T-Shirts and Art on Mountain of Strength

One thing I love doing is showcasing artwork and this is especially true of Fantasy/Sci-Fi art that I run across in doing my normal product reviews.  So recently  I was contacted by an artist named Aaron Hover who provides artwork services as well as sells some of his artwork over at MountainofStrength.net and I asked him to send me some examples of his work and I would be happy to share it with my friends and fans.

Well, Aaron provided me with a few T-Shirts, one for my oldest son and one for myself.  Which I will showcase below, but more than just selling some artwork on his store which includes T-Shirts, Posters, Pillows, Mugs, phone cases…etc.

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So my son received the Let’s Get Kraken T-shirt Blue, and I received the Little Dragon 2 T-Shirt Red.  I have to tell you that not only is the artwork fun and creative, the T-Shirt material is incredibly soft and comfortable so whichever T-Shirt supplier he is using behind the scenes make comfortable T-Shirts.

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I bought my son some Jinx T-Shirts for World of Warcraft and he says these shirts from Mountain of Strength are more comfortable and prefers them.

But it isn’t just Aaron’s store I wanted to showcase, you can actually hire Aaron to do artwork, graphics design or illustrations for any project you have and this can be for things like Book Cover illustrations, Game Design, Board Game or Trading Card artwork and more.  I have wished I had artistic talent and you really should check out some of his portfolio work if you want to see the types of images, design and artwork he comes up with.

 

Honestly, I was impressed with all the illustrations by Aaron Hover and I encourage you to take a look at his stuff over at Mountain of Strength.

You can also Follow Mountain of Strength on Facebook and Twitter.

A Gaming Dad’s Sunday

Sunday was a rather interesting one and started with a long drive back from Ensenada, Mexico where my wife and I spent our 20th Anniversary of the day we met together celebrating.  We left at 2:30am to arrive at the border by 5am’ish and crossed into US and was back home in Encinitas by 6am.  Lack of sleep didn’t stop me, and Sunday turned into an epic gaming day with the boys.

Some Fallout 4 Far Harbor Play

In between doing laundry, and grocery shopping since my wife was feeling a bit ill.  I kicked off the day Live Streaming Fallout 4 Far Harbor, then my son and I dove into The Elder Scrolls Online for about 3 hours together, while my other son and I went on to play Uncharted 4 for about an hour and a half before we all culminated in some PS4 Sports Friends gameplay to cap off the evening.

Some Uncharted 4 Play

A spectacular gaming Sunday in where it was spread across 4 games, and I am looking forward to a Memorial Gaming Weekend with Overwatch releasing today, and finishing Far Harbor and more of Uncharted 4.  Gaming Times, Gaming Times.

The Blogging Conundrum and Shutting Down 4 Sites

I am one who always loves having pet projects and this has lead me at one point to have over 7 blogs simultaneously running and trying to keep up producing content and information and experimenting in growing in different niches and areas.  Unfortunately this left me scattered and not able to be dedicated and focused too much on my smaller sites and many had gone idle over the past year and a half.  This combined with my work becoming more complex and needing more hours and time, I realized that I had lost my favorite activities “gaming time” by being consumed keeping up with all my sites.  This mean’t my gaming hours were whittled down to less per week than I have fingers on one hand.

This also mean’t I was paying hosting fees for several providers many for sites I as producing 1 post per month on as of late.  As a result I have made a very heavy decision to discontinue and shut down many of my sites, sites that I knew would not be sellable as there was no income model they were more for fun and just experiments.

This included Wanderer Thoughts Poetry which was one of my creative poetry outlets as a blog, though I used an excellent plugin to convert all my poems into Word documents and will be using them to flush out the next series of Kindle Books which I already had 2 published, I can turn those poems into the other series of Kindle Books, so those aren’t lost.  Though I do miss doing the Random Twitter Poetry game, I had no time to do it anymore and contributions became so infrequent even when making calls I wasn’t getting the engagement in previous years.

The Chefs Cookbook was a culinary blog originally started by my wife who went a different direction with her career and didn’t want to continue it, I maintained it because it still had 500-1500 views per month and had some active interest, but it gradually whittled away as I am not a cook, I can’t really create my own content easily and the guest posting content provided wasn’t sustaining it.  It wasn’t really a sellable property other than the domain name, because much of my wife’s original content and personally created content made up the site which we didn’t want to be sold.

