Hippogriff's Aerie

Apparitions of Imagination

The Limping, Crawling Blog

This post has been a long time coming, and I’ve been avoiding it as long as possible. I apologize to those of you who follow the blog, and feel I owe you an explanation:

It began some time ago, when I tried to introduce TV show reviews in order to be a little different from other blogs, and there was too much downtime between reviews. It came to a head when I attempted to write a review for Bloodfire Quest. I found that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t give voice to a review that would distinguish me from the multitudes of others out there.

And that’s really the underlying issue: there are a world full of book blogs out there. My voice is just one in a sea of many. At times, it has felt as if I were drowning in that sea of anonymity. Book review blogs are popping up all over, and there are many other sites that devote their full attention to books (some with multiple reviewers) and do it far better than I. Unfortunately, I’m not that focused. As you can tell from my blog, I have several different interests and hobbies.

The thing is, my other hobbies that I blog about are fairly unique – there aren’t any other sites like them on the Internet. Every post that I create here, adrift among the endless seas of book blogs, is a post lost for those other unique blogs. And I want to be unique and different, not just another book blogger. Blogging takes time, enthusiasm, and thoughtfulness, with time being the greatest factor. With 5 other blogs running, I’m hard-pressed to devote the time it takes to make this one outstanding. Two of those other blogs have brought up monetary possibilities, which also gives them an edge.

I’m going through a transitional phase right now. Maybe this will all blow over and some book will come along that sparks my imagination. Or maybe I need to go in a different direction. I might even have to shut this down. What I do know is that I need a little more time to decide what to do…

June 13, 2013 Posted by | Editorial | Leave a comment

Face Off: “Mummy Mayhem” (Season 4 Episode 9)

face-offBroadcast date: Tuesday, Mar. 12th, 2013

This week’s challenge was to come up with a mummy design based on the film The Evil Dead. This is a tie-in to the new movie being released. The contestents are surprised with a visit from Bruce Campbell, who warns that the new movie is darker than the original and that they should keep that in mind while they work. Each person must choose a design based around an Egyptian god. There’s a little bit of yawn-inducing drama as the contestants talk about how much they miss their families, but it’s thankfully brief and nowhere near past episodes. After the sculpts are done and last looks are over, the results are revealed. Eric F.’s version of Ra is awesome and should have won, but the judges choose Kris’s ram god Knhum. Wayne’s crocodile god falls squarely in the middle. On the bottom are House, with a scribe god, and also Anthony (how far the mighty have fallen). I thought they’d be crazy to cut Anthony and I’m right – it’s House that gets the axe. All the designs were good this week – the judges hated to have to choose a loser. One more episode before the finale…

Kris's winning Khnum

Kris’s winning Khnum

 

Eric F.'s Ra - my favorite!

Eric F.’s Ra – my favorite!

 

Anthony's Anubis - not that bad

Anthony’s Anubis – not that bad

 

mummy house

House’s scribe god – good but not good enough…

 

 

April 15, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Steampunk Collectible

box 6 022In my post about things I collect, I mentioned that one of my interests was beer tap handles. A little over a year ago I was able to obtain the #1 tap on my wishlist, a steampunk tap from a brewery called Dogfish Head out of Milton, Delaware. Dogfish Head was already on my radar for their “Ancient Ales”…re-creations of ancient recipes found from various archaeological sites around the world. These amazing brews include Midas Touch Golden Elixir, a strong ale based on residue found on drinking vessels from the tomb of King Midas, dating back to the 8th century BC and containing ingredients including Muscat grapes, honey, and saffron. There’s also Chateau Jiahu, a spiced strong ale based on residue from pottery found in the Neolithic village of Jiahu (in central China), dating to the 7th millennium BC, with ingredients such as rice flakes, wildflower honey, hawthorn fruit, and Chrysanthemum flowers (this is the oldest known beer recipe to be brewed in the modern age).

Certain Dogfish Head tap handles are some of the most expensive and sought-after, with the steampunk tap (pictured left) routinely going for over $400 on eBay. I came across another rare Dogfish Head item on eBay that I just had to have. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you:

the Dogfish Head Steampunk Clock…

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This rare beauty (there are fewer of these than the tap handles) was picked up for quite a deal, considering they were $300 + shipping when they were originally available from the Dogish Head store; they sold out fairly quickly. The last one on eBay (before mine) sold for $408, and there’s one currently listed for $935! It does need a little work – the left gear is supposed to turn and the right needle is supposed to spin, but neither of them do. There’s also a section of LEDs not functioning on the right side. But these are all minor issues that I believe I can repair/replace without too much expense. The bottom line is that I now have a clock to match my tap!

April 10, 2013 Posted by | steampunk | Leave a comment

Revenge: “Retribution” (Season 2 Episode 15)

emily-vancamp-revenge-season-2Broadcast date:  Sunday, Mar. 10th, 2013

Three weeks after the explosive episode “Sacrifice”, Revenge returns with what you would hope would be, well, revenge, against those who perpetrated the demise of the Amanda (and one of it’s passengers, so Retribution should have been an appropriate title. Unfortunately it refers to making plans rather than actual action sequences. C’mon writers, you gave us 3 weeks to catch our breath…no need to slow the story down! So Jack pretty much hates on everyone while he’s in the hospital recovering, which is understandable, and eventually focuses his hate on . Later in the episode he’s walking around (!) and recovers the laptop. Fortunately Emily gets it back, then chucks it in the water? Shouldn’t have done that, babe. Nolan gives the Carrion program to Padma to exchange for her father. An during the funeral scene at the end, Emily’s foster brother Eli James shows up. What’s his agenda? Lots of intrigue, but not enough action this week – that’s not director Helen Hunt’s fault, that’s the writing…

April 10, 2013 Posted by | tv shows | | Leave a comment

Lost Girl: “Fae-ge Against the Machine” (Season 3 Episode 8)

Lost-Girl-Cast-lost-girl-28058794-720-493Broadcast date:  Sunday, Mar. 10th, 2013

Bo gets tricked into making a deal with another Fae and must complete a series of mini-quests in a lawless Fae area. There were several inconsistencies with this episode…what bothered me the most was Tamsin warning Bo about this “scary place” that ended up being quite tame. There’s a nice touch added when Trick is forced to play a very steampunk-looking game machine, with the results influencing Bo’s actions. But no Kenzi and no Dyson, combined with the overhyped bad Fae area makes this a pretty dull episode.At least it’s closer to resolving the “Dawning” plot line which has been a snoozefest so far.  There’s a little twist at the end where Tamsin grabs Bo and kisses her…methinks the doctor is about to be replaced, which I’m good with. Tamsin is awesome, Lauren not so much. An okay episode, but unfortunately that seems to be happening quite a bit lately…

April 9, 2013 Posted by | tv shows | | Leave a comment

Grimm: “Face Off” (Season 2 Episode 13)

grimm_wallpaper-1280x960Broadcast date:  Friday, Mar. 8th, 2013

After what has seemed like an eternity, Grimm has returned to the airwaves. One of my three favorite shows from last year, Grimm take on the fairy tale genre in fresh, modern, and violent way. With an ensemble cast of veteran actors, including Silas Weir Mitchell (Prison Break), Reggie Lee (Prison Break, No Ordinary Family) and Sasha Roiz (Caprica, Warehouse 13), the story revolves around Portland police detective Nick Burkhardt, who is a direct descendant of the legendary Grimm family, hunters of frightening beasts. Investigating brutal murders often leads Nick to discover a Wesen (a supernatural creature that appears human but is actually a animal-based humanoid that can only be seen in their natural form by a Grimm. When Nick’s Aunt Marie showed up in the first season, she accelerated the process, and Nick began to use his new-found abilities to hunt down and capture or kill Wesen. The main characters are his partner, Hank; his girlfriend, Juiliette; Renard (Roiz), the police captain who is secretly a Wesen himself; Sgt. Wu (Lee); Monroe (Mitchell), a wolf Wesen who Nick befriends, and Rosalee, a spice shop owner and Monroe’s love interest. Loaded with mystery, action, decent special effects, and a great cast, I always looked forward with great anticipation to new episodes.

After an outstanding first season that did become a bit repetitive in its serial Nick-and-Monroe-hunt-down-the-killer-of-the-week format, the second season left that format and began to explore the underlying main plot, which took the show to new heights. However, as the show wound up for its long hiatus, I was incredibly frustrated with the way the writing began to devolve. An ill-advised side plot featuring Renard and Juliette having a love affair (along with Juliette losing her memories of Nick) due to a magic potion, combined with a sudden and inexplicable inability for characters to communicate with one another (done awkwardly to advance the plot), had me wondering if the show had lost its mojo. I wasn’t alone in my concern, as many fan boards were expressing the same sentiments. I watched “Face Off” with great relief, however, as it made baby steps in rectifying these problems. Communication among the characters gets better, the Renard-Juliette side plot is almost over, and the action returns fast and furious with the confrontation between Nick and Renard that has been building for most of the season.

