Thursday, August 29, 2013

Super Quick Sailor Moon Vol. 7 &8 REVIEW

Sailor Moon 7:
Okay, so in this volume we are nearing the end of the Death Busters chronicles. Hotaru hasn't awakened as Sailor Saturn, but as something much more sinister.

This volume, like the rest of the updated manga is far better than what was originally released in the US. And I must say Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto have much more personality then they did in the anime.  Chibi-Usa is less annoying too. I actually LIKE her this time around.



Sailor Moon 8:
The Death Busters' story arc wraps up BEAUTIFULLY in this volume. Although the dialogue seems too be a little difficult to follow. However, overall it's very nice.

This volume also starts up that stupid Dark Moon Circus arc. I hope that it is better in the manga than it is in the anime. I just didn't feel it. Although, that could be due to the fact that I hated Chibi-Usa in the anime and this arc is VERY Chibi-Usa centric.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kelly Coffey-Meyer's 30-Minutes to Fitness Your Best Body *REVIEW*

I've recently become more focused on building strength. This is mostly due to me finally being able to obtain a PAX Prime ticket (yay!). So I figure, why not do reviews on the videos I exercise to?

Your Best Body is the only video I've done so far, but after doing is three times a week for the past month I'm getting bored with it. It's a good video though.

HOST:
Kelly Coffey-Meyer is a fine host. She's not annoying, she doesn't talk incessantly, but she does give you reminders on form that help to get the best results of the workout.

MUSIC:
I thought that the music would be cheesy in a workout video and it kind of was, but it was also really good in it's own way. The music was timed PERFECTLY with the workout so I could tell how long my repetitions had to be by the beat of the music. The music wasn't annoying either, but it certainly wasn't something I want on my MP3 player.

WARM-UP:
The warm up was way to fast. I became lost about 30 seconds in and had a hard time following it. This didn't last long however, because the warm-up was also too short. It had to be only two minutes long. Needless to say, I only did it once.

WORKOUT 1:
This workout I like less than workout two, but it is still solid. The leg and lower body workouts are good and not two intense for those that have weak knees or ankles. It will still kick your ass though. The focus is slightly more on lower body in this workout, but there are still some nice arm and back exercises as well.

WORKOUT 2:
LOVE this one! Back, shoulders, arms, and chest get a nice workout. Legs do too, but modifications are needed in this workout for the legs. The host uses lunges a little too much for me and it hurts my knee. The chest workout is a 100 times better than in workout 1. This workout also includes a stretch portion at the end and is very nice.

YOGA / STRETCH
I tried to do this once and all I can say is DO NOT ATTEMPT IF YOU DON'T DO YOGA!! I tried to do some of the positions, but they are too advanced for me. I'm not that flexible, I don't stretch or do yoga at all! The stretch at the end of workout 2 is much better.


So, overall a nice beginner strength training video. Tolerable host, okay music, solid routine. If however, your more advanced, don't waste you money. It will be to easy for you.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Soulless: The Manga

I'm a BIG fan of the Parasol Protectorate series and have been debating about whether I wanted to give the manga a try. I've read manga based on books and movies before, but have never liked them. I'm glad I finally decided to give Soulless: The Manga a try!

The manga acts almost as a companion book for the novel. It gives lovely visuals of the character and key points of the plot. The cast of Soulless each has their personality shine in the manga and in certain romantic moments, both with Conall and Alexia, and Akeldama and Biffy chemistry can be seen more than in the books. Jokes in the novel are given a second life in the manga. Even though I remember them from the novel the jokes and sarcasm still seem fresh.

However, I would not necessarily recommend this for people who have not read the novel. All you really get is the key moments from the novel without the context or background. The entire manga is just one action or romantic scene after another. While the characters are a little deeper reading this after the novel, reading this alone doesn't do the characters justice.

If you're unsure if you want to read the novel or not, give the manga a try, if you like it READ THE BOOK!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Princess Maker 2 My Next 3 Endings

Okay after I finished PM2 the first time I decided to be a mean mother and do what I could to allow Olive to hate me.  I made her work and never let her go to school. I only gave her breaks when she was sick and would scold her every month even when she wasn't being rebellious. I gave her a robust diet because I was tired of Olive getting sick and being on death's door every month...apparently this makes a huge difference. She still thanked me at the end of the game! AND Mars said I was a good father! I was trying to be mean and make her hate me, but apparently I still too nice. She ended up working at the Sleazy Bar part-time. There is another ending that has her working full time. Until I get the full time ending I won't be posting the picture that goes along with the ending. I will, however, give you guys the general stats needed for the ending.


