March 29, 2009

Ducks Of A Feather

It appears Digicolleen over at The Duck Show and I were thinking the same way this morning... or at least our duckies were.  A couple of hers are in Hawaii (wellllll...), while three of mine had been pestering me to let them go sunbathing.  I promised I'd let them this morning.

The result?

Three inches of snow and ice fell on Duckford last night.  Oopsie.

(The F1 Update! is coming this evening.)

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March 15, 2009

Want. Want! Wantwantwantwantwantwantwantwant!

So The Brickmuppet and I are chatting, and he tells me that his pal BOB (who is never mentioned on his website) is going to be carrying a "collectible game" that uses rubber duckies as game pieces. 

Oh.  Oh my.  Yes, please.

Duck Duck Go! does, in fact, use rubber duckies as pieces, but they move around a hexagon board as guided by random movement cards, all the while being chased by a "bird dog" that can cause all sorts of havoc to your plans.

The rules (pdf) are simple enough to be understood in just a couple of minutes, but can become complex enough to require strategic thinking, which I really didn't expect.  All in all, methinks I see a new addition to the Flock's collection sometime in the future.  You can get it from APE Games, or from your favorite game retailer, of course.

There is one rule that I think they missed, though... they advertise "100 different duckies" are available as playing pieces (I've already got 34 of them, by the way), but none of them have 'special powers'.  The advanced game introduces action tokens, yes, but that's not quite the same.  For example, a Halloween duckie could scare the bird dog once a game, which would keep it from bonking you.  A Christmas duckie could give a gift of one hex of movement to any duckie (or the bird dog), which could make the target miss a bouy (or the drain!).  The possibilities are endless... which could make this game even more fun! 

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March 10, 2009

Very Cool Stuff From "Santa".

As most of my regular readers are aware, I've long been fascinated by the War in the Pacific.  For thirty years (at least), I've been a voracious reader of anything I could get my wings on related to that conflict.  While I've been interested in anything that happened in those years, over time I've also narrowed my focus down onto the Battle of Midway.

As I read the incredible book Shattered Sword, I became aware of something called The Battle of Midway Roundtable (BOMRT).  Calling itself "an international forum focusing on the 'Incredible Victory' at Midway, the turning point of the Second World War in the Pacific," it's something of a clearinghouse for information on Midway.

The most important part of BOMRT, however, is without a doubt the weekly newsletter.  Members ask questions, which are then answered by other members... and the breadth and depth of the knowledge available is immense. 

Currently on the member list are 45 veterans who were actually present at the Battle of Midway, ranging from a Marine on the atoll, to PBY pilots, to Dauntless pilots and gunners, to crewmen from all three US carriers, to the lone TBF Avenger pilot and crewman to survive that plane's baptism of fire (Bert Earnest and Harry Ferrier, flying from Midway as part of the detachment from Hornet's VT-8, both of whom are covered extensively in the book A Dawn Like Thunder).

One member of the BOMRT has gained the nickname of "Santa Claus".  Annually, Ted Kraver goes to a major used book sale and picks up a bunch of military history books.  He then gives them away to other members of the BOMRT as a 'thank you' for the past year's worth of insight and experiences. 

This year, I was one of the lucky recepient of one of Santa's gifts:

Zero Fighter by Martin Caidin and Saburo Sakai... not the duck.
The duck is the mascot of the Duck U. Bookstore.

Thank you very much, Ted Santa!  I'm looking forward to devouring this one.  Incredibly cool of you.

Membership to the BOMRT is free, by the way, and if you have any interest in the Pacific War you owe it to yourself to join.  Why wait?  Do it now!

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March 07, 2009

Congratulations, Brickmuppet!

Way to go!!!

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March 06, 2009

Six Of One, Half-Dozen Of Another...

So I'm grocery shopping, walking down the bread aisle (rye bread: crack for ducks) and an attractive young woman is walking the other way, towards me.

Much to my surprise, she stops, looks at me, and says "I know you!"

This is good.

Then she says, "You're the weird guy with all the ducks!"

This... this is why people drink heavily.

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March 02, 2009

What Is Geek Canon?

In the comments for "Watching The Classics", Avatar relates a story:

You know, I hadn't seen that last one until quite recently. My D&D group was boggled that I wasn't following their "spear and magic hellllllmet!" jokes...

That's actually a good question. What is the geek canon? What are the things which I need to have seen, read, heard, etc. in order to communicate with my fellow geeks?

Steven suggests #1 should be Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  A fine choice... and here's a few more, in no particular order:

The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy.  "Do you know where your towel is?"
Star Wars.  "May The Force Be With You."
Spaceballs.  "May the Schwartz Be With You."
Lord Of The Rings, either the books or the movies.  "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them."
Starship Troopers, the book, though most Heinlein novels could be here.  The first appearance of power armor?  Yeah, that's a geek thing...
Blade Runner.  "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.  Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.  I watched C-Beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.  All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain... Time to die."
Snow Crash.  Hiro Protagonist?  The Deliverator?  Raven?  "Poor Impulse Control"?  The Metaverse, which may as well be our next entry...
The Matrix.  "Take the red pill."

It's obvious I have a SF background... but there's gotta be a gazillion others.  Leave your Essential Geek Canon ideas in the comments!

UPDATE: Avatar has his own (soon to be multi-?)post on Geek Canon, too.

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March 01, 2009

Watching The Classics

My stepfather, Ph.Duck, is a good guy.  Every now and again, however, Momzerduck and I trip over the strangest cultural blind-spots.

You see, Ph.Duck was born to a pair of missionaries (one Swedish, one American) in Nepal, and (mostly) raised in India.  He's lived about half of his years there, though not all at one time.  As a result, we'll discover unexpected gaps in his knowledge of American culture, mostly entertainment-based.  For example, up until about five years ago, he'd never seen Star Wars.  Momzerduck and I might go off on a riff from, say, a Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch, and he'll just look at us like we've gone completely insane.

He's a huge fan of the opera (and classical music in general), and they recently went to see Tristan und Isolde at the Chicago Lyric Opera.  A few days before, I said the only operas I've ever seen were by Warner Brothers.  He gave me a blank look... and I had to explain.  He had never seen some of the classic Bugs Bunny cartoons!

So this past Friday, after dinner, we all sat down to watch...

Long-Haired Hare.  Ph.Duck chuckled at the Stokowski reference.

Rabbit of Seville.  He laughed a lot during this one (particularly during the "snake charmer" bit, where Bugs makes an electric razor fly after Elmer)... rightfully so, considering that it was voted #12 on the list of the 50 greatest cartoons of all time.

And then, the legendary, the greatest opera of all time:

"Oh, Bwunhilda, you're so wuvvly."
What's Opera, Doc?  Incorrectly voted the greatest cartoon ever (that honor belongs to Duck Amuck, which was voted #2), it was the first cartoon in the National Film Registry.  Ph.Duck seemed amused by the short, but I was hoping for something... well, more.  Laughter.  Amazement.  Something.

So I was downcast because of his lack of reaction, thinking that maybe he saw them as making fun of opera, instead of the more correct honoring the artform through parody.  Until tonight, that is, where Momzerduck mentioned to me that she had heard him singing in the shower... "I'm going to kill the wabbit!"

Mission successful.

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