I haven’t posted many leaf pictures lately, but I took a couple recently that I liked. Here’s one that really needs to be seen bigger – click on it to go to the large version on Flickr.
Have fun with Halloween!
Looking for the Grammy Awards Long List nominee post? Thank you for listening, and for your consideration.
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.
Echoed from Crime and the Blog of Evil
PAX Prime tickets went up for sale while I was on the road, and by the time I could stop and add myself to the queue, it was too late. Thanks to Anna, I still managed a couple of days of tickets at face value.
This was the first time I’ve ever been nervous going to a PAX, mostly because of not just last year’s most recent round of crap (and before you ask, other than “I was here first, you fuckers,” here’s why I keep going) but because of the threatened protests by “men’s rights” misogynists.
Thankfully – and typically – they were too disorganised and cowardly to actually do anything in public. I only saw one I could even identify – he wore a “men’s rights” organisation T-shirt with a long name which makes an anti-women acronym; their logo is the venus/woman symbol with a big international NO graphic over it. I have a picture, but I’m not posting it.
But that wasn’t what the show was about; it was instead pretty awesome. I’m really disappointed I chose poorly on Saturday night and missed Abby Howard‘s feminism panel, her tweets made it sound excellent.
The queues weren’t bad this year. From this picture, that sounds like a “lol what” moment, but seriously, they weren’t. For one thing, crowd control second only to Disney. For another, even when long, the whisked right along, it was really impressive.
Welcome to Nerdvana
The big game buzz post-show this year apparently ended up being Gigantic. That surprises me, honestly, because all the buzz I was hearing Saturday night was about Lichdom, which is a lot like “we really like the magical combat and look of Skyrim, let’s turn those up to 90 and drop most of the other stuff.” I played it; if that sounds good to you, then you want this game.
Evolve’s booth drew a lot of attention, too. Mostly because of the Big Guy here. Paul and I ended up scrappin’ with it ’cause that’s just what happens.
World of Tanks, as always, had a giant-ass tank. I’m pretty sure they bring in a bigger tank every year. Nothing will top the year they brought in an actual tank, but that had to be outside, so I get why they didn’t do that again. Plus there was this bioshock-ish angry bear next to the Gauntlet demo booth that I liked.
I did not know Lenovo had a 27″ Windows tablet! They call it a tabletop, and it’s about the size of one. This is the first Windows Tablet that’s made me go “ooooooh, I do want that, but it’s $1500. Still, that’s a lot cheaper than a “surface,” so maybe in another couple of years it’ll even be doable. I’m not picturing it as a “tablet” of any sort, but damn, as an RPG add? I hung out at the Intel booth playing Risk against the computer for 45 minutes, that’s how cool it was.
I didn’t take a photo, so I’m a bad person and should feel bad. But they had a picture on their website.
Alienware has a new high-end gaming PC that looks spectacular. I mean honestly, this is one gorgeous beast. They say that the atypical shape helps cooling by eliminating dead airflow pockets.
Frankly, I’m not convinced, particularly with the drive bay, and I’m nervous about the GPU bank. There are fans at each corner (or just offset) and I can see what they’re doing, and I’m… they know how to run airflow tests, I’m sure it works well enough. But even given that, the drive bay side smells like Bad Choices to me. And any other cooling options are kind of off the table, because of the shape. I think I want to like it more than I do.
Also, holy crow, I actually won something in a drawing! I enter all the drawings, but of course, so does everyone, so usually I just get a T-shirt or something. Or a cape. Intel did capes two years ago, that was awesome. But this year I won a gaming headset! I may do a review later. You know how I talk about headsets and amp equipment aimed at consumers trying to “help” and being terrible for mixing? Definitely that category. On the other hand, the positioning of sounds in this headset is amazing. I don’t know what they’re doing, but it’s neat.
Lots of cosplay! If I’d had a third day there I’d’ve had more pictures. But I liked Snow White playing Lara Croft, so I had to snap that, and a few others just needed photos even though I was running around so much.
Snow White Plays Lara Croft
Game of Thrones – these looked better in person than in photo. Acting!
The Best Ewok
Paul and I went to concerts on Friday night, about which I felt kind of bad later, because I was also going to go to Shubzilla and Death*Star’s big concert block off-site, but I thought that was on Saturday so I didn’t. And then OOPS SAME TIME ;_; but well, that’s how PAX works.
I wasn’t, I admit, into the Triforce Quartet that much – see, most of you people were Nintendo or Playstation people and are all up in the Zelda things, and some of us were SEGA!heads, and chasing rings with hedgehogs, and that’s just how we rolled. Still, they were good. Don’t get me wrong, they performed well and got a standing ovation – it’s just not my thing. But The Doubleclicks were definitely on, and in the last song they got Paul and Storm to join them a song early, and hilarity ensued. Those two groups together really multiply up the funny.
LOOOOOOOT. I don’t have the assortment of T-shirts or the giant balloon Gauntlet spiked hammer when I took this photo, I don’t know what was wrong with me. But HEADSET! and SHOT GLASSES! One of which I didn’t even have to pay for!
