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Shoreleave was a blast and a half. I had fun and got to talk to friends and meet some new people. However I was not quite all there due to an eye injury that became infected.

Wednesday evening I was on the couch and all of the sudden my eye exploded with pain. I eventually managed to get a tiny grain of particulate matter out of my eye but it was in there for a while. My eye kept me rather sleepless because it hurt a lot.

Thursday it was red and irritated but I had things to do. I got everything packed and in the car with a few exceptions that could only go in the next day.

Friday morning my vision was blurred in my left eye and it looked more swollen. It was weeping copious amounts of tears along with some mucus but no more than an irritated eye would. By Friday night this problem was getting worse.

Saturday I was seeing out of one eye for the most part as the left was pretty much swollen shut. I did the hot compresses and washed it out and all the things you do for such a problem. No one could see the eye as I was wearing my 12 outfit with sonic sunglasses. By the end of the evening I was miserable.

Sunday was a blur both literally and figuratively. I could see shapes but couldn’t read much unless it was right after I did the compress. Both eyes were tearing and I went through so many tissues and handwashing. But during that time I did two panels, saw the last Mystery Trekkie to be performed at Shoreleave, and then went into Washington DC with Peter, Caroline and our buddy Bob Greenberger to see Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Watch out for Snakes Tour which Joel Hodgson had given us tickets to. Fortunately most of that show is making fun of a film while in silhouette so dialogue is key. I could hear what was going on. Seeing not so much.

Monday morning we were going to go into DC and see a museum or two but my eye needed attending so we went to, as we use to call them, a Doc in the Box (insert your own Dr. Who joke here) and get this sorted out.

Cornea scratch that is well on its way to healing and an infected tear duct along with all the irritation to the tissue surrounding my eye. Lots of antibiotics and rest my eyes for a couple of days.


However there had to be a new wrinkle since I am highly (like I could die) allergic to penicillin. The antibiotic chosen to take care of the problem is one that I have to stay out of the sun and we are going to Florida. The irony is delicious. But I would rather that then my eye continuing to decline.

So the eye is improving. As of Tuesday I could see out of it again. Wednesday showed more improvement. I am hoping by the weekend to look pretty much normal.

So that’s what has been going on with me besides everything that happened at Shoreleave including my being a prop in AJ’s first masquerade sketch but more on that another day.

I am grateful I can see out of both eyes now.
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Caroline is celebrating it with her sister in Florida so Peter and I have our schedule planned. Baseball at 11 A.M. Why 11 A.M? Well apparently to get as much MLB in a day as possible. We are a nation of sports junkies apparently. Then our annual viewing of 1776 the Director’s cut, which includes two songs that were cut from the original film. Later burgers will be eaten and fireworks seen. And that will be our Fourth o’ July.

Between that I have a number of things that need to get done now that the workmen are done with the inside of the house. They still have some shingles to replace on the outside. This makes our upstairs bathroom usable again and that makes me happy.

But now onto the convention circuit and a short David family vacation. Cat sitter is more than happy about it.

I have to pack with an eye for two sets of activities. This includes all our convention stuff and our vacation stuff. Some of it is the same but other items are not. And I am going to have to do laundry more than once during our travels.

First I need to do laundry then I pack. I also need to make sure I have certain items in place including a bag o’ puppets. I have this wacky idea for the 12th Doctor costume I will be wearing. Photos if I can pull it off.

Peter has his books and scripts.

Caroline has her art and art supplies.

You can see where this becomes a challenge.

I have no idea if I am going to go silent or blog more often. I guess we will all see.

I am grateful for my country of birth.
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Only in darkness are we revealed.
Goodness is not goodness that seeks advantage.
Good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit,
Without hope, without witness, without reward.

–River Song from Doctor Who:Extremis written by Steven Moffat

The next episode scheduled for Christmas is the last one for Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and I will be sad to see him depart for so many reasons including this, to me, is the best season of New Who so far.

Spoilers are under the cut and possibly in the comments so fair warning if you haven’t seen this episode.

This was a hard one to watch especially knowing where we are heading but it was one of the best ends of a season of Doctor Who.

The acting was top notch across the board. Each actor had at least one scene written for them to shine and they did.

My one complaint is that it was a little dark and not just in tone. I wasn’t expecting the villains to fight in the daylight but this blue murky light they used was made it hard to see what was going on but on second viewing, I had a better idea what I was looking at.

This was a clever episode in both the good and bad version of the word. At some points they out clevered themselves.

