Categories
Music Resources

Friday Fun Trifecta #14 – Love Edition

If you remember a while back, we did a segment here on SDMcKinley.com called Friday Fun Links. Fun links have evolved into Friday Fun Trifecta, where I will feature one thing of each – music, book and visual arts. Welcome to Friday Fun Trifecta #13, in appreciation for artwork.

It’s Friday again. How am I doing? Yesterday was rough, but I got through it, thankfully unscathed and in tact. I have terrible anxiety sometimes and it comes out as flipping me into overdrive. I’m hoping for a great weekend filled with positivity, laughter, love and peace, lifting the ones up in my life that help me day in and day out, putting their differences aside, but also firmly standing up for what they obviously believe in. I think we should definitely stand up for what we believe as individuals. You know, we all have times when we clash and have differences ( which is a blessing in itself ), but at the end of the day I believe it’s true and carefully precision’d consideration that really takes us down through there, encompassing all things and ideas possible in order to come to a nice, solid conclusion. THAT shows careful consideration and love for yourself and others around you.

What does love mean to you?

Visual:

+Love Beyond The Stars+ by ERA-7

Music:

Lyrics @ Genius.com – this is one of my most favored electronic artists a.k.a John Gooch.

Book:

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson – I’m currently reading Anathem by Neal Stephenson, along with a couple others, but it’s good enough, so far, that I went searching out this other book that I have no idea about.

“She’s a woman, you’re a dude. You’re not supposed to understand her. That’s not what she’s after…. She doesn’t want you to understand her. She knows that’s impossible. She just wants you to understand yourself. Everything else is negotiable.”

― Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

“To condense fact from the vapor of nuance.”

― Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

[ Quote Source: goodreads.com ]

Bonus:

Check out all the free, legit books @ The Open Library.

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Music Resources

Friday Fun Trifecta #13

If you remember a while back, we did a segment here on SDMcKinley.com called Friday Fun Links. Fun links have evolved into Friday Fun Trifecta, where I will feature one thing of each – music, book and visual arts. Welcome to Friday Fun Trifecta #13, in appreciation for artwork.

It’s Friday again. How am I doing? I had some great relaxation during the night and that makes for a marvelous Friday to wrap the week up splendidly.

Book:

The Sigma Protocol by Robert Ludlum

“Calculate the odds, and recalculate, and recalculate again. And then just go with your gut instinct.”

*Chapter 5, Page 79, Robert Ludlum – The Sigma Protocol

“The Ghost was an in-house nickname for the longtime director of the Internal Compliance Unit, Alan Bartlett.”

*Chapter 3, Page 33. Robert Ludlum – The Sigma Protocol

[ Quote Source: freebooknotes.com ]

Music:

Hide U by Kosheen, remixed by DJ Marky – Lyrics @ Genius.com

Visual:

I’ve always LOVED these isometric pixel artworks – Study and living room design by  Cutiezor. By the way . . . you know what I heard about yesterday? Cryptoart. Weird, huh?

Bonus:

Hideo Kojima Is Writing a Book About His Creative Process

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Book Reviews

Review: Borderless by Eliot Peper

I’m absolutely loving this cover artwork. What a blessing.

Blurb:

Information is power, and whoever controls the feed rules the world in this all-too-plausible follow-up to the science fiction thriller Bandwidth.

Exiled from Washington after a covert operation gone wrong, Diana is building a new life as a freelance spy, though her obsessive secrecy is driving away the few friends and allies she can count on. When she’s hired to investigate the world’s leading techno capitalist, she unknowingly accepts an assignment with a dark ulterior purpose. Navigating a labyrinth of cutouts and false fronts, Diana discovers a plot to nationalize the global feed.

As tech and politics speed toward a catastrophic reckoning, Diana must reconcile the sins of her past with her dreams of tomorrow. How she deploys the secrets in her arsenal will shape the future of a planet on the brink of disaster. Doing the right thing means risking everything to change the rules of the game. But how much is freedom really worth?


