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JL Watkins

Tasteful Interactions #5 – Ataula

By April 19, 2019 PDX

Another fun foodie vid that I produced for Marshall’s Haute Sauce, and their sauce partnership with Ataula restaurant in NW Portland.

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Winter Vibes in Colorado Springs

By November 21, 2018 My Geek Adventures

Just got back last week from a work trip to Colorado Springs, and today received this warm reminder of our mini-snow adventures from my friend (and Singapore-based co-worker) Anton Widodo. He always does an amazing job on these travel vlog videos, and it was kinda surreal to be in front of the camera for a change – where I apparently acted like a snow pixie or whatever.

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Tasteful Interactions #4 – Lardo & Grassa

By August 18, 2017 PDX

Here’s another installment of Tasteful Interactions that I produced for my best pals at Marshall’s Haute Sauce.

“Rick Gencarelli (Lardo and Grassa) brings a unique heat to Steamed Manilla Clams using our new Pickled Calabrian Balsamic sauce, exclusive to Lardo Sandwiches. “

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My nerd loot from SDCC 17

By July 24, 2017 Collectibles, My Geek Adventures

It’s time for my annual tradition of posting photos of my loot from the latest nerd convention, something I’ve been doing since way back in JR high school.

This year, I ended up with a kick-ass Star Wars 40th Anniversary Darth Vader doll, The Will and Lying Cat figures (from Saga), convention exclusive comic books (most signed), half-dozen t-shirts, Dragon Ball Z scopes for the kids, and eleven Twin Peaks prints from Josh Howard, and then all the small random stuff that ends up in the bag along the way.

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My Twin Peaks experience at SDCC 17

By July 21, 2017 Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks: The Return is in full swing, so I went to San Diego Comic-Con International with a little more anticipation than normal, knowing that I’ll have access to exclusive merchandise and possibly a chance encounter with a cast member.

Read More

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Farewell to my friend and neighbor, Tom Sanders

By July 7, 2017 Uncategorized

I realize how lucky I am to have had a Hollywood legend as my friend and next door neighbor. But I don’t think I’ll ever fully fathom how truly special, and how grateful I am that it was Tom Sanders.

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My minor Twin Peaks collectibles obsession [Updated]

By July 4, 2017 Collectibles, Twin Peaks

It’s a weird feeling being a Twin Peaks far for the past 25 years, especially seeing a sudden explosion of merchandise after decades of nearly nothing.

Okay, there’s been a lot of fan-created stuff and the occasional Blu-Ray release, but nothing, well…official. But, my how that’s changed. Here’s a quick (updated) look at how far I’ve gone off the deep end. Read More

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Album Comics – Paris, France

By June 30, 2017 Comic Book Stores

If you’re in Paris and (for some reason) need to take a break from all the gothic architecture, then I’ve got just the spot for you. Conveniently located a few streets down from Notre Dam Cathedral, Album Comics is an unbelievably well stocked and tourist friendly local comic book store. Read More

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Star Wars action figure variant covers – UPDATE 1

By May 1, 2017 Collectibles, Comics

Here’s an updated look at my insane collection Star Wars action figure variant covers, of which I have all but Mr. Boba Fett. (I’m pretty sure) Back when they were first released I quickly scrambled to jump on-board, and now I’ve been steadily collecting them ever since. They just show up in my weekly pull list, so it’s been a very passive experience. But now that I look at them, scattered about on the floor, I feel a nerdy sense of shame accomplishment.

At this point there’s no reason to ever stop, so expect another one of these posts 2 years from now -most likely after I come to my senses and attempt to sell them off them on eBay.

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Side Project: Marshall’s Haute Sauce

By April 27, 2017 My Stuff

Not that I need another geek project to keep my busy, but I’ve been shooting some really fun foodie videos with my best pals from Marshall’s Haute Sauce. The new series, Tasteful Interactions features reknown Portland chefs, creating innovative recipes using Marshall’s sauces.

Heres’ the first video in the series, featuring my favorite PDX food truck, Kim Jong Grillin’. If you’re interested, check out more video in the series on the Marshall’s YT channel.

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Griffin’s Egg Hunt 2017

By April 17, 2017 Home Movies

The family tradition is back! (At least for this year anyway). This year the reigns of kid’s annual egg hunt have been handed over from Eliza- who started off the tradition – to her little brother, Griffin.

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The life of an intergalactic smuggler

By March 30, 2017 Eliza, My Geek Adventures

Here’s a snapshot of Lizeybug, kicking back, waiting for prospective clients to engage her in conversation about chartering her Corellian ship (not the local bulk cruisers mind you) for a intergalactic voyage. Space Uber, if you will.

