The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #234: Collaboration with Jeremy Lesniak from Whistlekick – Benny the Jet vs. Jackie Chan from “Wheels on Meals” (1984)

Episode #234: Collaboration with Jeremy Lesniak from Whistlekick – Benny the Jet vs. Jackie Chan from Wheels on Meals (1984)

https://archive.org/download/podcast234_202002/Podcast%20234.mp3

This week, we have a special episode!  Jeremy from the martial arts site and biweekly podcast, Whistlekick, and I are watching a fight scene from the movie Wheels on Meals and commenting on it.  (You can listen to the same episode with a slightly different intro and outro on Whistlekick as well; it’s episode 471 on his show.)  We are watching it half speed, which you can do on Youtube along with us by picking the playback speed (click on the gear in the lower right hand corner of the Youtube video window).  Here’s the clip:

And here are the notes I made highlighting some of our coments:

0:11 ground striking sequence with great choreography.  Nice neckspring by Jackie Chan (JC).

0:20 note the eye contact – this is clearly a contest

0:23 Benny the Jet (BJ) takes off his jacket while doing a spin back kick

0:33 if you look closely you can see this spin hook kick is blocked – but not by much.  Suspect the actors made a fair amount of contact while filming.

0:40 JC takes off his shirt to be manly.  JC does stomp/push kick, ends up on his back as does BJ

0:57 Note the slight head nod … as if to say – good shot

1:12 BJ has JC “on the ropes” (“on the table”)

1:18 BJ does a nice spin crescent that snuffs out the candles – wonder how many takes it took for them all to go out?

1:30 JC gets nailed in the nose (happens several times during this fight)

1:54 nice sweep by BJ

2:00 unintentionally funny dubbing followed by JC using a chair as cover and for rest – start of round 2!

2:24 JC is loosening up, BJ seems much more static in contrast – much more than he does in his usual fights.  Perhaps done intentionally?

2:42 vaguely Drunken Master style evasion by JC

2:56 BJ does a R leg mid round kick, JC avoids by dipping his upper body low and doing almost a meia lua de compasso with R hand on floor (capoeria style spin hook kick)

3:29 tickle escape

4:07 Manson Gibson / Kathy Long style spinning backfist by JC

4:12 lead leg R kick by JC setting up hands

4:46 close ups of JC pummeling BJ – though you can see most shots are blocked by BJ.  Probably happening fast enough a lay audience may not pick it up?

5:16 flying knee from across the room, kind of like what we saw in Ong Bak years later

Do you have any suggestions about other martial arts movie fight scenes that would be good to delve into like this one?  Leave a comment below or email me or Jeremy.

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #233: Lunar New Year 2020 Celebration with “Beautiful Warrior” – a Kung Fu Story Reading

Episode #233: Lunar New Year 2020 Celebration with “Beautiful Warrior” – a Kung Fu Story Reading

https://archive.org/download/podcast233_202001/Podcast%20233.mp3

This week, to celebrate Chinese New Year 2020, we’re reading a Chinese fairy tale, Beautiful Warrior: The Legend of the Nun’s Kung Fu.  (Click on the cover below to find your own copy.)

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Chinese culture doesn’t really have fairy tales like they do in Europe, but the idea is the same – unlikely protagonist confronted with an insurmountable barrier finds mentorship and uses his or her inner strength to triumph in the end.  Like the heroes of those stories, the two women in this story embody those ideals.  It also has the great line, “No problem can be solved by a drunken monkey.”

Check out some of the beautiful paintings done by the author, Emily Arnold McCully.

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And, before we finish, here are a few pictures of the glow in the dark Rocketeer figure I’ve been working on for the past few weeks.   It’s done!  Now I’m just making copies.

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If you haven’t checked out the episode on the CGG podcast on the Rocketeer (including some on the comics and the games), you can check it out here.

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #232: Making a Thirteenth Hour Shadowbox

Episode #232: Making a Thirteenth Hour Shadowbox

https://archive.org/download/podcast232_202001/Podcast%20232.mp3

This week, we are making a shadowbox, something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time, since I’ve always wanted to create more of a story to put the figures in.  An opportunity to showcase some art at a local art showing presented itself, and not quite knowing how to show my minifigures, the organizer of the event suggested a shadowbox.  Coincidences of coincidences!  This was the chance to experiment with them.  I found two cheaply at Goodwill and came up with a simple scene (that I had already made a picture of back in episode 141) to display.  Here are some pictures of the process:

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A few pictures of the Rocketeer figure I’ve been working on for the past few weeks.  The sculpt is just about done!

