Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ode to Healthful

Hey all, well I think I've succeeded at writing a poem based on the word healthful. I'd like to throw a thank you to Cooking Nook as it was their list of ten things you can do to live healthier I used as the basis for the poem.

Living Healthy

Fill your plate with a kaleidoscope of natures bounties in all it’s vibrant colors
Find nourishment in the foundations of the Earth and the words of the body
Leave behind those things that have gotten to big to carry
Find a world outside your doors and play at the fields of childhood
Climb the mountain and hear the words of the wise and timely elder
Surround yourself with the love of generations and the trust of kinship
Your life crossing a river on a wet log find your center before its to late
Love yourself because you are the one person you can never escape
There is no better life than one that includes doing what we love
Be merry and fill your heart with all that is joyous go forth and play

Well what did you think? I'd love to hear your opinion head on over to facebook and leave a comment or drop one below.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Kickstarting the Night Away

I recently decided to take the plunge and back a project on Kickstarter. It’s only been a couple of days and I’m finding the process very interesting. I decided to journal my experiences for those of you who are thinking about entering into the world of Kickstarter or those who are curious as to what it is. I’m hoping this will explain what to expect and why you might want to try it. At the very least I hope it entertains a little.

Some of you may be reading this having no idea what Kickstarter is. Kickstarter is a public funding website that allows companies or individuals who have a project to seek funding from the general populace. After an approval process, assuming it is approved, the project gets posted on the website and made available to the public. The public can pledge funds in an attempt to reach a set goal during an imposed time limit. Typically there are preset pledge levels that offer a set reward or for the backers to choose from. You are not charged for the funds until the time limit expires, and only then if the project reaches it’s fund raising goal.

A project can exceed it’s goal. When this happens most projects use the extra money to add additional flourishes to the project called stretch goals. These are determined by the project managers and have included thank you notes, special mentions in finished projects, additional art, or increased content in the final project. It also can include exclusive rewards specifically for the project backers.

There are risks to using Kickstarter, as with any investment there’s no guarantee of a return. While I’ve only heard of a handful of stories where people misappropriated or mishandled the funds raised. More often than not, projects that reach their goal have come to fruition. Additionally, you simply may not like the finished project, which is a danger in all such ventures. Some of these risks can be managed by posting only a limited amount of money, researching the people responsible for the project, or waiting to get involved to see how close the project will come to reaching its goal.

I’m backing a board game, or specifically the stand alone expansion to a very successful board game, Guillotine Games Zombicide: Season 2 Prison Outbreak. In addition to being the sequel to an established property, the original Zombicide was a Kickstarter project that generated several exclusive stretch rewards for backers, came out on time, and had an amazing finished quality. It’s additionally sponsored by a website called Cool Minis or Not which has added its name to a few other projects that have also performed well and exceeded all expectations. Both groups have been responsible for high quality projects with lots of bonuses for Kickstarter backers.

I first became aware of the project in mid February, I came across a note on a board game news website and started looking into the previews Guillotine Games had been posting on their facebook page. While they never specifically mentioned a date for the beginning of the Kickstarter they hinted that March was going to start something awesome. I’d been familiar with Zombicide from last August at Gencon and was interested in the game. So, I began looking at the various pictures and reading the articles on Facebook and other sites. With about two days left in February they announced they would be setting up the Kickstarter for March first.

With the original start date set the project hit a minor snag. Due to an excess of projects to approve it was announced that Kickstarter would probably not be able to review the application forms until Monday the forth. And a cry of anguish filled the air. After a month of previews on Facebook and several other websites we would now have to wait an additional three days. In retrospect it doesn’t seem like a long time, when in happened it felt like an eternity. Finally, it would be announced the project would go live at eleven a.m. on Saturday the second.

I was in my Culture, Conflict, and Social Research class until twelve fifteen so knew I was going to miss the start. I knew there would be a limited amount of early bird pledges that would allow me to pledge certain levels for a reduced cost. As a reasoning adult I knew those spaces would be gone by the time I got home. When I got out of the car after class I was not a reasoning adult, I was a small child on Christmas morning. Which is why I was in such a hurry to get into the house I didn’t get my foot all the way up over the last step and face planted into the entry way, and cut my foot.

I kicked off my sandals, ran downstairs, and logged into Kickstarter. After a quick search for the project I saw that the early birds were gone, looked over the levels I could pledge at and decide to go with the one hundred dollar “inmate” level. The project had a goal of twenty-five thousand dollars, which by the time I logged in it had already hit. I started reading comments and learned it reached its goal in under two minutes. I then learned my foot was bleeding and cleaned it and several sections of the floor. I honestly don’t know why I was this excited.

I had friends over that day to play Dungeons & Dragons, even still I found myself checking the Kickstarter whenever we had a slight break to see how it was doing. By the end of the day it had raised over five hundred thousand dollars. It was well on it’s way to beating the original Zombicide.

They’ve added several stretch goals since the project began, including exclusive hero figures for the players that are based on famous characters and actors from across television and cinema. I’m particularly attached to the figure called Aunt Rose who is Angela Lansbury with a flamethrower. In addition to Rose, they’ve added characters based on Steven Seagal, Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry, Pam Anderson, Simon Pegg’s Shaun of the Dead, and Bridget Fonda. Two of the characters are optional extras, costing an additional ten dollars each, which I haven’t committed to yet. (but probably will)

I’m certainly still excited about the project and am looking forward to seeing what will happen next. I’m considering upping my pledge level and adding the extra ten dollars each for the extra characters, of course I’m sure there will be more later. I’m told at the end of the project they will send out a questionnaire to ask everyone what they want to do with any extra funds they added to the project. Still, I’m enjoying the experience so far.

If your considering checking out Kickstarter I’d recommend looking around. While I’m backing a board game, projects include music, books, films, fashion, theater, and food. If there is something you’d enjoy it’s probably there. I’ve seen private groups attempting to get a dream project off the ground, I’ve seen large corporations testing the waters of public interest, and I’ve seen a high school raising funds to send their marching band to a national conference. All in all I think Kickstarter is a good thing and look forward to reporting more as the month continues.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ode to the Road Warrior

Well, it's time for another poem of the week. I'm a huge fan of geeky sci-fi, fantasy, and the general B-movie flavor of the month. I have watched the occasional Saturday night made for Syfy movie and thought, "wow, I need to get that on DVD." Soulkeeper for example. However, I believe there are still several movies that fall into the B category that have made pretty damn fine movies that most people can agree on. Flash Gordon for example. From those came some really awesome film franchises. Below is a poem about one of them.

The Juice
The starched cracked flesh of the earth stretching across the horizon
Bristling shimmer of heat rippling the air distorting the distance
The roaring twin chrome carburetor heartbeat of humanity
Night black steel and rubber blazing a trail across asphalt veins
Pumping metal to and from each collective of near civilization
Humanities last hopes and dreams huddled together against the woes
Diseases like the Toecutter, the Humongous, the Master, and the Blaster
Thriving filthy decay that claws at the least vestiges of humanity for the juice
Precious is the juice
The blood that holds the world in check and soldiers it forward
Bringing the antigen, the antidote, the cure, the hope, the future
The hero in the a black knights armor with a white knights courage
With a crash of thunder they collide disease and cure
Boiling under the surface of the broken dusty sky
Two foes enter with venom and guile
In the end one foe leaves
With a heart filled with sorrow and a truck filled with sand
But the juice is safe
And humanity claws forward for another day

Well what did you think of my poem inspired by the great and mighty Mad Max? I'd love to hear what you think. Head on over to my facebook page and leave a comment.