Friday, March 31, 2017


The attitude some teachers have to cell phones reminds me of nuns bashing ball-point pens in favor of cartridge pens.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Once Upon a Time Reactions Part 4

With the Peter Pan arc done, the second half of season 3 begins. I was disappointed we didn't get Elphaba.

Season 3 Part 2:

Emma's love life is the weirdest thing. First Rumplestiltskin's kid, then a pirate, and then a flying monkey. The writers love to jerk her around.

Hook's warming up to me now. He's the character who had the best time in the Pan arc and has gone from really annoying to a proper lovable ruffian figure. (I like the lovable ruffian archetype - that the writers weren't doing it right with him at first is what annoyed me. His early dialogue and actions were all too emo.) Now I want to see him and Jack Sparrow vie for control of the Jolly Roger.

I'm seeing Henry's actor hit puberty. Yeah, his expressiveness has hit a nadir.

Yay! Elphaba! The Wicked Witch is a fun villain. I wonder what twist they'll put to her. I'm hoping there's a Quidditch style mid-air battle between her and Regina.

"We were cell mates."
"What were you in for?"

It's little dialogue touches like this that make me like this show. I realize now the Pan arc was sorely missing that. That's why it didn't feel as fun.

Yay for Robin Hood being a regular part. I wonder if Mulan, Aurora, and Philip will join in.

Silver slippers! Points to OUAT for getting it right.

"Not my Miata!" Doc is the Cabbage Cart guy of OUAT.

Courage. Heart. So who's brain? I hope it's Frankenstein's. That'd be hilarious. (Of course it's Rumple's.)

Robin Hood's kid is adorable. Seeing him carrying sticks was cute.

I think one reason the 2nd half of OUAT's season 3 is somewhat more enjoyable is Belle gets a bigger role. There's still the lack of comedy, though. Charming teaching Henry how to drive was fun, as is the flirting between Robin and Regina, but there's not enough.

I have the feeling that the fairy tale book's author in OUAT is going to be a major player. Either in a good or bad way. Even worse? The EDITOR.

Guns work on flying monkeys! Finally, something Emma can shoot.

Charming's over handed sword throw looks stupid every time he does it, though.

Ha. Zelena is using a transmutation circle to get her mother back.

I think I know one of the issues with season 3 part 2: too much curb stomp on the part of the Wicked Witch. She just waves her hand and walks through them. It ruins any sense of tension and begs the question why she doesn't just permanently end the heroes in her way.

Rumplestiltskin doesn't give rings. He gives knives. Most squee worthy marriage proposal ever.

Oh boy! Time travel! So is it Doctor Who "fixed points in time" type or Back to the Future "my mom is in love with me" type? Hook speaking sense about time travel is hilarious. I guess Emma took her stupid pills on this one.

Rumple's ability to help Emma and Hook handle time travel reinforces my idea that he's the Anti-Doctor.

Princess Leia? LEIA? Really? Wow. That made me laugh. Better than a Princess Di reference, at least.

This time travel episode is much better than large swaths of season 3. Levity, tension, and good pacing. It looks like the good episodes come toward the end of their respective arcs now. It's getting there that's a pain.

OH. The URN. Geez, Hook, this is why you don't play with the shiny things when you're in the VAULT OF SCARY MAGIC.

Season 3 was definitely a drop in quality over season 1 and 2. The second half was better, but overall there were only 3-4 good episodes, really. At least it ended well.

Season 4 of OUAT, START! Yay for Elsa~

Monday, March 27, 2017

Once Upon a Time Reactions Part 3

Overall, season 3 is the worst season so far. My reactions reflect the drop in quality.

Season 3 Part 1:

So the Evil Queen and Rumplestiltskin go to Neverland, a place dripping with magic? I have the feeling they're going to get nerfed, otherwise they'd just curb stomp everything. I also have the bad feeling - based on how everyone has warned me of this arc - that the nerfing is done badly.

I'm annoyed Belle didn't go along. I wanted to see more of her adventure skills!

Emma: Ever since the plot started bad things have happened to us!

Snow: I have faith that eventually the plot will end with a happy ending.

Emma: Why do you want our show to go off air?!

