Thursday, July 27, 2017

Martin Pale/Cold Henry

The following excerpt was taken from Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel by Susanna Clarke. This is a paperback edition with close to thousand pages. This book looks like it might provide many extracts of text and hours of enjoyable reading.

Autumn 1806-January 1807

“Mr. Segundus took down ‘The Instructions’ of Jacques Belasis and read the following passage. The passage he read had to do with one of England’s greatest magicians, Martin Pale. The reading…’In Gregory Absalon’s ‘The Tree of Learning’, there is a famous passage which relates how, while journeying through Taerie, the last if the great Aureate magicians, Martin Pale paid a visit to a fairy-prince. Like most of his race the fairy had a great multitude of names, honorifics, titles, and pseudonyms, but usually he was known as Cold Henry. Cold Henry made a long and deferential speech to his guest. The speech was full of metaphors and obscure allusions, but what Cold Henry seemed to be saying was that fairies were naturally wicked creatures who did not always know when they were doing wrong. To this Martin Pale, briefly and somewhat enigmatically, replied that ‘not all Englishmen have the same size feet’. “

Chapter 1: The library at Hurtfew, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Hoonhors and Gviirl’s

The Hoonhors and the Gviirl were two other races that Simon Wagstaff encountered while on his 3000-year space odyssey.

“The Hoonhors were about eight feet tall, green-skinned, and shaped like saguaro cactus's. They had boney spines all over their body, long and sharp like cactus needles.”

“The Gviirl were as big as an African elephant. The had four legs as thick as an elephants to support their enormous weight. The arms, ending in six-fingered hands, must have been legs in an earlier stage of evolution. The Gviirl looked like giant cockroaches., but of a highly intelligent race.”

Venus on the Half-Shell, Philip Jose Farmer

Monday, July 24, 2017

Plants Verses Zombies Toy Miniatures


I am not sure who originally marketed these miniatures, but I have a hunch that these five zombie and plant miniatures are not some of those. These are cheap Chinese copies. They are molded from what looks like PVC plastic. These figures stand approximately three inches tall and come with a verity of weaponry.

Four Very Intimating Zombies

There is a saw, hatched, sword and shield, and a pirate flag that fit into the zombie’s hands. In addition, there is one plant-pea-shooter and a bag of peas. There are yet two other accessories that I am having a hard time making heads or tails of. There is that yellow item (see package shot) and what looks like a door of some sort.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Bibliography of Farmer’s Published Fictional-Authored Stories

“The unconscious is the true democracy. All things, all people are equal.” Philip Jose Farmer

Farmer is alone in writing works of fiction under a pseudonym. What makes it unique in Farmers case is the quantity of works written under several pseudonym. Here is a list of the published works by Farmer under a pseudonym.

“The Adventure of the Peerless Peer”, John H. Watson, M.D.
“Venus of the Half-Shell”, Kilgore Trout
“A Scarletin Study”, Jonathan Swift Somers III
“The Problem if the Sore Bridge-Among Others”, Harry Manders
“The Volcano”, Paul Chapin
“The Doge Whose Barque Was Worse Than His Bight”,
Jonathan Swift Somers III
“The Impotency of Bad Karma”, Cordwainer Bird
“Savage Shadow”, Maxwell Grant
“It’s the Queen of Darkness, Pal”, Rod Keen
“The Phantom of the Sewers”, Rod Keen
“Who Stole Stonehenge?”, Jonathan Swift Somers III

“By assuming the role of a fictional author, Farmer don’s a shamanic mask and enters the sublime creative world where fictional characters take on a life more real than our own.”

Christopher Paul Carey

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Green Smoke

"Again the green smoke rose and billowed. Again images unfolded before him (Conan), this time alien and seemingly irrelevant. He saw great towering black walls, pedestals half hidden in the shadows upholding images of hideous, half-bestial gods. Men moved in the shadows, dark, wiry men, clad in red, silken loincloths. They were bearing a green jade sarcophagus along a gigantic black corridor. But before he could tell much about what he saw, the scene shifted. He saw a cavern, dim, shadowy and haunted with a strange intangible horror. On an altar of black stone stood a curious golden vessel, shaped like the shell of a scallop. Into this cavern came some of the same dark, wiry men who had borne the mummy-case. They seized the golden vessel, and then the shadows swirled around them and what happened he could not say. But he saw a glimmer in a whorl of darkness, like a ball of living fire. Then the smoke was only smoke, drifting up from the fire of tamarisk chunks, thinning and fading."

Chapter 7: The Rending of the Veil, The Hour Of The Dragon, Robert E. Howard

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It Came Out of the Dark

"Now the thing was emerging from the cell and was again advancing up the corridor, its misshapen head close to the ground. It paid no more heed to the locked doors. It was smelling out his trail. He saw it more plainly now; the gray light limned a giant anthropomorphic body, but vaster of bulk and girth than any man. It went on two legs, though it stooped forward, and it was grayish and shaggy, its thick coat shot with silver. Its head was a grisly travesty of the human, its long arms hung nearly to the ground.

Conan knew it at last—understood the meaning of those crushed and broken bones in the dungeon, and recognized the haunter of the pits. It was a gray ape, one of the grisly man-eaters from the forests that wave on the mountainous eastern shores of the Sea of Vilayet. Half mythical and altogether horrible, these apes were the goblins of Hyborian legendary, and were in reality ogres of the natural world, cannibals and murderers of the nighted forests."

