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Tycho / 4 hours ago

So I think I need to transform into IT Dad and start controlling some access at the Router Level; a week without regular sleep transformed my son into some kind of marmot.  I solicited tactical advice from others in the caretaker continuum, and learned that not all advice is equally useful.

So, a PAX show isn’t really over until my phone connects to my home wireless network.  That’s the actual line.  So now it’s over, and the Long Project of cataloging it may begin.  I saw a couple trends manifest on the showfloor that I’d already been watching, and it was a pleasure to be so close to what constituted a roaring indie furnace; I warmed my hands over their youthful enthusiasm.

Much like Boston, all the flights out of San Antonio back to where we are from happen more or less at night.  So there’s a weird, lully, occasionally surreal portion of these trips where you try to pass the time by doing something other than chronomancy or just wishing really hard for time to go.  So, with only an hour before we were all supposed to meet, a group of us ended up out at a shop called Dragon’s Lair that I was well pleased by.  We needed a set of games that would be easily packed and stored, because there was no place to put a…  let’s say, a Power Grid.  So I grabbed Cthulhu Gloom, after my prior (ironically) positive experience with Gloom, Yardmaster, because I saw someone smiling as they played it at PAX, and Samurai Spirits.  But then we only played Samurai Spirits.  For hours.

The way I explained it to Grab’s dad was that it was The Seven Samurai played as a game of co-operative Blackjack.  Well, I said The Magnificent Seven, because fathers of that generation are almost universally obsessed with The Magnificent Seven.  That made sense to him.  But to you, I will say that each character in the game has their own value for “Blackjack,” and the game is about living long enough to help your friends achieve it.

Dabe grabbed it because he’d seen a review of it on Shut Up & Sit Down, a collective with which I agree with far more than I disagree, and for a mercurial chaos wizard such as myself that is a novel quantity.  We snatched a “watch it played” video from Watch It Played while we punched out chits, and then proceeded to get ground the fuck up in its brutal gears, without even pausing between games.  There was never a question about whether or not we were playing it again.  Before we knew it it was time to head to the airport, and in an inversion of expectations there was a part of me that resented the fact.

(CW)TB out.

Post PAX Depression

I had a pretty busy week what with PAX South and all but I still managed to do some sketching on the flight down here to Texas. My goal is to post sketches every Monday so here’s a look at some Daughters I drew on the plane.

(click for larger versions)

I did these in Sketchbook Pro on the Surface Pro 3 since I didn’t have an actual sketchbook with me.

PAX South was a fantastic show. Thanks to everyone who came out and made this first year so incredible. Today’s comic strip was drawn during our Make-A-Strip panel on Saturday. You can watch the entire thing on Twitch right here. All of our panels and lots more are actually available on the official Twitch PAX site. I’ve seen some clips and stuff on YouTube but if you want the real deal watch the full panels on Twitch.

I’m flying back home tomorrow night. I intend to use my last couple days here in San Antonio to remember the Alamo and sample some barbecue. I hear the moose knuckles are especially delicious.

-Gabe out

Tycho / 2 days ago

When I was first in Rome, like 12 years ago, people spoke Italian constantly.  Basically all the time with the Italian.  I expected someone to wink at me eventually and be like, aw, we’re just joshing.  Come on everybody, let’s all speak the sweet English that we secretly crave.

Don’t be too mad; I told you that precisely because it was so ridiculous.  There was a position higher up in the scaffold of my consciousness that was, like, of course they’re speaking Italian.  This is Italy, dude; fuckin’ keep up.  But you need to actually see these things to make a cubby for them in your mind, a place for them to be properly filed.  In the Northwest, I have lived in places that either wished or thought they were Texas, satellite colonies, and so it had only ever been a pose or a reflection.  They had tiny moons on their heads designed to reflect the Texas sun.  But the hats down here are fucking reaaaal.

