Friday, December 28, 2012

Exciting movie! Pacific Rim, great sounding mainstream monster movie

This is a movie about giant manmade robots battling with giant biological monsters in defense of Mankind (expected Summer 2013 (July?). And it's no "B movie" but as big a blockbuster adventure movie as the Spider-man or X-Men movies. The official website with the latest news: I have not been keeping up-to-date, and the newest Star Trek movie is also being something to note, apparantly titled Trek: Into Darkness (expected release also summer 2013). This link talks about both: And do you know who Ron Perlman is? I wasn't so sure until I saw him present on the discussion panel for Pacific Rim. WATCH PANEL It's a bit embarrassing I hadn't realized he was the Reman Viceroy in Star Trek Nemesis. I really enjoyed his performance in Enemy at the Gates, but he is best known as the Hellboy. Well, now that I know who was under the Reman make-up, I am even more disappointed in Nemesis than ever before. It's almost as bad as the unforgivable misuse of the talents of Malcolm McDowell in Generations. Both of the actors had the potential to be the most memorable, badass villians imaginable. But they came off...uninspired. But I digress... Pacific Rim and Guy Davis I know of people who have been very excited about The Hobbit. And I can't quite blame them, and that movie is a cool thing, but not quite worth the money to see it in a fancy theatre premiere. I am happy with the $2 theater, thank you. I've waited this long... However, I might be tempted to splurge on Pacific Rim and see it right when it comes out.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lord of the Rings (LotR) RISK

I need to blog about 2 or 3 games that I have played recently, including Star Trek Catan and Mage Knight. I only have a few minutes, however. Well, mini-MACE 2013 is not open for business yet (scheduling my gamemaster games) so I thought I'd post. I'm planning to teach LotR RISK, a variant of RISK that came out along with the LotR movies. It is vaguely similar to other versions of RISK I have tried, and I enjoy it. However, it is not quickly understood (in my experience) as the rules stand. After thinking on it, I have decided to suggest my Rules Suppliment, which actually is nothing more that a suggested change in terminology and additional rules explanation. "Each Leader token (as described in the original rules) is easier understood as a Wizard, and each Site of Power further described as a Wizard site. Henceforth, please use these terms, understanding the rules, gameboard, and cards in that light. The rules are not changed for Wizards or their Sites of Power. Every player has two Wizard tokens, each represented as a shield in that player's color. Sites of Power (also known as Wizard sites) are identified on the gameboard, and correspond to a given region. If you are at one, you are at the other. As per the rules, Wizards do not participate directly in battle (as a fighting unit) but do enhance your "luck" in battle, when present. During gameplay, your wizards may either be used to enhance battles, or to seek out the "Sites of Power", or Wizard sites. These sites, when found, provide bonuses (as follows)..."

Monday, December 10, 2012

On a Turok Self-Indulgence Binge

I was stolling the flea market, and casually saw a comic book shop. Now, up until this point in my life, I have bought only two comics (unless kiddie LEGO comics count) I was curious about the two comic franchises I know a bit about: Turok, Dinosaur Hunter and Dark Horse's Godzilla. Well, asked a few question, and learned a few answers, but also was offered 5 for $1 90s Turok comics! I was shocked that these comics were so cheap, considering that they had been stored carefully since 1994 or so, but I am guessing the seller mostly wanted them to find good homes. I liked this description for one of the Turok incarnations: (via Wikipedia) "In the revamped Acclaim [Entertainment]
universe, Turok is not the character's name, but rather a title meaning 'Son of Stone'. The Turok must protect the barriers between this dimension and the others—the axis of all worlds being The Lost Lands, a place where creatures from across time and space had been dragged and where "Time has no meaning". Joshua Fireseed, the latest Turok, must travel between alternate universes stopping those who would try to conquer the Lost Lands, and thus all of the Multiverse with it. This series is notable for inspiring the Video Game series of the same name." I learned that Turk may soon be published anew, or may not. If you can beleive what you hear from MTV... It's compatriots from the same comic lines have been brought back from oblivion just this year. You see, the publisher company had died off, and took Turok with it. It has been born again, and perhaps Turok along with it. It's probably an idle hope, but in the Kingdom of Hope there is no Winter. the Turok franshise began in the 1950s with Western Publishing, and isn't considered very readable. And about the most recent video game from 2008, simply titled Turok, a reboot: This brings us up to the present day, with the Dark Horse comics rebooted reboot (featuring 1428 AD characters) published in 2011 and 2012. I found some nifty links: (print this!) This link at Amazon is cool, especially if you read the customoer reviews: Why do I use the "xenomorh" and "kaijuology" labels you may wonder? Well, these are often not your garden variety dinosaurs, sometimes mutations and sometimes technologically-enhanced. Also found this link: (a cool free comic of Valient's Re-newed X-O Manowar first issue) You still have my link to Kill All Monsters webcomic, right?

