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Goober’s Words of Wisdom: April Fools

Goober was asked by the editor of the paper that I work for if he would write a special column for April Fool’s Day.  You can find the paper’s website here.  Goober’s article is presented below.

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Hello everybodies.

Mr. Chuck, the nice man who owns this paper, is letting me write a column since he is leaving for South Dakota for a few days. Because today is the first day of April, I thought I would tell you about some nice things to do for your friends today.

You can tape magnets to the bottom of an empty coffee cup, and attach it to the top of your car. Laugh at all the people who frantically try to get your attention as you drive by.

Set your friend’s alarm clock for the middle of the night and hide it somewhere in the room where they will have to get up and scramble around to turn it off. (This works even better if you sneak in after they go to sleep and unscrew the light bulb in their lamp. Then they’ll have to search for the clock in the dark!)

If your friend still has a phone with a hook that presses down when the handset is in the cradle, tape it down. When he or she answers a call it will keep ringing.

Take about 20 (or more) paper or plastic cups, place them on your friend’s desk and fill them with water. Then take a stapler and staple them all together. You can also put the cups on the floor blocking their door, or just about anywhere.

Leave a phone message for the victim that says that a “Mr. Lyon” called (or Mr. Behr also works), and wants to be called back. Then list the phone number of a local zoo.

You could take all of your friend’s paperclips and string them together in one chain.

Did your friend have a major project due today? Did they leave it out where you can find it? Just take some paper that looks somewhat similar to their project. Set their real project aside, and spill a drink or something messy all over the fake project.

Or you could…

What Mr. Chuck? You want me to do what? But nobody’s will want to read about that, History is boring. * sigh *

Mr. Chuck is making me tell you about the history of April Fool’s Day.

April Fool’s Day or All Fool’s Day began around 1582 in France with the reform of the calendar under King Charles Ix. I don’t know why King Ix changed the calendar but he did. He moved New Year’s Day from March 25 – April 1 (new year’s week? Why did it take them a week to celebrate New Year’s Day? Maybe that’s why he changed it). to January 1. Mainly because he wanted New York people to freeze outside while they watched that big ball drop.

Not everyone knew about this new calendar right away. Communication traveled slowly back then because the Internet had not been invented yet. Some peoples were only informed of the change several years later. Other people who knew about the change but didn’t like the government telling them what to do, were more rebellious and refused to acknowledge the change. They continued to celebrate the New Year in the spring on April 1.

All of these peoples who celebrated New Year’s in April were called “fools” by everybody who celebrated the New Year in January by freezing. The peoples who celebrated in the spring were made fun of and sent on “fool errands” and had other practical jokes played on them.

This changed over time and a custom of prank-playing continued on the first day of April even after everybody started to celebrate the new year by freezing in January. This tradition eventually spread to places like to England and Scotland in the 18th century and was introduced to the American colonies by the English and the French. Because America is a big country and peoples all over the world like to do what Americans do (they don’t like it when we tell them what to do) April Fool’s Day has become a world wide holiday. Each country celebrates the holiday in its own way because they want to be different.

In Scotland, for instance, April Fool’s Day is devoted to pranks involving your bottom end and as such is called Taily Day. The butts (no pun intended) of these jokes are known as April ‘Gowk’, another name for cuckoo bird. Does that mean the “Kick Me” sign can be traced back to the Scottish observance?

In England, jokes are played only in the morning. I don’t know why people play jokes in the morning. I think you’d be better to stay up late and play jokes on the peoples still in bed. Anyway England ‘fools’ are called ‘gobs’ or ‘gobby’ and the victim of a joke is called a ‘noodle.’ It was considered bad luck to play a practical joke on someone after noon. The best way to avoid being an April Fool in England is to sleep late.

In Rome, April Fool’s Day is called the Festival of Hilaria and takes place on March 25. Why the Romans have April Fool’s Day in March is something I don’t know. It celebrates the resurrection of the god Attis, and is also referred to as “Roman Laughing Day.”

