My Star Wars Tattoo

tattoo1This Tattoo was designed and applied by Brian Hopson of Ocean Mystique’s Ink Gallery in Virginia Beach, Virginia

In total, the tattoo took approximately 10 hours to complete. I did this in one sitting. Yes, I know what your thinking. “10 hours? no way….”. Well I assure you, yes it took ten hours, and yes, ten hours of getting tattooed takes much dedication and lots and lots of distractions.

Here was my tattoo timeline:

  • 10:00 am – Laughing and joking with the tattoo artist while he apply’s the stencil and starts on the outline.1
  • 1:00 am – Admiring how awesome the design looks while outline is being done.
  • 12:00 pm – Wife Stacey shows up and takes a look. outline still being done.
  • 1:00 pm – Stop for lunch, have some pizza, fellow shop workers stop to check out the tattoo.
  • 2:00 pm – Back at it, finished up outline, started shading.
  • 3:00 pm – Still shading, and touching up outline. <em>(ouline is now sore and five hours in a chair is taking its toll)
  • 4:00 pm – Andrew stops by to check things out. Says “that looks painful”, shading still taking place.
  • 5:00 pm – Shading is now complete. We take a break. Sitting in a chair is now becoming tough to do. Arm is very sore.
  • 6:00 pm – Coloring of the tattoo commences. The end is in sight.
  • 7:00 pm – I WANT OUT OF THIS CHAIR!!! my arm hurts. Coloring is still being done.
  • 8:00 pm – I want to curl up in a ball and cry. My arm is so swollen, sore, and tender to the touch.  Tattoo Complete.
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Photo Manipulation

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This excellent example of photography was taken by Danny Warren, and features two members (Jeremy Warren and Chris Davis) of the Virginia Beach Star Wars Fan Force, The Tidewater Alliance.

Photo manipulation is a tricky business, even for the more experienced. With the right amount of patience and persistence, your images will begin to take on the form that you envisioned. Before I even put my cursor over the toolbar in Photoshop, I look at the image that I am working on and decide what I want to do overall. Then I figure out what in the image needs to be removed, what needs to stay, and what needs to be tweaked or adjusted. When making these types of decisions, it is important to remember what your personal limitations are with the program and images. Another resource that is always helpful to learn and know is the History panel. In times of frustration, this panel can become your best friend.


Step 1. Quick Selection Tool / Polygonal Lasso Tool

For tphotomanip12his photograph, I decided to remove the sky, light poles, people, etc. After opening the image i
n Photoshop, I doubled clicked the image. Doing this unlocks the image and allows you to rename it. At this point I added a new layer and designated it as the background layer. I then started the process of removing the sky by using the Quick Selection and Polygonal Lasso Tools. This is usually one of the most tedious processes in manipulating and retouching photos as sometimes the tools have a mind of their own. If and when this happens, just remember to take a deep breath and keep at it. After I removed all sections of the blue sky, I did the same to the small sign located underneath the two individuals in the picture. At this point, my image looked like this.


Step 2-3. Layer Manipulation/Blending

photomanip21After all the sections I wanted out of the image were taken care of I added my new background. Once the new background was in place, it was easy to see where I needed to go over with the Healing Brush and Clone Stamp Tools. Once everything was in place I noticed that I did not like how the background actually sat in contrast with the mid-ground. I used the Ctrl-T function on the layer to adjust the layer and put it on an angle. Then I added my custom science fiction sign. Around the tree edges I carefully used the Burn Tool to slightly darken around the trees, giving a blending effect with the darker background color. This tool was also used in spots inside the two shadows for depth. I also used the Dodge Tool to lighten certain spots in the new background.


Step 4. Rotoscoping

photomanip4For the finishing touch, I rotoscoped both individuals lightsabers, green for the Jedi, and red for the Sith. To accomplish the rotoscoping feature, you must have the LI actions installed in PhotoShop. The tools used to accomplish this feature are the Pen Tool, Custom Shape Tool, and the Line Tool. Normally you would use the saber settings that matched when the picture was taken, i.e nighttime photo, dark settings. This picture was taken during the daylight, but due to the darker background I introduced, I decided to go with darker saber settings.

