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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (August 2018)

After watching the pilot episode of “Deadwood,” I got up, lowered the blinds, dimmed the lights and burned through the rest of the DVD in a fugue of wonder and excitement. I didn’t leave the series until the next day, staggering limply into the harsh sunlight like Ray Milland in “The Lost Weekend.”

It was 2004, and I had been the chief television critic at The New York Times for about a year. HBO had sent me advance screeners of its new western. And I was discovering binge watching.

There are dramas that are arguably better or more widely appreciated than “Deadwood”: “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” or “Breaking Bad.”  But of all the shows I have reviewed over the past 12 years, “Deadwood” is the one I would most like to see again for the first time.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:06 AM | 1210 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   1. BDC Posted: August 01, 2018 at 08:32 AM (#5718918)
Somebody was mentioning Ken Jennings' Planet Funny. I got the book and started it but soon abandoned it. It has a huge amount of material, and it's funny at times, appropriately, but it has this headlong insistent hammering of its thesis (that the breadth and ubiquity of comedy is a new element to 21st century culture). It soon got tiresome.

And there were things in it that just didn't ring right, basic things. Jennings says that "writing a book or two of funny essays is now a virtual requirement of comedy legitimacy … This isn't a venerable trend in American publishing; it really only goes back to Jerry Seinfeld's 1993 bestseller SeinLanguage" (7-8). But Woody Allen's Without Feathers was a bestseller in 1975. I'm old enough to remember Alan King's books (Anybody Who Owns His Own Home Deserves It, Help! I'm a Prisoner in a Chinese Bakery), which were very popular in the 1960s. There are doubtless lots of other such books that I don't remember. That kind of thing.
   2. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 08:51 AM (#5718925)
The sessions run around 8 hours, and our mutual friends who play tend to be easily distracted. They recently did a cottage weekend session that was probably 20+ hours of play over a weekend. I, of course, didn't go, or I would have ended up drowning someone in the lake (possibly myself).

That sounds about what I generally experienced playing RPG.

For me my first experience with RPG was Star Wars first edition followed by Rifts first edition. From there occasionally someone would by another system and we'd play it for a week or so. Star Trek, Paranoia, TMNT, Heroes Unlimited, Nightlife, Robotech, Battletech (which I guess is not really a RPG), Shadowrun, and another one that I'm forgetting the name about alien races that are setup like Ancient Roman legions but have lasers and stuff. Eventually we got into AD&D 2nd edition and then a quick jump to Dragonlance from there.
   3. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 01, 2018 at 09:35 AM (#5718933)
Basic D&D, AD&D, Heroes Unlimited, Marvel, Paranoia, Toon...I played a lot of role playing games from about age 10 to 18, and it was a blast.
I even went to D&D summer day camp when I was 12, the same one Cory Doctorow describes going to here.

The same group of friends in high school also played a LOT of board games (and Magic The Gathering), so sitting around a table and "gaming" was pretty much a staple of my life for all of my teenage years.
My parents laugh when they see scenes from "Big Bang Theory" and it shows them main characters playing board games at a table, because they remember that exact same thing at their house almost every weekend.

When we all moved to different parts of the country as adults, we kept in touch through multiplayer online games. Diablo 2, MTG online games, and some other co-op games have been the main links.
This weekend a bunch of us are meeting up at a cottage for our annual "everyone comes from everywhere" gathering. Table top games for us to play as well as games for our kids to play. The following weekend (which I can't attend) will have an all-day D&D (latest edition) session involving two generations of gamers (but the first time they've played together). I look forward to hearing about it.
   4. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:09 AM (#5718950)
We have something similar in our family - my two younger brothers often organize events based around board gaming, usually with some Rock Band thrown in. The youngest's stag weekend last year was a country house weekend rental in the SW of England with board games broken up by walks in the country. Making the table most often: Spartacus, Dungeon Fighter (good drinking game), Battlestar Galactica, XCOM, and shorter blasts like Love Letter, Exploding Kittens, and so on. I've never been a big fan of the bluffing games, but they are easy to get to the table.

As we all live in different parts of the country, co-op online games have also been great. Helldivers was by far the most fun over the last few years. They keep trying to get me into PUBG, but I'm not feeling it. The co-op campaign mode of Wargame: Airland Battle (horrible name, fantastic game) was a staple for us for a long time, but it just got too easy after a while.

My wife and I are thinking of getting a Gloomhaven campaign going with a friend of hers in New York playing remotely. We love it, but 2 players isn't ideal for it, and her friend is desperate to get some value out of his copy.

EDIT: Weirdly, our parents kind of get the blame for this. They got us started with the Scotland Yard hidden movement game in our youth, and we added a few others when our youngest brother got old enough, particularly the Lord of the Rings co-op game. Luckily our CCG addiction waned; board games are so much better value for money.
   5. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5718960)
My friend had Scotland Yard and we played it a few times. He even had a Trump game that we played and the other one that he had that we played was Power Barons.

On my side we had Axis & Allies and Conquest of the Empire and then had Battletech. As a teenager we did have one marathon Battletech game in which we had a gamemaster who attempted to run a battle. He had some gigantic hexagon map that was something like 15 by 20 feet laid out in his basement. But like any RPG trying to handle 10 individual players on a mystery map with one gamemaster just becomes a slog. It took something like 5 hours just to set everything up and have 5 turns or so.

I think my first experience with a strategy board game was Risk when I was 6 or 7.. Pretty sure I cried at some point during the game.
   6. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5718969)
I feel a little stupid because the RPG with aliens and a Roman army setup is called. . . Legionnaire. Duh.
   7. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5718979)
Davo Ranks: The Movies of 2018

EXCELLENT
1. Sorry to Bother You

VERY GOOD
2. Happy End
3. Paddington 2

HAS MOMENTS
4. Hereditary
5. The Death of Stalin
6. A Futile and Stupid Gesture

PASSABLE (ABOVE REPLACEMENT)
7. Tik Tik Tik
8. Skyscraper
9. Annihilation
10. Peter Rabbit

BAD (BELOW REPLACEMENT)
11. Disobedience
12. Incredibles 2
13. Unfriended: Dark Web
14. Mom and Dad
15. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

UNWATCHABLE
16. Solo: A Star Wars Story
17. The 15:17 to Paris
   8. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5718980)
My youngest brother would spend a lot of time meticulously setting up Risk sessions, including many non-canonical pieces harvested from other board games, then sulk when my other brother didn't want to play. But Risk just isn't a very good game. Especially not when you have to try to remember how many dice a Ringwraith gets when attacking a fortress protected by an AT-ST.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5718982)
I bought an Instant Pot. It's just a user-friendly pressure cooker, but I've never owned a pressure cooker before, and it's pretty neat to be able to braise meat in less than an hour.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5718985)
Somebody was mentioning Ken Jennings' Planet Funny. I got the book and started it but soon abandoned it. It has a huge amount of material, and it's funny at times, appropriately, but it has this headlong insistent hammering of its thesis (that the breadth and ubiquity of comedy is a new element to 21st century culture).