Chapter 5: The Haunter of the Pits, The Hour of The Dragon, Robert E. Howard

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dangerous Terror Corpses (from packing)

The six zombies are made from some form of ridged plastic and they stand approximately four inches tall. In addition, their bodies and torsos can be switched out and their heads, torsos, and arms can be moved into a verity of positions. Over all I am quite happy with my new set of zombie figures and they make a nice addition to my ever-expanding collection. However, I do have two gripes, the first, the majority do not stand on their own and second, whoever painted these figures should take some painting lessons. They are painted awfully. I thought I might try my hand at making them look a little more presentable.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Black Ring & the Black Lotus

"Conan's scalp prickled. In Stygia, that ancient and evil kingdom that lay far to the south, he had seen such black dust before. It was the pollen of the black lotus, which creates death-like sleep and monstrous dreams; and he knew that only the grisly wizards of the Black Ring, which is the nadir of evil, voluntarily seek the scarlet nightmares of the black lotus, to revive their necromantic powers.

The Black Ring was a fable and a lie to most folk of the western world, but Conan knew of its ghastly reality, and its grim votaries who practice their abominable sorceries amid the black vaults of Stygia and the nighted domes of accursed Sabatea."

Chapter 4: 'From What Hell Have You Crawled?', The Hour of the Dragon, Robert E. Howard

Friday, July 14, 2017

Magic Arts

'Better if steel and bowstring prevail without further aid from the arts, for the constant use of mighty spells sometimes sets forces in motion that might rock the universe.'

Chapter 4: 'From What Hell Have You Crawled?’, The Hour of the Dragon, Robert E. Howard

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ramshackle Games Trolls-Another Look

Ramshackle Games Trolls

Ramshackle Games, Trolls Bagrha and Skargill, stand approximately two inches tall, and are molded from a very dense resin. The quality of their details and expressions are splendid.

“He watched as the trolls gobbled the food and threw the plates and drank everything in sight...”

The Brothers Grimm

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Xaltotun, the former High Priest of Set-A Host of Characters

On meeting Xaltotun Conan reflects on his seeing Xaltotun for the first time.

“It was a magnificent face, with strongly chiseled features of classical beauty. There was, indeed, something disquieting about the calm tranquility of its aspect, a suggestion of more than human knowledge, of a profound certitude beyond human assurance. Also an uneasy sensation of familiarity twitched at the back of Conan's consciousness. He had never seen this man's face before, he well knew; yet those features reminded him of something or someone. It was like encountering in the flesh some dream-image that had haunted one in nightmares.”

Chapter 4: 'From What Hell Have You Crawled?


"'I saw again the battlefield whereon I was born,' said Conan, resting his chin moodily on a massive fist. 'I saw myself in a panther skin loin-cloth, throwing my spear at the mountain beasts. I was a mercenary swordsman again, a hetman of the kozaki who dwell along the Zaporoska River, a corsair looting the coasts of Kush, a pirate of the Barachan Isles, a chief of the Himelian hillmen. All these things I've been, and of all these things I dreamed; all the shapes that have been I passed like an endless procession, and their feet beat out a dirge in the sounding dust.'

'But throughout my dreams moved strange, veiled figures and ghostly shadows, and a faraway voice mocked me. And toward the last I seemed to see myself lying on this dais in my tent, and a shape bent over me, robed and hooded. I lay unable to move, and then the hood fell away and a moldering skull grinned down at me. Then it was that I awoke.'"

Chapter 2 A Black Wind Blows, The Hour of the Dragon, Robert E. Howard

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Iron-Bound Books of Skelos

“I read the iron-bound books of Skelos, and talked with unseen creatures in deep wells, and faceless shapes in black reeking jungles. I obtained a glimpse of your sarcophagus in the demon-haunted crypts below the black giant-walled temple of Set in the hinterlands of Stygia, and I learned of the arts that would bring back life to your shriveled corpse. From moldering manuscripts I learned of the Heart of Ahriman. Then for a year I sought its hiding-place, and at last I found it.' “

Chapter 1, O Sleeper, Awake!, The Hour of The Dragon, Robert E. Howard

Thursday, July 6, 2017

International Hobby Corporation Kwik-Kits

The following three sets of plastic sprue are manufactured in Denmark. I don’t know if you have noticed, but I have a hard time sticking to one project and seeing it through until completion. These three “kwik-kits” offer a verity of detail pieces scaled to HO or 1/87 scale. I have completed one or two of these kits and these detail pieces sit waiting to be added to my model train layout. You can never too many detail pieces.

Railroad Details: # 4551

(relay cabinet, instrument case, call box, track bumper, and block signal)

Rural Details: # 4552

(2 trash cans, satellite TV dish, 2 Television antennas, fuel oil tank, 3 rural mail boxes)

City Details: # 4553

(large mail storage box, city letter mail box, 2 trash cans, 2 fire hydrants, 6 parking meters, 2 window air conditioners, 2 television antennas, and telephone booth)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Lalorlongians

“The natives resembled automobile wheels with balloon tires. The tires were composed of thin but tough inflated skins with diamond shaped treads. The wheel part consisted of a rim of bone and twelve bone spokes with grew from the hub. The hub was a ball covered with a hard shell like an ant’s exoskeleton. This contained the brain, and the nervous, digestive, and sexual systems.”

Venus on the Half-Shell, Philip Jose Farmer

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A Song as Sung by Simon Wagstaff

While strumming on his banjo Simon sings a philological song to his robot lover, Chworktap.


“Our Lady of Our Love’s Afflatus,
Unveil the All, and please don’t freight us.
Sans paddle up the amorous creek,
Unknowing if by will or freak
Of circumstance our loves’ll mate us.
All flappers think they’ve picked their sheik
With prefect freedom in their choice.
In this have they as little voice
As chickens swallowed by a geek.”

