Distance learning Is Over.. For now..?

So the other day my little ones finally finished school. With COVID-19 going on, the way of life has changed in number of ways. It started with the with the kids with no school and “Distance Learning” was put into place.  With that going on, I had to make a learning plan for both of my kids that would equal their grade level of education. Plus at the time maintain my normal work schedule. But that was about to change as well, because the following month I was out of work do to COVID-19(I’m a Sous Chef and restaurants took the hardest hit) . Now with the added stress of financial adulting to recover the lost income.

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The up side was, I was able to put all my focus on the kids and their learning plans. It was till after the second week, the public school system finally sent out work books for both kids and was able to work with the teachers for daily assignments. While my youngest was easier to set up, because he only had one teacher. My oldest proved to be a little more difficult at first, do to having multiple teachers and subjects. But once we got Google classroom set up for both kids and they were to video chat with their teachers, things became easier. After 3 months of hard work and we finally made to the end of the school year. I am happy to say that Jackson is now moving to the 6th and Lilly is now moving to the 8th grade!!

I really didn’t see the school year or normal everyday life to be like this. Even tho the kids made it the finish line, there seems to be an element of sadness. Not being with their friends and/or classmates at this time. The kids having to maintain friendships have changed as well. As some parents don’t want others to come or they don’t want to travel. Plus not having some parks or shops closed because of COVID-19 as really put a handicap on their normal life. While things are starting to SLOWLY re-open. It’s interesting to me to see how they have managed to keep their friendships going.  My oldest does a lot of face-time with her friends. They read and act things out, they do art project with each other. Even make video edits back and forth. My youngest has done the same thing as well. Being able to link his face-time and play video games or talk about movies.

When the need to get away from technology we started up a garden in the backyard and they both have a plant that they need to take care of. We managed to go to the beach not that long ago and it was fun to watch them go nuts and run from one place to another lol. But school is now currently done! The following school year is unknown if  it will start off with “Distance Learning ” and then go into normal classroom/school environment. Or start up as normal, the email that was sent from the local school system here, said they did not know at this time. Not till August they will know more and inform everyone. Till then we can relax and enjoy what we can. We do have some family events coming up and some small BBQ, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with 4th of July or other holidays.

But they did it! They finished school and I couldn’t be more happy for them. Some much hard work and personal development over these few months. I think they are amazing, well I am their Father. I think that regardless hahaha.

Comics & Childhood Memories Part 2

img_20200609_142130_0236065484735540063323.jpgSo last month I talked about Image Comics and some memories that I had. That can be found here (LINK). Because of that, it caused me to start collecting again and the other day I found a number of comics in this antique mall here in town. I wasn’t going to write about it. But I did make a 4 part post on Twitter about it and for some reason I got on a small soap box.

9c2xhp7192317263766269698.jpgI really didn’t think much of it. Then it hit on much these comic help me change and over come learning issues I had a child. I normally don’t talk about these on here, mostly because it’s never really come up before hahaha. But now reading through these comics, it is clear I had forgotten on how great they were. I think I wrote about this before…

(*Looks over post*)

Yes, yes I did.. But that’s okay… Me and my Dad would have our weekly trip to the comic store and pick up whatever we can get. I remember trying to copy a lot of the art styles screenshot_20200608-201036_twitter2229549943737104980.jpgthat were there by Liefeld, McFarland, Lee. To me the early 90’s were a golden time for comics and art over all. I loved the stories and reading over and over again. Helped me with my Dyslexia (also reading Michael Crichton).

After going through all these comics I just got, I want to go back and dig around some more. I know there is a local comic shop I want to hit as well. Another cool thing was, when I posted these tweets. I got a retweet from Rob Liefeld. It may seem like “small beans” to most, but to me it was a cool little nod/”I saw that”.

20200609_1521398024194944910522224.jpgOn top of that my girlfriend was helping me dig through some of the comics and she found two comics of Buckaroo Banzai! It was a limited two part comic series released by Marvel. Buckaroo Banzai being one of my favorite movies I had to get them. I’m sure I’ll write again soon about some of the finds I have. Also me and my fellow co-hosts on our podcast were talking about doing another Image Comic eps. Seeings how I missed that one.. Ugh.. So I’ll post more updates about that as they come in.

Ugh… So long old friend. Thanks for all the fish.

So this week my computer went out. Like everything. Right in the middle of writing too….. Ugh.. So now I sit and wait for my new computer to arrive.

Altho I am toying around with the idea of trying reinstall Windows. I fixed the Stata cable and new fans. Maybe, just maybe I could bring it back to life.. The computer is about 10 years old and I’ve been changing out parts as I go. Maybe it’s time to retire this old man. So many hours playing Wow, Eve, podcasts and writing.

I’ll know tomorrow if I want to go down that rabbit hole.

