Monday, August 8, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

D&D Encounters

About a month ago Matt , Jihee, Trina, and I got to be in a D&D video promoting their in-store play program, D&D Encounters. The shoot was fun. I mean, all I had to do was play D&D with some of the R&D people that work on the game, and do a short interview.

The end results look pretty good. And if I can somehow make this even slightly moped related, watch for Matt wearing a Creatures shirt in the interview.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Warmachine Con

This weekend my friend Dan and I attended Lock & Load Fest, the first Warmachine con in the country. Warmachine is a Seattle-produced miniatures game that's seen a huge boost in popularity in the past few years. Free from any of that pesky role-playing, it's boiled down to just skirmishing where you smash armies against each other, in an attempt to kill the opposing unit leader. Think of it like chess, but with magic-wielding casters and steampunk robots.

Yeah, its probably more nerdy than D&D. I started playing a few months ago
, and its been mildly addictive.

The best part of the con was getting to play on some amazing custom terrain in the free play area. Dan and I battled each other in a snowy village, and in a mineshaft.

A few other tables.

Monday, June 6, 2011

...In which our hero embarks on an adventure

Hey folks. I'm back. I took a break from the blog. I figure getting married is a good enough reason to be busy.

The wedding was really nice, and a lot of fun. People ask me what my favorite part was. It was the part where everything went as planned. Steph did an amazing job planning the event, and I'm glad everything went smoothly and everyone had a great time.

My mom and two of my sisters flew out for the day.

And my best friend/man, Chris came out for a week.

This kinda sums it up:

And so do these:

A week later was the honeymoon. A trip to my childhood stomping ground, Newport RI. No real itinerary, other than seeing the sights and relaxing.

We saw huge mansions,

And rocky cliffs along the Atlantic,

and the house I lived in when I was twelve.

When I was four (circa 1979), I had really long hair, and would always run past this barber shop because I was convinced if the barbers saw me they would pull me inside and force a reasonable haircut on me.

Unfortunately some of my childhood memories didn't quite live up. My favorite milkshakes as a kid are no longer made with real ice cream, nor was my favorite flavor, mint chocolate chip still available. Some things should stay in the past.

I drowned my sorrows with a regional microbrew at the oldest tavern in America.

And saw an old tower built by vikings.

In short; my life rules.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Reality Is Broken

This is a really fantastic book on why gaming is important. I'm about half way through, and I've learned a lot. It's really given me a different perspective on why gaming isn't a waste of time, and how it makes our lives richer, and makes us better people. I highly recommend it to anyone, gamer or not.

If you don't read the book (which you probably won't) at least check out this TED presentation that the author did. She makes a lot of the same points she makes in the book, although much more abbreviated. It's inspiring stuff.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Big fat strikes again

This makes the third Puch swing arm I've destroyed in six years. Two stock and now this aftermarket one finally bit the dust after about 3 years.

At least I caught this one (or had it pointed out to me by Hucker Steve) before it completely broke while I was riding, like the last two did.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Game of Thrones

I had been waiting for this new HBO show to premiere for a few months now, and it certainly didn't disappoint. Around 7:30 last night I hit up a torrent search, and the first episode had just been uploaded. 45 minutes later it was playing through my Xbox. I love technology.

This is excellent fantasy for people that aren't really into fantasy. Looking forward to next weeks episode.

Monday, April 11, 2011


This documentary has been talked about for well over a year now. Threads for it occasionally pop up on the gen forum. I didn't really think much of it at first. Most of the time when someone discusses doing a moped film, nothing ever comes of it. That, or it looks really amateurish, or not very interesting, or they just plain miss the mark in trying to capture why we waste our time with these antiquated, little bikes.

These guys from Baltard territory seem to actually be serious about this, and its starting to look really good. I, for one, hope that they finish the film and their 7,000 mile trip.

I don't plan on donating money to the project, but if you'd like to a kickstarter has been set up for the effort.

Good luck on the project, guys.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dungeons & Caverns

Sometimes I wonder how far down the nerd hole I can go. Case in point: D&D games have been sparse over the past month, so I decided to take advantage of the down time and start building terrain for the game. These are modular sets I've cast from high-density dental plaster in silicone molds that I procured from the interwebz.