It literally took me about four pages in this work to realize that I would love this book if it could only keep up with the foundation I had laid eyes on. And it did, filled to the brim with modern affirmations and epiphanies of realization, Borderless moves forward with all the things that wrap our current society with conundrums of . . . how do we move forward in a world where technology is trying to tell us too much?

Diana is an former CIA spy and is wrapped up in a swirling mission to take over a megacorporation called Commonweath that built a system that gives people all their information called the feed and their plan to form a one world government. The feed tells you when your friend is walking toward you down the hallway and that’s just the brunt of it. Every institution is a computer and the feed has all the information about everything. But, is the information being curated in disfavor? Are things being selectively hidden? What will they do to keep America running in this fictional world when this technology is trying to free itself? How will you be free when you are relying on bent, hand fed influences?

“The only way to fight someone that knew your weaknesses was to feign indifference.”

Borderless Pg. 109, Eliot Peper

I learned tons of words and phrases in this book and that makes me excited when they are used properly and put in place like a carefully set stone. While some words were repeated and just fancy names for foreign yogurt ( this was the worst, but still great example of the variety in flavor ), I thought it was great. I have a big long note in my note taking app that has a lot of the words I learned, but here I will pick four of them so that you may get a taste of what Borderless has in store as far as verbiage:

  • in·dom·i·ta·ble
    /inˈdämədəb(ə)l/
    adjective
    impossible to subdue or defeat.
    “a woman of indomitable spirit”
  • key·stone
    /ˈkēˌstōn/
    noun
    a central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together.
  • re·al·po·li·tik
    /rāˈälpōliˌtēk/
    noun
    a system of politics or principles based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations.
  • feign
    /fān/
    verb
    pretend to be affected by (a feeling, state, or injury).
    ARCHAIC
    invent (a story or excuse).
    ARCHAIC
    indulge in pretense.

Make no mistake, I am no salesman so when I gloat simply for the fact that this is book #2 in the series, it worked so well despite my jumpy list-add clicking fingers, AND the fact that I found it in the first place makes me an extra happy camper today in the reading department.

Recommendation:

Presented with more than plausible real-world problems in a not-too-distant future spanning places all over the world, Borderless not only delivers a solid story, bringing all the moving pieces of international adult playgrounds together together quite nicely, it has style, knowledge, form and continuous breaths of fresh air and a perfect pacing to match. There wasn’t a single page I didn’t highlight something of worth or was tempted, then giving in to research a reference to people, places and things. This story deserves ★★★★★ five stars out of five, all day long.

Music Bonus:

Dub FX with Not Cool – Lyrics @ Genius.com – Get down with the feel good jimmy jams!

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Music Resources

Witcher Edition: Friday Fun Trifecta #12

If you remember a while back, we did a segment here on SDMcKinley.com called Friday Fun Links. Fun links have evolved into Friday Fun Trifecta, where I will feature one thing of each – music, book and visual arts. Welcome to Friday Fun Trifecta #12, in appreciation for artwork.

It’s Friday again. How am I doing? Well, I stayed up half the night, just thinking about financials, watching Nordic Outback on Disney+ and the lot. It was nice to have some peace and quiet. Yennifer didn’t mind at all. I’m not sure how Misty would like me comparing her to Yennifer? It ain’t safe, it ain’t safe, it ain’t safe, it ain’t safe . . . 😇 She probably like it better than Kamaiyah, though.

Bonus:

Cemetary Gates by Pantera – Lyrics @ Genius.com – This song is beautifully performed ( this song has no vulgarities in it ) and in my opinion is one of the rarities, where we get live music that sounds superior to the original recording. R.I.P. Vinnie Paul and Darrel, we know you are in a better place. 😐

Visual:

TW – The Last Wish WALLPAPER 1 by astoralexander – The Witcher can safely smoke. He has mutant blood.

Music:

The Witcher 3 Soundtrack OST ( I think this technically NOT OST, it’s in game music ) – The Wolven Storm – Lyrics @ Genius.com – Anyone know what genre you would call this?

Book:

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
[ Image Source: gamepedia.com ]

“May the wind under your wings bear you where the “Mistakes,’ he said with effort, ‘are also important to me. I don’t cross them out of my life, or memory. And I never blame others for them.”

