Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Random Bits from Facebook

November 2:
So this afternoon I realized that my deep and abiding hatred of winter has bled over into an intense dislike of autumn, though I can get past it occasionally.

In the meantime, and possibly related, strange filky things have been happening in my head today. The tunes should be pretty obvious.

This one started out this "Cthulhu" instead of "Dagon", but "Dagon" just sounds better:

Dagon loves the little children,
All the children of the world:
Broiled or battered and deep fried,
With live puppies on the side,
Dagon loves the little children of the world.

And then there is this one, parts of which have been kicking around for a long time:

All the trees are dead,
And the sky is black;
The sun has gone away,
And it's not coming back.
Any hope of meaning
Is a thing we lack;
Life's a rocket railway
Running on a dead end track.

Wasn't that fun? (I'm not any crazier than usual today, really I'm not. But gray skies bring out the poetry...)

November 3:
Went into Cryptic Legends comics yesterday, was told there was nothing new on my pull list for the week. And then the proprietor handed me a back issue with a 20 cent cover price, meaning it was from the early 70s. "This came in, and I thought it was your kind of thing," he said.

"Swords of Sorcery" #1 from DC, featuring Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. I smiled and bought it. Turns out the book only ran five issues, Denny O'Neil adapting Fritz Leiber. As it turns out, SoS #1 was also the first full length story pencilled by a guy named Howard Chaykin. Yeah, definitely my kind of thing.

November 5:
So there's a new housing development going up in the Felstead Way neighborhood in the town of Luton, Bedfordshire, in the UK. Steve Dillon lived in the area at the time of his death. There will be 36 new houses along two new streets. The streets are called, "Preacher Close" and "Cassidy Close".

Kind of rips my heart out, that does...

November 5:
Strange and obscure geekery:
Once upon a long ago, John Tenniel drew Lewis Carroll's Mad Hatter for the first time with a price card in his hat band that read "In this Style 10/6". That price card, and that specific price, have been part of the Hatter's image ever since. This evening, an unrelated item in a completely different context had a price card that read "10/6", and a voice in the back of my head said, "That's a half guinea," and the world shifted ever so slightly on its axis.

Quick show of hands: Did you know that a guinea was 21 shillings? Now that you do, do you care at all? Yeah. That.

And yet, I am grinning like a fool over it. My mind is a peculiar place.

November 9:
Saw "Thor: Ragnarok" yesterday, liked it, mostly. More detailed comments to follow. But...

It's common knowlege that Jack Kirby inspired the cityscape of Asgard; did anyone else see Moebius inspiration in the Junk World, and in the big space ship at the end? I sure did.

November 9:
The problem with exercising in the morning is that it gives you a sense of accomplishment... that is more than sufficient to kill any ambition or sense of urgency about anything else for the rest of the day.

November 10:
Had an experience last evening that reminded me why I am not a working writer. It involved carpentry, and it came out well enough in the end, but that isn't the point. I got it in my head to get a job done, hit a setback, decided to power through anyway, and hit a wall fairly hard. The details don't matter. The point is that there is a time to trudge ahead blindly, and there is a time to step back and walk away, at least for a while. Knowing when to do which is critical, and you will usually have to make the decision when you are tired, angry, sick, or otherwise impaired.

One of the consistent bits of writing advice that I hear over and over is to write EVERY day. I have experimented with this, and have learned that when I attempt to write by discipline the product makes me want to quit writing forever, or kill myself, or at the very least destroy all trace of the result so that no else reads it and decides that I have to die for the good of humanity. I have learned, in fact, that I really shouldn't try to write fiction until the pressure against the inside of my fingertips gets pretty intense. So I am not, and never will be, a commercial writer.

I do OK with Trudge Mode, usually, as long as I have some kind of goal in sight, and there is no creativity involved. I have lived in that mode for years at a time, actually. But creativity on demand? Nope. Not going to happen.

November 11:
My personal Veteran's Day ritual has been, for the last several years, to find an audience somewhere public and read Kipling's "Tommy" out loud, to the best of my acting ability. I don't always manage it; I don't have a venue in mind for today, yet.

In the meantime, my thanks and appreciation to all those who have served, or are serving.

November 11:
Dragged out to McHenry for a Bounding Main house concert tonight. REALLY good times.

November 13:
Game geekery: I was looking through the weapons list for D&D 5e today, and stumbled across the fact that scimitars and short swords have exactly the same stats. That is, the are "finesse" weapons, suitable for characters with more dexterity than strength, and they are "light" weapons, suitable for off-hand or dual weapon use. This makes sense for the short sword; the twin gladius style is well documented. The scimitar, though, is primarily a cavalry weapon, intended for chopping and slashing from horseback. They are blade-heavy and poorly balanced for thrusting, which makes them mediocre or worse fencing weapons.

The obvious source of this significant contrast between history and game rules would seem to be writer R.A, Salvatore, and his "white sheep" dark elf, Drizzt Do'Urden, who is hugely popular among readers of D&D fiction, and fights with a pair of magic scimitars. And since it is assumed that many players will want their characters to resemble Drizzt (and they do; "white sheep" dark elves have become something of a joke), history loses out.

There is an epistemological lesson to be learned in there, somewhere...
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