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Wave Cloud

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A sculpture by George Sherwood on the Christian Science Plaza. Part of the Convergence exhibit.

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Sassy Sign

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“Yo mammas so cheap she shops here” at the Sav-Mor on Mystic Valley Parkway in Medford.

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Signs of Spring

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A neighbor’s yard seen while walking Darcy.

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Dogfish Delivery

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Please come to my home?

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Snowblown

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We had about four inches, and our building’s snow crew cleared the sidewalk onto these parked cars. I like the speckling.

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Mass Ave Panorama

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Massachusetts Avenue mostly cleared near Porter Square.

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Darcy & Andrle in the Snow

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Darcy wanted to be picked up, with all the snow on our road.

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I Don’t Think I’ll Bike

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In fact, I’m not sure my bike is going anywhere for a while.

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PAX East 2012 Indie Megabooth

Intro

Early this year, I made my fifth PAX pilgrimage, this time to PAX East 2012. Even though we only attended two days (because of Easter Sunday and impending travel), we managed to fit in a mix of activities, including the keynote from Jordan Mechner, the Saturday night concert featuring JoCo, a few panels, and some good tabletop gaming. I also spent a fair bit of time on the expo hall floor. An interesting twist this year was the creation of The Indie Megabooth, for which a bunch of small independent developers pooled their resources to secure one large booth.

This is where I ended up spending most of my time, because to me, this is where the gameplay innovation is happening. Also unlike AAA games, many of these games were going to be available much sooner, are generally more affordable, and are more likely to be available on my platforms of choice (Mac and iOS). Another bonus was that the lines were short, so you could get a demo of many of these games without having to wait a couple of hours in line for a preview video (which in my mind is a total waste of your PAX ticket).

They also did something fun: they created a little achievement card, called the Indie Mega Passport, with silly activities or game actions that you had to complete at each booth. Pictures of my completed passport, plus a review of the games I was able to play, are below the cut.

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Stranded in Westborough

On Friday, Andrle and I took a Zipcar out to Worcester to see a friend’s band, Wilderun, open for Turisas at Paganfest 2012 at the Palladium. It was a fun show, and others agreed. I’ve had some exposure to metal and folk metal, although more with some of their origins in prog rock’s folk experiments, but this was my first concert of the sort. I think we were the only ones there with earplugs :oD. I also saw my first mosh pit, and confirmed that I would never want my wee frame in one.

The concert, however, is not the focus of this tale. On our way home to Boston, on Route 9 about 20 minutes outside of Worcester, the Brake Warning Light came on in our Mazda 3, so we immediately pulled off the road into the parking lot of the Westborough McDonald’s to check the brakes and then call for assistance. Through a comedy of errors, we did not make it home until almost 4 hours later. Zipcar did a good job taking care of us in spite of a number of things outside of their control, and have compensated us for the inconvenience, but I do have a few suggestions that might help avoid big waits and a total of 19 incoming and outgoing phone calls. Details below the cut.

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Nicolas Ward

Software engineer in Natural Language Processing research by day; gamer, reader, and aspiring UltraNurd by night. Husband to Andrle
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