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It's that time of the year! Time to bundle up for winter (Well, in Ohio anyway)

My sister made a ton of scarves for TrotCon 2013, but our vendor table wasn't approved. So we were left with a bunch of out-of season MLP-themed scarves.

Now that the season's right around the corner, we figured now is the best time to start selling! The link below will take you to an Imgur album of the scarves we have available. For the month of November, most of them are $10, some are $15. That's if you buy before December. Just as a small way of thanking you for your early support!

All the info is below. Proceeds will benefit me as I get my editing computer up and running, my sister Hannah and her hand-made craft business, and Haylie (Our model) as she pursues a career in modeling. Email me at DuctToast@gmail.com if you're interested!

imgur.com/a/EZ6iK

Been doing a lot of thinking about the music I have and it's legitimacy. I sorted through my iTunes library and did the math.

Of all of the songs in my library, 723 of them were obtained illegally.

I have about 1438 songs, so that's about half.

Assuming each song is 99 cents, that's about $723 I owe to misc. record companies and artists (Probably less, since entire albums are cheaper on a per-song basis)

Also worth noting: Lots of that music is low-fidelity due to the source. So when I buy the music, I'll end up with a higher quality version. So before you say anything, buying the music does not seem like a waste to me.

Here's the moral dilemma: I intend to pay for all of these before I acquire any more music. Lots of these tracks are unreleased instrumentals, custom clean versions, or edited by me in some way. Such tracks will be hard to replace.

Should I delete everything until it's paid for?
Should I keep it all and just maintain a list as everything gets bought?
Should I consider this endeavor a debt/bill that I should "pay off" in regular increments?

What are your thoughts on the matter?

So, yeah. I've just gotten a really good deal on a 3DS and have also been given Animal Crossing: New Leaf from my good pal :iconlizardrock:

This game is better with more people, so If you have this game we should hang out!

Just send me a note with your name, friend code, and your favorite PowerPuff Girl (Yes, you have to pick one) and I'll be sure to send my code your way!


Unless you have Bluebear in your town. Then we can't be friends... Just kidding... But seriously, Bluebear can go die.
Here's a page where you can find about where I am on the internet and what I do should you ever want to keep up with my work. (Thanks, :iconchibisilverwings: for the idea!)

YouTube: 
  • I make clean YTP's often and put them HERE on my "DaThings1" channel. 
  • I also put other miscellaneous videos HERE on "DaThings2"
  • Sometimes I take other people's YTP's, clean them up, and upload them HERE to "CleanYTP"
Twitter: THIS is my Twitter account. Just whatever I feel like saying in short bursts. Sometimes I use words like It'd and 'Twould.

Reddit: I Reddit from time to time. You can find me THERE and maybe throw me an upvote!

Facebook: SORRY. My personal Facebook is for personal stuff. I may start a fan page at some point if I get over 50k subscribers on YouTube.

PlanetMinecraft: It's really just a gallery at this point since I'm not really into Minecraft anymore, but at this LINK you can check out some skins and stuff I've made.

KnowYourMeme: Another site I don't use anymore, but a BUNCH of old meme-related pictures and things re still there.

FAQ: Mostly related to YouTube, but here are SOME frequently asked questions with answers!

Ask.fm: Have something to ask that's not in the FAQ? Maybe you're just too lazy to read it? ASK away!

DeviantArt: You're looking right at it! I usually post ARTWORK in a unique, blocky style with PowerPoint.

Pinterest: LOL WUT?

Email: You can send any and all emails to DaThings2@gmail.com and I'll try my best to answer them. But with so many other venues for chatting, there's not much point.


Looks like that's it! I'll be updating this entry regularly. If you find my username on other sites and want to know if it's really me, send me a message somewhere and I'll confirm.
Remember: Look for the hat :)
First let me say that if you haven't seen Equestria Girls, and intend to without spoilers, it may be best to read my review after watching. There are some spoilers, but it's MLP so not much is lost if you read on anyway. So take that for what it's worth.

Like many a brony, I watched the trailer for Equestria Girls and didn't know what to think. The premise looked nothing short of stupid, but it still seemed to have the same charm the show does. I figured I'd probably see it once just to find out if it's actually good or not, if it's convenient.

So I went with a group of bronies from my area to check it out. We drove to Pickerington to see it, since the movie was limited release. To my surprise (but not shock) lots of other bronies from all around the state showed up as well. So much so, that they opened up a second auditorium just to make room. Of course, lots of kids and their families filled up the space with us. One woman in particular was grateful that we were able to move our seats to make room for her and her daughter.

So we sat back and watched the whole thing. I came into the theater expecting a sub-par movie for little girls, but left satisfied with how it was carried out.


Let's not kid ourselves: The premise is still pretty stupid. Twilight Sparkle enters a world where everyone is human and has to deal with high school problems... 2/10 for originality. Thankfully, they give her a good reason for entering this realm; Sunset Shimmer, a former student of Celestia, steals the Element of Magic Crown for it's destructive potential. This being Equestria's best means of defense, Twilight enters this world to get it back. So it's not COMPLETELY corny.

On a side note, the title sequence kinda pissed me off. You've got a pretty decent remix of the theme song playing as the credits roll. Silhouetted ponies are seen doing misc. activities with the names popping up. But then you see the silhouettes of humans portrayed as the ponies. Mind you this is BEFORE you discover that Sunset's realm is a human world. They spoil that in the title sequence. Rule of thumb for filmmaking: NEVER act as if your audience already knows what's going to happen. It's trashy and lazy. Plus, it lasts a bit too long and doesn't forward the action, premise, or even exposition at all. Though I appreciate how they stated the characters played next to the voice actresses ("Tara Strong as Twilight Sparkle" and "Andrea Libman as Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy")

That aside, Twilight's shock and adjustment to her new body is wonderfully hilarious. She wobbles her fingers around, is put off by her lack of muzzle, and tries running on all fours when she gets up. It's incredibly animated and isn't overdone. My favorite part of this is when she's typing with her fists and lifting a computer monitor to find out how it works, saying "Maybe there IS magic here!" Tara puts on a spectacular performance as usual.

