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Scary Womanizing Pig Mask was a good friend. Wherever you've gone, I hope you're in a better place.

Beyamor's avatar fathered mine's love child at PAX East. It's ok though, 'cuz he gave me a picture of a Kirby as child support. Cheap bastard...

I inspired a song. (Thanks, Alphadeus!)

I am an element of Destructoid. (Thanks, Corduroy Turtle!)

10 things that may help you to understand me better.

I used to be the Cblog Recapper for Mondays. It was a good run.

May want to stay out of the old stuff. I didn't know what I was doing when I started here.
Like most other D-toiders I am male, 15 to 30 something, introverted to the point of social ineptitude, and grew up obsessing over whatever videogames I came across-- somewhat to the chagrin of my parents. I have about 9-10 gigs (yes, GIGS) of hard drive space devoted to game music, original soundtracks and remixes alike (Much love for OCRemix ). I've logged many, many hours into World of Warcraft, though I cancelled my account and have been "clean" for a couple of years now. I am a moderately slavering Nintendo fan because-- let's be fair... they were easily the biggest influence in my formative years. Because of this, it is my belief that Smash Bros. Brawl was created specifically for me. The fact that the rest of you may enjoy it is merely coincidence.

I am something of a stickler for both grammar and punctuation, and the use of "LOL" and its truncated ilk sometimes causes me to cringe. Fairly warned be ye, says I.

I work and go to college part time, which is a strain on both my finances and my free time. As such, my gaming collection isn't as up-to-date as I'd like. Somehow, I have managed to obtain a Wii, PS3, and a 360. My favorite console, however, is still the original NES My brother and I bought ourselves 20-odd years ago. I'm almost never more than 50 feet from my DS. I just replaced my computer's innards, and have found that I have more PC games to catch up on than time to do it in. I manage to stay current on most games by visiting friends with other systems, and the ancient art of borrowing. And that's a nice thing about games... if you miss `em you can go back to them years later and they're just the same as they ever were.

I tend to be more of a lurker than a contributor, but if I see something I think is particularly humorous or worthy, I do enjoy sharing.

E-mail: Qalamari {at} gmail {dot} com. Infrequently checked, you're better off sending me a PM on the site.

PSN: Qalamari. Haven't been on there much lately. =/

Steam: Qalamari. Steam sales are craaaazy! Always willing to help with Hat Fortress 2.

Xbox 360: Qalamari. You may be picking up on a theme here by now.

I love to see new Miis. If you add my Wii code, let me know! 5015-7633-5088-2932

Brawl code: 1289-7907-1240. PM me if you add it so I can hit you back.

Mario Kart Wii code: 0731-5535-7924. Same deal.

I had Pokemon codes here once, but I don't think anybody cared.
Following (93)  

4:51 PM on 11.10.2012

Greetings again, Destructoid. I have an update on the get-together I'm planning for next weekend. I want to keep things relatively snappy, so for most of the relevant details, I'll refer you to this thing. This thing right here.

So far, I'll admit there's been less enthusiasm for this than I'd have thought. That doesn't mean we're not going anyway! Even if you can't make it for the rafting, you're still welcome to come for the games and socializing afterwards. I know it's pretty close to a couple of major gaming events, and I apologize for that. I'll keep it short and say that this is the weekend I have off, so this is when it had to be. If it goes well this may have the potential to become an annual event, so if that happens I'll try and schedule it for sooner in the year next time.

Anyway, here's where we are right now. I have confirmation for both the raft trip and subsequent Games and Stuff from the following people:

Myself (duh)
My wife
Crime Minister
Corduroy Turtle
Steezy XL

Now that... that is a brilliant, talented, and dare I say it, devastatingly handsome group of people. It's my understanding that Turtle will be staying overnight, and that Steezy will be making other accommodations. This means we still have plenty of room available for those who'd like to crash overnight. I just need to know by the 8th (That's this coming Thursday) who's coming for the party and who needs a place to stay.

I've heard from the following people (or intermediaries) that they have at least some interest in attending, but haven't gotten firm confirmation one way or the other yet.

Com 01
PhilK3nS3bb3n (if you do make it, I have no idea how to pronounce that. I'ma call you straight-up Phil. Cool?)
Bill Zoeker

Additionally, Swishiee has said he can't make it for the rafting but will join us for the after party. I should probably stress that this is totally an option for those who want to socialize but don't want to get wet or are afraid of inflated rubber or river spiders or whatever damn thing.

