Friday, December 28, 2018

Tales of eBay Horror 5: Not-What-I-Ordered

Hey, kids.  Here I am again with another true eBay horror story. This time, I tell a tale of something that happened to me as a buyer, rather than a seller. It's the fecund fairytale I call, "The Tale of the Not-What-I-Ordered."

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Fake Sean Christmas Greetings 2018

Well, I didn't manage a Christmas episode this year.  I recorded one, but it looks like we'll have to strive for a 2019 release.  In its place, here's Fake Sean Connery butchering a holiday favorite.

Maybe next year will be better than "Last Christmas."

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Rish Outcast 126: A Week's Vacation

Okay, here's the situation, my family went away on a week's vacation. Perhaps a podcast about it'd be good. Well, maybe I shouldn't . . . yeah, of course I should.

This episode may or may not be boring A.F.. Regardless, I am pretty lucky, guys.

If you care to download the episode directly, just Right-Click HERE.

If you care to support me on Patreon (another incentive episode coming muy pronto), go HERE.

Logo by Gino "They've Taken The Hobbits To Isengard" Moretto.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Rish Outcast 125: Confessions of a Film School Dropout

In this episode, I present a story not-at-all based on my college experien--

Oh, this one is just for Patreon supporters.  Guess you'll just have to go there (to and pledge a dollar.  Or more.


Sunday, December 02, 2018

Tales of eBay Horror 4: Fury Over Feedback

Here's another true, and truly-horrible experience I had, entitled, "The Fury Over Feedback."  If you like these, there are more to come.  

If you don't, well, I recently lost two due to a computer crash.  Silver lining?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Rish Outcast 124: I Get So Emotional, Baby

In this episode, I talk about conveying emotion in writing and film, and cite a bunch of examples. You'll get a few spoilers . . . and a couple of tears.

My Patreon supporters got an extended version of this episode, and heads up, either Episode 125 or 126 will be a Patreon-only incentive show.  So . . . god help us all.

Hey, why don't you download the episode directly by Right-Clicking HERE?

Or, you could support me on Patreon HERE (they got an extended version, kids!).

Logo by Gino "The Knife" Moretto.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Tales of eBay Horror 3: One Who Worked The System

This, "The One Who Worked The System," is the true story of a bad eBay experience that I have told the most times over the years, because it's the one that makes me the angriest.  Hope it makes you angry too.

There may be a delay in the next episode or two due to computer problems, but by all means, keep on shuddering at the prospect of more.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Rish Outcast 123: Geriatric Protagonist

Man, this episode's been a long time in coming.*  But better late than never, right?  Right?

In this show I talk about the inspiration for and the release of my new book "A Mark on the Sky."  It's a Sci-Fi/Horror story with, you guessed it, an elderly main character.  Write what you know, eh?

You can buy the text version at THIS LINK, and the audiobook version AT THIS LINK.

Download the episode HERE.

Support me on Patreon HERE.

Here's a link to the That Gets My Goat episode where Big and I brainstormed ideas that eventually became this book: TGMG 131

Logo and cover art by Gino "The Ghost Who Walks" Moretto.

Link to Old Man in TROLL 2 mentioned in the show.

Link to Abigail Hilton interview mentioned in the show.

Link to Naked Baby Photos.

*I refer to events from 2016 as happening "almost a year ago."

Monday, November 12, 2018

Excelsior! 1922-2018

It was with sadness, but not entirely surprise, that I got my traditional "Guess Which Celebrity Just Died" text from my cousin this morning, and discovered that the great Stan Lee had passed away.  He was ninety-five years young.

Stan was The Man, responsible for so much wonder and joy in my childhood, adolescence, and middle age, that I don't really have time to go into it right now.  And I CERTAINLY didn't have the time an hour ago when I typed all this, only to have it disappear when I got an error trying to save.  I think I'll just post two pictures and leave it at that.

