So for 2 months I've been working on renovating this bathroom at my mother's house, right? (I'm becoming more and more like Sheldon from Murphy Brown.) And this morning I am awakened by my mother's desperate screams this morning when the drain in the new shower begins overflowing. Apparently, the house's drain to the street backed up while she was doing laundry. This caused the sewage to flow back up the pipe into the shower and out the toilet drain (which is still without a toilet). So my 2005 has ended with me standing in a puddle of raw sewage.

Here's to 2006!

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I just discovered through Google that there is another online Wriphe who is over in the UK. (At least I think it's the UK. He likes cars, especially BMWs. That Wriphe even says "Cheers" at the end of his postings, so I know it's not me.) I think that's kind of cool. It's like a Mirror, Mirror thing. I hope he has a goatee.

On second thought, I suppose it could be a Fight Club thing. Or maybe a Time Cop thing. You know, it seems that most alternate future/phsycologically destructive alter-ego scenarios have only downsides. Why can't it be a Multiplicity thing? (I wonder if UK Wriphe is sleeping with Andie McDowell?)

Athens GA 12/18/05

Christmas time is stressful. Especially when you live hand-to-mouth and are trying to split your daylight hours between your mother's constantly-redesigned remodeling job-in-progress and puzzling through the legal and financial obstacles hazarding potential small business owners. What I've learned so far: 1) Allow the changes, but charge extra for the time that said changes cause. 2) There is way too much government interference in America's so-called capitalistic industries.

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This holiday season, take some time to review the things that really matter. Ponder the big questions in life: If Jesus had been a postman, would he have been mailed to the cross? Do you ruin Santa's schedule if you put laxative in his milk and cookies? If I dream of a white christmas, will I be considered a racist by Morgan Freeman?

I was watching one of my favorite movies the other day, the 1979 TV pilot for Captain America. It features one of my favorite actors, Reb Brown. Reb's acting was never very good, but his great physique, good natured delivery, and unintentionally comic timing always made his onscreen performances memorable. (He had quite a bit of work for nearly 2 decades beginning in the mid-seventies, everything from Fantasy Island to Flight of the Intruder.)

To get a better sense of Reb's style, take a look at this clip from the movie. (Check out Simon's double-take to Steve's final statement.) If you've never seen the movie, there are a lot of great moments where it seems that scientist and spy Simon is talking to Steve as though Steve were a special education student. It's great. And it has a big part for Lance LeGault, a member of Elvis' Memphis Mafia and prolific actor who played, among other roles, the A-Team's Col. Decker. Don't worry, you'll recognize him as "that guy with the gravelly voice who always plays assholes."

It's a long way from "Do you think this letter on my head stands for France?" but it's a lot of clean, old-fashioned fun anyway.

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I think my printer (Epson Stylus CX5400) is dead. That really annoys me. I mean, it's been a piece of crap for a long time, ever since I upgraded my Win XP to SP2, the scanner functions have failed to interface properly, but at least it did print ok (most of the time). I printed a letter on it just yesterday.

I guess I'll have to buy a new printer. It won't be an Epson, though. Screw those bastards: this thing has been nothing but trouble.

I'm posting a link to a zipped file (320KB) of my new 3rd Edition Character Sheet here so that I can find it this weekend. I never know what computer I'll be in front of, and this thing is too handy to lose. I'll give it a permanent home on my RPG pages sooner or later.

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I watched the two pilots to Fantasy Island the other night. They are awful. My fantasy is that I could get that time back! You hear that, Mr. Rourke? Jerk.

Anyway, I have finally finished the update to the DnD pages to include the missing campaigns. I'm uploading now at... what? 4:33AM EDT, so there will likely be some errors I'll work out later. The important part is... Sleep. Colony and the 2 missing Kurse campaigns now live. Go. Read. Leave me alone.

Oh, yeah. If you haven't visited my brother's AWESOME website, follow this link to take a gander: Trey's AWESOME website. It's got pictures. AWESOME pictures. (I taught him everything I know. It didn't take long.)

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I have to admit that I just don't understand America's fascination with midgets and monkeys.