I will miss the characters that have departed. I will miss Moffat and his oeuvre although I am looking forward to what he gets up to with Gatiss regarding their version of Dracula. I expect Sherlock meets Doctor Who but they could surprise me.

It is the almost end and we await the final words of this Doctor and find out who is next.

Tears )
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OK Fandom, we need to sit down and have a little talk.

Oh no, no, no I am not going to smack you, although that is tempting considering your recent behavior, I really just want to talk to you.

News Flash, not everyone is going to like everything you like especially at the intensity with which you like it.

And that is OK.

I am sure there are fandoms that you wandering into online that leave you scratching your head about what do they see in that.

But they do see something in it that appeals to them like your fandom(s) appeal to you.

Here seems to be the disconnect these days, you can’t make others like/love the things that you like/love. Or as the old saying goes, “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” You have shown it the lovely water now step back and let it make up its own mind about what it wants to do.

The opposite is true too. You may hate something with the passion of a 1000 fiery suns and you are allowed the heartily to dislike something. But to berate others because they like it is really not cricket.

Here’s a suggestion, just walk away from what is causing you such consternation.

Life is too darn short.

I have talked about how a movie does not ruin a book in the past. The book is still there. The movie didn’t magically make the words change in the book to match the film. You can still read your story the way that you liked it.

Recently in several fandoms that I am either a part of or watch from the sidelines have been having some serious meltdowns about things that effect, or may effect, the thing that they love.

One series jumped the characters forward a number of years setting up the next season. They did finish all the previous threads so that we knew about where everyone landed before the time jump. If that had been, as rumored, the last episode of the series, it would have satisfied most fan base. We don’t know except for that little snippet what has happened since we last left our heroes. We do know who has a contract in the next season and who doesn’t so we have an idea of which characters will still be around and they are the most and least popular ones all at the same time. The screaming from fandom has been rather intense. I hope that they give the show the chance to find its footing again and remember that the previous seasons are not wiped off the face of the earth because of the new season. Although I think they are going to kill it with the new time slot.

Another fandom is practically going into convulsions given what happened this season and what is going to happen next year. I think want makes me most upset with a good chunk of the group is the threatening nature of ‘if you don’t do/fix this I am going to …’ that is going on. It’s just a TV show. Sure the fandom is one of the oldest on the planet, but still it is not cancelled but it sure is changing. And the ‘if you don’t’ has been turned up to 10 on this season which I consider one of the best to date. I know a number of my friends don’t agree with me on this and that’s fine. This season worked for me but didn’t for them. I am not going to go try to convince them to see it my way.

There is another fandom that a large number of my friends love that I cannot get into and it hasn’t been from the lack of trying. I just don’t like the premise or the characters. It is not my cuppa but I don’t try to rain on my friends’ parade of love and accolades of their fandom. I read through their comments and move on happy that they have something that brings them so many feelings.

So enjoy your fandoms. Enjoy your entertainment.

Just be kind and allow others to enjoy theirs.

I am grateful for the variety of fandoms out there.
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We are at the point in the repairs to the bathroom that we can see the finish line but can’t cross it until a few things are in place and some materials arrive to complete the job. And that is a bit frustrating.

Once the workmen are done, I have things that need to be done before diving into getting ready for our trip(s) over most of July. Packing is going to be interesting as I have to have us ready for more than one scenario.

But there are other things I want/need to get done as well and they have been on hold for over a month as this went from a week and done to almost a month and done. However there is a good reason for that because the previous contractor cut corners which caused damage to the house that needs to be repaired before they could put the bathroom back in.

So we are waiting to see if this is all happening today or Monday. Personally I am hoping for today.

I have the first pass on my 12th Doctor costume done and will be wearing it at Shoreleave and the Raleigh SuperCon. Then revisions before I wear it elsewhere.

For those of you watching Dr. Who on BBC America, know that it starts at 8:30 rather than 9:00 since the episode is longer than the usual slot. I am sad that this is Capaldi’s swan song for the character. I think he is the best so far and I will miss him. Also I am really hoping that Pearl Mackie does another season as Bill since she is doing such a terrific job but I am not holding my breath either.

Mets are starting to win again. Wonder if that will keep up after the All Star Break.

Today is a sort out day as in I need to sort out what can and cannot be done within the next week. I also need to back up my computer which is going to take a while since I haven’t done so for a bit.

I also need to back up all the phones and iPads in my possession so I can see that this is going to go back up phones, iPads, then computer.

