Why A Winter’s Night Will Change Your Life

The theatrical release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is two months away and today is Force Friday, a retail shopping day for Star Wars fans.

Dimensions: 1545 x 1024
Photographer: Matt Moloney

The Rise of Skywalker is one of the biggest film releases of 2019, as you probably know. Movie director J. J. Abrams has returned, who in 2015 helmed Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Force Awakens resumes after the original trilogy in 1977, 1980, and 1983, and the Star Wars prequel trilogy, in 1999, 2002, and 2005.

While this is familiar film history, what’s striking is that the Disney company, which now owns the brand, is launching Disney+ in November, when Star Wars will again be newly available. Disney+ is an offering of classic animated features, as well as reboots and the Avengers franchise. Both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi were tremendous hits, but the box office failure of the expensive one-off Solo: A Star Wars Story diminished the profitability of the franchise for Disney, and the success of Disney+ would surely benefit from the continued success of Star Wars.

Disney+ will have much better chances of lasting if Star Wars is reinvigorated by another blockbuster film. There isn’t much question that Star Wars: The Last Jedi divided the fan base. Last Jedi director Rian Johnson dispelled some of the magic of Star Wars by reinventing Mark Hamill’s character of Luke as an old cynical hermit, rather than staying true to the bold Jedi warrior hero who defeats the Empire in Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars fans turned out for Mark Hamill’s reprise of Luke Skywalker after what happened in the original Star Wars trilogy, and instead, Luke in The Last Jedi nearly couldn’t be roused to continue the fight against the Dark Side of the Force.

YouTube’s Looper has tapped into a mega-spoiler: by their account, actor Harrison Ford has returned as Han Solo for a scene in The Rise of Skywalker. It’s understood that Ford had been reluctant to return to Star Wars without a movie script handling his character adequately, as the actor was absent from the cast of The Last Jedi.

There have been announcements about Star Wars that fans ate up. Prequels actor Ewan McGregor will be in the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi, not for The Rise of Skywalker, but a Disney+ series picking up after the events of the prequels.

Disney has also announced that Kevin Feige will do a Star Wars film. Feige’s involvement is good news for people who believe in Star Wars, as the Avengers films largely speak for themselves in terms of popularity and quality. With the promise of a bang-on Star Wars film after the Skywalker Saga, there is more reason to believe that Star Wars will again succeed, and if it does, a future with Disney+ is all the more likely.

The other spoiler from Looper is that, contrary to expectations, at least expectations I had, the Force will redeem the character of Kylo Ren when he gives up his allegiance to the Dark Side. Based on the love-hate intensity of their relationship, I held the impression that in The Rise of Skywalker Rey will defeat Kylo Ren and destroy him. The trailer for The Rise of Skywalker seems clear that the final battle will be highly personal.

If instead Kylo Ren changes his allegiance, it will make for a different future in Star Wars. Although audiences believe that the Light Side of the Force triumphs in Return of the Jedi, this time, in 2019, it is possible to think, the Light Side will, at last, have victory.

Dimensions:	3840 x 5760
Photographer: Leeroy

If you have the opportunity to enjoy The Rise of Skywalker, I hope you have one of the best nights you have ever had in the company of Star Wars’ villains and heroes. It should be a wonderful occasion. I appreciate you very much thinking about it with me. Maybe I’ll see you again come wintertime as momentum for The Rise of Skywalker continues to build.

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How a #spring ruling on Content Curations made me a better person

My younger sister wrote me this spring that she had read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”  She said the book impacted her interpersonal interactions at work.

One morning I started my content curation tools on the internet, and to my surprise, the app had been revamped.

I work in a mostly volunteer capacity at a cemetery.  I put in duties as an SMM in order to reach the outside world.  http://www.maplelawncemetery.org

What the app does is find webpages for the purpose of putting content on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Looking at it, I saw I needed to think of keywords for content that are both honest about what I am interested in doing, and valuable to people looking at me on Facebook and on Twitter.  The reality of whether the more fringe areas of my research were or weren’t going to fly in the face of other people squarely confronted me.

Some of my ideas just weren’t going to work, I saw. Our Facebook page is small, but those people aren’t going to be swayed, I now believe, by where I had ben putting my nose if I am being transparent.

There is an idea in business that employees don’t work for the boss, that in fact, the boss works for the employees.  I am an SMM, but I work for the people who like the page.  I don’t have the freedom to indulge every avenue I want to if I don’t want to turn off the people I speak to, and it is probably true that new people I might interest will have similar sensibilities to those who are already involved.

I am proud of the community of minions I am part of on Twitter, and it is probably where I find the most depth in understanding the world apart from here. I realize now that I can’t expect any newcomers to have any different opinion than those with who I already have some connection. I hadn’t been aware this was a problem, and without my input a solution presented itself.

I had envisioned that I would find a strategy to make this work when the time came.  With fresh eyes, I began to see how to better use my content tools going forward.  In the process, I became, in a small way, a more honest person, at least more honest about what I am doing on social.

As the Buddhist maxim asserts: “Never lie, cheat, or steal.”  I got a little more spiritual, yesterday, you might say. It was unexpected all the same.

Maple Lawn Cemetery is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited 

Maple Lawn Cemetery

On Twitter, I’m https://twitter.com/findingenvirons   DrumUp is an app on the world wide web at https://drumup.io  The DrumUp starter plan is inexpensive and it offers a lot of use for someone with a business model on Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn.

Why Do People Think Pathfinder Version Two is a Good Idea?

Ten years ago the gaming company Paizo introduced the first season of the tabletop RPG Pathfinder to the public.  In the nine years since each year there’s been an additional season until now we are Season 10.  Each season brought with it new ideas for players of the role-playing game.

In 2016 the Humble Bundle website again made Pathfinder available in exchange for its usual “pay-what-you-like” model.  Humble Bundle accepts funds for charity in exchange for what are usually digital materials for gaming.  It was season six when I saw the opportunity on Humble Bundle to make a charitable donation in exchange for a lovely gaming bundle of digital materials for Pathfinder.

My twitter handle is @findingenvirons and my blog is found at https://findingenvirons1.blog …so that’s why I wanted to learn some of the rules of Pathfinder.  Pathfinder is a fantasy environment to explore and combat.  Characters representing players of the game are customized to keep many choices open when players put together a class, ancestry, and background.

Looking from Louth United Church in St. Catharines for a glimpse of Maple Lawn Cemetery

Looking into what’s happening with Pathfinder, I went to Pathfinder publisher Paizo’s blog.  I saw that Wednesday, February 13, 2019 Paizo announced that they are preparing version two of Pathfinder to improve upon the existing game.  Playtest is over, so what’s the plan? https://paizo.com/community/blog

At this time Humble Bundle has brought back its offer of accepting funds for charity in exchange for more digital materials of the game, now in Season 10.

For $8 (about CA$10.58) Pathfinder game supplements Shattered Star 1 and 2 of 6 are included, along with several digital gamebooks for Pathfinder. For $15 (about CA$19.84) Shattered Star 3 and 4 of 6 become available along with many others.  For $18 (about CA$23.80), all of Shattered Star unlocks, along with many, many others.

If you’re interested in pursuing this, you will have to act soon.  https://www.humblebundle.com/books/pathfinder-10th-anniversary-books

Version Two will be streamlined, but consistent, with the original design of Pathfinder.  Tactical play will remain similar.  Likewise, magical items will be similar to how they were in the first version.


Photographer:
Skitter Photo

On August 2nd Paizo started playtesting to ensure that Pathfinder version two will be as fun and as effective to play as the original version.  Paizo made the reveal at Gen Con 2018.

Although I’ve never, strictly speaking, been part of playing Pathfinder, being familiar with how of the game works is of interest to me.  It reminds me of playing Dungeons & Dragons, which is where the game Pathfinder began (creators of Pathfinder at first intended it to be a refinement of D&D’s “3.5”).  I may pursue Season 10 for my own reasons, to get additional insight into Pathfinder, so that I better relate to players of the tabletop RPG.

It is exciting to think that this new edition is becoming available after ten years of popularity already.

To get a more accurate picture of what’s happening with Pathfinder, I turned to Quora for information.  Although perhaps odd, I put my question to Quora this way:  How would you recommend I proceed in anticipating the Pathfinder RPG version two?

Monday I received four answers.

Todd Gardiner, from Hieroglyph Photography, said this:

“If you anticipate an upcoming product, I would recommend you buy it.

“Not really sure what other advice you are seeking here. ‘How do I anticipate something?’ isn’t really a question most people ask.”

Given his constructive criticism, I see the value of his advice.

Ryan Marshall, the author of Gishes & Goblins, answered this way:

“Try not to worry about it, until it’s actually published. The beta test of the rules was a wide departure from the first edition, but it was also poorly received, so there’s no way to anticipate the scope of the changes they might implement.”

