Friday, February 17, 2017

Finished Greedo's Pistol

A couple weeks ago, I got Greedo's pistol from a 3D printer in Kiev, The Ukraine. I went to look his store up tonight on Etsy, which is how I found him, so I could link to it from here, but his store doesn't seem to be listed anymore.

Anyway, I just got finished painting it.

The seller normally paints them as a part of the package, but he left my pistol unpainted, at my request, and dropped $10 off the price for me. I did paint the end of the barrel bright orange, to keep it con- and public-friendly.

I absolutely love this thing!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Pizza/56 Recipes Down

Apparently, I might be on a smoked salmon binge here. This recipe came from Just a Bunch of Recipes, and it's what I made for lunch today. This was another recipe that Shane didn't even want to try, so more for moi. He decided he wanted one of his nasty frozen Totino's pizzas....bleech!

What did I learn from this recipe?
Oh my God, this is wonderful!!! Just as it is, it needed no tweaking.

I thought the capers were a fantastic addition, but I was already a fan of capers anyway.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Had a Strange Dream the Other Night

I typically have fairly bizarre dreams, and even more so if I’ve taken a sleeping pill  before going to bed. Last night’s dream wasn’t Advil PM induced, but it was kind of odd, even for me.

The dream was the narration of an old, epic story, something along the lines of a Beowulf kind of saga. Hell, my dream started with the image of a pair of weathered male hands, flipping the pages of a large old book. It was the story about an unlikely pack of three wolves: a large grey-black female wolf, and a pair of male wolves, who were actually halves of the same being (remember back in the 90’s when DC Comics split Superman into two halves: Superman-Red and Superman-Blue? That’s kind of what the male wolves were like). They were smaller than the grey wolf, and one was pure white and the other was fire orange.

The idea was that in whatever world these wolves lived in (a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away), the nighttime lasted longer than the daytime. But strangely enough, their forest world had two small, non-identical suns. One of the suns was white hot, the other was fire orange. The grey wolf was the animalized version of the night: she was the large full moon. The male wolves were the suns.

In my dream, I couldn’t “hear” all of the narration being read, but I caught some of it. Because the wolves were somehow physically tied into the suns and moon, they needed to take care of each other.

When it was daytime, the sun moons protected the moon wolf. And because the grey wolf and moon were bigger and stronger than the sun wolves and suns, the grey wolf protected them at night. It was only during dusk and dawn that the wolves could all be together at the same time. Otherwise, they slept, being protected by the other. The sun wolves had to remain together at all times: if one was killed, the other one would immediately die. I didn’t find out if the suns would die if the wolves died, or vice versa. I would guess so, like I would assume the grey wolf would die if something happened to the moon, and vice versa for her. I was totally into this story, for what I knew of it (even though it was a creation of my own imagination). I wished this was already an existing story. I’m not sure I could fill in the empty spots of the story well enough to do it justice.

I think the ending of my dream might have been the ending of the story.

There had been a great battle, between the wolves and some magical beasts, during dusk. The grey wolf and the sun wolves were all injured, but they managed to all make it to safety in an unknown cave, as the suns set and the moon rose. The monsters couldn’t find them. The sun wolves collapsed for the night, badly wounded. The moon wolf stood watch over them, guarding them at the entrance of the cave. She was badly wounded too, barely able to stand, and by all rights, should have been killed. Because she was already bigger and stronger than the rest of her pack, she survived.

The wolf image here is what I thought of when I was remembering my dream.
The last line of the epic poem was the single thought of the moon wolf’s duty, as it has been the duty of all the previous generations of moon wolves before her: “I am the Night Wolf. I protect the Sun Wolves when it is black. When it is day, the Sun Wolves protect the Night Wolf.” It was repeated a couple times in my dream like the Night Wolf was thinking it as a mantra for herself.

And I realized, before the dream ended, that I was the Night Wolf. I don’t know who the Sun Wolves were. But that line about being the Night Wolf seemed so haunting to me. It was to have been a line I heard somewhere before.

I went online to see if I could find it anywhere, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.

Feedback On My X-Wing Pilot Costume

Well damn, I've got more work to do on my X-Wing Pilot costume than I expected.