I am grateful for information that will inform my day.
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Mr. McEnroe was asked if Serena Williams was one of the greatest of all time. He responded that she was one of the greatest female players but if she had to play the men’s circuit then it would be a different story. He said that maybe at some point a female tennis player could be better than anybody.

He went onto to say, "I just haven't seen it (a woman going up against the men) in any other sport, and I haven't seen it in tennis. I suppose anything's possible at some stage.”

It already has Mr. McEnroe.

The sport was bowling and the woman is Kelly Kulick who has a PBA title and a major title at that. She won the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions defeating two of the top male players in the sport on TV after having gone through the field of players who had all won titles that year and won a two year exemption on the PBA tour.

So that’s a woman at the top of her game against a group of men who are at the top of their game and winning.

The sad thing is that this sort of assumption is made all the time.

Women can’t write comic books as the same level as the guys and then go and sweep the Eisner for writing.

Wonder Woman is another example. Girl Superhero films don’t sell is the attitude in Hollywood, but a woman directed the current Wonder Woman and it is doing very well in the box office in both the domestic and foreign markets. It is a film that everyone can enjoy.

Years ago a friend of mine, who is still a friend even though occasionally they will say something asinine, said that men can play women but women can’t play men. He was well known for his cross-dressing of female superheroes in the South-east and he could pull it off to the point that he had to inform people of his gender when they were next to him and hitting on him.

Challenge accepted, said I and I recruited my buddies Jeff and Angelo for the scheme.

That year there was a new television show on the air called “Beauty and the Beast” with Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. We decided that I would be Vincent at a convention that George R R Martin was attending since he was working on the show.

In those days you didn’t have the Internet to find out what the costume really looked like. You had a couple of out of focus photos in magazines and the video tapes you made of the TV show. From that you had to extrapolate what the costume was.

Which we did and we put it together and I wore it and no one knew it was me as I entered the contest as Calvin Hobbs. Jeff and Angelo made sure that I looked the part as a male between the make-up and the costume. And we succeeded. I got hit on so many times by both genders who assumed that I was male.

The icing on the cake was the next day where we were part of a panel about the winning costumes. I had a box under my arm that contained my life mask and the Vincent face. Sheila had played Catherine at the last minute so she was standing next to me while we watched the Mighty Rassilon Art Players do a series of Doctor Who and fannish related sketches including a couple I had directed.

“That was fun last night,” said Sheila as they were setting up for the next sketch, “And no one knew that you were Vincent.”

The gentleman standing next to us looked at me and said, “What?”

“I was the Vincent in the costume contest,” I said.

He looked at me and I opened the box showing him the face and then the life cast.

“You? But he…He…it was…I could swear….”

I smiled and introduced myself to Richard Pini. Point, set, and match to us.

I am grateful for all the women who prove that they can do whatever they put their minds to.
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OK here’s the deal. I am going to allow for speculation about “the Doctor Falls” but no spoilers please. We can talk about any and all Doctor Who episodes up to this one but not beyond. I am putting my spoilers and speculation behind a cut. But I am warning those who have not seen the episode and want to keep spoiler free, stay out of the comments and above the cut.

Oh Moffat, what have you done? I know you are leaving the show. But did you have to do it by stomping hard on all our hearts?

This season has been one of the best in New Who. It has been sharp and witty. Pearl Mackie as Bill is rapidly becoming one of my favorite companions. Capaldi has become my favorite Doctor. The missteps, for me, have been few and even those contained gems.

I really feel that Capaldi has finally come into his own as the Doctor and it is at his exit, which stinks.

I think some people forget that even in Classic Who, there are times that the Doctor’s hubris gets people hurt especially when he thinks he is in total control and then he has to figure a way out of the mess that he practically manufactured.

This time his trying to do ‘good’ leads to a lot of bad and I am hoping by the end of the next episode, the bad has been sorted out because if not, it is going to be a bad note to a splendid season.

The acting was solid all the way around. Michelle Gomez is my vote for the next Doctor because she would be splendid in the role.

I am sad that this is the penultimate episode to this season.

Wait_For_Me )
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The story of the Roman Ninth legion is much more popular in the UK than the US. I knew about it but I studied that part of history when I was in college with some really good teachers. The basics are that the 9th is the lost legion. No one is really sure what happened but they are pretty sure whatever it was, it happened in Scotland. There has been some other evidence that says that they went from Scotland to the Netherlands but that is sketchy and has nothing to do with the episode.

