RSSArchive for April 19th, 2012

SOFTBALL: Aztecs getting back to 'normal'

SOFTBALL: Aztecs getting back to ‘normal’

By STEVE CHOICE

 

The Pima Community College softball team knows a thing or two about sweeping their opponents in doubleheaders.

The Aztecs have accomplished the feat in 14 of 21 opportunities this season.

That’s why it may have been a little surprising when the Aztecs recently split with two teams they had kicked around earlier in the year.

Pima split with Chandler-Gilbert Community College on April 3, then also took one of two against South Mountain Community College on April 7.

As a result, PCC slipped to No. 12 in the latest NJCAA Division I poll.

Head coach Armando Quiroz wasn’t concerned about the losses, though.

“That’s just part of any season,” he said. “We’re right where we want to be. Our expectations are high as always, and we’re picking up the intensity in practice.”

Not surprisingly, Quiroz was happy to see the squad break out the brooms against Arizona Western College on April 10.

“It felt good to get the sweep against Western,” he said. “For us, sweeping our opponents is what we consider normal. There’s little middle ground for us – we want to win both every time.”

Sophomore Mari Contreras pitched Pima to victory in game one against the Matadors.

Sophomores Nicole Rascon and Jessica Sipe had big days at the plate, along with freshmen Aubre Carpenter, Alejandra Ortiz and Shawna Comeaux.

Freshman Yvette Alvarez also starred, ending game two with a grand slam.

Pima followed up by taking two 10-1 decisions against GateWay Community College on April 17.

The Aztecs now stand at 44-11 on the season, including a 34-8 conference mark.

On April 24, PCC will get a chance to avenge something that’s even more rare for them – having an opponent sweep them.

Yavapai College will come to town that day as one of just two teams to have turned the trick against the Aztecs this season.

Quiroz said his team welcomes the challenge against the No. 3 Roughriders.

“Anytime you can play a great squad like Yavapai, that’s what you want for your program,” he said. “They have quite a talented team. We’re looking forward to it.”

 

By Larry Gaurano

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Odu leaps and bounds ahead

Odu leaps and bounds ahead

By MEGYN FITZGERALD

 

The future looks bright for Pima Community College sophomore track and field star Alice Odu.

With nationally recognized long and triple jump abilities and a contagious personality, Odu is a shoe-in for the outdoor national championships.

 

“She’s a great person,” head coach Greg Wenneborg said. “The second you meet her, you like her.”

 

Previously a basketball player, Odu has been involved in track and field since the seventh grade. She continues to put unparalleled efforts into bettering her abilities.

“I’m just happy that a young lady like Alice, after working so hard, is seeing results,” Wenneborg said.

Even though she qualified for nationals on March 10 with a triple jump distance of 38-10 1/4, she isn’t slowing down.

 

A typical practice for Odu begins at 3:30 p.m. and doesn’t end until 7:30 p.m. Highlights include stretching, 70 sit-ups, 45 push-ups, 450 calf-raises, lots of running, an hour of jumping drills and a trip to the weight room.

 

She spends most of her time in the weight room doing squats. Since her freshman year, Odu has improved from being able to squat 135 pounds to squatting 265.

 

“During practice she always has a smile on her face unless she is running 250-meter repeats,” assistant coach Chad Harrison jokingly said. “Alice is a great kid. One that I enjoy coaching.”

 

It has become a post-competition tradition for Odu and Harrison to share a bag of beef jerky and talk about her jumps, how well she did and where she can improve.

Odu hopes to use her success at Pima, both in track and in the classroom, to transfer somewhere that will help her achieve her goal of becoming a pediatric nurse. She also hopes to move out of Tucson.

“I like Tucson and all my family lives in Tucson, but I would like to move to Dallas, Texas,” she said.

Odu is currently ranked 10th all-time in the long jump and fourth in the triple jump at Pima.

“I will miss her when she’s gone,” Harrison said. “She has done wonders for our track program.”

In her spare time, Odu enjoys reading, listening to R&B music and dancing.

“Well, I’m African, so I’m really good at African dance,” Odu said.

