Tuesday, 3 April 2012

C is for Cybernetics, Costuming and the deadly Catoblepas

C

My father was a cybernetician, so I couldn't really let C pass without mentioning it.

My father, doing his imitation of a rogue pixie. 
Photograph (c) Paul Pangaro 1985 (with apologies for not adding that before, but I had no idea who took it)


I admit that I also had a sneaky hope that few others would pick this as their letter C.  It was not to be.  The talented Suze over at Analog Breakfast got the jump on me.  Go over there, read her piece and starting pinging each other.

G (my dad) will get more mentions in due course.

Elsewhere in the in the land of C, we find costuming.  Regulars will know that I have an ongoing fascination and frustration with sewing machines.  An enforced purchase of one back in January and a deep-end plunge into doublet-making has borne fruit.  I no longer assume turkey when an instruction tells me to baste.   I can put in darts and I know the difference between on grain and bias cutting.  It is a whole new arcane world to explore and I am (much to my own surprise) enjoying it.

Long term I will end up with a wardrobe full of costumes ready to dump on unsuspecting cast members.  At the moment, I have a room full of fabric and several doublets and floppy hats in various stages of construction.

C is a rich mine as it turns out.  My final entry is a shout-out for the Catoblepas.  This noble beastie appeared in early bestiarys looking like this -

Early form catoblepas

It seems the original incarnation was a mistaken view of the gnu or wildebeest.  As with many mythical beasts, the creature subsequently found its way into RPGs in a rather more malevolent form.  My first introduction was through D&D when a huge stinking harbinger of doom arrived during one game and killed us all.  You never forget your first catoblepas.

Monstrous catoblepas
Pictures are on the tiny side, but you get the idea.

20 comments:

  1. It's many years since I saw an image of G. Superb.

    It has to be said that one C never to be found in Amanda's life is the Commonplace.

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    1. Not at all. I'm truly humdrum and commonplace is ... commonplace in my life, I promise you :)

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    2. Nice try. I have known you too long to buy that one... ;) x

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    3. :D

      You only say this because I'm probably the only person you've never been able to properly de-clutter. Come up to Yorkshire, Cassie, help is genuinely needed here.

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  2. 'You never forget your first catoblepas' - ain't that the truth! Love the pick of your father!
    Lxxx

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    1. It's a nice picture I think and very typical of him.

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  3. I have a sewing machine and was shown how to use it and I still have no idea where to start. :(

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    1. Check the many, many entries on sewing machines and my issues with them and you'll see that the (very) little skill I have has been hard won.

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  4. I think cybernetics is one of the MOST interesting topics. I considered it for my own C, but already had something else planned. Great great post!
    Happy A-Z blogging.

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words.

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  5. I have an award for you on my blog.

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    1. Wow! Thank you :)

      I'll hunt for more deserving recipients and I am most grateful.

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  6. Hi Amanda .. had to look up cybernetics ... but love those catoblepas .. what a great name! Looking forward to more .. I'll click over to Suze ... cheers Hilary

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  7. 'My first introduction was through D&D when a huge stinking harbinger of doom arrived during one game and killed us all.'

    Yowch.

    Love the pic of your dad. He looks like a fascinating human. Thanks for the cool-guy mention.

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    1. You're welcome :)

      I nearly fell off my chair this morning when I saw "Cybernetics". G was a fascinating human indeed and I will post more about him.

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  8. Your father looks like such an interesting person and now that I know he was a cybernetician he is a really intriguing figure.

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  9. Great picture of your dad!

    Never ran into a catoblepas when I was playing D&D, now I'm going to have to look them up!

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    1. Do it - they're awful. The stench of a catoblepas can kill, and that's even before they start moaning and looking at you.

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    2. Your father looks a real character - as for the catoblepas, what a fugly monster! With killer b.o. no less!

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