Monday, November 29, 2010

Drawing - Unicorn Clan personality

I wanted to draw something new... I wanted a new element to come into my drawing so the end I decided to draw someone riding a horse charging...
It ended up to be some Unicorn clan samurai^^. I thought that drawing something like this will be an impossible task but after all it's not that bad. (Now as I look at it I should move the horse's nostril least)

Monday, November 22, 2010

L5R Alter - My first L5R alter

It's been a while that I wanted to do an alter of some card. After a month of trying to move my paints to my game store I finally managed that.

In the middle of the night I took a brush into my hand and started 'painting'.
I wanted to know what acrylic paint can do with L5R cards. I started with a card from samurai. I doubt that the paint can hold on EAW card but I will try that later (maybe) too. Well, anyway here's the dueling Crabs will like that card^_~

Saturday, November 13, 2010

(Movie) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I've just seen the movie. The first half an hour is more or less the introduction that took hundreds of pages. The vast majority of what was 'going on' is skipped and some things are completely changed. Who changed the storyline did a great job on creating a new one that fits. The tid-bits of information given to us are given at the right time.

The story is about Lisbeth Salander the hacker and Mikael Blomkvist the journalist. We don't learn anything about the other characters in the movie. There are flashbacks from Lisbeth's youth which will become relevant in the second part. We don't learn much about the two principal characters either. Probably difficult to do but still...In the end we have no idea what to think about Lisbeth, but we don't know much about the relationship between Mikael and Lisbeth either. (we will see what the director is up to in the second movie)

The film was very well-made and has a really great cinematography. The actors all portray their respective characters well. Especially the principal ones Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth) and Michael Nyqvist (Mikael) and Sven-Bertil Taube (Henrik). The pieces of the puzzle and 'following' of the storyline is well thought out and very well done. The movie is 2,5 hours long but the pace of the story is pretty fast and won't let you get bored or anything. There are scenes that break the rhythm and evoke other emotions in the viewer.

The movie is in a really serious/realistic setting and the music adds the 'seriousness' to it as well.

The movie is harsh (as Scandinavian movies are) so nothing for children.
(includes sexual violence which is hard to digest)
Personal Rating: 2/5
Simply disappointed...
I haven't seen many Swedish movies, but those I saw were pretty good. This was bad in my opinion even though I have to say that from the technical point of view it was perfect.
It seems that this movie is highly rated otherwise^^. I was just utterly disappointed with it for some reason. So well if you don't know what movie to watch and you are ready for something different and rather difficult to digest you can try this.

EDIT: USA is shooting a remake of this movie...I don't want to see I guess.

Stieg Larsson - Men Who Hate Women (The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo)

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist published an article about industrialist Wennerström. Because of this he was sentenced to three months in prison. He gives up his position and soon after that he is offered an unlikely assignment by Henrik Vanger. Mikael accepts knowing that he does not have that many options in his life anyway.

Vanger hired Blomkvist so he could investigate the disappearance of Harriet Vanger (Henrik's grand niece) who disappeared 36 years ago. She's considered dead yet Vanger receives a pressed flower mimicking a gift Harriet used to give him for his birthday. This present torments Henrik as he thinks that Harriet's killer sends these flowers to mock him.

After some time Blomkvist finds out new evidence and later on teams up with Lisbeth Salander. This girl has been in guardianship since her 13th year of life. She's a skilled hacker, has a photographic memory but she's a society outcast. She works for Dragan Armanskij as a private detective and that is how Mikael's and Lisbeth's paths crossed. She was given a task to create a profile of Mikael for Henrik when he wanted to hire him. Later Lisbeth and Mikael work both on the Harriet's case.
This books seems to be a best-seller. I seriously never heard of it and I was unaware of this trilogy being turn into a movie (I'm going to watch the first movie in a while). I read many reviews many good and many bad ones. Actually there are things I have to agree with those people giving this book a low rating.

The books all start pretty slowly. You need to get through the first 100 or even more pages to finally find out what's going on. There are many things bugging you and then boom! After a certain point the story is so dense that you just want to continue reading and not to stop reading till you reach the end. Everything is pretty fast then as it ends in another 200-300 pages. There are people who complain that this book should be shorter. Well in a way they are right, but I would say that this book was actually too short for me. So it depends.

The author describes many things like...what the characters buy and what kind of equipment/furniture they have. This actually can give you more information about the characters and I don't find it irrelevant. It's quite nice and special in a way as I never encountered such a way of saying things.

The language is rude sometimes (quite often, but considering it comes from Sweden...). I already wrote why the author is writing about sexual violence ... there's a lot of sexual scenes both 'normal' and violent but again - Sweden (and the fact that the author was pretty disturbed by a girl that was raped in front of his eyes when he was young). Actually what is being discussed and told in great detail (political issues and anything about journalism) is probably pretty realistic as Stieg was a political activist and journalist.

