Saturday, February 28, 2009


This past week I learned that Shadowrun, my most favoritest RPG EVAR, turns 20 this year. I have no idea why this was such a surprise as I have been playing the game since I was in high school. Of course it may have been a surprise since I still think of myself as 18 and the thought that I started high school over 20 years ago now is really, really depressing.

Anyhoo, as part of the celebration* the Shadowrun developers, now at Catalyst Game Labs, are throwing open the gates and having an open call for anniversary adventures. Here is part of the call from the website:
Shadowrun has enjoyed enormous fan support over the years and many of our current freelancers have come up from the fanbase. So, we’ve decided to try something different this year and give our fans the chance of contributing a little something to the official Shadowrun universe. To celebrate 20 years of Shadowrun, Catalyst Game Labs is inviting fans to submit a proposal for a fully developed, standalone adventure which will be published as an e-book. Furthermore, we’re specifically looking for proposals that play off the stories, plots, and adventures released in Shadowrun’s early years.
I don't know where my adventure notes are, but I do have rather fond memories of an adventure that Jack and I co-GMed back in the day. I might just try and dust off those memories and see if I can get the requisite materials put together before the March 15th deadline**. Personally I think they ought to do this every year but that is just me.

For those of you who might doubt my 'runner cred, I offer this picture of my library of Shadowrun RPG books:

I am only missing some of the newer 4th edition books. Not pictured is my complete collection of the Ka-Ge and Shadowland magazines, my Denver and DMZ boxed sets, and the smattering of Shadowrun novels which I own.

* One of these times I would like to see someone totally blow off the 20th anniversary and have an EPIC blowout for the 21st anniversary.

** If Jack or any of my old players want to help with this, give me a call or shoot me an email.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Random Thought - 2-27-08

In order for this to be funny you need to know that today was Go Texan Day around the office since the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which will be the bane of my commuting existence for the next month, is about to get underway. Thus some people around the office were dressed a little more cowboy than usual.

Earlier today as I was talking with a coworker I heard the distinct sound of slapping coming from one of the lawyers offices and the first thought that went through my mind was, "Man, I did not know that the release of Brokeback Mountain changed the meaning of 'cowboy up' to THAT."

Some days my head hurts me in ways only therapy might be able to heal.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Random Panels - Jack of Fables #30

I thought this panel was appropriate in light of President Obama's speech last night.

From the ALWAYS excellent and highly recommended Fables, in this case issue #30, "The Book of Restoration"
Matthew Sturges & Bill Willingham, writers
Russ Braun, pencils
Jose Marzan, inks

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Halloween 1977

I mentioned the FLICKR group Growing Up Star Wars in a linkbloggery post from last month. Flipping through the pictures in this group filled me with jealousy at the awe-inspiring collections of Star Wars toys some of this kids managed to accumulate but more importantly it reminded me of two Halloween costumes my parents built for me or helped me to build. The first was an R2-D2 costume back in 1977. The second was a Yoda costume in '81 or '82.

I asked my mom if she had any pictures of these costumes and as it turns out she had a few of James as R2-D2 which I thought I would share with you guys. Sadly mom has not been able to find any pictures of James the Jedi Master.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Why They Love Monty Python

How can I follow up that awesome Christmas gift I gave you guys? Well, I thought you might find this interesting:

Thanks to Norm over at!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Lately there seems to have been a flurry of LEGO related posts showing up across the internets and since I am a follower rather than a leader I thought I would throw some of my favorites here for your enjoyment:

1. LEGO Twin Peaks courtesy of Matt, whose GN Strangeways: Murder Moon you should go forth and purchase. I have never seen ANY Twin Peaks so I can't speak to how authentic this is, however this made me chuckle and thus is worth sharing.

2. Generally abstract art, and particularly abstract sculpture, just bugs the C-R-A-P out of me, however when you make your abstract art out of LEGO, like this guy did, all is forgiven.

3. I can't remember where I found this gallery, but Yamato + LEGO? There is nothing that is not awesome here:

You ought to check out some of fvin's other Brickshelf galleries as well. He has some pretty cool stuff including a few Gundams and a Patlabor.

4. Finally thanks to my buddy Don and the powers of Gizmodo I got to see this. Since it was a slow day seeing that led to finding this, this, this, this, and this via Google. About my only complaint is that people post these PHENOMENAL creations but do not then create sets of instructions for them. I realize part of the fun of LEGO is creating your own stuff, or having Shaq fight sharks, but there are times when I just want to build something new without having to figure things out.

