Author Archives: R.K. Modena

About R.K. Modena

Writer, artist, mom, all the rest is icing and sprinkles on the cake.

Trying something new

Mocha Chiffon Roll Cake with Mocha Italian Meringue Buttercream

So tomorrow is Brandon’s birthday, and I decided to make a mocha chiffon cake roll using  this recipe. It was me trying out new things, all things I haven’t done before: chiffon cake, roll cake and Italian meringue buttercream – all things I was scared to do because they’re easy to mess up. I’m happy to say that my fears were overcome! I’m still not super awesome at frosting the cakes, and the roll wasn’t very smooth in rolling, but from the nibble of crumb that I had, the cake is delicious, and it was sooooo fluffy!!!

It’s a Filipino style mocha cake – there’s no chocolate involved here.

We’re having fried chicken for the lunch; it’s marinating in buttermilk right now; and then I’ll be making cookies and cream cake for Vincent (well, devil’s food sponge with cookies and cream cream cheese frosting.)

Looking forward to having the roll cake tomorrow!

On Intelligence – seeing the world a little sideways

So, recently on Twitter, there was a link to a story about a dolphin that had learned to bring back trash for fish. This is not new; a dolphin named Mr. Spock did much the same (the link also has other detailed examples of dolphin intelligence.) Riffing off the Star Trek bit, this article opines that the only reason that dolphins haven’t destroyed us is because of the lack of opposable thumbs.

Mate, Australian raptor birds are waaaay ahead of the dolphins. Okay, granted, they’re flushing out prey but apparently this is not new behaviour. Continue reading

Geeky delights

Eldest son had his birthday recently, and of course, got presents. He’s older now, and it’s actually easier to buy him things, given his recent introduction to manga – he blew through the various ones I have that we parents deemed okay for him. He loves Card Captor Sakura – we pushed to get the 4 omnibus set; and is excited to learn that CCS: Clear Card is currently ongoing. His response when he found out that Skip Beat! isn’t over yet: “NOOOOOO!!! I have to wait!” Sometime recently he asked me if there were going to be any more books in Dave Freer’s Dragon Ring series (I don’t know.) and soon he’ll be old enough to be introduced to Monster Hunter International, and later, The Dresden Files.

Reading boy = happy parents.

He also loves video games, of course, but we don’t go out of the way to get the latest and the newest consoles (our house has a Sega Dreamcast, a Nintendo 64, Xbox 360/1, I thiiink we have a PS2, but that thing isn’t hooked up and is somewhere… maybe a PS3 now, inherited from my brother-in-law) because we tend to play on PC for the most part (insert PC Master Race joke here), but it’s the holidays.

Well, this was his big pressie – a full scale display model (ergo, it’s purely decorative and not sharp) of Frostmourne, the sword of Arthas the Lich King. Aff got him a small Arthas figure and some awesome tech swag – a desk-mat, a Genji themed mouse, and Heroes of the Storm Turtle Beach headsets – sort of a mix of birthday and Christmas pressies, really.

The sword replica is almost as big as he is too, and he had problems lifting it, remarking repeatedly that it was heavy and huge and he couldn’t imagine how Arthas would swing it around… then his father picked it up one handed, to his glee and delight.

We’ll have a ‘proper’ party for when some friends will be around (School holidays = kiddies go off to Grandparents to visit, usually.)

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Life imitates Game?

Back when I was in college/early days of working, there was a little game called Pandemic. It had a quirky premise: you are a disease, and your goal was to kill everyone on the planet, before they shut down flights and ships, and before someone created a vaccine and started inoculating people against you. It was a fun little game that you could do while doing homework especially if you were doing several typos and needed a short break. Surprisingly, it was actually conducive to productivity since you had to wait a while before your mutations and evolutions took effect and while you were waiting, you could keep working. I introduced this game to several of my online friends, and since we’re of the geeky and usually rather busy sort, this was a game with plenty of appeal. We could let it run in the background while we were typing up homework or researching, and then take little breathers. If I had to come up with an equivalent, it’s like running for 15 minutes then jogging for 5.

Screenshot from Steam; this is the current version of the game.

Now, if you were playing on Normal and up, you would get a random country to start in. Pretty quickly we found out that if you started ANYWHERE but Madagascar, you couldn’t win the game, because Madagascar would shut down its ports and airport at the slightest hint of epidemics. My AIM messages over a while were variations on “Dammnit, Shadow, I hate you for introducing me into this game, it’s awesome, but FUCKING MADAGASCAR.” Yeah, it was that fun, and I laughed a lot, because I knew the other person was also getting work done.

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Art Posts

Updated my deviantart for the first time in a very long time. Paid commission work done while giving eyes a rest from other work. I expect to work through the holidays, personally, but this is a good thing, in my opinion.

 

Manager Sophie An updated commission of the previous Sophie image. Photoshop.

Elf Warrior Kate  Done almost completley using Clip Studio Pro.

Jennifer is Shopping  Done in Photoshop.

 

Working with Clip Studio is FUN. Like, woah, once you get it set up the way you want, and figure out some things, it’s really neat to play around with. The brushes are admittedly kinda scary to create and are not as easy to make new brushes with but at the same time, there’s stuff on Clip Studio that is unique to it. It’s really good with lineart work too. I got the more expensive version as a Christmas/Birthday present to myself some years back but it’s only now that I’ve been able to run it.

Thank goodness that Clip Studio is being managed by the Japanese again and doesn’t have that near constant ‘no, I’m a legit copy’ callback that needed to happen with MangaStudio that was STUPID, ate up resources AND  bandwidth and pretty much assumed nobody else lived where you were or shared the Net.

I am looking forward to see what I can create with this.

 

Figures worth collecting

One of the figure that I preordered over the past year arrived today at last. Orders for it began sometime last year and I saved up the funds to pay for it when it was finally released.

The figure in question is Card Captor Sakura Stars Bless You figure.

Card Captor Sakura - Stars Bless You complete figure

image from Hobby Search Japan

I’ve long been a fan of the Card Captor Sakura series of manga and anime; and this was something my daughter grew up on. I haven’t yet unboxed the figure in question – only looked at it to make sure that it wasn’t in any way damaged. Happily, this figure arrived in perfect condition, and was well worth saving for.

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