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Grumpy Cave Bear

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Everything posted by Grumpy Cave Bear

  1. I finally seem to have gotten through my painting block for good. It’s been fits and starts, but now I seem to be doing something every night now.
  2. Though I’ve seen raccoons and at least one coyote in our neighborhood, we’ve not had any large animals invade our current home, except at the beginning. When my wife and I were moving into the house, a large yellow tomcat wandered in and introduced himself to us, then went in our open door and explored every room of the new house as we were bringing boxes in. We left him satisfy his curiosity, then escorted him out when we were done. He looked well cared for and our new house was newly-built, so I guess he was just exploring, rather than looking for new human pets to adopt.
  3. Maybe not so silly, but one with a sense of catharsis: I was replacing a rotted out fencepost from a fallen fence in my backyard, and needed to pull the concrete foundation out of the ground. I dug the chunk of concrete out just enough to tie a rope around it, then improvised a lever to pull and lift it using the only thing I had on hand — the rotted out fencepost itself! A quick balancing trick and a few jumps later, and the concrete chunk pulled from the ground like a rotten tooth.
  4. My personal favorite kung-fu movie is Return to the 36th Chamber, a comedy starring Gordon Liu. I caught this movie on late night cable years ago, and it’s stuck with me since. It might not be a bad kung-fu movie, but I do put it in the category of the badly-dubbed films that were shown at odd hours in syndication.
  5. Nothing... I’m on a diet. And I guess the cat will be on a diet too, then. I’ve torn apart pot toppers with fake moss flocking on top, to make a cheap and grass tufts. And I’ve cleaned the roofing grit out of my house’s gutters, then rinsed, bleached and sifted it to make a lifetime’s supply of small rough stones. And I have a fair amount of ground foam made from cutting an old foam mattress into strips, then running the strips through a motorized meat grinder and dying the resulting fluff various shades of green and brown in 5-gallon paint buckets. That is genius! I found a magnetic sign cast off on the side of the road, and have been trying to come up with a use for it. I bet the same would work for ruins. I could make free-standing walls and columns by putting washers on the bottom. I was a fan of the arcade game Joust, and would like a mini of a knight mounted on an ostrich. Maybe that one is just a little too specific. It might be a good candidate for a kit bash, provided I can find an ostrich mini of the right size...
  6. Ergo, “All the best people” is equivalent to “All the weird people”.
  7. It’s time to make an impromptu cat-toy! How about a goblin-on-a-string?
  8. It is the curse of “Happily Ever After”. Peace and prosperity spreads throughout the land. There are no more wars, no more banditry or piracy, no more raging monsters or evil cults or secret plots to overthrow the king... ...And all adventurers can’t find any work and eventually die of ennui. Hmmm... that’s a curse that all barbarians are immune to...
  9. It’s true! Especially the gold dragon and that mythril warforged bard!
  10. I’ll take that as a challenge. Here’s another I was thinking of, not cursed: The Fifth Ring of Fives This magical ring, is a simple gold band with the numeral 5 inscribed on it five times. When worn, it makes the number five repeatedly come up in all narrative-based situations for the wearer. The address the wearer is directed to is 55 Fifth Street, and the time of their meeting is 5:00 pm. The mission the wearer takes on is to protect a duchess who is the eldest of a set of quintuplets, and fifth in line for the crown. The sword the wearer finds in a chest has a design of five inset gems. The wizard they consult is the fifth member of the Council of Five, and lives on the fifth floor of a tower five miles outside town. The barkeep who runs the Five-Headed Dragon Tavern will give them the fifth drink they order on the house. Most items they purchase end up costing some multiple of five coins, or the merchant has only five in stock. Fives everywhere. The effects don’t normally extend into combat, unless the GM desires. Encounters with 1 to 4 enemies might be rounded out to 5, by adding a few cheering onlookers. Treasure found will have fives included in mostly descriptive terms, like a five-pointed crown, but there will always be five copper coins included. Attempts to manipulate luck with the ring often meet with disaster; for instance, playing a game of cards might have the wearer winning only the first five hands of the night, or end up holding a hand of 5 fives. The ring can only be worn and removed five times; on the sixth try, the ring will not fit. The Rings of Five were created by an arch-mage whose favorite number was, you guessed it, five. The First through Fourth Rings of Five have been lost to the ages.
  11. The Parchment of Lisa Frank. This item at first appears to be a spell scroll; but activates when unrolled, covering all visible surfaces, items and clothing up to 30 feet away with images of bright rainbow-colored landscapes and cute dewy-eyed creatures, most often unicorns. When activated, the parchment provides bardic inspiration to all intelligent good-aligned creatures in its area of effect, and the equivalent of a short rest for chaotic good creatures. It also stuns intelligent evil-aligned creatures in its area of effect for 1D4 rounds (a DC12 CON saving throw ends; lawful evil creatures fail automatically). Only creatures that can see the scroll’s effect in normal light will be affected. The parchment will have 2D6 charges, and may be activated by any character class. The effect is permanent and not an illusion, though it can be cleaned off individual items with a Prestidigitation cantrip, or by a thorough cleaning with a water bucket and scrub brush.
  12. I have a handful of transparent minis, but I’ve been holding back on painting them until I have an excuse to buy some transparent paints to shade them...
