Archives for : Etc.

Aoi Uma Con 2013: A Darker Image Returns!

Ah Fall! A young mans thoughts turn to Grand Theft Auto—uh, I mean Anime. So in light of that The Darker Image crew ; consisting of Myself, Rachel, Thelma, as well as newcomers Robin and my 7 year old Ryan, once again descended upon Louisville and crashed attended Aoi Uma Con. As some of you may recall we attended last year and had a great time! Naturally we were excited to return. Upon our arrival at its new location we witnessed the glorious parade of cosplayers. There are certainly a lot of talented folks in Louisville as many of the costumes were pretty great. We even met a young lady who owned a super rare Pokemon car!

000010000200003100_0651 01100_0654 01100_0657 01

Also of note was the cool dealers room which had tons of stuff from all your fave Anime. There was definitely a good mix of stuff for sale and it wasn’t the least bit hard for all of your money to fall out of your pockets. We also took part of the many panels and even a game show! Anime Press Your Luck was very lively and host Greg Wicker did a great job of keeping it entertaining. This was definitely one of the highlights of our visit.


Of course the biggest highlight of any Anime Con is to meet and get autographs from your favorite voice actors and Aoi Uma Con had Cherami Leigh, Lisa Ortiz and Eric Stuart (Who also happens to be a fine musician!). All three were charming and very gracious to their fans. Cherami Leigh has to be the friendliest and nicest person I have ever met at any convention. We are now officially super fans of hers!

100_0667 01

There was never any shortage of things to do or people to see at Aoi Uma Con and all of us had a fantastic time. Hopefully the Aoi Uma Con crew keeps this going for years to come and we can’t wait until next year!


For more information and to keep updated about next year, please visit

Please note we originally had a lot more pictures but one of our memory cards went corrupt. So if we took your picture and you don’t see it here we apologize.

DC Comics Squinkies Series 1 and 2, Justice League and Batman series: Toy review

Blip Toys
Purchase here!

Justice League Series

What they say: The iconic DC Comics characters have been “Squinkified” and they are ready for action in this Squinkies® DC ComicsTM Series 2 Bubble Pak! Help Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and the rest of the DC Heroes save the world from their villainous counter-parts. Each Bubble Pack comes with 12 officially licensed DC Comics Squinkies characters and 12 bubbles.

What I say: As you may recall I reviewed the Marvel Comics Squinkies a while back and my son and I loved them. Now while my son is more of a Marvel guy, I am definitely the DC fan of the house, so with great anticipation we checked out Blip Toys new DC Squinkies.

Like the Marvel sets before, you get 12 Squinkies in each pack with three being

Series 1

a mystery. I could spoil the “secret” ones but I think I will pass on that. But let it be said fans of classic DC will be real happy. The thing that impressed me the most about this collection is how far and wide they went in selecting characters. I mean you have the standards like Batman, Superman, etc. But there are also characters like Deadman and The Spectre! How cool is that?

The DC series 1 and 2 are quite a mix of characters while the Batman and Justice League sets focus on their respective characters. As always the sculpting on these are amazing and I still continue to be impressed with the detail that goes into such small figures.

Series 2

Like the Marvel series before it, the DC series is an amazing set that really captures the diversity of the DC Universe and they look great as well. My son and I may end up fighting over these!

Also of note, DC Series 1 and 2 are available everywhere Squinkies are sold but I hear that the Batman and Justice League series are Walgreens exclusives. So happy hunting!



DC Universe Squinkies: 10/10

Squinkies Marvel Series 3-5 and the Marvel Universe Spider-Man Dispenser: Toy Review

Marvel Universe Spider-Man Dispenser: Based on your friendly neighborhood Spider-man, this awesome Squinkies®dispenser comes with 4 exclusive Squinkies including Spidey himself, Doc Oc, Wolverine and Hob Goblin. Load up your Squinkies into Spider-Man’s top and you’ll have them captured in his web. Turn them loose by inserting a magic coin and turn the knob to set your Squinkies free. Open the sides for extra space to display your favorite Squinkies heroes and villains.

Marvel Series 3: The Strangest Super Heroes of All have arrived in Squinkies® form. You’ll find your favorite X-Men characters including Colossus, Ice man, Storm, Professor X and many more ready to show off their mutant super powers! Includes 12 Squinkies characters and 12 bubbles.

Marvel Series 4: Super Heroes unite! Marvel’s popular cartoon series, Super Hero Squad, has been Squinkiesized! Join Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor and others in their battle against the world’s greatest villains. Includes 12 Squinkies characters and 12 bubbles.

Marvel Series 5: The battle between good and evil never subsides – especially when it comes to the Squinkies® Marvel® Good vs. Evil Bubble Pack. Choose among Mister Fantastic, Hawkeye, Sgt. Fury, Hulkbuster and other favorites to create your own special forces. Includes 12 Squinkies characters and 12 bubbles.

What I say: My 6 year old son Ryan loves the Marvel characters especially the Super Hero Squad versions. Series 3 is the X-Men series and my son loved this mix of characters. This series is almost entirely new. Series 4 is the Super Hero Squad editions. They are mostly repaints or new poses of characters from series 1 and 2. Series 5 is more new charctors with Nick Fury, a Hydra Agent and more rounding out the set.