Stanley Martin Lieber was the creator or co-creator of several of my favorite superheroes (most notably Spider-man, Hulk, the X-men, and the Avengers, not to mention She-Hulk, who it seems no one but me will ever love), and was the father of Marvel Comics.  He was also a great writer, a tireless promoter of the comic book medium, always patient and generous with fans, and a hell of a nice guy.

I got to meet him a couple of times, and until the 20-teens, he never charged a dime for an autograph.  He told the same stories, over and over, but never lost the enthusiasm of a storyteller telling it for the first time.

So, this is a happy picture for me.  It was taken at the Wizard World Convention in Anaheim, the only time I went to that particular con. 

I had a big old teenage (well, a teen in his thirties, like on GREASE!) pimple on my forehead, and I actually went to Target right before to buy some makeup to cover it up.  That too, was the only time I'd done that.

I got my picture taken with Stan, fearful I might not get another chance.  After all, he was almost ninety in those days.

Obviously, when a man is as old as Stan has reached, and is in on-and-off poor health, you know what's inevitable.  It still elicited a tear or two from me when I thought about telling my nephews about his death.  They're young enough not to really appreciate what a writer does, but are certainly old enough to recognize how many vibrant, still-relevant characters the man (The Man) brought into their life.

My love for Spider-man has been spoken of often, and I'm sure I'll wax on and on in the future too (not to mention the tribute TGMG episode Big and I will put out), and the two things Spidey and his creator seem to have are their inherent decency, and the fact that I feel like I know them, despite it not actually being so.

I wanted to do some kind of tribute to Stan today, and since I can't draw, I tend to rely on my (abundant supply of) action figures.

As soon as he was home from school and got his homework done, I grabbed my younger nephew (the ten year old had basketball) and we went to my Marvel Legends drawer.  I told him to grab all the action figures of characters Stan created and we'd set them up for a picture before the sun went down.  We barely made it in time (the sun was just dipping below the horizon as we finally got them all standing), but not without forgetting a couple and including one that didn't belong.*

Unfortunately, we missed a couple significant characters (as I don't have any Fantastic Four figures, and I'd sold the Doctor Strange figure I used for my lil Steve Ditko tribute earlier this year), but still, we were rushed, and every new one we placed made one of the old ones fall over. There are two Iron Mans, and you can't even SEE the Human Torch.  Sigh.

Plus, I remembered a bunch of Spider-man villains I figured I could pose behind everybody, but it was just too dark when I got them out (you can see in this picture of my nephew that the sun is almost at ground level).  So I ended up taking the villains picture the next morning, hoping to comp it in.

They absolutely REFUSED to stand up, even though (and it may not be visible in the picture) they all have legs.

I like how it appears the Kingpin is comforting Scorpion, and Magneto is pondering the eternities.  Even then, I forgot the Green Goblin, who has his own stand, and wouldn't have kept falling over like the other four did.

I did try to stick them all in together, in place of Patsy Walker (who I was SURE Stan had created in the Fifties, but alas, I was wrong), but the perspective, lighting, size, and color of grass all teamed up (like a group of supervillains) to thwart me.  I wasted time working on it, but at least I got to listen to a podcast while I did it.

So, I ended up sticking them in the back, which doesn't look too bad.  Still can't see Human Torch, though.

Still, I think the photo turned out pretty well.  It's remarkable that, even though they don't have emotions (or physical representations of emotions), a couple of them SEEM to be sad simply because of the position I put them in.  Thor and Cyclops look surprisingly sad, though Wasp and Black Panther seem pretty down too.

And why wouldn't they be?  Maybe because of all the happiness that Stan Lee's creations have brought to innumerable boys, girls, and kids at heart from my generation (and before) to well after we have gone. 

Thanks, Stan.  'Nuff said.

