January 25 2017

Geeks Can Craft In the Real World, Not Just In Video Games!

As an entrepreneur, you have to wear a lot of hats. As one with no emoployees, starting out, and an extremely tight budget you have to wear a lot of hats, you would rather just throw money at. Crafting is one of those I prefer to pay someone else to do but can step up when necessary.

Unfortunately, I had a necessary with my sword stands. From the first convention, I did the particle wood started stripping on the screws, splitting the wood, and causing the displays to come apart.

Do not get me wrong. I stand behind these sword stands and in fact will be selling them in my store at some point in time. They function as they are made to. Right up until you try to haul them around, in and out of places, knocking them around, and so forth.

I have been getting by with them selling at conventions simply by putting them together and letting their structural framework support themselves. This was NOT going to work for much longer. With my financial limits and deadlines, I needed a fast solution.

I decided to rebuild these so that they could come apart and go back together, making transport easier. Additionally, so that they were less prone to the issues, I was having. Pinning them with Dowel rods being my immediate answer.

I would note, I was able to accomplish this entire project for under $12.00. This was because I had most of the materials I needed laying around in either my garage workshop or in my hobby workshop.

The first stage of the project was together supplies but more importantly, remove the TORTURE devices!

Next time I run a D&D campaign? Screw monsters. I am just going to give my party six boards with two razor sharp screws sticking out at a 90-degree angle at each end and tell them they have to carry them around with them. They think it a laugh until they have to start doing 1d4 damage… every 6 seconds.

As I type this post, the screws from that were removed five days ago. I am looking at both my hands and arms and seeing the final scabs still from scratches and puncture marks.


Next, I worked on repairing the existing pieces as well as wood putty’ing up some of the nicks. Keep in mind I am more worried about functionality and less pain at this point then cosmetic. I put a little time into cosmetic simply because I was working on the project but overall it was my lower concern.

The wood putty looks bad in these photos but due to my time limits, to avoid multiple layers (doing it right), I tried to sculpt a fairly basic single layer with the intent of then sand’ing it down the next day. This worked for the most part, except that the putty was just taking to long to fully dry and so to speed stuff up I had to sacrifice loosing it in a few places and moving on with the sanding.

Once sanded I re-drilled the exisiting holes with my new hole size. That being appropriate to the dowel rod diameter I made my pegs out of.

Once that was all done I gave everything a few shots of black spray paint I found lurking in the form of a few partial spray cans in the basement. Sanded down the dowel rods a tiny bit using a Dremel sander to slide into each other properly.

I Decided I wanted the stands to stand out a bit more as well as help advertise. So the only place I spent some money was on some lettering which you will see in the final photos in a moment.

The result is I am now able to assemble and dissemble VERY carefully for travel. I mention no more damage being taken from the evil screws?

Here’s the downside, and it’s a big one! Those wooden pegs are going to be incredibly easy to break. The moment of potential is when assembling and dissembling. I will be careful and get as much use out of them as I can. Unfortunately, I know I will be earning some more crafting EXP on those again in the future. The GM is just waiting for me to roll a fumble and SNAP!

The solution? Once this has happened in a couple of places, I’ll get a bag of the appropriate size metal dowel pins. This will obviously also get the project done at an extremely low cost.

Finally, I wanted to come up with a travel solution.

Protecting the pegs was not hard, just a piece of tape and some bubble wrap. I’ll get some long strips of velcro one wrap when I have a little but in the funds for it, and will switch to that instead of the pieces of tape in the future. That is assuming I just do not switch to metal pegs instead and skip the velcro.

Rather than having all these pieces loose and being a lot to move around, I dug through the house a bit and found the perfect travel solution. While a bit heavy, this Army Travel bag my grandfather used in WWII will be perfect. How great is that? Not the first time and I am sure not the last time I repurpose this bag.

This concludes crafting training.

Category: Stile Teckel, The Caverns Store | Comments Off on Geeks Can Craft In the Real World, Not Just In Video Games!
January 18 2017

Kickstarter Spotlight – Albino Dragon Playing Cards!

When you talk about Kick Starters here is one that you do not want to miss, even if it’s to just look at.

If you are not familiar with the name of the Albino Dragon Playing Cards, I would be surprised if you have not seen a deck sometime. I believe I have three different ones in my home and I only bought one of them from them direct.

This one offers you a chance to potentially get all the Card Decks they make along with some extras. Woah!!!!

If you sign up for this one and heard it from me, please put in the notes section that caveloot.com sent you! Seriously, I plan on carrying their product someday if I can!

Category: Kickstarter, Swag | Comments Off on Kickstarter Spotlight – Albino Dragon Playing Cards!
December 11 2016

Geeks Cooking With Video Games, TV, Movies, and Books

A friend of mine has this concept that I think is cool, and was the first time I had ever heard of anything like it. Basically to take all the foods presented in a video game or series of video games, and making real life versions of those recipes as close to the games as possible. Put those all together into a cookbook and how cool is that?