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If you haven’t checked out the episode on the CGG podcast on the Rocketeer (including some on the comics and the games), you can check it out here.

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And yes, if you were thinking the Rocketeer in the upper left quadrant is holding something that looks like a Super Soaker 30, look no further to the cut scene below it for more detail.  The one on the lower right is from Broforce, which features a character that plays homage to the Rocketeer.

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The game Dark Void also does the same:

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #231: 2020 Goals Part 2 and A Thirteenth Hour Reading

Episode #231: 2020 Goals Part 2 and A Thirteenth Hour Reading

https://archive.org/download/podcast231_202001/Podcast%20231.mp3

Hope your new year is off to a good start.  In this episode, I continue with the theme started last year about discussing new year’s goals.  I’ve been working on a part of The Thirteenth Hour sequel draft where the main characters, Logan and Aurora, are making a life for themselves on a little seemingly secluded island, and towards the end of The Thirteenth Hour, they plan how they’re going to do that.  It fits the general theme of making new year’s plans, so I’m reading a few excerpts from that part of the book today.

Again, best wishes in all your creative pursuits in 2020!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #216: Update on Thirteenth Hour Minifigures

Episode #216: Update on Thirteenth Hour Minifigures

https://archive.org/download/podcast216_201909/Podcast%20216.mp3

About a year ago, I started making resin casted figures of some of The Thirteenth Hour characters (more details from a series of previous episodes: here for Logan and here for Aurora).

After over a year (mostly due to delays of one kind or another), they’re nearing completion. All the packaging is done for about 40 of the figures. (The last 20, not sure yet). Today, I’m painting and wrapping up a few details on the Logan figure so it can stand unassisted.

Laying down the colors on the painted figures in broad strokes before tackling touch ups and details of the eyes and mouth.

One of the guests who’s been on the show numerous times, Adam, now has his own podcast on Spotify all about toy design and creation. Check it out!

https://open.spotify.com/show/3W1GcWGS74a8K3ssbL3ECM?si=v-8EyAkFTMG1OkNckRwnNg

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If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

 

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #169: The Wizards of The Thirteenth Hour and The Case of the Grandmotherly Ghost 3

Episode #169: The Wizards of The Thirteenth Hour and The Case of the Grandmotherly Ghost 3

https://archive.org/download/Podcast169_201811/Podcast%20169.mp3

My brother and I recently stated a new Dungeons and Dragons campaign that he created set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour.  Today’s episode on the show as well as part of the campaign involves the wizards in The Thirteenth Hour. There are three in the book, and there was a guest appearance during the last D and D campaign as well (The Case of the Almost Assassination). I read from a few sections of The Thirteenth Hour that describe the wizards and discuss some of their influences.

Basically, I envisioned the wizards as being a combination of the following:

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Burgess Meredith from the Rocky movies, the Batman TV series, and Grumpier Old Men

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Speaking of which, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matheau as Grumpy Old Men

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Dan O’Herlihy as Grig and Robert Preston as Centauri from The Last Starfighter

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Merlin from Sword in the Stone

Watch/listen to the next episode here:

https://youtu.be/z1mmasEPrw8

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #168: Logan’s Fighting Style in The Thirteenth Hour

Episode #168: Logan’s Fighting Style in The Thirteenth Hour

https://archive.org/download/Podcast168_201810/Podcast%20168.mp3

My brother recently bought the game Soul Caliber 6 and was playing around with the character creator, which is quite robust. He ended up creating a number of characters from The Thirteenth Hour (the main protagonists Logan and Aurora as well as one of the antagonists, a wizard swordsman in black armor named Klax – their battle from the book is re-enacted below).

I was pretty blown away seeing the screenshots – just like The Thirteenth Hour had been turned into a game. Jeremy also created characters for Lester and Claudia, the protagonists of our current Dungeons and Dragons campaigns and recorded some CPU controlled mock battles of the characters squaring off against each other to show case each one’s unique fighting style.

