Displaying a collection is difficult.

I’ve got a decently sized collection of toys, and it’s becoming hard to display everything I want to. I switched to a mindset where I wanted a clear, concise view on my shelves, so I started rotating out figures as I saw fit.

Now I’m at a point where I really enjoy everything on display, and I’m running out of excess storage space. Dorena has offered to let me expand outside of my office, but it felt more like a platitude. Besides, I spend so little time in other rooms in the house that I wouldn’t appreciate the things I put out there.

Such conundrums.

My buddy, and fellow collector, Josh had an interesting display quandary that I helped out with this week, and I wanted to share what I came up with. He picked up some anniversary edition Power Ranger Morphers and wanted to stick them into a shadowbox. He snagged some dense shipping foam from work as a backing material, and it was up to me and Dorena to piece it together.

It was a fun challenge, and I’m quite pleased with the result. I used a small hobby hand saw to cut the correct dimensions for the box, then shaved out compartments with a paring knife and kitchen shears, so the coins and Morphers were held firmly in place.

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Check it out! Pretty neat, right? I’m mildly concerned with the built in hook on the back being strong enough to support the weight, so I’m not sure how it’s going to go on the wall yet. I’ll have to ask Josh for a picture to share when it’s in place!

Different Perspectives

This comic is a new take on King Kong, depicting the unfortunate sap that had a window at just the right height for Kong’s junk to be pressed up against it.

The reason I love it is because as big of a fan I am of King Kong, and how many times I’ve watched the movies (classic and modern versions), I never once contemplated what a person in the building looking out at his crotch would see.

As a designer/developer, I often need to take a step back from what I’m working on to gain a new perspective about it. I have to clear my cache on the project, so my current inclinations don’t outweigh the possibility of a better idea coming through. This comic is a great metaphor for that.

It doesn’t matter how many times you review something, there’s always a possibility for a new take on it.

I’m an Analysis Nerd

One of the things I really love about baseball is how far back the statistical record goes, and how large of a sample size exists to test hypotheses for validity. In this 538 article, Walt Hickey takes a look into the occurrence of the different visual elements in Bob Ross’s paintings on his PBS show. It’s fascinating to see it broken down like this, and the probability of different elements appearing in the same painting is equally interesting.

I also learned something interesting that I never noticed before. “[H]is cabins never had chimneys on them … because chimneys represented people, and he didn’t want any sign of a person in his paintings.”

Of course, there’s examples of cabins with lights on, and those with chimneys, but they’re in the minority. I find it very interesting that he liked the added depth of human-built structures, but didn’t want their direct presence felt in the scene. Maybe it’s about the structures being abandoned and allowing nature to overtake the surroundings and heal.

I’m not trained in art interpretation, so I’m in a wild supposition mode. However, it seems like a sound hypothesis on which to expand. To the internets for research!

What a great weekend!

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At least the view was nice from this bridge that cost us $30 to traverse.

I had a fantastic weekend hanging out with my sister. Even though there’s eight years between us, we’ve always been extremely close. Since Dorena and I moved out on our own, our time together has dwindled, and I cherish the chances we have to be alone together.

There’s about four people in my life that I can be completely open and honest with, and there’s Punk, who actually gets the whole story, all of the time. It’s such a special bond, and I truly don’t know what I’d do without her. And most of the time I don’t know what to do with her! Wacka, wacka!

Alright, enough of that sappy shit, let’s get into the weekend recap. Rude Awakening and Domination are fucking incredible bands, and they’re all really great people. Seeing them twice this weekend was so awesome, and I can’t wait to see them one last time (on this tour) on Friday! They’re quickly climbing the ranks of my favorite bands simply because of how stupidly great they are live.

Lionheart is one of those bands that I’ve loved from the beginning, and I’ve enjoyed watching their maturation and evolution. It’s a real treat getting to see them two days in a row, and I’d genuinely be happy seeing them every day. They’ve been playing this really funky, Hip-Hop/R&B kinda breakdown, and it’s so damned smooth. Totally love it.

It’s also fun seeing how some of the same trends at hardcore shows upstate exist downstate as well. One in particular is that we really dislike circle pits in the Capital District. There’s just something about our dancing style that it doesn’t work for us, and whenever a band calls for one, we stand around looking at each other blankly, waiting for the next breakdown to get back to our moves.

