ArcadeBlock June 2015

I’m a sucker for opening up random boxes. I figured as an attempt to cure me of my mild addiction, I’d try some of these subscription boxes and see how that goes.

Previously I had liked Loot Crate but they were very hit or miss with how much I liked the items every month. Much of it just had to do with quality of the products.


After a few months of both Arcade Block and Loot Crate overlapping, I decided to cancel Loot Crate and go with solely Arcade Block. Sadly, I’ve just started to have the quality problem with Arcade Block. This is the first box of theirs I haven’t been super happy with but let’s go through the items.

The fad of crossover mashup pop culture shirts is starting to wear a little thin, but I still appreciate this Team Fortress 2 crossed with NES box art. At least it stays within the video game realm. There are however some print quality problems with the shirt, which I haven’t had from other shirts printed by the same company (

These Portal 2 magnets are pretty great and indicative of the quality type of product that I expect to see in a random box like this. Not an expensive product but of nice quality. It’s topical and will look great on my desk or fridge.

This art print dealing with Metroid is fairly nice. I haven’t heard of the artist before (Russ Moore) and I wish it was glossy instead of this matte style that makes the art look fairly washed out. The camera exaggerates it a bit but the printing is fairly lightened because of the paper used.

I enjoyed reading this magazine in last month’s ArcadeBlock and I guess I’d like to know if this is going to become a regular thing. If not, I’d love to subscribe to the magazine but I definitely don’t want to waste my money on two copies. I’m not sure how the Arkham games fit in to their “retro” theme.

meh. A bumper sticker. It’s a nice sentiment though.

Now on to the real stinker. You can see from the outer box art that they tried real hard to connect this watch to the “Arcade” orientation of ArcadeBlock. So forget that a “speedometer” design watch has nothing really to do with gaming. How about the watch itself?

It’s one of those awful watches that stays dim until you press a button. Then it lights up super bright so you can barely read it. At night or in a dark room I can’t imagine being able to read this thing. You can barely read it in a bright room lit by the early afternoon sun.

At least it comes in a nice tin?

From the card that comes in every block, the description of the watch: “Keep track of the hours you spend with your favorite racing games with this LED watch designed to look like the instrument gauges of a vehicle’s dashboard. The watch remains unlit until the push of a button. Then, it lights up as if you’ve just turned the ignition. Game on.”

How’s that for a stretch? lol. Totally video game related! You can keep track of how long you play video games by using this watch! sigh.

Well for $19.99 plus shipping and handling I suppose this month’s box is worth it still. I really wish they would have dropped the watch idea and used that money to upgrade the quality on the shirt and art print.

System Sellers from E3 2015

E3 2015 happened last week and there were some fun announcements. Nobody had anything ground breaking and that’s ok. The video game industry is in that place now where the current generation of consoles are settled in, the first one in the generation is starting to get antsy (Wii U and for a number of reasons), and we, as gamers, should be prepared for some of what will become the bright spots of this gaming generation.

I’m looking at you Horizon: Zero Dawn and ReCore. We can’t tell too much about ReCore from it’s cinematic trailer, but Horizon’s trailer is full of gameplay and looks super fun.

7 Days to Die A11 – Journal Entry 3

Oh my god.

The dogs.

The viscous, rabid, feral, undead, zombie dogs.

I wake up to find Jeramy, Kasey, Jeff, Andy and Wyatt are out. I assume they’re scrounging for supplies or scouting out the area.

So I go out, looking for rocks, sticks, and feathers to turn in to arrows. After a few minutes I hear Andy curse: “OH SHIT!”



I meet him at the front porch of our lovely white shingled zombie shelter. There are literally two dogs nipping at his heels.

We manage to get up the stairs and in to the attic.

Thankfully, this is when we discover that zombie dogs can not climb ladders.

It hardly matters though, as we hear them destroying the house beneath us. Cautiously, we start firing arrows down at them.

Everyone else hears our cries and the howling of death. Together, we   manage to catch them in a pincer maneuver and get rid of them.

By this time, the house is full of decaying zombies: human and canine alike.

7 Days to Die A11 – Journal Entry 2

Hurray! I’ve found the rest of my friends. My brother is still MIA though.

Jeramy and Kasey have found a small neighborhood and have holed up in the attic of a house.

On my way there, I kill a few zombies with a sharpened leg femur. I’m definitely getting better at surviving in this zombie apocalypse world. After breaking a few stone axes against trees I think I’ve gotten a handle on making them better. I can actually chop trees down!

I can’t seem to find too many birds nests, but I find a few and make what seems like unlimited arrows for my crappy bow. I quickly prove myself wrong as I end up resorting to my bone shiv after using up 50 arrows on a handful of zombies.

I risk a drink from a pond of standing water to wash down a moldy sham sandwich. Despite the grumblings of my upset stomach, I seem to be holding up ok. No need to find new underpants.

By this point, I’ve managed to fully cloth myself. Which is great since it’s right about that time I arrive at the small housing development that Jeramy and Kasey are at.

7 Days to Die A11 – Journal Day 1

I hear Andy is around. He says he’s coming to find me.

I’m near a cliff side. This seems like a nice place to hole up for a bit. I scrounge around for sticks, stones, I make a stone axe and break it on a tree.

I find a road, dig through some trash. In the distance I can see ruins and a bridge over some water.

As I collect more garbage I start to see some zombies in the distance. With night closing in, I have no wood to speak of. I make some cobblestone frames and make a tower of 3 to stand on top of. Hopefully this will keep me safe till tomorrow morning.

My Recipe for Gadget Cycling

So I’m a gadget geek and part of that sadly for me is spending a lot of time indoors. Once upon a time though, I used to be a big outdoorsman. I’m slowly getting back in to shape by integrating two of my loves together.

Part 1 of this was buying a cool bicycle. For me this was a Novara Gotham (2012). What qualifies it as gadgety?

  1. Hub powered headlight
  2. Disc brakes
  3. Belt drive (instead of a messy chain)
  4. NuVinci n360 drivetrain (continuous shifting with no gears)

So that’s settled. But how do I ride around this new neighborhood of mine that’s full of one way streets and heavy traffic? I tried to find a GPS unit geared towards cycling and failed. The best I’ve found is Google Maps or my standard GPS app for driving: Navigon. Both offer great bicycling turn-by-turn directions. It’s important to use cycling directions and not driving so it takes in to account bike lanes and bad traffic conditions.

Using my iPhone poses three problems though: mounting, durability, and power. I finally solved durability and power by finding the ibattz Refuel Aqua. It’s a water proof case (up to 10 feet) with a built-in 2200mAh battery. There’s plenty of things keeping me from using that case daily but for a ride it’s great.

Mounting that sucker to my handlebars is harder than you might think because it’s so big. I finally settled on a mount from Arkon. After one ride it felt pretty secure. However I do have the phone connected to my handlebars directly as well. I’m using the large and small size S-Biner from this 3 pack. The ibattz case has a little lanyard loop that fits the small S-Biner size. Then I clip the larger biner between that guy and someplace on the bike. Right now it’s secured to one of my cables on my handlebars. I might  tie or strap the small binder directly to the handlebars at a later date.

Topping it all off is a bluetooth earpiece. This way I can hear directions and data from MapMyRide without completely blocking out the world around me. I’m using a Jawbone Icon HD. It looks ok and has a variety of ear pieces to secure it to my head nicely.

bringing you awesome whenever I feel like it