That’s So METAL!

This is partially going to go hand in hand with my NaNoWriMo and the fact I’m writing about superheroes as they might exist in our world.  It’s a tale that starts in the 1970s and keeps going right up to present day.

A big part of that includes the changes in music, and I often get the feeling that the music is being played by a particular band in this universe (named Blanc Noir, but could be changed to Seven Years of Blood because that sounds way cooler).  The band is unorthodox, because it doesn’t really fit into what might be considered the mainstream metal norm.  Unfortunately, the mainstream metal norm often includes bands like Metallica, Megadeath, Iron Maiden, and even Van Halen (which could be considered pop metal).  Even bands like Amon Amarth might fit that more mainstream feel.

Here in North America, we often think of a metal band being something akin to Bon Jovi, Poison, Warrant, Metallica, Megadeath, Van Halen, Helix, Kick Axe, or Guns ‘n Roses.  But metal has a wide diversity.

In Europe, artists are marrying metal with symphonic and operatic sounds and coming up with things like Nightwish, Within Temptation, or even Amaranthe.  In Japan, there’s Baby Metal, combining the bubble gum sounds of pop with gothic death metal.  And then there’s the metal bands which could be considered mainstream but are often forgotten by the mainstream for one reason only.

Those are bands like Living Color, Wicked Wisdom, and even Sevendust, all of which are either fronted by or are completely comprised of African American musicians.  It’s still the same kind of metal, but with a bit of a different twist.

It’s combinations of these that I’ve put together with this fictional metal band in the Heroic League Project.  Three of the band members are costumed crime fighters themselves, two of which are the daughters of former heroes and have taken up their parents’ (or aunt’s) former code names.  The band plays a huge part in this universe, a gothic metal band from Montreal that’s completely bilingual and records many of their tracks and even performs in Quebecois.  Four of the members are women (which is a call back to the 80s glam metal group Vixen).  Two members, brother and sister, are Haitian Canadian (rhythm guitar and lead vocalist). one is Jewish (drummer), one is Metis (lead guitar), and one is Dakota (bassist, who is also blind).  The lead vocalist is male, everyone else is female but performs vocal duties as well as their regular addition to the band.  Two of the members are lovers (lead guitarist and drummer), who also happen to be costumed crime fighters, as is one other (bassist).  All but one (bassist) are from Quebec; the fifth member is from Saskatchewan.  One former member was from Nova Scotia.

So, in my head, as the story unfolds, there’s almost like a backing soundtrack of a modern day metal band that’s performing in my head, almost as though accompanying the story with music to fit.


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My NaNoWriMo

It’s been nine full days into November, and the writing has been going well.  Let me amend that; the writing has been going well compared to last year.  Last year, I struggled to get 5,000 words in a month.  This year, I’ve hit 6,000 words already.  I’m far behind, but I’m doing much better.

And I owe it to my surroundings.  My environment.

The change in scenery, not just where I live, but also my work place, has helped kick start a whole new creativity for me.  My workplace is an enjoyable atmosphere that allows me to work very calmly and without fear of any backlash or demeaning comments.

A person’s creativity suffers when you have to deal with a toxic environment on a daily basis.  And it’s not just the creativity.  It’s also any motivation to do anything.  Here, I have a new found freedom.  I wake early each day (sleeping in has become waking up at 7 in the morning).  On days off, I actually do things that are considered productive, even if it’s just popping down to the grocery store to get some necessities, or doing the dishes.

Writing is hard, even at the best of times.  But it helps to be a place where you feel comfortable, and that’s more than just your home.  That includes your workplace.  It will help in so many more areas of your life when you work in a place that you feel comfortable in.

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Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Fun, Life, randomness


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The Year Is 1970


Greenpeace saw it’s birth in 1970 in a Vancouver student dorm.

After a 32-month fight for independence from Nigeria, Biafran forces under Philip Effiong formally surrender to General Yakubu Gowon.

Black Sabbath’s eponymous debut album is released; often regarded as the first true heavy metal album.

