I Got Quorra for Valentine’s Day

February 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

There’s a scene in *Iron Man: II” where, after seeing Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in a boxing ring, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) turns to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and says “I want one” (referring to the previously mentioned Ms. Johansson). Pepper quickly, and cutely, responds “No”.

When I first saw Olivia Wilde’s character Quorra in the TRON:Legacy trailer, I immediately turned to Elyssa and said “I want one”. Channeling a slightly cuter version of Ms. Paltrow, she quickly responded “No.”

Quorra

I was, as a result, understandably surprised when I opened by Valentine’s Day gift to find out that Elyssa had, in fact, got me Quorra. I admit, she’s a little smaller in real life then she looked on the screen. but she does light up all TRON-like:

When should you start selling for your work?

February 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

To put it another way, you should charge for your photographs for the same reason that you charged for the lemonade that you sold at the edge of your driveway in the summertime. You certainly weren’t a professional lemonade maker, but you provided a product that had real value to those who bought it from you. You put your time and effort into the process, and even if some of your customers were only your parents’ friends, the monetary intent of those transactions was real.

I completely agree. Do not wait to start selling your work.

(via The Photoletariat)

Breaking Through

January 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Breaking Through

Breaking Through - © John Kivus, 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire – Review

January 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Girl Who Played with FireThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson<br/> My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the moment I first heard about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I was intrigued by the one of main characters: Lisbeth Salander. Early buzz was about a punky, computer hacker hacker with a dragon tattoo and I thought that sounded like just the type of character I wanted to read about. Of course, that initial book revealed that Lisbeth was much more than the initial buzz led me to believe. <br/><br/>Though Lisbeth is the title character in both The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire, she is much more central to the latter. The The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was Lisbeth’s Raider of the Lost Ark. It was a book that had an overarching story that introduced a multilayered and fascinating protagonist, but was not a book about her. The Girl Who Played with Fire is more a “Lisbeth Salander in Story XYZ” book. The book is much more about her. Since I find Lisbeth so interesting, I do not necessarily mind this. <br/><br/>It’s impossible for me to rate The Girl who Played with Fire in a vacuum. Obviously, anyone who reads this will have already read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. As a character study of a fascinating character, it excels. As a stand alone story, however, it falls short of its predecessor. <br/><br/> View all my reviews

Review Originally Posted At: Blog.Kivus.com

Jump it Up

January 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Opening tip from the Clemson v. Carolina basketball game on Tuesday, January 18th. Overall, it was a solid game to watch…I can’t even remember who won…err….

Parting Shot of the Snow

December 28, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

One last (most likely) picture of the snow in Maine. It’s supposed to be 60 degree in North Carolina for the first day of 2011, right?

Snowed in…Maine Style

December 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Ultimately, the forecasts for 14-16 inches of snow were a little overblown. It was only about 6, 8 tops. It wasn’t the snow that caused the problems though, it was the wind. Just driving to the store resulted in a couple of “white out” situations. I think I’d be fine to not be around for a storm like this for another 5-7 years.

Mass Effect: Retribution – Review

December 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Retribution (Mass Effect, #3)Retribution by Drew Karpyshyn<br/> My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve been a major fan of BioWare’s games, and their associated tie-ins, since Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in 2003. The games have stories that are tightly coupled to their gameplay mechanics and this combination makes it nearly impossible for me to walk away once I’ve started playing them. The Mass Effect universe was a unique IP created by BioWare that has already spawned two mega-hit video games (with a third game due Christmas 2011). In addition to the game itself, there have been tie-in books and comics. Mass Effect: Retribution is a fairly direct sequel to 2008’s Mass Effect: Ascension (the novel) and also builds upon the events of Mass Effect 2 (the video game).<br/><br/>ME:Retribution is the first of the ME novels  that contains the same characters as the previous novel. The other two novels took place in the same universe as the video game but introduced new characters for each particular story. This book centers on the two main characters from the previous book, introduces one major new character, and also contains appearances from two characters that players of the ME games will be familiar with. The ME Books have never been particularly rich on character development, however, and this one is no exception. The book moves at a quick pace, going from beat to beat without much time to reflect or to showcase the characters. It’s what I expected, but it doesn’t necessarily excuse that style of plotting.<br/><br/>One of the reasons I get so wrapped up in the BioWare games is their tight plots. They drive the player hard to an end goal. The first to ME books followed this kind of tight plotting. ME: Retribution, however, seemed to meander. The book seemed to have trouble finding its way at points and, were it not for its attachment to the ME universe, I might have set it aside for a bit. Ultimately, it’s the book’s attachment to the ME universe that is its biggest selling point. Even though the plot is only tangentially related to the games, seeing characters you’re familiar with from the games is entertaining. I was disappointed with the plotting in this book when I compare it to previous ME efforts, but I would still recommend it to ME fans. With the third Mass Effect game about a year away, it’s decent way to scratch that ME itch.<br/><br/> View all my reviews

Unlighting the Christmas Tree

December 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

My father made the suggestion of taking a shot of the fully decorated Christmas tree with the lights turned off. To be honest, that had not even occurred to me. I was very pleased with the results.

The Confession – Book Review

December 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The ConfessionThe Confession by John Grisham<br/> My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is the first John Grisham book I’ve read since I started law school. To be honest, I probably would not have read this book if my mother had not had it waiting for me when I went to visit at Christmas. More importantly, I probably would not have burned through it as quickly as I did were I not motivated to finish it before I left (thereby avoiding the need to pack it and bring it home with me). <br/><br/>I’m not sure exactly how to classify this book. It’s not really a mystery; there is nothing that needs to be solved. It’s not really a thriller; there is only mild tension to speak off. It’s more like a “recounting” of some fictional event. Even more unfortunate, it’s a recounting of a fictional event that is used as a way to provide an anti-death penalty screed.<br/><br/>I’ve taken a criminal law class. I’ve heard all the arguments against the death penalty. I understand why some people oppose It so strongly. Do I want to read a book whose apparent purpose is cloth these arguments in some nice narrative? No, not really. I guess this is what people who believe in man-made global warming felt like when they read Michael Crichton’s State of Fear.<br/><br/>That leaves me to qualify the review. I’m giving the book two [2] stars. The rather uneventful plot and sort of mundane narrative earn it three [3] stars and I’m subtracting another star for his insertion of a crim. law guest lecture into my escapist fiction. <br/><br/>View all my reviews

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