Monthly Archives: March 2023

Things I Enjoyed: Mar 2023

The Blacktongue Thief

I’m normally pretty reactionary to stuff that Amazon/Audible tries to push on me as hard as it did The Blacktongue Thief, because I assume it’s $1/Kindle Unlimited shovelware but something got it past that, and I’m really glad it did! Buehlman’s novel is about a thief who owes his guild more money than he can repay, and that sets him off on a fun little fantasy story. That’s fine and well, but its delightful affect and very interesting worldbuilding is what made it such a treat.

I listened to it on Audible, and I’d recommend the audio version because it’s full of a lot of pseudo-Gaelic gobbledygook and the narrator (the author) has an accent convincing to my American ears that made it work. I’m not sure how it’d come across in text, but the audio was a lot of fun.

Immediately after finishing it, I went to find other stuff by Buehlman, and was surprised to find that he’s also written Between Two Fires, which recently came up on Bad Books for Bad People (one of the few podcasts I listen to), which is a funny bit of synchronicity. I’ve since read it (and a couple other books), and it’s also excellent and strongly recommended. Buehlman’s going on my list of “Gotta read everything this guy’s done and does” authors.

The End and the Death vol 1

I was really into 40K when Horus Rising was published; I kept up with the Heresy novels until Prospero Burns before falling off of them. At the top of the pandemic, I decided to give the series a read/reread, starting at Rising and working my way through them. I skipped some ones I knew were duds (Battle for the Abyss) and ones I expected to be duds. (And most of the anthologies.) And: Abnett is the master. He’s the S-Tier Black Library author. So: obviously, I’ve been ready for Abnett’s final volume, The End and the Death.

Also, I think the Horus Heresy is probably one of the most ambitious sci-fi series attempted. That there are 60+ books (plus various other works) in the series isn’t why I make this claim: it’s because they were able to weave 30 years of just random made up bullshit minutae into an actual, cohesive narrative. There are some absolute duds, yes, but there truly are some bangers in there: and all of them thread the needle between dumb little fluff quotes that’ve been sprinkled across hundreds of other publications.

Anyway, it delivered. I can’t wait for the final volume, and Sigmar save me I’m going back and rereading some of the books I skipped on the initial reread (the Dark Angels arc; Descent of Angels didn’t really click for me when it was first published).

Cocaine Bear

It is known that I love a good concept film, which is absolutely what Cocaine Bear is: “There’s a bear, it’s on a lot of cocaine. Stuff happens.” There aren’t any surprises here (except how brutal the film is to Margo Martindale), but CB delivers on that concept.

It made me intensely nostalgic for my youth, when SyFy was the Sci-Fi Channel and one of the staples of the channel were low budget monster movies. They’re still making these movies: I can’t complain that I haven’t seen an Alligator rampaging across a small town when I watched Crawl just the other month (it’s actually been several years, but time flows strangely in the Days of COVID)… I just don’t watch as many of them and I’m less aware of them.

Anyway, even though Cocaine Bear was laughing at itself, and was absolutely a comedy, it made me want to watch more of this sort of movie (and ones that take themselves more seriously).

It Came from the Lightbox: Dead Space Terminator

After wrapping up the terrain, I wanted a quick and dirty lil’ palette cleanser, so I ran off this Napking Dead Space terminator.

(I’ve never actually played the game; probably should at some point, but it’s a cool looking dude.)

It Came from the Lightbox: Gallowdark

I finished painting the Into the Dark / Boarding Action / Gallowdark terrain this weekend! It’s been such a huge lift over the past couple of months, it grew exhausting.

Here are some lightbox shots of a couple of pieces. Not everything, obviously: it’s Into the Dark + Shadowvault + the Soulshackle upgrade sprues (so basically two Gallowdarks and two upgrade sets). Most everything here is in sets of four.

If I counted right: 165 pieces. Yeesh.

I did a little work with fluorescents; I think the result is fun enough I’m annoyed I didn’t do more of it. Odds it’ll ever be useful is nil, but I think it’s fun.

And! I was able to fit everything in a single container for storage. Everything’s in a single 17L Really Useful Box. This is possibly the most satisfying part of the project: the perfect storage solution.

Things I Enjoyed: Feb 2023

Silicon Valley

I just did a rewatch of the whole run of Silicon Valley and it’s still great. As a software developer, I hold the end of Season 1 Middle-Out scene as one of the all-time great comedy scenes ever put to screen.

On the rewatch, I appreciated many more of the callbacks they threw into the show than I did on my initial week-to-week watch as it aired.

Fleishman is in Trouble

This was a challenging but compelling watch. Stressful and sad, it ended on a note that was a little too cute for my tastes, but throughout I just couldn’t look away. I’ll watch anything with Claire Danes in it, and she’s only one of several heavyweights here. Strongly recommended, unless uncomfortable shows about divorce, insecurity, and grief are going to bring you down.

The Rocketeer

Weirdly, I’d never seen it before! I remember it having an outsized presence in Nintendo Power and it being a thing, but I’d never actually watched the movie. Unclear Pod put it on my radar, though, so we rewatched it over the weekend and what a treat! On the back of The Rocketeer, we’re talking about doing a tour through the adventure movies of the 90’s over the next several weekends. I know I’m hot to rewatch The Shadow.

(As great as the film is: I’m glad I didn’t watch it when it came out because that movie opens on Jennifer Connelly rolling a stocking up her thigh… and that absolutely would have impacted the way my pubescent brain was wired.)

Things I Enjoyed: Jan 2023

Have I done nothing but post terrain workbench shots since December?

White Noise

I read White Noise back as an undergrad close to 30 years ago, and it had a pretty big impact on me then, but I haven’t returned to it since. I enjoyed the Netflix adaptation quite a bit. Unfortunately The Airborne Toxic Event, having been placed in my forebrain by Baumbach, looms large every time I see coverage of the tragedy in East Palestine.

The Northman

I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to The Northman. Eggers has only delivered bangers so far, and The Northman was no exception. I remember seeing some criticisms of it that ran along the lines of “It’s just Hamlet :eyeroll:” and you know what? Fuck off with that! It was an excellent adaption of it, and there are much, much worse works to adapt than Hamlet.


I should have hated Wednesday. I expected to hate Wednesday. I didn’t hate Wednesday; I really enjoyed it.

Painted Models – 2023 02


I’ve been jammed up with this Into the Dark terrain literally all month. Haven’t gone a month without finishing at least something since December 2018. This is the fifth time this has happened since I’ve started tracking this stuff in Jan 2010.