How could you make this claim without authoritative knowledge of previous centuries?
   11. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5718991)
I bought an Instant Pot. It's just a user-friendly pressure cooker, but I've never owned a pressure cooker before, and it's pretty neat to be able to braise meat in less than an hour.

I've stayed away from getting a pressure cooker because a)I've generally not had space for a lot of stuff, b)never really needed to cook a lot of food, and c)I'm generally not a gadget man. But I've occasionally been curious about a pressure cooker. But as I said beforehand I was just cooking for myself and now I'm just up to 2 people.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: August 01, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5718995)
I'll throw a pork shoulder into the Instant Pot, unseasoned, just with water. It cooks to fork-tender in about 40 minutes. What do I do with it? Decide later. I'll cut it into thick pork steaks that I'll grill or broil, or mash it up for a taco filling, add sauces to make it into a poor man's pulled pork, throw it into a salad. Under normal circumstances all of these dishes are a pain in the butt, but with tender pork in the fridge, they all become quickies.
   13. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 11:14 AM (#5718999)
Sure but as of right now I'll buy the cryovacced pulled pork and end up throwing out 3/4 of it. I generally only eat a home cooked meal or more a day on the weekend. During workdays I eat at work so I don't have a lot of opportunities to eat leftovers or to prepare a bulk item one day and use it the next 3 or 4 days.
   14. BDC Posted: August 01, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5719001)
How could you make this claim without authoritative knowledge of previous centuries?


This becomes a real problem for Jennings. He'll make a point like "Jon Stewart got away with things that the Smothers Brothers didn't, hence the 21st century is really different." But Will Rogers and HL Mencken got away with things that the Smothers Brothers didn't. Jennings is no dunce; he traces comedy back to Aristophanes and often adds disclaimers about everything old being new again. But his thesis proves hard to sustain, the harder he tries to drive it.

EDIT: I'll add that I'm a big fan of Ken Jennings, especially his Twitter account. He gets points for trying.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: August 01, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5719020)
I was thinking about a book I read recently, Luc Sante's Low Life, about the street culture of downtown Manhattan in the late 19th century. There's a ton of detail about the theater of the day, an extremely important form of entertainment for the poor urban folks of the time, the illiterate immigrants and gang members and such. Almost zero knowledge of this scene has survived to the present day - there's a distant visual memory of vaudeville which was itself a descendant of the acts we're talking about. Some of the vaudevillian tropes that we still know were appropriations of older jokes that even viewers in the early 20th century were too young to recognize or understand. Anyway, this is just one form of art that undoubtedly had much broader appeal than, say, the works of Henry James, and it would seem to me impossible to make any definitive statements about the role of comedy in 19th century life if you didn't have a good understanding of it. And that's just one thing. There would have been others too.
   16. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5719051)
We've used the instant pot a few times since given it as a gift at Xmas. Pulled pork came out just great, mashed potatoes are done quickly and nicely, and we've done a few other recipes that came with the device.

The one downside is that the display is not as intuitive as you'd want. There were many times where we were left wondering "Has it started cooking?" when trying to determine how long it will take.
That said, I'm more likely to use it in the fall/winter/spring when my wife (a teacher) isn't home all day and we want cook something after we get home from work.
With her home most of the day with our daughter, she has time to cook at a slower pace.
   17. PreservedFish Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5719052)
New songs from three of my favorite acts:

Melody's Echo Chamber - earnest clean French psychedelia.

Kikagaku Moyo - Japanese band that on this track sounds like Cambodian Krautrock Black Sabbath or some ####.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - pleasant soft sexy psychedelia, kind of a modern Kiwi Shuggie Otis
   18. SandyRiver Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:18 PM (#5719063)
I'll throw a pork shoulder into the Instant Pot, unseasoned, just with water. It cooks to fork-tender in about 40 minutes. What do I do with it? Decide later. I'll cut it into thick pork steaks that I'll grill or broil, or mash it up for a taco filling, add sauces to make it into a poor man's pulled pork, throw it into a salad. Under normal circumstances all of these dishes are a pain in the butt, but with tender pork in the fridge, they all become quickies.

Broil, fine, but "fork-tender" and "grill" don't seem compatible unless one uses something atop the standard grate. My wife found an enameled steel grill plate with raised edges (for handling) and hundreds of 1/8" holes, and it allows the grill to do marvelous things to a salmon fillet. It would do the same for that tender pork steak.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5719070)
Broil, fine, but "fork-tender" and "grill" don't seem compatible unless one uses something atop the standard grate.


I've done it many times. You need to slice the meat while it's still cold out of the fridge, otherwise it will fall apart. That's kind of the only trick. You just need to be careful grilling. Get it nice and oily, flip it once, use a spatula instead of tongs.

You get both the crispiness and char of a grilled meat and the luscious softness of a braised meat. Great for hosting parties, because the grilling step is fast and effortless, no need to worry about doneness, or about the consistency of a sauce. I'll steam a whole brisket, chill overnight, slice it into steaks and then grill them up individually. It's not the same as a BBQ'd brisket but then again it's not meant to be.
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5719073)
My wife found an enameled steel grill plate with raised edges (for handling) and hundreds of 1/8" holes, and it allows the grill to do marvelous things to a salmon fillet. It would do the same for that tender pork steak.
I'm intrigued. I spent a minute on the Googles and didn't immediately find anything like that - do you know what brand it is and/or where I can buy it?
   21. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5719074)
The one downside is that the display is not as intuitive as you'd want.


Definitely true, the icons are kind of confusing. I made a little laminated cheat sheet of the icons (heating, cooking, keeping warm), along with the recipes we use almose every week: rice, hard-boiled eggs, etc.

Online recipes also ignore the fact that it takes ~10 minutes to come up to cooking temperature.

   22. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5719104)
And there were things in it that just didn't ring right, basic things. Jennings says that "writing a book or two of funny essays is now a virtual requirement of comedy legitimacy … This isn't a venerable trend in American publishing; it really only goes back to Jerry Seinfeld's 1993 bestseller SeinLanguage" (7-8). But Woody Allen's Without Feathers was a bestseller in 1975. I'm old enough to remember Alan King's books (Anybody Who Owns His Own Home Deserves It, Help! I'm a Prisoner in a Chinese Bakery), which were very popular in the 1960s. There are doubtless lots of other such books that I don't remember. That kind of thing.


