dalekboy: (Soaped Monkeys Of Fandom!)
( Apr. 21st, 2011 10:01 am)
Arrived last night, had some sleep. Now, off to Lush and to buy some groceries.

I have a nice room all to myself, it feels decadent but as I said to Sharon on the phone, if she were here and feeling that way, I'd tell her to shut up and enjoy it.

Sadly room windows do not open, nor are they locked with allen keys, so will have to throw a chair through one.
Most years since my faux-stroke I've managed to post around April 1st (the day the migraine that did all the damage started) on how I've been going. This year, the fifth since it all started, I've been way too sick/busy/run down to do so. And even not posting here, I'm still behind on everything!

So this is the short-ish Stroke-Boy Update. Read more... )
dalekboy: (Chaotic System)
( Apr. 17th, 2011 11:02 pm)
Only on a couple of panels for this Swancon -

Sunday 2pm-4pm - Classic Doctor Who panel We'll be discussing Season 4, Hartnell Troughton stories.

Monday 2pm-3pm - Whose Line Is It Anyway I'm hosting! When I was originally asked to do it, I requested suggestions from the programmers of good people to be contestants, because my brain is gone. They've been naturally very busy and so I'll ask here for some suggestions, or volunteers. I'd like to be able to talk to and go through the kind of games the contestants can expect before the day so they have a better idea of what they're in for.

I may end up drafted to appear on/in more stuff. Happy to do a few more, just as happy to rest. Will probably spend less time wandering around during the day and more catching up in the evenings.
dalekboy: (The Prisoner)
( Mar. 17th, 2011 07:11 pm)
So, yesterday (it's actually taken a while to write this, so a day or two ago, in fact) found time/energy to post, and to deal with a couple of emails. Most non-child/household related stuff I've managed in a while.

Last night, MaybeZoe kept me up until 1:30, then kept Sharon up until 4:30, then Lex awoke at 8:30. And the sleep I had was broken.

So, now I'm zombie boy. And Sharon is zombie girl. But both our children are awake and happy!

Other stuff, some cheery, some not, kind of long, and some pics of the demon offspring... )
After 10 weeks incorporating over half of them being enforced weekends away for various reasons, and other weekday madness... I've stopped.

My plans for while Sharon was at Swancon were that I would only do the basics required to care for Lex - everything else could go to hell. The last couple of weeks especially, I've been so busy that playtime with him has been minimal, so it's nice to get back to my real priorities again.

Some of you may have noticed I'm doing a lot more on Twitter than on here. It's about being time poor. I always feel I have to make a 'proper' post on LJ (yes, I know, it's stupid, but I'm odd like that), whereas I have a random thought and I can just pop it up on Twitter. All the silly drivel I chuck up on Twitter is the same drivel that I'm tempted to put on LJ, and rarely do. So this is either a good thing or a very bad one.

Also, given how busy I've been of late, I've just not had time to read LJ. Started trying to catch up yesterday. So if there's important news you like I should, or would like to know, fill me in.

Spoke to Sharon yesterday. She was confused at having nothing to do. This is exactly why I sent her away. Oh, BTW, her PDA is dying, and her phone isn't going well. Any of you with advice for her on either, both, or devices that combine the two, please chat with her about them. She works best with info and needs to be looking into this, so you may help give her a great starting point.

My love to all of you at Swancon. Wish I was there, but you can all see me at WorldCon or next year's Swancon, or Continuum 7. *big hugs*
I shall be at Continuum 6: Future Tense this weekend. Sharon and Lex will not, because of Sharon's work.

This has worked out to be a good thing since she seriously sprained her ankle last Friday and likely wouldn't do well at the con. As it is she will be having to cope with a very active toddler, while on crutches, and pregnant, while I'm away. So any of you in Canberra with experience looking after children could earn her eternal gratitude if you come over for a few hours and change one of Lex's nappies. Or you could just take him for a bit of a walk and give her a break.

I have to be in Melbourne for at least the first night, as I'm bringing down the awards. Naturally I'll see how she's doing and if the drive down and Friday night's program doesn't kill me, I may be leaving the con Sat. If she's doing well, I'll leave Sun night or Mon morning.

