Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kaijuology: Banglasdesh's KING KONG trailer

Godzilla 2012 - News And Info: KING KONG Done Wrong In Bangladesh#comment-form#comment-form#comment-form

Rap Song About Getting High With Dinosaurs

"transwarp" ST:CCG playable-out-of-the-box

A pic of my "transwarp" playtesting:

Something that makes my "transwarp" idea distinct is that it makes a very clear effort to streamline play and abbreviate the deck size.
Currently, my 3-part "transwarp" game fits into the classic Official Tournament Sealed Deck (OTSD) box, which would probably hold a baseball (sans the sphereical shape).
In three ziploc baggies, I put the about 150 cards (in card sleeves) seperated into 3 decks, two for players and one seed.

There are other people who have developed "home brew" deck designs and rules adjustments. In fact, one website The Continuing Committee ( has put out what is termed the Official Tournament Format, or OTF. I applaud their efforts. Clearly, part of their goal is to retain the original style of gameplay in the original game, which involves players who are committed to understanding and collecting the game. Yes, in my abbreviated version I sacrifice AU and TOS personnal, I sacrifice the fun and strategy of dilemma combos, I sacrifice the role-playing-feeling from commanding all those different affiliations.

Since I last posted, I have revised my "house rules" to be a bit more updated, including various clarifications. More is needed, and is a matter of me finding time. I of course realize I don't have crowds holding their breathe. I'm just putting my thoughts in order, here.

Once I have my "house rules" revised up to my standards, it'd be fun to ask two (non-Trek) gamers to go ahead and give the game a whirl, and see if the directions explain enough for a good game.

My friend Tobin has given me some new ideas. Specifically, he realized that Temporal Rift could play on an dilemma-ship, and thus be a way to escape that particular obstacle. Also, I have since looked at Asteroid Sanctuary and Magnetic North as possible inclusions in my decks for the same reasons.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Impressive surprise! Heard of a triops?

I hadn't until today, sadly enough. At least, not that I recall.
They are also refered to inaccurately as tadpole shrimp or sheild shrimp. "True" shrimp are in a different (and less-primitive) crustactean group.

Apparently, they are easy raised as pets, with eggs living dormant for an extended time, making them available to children as "instant pets"
They remind me of a horseshoe crab, and like the horseshoe crab, are decidedly a "living fossil"

In the sense that I am surprised to be surprised by an object of natural bewonderment, this reminds me of a solifugid, aka the wind scorpion, which I just had no idea about at all and as such came as a huge surprise to me.

This is all embarrassing to say. But each time I learn something, I am catching up ;-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

JHW: Two Weeks' Notice: bullshit!

I started to say "hogwash" instead, but serious scatology calls for serious verbage.

I'm actually in a very positive upward swing right now, because I start a new job tomorrow (yay!) that I am very hopeful about, in large part because I will again be working in the field I want to be in: ecology. Although admittedly on the fringe. But, my foot is in the door.

However, I've had another disturbing experience this week thats entirely related to be previous Job Hunt Woes experiences. I was entirely unsurprised, however, since I have been around the block a few times.

It AMAZES me how dishonorable employers can be. But, it's also expected at this point. What surprises me is when a company does "the right thing" for no other reason than it's the right thing to do.

I put in my two weeks' notice like a good little prole. I told my new job I couldn't start as soon as they wanted, but had to keep up my end of my prior work responsibilities. Yesterday, my current job (or, I guess it's a former job, now) told me "I didn't need to come in" for my last two days of work. I thought about somehow protesting, but I hate that job so much, I didn't bother.

Now I realize that this was a low-wage job, but I don't think it's much better up the ladder. I think it has more to do with the company ethics than wage-scale. What do you think? What are your experiences?

But what about families that NEED the income from their 2 weeks' transition period? That's why very few people in low wage jobs run the risk of putting in a notice, because they'll be taken off the work schedule prematurely, maybe even immediately. I understand why an employer does this, of course: it's good business sense. An employee on their way out the door might do a crummy job their last few days, or even sabotage the company or steal things.

I used to work in a restaurant. I knew it wasn't doing so well, but I also knew that if they ever planned to close I wouldn't know about it until the night before. I've heard of other businesses letting their employees all show up for work as normal and the workplace be closed and locked up. Douchebags!

