Game Masters Appreciation Day

Game Masters Appreciation Day

Game Masters Appreciation Day

Each March Fourth, we celebrate Game Masters Appreciation Day, to pay homage to those individuals that place themselves in charge of our adventures. Those people that lead us into fantasy, science fiction, or whatever genre of game we are playing need to be appreciated. They need to be the ones that we celebrate more often. As a player in my youth, I hated the times that I had to lead an adventure in D&D and though there were certainly some DMs I liked more than others but, I still would rather have someone else DMing then me.

Game Masters Appreciation DayThe DM is not only the one that leads you on adventures, though. They are the divine wind of the game. They are the one that decides what that horrible “1” that you rolled means. They keep the campaign going. The hurl the forces of evil at you and expect you to keep it coming. The handle the hard questions and don’t balk when you decide to go to the village nearby instead of into the cave that they spent two weeks designing.

Here are some of my favorite out of context D&D quotes that I have found online.

DM Quotes from Dorkly.com:

  • You think the bears and boars have an alliance?
  • I try to seduce the lock.
  • I impale the merchant in his sleep. … How does his wife react?
  • We can’t kill the cannibal pony, I love her.
  • He is crippled and screaming in agony so no you can’t use diplomacy now.
  • Your stealth is so good you disappear from this plane of existence.
  • I now realize that letting you summon a kraken at will was an extremely poor choice.
  • …. it dies of stress from too much criticism.
  • We aren’t leprechauns, please don’t sell us.
  • Just because I am a lady doesn’t mean I’m going to carry all the food. That’s what the dwarf is for.
  • I won’t allow you to interrogate him by farting.
  • You can’t set water on fire just because you rolled a critical.

This list could go on and on. The number of weird conversations, odd statements, and just plain weirdness that happens around a tabletop adventure is endless.

Show your Game Master some love on Game Masters Appreciation Day. Bring them their favorite food, or a treat of some kind. Or, better yet, just go along with their ideas and stop fucking up the game.

Like a C5 Like a C5 Rocket

Like a C5 Like a C5 Rocket

On this day, 1962, NASA made a big announcement. They said they were gonna rocket it Like a C5 Like a C5 Rocket.

Ok, forgive my bit of punniness, but I am and always have been a fan of the US Space Agency, NASA. In 1962 they did announce that they were going to create a new rocket called the C5. This rocket became the backbone of the space race. It powered all of the Apollo missions and would eventually put us on the moon.

According to Wikipedia:

The three-stage rocket would consist of: the S-IC first stage, with five F-1 engines; the S-II second stage, with five J-2 engines; and the S-IVB third stage, with a single J-2 engine. The C-5 was designed for a 90,000-pound (41,000 kg) payload capacity to the Moon.

Lots of numbers and those numbers equate to power, lots of power. Th C5 was eventually renamed the Saturn V and these Saturn rockets were the biggest and coolest thing on the face of the planet. Really they were the most awesome thing we had a little off the planet as well.

As you may or may not know, Wernher von Braun the famed German rocket scientist was the brain behind the project along with hundreds of other German scientists. Von Braun’s designs put all the thrust that we needed behind the rocket to fuel Kennedy’s statement that we were going to put a man on the moon. That man on the moon would never have gotten there without the passion of the people of NASA and the C5. It is amazing what happens when you strap some electronics and three guys to the top of the biggest rocket known to man and shoot them at the moon.

The really amazing thing to me is the fact that this rocket was announced in 1962, developed in 1963 and by the end of the decade.. was taking people to the moon to walk around for a little while. When you really look at this announcement, it was the start of most of the technology that we cherish today. It was the fire that drove our ideas and plans to the moon. January 10, 1962 – history altering date in science, technology and maybe everything else.

I Miss My Nintendo 64

I miss my Nintendo 64. I picked mine up while I was in college. Worked n and off for a pool and spa place and earned one for my troubles. Cash would have been very cool but I think I got way more entertainment out of the N64 over time than I ever would have from the...

Where did all the good commercials go?

I was flipping through the Netflix the other day and ran across Video Games: The Movie. It was a really good documentary on the history, purpose, and culture of gaming. While I was watching it the Atari issue of E.T. The Extraterrestrial The Game was brought up. If...

Hard Target

Hard Target Director: John Woo Cast: Jean-Claude Van Dame Lance Henriksen Yancy Butler MPAA Rating: R Release Year: 1993 So it is Mardi Gras - Fat Tuesday as it were. and in an effort to hit some holidays with a pertinent movie review, I have decided to pair Mardi...

Offal aint Awful

I’ll admit, it can take a brave soul to venture beyond the bounds of the culinary norm.  But eating off course and venturing into foreign territory can bring particular rewards, one of them is the oft taboo offal treat!   There are two distinct sensory memories from...
Embrace that Movie for What It Is or Was Supposed to Be

Embrace that Movie for What It Is or Was Supposed to Be

b-movie-coollageEmbrace that Movie for What It Is or Was Supposed to Be. Do not make the assumption that every movie is made to win an Oscar. Not all movies are film or art and not all films are good movies. To me, a movie is built, designed for entertainment. A movie can be entertaining without being good. But “good” is an interesting concept. If by good you are looking for high production value, world class acting and a deep well-crafted plot, then B-Movies are not good movies. But if you are looking for sheer entertainment value, give me Bruce Campbell and a bad horror movie any day of the week.

Some Examples:

CHUD II: Bud the Chud
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Embrace that Movie for What It Is or Was Supposed to Behis is a sequel to a much better, kinda better horror movie. CHUD, in this case stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. In the second installment of the CHUD series we are focused on the one, left over zombie from the original. A zombie named Bud. Bud slips through the military’s fingers and begins to infect the town turning them all into mindless zombies.

Not great acting, not great production value, but damn is it a fun movie to watch. B-Movie mastery here in the fun of watching a partially funny almost serious zombie movie. From Bud mugging at the camera to the ending scene where you realize there could be a CHUD 3 (there isn’t, don’t worry), this is a perfect example of a movie that is not well made but that is fun as hell to watch.

Only the God damndest, ugliest barber I’ve ever seen. – Colonel Masters


Army of Darkness
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Embrace that Movie for What It Is or Was Supposed to Behe third in the Evil Dead series of movies, Army of Darkness continues the exploits of Ash. Ash, played by Bruce Campbell, is all that you want a hero in an action horror movie to be. Sam Raimi did not mean for this movie to win awards, Bruce Campbell was not thinking that he would get an Oscar for Best Leading Man but what they did was create one of the most endearing cult movies that has ever been made.

One of my favorite parts of AoD is the one liners. No one in holiday delivers a one-liner like Bruce Campbell. He is the king of the B-Movies and we all love and adore him for it.

Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This… is my BOOMSTICK! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart’s top of the line. – Ash


Scary Movie 2
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Embrace that Movie for What It Is or Was Supposed to Behe first of the great modern parody/spoof movies. The Wayan Brothers killed it with the first Scary Movie flicks. This one is one of my favorites of the whole series. Scary Movie 1 is fantastic but some of the characters that the brought out in Scary Movie 2 where amazing. Chris Elliot is the standout. He is over-the-top and wonderful as Handyman the caretaker and butler. Go watch the scene where he is serving the food. He is creepy, genius throughout the whole scene.

And of course, this movie has Tim Curry in it. He will pop-up a lot in the movies I choose to write about, trust me.

Cindy, this is a skeleton, this is bones! Would you run from Callista Flockheart? – Brenda Meeks


Zombeavers
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Embrace that Movie for What It Is or Was Supposed to Be watched this movie on Netflix with in days of it turning up as a suggestion. I watched it and loved it. Soon after that the company I work for picked up a cabin in the Smoky Mountains by the same name – I know what better name for a cabin int he mountains than Zombeavers.

A chemical spill. Zombie Beavers. College kids in the woods. In my mind you have the makings of a fantastic 90-120 minutes worth of uncomplicated, horror movie goodness. I really dig bad horror movies and I have watched my fair share.

Did the creators of Zombeavers think they were making the best horror movie ever – NO! They were making a fun horror movie with a weird concept that sounded fun. I say make a Zombeavers 2.

We cannot turn against each other right now. That’s exactly what the beavers would want. – Sam


I am the perfect movie watcher. I will watch just about anything. I will watch bad movies, good movies, documentaries and everything in between. I don’t care what the movie is, I don’t care if it is some magnum opus of a movie. They don’t all have to be Schindlers List, they don’t all even have to be Ghostbusters. Sometimes, I just want to be entertained.

Embrace that Movie for What It Is or Was Supposed to Be

Offal aint Awful

Offal aint Awful

I’ll admit, it can take a brave soul to venture beyond the bounds of the culinary norm.  But eating off course and venturing into foreign territory can bring particular rewards, one of them is the oft taboo offal treat!  

There are two distinct sensory memories from about 6 years of age that when I think on them, it is a miracle that I ever became the adventurous eater that I am today- or maybe they informed it, who knows.  

cooked-chitlinsThe first memory involved my father and great grandfather who was absolutely gaga for chitlins (braised cow intestines for the un-indoctrinated), the two would load up and go get a mess of chitlins one Wednesday out of each month.  The part of rural Mississippi where I grew up was home to Ms. Edna who owned a little eatery much like the Whistle Stop Café if you ever happened to see ‘Fried Green Tomatoes.’  So once a month Ms. Edna would fire up her big chitlin pot; a cauldron of sorts and get those intestines to boiling for hours otherwise they’d resemble in texture that really bad calamari which always reminds me of tires on toy cars.  I’ll offer for those having never had the pleasure of experiencing chitlins first hand- when cooking, they STINK.  They smell exactly like what they transport from can-to-can’t (pronounce caint when in rural MS).  Edna’s Truck Stop perched at the entrance to our little village and the denizens always knew what day it was as soon as Ms. Edna got her pot to going and wafts of shite drifted down Highway 19.

rockymtnoysters46The other memory that comes back to me when I think on the subject of offal is directly linked to my particularly mischievous Great Uncle Bill.  It was the end of summer, but before fall really set in, and there was a family reunion afoot.  That year Uncle Bill decided to slaughter a hog, a big boar hog named Jesse I believe.  [For those far removed from their food sources, I want to point out ole Jesse only had one bad day in his whole porcine life.]  After scalding, scraping, and butchering, Uncle Bill and some older cousins begin to cook various bits of ole Jesse and offer to the gathered mass of folks.  My family, well we were a bit differ’nt, as my people might say, because we had recently moved back to Mississippi after some time in Alaska where I spent my very early childhood.  It is safe to say I didn’t sound much like my cousins and because of this my Uncle Bill, whom I adored, liked to pick at me a bit.  Uncle Bill seeing an opportunity for amusement offered me a prime bit of ole Jesse. “Cotton-top (my nickname of childhood) come here and try some of these Rocky Mountain Oysters.”  Not having any idea of what those might be, but smelling the glories of grilled pig, I swooped in for the score.  Greedily I took a bite and chewed.  Everyone burst with laughter and Uncle Bill, who can barely contain himself, asks “boy, how do you like them oysters?”  Based on the amount of laughter emanating from my uncle and other male relatives gathered round, I knew I had been had.  Only much later did I learn the nature of Rocky Mountain Oysters and from whence they came.

foie-grasHaving spent a good part of the past decade traveling around the world I’ve eaten the cousins of Rocky Mountain Oysters called criadillas in Spain, and chitlins too have a relative down in Colombia that go by the name chunchullos; both well and good, and assuming there is cold beer involved, I wouldn’t pass up a plate…..but the offal I’m most in love with?  Foie gras and sweetbreads.  Well, while we are at it, throw in a nice country pâté.  There is nothing, and I mean nothing finer than a seared slab of foie gras dressed in a reduction of red wine and with some sweet compotie deliciousness backing it up; or for that matter those most prized of glands- sweetbreads [which by the way, the name, makes no f’ing sense- they are neither sweet nor a bread of any kind whatsoever].  If you’ve never experienced sweetbreads, it’s time to manup and order some.  You won’t be disappointed, tender to the point of almost being creamy.  Have them grilled with a bit of salt, pepper, and a hit of citric acid.  Coño que rico!  