A friend of mine sent me a text about halfway through the show, saying:


to which I responded:

“The fractal is retained!!!!!”

because the weird curl of the show, the one we began in 2004, has again been planted in a new place and everyone already knows how to do it.  Most of the people at this show had never been to a PAX, or maybe to any kind of con, but it felt exactly right - just as it did in Boston, just as it did in Australia.  And that’s not to say that we can’t improve them, just as we did in the other cases.  But there is a whirling mystery at the core of this thing around which faerie lights swim.  Our job is to stay out of your way at these things, and when we do, a wild PAX inexorably appears.  So, thank you.  I hope we’ll see you again next year, at this place, around this time.

After I had some dinner last night, I was rambling back to my hotel room with the intention of dumping all the lotions, liquids, and washes I had been hoarding all week into the tub.  Then, I was going to roll around in this slurry and molt, restoring my lost youth.  But I saw someone on my way to the elevator whose face I remembered from their Twitter icon, or maybe it was her; I tried to do a mental transform of this face to match the known angle.  And I felt bad, because I thought I’d saw her before that day, and I looked a little too long and then I had to pretend I was looking at a sign very intently.  So I apologized, but it was her!  I said that I would stay down there, if I hadn’t given away my copy of Paperback to a young man earlier.  The guy had seemed like a real dork in the best possible way, in the way that I am a dork, so I knew that Paperback - a combination of Scrabble and Dominion - would be an apt riposte to the Michael Chabon book he had given me.  But then a man within earshot said that he had a copy of Paperback up in his room, and I felt the feeling one gets in their stomach when they are at the top of the rollercoaster, and they are about to go down.

Then Nika Harper brought over a copy of Gloom and, um, some Vodka, and with our new friends we put together a story about a subtle, frankly hilarious war between old families and the Salmonites, a fish-worshipping cult founded on the visions derived from slightly off barbecue.  It was about one in the morning when I got back to my room, and it occurred to me that I had just been to PAX, understood why others might attend also, and shared in the grief of its culmination.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 6 days ago

What constitutes “amazing” for you is dependent on a number of factors; having one’s awesome-ometer calibrated by the modern world almost certainly has an effect on your affect.  I have to say, though, I love the idea that he is already bored with 3D printing.  And I’m glad of it, because I need him to invent the next thing while my sensing organs are still moist.

I have spent the last couple days becoming as Texan as possible, but only by virtue of what constitutes Texaneity to a Northron, which means eating meat with meat on top and a side of meat.  Gabriel and I were in Kansas City ten thousand years ago, we ordered corn there, and instead we received meat with decorative corn.  Presumably the cattle had been fed corn?  In any case, I endorse this entire continuum.  The way this trip ends is gonna be on some God Emperor of Dune shit, where I allow myself to be encased in brisket, and I rule the ruins of a shattered empire as its High Beef Lord.

A friend tried to help me delineate between Tex Mex - which he says is “Mexican food anywhere else” - and “Actual Mexican Food.”  It seemed like Cheddar Cheese was the primary indicator of Tex.  But then he tried to explain all the heretical forks of this continuum, including what he called Tex Mex Mex, Tex Tex Mex, and I think Tex Tex Mex Mex, which seems like it would just be regular old Tex Mex but he was scandalized by the assertion.  In any event, your responsibilities are the same: eat all the stuff.  Especially the “puffy tacos,” which means something else where I’m from.

PAX South starts today.  I won’t be hard to find; I will be the one fighting with a raccoon over some french fries outside the convention.

(CW)TB out.

PAX South Merchandise!

PAX South kicks off tomorrow and Brian asked if I would share our merchandise offerings.

The official PAX shirt this year sports a gorgeous polygonal design. I can say it’s gorgeous because I didn’t make it. No joke I really love this shirt.

You can also get the same design on this rad water bottle:

We also have a new shirt for you LOL players. Or at least the shitty ones like me. Check out our “Surrender at Twenty” design!

We’ll also have plenty of other PA stuff including more shirts, posters, books, hats, toys and pins.

There’s also some cool rewards at this show:

Spend $35 or more and get yourself a PAX South patch.

Spend $65 or more and get the patch AND a pair of PAX South sunglasses.

Spend over $100 and get all that stuff plus the Merch Pinny Arcade pin.

Whenever I can I’ll be hanging around the merch booth for Pin trading, so if you’re looking for me that’s a good spot to check.

See you guys tomorrow, it’s going to be a great PAX!

-Gabe out

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