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I had glasses rated for the eclipse that I got at Shoreleave but I cannot find them now.

So I went old school and made some pin-hole boxes to view our partial eclipse up here and I thought I would put this out there so you too can make your own if you care to.

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A simple pin hole box with a piece of tin foil at one end and a viewing window down the slide with a white screen for better viewing.

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Materials you will need (Cat is an extra and not necessary for assembly of the box)
1. A Box that you can close all sides on.
2. Tape
3. Tin Foil
4. A pin
5. exacto knife or box cutter or scissors
6. a white piece of paper.

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Cut a hole at one end of the box

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Tape the tin foil over the hole

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Stick a pin through the tin foil

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Cut a door on the box wall to the right of your pin hole

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On the wall of the box opposite to the pin hole, place your piece of white paper and secure to the wall

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Tape the top and there you go.

Your own pinhole box to watch the eclipse.

I am grateful that I learned how to do this at the last eclipse.
puppetmaker: (Default)
Yes, I realized this as I was looking at a calendar about something else.

In two weeks I will be about half way through DragonCon.

In that time we have things that are happening around the house that need to be done and things we need to do to get ready for DragonCon which is one of our bigger conventions of the year at least in the amount of stuff we take with us.

I also need to get a few sewing projects done before we go and make a decision about one project.

Peter is at TerrificCon in Connecticut this weekend and Caroline and I will be attending a Ducks baseball game with the rest of our bowling league.

There is time and not time at the same time.

I am grateful for the time I have to do the projects I need and want to do.
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I have been to a few conventions over my lifetime and I have an opinion on a couple of trends that are really making it hard to me to enjoy parts of a convention when I am at it. Some of these are old issues and some are new ones especially with the technology that is available today that was not when I first starting going to conventions.

Hey Convention, I really like that you have an app. Apps are cool like bowties. However can you please for the love of Glob make a search function that actually allows one to search and narrow down what one is searching for. I don’t want to have to scroll through three days of programming to find a certain panel that I want to see. Also maps that allow us to find our way to the obscure panel room that can only be gotten to by one elevator/escalator/staircase. It would be even better if your phone could guide you to that panel room but I know that is a way off.

And by the same token, not everyone wants to use the App you have so do have enough maps so we can find our way around.

Your personal soundtrack is invading my space. I remember the first time I heard a soundtrack attached to a costume as the wearer was walking around. It was a Ghostbusters costume where they had rigged a boom box into the proton pack. They had a tape loop (yes that is how old this is) that was playing the Ghostbuster’s sting over and over and over. First couple of times it was cute but after hearing it for over an hour, it got very old. Now with all the mini Bluetooth speakers everyone can play their music for all to hear to ‘enhance’ their costume. Stop it. The rest of us are not enamored of the same things that you are. And the cacophony of sound that ensues gives me a bloody bad headache. Think of those of us who are on the floor the entire day and have to deal with your wall of sound. This goes double for the merchants on the floor who play things too loud.

Yes, the convention has the right to tell you that you may not bring in ________________. Conventions, with very rare exceptions, are private. They are run by a group that has rented out the space where the convention is and they can say they don’t want something at the convention. There was a convention who stated up front that they were not allowing costumes at the convention. The outcry was ridiculous. The simple solution was if you can’t go without wearing your costume, then don’t go to this one convention. There are plenty out there that will embrace you with welcoming arms. I am sorry that your prop was not allowed into the hall and I know you worked hard on it, however I am not sorry that I am not ducking around your prop or getting hit by it when you turn around in a tight space. Even the fake weapons can leave bruises when the impact is great enough.

Hey conventions, might want to make sure your volunteer staff knows at least where to send someone with a question they can’t answer. Might be good if they had a map on their person and at least have been given an orientation of the area they are in. Knowing the chain of command is not bad either. They don’t have to know the entire convention center or the entire convention but the basics would be nice like where is registration or the exhibit hall or the closest rest room. I cannot tell you the number of times just this summer I have heard the words “I dunno” rather than at least pointing them to an information booth.

