Game Distributors

As part of the game retail store business, I needed to contact the various game distributors to create accounts and start buying stock. Fortunately the current owners have accounts and contacts so can help get the accounts going. I’ll be listing the distributors I’ve contacted and completed the application process and added bits when the process has completed and been approved.

First off, many of the distributors have multiple Terms. Such as prepay with a credit card, cash on delivery, check on delivery, and net terms meaning you’ll order and pay in some number of days. I’ve seen net-30 and net-45 for 30 days and 45 days. In our case we’re either prepaying with a credit card or providing a check upon delivery (COD).

The main issue I have here is the requirement of a Social Security Number. It’s added to the application and sent via email, not the most secure method. I’ve noted that I’ve not added the information but if needed, please call and I’ll provide it. So far it’s only needed when we’re looking for credit from the distributors, aka the net-30 or net-45 terms. Since we’re not doing that, none of the ones that have approved the applications have had an issue with me not providing the SSN.

Magazine Exchange

The contact at Magazine Exchange said we’d simply update the current account with a new credit card and we’re ready to go. I did fill out an application so they had my details and sent it in. Then we made sure we had a good password, added my business credit card, and deleted the other credit cards. All done, easy peasy. The contact at the business was very helpful.

Games Workshop

These are the guys who own Warhammer, a massive miniatures gaming industry. We got in contact with the current account manager, got the paperwork filled out and submitted, and within a few days it was approved and we’re ready to go. Again, pretty easy.

Stonemaier Games

This is the first game specific company. They create the games and sell directly to brick and mortar stores vs going through a distributor. They get to keep a little more money and are in touch with actual brick and mortar stores vs one or two distributors.. I can see it being a touch more complicated having hundreds of stores to manage vs a couple of distributors but it works out for them. I filled out the short application and shortly I was approved and had access to their site to purchase games. We actually ordered quite a few games and expansions which should be here in a few days. This was by far the easiest new account process.

Southern Hobby

We’re looking at bringing in Gundam models and having additional distributors. The distributors can have longer term retailers who might get more games available to them than a newer or smaller shop. If Target buys 10,000 copies of some game and we buy 12, they’re going to get priority for sure. With multiple distributors though, we might get 8 here and 8 at one of the other places. Anyway, they required a survey be completed before I can even apply. This is good as they’re doing due diligence in making sure they’re selling to brick and mortar stores instead of someone buying and selling on ebay. Support your local game store. Anyway it’ll be a week or so before I can even get an application and this is also a new account.

ACD Distributors

We actually have a point of contact here. The application is pretty extensive looking for business references, bank references, and the like. They are one of the bigger distributors though. I had to chat with the current owners to get some of the information they were looking for. Once completed, I scanned in the application and sent it to the point of contact. We’ll see how this goes.

Alliance Distributors

This is also one of the more extensive applications. Here they were looking for business references, bank references, lease references, and a personal reference. Most other information was the same as what was on the ACD application. These guys wanted a copy of my drivers license, a copy of my state tax license, and some other bits that Colorado doesn’t require. I got it all filled out and had to hunt through the documentation in order to find out where to send the application and additional docs but I got it sent off. Now we wait.


I already had an account with these guys. I filled out a contact form to inquire as to how to change it from a Consumer account to a Retailer account. Waiting on them now.


There are a couple of others we’re considering but I haven’t started the process yet. We have orders with Magazine Exchange and Stonemaier Games plus a pending order with ACD so they were the ones I focused on. We do get games from Alliance and Asmodee so we’ll want them eventually and Southern Hobby is one we want to join.

Posted in Game Store, Gaming | Leave a comment

Memorial Day 2022 Ride

Day 3

Time to get up! We’re going to head up rt 50 and home today. I intend on stopping at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison park to show Samantha. Plus we’re going over Monarch Pass which is at 11,000′ so it’ll be cold! We might even get some snow. The lady at the desk said it was calling for snow at the higher elevations. I checked the weather at various places and over at Vail it was calling for some snow showers but nothing at Gunnison so I figured it was better to continue with the plan.

I let Samantha know it was going to be cooler and after some discussion, I offered my spare pants and she took me up on it. It’s a tad bit at the waist but we had a strap from the bike and we tightened it up. Hilarious! 🙂

We got all dressed up, warm and rain gear on. She’d picked up a hooded sweater thing she had under her coat. We need to be warm! Now generally I’m pretty used to the different weather and personally I enjoy colder conditions so I’m warm enough but Samantha is a bit more susceptible to colder weather.

We stopped at the gas station to fill up before heading out and then we were off. I passed vehicles when I could and Samantha would catch up. Good job! 🙂 At one point we got to a construction area and we were on the muddy shoulder so it was slipping just a little. I wanted to remember to remind Samantha to be careful in such situations in that you might feel a bit over confident and forget that you have mud on the tires and slip and slide. Also safely passing folks. Keep an eye on oncoming traffic and if there’s a line behind a semi or someone pulling or driving an RV, to try and stay to the right of the road so folks see you sooner and don’t try to pass.

I kept looking for the turn off for the Black Canyon of the Gunnison but never saw a sign. I suspect there was a different sign we missed. Ah well, we eventually stopped in Gunnison to get gas and take a break. It had been slightly snowing on the way to Gunnison so I expected a bit more when we got to Monarch Pass. Samantha snagged a neckerchief to keep her neck warmer (blocking the wind anyway) and I picked up a gaiter. Warmed up, we’re ready to head up Monarch Pass

The ride up was pretty cool in general. It kept getting colder and snow on the trees. Then it started snowing a bit more and the roads were wet in places. As long as the temps were high enough, it was just water but we were still pretty careful and in a couple of places as we approached Monarch Pass there was a little sand in the road so the back tire stepped out a couple of times. Nothing I couldn’t deal with but I was concerned about Samantha but she handled it like a pro.

