Bonus Post: Brass Armadillo #1-Annalee Dolls and Spider Babies

I was never big into antiques…until I first visited the Brass Armadillo antique mall.  This place boasts a massive collection of unique and amazing items you won’t find anywhere else (and items you can find elsewhere, but still, that’s how much stuff they have).  And now that I’m working on building my Youtube channel, I thought it would be good fun to share with you all some of the more interesting (and sometimes spooky) items on display.  Watch in awe and wonder as we visit a table supported by dolphins, old rotary telephones, a rusted old gas pump, a doll of Benjamin Franklin, and…a baby’s head on the body of a spider?  And what’s that nun doing in that birdcage? Continue reading Bonus Post: Brass Armadillo #1-Annalee Dolls and Spider Babies

Day 16: The Game with the Best Cut Scenes

The 30-day game topics…thingy continues with a seemingly straightforward one.  The game with the best cut scenes.  At first, I took several things into consideration as I made my decision.  Games with the best graphics.  The best voice acting.  The best humor.  And my initial pick was Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time.  Following along with my original criteria, the game looks like a Pixar movie.  The voice acting is superb.  And the humor?  Hilarious!  Nevertheless, something just didn’t feel right.  This post…was too easy.  Was I really going to just settle with the obvious?  Or could I do better?

Turns out, I could, and after careful consideration, the game I choose is Portal 2.  Yes, I understand your confusion.  Portal 2 has no cut scenes.  In fact, no Valve game I’ve ever played has had cut scenes.  While that list encompasses a grand total of three games, Portal 1 and 2 and Half-Life 2, I still think that’s enough for me to throw out a little word here that I think describes Valve’s take on games pretty nicely.  Immersion.  What better way to break the illusion that a good game creates than a cut scene during which we have no control of our character and there are subtitles on the bottom of the screen.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t lose control of my body and see words floating before my eyes whenever I have an important conversation with someone.  That would…be weird, to say the least. Continue reading Day 16: The Game with the Best Cut Scenes

The Blog’s a Lucky Seven Years Old

My blog is now seven years old, folks!  How cool is that?  I had hoped that such a lucky number would mean good luck, and it pretty much did, as a lot of nifty neato things happened this year!  Before we get to the good stuff, let’s review my current stats.  Hmm, let’s see here…subscribers went up from 295 to 349, and total views has increased from 24,723 to 29,061.  Mm-kay.  My best day continues to be December 9, 2012 with 208 views.

I’m super happy my subscribers and views have increased this past year.  (And it’s all thanks to you guys!)  But the fact that my blog’s best day was 4.5 years ago makes me cry on the inside a little. Continue reading The Blog’s a Lucky Seven Years Old

Bonus Post: Goodyear Bible Museum

Hey there, everyone, I’ve been quite busy with Youtube lately.  As I sought out more interesting things to visit and record, I learned about the Goodyear Bible Museum.  This small museum is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, which seemed rather odd at first, until I learned that it was actually situated within a hotel.  This museum may be small, but on display, you can find a good number of rare and very old Bibles dating back hundreds of years.  Mother Duck and I even learned a few things while we were there.  The Goodyear Bible Museum, which moved to Arizona from Greenwood, Indiana in 1999, also doubles as a showroom for the rare Bibles they have for sale.  I bet they’d be pretty expensive…. Continue reading Bonus Post: Goodyear Bible Museum

Foxy Cosplay: The Head Part 4

Now that Foxy’s head is nearly complete, all that’s left are the glorious details!  So let’s not waste any time!  First off, the creation of the tuft on the top of his head and the ears were pretty straightforward.  The tuft was carved from upholstery foam and covered in red “fur”.  It was a bothersome shape to work with, but it was a pretty simple affair otherwise, and I was able to attach it to the top of the head with super glue.  The main bulk of the ears were cut out of the largest scraps of upholstery foam I had left over (one ear even had to be made out of two pieces stitched together because I didn’t have a piece large enough for the whole thing), while the rim was also cut out of foam and sewn on.  After sewing on the fabric, the ears were largely complete, save for attaching them to the head, which will be described shortly. Continue reading Foxy Cosplay: The Head Part 4

Bonus Post: A Tribute to Peepers

About two years ago, I lost my pet goldfish Peepers.  To this day, I still remember her fondly and believe quite adamantly that fish are severely underrated pets.  They don’t bite (unless you own a shark).  They don’t destroy the furniture.  They don’t leave surprises on the rug.  Furthermore, Peepers was a very sweet fish indeed.  She would follow me around when I went to different sides of her bowl, and if I needed to reach in to readjust her bridge, sometimes she would swim alongside my hand. Continue reading Bonus Post: A Tribute to Peepers

A Tribute to the Phoenix Trotting Park

For years, I would spot this massive, concrete monstrosity beside the freeway.  While I would often ponder over what this mysterious place was, I didn’t actually bother looking into its identity until the fairly recent past.  You see, over the past year, I have become increasingly interested in abandoned places thanks to Youtubers like Exploring with Josh and the Proper People.  Thanks to their great respect and appreciation of abandoned buildings and the history behind them, I began to see the beauty in that decaying old relic in the middle of the desert.  Nay, even that doesn’t truly express how I felt about it.  I began to feel pride, and actual affection, for our own abandoned building, our own piece of history.

More and more lately, I have learned to appreciate history.  Not just the big events, but small, everyday history.  The history of regular people.  Abandoned houses that were once inhabited by families I will never know.  Abandoned hospitals that went out of business because they cared for their patients above profits.  Abandoned shops which were once someone’s livelihood.  These buildings tell personal stories, if you know where to look for the history behind them, and if you know how to read between the lines.  Here is a little bit of the story behind our own abandoned piece of history. Continue reading A Tribute to the Phoenix Trotting Park

Bonus: The Duck’s Caramel Popping Corn

You may recall in the recent past, I talked about a caramel dobos torte we made.  While we didn’t end up being particularly thrilled with this cake, we did learn how to make caramel in the process.  With this newfound skill, we decided it was time to put it to good use and make some homemade, caramel-y treats.  But first, we needed to replicate our caramel.  This proved to be more difficult than we expected, as caramel is still a rather tricky process despite having done it before.  After three attempts, we finally had a brand new batch of caramel. Continue reading Bonus: The Duck’s Caramel Popping Corn

Fun and Confusion with Caramel

From time to time, Mother Duck and I enjoy baking new things.  Well, to be more accurate, we don’t always enjoy the process of baking, but we certainly enjoy the results.  One recent recipe we decided to try was a caramel dobos torte, a twelve-layered cake with caramel buttercream, the recipe for which came from British baker Mary Berry.  Now there’s a nice name if there ever was one.

First of all, I’ll just tell you guys now that we had no intention of actually making twelve layers.  That’s a bit too fancy for us.  Though we had actually halved the recipe, no, we did not plan on making six layers, either.  Rather, we were perfectly content with two layers because cake is cake, no matter how many layers it has.  And yet, even now, we were getting ahead of ourselves because the first step of the recipe was creating homemade caramel.  This is something we had never done before, and it felt like a monumental task indeed! Continue reading Fun and Confusion with Caramel

Bonus Post: Piggies, Fountains, and Star Gazing

Greetings and welcome to another bonus post.  The Duck’s Youtube channel has certainly been increasing in variety these past weeks, and today, I have published my very first video recorded using my dad’s Canon camera.  It’s a pretty complex camera to use, and I’m still getting used to how it works, but I’m sure it’ll get easier with practice.  For now, I think this first venture into the outside world went well enough despite any technical issues I might have had. Continue reading Bonus Post: Piggies, Fountains, and Star Gazing