Today marks the first day back from a bit of a vacation. As a result I must apologize for failing completely to write anything Friday. I had every intent of making it an upside down day where I blog in the evening, however after getting home Friday night that just sort of evaporated. I am leading the post off with a Mass Effect Andromeda screenshot, but I admit this is a little bit of bait and switch given that I am probably not going to be writing about that game at all until tomorrow morning. Instead this morning I am going to talk about my adventures. For the wife it has been spring break, and generally speaking we attempt to do something during that time. When we traveled through Dallas on the way home from Pax South in January, we realized it had been a significant amount of time since we just went to the Metro for the sake of going there. Another thing you need to know about us, is that we are die hard Half Priced Books fans… and for those not indoctrinated into that chain of book stores please click through this link and join the cult. To call it a used book store is a bit of a disservice to just how many cool things they tend to have and how many genres they cross. The only problem is there are none in the Tulsa metro area, however we regularly make a trip down the turnpike to Oklahoma City and hit the three that are located there. Additionally any time we travel we see if there are any in the nearby area that we can either hit on the way there or on the way home. As a result we have explored many in the Kansas City, St Louis, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Madison areas, and a few singlets we have found along the way.
Similarly I also love Micro Center and Fry’s Electronics… but we have neither of those chains. I make an attempt to hit them any time I am in the vicinity, so combing those two goals we had this idea of trying to hit as many stores as we could. What we did not figure in is just how damned big the Metro is, and how much time we would lose simply in travelling. Additionally we threw in a trip to IKEA which is always a must, and Container Store… as well as a slew of Target and Walmart stores to hunt for interesting clearance. The end result is that over the course of what was functionally a day and a half in the Metro we hit I believe 10 Half Priced Book Stores, 2 Fry’s, the single solitary Micro center, IKEA and one of the several Container Stores. The last we largely manages to catch because there happened to be one across the street from the In and Out burger we stopped at for lunch on Friday. As far as eating establishments, we managed to hit Fuzzy’s Tacos for lunch on Thursday and an apparent local chain called Snuffers for dinner that night as well as the previously mentioned In and Out. As far as wandering… my wife and I are extremely “drift compatible” when it comes to exploring new areas. The only problem is… we did not even touch the Forth Worth area stores because we did not always take the most optimum routes. That is one thing I really want… the ability to throw a bunch of points on a map and have google plot the most optimal course to hit all of them. We also did not exactly stay in the most optimal location either… with me picking a random hotel in Richardson with quite possibly the most uncomfortable beds I have ever slept in. All in all however it was fun trip, and as is always the case I took some photos of things that I found interesting… which is more than likely going to be the bulk of the rest of this post.
At one of the HPB stores, I found a copy of Magic the Gathering Arena… which in itself was not that big of a deal. However what was interesting is that in the back of the book nobody had detached and sent in the coupon for the free card. I’ve mangled a triptych of images here so you can see the book cover, the coupon as well as the card that you would have gotten had you turned in it. I believe I have this card laying around somewhere, because while the book was pretty crummy… at the time I was absolutely after any card I could get my hands on.
Another interesting find is some Blizzard Noobz figures circa Blizzcon 2009. They had the Murloc, Undead, and Ragnaros but sadly had none of the Jim Raynor which is probably the coolest of the set. I ended up picking up the Ragnaros because I always liked that one as well. I was just sort of shocked to see them still in the wild… and even more so that they had been marked down to $5.
In the straight up odd department, at IKEA I found this interesting “hanging dryer” as the sign said. Some googling tells me that this is extremely popular with the “cloth diaper” community. Whatever the case… it is an adorable octopoid hanger and was worth taking a photo of.
Finally in the just straight up weird category… one of the various stores I hit had a Daryl Dixon Funko Pop… that was literally the size of someones head. I was trying to figure out what I could hold up for scale… and wound up using my hand but that may or may not be useful given that my hands are also huge. You can however see a normal pop box on the shelf below for a potentially better reference.
In the realm of “Bel has lost his damned mind” another happening over the extended four day weekend… is that I decided to shave back down to a mustache/goatee combo. I just felt like I needed a change for awhile after doing a perfect impression of Hagrid for the better part of the last few years. This photo was snapped while recording AggroChat because my co-hosts could not believe that I actually did it, so that is why you get garbage lighting conditions and a microphone in my face.
Finally we wrapped the weekend with officially opening our back yard for the spring. This means that my wife and I spent most of Saturday afternoon collecting leaves, spraying for weeds… and applying a copious amount of fungicide to our very tree-like red tipped photinias. The best part of this is of course that our patio just off the bedroom is now open for business, and my wife spent most of Sunday out there grading in the shade of our balcony. Tonight I need to drag all ten bags of assorted yard debris around to the curb so that the trash service can pick them up on Tuesday. The way our town works, is that we have to use these rather expensive bags that have the city name printed all over them, which in turn get filtered off into a green waste system. The alternative was to buy a second trash bin, but that also limits you to only having a fixed amount each week. This way we can clean the yard whenever we get the desire to do so and simply pay for bags. Whatever the case the yard is open once more… and I’ve already gotten several birds coming to check out the feeder. Yesterday we had a couple of gorgeous cardinals and a pair of blue jays, and it seems like the nesting pairs of turtles doves are back as well. Now I just need to find me a switch so I can hang out on the back patio and play in style.