The Doctor brings Bill to where the ninth vanished because she claims that she knows more than he does about the ninth and they are testing their theories by coming to the time and place were it happened.

This episode was written by Rona Muro who wrote the last episode of classic Who (Survival) and she has gotten better over time. Not a perfect episode but really solid with some clever call backs to the classic series.

I enjoyed it and again it felt like a drop any Doctor in here slot. Nothing that really makes it a Twelve episode until you get to the end.

Solid acting and the monster was pretty much a monster wanting nothing more than most monsters want.

Bill continues to impress me both as a companion and Pearl Mackie’s performance is splendid. Nardol was more commentary than companion until the end but I think you can give Matt Lucas just about anything and he will find a way to make it work.

Doc_Tor )
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This is Mark Gatiss’ latest foray into the Doctor Who universe and he got to play with the characters he wanted with the Ice Warriors.

I enjoyed this one. It was one and done with a little tag at the end which has fandom holding its collective breath.

So Bill gets to have an adventure with the Doctor reminiscent to me of those that Jo had with Three and Sarah Jane with Four. There is an absurd historical element, an alien species element, and a Doctor saves the Day element.

A bit by the numbers but fun all the same.

That the Empress wanted Bill’s opinion on the situation since she was the only female in the room, was both funny and made sense considering what is being set up for the Ice Warriors.

Over all it was a good solid Doctor Who episode that you could have put just about any Doctor into and it would have worked.

God_Save_the_Queen )
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Sticks and Stones
May break my bones
But words will never hurt me

Warning for frank talk about bullying and mental health.

Yesterday a judge handed down a decision in the case of Michelle Carter who is accused of manslaughter in the death of Conrad Roy who committed suicide. Both individuals had a history of mental problems and both were under a Doctor’s care.

In the ruling the judge said that Ms. Carter’s action of telling over a cell phone for Mr. Roy to get back into his truck and finish what he started after he had a change of heart and had stepped out of the truck was why he convicted her of involuntary manslaughter. That she did nothing knowing what Mr. Roy was doing at the time. Not the text messages as the denizens of Internet have been spreading around.

However the discussion about what you say on the Internet and does it really affect anything or anyone has exploded.

The phrase “first amendment” is getting tossed around a lot. The First Amendment reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That’s the wording of the amendment.

Nowhere is in that amendment does it say that one is not responsible for what one says.

And that to me has been the disconnect on the Internet especially when people can hide behind their avatars and handles. They can say whatever they want and figure that their anonymity will protect them from any consequences from what they said.

Actions and words have consequences and this idea that it is always someone else’s fault just rubs me the wrong way.

I take responsibility for what I say here and in real life. I learned that from my parents. I am trying to teach that to Caroline.

Anything I say here, I would be willing to say in person and that’s my rule of thumb. Would I be willing to say this aloud where others would here it?

Now back to words and I am putting the rest of this behind a cut so as not to trigger some people about bullying and depression.

Words_can_hurt )
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It is one thing to ‘know’ you aren’t sleeping well and another to KNOW you are not sleeping well. Since I got a Fitbit, I have been able to track my sleep pattern and correlate that with how I feel when I get up. Last night I didn’t get any deep sleep so this morning my brain feels foggy and bits and pieces of my body ache. I also have found that I tend to get 5 to 6 hours a night rather than 8.

I also can keep track of my heart rate, amount of exercise, and several other things that tell me if I am moving or being a total blob that day.

I haven’t even tried the food and water part of the equation. That’s for next week.

I am feeling tired and cranky which is not optimal since I have a lot to do today.

The bathroom renovation is going. Due to circumstances, it is taking longer than expected but the previous contractor managed to destroy most of everything under the title and in the walls so it had to be gutted and worked back from the ground up. Right now we have the walls up and most of the floor back in. Today they are finishing the tile and then grouting the whole thing. This after we had a major set back with a pipe breaking and water pouring into the closet that is not a closet right now due to mold abatement. It did, however have some boxes in it so that had to be dealt with very quickly. With the exception of some movie posters, we are good.

While they are doing that, the dumpster is being exchanged for a new one and I am continuing my project to get the basement back into shape which is going to take more time that I would like but I am going a little slower and not cutting any corners so this can be done correctly and Peter can have his office back which he hasn’t had since the stroke.

I should go to the gym today and maybe this afternoon I will. But I really need to work while we have the dumpster. I am thinking this afternoon is looking better for what I need to do but we will see.

Part of this depends on the weather.

