Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Daily Cosplay (comic con 2013)

Curious Tracks

Literally. Curiosity has left tracks in the sand on its journey to Mount Sharp. The Orbiter took this snap shot of the intrepid adventurer as it mades it trek across the Gale Crater. You can see Curiosity below as the tiny blue dot in the picture and the tracks he's left behind him.

Armor Up





Gravel Up

She's going to get gravel in her undershorts . . . .


This young lady is doing volcano boarding, wherein you take a board and, well ride it down the flank of a volcano. That actually looks rather fun, though more challenging if there was a little fire involved . . . . 

Can the Troll Lord be More Annoying?

Yes, yes we can.

So as many of you may experienced TLG became down right annoying with our constant Kickstarter updates. We tried to keep it under control, but getting the word out via social marketing, tends to be intrusive.

But Facebook is going to make us and everyone else a whole lot more annoying come Fall. At that point they plan to allow videos, 15 seconds long, to be injected directly into the news feed. So you'll now be able to enjoy all manner of adverts.

If we get on this bandwagon, we'll try to be professional and entertaining . . .

Secret Life of Walter Mitty - Trailer

This look interesting. Ben Stiller usually delivers a good movie, so definitely worth a look see . . . .


No More Porn Cream . . .

Wait, that title didn't read correctly at all. What I meant to say is that there will be no more ice cream porn . . . or rather porn ice cream. Not at all.

Cabellero Video has reached an agreement with Ben & Jerry's in that they won't make any more porn videos spoofing the ice cream company's various flavors such as "Boston Creme Thigh." Apparently the video company used a jacket design that too closely resembled the ice cream company's logo and trade dress.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

47 Ronin Trailer

I know he gets alot of crap, but I like Keanu Reeves, so I'll definitely give this one a look see. I'm not sure if this much magic was in the original, though it looks bad ass!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ireland at a Glance

After drafting this post a month ago, I believe it is time to put it out of its misery.  I was very honored when I was asked to blog about my brief trip to Ireland, and to share some of my photos from the Emerald Isle.  My trip to Ireland lasted 10 days.  I drove an automatic car the whole way, left side of the road, roundabouts and all.  My mother and I began our journey in Dublin, making our way to cities like Boyle, Sligo, Galway, Killarney, Cork, and Kilkenny.

I've never been a big fan of cities in general, but when I had to drive on the left side of the road (on top of juggling multiple lanes and more roundabouts than I care to remember) I found that my displeasure for cities increased quite a bit.  I also happen to be a history teacher with a penchant for the historical.  Therefore, the places I sought out tended to be on the 'castle ruins, natural formations, and scenic views' side of the spectrum-- but I don't think that's much of a problem here though, is it?


After a fair bit of freaking out in Dublin, not being able to find our hotel on the TomTom, we were able to hop over to Trinity College in Dublin, where entrance admission was like extortion... I can say that other photographs of it do it more justice, and the Book of Kells was overcrowded and not that big of a deal.  Overall: meh.  But we had to do something in Dublin.  I'd suggest you go to Kilmainham Gaol or the Guinness Factory over Trinity College.


Trim was our first castle.  Part of Braveheart was filmed here.  A guy got thrown out of a window or something.  I also learned some pretty disgusting things about medieval bug spray (just let your clothes hang over the toilets-- if I were a bug, I'd stay away from that too).


This was easily my favorite spot in Ireland, the Rock of Dunamase.  For a lot of these sites in ruins, there is no entrance fee.  They are kept up by the government, so there's no admission.  If there ever was admission, it was normally just 3-4 Euro.  The Rock of Dunamase, getting back to that... Since it's open to the public, and it is just so randomly placed in that small town, I put my kid hat on and thought about what that would mean for kids living around it.  You have access to the COOLEST playground ever, and it's so out of the way in Ireland that when we visited, it was just me and my mother there.  For a good 20 minutes.  So those lucky twerps literally get to climb around on a castle in their little town without much risk of being bogged down by tourists.


Still the Rock of Dunamase.


No trip to Ireland would be complete without a trip to Castle Blarney.  The line to get up to the stone wasn't very long actually, and all I had to do was stand for 15 minutes in a spiral staircase.  So yes, I put my mouth on possibly the germiest tourist attraction in Europe (and believe me I am glad I had wet wipes with me).  Do I regret it?  Nope.  Have I been given the gift of gab?  Probably not...


I tried to be artsy with my little Canon PowerShot, but I don't know how it turned out.  These Celtic crosses really are everywhere, and in most cemeteries.  I don't know why, but I was surprised by that.


And this is quite possibly my favorite photo I took in Ireland, at the Priory of Kells.  To get out there you have to avoid sheep poo land-mines and walk down a fairly large field, but once you get there it's massive.  If you are wondering what the yellow is in the back, my best guess is that it's canola flowers, used for canola oil.

The Stone of Destiny... which is now covered in bird poo.  Also, the pictures I took there are all of one angle, because not three feet away from the stone there is a grave stone.


Ireland isn't always known for just its castles.  It happens to be home to many a Megalithic stone structure (think the time of Stone Henge).  Most of these stone structures are dolmens, or funerary structures.  This one, which we had to traipse through privately owned farmland to get to, is Drumanone Dolmen, suggested by our B&B owner.


Just outside Sligo, my mother and I climbed the Bricklieve Mountains to get to Carrowkeel, another Megalithic funerary site.  The structures weren't worth the climb, but oh man, the view was worth it three times over...


See what I mean?


One thing I learned is that castles and abbeys pop up everywhere.  Brown signs (which are used for tourism) aren't always up.  So we had to do a fair bit of backing up to go on an impromptu exploration of all the abbeys.


I found the warning signs quite humorous.  Don't worry, guys, I don't plan on climbing on the rocks surrounding the Cliffs of Moher...


The Cliffs of Moher.


In sum, Ireland was amazing, and I really only hit the tip of the iceberg with my 10-day trip.  The coastline alone is a two-week trip, and the interior of the island its own trip as well.  I tried my best to combine the two.


Daily Cosplay

Movie Trailer - Gravity (2)


Movie Poster - 47 Ronin

Upon the Plains



Word of the Day -- Eremite

The word of the day has been on hiatus while I worked on the website.  Now that things are settling down, I'm hoping to start writing them again...  TB

Eremite: : hermit : especially a religious recluse.  The word come from the Latin eremita, from Greek eremia (desert), from eremos (solitary).  It can be used in general terms to mean any type of hermit who willfully removes himself from everyday life, but it is most widely used to mean someone who is seeking seclusion from the outside world for both spiritual and scholary religious reasons.


898 Millions Miles From There.

. . . er, Here . . . from there . . . oh Whateve . . .

Earth from Saturn (thanks to Cassini).

Ducks Abound in the Cretaceous

They unearthed the tail bone and possibly the hip bones of a hadrosaur in Mexico recently. The hadrosaur is just a cool thunder-lizard with his duck like crown and bill. No bones of such have been found so far south so its a first.

Read on.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Final Hours of the Kickstarter!

Good morning everyone! We had a great overnight on the #‎kickstarter‬ and are up to about $18,500 and 212 backers. We have surpassed our previous best kickstarter (the the 5th printing of the Players Handbook) and are very hopeful of making our stretch goal of Yorgach, the Lord of Orcs!

Also, stay tuned as we may have a few surprises thrown in there for you later today. So make sure to get in while you can, we only have about 40 hours left! Haunted Higlands Kickstarter


Monday, July 22, 2013

Daily Cosplay


The Softening

Modern man has always hated to view himself as violent. In a long running attempt to break from our primeval past we separate ourselves from the animal, distancing our connections with the challenge of survival through our use of intellect. 

Its a stretch under any circumstances, unless you are religious. Then its easy. But from a purely objective standpoint, to view our species as anything other than an animal that has mastered tool use is to view it as something abnormal to nature. 

This article attempts to do just that. With few signs of mass burials, specialized weapons, or other signs of war, the authors conclude that early man was a benign creature living in flowers bed and rubbing their bellies with peace buttons . . . well not that bad. But that we didn't wage inter-speicies war.

I don't know. I'm very skeptical about such studies. My first question would be what was the population density, followed by when were these incidents that were studied? And multiple more.

I tend to follow the Robert E. Howard approach to the human: "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they can be impolite without having their skulls split."


Batman/Superman

Looks like we have a team up of the two. Warner Bros. announced at Comic Con that they have set their target on 2015 for the release of a movie staring both iconic characters. I loved Man of Steel and enjoyed the Batman movies, but am luke warm on the two meeting. They no doubt will revisit the old themes of Superman is light and Batman is dark and all that.

We'll see though, you never know.


And just for the record. Superman would crush Batman!

Ra Upon the Nile



Veronica Mars

From Kickstarter to the movie screen....there are some behind the scenes from Comic Con.

The Eye of Ra

The sun has marked a massive coronal hole near her northern hemisphere. At times the sun's outer atmosphere cools, becoming darker, her plasma wanes, and gaps appear. These gaps are darker shades on the sun's face and allow the eye of Ra to see in the darkness around him.

His sight is so great that it unleashes giant whip-like tendrils of magnetic force, these rise from the surface of the sun, break its pull and rip through the hole in her corona, unleashing powerful solar winds that buffet the solar system.

Thus Ra sees the world.


Or it might just be a giant coronal hole.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Highland Kickstarter Pledge Levels


We are entering the last few days of our Haunted Highlands Kickstarter. We've far surpassed our goals and man of the stretch goals. In order to get a good idea of what lies in each package check the following list.

If you have not joined the fray, its still not too late. We have a few more things to unlock. The Map by Darlene, Adventure DB9, 200 backers releases and adventure by Steve Chenault and more!


WHAT  LIES IN EACH PLEDGE LEVEL

Pledge $5 or more
A greeting card from the Haunted Highlands, signed by Casey Christofferson

Pledge $15 or more
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Digital

Pledge $20 or more
CK's Guide to the Highlands: Digital

Pledge $25 or more
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Digital
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)

Pledge $30 or more
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Digital
CK's Guide to the Highlands: Digital

Pledge $40 or more
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Digital
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)

Pledge $59 or more
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Digital
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Digital
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands
Exclusive Adventure by James M. Ward
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands by Darlene

Pledge $75 or more
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Digital
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Digital
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands
Exclusive Adventure by James M. Ward
Dirty Bowbe's Roadhouse tshirt
Dirty Bowbe's Authentic Cook Book
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands by Darlene

Pledge $99 or more
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Digital
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Digital
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands
Exclusive Adventure by James M. Ward
Dirty Bowbe's Roadhouse tshirt
Dirty Bowbe's Authentic Cook Book
25+ Page Map Pack
15 Deluxe Character Sheets
C&C Dice
FOUR Reaper Miniatures
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands by Darlene

Pledge $100 or more RETAILER ONLY
The CK Guide to the Highlands (Hardcover) x2
The Players Guide to the Highlands (Hardcover) x2
18 x 22 inch Highland Area Maps x2
Dirty Bowbe's Cookbook x2
C&C Players Handbook x 1
C&C Monsters & Treasure x1
C&C Castle Keepers Guide x1
Tshirt
C&C Deluxe Character Sheetsx1
C&C Dicdex1
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands by Darlene

Pledge $125 or more
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Digital
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Digital
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands
Exclusive Adventure by James M. Ward
Dirty Bowbe's Roadhouse tshirt
Dirty Bowbe's Authentic Cook Book
25+ Page Map Pack
15 Deluxe Character Sheets
C&C Dice
FOUR Reaper Miniatures
FOUR Gazetteers (the Gazetteer repeats the info in the The Castle Keepers Guide to the Highlands).
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands by Darlene

Pledge $150 or more
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Digital
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Digital
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands
Exclusive Adventure by James M. Ward
Dirty Bowbe's Roadhouse tshirt
Dirty Bowbe's Authentic Cook Book
25+ Page Map Pack
15 Deluxe Character Sheets
C&C Dice
Players Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover) LEATHER
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands by Darlene

Pledge $175 or more
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Digital
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Digital
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands
Exclusive Adventure by James M. Ward
Dirty Bowbe's Roadhouse tshirt
Dirty Bowbe's Authentic Cook Book
25+ Page Map Pack
15 Deluxe Character Sheets
C&C Dice
FOUR Reaper Miniatures
FOUR Gazetteers (the Gazetteer repeats the info in the The Castle Keepers Guide to the Highlands).
Players Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover) LEATHER
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands by Darlene

Pledge $199 or more
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Digital
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Digital
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands
Exclusive Adventure by James M. Ward
Dirty Bowbe's Roadhouse tshirt
Dirty Bowbe's Authentic Cook Book
25+ Page Map Pack
15 Deluxe Character Sheets
C&C Dice
FOUR Reaper Miniatures
Castle Keepers Guide (Hardcover)
Players Handbook (Hardcover)
Monsters and Treasure (Hardcover)
Classic Monsters (Hardcover)
Gods & Monsters (Hardcover)
Landscape Screens (Hardcover)
Dice
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands by Darlene

Pledge $250 or more
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Digital
The CK's Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Digital
A Players Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover)
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands
Exclusive Adventure by James M. Ward
Dirty Bowbe's Roadhouse tshirt
Dirty Bowbe's Authentic Cook Book
25+ Page Map Pack
15 Deluxe Character Sheets
C&C Dice
FOUR Reaper Miniatures
Castle Keepers Guide (Hardcover)
Players Handbook (Hardcover)
Monsters and Treasure (Hardcover)
Classic Monsters (Hardcover)
Gods & Monsters (Hardcover)
Landscape Screens (Hardcover)
Dice
FOUR Gazetteers (the Gazetteer repeats the info in the The Castle Keepers Guide to the Highlands).
Players Guide to the Highlands: Print (Hardcover) LEATHER
18 x 22 Inch map of the Haunted Highlands by Darlene

Friday, July 19, 2013

Daily Cosplay (Alice)

I'm No Scientist . . .

But I don't think that you will be able to see yourself in NASA's latest photo op.

The renowned space agency is asking everyone to stand up and wave on July 19 and 20 as two of the space probes, Cassini who is circling Saturn, and Messenger who presently orbits Mercury, both proceed to take pictures of Earth.

Of course only a few of the appointed admins at NASA believe you'll actually be able to see people waving, by and large its a publicity tour to drive interest in the space program, which is never a bad thing.

The pictures, once rendered should be pretty cool, its always something to see earth from distant worlds . . .


That is Earth and her moon as seen from Mercury.

The Splatter Affect

Originally published in Crusader Journal #2.

I’ve gamed since the mid ‘70s. My brother Davis was a huge comic book fan and really into that scene, so when he heard about Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) he started pestering my mom about it. Well, it just so happened that one of my father’s soldiers was shipping out on a hardship tour - though I don’t think they called it a hardship tour back in those days - to Korea I believe. Knowing of Davis’ desire to play D&D, this noble soldier, in possession of three or four little brown books (no box) offered them to my mom, as he wouldn’t have any need for them. I happened to be in the parking lot when she stopped by the barracks to pick them up. I remember it well for some reason. Its become one of those snap shot memories for me. I don’t know why. But that launched Davis and my older brother into the world of D&D. I joined later and I’ve played ever sense.

 I began running games in Heidelberg Germany in the early ‘80s. I would get together with my pals and run endless hours of games . . . in between making out at the movies and listening to music at the park. This really started a lifetime’s worth of game mastering. I ran games almost every week from 1980 until I joined the army in 1991. Sometimes, during my college years I ran three games a week. We played a lot. When I got out of the army I picked up where I left off and ran games until very recently. About a year ago I yielded the chair to Chris and Davis - the latter of whom had just recently returned to the hobby after years of wandering in the west, living in tents and drinking slop off of bar mats!

Yielding the chair was good and bad. I hadn’t played any characters past third level since 1979, when Davis was the master of the game. I was the consummate Game Master. I knew the players. I knew the game we played. I changed or altered rules so regularly that the books were almost useless. I knew the tricks of roping them in, firing them up, calming them down, pissing them off. We were really like an orchestra, and I was its conductor. Or so I thought. 

The Unforgiven ~ Movie Trailer

A remake, in Japan. I have to say, as a gigantic fan of the original Unforgiven, this looks pretty damn good. As soon as I can I'll be in front of it!

Armor Up (Knight)



The Vacuum

The first I encountered the concept of vacuum tubes was not at the bank surprisingly but it was reading Edward Bellamy's classic science fiction work Looking Backward. In this fascinating book Bellamy painted the picture of a society living in perfect harmony with each other and the world around them. Of memorable note, really the only thing I do remember, was the system of vacuum tubes used by the populace of the future to purchase and deliver food and other necessary goods.

Of course since then many a vacuum tube has been and continue to be used around the country and world. It is a surprisingly simple concept.

And now for the tube of tomorrow. Rail tubes that can send passengers across the land at 4000 mph (or more in kilometers, don't have that handy science with me at the moment!). Thats pretty fast and fuel efficient too.

It would be interesting if, once perfected we say a race to tube the world much like we did in the 1800 to rail it. And surely once it was all built, as fuel would be almost nothing, the tickets would be super duper cheap.

Oh wait, I slipped back into that Utopian ideal!

But its a pretty cool concept, hope to see it.


Godzilla Poster (Comic Con)

A teaser poster from Comic Con (going on right now) for the new Godzilla movie. Looks like they are returning to the monsters roots!

That deserves a Trollzah!