Friday, July 27, 2007

the boy who had lived?

So we had picked up a copy of the new Harry Potter book on Monday. Shan read the ending and a few parts and skimmed through it but hasn’t actually read it yet. I won’t get to read it until she does though. She seems to be in no rush to start though, so who knows when I will know.

I can speculate though – I meant to get this up on last Friday – so those who have read the book can smile knowingly. To start, there are rumors of 2 major characters (see other rant about what classifies a “major” character) being killed in this book. This is also rumored to be the final book. Rowling has previously said that she didn’t want anyone else writing her characters.
- Harry dies. It would make a final end to the series and prevent others from writing sequels. I also feel that it would work well with the “in order for one to live, one must die” quote from the last movie. Most had disagreed with me on Friday but I pointed out that he doesn’t have to stay dead.
- Ron or Hermione die. One of them could die but people felt that it would be too cruel to the other character. If they both died though, that would work – but people didn’t like that idea as they felt it would be too cruel to the fans.
- Snape dies. Most people at work, plus Shan, believed that Snape will die protecting Harry. This would redeem him as most of us never really believed the fact that he abandoned Harry in the previous book.
- Voldemort dies. Okay, as the big bad (a phrase from Buffy – means major villain) of the series, he is expected to die. He’s a borderline major character in that he’s mentioned in all the books and he is behind the scenes in a lot of the action. He’s really more of a strong supporting character and an easy cop out as one of the two deaths if he is.
- Hagrid or McGonagall die. Strong secondary characters again. Shan did believe this as valid as it helps to remove Harry’s support before the final battle.

There is also some debate about whether Dumbledore is actually dead. A person who has a phoenix for a pet is playing with heavy foreshadowing. Being alive though makes it harder for Harry to take over as head of the school though - unless Snape lives and gets to take over.

Anyone else dying is either a secondary character at best, and a late add-on disposable red shirt (old Star Trek OS reference for a disposable character) at worst.

I mention it now as we’re off to a barbeque on Sat and discussion may inadvertently come up. Knowing smiles all around, I’m sure.

Since we’re speculating, for those who saw the 1-18-08 trailer before Transformers and were wondering, what the heck? There were a few websites devoted to it already. It looks like a Blair Witch Project meets Godzilla (HSX agrees with us). We’ve been keeping up with the rumors at work and, according to JJ Abrams from Comicon, it’s not Godzilla but sort of his version of that kind of story. Since a lot is on handheld, I don’t expect we’ll really see much more of the monster (or monsters) than feet and silhouettes.
In many ways though, I was really hoping for another Godzilla film. The roar in the trailer certainly sounded like the big G to me.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

sweet, blessed rain

It finally rained - a quick, solid downpour that dropped the humidity immensely. It was much, much better.

The second round of the Coming of Galactus event was yesterday night. I opted not to play the Silver Surfer from the previous week and instead played a theme team since I had three figures with the Avengers keyword – Starfox, Black Panther, and Luke Cage. I easily lost my first game to RagingMadboy, an old player back from when I used to judge, mainly due to the fact that I had no ranged attacks.
I had thought about changing out my team between rounds, but kept with it. I still lost the next two rounds, but both were very close – each with the opponent only left with one figure at the end. I’m getting used to the zones of control and followed my strategies through on both games but lost focus at the endgame. I’m really looking forward to next weeks matches.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

too hot to breathe

We're experiencing a bit of a heat/humidity wave at present. The temperature is hitting highs of 308 Kelvin - and that's before factoring the 62% humidity. (Kelvin = Celsius + 273.15, for those who are still using the archaic Fahrenheit system - you're on your own). We've had overnight lows of 298 K (25 C) - that's a nice summer high not an overnight low. Since we don't yet have central air, we are coping as best we can.
It's actually nice to come to work, where they have the AC cranked down to a balmy 293 K.

We finally saw Live Free or Die Hard. It was a fun explosion romp but no Transformers. It's good to see Mary Elizabeth Winstead getting good notice. We remember her from Wolf Lake - which we have yet to find on DVD. A surprise to me was seeing Kevin Smith in the movie - he is becoming more known lately as an actor instead of a director as his last five projects in HSX have all been for acting.

Here's hoping the rain will actually cut the humidity enough to be able to do things at home again.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Old faces

Played the first round of the Coming of Galactus last night. I won my first game, lost my second, and closely lost my third. I haven't really played Heroclix since Ultimates when I used to Judge, and even back then I didn't play that much. It was a huge turn out - over 20 people - and the judge kept everything running pretty well. I don't hold out much hope for me winning a Galactus against this crowd, but you still get a herald for showing up - and that's worth the 2 boosters cost for me.

I saw a few faces I vaguely remember from back in the day. Not enough to put a name to, especially not their actual name. A few of the board names seemed familiar but I couldn't match the faces to my memory of the faces. I did run into Perry though. I didn't even see him until between the second and third round. He had been out of Heroclix for a while too but had been pulled back in by the Galactus event.

He asked about when we were doing another Wincon. We get asked that from time to time. It brings a smile to my face to know that it was warmly remembered by a few. Someday I'll go back over the tales - of it's inception, it's start, it's run, and it's return.

Until then, stay Cosmic.


Monday, July 16, 2007


Procrastination pays off again. Our neighbours have taken down the fence and replaced it. It took a few weeks, but it crosses another of my chores off my list.

We took the kids to see Surf's Up at CinemaCity - it's a second run theatre where you can see movies for $2 instead of $8. The popcorn is much better as well. The film was fun. I didn't have a lot of hope in it - but it hearkened back to the fun surf films like North Shore.

We are all caught up with our TV viewing. We watch a lot of TV so we normally tape the shows and watch later on the other machine. After a few weeks we usually fall behind until some of the shows start getting cancelled. This season, a lot of our old shows ended and quite a few of the new ones washed out - so, even with catching Hidden Palms and Traveller, we are all caught up.
Except for 24. Since season one, we have been taping the entire season and watching it in a single weekend. Sort of like waiting for the tradeback instead of following the limited series.

We've been reading the tradebacks of Fables by Bill Willingham - who I've like since before Elementals. It's a great updating of the classic characters from the fables dropped into a modern setting. We've been picking them up from the library but will have to get them for our own.

I have a package slip to cash in one the way home today. They tried to deliver it on Sunday when we were out. It should be my Green Lantern Corps Heroclix set but we'll see after work.

Speaking of Heroclix - the Galactus tourney I was supposed to be in on Saturday didn't happen. We drove out there and were told that it would actually be happening on Wednesdays. As a former judge, I'm not sure they can do that, but they are. We'll see how it all plays out.
Not that I'm bitter. Well, not too bitter anyways.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Order of Phoenix

We saw the movie last night. It was okay - certainly no Transformers. It hit most of the points from the book (from what I remember) and it was neat seeing all the actors grow but, theatrically, it didn't grip me as the early ones did. The wife liked it a lot, so it might just be me. It was a lot of ground to cover and did seem to hold together but, to me, the final battle wasn't as much of a spectacle as it could have been.
Plus, the death didn't have much of an effect on me - which was how I reacted to the death in the book when it came out. As I normally react when a "major character" in a series, who isn't one of the main characters and has only come in part way through. They do this in TV all the time - A major character dies! Could it be the new character that was just added this season? Usually, it is.

I finally got my big box of heroclix figs from ebay. I picked up a bunch on sale - mostly from Sinister and Supernova. My Sinister list is now 57+12, my Supernova 26+5, and my Origin is 77+12. I haven't picked up any Avengers yet or even the Freakshow set from Horrorclix.
I did pick up the Legion of Super Heroes starter on sale at Comics America (used to be Styx Comics) as well as the Warhammer General's Companion. I'm reading through the rules now in preparation for the Galactus Tourneys, starting on Saturday. I haven't really played Heroclix in about 3 years, so we'll see how I hold up.

The LSH box set had a blank dial figure - Shrinking Violet. These are Heroclix bases without a figure on them. I always thought they were a cool idea. They have done Ant-Man, Yellow Jacket, Atom, Invisible Woman, and now Shrinking Violet. I recently got the Invisible Woman by mail so I'm still current.


Monday, July 9, 2007

glass display cabinet

I crossed off another summer chore this weekend. I was able to move the large glass display unit from Michelle's garage to Crystal's garage. I had picked it up many years ago when I still had a mail-order games business with the hopes of using it when we opened up a retail store. With that being repeatedly pushed back, we had looked for someone else who had achieved a storefront who might want it. Now it is over at Crystal's for their fall garage sale. If it goes to a good home, I'll be glad.

I also got some more magnetic pickups at Dollarama - for a dollar. They have smaller heads and have longer sections but fewer of them. We'll see which works better. Or if I can move the head over to the other pickups. I forgot to look for alligator clamps though.

I had two post office tags - which I was able to cash in for two packages from ebay. I got an old Yaquinto album game called Adventurer. They had published a bunch of old boardgames/wargames that had always been on my want list. The only I did have was the Attack of the Mutants small pack. That was great fun - I really need to dig it out again.

The other package had the Iona shoe polisher. It actually works still but what I want it for is to make a PKE detectr from Ghostbusters. I'll either modify it or use it for measurements to make some.

I'm still waiting on a big box of Heroclix figures from early June. When it comes in, I'll update my status list.


Thursday, July 5, 2007

More than meets the eye

We saw Transformers in the theatre on Tuesday night. It was phenomenal. I'm not really the big Transformer fan that my wife and child are but still found it wildly fun.

I finished the 1:72 paper Fokker Dr1 - and glued a paperclip inside. I picked up a bunch of magnetic extendable pick-ups at Princess Auto (or, as my daughter calls it, the robot store) for $1.50 each. Canvas Eagles recommends using antennas with alligator clips for stands and either L- hooks or pins on the planes. These pick-ups are much cheaper and can feel the paperclip inside even the plastic planes. I am working on a second plane so we are pretty close to being able to actually try the rules. If I can find someone to play with.