Saturday, March 31, 2012

The 100-day, 100-Question Great Star Wars Blogathon, Question 38

Today's question, worth 42 points:

Which actor played Major Bren Derlin in The Empire Strikes Back?

Commenter number 3 gets the 10 extra points if he/she isn't commenter 2 -- and don't forget about blocking!


A. Enter your point wager for the WHAMMY! question that'll be posted tomorrow. Wager at least 100 (Lara knows the rules, so ask her if you're confused.)

B. Lists can too have just two entries.

Also: Has anyone tried get Michael Offutt to comment yet? 500 points getting him here and having him admit that you did it.

And I'll give an EQUAL bounty to anyone who gets Alex J. Cavanaugh to leave a comment on the Blogathon: 500 points for either of those guys (and they get 500, too, just for commenting.)

And don't forget the Haiku Blogfest Challenge! With this A To Z Thing, you could make H be for Haiku... I think that works out that you could get it in by April 8.

These are the best words I know, as evidenced by the fact that they popped into my head so quickly. (Off The Top Of My Head List.)

Off The Top Of My Head lists are what they sound like. Ordinarily, I stop when I run out of steam. But today's is a bit different, to kick off the A To Z Challenge that's starting tomorrow and which I've never read the rules for because rules are for suckers and wallabies. That's right, I went there.

Here, I'm going to list the first word I think of when I type each letter. No matter how long it takes to get through the alphabet. And I'm going to time it, because that seems to be my thing today. And I'm going to do it in reverse order, because that is awesome.

Z: Zither.
Y: Yellow
X: Xylophone, but that's what everyone says, right?
W: Water.
V: Victory.
U: Underwater
T: Thomas.
S: Snake.
R: Refrigerator.
Q: Quiet.
P: Possum.
O: Overture.
N: Nightingale. And I'm not even sure what one is! Maybe I'm thinking of Florence?
M: Mockingbird. But that's probably influenced by nightingale.
L: Leopard. Get off animals.
K: King.
J: Jumping jack! Double word score.
I: I
H: Happy.
G: Gardener. Yep. I didn't stop at garden.
F: Friend.
E: Exciting.
D: Dance.
C: Computer. Honestly, I thought of cat first but deemed it boring.
B: Benign.
A: Alphabet.

3:17. (Three minutes, seventeen seconds.)

It was made more difficult by the fact that Mr Bunches was, as I typed those, watching a video of jungle animals he likes and excitedly pointing the best ones out to me -- but they never coincided with the letters, so as I typed Q he was saying "Hippo, daddy! Hippo!"

Also, I know a nightingale is a bird. I'm just saying that if a nightingale were to walk into my house right now, I wouldn't know it was a nightingale. But I would offer it some toast, because I'm polite.

I suppose I should make this more pop culture-y, since that's kind of the point of this blog, so here's a similar list, in reverse order, of the top pop culture references I can come up with that begin with that letter. Again, timed.

Z: Zoolander.

Yemen -- from the episode of Friends where Chandler says he's moving to Yemen.

X-Men. Which is weird, because I'm not even a fan of theirs.

Walrus -- as in I am the...

Venus -- as in I'm your ... I'm your fire...

Undertaker. Wasn't he a wrestler? Why do I know that?

Thomas -- weird. Thomas The Tank Engine is my go-to T word.

Snake Plissken. Not sure of the spelling, never seen Escape From New York, don't know why I know this nor why it was first to pop up in there but remember that one Kurt Russell movie where he got superstrong eating a kind of cereal and entered a weightlifting contest? I liked that movie.

Reptilian: Specifically, I'm thinking of those things from V back in the 1980s.

Oh, god. Think think think think Qwikster. That's all I've got, man. When push comes to shove, I'll throw Netflix under a bus as fast as the rest of you.

Pushme-Pullyu. Isn't that a Doctor Doolittle thing? I feel like I'm learning something about myself here.

Octopus. Doctor, not Garden-dwelling Ringo friend.

Nightcrawler. Stupid X-Men. But I did like Nightcrawler in his own comic series.

Mr. Roboto. Domo arigato to you!

Oh, God, seriously what I thought of first is Larry The Cable Guy and kill me now.

Knight. Which doesn't seem pop culture-y specifically but isn't Game Of Thrones knight-ish? Otherwise, consider it a reference to, I don't know, Excalibur. Or... wait! Jedi Knights. Redemption is sweet.

Jedi Knight! I make the rules here.

I came up first with igloo and don't know why. That led me to Ice Castles, which I blame Sweetie for because she loves that movie. I've never watched it.

Halloween. Once I start thinking of movies Sweetie likes, I'm stuck in a loop.

Ginifer Goodwin. She's a person, right? I'm wondering if maybe I didn't have a stroke.


Everything at Once, a Lenka song that is used as a preview on about 1/2 of the boys' DVDs, so I grew to like it and then downloaded it.

Donkey. From Shrek. Seriously, what is wrong with me?

Caterpillar -- the one from Alice In Wonderland. Has there ever been a superhero based on the caterpillar? Shouldn't there be?

Boy Meets World. You know who's hot? Topanga.Now, I mean. I'm not some kind of sicko.

