Caster's Blog: A Geek Love Story

Gather ’round kiddies. Your old pal Marcus is going to tell you about how he accidentally wrote his first novel fifteen years ago. He’s going to drive you wild with intrigue, then he’s going to drop a big orange Amazon buy button on you. And you’re gonna click it, because you love that sweet sweet early-2000s retro scene. When I was a computer animator back in the ’90s, the software we used had two default rendering options: “Ray Tracer” and “Ray Caster.” I always thought the latter sounded like a guy’s name. A nice vanilla everyman who drives a Honda Accord and always rewinds videosRead More →

Halloween Movies Choose Your Own Adventure

The trailer for the new Halloween movie just dropped, splitting the timelines of the Halloween Universe once again. If you’re wondering how Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) can be in this one when (SPOILER ALERT) she died in Halloween: Resurrection, then you must be new here. You see, the Halloween franchise is a fluid thing. Nothing can happen in it that another filmmaker can’t come along and negate with a hearty, “Nuh-uhh! That didn’t happen! We’re starting over!” It’s at the point where the series is basically the end of the Clue movie.  “That’s how it could have happened. But how about this?” To make it easier forRead More →

Buttscoth Yummies

During a recent Skype call, my mother mentioned she was going through an old recipe file and found one of mine. “I don’t have recipes,” I said. “I defrost things.” “Well, this one has your name on it, and it’s in your old handwriting.” I squinted at the card she held up to the camera. “Butterscotch Yummies?” I asked. “Close,” she replied. “Apparently this is a recipe for ‘Buttscoth Yummies.’” Despite the forensic evidence suggesting I was responsible for this card, I have no recollection of it. Though I do like the fact that some unknown person with a blue pen added an “er” toRead More →

The Alby Einstein Principle

This is part three of my totally scientific exploration of Pam Grout’s self-help bestseller, E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality. The book claims to offer experimental proof of an invisible energy field humans can access to enhance the quality of their daily lives. I’m going to do every experiment and report my findings. Like Scully, I’m skeptical. Like Mulder, I want to believe. Let’s see how it works out.   This week we’re going to dive into what Grout calls “The Alby Einstein Principle.” I wasn’t familiar with an Alby Einstein, but since much of this chapter is aboutRead More →

The Volkswagen Jetta Principle

This is part two of my totally scientific exploration of Pam Grout’s self-help bestseller, E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality. The book claims to offer experimental proof of an invisible energy field humans can access to enhance the quality of their daily lives. I’m going to do every experiment and report my findings. Like Scully, I’m skeptical. Like Mulder, I want to believe. Let’s see how it works out. This week we investigate what Grout calls “The Volkswagen Jetta Principle.” She asserts the things we see in our lives are a reflection of what we believe in our minds.Read More →

The Dude Abides Principle

This is part one of my totally scientific exploration of Pam Grout’s self-help bestseller, E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality. The book claims to offer experimental proof of an invisible energy field humans can access to enhance the quality of their daily lives. I’m going to do every experiment and report my findings. Like Scully, I’m skeptical. Like Mulder, I want to believe. Let’s see how it works out.   The other day I was shelving books at the library when I came across Pam Grout’s E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality. ThisRead More →

Laika at Portland Art Museum

I talk about LAIKA a lot. It’s because I talk about my spectacularly talented wife a lot, and she happens to work at LAIKA. But every time I mention the studio to someone who isn’t an animation nerd, the conversation is exactly the same. “Laika?” they say. “Yeah, I’ve heard of Laika. She was a Russian space dog.” “No,” I say. “Well, yes, but I’m talking about the animation studio.” “She died in space, you know. Overheated and cooked to death. Did you bring her up just to bum me out? Major party foul, dude.” “I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT THE SPACE DOG,” I say inRead More →

Roloff Farm

Last weekend, Roloff Farms officially kicked off their 2017 Pumpkin Season. You may know the Roloff family from their hit TLC show, Little People, Big World. That is to say, you may know them from their hit TLC show, but I don’t. I’ve never seen the show and didn’t know anything about it, so I consulted an expert in the field of reality television: my mother. If it’s on TV and it has people cooking something, battling for a soulmate, or just yelling a lot, my mother has it on her DVR. So before I ventured to Roloff Farms, I called Mom to ask whatRead More →

Car Accident

Over the weekend I was reminded of the worst car accident I ever had. Almost. It was back when I lived in Los Angeles, which is consistently rated one of the best cities in which to be brutally killed in an automobile. Let me set the scene. It was May 2013. I was cruising down the 105 freeway. The road in that particular area was six lanes wide with a smattering of traffic spread across it, all going about seventy miles per hour. It was a glorious, sunny spring day. The kind of day when nothing can possibly go wrong. I should note, this wasRead More →

The Big Bounce America

A gaily colored inflatable monster is making its way across the USA. Its creators call it “The world’s largest bounce house.” This is a claim I believe. At 10,000 square feet and standing over thirty feet tall, this pillowy menace is approximately ten times the size of my actual house. Those who have been inside the belly of the beast call it The Big Bounce America. Over Labor Day weekend, The Big Bounce America landed in Hillsboro, Oregon’s Shute Park. Or as the organizers call it, “Portland.” When I found out this was happening, of course I was all in. Because this is the kindRead More →