as anyone else, but you are not broken by it. Joe, you call people a rock all the damn time it is like a cliche with you. Look in the mirror, you are a mountain. You see the world and people as inherently good, and you use that optimism to keep you strong. If there is something that could break you, I can't imagine it. I'm not worried, you got this honey."
Damn I miss the fuck out of her. That was one hell of a pep talk. I don't know if she is right, but I do know that ... I'm OK. The hurt of her absence and its impact on those who were closest to her is still there, and frankly, I don't think it even completely goes away. I smile and laugh at jokes, I make jokes, I am making plans for tomorrow, looking forward to future events, I am going about the day to day aspects of life. I am there for my kids propping them up, helping them through this, and being their lantern holder so they aren't enveloped by the darkness of this shadow. What I don't know is how much is really me. I almost think Jess missed something in that little ego boost she gave me, a few little somethings actually.
I still feel immense sorrow when I am reminded of her. It isn't strange when the tears start to well up or come freely. However, the tears don't come alone, they bring a date. Every sad moment, comes with a smile. One of our songs comes on, I feel like crying, but he memories behind the song jump right out and blunt the sadness. In death, her memory is what helps me bear it all. Perhaps there is some innate or learned strength I have, but when it comes down to it to this strength seems to come from her. Jessica is still inspiring me. My strength is partly what we built together. At her memorial I talked about living on through our actions after we are deceased. The lives we touch will have influence when we are gone, both profound and subtle. Our lives are tapestries of moments built from threads of memories, but as we weave ours, we also help each other weave theirs. Jessica's life is how I help cope with her death. Each moment of bliss is a thread she helped me weave - a thread I helped her weave. This life we experienced together, the tapestry, insulates me from the dreariness. For that I am eternally grateful.
My kids have been phenomenal sources of inspiration. I do see some of their mother in them, but mostly I see two independent young adults who will carry her torch through their own active virtues. They lean on each other and comfort each other. They carry on. Their mother would be immensely proud. I sure as hell am. I don't think that I could have weathered this without my sister, who was instrumental in taking some of the lead with the minutia that comes with the passing on a loved one in the hours and days that follow. Her help allowed me to be with the kids, and to process this whole thing.
Old friends of Jessica, old clients, and family made their condolences known. The steady parade of support never was tiring, it was a reminder of how impact a life can be, even one that is shorter. Then there were my online friends. People that my late wife would affectionately call my "Pony People". As news spread of her passing among a few, many reached out to me, usually with condolences and an offer of an ear. I may not have responded timely, or even at all, but these meant the world to me as they came. I was hesitant to name anyone specifically, but there were some people who Jess interacted with directly, and others she developed a strong admiration for.
Troblems, I know that you aware of how much Jess liked you. What started out as a great amount of respect for how my kids had taken to you became a deeper affection. You and your husband are that couple that every couple wants as friends, and should try their damned hardest to emulate, and one of my many regrets is that we didn't have the time or health to all get together. I said this before, and I'll say it again, your husband is insanely generous (or generously insane ... perhaps both ... snrk!). You knew what Jess meant to me, and you got a front row seat during this ordeal. You were always there, and I would be obtuse if I thought that this didn't effect you. I can't thank you enough for your friendship, but I suspect you and your husband horse already know that you rock.
Pirate, I'm known for talking about serendipity ... all the time. There is a weird sense of it here because your handling of the MCM is what brought me back to MLPF. That and Jessica promising to actually join in. She had a blast, mostly at my expense but she was a fun troll to contend with. I wouldn't be typing this if it wasn't for you. You have heard some of this before, and like Trobs ... you were there as a friend when things got bad. You even caught me at what may have been my near breaking point.
Spoon. I may not be a diamond, but you sure as hell are. I'll leave this one short and sweet, the thoughtfulness behind each and every thing you do ... runs deep. I didn't want to burden you with the emotional fallout of everything, even though I have no doubt it would have helped tremendously. Instead, our discussions seemed to run the gamut of the geek universe helped me feel normal at a time when the world feels a little askew.