I was tempted to pull in but it looks a bit sketchy and I was concerned that Samantha would have a problem on the gravel and potential ice and snow so we kept heading down the mountain. We stopped in Salida to take a break and get gas. In the background is the pass with the blowing snow. I suspect it got worse as time went on.

We headed on looking for lunch. In Canon City we stopped at a Dairy Queen and stripped off the warm gear. We grabbed lunch and I checked the map. It looked like we should take rt 115 up to Colorado Springs if we planned on getting home before 6pm.

Heading out rt 50 was a pretty straight four lane road and we took advantage of the road and hit it in places. I certainly hit triple digits to avoid some of the traffic.

At rt 115, we took the exit and headed north towards Colorado Springs. Again it was a pretty clear road but I was a bit more subdued making sure Samantha was behind me. Once we got to I25 we headed north. I was looking for an easy off and on exit so we could gas up and take a quick break.

I let Samantha know it was freeway time and to drive safe. We were heading north so look for the 20th street exit. On the left side is the HOV lane where motorcycles can ride without paying a toll. Then we’ll want to hit rt 36 towards Boulder and we’ll stop for gas when we can. I said if I reached the toll road before she did, I’d wait where she could see me and if she reached it first, she’d wait on me.

We had to take a right out of the gas station and find a place to turn around and get back on I25. We made it to the freeway and headed north.

Personally I hate being surrounded by cars and if I can find a path out and into the clear I’ll do it. I also like being in the left lane but will move over when someone overtakes. It gives me just one side of the lane to guard vs having to worry about both the left and right sides. We got on next to a couple of cruisers and a truck in the front with a couple more in a trailer in the left lane. I was looking to get in front but it didn’t seem to open up. I spotted an opening coming up on the right and took it, right and then left in front of the car that was in front of me, then left again into the left lane and clear sailing. I kept an eye out for Samantha but she didn’t get out of the clot of traffic.

I kept heading north and getting into Denver, I slowed and moved into the middle lane waiting on Samantha. It wasn’t long as she moved up in the left lane and kept on going. I dropped in behind her and she was really moving. Eventually we got to the toll road and we headed on up with me taking the lead. We got off on rt 36 and headed up. It took a bit before I was comfortable enough to take the exit for Sheridan Road. I waved her over and we got off to get gas. I made the light but she missed it so I waited up just a touch until she made the light. Then we headed over rt 36 and into the right hand left turn lane (two left turn lanes). There was a truck to our left. Light changed and we made the turn but the truck tried to merge into our lane. BEEP!! Asshole!

The cards weren’t working at the pumps so I had to prepay for both of us. I gave the guy a serious head shake as I headed to the shop. After filling up, we headed back to rt 36 and headed towards Boulder.

Traffic wasn’t too bad and we got off on Baseline Road, headed up to Broadway, then a left on Canyon and headed up toward Nederland. At Hurricane Hill, we made the right, then a right on Ridge Road, then a right on Rocky Knob Lane and we’re home.


Total trip miles: 781.7 miles per Streets and Trips

Posted in 2022 - Memorial Day Ride | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Memorial Day 2022 Ride

Day 2

The Studio 6 was actually pretty nice in general. The problem was I’d laid the Camelbak on the bed last night before heading to Outback and it leaked water on the foot of the bed. As such, I slept in a bit of a puddle all night. Once you warm up the water, it’s not all that bad. 🙂

I tend to be a very early riser, getting up around 5am but on the trip, I got up at 6am 🙂 I took a shower and packed up my gear getting it on the Concours until I woke Samantha up. Aren’t I nice? 🙂

I pulled the Hayabusa up to the door and showed Samantha how to clean and wax the chain. I have a stand that lets the rear wheel turn freely. Humorously it’s been so long that it took a few minutes to figure out how to lever the bike onto the kickstand to get the other stand in place. I used WD40 to clean the chain and then chain wax once it dried.

Samantha saved some of dinner for breakfast so while I was finishing up the Hayabusa, she was hitting the left overs.

Once we were all packed up, and searched the room to make sure nothing was lost (Sam found an old water bottle under the bed, cleaning staff!) we headed out. After a bit of riding, we hit a gas station to top off the bikes. Even though we filled up last night not long before, we’re going to be hitting Rt 141 and there may not be gas for 100 miles. Better to top off before leaving.

But when I was trying to open my tank, I pushed a bit too hard on the key in the tank and bent it! I was able to bend it back to just about straight but I didn’t want to muck with it too much so I put it in the ignition and pretty much left it there and used the spare key from then on. I’ll need to try and straighten it out better when we get home.

And when done, we headed out. I made a turn on the alternate rt 70 and within a few minutes I realized we weren’t on rt 50. I pulled over and let Samantha know what happened. We made a left turn to a side road and parking lot to get turned around and back to 29th street. A left turn (and I needed to wait as I made the light but Samantha didn’t), and headed on to get into rt 50 south.

At rt 141, we made the right turn and headed for Gateway and then Naturita. What a beautiful morning though. Nice and cool and a bit cloudy. It was matching the weather report, if just a little cooler but the day is early. After a few minutes into the ride, I pulled over to a flat paved pull out. I’ve been careful since Samantha had the issue with the slight hill and figured there might be issues with gravel too. Best to be careful 🙂

Samantha seems to be enjoying the ride 🙂

As we progressed though, there was darkness ahead. It was straight and a bit to the right so I was hoping we would skirt the rain. I was eyeing oncoming traffic to see if they showed some rain on the windshields and sniffing to determine if it was raining up ahead. You know the nice smell of fresh rain on asphalt. Nothing so far. But as we continued, it was clear we were going to be riding through some rain and lightning. Time to pull over and get set.