Fans guess what, the volunteers are just that so cut them some slack especially when they are trying to organize lines for whatever. They are trying to keep the convention from closing down because the fire marshal has walked through and said that if there is not a clear path to the exit, then the convention will have to shut down. Or so that others can get around. Yippie, your friends are here but all of you sitting in a circle on the floor is making it bloody hard for us to get around. And if they say someone is the end of the line, it was probably not their call but someone higher up so yelling at them is not going to get you any perks. I always assume line for something at a convention and am pleasantly surprised when there isn’t one. So listen to the people who are just trying to get you to where you want to go and make it fair for everyone.

Photo Op folks, I do understand the amount of money you are laying down for a photo is rather immense and you want to get that perfect picture so you have the memory of briefly meeting the talent. But there has to be a props limit at some point. This is a photo op not a photo shoot. The best shots I have seen are with those people who are clever with their use of props that don’t interfere with the next person getting in for their moment. Slow the line down and you will be pilloried by everyone behind you especially those who didn’t get their time because of your set-up time.

Please for the love of Glob don't present 10-inch binders with your fan fiction to either the talent or the show’s creator or, in fact, anyone attached to the show. Especially if it is rated PG-13 or above. The rest of us groan either inwardly or outwardly when we see this. I have had to explain fan fiction to so many who have received these ‘presents’ and don’t know what they are. Believe me that if they have any interest, they have already found your work on the Internet. Now I don’t have a problem with say a single sheet of paper with a poem or a song but the binders are over the top. Also don’t antagonize those who have stated that they do not want fan fiction of their work. If you must write, do it quietly. Respect their wishes. Please.

Feel free to add your grumpy observations.

I am grateful to people who are polite to each other at conventions.
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Time I have not.

I know what I need to do before DragonCon and I have about two weeks to do it in.

Today I need a few things from the local Joann’s Fabrics which is the only choice I have in real life because all other cloth stories have closed and I don’t like trying to figure out fabric on the Internet because I need to see the fabric and feel it to make sure it works for me.

I do have the advantage of the fabric district if I care to go into the city and that has saved me some headaches.

But this time I have to go with what I have and build it from there.

I go forward

I am grateful for items being in stock.
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I had a weekend that involved getting together with friends and playing an RPG, getting together with a friend and having sometime to just talk about everything and anything, and getting together with friends and looking at art at the Met including a rooftop exhibition that really took my fancy then I got to stand on the stage where one of the most popular musicals is currently running and talk to my friend who is in the show.

It was a lot of different activities with a lot of different people and all of them gave me motivation that I haven’t felt in a long time.

I haven’t played an RPG in quite a while and this one was a pip. I do feel a little sorry for the Dungeon Master who was trying to get us to a point and it was like herding cats. We did finally get to the point where we would have had a lot of combat but we had to wrap it up. On the plus side we are going to play again since we had so much fun. It was one of those we were laughing so hard our sides hurt. After that we went to Katz’s deli and had some good food and even better conversation. It reminded me that I have a quick creative brain.

Since Peter and Caroline were coming into the city the next day for their adventure, I decided to spend the night in the city (well Brooklyn) and catch up with another friend that I don’t spend enough time with in real life. We caught up on the summer and talked about fannish things. I got the new Ducktales up for them to see which was more enjoyable than the first time. It was nice to just shoot the breeze and remember why I like certain things.

So I had a day free in the city and hadn’t been to the Met in quite a while. I put out a call on my facebook page for anyone who wanted to join me and three friends did. We saw some of the new exhibits and some of the old favorites. I think my favorite was the roof top installation entitled The Theater of the Disappearing by Adrian Villar Rojas, which will be there until October. It gave me some ideas creatively.

After the Met I walked from there to Hamilton to catch up with Peter and Caroline. We went onto the stage and got to talk to our friend and his fellow cast mates. It is such a joyful and blessed cast. A lot of laughter and positive energy on that stage. Plus the stage design is really cool and a great use of a stage that is not that big.

So today I actually feel creative again. The brain fog has vanished and I can see clearly how to attack the projects I have on my plate. I was working out how I was going to get some stuff done in my head on my walk downtown which I hadn’t been able to do well for a while.

