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Lanky Nibs
Montana, USA
Interests: Rock and roll geekery
Recent Activity
"Oh how I've realized, how I wanted time Put into perspective, tried so hard to find Just for one moment I thought I'd got my way Destiny unfolded-- I watched it slip away" Good one. I may not have gotten the new story collection yet but I share many of your musical influences. Your musical cues are a Division above many other popular internet personalities. And you make rather enjoyable t-shirts. From time to time. Good luck on the new book, sir.
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Such wonders have been wrought I felt, nay, was COMPELLED to wander down from my hermitage in the Darklands, where I have spent many mysterious and minacious moons in blessed seclusion away from the brayings, yammerings and scratchings of the Commonwealth. Word reached me even there from The Gygaxian Monks of Arneson who claimed to have witnessed the most terrifying and bedazzling bit of wizardweaving yet seen in more than a thousand years of Stone Reckoning. A magical totem with such staggering amounts of The Awesome woven into its very fabric that, if one were to don it, surely their might, measure and mien (not to mention their ability to win the affections of the occasional barmaid or Pleasure Faire princess) would increase to terrifying levels. No base, craven fool am I to sit idly be and watch such a wondrous, formidable gift slip from my grasp...yet again. Sold and sold again, sir! May the High Priestess of D'Amberville grant you her most powerful invocation to ensure that whatever beatific Muse has kissed your brow with so divine an inspiration it continues to bestow such blessings upon you.
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2010 on never forget your roots at WWdN: In Exile
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There's ample audio and video on this YouTube vidset: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSLDfAgbOh4 Hope that doesn't step on anyone's toes legally or anything. Just letting you all know it's there. Nearly as cathartic and galvanizing as the first keynote at PAX Prime '07. Much to digest. Between that speech and an imminent read through of my recently received copy of SubPress' Happiest Days... edition, I feel a very, very lengthy love poem of a post coming to a blog post near you. Thanks for supplying the willpower to pick my head up once again, push out my scrawny chest once more, pump my fist prominently in the air and proudly proclaim myself a Geek. Hear us roar! Sorry again if the link is overstepping. I'll understand if you have to take it down at some point.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2010 on in which wil feels homesick at WWdN: In Exile
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Important news (finally) about the limited hardcover HDOOL and a Smiths song quote for an article title. Apology accepted, sir :).
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Perfect timing! Here I was just wondering to myself about what I was going to start reading once I finish Zahn's Outbound Flight in a few short pages. Well...errr...probably The Ravenor Omnibus or K.S.'s Batman: Cacophony but, fear not, old friend. Your new book will certainly be hoisted to the top of the Must-Read book heap once those are finished :). Seriously, I'm glad that you finally "gave birth" to your bouncing bundle of bookly joy. Looking forward to going back in time to a period in my life when TNG and the other Trek shows really warped my plasma manifold...um, I mean, were sort of special to me. Thanks for the memories!
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I had the same problem last night when I ordered. Instead of being re-directed back to the 10Quick Steps site, I got a validation error message. All I had to do to resolve the situation was to just send David an email, with my PayPal transaction ID and a brief explanation of the problem, and he sorted me out with a YouSendIt link the following morning. Not sure if that is a viable solution to the server problems his site is experiencing anymore, now that the demand has increased considerably since last night when I ordered. The problem's already probably sorted out by this point. I'll probably scroll down a few pages and see this issue already addressed by somebody else's comments :). Anyway, just want to say thanks to David for sorting out my ordering situation so swiftly. Excellent customer service.
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At least the rebound effect from this inconsiderate act has been that your plea has motivated me and several others here it seems to actually pay out for a copy of the audiobook. I, too, bought a copy of Just A Geek in book form but I figure I'd help to defray some of the financial damage that this dude-who-shall-not-be-named may have inflicted on you and your family by buying an audiobook in place of at least one that got away on that guy's site. I've continually meant to make purchases of the audiobook versions of JAG and HDOOL anyway but never seemed to want to "pull the trigger" as a previous poster put it until now. I'm still going to hold off on the audio version of HDOOL until I actually read the *ahem* Special Edition first. Been waiting to read that for awhile, so I have no problem waiting a while longer :). Unfortunately, I got LinkLok'd during the PayPal transaction while paying for the JAG audiobook and wasn't able to download the audio file just yet (Anyone else have this problem?). I've shot off a mail to David trying to sort out where the transaction went south out, so hopefully I'll work things out and get the download file by the weekend. All good things, eh ;). Hope the dude-who-shall-not-be-named-and-shamed will see this online plea of yours and rectify the situation before too much time passes. Remember to play nice, kids, in this digital sandbox.