Bedroom scenes on TV

[Warning: soapbox and unpopular opinions]

Its not a popular opinion to have, but I don't think TV and movies should be as explicit as they are. Especially in the case of bedroom scenes, but also in regards to language, violence, and other adult-themes. (I'm a little in doubt about the violence: it has been observed that kids and teens are pretty violent individuals, and this is a nondestructive outlet, comparable to shooting things in video games. With that said, such violent digital slaughter should be directed away from police and human beings when possible. Regarding games for youth.)

Personally, I want to support freedom of choice and expression, in fact I prefer a open society with the least limits on personal choices, but that also includes social responsibility. It comes down to for me to the idea of consent. Rape is by far the most well-known nonconsensual act, but I think the ideas apply to any public intercourse (pun intended) if it has the reasonable chance of affecting others without their being aware that it might happen.

I enjoy watching older movies, such as John Wayne, because they are refreshingly discreet. Of course the audience knows that there is plenty of bedroom antics going on behind the scenes, but there are some things we just don't need to see. I recall hearing my parents talk about the "community standards" for TV when they were kids, no active bedroom scenes, and no ads for tampons, no underwear models, or any of that. It just wasn't done.
UNLESS we, as consenting adults, have specifically chosen to watch a movie with explicit material. And here, I'm not even talking nudity, I'm not even talking about hot and heavy athletics, I'm talking about the average non-nudity "simulated sex" bedroom scene in a broadcast television drama.
But couldn't we all use less "erectile disfunction" and "herpes" ads?

Let me be clear.
I just don't think it belongs on the public airwaves, or in PG movies.

Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox now

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kaijuology: review of Dreamworks 'How To Train Your Dragon'

Since I don't think I will be getting out to see this anytime soon, I thought I'd borrow a good review.

A sex scene with Jennifer Aniston would suck; haha

[I never thought I'd hear myself say that. Besides that, I have plenty of thoughts on the matter of bedroom scenes in movies and on TV, but that's another blog.]

John C. Reilly Embarrassed by Sex Scene With Jennifer Aniston
June 14, 2010 04:43:54 GMT

The sexy scene was far from steamy because Jennifer Aniston insisted on covering up from head-to-toe and using a prop cushion to ensure John C. Reilly didn't get too close for comfort.

Actor John C. Reilly was left red-faced on the set of romantic comedy "The Good Girl" when he had to simulate sex with a clearly-uncomfortable Jennifer Aniston. The pair star as husband and wife in the 2002 film and one scene sees the odd movie couple get intimate in the bedroom.

But Reilly admits what was meant to be a sexy scene was far from steamy because Aniston insisted on covering up from head-to-toe and using a prop cushion to ensure the stars didn't get too close for comfort. He says, "It's all dark and she's a little tense 'cause a sex scene is going to happen."

"So I get there and she's under the covers and I'm like, 'OK, I guess they just want me to get in position here.' So I climb into the bed, she opens up the sheet and I swear, she had two pairs of sweatpants on, winter socks, a long-sleeved T-shirt. Her body is basically like a burqa from the neck down."

"And I go, 'OK, I guess I'll just get on top of you now', and she's like, 'Can I get the chastity pillow please?' I'm like what the hell is a chastity pillow? And they bring out this big black pillow that she puts between her legs. And from that moment on, I went from Robert Palmer to the Hunchback of Notre-Dame. 'I'm sorry, I guess I'll just hump the pillow!'"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Evelyn Guerrero

This is one of my favorite actresses. I thought I'd collect all the various bit and pieces I have found out about her on the Internet, and especially clips of her various roles on YouTube and such. She's a little-known actress, and that dovetails with my love of the obscure. Anyway, since I enjoy whatever I find out about her, I thought it'd post some of the things I have found.

She is best known (and almost only known) for her role as Donna in a few Cheech and Chong movies. They are usually a shorter role, with one or two scenes. Things are Tough All Over (1982), Nice Dreams (1981), Cheech and Chong's Next Movie (1980). My favorite is Nice Dreams where she has a her longest part and her most plot-central character, although the Next Movie is very memorable as well. Tough wasn't very impressive at all; a much smaller bit role; a let down, but not her fault.

WARNING: some crude humor and even brief topless nudity (it is Cheech and Chong, after all)

Ms. Guerrero also played Mrs. Ramirez on a family sitcom back in the 80s, The Facts of Life, appearing in one episode entitled "Adventures in Baileysitting" (She only appears in the last 1/4 of this clip about timeindex 5:20) (sadly, this is one of her better performances, but on the plus side she is stunning even in her minor role)

She was also a character named Maria in what looks like a low-budget horror movie in 1978, The Toolbox Murders. I haven't seen it, and not sure I want to, but apparently it's a highly exploitive, masochistic, erotic little slasher film, actually with a few "famous" scenes. Stephen King reportedly had a few nice things to say. Reportedly it was originally one of the 'Video Nasties' that was banned in 1982, whatever that means.
It appears to be a very small role. Lucky I suppose, considering the type of movie.

