Tag Archives: Miami

The Best Walls I Have Ever Seen.














Filed under Art I live with.

Three Views From Our Window.

summertime 002


summertime 003

Those are three actual photographs from where we live. We don’t have to travel, we don’t have to roam. It is always that beautiful, right here at home.

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Filed under Weekend in Heaven

Upper Deck Stops Producing Vs. System, Florida Marlins Unveil New Ballpark.



As you have heard, Upper Deck will no longer be producing sets in the Vs. System for the Marvel and DC Comics properties. While there are a variety of factors that led to this decision, it is important to stress that Upper Deck and the Vs. System R&D team tried their best to find a way of reinvigorating and continuing to produce the game, but ultimately we were unable to make this happen. Vs. System is a game that has been important to Upper Deck, as it was our first foray into a high-level hobby trading card game, and it remains a game of which we are very proud.


On a personal level, I am very dedicated to the Vs. System game for a great many reasons. Initially, I began my affair with Vs. System as part of the terrific player community. The fans of this game are among the most staunch and dedicated that I have known in my twenty years of gaming. From writing articles and blogs, to making fan sets, to playing in organized play events, I have seen each fan carve out his or her personal niche in the community, and in doing so, contribute to a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts. The fervor of the Vs. System community was brought into focus with the “fan-made” Marvel Universe expansion, where I personally saw fans’ passion for this game reaching new heights. Their part in creating what turned out to be one of the best-loved sets for any trading card game is something that you, the fans, have much to be proud of. Even though there are no planned expansions in the immediate future, I hope that the game lives on at your kitchen tables or favorite local hobby store. This is a game that I know I will still be playing in the years to come.


But it is not just the fans that make the game great. Many game designers and developers have had a hand in the creation of this terrific game. In particular, I would like to mention Mike Hummel, who played a leading role in the design of the game, and David Humpherys, who has led the development of the game almost from day one. But in addition to these people, there are so many people behind the scenes, such as the artists, graphic designers, product and project managers, editors, writers, and judges that have come together to make such a huge undertaking as Vs. System possible. Their efforts spanning 25 releases, over 4,000 cards, and almost five years can be seen in every single card. I would love to mention each and every individual who has been involved in publishing this game, but it would literally take multiple pages. Know that for our part, Upper Deck is still making great games that the current and future generation of gamers can enjoy!


We have all grown with this game, and the experiences we have had making and playing it will last forever. Remember to have fun and play fair!


Good games,

Ben Seck

Vs. System Lead Designer


Yes, it is true. Upper Deck is no longer producing Vs. System cards. I know in my heart of hearts that our community of players will grab the baton and run with it, so make sure you stay tuned to this station for future announcements about the New Era of fan-based creativity and competition. The game will never die. Of that, I am sure.


And yes, it is true. The Florida Marlins released the first sketches of our new Miami party place on the very same day.





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Filed under Magick, Sports, Vs. System

Test Pattern: Hurricane Fay on the First Day.

One of the things I love most about living in Miami?  Hurricane season.  Seriously, there is nothing more exhilirating than watching a storm bigger than a small nation barrelling down on you.  We adore it.

Even more exciting is the fact that we almost always have a threat corresponding to the first day of school!  Kids and teachers alike get to teeter on the brink of “Will they cancel, and give us a couple more days of summer vacation?”  Very exciting times.

Hurricane parties in our house include massive rituals of candle lighting and whirling dervishery.  And now, for the first time ever, I get to add a blog entry as a good luck charm.  We shall see.

I leave you with the banner that will greet students, parents, and teachers alike as we enter the 50th anniversary of Greynolds Park Elementary.  If it doesn’t get blown away.  I’ll see you on the flip side, as soon as the power gets restored.  Namaste.


Filed under Rambles

Mumbling about Manatees.


(Aerials courtesy Digital Globe.  Obv.)

So that is the spot.  We live surrounded by Maule Lake, which connects to the ocean through the Oleta River, which you can see on the bottom of the shot.  All the green areas are protected parks.  We always dreamed of living in the Reef Club, and the red spot is on the building we eventually landed in.  For years we took the kids out in the canoe in the lake and realized what a perfect hidden gem the property is.  I still pinch myself every day when I realize how happy we are here.


And then yesterday when I revealed Mystery Pic #2 to be two Manatees that swam around the spiral into the canal that faces our parking lot, lordoflimbo said…


I think a drum playing snow leopard was the more logical guess from the given picture.

Well guess what?  I have a true story about drum playing low steppers that fits the occasion.  Nina and I were out in the canoe one morning, floating in the place where you see the red spot on the second map.  We were drumming on the sides of the boat, with a deep groove going for about 12 minutes.  Suddenly a full size Manatee surfaced two feet away with a snort and a curious look.  She came to join the party.  Not quite a snow leopard, but she did have whiskers.

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Filed under Rambles

#3 Pic Revealed


The pixelated Pikachu was actually Naota from FLCL, on the sticker on the back of our car.  This is the Heaven on Earth where we reside, but you knew that from the maps in the Manatee Mumble.

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Filed under Uncategorized