Spike as a dog is pretty great, too. He can talk, but to blend in he chooses to bark which comes off as fittingly unnatural for him. His enthusiasm at all of the changes around him is charming, but he's still himself, especially when he sees a picture of human Rarity and grabs it saying "No way! There's a Rarity here?!"

Twilight meets with the human versions of her old friends, who don't recognize her, so she has to start from scratch again. They're just like their pony counterparts and are thoroughly entertaining to watch. When Twilight meets Fluttershy, there's an excellent allusion to when they first met in Equestria, where Fluttershy is incredibly timid, but overcome with excitement when she first sees Spike. Pinkie Pie is eccentric as always, Applejack is respectably stubborn, Rarity has a dorky enthusiasm for style, and Rainbow Dash wants to be the best at everything. No surprises there, and they play really well off of one another as they always do.

From an artistic perspective, I'm not sure what to make of their skins matching their pony coat colors. Applejack seems like the only "normal" looking one in this respect. While it's a bit weird, I like that it reinforces the characters identity, as color is a big part of what makes them stand out.

Lots of minor/background ponies appear with human counterparts, and they're a lot of fun to look for throughout the movie. Vinyl Scratch, Photo Finish, and Rainbow Dash's cloudsdale rivals make pleasant cameos with countless others. Half the fun of watching, for a dedicated fan, is seeing how many you can point out. Sadly, there is no Mayor Mare, from what I saw : (

Sunset Shimmer is a pretty solid villain. The school fears her because she's a sociopath and always finds a way to get what she wants. You can tell she has an ulterior motive for wanting Twilight's Crown, but you're left pondering what she would use it for until it's actually revealed. Definitely not a character to just pass off as "Evil for the sake of Evil." Snips and Snails are like her "minions" like they were with Trixie. This time they seem a bit out of character, as they have no real motive for helping Sunset. But they're still their old selves, with a bit of that pleasant contrast to one another.

When Sunset stole the crown, it fell into Fluttershy's hands, and she turned it in to the school office. Principal Celestia (Yeah, I know.) decided to use it for the fall dance. It bothered me that Twilight's means of re-obtaining the crown was to earn it by being voted "princess" of the dance (Hardy har har.) You don't get much more "for girls" than that. It especially upsets me that there's no mention of the "prince" of the dance or anything, but I'll let that one pass. I mean, if Sunset really wanted the crown, couldn't she have sneaked in and taken it? She only needed to wear it once to do what she needed. Anyway, it seems very silly and faulty as a plot device.

Flash Sentry is thrown in as a useless romantic character. Other than showing off Twilight's interest in the opposite sex and showing her very human-like reaction to nervous attraction, he serves almost no purpose. It's revealed that he and Sunset dated at one point, but more depth would have helped. He seems like an pretty average "love interest" guy as far as chick-flicks go. Very flat.

The ending was pretty well done. I legitimately didn't know what to expect when it reached the climax, but I was satisfied with the result. Twilight underwent a lot of self-discovery, Sunset Shimmer revealed some very real emotional struggles, and everyone else in the story seemed to walk away from the experience having learned something valuable. The themes of friendship are decently represented, though underportrayed. I can't really complain about all that much since I'm not part of the target audience, but I left much more satisfied than I was expecting to be.



Equestria Girls: 7/10
A weird premise turned solid, charming story. 
Heyo! I got back from TrotCon yesterday and after finally getting the opportunity to rest up, here's some of my reflections about the con, my experience, and the YTP panel!

I went to the con with my friends LizardRock and Hitch, and had a tiny bit of trouble finding parking. Once at the con and getting our badges a bit early (Since LizardRock and I were hosting events) we took a look at what the con had to offer. They had a video gaming room, tabletop gaming room, Artist Alley with lots of artists and vendors, and quite a few simultaneous events. Most of the panels were pretty meh, but Peter New (Voice of Big Macintosh) and Dave Polsky (a writer for MLP) were there, and I got to see their Q&A sessions. I even got Peter New's autograph! The "Whose Pony Is It Anyway" panel was pretty awesome, with lots of improv comedy.

The convention was very chill, as were it's attendees. Low-energy for the most part, but that wasn't really a bad thing by any means. I spent a lot of the time hanging around the vendor tables chatting with artists and meeting new people. For the very first time, I had people coming up to me whom I've never met saying how much they love my videos. It's surreal to say the least :D . A handful of awesome fans showed up and asked me questions, hung out, and had great conversation.

RadicalFaith360 stayed at the hotel, and after a bit of logistical trouble, we finally met up. Metting him was also pretty surreal, knowing his voice and face from the get-go and then actually holding conversation. He's just as energetic as he is on camera, and he does randomly burst into re-enactment :P  He and his girlfriend were there, but neither of them were too big on MLP or the fandom (Which I totally understand), so they spent most of their time touring Columbus, seeing the Zoo, and whatnot. He did stop by the gaming room for quite a while though, which was pretty cool.

The YTP panel it's self was a huge success. We had so many people attending, the room filled up and people were sitting on the floor to make room! Granted it was a small room, but still! I got to meet Unanimous Delivers and SgtScrubNoob, even if only for a little bit. They, RadicalFaith, and I talked about YouTube Poop, how we got into it, it's influences, history, YTPMVs, and much more. We showed off cs188's "We're Looking into the Future, Chuck" which he personally cleaned up for the convention, a 7-second clip from DinnerWarrior, a YTPMV premiere from Unanimous Delivers, and a brand new video from myself. Midnight_Fyre was there and was going to talk about PMVs and video editing stuff, but he admitted afterward that he was drained of energy and simply out-of-it. The Prawn Srars script reading didn't happen to make room for time, which ended up being a good idea because we were short on time anyway. Not much time was opened up for Q&A, so I'll probably answer some questions on my YouTube channel to make up for it.

After the panel ended, we met some great folks, discussed YTP for a while, and just chilled out for the rest of the time. The panel was recorded and will be on YouTube soon.

I had a great time, and I hope to do another panel in the future, perhaps at some different conventions, but definitely at TrotCon next year. Thanks for making the experience unforgettable!


Some shout-outs to awesome people (In no particular order)
:iconsonicbreakbeat: :iconlizardrock: :iconartwork-tee: :iconalexisroyce: :iconchibisilverwings: :icontoxic-mario: :iconsilverband7: :iconpurpletinker: :iconplanetplush: :iconstratmlp: :iconkanamai: :iconasaharutatsumi: :iconsanyawaffles: :icon3ltigre: :icondrew-flashy: :iconwazkatango: :iconsilverslinger: :icontrotcon:
RadicalFaith360
SgtScrubNoob
Unanimous Delivers
Midnight_Fyre
My Dad, Brother, and Sister who came to support me!
Peter New
Dave Polsky
Emily Jones
Hitch
The entire TrotCon staff
FR1DG3
That one tall fella with the glasses who met me Friday during registration whose name escapes me.
Derek
The other guy who chilled in the lobby with me and RadicalFaith after the panel.
The guy with the Fluttershy hat who met me Saturday morning before Artist Alley opened up.
The dude who spontaneously decided to moderate Dave and Peter's Q&A panels.
Anyone else who I said hello to and/or shook hands with. You are awesome!
Hello Everyone! DaThings1 here (DuctToast on DeviantArt) with some frequently asked questions, mostly regarding my YouTube channel.

As a YouTuber with a modest audience, there are questions I get often. Here are some things to help set the record straight.

Q: Are you male or female?
A: Male :)

Q: How old are you?
A: I was born October 10, 1994. Do the math.

Q: What software do you use?
A: I use Adobe Premiere Pro CS2 for video and audio editing. For custom images, I use PowerPoint, MS Paint, and Irfanview.

Q: Where do you get your pictures?
A: Most of them come from Google results, often masked in MS Paint before importing to premiere. Some custom ones I make myself in PowerPoint (Covert Tooth, for example)

Q: Where do you get your sources?
A: I get 95% of them off of YouTube using YTD (Which are then converted using "Any Video Converter" from AnvSoft). Some of the movie ones are retrieved by torrents, but are never of movies I haven't payed for.

Q: How do you choose your sources?
A: All over the place! Some things just look and feel "poopable" when I watch them.

Q: Can I make a request for a source?
A: I won't stop you from recommending things to me, but I rarely ever take requests. Please keep that in mind.

Q: Will you check out my videos/channel?
A: Maybe, but not always. Sorry! Don't worry, good videos (especially YTP) tend to find me on their own. I know what it's like to feel underrated. Rest assured, you'll never need to spam people to get noticed :)

Q: You should have done this joke differently/You missed a joke opportunity.
A: If you think you have something to add to the source, feel free to make your own video!

Q: I don't think your videos are as clean as you say. Why do you call your videos clean?
A: That's a long story, but I've posted my thoughts here. ducttoast.deviantart.com/art/W…

Q: Why do you make clean videos?
A: When I started watching YTP, it was difficult to share it with my friends and family because of all of the tasteless off-color jokes. A year or so into pooping, I decided to make them clean so I could show them to friends and family without worrying about appropriateness. I don't have to worry about that as much anymore, but it's a staple of my style now.

Q: Do you have a problem with "unclean" YTP?
A: Not at all. I'm glad they exist. I've got a dirty mind, so I enjoy them just as much as anyone else! I might not show them to all of my friends and family, but I get a good laugh out of ones that are done well :)

Q: How do you sentence mix?
A: Take similar sounds from other words and piece them together in order. Rinse and repeat until you're happy with the resulting sound.

Q: Who are your favorite YouTube Poopers?
A: Some of my favorites are Poops4TheWorld, Trudermark, RootNegativeSixteen, Geibuchan, cs188, noisepuppet, VastareMetal, DinnerWarrior, WalrusGuy, Dikekike, and TheAwesomePandaLPs (Formerly known as Cheetahmen92)

Q: How do I get more subscribers?
A: Don't stop making videos, even if you feel you're getting nowhere. Take criticism seriously (Even if it's negative). Eventually people will discover you on their own. This applies to every kind of YouTube channel, not just YTP.

Q: Why did [X video] get removed?
A: Copyright garbage. I also remove videos myself from time to time if I've remade them or otherwise don't want them uploaded anymore (Like my vlogs)

Q: Why won't [X video] play on mobile devices?
A: Also copyright garbage, most likely. Sometimes companies won't totally remove videos, but will remove mobile support for infringing material. I think it's fair.

Q: Are you a brony?
A: I am probably the most mild brony you'll ever meet. I think the show is neat, but I'm really not into the fandom.

Q: How many of your comments do you actually read?
A: Lately, it's become too difficult to read all of my comments. I used to read them all, but now it's becoming a time commitment I'm not willing to make. However, I read nearly all of the comments I get on new videos within the first couple weeks of publishing, so I get feedback for what matters most to me.

Q: How long does it take to edit a video?
A: Lots of factors determine how long editing a video will take. How much free time do I have? How much of that will I spend editing? Am I working with a source that lends its self to my style well? Do I have any good ideas in mind? If the stars are aligned, it will take me at least a week to make a video of decent length and quality.

Q: What's your favorite sauce?
A: A mixture that is 60% marinara, 40% Alfredo.

Q: Who do you do reversing so much?
A: It's easy, and for some strange reason I still find it hilarious.