The timing couldn’t have been better, since this week’s episode is on the unarmed fighting style Logan learns and uses in The Thirteenth Hour. It’s never really described in great detail in the book, but I intended it to be a system utilizing the naturally hard parts of the body (e.g. knees, elbows, heels of the foot), like you see in muay thai combined with a relatively low center of gravity and an emphasis on economy of movement and stability while still allowing for agility (kind of like what you see in ninjutsu). I spent some time in the book describing the acrobatic exercises the Rangers had to learn, though the emphasis really was on improving body awareness, learning how to fall, roll, and recover from a loss of balance as well as conquer fear. Although Logan uses a wall flip at one point to save himself from turning into a mess smeared on a castle wall, I didn’t anticipate these would be techniques the Rangers would employ in combat (unlike what martial arts movies usually portray). Same with the higher and jumping kicking techniques of martial arts legend … again, although Logan does a spinning hook kick at one point to good effect, it was more because the opening was there and ripe for the taking than anything. It goes along with the philosophy that what you learn should always be more than what you actually might need to use, since (in life and) in fighting, we rarely rise to the occasion – we fall back on something much rougher than what we learned (which will hopefully still be enough).

I envisioned he probably would have done more techniques along the lines of these less flashy strikes, like screenshots from Jeremy’s video showing a lead side punch and a scooping kick to block or intercept an incoming leg:

You can watching the whole narrated video here:

Jeremy’s YouTube channel also has links to all of our D and D videos for your listening/watching pleasure.

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #167: Introduction to The Case of the Grandmotherly Ghost 2

Episode #167: Introduction to The Case of the Grandmotherly Ghost 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast167_201810/Podcast%20167.mp3

My brother and I recently stated a new Dungeons and Dragons campaign that he created set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour.  Whereas last adventure (The Case of the Almost Assassination) was set within the confines of a city, this one that Jeremy created takes places in the small country hamlet that the protagonists of The Thirteenth Hour, Logan and Aurora, grew up in, Aquaria.  In this episode, I continue to set the stage for the exploration of Aquaria by reading a few snippets from The Thirteenth Hour that describe this sleepy little town.

Watch/listen to the next episode here:

https://youtu.be/miI5te3OMPQ

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #166: Introduction to The Case of the Grandmotherly Ghost 1

Episode #166: Introduction to The Case of the Grandmotherly Ghost 1

https://archive.org/download/Podcast166_201810/Podcast%20166.mp3

My brother and I recently stated a new Dungeons and Dragons campaign that he created set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour.  Whereas last adventure (The Case of the Almost Assassination) was set within the confines of a city, this one that Jeremy created takes places in the small country hamlet that the protagonists of The Thirteenth Hour, Logan and Aurora, grew up in, Aquaria.  In this episode, I set the stage to the start of the adventure by reading a few background excerpts from The Thirteenth Hour that introduces the “ghost” in question, the former headmistress of the orphanage where Logan and Aurora grew up and the surrogate mother and guardian to them and many other generations of Aquarian orphans.

Here’s a picture of our heroes – on the right is the level at which they’re beginning this latest adventure.

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Watch/listen to the fist episode here:

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #155: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Redux – Molding and Casting Aurora

Episode #155: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Redux – Molding and Casting Aurora

https://archive.org/download/Podcast155_201807/Podcast%20155.mp3

Over the past few months, I’ve been working on making a figure for Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour like the figures I made for Logan and his hoverboard (you can see the step by step making of these figures here in parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8).   For a number of reasons, this process was more labor intensive that the first time.  I suppose in some ways it was more challenging as well.  I was using the drawing below as the model for this figure of Aurora:

The two clay figures side by side.

Making the first mold. The tootpicks are there as vents to allow air in to help the resin to flow through the mold better.

Pouring one half of the mold.

There’s usually some cleanup to be done around the seams.

Experimenting with making a second mold to see if I can improve results.

Usually, it’s necessary to trim areas inside the mold to make sure they aren’t getting in the way or obscuring the sprues (air vents).

Three completed figures.

Glow in the dark Logan and Aurora.  Pretty soon, you should be able to find these for purchase here, on the ebay store, and via social media links, like on Instagram.

