Tag Archives: humor

Escape From Waterdeep

When we’re in production on Tabletop, we shoot two episodes a day. Each episode takes around five hours to film, and by the end of the fourth or fifth day in a week, we all get a little silly from sleep deprivation.

Before they leave for the day, we ask all the players to sign a few copies of the game they played. We keep these signed games in a vault at Geek and Sundry, and give them out as prizes, or offer them for select charity auctions.

Last season, when we were shooting Lords of Waterdeep, I went to sign the cover of the game, and thought that the artwork sort of looked like Escape From New York. I was feeling a little silly, so this happened:

Lords of Waterdeep

Escape from Waterdeep

This copy of the game lives in the Geek and Sundry offices, and will remain part of our permanent collection.

Speaking of Tabletop, here’s what’s coming up for the rest of this season. If you own a game shop, you may want to talk to your distributor about getting extra copies of these upcoming games, if you experience what I’m told is called The Tabletop Effect:

  • December 26th – Carcassonne
  • January 9th - Tsuro of the Seas
  • January 23rd - Ticket to Ride Europe
  • February 6th - Fortune and Glory
  • February 20th - Lords of Vegas

Oh! And speaking of Lords of Waterdeep, which is one of my very favourite games of this year, the iOS version is really great.

today only … you … can … get … SHATNERQUAKE … forfree!

When I was working on Leverage this summer, I spent quite a bit of quality time in Powell's world of books. On one of my trips into the store, I saw a little book with a fantastic cover that I knew I would be buying before I even laid a hand on it. That book was called … Shatnerquake.

I sent a picture to Twitter and said "How can I *not* buy a book called Shatnerquake?" It was, of course, a rhetorical question that I couldn't (and can't) summon the appropriate double-not-negatives to answer. What's important is that I bought it, took it back to my hotel, and read it the very next day.

Here's the review I posted to Goodreads:

It's like Lloyd Kaufman and Sam Rami's mutant offspring wrote a book. It's very funny, and doesn't try to be anything other than what it is: The William Shatner locked in surreal and hyperreal mortal combat with every character he's ever played, from the Priceline guy to Kirk.

I would have rated it higher, but it desperately needed to go to a copy editor, especially for the last two chapters.

With a little bit of clean up, though, this could become an underground sensation.

I hope it gets cleaned up and sent to another printing, because it's an incredibly fast read, right around 100 pages of highly-entertaining action, humor, parody, and more Shatnerlove than you could ever hope to see without being a green alien lady in 1968.

Today, Shatnerquake's author, Jeff Burk, is offering Shatnerquake as a free download. He says:

Thank you for devoting some of your precious internet tubing to the downloading of my first book, Shatnerquake.

You may be wondering why I am offering my book for free.  It is because I am an avid downloader as well.  I believe that information, art, and entertainment wants to be free.

The internet has allowed us all so many opportunities to share with each other.  To resist this is to resist the future.  Others may attempt to block this forward progression with lawsuits and file protection.  I, instead, want to do what I can to contribute to this wonderful digital community.

All he asks in return is that you write a review at Amazon or Goodreads. He reminds us that little actions like that really do help out independent artists, who rely on word of mouth from our readers to help our audience grow. 

I think this is an exceedingly fair trade, though I would hope that if you enjoy Shatnerquake (and if you don't, please see your doctor right away) you'll find a way to support the author in a more direct, giving-him-money-so-he-can-pay-his-bills-or-maybe-buy-a-pony kind of way.

ugly bags of mostly water

I know, I know, posting Twitter conversations is the new posting pictures of your cat, but if you'll indulge me one more time, I think some of you will be glad you did:

@levarburton: The Angels have demonstrated genuine character tonite… Unlike the Dodgers who simply punked out!!!

@wilw: @levarburton The Dodgers were as lame and disappointing in the playoffs as the Ferengi were in season one of TNG. THIS IS A TRUE FACT.

@levarburton: @wilw LMAO!!! Genuine spit take.! Seriously…there's Pepsi all over the couch!!!!

One of my biggest, most lasting regrets from the TNG years is that I wasn't closer to the rest of the cast. I mean, we all liked each other, and we had a great time working together, but I couldn't hang out with them after work, because they were adults and I was a kid (and I doubt any of them would have been interested in playing 40K or Car Wars with me while we listened to Boingo, anyway). One of the many things I love about Twitter is that it gave me a chance to reconnect with LeVar and Brent, at a time in our lives when we can relate to each other the way I always wanted to. Technology is awesome. 

Memories of the Futurecast: Episode Three

Futurecast700px-CHey look! It's Monday, and that means it's time for a new Memories of the Futurecast.