Because I have such big feet, I generally take off my boots, get the Tourmaster rain pants on, then put my boots back on. But as noted yesterday, I’m prepared. I brought rain gear, bought a second set of rain glove covers for Samantha, and I’m using waterproof gear bags to keep things dry.

As we approached Gateway, it got clear and dryer. Fortunately there was a gas station so we pulled over and filled up. Since I’m paying for both vehicles, occasionally there’s a problem where the bank balks when I run the card twice and since the two bikes use different octanes, I can’t fill it with the same pump (well I could but it’d be a waste). In this case, the pumps wouldn’t even take the cards. I had to go inside and prepay. It worked out though.

I’d passed on to Samantha that she could stop at any time. I was watching behind and if I saw her stop, I’d stop and maybe head back if I got too far ahead. But generally she waited for me to stop.

I was keeping an eye on the scenery and pulled over at a pretty cool spot for a picture.

Looks like rain ahead so we’re not removing gear yet. We’re still about half way to Naturita.

We did stop one more time on the way to Naturita for a quick break. I’ve generally been taking a break one way or the other about every hour. We were next to a small river and Samantha got a bit disgusted due to the ants on the ground and we had to shake off a bunch of them before we could get going again 🙂

In Naturita we stopped for gas and a break. We chatted up a couple of cruiser riders asking where they were going as we were going to tell them it was raining further on to Gateway but they were turning back anyway.

I kept trying to get maps working but I wasn’t getting much of a signal. I wasn’t too sure which direction to head and we pulled into a Dollar store but they didn’t have any maps. Samantha asked and the guy said if we kept on the road we were on, we’d reach Montrose in a couple of hours vs 3 hours if we went via Nucia. So off we went.

It’s been pretty windy on this trip and rainy in spots. I pulled into a large scenic area on our way down and it was stupid windy. It blew my helmet off the bike! But it was a great view. I did pull Samantha’s bike around due to the gravel and the angle of the Hayabusa.

From here we headed down to Ridgeway and then made the turn north to Montrose. I called Jeanne to see what hotels might be available and eventually we headed for a Days Inn on rt 50 east of Montrose. Checked in and parked the bikes. It had rained a bit on our way in so we planned on taking a walk to find dinner.

I figured to catch something local vs some fast food place but man, it’s Sunday in Montrose and nothing at all is open except fast food. We headed down rt 50 and Main Street to the main drag. We walked almost 1.5 miles and we found a Subway.

Personally I’m not much of a fan of Subs in general unless it’s a Philly Steak and Cheese and my experience at Subway was their Steak was (to me) adulterated with green peppers and onions. Personally I just want steak and cheese and not peppers. Just what I’m used to I guess. Fortunately they had unadulterated steak! Woo! So I had a pretty good steak and cheese sub and Samantha had some odd thing 😀 I also had a couple of chocolate chip cookies and a soda.

When we got done, we headed back but it’d started raining! We got wet for sure walking back. Not much we can do about it other than tough it out. There was one gigantic puddle we’d avoided on the way out but I splashed through it on the way back. My boots are waterproof and my feet stayed dry. We got back without too much trouble and a bit damp.

Samantha checked her wounds and she started bruising up pretty nicely.

And the the back.

I did some reading and Samantha crashed hard, snoring a bit. Some time in the night she woke up and I vaguely remember asking why she was awake. “I work nights!” 😀

Posted in 2022 - Memorial Day Ride | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Memorial Day 2022 Ride

Day 1

Samantha (my daughter) and I have been planning a couple of rides for the past several months. She attended a motorcycle repair school down in Florida and has ridden standards and cruisers a bunch of times so has some experience. This will be the first time on a sport bike, my Hayabusa. Other than a few parking lot rides of course 🙂 She also didn’t have her endorsement for Colorado so she attended a BRC put on by a local place, passed, and has her endorsement now. Good job!

There are two rides. One out to California, up the Pacific Coast Highway, over to Glacier National Park, then south through Yellowstone National Park, Grand Tetons National Park, and whatever else might pop up on the map during the trip.

This is also a meet and greet with cousin Holly and her hubby Jesse, aunt Merrie Ann and Frank, and whomever might be around to chat up.

After some discussion, I plan on taking the Mustang Convertible and the Hayabusa. Samantha is somewhat sensitive to cold so I figure heading up the coast might be an issue and we can simply swap so I’m on the bike and she’s in the car. In general though we’ll ride and swap half days throughout the trip.

But to test it out, I figured on taking a short Memorial Day ride. Just a couple of days to see how Sam handles the Hayabusa and see if she is up to longer rides than the couple of hours she’s done, per ride, in the past.

One of the things I did with the bike was replace the headlight. It was pretty scratched up from years of riding and man did that make a difference. The headlight is nice and bright now.

As part of that, I also cleaned and checked the bike out. It seems to be leaking a little oil and I’ll need to track that down. Plus it’ll need a new rear tire before going on a longer trip.

I also cleaned the Concours as I’ll be riding that during the Memorial Day ride. Made sure all the fluids were topped off and we’re ready to go.

I spent a little time with my checklist and gathered together all the necessary gear and got the two bikes packed up and ready to go.