I am stumped. I've got nothing. Anderson Cooper? Sure, why not.

I think we all learned a little something about me today. I won't be showing my face in public for some time.

Just for a test, I ran the first two by Sweetie. She came up with:

Z: Zahara Pitt. And she's on Team Jennifer!

Y: Yvonne DiCarlo. If you know who she is, give yourself a gold star. (She's the wife on The Munsters. I'm married to a very special lady.)

Friday, March 30, 2012

The 100-day, 100-Question Great Star Wars Blogathon, Question 37

First off, before getting to the question:

The Grumpy Bulldog is dead.

Long live P.T. Dilloway.

Andrew Leon got himself 5 points today and announced a theme for something about this A To Z challenge I'm trying my hardest to ignore because do you think it's easy to do what I do? And if you know what it is I do, will you please tell me because I was under the impression that what I do is read blogs and tell dumb stories on my own blogs and disappoint Rusty because there is just not enough Star Wars trivia about Wookies and I'm sorry, man!

I've been thinking and I've decided that this A To Z Challenge is a great way to get the marks in the door and do a bait and switch to sucker them into buying my books get people into the Blogathon and also, since everyone was really cool about my first Biweekly Blogfest Writing Challenge and I'm SURE I'm going to see, like, a zillion haikus by April 8 for the second one, I'll take part in the A To Z Challenge here on the blogfest.

I believe that all I have to do is have a post a day for 26 days dealing with a letter of the alphabet? If I'm incorrect on that, screw it; what are you going to do, sic the Internet cops on me?

*checks on Wikipedia to see if there really are Internet cops*

I do what I want.

Here's today's question, which you will get 19 points for but you will first want to spread the word that THE BEST OF EVERYTHING 100-DAY 100 QUESTION STAR WARS BLOGATHON IS GOING TO ALSO INCORPORATE WHATEVER THE A TO Z THING IS! and here you are:

What was Wilhuff Tarkin's title in the Empire?

It's a doubler, of sorts: commenter 1 gets the 10 points. Oh, those random numbers!

Also, since I am doing the A To Z thing, I think it only fair to say that unless Michael Offutt comments on this blog at least once in that time, I will hold Q hostage. Not everything is dwarves and Prometheus, Mr. Offutt.

And that's my newest way to score points: I'm going to place a bounty and start luring in bloggers. The first one is Offutt: the person who gets Michael Offutt to leave a comment here and credit that person for making him do it get 500 points. And so will Michael.

Hey, if Jabba was after him and Jabba lived on Tatooine, why would Han hide out there?

Just askin'

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The 100-day, 100-Question Great Star Wars Blogathon, Question 36

NOTE: I briefly posted this in the wrong place -- if you left a comment on that post, you did it quick but I deleted it because I've taken away the post that came out below the ad. If you don't know what I'm talking about, forget I said anything.

Boy, even when I don't even ask a question, Andrew gets it right.

I started off yesterday thinking about Splinter of the Mind's Eye, a book I read long long ago...

...raise your hand if you just mentally said "in a galaxy far, far away"...

...did you really raise your hand?

... so long ago, in fact, did I read that book that I don't really recall what it was about, and for purposes of today's post, which I'm writing in real time, I'm not going to go look at even the cover of the book because I want to test my memory.

(My memory is something that's on my mind a lot; a long time ago I started out what was supposed to be a memoir of a big year in my life and it ended up being more a meditation on how memory works.)

So in my memory, Splinter In The Mind's Eye is a paperback book and on the cover of it there's some mist and maybe a glowing red crystal and I think Luke Skywalker seen from behind, possibly crouching.

Which, as I think of it, kind of makes it sound like I'm thinking of The Dark Crystal, instead, and now I kind of want to go watch The Dark Crystal but: focus, man!

That's all I remember about Splinter In The Mind's Eye. Literally all. I can remember other Star Wars-based fiction, like the Han Solo trilogy, and I even remember some specifics about that trilogy.

(The specific part I recall, for some reason, is a scene where Han smuggles guns to some rebels, and he's talking to the rebels about the shipment and he takes pity on one and explains how the rebels should leave their guns on single-shot, instead of just wildly firing like the stormtroopers will be, because stormtroopers have essentially unlimited ammunition and the rebels do not, so they have to be careful. I don't know why I've remembered that scene for over 25 years.)

(Now I'm really wondering why that scene in particular stuck in my mind.)

Anyway, the other thing I think I remember about Splinter is a scene in which Luke goes into a cave or tree or something and battles someone or something, but the moment I thought of that, I realized that it was a scene from The Empire Strikes Back, unless it was a scene in both the movie and the book.

So the point of all this is that the question the other day from Lara about where this information all comes from led Andrew to point out about how there's this whole Expanded Universe which built on the mythology, and that started me wondering about the Expanded Universe and the mythology and how much of it sticks when it's kind of an offshoot -- we know that Andrew knows this stuff as if he were the Jedi Library Archivist (which: don't you think a large library would not be needed in a culture as advanced as the Star Wars universe is? Our libraries, eventually, are going to be less "stacks of books" and more "public spaces where people can access things for free" -- rows of computers and lendable Kindles.)(The future is going to be excitingly different from the present.)

