The History of Klax

Klax, or “Klacksing,” as it was originally known, began on the boardwalks of sea-side resort towns in New Jersey, and quickly spread up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Although some trace its roots back to the Colonial days, it is far more likely that it started during the heady days of the “Gilded Age,” roughly 1870 - 1899.

Gameplay was remarkably similar to the way the game is played today. A conveyor belt (the first models were cranked by young urchins, but these were quickly replaced by steam or electric engines) carried large wooden tiles towards a depression in the ground, called a well. The tiles were placed on the conveyor behind a curtain. Because the tiles were arranged in a well, the person placing the tiles couldn’t see what patterns were being chosen, and so what colors came down the conveyor was theoretically random.

The gentleman (ladies were not allowed to play) who was “klacksing” then arranged the tiles, as we do today, in vertical or horizontal rows of like colors (diagonals were not introduced until the mid-1930s), under the watchful eye of the game minder, who made sure that the players did not surreptitiously rearrange tiles. In the early days, players were limited to the tiles they could hold in their hands, and if three tiles dropped off the conveyor, the game was over. If the player achieved an objective, (getting 4 “klackses” or 3 in a row, say) that was previously agreed upon between him and the game minder, he won a small prize, like a Kewpie Doll. Better prizes were awarded for more difficult arrangements.

Although Klacksing was a popular resort pastime, it really took off during the Roaring 20s, when the “shoe” was introduced. The shoe was a device that held up to five tiles–no longer were players limited to the tiles they held in their hand. The shoe was also a convenient place to stash contraband bottles of beer if the Police happened by. The word for the practice, “shoeing”, quickly became slang for hiding alcohol, and Klax (as it was re-christened in Pepe Morano’s famous song of the era), which was once considering a sporting game for proper Victorian gentlemen, quickly became associated with pool halls, bootlegging, and fast living.

Even the Great Depression couldn’t dull enthusiasm for Klax, in fact, with the diagonal, Klax became more popular, and the subject of more decency crusades aiming to eliminate it. The introduction of the diagonal Klax was made possible when fully electro-mechanical versions of the game, which used magnetized tiles and mercury switches to sense klaxes, were shipped from the arcade makers in Chicago across the country. It certainly didn’t help the game’s reputation to have most versions stamped with the name of the Windy City, which was then associated with Al Capone and all things criminal.

Despite the decency crusader’s efforts, it eventually took a war to quell the popularity of Klax. Because the electromechanical game used so much precious metal, and because the game took so much time away from boys who were soon to be occupied by more treacherous tasks, F.D.R. banned the game in an executive order dated February 2nd, 1942.

“It is the war, and there is no time for Klax,” declared FDR in a public statement, April 3rd, 1942. With most players–and operators–destined for the Army, there was no public outcry about the ban, and after the war, the game was quickly forgotten in the wave of post-war technological achievements like television and Skee-Ball. A few newspaper columnists noted Klax’s passing, but the public at large, which was so taken with the game just a few years ago, seemed to completely forget the game, just as many pre-war traditions were lost. The game disappeared so rapidly from the national consciousness that the ban on Klax wasn’t even officially lifted until September 8th, 1978, by Jimmy Carter–the last of the World War II executive orders to be repealed.

Although a few electro-mechanical Klax games exist in collectors’ hands, the game was largely forgotten until 1989 when programmers and designers at Atari Games resurrected the concept for a radical new puzzle game. The intro screen, “It is the 90’s and there is time for Klax”, recalled FDR’s famous pronouncement.

Today, it is the Millennium, and thanks to the power of Nintendo’s Game Boy, you can now take Klax with you anywhere you go!

5 Tips for Becoming a Morning Person

There’s something about waking up that I love so much. You are here on this beautiful earth for one more day. You didn’t have a stroke in your sleep and die. That’s reason for celebration in itself. How you wake up and stimulate your mind sets up your whole day. I’m a sucker for tips and tricks for gaining that slight edge on my peers, as I’m sure you are as well. Picture how you wake up now. Do you groggily turn off your alarm and stare at your phone for 10 minutes? Crawl to the shower and consider not shaving? I hope that’s what the majority of people do because that means I am absolutely kicking their a@ss from the very first second of each day. I view each morning as another opportunity to gain an advantage on everyone else. Most people suck at waking up and wonder why they're tired all day. The morning period is so crucial for daily success because although you’re mind is so fresh, it is at the same time a jumbled mess. Awake but still dreaming. Stiff but full of untapped energy.

Every successful person has their own set of weird and wonky ways to start their day and I’m no exception. Here’s my battle tested method for madman results.

