Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The End of Days...Of 2012

Survival in the post apocalypse future that followed December 21st, 2012, the end of the ancient Mayan calender, hasn't been easy.

Nor has it been any different than it was before that particular Friday.


The end of 2012 did see the passing of some of my favorite actors however and for that I am sad. This past year took many actors, musicans and entertainers I practically grew up with. Among the most missed by yours truly will of course be Muppets performer and muscian Jerry Nelson. Walter Windom, famous for To Kill A Mockingbird and as Commodore Decker in the original series Star Trek episode The Doomsday Machine also passed.  As many of the great character actors leave us I tend to wonder who we will miss in thirty or forty years time. Are they any Charles Durnings or Jack Klugmans among the current crop of young Hollywood hipsters? Only time will tell.

In addition to actors, we recently lost Gerry Anderson, the brilliant, Sci-Fi TV creator behind Thunderbirds, Fireball XL-5 and my personal fave, Space: 1999.

Rest In Peace Charles, Jack, Michael Clarke Duncan, Gerry, Jerry, Walter and all those who took a little bit of themselves and added it to our collective conscious.


After a fond farewell to those who left us with the gift of good memories, it is time to say hello to the future. In my case, I do it doubly so.

I start my new, monthly Traveller campaign in February and I am really looking forward to it. In addition to not having run a successful, long term Traveller game in some time, I am eager to put my Storybox concept in to high gear (or is it High Guard in the case of Traveller?). My goal, along side creating an entertaining and challenging Science Fiction RPG campaign, is to marry the concept of a full on Sandbox campaign setting with the idea that there are plots and stories going on in the foreground (as part of the specific star sector setting at the start of the game), midground (each PC's own personal tale) and background (overarching elements of the Traveller canon universe).

In addition to this, my classes are the Study Lab in Brooklyn are expanding. The Storytelling/Writing Game Class has been so popular we actually have more students then the size of the room can support. As such, we are now splitting it into two classes: There will be an early class for the younger grades and a later class for the older kids.

I have additionally begun assisting with English homework help and lessons and trying to brush up on my Math so I can teach that as well. Often I have to have it retaught to me before I can teach it to the kids. My math skills are very rusty and we never great. Bring on the English!

Oh! Speaking of the kids...


The Holiday vacation has pushed back our decision to start a new game campaign with the young ones but has afforded us all (the kids and myself) the opportunity to have a bit more fun trying out something different.

For the past two Sundays I ran a slightly modified version of The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men (Sorry...Gingerbread People. One of the girls corrected me).

The kids were hilarious, going all Call of Duty on the Krampus, Goblins and a Burnt Sugar Cookie Zombie Apocalypse. Some of the best lines...


Kid J: "I found car keys in the laundry basket. Let's start up the family car and run the Krampus over."

Kid D: "OK. Wait...you're a Gingerbread Man. Who taught you to drive."

Kid J: "Santa." (Gets into the car with D and a few other allies) "Hey. Where are the reins? How do you steer this thing?"


Me: "The holidays are a time of cheer, of giving, of..."



Kid J2: "I'm taking my M&M's and hiding in the Christmas Tree. I'll loose'em in the dense foliage, than I'll spring out and attack from the within the tree."

Kid K: "What is this...Xmas in Vietnam?"


Kid A: ('Sees' Kid R's Gingerbread Woman nearly crushed when a sleeping adult rolls over on her - takes R's Candy Cane and proceeds to beat on adult's arm) "Get off my friend! Get off! We're trying to save your kid lazybones!"

Kid V: (Surveying the damage to Kid R's Gingerbread Woman) "My goodness. There are crumbs everywhere. Oh the humanity! Don't worry R, you're going to make it. Don't go to pieces on me R."


Best end of the year game ever.

Old days end, new days begin and the band plays ever on...

Happy New Year Everybody,

Barking Alien


  1. That gingerbread game sounds like a blast! Looks like it hit a sweet spot for your kids!

    The actor loss I noticed the most was Larry Hagman - I loved I Dream of Jeannie as a kid when it was on in the daytime in reruns and Major Nelson was right at the core of that show. Then when I was a little older and he started playing JR I thought it was weird that he was playing a badguy. Then once I moved to the Dallas area, well, you can imagine the buzz around the show when you live where it supposedly takes place. He was a pretty big deal locally and that amplifies the loss.

  2. why am i seeing a bunch of ginger bread men on the cover of a boxes set...with the catch phrase dont go into pieces....