Friday, November 30, 2012

COAB and Bennett tests

I just took these two tests, and I am (almost) humiliated to have not done well-enough to "pass." I get to retake sometime soon, TBA. And expect (with reasonable hope) to do much better, especially now that I know what I am up against. That is the crux of this post. Maybe one of those poor souls searching around online for a little guidance will find something to help them. I sure didn't find much, or rather I found too much seeming advice in the wrong direction. Any advice or comments I make are from my own one-time experience. The test questions almost certainly change, although I am given to wonder if they change in type of question as well. These tests are both for industrial machine operator training, but I have read where they are applicable (and taken by) various job categories, from the armed forces to structural engineers. I took both tests today, although I imagine a person might take only one or the other, or maybe combined with other industry-specific tests. THIS PRACTICE TEST HELPED A LOT WITH BENNETT:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=994d01e560db146b&bpcl=39314241 First thing to know: these tests are timed sharply. With both tests, it is very important to realize you will be in a huge rush to finish on time. I have heard a few different things about that, and they can't all be right. Some have said you should take your time and be sure you are right. Others seem to say that you should go as fast as you can and do as many as possible, even if you don't feel confident, or even a guess. So in the end, I'm not sure how to advise, just to be aware. Bennett test (Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test): This is about 15 tests (of maybe 4-16 questions) in one, and I think the grades are merged together for the final score. Categories of questions included: Acoustics, Inertia, Belt Drive, Levers, Center of Gravity, Optics, Centrifugal Force, Planes and Slopes, Electricity, Pulley Systems, Gears, Resolution of Forces, Gravity and Velocity, Shape and Volume, Heat, Structures (such as arches), Hydraulics, and Miscellaneous Let me go thru each one from my experience today: 1- Acoustics - (can horn in a tunnel any louder than normal?) 2- Inertia – (I didn't notice any) 3- Belt Drive - (Belt A turns this way; how does Belt B turn?) 4- Levers – (I didn't notice any) 5- Center of Gravity – (Which loaded crane would tip over easier?) 6- Optics – (How would a pen look if half in water, A,B, or C) 7- Centrifugal Force – (What movement will mud travel when slung off a wheel.) 8- Planes and Slopes – (A winding path vesus a straight incline) 9- Electricity – (Which switch turns on ONLY bulb B. What set-up for 2 battaries is correct?) 10-Pulley Systems – (Does man A pull harder or man B in the same task?) 11- Gears - (If gear A turns this-a-way, which way will gear B turn? And which turns faster? which will have more complete rotations?) 12- Resolution of Forces – (I didn't notice any) 13- Gravity and Velocity – (if you throw a stone horizonally, will it land at the same time as one siply dropped?) 14- Shape and Volume - (What shape has more capacity for volumn, a box or a cylinder of the same width?) 15- Heat- (I didn't notice any) 16- Structures – (What kind of arch is strongest? Which bridge?) 17- Hydraulics – (wish rushing water, will a faster current "push" water up a pipe?) 18- Miscellaneous - (will a helicopter fly on the moon? how do you pull from beside a canal?) I advise everyone to study rudders (ride of a boat on water, shooting a bullet on the moon) I think I did fairly well here, as most of the test questions were "simple" physics and so-called mechanical common sense. However, neither of these tests should be taken for granted. Some of the points that were tricky (for me) were connecting multiple battaries and water pressure (hydraulics) questions. But how pullies work, what turning gears and belt do go eath other, one turning the other at what speed, but it also asked what direction mud slings off a raised bycycle wheel. Ah, that was a cintrifugal force question. COAB (Computer Operator Aptitude Battery): The COAB is really 3 tests in 1, and each is fairly seperate, although scored together. It requires no prior knowledge or even familiarity with programming, but is rather logical reasoning, ordering of events in sequence, following directions in formating, ability to follow complex procedures (flow charts), and attention to detail. First is sequences, second is formatting, and last is interpreting flow charts. Good (although inexact) Bennett resources: Google: mechreasoning sampletest (look for tlc and;jsessionid=aZyaYbQ9f3D9
Good resources for COAB (not exact): I could not find much help, and most of what I did find was inapplicable, not what was on the test, but there are a lot of Yes or No on the flow charts and I suggest sketching your own flow chart on scrap paper and go aheard and write in the outcomes at each point. It seems like you waste time, but it is quicker in the end. For the formatting, just remember to follow directions, all of them.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Tiw's Day

I learned today that Tuesday comes from the Old English version of Tiw's Day, where Tiw is a Saxon war god. (Maybe THE Saxon war god? I dunno). Apparently, he is better known as the Norse god Tyr. Speaking of Tyr, have you seen this?: Sorry, I've been reading a bit about the historical background of the Druids. Oh, that reminds me, don't forget, the festival of Samhain is November 1st I have thought for a while of adding obscure holidays and celebrations to my calender. Well, obscure for my neck of the woods, anyway. Bastille Day on July 14, 1789 (also commemorating F. Scott Fitzgerald) The Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773 (grab a Sam Adams) First Contact Day on April 5, 2063 (the Vulcans land and meet humans) Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sept 19 Do you nominate a poorly appreciated date?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

JHW: Stuck in our Part-Time Workers Economy

To continue my ongoing Job Hunt Woes series... Please listen to this radio show if you can. It really is a great discussion. It calls this a crisis. I agree completely. They also mention that this appears to be a "Chicken or the Egg?" sort of problem. Some people blame the employment scheme in the U.S. for the economy, while some blame the economy for this whole situation. I, myself, blame the ethics in modern America, whether they be business ethics, the ethics of the shoppers, and personal ethics. (I myself sail smoothly above these things ;-) I love their term: "the involuntary part-time workers". This show says less than 25% of Americans have a "normal" job, full-time, M thru Fri, 9-5 More specifically, I blame the prominance of corporations. I have had a theory for a while that corporations are the most unethical of businesses because they do not have accountability for moral decisions. No conscience. A traditional business has an owner who accepts responsibility for ethical decisions, whether the business choices are ethical or not. Imagine the CEO: he or she is responsible to the sharehlders, not their own conscience. On the other side, the shareholders do not consider themselves accountable, because they aren't involved directly in decisions. Irnoically, this broadcast came along soon after a (very good!) Climate Change discussion on NPR about that worldwide looming crisis, and saying how our day-to-day focus prevents us seeing the big picture of how dire the situation is. I am very lucky. I have a respite from this madness for myself, while I draw unemployment (which is another blog in itself: most people seem to be misinformed about it; they are giving you YOUR money back that they extracted from your employer)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

JHW: How much land does a man need?

Job Hunt Woes are never far away, but sometimes appear in a different guise. Sometimes they are not even woes, but moments of success. Right now, my woes resemble more confusion and uncertainty, although to be honest I've had a lot more success lately than I am accustomed to. Back in high school, I was forced to read many things, but a few were actually good experiences, and that includes a certain thoughtful Russian short story by Leo Tolstoy. -spoiler alert- As I seem to remember it, the story is about an ambitious man who wants to be a rich landholder, and talks some indigenous people into selling him land based on how far he can run a circle in a day. He wins a huge tract of land for the purchase price, but the actual price is that he dies from a heart attack (or somesuch). How much land does a man need? About six feet. I've been thinking about that moral a lot lately. I'm at a bit of a crossroads, here. Life is too short, and better to know when to quit while you are ahead.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Have you read 'Atlas Shrugged'?

