Monthly Archives: January 2009

It’s an omen. It could be an omen.

spottedeagleraytoyspottedeagleray

I had a serendipitous encounter with a giant spotted eagle ray this morning in the lake outside our building. It provided a very uplifting message. I will share the whole story soon.

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Filed under Magick

Upper Deck Stops Producing Vs. System, Florida Marlins Unveil New Ballpark.

 newera1

marlinsstadium

As you have heard, Upper Deck will no longer be producing sets in the Vs. System for the Marvel and DC Comics properties. While there are a variety of factors that led to this decision, it is important to stress that Upper Deck and the Vs. System R&D team tried their best to find a way of reinvigorating and continuing to produce the game, but ultimately we were unable to make this happen. Vs. System is a game that has been important to Upper Deck, as it was our first foray into a high-level hobby trading card game, and it remains a game of which we are very proud.

 

On a personal level, I am very dedicated to the Vs. System game for a great many reasons. Initially, I began my affair with Vs. System as part of the terrific player community. The fans of this game are among the most staunch and dedicated that I have known in my twenty years of gaming. From writing articles and blogs, to making fan sets, to playing in organized play events, I have seen each fan carve out his or her personal niche in the community, and in doing so, contribute to a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts. The fervor of the Vs. System community was brought into focus with the “fan-made” Marvel Universe expansion, where I personally saw fans’ passion for this game reaching new heights. Their part in creating what turned out to be one of the best-loved sets for any trading card game is something that you, the fans, have much to be proud of. Even though there are no planned expansions in the immediate future, I hope that the game lives on at your kitchen tables or favorite local hobby store. This is a game that I know I will still be playing in the years to come.

 

But it is not just the fans that make the game great. Many game designers and developers have had a hand in the creation of this terrific game. In particular, I would like to mention Mike Hummel, who played a leading role in the design of the game, and David Humpherys, who has led the development of the game almost from day one. But in addition to these people, there are so many people behind the scenes, such as the artists, graphic designers, product and project managers, editors, writers, and judges that have come together to make such a huge undertaking as Vs. System possible. Their efforts spanning 25 releases, over 4,000 cards, and almost five years can be seen in every single card. I would love to mention each and every individual who has been involved in publishing this game, but it would literally take multiple pages. Know that for our part, Upper Deck is still making great games that the current and future generation of gamers can enjoy!

 

We have all grown with this game, and the experiences we have had making and playing it will last forever. Remember to have fun and play fair!

 

Good games,

Ben Seck

Vs. System Lead Designer

 

Yes, it is true. Upper Deck is no longer producing Vs. System cards. I know in my heart of hearts that our community of players will grab the baton and run with it, so make sure you stay tuned to this station for future announcements about the New Era of fan-based creativity and competition. The game will never die. Of that, I am sure.

 

And yes, it is true. The Florida Marlins released the first sketches of our new Miami party place on the very same day.

 

Onward!

 

 

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Filed under Magick, Sports, Vs. System

Team Mexico Employs Voodoo Doll In Quest For Victory Against United States Soccer Team.

ritual   voodoodoll

MEXICO CITY (AP)—Mexican soccer fans are turning to voodoo to beat the United States, with help from an American electronics company.

The teams meet Feb. 11 in Columbus, Ohio, in the first game of the final round of regional qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. Mexico has not beaten the United States on American soil in 10 years.

An advertisement in the sports newspaper Record on Tuesday invited fans to clip coupons and redeem them at their local Radio Shack store for a voodoo-doll likeness of a U.S. player. The hope was that a little black magic might help Mexico break its decade of futility.

“Help end the losing streak so Mexico advances,” the ad read.

An illustration showed a pair of scissors slicing off the leg of a doll in a U.S. jersey that was bruised, crying out in pain, leaking stuffing and stuck with pushpins.

“We imagine a group of young people gathered around the TV supporting Mexico and applying punishments to our rivals so that the team can qualify,” Record said in a statement.

Daniel Paz, marketing manager for the newspaper, told The Associated Press the promotion was a lighthearted attempt to make next month’s rivalry game more enjoyable for fans.

“It’s a toy,” Paz said. “There’s no intention of being anything serious.”

I know two things when it comes to Sports Hexes.  First, you don’t ever telegraph your play. This thing could backfire, big time. Two, those dolls will be worth a pretty penny on ebay.

The game is two weeks away, in Columbus. Should be a hoot.

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Aquaman to be transplanted into Batman’s body.

aquasub011

On Cartoon Network’s Brave and the Bold this Friday night, Aquaman will be shrunk and inserted into Batman’s bloodstream to fight the poison.

Don’t miss it!

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Filed under Comic Books

BYOT Golden Age Tournament Report!

minionstatts

secretavengertasm

smash

Wow, what a good time was had by all.

