LeBlanc staff construction progress: 02

In an attempt to try and be a somewhat contributing member of the internet when it comes to sharing knowledge, I’m going to make a conscious effort to chronicle the construction of this LeBlanc staff I’m making with some actual descriptions, instead of simply taking pictures and posting up a blurb like I had done with the Mafia Graves gun throughout the time before Dragon*Con last year.

“02,” you say?  Where’s “01?”  Although this is the first post I’ll have made about the staff, the first progress photo would have been this here.  This was the staff’s initial pieces cut out, and nothing more.  The above picture is the second progress picture, also with a reference shot so that anyone viewing might have an idea of what the heck I’m making.

As for the process, I’ll spare the gory details for after a jump.

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My favorite Parks & Rec moment

Although there are a lot of moments in Parks & Recreation that justify my general love for the show, it always comes back to this particular moment.  At the very end of Season 3, Episode 12 there is a moment where Leslie presents to Ron a private dinner, consisting of his favorite steak, a dish full of bacon, a bottle of whiskey, and a television playing classic war movies.  This spoils absolutely nothing, because one, at this point, I’d imagine most Parks & Rec fans have already seen this, and two, without the circumstances and context behind it, this scenario is relatively meaningless.

But it’s a touching moment between two core characters that displays the genuine platonic love, respect and admiration that exists between them, that kind of comes out of nowhere, considering the frantic and comedy-driven nature of the show as a whole.  It’s nothing too heavy, there’s nothing written between the lines, and yet there’s a lot of emotion in this brief exchange between the characters.  One of those “faith in humanity restored” kind of feelings afterward for a guy like me.

It wasn’t until I read some reviews on this particular episode did it dawn on me of what makes the show particularly good in my opinion; the simple fact that the characters don’t get cynical as the series continues.  You look at all sorts of shows that are or were popular, and it’s transparently clear how often this happens.  So many shows devolve to the point where characters simply pass the aired minutes by simply griefing each other or whether it’s deliberate or not, being the foil to other characters’ plans.  It gets old, and it serves to show why some shows simply aren’t around anymore.  I love Married With Children, but there’s no denying that the last few seasons were pretty formulaic with everyone being set on pretty much cockblocking whatever Al has cooked up, regardless of what it could possibly be.  I haven’t seen beyond season three of Parks & Rec, but they’ve maintained the ability to keep a happy medium of plot and character development without the cast losing their hearts.

Anyways, if anyone were ever to ask me what my favorite part of Parks & Rec was, I actually have an easy answer to that inquiry.  Unlike most other things that people might ask me.

Why I hope the Spurs win it all

Not that I pay a tremendous amount of attention to the NBA, but it’s almost impossible to ignore when some awful four-lettered “sports channel” is on just about everywhere from the gym to various restaurants.  That being said, I was astutely aware that as of right now, half of the NBA Finals is set, with the San Antonio Spurs securing their spot in the finals.  Meanwhile the Heat and Pacers are duking it out in the east, to see who will oppose them for the championship.

It is painfully obvious that the horribly biased sports media wants more than anything, for the Miami Heat to not only beat the Pacers, but to also go into the finals and beat the Spurs.  The Spurs beating the Heat would be catastrophic for the media, but it would still pale in comparison if the Pacers managed to beat the Heat, and the finals would be between “San Antonio and Indiana.”  It is safe to assume that the vast majority would be greatly pleased if it would just end up with the Heat, namely LeBron James, to end up as champions again.  Subsequently, this is where I’d want to say that the de facto worst-case scenario is if the Spurs won it, but there’s no denying the fact that the Pacers winning it all would be exponentially worse.  But aside from that let’s just get to the fact that I want the Spurs to win it all regardless.

Ironically, it’s all the reasons why I want the Spurs to win it all is what the media can fall back to if it actually comes to fruition: the Spurs really are the last NBA team to actually be just that – an NBA team.  They’re “boring” in the fact that they have no super-dynamic personalities (read: massive, marketable egos), they play as a team and have done such for the last 15 years, and they play a fundamental, basic style of basketball that isn’t flashy but is proven to be capable of winning regardless.  In essence, they are the anti-Heat, which means that they are the anti-LeBron James.  The media would prefer to have LeBron James win it all, so they can write mountains of bullshit about his greatness, than make more ill-advised comparisons to Michael Jordan.

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Chinese being sore losers? Inconceivable!

(video set to play at sweet ending)

I know that I’m really critical when it comes to the topic of eSports and “professional” online gaming, but when I read on some LoL site about how the Koreans at a recent LoL tournament went all Hulkamania and annihilated all of the competition, I still felt that cultural pride, that even in something as silly as pro-gaming.  Perhaps the old hat jokes about Koreans being the best at Starcraft and Counterstrike can take the backseat to something that I’m actually interested in like League.

