Monthly Archives: September 2014

Galactic LootCrate!

Got my second LootCrate!  What was inside?


All of this!


A Funko Mystery Mini of Captain Malcolm Renyolds…

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Which goes perfectly with the interior box art..


I smell tribble, er, trouble.  I mean… oh, what the heck.




The magnet would be a sweet game…


ReAction figures are cool, but I never saw Alien.  Will have to rectify.


The pin…


The other side of this has a code for three digital comics!


If I find myself in the ‘verse, at least I’ll be well-heeled.


Jabba seems to have lost something…


and the rest…

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Things I Want To See Come Back

I’m still figuring out how to balance my descriptions of Quarroc with a narrator guiding the reader through the city.  In the meantime…

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the return of Surge soda on Amazon.  Big whoop, Coca-Cola’s version of Mountain Dew is back.  Here is what should REALLY come back:

1.  Pepsi Blue-I drank this almost exclusively in high school and college.  I still don’t get why it wasn’t more popular.  Guess I have to settle for Mountain Dew Voltage.

2.  Crystal Pepsi-I honestly don’t remember this one, but it is remembered so fondly that I want to find out what the fuss was about.

3.  Mountain Dew Pitch Black-First version ONLY.  Pitch Black II can remain in whatever grave PepsiCo mercifully laid it to rest in.  Pitch Black I could become a Halloween tradition, like General Mill’s Monster Cereals.  Speaking of which…

4.  The Return of Yummy Mummy-Listen, I’m a sucker for oranges and cream/vanilla.  I’m a fan of the Monster Cereals.  This is where the two meet.  ‘Nuff said, just add it to the annual lineup.

What else would you add?  Put it in the comments!

Short Stories From Quarroc: The First Door Part Two

Guilty!  The nerve of the court!  Tok was fuming.  How dare they subvert the will of Khaali!  They call that a jury of his peers?  There were women on that jury.  Women!  Like they have any authority to judge a man.  And statutory rape?  The unmitigated gall!  Those girls were his wives by divine right!  He only demanded of them their duties as outlined in the K’haal.

Tok was taken to what could only be described as a gilded cage.  Ornate, but functional bars slammed shut behind him.  What was this?  Surely this wasn’t the death row he was promised.  Was this Khaali’s reward for his faithfulness, did the king secretly protect the old ways, or was it a trap?  He did not know.  The cell was a large room, a spacious communal area for the prisoners.  Ornate furnishings were everywhere.  Silks, fine pillows, decorative rugs, plush mattresses, and other wonders too numerous to mention.  Surely, not all of the king’s prisoners received such treatment.  There was an oversized hookah in the middle area of the room.  Tok took one of the reeds in hand, eyeing it suspiciously.  Across from him was a short, fat little man who was furiously puffing away in a futile attempt to calm his nerves.  As the timid creature suffered no ill effects aside from his nerves, Tok indulged him self in vapor and smoke.  The stranger before him was garishly dressed in enough linen to make a tent.  His large, white beard hid his chin and neck.  A ridiculous, handlebar moustache concealed his mouth.  His hair, like his beard, was as white as limestone. 
Various prisoners luxuriated about the cell, including a woman bathing in a pool.  The square pool was set into the floor, with four sets of stairs going off the cardinal direction points.  This made the overall shape of the floor indentation a cross.  The woman was too close to Tok’s own age to be of any interest to him.  Her dark hair framed an intense expression, amplified by thick eyebrows.  She was possibly calculating her options at any given moment.
At one side of the room stood a faded blue door.  Many tried the knob, to find it locked. The weathered appearance of the door was deceptive, none could break it. 
The food was absolutely indulgent.  Fowl, fruits, beef, vegetables, and other items were prepared as though for the king.  Seconds were readily available.  Various beverages were available to slake one’s thirst.
Tok spent a few days in such luxury.  Then the blue door opened.  Two guards entered, followed by a short man in gray.  There were no frills of any kind on his garments, save for a large key shape rendered in black down the front of his closed jacket.  The short man summoned Tok.  Cautiously Tok arose and followed him through the blue door.  What was going on now?
The corridors were bare walls and dirt floors twisting on and on.  Soon, they entered a small chamber with three doors.  The guards each stood before a door, while the small man unlocked the remaining door.  “This way.”, stated the man in the key jacket.  The guards followed, closing the door behind them.  A small area was cut into the wall of the passage.  It contained a bench, carved from the same wall.  “Disrobe.”  Tok looked at the fit, little man who only came to his chin.  Then he looked at the two large and burly armed men behind the little one.  Tok was fuming, but he saw that he had no choice in the matter.  He certainly wasn’t going to give those goons the pleasure of manhandling him.  He stripped down until there was nothing left.  Suddenly, his hands were roughly bound behind him and a black sack slipped over his head.
The short man’s voice said, “The guards will guide you from here.”
Tok was pushed forward roughly.  He stumbled blindly through winding halls and stairs.  Every time he slowed, he was thrust ahead or dragged upward.  He began to feel warm.  The air felt different.  The loud noises of the market place wafted up to his ear from below.  A sharp shove knocked Tok forward.  Click!
He found himself trapped in a kneeling position with some kind of hard bond on his neck.  Confused and angry thoughts raced through his head.  How dare he be humiliated like this!  Surely Khaali would grant him power to destroy these vermin!  Why he would-

