Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween! Beanie Progress, Yummy Salmon and a Mariofied Zach?!

Hello, I am glad that you have arrived safely. I am Dracula and I welcome you to the blog... Today is Halloween so be careful, or you might get a fright...

Anyway hey everyone! I asked the Count to intro for me, apparently he didn't mind doing it for free as long as I kept the garlic far away from him. Oh yeah and he wanted a bottle of ketchup, no idea what that was for. So today is Monday as well as Halloween so Happy Halloween everyone! More importantly this is actually the final blog post of October, I've been blogging for over a month now and it has been a big learning experience for myself. The way I blog has changed a bit over the past couple of months such as doing more multi topic blogs in a more friendly direct approach rather than a single topic blog. Hope those who've been reading have enjoyed what I've posted so far and I hope it's encouraged you to explore new interests as well.

My knitting projects have been coming along nicely, my beanie hat is just about ready to begin decreasing.


You can actually see most of the pattern now. I absolutely love how this has come out. The contrast of colors, the pattern itself, it's all looking great. I've kinda shocked myself with this hat actually, I've only been knitting a month now but I'm already doing colorworks and decently at that. Like I mentioned I'm going to be decreasing and casting off this hat very soon, I'll probably be finished with this beanie by Wednesday so you'll see the finished product on Wednesday's blog. 

I mentioned before that my mum was knitting the same hat alongside me, she finished it yesterday and it came out nice. (I'm behind apparently.)


She used a variegated yarn and it's blended nicely with the white background. The yarn is Lorna's Hand-Dyed Yarn, the Dye lot is 4247 and the color is Symphony, apparently mum has had this yarn since 2011 and I've seen her use it quite a bit so it definitely lasts a long time. Actually Mum was working the complete opposite of me as I'm using a dark color as my background. I was watching how she decreased and casted off so I know what to do with my beanie when It's ready.

I've also been doing quite well on my sock project as well.


I still have quite a bit more to do, I'm going to be knitting until I have 7 inches total on the entire sock then I'll start on my heel flap and complete my heel turn. I'm a little nervous about it, but Mum and Kelly Petkun's videos from Knit Picks are going to help me along. I've been watching them ahead of time and it doesn't look as difficult as I thought it would be.

Don't forget you can check out me on Ravelry as ZAKMan and my mum as Didomum!

While I was knitting (Of course) I watched the usual new episodes of Supergirl, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. I never mentioned those shows last week but I've been keeping up with the new episodes. All three have been pretty awesome so far but they're still keeping the big plot points of all the shows pretty secret so far. Supergirl introduced another new character as well as an old character leaving the show, The Flash is diving deeper into the mystery of Alchemy and Legends of Tomorrow's Episode this week was actually set in 16th century Japan, which was pretty awesome and led to an enjoyable episode, Mick (Heatwave) was probably my favorite character in this episode. You'll understand why when you see it.

Another show I have been knitting too is actually Star Trek. Yeah I've actually been a fan of Star Trek for ages now and recently I've been in a bit of a space mood with all the new real life space discoveries. I've seen all the previous series and movies but I finally started watching the Star Trek Enterprise series. It doesn't beat the older shows in the franchise but I find it pretty cool regardless, though the Captain can be quite questionable at times. It takes place years before Kirk takes command of the Enterprise and shows the first steps man takes into the unknown. Captain Jonathan Archer takes the helm of the NX-01 Enterprise, which is apparently the very first Starship with that name, not Captain Kirk's like I previously believed.

When I put down the needles for dinner I had this pretty tasty dish. You've heard of fish and chips, right? Well this is fish and chips but 10 times fancier...


This is Salmon and Sweet Potato Chips with a side of Corn, Carrots and Green Beans. This dish was homemade with my mum at the helm of the cooking so she added her own magic. The Salmon was seasoned with Lemon, Pepper, Balsamic Vinegar, Worcester Sauce, Onion Powder and Thyme with small chunks of garlic sprinkled across the fish. The Sweet Potato chips were done the same way as our previous meal we had these in but this time we INTENTIONALLY added Chili powder, actually we added a bit more then last time and I think the taste was perfected. Of course finally the veggies were steamed with a little salt. My taste buds loved this meal so much the flavors all mixed together perfectly. So yeah this is the super fancified (Yes I checked, this is a word.) version of Fish and Chips, it was super healthy but really tasty regardless. If you haven't tried sweet potato chips before you might wanna try them at least once, I was skeptical about them at first but I really like the sweet, well I believe it's a sweetness taste, I love normal french fries but this adds a fun new twist to it. Also sweet potatoes are perfect for this time of year (This is actually the peak of the season right now.) in meals for Thanksgiving and such.

We're definitely not normal Halloween people but we're going to be doing something... Spooky for dinner tonight. My sister will be brewing some Dragon Balls (Meatballs) with Bat Wings (Bow tie Pasta), Yellow Teeth (Corn), Evil Eyes (Carrots) and Brains (Cauliflower) as well as some Brain Juice (Alfredo Sauce) poured over top. As we're not normal Halloween people maybe this is how we always eat... Now there's a thought.

Anyway as this is Halloween I would like to mention something. Tonight obviously you, or your kids will be Trick-or-Treating around getting candy and such so please be careful! Only Trick-or-Treat in neighborhoods you trust or at organized gatherings and make sure you check over all the candy before you dive in and eat it. Also please don't drink and drive as well as NO texting and driving, there will be kids walking the streets so PLEASE be aware if you're driving and be aware of your own kids as well. I know it sounds like I'm nagging but just be careful and have fun!

I don't really know what to expect from the costumes as I don't really do the whole dressing up in costume thing. I mean I'm not saying I would never dress up in costume, this outfit below kind of counts as a costume...


Wahoo! Yes this is me dressed up as "Kind Of" Super Mario. I don't have his hat (Though this beanie is pretty sweet.), didn't have white gloves and my mustache was not properly grown. I just dressed up in this randomly in the spur of the moment but I thought I would post it for some laughs and show how much of a goofball I can be sometimes. I need some tips from the plumber man himself on how to stylize my moustache (When I stop shaving it like a fool.) like his.

