Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

Harold Allen Ramis
November 21, 1944- February 24, 2014

I'm not usually affected by the deaths of celebrities. I just don't get it when people identify with someone so geographically distant, someone they have probably never met, someone most likely nothing like their on-screen persona.

That being said, I was not only shocked to hear that Harold Ramis passed but I was shocked at how sad it made me.

I'm not going to do the math, but just spitballing it, I'd guess that Harold Ramis accounted for about 80% of my adolescent laughter.

Rest in peace, Dr. Spengler.
Don't cross the streams.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I stand corrected...

So, for the past few months, I have been telling my friends that Marvel bringing The Guardians of the Galaxy to the big screen sounded like a lame idea.

But then I saw the trailer...

I hate to say it, but I am intrigued. Though, I still think its a bad idea to continue making separate Avengers movies (Thor 2, Iron Man 3, etc.) rather than focusing on more team movies.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

GFWG Meeting

This past Thursday was yet another meeting of the Glens Falls Writer's Group. Last meeting, I turned in Chapter 2 of my Atoms & Arcana epic. The first chapter was well received, all things considered. The second not so much. Well, I should say that the group picked up on many of the issues that I had worried about myself. And I also received two great ideas that might help me solve it. (Thanks Sandy and Chris)

One problem though, is that many of the others in the group just don't read Sci-Fi/Fantasy. With the genre comes a couple of conceits; made-up names and places (a lot of names). My story has a definite military fantasy feel to it, like say The Black Company. Not that I would dare to compare myself to a Giant. But by nestling comfortably into that genre, or sub-genre, a list of names comes with it.

This was the biggest criticism I received and the bulk of the notes I took away from the meeting.

If there happen to be any pros out there that were to read this, I would appreciate some advice on how to handle this issue, aside from giving them unique personality traits in broad strokes, which I am reluctant to do. (I don't want The Squad Joker, The Squad Cynic, etc.) I want them to grow and have multi-faceted personalities. And unfortunately, my fellow writers only get to read a chapter every two weeks, which I can understand makes it difficult to keep them straight.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Sewer Infantry Slang: Brown Breaches

Brown Breaches (n),(adj.): A horrifying, often soul crushing spectacle or encounter or used to describe said encounter. Can happen anywhere but usually involves a Greater Rift Aberration, a denizen of The Weirdwood or close call with one the Bleak Powers, like Xerqix or his depraved followers. Related: Slantways

(1)"That time we cleared out that Xerqix temple, we were surrounded by the Clown God's favored assassins and lost a quarter of our men. Even the Sarge agreed it was a Brown Breaches encounter."

(2) "Shit, Sarge! The cryptopi are droppin' from the ceiling! Brown breaches, Sarge! It's brown breaches!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pandemonia: The Black Hand

Not long after the founding of the Stormsea Republic, when some of the ancient Leviathans still stalked the world, refusing to give up the fight, one of the greatest soldiers of the age and holder of one of the last vorpal swords, Centurion Arblaster was attached to the Third Provincial Legion. The Third took part in the defense of Sunturi after a failed experiment opened a rift to some infernal plane of existence. To this day, the exact plane is unknown. But the entities that crossed over were well observed.

An army of small fiends wrought a path of destruction through the city of Sunturi, doing damage out of proportion to their small physical size. They were led by a giant, hellish Lord, protected by armor sculpted from black volcanic rock and holding a sickening black sword. His cloven feet burned the ground where he walked and the prints can still be seen in Sunturi to this day.

No soldier could stand against him. Where he touched soldiers, he burned them. When he held them in his fist, they ignited.

Arblaster called out a challenge to the fiend and stood in his way, though the Fiend Lord was twice as tall as a man. The Fiend Lord laughed and a whole city heard his mirth and quivered in fear. All except Arblaster. The Fiend Lord and the Centurion fought. Arblaster's vorpal sword cut the Fiend Lord's sword in two. The Fiend Lord slapped Arblaster with his palm and sent the man flying into a building.

The Fiend thought his victory was complete but Arblaster stood up. There was a giant, burning black hand print on his chest. Arblaster stumbled, hurt and nearly broken, toward the Fiend Lord. The Centurion still held the vorpal sword and cut the Fiend Lord in half, through its stone armor, and it died laughing.

Arblaster sank into unconsciousness and slept for a week. When he woke, his hair had turned white and the same black hand was burned through his armor to his skin. He died many years later, a farmer and a very old man. A statue of him stands in Sunturi at the site of the battle and another statue stands in his home city of Centralia.

The armies of the Republic honor bravery against impossible odds by allowing the painting of a large black hand on the armored chest of any soldier judged worthy after the witnessing of a Black Hand victory.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Snow Mangler 5000

I didn't think it was possible to love a machine this much but after the past few days of relentless snow, I can safely say that I love my snowblower.

The other night, I went to bed at 1am. It had been snowing earlier in the day and we received 5 inches or so. I got home from work to the pleasant surprise that my neighbor had already done most of the work for both of our houses with his little snowblower. So, at 1am, everything was cleared of snow( cars, driveway, sidewalks, etc).  I went to bed thinking, maybe the worst of it has passed. WRONG!!!

By 5:30 that morning when I woke up, there was 10 more inches on the ground. It was as if God tired of sprinkling his little flakes and grabbed a cosmic ice cream scoop and dumped it all at once.

When, we finally dug out, and after fixing the loose belts on my Toro Snow Mangler 5000, I realized that I was never more in love with that thing than I was right then.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sewer Infantry Slang: Monkeychuck

Monkeychuck (n):catastrophe, fiasco or misadventure of potentially epic and tragic scope that is foreseeable by nearly everyone involved except the Cobnocker(s) who dreamt it up, usually The Powers That Be.

Etymology: Believed to derive from the Stormsea Republic's Second Expedition to The Monsoon Kingdoms, specifically Lord General Arcturus' foray into the interior of the Big Island near the mouth of the Con Dao river.  Arcturus took an entire Expedtionary Legion, woefully under equipped and unprepared, into the rainforest to "see what's back there". After losing forty percent of his force to disease, malnutrition and constant raids by the baboon worshipping natives, Arcturus was forced to turn back. But not until after he had named a small mountain range after himself. On his return to Darkstar, then the capital, he was of course decorated with medals and other honors and later, elected to the Senate.

Survivors of the ill fated campaign told stories of the various species of monkeys and apes that infested the rainforest and continuously deficated in tents and bit soldiers while they ate. At some point, the soldiers invented a game that consisted of chucking two male monkeys into a pit and betting on the outcome of their combat.

The Second Wave

Not getting much writing done the past few days. The Ball and Chain, as well as one of my beloved spawn, are in the throes of yet another wave of the Stomach Bug From Hades. Three weeks ago, a (most likely different virus altogether) ripped through our humble homestead with an average duration of 4 days and leaving a net weight loss for our family in a double digit number that raises the old eyebrows. We did have a brief respite, filled with the warmth of sinusitis and high fevers, but we are hunkering down for the second wave of effluvia, Gatorade and Clorox Wipes.

I am beginning to loathe Stomach Bugs as much as I do those of the Socialist/Communist persuasion.

Best Commercial EVAH!

Best Commercial Ever!

"Stop LOLing everything!"

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sewer Infantry Slang: Cobnocker

Cobnocker (n): the crossbreed of an idiot and an asshole who somehow manages to avoid being saddled with both parents' good qualities.

GFWG Meeting

Had a writer's group meeting tonight. I turned in the first chapter of my Atoms & Arcana Epic at the last session. The group isn't as oriented toward the fantasy genre as I am, and so I was hesitant to submit my story.

But, it was surprisingly well received and the criticism was not only constructive but helped me solve an issue with the story that I had been having. I turned in Chapter 2 at the end of the session.

 So, that went pretty darn well.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Progress! The good kind too, not the political kind!

Managed to write three whole chapters today in my Atoms & Arcana Epic. Sweetness! Overall a good day, writing wise.

I hear some people are watching a game or something today? Maybe I should turn on the tube and see what all the brouhaha is about. After all, mia madre just texted me to tell me she put some money in a  football pool at her place of work in my name. And somehow, I have already won 50 simoleans.

As my grandfather would have said, "That's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!"

Fun Facts

There seem to be an almost infinite number of lists on teh intarwebz. I wandered past this one this morning and one of the coolest fun facts ever: