Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Real Talk

So, these days, because of this new internet thing, we all now have the power to make people say anything we want them to. For example:

So, I know Tommy has been doing a lot of bragging lately about how you need to get gold instead of experience from chests in heroes 3, how he got second place in the 1993 double dutch Cuban jump roping semifinals, and that he is the healthiest presidential candidate ever. Here is a real quote that Tommy actually said that should help clarify the situation:

Saturday, December 12, 2015

An Exemplar Example of a Best Man's Wedding Toast

William, as the best man at my upcoming wedding, I thought you might be looking for an example of the kind of wedding toast I am looking for. This clip illustrates a wedding toast where everything is done perfectly, even a temperature of one's own choosing:


Friday, December 11, 2015

Meowy Christmas

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Plans

Right now our Christmas plans involve visiting my parents from the 19th to the 2nd or 3rd. Unfortunately, since we're planning on traveling with a kitty we can't really swing by chez Waalkes. However, as you may or may not know, we just got a car recently and I was planning on trying to come down for a visit for a long weekend some time in January. It will mainly depend on Veronica's work schedule. Certainly, if possible I think it would be nice to meet Liz before the wedding, but we'll have to see how the schedules work out. If Tommy is going back on the 8th, we may not be able to catch him before he's gone. If you have any weekends that won't work, let us know.

In other Christmas news, if you all aren't tired of them as gifts, Veronica and I will make you more ancient commanders. I can bring them with me when I come to visit in January. So, I'm officially taking requests on language/material and commanders. I've been learning Sumerian this semester, so we can add that to the list: Sumerian, Akkadian (Old Babylonian or Neo-Assyrian), Ugaritic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Middle Egyptian. Sumerian, Akkadian, and Ugaritic would be on clay per usual. I could do Aramaic, Hebrew, and Middle Egyptian on papyrus or potsherds. Let me know what you'd like.

Friday, November 13, 2015

60 Minutes Fan Fiction: Part 2

"End of the line!"

The shout of the bus driver startled Andy out of his sleep. He was dreaming of his last newscast and about whether he had thoroughly explained his confusion with why Lady Ga-Gah's poodle didn't have to abstain from meat on Passover. The sun had fallen on this horribly aggravating day. Andy got off and sat on the bus stop bench. He then promptly fell asleep.

The next morning, Andy awoke to bus brakes squeaking. "If I had my 'druthers the New York Public Transit System would fix the wheels on every bus in the city and have them ship Florida oranges up North from Orlando. Then cold and flu season would be a thing of the past." Thought Andy as he boarded the bus.

Determined to stay awake, Andy remained in a standing position behind the driver. "You know you shouldn't have taken a left on 5th Street back there."

"I don't design the routes. The city does. If you have a complaint, write your local representative." The bus driver did not sound enthused to be saying this.

"Well, if you had taken a right on 6th, we'd be here two and a half minutes ago. I am sorry but you sir, drive like an animal!"

The bus came to a squeaking halt. Andy was not so politely asked to leave the bus. "Well that just fries my pickle. After I've confronted Rather, I think I will write my representative!" Andy self-exclaimed as he waddled down the crowded Queens-borough street.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Revenge of the Losers EDH Deck

Inspired by Justin's recent foray into shitty Legends commanders, I have decide to build a Torsten Von Ursus EDH Deck.

Torsten Von Ursus

So, since this guy is probably one of the worst commanders of all time in terms of power level, I was at first not sure what to do. Then I started thinking about what I love about this art. This guy is carrying a comedically large shield, wearing a checkerboard-kilt, has crazy giant wings on his helmet, gardening knee pads, and a child molester mustache. What the hell is going on with this guy? He looks like a toddler that dressed himself for the first time. How does he not get laughed off the battlefield by all the angry, mean goblins? Well, all of brought me to the simple fact that I should build a loser-themed EDH deck. So the context of this deck is that it should feature only art that has people or creatures that were made fun of when they went to (Tolarian) High School. They might be awkwardly dressed, creepy, nonathletic, nerdy, way too obsessed with one hobby, off their meds, mocked for being gay, way too much of a spaz to have any friends, or so in to playing their musical instrument that they practice on Friday nights, whatever, as long as they have reason that the preps and the jocks would mock them.