1.) Immediately upon waking up thrust your upper body up and toss your dominant hand in the air. What do I mean by that? Picture Usain Bolt's actions after his world record setting 100 meter race. Throw that face in the air and pop out of bed. I love this one so much because it forces you to get up and I assure you that after doing this you will not have the urge to lay back down. By doing this quirky motion not only are you waking up, but you are actively putting your mind in a winner’s mentality. What did you just win? Nothing and everything at the same time. Another opportunity on God’s green earth. What more can you ask for? I was amazed by how this one tip could be so effective in my life. The biggest problem with most people is they set 5 alarms and wake up to the last one, so when they finally get up their body is so confused whether they should be awake or not. You will no longer feel half asleep at 10 am because when you swing your arm in the air you are alerting your body it's go time. Even if you don’t read my next actions I want you to give this one a one week trial run and see how you like it. That’s what I did and after that one week it easily became one of my favorite habits.

2.) Dance. Some people say to ‘wake up and do 25 jumping jacks’ to wake up. What are you in the boyscouts? Be a man, play some Michael Jackson and let your body go for 5 minutes. Sing in the mirror, run over to your bed and visualize it being a crowd of screaming fans. Channel your inner Michael Jackson then hit the nae nae. Pretend you’re in a Chris Brown music video. I don’t care what you do but most of all, I want you to be moving and smiling. Look in the mirror halfway through the macarena and genuinely laugh at yourself. Appreciate that you are here in this moment alive and well.

3.) 10 minutes of meditation. I don’t need to tell you all the benefits of mediation as they are near infinite but I want to give you a lesson that I wish I knew when I started. In the beginning, I was frustrated at how easily my mind wonders. I thought that my brain wasn’t normal. I would repeat to myself ‘stop thinking so much’ and then get mad that I was thinking so much about not thinking. I considered each session a failure because I wasn’t solely focusing on my breath for the whole time. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The bulk of the benefits from meditation come when you bring yourself back in. By doing this you are training your brain to be constantly thinking about coming back to the now. You’re spending ten minutes now preparing your mind by doing nothing, so that when you need it to work the most it will. I now consider any session of having monkey mind for 9.5 minutes, and a peaceful 30 seconds to be a success. It’s hard to believe but those last 30 seconds can drastically change your day.

4.) After meditation I like to journal. There’s a million different things you can journal about but the basic premise for mine goes like this. First I write out any weird thoughts, feelings and ideas that are in my head. You would be surprised at how creative you are in the morning when you least expect it. Next, I write three things that would make today awesome. Maybe it’s finally raising my max squat, or reconnecting with an old friend. Doing things like this in the morning helps gives you purpose and focus for your day. And finally, I write out three affirmations for myself that I’m feeling. Whenever I used hear about people doing this it gave me chills because I thought it was so cheesy. However, it really does help. If YOU don’t even believe in yourself, who the hell do you expect will?

5.) Shower + breakfast

Bottom line: Be thrilled to wake up and have a routine in the morning, most people don’t. Try new things but find something that works for you. You can only do so much in a day, and winning the first 30 minutes sets everything else up.

3D Printed Hearthstone Cards

1: Dr. Boom Card. You find the files at MyMiniFactory.


2: Day[9] Card. It’s made by Ricardo Salomao and Simone Fontana.



3: Annoy-O-Tron Card. You find the files at MyMiniFactory.



4: The Hex Frog Card. It was designed by makers Ricardo Salomao and Simone Fontana.



5: The Kripparrian Card. Octavian “Kripparrian” MoroČ™an is a noted player of Hearthstone. You may know him from his daily late night stream on Twitch. The custom made Hearthstone card was made my Ricardo Salomao and Simone Fontana, who are known to the maker community as 3DNA. The print was designed and hand-colored by them.



6: Yong Woo Card. Yong Woo is the Senior Producer of Heartstone. Inspired on the Legendary card layout and on his avatar, this card was designed using ZBrush and Rhino. 



7. The DIY Card. You find the files for free download at Thingiverse.



8: The Trum Po Card. The Trum Po card is currently work in progress. It’s a collaboration from Ricardo Salomao and maker Fntsmn.



9: The Exorcism Card. This card really jumps at you. Ricardo Salomao designed and 3D printed this card. It’s nspired by the winner of the Hearthpwn Forum “The Winter Unveiling” Card Design Competition.