Peter is having to do some research for work that is having him revisit some stuff he hadn’t encountered since it first appeared. Bring back memories for me too. More on that after it is announced.

So today is going to be tackling what I can of the basement which will go faster after we get the dumpsters swapped out supposedly this morning. But I still have stuff I can do before they get here. Garage is for the weekend between the rain showers. Sunday is Father’s Day and we have several plans in place depending on the weather and our energy levels.

I am grateful for what sleep I do get.
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It is the birthday of my sister Sheila. If you asked me how old she was, I would have to work the formula back from my age to tell you. For my siblings and me, my parents managed some interesting number combinations in both the dates of our births and the number of years between us. Let’s just say that she is younger than Sean and me but older than Patrick.

When my mother was pregnant with Sean, I was aware of what was going on in the simplest of terms. With Sheila, I had a much better idea of what was going on. I can remember sitting on the bed next to Mom and feeling Sheila either kick or punch my hand on my mother’s belly. It was an amazing feeling.

I was informed after she was born that if I wanted to know what I looked like as a baby then just look at her. My parents even dated some of the photos so they would know who was who. There are some photos that are still a toss up as to which one of us it is.

Not so much a problem now as we have both grown into our individual selves. I’m taller and she is skinnier. She can still wear clothing from high school. When we went shopping for our bridesmaid’s outfits for my brother’s wedding, his fiancé (now wife of almost 20 years) asked to switch Sheila’s body with hers just to try on some dresses. Sheila declined because she knew if she had, she wouldn’t get her body back. Of course the entire conversation was absurd from the get go but it sounded very serious in tone and content.

Shelia is always willing to pitch in where needed. Sometimes I think she sublimates her wishes/wants to make others happy but she is happy when she can help. I have tossed her up on stage with me and others for both plays and masquerade entries with little to no prep and she had done splendidly. She is a born performer.

I love her very much and am proud of her and her accomplishments.

Happy Birthday Sheila! or, as I use to write it before the advent of auto correct, Happy Brithday. Hope the day is extra nice to you.

love your sister,

I am grateful that Sheila is my sister.
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Today is going to be a busy one. I have about half a dozen errands to run and I want to get to the gym. Errands then Gym. Plus I want to get the AC up and running since it is going to be miserable without it. So I have to get the filters in place and the main unit uncovered before firing it up.

Also since we have a dumpster right now due to the renovations, I am getting rid of a lot of stuff that we have needed to toss for a while. There is a time limit on that.

This is the beginning of a week were I have a lot I need to get done and some stuff I want to get done. I am hoping by the end of the week to have a functioning bathroom that will lead to next weeks work.

There is also the matter of the end of Caroline’s School Year being her last days in middle school. There are functions that we need to attend. Last week was the awards ceremony where she received several awards for academic excellence. I know she is close to the top of her class because her GPA was not far off from the 3rd highest GPA. I am very proud of her self-discipline to get her homework done in a timely fashion and seeking help when she is confused.

So a lot to do and only so many hours in the day to do it in.

I am very motivated.

I am grateful for what has been done for the bathroom so far.
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Haven’t done one of these in a while but then haven’t had much to talk about either since I wasn’t having many issues of getting to the equipment when I needed it.

I did get a compliment the other day. I was finishing up my workout when one of the regulars came over and said in a humorous tone, “You are done for the week. We have been watching you and we are tired.”

I have been pushing it a bit because I hit a plateau and needed to mix it up to make progress again. So some exercises went out and others came in. I also added 5 to 10 pounds to most of the routine.

Results have been mixed. Some days I can complete at a certain weight and others I have to drop it a bit for the last set to keep good form.

Nothing pulled but the usual pains are still there. Did drop a weight I had a hand spasm and scaring a group of women who were on the newest machine.

I have been explaining more why I do the exercises I do in the order that I do them in. Taught a couple of people about how if you use a different foot position you can work out different sets of muscles on the same machine.

There are a number of ‘new’ regulars now. People who started at the beginning of the year and have kept it up and people who are worried about how they are going to look during swim suit season. I expect that most of the swimsuit folks will be gone before the end of the summer.

I can still tell when various exercise magazines come out as I am watching people do new things with the equipment and not always what it was built for as we have a large sign on one of them now that says ‘Do not use backwards’ since it has broken twice in the last month for people trying something that catches the cable and jams it.

I have been spotting for people more, which is a nice feeling that they figure I am strong enough to keep them from injuring themselves.