Part Time

Fighting Rep = 70
Magic Rep = 60
Social Rep = 50
 Housework Rep = 40

I tried for the Grand Poobah ending again, but apparently made Olive too smart at she became a scholar.

Scholar (Ph.D.)

Intelligence = 500
Morals = 300
Faith = 400
Fighting Reputation = 381
Magical Reputation = 370
Social Reputation = 360
Housework Reputation = 350

Your daughter will be university bound, but not so bookish that she can't keep a decent fighting reputation about her.
 
 
 
 
Finally I decided to spoil Olive. She didn't go to school or work a job. Every week she went on vacation and never worried or became stressed. However, all of the trips to the mountains made her super sensitive and she ran away every other month. In the end she became a maid and I was still praised by Mars.
 


Maid

Fighting Reputation = 70
Magic Reputation = 60
Social Reputation = 50
Housework Reputation = 40


Your daughter has to clean other people's houses for a living now. Poor Cube, he blames himself for not being diligent in helping to raise her.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Princess Maker 2 ...The Biggest Time Suck of My Life

About a year ago I discovered DOSbox. Being a fan of simulations and alternate endings I download PM2 from Abandonia. Immediately I lost about a month worth of free time to the game. It is SO addictive! I achieved several endings before my computer crashed (not due to the game, it was just old and cranky). From then on I would not allow myself to download it again because I was afraid I would succumb to the game again...I forgot about the amazing amount of time this game can suck out of one's life. I downloaded DOSbox again and...downloaded the game. It's been about a day and I have the first of around 74 endings....I want to get them ALL!

First I guess you guys need some background of the game. Well, right now all I can manage is duh.....I..t..'s..fan...tas..tic..! AMAZING! SO instead I'm going to give you guys Abandonia's summary of the game:
Now this game is completely different from anything I have ever played before. It is a nice and very cute game from Japan, with a very detailed manga-inspired feel to the graphics. A strong idea that has neatly been made into a game.
As for the story it is all up to you. You decide everything in this game and there is an estimate of 76 endings depending on your choices throughout the game. You are a great adventurer who aided a falling kingdom against the attacking Demon-lord! Your payment is a yearly salary from the King of 500 gold coins. As if this was not enough the divine God himself grants you a daughter, sent from heaven itself. The child is pure of heart and will do whatever you want her to. On her 10'th birthday she is old enough to start making herself a destiny.
You have different options at your disposal when you are making her monthly schedules. She can do some work and earn some cash the hard way, or you can send her to schools in order for her to make a profession. She could be adventuring the land, or you could simply let her have a vacation. Each of these choices have several sub-options. For instance she can study the arts of Science, Poetry, Theology, Strategy, Fencing, Fighting, Magic, Protocol, Painting and/or Dance. You have so many different possibilities in this game that it will never be the same no matter how many times you play the game.
The game stops when your daughter reaches the age of 18. She is now old enough to make her own decisions, and some of these are... surprising (to say the least!)
I could go on and on about this game, from the graphics that changes in every event (you will see how your daughter changes over the course of her life), to the endless angles in which you can attack the game. You can try to make her an adventurer like you, a real princess, a warrior, a thief, a magician.... and the list just goes on and on. Remember there are numerous different endings.
The game is easy to understand, and it will take you about 2 minutes to get the hang of the game... strangely enough that is also the time you will need to get completely hooked about the game! It is always fun to compare you daughter with someone else’s. The game is the ultimate time-killer! And it also a nice game to see if you would be a good parent ;)

I went for the best ending you can get, the Grand Poobah. In which your daughter becomes queen. I failed. Apparently she became a little too violent to become queen and this is my first result:






 





 
 
Officer of Royal Guard

Refinement = 100
Morals = 30
Fighting Reputation = 420
Magic Reputation = 360
Social Reputation = 360
Housework Reputation = 360


Your daughter is now an Officer of the Royal Guard for his majesty the king.


