Sep 21, 2017

Gearing Up for Halloween

Hey there, loyal reader! Things will be a bit sparse around here for the rest of the month. I"m once again joining all the Halloween junkies doing the Countdown to Halloween. If you don't know what that is, it's where a bunch of bloggers post about all things Halloween and horror for the month of October. Every day for 31 days.

Of course, doing all 31 days is up to the individual but if I'm celebrating Halloween, I'm all in! A blog post a day for 31 days doesn't happen magically (I wish it did!) so the normal time I have to write for the rest of the month will be spent prepping.

I may be running a contest starting on the 1st, so be sure to check back. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to run it but I'm hopeful I'll get everything together for it.

Until then, check out the Monster Mashup album page where you can grab 19 albums worth of Halloween inspired mashups.

Also, be sure to tune in to Creepy Co. tonight at 8pm EST when they unleash their new Beistle collection. It looks amazing!

Sep 14, 2017

Marvel Legends - Nebula and Rocket Raccoon

I've had these figures sitting around for a bit and really wanted to shoot them outside so I decided to get off my butt and do it while the weather is still decent. Plus I also wanted to play around with my new iPhone 7 Plus to see what it can do.

First up is Nebula.

This is a great figure! It really captures her weirdness. She comes with a pistol and two different left forearms. One of them is cybernetic with her normal hand, the other is the replacement arm with a claw-hand (above). If I have to nitpick, the odd belt-thing she has is where I'd do it. I feel like it should sit lower and it looks weird where it rests on her.

You can see the claw-arm better here as Rocket is running away with it. 
The Vol.2 Rocket is a big improvement over the Vol.1 figure.

It's not that I didn't like the first figure. Hell, I was thrilled just to be able to buy a Rocket figure, having been a fan of him since his mini-series in the 80s. I never thought they quite got the head right though. Rocket should not have that passive an expression!

They went a little more subtle with the fur coloration this time around. You can barely see the stripes on his tail but they did pepper in some gray on his arms. The new figure also has some crazy articulation considering his size. He comes with two pistols, two heads (mouth open/mouth closed), and a Baby Groot in Ravager outfit.

In keeping with the figures 6" scale, Baby Groot is just 1.5" tall! They did pretty good with his paint apps considering his small stature.

Except for one spot on his right foot that looks like he decided to paint on of his toenails. 
But hey, everyone's entitled to feel pretty, right?

Sep 5, 2017

Easy-Macro and the Alien Spider

Just a heads-up, if you're not a fan of spiders, even in photographic form, you should probably not continue.

I picked up this neat little thing called Easy-Macro which is a macro lens attachment for your phone's camera. Okay, it's not so much an "attachment" as a rubbery band with a lens that stretches over your phone. For $10 it seemed like a fun impulse buy so I gave it a shot.

When not in use you can wrap it on to the card which then slips into a little credit card sized envelope so you can put it in your wallet. I've been playing with it around the house getting up close with all sorts of things including my fingerprints.

I bought it from Photojojo which has all sorts of neat stuff for photography. They always send a little plastic dinosaur with your order so I figured he'd be a good test subject.

A couple days later, I was putting out the trash and noticed a spider had built a web between the trash bin and the fence. It wasn't any kind of spider I'd seen before, it was very colorful. It also had more of a horizontal thing going with its web as opposed to what you might normally think when you picture a spider web.

Thanks to, I was able to find out this is a Venusta Orchard Spider. This site has a great set of drop down menus you can use to narrow down your mystery creepy crawly. This spider belongs to the family Tetragnathidae which are long-jawed orb weavers. From what I've read, the females are the web spinners in this species.

Fun Fact: This is the only spider to get its Genus name from Charles Darwin.

Macro photography requires a steady hand and an equally steady subject. In addition to having to get within about an inch, I was trying to not damage the web (which was intricate and hard to see) plus there was a bit of a breeze bouncing our little arachnid around. They also like to hang upside down in the web and while it is a few feet off the ground, it was challenging to maneuver the phone up under it without disturbing anything.

I could tell it was colorful when looking at it but didn't really appreciate it until seeing the macro photos. I thought it looked very alien, not only because it's green, but also because of how it almost looks like it's made of crystal. This of course reminded me of the crystal spider from the movie Krull. If you click on the photo, you can get even closer and be able to see some of the eyes as well as tiny hairs on the legs that help detect vibrations in the web.

I tried, without the macro lens, to get pics of the web because it is very interesting to look at. It's horizontal with many layers which I could almost picture as being floors in a house. Using a phone camera to try and capture a spider web in daylight is not an easy thing.

I went back and took this one yesterday as there was a bit more sun shining there than the first couple I took. To my surprise, she had constructed a more traditional web but horizontally instead of vertically. Now I'm thinking the multi-level "house" web I saw was probably the remnants of few previous webs in the same general area.

You can read all you'd ever want to know about the Orchard Spider here.


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