Now I am motivated again. I can see clearly how I am going to do some things that I have needed to do.

I am grateful for my friends who give me a push in the right direction or make me see that I am a creative person.
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That you can do what you do and you do it well.

(Thursday: Except to remember to post what you have written. This was written on Tuesday and my lame brain didn't follow through.)

There are many things I am unsure of as an artist but occasionally empirical evidence shows me that I am an artist and a good one too.

The same goes for my ability to write which I feel shaky on some days and totally solid on others. Even with all the voices whispering in my ears about how can I possible think that I can entertain by writing? People have read my work and told me that they liked it and were looking forward to whatever I had next on my plate. They like my style and my tone, which I know is not for everyone. I tend to write streamlined leaving more to the reader’s imagination to fill in. I have a voice that I am comfortable using.

Apparently I have fans of my puppet work. I learned this on our last set of conventions and some comments out on the Internet including someone who found my work because of other people telling him he had to find it.

I have no doubted my ability to build puppets in over 30 years. I can do it and I do it well. The time before that I had my doubts but the more I did, the more I realized I was good at this activity.

Some are amazed at the speed I can make a puppet with. That was learned over time and a lot of trial and error. It is not something I can teach but I do give advise so that others don’t end up in some of the time sinks I did until I figured out a better way to do it.

I can de-construct a costume in my head given good photos and then recreate that costume puppet sized. That has taken a lot of time to learn but it is a good skill to have. It has also improved my pattern making skills.

I want to get back to the dolls and the stuff animals I was working on but right now I am in a puppet groove and at least that is still working in my brain.

I am grateful for everyone who has taught me over the years how to do what I do.
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I have a set amount of time before DragonCon. The number of things I have to do I have reduced on purpose. I had that number reduced again by circumstance which now has me re-evaluating what I can get done before the convention.

I am still digging out from convention/vacation and getting Peter ready for his next convention.

I am very frustrated right now because my brain decided to go into neutral along with my back having fits due to travel related issues so getting anything done is one hell of an effort.

This morning I did make a serious dent in getting things back where they go but it is only half way to completion. Things literary are half way to being put away. I have to go up and down stairs to get things to their final place.

I can tell that I am not at my best. I am second guessing every move I make and every word I say or type. I am worried about so many things it is becoming irrational and I know it but I can’t stop my brain in overdrive.

I go back to what works and try to calm myself with varying degrees of success. Peter is being very supportive and helping me where he can.

I keep going forward hoping that something will click back into place and I won’t feel so drained and tired all the time. I need to get back to my exercise routine because that helps a lot. I have Caroline to help me be motivated with that because she wants to go to the gym too and continue her exercise routine.

This is the face of mild depression. I can function but it feels like I am pushing a rock uphill. I go on because people need me to do various things for various reasons. Which is a good thing because it keeps me moving and functioning.

I hope to snap out of this funk soon because it is not fun and I am not a lot of fun right now. I have things to do.

I am grateful for things that help me continue to move forward.
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Working then vacationing then working then vacationing the busy part then the quiet part then working then home.

Or what we did in the month of July where Caroline spent a grand total of approximately 7 ½ hours in New York State.

Caroline at the end of June went with her sister Shana to Jacksonville to help her sister and brother-in-law get ready to move. She had a good visit there.

We picked her up at JFK on our way to Shoreleave thus the first hour and half of time in New York.

Shoreleave was a blast. Peter and I signed books and did panels. I was a prop in AJ’s sketch in the Masquerade. I talked to friends and caught up on news and the like. It was a very comfortable Shoreleave with the exception of the wool coat that is part of the 12th Doctor Costume and the eye problem that I talked about on this web log earlier. Sunday evening found us at the Watch Out for Snakes Tour of Mystery Science Theater and we got to chat with the cast for a short while.

Monday found us at the Doc in the Box and not the fun one. Got a diagnosis for the eyeball and started working on getting my sight back along with laundry so we would be ready for the next part of our journey

Tuesday we went into Baltimore and the Geppi’s Entertainment Museum . Where we oo’d and ah’d over the items in the collection and realized how much of that stuff either we had or friends had. Had a lot of fun and learned some stuff about comic book history. Also Peter has several comics in the cases on display.

Wednesday we went to Washington DC to find out that the museum we were going to was closed for renovation so to Air and Space we went and had a blast. I was able to show Caroline a lot of things that I remember seeing when I went to the museum when I was about her age.

We drove down to North Caroline to visit Ariel, AJ and Anthony and were very thankful for the HOV lane out of the city. We had a nice visit with them but short because we knew we would see them again at the Raleigh SuperCon that was our next stop on the tour.

Mike and Crew did their usual magnificent job of taking care of us. I can highly recommend the SuperCons to any professionals that might get invited. Any issues were handled very quickly and very professionally. I ended up on a number of panels because of my friend Patty who knows good resources when he sees them. The fans were great. The venue was splendid. Only downer was the food poisoning we had Friday into Saturday but were fine the rest of the convention.

It was there that we added a stop on our tour as Peter was wearing one of his rare Doctor Who shirts and was asked if we wanted to do Florida SuperCon the weekend that we were leaving to go back to New York because Capaldi. We said yes and plotted how we were going to do that.

While a lot of our friends were fighting their way through SDCC, we went to Disney World and spent a leisurely number of days just doing what we wanted there. We did not go to Animal Kingdom this time around. Figured Pandora is going to be there for a while so let’s wait for when the wait time is less. Tuesday Caroline and I walked Epcot while Peter did laundry. Wednesday we went to Magic Kingdom. Thursday found us at Disney Hollywood where we didn’t ride the great movie ride having ridden it twice last time we were down there getting both the gangster and the cowboy scenarios so we are good on that. Friday was back to the Magic Kingdom for some last minute rides with a lot of rain. In fact it rained every day we were down there but only after we were done and on our way back to the hotel with the exception of Friday where the rain almost chased us out of the park and our magic raincoats didn’t hold it off.

The biggest adventure was that of Peter’s cane. He has it for days that we are going to be doing a lot of walking for balance more than anything else. Also if his knee acts up, it is a good thing to have. Wednesday afternoon we rode the Buzz Lightyear ride and Peter’s cane managed to escape from the spaceship. They looked for it but came up empty. We left our information hoping that it would be found. Thursday no word. Friday no word but we were back in the Magic Kingdom. On his way out, Peter checked at the front to see if the cane had been found. He had a substitute cane that the park provided and it worked but it was not HIS cane. They had it and we got it back. Peter is very happy because he really likes this cane. Also if lost at a convention it is easy to describe, “Do you watch Once upon a time? OK, it is the same cane that Mr. Gold uses in Storybrook.” The more technical term is a brass-handled Derby walking cane.

Saturday we went to St. Augustine for the yearly gathering of my family. We have been going to that area for a week’s vacation since I was seven. The place we go to now has been the place we have gone for over 30 years. We had a very quiet week of walking on the beach, writing, spending time with the family and napping.

Thursday evening we drove down to Fort Lauderdale for the Florida SuperCon so we would be there at the beginning of Friday’s convention.

We set up Friday and began the next convention experience, which was amazing. We got to talk to old friends and made new friends. Got to hang out with the 12th Doctor and Amy Pond..I mean Nebula. I did some panels as did Peter which is pretty spiffy considering we were last minute additions to the show. Met Ricky Whittle who is one hell of a hugger in all the good ways. Got to do a panel with my friends Patty and Hansi. Talked about Doctor Who. Amused Doctor Who fandom with my first Doctor puppet and War Doctor puppet. Caroline sold art. Peter sold books and scripts and signed a lot of autographs. And over all we had a good time.

The drive home was a bear as we added four hours to it but we made it home. The cats pretended to be miffed with us for the grand total of half an hour before cuddling up.

I am grateful that we had the adventures we did but also glad to be home.
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Photobucket has announced that as of the 27th of July, I believe, that they will no longer allow you to post your photos to third party providers of which this site is one of them. This means that years of photos that are attached to various blog entries are going to vanish overnight. The work in progress photos. The how I made this photos. The adventure photos are all going away. Not very happy with this at all.

As much as I would love to post photos of all the things I have been doing and people we have met, I can’t because I know shortly they will be removed. I am looking for suggestions for a good place to host the photos for my blogs because I post this in three to four places.

What have we been doing?

Lots of stuff.

Shorleave, except for the eye problem, was a lot of fun. Peter met a fan who had been waiting 20 years to tell him how much he loved his work. When asked in a Q& A whether he had ever been star struck with all the people he has met while working on the Big Bang Theory, Kevin Sussman (Stewart the comic book shop owner in the show) said, “Yeah, happen today. I got to meet Peter David and tell him how much I loved his work.”

We got to talk to Marina Sirtis who didn’t recognize Peter without a beard but was happy to see him. Caroline got some Gargoyle questions answers and they talked about other topics with great passion.

I spent time hanging out with my ‘gang’ at the convention swapping stories and the like.

I was a prop in AJ’s costume entry. I was dressed up at the 12th Doctor and looked like I had gone through hell.

David read the following as I staggered across the stage

“Once again time, injury, and the BBC have combined to cause the Doctor to regenerate. He’d rather not, but he must because ya’ know contracts”

I stopped turned to the audience and shrugged as if to say ‘what are ya going do?’ and continued to lurch until off stage.

“Determined to be stronger than even and sick of the dumb-ass fans who said he was too old, this new Doctor is determined to give them an incarnation that they will never forget.”

AJ entered with a bow tie and his sonic screwdriver dragging my extra vest.

The audience laughed.

The title of the entry was “The Doctor Falls, but he gets up again. You are never going to keep him down”

So that was fun. Again I have some lovely pictures I would like to show you, but photobucket stinks.

I did various panels talking about various topics and had fun.

Monday was Doc in the Box day.

Tuesday we went to Geppi’s museum and enjoyed ourselves. I have great pics for that but Photobucket…..

Wednesday I got to take Caroline to the Air and Space museum and show her some of my favorite things. Again photos but no photos here. Thanks Photobucket. We touched moon rock. Walked through Skylab. Looked at the restored Enterprise. And wondered why there is a plaque in the exhibit about the solar system all about Sherlock Holmes not knowing about the Solar system. Our conclusion is that Holmes is everywhere.

Thursday we visited with Ariel, Anthony and AJ at their house before driving to Raleigh and the Raleigh SuperCon. Wish you could see the cute AJ photos I took.

Raleigh SuperCon is part of a group of conventions run by the same people who do right by their guests and make the time there as enjoyable as possible. We can highly recommend them if they ask you to be a guest at their conventions. The fans were having a blast too. Lots of great costumes including an incredible Davros which I would love to show you but Photobucket sucks. I met a group of fellow Doctor Who Cosplayers and we had a lot of fun together. We got to talk about the choice of the next Doctor before and after it was announced. My friend Patty was moderating Alex Kingston’s Q&A when she found out. Her reaction was priceless. I got to speak to her and know what I am doing for her River Song puppet.

From Raleigh we went to Orlando and straight to Disney for a couple of days. A lot of fun and really good food was had by all. We saw old friends. We rode pretty much all the rides we wanted. The only disaster was Peter’s cane getting tossed from the Buzz Lightyear ride but we got it back two days later and they gave Peter a loaner. We did not go to Animal Kingdom figuring to let the Pandora fervor lessen before going to see what that is about. Lots of great pictures but ya know Photobucket.

From there we drove to St. Augustine where my parents have had a timeshare for over 30 years for this particular week in July. We are here now just taking a couple of days to regroup and not worry about anything but ‘will we get to the beach once or twice today’ and ‘what’s for the next meal’. It is very relaxing.

Friday we will be going to the Florida SuperCon in Fort Lauderdale where adventures will be had and photos will be taken but then Photobucket so until I find a solution to that, I am down to words to describe what happened.

I am grateful for all the fun we have had so far this trip.
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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.

Yea!

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.
puppetmaker: (Default)
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.
puppetmaker: (Default)
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.
puppetmaker: (Default)
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 )
puppetmaker: (Default)
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 )
puppetmaker: (Default)
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 )
puppetmaker: (Default)
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 )
puppetmaker: (Default)
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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