Friday, May 22, 2009

Review: Terminator Salvation

This has been a busy week for me so far, working full time for the first time in months and also trying to see my friends and hang out with my girlfriend. This weekend is going to be busy too: going to the Marc's 18th annual Great American Rib Cook-off on saturday, working sunday then going to a barbecue, and seeing the Akron Aeros game on monday, as well as perhaps a memorial day cookout.

On top of all that, I'm glad I was able to find time to see the new Terminator movie last night. Terminator: Salvation marks the fourth entry into the franchise and brings a new feel to the setting of machines traveling back through time to destroy key humans.

This time the movie is set in the future, 2018 and follows the struggles of the Resistance, men and women who are taking the fight to the machines. John Connor is a professed leader of the resistance, although for much of the movie it seems he takes his orders from others. The story winds around a human- terminator hybrid's inner struggle to find his true identity and John Connor trying to protect his father-to-be, a teenage Kyle Reece, the guy from the first Terminator who goes back in time and knocks up Sarah Connor while protecting her from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The movie itself is full of action and intense special effects, although this seems to come at the behest of the plot. There are even some scenes that baffle the common sense, such as one part where a five-story tall robot seemingly sneaks up on a house in the middle of nowhere. Really? Nobody heard its hulking footsteps? Nobody saw it coming across the flat landscape for miles?
There is also the cliche 'plot characters not getting shot no matter how many people are shooting at them' scene that made me wonder how the Resistance can fight off the machines if they can't even hit one guy.

I won't spoil the movie for you because I do recommend it as a great summer action movie, but don't go in expecting a great story. Ultimately it is a fresh take on the Terminator franchise that works well and is highly enjoyable.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Its kind of sad how much WoW has taken ahold of my free time these days. I recently reached lvl 22 and I have comepleted the Deadmines dungeon.  The story behind it was really cool. It goes like this: Once upon a time the city of Stormwind was destroyed and the Stonemasons guild helped to rebuild it. The nobles that ruled the city were more interested in spending the funds on wars and their personal interests and refused to pay the Stonemasons for their work.

Led by a trained assassin named Edwin VanCleef, they staged a riot and left Stormwind, swearing vengeance. Under VanCleef's rule they formed the Defias Brotherhood and they made alliances with the goblins to help build a weapon of mass destruction, a huge gun platform that could destroy the city that betrayed the Stonemasons. That's when I came along, the paladin Arkturas, to destroy VanCleef and put an end to this madness. It was an epic dungeon to be sure.

In the redridge mountains, the Mayor of Lakeshire has been trying to get help from Westfall. Stormwind and Darkshire to aid them against the threat of the Orcs and Gnolls. The orcs there have taken over the castle and the Gnolls are led by a powerful sorceror. I don't know where this questline will lead but probably somewhere epic.

Battling Orcs in the Redridge Mountains

In Real Life (IRL) I got to see the new Star Trek movie, which was awesome. I think it really captured the spirit of the original series and it did a good job of not alienating non-trekkies. It was a great action movie first and a great Star Trek movie second.

I liked it so much I went to Burger King and got a Spock glass. It's probably one of the coolest things I own.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Closed monday...

Today I was harshly reminded of an important lesson: when you are driving an hour to Cleveland, check ahead of time to make sure the place you are going to is actually going to be open when you get there.
Such as the Botanical Gardens. Apparently they are closed on mondays. Whether this is a regular thing or just a plot to embarrass me in front of my girlfriend, I can't say, but it was not very cool.
Instead we drove to Whipp Ledges in Hinckley, OH and hiked around for a bit. Afterwards we watched the M. Night Shamaylan film "Signs". I always thought it was scary but every other person on this earth thinks it is lame... whatever. You're lame.

In other news I ran the Deadmines with my Paladin in World of Warcraft after getting to level 18. I had to leave just as our group was getting to the end of the adventure, so I didn't actually complete it, but later I was able to hit lvl 19. Some guy from my guild (The Gods of War) told me that the guid needed an Alchemist, so I spent some time leveling up my herbalism and alchemy skills. I don't know why you have to have a certain skill level to pick Bruiseweed when you can pick the Earthroot that is growing right next to it... but then again I don't know how I haven't been charged with war crimes seeing as I've slaughtered hundreds of people across Azeroth from all walks of life.
Here are a couple pictures for your enjoyment from today's dungeon:

The Goblin Foundry

A massive weapon of mass destruction... looks like the flying ship from Super Mario Bros. 3.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

World of Warcraft

One thing that has been consuming much of my free time recently is the game World of Warcraft.
My character is Arkturas, a Human Paladin on Andorhal. Its really a lot of fun playing with several of my friends on that server. As of this post he is close to level 18 and I am exploring the Redridge Mountains after liberating the people of Westfall from the Defias menace and helping the good citizens of Elwynn Forest.

Entering the City of Stormwind

Exploring the Redridge Mountains

I have played a few other characters before but the highest level I've achieved is about 35. That was a Tauren Warrior. I've also played both an orc and an undead rogue and a Night-elf warrior. Class- wise warrior was my least favorite. It was very combat-centric and it was fun to be able to wield the biggest sword and wear cool shiny armor and shields, but there just wasn't any variety. As a warrior you just beat the enemy till they stop moving. Rogues were just more interesting to play. Their elements of stealth and thier abilities were great fun, though they were somewhat limited in combat. Although a Paladin is closer to being a warrior, being able to heal makes combat just that much better. I love not having to worry too much about taking on mulitple enemies at once because I know if I get in trouble I can just heal and keep on fighting. Plus, being able to buff allies with friendly spells and resurrect fallen comrades makes everyone a little more happy to have me in their group.

Arkturas, Paladin of the Light

The storylines for Human quests are so much better for some reason than any other race I've played. Undead was very good too, but Night-elf, Orc and Tauren were all somewhat bland. Perhaps Blizzard made the Human and Undead first and put the most time into them. Maybe I just care more because, well... I'm a human. (As far as YOU know at least)
For example I've noticed some foreshadowing in quests that lead up to others. At the end of a quest in Goldshire, after killing a man known only as "The Collector" I learned that he was part of the Defias brotherhood, a gang of thieves, and that they had control over many mines in Elwynn. He had a symbol on him that identified him as a member of the Stonemason's guild.
As things have progressed, my adventures in Westfall have helped me discover that another member of the Stonemason's Guild, Edwin VanCleef, is heading the gang. The pieces are all coming together now... Why are there so many golems in Westfall attacking the farms? What are the Defias Brotherhood really up to? Who is behind the Orc attacks on Lakeshire? I think I may find out the answers soon...

Hello and Time to Make a Cake!

Hello! Welcome to my blog!

It's kind of cold today but I was out testing my dad's new Nikon camera and cane up with a few cool pictures:

This is my dog Strider. He's a Border Collie aka awesome.

Some violets in the garden.

That's it for now. Time to make a cake and see Star Trek!