Photo by Leftrick Herd

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Padres Triple-A players eager to learn

Padres Triple-A players eager to learn

By MYLO ERICKSON

 

Tucson Padres players say they are looking forward to the year and hope to improve on last season’s 65-79 record.

The San Diego Padres’ triple-A affiliate kicked off its 2012 season on April 5 in Tucson’s Kino Sports Complex.

“I’m glad to make the jump to triple-A,” outfielder Sawyer Carroll said. “It seems like it’s going to be a lot of fun and I think we’ll be really good.”

There are lots of new faces on the Padres squad, but many are familiar with each other because they played together last year on the San Diego Padres’ double-A affiliate, the San Antonio Missions.

The Tucson team ended its first 2012 home series with a 1-5 record.

“I’m hoping that I can learn and build off of spring training,” starting pitcher Joe Wieland said. “That was my first big league camp.”

Tucson was not the original destination for the triple-A affiliate.

Originally known as the Portland Beavers, the team was forced out of Oregon in 2010 when its facility was converted into a soccer stadium.

San Diego Padres owner Jeff Moorad purchased the team with the intent of moving it to Escondido, Calif., which is located about 30 miles from San Diego.

Moorad chose Tucson as an interim location while the organization waited on funding to build an Escondido stadium.

Tucson’s Kino facility was available, after two Major League Baseball spring training squads and the triple-A Sidewinders left town.

However, the big league Padres may not receive funds to build the Escondido stadium. Last July, the California legislature passed a budget that eliminated redevelopment agencies.

The move denied Escondido the necessary public funds to build a stadium. The city had already spent $350,000 on preparatory environmental studies.

With the team’s location in limbo, cities outside of California have expressed interest. El Paso, especially, is making a strong push.

Tucson will host through the 2012 season, but it seems clear that fans must show more support if they want to keep the team.

Last season the Tucson Padres had the worst Pacific Coast League attendance, averaging about 3,410 people. The league leader was Round Rock, Texas, with 8,500.

Approximately 6,400 people attended the Tucson Padres home opener in 2011. This year’s opener drew 5,681.

For additional information on the Tucson Padres, including game schedules, upcoming promotions and ticket purchases, visit the team home page at milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t549.

 

Photo by Mylo Erickson

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ATHLETIC VOICE: Happy birthday, Title IX

ATHLETIC VOICE: Happy birthday, Title IX

By STEVE CHOICE

 

College athletics will celebrate a seminal moment on June 23, when Title IX marks its 40th year.

Title IX is primarily known as the law that requires equality between men’s and women’s athletic programs on the college level. It didn’t start that way, though.

The landmark legislation’s authors drafted it to combat gender bias in public employment practices. Gender wasn’t addressed in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, though Title IX’s early proponents drew inspiration from that law’s language.

Title IX states:“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

There’s no mention of sports, but the law was soon applied to college athletics.

As a result, schools must offer sports to each gender proportionate to student enrollment. In practice, that often means a roughly equal number of sports for men and women.

For example, Pima Community College offers eight sports for each gender.

The sheer number of women participating in college athletics has exploded, thanks to Title IX.

The number of females playing college sports jumped from about 30,000 in 1971-72 to almost 187,000 in 2009-10.

Title IX has detractors. They say it has caused numerous men’s programs to disband, as schools are forced to meet what some call unrealistic and unfair quotas.

While it’s true that some schools have dropped men’s programs, overall male participation in the same period has grown from approximately 170,000 to about 250,000.

Ironically, football and men’s basketball are the more likely culprits for men’s programs being cut, especially at the highest level of the NCAA.

Larger universities dedicate the lion’s share of their budgets to those two sports, but are still required by law to field women’s teams.

So instead of having a wrestling team or a men’s cross-country squad, for example, a university can still be in compliance by giving those extra funds to its two glamour sports, as long as it maintains its requisite number of women’s programs.

That’s what often happens. Women’s sports programs aren’t to blame for that.

Ultimately, the blame lies with people like me – fans who help fuel the American fascination with college football and men’s basketball.

Nevertheless, I can still see what’s right. That’s a level playing field for all.

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Spring Training: In late 1980s Pima pursued MLB teams

Spring Training: In late 1980s Pima pursued MLB teams

By MYLO ERICKSON

 

In the late 1980s, Pima Community College found itself in a bidding war to become a Major League Baseball spring training site.

If the plan had passed, it would have added practice fields, batting cages and clubhouse facilities.

The project was going to be split between downtown Tucson and West Campus. The main stadium would have been downtown, while West Campus would have hosted minor league spring training.

In 1987, Acuna Coffeen Landscape Architects conducted a study of the proposed sites. The study was revised and submitted to the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department in 1988.

The company determined that West Campus land was suitable for tournament play. However, the downtown land around Interstate 10 and Congress was deemed unsuitable.

With that, talks began to circulate of building a hotel near West Campus to serve as housing for ballplayers. There was also talk of dormitories for student-athletes, since Pima was one of the few Arizona community colleges that did not provide student housing. It still doesn’t.

When the Colorado Rockies replaced the Cleveland Indians at Tucson’s Hi Corbett Field in 1993, Pima’s hopes of baseball field expansions faded.

Hopes resurfaced when the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers talked about moving their spring training camps to Arizona.

However, during that time the fields at West Campus were in bad condition and were being reseeded, which forced the baseball teams to practice at Reid Park and Santa Rita High School.

Pima felt it could offer education as an incentive for professional athletes who routinely face the prospect of career-ending injuries or non-renewed contracts.

College officials said PCC could provide associate degrees, plus English as a Second Language programs for the numerous players arriving from countries such as Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

During this time, Pima seemed to be in the running for a chance to take advantage of baseball-generated revenue.

But the plan never came to pass, as baseball teams relocated their spring training and minor league affiliates to locations outside of Tucson.

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GOLF: Women improve scores

GOLF: Women improve scores

By MYLO ERICKON

 

The Pima Community College women’s golf played in its sixth tournament of the year on April 9-10, yet again without enough players to establish a team score.

They played at the par-72 Dobson Ranch Golf Course in Mesa in a tournament hosted by Mesa Community College.

Freshman Abriana Romero had the best first-day score for Pima, shooting a 98. Sophomore Alondra Olivas finished the day with a 99.

Freshman Shelby Empens shot 100. She cut 12 strokes from her score on the back nine.

The women improved their second-day stroke totals.

Olivas shot an 89, with a season-best 39 on the back nine.

“I was super excited for her,” head coach Bill Nicol said.

Romero shot a 91 and Empens finished with a 92.

Romero, who has the highest stroke average for the Pima women, still has a chance to advance to nationals by claiming the conference’s fifth individual spot.

Pima will play in its seventh and final tournament of the year on April 23-24. Scottsdale Community College will host the tournament at Hillcrest Golf Course in Sun City West.

Nicol has never been to this course, but noticed lots of water hazards after an online check.

“It’s kind of like playing a desert course, but you can’t get your ball back,” he said.

Nicol has enjoyed working with his players this season, and said the women often receive compliments.

“One person told me that they’re the three nicest people in the league,” Nicol said. “That’s always great to hear.”

 

 

On Deck:

April 23-24: @ Scottsdale Community College, Sun City West, Hillcrest Golf Course, 11 a.m.

 

Photo by Mylo Erickson

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GOLF: Men finish sixth in final meet

By MYLO ERICKSON

 

The Pima Community College men’s golf team finished its final tournament of the season with a two-day total of 619, which was good enough for sixth place.

Mesa Community College hosted the tournament at Longbow Golf Course in Mesa.

On the first day of the tournament, Pima ended in sixth place with a total of 309.

The team was two strokes behind fifth-place Paradise Valley Community College and seven strokes behind fourth-place Mesa.

Sophomore Adam Ortiz had the best score the Aztecs on the first day, shooting one over par with a 72, which was good enough to tie for second place individually.

On the first day, five players were tied for the lead with 71. Six players were tied for second with 72.

The next best for the Aztecs was freshman Landyn Lewis, who shot six over par with a 77 for his first-day score.

On the second day of the tournament, Pima finished with a total of 308. That was one stroke better than its first day.