BONUS: 3D Printed Hearthstone Card Box


It’s a Hearthstone themed box you can 3D print and use for cards, dices and small things. According to the creator Julien De Muyter, “the print is not complicated but takes little bit long. Everything is printable, even the hinge. The assembling is only made by glue, all the tolerances are already include. In the central parts you can find a space to insert a secret or a small light.” Download or buy it at MyMiniFactory.

Financial Advice

Summary - 3 paths to wealth: ownership, sales, and specialization. All three require investment.This concepts must be mastered to succeed in the first two, which also require less to start.

Body -  Contrary to what the majority of people believes, most well off and wealthy people (in the U.S. anyway) did not inherit their wealth. The top .001% is a different story. But the 1%? Over half of those people don't even fit the definition of what wealthy truly means. 1% starts at $400k/year in income for a household... that's middle class.

In my experience, most well off and wealthy people come from lower-middle-class families. There's some misinformation on what this means, but lower-middle-class is usually defined as owning property and not living paycheck to paycheck. They can afford to put their kids through private school, but may choose not to. Usually these people are salaried employees who make a good living but do not possess a high ceiling to break into the wealthy class. When this fact dawns on their children (usually around 15-25 years old), they usually make it their mission to do so.

There are three paths to real wealth: ownership, sales, and specialization.

1. Ownership

This is just what it sounds like: owning something. A business, a building, land, oil rights, equity etc. Usually ownership goes hand and hand with Passive Income, which means that if you're in Argentina or Italy or Turkey smashing on some strange, you're making money anyway.

Passive Income allows you to focus your time on ways to expand your Earned Income or new ventures for Passive Income. The more Passive Income you have, the more money you make just by breathing.

Buildings, land, and property are all usually good investments. Owning your home, however, should not be seen as an investment. Yes, you build equity and have ownership, but it doesn't provide you a revenue stream. A rental does. If you're making an extra $4,000 a month on renting out a place.

Owning stocks/bonds usually provide you a revenue stream (if you buy and hold), and are filed under ownership as well, since you either own equity or debt in/of a company.

More examples: A guy makes 200k a year for 30 years, and he receives raises that go up with inflation.

Saves up for a down payment for years. He buys a $1.4 million dollar house. Pays the mortgage for 30 years. Retires with the house paid off and lives off his 401k. Not the slightest bit wealthy. Comfortable? 

Same guy makes 100k a year with raises that match inflation. He saves enough to put 5% down on a 1 br condo by the beach getting and gets a mortgage to finance it. He turns it into a vacation rental. Rental blows away his mortgage payment and he can now save twice as fast. He saves up a 20% down payment this time and buys a two bedroom condo by the beach. Rinse and repeat, increasing scale each time. This same guy could quit work at 40 and live off his revenue streams the rest of his life. Or he could keep at it and become first generation wealthy.

Business Ownership usually involves much more commitment, initial investment (of time and--usually--money), but can absolutely CRUSH what you can do with property. Look at the guy who started Home Brew Mart / Ballast Point Brewery. Just a guy who thought the beer in the 90's was bad and wanted to make beer that tasted good. That man is first generation rich. But he's 20+ years invested. You think he needs to manage day-to-day operations now?  He pays people who pay people to do that.

Property and business ownership require the ability to negotiate, manipulate, and--most importantly--create value (in yourself and something else).

2. Sales

You 1) FIND, 2) CONVINCE, and 3) GET THE SIGNATURE ON THE LINE THAT IS DOTTED from someone who is receiving something they want or need. All three parts are of equal importance. Some people are incredible marketers, some can convince people that Jesus really did heal them with the holy water, and some can knock it dead on the close. Rarely can someone do all three.

The ones that can (and who are selling something of extreme value), are usually well on their way to being wealthy. Look at the best real estate agents in your area... those guys (and gals) crush it. You think you can do what they do? No, you can't. Not without a ton of work perfecting your craft and 15 hour days. And, by the way, they make a lot more than you think they do.

In sales, you eat what you kill. It's truly the 21st-century adaptation of the alpha.

What's great about sales is that it literally requires no start-up cost other than some time and energy. Borrow a suit, buy Zig Ziglar's books for 1 cent online, and get to work. It will bleed into all aspects of your life more than anything you can imagine. You become more social and fun to be around... people see you as likable, but you still get thing done. People will respect you more because you will show them value in things. In general, others will desire to be around you. You dress well, you speak well, and you become a master of giving people what they desire: for a price.

3. Specialization

Not going to cover this one as deep, as it usually requires a ton of school or a lot of alone time (coders, for example). Usually 12-15 years of training. Think of brain surgeons, super specialized engineers, business consultants for narrow fields, investment banking (blend of sales and specialization). You usually have to get into this fairly early in life. The other two can be done at any point.

