23 Jun
2017

June 23rd, 2017! Take Your Dog To Work Day!

On March 4th, 2017, my wife and I went to Virginia, 5 hours from home (we drove there and back in a day, it was somewhat fun), and picked up the world's literal cutest creature.  Her name is Clover, she is an English Setter, and she is perfect.

Perfection.

She is also a pretty frequent visitor to Kards Unlimited. Thankfully, we don't need a special day for our dogs to come to work.  However!  Take Your Dog to Work Day is still pretty exciting, because dogs are the best and we love them a lot.

Omg her little face.

SO!  Here's what I propose.  On Friday, June 23, 2017 (Bring Your Dog to Work Day is always the Friday after Father's Day), take your dog to work!  Assuming your work is cool and not the worst, that is.  BUT!  After (or before or during or whatever) you do that, bring your dog to MY work so I can play with it.  I know, I know, your dog isn't as cute as Clover.  It's okay.  I mean, look at her.

Yeah, she's amazing.  It's cool.  I'm sure your dog is also cute.  Most dogs are.  So, anyway, bring your dogs to KU on Bring Your Dog to (My) Work Day, please and thank you!

Here are some more pictures of Clover!

This is very interesting grass, you guys.

We call it Resting Mope Face. She may look distraught in this picture, but it's really just her face. That's just how she looks.

Here's the opposite of Resting Mope Face.

 

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21 Jun
2017

Go Skate!

June 21 is Go Skateboarding Day! For many people, skateboarding is a hobby, but for many more, it's a reason to exist.

And for many others still it's actually a job.  There is an entire industry dedicated to the production of skateboards and skateboard related material (helmets, grip tape, etc.) and the culture that surrounds skating.  This includes movies, television, sporting events, video games, and clothing lines.  Indeed, one of the biggest and most popular shoe companies of the past 20 years actually specialize in making skate shoes.

Perhaps you're familiar

Skateboarding has its roots in the 1940s and became particularly popular in the 1960s.  Originally referred to as "sidewalk surfing," skating competitions were mild in comparison to the large events held today.  Contestants were judged on simple tricks such as manuals and handstands.

Don't act like you're not impressed

This all changed with the Zephyr skate team, bringing the style closer to the ground, pantomiming surfing.  As the sport changed, so did the boards.  They became wider, the tails of the board became more pronounced, and new polyurethane wheels gave riders better traction and control.

Jay Adams of the Zephyr skate team exemplifying their influential surfer style.

Throughout the years, skateboarding's popularity waxed and waned until the 1990s, when its popularity surged.  Today, most of the world is familiar with the culture.  I recently read this excellent article on skater girls in Afghanistan, providing liberation for young girls in the area where doing ANYTHING as a female is at the very least frowned upon.

When I was a teenager, Go Skateboarding Day was treated like an incredible summer holiday.  It wasn't just celebrated by skaters, but by practically everyone our age.  We would pick a stairwell or a gap and just sit there all day.  Skaters would spend all day trying to jump the gap or grind the rail, and everyone else would just hang out and be a kid.  It was magical.  You would come home after hours of hopping over the same concrete gap, sun drunk, bruised and scraped, and  feeling incredible.  Pure bliss.

I would be remiss if I didn't share one skating video in particular that really converted me from being a casual observer into one of those kids hitting a gap all day.  I've since given up skating, but this video seems to transport me to those days.

 

Now get out of your house or apartment or hostel or hotel room or wherever, go outside and GO SKATE!

14 Jun
2017

KU Book Club!

Jasper Fforde is one of my favorite authors!

We had a lot of fun at Sunday's book club meeting! Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair was the perfect book to start off the summer with!  Intrigue, danger, action, adventure, even a tiny bit of romance, that book had everything!  And it's the first of a series, so if you loved The Eyre Affair, KU has the whole series available, and they could easily eat up your summer, so be careful!

It was a ton of fun to meet a few new members also!  Some of us have been in the book club since the very beginning, so it's super exciting to have a new face now and again.  We love to make new book-loving friends!

Excited to take a chance on Hunter S Thompson!

We'll be meeting again on August 6th at 6 p.m. at Kards Unlimited!  Our discussion will be about Hunter S Thompson's Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas!

Fear & Loathing IS a novel (there was a bit of discussion about that, I thought it was non-fiction), a roman à clef to be exact.  So really we were all right.  It's fiction, but it's real life that was fictionalized.

Whether you're already a big fan of Thompson, you've never read him, or even if you've read his work and dislike it, we'll be excited to hear all about what you think at the KU Book Club! Come talk books and drink drinks and have snacks with us!

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1 Jun
2017

June 2017 Calendar of Events

Happy June! Now that summer is unofficially underway, it's time for everything summer fun. Highlights of this month: Gay Pride Month, Doughnut Days, World Juggling Day, Father's Day, and Take Your Dog To Work Day, to name a few. Read on to find out what else we're stoked for this June! Read more >>

25 May
2017

Am I A Geek? Hell Yeah!

Geek

Noun. A knowledgeable and obsessive enthusiast.

Verb. Be or become extremely excited or enthusiastic about a subject, typically one of specialist or minority interest.

Do geeks really need another reason to get excited? Probably not. It's kind of what we're known for. However, Geek Pride Day is May 25, and it is kind of everything. Started in 2008 by a blogger in Spain, this international day to celebrate everything geeky has gained rapid steam. So, members of the united geekdom, time to take your geek pride to a whole new level.

