Doom Marines!

Back in January I wrote a post about how I’d gotten the Doom board game and some markers and other Tools of the Trade. This was my foray into the world of miniature painting, errr, markering? I think it is obvious that since this is my first follow up post that I am in no danger of turning into a hobby miniaturist. All pictures should be clickable for bigger pix.

Here are the 4 Space Marines facing off against a slightly obscured (unmarkered) Duke of Hell. The marines are supposed to be Blue, Green, Red and Yellow. The red was a bit darker than I expected and the “yellow” really turned more of a lime green. I suspect the tan of the mini’s themselves played a part in that.

These are the yellow and blue that I just finished yesterday. Unfortunately, my camera phone doesn’t like taking really close pictures. But you can see that I stuck with the “silver” scheme for the weapons, black for boots and hands and then one solid color for the base and body. You will never win any Aesthetic Awards using markers and I’m even worse. Just look at the feet. But all I need is a bit of color to liven up the game. No masterpieces here!

Thankfully, Mrs B’s phone has a “focus” function. You can really see here how the coverage isn’t that great. I’m sure I could go over it again with the ultra-fine marker and try to fill in the gaps, but that is not going to happen. My eyes aren’t good enough to see this unaided, so what do I care?

My next goal is to get a couple of the doom demons markered up. I will say that all the little details on these mini’s makes using markers a very sub-optimal option, IF making them look good is your goal. I think the markers would work much better on broad flat surfaces.

Considering my track record, if I can get in one more “Minis” post before New Years I’ll be doing well 😀

The Muppet Show Season Three (1978)

Man, things really had money poured on them for this season. The little hole in the wall theatre has had some upgrades so it’s a lot bigger and glitzier. The backstage now consists of a whole restaurant style thing plus the regular table and dressing rooms. In one episode they even took the show to a trainstation and had it there. Everything just screamed “more money, hurray!”.

I have not previously listed out who starred in each episode, but the star power really went up (money, money, money) and I think I’ll include it this time around.

  • Episode 301: Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge
  • Episode 302: Leo Sayer
  • Episode 303: Roy Clark
  • Episode 304: Gilda Radner
  • Episode 305: Pearl Bailey
  • Episode 306: Jean Stapleton
  • Episode 307: Alice Cooper
  • Episode 308: Loretta Lynn
  • Episode 309: Liberace
  • Episode 310: Marisa Berenson
  • Episode 311: Raquel Welch
  • Episode 312: James Coco
  • Episode 313: Helen Reddy
  • Episode 314: Harry Belafonte
  • Episode 315: Lesley Ann Warren
  • Episode 316: Danny Kaye
  • Episode 317: Spike Milligan
  • Episode 318: Leslie Uggams
  • Episode 319: Elke Sommer
  • Episode 320: Sylvester Stallone
  • Episode 321: Roger Miller
  • Episode 322: Roy Rogers & Dale Evans
  • Episode 323: Lynn Redgrave
  • Episode 324: Cheryl Ladd

The biggest thing I found out was that Dale Evans was a woman. I also enjoyed just how varied everything was. The stars didn’t overpower the show. and in some cases only showed up for 1 or 2 scenes. This really was the Muppet Show. Statler and Waldorf, the grumpy old critics even get into a fight with a guest but thankfully they lose. It was just so perfect though. Their bad jokes just make me laugh.

This came on 4 discs and I’d watch a whole disc at once. Pop in the dvd and let 6episodes just wash over me. Good times! I also watched the bonus content on the final disc. It was a rather long PBS’esque thing by Jim Henson about puppets. You could probably learn more about puppets than you ever wanted to know.

While it was all enjoyable, I did not like the increased glitz and glamor to the theatre or the addition of “more” to everything. This felt like the cusp of the Muppet Show making it big and I’m always leery of something filled with downhome charm and bluster becoming successful among the plebes.

The Muppet Show Season Two (TV 1977)

I really enjoyed this season two of the Muppet Show. Part of that was that they had a bunch of actors/entertainers who I actually had heard of (unlike season one where it was mostly C-list nobodies) and the variety was much greater in terms of skits and backstage goings ons. I’m guessing the budget was increased?

