Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Force Awakens Trailer…In LEGO

Monday, December 1st, 2014

I assume you’ve already seen the teaser trailer for next year’s Star Wars movie.

Well, here’s the LEGO remake. I’m super-impressed with how quickly they put it together, and how amazingly close to the original it is.

Library Additions: Two Arkham House Books

Monday, November 17th, 2014

I picked up two early Arkham House books from two different sources:

  • Hodgson, William Hope. The House on the Borderland and Other Novels. First edition hardback, a Very Good+ copy with bumping at corners, small dust print at bottom page block outer edge, and faint foxing to gutters, in a Very Good+ dust jacket with 1/16″ chip at heel, wear at points (including a pinhead hole at lower front edge), and extremely mild sun-fading to the spine; it’s actually a wonderfully bright example of the Hannes Bok dust jacket, and the only better copies I’ve seen were at least three times the price. Includes the title novel, plus The Boats of the ‘Glen Carrig’, The Ghost Pirates, and The Night Land, all of which were previously published individually (and all of which now go for well over a grand). One of the four large-format Arkhams, the other being H.P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider and Others and Beyond the Wall of Sleep, and Robert E. Howard’s Skull-Face and Others, all three of which I still lack. Joshi, Sixty Years of Arkham House, 16. Derleth, 30 Years of Arkham House, 16. Jaffrey, Horrors and Unpleasantries, 19. Nielsen, Arkham House Books: A Collector’s Guide, 16. Blieler, Checklist of Science-Fiction and Supernatural Fiction (1978), page 101. Blieler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction, 821. Bought for £220 plus shipping off eBay.

    House Borderland Arkham

    IMG_0287

  • Walton, Evangeline. Witch House. Arkham House, 1945. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Joshi, Sixty Years of Arkham House, 11. Derleth, 30 Years of Arkham House, 11. Jaffrey, Horrors and Unpleasantries, 11. Nielsen, Arkham House Books: A Collector’s Guide, 11. Blieler, Checklist of Science-Fiction and Supernatural Fiction (1978), page 202. Blieler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction, 1655. Crawford, Donahue and Grant, 333, page 67. Barron, Horror Literature: A Reader’s Guide, 3-203. Tymn, Horror Literature: A Core Collection and Reference Guide, 4-216. Bought for $47 off the Internet. It seems that every time I would see a copy at auction, I’d ask myself “Do I already have a copy of that?” Now I know the answer to that question…

    Witch House

  • Your Creepy Halloween Spider Post

    Thursday, October 30th, 2014

    I’m running out of Halloween season, so it’s time for a post on that perennial source of creepiness: Spiders.

    There are few things that triggers our primal fear reflex more than spiders, so here’s a Whitman’s Spider Sampler of Creepiness.

  • Here’s a family whose house was infested with deadly brown recluses.
  • If you’re afraid of spiders, you almost certainly don’t want to work at a tarantula farm.
  • An encounter with the South American Goliath birdeater spider whose feet can stretch a foot in diameter.
  • I’ve tried to avoid the common gifs everyone’s already seen, but I am intrigued by this completely unconvincing, yet oddly unnerving film snippet, and I’d like to know what (presumably silent) film it’s from:

    Here’s the exceptionally creepy spider attack from The Mist:

    And here’s Cyriak’s deeply disturbing “Cobwebs”:

    Let’s end on a lighter note. There’s a Simon’s Cat with a spider:

    And this:

    It’s Short, And I Laughed

    Thursday, October 30th, 2014

    Sometimes that’s enough…

    Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer Drops

    Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

    Behold:

    Is that mecha-Stark, or Ultron in Stark armor fighting Hulk?

    I’m there.

    Shoegazer Sunday: La Hell Gang’s “So High”

    Sunday, October 19th, 2014

    You don’t have to be a fan of drug-references to enjoy Chilian band La Hell Gang’s echoey, spaced-out “So High”.

    They’re evidently on tour in the U.S. right now…

    Shoegazer Sunday: Black Hearted Brother’s “(I Don’t Mean to) Wonder”

    Sunday, September 14th, 2014

    Black Hearted Brother is a project featuring Slowdive’s Neal Halstead. Here they are with “(I Don’t Mean to) Wonder”.

    Also, evidently the Judge Dredd remake has some impressive slow-motion set-pieces…

    Library Additions: Three Interesting Chapbooks

    Thursday, September 11th, 2014

    I recently got in three interesting trim-sized chapbooks, two hardback and two signed:

  • Gaiman, Neil. The Sleeper and the Spindle. Morrow/Harper Collins, 2014. First separate edition hardback (it appeared in an anthology in 2013), a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Chapbook on the Sleeping beauty theme, only available through California bookstores on California Book Day (May 3, 2014).

    Gaiman Sleeper Spindle

  • Powers, Tim. Appointment on Sunset. Charnel House, 2014. First edition hardback, #115 of 250 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued, with signed and numbered toe-tag affixed to the front cover.

    Powers Sunset

  • Swanwick, Michael. Solstice Fire. Dragonstairs Press, 2013. First edition side-sewn chapbook original, #42 of 100 signed numbered copies, a Fine copy.

    Solstice Fire

  • One other thing these have in common: I’ll have copies for all three available through Lame Excuse Books (inquire if you want one).

    Pictures from the Bovington Tank Museum: German Tanks

    Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

    (Cross-posted from BattleSwarm to here for non-political tank buffs.)

    I hope you like tanks.