For Saturday morning, I told Samantha we weren’t in a great hurry. Just to let me know when she was coming over. She’d tried to do a swap but it didn’t seem to work out so she worked half a day and got off late. She headed over after midnight (after shift) and crashed on the couch. I woke her up at 10 and we had a pancake breakfast before heading out.

It’s a bit of a tight turn up at the top of the road so I took the Hayabusa up and got it parked with Samantha walking up. Then I headed back down to the house and grabbed the Concours. I headed back and we were ready to head out.

I had originally planned on a ride up to Cameron Pass to Walden, Steamboat Springs, and spend the night in Craig, but due to being a little later starting, I decided to head down to Nederland and then up to Black Hawk and Central City, take the Central City parkway to Idaho Springs and stop there for gas.

Of course, being Dad, I had a lot of wisdom to impart. Take it easy on the corners, ride your own ride, be careful on Interstate 70 when we get on it. I said I’d stop if I got ahead at a light, don’t freak out 🙂

And we headed out. I kept it easy going. We had all day to get to Grand Junction where we’ll be stopping for the night. It was a nice cool day. I’d checked the weather forecast for Grand Junction and other places on our tour and it was supposed to be in the 80’s plus or minus so it’ll be a pretty nice ride in general. I of course packed all the necessary gear (see checklist) including rain gear and warmer gear because Colorado will surprise you 🙂

We got to Black Hawk without any trouble, cruised up through Central City to the Central City Parkway and headed to I70. It’s a pretty nice ride and yes, I did pass people and Sam did a fine job keeping up. The headlight looks nice and bright behind me 🙂

We made the turn on I70 and headed west. At the Mt Evans exit, I signaled and pulled off to the gas station that I pretty regularly hit when I’m going this way and we stopped for gas and a quick break. And she disappeared! I spent several minutes looking for the ghost of Samantha! She eventually came from behind the store. She’s not comfortable with tighter turns yet so I headed behind the store and brought the bike back around to the parking lot next to me.

One of the things we did a few weeks back was chase down a helmet that fit Samantha better. This is quite a bit nicer, although the black can be a bit hot I think. And Samantha was noticing that on a sport bike, the leaning forward position was putting a little stress on her back muscles. Something she’s not used to using.

After hitting the bathroom, grabbing a soda, and gassing up, we headed west. I do have a tiny bit more experience with the bikes so getting on the freeway and hauling ass is something I’m used to. She did catch up, no problem and we moved along.

It did get a little cooler as we approached the Eisenhower tunnel and of course the ride through the tunnel was an experience as always. On the other side we scooted on down towards Silverthorne. I tend to stop every hour or so for a break and we stopped at the Vail Pass rest area. It was unfortunately closed but we took a break anyway and chatted about the ride so far.

After resting a bit, we headed off yet again. It’s a bit cool and windy but still comfortable and no need for warmer clothes. We next stopped in Eagle for gas and a bathroom break.

And again, after taking a break, gassing up, and grabbing a soda, we headed out again. Probably one more break before hitting Grand Junction. Again, it’s a bit overcast and cool with some wind to deal with. Traffic hasn’t been all that bad honestly.

At the next rest area in Parachute, we stopped again just for a break. The parking lot is at a bit of an angle, not something I typically think of because I’m a big guy and generally able to muscle my way up slight inclines. If it was too steep, I’d back the bike in or pick a different spot. In this case it didn’t seem all that bad. To me at least. Samantha pulled in but decided she’d try to back it out.

Unfortunately, she had a bit of trouble while backing it up and BIKE DOWN!

Awww, poor baby. Fortunately we got help from the rest area care taker and we got the bike back up on her feet. Damage was minimal which is good, all things considered. Humorously I’d been looking at replacement gear shift lever, brake lever, and the gear shifter and rear brake lever but hadn’t actually purchased them (yet).

Note the end of the lever is now gone. But Samantha is sufficiently apologetic 🙂 Unfortunately she did get a “slight” ding on her left leg for some reason. We figure she hit the left side rider’s peg and scraped her shin a bit. It’s not too bad looking but certainly something to remember the ride by.

After checking the bike to make sure she was okay, I backed the bike out and we were on our way to Grand Junction.

I’d called Jeanne to have her check for hotels in Grand Junction and she found a Studio 6 on Horizon Ave. It’s a Motel 6 for longer term “renters”. We pulled in, checked in, and got our room just around back by the pool.

Samantha had been Jonesing about having an Outback steak and I happened to find that Outback had a place in Grand Junction so we headed over for dinner. I’m less a fan of Outback’s steaks but I do like their Bloomin Onion. We ordered dinner and relaxed (although there was some annoying kid next booth over).

Posted in 2022 - Memorial Day Ride | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Pre-ride Checklist

Going on a ride again after a couple of years of Covid and this time I’m taking along my daughter, Samantha. And she’ll be on the Hayabusa and I’ll be on the Concours for the short trip and maybe the Mustang or Concours for the longer trip to California.

This checklist is all inclusive so will work for both trips. Just pare things down a tad for the 3 day ride vs the 8 day ride.

Let’s begin. First off, my bike. I’ll have the bulk of the gear in part because I’m more used to carrying all this. Plus I’ll be camping so some of it is more appropriate when camping than hotel room hopping.

