Thursday, October 20, 2016

I Can Hack You Back In Time, Just Like A Time Machine

One of the neat things about having a blog like this, or a journal, or a diary, or whatever, is that it can help you travel though time. I mean, not literally, of course, but if you've been doing it long enough (writing a blog, not time travel), you can go back and see what it is you were thinking and/or doing at this same time a year or more ago. So strap on your Power Gloves, my friends, and take a journey with me. It's hacking time!
October 22, 2015
"Book Two Cover Unveiled!"
Man, has it been a year already? In this post, I officially revealed the cover art for Mystery of the Moonfire along with the back cover copy. It was the culmination of a long and awesome journey that, at times, seemed like it would never end. And now I'm almost ready to do a similar announcement for Book Three!

October 23, 2014
"Believe Me, I Am Still Working On Book Two"
Speaking of a long journey, if you go back another year, you will see that I was still wandering in the proverbial darkness with regards to writing Book Two. Pretty hilarious, right? And by the way, that Kikada reboot movie was disappointingly terrible.

October 24, 2013
"Quick Hits"
I was still talking about Book Two here, saying that it was "making progress." Ha! I also just bought my awesome Hylian Shield and Master Sword, which I have yet to proudly hang up on my wall since I've been too bulazy (busy + lazy) to drill the requisite holes and such. Yes, that's three years and counting now. I also mentioned that Second Player Score's first album was coming out soon, and now we're about to release our second one!* So maybe by album four or so I'll finally get around to mounting my Zelda gear in a place of honor where it belongs. We shall see.

October 22, 2012
"Monday Awesomeness Alert and Book Two Status Update"
Wow, I was posting on a Monday back then! And I was still talking about Book Two, bahaha, saying that it was "coming along." At the time, I was at 4000 words. How cute. Heck, I'm over 4000 words on Book Four already! Which I guess makes this post a Book Four Status Update? Hmmm...sure, why not.

* Speaking of which, be sure to tune into Neue Regel Radio next Tuesday at 10am Pacific, when I'll be doing a live interview to talk about said album!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Liveblogging With Felicity: The Freemaker Adventures

It dawned on me the other day that Felicity and I haven't done a liveblog of a TV show episode in a long time - in fact, the last one was in January of 2015. There's been some good TV going on since then, including the Miraculous Ladybug show I talked about a couple of weeks ago and something called LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. Both shows wrapped up their first seasons already (I think the latter is a one-season only deal), so I figured that it was safe to do a liveblog post without worrying about spoilers. So, here we go!
B: Freemaker or Ladybug?
F: Let's do Freemaker
B: Ok. Which episode
F: I already made one decision. Your turn
B: All right, let's do "Return of the Kyber Saber"
F: Isn't that the last one
B: Yeah
F: That's dumb
B: Well you said for me to decide
F: Yeah but make a smart decision
B: Why is watching the last one dumb
F: Because that spoils it for everyone who hasn't watched the show yet
B: But the season ended in August. Everyone should be caught up by now
F: You didn't start watching Ladybug until it was over for a while
B: Touche. How about the first one then
F: There ya go. Fire it up
B: The Emperor saying "meh" is the highlight of this whole deal
F: "Nobody could have anticipated that"
B: Too funny. You know that they were originally gonna use Luke's lightsaber for this, right? But then the movie people were like, um, no you can't do that. So they had to change it to the Kyber Saber
F: Ur such a nerd
B: I know
F: Why does Zander have to say "ah, the Wheel." I mean, they all live there. THEY KNOW WHAT IT'S CALLED
B: These characters are endearing because they have real life problems, like not having enough money to pay the rent. Speaking of which, you still owe me for last month
F: And you still haven't fixed the bathroom sink
B: Making a repurposed battle droid their droid assistant and calling him "Roger" is a stroke of pure genius
F: I had that idea years ago
B: No you didn't
F: I'll bet you last month's rent I did
B: I wonder what bantha milk tastes like
F: Is it blue?
B: Hmm good question
F: Not even 10 minutes in and someone has already said the line
B: "I have a bad feeling about this"
F: Where were dianogas from again?
B: The trash compactor on the first Death Star
F: Oh yeah. NERRRD
B: Hey, you asked
F: "Imperial inspector OU812"
B: I know, too funny. And her picture
F: Ya
B: The Kyber Saber is sort of Songshell-ish
F: Sort of what?
B: Never mind
F: I have paid my rent in full
B: I see what you're doing there
F: Was worth a shot
B: All right, well that's it. Good stuff. Ladybug next time?
F: Sure why not. Just don't wait another two years or whatever