The Spider-Man Dispenser is very cool. You put Squinkies in the opening in Spider-Mans head, then put one of the provided tokens in the slot, then turn the spider symbol crank and out comes a Squinky just like vending machines the kids love. My son went crazy over this.

The figures are all very well done, especially considering how small they are. These toys are recommended for ages 4 and up, but bear in mind they are very small outside of their bubbles and if your child likes to put things in their mouth, you might want to think twice.

Ryan had a great time playing with these, especially the Spider-Man dispenser. We also downloaded the battle mat, and with a die we had laying around we were playing, he enjoyed that too, but quickly went back to the dispenser. The battle mat can be downloaded here.

If you have a young boy, I cannot recommend these enough, and if you have girls they have Squinkies for them too!

Visit Squinkies Boys here!

Visit Squinkies Girls here!

Toys: 10/10


This review, written by me, also appears at About Heroes.

Exede Nightmare Diary Part 2

Find Part 1 here!

I swear to God everything I’m saying here really happened.

The Viasat training manuel?

Last night my kids were able to use You Tube to watch a few videos in the Late Night Free Zone which is the only thing that does seem to work. Today I woke up and still the same issues I still can’t log into secure sites. Still. So my wife got tired of my ranting and called Exede.

The account which you are about to read is an account of the tragedy which befell a blogger and his wife, in particular Dennis Feeback and his wife Thelma. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to experience today. For them an idyllic winter evening internet experience became a nightmare. The events of today were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, Exede Satellite Internet.

My wife called and after being on hold for over 40 minutes she got an agent.

How the mighty Viasat sees all of us?

This person said there were no problems and it was surely our fault. (The company line!) My wife mentioned we called two days ago and we had a reference number. She changed her tune and then stated that “everyone” was having this problem and there was nothing she could do. So my wife asked for a supervisor. The girl disappeared for almost 10 minutes then returned to say that the supervisor was too busy. My wife told the girl we would wait. We were placed on hold again and then the craziness started…

Corporate HQ?

The supervisor came on the line in order to tell my wife she didn’t have time to talk to her. Now stop and think about that for a minute. Seriously? So my wife informed the supervisor that she was all ready on the line, the supervisor started again she did not have the time to talk to her because they were getting “slammed” today. The supervisor and my wife argued for like five minutes. Couldn’t the supervisor just talked to her then? NO! SO the supervisor said my wife could not wait on the line and she would be returned to the queue which since calling the wait had increased to over an hour. Then she still wouldn’t have time. She said she would call back in 30 minutes. That was four hours ago.

WTF is wrong with these people? I have seen bad service, I have seen incompetence, but this takes all that to a whole new level. Meanwhile there is still no resolution and still no ETA for a fix. The nightmare continues….

Exede Satellite Internet: A Darker Image Review

Exede Satellite Internet: A Darker Image Review

What they say: A technology above the rest
Exede Internet is powered by ViaSat-1, the most powerful communications satellite ever launched. With download speeds up to 12 Mbps, proprietary acceleration software and an entirely new technology on the ground, Exede is a completely different experience compared with yesterday’s satellite Internet service.

Fast & powerful: What you can do with Exede
• Browse the web and your email faster than ever
• Share photos remarkably fast
• Enjoy better video chat with fewer delays
• Send and receive files quickly
• Use VPN services to access business files from home
• Watch streaming videos, TV and movies with fewer delays from buffering

Why Exede Internet is the best choice
• We offer a truly free data usage time slot daily. There are no data caps during our Late Night Free Zone
• Up to 12 Mbps download speeds and 3Mbps of upload speeds on ALL plans. Other services charge you much more for the same high speeds
• Every plan comes with the full suite of Google Apps™
• Created by ViaSat, an industry leader on the cutting edge of innovative satellite communication technology
• Our subscribers love the service.

What I say: I’ve made it no secret that A Darker Image Tower is located in the boonies of central KY. Having suffered the evils of AT&T for the last year, I decided to bail. I was spending a fortune on overages that took money away from this site. So on Black Friday I stumbled upon the ad for Exede Satellite Internet. They made a lot of boasts. In desperation I leaped. I never thought I would say this…but I miss AT&T.

Yes the evil overlords overcharged but the service was reliable. Due to technical issues that have going for over three days I am posting this on dialup. I am not kidding. Apparently at Exede (Formerly Wildblue) it is perfectly acceptable to allow a glitch to run rampant that prevents you from logging into a secure site. After doing some digging on Exedes own forums this happens fairly regular. They have even have a shill trying to shoot people down and spout the same crap that it’s all your fault. (“It’s your fault!” should be the companies motto.)

Screwed times four?

So I have had this “service” since Monday. Since Wednesday it has been unusable for my needs. Yay? I have called, e-mailed, posted on Facebook, and posted on their forums. Many others have done the same. However, Exede never admits anything is wrong. EVER!

So to make a long story short, avoid these people like the plague. Dailup and overpriced 3G is better. But now I am stuck. At this point I seriously do not know if I will be able to continue the site. Yay.

Exede: 0/10