― Andrzej Sapkowski, Blood of Elves

“I manage because I have to. Because I’ve no other way out. Because I’ve overcome the vanity and pride of being different, I’ve understood that they are a pitiful defense against being different. Because I’ve understood that the sun shines differently when something changes. The sun shines differently, but it will continue to shine, and jumping at it with a hoe isn’t going to do anything.”

― Andrzej Sapkowski, The Last Wish

[ Quote Source: GoodReads.com ]

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Music Resources

Witcher Edition: Friday Fun Trifecta #11

If you remember a while back, we did a segment here on SDMcKinley.com called Friday Fun Links. Fun links have evolved into Friday Fun Trifecta, where I will feature one thing of each – music, book and visual arts. Welcome to Friday Fun Trifecta #11, in appreciation for artwork.

It’s Friday again. How am I doing? I’m wore out. People wear me out. Then, I wear myself out. It’s a dangerous combination, especially when you don’t realize it’s Friday until way after you wake up; it’s sort of a nice surprise, however when you learn what day of the week it is. Make no mistake: it’s no where near as superior as Saturday. Let’s escape into a bit of Tolkien and visual arts and music inspired by his works!

Visual:

Out Of The Frying-Pan Into The Fire by yoshiyaki

Music:

I See Fire by Ed Sheeran, from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Lyrics @ Genius.com

Book:

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien

“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

[ Quote Source: GoodReads.com ]

Does anyone have any background about the alternative title There and Back Again?

Did we find the source of the moonwalks, here in Tolkien’s writings? Michael Jackson knows . . . Is it because Michael Jackson almost tried to sue over it when he found out, then the lawyers reminded him about what year the book was written!?

I swear this guy is a re-incarnated Michael Jackson, except this is the body he was suppose to be in to begin with:

Save your tears over Weeknd’s plastic surgery

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Other Reviews

DNF Video Game: The Medium

THE MEDIUM

Discover a dark mystery only a medium can solve. Explore the real world and the spirit world at the same time. Use your psychic abilities to solve puzzles spanning both worlds, uncover deeply disturbing secrets, and survive encounters with The Maw – an entity born from an unspeakable tragedy.

The Medium is a third-person psychological horror game that features an innovative dual-reality gameplay, unique art style inspired by painter Zdzisław Beksiński, and original soundtrack co-composed by Arkadiusz Reikowski and Akira Yamaoka.


In my sometimes less-than-humble opinion, there are two kinds of games in the world: Game-games and games. Look, I’m joking, well, kind of. Let me explain: there are games where you actually have what seems like free choice. If you want to go all in and fight the high level characters, you most certainly can have at it and get humbled, like the zealous adventurer you are. Unfortunately, The Medium is the opposite of that: a walking simulator that tells what button to push and when to push it, where to walk and when to walk and also when to talk. I don’t like it. I want to run, jump, slash and meander. I want action and intensity, not to aimlessly walk in circles looking for a queue to push the X button.

Is anybody out there? Just nod if you can hear me.

Most interactive travels in the game present you with a setting viewed with a fixed, third-person camera as you walk from room-to-room and a Resident Evil type inventory system with the ability to combine items for puzzle solving and possibly more.

Something that did particularly catch my eye and make me go “hmmmm . . . ” was the fact that when looking in the below mirror, there was a strip on the rug that seemed to twinkle and glisten, no matter which angle I moved the camera, which gave me evidence that it wasn’t the mirror causing the anomaly:

See that funky strip on the rug?

That’s not saying The Medium is a bad game, it’s just not for me. I was stunned by some of the visuals that were displayed before the split screen duel-reality play, then the visual appeal seemed degraded ( which I vaguely remember an article confirming that degradation ). I played for a decent 3 hours on the game up until I reached the duel reality view at the camp. The whole premise of the game, being the main character is a medium named Marriane that exists in two different realities at once. Just after the start of the game, we are led to a funeral home and we meet Jack in the dark reality, that has recently died in the normal reality, then we are led to some kind of camp for investigations. This is where I stopped playing the game. I won’t go into any more details about the story, while the elements of the story did seem mildly interesting, it wasn’t good enough to keep me rattling my joystick and looking for a queue to hit X without it being dreadful and a chore. Luckily this game came with my Xbox Game Pass subscription. No love lost, no love found.

