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December 3, 2020

Volleyball (DOG EAR)

like anime – Japanese animated series, for those of you in the dark. It’s weird and strange and oddly informative. Sometimes you can see that slice of life, a part of what it means to be human. Other times, it’s just giant robots. When my niece Kirstin suggested Haikkyu!!, I was a little dubious – it’s a volleyball epic, a story about a short Japanese student who loves volleyball and wants his high school team to be successful. The thing is, he’s short, but he’s light, so he’s got this killer jump and this crazy spike. It’s fun to watch […]
November 29, 2020

Angles of Attack (Review)

ne thing I don’t do in the bookstore: I don’t pick up books that say (under the title) things like Book Two of the Franchise Series. And with Angles of Attack, I got punked. So main character Andrew Grayson, a combat coordinator a century in the future, finds himself in the middle of a battle with his prior enemies, the Russians, on his side. Weirder yet, they seem to be fighting the Lankies, huge armored creatures that wipe out colonies and terraform them to their linking (at the cost of all human occupants). Mars has already fallen. Earth might be […]
November 26, 2020

Imagination on tap (DOG EAR)

t all started with a threat of riskware. Since I’ve started roleplaying again, pretty much every week involves me trying to come up with a continuing storyline for players who might reject a carefully constructed plotline and go helling off across our imaginary landscape. After all, our Solaris game is science fiction and a new change of scenery is only as far as the nearest docking port. So I found this website that generated all sorts of things: names, taverns, spaceships, gangs, a massive collection of randomness. Some of the names (based off nationalities, which is a big part of […]
November 26, 2020

OpsLog – LM&O – 11/25/2020

t seems that Geep-9 of mine roams around like some sort of Flying Dutchman. A week ago, I was riding it back and forth through Tuscarora, dragging coal one way and dust the other, pretty amazing since we’re in Pennsylvania and it’s a Southern Pacific unit. Now I’m eighty miles north, up in Martin Yard, rolling down track 9 with engines and a caboose, getting ready to pick up my cut off 1 and head over to Mingo Jct. 927 is holding on track 2, ready to roll, but he’s waiting for a silver bullet to go by on the […]
November 22, 2020

OpsLog – TBL – 11/21/2020

ell, this time, I screwed up. I was running coal extras. My first run, I rolled my GP7 over to Westly and picked up a cut of empty hoppers. Ran then over to Easton, dropping on car off on the way. It was only later, when a loaded coal train out of Westly was sited to pick up that car that I’d realized what I’d done – I ran an empty train out of the coal mine. Big booboo on my part. It wasn’t loads-out/loads-in. It was garbage-in/garbage-out. Of course, when I confessed my sin to my crew, everyone shrugged […]
November 22, 2020

Light-fingered Gentry (Review)

his this was a pot-boiler from 1907, a real eye opener that starts with an uncomfortable couple meeting in a park and discussing how they should get a divorce (which really would have stunned a reader back then (and not in these times when the President of the United States has had three of them)). The story shifts to a retirement party for outgoing insurance company president Shotwell organized by one Fosdick, who is counting up how much everything cost (paid for by the shareholders and policyholders, of course), and how he reflects on the magnificence as “glory-just as, when […]
November 19, 2020

Pissed off (DOG EAR)

‘m in a really, really, really, really bad mood. So what happened? You know how much I hate cell phones. We’ll, I’ve gotten to hate mine even worse – a week or so back it was unable to call out – totally cut off. Finally I had to go to the AT&T store and ask. Turns out I had to turn it off and on again. Yeah, that old IT Crowd joke. Yes, I thanked them but I was a little pissed that I had to dick around with it to make it work. My old cellphone never had these […]
November 15, 2020

The Long Fall (Review)

’m currently plowing through a large 1907 drama, at lease a week out on that one. As a side-issue, I’ve been reading The Sam Gunn Omnibus, a huge collection of Ben Bova stories about his spaceman hero, Sam Gunn. I don’t think I’ve ever read any of these (or I may have in some long-forgotten collection perhaps). Either way, the stories are great – short and sweet and funny. So Sam Gunn is an astronaut. Unlike your usual hero, Sam is short, not that handsome, and loud. He’s just a bit of a nutball poised in the position to be […]
November 12, 2020

Cancelled (DOG EAR)

o Will is locked in an alien pod, being prepped to be inserted into an alien ground war. And Katie watches as a planet bomb levels part of unshielded Seattle. Their kids are sleeping in the house of a slimy traitor (and they don’t know it). And, of course, Alan Snyder is rampaging about the halls of power, corrupting everything he touches. And that was it. The series ended. This is the new danger of investing in a streaming series on one of the services. Unlike the old days when sitcoms were locked in time, the episodes interchangeable, it wasn’t […]
November 8, 2020

OpsLog – TBL – 11/7/2020

vents and obligations resulted in us not having much of a crew, just Greg Wells and myself. Still, we broke out our Pennsy switchers, he took the local, I took the coal and dispatching and we ran the session. This one was a lot of fun. We ran it slow, being very careful with our train handling. The bamboo skewers are still, in my opinion, the best uncoupling tool known to man. So we switched our industries and bargained for track rights, in easygoing operation fashion. It was a great deal of fun to work through the schedule – the […]