Archive for the ‘tours’ Category

picspam the final: hiking the hills

Before the show on Tuesday, we went hiking up in the hills around Cumberland, then came back into town and ate a late lunch, and played some because we good. Anna saw Simon getting ready for the show out the living room window – being next to the venue has advantages!

The show photos, I posted on Friday, but here, have some hiking:

Sketchy Sign is Sketchy. Also six years old.

Into the Woods

One of the effects of having been under and up against the ice shield is that the topsoil – like that of many rainforests – is thin topsoil, particularly in mountains. The rock you see here is actual bedrock. These mountains pushed back the glaciers, but everything else was pushed away:

How Thin Our Soils

There’s coal in these hills, along with other minerals;
this was not far from a mine operating into the 1960s.

Another stream; more bedrock

Lovely without exception

Further down the hill we walk past the site of the former Cumberland Chinatown – this used to be a much larger town, back in the mining days – and get down the slough. It’s a bit mosquito-heavy in the summer, I’m told – particularly for Cascadia! – but this time of year, no such problem:

The Slough

After hiking around all morning, we stopped at Tarbell’s for lunch – Anna didn’t quite buy the hot chocolate with sortilege (feeling it’s a bit early to be drinking at 2pm) but the pastries were all quite good, were the sandwiches. Anna had a breakfast biscuit with egg she quite liked, too.

Lecturing after Lunch at Tarbell’s

After that, of course, the show at the Cumberland Public House. Then next morning we headed back to Vancouver for bagels and cider and then home. Lots of fun all around.

This photo came from that trip back, but still on the island, the last time we stopped before hitting Victoria on the way to the ferry:

The Coastal Stream

I didn’t really have anywhere else to put it so it’s here. So how’ve you been? ^_^

sailing the salish sea

More photos from the Vancouver Island trip! I have a few more photobombs to lob at you before I’m done, and this is one.

I’d never sailed BC Ferries before – even going to Vancouver Island has been a Seattle ferry or Kenmore Air trip. So this was a new experience. BC’s ferries are a lot bigger than Washington’s. And a bit more expensive, but also… don’t get me wrong, I love our ferries? BC’s are nicer. The trips are longer so that makes sense, of course. But still. Seven decks, quite tall, multiple restaurants, business cubbies so you can work, it goes on a while.

It was typical Cascadian sunshine on the way out. This is from the forward restaurant, run by White Spot – nothing crazy, but a nice buffet:

I went up top to take some outside photos. It wasn’t too windy when we left, and only light rain. The light rain part mostly stayed, but the wind – hoo boy. Seriously, I came ’round a corner on the top deck out of shelter I didn’t realise was shelter and literally almost got knocked over. The rain hurt. I’ve been in typhoons before, and this wasn’t quite that bad, but damn.

I swear to you this photo is in colour.

Lonely Island

The trip back five days later was very strange. Somebody had angered Ra, apparently, and he was looking down with fury. Still, makes for interesting high-contrast photography, I suppose.

Big Tower

That wall on the left? That’s the wall I walked around and into the SURPRISE WINDS that almost knocked me over. Again, it provides shelter; Anna and I hid under that tower for a while to escape Ra’s gaze:

Not Entirely Successfully. Fortunately, we are not vampires.

Less wind than before, too. I’ve said it before, but I love taking panorama shots. It’s genuinely 75% of why I wanted a newer phone than I already had. Widescreen is awesome.

Yep. Them’s Islands.

Some foolishly risk Ra’s wrath

I tweeted this next one – BC Ferries picked it up, replied, and retweeted it – and I should probably say something about our doppelgangers heading into the time loop vortex around Vancouver Island and how we’re on the other boat or other-dimensional versions of us are because they have to replace us or we can’t leave or something but eh, I don’t have time, the Sleestak get cranky if you bring it up, and I have taxes to do and music to make. I just like the picture. 😀

Hi Opposite Boat!