Round One my War Paint was dried up slowly and surely by JediJames and Spider-Man. The five drop neutered my Zazz, and I could not get the BRPD Signal Device on her to stop the lock. We went to turn eight, and all 18 of my Infernal Minions ended up spent. Game Over.

Round Two I smacked the X-Men around quite nicely, burning for 24 on the final spasm with World War III. I love War Paint, and I am so glad I played it. It is my favorite win condition. Ever.

Round Three I got Hulk Smashed BIG TIME. The only round I saw the Hellboy belt, and Zazz didn’t show until turn six. Ouch. The big green lug swung for 34, then readied and swung again for the win. Oh well, I was close enough to grab a slight taste of victory at least. It tasted like splattered War Paint.

I replaced Mantis with Dr. Light, Light Shaper and Shadow Thief to make it legal for BYOT. I dropped Criminal Mastermind for Invasion Plans and busted three of them in one turn. And you know I ran 4 X-Babies Attack! Mad props to my good friend JediJames for hooking a Stu up with the extra commons.

Thanks to Venom B. A. and Action Comics and Games in Clermont. It was mad fun to turn some superheroes sideways again. I can’t wait for the next one.

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Filed under Vs. System

Oscar Shocker: Kate Winslet nominated for Best Actress in The Reader.

katewinsletheavenlycreatures

I am a bit bewildered. The Academy has nominated Kate Winslet for Best Actress in The Reader, for which she won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. Strange Days have found us, and we need to shift our push to get her the Oscar.

Thanks for your support.

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Flaming Squirrel Starts Blaze, Evacuates School.

squirrel

(Photo by Buaha.)

News of the Squirrel, Powerblaze Edition. As reported by KOCO Channel 5 in Oklahoma City:

JONES, Okla. — A squirrel caught fire, sparking a blaze Wednesday morning that resulted in the evacuation of an elementary school in Jones, fire officials said.

Investigators said the squirrel touched two power lines at the same time and fell to the ground near Britton and Hiawassee roads.

That fire burned 5 acres in the Jones area, forcing the evacuation of the elementary school. Those students were taken to Jones High School.

School officials said the students would be kept at the high school for the rest of the day. Parents will be able to pick them up at the normal time, although some parents have already come to the school to pick up kids.

Several trailers burned in the fire. However, there were no known reports of injuries.

Knowing how good those little tree rodents are at running the wires, I have to wonder whether this was intentional. What a way to go. Mad props to the famous flaming squirrel, no matter the motive.

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Filed under Rambles, Uncategorized

Vs. System Camicia: The Threes.

blackpanther   deathsembrace

darkbargain   doom-bot

waveofsentinels   dimensionalrift

mysterio   aquaman

Those are the threes that we have been flipping nightly. Such fun playing with all the Vs. System paintings that tickle my soul, remembering fondly their days of competitive (and not-so-competitive) glory.

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Filed under Comic Books, Vs. System

The Best Writing I Have Ever Found.

thefool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AN ERISIAN TAROT

by Revd. MC 900ft. Escher and Irrevd. Hacksaw.

(It takes a securely skewed stance, and a slight saugagery of the synapses, but this is it. The best writing I have ever found. We will start with The Fool, since I just pulled it for myself.)

fool

The Major Discordia

of

An Erisian Tarot

–>”Big weighties”

Here are the descriptions for the Major Discordia, the top 22 philosophical constructs that were too big, too weighty, or just the wrong shape, to fit into the regular, mundaner suits. Have at. If you look carefully, you will see a bald eagle eating a small politician.


The Sucker

@c 0 FOOL @section Fool: Legionnaire of Dynamic Discord / Little Deluded Dupe @c Two half-figures playingcard facecard-style @c joined, one with L of D D on the front of his shirt/uniform, and the @c other just now noticing L D D on the back of his, KICK ME -style.

“We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Pogo, Walt Kelly

“The danger is obvious in that the hero generally makes an apparently quite trivial mistake and then must make extraordinary efforts to save himself from the effects of these few trivial errors. One more wrong step and all would have been lost.”

Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts, Herbert Silberer

“I never studied Law!”

Bugs Bunny, not following the law of gravity

Young farmhand called to service beats his plowshare into a sword (and, afterward, beats it back). Disorder erupts, and mountains are no longer mountains, never were. But first, at the very breaking of the dawn of the breaking: this. Who the adventure is about to happen to.

Come spring, motivated zoners trickle out of the stonework, handing out religious tracts to streetcorner passersby. Another threshold, the first blaze after eclipse totality. Those ecstatics so affected may become the wards of the church or state…

But everybody’s getting a little cabin feverish, restless, reckless. Time for spring tonics, spring cleaning, spring-in-one’s-step. When the ice breaks: molasses blood thins and flows. Allow it a little longer to reach the brain.

The foolishness could be just a minor blind spot, the unexpected may be well nigh unexpectable.

No shame.

DivMean: Regarding a material question, foolishness (no, really, run-of-the-mill foolishness). Regarding a spiritual question, aspiration. (Another reason not to waste the tarot’s time.)

Revd: Delusions of grandeur, e.g. Fool as materia prima, yeahyeah, rahrahrah. You were thinking maybe undyed silk, uncarved block, fashionably rustic? Consider the elemental/excremental shit-and-piss chaos where worlds hatch and howl, terra foetida, rotting compost, an artist’s pottagey oil paints, a contemplation so acute in its melancholy as to be redeemed in creation through sheer force of longing — alchemical putrefactio, nasty enough that it’s a bit of a curveball already that anything can be wrought therein?

Which reminds me, there’s something to be said for reading the Tarot trumps as a countdown, 21 to 0, the Fool being where one finally loses some of that egregious garbage. “Take off, eh?”

*********************

ninecups

(Now the Nine of Cups, the last card I pulled today.)

Goldfish of Water Coolers

“There’s no governor anywhere.”

Chuang Tzu

“By doing something incomprehensible, you place yourself outside their magic, and then they lose control.”

Andrea Juno (interviewing Boyd Rice), Re/Search #11: Pranks

“We’ve got the second law of thermodynamics on our side!”

Discordian proverb rallying cry

“‘Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.”

Sri Syadasti, quoted by Eris in Principia Discordia, Malaclypse the Younger, K.S.C.

“If the telephone rings today….. water it!”

Rev. Thomas, Gnostic, N.Y.C. Cabal

Innocent pure radiant ecstatic gentle weirdness. Uncommodifiable revolution. Shenanizens. More like “reversing authority” than “Authority Reversed.” Not: being in contention with Authority; just, by declaration: there is no authority. “Okay. Poof! You’re a milkshake!” Greyface made wheyfaced? Just letting the wheel stop here, thank you.

DivMean: Meditative second-nature spontaneous curious liberation. Complete lovable playful happiness. Spiritual wellness. Some egocentrism? Well, without which not! A consistent foolishness is the harpsichord of surreal minds.

In all likelihood, the ‘reaubot is acting stupid as a coping mechanism — that stuff eats them, too.  The bureaucrat is the gander for which Discordianism is both the goose and sauce. Hint: puppeteer them with your knowledge of their stimulus/response tables. Be anything they don’t have a standard procedure for — or, conversely, be multiple things they have contradictory standard procedures for. Render unto Caesar that which will blow Caesar’s mind, and snatch some official-document rubberstamps while you’re there.

Revd: spectacular, fiery, pleasantly nihilist, violent, vivid insurrection. The pursuit of Liberté! Loyal beloved comrades, mystic guerilla chanting, occult daggers, red flowing silk, black flowing ninjas, erotic midnight conspiring, psychoactives on wheels – on horseback.

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Filed under Magick, Rambles

Fantastic Friday: Cai Guo-Qiang

caiguo-qiang

caiguo-qiang2

Google Cai Guo-Qiang. Do it now.

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Filed under Art I live with., Magick

Honor Among Thieves: The Legend is True.

honoramongthieves mysterio

I just spent three days on a jury, convicting a minor Kingpin of conspiracy to possess and distribute over 5 kilos of cocaine. The prosecution had a collaborating witness who had lived his entire adult life in the business. This was an actual exchange, talking about the code of ethics that these criminals abide by in their dealings.

Prosecutor: Sort of an ‘Honor Among Thieves’, so to speak?

Witness: I learned later in life that there is no honor among thieves, but that’s the legend.

When it comes to Vs. System, however, the legend is true. We have a real Honor Among Thieves and it actually teamed up with Mysterio to win a $40,000 championship in Amsterdam.

featurematch

bigcards

morebigcards

bigcards-again

Yes kids, it is true. Once upon a time we played Vs. System all over the world and we won millions of dollars in prizes. It was the best of times, and it was not merely a legend. It really happened.

procircuit

procircuitagain

That’s me flipping superheroes in a quest for the Pro Circuit Championship, and that’s all I got for today. Tune in after the MLK holiday weekend for more about the trial. It was real, and it was a trip.

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Filed under Comic Books, Vs. System

Batman Is Really Dead: Final Crisis #6.

batmanisreallydead

batmandead

batmanrules

ob ale

Yes, it is true. Grant Morrison, the confirmed Chaos Magician, has officially killed Batman with Omega Beams and the Anti-Life Equation.

I am speechless.

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Filed under Vs. System, Comic Books