I will not be at Swancon this year. Neither will Lex. But Sharon will! It will be her first true holiday since Lex was born, since all the others have basically returned her to work a complete wreck. I will be staying home over Easter and teaching Lex Maori swear words.

The four of us will be at Aussiecon 4.

Oh, and today is Sharon's birthday, gifts of large sums of money will be gratefully accepted. Or hugs.
dalekboy: (Sharon and I)
( Oct. 26th, 2009 11:11 pm)
So, we've looked at finances, holiday logistics, Lex logistics, and a bunch of other stuff, and have had to divvy up the convention going for next year. We've been nutting out ideas for a while, but Sharon's work commitments and our finances have meant we've had to firm up our plans. Read more... )
dalekboy: (Default)
( May. 1st, 2009 04:47 pm)
* April was a busy and tiring one, hence this being written on the 1st of May.

* This is a very Lex-heavy month. Read more... )
dalekboy: (Rod Serling & books)
( Apr. 5th, 2009 05:55 pm)
I just realised, or re-remembered, that this year marks 20 years since my first Swancon!

And by October-ish, it'll be 30 years since I went to my first Melbourne Science Fiction Club meeting!

* I made banana and walnut muffins today, and they were yummy. I gave half to Bill and Diane from the Post Office, because they are lovely people and I didn't manage a Chrissy prezzie for them last year.

* Our estate agent has put back our rent inspection a month at my request. Basically told her we were in the middle of sorting/rearranging, and the house would be a mess.

Cut for extreme length, and because there's nothing overly exciting... )
dalekboy: (Self-Replicating Device)
( Mar. 31st, 2008 11:34 am)
Some people seem to think that the only reason someone would want to encourage new people into fandom is because it will create bigger conventions, be good for fandom, etc. These things may happen, but they are only side effects of welcoming in more people. I could do a big diatribe on growth versus stagnation. I could talk about how it's really easy to say we have enough people coming to cons when you're one of the folks who already attend and you know you're welcome, but it's not relevant to why I want to see more newbies in fandom.

I want to see more new fans for their sake, not ours.

Maybe it's because I've been doing 'so it's your first con' panels for over a decade, but I've seen a hell of a lot of people at those panels who turned up knowing no-one, not a single person at the con. Some of them stick around, but many do not, and not all of those that leave can be fobbed off with the oh-so-easy 'it just wasn't for them' comment.

The whole 'most people are drawn into fandom with their friends' argument is a really easy one to make when you're surrounded by your mates, or that is indeed how you found fandom. I've talked to people who spent an hour or more outside a club or convention, absolutely terrified about going in because this was it! This was where they finally hoped to fit in, be welcomed, find people like themselves. They stayed outside because they were scared that they'd find that they wouldn't even fit in here, and if they didn't fit in here, that's it, they really were the loser, freak, and weirdo that their family and the people at school or work thought they were.

I had a cold start, knowing nobody, and it was absolutely terrifying. I spent a fair while outside Space Age Books before going in. And my very first experience of another fan was the gruff guy at the front counter being, well, gruff with me. Not unfriendly, not nasty, but my self esteme was low, and I was shy and nervous enough that I nearly left then and there. I already felt like an outsider who was at best to be tolerated. It was touch and go, and rather than walk up the stairs at the back of the shop to go to the Melbourne Science Fiction Club, I nearly ran out the front door.

If I had I would have missed out on a range of friends and experiences. Would never have done song-vids, run conventions, written fiction, gotten into 3D animation, had the friends and lovers that have enriched my life. I wouldn't have met Sharon.

So why wouldn't I, in all good conscience, want to give other people the same chances I've had?

How many people have been lost from clubs and cons over the years? Where their first experience was their last? It's not just people we lose when this happens. I want to see more new fans for our sake as well.

Every person who never attends or returns represents the loss of potential friends, lovers, con-runners, writers, editors, artists, directors... For all the good or bad they may have done our lives, the community, or the genre, they may as well have never existed.

There will always be people who are lost to us. Some people are too sensitive or scared, some bad experiences are unavoidable, and we can't be held accountable for every lost fan. I don't talk to every new person at a con, and I sure as hell don't expect others to. But the less we do to encourage these people, to try to find ways to make things that little bit more welcoming for them, and the more we sit on our collective arses saying, "they'll find us when they're ready," or "someone would bring them in anyway," the poorer our community becomes.

