Thursday, December 30, 2010

2001, A Space Odyssey Vs. Terror From The Year 5,000

* = Your Welcome...

Can you believe it? The year is grinding to a close. It never ceases to amaze me how when I was young time seemed to crawl; now that I’m ‘old’ time seems to fly. In fact, more often than not I find myself wishing for more time, for the opportunity to get a little time back so I can enjoy things a bit more. When I was younger I was simply wishing to get to the next thing. Maybe age makes fools of us all.

Anywho I decided that today will be about not one, but TWO Top Tens, so without further ado…


1) Castle Ravenloft – Oh I know some will disagree with me, and that’s fine, they can bitch on their own blogs, but to me this is going to save me from D&D withdrawal. With the ‘death’ or hiatus of my D&D group I seriously feared for my personal sanity, but this game and the anticipation of The Wrath of Ashardalon sequel I have something that is the equivalent of D&D crack. It’s quick, it’s fun, and it captures just enough of what I love to make it ‘filling’ to my D&D sensibilities. It has sort of re-sparked my P.L.P.-ness with Anthony “Rollin’ 20’s” J. which had been on the snide. Now let’s get one thing straight, it is NOT a substitute for a campaign with my friends using ANY edition, but it’ll do in the RPG pickle I currently find myself in.

2) Watching T.V. With Dave, Liz, & Cassandra – Whether it be our True Blood nights, or The League and it’s ability to make Dave laugh so hard it pains him, or the fantastic six episodes of The Walking Dead, or Vikings games I never cease to have a wonderful time with these three people. Don’t get me wrong I can sit on the couch with the best of them, but I do thoroughly enjoy doing so with a group who want to snack, laugh, and mock one another with gusto.

3) Cartoons – As much as The Venture Brothers absolutely was incredible this year, it’s hard to top what Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes brings to the table on an almost weekly basis. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is as close to feeling like I’m 12 & picking up comics on a Wednesday that I’ve felt in a LONG time. Oh and then we have things like DC’s direct to DVD flicks, which have been outstanding, Planet Hulk, the hilarity of Archer, and of course the amazing Young Justice preview last month. All in all it’s a good time to be a geek.

4) Big Love’s Sojourn North – While this was sort of bitter sweet due to all the extenuating circumstances and health issues it was still heartwarming to have my dad in our house. Just to have him get a taste of how we live, really of who we are re-affirmed my connection to him. Being that I’ve distanced myself considerably from the vast majority of my actual blood relatives sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of where you come from. It also I think refreshed his ‘batteries’ a bit. Its nice to be needed, and I need my dad around, and he needs me. It’s changed the dynamic of our relationship from father and son to friends and I like that.

5) Mary, Christina, & Mason – It was a blessing to get to see Mary & Christina finally have a child, it’s been a pleasant surprise and a privilege for them to allow me to be involved with their son. The little guy is a miracle to behold. Just being around him reinforced my desire to sire my own spawn.

6) Work Friend Joe – Reed Richards has his Doctor Doom, Batman has his Ra’s Al Ghul, and Sherlock Holmes has Professor Moriarty, I have Work Friend Joe. Someone who mentally challenges me, although in our case we’re not locked in a deadly mental struggle for control or world domination. The majority of my friends mentally push me sometimes, but usually it’s in short bursts about small things, like Joey vs. John Bush, but Joe pushes on EVERYTHING. I can never have an opinion that I can’t back up, I can never just make a off-hand remark and not have to defend it. He challenges me, and I honestly need that occasionally. It makes me work. Not to mention he’s smart, like scary smart, and he and his wife can bring a sense of ‘adultness’ to a room that I sometimes can suck out of a room. Let’s be honest I’m like a giant child, forever daydreaming the thoughts of a 14 year old nerd, so unless you challenge me mentally I’m much happier thinking about Captain Marvel, Billy Batson not Genis Mar-vell, fighting Black Adam than talking about politics. Joe and Laura are rooted firmly in reality so they push me to leave fantastic vistas aside for a while and act, speak, and think like an adult. I need that. Sometimes…

7) The ‘Holy’ Trinity – David, Mike, & Cassandra. This has become the ‘inner’ circle. I have a lot of friends, and I’m lucky on all accounts that most of them put up with my crap, but these three are the backbone to my master plan. They are the Green Lantern, Batman, & Zatanna to my Justice League. Dave is an ethereal sprite that is like an uncontrollable force of creative nature. He can sing, write, or imagine anything. When we hang out the world is without time, space, or boundaries. It’s as if I’ve found the perfect compliment to my constant daydreaming, except he gives his voice, a constant cacophony of imagery. Mike is the quiet storm. He’s a rock. He’s dependable, thoughtful, ambitious, honorable, and most importantly the yin to Dave’s yang. Then there is my lovely wife, Cassandra. Where I struggle she strives, where I am weak she is strong, where I’m cold she’s compassionate. Cassandra is not only my wife, but also my best friend, and every moment is a reminder of that. I never laugh as hard as I do with her, I have never loved like I do with her, and I’ve never thought or strived as much as I do with her. She pushes me in subtle way that just makes me want to be better at everything. This is my Trinity, my Super Friends and I’m really fortunate to have them around my round table.

8) The Baby Cheezus Saga – It’s been like a Shakespearean tragedy. Last year was this sort of last ride into the sunset for the Ole’ Gunslinger, while this year has seen all the highs hit lows. As a non-Viking fan it’s been fascinating. As someone who watches Viking’s games with Viking fans it’s been BRUTAL! Farve has brought drama, both good and bad, to my living room now for two years. He and it will be missed.

9) Reading – Last year Dave started his slow and strong push to get me back into a reading state of mind. This year it’s translated into a sustained reading torrent. I’m averaging two books every two weeks currently. Sure I’ve read some stinkers, I’m looking at you Greatheart, but overall I’ve been introduced to new and fabulous vistas, characters, and tales. It’s been inspirational to my imaginary endeavors as well as joyous to my soul. This year I rediscovered my love of reading, and for that I thank you Dave.

10) MST3K – Without this I wouldn’t sleep at night.


1) Having Kids – It’s time. I know I’ve hemmed and hawed about it for sometime, but the wheels are in motion, the stars are right, and I think it’s finally time to add the third wheel to our ‘gang’.

2) Twin Cities Marvel SAGA Campaign – Technically this started this year, but it’s not going to really hit it’s stride until we’ve got a couple sessions under our collective belts. This has given me the ‘fire’ creatively to really attack a bare part of the Marvel Universe cupboard while throwing the kitchen sink of my imagination at a group of players who not only want to play, but are invested in playing. I’ve never gamed with a group who Role Played to the hilt the way these three have so far, and are demanding of any players who decide to join up. It’s really fun to have people pushing your thoughts to their limits.

3) Basement Sci-Fi War – Along the above this is giving my imagination focus. I’ve got the ‘stuff’ now with just a few Gaming Table needs left, now I’ve just got to put stuff together and get to painting. I really like the No Limits rule set, and even if it’s just Mike and I playing I think it has the potential to not only be fun, but storytelling wise be something spectacular.

4) Chiefs In The AFC Playoffs – This is just insane. Insanely beautiful. If the Chiefs continue to progress the way they are at the end of the year, I give them a decent chance to actually WIN a home playoff game. Imagine that!

5) DC Universe Online – How long have I pined for this? TO LONG! Next month it hits shelves, which means it’ll hit my wallet, my PC, and my time. I cannot wait to play this game.

6) Finishing The Basement – This is the goal of next summer and the dolla’ dolla’ bill(z) that come from our tax return. We’ve waited a year to put together the idea of what we’re going to do, now we just need to have someone go over said idea, gather our ‘work force’, materials, and then in the summer of 2011 we shall have that fourth bedroom, the bar, and the basement shall be COMPLETE!

7) Reading With Cassandra In Bed – We’ve talked about this for some time, we just haven’t gotten around to it. Now that we are on a similar sleeping schedule, I think it’s time we jointly start a book. I know we’d talked about Dracula, so I think that’s as good a place to start as any.

