Archive for April 2015

Food, Cars, and Rock & Roll   Leave a comment

Well, one out of three is a good batting average in baseball, anyway!

On April 29, the day after my birthday, my brother invited me out for supper. I took him up on it. We went here:

Ya gotta like burgers if you  eat here. That's what they do best.

Ya gotta like burgers if you eat here. That’s what they do best.

It’s a fun place. So much fun that I couldn’t help playing with my food.

KY4-29

After supper we went over to where a band was putting on a free show. Rick Linzi and the Roustabouts does old time rock and roll, and they do it really well. The lead singer, Rick, is an Elvis Presley impersonator. He really looks the part, and has a very Elvis-like voice.

Roustabouts3

The drummer is Jim Marsella, and he is really great at it. I like to brag about him, because he is my brother-in-law and a very good friend. These guys are all fantastic musicians.

The drummer is Jim Marsella, and he is really great at it. I like to brag about him, because he is my brother-in-law and a very good friend. These guys are all fantastic musicians.

The show was paid for by Sanderson Ford, a local car dealership. They were also having a big hot rod show with many incredible cars for the public to admire. I went and took pix of some that I thought were really cool, though I admit, I would be really pleased to own any of these vehicles. They are all collectible, all great, and all require more attention and maintenance than I could ever give a car.

Looks like Ford is getting into the ecology business.

Looks like Ford is getting into the ecology business.

Neon motors. Ghostly.

Neon motors. Ghostly.

Let's make it a yellow cab.

Let’s make it a yellow cab.

Ford trucks.

Ford trucks. I think fire engine red like this is my favorite shade of crimson.

Steve Rogers must have come by the show. Here's his car.

Steve Rogers must have come by the show. Here’s his car. Age of Ultron starts tomorrow. I keep seeing these movie reviews by people who are not comcs fans. I am not surprised that they don’t get it. 

Some cars need a little extra room to breathe.

Some cars need a little extra room to breathe.

Beep, beep, my ass! These guys are heroes in the southwest,

Beep, beep, my ass! These guys are heroes in the southwest,

Heh, this blog is Atroll’s Entertainment, and sometimes it is not about science fiction, fantasy, or gaming–just about what makes me happy in life.  Food, cars, and rock & roll will keep me amused most of the time.

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If you’ve seen any hot cars or listened to any great bands or had a good burger, and calories be damned, lately, why not leave a comment?

–end

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Posted April 30, 2015 by atroll in Uncategorized

National Tabletop Day (for me) in Phoenix   2 comments

It’s no secret that I’m a gamer.  Not a fanatical gamer, really–there are other things in my life more important than gaming, and there are many forms of gaming I will have nothing to do with, but on the whole, I support gaming for everyone. So, I’m a Tabletop fan of Wil Wheaton, and I’ve met him once at GenCon, and been in the same room with him perhaps half a dozen times, and he doesn’t know me from Adam, but that’s okay. I like the guy, and I admire what he does, but I’m not a fanboy. 68 year old game designers are a bit beyond the fanboy stage.

However, yesterday was National Tabletop Day, and in the spirit of the occasion, my son James, his friend Harley, and I went out to do some gaming with complete strangers outside the walls of my own castle. We found a new little game shop that just opened last January in west Phoenix, not too far from my place,. and spent about 5 hours there. During that time we played Magic, Munchkin, and Zombie Dice–alas, no Tunnels and Trolls. That would have required too much preparation and planning on my part, but now I know the venue is there, perhaps I will commandeer a table and run a game some time in the future.

Of course I took pictures. So, here’s what my National Tabletop Day looked like.

Here I am at the front door, taking a picture and capturing my reflection in the window.

Here I am at the front door, taking a picture and capturing my reflection in the window.

The guy in blue behind the counter is Jeff. He is one of the partners who runs the place. He's also the "card" guy and a champion Magic player. I was in a 5 way Commander game with him later in the afternoon.

The guy in blue behind the counter is Jeff. He is one of the partners who runs the place. He’s also the “card” guy and a champion Magic player. I was in a 5 way Commander game with him later in the afternoon.

Here I am showing off the store logo. The place provides free wifi, so if I ever wanted to bring a tablet or a laptop and connect to the internet . . .

Here I am showing off the store logo. The place provides free wifi, so if I ever wanted to bring a tablet or a laptop and connect to the internet . . .

My son James is the one who really got me moving and actually involved in Tabletop Day. Without his enthusiasm, I might have just stayed home with my other big interest--comics.

My son James is the one who really got me moving and actually involved in Tabletop Day. Without his enthusiasm, I might have just stayed home with my other big interest–comics.

Most of the tables in the store were plain and functional. But they also had this beautiful painted table.

Most of the tables in the store were plain and functional. But they also had this beautiful painted table.

The store owners provided a feast--sub sandwiches, chips, and soft drinks all free for the gamers who showed up, and that food covered the painted table for most of the afternoon and evening.

The store owners provided a feast–sub sandwiches, chips, and soft drinks all free for the gamers who showed up, and that food covered the painted table for most of the afternoon and evening.

They had various demo games available to play. This was the second game we played during the afternoon.  Quick review: very well tied to the actual cartoon--funny, played well, but the cards were a little hard to read because of the font they used.

They had various demo games available to play. This was the second game we played during the afternoon. Quick review: very well tied to the actual cartoon–funny, played well, but the cards were a little hard to read because of the font they used.

Now I’m jealous. I want a Tunnels and Trolls Munchkin variant.

We actually spent about 2/3 of our time playing this game. A 5-way Commander battle is not a short and easy undertaking. Harley wound up buying cards, so the shopkeepers did make some money from our visit. I'm thinking I might go back for some of their regular tournaments.

We actually spent about 2/3 of our time playing this game. A 5-way Commander battle is not a short and easy undertaking. Harley wound up buying cards, so the shopkeepers did make some money from our visit. I’m thinking I might go back for some of their regular tournaments.

We weren't the only gamers enjoying the place. Here's a maximum-sized group playing Ticket to Ride.

We weren’t the only gamers enjoying the place. Here’s a maximum-sized group playing Ticket to Ride.

And this group was playing Dixit. The redhead actually brought in a cake for the day--I had a small piece. So, how cool is that? I say, let's encourage more girl gamers.

And this group was playing Dixit. The redhead actually brought in a cake for the day–I had a small piece. So, how cool is that? I say, let’s encourage more girl gamers.

It was a very fine way to  spend a Saturday afternoon. I feel like I should apologize to all my friends who spent their Tabletop Day at the Imperial Outpost (which, imho, is far and away the best gaming store in the whole Phoenix area–too bad it is so far away from me) way up on West Thunderbird Road in far northwest Phoenix. I considered going there for the day, but adding Harley to my group took me the opposite direction and it was just too far to travel. I’ve seen the pix of them at play, and they certainly appeared to be having a great time.

So, Saturday, I spent about 5 hours gaming, and over an hour in travel time.  Got home a little after 9 p.m. and sacked out, completely exhausted by about 11.

If you went somewhere or did something special for National Tabletop Day, please go ahead and leave a comment.

–end

Posted April 12, 2015 by atroll in Uncategorized

Out Behind Payson where the wild things ought to be   3 comments

On Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015, I drove 100 miles to eat dinner with my sister. Afterward, I got my brother-in-law to take me out for a ride in his rail. By Crom, that’s one tough buggy, it went up and down trails I wouldn’t want to tackle on foot. I got some pictures of the Arizona back country, and I’ll share them with you, but these are the tame pictures. I couldn’t take pix of the really wild fun stuff, because I was hanging on for dear life.  Woooooooooo hooooooooooooo!

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Granite Dells. Part of my ride was dominated by huge granite boulders. Trolls love this!

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What you don’t realize in this picture is that I’m looking almost straight down, not straight ahead on the flat.

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If you love to get out in the wild, or have ever taken a wild ride, why not leave a comment?

–end

Posted April 6, 2015 by atroll in Uncategorized