So yeah. If you haven't RSVP'd yet, now would be the time. A comment here would be great, or Mr. Andy Dixon very kindly set up a meetup thing that'll let me know who's coming.

One final thing. I'm not sure who's a fan and who's not, but I thought it might be worth mentioning that Weird Al Yankovic will be playing shows in this area over this weekend, and tickets are still available. If you've never seen Weird Al live, I can confirm that he puts on a great show and you will leave thoroughly entertained. For some reason I can't get the link to work here, but if you google "Weird Al Three Stages" you can get all the venue information. Just something to think about if you decide to come.

Think that's pretty much it. Again, hope to see several of you here next weekend!


Greetings to you, Northern California users of Destructoid! I have a proposition for you. I've been working on this for a while now and I think the story is ready to break. The short version is, I'd like to invite everyone who's within a reasonable distance of my home base on a Destructoid themed raft trip down the lower fork of the American River. So here's the pertinent information, in old-school JOURNALISM style. I shall now don my newsman's fedora with a "Press" tag in the brim to prepare myself mentally.

(Ahem.) That's better.

WHO: Everyone who considers themselves a part of Dtoid and lives close enough to make a day trip to Sacramento.

WHAT: We'll be doing a raft trip down the Lower American River. I won't know exactly how much per person this will cost until we have a final headcount, because prices are calculated per raft, not per person. Figure on spending somewhere around $25-$30 per person, though it's my hope that with coupons and a large group discount, we can get it lower than that. Afterwards, we'll be doing dinner (probably something grilled), games and stuff like that there at my house. If you have your own raft/kayak/heavy innertube, go ahead and bring it, but just let me know ahead of time so I don't include you in the headcount for rental pricing.

WHERE: River Rat Raft Rentals, which apart from having a wonderfully alliterative name, also has a pullout farther down the river than the competition, meaning we get to stay on the water longer. That link has info on all the details, so I won't repeat them here.

WHEN: August 11/12. I'm trying to avoid any other prior engagements those folks in the industry might have... I'm aware that Gamescom is the following week, and PAX is not long after, but unfortunately this is the only time I could be certain to be available. We'll meet up at River Rat at 10:30AM and float down the river together, and should be done by about 3PM. There's a shuttle back to the launch site and we'll be heading back to my house from there. I'd prefer not to put my home address out on the internet, so I'll be letting everyone know in person when we meet up the first time.

Anyway, those coming from farther away (Bay area, most likely) are welcome to stay overnight either at our house or if we run out of room, with Spencer Hayes and his family. Bed space at our house is rather limited, but there's plenty of couches and room for sleeping bags. We do have 2 cats, and they're shedding more hair right now than should be physically possible, so if you're allergic you should keep that in mind. Seriously. Big ol' tumbleweeds every morning, no matter how much we vacuum. If we let them pile up they'd soon be bigger than the cats that made them and THAT JUST DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE. Also, Spencer has cute lil' dachshund dogs, so, y'know, pick your allergen.

WHY: Ah, now that is the question, isn't it? Well, for those who aren't aware, Mr. Corduroy Turtle and his lovely companion COM 01 have recently made a significant life change and moved from middle America to the Golden State. This is sort of a "welcome to the neighborhood" for a couple of people I like a lot and am glad to have in closer proximity. But really, it's just a good excuse to have everyone over, eat and play games together. And the Bay area folks have always been exceptionally nice to me, so I figure it's time to return the favor.

HOW: As I mentioned, prices are variable based on how many people we actually have coming. That said, there are a few constants. Shuttle service back to where we parked will cost $4.50 per head. I'd recommend that everyone bring your own bag lunch, sunscreen, swim clothes, change of clothes, towel, any games you'd like to play/share, and bring a sleeping bag just in case. It might also be a good idea to bring a folding camping chair for the after party. We won't be serving alcohol at the party, but if you'd like to bring some for the raft trip or after, you're welcome to. Coolers with snacks and drinks are probably a good idea too, but remember no glass bottles are allowed in the rafts. Also, bring water guns. Lots of `em.

If you need to get in contact with me, I check Twitter fairly frequently. I'm @Qalamari there, and you can also reach me at Qalamari {at} gmail {dot} com. Hope to see a lot of you in August!


By now, I hope you've had a chance to read about the journey I brought megaStryke and GamesAreArt on as well as its tragic end. What I didn't tell you before was that I had thought in the back of my head that something like this might happen, so I secretly visited the clone world of Kamino prior to my journey.

Doesn't look as impressive as I remember it.