Simon Wagstaff

Venus on the Half-Shell, Philip Jose Farmer

Monday, July 3, 2017

Simon’s Robot Lover (A Host of Characters)

Chworktap was a protein robot and was complete in every way. If Chworktap hadn’t mentioned the fact, Simon might not have caught on right away. But Chworktap told Simon of her physiology soon after their first liaison.

“Chworktap certainly wasn’t like any robot he had ever met. Robots were prefect within their limitations, which were exactly known. Robots had no potentiality for mutation. Humans were badly flawed, flawed physically because of genetic mutations, flawed mentally and emotionally because of a flawed and mutating society.”

Venus on a Half-Shell, Philip Jose Farmer

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Four Yo-Kai Watch Game Tokens

This is my second Yo-Kai Watch related post. I recently came across the four of these game tokens. They are from Yo-Kai Watch Monopoly. Yo-Kai Watch Monopoly is for little kids and these Yo-Kai Watch tokens are Yo-Kai Watch characters.

These game tokens are made from a hard plastic and stand approximately two inches tall. The characters are (from left to right):
Jibanyan, Komajiro, Komasan, and Whisper.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

1/32 Scale Jaguar SS-100

As you can see from the condition of the box (it is yellowing) this is an old Matchbox 1/32 scale model. It is partially built (the engine block) and is complete. It is the last Matchbox model I have. At one time I owned several Matchbox scale models, but through my trading and selling, this is the last of the lot.

I don’t see too many Matchbox models being offered any longer and there aren’t too many models being produced in 1/32 scale anymore. At one time Matchbox (Lesney Products) had a full line of plastic models in various scales. There does seem to be pretty many old Matchbox models still available and at premium prices.

The Jaguar has always been one of favorite makes. When I was a young lad I remember wanting to own a Jaguar someday. The model itself looks like it will produce a relatively realistic model.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Another Alien Race Discovered by Simon Wagstaff

Simon Wagstaff, the protagonist of Farmers Venus on the Half-Shell, at the start of his 3000 year odyssey discovers another alien race.

“The grass was about two feet high, violet-colored and topped with yellow flowers with five petals. Moving through and above these were about forty creatures which were about thirty feet high. Their skins or shell, he wasn’t sure which they were-were pink. They moved on hundreds of very short legs ending in broad round feet. Halfway up their bodies were eyes, two on each side; eight in all. These were HUGH and round and a light blue, and the lids had long curling eyelashes. At the top of each pyramid-shaped body was a pink ball with a large opening on two opposing sides.”

Venus on the Half-Shell, Philip Jose Farmer

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Invincible Army Men

The package contains four rubber like soldiers in various poses, two scenery pieces, and a grenade launcher with three rubber grenades. The grenade launcher is like a rubber band launcher. You hook the grenades on the launcher’s hook, pull the grenade back, aim it at one the army men, and let it go.

There are eight different sets, all with the same components, just in different colors. There are blue, tan, red, and green sets. It might be kind of fun to have two sets of these toy soldier sets and see could can knock down the opponent’s pieces first. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

My Summer 2017 Reading List

I have started my reading with D.H. Lawrence’s The Prussian Officer, a set of disturbing short stories. I have two of Rohmer’s “Yellow Peril” novels; Bat Wing being left over from my Spring Reading List. I have one SCIFI story by Vonnegut, two by Arthur Conan Doyle that make mention of Professor James Moriarty, three from John Buchan-the Richard Hannay series dealing with pre-and post WWI espionage, and one by Philip Jose Farmer on one said character of Simon Wagstaff, the Space Wanderer.

Friday, June 23, 2017

P. J. Farmers Elixir

Philip Jose Farmer has few threads that run through a lot of his literature one of which is his mention of an elixir. My first encounter with the “elixir “was from his “The Other Log of Phileas Fogg”, my second…I will have to research that one. My last encounter was in my latest reading of Farmer-his Venus on the Half Shell. Here is the first mention of the elixir from that text:

“Simon got over some of his indignation when the woman explained that the average life span of a Shaltoonian was ten thousand years. This was due to an elixir invented some two hundred thousand years before. The Shaltoonian’s weren’t much for mechanics or engineering or physics, but they were great botanists. The elixir had been made from juices of several different plants. A by-product of this elixir was that a Shaltoonian seldom got sick.”

Venus on the Half Shell, Philip Jose Farmer

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Walking Dead Hospital Doors Scene

This highly detailed model includes 112 pieces and represents the AMC Walking Dead Hospital Doors “Don’t Open, Dead Inside” scene. There is also a articulated Rick Grimes in a hospital gown figure. The model kit is manufactured by Mc Farlane.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Zombie Clown Joker Cards

These two joke cards are from the Bicycle Zombie playing card deck and are illustrated by Rob Sacchetto. There are fifty-four different zombies included on this deck. The two joker cards are just a preview.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lord Tyger’s Poem

“White is the skull in the green,
Green is the grass in the white.
White is her ghost in the light,
Light as her voice in the blue,
Blue of the grief in the black,
Black of the pain in the night,
Night of the worms in the red,
Red of the scraps on the white.
White is the skull in the green,
Green is the grass in the white.”

Lord Tyger, Philip Jose Farmer

The Mad Spider

“What starved and diseased thoughts could possess a mad spider; tiny, red things hobbling on absurdly crooked crutches across the black spongy floor of the minute mind? Hobbling toward a mote of a glow, the cracked diamond in the heart of a fleck sized brain, to worship there or to warms their claws before its crystalline blaze? Overhead, jagged fissures through which light fell from each eye, light filtered by the webs within the stalks which held the eyes?”

