Sunday, February 26, 2012

RIP My Friend - Gary Jakubowski (Toledo)

My co-worker and friend Gary Jakubowski passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on the night of Wednesday, February 22. I guess this will just start to become a reality as I get older, but Gary was just too darn young for this to happen, only 48. His obituary can be found here.

Gary introduced me to almost all of the musical artists that I currently listen to including Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Tom Waits, The Pogues, and Johnny Cash. He collected vinyl and cd's the way I collect comics and board games.

He was also a huge sports fan, supporting his Boston Red Sox, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Detroit Red Wings, and Green Bay Packers with extreme loyalty. He was also a huge supporter of University of Toledo athletics. You could count on Gary being at every woman's basketball game as well as his new passion thanks to another co-worker (Kristen), the woman's soccer team.

Gary was also branching out into board games, joining us for our lunch time sessions at work, and inviting Ed and me to his night and afternoon game days playing with his friends.

Many other people would have known him simply as the 'Poolman'. His football and basketball pools were legendary and his attention to detail without equal. I know he had long weekends scheduled in March to watch the Madness of the NCAA tournament from the very first tip to the end.

I wish I would not have missed that last game day he invited me to on New Years Day.

I wish I would have said something more than just 'see you tomorrow' when he left work on Wednesday afternoon.

I cannot imagine there will be a day that passes where I will not be reminded of the memory of a great friend and even greater person that this world has lost.

God Bless you my friend - you will be missed more than you could have ever imagined or felt comfortable with.

I do hope that you are in a better place and now looking out for the ones that so cared about you. Say hey to Charles Schultz for me.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

BASH Con 2012 - What I bought

(For a great write up of BASH CON 2012, check out Robin's blog, complete with pictures of all the action)

BASH Con this year was great once again. I will expand on the weekend in general later, but wanted to quickly post the items I bought, before I forget the details...

On Friday, I visited my good friends with 'Hell on Wheels Game Store'. Jane was without Larry once again, but with her sister. I always forget her name, but then again, I forget extended family member names I see them but once or twice a year as well.

So - at any rate - while talking to Jane about current events and everything since we last talked, I found something that I have been looking to find for some time - TSR AD&D Character Sheets. These are the ones with the spell lists in the back of the book which I only previously had copies of. Jane refused to take my $6 for this one. The best thing about Jane and Larry is they let me store my bags under their tables - so I always make sure they leave with some of my money. Jane showed me an item she had that she thought would be great for the kids, so I asked her to hold one for me.

On Saturday, after running my Tunnels & Trolls horror game (Stay Alive!) and lunch, I headed over to the Games Bazaar (auction) that tends to be quite good for a smaller convention. The problem this year was just too much stuff, and way too much non-gaming stuff. The auction typically takes between 2 and 3 hours. I left   a little after 5pm (3 hours in) and unfortunately, there was so many good things left to be sold - I was just being bored to tears with all the TOVA (Toys-Oddities-Videos-Artwork) stuff. Alex does a wonderful job as the auctioneer, but it is always humorous to me that myself, Matt, and usually a few other GEN CON/ORIGINS Auction volunteers are in audience and they have never once asked us to help out.

But - I did get a few good buys...some more miniatures I don't really need, but I do like halflings.

I also got a game that I have never played, but have always been interested in because of my fondness for the Fighting Fantasy books: the board game version of 'Warlock of Firetop Mountain'.

And then I got a dice tray for Irelynn - little did I know Tom was bidding against me behind me. I cannot remember if it went for $7 or $8 - maybe Tom can refresh my memory.

I then decided to take off - I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open and Tracey let me know that the dogs had an accident on the bed. I stopped by Jane's booth and picked up that gift for Irelynn, a neat little thing called a ToroFlux.

After I ran my AD&D game on Sunday, I finally had a chance to walk the entire dealer hall and see if there was anything else that I wanted. A local game store had a booth and to my surprise, they were selling all their Reaper Miniatures for 90% off. I currently have so many miniatures to paint, I have no reason to be buying any more. However - even Tracey had to agree that this was just too good to pass up. I picked up some larger monster figures I had always wanted - but more importantly, I bought things that either I would hope to paint, or for the kids to paint. I did not buy things just for the sake of it. $123 worth of miniatures (MSRP) for only $10. They even rounded down on the final cost!

I will be sure to visit that store a bit more often.