So many names. Hugs, Batbrony and your constant Rariart, SFyr and your skill at nailing a moment in pony form, Eloquence, Tai, DQ, Yozer, Path, Shaun and Kiwoy for all your support as well even though some of you won't read this. Thank you. I know there were more. I'm sincerely sorry if I left anyone out. I just want you all to know how much your care meant.
The Story Never Ends
"You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart, And now whatever way our stories end, I know you have re-written mine by being my friend..." ~ For Good - Wicked
Its been a long tiring and tear filled eternity pretending to be a year. I started this thing over a month ago, and as you can probably tell, there are tonal, POV, and tense inconsistencies throughout it. I want to be raw. I didn't want this to be my magnum opus, polished and pretty. Basically, this isn't well written and I am not going to pretend otherwise. It's genuine, and possibly inspirational. Depends on what you take from this whole thing i suppose.
I know each day will feel easier than the last (most days) and some days will suck hard. My wife is right about me when she says I will not let this break me. I love life. I love its surprises (most of the time), and wallowing on sorrow just isn't ... well ... me. That isn't how our story ends, how my story ends. I move forward, keeping my love as a shield, blanket, or any other handy metaphor. I'm ok, and I am both amazed and blessed that she chose me and I carry that proudly. Like I said, I would rather 20 years of paradise for a lifetime of ordinary. Wherever this road leads may now open up to a mystery, but I'm ready. Let's do this!
Jess always liked the whimsical way I would tell some of the sillier moments of our lives together. I'll likely continue this blog since its purpose was as an outlet to help me talk about her when she was sick. A coping mechanism. She got a kick out of this and actually wanted me to finish. Hell, I have enough material for a damn sitcom. Unfortunately for you all ... Jess was the funny one. You get stuck with me.
So closing this out ... it's been two months. I love my wife. I always have and I always will. Hoof print on my heart ... achieved.
I love you Kitten <3
Little background for those that don't know:
- I became a brony mid 2013
- I left the forums (and the fandom) about season 5 episode 3 or 4 (I honestly don't remember)
- There's nothing else really to say here...
So, ONWARD! I went on hiatus because (IMO) the show was starting to lose the appeal for me. At first, I thought "probably having an off day, I'll try again another time." I never did. I fell out of touch with friends from here (and the brony community as a whole) and just retreated to normie status. It wasn't until about a week ago that my little sister (who also got me into the show in the first place) started rewatching the show and I reconnected with a couple of people. Nostalgia ensued, and here I am. I still haven't gotten around to finishing the show either. I'm only now starting to actually considering coming back. Honestly, reading some of the opinions from a couple of posts, I'm not sure if it's even gonna be worth my time watching two whole fucking seasons when I have my degree to focus on, but nonetheless I am gonna consider it. Well, I might make return, but for now, we'll see.
This is a show that recently came through my mind and that i haven't seen in almost 2 decades.
Starship Sagittarius (in japan called Uchusen Sagittarius) was a sci-fi anime that aired in 1986-1987 for 77 episodes.
The series depicts the adventures of four astronauts who travel through space and visit many planets. On each planet they have an adventure. Each adventure seems to have a sort of morality, like the importance of friendship or about the state of the enviroment.
It had alot of humor in it, but it also dealt with very mature themes at some points. like war, the dangers of nuclear wars, protection of the enviroment, slavery, alcoholism, etc. This all sounds very serious but it*s done in a way that kids can still watch this.
I just recently found the japanese dub with subtitles on it on Youtube with all 77 episodes. It's a very interesting show to say the least.
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It’s been a while since I did my last blog, but today, I’m going to be talking to you about one of my favourite racing series known as the V8 Supercars. To those of you who don’t know, the V8 Supercars is a popular racing series in Australia that consists of, 4-door, V8 saloon cars.
Throughout the years, it’s has been a race between Holden / Chevrolet and Ford and the rivalry between the two brands is intense. (I’ve been more of a Holden Fan than a Ford Fan )
2010 Gold Coast race
This was to help boost sales for the respective brands and the sales would go up as to whoever won Australia’s most prestigious race: Bathurst (which I’ll talk more about later )
…but it’s sad to say that Aussie manufacturing is dying in Australia and by October 2017, they will no longer be building cars in Australia. Shame.
