Danny's Blog

Fantasy Football: Week One

This is the first year that I’ve partaken in Fantasy Football. Week One just about wrapped up and I am already addicted. I destroyed my opponent 111 to 63, courtesy of Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco defense. In just 4 plays of last nights game against Dallas, they scored 21 points. Sorry Cowboys fans.

Up until Sunday’s game I kept going back and forth between playing Cam Newton or Kaepernick. It looks like I made the right decision. Newton ended up sitting out last nights game due to bruised ribs. The real MVP on my team has to be Julius Thomas, who scored 28 points for my team. That’s 104 yards and 3 touchdowns! LeSean McCoy was originally projected to have 26 points but only had 11. It’s alright bud, we’ll get them during Week Two against Indy.

I’m terrible at coming up with Team names. My team name was originally Cheeky Bastards. BeerFest was the inspiration for that, as it was on the television at the time of sign up. In light of this weeks amazing win, I decided to change my team name to The Avengers and I found the perfect logo for my team too:

August Loot Crate Review

For some time now, I’ve wanted to see what these subscription boxes are about. I first heard about the concept after seeing a commercial for the Dollar Shave Club a few years back. 

I noticed over the years, Subscription boxes were becoming more and more popular. They have boxes geared for pets, coffee items, men’s wear, nail polishes, etc… For a monthly fee, you get a box shipped to you filled with goodies. I couldn’t help but think, “What is the catch?”. If I only pay this amount, will they only send goodies worth the total of what was paid? Well, I finally decides to give it a try.

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                         My August Loot Crate.

I signed up for a 3-month subscription to Loot Crate. Loot Crate provides “Epic geek + Gamer Gear” for  $13.37 a month, which is about $20 when you include shipping.

I received my August Loot Crate today. I was actually impressed with everything I received. I should note that this month’s theme is “Heroes”. I received a Kid Robot Michelangelo figure (Valued at $15). I also received an LootCrate Exclusive Groot Funko Figure. Seeing how this is a LootCrate exclusive, It isn’t on sale anywhere but I did find some on eBay ranging from $20 to $60. (The original non-exclusive Groot is valued at $12.) This was easily my favorite item of the box especially because just a few weeks ago, my fiance and I hunted down the rest of the Guardian of the Galaxy Funko figures. Now we have one more to add to our collection.

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I also received other little goodies such as a Proto Man Cinnamon flavored Air Freshener which is valued at about $2.50, some Ninja Turtles sunglasses that are going for $10, and a pair of Shwings valued at $8.75. When I first saw these, I had no idea what the hell they were. If this is popular now then I am clearly too old to keep up with these trends. I figured I could put them on a pair of my son’s shoes though. Most of what I will be receiving from these boxes will be passed down to him anyway. There was also a custom Pin, a LootCrate magazine, a magnet, and codes for three games. The codes are for Doctor Who: Legacy DLC, Defense Grid which is valued at $9.99 and Gauntlet DLC.

Overall, I think it was a good purchase. I like the idea of receiving random little goodies. The TMNT figure and the Groot alone pay for the monthly subscription, which answered my question from the beginning. It’s like a Christmas gift that you receive once a month.

I purchased a three month subscription with Loot Crate so I am interested to see what else I will be receiving in the future. If the next two boxes please me then I may continue my subscription afterwards. I think I’ll also look into other subscription boxes to try as well. 

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Just updated the header/banner on my blog courtesy of Kpcomix. I had the privilege of meeting her at a grand opening of a local comic book shop where she drew this adorable little picture of my son as Iron Man that’s now hanging in his room. A lot of her artwork can be found on her Tumblr and Facebook

Check out this awesome Legend of Zelda x Adventure Time mashup she did.

Support your local artists, guys.

Brief thoughts on Marvel/DC SDCC film panels.

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The full poster for Avengers: Age of Ultron was released over SDCC weekend and it looks amazing. That has to be Vision on the top left. I’m sure it will be some time before the footage during SDCC goes online but if you want to read the full description of it, check it out over at SlashFilm. It left me with goosebumps. No word on Dr. Strange yet, unfortunately. If I had my way on who should play Dr. Strange, my first two choice would easily be Luke Evans or Benedict Cumberbatch.

