Hammock Fun

September 20, 2013

I recently received my Pares Hammock from Sierra Madre Research, and it is amazing! I’ve had the chance to string it up a couple of times and I really love it. Check out their website http://www.sierramadreresearch.com (for some reason my wordpress app is acting up and it won’t let me make a link). They are super cool and really work to advocate change in our world. Please take a few minutes to look at what they’re about and if you’re in the market to get a hammock or want to preorder one of the most innovative and complete hammock shelters available that website above is where to do it. Here are some pictures of my wife and me having fun in my Pares:

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And one of it all packed up:

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Another Non-Post

September 18, 2013

I’m running a bit behind today it’s been a crazy hectic week, so I don’t really have anything new to share but I wanted to link you over to my buddy Joseph’s blog. This post is a rare post of honesty amidst a sea of people wanting to hide the truth. I hope you enjoy it.

I’ve got three things I think everyone should check out. First, if you haven’t gotten in on the Dresdenverse, you should. Harry Dresden is a wizard who happens to be a private investigator. Jim Butcher has taken the fantasy of wizards, faeries, vampires, etc, and done a splendid job of setting it in modern times. The latest book out is Cold Days. It has lived up to the rest of the series so far.

Second on the agenda today, if you like food and you like podcasts, you need to check out Spilled Milk. It’s a fun, relatively short form (between 15 and 30 minutes usually) podcast about food. They eat things, rate them, and share recipes. It’s funny and straight forward. I’ve really enjoyed it.

Finally, Popcap Games has come out with a sequel to Plants vs. Zombies, arguably one of the best tower defense games ever. It’s called, simply, Plants vs. Zombies 2. It is fun, frustrating at times, and funny. These guys over at Popcap Games have done it again. Check it out. It’s free on iPhone, iPod, and iPad. You have nothing to lose and fun to gain.

Arts and Gardens

August 14, 2013

Yesterday we went to The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. Admission is free on Tuesday evenings, so it definitely has that going for it. I’m not a huge museum person, but as museums go, this one was very nice. They currently have a car exhibit with concept art for all these “cars of the future” from yesteryear. They also have several rare cars on display. The art hit a broad range of eras and styles from more traditionalist to abstract to some classic surfboards.

What I really enjoyed, however, was the gardens. They are huge and expansive. There is an Italian garden, an English garden, and a tea garden with stone cup-like chairs. I would love to see it all in bloom. They are currently working on renovating some areas and redoing others. I highly recommend checking it all out. In the words of one of the TV stars from my youth, “You don’t have to take my word for it.”

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I have been playing a lot of Munchkin lately and I still love playing it. I can get bored or tired of something when I play it enough, but Munchkin never seems to get old for me. Maybe it’s because there are so many different sets to play and/or mix up. I know I’ve blogged about it before, but I’ve been playing a couple times a week and I just can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s so much fun! Go out and befriend someone who owns a set or two or buy some yourself. You can thank me later.

Along the same note, I’ve been listening to Munchkinland, a podcast about Munchkin. They play games of Munchkin and answer listener questions. It’s funny to listen to these guys play and describe the cards and actions they are doing.

Finally, I’ve recently purchased some new D&D 4E books for a campaign I’m putting together for some friends. I love reading through and gleaning ideas for characters and stories. If you’re into the fantasy RPG scene but haven’t gotten into 4E, check it out. A lot of the stuff is starting to/about to go on sale because fifth edition is in the works.

What are you into right now?

Family Time & Baseball

July 24, 2013

It has been a busy and full, yet fun, half a week. My eldest sister and her husband came to visit (along with their dog) last Friday and there has been something going on every evening since then. We’ve had a lot of fun between eating, birthday parties, a wedding (my wife and I went to that), church (where we had a VBS presentation by the kids who attended VBS), painting (my mother and sister painted my bathroom while I was at work one day), leaking refrigerators, and a Mississippi Braves baseball game all while I have been working my regular 8-5 hours (8-2 Saturday). It’s been packed, but I’ve loved getting to spend time with my family and especially my brother-in-law who isn’t always able to make the trip to visit because of work. I’m so glad my family gets along and we enjoy spending time together. We’re not perfect, but we love each other and look out for one another. I’d encourage everyone to seek out a group of people who care for each other, albeit nobody will be in a good mood and easy to be around 100% of the time, knowing you have a family (whether its your actual family or just a tight knit group of friends) is a wonderful thing and gives you a baseline from which to measure and analyze what the world throws at you and a safe haven from the craziness that can so easily drag us down.

As I mentioned, we went to an MBraves game and it was a lot of fun. I highly recommend getting out to see a game and enjoy Trustmark Park. The Braves beat the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, and it was a pretty good game, though several innings were uneventful. If you’re like me, part of a ball game is ballpark food. I enjoyed the food a little too much. For future trips I will stick with the hotdogs and sausage dogs, the burger was ok, but the dogs were better. Here’s a collage of a few pics I took of the cool moon over the ballpark last night.

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I go through phases where I listen to a lot of different stuff. Right now I’m working my way through some podcasts I’ve been listening to off and on for a while.

First off, Penny Arcade’s podcast, Downloadable Content, is back. After many years of being gone, they had a Kickstarter and brought it back! I’m so pumped about it. If you enjoy their comics and other projects, you will most likely enjoy their podcast. Fair warning, there is a fair bit of language, so it’s not really for the little ones or those who swearing bothers.

Next, I’ve been catching up on Critical Hit, a podcast of the Major Spoilers crew playing D&D. They’ve been doing their campaign since 2009. It’s a really fun and funny listen. I tend to listen to it in chunks. I’ll listen a whole bunch to catch up, then I won’t listens for a while so they can get ahead again because I don’t like waiting a week between episodes to see what happens next. The language ratio is fairly low as well, though it is still there, so you may want to be careful with little ears around. It can be frustrating to listen to. At times I find myself talking to my iPad, telling them not to do what they’re about to do or wishing I could hear what a different choice would’ve brought about. All in all, it’s a good podcast of people playing a fun game.

Finally, I’ve been listening to another Major Spoilers crew podcast, Munchkin Land. They play Munchkin. They’ve hit all the base sets and are doing mixed sets now. It’s interesting listening and has given me some very munchkin-like ideas for the games of Munchkin I play. The harsh language rating is also fairly low in this one, though there are some slips.

What podcasts do you like listening to and why?

Cool Stuff

July 10, 2013

Everyone knows about the spreader bar hammock that just isn’t all that comfortable, but more and more people are finding out about camping hammocks, or gathered end hammocks, and how comfortable, easy to pack, and functional they are. A lot of strides are being made in this area with materials and designs. Here’s a handful of hammock companies I think are doing cool things:

1. Kammok has a Kickstarter going for their new rain fly that catches rain water in vessels for those who can’t carry enough water on their journey.

2. The Hennessy Hammock company has made awesome strides in the all-in-one camping hammock, including a bottom entry that automatically closes when your body weight moves to reclining.

3. Hummingbird Hammocks has a Kickstarter going as well. They are making a huge, multi-person hammock.

Check out these companies and back the Kickstarter campaigns if you can. Have a great day!

Vox VT40+

May 31, 2013

First, I’m sorry today’s post is late. It’s been a crazy week and, along with working late several days, I’ve been somewhat distracted by my new amp. That amp is the subject of my post today. The Vox Valvetronix VT40+ is a combo modeling amp with a what Vox calls their valve reactor technology. This gives the amp the valve/tube amp sound to a great degree. One of the other really cool features is the adjustable power level control that let’s you decide how much wattage output you want/need, within parameters depending on the model you get (the VT40+ let’s you go from 0-60 watts). Overall it’s a pretty rocking amp with 33 different amp models to choose from and of course you can use it as an amp in its own right when you switch it to manual. I’ve enjoyed learning about it even though the learning curve is a little steep, especially if you’ve never used a modeling amp before. A read or two through the instruction manual got me well on my way to really being able to have fun with the amp and do some great stuff with the built in effects. I highly recommend this amp to anyone looking for an upgrade or for something with power but that is still small enough to carry around to a buddies house or for small venues. This is going to be my go-to amp for a while I think.

What’s your go-to amp?

Today I thought I might share some of what I’ve been listening to this past week.

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To start off, I’ve been listening to Jon Acuff’s book, “Quitter.” This book is really good. I’ve enjoyed the insight and learning from his mistakes. He has a great sense of humor and that is woven into the book. If you’re trying to follow a dream, read or listen to this book. It will give you some helpful tips.

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I’ve also been listening to Jake Shimabukuro’s latest album, “Grand Ukulele.” This man does amazing and unbelievable things with the ukulele. He can make music you never would’ve dreamed of coming from this four stringed instrument. Absolutely amazing. If you haven’t heard him, check out his YouTube channel and download some of his stuff. You can also check out the documentary on him called, ” Life on Four Strings” that is coming on PBS tonight. In the Jackson-Metro area of Mississippi it will be on at 8:00PM. It should be really good.

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Finally, this week I’ve rediscovered how amazing “The Muppets Soundtrack” is. This album is filled with songs you will be joyfully humming for days afterword. I can’t help but smile anytime I listen to this soundtrack. I highly recommend it and the film. They will bring you the “world’s third greatest gift; laughter.”

What have you been listening to recently?

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