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Big Announcement Teaser

Ever had an idea pop into your head but then you were like, "eh, I'll think about it some more" and then you just put it aside and forget about it for a while? And then every so often, something happens that reminds you of that idea, so you explore it a little further, maybe even going so far as to write it down?
Then, as time goes by, more and more stuff happens that start to make you think "hey, you know, maybe this is a pretty good idea after all." So you write a list of all the pros and cons of what would happen if you actually acted on this idea. At first, there seem to be more cons, so you say "okay, never mind," and you stop. But then even more stuff happens and the pros start to pile up. It's almost as if the Aura or the universe or whatever is trying to push you in the direction of this idea.

Eventually, it gets to the point where you're like, "okay, yeah, this is a good idea, and I would totally do it, if only I could get past this one last issue that's bugging the heck out of me." That one last issue sticks around for a while until finally, on a day that seems to have been uncannily predestined, you wake up and think about the idea because the Mariners have been eliminated from postseason contention and you have nothing particularly better to occupy your brain with while you take a shower and then -

It just hits you. Like a puzzle piece falling into place in your head.

So then you're like "OMG" and you can't wait to get out of the shower and after another minute you can't stand it anymore so you cut the shower short and race down to your computer wearing only a towel and your cats are like "what are you doing, man??" and you write down the idea and you think "now why didn't I come up with this before?"

Well, that whole scenario happened to me. And the result will be a huge change to something that you all read about in this blog from time to time and I hope that you will love it, because I do. I have a few ducks to line up before I can announce it, so keep watching this space...

P.S. I'll be at the Portland Home and Garden Show tomorrow (Friday 10/7) from 6-8pm, signing books and hanging out with my buddies from the Northwest Independent Writers Association. If you come down and catch me in the right mood, I might tell you more about the big change!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

All Kinds Of Updates

Lots going on, so let's get to it!

Album Two Update: IT IS DONE. I have CDs in my hands as we speak. The official release date is November 1st, but you can get the lead single "Head Of Sin" on iTunes as part of a pre-order starting October 4th. You can also hear some advance tracks at our website and on Neue Regel Radio every Tuesday at 10am Pacific until the album's release. Stay tuned for an announcement about the CD release parties!

Book Three Update: The revisions that I was talking to Joel about last month are done. Now I'm just doing some pre-final proofing, and then it's off to my editor for a line edit. Getting excited...

TV Update: My daughter turned me on to a great new (or relatively new, anyway) series called Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, or Miraculous Ladybug for short. Yeah, it's a cute kids' show, but that's what we do around here! It may be geared toward a younger audience, but the writing is smart and sharp, the characters are completely charming, and they do the whole "villain-of-the-week" thing that was a staple of my favorite tokusatsu shows like Kikaida and Kamen Rider.
The two leads, Ladybug and Cat Noir, are high school students by day and secret identity superheroes by...well, still mostly day, and they have huge crushes on each other. Only, she likes him when they're regular kids, he likes her when they're in costume, and neither knows about each other's identities (even though it's so totally obvious). Doesn't that sound like fun already? And the theme song is great as well. I binge-watched the entire 26-episode first season with my daughter, and immediately thereafter I filed the whole thing in my "I wish I had created this" bucket. I can't wait for the Halloween special, the Christmas special, and season two next year.

Video Game Update: Anxiously awaiting Breath of the Wild. In the meantime, I took my kids to the Legend of Zelda Symphony concert a couple of weeks ago, which was ZOMGAMAZING

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Give More 24!

Yes, it's that time of year again - the time when you have an opportunity to make a positive difference in the autism community! Of course, every day of every year is a chance to do something cool, but today is extra special because it's Give More 24, southwest Washington's largest day of giving.
Organized by the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, Give More 24 is the one day when everyone in the region and beyond shows their generosity by donating online to their favorite nonprofit organization. And the favorite around here is, of course, none other than Autism Empowerment.

Our goal is to raise $10,000. If we do that, we will unlock a $5000 match from the Community Foundation! So please, before midnight tonight (Pacific time), go to this link and make a donation. Even the minimum $10 will help. And remember, besides the fact that all donations are 100% tax deductible, giving just feels good! Trust me on this. I donate a portion of all profits from The Spectraland Saga to Autism Empowerment, and I will also be giving today, as well.