Marvel also release the first Ant-Man footage, I haven’t seen it. I also read the description of the footage shown. After all that has been done so far, of course I think Marvel will do a great job but at the moment, it’s a little difficult for me to take someone literally riding on top of an Ant seriously. Marvel also announced Guardians of the Galaxy 2, with an expected release date of July 28th, 2017. The first one doesn’t even come out until August 2nd and is already getting amazing reviews from critics. I’ll most likely write a review on my thoughts as well. To be honest, I never read GotG growing up. It was always Avengers, Spider-Man, X-Men, etc. So when Marvel first announced this film two years ago, I went to my local comic book shop and picked up every issue I could on these characters. I’ll write my thoughts when I see the film Thursday. 

Unrelated to the Marvel panels, I did actually get to see the Superman V. Batman teaser and it also gave me chills. It looks like The Dark Knight Returns is a huge inspiration for this film. Batman is even wearing armor similar to the comics. What was shown at SDCC was a brief twenty second clip of Affleck’s Batman walking up to a rooftop to turn on the bat signal. As the bat signal lights up the night sky, Superman floats directly into it’s light, looking down at Batman with bright red eyes, while batman looks up at him with glowing white eyes. Boom. End of scene. 

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DC also released the first look at Wonder Woman, who is played by Gal Gadot. Since DC first announced who was playing the Amazonian, people across the the internet lost their minds over how “skinny” the actress was to be playing this character. I admit I was one of them, I expected someone more along the lines of Gina Carano to fill those shoes. She doesn’t look bad in this photo. She will probably end up making a great Wonder Woman. I just can’t help but find it a little underwhelming, I expected WW to have a little more muscles.

Looks like there are quite a few comic book movies to look forward to in the future…

Interviewing Joust cofounder Amos Schwartzfarb

During RTX, I spoke with Joust cofounder, Amos Schwartzfarb, on their recently released online platform game that pits friends and family against one another. During RTX, Joust, the real-time platform for social competition, powered this year’s event by giving fans a real-time fantasy sports style experience where they vie to get to the top of the leaderboards for a chance to win over two thousand dollars worth of prizes, status and bragging rights.

What is Joust?
Joust is both a platform and social network around competition. So for anything that you love theoretically, you can create a game about it. So for right now, we are adding all the content in but pretty soon we will be turning that over so that all the users can create topics, questions and games around any questions they want. For example, we turned RTX into a game by having trivia and polls as well as predictions around what is going to happen over the course of the weekend and turned that into a contest. At the same time we are doing the same thing with the tour De France, World Cup, Biggest Loser, basically anything that has a prediction element. One thing I joke about is that once we have the controls to create our own content, my wife and I likely have lots of conversations resolved by Jousting.

Is this your first convention where you incorporated Joust?
It is. We haven’t done anything quite like this. The first time we have use Joust on a large scale was at the X-Games. We worked with the X-Games in Aspen in January then again here in Austin.

Do you have any other events scheduled in the future where you plan on incorporating Joust?
Not yet but it’s definitely interesting. We were introduced to the folks over at Rooster Teeth and they thought wouldn’t it be cool to try something like this out and we did.

How did the idea of Joust come about?

My two co founders and I, come at this at different angles, but one thing that we had in common is that we loved to compete and have an opinion about things. We grew up in technology and the social world and saw that it was already happening on twitter. We thought how cool would it be to have this type of competition and prediction on a platform.

What mobile devices is Joust on right now?

Right now it is a responsive website that will theoretically work on any mobile device. We will likely develop an app at the end of this year or early next year. We aren’t rushing to do that because we are developing features so fast, it’s just easier to keep up with the software on the website?

How big is the Joust staff currently?
We have about 20 people today.

Are there any features or add-on’s that you would like to introduce to Joust but haven’t yet?
Right now what you see is our very basic software platform but in the next 8 to 10 weeks or so we are introducing a much more social element to it so being able to follow who you care about, creating groups with your friends, and also creating your own Joust will be an options soon. 

What’s the process on creating a new Joust event around a new subject?
It’s very simple. For example, when we worked with the X-Games, we sit in the broadcast booth and there may be a commercial break and they will ask “Hey do you want to create a Joust on x,y,z?” 45 seconds later, it is up and they will be able to talk about it on TV. In the future, we want to keep that less than 30 seconds so that if you as a user have an idea, you can whip out your phone and create a game and you are off.