In fact, he has a Patreon in place for just that thing. Goes by The Hearth of Britannia and you can check it out here if you are interested in the project. It revolves around the Ultima game series.

So when I saw a World of Warcraft Cookbook come across my radar, I was rather surprised! Then out of curiosity poked around on Amazon a bit. The following images link to Amazon (me being an affiliate and all that), but it’s a selection of what I would call “Geek Cookbooks”!

I am an “ok” cook (some people say I am good, I disagree). I don’t enjoy cooking, and so cookbooks have never been my thing. I’ve had plans to buy the Ultima cookbook of course, because, that’s Epic. If I was ever going to buy any others, here’s my selection!

Category: Book, Patreon | Comments Off on Geeks Cooking With Video Games, TV, Movies, and Books
November 12 2016

Collectable Giveaway – 1981 The Blue Lagoon Topps Movie Poster

It’s been a while since we have done a giveaway here on The Caverns, Dungeons, and Beyond. Let’s do another one!

For you fellow geeks out there this one is for an 1981 The Blue Lagoon Topps Movie Poster with the wrapper.

Entry Deadline is Midnight 12/1/2016.

Winner will be selected and announced sometime on 12/2/2016

To enter, please send an email to contest@thecaverns.net with the subject “Blue Lagoon Poster”.

Include your real name and mailing address in the message body.

This contest is only available to those with a valid U.S.A. shipping address and who are legitimate residents of the United States of America.

One winner will be selected by random drawing to win a 1981 Blue Lagoon movie poster by Topps.

Please review our Terms and Conditions before entering:

By entering this contest, you agree to our terms of service.

September 13 2016

Time For a Little Music Vidoe With Recap – “Wrong War”

My favorite band, The Recap Band, and friends the Space Bards, recently put out a new album “Pronoia.” Frankly, it’s bad ass.

This was recently followed by the posting of a video for “Wrong War”! If you missed it here, you go! Also for those waiting on the next Lyric analytical from Neon Milk, bear with me. I will still be doing the rest of the album, but I am playing catch up from the last couple of weeks. It’ll be there in its own time, but it shall come, and it shall be good!

Be sure to follow the link to YouTube, give it a thumbs up, and drop a comment that Stile sent you!

July 8 2016

Watching Movies With Stile From Your Man Cave

Ok, looking for some more Movies to watch this weekend? Here’s a quick run-down of some stuff I have fielded for you over the week this week. Click the images to go the Amazon link.

Make no mistake; Grizzly IS a 1976 movie, and you will notice this immediately. The nice long intro with twangy music and pretty rivers is a great indicator! If you put yourself back to the time, though, and an era of such movies, I found it enjoyable. Sort of like Jaws in the woods!

I did not particularly enjoy the Eye2 myself, just found it lacking for some reason. It is fairly popular in some circles though so you may want to put it on your list.

The Finest Hour was fantastic. The acting, writing, directing, and effects were all above the top coming together to make a fantastic movie about a great historical event.

Skyline had me at “Arthur C. Clarke”. I grew up an avid fan of the true Sci-Fi greats and devoured everything by them, Arthur C. Clarke included. So I am well familiar with his work and was curious to see how it correlated to the work being done in this field. If I think about it sometimes, I need to ask Richard Garriott what he thinks about the Space Elevator projects that have been explored.

More than likely you are going to be familiar with the movie Maximum Overdrive based on Stephen King’s work. What many people do not realize is that there was another version of this film made previous to that one, in which, unfortunately, the soundtrack was NOT done by ACDC. Objectively I like the Emilio Esteves version better, as does my wife. On the other hand, this version has some enjoyable moments the other didn’t, and I LOVE the ending!

I am not a fan of most American comedy, especially more modern pieces. This piece did a good job of not being over the top and mixing a lot of fun into an enjoyable plot. My wife and I both enjoyed it and I would give it 8 out of 10 torches.

Wanting to expand your knowledge of Geek history? This is a MUST watch. It covers the history of Atari and some of the peripheral companies, including Activision. The Nostalgia I felt watching this movie was overwhelming. It made me think back to all my consoles and cartridges and I can only hope I rebuild those collections someday!

I did not know much about Burning Man until I watched this. Given the bulk of the documentary takes at the event, you come away with I think about the best feel short of going or future VR tech, you are going to get.

I actually did not watch this one this week. I started it up and said “oh, I’ve seen this” and hit stop. Was about a year or so ago and is a good documentary I learned a lot from.

July 4 2016

Celebrating 4th of July Geek Stile

So this 4th I am working on trying to get some things accomplished, getting side tracked with things like this article, and watching movies while I do it all.

Looking for something to watch? Then watch with me! The below images are links to the titles on Amazon if you want more information.

