Pith Helmet

What A Difference A Hundred Years Makes
May 25, 2008, 12:36 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Decoration Day c.1900

Memorial Day c. 2000


The Creek DO Rise
May 25, 2008, 2:36 am
Filed under: History

Today was the annual 1836 Creek Indian War at Westville, Georgia. The Boy and I were in attendance. The text below is from the handout provided by the interpretative staff. The shoddy-looking cell-phone photos provided by me:

Creek War at Westville, Georgia

The Macon Volunteers

Westville represents the town of Lumpkin, Stewart County, Georgia, a thriving town in the 1830s. This weekend, you are in the town of Westville, Georgia in 1836. The scenario for this weekend is based on the following actual events that took place in Stewart County in 1836:

For the most part, the Creeks have been peaceful in Georgia in recent times. But, skirmishes with Alabama Creeks have contied as settlers have pushed westward into Alabama and Mississippi. Hostile bands of Alabama Creeks have recently crossed to the Georgia side of the Chattahoochee River into Stewart County, posing a threat to settlers in the area.

Here comes a regular ... a U.S. Regular, that is.

On May 15, Creek Indians burned the village of Roanoke in Stewart Countyh, located on the Chattahoochee River, only a few miles west of Westville. A small company of about 20 voluteers, under the command of Capt. J. U. Horne, had been sent to Roanoke to help protect the village, after reports of Indian raids on the Alabama side of the Chattahoochee. During the night of the 14th, the volunteers laid down to sleep, thinking no Indians were in the area. Just as dawn was breaking on the 15th, over 200 Creek warriors rushed from their hiding places and commenced firing on the soldiers before they could get to their wepons. It was a complete surprise, and seeing that it was impossible to maintain their position, those who were not shot down made their escape the best way they could. Among those severely wounded was Captain Horne. His life was saved by a man who carried him to a deep ravine, where he stayed until the Indians departed. The entire town was destroyed by fire. About a dozen whites were killed, including four men who were burned to death in the hotel.

Fearing that an attack wil be made on Westville, a company of volunteers, under the command of a Captain Streetman, have been hastily sent to the town. They will remain in Westville for 2-3 weeks. After the burning of Roanoke, the civilian population of this area have been in much fear. One rumor is that there are 3000 Indians wiating to make an attack on the town. In reality, only a few hundred Indians have actually crossed the river from the Alabama side.

"The Georgia militia eating goober peas"

Mounted rangers from Stewart County, under the command of Major Henry W. Jernigan, as well as Capt. Hammond Garmony’s Militia, sent from Gwinnett Co., Georgia, as well as soldiers from nearby Ft. McCreary, are in the area. In the coming weeks, they wil be active in pursuit of the Indians in southwest Georgia and into Alabama. Fierce battles will take place in the area of Stewart County in the coming weeks, including the Battle of Shepherd’s Plantation. Even Gen. Winfield Scott will make an appearance in Stewart Countyh in the near future.

This weekend, it is believed that the Indians, camped only a short distance away, will soon attack Westville with a raiding party, and much anxiety exists in the town.

THE END (Unavoidable flashback to the Beefarino episode of Seinfeld)

Jest A Minute
May 24, 2008, 2:29 am
Filed under: Gaming | Tags:

Most of my Dragon magazines disappeared over the years. Some due to poor storage, some to thievery, and some due to parental zealotry. I managed to preserve most of my favorite stuff thanks to the photocopy machine at the local library. I’ve got most of the Deities & Demigods of The World of Greyhawk. I’ve got a few centerfold modules. But the lion’s share of the stuff I preserved were character classes. Back in the eighties, whenever the folks at Dragon came up with a new NPC class, someone felt obliged to run it as a PC. After all, “NPC class” meant “‘Nother Player Character class,” right? I experimented with the halfling Guardian, the Bandit, my favorite was the Duelist (see Dragon #73); however, I must confess, there is a nunnery in the Pomarj that learned to hide whenever my Anti-Paladin rode into town. I even ran a Sentinel once, perhaps the most boring thing to play this side of a Cloistered Cleric. My friend Danny, at different times, played a Samurai, a Berserker, and a Smith. Victor perfected the Duelist. But, my pal Aaron seemed to be born for one purpose: to play the Jester. Me, I never ran one. As a teen, I took myself much too seriously, and never cared much for the thieving classes anyway, so I didn’t see the appeal. But, there was one thing that did intrigue me in the Jester section of good old Dragon #60: “Diarmuid’s Last Jest.” It was a short story (and I believe a spell) that explores that old cliche “died laughing.”

Proving that other cliche, that “truth is stranger than fiction,” Prof. Rob’t MacDougall, Propt’r & Gen. Mg’r of Old Is The New New, posted about an epidemic of laughter that occurred in Tanganyika in 1962 which was appropriately named the Tanganyikan Laughter Epidemic . While all of the Tanganyikan outbreak’s victims eventually recovered,. there actually have been people who literally died laughing.

For example, a Burmese king Nandabayin reportedly died laughing back in 1599. Then, in 1975, an English bloke named Alex Mitchell died laughing while watching The Goodies on the tellie. As recently as 2003, Damnoem Saen-um, a Thai ice cream truck driver, died of a suspected heart attack after laughing nonstop for two minutes in his sleep. Talk about a “rough night in Bangkok.” Oh wait, that’s “rough night in Jericho.” And it’s “One night in Bangkok.”



