Blog Archives


Discworld on Youtube

I’m an off again on again fan of Discworld by the late great Sir Terry Pratchett, who sadly left us last year. One of the problems with living on the right side of the Atlantic Ocean is that you sometimes aren’t in the know about what gets produced for British Television, although that is changing quickly with the advent of BBC America. So I am totally not hip about some cultural artifacts that our British cousins enjoy that we may never hear of. Just yesterday I heard of a few from the realm of Discworld, Terry Pratchett’s universe featuring a flat disc shaped world supported on the backs of four giant elephants on the back of a giant tortoise that sails through space. Do I need to explain this? Of course not. Anyway, apparently there are a few locations where one can find BBC (I expect) adaptions of Discworld novels, for internet viewing. I had no idea this existed, I’m not sure what the limitations are, and I kind of feel bad about sharing it, but shucks, I figure they’ll be shut down soon enough. Let’s party!

GOING POSTAL (TV mini series, 2010, based on the 33rd Discworld novel of the same name)

first of several links.

HOGFATHER the 20th novel in the Discworld series (another mini series, this time by Sky One, aired in 2006 at Christmas time, appropriately).

part 1 of 4.

THE COLOUR OF MAGIC, the first novel in the Discworld series of course! (Another special from Sky One, in 2008)
part 1 of unknown parts.

So, that is what I know of for now. I hear tell there are to animated films floating around in the aetherverse, but they have eluded me so far.

I know what I’ll be bingewatching shortly.

If the links are broken at some point, don’t kvetch. They come and go on Youtube, for obvious reasons.


I’m sure there are honest Kickstarter promotions..

The thing is, I’m one of those naive UP FRONT backers on Kickstarters. It’s totally on track with that comment about empty promises and lots of G-D D-mned emails. So I don’t want to be cruel or anything, but this is funny!


Men who stare at Goats; Goats who stare at games. It’s all good.

Now, this here is one excellent Kickstarter update. David Malki is the mind behind WONDERMARK.COM, which, if you haven’t visited, you really ought to right now and come back later, because some foundation is required to appreciate Mr. Malki’s humor. Wondermark is simply outstanding– Victorian, Whimsical, Surreal. Malki has also penned (or co-penned, I forget) THE MACHINE OF DEATH, a collection of short stories about a machine that can predict the exact consequences of your death, and will tell them to you on a cryptically written small card. The funny premise of the book was just how complicated the writer has to get to create a situation where one perishes by “a stampede of owls” or “strangled by eels”… Anyway, Malki and friends decided to get into the game business about a year ago and wanted to create a semi-storytelling game of ‘creative assassination’ where Players play cards (similar to the cryptic ones in the stories) and explain how that kind of death would transpire. Or at least, I think so, it’s been while since I’ve seen the original proposal.

I’m happy to see it’s funded and now coming back from the printers! And to make the deal even sweeter, David Malki himself is taking the first copies of the game to arrive in the States to a local farm to have goats stare* at them. I’m not sure how that improves the actual quality of the game itself but there’s a part of me that regrets not kicking into history’s first goat-certified game. Oh well, enjoy it, everyone!

* Probably a backhanded reference to by Jon Ronson’s book.



Back in 1990, there really wasn’t an internet per se. Computers were in their infancy and just starting to talk to each other in a really useful way. This would become the internet. However, there was a great background of work already done on the notion of information retrieval and non-linear sequencing of text, dating back to 1945. HYPERLAND was conceived of by Douglas Adams (of hitchhiker’s guide fame) and filmed by him for the BBC. Tom Baker, Doctor Who #4 and a previous collaborator of Adams in those days stars as a sort of intelligent software agent who is assuming the role of .. well, something between GOOGLE and WIKIPEDIA, only more charming. Hyperland takes the viewer (voiced by Douglas Adams himself) through their first steps of hypertext data retrieval and hyperlinking.. only the terms are slightly different. Remember, this was before most of us had computers in our homes.. and the internet was mostly just dial up BBSs at this stage. So Adams takes a very “oh gee whiz” bewildered tone for things you and I take for granted today. With all that said it’s an ingenious little movie, very clever and witty in its approach about the foundations of the modern browser-based internet. Worth a look!


SPI Commercial from the mid 1970s

For your viewing pleasure. You can see famous SPI designer Richard Berg and a few other notables, including SPI President Jim Dunnigan, in some of the scenes.


Veteran’s Day, 2013.

On Monday, the United States celebrates Veteran’s Day, and it is right and fitting that we should thank the military veterans in our lives for sacrificing so much in their nation’s service. I encourage you to do so.  Especially those that have been scarred by their experiences. Some veterans have wounds that aren’t so visible, yet their impact lasts a lifetime. Like Jim Wolf, pictured above, a homeless veteran who has struggled with alcoholism and depression for years. Thanks to the incredible people at Dégagé Ministries, Jim recently had a chance to undergo a makeover courtesy of Design 1 Salon & Spa, which he graciously allowed the people at Rob Bliss Creative to film in time lapse. I love this little video, it’s worth a watch.  Two lovely spa ladies flutter around the veteran in the center trimming, cutting, dabbing, highlighting… as he stoically gazes at the camera with his hard jaw set in world weary indifference.  That is, until he sees what a transformation they have wrought.  This is a hard movie to watch without tearing up a little.  You have been warned.  At the end, I couldn’t help thinking.. “well, hello! You were in there all along!  Who knew?

Yes, I know, it’s on the surface. Alcoholism is a serpent whose coils are strong and resisting of release. There’s more to changing your life around then a haircut. Yet, I find myself hopeful. Maybe, an ounce of pride is everything to a man like Mr. Wolf. He has a long, lonely road to walk, and I wish him well, realizing there’s no guarantees in life.

Thanks for your service, Jim.

Happy Veteran’s Day.


The best Treehouse of Horror Couch Gag ever

Guillermo del Toro, director of Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboys 1&2, Blade II and many other stylish horror films, was the director of the recent annual Simpsons TREEHOUSE OF HORROR. His treatment of the the three minute “couch gag” piece that is the start of every episode is simply masterfully done. Can you name all the classic horror movies in this amazing title sequence ?


Street Musicians goofing off at the Rolling Stones

Washington DC has tons of character. You just have to know where to look for it.




A visit to the largest Fireworks outlet in America. Memorial Day Weekend, 2012.


The Shifting Tide of European History

A Very Interesting Time-Lapse video of the European Continent covering a period of time from the Holy Roman Empire to modern times.


Reverend Fred Lane: The French Toast man!

He’s got it wrapped up in a sock! From the Reverend Fred Lane, Musical Genius.