Ethereal Light: First Person Adventure Story

A Story Begins

So I’ve had this idea for a while. I wanted to film a first person scene where I run around and climb things. For this project I had no idea what the story would be until I was editing and in the midst of filming. I drove down to the local university, strapped my camera to my chest, and started running around.

Ethereal Light

The Story

So the story I came up with was pretty simple. While hanging out our protagonist finds something slightly out of the norm. He then is confronted by those who try to prevent him from taking this mysterious object. While fleeing from his pursuers, our completely silent protagonist, finds himself aided by the object itself. In my own mind I see it as a story of a more militarized future and an object with special powers.

The Biggest Challenge

I’m not an editor. It took no time at all for me to plan a route to run and actually film it. Coming up with a story and concept also came quickly. Learning to do some basic editing and working with after effects was a challenge for me and consumed close to 90% of the time I put into the project.

A Different Filming Challenge

A second challenge I faced was actually filming, but not for the reason you may think. I was getting a bit of anxiety and was worrying about what people would think of me. It’s not everyday that people see someone strap a phone to their chest and run around. It was a completely ill-found anxiety, especially considering I was filming right next to the dramatic art building. As soon as the camera was rolling and I was running around that anxiety disappeared. It just goes to prove how fleeting and illogical anxiety can be. The only thing people said to me were things like, “wow, you’re full of energy” or “that’s a cool idea, what are you working on?” Yet, in my head I was figuring people would immediately view me in a negative light.

A First Person Adventure

I truly loved making this short video, though I wish someone else would’ve tackled the editing portion. It pushed me ever so slightly out of my comfort zone, but also gave me complete creative freedom. I wanted to do something and I did it; that’s what matters most. If there’s something you want to do, just go do it and have fun.

Hidden Logan Trailer

“Wait, there was an additional trailer for Logan?”

The new movie, Logan, had a hidden trailer that not many people knew about. Marvel only aired this trailer in a few select places and I was lucky enough to be one of the people to see it. I did some digging and was actually able to get a copy of it. Logan was a phenomenal movie and I personally enjoyed it quite a bit. If you haven’t had a chance to go set it yet you’re missing out.

“Show us the trailer Shane!”

There’s no need to yell, but since I love you guys I won’t make you scroll any further.

Very Mild Spoiler Warning

I personally loved this movie’s take on Old Man Logan. It made me laugh, cry, and feel every emotion possible. The movie itself didn’t have a super riveting story, but that was the beauty of it. Professor X was getting old, Wolverine lost his will to live, and a mysterious girl entered the picture. The villains in Logan weren’t overly captivating. I never found myself unable to predict what would happen next, even when I really really didn’t want one thing to happen. The movie was fairly easy to follow. That’s where my critique ends. Logan was a movie devoted entirely to character development and spectacularly so. Wolverine, Professor X, and X23 were so well developed that even if the main villain was Jello I’d still be sold. The amazing cinematics, high intensity fights, and perfectly timed moments of comedy between the bloodshed made for a nearly perfect film.

The Hidden Logan Trailer

“You tricked us Shane.”

I apologize for tricking you. I had a lot of fun making a silly trailer for Logan and wanted to share it with the world. Since this is my blog I can do what I want here. That includes tricking you into watching a silly and completely ridiculous trailer for Logan that I made while sitting in Starbucks.

Have an awesome day everyone! Love you all!

Back in Action: Gym Time

It’s good to be back

I truly love spending time at the gym; it is honestly my happy place, but I had to take some time off. Today marks the fifth day of returning to my normal training program. About two months ago I injured my right trap and shoulder and it finally healed up a week ago. I haven’t been able to work out for a month and had about a month of really rocky workouts. I lost 15 pounds (not in the good way) and my body fat went up a little bit over this time.

Tap your heels and repeat “there’s no place like the gym, there’s no place like the gym.”

The gym is my home

Being back felt amazing. The gym is really a therapeutic place for me, and I honestly view it as my “me” time. I know a lot of people desire the “end result” from physical training, but in my opinion the journey is what’s most important. People are always looking for a “get in shape fast with absolutely no effort” type of program. I hate to burst your bubble, but those don’t exist. It’s going to take work, but you can make it enjoyable. There are stages everyone goes through in their fitness journey.

Stage 1: You start a fitness journey

So you wanted that “beach bod” and signed up for a gym membership and personal trainer. You bought 32 kilograms of whey protein (I like Optimum Nutrition or anything by Canadian Protein). Now you’re ready to achieve greatness. A few months go by and you don’t see the immediate results you want so you quit the gym and pour your protein into the nearest lake. Sure, you didn’t see that flawless six pack you were promised, but you failed to notice the overall improvement in your life.