Personal Rating: 3.25/5

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Marketing Development Using IM

At school I attend class called this way and our assignment is to create a marketing strategy for L5R. As I spent some time collecting data from TCG players I published the results there.

If interested you can check it out at

STsung's TCG Research

I spent half a year doing this but I don't think that this is any valid information or anything. Well, actually I found out some interesting facts that I did not expect. But I don't consider this a serious work even though I tried hard to getting this done right.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Toy fair in Ostrava

The Czech National Championship was held in Ostrava at Veletrh hracek (annual toy fair). My free time is somewhere between limit of 0 and 0 but I decided to attend the tournament and see everyone from the Machine Dance community. I hoped that I could spend some time with them and find out how everyone is doing.

The Fair

I went to Valmez with my parents to see my grandmother. During the trip I started reading a new book - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Men Who Hate Women is the original title). The author is Stieg Larsson, a Swedish author. He was disgusted by sexual violence. He witnessed a gang rape of a young girl when he was 15 and that changed his life. He never forgave himself for failing to help the girl, whose name was Lisbeth - like the young heroine of his books, herself a rape victim, which inspired the theme of sexual violence against women in his books.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a first book of a trilogy and I have to say that the book is really good. (I will write about it later on this blog)

The next day I arrived at Cerna Louka where the Fair was held. I have to say that this was the smallest fair I've ever been to. There were stands with clothing for children, children toys and brick boxes and such. There were few things that caught my eye though. Just in front of our (Rare-Items) stand there was LaQ stand.

LaQ is a building toy from Japan. The actual brick box has 7 different types of parts. There are triangular and square bases that can be connected with any of five different edge connectors. The box contains a limited amount of pieces from which objects (resembling real objects) can be formed. It is quite a challenge to build an object you want to. It takes time and quite a lot of thinking and planning how to do what you want. But its awesome^^.

The other stand that caught my interest was entitled Tantrix. Tantrix is a game originating in New Zealand in the year of 1988. The game evolved a lot and now we have a multiplayer strategy game out of it and several puzzles for 'individual players'. I tried a Discovery Tantrix which consists of 10 tiles with three different colour curves. You start with 3 tiles. From those you have to create a closed curve of a given color (in my case yellow). That was pretty easy to do. Next you take another tile and you continue in doing another closed curve. The 'game' has one more basic rule. That says that ALL the curves on the tiles have to of the same color. You can't have one curve that consists of parts from two different colors.
I got pretty fast to number 9 where I found out that my curve (having the right shape though) is not the solution. I was trying to figure out what is wrong when I realized that the solution is the same curve but mirrored. Everything was correct after I mirrored all the tiles. I got the same problem with no. 10. Creating the correct shape was pretty easy. Figuring out the right colors for each curve was what took me more time.
The Discovery series has an advanced version Xtreme version which is harder.

The next stand I spend some time was showing a pedagogic tool used to 'enhance the use of logic in individuals'. The tool/game is called Pyramid creator it has a 2d version and a 3d version. You have a certain pieces and a grid in which you place the pieces. For each puzzle (of a certain level) you have a starting point. Than you add the rest of the pieces and you have to fill the whole area of the grid. It seems simple but I have to say that this was far more "difficult" than the Tantrix puzzle. It required me to think of the only solution for the base pieces. When I got this right I got the rest as well. Again it showed me that I have problems with mirrored shapes. I got everything right according to my brain but it was incorrect for some reason. After mirroring my thoughts I got the right solution. Hm...well I don't know what causes this. Anyway it was fun.

The last interesting stand for me was with RC models^^. Anyway there was also a WeyToy stand which was showing a magnetic based games. I've seen these products at bigger game fairs (in France and Germany for example) already so it was nothing new, but still I was surprised to see it here in Ostrava.

The fair was really small but it there were some interesting things after all. Being in a different 'position' (having a child) I would most probably appreciate more of the stands.

The tournament
There were about 14 participants. 5 random songs were chosen from which we could choose 2 songs. The scores of the two songs would be added and the 8 people with the highest total would continue on. I played Determinator (hard), chose a wrong speed mod and even managed to miss one note. After that I tried My life is so crazy (hard) with the same speed mod which should be the right scrolling speed for me. The stepchart showed to be actually quite tricky. I won the qualifier and continued to top 8.

I won the whole tournament but I have to say that this time being 18kg heavier than last time and not actually doing ny physical activity showed on the results and my stamina.

Thank you everyone for playing and spending time with me^_~.