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #151: The Five Elements (“Godai” or 五大) and the Imperial Rangers

Episode #151: The Five Elements (Godai or 五大) and the Imperial Rangers

https://archive.org/download/Podcast151_201807/Podcast%20151.mp3

After my brother and I finished the D and D campaign we’d been playing for the past few months, I started thinking about other elements of Thirteenth Hour lore that I’d largely edited out (mostly in the interest of brevity).  This episode is about the Imperial Rangers, the group of 8 special forces soldiers that are specially trained and tasked to find the answer to eternal life for King Darian IV, who nearly gets assassinated in the recent campaign.  While we know the most about Logan, the main character of the book, the others are also important despite having only brief mentions since they serve as contrasts. I did have other scenes planned that I ended up cutting, so the original idea of having each Ranger with a special ability fitting with their unique personality and physical makeup was only hinted at, never really fully developed.

In this episode, we use a bit of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism as an analogy for the explaining the different alignments the Rangers had. I’m not sure that’s what I had in mind when I originally wrote the story (the idea of different elements was definitely there, since it’s referenced in games like Ironsword and shows like Voltron and Captain Planet – I was familiar with those when I wrote the initial draft of the story at age 19.)  But the godai, literally “big five” from the Japanese esoteric tradition (referenced in texts like A Book of Five Rings) sums up what I was trying to convey more accurately.

Below you can see a quick sketch/watercolor showing the eight Rangers. Their names are color-coded to correspond to their elemental alignment. As you can see, there are five categories: earth, water, fire, wind, and void. There are plenty more details about this philosophy in the book Ninja: Spirit of the Shadow Warrior by Stephen K Hayes; however, here’s a quick rundown.

Earth personality qualities are stable, traditional, and rooted. Water is flowing, changeable, and reactive. Fire is energetic, driven, and explosive. Wind represents growth, freedom, and open-mindedness. Lastly, the void is any one of those four elements that best fits a particular situation and typically goes with creativity, imagination, and things in our experience that we understand intuitively but are difficult to explain – such as spirit, soul, and consciousness. There are more details in the episode about the individual qualities of each ranger and how he fits the elemental color coded in the picture, so I won’t repeat myself here. But the fifth element, often (somewhat problematically) translated as “the void” is the most abstract and amorphous, just like how in the book the fifth “corner of the world” was actually the dream world where the mysteries of life and death finally made sense. Logan is the only one of the eight to make it there and due to his particular makeup, is the one most aligned with the formless form that characterizes the void.

Ironically, as the youngest and physically smallest of the group, Logan ends up having trouble with much of the training and has to spend more time on basic skills than the other seven. As a result, he ends up never really having the time to pick up a specialty, though the flip side is that he actually becomes more well rounded at basic ranger skills than his teammates just due to repetition. I’d originally envisioned a ceremony scene where each ranger was presented with his weapon of choice based on his special talent (I guess the soldier equivalent of finding out one’s spirit animal), and Logan isn’t given anything, which disappoints him and gives his teammates yet another thing to tease him about. In the end, I ended up not including that scene (maybe it will become a short story one day), but the essence of it, that having a special sidearm was less important than utilizing one’s inborn gifts to their fullest potential, was hinted at in the book in a few conversations a confused Logan has with the wizard, Wally. For the other seven men, the weapon served as an extension of themselves, but for Logan, whose greatest assets were creativity, imagination, and persistence, none of those qualities really fit a weapon. In fact, one might say another career choice would have made more sense. Or, another interpretation might be that those qualities didn’t need a physical reminder. However, although those are all things an older Logan would have been able to appreciate, I always imagined that the eighteen year old Logan would have been somewhat jealous that his teammates got something special, and he ended up having to do the same old drills over and over 🙂

An Imperial Ranger “class portrait” showing each ranger with his special talent and weapon of specialization

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hourplaylist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Case of the Almost Assassination 9

lf you’ve been following along here, you might be aware that my brother and I have been involved in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that he created set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour.  It’s a bit of a steampunk mystery set in a fantasy world, if you can imagine that, and it’s drawing to a climax. We recorded the next chapter in our Roll20 D and D adventure recently, which you can watch below.  In this episode, our heroes infiltrate a party in the fancy part of town, and our protagonist, Lester, goes in drag as an old lady with a touch of the dementia.

Lester as himself (top) and as his geriatric gender-flipped alter-ego, Ms. Nan Leslie.

It’s a bit easier for Lester’s assistant, Claudia, who lets her hair down and doffs her usual duds for formal dress:

The episode was cut short about two hours in due to technical issues, right in the middle of a battle when our heroes get ambushed in the midst of their snooping – we’ll pick up there next time!