I also ran into some people I’d love to talk about and made some early possible arrangements for some other things I’d love to talk about that I can’t talk about, which is why not talking about them is all down at this end of the post because I can’t talk about them.
But if any of it comes through, it’d be awesome. And it’s definitively related to music stuff I do. And it could be pretty epic. And that’s all I can say right now.
I hate secrets. I’m so bad at them. But if they happen, these will be worth it. :D
Swamped with day job work; I mentioned some of that here. But I did find time to go see and write up an analysis of Maleficent, and lament how it should’ve been great, but wasn’t, quite. Near-misses are so painful sometimes, and this is one of those times. I lament the film it should’ve been.
I can’t be done with this kitchen restoration soon enough, I gotta tell you. I’ll be at it all day again today, then tomorrow hopefully recording some vocals with Leannan Sidhe. Until then, have some flowers.
Can’t Bee Done With … ar ar ar ar ar
Blue and White and Edges So Sharp
Some photos from Clallam Bay! More are on my Flickr photostream, as usual. Plus, they’re larger, which is really good with some of the panoramas.
Come enjoy a ferry ride! Kingston-Edmonds, of course. I like Kingston quite a bit. Edmonds, too. The downtown is a lot like White Rock, even if I can’t entirely say why. Reminds me of a BC town. Which is fitting, given that it used to have a Vancouver ferry.
Small towns on the peninsula are still kind of a lot of 1959. I present you with The Bay TV Phones Motel. I’m told it used to be the Bay Free HBO Motel back in the 80s; I like the current name better, it flows nicely. But honestly, I edited out reflections of other modern cars, but otherwise? Welcome to 1959:
Fireworks was the first order of the show. I didn’t take pics of those, but here’s Shanti of Leannan Sidhe and … Linden, I think? From Project Wonderful, hanging out with pretty much the rest of town for three hours of legal and not-entirely-legal fireworks.
I didn’t take any photos during the actual convention, mostly because I was too busy! But I did get in a nice beach hike, so you’ll get photos of these. There are several more good ones on my Flickr photostream, as before, but here are some highlights.
Let’s Go Beachcombing!
Acres of Not Clams
Shanti told me what they are called but I keep forgetting. I’m bad at nouns.
Panorama of Not Clams
I’ve tried to get out to the site of the old lighthouse every year, but I’ve never made it. To get there without at least wading, you have to be there at very low tide. This year, the timing worked out perfectly.
The Abandoned Approach
(Again, lots more ruins photography on Flickr.)
Standing on the Foundation Pilings
Tide had already started to turn, and there’s no way back without swimming once tide rises much, so we headed back right away. As the sun started to set, the clouds moved in just so to make the sunset look like a binary star system.
All those pointy bits that look like rain are the not-clams you can see in the acres of not clams photos above. Tide wasn’t taking its time.
We found a bunch of really cool random things on the beach. I only posted pictures of a couple (some didn’t come out). While I didn’t keep it – I don’t tend to be much for keeping objects – I loved the deep blue of this shell:
Oh So Blue
Next year’s Comicon has already been announced, with an official convention hotel and everything. Looks like people want to make this thing succeed. I hope it works out, it’s a lovely place to spend a hot summer weekend – even if the Clallam Bay Inn no longer serves the most excellent waffle fries. (They went to wedges! They’re still good, but not that kind of good.) But I still got my cooked-fish fix, the bay is still gorgeous, and the fireworks are still insane. The important things endure. ^_^
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!
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.
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 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…
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.
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
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!
It's a companion blog to SEATTLE—July 20, 1971, a limited-time blog wherein I am posting, bit at a time, the newspaper I found being used to wrap an old Japanese-made display doll. If either of these are of interest to you, they have RSS feeds.
I’ve started a special-purpose Tumblr blog dedicated to an old newspaper I found being used as packing material at an estate sale. It’s called Seattle—July 20, 1971 (or “Let’s Read the Newspaper!”) and it’s photos of pages, ads, ephemera, and mostly-local-news articles from salvageable pages of that newspaper.
No deep meaning; just ephemera.
I won’t be crossposting that here, so if you want to follow it, go follow it separately, either on Tumblr or via its own RSS feed.
Many Small Flowers
I keep thinking – no, being sure – I have things to say about the latest misogynist murder spree, but I don’t, quite, yet. I’m still thinking I will. Sure, I could rant, but everybody’s doing that – so what’s the point? I think I will have one. But not yet.
Until then, you can have some pretty flowers, listen to the latest workprint from Bone Walker, and I can get ready for rehearsal.
Yesterday, I took down the “forced hiatus due to eye surgery” notice on the shows page, and added a couple of events.
It’s been a while, I have to say. Feels good tho’, even if I still have another round of eye surgery yet to come. Hopefully that hiatus will be shorter.
So! Six shows in two days and what do I have for it, photographically? Very little! Because I was too busy playing my zouk. But I have a few.
I bought a new vest at the fair. I love this vest. It is what Utena would wear in this situation. It is utterly unlike what Utena actually wears but is exactly what she would wear. That is my story and I am sticking to it. :D
The vendor who sold it… I felt kind of bad for them. They’d arrived in the heavy rain and set up way off from the main event, one of the few places they could get a cement floor and cover. It was off by the performer’s lunchroom and next to nothing else. I hope this wasn’t the only thing they sold, because they had some nice clothing.
The new piper. I did not retain his name, which is criminal, because he was not just good, he was incredibly knowledgable. You don’t even want to know how old those pipes are he’s carrying around, either. Lots of fun to listen to.
Another one that’s best viewed larger at the Flickr page; this is the view from the… south stage? Facing away from the fair. An interesting backdrop to be sure, but very difficult to shoot photos as a result. SO BRIGHT.
Saturday Evening Dinner at Mo’s, presumably not related to Moe’s, except actually I suspect actively related to Moe’s. That’s Shanti, Zinger, Tabitha, Shanti’s Mom, and me.
The Pearwood Players! Doing a randomly-reassigned-roles version of Robin Hood lore. Pretty funny, for real.
Doctor Who Wait and What Now? I suppose he makes more sense than the Captain America who showed up, though.
Harbour sea lions, in Newport! And they are big animals up close. They’d been reasonably quiet until Shanti and I set them off by accident, walking down Bay Boulevard singing General Taylor at the top of our lungs. We weren’t even drunk! But that didn’t stop us. We watched them barking and make an incredible racket for a good half an hour before calming down for the night.
As I said, I don’t have any proper photos of performance, but I do have an audience photo – this was from a video shot by ShantiMom, and is a frame grab. It’s a little j-peggy (is that a word? It should be) but not bad otherwise:
And that’s what I’ve got. Small festival, only the second year, hopefully it’ll pick up a bit over time. We did pretty well; I was happy and enjoyed myself, even if I was Squinty McSquintyeyes half the time. Next up… I dunno! We’ll see. Check the show schedule page. There’ll be something soon.
I got too distracted by work and semi-work to write up the second picspam post today, so instead, have this week’s flower picture a day early.
I enjoy this kind of macrophotography. The bud was about… 5mm tall, I think, from memory? Something like that, anyway.
It’s another picspam post! Yay! As always, much larger versions are over on my Flickr feed – the panoramas in particular are good to view larger.
It’s been a couple of years since I had any dates in Oregon, so I jumped on the chance to play with Leannan Sidhe again. Shanti’s good about letting people play a couple of their songs, which means you can sell some CDs, and all around it tends to be fun. As it was!
We met up at King Street Station and took the train south. This is the first time I’ve been in the new higher-capacity Cascadia Rail cars. They’re nice enough – the chairs are a new thinner type, which lets them add a new row without sacrificing person space – but they’re now a 50/50 orientation split, and I don’t like that.
Too Much Backwards
The new dining car style itself is fine, but the serving car has lost its booth, and I miss it. On the other hand, they have speed trackers in the cars, and the outlets are easier to reach, and there are other nice parts as well.
Vancouver the South has a train station too! It’s smaller than Vancouver of the North’s, but tidy and attractive.
And a bit hard to shoot, even in panorama
Shanti’s mom picked us up there, to take us down to Newport. They’d been wanting to get together for Mother’s Day anyway, so that worked out well. I’m afraid I don’t have a good picture, which makes me feel bad. But here, welcome to rural Oregon:
Really Quite Lovely
We kept stopping to take countryside pictures, since the next show wasn’t until 12:30 the next day. I’d brought both my phone and my old Canon G9; it’s kind of telling how far digital technology has progressed that most of these are from the phone. Still, there’s some thing the phone can’t do that the G9 can.
Once we reached 101, the Coast Highway, the cameras really started coming out, in between cloudbursts, which we kept seeing. As it turned out, we were probably wise to get a hotel the first night – tho’ we could’ve camped the second, as the weather turned fair.
Hey, That Island Looks Like a Submarine!
No, really, it really looks like a submarine
Oh Look, it’s Commander Crane
The light was all over the place as the clouds whipped around – bright sun, dark clouds, changing at little or no notice. This makes for excellent photography if you can keep your kit dry. This one really needs to be seen on Flickr tho’.
The Sandy Beach.
Shanti’s not popping her hood up; she’s trying to keep it on her head. #windy
We stopped at a couple of particularly rocky beach areas for sunset. All of these photos come from those stops. I have video of the waves in the bay, but I don’t really have a good place to put them. I really should make an account at the appropriate services, I suppose, but who has time?
Big Beach Sky
Big Beach Bay
Heathcliff, Is That Your Hotel?
Waterfall Into Ocean
Once the sun went down, we made pretty good time, snacked in the hotel room and headed pretty straight to unpacking and bed. But I took a picture to tweet successful arrival, so here that is:
Who is the Comfiest of them All?
Tomorrow, some pictures from the fair!