Beach bod required

Stage 2: You decide not to give up on exercise

You’ve been at it for 3 months, and despite not being ridiculously shredded already (good things take time my friend) you decide to stay at the gym. You begin to think a little more clearly (exercise will do that) and you don’t get winded walking around at work (again exercise will do that). You’ve even made a few friends that you frequently see at the gym (people are scheduled and habitual, trust me). The gym is starting to feel a little less scary.

Stage 3: Your first noticeable gains

It’s finally happened; you got your noob gains. This is when you start looking in the mirror and noticing that you are looking healthier. Your bench press has gone up along with almost all of your other lifts. You feel on top of the world (cherish this moment, it doesn’t last forever). The gym has started to feel like home. You fist bump the other 4:30pm regulars and the staff starts knowing you by name.

Stage 4: More gains, more addiction, more insecurity

As your gains go up you find yourself completely addicted to the gym, but also notice your insecurities skyrocketing. People say things like, “you look great,” and you can’t help but think “my traps need a little work, so do my biceps, and chest, and…” You’ve attained “an athletic build” and feel the healthiest you ever have.

Stage 5: The bro phase

You start to forget what the world outside the gym looks like. You sleep in a hammock fastened between the squat racks. Everyone is  a “bro” to you, even your female friends. You only eat protein (it’s delicious, I don’t blame you). You’ve achieved the elusive six pack you initially set out for, but you don’t care because you can still fit through doorways and occasionally float in pools. People are starting to worry about you.

Never give up

Stage 6: The end is near

People are worried about you. The only thing you can talk about is the gym. You quit your job because it was interfering with your gains. You are massive, but severely insecure; if your biceps were bigger you wouldn’t have a reason to be insecure. You desire a relationship, but can’t find one, you’re not good enough. What girl would want you with those lats? The gym is your life. You look like you could compete in world class bodybuilding competitions, but all you can see is someone who never got asked to dance in middle school. You vaguely recall a time when you were happy back when you first got your noob gains.

What do you do now?

Know that you are awesome right now, just as you are. Going to the gym won’t change who you are, but can help you live a longer, healthier, happier life. Don’t be hard on yourself; make progress, but enjoy the journey more than anything else. Whatever you do find a program that works for you and make sure you enjoy it.

Top 7 Ways To Know You Aren’t Really An Adult When Your Age Says You Are

Being An Adult Is Hard

It’s no surprise that a lot of “adults” in their 20’s and 30’s are struggling to find their way in the adult world. Perhaps it was video games, parents that told us we can do whatever we want, or just not wanting to work real jobs, but we are struggling to be “mature” adults. Now that we have laid down a quick description it’s time for the list.

1. You’re sense of humour is on point

Alright this may seem a little odd since everyone has a sense of humour, right? Wrong. As a perpetual child adult you find humour in all situations. You can rock terrible dad jokes and have them actually turn out funny. What is the reason for our amazing sense of humour? In my opinion the internet is at fault. With websites like YouTube and any crazy person being allowed to post whatever they want we have been able to hone in on our sarcasm, cynicism and wit.

2. You have more fun with toys than kids

You likely find yourself having Nerf gun wars that would put the child version of you to shame. Toys have improved and we are envious that we didn’t have foam bullets that traveled at 300 mph when we were children. We are able to go buy whatever we want now and toys have gotten amazing. Have you heard of fidget toys or fidget spinners? I discovered these toys a few months ago and they quickly became some of my favourite things ever. If there is one thing that I find actually helps my ADHD it’s these bad boys.

Nerf or nothing baby

3. You don’t want to work a “normal” job

Gone are the days of working a job that doesn’t matter to you. Our generation wants to make a difference, we want to live a life that matters. I would go completely crazy if all I ever accomplished was building cars and making decent money. Our parents excelled in this area, but personally I’d rather work in a cafe surrounded by interesting people again. We often enjoy jobs where we get to work from home, start our own business, or be our own boss.

4. You make people shake their heads

Whether it’s your wicked sense of humour, your constant YouTube puppet shows, your rebellious attitude, or your inability to pay attention; older people will not understand you. We like all things weird and truly embrace that.

5. You forgive easily

A lot of the things on the list could be argued as a positive or a negative. This can only be seen as a positive. Just like our actual children counterparts we choose to believe the best in people. We are a generation that really cares about people more than things and it shows in our ability to forgive.

6. You have weird skills

We are a curious bunch. It’s likely because we have been in school from the time we are children and live in a time where university and college are common. We like to learn, but often hate schooling and because of that we waste a lot of time learning useless, but really cool skills. Whether you have mastered spinning a pen, can play a mean guitar, throw cards like a boss, or can juggle flaming chainsaws; you truly desire to be unique and your hobbies and skills reflect it. You are a rockstar at what you do, but lets just hope nobody ever expects us to handle “real world” tasks like banking and taxes.

7. You realize life is short

We are a group of people that realize life is short and want to have fun and take chances. Waiting until we retire to start living life isn’t something we desire. We travel, we play, we explore, we love, we lose. It’s part of who we are.

It’s About To Get Magical

Mall Magic

I have commented before about how life can be a daily adventure and today I went on one of those adventures. I went out to a few locations with my friends Matt and Josh and we recorded some magic tricks I performed for strangers. Magic has this phenomenal way of bringing strangers together. I truly believe that a magic trick delivered with confidence is the greatest ice breaker.

Wait you got kicked out of the mall?

We weren’t doing anything wrong or creating a commotion or anything of that sort. The people we showed magic tricks to were actually having a lot of fun. A security guard approached us and said that we couldn’t film in the mall without a permit. Everyone watching was really bummed out by his interference. It wasn’t the security guard’s fault, he just didn’t want to get in trouble for not enforcing the rules he was supposed to. He ended up coming back towards the end of my mini-set and watched the final trick (he was all smiles and really enjoying it). He enthusiastically told us that we could talk to some of the mall managers when they come in this week and they will give us a permit to record there. We left the mall and ended up finding a few other places to film.

Where else did you try to film?

Starbucks had no issue with us recording and actually encouraged the entertainment (this is why we love you Starbucks). We also attempted to do some magic at the local movie theater. Initially one manager told us that it was completely fine. Within minutes a second manager approaches us and put an end to the magic.

Do you have any footage I can see now?

Of course my beautiful reader. I’ll toss a nice little sample here for you to watch. Also be on the lookout here on my blog for the final video once I get it edited.

Do you have any recommendations for beginners?

If I could tell you one thing that has helped me become a better performer it would be “just go for it.” You will fail occasionally at the start, but that is fine. Nobody ever got good at something by not doing it. Approaching strangers still makes my nervous at times, but it gets easier and is worth it. Overcome that fear and pursue your dreams. Go get yourself some nice cards, read some books, and get started.

Reviewing “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Switch Edition”

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I’ve been playing the newest installment of The Legend of Zelda on the Nintendo Switch. In my opinion Breath of the Wild has taken a different direction from most of the Zelda series.

LoZ: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Gameplay

The game handles surprisingly well. It plays and feels like a Zelda game should, but has almost a Dark Souls feel at times. Maybe it’s just a personal thing because I am a huge fan of the Souls games. It is challenging, combat is fun and fluid, the puzzles are perfect, it ads some really cool new mechanics (like cooking), and the open world aspect deserves it’s own section for review. I would love to give it a perfect 10/10 for gameplay, but there is just a few issues (minor ones) that make it a little less than perfect.

The biggest issue I have is the speed with which weapons and shields break. Everything has a durability and will find itself disappearing from your inventory eventually. Maybe I’m just bitter because I want my beautifully massive fire sword back. The only other issue I have is there are times when the camera feels slightly less intuitive than I’d like. I’m sure this is a finesse thing that I’ll get a hang of eventually.

Overall the gameplay scores a 9.5/10

The Open World

This has been a huge highlight in Zelda: Breath of the Wild for me. I’ve explored waterfalls, villages, heart-shaped ponds, and jumped off of cliffs multiple kilometers high. The items you get facilitate an even more enjoyable adventure throughout the world. Hang gliding on a leaf and forcing a makeshift boat to hurl along at 700mph are both inexplicably enjoyable. I’ve encountered multiple side missions and explored as many shrines as I could, often avoiding the main story to do so. I’m admittedly a little biased as my favourite part in Majora’s Mask was running around doing all the side missions and collecting the masks.

Overall the open world scores a 10/10

Graphics

There isn’t a whole lot to write here, but it’s worth noting. Everything in Breath of The Wild is stunning and beautiful. The mountains, structures, and characters are all gorgeous and there is no doubt in animation style that you are playing a Zelda game.