If you don't believe that, then think on this - If I had chosen the door instead of the stairs...

No Mitch, and no Mitch? collections.

No Pancakes at Carillion.

No Continuum conventions.
dalekboy: (Serious Thoughts)
( Mar. 24th, 2008 09:59 am)
I'm sitting here still in mild shock. To my left is a certificate that says, in part, "For making an overwhelming contribution to WA Science Fiction Community."

And it was awarded to me.

There is an award that means the world to me on the years when it's given out - The Mumfan. The Mumfan is basically an award for the people who make the con-going and fan community experience more enjoyable for others. Not by doing big things, obvious things, but by doing small things that are often more important. All those little, unglamourous jobs that never get noticed, supporting people, helping out, welcoming new people... Why it means so much was summed up by one of the winners last night - 'this isn't an award for writing or art, this is an award for who I am, who we are, as people.'

I've always said that what I love about The Mumfan is that it's an award I could never receive. I get noticed, I get accolades and receive recognition for writing, or video-clips, or other things. Hell, over the years in Perth I have been a Fan Guest, Special Guest, and National Guest. You can't say I haven't been noticed.

The Silver Swan has only been awarded twice before in thirty-three years - to Grant Stone, one of the loveliest people you could ever have the good fortune to meet, and a major influence and contributor not only to West Australian fandom, but Australian fandom as a whole - and the other to the team that produced Eidolon, one of the most important magazines in Australian SF history, and naturally enough given the nature of the award, produced in Western Australia.

It's a WA award. I wasn't born here, nor have I ever lived here. I come from the other side of the country. I describe myself as a Perth fan, and I love West Australian fandom, but in strict geographical terms I come from the Eastern States.

It's one of the many reasons this award has so much impact for me. I'm not being recognised for a single achievement or a body of work, but for who I am and how I choose to live my life, and ways in which I try to enrich the community I am a part of.

It's funny writing that because this is the con that has gotten me fired up again. Since the first day I have been planning a handful of pieces on things like the 2010 Worldcon bid, programming, etc. Some are just thoughts and bits of advice, but others are a full-on arse-kicking aimed at those who do claim to be looking after fandom, but are in fact mainly looking after themselves, sometimes at the expense of the greater community.

And upon receiving the Silver Swan, I suddenly thought that maybe it's ungracious to receive a major award, and then go on the attack shortly afterwards. That maybe I shouldn't write anything that is overly critical of the way people handle or approach some of the things I want to talk about.

Except then I realise I don't care about whether it's ungracious or not. Because often the actions of these people are motivated by their own self-agrandisment, and desire to be a part of something big and important, rather than caring about the very people it's all meant to be for.

The speech that was read out before I was presented with the award means a lot to me, because it showed that the folks over here 'get' me. They know where I'm coming from.

At the presentation, Anna Hepworth gave a brief summation of what the Silver Swan is, and informed folks that it had only been given out twice before. She was then followed by Grant and Simon, who gave me their speeches, which I have copied below.

Grant Watson
"Sometimes the biggest impact a person can make is not seen in what they do, but what others do after them.

We all learn by example: we are inspired by others and want to do the things they do, we are enchanted by their talent, swept along by their enthusiasm - they make a difference to their community.

If we're very lucky, these inspirational figures respond to this attention - not with a burst of ego but by enthusiasm and excitement of their own.

The winner of the third ever Silver Swan is exactly that kind of person, not only for their own immeasurable contribution to the WA science fiction community, but in the reflection they leave on the rest of us.

I can say in all honesty that my own drive to participate in this community is inspired by one person's outstanding contribution, example, and boundless enthusiasm.

I'm sure both Simon and Anna would say the same. I'm sure half the room could say the same.

I should point out that Grant was crying so hard by this point that I was sure that someone had died and the Silver Swan was being given to the person posthumously, which I felt was rather a shame. I was also wracking my brain trying to think who had died, because anyone this big in the perth SF scene I should have known of.

Simon Oxwell
A great man once said "Perth fans don't know how lucky they are." But we do know how lucky we are, and that is why the third Silver Swan is awarded to Danny Oz.