Recommendation:

★★☆☆☆ The Medium, an Microsoft Xbox Exclusive gets two stars out of five for lack of excitement and personal preference, however seems solid enough for story-game enjoyers to savor. If you want some, from what I saw non-wretched and light on actual vulgarities like lack of jump scares and gore then it may work even better for you in a search for a psychological survival horror game with class.

Intro video w/ credits

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Music On Art Resources

Friday Fun Trifecta #10

If you remember a while back, we did a segment here on SDMcKinley.com called Friday Fun Links. Fun links have evolved into Friday Fun Trifecta, where I will feature one thing of each – music, book and visual arts. Welcome to Friday Fun Trifecta #10, in appreciation for artwork.

Book Giveaway Update:

We’ll have a Rafflecopter giveaway with with the 10 Years of Darkness review coming on Feb. 8th, in cooperation with the authors’ blog tour, but that isn’t the giveaway I’m focusing on, in addition I’ll have two self hosted book giveaways soon on SDMcKinley.com:

You know it’s kind of one of those funny things that just happens sometimes: I ordered and read Gridlinked by Neal Asher and looking back, it’s one of those books I woke up early to read. It’s just that good. I ordered another one to pack in a giveaway with a couple other books, to boot. Sadly, I came close to losing all hope for it arriving, having ordered it around Dec. 15th and no status updates from USPS since Dec. 21st . . . Will I ever see it?

Surprise! Yesterday, Amazon refunded me the money and low and behold, there it was sitting on my coffee table when I arrived. And, what did I do with the refunded money? I ordered another one. Three copies of Gridlinked is what I’ll end up with and I’ll do a astounding two separate giveaways, one will be very soon and the other one will launch when the third copy arrives, which could take a month if it was like the last one. What is happening to USPS? Geez. It could change, but I’m thinking a three book giveaway of different authors. Man, talk about silver linings.

Music:

No lyrics involved with this soothing meditational music, here. – Genre: Electronic chill step.

What is Blackmill? The best way I can describe it: Elevator music for millennials, ha ha. Sometime you just need something without all the words in it, swaying you one way or the other. It’s meditational and naturistic.

Speaking of that, you ever call a company and the on-hold music is so horrendous you can’t even think, like they put a devil frequency in it, with the volume going up and down like a demon-possessed-wire trying to steal all your energy while waiting on the phone for 60 minutes? By the time the company actually picks up, you’ve already pulled your hair into pieces like that crazy Stephanie girl you knew when you were a teenager? Those telephone system-admins could really use a lesson on proper music to put in their on-hold telephone systems straight from Blackmill themselves.

Book:

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

“The illusion of self-awareness. Happy automatons, running on trivial programs. I’ll bet you never guess. From the inside, how can you?”

― Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep

“[The Universe] does not care, and even with all our science there are some disasters that we can not avert. All evil and good is petty before nature. Personally, we take comfort from this, that there is a universe to admire that can not be twisted to villainy or good, but which simply is.”

― Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep

[ Quote Source: GoodReads.com ]

Visual:

Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi

Disarming new findings on Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi @ TheArtNewspaper.com. More information about this piece via LeonardoDaVinci.net:

“Leonardo paints Salvator Mundi possibly for King Louis XII of France and his consort, Anne of Brittany. It is most likely commissioned soon after the conquests of Milan and Genoa.

The 26-inch haunting oil-on-panel painting depicts a half-length figure of Christ as Savior of the World, facing front and dressed in Renaissance-era robes. In his painting, Leonardo presents Christ as he is characterized in the Gospel of John 4:14: ‘And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the World.’ Christ gazes fixedly at the spectator, lightly bearded with auburn ringlets, holding a crystal sphere in his left hand and offering benediction with his right.

