Snakes on a Plane: the Role-Playing Game is apparently a joke post made on forum, 1214 words long (not counting the witty quotes in the author's signature) which has apparently hit the highest possible peak of street cred for a free game. The game was cited in an article in Time magazine, even linked from the online version of the article. I am so totally jealous.

The closest I've come to free game designer street cred is people on The Forge ( discussing a game I posted there (My Love For You Is Way Out of Line) long after I stopped trying to talk about it, and had given up posting games there. Best of all, Ron Edwards, who is like the Gruumsh of independent RPG designers, advised another designer on The Forge to check out My Love For You.

It's also cute to see something you've written linked from some webpage in another language. Looks like Cyrillic alphabet? Looks like they just copied a list of free games from an English site, but it's still cool to think that it spread that far.


Garden Railways Magazine - for all your model-railroad-through-your-garden needs.


[Memo from work about the latest version of our database. Name has been changed to preserve anonymity.]

Please ensure that your staff has not added color to any fields while customizing the grids (creating or updating grid tabs). This will have a definite impact on performance and could be causing some error messages. If they have added color, please ask them to remove it.

Murky Dismal


Theme to Hawaii Five-O, performed by squeezing air through the hands. [google video clip]
"Veg My Ride teaches you how to convert your diesel car to run on used veg-oil. No need for expensive biodiesel, fill up at most any restaurant for about .15/gallon! Waste fryer oils, collected from your local restaurant are the least expensive alternative fuel solution, and by far the most readily available. "Veg My Ride" shows you how to install a dual tank conversion. This means you still have your factory fuel system and tank, and the ability to run on standard petro-diesel at any time. This system is IN ADDITION to your factory fuel system, providing the most reliable fuel system."


Some authors can now maintain blogs attached to their book pages on I jumped on that. But then after I signed up, I wasn't sure what to write about. Nothing new is happening. I haven't done any book signings or tours or junk. So I fell back on the silly marketing tactic that has gotten me to this point: making up crap and passing it off as marketing materials, with just enough trolls and witchcraft to show that it's not true. The post on my AmazonConnect page is a "Dismal bookstore event under Livonia" about a shmoozing vampire bookdealer and the embarrassing reading that I gave in his tomb-like store.

It's more like a story that I'm the main character in. Go figure.


Rebuttal to the Ultimate Avengers
cartoon dvd trivia track
Just in case you watched the Ultimate Avengers cartoon dvd trivia track, and you'd like a dissenting opinion, here it is. I was going to record it as an mp3 so you could play it like an unauthorized audio commentary, but even I can't blather for a straight hour on this subject. So here it is as a couple pages of notes.

If that's not your kind of thing, try Stevie Wonder's 1972 appearance on Sesame Street singing 1-2-3.


"...Vegetarians and vegans find the structure and protein content interesting."
Not exactly a resounding recommendation, but tempeh is not bad for a savory, mushroomy, umami tasting substance made from fermented soybeans. I bought a package and stir fried some last night. It was good. In fact, I stir fried a mess of vegetables and only a little bit of tempeh because I wasn't sure if I'd like it. It turned out like when you have a cereal with boring bits and marshmallows, and you start treasuring the marshmallows at the end when you know you're going to run out. The bits of tempeh were too sparse and I was feeling privileged on the bites that contained it, feeling a loss on the bites that didn't.

If you drink any kind of alcohol, don't try to tell me tempeh's too weird for you.

Anyway, also provides a bunch of recipes, so I won't have to keep stir frying the rest of it.


Easter turducken
You may recall a food item called "turducken," which consists of a turkey stuffed with a duck in the body cavity, also stuffed with a chicken in the duck cavity. Here's an illustrated tutorial on what you might instead call ChocBunpeepcad. A cadbury creme egg stuffed into a marshmallow peep, stuffed into the hollow cavity of a chocolate bunny.

You gotta love someone with the commitment to actually use a dremel tool to ensure a precisely fitted plug in the chocolate bunny after stuffing it. Oh yeah, and they also list the approximate nutritional content.


Hell is in downtown Ann Arbor
There was a really good story in an old Hellraiser comic book. Instead of using a demonic metal puzzle to open the gateway to Hell, this story involved a building with mazey corridors. If you walk down corridors in the right order, you solve the puzzle and open the gateway to Hell.

Try to find 15 different periodicals titles on seven different floors in two different areas of Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan. If you're on the third floor North, you can only get to third floor South by going back down to 2 and moving to a separate bank of elevators. The North section has floors labelled 1, 1A, 2, 2A, even Basement and Basement A.

Then when you have your cart loaded with thick, old volumes, you have to take it back down to the second floor and find a third bank of elevators.

To enhance your feelings of disorientation, some of the shelves and stairway handrails and fixtures appear to be 80 or 100 years old. In the North section, it appears that the shelves were built prior to the floors, so there are litle gaps at the edges of the shelves where you can see down to floors below or above.

In the South section, the shelves are packed tightly and the rooms are massive. Standing at one end and looking all the way down to the other end is like that famous matte painting from Raiders of the Lost Ark showing the endless rows of crates in Warehouse 23.

I would say the whole experience of Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library is hellish, except the librarians have been very friendly, even when I bring them a cart stacked full of ancient volumes to check out, and they have to add barcode stickers to half of them. None of them has told me, "We have such sights to show you!"

Parking in Ann Arbor anywhere near campus, however, is Hell. If you look directly at the students with cellphones plastered to their ears walking through the streets as if no such things as cars exist, they will appear human. But if you glance at them with peripheral vision, you'll see the nails, chains, hooks, Pinhead riding in your passenger seat.


Chapter Four: Human Boots
In the latest episode of the goblin soap opera podcast Brazen Hearts, Fresh, On Sticks, Rico asks a human for feedback on his new advertising jingle, "Human Boots." It's got a good beat, and you can strip flesh off warm corpses to it. Josie seems to be indisposed this week; maybe Rico will mention something about that.
Featuring Melinda Ann Smith as the gagged human "Chunky"!
[Run time: 6 minutes, 30 sec. The link above points to 128kbps, 6.3 Mb mp3 file. Click here to see other file formats and sizes for downloading or streaming.]


Ebony, Ivory & Jade (1976)
"3 Foxy Mamas Turned Loose... They Can Lick Any Man Ever Made!" (Click here for .mov trailer.) Was this the inspiration for Uma's tv pilot in Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill? Alternate titles include:
American Beauty Hostages
She Devils in Chains


Kneel before SLY

Stop what you are doing right now. Stop it! I know you're multi-tasking or something. Stop whatever it was you were doing and prepare yourself. As soon as you get done downloading this .mov file of Sly & the Family Stone appearing on Ed Sullivan, you will spend five minutes viewing the clip, and then the universe shall be yours. You will have been Stoned in the Family way.

You know when you tell people, "Some day we'll look back on all of this and laugh," and it makes you feel better for a second, but then you realize that not enough time has passed and no one is going to laugh just yet? After viewing this brief video clip, you will be able to look back on everything and laugh. This clip seriously tests my faith in Our Savior the Lord God Almighty John Allen (James Marshall "Jimi") Hendrix, praise be unto him. I am now an apostate, fallen from the good graces of St. James the Marshallful.

What we have here is not only Ed Sullivan tripping over his tongue introducing an Afro-American gentleman with muttonchops the size of sledge hammers; not only a medley of Sly hits that appear to be performed for real, not lip-synched; not only is Sly embarassing the pinks in the audience by walking out among them and singing at them; but best of all, Sly performs a hand-jive on his thighs and chest in the aisle between rows of white dudes in full suits and ties.

