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August 13, 2005
Blogging
Well, true believers, it had to happen, eventually. I now have an honest-to-goodness spot at Blogger.com. To read my new blog until other things here change, click the seal over <-- there.
July 12, 2005
FFS
My only entry today is to direct you to my first rant page. It was bound to happen sooner or later. I have had it up to here with pompous critics and fans of Star Wars. Enjoy.

July 11, 2005
Change: the
Only Constant
Well, true believers, I have a new computer (goodbye to the beloved Mel dynasty, long live the R2 dynasty), a new apartment, and a new wife.

It's true. Somewhere in the neighborhood of a month ago, I tied the knot. Holding my cards close to my chest won't hurt, because most of you were there (or at least invited), so you pretty much know the details. The bride was gorgeous, the groom was barefoot, the flower girls were charming and the weather was perfect. I have never in my life seen nor heard of so perfect and painless a wedding. I thank a huge number of very competent friends and family members for that.

The weather is going into its second week of what appears to be its impersonation of the Amazon River Basin: hot and about 315% humidity. Walking outdoors requires scuba gear and fins. I'm not complaining, though, because that is what summer is supposed to be like here. In six months, everybody will be reminiscing about the good ol' days of July...

After getting settled into life (both of us keep thinking she needs to go home at night), my bride and I are returning to something like a normal schedule (for us). We're playing our Horizon game again beginning next week, after the hiatus and a very cool foray into Oriental Adventures DMd by one of my Horizon players.

My goof-off time at home has been taken up with playing Neverwinter Nights. And sadly, due to a rather savage head cold, I find I am abruptly out of more to say. So, until next time, I guess...

April 30, 2005
Nomad
Well, not really. Not this time. This time, I move from one apartment to another in the same town. However, due to the nature of the beast, if you expect any upates to the Bladed Cage this week, you're bound to be disappointed. I'll be offline, doing other things like unpacking--which will not be such a job as usual because we've been moving me for about two weeks now. In any active fashion, at any rate. Morning will see me disconnecting Mel from the apartment across the street from the Big Gay House (do any of you remember that email?) and heading for greener pasture and plusher carpet in the new place.

Thank God for technology, though. Thanks to the nature of Cyberspace, the Bladed Cage isn't moving a picometer. You can still come and find...well, whatever it is you come here to find, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

Until next time, true believers!

April 24, 2005
Oh HAPPY Day!!
It is with great joy and no small excitement that I can announce that the single most formative influence of my life, second only to family and church, is coming to DVD! In May, the first season of Airwolf is to be officially released. While many of you may not know what the hell I'm blathering on about, or if you do, precisely why I am so excited I actually had tears in my eyes about a sodding TV show, here's the story:

Well, okay, not so much a story as an explanation. You see, I coined a term (I think) when I was in college and still clever. I called myself, my generation, a generation of "nuclear babies". As children in the 1970s and 1980s, we had a very different global environment than exists now, or existed when our folks were kids. I, at least, grew up with a very real, very painful awareness that all human life on this planet could potentially be eradicated because someone was simply having a bad day. The idea of someone "pushing The Button"--and the capital letters could be heard, could be felt, when spoken--was synonymous with the End of the World. The Soviet Union and the United States seemd too precisely balanced, like the smallest thing could tip the scales, and it would all be over.

Our parents didn't have this, not really. I understand they had the Bay of Pigs, and that they were aware of the (amusingly pathetic) practices of "duck and cover", but it wasn't like this. In the 80s, mass media was coming into its own, there were born entire networks of nothing but the news, and everybody had access to them. Add into this the weird sort of cybermythology that sprang up then, this idea that computers were potentially omnipotent, regardless even of power sources and the like, and you have a real petrie dish for cultivating fear. We had the technology, nukes were more powerful than ever before in history, and everybody knew.

We grew up in the shadow of the mushroom cloud, we nuclear babies. We grew up with movies like The Day After, and Red Dawn. There were miniseries titled Amerika and World War III...which segues nicely into the fact that WWIII aired for the second time the very night Airwolf debuted, and because of this, I missed the series premiere and had to piece it together after.

Airwolf taught me about being a hero. It taught me about doing the right thing, even when when it's dangerous, or scary, or uncertain. Jan-Michael Vincent was a strange sort of surrogate dad to me, showing me the kind of man I wanted to be--thoughtful, brilliant, talented, artistic, passionate, heroic, good...and even flawed. Something about The Lady (Airwolf herself) was the epitome of power and goodness. Even just thinkng about her, about the show, brings tears to my eyes. It is very largely because of Airwolf that I am who I am today.

And I get to have it back again beginning May 25.