Rhodesia severs its last tie with the United Kingdom, declaring itself a republic.

A bomb being constructed by members of the Weathermen and meant to be planted at a military dance in New Jersey, explodes, killing 3 members of the organization.

The 1970 United States Census begins. There are 203,392,031 United States residents on this day.

Israeli Air Force F-4 Phantom II fighter bombers kill 47 Egyptian school children at an elementary school in what is known as Bahr el-Baqar massacre. The single-floor school is hit by 5 bombs and 2 air-to-ground missiles.

Demonstrations against the trial of the New Haven Nine, Bobby Seale, and Ericka Huggins draw 12,000. President Richard Nixon orders U.S. forces to cross into neutral Cambodia, threatening to widen the Vietnam War, sparking nationwide riots and leading to the Kent State shootings.

In Washington, D.C., 100,000 people demonstrate against the Vietnam War.

The Who become the first act to perform rock music (their rock opera, Tommy) at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.

Air Canada Flight 621 crashes at Toronto International Airport, Toronto, Ontario; all 109 passengers and crew are killed.

The Women’s Strike for Equality takes place down Fifth Avenue in New York City.

An assassination attempt against King Hussein of Jordan precipitates the Black September crisis.

Jimi Hendrix dies in London of drug related complications.

Palestinian armored forces reinforce Palestinian guerillas in Irbidi, Jordan.

The Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) kidnaps James Cross in Montreal and demands release of all its imprisoned members. The next day the Canadian government announces it will not meet the demand, beginning Quebec’s October Crisis.

In Paris, a Communist delegation rejects U.S. President Richard Nixon’s October 7 peace proposal as “a maneuver to deceive world opinion.”

In Liverpool, England, military officials begin tests for a candidate to undergo treat for a special project called Project Britannia.

In Windsor, Ontario, a canary yellow car is often seen driving near crime scenes, often driven by an individual dressed in a yellow trench coat and fedora.  The media dubs him Yellow Jacket.

Vancouver City Police and RCMP E Division place an unknown figure only called the Mannekin on the most wanted list.

Photographers in Montreal capture the image of a young man dressed in a red and white uniform with a maple leaf on his chest.  It is overheard he calls himself Canadien, and is fighting against corruption brought on by the FLQ.

In Detroit, Michigan, a black neighbourhood finds they have their own protector, as a figure dressed in the colours of Old Glory defends the people of the small district.  She is dubbed Free Spirit.

In 1970, heroes live among us.  They witness world events along side of us.  They make news, inspire, and become subjects of suspicion.  In 1970, five origins begins the fifty year history of The Heroic League.


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It’s only a few days away.  And I’m planning on trying to give it a go once again.






I’m giving it a go this year with my super hero group.  In a full book titled Five Origins, it will contain five stories which are the origins of the first five heroes to be dubbed The Heroic League.

Britannia – Melanie Cooper is given the opportunity to server her country and be a beacon of hope.  But at what cost?

Canadien – Teenager, Jean Pierre Turgeon faces the ultimate struggle.  To don the maple leaf and help protect his countrymen against attacks by the terrorist organization called the FLQ.

Free Spirit – Patriotism was never the fore of Regina Morgan-Simms mind.  She was always a voodoo priestess, but with her powers, she manages to don the colours of Old Glory to help protect her neighbours in Detroit.

the Mannekin – Wealth and power is meaningless if it’s not used to benefit your neighbours.  This was a decision Donelda Stewart came to.  But she also realizes with her ability to observe the socialite set, she can actually see just who the real criminals are.

Yellow Jacket – Richard Hargrove had always dreamed of becoming a police officer.  But thanks to a medical condition, he was rejected for police work.  This didn’t stop him from opening his own private investigation office, finding the use of a moniker helped circumvent acquiring clues for some of his clients.

The year is 1970, the world is moving on and advancing.  Imagine a world with super powered humans, those with mystical abilities, and costumed vigilantes.  Would the world be a better place?  Or would the events of history as we know it still march on?