People are out there creating this whole mythos, expanding the Star Wars universe, which was really pretty tiny and inexplicable: In Star Wars itself, there's like five planets (Tatooine, Alderaan, Yavin... so, three?) and there's The Force, which is barely explained, and there's hints at the Kessel Run and this larger culture, but really, in two hours, how much can you get into that?

Not much -- but how much do you need to? Because that universe of Star Wars The Movies really stuck, and the universe of Star Wars The Books I Read didn't really.

Which is hard to figure out, because ordinarily, expanded universes are great and I am a huge fan of reading -- I like to read more than I like to watch TV, and I think reading is far more entertaining. And the expanded universes, so to speak, of Harry Potter or Narnia or The Lord Of The Rings or The Hitchhiker's Guide stuck in my mind far more than the expanded universe of Star Wars. And that was true even though I read many of them at the same time. In fact, I read the Narnia books when I was younger than Star Wars.

I don't really have a point, beyond just throwing out there the question of how much an "expanded universe" might be necessary and raising the issue of why some things stick with us and others don't -- why the universe of the Hitchhiker's Guide was more memorable to me than the universe of Star Wars, or why the Star Wars universe, for me, stubbornly refuses to be expandable.

Because that's the other side of the coin: I actually have four new Star Wars books on my Kindle, and I cannot bring myself to read them. It's like when I tried to read Dragon Tattoo or watch X-Men: I can't get started. Something about the Star Wars universe will not let me expand it.

Even this Blogathon, in which I'm learning new trivia every day, slips away from me almost instantly. We're 35 questions in and all I know about Star Wars, still, is Wookies.

That's mostly due to Rusty's persistence, but still.

Enough ruminating. Here's today's question, worth 28 points:

Who said "The ability to speak does not make you intelligent." and who was (s)he speaking to?

Commenter 3 gets the 10 extra points, if (s)he is not commenter 2 also.

PS: I looked up Splinter on Wikipedia, and I was kind of right about the memory of the cover, and a tiny bit of the plot.

PS2: "There's no sliding rule," said Andrew yesterday, about that "caller number" points, and I'm going to adopt that: Let's get all complicated up in here! You can BLOCK someone from getting that 10 extra points -- but I won't let you block if you're also the person who gets the answer right. So, if you get the answer right AND take up the commenter points' space, you LOSE 10 points. But if you block legally, nobody else gets it.

"Amalgam" is a cool word, and other things I know about cool.

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kia Rio for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I know that you come here to find out from me, your source for all opinions that are rightest, what is The Best, which means that you are smart, because I know things like that. 

And I will continue to fulfill my role of telling you what is The Best by giving you another one: The best song to listen to with your windows down.

Summer’s coming – heck, it’s already here in Wisconsin, with 70-degree days – which means it’s time to let those people around you in traffic know what music you love: Put the windows down, turn the music up, and blast away!

But not with just ANY old song. You can’t just go putting on the Captain & Tennille, or something like that, and cranking the sound up.  The traffic jam, the stoplit intersection – these places are jungles and you’ll be eaten alive.

To help you avoid that, I’m teaming up with Kia Rio and Spotify to help you be sure what song to play with the windows down by using Kia Rio and Spotify’s "Best Songs with your Windows Down" playlist. It’s a simple playlist that’ll give you the best songs to blast all summer long, and you can add to them.

Over on Spotify, there’s an addable  list of sorts that you can access through Facebook, too. So what you do is you go to Facebook, put in your my name and email and you get access to the list and can add your songs and see what others have chosen.

It couldn’t be simpler. See? I did it:

Kia Rio

And you can too: click the Facebook link:

type your name and email, submit your song.  Then view the playlist in Spotify to see what other people are telling you you should listen to.  You may have to download Spotify, but I’m sure you’ve already done that. (If you haven’t, don’t tell anyone and go DO IT. Keep up with the times, man!)

Mostly you’ll spend your time listening to my suggestion -- “Common People,” clearly the best song for this sort of thing because it melds rock music and William Shatner into an amalgam of coolness.  (And the word “amalgam” made that sentence even more cool, so go with it.). Captain Kirk shouting about how rich people suck? PURE COOL.

Oh, and one extra-cool extra thing? That would make this even better? If you had the voice-activated UVO Entertainment system from Kia.  Their UVO gives you a 4.3” color LCD screen that shows you rear-view camera, lets you control your music, and even serves as an in-car jukebox, storing up to 700MB of your favorite songs (like “Common People,” right? We all like that one, now, right?) Hands-free controls on a display that’ll make your TV cry with shame and inferiority – and you can just shout out the names of the songs that you want to hear and get them played.

What are you waiting for? I’ve outlined it: go listen to my song, then pick your own and add it – and leave a comment telling me what you added or would add and why. 

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The 100-day, 100-Question Great Star Wars Blogathon, Question 35

Yesterday marked The Grand Convergence, as in a single post, we managed to combine Star Wars, boobs, and Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch. I don't know if Rusty was aware, since it was a long time ago, but I named Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch to be The Best Breakfast Cereal almost 6 years ago, using this justification:

My theory is this: I like fake flavor better than real flavor. I've been raised on preservatives and additives and riboflavin and the like, and by this time, I don't want "real" flavor, I want real flavoring. I prefer Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch to real peanut butter and prefer generic peanut butter to natural peanut butter and prefer all of those to the taste of an actual peanut, which if I eat them at all I get the honey-roasted kind (so I also, obviously, prefer sweets.)