April 8, 2005
Caught in Passing
Well, if you've been stopping by at all of late, perhaps you've noticed some of the changes and updates around here. There's actually a good bit of new material in the d20 section, as well as the ever-present (and rather self-indulgent, in all truth) bio page.

Even if you aren't a role-player, you might want to gander at the d20 section anyway, because my art serves as decorative illustrations on each page. Eventually, every page will have a different illo, but even now there is little repitition. Much of the work is brand-new, and all of it has been modified to give it some color and a little punch.

On a more personal note, I had a dream the other night about an assassin goldfish who took its job title literally and killed people by swimming up their butts. And, apparently, doing something vicious and horrible from there.

I have no idea.

Maybe it's time for bed.

March 27, 2005
Happy Easter! or,
How Time Flies
I blink, and another month is gone. Incredible.

Well, this isn't just another vapid entry of blah blah just to take up space. I actually have updated the site a bit, adding two more pages of equipment (with all-new spot illos, to boot) to the d20 section.

Yesterday was an absolutely unique workday for me. There was almost no business, and exactly during my shift, the History Channel played Jesus of Nazareth--the entire miniseries. Now, when I was growing up, every year in the week betwixt Palm Sunday and Easter, this was shown primetime on TV. It is a very thorough and very...pious depiction of Jesus' life, beginning with His birth and ending with His resurrection.

Anyway, I was able to watch most of it over the course of my shift, and it really set my mood for today. I am grateful that Jesus came. His coming changed the world, but for me, the most immediate effect was that His sacrifice made up for all of my shortcomings. His suffering, His death, they made it possible for me to have a relationship with God instead of simply relating to Him. The wage of sin is death, and Jesus was paid that so I wouldn't be, and so the books are square. Then He conquered death and came back so I could have a guide, an interpreter when I come to the Father.

Holy cats, how cool is that?

February 28, 2005
Busy-ness as Usual
Let's look at the irons I have in the fire right now:

- Work, with a full extra shift per week of late
- My Horizon campaign
- Working on my Planescape Third Edition illustration project
- Gearing up to illustrate in the next [?] Bone-Box Rattler [!]
- Readying a query for submissions to Dragon Magazine
- Exploring the Dragonlance Total Conversion project's Editor Pro for potential modding projects for Baldur's Gate II
- Working on new 3D projects, including a viper tree (which is exactly what it sounds like)
- Learning how to digitally paint my artwork
- Planning for the wedding
- Copiloting Bets as she plays Pharaoh, a city-building game

Holy cats, that's more than I thought I had going on. More updates to the Cage here will come, but other things take precedence right now.

I have, however, done a little housecleaning on this page. Since my musings are of little impact or import to anyone who hasn't already read them, I am archiving them on Mel and not on the site. Sorry if that inconveniences anyone.

Until next time, true believers!

January 18, 2005
Slow Times at Ridgemont High
I'm really sorry I have no meaty updates lately. Icewind Dale II is no longer to blame. I've been working hard on my Horizon campaign, and I have all sorts of material related to that I could put up, but I know at least one of my players regularly visits the Cage here, so I don't want to inadvertently spoil anything.

I have also been working on the first entries for the Locales (no link) section, including the introduction to the Omniverse, previously referred to as the Anti-Multiverse. The concept of the Omniverse is simple: The Outer Planes of the known Multiverse exist as if on one side of a coin. Closer still is the concept of darkness, which cannot exist without light, yet exists even when light is inaccessible. The planes cannot exist alone and are incomplete without their diametric opposites, yet few even know about these "flipside" planes. Here is an example:

Nirvana: Diametrically aligned with Limbo, the Plane of Ultimate Chaos, Nirvana is a study of logic and order as expressed by progression of form and dimension. It is ultimate law given serenity, logic made attainable through contemplation. It is Natural Law expressed through creation and the refinement of that creation. It is here the elements gain their distinctive qualities, here where dimension is built from nothingness, from here that time itself seems to flow.

Where Limbo is ever-shifting formlessness and confusion, Nirvana is logical progression. Limbo is tamed only by the strongest wills while Nirvana can be appreciated by the simplest minds. Limbo's influence is fled and abjured whenever possible, while Nirvana's fabric touches the farthest reaches of the cosmos.

Monster: Modals are strange, spherical creatures that seem to exist only to perceive and encourage the progression of order around them. Their abilities, appearance and inclinations suggest that they may be the ancestors of beholders and their kin (most notably spectators), and that, perhaps, the modrons of Mechanus are actually some progression of clockwork modal "cyborgs".

You'll have to wait for more. Until next time, true believers!

This site, all content and artwork Bladewrite Studios 2005