Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas all!

This year marks the first time I’ve worked in a Major Chain Store. Meaning I’ve been bombarded with Christmas music since Thanksgiving. Haven’t minded it as much as I’d thought I might–been too busy to notice really.

However it did bring a bit of melancholy, as my store often played Burl Ives’ A Holly Jolly Christmas.  It’s one Christmas song I could listen to all year round, don’t get me wrong. However it always reminds me of his tragic death in 1978 due to a giant devil sea turtle ramming the helicopter he was traveling in.

Damn giant devil sea turtles.

It’s one of the many reasons I avoid the sea side. Of course, if I could find out how Carl Weathers managed to survive being dragged under water by the same giant devil sea turtle (only to be killed by an alien in a Colombian jungle in 1987) I might over come said phobia.

Anyways, sorry to bring down the moment. I do indeed wish everyone here a Merry Christmas!

Bermuda Depths Joke 000.png

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Dachshunds: Nature’s Perfect Dinosaur Killers

A little story before we begin.

I seem to recall the debate between warm blooded and cold blooded dinosaurs beginning when I was a kid.  I was seriously in the cold blooded camp because dinosaurs were cold blooded.

What do you expect from a kid?  Good reasoning?

Anyways, that all ended for me in the fifth grade.  It was there that I read a book that dared put forward the very idea that a grizzly bear would be able to beat a Tyrannosaurs Rex.  Because the grizzly was warm blooded and the rex cold blooded.

My immediate reaction was that there was no way on Earth that a mere bear could beat the then King of the Dinosaurs.  Thus dinosaurs had to be warm blooded.

Well it made sense at the time.

I tell you that story to help better illustrate the main point.

A few years later (okay, maybe a few decades, let’s not get technical), I was watching a program on television.  It had this video in which a badger backs down a grizzly bear.  What with a badger being a tough customer despite its squat size.

Now follow me here.

A dachshund was bred to hunt badgers.  Their very name means “Badger hound”.

Thus, it stands to reason that if a badger can take a bear and a dachshund can take a badger, then naturally a dachshund can take out a bear.

Following that clear, completely reasonable and in no way foolish chain of logic to its obvious conclusion,  then a dachshund can kill a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Assuming the Rex is cold blooded.

Which I now believe them to be.  Because there’s no way on Earth a Rex could ever hope to beat a dachshund.

I mean seriously.  Have you seen a dachshund in hunt mode?  Brr.

What’s more, you’ve never once seen a T-Rex have anything to do with the little guys.  In fact, I’ll bet you’ve never seen the two in the same room together.

That’s because a Rex is mortally afraid of dachshund.

Gotta be.  There’s no other answer.

Having come to that conclusion, I now live in terror.  I seldom step out of the house and never sleep for more than a few minutes at a time.  I don’t dare.

You see, both my little dachshund protectors have passed on.

What am I going to do if a Tyrannosaurs came knocking on my door?

What if he has a badger with him?

More Stuff You Never See Happen to Power Girl

super-girl-000

A cover is the first thing anyone sees of a book, comic or otherwise.  It’s supposed to draw the reader in, make them want to buy the book.

The only way this cover works, if it works at all, is that this is somebody’s effort to draw in the all important Romance Comic (RC) crowd to the title.  “Oh, poor Supergirl!  However will she cope?  Will she find love?  Who’s kitten is that?”

Or something like that.

Look, I don’t know what RC fans look for in a comic.  I’m a Horror Comic guy.  No severed head, no dangling corpse, pass.  Let’s go see what Little Lulu is doing this week.  That’s me.

Anyways, they’re drawing the RC reader, the reader has the comic in hand, and he/she looks down and sees that title.  The Garden of Death.

Which is a great title.  Don’t get me wrong.  But it really doesn’t fit the cover.  At all.

Who’s kitten is that, anyways?  Is that Streaky, the Supercat in his mild manner disguise?

I’m trying to come up with something (allegedly) funny for Zatanna, but I’m coming up blank.  Outside of the backwards talk for spell casting, I’ve got nothing on her.  Not even interest.

Whatever her “surprise feature” is, it has to be better than this cover.  Gads.  Dull.