8) Wrath Of Ashardalon – This got pushed back to first quarter of 2011, and I read there is a preview on the Wizards website in January so I think it’s just around the corner. Castle Ravenloft is a great game tool set; it’s only a decent game in itself. Wizards has a chance to change that with this pseudo sequel. With the promise of campaign rules, a more classic D&D setting, and the backwards compatibility I can only hope that Peter Lee and crew really looked at the constructive criticism and amazing fan content that’s coming from Board Game Geek dot com and make the necessary changes to silence the critics and satisfy the ‘fan boys’.

9) Grilling – I seriously miss grilling already and it’s only been a couple of months. Once the winter is over, I’m taking one of the turkeys out of the deep freeze and I’m going to smoke a whole bird!

10) Endless Possibility – This is the true rub of the future, of the unknown. I have no idea what tomorrow holds, let alone next year, and that’s beautiful. Sure it could be full of tragedy and failure, but I prefer to think that it’s full of potential; new Dave music projects, new Grant Morrison Batman comics, more Movie-A-Thons, another chance to win the BUZZ Trivia Championship belt, going to Kansas, Mike running Hot Comics, possibly playing Fantasy Football with Work Joe, more Walking Dead, another year of Sean & Maddy growing up, Sean, Kelci, & Luke possibly visiting, KU winning the college basketball national championship, Anthony, Lee, Big Dave, & I enjoying more of that whiskey, more Heidi art, folks having babies, more board games, etc. It’s beautiful to be alive my friends.

Now that I’ve written WAY more than I ever intended how ‘bout we piggy back that with some…


- I could really use a good burger.
- Why is there this constant series of “I’m A Mormon” commercials on KFAN? I’m not anti-Mormon or anything, but I’m just intrigued by the idea that a religion needs a commercial. I find it weird.
- I’m almost done with The Jennifer Morgue novel and it is fantastic. The hook is set, and it’s brilliant. I hope to finish it by Sunday.
- Speaking of reading I’m also devouring Karl Edward Wagner’s Bran Mak Morn tale Legion From The Shadows. While not Howard, Wagner does have a good handle on the last of the Pictish kings. It holds a great deal of similarity to Howard’s best Morn tale Worms Of The Earth, but still manages to bring something new to the table thus far. Good find Dave.
- If we win the Mega Millions Lottery on Friday I’m going BUCK WILD!
- I should really re-read Herbert’s first Dune novel.
- There was no new Avengers cartoon this week and it physically wounded me.

And with that I think I should call it.

“Downtown, that is where I want to be
Downtown creodonts roam wild and free

This time it’s prehistoric.
This time everybody everyone in the house.
This time we’re gonna shout it out.

Downtown, dowtown
That is where we start the show
Downtown, down downtown
Sixty million years ago

This time it’s prehistoric.
This time everybody everyone in the house.
This time we’re gonna shout it out.

This time it’s Cenozoic
Smack dab in the rough and tumble Paleocene.
Let’s go downtown.

Downtown, downtonw
Ammonites were all the rage
Downtown, downtown
In the Selandian age.

This time it’s prehistoric.
This time everybody everyone in the house.
This time we’re gonna shout it out.

This time it’s Cenozoic
Smack dab in the rough and tumble Paleocene.
Let’s go downtown.”

* = Hopefully 2011 will be the year of 'The Big Read Cheese'!


  1. Not a bad top 10 list! I still haven't tried out Ravenloft yet but I look forward to picking it up soon! Dittos on the MST3K, there's nothing better than that show.

  2. Ravenloft is fantastic for what it is. It's a game tool set for expanding out into homebrew content. It's fast, it's fun, and it'll scratch that dungeon crawl itch. It is not however emmersive or overly deep. That is left up to the players & fan material out there on Board Game Geek, which if your going to get the game is a MUST to download and print. There are literally a hundred monsters made by fans, as well as a ton of adventures and adventurers. I think Wrath of Ashardalon will give us, as players some more options. I HOPE that it also solves some of the issues Castle Ravenloft does have and takes it from a great tool set to a great game.
    I don't think I'd sleep let alone be a functional human being without MST3K. We just finished re-watching The Undead last night. Now we have to pick out a new episode to get us through pre-bed time.
    Oh and welcome to my blog.