ltmurnau: (Default)


B.C. government proclaims July 27 Ginger Goodwin Day
The Canadian Press · Posted: Jul 27, 2018 12:16 PM PT | Last Updated: 3 hours ago
The B.C. government has declared July 27 as Ginger Goodwin Day, celebrating a man considered a pioneer of B.C.'s labour movement.
Friday marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Albert Goodwin, who was also known as Ginger due to his red hair.
He played a key role in leading the two-year-long coal miners' strike on Vancouver Island from 1912 to 1914 as workers protested frequently deadly conditions.
A conscientious objector, Goodwin took to the woods near Cumberland after refusing to enlist in the Canadian Army in the First World War.
After authorities decided to track down draft dodgers in the area, Goodwin was shot dead at the age of 31 by a special constable near Comox Lake on July 27, 1918. 
ltmurnau: (Default)
 Yikes, half a year passes like nothing.
Lots of things have happened:
  • Aki bailed on school (he was crashing and burning academically) but is now working at a technologist job that uses his talents very well, is adequately paid, he's happy and is solving problems for his boss. He moved out for a little while but first my mom didn't want anyone around, then he found another place but the landlord was insane so he fled in the middle of the night, and is now back with us. I'd like him to move on by the end of the year as he really ought to be more independent and out with chimps his own age. Frankly, it took me a while to get used to the idea of him not getting his degree, but he's old enough to make and take consequences now.
  • Been very consumed, perhaps too much, with game designs. See for the blow by blow.
    • So far this year I have had three games appear: Tupamaro, Chile 73 and Strike for Berlin, and decided I will not ever work with a particular publisher again, bringing the list to three.
    • Next week I am off to Tempe AZ for the Consimworld expo, bringing nine, maybe ten items with me: a set of four system games on brief border wars (El Salvador-Honduras 1969, Turkey-Cyprus 1974, China-Vietnam 1979, Israel-Hezbollah 2006); a set of four system games on operational level counterinsurgency that don't use dice (Algeria 1959, Vietnam 1969, Afghanistan 2009, Made-up Megacity 2019); a game on the battle for Mosul in 2017 that was designed by two students of a professor friend of mine, that I am developing and hope to hawk to a French publisher; and maybe my next (and last) COIN system game on China 1937-41, if I can come up with 48 ideas for cards in the next three days.
  • Aside from the publisher's expo, I am planning on going to Washington DC for a wargaming conference in mid-late July, and another in London in early September. After that I want to take another week to go to Paris, where I have never been, and Berlin, where I haven't been since the Wall came down.
  • In between work is getting crazy, and (more) organizational chaos looms. Partly avoiding it by posting here, so I shall end... and maybe write more in future. It's not as if nothing is going on!
ltmurnau: (Default)

Okay, so I normally don't do this... but at work they are having a gingerbread house decorating contest, with the houses sold off for auction and the $$$ goes to the Community Service Fund.

So this is what I made, inspired by this famous cartoon:

I coloured the gingerbread with a food colouring wash and painted the "snow" on the front lawn with gray acrylic.

Aki thought the deformed little metal dude on the front lawn (one of my metal pin castings) was a Lynchian touch. 
More literal-minded observers might notice the upside-down Christmas tree and say, "Ooooh, Stranger Things!" 
A current pop-cult reference never goes amiss, I've found.

View of the interior, showing the occupant and the demotivational poster that forbids his exit. 
Per Sartre, there is No Exit.

Very likely no one will appreciate or bid on this one except myself.
But if I can't amuse myself, then what's the point....

ltmurnau: (Default)
Next week I will have worked on the same floor of the same building for 20 years.
In all that time, the walls have never been repainted, and the carpet has remained.
Now we are getting new of both.

But the new wall colour on our floor, which thankfully won't be everywhere but an "accent" on the pillars and end walls, is a vaguely disturbing yellow that I could not place at first... then it came to me:

yellow wall small

Going to take some getting used to, I think... but I must whip it, into shape...
ltmurnau: (Default)
 I just got back from ten days in London!

