Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I've been waiting for an appropriate time to use this image, but I realized that I have run out of days in October. Well, here it is for all you cat people (and cat elder gods).

Happy Halloween. I'll post more photos later today with updates on my UFO and maybe even photos of my little Props in their costumes.

Here is a preview:

One more for good measure. Again, it's an image that I've wanted to post for a while. At the beginning of the month we had 80 degree weather and I thought this little beach image would be nice, but the weather turned before I got to use it (typical Chicagoland). Here it is anyway (don't pay attention to the slight nudity (Cthulhu likes to go commando anyway)).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

ConCulture Concepts

This is a random Cthulhu image that I grabbed. I meant to use it on the 23rd of October, but I forgot that day. It is from a 2005 silent film about Cthulhu. I haven't seen the film, but I'd like to.

ConCulture is constructed culture, or a culture that is made up. Some folks do this as just a fun exercise. JRR Tolkien did a lot of his elf stuff just for his own amusement. I do find conculture stuff fun, but like Tolkien I'd like to use it in fiction.

Here are some ConCulture concepts I'd like to explore in my writing:

1. An aquatic based hobbitesque race. Their political system would be based on levels of waterways (creeks are subordinate to streams are subordinate to rivers etc.)

2. Magic based on calendar cycles. Days and times would be magical rather than people, things, or places. It is similar to Mesoamerican cultures concepts.

3. Slavery for convicted felons

4. Military based aristocracy. The culture's form of warfare would have to be heavily logistical in nature. I envision a culture that bases its citizenship on military service and military success on expansion of the empire. A successful soldier would have to be an effective leader, administrator, planner, diplomat and logistician. Before anyone could run for office (if it is democratic in nature) they would first have had to be a military governor or mayor in a conquered territory.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The F'Goeek Has Landed

I finally "finished" my new UFO (actually it's a ISO (identified sitting object) but it's meant to look like a flying saucer or a UFO).

This year I built it of 2x2s and cardboard. I think it looks better than last year and I hope it is more sturdy (in case hooligans decide to demolish it again). My plan is to disassemble it in a week or so and store it for next year (like my spider and web).

I'm going to add lights tomorrow and maybe anchor it better.

What do you think?

Here is a photo of all our Halloween decorations.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cthulhu May Have Lost Some Weight, But I Haven't

This image is really too skinny to be scary and not really how I envisioned the mighty C to be.

Anyway, I got on the scale today and I'm back up to 221. I had started my work out program at 240 and got down as far as 216 in the first 80 days. I did allow myself some junk food and a break to heal (disloacted collar bone, partially torn bicep etc.) but I was very disappointed to see that I had gained back 5 whole pounds.

I'm back on the horse, so to speak. I've started working out again and after today I'm rethinking salads.

So long french fries, I'll see you after 210lbs!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Prop Fhtagn

Today I got quite a bit of sleep, ironically. I had a 0630-0730 meeting (I work 2300 - 0700 now) and then a 1300-1500 meeting.

Well, Mrs. Prop was kind enough to take the day off. My morning meeting went, as expected, a tad long, but I got about three hours of sleep before I had to go to the next meeting.

It was rescheduled and they didn't tell me. I found out after I had come into work.

Thank the elder gods, because I managed to go home and get another three hours of sleep.

Wow, thanks to a snafu and my wife I got about 50% more sleep today, hurrah! Plus, I got brownie points for coming in at a time that is equivalant to the middle of the night for normal people.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Scary Cthulhu

I tried for a scary Cthulhu today because it's raining and I feel that way. Besides, I don't think I'm going to have time to write a novel this November for NaNoWriMo.

That's trebly bad:

1. Practice makes perfect. I think I'm getting better and will get better with practice.

2. I have a tradition and I hate to break with tradition. I kind of like it, it's a challenge that is difficult, but I can and have done it. It gets harder in some ways each year, because I want to improve. It also gets easier each year.

3. Most importantly, I had a really good idea and it really needs telling, but if I don't have time to write it now, I may never get time to write it. If I don't write it then no one will. In fact, if I don't write it, no one CAN.

I may have to write some short stories using these characters to keep them alive while I wait for enough time to write their book.

I have told the basic premise to several people and they like it and can't wait to read the book. I won't torture you, dear reader that way, but I will tell you that the main character is a recently divorced, recently down-sized middle-aged man named Carrol Elderidge.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fund Raising (the dead) Day

Random Cthulhu image today, cuz I was rather busy.

I started the day working with my old Illinois Army National Guard unit. They are deploying soon and I volunteered to help with family support (called the Family Readiness Group or FRG).

When I got there today (the first time I actually went to anything or got any information about it) I was informed that I had volunteered to Lead the group. Well, I did say I'd do anything they needed.

As soon as that was over I had to run because I was late for our local GSUSA group's second annual spaghetti dinner. I did that until we had sold all the spaghetti and cleaned up. Then I went home, slept for about an hour and off to work for the night. Whew.

BTW, here is the Distinctive Unit Insigna for my old unit. I like to think Sine Qua Non means:
Sine = wave

Qua = what

Non = none (duh)

Therefore it stands for, "What, no waves?" I add a silent "Dude" to the end.

In reality is means, "That, with which cannot be done" or, "You need this. "

Friday, October 19, 2007

Lovecraft Circus / Book Reviews

I know I promised book reviews, but I don't really have time today.

Let me just say that if you are from Chicago you will not like Mr. Konrath's books because of the many gaffs and mistakes in details about our fair city.

What I do like is the audio book, in fact that is the only reason I listened to the second book. There are two readers, a man and a woman who read the male and female parts respectively. You would swear that there are about ten actors though. They are that good. I love the man's south side accent (showcased when he reads the Herb Benedict parts).

Some of the mistakes I remember off the top of my head:

1. Chicago does not have smog. Smog is smoke and fog. Chicago has smoke certainly, but rarely fog and not the temperature inversion you need to combine the smoke and fog and cook them together. You can see the stars from Chicago, they are obscured by LIGHT POLLUTION, but not smog.

2. People in Chicago NEVER call a Pizza a "PIE."

3. People in Chicago don't even know what a Hogie is (or how to spell it), let alone would ever eat one. In Chicago you eat ITALIAN BEEF SAMMICHES.

4. Chicagoans would never refer to a "highway" in this way, "I 90 otherwise known as the Kennedy." They would say, "the Kennedy, otherwise known as I90." This is a minor one, but it just didn't ring true.

5. There is no 53rd Street in Evanston.

6. Gary, IN is not 40 minutes from Chicago. It is 25 miles from the Loop, but is just the width of Hammond, IN from Chicago's south-east side. Chicago goes all the way to the Indiana border down there. I suppose that the main character, Jack Daniels is Loop centric, but that's no reason to say that Gary is further than Joliet, IL or Lake Forest, IL.

7. In the Chicago Police Department the Detectives do not have graded ranks (ie. Detective 1, Detective 2, etc.)

8. In the CPD detectives operate out of Areas, not districts (though I do give the author credit for not putting the CPD in precincts) and belong to the Bureau of Investigations.
9. The CPD Bureau of Investigations is commanded by a Deputy Superintendent. Deputy Superintendents are sometimes referred to as Dep, but the Superintendent is never referred to as the "Super."

10. "Feebies" is a VERY derogatory term for the FBI agents and is rarely used if at all. It would be like using the "N" word often and in mixed company. You just don't do it.
11. Chicago cops wear STARS, not "badges." He got this wrong in the first book, Whiskey Sour, but sometimes got it right in Rusty Nail.
12. The biggest one of all, Evanston is not on Chicago's west side. I don't know how or why Joe Konrath decided to move the home of Northwestern University. I have to think that he did it consciously, because he thanks a dozen people in his acknowledgments. One of them had to know where Evanston is.

Okay, that was pretty much the meat of my review anyway. The audio books are worth it for the theatrics, but the books, though suspenseful and high tension, just don't have enough Chicago rightness about them.

I don't know how to let Mr. Konrath know about his slip-ups. Maybe you gentle readers can help.

I'll give you another Cthulhu image if you do...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Random Cthulhu

Do you remember Bozo's Circus?

Da da da da da da da da da duh duh da DUM!

Aw, we'll have to try again, it's an elder god, erm I mean Don't-Care-Bear-ulhu.

Tomorrow I'll have a review of Joe Konrath's books: Whiskey Sour and Rusty Nail.

I should say, I'm going to point out da tings he got wrong about da cidy of broad shoulders my friend.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Children First Indeed

Mrs. Prop is "out of town" (she's in Chicago and since we live in Mundelein, which isn't even in Cook county then technically she's out of town, even though we live in "Chicagoland" and she is really only 45 minutes to 6 hours away depending on rush hour).

That means that I took off of work to be with the little Props (hence the first image today) since we don't want them to be home alone while I'm at work (I really like the bloody handprints, that's a nice touch).

I have also been naughty. I was supposed to take this time on my own to edit my mystery story, write a new story and do prep work for my NaNoWriMo novel. Instead I've monkeyed around on the computer doing almost anything but.

This is me perusing the Necronomicon instead of doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Nothing but trouble can come from this. Mark my words.

Oh, and I'm supposed to be working on Halloween decorations. I'm not one of those people who think Halloween is the second coming of Xomercial Xmas. No Xmasy lights and cutsie stuff like that. I have a giant spider and a house-hugging web (made of 1/4" nylon rope so it can't get away). The spider is up, but the web isn't yet (of course the spider goes up first so she can "spin" the web).

I'm also building a new UFO. My attempt last year was destroyed (probably aliens who didn't want it known exactly what their crafts look like).

Finally, I have been away from this blog (and Miserable Donuts) for several days. I know you gentle readers have been holding your breaths, thinking, "when will he return, is he alright, have dark cultists captured him, or Nayrlathotep?" That's why I'm regaling you with all these Cthulhuloid images today.

Fear not, well, okay fear, FEAR A LOT!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Friday Cthulhu

Tonight is SciFi Friday Night. It's also scout night.

How do these go together? Whell, when I was a young Boy Scout Dr. Who was on channel 11 on Sunday nights.

