Monday, December 15, 2014

Archive Raiding: Art Scans Batch #2

Sure we covered some basics; we did a little painting; and boy, did we do some life-sketching, but for the most part, the first year and bit I spent in art class was taken up composing entries for a series of competitions and (almost certainly terrible) art exhibitions. Here are all of them:

I'm not sure if it's still going, but the Credit Union Poster Competition was something I entered a at least twice as a kid. I didn't get anywhere with my first entry, but this one, I was feeling pretty confident about. Drawing-wise, it was definitely a cut above the one I'd entered in primary school, and with it only being only six months or so since I'd won a runners-up prize in the CallCard competition below, I was on a winning streak, man. How could I possibly loose? But nope, radical 90's yacht or not, I ended up empty-handed yet again. It's almost as if they didn't see the stoner plane, the fat stacks, or even the students, awkwardly embracing while clutching their degrees in a death grip.

An entry to Telecom √Čireann's (ask your parents) Design a CallCard (ask your parents) Competition (you guys still have competitions, right?). This was the only freaking competition entry during this whole time that I got anything for. :D

So, as you might be able to guess from the fairly unimaginative design, the theme for this was The Arts, and somehow, they liked this enough to give me a runners-up of a T-shirt, a couple of CallCards, a CallCard holder, a crappy wallet and a couple of CallCard-branded fluorescent armbands. I have a vague memory of a pen too, but don't quote me on that one.

Result! (Not sure what happened to the rest :D)

Having said that though, I wasn't the only runner-up from our school. There were like, eight in total. From one school. In a country-wide competition. I have some suspicions that my success here may have actually been part of some kind of publicity stunt, especially given the fact that the school got us into the local (county-wide) paper for our efforts, and, as far as I'm aware, this amazing success was never repeated again as long as I was going there. (follow the money)

I really wanted to get hold of that picture for this too. I know my mom kept a clipping but it seems to have vanished into thin air (that, or it's been taken by the Illuminati). If I ever do get a hold of it, it's going right in here. It's worth it for the miserable look on my face alone as I pretend to work on a fake art project for the benefit of our crappy-ass local newspaper.

This was my entry into the same contest the following year and you know what, screw you, Telecom √Čireann! This was totally a decent concept for a sports-themed CallCard. There are definitely some problems: the dart board floating in front of the champagne bottle, the wonky-looking cup, maybe too much empty space at the bottom. But then, look at the little details: the framed jersey in the top right, the certificate on the left, the darts in the background, the ribbons on the medals. Come on, you couldn't have spared another runners-up prize pack, after I spent an entire Saturday afternoon on this? I could have been playing Goldeneye. I am right about the conspiracy, aren't I, you Oddjob-picking, screen-cheating bums. Sincerely, JiliK.

So, this was another contribution to the same drug awareness thing that I'd already been forced to enter a masterful piece of verse into, and I'm pretty sure that was the last thing the class took part in before we had to get going on our Junior Cert. projects too. Man, this poster seemed much cooler in my head, and even on the page before I coloured it in. With bolder colours and some dramatic shading, I think this could have turned out pretty well, but those were just alien concepts to me at the time.

(...but mostly white people)

Drawn for some sort of human rights/maybe Amnesty International exhibition, I think this was the poster that somehow gave my art teacher the impression that I was good at drawing faces (see my Junior Cert. painting for evidence very much to the contrary). Looking at it again though, there are some pretty sweet ones up there: black Keith Flint, probably a successful Eurodance duo, two pretty racist French-looking guys. :D Quite liking the random, dramatic pause in the caption too.

Crap! I knew I posted this somewhere before. I forgot that I gave it a whole blog post back in 2010, in which I said: "As far as I can recall it was an entry to some competition back then." (1998) "I really love how it says 'Merry Xmas', despite depicting a Nativity scene, almost as much as love how the hills that appear to be made of Christmas pudding."