Lewis had the best second-day score for the Aztecs, shooting three over par with a 74. He ended with a two day total of 151.

Ortiz shot four over par with a 75 for the second day. He ended with the best overall score for Pima with a two-day total of 147.

No Pima player managed to crack the top 10 individually.

The tournament finished off the regular season tournaments for Pima.

The Aztecs will be heading to Sidewinder Golf Course in Gold Canyon, Ariz., on April 26-29 to compete in the NJCAA Region 1 tournament.

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TRACK & FIELD: 25 Aztecs qualify for nationals

By MEGYN FITZGERALD

 

The Pima Community College track and field team ended its regular season with 13 women and 12 men qualified for nationals.

The Aztecs participated in the third and final ACCAC conference meet of the outdoor season at Mesa Community College on April 13.

In the five-way dual meet, the women finished the season with a record of 12-3.

Freshman Kami Humphrey qualified for nationals in the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 3 inches.

Freshman Jania Featherstone took first place in the event with a jump of 5-7. Sophomore Anaiz Zamorano earned second place in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1 minute, 04.57 seconds.

The men finished the season with a record of 8-7.

Sophomore Antonio Jeter took second place in the triple jump with a leap of 47-6. Sophomore Justin Chambers finished second in the long jump with a jump of 22-5.

While competing in the Mesa Community College Classic Invitational on April 6, Pima athletes hit four more national qualifying marks and racked up two first-place finishes.

Freshman Lucas Ruiz finished first in the 1500-meter race with a time of 3:57.53. The team of freshmen Alfonso Avitla, Lance Ross, Patrick Yonas and sophomore Demitri Hayes took first in the 4×100 relay with a time of 42.08.

On April 6, while competing in the Mesa Community College Classic Invitational, Pima athletes hit four more national qualifying marks and racked up two first-place finishes.

Freshman Lucas Ruiz finished first in the 1500-meter race with a time of 3 minutes, 57.53 seconds. The team of freshmen Alfonso Avitla, Lance Ross, Patrick Yonas and sophomore Demitri Hayes took first in the 4×100 relay with a time of 42.08.

For the women, freshmen Heidi Lopez, Kelsey Montano and Jamie Shrader finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 1500-meter race, earning their qualifying marks in the event.

The Aztecs will travel to Cerritos, Calif., for the Beach Invitational on April 20 and 21.

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Listen to your body: slow down

Listen to your body: slow down

 By VANESSA AVILA 

I’ve been a full-time student since I graduated from high school, at times simultaneously working full time. Unfortunately, now I can’t take on as much.

A couple of months ago, I suffered a panic attack. It happened because I put my body through lots of stress, for a long time.

I lacked sleep, worked 50 hours a week, skipped meals, went to school full time and never listened to my body trying to tell me it was exhausted.

By the time I decided to listen, the damage had been done.

I started having episodes of anxiety attacks. I wasn’t the same anymore. I wasn’t able to take on everything and anything.

I used to be able to do so much and now even doing a little is hard.

It’s hard to focus, to pay attention. The worst part is that anxiety can bring other complications into my life if I’m not careful.

I should have listened to my body. I was too busy trying to finish school quickly while working, but it affected my health. If I could press rewind, I would.

It is great to go to school but don’t take on too much if you can’t handle it.

If you have to work, take on only the hours you need. Taking on too much is not worth the cost of your health.

Finish school at your pace and enjoy the experience. Exercise, eat right, sleep your full eight hours and be nice to yourself. There is no need to put your body through extra stress—especially if it’s stress that you can control.

Avila exercises, takes long walks in the park and reads when she wants to take a break from the world.

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CRACKING WISE: A gamer’s lament

CRACKING WISE: A gamer’s lament

 By DAVID MENDEZ

During one of our “dates,” in which we spend time together by playing different video games in different spots of the same room, my girlfriend mentioned something staggering:

“I’ve played this game for 90 hours.”

That’s 90 hours on my Xbox over the past two months. She’s spent countless hours playing the same game on a computer at her own home.

That made me curious about my own gameplay statistics.

Spoiler alert: They’re terrifying.

I’ve played nearly a day’s worth of time in “Civilization V.” I’ve spent 86 hours in “Fallout: New Vegas.” The big kicker is “Team Fortress 2.” In more than three years of ownership, I’ve played nearly 850 hours. A month and change.

This doesn’t take into account the time I’ve spent playing Xbox. I hesitate to look into my “Halo 3” and “Halo Reach” statistics, because I may throw up in disgust.

In the story of my life, an entire volume’s worth of space would be spent detailing my video gaming habits (An excerpt: “He was an awful sniper, constant sneak and unrepentant power-up thief: may God have mercy on his soul.”)

I’ve always struggled against self-labeling as a “gamer” alongside other such titles as “journalist,” “funny guy” and “perpetual community college student.”

But I think this is my limit.

I’ve had trouble quitting games at times, to the point where one could claim I was addicted. It’s a charge I’m not sure I could deny.

Based on the numbers above, I’ve spent five weeks of my life at my PC, gaming. I could have driven from San Francisco to New York City nearly seven times.

So I’m done — for a little while, at least.

No more Xbox or Nintendo DS or iPod gaming. Not for two weeks, from the publication of this column to the publication of our next issue.

We’ll see how long I can make it without caving in and playing something like “NBA Jam” or “Angry Birds.”

I’m guessing I’ll last at least 10 days before I relapse, but who knows? Maybe I’ll actually get something worthwhile done during those days without a controller.

 If you bet on how long he’ll last, Mendez hopes you will let him in on the action. He isn’t quitting gambling, after all. 

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Rich guy joke not funny

Rich guy joke not funny

 Editor’s note: For those unfamiliar with the Aristocrat joke, “Wikipedia” describes it as a secret-handshake among comedians. Versions of the joke center on themes such as child abuse, incest, rape, murder and violence. The goal of the joke is to infringe on social norms.

By THOMAS F. JOHNSON

A rich guy goes into a talent agency and says to the agent, “I’ve got a hell of an act for you.”

 

 “Lemme hear it,” says the talent agent.

 

 “So me and my cronies come out on the stage and start demanding that the political system stop trying to regulate us. Then, with our powers of lobbying, we slowly flay away all regulations constraining us until there’s nothing but a skeleton of government left.

 

 “Meanwhile, our political friends in the audience start destroying or preventing any and all things that might be a threat to us, such as public health care, public education and even aid to the poor!

“That way, we’re the only game in town. It’ll be awesome, like Gallagher but with fundamental human rights rather than plain ol’ watermelons!”

 

The talent agent looks horrified, but the rich guy continues.

“But it gets better! Then we take the politicians from the audience and rip out all their teeth. We cut ‘em up and make them ineffectual, so they can do nothing as we spread our tendrils across the audience! The screaming is always the best part.

“We will dominate them, creating a world shaped in our corporate image, smothering their hearts in a plutocratic world, the political system a desperate husk we can puppeteer as we please.

“We’ve made the strings of gold, and we’ve got a little puppet dance-number planned, called ‘A Boot Stamping on A Human Face Forever’

“None shall resist, as those who do will be called socialists and ground down to pink sludge even as we create fascism in our wake. They will know us as gods, and they will tremble.”

“That’s horrible!” says the talent agent, reaching for his revolver. “What do you call it?”

The rich guy just laughs maniacally and screams at the top of his lungs, “The Aristorcrats!”

Johnson thinks this is probably the vilest incarnation of the Aristocrats joke.

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Awards honor student artists

Awards honor student artists

By MEGGIE COSTELLO-KESSLER

A feeling of excitement and anticipation greeted visitors entering the Louis Bernal Art Gallery on April 11.

The Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition would soon present awards to Pima Community College students whose work had been accepted for display in the West Campus gallery.

Many people circled the room, examining the student finalists’ artwork and preparing for the winners to be announced.

“I like it. It’s very creative, different and unique,” said jewelry winner Alexandra Queen as she examined fellow students’ work.

Finalist Adam Bucholz was very excited, despite not having won an award.