In Portugal, April Fool’s Day falls on the Sunday and Monday before lent. In this celebration, many people throw flour at their friends. That’s not a very creative joke. I can think better things to throw at your friends. Flour just gets in your hair.

So, no matter where you happen to be in the world on April 1, don’t be surprised if April fools fall playfully upon you.

Goober

(Editor’s Note: Steve Nibbelink, our ad designer, is also the leader of One Way Express, a local puppet troupe from Holland, Iowa. His alter-ego, Goober the Puppet, has entertained folks in the tri-county area since 2005).

April 1, 2010 Posted by | Goober's Place (One Way Express) | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Life Near an Iowa Cornfield 1-24-10

Wow has it really been nearly three months since I wrote anything?

Not that I haven’t had things to say but it’s been busy.  I’ve reconnected with a bunch of old friends via Facebook.  I’ve discovered that as much as I like writing, I enjoy my job more.   I’ve been extraordinarily busy with the job.  Recently, I was informed that according to the Iowa Newspaper Association, I am one of the top three ad designers in the entire state for the class of newspaper I work for (weekly under 10,000 circulation).  I find out exactly where I place at the banquet in February.

The can company is OFFICIALLY sold.  We signed the papers last week.  Yay!!!!!!!!!

PIT #1 (aka Pvt. Black Spartan) is still learning to be intelligent.  Her graduation has been pushed back again due to National Guard needing the same training, but she’s enjoying the challenge.

PIT #2 is now almost as tall as I am (when did that happen?).  He’s learning the ins and outs of controlled fishtails on the snow covered roads.

PIT #3 is being 10.  He finally agreed to let his mother wash his favorite Christmas present, an official Army fatigue shirt.  He received this from his big sister and has worn it nearly every day since Christmas.

Mrs. VS is recovering more every day.  Her hair is now long enough that she doesn’t wear wigs anymore.

One Way Express (the puppet team) has taken the tentative steps into video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w39S1YZWRhQ

We are now digitally recording the morning services at church and will be placing more videos up at YouTube as I get  time to edit.  Check out my channel http://www.youtube.com/user/vulcanstev

The entire family has been playing Wizard’s 101.  We’re enjoying it to the point of possibly getting a second subscription that we can play together instead of watching one person play.

The boys and I are back to a bi-weekly D&D 4e game at The Core in Cedar Falls.  I can’t say I much like the hack and slash version of D&D, but it’s time with my boys.  Alternate weeks, our local gaming group has begun a Top Secret! campaign, yes let’s resurrect more classic games from the 80’s

I also recently came to terms with my decision to leave Starships of the Third Fleet.  The constrictions being placed on my writing from the higher-ups made it less than fun to continue with the group.  I’ve also re-found the KSF and resurrected Chris Dehart.  Stev isn’t gone.  He’s just not onboard the Phoenix anymore.  When last seen he, T’Aiya, Phread and Neila had boarded the Ghost Rider and taken off for parts unknown.  (I am thinking of posting my stuff here for the world to read).

Hoping it’ll be sooner than March before I post again…

STEVe

January 24, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, Play | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Goober’s Words of Wisdom: an update

gooberGoober has been pretty active during the blog’s enforced hiatus.  Back in April Goober and his friends where the main entertainment at Steamboat Rock’s Easter Egg hunt.  This summer the puppet team opened for Sheltered Reality at the Central Iowa Fair.  We’ve been doing our weekly “helping” Pastor Gary illustrate his Sunday morning sermons.

New Hope Fellowship has taken a struggling urban Waterloo church under her wing.  Starting next week Goober and his friends will be packing everything up and running a Wednesday evening program for the  kids at New Straightway.  Goober will be back at it on Wednesdays at New Hope Fellowship Wednesday September 9 and then again on the 23rd.  He’ll be at New Straightway on September 16 and then on the 30th.