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I love The Big Bang Theory. I love that you are going to be on a show that I love. Ergo, I love being a geek in the modern era. The Christmas episode from Season 2 is one of THE most hilarious things I have seen on American television airwaves in years. Many a LOL was laid down in the course of viewing that episode. Jim Parsons deserved an Emmy solely for the scene where Penny gives Sheldon a DNA-soaked napkin signed by His Holy Spockness Himself, Leonard Nimoy. It was brilliantly played as both poignant and piss-in-your-pants funny. With the threat of straining the sentiment to it's sycophantic stress-limit, I, too, congratulate you for landing a role on one of the best sitcoms to come along in a long while, and can't wait to see the finished product.
Toggle Commented Sep 26, 2009 on unraveling the mystery at WWdN: In Exile
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That JoCo introduction was indeed hectares of hawesomeness. However, the aplomb and killer comic timing you exhibited at the "Pitch Your Own Game Idea" panel, when that goon attempted to goad you by pitching the idea of a game involving an under-age actor on a popular television show not being able to consort with his co-stars in adult forms of entertainment, personifies to me why you should be named Geek Pope. Your response (paraphrased), "I played that game, sir. I BEAT that game!" was delivered with pure and utter class in an uncomfortable situation. It is moments like that one that remind me of why you are steeped in the awesome sauce and guys like me...well...aren't :). I absolutely regret not going to PAX this year but, after hearing of all of the ensuing ailments, I may have made the right choice. Ummm...no, not at all. Everyone of us that could've should've been at PAX09. Frak me.
Toggle Commented Sep 10, 2009 on in which a proclamation is made at WWdN: In Exile
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I just turned 38 in June myself. It's extremely odd to have aged so much yet still feel so young. Reading your blog here and your tweets there, being reminded of cultural touchstones that we both grew up with, the yawning chasm of time between here and t(h)en doesn't seem so wide or so long ago. Thanks for helping me revisit the geekery gone by from my childhood that I don't always remember. Some stuff, particularly that pertaining to a galaxy far, far away, will remain forever etched in the stone-like edifice of memory. Hope you have a happy birthday, dude. Like a previous Star Trek alum once proclaimed, "Live long and prosper".
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Shake your bones out on the street, shake that stroll down through your feet! Bone-shaker, bone-shaker, bone-shaker, bone-shaker, bone-shaker, bone-shaker, bone-shaker, baaaaabyyyyy!! I'm sorry, what were we talking about before that Fiendish fugue state stormed my brain? Yes, your friend's book. I'm intrigued from the title alone. Also cool to hear you contributed to the upcoming Brutal Legend game. Wil(l) have to check them out. Thanks for the reminder.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2009 on the clockwork century at WWdN: In Exile
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I'm hopelessly behind with your blog entries so I've given up attempting to make any timely, relevant comment posts. For this one, however, I must make an exception. The fact that it was posted on my birthday makes it extra ultra delicious. Having just revisited your keynote address on the PAX 2007 DVD, then coming here and reading your unearthed mental arcade-related arcana, I felt the disparate pieces of my own childhood experiences spent slamming quarters in ancient arcades slot neatly into place, forming a wonderful, multi-faceted mosaic of memories in my mind's eye. Memories I will cherish for as long as my atrophying brain can hold onto them. So, thank you for the brainwave boost, as well as the belated birthday gift of precious memories that your article, and the sentiments you've shared in public venues, has awoken in me. Wil and I share not only the similar experiences of growing up gamers and huge geeks in 1980s Southern California, but also one of the rarest traits any two gamers possibly can: we could each fit our full common first names in the 3-character limit on the high score lists without using initials. Suck on that, you long-named bastids :)! Oh yeah, everyone who has ever been to one in their youth knows that the only thing that could possibly have rivaled the arcade room at a Shakey's Pizza Parlor in a young person's brain at that time was a plateful of the round Mojo potatoes. We gobbled those babies up as greedily as Pac-Man did his power pellets. Eat 'em up, yum!
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Thanks for the updates. Been wondering what the hell happened to The Happiest Days Special Edition. Now I know. Bring on those new books! I'm sure they'll be worth the wait.