Lord Tyger, Philip Jose Farmer

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Bird of Igziyabher

"The Bird of Igziyabher, or in English, God, was like no other bird, although the other birds had also been created by Igziyabher. The Bird was especially created, long after the world was created. It watched over the world and especially over Ras for Igziyabher. Indeed, it contained in its belly an angel, or so Ras was told.

It was larger than fifty fish-eagles put together and its body was shaped something like a deformed fish. Part of the body reflected the sun-shine; the rays bounced of it. Its legs were rigid, hanging below the belly and held out a little too both sides. Its claws were very strange; they were round and never opened.

Its wings were attached to a bone that projected above the Bird, and the wings went around and around so fast with a chop-chop-chop, that Ras could see them only as a blur."

Lord Tyger, Philip Jose

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Zombitzz Zombies

I have acquired four more zombies for the museums’ Zombie collection and exhibits. The four zombies are cast from vinyl and were manufactured for Global Holdings, Inc. The Zombitzz zombies stand anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 inches tall (at least from the sampling that I have). These four zombies are from series 1. There are twenty zombies in this series.

Every zombie has one “gruesome” feature in its skull. You may find ink stamps, erasers, or a super-ball, to name just a few. These figures are well detailed and painted. Whether it is still available or not I don’t know, but there is or was a Zombiezz app for some virtual fun.

Captain Maggot

Bill Guts


Cindy Innards

The Eraser Under Captain Maggot's Hat

Saturday, June 17, 2017

HO Scale Barn by IHC

Here is another scale model from International Hobbies Company. Although IHC is out of Philadelphia this model was manufactured in Germany. Judging from what IHC offers on their current website a lot of IHC structures are no longer available from IHC. Some of the dies for these models seem to have gone to other companies like Life Like. Or is it the other way around and they still being offered by other manufactures?

Mfg. No Description
602 Interlocking Tower
804 Colonial Church
707 Endoline's Funeral Home
805 County Court House
708 Store Front Apt. Building
806 Herald Star Newspaper
712 Old Time Gas Station
810 Luigi's Restaurant

This model kit is cast from polystyrene and as you can see it even has wood grain molded into the casting. I believe I still have a few more of IHC structures packed away that need to see the light of day and the flash of a camera.

Friday, June 16, 2017


This is the first post in the new collection named Conan. Conan or Conan the Barbarian, is a sword and sorcery character created by Robert E. Howard for publication in pulp magazines. Conan was born in Cimmeria during the Hyborian Age. This is a poem about the fictional country of Cimmeria.  

"It was gloomy land that seemed to hold
All winds and clouds and dreams that shun the sun,
With bare boughs rattling in the lonesome winds,
And the dark woodlands brooding over all,
Not even lightened by the rare dim sun
Which made squat shadows out of men; they called it
Cimmeria, land of Darkness and deep Night.

It was so long ago and far away
I have forgotten the very name men called me.
The axe and flint-tipped spear are like a dream,
And hunts and wars are like shadows. I recall
Only the stillness of that somber land;
The clouds that piled forever on the hills,
The dimness of the everlasting woods.
Cimmeria, land of Darkness and the Night."

Robert E. Howard

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The House on Curwen Street

"Knowledge is power. But knowledge is also madness, and it is not for the weak to take arms against these hellish beings."

The House on Curwen Street, August W. Derleth

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

An Umbilical Cord

“The umbilical cord is no longer a permanent leash, a stranglers noose, or a silver-plated life-line stretching back to the womb."

This Crowded Earth, Robert Bloch

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

O Sleeper, Awake!

”The year of the dragon had birth in war and pestilence and unrest. The black plague stalked through the streets of Belverus, striking down the merchant in his stall, the serf in his kennel, the knight at his banquet board. Before it the arts of the leeches were helpless. Men said it had been sent from hell as punishment for the sins of pride and lust. It was swift and deadly as the stroke of an adder. The victim's body turned purple and then black, and within a few minutes he sank down dying, and the stench of his own putrefaction was in his nostrils even before death wrenched his soul from his rotting body. A hot, roaring wind blew incessantly from the south, and the crops withered in the fields, the cattle sank and died in their tracks.

Men cried out on Mitra, and muttered against the king; for somehow, throughout the kingdom, the word was whispered that the king was secretly addicted to loathsome practices and foul debauches in the seclusion of his knighted palace. And then in that palace death stalked grinning on feet about which swirled the monstrous vapors of the plague. In one night, the king died with his three sons, and the drums that thundered their dirge drowned the grim and ominous bells that rang from the carts that lumbered through the streets gathering up the rotting dead.”

Chapter 1, O Sleeper, Awake!, The Hour Of The Dragon, Robert E. Howard

Monday, June 12, 2017

Star Wars Millennium Falcon

This Hot Wheels Star Wars Millennium Falcon is a die-cast metal miniature that is approximately 6.5 wide by 7.6 long. This one of many Star Wars vehicles in Hot Wheels Star Wars line.

I apologize for the blurry image.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Awaken the Dead

"The long tapers flickered, sending the black shadows wavering along the walls, and the velvet tapestries rippled. Yet there was no wind in the chamber. Four men stood about the ebony table on which lay the green sarcophagus that gleamed like carven jade. In the upraised right hand of each man a curious black candle burned with a weird greenish light. Outside was night and a lost wind moaning among the black trees.