Rish Outfield

*It occurs to me now to wonder why I didn't just set the figures up myself an hour before he got home, so that everything would be r--
Oh yeah, because I wanted to do this with my eight year old nephew, and not just my sad, immature self.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Rish Outcast 122: A Sidekick's Journey V

So, we've come to the end of this Ben Parks adventure (a sidekick's journey, if you will).  But a journey into . . . what?

Then I talk about Western movies, and how they're similar to my favorite genres of Horror and Sci-Fi.  ARE they similar?

To download the episode directly, Right-Click HERE.

To support me on Patreon, go on over to THIS LINK.

Logo by Gino "The Enraged Silverback" Moretto.

Ben Parks image by Dave "The Sedated Mandrill" Krumenacher.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Tales of eBay Horror 2: Purloined Photographs

Here's the second episode, "The Tale of the Purloined Photographs." A true story, and just as scary as THE BLAIR WITCH PROJEKT (yes, with a K).

This was actually the first episode recorded, but there's not really any order to these things.* This is definitely the shortest of the shows, though.

*Except I mention in Episode 4 another story I haven't bothered to sit down and tell, and I just can't decide whether it's worth it or not.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Nothing Can Stop The . . . Wait, Who?

Years ago, my nephew used to ask me questions about Marvel comics characters.  For some reason, he really fixated on the Juggernaut, and ever since he was five or so, he's wanted to be the Juggernaut for Halloween.

If you're not familiar with the Unstoppable Juggernaut, here's an image.

But nobody makes a Juggernaut costume.  And after his appearance in DEADPOOL 2, they never will.

(Not the worst image that came up, but...)

But when the boy brought it up again this past summer, I started thinking about it, about how we might pull off a homemade version of that costume.

I figured you buy a muscle suit, at any old costume or online store, and put brown faux-leather on it.  Not bad.  But the helmet, the most iconic part of the character . . .

. . . how would we manage that?

My first thought was to get a mixing bowl that was exactly the right size, then (somehow) cut eye holes and a mouth hole in it.  Then we'd cover it with the same brown fabric, or spray paint it brown, or, if we were extremely lucky, we'd find a BROWN mixing bowl to do it with.  But no luck.

Next, we went to the craft store and found these cool foam half-balls.  They looked EXACTLY like what I had in mind, and were sort of hollowed out:

But they were unbelievably expensive (literally.  I still cannot believe they dared charge that much for one), and were only fifty cents cheaper on Amazon.  I still considered it, but the problem was, what if it didn't fit, or broke trying to carve out eye-holes?  Then the foam investment was ruined, and for what?

I went to Walgreens after that, and saw a bunch of their huge inflatable rubber balls.  Ah ha! I said, this is the perfect size and shape!  We'll have no trouble cutting eye-holes for this!  I can cover the rubber with the faux-leather, and if we ruin one, well, it's not a huge expense like the foam.

I bought one, cut it open, and immediately realized my folly.

It became, like my soul, a deflated shapeless void once there was no air in it, and though it was the right size to fit over my nephew's head, it would not keep any shape, let alone the iconic supervillain helmet one.

It wouldn't work, not as a costume, and now, certainly, as for a ball.

My sister mentioned paper-mache, and I sort of wish that's the way we had gone, but I worried that a) it would look crappy, and 2) that it would fall apart the second he took it off and put it on again.  I still wonder if that might've been a better way to go.

I kept looking for mixing bowls, going to the thrift shop down the road.  And that's when I passed the lamp section.

Hey, a couple of these didn't look half bad.  They came in varying sizes, different materials, wide ones, squat ones, and, if I squinted, they kind of looked like the Juggernaut's helmet.  Cool.

So I bought one, trying it on myself to see if it would be the right size.  I purposely picked one up that was a little too deep, knowing I could cut material off the top and/or bottom to get it the right size for a ten year old head.

I knew I had the challenge of the top of it (this one had a metal lid that I could easily slice off and throw off a busy overpass), but I figured that would not be an insurmountable problem.

No, my chief worry was that, even if we covered it with pleather, the boy would look ridiculous.  That it would obviously be what it was...


But I was committed.  I was gonna be a cool uncle--maybe not as cool as that video of Patton Oswalt making his son a Doctor Octopus costume (seriously, check that out if you want to feel deficient as a parent . . . AND a man), but one who put in a little effort.

So, first thing I did was cut off the top of the lampshade (and throw it into rush hour traffic), then sliced openings for the eyes and mouth.

We made a sort of "roof" of the helmet out of cotton gauze so his hair didn't stick out the top.

I went to Walmart and got a yard of leathery fabric, which we wrapped the helmet in.  My first idea was to have my mom sew it, but the lampshade was too breakable, so we used one of those hot glue guns to attach the material.

I used the same material to put on the chest of the muscle-suit we got him.  I forgot to take a picture of that step, and also the brown pants we got him to wear (he didn't own any brown pants--who does?--so we went to the thrift store and scooped some up).
The "helmet" was way too wide on my nephew's head, so we encased it with gauze/cotton padding so it would sort of huge his head and face more.
Lastly, to look (sorta) like rivets, I hot-glued metal buttons to the helmet, then painted them brown.

We cut off a few strips of the material to go on his arms and knuckles.  I hoped we'd find some moonboots we could also cover with the material, but had no luck, and he just wore tennis shoes.

I recognize it didn't come out great, but I thought it came out fairly well, at least.
And that was it.
ONE guy (that I saw) called out, "Hey, it's the Juggernaut!"  But that was all (my nephew said there was another dude [a grown man, like I'm supposed to be] who thought the costume was cool and took a selfie with him, but I didn't witness that).

Later, I heard that my nephew wasn't entirely thrilled with the costume (I choose to believe that it's because it was awkward and heavy), but I told him we could improve it for the next comic con we go to.  Maybe we'll try the papier-mache.

Maybe we'll try the Colossus version.


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Rish and Marshal Talk the Monsters of Star Wars

So, what did I do instead of a Halloween episode of the Rish Outcast this year?  I did a Halloween episode of the Dunesteef and one for Delusions of Grandeur.  In it, Marshal Latham and I talk about our favorite monsters of Star Wars (including the damned Prequels, for once).

(Ghost Hayden Christensen not included)

The show actually turned out much better than I thought it would, so I guess we'll blame Marshal for that.  Check it out RIGHT HERE!

Will I do a Christmas Outcast episode?  Right now, it looks like about 60/40 against.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Happy Birthday, Big Anklevich

It's that time again, when I coerce Fake Sean Connery to sing a song for Big's birthday, though I always seem to screw it up.  But it can't possibly go wrong this year, right?

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Tales of eBay Horror 1

Here is Episode 1 of my new (probably-disastrous) video series, "The Tale of the Outraged Iron Man Buyer!"* 

Sorry about the camerawork, but I own no drones.

Happy Halloween!

*I could've sworn I called this "The Irate Iron Man Buyer," since that has such alluring alliteration, but whoops, better luck next life.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Rish Outcast 121: A Sidekick's Journey IV

Okay, here's the thir--er, the fourth segment of "A Sidekick's Journey." 'Nuff said?

Rish brings you the thir--er, fourth segment of "A Sidekick's Journey" . . . and lots of rain.

To download the episode directly, Right-Click HERE.

To support me on Patreon, Left-Click HERE.

If I ain't said it enough, thanks to Kevin McLeod for for his always-great music.

As always, logo by Gino "The Toothless Wolfman" Moretto.

Ben Parks image by Dave Krumenacher.

And thanks to Marshal Latham for recently revealing how much I love Satan.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Coming Soon

Consider yourself warned.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Rish Outcast 120: A Sidekick's Journey III

Among the crickets, I continue to present my Western story "A Sidekick's Journey."

Ben Parks rides into danger with Lorelei Skruggs!

In my opinion, this segment is the most significant portion of the story, and if I were a real writer, I'd address it considerably in the next book.

