Archive for July, 2014

clallam bay!

It’s Clallam Bay Comicon again, the third, which is pretty good for what basically started as a hangout at Donna’s house. They’ve expanded again – there’s more function space, though I don’t yet know how the layout is supposed to work. But that’s okay. It’s also going into Monday this year, in an experiment of scheduling; I’ve no idea how that works either!

But if you’re on the peninsula, I’m doing the Kitting Out Cheap panel again at 4pm – on how to build a recording studio good enough for home use when you have about $1.50 in your budget – and Leannan Sidhe and Crime and the Forces of Evil are doing a split set at noon Monday.

And even if you’re not on the peninsula now, there’s no reason not to be this weekend. Particularly not with the heat wave coming in. Hmmmmmm? Always cooler in the west, I’m just saying…

i have to try this

Okay, so people who have been out of the loop, Livejournal has gone through another purchase/”merger.” I know, I know, “Livejournal? Really? That’s still alive?” And you have a very good point.

But honestly this new ownership is the most responsive I’ve seen since Brad sold the place. They’ve been asking users what they want, they’ve put back in subject lines in comments, they’ve made all sorts of changes that people actually seem to want made.

Including, in response specifically to me, long-overdue resumption of support for Bandcamp embeds. That used to work, and stopped working, about three years ago? Whenever Bandcamp went to iframes for their players. Previous ownership didn’t answer questions about it. Current support just said ‘Okay!’ and “bandcamp embedding should work now!”


Which is the entire point of this post. Let’s see if this works, shall we?

eta: oh my gods it works. This hasn’t worked in three years. SEE HOW WE STOMP FOR… Livejournal?

gamcon 2014, the first

Thanks again to GAMCON for having me at their event last weekend! It was The Bremerton Gaming, Anime, and Music Convention’s very first year, and the staff was all sorts of anxious to make sure attending professionals had a good time. I felt very well tended. They had their share of first-year problems, but mostly, it looked like only their fair share – except, maybe, for running out of badge holders and lanyards. They only bought like 110, and those were gone in minutes. I’m told they got more later.

I rode over on the ferry – I think it’s the first time I’ve gone to Bremerton as a passenger, so it was fun to get on and off the boat via the passenger terminal. Much cheaper, too, of course; bus to boat to CONVENTION! to boat to bus to home. And the convention facility was literally right next to the ferry terminal building, so it’s extremely practical.

GAMCON’s dealer room had some size for a first-year, with a couple of more exposition-like booths, and a pretty good range of dealers. I talked with a maker group for a while, with a couple of educational groups, with some people who build entertainment systems, some artists – they had a lot of artists in the dealer room, lacking an art show – and I bought a Mockingjay pocket watch. I have a convention watch again! It’s been a while.

But the best dealer had to be Team Rocket selling Pokébathballs, which are not at all stolen and are most certainly not boobytrapped in any way.

Not in any way.

Larger at Flickr

Other function space consisted of two primary function areas: an outdoor courtyard (concerts, original plan for cosplay competition, things like that) and the Fountain Room. Both spaces were pretty large, though the Fountain Room was a bit across-and-far from the rest of the event. Despite that, people found it. There was also what looked like a small tabletop area near registration, and a gaming trailer outside. I watched some Black Ops being played for a while, via the external display screen on the side of the trailer.

There are fountains outside, but you can’t see them in this photo.

The cosplay event had to be moved inside because of light rain, so I’m not sure the outdoor part of that was the best idea. They had a lot of entrants – I arrived late and didn’t get photos of everyone, but I still saw over 20 entrants.

The format wasn’t like anything I’d seen before – no stage, more of a walkthrough on the same level as the audience, with classes of “beginner,” “experienced,” and “master,” and at least some awards given by popular vote. No sound support, and I’m not sure if their classes are supposed to correlate to the Guild tiers or not. But they did have a photo area, at the end of the hallway runway.

There were a lot of hall costumers just wandering around – for such a small con, it sure had a lot of cosplay.

I’m not posting all of the costume photos here, but I took a bunch – they’re on my flickr page. But I’m posting this one, because…

…now that is a goddamn scythe.