It’s also the only photo I was able to snap off before one of the friendly supervisors let me know that photographs aren’t allowed in the Oceaneer’s Club on our recent Disney Dream cruise. Completely makes sense. “My bad!” I quickly put my camera away, and had the unexpected benefit of feeling like a space smuggler on my way out.

By the way, Disney doesn’t half-ass anything. If you think this area was rad, you should have seen the Millenium Falcon cockpit.

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Dungeons & Dragons & Karaoke

By February 25, 2017 My Geek Adventures, PDX

I’ll admit, it’s been a real hassle getting my group of forty-something nerds together for D&D night. Between kids and jobs, and the endless march of time, the timing is never just right for each of us to drop everything and throw down with a d20. So when we get together, it’s imperative that we make the most of the evening.

We’re all aligned in the same goal, to “get out of the house” and socialize, which is why none of us simply host the event at one of our houses. We often opt for a bar or restaurant where we can slip into a corner booth and be left alone. It doesn’t always work out. People spot us nerds from a mile away.

I was lamenting this fact to our rogue, Melinda saying, “I wish there was a place like Voicebox where we could just get a room and play D&D.” For those of you that aren’t from Portland, Voicebox is a karaoke bar where reserve private rooms for karaoke parties. It turns out that Melinda had a Groupon deal and the rest is history. Within 10 minutes we had all agreed to play D&D in our Voicebox room, while singing and performing throughout the night. Read More

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Visiting Hobbitton, New Zealand

By December 28, 2016 My Geek Adventures

Before the Holidays, polite conversation would typically go something like this:
Them: “Are you going anywhere for the holidays?”
Me: “Um, yeah we’re going to New Zealand.”
Them: “Oh. Um…wow.”
Me: “Yeah, it’s going to be fun.”
Them: “Are you going to that Lord of the Rings place?”

You know, polite conversation and all. Read More

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Graphic Comics in Wellington, New Zealand

By December 22, 2016 Comic Book Stores

I knew that I’d be spending a few days in the Wellington area and noted Graphic Comics as a somewhere that I’d like to visit if the opportunity presented itself. Several days later the universe answered when I stumbled across Graphic while exploring a popular Cuba Mall shopping district. “Damn that’s a great location!” Read More

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Rogue One: A New Zealand Star Wars Story

By December 20, 2016 My Geek Adventures

NOTE: I wrote this several weeks ago, but held off on publishing until now in order to reduce the surface area of attack for posting Rogue One spoilers.

I saw Rogue One on opening weekend in New Zealand. That’s not a particularly impressive statement if you live in New Zealand, or maybe even Australia. But people from just about anywhere else (or maybe Americans) might think that’s rad. Read More

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Midtown Comics (Times Square), New York City

By December 2, 2016 Comic Book Stores, Comics

I did not anticipate how freezing cold I would be in New York this past weekend, but the winter chill cut into me as I made my way in the cold, dark evening to Midtown Comics – hoping to get in before they closed (or I froze to death).

Whenever I’m in the Times Square area I love to go by there and snap up store exclsive variant covers and other random things. For someone who regularly goes into random comic book shops, you would think that I’ve got everything I need, but somehow Midtown Comics always manage to surprise me.

The store is jam packed with titles and graphics novels with curios and collectibles adorning each and every corner. Upstairs is no different, but with an impressive section of back issues and shelves of action figures.

It’s worth walking the extra few blocks from the main touristy area, even in sub-zero temps.

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Kings Comics – Sydney, Australia

By September 20, 2016 Comic Book Stores

When I found out that I needed to go to Sydney for a video project the very first thing I did was to find out if I needed a travel visa. The answer was yes, so I’m glad that I did that first.

But…the second thing I did was – naturally – to research where all the local comic book shops are located. It turned out that I only really needed to visit one place, and all signs pointed me towards:Kings Comics, “Australia’s Award Winning Comic Book Specialty Store”. Read More

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My nerd loot from SDCC 16

By July 25, 2016 Collectibles, comic-con

I had another rad trip to San Diego Comic-Con this year, and I’ll load up some photos and impressions shortly. Until then, here’s the traditional photo of my loot, spread out on the hotel room bed.

You’ll find the usual SDCC stuff like bags and programs, and there’s a small amount of promotional books at items. I’ve gotten really good and just not accepting any weird, free thing someone hands me. Anyway, I got another unicorn t-shirt, Saga action figures (!!!) and some signed comics. It was a rather lean year for swag and collectibles.

However, my kids left the show with a TON of stuff, so mucf, in fact, that i was worried about our luggage weight for the return flight home.

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