Q: What did the video say at [X timestamp]?
A: If you don't understand, it's safe to assume that it's probably nonsensical gibberish. Sometimes my sentence mixing isn't very good, but it's always safe to assume it's not anything offensive.

Q: Will you make a sequel to [X video]?
A: It's never impossible!

Q: Can I add you on Steam/Xbox/Wii U/3DS?
A: The answer is No here, unfortunately. In the past, adding fans has resulted in invite spam and users getting upset when I don't respond to messages. Beyond that, I don't actually have a very good reason. I just don't like playing games with people I don't know well (Even if they're super friendly and promise not to impose) Sorry!

Q: Why didn't you respond to my message/comment?
A: I get a LOT of messages from a lot of places. I don't always get around to every one. Even if I do, there isn't always a good response I can give. I have faith that if an issue is super important, it will find a way to get my attention.

Q: Do you make money from YouTube?
A: Nope. If I made YTPs using only sources and assets I had the full rights to, and also deleted all of my old videos, then it would be possible. But that's not something I'm willing to do right now.

Q: When are you going to upload new videos?
A: All bets are off. As far as I can tell, I'm never going to fully "close" the channel permanently, but upload frequency will probably get slower and slower over time.

Q: I have a question that isn't answered here!
A: Hit me up on Twitter! dathings

Last updated February 24, 2018. Thanks for reading!
Due to the nature of this post, questionable material will be censored, and doesn't entirely reflect my personal view on what should and should not be censored.

This is a concept that's been eating at my brain lately. When you think of material that's considered "clean" what do you think of? For many, it's content that's censorship heavy and leaves honest details out. For others, it's a considerate and artful way of making content that's appropriate for all ages. While not commonly tied to emotions, it seems like it's become a sensitive topic.

In my line of work, I make videos of a genre that's notorious for gratuitous amounts of obscene and vulgar jokes. My videos, however, break away from the stereotype and don't include such jokes. I personally call them "Clean", but apparently calling them such is not as clear-cut as I had thought. For me, clean is a long list of content that is purposefully omitted. For me, clean is a little bit more strict than others when it comes to language. D*mn, A*s, B*tch, and occasional instances of H*ll (Which are allowed on US television) are never included, except on incredibly rare occasion. Direct sexual jokes are excluded as well. Even graphic violence doesn't make its way into my videos.

However, my definition of "clean" is different than that of others.

For language, I'll include most any word if it's censored by a bleep, and not overdone. That, and the joke must still be clear and make sense. Plus, some consider the words above to still be clean even though I don't. On the other hand, there are some words that I still consider clean that OTHERS don't. Like Wh*re, Cr*p, and P*ss (And yes, I encountered an environment where the second one was debated.)

On sexual humor, I understand and see the value of jokes that include sex as the primary subject, but there's an art to making them that involves being subtle and remaining appropriate. As such, sometimes very subtle sexual jokes appear in my videos. Others, however, have no qualm with much more direct sexual humor that involves extensive lingo usage and visual demonstration. Such things have no place in my creative media.

Violence is a bit more touchy. I try not to include violence when it's not necessary. A bit of blood on a surface or person never hurt anyone, but I never show people being mutilated or otherwise seriously injured (Even in cartoon form). Others seem to have no problem with intensely graphic violence when considering something "clean"

A topic I didn't mention earlier is drug references. I personally never have issue with drug or alcohol usage/references when considering something "clean". This creates a bit of an issue when it comes to making my videos appropriate for my audience and not just myself. As such, I've tried to discipline myself into making drug references short and not overdone. Easy to do, since I don't involve myself with them anyway :D

The example of drugs enters the realm of "Morally Clean" content. Many hold issue with certain concepts being shown, even if the content fits into our "PG" filter. Some common examples are massive death, abuse of the mentally ill, attraction to children, religious corruption, and (of course) drug use. I'm sure you've cringed at least once reading that list. The morally upright part of us all says that there are certain things that shouldn't be discussed and shown for a "Clean" piece of work. This makes it much more difficult to create a clear line.

In my observations over the last 4 years of making YouTube videos, I've found that there's no way to please everyone by calling your content "Clean." Some people will want you to push the boundaries more, while others would have you cut back. The best thing you can do is create a personal definition of "Clean" by which you will make your work, and make readily available to your audience. I intend to do so by making either a video or DA journal with my personal criteria.


What do you guys think? What sort of things do you consider "Clean" that others don't? And is there anything that everyone else seems fine with that you have issues with? Discuss below!
Here's another awesome song. This is "Full Moon" from Sonata Arctica, a metal band from Finland. (And yes, it is copy-pasted from my OHB post)

Here's the YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DBodk… for you to listen!

BEFORE YOU READ MY REVIEW: I want you to listen to the whole song and guess what it's about. Go on, take a wild guess!

The premise of the lyrics is often simply seen as being about werewolves. While that is a theme, it's also been interpreted as countless other things. My personal take on it is that being a "werewolf" is a metaphor for violent alcoholism. The main character becomes a werewolf at night, and his wife tries to run away but ends up being killed by him. It's not a perfect interpretation, but I have yet to see one that is. For argument's sake, you could say it's about a werewolf and leave it at that, though that leaves much of it's deeper meaning behind.

The song's musical movement is excellent. It begins with strings and piano, moves calmly, and suddenly (with just the right amount of force) changes to an organ/metal sound. It works really well with the lyrics, building suspense and setting the stage for the events that transpire. The best thing about the song as a whole is the experience. It's one of those songs that you can really get into when you listen to it at high volume with big, high-end headphones. You'll either find yourself jamming out, or laying down and happily enjoying the sound.

Full Moon: An narrative treat for the ears.

Give it a listen and let me know what you think!