If you care to download the episode, just Right-Click HERE.

If you care to support me on Patreon, just go HERE.

Outcast logo by Gino "The Honeybadger" Moretto

Friday, October 12, 2018

New Delusions Logo

Your friend and mine, Gino "The Direwolf" Moretto, continues to impress me with the logos he creates.  He made one for The Podcast That Dares Not Speak Its Name, one for the Rish Outcast (which he's sent me a bunch of different colored variants of), one for Celebrity Dungeons & Dragons (which, unfortunately, appears to have died out of the gate), and one for the video series I'll be putting out any day now.*

But here's one he just created for my and Marshal's Star Wars podcast, "Delusions of Grandeur."  Ain't it keen?

Thanks, Gino.  I will try not to make fun of your accent.


*I'll try and put up a tease for that in my next blogpost.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Marshal And I Talk About The Warcraft Movie

So, a couple of months back, Marshal Latham and I did an episode of his podcast discussing Steven Spielberg's DUEL.  It was a sort of test run on a show we were considering where we talked about a movie, good or bad.  I preferred bad.

Well, the next episode is out now.  It's the first installment in a stand-alone podcast series called Outfield Excursions (in keeping with Marshal's traveling theme).  He's releasing it on the Journey Into... page in conjunction with a new Patreon he's starting.  The movie in question is WARCRAFT, directed by Duncan Jones, released in 2016.

These projects are pretty time-consuming, as I well know, and Marshal continues to do a bang-up job with them.  I encourage you to go to THIS LINK to listen to the episode, and if you enjoy it, journey on over to THIS LINK and support the guy on Patreon.

In the future, he'll allow the Patrons to vote on which movie we discuss next, and I've already got a couple ("I heard it was so bad I never actually saw it") films in mind.  Check it out sometime.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Rish Outcast 119: But Now I'm Found

In this episode, I talk about finding someone's purse, someone's keys, and someone's breaking point.

Unfortunately, I refer (extensively) to my story "Lost and Found" in this show.  I totally thought I had run that on the Outcast a year or two ago, but when I did a search for it, it didn't come up.  I sincerely apologize (and nearly decided to postpone this episode and just not have a show this week), but if you want to check it out, the text version is HERE and the audio version is HERE.

Guess I know what story I'll do an episode for tonight.

The next episode will be better, I promise.*

Alright, download this sucker directly by Right-Clicking HERE.

Okay, support me on Patreon by going HERE.

Okright, waste a little more of your life by going HERE.

Outcast logo by Gino "I Once Was Lost" Moretto.

*Seriously, though, this is a solid ep.  You could do a hell of a lot worse than this episode.  Hey, you HAVE done a hell of a lot worse.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Who Are You, Who Who Who Who

I went out to the family farm yesterday afternoon to mow lawns and deliver new shutters for the windows, and was distressed when it got dark even earlier than it had the week before*
I mowed as quickly as I could, checked the traps, refilled the horses' troughs, and was just feeding them (the horses belong my uncle and I enjoy giving them apples and the grass from the mower bag) when the sun went completely down.

As I was trudging back to the house (I'm not as young as I used to be, or as fit as . . . well, as you are, gentle reader), I heard a cow lowing in the pasture next door, and what was either an owl or the biggest damned dove I'd ever heard.  I paused, cocked my head, and figured it was the familial madness creeping in again, and went inside.

I had a few extra minutes because I'd arrived an hour earlier than usual, and sat down to try to plan out another Ben Parks story (I had thought quite a bit during my mow about a mini-adventure he and Deputy Anglesworth might have had).  As I was typing, I heard it again: a low hooting that probably wasn't a cow, but an owl.

I went outside and heard it in one of the trees my brother partially cut down next to the chicken coop.  I walked back there, and there it was, a Great Horned Owl, in my childhood backyard.  It looked down at me and then swiveled its head around to take another call.