And finally, not competition-related, but I've got to burn through the rest of these somehow. Believe it or not, this may well be one of the better life sketches I did during my time in art class. Bloody hell, those hands! Those feet!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

So I Won a Halloween Hamper... for Children

There I was, at a pub quiz raffle table with only seconds to pick a prize. With the obvious big-ticket items gone, this hampery thing I'd spotted earlier on looked like a safe bet, looked like it had a bunch of candy and stuff in it. I grab it,  get back to my table, and looking over my haul I notice a crappy mask, fake blood, tattoos. It becomes immediately clear that I've just made a horrendous mistake. And I'm not a big enough asshole to try and exchange it for something else. So, after being freakin' robbed at the final quiz results (Seriously, I don't think our team ever in such good form. I suspect shenanigans.), I headed home sadly, hamper in hand, though still with the faint hope of finding something cool in amongst all the tat.

Let's see what we've got in there:

Yeah, what am I going to do with a kid size Halloween mask?

Well, this obviously. Though I feel there's still something missing.


What's this mask supposed to be of anyway? Looks like the guy from Devil World crossed with Eddie Munster. And why does he have tusks?

Balloons? Sure, I could probably use those.

A glow stick: eh, not so much. (And while we're on the subject of the glow stick, I wonder where that bit of a feather came from?)

The Blow & Glow thing sounded interesting though. Well, troubling name aside.

Here's what you get in the pack. It's basically just a plastic pipe with an LED light on the end. You switch on the LED, put the balloon over it and inflate it by taking the black thing off of the other end. I know I'm being a spoilsport here, but I really don't want to bust this out until Halloween. With the switch being where it is, you'd need to deflate the balloon to turn it off, and leaving it on, I can't imagine it'd last more than a few hours.

Oh, okay then.

So, I'm guessing these are just straws with skeleton things dangling off them, but I think I'm going to have to carry out some further investigations to confirm. Glitter blood? Great, all my Twilight costume needs taken care of in one. The tattoos do look pretty rad though, even if I can't really pull off wearing those anymore.

Well, usually. Aaaaaahhhhh! They last a while too. I've had this dumb thing on for a day now (can't really bring myself to scrub it off) and it still looks good.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Halloween Candy 2013: Just in Time Edition

More American candy, a bunch of local stuff and almost a year late. Oh yeah!

Brach's Candy Corn

I'm ordering a box of American candy and it's almost Halloween. How could I not throw in a bag of candy corn? Still pretty damn good.

Brach's S'mores Candy Corn

I'm not exactly clear on what a s'more is, but I don't think I need that foreknowledge to know this wasn't great. Though that's only partially true: bite off the the orange and white sections only and you've got a nice rich vanilla flavour going. A flavour that's almost completely spoiled by the nasty, artificial chocolate-flavoured end.


Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops

Candy apples seemed like a pretty Halloween thing so I bunged two of these in too. This is a pretty odd one. I'm not sure if it comes across in the photo, but these are actually apple-flavoured lollipops covered in a semi-soft toffee. The apple pop is quite good: nice and tangy. And I really liked the toffee. It has a kind of creamy, almost home made flavour to it. Unfortunately, I just didn't think they worked well together at all. The apple is just too tangy and sharp to gel well with the toffee.


Cadbury Crunchy Spider

The first of the non-American stuff, which I was actually able to unearth a fair bit of this year. First of all, I've got to say I really like the packaging here. Just look at that guy! I was a little disappointed at first to not find some kind of soft filling inside. What you do get though is nice, big hunk of Cadbury's chocolate dotted with rice balls for a little crispiness, and there's not much wrong with that.


Murder Motel Bone Mallow

Also found in a local supermarket, these are pretty neat. They're marshmallow bits with a gummy strawberry-flavoured "marrow" in the middle. To be honest, the strawberry-flavour isn't much to write home about, but they're pretty fun to eat. I've gone through three quarters of the bag now, and stripping the marshmallow from the marrow core has yet to get old.


Murder Motel Coffin Chaos

And the prize for most packaging definitely goes to this. Candy-wise, what you get here is a bit of a selection box. There's a couple of red lollipops of indeterminate flavour, though it tasted a bit of cinnamoney to me. I quite liked it actually, though both were a bit soft (even though this box was still well in date). There's a few bits of marshmallow rope, which I was a bit tougher than I'd like; a couple of bubblegum-flavoured gumballs and a few of bags of candy shapes made from some kind of sherbet-type stuff. Didn't really care for those, but otherwise not a bad little selection.