Both are staples of comedy bits on TV from commercials to the Man Show. On the big screen Austin Power's Mini-Me became a cultural phenomenon not too far removed from Clyde in Any Which Way But Loose. (And yes, I know that Clyde, an orangutan which is a member of the ape family, is not actually a monkey. This is really a rant against dressing up primates in human clothing, so maybe I should have said "pygmies and primates" instead of "midgets and monkeys," but you get the general idea here.)

I believe that the reason that these two things are commonly considered humorous is because they are both (to different extents) miniature versions of the human form. Midgets are humans, small humans. Monkeys are hairy, small humanoids with tails. Notice that in both descriptions, the only common word is "small." That's right, to America, small equals fascinating. (Perhaps because we as a culture are now all so ridiculously large ourselves.)

Look at our obsession with iPods, Chihuahuas, cell phones, babies, and Tom Cruise. If a monkey reminds you of a small version of your office companions (which is exactly the point of a recent commercial for a internet job site), then you are likely to find the antics of the monkey funny as you project your office companions' activities and motivations onto the monkey's diminutive form. When Curious George falls into hijinks, we laugh. When Billy Bob Thornton gets into a shootout with Tony Cox in Bad Santa, we laugh. When Homer Simpson skips out on a robbery to watch the drive-in movie Hail to the Chimp, we laugh. (Though when Dunston Checks In comes on cable, we change the channel. We Americans are a fickle bunch.)

Perhaps it is because I don't much like people in the first place that I also don't much care for miniature versions of people. (Note to the Little People lobby: it's not that I'm a midget hater, I just don't find you particularly funny simply because you've got really stubby fingers.) I'm sure that I'm in the minority here, but I'm just damn tired of monkey jokes.

Oh, and happy thanksgiving. Can you guess what we talked about over our ham and potatoes this year? (That's right: a midget football league.)

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We lost to Auburn. Sure, we had some bad calls go against us (such as Offensive Pass Interference 40 yards away from the play), but in the end, we gave up over 50 yards on 4th and 11 that put the game in their hands. We got what we deserved in the end. Bummer.

On the up side, the pre-game military parachutists (as pictured poorly above) landing out of the pitch-black night sky was way cool. It was like living through Red Dawn.

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Alright, I've spend the entire night working on updates to the site. Those of you who have been pestering me to restore the DnD wrap-ups will be pleased to know that I finally have something online now. The original Thorgillian Wars campaign is up. To see it, find Wriphe on the home page and follow the d20 to the page.

What? You didn't expect me to make it easy for you, did you?

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The single greatest panel in the history of Batman comic books appeared waaaaay back in Batman issue 1 in 1940:

It was followed shortly thereafter by the second greatest panel in the history of Batman comic books:


In fact, everything I know about relationships I learned from reading Batman and Robin comic books. You beat up villains (who love you for it), you play rough with the ladies (who love you for it), and you endanger the safety of little boys (who love you for it). What more do you need to know in life?

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As you no doubt know by now, Georgia lost to Florida. Again. I've gotten so used to it that I'm over this year's loss in just 3 days. (Hell, I even started mourning a day early just to go ahead and get it out of the way.)

It's not bad enough that our football team is so convinced that they can't beat Florida that they are defeated before they ever enter the stadium. ("Neutral site" my ass). The Gators have now grown so cocky that they took the field in the ugliest uniforms in the history of football.

I've complained in the past about the uniforms of the Denver Broncos (those fat orange stripes are definitely not slimming), the Miami Hurricanes (lines gone wild!), the Buffalo Bills (for no apparent reason, no two sections of their uniform are the same color), the Oregon Ducks (Green! Yellow!), and the Seattle Seahawks (even kids with an 64-pack of crayons excessive better color theory), but the uniforms worn by the University of Florida were the worst that I've ever seen. It looked like the designers couldn't even make up their own mind what the uniforms should look like. A relatively normal uniform with one orange arm made them look lopsided. Were they dressing up as Frankenstein for Halloween? Does the team need color coding to figure out how to line up in the same direction at the line of scrimmage?

So, in the end, not only were we beaten, we were beaten by an inferior football team wearing uniforms that costumed super-villains would have found insulting. What a blow to our confidence. I hope we can recover before we face Auburn in their new-look tiger-stripe/eagle-feather costume.

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To be continued...


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