Category Archives: JoCoCruiseCrazy

that time i met nerf herder

Just a bunch of nerds on a boat.

I’ve been a fan of Nerf Herder since before the first record came out, because my friend had a pre-release. It was right around the time that Weezer stopped being Weezer, and Nerf Herder was all OH HELLO PEOPLE WHO LIKE CATCHY NERD ROCK WANT TO HANG OUT?

When I found out that the band was going to be on this year’s JoCo Cruise, I peed a little. But just a little, because I have moderately decent self control from time to time.

I got to spend some time with every member of the band while we were on the boat, and they are the nicest people, you guys. I also got to stand in the front row when they headlined JoCochella in Lareto, Mexico. I also also got to perform Sloop John B. with them on stage on the last night of the JoCo Cruise.

So, yeah, it was a pretty big deal for me, and one of those times I stopped to look around and say thank you to the universe for putting me into this timeline (as you can imagine, I spend a lot of time wondering when me from the future will get around to repairing this timeline).



The February Reboot Check-in That Happened in March

I’m really not good at titles, you guys.

So it’s time to check in on my life reboot, and see how I’m doing. As I did last time, I’ll grave — grave? Well, that’s a Freudian slip of the touch-typing fingers, isn’t it? — grade myself on a bit of a curve.

Here are the things I committed to doing, back in October:

  • Drink less beer.
  • Read more (and Reddit does not count as reading).
  • Write more.
  • Watch more movies.
  • Get better sleep.
  • Eat better food.
  • Exercise more.

Let’s see how I’m doing since my last check-in, near the end of January. Spoiler: pretty good.

Continue reading… →

Launch A Thousand Ships

One more thing: Guest writer Will Hindmarch didn’t take the opportunity to share this post last week, while Wil Wheaton was on a boat, but here it is now, revised and shared because of reasons.


This bottle of American single-malt whiskey was made at the St. George distillery across the water from San Francisco. This bottle was a gift and I’d saved the last dram. That dram belonged to a special day. That day arrived this past Tuesday.

The idea was to create a platform for collaborative gaming online, something with a bit of roleplaying and some narrative sensibilities. It didn’t start with me. It started with Stephen Hood, whose vision, code, and moxie lit the way. It grew and shone thanks to the skills of a steadfast and creative engineer named Josh Whiting. They devoted their time and ingenuity to getting excited and making a thing — a place to help people play and tell stories online, together.

I came on board to help spark and hone some of the gameplay and structure for the story-worlds where games could unfold. Personally, I’m enamored with fictional places and collaborative storytelling, from the often fantastical worlds of roleplaying games to the worlds built for fiction at Shared Worlds, where I work most summers. So, for me, a whole new kind of spell was cast on the project when the authors and artists started coming on board to share their own worlds for play. Some of these worlds were built especially for play, some were adapted from existing novels and stories.

And this past Tuesday, they went live online. The game’s called Storium.


Here’s the thing: a remarkable team of coders, editors, art directors, designers, and writers made Storium. Well, sort of. The launch doesn’t finish this sort of project any more than takeoff completes a flight. The Storium team has a lot of work ahead, developing and building on the work they’ve already done and responding to the needs of a whole lot of storytelling players. When I poured that last dram from the bottle for myself, I realized I’d made a mistake. (I do that sometimes.) I meant to toast to the Storium team on a job well done — and toast them I did! — but what I should have done was bought a bottle of champagne to break over its bow. It’s a launch, after all. The ship is built and it’s lovely, but it was made for the voyage. Stories get written down and bound in ink and paper, but words are for reading. People got excited and made a thing, but that’s not the end of it. It’s the start of something.


reach the beach

We had five minutes to get back to the ship, and we were at least ten minutes away.

I began making plans to spend at least one night in St. Maarten, while hoping that somehow one of the waves our little boat was racing over would drop us into a wormhole that ended at the pier. Then, I had an idea. “Hey, you can drop us off at that dock which is right next to the pier, right? We don’t need to go to a dock that’s a seven minute walk away, do we?”

“I can try,” the captain said.

Four minutes (which simultaneously felt like forever and also passed much faster than time typically allows) later, the closer dock was in view. It would be close, but we were going to make it. That’s when the little boat we were on veered sharply to port, and began to go toward the other dock.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“See that boat behind us?”

I turned and looked over my shoulder, aft (to use a nautical term), and saw a black Zodiac raft. On that raft were five men dressed all in black. Holding machine guns, which were also painted black. Mounted on the raft was a large machine gun. It was not black, but it was pointed right at us.


Continue reading… →

I am no longer on a boat (despite what my inner ear thinks).

One of the primary reasons I got a waterproof point-n-shoot camera was so I could do stupid stuff like this:


Before I write anything here at all, I need to give an enormous and heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who made stuff and put it here while I was gone. I almost don’t want to write my own dumb stuff, because I’m dragging the curve down. I’m lucky and grateful to know so many awesome and creative people. If you haven’t, yet, go check it out. It’s way better than this thing I’m about to write, I promise.

Continue reading… →