At the moment, they are currently racing the Holden VF commodore, the Ford FGX Falcon (which is the car my dad has ) and the Nissan Altima (which doesn’t originally have a V8 under the bonnet and it’s normally front wheel drive as oppose to the race version, which is rear wheel drive )
There has been much speculation as to what Holden will be running next year and they’ll be running a Turbo 6 next year .
Ford will be running the Mustang and Nissan MIGHT be running the Nissan GT-R
Now as for the championship itself, it consists of several races around Australia, which all adds up to the Championship trophy at the end of the year.
Here is the points tally for each placing you finish:
1st 150 2nd 138 3rd 129
4th 120 5th 111 6th 102
7th 96 8th 90 9th 84
10th 78 11th 72 12th 69
13th 66 14th 63 15th 60
16th 57 17th 54 18th 51
19th 48 20th 45 21th 42
22th 39 23th 36 24th 33
25th 30 26th N/A
…and here are the rounds for this years championship:
There’s also something called the “Pirtek Enduro Cup”, which has double points on offer. These are THE most important races to win. If you get a DNF (did not finish) or a Pit Lane, it can be VERY COSTLY for that drivers Championship.
A good example would be Mark Winterbottom (Ford Driver). He won the championship the previous year only to screw up at Sandown and Bathurst the following year. He found himself in the wall while he was on “slicks” (fancy word for bold Tyres ) at Sandown and beached his car in the sand trap at Bathurst. He was making up A LOT of speed in the sandown round and was in the top 5 at Bathurst. If he had kept his nose clean, he would’ve been a contender for the 2016 title. For the last couple of years, Triple Eight Racing has dominated the Championship, but have strucked A LOT of bad luck with Jamie Whincup (Holden’s leading driver) doing something stupid on the last part of the race.
In all honestly, the Championship isn’t really considered to be important to most race fans. To us, it’s all about wining Bathurst that counts.
…but it’s also worth noting that if you win the championship, you can get to have #1 on your car.
Here's a good example:
The “Car of the future” era began in 2013 and it was a way to allow other brands to enter the race such as Nissan, Volvo and Mercedes. Normally, it was regulated to just the two Aussie brands: Holden and Ford. This was designed to make the race more exciting.
…but in recent years, some manufactures have pulled their factory support or their brand altogether from the race. Ford lost it’s factory backing at the end of 2015, right after Mark Winterbottom won the championship for Ford and having a pretty dominant season.
The lack of factory support the following costed him a second championship due to the noticeable lack of speed.
Mercedes pulled themselves out of the race altogether at the end of the 2015 Season, never to be seen again. Here’s a good example:
2013 Clipsal 500
(start from 1:04 of the video)
(…and this was on its race debut in the V8 Supercars. How Embarrassing)
The Mercedes E63 AMG had A LOT of mechanical problems and it kept falling behind from the lead group, so Erebus Motorsport (the team that was originally running the Mercedes operation in V8 Supercars) traded them for Holdens instead.
Mercedes E63 V8 Supercar
Erebus Holden V8 Supercar
Amongst the newcomers, Volvo also withdrawn from the race last year as the Volvo company in Sweden has called for their engines back. Unlike the Mercedes E63 AMG and the Nissan Altima, the Volvo S60 was a fast car in the hands of Scott Mclaughlin. He managed to convince the doubtful Aussie public into liking the Volvo with it’s impressive performance at Clipsal (the first round of the V8 Supercars championship)
2014 Clipsal 500
Just like Erebus Motorsport, Garry Rogers Motorsport also runs Holdens for the 2017 season.
Volvo S60 V8 Supercar
GRM Holden V8 Supercar
Holden’s main factory team: The Holden Racing Team has lost their factory support last year as well.