Cue me, open mouthed, shambling up to the microphone, squeaking 'you bastards...' in a tiny little voice, and crying continuously for a few minutes while I tried to come up with something to say to do justice to the huge honour I had just been given. I knew exactly what a big deal this was, and there was no way I could ever begin to show just how amazingly touched and honoured I was and still am.

I have cried a few more times today.

Thank you everyone for your kindness and allowing me to do what I do. I may not always get things right, but that so many people recognise my love and passion for this community, one that has given me so much joy over the years, well, I just wish you could all see into my mind for just a moment, to see just how deeply moved and honoured I am.

I shall do my best to continue to be thought worthy of this in the future.

Thank you.

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dalekboy: (woohoo naked dancing)
( Mar. 23rd, 2008 06:30 pm)
It's been good for all the reasons Swancon is usually good - loads of people turning up wanting to have a good time. Personal highlights for me have been getting to meet Robert Shearman again, finally getting to have good conversations with Kendra and Shasta (who I would dearly like to work on something - costume, panel, act, etc. - with), catching up with Sean, Mitch, Mondy, and generally partying like mad.

That's been one thing. The train trip over was handled the way I thought I'd have to be handling the con, and indeed, it's been the way I have had to handle other cons, 1-3 hours out at events, panels and chatting to people, the rest of the time resting in my room.

Except I seem to have had one of my exceptional periods, where I'm suddenly capable of running around a lot, partying, and generally like my old self. I've partied late every night, done big panels and events like the auction and masquerade, and I'm still going strong. I'm actually surprised and not a little bit stunned by how well I'm doing. I'm in lots of pain, but my balance is good, which makes life so much easier. I fully expect to crash and burn at any time, but hey, the con's nearly over, so it doesn't matter. It's the first con since the stroke where I haven't felt like I was wasting money because I got to see/do so little.

Photos soon-ish.
dalekboy: (travel)
( Mar. 11th, 2008 01:24 pm)
Well, by this time in a week, Sharon and I will be in Perth having gotten there by train! So a big thank you to all you folks that put in the money for my 40th birthday pressie, organised by the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] rendragon.

Naturally I will be taking many photos to share with you all. It's going to be weird, I'll be going through one particular part on the train that I've never driven through, but I did pilot the plane over on the way back from Maralinga!

Won't be taking the car for various reasons, so will be getting public, taxi's, and waylaying friends for lifts around Perth this time around. I suspect that I'm going to be reminded of why I like having my car with me :)
Been working my way through the first Hartnell season of Doctor Who, in preparation for Swancon. I'm writing mini-reviews of each episode as I go, which will make their way up here at some point, but just had to pause and say that the first episode of Marco Polo blew my socks off all over again.

Steady pace, great characterisation on all the cast, not just regulars or the guests. But both Mark Eden (Polo) and Hartnell deserve special mentions for great performances. Says a lot that I enjoy the story so much with just audio, script, and telesnaps.

Also watched Nigel Kneale's The Stone Tape today, which was also pretty darned cool. The characters were three-dimensional and well realised, and the story was slow but steady. And at times really creepy. Easy to see how it helped inspire Spielberg and Hooper on Poltergeist, and Carpenter on Prince of Darkness (though Kneale thought that film rubbish).
I've been busy! I've put together lots of cheap bookcases, been sorting the vids and DVDs, rearranging the books, going through my stock, and watching stuff. Cut for far too much on my videos and DVDs... )

In other, non-DVD news, Sharon and I are selling the Noble Park property. So Richard will be moving to our South Oakleigh house, and then, after a clean-up, NP will be on the market. That will allow us to get rid of our mortgage and give us some money left over towards a deposit on a house in Canberra. We'll probably keep renting for another year or two, unless an ideal house with a great price presents itself in the meantime.

Will be sad to sell NP, but after a year here it's highly unlikely we would choose to move back to Melbourne. Forgetting the sheer size of the place, the huge lump of grey-brown smog on the horizon that I see for an hour or so before I hit the outskirts helps put me off.

Shaz and I have our train tickets to Swancon, so that will be an adventure! I haven't figured out my plane ticket back yet, but will definitely be training over, so thank you to all of you who contributed towards my 40th Birthday pressie. There will be piccies a plenty to show you on this very journal :)


dalekboy: (Default)


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