I haven't, but I have heard A LOT about it. The American news landscape is full of Ayn Rind (spelling to come). I don't know all that much about this ideology directly, but indirectly I have some impressions, and apparantly it preaches about "The Virtue of Selfishness" and the evils of a "Culture of Dependancy" among the needy. I just want to say I recognize many similarities with Confucianism. Wikipedia calls it a "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" in it's original form, although it is often considered a religion these days. The Confusian inverse Golden Rule ("Do NOT do unto others what you would NOT have done uno you) seems a close analog to Ayn Rind's socio-economic ideology. I've gotta say, the title is amazing, a full of subtle meaning, but I also must say it's extremely confusing to me. I seems to me the idea of the mythical figure of Atlas shrugging (abadoning his responsibilty of holding the earth on his shoulders) says chaos comes from "shrugging" which is quite at odds with what I am given to undertand this is all about.

movies seen recently

Let's see...Cowboys Versus Aliens Kung Fu Panda 2 (?) Expendables 2 Watch (Ben Stiller) The Good Girl

Saturday, September 22, 2012

First blog post from my first wifi laptop! /Opar

Okay, the wifi thing is cool and occupies many of my thoughts (although nowhere near as many as my girlfriend) but that's not quite what I intend to blog about today. But the fact I can blog today is very much made possible because of wifi ;-) I have found it very hard to manage much reading time while working so many hours, not to mention all the other things. Time wth my girlfriend takes priority, and then social activities and board games and such. And I try and fit the Daily Show (and Colbert Report) in there, too. Actually, I get to see Jon Stewart pretty regularly at this moment in my life, because I live part-time in a motel, with cable, and it is about the only favor granted me by my, roommate. Anyway, I have finished part of the omnibus I've been reading, Gods of Opar. I have been very happy, despite moments of displeasure. But that's the worst critism I have: not the way I would have preferred things. Anyway, I finished Flight to Opar, which impressed me. The biggest thing that I carry with me is the suprise that the story wasn't finished when i settled down for a conclusion. In true pulp fashion, every time you thought the jig was up, it was only one more step in the story. Specifically, and I am going to warn you of a minor spoiler here, the last few chapters introduced new villians, heroes, powerplay/politics, and reasons for jeapardy. Sadly, and again in true pulp fashion, many of the human realities of personal dynamics are overlooked. Most notably I refer to the (spoilers!) romance between the protagonist and Lalila. Well, more the marriage than the romance. How does Hadon feel about her already having a child, and being an instant father? How does he feel about his adopted daughter? How does he adjust to his wife's undoubted cultural habits? Lalila is from an "uncivilized" culture, after all. Are there no stresses in the marriage? Maybe Hadon is too proud, too manly to speak of such private matters. But I can't imagine they aren't thought about. I have decided it is proper I finish Flight before The Song of Kwasain, the thrid and final novel in the omnibus. I have thuroughly enjoyed Kwasain. My main criticism is a big one, and I think it falls to the main writer, Carey (long story about the collaboration). The protagonist, Kwasain, should be an anti-hero. He is perfectly suited to it. In the original two books, he is treated as a egotistical brute. A boarish braggart. Perhaps even laughing at his own cruelty. I recall him laughing at the barbarian women he had raped who hadn't been able to walk immediately afterwards. In Song, he is a different man. Still a disrespectful braggart and thinks with his naughty parts, but too much of a hero for the sake of faithfulness. Maybe I am too critical. In other news, my "temporary job" won't last too much longer, at whcih point I will be (hopefully) again on unemployment and searching for renewed employment. I have not made much progress in my readings since my last blog post. Also, and this is not quite a new sentiment, but I need to make a Job Hunt Woes post on the sentiment "Life is too short for..." referring to my current well-paid, poorly-lived job.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

multiple readings at the moment...

I read online recently (amazing that I have the time) where someone in the Commentariat mentioned their Mount To-Be-Read (well, they said Mount Toberead, but I think that is confusing). I'm not sure I'll adopt that phrase for my own use, but it is worth consideration, especially considering the mountain-seeming pile I have been accumulating. And accumulate is about all that has happened for a few months. I took a very time consuming construction job, about as inappropriate a job for a scholarly type that I can think of. But I am surviving, and even holding my own. I worked 71 hours last week, getting paid 31 hours of overtime. No life; large paychecks. For a temporary thing, it is marvelous in many respects and I'm very blessed and grateful to have it. But anyway... I have had Jack London's The Sea Wolf on my calander for about two years. I am still in the middle of Gods of Opar, and actually I am reading books 2 and 3 of the trilogy (Flight to Opar and Song of Kwasin) simultaneously, alternating between their natural turning points (if I am lucky enough to notice them). I am in the middle of a breif scholarly history of Africa, called an Atlas of African History, and it is just the kind of overview I was interested in. I hope to finish that soon. It's about 1300 and Zimbabwe just emerged as a power, enriched by their gold trade with seagoing Arabs. The Islamic empire(s) are in decline from their apex of a few centuries ago, and independant Ghana has thrown out the Mohamadeans in favor of their indigenous animism and native king. My favorite chapter in history, the Renaissance explorers, is just over the horizon. Literally. Next up Prince Henry the Navigator, Magellan, Cadamosto, I hope. I picked up a few books from the library on "mysteries" recently. One on cryptozoolgy, one on lost civiliations, and another on mysteries of the past, generally. My Opar interests compelled the African and mysterious books. I ordered the Other Log of Phileus Fogg on eBay. The new Titan books edition, gently used. That purchase is not quite a result of Opar, but rather part of the same trend (the author, Jose Farmer) After ordering Phileus Fogg, I learned from a review online that I was earnestly recommended to first read the original Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. So I have added that to my list also, retroactively. Strangely enough, my girlfriend seems to have had a presentiment on that account and had gotten me a copy months before. I am in the middle of The Annotated Hobbit, an 80s pre-Peter-Jackson celebration of the ledgendary books, including the novel itself. Four months ago I think the dwarves, hobbit, and wizard just escaped the Goblin caverns (along with Golum). I also began a Sherlock Holmes story, but only a few pages in, and I forget which one. I just remember my shock at his cocaine use. I also got two hardbacks from the Dollar Tree recently (I cannot recommend books from Dollar Tree enough, when worth reading): one on modern travel tales from China, the other on corruption in US politics. Those are near the bottom of my pile, however. I have Exiles of Kho on preorder, and am hoping for it later this month. It is a novella set in the world of the Opar books, and is exiting. It is going to be high on my list of To-Be-Reads, in part because I paid real money for the privilege ;-) And privilege is promises to be. Months ago I started an Ernest Hemingway novel, The Green Hills of Africa, but only got a few chapters into it by the time I got sidetracked. I plan to get back to it. It seemed worth the read. Besides, I own it, because I bought it very cheap at a library used book sale. Not long ago (in bibliographical terms) I read an excerpt from Edgar Allen Poe's Eureka and was dumbstruck. I mean, this was the 1800s, and the guy has anticipated the Big Bang Theory. No, I'm not kidding. If you are interested in astronomical science, you should read it. Can you tell I have a bad habit of starting stories I don't finish, even if they are good? To combat this bad habit, I have sometimes forced myself to read stories that did not hold my attention. Forgive my blasphemy, but some of the Edgar Allen Poe stories were that way. Am I forgetting something? Well, I suspect I am, but if I remembered what I was forgetting, we wouldn't be having this problem, would we?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Classic country? Big Wind and Johnny Cash I didn't even realize there was such a thing as classic country, and I also didn't realize Johnny Cash and John Denver are generally considered country. I heard the above song "Big Wind" on the radio a few weeks ago and was first made aware of the concept. It turns out I like that style of music, regardlass of the fact I detest country music in the modern sense. Now, I don't mean any disrespect. I am quite certain some of my interests offend others' sensabilities. Your comments?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