Kawasaki Concours

  • Gas Tank – I don’t have an extra tank bag so we’ll see.
  • Seat – Me!
  • Rear Seat – Junk Bag
  • Right Side – Saddlebag
  • Left Side – Saddlebag
  • Luggage Rack – Trunk
  • Me
    • Helmet
      • Sena 10
    • Compression Shirt
    • Bicycle Pants
    • Socks
    • Gloves, Deer Skin
    • Alpenstars Jacket
    • Boots, Waterproof
  • Junk Bag – It’s more like the junk drawer at home with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Things I might want to have at hand if needed but don’t want floating around where I can’t locate it.
    • Pack of batteries – AAA mainly for the flashlights.
    • Bandannas (2) – Generally used when cleaning off bugs.
    • Flashlight
    • Nuts – A bag of mixed nuts for snacking.
    • Plexus – Used to clean helmet shield and windscreen from bugs.
    • Reading glasses in a case
    • Sunglasses
    • Small Tote Bag – This is used for mostly small mechanical type things.
      • Cable Ties
      • Crazy Glue
      • Flashlight
      • Flashlight Bulbs
      • Headband for Flashlight
      • JB Weld
      • Lighter
      • Nytril Gloves (the blue ones)
      • Pocket Knife
      • Seam Sealer for the tent
      • Spare Fuses
      • Tire Pressure Gauge
      • Twist Ties
      • Spare Keys (locks, givi, motorcycle)
    • Small Tote Bag – This is for more personal stuff. Generally just the small bag from my backpack
      • Chapstick
      • Earplugs
      • Multitool – Like a leatherman
      • Insect Spray
      • Ointment, Antibiological (like neosporin)
      • Sunscreen
      • Tylenol
      • Vitamins
  • Right Saddlebag
    • Aerostitch First Aid Kit – Check for expirations and such
    • Engine Oil
    • Tire Repair Kit
    • Tire Air Pump
    • Bungie Net
  • Left Saddlebag
    • Bungie Cord
    • Straps
    • Brake Fluid
    • Electrical Kit
    • Shammy (Chamois like towel)
    • Trash Bags
    • Tool Kit
    • Extra Tools (axle wrench, 10/12mm, 2 hex)
    • Waterproof Gloves
    • Waterproof Glove Covers
  • Trunk
    • Rain Coat
    • Rain Pants
    • Waterproof Bag
      • Extra Jeans
      • T-Shirts (4 pair)
      • Socks (5 pair)
      • Underwear (5 pair)
    • Waterproof Bag
      • Sweatshirt
      • Swimsuit
      • Book
    • Cloth Bag
      • Dirty Clothes
    • Medium Tote Bag – This is an old CD or Game case.
      • More Ear plugs – More for sleeping at night.
      • Soap
      • Disposable Razor
      • Eyewash
      • Fingernail clippers
      • Toilet Paper
      • Mirror
      • Wash ‘n’ Dri’s
      • Headlight Bulb
      • Turnsignal/Tail light bulb
      • Smaller Tote Bag
        • Deodorant
        • Disposable Razor
        • Floss
        • Q-Tips
        • Soap
        • Toothbrush & Holder
        • Toothpaste
    • Small Tote Bag – Electrical kit
      • Phone Charging Cable
      • Tablet Charging Cable
      • Headset Charging Cable
      • Camera Charging Kit


  • Gas Tank – Tank Bag
  • Seat – Samantha!
  • Right Side – Saddlebag
  • Left Side – Saddlebag
  • Luggage Rack – Trunk
  • Samantha
    • Helmet
      • Sena 10
    • Clothes
    • Gloves
    • Jacket
    • Boots
  • Tank Bag
    • Maps
    • Batteries
    • Bandanna (2)
    • Nuts
    • Plexus
    • Sunglasses
    • Small Tote Bag
      • Earplugs
  • Right Saddlebag
    • Tire Repair Kit
    • Tire Air Pump
    • WD-40
    • Chain Wax
  • Left Saddlebag
    • Spare Gloves
    • Waterproof Gloves
    • Kickstand Plate
    • Jacket Liner
  • Trunk
    • Rain Coat
    • Rain Pants
    • Waterproof Bag
      • Spare clothes
    • Waterproof Bag
      • Toiletries
    • Waterproof Bag
      • Electrical Cables
Posted in Motorcycle Trips, Ride Checklist | Leave a comment

Game Cafe For Sale

Back in January or February (2022 for the later readers) a story popped up in reddit’s r/boardgames subreddit about a game cafe in Saskatoon Saskatchewan for sale. The owner had passed and the family wasn’t interested in keeping it going. Sale price was $20,000 and take over some loan.

I spoke to the owner of my Friendly Local Gaming Store (FLGS) and asked his opinion and he thought for a game cafe, it wasn’t out of line. After a bit of discussion, he commented that he and his wife would be interested in selling, but only if the buyer was me.

I’m a long time gamer. Even as a kid we played games at the house. Chess and various card games. As I grew older, I played other games and got into war gaming with Avalon Hill games. I stumbled on a Dungeons & Dragons game in the Recreation Center on post back in 1977.

After a couple of months of chatting with Jeanne and with Jamie and his wife Cat, I felt that actually purchasing their store would align with potentially retiring in a couple of years. Cat was moving along in her career and as the person doing the back end business work, she was just getting too busy to keep it up.

Anyway, that’s how things started.

Posted in Game Store, Gaming | Leave a comment

Jinja2: Encountered Unknown Tag


I was running an Ansible playbook and one of the templates failed with the following error:

AnsibleError: template error while templating string: Encountered unknown tag 'd'

Jinja2 uses a brace + percent and a percent + brace to identify Jinja2 commands that are used when preprocessing a template.

This error simply is telling you that there’s a brace + percent that’s in the template that isn’t a Jinja2 command or “tag”. Search the file for a brace + percent and you should be able to locate the offending line.