If you're interested, some other great songs from Sonata Arctica are "Replica" and "Still Loving You" (Scorpions cover)
It's no secret that one of the only things just about everyone with functional ears has in common is the enjoyment of good music. And of everyone I've met, my music library is one of the most eccentric and varied. While it is expansive, occasionally I find incredible gems of the music industry, some of which are so underground they rarely see the light, and others that are hidden in plain sight. I'm excited to share with you some of the best individual pieces of music I've discovered, so that you can perhaps grow your library and hunt for songs like I do, or just occasionally listen to an interesting tune!

I started doing this on the Ohio Bronies Forum. It's been a long time, and I've frankly lost interest in the site. (Not the people, just the format and the atmosphere.) Interest in hearing my "exceptional music" was frankly never there, so I figure I'll start it up on DeviantArt and see where it goes. A simple "Awesome!" or "I listened to it and here are my thoughts..." kind of comment every now and again would mean the world to me, and serve as an indicator of whether I should continue or not as I progress.

If you don't want to keep up with my exceptional music finds, and would rather just see my PowerPoint art and such, there's a box you can uncheck by clicking the "Friends" button on my Deviant page. But I certainly hope you'll stick around :D


So, without further ado, let's get started with something I posted on the forums way back when. The song is called "I'm So Happy" by Hokus Pick (1997)

Here's the YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJeXlb… . You can open it in a new tab or listen and come back, as part of my sharing the song with you involves commentary and why I think the song holds significance :D

A bit of context: Hokus pick was a Christian band who did contemporary/alternative/ska music. They weren't a comedy band, but often did silly songs like this one which is an excellent satire of positive Christian music at the time.

The lyrics tell about how the narrator wakes up one morning and everything goes right for him; From sunny weather to taxes being abolished, and even going to Disneyland!
What I like about this song is how crazily funny it is and how it satirizes the lifestyle that many Christians expect. The "thought" is that if you accept Jesus, then life will be just peachy (Which anyone knows doesn't happen that way at all) The upbeat jazzy-ska just makes it all the more fitting. Even though it's clearly made to poke fun at it's self, it still manages to be a pick-me-up in most any situation.

Most parodies or comedy songs are so contextual and cheesy that listening to them doesn't put you in a good as intended. I've always been a fan of "Weird Al" Yankovic, but his nasally voice and corny lyrics can just get annoying if played at an improper time. However, this song always puts a smile on my face when I'm sad. It's a positive way of reminding me that life is never all sunshiny and grand, but we can always make the best of it. Lifts me out of the emotional hole, if you will.

Now, I was raised in a Christian home for all of my childhood. My parents were leanient on many things, and my upbringing was generally relaxed. My father being a pastor meant that Christian music was a certainty in the house. While my faith, musical tastes, and life experience has shifted a ton since the nineties, I still keep this song in my library. It's not leaving any time soon :)

I'm So Happy: Delightfully silly.


Give it a listen and tell me what you think! Also, leave some music You find exceptional in the comments. I'll listen to each one!


Also: I don't even journal skin. Wat do?
Here you'll find a heavily-shopped screen of my iTunes library. i.imgur.com/rmdLQbC.jpg

Musical taste aside, I feel like I'm the only one who makes custom album art and groups multiple singles into "Fake" albums for organizational purposes.

So, if you'll forgive me for flooding your feed with album art-related things, what does your iTunes look like?

Also, what cool things like this do you do for yourself that others wouldn't normally get to see? Comment below!
Lately I've been playing a couple of different World-Building games. If you're unfamiliar, world-building games are a top-down style game where the player starts small and creates an increasingly complex world (Not to be confused with sandbox games like Minecraft). This is usually done by collecting money from small assets, building up in order to make more money, and continuing the cycle from there. Farmville and The Sims are examples of this genre. The games I've been playing lately take the world-building concept in similar directions, but have crucial elements that make them different in quality.

The first is "My Singing Monsters" from Big Blue Bubble. In this game, the player has a seemingly blank slate world and starts with a little bit of money (Coins, in this case.) The first things you buy with this money is a couple of little monsters who sing a cute little song together. As time passes, the higher level and happiness your monster has, the more coins you earn. As you get more money, you can buy food for your monsters, buy a structure that allows them to breed and make different kinds of monsters, and little decorations that primp up your world and make the monsters happier. Surprisingly, the motivation for this game is the music. As you get more and more monsters singing together, the cooler and catchier it begins to sound. When you have lots of them and mute certain ones, it varies the song and makes it much more fun to listen to. When you find yourself with a surplus of coins, you can buy another island where you start small again, but there are new monsters who sing a new song that's just as fun and catchy. All the while still earning coins from your first island (There are 4 total). The best part is that while your monsters are upgradable and have happiness levels, you don't need to constantly babysit them. Since you don't need to have the app open for time to pass, checking back once or twice a day to collect coins is a working habit. There's no penalty for not playing for long periods of time (Other than additional waiting.)

Speaking of waiting, there is a second currency in the game called Diamonds. These are used to buy rare items or speed up processes that usually make you wait for a few hours, such as breeding, hatching, cooking food, etc. These are a bit harder to come by, and can be obtained by finishing set tasks, allowing the app to advertise to you, or by purchasing them directly (With actual money). However, if you have 20 (Not a difficult feat if you just complete tasks) you can buy a mine that gives you 2 diamonds every 12 hours for free (Not 12 hours of play time. That's real-world, doing real things time). Plus you can get a new mine for every island you have, which totals to 16 diamonds every day! It's not a whole ton, but enough time spent in-game will allow you to effectively get diamonds without having to spend your hard-earned cash. And you can spend more time listening to that mesmerizing song your monsters sing to you!

The second game is "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" from Gameloft. There's a story to this one. Princess Luna, the Alicorn queen of the night, transforms into Nightmare Moon and shrouds Ponyville in eternal night. Twilight Sparkle manages to escape the shroud and seeks to vanquish her with the Elements of harmony. Your role is helping her by rebuilding Ponyville, populating it, and gathering the elements to stop Nightmare Moon.