Anyway, back to work. Bigger versions of these photos on my photostream, like before.

rocks rocks rocks, my love affair with rocks

First: I got the CD orders shipped this afternoon! So if you’re waiting for those, you should have email with dates. ^_^

Okay, now, to the rocks. I’m not a geologist, and being all Fire Nation Asshole, not much of an earth-bender sort, but the south coast of Vancouver Island will turn anybody into a geologist.

We actually discovered this kind of by accident. Trans-Canada Highway 1, one of the longer highways on the planet, starts in Victoria. It heads north up the island, then ferries over to the mainland, then goes back to BC and makes its way east eventually via bridge and ferries and such alllll the way out to St. John’s, Newfoundland. And I knew there was a marker monument at the road’s start, so we went to see that.

So on Sunday after the symphony show, we went to High Tea:

Anna at High Tea

And before going to play at Norway House – which I did later that evening – we went to see Mile 0. On the way there, we found this:

Comfy Cement Mattress Bench is Not Actually Comfy

Now, Mile 0 is obviously pre-metric, which is kind of hilarious, since everything else is metric. But more hilariously, TC-1 gets really tiny on the way to the end. In town, it’s a large city street – like Aurora, only not as big and far better controlled – and at the end, it’s basically a park access road.

That’s from the sidewalk. The only car you see is parked.

And after wandering through the very nice Beacon Hill Park, we got to Mile 0 and Terry Fox’s statue.

Mile Zero

Terry Fox

And while taking pictures, we saw someone run somebody else off the seashore road. We were already going to explore that a bit anyway, since it’s the meeting really of the Salish Sea and the Pacific Ocean, but the near-accident pointed us to a stairwell down the cliff, where we found this insanity.



I mean seriously, what.

See how all those pretty much unlike rocks are crammed up against and into each other and shit? That is madness. Welcome to the subduction zone. According to Fishy, Vancouver Island was actually – many millions of years ago – torn off from Alaska as the Alaskan plate moved north. So it’s violent and different and merged and mixed up in all sorts of crazy ways. To wit:

Go Home Rocks, You Are Drunk

And some places it just looks like a volcano went off. Which… arguably it has. Fairly recently. But that’s not what made these rocks. All these rocks are dozens of millions of years old.

Not a Lahar, Not Lava Either

I’m telling you, the Doctor Who episodes you could film here would be epic.

We hiked around for – I don’t know, really, I’m bad at time. A couple of hours, climbing up and down things. As everywhere in Cascadia, they have beach logs, one of which apparently belongs to a giant robot.


(Larger versions of all these are on my Flickr photostream.)

After that we hiked on back to the hotel, from which we headed north to the show. And I’ll post about those bits tomorrow, while the water heater is being replaced. My first stage experience in four and a half months! How did it go? Find out tomorrow. ^_^

and back again (from vancouver island)

Back, but playing catch-up liek woah. I have some orders to fill (yay! And that comes first!) so if you’re ordered CDs and are reading, they’ll be going out Thursday or Friday, probably Thursday, which for most of you, means today.

As I get caught up, I’ll be posting some pictures over what’s left of the week. Or you can see them out all at once on my Flickr stream if you can’t wait. ^_^

Anna on Lookout Duty

Right then. Great trip, but I’m writing this the night before, like I occasionally do, and it’s bedtime. Good morning! 😀

end of the tour

I love touring. I really do! I know a lot of people get tired of it and if I got to do it a lot more often then eventually it’d turn into “have to do it” and frankly I can think of worse problems, but sure, that’s a real thing that you’d eventually probably get tired of doing, sure.

Getting back, on the other hand? God damn a lot of crap piles up, doesn’t it? Laundry, mending, cleaning out the tent, cleaning the gear bags, recycling all the dead batteries, checking equipment, catching up in the office, seeing what you can get off the cameras and audio recorder… I should have some usable footage and audio from the Leannan Sidhe shows once Shanti gets back from Europe; sadly, the only thing from Clallam Bay is on-camera audio that’s probably too clippy to post to the channel. What do you think?

