blog

The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 (tabletop)

Tue Mar 10 2020 22:50:55 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

tags: carpenter thing thething horror scifi game tabletop

We've played "The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31" a few times in the last few months...not so much inspired by the global pandemic, but likely more inspired by our mutual love for John Carpenter's "The Thing".

20200310-the_thing_1024.jpg

It's fun, and also complicated/many-faceted...and we're still learning the ropes as far as mechanics and strategy. The table talk (social deduction) aspect was played up this time, but one first-time player (human) with a statistically poor deck made winning the game difficult. Maybe the humans can beat THE THING, but so far we haven't figured it out.

Definitely recommend trying it out!

RIP Shirley's Tippy Canoe

Sun Mar 08 2020 23:30:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

tags: pdx troutdale fire shirleys rip bicycling

I've bicycled by Shirley's Tippy Canoe quite a few times, but only recently (last year or the year before?) stopped in with my cousin and brother for some bike-fueled brunch action.

fire

The above picture was from today, and note the police tape. :(

The spot was fun! Had a wonderful divey roadside feel with rad outdoor bike-friendly seating near the river. The interior mood and decor were amazing and the bar was a real treasure. To get a sense of it and the menu, I guess you could look at this page from Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives". The portions were ridiculous and the drinks strong.

Sadly, I missed the news from early January...but Shirley's Tippy Canoe burned down completely due to a fire that started in the second story, the timing of which corresponds to the final day a temporary closing for "deep cleaning". Apparently it's suspicious, which sucks...but selfishly, for me, it also sucks finding out the hard way.

fire

I'll miss not being able to stop in there while riding through scenic Troutdale. I snapped these photos today through the chain link fence that entirely surrounds the charred remains. It's gone. There's nothing really worth saving, although I think a few chotchkies might still be out back. There's a canoe still between the trees.

fire

Bummer.

fire

Beach Party 1989

Sat Feb 29 2020 21:40:08 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

tags: comics beachparty 1989

I found this totally absurd book at Frankenstein's comic swap today. It's pretty messed up. I thought I should scan it for posterity. 1989 was a lifetime ago.

20200229-beach_party_front_cover_1024.jpg

What a mess.

Hopefully this trash at the top of my feed will encourage me to blog more.

A full weekend

Sun Jan 26 2020 23:00:00 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

tags: weekend pdx

Like any other white-collar drone, "What did you get up to this weekend?" is the common smalltalk come Monday morning at the office. The usual response is something like "oh not too much, worked around the house" or something....which usually isn't complete nor accurate, but moves the situation along.

Well, this time, I'm prepared. What I do this weekend? Let's see...

  • Started out the weekend strong by going to see this show with a couple friends. Captured By Robots has been on my radar for many many years, but I hadn't seen them live until this week. What a great idea and pretty excellent execution. My friend's friend is Ormus who opened with some heavy drums and sequenced synth leads backed by some rad realtime visuals.
  • I took advantage of the break in the clouds (omg the sun was out!) to get on top of some dandelions in the yard and do some raking and general cleanup. This not a normal activity for mid January.
  • Took a short nap. zzzzzz.
  • Spent maybe 2 or 3 hours repairing the glass/digitizer on a broken iPad. A family member had broken theirs and it was in pretty bad shape -- multiple cracks going across the entire glass, and shards of glass near the top bezel were straight up gone/missing. I bought a replacement kit online for $28 and managed to do the surgery. It wasn't easy, but it also wasn't insanely complicated. The worst part was tracking down and removing all the glass shards and then cleaning up/removing the old adhesive (yes, the glass/digitizer is just glued into the metal bezel).
  • Made a light dinner and hung out with the progeny while he did some of that online video gaming.
  • I sorted/partitioned about 700 images for eventual use in cuspid (one of my software work-in-progress projects).
  • Started Sunday off early with a quick trip to the market for dinner items before heading out on a 25 mile bike ride. I was a little worried about the weather since it started raining moderately during the first 10 minutes... but it quickly turned into sprinkles and mostly lifted. The weather was actually really really nice!
  • Checked out Richard Stanley's new Lovecraftian horror masterpiece Color Out of Space at the Hollywood Theater. I absolutely fuckin loved it! I think it's pretty easily the best take on Lovecraft that I've seen on film.
  • Made this pretty delicious kale/potato/sausage/mushroom soup.
  • Jumped my mom's car battery for her
  • Snuggled down with the kiddo to learn about the history of sub-hour speed running in Mario Odyssey
  • Wrote the blog post you're reading now!

Something something idle hands...

Image Comics partners signing today

Sat Jan 11 2020 21:04:02 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

tags: comics image marvel fandom ilikecomics

About two weeks ago I found out about this kind of random comic signing event that got rescheduled from late last year to early 2020. I don't get up to the 'Couv that often, but I made the trek up to I Like Comics last week to get free tickets for this event, not really thinking too much of it and assuming that maybe a couple hundred people might get tickets and that many of them would just not show.

Well, I picked Elijah up rather early this morning. We did a scouting mission a little after 9am to see if there was a line yet and how long it might be. The event wasn't planned to start until 11am, and the store employees suggested arriving at least an hour before that to ensure a spot in line (even tho we had free tickets?). The setup was a little strange, but we saw maybe 5 or 10 people waiting outside shortly after 9am. The line was short, so we decided to grab a quick breakfast before heading back to begin the suffering. We returned maybe around 9:30 and secured a place in line (ordered by our ticket numbers, but mostly really just the honor system). What we hadn't realized on our earlier scouting mission, though, was that there were hundreds of other people already snaking around the inside of the shop!

So then we waited in line.

For a very long time.

The Image crew showed up around 10am, and we made it inside right after that and began feeling some sympathy for those nerds who were stuck waiting outside for hours. The mood was light, though, and people were friendly and happy to show off the books and items they brought for signing.

It was definitely after 1pm when we finally got to the front of the line and got to meet some comic legends and get our books signed!

20200111-2020-01-11_signed_comics_1024.jpg

In addition to the pretty sweet free poster they were signing for everybody, I brought Outcast #1 for Kirkman to sign, a gorgeous X-Men #251 cover for Silvestri to sign, and the Amazing Spider Man #316 for McFarlane to sign. Outcast is only a year or two old, but the other two are 30+ years old from my high-school collection. McFarlane remarked that the Amazing Spider Man I brought was in really good condition, and Silvestri explained that he had never seen his original art for that X-Men cover again after submitting it.

According to some news sources, the event was much bigger than anticipated and drew upwards of 900 people!

Phase IV (1974)

Mon Dec 23 2019 22:52:54 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

tags: film movie scifi ants

The other night I had been in and out of consciousness, fighting some unknown food poisoning or 24-hour-bug, and passing the waking time with some restful movie binging. Since it's the holiday season, I first watched some Die Hard, but later found this interesting/familiar image in the scroll:

phase iv

I remembered having seen this cover many times, and I always found it pretty fascinating, so I decided to click it on. Within the first few minutes, I was sure that I had never seen this thing and that I was definitely in for a trip!

The film is Phase IV (1974).

You can read reviews and much more in-depth history and raving critiques of this film elsewhere...but I thought I'd offer up my quick recommendation.

This film was so much fun! It's a huge sweatbox of long drawn-out high-color macro shots of ants and masterful/powerful/deep synth-and-timpani work. The plot revolves around a couple of scientists trying to learn about newfound ant behaviors (strange collaborations) after a cosmic event. Their research turns them into renegades who must struggle against their unseen funding/organization sources...and the ants themselves. Shit escalates quickly -- there's some secrets, a bunch of retro tech/gear porn, a farm girl, lots of great scifi mumbo/philosophy, a little bit of body horror, and LOTS of great sound/score work.

Put all of this together with some intensely artful and colorfully composed sequences of ants doing evil ant things, and it's a winner in my book. Like so many films of the era, it hasn't aged that well in a few areas and has some rough spots, but if you can look past those things, you might enjoy this thing as much as I did!

Little Richard Spider

Tue Jul 30 2019 21:00:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

tags: sound audio cutup supercut littlerichard trash

little richard spider

I learned last night that Little Richard recorded a horrifying rendition of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" in 1991 on Disney CD to support a pediatric AIDS foundation. Thanks Nate! While the cause is honorable, the content is certainly questionable. It almost kinda includes Debbie Gibson, but aside from a brief flop on the piano and some childish dancing, the contribution remains unclear.

In any case, Little Richard is one of the masters of the grunt/whoop/wat style of singing/moaning...so I tried a very low-effort cutup. The rap in the middle got some special attention. Enjoy!

Background: 5 years ago I decided to guide a soundwalk for World Listening Day.

5 years later, I decided to do it again.

My employer is awesome. We are encouraged as part of our happy employment and ongoing professional development to engage in "thrive time" -- essentially expansive work that may not be directly related to daily business deliverables, but work that makes us better, stronger, healthier, and happier. I offered this sound walk.

Here is the recording I made on World Listening Day in 2019 in Portland, OR. It's a binaural recording, so listening on headphones with little/no background sound works best.

Click the link above or listen to it here:

See you next year for WLD.

This pin entry keypad is bonkers

Tue Jun 25 2019 20:36:49 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

tags: pdx portland keypad ui ux design wat

True story: This was the pin prompting keypad today at the local convenience store:

20190625-IMG_20190625_181409_1024.jpg

I bet there's a crazy story about how the hell that came to exist!

a portland scene

Mon Apr 08 2019 21:31:15 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

tags: portland pdx cops

Not my writing..but I did find this scene above the Steele this evening...

20190408-IMG_20190408_170307_1024.jpg