More importantly, she had a bit part in the premiere episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation "Encounter at Farpoint" but only part 2. It took me a while to find this, but she is the ensign who shows newly transferred Riker how to use the shipboard computer to locate Data at about timeindex 4:18 in the clip I have linked to here.

In the Star Trek clip, she isn't very attractive to me, I will be blunt. Close-cropped hair and masculine clothing. Don't just look at this clip! ;-)

more info that I have collected: Evelyn is currently the widow of Pat Morita (Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid", the first Asian-American to be nominated for an Oscar). They were married later in life, Morita's fourth marriage on March 26 1994, and then Morita died in 2005 at age 77.

I can't say that it's true, but I found this info:
Evelyn and Pat first met when she was 15 years old because Evelyn's mother and Pat had the same manager, Sally Marr. Years later, Pat and Evelyn met again.
Evelyn (Evie) Louise Guerrero: born February 24, 1949 in East Los Angeles, California.

Evelyn had a pictorial in Playboy magazine in the 80s, and also appeared in the sexually-explicit musical comedy "Fairy Tales"

Oh, and this is all "to the best of my knowledge" jaja

Friday, June 11, 2010

test embed- hott dancing chinese girl

Evelyn Lin: Hadn't heard of her til today. Apparently rather new. Apparently a popular pornstar, and one who has a nice smile.

I hadn't realized why a search request of her name (I had conducted by accident, at first) pulled up a Mummy movie trailer.
I thought she was an actress (or other things) featured in The Mummy: Dragon Emperor's Tomb.
Then I found this: "Yang and Choi are killed by Evelyn and Lin when they attempt to ..."
Nope, a quick scan on imdb confirms it: she's never branched into mainstream cinema. A shame, I think.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

found in Cali: the hunter who shot Bambi's mother

In a newsletter from the Center for Biological Diversity (affiliated with DemocracyInAction), received today:

"Pombo Loses Again; Endangered Species, Bambi Sigh in Relief "

Congress's single greatest opponent of endangered species protection -- and one of the greatest offshore oil drilling proponents -- was Rep. Richard Pombo of California. The San Jose Mercury-News rightfully said he "held a special place in the hearts of America's environmental movement somewhere next to Capt. Joseph Hazelwood of the Exxon Valdez and the hunter who shot Bambi's mother."

Before being unelected in 2006 amid financial scandals and ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Pombo declared -- and lost -- a decade-long war on the Endangered Species Act. He tried to make a comeback this year, but just this week lost in the Republican primary to Jeff Denham.

Since he'll now have extra time on his hands, the Center is taking up a collection to send Pombo down to the Gulf of Mexico to clean up the mess he helped create. Let us know if you're interested.

also from the Center

Rolling Stone Quotes Center, Blows Open Gulf Oil Scandal

They didn't put our picture on the cover, but Rolling Stone Magazine featured the Center for Biological Diversity prominently in this month's mammoth exposé on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Titled "The Spill, The Scandal and the President: The inside story of how Obama failed to crack down on the corruption of the Bush years - and let the world's most dangerous oil company get away with murder," Tim Dickinson's story explains how the deeply corrupt Minerals Management Service was allowed to keep ignoring and violating environmental laws through both the Bush and early Obama years.

A few excerpts:

"[Interior Secretary] Salazar did little to tamp down on the lawlessness at MMS...And instead of putting the brakes on new offshore drilling, Salazar immediately throttled it up to record levels. Even though he had scrapped the Bush plan, Salazar put 53 million offshore acres up for lease in the Gulf in his first year alone - an all-time high. The aggressive leasing came as no surprise, given Salazar's track record. "This guy has a long, long history of promoting offshore oil drilling - that's his thing," says Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. "He's got a highly specific soft spot for offshore oil drilling." As a senator, Salazar not only steered passage of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which opened 8 million acres in the Gulf to drilling, he even criticized President Bush for not forcing oil companies to develop existing leases faster."

