Happy Halloween!

For those of you who follow my blog, you may remember the last post about finding the perfect pumpkin. (Or if you don't, just scroll down a bit to read it.)
Well here is the final result- the pumpkin's fate was to become a Batman jack-o-lantern! I am very pleased with how it turned out! Have a look for yourself:

Holy Spooks, Batman! You're on a jack-o-lantern!

I also encourage those gamers out there to take advantage of the Team Fortress 2 Halloween Special. What a deal! In the holiday spirit, don't forget to play lots of Left 4 Dead and shoot many zombies! If you've pre-ordered Left 4 Dead 2 then you  have access to the demo by now which is outstanding!

In other news, I've re-potted my rose in a larger blue pot which will be its home for the winter. It's growing pretty well. When I got it some of the lower leaves seemed a bit yellow, but the whole plant is a healthy green now. A new bud has started to bloom too!
read more

Chicago and The Great Pumpkin!

I was able to visit my girlfriend in Chicago last weekend, which was a blast. We saw "Where the Wild Things Are" on the Imax screen at Navy Pier. It was a really good movie. Although I couldn't really remember the book too well from when I was a child, I'm sure there must have been plenty of creative license taken to make it into a 90 minute movie.  It's a film about a young boy learning to deal with his changing life as he is growing up and people around him grow and change too. The "Wild Things" looked visually fantastic, and the music, while a little odd, went great with the theme.

The Navy Pier Ferris Wheel at night

The Chicago Theater Sign

Late October has always been cold, but in the past couple days there's been some sunshine, which is always welcome.

Some birds eating the berries off a bush in downtown Chicago

It's almost Halloween, and that means carving Jack-O-Lanterns! My family has a tradition of going to a pumpkin patch on a farm and searching for a good pumpkin. Each member of the family usually carves a masterpiece.

read more

A Rose by any other name...

When I was in England over the summer I noticed that practically every house in the countryside had a rose garden. There were all types of roses and the gardens all looked really nice. I had always thought that roses were really hard to grow, but if everyone was growing them, how hard could it be really?

Above: A rose garden in Bourton-on-the-Water, England.

Well I'm about to find out. I recently acquired a Kordana miniature rose plant, and I intend to grow it and, if it gets big enough with nice flowers and stuff, I'll give the best ones to my girlfriend. I don't want to tell her about it because whenever I give her flowers she jokes that I have a secret flower shop in my basement... well this one is on the back porch!

Until it gets too cold... then I might set it on top of my computer which is right next to a sunny window.
Anyways I've read about growing roses a little bit online and it doesn't really seem all that hard. If all those people in England can do it then, by Jove, so can I! Here are a few pictures of it, including a bonus picture of my dog Strider. Any flower-growing tips are appreciated.

read more

One less rodent...

Today after class I saw a bunch of people standing around looking up at a tree on campus, so I went over to investigate. They were all gawking at this Red-Tailed Hawk as it enjoyed a tasty squirrel. I snapped this picture while it was gobbling down some intestines...

Oh well, one less rodent running around campus!

I've got three exams this week and two homework assignments due... so it's going to be a busy week...

Posted by Picasa
read more

Shooting Star!

I captured this tonight at about 8:00pm near my house in NE OH with a Nikon D90 while taking some pictures on the night sky. I used a tripod and except for this picture I used a cable release.

Forgot to make a wish!

Below are some more pictures. Be sure to click on them to get the enlarged view to really take it in!

Looking northeast. I believe this is the constellation Cassiopeia.

Looking South. This star was the brightest in the sky and was visible since the sun started to go down. Venus or Mars maybe? Jupiter perhaps?

The second brightest star- this is the same area ( although an hour later) where I caught the shooting star. This is looking West.

Posted by Picasa
read more

Mice With Swords

I've picked up an amazing book recently, a graphic novel by David Petersen called Mouse Guard: Fall 1152.
It's a story about mice in the middle ages and how they defend themselves (with miniature swords and such) from predators such as snakes, crabs and even other (evil) mice. The art is very well done. I think the illustrations are all in watercolor and pen.

The story focuses on the adventures on the Mouse Guard, an elite unit of military mice that serve to protect the mouse kingdom and its people from all sorts of threats. The main mice are Saxon, Kenzie and Lieam. Sent on what seems to be a simple mission: to find a missing grain merchant on the road between two of the mouse cities, they discover a secret and learn that the city of Lockhaven is in danger!

It's so epic that I drew some fan art. Here is a pencil rendering of Kenzie, who is a grey mouse that fights with a staff. The scene it is taken from is when she duels Saxon in the middle of a town square to provide a distraction for Leiam so he can slip away to fin out more about the plot they have uncovered.

Her cape is supposed to be purple, but I just left all the color out since all I had at the time were my pencils.

David Petersen's art style is what really makes this comic worth it. I like how he hardly ever draws the mouses' mouths, which is appropriate since in real life you can never see a mouse's mouth unless it is eating or something.

I never thought I would see a comc about mice battling a snake with swords, but here it is... and its awesome!
read more

What's in a theme?

To anyone who actually reads this blog: please bear with me while I try out a few new themes for the site. I'm trying to find something unique and different that is also customizable to my liking... so it might take a few tries to get it right. So if you notice that suddenly my blog looks completely different, it's OK. I appreciate any feedback on layout or design!

Also, go play the new Left 4 Dead DLC - Crash Course. It's awesome.
(If you haven't already, make sure to add me to your Steam friends as JimminyJoJo!)
read more