I read such books voraciously as a kid -- basically everything the town, school & (one county over) county libraries had on their shelves, going back as far as Stephen Leacock, S.J. Perelman, James Thurber, etc. Laugh with Leacock, The Thurber Carnival & Russell Baker's Poor Russell's Almanac are huge favorites of mine even now.
   23. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5719106)
I'm intrigued. I spent a minute on the Googles and didn't immediately find anything like that - do you know what brand it is and/or where I can buy it?

I think I know what he is talking about. Let me see if I can find it.

Something like this. I believe. A grilling basket.

Home Depot sells grill pans.
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5719114)
Thanks - I have one of those standard grill baskets that looks like a cage with a handle, but this seems like it would work better, no?
   25. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:15 PM (#5719117)
Never used one but I would think so.
   26. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5719146)
Online recipes also ignore the fact that it takes ~10 minutes to come up to cooking temperature.


Oh man, yes. The first time we used it we thought something was broken because it didn't start the "cooking" portion of the steps for about 12 minutes. In that time, we stopped it, reopened it, checked the setting, and started again. So what should have taken ~40 minutes to cook ended up being over 60 minutes because of the confusion the first time.

Every time after that I had to remind myself that it takes time to get up to cooking temp.
   27. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5719165)
I caved in and bought . . . a fryer. The wife likes onion rings and I currently use the electric wok but that is cumbersome for deep frying. Historically I have not had much success with electric deep fryers but I'm trying out a Krups deep fryer that is supposed to be good so we'll see.
   28. BDC Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:06 PM (#5719197)
Get it nice and oily


Speaking of which, I roasted some broccoli à la Preserved Fish recently. I believe the recipe was "way more salt and oil than you think is appropriate, roast at 500°." Trouble was my oven only seems to go up to 446. Whatever, it was still excellent :) I threw it onto angel-hair pasta with some basic tomato sauce, that was a very nice meal.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5719201)
Just add some anchovies and you're golden.
   30. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5719202)
I believe the recipe was "way more salt and oil than you think is appropriate, roast at 500°." Trouble was my oven only seems to go up to 446.
Preserved Fish's oven goes to 11.
   31. SandyRiver Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5719208)
Something like this. I believe. A grilling basket.

Yup, except ours has round holes rather than elongated ones. Either should work fine.

"I've done it many times. You need to slice the meat while it's still cold out of the fridge, otherwise it will fall apart. That's kind of the only trick. You just need to be careful grilling. Get it nice and oily, flip it once, use a spatula instead of tongs."

I'd still be wary of significant portions falling (literally) thru the cracks, though the browning would help hold the steak together. Do you start with a boneless shoulder? Seems like getting a nice steak cut from a bone-in would be problematic - I'd probably go with a boneless loin, even though it's (IMO) less flavorful.
   32. Morty Causa Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5719209)
I read such books voraciously as a kid -- basically everything the town, school & (one county over) county libraries had on their shelves, going back as far as Stephen Leacock, S.J. Perelman, James Thurber, etc. Laugh with Leacock, The Thurber Carnival & Russell Baker's Poor Russell's Almanac are huge favorites of mine even now.

Me, too. Big fan of light and humorous reading in my teens and early-mid-twenties. Read all of Thurber (his Fables as well as his "casuals", nothing like My Life and Hard Times). Read Benchley and Perelman, as well as Clarence Day's great memoirs, all the New Yorker type comic writing, really. Women also excelled at this: Hildegarde Dolson's We All Shook the Family Tree, Jean Kerr, and of course Bombeck, who was quite good and inimitable. Branched out to Jean Shepherd in Playboy when he was at his best, and then bought the collections. Followed with Dave Barry. Much more.

Still search out the light humorous, the funny and satirical. Was ecstatic when I found Nick Hornby and Robert Plunkett (My Search for Warren Harding just nails the '80s zeitgeist). And of course there's America's supreme comic novelist, Peter De Vries, who I kept up with to the end. (Same with Kingsley Amis on the other side of the waters.)

Anybody now on their way to a 30-year career writing light-satirical newspaper columns like Buchwald and Grizzard did?
   33. PreservedFish Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:29 PM (#5719216)
Do you start with a boneless shoulder? Seems like getting a nice steak cut from a bone-in would be problematic - I'd probably go with a boneless loin, even though it's (IMO) less flavorful.


You are right. Ideally you would have a boneless shoulder that is cut and tied into a nice clean cylinder. The Italian cut "coppa," which is basically the best part of the Boston butt, is a natural boneless cylinder and is the best thing to use for this.

The loin is a perfect shape but it would be way too dry after braising/steaming. Same goes for, say, eye of round or bottom round: good shape, bad texture. I've also done this with a whole plate of short ribs, which works great, because you can still cut clean portions.
   34. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5719219)
But Woody Allen's Without Feathers was a bestseller in 1975. I'm old enough to remember Alan King's books (Anybody Who Owns His Own Home Deserves It, Help! I'm a Prisoner in a Chinese Bakery), which were very popular in the 1960s. There are doubtless lots of other such books that I don't remember. That kind of thing.
I remember a paperback from Erma Bombeck, "If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, Why Do I Always Get the Pits", or something like that. It was pretty much Seinfeld, 20 years earlier, from the perspective of a housewife. It wasn't her only book, I believe "Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank" was another. I seem to recall Joan Rivers doing similar material.
   35. Howie Menckel Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5719220)

so a guy I worked with about 25 years ago is in the news today after his arrest.

ok, stuff happens.

but this guy is charged with "trafficking in individuals, trafficking in minors, unlawful contact with a minor, having child pornography...."

holy crap!

(pardon me while I make sure that he isn't "LinkedIn" to me...)
   36. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:44 PM (#5719229)
Kikagaku Moyo - Japanese band that on this track sounds like Cambodian Krautrock Black Sabbath or some ####.


Whoa, I didn't know they had a new album coming soon (Oct 5).

(Edit: also, that song's great)
   37. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:51 PM (#5719236)
"Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank"


I've long wanted to write a horror novel set in suburbia called "The Grass is Always Greener Over the Burial Pit."

(Bombeck is another one I read faithfully growing up.)
   38. PreservedFish Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:55 PM (#5719239)
I do have a stripe of lush grass over my leach field. I'm not sure if it's the best or worst place to put a vegetable garden.
   39. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: August 01, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5719253)
I am intrigued by your descriptions of pressure cookers and wish to subscribe to your newsletters.

~5 years ago, solely because I had a hankering for a stew, I first bought a crock pot before going to the grocery store. Since then, I think I have gotten quite adept at utilizing it - in particular, learning the difference between meals that just go all in and cook for 6-8 hours vs those that need staggering.

However, I have now gotten annoyed at basically needing to devote a whole day to a meal - or at least, needing to get it started in the AM even if I can run errands, etc and need only be available for regular check-ins.