Where can we get the latest news or release dates from you guys?
Keep checking back at Joust.com, we add new content and games almost every single day. There are always cool prizes and if you see something on Joust that we don’t have and you would like us to feature, let us know. We are always open to feedback.

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Personally, I have spent a few hours on it. Overall it seems like a great concept. I can’t wait to see what new features they add in the upcoming months. If you are on Joust, come find me. I wish I would have found this prior to the World Cup starting.

 

At the Phoenix Airport yesterday, there was TSA agent who was checking my ID and boarding passes before I continued through the security check. He handed me my ID but before he let go of it, we made eye contact and with the most serious face said,  ”There is a trashcan in front of your gate just in case you want to throw your hat away.” I didn’t think I heard him correctly, I did a double take, then he continued, “Yeah, it looks uncomfortable.”I then realized it was because I was wearing a Texas Longhorn hat.

:/

My Interview with Meg Turney

This weekend, during RTX, I had the opportunity to sit and chat with Youtuber, Cosplayer, Gamer and Model, Meg Turney. Meg Turney is currently a host on Rooster Teeth’s Youtube channel, The Know, which is based here in Austin. The Know is a news channel which covers gaming, movies, TV, tech and science. Turney was previously a host at Defranco Inc’s SourceFed & SourceFedNERD, both of which are filmed in California.

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What made you decide to leave SourceFed and go to The Know?

So I didn’t move directly from SourceFed and swing straight on to The Know. I knew almost a year ago. Phil [Defranco] and I started talking about branching off to do my own channel. I had done a lot of other hosting projects, some of which have yet to see the light of day. I was doing a lot of stuff no one knows about. I was doing Pilots and stuff like that. I was really out of the office a lot and you can only fill out so many time off requests until you think like, “Ok this is not my priority anymore.” So we talked about it and he was very supportive, kind and encouraging with my personal channel and what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go with it. I actually had been trying to work with Rooster Teeth since March of last year and so it just seemed like a logical fit for me. I knew my time at SourceFed was coming to a close. I was just looking for what the next adventure would be and Rooster Teeth seems like a really good fit. 

Do you still talk with any of the group from SourceFed? Would there still be a possible collaboration between you and the SourceFed Crew? Maybe Rooster Teeth x Sourcefed collab?

We have talked about collaborations. We talked about them a lot more before the move. I’m sure eventually we will do something. For now we don’t have anything planned. I was suppose to be at Vidcom but unfortunately, I couldn’t make it. As soon as we get in the same room together, I’m sure something will happen. 

Are there any other conventions you plan on attending in the next year?

Yes, I will be at San Diego Comic Con. I will be at Fan Expo Toronto, I will be at Anirevo in Vancouver. I will probably be at PAX and possibly PAX Australia. There’s a lot that’s going on. Hopefully Tokyo Game Show. I’m hoping if I keep bringing it up in the office, someone will eventually send me there.

What Cosplay haven’t you done yet that you would like to get to?

There are two that are huge dream projects of mine. They are both from World of Warcraft. One is a Spirit Healer that I have been trying to do since 2010 and Lady Sylvanas, which I added this year to my cosplay lineup. They are both really big and intricate in different ways. The Spirit Healer has giant wings and actually the problem is I have seen a lot of girls do the Spirit Healer but none of them has made the wings big enough. One of the things I like to do when I do cosplay is take a proportion and see how tall I am and see how tall the character is and then fit the costume based on that. So If I was making the Spirit Healer my height then her wings would be over nine feet wide. So it’s going to be BIG. I’m really excited, I would love to do it for Blizzcon, I just don’t know if it will happen on time. 

What has been your favorite cosplay so far?

Well whatever I worked on last is my baby. One of the outfits that I felt hasn’t gotten a lot of recognition but I felt that it deserved was Judy from Cowboy Bebop. I was really proud of that costume because I did it so quickly and it defies gravity. I would have to say my favorite is Chun-Li though, because I made it with my grandmother.

Now that you moved back to Austin, do you have any restaurants or bars that are your go-to place?