  13. Buster Keaton. The actors in silent comedies were masters of physical humor, and Buster was the king of them all. Thank goodness for resources like YouTube to allow us to see these old silent films. ...unless you meant pranks! In that case, my favorite prank was noticing the red sand and rocks in my manager’s miniature Zen garden on his desk, then spicing it up with a model of the Curiosity Mars rover in the middle of taking a soil sample. It took about an hour for him to notice it, but the whole floor heard his laugh when he finally did. Second favorite was filling another manager’s locking bookshelf with 300+ golf balls while he was on vacation. Said bookshelf had a solid front lid that you had to lift up and slide back to open. We rigged the shelf with a slope inside so that when opened, the golf balls would roll out and make an ungodly clatter on the desktop below. We added in a couple of dowels that would drop down and prop the lid open so it couldn’t be shut again partway through. I was in the restroom when the trap was sprung; I still heard it clearly, as did the people on the floors above and below. Or that time I built and programmed a LEGO robotics kit to become “Knock-Bot”. If it was in totally darkness, it would randomly bang a small hammer made of LEGOs once or twice every few minutes; once exposed to light, it would shriek with laughter and go ham with the hammer. One April Fool’s day, I left it in several coworker’s desks. It grew more fun as more and more coworkers were let in on the prank... Or that one April Fool’s that fell on a Friday. A lot of people were in the habit of pulling the Fry’s Electronics 4-page Friday ad from the company-provided newspaper in the lunch room, to look over the weekend sales. There was often a bit of competition to get to the ad to read it first. That day, I snuck in early and replaced the ad with another one that was MORE THAN SEVEN YEARS OLD. Then I just sat back and watched as coworkers would come to lunch one-by-one, grab the ad and start reading, then get more and more confused at the terribly high prices for underpowered laptop and desktop computers... until they saw the ad’s date. Right now, with the CV stay-at-home orders, I’m reduced to raiding the Halloween costume box for our daily video conference meetings. Ahh... Many podcasts, but no new discoveries... except for Paint Bravely The Podcast, with Brent from Goobertown Hobbies, and Casey from eBay Miniature Rescues. Two episodes are out, so far. Highly recommended.
  14. Osprey is making more of their e-books available for free, five a week for the next four weeks. Titles are a range of historical and modern warfare references. Check the blog on their site for more details.
  15. epub is an open, XML-based ebook publishing format standard. Most e-readers can display epub documents natively, and most smartphones, tablets and computers have apps that can display them too.
  16. Add to that list the US Library of Congress. Their online sheet music collection has 94,000+ entries, mostly historical: https://www.loc.gov/notated-music/
  17. Likewise, I had the hardcover edition, but am happy to have an electronic edition too. I was able to download both the pdf and epub editions with no problem using the code. There’s apparently a second edition coming out? Nice.
  18. ...And the other island of the lake is named the Phantom Ship: Whoever named those islands must have been heavily influenced by the lake’s otherworldly atmosphere. I spent two summers working in the lodge at Crater Lake in the 80’s, and it was the two most amazing summers of my life. Imagine walking to work with a view from the rim of the caldera each morning...
  19. I had wondered whether I should include The Silmarillion in my list, given my love for it. I had also thought about whether I should include ufology and cryptozoology, as I uncritically read so many books on these subjects as an pre-teen; as an adult I still love them, but consider them to be a uniquely modern mythology/folklore. In the end, I stuck to classical mythology.
  20. I know Greek/Roman mythology best, because I was lucky enough to have a middle school that had a semester of it as a literature elective — public school, no less. That continued afterward as I scoured the public library’s resources. I’ve also read up on Egyptian and Norse mythology, though I didn’t learn as much about them. My most recent short dive into mythology was Slavic mythology, which I learned a bit about after looking up info on the name Chernobog.
  21. My daughter’s 21st birthday was yesterday. This morning, I walked into her room and started singing: ”Happy birthday plus one! Happy birthday plus one! You’re a single day older, Happy birthday plus one!”
  22. Root beer floats, of course, Any decent variety of root beer will do, but home-made vanilla ice cream is best. I’ve had floats with cream soda substituting root beer. I’d sometime like to try a float with root beer made w/cane sugar, or maybe try with sarsaparilla instead of root beer. I’ve had them... Used to buy them by the bag from a Tillamook dairy outlet... they’re like tasty soft rubber erasers!
  23. Oregon recycles of course, and you can recycle bottles and cans. But Oregon also has a bottle bill that predates recycling. Every soda can and bottle has a 10-cent refundable deposit, and if you just toss them into your recycling bin, you’re giving up that deposit. Getting back the deposit involves returning them to the store, or increasingly now, returning them to a centralized bottle drop station. Collecting and returning soda cans is a good bit of pocket change for the homeless in Oregon.
  24. My wife asked over the weekend if I could help her return bottles at the local BottleDrop (we have a backlog of soda cans in the garage), and I told her it probably wasn’t a good idea to visit that place right now. I’m glad to see that our state agrees. Speaking with sympathy here... once CV gets into the homeless population, places like public transit and bottle returns and shelters will be hotspots for contagion, especially for the homeless, who are trapped into having to use them. Many of the homeless are distrusting of authority, so asking them to change their behavior will just backfire — and they still have to find what shelter and income they can. It’s a problem with no good solution. Anything more belongs in BeeKeepers, where I do not tread.
  25. Thin-sliced and fried in a skillet, with diced onions, and bacon or chopped ham. A weekend breakfast when I was a college student.
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