In all the years I lived in that house, which definitely were my most formative, I never saw an owl, or even heard one, as far as I can recall.  We did have an eagle in the tree by the tin garage one winter, but that's neither here nor there.

I got my phone out to take a picture, but the light was gone and no good pictures could be had.

OR, if you prefer to look at it this way, my phone is too crappy to take good photos or video, and had you been there by my side, we'd have some awesome evidence of my discovery.

I stood there watching it for a minute, enjoying the presence of some pretty cool nature.  At one point, something (my brother's escaped gopher maybe?) caught its eye in the field next door and it looked like it might take off after it, but it had better things to do.  Eventually, I stupidly thought I would try to imitate the sound it was making to see what it would do, and my hooting sound was totally pathetic and sounded nothing like it did.  The owl was not impressed and decided to vacate the premises.  Its wingspan WAS impressive, though, and I felt like it had to be three feet long, maybe more.  It flew off, went to the neighbor's yard, and perched at the very highest point of their tree, where I could see it, but not so up close.**

Anyway, I don't know that this was worth a full blog post, but I'm in the middle of editing a podcast, so any distraction will do.

Oh, and hey, it's possible it wasn't a Great Horned Owl, but another kind (although you surely can't see it in the photos--it had that distinctive head of the horned kind, though).  If I'm wrong, let me know.

Rish "Won't Get Fooled Again" Outfield

*I wasn't gonna share this part on the blog in the slim chance that it gets back to my brother or deceased father (who would [both] surely call me a dumbass), but last week, I left to go down there to mow at around seven-forty-five pm, knowing that it gets dark around nine o'clock.  But no, apparently it's no longer summertime, and as I approached my hometown, the sun was already vanishing below the mountains. 
So, as soon as I'd parked in the driveway, I raced to start the lawnmower and get the lawn cut before the light was completely gone.  I decided to mow in the backyard first (since the one in the front is on the western side and would get sunlight slightly longer), but halfway through, it was completely dark and I was just mowing in the grey post-twilight.
All through the summer, my brother has been doing battle with a gopher (or several gophers) in the backyard, and has tried poison, traps, and just sticking the waterhose into each new hole it makes to hopefully drown it.  This seems not to have succeeded, but in his last effort, he filled up the hole in the lawn with water . . . then placed a brick over the opening so the rodent couldn't escape.
I didn't see this brick as I was mowing . . . but I did hear it.
Point being, if my dad had been around, he would've called me an idiot for mowing in the dark, and had I been the one to set a brick there, he would've called me an idiot for putting a foreign object on the lawn.

**At one point, I did draw its attention by asking if it had heard about Bill Cosby's trial and the sentencing.  It asked, "Who?" so I didn't press it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Irritating Road Block

So, the next (scheduled) episode of the Rish Outcast was created to plug my next book (or "book" if we have to be catty . . . and honest), but I've submitted it to Audible twice and had it rejected twice.  That basically means that the next episode will either be promoting an audiobook that doesn't yet exist, or will have to be delayed.

I'm wondering if I should go ahead and air it, and keep to my schedule (which has already fallen behind because I lost a couple of days trying to edit a video podcast I kept having trouble with), or if I should just air the next episode in the rotation and catch up with the missed episode early in November (I'd sort of have to do it that way to get all the "Sidekick's Journey" shows in before Halloween).  Or do I air Episode 120 before 119 and just jam 119 in there whenever I get the okay from Audible, despite it breaking up the chronology, because who really cares in what order the shows were released in, if they're numbered anyway?

What do you think?

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Rish Outcast 118: Cabin in the Cold

Rish goes again to the family cabin. And cold follows.

But what about werewolves? And chatty ravens?

Go on and download the episode by Right-Clicking HERE.

Go on and support me on Patreon HERE.

Cover art by Gino "The Other Odinson" Moretto

Here is the clearer of the three photos I took of the "werewolf tracks."  You be the judge.

Here is the big moth I took a picture of while talking about Poe.