Last week my wife surprised me with a Tron-inspired birthday party (my birthday's December 17, the same day that Tron: Legacy was released). As part of that, she asked the good folks at Cupcake Ladies to create Tron cup cakes.
Which they did. The photo at left was taken by my friend Jason Alley (view the full-size photo on Flickr) and yes, the cupcakes did taste as good as they look.
The cupcakes made my day, and were the perfect prelude to heading to King of Prussia to watch Tron: Legacy in IMAX 3D with my friends. It was a good movie -- I describe it as pure, distilled 1980s wrapped in glass. My 12-year-old self loved the film. My 39-year-old self was happily distracted by the beer sampler I drank at Rock Bottom Brewery before the movie.
Indiana, our new puppy, came home the day before Thanksgiving. He's a yellow Labrador Retriever, and after a few days home I can safely say he tends toward the marshmallow end of the Labrador spectrum (the other end, of course, is hyper spaz).
Of course, it's not all thoughtful looks and puppy naps -- he can be a holy terror, particularly in the mornings when he's chasing kids, chewing on shoes and doing all the things puppies do. He's far more laid back in the afternoon, lounging around the house, napping frequently, and more or less doing the perfect impression of a yellow marshmallow.
The day before Thanksgiving a new four-legged friend will be joining our family. He's a yellow Labrador puppy named … Indiana.
Indy succeeds (never replaces) Madison aka Mad Dog, our yellow Lab who was an enthusiastic member of the Newquist household for 13 years. She passed away in June and left a massive hole in our day-to-day lives. Yes, it can be a lot of work to keep up with a dog, especially at the end of her life, when we were cleaning up messes every morning, but she was a constant presence and the one member of the pack who would always be happy to see you.
Not having her here was like losing my shadow.
I've heard about pumpkin chucking events, and seen a few on TV thanks to MythBusters, but I've never experienced one in real life. That may change later this month: the Last Fling Pumpkin Fling is being held in Belvidere, New Jersey on October 30th and 31st, 2010 at Hensler Farms.
I'm looking at doing a Knights of the Dinner Table column on blogs, wikis and other sites dedicated to science fiction role-playing games. Of course this is a bit self serving, as I'm currently running two science fiction games (Star Wars: Saga Edition and The Day After Ragnarok) but it's a niche that could use some attention. The sites don't need to be exclusively science fiction, but some significant portion of their content should deal with the genre.
Keep in mind that I've done columns on Rogue Trader, Star Wars: Saga Edition, Gamma World, and Star Frontiers in the last year so I'm less likely to write about sites that deal with those games.
Here's what I have so far.
When some co-workers and I decided to try our hand at a lunch-time role-playing campaign, I knew that game prep was going to be critical to making it work. But not the sort of game prep I normally did; this was all about the physical game prep.
We're playing The Day After Ragnarok using the Savage Worlds rules, and thanks to Ken Hite's numerous adventure generation tables, the scenarios practically write themselves. No, the part the essential part of making this campaign work was making sure I knew where my towel was.
Dice. Initiative cards. A battle map. Miniatures. I have all of this stuff in my game room ... but we're not playing there. We're in an under-ventilated, odd-smelling basement conference room whose only virtues are privacy, a table, and a dry erase board.
Check the batteries in your motion trackers, refuel your flamethrowers, lock and load your shotgun, and make sure you've everything you need to make a few dozen pipe bombs.
Monster Week is here.
The week-long celebration of speculative fiction's monster movies is running July 25-31 at Nuketown. It focuses on "creature features", movies like Aliens, Predator and The Thing that pit humanity against overwhelming horrors. It will include movie reviews, audio commentary, game reviews and RPG reviews and anything else we can shove out the airlock.
Madison, my Labrador Retriever, died on Monday after 13 years of unrelenting enthusiasm for life, liberty and the pursuit of food. She was the quintessential Lab -- super happy, eager to say hello, an amazing swimmer, an even better retriever, and the kind of dog who knew how to take time to stop and eat the roses. And brownies. And cup cakes. And...
We knew she would be a challenge from the beginning: as we were signing the check to buy her, she tried to pull one of her litter-mates through a fence by his tail. It took us six months to train her to lick instead of bite, and two tours of puppy school to get her to agree to basic obedience commands.
Unless she was on the water ... in which case the only thing she'd pay attention to was her kong-on-a-rope. Or maybe ducks -- Madison once tried to catch a mallard on the Delaware River, not realizing that ducks could, you know, fly. I had to jump in the river and swim after her to get her attention. Fortunately she turned around before we got to New Jersey.