And, by the way, if you listen closely at around 1:00 and 7:20 min into the episode, you may catch Nan Leslie going on about her younger years, where she was “showed the ways of the world” by a certain mysterious character she remembered as “The Scissorwulf!” Could it be the same masked hero in the furry loincloth?

Maybe so! There are worlds beyond worlds, and to allude to Stephen King (from The Dark Tower books), sometimes they collide … learn more about the Scissorwulf through his creator, Chad Derdowski, who was last on the show on episode 119.

Click on the image below to watch:

Infiltrating this high class party to find out the murky dealings of the hired help requires forging an invitation …

In the midst of a battle …

And if you enjoy other retro 80s things, one of the first tracks I did for Long Ago, Not So Far Away, “I’ll Fly Away,” recently got a 12″ Remix. Listen here and catch the video below:

 

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #150: The Case of the Almost Assassination 10, the Campaign Finale

Episode #150: The Case of the Almost Assassination 10, the Campaign Finale

https://archive.org/download/Podcast150_201806/Podcast%20150.mp3

lf you’ve been following along here, you might be aware that my brother and I have been involved in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that he created set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour.  It’s a bit of a steampunk mystery set in a fantasy world, if you can imagine that, and it’s drawing to a climax. We recorded the last chapter in our Roll20 D and D adventure recently.  This grand finale clocked in at over three hours and was the culmination of a three month campaign and over 20 hours of footage in the youtube videos of the playthroughs, which you can watch below.  In this episode, our heroes solve the mystery of who nearly assassinated King Darian IV and wrap things up as best they can.  There’s still some unfinished business between our hero, Lester, and the main villain of this campaign, which is sure to haunt him some time in the future.  For now, though, the bad guys are behind bars, and Lester and Claudia get a short respite prior to embarking on their next case in the Aquarian countryside.

Here are links to all the episodes.  Click on the pictures to be taken to the show notes, which has pictures, details about the episode, and a link to the Youtube video:

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And here are the links to the grand finale!  Watch the episode on youtube by clicking on the picture below.  They last 20 minutes or so is also the last 20 minutes of this show, where my brother and I go behind the scenes to discuss the experience.

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The big battle at the end.  The grey circles represent a smokescreen that Lester shot out from his crossbow as a distraction.  There is at least one scene where the words, “¿Quien es tu padre?” make a random appearance and a few other where Arnold’s line in Kindergarten Cop also make a cameo (“Who is your Daddy, and what does he do?”).  Yeah, there are some Daddy issues that some of the characters have in this campaign.  Nobody’s perfect!

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You can see a brief preview of the next adventure at the very end.

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The two main characters, Lester and Claudia, gained a lot of experience during this adventure (and found some cool gear).

By the way, this campaign references two short stories in the world of The Thirteenth Hour.  King Darian (as an older, wiser man) reflects on nearly losing his head in this story:

Falling Leaves Don't Weep cover2_edited-1

And the Shadow in the Moonlight spell, referenced many times during this story, has its own self titled novelette which can be read for free on the Kindle (in the US) and on Smashwords (worldwide).

And if you enjoy other retro 80s things like D and D, one of the first tracks I did for Long Ago, Not So Far Away, “I’ll Fly Away,” recently got a 12″ Remix. Listen here and catch the video below:

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Case of the Almost Assassination 9

lf you’ve been following along here, you might be aware that my brother and I have been involved in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that he created set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour.  It’s a bit of a steampunk mystery set in a fantasy world, if you can imagine that, and it’s drawing to a climax. We recorded the next chapter in our Roll20 D and D adventure recently, which you can watch below.  In this episode, our heroes infiltrate a party in the fancy part of town, and our protagonist, Lester, goes in drag as an old lady with a touch of the dementia.

Lester as himself (top) and as his geriatric gender-flipped alter-ego, Ms. Nan Leslie.

It’s a bit easier for Lester’s assistant, Claudia, who lets her hair down and doffs her usual duds for formal dress:

The episode was cut short about two hours in due to technical issues, right in the middle of a battle when our heroes get ambushed in the midst of their snooping – we’ll pick up there next time!

And, by the way, if you listen closely at around 1:00 and 7:20 min into the episode, you may catch Nan Leslie going on about her younger years, where she was “showed the ways of the world” by a certain mysterious character she remembered as “The Scissorwulf!” Could it be the same masked hero in the furry loincloth?

Maybe so! There are worlds beyond worlds, and to allude to Stephen King (from The Dark Tower books), sometimes they collide … learn more about the Scissorwulf through his creator, Chad Derdowski, who was last on the show on episode 119.

Click on the image below to watch:

Infiltrating this high class party to find out the murky dealings of the hired help requires forging an invitation …

In the midst of a battle …

And if you enjoy other retro 80s things, one of the first tracks I did for Long Ago, Not So Far Away, “I’ll Fly Away,” recently got a 12″ Remix. Listen here and catch the video below:

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Case of the Almost Assassination 8

lf you’ve been following along here, you might be aware that my brother and I have been involved in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that he created set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour.  It’s a bit of a steampunk mystery set in a fantasy world, if you can imagine that.  We recorded the next chapter in our Roll20 D and D adventure recently, which you can watch below.  In this episode, our heroes pick up from the cliffhanger ambush we ended with last time in episode 7 and start off was an epic graveyard battle that nearly kills them…   Find out how it goes by clicking on the picture below:

And if you enjoy other retro 80s things, one of the first tracks I did for Long Ago, Not So Far Away, “I’ll Fly Away,” recently got a 12″ Remix. Listen here and catch the video below:

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #147: Making The Terminator Theme Part 2

Episode #147: Making The Terminator Theme Part 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast147_201806/Podcast%20147.mp3

This week, we have one simple goal – adding a guitar parrt to the Terminator theme we started last week.  I experimented with a few different electric guitar effects, and in the end chose two – a quiet one with an echo and one with distortion.  Both are included in the podcast (in that order) – see which you like best!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #146: Making The Terminator Theme Part 1

Episode #146: Making The Terminator Theme Part 1

https://archive.org/download/Podcast146_201805/Podcast%20146.mp3

To piggyback off the last few weeks talking about 80s memories, this week (and probably next), we’ll be making a version of Brad Fiedel’s Terminator theme.  Here’s three version of the main theme – the one from the first film, a slower piano version from the first film, and slow synth string version from T2 – a great example of how a central score can be voiced in different ways to fit different scenes.

I’m actually not sure which key the score is done in since I don’t usually use sheet music, but the version I figured out is in the key of Eb, I think.  I’m not sure I’m using the same syncopated chunking drum beat that the movie theme uses, but the version I’m using in this track uses a low synth bass sound that I originally figured out by hitting a toy hand drum my son was playing with.  Next week, I’ll try to add an electric guitar overlay.  I can’t recall if there are official guitar versions of the theme, but I always thought it’d sound great electrified like that.  Stay tuned for that coming next week!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

The Case of the Almost Assassination 7

lf you’ve been following along here, you might be aware that my brother and I have been involved in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that he created set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour.  It’s a bit of a steampunk mystery set in a fantasy world, if you can imagine that.  We recorded the next chapter in our Roll20 D and D adventure yesterday, which you can watch below.  In this episode, our heroes continue investigating leads in a fancy part of town and leave with the suspicious impression that all is not as rosy and gilded as one might guess, come up with disguises (Lester decides to explore his feminine side), and the defecation hits ventilation when our heroes get ambushed in a graveyard, where the episode ends on a cliffhanger. Catch the next episode here by clicking on the picture below:

Sketches of the disguises our heroes plan as they cook up alter egos to help them sneak into a fancy dress ball they’re not invited to – in the name of solving the case, of course.

The scene of the mansion where the ball will take place (by day) – what will it look like at night?

And if you enjoy other retro 80s things, check out this past Monday’s podcast episode with Adam from @mom_gave_them_away – all about 80s toys and cartoons!  Part 2 coming this Monday.

In addition, one of the first tracks I did for Long Ago, Not So Far Away, “I’ll Fly Away,” recently got a 12″ Remix. Listen here and catch the video below:

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Case of the Almost Assassination 6

lf you’ve been following along here, you might be aware that my brother and I have been involved in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that he created set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour.  It’s a bit of a steampunk mystery set in a fantasy world, if you can imagine that.  We recorded the next chapter in our Roll20 D and D adventure recently, which you can watch below.  In this episode, our heroes (below) get back to more traditional detective work by following up on some leads they generated in the underground (literally and figuratively) of the city.  Some episode highlights – happy time for an old man, a parental reunion in the dreamworld interrupted by the chiming of the Thirteenth Hour, and the reappearance of The Shadow in the Moonlight spell.  Catch the next episode here by clicking on the picture below:

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Our heroes confer with William the Wizard, one of the three elderly mages from The Thirteenth Hour.