Oh, one last thing, if you are a LEGO fan, then you want to check out TwoMorrows Publishing, publishers of BrickJournal which they describe as "The Magazine for LEGO Enthusiasts!" I picked up a recent issue and enjoyed the art and the articles although, once again, I wish there were more directions.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bigger and Better

As Wil often says, we're living in the future and thanks to this guy the future is bigger and better:

Thanks to Danny Choo for pointing this out.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


This would be funnier if it was not so true.

From the Feb. 1st edition of the Salt Lake Tribune. Found via The Big Picture, my favorite econoblog.

Thoughts RE: Twitter

Despite being a geek and loving technology, I tend to be a late adopter when it comes to new technology. I did not own a cellphone until late in 2005 and, despite having owned two of them now, have yet to actually purchase a Blackberry. I did not purchase an iPod until late in 2006. I was not on MySpace until a "friend" created an account for me alleging I was a 16-year-old gay boy from Alaska. Both of my laptops and both of my desktops have been, like both of my Blackberrys, hand-me-downs from friends or, even better, friend's companies.

I think this is largely driven by the fact that I rarely see the utility of all these wonderful toys that people keep releasing unleashing on the public. Another factor that drives this is that I like my technology to work the way it is meant to work and, as intelligent early adopters know, there are going to be kinks which need to be worked out with any bit of tech. Then there is the whole price penalty for being an early adopter and, deep down inside, I am a cheap bastard. But to be honest this has wandered away from the point a bit, which is my somewhat random thoughts on Twitter as I give in and sign up for an account.

I am not certain when Twitter first popped up on my radar. I think it was when one of my coworkers proposed that our team use this to give each other updates on where we were. Since we all have offices within about 200 feet of each other this idea was quickly shelved. (Of course the coworker in question is pretty much the LINUX guy from this TrueNuff Mac commercial spoof and feels the need to incorporate WAY too much tech into our processes. We call him The Complicator.) As Twitter has further penetrated the geek culture to which I pay some modicum of attention it has continued to pop up on my radar intermittently until last month (or maybe it was December) when it finally came up at the office in a legitimate context.

Now in order to answer some of the questions regarding Twitter that came up in this discussion at the office, I find myself creating an account. I was poking around the site when I came across this:

With Twitter, you can stay hyper-connected to your friends and always know what they're doing...Twitter puts you in control and becomes a modern antidote to information overload.

Wait, what? The VERY same product that allows me to stay "hyper-connected" is also a "modern antidote to information overload?" Is it just me or do those two things seem to be EXACT OPPOSITES and, at least to my small mind, mutually exclusive.

Oh well, you can follow me by searching for my name, with initial, or you can view my tweets via

I think.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Random Panels - Nightwing #150

"Hey! You got your Batman in my Star Trek!"
"No, YOU got YOUR Star Trek in my Batman!"
Oh, who really cares. A red shirt reference is ALWAYS appreciated by this geek.

From Nightwing #150, "The Great Leap: Conclusion" part of the Batman R.I.P. story arc.
Peter J. Tomasi, Writer
Don Kramer, Penciller
Jay Leisten & Rodney Ramos, Inkers

Saturday, February 14, 2009

TRON v. Depeche Mode

I found this video while cleaning up my backlog of unread posts at io9 and thought it was worth sharing with those of you who might not read io9.

Friday, February 13, 2009

STFU Files: Lucie J. Kim

I HAAAAAAATE it when I actually agree with Michelle Malkin but in this case I think I am in lock step (or is that goose step?) with her. Apparently Lucie "Who the FUCK spells my first name like that" J. Kim is offended by a photo of Mylie Cyrus making racially insensitive faces and, as any reasonable American, she is suing for something on the order of $4 BILLION dollars. Now I do not condone Mylie's behavior in the photo but for Christ's sake, the girl is 16. She is going to do dumb things. Of course according to this article at TMZ, the Mylie's just a kid defense won't work because, "She [Kim] says it's like Paris Hilton claiming to be just a kid." Of course this is ignoring the, I believe somewhat pertinent fact, that Paris Hilton is 27 or, for those of you keeping score at home, ELEVEN years older than Mylie.

Part of me wants to rant on and on and on about this, but considering the way this week went, it is just misplaced rage, so I will just say that Lucie J. Kim please sit down and SHUT THE FUCK UP. This is exactly the sort of infantile bullshit that we don't need right now.