Like the Monsters game, you start small with just a little bit of money. That money gets spent on shops to make more bits (this game's currency) buying houses for ponies to populate the town, and clearing out the shrouded land to expand Ponyville. Ponies will earn more bits for you when you assign them shops to work in. The higher level your ponies are, the more bits they can earn at a time. An interesting mechanic is that you play minigames to level your ponies up rather than just by spending bits on them, so you're having fun and challenging yourself as you go. Not to mention that most everything is show-accurate, so fans of the television series will have a blast seeing their favorite characters interact with one another. This one also has tasks which are essentially achievements that will earn you more bits, experience points, and gems.

This is where MLP's second currency comes into play. The gems are incredibly similar to MSM's diamonds, in that the gems will speed up waiting times and buy buildings and ponies. Like MSM, you can buy them with actual money, or earn them by completing tasks.

The biggest difference being that there's no other way to earn them easily like the mine in MSM. The tasks very rarely award gems, and offer one or two at a time when they do. This wouldn't be so bad except that you have to have them to progress in certain places. Since they're next to impossible to earn without paying money, this creates a major problem. After doing some number crunching, a member of TouchAracade's forums found that you would have to spend a minimum of $350 to get everything that costs gems. Players don't want to feel like they need to give in and spend money just to have fun with a free app. MSM does it right, providing you the opportunity to spend reasonable amounts of money and enhance the game experience, but not forcing it on you. Unfortunately the same can't be said about MLP.

Another issue I seem to have is that My Singing Monsters has a long loading screen whenever you open the app. This is the time when it validates your account and gets your game data for you. That's not a bad thing, except it takes so long to do. I could end up waiting a whole minute just to quickly spend 10 seconds collecting coins. And that's with Wifi. On 3G (I have an iPhone 4, so it's the best I can do without wireless internet) it can take up to 3 minutes to load and lags out by tens of seconds for every button press. This can get pretty annoying and really isolates me into playing the game at my house and not on the go, ruining the point of it being a mobile app. Thankfully, My Little Pony doesn't have this problem. It loads pretty instantaneously when opened. However, MLP tends to lag a lot while in-game more than MSM. It's never a matter of entire seconds, but it's enough that it's aggrivating especially when navigating the map or playing the ball-bouncing minigame (It's like my reaction time is meaningless, and I miss the ball completely every few shots). It seems pretty consistent between wifi and 3G, so at least I can enjoy it the same both inside the house and out. So in general, MSM has long initial loading and is bad on the go, but works really smoothly on Wifi after it starts. MLP has the opposite problem, where you can pick it up and play, but the performace is just below par.

Now, a cool feature both games have is the ability to connect with friends and see their worlds. In My Little Pony, this involves looking over their town to see how they're doing and watching all of their ponies play and interact. Plus you can send them an in-game gift free of charge once a day. Plus with every friend you add, you get a heart gem (A third currency. Not used for much, but very rewarding). In this sense, it really pays to have friends because you can give more and get more with the app (Friendship really is Magic :D ) However, in My Singing Monsters, the interactivity is pretty much non-existant. Having friends in this app allows you to see their islands and listen to their monsters sing, but that's really it. It's the same songs you get on your own islands. There's no incentive to add people, and you don't even get to hear cool muted variations of your friends' songs. They don't even get to know you visited them or anything. The only redeeming factor for MSM in this case is that a friend invite is just an in-app Yes/No. With MLP, it sends them an app request which they get on their Facebook feed even if they don't have the app, which usually only serves to piss them off. But it's a small sacrifice for phenomenally better connectivity.

So I've rambled about these two apps for a while, but now you're probably wondering if you should even bother with either of them. And my answer, for the most part is yes. They're both free, and if you have an iOS device or Android phone, definitely check them out. If you like world building, both of these are worth a look.

BRIEF REVIEWS:
My Singing Monsters (Big Blue Bubble)

Build a world and listen to cute monsters as they sing for you!

CONS
*Somewhat long loading times
*Friend connectivity is lacking
*Doesn't work well without Wifi
*Little content

PROS
*Addictive
*Catchy songs
*Adorable monsters
*Solid world-building experience
*Not incredibly time-consuming
*Purchases are nice, but not forced

8/10



My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Gameloft)

Rebuild Ponyville and stop Nightmare Moon with all your pony friends!

CONS
*Lags often
*Doesn't feel rewarding at times
*In-app purchase system is terrible
*Certain concepts aren't explained well

PROS
*Minigames make for pleasant variety
*Cute ponies that interact
*Expandable world space
*Very show-accurate
*Friend connectivity is solid
*Good amount of content

7/10
So, my friends and family have been playing this game lately. As far as we know, there's no official name for it, but we like to call it Pass-Draw. It's essentially the telephone game with pictures, and it's tons of hilarious fun! The best part is that it's free, provided you have paper and pencils. The rules of Pass-Draw are not finite and many groups play differently, but here are some that we've found easiest to work with and most fun to play!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
*Paper (Quarter sheets of copy paper work best. See Rule 1 for the amount)
*A pen/pencil for each player
*A group of players (at least 6 is recommended. The more, the merrier!)

PROCEDURE:
1. Each player begins with a stack of sheets equal to the number of players including themselves and one writing utensil (The total amount of paper you will need is always a square, so for 6 players, you'll need 36 sheets, 9 players = 81 sheets, and so on.)
2. Every player, without sharing theirs, writes a sentence (It can be anything you want. Really!)
3. When everyone is finished, each player passes their entire stack to their right so everyone has a new stack with the sentence on top. Everyone reads the sentence to themselves and places the sentence sheet at the back of the stack. On the new blank sheet, they draw a picture illustrating that sentence. The picture can have as much or little detail as desired, but can not include spelled out words.
4. When everyone is finished drawing, everyone passes their stack to the right again with the picture on top. Players then place the picture sheet at the back of the stack and write a sentence on a new sheet describing that picture, without seeing the first sentence.
5. Repeat 3-4 until the stacks have gone around and are returned to their original owner. At this point players can all share the hilarious results with the entire group, and see how their original sentence was interpreted.
6. (Optional) The game's winner can be determined by the group as whomever had their original sentence most accurately preserved by the final sheet, though having a set winner is not required for the game to be just as fun, especially with kids.