Now that I'm an older Girl Scout leader there is a new Dr. Who and he's on the SciFi channel on Friday nights.

All of this made me think about the movie for which today's Cthulhu image is a poster. Apparently a SILENT, black and white movie has recently been made based on HPL's short story "Call of Cthulhu." I'm going to try to find and see it.

Anyone out there know if it's out and where it can be found?

Giant Garden Gnomes of Doom

I showed this image to someone at work today. I was planning on using it for my wallpaper for October.

He said that that conical things in the middle ground looked like giant garden gnomes.

Drat! There goes my image of this. I can't look at it and think scary thoughts anymore, all I can see are harmless porcelain oddities.

That reminds me of the first time I actually saw The Shining. I was in college and I had a goofy friend that quoted the movie all the time (redrum, redrum). When I finally saw it myself I was laughing at all the reminders of my friend.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Peeps Cthulhu

I found this elder sign made from old Peeps candies and thought it was pretty cool.

I'm feeling better today about my "writing career." I guess I won't give up on it.

Maybe the sugary candy evil made me do it.

Speaking of that, I've been eating junk again. I had ice cream yesterday (promised myself a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough when I ended my 90 day work out program). Today I had Nutella on a bagel, then another bagel with butter, then a quarter bag of Lite popcorn, but with Butter Buds. I also had a double quarter pounder with cheese, fries, a double cheeseburger and a Coke (yes a real Coke, not diet).

Funny that only the Nutella tasted as good as I remembered. Good thing I was planning on ending the eating madness after today anyway.

Monday, October 08, 2007


I submitted my story "Lest Too Light Winning Make the Prize Light" to Apex, a scifi e-magazine, and it was rejected.

Ugh, in 18 years of writing I have made a grand total of $10 dollars.

Take me now Cthulhu!

Go Bears!

I have no idea what this photo is of, or who it is, but the guy next to Cthulhu is wearing a green and gold tee-shirt so maybe he's a Packer fan about to meet his timely end.

Bears beat the Packers 27-20, amazing. The stars must have been right I guess.

Favre is now tied for most carreer interceptions (with one time Bear George Blanda).

Any day the Packers loose is a good one, any day the Bears win is better and any day the Bears beat the Packers is GREAT!

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I'm not sure what Cthulhu saves (this is from a site called Spkiemarket), but maybe it's an oximoron like Cubs win.

This seemed like a good one for Sunday.

BTW, I wanted to say thank you to all the fallen Firefighters and all those who risk their lives every other day. My family has a long tradition of firefighters and I feel a certain kinship (two of my brothers and my dad are firefighters).

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Saturday Morning Cthulhu

It's Saturday morning and I woke up with such a headache. I had some crazy dreams last night. It must me my new pajamas. They were made in some place that starts with "R'L" something.

My Dad just had surgery Thursday and we are going to visit him and my in-laws. I see lots of driving in my future.

Wow, I'm psychic now too!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Evil Election Results

They sure did vote for a lesser evil. My biggest little Prop lost her election.

She had a lot of good issues and an actual platform, but alas, grade school elections are all about popularity (maybe they all are, but I'm not that cynical yet).

The good thing is she went to the teacher moderating the Student Council and asked that her campaign promises be honored. The teacher told her that she could take charge of them and made my little Prop the Commissioner of Suggestion Boxes.

So, although she lost she is still on the council (Kobayashi Maru) and still able to honor her promises. I'm so proud!

Cthulhu Election Day

Today (Thursday) was election day at my little Props' school.

My oldest is running for Secretary. So, like da good Chicagoan I am I voted a couple o' times and I made sure all my dead realitaves voted too. If all my daughter's ward captains did their jobs she should be fine. Da results come out Friday.

Dead people voting is very Lovecraftian, don't you think?

Who do you think would win in a fight between Da Coach and Da Elder Gods my friend?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

It's Cthulhu Time Again

It's that time of year again. That time when the stars are right, I'm getting geared up for NaNoWriMo, the weather is changing and even that which cannot die lies sleeping.

Anywho, I've been exercising like crazy because of that P90 Challenge and it's almost over (I promised myself a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough).

Now it's time to edit my "summer" mystery project (so I can sell it for big dollaro$), and work on my Halloween decorations.

I'll post photos of my big spider and her web once they're up.

I'm also going to try to rebuild my UFO (cross your fingers and pray to the god of your choice).

I haven't talked about Rugby and the RWC because I've been too busy. There is the working out, but I have also changed departments (meaning more training and a new qualification for me) and I have changed shifts (I'm now on 3rd, 2230 - 0700 Sunday through Thursday).

I volunteered for the change at work. It's a good career move and it works better with the little Props' schedules.

I have finished Harry Potter Book 7, but I didn't want this to become a Harry Potter site. If you want to discuss it, I'd be glad to though.

Funny that even though I'm retired from the Active Guard, I don't really have any additional time.

A big chunk of my old unit is being called up to go to Iraq in the 4th Quarter and I'm going to try to help the Family Readiness Group (they support the families of folks that are deployed). Our FRG was WOEFULLY inadequate when I went to Afghanistan and I want to fix that.