initial review

Cut my resources then put pressure on me to complete a project a month ahead of schedule?

Hi, so firstly a bit of background. I work as part of an evil empire (multinational corporate) and am the lead continuous development and change analyst in charge of a medium sized project.

So at the beginning of December I completed my initial review for a major part of what is to be delivered and advised that it would take until end of January with my current operational resource to complete some of the required actions from the back of it. I also highlighted that I should be given additional 2 full time people to get it completed before January.

Did I get people? Nope.

Did they take a person away from me because “they didn’t seem to be doing that much”? Yep.

Bear in mind this was being done by two people not in my reporting chain and above me on the food chain, so I couldn’t scream blue murder about it.

Last Monday (19th) they pulled me into a meeting and basically gave me a bollocking because “you are putting blockers in place which affect our year end figures” (they actually mean their incentives by this and realised it would affect them when trying to work out how much they would get) and I needed to get things done by the end of the month.

Right. Fuck you guys, you want to see what that guy was doing? You think you are my boss? (my boss was fucking livid and she is cold decking each of their enhancement requests as soon as she is back in office.)

By the end of day Tuesday I advised that I would have a full plan for acceleration of the project ready for review and sign off. But they would need to be available to for a meeting on Friday 23 (today, last working day before Christmas when they were both planning to slope off early for a few drinks)

They didn’t really like it, but they could hardly refuse as I was giving them what they wanted.

Do you think it’s all over?

I book the meeting time for 12. Aren’t I nice, going to let them work through lunch and still get to the pub.

If you have heard the phrase “Death by PowerPoint” then you might think you know what is about to happen.

46 slides with example investigations into issues found in minute and boring detail.

A line by line review of a twelve page document.

At 16:30 with only a fifteen minute break, they had had no lunch. They had glazed eyes. They agreed to the process outline.

Do you think it’s over now?

I then offered to go through the addendums, or if they wished they could take them home and review them, but if I could get an answer before 10 pm today, as I wanted to turn my phone off for the Christmas period and I’d need to get the ball rolling first thing Wednesday. (this was the riskiest part of my plan)

They gratefully said they would study the addendums at home as they knew it was getting late.

I got the messages from both of them within a few minutes of 9:50, all approved.

Lets take a vote? Do you think they read them?

I know they didn’t, the addendums promise me 18 full time operation staff over the next week and given the holiday period the department will fail to meet other BAU targets which has a direct impact on their incentive.

I’ve forwarded the sign offs with the documents attached to my boss who is going to “raise a concern” that this level of manpower was agreed without referring to their boss, with their boss, on Wednesday. She is also going to raise a concern about the tone of meetings they have had with me and the behaviour they have displayed.

Now it’s over.

Initial reader reviews are coming in for Grovedaughter Witchery, in notes and messages and reviews, and pretty much everyone is saying the same thing:

“This is the practical, secular perspective that we’ve been missing in pagan literature. This should be everyone’s introduction to witchcraft. This is the book that I wish I’d had when I was starting out as a witch.

I’m not crying, I swear. There’s just…I’m so full of happy that my eyes are leaking.

You guys get it. You GET it.

Things I really liked about The Cursed Child:

  • Draco Malfoy with a ponytail 
  • Granger-Weasley
  • Ron’s fear of Molly
  • Scorpius the cinnamon roll (and his self-proclaimed ubergeekness)
  • Scorpius’ s ubergeekness DESTROYING all slytherin stereotypes 
  • and also FUTURE WIZARDING HISTORIAN scorpius malfoy lbr
  • “Draco”
  • Scorpius/Albus hugs
  • Ron’s dad jokes 
  • “ooooof”
  • McGonagall SHADE
  • “have we hugged before? do we hug?” *hugs a billion more times*
  • Resident Badass Ginny Potter
  • Hermione still being herself and riding Harry’s ass to get his work done
  • Draco: “I’m being bossed around by Hermione Granger And I’m mildly enjoying it.”
  • stop ruining voldemort day 
  • Ron being “an affectionate guy”
  • Rose being a Quidditch superstar and OWNING IT
  • Harry Potter’s fear of pigeons
  • the Scorpion King
  • Harry’s baby blanket and Dudley sending it can i just
  • chocolate as medicine always
  • Hermione threatening Ron into niceness by telling him he’ll have to hug Draco
  • Romione vow renewal 

Things I (and the world probably) could have done without:

  • Trolley Cart Lady as a train security guard with blades for hands and pasty bombs (but also I simultaneously love this?)
  • Albus being told he’s not like Harry because he couldn’t get his broom into his hand when his MOM was the PROFESSIONAL QUIDDITCH PLAYER. like out of the two of them, why you gonna compare him to harry for his flying skills, hmmm?
  • Ron giving Albus a love potion after he almost DIED FROM ONE 20 YEARS BEFORE
  • The asshole impersonating the character that was once Harry Potter for the first half of the show
  • Scorpius randomly knowing what’s in Bathilda Bagshot’s basement? Like you good, bro, but you ain’t that good
  • the mental image of cedric flying naked out of the maze on purple feather dusters that can NEVER LEAVE MY BRAIN NOW
  • Absense of Teddy? REally? 
  • Hugo only mentioned once? LIKE WHERE WAS HE, JO???
  • Harry watching his parents die by choice
  • Rose being prejudiced against people for their parentage given who her fucking parents are 
  • AU death eater Cedric???
  • Delphi being born at Malfoy Manor because a.) when was bellatrix pregnant during all that mess and b.) wouldn’t draco have known? #lies
  • Neville being pivotal to the show but not being in it like at all 
  • There being no official proclaimed, declared, or prophesied relationship between Scorpius and Albus
  • Snape being in the show literally just to validate Albus’ middle name

Audra got a secondhand drafting table a while ago, and you can see some Chiara stuffs going on there. You can also see where Nymbus sleeps, as evidenced in the closeup, when he was creepily staring at me while I worked on the script. 

I wish the script and notes looked as cool as Audra’s art, then you could see all the hard work we’ve been doing, building out the world and characters and such.  I completed the initial script, then reviewed it with Audra, then did a second pass, which I also reviewed with Audra. So it’s definitely coming along. I’m hoping to have the final script approved this week!

We’re wanting to set up a Patreon for the Nenverse, which will include the Chiara comic and the upcoming Nen webcomic. We’ve got some ideas for the tiers, but do any of you have any suggestions? Keep in mind that both of us have full-time jobs (well, I’m currently between jobs right now, which is why I can invest so much time into this until I get started at the new job), and that Audra already works every bloody waking hour, no matter how many times I try to…ahem, anyway, so it’s important to keep in mind that, until the Patreon starts to bring in a certain amount of income, we can’t really devote much time to it.

Last, but not least, can someone please invent a time freeze ray? We’d really like to have enough time to perform the duties that are necessary for living AND make awesomely wicked stuffs! AH! That reminds me of Dr. Horrible! Man…that show was amazing… I’m tired. Goodnight.

ReelMagik STP Initial Review

I got my ReelMagik today! I ordered it the first week of November with a 5-7 week time estimate. It was closer to 9 weeks, but that’s including the holidays. So all in all, not too bad. I got the standard model with M7 skin tone. Keep in mind that this is my initial review. It’s only based on what I see and think on first impressions. I’ll try to do another review after I’ve been using it for a while.

Genitalia under the cut.

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Signs the private Mars One colonization mission is a scam:

  1. It said it received 200,000 applications, actually received 2,761.
  2. Applications used a “point” ranking system and the only way to gain more points after the initial review process was to buy merchandise, donate money or convince their friends and family to contribute.
  3. Mars One asked all contestants to donate 75% of any speaking fees to the mission.
  4. The top 10 candidates for the mission were those who had contributed the most funds to Mars One.

But that’s not even the most damning part!

Erick Erickson reports at The Resurgent:

I’m being told by folks on Capitol Hill that the Republicans’ swampcare bill is running into headwinds with conservatives. Though it has made it through its initial committee review, it seems conservatives are gathering steam and members are hearing from constituents who do not believe the legislation keeps its promises.

I would not be surprised if the train gets slowed down significantly as they consider big changes to get conservatives on board.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has declared that Trumpcare would be “dead on arrival.” Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Cotton (R-AK) have all signaled opposition to the bill. The House Freedom Caucus does not seem willing to support it either.

There’s also the fact that some of the more liberal GOP senators will object to Trumpcare’s attempts to end Medicaid expansion by 2020 and its defunding of Planned Parenthood. Even though Trumpcare can pass the Senate with only 50 votes–with Vice President Mike Pence presumably being the tiebreaker–it would only take three Republican senators to derail Trumpcare.

—  The Daily Wire (AARON BANDLER)

You know, Strange Magic is one of those very few movies I’ve seen that actively gets better every time I watch it, especially with all of the context from that stream a while back. It’s gotten to the point where I feel like even the criticisms in my initial review are a little much; there’s just not really anything about the film that bothers me anymore. It’s just a delightful musical fairy tale, and the stuff that wouldn’t work in other genres works to the film’s advantage here. It’s just such a wondrously fantastic film, and I really hope more people discover it as time goes by.

On Earthbound

Recently, on a vlog I posted over on StephenVlog, a commenter asked if I agreed that Earthbound was at least a little overrated. After responding, I figured the Tumblr community may enjoy reading as well.