But flags make the best props. Even accidental exposures look awesome.

It felt right to one-day it; I really, really needed a day off, so I just kicked back Sunday and did pretty much nothing. But I’d go again next year, if they do it again, and were I in Bremerton or out on the peninsula in general I’d certainly give it a good look.

Next weekend: Clallam Bay Comicon! It’s a weird one, on Sunday and Monday rather than Saturday and Sunday, because of Clallam Bay Comicon. Will it work? No idea. Let’s find out!

the road back

I’ll post about GAMCON tomorrow – it was a lot of fun, thanks for everyone who came! – but today, it’s the photos from the trip back from Greenland. Large versions on Flickr, as usual.

If we did a live album of these shows, or, for that matter, of all this whole tour? This would be the album cover. Totally the cover.

Taking the High Road

Yep, it’s a desert – all these were taken from the car on the way north and west.

Westward, Ho!

I took a lot of mountain pictures, but they were all from windows and only a couple came out. But they aren’t bad:

Desert Range

Desert Range 2

Getting a decent lens flare on a phone camera isn’t easy! I didn’t even do it on purpose, it just worked out that way. I thought it was worth posting for that alone:

Arc of a Driver

I wasn’t sure whether to I took a few of these as the sun set; the colours at the edges were really interesting:

Approaching Wormhole – Confirm Destination Vector

We saw a lot of these little white plumes along fences – it wasn’t smoke, it was just some sort of vapour rise at sunset. But that’s not poetic, so I called it…

Ghosts Dancing

Yes, I was taking panoramas from a moving car. The amazing thing is that some of them actually worked!

High Tension in the Distance

I brought up the lows a bit in this shot, because it was too dark, but it’s still just dark enough to call it…

The Dark of Sunset

The sharp edges of the mountains here are so stark. I imagine trying to climb them.

The Range and Road Go On and On

But then the rendering engine decided it couldn’t keep up. Clearly I need to upgrade reality’s graphics card. Or maybe I just need a new driver. I haven’t had time to be sure.

Texture Glitch

These came out really well for being shot through a bug-splattered windshield.

Down to the River (1)

Down to the River (2)

And finally, before darkness set too far in to shoot.

Moonrise over the Desert Sunset

Welcome, GAMCON attendees!

If you’re here, you’re probably looking for the Kitting Out Cheap downloadable handout. Well, here you go. Thanks for coming to the panel!

You might also be looking for the Free Music Set, and that’s right here, one song a year from the last five. I’ll probably add a new song later this year, too, so check back.

How was GAMCON for you? I’m queueing this post up in advance, so I can point you to it during the panel. So I have no idea yet. SPEAK TO ME, PEOPLE OF THE FUTURE! Give to me your wisdom! And your death rays. I need them, you see. For reasons. Business reasons.

how not to encourage promotional payments

Facebook is now doing this to me pretty much every time I hit the site:

That’s not the first one, either. Seriously, it’s most of the times. That might be because I do not exactly stay on Facebook all day, but this is very much not encouraging me to change that behaviour.

It’s like they have some sort of bet going. “How unpleasant and annoying can we make this before people give it up?” I already mostly treat it as a bit of a write-only medium – I skim, but that’s it. And that’s with Social Fixer running, and ad block. The bait-and-switch approach to content – it’s all just kind of awful.

I mean, honestly. How many of these do they think I need to see?

I also want to mention their whole horrible human experimentation thing, but it kind of trivialises both to combine the two. (I mean, as someone who has done research, I want to know exactly who the hell was on their Human Studies Board, just for starters.)

It’s crazy to me, yet I’m still kinda-sorta hanging on, because of the near-necessity of maintaining at least a minimal presence there. I don’t want to; I feel like I’m compromising, at this point, in ways I really do not like.