Speaking of Mario I've been in a Mario mood lately as far as Video Games. I've booted up Super Mario 64 once again (I'm playing it via my Wii U.)


I actually have 34 stars since this photo but I've been having fun with this game as always. Though I'm a terrible shot with the cannon I keep shooting poor Mario over the ledge, haha. I'm also playing Pokemon Alpha Sapphire trying to catch them all finally (I've never completed the Pokedex 100% before but I'm determined to this time.). Also don't forget to check out my Nintendo 64 blog I did when I first started up this blog!


I also finally got around to beating the first dungeon boss on Zelda Twilight Princess. The boss was actually a lot harder then I remember, I guess I'm rusty or something.

So with that all said and done hope you enjoy your Halloween! There are some other things I wanted to talk about in this blog but it's getting pretty long now so I'll save them for Wednesday. I will be taking my first steps into my second month of blogging so I'm pretty excited and I have tons of awesome content coming for you guys so stay tuned! Christmas is probably going to be a big blog topic throughout the end of November and through December so that's something to look forward too! So until then...

See you on the next blog!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Knitting Fall Socks & Beanies Plus My Pokemon Card Collection

So Friday has come once again, the weekend is here and another week has passed it's been pretty busy but a constructive one for me. I got my sock project started, which is pretty exciting as I've never knitted socks before and it's coming along quite nicely. It's getting easier and easier as I go along so despite the frustrating cast on I'm actually enjoying this now.


Currently I'm still on the top ridging and I've decided to keep going until I have around two inches of ridge and after that I will just do a normal stockinette stitch all the way down. I'm hoping I'm counting all my rows right because I have to make the second sock after this. I do have this cool little knit counter I have on a necklace (Made out of knitting yarn, because why not?) so that's helping out a lot. The colors of this yarn are reminding me of fall leaves actually, which is a perfect fit for this time of the year; I love how it's turned out so far. 

I have to say this is probably my most portable project, I'm able to take it with me on trips in the car without having to lug around so much stuff, which is what I was doing yesterday actually. That's one of the reasons I love knitting though, it's portability; I can take it with me anywhere I go to places like movie sets where in between takes I can knit and relax my nerves before I begin acting again.

Speaking of knitting in the car while I was out on a trip with my family I came across something really mysterious...


This old plane was just sitting out on the grass. I have no idea why this is here but it's been gutted and striped down, which is kind of sad as this plane probably looked awesome when it was all together. The only thing I could make out on this plane was the letters D-FMSU (or D-EMSU I can't tell...) on the under wing. I tried doing some research on those letters to try and figure out what this plane is but I can't find anything whatsoever. If any of you can identify this I would love for you to let me know in the comments or on my social media!

Oh yeah! I'm getting pretty far on my colorwork beanie, the pattern is taking shape.


I'm just about halfway done on the colorworks pattern now and the hat has actually gotten to a point where I can actually fit it on my head and check the size now. I can safely say that it does fit my head! I was a bit worried it would be too big or too small but it's coming out a perfect size for my head. I want to make hats for my family but I wanted my first hat to be for me so I'm not giving my family imperfect beanies. (Not saying this hat is imperfect but this is an experiment so I can learn how to make hats.) I'll continue working on this and keep you all updated!

Something else I did this week was I got out my Pokemon Card collection...



I've been collecting these cards for a long time now and I have a pretty vast collection of new, old and in between. As a collector I get these cards out often because I'm always worried about water damage or dust, it would be a total injustice if anything were to happen to these cards. Even when handling new cards I use the utmost caution to make sure I get them in the card slots spotless. 

I've organized this entire collection by the card pack/date released they came in. I had the idea of organizing it by Pokedex number but it wouldn't do good to keep moving my cards in and out the slots when I get new cards, this way I just put the cards into a new page and they're good to go without being unorganized.


I've gotten some pretty awesome cards over the years and recently I've pulled some really rare cards. XY's card packs seem to be super lucky for me as I got this Alakazam EX card I didn't even know existed. Apparently it's a Secret Rare card that they put into Fates Collide expansion pack, even weirder it's card number is 125 out of 124.


I would love to show off my entire collection but it would flood this blog out with photos. (I have over 25 pages of cards... Yeah that's a lot.) I'm thinking of setting up a Flickr Album for people to check out the full collection so I'll keep you guys posted on that! I just gotta get some better photos, the shininess of my card slots make it hard to get good photos. Actually I could make a video showing off my card collection instead. I'll keep you guys posted on that, I'm actually intrigued by the video idea as long as it wouldn't be too long and boring. Let me know what you think on those ideas and I'll have a go!

So that ends another blog post, thanks for reading! Monday is actually Halloween so I'm going to try to throw in some Halloween stuff for Monday, I mean I can try and get an interview with Casper the Friendly Ghost but he's pretty busy so no promises, haha. I'm actually cooking Lasagna tonight and sorry but I still haven't figured out how to send you guys some through the internet without making a mess. Anyway hope you enjoy your weekend and...

See you on the next blog!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Developing my Photos and Films; Plus Knitting Socks for Socktober!

Hey everyone! How's your Wednesday so far?

So as you most likely already know I'm a filmmaker, I love recording and editing videos and I've been at it practically my whole life. I also love taking photographs as you can tell by what I post on this blog. I thought I would show off some of my equipment and software I use to take photos and put together my videos in this blog for everyone. To start it off I want to show everyone one of the cameras I use, it's much more portable than my other cameras and I can take clear photos and videos with it...


This is a Nikon Coolpix camera, it's got 6X wide optical zoom with 16.0 Megapixels and despite its size it's got a lot of power in it, I take it everywhere with me due to it being pretty portable. I've had this camera for a couple of years now so the new Coolpix cameras have better improved specs but this camera still holds up and kicks butt. 


This is an example of the photographs I take with this camera. This was a lucky shot actually but it came out amazing. After I import all my photos off my camera (Via USB) I take them into a program called Paintshop Pro, I've been using Paintshop Pro for as long as I've used a computer so I know my way around it.


