Thursday, July 23, 2015

Project NL: Millennium Falcon

millennium falcon night light
Joey, have you ever wanted split open the Millennium Falcon?
Over the years I somehow came into possession of two 1979 Kenner Millennium Falcon toys. I know one of them was given to me by my younger brother, but the other one I don't really have any recollection of acquiring. After kicking around in boxes and surviving a couple of moves, they were both in danger of being offloaded at a thrift store. Rather than see them disappear I started on a project to turn one of them into a night light because what else does one do with multiple Falcons?

I performed a once-over of each Falcon trying to decided which one would be the successful candidate. Neither one was in the best condition to start with but one was definitely in better shape.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Excerpt from Chapter 13: Roy Arrives in Less Dramatic Fashion

The text below is from a novel in progress. First draft so there's still plenty of editing that will need to be done before it's "ready."

“It was marked on the wall outside.”

“Show me,” Tex moved from behind the counter toward the door.

Outside, Roy pointed at the graffiti. Tex considered the markings for only a moment before heading back inside.

“I don't suppose, Canuck, that you carry a sidearm?” Tex was rooting behind the counter. “I've got one here if you don't.”

“A gun? For what?”

“La Madre is one of the local gangs. Involved in drugs, illegal hooch, drug smuggling. People sometimes,” Tex stood up holding what Roy knew was a shotgun, but didn't recognize the type. “Rile up all kinds of trouble in town. When they feel like it; when someone ain't paid up protection money or wronged them some way. Not happened in a spell, quiet lately. We've been marked for target practice, I expect.”

Tex banged a side of the counter top and a small spring-loaded drawer opened on the customer side of the counter.

Roy's wide eyes stared down at some kind of handgun. Growing up in the wilds of Canada, Roy knew about rifles – a tool that his family used on a regular basis to hunt game – but handguns? What use was there for a handgun? Using a rifle was all about keeping a safe distance from dangerous game. The effective range of a handgun made it impractical unless you wanted to make a lot of noise without getting much done. He reached for the gun.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Daredevil

After a couple of episodes of Marvel's Daredevil -- obligatory, "Now available on Netflix!" -- one thing that really stands out to me is just how hellish life is when you're not on SHIELD's helicarrier. Throughout the Avengers/Marvel Universe movies, we get a sanitized version of the results of the kind of violence that meta-humans and gods can unleash (not to mention the aliens) on a city. Those gargantuan Chitari flying whale-things in Avengers easily topple buildings and the Hulk is smashing everything that is and isn't moving but you never get a sense of the human cost behind all that destruction. Thousands must have died in the "Battle for New York." Never mind that "The Council" was going to nuke Manhattan, there must have been massive causualties on the ground.

Daredevil doesn't really get into that aspect of the Battle for New York, but it has featured the aftermath as a boon for organized crime to rebuild sections of the city and swindle huge amounts of cash into their bank accounts. What Daredevil has done is bring the Marvel Universe right down to the streets, grime and garbage included. (And at the end of the second episode, we go under the streets in one intense round of combat.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fat-Man & Burger

I think I was 7 or 8 -- somewhere around that age -- when I got hold of a mechanical pencil for the first time in my life. I loved the fact that the tip never blunted, which is still a problem with modern pencils, so I spent and afternoon/evening drawing "Fat-Man & Burger."

The ending lacks a punch, but I'm fond of some of the illustrations, particularly the panel where Fat-Man is sweating profusely.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

TV Theme Songs

Something about TV theme songs really appeal to me. It might be because they're short, usually have memorable lyrics, and conjure up whatever good feelings I might have associated with the show. Bojack Horseman (on Netflix) features an instrumental opening that is currently buzzing through my brain. Here's an extended version:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

This Headline


A number of days ago, this headline had me laughing every time I thought about it. Even without any context or knowing what the rest of the story is about, it just sums up what a couple of 12-year-old boys would come up with on a hot summer afternoon and it somehow becomes news.

Intentionally or not, it also has the cadence of a headline from The Onion.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Excerpt from Chapter 12 – Why Couldn't It Have Been Tequila?

The text below is from a novel in progress. First draft so there's still plenty of editing that will need to be done before it's "ready."
“This leak, Roy, you gotta do something with it,” his mechanic had told him. “I know you keep topping it up but that ain't gonna keep you going for much longer. I'll give you a break on the labour. Or how about you pay me in instalments?”
Roy cocked his head, winked at the mechanic. “I'll be just fine, mon amis. Not to worry.”
As he leaped out of the car to snap the hood open and restart the car with force of will and a wave of profanity, Aloysious muttered, “I knew we should have stopped at that last gas station to get some water.”

A large semi-trailer zoomed passed them and the pair were left in an eerie wake of silence.

Well, silence as allowed by Roy's incredible barrage of profanity.

It was close enough to noon for the sun to be almost directly overhead. And it was hot. Not the kind of swimming humidity of Toronto, but hot. Baking hot. Humidity or not, suddenly stranded in a desert wasn't how Aloysious thought this trip was going to end. Maybe something spectacular, like a blood-red mushroom cloud and a shockwave of energy blasting out nearby windows, but not this.

“Mechanic told you to get that leak fixed,” Aloysious reminded him, unnecessarily.

Roy paused. “You want to try doin' something useful, boy?” He shouted. “Get up on the road and get us a ride to the next gas station. Tow truck or something, maybe.” He trailed off, popped the hood, and strode out to bellow at the engine block.

Aloysious stowed the camera in the trunk, next to a stack of Reds. His eyes narrowed just slightly.

He peeled off some of the plastic wrap and pulled out a six pack.

There was a muffled, “What the hell, boy?” from the front seat of the car as Aloysious snapped open a can.

“Maybe this'll help,” Aloysious said. “Get the camera ready, I guess. Maybe I can get us outta this with some Red power.”

Roy stood beside the car now, looking at Aloysious. “Leave the naming and catchphrases to me. Red power? What the hell. That's almost as lame as Shazam.”