Alaska Robotics

Archive for the ‘Adventure’ Category

Conference of Young Alaskans 2009

Sunday, January 4th 2009 by Pat

alaska_50_logoComics and films are taking a back burner this week as I step into the role of a facilitator at the Conference of Young Alaskans. The proceedings will be webcast over the next couple of days and if you tune into the stream provided by 360 North I’ll be the guy in the background spilling food on his shoes while fifty-five of Alaska’s brightest young men and women work to develop a vision for the future of the state.

360 North – COYA 2009 Live Stream (Jan 3rd – 6th)

This conference and all of the surrounding activities are tied into Alaska’s 50th anniversary of statehood and it’s been a remarkable experience. I had an opportunity to attend the statehood gala in Anchorage on Friday night and participated in a parade Saturday morning along with the COYA delegates. It’s a small state where you can share the dance floor with the governor, meet people who wrote the state constitution or make something happen just by sharing a good idea. I love Alaska.

Did I write enough about the delegates? The first Conference of Young Alaskans was one of the most powerful events I’ve been involved in and it was strong only because of the participants. We created a framework and the delegates filled it with ideas, goals and passion. I think this group in 2009 has the potential to measure up to, and probably exceed, what are now lofty expectations. It’s refreshing to be reminded how many smart and strong young minds are in this state.

Again, many apologies to those who are visiting for the comics and films, I’ll be back to work on Monday Wednesday and have something new by the end of the week.

Ocean City – Square Three

Monday, December 22nd 2008 by Pat

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The rowboat glides through the city like a cloud suspended on a reflected sky and flecks of silver beneath the surface scatter like rain drops. The old market isn’t far but there’s no urgency in a day like this. This is a day to breathe deep, marvel at the world, and share a sandwich.

Ocean City – Square Two

Sunday, December 21st 2008 by Pat

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No rain today as the cold copper light kicks over the horizon and spills out across the sea. The fishing gear waterfalls from the storehouse across the dock and into the rowboat.

Amanda and Tanner are each lost in a thought, mechanically loading the gear while living visions of the days ahead and behind. There’s a feeling of routine here but also knowledge that no adventure can ever be predictable. Parts break, weather changes, and the ocean is a cup filled more with the unknown than with salt or water.

Thanks to Rene for my new deep sea diver toy, one of the best presents ever! Also, thanks to everyone who came by the Ruby Room during gallery walk or stopped by the office to pick up prints and comics, it’s been really encouraging.

Wedding Speech

Sunday, November 30th 2008 by Pat

Yesterday my cousin Will married his longtime girlfriend Sara. It was a beautiful wedding and I had the honor (and blinding terror) of giving tribute to the bride and groom.

I also discovered that public speaking is no less nerve wracking when surrounded by friends and family.

I want to start with a story.

Will and I grew up in Juneau and I have a lot of good memories from those times. Going to Hoot n Holler, coaching soccer teams, big family dinners and hanging out at grandma max’s house after school.

Half the fifth grade soccer team actually made it to the wedding which speaks volumes about the quality and strength in that circle of friends. I also threw in something off the cuff about my little cousin Katie watching Barney the Dinosaur, she later thanked me for throwing her under the bus.

When Will was probably about six or seven we had a conversation that stuck in my head and I feel like it somehow says more about who he is than any other memory I have.

We were just sitting there one day and I asked Willy “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

There are a lot of answers to a question like that and I think it can be incredibly insightful to hear a person’s dreams, wishes, and aspirations all packed into the impossibly small bundle of a single profession.

Will turned to me with the kind of casual confidence you can only have if you already know the future and he said, “A Firetruck.”

“Ohhh, you mean a fireman?” I asked, “The guys who fight fires?”

“No. A Firetruck.”

It’s funny what memories stick with us but they’re all there for a reason and it’s been beautiful to have heard so many good stories this week. Not just about Will and Sara but about everyone here… and so many people who we’ve brought here in spirit.

I know my dad and mom regret not being here today, they both send their love. Big Mike says hugs for everyone.

I never figured out how to make this transition work so I just shuffled my papers for a second and turned my focus on Sara.

Sara the shark hunter.

Sara, we’ve had some good adventures together. Fishing the bottom of the ocean, climbing to the top of mountains, and even marauding the Arizona suburbs dressed as pirates. It feels like you’ve been family from the start.

If you’ll permit me a brief sidestep, I need to talk about Transformers.

Sterling (one of Will’s friends and a groomsman) was wearing a Transformers shirt a few days back and it prompted a nostalgic discussion. For those unfamiliar with the toys, the Transformers were robots that could change into vehicles and dinosaurs and whatever clever thing the store thought they could move off the shelves. There were a lot of cool transformers, bumblebee, optimus prime, soundwave, grimlock. There were even some transformers that you could collect to form sets, groups of five or six that could fit together to create a giant toy robot that was always more incredible, more epic, more full of wonder than any individual toy could be.

I think, in a round about way this relates to marriage and more broadly to family because together, we become something more than we could ever be as individuals.

Will is the most thoughtful, calm, funny, natural, honest, steady, and upstanding young man I know.

Sara is the most hardworking, superhuman, razor sharp, adventurous and absolutely stunning young woman I know.

Together, they are something more. But this isn’t just about Will and Sara, this is about all of us. We’re all family now, everyone here, linked together through Will and Sara, and our role in this relationship is as support for their love and this union.

Love is an emotion. Love is simple. It washes over us as easily as fear, doubt, or laughter.

It’s easy to love, it’s human relationships that are more difficult and even the best of relationships can be tough at times.

Will and Sara, I don’t see too many rocks in your river but if there’s ever anything you need, please remember that all of these people are here today because they love you and they want to see you have a long, happy and healthy relationship.

Pam and Jerry, Carol and Dayne, thank you for giving us Will and Sara.

Will and Sara, thank you for bringing us together and transforming us into a family, something just as powerful and destructive and wonderful as a giant robot.

… and, Will, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be a firetruck when you grow up.

On the Road

Thursday, August 28th 2008 by Pat

We’re in Seattle today trying to prepare for Bumbershoot.  Arlo and Oksana were on our flight last night so I had a chance to see some of his underwater video footage and talk about his idea of a True Fan Boost.

Brad Weber hosted us last night and helped bring me up to speed on my pop culture and video game current events.

I finally got a chance to play Braid which was really clever and gets me excited about the future of indy gaming. It gives me hope that consoles will open themselves up more to home brew games and that review aggregation sites like Metacritic will help those developers succeed.

I’d love to develop a game again some day but I think that’s probably several years down the road. The last game Aaron and I worked on was an Oregon Trail style game based around the 1925 serum run to Nome. It was an educational game intended for middle school students in Alaska and we sent out copies to a bunch of different school districts but I’m not sure if it ever got any play. I think the game was a little stiff and kids usually shy away from anything that looks educational.

The development was haphazard since it was a college project but we actually finished and released it which felt like quite an accomplishment at the time. I think we still have a working version around somewhere, I’ll post it online when we get home in case anyone wants to check it out.

I’ll warn you now, it’s no Mega Man 3.

Fishin’ Hole

Monday, August 25th 2008 by Pat


Now that the new site is up and running I’m going to aim for a more regular production schedule. Look for the Alaska Robotics comic every Monday and we’ll try to step up the short film productions as well. I think monthly will be the goal on that front.

The fishing comic is inspired by an illustrated poster we have out at the cabin of fish from the Pacific Northwest. This sort of ocean cross section is what I always imagine beneath me when I’m out on the water.

I would write about the cabin adventures this summer but my words feel clogged up today so here are some pictures instead:

Bumbershoot 2008

Sunday, August 24th 2008 by Pat

We’ll be in Seattle over Labor Day weekend peddling our wares at Bumbershoot. Our booth will be next to the giant fountain in the same spot as last year and we’ll be carrying our designs and prints along with a collection of enamel pins from Wm Spear Design.

Hopefully we’ll be able to adventure over to the Penny Arcade Expo on Friday.

Between the two events it should be a pretty great weekend in Seattle. Maybe a little sun too? Would that be too much to hope for?

Comic Con 2008

Tuesday, July 22nd 2008 by Pat

I forgot to mention I’m going to Comic Con. Actually, I just landed and I’m sitting in the San Diego airport.

Kazu Kibuishi invited me to come down and I couldn’t pass it up, so here I am brimming with joy and shaking with sleep deprivation.

It’s already been a good adventure, I met an illustrator from Rudy McBacon on my flight. In fact, I’d just said goodbye to Derek when the airline paged us both to tell us they’d lost our checked luggage.

Bag Guy: “Please describe your luggage sir.”

Me: “Uhmmmmm It’s a Raineer Beer box with sort of a lot of tape around it.”

Bag Guy: “What color is this box sir?”

Me: “Uhmmmmm It’s white and it has a big red R on it.”

Bag Guy: “Thank you sir.”

Me: “Also, there’s some fish in the box.”

Bag Guy: “Next.”

Also, I lost my hat but a really great guy with a giant mustache tracked me down and returned it.

Bumbershoot Wrap

Tuesday, September 4th 2007 by Pat

We just got back from a terrific and exhausting time at Bumbershoot down in Seattle.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our little booth, we had a good opportunity to meet some neat people down there, and that is what really made the weekend worthwhile. If you ever find yourself in Juneau, stop by and say hi.

If you stopped by here looking for Bill”s wonderful enamel pins that we had on display, you should shuffle on over to his site, WmSpear.com. Also, Sarah’s classy cards are more visible at the moment on her site SmackofJellyfish.com. Though they should be up for sale here shortly as well.

Bumbershoot!

Saturday, August 25th 2007 by Pat

If you’re in Seattle September 1st-3rd, come out and visit us at <a href=”http://www.bumbershoot.com/”>Bumbershoot!!!</a> You can find us in the indie market on the walk by the international fountain.