"A top-to-bottom restructuring of MMS didn't require anything more than Ken Salazar's will: The agency only exists by order of the Interior secretary…Even though Salazar knew that the environmental risks of offshore drilling had been covered up under Bush, he failed to order new assessments. "They could have said, 'We cannot conclude there won't be significant impacts from drilling until we redo those reviews,' " says Brendan Cummings, senior counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity. "But the oil industry would have cried foul. And what we've seen with Salazar is that when the oil industry squeaks, he retreats."

Read the full story in Rolling Stone and check out the latest on the Center's Gulf Disaster Web site.

Friday, June 4, 2010

ST:CCG my custom preconstructed 2player

As requested, my design for Fed-only "transwarp speed" 2player STCCG game with shared seed deck.

This is Decipher's game from the 90s, long dead, Star Trek: The Customizable Card Game.

As a long-dead game, finding players familiar with the game (and with a collection of cards) wasn't practical, so I decided to come up with a version of the game I could fit in a small-ish box and pull out whenever someone seemed interested, and with a minimum of rule complications.

I had four aims in my design:
1) Speed (of set-up and play)
2) Ease (of play and learning the game)
3) TrekSense (only including cards and rules that made sense within the universe established by Trek)
4) Fun (trying to add cards that feature major Trek events and themes, such as tribbles, temporal rifts, the Crystalline Entity, and the Q; or visual appeal or other coolness factor)

The biggest adjustment that I've made, as I see it, is the combined seed deck.
1) By only using one seed deck, and making it random, I have eliminated a HUGE time-eater. Dilemmas are just dealt out.
2) Each game is decidedly different, because different Obstacles come out each game.
3) The game can be shortened or lengthened as desired, within limits, with a simple mechanism of how many Obstacles are dealt.

And plenty of games involve random "chance card" type of problems that are just faced as a matter of course in the game, so it's not at all strange, in my opinion.

By the later expansions, there were so very many nasty dilemmas, and seed slots were at such a premium, that dilemma combos had become of less importance anyway. My preconstructed selection for my "Obstacles" includes mostly evenly nasty dilemmas, sprinkled with relatively harmless ones.

The combined randomized seed deck is what makes this work. Basically, all the other rules I've come up with facilitate the preconstructed decks I've made, based in large part on the collection I have.

A combined seed deck would make almost any preconstructed game pretty reasonable. A Klingon vs Fed preconstructed game (or Dominion vs Fed, or Borg vs Fed). Or themed with tribbles, Q, Mirror Universe, Maquis, etc.

I've recently playtested the current version, and I am fairly happy with it.

2 player Fed-only "transwarp speed" preconstructed deck(s)
WITH COMBINED SEED DECK (and with 1:1 customizable personnel available)

playtested 5/11/2010

current draw (8+22+20+1; 51) + draw #2 (51) + shared seed (55) = 157 cards total

re-re-modified "house rules"
Game setup:
Each player receives his/her Draw Deck (preconstructed and equal, or modified 1:1 ratio replacement, as desired)
The shared Seed Deck is brought out, and separated into Missions and Obstacles (Dilemmas/Enemy Ships).
1) The missions are shuffled, and then laid out into a Spaceline, all facing one direction, and all open to all players.
2) Now, Obstacles (dilemmas/ships/Q) are also shuffled. A number of Obstacles is agreed upon for every mission (from 1 to 4; 3 preferred; lower number speeds up the game). Obstacles are now seeded: a chosen number under each mission, random and hidden, all equal amounts (skipping Space and Nebula missions).
3) Now, each player selects (from Draw Deck) "Starting Fleet Deployment". Each Player begins with one outpost (placement their choice), one ship (their choice), and only those personnel required to staff that one ship (again, their choice).
4) Note: players need to realize they will eventually have a discard pile, a played card area, and a points-modifier area, to be used if and when they are.

Each player plays 2 regular cards during turn, makes command decisions ("taking actions"), then draws 2 cards. Alternate player repeats. Simple.
Sorta. Some cards changed how many cards are drawn or played, or "stop" parts of your fleet from taking more actions, or otherwise confuse things. Also, some cards (when played) allow "downloading" specific cards.
Interrupts may be played at any time and do not require a card play. Tribbles play for free, but on your turn. All others use a card play on your turn, unless they specify. Personnel and Federation ships can only report to your outpost.
"Taking actions" includes ship/personnel movement and mission attempts and attacking ship-dilemmas.
The goal is to gain 100 points before your opponent does, mostly by attempting and completing missions, but also by bonus point boxes on various other cards. A mission is completed once an attempt is made with all requirements satisfied AND no more Obstacles to be faced there. If no player can reach 100 points, by agreed upon time or once neither player can make any effective moves, player with the highest points wins. (With many Obstacles option chosen, this is a likely outcome.)