Thanks to Robert over at The Marmot's Hole for bringing this perfectly reasonable use of the legal system to my attention.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Random Panels - Secret Six #2

While I prefer "pills" or "twig and giggle-berries" I suppose "ornament-things" works just as well.

This week's edition is brought to you courtesy of:
Gail Simone - Writer
Nicola Scott - Penciller
Doug Hazlewood - Inker

Monday, February 09, 2009

Sharks in the Water

Since I can't read Magyar, I have no idea what this article is about, however I assume it is about how awesome this photograph is:

Just thought this was worth sharing!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Things I Learned Today

1. There is a picture of Michael Phelps taking a hit from a bong floating around.
2. In response to this picture Kellogg has canceled his contract as a spokesfish.
3. People, presumably of the stoner bent, are trying to organize a boycott of Kellogg.
4. Kellogg manufactures something named Screaming Fruit Winders for the UK market.
5. Kellogg USED to manufacture a cereal named Puffa Puffa Rice.

My thoughts on this new knowledge:

1. WTF did you think a swimmers drug of choice would be? PCP?
2. Couldn't care less.
3. Like that crowd can organize anything for more than 10 minutes. I bet this boycott doesn't last past, oh I dunno, 5:30 pm. Right about when the munchies hit.
4. I don't care what a Screaming Fruit Winder actually is, it sounds F-I-L-T-H-Y; like Sheboygan Side-by-Side filthy.
5. Kellogg ought to bring back this cereal and have Michael Phelps be the spokesmerman for that line.

Or they could change the name to Puffa Puffa Pass cereal.

That's gold Jerry.

Hawaiian gold!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

STFU Files: Joe the Plumber

Okay would someone please let Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher know that in this economy fifteen minutes is fifteen minutes? I know we have seven billion stations on the air which need to fill 24 hours with news, but sweet monkey Jebus, do we really need to keep hearing from this douchebag? I wanted to throw uneducated in front of douchebag but figured that someone would throw my lack of college degree back in my face so we'll just have to agree that Joe (or is it Samuel?) has all the intellectual curiosity of a gently stewed rutabaga.

To be honest the fact that he manages to remain in the public eye does not bother me as much as the fact that people seem to be taking him seriously. I mean bringing us the continuing adventures of Joe and Douchebag is one thing (although I would prefer we dedicate our precious national resoucres (read: airwaves) to the inevitable Paris Hilton v. Britney Spears v. Hillary Duff v. Christina Aguilera v. Lindsey Lohan pudding match) but inviting this guy to address the Republican Congressional leadership? Are you fucking kidding me? If this isn't the continuation of some massive piece of conservative performance art which began with the naming of Govv. Palin as Senator McCain's runningmate, then it better have been improv night at this meeting. At this point if they think Chucklehead Wurzelbacher would have anything substantive or useful to say, well, lets just say I am glad they don't have the keys to the castle any more.

Here is current media crush Rachel Maddow on the subject:

And here is a slightly more light-hearted take on the situation from Jon Stewart over at The Daily Show:

Seriously Joe, help a brother out and give our national stage back to vapid blondes babes with, ahem, talent.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Torchwood: Children of Earth Trailer

I am pretty excited about this! Hopefully the series will maintain the tone of the trailer, which many have pointed out is more X-Files than Dr. Who. In my humble opinion that is one of the best things about the trailer. I always felt that Torchwood wanted to be The X-Files with incidental Who, and there are some episodes which rise to that level. Hopefully this series will mark the coming of age of Torchwood which, of course, means we won't get any more Torchwood after this.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Faceless Artist

Thanks to Robert over at The Marmot's Hole who pointed out this piece from the International Herald Tribune. The article is about Sun Mu, a North Korean artist who left the DPRK* in 1998 and arrived in South Korea in 2001, and how his art speaks to the Korean condition. While I found the article somewhat interesting, what really wowed me was Sun Mu's art. My tastes in art tend to run towards the more commercial art; movie posters, illustrations, and the like. This includes propaganda posters. I LOVE me some propaganda posters! One day I hope to have the scratch to pick up some vintage Soviet or WWII propaganda posters. This brings us back to Sun Mu. When he was in North Korea, his artistic training was specifically so he could paint murals and other propaganda pieces for the government and, unsurprisingly, this shows through in his work, some of which you can view at his blog.

* Why is it that communist and totalitarian regimes almost always have the word Democratic in their official names? This seems to be the same naming logic that gave us the Patriot Act and the Defense of Marriage act.