If you ever get the chance to try this game out at a casual party or something, please do! It's loads of fun, absolutely hilarious, and incredibly cheap to play. Like I said, all you need is paper, pencils, and friends!


I'm so excited to share this game with the internet that I created a Reddit for it. If you're a Redditor, subscribe to /r/passdraw and post the fun things that you and your friends come up with!

Small disclaimer: I've never moderated a Reddit before and know nothing about how to use CSS. If anyone has experience with either of those things, let me know! I could really use the help :)
If you've been living under a rock, the 2012 United States Presidential election just happened, and President Barack Obama won the election, earning him four more years in office.

When things got down to the end and the votes were being tallied, Ohio was pretty much the last counted state to actually matter, as the final result for the Ohio vote made the turnout official in Obama's favor.

As an Ohio citizen, this isn't surprising. If anything I was more shocked that the results were as close as they were. Ohio is full of tons of incredibly closed-minded, fixed-principle leftists (As I found after joining OHB). That isn't to say I think being on the Democratic side is a bad thing, but so many of my friends base their votes entirely on their "right" to abortion and "equal" marriage (I'll explain in a bit why I used quotations). On the other hand, some equally fixed-principle conservatives have been fighting this year to put a stop to things that don't need stopped.

It would seem social issues are the only thing on the minds of many a citizen, which is pathetic. Such people fail to realize the pettiness of the social problems they fight for.

On Abortion: I consider myself Pro-life. The problem is that so many women have been brainwashed into thinking that sex is somehow not for the purpose of reproduction. Not to say that sex for pleasure is a bad thing. When you and your spouse are home after a long day's work and need to unwind, go for it! But let's not forget why it exists. Pregnancy is not a problem. Planned Parenthood is filling our youth with this lie that if you get pregnant, that's somehow a bad thing. If you aren't responsible enough to face the consequences of having pre-marital, unprotected sex, then just don't! The argument that a person can't resist it is a total lie. Abortion should not be an out for the sexually irresponsible. However: I think that there are occasions when an abortion is necessary (Life of the mother, cases of rape, incest, etc.) These should be medically or legally approved. I often hear the argument of "You can't tell me what to do with my body" Fair enough. But when a baby's involved, it's no longer just yours that's in question. As far as I'm concerned, pro-integrity is absolutely fair. Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for abortions, and they shouldn't be an easy way out for the sexually ill-prepared.

On Gay marriage: I'm pro same-sex marriage. What I've told people is that my view on homosexuality is nearly identical to my view on smoking. (I don't mind if you like it, I don't care if you do it. If that's what makes you happy, and if you feel you really have no choice but to smoke, I won't judge you for it. Just don't blow smoke in my face.) I have a large number of gay friends, who are awesome people and whom I love to death. They all are aware that homosexuality is a choice, not a trait from birth. To see them legally married would be beyond awesome! But I'm getting sick of people calling it a right that they're denied, or that they're not being treated equally. Marriage is not and has never been a right at all. It is a privilege that our country has given us, and there are still countries who don't allow two people to be married, same-sex or not. Currently, married couples in the United States receive some tax benefits as an incentive to naturally reproduce and to raise children in a mother-father household, which is the healthiest home a child can grow up in. Gay marriage does not allow for either of those things to happen, and thus: no tax break. I don't agree with that system, but that's the way it is. Again, I'm pro gay marriage, but please stop calling it a right. I'd really like to work any job I apply for, but that doesn't make it my right to be hired. All American citizens have the equal right to marry someone of the opposite sex in order to produce healthy offspring.

But I digress. Such issues won't largely affect the fate of our nation. To think so is nothing short of pathetic.

However, what I find more pathetic is the two-party system. I guarantee there is no person aside from the candidates themselves who see 100% eye-to-eye with the beliefs they hold. A simple example is that I think Romney's economic plan would have been more beneficial to the country, but I also think Obama's stance on same-sex marriage makes more sense. People call the vote choosing between the "Lesser of Two Evils" which is funny. At their hearts, both Obama and Romney want to help the United States and the world to prosper, and their cause is selfless. I don't care what you think, neither is a total dirtbag. The phrase is also funny because there are a handful of candidates on the ballot, not just two. Heck, a write-in could potentially win with proper support.

The problem is improperly placed political affiliation. Time after time I've seen people say they're "Always going to vote Democratic because of X" or "Need to vote Republican, as a Christian" or other idiotic reasons. The media is feeding us the lie that we have to choose between two political parties and that there's no middle-ground. We have four whole years to fix this before it becomes a problem in the 2016 election.

I'm a bit tired of typing, so I'll make the last points I intend to: Do your part to make sure your future voters show integrity and not just vote because of one issue or a political affiliation. It messes up the system and puts sub-par leaders in the White house. Also, the electoral college is total bull and a reform needs to happen so that every vote actually counts.

As for me, I'll continue to exercise my right to vote with as much wisdom and integrity as I can, doing extensive research and spreading the word to ensure our country is lead properly. Such leadership has not and never will lie in a purely democratic or republican person. The people have the opportunity to make the world a better place, so let's not leave that in the hands of one man.
I said I would pick a winner on the 10th, but I figured if I waited longer I'd get more entires. Alas, there were only 5 total (And only one person followed the original rule of posting a journal entry.) The purpose of giving the buttons away was in hopes of drawing extra attention to my page, but I guess that didn't work :(  Oh, well. Since I'm a man of my word, the winner is...

*drumroll*

Shuttermunk! :iconshuttermunk:

Thanks to the other few who entered! If I come across excess, unwanted Pony swag in the future, be sure to stick around!