Rotoscoping images is pretty easy if you have the correct program, tools, and patience. If you are new to rotoscoping or are even remotely interested. I will be making a rotoscoping tutorial in the near future so make sure you check for updates and new blog posts.

Sims4 – Vampires

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I have always been a fan of the Sims games, and while I only started playing Sims through Sims 3, I can say that this is a game that is nice and relaxing. First I can say that this game pack is a bit underwhelming. I was honestly hoping for more content with this game pack. There are times in the game you will be asked to travel to the museum, or go somewhere else. The only problem with that is the Vampire village you play in consists of 4 main plots with houses and a central park type area…and thats it. This is the first bit of gameplay from the Vampires game pack. Tune in for not only more of this game pack, but also more of Sims 4 in general. Enjoy!


The Dissection of Silent Bob

smithSilent Bob, aka Kevin Patrick Smith, has been a mainstay in media and in our hearts since 1994 with his now cult classic Clerks. Through television, movies, and more recently the internet radio, Smith, his movies, and the characters within are known and loved by many, most notably the famous duo Jay & Silent Bob. In this blog I will dissect and describe through his body of work, why I believe Kevin Smith exemplifies Auteur Theory.

Auteur Theory that holds that a film’s director is its “author”. The director oversees and “writes” the film’s audio and visual scenario and therefore is considered more responsible for its content than the screenwriter. Supporters maintain that the most successful films bear the distinctive imprint of their director.

First and foremost, Kevin Smith for the majority of his movies is the writer, director, and in one shape or another is a notable character in the movie. Usually Smith plays comic relief through his portrayal of Silent Bob. Even though he was the director for these movies, Smith comprised this role as Silent Bob through his movies “Clerks”, “Mallrats”, “Chasing Amy”, “Dogma”, “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”, and “Clerks II”. Another ever present stamp on Smith’s films is the adult themed humor. While this can be said for just about any film, there is a certain quality that makes it noticeable as his.

Secondly, no matter what movie in the long list of Kevin Smith movies you are watching, you can bet that you’re going to see parts of New Jersey that you have never seen before. As someone who is from Highland, New Jersey, Smith is all about representing his home state, and reminding us through his films that New Jersey is more than mobsters and housewife’s. Along with having New Jersey in each movie, we are always treated to the wondrous antagonist. Whether it be Randle from “Clerks”, Brodie from “Mallrats”, or Gertie from “Jersey Girl”, we are always presented with someone who pushes the main storyline through.

Humor is another stamp that Smith puts into his movies. Most movies today that try and pull off adult humor tend to push the limit of societies taboos. This is often not beneficial. Smith’s comedy in his movies has covered many taboos such as sex, religion, racism, and toilet humor. Smith has the uncanny ability to find the humor in those taboos, and can put them on the big screen without making them overly offensive to most people.

Last but not least, the final stamp to Kevin Smith’s films are his cast. Kevin Smith subscribes to the same methodology as directors Joss Whedon, J.J. Abrams, and Tim Burton in the respect that they tend to employ and cast the same actors, some in different roles, and some in recurring roles. Kevin Smith himself, along with Jason Mewes are notably the characters most frequently seen throughout the majority of his films. Other notable familiar faces are Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Brian O’halloran, Jeff Anderson, Andrew Lowery, and Joey Lauren Adams.

It is the above factors combined that put Kevin Smith a cut above the rest and allows him to stand out from his peers. It is also these factors that clearly point to the conclusion that Kevin Smith is a prime example of Auteur Theory. Currently Kevin Smith is producing his new tv show “Comic Book Men” while touring with Jason Mewes and recording the podcast “Jay and Silent Bob Get Old”. While fans wait for the next Kevin Smith hit, this writer is confident that no matter the material, it will still have those classic Kevin Smith attributes that we have all come to love

Three Steps to Starting a Family Tree

genealogySo, you want to start a family tree but you’re not sure where to start. My first piece of advice to you would be to find a mirror and take a nice long look. That’s right; you are the first step in starting your family tree. The very first thing you should do is sit down with a pen and some paper and decide on the type of information that you want to display in your family tree. Some family trees contain small amounts of data such as name and date of birth only; others have more detailed information such as time and place of birth, job history, etc. Me personally, I like to write down as much history associated with each individual as I can. This way when family members look at the family tree, they get to learn all multitude of information about their ancestors, not just little snippets.