WPCypher was a dedicated WordPress, Web Development and Internet blog where I had originally was shifting WordPress, Blogging, Code and Plugin reviews off of DragonBlogger.com to this site, but I wasn’t able to keep active and produce enough content to justify keeping it operational so I ported over some choice content that did well to Dragonblogger and shut the site down.

GiveawayContests also was a site that was good in theory but unneeded, which was meant to simply be a consolidation of giveaways and sweepstakes found online, instead I was able to accomplish just as much with dlvr.it feeds to the Facebook fanpage and just retire the WordPress site itself.  The reason is giveaways have such a short duration of validity and having a site that just has thousands of expired giveaway posts is simply a waste of a database, so to me something like this was better to run as only a social media channel where posts are short lived, and you have limited time to view/enter without any need to keep track of expired giveaways in outdated posts that just waste space on the Internet.

Now this site, JustinGermino.com is one I struggled with deciding what to do with.  I considered shutting it down but obviously I would never let my own name DNS name be released, and just park it, it doesn’t generate much traffic or income, but I do get enough requests for local product reviews or servicers (more when I lived in AZ since moving to CA) and since this site is all about me and my own thoughts, decided to basically merge anything I would put on Wanderer Thoughts Going forward into this site as my personal blog.  So this site will remain my only other site that I maintain besides Dragonblogger.com for the foreseeable future.

 

 

Blizzard and Starcraft Legacy of the Void

I am in the middle of the campaign for Blizzard’s Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void and I can say it doesn’t take much for me to remember why I love Blizzard as a gaming company and what makes the Starcraft universe so special to me. I first played Starcraft when it released and I remember taking a whole week off work back then just to play the game day and night falling in with the story of Raynor, Kerrigan, Tassadar and others. I named my cat at the time Tassadar who kind of looked like a Protoss in the face to me, and the story and campaign while borrowed from other Sci-Fi genre was backed by amazing visuals and the same real time strategy style which made Warcraft so popular.

Blizzard always had a knack for CGI between missions and creating compelling characters you care about and follow on their journey, Starcraft always had a hold of me, more so than World of Warcraft which was ironic given my D&D history and love of fantasy, I just never did “feel the MMO” like I did traditional RPG games.

So far I am most impressed with Legacy of the Void and am enjoying the game very much, if you were a Starcraft 2 fan then picking up the final chapter is well worth it and you won’t be disappointed.

Life Can Teach So Many Lessons

If there is one thing that I can say for certain is that life is about expecting the unexpected and that you will be faced with challenges and decisions that you may never think you will ever have to face or could ever face. This is where people learn who they really are and find where their strengths and weaknesses lie and while many make it through most of life’s tests intact, there are others who stumble and falter and the tests lead to decisions and mistakes that have devastating consequences. The thing about being human is that we are not living some pre-programmed existence like a worker bee whose genetic programming is to do a single function for the hive cluster. We are individuals and operate individually off of our own experiences, thoughts, trauma, learned behaviors and modeled behaviors we see and think are the acceptable norm.

Learning, Loving, and above all else showing compassion and respect to all others is the key to redemption if you find yourself in one of those situations where the road forked and you went left instead of right. Though the road may be broken and you may never end up making amends or achieving full redemption you can at least leverage mistakes to change course and do the right thing going forward. Some consequences are severe enough you can’t undo or recover from them, you have to pick up and move on and improve in every way possible.

It is all too easy to give up and walk away from consequences, hide from them, drown them out or simply ignore and delay accepting accountability and the changes that are needed. This is the time to rise up and become the strongest, bravest and most determined person you have ever become in your life. The time to walk the right road after you may have ended up in circles, where you started or simply in the wrong location.

Carry your burden, while some would say you need to forgive yourself and love yourself, don’t do this too quickly. Acknowledge and accept the burden that comes with mistakes and then find the path to redemption and even if there isn’t a clear one, find the path on how you can at least try. Is it really so hard for one to simply look at every person they encounter every day and simply have empathy and compassion for each other soul struggling to make it through this harsh life?