Inside the chamber was tense silence, and the wavering of the shadows, while four pairs of eyes, burning with intensity, were fixed on the long green case across which cryptic hieroglyphics writhed, as if lent life and movement by the unsteady light. The man at the foot of the sarcophagus leaned over it and moved his candle as if he were writing with a pen, inscribing a mystic symbol in the air. Then he set down the candle in its black gold stick at the foot of the case, and, mumbling some formula unintelligible to his companions, he thrust a broad white hand into his fur-trimmed robe. When he brought it forth again it was as if he cupped in his palm a ball of living fire."

Chapter 1, O Sleeper, Awake!, The Hour of the Dragon, Robert E. Howard

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ten Farm Animals

I found these hard plastic farm animals at a local discount store. They are made in China; where else? It seemed that the packages contained a random selection of animals. This package contained a verity of animals. The figures stand anywhere from one to three inches high and up to 4 inches long.

There are a horse and colt, a cow and calf, a pig, three sheep, a goat, and a farm dog. Although I feel like their paint jobs could have been applied with a little more care, their molded detail in is tolerable.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Journey into the Unknown- Kwasin and the Bear God

With this post I am instituting a new sub collection Journey into the Unknown. I will use the Journey into the Unknown to explore some of the topics that were covered within the text, regardless of the outcomes.

“In the beginning was a formless which gave birth to Kho, the great goddess. She fashioned the earth, the air, the sky, the stars, the moon, and the sun.” The priestess Adythne recited these words to a bear that stood ten foot high, as she proffered her small honey soaked hand to the bear."

Wold Newton Prehistory-Kwasin and the Bear God

Miscellaneous data from the text:

Friday, June 2, 2017

A Slave-drivers Song

Mariel of Redwall is the forth in Brian Jacques’s Redwall series. Although I do have the next in the series on the stack, I may not visit this series again for a while. The series tells of the exploits of the woodland characters of the Redwall Abby. The series has provided many ideas and fodder for future fantasy war-games.

‘Up an’ one down an’ two,
Bend yer backs an’ curse yer birth.
Up an’ one down an’ two,
Pull those ours fer all your worth!’

“The grating voice of the slave-driver echoed across the benches. As he strode up and down he flicked his cruel whip.”

‘Up an’ one down an’ two,
Some have backs without hide,
Up an’ one down an’ two,
Those who couldn’t row have died.
Up an’ one down an’ two,
Here is a gift from me to you!’

Down came tip of the slave-drivers whip on the back of poor oar-slave.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Beware of the Light that Shows the Way

Mariel stood over the stunned toad. It was an indescribably ugly specimen, completely covered in large wart like growths. Next to the toad lay a lantern. The lantern was on a small carrying frame and wonderfully made from thin-cut rock crystal. Inside the lantern half a dozen fat fireflies buzzed, giving off a pale golden light.”

Marial of Redwall, Brian Jaques

Friday, May 26, 2017

Yo-Kai Watch Character Figures

When you talk about Yo-Kai Watch you could report on the many facets of this franchise. There is the Yo-Kai Watch which allows one to projects images from “coins”, there is the video game, cartoons and other animations, and there are the figures.

There are eight characters in this Yo-Kai Watch series. These figures are molded from vinyl, which produces a dense and hard surface. These figures come in different shapes and sizes. Most of these characters come from Japanese folklore.





Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Dreams of Harry Collins

Harry Collins is the main protagonist in Bloch's dystonian "This Crowded Earth" novel.

"In the nightmare Harry found himself looking down at the mistakes and the failures and he recognized them for what they were, and he knew then why the incinerators were kept busy and why the black smoke poured.

In the nightmare he saw the special units containing those which were not mistakes or failures, and in a way they were worse than the others. They were red and wriggling there beneath the glass, and on the glass surfaces hung the charts which gave the data. Then Harry saw the names, saw his own name repeated twice—once for Sue, once for Myrna. And he realized that he had contributed to the successful outcome or issue of the experiments (outcome? Issue? These horrors?) and that was why Manschoff must have chosen to take the risk of keeping him alive. Because he was one of the good guinea pigs, and he had spawned, spawned living, mewing abominations.

He had dreamed of these things, and now he saw that they were real, so that nightmare merged with now, and he could gaze down at it with open eyes and scream at last with open mouth.

Then, of course, an attendant came running (although he seemed to be moving ever so slowly, because everything moves so slowly in a dream) and Harry saw him coming and lifted a bell-glass and smashed it down over the man's head (slowly, ever so slowly) and then he heard the others coming and he climbed out of the window and ran.

The searchlights winked across the courtyards and the sirens vomited hysteria from metallic throats and the night was filled with shadows that pursued.

But Harry knew where to run. He ran straight through the nightmare, through all the fantastic but familiar convolutions of sight and sound, and then he came to the river and plunged in.

Now the nightmare was not sight or sound, but merely sensation. Icy cold and distilled darkness; ripples that ran, then raced and roiled and roared. But there had to be a way out of the nightmare and there had to be a way out of the canyon, and that way was the river.

Apparently no one else had thought of the river; perhaps they had considered it as a possible avenue of escape and then discarded the notion when they realized how it ripped and raged among the rocks as it finally plunged from the canyon's mouth. Obviously, no one could hope to combat that current and survive.

But strange things happen in nightmares. And you fight the numbness and the blackness and you claw and convulse and you twist and turn and toss and then you ride the crests of frenzy and plunge into the troughs of panic and despair and you sweep round and round and sink down into nothingness until you break through to the freedom which comes only with oblivion.

Somewhere beyond the canyon's moiling maw, Harry Collins found that freedom and that oblivion. He escaped from the nightmare, just as he escaped from the river.

The river itself roared on without him.

And the nightmare continued, too...."