I have been watching quite a few documentaries.

Now the above is all good and fine and stuff I enjoy, but I like to mix it up with some fiction. Additionally, it is not my wife’s cup of tea, so it has been watching when she hasn’t been present this weekend, and then here is some of the stuff we have been grabbing together.

June 30 2016

Movie Recommendation From Stile With a Lot of Geek Talk

So I recently listened to both “Armada” and “Ready Player One” on Audiobook, by Ernest Cline. I, of course, have read both of these books long ago no worries on that score! I enjoy listening to Audio books for the books I like the most, though, as I often pick up things I missed in the books. Well, not missed per say but that pops out at me in a different way just because of the various media.

Amazon had done an Audibles thing a while back, where you could do a 3-month trial membership. I think that’s open all of the time if you use one of my image links below to go to Amazon and try it out. The trial gave me three free books (1 a month), and Ernest Cline‘s were two I choose (Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy being the third.)

As I have been listening to both books on Audible, something that caught my attention in a way it didn’t on the read was the lists of video games, movies, books, etc… from the 80’s. The difference being as Wil Wheaton’s voice read them off I was going “yep read it, yep saw it. So on, so forth, to the tune of there being ONE MOVIE between both books I do not remember seeing!

I do not mean out of just the film’s, but I mean every media listed, from both books, regardless of what it is, I’ve seen it, read it, listened to it, played it, and so on. I attribute noticing this in this way more because I felt like I was responding to someone mentally as opposed to reading a list.

Now I will list a caveat; there are SOME video games listed that when I say I “played,” I may have dropped a single quarter into it at the arcade, or fired it up on a console a total of ONE time and said “not my thing.” There are some damned obscure games on those lists that given my age at a certain point of time just did not work out for me. Take the references to the Atari 2600 Swordquest Games. Sure, I wanted to win those contests but believe me when I say I was a TAD bit young to complete them.

I, however, was NOT so young I could not play a perfect Pac-Man game, flip the high score on Space Invaders, work the madness of Pitfall, or, one of my favorites, blasting music while playing Megamania.

I remember a game of Defender in which I ended up with an audience of family members surrounding me in awe. I was in the zone, had been playing all night, and was in a trance. How I miss the day’s of playing video games with others, in person πŸ™

I was born in 1973 though, and the Atari 2600 came out in 1977. I believe I got mine in 78 or 79 and of course had it for a very long time until I sold it all to my uncle. My uncle had amassed what was one of the largest collections I had ever seen (even in photos), but I had a very respectable collection on its own, yet didn’t collect. Was helping him out.

I was a bit young for finding Easter Eggs in games, solving the complexity of Swordquest (I think I eventually DID finish the first one), or figuring out how to address the stupidity of E-T.

I have played them all, though, and that includes pumping tokens into the Arcade all day with my mom on a Saturday or Sunday at the local place that had killer deals for exchange rates.

My mom’s favorite game? Joust! She still loves it, and growing up with such a mom is why I am the Artimus I am today, that can legitimately point at two books covering an entire decade of the best of the “geek” out there, and say “yep, loved it!”. Yes, I loved Joust also πŸ™‚

Oh! A second Caveat, I of course also did not play any of the video games references that are questionable as to whether they even exist and such!

Another reason though I was paying particular attention to the lists is I have been “educating” me daughter in “geek”. No, not the games but movies and books are fair game!

She has full access to my library with over a 1,000 books in it. Although she rarely takes advantage of this preferring more modern authors overall.

Stile Teckel Library

Watching geek movies though is something that we do DAILY when she is staying at my home. As an example as I am typing this particular article I have Mad Max (the first one), playing for us.

So, when a particular movie was read off that I didn’t recognize, I did a double take and quickly emailed myself the name! That flick is… *Drum Roll*;

“Bishop of Battle”, or more specifically, Nightmares, in which Bishop of Battle is one of the four movies on this anthology.

I was, sadly, mistaken, though. I have in fact seen this movie and once I did more research vaguely remember it. For whatever reason, though I do not remember it and so would like to watch it again. Also, of course, introduce my daughter to it! Unfortunately, it seems you can only purchase as opposed to rent, and finances are tight right now so I will be waiting until I can either stream this or pick it up used, like at a garage sale.

May 29 2016

Timothy Kroon Wrote a Piece at Tech Central That I Enjoyed

Timothy Kroon wrote an article over at Tech Central titled “How geek culture took over the world”. The article includes mentions of both Richard Garriott and Brad King. Two individuals I have gotten to associate with and whose work I admire.

This article delves beyond that though and goes more deeply into the history of the “Geek” and how we have gotten to where we are today. Something that has a lot of relevance in my life and that has in fact changed and continues to change my life.

Garriott’s life highlights important aspects of geek culture; a fascination with a certain medium or media, such as gaming, and being unashamed of these passions.

I recommend the article and giving it a read.