A Happy Camper?

I think my family and friends are trying to kill me.

So Mrs. Ninja has decided that we should go camping this 4th of July weekend with another family. I’m not very outdoorsy and have spent my life avoiding horror movie-type situations. I’ve seen this movie, the ethnic guy dies first.

Now I know I’m overreacting. We’ll be in a cabin on a campground (which is as close to nature as I’m getting) so I know it won’t be totally terrible but still, never once have I wanted to go camping in life. Ever. I grew up in upstate New York in a heavily wooded area. But there’s scary things outside like bears, cobras, mountain lions, chupacabras and The Blair Witch.

The only WiFi that’s available is in the main house on the property. WHAT TYPE OF ANIMALS LIVE LIKE THIS? My kids have also turned against me. My own flesh and blood are trying to institute a “no electronics trip” (other than our phones for pictures). It’s criminal, how did my family become so cruel?

My daughter Harlee instituted an “Amish Week” (as she called it) last week. She didn’t use her phone or Kindle, only used the computer for homework and read instead of watched TV. She actually made it Sunday – Friday but had to end the week early because one of her friends was “having a crisis” (aka tween girl drama).

I guess I’ll be bringing up some family friendly, not Cards Against Humanity, games like Sentinels of the Multiverse, various Munchkin flavors, Zombie Dice, Say Anything, Pandemic and other more conventional games (like Scrabble and Monopoly). I love Sentinels by the way. I played it for the first time at PAX East and bought that and an expansion right away. Head over to their site and check it out, it’s super fun and easy to play.

More on the camping trip as it develops…

Geek On!



Converse In The Ninjaverse Episode 81: Hang Ten For Justice!

Converse In The Ninjaverse Episode 81: Hang Ten For Justice!

This week Will, Chris and (eventually) Mike talk about the new Guardians of the Galaxy trailer, the Batman/Superman movie finally getting a title (and sadly it’s NOT Super Justice Friends Forever), a director being named for one of the Star Wars spin offs and more!

Religion Through Geekery

I feel like I should put a disclaimer here. Something along the lines of “The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Ninjaverse as a whole” or something along those lines.

Growing up I was brought up in a Catholic household, more from my Mom’s side because the only time Dad went to church was Easter or if he was in the doghouse with Mom. My Mom was a Sunday School teacher so every Sunday through 8th grade I was at church for two hours: an hour of mass and an hour of Sunday School (or CCD for you cool kids).

I went through the Communions and Confirmations and all of the pomp and circumstance around that. As I got older I still went to church with Mom most (but pretty much every) Sunday. I went begrudgingly, but I knew that I wasn’t buying what they were selling.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing religion or anything like that. I’m just saying that my belief system is built upon other mythos’s (mythosees? mythosi?) that I’ve been brought up knowing and loving. I can’t quote Bible verses (I’m pretty sure Austin 3:16 says I just kicked your ass isn’t a legitimate bible verse) but I can tell you the whole history of Batman, Superman and most of the Star Wars characters.

Everyone should believe in something. I think I’ve boiled down my belief system to something most of us can follow. Now in no way am I saying you should all follow me (although you can follow me on various social media outlets), but here is pretty much what my belief system boils down to (along with various inspirations):

  • The Golden Rule aka Don’t Be A Dick (Wil Wheaton)
  • There is always a Dark Side and Light Side. Both are needed for for balance (Star Wars)
  • Always know things, because knowing is half the battle (G.I. Joe)
  • Don’t Worry, Be Happy (Bobby McFarrin)
  • Let It Go (Frozen, yes seriously)
  • When you find yourself locked onto an unpleasant train of thought, heading for the places in your past where the screaming is unbearable, remember there’s always madness. Madness is the emergency exit… you can just step outside, and close the door on all those dreadful things that happened. You can lock them away… forever. (Joker – The Killing Joke)

Now I know that last bit is going to raise some eyebrows so let me explain.

I believe that last two points somewhat go hand in hand. Let It Go, to me, means (besides being super sick of that song thanks to my daughters who sing it endlessly) don’t hold any grudges. Seriously, life is too short to hold on to whatever bullshit gripe or argument you have with someone. I’ve been married for almost fifteen years, if we held on to every fight we’ve ever had we would have been divorced fourteen years ago.

Now, the Joker quote. There are times where, mentally, you just need to remove yourself from a situation. That situation could be anything: a funeral, a lecture, a work meeting, the opening of a Michael Bay movie (you know, terrible stuff). Sometimes you just want to not “be there” anymore. Or maybe you have a shitty memory that keeps popping up every now and again. You just need a distraction or a way to remove yourself from a situation. That’s what I mean by “Madness is the emergency exit”.

I’m not saying be like Joker. No no no. That would be bad.

I’m saying use your imaginations! Daydream, play games, read a book, do anything other than what you are doing! But yourself mentally in fantastic situations! You’d be surprised but most of the time that will give you the clarity to deal with whatever it is that you’re dealing with. I sometimes have the best conversations when I am distracted by something else. It’s not that I’m being rude or trying to be dismissive, it’s just that being distracted sometimes gives me better focus and clarity. I know, it’s weird, it’s just how my brain works sometimes.