One of the beautiful things about making this deck so far is that I am coming up with an elaborate and often humorous backstory for many of the people/creatures in the art about what their time in high school was like. For example Vigilant Sentry took his job as hall monitor way too seriously and always sucked up to the assistant principal. Lord Magnus spent way too much time walking alone in the woods and smoking pot until one day he got lost and never returned home. Thelonite Druid took his senior pictures in full medieval gear while pretending he could talk to trees.

I have started looking for a number of good cards for this deck and it seems like older sets are a gold mine, since a lot of the art was goofier or worse back then and way fewer of the creatures just look like badasses. The cards I have so far are below, but I need your help. I am having trouble finding a lot more to fill out the rest of the deck and could use any ideas or suggestions you guys have. All the cards don't necessarily have to be creatures, but they should feature some kind of loser character in the art somehow (like Archery Training where the guy clearly took archery as his elective so he could avoid all the jocks pulling down his shorts in weight training). Hit me up with any suggestions you have. Also, I am considering making a jocks deck next, but I'm not sure what commander that deck should have, so let me know if you have any suggestions for that.

Here is a deckbox link to see the pictures (although some would be from an older set than what is pictured):

Here is the decklist so far:
Torsten Von Ursus
Beloved Chaplain
Archery Training
Martyr's Cause
Ardent Militia
Juniper Order Druid
Thelonite Druid
Titania's Chosen
Volunteer Reserves
Deranged Outcast
Shieldmage Advocate
Border Patrol
Revered Elder
Tonic Peddler
Devoted Hero
Deepwood Drummer
Nightshade Peddler
Vigilant Sentry
Charm Peddler
Crossbow Infantry
Devout Harpist
Tragic Poet
Abbey Matron
Daughter of Autumn
Samnite Alchemist
Serra Inquisitors
Lord Magnus
Ivory Guardians
Scavenger Folk

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Goodnight, Sweet Prince

In some alternate universe, you are our Cal Ripken, Jr., our rock of Gibraltar, our Royal Indian Restaurant . . .

Monday, August 31, 2015

8 Year Olds, Dude

As all of America now know, this clip from the movie Supersize Me is now super creepy!! I mean he is totally checking out that little girl the entire time and clearly not even listening. Also, Jared maybe you should take your own advice that "the world's not going to change, you have to change," since you are a pedophile and need to change.

Anyway, I believe it is now our imperative to change young Tommy's now classic Subway Jared magic card design to keep up with the current times. So, the person who comes up with the best submission wins a bucket of fried chicken. Here is my submission:

Subway Jared, Pedophile - RR

Summon Pantless Man-child

Art - Subway Jared, Pedophile eats a Subway sandwich on a park bench while starring at schoolchildren playing.

Tap: Look at target opponent's hand and force them to discard any cards depicting children in their art. They go to the graveyard and, hopefully, to counseling paid for with all that dirty dirty Subway money.

If Mother of Runes is in play, sacrifice Subway Jared, Pedophile and hit him over the head with a large purse.

8 year olds, dude


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Powliwhirl Tastes Like Blueberry Skittles


This funny and interesting article got me thinking about the Pokemon economy and its moral system which this author describes as a utopia. It does sound like a nice place to be where there is so little crime and where you are able to go out on adventures and capture animals and fight them and achieve recognition and fame and defeat the bad guys. It is essentially every 10 year old boys dream, other than maybe throwing a football 100 yards over those mountains. However, it seems like more of dystopia for the Pokemon that inhabit the world, who are forced into slave labor, get eaten, must live in cramped little balls only to be let out to fight other Pokemon, and used completely for the purposes of humans without their own needs being taken into account (When do they go to the bathroom?). People in the world of Pokemon seem to have no remorse for how they treat the Pokemon too, but instead have their heads in the sand because they love their lifestyle and believe in it almost without question. In fact there is an overwhelming sense that the Pokemon enjoy the lifestyle that is forced upon them. Just the same mentality that delusional child molesters have. This is of course all fantasy, but this part of it comes across as non-sexual domination porn for little boys, where they get fame and recognition and power just based on controlling and fighting Pokemon while not coming up again any strong resistance or having to ever question their lifestyle. Is this not a fucked up message to be sending our children?

