Archive for the ‘tours’ Category

oh right, so how’d VCON go?

Had fun at VCON, as always; Jamie Anderson (son of Gerry Anderson and Mary Robins, Gerry’s third wife) was great fun, and I think we hit it off pretty well on our panel, too. I didn’t get to as many room parties as I wanted – between agreeing to run Open Filk for the con, and just feeling kind of off on Saturday, I didn’t get to many. Other than the Dead Dog, of course, which was fun like always.

Talking of open filk, the braille poker chip accommodation for visually-impaired people that I posted about last week? It worked well. We had two blind people at VCON Open Filk, and they both reported that the lettering was very clear and easy to read, and the one who wanted to make occasional requests (and thereby participate in circle – neither perform) were able to participate exactly the same as everyone else.

We did have a couple of chips lose pips – interestingly, they were chips taken by sighted people who played with the dots a lot because “huh, this is new.” But even with that, we had more than we needed (I’d made five sets). My plan in future would be to continue having a decent supply, and just in case, take the glue gun along – it’s small, and takes less than a minute to make replacements, so why not?

I also rather enjoyed Eric Chu’s talk on designing for Battlestar Galactica, in no small part because given how well everything fit together, I would not have expected it to be quite so ad hoc. The time and budgetary constraints were far worse than I realised, as a viewer, so they did a fantastic job of making that not show up on screen.

Apparently, there are a lot of old VCRs in the background in Galactica’s C&C. lol, kitbashing. 😀

Oh, what else? Spider Robinson looked good and seemed happier than he’s been in a couple of years, which is great to see. Somehow, I managed not to make it to the art show, or even buy anything in the dealer room – I guess I was just too busy with panels and such. Concert went over well, the crowd grew while I was playing which is always a good sign. I went to a workshop on making cosplay armour, because I want to cosplay Pharah, even if it probably won’t happen. Rough idea of skill acquired.

VCON 41 GoHs

That’s a pretty good chunk of it, and all I have the brain for right now. Who else is going to GeekGirlCon this weekend?

clallam bay comicon 2016 post-con report

So, yeah! Back at the lair, back directly from Clallam Bay Comicon! The Party on the Peninsula, Donna’s Weird Little Comic Show, Clallam Fun Days Adjunct and excuse to go relax on the coast for a weekend. Call it what you will, we even made the sign this year:

In a small town, that’s a big deal
Leanne Franson, this year’s GoH in from Montreal, does not stop. She’s the only person I’ve met who can match Donna Barr one-on-one. I bought a bunch of her books. I also finally picked up the Stinz collections – both volumes – and Volume 2 of Winging It, which I’d somehow never read back in the day.

Aside from the usual stuff, CBCC is where I will run little experiments, in front of tiny audiences who are just kind of surprised you’re there at all, so extremely tolerant. TO WIT:

Experiment number one! Remember “USSR,” that YMCA-based Soviet Disco song I wrote in response to a challenge on Tumblr? Well, here’s me doing it live, karaoke-style. I’d embed, but I had to put it on Tumblr because YouTube doesn’t like you uploading Karaoke performances, even if you wrote your own lyrics.

The crowd at the show was quite good, as you can maybe hear in the camera microphone, until about halfway through the show when the sky – which had been threatening all day – really opened up and the rain got serious, at which point an outdoor concert is not the most fun thing ever invented and a lot of people ran off. (Hey, I was sheltered…)

Still, a good day for me – as was, honestly, the whole weekend. You don’t go to CBCC to make money, but damned if I didn’t. Not sure what to make of that.

Experiment number two! I’d gone with the intent of running a panel on building old-technology microphones, but I realised as I was packing that I could haul along enough gear for people to hear their own voices, and make recordings I could hand them via Dropbox.

So I set up at our table, with the carbon mic hooked up to my laptop, and let people go at it all weekend. This was surprisingly popular. Several people made recordings – even when not in use, the microphone remained an attention magnet.

Interestingly, everyone wanted to use the carbon mic, and not the crystal, though they were curious about how both worked.

Experiment number three! I can’t tell you about experiment number three, so instead, have a picture of this other bay that’s on the way there, but I’ve never stopped to visit until now. Very nice.

The Other Bay
Experiment number four! Very similar to experiment number one, except for being “Kaiju Meat” instead of “USSR” and being able to properly mic up for a Godzilla footwear bridge solo. YOU WANT SOME GIANT LIZARD PODORYTHMIE I HAVE SOME GIANT LIZARD PODORYTHMIE

From a technical standpoint, this worked far better than it had any right to. As a performance experience… I think I’ll hold it for when I have an actual live band behind me. Doing it solo… with “USSR,” it felt like the Karaokeness added to the silliness in good ways. In “Kaiju Meat,” the combination didn’t feel like it worked as well.

But the Godzilla Footware Solo is definitely staying in.

Experiment number five! Field recording, using the new windscreen I’d bought, the kind that looks like a tribble got stuck on the end of your microphone. Result: SMASHING SUCCESS. Despite a constant ocean breeze, I got very clean recordings of waves on the shore, and of birds in the foliage nearby. Best investment is best!

Not as many photos this time, but I did take a few. As always, larger at the Flickr feed.

Clallam Bay

The Makah are building a canoe fleet

I realised I haven’t taken many or any pictures of the actual Clallam River heading into the bay. So I fixed that.

Fisher Who?

back from clallam bay!

Back from Clallam Bay after a particularly successful event! More tomorrow, after I unpack and get things cracking here again. But in case anybody thinks there aren’t geeks out on the Olympic Peninsula, here’s one of several dozen wooden fence fish painted by students at the local high school.

That’s not how I’ve pictured the eye of harmony, but who am I to lecture people about their headcanons? XD

i forgot my favourite picture!


all the ultimates, all at once

(stupid Overwatch addiction. stupid Zenyatta. stupid Zenyatta’s stupid orbs of discord always messing with my i’ll show him!)

not so much a blogging lockout as a blogging slowdown

SO BUSY! We’ve landed back at the Lair for a couple of days, just long enough to help another supervillain unload gear into her lair – also mountaintop, also geologically active, good choice – and we’re headed right back out tomorrow. Really, it’s kind of a laundry stop more than anything else. Blogging will continue to be sparse for another couple of weeks.

I have a few photos from Westercon 69, though. Bigger on Flickr, of course.

Sunset from a Hotel Window

Society of the Crossed Keys cosplay. It’s from The Grand Budapest Hotel and utterly made my day.

Sometimes, the Gods are Kind, and you have one real pop in a sea of Shasta.

Panorama from a Hotel Room Party

pictures from the road

I don’t have nearly as many photos of the dry side as I want, particularly ones taken on the way back. As we were headed west, I kept pointing at things and going, “goddammit, I wish I had a picture of that,” but I was flying that Raptor and the only one who could, so not so much for me. Full autopilot, where are you when I need you?

Here’s me packing the last thing to be loaded in – the cooler – before heading off. I’m wearing a highly appropriate shirt given the decision which had just come down that morning. Korrasami 5eva:

It’s canon and you gotta deal with it!

When you’re out and you want to eat somewhere, and you don’t want to do stupid chain restaurants, you kind of get a grip on recognising where is going to be good. Old locals eating there? Probably at least okay. This place was called something like… Backwoods BBQ? I don’t even know. They also had a big “BURGERS” sign up. Regardless, it’s here. I’d put in a streetview link, but here’s what that looks like, so thanks a pantload, Google Maps Driver. Regardless, they had good BBQ.

We were making really good time, and the plan was to get there and help Zinger set up his giant pavilion, but then out of nowhere this happened, and we moved about 5km in 90 minutes.

No, seriously, that’s not a guess, that’s an approximation on distance and specifically correct on time. So I also took the opportunity to take a few pictures of rocks. As usual, everything is larger and there are more photos on the Flickr feed:

This one is particularly worth looking at bigger. It’s pretty good for a shot-while-driving photo, I think:

Once we got there too late to help out with setup, it was already goofy hot and working on getting worse. That’s where I learned I can’t be in sunlight at those temperatures unless I feel like passing out, which was pretty much what I almost did. Emphasis on almost, since the band noticed I wasn’t answering questions even though I thought I was, and intervened with coldpacks and ice and fans and such.

Somehow I hadn’t recognised when getting directions and stuff that we were playing a bunch of shows in Amon Park. 48C/119F and in Amon Park. Definitely the worst Korra AU ever:


After Saturday’s last show, we ducked out to a nearby Thai restaurant (Baan Khun Ya Thai – recommended) mostly for the air conditioning. The staff were really nice and let us linger for a couple of hours while the worst of the heat… well, I’d like to say ‘passed by,’ but really, it mostly hung around, trying to wait us out.

I Am Carrot-Head Groot

Also at a rest stop we saw this. Who the hell needs to be told this, anyway? I mean, c’mon, have some sense. Don’t just toss these out.

No fine high enough

More and bigger pics start here. Next we’re headed west, to Clallam Bay Comicon again. That’ll be both a Crime and the Forces of Evil and a Leannan Sidhe show, because we’re both going and being in each others’ bands and all that. See you there, I hope!

and we're back!