Toggle Commented May 13, 2009 on status updates and a keyboard cat at WWdN: In Exile
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Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful post. I originally came across that Earth-rise footage elsewhere on the interweb a few months ago. I was so inspired by what I saw in that JAXA footage that I felt compelled to try to sow that seed of inspiration and tried posting about that footage wherever I could. I very nearly sent that original link to you, knowing that it would probably knock your sense of wonder's socks off. Ultimately I decided against it since I figured it would just get lost amid the legion of hyperlinks that you probably have to process on a daily basis. Glad you found it on your own. It's such a beautiful illustration of what Sagan himself described as "the subtle machinery of awe." How can you not feel moved being a sentient being on this good earth, looking back at yourself in that footage? Pro-fucking-found barely begins to cover it. What better day than Earth Day to regain your sense of place in the cosmic scheme of things.
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As hard as it is for some folks to believe, if you play D&D or other RPGs long enough, you will hit the dreaded run of back-to-back bad rolls at the most inopportune moments at some point. I felt so bad for Jerry since I've been on the receiving end of the withering stares and verbal punishment after epically failing a roll at a critical moment in the game. The worst is when you have the ultimate cinematic setup and you royally cock your roll shit up. In a Game Day campaign my friend ran a few years ago, I was kicking ass and taking names with my seductive female sorceress. It was the final encounter with the Big Bad and I had proceeded to pulverize the remaining minions and lackeys surrounding the evil wizard at the end of the room, making a daring, dangerous dash down the side of the hall, on my own, just as my companions who had fought valiantly up the center of the throne room met me at the altar where the wizard stood. There was no escape. He had been peppering mine and other characters with acid arrows all day. We were sick of him. I had one beautiful moment to blast the bastard in the face with my remaining acid arrow spell as fitting retribution for his own acidic assaults. My turn came in the initiative order, the wizard stood frozen in fear on the altar, I made an ominous, threatening pronouncement, all eyes were upon me and...you guessed it...I rolled a fucking 1!!! The DM had me slip very ungracefully on the carpet. Miserable. It's a horrible position to be in. It may be just a game but, at that instant when the cock punches are about to fly, it is the center of a universe of pain. I do hope you and the PA and PVP crew can do more D&D podcasts. They are a blast to listen to.
Toggle Commented Apr 15, 2009 on his. name. is. AEOFEL! at WWdN: In Exile
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Alas, my own Atari 2600 console is ensconced in its leather slipcover "Atari blanket" now, buried deep in a trunk in storage, it's power cord and game cartridges having long since been given away to friends smarter than myself who pull it out of the closet every once in awhile and actually play it. A big beautiful bouquet of memories sits in a vase on a shelf in my mind labelled "ATARI 2600". It was special indeed. Everyone always gives gamers shit about being socially inept but I played games with so many friends and kids from the neighborhood, not to mention complete strangers' kids at doctors' offices and other public meeting places that were clued-in enough to have an Atari system set up for use in the waiting areas, that it felt like an extended family. Everybody I knew had one, or knew somebody that did. If you didn't have a certain game, you could damn well bet your best friend, or his friend, or his cousin, or someone within a few block radius had that cart. If you're family was less fortunate than other people's and you didn't have your own system, you could always go over to someone else's house after school and play it there. You could talk to ten different people at school (if there were that many at your school) about the latest, hottest Atari games of the age, and you'd get ten different viewpoints and sets of strategy tips. It truly was a cultural touchstone for folks my age. To my impressionable young mind, it seemed as if EVERYONE was playing Atari at the time. Though the games may be laughable by today's standards, I loved every one of them that I played. Hours and hours of unrefined, raw joy could be had. I can still remember the Christmas we first got our Atari system. I can still just about remember the days I got Pitfall I & II, River Raid, Adventure, Star Raiders and other sweet carts. Kids who played Superman and Empire Strikes Back did NOT know who they were fucking with. You beat wave after wave of sinister, stomping Imperial Walkers back to hell in your blocky little snowspeeder day after fucking day and you begged for more. I can vividly remember playing the already mentioned classic, Yar's Revenge, at my childhood orthodontist's office. Since children were the doctor's main clientele, he had set aside a little side office as a play area and TV room. Nearly every time I went there, somebody was playing the lone Atari 2600 console and its stack of games. All the kids were bent on getting some Yar's Revenge and ramming some Zorlon smoke right up the evil Qotile bastard's tailpipe. It kept my mind off of the impending dental impressions and palate split horrors that awaited me on the other side of the door at least. How those games held our attention day after day, hour after after is a true testament to how much sheer fun we were having while playing them. I never had as many moments of unfettered fun playing video games later on like the ones my friends and I had playing the Atari 2600 when I was twelve. Jesus, does anybody?