book preorder: Exiles of Kho

After receiving and loving Gods of Opar, I decided to order the unpublished further book the author is writing (a prequel, actually) called Exiles of Kho. It will be a novella, and right now has an unreleased page count, which honestly concerns me since I have already preordered. Nonetheless, I am very excited! As I have said before, this author is new to me and not widely known in general circles, from what I can tell. But he seems to be a good writer, and I am pleased I gave him the chance I did when I ordered Gods of Opar slightly on faith. The cover art (and perhaps other art) is impressive and worthy of note, and suggests this will be a very handsome volumn. Carey is not Farmer, and his writing style is subtly different. It's not terribly noticible, and yet I did notice it. His attitude towards mysticism and magic and religion seem to be different, as seem in Song of Kwasin. I am disappointed by at least one thing wich is a matter of taste. I am not a fan of the Sahhindar character, and he will be a central figure in the story. But that's my taste; other readers seem to be thrilled that Sahhindar is well-represented. I am thowing in the labels "xenomorph" and "kaijuology" because of the sirrush, a conjectural prehistoric reptile of crocodilian proportions. The sirrush (trnslated from Assyrian meaning 'Splendor Serpent') is also known as "The Dragon of the Ishtar Gate" and is a creature of legitimate if unproven credentials. In fact, I wonder if there are any other fiction books that include a living sirrush. I would not be suprised either way.
Interesting: Another book I am really interested in: The Other Log of Phileas Fogg This link is especially interesting: A Very Long Letter by PJFarmer. also, Iron and Bronze and also,

Monday, July 2, 2012

books: Gods of Opar

I have been very excited about this book for a long while, first seeing it mentioned online as a proposed novel. I was seeking, like many have, the expected conclusion to the Opar trilogy. Unlike most, my timing was especially lucky, and the conclusion was being prepared at that time. I am very glad I ordered the limited edition hardcover of Gods of Opar, even though it was much more expensive than I am used to ($65). In reality though, since the book contains three novels, that makes each novel a quite reasonable price ($20, since shipping was included). Gods of Opar was published by the Subterranean Press just this past month, and includes two novels of fictional prehistoric high adventure (by Phillip Jose Farmer) plus a third just-written novel (by Farmer and Carey) that concludes the trilogy that was left dangling by the original author. All three novels were written to honor and imitate the style of pulp novels, which are known for being adventursome, gratuitios, sensational, and generally over-the-top. The book is most genreally about Opar, an "ancient lost city" invented for the old Tarzan books. It was referred to as a "lost colony of Atlantis" and was described in a few Tarzan books in the 1910s. Then comes Farmer, publishing Hadon of Ancient Opar in 1974. Then comes Carey, expanding the Farmer books with Song of Kwasin, the third book in Gods of Opar. However, ironically, Opar is little seen or spoken of. Rather, the captial island of pseudo-Atlantis (known as Khokarsa) is the focus, an island on an inland sea (now more or less vanished) within Africa. I've had an interesting time listening to some files I found online, called "podcasts", a radio show of sorts, in which the book is discussed by the authors and publishers. (to listen to the above podcasts, you may need to scroll around on I ordered a follow-up novel (or rather a prequel) to Gods of Opar called the Exiles of Kho, an solitarily written novel by Carey. Since this author, Carey, is an unknown to me and much of the world, I was skeptical at first. But I think I will be mightily pleased. Brobdingnagianly, even. An informal pronunciation guide gleaned from Carey via podcast: Hadon: "Huh-don" Kwasin: "Kwaa-seen" Lalila: "Lah-Lee-Lah" Paga: "Pahgah" Lupoeth: "Loo-Poth" Dythbeth: Sahhindar: "Sah-Heen-dar" Hinokly: "Hee-nokly" Resu: "Ray-zoo"

Blogger, blogspot hasn't been working well for me

I don't know what it is. At least today, I can make a post. Other days I can't even enter text. Maybe it's fixed; I hope so. In other related news, my recently purchased cell phone (same number, new device) won't log into Gmail. About two weeks ago it worked great. Now, when I try to enter my password, everything seems great, until I reach the "click" function, which is "select" on this phone. It even offers me a "select" choice but won't do anything. Argggg!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