I watched 4 minutes and 37 minutes, and paused it to blog about it right now. It's that good. At the end, Ed shakes hands with Sly, speaks a few words out of range of the microphones, holding up one hand and pointing to Sly and then side to side at the rest of the band. It as though Ed has been so stunned by the performance that he is unconsciously making the sign of the cross at them. You owe it to yourself to watch this thing. Prepare your speakers and make some extra space around your computer. For when the power of Sly compells you, his word becomes reality. Foolish mortal! Get on up and dance to the music.
Rob's Law of Writers' Workshop Ads
For any display ad in a magazine seducing you to enroll in a writers' workshop or retreat, the visual appeal of the ad layout will be in reverse proportion to the number of featured authors whose names you will recognize.


Congresswoman McKinney was stopped by capitol police because she does not wear the official lapel pin that lets legislators skip the regular security measures.

...Note to self: Buy small quantity of sheetmetal, solder, metal-crafting tools and cloisonne' enamel. No more security lines for me! This probably works even better than saying, "I'm Hank Williams Junior, bitch!"


Is it plastic surgery or has Kenny Rogers been replaced by one of his numerous impersonators? OFFICIAL KENNY ROGERS WEBSITE. "Promise me, son, not to kill me and assume my identity!" Think about it, this guy's career will have ups and downs. You'd have a lot better job security and a lot higher pay if you could become Kenny Rogers instead of just getting gigs impersonating him.

I know it's a silly theory, but look at that guy! Face lift? White hair transplants? Decades of plastic surgery? No. That's a man, baby! That's a different man!


I'm going to try to quit meat.
Take it with a grain of salt, because it's not an easy thing to do, and I'm not so committed that I'm starting right away. I'm planning to use up the rest of the meat in my fridge and freezer, and then the only meat I'll buy will be things that Melinda wants.

My primary motivation is sustainability. It's better for the environment to eat a quarter pound of grain than to eat a quarter pound of meat that required dozens of pounds of grain, five or ten times as much water, plus all the fossil fuels wasted on growing that extra grain, keeping meat refrigerated or frozen, etc.

The secondary reason, but still a pretty good one is that buying meat is not conducive to being a cheapskate. I have an instinctive commitment to being a cheapskate. Fresh produce is generally a lot cheaper than any kind of meat.

Third priority, it's good for me. I suppose a vegetarian could pig out on breads, pizza, dairy and processed junk. I'm going to try to buy less processed food and keep a better balance, which will hopefully distract me from that missing ingredient.

Lastly, it's nice for the animals. That's really not a motivation, but a nice side effect.

So my reason for blogging about it is that now I'll have to try and follow through. I don't know how strict I'll be able to stay, but I'm going to try. As Roger said in the 1978 Dawn of the Dead, "I'm gonna try... not to... I'm gonna try... not to... come back [to eating meat]. I'm gonna try... not to..."


Melinda's Basketcase Show aired on KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston Sunday morning at 3 AM!! See her website to download the ten minute clip (episode 2). Then she called in to talk on the air a while afterward. Here's a stream of that clip and here's an mp3 you can download. Fast forward to eight minutes into the clip for Melinda's part. Success!

A little birdie told me that an upcoming Basketcase Show segment might deal with mental health pioneer Dorothea Dix. But then Lozie ate the birdie, so I couldn't get any more inside info.


Melinda posted a new installment of her podcast Basketcase Show. In this episode, "Songlian describes her various psychotic breaks" with clips from A Beautiful Mind and Requiem for a Dream mixed in. Here's the ten minute full flavored 128kbps mp3 for your downloading pleasure, and here's the page where you can stream it or download other file formats and sizes.
This is where your kids will live!
I made a commercial! Click on that link above to see it. Chevrolet has a nifty website where you can mix and edit clips and soundtracks and captions to create a commercial for the 2007 Chevy Tahoe, which you can enter in a contest! Or you can email your commercial to friends! Or use tools supplied by The Man to subvert the dominant paradigm, giving links to a whole mess of anti-SUV commercials like these!