Murder Motel Body Parts

These were great. As candy body parts go, they don't look that amazing, but as gummy candies I thought they struck just the right balance of chewy and soft, and they had a real satisfying chunkiness to them. Flavour-wise, I'd say they're kind of orangey; nothing spectacular, but not bad either. Though that's not really what I come to gummy body parts for anyway.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Take Off's Artwork is Totally Rad

Went to a funfair today. Some pretty sick airbrushing on show all around (not to mention a bunch of grumpy-ass carnies :D), but this ride, I couldn't leave without capturing in all it's glory.


So up on the left we've got a little Clint Eastwood pointing his camera right into a circa 1993 Demi's boobs. Both appear to have halos surrounding them which is odd, but not bad likenesses.

Bruce comes off a bit less well, but boy is he stoked. And behind him there's a car chase in what may be Heaven or potentially Bespin, though the former would explain the halos.

Further right, we've got all kinds of chaos, and what I can only assume to be the worst rendition of Arnie I've ever seen being vaporised from the chest down in some kind of gigantic explosion.

While over on the far right, Steven Spielberg looks on pensively and Harrison Ford is well, just as grumpy as ever.

All in all, a hight point in western art, though while tucking into a bratwurst a little later..

Oh hell, I might as well post a picture of that too. :D It was pretty good.

.. I spotted a little up-and-coming competition to my right in the Dunnes Stores car park:

Insert sausage joke here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spammy Snippets 23/07/14

Wow, this is amazing

- It really isn't.

Challenge Mike Myers as the love guru

- That wouldn't be hard.

The scientific breakthrough is here

- Finally.

"Don't panic, she is not a prostitute"

- Well that's a relief.

Your friend has shared a link with you.

- Aw shit, ngymfwpnunozndn, you're the best!

An extra inch and you become the Love Guru

- Two! Two Love Guru references. Hey, remember when The Love Guru was the smash comedy hit of 2008? No; Nobody does.

Obama endorses herbal supplements 

- What a jerk.

Scientific discovery! Viagra with discounts

- And they said all that research was for nothing.

Nothing beats a huge stick

- Even a huge knife?

BAD NEWS ☹ Your Fatal Heart Attack Is Coming (here's why)

- Oh, I already know why:

Hurry and complete our KFC Survey for a $25 Gift Card!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Nintendo Digital Event 2014: Not-so-live Impressions

So it's currently 9:47 BST on the 11 June. Nintendo's E3 Direct aired over 24 hours ago now. I was a bit too tired to delve into it last night though so I've been desperately avoiding any spoilers all day. (Yes, I've become that guy now. :D) Right now I've got the video queued up, ready to go, and yes, it's far too late, but I'll be damned if I'm not going to get some predictions in before I hit play, so...
  • Prediction 1: No Zelda. Well, besides Hyrule Warriors any way. I don't think the Wii U Zelda is far along enough to be shown yet. I could maybe see some sort of Four Swords game coming to the Wii, but that's about it.
  • Prediction 2: Definitely more Mario. I don't think they'll show another 2D or 3D platformer this time, but I really wouldn't be surprised to see a new Mario Party. Mario Maker, I don't know. It's a great idea, and kind of a no-brainer. It has been for a long time. But, I'm not totally sold on that photo and I can't think of the last time a Nintendo E3 leak turned out to be real. Overall, I'm just about erring on the side of:
  • Prediction 3: Mario Maker is real.
  • Prediction 4: NFC! I think NFC is going to be a big focus of this Direct. I'm guessing Smash Bros will have some kind of NFC functionality, but I'm also expecting....
  • Prediction 5: A new NFC-based Nintendo title. Which I strongly suspect is going to be a very Nintendo Land-esque, casual-friendly mash up of various Nintendo properties.
  • Prediction 6: More HD Remasters. Turns out HD development is slow and those third parties aren't around to pick up the slack any more, so I'm expecting to see Nintendo delve into it's back cataloge to pad out the Wii U release list a bit. I'm thinking maybe not Gamecube again, but maybe some stuff from the Wii, or even the 3DS.
  • Prediction 7: 3DS eShop games coming to the Wii U. On a related note, I think we'll see at least one more port or quickly turned around sequel to a 3DS eShop game popping up, and maybe more to come in future directs. I'm thinking the likes of HarmoKnight, Nintendo Football Club, Rusty's Real Deal Baseball et cetra. That release schedule needs to get filled up somehow, and right now I don't think they're going to do it by money-hatting third party titles or splashing out in a bunch of acquisitions. But having said that...
  • Prediction 8: At least one unannounced, major Japanese third party game, published by Nintendo. Maybe this is more a wish than a prediction, but I really hope we see a bit more Japanese support for the Wii U here. At this point I think this is the only way it'll come.
  • Prediction 9: DS Virtual Console is available NOW! But it'll just be Brain Training, so meh.
  • Prediction 10: No Star Fox or F-Zero. At this point I think these two, especially F-Zero have shifted into becoming dormant franchises like Kid Icarus was for a long time. There will be sequels one day, but only when incessant fan demand basically wills them into existance. i can't see Nintendo returning to either on their own volition at this point.
  • Prediction 11: Definitely, definitely no Eternal Darkness sequel, expiring trademarks be damned. :D