Once you have all that figured out, here comes the next confusing part…Step two. Figuring out what type of family tree to make can be just as tricky as deciding what type of information to have on it. This decision basically comes down to how much work you want to put into this family tree. You can go with what I consider a strict family, where only key members of your family such as grandparents, great grandparents, etc. are listed, or you can compose a family tree that includes extended family members such as aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

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Step Three, otherwise known as plotting out your family tree. Seeing as this is the beginnings of a much larger project, for now, just draw out your family tree on a piece of paper, on a computer document, etc. List all relatives that you can remember and how they are connected to you. Not only does this give you a ton of information to find and record, this also gives you a fantastic start to what could be a wonderful treasure for you and your family.

Bearded Dragons

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Hello readers,

Today I bring the first “pets” post to my blog. As many of you might have heard, I have quite the collection of animals in my house hold from cats, to dogs, all the way to bearded dragons. Currently I have 5 cats, 2 dogs, 5 bearded dragons, and 3 leopard geckos. Previously those numbers included 1 sulcatta tortoise, and two more bearded dragons. Todays post will focus on my bearded dragons so i hope you enjoy and look forward to more posts about my beardie babies.


Dracarys AKA “Drake”
3Drake was my third bearded dragons that I got in October of 2014. He is a very aggressive, as in Alpha male dragon. He is also one of my biggest bearded dragons. Once out of sight of the other bearded dragons he is a cuddle bug and love to snuggle into my hoodie, or just hang out on my lap watching tv. I am unsure of the type of morph he is, but he appears to be a hypo citrus as he nails and spikes are whitish clear, and obvious citrus color.


Priscilla (named by my daughter)

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Picture of my daughter holding Priscilla as a baby

Oh, what is there to say about my darling Priscilla. When we first bought Priscilla, she was one of the first two bearded dragons that I purchased in the beginning of October 2104. We bought her and Khaleesi at the same time as babies. To our surprise, Priscilla turned out to be a him when the other female we had in the tank laid a clutch of eggs. Surprise! Surprise!.

10985216_1594671667412016_4172965332086834098_nEither way, Priscilla has been one of the most loving and snuggle friendly bearded dragons I have owned.


Khaleesi (The Mother of Dragons)

kKhaleesi is the other bearded dragon I purchased when I got Priscilla, and boy is she a handful. As her title says, she is the mother of dragons and she like to let everyone know she is boss. This bearded dragon is my far the most alpha female dragon I have ever encountered. And she is the biggest bearded dragon I have ever owned.

Khalessi is adorable, well at least I think so as she only warms up to me. This lovely lady loves to eat horned worms and crickets. not a fan of super worms. I enjoy hand feeding Khalessi as she is really receptive to it and seems to enjoy it.

k2She is not much of the snuggler as she tends to want to explore on her own and get into mischief. This lovely lady is also in love with Drake, and tends to frequently attempt to entice him with arm waves and bobbing of the head.

What I love the most about this lady is that every day I come home, she come come right up to the glass in her tank and get my attention so that I pet her. She loves baths and enjoys swimming around in the tub. All in all a great pet with a great attitude.


Ghost

12039210_1673584602854055_1402827455066548891_nGhost, or Ghostie as I like to call her is a somewhat recent addition to the family. What really drew me to her was her color. She is a white bearded dragon with splotches of tan and grey. I found this really beautiful and just had to have her. She currently resides in the large 95 gallon habitat with Pricilla and Maleficent. now while many people would shame me for having more than one beaded dragon in the same habitat, let me say that there have never been an incident of aggression, dominance, or bullying in the habitat. They all get along and seem to enjoy each other.