Things got started with Don Knotts, who I grew up with watching his disney movies and a few others. The Apple Dumpling Gang, the Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, the Shakiest Gun in the West, etc.

And the guests got bigger from there in many cases. Bob Hope, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Elton John. I don’t know if they were more talented or just because I knew them, but I liked most of the guests and their acts better than in season one. It felt like there was more interaction between the Muppets and the guests instead of the guests just doing their act with the Muppets involved.

I really enjoyed that there was a LOT more backstage stuff going on. One show was all about the Pigs taking over the show and the guest star helping Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo escape and take back the show. Ideas like that are right up my alley and I loved it. The terrible jokes are still front and center but don’t have quite as much attention paid to them as in season one. I was ok with that!

I mentioned the greater variety of skits and I think my favorite of them all is the Pigs in Space. The Swinetrek is a hilarious ship. John Cleese participates in one of the skits and he’s a pirate, with a muppet parrot, eye patch and sword. On a spaceship. He was trying to take over the ship but everything went wrong for him. I’m not a fan of Cleese and even I found the skit hilarious 😀

I am really looking forward to season three now.

[Manga Monday] Yotsuba&! Vol. 14 ★★★★★

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Yotsuba&! Vol. 14
Series: Yotsuba&! #14
Author: Kiyohiko Azuma
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 224
Words: 8K


Chapter List:

Yotsuba & Work

Yotsuba & Yoga

Yotsuba & Princess

Yotsuba & The Day Before

Yotsuba & Harajuku

Yotsuba & Yoyogi Park

Yotsuba & Lunch

From Wikipedia

After helping Koiwai move a new table upstairs, Jumbo presents Yotsuba with a set of beads; an intense necklace-making session ensues for the trio. Miss Stake invites Fuuka and Yotsuba to join her for a free trial session of yoga; as the older girls struggle, Yotsuba exhibits astonishing flexibility. Yotsuba reads the story of Cinderella; inspired, she ties ribbons to her hair and is infuriated when Koiwai fails to see her fancy long hair. Going next door, Asagi immediately recognizes her as a princess and makes a fancy dress for Yotsuba using plastic trash bags; after she returns home for her bead necklace, Koiwai makes up for his earlier faux pas by asking the self-proclaimed Princess Zapunzel for a dance. The day before their trip to Tokyo, Yotsuba asks her neighbors and friends for places to go; Mother Ayase suggests Ginza, Asagi suggests Shibuya and Shinjuku, Ena suggests Tokyo Tower, and Fuuka suggests Harajuku specifically to eat crepes, which she calls stylish. Torako suggests Daikanyama but then gloomily asserts there are no fun places for kids in Tokyo. To prepare for their trip, Koiwai buys a smartphone and Yotsuba accompanies him to buy a sushi dinner at the market. Jumbo and Yanda visit later that evening to help Koiwai with his new phone and ask Yotsuba where she would like to visit when they arrive in Tokyo. At the train station, Yotsuba helps Koiwai buy a ticket and they board a train to Ikebukuro Station, where they transfer to the JR East Yamanote Line. The pair stop in Harajuku for cotton candy and crepes, and then Koiwai gets a text message from his sister Koharuko suggesting they all meet in Yoyogi Park. At the park, Yotsuba spies on three women dressed as aliens, who she successfully convinces to not destroy the earth. Koharuko reminds Yotsuba they traveled to Tokyo to pick up Koiwai’s new car, a Mini convertible, and takes them to a buffet at a luxury hotel restaurant for lunch. After a filling meal, Yotsuba and Koiwai set off for the highway in their new car.

My Thoughts:

When I read this a year and a half ago, I went into it with the expectations of it being funny. With this re-read of the whole series, I think that “cute” is much more fitting than any humorous description.

The backstory of the following scene is that Yotsuba and her dad have gone to Tokyo to pick up a car from Yotsuba’s aunt and they meet in a park. Yotsuba sees some women dressed up as aliens and stares at them from behind a tree. One of the girls decides it would be fun to chase Yotsuba and she runs back to her dad and aunt, where her aunt tells her that she needs to ask the aliens to not destroy the earth.

There is another volume after this one, but it won’t be coming to american audiences until September of this year. That’s according to Yen Press, the publishers of the english version:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Muppet Show Season One (TV 1976)

I went into this never having seen full episodes before, just the various movies and then bits and pieces throughout my childhood.

I would sum up this season as psychedelic singing between rounds of horrible wordplays and bad jokes made on purpose. And I loved every minute of it.

I liked that the characters were “themselves” instead of trying to be something else like in the movies. Kermit is a great manager with just the right amount of gentleness and hardnose take no crap to keep everyone moving. Miss Piggy, well, she’s Miss Piggy and even in the movies she plays herself. It’s funny to watch her go after Kermit and him constantly rebuffing her. Why this is funny, I can’t say except that it is.

The human stars of the show, one per episode, were a bit of a disappointment. Most of them were singers and/or stage entertainers. I guess in the 70’s people watched tv to see people sing popular songs while either dancing with puppets or beating the stuffing out of them. I recognized 2-5 of the guests but that was it. I guess the muppets had a harder time at first getting some non-B list actors. Heck, I’d go so far as to say that several, if not many, of the guests were more at the C-list level. Of course, Candice Bergen pointing a shotgun at one of the characters and shooting a door off its hinges was totally worth it. You won’t see THAT today.

I really did binge this. While each episode was just under 25 minutes, once you ignore the opening and closing sequence you’re looking at 20minutes of “action”. One disc is quite easily watched on a sunday afternoon if you don’t mind plunking your backside down and just watching. With 4 discs for this season, that’s easy peasy.

I am really looking forward to Season 2 next month.

[Manga Monday] Yotsuba&! Vol. 13 ★★★★★

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Yotsuba&! Vol. 13
Series: Yotsuba&! #13
Author: Kiyohiko Azuma
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 224
Words: 8K


Chapter List:

Yotsuba & Sticks & Stuff

Yotsuba & Sandbox

Yotsuba & Night

Yotsuba & Souvenirs

Yotsuba & Cleaning

Yotsuba & Grandma

Yotsuba & The Black Ghost

Yotsuba & All Day Long

From Wikipedia

Yotsuba heads over to the Ayase house early in the morning, where she shows off her souvenirs and demonstrates the sleeping bag for Asagi. Because her dad says he is too busy, Yotsuba bullies Fuuka into taking her to the park, where they meet her friend Mii and play in the sandbox, making taiyaki and pudding with sand molds. After her dad puts her to bed, Yotsuba wakes up and explores the dark house before finding her father working. The next morning, Ena helps Yotsuba decorate the house for her grandmother’s visit before Yotsuba and her father meet her grandmother at the train station, who Yotsuba attempts to greet with a headbutt. Once they are home, Yotsuba receives souvenirs from her grandma. In the morning, Yotsuba helps her grandmother clean the street in front of the house and later, they clean the house once her grandmother believes Yotsuba is taking cleaning seriously. Yotsuba and her grandmother practice origami with Ena and run errands together before her grandmother has to leave, which Yotsuba attempts to prevent by hiding her luggage. The next day, Yotsuba is sweeping the street in front of the house when Yanda arrives and helps himself to the grilled onigiri Yotsuba had made with her grandmother; at bedtime, Koiwai transforms into Sleepyman to put Yotsuba to sleep.

My Thoughts:

As I’ve written before (I think), I tend to read these on Saturdays. Twice a month I attend a men’s group from church Saturday mornings and it can get pretty weighty and serious. We’ve been working our way through Titus for the last 6 months and have just gotten halfway through chapter 2. We’re serious about our responsibilities as Christian men and while it is always a good and encouraging time, it can be solemn. This past Saturday was such a time.

So it was an extra delight to read this volume. Yotsuba’s grandmother comes to visit and it is everything you’d expect from a 5year old for their grandma. Delightful, fun, heartwarming and fluffy.

I’ve chosen this particular scene because I love seeing Yotsuba experiencing new things. And I completely understand that “shivery but wanting more” feeling myself. It’s not just restricted to 5year olds, hahahahaa.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

[Manga Monday] Yotsuba&! Vol. 12 ★★★★★

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Yotsuba&! Vol. 12
Series: Yotsuba&! #12
Author: Kiyohiko Azuma
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 208
Words: 8K


Chapter List:

Yotsuba & Torako

Yotsuba & Blue

Yotsuba & Helmet

Yotsuba & Halloween

Yotsuba & Camping (part 1)

Yotsuba & Camping (part 2)

From Wikipedia

A short opening sequence shows Yotsuba drawing Danbo in chalk on the street before noticing migrating geese flying overhead. She welcomes Torako to the Ayase household where she shows off her photographs and learns to tie a bow. After arriving to the flower shop too late to help Jumbo paint a desk, Yotsuba finds a can of blue paint in the shoe rack at home and paints a kitchen table while her dad is working, staining her hands and leaving drips and blue footprints throughout the house. She futilely tries to clean up the mess and is confronted by her dad, who laughs instead of scolding her. Before Mr. Koiwai shows her how to use paint thinner, they go to the grocery to purchase ingredients for mapo tofu and a helmet from the bike shop. On Halloween, Fuuka and Miss Stake dress Yotsuba as a pumpkin, explaining how to ask for candy before also dressing in costume to go trick-or-treating together. Early the next morning, Miura’s mom and Ena’s parents see them off for a camping trip organized by Jumbo and Koiwai. Yotsuba is unpleasantly surprised to learn that Yanda has invited himself along, but ends up laughing at his jokes on the journey. At the campsite, the girls help pitch the tent, rest in a hammock, and cook curry for lunch. For dinner, they grill the meat given as a present by the parents and Yotsuba wakes early the next day, surprised by the sunrise simultaneous with the moonset.

My Thoughts:

You know, I’m starting to recognize why I didn’t do many individual manga reviews back when I was tearing through them. It doesn’t help that there’s not a “plot” per se to this series either. This was another wonderfully cute and fluffy set of vignettes that I thoroughly enjoyed and wish I had the words to show that.

This picture is when Yotsuba and gang are going camping and they are driving. Yotsuba and Ena (the neighbor girl) begin playing the Fancy Lady Game, where they talk like how they imagine fancy ladies talk. While I found the panel with Yotsuba talking about “country bumpkins” to be absolutely hilarious, what I enjoyed was just how the manga-ka captured in just a few panels an aspect of childhood, that ability to be imaginative and create a game out of almost anything. Yes, it is idealized but it is also completely true to life. I really like experiencing that for just a few minutes again.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984 Movie)

The Muppet Gang all graduate from college and have big dreams of making a play that will storm Broadway. So they write a play, travel to Manhattan and present their play to a famous director, telling him they hope it will make them all rich and famous. The director slowly looks at them and proceeds to throw the manuscript away. The rest of the movie is kermit trying to get the play accepted and all the other muppets giving up and going elsewhere. Once Kermit does succeed, he gets the gang back together, only to get amnesia and go missing. He’s found, Miss Piggy karate chops his memory back and the play is a smash hit and Kermit and Piggy get married.

This was definitely the weakest of the 3 movies. While as self-referential as the others, it lacked the cozy bonhomie of the first and the zany over the top situation of the second. I’m not a Broadway Play kind of guy so the whole situation didn’t work for me. Second, and more important to me, was just how mean Kermit could be. It was a very sharp departure from the carefree, optimistic Kermit of the first movie.

The Muppet show had ended in 1981 and the animated tv show, the Muppet Babies was to start in just a few months. This movie felt like a promotional ad for the Muppet Babies and as a “Happily Ever After” for fans of Kermit and Piggy. For me, Piggy and Kermit should have been eternally engaged, with all the drama and antics that go along with it.

I bought this but to be honest, I’ll probably watch it once or twice more and call that good. I felt too “meh” about this for most of it for me to give it anything else than a thumbs sideways.

[Manga Monday] Yotsuba&! Vol. 11 ★★★★★

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Yotsuba&! Vol. 11
Series: Yotsuba&! #11
Author: Kiyohiko Azuma
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 208
Words: 8K


Chapter List:

Yotsuba & Udon

Yotsuba & Pizza

Yotsuba & Soap Bubbles

Yotsuba & Harvest of Chestnuts

Yotsuba & Cameras

Yotsuba & Friends

Yotsuba & ….