Copiously illustrated account on my game design blog, since main purpose of visit was to attend conference on professional wargaming.
I got to role-play Kim Jong Un, saw where Throbbing Gristle used to live and work, went to a puppet play, and traveled to far-off Dagenham.

Check it out!
ltmurnau: (Default)
...insulting spam!

I got this today in my email:


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: advice
Date: (today)
Subject: Hi (my name)

I always wanted to tell you that the cloths you wear do not look that good on you.
Please be more classy! It is for your well-being.

Just an advice from a friend.


I think this is absolutely brilliant.
Instead of pretending to be a Nigerian prince in difficulty or a dotty solicitor offering money, insult the rube and provoke him into replying, letting them know they've got a live one.
ltmurnau: (Default)
Last week I hookied out of work 40 minutes early to see "David Lynch: The Art Life", a documentary that is mostly just Lynch talking, or smoking and painting while talking, about his early life and the people and influences that got him started on painting, then film.
Chronologically the film goes up to the point where he got an American Film Institute grant and went to Los Angeles to make Eraserhead.
Five people were there, including me.

I went to see this because I was of course interested in Lynch and his creative process, but more to the point, I wanted to see it in this particular theatre.
It's near where I work, and it has been a theatre since 1974, opening shortly before I moved here.
I would see movies there over the years.
I saw Star Wars for the first time there, but I needn't have hurried because it played there for nine months straight.
But later it started to run cult films, in a regular event it called "Midnite Madness".
And it was in that very theatre that I saw a double bill of Liquid Sky and Eraserhead in 1983.
Five people were there then too, including me.

First post

Apr. 9th, 2017 02:53 pm
ltmurnau: (Default)
Just migrated here from LJ.
Still waiting for my boxes of stuff to catch up.



Jan. 16th, 2017 12:19 pm
ltmurnau: (CX)
The lovely [ profile] emmabovary has filled out another meme, so I must follow suit!
(It's easier and less tedious than telling you all about what I have been working on; see

What was your first screen name?

citizenx (first mail art pseudonym and email address) or ltmurnau (first social media handle). Why these names at

What was your worst day ever?

Hard to pick an absolutely worst day, since many days are awful in different ways. One that still makes me cringe is the night Akito fell in a campfire we had going at a barbecue and burned his hands on the hot grill.

What is your favorite smell?

Roast chicken. Fresh coffee. New bread.

What cocktail are you most like and why?

Gin and tonic, I guess... transparent, bitter, going green at the top.

What were you doing at midnight last night?

Trying to get to sleep.

What did your last text message you received say?

some emojis of doughnuts and "when home?"

What is a word you say a lot?

"uhhhh..." Coherent word? "Yes" with lots of inflections.

Who was your first crush?

Some girl in my neighbourhood whose name I can't even remember now.

What was your worst injury ever?

Getting run over by a car.

What was the last song you listened to?

"I Like" by Men Without Hats.
Video features synthesizer powered by a large bag of gas, operated by a pregnant woman in medieval dress. You can't say the 80s weren't fun, at least sometimes.

Dating Meme

Nov. 9th, 2016 09:10 pm
ltmurnau: (CX)
- nicked from [ profile] emmabovary who got it from.

Proof that I haven't dated much in my life.