Typically this might be related to a printf() type command where the output is something like this:1

message += "_e{%d,%d}:%s|%s" % (len(title), len(text), title, text)

Note specifically the brace + percent + d in the line. This is causing the problem.


Wrap the line (or lines) in a raw tag like so:

{% raw %}
			if title and text:
				message += "_e{%d,%d}:%s|%s" % (len(title), len(text), title, text)
{% endraw %}

And the application of the template succeeds.

Posted in ansible, Computers | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Development and Branches

Many many many years ago, I learned to program. It was on a Radio Shack Color Computer. It had a BASIC plug in pack and I think I could save to a cassette tape. I followed the BASIC programming book and learned to write code. My very first program was one that let you create a vehicle for Steve Jackson’s Car Wars. Heck, I was fortunate to discover the old BASIC program in an old backup CD from the 90’s and it’s now in my github repository.

My first couple of jobs after getting out of the Army in 1982 were programming related in one way or another. But I moved away from being a developer and into building local area networks (LANs) and writing scripts and programs to help with that. It let me be creative without the restrictions that came with writing code professionally.

In the mid-90’s, I switched from managing LANs to managing Unix servers. Solaris primarily but some HP-UX, Irix, Tru64, and Red Hat Linux. This exposed me to the real basic Revision Control System (RCS) that we used to manage configuration files on the Unix servers.

I began using RCS for my personal programming projects. Many years later, I wrote an Inventory program to help manage our servers. I of course used RCS to manage the changes. I had my own way to deploying finished code to production systems, similar to how Jenkins works if you’re familiar with that tool. In order to become familiar with current tools, I gradually shifted over to git.

It’s been an interesting run and now I’m working directly with developers and it’s giving me a better understanding of their needs. Because I want to help them do a better job, I’m learning their techniques and applying them again to my projects. I’ve set up a much better Jenkins pipeline and even used gitlab’s CI/CD pipeline.

Because we’re using git and github a lot more with the new job, I’m a bit more knowledgeable about development practices. One of which is branching. A release branch, development branch, feature branches, and hot-fix branches.

For our automation practices, doing much more than a main branch and a feature branch is probably over kill. We aren’t writing code, we’re creating automation and at times, need a much quicker turn around to get changes applied so we can continue with the task.

But for my personal stuff like my photo library, inventory, and other programs, I can take advantage of what I’m learning and apply it there.

I don’t have everything following this technique but the main programs are gradually migrating in that direction.

For my environment, I have two configurations. An environment that’s similar to a work setup where I have a development, QA, staging, and production pipeline. And my personal environment where I have a local installation, one for my docker work, and one for my remote or production like environment.

For each environment, I have a couple of development like servers. One with website development and one with more utilities and playbooks.

As for the pipeline, each of my programs has a Main or Release branch, a Development branch, and under that, Feature branches. In Jenkins, I have a trigger for the local or development environments that is based on the /dev branch. When I create a feature branch, when I merge it in, it’s merged with the dev branch. This then triggers the testing and deployment to my local development testing servers (bldr0cuomtool11 and ndld1cuomtool11).

When I’m ready to create a Release, I merge dev with the main branch and in Jenkins, the Docker and Remote servers are updated for the home environment. For the work like environment, code is deployed to the QA and Staging servers. The final deployment to Production is manually executed by me to simulate a live corporate configuration.

I like this process. My first stage is testing and if that passes, deployment to be reviewed. Then a release is created and the pipeline is followed. Pretty interesting.

Posted in CI/CD, Computers, Git, Jenkins | Leave a comment

Pork Tacos

This one is an easy and tasty meal and is awesome to the last taco.

This is a crock pot recipe. You’ll assemble the ingredients and put a 3 lb pork shoulder into the crock pot, adjust for the size of the pork shoulder.

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

You’ll also need a cup of salsa.

Stir up the ingredients and pour them over the pork shoulder then cover the shoulder with the salsa. It’s a crock pot so set it to high for a few hours and then for overnight, set it on low.

For the ingredients of the taco. And as a note, this is to taste so you can add cilantro, lime juice, or other taco type ingredient.

  • 4 cups Cole slaw
  • 4 tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 3 teaspoons Sriracha Sauce
  • Mexican Mix cheese
  • Soft Tortillas, 8” or so

Mix together the Mayonnaise and Sriracha Sauce then stir it into the Cole slaw. Lightly warm the Tortillas, combine and enjoy!

Posted in Cooking | Tagged | Leave a comment

Carl and The Llamas

In Concert


For the past 5 years, the group has played together. We’ve had almost weekly practice sessions and have added songs as we got better. We’re up to about 16 songs and still adding more. We even played at a couple of summer BBQs. We had planned on starting to gig in 2020 however with Covid, we put it on hold. At times we even didn’t have practice.

When our drummer Jonathan bailed in 2021 to Florida, we were disappointed but tried to find another drummer as a replacement. I created a Craigslist ad and received probably half a dozen or so responses but no takers.

I also decided to shift to a Longmont specific place where we can practice hoping that something more central would be more attractive to potential drummers. It cost a little money to rent the space but if we can get a drummer, it’d be worth it. I posted a second Craigslist ad and out of the half dozen responses, actually had a drummer decide to audition. She decided she wasn’t interested in our set list and bowed out after playing with us.

I joined the LeftHand Artist Group at the recommendation of Jensen Guitars in Longmont and posted up a request for a drummer but nothing came of it.

However, in the group someone posted that the Bootstrap Brewery in Longmont had an Open Mic Night every Monday night. I brought it up with the band and we decided to give it a try in an effort to attract a drummer.

