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jark.me - my new home on the internets

Journal Entry: Sat Mar 24, 2012, 5:36 PM
Long time no see! It has been a super-busy few years. Last year especially so, with the huge 9.1 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. The March 11 event hat trick caused a huge amount of pain throughout Japan, touching and affecting the lives of millions.

As a result of the disaster relief efforts, I was crazy busy last year, especially the months immediately following the huge earthquake and its after-effects. I never really got time to think through a decent web strategy ... until now.

Without further ado, I would like to introduce my deviantART family and friends to jark.me.

What started out as a cool URL shortener for my personal use on twitter has been transformed into my new home on the internets. This is the one site where I will primarily share my thoughts on various topics and upload content - such as pictures - for sharing.

I hope all is well with everyone around here. Sorry I do not participate like I once did, but life has dramatically changed since those good ole days - days I will always remember with fond memories.

Take a look at jark.me when you have an opportunity and please let me know what, if anything, you think of the site. I always love to receive constructive criticism on my projects.

Speaking of which, before I run ...

A few close friends and I are working on a web-related project many deviants might find intriguing. Stay tuned for more information. ;-)

Cheers!

:jarkinajar:

jark.me

Have You Had Your Miso Soup Today?

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 4, 2009, 7:08 PM
On January 1, 2009, Rich and I launched our tribute to technology evangelism and Miso Soup, hoping to one day be a valuable branch of the blogging tree as well as possibly build our very own Death Star. Imagine how cool a TechMiso Death Star would be, serving up fresh Miso Soup concoctions daily! Seriously though, TechMiso is written by a couple of passionate geeks who enjoy tech conversation, tech criticism, insightful tech commentary and acute analysis of the technology realm. Was the word "technology" used enough in that statement?

TechMiso has written about a variety of topics since our launch, such as government, Google, Apple, Entertainment industry and assorted topics. Here are some sample articles:

:pointr: HOWTO Use Wordpress to Create a Tumblr-like Tumblelog
:pointr: CIO's Say 'No' To iPhone - Call It Non-Business And Say Touchscreen Keyboard Is Impossible
:pointr: The Future of Music Is In The Clouds
:pointr: HTTPS Aloof On Gmail, Facebook And Other Major Websites
:pointr: Desktop Twitter Clients Are Pointless
:pointr: Why is Whitelisting Absent from Telephones?

If you have some time to check out our little part of the world please stop by TechMiso for some good, old fashioned conversation and complimentary Miso soup.

TechMiso can be found on the web at techmiso.com/

:jarkinajar:

TechMiso

deviantART Summit Never Before Seen Footage

Journal Entry: Sun Oct 7, 2007, 5:30 PM
I am quite disappointed that the administration opted to censor my film based on the fact that it contained "copyrighted music," and offered no further clarification other than to point me to the FAQ entry that lists some URL's to online spots for music that is considered acceptable. What makes no sense about the explanation is that all published music is copyrighted. The following is the entire note that I received from the site administration:

"I had to remove your videos from the gallery this morning as they both contain copyrighted music and we can't allow that on the site. I really enjoyed both of them and would welcome you to repost them without sound or using a source we've listed in FAQ #852"


Notice the clearly worded "they both contain copyrighted music" statement that offers no clarification other than to say that copyrighted music is not allowed on the site? This makes absolutely no sense to me as, like I said, all published music is copyrighted.

Music from bands that are signed with the big labels, indie bands, bands that publish solely online, and whatever else, is all copyrighted. The only difference between these groups is that some are backed by the monolithic recording industry whereas the others are small bands with little, to no, money in their pockets. Regardless, they are all afforded the protections that copyright law offers, especially if they took the time to physically register their copyrights on paper and file with the copyright office.

I am not writing this out of some perverse desire to start any upheaval. Sometimes, writing about a situation is healing, and helps me better comprehend the situation itself. In this case, I am truly confused about this situation because the offered explanation makes absolutely no sense.

But I digress. I do not care any longer.

