Stuff from my cranial sewer:
"Red Dawn" came out in August of 1984, during the seven months between the time Hyena met Dementia and their wedding. Hyena was doing his best to educate Dementia on what she was getting into.
As usual, Dementia and Hyena were sitting in the front of a nearly empty theater. Onscreen, a Russian convoy was running down a road cut into the side of a hill. "If I were running this," Hyena said softly, "I'd take out the lead truck with a rocket launcher." The lead truck exploded. "And then I'd take out the trailing truck to make it hard for them to escape." The trailing truck exploded. "Then I'd hit them with a machine gun from the top of the ridge to get them out of the trucks." Machine gun fire from the top of the ridge raked the convoy, and the Russian troops scrambled for cover in the ditch on the downhill side. "And then you light up the ditch with Claymores." A string of anti-personnel mines went off in the ditch. Dementia goggled at Hyena, who shrugged. "It's the way it should be done," he said.
For those who came in late, it's worth noting that there were NO relevant computer games at that point in time; it was all military history, military fiction, and hex-grid board games. And, of course, a brain that was prone to such things...
My friend John Wohlers is one of the best people I know, a giant teddy bear who loves to dress up as a pirate at Ren Faires and similar gatherings, helping strangers share his joy in the festivities.
He recently told the story of his encounter with a group of four women at the Bristol Faire, and it occurred to me that what he was describing was a textbook perfect six step swindle, with one small twist.
The swindle runs like this: One, get the mark to smile; two, get the mark to say, "Yes"; three, sell the mark some flattery; four, get the mark to take something physical from your hand; five, strike; six, RUN.
Except, in John's case, "something physical" was a piece of colored slag glass that he stocks for just such occasions and calls a "Dragon Tear", and the strike consisted of using the Dragon Tears as a mnemonic device to help his marks remember the joy and magic they were feeling at that moment.
As a Trickster, I love this to death.
As a human being, I love it even more.
Here's to you, John. Well done, Sir!
There's a new "Robin Hood" movie coming out, and it adds video game sensibilities to the legend. It looks like fun. It also got us talking about Robin Hood on film and in print, and led to the following.
Beleagered and ineffectual Prince John is doing his best to raise the ransom to bring his idiot brother, King Richard, home from prison in Austria. John's mother, the Dowager Queen, does her best to drive him crazy along the way. John's biggest headache, though, is a French backed rabble rouser named Locksley who is doing his best to burn the whole country down before Richard gets back and starts slaughtering the rebels.
It's an interesting take, and (except for the French influence) is actually closer to the history than any fictional version yet produced.
Life in my household:
Dementia: It's "Do something interesting with an ax day."
Hyena: Say what?
Dementia: Birthdays for Brian May and Lizzie Borden.
Hyena was speechless...
Today on "Weird Word Games", the challenge is find a way to string "lief" (which is an adverb) and "fain" (which be be either an adverb or an adjective) into a single phrase. They mean the same thing, so it would be a redundant-for-emphasis situation, and the result can't help but being stilted because the words are so archaic, but it SHOULD be possible. I just can't wrap my head around it at the moment. (I've only encountered "lief" in the wild once, and that was Tolkien, and I only know "fain" because it was part of a homophonic triad (fain, fane, feign) in a grammar trivia column once upon a long ago.)
Jodie Whittaker's Doctor Who has a sonic screwdriver that is a further digression from tradition than her gender, and by a large margin.
Also, in my ongoing campaign against stupid shoes, I am happy to announce that the new Doctor's costume includes military style lace up boots, which, let's be honest, are exactly the shoes YOU would wish you were wearing if you found yourself wandering randomly around the multiverse.
Language foolishness: Reading over yesterday's output, I realized that I had used both "complement" and "compliment" (correctly in both cases) in a single 400 word scene. This amuses me...
In one of the letter columns for "Preacher", back in the day, Garth Ennis mentioned that some particular writer (Harlan Ellison?) had listed the "five great taboos" of Western Civilization. I am trying to find the source: Was it Ellison? I have had no luck with Google so far. (I know the list, and will not reproduce it here, because of the impact it will have on the ads Facebook throws at me. But I HAVE tried the list on Google, with predictable and useless results.)
Update: Nothing conclusive materialized.
It has come to my attention that, to my shame, I missed a (posthumous) birthday yesterday, that of Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany, known to better educated fantasy fans as "Lord Dunsany", and to the denizens of this household as the Father of the Gnoll. To celebrate, we have a picture of Rook, the world's only sock gnoll, sitting on top of the bell at the ranger station museum at Stanley, Idaho (from 2011).
And the fun just never stops. Went to the dentist yesterday for a routine checkup. As it happens, I have had the best dental hygiene of my life since my last checkup. They told me that, even though I had no symptoms whatsovever, one of my molars appeared to have cracked, and would probably need to be removed.
And now today we found out that our beloved 1996 Rav4 may have un-repairable frame damage. Not sure yet. We are SO not prepared to let the Rav go...
And... while walking home from dropping off the car, the heel spurs that bothered me a decade ago but had been finessed into irrelevance, decided that they were tired of being irrelevant, and forced me to hop-limp the last three quarters of a mile. None of these are all that significant, in the grand scheme of things, but they all hurt...
E. Gary Gygax would have been 80 years old today. Sit down at a table with some friends and play a game in his memory.
Life in my household:
Dementia: I've heard it argued the a doormat that says, "Welcome!" is enough to get a vampire in the door.
Hyena: And there's a wonderfully surreal product concept: A doormat that says, "Eat sunlight, bloodsucker."
"Fiddler's Rose" Chapter Twenty-Five is finished, but if you want a copy, you will need to send me an e-mail (to the address now listed on the "Contents" page)(or a PM that includes an e-mail address) and ask for it. This chapter begins the last arc of the book, and since I am planning to SELL the book, I really need to stop posting it on the internet for free.
I was supposed to go to a wedding today, but I woke up with health issues (in addition to being cane-dependent since Thursday), and had to cancel. But just because you are house-bound doesn't mean you can't WORK...
This puts me three days ahead of the "five chapters per month" pace, and actually gets me up to the "667 words per day" pace, which is the same thing in 30 day months. Which is to say, as of right now, I have bought back the free days from March and May. Go, me.
Opus has lived in every car Dementia has owned since 1984. Since 1997, that car has been a 1996 Toyota Rav4 that was white from the factory but was re-painted British Racing Green the day after we bought it. The car was informally christened "The Green Bean", or usually just, "The Bean" shortly thereafter. After 21 years and more than a quarter million miles, the Bean is a family member. It may have unrepairable frame rot; we will know tomorrow. In the meantime, we are all just a bit edgier around here than usual...