Monthly Archives: December 2016

Emerald Specter 28: So… I missed a week

Yeah, yeah, yeah… we can all see that my streak ended in the month of December, just when I thought I’d gotten enough columns written to weather the storm of my workplace, I failed to put one out this past week… and now THIS column isn’t even coming out on the right day…

Words.

This is a hectic time of year, obviously, and I’ve been giving a lot of thought to things recently and I’m trying to come up with a plan to work around the issues I have getting to do stuff on this website. For example, I started a bullet journal specifically to help me jump start this website and, you guessed it, I also haven’t touched that one hardly since creating it. I’m going to be making a “life in general” bullet journal, because I really do like the idea, but including the rest of life I can get to it daily rather than the “once in a while” that the website one really was… I need consistency.

The next Emerald Specter column will be coming in 2017. I’m not going to try to make up for my lack of consistency, and since there is only a “two week” issue at present, I’m just going to put this one out and start writing for 2017. Mondays will be Emerald Specter days and I really want to work towards something in 2017.

That leads me to the next wonderful bit of stuff: changing my image. This is me, personally, really, but also the website. No, I do not mean I’m going to change the theme of the website. I mean that I’m going to be changing the way things work around here. I’m actually going to be scheduling things and with any luck, I will be able to have thing rolling in the correct direction.

The ESPL season is about to kick off and I am only a few weeks ahead rather than most of the season done, as I’d like to be… My free time this time of year always makes me evaluate what I really want to do and while I really want to do the ESPL, I’ve had the itch to stop it already. If I can just get through the holidays I’ll be fine but I’m wondering if the ESPL will be lasting past season 3. Help on that front would be nice but I started that things without any expectations of help and we’ll see if that remains the same.

I’ve already backed off the SpecterFights thing with virtual fighting… I can do our Greatest Show Fight Series events as posters, which would fill the gap I’m looking to fill with the SpecterFights… but nothing has been decided as far as a change, though, because this time of year always sends me false signals. Free time doesn’t exist in the month of December.

The Specter Show will be happening… I don’t know if I’m going to do topics, just rant and rave, discuss the website and life, or make it a travel show… but I’m doing the show. I won’t be starting immediately but you’ll all have episode 1 before January ends. I’d like to have at least 2 episodes out by the end of January, so there’s that goal. I’ll be distributing the audio as a podcast through iTunes, too, so we won’t exist solely on YouTube (though that is probably the “live, raw feed” show storage facility until I can pull it off the Internet to edit it). Also, there probably won’t be video to the raw show.

Well, I’ve said enough for now. Enjoy Christmas and we’ll see you in the New Year.

Think on it.

The Greatest Show 108: GSFS 3 – Christmas Clash

We won’t be bringing you a show this week with our beautiful faces, but what says Merry Christmas like watching virtual versions of us beat the living crap out of each other? Yep, it’s the Greatest Show Fight Series 3 – Christmas Clash (Allen v T), featuring the following battles:

(C) “Emerald Specter” DJ Allen v. “Bad Intentions” Mr. T
(C) “Silky” Tricia Allen v. Queen Elizabeth II
“Heavy Metal Jesus” Kevin Lama v. “Iron” Mike Tyson
“Angry Salesman / Shotgun” Bob Miotto v. Wil Wheaton
“Soft Rock Messiah” Kevin Couick v. Kim Jong Un
“The Professional” Saurabh Agashe v. Hulk Hogan
and
“El Presidente” Abraham Lincoln v. “The Chosen One” Confucius

Don’t miss the action as we got a lot of really good fights out of this one… I can’t wait for the next one!

The Greatest Show 106: GSFS 2 – Couick v Allen II

We have our December second Greatest Show Fight Series event! Here’s the lineup:

(C) “Soft Rock Messiah” Kevin Couick (3-0) v “Emerald Specter” DJ Allen (2-1)
“Silky” Tricia Allen (1-0) v Hillary Clinton (0-0) for the vacant Women’s Championship
“Heavy Metal Jesus” Kevin Lama (1-2) v Tyler Durden (0-0)
“Shotgun / Angry Salesman” Bob Miotto (0-3) v Confucious (0-0)
and opening the event is
Mr. T (0-0) v Hulk Hogan (0-0)

Won’t you pop in and see the action?