This Crowded Earth, Robert Bloch

Monday, May 22, 2017

Life Like HO Gauge Diminutive People

These eight HO figures are manufactured by Life Like and are hand painted. They don’t look too bad in the packaging, but if you planning on placing them up front on your layout, I have found that most “hand-painted” figures in this scale will need some touch-up and added details.

THe figures are cast from sort of semi-rubbery like plastic.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Plant-A Solo RPG Game

The Plant is a one person RPG. The Plant’s premise is that your daughter is somewhere in an abandoned factory building and you need to find her. The game requires ten index cards that are numbered one to ten. Around the edges are printed the letters A-D. You will also need three index cards with “Down” written on them. The Down cards indicate that you are descending one level in the factory through the use of a ladder, stairs, or pipes, ETC.

You will also need to author ten situation cards. Sample situations are provided, but you can create your own, here are a few of the samples:

  • New Transformer doll
  • Unopened letter
  • Smell of baking cookies
  • Sound of a Jazz
  • Shadow in the shape of something
  • Glimpse of your daughter in distance

The game mechanic is through the use of the ten index cards you would have created and how they are laid out. Each laid card has a letter and each letter has a situation associated with that letter. Depending on the other letters on the card situations (the actions you are to complete) may have alternative situations that you will be told to go to.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

My Mid-Spring Reading List

Although I have already started to read through this list, here is my mid-spring reading list:

  • The Lani People, Jessie F. Bone
  • Armageddon-2419 A. D., Philip F. Nowlan
  • The Hour of the Dragon, Robert E. Howard
  • The Enchanted Island of Yew, L. Frank Baum
  • Dragons of the Air: An Account of Extinct Flying Reptiles, H. G. Seeley
  • Bat Wing, Sax Rohmer
  • Tales of Chinatown, Sax Rohmer
  • Marial of Redwall, Brian Jaques
  • Lord Tyger, Philip Jose Farmer

Friday, May 19, 2017

Freedom of Speech

With the current US political environment as it is, I couldn't help to think how timely my finding of this quote is and just how applicable it seems to be to our current affairs.

"And while the Vocational Apt. and the government, fervently upheld the principle of freedom of speech, they had to draw the line somewhere. As everyone knows, freedom of speech does not mean freedom to criticize."

This Crowded Earth, Robert Bloch

Will someone please bring dignity back to the oval office?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Strange Phenomena

By Warren, Ambrose William, 1781?-1856, engraver. [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

This another quote from Wells alternate historty novel The War in the Air.

"And that was only the beginning of a succession of strange phenomena in the heavens—cylinders, cones, pear-shaped monsters, even at last a thing of aluminium that glittered wonderfully."

The War in the Air, H. G. Wells

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Illustrated Robinson Crusoe Comic Book

Front Cover

Recently I found this this yellowing Classics Illustrated edition of Daniel Defoe’s Robison Crusoe. This edition was one of many such comic books published by this publisher on the classics. I didn’t find a date within the copy. The price of the comic book might give us some sort of clue as to its publishing date?

Front Page

The forty-nine page booklet, albeit an abridged version, portrays the full story with just a few changes to the plot of the story.

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Host of Characters-Bert Smallways

"Bert Smallways was a vulgar little creature, the sort of pert, limited soul that the old civilization of the early twentieth century produced by the million in every country of the world. He had lived all his life in narrow streets, and between mean houses he could not look over, and in a narrow circle of ideas from which there was no escape. He thought the whole duty of man was to be smarter than his fellows, get his hands, as he put it, “on the dibs,” and have a good time. He was, in fact, the sort of man who had made England and America what they were. The luck had been against him so far, but that was by the way. He was a mere aggressive and acquisitive individual with no sense of the State, no habitual loyalty, no devotion, no code of honor, no code even of courage."

Chapter III, The Balloon, The War in The Air, H. G. Wells

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Attack on New York City

This is another post to my alternative history series, a series that I have neglected for some time. The Battle of Dorking, an interesting back-story to a board game by the same name that portrays an alternative historical event needs posting.

“The City of New York was in the year of the German attack the largest, richest, in many respects the most splendid, and in some, the wickedest city the world had ever seen. She was the supreme type of the City of the Scientific Commercial Age; she displayed its greatness, its power, its ruthless anarchic enterprise, and its social disorganization most strikingly and completely. She had long ousted London from her pride of place as the modern Babylon, she was the center of the world’s finance, the world’s trade, and the world’s pleasure; and men likened her to the apocalyptic cities of the ancient prophets. She sat drinking up the wealth of a continent as Rome once drank the wealth of the Mediterranean and Babylon the wealth of the east. In her streets one found the extremes of magnificence and misery, of civilization and disorder. In one quarter, palaces of marble, laced and, crowned with light and flame and flowers, towered up into her marvelous twilight beautiful, beyond description; in another, a black and sinister polyglot population sweltered in indescribable congestion in warrens, and excavations beyond the power and knowledge of government. Her vice, her crime, her law alike were inspired by a fierce and terrible energy, and like the great cities of medieval Italy, her ways were dark and adventurous with private war.”

Chapter VI, How War Came To New York. The War in the Air, H. G. Wells

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Old Time Water Tank

This 1/87-HO gauge kit is an International Hobby Corporations #3512. It is cast in tan polystyrene on three runners. There is nine-inch piece of fine brass chain as well. Although the cover depicts a water tank that looks highly detailed the model itself does not include too much in the way of cast in detail. Each part will need to be distressed a bit to make it look more like wood.

In addition to the physical distressing, once the kit is complete, it will receive some additional styrene details and a good detailed paint job to help bring out the appearance of old wood.