4When I purchased this lovely lady, I was told she was a German White, but who knows. Sometimes I think shops give random morph names to make the animals seem more attractable to buyers. Either way, I loved how she looked and she was very friendly. She is not the most outgoing bearded dragon, and tends to shy away from to much interaction. She deffinatley has her moments when she really wants attention, and other times, is content to just be in her own little world.


Maleficent

6This bearded dragon, out of the dragons I currently own, is the most recent. Not only the most recent, but most perplexing. I picked up this lady as a rescue from my local shop. She was a nip tail, which means that while feeding, one of her fellow clutch mates accidentally bit off her tail during a feeding session. I know, sounds horrible, but in most cases this does not happen. When I saw her at the shop she was obviously the runt of the clutch, but also looked malnourished, and as weird as it seems…sad.

7I took her home and immediately placed her in her own habitat. She did not get any better or happier. She ate, drank, and didn’t shy away from being held, but she was deffinatley not like my other bearded dragons. After a few months of making sure she was on a good diet and eating regularly, I decided to try and see how she would do in a tank with Pricilla and Ghost. SHE THRIVED! She started to be more active, she started to grow, and she genuinely seemed happy. The weird part that I mentioned earlier is that she only grew a small faction. She has stayed relatively small her entire life so far. I feed her separate, spend quality time with her, and she is not being bullied in the habitat. I guess she shall forever be the runt of the family.


Well thats it folks, there are all the bearded dragons I currently own. Following posts will include my dragons who are no longer with us, those I have sold, my leapord geckos, cats, and dogs. So stay tuned and thanks for dropping by!

Galacticon 2013 -Media Poster

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galacticon_poster3Back in 2013, local Virginia Beach Star Wars Fanforce: The Tidewater Alliance hosted its fifth science fiction convention on March 30th, 2013. Galacticon in all of its science fiction
glory was started in 2007 by group council members with the intention of bringing another science fiction convention to the Hampton Roads area. What happened was astonishing. Not only did the Tidewater Alliance present the local community with another venue to geek out at, but they had established on of the most anticipated conventions in the Hampton Roads Area.

 


Poster Design

This is not the first incarnation of this poster. Its first appearance was in 2008 during the marketing of that years Galacticon. The dimensions for this poster are somewhat smaller than the original and sit at 11 x 17. The design incorporates two sidebars, circular objects as planets, and a slight cloud like pattern to represent the Milky Way. No pre-made images were used for this version. It was all hand created. For the planets I used a simple texture filter to give a planet like texture and surface, and then overlayed a black feathered circle to give a sort of eclipse effect.

Font Used:

• Arno Pro

Dodge Tool:

I used the dodge tool to create the Milky Way. You have to be really careful not to overdo it when using this tool. If you do, no worries, you can always go back over it with the burn tool.

Commanders Entry

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Hello fellow Commanders,

Today I bring you my tale of the Guardian Ancient Ruins in Elite Dangerous. This would be my first big adventure in the game outside of bounty hunting and completing community goals. i have seen the vids of other commanders making their way out to these ruins and trying to understand what, when, how, and why these ruins are here, and where did these Guardians go. I can assure you that I came no closer to answering those questions.

First let me describe my ship load-out.

The Ship


  • Ship
    • Asp Explorer
  • Loadout
    • 1C Advanced Discovery Scanner
    • 5E Cargo Rack – 32
    • Vehicle Bay Hanger
      • Scarab SRV

The Trip

This journey started at Felice Dock where I picked up the community goal quest. After plotting the course and making some changes to my ship loadout, the trip there was plotted for 75 jumps, with the last jump ending in the Synuefe xr-h d11-102 system. At first glance the system was empty until I hit that Advanced Discovery Scanner and revieled all the planets in the system. I quickly located the planet of interest and set course.

It took some time, but I was able to finally correct my course and head to the destination in question. During this time, the planet turned dark and it was even trickier to find the ruins. Since visibility dramatically lessened, it was up to my sensors. Once in the vicinity or the desired coordinates, I set my ship down and launched my SRV.

As you can see in the video below, once in the Scarab SRV, the atmosphere of the journey became quite creepy. Against the dark blanket of night, the speckling of stars above, and the desolate terrain, instantly the feeling of  isolation sank in. It was an eerie feeling as I approached what looked like a glowing tower beacon. Was I alone? Was someone watching? These were the thoughts that instantly flooded my mind. Then they appeared, block like structures here and there. Some looked like they were in formation, some looked scattered, and some looked damaged. Every now and then I came across a structure that had a glowing section. Tuning in my scanner, i locked on to these glowing sections and retrieved mysterious data. I also found artifacts scattered here and there throughout the ruins. I was only able to pick up three of these artifacts, but a trip out to these ruins to collect more is certainly warranted in the near future.

After some time and getting close to depleting my fuel supplies, it was time to head back to the ship, dock, and make the trip back to Felice Dock. Unfortunatley I was not able to deliver the scanned data in time to collect the community goal credits, but the adventure was well worth it. I have added below the footage from both my ship cam as well as the srv footage. I have also heard some of the other commanders talking about a site where there are some crashed ships, some of which are not man made….


Starting of the YouTube Channel

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Hello fellow gamerz, its me your friendly neighborhood Brubaaca. Today I bring you the creation of my new YouTube Channel for Brubacca Plays. Yes, I know, this is like my third YouTube Chanel (links to the others will be below), but this is the one i am going to stick with and upload content to.

I would also like to mention that right now, I do not really have the means to do commentary and such on these videos, so for now they are just the gameplay and maybe some subtitles. Actual commentary will be coming as soon as I can get a PC upgrade and make some space for it.  Until then, here is the new intro video to my YouTube channel. I would mean alot if those who like the video subscribe and give the video a like. Thanks.



Previous YouTube Channels

Commanders Entry

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****Start Commanders Entry – Commander Brubacca****

  Hello out there to anyone who is listening. Today I bring you an update and current happenings in system. During that last update I logged images of previous ships in which I traveled the galaxy in, and the brief adventures had. Since that log, many new things have happened and new ships have been obtained.

First up: The Ships.

Since my last update where I was currently flying a Hauler doing cargo missions, we have upgraded. I began this upgrade by selling my Hauler and purchasing a Type 6 vessel (Not pictured). I flew a lot of cargo missions, carrying Gold and other materials for community goals in Tutumu until I could afford my next ship which is the one and only359320_screenshots_20161206000932_1 Diamondback Scout.  I had originally wanted to set this ship up for scouting new areas and mining operations but I still need to take the time to properly utilize the limpets system such as collecting and prospecting.

As I could not use this ship for mining at the time, I did what any CMDR would do and outfitted it for passenger travel.  I purchased space or passengers to sit in and completed a few passenger missions. Once I got back to a system I was comfortable staying in, I placed the Diamondback into storage and purchased the wonderful Cobra Mk III. I look forward to outfitting this ship in the future for stealthy mission and reconnaissance.

The Cobra Mk III produced by Faulcon Delacy is classified as a all-purpose ship. While I did not particularly like the storage capability of this vessel, I did like that it had a total of four hard points and its maneuverability was amazing. In terms of weaponry, this ship consisted of two medium hard points and two small hard points. As I have never really messed around with combat or 359320_screenshots_20161208005355_1bounty hunting missions, I outfitted those slots with two medium burst lasers, and two small seeker missile bays, a standard docking computer, and other little upgrades to make her move with he best of them.

At this point, I started flying with Commander Franz, Panda, and Madhatter.  We collected quiet a few bounties, had a lot of good laughs, and had our fair share of lessons learned. All in all it was a fun experience and I look forward to flying with those Commanders again.  All in all, I really enjoyed the Cobra MkIII.

At present date, I have the Core Dynamics Vulture. I have purchased this ship and flew to a new station, but that is it. I look forward to  flying more in this ship. My goal is to utilize this ship and the Diamondback to grind federal rank until I can purchase the Federal Assault Ship as well as the ASP Explorer. Next entry will have more information on the Vulture and my adventures with it! Until next time….

Mission Images

****End Commanders Entry****