Memories of the Future, Volume One, covers the first 13 episodes of TNG, so each week, I'm choosing something from one episode, and performing an excerpt for you. It will mostly be from the synopses, which is where I think the real humor of the book lives, but from time to time, I may work in some things from the other parts.

Two important things:

  1. This does not mean the book comes out in 13 weeks. It comes out much sooner than that.
  2. These are not excerpted from an audiobook. These are recorded specifically for this podcast. I'm not sure if I'll do a full-length audiobook, yet, but I'm open to the idea.

Episode Notes:

  • The Memories of the Futurecast works hard to earn its [EXPLICIT] tag. You have been warned.
  • This week's episode is The Naked Now. I read some of the synopsis and all of The Bottom Line. I also found a memory (of the future) that I hadn't thought about in years, and decided to share it with the class.
  • This week's theme music is Dropping Out of School by Brad Sucks, from his album Out of It. I used it under Creative Commons from Magnatune dot Com. Yay!
  • Garageband doesn't seem to be embedding artwork (designed by Will Hindmarch, who did the cover and interior design for the book) no matter what I do. I'm aware of the problem, but I don't know how to fix it.
  • Memories of the Futurecast is AB negative.
  • Memories of the Futurecast gives +3 to all Gnomes in the party.
  • Memories of the Futurecast will take you out for a nice fish dinner, and never call you back.
  • Memories of the Futurecast is about 21 minutes long this week.
  • Memories of the Futurecast weighs in at 19MB this week.

Download Memories of the Futurecast episode 3

Memories of the Futurecast: Episode Two

Futurecast700px-C Having clawed my way far enough out of fevertown to think and speak (mostly) clearly, I decided to take advantage of the lull in construction next door and record this week's Memories of the Futurecast.

Memories of the Future, Volume One, covers the first 13 episodes of TNG, so each week, I'm choosing something from one episode, and performing an excerpt for you. It will mostly be from the synopses, which is where I think the real humor of the book lives, but from time to time, I may work in some things from the other parts.

Two important things:

  1. This does not mean the book comes out in 13 weeks. It comes out much sooner than that.
  2. These are not excerpted from an audiobook. These are recorded specifically for this podcast. I'm not sure if I'll do a full-length audiobook, yet, but I'm open to the idea.

Episode Notes:

  • The Memories of the Futurecast works hard to earn its [EXPLICIT] tag. You have been warned.
  • I'm not 100% today, and as a result, the podcast isn't 100%, but someday we'll all look back on this and laugh as we flee the planet in a space ship.
  • This week's theme music is used under Creative Commons license from the incredible Coconut Monkeyrocket. You can get the whole thing yourself, as well as a mountain of awesome music, at Comfortstand Records dot Com.
  • Memories of the Futurecast Episode One contains excerpts from the synopsis of Encounter at Farpoint, (Part 2), and Behind the Scenes Memories.
  • This week's episode is twice as long as last week's, and comes in at just over 18 minutes long.
  • Memories of the Futurecast Episode Two weighs in at 8.7MB.
  • Memories of the Futurecast will eat up all your crackers and your licorice.
  • Memories of the Futurecast has Improved Initiative.

Download Memories of the futurecast episode 2

Memories of the Futurecast: Episode One

Memories Podcast Art Holy Crap, I'm doing a weekly podcast again! Welcome to Memories of the Futurecast!

This is going to be fun and awesome: Memories of the Future, Volume One, covers the first 13 episodes of TNG, so each week, I'm going choose something from one episode, and perform an excerpt for you. It will mostly be from the synopses, which is where I think the real humor of the book lives, but from time to time, I may work in some things from the other parts.

Two important things:

  1. This does not mean the book comes out in 13 weeks. It comes out much sooner than that.
  2. These are not excerpted from an audiobook. These are recorded specifically for this podcast. I'm not sure if I'll do a full-length audiobook, yet, but I'm open to the idea.

Episode Notes:

  • The Memories of the Futurecast works hard to earn its [EXPLICIT] tag. You have been warned.
  • Memories of the Futurecast Episode One contains an excerpt from the synopsis of Encounter at Farpoint, (Part 1).
  • This week's episode is exactly 9 minutes long. I considered holding it until 9/9/09, but I was afraid the resulting mathematical nine-ness of the whole thing would be, well, a goocher.
  • Memories of the Futurecast Episode One weighs in at 9.2MB

Download Memories of the Futurecast, Episode One.

It’s misty and stormy, and other words that are not also stage names for strippers

Remember when you had some huge project due in middle school, and you really didn’t want to do it, so you just kept putting it off? Then, when you finally get to work on it, it’s actually more fun than you thought it would be and you wonder why you didn’t want to work on it in the first place?