Thanks for your support!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Post That Is Sort Of About Football

It's football season again! As I've said before, I know that having an emotional investment in spectator sports is basically silly - I mean, there are much more important things to get worked up about, like these questions, for example. But again, it's fun, and that's sort of the whole purpose.
The Seahawks won their season opener in major heart-attack fashion, but I won't be doing a game recap or an analysis or anything like that - there are a lot of other good places you can go for that sort of thing. Instead, I thought I'd share with you a random train of thought I had on Sunday night when the Patriots-Cardinals game was on, which was: what are my feelings towards the other thirty-one teams in the league?

I know that sounds kind of weird, but it was sparked off by my wondering "which of these two teams do I detest more?" The answers to that question and the other question I posed above are now presented to you here as a public service to those who actually care about the strange things that go on in my head (which is sort of why you're reading this blog in the first place, right?)

Oh, and if I happen to diss your favorite team (do people still say "diss"?), just remember that this is all in good fun and that I still love you as a person. We are all in this together.

Arizona Cardinals: I only dislike this team because they're in the same division as the Seahawks and have become annoyingly good.

Atlanta Falcons: I kinda like their old logo better. The one they have now makes the falcon's wings look like legs.

Baltimore Ravens: Cleveland is a town known for its sports-related suffering. I can only imagine what they must have been thinking after the Browns left, became the Ravens, and then won the Super Bowl.

Buffalo Bills: don't really care, other than the fact that they're on the Seahawks' schedule this year. So for one week, I will hate them with a burning passion.

Carolina Panthers: the Seahawks are playing them again? Sheesh.

Chicago Bears: they were fun in the '80s.

Cincinnati Bengals: I like their helmets. Much better than the old ones that had "BENGALS" written across the sides.

Cleveland Browns: see "Baltimore Ravens" above. Hey, at least the Cavs won the NBA championship.

Dallas Cowboys: they were my favorite team when I was growing up in Hawaii, mainly because (a) Hawaii has no professional football team, and (b) all the local TV stations showed either Cowboys games or 49ers games (or both). I even have Aikman and Smith jerseys stashed away somewhere. But then I moved to the Pacific Northwest and the Cowboys started doing some strange things with Bill Parcells and whatnot, so I sort of broke up with them. Now they're like an ex, where you just peripherally take notice of stuff they're up to but you try not to get too involved and when you see they're having problems you just kind of think "man, am I glad I don't have to deal with that drama anymore."

Denver Broncos: thank you for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Detroit Lions: this team makes me think of Thanksgiving, which makes me hungry.

Green Bay Packers: I love how this is a fan-owned team. They are very cool. Stop being so cool. And so good. You already have nine NFL titles and four Super Bowl wins. Heck, the Super Bowl trophy is named after one of your coaches. Stop it. Let someone else have a chance. Still, I can't hate you because you are so cool. Unlike some other really good teams that I will talk about later.

Houston Texans: I love how they named their team the "Texans" in an effort to try and prevent another relocation like that of the Oilers. News flash, guys - if the team moves, they will just change the name.

Indianapolis Colts: I like this team for some strange reason. Except, of course, when they're playing the Seahawks, which isn't scheduled to happen this year, unless they meet in the Super Bowl in which case I will abhor them with the fury of a thousand suns

Jacksonville Jaguars: what is with the two-tone helmets, you guys? Seriously.

Kansas City Chiefs: okay, your stadium is loud. Fine. Whatever.

Los Angeles Rams: another team that I only dislike because they're in the same division as the Seahawks. Unlike the Cardinals, they are not annoyingly good, but they are annoyingly good at beating the Seahawks for some reason.

Miami Dolphins: yes, Sunday sucked. I know.

Minnesota Vikings: it looks really cold there in the winter.

New England Patriots: okay, this is probably - no, definitely - the team that I detest the most. Not only do they win everything in sight no matter who is on their roster, but they won the Super Bowl-who-will-not-be-named, they're proven cheaters (that link is just one example), and Tom Brady is just plain irritating. But despite all of that, I found myself rooting for them to win on Sunday night because the Cardinals are in the same division as the Seahawks and man is professional football silly or what.

New Orleans Saints: see "Indianapolis Colts" above, but replace "Super Bowl" with "NFC playoffs." Which, if you're gonna lose at home to the Raiders, is probably not gonna happen this season ZING

New York Giants: I've always wanted to visit New York. Looks like a fun place.

New York Jets: I've always wanted to visit New York. Looks like a fun place.

Oakland Raiders: sort of cool because when you watch A's games, the football markings are still on the field. And their fans in the south end zone (the "Black Hole") have awesome costumes.

Philadelphia Eagles: I like their uniforms. They were always pretty cool with the green and the wings on the helmet and whatnot. Apparently their fans hate Santa Claus, which is funny.

Pittsburgh Steelers: probably my second least-favorite team, next to the Patriots. They used to beat up on the Cowboys when I lived in Hawaii, they (and the refs) beat the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, and they're just annoying in general. Still, I will root for them to beat NFC teams, like the Redskins on Monday night. Football is so weird

San Diego Chargers: I dig those powder blue uniforms.

San Francisco 49ers: okay, I dislike this team because they're division rivals of the Seahawks, but also because they were the "other" team in Hawaii when I was growing up (see "Dallas Cowboys" above). The highlight of Frank Clark making that catch in the end zone still makes me groan to this day. I love San Francisco, the town, but I hate San Francisco, the football team.

Seattle Seahawks: at first, I became enamored with this team because I after I relocated, they were the only thing that local TV showed on Sundays. But then, after Pete Carroll was hired (which, I will admit, I was skeptical about) and Russell Wilson became the starter at quarterback, I really began to buy into the whole "positive thinking" approach that they and the team adopted. I'm sort of a pessimist by nature (exacerbated by my fandom of the neighboring Seattle Mariners), but I noticed that the whole never-say-die attitude seemed to be paying off for the team in improbable last-minute victories (like this past Sunday), so I got a little inspired by that. I'm not a bandwagon fan, though, because I lived though the whole early 2000s deal with Super Bowl XL and the rest of that stuff (see "Pittsburgh Steelers," above.)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: I love their uniforms, both old and new. I mean, c'mon, that Creamsicle orange was epic.

Tennessee Titans: um...yay, Marcus Mariota? I guess that's what I'm supposed to say, being from Hawaii and all.

Washington Redskins: nickname issues aside, I feel predisposed to dislike this team because of their rivalry with the Cowboys and how annoying their owner appears to be. Although, I've never actually met him, so I wouldn't really know. Just like how you shouldn't idolize people that you've never met (Joel, I'm talking about Marshall Byle here), you shouldn't demonize them either, unless it's really totally obvious that they're a complete jerk because the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle and this is getting way too heavy for a post about football so I'll just stop here. Go Hawks!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

What I Did On My Vacation

You may recall that a few years ago, I went to Spectraland for my summer vacation. This year, I went to a similar location - a little tropical island known as O'ahu - to attend a friend's wedding.
Now, I'm originally from O'ahu, but it had been several years since I went back, so it look a little while for me to get adjusted to the heat and the humidity. I mean, it was hot in the Vancouver/Portland area when I left, but it was a dry heat - the moment I got off the plane in O'ahu I immediately felt like I needed to take shower.

Aside from that, however, it was great to be there, primarily for the three Fs: family, friends, and food. Man, I ate so much. The funny thing is, I don't know if it's being in vacation mode or if it has something to do with the fact that I'm from there, but whenever I go back I find that I can eat mounds of stuff that ordinarily would place me in an instant food coma and then feel totally fine afterwards.
And this is just the appetizer
The wedding was on the beach at the North Shore and it was as beautiful as you can imagine. I danced continuously for about an hour even though I can't dance. It was awesome. I also learned how to fly a drone (thank you, video game training) and drive a two-seater with dual manual/automatic transmission. Yup, my rental car was a convertible sports car. I originally signed up for something small and cheap, but when I got there they had run out of those kinds of cars, so the rental agent was like, "well, we have...this. Is that okay?" I didn't cost me extra, so I said sure. It was fun just sitting in the parking lot putting the top up and down. It was like having my own actual Transformer.

The rest of my time there was spent mostly relaxing, checking out a friend's band, catching up with people, and eating. Did I mention eating?
Much mahalos go out to Flyin' Lanaian and Neko Sixx for allowing me to crash at their place, and to everyone else I was able to hang out with. It was a way-too-short trip. Hopefully I can stay longer the next time.