Jeanne and I stopped in on a Monday and chatted with Dennis, the coordinator for music, and asked several questions. What do we need to bring and how to sign up being the main questions. We bring our amps, pedal boards, and instruments. They’ll provide a PA and microphones. We’ll have 20 minutes to play and signup starts at 5:30pm, sets start at 6pm. We’ll want to be there early in order to get a position as there are only 9 positions available and some times they can fill up quickly.

Preparation For The Show

We’ve been playing to Youtube drum tracks for the set list we have starting in January. I started extracting the tracks from Youtube and creating a numbered set list on my phone to have better control over the tracks. Jen, our singer, presses play on the song and we play to the drum track. Some of them are harder to play to than others due to solo starts by the guitarists. It causes a timing shift and we have to listen and perhaps drop a note or two to get back into sync with the track.

For the show, since we had 20 minutes, I reviewed our set list and picked out songs where the drummer starts either early or at the same time. I ran it by the band to see if there was others we should consider. I initially picked 4 songs. I will note that Killing In The Name is our signature song and our name is partly due to the song. That one had to be played.

  • Killing In The Name
  • Breaking The Law
  • Stacy’s Mom
  • Living Dead Girl

Since the first and last songs are in Drop D tuning and the two middle songs are E Standard tuning, I created a 10 second applause and retune track and a 5 second applause track to give us time to retune and let the audience applaud.

With the pauses and the length of the songs, it took a little over 12 minutes to play the four songs which gave us an additional 8 minutes for setup and tear down. I added a 5th song, Come Out And Play, and the total time was 17 minutes with the extra 5 second applause track. That gave us 3 minutes to set up and tear down. I think we can do that.

In preparation for the show, I’d created several T-Shirts promoting the band. Specific ones like Singer (Jen), Lead/Rhythm (Me), Rhythm/Lead (Andrew), and Bass (Eric) along with a Roadie/Groupie (Jeanne), Former Drummer (for Jon), and Drummer Needed shirts plus a Fan one specifically for Samantha. I even arranged for a Sound Technician (Morgan) to help us because we didn’t have a drummer. We’d want to make sure we sounded right with the drum tracks not too loud for us and us at a good volume for the venue. I also created a half page flyer to promote the band listing the band, Morgan’s shop, and where we were on the Internet.

The Sunday before the show, we practiced the five songs in addition to the tear down and set up and were certainly under 20 minutes by a few seconds. It’d be tight but it could be done. Easy Peasy.

At The Venue

I knew we needed to be there early to make sure we would get a slot. We’d been telling all our friends, family, and even coworkers that we were going to be playing. We didn’t want to get there and not get a slot and potentially disappoint all our guests.

When we arrived at around 4:40pm, we went in and someone was sitting in a chair at the sign up board. So, a line 🙂 We asked if this was the line and she said yes, pull up a chair. She was the mom of a band, ‘Intermission‘, and wanted to make sure she got a specific slot (7pm) because of other things the kids were doing. We were looking at 7pm as well as Eric is coming from a bit of a distance and didn’t expect to be here until around 6:30pm. This left us with slot 5 where she was taking slot 4. Jeanne sat with her most of the time as I got my gear set up, stand, guitar, pedal board, and amp, with plugs into the pedal board and amp and patch cables in the guitar, ready to jump up, plug in, and play. I did notice a meter on the stage left wall but facing the stage. It would jump around high 80’s, low 90’s. I assumed it was a decibel meter.

Andrew showed up a bit later, then after the sets started, Jen and Morgan arrived. Finally around 6:30pm or so, Eric arrived and we’re ready to go.

I spoke to Morgan and asked that we get a nod when it’s time for Stacy’s Mom because the applause might make hearing the start of the track difficult. I also spoke to Jen as she was to do some introduction for the band while we set up. And finally I spoke to Jeanne to make sure her tasks were understood. For the flyers, I spoke to one of the folks behind the bar as I wanted to pass out the flyers on the various tables. The owner (Tommy) agreed. Ultimately I wanted this to go smoothly and efficiently. Professionally.

At 5:30pm I actually took one of our fliers that had been folded up and taped it to slot 5. The lady signed up for slot 4 and the rest of the folks coming for Open Mic Night lined up to take a slot. There were so many that Dennis actually created 3 more slots.

Things were going pretty quickly in general. Intermission started a bit before their slot at 7pm. At around 7pm, Dennis came up and said Intermission was playing 4 songs and that he was going to let them complete it and that we might be starting right at our slot of 7:20pm. Perfectly fine I said. I also said that we had 5 songs but we were tight, tight and would be done in 20 minutes without a problem.

When the time came, we jumped up and started getting set up. We were in place in a minute or two max and ready to go.


We couldn’t hear the drum track. See the PA is in front of the band so it’s harder to hear. Morgan said the sound was a loud as it could be. I asked if the monitor could be turned on a couple of times but it never seemed to work. Later when I checked the picture of the mixer I sent to Morgan, the monitor wasn’t even plugged in. Morgan had downloaded our tracks from our website but in order to attach to the sound system via blue tooth, he borrowed my phone which also had the tracks.

While Morgan and Dennis was trying to work it out, we’re standing up there waiting. I started playing I Hate Everything About You just to keep my fingers going and spoke to the crowd about sound issues.

I started playing I Hate Everything About You and Jen started singing it. Then the rest joined in. All of a sudden, someone from the crowd jumps up and is playing drums right behind me (the house set). I will say that acoustic drums can be very very loud!

We made it through the song and it looked like the sound was working but the drummer kept on playing as we started in on Killing In The Name. He didn’t do too badly but when we got to the end, the drum track we brought was also going and just a few beats behind us!

