Saturday, October 5, 2013

Demon Seed Vs. Phase IV

* = I have found this to be totally true.  In fact I think many of the world's true issues and heated discussions could be solved by this very point of logic.  In fact just posting this I feel all my need to debate points completely gone.  Oh to those who I've shared this with before, YOUR WELCOME!  

Sorry.  I know I usually hammer this out during the week at least once, but the place that writes me a check every two weeks had me pretty busy.  In addition I've been working on some additional things that have me occupied mentally.  HOWEVER, I ain't no chump, so I'm off my keister after a long night of L.E.W.G.I. Smackdowning, cuddling with my gorgeous wife, and talking philosophy with one of the smartest people I know over the interweb(s).  This has been one of those great weeks that has been the low end of despair to the heights of utter bliss.  So basically I feel like I lived a lifetime in a week, and I'd want it no other way.  

Alright I'll stop utterly boring you with vague ramblings and instead just hit you over the head with the verbal diatribe that is...


- Four words...Reaper.  Bones.  Kickstarter.  TWO!  That's right after making like 4 million dollars, and sending me 11 plus pounds of miniatures in the mail from the first Kickstarter the folks at Reaper are at it again.  Bones Kickstarter II his a million dollars in about 24 hours, which is INSANE.  
Already I'm in at the basic level and very content with the swag I'm paying for.  I'm also throwing it out there to my mini painting friends that if there are items out there they want in the way of add-ons they have but to give me the cash and I'll just add them to my pledge.  However, I would invite everyone to get on board, because I think this is simply going to keep getting bigger and bigger the rest of the month.  Let me just restate that this is a GREAT deal from a GREAT company for those of you who like to paint, play D&D, or are trying to get little folks into the wonderful world of Nerdery.  So go forth and support, THIS I COMMAND!

- I really want Beer Cheese Soup.

- The Podcast equipment is almost fully up and running, I have to put in the USB wireless and do some clean up and rearranging, but we are on the verge for those that care.  This could not have happened without Scott Freemont from the Delicate Sauce Podcast who has given me the advice and direction I needed, Mighty Mike for his crazy contributions and encouragement, and Karl & Kedrin for ALL their Tech-Fu!  These four folks are the backbone I needed to get this going again.  I can never thank you all enough, but I hope to try to by having you on The Insecurity Blanket Podcast.  That's right that's the name.  To the L.E.W.G.I. crew and to my lovely wife Cassandra thank you as well for continuing to push me to get this started and feeding my enthusiasm.  SO there will be at least one other monthly Podcast emanating from the MUDD House basement, and that will be the L.E.W.G.I. round table show, Heel Turn Radio!  We'll talk wrestling, do EPIC Jim Ross impersonations, and laugh.  Oh will we laugh.  And there might even be a third as James & his Mighty Beard might host their own show, yours truly on the board or in the co-pilot chair.  I'm excited to see where this all goes and you should be as well.

- Sometimes kissing is the greatest thing in the history of the world.  Seriously...  

- So a friend of mine sent this to me today.  It is Warren Buffet's plan for what we should do post 2 party idiocy that has led us to a shutdown.  How is this already not in effect?

*Congressional Reform Act of 2013 

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/31/13. 

Normally I'd rant a bit about how I feel like one party has gone out of its way to bend to its extremist wing and lost its way completely allowing for this to happen, BUT I think this is far more a systemic failure.  Our elected officials have failed us and yet they continue to profit off of us.  I don't know about you but I thought the feudal serf system was a thing of the past.  I'm learning it isn't.  We just aren't in the fields anymore we are in the cubes.  We are still tithing away to an opulent over-class that is sprawling and profiting of your blood, sweat, and tears.  We don't have royalty anymore we have corporations, and our elected officials are their tax collectors and their Sheriff's of Nottingham.  I'm not sure when this happened, although I have a theory, but it is going to take all of us putting aside our small differences over our personal moral issues that they use to divide us like good sheep to get the ship righted.  So if you are as fed up as I am over this then make sure to support Buffet's plan.  Oh and don't get me started on Obamacare.  Is it good?  Nope.  Is it better than what we have now?  Yes.  Could and should it have been an Individual Mandate?  YES.  But the sheep who believe whatever they are spoon fed by liars and power mongers ensured that the poor, the lower middle class, the elderly, children, and the disabled only got what they could.  They had to protect those profits you know....People > Money.  If you can't understand that then I've stopped feeling sorry for you and just stopped feeling for you at all.

- Sorry, didn't mean for that to be so full of piss and vinegar, however it is important to all of us.  I generally don't post to much of my political or religious feelings here, but it felt important to me.  I know return you to your regularly scheduled Nerdery.

- Friday night El Bobert-O came over and introduced Cassandra and I to Diablo III (***** out of 5).
Cassandra adores 'Kill, Loot, Level, Repeat' style dungeon crawlers, and if I'm honest I do as well.  This game was fantastic for that.  So much so we'll be buying it VERY soon along with two more controllers just so we can play four players with our friends.  You can lose an entire night killing the dead with jars full of corpse spiders and zombie dogs while giggling with friends.  THAT is what I want out of my console experience and that is what this gave me.  Between this and WWE 2K14, which I pre-ordered for the L.E.W.G.I. crew (and of course myself), I can see the X-box 360 and myself spending a lot more time together.

