Caverna board game
Over the last 7 or 8 years I have become a huge fan of European-style designer board games. People may be familiar with Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride more mainstream examples of these kinds of games. Basically, it you only know Monopoly and Clue, there is an entire, exciting, vibrant world out there that will challenge your idea of how interesting, intricate, and fun tabletop gaming can be.
My favorite designer is Uwe Rosenberg, and Caverna may be his most accomplished design to date. It is a sprawling, massive game about dwarven cave farming (I know) with hundreds of wooden pieces for cattle, vegetables, rubies, sheep, and more. My copy has a custom storage solution that keeps everything organized just so in the box and gives me a lot of joy.Buy Now$78.38
Aluminum Foil sculpture
The experience of doing the Totally Rad Show and connecting with thousands of fans on the web was incredible. We tried to encourage creativity from the audience by featuring their artwork on our green screen backgrounds every episode and the result was amazing. We received so many cool things, but none more impressive or more cherished by me than this hand-made, hand-painted statue made completely out of common, store-bought aluminum foil. There was one for each of the three hosts, and we also fit together in a tableau. It is truly one of a kind.
A couple of years ago, after the Totally Rad Show ended, I ran a Kickstarter campaign to crowd fund my next effort. The support I received was overwhelming and humbling. We hit over 7x our funding goal and were able to create a full 13 episode season of a show I am quite proud of, called Newest Latest Best. This cube was custom made as the centerpiece of the set for that show. It lights up and can be programmed via an Arduino processor with variable color and light patterns. I love it, and it remains in my office as a reminder of the awesome support I received.
Lego Ultimate Edition Millenium Falcon
I impulsively purchased this limited edition Lego set several years ago for $500 dollars. At the time, I was a little embarrassed spending so much on a Lego set, even though I love both Lego and Star Wars so much. I had intended to assemble it immediately, but it is so huge I wasn’t sure where I would put the finished model. So I held onto it, imagining someday I’d have a house with a room where I could properly build and display it. But now that this particular set has been discontinued, its value has skyrocketed. I’ve seen this on eBay for over $5,000! So now I’m glad I bought it, but torn over whether I should ever actually build it, or sell it to pay rent. 🙂Buy Now$5699.99
I was certainly a nerd growing up, but at one point I had dreams of playing sports, too. I wanted so bad to play running back on my Pop Warner football team. But one fateful changed the course of my life forever. I was probably 12 or 13 and was the last player cut from the team. I was devastated. My father, picking me up and hearing the bad news from the coach, offered to buy me a present to cheer me up. We went to the store and bought this very copy of Kings Quest III: To Heir is Human and I solidified my journey down the path of video game loving computer geek. I view that moment as a momentous crossroads for me. It led to me ultimately reviewing games at the young age of 14 for my local newspaper, and everything that has happened in my life since. Also, it’s a great classic. Notice those EGA graphics! 16 colors, can you imagine it?!Shop Now$9.99+
Nintendo Game & Watch
My love of video games started at a very young age. This vintage hand held LCD gaming system is so primitive by today’s standards, but in 1982, when it was released, it was like magic in my hand. I was engrossed and played it for hours on end. I believe I got this as a birthday gift from my Grandmother after she returned from a trip to Japan. Proof that Nintendo has using the idea of Dual Screens decades before the DS was ever released.
My imagination was captivated by comic books at an early age, and my appreciation for he medium has only grown as I’ve gotten older. My favorite comic book series is Preacher, by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Dark, engrossing, wildly imaginative, and full of whip-smart, introspective writing, it represents the best of what the comic book medium has to offer. It is VERY adult, and not for everybody, but I cherish it.
Neal Stephenson is one of my favorite authors and this trilogy of novels may very well be my favorite book of all time. It is an epic scale story that fuses a fictional adventure tale with the true history efforts of Sir Isaac Newton to create the modern form of currency. And it is told in a detailed, irreverent, riveting way only Stephenson can. I love it.Buy Now$5.87