I for one am deciding to inspire a poliwhirl revolution in my game where I will train all of them to hypnotize all of the humans to do nothing but watch Welcome Back Kotter reruns while the Pokemon can form their own utopia with Donald Trump as their leader.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Lessons from Family Feud

So, we have been playing a lot of family feud recently. It all started on our smartphones with the family feud two app. This got me thinking about how simply beautiful of a game that family feud really is in the way that it . So many game shows are about testing your knowledge of trivia or book-learning, but this game really seems to be testing a totally different part of our intelligence. Being good at this game does not seem to have much to do with your intelligence in the sense of remembering facts or solving problems as much as other games, although that might help some. Instead it seems to have more to do with creative thinking and with understanding social norms. To do well, you have to be able to identify what do most people in the US think like and how is that different from the way I think and what might they think of that I usually wouldn't, For example, with some of my answers, I often find myself thinking in terms that are too clever involving wordplay or too specific if I have a lot of knowledge about the topic area (like guessing hard drive for a question about something on a computer).

Not many other games really challenge you to think in these kind of terms, to try to fit in with everyone else and think they way they would think even if this is a dynamic we are all struggling deciding how to interact with all the time in our lives. We have to decide if we want to fit in with social norms and attempt to gain other's acceptance or feel like we are doing things the right way that others would approve of or that will yield the best results (Japanese style) or to intentionally buck the system and go against the norm or anywhere in between. Family Feud seems to be training us to be more in touch with ourselves in this sense. This seems especially interesting when I started to think about this in terms of Myers Briggs personality types. People who are SJs (sensing and judging) are the biggest part of the population when it comes to the 4 overarching personality characters. They are also the ones who really care about social norms and bringing people together and following the rules. They are often police officers, principals, all those type of jobs that like to enforce the status quo. This show seems to be right in their wheelhouses, whereas something like jeopardy is much more for people who have a certain level of traditional intelligence or ability to remember facts. We often think of games and game shows to be more of a chance to show off knowledge in a way where the people on their are really smart and sometimes even out of touch with social norms because they are too busy reading the encyclopedia, Yet, it seems like games rarely try to appeal to this kind of level of the common person.

Of course this is something many games and especially recent video games are doing to try to make themselves more accessible and get more people into them and make more money. Family feud has been doing this for years though and is remarkable not only in its accessibility and widespread appeal, but also the way that it reframes how we think about intelligence and puts it on more of a social level. This social aspect is something that games are really starting to play up more (like more and more MMORPGS) and something that seems to be one of the primary appeals to many games and something that can make gaming seem like less of a solitary activity that people are doing in their mother's basement without bathing frequently.

Playing the Android game got me thinking about the old family feud game from 1987 that we had on our old XT dos computer and I booted up dosbox to give it another spin. It was really remarkable how much different the two games were. The Android version actually has much worse and lamer graphics I would say even with the benefits of much better technology. In the dos version you get to see your family, along with all of their tacky 80s clothing, and how they react to each answer. You also get to hear the digs and see the board reveal the answers just like the looked on the show. The Android version looks much more like you are not actually on the show. There are no graphics of the families and no graphics of the host and the host has like 3 annoying and obnoxious sound clips that it repeats over and over for wrong answers. So much about the game screams that it was rushed out and had the family feud label slapped onto it because they know people would download it just for that. Much of the energy for the Android game was figuring out places for you to have ads and trying to get you to buy coins so you could play more than the daily limit of games. The nicest graphics in the game are when you get to spin a slot machine to get your coins for signing in that day. You also don't get to play the second half of the fast money round when you win, making it almost impossible to even get above 200 points. Meanwhile the older game seem to be more immersive and really make you feel like you are on the show even with its primitive graphics. You have twice the amount of time for each answer, can use a keyboard instead of a touch keyboard on the screen of your phone, and don't have to feel like the game is constantly taking you out of its world to pester you about coins and other Android apps.