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Take solace in the fact that, had you become the sort of celebrity presence that attracts pools of paparazzi following your every move, you would more than likely not be enjoying the sort of support and respect that you seem to have garnered from the hawesome horde of quality fans and fellow geeks that follow you Twitter and yon around the 'Net these days. I'm sure if you searched long enough, you'd find someone out there who had a banner on their webpage the size (and shape) of a blimp boldly proclaiming "@Wilw is a Pimp!". Stay as accessible as you can, sir, for it is that accessibility that separates you from the paparrazi-plagued Hollywood pack.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2009 on in which wil has a good day at WWdN: In Exile
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Not since your Growing Up Star Wars post has that inner childlike part of me been so roused to sing out in soul-stirring symphony. Reading this post, the yawning chasm of time between then and now contracts to an infinitesimal space in my mind, and I relive the wonder of what it was like to wield the imaginative power of my D&D Basic Set as a 10 year-old boy, as if it happened days, not years, ago. How do you put into words the wonder of it all? I think you've done a damn decent job here. What you've managed to capture is the essence of it, pure and true. I got my D&D Basic Set around 1981. It would've been the one that came out prior to your Red Box edition, in the magenta box with Erol Otus artwork on the cover. I have no recollection now of why I was possessed to possess it, or when exactly I did finally get it but I do remember the absolute delight and sheer excitement that was generated every time I lifted the lid. That boxset went EVERYWHERE with me. For months it was always no more than an arm's length out of reach. I took it on vacations, trips to the relatives' houses, to school, wherever I went. My imagination ran wild whenever I would think about what was inside it. I poured over every page of the books inside the boxset. I bought supplements like the Rogue's Gallery in order to develop new character ideas, and gorged myself on the later AD&D corebooks that came along. Dragon Magazine became an essential purchase every month. There really was no limit to the creative impulses that that Basic Set box of treasure begat in my brain. Our parents' paranoia at the time proved correct to a point. The D&D products at the time were imbued with something magical alright: the power to instill in their young readers' minds amazing flights of fantastic imagination and unfettered, not fiendish, creativity. I've stayed out of the debate in previous post comments regarding which edition of D&D is the One True Ruleset. I can't pretend I'm any kind of proponent of the current 4E rules (everything up through 3.5 is more my bag) but as long as new players and young minds discover the same sort of pure wonder and raw imaginative power that I did when I was a D&D addict at the age of 10 or so, I think the torch will be considered passed on. Regardless of which set of rules you prefer to play your D&D games under, I hope that it still provides a gateway to adventure for you and your hearty companions like few gaming experiences really ever do. You got me so pumped, Wil, I had to dig out my old set and snap some pics for posterity: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8669390@N03/ . Thanks for bringing it all back home again.
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Ahhhh, the perfect post to end the work week, Wil, as my Friday under the Big Sky concludes with a crisp, crystal clear evening sky, the deepening twilight decorated with a wondrously aligned duo comprised of a lucent Venus and its lovely counterpart, the waxing crescent Moon. I had forgotten that we are still in the grip of late Winter up here in the Frozen North but Mother Nature apparently did not. The last few days saw a potent winter storm move into the area, powered by a hefty stormfront off the Pacific Ocean. It was snowing less than 24 hours ago. Now it's closing down the week beautiful and clear. That's Montana for you. One minute you could be caught in the harshest of storms, battling dumping snow or braving the pouring rain, only to have the sun pop out not long after, shining down all innocently like nothing had ever happened. You can't ever let your guard down. Even in the summertime, where it can snow on a whim. The weather is still just as wild up here as some parts of this state full of (natural) treasures. The winters here can be pretty extreme, no question, but it is definitely dependent on the location you happen to live in. Along with the previous poster above, I, too, happen to live in the "banana belt" region of West Central Montana. We live in a valley, surrounded by mountain ranges, so the down sloping winds and screening higher elevations keep our winter temps much milder than other portions of the state by blowing away the snow before it hits the ground, and trapping the colder air on the opposite side of the Continental Divide. NW of where I live, up by Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park, east of the Divide, and south and east in and around Yellowstone National Park, you will suffer cruelly during the winter months. Even if it were only for 3 weeks, the winter bites so deep and severe in those locations that you would absolutely be wondering what cursed god had left you there to die. It still gets butt-numbing cold in my neighborhood, let me tell ya. However, in the relatively short period of time I've lived here in Western Montana, the last few winter's did seem to be a little less severe than they did back in the mid-1990s when I first got here. Speaking as an ex-Californian transplant, you can and do get used to the snow and the cold. It's tough at first but eventually you get the hang of it. Driving in the ice and snow still sucks major ass. THAT I'll never get used to. I moved up to Western Montana about 15 years ago now, after having lived my first quarter century growing up geek in Southern California much like you probably did, Wil (minus the acting and auditions). Around 1994, my sis and I got the bug up our butt to go elsewhere, leave the fetid confines of the smog-filled sludgepit section of Southern California we called home. Both of us spent the rest of the 1990s shuttling back and forth between SoCal, Seattle and Montana until we both found our little niches here and settled in. As of the beginning of this year, however, my situation has become the additive inverse of yours. My sis and her husband caught another bug in the behind and have now moved BACK down to California, leaving me on my own little lonesome in the North Country. I hadn't realized how close we had become until they actually left. We had always felt like a gang, a pack, a band, just us against the world living up here, away from all we had known growing up in smog-choked Southern California suburbia. We shared so many special experiences that I never could explain properly to someone who hadn't lived here to experience them themselves. Even though I can contact them instantly via one technological marvel or another, it's just not the same anymore without them being here in physical form. Going by the house they used to live in leaves a bittersweet tang. They vow they'll be back again in the not-too-distant future. Hope so because I sure miss having them around. Ironically, I had to come all the way up to Montana to discover what a true geek I am. I had packed away my geekly inner leanings along with the rest of my belongings when I moved up here. My geek tendencies had lain dormant until I met a new batch of untamed nerdlings while attending the University which catalyzed my inner geek beast and allowed it to burst forth anew into a blazing bright fanboy phoenix. Since moving to Montana, I've been able to geek the fuck out harder than I ever had down in SoCal growing up. It wasn't until I moved here that I truly accepted that I was just a geek at heart. As geek havens go though, you could do much worse than Western Montana. Here in the Garden City, we've got our very own annual sci-fi/fantasy/gaming convention, our own minor league hockey team, and a few impressive little indie record stores. There are also several decent places to procure precious role-playing game supplies. Oh, yeah, and the "No Sales Tax" thing is pretty handy at times, too. If you ever wanted to come for a visit, I'm sure there would be a dedicated little group of Wheaton disciples here to welcome you with open arms (and gaming tables). Sorry, I tend to talk and talk. A lot. Shutting up, sir.
Toggle Commented Feb 28, 2009 on my awesome brother at WWdN: In Exile
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I was impressed both by how professionally packaged the book turned out being when I received it, as well as how speedy the entire process was from the point where you first put it up for purchase on your blog, to the moment I bought it, and Lulu got on the ball, banged out a copy and shipped it off. Wrapped in a glorious green, glossy cover and squarebound spine even. Mmm-mmm. A damn fine slice of cherry pie, ma'am. Would've loved to have had a little more original Wheaton-wrought material in the collection but, hey, if my money goes to support more original material in the future, it was worth it. The immediacy and accessibility of this whole print-on-demand process is what works the most thrillingly for me. I have to say, sitting down at the laundromat on the drab February evening following the one on which I received my copy of Sunken Treasure, it was quite a peculiar experience seeing the very same month used as the date with which Wil signed off his "Author's Note". Being used to the idea that the author of the book I hold in my hands usually has written the foreword or introduction to his or her book months, sometimes even years, in advance of the current date upon which I choose to read it, I couldn't help but smile and think to myself how the future is sneaking up rapidly upon us. If only the SubPress limited edition of Happiest Days Of Our Lives could find its way into my greedy, waiting clutches as swiftly. I've refrained from reading or listening to any audio passages from HDOOL until I receive my copy of the collector's edition. Please, please, give me a sign that it is nearing completion! Since HDOOL is the only collection of your original work remaining that I haven't read, I've been drawing things out, waiting patiently for the SubPress release to savor the moment. I don't know how much longer I can hold off listening to the audio excerpts that have been posted. Nonetheless, excellent work by all involved in the Crazy Idea That Turned Out To Be Madly Successful And Rather Awesome one. Here's hoping we see more like it. It's exciting to feel a part of a fan community that can come together and bring something like this to fruitful reality. What wonders await us?! The Future, ain't it cool :).
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2009 on just paint what you see at WWdN: In Exile
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*WEARS SHEEPISH GRIN* Umm...now I feel guilty. I realize now that I actually dropped a decent-sized BSG spoiler in my comment on one of your previous Aaron Douglas posts. Sorry, to you, Wil, and others if I ruined any surprises back there. I couldn't quite comprehend then, I guess, that any self-respecting geek worth his or her salt has gotten themselves behind on new Battlestar episodes. Consider any future comments of mine to be purged of any possible spoilers. Anyone seeking revenge, a small window still exists to spoil stuff right back for me since I haven't seen the latest episode from last Friday night yet :p. I still have vivid, blissful memories of sitting in a theater as a kid and watching the Buck Rogers In The 25th Century movie (the one that preceded the television series) back-to-back (in a science-fiction double feature) with Disney's The Black Hole movie. The TV show came on at just the right time between Star Wars films. It allowed me to become a devoted viewer. Besides all the high-flying, space-faring adventure and spaceships and hawk-headed dudes and Tigermen, there was something about seeing Erin Gray every week in interesting new outfits that helped my nearly pubescent mind believe that Buck Rogers was one of the coolest shows ever. It certainly would be a headtrip to meet old Gil Gerard at some convention these days. Too bad to hear that he turned into such a spoiler monkey :).
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The fact that simple, commonplace implements of culture like phone booths have all but vanished sometimes freaks me the f*&k out if I stop to expend some brain cells on the thought. I remember phone booths everywhere. Watch any TV show or movie from the last century and somebody's bound to be stepping out of one of the damn things. Roy Batty even walked out of one in freaking Blade Runner for chrissakes! And that movie was supposed to be some sort of sci-fi template for a future yet to come, man!! No one save Clark Kent (and he's fictional) perhaps really misses the filthy things these days. It's just wild to me that those once-ubiquitous cultural mainstays are all but extinct now. There are probably plenty of other things from my youthful years, like the already mentioned 5.25" floppy disks, one could point to and proclaim extinct. Somewhere along the way, culture sure did shift on me. Just go to any mall in America and watch the kiddies trundle by tapping merrily away on their cellphones or personal electronic devices. Some groups of teens hardly even seem to physically interact or socialize with their corporeal companions sitting right next to them because they are all too busy texting or tweeting to virtual representations of friends elsewhere. The future shapes itself right in front of my eyes whenever I go out in public now. Sometimes I stand in awe of it all while other times I'm simply left less than satisfied or downright disappointed. I turn 38 this year but it doesn't even seem possible that such advances have happened in that relatively short span. It is mindblowing to think that I've lived through the entire evolution of video gaming entertainment. I can remember playing games at friends' houses on Colecovision and Intellivision systems and thinking then that the future had arrived. Who didn't think to themselves at the time, while playing Summer and Winter Olympics, Karateka or Ghostbusters on the Commodore 64, how life or technology could get any better or cooler than that moment? To think back on how enthralled my young self and friends were at the dawn of console gaming, playing games like Pitfall, River Raid or Star Raiders then look ahead to the present day at the sort of experiences I have with my Xbox 360 console, it is almost inconceivable that the two are inextricably linked somewhere along the line. That technological evolution occurred in my lifetime! It's like reading about a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a science textbook, or seeing the bones of one in a museum, then looking out of the window at the fat crow fighing over some fast food garbage carelessly tossed on the ground with his avian amigos and imagining how the two creatures could somehow be evolutionarily linked. It can truly give me pause sometimes to think of all the technological and cultural advancements that have occurred in my relatively brief time on the planet. Not too long ago I had to explain myself on a music messageboard when I happened to mention cardboard CD longboxes that new compact discs used to come packaged in. At first I thought the younger posters were joking when they had no idea what I was talking about. Then the realization dawned that some things I experienced may have no context in the current cultural landscape. Just as I have no cultural reference point for the use of a chamberpot or a telegraph machine, phone booths and video rewinders will probably become discarded relics to future generations, only appearing in pop culture period recreations of life in the late 20th century, ancient and abandoned cultural curiosities. My sister recently gave me some old family photographs she found in one of her old photo albums (remember those!). In one of the photos, my barely-teen self is seen sitting in the airport, decked out in my Ocean Pacific boardshorts and Town & Country t-shirt, waiting to board what was then my first big-boy airplane flight to visit relatives in Texas. On my lap in the photo sits a peculiar metallic object the size of oh say an old school lunchbox (remember those!) but flattened in height, with large clunky looking buttons and wires coming out of it. I stared at it for awhile, wracking my brains trying to think of what it was. Finally, it came to me: that was my brother's old Walkman! It was indeed one of the original early Sony Walkman models my brother had gotten at some point in the early to mid-1980s and had passed on to me to take on the family trip. Decades from now perhaps I may look upon that antique Walkman in my old faded photograph in a way similar to how I might currently inspect an artifact visible in a Civil War-era daguerreotype photograph if I saw it today. On one hand that thought chills me to the core, on the other it seems rather fascinating. Even in my own personal experience culture has moved on so significantly that I can barely recognize the things that were quite important to me at various times in my life.
Toggle Commented Feb 21, 2009 on Geek in Review: The Musical Future at WWdN: In Exile
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Sunken Treasure is sitting on my desktop, glossy cover gleaming in the glow of dome lighting above me, begging me to reach out and read from it; the new Penny Arcade D&D Podcast is primed and ready to roll in my download directory; insider reports are possibly upcoming from a sneak screening of the must-see geek genre picture of the year, if not possibly the damn decade, answering the soon-to-be ubiquitous question "Who watches the Watchmen?" It would seem that the fortune that has been smiling down is a two-way street for Wil Wheaton fans. The continuing good fortune you have been receiving more and more lately, due to your growing allure as a geek celeb, seems to be having an inspirational effect on you, providing the impetus in you to propel yourself forward with more special projects, which then get passed on to the eager waiting horde (strength and honor!) of an ever-increasing and appreciative fanbase, who then stump for you wherever they can thus increasing the aforementioned allure. It's all a quid pro quo, reciprocating process in my eyes. Everyone seems to benefit from the boons your career keeps placing in your path. I'm proud to help boost you up on our virtual shoulders to allow the rest of the world to get a glimpse of our Geek Prime. If anyone is going to represent the "face" of geekdom today to the square normals of the world, I couldn't think of anyone better to don such a resplendent mantle. Make us proud, sir. Make us, proud. Oh, and any more cool loot you wanna throw our way wouldn't hurt either :). Seriously, it's awesome to see awesome things piling up in your lap, Wil. You've worked hard, you've persevered, you've maintained your personal integrity in spite of what I can only imagine is a constant pressure-cooker to conform to what the entertainment world deems to be "cool" and "what the kids want." I know I wouldn't be able to handle it. I'm glad that you have been seemingly able to come through such a crucible, forged into the likeness of someone likable. Someone we can all respect. "It's like [The Universe] gave you something man, all those stories you can make up. And [It] said, "this is what we got for ya kid, try not to lose it." Whatever you got, don't lose it, man. Sincerely.
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I'm impressed with the quick turnaround time from Lulu. I ordered the US edition yesterday evening after work and I got confirmation that it shipped this morning. Can't wait to read your little green binary-coated book of wisdom. My head has been so abuzz from all the talk of d20s and Button Men dice chattering away amidst the social bonding that I've seriously been contemplating doing something that, frankly, I never thought I'd ever be contemplating: becoming the GM of my own gaming group. The local comic shop was having a two-for-one sale on RPG books so I splurged on some Dark Heresy Warhammer 40K stuff this evening. So, all totalled, I'd say you owe me $150 counting the $90 I spent on that SW encyclopedia set after reading the Growing Up Star Wars post ;). You do know how to fuel a fellow geek's passions. If you only knew the power your words wield! Guess I should just stop failing my Wil saves. Hah! There's the new slogan for your next t-shirt: WIL SAVES! Thanks again for providing us all with the map to your Sunken Treasure book and the bonus audio link download. It's all greatly appreciated.
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The sound of polyhedral dice clattering across a tabletop will continue to be a sweet symphony to these ears. May you always roll 20s, dude!
Toggle Commented Feb 13, 2009 on the best ten minutes of the day at WWdN: In Exile
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