The plaster is relatively cheap, and I'm mostly using latex house paint, so more than anything it's just finding the four or five hours it takes to cast, glue, and paint a set. I think they turned out rather nice for the first sets.

Also, with Seattle's vast gaming community, I should be able to dump something like these on Craigslist for $50-70 a piece.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hobbit progress and helmet merkins

I got a little further with the Hobbit this weekend. Hydro EBRs went on really easy. I need a spacer for the headset, but other than that they're ready. As hard a rubber compound as the Michelin Pilot Sporty tires are, they went on super easy. I thought it was going to be like wrestling with a Gazelle tire (or like wrestling with a live gazelle for that matter, although I think I could probably take one in a fight). Flat clubmans look good on the bike, but I still need to chop down the seat.

Front brakes are being a pain in the ass. I haven't worked with this style in years, and can't remember how to install them on the brake plate. If any of my gentle readers out there have fun suggestions, I'm all ears.

Everyone knows I love Treats, and that I never have a disparaging word toward them. But a blight hit their webstore this past week: the helmet hawk.

They sold out in a matter of days.

If you are reading this please, PLEASE, for the love of god, do not attach one of these to your helmet. This is the grommiest of grom things to do. YOU WILL BUM OUT ANYONE WHO RIDES BEHIND YOU AT A RALLY THIS SUMMER. This is worse that strawberry scented 2-stroke oil. This is the merkin of the two-wheel world. If you breakdown on a ride, and are wearing one of these, I will not stop for you. In fact I may kick you as I ride past, and I will most certainly laugh at you.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cuddle Puddle Birthday Ride

This past weekend was the 5th annual Puddle Cutter Anniversary Ride. I've been to four out of the five anniversary rides (including the first Puddle Cutter ride five years ago), and this one was fun as usual.

Since selling the bus, getting mopeds from one city to another has been problematic. It's good to find out that with some disassembly the Ciao fits neatly in the trunk of my car.

We arrived in Portland Saturday morning, and after putting a moped back together, and eating a giant burrito, we headed to Powell park for the meet up.

The ride went along the Clackamas river with lots of water and back roads. As many rides as I've done in, and around, PDX this one was completely new to me. I'm slightly jealous of Portland and how much backwoods-y riding they have that's still only a short jog from the city.

The weather held up for the most part as we dodged the rain storm that loomed over us most of the day and knocked out about 60 miles of riding.

The party later that night was nothing short of classic dumb Cutter fun. Including muddy moped dirt bike jumps in the backyard, and far too much booze. I'm amazed the cops never showed up.

A short trip, about 24 hours in Portland, but that's fine. Hopefully, I'll be back in a few months for a race or two.

Speaking of moped racing, this showed up on the general forum last week. It looks like a terrible game, but I'd still play it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Procrastination and the importance of deadlines

By habit, I'm a procrastinator. In fact, the only reason that this blog gets updated on Monday mornings is because if I didn't give myself a deadline, it wouldn't get done.

I've been pretty lazy lately when it comes to working on the race bike. Weather has been cold, the garage is drafty, and I've been in cocoon mode for a few months. Spurred on by the arrival of my MLM ST Ripper pipe, early last week I gave myself a requirement; get in the garage on Saturday and work for a solid five hours to see what I can get done.

I skipped on a Fleet fix-it day (which I heard was awesome) to toil away, cleaning parts and figuring out how a Hobbit fits together. I didn't get as far as I wanted to, but now, at least I can see the bike taking shape, and that's always exciting.

I need to figure out when my next free weekend is and schedule myself a block of time to work on bikes because it felt super productive.

Monday, March 7, 2011


This weekend was the 9th Emerald City Comicon. This was the fourth one I've been to, and probably my favorite so far. It was expanded to three days this year, but I only made it to Friday and Saturday. Not much was scheduled for Sunday, and by Saturday afternoon I had spent all of my budgeted con money.

Friday, I got off work early and lined up for doors.

Once in, I made a bee-line to the media guest area to get in another line for Wil Wheaton. Lines at comicon and PAX last year were far too long to wait in to meet Wheaton, but this year getting there early paid off as I was fourth in line for Wil.

Dude was super friendly, and excited to be there. He took a couple of minutes to talk to me and we even got an unfortunately blurry picture together. He's a genuine guy, and as nerd-famous as he is, he's really just another fanboy like the rest of us.

His autograph is full of awesome, too.

The other person I really wanted to me was Scott Kurtz of webcomic PVP. He started the whole webcomic thing back in the late 90s and has the longest running webcomic around. Yet again, a really genuine and nice person. He even remembered my name at a panel the next day. I thought that was classy.

Saturday I got to shake hands with Jeff Lemire, the writer/artist on Sweet Tooth, which is probably my favorite comic out today. Its about a little boy with antlers living in a post-apoc America. Fantastic stuff. He offered to do a Sweet Tooth sketch for me which was really rad.

Panels were a mixed bag this year. My only complaint about ECCC is that it's a little light on panels compared to something like PAX. Wil Wheaton's Awesome Hour was entertaining as usual. He told some great stories and I filmed the strangely awkward Q&A portion of the show (which I'll post up once I figure out how to get a video off of my Ipod Touch).

I popped into the Boondock Saints panel for a couple of minutes, but it wasn't very interesting. I liked the first movie, but I'm not a big enough fan to sit through a whole panel.

The Vertigo Comics panel was pretty good, although they seemed to only cover the Vertigo titles that I don't read. Some interesting stuff on the way this year though.

The webcomics panel was one of my favorites. Scott Kurtz and crew sat up on stage in suits, drinking the whole time, and cracking jokes. Really funny stuff.

The William Shatner panel was the biggest draw for the weekend. The line to get in was moving quickly so I popped in for a minute, but the dude was just rambling on about Mr Tambourine Man and Ben Folds, and it really wasn't my cup of tea. The Marvel Comics panel after that wasn't much better.

Nerdprov later on that afternoon was pretty cool. Its exactly what it sounds like. I really don't need to describe it much beyond that. Pirates vs. ninjas, Inception in three minutes, and a bad first date as a D&D game.

Last hurrah for me was the Rainn Wilson panel. That was almost as packed as the Shatner thing. He was there promoting his new indie film, "Super" about a guy who decides to become a superhero after his girlfriend leaves him. In the middle of the panel, local costumed crime fighter Phoenix Jones shows up. Rainn was super excited as he had been trying to get in contact with Jones for a couple of days. Turns out its tough to get a hold of superheroes. Who would have thought?

A great time. Now I just have to wait another six months for PAX.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Cops and mopeds

Nope, it's not what you're thinking.

About six years ago, I was coming home late from Moped Monday. I lived in an apartment on the Ave, and was locking up to a bike rack in front of the Radio Shack. I was more than a little intoxicated, and ready to hit the sack.

From the corner of my eye I spot a cop car slowly roll up and stop. A warning goes off in my brain, but I ignore the car. I fumble with my keys, hoping that he moves on and doesn't try to give me a hard time about parking on the sidewalk. Regardless, no one wants to talk to a cop when you've got whiskey on your breath.

The window rolls down. I don't look up.

"Hey!" Okay, I finally look up. "Is that a Kinetic?"

Puzzled, I respond, "No, it's a Puch."

"Oh, I've got a Kinetic. I ride it all the time!" Turns out a fellow moped rider just wanted to chat.

Cops and mopeds rarely collide in a way that works well. Usually it's just a recipe for frustration on both parts.

It's like the joke goes: What do you call a moped rider in a suit? The defendant.

This is an oddball article from Moped Biking magazine, circa 1977. It's worth reading. It's pretty clear that, just like today, most cops hate mopeds. Officer Friendly, who's spotlighted in the photos, is obviously not a fan of these moped-things. I can only imagine how much he must have hated riding away from the precinct on the Puch. I can almost hear the ribbing Im sure he took. I'd love to see a conversation between this NYC moped cop and my Seattle cop-moped-enthusiast.

As if cops on mopeds in NYC isn't weird enough, the whole article has a renaissance fair as its backdrop.

Think about this one next time you're pulled over.