  • Simon & Garfunkle – The Boxer
  • The Guess Who – American Woman
  • Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
  • Alice Cooper – Mr & Misdemeanor
  • Elton John – Take Me To The Pilot
  • The Beatles – Let It Be
  • Supertramp – It’s A Long Road
  • Stevie Wonder – Signed Sealed Delivered
  • Aretha Franklin – One Way Ticket
  • James Brown – Brother Rapp (Part I & II)
  • Black Sabbath – Paranoid
  • Led Zepplin – Immigrant Song
  • The Doors – Roadhouse Blues
  • Jefferson Airplane – Somebody To Love
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Have You Ever Seen The Rain
  • Jackson 5 – ABC
  • Diana Ross – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
  • The Temptations – Ball of Confusion
  • Aretha Franklin – Border Song (Holy Moses)
  • Free – All Right Now
  • Wilson Picket – Sugar, Sugar
  • Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – Tears of a Clown

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Prometheus: A Review


I think it’s standard to tell everyone that this is filled with spoilers.  I’ll leave the spoilers under the cut.

However, I just finished watching Prometheus.  As a fan of the Alien series, Prometheus was one of those movies that was supposed to answer some of the questions about that planet.

The main plot is that a pair of scientists find several markings around Earth that point to a star system light years away.  Interested, and with the help of Weylund, a team goes off to explore this and find out it’s secrets.  Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charliez Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce and several others, you almost knew right away who was going to die (let’s face it, it was a prequel to Alien, people were gonna die).  When they get there, all hell starts to break loose.

Though, in a rather slow paced way.

Mind you, if you look at the pacing of Alien, Prometheus was pretty dead on the mark.

The characters themselves all had certain flaws, and I was really not shocked that Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Rapace) played the Ellen Ripley role of the film.  Michael Fassbender’s take on David, the synthetic of the voyage, was interesting, and creepy all at the same time.  Theron played the ambitious, though cautious executive for Weylund, while Guy Pearce played the CEO of Weylund who was well aged (though, not well in the sense that he looked good, he was just really freakin’ old).

For those of us who have seen the Alien series (me, including all of the Predator and Alien vs Predator movies, though the last AvP was pretty awful), we all knew what was coming, we just didn’t know the events that took place.  Think back to Alien; the Nostromo finds a derelict ship, they find an organism on the ship that infects one of the crew, and one by one, they’re all picked off save for Ripley (and a cat).  They find a dead pilot of the bridge of the ship, and something burst out of his chest.  Surrounding him are eggs, all over the place.  So the questions become, how did all of that happen.  Prometheus does answer some of those questions.

As the movie progresses, we discover that the Engineers, those who the researchers were trying to find, created the human race.  But something went wrong.  Now, time for the spoilers.  Click the link if you want more.

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Posted by on October 25, 2014 in randomness, Zodiviews


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The monstrous hipocrasy of GamerGate

GamerGate has become a monstrous thing.  It says it is a attempting to clean up corruption in journalism.  If that was the case, one of their biggest targets should be Fox News.  On the face of it, cleaning up journalism and forcing it to be fair and balanced is a good thing.  But in all honesty, GamerGate really doesn’t have a firm or solid philosophy.

At it’s birth, it began as one guy whining about his ex-girlfriend, who just happened to be making a video game.  He whined so much, he wrote a 10,000 word rant (which is a really big waste of time).  With that kind of energy, he could have used that to make a really awesome first draft of a novella, but no, he used it to complain that his ex-girlfriend cheated on him.

From there, it went into something else, as members of this “movement” attempted to give it solid ground.  GamerGate is against corrupt journalism.  But what they view as being corrupt is opinionated reviews of video games.  Which is impossible to make a review of a video game without being opinionated.  The reviewer plays the game, the reviewer has an opinion on everything in that game from story, to graphics, to game play, and even box art if he or she so chooses.  That’s how a review goes.  If you disagree with the review, that’s fine.  No one’s saying you’re stupid (or they shouldn’t) because you find a review that doesn’t match with your feelings on a game (or movie).  Hell, there’s games and movies I loved playing that reviewers tanked on.

