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Dr.Bedlam

House Frogwarts
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Everything posted by Dr.Bedlam

  1. Dr.Bedlam

    A Card Reading

    NICHOLAS, DUKE OF NOMADS SYMBOLISM: Craftiness, ambition, facial tattoos When reversed, do NOT give money to panhandlers today. When upright, today is a good day to look for treasure in the usual locations, particularly Hot Topic and your favorite hobby shop, but NOT used bookstores; to a Nomad, a book is something you use to level a table with one short leg. QUOTE: "I have something in which you may be interested..." PIFFLE, FOOL OF DRAGONLORDS SYMBOLISM: Humor, fun, sheltered idiocy When reversed, do NOT get into arguments online, and stay away from the comments sections. When upright, it's a good day to do something fun, but as always, avoid teh stoopidz unless you have a higher level of protection than most of us, who are bogged down with consequences. QUOTE: "I say, I say, I say!"
  2. Dr.Bedlam

    A Card Reading

    Art credit to Bob Pepper, who also did the amazing Dark Tower board game.
  3. Dr.Bedlam

    D&D books?

    There is NOTHING so magical as that which WAS magical when I was in eighth grade. And regardless of what comes after, the magic remains. Or to steal words from Stephen King, "If it was junk, then it was magic junk."
  4. Dr.Bedlam

    A Card Reading

    ALPHEUS, COUNT OF NOMADS SYMBOLISM: Versimilitude, exactitude, funny hatsWhen reversed, just give up trying to get anything exact. When upright, the time is right to complete work on SCA garb or paint the eyes on miniatures.QUOTE: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." MORGAN, BARON OF DRUIDS SYMBOLISM: Dignity unaware of flaws, halitosisWhen reversed, turn around, go back to the bathroom, check your appearance carefully, reapply deodorant, and brush your teeth. Otherwise, it's a good omen.QUOTE: "What? What is it?"
  5. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    The photo below is from the film Stand By Me, a Rob Reiner joint. From left to right: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Jerry O'Connell, and Corey Feldman. For those of you who never saw it, it's based on a story by Stephen King, and has no supernatural elements, but an evil Kiefer Sutherland, a dead body, and a great deal of child profanity. Very good movie! I bring it up because at one point, Jerry O'Connell, who would later achieve some level of fame in Sliders and the first Piranha reboot, decided to play hooky from the production and wandered off in search of fun and adventure. The film was set in Maine but shot in Oregon, and while wandering afield, O'Connell heard tell of a "Hippie Fair." Being all of eleven at the time, he decided to investigate. Would there be rides, cotton candy, funnel cake, games? Well, not exactly; there was music aplenty, odd people in colorful clothes doing inexplicable things, and a variety of crafts and snacks for sale. So O'Connell bought and ate a plateful of cookies. And there all his troubles began; the cookies were infused with marijuana, and perhaps ONE cookie might merely have elevated his consciousness; the entire plateful had him orbiting Uranus by the time the responsible adults finally located him. The incident shut down production for a couple of days while O'Connell came down and remembered how to walk and speak English...
  6. Dr.Bedlam

    A Card Reading

    I admit nothing.
  7. Dr.Bedlam

    A Card Reading

    GAFF, FOOL OF WARRIORS SYMBOLISM: Things not being as they seem When reversed, expect to be dealing with someone who is difficult to deal with. When upright, expect to deal with someone who means to take advantage. QUOTE: "Watch the red card, watch the red card..." THE RUNESWORD SYMBOLISM: Strength, advantage, opportunity When reversed, do NOT get into it with anyone who is armed. Otherwise, it's a good omen. QUOTE: Pick any good Clint Eastwood meme.
  8. Dr.Bedlam

    1/72 scale plastic medieval/fantasy characters

    Better'n I did with some of the same pieces... Lovely work!
  9. Dr.Bedlam

    D&D books?

    Point well made. The Player's Handbook fifth edition is a large ornate tome, heavily and beautifully illustrated. The Advanced Dungeons And Dragons Player's Handbook was a fairly slim volume with a lovely painted cover, but little interior art aside from line drawings.
  10. Dr.Bedlam

    D&D books?