Overall the graphics score a 9.5/10

Story and Dialogue

So far I have been extremely impressed with the dialogue. It is witty, sarcastic, full of dramatic irony, and just flat out fun. *Spoiler* I thoroughly enjoyed meeting a meek individual who fell in love with an aggressive and brutish woman at first sight. The dialogue left no question about who was wearing the pants in that relationship. The fact that I could refuse to answer questions and simply reply “paraglider please” after putting in more effort than initially explained was brilliant *Spoiler Done*. Overall the dialogue is the result of a generation of sarcastic and witty video gamers growing up and turning into game creators. In the cut scenes the characters are voiced and that leads me to the only negative I can think. I truly would have enjoyed having all dialect voiced (except Link’s iconic silent stance on situations). I know this breaks the rule set by Nintendo for Zelda and Pokemon, but hey I’m getting to old to read in my video games.

The story in Breath of the Wild is fun and follows the classic Zelda scheme. It doesn’t take a lot to figure out what’s going to happen, but it’s fun nonetheless. You won’t be racking your brain trying to figure out the mystery of the story, instead you’ll just enjoy the simplicity and fun of it all.

Overall the dialogue scores a 9.8/10
Overall the story scores a 8.2/10

Replayability

Now I haven’t gotten to the point in the game where I need to replay it yet so this section is primarily assumptive. The unfortunate reality is we live in a time where replayability is very closely Link-ed (pun intended) to online content. Breath of the Wild doesn’t excel there, but it does have the classic Nintendo charm. I refer to Nintendo’s charm as being something addictive that I can’t quite explain. Oh I got all 150 pokemon? I guess I better delete my save file and do it again. Oh I collected all the masks and beat the story? Gotta play it again. It’s unlikely you’ll play through the game 4 to 5 times repeatedly (doing absolutely everything) just because you can. If you were to conquer all of the content in 1 or 2 playthroughs my guess is you’d shelf the game for a little bit, but eventually decide to give it another play every couple of months.

Overall the replayability scores a 7.5/10

Final Score

Now if I was to tally up all my previous scores and rate them equally the game would get a solid 9.08/10.

So the final answer is 9.1/10?

Not quite. Like I said if I was to weigh everything individually then yes, a 9.1/10 would be accurate, but that’s not my overall score for “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” I am really enjoying this game so far and any of the minor little things are completely eclipsed by the strengths. It’s one of the best games I’ve played to date and because of that it gets a:

9.8/10

Hospital Emergency Room Post Hijacking

A Moment of Reflection

As I sit here eating my peanut butter and honey sandwich, I can’t help but reflect on today’s hospital events. I had a blog post all planned out, and I was excited to post it.

Shane we’d still love to read that post!

Thank you my lovely reader. I will toss that original post at the bottom of this one as your “extra-curricular” blog reading homework.

Back to the Point

Today I went rock climbing (bouldering to be precise) with a couple of my friends. My best friend, Ryan, and I were killing it even though we had only gone a few times. After making an incredible climb Ryan dropped down from the wall. What he didn’t realize was he was about to land with one foot in-between the two massive safety mats. Watching my best friend writhe in pain completely unable to move was horrifying. Everyone at the rock gym was super helpful. We got him some ice and moved him into my car. It was a fairly smooth ride to the hospital; however, the bumpy rode made for a few shrieks of pain.

A Quick Note on Ryan

Ryan is an amazing individual, and I consider myself beyond lucky to have him as my friend. I’ve learned a lot from him, and really look up to him. Just by watching how he conducts himself over the years I’ve picked up some of his confidence, his social skills, and his optimism. He has always been into fitness and was even the person who got me involved in bodybuilding. In return I’ve taught him how to be funny (he argues he was always funny, but I know the truth).

At the Hospital

We made it to the hospital and within minutes they had him in for a consultation. Before we knew it I was wheeling Ryan around the halls in a shiny wheelchair. We made it to the X-Ray lab, cracked a few jokes, and then the once busy hospital seemed completely empty. We were in a hallway with no other signs of life, which wouldn’t normally be an issue but we really wanted to get this x-ray over with. After sneaking around a bit (and leaving Ryan in time-out facing a corner in his wheelchair) we found someone. A very friendly x-ray technician came out of one of the rooms I may or may not have snuck into and started the magical bone seeing equipment.

The Wait

We were assured by the hospital staff that getting in to have the x-ray done was the longest part. They were wrong. So very wrong. After waiting 4 and a half hours we finally got to see the doctor. The doctor quickly jumped from patient to patient. He took a quick look at Ryan’s x-ray and then Ryan’s foot and told us it wasn’t broken. The staff quickly (not) got Ryan some crutches (hahaha I’m pretty sure I made countless jokes about them actually building the crutches). The nursing staff successfully chopped down some trees, shaved them into crutches, and sent us on our way.

Shane, you can’t really just be telling us about a normal trip to the hospital.

Of course I’m going to make a point, stop interrupting me.

The Point

Through the entire experience at the hospital, all 5 (or so) hours Ryan and I were cracking jokes.  Not only did we make jokes, but our jokes were on fire (I was hilarious as usual). Originally Ryan and I were going to play video games, specifically Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch, after rock climbing. Our plans changed due to circumstance, but we had just as much fun cracking jokes in a hospital waiting room.

There were so many sad people around us. Everyone was hurt, sick, in pain, and just downcast. Ryan and I made a point to be positive and turn a potentially annoying circumstance into a fun one. I can’t say that we did this purposely, it’s just kind of something we do subconsciously. The phrase “home is where the heart is” is incredibly true, but deceptively simple. What I’m trying to connect here is that your situation doesn’t matter, your attitude does. You have the power to turn a crappy situation into a bearable one.

Where Do You Anchor Your Heart?

I’ve said all of this to ask a simple question, where do you anchor your heart? Is your home the building you sleep in or is it the people in your life? Do circumstances dictate your joy or does your joy brighten up your circumstances?

That’s a lot to think about Shane, but I do believe you promised us your original post as well.

Of course my valiant friend, of course.


The Original Post

All right my very first blog entry (aside from the welcome message). I’m told this is the hardest one (actually I just told myself that right now). Thanks for swinging by (ok, you didn’t actually swing in like Spider-Man but a web is involved so I’m kind of not wrong).

Also I do believe in transparency. You will see some links on this blog and often times they are special offers, advertisements, and whatnot. Don’t ever feel obligated to click on them, but it does help me to keep the website running.

I’m going to keep this first post short (that definitely is not the case anymore). The idea behind this blog is to share uplifting thoughts, words of encouragement, and hilarious metaphors (maybe even a simile or two).

By now you’ve probably realized that my internal thoughts are trapped in brackets (and if you didn’t figure that out now you know. Also, brackets are called “parentheses,” just some food for thought). I’d like to close this entry off with a short story that truly mirrors reality if that’s ok with you (actually I don’t really need your permission).

There was once a little grasshopper. He was very scared of the winter. One day a friendly dragon came to visit the grasshopper. They played charades for hours and became the best of friends. Then the grasshopper died because they don’t live very long, unlike dragons.

I feel you can pretty easily interpret this story on your own, but for those of you that didn’t get it from the first read-through the moral of the story was “subscribe to my blog.” (Here’s to hoping that nonsensical story and shameless self-promotion combined with some subliminal messaging focused around a grasshopper worked).

Love you all,

Shane

Welcome to Read N’ Butter!

Bonjour!
(That’s all the french I know)


Thank you for checking out Read N’ Butter (pronounced “red” like the colour).

Can you use it in a sentence Shane?

Of course I can my beautiful reader. “Yesterday I read a red ad for Read N’ Butter.” This site is an internet version of bread and butter except instead of eating it you read it.

Read N' Butter = Bread and Butter

What is Read N’ Butter All About?

Read N’ Butter is basically a culmination of my attempt to be an adult, often in comical, yet optimistic ways. I feel a lot of people progress out of their early years and find themselves in a very foreign world, the one where we have to be adults. I’ve worked a lot of different jobs and am going to share my insight on all of those industries. A few of the industries I’ve worked in include:

  1. Entertainment
  2. Fitness
  3. Photography
  4. Magic
  5. Coffee shops
  6. Marketing
  7. Factories
  8. Landscaping

Writing that out I truly realize how all over the map I have been.

A Few Quotes

I would like to share with you two quotes, and then tie them together.

First, “optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller

Second, “if you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.” – Marcus Garvey

But Shane what do these quotes have to do with Read N’ Butter?

That’s a fantastic question my observant reader. I am a strong believer in using confidence to achieve your goals. Whatever your goal may be, confidence will make it significantly more achievable. If you teach yourself how to stay hopeful and optimistic you naturally generate self confidence. Conversely, beating yourself up over mistakes strips you of that confidence.

Confidence and optimism both attract other people. The long story short version would simply be that the more people you have cheering you on the better odds you have. Confidence is a big topic to cover, but this isn’t the post where we attempt to tackle it.

As we go through this blog adventure together we’ll take a look at a few topics. What is success and how do you leverage confidence to work for you? How do you achieve happiness and hold onto it? Is there more to life than the daily grind and if so what?

Once again I would like to thank you for checking this site out. I’m sure you have lots of questions and I hope to play a part in answering them.