- I'm sort of wanting to play/run a Superhero RPG again.

- I meant to blog about this last week, but I burned through Paul Kidd's 2nd Greyhawk book, Descent Into The Depths Of The Earth (**** out of 5).
This is the follow up to his really fun White Plume Mountain novelization, and continues to follow the exploits of the Justicar, Escalla and their friends.  I've never played this module so I didn't have quite the same investment as I did with White Plume, however I like these two characters as well as the sentient Hellhound pelt Cinders, Polk the teamster, and Enid the Sphinx so I was easily drawn right back in.  This novel has them dealing with Escalla's estranged Fey family, court intrigue, a nasty bit of assassination, and that's all before we even get into the Underdark.  It is almost like two books, because the first part is a bit of a slow burn, but good.  Whereas the second half roars to life as the Justicar and Escalla cut a swath of destruction through the Underdark.  As a DM it makes me wonder just what level the Justicar would be due to the way he mows down Drow like they are wheat before the scythe.  While the ending wants to be a shocker it really isn't, but it is still completely enjoyable.  This book isn't high art, but what it is would be fun.  The characters are FUN, the writing is well done and keeps you coming back for more.  It is a perfect popcorn book, and apparently only book two in a trilogy which means I need to keep my eyes peeled at Half-Priced Books for the final installment and potentially drunk Lloth's revenge in Queen Of The Demonweb Pits!

- I'm getting ready to dive brain first into Nietzsche Beyond Good & Evil at the suggestion of a friend.  I am beyond intrigued and honestly looking forward to the change of literary pace.

- Last night was our monthly SMACKDOWN get together for the L.E.W.G.I. crew.  
Thursday night El Bobert-O and I spent a bit of time with my 2nd Save on WWE '13 where I keep my own game.  I have a CHIKARA show and a PWG show.  We couldn't help ourselves so we played a bit and had a GREAT match between the 'Hollywood Submission Machine', and the man bringing Sleazy back to Wrestling, Joey Ryan and Cheshire that saw Bob crush me with a finisher after blocking mine.  And while that was good it didn't compare to Bob and I tagging together as my CAW and Rictor to totally DESTROY reDRagon, Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly.  In fact we had to save a highlight moment where Rictor did the flip powerbomb from the ring to the floor to Fish and then proceeded to pick him up and Alabama Slam him through the steps in what looked as sick as the El Generico physics defying chair!  This was simply the appetizer to Friday night though, as El Bobert-O, Diamond Dave, 'The Genius' Gene, & James and his Magical Beard sojourned through the October gloom to my living room and we proceeded to have one of the best nights of video game wrestling that I have ever witnessed.  We had two amazing I Quit matches where Gene & Dave went head to head and literally we all sat in awe on the edge of our seats.  The first was on Dave's PPV where his World Champion Stevie Richards, yes you read that right, defended his title against Daniel Bryan.  This match went at least 15 minutes and was enthralling.  There was broken tables, blood, submissions, and a great finish that had Richards retain.  It was one of the most fun and boisterous moments I've had sitting in front of a television watching others playing a game.  The second one was equally awesome as 'I Like To Fight' Wade Barrett taking the title of Big E Langston completing a total title turnover at James' Night Of Champions PPV, which was also pretty epic.  In the end 'I Like To Fight' Wade Barrett made the Master of the Five Count quit!  Other highlights had DDP sneak out a HUGE win in a triple threat between himself, RVD and Cheshire.  Watching James get that excited to win was pure joy, and the match was hilarious!  James and I had a tilt of our own that saw Dean Ambrose drop the U.S. title to Ted Dibiase Jr. in a flaming tables match.  The finish of that match was fantastic, as I truly thought I was screwed.  This was a perfect way to cap off a second night of video game 'rasslin' action with some of the funniest people I know.   

-  As I sit here typing listening to The Darkest Of The Hillside Thickets I realize I too want a Robot Dinosaur.  Seriously.