Welcome to me, working on The Last Outpost. Yes, the episode is still tedious and the Ferengi are so fucking lame if they were horses we’d have to put them down, but once I decided to just relax and not worry about making the damn thing something it’s incapable of being, I found some amusing bits.

BEHOLD:

Picard asks Troi is she’s sensing anything from the Ferengi ship. That’s good, since it’s kind of her whole job and everything. She says she’s sensing nothing, so maybe they can block their thoughts and emotions. That’s bad.

Data says that we don’t know that much about the Ferengi, which is bad, but we do know a few things about them that seem to be reliable, which is good. Data says the Frogurt is also cursed.

Riker tells Data to just get on with it already, so Data says Ferengi are like Yankee traders from 18th century America. This indicates that, in the 24th century, the traditional practice of using 400 year-old comparisons is still in vogue, like when you’re stuck in traffic on the freeway, and say, “Man, this is just like Vasco de Gama trying to go around the Cape of Good Hope!”

And…

Tasha, Worf, Geordi, Data, and Riker all head to the transporter room, where the writers try to make us believe they’ll be in real danger on the planet, but we know it’s pretty safe when they beam down, unaccompanied by even a single Red Shirt.

The planet looks really cool, and it’s one of the first times we can see the difference in budgets and technologies available to the original series and the Next Generation. It’s misty and stormy, and other words that are not also stage names for strippers. We discover that energy in the atmosphere has messed up the transporter’s coordinates, and Riker’s been beamed down alone. He quickly finds Data, who again uses the word “intriguing” to describe things. He keeps using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

Riker and Data scout around, and find Geordi suspended upside down when – oh! here come the Ferengi! Holy shit! The evil Ferengi! They’re finally here, in person! We can see more than just their moderately scary faces, and they are…uh…short. And bouncy. And they wave their hands over their heads a lot. And they don’t like loud noises. And they carry whips…and wear Ugg boots. Um. Wow. How…intriguing.

Oh, and one more bit, which – I’m not going to lie to you, Marge – was the part I had the most fun writing, for reasons which will reveal themselves momentarily:

Back on the Enterprise, we discover that, like the script, things have gone from bad to worse. The lights are out, the ship’s heating is nearly gone, and Picard has had the remaining power rerouted to the family decks, where he asks Doctor Crusher how Wesley is doing.

Now, listen, fan fiction writers: It’s not because Picard is actually Wesley’s father, as many of you will argue on Usenet over the coming seven years; it’s because Picard knows that Wesley could totally figure a way out of this, and he’s right. Off the top of my head, I can suggest that Wesley would generate some sort of Enterprise-enveloping control field with one of his science projects, using an electro plasma system energy converter, to reverse the polarity of the Navigational Deflector to emit an inverse tachyon pulse through a subspace beacon, while rerouting the power from the impulse engines through the Okuda conduits to the forward sensor array’s antimatter pod, using the auxiliary fusion generator to turn the power back on and save the day.

Sadly, we learn that Dr. Crusher left Wesley in their quarters to stare death in the face alone, without even the benefit of a sedative. Picard reassures her that leaving Wesley alone and fully conscious was great parenting, because he has the right to “meet death awake.” Legions of Trekkies agree, then curse Picard for getting their hopes up.

It truly is one of the most tedious episodes of the first season, but I realized while working on the rewrite that I’d somehow managed to spread some funny bits fairly evenly throughout the synopsis, so even though it’s not slap-your-knee funny, it’s not boring, which was my primary concern.

I don’t include many bits that aren’t in the synopsis, so here’s part The Bottom Line:

TNG’s struggle to find its way continues with this episode. Obviously, it fails spectacularly with its introduction of the Ferengi, who were intended to replace the Klingons as a terrifying and worthy adversary to the Federation, but were a total joke until Armin Shimmerman brought Quark to life on DS9, and repaired much – but not all – of the damage.

However, If you take away how outrageously lame the Ferengi are, this episode has some cool elements to it. The planet looks great, and the effects that lead to the revealing of the Portal, its point of view about itself, and its interaction with Riker are straight out of classic Star Trek. In fact, the entire story of the titular last outpost would have been a very strong one, had the Ferengi not been so weak and laughable. Imagine, for example, the relationship between Kirk and the Romulan Commander in Balance of Terror, and put them into this situation, where they are forced to cooperate.

See? It’s not all jokes and snark. I manage to sneak some semi- thoughtful stuff in there between the facepalms.

When I send this to Andrew, I’m done with the bulk of the work on this book. All that’s left is transcribing some interviews I did with friends from the show so I can include a few of their thoughts (I’m not saying who I talked to, nyahh nyahh) and then I have to put everything together in one big tile and read it all, looking for jokes or phrases that I repeated and areas in the behind the scenes stuff where I can add additional material.

Yep, this is dangerously close to being finished.