I am still dealing with some machine/weight hogs. If they would just add some weight, they would do themselves more good than the 500 reps of next to no weight which is not really helping them. Adding weight if you are a woman is not going to give you manly muscles because you don’t have the testosterone in your system to do that. And the rest of us are tired of waiting half an hour for you to finished your workout and various text conversations on the phone. Also an empty bench that you are not using is not your towel/water bottle/gym bag storage unit. There are lockers in the front of the room that you can use.

My Fitbit is keeping me honest about the length of my workouts. It is nice to have a record of it that I can consult.

Over all I know I have more energy and I just feel better when I consistently exercise.

Next step is to clean up my eating habits, which I am working on this week.

I am grateful for any positive that come out of regular exercise.
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It has been spring-like this week and I am fine with that. It has been so crisp that a light jacket or hoodie has been needed in the early morning or evening. I am enjoy it now because I know that soon enough we are going to be in the heat.

Yesterday I got my mother’s day present installed. After our storm door disintegrated on us during a Nor’eastern, we knew we had to replace it. It protects the front door and allows us to have air circulating without having to worry about the cats escaping. Now we have a shiny new storm door that latches perfectly and is tightly sealed so that the bugs can’t get in.

We needed to renovate our bathroom so we got a contractor and started the job only to find that we had a lot more damage to the room that we knew due to the previous contractor who cut so many corners and left us with so many potential disasters, I am surprised we made it this far without a serious issue. So that went to 3X the cost of the first estimate.

Peter has set up his patreon account. You can find it here. Feel free to join and pass it around. This is the account we created so we wouldn’t have to deal with tax issues any more.

We were informed that we needed to be at the student awards ceremony since Caroline will be receiving an award or two this evening. So proud of her. We know she is in the top 1% of her class in grade point average.

I am going to be, for the first time in a while, wearing a costume at conventions. I have most of it put together with the critical pieces already here or in the mail. It all started when I decided to get my hair cut and go back to whatever my natural color was at this point. It was sunny so I was wearing my Ray Ban sunglasses on my walk home and I happen to look in a window on my way home and saw that it would be very easy for me to dress up as the current Doctor in Dr. Who. We have taken to calling this hair cut ‘the accidental Capaldi’. I have the shoes, coat, sunglasses, and ring in hand. Sonic is on its way thanks to a friend. I think I have the shirt and pants in my closet and I am hoping that they fit. I know if nothing else I have the hoodie and black t-shirt that will work.

Part of the hoping to fit on the pants is that I have been able to hit the gym with regularity and am getting results that I want. I have upped my gym time by another day and am getting my routine in along with other exercises to keep my body guessing. So far nothing pulled but that good muscle ache that tells you that you have really worked out. According to folks who don’t see me that often, I have slimmed down waist and beefed up my arms, which is what I wanted to do. Also going to the gym helps my mental state a lot. Now I have to work on getting my food back into the excellent category rather than the OK range. More fruit less processed foods. Less salt and sugar. I know what I need to do. I just have to do it.

Today I am using the dumpster we had to rent to get rid of the interior of the bathroom to get rid of stuff that has been piling up in the garage that we have needed to dump for some time. Big o’ clean up to get us in a better place for the rest of the year. That and the last of the laundry are my big plans for the day.

I am grateful for Caroline’s achievements.
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I was at the Phoenix Comic Con when the police arrested Mathew Sterling for threats, unlawful carry, and possession of illegal weapons. He claimed that he believed he was an incarnation of the Punisher and was there to kill one of the guests. Before he was arrested, the story was a little different and very scary for one young woman who was being stalked by this individual. Someone in California saw what was going on through Facebook and alerted the local police. The police managed to arrest the suspect before he could do any harm. He was trying for suicide by cop. I didn’t know anything about what was going on until a friend texted me to find out if we were OK.

Because of that, there was a no weapons policy for the convention instituted including any prop versions of weapons. This was the policy put in place so the convention could stay open for the next three days.

This made for very long lines to get in Friday. By Saturday they had gotten the check down to something reasonable.

The Internet blew up in certain sections as people cried out about the unfairness to take their ‘right’ to carry fake weapons as part of their costume.

Phoenix ComicCon offered refunds for those who did not care to attend. They did ask for understanding that this would happen AFTER the convention because they were in the middle of it when this did happen.