(I haven’t got the audio recorder wrong in a while. But I did here. There’s a small trick to it, and every so often, I forget. ;_; If I hadn’t, I could’ve brought over that audio and used it with the video. Dammit!)

I did make good on my pre-departure promise, though: the YouTube version of the latest Geekmusic Podcast episode went live last night and is on the Podcast page! Video embed, j0:

Right then, back to it.

clallam bay

Clallam Bay Comicon! Otherwise known as a rather large party at Donna’s house The Lion’s Club. It’s a tiny event, but this year they had a venue and everything! But they’re still trying to figure out what they can do – the dream is to have a whole fleet of these things out in tiny Olympic Peninsula towns, maybe even on the same days, so you can have kind of a tour-the-peninsula-via-comic-conventions event.

Anyway, there were probably twice as many exhibitors as last year, plus we had panel programming. Next year, there’ll be more than one room, so the panels and exhibitor space won’t overlap. I did substantially better in sales than last year, to talk about business for a moment, but I think I’m the only one.

Donna Getting Ready for Opening Ceremonies on the Beach

Opening Ceremonies was more beachwalk than anything else. But it’s a gorgeous bay. Utterly lovely. I’ll throw more photos on the flickr stream later, but here are a couple:

Clallam Bay, East Side

Sunset, from behind the bridge

Then we went on a parade! We had a cosplay Scotsman playing flaming bagpipes on stilts. He won a ribbon.

I See You’ve Won First Prize!
(Niall actually did win first prize.)
(photo Angela Korra’ti)

The convention didn’t have a newsletter. I used to do the daily ‘zines at Norwescon for years, so I made one in the bar with a rubber stamp kit and some post-its.

(phone photo courtesy Donna Barr)

Electronic Edition, a.k.a. Typesetting is Difficult

The entire print run

There were, of course, panel presentations, and I did my concert. And if you’re looking for the PDF version of the Kitting Out Cheap – Building Gear on a Budget handout, click here; also, the series of articles I talked about on making your own podcasting or recording studio is here.

Introducing Cosplay to the Fishers


Supervillainy on a Microphone
(photo courtesy Angela Korra’ti)

I did a new thing called the Supervillain Origin Story set, just to see if they’d cope. And actually… they really did. I did much better in sales than last year, and I think that’s partly why. Also:

I HAVE A HEADSET MICROPHONE DO YOU SEE IT? OH MY GOD I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS HEADSET MICROPHONE. HEADSET MICROPHONE WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?! I grabbed it on the way out of town from a Guitar Centre on sale for $210 including transmitter/receiver and … I should’ve bought one of these two years ago. I’ve got pretty good mic discipline at this point – and even use distance/proximity effect on purpose sometime – but I’m a highly kinetic player and always, always felt constricted and tied down and weird. I’ve always been much better without a mic and this is exactly like being without a microphone except I have a microphone.



After things closed down for the day but before we went out for dinner we stopped back at our hotel room. I have never wanted to open an appliance door more than when I saw this:

Do Not Open

OH MY GOD MUST OPEN. MUST. OPEN. Anna had to put a towel on my head and feed me ice cream.

Then we went and hung out on the beach for the illegal fireworks. It’s seriously Ten Finger Johnny time on the beach out here, particularly for the two hours before the official big fireworks display on the south side of the bay in Sekiu.

One Point Five Limbed Johnny on the 14th of July…

I don’t have any photos of the official fireworks, but Sekiu put son a great display for Fun Days; just like last year, there were cruise ships lined up out on the Salish to watch from a boring safe distance. They have some seriously exotic fireworks and they launch them really high, and it’s just great.

Today, cleaning, and mending, and patching a few fire holes in the old battlesuit – the usual drill after Escapades. How was your weekend?

ps: I put up a few dozen photos of Harrison Hot Springs over on my Flickr account, which I keep forgetting to use. I’ll add more Clallam Bay photos there later, but I don’t want these lost in too huge an update.

to the west

And off we go to Clallam Bay Comicon! But I had to post something I saw last night – Shego’s bass! Seriously, the strings glow without actually emitting light – it’s a darker green than I was able to photograph. This blurry picture comes closest – the sharp photos, it’s like the green isn’t even there. I can’t figure out how that works. Maybe it’s just me. Regardless, I wants it, precious:

Sadly, $1500

Ah, well, someday. See you at the convention, I hope!

home again dome again

Home again for a few days, under the dome hanging out in environment suits as we test the new… yeah, no, Dr. Horrible taught us about not blogging things like that, right. We’re here ’till Thursday, then it’s back on the road again for a few. Harrison Hot Springs was pretty and relaxing, we played a lot, I met some musicians and we hung out Sunday night late and kicked it a bit.

Whup – I’d type more, but it’s time to throw the battlesuit into the dryer. Enjoy some picspam, or else. There will be a quiz. And by quiz, I mean interrogation. And by interrogation, I mean lasers.

We went to the mountains

We went to the beach
(Does it count as a selfie if it’s only your shins and feet?)

We visited some historic lairs – we actually reached the legendary Doctor SulFURY’s front door! It’s even still radioactive. I miss her.

We met some musicians
(I’m pretty sure this band is 2/3rds clones – their opposites are in Le Vent du Nord)

Anna’s keeping this one
(Thankfully supervillains ignore customs fees, or we couldn’t afford him)

We ate out a bit

Panda is delicious!

Visited our compatriots at the Laser Cutter Cafe
(and if those aren’t supervillains in streetclothes… well, let’s just say my ph33rdar is well-calibrated)

We had tea! And lasers! Just like it says on the tin. Or the wall.

They made a Jiji! These guys are awesome.

Those Amoeba Boys, I gotta tell you, they know how to rock a town. Vancouver will never recover.

Clallam Bay is up next. You’ll be there, if you know what’s good for you.

google+facebook=no rss

Nice little theory posted at which is very much along the lines of Facebook Destroys Everything, attributing Google’s shuttering of Reader as another step in the centralisation/corportisation of the internet, and replacing free/distributed content with corporate-owned. It’s a nice little rant, tho’ some of the commenters at jwz’s DNA Blog dispute it. You might give it a glance.

jwz also provides your advertising horror of the week: using bone sound transmission to drive ads into passenger’s heads if they try to nap by leaning against windows.

Ah, well, enough of that. We ran into the De Temps Antan. I told Eric that Anna said he’s a better bouzouki player than his brother Simon and everybody exploded. It was hilarious. Ah well, Simon can have the consolation of being hotter. XD

Here, have a phone picture from last night, of the lake from the beach of the festival. Well, of my feet in the lake, really. XD

to the north

Heading off today, north! To festival! To Harrison Hot Springs! Back on Monday. I’ll probably be tweeting a lot tho’. Remember: send any geekmusic news you have for the podcast by Monday if at all possible! If you don’t have any, forward that link around to people who might.

Here, have an awesome link – I actually already knew some of this but not this particular early outright-digital state. Ironically, I think this process got more analogue before it got less – there were comparably-small machines in the 60s and 70s which did more or less this, only with a single copy of the photo print. But they sent over ordinary phone lines, and I think those machines were varying tone in a more analogue fashion. But I could be wrong; maybe they were digitising down to these same five-bit images. Anyway, enjoy:

How Photos Were Cabled Across the Atlantic Ocean in 1926

Finally, welcome Radish Review readers; I think you’ll find this post on harassment in person vs. online trenchant. It’s called “Power and Supervillainy.” And my regular readers may also enjoy Scalzi’s Q&A on his anti-harassment-policy policy, including complaints made by some calling his policy anti-free-speech, an idea about which I can only giggle sadly, not manically. And if I’m not giggling manically, you are doing it wrong and I have a heat ray. Shape up – or else.


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