“I’ve been trying to get some stuff into an art gallery, to throw myself into the art community,” Bucholz said. “Even if people don’t buy it, I don’t care. I want people to see it.”

Shorty after 1 p.m., gallery director David Andres called the attendants to gather for the ceremony.

He introduced the jurors — Ben Johnson, Hannah Glasston and Ellen McMahon — and thanked event sponsors for their $2,600 worth of award gifts.

Awards went first to 14 students in “honors” categories, then to 14 students in “best of” categories. (See list of winners below.)

“I was pleased,” Larry Gotkin said after winning three categories, including best of show.  “It’s nice to be recognized for your work.”

The free exhibit will be on display through May 4.

 

2012 award winners

Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition

“Best of” categories:
Best of Show: Larry Gotkin – “Horned Hawk”
Best of 3D: Larry Gotkin – “Horned Hawk”
Best of 2D: Rebecca Flores – “Shelby and Blonde”
Best of Ceramics: Tasha Barthelemy – “Smokey Form”
Best of Drawing: Ivan Hill – “Personal Politics”
Best of Fibers: Deb Weinman – “Star Basket”
Best of Jewelry: Sharon Bertrand – “Blowing Petals”
Best of Metals: Larry Gotkin – “Birda Kukri”
Best of Mixed Media: Peter Van Peenen – “Ad Horse”
Best of Painting: Cott Marios – “Pabst Rabbit”
Best of Digital Photography: Leftrick Herd – “Gotcha”
Best of Photography: Larry Gaurano – “Ice Melt”
Best of Printmaking: Marika Szabo – “Corporate Creed”
Best of Sculpture: Gene Bunger – “Arachnotes”

“Honors” categories:
Honors Drawing: Molly Bryson – “Murder Mystery”
Honors Fibers: Ann Peterson – “Plaid Pack”
Honors Fibers: Susan Woodbury – “Bonnie Brae”
Honors Jewelry: Alexandra Queen – “Bermuda Triangle Halter”
Honors Metals: Derek Lookingbill – “Campfire Tri-pod”
Honors Mixed Media: Marika Szabo – “Magic Squares”
Honors Painting: Diane Dale – “Aunty Mame”
Honors Photography: Martin Gutierrez – “Dad Zoll, Joe Zoll, Ryan Zoll”
Honors Photography: Jo Kubran – “Wigwam Motel”
Honors Photography and Century Award: Kiki Nelson – “The Secret Garden”
Honors Photography: Doug Rautenkranz – “After the Rain: Ambiguous”
Honors Printmaking: Penny Batelli – “Whirl”
Honors Sculpture: Elizabeth Ledezma – “Day Dream”
Honors Sculpture: Ann Peterson – “Grin”

Best of Show winner Larry Gotkin shows his "Horned Hawk" art. Photo by Meggie Costello-Kessler.

Division dean Robert Simpson, left, and curator David Andres announce awards at the Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition. Photo courtesy of Lee Whitney.

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Down Time- Comic

Down Time- Comic

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Arizona landscape inspires designer

Arizona landscape inspires designer

By THOMAS F. JOHNSON

Arizona video game designer Shane Lacey Hensley has created games ranging from the Weird War series to the Savage Worlds universal system.

Hensley has also worked on “City of Heroes” and “City of Villains,” the massive multiplayer online role playing games, and on “Dungeons and Dragons.”

However, many gamers would say his most notable achievement is “Deadlands,” a tabletop RPG that blends the Wild West with a Faustian brand of fantasy. It throws in a bit of steampunk for good measure.

It’s the flagship game of his company, Pinnacle Games. The original game was the basis for his Savage Worlds system

Hensley said in an email interview that his biggest design influence, along with “Dungeons and Dragons,” was a relatively obscure game called “TORG.”

“It really showed how non-combat characters could be effective in combat and opened up the door to players having a little more control over their fate,” he said.

Before “Deadlands,” Hensley did some early work on “Dungeons and Dragons.” What is he most proud of from those days? “Probably ‘City by the Silt Sea,’ for Dark Sun. It was my first complete boxed set.”

Hensley said the difference between designing for video games and for tabletop RPGs is providing what the audience wants.

