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Videos go live!

Here, we have the first episode of #SmallTalk ! Check this out!

Please like and subscribe! Let me know what you think in the comments! Are there topics you want to learn more about? Would you like to see this in a more structured format such as a chronological publication/production history of the media?

We are getting a better space and hopefully some higher quality gear soon! Any feedback is welcome 😀

Also, my first video review of a product  for Dragonblogger.com went live!

Watch it here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiK-xHszl1s

Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to like and subscribe!

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Loot Crate, promotional, Review, Subscription box

Loot Crate August 2015: Villains 2!

This Loot Crate only had four items, but each of them was unique and superb! The villains theme was a nice follow-up to the heroes theme.  I’m not sure if it was a prank by the Joker or a printing error, but the roof of my box appeared to be on the opposite side of where it should be! As always, I’ll talk about the financial value at the end, but first thing’s first!

My box noticeably lacked my villains 2 pin!

The items:

  • Los Pollos Hermanos Barbecue Apron
  • Captain America: The First Avenger Hydra Lapin Pin
  • Venom Mug
  • The Joker Wooden Doll

Los Pollos Hermanos Apron

Mmm, chicken!

Mmm, chicken!

I don’t know that I really count this Breaking Bad chain as a villain of the series. Nor do I see our favorite meth-dealing super duo as villains! Nonetheless, this thing is nice and thick. The screen print will probably fade in time, but I’ll definitely get use out of this!

Hydra Lapel Pin

Heil Hydra!

Heil Hydra!

What can I say? This is swaggy. Next time I get to wear a suit jacket, I’m busting it out for sure. The box is nice, and is in itself a certificate of authenticity. The pins are all crafted from the screen prop, so this is the real deal!

As it looks within the box

As it looks within the box

Vemon Mug

Bad Motha

Bad Motha

This is the absolute best for me! What a win! This is a licensed Marvel Mug with a sharp paint job. The line of mugs each comes with a unique handle based on the character, but I believe all Loot Craters got Venom. The mug feels a little light, but it’s also a gorgeous model of the character.

Classic Venom

Classic Venom

The Joker

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This line of DC collectible wooden figures includes Batman and Superman, with the Joker apparently exclusive to Loot Crate. I love this piece. It’s reminiscent of some kind of tribal design and it feels a little anarchic in nature. The mouths say “hahaha” and “heehee”.

The eternal Struggle

The eternal Struggle

WILL WE NEVER SEE A TWO-HEADED JOKER??

WILL WE NEVER SEE A TWO-HEADED JOKER??

Loot Crate Mini Mag

Haha... that is funny.

Haha… that is funny.

The magazine had a few more ads than previous ones (I think), but the magazine style and nature makes it more content than pure advertising. The most fun article contained is Batman Villains IRL

This month's mega crate giveaway!

This month’s mega crate giveaway!


 

Monies

Total value of the box? Let’s see!

No matter how you cut it, you’re getting more than double on your investment in Loot Crate. From that standpoint, this is definitely a win. When compared to last month’s loot crate, it’s much snazzier and I think I’m more impressed. Between the two, I’d choose villains just because it came with much more useable stuff and the quality on each item is superb!

This box is a definite win for me! Can’t wait for next month’s!

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Uncategorized

1ByOne and the Tesla Speaker!

*Disclaimer: this product was sent to me free of charge for review purposes.*

The Box

The Box

This 1ByOne Speaker is a simple and fun way to get music from my phone to play on blast. When I first received it, I was rather skeptical, but it turns out the thing is pretty darn fun. The Plasma ball can emit discharges in time to the beat and, well… I’ll explain when I get there.

I’m always looking for quality sound when I get a Bluetooth speaker. Beyond that, I expect the device to meet any claims it makes regarding controls, features, and range.  How did this speaker do?

The claims

The claims

Aesthetics

Ooooh.... prettyyyyy

Ooooh…. prettyyyyy

The speaker is a little bit light, but still built solid.  I got the red version and it looks pretty classy. The plasma changes from blue to red as it touches the glass and, of course, follows your fingers. My cat had a lot of fun learning about plasma!

Sound Quality and Range

There was no claim for range on the packaging nor the amazon page for the product, but I got my phone about 20 feet away before I started to lose smooth connection. Not terrible, but I’d like a higher range (or at least an indicator of the range).