3DS? Eh, probably another Layton game. :D

Overall, I'm not expecting a barnstormer from Nintendo this year. I'm expecting a bunch of games that I'll moan about now, but ultimately pick up end enjoy even if I'll really wish I was playing a Treasure-developed Star Fox reboot. Because well, that's what's happened every other year.

Well, I guess I'll find out soon enough:

  • 00:00 - Pegi 16. Bayonetta footage confirmed.
  • 00:15 - Wow, they're really going low budget this year. :D
  • 00:19 - Yeah, Reggie's name is somewhat difficult to pronounce. Topical.
  • 00:28 - "Not my problem". Jeez, what's next? Gangnam Style? Lime Cat? The Hamster Dance?
  • 00:37 - "Another Mario game". Okay, now that's some self-awareness I can get behind. :D Plus, calling it: this is Mario Maker.
  • 00:51 - Fox backstage, Young Link hate. Okay, probably Robot Chicken, okay.
  • 01:14 - Is this an Iwata terminator, because that, I could also get behind.
  • 01:32 - AHHHHH! No, I think this is some kind of bizarre Smash Bros. trailer.
  • 01:39 - Torpedo Ted eat your heart out.
  • 02:07 - Matrix homages. And we're back into the realm of horribly dated references again. If someone pulls out a lightsabre knock-off here, I'm done. :D
  • 02:11 - Yep, Iwata knows what's up.
  • 02:19 - Yes, it's a Smash Bros trailer. Bloody hell, Reggie's expressions are really starting to unnerve me now. :D
  • 02:25 - Still Smash Bros. for Wii U? I guess it makes things pretty clear. But it's such a bad name!
  • 02:42 - Reggie can't believe it; It's like watching an acting master class. Though to be fair, this would be so much worse with the type of actors who usually turn up in these things.
  • 02:58 - What? What the fuck was that expression Reggie just made?!
  • 03:01 - NFC, bitch!
  • 03:08 - So that's what that square under the d-pad is for. Oh man, you don't think the characters are only available through figurenes only, do you? That would be Microsoft in 2013 levels of fucked-up. :D
  • 03:34 - Sakuraaaaaai!
  • 03:58 - I don't want to blow your mind, guys, but you can play as a Mii, in a Nintendo game. 
  • 04:06 - "...but who gives a shit about Miis any more. Right, guys"?
  • 04:49 - Yep, Miis. Got it. Damn it, Sakurai.
  • 05:24 - So the Gunner basically plays like Samus then? 
  • 05:33 - Another three character slots gone. :D I'm never going to see Paper Mario added Smash Bros., am I?
  • 05:40 - The customisation is kind of cool though. Still, I have zero interest in playing as a Mii, in anything.
  • 05:56 - "... and now all you fuckers can make your own damn Geno"!
  • 06:50 - Some 3DS Smash Bros. now. Don't know if it's just the fact that it's always blown up, but I'm not really digging the look of this. It's like the character models don't really blend in with the stages. Reminds me a bit of how Mario Kart 64 looked with the weird pre-rendered sprites as characters.
  • 07:02 - Anyway. Some Smash Bros. 3DS modes now. 
    • 07:17 - Oh, you can turn off the character outlines. That looks way better.
    • 08:11 - Yep, that sure looks like Smash Bros. That might well be the least informative thing I've seen yet during E3, and I sat through the whole EA press conference.
    • 08:15 - The 3DS version is launching in October over here then? That would be a bit close for comfort to the Wii U one even if it's coming out in say, early December. Maybe it's getting pushed to next year.
    • 08:19 - Winter 2014 huh? That a pretty vague date to be giving this late in the game. Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see it slipping into next year.