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A midnight reunion in a dream …

And if you enjoy other retro 80s things, check out this past Monday’s podcast episode with Adam from @mom_gave_them_away – all about 80s toys and cartoons!  Part 2 coming this Monday.

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Case of the Almost Assassination 5

lf you’ve been following along here, you might be aware that my brother and I have been involved in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that he created set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour.  It’s a bit of a steampunk mystery set in a fantasy world, if you can imagine that.  We recorded the next chapter in our Roll20 D and D adventure recently, which you can watch below.  In this episode, our heroes (below) infiltrate a secret society that has connections to the criminal underbelly in the Capital City of Tartec.  Can they do it without ending up with smashed noggins or gutted intestines?  Will they finally make it out of the stinking sewers?  Catch the next episode here by clicking on the picture below:

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Will these tools be helpful in the future adventures (assuming you can make it out alive)?

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And if you enjoy other retro 80s things made new decades later, check out the synthwave tunes of Starfarer, coming tomorrow!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #142: Snippets from a Live Show

Episode #142: Snippets from a Live Show

https://archive.org/download/Podcast142_201804/Podcast%20142.mp3

This weekend, I took a bunch of my songs plus a number of (mostly) 80s songs and played at a local arts festival for about 4-5 hrs.  I had about 26 songs ready for the keyboard and the guitar and ended up playing most of them at least twice, some more, during that time.  I also had the chance to work out a few new songs (one of which you’ll hear a clip of) and polish old ones (since you can only play the same ones over and over for so long).  I’ve just included a few snippets since the audio quality was especially bad even after a lot of editing, but here are two songs I did on the guitar from 80s movies (Sixteen Candles and Purple Rain) in their original form:

Next week, stay tuned for synthwave artist, Starfarer!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #141: Making a Thirteenth Hour Graphic and Case of the Almost Assassination 4

Episode #141: Making a Thirteenth Hour Graphic and Case of the Almost Assassination 4

https://archive.org/download/Podcast141_201804/Podcast%20141.mp3

Today, I’m making a little graphic in Photoshop for a future promo flier.  I’m using the Logan figure we made and painted a few episodes ago as well as a plastic castle from the movie Frozen (which my daughter must have watched now at least a half dozen times).

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I’m using a pre-rendered background (the one I made for the cover of the EP Between Two Worlds).   Here’s the image with Logan and the castle inserted in it.  But they look a little weird floating there just as they are, don’t they?

palace 1

So I smooth out the images and softened the edges.

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With a few more highlights using multiple layers superimposed on top of another.

palace 3

Also, my brother and I recorded the next chapter in our Roll20 D and D adventure set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour.  This week’s more of a traditional dungeon crawl though the snake and trap infested sewers below the Capital City of Tartec.  Like any good serialized adventure, it ends on a cliffhanger just as our heroes get out of the clutches of death (a sewer crocodile, to be exact) and into the frying pan.  Catch the next episode here by clicking on the picture below:

e38ab88c-34c3-4ca1-bd7b-b53d06855cacb324fc84-2dd5-407e-a30e-059b3fa40459d0b40822-b6b3-4375-9e69-f213645ed14cff0382a7-6274-4b51-aab0-b6ef05297769

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #140: Creating “Aurora’s Lullaby”

Episode #140: Creating “Aurora’s Lullaby”

https://archive.org/download/Podcast140_201804/Podcast%20140.mp3

This week, we’re making a lullaby that was partially written as something to help my children go to sleep.  But it was also a little song that Aurora, from The Thirteenth Hour books, sings to help young children in the orphanage (where they are living as children) go to sleep.  Later in the books, she learns to play the lute and she and her husband (see the cover art) will sometimes play it with him accompanying her on the flute. When Logan is alone later in the story, he will sometimes sing it to himself to remind himself of happier times.

Aurora’s Lullaby

C Am
When the sun goes down and stars appear
C G
Comes a time when you shall hear
Am F
For now it’s time to close your eyes.
G C
And to you, I’ll sing this lullaby.

C Am
Rest your soul, lay your head
C G
The hour’s come to go to bed
Am F
For now it’s time to close your eyes.
G C
And to you, I’ll sing this lullaby.

Solo
E D E C
C D E G G E D
G F E F G C
G F E F G C
C E D C C

C Am
And so the day is done.
C G
Your failures, your kingdoms are won
Am F
For now it’s time to close your eyes
G C
And to you, I’ll sing this lullaby.

Am F
For now it’s time to close your eyes
G C
And to you, I’ll sing this lullaby.
G C
Yes, to you, I will sing this lullaby.

 

It took a few months to finish since I wanted ti try to learn to play the penny whistle for the little instrumental break in the middle.  You can hear the final version at the end of the show and stream or download it from Bandcamp.

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #139: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Part 8 – Painting the Figurine

Episode #139: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Part 8 – Painting the Figurine

https://archive.org/download/Podcast139_201804/Podcast%20139.mp3

Eight weeks ago, I discussed a project to start making little figurines for characters from The Thirteenth Hour books (Listen to parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7).  Today, we’ll be painting one of the figures to look like the pictures below:

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Starting the painting process …

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I have a bunch of these little hoverboards which I’;m painting separately:

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The more or less finished product:

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I’ll just do a little touching up on the shadowing and I think it will be done.

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The front console glows in the dark.

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #138: Who is King Darian IV?

Episode #137: Who is King Darian IV?

https://archive.org/download/Podcast138_201804/Podcast%20138.mp3

We’re going to take a break from figure making this week to read a bit from The Thirteenth Hour to give a little background to the subject of the Dungeons and Dragons campaign my brother and I have been doing the last few weeks.  The passage I read is from the very beginning of the book and describes a little about why he is as he is.

Here’s an excerpt from the setting to the Roll20 D and D game, The Case of the Almost Assassination, which is about how King Darian almost meets an untimely demise!

Three evenings before Immortality Day, there has been an attempt on King Darian IV’s life!

Can Lester LeFoe and Claudia Copperhoof, ace investigators of the LeFoe Detective Agency, find the would-be killers and root out the conspiracy?

The game is afoot!

THE SETTING

Tartec, capital of the Tartec Kingdom, is a crowded city of 150,000 nestled against the banks of the Blue River. It is the seat of power for the so-called “immortal” King Darian IV, who supposedly discovered the secret of eternal life – a mysterious potion known only as “coffee” – a few years ago. The city is one of harsh rules and regulations, with a visible distinction between the rich and poor. Tartec’s wealthy live in the splendid neighborhoods of High Town, located along the northern and western walls, while the regular and poor folk reside in the much dingier Low Town, which borders the southern and eastern docks. In the center of town is Lura’s Square, a marketplace, park and one of the few areas where different social classes freely mingle.

Thanks to strict laws instituted by King Darian, intimate contact between unmarried men and women in Tartec is frowned upon, and harsh punishments await any persons found bootlegging, gambling or engaged in otherwise “untrustworthy” activities. Despite this, it is widely known that secret dens of vice can be found in Low Town if you know where to look, and rumor has it the nobles of High Town have many shady secrets nestled within their giant manors.

In recent months, King Darian has sent his armies and Imperial Rangers out across the world to search for the secret of eternal youth, since immortality is not enough if you can’t be young to enjoy it. Perhaps inspired by rumors of a young man riding a “magical board” that have been floating around the capital for some time, he has created an army Science Division to study strange, unearthed relics from another time, or perhaps another continent. Finally, he has assimilated many nearby territories, leading to an influx of refugees in the capital city. The most notorious of these newly acquired lands is Neva, a territory bordering the Great Desert that was formerly ruled by the notorious Gostantin Crime Family.  

At the time of our story, it is three days before Immortality Day, the annual holiday created by King Darian to celebrate his discovery of the mystical coffee brew. At the LeFoe Detective Agency, located along 1 Willow Ave in Low Town, a mysterious case awaits!

Listen or watch the replays of these episodes (each around 2 hrs) by clicking on the pictures below:

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And if you enjoy the idea of being read to (even if you are an adult, when people seldom read to you an anymore), check out actor and former Reading Rainbow host Levar Burton’s podcast, where he reads short stories accompanied by music and sound effects.

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/ or Spotify.  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
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