Take Away - Do you desire wealth? Then quit wasting the most scarce resource of all: your time. Get to work and build a better life for yourself.

Positive Habits

Many people want to start positive habits, but struggle to avoid distractions (like television and Facebook.) Maybe you want to write ten pages of fiction per week, but instead of working you end up surfing the web and checking email. You know you're choosing instant gratification over lasting fulfillment, but can't seem to help yourself. I think most of us, in some form or another, can relate to this frustrating scenario.

To overcome inertia and implement positive habits that last, you need to develop a greater sense of agency. Taking ownership of yourself and your actions is a fundamental aspect of personal development. See, when the average guy sits down to work, and ends up surfing the web instead, he thinks this is something that just happened. He believes that giving into distraction is normal (perhaps inevitable) and mostly out of his control. Sure he's the one clicking out of Microsoft Word, but in his mind this isn't a big deal. He's “tired” and work was “frustrating today.” Besides, no one cares if he postpones his personal development for one more day. With all these things on his mind, the average Joe feels totally justified in spending another night doing nothing instead of pursuing self-improvement.

Become Life-Affirming

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” - Confucius

To break out of the evil cycle of distraction, frustration, and unproductivity, start taking your actions at face-value. If you find yourself doing nothing instead of working, admit that you did not actually intend to work that night. That's right: you lied to yourself. It's not a big deal; we all do it, but at least be honest.

Likewise, if you consistently flake on going to the gym, you're not "too tired" or "too busy." Admit you're lazy and afraid of success. Seriously, honesty will take a weight off your shoulders and allows you to analyze your past actions with more clarity.

Excuses screw you in the long run because they take away your agency. Saying you’re “too busy” at first sounds like a good reason to not work out (or better than saying “I don’t care about my health.”) However, excuses like these simultaneously affirm that you’re not a fully autonomous person. You’d like to get in shape, but you can’t (for some reason). Apparently you don’t possess free will and partially identify as a slave.

Instead, be life-affirming. Treat all your actions and decisions as reflections of what you believe and where you’re at in life. Taking responsibility for your struggles affirms that you are, despite it all, still in charge of your own destiny. You have the capacity to do better tomorrow, to learn, and to continue growing. It’s when you start to deny your own agency and blame others/society/insert excuse here for your problems that you truly get stuck. Doing so is the beginning of death and decay.

Trust reality. If you consistently fail to achieve your goals, understand that this is not “bad luck” or something that “everyone struggles with.” It’s not due to your past, or your parents, or Trump. You are yourself over. And guess what? You are doing so on purpose. Understand?

It’s uncomfortable to admit, but we all have a Good side and a self-destructive side. Notice that your self-destructive side exists. When you go on Facebook instead of working on your goals you are broadcasting loud and clear: “My goals aren’t very important. Who am I to deserve that kind of success any ways?” Nothing is random, all is Game.

At this point someone usually says, “Well, am I to blame for my abusive upbringing, or the crime in my neighborhood? Many of the issues I face I had no hand in creating.” This is true, but you are still responsible for your response to these issues. How could you not be?

A Note on Thoughts
Stop taking your thoughts so seriously. No one else can hear them, they are wildly biased, and have little or nothing to do with objective reality. Let the manifested world be your guide. If good things are showing up in your life, then you are doing something right. If you keep finding yourself in adverse situations, then you have more learning to do. Your gaze should be outwards at the ‘real world,’ not turned inwards on your feelings and baggage.

MtG Custom Wooden 720 Cube Box - Innistrad Cube

From the OP website: My second custom Cube box. Built for my first Cube commission – set on the horror-infested and monster-besieged plane of Innistrad.


This box was my first commission. I worked with my client to find out the general needs for the cube itself and then we discussed theme. All I needed to hear was “Innistrad.” The concept was easy from there: create a magical relic from the plane. A chest that was clawed at, beaten and weathered on the outside as the undesirables of Innistrad assaulted it trying to abscond its contents; and pristine on the inside as though it must have been protected by Avacyn.


This Innistrad Cube was a blast to create. The box was built, distressed, stained, distressed some more, laser engraved, and stained again. While the stained dried I started painting the hardware. I gold leafed the inside lid and glow clear coated three times. Once dry I added the hardware and stained again. A few more layers of faux painting and aging, a UV sensitive layer added to the symbol of Avacyn on the inside, and I final protective clear cut finished the job.


A wooden box with custom slots for dividers, brass hardware, and gold leaf interior.