So.... tell me more about this wondrous device that sounds like it allows me to tenderize lesser quality cuts into the sort of fork-only endeavors I have discovered that I love...
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: August 01, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5719269)
I do have a stripe of lush grass over my leach field.

whoa - manscaping TMI violation there
   41. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 01, 2018 at 05:15 PM (#5719275)
Is Patrick McManus well-known? He wrote short humor pieces for hunting and outdoors magazines, mostly about his lack of prowess as an outdoorsman but also about his boyhood in Idaho. A very funny man, he recently died at 85.
Tom Bodett had a couple of funny books about fictional End of the Road, Alaska.
   42. dlf Posted: August 01, 2018 at 06:42 PM (#5719294)
I loved McManus as a kid and just re-read "A Fine and Pleasant Misery" a week or so ago. I didn't know he had passed away, but then again, I hadn't seen him in print since the 80s.
   43. Morty Causa Posted: August 01, 2018 at 07:25 PM (#5719303)
I like this guy. Tom Papa

First heard him on NPR and thought they were like written magazine essays. NPR on Friday evenings has celebrities reading short fiction, much of it light, and I thought it was something like that. I'm sure after awhile the sameness of Papa's stuff would get old and annoying, but I enjoy listening to a piece now and then.
   44. Zach Posted: August 01, 2018 at 07:54 PM (#5719314)
Sorry to hear that McManus died. I really liked him as a kid.
   45. Greg K Posted: August 01, 2018 at 08:31 PM (#5719334)
My youngest brother would spend a lot of time meticulously setting up Risk sessions, including many non-canonical pieces harvested from other board games, then sulk when my other brother didn't want to play. But Risk just isn't a very good game. Especially not when you have to try to remember how many dice a Ringwraith gets when attacking a fortress protected by an AT-ST.

My brother and I used to take the Diplomacy board and add various other pieces. Mostly economic ones. Various provinces produced a few different natural resources that nations would need. So, red risk pieces were iron, black were coal. You'd have to stockpile them for various reasons.

Otherwise the game played like Diplomacy, except that each nation had a few characters. A Head of State (King/Emperor/Tsar what have you); an heir (or heirs); and a Chief/Foreign Minister. These would all be played by our stuffed animals (who all had pre-existing personalities and character traits). So Foreign Ministers could cut secret deals independent from the sovereign, or heirs might collude with foreign powers to oust their dads.

Needless to say it's not a "game" that's really playable in the traditional sense. But it was a hell of a lot of fun.
   46. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 09:10 PM (#5719359)
For conquest of the empire we used a green. Wheel of Fortune letter board tab as a Uber fortified city piece.
   47. PreservedFish Posted: August 01, 2018 at 09:25 PM (#5719376)
So.... tell me more about this wondrous device that sounds like it allows me to tenderize lesser quality cuts into the sort of fork-only endeavors I have discovered that I love...


If you don't bother browning your meat or sauteeing your veggies first - if you just throw everything into the machine cold - it would probably take about an hour to make a stew, using tough meat that typically takes 2+ hours to cook. People also use them as rice cookers and yogurt makers and steamers, and more, but I haven't tried those options yet. It also has a slow cooker mode, so you can buy this and toss out the slow cooker, I suppose.
   48. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 01, 2018 at 09:57 PM (#5719405)
I received an Instant Pot for Christmas. I studied it pretty hard, but ultimately took it back. The ladies at Sur La Table were fighting over it when they saw I was returning it. We cook about 5 meals a week at home, I just wouldn't use it much and have enough gadgets. I love my Anova sous vide stick for ex.
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:30 PM (#5719436)
Basic D&D, AD&D, Heroes Unlimited, Marvel, Paranoia, Toon...I played a lot of role playing games from about age 10 to 18, and it was a blast.
I even went to D&D summer day camp when I was 12, the same one Cory Doctorow describes going to here.

The same group of friends in high school also played a LOT of board games (and Magic The Gathering), so sitting around a table and "gaming" was pretty much a staple of my life for all of my teenage years.
My parents laugh when they see scenes from "Big Bang Theory" and it shows them main characters playing board games at a table, because they remember that exact same thing at their house almost every weekend.

When we all moved to different parts of the country as adults, we kept in touch through multiplayer online games. Diablo 2, MTG online games, and some other co-op games have been the main links.
This weekend a bunch of us are meeting up at a cottage for our annual "everyone comes from everywhere" gathering. Table top games for us to play as well as games for our kids to play. The following weekend (which I can't attend) will have an all-day D&D (latest edition) session involving two generations of gamers (but the first time they've played together). I look forward to hearing about it.


Grew up with D&D played it for about a decade then went to the Marines and when I came back people were playing Magic the Gathering (while in the Marines I converted a lot of people to D&D---or others....I liked Talislanta so that became our go to game for a while there, but at times we would go back to D&D and we would gather people who were not thought of as gamers... I had a few "jocks" join our gaming group and thoroughly love the game. ) I had to learn Magic the Gathering at about two years behind the pack so it never really became a thing for me like it did for my gamer group before I joined. I've played maybe 50 or so games of Magic, in comparison to most of my group who were probably in the 200 or so range, and my skill and knowledge never really caught up to theirs(and it just wasn't nearly as fun...but I was almost always the GM/DM so it was a bit different role for me anyway)


We keep talking about re-starting our D&D group up (I have five people willing to play if I DM right now, but it's a matter of finding time to create)

I like to intentionally piss off a guy I work with who is a hard core video gamer, and tells me he plays RPG's and I literally laugh in his face and say that it's impossible with today's technology to make a true role-playing game. RPG is sometimes the players trying their hardest to break the game and come up with an option that the GM didn't imagine and seeing it play out, a computer can't do that. (Seriously, when a rpg has a semi-random encounter in which a group of pc's run into a group of trolls guarding a bridge, and demanding a toll, and the players decide to use subdue to capture the trolls and demand that they keep doing what they are doing (running a troll/toll bridge) and giving the group 70%, then computers will have caught up with real rpg's until then, rpg's on computers is about leveling and min/maxing)
   50. cardsfanboy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:31 PM (#5719437)
My youngest brother would spend a lot of time meticulously setting up Risk sessions, including many non-canonical pieces harvested from other board games, then sulk when my other brother didn't want to play. But Risk just isn't a very good game. Especially not when you have to try to remember how many dice a Ringwraith gets when attacking a fortress protected by an AT-ST.