    There are any number of indexes available free online; hell, I think some of them come from the Dungeon Master's Guild. I liked Volo's Guide To Monsters. I really wish they'd go back to publishing Volo Guides from Volo's point of view.
  11. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    True enough. I have found there are HUNDREDS of tubby baldheaded greybeard grognards out there, many of whom wear glasses. Hell, Larry Elmore once mistook me for Jeff Easley. I couldn't be one of the Tom Hiddleston lookalikes. WHOA, no...
  12. I stand corrected; the new Titans show, live action, is going to be streaming on this new DC Universe thingy; it is a TV series. And it still looks like something Zack Snyder would do after drinking too much tequila and playing WH40K all night long. IN THE WORLD OF DARKGRIM GRIMDARK, THERE IS ONLY DIMGRARK! "F%$# Batman," said Robin.
  13. Dr.Bedlam

    D&D books?

    Don't get me started. The idea of paying more than a C note for the new D&D art book (with a variety of extras) is equally insane. But I still kinda wanna.
  14. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    The Big Bang Theory episode "The Bat Jar Conjecture" deals with our heroes entering the Physics Bowl... on two different teams, because Sheldon won't play nice. At one point, Leonard, Raj, and Howard are pondering who to ask to be their fourth team member, and Raj suggests the girl who played Blossom on the TV series of the same name; she grew up and got a Ph.D in neuroscience. When this is mentioned as being ridiculous, Raj then suggests the girl who played the girlfriend on Wonder Years, who grew up and became a mathematician. Actress Danica McKellar played Winnie on The Wonder Years, and did indeed grow up and become a mathematician, and has written several books on the subject. She would later go on to play a one shot character on a later episode of Big Bang Theory, although not as herself... or, for that matter, as Winnie. Actress Mayim Bialik played Blossom on Blossom, and later went on to earn a doctorate in neuroscience. She then took another acting job... playing regular cast member Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory. No one on the show ever dreamed that these actresses would ever appear on the show at the time "The Bat Jar Conjecture" originally aired, though. Although, now I can't stop thinking: this means that Blossom and The Wonder Years aired in the past in the world where The Big Bang Theory takes place. This means that in that world, both Amy Farrah Fowler and Mayam Bialik exist, along with Danica McKellar and the girl Howard picked up in the bar in that one episode...
  15. Dr.Bedlam

    D&D books?

    I'll not dispute you. It sounds more or less right, when I think about what it bought, then and now. But I don't WANT it to, durnit. Model kits are a little different. When I first started building the things, you could get them for three to five bucks... at any five and dime, department store, hell, even the toy section at the supermarket, if you were lucky. Nowadays, toy sections in supermarkets are aimed a little differently, five and dime stores barely exist anymore, and department stores are not as I remember them. You wanna model kit NOW, you'll go to Hobby Lobby, or a specialty hobby shop, and you'll pay what they're asking... because of a greatly diminished market for model kits. It still amazes me to think that Aurora's Frankenstein sold millions of units, in its day. Nowadays, the idea of "model kits" that you assemble and paint yourself doesn't even register on today's youth as "entertainment." It's a dying art form.
  16. Dr.Bedlam

    D&D books?