  • snopes.com: Death By Laughing

  • He Will Be Mythed
    May 23, 2008, 9:40 am
    Filed under: Books

    h/t Boing Boing
    One of the phrases bandied about in gaming and writing circles is “world building.” Some writers become so obsessed with the perfecting the art that they never actually produce the work for which the world was created. Still others, realizing the difficulty of the task, abandon the notion altogether preferring to set their fantasy work in the real world. Robert Asprin was a World Builder among World Builders. He created Sanctuary, a literal thieves’ world, a city that makes Mos Eisley look like Stepford, Connecticut. It was a place that managed to lure in such masters of the craft as Poul Anderson, Philip José Farmer, Andrew J. Offutt, and A. E. van Vogt. He also gave us some delightful non-Thieves’ World characters as well: Aahz, Skeeve, and Captain Willard J. Phule.

    When I discovered Thieves’ World, I was already deep in my attempt to be involved in some aspect of gaming every waking moment. My own campaigns drew heavily on Asprin’s world and were made better for it. As a DM, I felt like a well-sated remora feeding off Kamohoali’i as I “borrowed” from his little corner of the Rankan Empire.

    Later, Aahz and Skeeve (admittedly along with some time spent in Xanth) convinced me that fantasy could have a sense of humor. And, years later, when my gaming time gave way to responsibility, the adventures of Phule & Company gave me some great short, light entertainment.



  • Myth Adventures Home

  • McCain & The Curse of Ham (Mmmmm, ham…. *drools*)
    May 21, 2008, 10:03 am
    Filed under: Politics

    I remember back when John McCain condemned his supporters in North Carolina for airing an attack ad against Barack Obama based upon his association with the Irreverend Jeremiah Wright, Rush Limbaugh was furious (well, as furious has a “harmless, little fuzzball” can be). He was upset that the candidate the GOP primary voters had thrust upon him was using kid gloves in a campaign during the age of Rove-Carville hardball politics.

    As it turns out, the refusal to touch the Wright issue may been part of some calculated “strategery” especially if McCain is going to make any use of Mitt Romney. It hit me yesterday when some liberal caller called in to some talk radio show I was half-listening to. He pointed out that Romney’s church (the LDS, for those of you in Rio Linda), excluded blacks from the priesthood until 1978. By that time, Romney had been a member of for over thirty years. Granted, the Church of Latter Day Saints has a history of opposition to slavery and its membership supported abolition at a time when many mainstream denominations still supported “the peculiar institution.” They even allowed free blacks into the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s time at the helm. But, when Brigham Young took over, blacks were excluded from the priesthood and temple ceremonies based upon the notion of the Curse of Ham.

    If McCain picks the Mittster for Veep (or any other slot for that matter), it would be rather hard to throw stones at Obama, regardless of how inflammatory his pastor’s rhetoric is, if the guy he picks to play Ryker to his Picard was a lifelong member of a church tainted by institutionalized racism that lasted until 1978.

    Killer Krauts from Outer Space
    Tip of the Afrika Korps pith helmet to Bad Astronomy

    What if…? What if the Nazis really did have flying saucers based in Antarctica by the end of World War II? A new feature-length film by Energia Productions tackles that question:

    Towards the end of World War II the staff of SS officer Hans Kammler made a significant breakthrough in anti-gravity.

    From a secret base built in the Antarctic, the first Nazi spaceships were launched in late ‘45 to found the military base Schwarze Sonne (Black Sun) on the dark side of the Moon. This base was to build a powerful invasion fleet and return to take over the Earth once the time was right.

    Now it’s 2018, the Nazi invasion is on its way and the world is goose-stepping towards its doom.


  • Iron Sky
  • Iron Sky on YouTube
  • Iron Sky – Wikipedia
  • MySpace.com – Iron Sky – Nazi Moonbase – www.myspace.com/ironskyfilm

    More On Nazis
    I’ve heard much hullah-balloo about Nick of Time by Ted Bell. I’m definitely adding it to the reading queue, and probably the permanent bookshelf as well.

    From Amazon.com:

    In the grand tradition of epic novels like Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island comes a wondrous tale of time travel, adventure, and riches, in which twelve-year-old Nick McIver sets out to become “the hero of his own life.”

    The setting is England, 1939, on the eve of war. Nick and his younger sister, Kate, live in a lighthouse on the smallest of the Channel Islands. Nick and Kate come to the aid of their father who is engaged in a desperate war of espionage with German U-boat wolf packs that are circling the islands. The information they provide to Winston Churchill is vital as he tries to warn England of the imminent Nazi invasion.

    One day Nick discovers an old sea chest, left for him by his ancestor, Captain Nicholas McIver of the Royal Navy. Inside, he finds a time machine and a desperate plea for help from the captain. He uses the machine to return to the year 1805. Captain McIver and, indeed, Admiral Nelson’s entire fleet are threatened by the treachery of the French and the mutinous Captain Billy Blood. Nick must reach deep inside, using his wits, courage, and daring to rescue the imperiled British sailors.

    His sister, Kate, meanwhile, has enlisted the aid of two of England’s most brilliant “scientific detectives,” Lord Hawke and Commander Hobbes, to thwart the invading Nazis. She and Nick must face England’s underwater enemies, a challenge made all the more difficult when they discover the existence of Germany’s supersecret submarine.

    In this striking adventure for readers of all ages, Nick must fight ruthless enemies across two different centuries, on land and sea, to help defeat those determined to destroy his home and his family.

  • Well Come
    May 20, 2008, 3:11 am
    Filed under: Gaming | Tags:

    The newest addition to my blogroll: Trampled Dwarf.

    The reason: Powers & Perils mention.

    Weekend at Indy’s
    May 20, 2008, 2:45 am
    Filed under: Movies | Tags:

    With the impending arrival of Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I’m just as filled to the brim with eager child-like anticipation as the next Indiana Jones fan, but, given Harrison Ford’s age, one has to wonder if we are getting a bit to close to this: