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April 8th, 2004

I had a dream last night that I was watching some kind of Muppet Show Reunion Special, and the guest star (or one of them, anyway) was Mark Hamill. (One of the most popular episodes of the original Muppet Show had Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker all in their costumes, as well as Mark making appearances as "Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker's cousin").

All well and good, except only one of the muppets showed up. Clifford, the rasta guy who was the host of Muppets Tonight was in a recording booth with Steven Spielburg (who was an uncredited cameo player), and the whole show consisted of Mark sitting on a stool with headphones on, bantering back and forth with Clifford and Steven and crocodile-tearing about where his career has gone since Star Wars. They also made jokes about doing a Mark Hamill/John Denver teamup episode, which was funnier until I remembered that John Denver is dead. :P

When I woke up, the dream led me to think about squandered inheritances ... Warner Brothers threw away Animaniacs and butchered Pinky and the Brain at the height of their popularity, and while Looney Tunes: Back In Action was good, the Looney Tunes exist mostly as a vehicle for merchandise sales any more. Disney (or specifically Eisner) has thrown away their core talent base and squandered all they gained with The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast -- how long do they theink they're gonna survive on cut-rate sequels? O.o And of course, the aforementioned muppets...

I realize that everything has a natural lifespan. Animation is nearly a century old (Winsor McKay's "Gertie the Dinosaur" debuted in 1914) and as such has had a good run. The muppets were more or less Jim Henson's baby and it's amazing that they've survived at all since his death. But still, it makes me sad to see such potentially great things being, if not completely wasted, certainly not being used to their potential. The people who own these properties have the opportunity to do something really special (not to mention really profitable) and they're just letting it sit there. The hard part -- i.e., getting universally known and very popular -- has already been done for you! Without that baggage to hold you down, it's time to soar, not coast!

Le sigh.

-The Gneech

E-Tools Energy [more geekery]

It's weird; before the 3.5 update for E-Tools I was a little less-than-thrilled with how D&D was going. The group had only sorta half-implemented the 3.5 ruleset, pretty much using it for player-characters (using paper character sheets), while all the NPCs and critters were still in 3.0. I had converted my own character Theran to 3.5 using the new Eldritch Knight prestige class (FINALLY a decent warrior-mage!), but for some reason, I just wasn't really all that interested.

But suddenly now that I've got the 3.5 data for E-Tools, I'm all jazzed about it ... I converted Theran, went out to the web and found an illustration for him [1], and even picked out a new miniature for him. (He's come a long way from the guy he started out as, and the miniature I was using before didn't so much look like him, as just didn't look particularly unlike him.) Now I'm eager to play him some more, particularly itching to get to the next level and take a level of Barbarian (enabled by a brief encounter with Kord, the god of brawlers ... probably the single weirdest moment so far in Theran's weird life). With that he'll be the run-around-the-field, whack-on-the-monsters, toss-the-occasional-fireball warrior-mage I've been wanting from the beginning.

And for my own game, I've got the basics of the next scenario worked out, taken from another Dungeon scenario, and it's very cool ... and with E-Tools, instead of copying the NPCs and monsters over by hand to familiarize myself with them (which is a laborious process, I don't mind telling you), I can write them up in the program and print them out quickly and easily. :) I could do that before, like I said, but it was 3.0 versions, and some character types (particularly rangers, but various others) always ended up not quite fitting in to the new rules.

So, in short, I'm having fun with gaming again, which pleases me greatly. Unfortunately, camstone will be gone for three weeks soon, which throws a kink into the group! Maybe jamesbarrett or I can do a three-session one-shot side game, we'll have to ponder it...

-The Gneech

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Officially Punting

I'm too busy this week; I'm going to have to run filler next week 'cause I won't have time to draw between now and then. I tried to draw Monday and Tuesday and just got headaches out of it, and there's too much junk happening now.

Fortunately, I've got fanart and other stuff to run instead. :)

-The Gneech

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