Friday Chat, Early Edition: The Geeky Road Trip

In about 24 hours, I’ll be leaving for the Toronto Fan Expo with my friend PM.  The Expo is Canada’s largest event for Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime and Gaming fans where they get to meet some of their favorite industry personalities and stock up on merch.

So soon after Gen Con and after having been at Ground Zero for Pax East, I’m not sure how to set my expectations for the Fan Expo.  I have no ideas what the show will be like nor what I’ll be doing except game for most of the day on Saturday.

Regardless of what awaits us over there, I still have a 5 hour car trip to plan so I thought I’d reach out and share/ask how the travelling part of the trip should be prepared!

Shuffle and Repeat!

First up is the music.  I think its safe to say that most geeks have some form of MP3 player, be it a phone of varying degrees of smartness, an electronic player à la iPod or plain old burned CDs.

I’m not much of a music freak but I really need to have some playing whenever I’m doing something repetitive (or when I write).  While I listen to a lot when online,  I yet have to develop a standard practice of bringing a player in the car.  But I’m getting there.

My music selection is mostly techno-pop stuff that makes your head nod hypnotically (I heard the term headnotic coined a few years ago)… PM doesn’t seem to find that Belgian 20-something female signers are road trip material.

Pfff, what does he know?

His selection is more geared toward Rock classics from across the Ameri-Euro 70s-00’s spectrum. From southern rock like Sweet Home Alabama to Northern Indie pop-rock like Metric’s Black Sheep. However, being the nerds that we are, we are likely to keep looping the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack and score and Orbital’s Dr. Who theme.

We usually strike a cool balance when together, so I’m not too worried.

What about you? Whats your favorite music mix for Road Trips?

Snacks & Drinks

One thing I like about car trips once I leave my beloved province of Poutine, fruit juice without sugar and Mountain Dew sans caffeine is stopping at gas stations along the way to pick up the kinda drinks and snacks I don’t get at home.  Now I haven’t been in Ontario in a while, but I suspect that the main difference will be that the margarine in any sandwiches we grab will still be near-mustard yellow (ours is near-white yellow, don’t ask) .

But hey, I’m willing to be surprised!

For the event itself, I pack food in advance (to avoid getting ripped off by the concession stands).  I’m going to be game mastering for about 8 hours straight on Saturday afternoon-evening, so I’ll have high energy foods like granola bars and plenty of drinks like Vitamin Water, sports and energy drinks.

What are your favorite trip foods and what do you ALWAYS pick up when you travel in specific places?

Nerd Topics!

Five hours in a car with another guy can erode the range of subject of even the chattiest of geeks.

Actually that’s not true, but work with me here.

PM and I are both Movies, Geek TV and Tropes nutjobs.  Give us a list of movies and we’ll deconstruct them to sub-atomic tropes and rebuild them into pieces of cinematographic perfection that no studio would touch with an uranium pole.

We’re also going to go into armchair (or rather car seat) game designer mode and critique our games of choice (Mouse Guard, Last Night on Earth, Pandemic, Free Market, D&D Essentials) and compare our relative preferences.

Of course, a French nerd discussion is not complete with a little arguing, so I’ll have to work up a few contentious topics to liven the car’s atmosphere a bit.  Like how he thinks Carcassonne was broken by the introduction of the iPhone version, making all players into competitive bastards (I don’t agree, I’ve learn to play Hearts at an English university, being a rat bastard is fun!).

What about you what are your topics of choice?

The Smart Phone is Your Friend

Cell Phone, MP3/Video player, Camera, Social Media Client, Google Map, IMDb, etc, the Smart Phone is my new favorite road trip friend.  From capturing the sights and stories of the trip to fact checking when PM is being a clueless douche, this little gadget is very useful… If the battery on my new Experia X10 can lasts… 🙂

Expect to hear from me through that new toy of mine.

But not when I’m driving… I’m not quite that stupid..

See you Next Week!

I leave you in the safe hands of Dave and the rest of the Critical Hits crew.  I’ll be leaving for the Expo tomorrow morning and I’ll be tweeting and taking pics while on site. Follow me here if you want to share in the sights and mini stories.

See you in a few days.

Sound Off!


  1. Any resemblance to actual persons named PM — living or dead — is purely coincidental.

    I didn’t say that Carcassonne was broken by the iPhone version. I said it turned the game from a no brainer to a strategical aggression game.

  2. With some of the people I play with, it was always a strategic aggression game 🙂

    …and the computer players on the iPhone still always kick my butt, even on the lowest setting.

  3. @PM: I see that my tactics are already working… this is going to be a most awesome Road Trip!

    @Dave: I kinda like it like that… but I reserve the right to play it like before when playing face to face. 🙂

  4. 5 hours in a car is a great chance to catch up on some of your favourite gaming podcasts (other than your own of course), such as The RPG Haven Podcast!

  5. I know this is a really petty complaint, but, um… magic missile has been around for 30 years. how can there be an erratum?