    A thing I have carried in my mind since the summer of '78 is what I did with my first paycheck. I was outraged to hear that I didn't get all of my own money; there was this thing called "withholding," and a thing called FICA and all these piddly little excuses the govvamint had for making sure I didn't get all my own money. But I had a paycheck, and rather than depositing it, I cashed it. I used the cash all in one weekend, at a mall, at Waldenbooks, Sears, and an Orange Julius stand. It yielded: 1. A Player's Handbook ($12, plus tax) 2. A Monster Manual ($12, plus tax) 3. An Atari 2600 video game system ($102, on sale from $119.00, plus tax; it was the licensed Sears version, and came with the Combat! cartridge, but being Sears, it was somewhat cheaper than the Atari, despite being the exact same hardware and software) 4. A large Orange Julius ($1.29 total, if I remember correctly) 5. Less than a dollar in small change. My father was terribly disappointed; in his mind, the place for money was in a bank, and the idea that I'd frittered away an ENTIRE PAYCHECK was, I think, actually painful to him. This is the man who tried to turn off the gas water heater because he saw no reason to be burning gas and heating water when no one was actually bathing or doing laundry, which meant we had to turn the gas ON an hour BEFORE we wanted to bathe or do laundry or dishes and then WAIT for the water to heat up, which finally led to an actual family mutiny... but I digress. The Dungeon Master's Guide came out the following spring ($15, plus tax), and the Deities and Demigods book ($12, plus tax) came out in 1980. I do recall that the Fiend Folio was a bit costlier, at $15 plus tax. Had to buy that one at B.Dalton, as they couldn't keep them in stock at Waldenbooks. The whole bear STARTED in Christmas of '77, when I bought the Holmes Basic Set ($9.99, marked down from $12) at the Spencer Gifts location in that same mall. For ten bucks, I started up a D&D group and generated months of entertainment for multiple people. By April, we'd durn near worn the thing out, and by the following summer, I knew I was ready to invest in the Big Hard Back Books. And upon purchasing them, I used them for years. From time to time, there were other expenditures -- dice, figures, and the occasional Official Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Module ($4.99, as a rule, although Expedition To The Barrier Peaks was $8 and Tomb Of Horrors was, like, $6.50. I guess it's the economics of it that bugs me. For some reason, buying multiple hardbacks THEN didn't seem like such a big bite. NOW, paying regular retail, $150 seems like a bite for ANYONE, although online shopping can bring this down by $60 or more without too much effort.On the other hand, I recall dropping the cost of a dungeon adventure pretty regularly; five bucks would buy you one module, three or four magazines, or twelve to fifteen comic books around that time. It wasn't a major expenditure for a kid with a job, although my old man griped about how I wasted money. The original Ravenloft module cost, if I recall correctly, $10, plus tax. The Curse Of Strahd hardback costs five times that... and the cost of it might get you ten comic books or so. And as a rule, if I'm going to drop fifty bucks, I think about it for a minute. Then again, I am old. Are today's teeners really dropping fifty bucks the same way I dropped five, back in 1980? Dang. I'm glad my old man doesn't know about my current bad habits.
  17. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    I share with you some pictures from me personal photo album now. Years ago, not long after the oceans drank Atlantis, I happened to be at a museum where they had this traveling exhibit: the props and models of Star Wars. In it, they had a great many items of sentimental value to me. The one you're looking at is Luke Skywalker's landspeeder, the actual functional model used in the film that these days is called A New Hope, built on a British Bond Bug chassis. It only has three wheels, and was apparently not real safe to drive too fast. This is the one Mark Hamill drove around in the movie, and I am told it has not had gas in it or been started up in decades. Because of the safety limitations, particularly when driving on sand, they did the speedy shots two ways: sometimes, they just had Mark Hamill and Sir Alec Guinness drive normally, and sped up the film. Other times, in long shots, they used a model. The model was built to roughly 1/6 scale, and they used action figures for passengers. Now, as my presence on these boards might imply, I'm a modelin' sort of guy. So I looked closely at the model, which is seen at left foreground here, and I was greatly amused to see that the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi was played by a Steve Austin Bionic Man doll wrapped in what seemed to be a sort of little brown Klansman robe. You could see his face peeking out, but that was about it. I was less clear about Luke Skywalker, who seemed to be one of the old 12-inch GI Joes, but with a modified head, and wearing a blond wig. They'd bought the GI Joe Karate Fighter accessory set, because Luke was wearing the top half of a karate uniform. The interesting part was, he wasn't wearing the BOTTOM half; ole Luke was driving commando style, stark naked below the waist! I guess it made sense; it's not like the doll is ever seen outside the car, they only had to worry about what his TOP half looked like. I chuckled, and moved on to see the three-part helmet built for Darth Vader's final unmasking at the climax of Return Of The Jedi, and that was it, right? A couple of years later, while I was doing something or other, I turned on the TV for some background noise, and a familiar voice said, with an old and familiar whine, "But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!" Hm. Yeah. Star Wars? Okay. And I left it on while I did whatever it was I was doing that afternoon... ...but the call of nostalgia