From Wikipedia

Yotsuba goes to an udon shop without her father’s knowledge, and is allowed to watch udon being made. After getting a pizza menu in the mail, the Koiwais order a couple, though one turns out to be too much for Yotsuba to hold. After an announcement of an upcoming camping trip, Yanda arrives with various bubble-blowing devices, which they play inside, then outside, with. Yotsuba, Fuuka, and Miss Stake (Fuuka’s classmate from chapter 45) go to a shrine to pick chestnuts, and Yotsuba learns about burr covers and bug infestations. Koiwai gives Yotsuba her own camera, which she uses to go around taking pictures of people. Yotsuba meets Miura at her apartment building, and they go to Ena’s. On the way, a dog grabs her teddy bear and shakes it, making it smell like dog, so they wash it and dry it at the Ayases’. As a result, the bear’s ability to speak is broken, so Asagi offers to repair it overnight. Yotsuba spends much of the intervening time sulking about Juralumin’s absence until Yanda finally gets a reaction out of her. She goes to the Ayases’, where she finds Juralumin repaired.

My Thoughts:

I wish I had thought to include that little wiki blurb in my earlier reviews. It’s an awfully nice little thing to have to see what happened in which volume. You’d think after doing this for flipping 21 years I’d have a good handle on writing reviews.

I’m including a picture from the Pizza chapter. Pizza has always been part of my life and even now it is probably my favorite food (possibly tied with chicken potpie or Mr Mac’s specialty mac&cheese). So seeing someone see it for the first time just makes me grin. It also makes me realize just how much behavior that kids have to learn. In the next panel, not included, Yotsuba’s dad has to show her how to eat it with her hands, as she can’t figure out how she’s supposed to eat it with chopsticks, hahaha. Kids are likes sponges and soak up stuff without them realizing or even us realizing what we’re teaching them. Good food for thought.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Rifleman’s Creed

Ruger PC Carbine 19100

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will …

My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit …

My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will …

Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy, but peace!

~Major General William H. Rupertus 1941’ish (USMC)

While my carbine isn’t a “rifle” (and carbine is pronounced car bean for anyone wondering), it is as close as I’ll probably get to one. Rifles have a longer barrel and tend to weigh a bit more. For someone as short as me, a carbine is just easier to handle. It also makes for a great home defense weapon without the kick of a shotgun. It is something that even Mrs B can use. It is also easily taken apart for portability. (a push of a button and twist of the barrel and voila, it fits in my backpack for hiking!)

Anyway, back to the Rifleman’s Creed. When I was picking up my gun the other month at the store, several of the men there were discussing the Rifleman’s Creed and one of the younger guys was enthusiastically and quite vociferously saying that it had been around since the Revolutionary War days (late 1700’s for you non-Americans). The owner of the shop ended up asking everyone in the store what they thought. I guessed World War One, as only a mass produced weapon can produce a line like “There are many like it, but this one is mine“. The shop owner guessed around the Korean War (1950) and there were guesses all over the place. It was quite an interesting little topic of discussion. Of course, after we’d all had our say, Mr Young and Vociferous looked it up on Wikipedia and discovered it was of the World War Two era.

I have already replaced the magazine well so it can accept glock mags. I’ve also bought several Glock17 33round mags.

Taking this fine piece of equipment apart, changing its guts and putting it back together again definitely falls under the “I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel” aspect. Removing a spacer in the buttstock also made this slightly more comfortable for me, as I don’t have space gorilla length arms. The next order of business is to get a sling for it and then either a red dot sight or an actual scope. Given my diabetes and how it affects my eyes, I’m leaning towards an actual scope. What good will a red dot sight do me if I can’t see the danged red dot at 25 yards? What I’d REALLY like is a suppressor so if I’m forced to use this as a home defense gun I won’t make myself deaf. Of course, a suppressor costs as much as the gun itself so that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

One of the main reasons I chose this gun over some of the others is because it uses 9mm ammo, the same as my Sig Sauer P938 pistol. The PC in the name (PC Carbine 19100) stands for Pistol Caliber.

Being able to use the same ammo for both my guns is a big deal for me. It makes buying, storing and using just that much easier. It is also cheap and one of the most common types of ammo, so availability is pretty decent. A gun won’t do anyone any good without the ammo to back it up. A rifleman must be aware of all aspects of his weapon, including the ammo. I feel like I’ve got that part down pat too.

That should wrap up this little ramble. Thanks for hanging in until the end.