Sunday, however, Goober was helping Pastor Gary illustrate kindness.  Goober, Ricky, and Mickey were building a trap for Hannah.  The boys had out their fishing pole, capture net, bazooka, baseball bat, and pizza to bait the trap.  Pastor Gary looked on wide-eyed as the boys built their trap.

Knowing full well it was probably useless to ask, Pastor Gary asked anyway, “Goober what are doing?”

“Building a trap for Hannah,” was the reply.

After a double-take and a quick survey of Goober’s instruments of torture, Pastor Gary asked Goober if building a trap for Hannah was the best way to illustrate kindness.  Shocked, Goober nodded his head enthusiastically.

“Oh yes, Pastor Gary.  We’re not using the lion as part of the trap.  That way Hannah won’t be torn to shreds.”

Pastor Gary managed to convince Goober, Ricky and Mickey that although, yes, it was nice of them to not include the lion in the trap, building the trap in the first place was not displaying kindness.

September 7, 2009 Posted by | Connection Ministries, Goober's Place (One Way Express) | , , | Leave a comment

I’m ba-ack

It’s been awhile but I think I’ve got the modem problems fixed to the point of being able to blog again.  So where to begin?  There’ll be some changes coming to the blog.  I’ll still be writing about gaming but I’ll branching out to cover some of my other interests.  I also won’t be putting up daily content.  One of the things that came out of my enforced hiatus was PIT #3 expressing his happiness that Daddy wasn’t spending EVERY NIGHT at the laptop writing about gaming instead of actually playing.

Updates on the V.S. family:

Mrs. V.S. has finished her chemo treatments.  She is back at work interpreting for a 4th grade deaf student.  She goes to see the Radiology Oncologist on Wednesday and we learn at that point whether she’ll be undergoing radiation therapy.  Her hair is growing back, unfortunately it isn’t returning in the appropriate color.

PIT #1 is now Pvt. Spartan.  She is done with basic and is now undergoing A.I.T.  She’ll be back to providing her unique insights into the movie reviews (in fact she’s already phoned in her first).  She’s not completely online yet as her new laptop does not have net access inside her barracks.

PIT #2 is back in school.  He’s in Ac Dec this year and is looking forward to being the oldest at home.  He’s also back in Tae Kwon Do and will be testing for his camo belt next weekend.

PIT #3 has discovered Wizard’s 101.  He’s not as enthralled with 4e he terms it “offline gaming”.  When I asked him to clarify he responded that 4e wasn’t role playing.  It was more like the games he plays online only without the computer.

Me… I have sold the redemption center.  I’m back to punching a clock instead of working for myself.  This is not a step backwards as I’m using my degree.  I’m working as an ad designer for a local paper and loving it.  I’m also working on a “sekrit pojikt” that I’ll be sharing as soon as it’s ready to go.

What changes are coming to blog?  There will be still be gaming stuff.  However, my first love/obsession is movies.  I’ll be blogging more about films.  The family will still be doing reviews, however we’ll be adding blog posts about the goofs we picked up on while watching the films we’ve reviewed.  I’ll be adding some columns about comic books as well as bringing back Goober’s Words of Wisdom.

So bang the drum, sound the gong, let it be known far and wide.  Stev is back.

September 6, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Movies, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, RPG | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Goober’s Words of Wisdom: May 3rd, 2009

gooberThis morning, Pastor Gary’s sermon was putting the “Go” back into Gospel.  Taking his sermon from the Great Commission of Mark 16:15, Pastor wanted the congregation to understand that Christ’s words still hold true today.  Goober, of course, focused on the sermon title. 

Goober thought Pastor Gary was going somewhere.  Wanting to be prepared for Pastor Gary’s trip, he brought out his tank, his tractor, his VW, and his mini-van.  He also brought out his alarm clock.  Mickey and Ricky were looking for “All the World” on their map of Iowa.

