This year, I started appearing on the Aimless Adventure podcast. It’s a podcast from a group of friends in Coolidge, AZ who get together to play a bi-weekly DnD game and discuss whatever random subjects come to mind.
Although there’s no actual point to the podcast, conversations tend to focus on nerd-related subjects like video games, movies, technology, and such.
Host Josh Irwin and I grew up together down in Sierra Vista, AZ and went to elementary school together, so after my initial appearance, I was given a standing invitation to come back. Since I have nothing to do on the weekend, I started showing up on a regular basis.
For those of you interested, you can subscribe to the Aimless Adventure Podcast on iTunes.
Here’s a recap of my time with the Aimless Adventure crew:
Aimless Adventure Episode 16
Date: January 26, 2016
My first episode of Aimless Adventure happened not long after I got back from CES in Las Vegas, so that was the focus of my segment. I mostly focused on VR, though 3D printers, AR, and the event itself were discussed. If you’re interested in more CES info, I have a guide on how to prepare and a listicle of things you missed at this year’s event.
Murph discussed his love of collecting Transformers toys and gave some rather interesting and in-depth information on different series of the toy lines. Reminiscing about these childhood favorites was a great time, and if anyone reading this ever needs an expert on collectible toys, you should definitely get a hold of him.
The talk of Transformers toys quickly evolved into talk of the Transformers cartoons, movies, and video games. As it turns out Ryan is a Transformers fanatic, and between him and Murph, there was comprehensive coverage of the franchise.
Keeping in line with the subject of toy collecting, John discussed his love of Pop Vinyl toys and posited the question to the table of what determining factor sparks your interest in a collection. Everyone’s collecting habits are a little different, but it’s interesting to hear everyone talk about what inspires them to give up their money. What’s interesting is most people aren’t actually collecting for future monetary value.
Helen’s trivia game turned out to be a really difficult quiz, and both Murph and I were shut out. Josh won the trivia game and started what turned out to be a long reign.
Ryan then discussed the games he’s playing, which included Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain, Brutal Legend, and Wolfeinstein: The New Order. He also explained how Humble Bundle works, which is a website that sells bundled games for a price the customer sets. The more you pay, the more games are bundled with it, and the company donates a portion of the proceeds to charity.
Aimless Adventure Episode 17
Date: February 11, 2016
My next episode of Aimless Adventure was in February not long before Valentine’s Day, and was recorded the Saturday before the Super Bowl.
On this episode, I recalled a story from my youth. During elementary school, a lot of us would play basketball at recess, and, having hit my growth spurt early in life, I was basically the Yao Ming of the school who just had to stand with my hands up to make it difficult for others to shoot.
At one point, a boy named Josh Wilson went for a layup, and I grabbed the ball in midair and threw it down toward his face. The impact pushed his skull into his body and destroyed his spine. He ended up being home-schooled for the rest of his childhood, and, riddled with guilt, I hung out with him for a few years before we drifted apart.
Wilson was who introduced me to role playing games, which I still play today. My focus of the episode was on my Hearthstone priest deck, and I managed to engage the AA crew in a spirited discussion of the importance of healing in RPGs, how Blizzard stands out as a developer, and card games in general.
Murph then transitioned into his review of Empire of Imagination, the biography of Gary Gygax. The book discusses the man’s life and what inspired him to start Dungeons and Dragons, one of the most iconic RPG franchises of all time.
Danny then discussed car automation and fears of connected cars. Self-driving cars and the dangers of internet-connected vehicles on the road. It’s a real security concern for everyone as this becomes more common in society.
John then discussed movie dream teams and let the table pitch their ideas for movies they’d love to watch. The discussion came up with some really interesting dream team combos of movies I’d definitely watch. Clearly everyone is a fan of comedy.
After that, Josh continued his reign as champion of Helen’s quiz, which has become a consistent segment within the Aimless Adventure podcast. It’s worth checking these out just for the random knowledge gained during this segment alone.
Aimless Adventure Episode 18
Date: February 24, 2016
The video of Episode 18 isn’t up on YouTube, but you can still listen to the podcast on Podbean or iTunes. For this episode, I kicked things off by asking the table which movies everyone would like to see remade, and Josh pointed out that Back to the Future is not an acceptable answer unless you want to be hit with the banhammer.
We also discussed which movies everyone’s excited to see in 2016, which was mostly superhero movies, so be prepared for a lot of superhero talk.
John then continued the theme of movies by asking everyone their favorite genres of horror movies. Having spent a few summers in the 90s renting every horror movie available at Hastings (our local video rental store, which managed to pivot and stay relevant even today, years after Blockbuster’s demise).
Horror movie fans will love the in-depth discussion of pretty much every type of horror movie, from thrillers and minimalist to demonic and campy.
Danny then gets the table (minus Murph and I, who are car-tards) talking about the best engines on the road. I found this discussion to be highly educational as, despite living in a van, I know very little about car maintenance beyond how to keep my own running. That basically involves having AAA at this point.
Josh finally took a segment to discuss how difficult it is to game when you’re older. We all consider ourselves hardcore gamers, having grown up in the golden age of video games. As we become adults, it becomes harder to find time to play games, especially those that require a huge time commitment. Being competitive in these games is really difficult.
We’re not the only ones, since watching people play games has become an industry in its own, contributing to PewDiePie’s vast fortune exceeding Hillary Clinton, Stephen Curry, and many popular celebrities you’d never guess.
Ryan then delved even further into the video games he loves to play before Helen’s quiz, which Josh won once again.
Aimless Adventure Episode 20
Date: April 3, 2016
I spent March relocating and helping a friend move, while the AA crew went down to Wilcox, AZ to cover 24 Hours of Lemons, a race between the worst cars you can imagine. On April 3, we returned to the table to discuss video games and cannabis.
Ryan kicked things off by talking about the Starcraft franchise, how its evolved, and what its currently like playing the game both online and off. Blizzard is a popular game developer, and Starcraft is among the best sci-fi strategy games on the market.
Murph explained the new expansion for Fallout 4, another big gaming franchise. He explains how the Automatron expansion fits into the canon and expands on the already-rich world of Fallout.
John then asked everyone what we’d change on a video game or console besides price, and everyone had an opportunity to discuss their gripes on video games that could have been better if not for one thing.
Anyone who knows me is already aware I regularly attend cannabis events throughout the U.S. and have covered the industry for Main Street, Cannabis Now, and High Times. I also track the industry on this blog. I laid out what the layman needs to understand about the cannabis industry, and we had a discussion about what to expect in Arizona’s cannabis industry for 2016.
Then Josh rounded things off by asking everyone two questions: What would you do for the first time all over again, and what do you wish you could be an immediate expert in?
Josh was finally dethroned as the champion in Helen’s quiz, which focused on the PlayStation, by Ryan.
If you’ve not yet tuned in to the Aimless Adventure podcast, I’d highly recommend it. Aside from these episodes, there are DnD games, random how-tos, coverage of geek events around the Southwest, and interviews with a variety of nerdy celebrities.
Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work appears in High Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, The Street, and Hardcore Droid.