Got back early this morning. Pretty sleepy still, but now I can say I’ve survived a weekend of gigging in 46-48C (115-119F) temperatures. Surprisingly good crowds, particularly given the weather. Sunday went particularly well – we kind of turned a morning set in an isolated section of the fairgrounds into a musician jam-along that we’re all thinking we should do on purpose next year.

Also, shout outs to the aid pavilion staff who were there helping people do heat management. I spent most of the day Saturday and all of Sunday in the aid pavilion partly in self-care and partly – particularly on Saturday when I didn’t have the sense to go straight there – being treated by the nurses on staff. It was a wash-rinse-repeat cycle of aid-pavilion-with-fans-and-cooling-and-ice / perform a set / back to aid tent, emphasis on wash and repeat.

I did learn a few things. I dissipate heat well few places, but one place that works is in my hands. The staff were kind of amazed by how quickly I can melt ice just by holding it. Aheh. Drinking cold fluids didn’t help much; just eating ice in chunks as large as I could swallow helped a lot. So did ordering a case of chemical cold-packs in advance. But in future, with forecasts like these? We’re getting a hotel room or we aren’t doing it.

Pictures tomorrow. Not as many as usual, but a few nice ones, including a broad landscape that also happens to show the 90-minute traffic jam out in the middle of EXACTLY NOWHERE HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN? But that was okay. At that point, we had AC. 😀

going out with leannan sidhe

I’m going out with Leannan Sidhe this weekend, which is normally awesome good fun times. But this time, I’m actively worried. There are a bunch of different alarms and alerts up telling people to stay home and stay indoors and the forecast high during the days I’m going to be out is around 43°C, which is right around 110°F.

And laugh all you want to – I’ll destroy you first – but yes, Solarbird the Lightbringer has heat issues. And this isn’t the kind of thing you’re supposed to blog about, everyone will tell you, you’re supposed to keep it upbeat and confident in a music blog, and I’m actively kind of frightened, because 30C is a bit hot for me, and we’re shooting well past that and past “hi, I’m passing out now” territory and into “why am I doing this” zones.

Plus, we’re camping. There’re no hotel rooms around for less than $600. Well, that’s not technically true, there are, at hotels with reviews that talk about bedbugs, which is to say, there are no goddamn hotel rooms.

Normally, this is all quite fine, I’m fond of a bit of camping. But the lows are, like, 24C, which is, um, like 75F? The outdoor low in the shade is a temperature I find a uncomfortable for sleep.

I’m not kidding when I say I’m really nervous about this. Not in that isn’t-this-exciting way, but in that passing-out-on-stage-is-a-real-possibility way.

Yeah, so, that’s no fun. Here, meet Paper Jam Shatner. I found him while looking for something else completely unrelated and I have no idea why Google showed him to me. Paper Jam Shatner will only make sense at all if you watch a lot of Gravity Falls, but hopefully, that’s you.


working on applications

Working on venue applications; got invited to a couple, actually, and those are highest priority. Wow, I’m bad at this part. I need some better promotional photos, too. Like, any.

So have some photos from the trip down to the shows in Oregon last week! I took 101 the whole way, and it took much longer than Mapquest, Google Maps, or I expected, so I didn’t get as much hiking in as I wanted. But I did stop for a little.

The bridge over the Columbia was under a fair bit of renovation on the Oregon side, but the waits were not very long. If they’d been longer I might’ve got out and taken more photos. But it wasn’t, so I did not.

Abrupt Elevation


I’m not the only one who thinks this looks like a Viper launch from pilot viewpoint, right? Doing a Viper-tube launch from a Raptor was pretty weird.

Green Squadron Leader, Launch



I remember when we had air. It’s nice there’s a museum to it.

Well, That’s What It Says

This was the only time I got out and actually hiked a little. (A very little. Like, a mile. But it was steep.) I’m very disappointed because I took another panorama of the ocean that I know I took, and… it’s not in my camera. I don’t know where it went. Still, have these.

Bigger versions on my Flickr account, like usual.

Anyway, not so many photos as other times. I’d like to do 101 again, even if it is kind of freaky to go through So Many Tourist Towns in Oregon. It’s kind of like getting a tour of all the different models of Potemkin villages, and then every so often you hit a town which is Not For Tourists and Out Here For Another Reason Goddammit and you can really tell the difference.

I just wish I’d had more time to stop and hike more. Ah well, hopefully next time.

And back

I’m back! First long-range test-flight of the Raptor went well. As did the shows, I got invited a few more places, so did we-as-Leannan-Sidhe – thanks again Newport, Toledo, Glastonbury!

Not so many pictures this time. I’ll post a couple later. But I did make friends with a moth.

Hello I Am Moth I Like Your Shoelaces Did You Steal Them From The President?

It was very one-sided. Mostly on Moth’s side, to be honest.

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