Somewhere in here it seems important to realize how looking at these two family feud games is indicative of how corporations and their advertising has changed in the last 30 years between the releases of these two games. Of course the old family feud game and the family feud show are trying to make money as so much of our capitalist society is focused on, but it did it in a way where they created something that immersed you in a game world more so than encouraged you to obsessively collect coins. I don't want to sound like an old fogey here not liking new technology just because it is new, but where is the point here where we realize that the Android version of family feud has fewer features and more annoyances than a game made 30 years ago and that is not okay? This isn't the only kind of product that this has happened with either. So much of our food, toys, appliances, so many different products are cutting corners more and more without most customers noticing much or being able to do much about it. Of course, lots of video games do a much better job of not losing their immersion like the Android version of family feud while still trying to get you to buy more content like DLC or expansion packs. And it seems to go back to that same mentality of many people (especially SJs) wanting to fit into social norms and not question what they are living their lives as much as they want to fit in. Many people don't think critically about the products they are buying outside of how it is fulfilling a need or want for them. Except for more niche markets of people who want to nerd out and get the best, most customizable product they can for their money, we have slowly been conditioned by advertisers to expect a worse product and be okay with that. We are the ones spending the money. How have we allowed this to happen?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Official Blog Meeting

Dear As I Run,

We need to have a talk about our house magic rules for this year at the beach and maybe just in general.

1. In the interest of keeping things balanced, we've decided on proxies being allowed in any format we play but we need to determine how many per deck and which ones aren't allowed. Any thoughts? I say no Power 9, natch. Justin was saying we should follow the Legacy banned list for 60 card casual, which sounds good to me. What numbers should we allow? I say like 1/4th. Or we could proxy up any legal land for our manabases in addition to the decided number. I say we also continue to follow the commander banned list too.

2. I feel we also should talk about the unlimited mulligan rules. How do you guys feel about this? I say maybe we should consider changing it. Like maybe 1 free mulligan in casual games and then start to follow the one less card per hand rule. Then 1 Paris Mulligan for EDH and that's it. I know on more than one occasion, I've found myself taking like 5 or 6 mulligans until I get the perfect hand. That seems to me to be excessive and perhaps unfair. I suggest that we also agree not to go buckwild on the one guy with no lands. Though what is the definition of buckwild exactly? Though "if it ain't broke don't fix it" may apply here too.

3. Lastly, I have a homework assignment for all of us. Make at least one 60 card Pauper deck each this summer. Its a format we've never played and I think it'd be fun.

This concludes my post. What do you guys think?

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Air Jordans Review

So, I know it might be blasphemy on this blog to post anything about a lacrosse player other than Shaq, but I wanted to let you all know about this hot new take on the most recent Air Jordans. Now if you are a dumpster diving, binge drinking fanatic worth your weight in geldings like me, you already know what the Air Jordans look like when you simulate wearing them on your feat even despite the horrible things Kobe says about you behind your back. However, this fine young cannibal's review/unboxing video/sure sign of the upcoming catpocyclapse put this perspective in a whole new flavor of darkness. I will never be able to eat my Cal Ripken Wheaties the same way. Foooootball!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Minecraft Story

Just wanted to share this cool thing I did in Minecraft. I was in this cave and I found a chest with a saddle in it. As you know, saddles can't be crafted and are somewhat hard to find so I was excited to find and ride a horse. By this point I was pretty decked out with Diamond tools and steel armor so I figured I'd leave my island and go find horses to domesticate and ride with the saddle. So one morning, I got in a boat and left my island in search of someplace that would have horses. It took me about 5 or 6 game days of walking and camping for the night until I finally found a grassland with a small herd of horses. I started a new homestead with a fenced pasture and small house in preparation for my horse ranch. Everything was set up so when it finally came time to start taming and riding my horses I checked my inventory and chests. I forgot to bring the saddle.

Now I suppose I could follow my compass all the way back to my original Island but I'm even not sure if it was pointing to the island, or to the place I spawned which was out of sight of the island. In my experience navigating without an exact idea of where you are is difficult and I've gotten lost even with a compass. Besides I'd never find my new homestead again since it took so long to get there. So it was not meant to be.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

New Art! (Updated {Again})

Dear As I Run,  Just wanted to show off some new adventure game backgrounds I've been working on in my spare time.  It took me like 3 hours to finish the shading on the Easter Island head's upper lip.

Updated some more!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Choices=Freedom=America=A Quiet Revolution=The As I Run and Run Way

So I know you have been going about living your humdrum lives today just wishing someone would come along and show you a video with random sailors, a variety of salads, a grizzled boat captain with some children, watermelon with speed in it, and a little girl who experiences a wide range of emotions while playing baseball. Here is what you have been looking for.

But wait! This could be our own quiet revolution for this very blog! So I'm thinking this might be a whole new opportunity for new branding for our website and offering lots of exciting choices of platters. I know that all of our loyal readers out there want choices and quality in the personal lives and business lives and we provide all of that with a new kind of courteous, friendly font and images. That is why I am suggesting that we re-brand ourselves: As I Run and Run - A blog within a blog - the choice for America!!!

The choice is yours to make on the internet and you love choices and I know you will make the right one and go to the best internet website in the World Wide Web: As I Run and Run, Happiness Comes Closer.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Walmart Antics


Here's an awesome article Tommy showed me about Walmart.  Below are some excerpts:

6:20 AM I notice a bottle of tartar sauce on top of the belts in menswear. I think to myself that this is weird because the store only just opened. The tartar sauce must have been there all night.

2:36 PM I see an unsupervised child who seems to be attempting to open a register. I watch and silently hope that he succeeds. But unfortunately, someone moves him along.

3:59 PM I come to the conclusion that, despite almost overwhelming boredom and an increasingly miserable hangover, I am not able to nap in full view of everyone in a Walmart. I start walking again.

7:30 PM I notice that the store sells sympathy cards in packs of 12. Who experiences death regularly enough that they have to buy their sympathy cards in bulk?

7:38 PM I realize that everyone experiences death that regularly once they hit a certain age. Oh God.

7:44 PM I am going to die one day.

7:50 PM Everyone I know and have ever met is going to die one day.

7:55 PM With this in mind, is spending an entire day and most of a night in a Walmart the best use of my time?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Farts in The Pantry