This is one of several International Hobby kits in my collection and although they may be still found on a shelf of some hobby store this kit is no longer available from the manufacturer.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Map to Terramort (in a rhyme)

“ ‘If I were fool of any sort,
I’d leave Redwall and travel forth,
For only fools seek Terramort,
Upon the pathway leading north.
This trail brings death with every pace;
Beware of dangers lurking there,
Sticklegs of the feathered race
And fins that in the ford do stir.
After the ford, one night one day,
Seek out the otter and his wife
Forsake the path, go west lands way,
Find the trail and lose your life.
When in the woods, this promise keep,
With senses sharp and open eyes,
‘My nose shall not send me to sleep’
For the buried ones will surely rise
Beat the hallow oak and shout,
‘We are creatures if Redwall!’
If a brave one is about,
He’ll save any fool at all.
Beware the light that shows the way,
Trust not the wart-skinned toad,
In his realm, no night no day.
Fool, stay to the road.
Where the sea meets with the shore,
There the final clue is hid;
Rocks stands sentinel evermore,
Find it as I did.
The swallow who cannot fly south,
The bird that only flies one way,
Lies deep beneath the monster’s mouth,
Keep him with you, night and day
His flight is straight, Norwest is true,
Your fool’s desire he’ll show to you.’ “

Mariel of Redwall, Brian Jacques

Monday, May 8, 2017

Alien Planet-Darwin IV

Here is another post for my Alien series. This 94-minute video features a dramatized flight to a planet with a unique eco-system and inhabited with some very strangely beautiful life forms.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A Host of Characters: The Han Psyche

“Yet, did not even brilliant scientists frequently exhibit the same lack of logic back in the Twentieth Century? Did not the historians, the philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome show themselves to be the same shrewd observers as those of succeeding centuries, the same masters of the logical and slaves of the illogical?

After all, I reflected, man makes little progress within himself. Through succeeding generations he piles up those resources which he possesses outside of himself, the tools of his hands, and the warehouses of knowledge for his brain, whether they be parchment manuscripts, printed book, or electronorecordographs. For the rest he is born today, as in ancient Greece, with a blank brain, and struggles through to his grave, with a more or less beclouded understanding, and with distinct limitations to what we used to call his "think tank."

THIS particular reflection of mine proved unpopular with them, for it stabbed their vanity, and neither my prestige nor the novelty of the idea was sufficient salve. These Hans for centuries had believed and taught their children that they were a super-race, a race of destiny. Destined to Whom, for What, was not so clear to them; but nevertheless destined to "elevate" humanity to some sort of super-plane. Yet through these same centuries they had been busily engaged in the extermination of "weaklings," whom, by their very persecutions, they had turned into "super men," now rising in mighty wrath to destroy them; and in reducing themselves to the depths of softening vice and flabby moral fiber. Is it strange that they looked at me in amazed wonder when I laughed outright in the midst of some of their most serious speculations?”

The Airlords of Han, by Philip Francis Nowlan

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Host of Characters: The Han Physiology

"The Han looked little like the Mongolians of the Twentieth Century, except for their slant eyes and round heads. The characteristic of the high cheek bones appeared to have been bred out of them, as were those of the relatively short legs and the muddy yellow skin. To call them yellow was more figurative than literal. Their skins were whiter than those of our own weather-tanned forest men. Nevertheless, their pigmentation was peculiar, and what there was of it looked more like a pale orange tint than the ruddiness of the Caucasian. They were well formed, but rather undersized and soft-looking, small-muscled and smooth-skinned, like young girls. Their features were finely chiseled, eyes beady, and nose slightly aquiline.

They were uniformed, not in close-fitting green or other shades of protective coloring, such as the unobtrusive gray of the Jersey Beaches or the leadened russet of the autumn uniforms of our people. Instead they wore loose fitting jackets of some silky material, and loose knee pants. This particular command had been equipped with form-moulded boots of some soft material that reached above the knee under their pants. They wore circular hats with small crowns and wide rims. Their loose jackets were belted at the waist, and they carried for weapons each man a knife, a short double-edged sword and what I took to be a form of magazine rocket gun. It was a rather bulky affair, short-barrelled, and with a pistol grip. It was obviously intended to be fired either from the waist position or from some sort of support, like the old machine guns. It looked, in fact, like a rather small edition of the Twentieth Century arm.

And have I mentioned the color of their uniforms? Their circular hats and pants were a bright yellow; their coats a flaming scarlet. What targets they were."

The Airlords of Han, by Philip Francis Nowlan

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Han Ship

"This ship was not unlike the great dirigibles of the Twentieth Century in shape, except that it had no suspended control car nor gondolas, no propellers, and no rudders, aside from a permanently fixed double-fishtail stabilizer at the rear, and a number of "keels" so arranged as to make the most of the repeller ray airlift columns.

Its width was probably twice as great as its depth, and its length about twice its width. That is to say, it was about 100 feet from the main keel to the top-deck at their maximum distance from each other, about 200 feet wide amidship, and between 400 and 500 feet long. It had in addition to the top-deck, three interior decks. In its general curvature the ship was a compromise between a true streamline design and a flattened cylinder.

For a distance of probably 75 to 100 feet back of the nose there were no decks except that formed by the bottom of the hull. But from this point back the decks ran to within a few feet of the stern.

At various spots on the hull curvature in this great "hollow nose" were platforms from which the crews of the dis ray generators and the electronoscope and electronophone devices manipulated their apparatus.

Into this space from the forward end of the center deck, projected the control room. The walls, ceiling and floor of this compartment were simply the surfaces of viewplates. There were no windows or other openings."