That was in the early days of this blog, when such things as Blogathons were but a twinkle in my mind's eye. But I can tell by the way yesterday's comments went that we're really on to something special here.

Speaking of Mind's Eye, Lara asked a great question about just where the heck does all this trivia come from since, honestly, I would have bet that Obi Wan used panda style lightsaber fighting. But apparently there really are different forms of lightsaber fighting, as evidenced by the fact that you can major in it at community college:

It kind of makes sense and kind of does not make sense that there are different forms of lightsaber fighting. As a former fencer, I can say that different types of swords used different types of styles -- saber fighting is more slashy and piratey; foil fencing, which I did, is quick and restrained and hardly has any lateral movement of the sword:

A lightsaber is more like a broadsword than a foil or epee or even a saber -- with foils and epees you can only hurt someone with the tip, so you never slash. With a saber, you can stab or slash, but only with one side.

So I checked to see if there are different styles of broadsword fighting, but then I got distracted when the Wikipedia article on swordfighting mentioned an "arqebus," which made me remember that once I was going to create a website called "Arqebus," which would be like Twitter except that every user could only post one thing ever.

Which is kind of genius, I think: Imagine, if you could ONLY say ONE THING, period... what would you say?

I never did that, though, because I have no idea how to actually make a website like that. But don't steal my idea, because I'm extremely litigious.

Also, I looked for a clip from the movie The Toy, where Richard Pryor says his wife is a lawyer and is extremely litigious, but I couldn't find it.

I found this, though:

What does this all have to do with Star Wars? Not a thing. And I've run out of time to talk about what I was going to talk about, which was the first book I ever read about Star Wars that wasn't actually a novelization of Star Wars. So maybe I'll do that tomorrow. In the meantime, here's today's question, worth 17 points:

Which species' name translates to "People Of The Trees?"

Commenter number 5 gets the 10 point bonus, if he/she isn't also commenter 4.

Pop Culture, I don't trust you: (The 8 Hottest Moms (Currently) On TV Shows. (MiniBest!))

I know it's been six months since I mentioned this topic, but that's only because I'm don't pay any more attention to what I say here than you do. And also I'd have gotten back to this Minibest sooner except I try as hard as I can to avoid ever hearing anything about Mad Men whatsoever -- not because Jon Hamm's a liar but because when a television show (or anything) is superpopular it can only mean that it sucks.

Don't bother trying to correct me. In our modern era (post 2005), the more popular something is, the more terrible it is. It used to be that something being really popular meant it was good, but somewhere between Titanic and the last Harry Potter book, that ended. Now, as a general rule, with the exception of McDonald's cheeseburgers, superpopular generally means supersuckage.

I believe it's because it's no longer possible to distinguish genuine popularity from fake popularity. Popularity is, after all, determined by only a few factors: how much money something made and how highly it is rated and how much people are talking about it.

But money stopped being a measure when I (and you and we all) stopped being able to factor in inflation. Every movie is a record-setter; Shrek 2 made more money than E.T. So The Hunger Games made a jintillion dollars over the weekend; so what? Movie theater box office receipts are simply a Hollywood version of the Weimar Republic.

Then there's ratings -- which are so easily manipulated that Oprah could ask her viewers to rate her show higher.

Finally, there's how much people are talking about it. That used to be a reliable measure -- it's what got me to see Titanic and it's what two years ago proposed as a true measure of greatness. It seemed to me that was a good way to check things out, but I hadn't yet at that time worked out the logistics of the echo chamber that is the Internet and modern media -- where one paparazzi photo can show up on 50 celebrity blogs, where the Huffington Post will headline a story from another site which copied it from the New York Times, where, in essence, there are 33,000,000 Google results for even the most obscure topic.

For example: I just googled "robot who played checkers" and found nearly 6,000,000 sites.

So if it seems a lot of people are talking about something like Mad Men or The Hunger Games or that one show that George R.R. Martin made by taking all the boring parts of Lord Of The Rings and altering them to include more dwarves, it's as likely to be just the reverberations of a single original voice or a small contingent of voices as it is to really be a crowd at the water cooler, and that's fueled my natural suspicion of anything popular, a suspicion that was originally created by high school (where I was unpopular, as you've guessed/been told over and over.)

Which, in turn, is why it took me so long to realize that January Jones plays a mom on Mad Men,

but once I did learn that, I wasted no time in making her number three on this list.

Previously, On The Eight Hottest Moms (Currently) On TV Shows:

1. Allana Harkin

2. Sophia Vergara

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The 100-day, 100-Question Great Star Wars Blogathon, Question 34

Man, I cannot get this right. Luckily for me, no matter what Andrew says about Star Wars, it's correct, and so however much I screw up the question, Andrew rescues me.