Playing Baldur’s Gate: Extended Version (I) – Setting Off

I’ve made mention Baldur’s Gate around these parts.  As I owned the new fangled version, I thought I’d give it a whirl.  As the blog has run fallow of late, I thought I’d do a series on it as I played.  Spoilers abound.

Small note to any newcomers: this series might be stopped dead for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to a.) me forgetting to do an update, b.) me stopping playing Baldur’s Gate, or C.) me getting a social life.

Stop laughing.  That last part might still happen.

I also may switch games on whim.

And in November I stop all of this for NaNoWriMo.

So.

Baldur’s Gate.

The portrait I picked for my Hero.

The portrait I picked for my Hero.

For those not in the know, this is a Dungeons and Dragons game.  It begins with some big, deep voiced scary dude offing some smaller, not so scary dude.  From there, we get introduced to Our Hero, a spunky orphan living with this Wizard name Gorion fellow in some library monastery called Candlekeep.  For reference, the Hero is named Cullen.  For some reason I can’t rightly think of right now.

Anyway, after running some errands for several terminally lazy characters in order to pick up a pittance (as well as well as needed Experience Points to reach my character’s far off next level), Cullen and Gorion head out into the world.  Seems like there’s some sort of problem heading towards the monastery focused around me.  In fact, a couple of assassins have already made a couple of half-hearted attempts.  Hard to find good help these days.

The two no more than get into the woods when who should appear but big, deep voiced scary dude (from here simply called Gary.), accompanied with a few expendable henchmen.  Gary is all “Your ward or your life,” which Gorion gives all due consideration.  Doesn’t seem like a bad deal, really.

Actually, he tells Cullen to book and tries to take on the bad guys on his lonesome.  To the surprise of no one, he goes the way of all mentor figures in these Fantasy stories.

It should be pointed out at this juncture that the magic in this world can resurrect people.  At no point will Cullen even try to use said magic to reunite with his fallen father figure.

Those two were tight.

Pretty girl.  Pity about... what happens.  DUN DUN DUN!

Pretty girl. Pity about… what happens. DUN DUN DUN!

Cullen spends the night alone in the woods within easy walking distance of the ambush.  You’d think that this is a good way to get killed.  Seems like Gary had things to do, you know, and split once Gorion stepped off the mortal coil.  Or something like that.

Soon, Cullen begins picking up companions like they’re going out of style.  First up is Imoen, his childhood friend and local pickpocket.  You might think that there’s some romantic tension between the two.  Don’t.  You’ll be happier for it, assuming we get that far.

Anyways, the two head off for this huge inn-town place called the Friendly Arm, in accordance to Gorion’s plans (which have worked so well up until this point).  Within a few minutes, they meet two more people, a Halfling Thief/Fighter called Montaron and a Wizard named Xzar.  These two are clearly evil.  So very, very evil.  Likely to slit your throat in your sleep evil.  Like bury you up to your neck in fire ants evil.  Like politician evil.

But Xzar is voiced by the legendary Frank Welker, so Cullen asks them to come along anyways.

He sounds like Freddy Jones from Scooby Doo!  How could Freddy Jones from Scooby Doo ever hurt us?

(He also sounds like Megatron, too.  But leave us not go through Mr. Welker’s list of credits, or we’ll be here all day.)

baldurs-gate-montaron-and-xzar-000

Montagard and Xzar, folks. Don’t they look friendly?

After a bit of shenanigans the four heroes (well, two heroes and the men who will murder them in their sleep if given the urge) arrive at the Friendly Arm inn.  Waiting there happens to be a third assassin, urged on by Gary to kill Cullen.

Now get this.  The Friendly Arm Inn is wall to wall guard.  These guards have a tendency to tell visitors not to incite violence least violence be incited upon them.  They’re very clear on this.

So what does this brainiac do?  He attacks Cullen and crew by himself.  In front of guards.  Who promptly attack him, too.

This goes about as well as you’d think it would.

Gary simply has to stop hiring his assassins off Craig’s List.

Jaheria

She’s judging you right now and you’re coming up… lacking.

From here, Cullen and crew enter the inn, where we meet the next couple of companions, the married couple Jaheria and Khalid.   Jaheria I described in an earlier essay thusly:

[She] is, how to put it politely?  Outspoken.  Yeah.  Outspoken.  If she has an opinion, she will share it.  And if someone gets his head battered in by said opinion, well so be it.

In case it matters, she’s a Druid/Fighter.

Her husband Khalid is just a plain old Fighter.  He is also a chicken.  So chicken you wonder why he even came along.  Nice guy, though.  Wonder what he sees in his wife (and visa versa).

In talking, Cullen learns that his four new friends want to head south to a town called Nashkel.  Since he and Imoen haven’t anything better to do, they decide to tag along with.

Thus the Fellowship of Cullen is formed.  And we take our leave of these boon companions, for the nonce.

"Wait, d-don't I get an appearance?  Everyone else did..."

“Wait, d-don’t I get an appearance? Everyone else did…”

Strange Dialogue VI: A New Hope Force Awakens the Phantom Menace.

“What’s this?”

“What’s what?”

“That.”

“Oh. That. A dead body.”

“A dead body.”

“Right. Thought it be obvious.”

“What’s it doing in my living room?”

“Decomposing, I should–”

“Why is there a dead body in my living room? And why are you here, come to that?”

“Ah. Well. Reasons. And… ah… reasons.”

“Which are?”

“Yes. Well. I needed to murder someone, and I didn’t have any place else to do it.”

“No place else to do it.”

“Right.”

“In the whole world, it had to be my apartment.”

“Well it couldn’t well have been in my apartment, now could it?”

“Why?”

“Well that would have given the game away. Wouldn’t have come there. Not when I’ve been ready to kill for the past few weeks.”

“You know, on further inspection, that seems to be one of my new roommate’s friends.”

“Oh. Er. Really?”

“Yeah. Hard to recognize with the ax in the face, but I’m certain of it.”

“Huh. Well. Small world. Small world, isn’t it?”

“You know, incidents like this are why I kicked you out in the first place.”

“Yes. Funny you should say that. I’ve been let out of my apartment for, uh, unspecified reasons.”

“Have you.”

“Yeah. And I was wondering if you could–”

“No.”

“Oh, come on.”

“No I think my roommate might object. What with you killing visiting friends and all.”

“Huh. Unreasonable sort, eh?”

“On certain matters, yes.”

A Sample of My Thought Process or Lack There Of

The Red Queen Kills Seven Times?  Wow, that’s an intriguing name for a Horror Flick, to say the least.  Might wanna check that out.  Who directed it?

Emilio Miraglia.  Huh.  That’s the guy who did The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave.  A movie I hated.

So do I want to watch another flick by him.  Hmm.  Let me consid–

No.

No.

No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no Tippi Hedren at the end of The Birds no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no

 

Well maybe.

Okay, Brain, Here’s the Deal

Okay, Brain of mine.  I can accept you’re not exactly the greatest functioning organ in existence.  And on occasion you will give me a dream that is, how should I say it, less than optimal.

Honestly?  How could a poster this good be for a movie THAT BAD?!

Honestly? How could a poster this good be for a movie THAT BAD?!

But give me one more dream that’s a cross between Student Bodies and National Lampoon’s Class Reunion and you’re fecking done.  Understand?  Out the door, down the street, on your fecking way gone.

That crap doesn’t repeat.  Hear?  I don’t care what it might happen to me, it just doesn’t happen again.

Random Thoughts on Dungeons and Dragons and the Like

I had a lot to do with Dungeons and Dragons back in my fabled, long lost youth, back long before I became the Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.  I’ve also dabbled in the game every now and again since.  And, as it is sometimes wont to happen, questions sometimes come to me about the milieu.

For instance the following:

typical fantasy dwarfDwarves are known for using axes as weapons.  When you encounter them in video games they are often armed with them.  In Lord of the Rings, the main Dwarf there offers up his axe (and presumably the rest of his person).  It’s damn near a stereotype, is what it is.

The question is, why?  Outside the fact Tolkien put the weapon in one of his character’s hands, why is the axe linked to Dwarves?

This is a Fantasy race primarily known for two things: Mining and Metal work.  Neither profession needs an axe in hand.  Wouldn’t a War hammer make more sense?  Or a mining pick?

Here’s another thought: Elves with swords.  Metallurgy has never been a part of their lore.  Why do they use long blades of metal?  Oh sure, they could have bought the things from one of the other races.  But wouldn’t it make more sense they’d be exclusive to the more prevalent wooden weapons?

Just some stray thoughts…