Posted in D&D, Games

Gargoyles, D&D, Broken Bridges…

These gargoyles didn’t last too long against our power!

Last night was our online session of D&D…we are in the latter parts of Rise of Tiamat…a very popular 5th Edition adventure – our group has been at this (starting with Hoard of the Dragon Queen) for almost two years now. We are all level 11 and still having a blast, even remote using Roll20 as our virtual tabletop platform during the pandemic. Every single one of us still eagerly looks forward to our sessions, and even though we miss rolling real dice and being there in person, we have a blast every other week or so!

My character is Cordanim Stoneridge, a Dragonborn Paladin of Bahamut and my trusty celestial wyvern (I know, I know the mini isn’t a wyvern) Pu’Khi who I can summon every once in a while for some flying support.

If you used to play D&D and haven’t in a while, definitely look into with some friends! It’s a great way to connect with people while staying safe!

Posted in Games, Pathfinder

My First “Humble Bundle”

I had never heard of Humble Bundle before, but one day there was an ad in my Facebook feed that caught my eye. Now I typically don’t click or investigate ads on social media (way too much click-bait for my liking), but this one was promoting a Pathfinder bundle of books and e-books that looked very interesting. For those not familiar with Pathfinder, it’s a tabletop roleplaying game (RPG) a la Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) that some friends have played and enjoyed, and I’ve always wanted to give it a whirl. The cost of the books, though (when so heavily invested in D&D), always made me think, “later, Kev”.

This bundle, however, basically allowed me to pay what I thought was fair, with portions going to the publisher and charity. I finally decided to do $50CAD and that would get me the Pathfinder Core Rulebook (Second Edition) hardcover as well as approximately 25-30 PDF and ePub files of other Pathfinder content (rules, adventures, creatures, etc.). Since the book (at around $60CAD) was always my main need, but also my main deterrent due to cost, I figured why not jump in and get all the extra content as well!

Fast forward about 4 weeks (they had to ship from the US to Canada of course) and yesterday a box arrived. I admit, I was nervous about getting a gorgeous hardcover book like this mailed – who knows how they’d pack it and would it arrived damaged? Well the fear of that was nixed immediately upon opening the box. Not only did they have it sized exactly, the book was inserted into precise foam corner cutouts, as seen below in the “unboxing” pictures.

Net result was a pristine condition book, a super-happy customer that will soon learn the Pathfinder rules, and essentially this post to help promote Humble Bundle for anyone that is into gaming, eBooks and software and is looking for interesting content and a very unique way to procure. Give them a look sometime!

Posted in Cycling

The Start of “Fall” Riding

Today was about 10C at 8:30am when I went out to get the bike ready for a ride…sunny, but crisp…I chose to wear the long cycling pants and jersey this morning just in case it didn’t warm up as quickly as the forecast was saying.

I met up with a work colleague from our Montreal office who is in the area for a week or so hosting events (socially-distant, of course) for our customers. He was looking forward to seeing our rural country-side by bike. I set up an easy 20KM-ish route for us as I wasn’t sure how often he is on a bike, and didn’t want to be responsible for any injuries! We had a great time on a beautiful fall morning in Cambridge, ON. That’s me to the right in the below shot on our last 5KM leg before parting ways for the day.

I always enjoy starting the day with a ride – it just sets the energy level for a great day overall! If tomorrow’s forecast is right, it looks like I may just be up for a longer one on Sunday!

Posted in 9/11

9/11 Memories from Canada

New WTC Memorial

I know there are likely going to be lots of posts on this today, but as I was scrolling through my news feed today over a coffee, I was brought back to that fateful morning in 2001…sitting in the office, going about my normal early-day work routine, chatting with colleagues and then the news hit.

At first, it was more about confusion with all the little bits of info coming in, and everyone wondering what was going on! And then the second plane hit, and I remember just feeling my stomach lurch…the feeling of empathy that washed over me (and many of my co-workers) was so acute that it went silent in our large open-concept office. You could hear a pin drop (on carpet no less).

A short while later our CEO told everyone that if they needed to they could go home. Most of us stayed and tried to work while getting info off the Internet. A few of us did head to a nearby co-worker’s house for lunch so we could get the TV news feed for a while. By this time flights were being re-routed all over (I remember Gander, NL being a main hub but I think a few flights were sent to Toronto too) and at this point it was all about nations reaching out with helping hands however possible.

I cannot fathom being family members of the thousands who perished that day, whether they were serving as first responders, or those who for no reason other than being in the wrong spot at the wrong time thanks to evil terrorists, had their lives cut short as they relive this day for the 19th time. Even though I do not know any of you, and you’ll likely not read this, know that I (and many Canadians) share in your grief and pain, and hope and pray that nothing like this happens again…to anyone.

Remembering those who fell and those who carry on…

Posted in D&D, Games

Online D&D for COVID-19 Times

The main combat screen in Roll20

Our youngest son (he’s 21, mind you) and I have a group of friends from our church that we started a Dungeons & Dragons campaign with back in January of 2019. Of course, the pandemic that started this past March kind of put a wrench into that…but not for long!