I paraphrased yesterday's question from my source material, and ended up blowing it. I was looking for Cellblock 1138, as Andrew guessed first, but either way, he got the answer right. The 1138 refers to George Lucas' film THX 1138,

Which I never saw but that preview makes me want to see it. And which, although I didn't plan this, build's on The Suddenly Affable Bulldog's post yesterday about how the powers-that-be want to keep people from having sex and to do that build subliminal messages into kids' cartoons by having only the bad guys ever get to second base before marriage. The logical result of that is a world in which the government keeps you happy via programming and drugs and nobody ever gets to have sex unless they first escape the city and live through a dwarf attack (which is exactly how Obamacare is going to work once it's fully phased in. No wonder people are fighting it so ferociously!)

Having dispensed with the images of government-controlled, dwarf-free sexual activity, let's get on to today's question, worth 16 points:

Which form of lightsaber combat did Obi Wan specialize in?

A. Mixed martial arts (a/k/a Hobo Crotch Kicking)
B. Form III
C. Form I
D. Form II
E. All of them. He's freakin' Obi Wan, man.
F. The sexiest kind.

Don't forget: The current Biweekly Blogfest Challenge is a Star Wars-themed haiku. Get 'em in by April 8.

Commenter number 4 gets the 10 extra points -- if they're not commenter 3. Here's a little something for Rusty:

I think the fact that one of those Wookies has boobs explains a lot about Rusty.

71 Words About "The Many Lives Of Yelena Moulin": The Best Short Story That Makes Me Wish I Had Written It.

The Many Lives of Yelena Moulin is one of the best stories I’ve read in years. Set in the future, it focuses on the title character, who stars in a sex show, is killed by a rival, and revived years later as a computer-stored set of memories people call ‘ghosts’, Yelena is the captive of a misogynist rich man with whom she makes a bargain: help him, get freedom. Read it.

Read The Many Lives Of Yelena Moulin on Martian Lit.

Why don't I say more? This is a Random Number Of Words review; read more about those here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The 100-day, 100-Question Great Star Wars Blogathon, Question 33

When she wagered her points, Lara said she said she wasn't going to win, so "it's all about the fun." Then, when she did enter, she said "I hope I'm not #2."

You see where this is going, right?

Lara WHAMMIED, and so even though she got the answer right -- the unshot TIE fighter crashed into Vader's, for no apparent reason, so far as I could tell -- Lara loses her 105 points.

But -- remember, you can ALWAYS wager at least 100, so keep trying for points this week, Lara, and come back for sure to wager next Saturday; if you're at zero, you can wager 100 and lose NOTHING.

Meanwhile, Grumpy has pulled almost within 100 of Andrew thanks to his daring near-everything bet, and Rusty closed the gap. Updated standings are here.

If you're NEW to this, here's a quick update on the rules: Answer questions. Get points. Every comment you leave makes you eligible for the weekly drawing for prizes, even if you don't get points. And every Saturday and Sunday there's a WHAMMY! question where you can gain ground quickly.

And with that, on to today's question, worth 21 points:

Which cell block did Luke lie and say they were transferring Chewbacca to when questioned by stormtroopers?

Commenter 3 gets 10 extra points, if he/she is not commenter number 2.

Also: 20 extra points to anyone who answers Andrew Leon's bonus question about Boga the Varactyl (other than Andrew Leon):

And here's another question about Boga: what sex is it? And what distinguishes it from other varactyl?


This is pretty good:

The NEW Biweekly Blogfest Challenge!

The last Biweekly Blogfest Challenge was such a success that I'm doing it again.

That's not the ONLY reason, of course. I'm also doing it again because that was the plan all along.


For 100 points, plus a prize, plus a chance to have your book become a Weekly Bonus Prize...

Write a Star Wars themed haiku.

That's it.

Told you it'd be simple.

Here's mine, before Rusty takes the idea:

A one armed man's sole
Regret in life was that he
Didn't let Chewie win.

Enter by April 8 -- leave a comment here telling me where your entry is. Winner will be chosen by ME. Bonus points for mentioning Wookies.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

And now: The WHAMMY! Question... The 100-day, 100-Question Great Star Wars Blogathon, Question 32

Remember: To answer the WHAMMY! question, you do not comment. You answer by clicking this link and emailing me your answer. (I don't sell emails, etc etc blah blah blah).(if the link doesn't work for some reason, email to thetroublewithroy[at]

If you get it right, you get the points you wagered yesterday. If you get it wrong, you lose those points.

And if you are answer number 2, as determined by when your emails appear in my inbox, you WHAMMY! and lose.

Here is your question, Jedis and Siths. And it's an essay question... of sorts:
In the Battle of Yavin, there are three TIE fighters bearing down on Luke as he nears the exhaust port. One of them is shot by Han Solo. What happens to the other two?

Oh, and the winner of this week's random drawing for comments was Cindy Borgne. Cindy, you get two ebooks -- you can choose one of any one of my books (a list here), and one book from any person who entered the Blogfest.

Those entrants were, again:

Michael Offutt

Elin Gregory.

"Sam" Leon (and Andrew Leon)

Lara Schiffbauer.

Susan Roebuck.

The Golden Eagle.

