About the Name:
I don’t consider myself to be “well spoken,” although I do make an effort. I took the name a few years back from the show Top Gear (Series 8, ep. 1). When they couldn’t remember someone’s name they wrote “Well Spoken Man.” My use of the name is a dig on my lack of presence, not a boast. It does, however, give me something to live up to.
About miniatures and table top gaming:
My interest in miniatures and gaming started back in 1999, and promptly went nowhere. I bought a 40k starter box, glued some Space Marines together, globbed on some paint, and didn’t touch the stuff again until I gave it away 5 years later. I was playing Magic the Gathering at the time, but I quickly discovered how expensive playing MtG competitively was. With mariage and parenthood now in the picture, gaming largely disappeared from my life. My only remaining connection to that world was an affection for BattleTech fiction. In 2011, I discovered that the BattleTech miniature game was making a comeback of sorts. I bought the box set, and a new addiction was born. I currently have Infinity, BattleTech, 40K, Malifaux, Super Dungeon Explore, Arena Rex, and some assorted fantasy miniatures (mostly Dark Sword) that I use for Frostgrave. I play Infinity of Tuesday nights (usually) at Tower Games in Minneapolis, MN.
About Anime and Manga:
In 1995 I was working in a video store when I decided to take home some Ranma 1/2 tapes as part of my free nightly rentals. I loved the show’s wacky sense of humor, even if I had no idea what was going on. I started collecting anime videos at an alarming (to my credit card) rate. However, a step into parent hood (and adulthood) plus a limited entertainment budget put an end to my buying spree. It wasn’t unitl I discovered Funimation and Crunchyroll in 2013 that I rekindled my love for anime. An addiction to manga soon followed. I flirted with simulcasts for a few seasons, but found myself wasting too much time on mediocre anime. I still watch shows, but don’t try to stay too current. I am currently following a large number of mangas.
About not quite being a geek:
I have struggled, perhaps because I came late to the party, to fit in the geek world. There are elements to the culture that I don’t particularly get, and while I make efforts to connect with others with the same interests, I never seem to really find a place among them. I usually find that if I identify myself as a geek to someone with the similar interests, I end up feeling that my geekiness is not extensive enough for their liking. As for those with more mainstream hobbies and interests, in their eyes I am definitely a geek. This is the reason I have named the blog “On the Inside Looking Out.” The one exception to this has been the wonderful Twin Cities Infinity community. The guys I roll dice with are awesome and have even made someone like me who started gaming relatively late in life feel very welcome.
I was born in 1976. I grew up in Gary, IN, which in the early nineties was just about the worst place in the US. I’ve come a long way. I got married and now have a family. I spent time in Iraq and Kosovo, got a degree in Economics, and now have a nice grown up job and a house in a Minneapolis suburb. It’s been quite the journey, and I take pride in being in a much better place than I started. I do find it difficult to relate to people at times. I’ve had my battles with PTSD and depression and gaming has become a kind of therapy for me. I know I come off as awkward and aloof, but if we sit back, have a beer (or whatever), and make an effort, I’m sure we can get along.