To the winner, please send me a note with your shipping address so I can deliver the buttons to you post-haste! (No pun intended)
A while back, I had my friend SorenBrian make me some buttons to give away at Canterlot Gardens. The con is over, but I still have a full set to give away!


THE PRIZE:
The buttons are all 1.5" diameter and pinback. Each has a design of a "Pony Shrug" with the caption [*SHRUG*] underneath (Pictures coming soon, once my camera decides to behave). There are 32 buttons total:

*The Mane 6 (TS, AJ, RD, RT, PP, FS)
*Spike (With hooves)
*Princesses (Celestia, Luna, Cadence)
*Royal Guard
*Queen Chrysalis
*Mayor Mare
*Photo Finish (Original)
*Trixie
*Spitfire
*Background ponies (Dr. Whooves, Lyra, Bonbon, Vinyl Scratch, Octavia, Colgate, Derpy, Carrot Top, Cyclops)
*Cheerilee
*Big Macintosh
*The CMC (Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo)
*Future Twilight
*Peanut Bucker (Original)

They will be all shipped to the winner free of charge (US only. Sorry :( )

Pins like these are normally sold at cons for $1-2 a piece, so rather than essentially wasting your hard-earned bits on pony swag, why not try to win some?

HOW TO WIN:
Since I'm not making money on this deal (Or really any from my DA to be honest) all I ask is that you do 3 things:

1. Be a watcher of my DA page
2. Do something to encourage others to join. (Tweet, favorite, link to it, or the like)
3. Leave a comment here (one sentence or longer) that relates to shrugging. A small story, a poem, a reflection, etc. Something about the gesture of the shrug :)

I will pick the winner by whomever I think has the best thing to say in their comment. Make it creative/funny/insightful for a better chance of winning (And yes, I will double-check to see if you've done the steps) When the winner is announced you are no longer obligated to be a watcher, though I hope you'll like my art and stick around anyway :)

I'll decide the winner on October 10, or whenever I get 20 entrants. Hopefully whichever comes last.

THE CATCH:
There is no catch! Other than sharing the contest, which I know some are a bit hesitant to do, it's absolutely free! Nobody who enters will owe me any money at all, and your entry helps to support my DA page.

Good luck to all!
It's something I've seen a lot of people doing lately, so I may start them up. (MAY being the key word :) )

If I did start doing commissions, they'd probably be 5 dollars per image, give or take for detail. I'd offer stuff in my blocky PowerPoint style (See my "Outfits" deviation) However, I won't start doing that unless I know there's interest.

So my question is, if I DID start doing commissions, who would be interested in them? Anyone who currently does their own, what tips can you give me for starting it up?
ORIGINAL POST:

So, a bit of an issue has come up just recently which I need help with, on the off chance any of you CAN help at all :(

I've made plans to attend Canterlot Gardens this weekend (And yes, I'm aware of the drama-filled situation surrounding the con, so please don't harass me about it)

I was originally going with a small group of friends, but most of them backed out. I didn't reserve a room at/near the venue because I was unsure if I needed one. One friend actually decided to go, so I went to reserve a room. Then POOF! The hotel rooms are sold out.

I asked some other online friends about sharing a room, and due to crowding issues, it's not likely such plans will fall through. So now my friend and I are stuck without a room for Canterlot Gardens. I suppose that's what I get for not making plans incredibly well ahead of time.

So my request is that if any of my watchers here are attending CG and have room available for me and one other, do let me know! We are 17 and 18 respectively, both male (don't mind Co-ed), and are totally okay with floor space. We can also pay our share for staying via cash or PayPal. Please comment here or email me at DuctToast@gmail.com if you can, or if you have any questions :)  Thanks in advance!
So I log onto DeviantArt as I usually do, and there's this journal entry from acheron187.deviantart.com/ advertising a Pony Plushie giveaway. My first thought is "Oh, It's probably some scam or another." But I trust Acheron187 enough that I checked it out anyway.

After reading it, it seemed a little bit sketchy. Having you watch two users, favorite the journal, comment, AND make a journal on your own page about it just to enter. Definitely an excuse to get more watchers and attention. Ordinarily I'd want no part of it.

But dangit, I want a plushie so bad!! Alright, greepix. You win this time.

Go ahead and enter here. You'll at least have a chance that way. greepix.deviantart.com/journal…
Let me start by saying thanks for the great feedback I've been getting. Since I don't make money from my artwork, the comments of appreciation mean everything :)

On another note, the reason I've done so many "Pony Shrug" pictures is because they are easy. Making art in PowerPoint is much like drawing with pencil and paper; Freehand is much more creative and valuable, but dang it, tracing is just so much easier :P  Take the Photo Finish one for example. The Pony shrug was traced, as was her mane and goggles (glasses? I don't even.) The scarf was traced directly from a show frame as well, but her torso and sleeves were done by hand. That's why they look a bit sloppier than other parts of the image.

So, yeah. Definitely need additional practice. I think I'll make some more original stuff in the near future.

I keep having these moments of inspiration (Often when I'm trying to sleep, and don't want to get up and see them through) that depress me a little bit, as I know I lack the materials and skill to make it happen well. For instance, I wanted to try my hand at making plushies, but It'd take a very long time to get the materials together. Different colors of fabric, string that matches, pins, pincushion, cotton, cutting board, and so forth. I'd be all for it if I were living on my own, had a full-time job, and could just get the dang things.

Of course, said moments of inspiration are more often with drawings, digital art, and things I have the materials to do. Then I realize I lack the skill, but more importantly the patience :P I'm sure if I could get over my personal hesitation, my art could eventually be something fantastic and timeless. But that is another day.

Also, SilverBand is incredible at making customs. I even had him make one of me! fav.me/d59ga3q Go check him out! May be a while before any commissions from him can happen, as he is moving soon. Stay posted, and all.