Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Grandma and Granddad's Wedding

Way back in 1931, my maternal grandparents were married. Almost 90 years ago! Mind-boggling. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

A Vision of Future Past

Previously on Jedi/Superman...
Last Son of the Republic
Growing Up Under Twin Suns
Chariot of the Gods
The Emperor's New Genocide
The Quality of Mercy
A Job for Supermen
The Green, Green Glow of Homicide
A Dream of Droids

From the cockpit of his fighter, Luke Skywalker sensed, of course, that Leia planned to surrender; he knew it before the transmission even reached his headset. Therefore, his only course of action was to disobey that final order to rendezvous with the fleet. He would save the Princess and the others from themselves somehow. . .

No. That was the voice of his younger, undisciplined self. He couldn’t just charge off like some gladiator from the old stories. Retreat was the order, and it was a sensible one. The remnants of the fleet could regroup—he and Wedge and Biggs would come up with a rescue plan—they could save Ben and the princess and the others before—

Obey this order you must not. Trust your feelings, seize this act of Defiance. 

Luke’s eyes went wide.

Master Yoda..? 

Luke wept. It was impossible; Yoda had been gone for years. But he felt the Master’s presence like a warm essence all around him.

Time for questions I have not. Is difficult to reach across so much time and space. Stand with your father. Stand with your brother. Stand with the princess. And beware the dark heart of Krypton—beware…! 

The voice faded as if exhausted. “Master Yoda?” Luke called into his cockpit. “Master, come back! The dark heart of Krypton…what is the dark heart of Krypton?”

But there was nothing more. Luke knew what he must do next.

He deactivated his communications systems and used the Force to mask his X-Wing’s emissions. Poor R9-D8 couldn’t even protest; he’d been fried by a TIE blaster bolt early in the losing battle for Yavin. But in some ways that made his next task easier.

As luck—or the Force—would have it, the Defiance wasn’t far away in astronomical terms. Luke set a course for the frigate and flew it into the open hangar bay well before the frigate entered visual range of the nearest Imperial ship’s sensors. And just in time, too; the hangar doors immediately slid closed just as a large escort of TIE fighters formed up to lead the frigate into the Empire’s clutches.

Luke hurried to the bridge, much to the consternation of Princess Leia and General Dodonna. Ben Kenobi only sighed in resignation.

“I gave all pilots a direct order to retreat and rendezvous,” Leia fumed, poking Luke in the chest with one regal finger.

“I couldn’t abandon you,” Luke replied, his eyes soft and infuriatingly sincere. Leia threw up her hands and turned away to stare out the window, watching the Death Star and its squadron of Star Destroyers loom steadily larger. General Dodonna joined her, and the two talked in muted voices about next steps.

“Well, we’re in the lion’s den now, my boy,” Kenobi said. “What possessed you to return?”

Even in these circumstances, Luke couldn’t stop himself from smiling.

“Ben…Master Yoda spoke to me. Just now. He spoke to me.”

Kenobi was stunned. He’d heard legends of Jedi Knights past transcending the barrier between life and the dark eternity, but he’d never taken the old tales seriously. The Force was powerful indeed, but powerful enough to reach from beyond the grave..?

But he could sense the truth radiating from Luke. “What did he say?”

“He told me I had to come here, to stand with you. With all of you,” he gestured. “But…is Clark all right? The Death Star had a bead on him…”

“He’s fine,” Kenobi said. “I hid him below to recover. The radiation did terrible damage to him, but just a short time in bacta revived him. Miraculous. But I felt you reach out to pull him from the beam’s path, Luke. He would not have survived if you hadn’t intervened.”

Luke sighed, relieved. But then he remembered the last thing Yoda had said.

“Ben…what is the dark heart of Krypton?”

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Father's Day 2019

It's our first Father's Day without Dad, and it's hard. Here's something Mom found online a few months ago: a photograph of the church and manse in Rocanville, Saskatchewan. Dad was born in that manse in 1942. Miss you, Dad. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Thursday, June 13, 2019

When You See It...

When I recommended the Crazy 80s Games channel, I had high hopes for quality content. My expectations have already been exceeded. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


Sean makes his professional acting debut in this short commercial for Alberta Health Services' wellness tips service. He did a great job! I'm very excited for him. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Unicorn Horn as Played by Crazy 80s Games

YouTube user Crazy 80s Games has uploaded what I hope is the first of many gameplay videos of obscure Atari 8-bit computer amusements. My brother and I played a lot of Atari 8-bit games back in the 1970s and 1980s, but we never got wind of Unicorn Horn, which looks pretty darn trippy. 

Sunday, June 09, 2019

An Artist that I Used to Know

I suspect most casual lovers of music remember Gotye best as the artist behind "Somebody that I Used to Know," the tune that introduced me to Kimbra. Just recently though, I discovered this delightful song about an electronic organ. It reminds me very much of my family's experiences with our electronic organ back in the 1970s. Of course, none of us went on  to a career in music like Gotye did...

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Quick Take: X-Men: Origins

On Gavin Hood's X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009): No wonder I waited a decade to finally get around to watching this. Decidedly not worth the wait.