P.T. Dilloway (a/k/a "Grumpy Bulldog")

Rusty Webb, author of "A Dead God's Wrath."

I'm not sure if they all have books.

And the winner of the First Biweekly Star Wars Blogfest Challenge is...

Before I get to the winner, I need to list the last entrant in this round. That person was Cindy Borgne, author of Vallar, a sci-fi book that sends 16-year-old Ian Connors and his psychic abilities into battle to save the girl of his dreams... who happens to be on the enemy's side.

Sounds exciting, and I've heard good things about it. Judging by Cindy's entry in the Fan Fiction Fan Fiction Blogfest, she's got lots of talent. Vallar is on my reading list, and you should be reading it now. Click here to read Cindy's blogfest entry, which takes a peek inside Obi Wan's mind.

All of the entrants were, again,

Michael Offutt

Elin Gregory.

"Sam" Leon (and Andrew Leon)

Lara Schiffbauer.

Susan Roebuck.

The Golden Eagle.

P.T. Dilloway (a/k/a "Grumpy Bulldog")

Rusty Webb, author of "A Dead God's Wrath."

And, with that, this Biweekly Challenge is closed, and the winner of the first challenge is...

(I left all this space to build up suspense)

(is it working?)

(how 'bout now?)

"Sam" Leon.

Sam's entry won not just because of the fact that the talent he displayed was well beyond how old he actually is, but because he managed to have two levels of Fan Fiction Fan Fiction -- writing his fan fiction about characters someone else created using characters someone else created.

Also, I think that trench scene is among the best of any scene ever in a movie.

Sam doesn't have a book that he can have used as a weekly prize, and I've decided that everyone who entered will at some point have their book used as a weekly prize, so Sam gets a $10 Amazon Gift Card, which I hope he'll use to buy the authentic Clone Wars Glow In The Dark Decals that he can use to finally decorate that Imagination Room... unless that kills the magic.

Andrew: I assume if I send it to you, Sam will get it?

Thanks to everyone who entered, and each of the authors who entered will see their books becoming one of the weekly prizes. Tomorrow, I will announce the next Biweekly Blogfest Challenge. It's much easier, and, of course, rules mean nothing to me! (BWAHAHAHHAHAA!)

That works better when Grumpy does it

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The 100-day, 100-Question Great Star Wars Blogathon, Question 31

Okay, so I messed up with a typo on the Caller Number 10 points yesterday, and Andrew Leon wisely took advantage of that loophole. Forget the Academy, Andrew. Law school needs you.

But all of you people who have been waiting to enter, or trying to catch Andrew, here is your chance! Thanks to the genius of The Suddenly Affable Bulldog, we have, coming tomorrow,

The WHAMMY! Question!. The specific rules are HERE, but for today's purposes, what you need to know is that if you WANT to answer The WHAMMY! Question, then by the time I post it (tomorrow, sometime) you have to have left a comment on THIS POST saying how many of your points you want to wager.

You can wager up to the total points you have -- and if you have less than 100 points, you can wager 100 points. It's like Final Jeopardy! only I never had an Alex Trebek moustache.

So when you comment today, you'll get a drawing in the weekly prize, and be wagering. Don't want to risk a WHAMMY!? Don't wager any points.

Want to find out how many points you have? Click here for the standings.

And today's question, worth 30 points.

What's the first thing Princess Leia says directly to Luke Skywalker when they first meet as adults?

Commenter number 2 gets the 10 point bonus, if they're not also commenter 1. (Today's lack of typos brought to you by my not being exhausted after a long day at the office.)

I had to look it up to see if it was true! Now THAT is the mark of a good author.

As always, all puns are intended on this blog. Today's entry into the Fan Fiction Fan Fiction Blogfest -- deadline tomorrow for this biweekly challenge and check back to see who won AND what the new challenge is -- is Michael Offutt's entry, featuring characters from what by all accounts is his fantastic book, Slipstream. I'm calling his entry "Jocks Can't Act," and you can read it here. It includes an amazing, and apparently true, thing about Luke Skywalker.

Michael's book, Slipstream, will be released by Double Dragon publishing in May, 2012. That picture off to the right is an excerpt in which his main character is interviewed.

You can like the book on Goodreads and if you do, Michael Offutt will personally come to your house and massage your shoulders for 10 minutes.*

*Offer not valid in Guam.

When Slipstream comes out, I am going to camp overnight outside the store where I will buy it. That may not sound like much of a hardship, as I'll probably get it on my Kindle, but to make it more exciting I plan on having my Kindle shipped to Antarctica, first. I just have to get in line in front of those penguins. There's no cover for the book so I have taken the liberty of coming up with a design of my own that I think perfectly encapsulates what I imagine Slipstream will be:

That is a laser gun Peter Dinklage is holding. I believe he's getting ready to fight a Rancor.

Now, go to Goodreads, and like Michael's book, and check back tomorrow for the winner of the FIRST biweekly challenge. (Plus, there'll be a new one. You're not off the hook yet, people.)

Click here to go directly to Slipstream's page on Goodreads

Click here if you'd like to still enter the Blogfest
and want to know how. You've got 24 hours! Just let me know in the comments that you did.

And the other authors who have already done

Elin Gregory.