I know a lot of people use Photoshop but I love Paintshop Pro and it's always gotten the job done. Other cameras I use are my iPad and phone, because well they're the most convenient cameras I own.

As far as my films go this Nikon does pretty good as well, I do have a bigger camera for more fancier films but this little camera does the job just as well. After recording though I take all my raw footage into my editing program. Now I own Sony Vegas and that's what I've been using for years now but earlier on this year I was graced with an amazing new program...


This is Hitfilm, an editing software yeah but that's only half of it... It's actually a visual effect compositor as well! This program has been a godsend to me as I haven't had access to a full visual effect compositor before and having it be an editor and compositor is so convenient. Even better this does the jobs of Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects all in one little package, you can do exactly the same things as those Adobe programs on here. Okay here's the really cool part, it's free. Yes I said it, the magic word, it's free. Hitfilm 4 express is complete free for anyone to use, there is a pro version of course and it doesn't come with all the visual effect packs but it's got plenty in it by itself so you won't need to upgrade to make great films. Though if you do upgrade though you get a massive amount of visual effect packs, some new rendering options and well stuff to make it more professional.

I actually took an online course on visual effects to learn how to use this program earlier on this year and also with the amount of tutorials on Hitfilm's Youtube Channel (They post every week with awesome filmmaking tutorials and tips) it's easy to learn your way around this program especially with its easy and clean layout. You can go to the Hitfilm website to check out and download the Express version of Hitfilm 4 here!

Before I move on I want to show everyone this video I made using Hitfilm. It was taken using my Nikon camera mentioned earlier so it's a good video to show off how well this camera records. It's not a super long and fancy edited video (I can be pretty crafty in the art of editing, I hope to show that off in the future.) but I hope you enjoy it regardless.



Cool, huh? I know it wasn't long but it was just something quick to show off my camera. Hope it wasn't too shaky I wanted to record handheld even though I own a tripod.

ANYWAY let's pick up the knitting needles now! (And hope I haven't dropped any stitches.) I've been planning this new project for a while now but I wanted to get all my dishcloths finished before I started...


Can you guess what this is? This is the beginning of a.. Sock! Yeah just one sock for now but don't worry though I will be making the other sock, so both feet won't be cold this winter. Now I was told that this month is apparently Socktober! I had absolutely no idea it was Socktober (I'm new forgive me.) but I'm starting this sock in October so it still counts, right? My mum recommended making socks to me because she believed, and I've come to believe, that this will be a great learning experience for me as a beginner knitter. I'm using 4 size 3 DPNs (Double Pointed Needles) and I've casted on 20 on two needles and 24 on the third needle making up 64 stitches total. This was not easy by any means, I mean yeah you cast on like normal but you got like multiple needles getting in your way and my man hands are way too big for these tiny needles so casting on was almost a little frustrating at times. I am persisting though and it's getting easier as I go along, I'm getting used to using four needles at once.

Muggles won't understand this symbol, but we all know knitters are magical, right?

So this is my progress as of writing this blog early this morning, I casted these on last night and I've gotten two rows done so far, not counting the cast on. It's getting easier as I go along but I don't know how I will fare with the heel and toe part of the sock, I guess I'll just keep going and find out. Now I'm a guy who loves to experiment so I've decided to do my second sock using Magic Loop, It's another way of doing socks and I've decided to make this pair of socks an experiment so I can learn how to use DPNs and Magic Loop all in one go. I hope I can keep my tension the same between both socks but this is going to be a fun experiment regardless. Anyway with the help of Mum and tutorials online I'm sure I'll be just fine and have these socks done and looking great before you know it.

Oh god I just realized something... How would you even do colorworks using the DPN method? I actually had the idea of doing a little colorworks at the top of a pair of socks (Not these socks, these are going to be just simple socks.) in the future but how would you even handle two colors at once with these needles? Oh boy I guess I'm going to have to figure that out in the future, maybe magic loop would be a better option for that.

Anyway I hope this blog wasn't too long for everyone to read, I tend to ramble on a bit and I'm sorry about that. Hope you're enjoying your Wednesday and hope that you knitters out there are enjoying Socktober! Don't forget to check out my social media links on the side to keep track of me and what I'm doing! I actually had to fix all those links yesterday because my HTML broke on the site for some reason, I didn't even change anything it just all broke on me. Oh yeah one last note, the Volcanion event for Pokemon XY and ORAS ends on October the 28th so don't forget to head to GameStop to pick up your codes!

See you on the next blog!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Crossing the Needles; Pokemon Cross Stitch and a Knitting Update.

What's going on everyone? Did you enjoy your weekend? Well today's Monday this means the start of a brand new week! So before I started knitting four weeks ago I already had a bit of experience with needles in the form of cross stitch. I learned how to cross stitch earlier on this year, as well as learning how to hand sew and using a sewing machine but I gotta admit that I need to do more of it. I don't actually have a finished cross stitch project yet but here's what I've been working on, it's a bookmark.


Look's awesome so far, right? The whole thing was designed by me on graph paper before I brought it to life using cross stitch. In the beginning this was just me testing out cross stitch, learning how to do it by making a little sample but I had this pretty awesome idea to make it a Pokémon themed bookmark. Because cross stitch is just like making a pixel sprite I used graph paper to make the Pokeball and Pikachu patterns. 



My favorite part I made on this bookmark has to be the Pikachu and it took me a bit to complete it, there was a lot of unpicking and reshaping involved to get him to fit right in the middle of the cloth. 


Now I don't know if you've already noticed but if you look you can see these orange/brown spots on the white cloth. This is actually rust and apparently when you leave your needle, or at least the needle I'm using I guess, it puts rust on the cloth. I have no idea how this happened really but I recommend you do NOT EVER leave your needles in the cloth for long periods of time. It's lucky that I'm covering all of it up so it won't show but if this was something I was leaving blank I would be in trouble.

