Saturday, April 21, 2018

With Nostrils Stuffed

With nostrils stuffed
I sleep fitfully
Dayquil beside me
Immune system rebuffed

The lines don't scan
Congestion too strong
How did Keats maintain AB-AB-AABB-
While convulsing with TB?

Rhyme schemes and fever dreams
Four days and counting
Sweat-soaked sheets and
Nights without sleep

Not much energy left for hacking out bad poems frankly

Friday, April 20, 2018

Down with the Sickness

I am down, down,
Down with the sickness
Virus stealin' away
All of my quickness

At the very moment I'd love to be chillin'
Instead I'm stuck here, coughin' and illin'

I am down, down,
Down with the sickness
Little bugs in my blood
Sappin' my physical fitness

I get a look from my main squeeze, she say
"Jeb Bush is all up in your disease"

I am down, down,
Down with the sickness
Cold sweats and hot flashes
Leavin' me all but witless

Down, down - down with the sickness
You holla at me if you gonna be my witness, huh

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Could You Make Really Huge Pancakes in Zero Gravity?

If you were a cook in a space station with no gravity, could you make a pancake as large as, say, a parachute?

This question could also be applied to pizzas. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Stovepipe Melody of 1922

Dust off your bowlers, gents
And leave behind all your laments
Take the blinders off yer horses
And set them runnin' on the courses
'Cause Stovepipe Sally's on her way
For the Mountain City Summer Parade!

Yo ho ho and a bottle of fun
Here comes the Pirate Posse
In their poofy shirts and wild west six-guns!
Our parades don't need to make sense
Step right into the novelty tents

Just a penny gets you inside
Too see weird sight from far and wide
Just a nickel gets you out!
Just a nickel gets you out! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

That Which Echoes

The chastening rod
Clenched tight in the fist of the tyrant
Cracks like a dry wishbone
Across the fragile bodies of the righteous
But that crack, and the scream of anguish that follows
Are not the sounds that persist into all our tomorrows
The sounds that last
Are the cries for justice
Echoing down the long walls of time

Monday, April 16, 2018

Lost in Space Again

I just screened Netflix's re-imagining of Lost in Space. It's better than I anticipated, with a solid cast giving depth and nuance to each member of the Robinson family, who find themselves stranded on an alien world when their colonization attempt goes awry--the same premise as the original, but with far better production values. 

This time around, the Robinsons' Jupiter 2 is just one of a fleet of human spaceships fleeing Earth in the wake of an environmental catastrophe caused by a comet or asteroid strike. Unfortunately, the Jupiter 2 lands on a glacier, and the family evacuates just before the ship, white-hot from atmospheric friction, melts the ice and sinks, lost. Circumstances place plucky Will Robinson, the youngest member of the family, into an initially unsettling first contact situation, while oldest daughter Judy must be extricated from the ice. 

Drama on the new world is interspersed with flashbacks of the Robinsons' life on Earth before emigration. These brief segments provide important context and backstory for the characters, giving the audience reason to care about the jeopardy they face in the present. 

In fact, things look so bleak for the characters 50 minutes in that I began to wonder if, perhaps, one or two might not survive. The showrunners do a good job of amping up the stakes, although there's a bit of necessary - and literal - deus ex machina by the episode's close. 

The show also handles Dr. Smith and the Robot in a new and interesting way, though the other character from the original show. Major Don West, doesn't appear - or if he does, he's unnamed as of yet. There's a fun cameo, as well. 

All in all, I'm pleasantly surprised. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Into the Wasteland

I finished painting the Fallout board game miniatures I featured here a couple of days ago. You may not see much difference, but I added washes to the Super Mutant on the left and the person in power armour second from the right; the washes help bring out some shadows and highlights. 

I also used art pens to add some fine detail, like shadows on the clothing of the other figures and to shade in the phosphorescent screen of the Pip-Boy the character on the far right is wearing. (The Pip-Boy isn't visible from this angle, but I think it looks pretty cool.) 

The centred figure is a wasteland wanderer; I tried to give her American Indian skin tones, but I'm not sure if I succeeded. The ghoul (second from left) is supposed to be mutated by radiation and slowly decaying, so I added some different, mottled colours to his skin. Maybe you'll see some of these details if you click to embiggen...

I'd say these guys are now ready to go. Trying to improve them further will probably just mess them up, given my limited skill. Back into their Fallout board game box they go! 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Inglorious Misfortune

Thanks to the much improved homebrew reorganized ruleset some kind souls at Board Game Geek created, this round of Fortune and Glory actually provided a challenging, satisfying experience. Our crew managed - just barely - to defeat the Nazis, thanks in great part to Pete and Jeff's derring-do in sabotaging the Nazi's secret base and their Zeppelin, respectively, which held back the enemy's progress on the victory track long enough for us to accumulate enough Fortune for the win. I'm much more confident now that this will be a good experience at the next Gaming & Guinness. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Fallout Minis

Works in progress: miniatures for the Fallout board game. I wish there had been a character in a Vault suit; maybe in the inevitable expansion. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Against the Skeletons

When the sands of time engulf the windows of opportunity, take the leap of faith with eyes tightly shut. 

 - Cain's BraZen Koans, Volume I

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Laugh Until Hoarse

My colleagues and I use this whiteboard to scrawl silly jokes. I came up with this one this afternoon, and made the mistake of attempting to draw a horse to go with it. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Earl vs. the Wolf and the Hole

I think this is me, probably around 1974 or 1975. I appear to be in Leaf Rapids, in Churchill Place, judging by the look of the fence behind me. I don't know why I'm climbing into a hole. Also I appear oblivious that there's a wolf behind me.

For some reason I find the cup half-buried in the sand quite arresting. It seems perfectly embedded in the earth. 

Monday, April 09, 2018

A Speeding Truck

This was my attempt to photograph a moving image, keeping it in focus while blurring the background by holding the shutter open and tracking the subject - in this case, a truck zooming down the street in front of Leduc Junior High School. I guess it turned out decently. The cool thing about these Grade 8 photos is I developed them, too, with chemicals in the school darkroom.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Afternoon Wheelie

Sometime in 1983 or 1984, I shot this black and white photo of a classmate popping a wheelie on a Leduc street. I wonder who it was. 

Saturday, April 07, 2018

GKR: Heavy Hitters

GKR stands for, of course, "Giant Killer Robots." In a corporate dystopia, giant robots fight in ruined cities for the entertainment of global megacorporations, tagging (and destroying) skyscrapers. I actually managed to accidentally win this match on points, suffering little damage while Steve and Mike duked it out. (I controlled the blue robot in the foreground.) 

Friday, April 06, 2018

Earl's Mouth

Here's a shot of my mouth, taken by a classmate for our Grade Eight Industrial Arts class at Leduc Junior High School. 

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Cat on a Wire

Here is Alex the cat getting into some mischief behind Mom and Dad's house sometime back in the 1990s. He escaped unharmed. 

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Tricycle Sean


It's Sean's birthday, so here's a photo from 1979 featuring Sean on his prized tricycle. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Animated Real-Time Globes

Sometime in the not-too-distant future, someone is going to invent a globe that's connected to the Internet and has some kind of drawing capability so that the globe can update national boundaries, country and city names, and so on, in real time. For example, if we'd had this technology in the 90s, it would have shown the borders changing as the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia crumbled. More recently, it could perhaps show the shifting fronts of the Syrian civil war, or the disappearance of North Yemen, Eritrea's liberation, and so on.

I'm pretty sure the various technologies to create this probably all exist; they just haven't been combined into my realtime globe. Someone invent this and I'll buy one! 

Monday, April 02, 2018

Steamroller Sports

During a brief text chat with my brother, I suggested there should be an event "where you get to run over things in a steamroller."

"With obstacles," he replied. "Goal is to cross the finish line in the fastest time...BUT...you are penalized x seconds for each obstacle you crush and target you miss."

I endorsed this plan, and named the event Flat Out. Sean extrapolated, noting Flat Out could be one event at a larger Steamroller Games, with events such as jousting (Sean), ski jumping (Earl), downhill skiing (Sean), painting (Earl), and polo (Earl), which I call "Steamrollo."

I think this has lots of potential, and I can't wait to see steamrollers flying off ski jumps. 

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Painted Pakhet

Here's Egyptian superheroine Pakhet again, but painted. I tried to add some yellow pinstriping to her outfit and failed miserably; perhaps I needed a narrower brush at this scale? 

This is the second miniature I've designed and painted for our Villains & Vigilantes group. I don't think it turned out quite as nicely as the first, Mirror Maniac

There are a couple of unfinished zombies in the background, part of my Last Night of Earth board game.