Your costume overall is off to a good start. We've got a few changes that need to be made before it can be approved:
- We already talked about the boots. They can't be rubber.
--Once I get a regular paycheck, I'll go get some new boots.
- The code cylinders need to be painted silver. They look gray in the pictures.--I already got these painted silver.
 - The sleeve cuffs are pretty big, but when they're in the gloves you don't see them so it's probably okay.--Well, yeah, but I've already made them a little smaller once. I've taken the suit in as much as I can. If I play with the sizing much more, I'm going to screw up the finished seams you can see.
- The compad should be tucked farther down behind the gauntlet. If it can't be tucked in any more than that, it needs to be lowered down the arm.--I can try tucking it in more, but I'm not going to lower the comm pad pocket.
- Both upper arm pockets need to be raised. The right arm pocket might even need to be trimmed shorter, too. It looks long and needs to at least be above the elbow.--I am so not moving the pockets. This suit was professionally made and I'll just screw it up if I try to move them.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

We Have A New Family Member

Meet Chief! This little wiener came home with us last night.

As much as it shocked me, I've been finding myself longing for another dog, ever since we had to have Cujo put to sleep last year. Shit, I'm starting to get teary eyed again just thinking about my boy and how he's no longer here with us. 

As it turned out, Shane was wanting another dog too. But the reason it shocked me, is because I was so resistant to ever having another cat after Dixie was put to sleep. She was my heart and my security blanket in life. While I do love Orion, she'll never be a replacement for Dixie.

And little Chief here will never be a replacement for Cujo. But all of a sudden, the grief I feel for Dixie and Cujo feels a lot like shame for enjoying the new family members.

Whooo, I'm not sure where this is all coming from. I just had to get up and get a tissue because I was full on crying for a second there. I keep telling Shane I shouldn't have dogs and cats for pets, because I get waaaaaaaaaay too attached to them.

Anyway, onto the good things here. Shane and I have both been looking for pug. He was perfectly willing to spend a grand or more on a dog for us, thinking about a dog from a breeder so we'd know what the temperament would be like and hopefully not have to worry about behavioral issues. He's still not sold on the idea of dog breed specific rescue, even though neither one of us give a shit about lineage or paperwork.

I couldn't do that in good conscious. But the sad thing is that the rescues out here for pugs are just as expensive as a breeder dog. And between our collective back issues, I knew we needed a smaller dog this time. Wheelbarrowing poor Cujo at the end of his life was hard to physically do. Shane just wanted something different so we weren't dwelling on Cujo. Like that's going to happen!

Named by Shane, Chief is 7 weeks old and he comes from an oops litter where he had 8 brothers and sisters. (If this had been a fawn or sable colored pug, he would have been named Frank, from "Men in Black." But with this little black face and expressive eyes, I hadn't been struck with a name for him.) When we got to the family's home yesterday, there were four puppies left, and the husband thought they'd all be gone by tonight. They owned Mama Pug, and the wife's brother owned Papa Pug.

Breeder or no, this was a litter and an adoption/purchase I could get behind. We met Mama and her remaining four pups. They all looked healthy and seemed happy. For some reason, I was drawn to Chief here. We wanted a male anyway, but this little guy seemed the most curious. The wife said he was the most independent of the remaining three males.

He has no papers, other than the trail of vet work that we'll create for him. All we have is a verbal promise that he's a pure bred pug, and that Mama was able to deliver all of the pups on her own. A lot of English Bulldogs and some pugs have to be delivered by C-sectio because their heads are so big that the mothers can't do it on their own. That, along with the oops factor, is the reason they weren't charging an arm and a leg for the pups.

Chief slept through his first night here pretty well. He did cry in the living room when we went to bed, so we turned on a light in the other bedroom that shone in, and I actually slept on the couch out there, so he could see he wasn't alone. Other than that, he slept through the night like a champ. But as he's a little guy that's teething, we'll see how it goes in the future for him.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Star Wars Big Figs Episode VII Massive 31" C-3PO Action Figure

I've been farting around with my Jakks Pacific Episode VII C-3PO for a couple of weeks. I picked up him up at Aldi's, unexpectedly, in the early part of December. He's pretty solidly made, with seven points of articulation.

The downside to this is that he has no electronics in him, whatsoever. His eyes don't light up and he doesn't speak.

If you're wondering why he has a red arm, check out the digital version of his comic, which takes place between Episodes VI and VII. Hint, C-3PO doesn't talk about how he came to have the red arm in Episode VII, if you haven't seen it yet. As you can see from the pictures below, C-3PO was actually a cheap mustard-y kind of yellow to start.

The joints on his arm were solid.
I drilled a couple holes in each joint area and then Dremelled the plastic out. When I was done, I used a file to clean up the rest of his elbow.
What killed me about this is that from watching all those Cosplay Chris Custom Collectibles videos on YouTube, I really thought this would be easy to take apart so I could paint it better. Most of the screw holes are on his back. I tried to manually unscrew them. That didn't work, so I switched to a drill to remove the screws. For Christ's sake, all I did was strip the screws! And yes, I had the drill bit turning in the right direction: righty tighty, lefty loosey. This metallic bastard just didn't want to budge! I decided to just fill in those screw holes with some filler instead. It was kind of a bummer, because I wanted to take his head apart and put in some sort of battery-powered light pack in there, for his eyes.

I covered his midsection with painter's tape, and used all Rustoleum spray paints on him. I used those Dremelled out elbows to hang him in our garage for painting, since it was too cold outside to paint out there. There were a few times when he was hanging up all awkward, where I could hear him saying, "Oh dear, Sir Luke!" First I put a couple coats of primer on him. There were a few places that I went back over and hand sanded in between coats.

Then I covered him almost entirely with plastic and painted his right calf silver. After that dried, I reversed the coverage and sprayed his left arm red, recovered him one more time and sprayed the rest of him gold. I purposely didn't weather 3PO for this project, because I preferred him shiny and polished in the movies.

I did find out that metallic gold spray paint is not very forgiving. There are a few drip marks on him, and I couldn't really buff those out.

I did the smallest amount of detail work on his eyes and mouth, with some black craft paint, just to highlight them. I also repainted the wires on his midsection, because they were pretty sloppy looking. I also painted both of his palms black, and I plan on getting some small disks in red and gold for each palm. I guess in the movies, those colored sections of his palms are supposed to be some kind of sensors.

I also gave him about three coats of clear spray paint.

Dremelled out elbow joint

And yes, I know C-3PO's leg wasn't silver in "The Force Awakens." Both of his legs were actually gold. I did this on purpose because I liked the randomness of the silver leg, because all the other protocol droids we saw were just one colored.

I think he'll make a fine addition to my table when I'm representing the Rebel Legion.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

My Pilot Costume is Finished

I finally got around to submitting my pictures tonight.Even though I'm already a member of the Rebel Legion, I still have submit any new costumes for approval.

Good Lord, I really look like a damn swayback in these side pictures! I actually have something called spinal lordosis of the lower back, so it means my spine curves in more than it should, towards the bottom.

Booty shot!

Damn, I hate this picture! I look like such a derp without my glasses! :)

Monday, January 30, 2017

My Mom's Lox Dip/55 Recipes Down

So just to clarify this recipe's name. It's not MY mom's lox dip, but rather it's "My Mom's Lox Dip" by Sam the Cooking Guy. This recipe came from Just a Bunch of Recipes.

Every year in January, for probably close to 13 years now, Michelle the Cook, Nicole the Knitter and I get together for our little Christmas. It's a way to avoid the craziness of the holidays, the rush of the crowds while shopping and it's just more relaxed. We just celebrated Christmas 2016 yesterday here at our house.

What did I learn from this recipe?
I made Sam's lox dip in the morning. I did add three tablespoons of mayo and a sprinkling of Old Bay to it.I figured that would be enough time for the flavors to really meld, because we didn't eat until 2:30.

It wasn't really enough time. In fact, it didn't start tasting right until this morning. Before this, it just tasted flat.

But now, ooooh, it's pretty damn god. I wish I had added more lox to it though. I also learned that lox is somewhat a tender, flaky pain in the ass to cut up for this recipe. But it was definitely worth it.