Your favorite qualities in yourself: My sense of humour, and appreciation of the absurd.
Your favorite qualities in a woman: Sense of humour. Intelligence. Books. Interest in the outside world.
Deal-breaker in a woman: I don't know, they usually walked out on me first.
Your favorite date activity: Dinner or coffee, in a quiet place so we can talk. Not a movie because I concentrate on the film.
Your favorite date outfit: Adequate layers for the environment, with pockets.
Your favorite date food: I usually go with "safe" not-messy food.
Your favorite date experience: First night I met Lianne (13 years ago yesterday). We walked for miles during a lunar eclipse, talking and talking.
Your least favorite date experience: Getting stood up, of course. Or realizing our "coffee date" was just an excuse for me to review her resume and suggest formatting.
Your main relationship / dating fault: Being overly eager to please.
Your idea of relationship happiness: Be friends. Be good and do good for each other.
Your idea of relationship misery: Disdain, disinterest.
What natural talent you would like your partner to be gifted with? Languages.
What fault do you have most tolerance for? Not sure, there are some I don't tolerate.
What is your greatest relationship regret? Taking it personally. Sometimes it is them, not me.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? More insight into what other people are really saying or feeling.
What is your present state of mind? Tired. It's been a long and busy year and it's not over yet.
What is your favorite dating advice / motto? Be yourself; a mask will inevitably slip.


Nov. 9th, 2016 08:54 pm
ltmurnau: (CX)

Goodnight children, everywhere.

- Uncle Mac
ltmurnau: (CX)
Yanked from [ profile] james_nicoll who got it from.
No idea how these were chosen.

60 Essential Science Fiction & Fantasy Reads

Bold the ones that you have read.
I guess I'm pathetic.

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear
Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg
Chime by Franny Billingsley
Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop
Tithe by Holly Black
The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett
Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
War for the Oaks by Emma Bull
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Synners by Pat Cadigan
Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Survival by Julie E. Czerneda
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
King's Dragon by Kate Elliott
Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman
Slow River by Nicola Griffith
Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly
Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
The God Stalker Chronicles by P.C. Hodgell
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff
God's War by Kameron Hurley
The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr
The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein
Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
Deryni Rising by Katherine Kurtz
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Ash by Malinda Lo
Warchild by Karin Lowachee
Legend by Marie Lu
Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
The Thief's Gamble by Juliet E. McKenna
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
Diving into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
The Female Man by Joanna Russ
Old Man's War by John Scalzi
A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski
The Grass King's Concubine by Kari Sperring
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
City of Pearl by Karen Traviss
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree, Jr. I haven't read this collection but have read some of the stories.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
Farthing by Jo Walton
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

Me meme

Aug. 8th, 2016 10:48 am
ltmurnau: (CX)
Snagged from [ profile] sabotabby.
More memes means more posts.

1. Do you like blue cheese?

2. Have you ever smoked?
Yes, once in a while when I was in the Army. When you are tired, hungry, wet and cold and can't do anything about these things, a cigarette can make you feel better.

3. Do you own a gun?

4. What is your favorite flavor?

5. Do you get nervous before doctor visits?

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
Court of penultimate resort.

7. Favourite Christmas movie?
The Nightmare Before Christmas.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Coffee, and lots of it.

9. Do you do push-ups?
I can crack off 40 or 50, but I don't like it.

10. What’s your favourite piece of jewelry?
I guess a wristwatch counts. Otherwise I have never worn jewelery other than a wedding ring and dog tags.

11. Favourite hobby?
Game designing.

12. Do you have A.D.D.?
No, just distractible.

13. What’s the one thing you hate about yourself?
Too hard on myself, too second-thoughty.

14. Middle name?

15. Name three thoughts right now?
My foot's going numb
I'm more tired now than I was when I left on Friday
the next three game-related blog posts I have to write.

16. Name 3 drinks you drink regularly.
Coffee, water, juice

17. Where's the question?
Got lost, I guess?

18. Current hate right now?
News clowns.

19. Favorite place to be?

20. How do you ring in the New Year?
Go to bed early.

21. Where would you like to go?

22. Name three people who will complete this?
No idea. [ profile] emmabovary sometimes picks up on these things.

23. Do you own slippers?
Yes! They are destroyed but I wear them anyway.

24. What colour shirt are you wearing?

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
Never have.