"Sam" Leon (and Andrew Leon)

Lara Schiffbauer.

Susan Roebuck.

The Golden Eagle.

P.T. Dilloway (a/k/a "Grumpy Bulldog")

Rusty Webb, author of "A Dead God's Wrath."

Did I mention that by entering a blogfest, your book will become a prize in this Blogathon at some point? Because it will. I don't care what the people in Guam think about that.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Writers! Blogfests! Fan fiction! An abundance of exclamation points!!!!!!!!

Another writer has taken up the challenge of the current Biweekly Blogfest Challenge; entries are open until 3/25, details are here.

Today's writer/entrant is Elin Gregory, whose blog makes you agree that you're an adult before you can read it. I lied and said I was. Her Fan Fiction Fan Fiction manages to mention Ewoks and set up a down-and-dirty scene between Obi Wan and Han as they... anyway, now I'm blushing. Read it here.

Elin has three books on her site -- the latest published March 2, 2012, so I'll highlight that one: Alike As Two Bees , described as "a gay romance novella set in Ancient Greece," and telling the story of Philon, an apprentice sculptor who falls for Hilarion -- the free-living tribesman from the North.

Want your book highlighted? Want to get 105 points in the Star Wars Blogathon? Enter the Blogfest by Sunday, 3/25 and all those things will happen to you!

Or are you too busy wondering what other naughty stuff is on Elin's blog? Yeah, me, too.

Here's other authors who've already done this:

"Sam" Leon (and Andrew Leon)

Lara Schiffbauer.

Susan Roebuck.

The Golden Eagle.

P.T. Dilloway (a/k/a "Grumpy Bulldog")

Rusty Webb, author of "A Dead God's Wrath."

.(PSST! Michael Offutt! Yours is coming! You were the last one to tell me you posted!)

The 100-day, 100-Question Great Star Wars Blogathon, Question 30

HERE is the photo I mentioned yesterday, the one I took at great risk of life and limb to the other drivers around me. The car you want to look at is the red one; the license says "SKYWKR" or something like that. I can't remember. It was yesterday morning.

Really, this seems very anticlimactic now. But in my mind, yesterday morning, as I wove in and out of traffic trying to catch that T-16, it seemed very exciting.

Today's question, worth 34 points:

What was Madame Jocasta Nu's position in the Jedi Temple?

A. Wookie.
B. Archivist
C. Padawan.
D. Medical droid.
E. Han Shot First!

Commenter number 3 gets the 10 extra points, provided that he or she is not commenter 7.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The 100-day, 100-Question Great Star Wars Blogathon, Question 29

True story: beginning this week, I have to take an alternate route to work due to construction, and yesterday morning, I saw a car with a Star Wars themed-license plate that I would not have seen if it hadn't been for that construction. So it's true that the Lord works in mysterious ways, because He protected me from harm while I tried to speed through rush hour traffic and get a photo of that license plate.

And where is that photo, you might ask? It's on my phone. I've got to upload it but I haven't yet and I don't have my phone with me right now. So you'll have to settle for this photo of an outtake from the next Star Wars movie. I understand it'll be Episode VII, and it's entitled "Star Wars Episode VII: Want To Get Mad At Me For Making Ewoks Blink? Watch What I Do To Your Beloved Movies."

As for the answer to yesterday's question, The Affable Bulldog got it correct. When I first saw the question, I guessed fx-7, which is wrong because that was a medical assistant droid, the kind of droid who disappointed his mother by never finishing Droid Medical School when that nice droid from next door did and look at the girl droid he married and fx-7 is always hanging around those disreputable droids...

... Also, I didn't actually guess fx-7. I looked it up, and still got it wrong. Ah, well, those who can't do, Blogathon. Which brings up today's question, worth 50 points!!!

What is the name of the lizard Obi-Wan rides in Revenge of the Sith? (I know it's a Varactyl. Everybody knows that. I want its name.)

And, random numbers being bold today, commenter number 1 gets the 10 points, so it's a SUPERBONUS RANDOMLY AWARDED 60 POINT QUESTION and why are you still reading this instead of answering?

(Thanks to The Chive for the photo.)

Hey, look who else entered the Biweekly Blogfest Writing Challenge!

In between posts of NFL players with very few clothes and Star Wars Blogathon trivia questions, I'm also running the Star Wars Blogfest; the current challenge is "Fan Fiction Fan Fiction," and ends on 3/25, and between now and then you have to post a 250-word or less entry in which a character of yours writes a Star Wars fan fiction.

And the latest phenomenal writer to take up the Lightsaber of Writing Challenges after placing the Blast Helmet Of Creativity over his eyes so that he can use the Force to create the Tiny Laser Shooting Orb of Stories...

... man, that metaphor did not work, and I apologize for it...

anyway, the latest entrant is "Sam" Leon, the son of Reader of the Month/Current Blogathon Leader Andrew Leon. Sam wrote his Fan Fiction Fan Fiction using characters from Andrew's great book The House On The Corner (my review of that book here), and I have to say, it's awesome. It's called "Into the Trench." Read it here.