It's a lot of pressure to figure out the best way to celebrate. I've already been trying to decide what to wear for a week now. Do I go with my Pokemon trainer muscle shirt? My Game of Thrones direwolf T-shirt? Go full Trekkie with a uniform? Or stay low-key with punny tee?

Maybe I should just rotate my shirt by the hour.

Luckily, I'm working on Geek Pride Day, which when you work in the geekiest store in Pittsburgh is pretty ideal. I can say things like 'pew-pew' and 'Lexx is one of the most underrated sci-fi series of the 20th century' and it's totally acceptable. Do any of my coworkers know what Lexx is? No. Will I sing the Brunnen-G battle hymn for them anyway? Yes. And they will appreciate it because they, too, are geeks.

This is the gist of Lexx, one of the greatest sci-fi shows to ever exist.

What I love about the geekdom in general is how you can be a geek over just about anything, as long as you're really into it. Beat the latest Zelda in one sitting? Awesome! Can't start your day without finishing the New York Times crossword? So cool. Whether you spend every Sunday reading a new book without interacting with a single soul, or you taught yourself programming in your spare time, kudos. You know what you're all about.

What this means is that it's really easy to celebrate Geek Pride Day. Do what you love, and share your passion.

Side note: Do you know what I learned today because I'm a geek? In Ancient Greece, the word symposium meant 'drinking party.' Take that boring work conference that calls itself a symposium just to make it sound more fancy.

Did you see that? I geeked out for a second and it was really cool because we all learned something new (unless you already knew that, in which case, hats off to you).

If you're really at a loss how to best celebrate Geek Pride Day, you can always fall back on a gimme. Carry around your towel! Geek Pride Day coincides with Towel Day, in honor of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. A galactic traveler such as yourself really never should leave the house without a towel, anyway.

Happy geeking :)

9 May
2017

Happy Birthday Kermit!

It seems as though the Muppets never go out of style.  They have been active since 1955, becoming well known in the 70s with The Muppet Show and The Muppet Movie and maintaining that success throughout the 90s.  Even as their popularity waned slightly in the 2000s (before their 2010 resurgence) the funny furry puppets still held great affection in the hearts of their original audience (and the children of that audience).  You simply cannot understate their importance.

And now that we all agree that the Muppets are easily the most important thing ever in history, in perpetuity, it would be hard not to argue that there are few Muppets (or anything made of felt) more important than Kermit the Frog.

Kermit made his debut in 1955 on The Jim Henson proto-Muppets creation, Sam and Friends, although he didn't really become a frog until his appearance in "The Frog Prince", at the time just resembling a plain lizard-like puppet.

He has taken the role as the de facto Muppet leader (in fact, since Disney took over the franchise, the "M" in Muppets has been dressed up to look like Kermit) and appeared occasionally on the children's entertainment juggernaut Sesame Street as an on-the-scene reporter.

Just...the best.

Kermit has since become a major celebrity, has written three books, starred and appeared in innumerable television shows, specials, and movies.  He has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame and was even nominated for an Academy Award for "The Rainbow Connection".

Why all this Kermit love?  Well because he's a national treasure!  Also it's his birthday today (yes, there's a little bit of controversy over this considering he was born as an egg with about a thousand other siblings, but we are counting his first appearance, on Sam and Friends) and we think he is worth it.  I mean, the dude is 62 years old and still looks great.

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY KERMIT, YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY!

1 May
2017

May 2017 Calendar of Events

IT'S FINALLY MAYYYYY! This month is a month of leaves on trees, people running billions of miles (26.2) in one go, mini golf, pizza parties, and more! Read on to see all of the things we're celebrating this month: that three day weekend included.

Read more >>

27 Apr
2017

Guys. The Gods are coming.

This is Mr. Wednesday. He's my hero.

Ok.  So here's the thing about Kards Unlimited.  We. Love. Neil Gaiman.  Like a lot.  I know I've said this before, and I know you know it, so I won't wax too verbose about how much we love Neil Gaiman. Suffice it to say that his books have had a great influence on most of the employees of the store and that when people need help picking a book we recommend his books 9 out of 10 times (or more.)

Shadow and Mad Sweeney's fight. OMG you guys, read this book.

Coming in the wake of the many successful TV adaptations of awesome fantastical novels in recent years, American Gods the series premieres on Starz on April 30th at 9 p.m. and we could not possibly be more excited.  Here's a link to the trailer.  It's amazing.

Just to give you a little bit of spoiler-free background information, American Gods is the story of how all the various gods that people brought to America from their home countries need to band together to stop themselves from being eradicated by the new gods of America like the internet and TV and stuff.  Neil Gaiman tells it a lot better than I do.  And I have high hopes for how the series will handle his source material.  This show seems especially relevant given the current climate of intolerance and xenophobia going around.  The book doesn't necessarily deal with those themes, but it does feature an America that celebrates its diversity.  The America Gaiman portrays is a country unashamedly built of millions of different people and their stories.  It's a place we should try to remember and to inhabit.

Anyway, we at KU are intensely excited for this show, so if you are too, don't hesitate to come in and share your excitement with us!  The more screaming the better!  And check out our awesome countdown timer on the sidebar to find out exactly how long you have to wait for the first episode!

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