I am very much in love with the Bruce Springsteen, blue collar, working man ideal.  Indeed a line I frequently use in job interviews is “If you’re going to do something all day you may as well do it right.”  There is something more real about building something all day versus sitting at a screen all day.  After all Jesus was a carpenter and not a data entry clerk.  But something is lost when you get the job and actually put in practice all the platitudes you used.  You quickly go from “I’ll do it” to “that looks like a lot of work.  I won’t do it and hope nobody notices.”
Take the food service industry.  Dish washing, or “Back of house” positions are entry level.  You have to work hard to move up.  As far as I’m concerned, any minimum wage job where you could get high on the roof at 2 AM the night before and then come to work and poison a bunch of people shouldn’t be paying minimum wage.  I spent a glorious 2 months with Corporate Caterers, hoping the health inspector wouldn’t show up.  Like its name, Corporate Caterers’ food was equally as generic and off-putting.  I was put to work washing dishes, washing surfaces, and ruining Mountain Dew cakes.  Nothing about white trash champagne screams “delicious baked goods.”  Basically I had to mix it with Lemon Jello, Duncan Hines, and eggs and bake. 4 times out of 5 I’d remember to spray the pan so the finished cake wouldn’t stick but that 1 time I’d have to do it over.  This would be no big deal if I weren’t making 10 cakes a day.
Dishes! Fuck! They never stop.  It’s a never ending battle. The chef would always say things like “once you’re caught up come up front and help me wrap 50 sandwiches.”  I never did catch up though.  Still haven’t.  There’s a wrong way to do the dishes.  You’re supposed to use a wash cloth and not a scrubber.  Scrubbers harbor germs.  People could get sick.  You’re not supposed to put the dishes in the sanitizer without rinsing the soap first.  People could get sick.  You need to use bleach on cutting boards.  People could get sick.  You should have a more positive disposition towards the clientele that always blames the dishwasher.  People could get sick.
Then there was Johnson.  Johnson was super African.  Kenyan.  He thought my name was Jolee. I corrected him on it once and then he kept calling me Jolee so I didn’t say anything again.  What did it matter really?  Him getting my name right wasn’t going make me rinse the chip salt out of the bins any faster.   Don’t get me wrong.  Johnson was easily my best friend at that place and in the top 10 people I’ve ever known.  He just was in the wrong industry.  He constantly bemoaned the management throwing away any food.
“People are starving in Africa and here this food is going to waste,” he'd say.
I suppose I should wrap this up by saying that holding in farts is detrimental to your health.  I was always finding creative places to fart.  Dragging garbage to the dumpster, in the pantry, sometimes at my sinks when I thought no one else was there.  Inevitably somebody always shows up to smell though.  The odor of methane and a million what-ifs.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How Many Big Macs are in the Trunk of My Car?

Dear Baby Jesus,

This is all I want for Christmas for the rest of my life: http://www.avclub.com/article/express-your-mcdonalds-individuality-putting-big-m-217140?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=feeds.
That and if you could get the Indian restaurant to start making Big Mac Curry. I then can die a happy man. World peace is a distant third.

Your Lab Partner,

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Oathsworn Giant

For Tommy's card we did something a little different. I translated his card into Hebrew. Many Hebrew inscriptions were written on pot sherds, broken pieces of pottery that made for a useful writing material. To this end, I bought a planting pot and smashed it to create some pot sherds. Unfortunately, it is not easy to get pottery to break in exactly the same size and shape as a magic card. Since I didn't want to have to buy lots of pots just to get lucky, the piece I ended up using was larger than a magic card. To mimic an ancient Hebrew art style, I choose to take inspiration from drawings found at Kuntillet Ajrud dating from 9th-7th centuries BCE. It is a bit simple in style compared to the art of Mesopotamia and Egypt, although I think it has a certain amount of charm. I thought I'd provide some examples, so you could see what I was using as inspiration. I think my brush skills are still in need of work. At Tommy's request, I added a castle in the background, which is fitting for a card that is basically a creature version of Castle.

Here are the images of the finished card with a magic card for perspective:
We hope you like it! Let us know what you think!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Mimeoplasm

Here is the nearly finished Mimeoplasm (we still need to erase some of the penciled guidelines and cut it out). Although I had some worries about my ability to translate the text, I found some of my old notes for some of the other Egyptian cards I had done and was able to translate the text of the Mimeoplasm into Middle Egyptian. Funny story, I could not find an equivalent for the "ooze" creature type, so I used "mud" instead. The card art depicts Ammut, the monster goddess, who is part lion, part hippo, and part crocodile, and who devoured the hearts of the dead during afterlife judgment, if they were evil. The text behind the goddess is the beginning of Spell 125 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Veronica did most of the art and text transcription. I translated and found appropriate artistic parallels. Hope you like it!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Road Rage Tips

Just like diarrhea, we are all prone to a little road rage occasional fits of road rage. Here is a great instructional video with some pro tips about turning your road rage into something constructive.

Saturday, January 31, 2015


So here is Karametra done in a cursive OB style based on cylinder seal art. Hope you like it. Expect Phil's next weekend, and Tommy's the weekend after that. Once we have them all done, we'll send them to your parents' house and you can pick them up when next you arrive there. As usual, I am responsible for translation, the cuneiform text, and finding artistic parallels. Veronica is responsible for rendering the art on clay. Let us know what you think.

Jaded Baby