Our Dungeon Master (DM) was awesome and he’s so creative that it didn’t take long at all for him to get us all set up on some very easy-to-use online tools to keep our connecting together virtually. Now every week or two we connect using Zoom for voice and video chat, D&D Beyond for character management, and Roll20 for the campaign (maps, character and monster tokens, etc.). Our DM also curates some ambient music that we can all connect to on Watch2Gether! It’s definitely the next best thing to being able to meet in person. While you don’t get the facial expressions on those critical roles (successes and fails) quite as well, it at least gives us all the chance to escape together and have a blast!

The picture above shows our adventuring party in an underwater cavern battling some water elementals.

So remember, if you were meeting together with friends before COVID hit and disrupted our in-person activities, think about meeting up together online!

Posted in Beer

A Sour Experiment

So a buddy told me to try a “sour” beer…my initial reaction was “ewwww” but one of my favourite breweries, Wellington Brewery, came out with a blackcurrant-based sour called Against the Currant, and I thought…why not? So in my most recent home-delivery (being socially-distant-responsible) I added 4 cans of this, not expecting to like it at all!

Against the Currant (ABV 5.5%, IBU 18)

Well was I ever wrong!

This was one of the most pleasant beer-drinking surprised I’ve had in a long time. Cool, crisp, and ooohhhh so tart. Even though I could still tell it’s a beer-based drink, it was like I was a nice fruity summer drink!

If anyone is reading this, I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on sours you may have tried. Better yet, if you’re an Ontarian, let me know details so I can try to find it at my local LCBO or Beer Store!

Oh, and a shameless plug for those in Ontario – especially in the K-W/ Cambridge/ Guelph areas…if you’re like us in our household and try not to shop unnecessarily in actual stores, Wellington has one of the best teams of delivery guys and free delivery if in the above areas…only $10 Ontario-wide! I’m not getting anything for this little plug either…simply a very happy customer supporting and promoting local business!

Posted in About Kev

What’s this all about then?

I’m not sure how you got here, but I am glad you did!

I figured I should give a bit of background on me, what I do and why I have created this (yet another) “blog” site.

This post will likely be my longest so that I can give you all a bit of an intro to me…Kev…this guy.

First off…my name is Kevin…I’m a happily-married (for 28 years) Canadian Christ-following sales guy who really loves God, his family, reading, sales, gaming, cycling and much more, but let’s leave something to post about in the future, right? Given the name of the site, though, I guess I should point out how much I love my coffee…

I have worked in IT distribution for over 25 years now, and love my career choice. Helping customers overcome obstacles is one of those things that just gives you a good feeling of satisfaction, and I don’t think I’d be happy doing anything else.

For hobbies and favourite activities, I have quite a few (maybe a couple too many, according to my better half). I don’t think I can put them in any order of preference, as it really depends on the season, what I feel like doing.

I love the social aspects of massively multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPG) having played those casually since 1999 when EverQuest launched. I’ve tried World of Warcraft and others, but the lore and storylinese in the EQ/ EQ2 franchise have always pulled me back into the world of Norrath. Currently I play RuneScape 3 with our oldest son for some fantasy gaming time. I also still absolutely love good ol’ Dungeons & Dragons (you remember it…pencils, graph paper, dice and a good imagination). Although that’s definitely changed since it’s 1970’s era launch, it still remains a great time with friends (even during COVID-19 when we’ve been meeting weekly or so online!

The D&D kind of leads to another love…painting miniature figures for the game. I have several characters and beasties that I have painted myself. The ability to do this probably came from my love since childhood of building and painting/ detailing scale model cars, but I absolutely love getting into all the fiddly details of these miniatures. One of these miniatures (or a car build) would likely be a great topic for a series of posts in the future.

For activity I love to get out on my road bike (I have a 2013 Trek Domane 2.3 for those who care). In our area of Ontario, I’m close to a lot of country roads that are great for road cycling and will typically do rides anywhere from 25KM to 100KM – it all just depends how I’m feeling and how much time I can be gone for. I love the quiet of biking alone, but also have a regular group of friends that ride together, too. During these crazy times of working from home, I’ve been making sure to get out during the work-day and walk. I will typically do a mid-day walk of 3-5KM. All about keeping fit and healthy. It’s too easy with not having been able to get out and visit customers in person to stay sitting at my desk, which leads to weight gain and possibly other health problems!

So finally, on to why I created this site…I guess I really just wanted another challenge that I could work on whenever inspiration strikes. Content may be a bit “all over the place” as I find the direction…photos, thoughts, likes, dislikes, reviews, and more possibly…I’d love to get comments and suggestions as I go to help the site grow into something fun and informative. Oh, and I’m not really that grumpy if I don’t get my coffee. In fact, I’ve cut that intake down and feel much better. I simply thought it sounded like a fun name.

I’m glad you stumbled on in, and hope I can create some content that keeps you coming back and would love to get to know you. Be sure to leave comments introducing yourself and let me know what you think.

Kev