The clone masters regarded me strangely as I presented the DNA of my targets. It would have been expensive to make perfect clones, so I allowed them to remove the color from the end product. The clones themselves probably wouldn't be happy about that, but a little brainwork ensured that they'd never know the difference.

Oddly, the clones seemed to have no personality of their own. It was like they were a blank slate on one side. I knew that wouldn't do, so I lent them my voice, and a message to spread.

Now that I had my clones, I needed a place to distribute them, to allow them to blend in with the rest of society. What better place than the meeting hall of the robot's army?

My work done, all I could do was wait. I saw signs of my efforts in some intercepted missives, but very little direct communication. It seemed my clones were rather like fish eggs, hundreds distributed to the wild in the hopes that a few would survive.

It was all right though, as I had an ace up my sleeve. I talked to the leader of the clone masters, a grumpy, turtle-like fellow with the flair of a true artist. He crafted for me two very special clones, far surpassing their brothers' capabilities.

When the tragedy happened, I knew I couldn't keep these special clones to myself. And so they have been carefully packed in carbonite for the journey to their unwitting donors. As a matter of fact, the transport ship is on its way now.

Nope, still not that impressive.

All joking and strangeness aside, thank you to everyone who took the time to help me show mS and GAA around PAX. I'd especially like to thank GrumpyTurtle for his awesome drawings, requested over Twitter and prepared in advance. I'm sorry we didn't get to hang out more sir, and I definitely feel like I owe you something special next PAX. If anyone has pictures they've taken with the clones that they'd like added to the post, it's not too late! Just send them to my email or add them in the comments and I'll make sure they're inserted into the post.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Destructoid for putting on a hell of a show at its PAX panel. It is because of my clone warriors here that I managed to snag the elusive "first post" at the Dtoid Live panel, and thus you, GamesAreArt and megaStryke, you are responsible for the completely awesome set of A30 Astro headphones that I took home. I was shocked and flustered at the outset, when I said who I was on the site and people cheered. That's certainly never happened to me before. And so thank you to everyone who was so nice to me at PAX, I had a great time meeting a lot of you, new faces and old. Thank you to Hamza, Niero, Jim, and anyone else involved with the amazing audio equipment I brought home. And thank you most especially to the community here who has accepted me and tolerates my half-assed ramblings on a regular basis.

And there's one more PAX blog I have yet to write. Sorry Sentry, but that one will have to wait for another day...
Photo Photo Photo

I'm not sure why, but I've been having a terrible time trying to get this blog written. Maybe it's the fact that I haven't done a non-recap blog since February (Lord, has it been that long?). Maybe it's the mental block, knowing that once my post is done, PAX will be well and truly over to me for another year. I suspect it's some combination of the two, but no amount of procrastination will allow me to turn back time; if anything quite the reverse is true.

This might be one of those situations where words aren't necessary, though. Well, maybe not so many words as I usually use. This will be a photo-heavy blog, so be fairly warned, Slowskys.

The choice of whose avatar to take with me to PAX was complicated, and required deliberation over several factors. OK, maybe not several, but a couple. Ok. One. One factor each. You happy now?

Tony Ponce (AKA Megastryke) made a truly amazing blog earlier this year wherein he took to PAX east the avatars of both myself and the lovely Beyamor (and I am justified in saying lovely, for reasons that might best go unspoken). For this reason, he was an obvious choice to bring along.

GamesAreArt is a little trickier to pin down. It was clear from this tweet that he desperately wanted someone to take him along, but was too cool to ask for it directly.

I can respect that. Also, he's a fellow recapper and general stand-up gentleman, as far as I can tell. Also also, his avatar is adorable.

We began our journey at the asscrack of dawn. (Alternate nomenclature: the taint of time.) I am no stranger to being awake at 4:00 in the morning, but I generally approach it as a good time to start thinking about going to bed rather than beginning my day. It is for this reason that I have very little to show on the way to Seattle.

Here you can see GamesAreArt by the windowzzzzzzzz...

When we finally did get off the ground, we launched in tandem with this Virginal plane. I certainly wouldn't make any jokes about that.

I've been to PAX for four years running now but I still don't know exactly how to describe the feeling you get knowing you're surrounded by literally thousands of like-minded people. It's lovely to have one weekend a year where geekiness is an asset rather than a liability.

Swag bag in hand and shell on head, the three of us went off exploring the show floor. The first thing to catch our eyes was this ugly customer. I certainly wouldn't want to run afoul of him, but my 2-dimensional compatriots were much braver. I believe I heard GamesAreArt threatening to give him a paper cut should he try anything funny.

The boys were impressed by this life-size TRON lightcycle, but both were too polite to deny the other the honor of the first ride. In the end, neither of them ended up on it.

Telltale had a pretty strong showing, promoting their upcoming Back to the Future game all over the place.

The boys had less trouble deciding who would get to try out Doc Brown's custom DeLorean. Sadly, the car had a speed-regulating throttle and could not be driven faster than 87 MPH.

It's hard to get angry when you're at PAX, even when a giant sign tells you to. GamesAreArt is an iconoclast, and he does a headstand just to tell the Man he won't be havin' any of that, thank you very much.

Tired by this acrobatic display, the lads decided to take a rest by this oddly-shaped pile of rocks.

But wait! That's no ordinary pile of rocks! In fact, it almost looks like...

A D-d-d-d-d-DINOSAUR? And it seems to be emanating a high amount of radiation! Holy eff, guys, let's get out of here right now!

Having left the show floor, it was time to meet up with some of our fellows. Like, about 200 of them, by my estimation. Our first attempt was very nearly lost to the ages thanks to an Enforcer who clearly liked the smell of his own farts. Still, you can see me and my charges over on the left hand side, near the middle.

Since we weren't sure the first photo had been taken (seriously, that guy was a jackass) we all moved outside. I hope I didn't block anyone with the guys, but you can see us up near the front and center. Behind Funky and DOMO, if that helps.

It was a little chaotic, but I think I gave my charges equal representation, at least.

After the big group picture, it was time to get some more, shall we say intimate photos. First up was the picture reserved for Cblog Recappers. Both of the guys qualified, so they demanded to be included.

Before everyone went their separate ways, we managed to get some pictures with several of the editors.
CrimeMinister and I double-teamed Chad for this shot. GamesAreArt and MegaStryke were happy to share Chad with UsedTabe, Manic Maverick, and LawofThermalDynamics. Chad looks happy too, but you never know with Chad. It's kinda like this.

After the sunniness that is Chad, we cleansed our palate with the abrasiveness you can only get from one James Tiberius Sterling, in full Jimquisition regalia.

Dale North and Conrad Zimmerman were surprised to learn that they both had a twin in another part of the country.

Jonathan Holmes recently mugged Zoey for her sweatshirt, but he took a couple of moments to pose with both of my boys.

Speaking of mugging... this picture is definitely one of my favorites.

What kind of person would I be if I went to PAX and didn't get a picture of our benevolent robot dictator? A lousy one. And I am. But I did manage a picture of the man behind the helmet, at least.

I managed to catch former editor Anthony Burch and his lovely wife just after the Gametrailers panel. Funny thing-- Papa Burch was standing right next to them, but he doesn't appear in my picture. My only theory is that the density of his awesomeness bent the light around him, preventing him from leaving a trace in my photographs.

Mikey and Stella were at the Gametrailers panel, too. So cute!

Much later, we caught up with the rest of Destructoid at the Rock Bottom Bar, and here I got a few shots with various members of the community. First up, I caught a shark.

A rather hairy shark, as sharks go.

Elsa was a little camera shy, so I promised I'd make some slight alterations to her photo. Nothing major, not in the least! Frankly, I cannot imagine why she'd want to cover up that face, as she is a damned handsome woman.

I got one more group shot with Funky, Tactix and JohnnyViral, and all of our adopted avatars. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Xzyliac is a very pretty girl.

ScottyG and WalkYourPath (originator of the Adopt-an-avatar program) shared an adult beverage with the guys before we broke for the evening.

Before we knew it, it was time to leave. I packed the guys safely away in my suitcase, little realizing the horrors that would await me when we touched down.

Uh oh. These guys have been stuck in my suitcase for the better part of a day, smashed up against my dirty clothes... particularly the stanky socks, rich with the sweat of three days tromping around downtown Seattle. I sure hope they're all ri...

Well, dammit. Sorry guys. I hope your last vacation was as much fun for you as it was for me.

Photo Photo Photo

As I mentioned in the recaps last night, last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend Destructoid's housewarming party in San Francisco. Dtoid San Francisco already posted their gallery, but I thought you might want to see my photos too since they show off a little more of how the house is decorated. My friend Scott who lives in San Jose came with me, which was great since I was tired from driving all day. Besides, he wanted to see what was up with this website I keep talking about.

As you walked in the door, there was a long strip of cardboard in the opening hall, and all guests were encouraged to sign in. I'd show you what I wrote, but it was less than stellar and I didn't take a picture. I decided from now on I'm gonna leave the art stuff to the real artists, though.

The new house is a two-story, tan colored Victorian on Utah street in San Francisco. If you've ever seen Full House, you know those things are packed together pretty tightly. You could see into a couple of the neighbor's houses from the various balconies and the backyard... I hope they didn't mind!

Like this! Except, you know. Not.

My friend and I got there pretty early, so we got a good look at the decor before there were too many people there.

The kitchen area was packed with food and booze, maybe not in that order. I was impressed by how the place was decorated-- it's like walking into the website. The walls, even the ceiling are covered in gaming paraphenelia and stuff Niero has recieved from the community. It's gotta be great to get up in the morning, pour yourself a bowl of cereal, and look over to the wall and see the poster ScottyG had everyone sign. I didn't take any pictures of the bedrooms 'cause frankly that's none of my business, but from what I saw walking by they're also a testament to the power of the internet.

This was the chandelier in the living room. Samba de Amigo is SO BAD.

The original helmet adorned this plastic fellow off in the corner. You may note that he is pantsless. It was that kind of a party.

The shelves above the food and stuff were crammed with awards and memorabilia collected from trade shows and conventions. Chad keeps some interesting company... Jenna Jameson, Vivi the black mage and Ron Jeremy flanked him.

Everywhere you looked you saw something related to the site. Here's the orginal Smoking Robot toy that started it all.

The candy choice was deliciously appropriate, no?

Like Bender Bending Rodriguez, this robot has an insatiable desire for alcohol. Fortunately the bartender was happy to oblige.

This picture was what you saw as you walked in the bathroom. I hope no one saw the flash from my camera as I took it... they'da probably thought I was a pervert.

Some charts and graphs were on the walls showing how Destructoid and the rest of the Modern Method sites have taken off over the last few years. Apparently Niero studied the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition in addition to coding and such.

This picture was on the wall between the kitchen and the living room. I don't know what it is, all I know is that it spoke to me.

We headed downstairs since that's where the games were. There were 3 TVs set up with Nintendo consoles hooked to each... it was on the way to Hamza's room, so every time he wanted to go in or out he damn near tripped over someone's N64 or Gamecube cord.

This Tomopop banner graced the wall on the way to the basement.

And this... this is an accident waiting to happen. This thing caused more bad trips than Alfred Hubbard.

We were mightily impressed by the Wall of Power that faced us as we came down the stairs. Nearly every console and accessory you can think of is readily accessible...

All the way back to the Atari 2600. Oddly enough, there's no copy of E.T. here. Can't imagine why. By the way, don't worry too much about the broken Wii in that previous picture. There was a perfectly sound one in the corner playing Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom all night.

This is CTZ and Hammershark playing a quick game of Mario Kart before the party really got started. The door in the back leads to Hamza's room.

The N64 got a lot more use than the Gamecube, actually. I realized I still had my old muscle memory stored from Mario Kart 64...

To say nothing of Goldeneye. Maybe it's the retrogoggles, but I think FPS's were better when you could punch your buddy in the arm if he killed you with a Klobb.

Rock Band was set up on a projection screen downstairs. It was going great until the drum set's kick pedal stopped working. >_<

To the left of the Rock Band stage was this spectacular arcade cabinet, containing more than 3000 not-emulated games. Obviously there have been some concessions to modern design: I'm pretty sure HALO never came out in the arcades. This was the highlight of the night for me, though... I never thought I'd get to play Smash T.V. or Battletoads on an arcade cab again.

Like I said, there was love for gaming on display everywhere you looked. This retro Link pillow was on the chair by the arcade cabinet.

Hamza's contribution to the decoration.

It got progressively more crowded downstairs as the night went on.

The basement is actually a converted garage, and you can see the garage door opener hanging down from the ceiling in this photo. From what I understand, there were well over 100 people that showed up. We didn't stay the whole night since I had gotten up at 6 for work, so we went back to my friend's place around Midnight.

Once again, I'd like to thank Niero and the rest of the staff for creating this site, and also for being so open and friendly. Niero really is one of the nicest guys you're ever gonna meet, and he was walking about the party constantly, trying to make sure everyone was having a good time. I had a blast at the party, it was well worth the drive from Sacramento to be able to welcome my internet friends to California. Thanks again Destructoid, and I wish you great success here in the Golden State!

Photo Photo Photo