movie review: John Carter of Mars

I really needed to write this review a week ago, because the details are already starting to drain away. On the other hand, longer reflection has added some new insights into my movie-going Burroughs experience. First off, I really REALLY enjoyed the movie. And hadn't expected to. It was in my opinion actually an improvement on Burroughs in many ways, although in other ways not. I talk of Burroughs, because this movie is based on a book (rather series of books) by ERB that I read as a youngster. Actually, rather young, perhaps 12 or 14. As a sci-fi friend of mine noted, the title was very unfortunate. The books were titled such things as "A Princess of Mars" and "Gods of Mars" and "Warlord of Mars." My friend insightfully said that just about any of those titles would have been better. However, I respect their choice, which suggests to me their acknowledgment of their own artistic retelling of Burroughs, which I find very honorable. However, I have no idea if that was the actual reasoning, and I suspect flawed marketing. Buroughs wrote adventure stories. Sometimes he was dismissive of his own writings as not artful and even "dampool tales". But this feeds directly into why I don't mind seeing his stories retold by moviemakers. His intention was never art for arts sake, but fun entertainment. The improvements were as follows: 1) A needed humorist element added to his works, which is perhaps merely a modernist updating. 2) A needed personality added to the character of John Carter. The hero of the Mars books was rather one-dimensional, as I recall (only vaguely--remember I read these books in my childhood). In fact, all of ERB's heros across many storylines are pretty much the same. Which, I suppose, might not be a criticism but rather saying Burroughs knows what he writes well, and stuck to it. However, I do criticize. 3) A desperately needed modern heroine for the Mars story. In the books, she was little more than a royal damsel in distress, as I recall (perhaps mistakenly) 4) A personality and charater for the above heroine. 4) A modern interpretation/solution to the whole "astral projection" thing in the origial Burroghs books. You see, they were written in the 1910s or thereabouts, as I recall, and can't be held accountable for their errors of the period. Remember, at one time blood-letting was a widely respected medical practice. The creators of the movie seem to have been wider Burroughs fans that merely the Mars books, or of books at all. I am pretty sure a story point was solved using a device from the black-and-white Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movies, the Escarpment. There may have been another, relating to the Elephant's Graveyard. But that one I am rathat dubious of. Hardly worth mentioning. And yet I did mention it, didn't I? Things I didn't like: 1) The toad-dog 2) Burroughs as a character 3) The introduction of the John Carter character, with the telegraph office, just didn't seem a good early introduction of his charater (my thoughts).

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Free fiction by 'Song of Kwasin' author
I haven't read anything by this author yet (Christopher Paul Carey, author of Exiles of Kho and more) and I am anxious to do so (you see, I've ordered one of his books, Gods of Opar - Song of Kwasin, and am exited about others). But, let me share my find. It's only a teaser and prints for me at 4 pages.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sauratown Mountains of North Carolina

Like many mountain ranges in the North Carolina (and anywhere else with mountains) small ranges are often poorly understood or even unknown by those living quite nearby. The Sauratown Mountains (locally pronounced "sour town")definitely fall into this category. Adding to the confusion there is a the Sauratown Mountain, besides the other well-known Hanging Rock and Pilot Mountains. These are all part of the same small chain, although many locals have no idea. (In all truth, does it much matter to most people when looking at one of the spectacular viws?) I myself had no idea until I saw a sign at Hanging Rock State Park in the last few years.
I would encourage a person to also look at the Brushy Mountains, the Uwharries, and the South Mountains.

Costa Rican tea - Mondaisa's Digextivan
I highly recommend this herbal tea, besad on no medical information but just my enjoyment. If I recall it had licorice, which although I don't enjoy it as candy, it makes wonderful tea. It appears you can order it online easily through Paypal, although I have not done so. It makes me wonder if the price combines with international shipping charges, although I suspect there is an American importer-merchant.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gods of Opar, etc.

I am very excited about this book, so excited I may have bought it in the heat of the moment for way too much money. Impluse buying is so sadisticly seductive. From Editorial Reviews Publishers Weekly The late Farmer (1918–2009; Riverworld) wrote two novels paying tribute to and expanding on the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and the outline of a third. This outline informs Carey’s development of a story that focuses on exiled Kwasin, the “strongest man in the world,” and his battle against King Minruth of Khokarsa. Kwasin marries and loses a queen, meets the persistent bard Bhako, and adventures with the king’s rebellious daughter, Awineth. True to its roots, the latest entry is fast-paced, often violent (Kwasin’s enormous battle-ax is a major character), and filled with pulp tropes. Fans of Farmer’s original series will appreciate this repackaging and enjoy the finale, both in tone and because of the closure it provides. Likewise, fans of Burroughs, H. Rider Haggard, and other pulp authors will find the entire collection an accessible and enjoyable throwback. (May) Publisher: Subterranean Press Publication date: 4/28/2012 Pages: 576
Hmm, this is interesting: apparently there will be a book Exiles of Kho, (featuring a sirrush on the cover if my guess is correct, complete with a single horn!) Reminder to self: I need to blog about Job Hunt Woes: Being a Buttmonkey. You see, as one of the better examples, as yourself: does your boss say "Would you like to work Saturday?" "Can you work Saturday?" "Will you work Saturday?" or "I need you to work Saturday."

Monday, May 7, 2012

Short on time

I don't have hardly any time today, or any other day these days. I found work, and I am working 6 days a week at around 54 hours a week. But, until I get time to actually post:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Congrats Reykjavík!

I was listening to NPR breifly this morning, I think to a re-broadcast of BBC, and they had the current president of Iceland talking to them about the (suprisingly successful) financial recovery in his country following the collapse of the banks.

Congrats is two-fold:

The Icelanders didn't succumb to international pressure (or international folly) in bailing out the banks with government funds and the "too big to fail" concept. Just because everyone else jumped off a cliff like panicked antelope, they didn't need to.

Icelanders did put their former president on trial for the lead-up to the financial collapse. Or rather are in the process. Whether he is actually even a little at fault or not, I have no idea. But I wish America took that kind of resolve, and also I wish our government knew some accountability rather than all their formal bribes and self-interest-over-short-sightedness nonsense. In my opinion, every congressman involved in the bail outs should be forced to resign.

I read recently that Edgar Allen Poe was decidedly against the idea of democracies. He appears to have favored a constitutional monarchy more than anything. I found that fascinating.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Where have you travelled?

With my mom's fledgling travel agency, I have been to Costa Rica providing assistance with dental tourism. Before that, out of the USA, only barely into Canada (Sault St. Marie) and barely into Mexico (Puerto Penasco). Within the US, lets see, NC, the Outer Banks of NC, SC, Tenn, Arkansas, Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma, Florida and Virginia. Also, I have driven though parts of Texas, Missouri, Georgia, Ohio, West Virginia, and Michegan. Did I forget any? I bet I misspelled Michegan. And I misspelled mispelled.
Well, who'd da thunk, I got misspelled right. I slaughtered Michigan, though.

An important comment regarding "travel ethics"
No, I'm not talking about eco-friendly, socially conscious, sustainable toursim, although that's all important. But I am talking about how YOU as a person feel about travel and YOU make OTHERS feel.
I know when I've heard others talk about extravagant travel experiences, and especially conspicious globe-trotting, it's rather depressed me. As if I already wasn't feeling badly about not having a job.

So, I aplogize if my travel talk has done that to anyone.

Travel, like all of life's luxuries, is best kept as a special occassion, I think. Living within one's means is a virtue that America seems to have veered away from (the government and the people).

new flier/ handout for Dental Travel business

Today I typed up a new flyer for our young business.
How does it sound? I have received friendly criticism to certain grammar sacrifices made in the name of expediency.

Fair, Affordable Dentist Visits (and Medical Scans)
imagine, if U.S. prices $6,000, then Costa Rica as low as $3,000 (including all normal travel costs, even airfare!) At {our business}, we don't seek the cheapest care, but rather affordable quality care.
Can you imagine getting world class dental care for up to 70% less than in the USA? Root canal: $300, Porcelain Crown: $395, Dental implant: $1800. This is all by highly skilled dental professionals in a modern, high-tech dental clinic in Costa Rica. You get a great vacation and save lots of money BUT you don't want to travel alone in a strange country BECAUSE "I don't know where to go, the language, or where to begin finding the best hotels and dentists." Well, we have simplified EVERYTHING for you. While some dental tourism agencies book the dentist and hotel for you, we are right there at the hotel and dentist office with you, WITH A BILINGUAL REGISTERED NURSE and staff on hand to attend to your vacation and dental needs. Personal service makes us unique in this industry.
JOIN OUR UPCOMING TOUR! We are here in the USA, and in Costa Rica to help you.
Our services include before, during, and after your trip! Assistance with airlines and passports, our partner hotel and catered breakfasts, and ready FREE international phone and bilingual nurse
Visit our website at {?}
Learn more at the Clemmons Library Auditorium, Thursday, April 5, 2012 between 5 / 6 pm.
No Internet? No problem! Call our local travel representative 336-300-4000

Monday, March 19, 2012

Reading about eggs today

Note to self: Soft boiled eggs are healthier than scambled eggs, according to these articles. Number Two, find a local farmer's market type source for real free-range eggs (rather than trust a grocery store) once I have an income.

Number Three, I still say it looks like store-bought eggs are "whitewashed"

I don't really know enough to recommend that above website, but it sounds like an intelligent resource (if taken with the requisite grain of salt).
Moreover, these are not new ideas to me, although I hadn't heard about the scrambled eggs bit.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Poe as translated by Baudelaire

I have read it said that "Poe translated by Baudelaire is better than Poe in English."

I can't really comment from personal experience, but I can well beleive it. Why? After reading various works of Poe, while I congratulate him on being an excellent story-constructor, and an adept at playing on a readers' subconcious, and at "getting inside the head of" his (often) insane protagonists, his works have little of what I would call a Shakespearean mastery of wordplay.

However, Charles Baudelaire does appear to have it. Although even then I find myself at the mercy of the translator (and editors) to reach any opinion.

Shakespeare and Baudelaire aren't the only authors to have such a "way with words," and I find myself unable to properly explain the distinction. It is one of those few ideas felt rather than conceived, I think.

What have you read by French authors?

This blog post is directed at my American audience (assuming anyone otherwise is listening), and I thus apologize if it offends and French readers by its ignorance.

Anyway, except for Les Miserables force-fed in high school, not much I can think of. I think that is pretty true for most European languages. A German story here, a Spanish story there.

Well, I was reading a book about Poe recently, on my continuing Poe bent, called The Unknown Poe. The book itself is about half Poe's writings and about half writings about Poe, many of them by French authors.

And that brings me to the point of my blog today. Charles Baudelaire was Poe's most celebrated translator, defender, and apologist, from what I understand. His writings on Poe comprised the best part of the book for me thus far. His use of language leaves me breatheless (which is a monumental complemint to his translator, whose name I cannot remember, certainly a great wordsmith in his own right).

I am now determind (when I get the chance) to look up more works by Baudelaire, which I assume I can find. Although my patience with poetry is not especially robust. Also, Ernest Himingway himself recommends Valéry (I assume he meant Paul Valéry), and I also want to look him up, too.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

our new travel business

My mom has had an idea to start a travel business (I am leaving it unnamed by request). After we made our 2-person trip to Costa Rica to have her dental work done (much cheaper than American prices, but with suprisingly high standards of care) she wants to offer her experience to others, especially the many Americans who aren't very comfortable with the idea of international travel. Even after including her airfare (for both of us!), hotel, travel expenses, and then dental bill, she still calculates she saved $5,000 AND had important dental work done. She might have left her problems unaddressed because she wasn't happy with the cost of care in the U.S.

We (this propsed company) would make it easier for people to travel. When you're an American in Costa Rica, it's easy to have problems. We did. Badly at first. Especially money. As a tourist, you don't want to carry too much cash, but once you're in Costa Rica, getting access to your own bank account is very tricky. We can work that out. Also, we can set-up international calls.

A $6,000 U.S. bill would probably take a Costa Rican trip costing a total of around$3,500 (dental costs + airfare + hotel + agency fees + various travel expenses). That's a lot of money, but a two thousand dollars' savings is also a lot of money. And in the U.S. dental insurance doesn't seem to help very much, even if you are lucky enough to have it. The price might be much lower, because airfare can be as cheap as $58 sometimes.

It's a good idea, I think, one that helps her, me, Amber, all our family make money, but also helps any customer of ours to save a lot of money and have better healthcare because they can suddenly afford what they need. And with the idea of making money (having a honest-to-goodness job) while helping others out it something I like a lot. I bet you know some older people who can't afford their medical and dental, and are putting off things they really need. This is for them.

She has put together a website, just a few days ago.
I am impressed with how good it looks.

The worst part about the whole trip for me was the international travel, especially the airports, and feeling helpless and price-gouged by the airports. Once in Costa Rica, it really wasn't bad at all if you have money you can access.

We're still working on the prices a bit, but it is mostly final. We want to get a group together for April 22 to March 3rd. That's soon. A bit scary soon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rush Limbaugh insults by calling 'slut' and 'prostitute'

I find it intersting to hear multiple sides of this issue.

Rush Limbaugh actually first broadcast on this, saying:

He apparently followed up with about 3 days of name-calling.

Glenn Back says:
(with some clips from Ms. Fluke's original testimony)

The Young Turks say:

An independant critical comment:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My dental trip to Costa Rica

I don't have bad teeth (I am only 29), but my mom was doing all this, and so since I didn't want her to go alone, I planned to go. But that isn't to make it sound dreary. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, except for the {excessive and unnecessary] hassle of international travel. So I got dental work done too, although not urgent, I might as well take advantage. I have my whole dental life ahead of me.

You see, for her (or most any American needing at least a few expensive dental procedures) is was significantly cheaper all told to pay international airfare there and back, a touristy luxury Costa Rican hotel, daily tourism activities (such as museums), AND the (quality) dental work itself.

That is a sad commentary on American medical/dental/insurance circumstances.

I'm not just guessing at the value or savings or quality. After having made this trip ourselves, we can now make totals of all our expenses as well as our equivalent American prices. We can also know which dentists are actually of the good quality and skill an American would want to make all this worthwhile (for instance, my dentist, a Dr. Ms. Marin, did much of her training at UCLA).

For American prices, I used an online Consumer Reports article, Too view the full price listings, I'm afraid you have to be a subscriber.

For Costa Rican prices, we have our receipts and dental work agreements from where we actually had this work done (Feb 2012)

I had some extraordinary sight-seeing experiences, but for my 6 days there I spent the large majority in and around dental offices.
However, I got one day of real sight-seeing, which was a great value through Expediciones Tropicales, in which I went on their Combo tour, with the Doka Coffee PLantation, the Poas Volcano National Park, and the La Paz Waterfall Garden.
I say great value, because although it seemed pricey at first, I later looked at all that I did that was included and realized what a value it was!
I have a keen interest in waterfall sight-seeing, and so this day trip was especially meaningful for me.,_Costa_Rica

I never made it to the San Jose Zoo, nor the Jade Museum, and I never got to taste fresh guanabana fruit. That was disappointing, although what I did get to do was more than I ever expected.

My mom wants to try and do more of these trips, for herself and her friends. I felt very safe in Costa Rica. It seemed quite a safe place to go, unless of course you went into the worst areas (same as any U.S. city). You hear many scary things online, but I didn't face any (although I did take malaria tablets).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Beyond the Virginia Opossum

Not too long ago, I heard a zookeeper speak of our Virginia opossum as either "the only species of opossum" or "the only North American species of opossum."

Either way, I silently disagreed. I immediately thought of the yapok, or water opossum of Mexico.

This zookeeper had some justification for her statement, if it was the North American question. Many people do not consider mesoamerica or the Caribbean to be part of North America. Further, the information online (plus my own observations) is misleading at best. Many websites make it a firm statement that the opossum is "North America's only marsupial." That is correct, but there at least 3 species of North American opossums (when you include Mesoamerica). Even wikipedia seems to have trouble with this, saying the Virginia opossum is the only marsupial found in North America north of Mexico".

Yet, from doing a little research, there seem to be 103 species of true opossums (of the American genetic background, as opposed to the "possums" of the Austrailian region which look unrelated, because they very much are.)

That's more than I had supposed, and while most are South American, some are native to the Caribbean islands, which I would consider North American.

But it occurs to me that this is really part of a larger debate on understanding:
Is Central America a part of North America?
Wikipedia says:
The continent is delimited on the southeast by most geographers at the Darién watershed along the Colombia-Panama border, placing all of Panama within North America. Alternatively, less common views would end North America at the man-made Panama Canal, and some geologists physiographically locate its southern limit at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico, with Central America extending southeastward to South America from this point.

Back to opossums: I recently read that Virginia opoosums have their furthest southernly range is in Costa Rica. Did you know Costa Rica has white-tailed deer? racoons? cougars? North American porcupines?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum"

This is my 2nd post about Edgar Allen Poe's works. I haven't read all his work by any means, but I have had a good sampling now. Yesterday, I finished three Poe short stories, "The Masque of the Red Death" "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Purloined Letter"

I was very much in anticipation concerning "The Masque of the Red Death." From other readings, specifically the forward to the collection, I got the impression it was something remarkable and unforgettable. I was very, very disappointed. It was not even worthy a shudder to my modern desensitized sensibilities. I have been similarly disappointed in most of Poe's stories. We, as modern people, see so much violence and carnage on regularly braodcast television, not to mention the truly graphic horror flicks, that much of Poe doesn't reach me as I was expecting.

Then I was had my awe re-newed with "The Pit and the Pendulum." More than frightening (in the startled screaming sense) Poe's horror tends to illict a shudder and even groan in the back of my mind when his effects over-reach my punch-drunk senses. With his protagonists, I often wonder, "How much horror can one man take?"

From this story, I have now learned the word "viand." Looking it up was my etymology lesson for the day. And, like many others of Poe's words, his usage is somehwat different from what the dictionary says. By the way, I tried to use the word "poe" in scrabble once, based on my Zelda memories, and was very displeased to find out it isn't considered a word.

And then on to "The Purloined Letter." This is a very different type of Poe story, without even the horrific details of the tale's precursor, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (which I found isn't about a mortuary, by the way). It is a straight detective story, with much the feel of a Sherlock Holmes story. Arm-chair deductions, and unusual hiding places.

The shuddering reptitions of horrific experiences seen in "Pit/Pendulum" are seen again in Poe's Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, his book, as well as other stories.

Another favorite story I read was Loss of Breath, although generally all were good reads.

I have another collection of Poe stories I sought out to read. Apparently, Poe has some "Mark Twain" like humorist short stories, too, and these I am curious about.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Science and Religion are Compatible, book says

Where the Conflict Really Lies : Science, Religion, and Naturalism

I heard about this book on NPR. I invite you to listen here.

From what I understand, the book seems to have a very simple point, but one that really needed to be said and it so very basic and yet overlooked. The incompatability of religion and science just simply doesn't exist. They might not agree, but they aren't opposed to each other the way most people seem to think.

The mutual disagreement arises between religion and naturalism (often seen as atheism). Now, many scientific thinkers are indeed beleivers in naturalism, but athiem cannot be "proved" any more than theism can. Specifically, both cannot be observed, and are merely an assumption. Admittedly, certain elements of religion are implausible notions, at best, and are the ones most often thought of, such as fundamentalist creationism. But even there, room for thinking allows plausability.

Your thoughts?

As a book, I have no basis for real recommendation, one way or the other. At first blush, it sounds like the book could have made its case as an article rather than a book, or as an entry in a compilation, perhaps.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

MegaFauna park... Ooo you don't see this every day

Once you get past the dinosaurs, it gets much more interesting, in my opinion. I have to wonder about the materials used. Are they simply concrete statues, or are they textured?

my gaming profile (my reference)

The website keeps changing, and my gaming profile keeps getting deleted, so I thought I'd re-post the matter here, and also embellish a bit.