For the last couple of years, they’ve been unable to match the performance of their fellow Holden Competitors: Triple Eight and it was decided by the company to put it’s factory backing into the winning team. This has transformed them into the “Mobil 1 HSV Racing” team for this year.
Nissan haven’t really shown that much in the V8 Supercars, but they are improving the Altima each year and it shows. Besides Triple Eight, they are the only other manufacturer to STILL have factory support.
In this years championship, there are a whopping 16 Holdens, 6 Fords and 4 Nissans. 4 of those holdens used to be 2 Volvos and 2 Mercedes.
These are the teams for this year:
Who will you be going for? As for me, I’ll be supporting Mobil 1 HSV racing, Supercheap Auto Racing, Monster Energy Racing and Shell V Power Racing
Going back to the topic of Bathurst, it is considered to be THE most important race of the year to win. It has something called the “Peter Brock” Trophy and to those who can withstand 161 laps of punishment can have their names on that trophy.
In the recent “Car Of The Future” Era (not counting Group C, Group A and the previous Holden VS Ford only era before it), Holden and Ford are tieing against each-other. Ford have two Bathurst wins and Holden two.
Here are some of the highlights:
2014 Bathurst 1000
2015 Bathurst 1000
2016 Bathurst 1000
(start from 4:07 of the video)
(these highlights should also pin-point Whincup’s mistakes)
One last thing to point out is the engine note of these cars. Every one of the V8 Supercars has a different note to it. The most noble ones are Mercedes, Volvo and Ford.
The Mercedes E63 AMG has a bit of an F1 sound to it…
(start from 0:14 of the video)
The Ford has a more huskier, old school V8 sound to it (…and it’s probably the only one that sounds like a V8 )
…and the Volvo has got a very ‘thin’ sound towards it. In a way, it kinda sounds like a 4 Cylinder, but it’s my favourite <3
The Holden and the Nissan on the other hand sound roughly the same. It’s hard to distinguish the two
…and that pretty much sums it up. What are your thoughts on the V8 Supercars?
My new plushies I got yesterday, Princess Luna and Zecora!
Zecora's mouth looks a little funny because of the seam, but it's no big deal
Overall they are amazing! Luna's wings and mane are WAY larger than I thought xD I love them so much! So soft and cuddly! Zecora is stiffer but is lovely and still very cuddly. Besides, I imagine her to be a strong pony, still in need of cuddles!
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Usually I reserve art streams for Saturday. However, since I, once again am skipping a stream (this time on purpose), I'm going to approach things like this.
Since I skipped gaming last time and moved straight to art, I'm doing the opposite this weekend. I'm skipping art and doing the gaming stream that I would otherwise do on Friday.
So, tune in Saturday for gaming
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This blog is not intended to give legal advice. If you want to learn more, check your state’s gun laws.
I have been openly carrying my pistol around town for a few months. It is legal to carry openly without a permit in this state. Years ago, I carried my gun in a different state, where it was also legal, and the city police charge me with disorderly conduct, but the city dropped the charges because they had no case But where I live now most people own guns and don’t freak out when people calmly exercise their natural right to self-defense.
In one restaurant, the waitress asked if my gun was real. I told her it was. When I was waiting in line to get the Nintendo Switch someone asked me the same thing. I told him there was no point in carrying a toy gun. But I’ve been to many stores, including big-box stores, with no problems.
It turns out that people aren’t so stupid, at least where I live, as to freak out by the sight of someone with a gun. Logic dictates that a criminal would hide his gun, even if it was legal to carry it openly. Someone intent on committing a crime would not want to draw attention to himself. But someone buying groceries, carrying a pistol on his hip, is not likely to use that pistol to rob that store.
I started doing construction work for a major retailer. I’m working at their distribution warehouse. There is a sign that says that no guns or knives are allowed in the building. I wonder if the 1st amendment is also banned there? During the safety orientation, they told us what to do in case of fire or tornado. And then they mentioned what to do if there was an “active shooter.” I so badly wanted to say, “but how can there possibly be an active shooter? You have a sign that forbids guns. Surely, a criminal intent on murder would comply with your sign, right?” They basically said that we would be allowed to defend ourselves if we had to. But he was quick to add that guns were banned. So, in other words, we can defend ourselves in theory, but not really.