I have not posted here in over a year so it probably does not matter, but this is more than likely the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. I will most certainly not post here again, which is sad if you really take a step back and think about it.

So anyhow, enough of that crap; just had to get that off my chest before I post the link to where the video is now located. I seriously hope that everyone does get a chance to check the deviantART Summit video out. Like I said before, the summit was a lot of fun, and finally turning the video in to a digital creation was a lot of fun as well.

deviantART Summit Never Before Seen Footage

Check out the deviantART Never Before Seen Footage over at YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIZKO1…

If you would like to download the full, higher-than-YouTube-quality version then grab a copy of it from here while supplies last: jarkolicious.com/media/deviant…

Sports Day 2007, if you care to see my son Anthony running around the track at school during Undokai, then check it out here: jarkolicious.com/probes/2007/1…

Thanks to all. Enjoy!

:jarkinajar:

jarkolicious dot com

deviantART Summit Unseen Footage

Journal Entry: Sun Oct 7, 2007, 1:16 AM
:thumb66702941:

Check out the never before seen footage from the deviantART Summit, taken by yours truly when I attended the Summit in June 2005, at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles CA.

Slapping the very limited number of clips that I have together has been something I have been wanting to do for quite some time. Since I was playing around with iMovie '08, which comes with iLife '08, I finally decided to get off my lazy ass and put something together, no matter how unexciting the final product turned out.

Admittedly there is not much footage here. I was too busy meeting deviants, talking to deviants and enjoying the festivities, however lame those festivities were in retrospect. The absolute best part of the event was meeting the many deviants whom I interacted with on a daily basis.

If I somehow managed to get your name wrong then I apologize. Methinks I got everyone right, even though there is a very limited number of appearances in the footage. But like I said, if I screwed up your name then please let me know and I will be more than happy to fix0r.

The best part of the footage is the quick conversation with lolly. When you see it you will know immediately what I am referring to.

On a side note, I guess embedding the embed code in a journal is not possible. Would be nice to be able to embed film, much like YouTube offers such embedding options. But I digress.

:jarkinajar:

jarkolicious dot com

UFO Spotted Above Los Angeles

Journal Entry: Sun Jul 15, 2007, 3:55 PM
It is my understanding that a UFO has been spotted above Los Angeles, CA. Has anyone witnessed any random anal probings from the armada of aliens that are sure to attack ostensibly innocent bystanders? Although information about the UFO is spotty and unreliable, it has been overheard by fairly reliable sources that the current invasion is expected to last weeks.

If anyone does manage to catch a glimpse of the surreptitious aliens that are sure to be probing the citizens of Los Angeles throughout the next few weeks then let me know, as I am cataloging all encounters and abductions.

Interested in more information on this subject matter then feel free to ask. Only serious inquiries will be entertained.

:jarkinajar:

jarkolicious dot com

Twit, Pownce or Jaiku?

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 3, 2007, 5:44 AM
Do you Twit? Perhaps you Pownce? Prefer Jaiku?

Have you bothered to use any of these services? Have a preference? Why?

:jarkinajar:



jarkolicious dot com

Is deviantART Still Relevant?

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 30, 2007, 2:34 AM
I wonder, is deviantART still relevant any more, especially with all the other similar, and non-similar-yet-closely-similar, sites out there?

After all, there are plenty of other freely accessible sites that offer far more bang for your buck, have a much more user friendly interface, are run by people with artistic morals in mind, are managed by a team that is interested in honest and frank communication with their audience, where the leaders truly care and listen to the complaints rather than automatically act dismissive, and where the developers actually update the site on a regular basis in order to quash bugs and add new useful features.

So I ask again, is deviantART still relevant any longer? If so, why?

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN

Journal Notification Bug?

Journal Entry: Fri Jan 12, 2007, 11:03 PM
Is there a bug with journal notifications that I am not aware of? I ask because I logged in to see roughly 134 journal notifications awaiting me. These are new as of the previous 48 hours (I had not logged in for 48 hours) and therefore an exceptionally high number. To make matters worse, I see journal notifications for deviants whom I have never added as a friend. This makes the whole thing really confusing.

Anyone else experiencing such strangeness?

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN

Happy 2007!

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 31, 2006, 7:57 PM
Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had an enjoyable 2006 and ends up with an equally, if not better, 2007.

I am looking forward to partaking in some very interesting opportunities that will most deservedly see fruition in 2007.

Rock on!

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN

James Brown *IS* Dead!

Journal Entry: Mon Dec 25, 2006, 5:50 AM
James Brown *IS* Dead  America has been given a horrible present for Christmas this year as James Brown has passed away at the tender old age of 73. The "Godfather of Soul," as he was known, was hospitalized with pneumonia although the exact cause of death is currently undetermined.

The one thing that I will always remember him for are those crazy lyrics that were almost incomprehensible at times, coupled with the rapid foot stomping and dancing of his. His antics and music inspired so many musicians that are considered popular today, such as Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, David Bowie and more.

The passing of James Brown definitely, or a more apt word would be "finally," gives new meaning to the old school techno song by L.A. Style entitled "James Brown is Dead." I am not entirely certain that there will be mass hysteria due to James Brown's death, although he will be mourned by the entire world.

Rest in peace James Brown! You were one hell of an artistic legend that can never be duplicated or matched.

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN

Anthony's Autumn Concert

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 11, 2006, 5:38 AM
Video: Anthony's Autumn Concert, where he plays the drums yet again. Not the elaborate setup like last time, but nonetheless wicked! Check it out right here: www.youtube.com/v/wmn1NUqu-K0

His previous concert is here: youtube.com/watch?v=PZS-0JMRWI… (shows b0rked thanks to deviantART's broken parsing system)

This Saturday at Anthony's elementary school was their annual Autumn Concert. The sixth grade class had a number of songs that they played, with Anthony participating in four of them. Anthony's "main event" had him playing a single bass drum in contrast to his previous attempt on a scaled down drum set. Though he was slightly nervous this time around, he did exceptionally well yet again and showed why he is the reigning champion musician of the house!

This video is part 1 of 4. Rather, it will be; I have only bothered to encode this one 5 minute clip thus far. It is slightly late and we are heading out to Narita Temple in the morning so expect the others to be posted by the end of the weekend at the latest.

Give Anthony a round of applause on his exceptionally wicked drum skills!

P.S. Sure would be nice to be able to embed YouTube clips in a journal entry. Certainly parsing that out is rather simple methinks.

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN

Facebook

Journal Entry: Sat Oct 21, 2006, 5:22 PM
I recently signed up for a Facebook account in order to test out the service and see what the big deal is. If you use Facebook then let me know, so we can network with each other.

My account: www.facebook.com/profile.php?i…

If you have any thoughts on Facebook itself, as a service and web site, then please by all means, share them.

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN

Undokai

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 16, 2006, 4:44 AM
Mizuho Yon-Sho Sports Day
Late last month, on September 30th, was Sports Day at the elementary school that Anthony attends. This yearly event is what the Japanese call Undokai. Every school has an Undokai, to include preschool, elementary school, Junior High and even High School. The day is generally turned in to a huge spectacle of ranting, raving and screaming by the lunatic kids at the schools.

Amidst all the chaos are parents enthusiastically watching their children perform in bizarre events, which the children seem to immensely enjoy. Undokai is an all day affair, lasting from very early in the morning while waiting in line in order to get good mat placement, through to the late afternoon when the final event winds down.

The entire month preceding Undokai is generally spent practicing for many of the elaborate events that take place. These are not run of the mill events that the children engage in, but chaotically entertaining races and whatnot. It is wild to observe the children and their actions throughout. Notwithstanding those children who are nodding off in to lala land and could care less about the stupid human tricks they are forced to engage in, everyone is having a good time.

Anthony has been attending Undokai's for roughly 8 or 9 years now. Never in his short life has he personally come in first place in a race; that is, until now. In the 100m dash, Anthony blew out the crowd, slowed down and leisurely crossed the finish line for the first time in first place. It was a blast to watch him perform so well, especially after all these years of getting his ass waxed by the other children he raced against.