Gamer from Tulsa Oklahoma. Well, backup, I am born 'n raised Triad but moved to Oklahoma, now back since '09. I was looking for you guys for a while. I now go to MACE and SCARAB. I have been a GM at MACE (NC) and Conestoga (OK).

I was looking for a gaming group like I had known in Oklahoma, which knew and played Carcassone and Catan and such games, and I found it here. I have been very pleased.

I have a collection of games now (not especially big, but quite decent) which includes Carcassone, the Catan Dice Game, Hey That's My Fish, Classic RISK, RISK 2210, TransAmerica, Doctor Lucky, Anachronism, Martian Fluxx, Havoc, my repurposed 2-Player Star Trek Card Game, my repurposed Havoc on Parade, Citadels, The Great Dalmuti, chess, Pit, In a Pickle, Bang!, Alien Abduction, Guillotine, and Jishaku magnets. Wow, I have more games than I had thought!

Anyone who has met and played with me probably knows I lean towards the so-called "abstract strategy," more chaotic games.

The Catan Dice Game was my first modern purchase, after chess and classic RISK and a large Star Trek collection. I began my hobby interest in the 90s with the Star Trek Customizable Card Game, played tournament-sytle not unlike Magic. There was a long break with intermittant chess, RISK games, and video games until I found a Eurogames group out in Tulsa. It has snowballed from there. Unlike most gamers of our type, I have never played D&D. I have joked with my girlfriend, in high school I just wasn't cool enough to play D&D. Ha ha!

Looking to someday buy Blokus, The Stars Are Right, Nuclear War, and maybe Forbidden Island

Timeline limited to my gaming background:
1997-2002 Star Trek Customizable Card Game, video games, RISK, chess
2002-2007 almost nothing
2008 awakened to Catan, Carcassone, Citadels, Fluxx, RISK: Godstorm, RISK: LotR, Nuclear War, and others
bought Catan Dice Game, Guillotine, The Great Dalmuti, Abduction
attended my first gaming convention, Conestoga, in Tulsa, OK
first attempt to preconstruct a Star Trek 2-Player repurposing
2009 less but some
2010 played many new games, first played Pit, In a Pickle,
found and joined a a few games groups on, esp. Camel City
Gamers and Games That Make You Laugh
bought Martian Fluxx, gift of Bang!
2011 bought Kill Doctor Lucky, In a Pickle, Pit, Carcassone, Blokus Trigon
First played Settlers of America, Anachronism, Star Fleet Battles,
The Stars Are Right
First visit to SCARAB (Jan) in S.C. and MACE (Nov) in High Point
2012 It's a new year! Gift of Anachronism, bought TransAmerica
played/pleased with Forbidden Island, Twilight Imperium
Also attended Mini-MACE

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Great News! Keystone Pipeline Halted! Obama Stood his Ground!

Wow, the Republicans and Big Oil lobby are going to go into a frenzy, even moreso than already.
And this isn't over. That's why I say "halted" whereas others say "killed"

I am suprised actually Obama was able to withstand all that pressure.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cool! Found this! Listening to sci-fi Trek authors talk radio

I just found the archives of this amatuer (yet notable) talk radio program and it has content of strong interest to me (okay, perhaps an understantement), recent Star Trek authors. For those who aren't familiar, ever since the late 90s the Star Trek books have all been relaunched with an emphasis on becoming literature, rather than "young adult" adventure books. A few editors, such a Marco Palmieri, were especially involved in this. Their success at inter-novel continuity marks this period. It began a little before the DS9 Relaunch (as it is often known) and around the 2003 Lost Era books, or perhaps with KRAD's Diplomatic Implausibility.

interview with Trek author Christopher L. Bennett, Airdate: Mon, April 11, 2011
Bennett speaks on Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock
Listen to internet radio with NDB Media on Blog Talk Radio

KRAD speaks on "A Singular Destiny" plus earlier work
go to about 12:30 at
Listen to internet radio with NDB Media on Blog Talk Radio

I am now adding Mere Anarchy and A Singular Destiny to my reading list, and probably Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows and Obsidian Alliances( which includes KRAD's The Mirror-Scaled Serpent, too.

First Contact Day!


Listen to internet radio with SciFiPulse on Blog Talk Radio

what have you read by Buckminster Fuller?

I had no idea who he was until today. I first heard of him a few weeks ago, mentioned in the Tao of Pooh, spoken of in the same breathe as Edison. That alone was enough to catch my attention.

Well, a quick online glance makes it amazing to me I had never heard of him before, or at least not in a way I remembered the mention. From what I see, he was a writer (as well as mover, shaker, and innovator) and from a quick look I think he is in line with my interests.

The website linked above suggests Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, 1963, or Critical Path as good starting points. I am going to add those to my ever-lengthy and ever-growing reading list.

His science is doubtlessly dated, and I suspect this is the major reason I haven't heard of him. But like a favorite author of mine, Willy Ley, I bet his enduring insights into various fundamental principles are worthy of note. He really isn't THAT outdated. He wrote until the 80s.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Trek aliens: Caitians and Markalians

Well, the Betelgeusians are still without equal as my personal favorite obscure Star Trek alien (I've blogged about them before; they have the added mystique of never having been seen clearly) but I found two races recently that I hadn't known much about before. And there isn't much to know, appaarantly.

My girlfriend bought me a set of Deep Space Nine Season 1, and I got curious when I saw a few Markalians (unnammed as such). Mercenary characters catch my eye, what can I say. As for Caitians, I had previously seen them as characters in books, but had not known they were seen breifly in the movies, but especially The Animated Series.
Also, the "Shroomies" I always imgined them to be the Tzenkethi

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

epic gaming: Twilight Imperium

Last Saturday, for my New Year's afternoon I was talked into joining a game that I had seen around but hadn't played, Twilight Imperium. I say "talked into it" because, although I did want to play, I wasn't very confident about the time committment the game suggested. I was told we might play until 7pm. It was 2 pm. I expected it might run longer, which it did. Finally, I just had to leave, and I am very glad I did because otherwise it would have disappointed my girlfriend. Although I may have oversimplified, I described the game as "only half over."

Anyway, now I've added a new game to the class of epicly long games I've tried, such as 7 Ages and Twilight Struggle.

It was a very good game, though, even though we didn't even get to the true competitive parts. I want and plan to play again, although I don't know when that can be. I didn't get to play long enough to see any mistakes (or successes) I made in strategy.

Oh, and I saw Risk Legacy for the first time. That will be another epicly long game.