Geek On!


Converse In The Ninjaverse Episode 80: A Golden Age Is Upon Us

Converse In The Ninjaverse Episode 80: A Golden age Is Upon Us

This week Will, Chris and Mike talk about how we seem to be living in a new “Golden Age”  of superhero TV, with the success of shows like Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. and Arrow, and the full slate of new shows on the horizon like Agent Carter, The Flash, Gotham and more!

Some thoughts in my head

I haven’t actually sat down and wrote something in a while.

I like to write, time just hasn’t been allowing me to. Between work, being a dad, being a husband and other random crap that pops up, at the end of the day I just want to veg and play a game (which right now is Infinite Crisis or Skyrim) or browse the very hilarious /r/pcmasterrace.

JD, Chris, Mike and myself had a meeting the other day to discuss some upcoming things/changes for The Ninjaverse. There’s some pretty exciting stuff on the horizon that I can’t really talk about yet. It should help us grow a bit though which is a very good thing. That being said, this site is looking a bit dated so I think a refresh is in order. I’ll have to fit that into my schedule.

We are working on getting some regularity in our Podcasting schedule. Right now (for all of the reasons listed above plus more from the other guys) we just can’t nail one down. So look for some regularity in the coming weeks.

But that’s the thing. I don’t want this to just be a place where I dump the podcast every week(ish). YEARS ago when I ran Ninjaverse Gaming I had a kickass looking site that I ran by myself. I wrote all of the reviews, previews, news articles, dealt with all the HTML bullshit and more. It was fucking exhausting wearing so many hats at one time that I finally just shut it down. But I LOVED doing all the writing.

Over the years I’ve started writing a lot of things. I’ve started a couple books, a script and various other things. And I have something else rattling around in my head that is dying to get out. I think it’s fun and cool but I don’t have all the pieces figured out yet, namely what format would work better for it (book, TV show, movie, web show). Mentally I can see it in a visual medium, but I lack the means for that.

I’m at that weird spot in life when things that you like or you think happened to you recently are really like ten or more years ago. I was way down the rabbit hole working on a Spotify playlist for when I stream over on Twitch and found a song that I loved from a while ago, Is It For Me by Toad The Wet Sprocket. That came out in 1991. NINETEEN FUCKING NINETY ONE!

After I picked up my Metamucil and prune juice and stopped yelling at the kids to get off my lawn, I realized something. I’m old as fuck, but mentally I haven’t changed. I’m still basically into the same things that I’ve been into all my life (gaming, movies, comics, assorted geeky shit). Now, personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. As they say, you’re only as old as you feel, and I feel like I’m in my twenties. Maybe I haven’t come to terms with the fact that time is ticking. Or maybe I’m hoping that someone still invents a time machine. Who knows.

I apologize for the rambling by the way, there’s more to come but I figured I throw it out here anyway.

So where was I, oh that’s right, being old. Even though I’m 37 now, married with twin almost thirteen year olds (which, again, makes me feel old as fuck) I’m pretty sure I’m never going to change. All my shit that I love is what makes me who I am. I’m sure some people don’t like it and I’m sure that there are people who used to be in my life that have either fallen off or that I don’t talk to very much anymore that maybe can’t appreciate that. And if that’s the case, I guess that’s why we’re not talking anymore.

The flip side of that is I find that I can’t get close to a lot of people. Whenever I’m anywhere, I really don’t say much. I tend to just listen and wait to see if anyone says anything that’s relevant to my interests. Sometimes it happens and I chime in then back out, Ninja-style. Other times I say nothing or politely engage in small talk. I hate small talk with the burning passion of a thousand suns. But I do it because it’s what’s socially expected.

The other day I came to a realization that I’m not anti-social, I’m a partial introvert. I’d much prefer to stay home and play a game or watch a movie/TV show with my family rather than go out on a Friday or Saturday night, even if it’s just to someone’s house. Now, I’ll be social as hell at PAX or anywhere that I consider “fun”. I think that’s my catch, whatever I do needs to be fun. For instance, going to Great Adventure – Fun, going to the beach – sort of fun but not my favorite, Going to a bar on a Friday or Saturday night – Not fun at all (for me anyway).

I’ve never been big into the bar/club scene, even back when I was single. Did I miss out on anything? Probably, but I really don’t care that much.

So what’s this have to do with The Ninjaverse? Everything, actually.

My original intention for The Ninjaverse (as it is now, not back when it was Ninjaverse Gaming) was to provide entertaining articles and, later, podcasts about all of the stuff that we love. I wanted to create a community of like minded people that all share common interests. It’s been building, slowly, but future plans aren’t ready to be talked about yet. Soon though, I promise.

So, to our fans and listeners, thank you for supporting us and thank you for reading my ramblings today. I don’t get deep often, but it’s nice to have an outlet for it sometimes. There is a bright future on the horizon and I look forward to sharing it with you.

There will also be more written articles here, hopefully a couple a week 🙂

Geek On!