I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of OCD voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of OCD voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
You should know how much I love my Tolkien. My Hobbit Hole of a home office is plastered with all kinds of stuff, like my tapestry throw, my Shire and Middle Earth maps and Sting letter opener. Trust me, that’s just a taste of it all.
Side nerding: I had to call Chewy.com‘s customer service line over the weekend, having not received an order as expected, and the agent I spoke with asked about my cat Rivendell, and we went on to have a 15 minute conversation about our love for the stories and what collectables we each have while he researched my order. PS: Chewy has excellent customer service, they are sending me a second bag of food for free.
I love the movies, and will happily endure all ribbing for the “why didn’t they just get the Eagles to fly to Mount Doom??” and “it’s a year of them WALKING!” – don’t care, I loved it all. I even enjoyed The Hobbit films, for all their flaws.
Warner Bros. Television and the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien are in talks with Amazon Studios to develop a series based on the late author’s “The Lord of the Rings” novels. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is said by sources with knowledge of the situation to be personally involved in the negotiations, which are still in very early stages. No deal has been set.
Do I want to see more epic battles? HELLS YEAH!
Do I want to see more Aragorn and Gandalf? OH HELLS YEAH!
Do I want to see it turn into Game of Thrones, Middle Earth? NOOOOOOOOOOO.
Unfortunately there isn’t much information to go on right now, so we’ll just have to wait and see. My fingers are crossed that if they do seal a deal, the product will be much better than what I fear it may be.
Have you seen one of the Cutest Ideas Ever™? They are the Guest Wifi Signs of Pinterest. Some can be kind of clever, but for the most part they just aren’t my STYLE.
However, I do see a huge advantage to having a WiFi login just for visitors. It does allow to partition off your personal devices, not that your friends will intentionally go snooping. But perhaps someone in the house has work files or access through their desktop to other more sensitive job networks, and with the amount of hacking going on, it’s just an added security measure.
So what does one do when they want to offer their guests the login but want to make it reflect their personality? GO GEEKY!
This was a super easy, very inexpensive DIY that I was able to do in about 10 minutes once I had all the elements in hand. Want to do something similar? Here’s what I did:
So many to choose from, only one guest login! I will list some other ideas I had at the end of this post (including Lord of the Rings, Supernatural, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Firefly and Game of Thrones), but I decided to go with Harry Potter theme for now. I thought the Connecto Patronum network name was really great, but I also considered:
Because this is such a cheap and easy thing, I can change it whenever I get bored! So the first thing I did was look for the decals.
WARNING: I first ordered what I believed were decals from Amazon, which I thought fit perfectly, however it turned out that they were only stickers (despite the product descriptions) and I was not as happy with the finished project. So be VERY careful when you purchase decals, make sure the design or letters TRANSFER to whatever you are putting them on.
Because Amazon surprisingly let me down on this one, I found a small online company that just does car decals, and though the decals are perfect for car windows, they are a bit larger than I originally intended and needed to modify them to work with the frame I had purchased along with the first set of stickers. But these are the decals I got in BLACK MATTE (but they have almost any color you could want!):
I did also see this one which would work too:
I found they have a lot of great Harry Potter things, but if you have a special request, they can help you so just contact them!
I wanted something with a thick mat because I knew I wanted the decals around the network information, and found this picture frame with a 5″ picture and 4″ frame for $13.99.
Amazon didn’t let me down with that one 😉
For the Network and WiFi information, I wanted to stick to the Harry Potter theme and use appropriate fonts, so I found and downloaded the Lumos font and the Caslon Antique font, which I found to be great for this project.
You may also like this Harry P font which is the classic lighting bolt font, I just decided not to use it this time around.
Once your fonts are downloaded, for Windows users go to the font file via Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Fonts – they should then be visible in in any word processing program you use.
From there it was just a matter of making sure the printout fit the 5×5 picture opening of the mat – for reference, I used Lumos at font size 36 and Caslon Antique at size 32, but I did adjust the line spacing to make it what I wanted.