ESPL Off-Season 5: Preview Time!

coveresplIt’s been a long year, a long wait, and we now finally get to the preview edition of Season 2 now with commentary from the best in the league. It’s time to talk about the ESPL.

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Season 1 was a nail biter, as the league wasn’t won until the very end. We couldn’t have hoped for a better finish and Gothica came out on top as the club to beat for Season 2, defending their championship isn’t going to be an easy feat. Let’s see what we can tell about this upcoming season and see how close predictions will be when the ball is finally kicked for the first time in Season 2.

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“The Champions are really the club to beat in Season 2,” said Martin Thomas, ESPL Commentator. “I firmly believe they’ll be at the top of the table at the end of this next season, being the first and two time defending champions at the end.”

“Emerald United is the club to beat,” said David Archer, ESPL Commentator. “Gothica is going to be a tough club to beat but I think Emerald United made a lot of great moves this off season and they’ll be pushing to be champions in 2017.”

Experts are actually split down the middle, so we’re calling the final race between Gothica and Emerald United, with the winner of their two meetings really being the club to end up as the champions at the end of the season.
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“The club that underperformed in 2016 is in a solid third place,” said Martin Thomas. “Naval Armada is going to improve drastically and may even be knocking on the door to the championship with their stellar acquisition of Patrick Barnes to the already stellar lineup.”

“Naval Armada with Khan Galaxy and Patrick Barnes is going to be a force to be reckoned with,” said David Archer. “There is a lot of talent in the club but those two stand above all that talent. Naval Armada is going to have a great showing in 2017.”

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“The surprise club of 2016 was Shamrock Celtic and they’ll be pushing to repeating their performance and over performing in 2017,” said David Archer.

“I think Shamrock Celtic has a great lineup, but I also believe the loss of Patrick Barnes in the off season will be a bigger hit to the lineup than anyone cares to admit,” said Martin Thomas.

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One of the biggest shockers of the premier season was the explosion of Shazam CM, a club that was predicted to be “just part of the mix,” and ended up being a powerhouse for a good portion of the season. David Archer and Martin Thomas both agreed that they think that Shazam CM falls in fifth place.

ShazamCM200

“The namesake of the league’s founder, Allen FC, are looking strong but will be more even than they were last season,” said Martin Thomas. “They made some improvements, but they haven’t improved more than anyone else has improved, so they are really just keeping pace. Allen FC could prove to be stronger than we think but I really believe they’ll fall short with the talent we’ve already covered.”

“Allen FC,” said David Archer. “Sixth place finish. I can’t see them outperforming Gothica, Emerald United… I can’t even see them performing better than Shazam, so I don’t think Allen will see the top of the table at the end of the season.”

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“Halo had a great showing in 2016 but they didn’t improve like they needed to in order to drive themselves up the table,” said David Archer. “Halo will finish seventh.”

“There are clubs who made big moves and then there are clubs that just sort of moved things around,” said Martin Thomas. “Halo moved things around and I think they could have really done better in the off season.”

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There isn’t as many quality comments for the next few positions, experts agreeing that Halo will be followed by Vulcan FC, Sporting Black Cats, and Knightsquare.

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“The club that enters the league for their debut that made the best moves was Queensdaisy,” said Martin Thomas. “I can really see them finishing well above the bottom and I’m interested to see exactly what they are capable of in the end. I don’t see them taking down any of the top four or five but I do see them finishing mid-table.”

Queensdaisy_2017

Real Olympia took their position behind Queensdaisy, the club wasn’t available as they could have been in the open market and they will probably overspend next year if they fail to finish well in 2017.

RealOlympia200

“Another surprising tie we can’t seem to agree on is between Tardis and Wordsmiths,” said David Archer. “I pick Tardis, they’re new and we haven’t seen anything from the combination of players and management, so I want to give credit to them for making the moves they need to in order to stay off the bottom of the table.”