26. Can you whistle?
A little, just enough to be annoying.

27. Favourite colour?

28. Would you be a pirate?

29. What songs do you sing in the shower?
I don't.

30. Favourite girls name?

31. Favourite boys name?
Don't have one.

32. What’s in your pocket right now?
Pen, knife, keys, bus pass, some coins.

33. Last person that made you laugh?

34. Best toy as a child?
Toy rifle that made a hell of a bang (was supposed to make a puff of oil smoke too, but never did). Got left outside for an Ontario winter and that was that.

35. Worst injury?
Having left lower leg crushed by a car.

36. Where would you love to live?
Money no object? London or Berlin.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house?

38. Who is your loudest friend?
They're all fairly quiet. Gray, I suppose.

39. How many dogs do you have?

40. Does someone trust you?

41. What's your favorite movie?
Repo Man!

42. What’s your favourite sweet?
Dark chocolate covered cherries.

43. What’s your favourite sports team?

44. What song do you want played at your funeral?
Oingo Boingo, "No One Lives Forever"

ltmurnau: (CX)
Nicked from [ profile] emmabovary, who picks good memes.

Tell us about your SENIOR year of high school!
The year was: 1982

1. Did you know your spouse? no
2. Did you car pool to school? No, I took the school bus.
3. What kind of car did you have? none
4. What kind of car do you have now? none
5. It's Saturday night...where were you? either playing games with friends or watching a movie.
6. What kind of job did you have in high school? Militia (Army reserve).
7. What kind of job do you have now? Education Officer.
8. Were you a party animal? Mmm, no.
9. Were you a cheerleader? No!
10. Were you considered a jock? Ha. No.
11. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? No.
12. Were you a nerd? I suppose.
13. Did you get suspended or expelled? No.
14. Can you sing the fight song? Canadian high school; we didn't have one.
15. Who was/were your favorite high school teacher? I liked Mr. Cross (English); we would talk about movies.
16. Where did you sit for lunch? In one of the chem labs, or the central amphitheatre.
17. What was your school's full name? Parkland.
18. What was your school mascot? A panther.
19. If you could go back and do it again, would you? God no, it was boring and futile. The only consistently valuable thing I learned in high school was touch typing.
20. Did you have fun at Prom? A bit; had to cut it short and go home and get some sleep, as I spent the rest of the weekend in the woods on a patrolling exercise.
21. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? No.
22. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? No.
23. Are you still in contact with people from school? A couple, but we don't talk about school.
24. What are/were your school's colors? Damfino.
ltmurnau: (CX)

The Rathskeller, Victoria's only German restaurant, is closing after 50 years.
My friend John and I used to go there every so often when, as he put it, "he felt a quart low."
Good schnitzels and the potato pancakes were great.

It used to be in an actual cellar, in the basement of a hotel on lower Douglas Street that is no longer there (it's a Budget rent-a-car lot now).
It moved in 1982, and after it moved a Chinese restaurant was in there for a while.
I stopped in there one night to get supper before getting the bus home.
The new occupant hadn't touched the decor, so I ate my Combination "B" in a dark wooden booth, in a dark wooden-panelled room with large paintings on the walls of cathedrals and trains wending their way through the Alps.
It wasn't bad, but an hour later I felt like invading Poland.

ltmurnau: (CX)

I hadn't posted much lately about the monthly DJ gig, but we did the last one last night.
Five and a half years is a long time for a regular music night, in this town it's a phenomenally long time for any kind of music let alone the EBM/industrial/coldwave etc. stuff we were playing.

I learned a lot, and had fun, and listened to a lot of interesting new music. But ti's time to move on. Maybe I might still do one-offs in future but we'll see.

Setlists, videos, MP3 files of sets etc. will be at for some time to come.

ltmurnau: (CX)
... ohhh pleasedontsuck pleasedontsuck....