Here is how the decals arrived, with a white backing, the decal and a clear top transfer sticker:
Maybe Harry Potter isn’t your thing? No worries! There’s SO MUCH to choose from, so here’s a short list of ideas:
One of my other favorites is anything Tolkien! The decal place has this AWESOME decal I will definitely use if I decide to go towards this next:
Again, be super-sure it’s a car decal, not a sticker.
Network name ideas:
Network name ideas:
Recommended font: Supernatural Knight,
OH THE POSSIBILITIES. Here is just ONE decal idea:
Star Wars Rebel Alliance Emblem Car or Truck Window Decal Sticker
Network name ideas:
One decal idea:
Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Car or Truck Window Decal Sticker
Network name idea:
One decal idea:
Network name ideas:
One decal idea:
Network name ideas:
Hope you enjoyed! I’d love to see other people’s geeky wifi signs so link ’em up!
No, I CAN’T believe that The Matrix is nearly 20 years old.
No I DON’T care that Keanu Reeves is so stereotypical…KEANU in it.
No I WON’T acknowledge that there are two more Matrix films. Only one exists. The others are figments of all your imaginations.
And I’ve seen almost all the “making of”s, watching many interviews with the Wachowskis and the actors, but one thing I did NOT know was what the rain code meant. I assumed it was a stylistic designs that really didn’t mean much at all.
According to Simon Whiteley, a Production and Concept designer who created the code for the movie, it’s actually sushi recipes from his wife’s Japanese cookbook. That’s right, the Matrix code is sushi!
Is it lunchtime yet? I know what I’m having!!!
I’m all about saving money, I’ve written before about couponing and budgeting. For a while now I’ve been intrigued by the idea so foreign to those of my Generation X and older: cutting the cord. A lot of people have already, and know how easy and money-saving it can be, but for a lot of others, it’s a whole different world.
We take our entertainment seriously in this household, which means we are willing to pay for certain entertainment luxuries. Multiple TVs in the house, multiple boxes so people could record shows, fast internet connection for gaming and mobile device usage. About the only thing we never sprung for was all the pay channels like Showtime and Skine…I mean Cinemax.
Of COURSE we had HBO. We had to have our Game of Thrones.
But I was already feeling the wallet pinch with our regular $180/mo bill when our 2 year contract with Verizon FIOS was about to end and they informed us it was going up to $230+.
OH HELLS NO. A girl has no patience.
So I finally talk my husband into researching how to cut the cord. I’d already heard that Optimum was introducing 400 Mbps, with talk of service being available up to 1000 Mbps (Gigabit). For reference, our FIOS service was sitting at 150 Mbps and we were already stretching the limits with all the devices in our house in use. But my husband made the argument that he much preferred to stay with Verizon and liked the FIOS stability much better.
So we called them up and asked about their highest level of internet speed – they offer straight up Gigabit for about $90/mo! We were already sold right there, but here’s where we had to compare the shows we watched with our availability to access them on streaming services alone.
When we looked at things honestly, we realized we spent the majority of our time watching Netflix or Amazon Prime which we would still be maintaining, so no change there. However, the biggest concern was looking for a streaming service that offered our regular shows from places like DisneyHD (hey we need our Star Wars Rebels!), Syfy and DiscoveryID.
For this we turned back to Verizon, only we spoke with Verizon Wireless, which is the cell provider for my husband’s plans. They were advertising a very nice deal with DirecTV. After adjusting to a new plan (4 phones on unlimited data), they offered to add the basic DirecTV streaming bundle for a change in his bill of… $1/mo. That’s right, for a single dollar extra per month, we could stream all the channels we always watched, AND we also gained BBC America, which we hadn’t had access to before! And we should have no trouble streaming on any device, whether it’s the TV, desktop, laptop or smartphone!
Ok, so now we had to look for products that would help us stream all these shows (like a cable box) – the most obvious choice we went with was the Amazon Fire Stick. As it simply plugs into our TVs and you can load up whatever app you subscribe to, it’s the easiest and most straightforward flat purchase to make. Not to mention they worth with Amazon Alexa, which makes it SUPER easy to find what you want.
The next thing was looking for a powerful wireless router. While Verizon does provide a wireless router calibrated specifically for their Gigabit service, they do charge $10/mo for it and the model is mid-range residential. We’re pretty hardcore when it comes to gaming and streaming already, and we wanted to be sure our house was set up with the best we could. Ultimately we decided that purchasing this Netgear Nighthawk would be the best for our needs. We were super lucky to get it on sale and with some rewards cash we had saved up, we sprung for the 3 year warranty and still saved at least $100 over what we would have spent renting.
So at this point we place our orders for the gear we need, which is definitely an outlay of funds in the beginning. But since our new month was JUUUST about to roll over, we wanted to take care of things right away. We made the changes, we installed the gear, and started testing things out. Without boring you even more to tears, everything works great, with some small bugs with DirecTV, but nothing that makes us think twice about going back to the old ways!
We just got our bill, and though I trash previously paid bills to avoid paper clutter, I was able to bring up my bill payment history online. Here is what we paid from January through October:
And this is our current bill:
What they wanted to charge us for 150 Mpbs, cable service and a landline we done even know the number to because we haven’t had a landline in 7 years – $8,280!
What we will pay for 1000 Mpbs speed, streaming all the same channels we want plus some we didn’t have before, no more landline, and straight purchases of streaming gear and equipment – $3,600!
Total savings over the 3 years – $4,680!
Excuse me while I book a vacation to Europe….
We are in the midst of two of my favorite topics – Halloween and Harry Potter celebrations! There has been a surge of town-wide Harry Potter Days where businesses will specialize in all things HP (like this one for 10/28/17 🙂 ), and it’s the perfect time of year to do it. Hopefully all you fellow PottHeads have one nearby?
Even if you don’t, you can still join the fun! I’ve compiled a short list of my favorite Harry Potter inspired drinks you can toast your favorite characters with.
But here was the challenge… finding recipes that not only tasted good and reminded me of specific HP characters or places, but also didn’t call for hard-to-find or bizarre ingredients (I found this drink, which uses squid ink – bless that mixologist, but…NO.) – there is nothing more frustrating than buying a bottle of liquor I’ve never heard of, to create a drink using only 1oz of it, only to realize I hate the taste and will never use it again.
Oh, and if you’re looking for a cool Harry Potter glass or mug to hold your concoction, I’ve posted a few at the bottom you may want to check out!
That said, let’s move on to the drinks!
I’ve been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida, and I was lucky enough to get to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. The Butterbeer served is DELICIOUS, but will give you sugar shock! I needed to find a way to make it lower in sugar and calories, but also simple enough that I won’t blow too much money.
First, the non-alcoholic recipe (keep the kids happy!):
Start with the Butterscotch Extract and then add the Cream Soda to mix, top with some Cool Whip and let it get a little “relaxed” to look like beer froth. Drizzle a bit of the Caramel Syrup on top and you’re good to go!
Now for the ADULT version:
Start with the Butterscotch Schnapps and then add the Cream Soda to mix, top with some Cool Whip and let it get a little “relaxed” to look like beer froth. Drizzle a bit of the Caramel Syrup on top and you’re on your way to a lower-calorie drink. Accio Butterbeer!!!
By now you should know that our favorite potions master was also a master of manipulation and lies – for the good! In honor of Severus Snape’s ability to hide the light within the dark, I present one of the most gorgeous drinks I’ve ever seen! With it’s lime flavoring (green for Slytherin!), black color and silvery sparkles when you swirl it, you will look more than ready to take your NEWT level Potions exams!
Into a cocktail shaker add in your simple syrup, lime juice, and black vodka. Fill with ice until the liquid line. Give it a hard shake for 30 seconds. Add a dash of pearl dust to the bottom of a martini or coupe glass. Pour cocktail into your glass and serve. Add more pearl dust if it’s not shimmery enough and stir it with a bar spoon to combine it.
In searching for a recipe to honor the many fierce and determined witches and wizards – many of whom perished fighting You-Know-Who and the Death Eaters, I found this drink to pack the right punch! Don’t consume too many of these, or it’s a trip straight to St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries!