I like that mermaids are vicious creatures in OUAT like in the original myths. (The fourth Pirates movie did that, too.) I totally want to see Ariel as someone who feasts on humans.

"They made a movie about you." Ah, Baelfire. You just broke the 4th wall. Now you're Deadpool.

"But this is Neverland." Second time I've heard it. This is the meme for this arc, isn't it?

One of my overarching issues with OUAT is that the magical villains are so powerful there are few plausible reasons why they didn't just wiggle their fingers and turn the main heroes into mice. There really is no reason Regina can't simply seal Charming's face shut and suffocate him in the flashbacks.

The protection spell and deal mechanics work, but those came later. Before they went into effect there wasn't much stopping magic users from rolling over someone with a shiny blade.

Rumple has Mjolnir in his inventory. Marvel crossover?

If Tinkerbell's other designation is Green, does that mean she's the one who absinthe drinkers see?

I am disappointed Robin Hood's son isn't named Westley. Roland's a good historical shout out, though.

"And you can have a life. Under the sea."

"You can be part of his world."

Really, OUAT? I'm disappointed we didn't see Ariel using a fork to comb her hair.

I did enjoy Regina's impersonation of animated Ursula, though. Nice touch.

I'm seeing the issue with the Peter Pan arc. The core of it is good. Nice twists, good conflict, interesting tie-ins. The problem is pacing. Most of this could have been done in half the episodes. Or, at least, there needed to be better splicing so the multiple plot threads are tackled in a more interesting way. The episodes lack the punch of season 1 or 2.

Episode 9 is the first one of season 3 I've really liked. The back story of Regina and Henry is nice. And I love Regina's moment of awesome with the tree:

"I should be full of regrets. But I'm not." *Yoink*

That's the kind of thing OUAT did regularly in season 2.

Phew. Peter Pan arc done. I do like how it ended - the last couple episodes were decent. Getting there was a slog, though. I'm glad I can watch it without ads and all together. I can imagine the grumbling when it was aired.

Did they ever explain why Rumple was fated to die when Pan did?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Human Achievement Hour

Human Achievement Hour is tonight. Make sure to celebrate the strides mankind has done to push back the darkness and bring light, knowledge, and connection to billions. Resolve to help push that even further with more innovation, more enterprise, and more discovery.

We're a species that took worthless sand in the ground and from it crafted devices that see into other galaxies, allow near instant communication spanning the globe, and decode our very building blocks. We took the bounty of the earth and have amplified its utility a billion-fold - all thanks to the man's capacity for reason. Take pride in what our industrious natures have accomplished and look forward to the new horizons we may one day achieve.

Friday, March 24, 2017


The problem with eating at Freebirds is soon after I finish a Monster burrito I want a second one...but I'm not sure there's room for it.

Solution: the Super Monster.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Once Upon a Time Reactions Part 2

More reactions as I started season 2 of Once Upon a Time. Season 2 remains my favorite so far. I do regret asking for Merlin, after what happened with season 5. And it looks like I predicted season 6 back then.

Season 2:

Aurora is brunette and Maleficent is blonde? Huh? OUAT has my least favorite Maleficent by far. And, dang, Philip got owned fast.

Why is Harry Potter now in this? I guess it makes sense, but I'd like to see older works before they throw very obvious Death Eater clones at me.

"You really are the evil queen!" Good god Henry says that more times than Vegeta goes on about the super saiyin. WE GET IT KID.

Bella and Rumple are best couple. I felt more "aww" from them than the others.

Lancelot! Ooo. Yay for Arthurian legends in OUAT. Also digging Mulan so far. I wonder if we'll see more Eastern legends appear?

I wonder if he'll bust out Knight of Honor and start wielding other characters' Noble Phantasms. ...Wait, wrong show.

Also, darn it Emma you have 6 bullets in a land where guns haven't been invented yet. DON'T WASTE THEM FIRING INTO THE AIR.

Ooo. Tell me Belle becomes the town librarian for Storybrooke!

Oh, god. They made Belle the librarian. That is the best plot point OUAT has done so far. I literally squee'ed in happiness. (Belle is my favorite Disney princess, in case you didn't know.)