The blanket ban seems absurd but it was the easiest way to allow the convention to be held. Imagine the lines if every person who wanted to bring in a prop weapon had to defend why their prop is NOT a weapon. Security would have been nickled and dimed to death for ‘why light saber handles but not full light sabers’? Why proton packs with the ‘gun’ but not Holtzman’s small pistols? And on and on until no one could get into the place. I have been in that situation at a convention on the security side of the fence and it is a royal PITA.

People’s costumes were still recognizable. Maybe a few that are very prop heavy got lost in translation but nothing I saw. Even the anime characters were recognizable if you knew the anime.

Sure the plethora of Negins didn’t have their barbwire baseball bat, but I still knew the character. And it was nice NOT having to bob and weave around those baseball bats for a change. I have been clobbered more than once by someone turning to fast with one of those up on their shoulder. Always gotten an apology too. I didn’t have to avoid oversized mallets that are the choice weapon of Harley. The ability to get through the throng quickly became easier because I was not ducking or avoiding oversized props.

Because of what happened in Phoenix, conventions are going to have to change their weapons policy before we do have an incident within the convention itself. The Alamo City Comic Con banned duffle bags, large backpacks, and oversized tote bags and I don’t think they will be the only ones to do so.

I don’t think that the prop weapons should be banned but I do think that some common sense on everybody’s part will go a long way to solving this issue.

Now for something else I witnessed at the convention. Furries seem to get a lot of flack for various reasons most of which have nothing to do with a majority of people who like to wear animal costumes. There was a toddler who was not having a good day or rather was done with it all. The tantrum was epic. But when he saw someone in a realistic fox mask (like those made by Clockwork creatures), he just stopped and stared. The Fox noticed the boy and got down to his level. The Fox allowed the boy to pet him and talked to him quietly as the boy calmed down to the point that the kid fell asleep in their stroller. The parents were grateful. All those around who had been listening to the howls were grateful. The Fox tipped their hat and went on their merry way with some friends their good deed done and we all appreciated it.

I am grateful for people who were sensible in this whole matter and that Fox for taking the time to take care of a child.
puppetmaker: (Default)
Caroline and I have been talking about her using my sewing machine for a while now.

She has been hand sewing for a while and made some really cute stuffed animals for her friends and cousins. But that is rather time consuming and she couldn't do some of her projects which needed a machine stitch.

Sunday she sat down and with a little coaching, she put together her first project. She made a pouch to put the pieces of her baby blanket.

A little more practice and she will be able to make anything that she wants. She is already planning out about half a dozen costumes and some school clothes she wants to make.

I am so proud of her.

Caroline conquers the sewing machine

 photo 86B210D1-D6B4-4E2F-9661-7799E94F77DD_zpspoot5p3j.jpg
(For the VI: This is Caroline sitting at my sewing machine with purple cloth feeding it through. Her brown hair is back and she is wearing a brown shirt.)

The Finished Product
 photo 75D60863-5EF3-4DF9-8052-30CF37543471_zpsnepmpefc.jpg
(For the VI: Caroline holding up the rectangular purple bag.)

I am grateful for Caroline’s boundless creative energy.
puppetmaker: (Default)
I am talking about the past three episodes of Doctor Who being “Extremis”, “The Pyramid at the end of the world” and “The Lie of the Land” since they are really one story told over three weeks.

Now it is going to be very hard to not spoil things if you haven’t seen these episodes or have only seen the first because they do tie into each other so tightly. And if you haven’t seen Oxygen, then close this window and don’t come back until you are all caught up please. I really want this to unfold for you the way it unfolded for me.

Over all this season is making me even sadder that this is Capaldi’s last hurrah as the Doctor. Now I come to find out that Michelle Gomez is bowing out as Missy, which pains me to my core especially with the banter in “the Lie of the Land.” Pearl Mackie just keeps impressing me more each week. She can do so much with so little and has put Bill among my favorite companions. It is really going to suck if she leaves as well. I am figuring that Nardole is this season only. Matt Lucas has brought so much to the table and every off hand comment makes me so want to know more about Nardole who has gone from comic relief to interstellar bad-ass in 10 episodes (the 8 we have seen and the two Christmas episodes.)

The new threat to the human race is the Monks, which have a weird set of rules that they follow. I have to give Moffat credit for creating an alien race that wants to conquer Earth in a different method than any other alien race has done so far. In many ways it was even scarier than the usual war-like invasion especially with the current political situation here in the US.

This is probably one of the best cautionary tales of social media and gaming I have seen so far. I am never going to be able to play a first person shooter the same way again much less Mario Cart.

truth )
puppetmaker: (Default)
New Who Review will be tomorrow since the three episodes link together and I wanted to see where it was going. Class was a lot of fun too but more on that later.