When strolling down the street in Hogsmeade during the height of snow season, despite the warmth of your Hogwarts cloak, the only thing you want is something toasty to sip next to the fire. This super-simple recipe is great when ice-cold in the summer, but OUTSTANDING in the winter!
Instead of cursing the snow and using your wand to try melt it away, embrace it gratefully with this drink in hand. Honestly, I don’t think I could have made this recipe any easier unless it was literally already bottled at the Hog’s Head ready for pickup!
Mix one part each in your favorite mug, heat to preferred temperature in the microwave or in a small pot on the stove, add cinnamon stick (or ground cinnamon) and ENJOY!
Holy crap have I been a lazy blogger or what?
Well this is the movie that gave me the kick in the pants to get back over here. I am such a huge Marvel movie fan that I just HAD to see it opening night! Rest assured, there are no real big spoilers, but if you want to see the movie for yourself without having any tinted glasses, then perhaps you should move along now…
Still with me? Ok, here’s my opinion of GOTG: IT SUCKED AND I’M HORRIBLY DISAPPOINTED ABOUT IT.
Sadly, few other critics – professional and regular moviegoers – seem to agree with me, and I have to say I am really surprised by that. For me, the negative aspects of the film were just so glaring, I could only overlook them for so long for the sake of trying to enjoy the film. But let me list my problems and then you can decide for yourself…
1. The indestructible, self-charging Walkman… Film opens with the kid version of main character Peter Quill on earth, listening to a Walkman. Stuff happens and you suddenly remember this is supposed to be a sci-fi movie when he is abducted by aliens (which should be a separate point, but I will just say now that the alien abduction was so jarring from the opening scene, I liken it to a Monty Python bit). Fast forward 26 years and the kid is now an adult. Amazingly he is still listening to the same cassette tape on the same Walkman, same headphones. I immediately turned to my husband and asked where the hell he got replacement batteries for that thing. And apparently he also obtained the only indestructible Walkman in existence, and this particular cassette tape NEVER wears out after being the ONLY one listened to for 26 years. Ok, moving on from the Walkman issue.
2. The soundtrack… dear god the soundtrack. So many more 70s/80s songs that had kickass vibes and they chose the exact opposite. Of the songs they used, only Cherry Bomb by the Runaways seemed to fit the actual movie.
3. The dialogue is goddamn painful to listen to. Most of the time it’s hammy, melodramatic, forced, or something equal to prompt an eye roll. There are a few funny lines, which help, but more often than not I thought the dialogue was almost cringeworthy. Also, I get that the kid was abducted from Earth in 1988, but the sheer volume of 80s references was irritating and clearly designed to wink at the 40 years olds in the audience.
4. The environment NEVER felt realistic. The actors looked like they simply walked in front of a green screen to perform. EVERYTHING looked and felt computer generated, and of course there is going to be a lot of that when you’re making a space movie, but there has to be enough to make it feel real.
5. The characters I barely cared anything about. Of the 5 main characters, the CGI raccoon was probably the best, and – sadly – the most emotive. Bradley Cooper did a great job voicing Rocket, applause to him. I also liked Zoe Saldana’s character, but found her development lacking, would have liked to know even more than they revealed about her. Groot, the tree guy, was also sweet and funny, but they wasted Vin Diesel’s talent there… Groot says 4 words the entire movie, you couldn’t even recognize Diesel’s voice, nor his features to justify using him. Peter Quill acts like a 23 year old frat boy playing Indiana Jones meets Han Solo (and not pulling it off), and I never grow to like him much. I thought Drax was a completely unnecessary character, not even sure why he was there.
6. That little trinket… As another critic pointed out, the object of desire that the bad guys want and the good guys try and keep the bad guys from amounts to a stone inside a softball-sized metal orb, or The One Ring inside the Hellraiser box. Been there, done that.
7. The bad guys never really felt all that BAD. Karen Gillan’s character was great to watch, when she was on screen, but we saw far too little of her and I dearly would have loved to know more since she and Zoe Saldana were “sisters”. Ronin… Thanos… meh, yawn.
8. The ocean is in jeopardy, so let’s make sure this puddle is safe! They are billed as the “Guardians of the GALAXY” – at best, they saved what looked like San Francisco from the Star Trek universe. At least with Superman, Metropolis got wasted but it was clearly in the process of saving the rest of the Earth. This doesn’t feel like such a grand scale save, but good job, guys!