    • 08:48 - Oh man, here comes the the NFC stuff. Not crazy about the look of this Mario one, but man, am I down to buy some freaking Nintendo figurines.
    • 09:15 - Amiibo? Is it just me or does that sound like a fake pharmaceutical company.
    • 09:34 - What? Are they going to have unlockable amiibo stuff in Skylanders and Disney Infinity?  That'd be a pretty cleaver move actually.
    • 10:17- Yeah, this is really high-level, conceptual stuff, and probably mostly BS. Who wants to bet that nothing exists of Amiibo besides this prototype figurene. No new NFC game here I'd imagine.
    • 11:00 - Mario Galaxy stage woo! Also, this is sounding scarily like my nightmare vision from earlier coming to fruition.
    • 11:18 - The Luigi death stare. Nintendo's gone meme crazy!
    • 11:22 - "... but god knows we don't having any answers, so moving on..."
    • 12:08 - Yeah, Super Mario World!
    • 13:02  - "... or indeed, a little bump n' grind."
    • 13:21 - Yarn Yoshi? Damn it, I really should have made that a prediction!
    • 13:43 -  Yes! Looking forward to this. Kirby's Epic Yarn was rad.
    • 13:49 -  Yoshi's Woolly World! Yes!
    • 14:06 - Yarn eggs!
    • 14:21 - Oh man, that music!. Exclamation marks!
    • 14:35 - This IS going to look great in HD.
    • 16:33 - The egg block is a basket, people. Hnnnnggg.
    • 16:45 - 2-player mode. Still packing in that casual appeal.
    • 17:25 - Man, I really hope there's a a yarn Yoshi as a pre-order bonus. I'm dead serious. 
    • 17:57 - Is that a Yoshi doll in your pocket or...
    • 18:10 - Booo! 2015.
    • 18:24 - Huh? Is this a Captain Toad spin-off game? Liked those levels well enough in 3D World, but I can't say I'm eager for a whole game full of them.
    • 18:56 - Was that a turnip he pulled out of the ground?! How much cooler would a real New Super Mario Bros 2 be?
    • 19:16 - Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Winter 2014. Not a Wii or 3DS game, but that's some quickly turned around schedule filler if I ever saw it. :)
    • 19:54 - Nope, probably Robot Chicken, we're back into stale old video game references again now. No thank you.
    • 19:55 - Ooh, Zelda. Having been messing around with it Dolphin recently, that's totally the title music from Twilight Princess. Oh man, how good would it be if this was just a BS tease that went right into Hyrule Warriors. :D Though a Twilight Princess HD remaster? Sign me up.
    • 20:11 - Whoa. Anouma is talking like they might actually be showing some Zelda today. Damn.
    • 21:03 - I would be all for a massive, seamless overworld. Certainly don't need a repeat of Skyward Sword's weird, broken-up dungeon world.
    • 21:15 - Damn, The Wind Waker HD is pretty. Still haven't picked that up. Urge to go back on all my promises and take advantage of Mario Kart 8's free game rising.
    • 21:24 - "Today, I will talk about the latest Zelda game for Wii U" Tetra's Trackers 2.
    • 21:36 - Damn! Shit just got real. Looks cool. Really like how... organic the the world looks.
    • 22:10 - Plotting your route through the world as a kind of puzzle solving. Sounds intriguing.
    • 22:29 - Maybe I'm getting my hopes up too soon, but this sounds almost Elder Scrolls ish.
    • 23:11 - Looks like we're getting a trailer now. Link's being chased by a giant robot squid thing, causing utter fiery devastation everywhere.
    • 23:15 - Looks like Link's wearing his farmboy get up here. Hope everyone's ready for more yak herding. :D
    • 23:21 - Wh-what? Is Link a girl? 
    • 23:33 - No. I think he just has his hair tied up. Insecure fanboys everywhere breathe a sigh of relief. :D Also, cyber weapons?