FYI-Posting Craziness

Normally I post MWF.  Normally, I would be sound asleep right now.  Without giving enough detail to embarass anyone, there was a medical close call around here.  Everyone is fine.  My update schedule is the only casualty.

Here’s the deal.  I’m really enjoying my Short Stories From Quarroc.  I can’t seem to finish those on the old update schedule.  Adding other posts slows me down.  So, unless I have the powerful urge to share something, the new update schedule will be whenever the next short story installment is finished.  The new schedule shall reign until The Three Doors are done. Then it’s back to the old.  Given the erratic nature of the new schedule, I recommend signing up for email updates or following me on Facebook or Twitter.  All can be done off of the sidebar menu. –>

Psst!  Check out my friends at LootCrate!

Gassy Clown Car

I am easily amused when I get up at 2 am for my paper route.  Sometimes a random thought will pop into my head and stay there.

Lately, it has been gassy clowns.  Picture this for a moment.  A tiny car (like a Honda Fit or my old ’88 LeMans) is driving across a bridge.  Then PFFFT!  An explosion of brightly-colored fabric erupts from the vehicle.  Oversized shoes are flying.  The sound of rubber noses being pinched is like a flock of honking geese.  Greasepaint is peeling.  Squirting flowers are wilting.  Traffic grinds to a halt as the bridge is now overrun with clowns.  Then, slowly, one little clown sheepishly emerges from the abandoned vehicle with a look on his face that says, “Who, me?”

The Day’s Thoughts

A friend of mine commented on Facebook, lamenting the fact that more people weren’t posting about the significance of the date.  She said it seemed like no one cared about what happened just a few years ago.
Wrong on both counts.  I was actually glad to see fewer posts this year.  It’s healthy.  It’s a sign we’re moving on with our lives.  Truth is, it wasn’t just a few years ago.  Its been a decade plus three years.  I was in my high school study hall when the whole thing went down.  I’ve since gone to college, met the most important woman in my life, married her, had three kids, and celebrated seven years of marriage.  We’ve avenged our fallen by executing Bin Laden and built our monuments.
We’ve far from forgotten.  We remember that day the way previous generations remember Pearl Harbor and the Kennedy Assassination.  My oldest daughter has no idea what happened, but one day I’ll be telling my daughter where I was and how I felt as I answer her questions about history.
Up until last year, our daily loves would grind to halt as we marked the day.  That isn’t good.  That is living in fear.  And fear is the goal of the terrorist.  We face new threats.  We must move on to meet them.  We have not and will not forget.

Not Safe For Not Working On

Dan Kaminsky's Blog

There’s an old Soviet saying:

If you think it, don’t say it.
If you say it, don’t write it.
If you write it, don’t be surprised.

It’s not a pleasant way to live.  The coiner of this quote was not celebrating his oppression.  The power of the Western brand has long been associated with its outright rejection of this sort of thought policing.

In the wake of a truly profound compromise of sensitive photographs of celebrities, those of us in Information Security find ourselves called upon to answer what this all means – to average citizens, to celebrities, to a global economy that has found itself transformed in ways not necessarily planned.  Let’s talk about some things we don’t normally discuss.

Victim Shaming Goes Exponential

Dumdum?  Really?

We shouldn’t entirely be surprised.  Victim shaming is par for the course in Infosec, and more than Infosec, for uncomfortably similar reasons. …

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