9. Ummmm, wha…? The hidden scene at the end left me with mix feelings. No spoilers, but I was equally laughing and astounded by the ridiculousness of it since it seemed so WAY out of place.
Overall I really felt the movie was far from fitting in with the established Marvel movie universe. These guys were a bumbling comedy troupe rather than serious heroes. I don’t know why so many people think this is so awesome, I just thought it was a complete letdown.
1.5 out of 5. And that’s being generous.
Let me start by saying I was born in the 70s, which means – in terms of Doctor Who – Christopher Reeve was my Superman. Other versions have been fine, I really have no quarrel with any of them, but Reeve is still near and dear to my heart. I didn’t even mind Superman Returns. Brandon Routh did a decent job and hey, Kevin Spacey was in it being awesome.
So I go into Man of Steel thinking I’ll be entertained for the 2+ hours, but that was about it. Holy crow was I wrong. Mild spoilers ahead if you have lived under a rock and have absolutely no idea what the Superman story is at all.
You almost immediately get the story of Krypton, which moves at a pretty fast pace towards destruction. Russell Crowe as JorEl? Kick. ASS. He’s not just an intellectual like the earlier movies suggest, he can hold his own in a fight too.
Michael Shannon plays General Zod, and his portrayal is fantastic. Determined to save Kryptonians the only way he knows how (by killing Kryptonians?), he ends up banished to the Phantom Zone only to be reawakened when Kryton imploded (and then exploded. It was a pretty epic destruction). Rather than Terence Stamp’s evil, mustache twirling portrayal of Zod (don’t get me wrong, he was awesome), Shannon actually gets you to feel sympathy for him. Just before you want Supes to kill him.
Kevin Costner and Diane Lane play Jonathan and Martha Kent, both excellent casting choices. I was wary of Costner, but I thought he did a great job doing his best to help his adopted son navigate his moral dilemmas, and both actors were more appropriate ages to play the roles. Earlier versions always seems to be closer to grandparent ages to me.
Amy Adams was an interesting choice for Lois Lane. Gone is the typical raven-haired Lois, but her grit and determination keep the character familiar. Like Margot Kidder, she exudes confidence and gets the information she’s after, gets herself in trouble, but never acts the damsel in distress.
Of course Henry Cavill takes the title role of Clark Kent/Superman, along with a couple of younger actors for the younger versions of Clark. Both kids pulled off their roles perfectly, conveying the internal struggles of a child who can’t fathom why he’s so different from others, and doing his best to calm his frustrations. Cavill portrayed a rather zen Clark Kent, having over the years obviously perfected the act of turning the other cheek in the face of aggression. It is not until General Zod threatens his adopted homeworld that he really focuses on what’s important to him.
Most of the movie is a simple re-telling of the Superman origin, with a few differences. The movie establishes that the atmosphere between Krypton and Earth are different enough to be physically demanding, requiring Lois to wear breathing apparatus on Zod’s ship, and causing Zod incredible pain when exposed on Earth. Yes, JorEl still speaks to Clark Kent to teach him about Krypton, but he comes across as more sentient and interactive. In fact, it is through JorEl that Lois Lane learns how Superman can defeat Zod and his group, and acts as a Kryptonian Jedi in helping her escape from Zod’s ship. Lois also knows him as Clark Kent and Superman – she is a smart woman, a pair of glasses certainly would never fool her.
I miss my Christopher Reeve, but in all honesty, this movie was incredible to watch. There is also one specific point in the movie where I could swear they worked a little CGI magic and made Cavill’s facial features to look like Reeve, so much so that I actually teared up. The action was thrilling, the struggles felt real. I can’t wait to own whatever special edition comes out so I can absorb more of the behind the scenes details. Five bright yellow suns for this movie. ENJOY!
EDIT: My husband found this article which backs up my claim to have seen a CGI glimpse of Christopher Reeve – at the time I wrote this review, I could not find a screenshot of the part where I saw him, but this article shows some of it…