Image Comics & Childhood Memories

In words of Sophia Petrillo (Golden Girls if you don’t know)… Picture it Ojai, California, 1993. I was 10 years old at the time and just starting to really get into comics. I was really into DC and had a nice collection going with the help from my Father. There was a comic book store in town, sadly for the life of me I can not remember the name of it. I just remember it was a hole in the wall , next to a army surplus store in a back ally behind a restate office. I remember going there for a couple of years as it was my first comic shop I have ever been to. I think it was open for about 5 years before he had to move his shop. Do to drama (A story for another time) and he tried to run the business out of his garage. That didn’t work to good and the doors was shut.

 

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61lU8QutzqLBut that not the story I want to tell here. I was starting to get into Marvel when one of my friends show me these trading cards he had. These were the Marvel Universe Series 4 Base set. If you collect all of them you were able to put them together to make one full picture. Of course I remember doing a bunch of yard work to earn enough money to go buy a box set. Back then it was $60.00 and I managed to make a little over 80 dollars. From there I got my box set and then found a number of comics  like X-Force, Jim Lee’s X-Men, Spider-Man, Robocop vs Terminator. There was Batman vs The Predator series I picked up as well, but only got two copies in and stop. It didn’t hold my interest as well.

But I remember that summer there was this buzz going around about a new comic company called Image Comics. Being that young at the time, I didn’t really understand what the big deal was. One of my neighbor’s kids use to come over a lot and one day he asked if I wanted to see his comic collection. Not really thinking much about it I went on. Because we were trading and talking shop about comics…

While we were walking to his house he was talking about Image Comics and a artist name Todd McFarland. He was completely enamored with Todd’s work and wouldn’t stop talking about it. I knew of Todd because of his work on Spirder-Man and Venom. So I could only imagine what this Spawn would look like. I was wrong… What I had pictured in my head was completely wrong and was not ready for the world of Spawn.

SpawnWe get to his room and in his closet he had a number of shelves label with what comic go where and by artist. It was amazing…. He pulled out the an issues of Spawn to see if I would even like it. All black with big bold red letters spelling “SPAWN”. Behind that was this monster or demon looking thing with teeth all over the place and these red bug like eyes. Two big horns or tusks if you will and all the slime and that was it.. As I opened the comic I was blown away by it. I had never seem anything like this before. Nor read anything like this before. I knew my Mom would NOT let me have these at the house or over all. But I knew my Dad was more open about things like that hahaha. I must have read it 5 times while I was at my neighbor’s house. From there he introduced me to Young Blood, Savage Dragon, WildC.A.T.s…. I was in nerdy heaven.. Before I left, my neighbor gave me the Spawn issue number #4 with the Violator on the cover. Wanted nothing in return, he had doubles anyways.

Thanks to him He started a obsession that will continue well into my adult years. My Father was hooked by Spawn, he really fell in love with Jim Lee’s art style. So WildC.A.T.s. and Gen13 (Scott Campbell) was his favorites by far. Through out high school I would copy McFarland art work over and over. Trying to have a better understanding on how to draw. While my Father trained me with the classics of Tex Avery and Chuck Jones style of art. McFarland really kicked open the door to whole new world.

As a kid this was an exciting time and realizing now what was going on shocked me. On Amazon there is a Documentary called “The Image Revolution”.

 In 1992, Marvel Comics was the number-one publisher of comic books in the world, largely due to its dynamic artwork. But as a response to what was believed to be years of mistreatment toward creative talent by the industry’s leading publishers, a small – but influential – group of artists left Marvel Comics at the height of its popularity to form their own company, Image Comics.

In one of my podcast we were talking about some new things we have watched and would share them. Chris Lockhart told us about this Documentary. He was not wrong at all! This brought back some many memories watching this movie. It was interesting to see what was really going on behind the scenes  and not just rumors around the comic shop. I’m happy to be around when that happened, because that change the way comic were forever really.

One of the main reason why I’m writing about this now, was because I was to be on a podcast talking about Image Comics. Sadly I was not able to make that show. I really want to do that one too.. But in the end I think is the best way to make it up. Here is the link to the podcast is you would like to give it a play:

https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-p3qkc-dba033

On this episode of ‘The Pop Culture Pub Podcast’ they are discussing Image Comics. Host Chris Lockhart is joined on the episode with Co-Host Kevin Decent.

Image Comics Discussion
We will be talking about Image Comics. Discussion points include:
– history of Image/leaving Marvel
– Our favourite artists
– Our favourite titles
– Heroes Reborn
– Firing Liefeld
– Jim Lee selling Wildstorm to DC
– The Walking Dead & Robert Kirkman
– Modern Image

And we have our ‘Brain Candy’ and ‘Enders’ segments discussing current pop culture news.

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STAR WARS LEGO!

So as an EARLY anniversary gift. I got the 40th Empire Strikes Back addition Boba Fett helmet collection!

A little bit of a undertaking. But excited! I’ll post the finished product.