GamerGate has recently said they are anti-harassment.  Again, this is fine on the surface.  But many of the more outspoken members of this movement also happen to be serial harassers.  Several have targeted known feminist and pop culture reviewer Anita Sarkeesian.  They have done so with death threats and rape threats.  And she’s not alone.  Some of the more outspoken members of this “movement” have gone on to make parody video games where Anita is beaten bloody.  I use parody with tongue in cheek.  And it’s constant harassment.  If GamerGate is so against harassment, why isn’t it, as a “movement”, attempting to filter out these negative elements and moving away from them.

But GamerGate has allied themselves (or has received alliance from) some major Men’s Right Activists.  Some of whom are outspoken haters of reviewers like Sarkeesian.

If GamerGate does anything, it’ll be to make mainstream media take several awkward steps away from the video game industry.  Throwing it back into the stone age of media and ignoring it completely.  GamerGate has accomplished to make themselves look like right wing extreme radicals who want education stripped away from women (the Taliban), who want the rights of women’s health scrutinized by legislative law (several right wing legislatures in the United States), and close off equal opportunity to everyone (many States which have but a ban on gay marriage or made it impossible for trans*gender people to get jobs or living accomodations).

There’s going to be those who will say comparing GamerGate to the Taliban is extreme.  Normally, I would agree, but one GamerGate individual has already proven that comparison is dead on.  Of course, it could also be compared to the Montreal massacre at Ecole Polytechnique in the late 80s.  A message was sent to USU which stated “Feminists have ruined my life, and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all others they’ve wronged”.  It was signed Marc Lepine, who is ironically, the name of the individual who killed a number of women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989.  One individual, basically a murdering psychopath.  But GamerGate has a whole host who have proven they are ready, willing, and able to issue death threats, rape threats, to dox, to form hate filled diatribes of women, and blame it all on some fantasy called misandry (which DOESN’T FUCKING EXIST!).  So I think the comparison of GamerGate champions to the Taliban is pretty dead on.

I do apologize if the comparison has triggered anyone who has actually been affected by the Taliban, as they as a group have committed atrocious acts of violence, have committed acts of rape and murder, and have used their version of ideals to commit crimes in the name of God.  Those who have felt the effects of the Taliban, and other organizations like them, I do apologize because your suffering is very real, and we should take care when mentioning it.

But GamerGate, you’re on the cusp of becoming that.  You are driving people from their homes with real fears that you will enact violence on them.  You are very close to becoming a terrorist organization, leaderless or not.  You, GamerGate, are a new brand of evil.

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Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Life, randomness


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This is Halloween

It’s drawing near to Halloween, and even in the fictional world of computer games are ghosts and goblins popping up.  Unless of course you play horror games, then that’s pretty standard fair all year round.  I decided to write a poem based on the events in Guild Wars 2 that have been brought back this Halloween season.


Tis that time, oh Halloween
The time of year for the Pumpkin King
So grab your pistols if you dare
And brave the world that would scare

Brave the evils that would fright
The creatures giving an awful sight
Show courage on this scare filled night
Avoid the minions that would bite

In this time of Halloween
When cats would cry and ghosts would scream
When the mist is thick, just like steam
Don’t you worry, don’t make a scene

The Mad King rises once again
With toys and games for all to claim
He’ll take you through a scarey game
Make sure you do just the same

But watch out for Edric, son of the Mad King
His voice is shrill, as he will sing
To bring about fear is his thing
And revenge is the ultimate scares in his ring

Tis that time of Halloween
When ghosts and ghouls share the scene
So grab your pistols if you dare
And brave the world that would scare

poem written by Tim Holtorf on the gaming world of Tyria in Guild Wars 2, based on the events from the Halloween event, screen shots from Guild Wars 2 using the character of Shani Wennemein in game.  Guild Wars 2 and all characters are copyright ArenaNet.

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Posted by on October 22, 2014 in Fun, randomness


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