Thursday, July 30, 2020
As part of my ongoing "I must clean up my man cave to create a liveable working space," I've been going through all the stuff I have and organizing it into, well, piles to start, and then into containers. A few months ago I Kickstarted a collection of 3D-printed and professionally painted barrels and crates, which came in this box. In a fit of mania, I realized that the haphazardly-filled box was making very inefficient use of the available volume. So I meticulously stacked dozens of tiny crates and barrels and discovered that when neatly arranged they only took up half the box. I added my own collection of Earl-painted barrels and crates with room to spare for even more. Success! Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Last night--in the dream, I know now--I was in my library, culling books to make room, a project I've been working on for a couple of weeks now. As I was boxing some old thrillers I know I'll never read again, Dad, who died back in 2018, appeared in the doorway. This seemed quite natural, even though Dad appeared to be in his late 30s or early 40s--younger than I am now.
I was very pleased, but because I've always been a bit emotionally stunted, I didn't let it show. We exchanged greetings, and then this conversation followed:
"How are you doing?" I asked. "Hey, I don't know if you've already heard, but John Saxon died a couple of days ago..."
Dad laughed, embarrassed. "Oh yeah, he came by to see me as soon as he got here."
"And what did he say?" I asked eagerly.
Long ago, you see, Dad had a dream in which character actor John Saxon confronted him in a narrow staircase. Saxon was coming up the stairs toward Dad menacingly, and this is how Dad reacted, in his words: "I shot that son-of-a-bitch in the face."
This always made Sean and I laugh uproariously, because Dad is not a violent man and it's hard to imagine him shooting anyone, nor even wishing harm on anyone. We always asked what he had against John Saxon, and Dad always said he couldn't explain it, he just couldn't stand the guy--despite never having met him in the real world.
"And what did he say?"
And Dad said, "He said he'd heard about me, and he came by to tell me that there were no hard feelings, because there were times in his life when he really had been a son-of-a-bitch. Turns out he's a pretty good guy, told some interesting stories."
Dad then asked if he could borrow a couple of the cardboard boxes I'd set aside for the books I was giving away, and of course I said sure. He took them and walked away, and I woke up crying, which was very therapeutic because I haven't had a good cry over Dad's death yet; it's been brutally suppressed by some emotional mechanism I don't understand. Sylvia comforted me, but unfortunately I woke up again, this time in the real world--or so I hope, as I'm writing this--dry-eyed and feeling numb, catharsis lost.
I am not a spiritual person, not a believer in ghosts or the afterlife. And yet I hope Dad really did meet John Saxon, and that he's enjoying himself in some joyful place beyond mortal ken, because he deserves it, gone too soon and forever missed.
Monday, July 27, 2020
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Friday, July 24, 2020
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Monday, July 20, 2020
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Oh, if you don't recognize me because I was thin, I'm the guy at middle left in the suit pulling his glasses halfway down his nose.
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Here is a bank of retro 1960s-styled workstations, complete with reel-to-reel databank, assembled and painted by yours truly. They look better in real life than they do on film . . . I hope. At this scale, I found it extremely difficult to finesse the finer details, but I gave it my best shot.
Monday, July 13, 2020
Sunday, July 12, 2020
The Duke: "Drink all you want. It's poison."
Camera cuts to a crude sign: "Do Not Drink. Poison." With a badly drawn skull.
Bad guy looks utterly stunned, then dies in the puddle of poison.
It was a beautiful moment in an otherwise forgettable film.
Saturday, July 11, 2020
The older I get, the more I appreciate life's simple pleasures, like visiting Mom the day after her birthday to BBQ some steaks and garlic bread with a side of cheesy asparagus in her beautiful, fastidiously-maintained back yard. This is the first time Sean, Sylvia, and I have visited Mom in person for more than a couple of minutes since quarantining ourselves due to COVID-19. Even then, we all maintained a distance of at least two metres apart and wore masks whenever we were in close proximity to the food or each other. Safety first!
Friday, July 10, 2020
Thursday, July 09, 2020
Wednesday, July 08, 2020
I felt ambitious today and painted three pools of toxic waste, attempting to add some hint of motion by using texture paint to create froth as the pipe discharges waste into the pool. At right, I used the same texture paint in an attempt to make it look as if one of the bubbles had just popped, spewing gross ichor.
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
Over the course of three seasons, 98 episodes, and three reunion TV movies, the show developed a strangely rich mythology, one that I feel would be ripe for roleplaying possibilities.
Here are some rough notes on how Escape from Gilligan's Island: The Roleplaying Game might open:
Monday, July 06, 2020
Apologies for the terrible photo, I'm not sure what happened there. In any event, here we have three unpainted 28mm-scale retro computer props: a databank with those spinny reels, some kind of central workstation with three keyboards, and another larger workstation. Placed side-by-side like this, and you have a great little bit of scenery for a secret government agency, factory floor, or villain lair.
These were shipped flat, so they required assembly, and none of them came with instructions! Figuring out how to put together the databank was pretty easy, and the workstation at far left was only slightly more challenging. But the central, three-part console really could have used instructions. It took a lot of time and patience and experimentation, but I figured it out.
I'm not sure what to do about painting, however. These are made of wood, so I'm assuming they'll need to be primed, but if I prime them, I'll lose cool details like the keyboard keys and the readouts and dials. Maybe I need to prime with a brush rather than spray, and prime only the bits without detail?
Sunday, July 05, 2020
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Today I gathered up dozens of old books and movies, some of which I've had for decades, and took them to Goodwill. It was hard, because I'm sentimental about such things, but I don't have infinite space, and I'm forced to admit to myself that there are many books I'll never read again, many movies I'll never see again; and so the time has come to pass those pleasure on to others.
This reluctant culling will continue. But I take comfort in the many books I have yet to read, the many movies I have yet to see, still wrapped snugly around our walls.
Friday, July 03, 2020
Thursday, July 02, 2020
The screenplay is insipid, utterly overflowing with hoary old cliches that are meant to make characters sound cool or dangerous or funny, but wind up as simply infuriating. The performances are annoyingly twee or so pretentious and , again, smug, that audiences are left with no one to root for or empathize with. Even the sound effects are annoying, and the usually-brilliant Peter Doyle's score is the stuff of bad 1970s Saturday morning cartoons.
Story beats are utterly predictable, including the death and almost immediate resurrection of a supporting character that was clearly supposed to fill the role of "badass audience favourite." He dies, there are tears shed, then literally seconds later a force field lifts so a faerie can use her magic and boom, he's alive again. Seriously, it's worse than the Chewbacca fake-out in The Rise of Skywalker, and that was bad enough.
The incompetence on display here is truly remarkable. Or perhaps not incompetence, but a complete lack of desire to reach beyond mediocrity in any aspect of this production.