I’ll try and weigh in here as briefly as possible.

Earthbound initially debuted to low review scores. It was regarded as “childish” with poor graphics. It was under-appreciated and the exact opposite of overrated. There were some (like myself) who latched onto the game in the mid-90’s, but the game didn’t sell well, and was quickly in bargain bins. Lots of people missed out on Earthbound, but maybe they just weren’t ready for it. In many ways, I think Earthbound was simply ahead of its time.

The Smash Brothers series brought Ness and Earthbound back into the limelight. As the years went by, people became more and more interested in the game featuring the kid in the red cap. (and other former aliases) became the hub for all things Earthbound, and helped promote discussion and fan-creations of the game. The community fought long and hard for the release of Earthbound 64, creating petitions, calling in to Nintendo, sending in letters. Earthbound fans (and, really, have been regarded by many in the industry as the most devoted video game fans ever. That makes sense. We are. There have not been any other fandoms go to the extremes we have to promote the game we love so much.

But you want to know why we love it! Everyone seems to love it for different reasons, but for me, personally, it was a truly unique experience. When I rented Earthbound from a Blockbuster video store in 1995, it was unlike anything else I had played before. A game set in urban America where you walked the sidewalks, digging in trashcans for cheeseburgers and hitting hippies with frying pans. There had never been (and still has never been) a game quite like Earthbound. As a child, I clung to it immediately, renting it several more times before finally getting it for Christmas. I played it every single night for months, extremely over-leveled but enjoying every moment and hanging on every word the NPCs said. The game is extremely well-written, and the dialogue still stands among some of the funniest in video games today.

I cried when Earthbound ended. I cried because it was over. It was a few of the most memorable and best months of my life, and I wanted that experience to last forever. I started a new file, and a new tradition - for many years (at least a decade or more) I played through the game completely every single year. I kept discovering things I had missed and learning new tricks.

As I got older, I started to appreciate the game even more. It wasn’t just that the game had made me laugh as a child, every single element of Earthbound was superb. For example, I played a ton of classic SNES games growing up, and many had memorable (and well-produced) music, but Earthbound went above and beyond by successfully tackling genre after genre. I had an early start on music appreciation because I was exposed to so many different styles in a 1995 SNES game.

I also started realizing how heavy the game truly is. The MOTHER series deals with some extremely mature and dark themes, all underneath the veil of a cartoony world filled with smiley characters. Without revealing too much, the next game in the series, MOTHER 3, puts those ideas into overdrive. It lives up to its tagline of “Strange, Funny, and Heartrending.”

So to answer your question: No. I think Earthbound fully lives up to the hype. As a child, I fell in love with a game that let me feel I was going on a grand adventure, and as an adult I appreciate every aspect of that adventure even more. Not everyone will feel like I do, and that’s fine! But those that do are reading this and nodding to themselves right now.

bless Laura Lee

Earlier this year, Lee told the Guardian she would pursue her case up to the European court of human rights in a bid to overturn legislation she believes will only drive the sex industry further underground.

In a statement on Wednesday morning, Lee said: “It is my intention to initiate a judicial review at Belfast’s high court in respect of provisions contained in Lord Morrow’s human trafficking bill. As a sex workers’ rights advocate, I campaigned long and hard against this legislation because evidence from around the world shows us just what damage the Swedish model does. It places sex workers in grave danger and the bill as presented does not decriminalise us as has been claimed.”

The Swedish model on prostitution criminalises people who pay for sex, but not those selling it.

The Dublin-born law graduate added: “True decriminalisation looks to repeal all of the nonsensical laws around sex work and allows us to work together for safety. That’s not the case in Northern Ireland now, and it will certainly not be the case after 1 June. When two consenting adults meet to have sex then, whether money changes or not, the state has no right to interfere.”

Okay but seriously there are now over 950 reviews on google for that keystone motel!! It went up by 150 reviews in 15 minutes at most! And it’s all people going “wow can u believe some those su fans?? ignore them” or leaving fake good reviews. 

Please please don’t leave fake reviews!! They do more harm than good especially for people who actually want to stay there. While yes, the initial bad reviews weren’t good it takes two seconds to report them and be done. All these new good reviews will not help any guests who want to stay at this motel if all they see is “ignore the other reviews that’s just from television show fans. ive never been but i swear this place is good!!”. 

If you have the time please report both the good and the bad, even a few would help, because all these reviews do nothing but clutter up this business’ reviews.

Knee-Jerk Review: 5.12 Souls of the Departed

Trying something new for post episode meta just a quick initial reaction review. For new followers I ship CS, I am Regina neutral-ish and I LOVE to hate Rumple. Neal gets no love in this. Any really anti stuff will be tagged. 

