Monday, November 29, 2010

"Ever tried, Ever failed, No Matter. Try again, Fail again, Fail Better."

-Samuel Beckett

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Best of the new shots, although there were a lot of neat ones.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Two from the new batch of Freeman photos are up on Deviant for your viewing pleasure. The headcrab (which I gave to the Owlvark for painting as I remembered suddenly that I hate painting large 3-D projects [Seriously, why can't I paint it one color and have it cast its own shadows? Why must I be forced to paint detailing on something that actually exists already?] He did a great job, as always...) turned out well and was generally well-received at Thanksgiving (we were shooting outside at the Farm, so we had to bring all the props to Thanksgiving dinner :) The wind was freaking freezing, but it was blowing from the best possible direction for dramatic shots, and despite the cold we got a ton of great pics. It was a lot of fun, and, depending on the response to this session, we'll probably do another.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Owlvark: What should I use to put the paint in?
Duamuteffe: I usually use a bit of tin foil, but we're out, so just grab a few muffin cups.

#five minutes later#

Owlvark: #carries in a piece of tin foil#
Duamuteffe: Where did you get the tin foil?
Owlvark: I just found some.
Duamuteffe: Where? Where did you find it?
Owlvark: In the cupboard.
Duamuteffe: So we do have tin foil. Huh.
Owlvark: We live large.

Who makes primer that requires you to squeeze both sides of the cap to remove it, and with such force that the spray nozzle is yanked off along with the cap?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Still working on making the headcrab wartier, more organic, and just plain more awful before I break out the spray primer. Painting is going to be the real issue, as I'm not much of a painter, but I have a few ideas about that.

The preceding post got me thinking about songs that had perhaps the only instance of a word, and the only other song I could come up with was Warren Zevon's "Play It All Night Long" using the word brucellosis. I'm sure there's others.

Monday, November 22, 2010

And what's a good soundtrack for making a headcrab? Well, "Nemesis" by Shriekback sets a pretty good stage, and, as a bonus, it's the only song I know of that involves the word "parthenogenesis."

So today is National Build-A-Headcrab Day. Well, okay, it isn't, but that's what I'm doing. I had a lot of people ask for more Freeman photos, so we're going to do another shoot, and what's a Half-Life photoshoot without headcrab zombies? Currently the initial stage is done, and the papier mache headcrab is sitting on newspaper on my floor, drying and looking more like a large newsprint meatloaf than anything else. Once it's dry, though, I can begin building the legs/claws/tentacles and the grooved mouthpieces, and then start thinking about paint. I'm also working on a design for the nasty gaping maw in their chest, probably attached in some way to a thrift-store t-shirt.

In other news, I bloody *hate* this keyboard. I really need to fix the plug on the good one so I can throw this one back in the box o' mixed computer parts.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

From the top of lungs!!!

So there was this story a while back that got really big in the Valve community- you may have heard of it: "Half-Life: Full Life Consequences." It was a fan fic, and further than that it was a deliberately bad fanfic that was extraordinarily constructed so as not to seem the elaborate baited hook it was. (I hesitate to call it a "troll, " since it brought so much joy to so many. More on that in a bit.) It was followed by a equally well-received sequel, and another sequel, and a sort of a prequel but not really- I don't know, it wasn't supposed to make sense, so the prequel is sort of a sequel, etc. It is hilariously badly written, and a lot of people took it at face value and laughed their guts out, and even those who didn't saw the true comedy gold within its confusing phrases and just enjoyed it as it was. But lo and behold, someone took it even further than that, and, using the awesome power of Gary's Mod, made a movie version with dramatic voice acting, props, and just all kinds of entertaining crazy. And that was very big too, and considering it's had nearly three million views since it came out two years ago you may have heard of it. But I realized while watching it for the nth time today that there may be some among you who have not been introduced to John Freeman and his motorcycle and the zombie goasts, and that is an oversight I cannot bear to prolong. So here it is, in all its Gilliamesque glory; Half-Life Full Life Consequences. Enjoy. And try not to wake anyone up laughing. :)

Possibly more than what's in the fridge, depending on the episode...

Owlvark: So I was thinking I'd have a beer during Burn Notice.
Duamuteffe: Luxury.
Owlvark: Yeah. And I thought maybe I'd make it interactive, so when Sam drinks, I drink.
Duamuteffe: In that case, baby, you are going to need more than one beer.


I forgot to take out the bag of spices when I reheated the pheasant roast, so the flavors intensified in the heat and I feel as though I'm getting punched in the face with a clove. It's nice, but still- wham!

And in that vein:

” "Is", "is." "is"β€”the idiocy of the word haunts me. If it were abolished, human thought might begin to make sense. I don't know what anything "is"; I only know how it seems to me at this moment. ”

β€” Robert Anton Wilson

I do recommend a read of the preceding book, by the way. I have always been fascinated with the whole Chaos Magicians' approach to to world (which I suppose befits a Taoist Anarchist with a Trickster totem who still likes property and having her own stuff...) but working with the forces involved is frankly intimidating. I have friends who are Discordian, but inviting Eris into one's life personally scares the willies out of me. I have plenty of chaos in my life already :)

Greater Poop: Is Eris true?

Malaclypse the Younger: Everything is true.

GP: Even false things?

M2: Even false things are true.

GP: How can that be?

M2: I don't know man, I didn't do it.

- The Principia Discordia

Hey you guuuuuuuuys!

Hey, all you gaming peoples- the annual Child's Play Donation Drive is open. For those of you for whom this is a new concept, Child's Play is a charity organized by Mike and Jerry of Penny Arcade fame, designed to supply childrens' hospitals with age-appropriate video games and consoles, to make the kids' stay pass faster and with less worry. And remember- pediatrics includes those up to age eighteen, who will presumably be less interested in coloring books and Nick Jr. cartoons, but who will be cooped up in the hospital anyway, with IV drips and tubes and wires and the gods-know-what. Having those games and systems available, especially the portable ones, also benefits the siblings of those children, by giving them something to do while they wait for hours on test results, operations, etc. Every year since its inception, Child's Play has raised over a million dollars to supply childrens' wards with games. Please take a look at the links, and, if you're a gamer, drop them a donation or buy something from your local hospital's Wish List directly via their Amazon link.

Note to the Bravo Team - Next year, should we do a live broadcast gaming marathon to raise money? I have a feeling we'd be a hoot for people to watch out on webcam :)

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And, in that vein, I present again the William MF'ing Gibson screenplay for Alien 3 for your reading pleasure. Read, watch the movie in your mind, see how awesome it is, and enjoy.

Man, it's nice to be reminded how badass Hicks is. I watched that movie so many times as a teenager- rawr. With that sort of example, and all those other intelligent alpha males in my fiction preferences, it's no wonder I never bothered to date in high school. When your reading list includes Elric of Melnibone and Philip Marlowe, a bunch of whingy pimply attempting-to-become alcoholic-at-every-opportunity 16 year old boys just can't hold your interest.

The Freeman pics are, hands down, the most popular things I've ever uploaded to DeviantArt. They've got such a response that I'm considering doing another, more structured photo shoot just to give people more to enjoy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Okay, make that around 120 books. Free ones. Well, I did buy the Robert E. Howard collection for two bucks, and another collection for a dollar, but the rest were free. I'm set for a couple of weeks now, which is very exciting.

Okay, I am glutting myself on free literature and it is awesome. I have thirty or forty ebooks lined up to read, from H. Rider Haggard to Plato to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Lafacadio Hearn. I am in book overload, and it is good.

The Kindle for PC program from Amazon is pretty awesome. It's a lot easier to read than pdfs or text files, the formatting is really natural looking (Gutenberg doesn't have the money to make the files look this pretty) it's hugely more responsive than any pdf reader, it has a surprising number of options for being free, and I'll just revisit that last one again- it's free! And so are many of the books you can download for it. You can read the classics for nothing via this program, which I am looking forward to- I have several Jane Austens that I have yet to read, and Kipling is now public domain, and a host of others, including Lord Dunsany, are available for zero dinero. And several authors I love dearly have work available for very cheap- 97 Robert E. Howard stories for two bucks? That's an hour's work on Mechanical Turk for an incredible amount of return.

Yeah, it's a gateway drug for a Kindle, I know. And electronic reading will never replace my obsession with collecting actual books, but I do like the idea of a portable library, and I probably will pick up a Kindle at some point when I have the pocket money for it. I have such a wide variety of literary interests that it would be nice to go on a trip and be able to bring enough books with me to last the journey (especially planes, I can't pack enough books in a backpack to last me a plane trip) and have a massive selection available for whatever I feel like reading at the time.

Duamuteffe: So we were watching tv late last night, and I was like, "It's eleven o'clock and I'm tired of wearing pants." So I kicked them off, and just as I did, what pops on the TV but an ad for Iron Man 2 on DVD. And I thought, "Yep, the pants come off and Tony Stark appears. That's canonical accuracy right there."
TehSuz: #sighs wistfully# If only it were that easy.
Duamuteffe: #identical sigh# I know, right?

(Note to my British readers: trousers are what I was going for here. Although, knowing Tony, the British term would certainly apply...)

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Monday, November 15, 2010

So, since Ryan Q."Dinosaur Comics" North has opened up his home wireless picture frame to whatever uploads on Flickr are tagged "chezryan, " I have been uploading stuff to Flickr like mad. It looks like they liked the falconry pics, judging from his Twitter feed. I like the thought; it would be interesting to see what people sent you. Sure, you're guaranteed some, er, *interesting* pics from time to time, but I bet the majority would be awesome. I mean, I instantly started digging through the photos for the coolest stuff we had, and I imagine most people would have the same response.

Hmm, accidental double-post. Blogspot must have the hiccups.

"Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you're kind, I'm telling you, amazing things will happen."

-Conan O'Brien

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm number one on Google for the purchasing of that specific type of amphibian again. It really cracks me up, because there's a website with the search string in the name, and I still come up as the top return. It makes my referrer logs pretty monotonous, but still, even on days like today when I got very little accomplished, I can rest easy knowing I helped ten to fifteen random google users to find their dream amphibian.

Stuff No One Told Me ( but I learned anyway ): 55

Stuff No One
Told Me ( but I learned anyway ): 55

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I really like washing keyboards. There's just something about throwing them in a tub full of water and scrubbing them with a brush that just really amuses me. I think it's because in most situations water + electronics = a very bad thing.

The Cheezburger sites know what I like- the largest ad on the page is always for Burn Notice, the next one is for Overstock, featuring whatever Kenneth Cole stuff they have for sale, and after that it's, showcasing Ivan Bilibin art.