And yet it’s all so many people will use. If you’re a serious Facebook user, I really have to know – why? Everything they do is horrible, yet so many people refuse to use anything else, no matter how terrible they get. Why?

eta: I see XKCD is in on this question today, too.

as work progresses, the book goes on sale

As work progresses on Bone Walker, the Free Court of Seattle soundtrack album, the first book in the series goes on sale for 99¢ in eBook form. That’s a thing that just happened! It’s a direct-by-author push, which is awesome. You can order a special ultra-high-resolution retina-ready PDF version from Anna if you’re into that, too.

The 99¢ sale price is good until the end of July, after which it goes back up to $4.99. YES IT’S 80% OFF RIGHT NOW. Obviously you’ll want the book that the soundtrack goes with, right? Of course you will. So go get it!

Meanwhile, book one her other series – Valor of the Healer, first of the Rebels of Adalonia series – also just went on sale for 99¢. That’s a shorter-term sale, and the price is only good until the 19th, after which it goes back up to $2.99. So go ahead and grab both. Two for less than the price of one.

Grabby hands! GRABBY HANDS!
g̣̙̟ͪ́r̛̙͚̼͂ͅà̴͚̜͖͓̪̙̃͗̐ͦ̀̉ͬ͗b̻̰ͩ̀ͬ͐͒̿͞b͖̤̩̯̭͓̰̙̻̓̓͗͗̾̅̊́͞͠y̴͉ͥ͒͘͠ ̶̥̰̝ͥ̊͗ͥ͠ḩ̭̳͙̹͍̝ͪͬ̍̒ǎ̩̹̰̦͎̖̲̐̄̒̊͌ͣ̒͠n̝̖̟̼̟̮̣̅̈̔̓͛͛ͯ͘d̦̏̇̈́̏͊̊̈̄̚s̸̮͇̪̤͔͎̈́̋ͥ̔̏̀̚

from the green wood

I don’t actually know much about renfaires, and I don’t typically go to or play them, unless I’m playing with Leannan Sidhe, in which case, HI RENFAIRE TIEMS!

We had a great set of shows, thanks to everybody who came to them, some of whom came to all of them, which was pretty neat.

I am very sleepy and it is very late and I’m behind on too many things, so this is mostly a photo post. As always, larger versions – particularly important for the panoramas – are on my Flickr page.

This was not at all a part of the renfaire, but check out this Space Hotel with its Space Antenna. I have no idea what that antenna is supposed to do. I don’t think it does anything. There is an arrow that points wind direction, so that’s something, I guess, but honestly, what is this even supposed to be?


Besides totally awesome, of course.

Here are a couple of views of Camp Sidhe. The campground is right next to the Faire, and really, honestly, one of the more pleasant camping sites. It’s strange, camping in what amounts to a city park. The weather was nearly perfect this year, too – much cooler than last year.


Camp Sidhe Tree

Jeri Lynn, the Leannan Sidhe touring cellist (and who is also on the album), and in the second photo, Shanti and Matthew, Our Roadie.


This is the view from our campsite.


The River Wide and Long

I saw Homestucks and all kinds of randomness in attendance. I didn’t have time to get photos, tho’ – mostly I was busy doing four shows a day. Crowds were very good, we were standing room only a few times. We also had some of the regulars out doing their thing:

Brave Sir Robin

Yep, Them’s Fins

Inexplicably, the Americans showed up, from the Future. Presumably. They had a paddleboat:

Here, have a bunch of stage and backstage shots – the first one looks from off-stage right down Horseman’s Path all the way to Zinger’s Magic Pavilion. Mostly he’s moving to smaller setups, but he still brings out the big tent for this show. He lets us store our instruments in his backstage, which is really nice.

Stage to Stage

The intersection of Queen’s and Horseman’s

Backstage, Three-Headed Giant Not Included

Performers have a more-or-less green room with refreshments and places to sit; it’s called the Plague Pit.

What a dapper doggie!

So, yeah! I normally can’t do these sorts of shows, but since this one is in a park forest, I can make an exception and it’s all just fine. I got some really nice landscape photos on the way back – particularly given that they were taken from a moving car XD – and I’ll post this tomorrow or Friday, depending on time. Shout out to Tamra from coming all the way up to Richland to see us on Sunday, and everyone else who hung out and chatted too!

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