Further notes:
Non-federation ships are considered as dilemmas/Obstacles (acting like the original Borg Ship dilemma). They immediately attack (and stop) any encountering ship, and then at the end of either players' turns moves towards farther end of spaceline, attacking either players ships encountered (no choice - weakest shields selected, random if tie; ONLY once per either players' turn, usually at the end of a turn, unless Borg Cube, which automatically attacks ANY ship at ANY time, including multiples). If a player's ship has a personnel matching attacking dilemma-ship affiliation, it is usually immune (i.e. Dejar makes a ship immune from Cardassian vessels). (Exceptions to immunity: Non-Aligned and Klingon attack others of same; there are no Borg personnel thus no immunities)

When played, Federation ships immediately produce up to staffing requirements via download (player chooses from draw deck and plays to ship). This automatically causes a player to download and play ONLY Federation personnel and ONLY until staffing met, no more than minimum. Plays to ship. If all staffing cannot be met, then as much as can is made, and no more (example: a ship with a gold star and silver star, no gold in deck, so d/l the one silver).
Ships with no staffing icons still need one any personnel to staff.

Ships with no staffing icons (i.e. shuttles and runabouts) have a capacity/personnel limit matching printed shields. Larger ships have none. These ships (no icons; shuttlecraft) may be docked, launched, carried aboard your ships with (tractor beam and ENGINEER), using 1 range, or land/launch, also using 1 range.

All affiliations may mix and cooperate, except ship-dilemmas.

Miracle Worker: Scotty's special skill includes one of the following skills, your choice: ENGINEER, Astrophysics, Physics, Transporter Skill, Computer Skill. Announce when reporting, and then may change at start of any of your turns.

draw (8+22+20+1= 51) + draw #2 (51) + shared seed (55) = 157

draw deck (x2)

Neutral Outpost

ships (8)
USS Galaxy x 2
Type IV Shuttlecraft
USS Nebula
USS Danube
USS Intrepid
Type 9 Shuttlecraft
USS Excelsior

Events/Interrupts/Obj/Incidents/Eqt (22)
Security Sacrifice
Particle Fountain
Federation PADD
Quantum Slipstream Drive
Escape Pod
Plasmadyne Relay
Telepathic Alien Kidnappers
Palor Toff
Assign Support Personnel
Temporal Rift
62nd Rule of Acquisition
Access Denied
Kevin Uxbridge
Vulcan "Death Grip"
Subspace Warp Rift
Static Warp Bubble
Nutational Shields
Starfleet Type 1 Phaser
1 Tribble

Personnel (20)
Ambassador Krajensky
Sarita Carson
Sito Jaxa
T'Rul - Rommie
Vedek Sorad - Baj
Alyssa Ogawa
Montgomery Scott
Sevek - NA
Joseph Travis
Thompson - dual NA
Jace Micheals
Devinoni Ral - NA
Thomas Riker
Dejar - Cardie
Graham Davis
Soong-type Android - NA
Sovak - Fer
EMH Program

seed deck (shared - 40 Obstacles + 15 Missions/outposts = 55 seed)
Obstacles - all (40 = 15 enemy ships, 24 Dilemmas, 1 Q Event)
Gorn Encounter
Chula: The Lights
Chula: The Way Home
Crystalline Entity
Anaphasic Organism
Quantum Fissure
Under Fire
Scientific Method
Assasin's Blade
Android Nightmares
None Shall Pass
Armus - Sticky Situation
Penalty Box (Q Event)
Q Gets The Point
Sabotaged Negotiations
Stellar Flare
Spatial Rift
Kazon Bomb
Security Precautions
Don't Call Me Ahab
Royale Casino: Craps

Mercenary Ship- Ship
Combat Vessel- Ship
Scout Vessel (Rommie)- Ship
D'deridex Advanced- Ship
Military Freighter (Cardie)- Ship (maybe Breen Warship later)
Alliance Vor'Cha- Ship
Alliance K'Vort- Ship
IKC Vor'Cha - Ship
Borg Scout Vessel- Ship
Borg Cube- Ship
Borg Probe- Ship
Borg Queen's Ship
Borg Sphere- Ship
Galor- Ship
Weyoun's Warship

Missions: 15
Salvage Operation
Study Pulsar
Explore Interstellar Matter
Sensitive Search
Establish Relations
Study Pulsar Streamer
Repair Mission
-Space x 2