Not exactly what I wanted, but I'll take it. If you want to try this AWESOME game the only place I know to download it is here:http://www.abandonia.com/games/181/
Click the "Get It" button to download.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Clueless Baker: MUFFINS!

Yesterday was the first time it's been under 70 in WEEKS! So, of course, I had to bake. I made two different recipes for muffins. There really isn't anything to say about the baking process it's pretty much straight forward.

I made the peanut butter muffins first:





They really didn't have much flavor, so my mom broke open a bag of butterscotch chips. It really brought out the flavor of the peanut butter and was a nice addition to the muffins. Unfortunately, that flavor didn't last over night. By this morning any good flavor the muffins had is long gone. It almost tastes like he peanut butter in the muffin went rancid or something! It's weird.

Next the chocolate muffins:






Nothing much to say about these. They were nice and chocolaty and will definitely satisfy a chocolate craving. They even taste good the next day too!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Clueless Baker: Multigrain Bread

Okay, I finally did it. I made a full-fledged bread recipe! I kneaded the dough and rolled it into a loaf. It was a little stressful, but I did it! I nearly botched it though.

I did everything the book said...well...almost. I heated the ingredients that it said to, I mixed everything together. The book had a guide on how to knead bread. I added enough flour to the point where the bread no longer stuck to anything and I let it rise. It rose very well, and it was finally time to bring out the bread pans and roll the dough...and then I realized something...I didn't add the egg. After a few frenzied moments of panic and swearing I decided to improvise a little. I grabbed the egg and cracked it over the dough while it was still in the bowel. I used my hands to coat the dough and then separated the dough slightly while scooping what I could of the egg into the pocket.  I continued to massage the egg into the dough until there was little remnant of the egg in the bowl. Now, a new problem arose, the dough was wet again. This makes it really hard to roll the dough out on the counter. I took a little extra flour and dusted the dough and proceeded to separate it into two pieces and roll them into loaves. Here's how they turned out:









I couldn't believe it actually worked! It wasn't exactly the kind of multigrain bread that I was expecting. I eat a lot of Dave's Bread and it was a lot of texture and flavor, my sister refers to it as "hippie bread". Instead it was a subtler texture and flavor, but still distinctly different from white bread. The texture was slightly grainy and dense, but still had a lovely flavor. Have you even had Oatnut bread? It tastes like that.

Next up MUFFINS!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger *Review*

Etiquette & Espionage is an enchanting story that takes place in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate series. Carriger has a knack for weaving a very Victorian style plot in current age vernacular.

The story takes place roughly 25 years before the events of the PP series. Rowdy and rambunctious Sophronia Temminck has once again embarrassed her mother by way of highly unladylike conduct. Luckily for Sophronia's mother, she has already arranged for her daughter to be sent away to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. However, this is no ordinary finishing school. The additional subjects on intelligence gathering and appropriate fighting maneuvers for ladies of quality, while not known to the public (including Sophronia's mother), may pique Sophronia's interest.

The book was absolutely charming! The art of questioning without showing one's motives, eyelash fluttering, and fainting with purpose are just a few of the class subjects that Sophronia and her peers must learn. The plot is hard to judge from an adult perspective. I found it rather subtle and predictable. However, it IS a YA book and my perceptions are coming from a demographic outside of which the book was intended for. I personally found the book so entertaining that I didn't care if I could guess the ending easily. The only true problem I found was the issue pf Monique's teacher spy. Who was it? Will that be revealed later?  The characters were intriguing and the premises of the book captured my attention. Carriger does steampunk in a way that is very inviting to people that may not have explored the genre, yet she still keeps to the core elements of the subculture.

E&E is like a wonderful cross of steampunk Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl, minus the fairies. A spectacular school with questionable morals and kick ass technology; in which the main character is special in some way and is always breaking the rules. Add a sprinkle of supernatural creatures and you have E&E. The best part is that a few beloved characters from PP are in the book as their younger selves! A teenage Sideagh (please forgive the spelling), a pint size Genevive, and an alive Beatrice Lafoux (...her name was Beatrice right?)! I loved this book so much and I can't wait for the next installment!