As for the sound itself, everything was clean and true to the source (in terms of equalization and purity). The volume gets pretty loud and I could hear it throughout my downstairs, and still faintly when upstairs. If I were to improve on the product, I’d make it stereo, but this is still way better than using my cell phone’s speaker!

Controls

The speaker retains the EQ of the song pretty well. Bass is still bassy, trebles are still Attack-y

The speaker retains the EQ of the song pretty well. Bass is still bassy, trebles are still Attack-y

Not much to say here. The mode button transferred the Tesla ball between all three modes (constant, rhythmic, and off). Hold down the button to skip tracks and press once to change volume. The device did do weird things when plugged into my computer though (the mode button opened the start menu, the volume buttons affected computer volume as well). However, with my phone, it worked perfectly.

Plasma!

wpid-20150817_092139.jpg

The most important feature to me was that the plasma ball deliver on its promise to sync to the music. Unfortunately, I need WordPress prime to post videos, but I’ll do my best to describe my experience!

At first, I couldn’t tell whether I was on random/free plasma mode or the rhythm mode. To solve this problem, I chose to use some Drum and Bass music to get a consistent beat. I asked for help confirming, but we were pretty sure that it did sync to the beat.

What changed everything was when I placed my hand on the ball and cut the beams down to three or four.  Then it became very clear and very awesome to see! The beams danced between my fingers and bolted around my palm. It was really fascinating to see! The ball passes here!

Sorry I can't upload videos! This is a random capture, synced to the beat of Tec N9ne - So Dope

Sorry I can’t upload videos! This is a random capture, synced to the beat of Tec N9ne – So Dope

Overall

Here are my official scores for the product

Aesthetics: 9/10, it feels a little light, but otherwise it’s sharp! I love the deeper shade of red in the base, it complements the plasma!

Sound and Range: 8/10. The sound quality, while monophonic, held up to my standards. The range of 20 feet is really enough, but I’d love to get an extra ten feet!

Controls: 6/10, they worked fine on my phone, but it claimed to work on PC as well and, at least with Windows 10, there are a lot of bugs.

Special Features: 10/10, the plasma ball has three modes and the rhythmic one is really fun! I spent quite a while playing with it and seeing how I could affect the interplay of plasma bolts.

Final Score: 7/10

If you want a fun little gimmick with your music, this is a good one to grab! Thanks for reading!

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Novel Update

Restructured Novel Plot – The Hero’s Journey!

So, something I’d thought about when writing and reading (and re-reading) my still untitled novel was that the premise offered more than the story delivered. When I really got into thinking about it, I realized the reason. The story didn’t follow a structure in any sense. It was a chronological telling of events. But that doesn’t necessarily do it in literature. There has to be something leading the reader… something that will make them want to follow the story to it’s conclusion, or at least the next plot point!

Given the nature of the story, I chose to rebuild it directly modeling  The Hero’s Journey. I’ll be writing up on this classical storytelling technique some time next week (and eventually, I’ll even have a regular schedule for posting content!), but in the meantime, I thought I’d give the 12 major arcs of the story as they stand post-plot-revision. The fun part about this is it’s also a practice for me in expressing a full story without spoilers, in such a way that reading the plot doesn’t tell you the story and leaves you intrigued for the details and the world the story inhabits. For example, it’s actually a supernatural tale.

  1. The Ordinary World
    1. James Del is an agent of a Federal Entity, working on cases related to corporate espionage.
      1.  His focus is “paper trails”
    2. His close friends are introduced during this time and demonstrated to be characters who will recur throughout the story.
  2. The Call to Adventure
    1. Ryan (James’ boss and best friend) offers him a seat at the table of Jean Bernier: Founder, President, and CEO of Alltech
    2. James suspects this will lead to field work and the reason he moved to trailing paperwork is revealed.
  3. Refusal of the Call
    1. James has no interest in returning to the field after his prior trauma and instead opts to avoid the possibility altogether by not attending the dinner
    2. Ryan persuades him to come and promises he won’t be seated at Bernier’s table
  4. Meeting With The Mentor
    1. At the event, James learns he was tricked by Ryan. He is, in fact, seated at the host’s table.
    2. After the Soiree is well in motion, Bernier talks to James for a while and convinces him to meet at Alltech’s headquarters. James lets his intrigue get the better of him and accepts the offer.
  5. Crossing the Threshold (to the “Special World” as it is called in The Hero’s Journey)
    1. There is some unexpected commotion at the banquet and things get cray
      1. James follows up during his first trip to Alltech’s Facility/Campus/HQ/Whatever
    2. Bernier begins to drop some of his subtleties, revealing the darker character hidden within
  6. Tests, Allies, and Enemies
    1. James learns that Bernier is beyond his understand. The CEO is shown to be a monster.
    2. Bernier, The DSI, and his friends all test James in various ways
      1. As the story goes on, this serves to both sow seeds of doubt and simultaneously root him in the world as it is
    3. Neutral parties/sub-focus characters are introduced during this segment
      1. Plugs/teases for characters to appear in the second and third novels
    4. First, the betrayal.
  7. Approach
    1. Once the espionage element is sorted out and the true villain is revealed, James and his willing compatriots charge forward into the Special World
    2. The major ordeal of the world is not what the group expected
      1. poor planning in espionage tends to lead to violence
    3. Next, the sacrifice
      1. Depending on the relationship, this could be a reveal or it could be set up or it could be a twist.
  8. The Ordeal
    1. The conflict escalates as the remaining contenders on all sides struggle for control of their situation
    2. Once a sort of balance is reached, the sides conflict directly in their second major bout
      1. The heroes will always win this conflict during The Hero’s Journey.
    3. Third, the fall
  9. The Reward
    1. Things seem to  be sorted out as the dust settles. James makes a hasty retreat with hard evidence of the knowledge he possesses.
    2. There is no celebration as powerful entities close in on all sides, seeking control of the evidence now with James.
  10. The Road Back
    1. James must decide who to trust with his information. In the meantime, he can only run and hide, as there is nothing to be gained from any more conflict.
    2. Once he chooses a side, the remaining sides chase and the chosen side aides his escape.
  11. The Resurrection
    1. At the threshold of returning to normal, one final conflict is faced. James learns from the experience and must choose to either shed his former self and embrace the self that developed throughout the story, or return to the self that was.
      1. The resurrection is where there Hero undergoes a Paradigm Shift from (generally) the naive self to the enlightened self.
    2. In the end, he makes the right choice and the conflict resolves at last
  12. Return with the Elixer
    1. With the irrevocable knowledge he possesses, the world is forever changed for the hero.
    2. Epilogue

So, that’s the spoiler-free-ish version of James Del’s Heroic Journey in a nutshell! Let me know your thoughts! Some time this week I’ll be giving you updates on the YouTube channel and related projects!

Don’t forget to check us out on twitter! @ParadigmShiftPC

More subscribers and more followers means we can justify working harder on our creative content for YOU, THE VIEWERS!

Thanks as always for your continued support as I move forward on my Journey of Creationing!

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#BoxTalk Episode I – Geeking and Gaming and Ooze!

Hey yall! Less than 24 hours in to the first day and we are already at 46 views and even got a handful of likes! Give a look, give a listen, leave a comment, like, and subscribe!

This is just the first step in a long-term plan to bring indie media to the forefront! We are doing this project as a springboard specifically for promotion of indie writing, film, art, and more!

Please check it out and let me know what you think in the comments there!

Lastly, keep watch for a stream of content  coming to the youtube and then the blog gets its makeover!

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daily, Exercise in, Style, technical skill

The Daily Five

What exactly is this practice and why does it matter?

The daily 5 is a writing exercise wherein you spend 5 uninterrupted minutes writing every day. The point is to get your brain juices flowing to help with creativity.

But you know what else?  It makes you a better writer. Doing your daily 5 is like doing any other practice for any other skill. It refines technique and reveals the greater overarching concepts in your writing. Sometimes it’s themes or motifs; sometimes it’s just repeated grammatical errors. In any case, if you write in any capacity, doing 5 minutes per day will especially help. There are tons of prompts, ideas, and goal-oriented variations of the daily 5. Pick one and do it! Get writing!

And that’s my daily five. Stay tuned! Later today there’s a special video coming online that I’ll share here. And thenceforth, the paradigm shift will have begun!

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