“Wordsmiths made big moves,” said Martin Thomas. “They redesigned their shield and they have redesigned their club as they are going to do better than last season and probably finish a lot higher than we’ll give them credit for.”

Tardis_2017Wordsmiths_2017

The two clubs fighting to stay off the very bottom are both new, with neither one really giving confidence to any of the experts about having more of a chance than being in the bottom two. Octagon is expected to do better than Citrus LF, but in the end, second to last place isn’t that much better than last place.

Octagon_2017CItrusLF_2017

The season will be kicking off in a couple of weeks, so get ready for more ESPL action in Season 2!

Emerald Specter 27: We Move Into 2017

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We return with another column and the streak continues! I’m building back up a buffer, so hopefully I can bank a few of these to start working on the things I’m going to be talking about in this big column. Yeah, it’s basically another “here’s what’s happening” type column. I’m also going to talk about how things are going to be moving because of the bullet journal I mentioned in the last column.

Read on.

The new year is almost upon us and it’s time I stopped looking back at 2016 and started looking forward to 2017. The focus in 2017 will be building up the EmeraldSpecter.com site and focus will continue to be offering the things that I’ve promised for many times but have failed to deliver. I’m going to run down those things with little notes on where things are going.

First on the list, the Greatest Show has hit the 100th episode and we’re done recording episode 104 as I write this. An episode that replaced a normal group meeting, the Greatest Show Fight Series, debuted at episode 103 and I’ve already announced the lineup for GSFS 2. There will be a few other different types of episodes coming but I wanted to firmly establish the GSFS before focusing on anything else.

Some might consider the GSFS a separate thing… just like the No Man’s Sky YouTube streaming that I started doing. I’ve only put out one episode so far, but I am going to be putting out more. They won’t be Greatest Show offerings, that’ll be their own thing. I may add commentary to them in the future (or stream them with commentary), but right now they’ll just be game play.

The Emerald Specter column, which this is, is working on all gears. I am attempting to put out one column per week, which means that at the end of 2017 I should be on Emerald Specter 81, which would make me a very happy camper. I may have some “off weeks,” but the idea right now is to write a column to be released each week. Topics will be whatever I want to talk about, as they currently are, but I may end up focusing on a specific series of topics and spinning back out the other columns I was writing.

Speaking of the other columns… SpecterFit, Game Specter, UFC Specter, Footie Specter, Storytelling Specter, Specter Fantasy Football, Ingress Intel, and the reviews I was doing are all on the table. I miss talking about the topics, and I’ve included several of them in the Emerald Specter columns, but I think many of them can once again live on their own. SpecterFit was by far the most popular and I’ve already said that I’ll stop being “judge-y” and start being informative (more informative) when I re-launch the column. It won’t be renumbered, but I will be waiting until this column has a higher number. Game Specter would probably be next on my list, with a possibility of another one of those returning in the future after that… but part of accomplishing things is not trying to think too big, so SpecterFit will come next and I need to get more of this column up before I release that again.

That’s just the way it is. Sorry.

I don’t have a really firm grasp on the Emerald Specter Premier League popularity, so I am wondering what the long term future for the league is. As I’ve said before, the whole purpose I brought the league into existence was because I like designing logos and what better way to accomplish that than to have a league where they’re all under my umbrella. I’d love to get others involved (maybe building up a deeper pyramid, with someone else controlling the other levels) but I’ve gotten no feedback, no signals, and even from the logo community I’m a part of, there isn’t much going on. I’ll keep it up at least through season three, which I’ve got on the board for 2018, and after that I’ll take a look at the viability of keeping the ESPL going beyond that. If you like the league, want to help, are interested in getting involved in any way, or whatever, send that feedback in. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

In the vein of the ESPL, I’m announcing the launch in 2017 of SpecterFights, my version of the MMA. The weight classes will have a “digital twist,” the fighters will have “hex” limited naming schemes, and the league will be for me to exercise my design muscles with “fight posters.” I hinted at this before and 2017 is the year this is coming out. Some may roll their eyes, but even though this will start out in a similar fashion to the ESPL, I’m aiming at a specific presentation type for this one… stay tuned for more coming on SpecterFights.

Along with the Greatest Show, I am going to start podcasting with the Specter Show title. I’m starting before Spring 2017 with a weekly, 30 minute, pre-produced podcast… audio only, but I may move to video in the future. I’ll talk about a single topic in the 30 minute format and I’m trying to make that topic “timeless,” by which I mean that I won’t be making it “time sensitive” like the news would be (for example). I’m interested in hosting others in shows but if I’m not leading the way with my own solo production, then I can’t really ask others to try the same. It would be nice to have a Bob, Metal Jesus, or Soft Rock Messiah solo podcast to add but I understand they’re all as busy as I am.

If you didn’t know, we on the Greatest Show will be playing an RPG. It’ll be the Chronicles of Darkness Storyteller system and we’ll be bringing it to you at least an episode per month, though we’re currently planning to integrate the RPG into almost every episode. I’ve mentioned the “BS, hour or two of play, BS/wrap up” format and I think that is how we’ll start. The next episode of the Greatest Show (as I write this) will be the first one with the attempt at the new format. I need to scratch my RPG itch and if we can get this actual play rolling, maybe we replace a Greatest Show with an RPG-cast once or twice a month.

Lastly, I’ll talk about my writing… the writing that I keep trying to jumpstart and never really get anything rolling. I’m going to do something that will get my fingers onto a keyboard or I’ll call it quits on the idea factory. I am going to do a write up of the entire idea web in my head, detailing how everything fits together and how things will play out… that will be set to release at an “as yet undetermined date” for scheduled release on this website. If I cannot get anything substantial (a good foundation written, for example) by that date, the idea goes to the Internet and then there’s no point in writing it… because it’ll be out there in the world for all to read.

I want to do this because I want to write. Bob and I talked about some ideas on the Greatest Show 104 and that really got me amped to do something about it. I wrote this and the previous column first because I want to build up a log of a few columns so I can focus all my attention on the fiction. If I don’t get things moving, it’ll never happen. I managed to get a whopping 5,000 words written for NaNoWriMo and that was only in a single sitting. I had 30 days to write and I wrote once. That makes me sad.

I’ll bank a couple more columns and then probably announce the “deadline” column for the ideas. I will have specific dates set up for the Specter Show launch, the SpecterFights launch, the return of SpecterFit, the long term plan for the ESPL, and I’ll stop being vague. While I didn’t specifically mention the bullet journal in this one, everything I talked about is in it. Hopefully, things actually start developing because of that journal.

Think on it.

The Greatest Show 105: Random Trainwreck of Random

Without Bob, we discuss Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, we discuss selling things on Etsy, we discuss the impending apocalypse, roleplaying games, and the possibility of having an entire Pathfinder game played on the air. Join us!

The Official Emerald Specter YouTube Channel… where you can watch this episode, as well as the other 104 episodes we have available online! That’s over 200 hours of viewing entertainment! Well, what are you waiting for? GO!

Emerald Specter 26: Protests and More

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In Portland, there were protests after the election. There were protests in a lot of cities, but in Portland they became riots for at least four nights. In case you were curious, the protests are still going on, though only the hardcore few are still out. During this whole debacle, I noticed a problem with the protest: a lack of solid message.

Without commenting on the politics, the first people to hit the streets was the “anti-Trump” protesters. There were people of ethnic backgrounds, women, LGBTQ, and others who just didn’t like the President-elect. They were going to have a peaceful protest, but within two hours the damaging of property, assaulting of innocent bystanders, and more started happening. I also noticed that the message (remember, the anti-Trump message) was quickly hijacked. Anti-Trump was joined by Black Lives Matter, Don’t Shoot PDX, and a group of anarchists (they were labeled as such, but I’ll henceforth refer to them as assholes) joined the protest. The chanting went from anti-Trump, to BLM chanting, to Don’t Shoot PDX chanting, to all kinds of other things… like anti-gentrification (a Portland issue), for one.

What happened to the original message?