Pastor Gary was understandably confused about Goober’s collection of toy vehicles and told Goober he did not know where Goober was going with the props.  Goober told Pastor Gary that was what he wanted to know, “Where are we going?”.  Pastor Gary replied, “Goober, I’m not following you.”

“Of course not Pastor Gary, I’m not driving.”

Pastor Gary shook his head.  “No, Goober, why do you have your tank, tractor, toy cars and an alarm clock?”  Goober then explained that because he didn’t know what kind of trip Pastor Gary was taking he was prepared for any kind of trip, military exercise, farming, shopping, vacation.  Pastor Gary sighed, and wanted to know what the alarm clock was for.  Goober explained that the alarm clock was to make sure that everybody got up on time for the trip.

The whole time Pastor Gary and Goober are having this discussion, Ricky and Mickey are calling out city names from the Iowa map.

Goober wanted to know if taking the tank along for spreading the gospel was a good idea because then if people didn’t want to believe Jesus, we could tell them to believe or else.  Pastor told Goober that it didn’t work during The Crusades and it wouldn’t work today either.

The boys decided to then GO and listen to Pastor’s sermon.

May 3, 2009 Posted by | Connection Ministries, Goober's Place (One Way Express) | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Goober’s Words of Wisdom: 4-19-2009

gooberThis morning, Pastor Gary’s sermon came from John 20:24-31, the story of Jesus appearing to Thomas after the Resurrection.  Goober of course heard one line of the sermon and ran with it.

Goober, Ricky, and Mickey formed the “S-Files” branch of the FBI for the investigation of Strange occurences.  They brought along Goober’s PI kit and his laptop and began their investigation.

During the course of the investigation, Ricky determined that it was not all that strange to walk through walls as anyone could do it if they used a door.  Goober declared the case solved and began packing up.

Pastor Gary then reminded the boys that Jesus entered the room through the locked door.  Goober declared that the case was then not solved and ordered Ricky and Mickey to go fingerprint the door.  Happy to be doing something the brothers scampered off.  Goober wondered about climbing in through a window.  After explaining to Goober that it was not a window that Jesus was not bound by the physical laws in his glorified body, Goober wondered how a good man like Jesus would go around breaking laws.  Pastor Gary then told Goober it might be a good idea to listen to the sermon.

April 19, 2009 Posted by | Connection Ministries, Goober's Place (One Way Express) | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Goober’s Words of Wisdom: 4-11-09

owe_logo_splashGoober and the rest of the One Way Express team journeyed to Steamboat Rock, Iowa for the pre-Easter Egg Hunt puppet show.  First Goober went to where Mapquest said the address was located.  After we ended up in a corn field, got a call from Pastor Gary leading us into the proper place and unloaded everything we were good to go.

Goober,  Rickey, and Mickey hauled out their trusty map of Iowa looking for Rockboat Thingy, Iowa.  After 5 minutes of looking over the map, Pastor Gary managed to convince the boys that they were already there.

 Pastor Gary asked the three if they were ready for the upcoming holiday.  All three indicated they were and went behind the stage to get ready.  They came up wearing green hats and green bow ties and told everybody,”Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!”  The kids in the audience ALL tried to correct the boys.  Crestfallen, they took down their St. Patty’s decorations and came up with hearts and told everyone, “Happy Valentine’s Day.”  Again corrections from the audience.  “Election Day?”, NO! “Labor Day?” NO!!!!!!!!!!!!  The boys got out their Nativity set and said “Christmas!”   No, it’s Easter the kids yelled.

Easter, I know Goober replied that’s the Day Peter Cottontail came out of the tomb and gave eggs and presents to all of Jesus’ disciples.  Choruses of “NO!” from the audience while Pastor Gary shook his head and placed his hand on his forehead.

Pastor Gary then got a chance to share the “correct” version of the Easter story with the kids.  Goober, Ricky and Mickey launched into their own rendition of a classic Easter hymn.

Lo in the Grave Him lay, Jesus my Savior, Buying stuff on E-bay, Jesus my Lord
Up from the grave Him a Lilly, An’ I know it sounds pretty silly, Him’s the Lilly of the Valley, Jesus is His name, And He’ll live forever, With His saints in the rain, Him a Lilly, Him a Lilly, Hallelujah Christ a Lilly.

Pastor Gary and Goober then proceeded to have an argument about whether Jesus arose or whether Jesus a lilly.  The kids in the audience sided with Goober.

Emboldened by the kids agreeing with them the boys went into one of their skits: Master Puppet Theater Presents….

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, Where Have You Been?

Goober started the recitation, no cat.  Mickey was unable to buy a cat, due to the fact that e-bay was no longer accepting Pastor Gary’s credit card.  Goober asked for something cute and furry.  Mickey said OK and rustled behind the stage.  He gave Goober the go head because he’d found something furry and cute.  Take 2

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat where have you been?   Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!  Mickey had found our naughty sheep.  Goober got upset and told Mickey he needed a member of the cat family.  Mickey said OK.  Take 3

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat where have you been Ro-oaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar!  Mickey had found a lion.  The lion was not happy he had been awakened and he began to chase Goober.

Goober was upset this was NOT what Master Puppet theater was supposed to do.  He asked the kids for another chance.  Master Puppet Theater presents Little Bo Peep

Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep…. nothing…. (Louder) Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep… Mickey pops up.  Where’s Bo Peep? Goober asks.   She couldn’t make it today, Mickey replies, I’m gonna be Bo Pete.  Goober shakes his head and mutters at least it rhymes with sheep.

Little Bo Pete has lost his shee… BAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!   The lamb came in early on his cue.  A five minute chase wild lamb chase ensued.  Mickey was finally victorious.

One of the ‘tweens in the audience was heard to remark, “This is funnier than Saturday morning cartoons.”

Always leave ’em wanting more.

April 12, 2009 Posted by | Connection Ministries, Goober's Place (One Way Express) | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Role Playing: where my hobbies meet

I have been asked a few questions about other aspects of my blog.  For example who is Goober?  Why Vulcan Stev?  I was writing a reply to these questions and getting ready to tag it as non-rpg blog post when I realized that answers to both of these questions involve RP after a manner of speaking.  It was after this realization that I came to the conclusion that Role Playing is where my various hobbies meet.  The skills I use in my puppeteering and creative writing serve me as player and GM as well and vice-versa.  Thus the rewrite of a simple behind-the-scenes Q&A into a full blown article about RPG skills.

gooberGoober is the lead character for my puppet team.  He is at his core, a Dennis the Menace/Calvin type character.  We don’t use scripts when Goober is on stage as dealing with Goober is a form of free associating role play.  Most of the “skits” involving Goober are based on a one-line riff, with Goober and his straightman verbally sparring with each other building on the last line spoken.  How is puppeteering role playing?  I cannot “do” Goober unless I am physically talking in his voice.  Once I’m doing the voice, Goober comes naturally.

Stev is a character that I write for the Starships of the Third Fleet writing club.  The “Captain” writes a prologue and it is then up to the members to write their mission report.  I’ve been writing Stev off and on for the better part of two decades.  I’ll stare at the prologue and be unable to write unless I’m “in” Stev’s mind so-to-speak.

How do these two completely different pursuits tie-in to becoming a better player and/or GM?  In both instances I am not the one providing the starting spot.  With Goober, I’m usually riffing off of the Pastor’s sermon that morning, or along whatever “theme” we have for that night’s puppet show.  In Stev’s case, the Captain provides the problem and I have to come up with the solution.  Step outside the box for the moment.  What difference other than tropes and semantics, is there between Goober talking about Pastor Gary’s sermon, my writing Stev’s solution, or trying to figure Nevets’ way out of the trap that the DM just described?  Really? there is no difference.  It’s all Improv, different disciplines to be sure.  But in each I need to be quick on my feet.