The Airlords of Han, by Philip Francis Nowlan

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Airlords of Han

View plate and operator

I have been reading science fiction novels lately. My readings started off with The Misplaced Battleship, by Harry Harrison; Plaque Ship, Andre Norton; The Thing in the Attic, James Blish and I just completed The Airlords of Han, by Philip Francis Nowlan. All of these texts were originally found in Pulp magazines. As you know I have made multiple posts on SCIFI topics.

These stories will give me fodder when playing SCIFI RPG’s or board games. Please look through the posts and see if you can find anything that might help you out.

The Airlords of Han, by Philip Francis Nowlan; Illustrated by FRANK R. PAUL

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Two Rubber Like, Pandas

Here are two more bears. As you can see they aren’t as detailed as the others. Like the others, these two are made from some rubber like material. They stand approximately two inches tall. According to the card on the front of the machine there are five different panda bears.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

When is a Cipher a Cipher?

Again Holmes flattened out the paper upon his unused plate. I rose and, leaning over him, stared down at the curious inscription, which ran as follows:

"What do you make of it, Holmes?"

"It is obviously an attempt to convey secret information."

"But what is the use of a cipher message without the cipher?"

"In this instance, none at all."

"Why do you say 'in this instance'?"

"Because there are many ciphers which I would read as easily as I do the apocrypha of the agony column: such crude devices amuse the intelligence without fatiguing it. But this is different. It is clearly a reference to the words in a page of some book. Until I am told which page and which book I am powerless."

The Tragedy of Birlstone, The Valley Of Fear, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Queex the Hoobt

"The commander's unpleasant pet—Queex, the Hoobat—a nightmare combination of crab, parrot and toad, wearing a blue feather coating and inclined to scream and spit at all comers."


Friday, April 21, 2017

Capsule Toy Bears

I just spent close to four dollars (US) to try to obtain one each of the five bears that were advertised on the front of the machine. Instead I received three of the five and two doubles. I don’t know whether I will try for the other two; might spend another three seventy-five to pick up one other and more doubles

I haven’t made a post on the other bears I acquired earlier; I must make a post on these. However, these miniature bears are of a better quality. They are made from sort of firm rubber like substance, stand about an inch and a quarter tall, and their heads rotate. Although they are not large enough to hug, they are sweet little bears.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sargolian Creatures

Sickness Hits the Crew of Solar Queen

"It walked erect on two threads of legs, with four knobby joints easily detected. A bulging abdomen sheathed in the horny substance of a beetle's shell ended in a sharp point. Two pairs of small legs, folded close to the much smaller upper portion of its body, were equipped with thorn shack terminations. The head, which constantly turned back and forth on the armor plated shoulders, was long and narrow and split for half its length by a mouth above which were deep pits which must harbor eyes, though actual organs were not visible to the watching men. It was a palish gray in color—which surprised Dane a little. His memory of the few seconds he had seen it on the Captain's desk had suggested that it was much darker. And erect as it was, it stood about eighteen inches high. The creature was able to turn color that matched anything it happened to be sitting on, thus making itself practically invisible."

It was because of this creature that most of the crew became sick. The sickness would start with a headache and then spasms with acute pain. The suffers would then go into a coma like state.

Plague Ship, Andre Norton

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Sargolian People, the Salariki Were an Impressive Lot

"As fighting men, Dane thought, trying to study the specimens before him with a totally impersonal stare, the Salariki were an impressive lot. Their average height was close to six feet, their distant feline ancestry apparent only in small vestiges. A Salarik's nails on both hands and feet were retractile, his skin was gray, his thick hair, close to the texture of plushy fur, extended down his backbone and along the outside of his well muscled arms and legs, and was tawny-yellow, blue-gray or white. To Terran eyes the broad faces, now all turned in their direction, lacked readable expression. The eyes were large and set slightly aslant in the skull, being startlingly orange-red or a brilliant turquoise green-blue. They wore loin cloths of brightly dyed fabrics with wide sashes forming corselets about their slender middles, from which gleamed the gem-set hilts of their claw knives, the possession of which proved their adulthood. Cloaks as flamboyant as their other garments hung in bat wing folds from their shoulders and each and every one moved in an invisible cloud of perfume."

Chapter 1, Perfumed Planet, Plague Ship, Andre Norton

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Ballad of Hares on Long Patrol

“Oh, it’s hard and dry, when the sun is high,
And the dust in your throat.
When the rain pours down, near fit to drown,
And soaks right through your coat.
But the hares of the long patrol,my lads,
Stothearts they walk with me,
Over hill and plain, and back again,
By the shores of the wide blue seas.
Through mud and mire to a warm campfire,
I’ll trek with you, old friend.
O’re lea and dale, in a roaring gale,
Right to our journey’s end.
Yes, the hares of the long patrol, my lads,
Love friendship more than gold.
We’ll share good days, and tread long ways.
Good comrades brave and bold.”

Tarquin Longleap Woodsorrel

Mariel of Redwall, Brian Jacques

Monday, April 17, 2017

Prophetic Carvings

‘The prophecies carved on Salamandastron’s walls tell of a time coming when trouble will become a byword. Our fortunes and fates are written in these rocks… Leave the worrying and wondering to the waves and clouds.’

Rawnblade Widestrip

Mariel of Redwall

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Click Chick Dress Up Dolls

These capsule toy dolls stand approximately two inches tall. The dolls are made of a light weight plastic. There are five different types of dolls, but with the sticker sheet stickers that can be applied to the dolls dress or the dolls eyes alternative types can be created. The dolls don’t snap together perfectly, but what did I expect for six-bits.