Anyway, I came across more information about the tournament about how in the finals of this tournament, the Koreans not just beat the Chinese team, but absolutely owned them.  2-0 in a best of three, and it apparently wasn’t even close.  Since I’m familiar enough with the game mechanics to understand what I’d be watching, I took some time to watch the deciding game just to see for myself just how badly Korea whooped up on the Chinese, because I’m sadistic and petty like that.

It’s worth mentioning that this entire tournament took place in Shanghai, so 99% of the people in attendance were Chinese and were very much backing and in support of the Chinese team.  They would stereotypically ooh and ahh over the littlest things that the Chinese team would do, from simply selecting a champion, locking in, to even littler things like taking a step towards an opponent or even placing a ward.

And this is what made everything that much sweeter in the end when the Koreans gg easy destroyed the Chinese team.

In a national display of poor sportsmanship, the entire crowd was dead silent and were practically sitting on their hands as the Koreans rose from their machines and gave each other a few modestly celebratory fives.  There was no applause anywhere, and the brief camera panning of the crowd showed hundreds of butt-hurt Chinks disappointed at watching their native team getting roughshod on their home soil.

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Writer’s funk ain’t no fun

I’m still in the midst of this writer’s funk, where I feel like I want to write something, but I simply don’t know what I want to write about lately.  It’s hard to explain how I’m feeling these days; I can’t say that I’m in one of my bouts of depression or being all ronery-emo, because I don’t really think I am.  Work is boring and stagnant, but it’s not like I didn’t know this was going to be the status quo when I took this job.  I’m working out and exercising along the same clip, and I feel physically fine, and mentally too, for the most part.

Yet, I can’t really find or think of anything remotely interesting to write about these days, to which that puzzles me a bit.  Usually, I lean onto local news, or try to find something remotely interesting on the internet to spark some train of thought worthy to put into words.  But Atlanta news is pretty stagnant and predictably boring, and nothing makes me want to write about racist agendas and the obvious racial bias that “my fair city” exhibits on such a regular basis.  Not to mention the fact that all the local Atlanta news outlets are money-grubbing rags that recycle the same news anyway.

The Atlanta Braves blog I occasionally write for, I’ve been informed that there are going to be some changes with.  Although it’s nothing really that serious, it does make me wonder if I want to continue to obligate myself with writing about baseball on a weekly basis.  Obviously, my fandom with baseball has grown a little disenchanted over the last three seasons, but I kind of wonder if this was an opportunity to dive head-first into trying to re-invigorate it, or if I just want to stop outright.  Sometimes I think that my position of floating in the middle isn’t necessarily the best idea.

Speaking of baseball, it’s not that I don’t love the game any less than I used to, but here’s an interesting fact: I’ve been to one Braves game all season.  I’ve been to more baseball games at Coors Field in Denver, than I have at home in Atlanta.  I’ve seen as many games in Detroit and Miami as I have at home in Atlanta.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy going to the ballpark, it’s just that the idea of going alone isn’t what it used to be.  I tell you, one of these days I’m just going to have to buckle down and get on board with an 81-game plan, and make my damndest effort to do an entire 81-game season.

Maybe this is the kind of slump that happens when I don’t really do anything in my spare time.  I’ve been spending a lot of time reading lately, and I have to admit that since I started using my iPad as a Kindle, I’ve been reading a ton of books, and I’m finding it more of a bear than anything else when I force myself to read a physical book again, but my declaring particular authors as “physical book only,” it’s something that I’m not going to abandon any time soon.

But my list of options of things to do when I’m at home is a little stale, and makes me think that it’s contributing to my overall mental stagnancy lately.  All I do when I’m at home as of late is either read, play LoL, or watch DVR’d shows.  I could be a little bit more productive and try to do some cleaning, but when 95% of the clutter in the house isn’t mine, it’s somewhat unappealing and unrewarding to even fathom, let alone do, especially when it feels like it’s just going to have to happen again in a week.

Perhaps I need more activities to do in my spare time, to stimulate my brain into wanting to write about something.  That’s usually what normally happens, when I really find inspiration to write, while I’m doing something else, creating the false conundrum that I need to address and write about something while the iron is hot, but oh noes, I suddenly don’t seem to have the time to do such.  Perhaps I should actually address these projects for Dragon*Con while there’s still plenty of time in advance, as opposed to trying to get everything done in the month of August like I ended up doing last year.

But until then, this writer’s funk blows.  I like having something a little more focused to write about.