From this morning's CBC:

Filmmaker Ben Wheatley is 'a cup of tea away from anarchy'
British director's new film, High-Rise, explores the intersection of condo life and class warfare
By Matt Meuse, CBC News Posted: Apr 16, 2016 8:00 AM PT Last Updated: Apr 16, 2016 8:00 AM PT

"They say you're only two meals away from anarchy," British director Ben Wheatley tells On the Coast host Gloria Mackarenko.

"You know, I like to eat. I'm probably about a cup of tea away from anarchy, usually."

Wheatley's new film, High-Rise, tells the twisted story of a utopian condo complex on the outskirts of a gentrifying city, and its rapid descent into chaos.

The transformation takes three months in the film. But in real life, Wheatley reckons it would be much quicker. In the aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis, he realized he only had a day's worth of food in his house, and no real cash or valuables.

"I started looking around at the people in the street going, oh, I'd have to fight them, wouldn't I, for food," he said, laughing. "It would collapse really fast."

The film is based on a novel written by English author J. G. Ballard in the 1970s. Tom Hiddleston stars as Dr. Robert Laing, a resident of the titular High-Rise.

The book was speculative fiction at the time, but Wheatley finds it to be remarkably prescient.

"When I reread the book in my mid-40s, I realized that it wasn't predictive science fiction anymore, it was much more like I was reading pages out of a newspaper," he said. "It was a bit depressing."

To capture the feel of the novel, the film is set in a sort of alternate-history "super 70s," as Wheatley describes it — an ambiguous, highly-stylized representation of the era.

As if to highlight this, the film ends with an archival monologue from former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, whose right-wing economic policies dominated British politics in the 80s.

"Hearing Thatcher in the air [at the end of the film] is like the ending of John Carpenter's The Thing," he said, referencing a classic 80s horror film with a similarly bleak ending. "When I hear that voice, I get a slight twinge of fear. I find her disconcerting and terrifying."

"It's saying that the whole thing is cyclical and it will start again. And we have the hindsight of knowing what's going to happen next."

Parallels with modern Vancouver

The city in the film is implied as London, which is currently facing housing affordability problems not unlike Vancouver's. Prices are surging in both cities, and many blame investors who use real estate as a way of making and storing money.

Wheatley said the practice of treating real estate primarily as an investment has a devastating impact on cities.

"I always think of it as a bit like when these investors buy Van Goghs and stick them in a vault somewhere," he said. "The art gets turned into money, becomes abstracted and then put away, and it no longer serves the point it had in the first place. So, you know, if you do that to a city, you basically kill it."

"And what happens when no one can afford to live in the city? Do we all have to live on the outskirts and just look to it like Oz or something in the distance? I don't know, it's terrifying."

High-Rise was screened Friday night as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival, with a wider Canadian release on May 20. He'll be giving a master class as part of the festival Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Vancity Theatre.
ltmurnau: (CX)
for the first time ever, Insane Clown Posse is coming to Victoria.


I had no idea this city had anywhere near the minimum critical mass of fans required to make ICP show up on your doorstep.
Victoria has been home to cells of all kinds of weird cults, but I never thought Juggalos would be one of them.

In other musical news, Circuit Breaker (the monthly EBM/industrial/coldwave/etc. show I've been doing for over 5 years) is about to conclude.
The two DJs I have been doing the show with want a break, and I don't have the time or energy to keep it going by myself.
Five years is a darn long time to keep a regular music event of any kind going in Victoria.
It was fun and I've learned a lot, and I will miss it, but perhaps it's time to hang it up.
Last show is May 15! is the website I've been maintaining, setlists and videos and occasional MP3s of sets are there.
ltmurnau: (CX)
Believe it or not, I am here most days for a quick troll through my Friends page.
But I don't post much anymore, obviously - mostly because I am busy doing stuff that I would be posting about, if I posted more.