The multiverse aspect of the show is still one of its best things. The Forest (which seems to combine most Disney tales, including Arthur thanks to "The Sword and the Stone"), Wonderland, Neverland, our world. I'm hoping we get to see Narnia (wardrobes that penetrate the universe is a pretty obvious reference that they keep dropping), but the rights on that one may make it tricky. Oz and Barsoom would also be great.

Would it be too much for Merlin to pop in? Disney's Merlin (wizard who loved science) was one of my favorite versions as a kid.

Everytime they call Regina's mom by her name - Cora - I keep thinking she's a reference to Korra. Sigh.

Is the doctor who I think he is? Tell me he's who I think he is.

Eeeeee! Dr. Frankenstein! Oh, geez. Season 2 is hitting pretty much all my fandom buttons.

I want that coat. I want that Frankenstein coat. The glasses, too.

And, damn it, now I want Magic vs. Science in OUAT. I really hope that's not the last we see of that world. I could see it being all kinds of HG Wells, Jules Verne, and other amazing things. I know this is a fairy tale show, but classic SF were my fairy tales as a kid.

I wonder if the OUAT Netherworld is located under Bald Mountain and overseen by Chernobog. Certainly seems like his kind of thing.

I wonder if Emma Swan will end up in a tutu fighting evil with ballerina music.

Aurora: You can't trust me! You have to tie me up.

Mulan: Oo, fun. <3

Emma and Snow: o_o 

I can only imagine the quantity of slash fic based on that scene.

Season 2 of OUAT is so far much more interesting. I liked the fairy tale flashbacks of season 1 a bit more, but the main plot of S2 is more compelling.

I really wanted Rumple to set Hook on fire after what he did to Belle. He's gone from rascal to "kill him, please" in my book.

Yay for Belle's yellow dress.

The writers REALLY loved Kano's fatality.

It kind of sucks Cinderella has disappeared from the show. I'm also still waiting for Ariel, since they mentioned mermaids and squid ink before.

The scroll with Emma's name made me think how much more disturbing this would all be if they started using tales from Marquis de Sade. (He tucked many stories away as rolled up paper in his cell.)

Star Wars ring tone in OUAT? Ha.

Yeah, saw the plot twist of Henry's parentage coming a mile away.

Oh, hey! It's Mrs. Patmore from Downton Abbey! (OUAT S2 ep 15.) What if Downton is a mirror reflection of OUAT, like our world and the original Fullmetal Alchemist? Now there's a crossover.

Rose McGowan as young Cora! Nice pick. I like the twist to the Miller's Daughter story.

Oh, Snow. You went dark side. Oh, dear.

The dynamic of Regina and Cora isn't one I really get. I was honestly expecting a last minute back stab.

Prince Charming was in a coma with Snow White looking on. I just got it.

It would've been funny if the Dragon turned into Eddie Murphy.

Rumplestiltskin is like the anti-Doctor. When there's a good wizard, it tends to be the Doctor. When there's an evil monster or trickster, it tends to be Rumple.

Prince Charming giving dating tips to Gold? This is pretty hilarious.

Regina's character arc confuses me. They looked like they were going to redeem her. Then they had her go with Cora even though she knows Cora would imprison her with Dark One powers. And then she insists on killing everyone. I just don't get it.

The fact that Baelfire's nickname is "Bae" really annoys me.

Season 2 done! I half expect the anti-magic group to be Iscariot from Hellsing. That or Mulder and Scully. Or Ghostbusters. That'd be funny, too.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Milkshake Recipe

A milk shake recipe I tried out:

1. Vanilla ice cream
2. Milk
3. One 1/2-pound Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, from the "1 pound, 2 cup" holiday special.

Cut the cup into halves or quarters when adding so the blender can get it. The result is very rich and quite pleasant. It's a peanut butter, chocolate, and vanilla shake, basically. Let it sit and it'll separate, though.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's

The 25% of me that's Irish is celebrating St. Patrick's Day. The other 75% is eying it warily from across the room.


People who go on about Morgan Freeman's voice need to listen to John Huston. Freeman has a great voice, no question, but Huston's is what I imagine any given deity employing.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Once Upon a Time Reactions Part 1

I've had a lot of friends try and get me to watch Once Upon a Time. So I finally did. All aboard the fandom train.

