Ride Report: Blanchard, err, Chuckanut Mountain

Did I really think the ride wouldn't be that hilly? What made me believe Preston would bother looking for others to join him if he wasn't going to at least be leading a relatively serious ride. Sure, he "takes the winter off" and it's "just an early season ride," but me? This year? They say luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. What about when zeal meets sloth? Pain and embarrassment, that's what...

I had never heard of this place Preston called Blanchard (Google Maps insists we were actually at Chuckanut Mountain). I tried to find it on the Evergreen Trail Wiki (an outstanding resource) and came up empty. I asked Preston, and was told it's just a place he likes to ride up by Mount Vernon (a lie, it's actually much closer to Bellingham but he didn't want to scare me off with a longer drive). I should have asked how far we'd be going, or how much climbing we'd be doing. After all, I had only been on my mountain bike for longer than an hour once or twice in recent months. I was also walking quite gingerly thanks to going for a run on Thursday -- my first run in a year. Forty-eight hours later is when the true muscle soreness sets in. Way to time it perfectly, Doug. All I knew was the trails "kicked the shit out of the ones at Tokul." I like Tokul. It's my favorite local ride. And I really wanted to ride someplace new, with guys I don't usually get a chance to ride with. It was settled, agony be damned.

Across Bellingham Bay to Anacortes and beyond...

New Pounds, Garmin Connect

I returned Wednesday night from a nine-day trip to the San Francisco Bay area for work and brought a little something extra home with me. There was the usual suitcase crammed with dirty laundry and a pouch filled with dozens of receipts for the expense report, but there was also an extra four pounds around my mid-section. I knew we were eating well, but I didn't realize just how well. The extra poundage comes at a bad time, as I've yet to shed my winter weight. And the fact that I just nonchalantly typed the words winter weight makes me want to punch myself in the face.

Tactics Ogre Strategy Guide: Don't Take My Word For It

Some reviews are starting to pop up on Amazon for our Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together strategy guide.

Both reviewers love the content and the writing, but would have preferred heavier paper. I don't blame them, but it was a simple matter of economics. The book is 400 pages... for a game that is played on a handheld device. In order to keep both the heft and the price of the book reasonable, cheaper paper had to be used. Now, I'm not privy to the discussions that take place regarding page count and paper stock, but my guess is that going to heavier weight paper would have pushed the retail cost of the book up to that of the game. And nobody wants that, especially for such a niche game as this.

Guidebook Giveaway: Tactics Ogre

I have three copies of our absolutely enormous strategy guide to Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together to give away. It's not often that I say having a strategy guide is essential for getting the most out of a game, but I can't imagine anyone discovering more than 70% of this game without the help of this guide. It's over 400 pages of densely packed maps, side-quests, data, and strategy.

My co-author and I (with help from the lovely Mrs. Walsh) submitted over 1200 pages of manuscript for this book. There are hundreds of maps, countless items and weapons detailed, and hundreds of skills and spells described.

And I've got three autographed copies to give away. All you have to do is sign up to become a Friend of RG (see links on the left) and post a reply to this thread. Take a moment to tell me why you want the book, your memories of playing past Tactics Ogre games, or even let me know what you're favorite character class is. I'll do a drawing of names on 3/12 to pick the winners.