The protests continued like this for several more nights, each night another group coming out to join the protests. Again, the problems of “what are you protesting” were in full force because even though the anti-Trump group was starting the movement, they were hijacked by others.

When the protesters (such as the Don’t Shoot PDX group) wanted to antagonize the police, anyone who saw the police take control of the situation were complaining the police were out of control. Rocks were thrown, cans were thrown, people getting right up in the riot gear covered officers’ faces and then a tear gas response was deployed.

What is the point of harassing the people trying to prevent senseless and pointless damage to property? In fact, why are you protesting in a city (i.e. blocking traffic, accosting innocent bystanders, writing “fuck Trump” on all kinds of buildings, breaking windows, damaging new cars at a dealership, smashing up public transit video displays, etc) in a state that went for Hillary Clinton? You’re literally protesting and attacking the people who voted the way you wanted!

After it’s all said and done, though like I’ve said the protests are still somewhat happening, the protesting a Trump victory in the 2016 election isn’t going to make a difference. Most of the country (i.e. the popular vote) went for Hillary Clinton, but we don’t use the popular vote as the determining factor to choose a President, we use the Electoral College. If you want real change, start by changing HOW we choose the President and not the results that make you unhappy.

Will anyone of those protesters actually go out and do that? I highly doubt it, because that isn’t random and senseless protesting. The only way to change the system is to CHANGE THE SYSTEM, protesting how the system currently works without working to change it isn’t accomplishing anything.

And if you’re going to protest, stay on message.

Moving right along.

I watch a lot of MMA. Well, maybe not “tons of MMA,” but a fair amount. I also used to watch boxing a lot in the past, as I’ve mentioned before. In either sport, I’ve never witnessed a “no contest” matchup… until the last three weeks. Now I’ve seen one.

The first one comes from Invicta FC 20, where Tonya Evinger defended her Invicta Bantamweight Championship against Yana Kunitskaya. The result of the fight, IN THE RING, was Kunitskaya won by submission. Evinger tapped and a few days later, petitioned the Missouri Athletics Commission to overturn the decision. They granted her appeal. For a frame of reference, the fight occurred in Missouri.

But let me get this straight… you can lose, in front of everyone, fairly and by your own hand and then complain to get your championship back? As far as I’m concerned, Evinger isn’t the Invicta Bantamweight Champion anymore, regardless of what anyone else says. Kunitskaya won and had her victory ripped away because of a situation that has very little details out in the public to analyze. Until there are details, a tantrum overturned a legitimate decision and weakens the Invicta FC organization.

I’ve seen a lot of weird decisions lately. The other one that really bothers me is the Tyron Woodley “majority draw” decision at UFC 205. Two judges tied, one judge chose Woodley. Therefore, there is no draw. The fact that they report that as a majority draw seems highly shady to me and it is an injustice to Woodley, who won that fight regardless of the “1” in his draw column now.

I had also previously wrote several posts on several topics, all of which have been since deleted. Sometimes you just need to write the volatile column to get it out of your system… I had one on the DAPL protests, one involving people who (regardless of evidence they’re wrong) refuse to stop believing someone will take their guns, and people just lot listening to facts. Facts are facts, your opinion is your opinion. Just because you believe a circle looks like a triangle does not make that circle a triangle. Instead of getting into that, I’ll just cut that line of thought off there.

This column was written last night. I’m not nearly as “ahead” as I had been but I wanted to keep rolling with things. I’m going to try to get my head straight and get things working towards completing goals that I’ve set up, which is where I talk about the last topic of this column.

I started a bullet journal. The first day of the journal starts on December 1 and the entire journal is specifically for this website. I am going to accomplish things with this journal for this website and, though I’ve had a rocky start, this column kicks me back into gear and working towards the end goals. More on that bullet journal as time goes on.

Thank you for reading.

The Greatest Show 104: Aliens, Man

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DJ is joined by Bob and Metal Jesus as they discuss a great many things… but keep coming back to aliens, man. We want a sponsor and we want you to watch Kevin literally start falling asleep on the air.

The YouTube Page. The Chat.