Full disclosure I spoiled myself for this one by reading a write up by someone that saw a screener. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it much because of that read through but I actually found myself really digging it. As a 100th episode it had lots of cameos but didn’t feel overly forced or even smaltzy which I actually liked. Maybe for 200 they can do a musical episode though? 

We opened with Neal and the bug. I loved the scenery for that shot and the vividness of the colors and the return of the Swanfire theme got me a little nostalgic; mostly because it’s a beautiful piece of music. I am still not on board with Neal continually coming out of things smelling like a rose though. I don’t need an argument or recriminations I just want them to be real about what Emma and Neal were at the end. But I guess nobody speaks ill of the dead….except me….

Neal (on screen): I don’t have unfinished business
Me (in my PJs on my couch surrounded by people): Because you had no real life goals and a lack of moral compass and thus no regrets?
Neal: I’m happy where I am.
Me: With Tamara the woman you were engaged too and in love with or…? 
Neal: How is our son?
Me (whispering): Did you forget his name?

Literally these were the words that came out of my mouth. But I get it Neal is dead and his character is really only there for the warning. Which gave me pause. Who sent him? How does he know to warn her? Favorite part was the big red sign that said “Revelation” right over the bug. Subtle.  

Emma wakes up in the boat and tells not a soul about her revelation. Methinks her walls have rebuilt themselves a bit. 

Gotta love that the show doesn’t even bother to explain the “why” of the Underworld looking like Storybrooke. Rumple just Jedi mind tricks them into asking another question which he also kind of sidesteps. I think Adam and Eddy wishes we could be so easily put off. I found it interesting that Rumple said “this” Underworld because it implies others. Not that I think they will address that. It’s just an interesting word choice to me. Also Rumple’s snark was on point this episode. It’s good to have you back Rumple! I missed you! 

Quick everyone split up because we haven’t seen a single horror movie ever. And seeing obvious henchman leads us to the flashback! (sidenote you think Regina remembers killing him?) 

Random Question: What does Snow White smell like that’s so distinctive? Bird poop probably…

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Batman v Superman (spoiler-free) review

Let me start off by saying this movie is definitely too long, and that’s my biggest criticism of it. The initial critic reviews scared me, but I firmly believe that audiences will (and have) responded significantly better, even if this is a weirder superhero movie than most are used to.

Batman’s origin story opens the film, but instead of having to slog through the story that everybody knows, the details are skimmed through in a montage and it was a serviceable and interesting way to open the movie. Superman and Batman appeared to be given equal screen time and importance, but Batman stands out a little more, mostly because seeing Batfleck at work is worth the wait. Every previous Batman actor had a distinctive style to playing the character, and Affleck’s is very different than all of them, as he is more aged, weathered, and not afraid to cross moral boundaries.

Superman’s role in this film is very different than Man of Steel because he is not  the sole center of attention, and I believe that helps the story. Speaking of Man of Steel, much of the supporting cast consists of returning characters from that movie, so there is still some familiarity to ease the weirdness of all the weird, new stuff.

The rest of the cast was also pretty great. Wonder Woman really was awesome and lived up to the hype; I really can’t wait to see her solo movie. The Justice League cameos were short but really cool. Lex Luthor was definitely different than other iterations, but he was fascinating to watch. Lois Lane was able to build off her previous development and is still a good character. 

I know a lot of criticism has been focused on the overly dark and bleak tone, but I really felt that it worked. It’s a strange thing to criticize, especially because comic books can get pretty dark and this is a comic book movie after all. And it’s not even like there wasn’t any humor at all because there was some, it was just sparse and not out of place.

As I said before, the run time was excessive, which combined with a somewhat complicated plot really gave the impression that a shorter movie could have simplified things while still maintaining the plot and tone. But I’m still looking forward to the even longer director’s cut.

I can’t wait to talk about the ending with people because there’s a lot to talk about but I don’t want to post any spoilers yet. All I’ll say is that a lot happens and I can’t wait to see the upcoming DC movies.

I highly recommend this movie because I think that if you think you would like this movie, you’ll like it. It was so unique and I feel that experiencing it in a theater is almost necessary to fully enjoy Snyder’s style (which is a style I tend to like more than critics, especially regarding Watchmen and Sucker Punch) .

Feel free to send your reactions and opinions! I won’t post any major spoilers for a week or two but I can answer you privately if you would like!

My Initial Reaction to TABINOF!!

I got the idea to film my reaction from @dankmemeshowell ‘s unboxing video so all credit to her for that! 

Sorry for my face/hair/rambling/generally not making any sense I was pretty emotional

I thought you might wanna see this in case you haven’t gotten the book yet (no spoilers dw), or you just wanna laugh at how dumb I am…enjoy!