We kept going with Breaking The Law, then Come Out And Play, and then Stacy’s Mom. Sadly I was nervous enough that I fumbled around far too much. I was pretty disappointed with my playing and at least once, I had to stop because I didn’t know where we were. The drummer kept going with us and I had to tell our tech to kill the drum tracks.

We finished with Stacy’s Mom and Jeanne jumped up and said, we’re done, break it down so we did and put things back by our table. We actually played 5 songs even though it wasn’t the 5 we had planned on but we didn’t plan on the sounds problems either.


There were apparently several separate conversations going on with regards to our efforts.

Jeanne said that someone commented that we were playing 4 songs. Since the venue said we had 20 minutes, I assumed we would be allowed to play as many as we could get in 20 minutes. Jeanne asked Dennis a couple of times if she should shut us down but he declined saying it was okay. Someone else said they’d pull us down but Jeanne said nope, he’s my husband and took matters in her own hands, shutting us down. Apparently, and somewhat based on what Dennis said earlier, 3 songs was how many you were supposed to play. Good to know.

In addition, Jeanne was told by Dennis that Killing In The Name wasn’t appropriate. Without context it could be either the subject of the song or that the lyrics weren’t appropriate, “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!” and “Motherfucker!”

Finally we were too loud. Well, without knowing what the level max is, it’s difficult to adjust and honestly I wasn’t even looking at what I thought the decibel meter was showing. I was more interested in playing and to stop screwing up. Again, it’d be good to know what the level should be before the set so Morgan could adjust as necessary.

Jeanne asked if there was another venue he could recommend that our songs might be more acceptable but Dennis said that other than the first one and the decibel level, the songs were fine. Jeanne told me the bartenders were dancing behind the bar 🙂

I will note that the Brewery has one basic goal. To sell craft beer. I noticed that about half the crowd had left. To me, that means we were costing the Brewery business which was absolutely not my goal and I feel bad about that happening.

Additionally, one of the other musicians came up to me as I was sitting and he said our sitting at the board was a “dick move“. That it put us into a bad light and other musicians wouldn’t be charitable about our playing because of it. I did let him know that there was someone there when we got there and being new to all this, we didn’t know it wasn’t permitted. That Dennis and the staff didn’t tell us we couldn’t do it and when asked, said we were fine.

Jeanne let me know though that the lady that was there before us said she’d tried to sign up for an Open Mic Night in the past and the musicians got into a scrum and were fighting over the marker so she’d decided to sit at the board to ensure she would get a slot.

Perhaps a better solution than a disorderly jump up to sign up and fight over the marker might be a hat. Folks who want to play will put a slip of paper into the hat and at 5:30, Dennis would get up, pull names from the hat, and have folks select a slot. When done, Dennis would just say, “all done, better luck next Monday!” and the sets would start.

There are two groups to be considerate of though. The Brewery as I noted above is there to sell craft beer. Running customers away is bad for business.

The second group are the musicians around Longmont. We need to stick together and help each other out. Being a dick about signing up unnecessarily alienated at least one musician. I did approach him a few minutes later and apologized, explained again about the lady already at the board, and asked that he understand that we were new and didn’t know. To let us make and learn from our mistakes, we’d be better next time. He seemed good with that and I got a fist bump.

I did find and thank the drummer for helping us. I also talked to Dennis and said we’d do better next time, apologizing for the issues.

Jeanne said to ignore the mean things said by the guy (apparently he told Eric that we were “a disgrace to the music industry”) and others said we did quite well.

I think as far as playing, we did a good job. But we also have played through our (or “our”) gear. This is the first time we played through someone else’s gear that we didn’t have time to properly get set up. Plus playing with a drummer that’s “faking it” to help out.

Lessons Learned

Number one. Get details from the owner or music manager. What’s the number of songs? Do we have 20 minutes or are we to play 3 songs and have 20 minutes to play. What’s the decibel maximum. It shouldn’t be more than the venue can manage (and probably should let folks talk).

Number two. Understand the other unwritten rules such as forming a line for Open Mic Night. We don’t want to alienate other musicians in the area who might be able to help us get other gigs. We had one guy come up and provide feedback, however it was couched. Does that mean the other 20 folks who where there to play are just quietly annoyed with us and didn’t let us explain? I’d rather get the feedback we did get so we can try to explain than none at all.

Number three. In this case, I’m still a bit of a newbie but I think Morgan could have managed the sound a bit better. Not the problems we had but either shutting down the drum tracks or chasing off the rogue drummer we had. And understanding the sound requirements, turning us down if we’re too loud according to the venue. Morgan did say that our levels were fine so again, I’m a bit of a newbie 🙂


I will say that according to folks we spoke to, we actually played pretty well. It was the surrounding issues unrelated to the songs (mostly) that were the problem. With more knowledge and experience, we’ll do better next time.


I spoke to a few local musicians to get some feedback from folks with a bit more experience. One of the guys is a drummer for a tribute band and he’s been gigging for 23 years. In general they appreciated the professionalism we displayed and wouldn’t have a problem playing with us. I will note that Morgan has also said we play well and we wouldn’t have a problem getting a gig in Denver.

In general the comments were basically, you got up on stage and played. That’s more than some folks ever do so congrats there. I’m to remember than mostly, Open Mic Nights are amateur hour (which is us too of course) and to take any comments with a grain of salt. Learn from them but be careful about the criticism.

One guy did say we were his new favorite band, which honestly made me feel pretty good.

Posted in Bootstrap Brewery, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment