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Everything posted by Dr.Bedlam

  1. By the time the Masters Of The Universe toys and TV series debuted in 1983, I was in college, and too old for them. This did not stop me; I recall a number of hungover Saturday mornings in which I would take a bowl of cereal down to the Day Room in the dormitory, wrapped in a blanket, and soothe my tortured body with mindless cartoons and Captain Crunch. And it seemed like Masters Of The Universe was being shown on some channel or other about every DAY throughout much of the eighties. I don't remember it WELL, but remember it I do. Back in the days of the eighties, when beer was one of the Seven Basic Food Groups, and it was all right to have twenty minute toy commercials masquerading as educational programming, I whiled away a number of pleasant half hours wondering why He-Man, a buff guy with sword, shield, and a giant green tiger for a mount, spent so much time seeking peaceful solutions to his problems. It sure didn't seem to go with his wardrobe. Fast forward to the year 2020, and there's this company making pewter MOTU figures. Not even knockoffs; they sell their stuff with the actual MOTU logo from the old TV show, which means they are either officially licensed, or a remarkably brassy pirate outfit. And I began to think of these figures, because if they are indeed a remarkably brassy pirate project, they could, suddenly, stop being made and sold at any time, pending their discovery by the Mattel Corporation and a flurry of legal paperwork. And so, I bought seven of them, thinking "This will be a fun little side project." I did not realize that there were lessons to be learned here, and that once you acquire a given set of rules for art? Breaking them feels WEIRD. This will be a continuing series as I complete each figure and natter pointlessly about whatever random thoughts crawled sluggishly through my head as I worked. 1. BEAST MAN Beast-Man, evil henchman of Skeletor, and dimwitted comic relief on the TV show, was one of the original seven figures released for the toy line, and one of the major regulars on the TV cartoon. I vaguely remembered him looking sort of like an orange werewolf, and upon checking Google Image, determined that I was right. Upon noting Beast-Man's color palette, though, I realized that I had apparently never noticed his fondness for blue eye shadow. Furthermore, the figurine apparently wore blue lipstick as well. I did remember that the dress code on the planet Eternia called for all males not of royal blood to wear fur briefs. This was apparently a LAW, because durn near everyone seemed to wear a sort of barbaric fur kilt, and given these figures' impossibly small pelvises, they looked for all the world like fur Fruit Of The Looms. And in painting the figure, I idly wondered what sort of Eternian mammal one had to hunt down to get one's fur briefs in ... blue. Blue fur. Blue fur briefs. Funny thing? The sculpt isn't bad at all. The molding process used to make the figures produced a LOT of flash on several of them; the figures needed considerable prep work. But Beast-Man, given what I would call a good paint job, could make a very passable sort of feral barbarian monster. But given the color palette of the toy, I found myself thinking, "Werewolf circus clown." The blue lips didn't help. But upon completion, I did concede that I had successfully matched the color palette of toy and cartoon. More on this as the figures are completed.
  2. Jim Holloway was EVERYWHERE in gaming products in the eighties. The original Pacesetter "Chill" game and the original "Paranoia" used his artwork, I believe, to the exclusion of all other artists, at least in the main basic sets. And I remember his work in the FASA Doctor Who supplement, "The Daleks." The guy was a part of it all. I wish his family the very best.
  3. I am faintly irritated that everyone else's first minis are better than MY first mini was.
  4. I quit giving a rat what those around me thought when I was around thirteen or so. Where I grew up, there was tremendous pressure to be one thing or another, and I never fit into any of the offered slots. By the time I reached my rebellious teen phase, I KNEW there were others like me out there, but it took years to get out there and find them. It wasn't until I was grown and married that I realized, for example, that Thanksgiving wasn't an ordeal. It was, in fact, a heck of a lot of fun. I realized it the first year I spent it somewhere other than with my relatives. That year, I spent it with friends and THEIR families, and that was the year I realized this: Real families, often as not, don't grow up under the same roof. Would have saved me a lot of pain and trouble if someone had told me that twenty years previous to the learning. If you're not hurting anyone else, be what you are.
  5. This little guy was my first miniature. This picture is not mine; I still have the mini, but I've stripped and repainted him easily half a dozen times since 1978, and if I recall correctly, his first paint job was with Testors Enamels before I learned about acrylics. The picture is of someone else's Grenadier Halfling Torchbearer that I found on Google. In '78, I knew that there were miniatures, but I lived out in the sticks and had no idea where to get them. In the Basic D&D set I bought in Laredo, Texas, though, there was a blow in card for TSR Hobbies, and I sent off for their catalog, and received a terrible photocopied thing whose pictures left a lot to be desired. I ordered a couple of the official AD&D boxed sets from Grenadier Miniatures via the Dungeon Hobby Shop out of Lake Geneva. Back then, when you ordered a thing, it took WEEKS to travel. I believe it was a month before the package arrived, and then I agonized for a weekend before I finally put brush to paint. This little guy was the first one in a long, LONG line of miniatures. I did get better.
  6. How did I miss this? Happy birthday!!!
  7. The book's current guts are the printed out PDF from the recent "Monsters! Monsters!" 2nd edition Kickstarter. I have considered pulling them out and replacing them with a printout of the PDF "Busty Barbarian Bimbos: The RPG." At least the cover and interior art would somewhat match the cover.
  8. There's a gameplay video on YouTube for the Commodore version; I will not link to it for fear Ladystorm would take me to task for linking to exposed highly pixellated boobies. It does stand as a rather amusing example of what our ancient forebears of the mid eighties thought of as entertainment. I am a member of a Facebook group, Fans Of The Dead Games Society. It's a discussion group for people who enjoy older RPGs that are no longer in print or supported. Great place for hearing about obscure old games and discussing them. I ran across a photoshopped picture of "The Samantha Fox Role Playing Game" in my archives, and for a lark, created a front and back cover in MS Paint, printed them, and glued them to an old children's book I bought at a used bookstore for a buck. Then I posted some pics on the Facebook group. I figured anyone who was interested would Google it, and figure out I was joking. Turns out that if you Google it properly, you are led back to the Reaper Forums, where I posted the original photoshopped picture and an extensive review of the game two years ago, and promptly forgot about...... HERE, where everyone KNOWS not to take me too seriously. Several people assumed the game existed (not noticing that Tom O. Bedlam was talking about a game reviewed here two years ago by one Dr. Bedlam) and started scouring eBay for copies. I've spent a couple days now PMing people and apologizing and hoping they weren't too irate or frustrated about the joke....
  9. I'm interested, but when I hear "Starter Set," I tend to think "Everything you need to play right out of the box." This starter set does not include everything you need to play. It also does not include a box, far as I can tell. When you hang a little disclaimer on there saying, "Core rulebook required to actually PLAY," I am not enthused. $85 USD for eight minis, a deck of cards, some tokens, and no rulebook?
  10. I'm in the Denver 'burbs, so things are fairly quiet.... But I hear it's volatile downtown near the capitol.
  11. I have the original Crooked Dice Paranormal Investigators. Still thinking about the female ones as well.....
  12. That really is one of my favorite pieces. You done it justice.
  13. Holy crap on a cracker, the story CONTINUES. So the story above literally happened this morning. It's pretty cut and dried. No exaggeration; it's what happened. So I had my day, managed my kids, made tearful goodbyes for the summer, and so on, and had my day. And Berni came home around her usual time, and we sat out back on the deck and talked about our day and our respective happenstances, the way we do every day before going inside to see about supper. And we laughed about that dippy squirrel and his stolen pizza, and I talked about the various comments people had made, and I glanced up at Old Man Ricksy's roof as I described the path the squirrel had taken, and partway through the description, I NOTICED something, and my throat seized up. Berni was immediately concerned. "What's wrong?" "Ahhhm..." I said. "What. Is. Wrong," she said, in a tone that indicated she wanted to know if she should call an ambulance to come get me. "Ahhhm, honey," I said. "Turn around. Look at that roof. Up near the top of the gable, near the ventilation pipe, with that lantern looking thing on it. And tell me if you see it, and whether or not I am crazy." She turned around and looked. And then spun around and looked at me. And then turned around and looked again. And then we both burst out laughing like loons. The second piece of pizza has been found. It's up near the top of the peak on Old Man Ricksy's roof. If it rains tonight, it will likely wind up in his back gutter. I wonder if he's a "Breaking Bad" fan?
  14. Since writing this, I have realized that squirrels don't always eat what they find. Sometimes they stash it for later. And sometimes, they forget about a given stash. Neighbor's already been irked with me in the past for feeding the squirrels; he is disgruntled to find peanuts buried in his flower beds. What's he gonna do when he's cleaning his gutters later, and finds a stash of pine nuts, old peanuts, birdseed, acorns, and two slices of slightly gnawed petrified pizza?
  15. Morning routine: Berni and I are on the deck in our bathrobes, sipping coffee, plotting out the day, and trying not to discuss politics. This is what we do, most mornings. It's spring. Weather is warming. And the squirrels are out in force, foraging and looking around and being squirrels. And this morning, as Berni is talking about how they're going to shave someone's head at work, a flicker of motion caught my eye, and I refocused past her to look at the squirrel on the neighbor's roof. He was walking funny. This was because he was carrying a large thing, near as big as he was. Leaf? No, he's acting like it's heavier than that. Sort of a tan color, with flecks of red.... bigger at one end than the other.... carrot? Sweet potato? He saw me looking at him and ran to the far end of the neighbors' deck, behind some tree limbs. I could see him, but not what he was carrying. "Does that squirrel have a carrot?" I wondered aloud. Berni turned around and craned her neck to see. The squirrel came trotting down the roof towards us, carrying his treasure. Berni squinted. I squinted. I realized it as soon as Berni said it: "Mighod, he's got a piece of PIZZA!" The squirrel, carrying a wedge of pizza, climbed down the drainspout, and carefully jumped onto the wooden fence, and began carefully clambering along the fence down towards the shed roof. And I remembered that there was a pizza box in our trash, out front, with discarded pizza in it. Berni had brought a pizza home on Monday from work, and I'd been idly noshing it before discarding it Wednesday, and last night, I'd dragged the trash out front for pickup this morning... and I had a sinking feeling I knew where squirrel'd got the pizza. Berni leaped to her feet and began trying to get a picture of the squirrel and his pizza. He noticed this, and began irritatedly trying to keep the lilac bush between Berni and himself, as if the camera could somehow steal his pizza. Eventually, he worked his way down to the neighbor's shed roof, where he got off and went to the far side where we couldn't see him, presumably to enjoy his mushroom and olive feast. "Did you get a picture?" I asked. "No," Berni said. "Not a good clear one. I had to zoom it to the point where you can't tell what you're looking at." That particular neighbor has complained in the past about our habit of leaving peanuts out for the squirrels; they tend to bury them in his garden. Idly, I wondered what he would say upon finding a pizza crust in his prize peonies, and decided that I would admit nothing; after all, it's not like I put it out in a bird feeder for them.... We finished the coffee, and went inside. And promptly went out front, where I strolled out to the curb to examine the trash. Pizza box was visible from the front door; the garbage men had not yet arrived. "Well?" Berni called from the front door. "When I put the box in the trash, there were two slices in it," I said. "Now it's empty." Which means that somewhere in our cul de sac, there are two pieces of rather bad pizza being carried around by squirrels. And that's how MY Friday started. How's yours?
  16. Largest animal, wild? Last time I was up to Estes Park in the mountains, we saw this one elk. Wandered down and stood in traffic a while, like he was showing off. Had a rack of antlers you could hang a whole hat shop on. Guy was MASSIVE. Now I wish I could find the file with the pictures in it; at one point all the street traffic had stopped and everyone was hanging out their car doors waving their phones at him. EDIT: Ah, HERE we go!
  17. Dude, Taco Bell is not Mexican food. Real de Minas, now, that's Mexican food. But Taco Bell, while I am not KNOCKING it, is not Mexican food. It is, at best, fast food with chili powder in it, served in a vaguely Mexican style. The closest thing to Mexican food they have is their burritos, and to this day I wonder who makes their tortillas, and out of what, exactly; their tortillas are utterly unlike any tortilla I have ever eaten in or near Mexico. That being said, I like Taco Bell well enough, but I gotta be in the MOOD for it. Like pizza. Sometimes I want pizza, sometimes not. And Taco Bell and Mexican Restaurant Food are two completely different craves. And while Taco Bell is all right, I have found that it does not travel well, nor does it stand up well to a twenty minute wait between the serving and the eating. Real de Minas, however, is doing curb service, and their food held up just fine, although it seems wrong to be eating it out of styrofoam containers, as opposed to ceramic plates heated to the point where you could forge a sword on the durn thing. And no free chips and salsa!
  18. When I moved to Colorado, She Who Dances With Mouselings had a problem: she loves Mexican food, but bein' that I lived in and around San Antonio most of my life, and spent bits of my youth in Mexico, she was terrified that I would find the local Mexican food laughable at best, disgusting and inedible at worst. For a long time she was scared to death to ask to have Mexican for dinner. Finally, one night, I asked if there were any decent Mexican joints. She suggested one. We went there and had a delightful Mexican dinner that couldn't be beat, and she was greatly relieved that I decided not to stand on the table and loudly mock the waitress, the cook, or the restaurant on the laughability of their ha ha ha Colorado Mexican food. She finally asked what I thought. I said, "What's not to like?" And she spilled her guts to me about being afraid I wouldn't like the local Mexican food. And after that, we went around trying all her favorite Mexican joints. I tend to favor Real de Minas locally, although Tapatio is good. She also took me to Casa Bonita, a place made famous on "South Park," for its indoor cliff diving and extremely weird theme park atmosphere... and perhaps the worst Mexican food I have ever had, except for that one place in Nebraska, the one that apparently knew what Mexican food looked like, but didn't have a clue what was IN it, and gave the impression the restaurant had been founded by Martians who needed to make enough money to buy parts for their hyperdrive in order to go home, and built their entire menu off the pictures on the boxes at the grocery store in the ETHNIC FOODS section. It's worth noting, though, that she took me to the best Mexican joints she knew of before subjecting me to Alien Taco Bell. Fact is, I'd give a big pretty to be able to eat a sit down meal at Real de Minas and tip the hell out of the waitress. Their food's no different than I ate at the high end joints in Coahuila.
  19. Modiphius has released an abbreviated version of the John Carter rules for free on their website, with the checkout code BARSOOM.
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