Absolutely. I haven’t been there since I moved back so i hope it’s still there. See here is the thing, I lived in LA and I moved back and Austin really GREW up and went through puberty. It’s funny because Gavin, my boyfriend, will ask like, “Hey where do you want to go”, and I’m like, “Shit, I don’t know. So much is changed.” Or I will drive by something and be like, “What the hell is that?,” that area used to be trees or nothing but dirt. It’s crazy. There is this tiny little place called Rosie’s Tamale House out in Lake Travis. I went to Lake Travis High School and would go there a lot. That place was the business! I think they had a few restaurants that may have closed but I do know that the O.G. one is still there.”

So what was the photo shoot you mentioned on your Twitter a few weeks back?

It’s The Chive. I will just spoil it for you. I am doing it on Wednesday so I hope your fingers aren’t fast enough. The problem is, I moved back to Texas and I gained five pounds instantly. It’s all the Tex-Mex. I’m excited though. The guys at The Chive are really fun and they don’t take themselves to seriously. 

If you could only play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be?

It would be The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past. It has been my favorite game all my life and I am just learning how many ways you can break it and do different stuff. I think I would always be entertained.

That’s a good one, that one and I’d have to say Super Mario World would have to be mine.

Super Mario World is a good one, there are all kind of hidden bits you can do. 

On the subject of Zelda Games, I’d have to say, Ocarina of Time is easily my favorite from the Zelda series.

See there is Ocarina of Time people and then there is Link to the Past people and we are in two different camps and we don’t cross no man’s land. It’s a good game, it’s just not as good as Link to the Past.

Since we both went to Texas State, I couldn’t leave a question like this out. What was your favorite class at Texas State?

There is this professor named Margaret Menninger. She was incredible. I took a bunch of different history classes with her, because I was a history major. There was this one class i never got to take that I wish I could just sit in once about ‘Nazi Studies’. I never got to take it, even as a senior when you get priority. It was always full. I could never get it, that’s how popular that class is. So I have secret plans of going back to Texas State now that I am here and sitting into that class, not being a student, just creeping in, just so I can take it. That and, History of the Space Race my senior year, that was so good. Now all the Mass Comm department hates me, because I was also a Mass Comm major and didn’t say a single Mass Comm class. Whoops! Love you England.

I know you are a huge fan of anime, so what’s your favorite anime of all time?

My favorite anime is Sailor Moon. Actually the first episode of the new series premieres today. Cowboy Bebop is a close second. Oh, and Monica Magica is my new favorite. It’s so good. If you know any Mahou Shoujo anime, it basically takes Mahou Shoujo and stomps it and beats it to a bloody pulp and love it. You cry and you love it!

I’d have to say mine for a few years now has been Darker than Black and my recent favorite has to be Attack on Titan. 

Ok, can we talk about Attack on Titan for a minute? Did you feel like you fucking know who that girl Titan was immediately?! Oh great, it looks just like her? I wonder who could it be. It just bothers me. Don’t make it so easy, I get who it is. I see her face. Come on, I wanted it to be more of a surprise.

Haha! I knew you were going to mention that partThat annoyed me too. 

Sword Art Online is another good one! Do you know what that is?

I have it in my Netflix queue actually. I haven’t watched it yet though.

It’s really good. It’s one season but it’s in two halves. First half, A+. Haven’t watched the 2nd half yet. It has a really cool concept because I played World of Warcraft and it’s basically these people who login to play this game and cannot log out.

Anime nerd time, Done.

This isn’t really a question but I remember a few months ago, you had started the #AskMeg segment on your Youtube channel. I thought it was an amazing idea because it was a great opportunity for you and your fans to reach out to one another. One video I wanted to mention was the video where you talked about breaking into the Youtube world. I thought it was a great idea to give that type of advice for anyone who wants to make videos. 

Well the best part of that video is that I said “Please don’t go watch that Texas State broadcast I did.” 

…and you know everyone searched it right?

Everyone did. Every comment in that video is a link to the fuckin’ video! But at least it illustrates my point that I am really fuckin’ awkward in that video. It’s a little embarrassing… Actually I shouldn’t be embarrassed about it.

So what’s your schedule like for the rest of the convention? Are there any panels that you are partaking in or looking forward to?

I’m on a panel tomorrow for The Know that I am really excited for. It’s on Sunday at 3pm.