Now flip the whole thing on it’s head.  When Sergeant Steelflex of SG-21 suddenly wants to question the conductor of the train the team is riding, I need to be able to step into character quickly even if the character wasn’t supposed to do anything beyond collecting the tickets.  I need to quickly find the Conductor’s voice and let my improv skills come to the surface.   I have discovered over the years that I have a very strong talent in building off of another’s foundation.  Every time I exercise my improvisational skills it only improves that talent for use.  The three hobbies build on each other.

My advice for honing your RPG skills is to find something else that stretches your creative thinking.  Creativity is creativity whether its puppets, RPG, writing, drawing, whatever causes you stretch your thinking.  Stretch and excercies your thinking and your RPG skills will improve as well.

April 8, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Goober's Place (One Way Express), Observations of a Noob GM, RPG, SS3F, Vulcan Stev | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Goobers Words of Wisdom: 4-5-09

gooberIn celebration of Palm Sunday, Pastor Gary’s sermon was a monologue/skit of Peter’s thoughts from Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gesthemane through his denial and until Jesus forgave him after the resurrection.

Goober, Ricky and Mickey were all set to celebrate Palm Sunday in style.  Ricky got out the chainsaw, Mickey pulled out the battleaxe, and Goober got his toolbox and SUV all ready to go. 

Needless to say Pastor Gary was a little confused.  Dressed in his Peter outfit and needing to continually duck the battleaxe, Pastor Gary asked Goober what was going on.

Goober explained that he and the boys were getting ready to celebrate Palm Sunday by cutting off people’s ears and then going to Florida afterwards.  Pastor Gary did a double take.  Goober then explained very quickly that cutting off people’s ears was in homage to Peter’s act of bravery in defending Jesus.  The toolbox was in case Pastor Gary couldn’t pray the ears back on, then Goober would use his staple gun to put the ears back on.

Pastor Gary, ducking the battleaxe, told Goober and the boys that Peter cutting off Malchus’ ear was not heroic and that Jesus actually scolded Peter for doing it.  After convincing all three that cutting off ears was not a good idea, Pastor Gary finally asked Goober why he had his SUV out.

Goober pulled has patented *sigh* used when Pastor Gary fails to see what Goober thinks is plainly obvious.  Goober then said it was to celebrate the day by bouncing in Florida and obviously they’d need to drive because Pastor Gary couldn’t afford airplane tickets.

“What do you mean, bouncing in Florida?” Pastor Gary asked.  “What does bouncing in Florida have to do with Palm Sunday?”

“Palm Springs, of course,” Goober replied as he, Ricky and Mickey began bouncing off stage.

April 6, 2009 Posted by | Connection Ministries, Goober's Place (One Way Express) | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Goober’s Words of Wisdom: 3-29-09

gooberPastor Gary continued his sermon series on Jesus’ miracles prior to the passion week.  Today’s sermon was from Matthew 21:29-34, the healing of the blind men.  Goober, Ricky and Mickey figured that Pastor Gary was intending to have actual blind people come visit the church.

So Goober and Mickey were testing out “Blind People Sticks”.  Ricky was supposed to go find a seeing-eye dog.  Ricky was unable to find a seeing-eye dog on short notice so he got a seeing-eye sheep.  Unfortunately, this was One Way Express’ untrained sheep.  The Sheep has the uncanny ability to make something simple something complicated by not doing what it’s supposed to.

Goober and Mickey kept trying to capture the sheep and caused general pandemonium because they forgot to drop their “Blind People Sticks”.  They began chasing the sheep, almost knocking over things and hitting Pastor Gary.  After Pastor Gary managed to calm things down he finally convinced the boys that although blind people were welcome in our church there weren’t going to be any today.  The boys agreed to go chase down the sheep and pen it up before the sermon started.

March 29, 2009 Posted by | Connection Ministries, Goober's Place (One Way Express) | , , , | Leave a comment