is strong, and I found myself drawn back to the movie, particularly the part where Luke and Obi-Wan find the dead Jawas and their sandcrawler, and deduce that the Stormtroopers did this... trying to find the droids... which would lead them back... home... and Luke leaps into his landspeeder and roars away, as trumpets skirl and dramatic music blasts away! And we cut to a long shot of Luke driving alone, at a distance, a shot almost certainly made with the little model with the karate shirt on... ...and apropos of nothing, I wondered if Luke was driving without his pants on. As he tore across the desert to a shattering meeting with his destiny, I wondered why one would drive around with no pants on. Was it cooler that way? The landspeeder certainly hadn't had air conditioning. What the seats had been upholstered with, I couldn't remember; I hadn't looked that closely. Leather? Ew; driving barebutt on leather seats in 110 degree weather? Ew again. Why WOULD one drive around in the desert wearing a pajama top and absolutely nothing over the hams? And by the time Luke tragically discovered the barbecued remnants of his family, I was laughing fit to bust, partly due to thinking of bizarre reasons for Donald Duckin' it through the desert wastes at high speed, and partly due to the realization that I'd spent more time thinking about Mark Hamill's butt in one afternoon than any other Star Wars fan I had ever heard of... for all the wrong reasons. ...so that's a thing you know now. Just thought I'd share that with you. Yer welcome.
  18. Perhaps you are right and I am wrong. After watching the trailer, instead of looking for more information, I basically just thought, "Nope," and kept on going.
  19. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    On a distantly related note: Again, we have Angels With Dirty Faces (1938) ...with Leo Gorcey and James Cagney. A worthwhile 1930s gangster film. In it, Leo Gorcey played a tough street kid who's dancing back and forth on the line between legal and illegal... and tends to feel that if you're gonna make it, you gotta break the law. Gorcey had been doing this kind of role since Dead End (1937) and was the original example of Dawson Casting, since he's supposed to be in his early teens in the scene above. He was actually 21 at the time. And to my eyes, rather looks it. Despite whatever I think, Gorcey was VERY successful in roles like this, and as the thirties advanced, found himself in film after film about urban kid gangs getting into trouble... and then redeeming themselves... and then getting into shenanigans; the East Side Kids films and the Bowery Boys films were basically just like the kid gang scenes in Angels With Dirty Faces, but without expensive actors like James Cagney. Starting as "Mugs" in the East Side Kids films, he began toning it down from the two fisted gang wannabe stereotype, until by the time of the Bowery Boys movies, he and Huntz Hall were playing it largely for laughs, in much the same way the Marlon Brando motorcycle leather jacket thug would eventually mutate into the Fonzie character on Happy Days. He played essentially the same character in nearly every movie he made. His real life father played the candy store owner in the Bowery Boys movies; Gorcey finally quit after his father died. The last Bowery Boys movie, Crashing Las Vegas (1956) had him playing a juvenile delinquent at the age of 39. Despite his status as a B movie stalwart, though, he was among Hollywood's highest paid actors in the fifties and sixties, largely due to the sheer number of films he worked in. After quitting the Bowery Boys, he seems to have been pretty comfortable, and often did cameos in other films, both in character as a Bowery Boy, and out of character as well. And looking at Gorcey, particularly in Angels With Dirty Faces, I can't help but wonder if maybe Jughead was based on him, a little. At least at first; in those old forties comics covers, Jughead looks about 39 or so...
  20. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    Today's lesson is on Jughead's hat. I grew up reading Archie comics, and it never once occurred to me to question Jughead's taste in headgear. As a teenager, I remember getting into a conversation about it, and simply assuming it was one of those cardboard crowns the kids got at Burger King. I mean, he was nuts for hamburgers, right? Interestingly enough, I grew up watching the Andy Griffith Show in reruns, and it never occurred to me that Goober wore the same hat. Probably because by the early seventies, it didn't LOOK anything like the same hat. ... because Bob Montana hadn't been doing the art in Archie for decades by then, and Jughead's hat looked less like a beanie than a crown. So I did some googliation. It seems that in the early twentieth century, men wore hats in public. All of them. All the time. And apparently, in the thirties, the fedora was a fairly popular choice. It was a soft felt, shapeable, comfortable, and came in a variety of colors and styles. And when you got tired of it, you went out and bought a new hat, and ... this is where things get weird... your kids would turn it inside out, chop the brim off roughly with scissors, and make a beanie out of it. It was a teen fashion trend, and can be seen here worn by Leo Gorcey in Angels With Dirty Faces (1938). Apparently, this is a thing kids DID back then. Because apparently, if you didn't have a hat, you might as well be naked. And if you look at a panel from Jughead's first appearance three years later in 1941, precisely what he's wearing on his head seems a lot more obvious. Note also that some small objects can be seen on his hat; these beanies often included buttons and other ephemera. Over time, Jughead's hat decorations would dwindle down to a dot and a dash, sometimes reversed. (In his first appearance, Archie didn't like being called Archie, and much preferred "Chick." It's pretty obvious he was a child of the depression, too...) The beanie