Archive for February 2011

Antiques   5 comments

There are so many wonderful old things in the world.  And do you know what’s happening to them all?  Slowly, bit by bit, they are being gathered up and stored in immense warehouses called antique stores.  Sometimes someone will enter a store, buy something, and take it back out into the real world, but I’m convinced that more and more of the good old stuff is just moldering away in a big fancy antique store somewhere.

I love to wander around in huge antique stores. But I often feel like an anitque myself, recognizing things I played with or owned only a few decades ago.

When I was a boy, I never saw any antique stores.  Now, 50 years later, they’re everywhere.  Why is that?

Entrance to huge antique store in Scottsdale. You could put an aparmtnet complex inside this store.

We live in an age of fantastic innovation. It doesn’t matter what the topic is: art, furniture, weapons, glass, ceramics, toys, games, books, movies, clothing–you name it.  It’s better today, and there’s more of it.

And yet, things were pretty damn cool back in the day.  What’s happening to all that cool stuff?  Some of it is on display in people’s homes or museums or places of business, but I think most of it is gathering inside the antiques shops of America and the world–there to be looked at once in a while by curious explorers, but never ever getting back to its original function.

I like antiques, but I have no room for them in my house–partly because it’s full of my own antiques, partly because it’s full of all the cool new stuff I have.  But sometimes I like to go and admire the treasures of the past.  Let’s take a walk in a big Scottsdale antique mall, and see what kind of junk Atroll likes.

Stone tools of pre-Columbian civilizations. Those are REAL ANTIQUES!

I’ve had a fascination with the Aztecs and other native civilizations and peoples since I was a teenager. I have made games about them, and their warring states.  I’ve written fiction–you’ll never find it.  I compiled my own dictionary of Nahuatl based on a Spanish-Nahuratl dictionary that I found in a university library.  Part of me always wanted to be an archaeologist.

Pre-technological peoples did a lot with plain old stone and dirt.

Antiquities from Africa and China. Cool stuff way too expensive for me.

Atroll loves swords and used to have a fencing foil and old cavalry sword.

I would love to have a room full of swords, knives, and odd weapons of all types (not guns, tho.–I don’t care much about guns.)

I do hunger for and delight in the exotic. Don't you:

I t doesn’t have to be all bizarre implements from other cultures.  I like American kitsch too, and that’s all I ever actually buy because that’s all I can ever really afford.

I don't think these blue giraffes really came from Africa.

It has been months since I last indulged my taste for drooling over treasures that I just can’t have.  Time to go again.


Elsewhere I was lamenting that I couldn’t get good pictures for my blogs off the internet these days.  I want to assure you right now that all of these pictures except the very first one, which is kind of generic, were taken by me and my trusty little digital camera.


Posted February 16, 2011 by atroll in antiques, toys, Uncategorized

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Love and Duty   1 comment

Ken in his natural setting--gaming at a con.

I’m getting introspective in my old age.  Every day I wake up in a kind of existential despair because I have so much creative work that I feel I need to finish, and really so much aversion to finishing it.  I love to start projects.  I love to finish them, too, and get them printed.  I don’t really care much for all those hours of work in between where the blood and guts of the writing has to be done.  No, I kinda hate that part of the creative process.  Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing one of my babies come to life, whether it’s a whole game design, a game module, a piece of fiction, a review, an article, a blog.  The moment it is done and goes out into the world on its own is the moment I live for.

Today I woke up wondering how I could ever finish all the work I want to get done if I continue to just bounce from one thing to another as the mood strikes me.  I didn’t even have a list of all the things I need to do.  So, like any good procrastinator, I sat down and made this list–there’s an hour or two of time that feels productive, but really isn’t.

Well, maybe it was productive time.  I now have a list.  I can update the list every time I actually do something that was on it (even if it’s something way down at the bottom of the list like this blog.)

It occurs to me that if I didn’t enjoy doing all this writing and world creation I wouldn’t be doing it.  If I enjoy doing it, that makes it entertainment, and if it’s entertainment, that makes it a suitable subject for this blog.  Hooray, a different subject–I was really tired of writing book and movie reviews. 

Now, for the first time ever, I proudly present: Ken St. Andre’s List of Things to Do before He Dies.

Projects for Ken St. Andre

1.  Rose of Stormgaard–revise and publish via Amazon.

2.  Rose of Khazan–write the story.

3.  Tunnels & Trolls 8th edition–finish writing the rules.

4.  Power Play: T & T super heroes–finish writing the rules.

5.  The DewDrop Inn big solo–finish writing.

6.  Protector (for Steve Crompton)–finish the story.

7.  A Traveler’s Tale–revise, add the art and title pages, and publish it.–finished my work on Traveler’s Tale today (2/10/11)–waiting for comments from artist David Ullery.  Hope to send it to the publisher tomorrow!

8.  The Goblin or the Gator–get art & publish it.

9.  Vvvarrr’s Qiip–get art & publish it.

10.  A Sworded Adventure–revise, get art, and publish.

11.  Dandelion in the Moonstone Caverns–publish.

12.  Mandrikor GM Dungeon–Draw map, write key, get art, publish.

13.  Some Legends Should Remain Forgotten–revise, get art, and publish.

14.  The Mermaid’s Curse–revise, get art, and publish.

15.  A Hobgoblin’s Holiday in Khazan–get art and publish.

16.  Rogues in Gristlegrim–revise and publish.

17.  Atroll’s Entertainment–blog daily. (2/8/11, 2/10/11, )

18.  Delver’s Tales–blog daily. (new blog today 2/10/11, )

19.  Trollfic; flash fiction–blog daily.  (new story today by Laurie Rose 2/10/11, )

20.  Review games for Drivethrurpg.

21.  Trollhalla business.  (2/8/11, )

22.  Khenn Arrth in the Tree of Life–revise, illustrate, and publish.

 When you see something in parenthesis, it means I actually worked on that part of the list on that date.  The day is half over, and about all I managed to do was this blog.  Well, I can come back to the computer and work on more stuff later.  Right now, I feel the need to get out of the chair and get some fresh air.


Posted February 8, 2011 by atroll in Uncategorized