Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Special Post Announcement



There is an anniversary coming up in four days. It's the second anniversary of a certain occurrence. And no, it's not a birthday. Not that I know of, anyway. But it's an exciting day for me, so I am going to be putting up a special post to commemorate it.

This particular occurrence partly inspired a certain script that I've been working on recently. I won't say the title--yet--but I think I might on Saturday. Yes, it actually has a title. I should probably be working on Hanesion House (see WRITING PROJECTS), but I have gotten a lot done on this script in the time I've been working on it just recently.

Now, I'm thinking that in all these little inbetween posts, I will post a fun picture. That is now a tradition. So, here is a picture that has (something) to do with last week's Mid-Week Music. And it is very funny.

Les plus beaux fan arts de Retour vers le Futur rejoué par ...

See? Very funny. I can just imagine the possibilities. "This is heavy, Gandalf!"

Anyway, I suppose that's about all for this post. Keep a weather-eye on this space, because I think there's a thunder-storm brewing. Or quite possibly lightning. Well, here's hoping I will see you back again in the very near future. Bye!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mid-Week Music #15 - Gandalf's Reflection



Tonight's MWM may, to some of you, be familiar. If you've read J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, that is. Just like I'm doing currently. And just as my younger brothers and sisters are about to do as well. Then again, it may be familiar to you if you've seen MWM #6. It's another (and, in my own opinion, somewhat better) version of the first part of this song. Not to say that this first part is bad: quite the opposite. It's a fun little piece.

However, it's the second part I really like. My dad always says it captures the mystery and eeriness and solemnity of the dwarves; that you could really see them singing there, wreathed in the smoke-rings from Gandalf's pipe. I definitely agree: it gives me chills every time. Such songs as this always capture the imagination, in humans as well as hobbits, and conjure up images in the mind better than any wizard. And that is important to me.

Still not convinced? Here's a third opinion, worded far better than mine.

"As they sang the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things made by hands and by cunning and by magic moving through him, a fierce and jealous love, the desire of the hearts of dwarves. Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick. He looked out of the window. The stars were out in a dark sky above the trees. He thought of the jewels of the dwarves shining in dark caverns. Suddenly in the wood beyond The Water a flame leapt up--probably somebody lighting a wood-fire--and he thought of plundering dragons settling on his quiet Hill and kindling it all to flames. He shuddered; and very quickly he was plain Mr. Baggins of Bag-End, Under-Hill, again."
 ~ J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Chapter I, An Unexpected Party. 


***

Dwarves (sung):
Chip the glasses, crack the plates
That's what Bilbo Baggins hates
That's what Bilbo Baggins hates
So carefully, carefully with the plates!

Blunt the knives and bend the forks
Smash the bottles, burn the corks
That's what Bilbo Baggins hates
So carefully, carefully with
The
Plates

**

Far o'er the Misty Mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold


**

Gandalf (spoken):
The dwarves of yore made mighty spells
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep
In hollow halls beneath the fells

Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword

On silver necklaces they strung
The flow'ring stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun

*

The pines were roaring on the height
The winds were moaning in the night
The fire was red, it flaming spread
The trees like torches blazed with light

The bells were ringing in the dale
The men looked up with faces pale
The dragon's ire, more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail

The mountain smoked beneath the moon
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon

**

Dwarves (sung):
We must away ere break of day
To win our harps and gold from him

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Mid-Week Music #14 - All Falls Down



This song has been following me around a little. I listened to it on Sunday, then it popped up on Pandora (a music app or some such), and I read something in the Bible today that inspired a line in the song. I felt I had to use it for this week's MWM. (Be forewarned: it is very heavy. You might want to keep a hand near the volume control, especially when wearing headphones).

A lot of things have been happening recently. Some are good, some are bad. I don't know all of it, but I know some. It's beginning to feel like a movie--with real superheroes and supervillains. Even though the Right side has had some victories recently, the enemy is still trying to tear everything apart. In the media, in politics, in the streets of the cities: wherever they possibly can, they cause chaos.