I hate risk, and yes it's just not a good game.
   51. cardsfanboy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:35 PM (#5719443)
I bought an Instant Pot. It's just a user-friendly pressure cooker, but I've never owned a pressure cooker before, and it's pretty neat to be able to braise meat in less than an hour.


we bought one, made about a half dozen meals in it, and I just don't really see the appeal. I get what it does, but it really doesn't "appeal" to me. Heck I'm making like 3 sides, I don't need the food done that fast. I'll use it for a quick and lazy rib meal, but not really sure what it offers beyond that. Heck I'm using the crockpot setting for stew today instead of the pressure cooker option.
   52. cardsfanboy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:40 PM (#5719447)
I am intrigued by your descriptions of pressure cookers and wish to subscribe to your newsletters.


Instant pot was something like the gear of the year for 2016 or something like that in a few websites. It's been around for a while, but a few years ago people started pushing quality recipes out there and it's popularity soared...

As others have mentioned it, it has a learning curve (something I'm still not comfortable with...and of course on mine I broke it (my fault) on the first day.... some notch on the steam release catch broke off (or something like that...basically mine leaks hot fluid on my counter... I just have a towel under it to catch it)
   53. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: August 02, 2018 at 03:46 AM (#5719472)
RPG is sometimes the players trying their hardest to break the game and come up with an option that the GM didn't imagine and seeing it play out


The closest I've seen to this in computer gaming is the Divinity: Original Sin series. Naturally, you still have the limitations of the programming, but the game is still a pretty fun sandbox if you explore your options fully. Playing co-op with my wife, her preferred manner of speeding up the early-game was to sneak into an NPC's house, move their furniture around to block their view, then steal the paintings off their walls to fund some decent equipment. (Alternatively, my character could distract them by engaging in conversation, but I was trying to play stupid- that is, lawful.)

A number of puzzles or combat challenges in the game can be circumvented using a combination of teleportation, invisibility, talking to animals, and a well-placed charm, grenade, or distraction, in addition to the well-trodden paths of talking NPCs around to your way of thinking. In the last case, an elegant rock-paper-scissors game allows for some luck. I'm pretty sure the developers didn't envisage a lot of the solutions out there.
   54. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: August 02, 2018 at 03:52 AM (#5719473)
My brother and I used to take the Diplomacy board and add various other pieces. Mostly economic ones. Various provinces produced a few different natural resources that nations would need. So, red risk pieces were iron, black were coal. You'd have to stockpile them for various reasons.

Otherwise the game played like Diplomacy, except that each nation had a few characters. A Head of State (King/Emperor/Tsar what have you); an heir (or heirs); and a Chief/Foreign Minister. These would all be played by our stuffed animals (who all had pre-existing personalities and character traits). So Foreign Ministers could cut secret deals independent from the sovereign, or heirs might collude with foreign powers to oust their dads.

Needless to say it's not a "game" that's really playable in the traditional sense. But it was a hell of a lot of fun.


Sounds just a little bit like Scythe, which has one of the weirdest learning curves I've ever seen. We played with 5, I think, and the set-up, rules, and first turn took over an hour. The next 15 turns took like 3 minutes each. Clever design, great ambience, minimal actual effort to play, but everyone's got to be bought in or else that first hour is miserable.
   55. SandyRiver Posted: August 02, 2018 at 08:13 AM (#5719492)
Is Patrick McManus well-known? He wrote short humor pieces for hunting and outdoors magazines, mostly about his lack of prowess as an outdoorsman but also about his boyhood in Idaho. A very funny man, he recently died at 85.

Years ago I'd read McManus stories that were included in issues of Field & Stream, but had never read one of his books until I recently picked up a couple at a used book sale. Just finished "They Shoot Canoes, Don't They?" Plenty of hyperbole, but done well, especially his "friends" like Rancid Crabtree.
   56. PreservedFish Posted: August 02, 2018 at 08:53 AM (#5719502)
I have never played any of these modern board games, not Settlers of Catan or anything of the sort. Can someone briefly explain the appeal? What do they do that's better than the games I played as a kid?
   57. BDC Posted: August 02, 2018 at 09:22 AM (#5719515)
Latest atomic-bomb movie: Five (1951). This is a real homegrown American art film, portentous, full of poetic touches. Five people survive nuclear annihilation and gather at a house on the Southern California shoreline. One holds an MA in English Lit. Two are bank employees (an elderly white man and a younger black man). One is a pregnant woman. One is a sinister guy with an unplaceable foreign accent who claims to have just climbed Mount Everest.

They try the Swiss-Family-Robinson thing for a bit, but tensions develop because the Everest guy is a terrible racist whose dream is to go down to LA and loot the place. Things go from bad to worse, and despite the birth of a sixth cast member halfway through, the population keeps dropping. You can find the movie pretty easily if you want to know what happens in the end.

The picture actually has a memorable visual style despite the high-falutin dialogue and the rather washed-out characters. (Actually all the characters seem stunned into insensibility most of the time, which is exactly how I would react to nuclear destruction, but it doesn't make for a lively movie.) Made for a budget of $75,000, it reminded me a little of Carnival of Souls, the somewhat later inadvertent cult classic made on a nothing budget.

I was most intrigued by the making-of story that I pieced together from Internet sites. The picture was made almost single-handedly by Arch Oboler. Now forgotten except by buffs, Oboler was a big name in radio, producing all kinds of SF, horror, and comedy plays (often mixing those genres). He made a fortune and got Frank Lloyd Wright to build him a house on a half-section property outside Malibu – which he used as the location for Five. Having minimal film experience, he got a class of students from the USC film school to shoot the picture for him. The main cast members (William Phipps, Susan Douglas, James Anderson, Charles Lampkin) were unknowns.

And here's the weird-and-wonderful aspect: all four main actors in the film went on to have extremely long and prolific careers, particularly in television. Typically if you click on the IMDb pages of people involved in these low-budget efforts from long ago, their careers trail off after a "B" picture or two. But all these people, though never stars, had terrific runs and made excellent livings.

Two of the film students involved, Sid Lubow and Ed Spiegel, also went on to work for many decades on tons of other projects. Both won Emmy awards for film editing.

And Arch Oboler? He made Bwana Devil, the first 3-D feature film, and other offbeat low-budget stuff. He'd made his bankroll and had no ambitions to become a big name in Hollywood. He stayed in the Wright house; he lost a son to an accident on the property; he lived to be nearly 80. Quite a story.
   58. BDC Posted: August 02, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5719519)
BTW, we are watching A-bomb movies because La Dernière is going to teach a course on the literature of the Bomb this fall. A few days ago:

LA DERNIERE: I suppose Einstein was right when he said that mankind has never invented anything without going on to use it.

BDC: Well, except the Presto Fry Baby.
   59. McCoy Posted: August 02, 2018 at 09:31 AM (#5719526)
I think you're younger than me so I don't know if it is a direct comparison but in terms of games that were created in the 70's and 80's vs what is now being played I would say the complexity and when I say that I'm not talking about setup. The games of my youth were simple and straight forward. You basically had one way to win and replayibility often was low in terms of new strategies or seeing things unfold differently. The best example of what I mean is Axis and Allies. Once you've understood the rules and played it a bit or googled strategy online it almost always unfolds the same way. You will generally know if the Axis has a shot at winning after Germany goes in the first round and you'll definitely know if they'll lose after Japan goes. Pretty much everything is decided in the first round and there are really only 1 or 2 options a player can do in the first round if they want to win.

I think a lot of the games now are social games intended for interaction among numerous people. Spend a few hours together, have a good time, and at the end somebody might win.
   60. PreservedFish Posted: August 02, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5719534)
I mean, I've played Risk and Monopoly and such.
   61. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 02, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5719537)
Pop culture: Did everyone know the chubby girl on "This Is Us" is the daughter of Todd Zeile??
   62. Lassus Posted: August 02, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5719549)
BTW, we are watching A-bomb movies because La Dernière is going to teach a course on the literature of the Bomb this fall.

Is Canticle for Leibowitz making the initial cut so far?
   63. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 02, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5719571)
Grew up with D&D played it for about a decade then went to the Marines
How often do you think this sentence has ever been written?
   64. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: August 02, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5719584)
PF, to build on what McCoy was saying, games like Sorry or Clue or even Monopoly are fairly straightforward and (for lack of a better word) one dimensional. You run around the board and accomplish a set task (advance your pieces, visit rooms for clues, collect money). Catan is a pretty simple example of the "new era" of games, and it has five resources to keep track of, and there's different ways to win (combination of buildings, roads, card resources) and on top of that is the "social" aspect of how you trade with your fellow players, what styles of play they generally use, how the board for that particular game is laid out (the board is not static; you can arrange twenty or so hexes in all different configurations, and other factors make for essentially infinite layouts).

There's a bit more of a learning curve with the new school, and it can be a little annoying when there's a disparity in where players fall on the taking-the-game-seriously continuum. Someone who's experienced will generally beat a bunch of newbies the first couple times they play, but really it's not that hard to pick up enough basics to be competitive fairly soon, assuming that's your goal (as opposed to "just" collective drinking).
   65. The Good Face Posted: August 02, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5719593)
Grew up with D&D played it for about a decade then went to the Marines

How often do you think this sentence has ever been written?


Not surprising at all. The RPG/computer gaming community has a ton of active and former military personnel.
   66. Lassus Posted: August 02, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5719597)
Yeah, while I understand where the initial sentiment is coming from, it doesn't seem that unusual (that the opposite is true).
   67. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 02, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5719598)
Huh. I stand corrected and apologize for relying on stereotypes for the joke.
   68. BDC Posted: August 02, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5719621)
Is Canticle for Leibowitz making the initial cut so far?


No – she is less interested in post-apocalyptic stories than in stories about the bomb itself, its development, and nuclear paranoia generally (eg, Tim O'Brien's novel The Nuclear Age, or Don DeLillo's End Zone).
   69. aberg Posted: August 02, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5719623)
Not surprising at all. The RPG/computer gaming community has a ton of active and former military personnel.


I recently listened to a podcast about a mob hitman who turned state's witness and became a dungeon master to fill the time previously occupied by whacking guys.
   70. SandyRiver Posted: August 02, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5719694)
I recently read "The General and the Genius: Groves and Oppenheimer -- the Unlikely Partnership That Built the Atom Bomb", published in 2015, so one of the more recent accounts. It's also the first one I've read, so my impressions would be those of a noob. Though the book focuses on those two men, it encompasses the whole project from conception to aftermath, with some interesting (and related) side trails. I found it extremely fascinating, but have no idea how it stacks up against the scads of other books on the subject.
   71. Zach Posted: August 02, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5719711)
BDC: Thanks for the recommendation. I'd be very interested in seeing the final reading/viewing list, or any gems you might pick up along the way.
   72. Zach Posted: August 02, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5719717)
stories about the bomb itself, its development, and nuclear paranoia generally

Two major characters who don't get as much attention are EO Lawrence and John Von Neumann.

Recent bio of Lawrence:
https://www.amazon.com/Big-Science-Lawrence-Invention-Military-Industrial-ebook/dp/B00P434FUE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1533232509&sr=8-3&keywords=big+science

Von Neumann:
https://www.amazon.com/John-von-Neumann-Scientific-Deterrence-ebook/dp/B01H4IREWC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1533232535&sr=1-1&keywords=john+von+neumann

Neumann also had a lot to do with the RAND corporation and early deterrence strategy, so he's definitely one to check out.
   73. BDC Posted: August 02, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5719722)
Sandy, the great book on the subject is still Richard Rhodes' Making of the Atomic Bomb (with sequel Making of the Hydrogen Bomb). But the newer book on Groves and Oppenheimer may draw on archives Rhodes hadn't seen. Thanks!

Thanks too, Zach, for those links. I will pass them along. We have to post syllabuses publicly, so I will try to remember to link to hers when it's available.
   74. OsunaSakata Posted: August 02, 2018 at 02:30 PM (#5719756)
My daughter plays D&D, previously on Skype, now on Discord. This keeps the friends she knew in middle school and high school in touch while they have scattered across the country. Playing D&D remotely would have sounded so cool when I was a kid. She GMed her first game last weekend in our hotel room while at a fan convention.

Preserved Fish-There was an article a few years back about the Green Bay Packers getting hooked on Settlers of Catan.
   75. PreservedFish Posted: August 02, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5719760)
I've acquired a copy of Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan, and will begin it tonight, not without trepidation. I wonder how many potential readers have subconsciously turned away because of the title?
   76. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: August 02, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5719761)
No – she is less interested in post-apocalyptic stories than in stories about the bomb itself, its development, and nuclear paranoia generally (eg, Tim O'Brien's novel The Nuclear Age, or Don DeLillo's End Zone).


Presumably she's aware of Cleve Cartmill & "Deadline." The Wikipedia link for which won't work as a hotlink, for some reason -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadline_(science_fiction_story).
   77. PreservedFish Posted: August 02, 2018 at 02:44 PM (#5719768)
My daughter plays D&D, previously on Skype, now on Discord.


It's so much easier to be a nerd today! I remember trying to get a game going on Prodigy when I was like 13.
   78. McCoy Posted: August 02, 2018 at 02:51 PM (#5719778)
I remember the lounge Neverwinter Nights on AOL and I wrote my first RPG sourcebook and uploaded it to AOL. For whatever reason it became part of some bundle to text files you could buy and you can still find it online in various places.

Before that it was the dial up a bulletin board stuff. Some of it was RPG lite where you move an o around an arena and battle other creatures for XP and goodies. Then Doom came along and everyone was doing first person shooters. Our little area of gamers went from playing RPG daily/nightly to playing M:TG and FPS daily and nightly and some of us also went into LARP with Vampire.

AS to being easier. I would say roleplaying is a hell of a lot easier when you're 12 or 15 or 17 and you have no real responsibilities, you have a large population of the same age concentrated in a small area (school), and you're all visiting the same shop/resources.
   79. PreservedFish Posted: August 02, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5719786)
Well, sure, but think about all the kids that don't have friends that want to play D&D or whatever. You used to be #### out of luck, now there's a whole world just a click away.
   80. Lassus Posted: August 02, 2018 at 03:05 PM (#5719794)
I remember trying to get a game going on Prodigy when I was like 13.

My entire D&D narrative is the fact that I had the game and couldn't get enough people interested in playing because it was 1982 and I lived in the middle of ass-nowhere. By the time I ran into actual people in college, I was a comic-book but not game nerd and that was that. I have never actually played D&D.

EDIT: PF feels my old pain.
   81. McCoy Posted: August 02, 2018 at 03:06 PM (#5719796)
Do theses kids live in Brewster, FL? I would think it would be almost impossible for a child/teenager to not find people to role play with. Hell, I knew a home school shut in that still was able to role play with us back in the day. Also back then virtually every town had a comic book shop that sold RPG items. The smaller ones would host a weekly game and the bigger ones would actually host them nightly. It seems virtually all the old comic book shops have either closed or morphed into M:TG shops with a huge chunk of their floor space dedicated to playing games. Or at least it looks that way in the Atlanta area where all the shops that I've seen do this.

Edit: Yeah, 1982 is tougher than 1992.
   82. PreservedFish Posted: August 02, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5719804)
I don't know. Some places are different. I went to a summer camp that had a bunch of RPG nerds, much bigger nerds than me. Easy to find a game, although the summer was practically over by the time you had decided on the right name for your Paladin. But at my (small) middle school I was the only kid I knew that was remotely interested. I had two very good friends with similar levels of interest to myself, but that wasn't enough to get anything real started, especially when it meant that one of us would have to incompetently DM. One had an older brother that we could glean a little bit from, but he was too old to bother actually playing with us. So that's my D&D career - I made my parents buy me a bunch of books, didn't play a single satisfying game, and dropped it by the time I was 15.

I also think that the whole landscape has changed dramatically. I read LoTR a couple times before I was 18, and I recall that it had something of a cult appeal then, but after the movies blew up this high fantasy stuff has gotten pretty mainstream.
   83. PreservedFish Posted: August 02, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5719807)
It could be that NYC is not an ideal place for a kid to get into this sort of stuff. I'm very familiar with the archetypal little game shop with a card table in the back, some guy hunched over painting his tiny pewter goblin, but in NYC I'd go shop somewhere like the large and legendary and intimidating Forbidden Planet, not the right place to find a gentle older nerd to take you under his wing.
   84. McCoy Posted: August 02, 2018 at 03:23 PM (#5719814)
That sounds a little creepy
   85. PreservedFish Posted: August 02, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5719818)
Joey, have you ever been in an Orcish dungeon?
   86. McCoy Posted: August 02, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5719819)
My first exposure to RPG was at soccer camp when I was in middle school. My roommate was into some game that featured 6 by 8 cards with characters and their attributes on them and you had some battle based on the cards. Tried to play but couldn't really follow along. My dad would occasionally take me to the local comic book shop which had a sizable selection of RPG stuff but it wasn't until freshman year that I stumbled upon RPG. Since it was high school our club had everyone from Seniors down to freshman in it and the high school grads would tend to show up and play despite moving on to college. Between high school and the local game shops there was probably a solid 30 to 40 people that were into various RPG and board games. We'd have blood bowl tournaments, Battletech tournaments, FPS events, and the occasional AD&D quest at the shop. I think on Friday nights they did Vampire LARP, which got crazy high participation numbers. I think drove by to drop something off to my friend one day and there was like 50 people dressed up in Victorian goth outfits.
   87. Lassus Posted: August 02, 2018 at 03:43 PM (#5719828)
Here's something else awful about the old days (with a nod to Slim Charles) and small places and this whole RPG/comic-book/nerd deal. I worked in a comic book store in Utica on and off from 1985-1988. Over that three-year period the total number of young women who came into the store was somewhere around 1, and I'd be happy to take the under on that if there was money involved.
   88. PreservedFish Posted: August 02, 2018 at 04:01 PM (#5719836)
Did you paint tiny metallic fantasy creatures? Do people still do that?
   89. BDC Posted: August 02, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5719839)
I played SPI wargames in the '70s, also Risk, Kingmaker, chess, backgammon, cards. I liked Tolkien, and you would think I was a natural for D&D – I certainly met a lot of people who played, and they explained the game to me, sometimes in great detail :) Somehow it never took. I don't have any disdain for RPGs but have never had much curiosity about them either.

EDIT: Tiny metallic fantasy creatures: my son was into that for a while, when he was in junior high in New York in the 2000s. He did go to Forbidden Planet sometimes, but preferred Games Workshop on 8th Street.
   90. SandyRiver Posted: August 02, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5719846)
I also think that the whole landscape has changed dramatically. I read LoTR a couple times before I was 18, and I recall that it had something of a cult appeal then, but after the movies blew up this high fantasy stuff has gotten pretty mainstream.

My impression was that D&D grew directly out of that "cult." It was a delayed reaction, as the paperback version (official one, that is) came across the pond in the early 60s, IIRC. I read the books in 64-65, starting with Fellowship, decided to learn some back story with Hobbit, then read the other two. I pick up the whole series every 3-4 years, always find something new and interesting. Never had any interest in D&D, but my son was quite active in the 1980s.
   91. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: August 02, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5719889)
Anyone ever play Squad Leader or Cross of Iron? I seem to remember spending days doing that in high school. There was a scenario where the Finns kicked the crap out of the Russians. The Romanians were always fodder. I'm not sure whatever happened to all those cardboard squares...
   92. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 02, 2018 at 05:27 PM (#5719900)
Did you paint tiny metallic fantasy creatures? Do people still do that?


I'm not sure if these are metallic or another medium, but this was a category at a model show earlier this year.
   93. chisoxcollector Posted: August 02, 2018 at 05:30 PM (#5719903)
Davo Ranks: The Movies of 2018

EXCELLENT
1. Sorry to Bother You

VERY GOOD
2. Happy End
3. Paddington 2

HAS MOMENTS
4. Hereditary
5. The Death of Stalin
6. A Futile and Stupid Gesture

PASSABLE (ABOVE REPLACEMENT)
7. Tik Tik Tik
8. Skyscraper
9. Annihilation
10. Peter Rabbit

BAD (BELOW REPLACEMENT)
11. Disobedience
12. Incredibles 2
13. Unfriended: Dark Web
14. Mom and Dad
15. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

UNWATCHABLE
16. Solo: A Star Wars Story
17. The 15:17 to Paris


I’ll bite. Still lots to catch up with for me, and my list skews much more mainstream.

EXCELLENT
1. Infinity War (favorite Marvel movie)
2. Ready Player One (it has flaws, but it’s so much fun)
3. Mission Impossible: Fallout (best MI movie)
4. Annihilation
5. Hereditary

VERY GOOD
6. Black Panther
7. A Quiet Place
8. Paddington 2 (these movies are just plain delightful)
9. Won’t You Be My Neighbor

HAS MOMENTS (this would be my “Good” tier)
10. Ant-Man and the Wasp
11. Incredibles 2

PASSABLE (ABOVE REPLACEMENT)
12. Ocean’s 8
13. Sicario: Day of the Soldado
14. Adrift
15. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
16. Upgrade
17. Red Sparrow
18. Deadpool 2
19. Game Night
20. Before I Wake
21. The First Purge
22. The Polka King
23. Tomb Raider
24. A Futile and Stupid Gesture

BAD (BELOW REPLACEMENT)
25. Solo
26. Pacific Rim: Uprising
27. Hurricane Heist
28. Death Wish
29. The Strangers: Prey at Night
30. Anon
31. Winchester
32. A Wrinkle in Time
33. Insidious: The Last Key

UNWATCHABLE
None Yet!
   94. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2018 at 05:31 PM (#5719904)
Grew up with D&D played it for about a decade then went to the Marines

How often do you think this sentence has ever been written?


I will state that I was a helicopter mechanic, and was probably working with people on the 'higher' level of intelligence that you get in the Marines, but even at that level, the number of guys who could be reasonably called "high school nerds/geeks/dorks" was pretty small. (heck I was a hybrid nerd/jock/burnout type of guy, had the longest hair in my high school, played a lot of sports(Baseball/Soccer/Cross Country with school and other organized teams) and was just the quiet shy guy with good grades in school who never said more than 50 words at school in any given week) but still I never had a hard time finding a group of guys to play D&D with. Generally though it was most fun finding a guy who was the high school jock or mr super prep, who never played role playing games and introducing them to the stuff and watching them get hooked on it.

If you looked though, you could usually find one or two guys with every squadron that seemed to buck the stereotype... My best friend in the Marines was a starting linebacker for his high school football team, was a gear head, and yet had a group he grew up playing D&D with. Still we are talking about among a group of 250 people or so having difficulty finding a half dozen or so that had geeky enough interests to play, that you got along with, was not always easy.
   95. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 02, 2018 at 05:32 PM (#5719906)

No – she is less interested in post-apocalyptic stories than in stories about the bomb itself, its development, and nuclear paranoia generally (eg, Tim O'Brien's novel The Nuclear Age, or Don DeLillo's End Zone).


The Wizards of Armeggedon
   96. chisoxcollector Posted: August 02, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5719907)
Speaking of movies, I subjected myself to a Saw marathon this past weekend. All 8 Saw movies. There isn’t a whole lot there after the surprisingly decent first movie. I hope to never have to watch Costas Mandylor ever again.
   97. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2018 at 05:42 PM (#5719912)
I don't know. Some places are different. I went to a summer camp that had a bunch of RPG nerds, much bigger nerds than me. Easy to find a game, although the summer was practically over by the time you had decided on the right name for your Paladin. But at my (small) middle school I was the only kid I knew that was remotely interested. I had two very good friends with similar levels of interest to myself, but that wasn't enough to get anything real started, especially when it meant that one of us would have to incompetently DM. One had an older brother that we could glean a little bit from, but he was too old to bother actually playing with us. So that's my D&D career - I made my parents buy me a bunch of books, didn't play a single satisfying game, and dropped it by the time I was 15.

I also think that the whole landscape has changed dramatically. I read LoTR a couple times before I was 18, and I recall that it had something of a cult appeal then, but after the movies blew up this high fantasy stuff has gotten pretty mainstream.


I've never had a problem eventually finding a group to play with, if I had the time and enough friends. You don't really need to be a geek or have nerdy passions to play. Generally if I was in the mood to game and had at least three friends around, even if none of them have ever played, it was pretty easy to get them to go. Generally the conversations go like this.

me: Do you guys want to play a role playing game...it's like a board game but without any rules... more or less.
Them: you mean one of those games where the kids got killed in the cave.
Me: no, that is an urban legend and not what role playing games are all about.
Them:I don't know, I don't want to be summoning the devil or anything.
Me: That's not at all what it is, it's a game of the imagination and seeing what happens when you try to do something.
Me: That isn't what it's about, I guarantee you, that you have played role playing games already in your life and just didn't know it. Here let me show you.
Me: You just won the lottery, after taxes you have 100million dollars, what do you do?
Them: huh?
Me: Just go along, you now have 100 million dollars, what is the first thing you do?
Them: Hookers and blow..... :) or something, something something. etc. .

Me:.... You just played a roleplaying game.
Me:Now would you like to play a roleplaying game where you imagine being a Knight in the middle ages where dragons are real? Or ...etc.etc. etc.

Everyone who has ever fantasized about anything has role played, and once you explain that to them, they usually have no problem joining with you for a game. We sometimes will grab a six pack, some food and go somewhere to play, and it's basically just a bunch of friends hanging around and pretending to be somewhere else.
   98. Hysterical & Useless Posted: August 02, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5719915)
this is just one form of art that undoubtedly had much broader appeal than, say, the works of Henry James,


Low bar that.

Virginia Woolf's assessment of James is still the best IMHO: "He chews more than he can bite off."
   99. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2018 at 05:48 PM (#5719920)
Did you paint tiny metallic fantasy creatures? Do people still do that?


Yes. Although many of the miniatures are no longer lead and many are pre-painted, and plastic figures are plentiful, but people still have passion to do their own miniatures, and with 3D printing getting better and better, it's probable that the hobby will get a bit stronger since you can now make figures exactly in the mold you want instead of trying to turn the generic "Strongheart" D&D paladin and convert him to your knight.
   100. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5719923)
Low bar that.

Virginia Woolf's assessment of James is still the best IMHO: "He chews more than he can bite off."


The only thing I ever liked about Henry James was that in high school, they divided us into groups of four, and gave us a book to make a book report on as a team, and I got put into a group with the hottest girl in my school, and I was the only one of the four that could understand the book(Turn of the Screw) so I got some compliments from her, but of course that was about the only good thing with Henry James writing that I can imagine happening to anyone forced to read his crap.
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