As far as I can tell, businesses want to ban guns so that they don’t have liability if someone is hurt or killed. If someone hurts himself or someone else, accidentally or on purpose, with a gun, then the victim could try to sue. But if the business puts up a sign then they can declare that they are not responsible for any crimes that might occur there. That basically means customers are out of luck.
I don’t understand the logic in banning guns in banks, for example. There is a bank here that says “For your safety, hoodies and sunglasses are not allowed.” First, don’t tell me what to do and justify it on this nonsense, catch-all term of “safety.” You can justify anything in the name of “safely.” Second, I can just imagine a bank robber, wearing a hat and mask, running to the bank. Then he sees the “no hoodie” sign and says, “Damn! I guess I’m not robbing this bank.” If the bank doesn’t want me to carry my gun in there, fine, let’s set that issue aside for now. But wouldn’t it be logical to let the bank employees carry guns under the counter? As a customer, I want the employees, who are handling my money, to be armed. I want the guards to have AR15s. Which sign is more likely to discourage robbery: “No hats, hoodies, or sunglasses allowed. All employees and customers in this bank are disarmed.” Or, “Employees and guards, as well as customers, in this bank are armed. AR15s provided by Bob’s Gun Shop.”
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Hey guys. In the last months I've been very vocal about my hate for the S6 finale, how it drove me to depression for weeks, how I told so many many many times that I was gonna quit after the Movie, and all that stuff. A lot of people told me that I have some serious problems.... guess What? I do, and I'm fully awared of that, but it's better you read this to understand better what is my problem:
This is an open letter I wrote to the people who are working on the MLP Movie right now. Its content will explain what I've been throught in the last years and how I'm desperately trying to get out of it and start over again....
Yeah.... I really messed this up, and I really want to put an end to this.... all my rants were just negativity "discharges" I needed to do, order of not freaking out in real life...I'm very sorry for all the problems I caused here and on various other sites guys. I really am...
It seems no matter what I do or think about, eventually the day will give me some type of reminder to why I don't like myself at all. Makes me wish that either my existence never happened or that I wasn't me at all. Either one would have solved a lot of problems not just for me, but for everyone else that has the misfortune of stepping into my life. While I try to live within my means, I don't think it will mean shit when the years go by and I cannot do anything right. Goes right back to me wishing I was somebody. Self-acceptance is important to me, I try to live by it, but I am having an incresingly difficult time accepting someone that is so insignificant and drowning in failure. That being me, obviously.
Just feeling a healthy dose of self-loathing tonight, mixed with some depressive thoughts. Ignore me.
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Note: This contains spoilers for season 7's preview, found here. Read at your own risk.
Many users here know that Starlight's one of my favorite characters. To this day, I stand by her reasons for which she eventually became the way she was in Re-Mark, the need to have her become a student rather than be sent to jail, and The Crystalling for being a good start to her arc. However, after The Crystalling, Starlight just didn't have a very good season six. Lots of people were turned off by her and rightfully so.
There are three really big problems surrounding Starlight.
- After The Crystalling, DHX returned to its old habits of writing their season arc when it needed to. Ever since season one, DHX has had one successful season-long arc: Starlight's vie for revenge. Twilight's ascension was marred by a terrible premiere. Season four's key arc has two really bad episodes (Breezies, RF) and a finale marred by the Idiot Ball. You get the drill. But the show was able to get away with it at some capacity, because you didn't need to have half the season be confined to an arc.
But season six was the WORST time to return to it. She wasn't merely a secondary character anymore. She became a Mane member. You're adding someone completely new to the wheel. Thus, it's DHX's job to present her as likable, approachable, and (because one of the show's primary demographics is children) a role model to the audience. After Tail, Starlight dropped off the map aside from six episodes, two of them cameos, two the finale. If you don't use her more, then how will you make people care?