Yes, I know I have been quiet since the passing of my mother-in-law but really before then. I don’t know when I will be back to regular web logging but right now is not the time.

I had to drop out of several activities that I do every year including the DragonCon Art show which hurt but I would rather take a year off and get back to my A game rather than put something on the table to just have something on the table.

I recognize that my mind is not at its best place right now and am taking steps to help me get it back there.

Or short version, I recognize that I am in a depressive state.

I have written about my dealing with depression and made the choice not to be quiet about it so that I might help others by ridding the stigma attached to mental health. Most of what I have written is about things in the past that I have dealt with. Now I realize that something is not quite right and I have something I need to deal with now. I am not suicidal so don’t worry about that. I am not sad per say but I am really kind of numb. I am concerned about my lack of feeling really anything. My creative verve has seriously gone on the backburner. I am existing and not much more than that.

I have two projects that I am going to be doing once we have the renovations done for the upstairs bathroom. Right now I really can’t have my materials out and in the way of the construction. So I am on hold right now.

Which means I should be working on my novel or Peter’s Patroen page or (fill in the blank). His page I did get some stuff done on and I am going to work on that some more today but the novel is at a halt right now. My frustration level on that is through the roof.

Which is another reason why I need to take a step back and give myself some time and space to sort out my head. I am no good to anyone when I am in this state. And I realize that which is better than I use to do when I felt like this. I am also staying away from my few vices because I know how I can be when I am like this.

I am going to try to get some entries written like on Tuesday but I am not making any promises.

I am grateful for the ability to realize what is going on with me.
puppetmaker: (Default)
We are home now.

That was a week’s worth of highs and lows.

I want to say a couple of things about Phoenix ComicCon before getting into other things.

Matt and his crew throw an amazing convention. We were well taken care of from the time we got there until we left. They handled our issues along with a lot of other issues as well as they could given the circumstances. I would highly recommend this convention not only for the crew but the fans as well who are enthusiastic and warm.

Shout out to the hotel staff at the Hyatt who managed to keep things moving, especially the elevators, forward. Yes it was a bit of a pain at peak times to get to one’s room but we all made it and a short wait for safety and no broken elevators was worth it.

Shout out to the staff at the convention center along with the security staff who were given an impossible situation where not everyone was going to be happy and managed to improve on it between Friday and Saturday so that things went back to moving along much smoother.

Shout out to the fans also who dealt with things with a sense of humor rather than get mad at the convention that they could not bring in their props. I do understand that a lot of work went into them and you wanted to show them off, but considering what happened I hope that you can see why they did what they did.

Now for those of you are reading and wondering what the heck I am talking about. Here’s what happened at the convention on Thursday from the local paper the Arizona Republic. Short version was that someone got in with a bunch of loaded weapons and threatened to shoot police and an actor who was attending. He talk about it on social media (facebook) and someone called the local police to inform them what was going on just in case it was serious which is was. So thank you to the individual to stepped forward and said something because they saw something.

What is not being said in the paper because he is now claiming he was there to kill Jason David Franks (Green Power Ranger) as his motivation is that his original reasons for being there are even a little more scary than that. He was stalking someone who was at the convention. He texted/message her that if she didn’t go out with him/spend time with him, people were going to pay. This behavior on his part had apparently been going on for a while. He had come to the convention because she was going to be there. The person who reported him was friends with the young lady who was being stalked and they were concerned at the escalation of the threats both at the police, the convention and this young woman.

We had that clouding the convention. The convention offered refunds if people didn’t want to come because of what happened. Some fans got bent out of shape because they couldn’t bring their cosplay weapons and went to the Internet to cry how unfair all this was. I think that the convention did the best they could under the circumstances and did a blanket policy that would ensure the safety of the staff, guests, and attendees. I will say it was easier to walk through the convention without having to worry about being smacked in the face with an oversized prop or baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire.

Peter had to leave the convention on Sunday due to his mother passing away. Caroline and I stayed to greet fans and pass out his autograph. We joined him in Connecticut the next day and spent time with our family up there. We returned yesterday evening and now are working out the next thing on our plate.

I would like to thank everyone for their kind words and sympathy. It really does mean a lot to us.

I promise to talk about our more positive adventures from the convention tomorrow. Today I have to get the bathroom ready for the contractors who are coming to repair a number of issues with it including the fact that the tub is cracked.

I am grateful for family.


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