Great. I’ll be there. Thank you for taking the time to chat a bit. I hope you enjoy the rest of your time here at the convention. Go Bobcats!

Thank you so much! Eat ‘em up Cats!

ATX FEST ‘14

I had an amazing opportunity to attend this years ATX Television Festival where I attended panels and events discussing all things Televison.

Friday I was able to catch the Hey Dude reunion taking place at the State Theater. Now if you are like me and grew up watching a lot of Nickelodeon in the early 90’s, this series was on your line up, along with Salute Your Shorts among many others. They introduced the cast with a 5 minute montage with clips of the series, and once their catchy, “It’s a little wild and a little strange”, theme song came on every one in the crowd went nuts. It was as if we all hopped into a Delorean and gunned it back to 1990.  This was the first time these actors were under the same roof for over 20 years. The cast covered questions from what was it like working with each other to auditioning and their ventures outside of the ranch. One of the funnier stories, came from Christine Taylor, who played friendly lifeguard Melody on the show. She mentioned during the film of the series, she had a few motivational “hang in there” cat posters around her room to keep her going. “My husband [Ben Stiller] would laugh if he knew I had that hanging on my walls!”

Henry Winkler was presented with the first ever Achievement in Television Excellence Award. Winkler, who has to be the nicest men in the world, sat down and with Royal Pains’ executive producer Michael Rauch and for an hour discussed topics ranging from stories of his early life, his high and low moments, as well as what drew him to show business.

Winkler on working with Ron Howard:

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(The Lifetime Achievement award given to Ron Howard)

The Orange is the New Black screening took place on Friday. The panel included, Uzo Aduba (“Crazy Eyes”), LeaDeLaria (“Big Boo”) and Danielle Brooks (“Taystee”).  The cast discussed filming season 2 as well as their sudden rise to fame. Uzo Aduba shared a story about how she much of an impact her character had made until fans left and right started quoting her on Twitter. Lea DeLaria, who plays Big Boo, shared a humorous story of how Constance Shulman, who plays Yoga Jones, tend to shy away from the camera during her shots. The cast even started a drinking game called, ‘Where’s Connie?’ If you spot Yoga Jones, you have to take a shot.”

On Saturday, I, along with four others from the media, participated in a table interview with the cast of The Goldbergs. We had about 30 minutes to basically ask them whatever we wanted. It was a great experience, you can definitely tell after only one season of shooting together that this is a very tight knit group.

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(From Left to Right) Hayley Orrantia, Troy Gentile, Executive producer Doug Robinson, & Wendi Mclendon-Covey: The Cast of The Goldbergs)

Is there any specific aspect of the 80s pop culture world that you are hoping you guys get to play around with in an episode?

Troy Gentile: The NBA in the 80’s was really cool. You got Larry Bird, you got Magic Johnson, so maybe an episode on that. He [Adam Goldberg] would like to duplicate another movie like a John Hughes film. 

Playing this family on TV, how much of that influences your real life relationship with each other?

Doug Robinson: I watch the show with my kids a lot and I have a 9 year old daughter who will look at my wife one day and say you know you are being Beverly Goldberg right now. 

Were there any TV moms that you looked at for inspiration before taking on this role? 

Wendi Mclendon-Covey: No TV moms. I really looked to the real Bev Goldberg and my own mother, who was a smother and will not admit. I would say it is 80% the real Bev and 20% my mom. I understand that bipolar thing.  ’Your karate is the brilliant thing in the world, now go make your bed. Even Wayne Gretzky makes his bed.’ You know, ‘I love you so much, you are the most brilliant thing in the world, why are you such an idiot.’ I just understand that.

Unfortunately, due to some techinical difficulties, (What I I really mean is that I forgot to charge my recorder), I was unable to get a clear interview between us all. I was forced to use my phone which picked up a lot of noise in the background. In my defense, the only thing that was separating our group from the rest of the room was a curtain.

You can hear the interview in its entirety here.

We were short on time but one last question I would have asked the cast was,  who would win in a fight, the cast of the The Wonder Years or The Goldbergs?

Overall, it was an amazing festival. This was my first time in attendance but I think I will definitely start making this a tradition.

Tickets to next years festival is already on sale on their official site.