And now the ad. Find your favorite figures at GameStop.
Monday, May 30, 2022
And now the ad. Find your favorite figures at GameStop.
I didn't mean to start collecting comics when I was a kid. I always had this or that lying around but until the mid-80s, I read them rather than collect them.
Then I found this one:
As you can see, I read it until the cover fell off. It was a fantastic story of loss and grief. I was all about the X-Men. I had tons of them plus every tangential story. And when Marvel started to add Wolverine to every title, I had those two.
But I actually read them.
In 1999, I got a job at Mattel. This is where I met the rabid collectors of crap. Barbie, Hot Wheels, Matchbox cars. People were nuts. I knew more than ever, that I didn't want to collect something for the sake of simply having it.
When my kids were born, I knew that I wanted them to read and comics were a great place to start. Giving a toddler a comic probably isn't a great idea so I waited a bit longer. The X-Men films were also not child appropriate, so more waiting. But in 2014, I took the family to see Guardians of the Galaxy.
My wife hates superhero movies, but she sat through any number of them for the kids. "This is their Star Wars," she said.
Funny true story: Just the other day, my daughter and I were talking about Thor: Ragnorok.
Me: Catherine. We should make your mom watch Ragnarok.
Me and Catherine: What?
Kitty: I really like that show.
Me and Catherine: ...
25 minutes later.
Kitty: Are we going to start watching the show? I don't really like superhero movies.
Me: What do you mean? You said, "I really like Thor: Ragnarok."
Kitty: Oh... I thought you said "Fraggle Rock".
Catherine: Thank God! I thought I was going crazy.
Now it's just me and the kids going to the movies.
But it all started with comics.
This weekend we had a little flooding in the basement which forced me to again rescue what I have left. As I found this or that in the piles, I ran them upstairs for the kids to read.
You'll notice that my son Paul is absent from the picture. He is away right now, on deployment to god knows where. As much as I miss him on this Memorial Day, I know that he will be home in a few weeks thanks to the efforts of those who did not come home at all. I believe that because so many gave all they had so that the rest of us could have a better world.
And will we take some time to enjoy a comic or a movie together and it will be Good Times again.
Sunday, May 29, 2022
The title card says it all.
Thursday, May 26, 2022
This is the halfway point. Shelf four is all business.
Sunday, May 22, 2022
I expected to be done unpacking a while ago. If you've ever moved three times in a 12-month period, you'll understand why it isn't done yet. That and the lilacs are in bloom, the sage, thyme and dill is running wild in the garden, and I've spent a lot of quality time with the family.
Here is shelf 5, 6, and 7.
The fifth shelf is at eye level which is why I started with it last time. I'll hop up to shelf 7 because it has the smallest number of items then move on to shelf 6.
Like shelf 5, it has some family remembrances. The popcorn buckets are from Spider-Man: No Way Home. I took Paul, Nathan, and Catherine to see it back in December. It was the first time we went on a family-fun outing since COVID started. My wife, Kitty, elected to stay home which has its own story.
The short version is that my wife sent us out to see it twice because they kept giving us a free bucket of popcorn when we left. She doesn't like superhero movies but enjoyed No Way Home best.
The clock is nothing special, other than I like blue and coffee. The T.I.E. Fighter was put together when I had to hang out at the house on an especially cold day while waiting for the gas company. Click the link for the assembly gallery.
On the right is the game Talisman: Kingdom Hearts edition. I have to review this one someday.
Kingdom Hearts has a special place in our hearts as a family. It was THE GAME all three of my children played. Kitty is a Disney nut and this totally won her over on gameplay for children.
Three days after Christmas in 2018, we scored an opportunity to play a pre-release version of Kingdom Hearts 3 in Disney Springs. We got several tries at Toy Story and Olympus each. They had a virtual queue and all kinds of merchandise.
The KH characters apparently don't appear in Disney World. However, you can have a bit of fun with them. At Be Our Guest, my daughter asked if the Kingdom Hearts characters ever appeared in the park. Belle put her hand on my daughter's shoulder and whispered, "Kairi's sleeping, dear."
Anyway, the rest of this shelf is full of stuff I have reviewed, other items I want to review, and a few items I will never review. The list of "never review" is short: all of the e1 AD&D books. There is really nothing I could say about them that hasn't already been better said by someone else. Since they were the first thing I wanted to replace, obviously they are a favorite. When I speak of D&D, e1 is probably injected into those comments without even meaning to do so.
I want to review The Basilisk Hills Ultimate, Knight Hawks, and The Castle Guide.
Surprisingly, I have reviewed The White Box game prototyping set, Into the Wild, Battletech Compendium, 2000's Star Wars, Serenity, Star Frontiers Alpha Dawn, and Cepheus Light. I can't believe how many games I reviewed last year.
Strangely, Star Wars and Battletech are tied for my favorite rule sets. Star Wars is d20 or 3 point something D&D with a cool HP system. Battletech is a fast and frantic system that is easy and fun.
Cepheus Light has my mind and heart for having the coolest name.
Anyway, I have a couple of more shelves to fill.
Sunday, May 15, 2022
Back in 1980s, Battle Tech was my favorite tabletop game. It was quick and easy to play. However, I was baffled by the plot line and story. I'd make up my own stories that covered the bases.
What I really enjoyed was Robotech, I totally understood that plotline. At some point, I collected all of the Palladium game books. However, I was baffled by the difficulty in using the rules. It could take hours to kill one opponent.
Then it hit me. I could use Battle Tech to play Robotech themed battles. Back then, the Unseen were common mechs between Battle Tech and Robotech. They had the Veritechs, they had the Maurader which was an Office's Battlepod.
But what they were lacking was a standard Battlepod. If I could mash up Battle Tech and Robotech, and devise my own stories, I could certainly make a Battlepod.
Yeah... I'd kitbashed some models together, but whipping up a figurine from scratch was beyond me.
I dug through my models and stuff, trying to come up with something. Legs were easy, I used the Maurader model for those. The hips need to be reworked out of wood. Sculpting the engines were simply two U-shaped pieces of balsam. The feet were plastic beads.
But what about the body?
I found a skull ring that was about the right size. I shave it down on the sides and bulked up the chin with that green fill used for models. The central eye was a wheel from an airplane model, 1:144 scale. The guns were antennae and wheels from helicopters.
I had done it!
Given it had taken me hours and hours to build the thing, I realized I could have exactly one. The bottleneck was the skull ring, something I got from a vending machine. Where Robotech depicts odds of 50 Battlepods to each Veritech, I had the opposite.
A friend came to my rescue with a handful of bullets and a can of air vulcanizing rubber. It didn't go smoothly. The rubber reacted with some of the plastics and while it took the shape I needed, it melted the original.
Tonight, I found the results of my experiment. There were a lot of blowouts. Sometimes it was the small details like guns. Other times, it was in the hip/leg joints.
For the life of me, I cannot remember why I abandoned this. Unfortunately, half of the mold is missing.
Friday, May 13, 2022
Last year, I attempted a raised bed garden. It didn't really have a chance, but this year will be better.
I have a few survivors from last year, a pair of strawberries, thyme, and 3 dill plants. I added purple basil and rosemary.
Tomorrow, I will mulch and plant the rest the garden. After that comes some backbreaking work in the flower beds around the house.
I need to figure out a table and chair set for the back. We have really nice lights so we can sit out and play games in the evening. I can't wait.
I've known about this for years, but there is a way to turn off the keyboard on a laptop. About once every 3-5 years, one of my cats walks across my laptop and the whole keyboard goes dead except for a couple of navigation keys and the Fn keys.
Since it doesn't happen that often, I never remember the keystroke necessary to fix it.
For the record and for the next time, the keystroke is Control+Alt+L.