Season 1:

I'm digging the kid who's genre savvy and familiar with Campbell's Monomyth. I also like that quite a few actors I like from other shows (House, Breaking Bad, Stargate Universe, etc.) are in this series.

Wait a minute. A girl named Ruby who wears red and is an analogue for Red Riding Hood? Where have I seen this before?

It's starting to tick me off that no one knows how to negotiate with Rumpelstiltskin. He's using lawful evil contracts, people! Bargain for better terms! Or try to get clever with the clauses! Yeesh.

As expected I would, Robert Carlyle is becoming the reason to keep watching Once Upon a Time. I really liked his performance in Stargate Universe and Full Monty, as well as several other roles I've seen him in. So put him in the awesome column for the show.

I'm also very fond of the fairy tale world flashbacks. Non-linear time jumping with an interconnected world and fun twisty mythos? Yay!

In the less awesome column: the modern day Snow White subplot. Ugh. I kind of tune out when they're focusing on that.

How many different ways are they going to use wolves in this show? They just stacked Riding Hood with Peter and the Wolf, with a hint of Three Little Pigs to boot. I'm half expecting Rose Tyler or the Moment to pop in for a crossover.

"Once she starts down that path you'll never get her back!"

Someone was channeling Star Wars here. "Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny."

Ah, finally. We get some expansion beyond the Grimm Tales. Lewis Carroll is a personal fave, too. I wonder if they'll ever start integrating some of the newly documented old fairy tales the Grimm's didn't use?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Guitars are Cool

10 had his 3D glasses. 11 had his fez. And 12? He has a guitar.

I don't think River Song would argue with him if he said, "It's a guitar. I play guitar now. Guitars are cool."

Yes. Guitars are most definitely cool.

Friday, March 10, 2017


I like stories where someone who doesn't feel very much passion at all awakens when they find what excites them. It's very life affirming.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den

Think "Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo" is impressive? Here's an entire poem all with the same root sound - "shi" - but varying only by inflection and actually making a complete poem.

« Shī Shì shí shī shǐ »

Shíshì shīshì Shī Shì, shì shī, shì shí shí shī.
Shì shíshí shì shì shì shī.
Shí shí, shì shí shī shì shì.
Shì shí, shì Shī Shì shì shì.
Shì shì shì shí shī, shì shǐ shì, shǐ shì shí shī shìshì.
Shì shí shì shí shī shī, shì shíshì.
Shíshì shī, Shì shǐ shì shì shíshì.
Shíshì shì, Shì shǐ shì shí shì shí shī.
Shí shí, shǐ shí shì shí shī shī, shí shí shí shī shī.
Shì shì shì shì.

« Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den »

In a stone den was a poet with the family name Shi, who was a lion addict, and had resolved to eat ten lions.
He often went to the market to look for lions.
At ten o'clock, ten lions had just arrived at the market.
At that time, Shi had just arrived at the market.
He saw those ten lions, and using his trusty arrows, caused the ten lions to die.
He brought the corpses of the ten lions to the stone den.
The stone den was damp. He asked his servants to wipe it.
After the stone den was wiped, he tried to eat those ten lions.
When he ate, he realized that these ten lions were in fact ten stone lion corpses.
Try to explain this matter.

Monday, March 6, 2017

What Matters

"Yay! Pizza on the road!"

"...Turn around! They screwed up the toppings!"

"What? But it's an hour behind us."

"They forgot the olives!"


"We can't let this injustice stand! #BlackOlivesMatter!"

Friday, March 3, 2017

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Monopoly Multiverse

Take different themed Monopoly boards (original is Earth 0). Overlay them at either Free Parking, Go to Jail, or Jail/Just Visiting.

Players may choose to move onto a different board when they come to the intersection.

Players start at the GO of any board they want to use the pieces of.

You can go to any Jail. Instant warp.

Number of players: Number of boards times 8. Hit triple digits (13 or more boards) for amazing times.

Try to have players start at different boards so there aren't large dead zones.

Blind variant:

Sets of boards are distributed in different rooms. Players move rooms when they go to a different cluster. They can choose to survey or build. This creates a "fog of war" effect - you don't know how much players in other clusters have versus you unless you go looking.

This requires a GM to track what's connected to what, as well as to keep income from different property flowing to the right person from across dimensions.