And this is why we need to fight. We cannot allow ourselves to be enslaved to fools who would destroy us: therefore, we must fight back. Whether you enforce laws to protect liberty and abolish those that steal it. Whether you defend those threatened by the mobs, and rescue those abandoned by their cowards to die. Whether you create new worlds and people and stories that hold to truth, to goodness, to beauty. Whatever you do, we will fight against evil and we will win.

So fight on, and fight faithfully. For he who is faithful from ashes will rise, when it All Falls Down.




***

Red knights coming to Rome
Blood in the streets
Kingdoms die overthrown
Lay down your lives or be slaves to a fool
When it all falls down

**

Freedom stolen in sight
Do you love destruction or do you want life?
He who is faithful from ashes will rise
When it all falls down

(chorus)
Wake up, chosen ones
Stand up, fight for love
Where lies your treasure
So shall you become
When it all falls down

***

(chorus)

***

(chorus)
Wake up, chosen ones

Stand up, fight for love
Where lies your treasure
So shall you become
When it all falls
When it all falls
When it all falls down!

**

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Mid-Week Music #13 - Cups



So... this is a song I've had in my head for a while. I know not why, and I know not whence it comes. All I know is that I've heard it before and it won't leave me alone. I think it's a popular song. My sister, Abigail, knows how to do the Cups beat (is that what to call it?), and will probably start practicing it once she sees this post.

You know, a couple nights ago, the idea occurred to me of what might happen if I combined this song with a certain other popular song from--I think it was 1984. The results seemed rather interesting, and definitely something strange. I may make a video of it... someday... a long time...from...now... *ahem* But there'll be time enough to show you that once it's done.

For now, I'll just show you this version. The actual song begins at around 1:15--well, the Cups beat starts there, which is the beginning of the song. The song is called... either You're Gonna Miss Me, When I'm Gone, or just Cups. I think it's Cups. Anyway, here it is!



***

I got my ticket for the long way 'round
Two bottle  o' whiskey for the way
And I sure would like some sweet company
And I'm leaving tomorrow--what d'you say?

(chorus #1)
When I'm gone
When I'm go-one
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone
You're gonna miss me by my hair
You're gonna miss me everywhere, oh
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone

(chorus #2)
When I'm gone
When I'm go-one
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone
You're gonna miss me by my walk
You're gonna miss me by my talk, oh
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone

**

I got my ticket for the long way 'round
The one with the prettiest of views
It's got mountains, it's got rivers
It's got sights to give you shivers
But it sure would be prettier with you

(chorus #2)

***

(chorus #1)
When I'm gone
When I'm go-oh-oh-one
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone
You're gonna miss me by my ha-air
You're gonna miss me everywhere, oh
You're sure gonna miss me when I'm gone

(chorus #2)
When I'm gone
When I'm go-one
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone
You're gonna miss me by my walk
You're gonna miss me by my talk, oh
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone


Saturday, September 23, 2017

DuckTales Reboot--First Episode Review



If you read my most recent Mid-Week Music post, you know that I recently watched the Pilot episode of the rebooted DuckTales. Now, I know what you're thinking: "Since when is Launchpad a pilot?"

I'm kidding. I just quoted a line from the show. I do that sort of thing sometimes.

But you're probably thinking that I already reviewed it. And I did, in very brief terms. But "I liked it" wasn't exactly a review--it's the Why You Liked It that makes a review. Therefore, I will put out my first review on this blog.

Where do I even start?

I suppose I should let you know that it was really more like a two-parted episode put together to make one episode. Pilot episodes are usually in parts. So the usual intro was not included until about halfway through. Just a note.

The plot itself was wonderful: Part One, where we are introduced to all the characters, was well done, and showed off the personalities of the characters splendidly. The entire Wing of Secrets part alone was fun, mysterious, and incredibly awesome. Part Two, where they head off on their first official adventure, was just as good.

The twists were interesting, and I did not see them coming. The adventure, the excitement, and the cleverness caught my attention. Seeing as this is an adventure show, it looks as if this is being done right. And since I'm just finishing listening to the Adventures in Odyssey episode, The Cross of Cortes, I have something else adventurous to compare it to. It stacks up well.

(Note: The Cross of Cortes is an episode where Whit and Eugene travel to Mexico to visit Whit's missionary friend, Dan Isidro. The episode includes an adventurous treasure hunt in an exotic land, maps, mysterious messages, temples, a lovely lady from said exotic land, and volcanos. If you are unfamiliar with adventure stories in general, perhaps consider starting there.)



Now, on to the characters. Of course, Scrooge McDuck is Scrooge McDuck--Scottish adventure capitalist. He's very awesome. Replacing the late Alan Young is David Tennant (most people know him as the Tenth Doctor from Doctor Who). I was a little worried that the new actor wouldn't be able to capture the character as well as Alan Young. However, Tennant does a great job, and I am highly excited to see more of this character.

Huey, Dewey, and Louie: let me tell you, I could not tell them apart to save my life before. But now, it's quite clear who's who. Huey is more the booksmart type (and wears red). Dewey is the bold--not to mention reckless and a bit arrogant--ringleader of the kids, and loves adventuring (and wears blue). Louie is... well, known as the evil triplet. I don't know how else to describe him, but you'll be able to tell. He's the one that wears green. Some people say their voices sound off, because they're played by grown men, and sound nothing like the originals. And it did throw me off a little at first. However, I think it was a good idea: now, we don't have four characters doing the Donald Duck voice!

Webby, their first new friend at McDuck Manor, is a huge expert in the history of the McDuck family, and wants to go on adventures like her hero, Scrooge McDuck. We've got Launchpad McQuack, the crash-prone chauffer/pilot for Scrooge (aka, Mr. McDee). There's Mrs. Beakley, the housekeeper at McDuck Manor, Webby's grandmother, who is decidedly not the secretary. These characters are all fun characters, whether they're the same as their 1980s counterparts or not.

And then we've got Donald Duck. As I said in the last post, it took a couple of times to get what he was saying, and there are one or two parts I still don't understand. (This is rather unusual, since I can normally understand what he's saying in other cartoons). Still, I think Donald is great. The character's a little overprotective of the boys, but it seems this comes in handy later on. I won't say how, but I will say that the point of a laser death trap is not to touch every single laser while humming your own theme song. Donald is also still very... um, temperamental. Especially when it comes to staplers. (Just watch the episode).

In short, the characters were great. They were well acted, and I loved them. Even the villains were simultaneously evil and funny, without becoming idiots. "He thinks he's SO rich and SO Scottish, when I'm wearing a kilt, McDuck--A KIIIIILT!" And not only that, but both the younger and older characters together play a role in saving the day: something that few cartoon shows have today.

Moving on, the show is well written, with several hilarious parts. However, it doesn't overdo the comedy or include unnecessary jokes. Its main focus is the characters and the adventure, which is done very well. But, when it does try to be funny, it is very, very funny. And this next point makes it all the more special to me: it has no bathroom jokes. Those get on my nerves so much, and even the best of cartoons have had them. But none are to be seen thus far.

But you know what the best part was? This was one reboot among many, many reboots--not just by Disney, but in general. Most of the reboots I've seen have been awful, feeding solely off of people's nostalgia for the original story, while also having no regard for those people or the original story. Others require a full knowledge of the original story to be able to understand it at all. DuckTales is neither.

Several fans of the original have said that this is a great show. Some have not liked it, but several have. I personally can vouch for the fact that people can enjoy the new show without any knowledge of the old one. It's a show that can stand on its own feet, and doesn't have to rely on nostalgia, while also appealing to it at the same time.

Oddly enough, there are similarities between this remake and another. We have the Old School Hero From the 80s, who's been out of the action for a while and doesn't do anything interesting anymore. He is called back into action by the antics of the Clever Tween Sidekick(s), who are his nephews/niece. They go to stop the Sworn Enemy Rival from evildoing. With the aid of the Smart Tough Helpers/Supporting Characters, they stop the Sworn Enemy Rival and capture the henchmen.


Sound familiar?

However, in Inspector Gadget (rebooted), the title character is an idiot and no longer the main character. The Clever Tween Sidekick does everything, and the Smart Tough Helper does nothing but get chased around. Even the Sworn Enemy Rival is an idiot. Over the top ridiculous humour takes the place of all storytelling and characters. At least in the original the villain was intimidating, and there was actual danger.

But in DuckTales, everyone has a point, and no one is boring. It has a great story, great characters, and a good balance between bold adventures, dramatic mystery, and hilarious comedy. My only tiff I have is that the next episodes can only be watched on TV channels. However, I hear the show may come out on Netflix at some point, so I need to master the virtue of patience. In the meantime, I think I'll watch a few episodes of the original show.

My rating? Five stars out of five. Go watch it now.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mid-Week Music #12 - DuckTales



Ah, now this time, I will be doing the theme song of a certain show. This is one of the rare instances where I will post two videos, simply because there are two versions. Allow me to tell you why I chose this song.

I've always loved Scrooge McDuck. I mean, he's Scottish, he's a capitalist, he's an adventurer, the creator of the character mentioned cathedrals and old-fashioned values when talking about the character--basically, there's a lot to like for someone like me. And when the first episode popped up on my YouTube screen, I felt like watching it. I knew there had been one of these back in the 80s, but I'd never watched it. So after a while--to be precise, this past Sunday--I watched it.

I was not disappointed. The show was awesome! I love the adventure, and the characters are a lot of fun. And when it was funny, it was very, very funny. There were a lot of reasons why I liked it, but guess what else? It was a reboot that was actually great. My family, who watched it with me last night, loved it too. I cannot wait to see the next episode. So now, here are the two versions of the theme song of... DuckTales! Woo-oo!




That was the original opening. I like the horns. I like the sound. Someone made a video combining the music of that one with the visuals of the next. Which is good, because I think the next one is more exciting, more befitting, visually. (Let me know which one you like better in the comments below!)




Life is like a hurricane
Here in
Duckburg
Racecars, lasers, aeroplanes
It's a
Duck blur

Might solve a myst'ry
Or rewrite hist'ry
DuckTales!
Woo-oo!

Every day they're out there making DuckTales
Woo-oo!
Tales of derring-do, bad and good luck tales
Woo-oo!

D-d-d-danger lurks behind you
There's a stranger out to find you
What to do? Just grab onto some
DuckTales
Woo-oo!

Every day they're out there making DuckTales
Woo-oo!
Tales of derring-do, bad and good luck tales
Woo-oo!
Not pony tails or cotton tails
No, DuckTales!
Woo-oo!

(OR:)
[Tales of daring, bad and good
[Not pony tails or cotton tails
[No, DuckTales!
[Woo-oo!]



Monday, September 18, 2017

Delays and Dragons



Hi there. So... I said in the last post that I was going to try to catch up on my posting. It looks like today is not going to be that day. It's getting late, and I know Mommy will need my help with supper-related things. Therefore, I will probably be posting something either tomorrow or on Thursday or the following days.

But there is some good news: I finally put something on my Writing Projects Page! I wrote something up, and there it is now! It will likely get updated at different points along the way. Scratch that--it will definitely be getting updated along the way. Now then...

Oop, yep, I am definitely getting called in there to help with things. So I will be going now. Here's a random picture, so you can laugh while you wait.



Funniest thing ever.

Gotta go. Bye!