Down in Brooklyn, a singer called for a circle pit, and I looked around, curious to see what the crowd’s reaction would be. They all had the same disinterested look I had, and I felt right at home. It’s always a relief when you’re away from your friends and you feel secure in the group you’re with. Hardcore dancing can become violent quickly when someone interprets an action incorrectly, so it’s great when you can settle in at a different place without much trouble.

I was also interested in seeing how my body would hold up to the vigorous activity two days in a row. I hadn’t done that in a very long time, and I was surprised how well I felt today. I even played basketball with Dorena and Josh for a few hours and I’m doing alright. Let’s see how I feel in the morning tomorrow. I’m expecting cramp city.

There’s a longer post in me about hardcore somewhere, and maybe I’ll get to it at some point. It’s an interesting culture, and I’d like to take a look at it with some depth. The two topics I’d really like to cover are pit decorum, and aging in the scene. We’ll see how that goes in the future.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier was simply amazing. There were a few moments that bugged me, but not even enough to mildly cut into my enjoyment. The combat in this movie is my favorite style I’ve ever seen. The mixing of parkour and power that Cap utilized was spectacular. It was the first time I felt that there was a super human fighting regular peons. His strength and speed were showcased beautifully, and the cinematography of the battles was top notch.

Not since The Book of Eli have I come away from a movie with such a lasting impression of how fights were portrayed. The fighting was great, the handling of Bucky was great, and I really loved the supporting cast of Falcon and Black Widow. Widow’s character has finally blossomed into a complete character, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m so down for a Widow movie, so get on it, Marvel.

The NSA-like S.H.I.E.L.D. program to monitor and preemptively snuff out criminal activity was poignant and very topical. There were moments of dialogue that made me swell up with pride, wishing more people would vocalize the sentiments that Cap had. The only way to stop this is to have our voices heard, and to witness it so succinctly conveyed in a fucking super hero movie was surreal. I’ve seen that Chris Evans is getting to that point where he doesn’t want to be Captain America any more, so if they can somehow parlay into the Civil War story arc and wipe him out, I’d be totally down for that. I have full faith that Evans could pull off the intensity that would demand. He put across a ton of stalwart conviction in this film…

They set up at least four new story lines to follow up on, and I’m excited to see them unfold. I Highly recommend this movie, even if you were like me and thought the first Cap movie was mediocre at best. It may have very well dethroned Iron Man as my favorite Marvel movie adaptation. Really, I enjoyed it that much.

Also, I cannot wait for the Blu Ray to come out, so I can snag some screencaps of the end titles, too! They were such a beautiful representation of minimalism that I’m sure they’ll be in constant rotation on my computer’s desktop. The polish on this movie was extremely high. Oh, and the nod to a previous Samuel L. Jackson character made my sister and I erupt with childish glee when we saw it.

I swear, it was in unison, and almost the exact same sound.

TL;DR: Hardcore shows are still awesome, this old fucking man can still dance with kids half his age two days in a row, the new Captain America is fucking fantastic, and I love my sister!

Blogging from my phone in a mall in Amityville.

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Punk watching Lionheart soundcheck before their set in Brooklyn.

As I mentioned yesterday, my sister kidnapped me for a trip to the city to see a pair of concerts, featuring a band from the opposite coast. The show last night was incredible, and I’m sincerely grateful that she convinced me to accompany her.

All of the bands we saw last night were tight as hell. It’s so great seeing bands that have refined their stage presence this much. I’m a huge sucker for live music, and if your band can’t play live, I don’t give a shit how great your recordings sound.

IMG_20140413_162306Check out time at the hotel was 1:00 pm, and the show tonight’s not until 7:00. We grabbed lunch, and now we’re at a mall. Punk’s clothes shopping and I’m bored out of my fucking skull, so I’m standing on the second floor, overlooking a Starbuck’s kiosk. The pervtastic view is pretty great up here.

We’re going to check out Captain America to kill some more time since neither one of us has gone yet, and I’m really looking forward to it. I love the idea of the Winter Soldier, and the NSA overtones they’re alluding to in the trailers. We’ll see how well they pull it all off. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first Cap movie, so my expectations are moderately reserved.

Whelp, I killed half an hour swiping this out, so I’m going to get a drink and find Punk. PHONE BLOGGING IS TOUGH. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.