This was a problematic answer because Marshall is saying that the beta test possibly won’t stand the test of a comparison to the first version of Pathfinder.  This is a very different point of view than the other three answers I received.

Steffen Häuser, playing Pen&Paper Games for 30 years, had this to say:

“Just play them. Me and my friends who before played 5e got ourselves some copies of the printed beta rules (available on amazon) and just started playing. Imho 2nd edition pf is hugely better than both dnd 5e and Pathfinder 1st editiob” (sp).

In contrast to Marshall’s answer, Steffen here is offering the point of view that the new version is superior to the first.  A complete opposite of Marshall’s opinion!

Nelson Cunnington, a player since the 70s, said this:

“You need a plan to anticipate something? I can only suggest the usual eager looking-forward, interspersed with impatience that it isn’t coming quicker and depression that it hasn’t happened yet.”

I think Cunnington is looking at the situation with humor.

I did get one more answer a few days later.  This is what one “Richard Bachman” had to say:

“I would avoid major purchases of Pathfinder 1 books until you see how things shake out in your area. If I enjoyed Pathfinder 1 (which I do), I would personally feel no need to change editions unless all my friends insisted on doing so and I could no longer find Pathfinder 1 games.”

Another fine response.

I hope the publisher Paizo continues to be successful, and also earns many charitable donations.  Humble Bundle facilitates charitable giving in exchange for the enormous value of digital materials for play.

If you enjoyed this post, you’re welcome to “like,” follow me and/or comment.  If you play Pathfinder, I am particularly interested!

Paizo Announces Pathfinder Second Edition for Summer 2018

Posted by Rob Wieland on March 7, 2018

https://geekandsundry.com/paizo-announces-pathfinder-second-edition-for-summer-2018/

April 18 Weekly Photo Challenge: Prolific

1/200 sec. f/5 8.8 mm

To be honest, I took this photo about nine in the morning Wednesday, before I’d read Krista Stevens essay on the idea of “prolific.” I’d known, however, that a photo challenge would be published again that day, and I took photos with the idea they might fit into the challenge, or otherwise find use.

Prolific is a word that suggests kind of an outpouring of artistic work, like writing, painting, or music. A talented person who is prolific and is known for the creative mind they have often led the way with what they contribute to their field of endeavor. The best-known people who are successful and enduring are often found to be that way because they are both hardworking and adept.

It’s been a long, long winter, and even this morning here it’s quite cold. I guess it is daunting that the conditions are so adverse, but taking photos for fun is hard for me to resist and I think this one is possibly along the lines what Krista invited this week with the challenge, a photo of water and snow in front of the church where I help with its operations.

1/200 sec. f/5 8.8 mm
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

It has been disbanded since 2006, but it is pretty to the eye. It is unusual that snow is still on the ground in mid-April.

The reason I spend weekly time at the church, other than having an interest in religion, is that there’s a not-for-profit of which I am the junior member caring for the cemetery which lies behind the church. That’s where I apply my skillset, including photography. It happens to be a benign setting for shooting photographs.

The wind stirring the water on the ground struck me that I might get a good photo if I tried to capture it–I am a little sorry it isn’t a touch better, but the sky was a little dark even though it was morning. When spring finally breaks properly, photos will be better.

I also have a nicer camera available to me now–I will need a little practice. I just don’t want to take it into the outdoors much what with the cold temperatures. It will lend me a new mode, so to speak, of versatility when I do get to apply it.

I am also including a photo I took after reading Krista’s challenge–I took it Thursday. I photographed a spot on a local trail for similar reasons to why I took the photo of the water puddle in front of the church. Again, with skies like we have, it is hard to get a photo that isn’t too gloomy, but I don’t think it is too bad.

1/160 sec. f/4.2 16.2 mm
Thursday, April 19, 2018

I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the WordPress photo challenges–they are open to all and they are easy to join. It is an advantage both to be able to think what other bloggers who enjoy photography are doing, and from the standpoint of wanting to speak in blog posts on WordPress, the daily prompts are likewise helpful to getting something tagged and published.

I feel it is a good idea, given that my chief aim on WordPress is to have fun, to look at the daily prompts now and then and to read the photo challenges. We’re a real-life not-for-profit, but there are no rules or restrictions how to participate in blogging despite the requirement to do work in the offline world.

I am not exactly prolific, I don’t think, although I am dedicated. Like many, many others, I enjoy blogging and I feel it is valuable to be “aligned” with what other bloggers might be doing or thinking. I appreciate any feedback I receive from people who see my blog.