So while the majority of, culinarily speaking, boring fast food chugging Americans regard offal as awful, you now have the opportunity to flex your pallet.  Not only can you get some delicious dishes out of hearts, lungs, livers, kidneys and other innard bits, but it is also terribly responsible to eat those dishes.  Our obsession with a few select cuts from any given animal means we are wasting millions of tons of great meals; and I try never to waste a great meal. Get curious, get bold, and get yourself some offal.

StarTalk Radio Podcast

StarTalk Radio Podcast

startalkradioI have a secret science crush. I have had this crush for a while but it got worse when I started listening to the StarTalk Radio podcast with Neil deGrasse Tyson (NdT). I don’t know how I am so late to the party picking this podcast up but now that I have found it, I get to stream NdT into my earhole at least once a week. Sometimes I go back and listen to older episodes just to get a fix. In a StarTalk Radio podcast, you get humor, science, life and logical discussion in easy to digest chunks… and NdT.

Just in case you have been under a rock, let me tell you a little about NdT. Neil deGrasse Tyson is this generation’s Carl Sagan. He is the pre-eminent astrophysicist in America today and, more importantly, he is one of the biggest promoters of science to our very unscientific pop-culture. There was a time when science and scientists were sexy. When astronauts were America’s heroes.  NdT brought Sagan’s Cosmos back to the masses, for a new generation. He appears on TV shows and in movies and in documentaries. He keeps himself in front of the public, all the while throwing some science at the people. His day job is Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City – this guy is a real scientist but he is different than the stereotype. He shatters that stereotype. But, when you hear him dig into a subject with his guests… he knows his stuff.

Back to the topic at hand. The StarTalk Radio podcast has many different styles and formats. A typical episode will have NdT and a guest or two or three. These guests will run the gambit from scientists to authors to comedians. He chooses people that he is interested in. He chooses people that make him think, that are thought-provoking and sometimes you can see that he is geeking out over talking to them just as much as we are geeking out listening to them. You will run across Cosmic Queries, in which our intrepid host takes questions from the interwebs with the help of a co-host. Did I mention that a lot of the time NdT has comedians as his co-hosts? Eugene Mirman and Chuck Nice are the two that appear on the show most but anyone might turn up. Dr. Tyson has done a very good job of surrounding himself with interesting, funny, witty, smart people. All of these factors makes this a podcast that I wait for each and every week.

star-talk-liveThen there is Star Talk Live. Live shows, that you can attend, around the country. Yes, you can go catch a StarTalk Radio episode live! Again, the panel at these shows is diverse and interesting, thought-provoking and most of all fun. These live shows end up as podcasts but certainly if you are so inclined and live in the proximity they are going to having one, GO SEE IT and let us all know how awesome it is. These live shows usually have a bigger cast of characters but they are just as entertaining and full of NdT as a regular StarTalk Radio podcast.

Bill Nye is a fixture of the StarTalk Radio Show. Again, if you have lived under a rock most of your life, you may have missed Bill Nye. And to that, I say – SHAME. Bill Nye was a fixture of my childhood with his show Bille Nye the Science Guy. This show, much like StarTalk, tries to bring science to the masses. BNtSG broke down science for children and young adults making it fun and entertaining. Bill Nye has had a resurgence as of late both in his role on StarTalk Radio, on popular shows like The Big Bang Theory and just popping up in pop-culture all over the place. Google Bill Nye and Ken Ham on YouTube if you want to see a great scientific debate.

Anyway, add the StarTalk Radio podcast to your podcast playlist. Great show, very informative and just delightful. This is the way that I get my Neil deGrasse Tyson fix each week. Check it out!