Unpacking PAX West 2017!

PAX West was a blur this year, I did so much, and I had so much fun that it is hard to talk about anything in particular.  I enjoyed most of the panels I went too.  Two of the funniest featured Kris Straub: PAX Rumble 2017 (video game wresting at its finest) and the live version of his internet radio show 28 Plays Later (two guys talk about stuff).  Of course the Telltale group play of Batman: The Enemy Within was as fun as always, and even though it has changed to a bunch of random ads, I still love going to the Gearbox show.

I didn’t have time to play a lot of the games on the show floor or elsewhere, but I am going to say that Forza 7 is the default game of show for me.  I played it twice, and it is simply stunning on the Xbox One X.  It truly shows the craziness the X will be able to pull off this Christmas.  Board game wise, I am not going to name a game of the year.  The ones I played were all fine, but I didn’t play a game I had to have.  Though Dwarves: Dig, Delve, Die at least had some sweet dwarven shaped dice, and I won, which is always a bonus.

PAX West is always an experience, and there are some moments after all the walking and waiting in lines that make me wonder if it is all worth it, but every year I can’t wait to do it all over again.  If you like geeky things and hanging out with geeky people, try to get yourself to a PAX.  There will be something for you.  Even if you have to weed through the three hundred “how to make your stream successful” panels.  Though I can help you out with that: be funny, talented, have good screen presence, and self promote like crazy.  Until next year PAX West!

My Evening With Neil Gaiman!

When I bought a ticket for “An Evening with Neil Gaiman” in Seattle, I was unsure as to what I was buying.  Was he just going to read his stuff? Was he going to answer questions?  Was he going to talk about his current projects?  It turns out the answer was yes to the first two questions and briefly mention the third.

It was different experience because it was just him, alone, on stage in a large hall standing in front of a lectern.  While he was introduced by a local radio host and an accordion player, this was all about Neil Gaiman talking to his fans.  It was wonderful.  He has a warm English accent, and he brought his work to life as he spoke.  He read a story from his current book, Norse Mythology, and then several of his different short works.  My only complaints about the evening were that some of the questions asked of him were on the generic side, and that I wished he would have gone longer.  Apparently I was not the only person who thought that way because we clapped until he came out for an encore.

I am not sure how many authors sell out symphony halls and then get cheered on for just one last story, but believe me when I tell you that it all felt perfectly natural, and I had thought that it would have worked I would have cheered him on for a second encore.  It made me wish that we treated more of our authors like rock stars.  They fill this world with their creativity, but then we generally ignore them, or tell them they should get back to work because they are not writing fast enough.

If Neil Gaiman should come traipsing around your town, you should go see him.  I believe his next stop is Dallas.  It was a fun night, and not one that I am going to forget.  Now if only he would stop touring around the world and get back to writing.  There are novels I need to read that haven’t been written yet.

Disneyland Gets A Marvel Makeover This Summer!

This summer Marvel takes over Disneyland with Marvel’s Summer of Heroes!  It all starts May 27th with the opening of the Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout! ride (which used to be the Tower of Terror).  There will be all sorts of other events going on, and you will be able to hang out and take pictures with all your favorite Marvel superheroes (though mainly The Guardians of the Galaxy since their new movie is Disney’s big summer blockbuster this year).

Anyway if you don’t mind standing in line with thousands of people because summer is the worst time to go to Disneyland, and you like Marvel superheroes, it looks like you will have a good time at Disneyland this year!  To be totally honest the Shmees do want to go to Disneyland, and now I am thinking, “summer will not be too bad…”.  It will, but I am still thinking about it anyway.  Has this swayed you in to going to the land of Mouse?

Shmee.Me Turns 4!

Four years ago today Shmee.Me went live to the world.  I had no idea I would be able to keep up the site for this long.  It has been a lot of fun, and I think I have accomplished my main goal of increasing my writing skills.  Heck, I even wrote a terrible book!  I am currently working on the second one.  The world needs more terrible books.

Throughout the four years, 1,053 post have been published, and 31,677 people have visited my site.  While it is true that most of those people are the same people visiting from different devices, it is still pretty cool to think how many people a personal blog can reach.  I mean check out the map below it shows where all my visitors are connecting from:


I almost got at least one visitor from every country.  There are a few straggler nations out there, but I will get them eventually.

The site’s most popular post was my casting predictions for Wonder Woman.  I was wrong of course, but that didn’t stop 1,411 people from seeing who I thought would twirl the magic lasso.  The least popular was Will Ferrell singing the Star Trek theme.  Only one person, besides me, stopped by my site to watch Will Ferrell destroy that famous tune.

To all of you who continue to check out my site, THANK YOU!  If you are new to Shmee.Me, look around, and I hope you will come back again.  If there is ever anything you would like me to write about please let me know.  Now let’s see if I can keep this up for another four years!

I Hacked My T-Mobile CellSpot And Got An Asus RT-AC68U!

T-Mobile decided that it would be a good idea sell fantastic routers at a great price to try and then use those routers to expand their cell coverage, and you know what?  It is a good idea.  Unfortunately for them they decided to repurpose the very popular Asus RT-AC68U to do it, so everyone and their brother used Asus’ great firmware tools to flash the T-Mobile CellSpots to either stock Asus firmware or high end custom firmware.  This of course displeased T-Mobile since the whole point of selling routers cheap is to expand their cell range, so they had Asus make the routers harder to hack, but guess what?  Nerds like me are still hacking these routers and they work great!

I am not going to go in to detail on how to hack a T-Mobile CellSpot since there are a great many good guides online, but I will say if you buy a CellSpot now you will need to follow this step first: Press All The Buttons, and then I followed this video:

Until he put custom firmware on it.  Instead I went the ‘official route’ and flashed the router to firmware version 376.3626 with the Asus Recovery Tool to change the memory size to 64 MB from 32 MB, and then after that simply applied the most recent firmware from the Asus site.  You can download everything you need from the links included on this page: SlickDeals Asus Page.

Overall this router has been a major step up from my Asus RT-N66U.  Everything is just faster, plus there are more options, and it feels good knowing that I got to stick it to the man a little bit by only paying $60 for a $150 router.  Though I think this model is still worth it even if you pay full price and don’t want to bother rewriting boot loaders.  If you haven’t got an AC router yet, there aren’t many consumer routers available better than the Asus RT-AC68U.