BLUE

I shut down both my Facebook and Instagram accounts a while back, because evil. I haven’t missed Facebook, but every so often I miss Instagram.

Anyway, have a photo.

Question

I’m still considering killing my Instagram account, although the news that Facebook may have to sell them off may have saved it. Will the occasional random context-free photo annoy people?

(I know it’s my blog and I can do what I want. I’m asking anyway.)

In which I ascend

…to the highest imaginable levels of nerd.

I have created an unboxing video.

Witness:

In which I turn a good decision into a bad one

I was recently able to pay off a frankly horrifying amount of credit card debt. I have finally, at 43, rectified the errors of my twenties, more or less. In the process of doing that, I deliberately slightly overpaid a couple of the cards, since I wasn’t exactly sure when the big check would go through and so I went ahead and made my monthly payment and then the big lump sum.

Then COVID-19 hit, and I don’t know if you’ve tried to get in touch with a credit card company by phone lately, but apparently one of the side effects of this disease is you call your credit card company, because I waited an hour, on two separate occasions, to try to talk to a human before giving up and hanging up. Turns out that the only way you can get them to send you a check when you overpay an account is by talking to them in person– there is no way to request it online. The other option is to wait four or five months without touching the card, at which point they send you your money to zero out the balance.

Well, I eventually gave up on getting ahold of anyone, and decided that if there was ever an excuse to blow some money, “I literally have a negative balance on my credit card” was about as good as that excuse was going to get.

Under ordinary circumstances, that money gets turned into books posthaste. But that would have been a lot of new books, and my damn unread shelf is already a catastrophe. So what else can I get? Hmm.

Enter Wyrmwood. And these fucking beauties:

You might remember my C2E2 trip at the end of February, where I came home with a similar set of obsidian dice in a bloodwood dice vault. These are made of opalite, and if I hadn’t specifically thought to myself “let’s see if they have any dice made of obsidian” after deciding that spending $400 on Damascus steel dice was obscene even for the looser “buying anniversary souvenirs at a con, with money I have saved specifically for this purpose” standard I was using for my funds, I might have come home with these instead. The vault is made of cherry, which is surprisingly light, but the dice themselves are a bit heavier than the obsidian ones.

And, oh, God, is opalite pretty when you hold it up to light. Please focus on the dice, and not my ruined fingers:

You can sort of see the orange tinges among the blue in the top picture, but looking at light through them is just amazing, and these are stunning in daylight. Which, sadly, we don’t have any of right now, but trust me.

The truly ridiculous thing is that this set and the vault didn’t exhaust my extra funds, so I have several more (much less expensive, but still cool) metal sets coming this weekend. It’s a sickness, I know. I mean, at least I’m not on heroin, right?

(Have I pledged to their Kickstarter for a set of turquoise dice? Am I considering adding to that pledge for something else? Maybe.)


2:54 PM, Thursday (I think?) April 30: 1,054,261 confirmed cases and 61,717 Americans dead. My wife commented yesterday that she thinks I’m spending too much time monitoring the ARCGIS site I get this information from, but I think sublimating my anxiety over the whole thing into the data-nerd parts of my personality is … well, might be a healthy response? Reasonably? Relatively? Hell, I dunno.

(EDIT: Holy crap, does setting a featured image look terrible in this theme.)

#C2E2 Roundup

We had a good time! Other than having to park a full 27-minute walk away from the venue, that is. That’s a decent length for a walk in the cold, and my watch asked me on the way to and from my car if I was working out or not. No! I’m just trying not to die.

Also, when we got there, there was absolutely no signage that there was a security line or a bag check to go through? Just literally a few thousand people all milling around being confused, because no one knew why they were there but everyone stood in the huge mob because they felt like they ought to?

We had our badges already, and they were already activated, so I literally moved a barrier aside and the three of us went in. Somebody tried to follow us and got sent back, and tried to get security to go get us too, but they didn’t. For some reason I found that hilarious. I didn’t find out until after the show that we’d actually dodged the security line; as I said, no signs at all, just a lot of confused people in a herd. I wouldn’t have jumped out of line if I’d have known that, but … whatever, I guess. I thought it was will call, I swear. 😀

I feel like there were a ton more people at the show than the last time, but more on that in a few minutes. I had goals! Nerd goals! First one: meet Gail Simone and Al Ewing. Well, Al wasn’t at his booth at all on Saturday, which was a bummer. But I met Gail!

So, interesting detail: Gail follows me on Twitter. And the account belongs to Luther, which, remember, isn’t my real name. So the fact that I automatically went into “I’m at a con” mode and told her to sign my graphic novel to Luther took me by surprise. Then I found out she was selling scripts and snapped one of those up too– that issue of Tony Stark: Iron Man contains what might honestly be my favorite single-panel joke in all of comic book history:

Gail’s husband accidentally told me something VERY COOL that might be coming out and I was immediately sworn to silence, but I wasn’t told not to tell you that I know something cool now. Which I do.

Authors! We ended up leaving before Robert Jackson Bennett’s signing, but my wife got Sam Sykes to sign a book, and I got autographs from John Scalzi and S.L. Huang:

By this point, I’d set precedent that books were signed to Luther, so I decided to roll with it. John was nice enough to let me take a picture with him, too:

On the Charizard: the boy put it on the table, and John immediately volunteered to sign it if he wanted, which he declined, not knowing who the hell John was. We only talked for a minute or two but he was very nice– in general, everyone was, unsurprisingly.

Also, I bought stuff:

New leather dice bag! Forgive the vast amounts of cat hair on the piano bench, there; it’s one of Jonesy’s favorite spots and I’m not about to retake the pictures somewhere cleaner.

Leather dice tray! It was either this or a tower, and I went with this instead, because of…

…the super fuckin’ cool obsidian dice I bought, which the salesperson made sure to point out are made of glass, and thus, honestly, are probably not the best choice to make dice out of? The price of the set, plus the box and the tray was frankly ridiculous, but much more reasonable compared to the first set I looked at, which were made of Damascus steel and priced at four hundred dollars. But fuck it: twelfth/third anniversary and we both saved up to buy cool shit at this show and I was ferdamnsure going to buy cool shit.

Oh, and I ran into my friend Verna Vendetta, who I met at Starbase Indy a million years ago:

The only real fail of the show, at least for me, was the sparse number of cosplayer pictures I took. Turns out that 1) it’s way easier to get people to let them photograph you when you’re at a booth, and 2) it really was hugely crowded, so most of the time if I saw somebody I might have tried to get a picture of in other contexts, the ridiculous number of people in between us made stopping to do so practically impossible. So I missed out on, say, the guy in the 12-foot-tall Bumblebee costume, because despite being near him there was no way I was going to get him to stop. So I didn’t get nearly as many pictures as I thought I was going to, but I did get a handful of them:

So, yeah: didn’t get arrested, spent lots of money, met cool people, walked seven miles, Achilles tendons currently really painful. I’ll call that victory! If you’d told me at fifteen that I’d not only eventually attend a nerd convention with a hundred thousand people there but that I’d have my wife and son with me and we’d be doing it on our anniversary, I’d have called you a liar. It’s good to be a geek.