trend began to die off in the fifties, and largely vanished after the fedora market crashed in the sixties, when men realized you could be bareheaded without being naked. The beanie as a fashion accessory was utterly destroyed by Jeff Goldblum, who wore one during his rape and murder spree in the film Death Wish (1974). He wisely eschewed the hat altogether in his next film. But I digress. The beanie continued as a fashion accessory through the forties, which is when Archie cemented his place as a comic book icon, eventually pushing The Shield out of Pep Comics entirely... and through the process of art evolution, Jughead's beanie eventually mutated into a crownlike hat, and has remained so ever since in the comics, even today. Jughead has appeared in other media. A radio show existed in the distant past, and several TV cartoons and live action TV shows have featured Archie and his crew. And each time, Jughead's headgear has been more crownlike than anything. Remember above, when I mentioned how Archie and Jughead were "children of the Depression?" This has changed. Archie comics' artists have made a point of keeping tabs on trends, styles, and what's in and what's gone to make sure the characters are up to date. Archie has gone from his collared shirt/sweater/bow tie ensemble to wearing plaid shirts, flannels, and even a Nehru jacket at one point during the sixties. Hell, pick up one of those little digest anthologies they sell at the checkout at the grocery store; they're all reprint stories, and you can sometimes tell in what decade the story was produced just by looking at what the characters are wearing. Not Jughead. Jughead's basic uniform is sneaks, slacks, a blue jersey with an S on it... and that iconic 1940s mutilated fedora, mutated further into a felted crown. In his book, Twelve Cent Archie, author Bart Beaty actually points out the symbolic value of this: just like Jughead, Archie, Betty, Veronica, and all the rest, the felted crown remains unchanging and eternal amidst the changing winds of society and fashion over the past century. ...which is why I thought it was sort of interesting that there is now a Jughead on TV... on the CW's Riverdale teensoap... and his hat is a knit cap. Not exactly a homemade personal statement cut from Dad's old fedora. Kind of makes him look like a gangsta wannabe. I understand you can buy exact copies of this cap at Hot Topic, now.
  21. So they're making a Teen Titans movie, and I just saw the trailer. Seems to be a generalized extension of the DC Cinematic universe so far, as written and directed by Darky McDarkdark, in which heroes kill people with gleeful abandon. Except Superman, who does it with great regret. Or indifference to the point of obliviousness, one of the two. For some reason, the phrase DC CINEMATIC UNIVERSE 40,000: IN THE GRIM DARKNESS OF THE DCCU, THERE IS ONLY GRIMDARK went floating through my mind. I'm guessing SOMEONE in there quit reading comics around 1992, and just can't let it go.
  22. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    The ancient Sumerians had institutionalized beer, to the point where they had what we'd call taphouses. Brewers and bartenders were usually women, for some reason. And the Sumerians were barely out of the neolithic, themselves. As a rule, your cavemen would rather work with obsidian than with flint. Flint's durable, but obsidian holds an edge second to none... being a form of glass, after all.
  23. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    A discovery: bread is older than we think. Conventional wisdom is that bread products weren't invented until AFTER organized agriculture became a thing, towards the end of the paleolithic era; caveman farmers. This'd be one of the developments that took us into the neolithic era, and increased the number of tribal units you can have in any given space in Civilization! So the scientists have found an ancient bread oven (and some rather elderly toast) dating back 14,400 years, well before the neolithic period, and it would seem that Alley Oop and Fred Flintstone had access to more than just roasted meats and salads. They may have had sufficient Civilization credit to buy not Agriculture, but certainly soup and sandwiches! Click here for the rest of the story.
  24. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    Bad Ronald was a creepy little made for TV movie from 1974 in which the nerdy Ronald, abused by his peers, accidentally kills one of them. His mother hides him in the spare bathroom, and they spend the night removing the door and walling Ronald up in what becomes a secret room; when the heat dies down, they'll move away. A few months later, Mom accidentally DIES, and Ronald's already shaky grasp on sanity goes sailing over the cliff... and the house is resold to a suburban family with three teen daughters who don't know there's a mad artist living in there... It's based on a book by Jack Vance, of all people. In the movie, a very young Scott Jacoby makes for a sorta sympathetic villain who just wants to tell... and later, LIVE... his fairy tales, as King of the mythical land of Atranta. The book, on the other hand, is less 'made for TV' ; while Ronald is loony and creepy in the movie, he's downright homicidal in the book. ...and speaking of homicidal books, let's talk about A Song Of Ice And Fire. Atranta is a real place in Westeros, ruled over by House Vance. As of current events, they paid a high price for siding with Robb Stark, and their Lord, Norbert, is old and mostly blind. But his heir, Ser Ronald, known as "The Bad," is more than ready to claim his birthright... Good on ya, George R. R. Good on ya.
  25. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    Prototype data storage disk for Univac computers, 9000 series. The year was 1966. "Won't it be great, no more tape drives, no more messy magnetic tapes flapping around?" Storage capacity: a staggering 2.2 megabytes.
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