Salvator Mundi was at once time believed to have been destroyed. The painting disappeared from 1763 until 1900, when it was bought by Sir Charles Robinson as a work by Bernardino Luini, a follower of Leonardo. It next appeared at a Sotheby’s in England in 1958 where it sold for £45 – about $125 at the time. It then disappeared again until it was bought at a small U.S. auction house in 2005.”

[ Source: leonardodavinci.net ]

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Categories
Memories Music Resources

Friday Fun Trifecta #9

If you remember a while back, we did a segment here on SDMcKinley.com called Friday Fun Links. Fun links have evolved into Friday Fun Trifecta, where I will feature one thing of each – music, book and visual arts. Welcome to Friday Fun Trifecta #9, in appreciation for artwork.

Last week sadly, there was no Friday Fun post, so this one comes a day early. I had come down with a bit of a viral cold, nothing too serious. Thank God. I’m still in a bit of recovery mode with little twinges here and there along with slight lethargy. The cold came in sort of a blessing in disguise, since I strangely felt like sleeping and finally got some good rest in this past weekend.

Music:

[ Lyrics @ Genuis.com ] – Genre: Pop-soul / R&B

Such a joy it is to hear the music that Adele and her crew put together with Set Fire to the Rain. I absolutely love a nice concert / live performance and this one is more than great, if not better than the original recording, performed at the Royal Albert Hall. The fact that the live performance is so great, it says something in itself about the talent behind the song.

On a slightly unrelated note, I greatly favored Rolling in the Deep as her first hit as well. I’m not a big hits person, but when it’s good, it’s good. Right? The Rolling in the Deep song came at a time in my life that was rocky, ( and so was the music industry ) to say the least and this music helped me through. Thank you for that, Adele. I remember wiring up a lantern battery to my DC radio, so I could listen without municipal power and it worked a charm. Such bitter-sweet memories that I wish to never repeat. Never again.

Categories
Music On Art Resources

Friday Fun Trifecta #8

If you remember a while back, we did a segment here on SDMcKinley.com called Friday Fun Links. Fun links have evolved into Friday Fun Trifecta, where I will feature one thing of each – music, book and visual arts. Welcome to Friday Fun Trifecta #8, in appreciation for artwork. I’m a bit late on this post – and, as someone once told me, “If you can’t get here on time, just get here when you can.”

Book:

No more Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover

“1If it frightens you, do it.   2Don’t settle. Every time you settle, you get exactly what you settled for.   3Put yourself first.   4No matter what happens, you will handle it.   5Whatever you do, do it 100%.   6If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got.   7You are the only person on this planet responsible for your needs, wants, and happiness.   8Ask for what you want.   9If what you are doing isn’t working, try something different. 10Be clear and direct. 11Learn to say “no.” 12Don’t make excuses. 13If you are an adult, you are old enough to make your own rules. 14Let people help you. 15Be honest with yourself. 16Do not let anyone treat you badly. No one. Ever. 17Remove yourself from a bad situation instead of waiting for the situation to change. 18Don’t tolerate the intolerable — ever. 19Stop blaming. Victims never succeed. 20Live with integrity. Decide what feels right to you, then do it. 21Accept the consequences of your actions. 22Be good to yourself. 23Think “abundance.” 24Face difficult situations and conflict head on. 25Don’t do anything in secret. 26Do it now. 27Be willing to let go of what you have so you can get what you want. 28Have fun. If you are not having fun, something is wrong. 29Give yourself room to fail. There are no mistakes, only learning experiences. 30Control is an illusion. Let go; let life happen. It”

― Robert A. Glover, No More Mr. Nice Guy

[ Quote Source: GoodReads.com ]

Visual:

Paradise by Giovanni di Paolo circa 1445.
Categories
Other Reviews Video Games

Video Games: Immortals Fenyx Rising – First Thoughts

After having one of the busiest days in a long time. I really, really enjoyed playing this title, Immortals Fenyx Rising. The visuals are stunning and controls work almost flawlessly.

I didn’t even have one potion or upgraded armor . . . Then, I got in a fight with a bear and barely won:

Spoilers in the form of bear ☠️ death, cut scenes, descriptions of stamina system and resource farming.
This glowing Bear got slung into oblivion. I love watching the boar disappear, too, flying into his demise. 🤠