- The last two episodes she starred in painted her in a really bad light. Every Little Thing She Does is clearly inspired by Lesson Zero, but like 28 Pranks Later, it doesn't understand why people loved it it. Most importantly, one piece of detail: how to make her sympathetic.
LZ: Before Twilight cast "Want It, Need It" on the CMCs and everyone else in Ponyville, she spiraled out of her control and clearly wasn't in the right mind. She was at her lowest point in the episode (as well as the whole show) up to this point.
ELTSD: Starlight was clearly in control of herself and decided to hypnotize her friends — who have no chemistry with SG whatsoever, yet we're supposed to assume they get along — at the first possible outcome. All with a smirk on her face. She performed a tactic usually by antagonists, but we're supposed to see her as the good guy. She didn't get to her lowest point until the end of Act 2. You're NOT going to get people to like her if she appears in episodes far apart AND have her perform villainous tactics in her return. Why? Because to the audience's minds, she comes across as slow to learn and too dangerous to be around with. If she's capable of casting nasty spells in the right mind, what would happen when she's not?
And in To Where and Back Again, the audience is supposed to be convinced that she's changed. Unfortunately, the writers tried to convince us she changed through exposition. That won't do. TWaBA relies on the audience to follow season six from beginning to end and wants us to trust it that she redeemed herself. One: Show us that she changed from the very beginning of the episode and move forward. Two: Show us in many previous episodes where she not only evolved, but also where she used her personality strengths to her advantage. A two-part premiere and three self-contained episodes (with only one within a sixteen-episode stretch) won't cut it.
Secondly, Starlight's motive to choosing Trixie was out of character. Remember, she chose Trixie because she believed Trixie was a better friend than Twilight. Why's that a problem? SG shares better chemistry with Twilight than Trixie, and despite Twilight being a really awful teacher, the season showed an evolution in their friendship over time. If instead SG chose Trixie because she felt she could get out of her comfort zone, then it would make sense. Why? Because it would show to the audience that Starlight has changed by believing she has the courage of her conviction to expand her horizons.
@@Prince Sidon has this in his back pocket:
Because John Cena is turning 40 next month and may retire in the near-future, Vince McMahon has been pushing for a new, younger talent. Roman Reigns is who he believes will be that new face. Unfortunately, since The Shield disbanded, he's been marred by a wooden in-ring personality and horrendous booking (including being caught in an overrun heel!authority angle), leading the audience to boo him more than cheer. Since he a damn good wrestler, that's a damn shame.
There's a Roman Reigns-like parallel to Starlight. DHX and Hasbro are pushing Starlight on the audience in hoping people will like her. But when you write her as a protagonist really poorly, you won't get people to like her. In contrast, you'll only make people grimace when her name appears. And during a time where she's still really green, that paints an awful first impression on her.
And earlier today, a teaser of season seven was released with Twilight "graduating" Starlight. Twilight spent three seasons and then some before she "graduated" into princesshood, but SG may be "graduating" in as little as one season. Clearly, she has a long way to go before she truly understands the value of friendship, so it doesn't make a lick of sense to rush in such a momentous party. Whether season seven's premiere will really be like this or not I don't know, but I feel very hesitant at this point.
Obviously, most of us bronies want Starlight to be a really good character. And she can be. The Crystalling was really good at presenting Starlight as sympathetic. But if DHX keeps making very big mistakes with Starlight, then bronies will collectively sneer and cringe at her name or presence, and, in turn, many will skip it.
DHX's decision to write Newbie Dash a Rainbow Dash torture porn with an intellectually offensive hazing moral is FIM's biggest stain. If DHX doesn't rebound with Starlight, it'll have another.
Enjoy this conclusive part of Rainbows Rocks, and prepare for season five of AJBS this April 1st! Until then, my friends!
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Today, I kinda had a bad day. First off, my brother scared me and almost caused my 2 trophies to fall over! Ugh, I hate him so much.
Second, I couldn't go to sleep last night for no reason.
AND THIRD, my cat scratched me so bad that I screamed.
That's all. Wait until the next entry of The Life Of A Brony. ._.
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