"Sam" gets 100 points, and earns 100 points for Andrew as well, in the Star Wars Blogathon, and Andrew gets 5 points for mentioning it on his blog, too. And they're all eligible for the prize; the winner will be announced Sunday, 3/25.

If you've posted your Blogfest entry and haven't seen it mentioned here yet, let me know. Michael Offutt and Elin Gregory, I'm getting to yours.

Other great authors who have posted in the Blogfest:

Lara Schiffbauer

Susan Roebuck.

The Golden Eagle.

P.T. Dilloway (a/k/a "Grumpy Bulldog")

Rusty Webb, author of "A Dead God's Wrath."

Here's who you all really want to see on your team, if you're being honest. (The 5 Best Looking NFL Players, According To Other People)

So Peyton Manning's going to suck the life out of the Denver Broncos, while Tim Tebow will now make Mark Sanchez nervous on two fronts -- reminding him that there's a backup QB to take over when Sanchez's 2012 season again lives up to his rank as the 31st worst quarterback in the NFL, and reminding Sanchez that it's not cool to date 17 year olds.

And that's NFL Free Agency for you these days. Don't worry; this isn't a post about sports, per se, as I am not very knowledgeable about sports and not sure what per se means. (I think it's a mixed drink.) This is a post where I give something to those people who are tired of seeing pictures of January Jones in lingerie on this blog. So to you people, I give you The 5 NFL Players Deemed The Best Looking By Other People:

Will Demps: Voted just above Tom Brady as a "Body Bonus!!! Sexy Man Beast" by NFL Injury.
(Exclamation points in the original.)

Don't worry, Tom...

... you still get in here, as number one on "The Richest". Why? I'll quote it verbatim:

"Tom Brady may be the best looking player NFL player on most lists. Why? Brady has a dating resume that includes actress Bridget Moynahan and model Gisele Bundchen."
Yes, that does make him very good looking.

Then there's

Troy Polamalu: in January, 2011, Bleacher Report voted him #1 hottest and said "Troy Polamalu's hair is insured for $1 million by Head and Shoulders. Need I say more?"

Maybe. I'm not sure what criteria you are all using for this hotness, here. Expensive hair and supermodel dates are, I think, indirect proof of hotness at best.

And the last one -- these are in no particular order -- comes from Cosmopolitan:

That's Colin Allred, of the Tennessee Titans, and Cosmo said they picked him because "The 27-year old is originally from Texas, where everything’s bigger. We’re talking about his biceps..."

By the way, the picture at the top of the post is Eliza Kruger; she's the 17-year-old Mark Sanchez dated for a while.

Oxymoron Entertainment can make you a star! (Well, some of you. Not that one guy over there. He's creepy.)

So did you hear about that guy who on his lunch hour break from his day job writing software manuals left a comment on Reddit - -and the comment got optioned into a movie and now he's working fulltime as a screenwriter?

It's a true story, and it led to (a) me wondering whether this company would claim that the work he created on company time is theirs, and (b) every Internet commenter in the world turning their comments into a story:

As I read this blog post of yours on how Jar Jar Binks was actually a representative for the South during Reconstruction, I could only think back to the time I wandered a postapocalyptic world with my friend who looked exactly like Christian Bale... we were searching for Ron Paul's gold, a quixotic task we'd decided on to take our mind off the fact that in mere moments an asteroid made up of tidal waves and nuclear bombs was going to smash into the Earth...

I'll expect my check any day now. Commenting on the Internet is, of course, one way to become famous, but perhaps a better one is to take your good idea (e.g., my foregoing movie, entitled "Me And Christian Bale After The Apocalypse Run Into January Jones Who For Some Reason Is Only Wearing Lingerie") and pitch it to a good production company.

A good production company like Oxymoron Entertainment, a production company that in its 6 years of life has already lived up to its goal of financing and producing original content with true-to-life themes. The company got off to a great start with the 2009 feature Middle Men, starring Luke Wilson and directed by George Gallo, and only went up from there - the intriguingly-titled After Porn Ends (showing the lives of people in the porn industry after retirement) and a 2011 thriller starring Selma Blair titled Columbus Circle.

There's probably a million ways to make it big these days -- but how many work reliably? Click that link to check out the great films from Oxymoron Entertainment, and worry less about making your comments dramatically consistent and more about polishing up your directing, acting, or writing chops to impress them.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The 100-day, 100-Question Great Star Wars Blogathon, Question 28

Really quick, because I'm for some reason busier than ever.

Andrew Leon got yesterday's question right. Grumpy got the 10 point bonus for being commenter number 3. Standings are here. Official rules are here.

Anyone who came here because Michael Offutt sent you, or someone else -- COMMENT! GUESS! And mention who sent you, because then you and they all get 50 points. All comments are an entry in Sunday's weekly prize drawing, so you can win even if you never get a question right. Heck, you can win by leaving a comment saying how stupid Star Wars is, but Andrew Leon would then use his Jedi powers to explode your mind.

Also: Only a few days left for the current biweekly blogfest challenge.

And today's question, worth 40 points:

What was the designation of the medical droid that repaired Luke's hand in The Empire Strikes back?
(Designation means, like, model number. C-3PO is that droid's designation.)

Commenter 4 gets 10 extra points, if they're not commenter 3, too.