“In ‘City of Villains,’ it was about trying to find ways for your character to be proactive in his acts of villainy,” he said.

“In RPGs, you’re tailoring more toward personal progression and trying to find ways to provide memorable moments,” he added.

“I can think of a number of personal and convention adventures where someone got lucky, rolled a huge number and took down a big bad guy in the nick of time.”

Hensley said there is a possibility that “Deadlands” will spin off into other media. A “Deadlands” comic is currently for sale, and there was a now-cancelled “Deadlands” MMORPG in the works.

“We’ve had options for ‘Deadlands’ movies and TV shows practically since it started in 1996, but so far no studio has green-lighted any of the scripts or presentations we or our various agents have made,” he said.

Hensley proudly mentioned that Pinnacle recently released “The Last Sons,” a Plot Point campaign for Deadlands in which a player’s posse gets involved in the Deadwood/Sioux war.

“We also have John Goff’s great ‘Blood Drive’ trilogy on the way soon,” Hensley said. “There are a number of other books that are really close to being discussed and released but as we haven’t yet, I’ll need to keep the lid on them just a bit longer.”

Of all his video game work, Hansley said he is most proud of working on the “Deadlands” Massive Multiplayer Online RPG.

“[It] had a lot of great ideas behind it, thanks to a very creative team,” he said. “The final demo we did was a shooter-style battle in Kansas in the middle of a tornado.”

Regrets include designing a version of “Deadlands” for the “Dungeons and Dragons” rule set. Even though his company was dual-statting, writing rules for both systems at the same time, fans thought Pinnacle was abandoning its system.

“It wasn’t a good fit for us,” Hensley said. “I wasn’t savvy enough to really transform it into our own thing.”

His favorite non-Deadlands Savage Worlds games are “50 Fathoms” and “Evernight,” though Hensley said he liked every setting designed for the system. “If I didn’t, we wouldn’t have published them.”

Hensley said his favorite game not produced by Pinnacle is “Warhammer,” a popular fantasy war game. He owns a large army of Dark Elves.

The designer moved to Arizona about six years ago, and said the state’s history and landscape influence his work.

“The desert is very inspiring to me,” he said. “You can’t go down to Tombstone or Bisbee or Jerome without getting dozens of ideas for new adventures.”

Game designer Shane Lacey Hensley visits the famed Tombstone cemetery. Photo courtesy of Shane Lacey Hensley.

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FOODIE FINDS: Cereal Boxx

FOODIE FINDS: Cereal Boxx

By MIKI JENNINGS

Tucked away just off University Boulevard, the Cereal Boxx has been giving University of Arizona students and University wanderers a quiet nook for breakfast since 2007.

The menu is loaded with sweet breakfast fare: cereal, oatmeal, parfaits and Belgian waffles. It also offers more savory items such as scrambled egg wraps and bagel sandwiches with lox and cream cheese.

Drinks include smoothies and a full-service espresso bar for those who need caffeine in the morning.

Cereal Boxx has a large assortment of cereals and an even larger selection of toppings.

With cereal choices like Kix, Lucky Charms, Cap’n Crunch and Life, there is something to strike just about anyone’s fancy.

Customers can create their own breakfast bowls, perhaps mixing Reese’s Puffs or Cocoa Krispies with Nutella or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Want something a tad more healthful? Try Kashi or Special K with strawberries, blueberries or bananas.

Health-conscious breakers of fast will also appreciate menu items like oatmeal topped with fruit and parfaits with fruit, creamy yogurt and granola.

Outside of breakfast, the folks at Cereal Boxx introduced a full lunch menu late last year. They now serve paninis, soup and loaded baked potatoes. Varieties include chicken and buffalo sauce, chorizo and salsa, chicken and ranch and cheddar and broccoli.

 

FYI

The Cereal Boxx

Address: 943 E. University Blvd., Suite 101

Phone: 622-2699

Website: thecerealboxx.com

Hours:

Mon-Fri, 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Sat-Sun, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

A Cereal Boxx employee restocks cereal cannisters at the popular university-area cafe. Photo by Miki Jennings.

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