Category: Uncategorized


Well as many of you know I headed to Indianapolis on Thursday of last week to attend GenCon.  For those of you who do not know GenCon is a gaming convention (board games, role-playing games, etc..).  If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a place for geeks to get together, play games, dress up in costumes they can’t wear in their 9-5 life and just have a plain old good time.

Here are the highlights.

The Drive

I got to drive the Miata with the top down almost the entire way up and all of the way back.  Nothing like a summer drive with the top down…nothing!

New Shoes

Stopped in the crazy huge mall in Florence Kentucky (outside Cincinnati) and picked up some cool new shoes.

The Games

Played in the “Catan” World Championship qualifier and did terrible.  The winner got a trip to Germany to compete in the World Championship.  Oh well, guess I’ll try next year.  As usual I played in some Pathfinder Society adventures (role-playing game) which is always a blast.

Nightlife

Indy has a pretty cool nightlife.  Tons of bars and clubs open to the wee hours, all within walking distance.  As we were walking around I just happened to see a cool flyer on the ground.  It was for “The Afterparty” which I thought was very boastful.  There were probably lots of parties but this was THE afterparty.  It went on to say the following:

10 DJs from around the region.  Industrial, Goth, Electro, Aggrotech, Synthpop, Noise & Dark Trance

So, thanks to a map conveniently printed on the back I was off on a grand journey.  Suffice it to say I stayed out until about 4am that night.  Most of the time was spent dancing but there were a few drinks consumed here and there.  Most guys don’t like to dance but this music just makes you want to.  There were no lyrics, just hard hitting electronic music that made you get up and dance.  Not just dance, it made you give everything you had.  After a few minutes it was just me, the dance floor and the music.  No one else existed.  My head was drenched in sweat but I kept on.  Twice I had to take breaks for water and because I was exhausted.  Someone even spilled a drink on me but I wasn’t phased in the least.  I had only one desire, to dance.  It was so intense, my neck is still sore today (from all the headbanging).

While walking back to the Hotel room I encountered an attractive young woman named Rydia.  We had such a great conversation that I ended up walking her back to her Hotel.  She was helping run some of the events at the convention, played RPGs, and was an actress by profession.  She gave me her e-mail address and said to get up with her during next year’s con if I wanted to go out dancing.  I’m pretty sure I will.

Photos

Here are some photos for your consumption.  Brian Marcus helped take a few of these for me.

Who knew they had metal deer in Indiana?

The factory on the right actually produces goodwill but it looks like steam.

Me getting gas.  Wonderful Indiana countryside.  I’m pretty sure that car behind us is none other than Fred Flintstone.  He’s after my fruity pebbles!

Louisville on the Ohio River.  A crazy awesome gaming board.  A bunch of people playing Dungeons & Dragons.

Snyder vs Snyder

Try walking down the potato chip aisle and I’m sure you’ll come across Snyder pretzels or chips.  Upon closer inspection you’re sure to find not one brand of Snyder snacks but two distinct brands.  I’m talking about Snyder of Berlin and Snyder’s of Hanover.

**WARNING**  The following may be unsuitable for people who love potato chips!

To get the facts I went deep undercover in the gritty underworld of Snack Foods.  I spent two years of life trying to figure out the facts of these two seemingly similar snack food companies.  Turns out I got in way over my head.  Eventually the snack food executives found me out and I had to run for my life.

Luckily I escaped with my life but very little facts.  Sure these two snack food companies have similar names and sell similar products but hold on, there’s more.  Both are from Pennsylvania (this is getting creepy!).  The real kicker is that they are both located in cities that bare German names (Snyder of Berlin & Snyder’s of Hanover).

These two companies are so easily confused that they have disclaimers on the packages stating they are not the other company.  I’m sure these guys hate each other.

My favorite memory with one of these companies (I don’t remember which because I get them confused) happened several years ago.  While visiting my cousin John in the great city of Lexington, Ky we purchased a bag of Snyder chips.  To our delight, the bag proudly claimed the best guarantee I’ve ever seen in my life.  On the bag was, “We guarantee you might like these chips”.  Whoa, that is a guarantee you can really stand behind.

I still don’t understand these two companies but one thing is for sure, they make awesome snacks.  So the next time you’re walking down the potato chip aisle of your local grocery store, pick up a bag of Snyder or Snyder’s chips / pretzels.  I guarantee you might like them.

That’s what is on the mind of one individual from Kentucky Avenue in the smallest city in Virginia, Norton.  See you soon!

Memorial Day

Memorial Day should be a special day for every American.  For me it’s about giving thanks to the past and present members of our armed forces and for those special family members and friends who have passed on.  It’s also a day for reflection on what it means to live in our great country.

Foremost in mind is recognizing the heroic deeds, self-sacrifice and dedication of our men and women in the military.  In the Revolutionary War they prevailed over the greatest empire of the age so that we might live free.  World War II saw our soldiers engaged in a battle against an evil so great that it threatened the peace and stability of the world.  Let us not forget the heroes of the Korean War who are indeed most often forgotten.  Our hearts and minds are with those currently on duty overseas or at home.  Your commitment is not forgotten, nor shall it ever be!

It’s kind of funny that I don’t have many close friends or family in the military.  The only one is my brother’s brother-in-law.  He has recently joined the ranks of the Navy Reserve and I wish him the best.  I have also had the honor of knowing some very good people (customers) who have either served their time or are currently serving in the military (most are Marines too).  Thanks to all of you who have given so much in the defense of our country and to those who are currently giving.

FREEDOM ISN’T FREE

People bat this phrase around all the time but I don’t believe they truly understand it.  I personally like to break it down into “FREEDOM” and “ISN’T FREE”.  Our soldiers give up the best years of their lives, connections to family and in some cases their life.  There is a price to pay.  “FREEDOM” usually gets watered down, used too often and cheapened.  When you think freedom it should conjure up strong emotions deep within yourself.  Our freedoms are the most valuable assets we have as Americans.

Recently I feel a sentiment has been growing where citizens are more concerned about security than our freedoms.  Go too far down that path and very soon we’ll be saying “SECURITY ISN’T FREE”.  I don’t want to go down that road.  Security is an important by-product of our soldiers fighting for our freedoms.  Let’s not get those two switched around.  Our soldiers at Valley Forge that cold, cold winter were not fighting for the safety of the American people.  They were fighting for freedom.  Because they fought for freedom and won, we gained a measure of security.  We all want to be safe.  I just don’t want to be safe at the cost of my freedom.

For those of you who are Christians, let us give thanks to all those who came before us.  Those many whose faith was so solid they gave their lives for what they believed in.  Our present day life would not be possible except for their noble sacrifices.

None of us would be who were are today except for the sacrifices of those who came before us.  Happy Memorial Day and God bless you!

That’s what is on the mind of one individual from Kentucky Avenue in the smallest city in Virginia, Norton.  See you soon!