So to Anthony: congratulations! Well deserved, well earned and well done. Here's looking to next year, your first in Junior High, where you will impale the competition with your elite racing skills!

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN

For Crying Out Loud

Journal Entry: Thu Sep 28, 2006, 4:50 AM
... CSS is just pure, unadulterated, anal probing, sex0rific fun, now isn't it? So much for getting homework done on time tonight!

Go give lolly some loving for releasing the journal CSS for seniors and subscribers. Congrats lolly, for offering a useful and artisticly individualistic feature to the masses. <-- that was from jark to lolly, in case anyone misunderstood.

My one suggestion would be to add in the footer and number of comments portion of the journal, which shows up on the main profile and journal pages, to the journal preview. This way, one can truly preview their entire journal without having to keep editing their journal. Make sense or am I, quite possibly, missing something? Other than that, I think the basic implementation is elegant enough to get the job done.

If you notice anything astray with my journal then please let me know, so that I can fix it up ASAP. Along the same token, if you have any constructive criticism or comments then please let me know all the same. Would be nice to hear thoughts on the style from the professionals like yourselves.

Having trouble with the journal CSS? Check out this exceptional CSS template by ghostlove. It should help out immensly, especially if you are having trouble figuring out where to start. This comprehensive tutorial, again by ghostlove, is chock full of even more helpful goodiness. Lastly, thespook has thrown together a more visually designed reference for those who like, well, visuals.

If you have some CSS loving on your journal then post a link to your most recent journal for all to see. uNF!

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN

Interesting ...

Thu Sep 21, 2006, 4:52 AM
<style>import ":link:www.stanleysy.com/da/css/bt.cs…"; /*null:null*/ /**/</style>

I love BT and his music to death. It is quite cool to see him around deviantART, for whatever it is that has brought him here. It will be interesting to see what BT does with his time here on deviantART.

With that said, I think it is a complete slap in the face to the paying customers, senior deviants, former staff members and deviantART alumni that this sole individual is allowed to create a fancy journal like the deviantART staff (by way of HTML) while the other aforementioned deviants remain unable to partake in such an important artistic feature and display of artistic individualism.

Do not get me wrong - it is very cool to see a big name artist here at deviantART. Like I said, I love BT and his music. But offering him special favors merely because of his status "in the real world" reeks. Allowing a special favor of this magnitude to such individuals is a symbol that the deviantART staff is more interested in people of stature, and the money that will follow them, rather than those who have subscribed to the site or helped build it to where it is today. It is a huge insult to every paying customer of deviantART or every person that has graced the deviantART staff with their helpful presence.

What has BT done to deserve such special treatment that the aforementioned have yet to do?

I am disappointed in this decision even though I am happy to see BT enjoying himself around deviantART. Though, I can not help but be perplexed by such a decision that blatantly disregards the very people that deviantART relies upon to make it what it is ...

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN

Anthony's 12th Birthday

Wed Aug 23, 2006, 7:58 AM
Anthony's 12th Birthday

Anthony turned 12 years old today, August 23, 2006. Oh, how time flies!

Love you, you little bastard! :-)

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN
  • Mood: Mad

Max The Terrier

Sun Aug 20, 2006, 4:57 AM
Max Day 10

I have just opened up a simple new blog over at Wordpress.com in which I will chronicle the life and times of Max through the eye of my Canon 20D. A goal of this endeavor is to post at least a single photograph of Max every single day of his life. My intention is to keep this going for at least a year, though if I am capable of going further with it then I will do so.

I am far from what anyone would consider a photographer. Nonetheless, I thought it would be entertaining to see how this small project turns out a year from now. It will be interesting to watch Max grow up in pictures, placed in different scenes, living under various circumstances.

In case you missed it, Max is a five month old male Yorkshire Terrier puppy, and the newest addition to our family.

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN
  • Mood: Mad

Caption This

Sun Aug 13, 2006, 5:09 AM
Caption This!

Was able to capture the above photo of Max and Miu, while they were in an interesting position. It is in dire need of a caption, so hook me up please. :-)

Whatcha got for a caption?

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN
  • Mood: Mad

Max - Day 5

Thu Aug 10, 2006, 5:39 AM
Here are the latest Max photos, catching everyone up to date from the last time I posted a picture of him. Today marks day 5 at home with us, and he continues to shine.

Day 5; Max the Geek

Max - Day 5

He is chilling on my desk, in the computer room, while I screw around and check email. He is the most chilled dog that I have ever had the honor of owning.

His training continues, and he is doing well. Though probably more luck than anything, he managed to "take care of business" on the "pet diaper" 95% of the time today, which is a major surprise!

Hopefully this weekend I can get some good pictures of him out in the sun, in a decent environment that is different from the house.

Day 4; Max Bobblehead

Max Bobblehead

Max Bobblehead

Day 4 with Max at home. Caught him doing the bobblehead thing while he was chillin on the couch.

So far he sure is a cool dog, albeit very calm and calculated. Certainly seems to be soaking in the environment before making any drastic moves!

Day 3; Size Comparison

Max - Day 3

Wanted to try and get Max next to something that can give everyone an idea as to his size. The picture did not come out as well as I would have liked, though I guess that is what happens when I do not spend too much time on it. :-)

... until next time. :beer:

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN
  • Mood: Mad

Initial DAv5 Thoughts

Tue Aug 8, 2006, 5:26 AM
The build up to DAv5 would lead one to expect the site to have undergone some radical, far sweeping modifications which would revolutionize the way that art is viewed online. All the propaganda that was presented to the community prior to "the launch" painted DAv5 as the single vital upgrade to deviantART that would make browsing art fun again; that we, the community, would finally be able to be at ease and once again enjoy deviantART for what it was truly built for – viewing and enjoying art.

Was the deviantART team successful in accomplishing the goal that was described to the community? In short, are the upgrades that the community has been so graciously provided with really so revolutionary that they will change our art browsing habits? Will be finally be able to be at peace with the art?

What follows are my thoughts on DAv5 thus far. I have been "playing" with it for a few hours now, and am quite certain that I have a fairly good understand of the new functionality.

Front Page

frontpage-small.jpg

The new front page is really not all that different from the previous design, though some startling alterations have been made. Popular art and prints fill the majority of the "above the fold" portion of the front page, along with the famed "Daily Deviation" section being added as a new row of art. News no longer resides on the front page; the only true content on the front page is art. To the direct right of the art is a vertical column dedicated to user functions, such as "submit art," "update journal," "manage prints," etc.

The header title font for the various rows of art displayed on the front page looks out of place. It almost appears as if it was thrown in as an afterthought.

Overall, the front page modifications are worthwhile, although I am not sure I see the entire point of wasting the amount of vertical space that has been allotted to the "me" section. I understand the intent of this column – to make it easy for people to locate important functions immediately. I do not see the point in squandering this much space away, merely for these functions.

Colors

userpage-small.jpg

There are really 3 sets of color schemes residing within DAv5 now. Two of the three are DAv5 specific; the final scheme is the throwback "minimal" colors for pages that have not yet been updated to accommodate DAv5.

The first of the two new schemes is used on the front page as well as the various art browsing areas. It is bright and vibrant. While still retaining the basic green undertones, the color scheme has been updated to something much more mainstream. This color scheme is almost white, while not being completely white.

The second is the darker scheme being used on user pages. It is much more reminiscent of the pre-DAv5 color scheme that everyone has come to love over the course of the past 6 years.

Ultimately, I think the new "white" color scheme is nice in terms of color usage. It is pleasing to the eye and refreshing. However, I find it to truly distract me when browsing art. It just appears to be too bright, especially because of how the background color that the art resides on contrasts with the site header and background.

Compare DAv5's use of a bright background to Flickr's complete use of white. Since Flickr makes sole use of white, there is nothing to really distract ones eye when browsing, other than the colors from a photograph. This is not the case with DAv5.

The user page color scheme is very functional; it really works because of the lack of the bright/dark contrast found on the aforementioned pages. It works perfectly, and is ultimately only a negligible modification from the pre-DAv5 design.

Browsing

browsing-small.jpg

Clicking the "browse" button that everyone is so familiar with allows for perusing of the various art submissions. The new "categories" drop-down is quite nice, and is a worthwhile and much needed functional change. Though filled with an overwhelming plethora of categories to choose from, it sure beats the pre-DAv5 methodology of selecting an area to browse.

The new main browse page depicts "popular" art, rather than defaulting to presenting the most recent art submissions. I suspect that this is going to cause a lot of heartburn within the community because, ultimately, who and what decides what popular art really is? Most people do not change defaults; the vast majority of deviants will be sifting through what is considered "popular" and possibly missing worthwhile submissions while they "browse" deviantART.

Much of the previous search granularity has been removed in favor of ease of use. While I applaud many of the design decisions with respect to the browsing of art, the loss of functionality is going to be frustrating.

Browsing has not really changed all that much. The defaulting to "popular" for arguably the most widely clicked button on the site is going to prove interesting to watch. I think it is a bad move, though only time will tell what the consequences will be.

Deviation Viewing

deviation-small.jpg

The deviation details and view page underwent some major modifications. To the left of a deviation is a menu of sorts, depicting the most basic functions. The details of the deviation reside underneath the deviation in a completely revamped container, with embed and thumb links so that the art can be displayed anywhere on or off site.

The addition of the ability to embed art off site, reminiscent of YouTube and Google Video, is a welcomed feature. It will certainly help off site blogging efforts, among others nefarious reasons.

An additional "mood" column has been added, which basically lists all the moods used when commenting on the art. While this is a fun feature, it ultimately is meaningless though will most certainly be the cause of many a Help Desk case.

I think the best addition to the details page is being able to view the full size image without having to reload an entire page. This is a godsend, though is surely going to send deviantART's page views in to frenzy. I am actually quite surprised to see a change of this magnitude take place, so it should prove interesting to see how this affects statistics.

Overall, the modifications to the browse page are quite welcomed. They are mainly functional and truly worthwhile.

Bugs

DAv5 is not without bugs. It should be understood that a new version of a highly intricate system like deviantART will come replete with bugs. However, there are some glaringly obvious bugs which I am surprised to see that made it in to the production environment.

throwback-small.jpg

I will cover the DAv5 bugs in a future post.

Conclusion

Much of what is called DAv5 appears to really have taken place behind the scenes. What the community has presented with thus far are mostly cosmetic modifications. The new color scheme, the updated header, minor modifications to the browsing, changes to the front page and the alterations to the deviation details page are basically aesthetic. If we are to believe the DAv5 hype machine then we must consider that the radical changes were done on the underlying engine that offers the service. Maybe there is some master plan?

Ultimately I am unimpressed with the changes that DAv5 offers, mainly because the transformation offers nothing truly revolutionary. The updated color scheme is fresh and visually appealing, though overpowering and distracting for viewing art. The design of the browsing area is way too contrasting, which naturally diverts attention away from the art.

There have been a variety of necessary functional design changes that are welcomed. Unfortunately they are overshadowed by other odd functionality decisions and bugs. I think the largest and possibly most aggravating aspect of DAv5 is the areas that have yet to be updated to conform to DAv5 standards. They are out of place and stick out like a sore thumb. I realize the team had an overwhelming desire to launch DAv5; I think some better project management would have allowed the site to launch completely, rather than partially. There are just too many untouched areas that do not fit in with the rest of the site.

I think the deviantART team did a wonderful job putting DAv5 together, though like I said, I am unconvinced that DAv5 is really going to revolutionize deviantART in the manner that the propaganda expected. Do not get me wrong, because I enjoy the freshness of DAv5, like I enjoy a fresh Apple every now and again. It just has not yet lived up to the hype surrounding it.

:jarkinajar:


I'm Here For My Friends Deviously Artistic SAVE THE ALIEN
  • Mood: Mad