Aki made it through his bridging semester program and now he is in 3rd Year of Mechanical Engineering!
He's finding it a lot of work, but I think it's coming together for him and he can see the purpose of it, unlike the Shakespeare they made him swallow in high school.
They have them working on projects, he is doing one with a team where they are developing a way to 3-D print custom braces for children with club feet.
He's also 21 now, how did that happen....

Game designing takes up a lot of my outside-work time, my blog on that is at .
I never did figure out a way to feed entries from there to here, I should just do it manually but I am not sure who would be looking at it.

Current projects, since the last time I talked about them, include games on the following in no particular order:

- the French-Algerian War of 1954-62 (two games actually, using completely different systems: one large one with lavish production and wooden bits, another one a revision of an earlier design)
- the Battle of the Bulge (revision of earlier design, published 11/15)
- a set of 3 battles from the first year of the Korean War (published 11/15, mangled by publisher's "development" team)
- the 1973 coup in Chile
- the Slovak-Hungarian War of March, 1939
- the invasion of Canada by the United States, 193? (revision of earlier design)
- the Polish-Soviet War, 1920 (revision of earlier design)
- the Cyprus Emergency, 1955-59
- Binh Dinh province (central coast of Vietnam, 1969; did this one up a while ago for a history professor at Nipissing University for students in his course on 20C wars and revolutions to play)
- the 1943-45 Allied invasions of Greece and Yugoslavia that weren't (two games actually, using completely different systems; one from the publisher that mangled my work (though they seem to have not mangled it too much this time, it's still the last work I will ever send them) and one I published myself)
- the Finnish Civil War of 1918

People want me to talk about my work too, which I find extremely difficult to do... I mean, I can talk technique, but as to what value there is in it, or what makes some thing better than another thing - I can't be articulate.

But week after next I am going to Washington DC to talk to people at RAND Corporation about what I do, and how it might help them in what they do... a very unexpected offshoot of a conference I went to last September that featured a workshop on quick game design that I helped facilitate.

Then in mid-March, UVic has an event on gaming ( and I will be showing some of my work and maybe talking about it.

Then at the end of March, I am going to the American Popular Culture Association's national meeting in Seattle, to present a paper on... well, here's my abstract:

Bored of War

Board wargames, or manual military simulation games, are a form of civilian entertainment that peaked commercially in the 1980s but continue today as a small press, near-DIY activity. They remain one of Western culture’s most complex analog artifacts, rich in their ability to generate narrative and explore historical possibilities.

However, only a very small number of published civilian wargames address the dominant modes of actual post-World War Two conflict: irregular war and counterinsurgency. This paper will explore the cultural reasons for this absent focus, explain the social and political utility of these games as a means of interrogating and critiquing contemporary conflicts, and present specific games in this field as examples of “critical play” (Flanagan, 2009).

See what I mean about being inarticulate?
This is a big conference, with thousands of presentations... and the Game Studies area is quite new, with only about 100 presentations. But all of them are about digital games - their design, the sociology of people who play them, etc. - except for 3: my presentation, and 2 presentations on role-playing games.
I feel no one will have the vaguest idea what I am talking about, much less care, even if I could make myself understood.
But Lianne is making a presentation (on horror films) in much better company... I've never been to a conference quite like this before.

And then in April, trying to work through arrangements to visit the Army War College in Carlisle PA to do some facilitated play of my Algeria game, to match with a screening of The Battle of Algiers.
I wonder what the Army officers there will make of that one.

Then in June, to Tempe AZ for the annual Consimworld Expo, for more showing of work and meeting with publishers.

It took 25 years to get to this point, I don't mind being so busy but again, it's hard to write about this stuff in the larger sense.

Oh, and I have something in a book too: this spring will see a game studies anthology come out from MIT Press:
It's the first time any of my writing has been in an actual book!

Anyway, this is in large part what I have been doing instead of posting.
I will try to pop in here more often, if only to leave links.


ltmurnau: (Default)

July 2018

2223242526 2728


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 19th, 2019 03:27 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios