Arkham, Mass.-- The terrified citizens of the small town of Arkham, Mass., can breathe a sigh of relief. After days of strange happenings, peace and quiet have returned to their once-idyllic village, thanks to the efforts of three brave investigators."I'm just your normal, run-of-the-mill, archaeology professor/world traveler/treasure hunter," said Monterey Jack, one of the investigators, when asked how he came to be prepared to fight an otherworldly horror and its monstrous minions. "I mean, anyone with nerves of steel, muscles of iron, and a cast-iron stomach would have done the same. Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a bottle of Bushmill's that needs rescuing from that liquor store."Doctor Vincent Lee, of St. Mary's Hospital, was also instrumental in the investigation. It was his well-timed hail of buckshot that thrust the unimaginable horror back into the cold and dark from whence it emerged. He was also responsible for the death of respected local businessman Hugh Bottoms. Mr. Bottoms was dressed in outlandish robes, spouting gibberish, and viciously attacked Dr. Lee in Uptown. Dr. Lee pronounced him dead on the scene after shooting him. Twice.Doctor Carolyn Fern, a resident psychiatrist working at Arkham Asylum, counseled the other investigators during the course of these unsettling events. Her stellar work insured that the other investigators remained sane and capable."These 'monsters,' you see, are merely a projection of your own fears and anxieties into the world around you. Once confronted, they hold no terror for anyone, really. Except the ones that look like spiders. Those ones are evil, and should be destroyed immediately," she said.A parade is scheduled for tomorrow, and the Mayor will speak. The investigators will be receiving the key to the city, a coupon for "Buy One, Get One Free" at the General Store, and an all-expenses paid tour to the Unvisited Isle. Light refreshments will be served, $1 cover charge.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Plus, I have almost finished Lord Curr's Company for In Her Majesty's Name. Just lacking Lady Felicity, and she's still on the painting table. Once I finish her, I need to work on more Dystopian Wars vehicles - Prussian land forces this time!
Friday, October 25, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
Why is it that westerns get so many great lines? I don't know, but they do. Maybe that's what I love about them. Note that I am excluding TV westerns from this list - which is why Lonesome Dove isn't on it.
10. Blazing Saddles
While I will argue that Blazing Saddles is the funniest movie ever made, it is also a western. However, it ranks lowest on this poll because it is really a comedy, in a western setting (well, for most of the movie).
Honestly, I just always liked this one. Small town ruled by rich jerk, a heterogeneous band of heroes, and a great quote: "I don't want to kill you, and you don't wanna be dead."
8. High Noon
From a moral standpoint, this has got to be one of the best westerns ever. One man standing up for what he believes in, when everyone else tells him to back down. Plus, it has Gary Cooper in it.
7. Rio Bravo
John Wayne. Dean Martin. Ricky Nelson. And my favorite song from any western ever: My Rifle, Pony and Me".
6. A Fistful of Dollars
Why is this great movie at #6? Because there are even better ones below. But the scene where he walks past the undertaker and signals for two? Classic. My favorite of the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns.
John Wayne's first starring role, as an outlaw stranded with a group of people on a stagecoach traveling through an Indian uprising.
4. True Grit
"Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!" 'Nuff said?
3. The Outlaw Josey Wales
Clint gets three, John Wayne gets three. I always loved this movie about the man tormented by the murder of his family and haunted by his past. Plus, it has some great lines in it:
- "Buzzards got to eat, same as worms."
- "Endeavor to persevere."
- "Are you going to skin those smokewagons or start whistling Dixie?"
The best of the more modern westerns, by far.
- "Well, he should have armed himself if he's going to decorate his saloon with my friend."
1. The Magnificent Seven
My bar none favorite western movie. I love the crazy casting, and how Steve McQueen does his best (usually successfully) to steal the scene from Yul Brynner. Another movie with great quotes and a fun ensemble cast.
- "We deal in lead, friend."
- "That was the greatest shot I've ever seen! / The worst! I was aiming at his horse."
- "Nobody throws me my own guns and says run. Nobody."
- "As for women, I became indifferent when I was 83."
Sunday, October 20, 2013
From Russia With Love. Oh, you meant in a book! The problem is that it depends on your definition of a sequel. In a set of books which was originally intended to be a trilogy - The Lord of the Rings, for example - I don't consider the following books to be a sequel, because it is all part of a cohesive story. With that in mind I would have to say that my favorite is probably... In the Court of the Crimson Kings, by S.M. Stirling.
- Living with the Dead in the Middle Ages, Patrick J. Geary
- Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum
- Inside Hitler's Greece: The Experience of Occupation 1941-44, Mark Mazower
Physical. I have a Kindle, and it's nice for travel and light reading, but I adore and collect physical books.
Which do you mean: one that I would have wanted to date or one that I actually would have dated? I'll just say Hermione Granger. We know what she was like as a teen, and she was cute but very bookish. I'd ahve stood a chance, and I'd have liked her.
A tossup question: either learning to read at 2, or reading Dune in 3rd grade.
Carnifex, by Tom Kratman
- Reading monographs for school? The corner booth in the McDonald's on 646 at I-45 in League City, Texas. Few interruptions/distractions, free coffee refills, and a clean restroom.
- Reading for fun? 1) The bath. Just shy of scalding hot. 2) My adjustable bed.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
- Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein
- HMS Surprise, Patrick O'Brien
- The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
- Sir John Fisher's Naval Revolution, Nicholas Lambert
- Austerlitz, 1805: The Battle of Three Emperors, David Chandler (Osprey Campaign 2)
- The Great War: American Front, Harry Turtledove
- The Reverse of the Medal, Patrick O'Brien
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling
- Webelos Handbook, BSA
- The Sword of the Spirits, John Christopher
- The Serpent's Shadow, Rick Riordan
- General Chemistry, Whitten, Gailey and Davis
- Oath of Gold, Elizabeth Moon
- Echoes of Honor, David Weber
Friday, October 18, 2013
Friday, October 11, 2013
- Lycaon Faction (8) - werewolves faction
- Gentlemen's Club Faction (8) - upper crust human faction. Hunting monsters is jolly good fun, what?
- Gentlemen with Guns (5) - more upper crust, with guns, special weapons, and stiff upper lips.
- Bobbies (8) - armed with truncheons and grit. Will convert some truncheons to electric.
- More Bobbies (8) - armed with revolvers, shotguns, Gatling gun and netgun. Includes Infernium hound. I love the Infernium hound like a fat kid loves cupcakes.
- Nadezhda Durova, Kickstarter exclusive Vampire Slayer. Nice fig.
- Tatu, female (Polynesian?)
- The Jade Dragon, Chinese female. Definite keeper.
- Aisha, Werewolf Huntress
- Red, Daughter of the Goddess
- Iron Head Ned. Ned Kelly. Gotta have.
- Deathlocke Bones (undead Holmes)
- The Bad Doctor (undead Watson)
- White Rabbit
- Tom Gaunt
- The Specimen
- Great Uncle Thulu. Awesome figure, possibly my favorite of the bunch.
- The Phantom
- Her Majesty (God Bless Her) Queen Victoria, with a Gatling Gun. Already own an unarmed version of Her Majesty (God Bless Her).
- Steam Cannon
- Tesla Projector
- Clockwork Butler
- Lightning Jack
- Additional Weapon Sprues
- Token set for the game
Saturday, October 5, 2013
10. The Flying Tigers
9. Eridani Light Horse
8. The Swiss Guard
7. The Magnificent Seven
6. The Seven Samurai
Rated higher, even though the Magnificent Seven is my favorite Western movie - another Top Ten in the making, I am sure. But this film is legend.
5. The Dogs of War
4. The Wild Geese
3. The Black Company
2. Hammer's Slammers
1. Falkenberg's Legion
My all time favorite, from Jerry Pournelle, with some help from S.M. Stirling (another favorite author). Set in the Future History Universe. John Christian Falkenberg is the epitome of the mercenary captain. And all of this while actually trying to preserve as much of humanity as possible, given the oncoming downfall of the CoDominium. These men and women are the best mercenaries ever.
- Robert Clive - better known as "Clive of India." Quite probably the man most responsible for the establishment of the British Raj in India.
- Landsknechte - If only for their outrageous clothes (hesitate to call it a uniform, since it wasn't uniform) and their famous swords, the Katzbalger and the Zweihander. Even though they were more likely to carry pikes.
- Frederick Russel Burnham - An American who fought for the British in Africa in the First and Second Matabele Wars, plus the Second Boer War.
- G4S - The second largest private employer in the world, behind WalMart. Let that sink in. They operate in 120 countries, with over 600,000 employees. Most are not traditional mercenaries, they're security guards. But in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, etc., a security guard is most likely a former special warfare operator - SEAL, Delta, Force Recon, SAS, you name it.