    Here’s the first batch of pictures taken at the Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset, which I visited on Saturday as a gift to my inner 12-year old. (There are few prospects more pleasing to the preadolescent male mind than being encased in a 30 ton metal killing machine.) The first batch is all German tanks and tank destroyers from World War II. Let’s face it, the Germans had far and away the best tanks, and shortly after the allies managed to catch up, Germany would be about ready to introduce something better. Germany’s problem (as compared to America or the Soviet Union) was an inability to manufacture enough of them. (Good thing for us.) They had an enormous array of German tanks, and probably the best collection outside Germany’s own tank museum in Munster.

    The first picture of the first of two King Tigers (AKA Tiger II, AKA Königstiger, Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B) they had on display. The mosty powerful tank Germany produced during the war, its 88mm main gun could destroy any tank on the battlefield. It didn’t get on the battlefield until 1944, and Germany produced less than 500 of them.

    The other Tiger II they had there.

    Here you can see the Zimmerite anti-magnetic mine coating the Germans used.

    Selfie, with tank.

    The first of several tank destroyers.

    This is a German tank destroyer that ended up in Finland. Stalin thought he could walk all over Finand, but the Finns tore the Soviets nine different new assholes in the Winter War, though this tank destroyer obviously post-dates 1940.

    Alternate barrel used for the Sturmtiger close assault variant.

    Here’s an early Panzer Mark I command tank. It’s amazing to realize that the initial German blitzkrieg was carried out with relatively slow, under-armed, and underpowered Mark I and Mark IIs, that, with Heinz Guderian’s new tactics of mechanized warfare, were simply Good Enough.

    A Mark II.

    I think this is the Mark III, would would be the mainstay of the Wehrmacht armored divisions through the end of the war.

    A muzzle-eye view.

    Armoured car.

    An 88mm field canon.

    Where Would I Park It?

    Saturday, July 12th, 2014

    If I were made of money, this would be very tempting indeed:

    Centurion Mk 5 Main Battle Tank (MBT)

    Crew: 4
    Armor:
    Up to 6′ (152-mm)
    Weapons:
    -Primary
    1x QF 20-pdr (83.4mm) cannon
    -Secondary
    1x 7.62-mm L8A1 machine gun co-axial with main armament
    1x 7.62-mm L37A1 machine gun in AA mount
    -Ammunition
    65x 20-pdr
    4,250x 7.62-mm
    Engine: Rolls-Royce Meteor gasoline, 650-hp
    Power/weight: 11.8-hp/ton
    Fuel Capacity: 120-USG (455-l)
    Range: 65-miles (105-km)
    Speed: 21-mph (35-km/h)

    The tank being offered, Centurion Mk 5, VRN 12BA97 K, #370/450, was built in April 1953. It is an older restoration that needs an exterior cosmetic restoration. The wheels and tracks are serviceable. The canvas mantlet cover is in good condition. All bazooka skirting is present. Spare track shoes and a tow cable are fitted to the tank’s exterior. This tank is equipped with a 20-pdr “A” barrel. Cutting the breech has demilled the gun. All gunner’s controls are present. This Centurion is powered by a Rolls-Royce Meteor engine – the non-supercharged version of the famous Merlin engine used in Mustang and Spitfire fighters of the day.

    The Centurion was designed during World War II to provide a tank that could do the work of both the Infantry and Cruiser tank classes. It was designed to have firepower and protection that would allow it to survive with the latest German types of tanks and self-propelled guns seen during the war. The first Centurions entered service too late to see action in World War II. Initially, they were equipped the 17-pdr (76.2-mm) cannon which was one of the best tank guns used by the Western Allies during the war. By the time Centurions saw combat in 1950 during the Korean War, they had been upgunned to the more powerful 20-pdr (83.4-mm) cannon. This remained the standard gun on Centurions until the early 1960s when they were upgunned with the 105-mm L7 cannon.

    The four-man crew of the Centurion was well-protected with armor up to 6-inches (152-mm) thick. Stowage bins mounted on the turret sides provided standoff protection from HEAT rounds while skirts along the suspension helped protect against anti-tank rockets. Various upgrades throughout the years allowed the Centurion to stay in service with many countries well into the 1980s. The Centurion has been exported to numerous countries including the Canada, Denmark, Israel and South Africa. They saw action in numerous wars including the Indo-Pakistani Wars, Arab-Israeli Wars, the 1956 Suez War, and various conflicts in southern Africa between South Africa and Cuban forces.

    Transport Cost to Storage: $5,808

    Alas, a few tiny problems present themselves:

  • It is a wee bit out of my price range.
  • The auction is in California, so transportation would be a pain (and expensive).
  • Where would I park it?
  • Likewise, parking spaces are crowded enough at my current job, and I’m pretty sure this would take up at least two spaces.
  • What’s the point of having a tank with a demilled gun? Except, of course, that no one will ever cut you off in traffic ever again.
  • Even if it weren’t demilled, finding 83.4mm ammunition would likely prove challenging, and I don’t think anyone makes a reloading press for HEAT rounds…
  • And what sort of BATFE permit do you need for a tank anyway?
  • Really, I’d need a ranch to buy something like this. Or, as the news reports would inevitably refer to it, a “heavily fortified compound.”

    There are many other interesting items in this auction, which is happening today. Including a Jagdpanzer Kanone, which, alas, looks pretty crapped out, and, I kid you not, an actual SCUD launcher. (I’m not sure any BATFE permit would cover a working SCUD launcher…)