Friday, June 07, 2019

It Came from the E-Mail Thread

Mike: I prefer prose, preferably purple. 

Purple prose, it's in my veins
Bad novels driving you insane
Purple prose, mixed metaphors
Ten manuscripts in the bottom drawer

Purple prose, less than profound
A hundred adverbs for every noun
Is it art or pulpy trash?
Whatever it is, it was written while high on hash

Read me
Read me
Ohhh, no no

Oooah ah
Oooah, ahhh
Oooah, ahh
Oooh, mauve, yeahhh!

Purple prose, blood in my eyes
Lurid lines make me fantasize
Mary Sue, and Marty Stu too
Read it until your balls are blue

Help me
Yeah, yeah, purple prose
Ohh nooo oohhhh
Oh, help me
Stop it, stop it, purple prose
I can't keep reading this
Purple prose, you're destroying my mind
Purple prose, no, noooooo
Purple prose...

Mike: I deserved that. 

With apologies to Jimi Hendrix. 

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Quick Take: The Desperate Trail

The Desperate Trail (P.J. Pesce, 1995) asks us to treat its villains as heroes and its heroes as villains without giving us any reason to buy into that narrative. A huge waste of the brilliant Sam Elliot.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Quick Take: The Projected Man

The Projected Man (Ian Curteis, 1966) is reasonably atmospheric, with good makeup and sound effects, but too plodding and dry to hold much interest. There is one unintentionally funny moment: the protagonist shows hilariously bad judgement in forcing his completely unqualified, non-scientist assistant to operate an experimental teleporter. But then, had he not done that, we wouldn't have a monster movie, would we...?

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Batmobile in Miniature

Should I be lucky to live long enough to enjoy a post-scarcity society, I'll definitely replicate a 1960s Batmobile to tool around in. Sylvia says she would refuse to ride with me, though. 

Monday, June 03, 2019

Brooklyn Beach

We return to New York, but this time we stay in south Brooklyn, our hotel on the very shores of the Atlantic. Something goes wrong; we awaken in the ocean, chest deep, dressed in shirts and shorts, as if for a sunny day out. The morning is overcast, a uniform foggy grey, the waters tempestuous, threatening to drag us to our doom. We clasp hands and walk through the churning ocean, the beach a mile or so away, digging our bare feet into the submerged sand, step by difficult step. To our left and right, we see other couples cast into the same predicament. Shouting encouragement back and forth across the waves, we all stagger more or less together onto the beach, the surf still tugging at our ankles as if hoping to pull us back into the ocean's clutches.

There follows a brief interlude of confusion and questions, but none of us have any answers. Soaking wet and exhausted, we return to our hotels.

The next day, you decide to rest while I head into the city. To my astonishment, I spot a floating businessman; he's soaring, legs crossed, a couple of metres above the sidewalk. He's wearing a white suit with a matching porkpie hat, and he is laughing as though all his cares had been forever banished.

I wave him down, and he flies over effortlessly.

"You've got to try this," he says, reaching overhead to pluck what looks like a square couch cushion out of the air. It's black and white, about a meter square, and as soon as he pulls it to the level of his chest, gravity suddenly renews its hold on him and he drops to his feet.

He hands me the square; it's soft, malleable. I regard it dubiously, but then tentatively raise it over my head and let go. It remains suspended above me, and I find that I am suddenly weightless; but better than that, I can will myself forward and back, up, down, sideways, wherever I want.

It is euphoric. I rise above the city like Superman, swooping to and fro, diving to within a hair's breadth of the earth, grass tickling my chest, then rising to the edge of space. After a few minutes of this, I return to the street where I saw the businessman. With real regret, I return his device.

"Is it, that can't be right. Does it somehow block gravity..?"

He just smiles and says he thinks it's going to be a big hit. A little later, I return to our hotel room and I tell you about it; you're skeptical until we see a commercial about the flying machine.

We relax on the couch together, and darkness closes in until the light of the television is snuffed out. 

Sunday, June 02, 2019

The Oreo Ice Capp

Why did I
Even attempt to consume
The treacly froth
Brown as sewage
I deserved this

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Gaming & Guinness XIV Days 4 and 5

The final days of G&G are always bittersweet, as our revels now are over...or about to be over. I was pretty pleased this year with my Battletech performance; I actually managed to contribute to our team's victory, and didn't get killed until the very last moment of the game. That's a much better showing than last year, when I killed myself by overheating.
The chariot race! Fanfare! Extravaganza!
Jeff took home the covered G&G Circvs Maximvs trophy for the fourth time, with Mike T and Mike P nipping at his heels. I tried to take more risks than I usually do, and wound up flipping my chariot for my pains, resulting in a DNF. Maybe next year...
After midnight, we finally got around to playing Speak Out, the game where everyone jams a plastic device into their mouth and struggles to say certain phrases coherently. The prospect filled me with so much glee that I had a protracted laughing fit before the game even began. Mike Totman captured my paroxysms.

And that was that! I can't wait for next year.