And Another Year …

OK,  in the last year, my total number of posts on the SFTV Blog was three, due in part to having to take it down when my hosting company thought that my wordpress code was letting in hackers.  I’ve reloaded the old blogspot SFTV Blog on the new hosting location at azsf.net, but haven’t copied those three posts over.  They can be seen at the SFTV.org location for now (but may not be there for long).

So, this past year has been a lot like last year.  I chaired LepreCon 37 and also ran the Scifi track at Phoenix Comicon, both happening in May 2011.  That and work kept me pretty busy.  However, after going back to work following Phoenix Comicon, I was informed I was part of a company wide reduction in force and got involuntary severanced after 31 years.  Definitely not a fun thing to find out.  So, I’m looking for a job for the first time since I graduated from college back in 1980!  I’m hoping there’s something out there in the area for an experienced Unix administrator who also knows a lot about various engineering applications and such.

In the meantime, I hope to keep the blog an SFTV Schedules updated on a regular basis.  The SFTV Upcoming Episodes and Season to Date files are both up to date.   And look for more news and updates soon.

What a Year (or more)!

This past weekend was the 2010 Phoenix ComiCon, which concluded a pretty crazy year and a half for me.

At the start of 2009 was the 2009 Phoenix ComiCon at the end of January, where I helped set up the first ever Wil Wheaton Rock Band event there.  I was vice-chair of FiestaCon, the 62nd Westercon, which happened over July 4th Weekend and helped rebound Westercon after a low turnout one in Las Vegas in 2008.  I chaired the first North American Discworld Convention over Labor Day weekend in 2009, for which our main guest (and creator of Discworld), Terry Pratchett, declared it was the best Discworld Convention ever!  A couple of weeks ago I chaired LepreCon 36, which even though we had a dissapointing amount of attendees, those that did come had a great time.  This past weekend was the 2010 Phoenix ComicCon, which moved to the Phoenix convention center after having outgrown the Mesa Convention Center, and it was definitely bigger than any prior ones.  I oversaw the SciFi programming tracked, helped put together Wil Wheaton Rock Band again this year (which was an awesome event – yes, that is me in my Devo flower pot hat), and helped set up the Super Happy Fun Time panel with Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi which announced a special charity project they are organizing.   For the first time in quite a while, I do not have a major event in the near future I’m in charge of!  However, I am looking forward to LepreCon 37 the first weekend of May in 2011 for which we will be having the first ever Shadow Unit mini-con as part of the convention.  And, for Phoenix ComiCon 2011, I hope we can make more awesome things happen.  I also attended and was on programming for Gallifrey One in 2009 and 2010, LosCon 36, Anticipation (WorldCon 2009), and also attended ComiCon International and the first two Tucson Festival of Books.

Once I get caught back up on real life, I hope to get caught up with my online life as well.

Who Are You…

No, this is not about Doctor Who, but The Who. Seeing them perfrom live (or what’s left of them) at the “The Big Game” brought back some memories of The Who, pretty much my favorite band of all time.
I first really became aware of The Who during the summer of 1969 when Pinball Wizard was getting a lot of airplay on AM radio. I remember sitting in the back of my parents car as we drove across Kansas to visit my grandparents in western Kansas and hearing Pinball Wizard a number of times on the radio going out there and back. Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer was played just as much, but for a 12 year old kid, a song about a “pinball wizard” was a lot more cool.
So, of course, I picked up the 45 of Pinball Wizard, and I quickly became a fan of The Who, getting Tommy, Meaty Big, and Bouncy, and their other LPs. I then found out about all their songs NOT on albums and started tracking down those to get the B sides. Over the years I acquired multiple copies of many of the albums, various greatest hits and rarities collections, and of course, CDs. One time I won a complete set of Who LPs on KY102 in Kansas City when I answered the most questions correctly on a Who trivia contest, missing only one question. However, the station never actually CONTACTED me about it! I found out when a friend of my sister mentioned to her that they’d heard my name mentioned as a winner of a contest on the radio station. Once I finally verified with the station that I had won, I drove over to their offices from Lawrence, KS, to pick up my prize package. It was a complete set of Who LPs (up through The Who by Numbers which had just came out) as well as a nice pair of headphones.
Later that year was my biggest regret related to The Who. I was in my freshman year at the University of Kansas, and The Who were playing Kemper Arena in Kansas City on Dec 1st. I got tickets for it, then later realized it was the same night as my Chemistry 101 final. Now, the class was set up so that for your final grade, you got to throw out the worst test of the semester and the rest would be averaged for your final grade. I had a solid B in the class, but for whatever reason I felt that I had a good chance to do well enough on the final to bring my grade up to an A. So I sold my ticket to someone else, took the test, then did bad enough on it that it was the test that got thrown out. I was upset at the time about it, and several years later, I really had wished I’d gone to the show when Keith Moon passed away.
I did finally get to see the band a couple of times in Arizona in the 1980’s, (1980 and 1982) and those were memorable shows. I’m glad I did see them back in those days at least.
One other bit of Who memories:
When I first went to Phoenix for a job interview in late 1979 and stayed the weekend, I ended up catching a double feature at the Valley Art theatre of The Kids are Alright and Rust Never Sleeps.
I still find it somewhat amusing to see that their songs are now mostly known for being used as the theme songs for the CSI shows (which is probably why CBS had them do the halftime show). But it is also fun to play their songs on Rock Band! (Incidentally, they made available a recording of their Super Bowl set on Rock Band right after the game).

Oh, and congrats to Neil Gaiman, who will finally be writing a Doctor Who episode! I figured it was only a matter of time, but he has now officially said he is doing one.

Congrats to Neil and Amanda

Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer announced that they are going to tie the not. See the announcement on Neil’s blog.

In honor of the occasion, here’s Amanda singing “I Google You”, written by Neil Gaiman, at the San Diego Women’s Club benefit for the CBLDF during ComicCon last July that I got to see.

A New Pos! and a New Doctor!

Yes, trying to get back into the habit of posting to this blog hasn’t been easy. So, here’s a short post to get things rolling…

Doctor Who – The End of Time.

Right now, BBC America’s having obtained first run rights to Doctor Who is really paying off. Their broadcast of The Waters of Mars two weeks ago set ratings records for the channel and I imagine the two part finale will do even better. We’re in the middle of 46 hours straight of Doctor Who leading up to the end of David Tennant’s run with The End of Time Part 2 on Saturday night, one day after it was aired on the BBC in the UK. Hopefully, this type of lead time will continue when the new series with Matt Smith debuts in the spring. (Click the link to go to You Tube – the imbedded video is a bit funky on here….)

I Aten’t Dead. Just Been Busy with this…

I’ve gotten way behind on my regular postings at SFTV.org and other websites due in part to being the chair of the North American Discworld Convention, held last weekend in Tempe, AZ. Terry Pratchett told the crowd that “The North American Discworld Convention has been the best Discworld convention ever!” That is a very big complement from the man who created the whole thing! Kudos to all my staff and committee who made it a big success.

Of course, now I have to go back to work in the real world…

Still Alive

Yes, I’ve not gone underground, just been busy with house hunting, work, convention stuff and way too many things to have much time to actually blog.

I am now on Facebook, but tend to ignore any requests that come my way. I use it primarily to keep an eye on friends, associates, and family.

Thus, a few short bits to tide you over:

SFTV Schedules are almost updated. A mostly updated Season to Date list is up at www.sftv.org.

I bought a Subway sandwhich today to help save Chuck (and it really should not end!)

I saw the Star Trek movie last week and really enjoyed it and plan to see it again.

The last weekend of Star Trek: The Exhibition in Phoenix is this weekend. Make sure to catch it if you haven’t yet.

This coming Saturday, May 2nd, is Free Comic Book Day. I’ve put up a list of comic shops in Arizona (Phoenix and Tucson) over at the AZSF Blog. As far as I’ve been able to tell, there are no comic shops in Flagstaff (unless there’s a new one).

Lee

Dalek Unearthed in UK Pond!

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Full details at The Daily Mail

Phoenix ComiCon Rock Band with Wil Wheaton

This post on Wil Wheaton’s ‘s blog and the comments pretty much gives you a good idea of how much fun people had. Thanks to the help of various Phoenix ComiCon staff members, Harmonix, the Rock Band Blowout with Wil Wheaton was a big success.
Check out some of the videos some of the fans shot on YouTube.
And edited to add this wrap-up post by Wil

A New Post of Sorts

Been keeping busy getting things ready for the Phoenix ComiCon next weekend and also trying to keep up with various other things. So here’s a few random things to post here…

James Moran has posted his 2008 Gallifrey One Report which is a lot of fun to read. James was a lot of fun to talk to at the con and I enjoyed getting his point of view on it (finally!) Incidentally, the 2009 Gallifrey One convention is less than a month away now!

Coraline, the movie, based on the Neil Gamain story is coming out in a couple of weeks. They’ve been sending out special boxes to bloggers, but so far I haven’t seen one. I guess I should have posted more about the movie beyond my 2008 San Diego ComicCon post of images of the dolls or my 2007 Neil Gaiman SD Comicon report which included the screening of Coraline footage. I’ve been keeping an eye on the Evil Buttons blog about special Coraline stuff being sent out or made available. I’ve been also trying to get one of the Coraline Keys up on Ebay (since so far that I know of, none have been distributed in Phoenix and so far, none have been provided to the Phoenix ComiCon. I was able to get three of the four Coraline toys available at Carl’s Jr.

For the Phoenix ComiCon, I’ve been working with Wil Wheaton to set up a Rock Band Blowout with Wil, some of the other guests, and fans playing Rock Band together.