- Two weeks worth of Legends Of Golarion previews coming your way...NOW!  
First up is the Marsh Giant who is a Uncommon Large.  I dig this mini, in fact with that gross sheen of slime somehow painted onto him I dig him A LOT!  The leech like mouth configuration, and those dead black eyes don't hurt either.  The design is just really rock solid.  Couple that with what I think is a pretty solid action sculpt and an efficient paint job with that amazing sheen effect and you have what is a piece I'm already trying desperately to figure out how to add into any of my four campaigns.  This one isn't just a MUST BUY, this is a must buy like three of them.  Oh and we'll be needing a Marsh Giant chieftain or witch doctor Paizo so get on that.  
Next up is the Charauka, a Small Common.  I've been slowly building up some Ape Man forces for some time now and this set will give me the Gorilla King I wanted, not to mention gorilla's with wings to act as shock troops, but also this aggressive little guy to fill out the ranks.  There isn't much to not like about this little baboon man.  The face is perfectly colored, the pose screams action, in fact I hope it is well put together because I could see this guy having some leaning issues.  And I love the open screaming maw as he leads a charge of his brethern through the jungle to tear adventurers asunder.  Yup, another MUST BUY for me.
We follow up that with another fantastic thematic beastie the Medium Common Monkey Swarm!  That's right it is a swarm of demonic looking Monkey's who look like the are ready to do far more than fling their feces at you.  The sculpts are sort of abstract and the paint minimalistic, but I'll be damned if it doesn't work absolutely perfectly for what this miniature is.  This would also add the forces of the Gorilla King, and rounds out what I think could be some really fun Encounters.  I'm seriously thinking of moving this to part of the world into 4th Group territory JUST so I could get to run it faster.  This is a MUST BUY of course, because I love monkeys, but you already knew that.
This gets us to this week's previews, which we sort of saw in those big sprawling shots from GenCon, but I figured they deserved a bit more love.  First up is the Kobold King, a Small Rare!    This is again a great representation of what Wizkids has been able to do by taking the conceptual art and making them directly into the miniature.  I really dig everything from the regal stance, to the bloody knife, to that bright red scaly skin.  My Kobold's desperately needed a commanding presence to allow me to bring a set of Encounters around them.  Now I have one.  This is a MUST BUY!
We follow that up with the Small Common Kobold Archer.  The picture doesn't do the face of this little skulking beast justice, but the sculpt just drips character.  The stoop, the bow down but drawn, and the cape are just perfect.  These will be my Kobold scouts, using poison tipped arrow head as they take slaves for labor and food.  I see a plot already forming in my brain.  The color isn't blowing me away, but it is a Common so I don't feel like that is too big a strike against it.  Overall this is again a MUST BUY.  I'm sensing a theme today.
Our next little guy is the Small Common Kobold Warrior.   As you can see there is a lean here to the miniature that has me slightly worried.  The sculpt is alright, if not a bit static, and although I love the open mouth it sort of makes this guy's head look really big.  The paint is pretty solid, although I wish they would have left the brighter red only to the Kobold King and not his minions.  The reality though is that is what this guy is, a cheap fodder piece that I hope to acquire a few of in order to give the Kobold King an honor guard.  So while I'm not as blown away as I have been by the other previews this round I still like it enough to make it a MUST BUY.   
Next up is the Kobold Mystic, a Small Uncommon miniature.  This has a great feel about it, as the miniature seems wrapped around its staff.  However this thing doesn't look much like a Kobold to me.  It honestly looks like a Yuan-Ti, or some type of crossbred Kobold/Yuan-Ti or Lizardfolk/Yuan-Ti.  It just has far too many snakelike features for me to feel it is a Kobold.  I also am not overly blown away by the paint which seems a bit too bright and only adds to that snake like look.  This is the first one out of this preview that is a PASS for me, unless I can get one REALLY cheap.
The last of the Kobold's is the Kobold Chieftain, who is also an Small Uncommon.  I wish we could have gotten another angle on this little guy, because I feel it has a LOT of potential, but you'd never know by the angle of the picture.  It is a pretty good representation of the source art though.  I like that piece of art SO much that I'm sort of willing to give this guy the benefit of the doubt when it comes to what I can't see.  I like the color, I like the two weapon pose, and the helm really makes the eyes pop.  I'm going to have to wait to see this in hand before I make a real decision, but I feel in my gut it is a MUST BUY.
This brings us to our last preview the Medium Uncommon, the Slurk.  I am completely unfamiliar with this monster, but sort of dig its strange look, and the write up on Paizo's website.  I could see using this as a servitor for Lizardfolk, Kobolds, or even Yuan-Ti.  Sort of the equivalent of a watchdog.  It has an almost a Lovecraftian vibe to it with that strange slimy body and those giant tusks that seem to make no sense on that body.  Overall I think this little beastie would be a MUST BUY for me.  That is a LOT of miniatures to walk through this week, I hope I didn't overwhelm anyone.

- Can you separate your feelings for an artist from their art?  I'm struggling with that.

- I'm not sure when I started meeting all these crazy awesome people and they started just coming over and hanging out, playing video games, watching movies, playing board games, watching wrestling, doing podcasts, playing D&D, cooking, laughing, and just generally blowing my mind with how smart, witty, compassionate, not full of their own shit, and willing to look past all my obvious character faults but I hope that it never stops.  Thank you to my peeps!

I'm sure there is more I had to ramble about, but A) you don't probably care to read more & B) I've got to get my ass to 'The Cloud' for a birthday.  I hope your weekends are full of 'seepy nigh nigh' times.

"I must be careful now in my steps
Years of calculations and the stress
My science is waiting, nearly complete
One glass will last for nearly a week

Let me not get down if I'm walking with no one
And if I stumble from exhaustion
These buckets are heavy, I've filled them with water
I could ask these people, but I shouldn't bother

Oh no, I've stumbled, was I going too fast?
Some get angry and some of them laugh
They told me I wouldn't, but I found an answer
I'm Van Occupanther, I'm Van Occupanther

Let me not be too consumed with this world
Sometimes I want to go home
And stay out of sight for a long time"

* = Congress I'm looking at your stupid asses.  FIX IT!

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