In Lieu of Actual Content…

I have returned safely from Dragon*Con. My adventures were epic, including things like the Death Race 2000 alligator car and a trip to Space Camp.

But I don’t have the photos processed yet. You’ll have to wait.

So, in lieu of actual content, here’s a photo of me driving a tank:

I'm drivng a tank!

Photo courtesy of Drive a Tank (http://www.driveatank.com). The man grinning in the turret is Fes Works.

Smashing Cars with a Tank

This here is Larry.Last Wednesday, I received an extraordinary gift from Fes Works: he took me to Drive a Tank, where I got to plunge an FV 433 Abbot into a lake.

But I don’t have photos of that yet.

Because I was too busy driving a tank to take photos myself.

Yet I have plenty of other photos from the day at Drive a Tank! In fact, after my own personal tank-driving adventures, I got to bounce around in the back of an APV (fully outfitted with an evergreen-shaped air freshener), shoot a 1945 STEN machine gun, and watch a Chieftan tank roll over four passenger cars.

That’s right. I got to watch a tank smash cars.

IT WAS AWESOME.

I shot lots of photos of that, and even some video. Behold:

Chieftain Tank Crushing a Dodge

So, if you want to smash cars with a tank, you can do so in Kasota, MN. It’s not cheap, but where else are you going to be able to do that without joining the military?

Fes and Me in an FV 433 Abbot

This is the machine I drove: an FV 433 Abbot.

The folks at Drive a Tank are a lot of fun, too. Highly recommended.

New Geek Life: Jokes About Wood

Clearly, we’re totally highbrow this week. Have a listen to Episode 163!

Unrelated and yet still geeky: have you contributed to the Camden Kickstarter yet? You should!

Kickstart Camden!

A couple weeks ago, Mr. John Kovalic, the cartoonist behind Dork Tower and Munchkin, asked if I could do a project that involved doing the color finishes on some of his black & white linework. Since working on John’s art is always fun, I naturally said yes.

Yesterday, the Kickstarter went up!

“Camden” is a new tile-laying game (like Carcassone), themed after the market area of Camden Lock, London, UK. The game plays in about a half hour, with two to four players, so it’s perfect for hanging out with a few friends.

To produce the game, the Kickstarter requires $10,000, and after only one day, it is already 13% funded! $30 gets you the final game, including free shipping anywhere in the US. (If you’re not American, $44 gets you free shipping anywhere in the world.) There are, of course, many sweet sweet rewards if you care to pledge higher than that!

Not sure yet? If you go the Cheapass Games web site, you can download the original prototype of the game (called Agora) COMPLETELY FREE! Then, once you fall in love with it, you can pledge to the Kickstarter.

Cool, right?

Now go pledge this puppy up so we can bring a copy to Omegacon!

Improv-a-Go-Go 10th Anniversary Show

HUGE TheaterOne of the great hidden gems of the Twin Cities is a weekly improv comedy show called Improv-a-Go-Go. The original concept of the show was that four improv teams would each get a 20 minute segment of the show to do whatever the hell they want. Since experimenting was encouraged, and since the creators of the show wanted to encourage new performers and new audience members alike, tickets to attend were a mere $1. For many years, the show lived on Sunday nights in the Brave New Workshop, the oldest continually operating satirical theater in the United States.

It was originally a proving ground for less-experienced performers. Eventually, it turned into the place where some of the best comedy in the Twin Cities — and some of the most amazing improv in the country — sprang into audiences hearts.

Eventually, the folks behind IAGG got their own venue: the fantastic, non-profit, all-volunteer HUGE Theater. Improv-a-Go-Go still plays on Sunday nights at HUGE. Tickets are now $5, but you have to admit, that’s still one hell of a bargain. (EDIT 8/16/12: Butch Roy has informed me that tickets are now Pay What You Can for Improv-a-Go-Go!)

On May 20th, 2012, Improv-a-Go-Go hit its 10 year anniversary. Four of my very favorite improv teams (The Minneapples, Five Man Job, Ferrari McSpeedy, and Gay Straight Alliance) hit the stage. Butch Roy, founder of Improv-a-Go-Go and one of the directors of HUGE, let me shoot some photos of the event.

I love HUGE, I love Improv-a-Go-Go. I hope they’re both around for decades to come.