To A Wonderful Mum

Through the good times and bad. You’ve seen me at my lowest and highest points in life, with vary little judgement (at least I can see lol) you helped me move along. For 37 years you have been there for myself, my sister and brother. Plus a rather awesome Grandma to two little kids. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

 

It’s Family

Spent most of my day doing family history. Just finished going through at least 3 generations of photography. End game is to get them into organized photo albums.

Finished Painting

I finished the two main figures for my D&D campaign. One being the dragon I shared earlier last week. The other was the Owlbear :).

I have to say. I really enjoyed making these and kinda want to do more.

Middle Earth Challenge: The Hobbit

Middle Earth Challenge

“Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who wanted to be left alone in quiet comfort. But the wizard Gandalf came along with a band of homeless Dwarves. Soon Bilbo was drawn into their quest, facing evil orcs, savage wolves, giant spiders, and worse unknown dangers. Finally, it was Bilbo–alone and unaided–who had to confront the great dragon Smaug, the terror of an entire countryside.”

20200328_1216016288655749656073878.jpg“Where did you go to, if I may ask?’ said Thorin to Gandalf as they rode along.
To look ahead,’ said he.
And what brought you back in the nick of time?’
Looking behind,’ said he.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

This is not the first time I’ve read the The Hobbit, nor will it be the last. I can’t tell you how many times I have read it over the years. Between Middle School, High School and even as a bedtime story for my kids. This goes for all the stories of the Middle Earth. Unlike my Star Trek Challenge, where they were completely new adventures to me. Where I have love for some and hatred for others haha. The Middle Earth as a whole has been a love of mine for sometime now. I’ve always wanted to do a reading train on the novels for awhile and now that I have free time on my hands. I think I will.

Now I will odiously be going over the books of Middle Earth in this challenge. But to add a twist at the end I wanted to compare them to the movies. I know there is a number of people who love the movies and others who hate them, there really is no middle ground with them. I for one love them, over all I’m just happy I get to live in a time where they were made and done well . Not slapped together like the D&D movie…….

Now the The Hobbit is a much lighter tale then the LOTR trilogy. A lot of I believe is do to how Hobbits live and their views on life. It’s funny because I’m having a hard time writing a review for the book and explain my joy in this adventure. At it’s core it is an adventure novel, dare I say one of the most charming adventure stories ever told? Oh sure there are a few parts where it gets long winded, but it’s not as bad as George R.R. Martin.

Nowadays People have the good fortune of seeing Peter Jackson’s films, but I and many folks of an earlier generation recall the 1977 animated film with voice talent from John Huston, Orson Bean and Richard Boone. This cartoon was my first introduction to Tolkien’s work and would later lead me to read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Thorin, the lead Dwarf and company leave from the Green Dragon, accompanied by the wizard Gandalf and employed Mr. Baggins as their lucky number 14 and as a burglar. And Bilbo’s unexpected adventure had begun.

Riddles in the Dark. After some fairly pedestrian undertakings Tolkien has Bilbo getting lost in a deep cave and introduces us to one of his strangely likeable villains, Gollum. Later readers would learn the deeper truths of his history, but Tolkien’s guests in this chapter see him as a eccentrically troubled scoundrel.

Songs. A reader in the twenty-first century, and especially one who has enjoyed the Jackson films, may discover that Tolkien’s original story was not as martial as the films. Jackson produced his Hobbit films to be less war-like than his LOTR films, but Tolkien’s prose contained a fair amount of poetry and song, casting his story. If you happen to find yourself a copy of this book, read it. It’s a charming novel that can stand by itself.

Now!! Lets get into the differences between the movies and the book:
i-feel-thinWow.. Okay after going over my notes I have realized this post will be come a small novel in itself. While there are a number of changes between the 1 book and the 3 movies hahaha. I feel that some had to be made.. A lot of people complained that there was to many changes or they just added random things in. When you read though the complains, they seem to be rather small. The Hobbit trilogy’s storyline draws on material from the appendices at the end of the Return of the King novel, especially Dwarven history and the White Council’s dealings with the Necromancer, who proves to be Sauron. As well as some elements of the The Silmarillion. While yes, there are a few parts in the movies where I found myself tilling my head going, “what?”. But I had a smile across my face and enjoyed the movies as a whole.

91VBFn334yL._RI_Now the 1977 animated production in most respects similar to the book. The criticism focused on adaptation issues, with unfamiliar style of artwork used by the Japanese-American co-production team. Tolkien fans questioned the appropriateness of repackaging the material as a family film for a very young audience. Douglas A. Anderson, a Tolkien scholar, called the adaptation “execrable” in his own introduction to the Annotated Hobbit, although he did not elaborate; and a few critics said it was confusing for those not already familiar with the plot. On the other hand, critics praised the adaptation as “excellent”, saying the work received “big points” for being “faithful to Tolkien’s story” and that the “vocal cast can’t be improved upon.” I myself loved this as a kid, the LOTR animated film left me going WTF? The Return of the King was good, from what I can remember.