When Nick finds out that Renard has taken a key given to Nick by his Aunt Marie, the two square off in a great fight scene, with Renard revealing he is Wesen. Renard reveals he is a Royal, the ruling family of the Wesen, but is also aligned with the Resistance, a group fighting the Royals. Renard believes the Royals are evil, and he wants to establish Portland as a safe place for Wesen from the Royals (this somewhat helps explain why there are so many Wesen in Portland). It’s a great sequence, because now there’s tension from Nick being unsure about whether he can trust Renard, but also from the fact that he is (and has been) taking orders from a Wesen. You can already see little moments in which Nick challenges orders from his captain that he normally would have followed.

The return of Rosalee was also welcome – I enjoy her character a great deal and she seems to have come up with an antidote for the love potion. Here’s to hoping the show gets back on track and becomes better than ever…

Note: since this show is filmed in Portland, I like to try to figure out where certain scenes are shot, and I would love to answer a casting call to be an extra…

April 7, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Person of Interest: “Proteus” (Season 2 Episode 17)

Person-of-Interest-person-of-interest-30429662-1280-1024Broadcast date:  Thursday, Mar. 7th, 2013

When Reese looks to protect a number on an island, when a sudden storm hits, Finch arrives to help. Although it wasn’t necessary a bad episode, the killer was easy to pick out early on, removing a lot of the tension. The most interesting development of the episode was the revelation that the machine has been affected by the virus that Kara uploaded. Unfortunately this episode wasn’t up to the show’s usual standards…

April 3, 2013 Posted by | tv shows | | Leave a comment

NCIS: “Prime Suspect” (Season 10 Episode 17)

ncisBroadcast date:  Tuesday, Mar. 5th, 2013

I wasn’t really feeling this episode. Gibbs tried to help his barber determine whether or not the guy’s son was a serial killer, while Tony took probie Dorneget to the Bahamas to catch a thief. I guess I really didn’t like the interaction between Dorneget and Tony, and I thought the serial killer story felt a little contrived. Meh. Maybe next episode…

March 29, 2013 Posted by | tv shows | | Leave a comment

Face Off: “It’s Better in the Dark” (Season 4 Episode 8)

face-offBroadcast date:  Tuesday, Mar. 5th, 2013

The contestants travel to the coast for inspiration, as they are to create a new, undiscovered humanoid species. There is one caveat: the paint job must look good under both regaular light, and must be bioluminescent under ultraviolet light. Oh, by the way: it’s a double elimination week! The contestants were taken to the ocean for inspiration because the depths of the ocean does house many bioluminescent species, but early on its clear that Meagan is having trouble conceptualizing and has chosen to be different by going with a cave dweller. During the first day she leaves with what turns out to be food poisoning. Unfortunately this lost time affects her work and puts her in the bottom, although she never really conceptualized her creature. She is the first to be eliminated. Anthony bounces back from some rough times with the top look, and Wayne’s is also awesome, although he leaves himself short on time for paint and under UV it’s not as impressive. The second to go is Eric Z., whose creature didn’t look that bad. I thought Eric F.’s creature looked worse under regular lights, but looked cool under UV. Either one could have gone in my opinion, but I pretty much agree with the judges here, and thankfully with Meagan gone so to goes the majority of the awful drama that has plagued the show this year. There are now only 5 contestants remaining…

anthony1

Anthony’s winning makeup

Anthony's creature under UV

Anthony’s creature under UV

wayne1

Wayne’s creature

eric z1

Eric Z.’s creature wasn’t too bad…

...until it got under UV

…until it got under UV

Meagan's awful cave creature...

Meagan’s awful cave creature…

...looked even worse under UV.

…looked even worse under UV.

March 29, 2013 Posted by | tv shows | | Leave a comment

Lost Girl: “There’s Bo Place Like Home” (Season 3 Episode 7)

Lost-Girl-Cast-lost-girl-28058794-720-493Broadcast date:  Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

To be ready to take on the challenge for The Dawning, Bo must be in the right frame of mind, which she’s clearly not. More insight reveals that she needs to return home to confront her foster mother, who treated her badly. This also involves traveling to the town where she was once accused of murder and had to flee (she was later cleared). Upon returning to the town to visit her foster mother, accompanied by Kenzi, they land themselves in the middle of an annual festival and also a class reunion. Exhibiting signs of dementia, Bo’s mother remembers none of the bad memories that occurred years ago. At the same time, old classmates start dying off one by one, and Bo must figure out why.

This wasn’t a bad episode…it was good to see Kenzi back in form, and there were some nice moments between Bo and her mother. The classmates are dying due to someone summoning the ghost of a girl who fell down a well…not the most original storyline, but Bo is able to handle it and return to her tests with a much clearer head, and advance the story to where it needs to go. Where that is, exactly, I’m not sure yet…

March 29, 2013 Posted by | tv shows | | Leave a comment

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