My mum actually was the one to teach me cross stitch as she's done it quite a bit in the past. She prefers embroidery though and you can see some of her embroidery work on her blog. Cross stitching was a bit tricky in the beginning, I still have troubles remembering the way you have to move your needles through the cloth but after I get a few stitches done I get into a rhythm which makes it much easier. All I gotta do now on this bookmark is add variegated blue thread to make a sky like background and it'll be finished, I'll keep you all up to date on this and any new cross stitch projects I start up.

Now let's cross the needles (This was not an intentional Ghost Busters reference but I'm running with It.) and talk about knitting! You know that Christmas Dishcloth WIP I've been talking about the past couple of blogs? Well guess what I just finished...


It's finished! That's another WIP finished and I absolutely love how this turned out! (I actually posted a blog post on the day I started this right here) It ended up being rectangle instead of a square, I have no idea how this happened, it looked square before I casted off then once it was off the needle it turned rectangle. Regardless I love the mixture of colors from this yarn (I talk about the yarn on this blog post); it made it look perfect for Christmas and the Holidays. I had some difficulties on the cast off, I accidentally dropped a stitch while I was casting off which was a little scary. You can actually see me working on this dishcloth slightly on my very first ZAK Knits video! You can view it here. So yeah that's another project completed! I'm doing really well at completing my knitting projects, here's my entire collection of completed projects so far...


It's growing immensely and I'm already working on some new projects such as my new beanie, which is coming along nicely...


I'm calling this a Chocolate Vanilla beanie because of the colors I picked, they reminded me of... Well Chocolate covered Vanilla Ice Cream. You can see how I began as well as the yarns I'm using and pattern on Friday's blog post so go check it out if you want. I've gotten quite a bit on the colorwork and it wasn't as hard as I imagined. My yarn does get twisted around a lot though because of the switching of the colors but all that takes is a couple minutes of untwisting and I'm up and running again. 


My mum actually started up her own beanie with the same pattern so she could knit along with me but as you can see mum has gotten a tad bit ahead of me, this is because she's done colorworks quite a bit in the past, two of my beanies Mum knitted for me over the years are colorworks actually. So yeah I'm doing good on the beanie and I'm still adding more to Chrissie's baby blanket.

I have a new project I'm going to be starting within a day or two; I'm going to be knitting my first pair of socks! They will be just plain vanilla socks so nothing too crazy, I'll be using this yarn right here:

Copper Colors (57510) Patons Kroy Sock FX Sock Yarn
Mum recommended this next project to me because she believes it will be a great learning experience for me to at least make one sock as there's a lot of different knitting techniques and stitching you have to do in a sock (Mostly the heel and the toes) so I'm excited to start on them, I'll let you know on Friday about the progress if I begin the project. (Or Wednesday if I start the project today, who knows.)

So yeah that's about it on the needle work, I'm having lots of fun with these projects and hope you're having fun reading about them.

Before I wrap up for today I'm still playing the Pokemon Sun and Moon demo and there's still new things popping up every day so don't forget to pick up the demo when you can! Can't wait for the full versions though this demo was supposed to help me wait... But I think it's making me even more impatient. I'm still playing through my Zelda games as well, I've not been playing as much because of knitting and some busy things during the week but I'm still progressing. On Ocarina of Time 3D I just beat the Water Temple (The most confusing temple in the entire game might I add.) so I'm heading to the Shadow Temple now... Well after the well of course. On Twilight Princess I'm heading towards the first boss of the forest temple in the big tree, and on Skyward Sword I'm still after the Song of Hero pieces, I've been taking a break from that game for a bit so no progress there.

Anyway hope your Monday is awesome and hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

See you on the next blog!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Knitting a Beanie Plus a Chihuahua Story and Nintendo

"I walked over to the knitting needle chest, slowly undoing the catch and lifting the lid open. I eagerly reached into the size 7 needle section pulling out a short cable circular needle. It was time, time to take the next step into my knitting life. I was going to make... A Beanie Hat."

Hey everyone! Today's Friday once again and wow I've actually been running this blog for three weeks now. I've been enjoying writing this blog and it's definitely been a learning experience for me. It seems a lot of my blog posts are becoming multi topic blogs but that makes it more interesting right? I will still be doing single topic blogs but only when the topic is big enough so I'm not rambling.

Anyway to get things rolling let's talk about knitting! Now if you saw Monday's post I uploaded a brand new video of me actually knitting and talking about what I'm knitting. (You can view it here) I really enjoyed doing this video so new ZAK Knits are on the way! Now I actually have to update you all on the dishcloth I was working on in the video.. It's finished! Yup I finished it a couple of days ago so here it is.


It actually came out so much better then my first dishcloth. I'm very proud of myself, like holy moly I just completed another project. That's two projects done within two weeks. Now comparing it with my first crazy eights dishcloth there's a lot of difference.


On the right is my first finished dishcloth and the left one is my second dishcloth. I used the same yarn and needles for each of them, but because my gauge has become looser (I've been relaxing more so it's loosening up.) my newer one looks a lot nicer and doesn't have a dip in it like the first one.


My mum also finished her crazy eights dishcloth and even know my newer dishcloth had a lot looser gauge mum's still came out bigger. She told me it's because she's a super loose knitter and that my dishcloth is more to size.

Another item I was working on in that video was a Christmas themed Simple Dishcloth using a pattern by Spinfoolish on Ravelry. 



I'm just a little over halfway done on this and it's looking very much like Christmas. I absolutely love how the colors are coming out and the stockinette stitch makes it even better.

Now onto my brand new project.. So I've wanted to make one of these since I started but didn't want to start it until I had at least a couple of simpler projects done. I am making a beanie hat!


As of writing this I am 5 rows in but I did have a couple of hiccups in the beginning. Actually I even unpicked a whole row and switched patterns completely! In the beginning I was using a completely different pattern but it was a strange one and I didn't like how it was coming out so I casted on two extra stitches (112 in total... I have a big head.) and I switched my pattern to one by Cara Jo Miller on Ravelry. It's a Basic Norwegian Star Hat and you're probably going to ask "Why are you doing a colorworks as your first hat? Isn't that a bit advance?" well maybe it's me asking myself that... I know I shouldn't be doing colorworks so early in my knitting saga but I really love the pattern so I'm taking a dive and having a go at it, if it doesn't work well... I can always convert it to a normal beanie. The Yarn I'm using is Worsted Weight Caron Simply Soft H97003 Chocolate 9750 (No Dye Lot apparently), it's 100% Acrylic and the skeins have 315 yards (288 meters) of yarn in them and it weighs 6 ozs (170 g). I actually showed off this yarn I believe in my yarn stash blog last week. Now being that this is color works I'm using the same yarn for the colorwork but the color is Bone 9703. So it's going to be a brown and beige colorworks beanie. It should look pretty awesome in the end so I'm going to keep at it.

So putting down the needles now I have something to share. So I've always wanted to write stories and such. I've always had ideas swirling in my head for as long as I can remember but I've been a fool. A lot of my ideas I've never written down so a lot have been lost to time. I don't know why I put off putting my stories out there for so long, maybe it was lack of confidence? Recently, thanks to the blog and some other things I've been writing a lot. Putting things down in a writer's notebook for once and finally making my ideas a reality. This idea I'm about to share is a little... Very little one-shot I wrote randomly a couple of days ago. It's so short I don't even know if it counts as a story but I thought it was funny enough to share. It's about a Chihuahua who gets into mischief.


Parcels and the Chihuahua

There it sat on the coffee table, a small stack of unopened letters, lifeless and unknowing of the small blonde Chihuahua staring at it from across the room. The small pup licked his chops, he knew his owners were out of the room and the temptations were killing him, he wanted to tear the letters to shreds. He let out a whimper and edged closer, his owners would be furious but who would suspect him? Up until now he was viewed as an innocent cute puppy and the other dogs in the house would be blamed first. Who would suspect such a puppy with such big round eyes? He pounced up onto the table; he could take the temptations no more. A curly black poodle looked up at the Chihuahua, growling in an attempt to stop him but it was too late, the mail was in pieces and shreds.

So yeah there it is, I thought I would post it on the blog, I don't know if it was worth posting but I found it funny. I really want to post more of my short stories and even longer stories here (Longer then this one of course) so stay tuned for that.

Anyway now I gotta talk about this awesome new 3DS demo that was released...



Yup the Sun and Moon (Unlimited might I add, never runs out) demo was released last Tuesday. I talked about my impressions on this game in a way earlier blog post but the demo still blew me away with the huge graphical jump from X & Y to Sun & Moon. The game is so immersive it feels like you're actually in it. The demo may not have a huge amount to do in it (Hey, it's a free unlimited demo.) but it definitely gives you a good idea on what to expect from the main games.


I don't want to spoil anything from the demo so you should definitely check it out yourself by downloading it from the Nintendo 3DS eShop. You're given a special Pokemon that you can transfer to the main games once they release as well as some special items to send as well. It seems like there are new events that are going to be happening in the actual demo as there are people who say to come back in a certain amount of days. Also a certain group of people who I love so much make an appearance in the demo and I gotta say they have a bone to pick with you. *wink*


So yeah don't forget to check it out because I have no idea if these daily events are linked to the date or just the amount of days you've been playing it.

Still speaking about Nintendo they announced something HUGE! The Nintendo NX (I mentioned it in my Nintendo 64 blog) was finally revealed after a whole year of speculation as the Nintendo Switch! It's an awesome looking console/handheld hybrid with removable controllers. Here's the trailer so you can see the whole thing.



Amazing right? We still have no idea what the price of it will be but it's looking to be an amazing console and I will need to invest into this little beauty. I actually love the fact they're switching to cartridges (I know it means my Wii U games won't work on it but the console is small enough to fit in with my other consoles.) and the fact you can detach the screen and take it on the go is incredible. The Wii U gamepad was just a projection screen pretty much but this, all the hardware is actually built into the pad itself. You can detach the controllers for all sorts of options but it looks like they're releasing a traditional pro controller as well. 

Now the games.. Oh man have they got a lot of games and companies coming to the machine. What caught my eye the most was definitely that new Mario game. I gotta admit I'm a Mario nut I have so many Mario games and I love playing all of them. I've been a Mario nut since the N64 and my love for the red & blue plumber has not died. It kinda looks more like a Super Mario 64 type game unlike the previous Super Mario 3D World so I'm pretty excited to see more on it. How about we call it... Super Mario Switch? Sounds like a pretty cool name actually so Nintendo if you haven't named it yet hit me up I got some cool names, haha. Some other games they showed off was The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild which is coming to both the Switch and the Wii U, Skyrim, which was a huge surprise I didn't expect Skyrim to be coming to the Switch, Splatoon (Which I'm assuming is Splatoon 2), and a brand new Mario Kart. Now at first glance the new Mario Kart looks like Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U but it's probably in early developments and there was a lot of new stuff in those couple of seconds that tell me this is definitely not Mario Kart 8. Another thing I noticed that no one has actually pointed out is that there are Amiibos sitting on the TV table, so yeah Amiibos are back and usable on the Switch, yes?

One thing I'm not quite sure about is where does the Nintendo 3DS stand on this? This is clearly a successor to the Wii U but will the Nintendo 3DS still be around despite the fact that this is also a portable system? I have no idea but Nintendo has stated it's a home console first so I guess we'll have to wait and see. There's actually a lot they still haven't said but the console comes out March 2017 so they'll reveal more by then.

So I'm going to end this off for the day, this has been a really long blog and I hope it's not been too long... Week has been pretty busy and I suspect things will be getting busier for me over the next couple of weeks and months. I'm going to SWITCH back to knitting my hat... That was a really bad pun I am so so sorry.

See you on the next blog!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Lasagna & Pizza; an Italian Food Trip

Hello everyone!

So today I'm going to be making your mouths water once again with some yummy food dishes my family and I have made. Both of these are actually Italian dishes.

I've been learning and getting into cooking different meals and I seem to have found my specialty, Lasagna. Yeah I seem to be an Italian food lover so a lot of the meals I've cooked tend to fall under the Italian category.


Looks good, right? Yeah it's a Lasagna alright. I don't know whether it has everything people normally add into it or not but my mum was the one that taught me to make it so it's obviously great and I wouldn't change the recipe for the world.

I start off by adding some tomato sauce, because you need to be pretty saucy to cook Lasagna. After adding the whole tin I fill it up halfway with water and add that in as well, this normally gives it enough volume to where I don't run short on sauce when putting it all together at the end.

The seasonings I added was some Italian Seasoning, some Oregano to back it up, quite a bit of Onion Powder, Pepper, Salt, Worcestershire Sauce, and a tablespoon full of Honey. The last thing I put into the sauce is some black olives chopped up, because you can't forget them.


So after that I got out another saucepan and started cutting up some chicken into nice sized chunks while my sister chopped up some onions, green pepper, and mushrooms. This went in all together into one pan where I browned the chicken off.

Basically after browning off the chicken and making sure the onions were cooked enough I mixed the sauce into the chicken saucepan and let that cook for about an hour while I set up the water for the lasagna noodles.

Now here comes the fun part! (And also the messy part...) Putting the Lasagna together! Now the container I put it in allows for me to place three noodle strips per layer which worked out perfectly with the amount of noodles I cooked.


This is actually a three cheese Lasagna (My specialty), meaning I put a different cheese on each layer then place a bit of all three on top, while, of course, putting plenty of sauce on each layer. I got a bit messy, but this is normal, I mean all great chefs make a mess, right? Right?! Anyway, then it went into the oven then for about 20 minutes while I got some carrots and corn on the steamer (It's a wooden bamboo steamer). After 20 minutes I let it sit on the counter for a bit and then.. Voila! 


This Lasagna was probably my best yet and it was full of yummy tomato goodness. I would send all of you some.. but I really don't want to clean up the Internet. Email would get messy; Facebook would have a field day trying to clean it up if I sent it through there. Oh well maybe one day someone will invent the Tasternet.

Anyway to wrap up this Italian themed food blog.. My mum, my sister, and I made Pizza, a REALLY good Pizza, two Pizzas to be precise.

These two pizzas were made using dough made from scratch with the same kind of sauce I used for the Lasagna, though it was tweaked a bit to taste more like Pizza sauce of course. We sprinkled black olives, cooked up onions, green peppers and mushrooms with some mozzarella cheese and pepperoni to top it off. They were really good and proved my everlasting love for Pizza was still going strong.

Anyway that's about it for today's blog, so hope you enjoyed! There is one last thing I want to mention actually.. The Pokémon Sun and Moon demos actually came out yesterday. I've been playing it through so I'll be talking about it a bit on Friday but there's actually certain events happening in the demo on certain days. Today is one of those days so make sure you pick up the demo if you're interested because there are a lot of cool items you can get to transfer to the main games when they release! You might wanna try talking to the guy out front the Pokémon center *wink* *wink*. 

Also another reminder that my sister, who I mentioned in this blog, is actually running her own blog now. She's an awesome artist and you will love her work. She blogs about her work at the blog Lady AnnaVintage.

So yeah hope you enjoyed! Hope I made you hungry too, hahaha. Anyway...

See you in the next blog!

Monday, October 17, 2016

My First Knitting Video; Plus Yummy Food and a Pokémon reminder!

Hey everyone! Today's Monday so I'm starting off the week with a brand new video! This video completely breaks the mold of what I normally make. I've made my first knitting video where I demonstrate me doing a section of my second Autumn Dishcloth I'm currently making go to along with my first completed project. I also do a row on and show off my Simple Dishcloth project which I'm using Peaches & Creme Yuletide cotton (Shown off in an earlier blog) to make it with.


I was actually really nervous when I made this video, I have no idea why, I guess it's because I've never done something like this before. Hopefully the video wasn't too long but I plan on making more of these kinds of videos so improvements are going to happen definitely. In a way these videos will probably end up like audio blogs with me knitting as the background. I actually recorded this on saturday and edited it saturday night through to sunday night so it's taken quite a bit to get ready. This is actually the longest video I've ever done before. Anyway hope you enjoyed the video! Don't forget to subscribe for more videos like this and all the other cool videos I'm going to be making in the future.

Also if you haven't read them yet here are my previous knitting blog posts talking about my projects:

ZAK Week Wrap Up: Knitting, DC Superheroes, Mysterious Antique Car, Zelda and Food!





Now onto what you actually came here for, some yummy food! Yes I'm talking about food again; I'll try to not make you too hungry. Over the past couple days I've had some pretty awesome dishes, one of them is my mum's homemade Quiche, which is a french pie dish.



It's made using eggs, bacon, mushrooms, onions, cheddar cheese, and milk mixed into a pie shell and baked in the oven, well that's what we put into our Quiche at least.


Alongside the Quiche we had spicy seasoned sweet potato chips, they were REALLY good. Funny story though when making these we normally put paprika onto the chips along with all the other seasonings BUT we goofed and accidentally put chili powder on them. I mean the containers for paprika and chili powder look exactly the same so whoops. Luckily though I found out that chili powder is actually a normal thing people put on their chips so it turned out to be really good in the end. The other seasonings we put on the chips were onion powder, some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.



Here's the full dish, we also added a mini stir fry on the side which included green beans, carrots, mushrooms, and onions. I really wish I added corn (I was in charge of the veggies and stir fry while my mum and sister handled the rest) I think that would've made it perfect but it was great regardless.

We actually have this meal often because it's one of our favorites but we like to switch it up with different side dishes to keep it interesting.

After supper we had some Rocky Road Ice Cream to finish off the day.


So coming off of food, Pokémon currently has two events running. If you go to GameStop you can pick up Volcanion until October 28th and if you go on Mystery Gift online you can receive Keldeo until October 24th, so don't forget to pick them up! Also the Pokémon Sun and Moon demo is coming out tomorrow. I'm pretty excited for it and I will probably talk about that in Friday's blog.

Anyway I'm going to end this blog off for the day, hope you enjoyed the video! I'm sorry for getting this blog up a bit later then normal but I had to completely re-render the video and the upload took over three hours and the processing even longer.

There's a new episode of Supergirl tonight by the way so check it out at 7 PM central 8 PM eastern time on the CW.

Tomorrow's blog will probably be my long awaited Lasagna blog so stay tuned and..

See you on the next blog!

Friday, October 14, 2016

ZAK Week Wrap Up: Knitting, DC Superheroes, Mysterious Antique Car, Zelda and Food!

Hey everyone! Today's Friday so I thought I would just do an in general life blog with multiple topics as a wrap up to the week, I think I'm going to do this every week so I can throw in all the things that wouldn't fit into a single topic blog that happens in my life. Okay so I'm actually writing this on Thursday evening but you won't see this until today (That last sentence hurt my brain for some reason) so when I say "today" I'm talking Thursday, I'll try not to confuse you. This week has been the first week that I've implemented the Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule. It has been a lot easier for me, I'm able to write a blog the day before and have it go up on a schedule without stressing out over getting a blog up every day.

So this week I've been busy with mostly knitting stuff. I finished my first project on Sunday, getting the blog post talking about the entire process up on Monday. I have actually started a second dishcloth using the same pattern and yarn so I can have a matching set and use them as cool autumn/thanksgiving doilies. I was doing some knitting on that second dishcloth in the car and it wasn't as tough knitting mobile as I thought it would be, though don't worry I wasn't actually driving while knitting. I (not intentionally) conned my mum into letting me see her knitting stash and she gave me some yarn for my own stash and some needles, you can read about it on my blog post from Wednesday.



Today I got my pattern needles and started on a brand new dishcloth. It's going to be a simple square dishcloth and I will be using a pattern by Spinfoolish on Ravelry. If you remember I showed off some Peaches & Creme yarn skeins in an earlier blog, I'm going to be using the "Yuletide" yarn for this square dishcloth. This pattern requires you to purl so mum taught me how and I seemed to of pick up on it pretty easily, it looks like I'm good to go on this dishcloth! I'll keep everyone up to date on this and my other projects so stay tuned! Oh um yeah I'm currently looking around for some knitting podcasts to listen too, one of the ones I found I'm going to give a go is called the Knitmore Girls so I'll check them out and let you know how I feel on their podcast.

Moving on from knitting.. (This is easy to segway from because I was knitting while watching these shows) So I'm actually a big superhero fan and I'm going to be talking about stuff related to that a lot on the blog in the future and there are some pretty awesome Superhero shows on TV right now such as Supergirl which I watched the season 2 premiere of on Monday. I thought it was pretty good actually, a few people thought the last season wasn't great apparently but I really enjoy this show, and I've been a big Supergirl/Superman (Mostly TV cartoons not comics) fan for as long as I can remember. There's a new character being introduced and not to spoil anything but you're gonna love who it is. I Watched Flash Season 3's premiere last Tuesday as well as the second episode this week they were pretty cool, the first episode seemed kind of pointless but watching the second episode I realized how important the first episode was to the entire DC TV universe. Flash Season 2 was a mixed bag for me, I loved parts and didn't like some other parts of it (I did not like Zoom at all..), but this new season is looking to be pretty awesome with some characters introduced previously getting new powers and such. Poor Cisco gets the ol drama hammer though. Lastly I watched Legends of Tomorrow's Season 2 premiere Thursday (Today for me) and I can actually say this was my favorite episode out of all three new shows I watched this week (I didn't watch Arrow but I'm starting to wonder whether I should give the show a chance again and catch up on season 3 and 4.) All the characters (minus three) from the previous season have returned so far with the addition of a new team member. A whole group of characters make their appearance and my favorite villain from the Flash Season 1 made an appearance and I believe will be a main villain for the rest of the season. The entire show was thrilling, funny, and just plain awesome so give it a shot when you get the time!

Anyway before Legends of Tomorrow a oldish movie aired on TV called Serpico. 
It's an 1973 Crime Drama film starring Al Pacino as Frank Serpico an idealistic New York Cop who gets placed in all sorts of dangerous situations by his partners. I've never actually seen this movie before but it's pretty awesome movie if you want to watch a Crime Drama and Al pulls off his character wonderfully so it's a great watch. I had no idea it was based on a real story but it was definitely one of the better movies I've watched in awhile. This movie made me want to watch some more crime dramas involving cops.


Coming off the TV and Movie topics I have a MYSTERIOUS ANTIQUE CAR ALERT!


So we were out today and I snapped a photo of this car on my phone as it was pulling out. It was too sudden to get a better photo and I've been trying to find out what kind of car this is. After doing some research I have found it's a strong possibility that it's a four dour 1940s Plymouth of some kind but I would love it if someone could comment on the post or let me know via social media if they know what kind of car this is! It's pretty flashy and I wish I owned it myself, haha.

Now on to what I'm currently playing in Video Games.. Well I've been in quite a Zelda mood lately so I've been playing Ocarina of Time on my 3DS as well as Skyward Sword on my Wii U. I talked about Ocarina of Time on my ZAK's Currently Playing blog and this is kind of a mini Currently Playing blog. I said I wasn't going to start up any new Zelda playthroughs until I was finished with one of the two but I couldn't resist and started up a playthrough of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess which I can safely say is my favorite Zelda game in the franchise.


I just love the story and the characters of this game, and the art style and gameplay is pretty awesome. I play using the Wii version so I'm using the Wiimote and Nunchuck. I know a lot of people prefer the new HD remake for the ability to play with the gamepad but I'm quite happy with the old Wiimote setup.

Switching over to Pokemon a quick reminder, the Volcanion event for Pokemon XY and ORAS has begun, you can go to your local GameStop to pick up a card with a code on it to receive your Volcanion! Don't forget to pick him up because I think it only lasts until October 28th.

Now you read the title and probably said "Food?!" yes, I will be talking about food on this blog as well. I can make you all suffer with hunger now, muwahahaha. Well Wednesday was a pretty foodie kind of day. If you're following me on instagram I had this really awesome lunch that I don't normally have.

A photo posted by Zach Kuhn (@zmanstarz) on

Yeah this is a toasted griddle cheese sandwich with tortilla chips and picante dip. It was soooo good I need to have this more often! Later that day I made up one of my special lasagnas and that was also so good that I'm dedicating an entire blog post to it next week. So yeah I love food, so food will be on this blog. I'm also trying to make and cook a lot more meals so you can join me on my journey through foodhood.

Anyway time to wrap this up this got pretty long, hopefully I didn't drag on too much, I had a lot to talk about but I didn't want any of this in separate posts as by themselves I didn't think they would be long enough. Next week I have plans to talk about what camera I use for my photos/videos I also have some new videos coming out next week. You may see more than one blog post on certain posting days as I got a lot of big stuff I want to get out soon and I only post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so multiple posts per day will probably happen every so often. One last thing, if you noticed I suddenly have ads on my blog. I hope they're not ruining the experience of my blog but I have become an affiliate with Knit Picks, it's an awesome website for knitting equipment and yarn and my mum has a long time (like long long time) shopper of Knit Picks. With me starting up knitting a lot of my yarn and equipment is also coming from there because, well they have great deals. So enjoy your weekend and..

See you on the next blog!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Day I Raided My Mum's Knitting Stash

Hello and welcome.

Today I travel to the deep forest of Knitopia looking for a specific species of yarn.. A dangerous land full of wondrous creatures known as... Yarn Skeins. These "skeins" despite the former description of wondrous can be very savage, especially with me. You see I normally am not allowed to come into this forest and today may be my only chance. The creatures are only friendly towards themselves and the ruler of these lands, my mum. I hope I make it out alive to be able to document this experience, the world must know about these wonderful Yarn Skeins..

Zachary

October 11th, 2016

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Anyway, hey everyone! So after finishing my first knit project I've been looking up new ideas for stuff I want to knit, so my mum actually let me into her knit stash yesterday to pick out different yarns and patterns for me to try out.. With parental supervision of course, I wouldn't be allowed in her on my own, haha.


I never realized how much yarn mum really had stashed away in trunks and bags, and there's even more buried under all this. There's a lot of yarn of all sorts of types here but you wouldn't actually know this was all there at first glance as she keeps it all sealed up in these trunks. Mum has been collecting this lot for years.


These are some of the yarns mum gave me to use for projects. I actually have an idea for the yarn on top, as the yarn is an Lion Brand afghan yarn I was going to make a throw rug with some cool fuzzy yarn knitted in on the end rows.. Speaking of fuzzy yarn.. When looking through the stash we had a bit of a yarn explosion..


Yeah.. I think my mum's yarn tried to attack me. This is like a big mixture of scrap yarn and small balls of yarn. Mum calls it a "yarn barf" and it sure looks like it. It's actually pretty with all the colors but a pain to untangle it all. I think some yarn monkeys are behind this, those silly fellers.

Going back through the yarn stash I got some more yarn for future projects and got to see some pretty snazzy and expensive yarn such as these Lorna's Laces skeins


And this skein of Rohrspatz & Wollmeise yarn



These are part of the "NO TOUCH ZONE" collection of yarn, I am not allowed to touch these as long as I live, haha. I don't even think mum wants to touch them because they're so expensive. The Rohrspatz is actually 100% Merino Superwash and this specific skein is a really nice purple color.

We had a little visitor pop in while we were going through the stash..


Alfie our Chihuahua apparently wants to be a yarn dog. How can you resist that face? I want to knit some toys for this little guy (Okay he's not very little) and maybe a sweater for the winter.


Anyway here's what I came out with in the end. Mum has officially given me all this yarn to start my own stash. This big is filled to the brim with all sorts of yarn I'm going to be using for upcoming projects. Here's some of the yarn in my stash!


This is a Silver Sage Knit Picks Comfy Sport Weight 2 skein of 136 yards (50 g). The lot number is 2486 and color number is 8062. I have plans on making a washcloth with this as its very soft and works perfectly for washcloths.

These are some Chocolate (9750) Caron Simply Soft Acrylic yarn. It's worsted medium 4 weight, 4 ply and each skein is 6 oz (170 g) big with 315 yards (288 meters). There actually isn't a dye lot on this one actually. I have some Bone colored yarn of this same type that I want to mix with this for some sort of cool project.


Here is some Copper Colors (57510) Patons Kroy Sock FX Sock Yarn that's 4 ply and super fine 1. It's 1.75 oz (50 g) and has about 166 yards (125 m). Not all these balls of yarn are full though as my mum used them once for one of her projects. These are also 75% machine washable wool and 25% Nylon. The Dye lot is 243457. I'm going to be using these balls of yarn for my first sock project so stay tuned for when I start that!


Following that are some Bernat 3 oz (85 g), 184 yard (168 m), medium 4 Stardust Swirl yarn skeins (Lot number is 164139)


Last but not least are some Lion Brand Homespun Afghan yarn. It's 6 oz (170 g), 185 yards (169 m), Bulky 5 yarn. The color is 318 Sierra (Art #790) but the two balls on the left actually have different dye lots then the ones on the right. The ones on the left has the dye lot 15218 and the ones on the right have the dye lot 979807. My mum tells me this is because these are from two different batches of dyed yarn. It actually confused me at first but I can actually see a slight different between the two when I look closely. I have an idea on using some of this yarn for a throw rug with some frizzy yarn knitted into the end rows.

I have a few other yarn skeins in my stash but these are the ones I'm going to be using in the near future. My mum found me out some cool patterns and I've been looking through ravelry for some as well. 

Oh one last thing! Mum gave me this set of knitting needles.


These are some Aero needles from Redditch England. According to mum she got these about 36 years ago so they have a lot of history to them, they're way older then me. There's all sorts of sizes in here.

I'm really grateful for mum giving me all this yarn, needles and helping me begin knitting and I'm excited for what the future will bring as I take another step forward into Knitdom (Is this a word? If not it is now).

Don't forget to check me out on my Ravelry you can find the link in the "Follow me on social media" bar on the right side of the blog! I post my projects and stash there.

See you in the next blog!