Archive for August, 2008

Shopping for Zombies

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Earlier this evening I received information about a new horror con called the “Zombie Fest.” Horror’s not my personal genre of choice (though I certainly won’t dispute its popularity), but this one caught my attention a bit more than usual.

The Zombie Fest is taking place in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, about 20 minutes from where I grew up. Most shows in Monroeville take place at the Expo Mart, but this one’s taking place in Monroeville Mall.

That’s an unusual location for a convention, though it’s certainly appropriate in this case. Back in the winter of 1976, George Romero filmed Dawn of the Dead there. (The plot summary on IMDB refers to the mall as “secluded.” It didn’t seem that way to me growing up, and much so less now the area has been even more built up.)

Off the top of my head, I’m not aware of any other conventions taking place in shopping malls. I just wish the ice rink was still there.

Free Stuff!

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Offer ended for now.

This could probably be interpreted as a cheap tactic to draw your attention to the blog portion of the site and that’s not an interpretation I’ll fight all that strenuously. But the main reason for the banner ad and this post is that I’m working on getting rid of some clutter and some of the stuff I no longer want/need might be something other fen would enjoy having.

Just to be clear, what I’m talking about here is mainly some movie posters and some fannish bumper stickers, maybe a few books. The Dax action figured that was autographed by Terry Farrell is staying with me. (I didn’t get to keep Terry Farrell herself, but I’ll at least hold on to the action figure.)

So how does this work?

Essentially, it’s going to be something of a grab bag. Drop me a line with your name and mailing address (sorry, it has to be either US or an APO/FPO) and I’ll send you a bumper sticker, poster, or whatnot. (Sorry, I can’t be more specific or handle special requests.)

Privacy stuff

I’ll send you an item and that’s it! Unless you write back and strike up a conversation, that’ll be the end of it. I won’t be adding you to any mailing lists and certainly won’t be giving/selling your information to any third parties. (Obviously if I’m required to divulge your information to law enforcement, I’ll have to. So please don’t be that sort of person, OK?)

Other stuff

Please, just one request per household, the offer ends when I decide it’s costing me too much in postage, when I run out of stuff I want to get rid of, or when I otherwise decide to end it. You understand.

Fine Print

Offer void where prohibited. Professional driver on a closed course, do not attempt these maneuvers. Dramatization. Professional assembly recommended. Some cars not for use with all sets.

Going non-Postal

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

Ever since I started this convention list (would you believe it’s been nearly 10 years?) I’ve been reluctant to include events which didn’t have postal contact information.

A good deal of it was pragmatic, when I first started the list, it was for publication in a club’s newsletter. The organization claimed to have around 4,000 members, and at the time (10 years ago) it seemed pretty likely that a number of them wouldn’t have internet access and therefore wouldn’t have much use for convention information that didn’t include a postal address.

Things have changed since then. Internet access is common and an increasing number of conventions (particularly anime and gaming events) have chosen to forgo postal points of contact in favor of online registration and email for questions.

So as of today, the convention listings now include events which don’t have a postal point of contact. Those events won’t be included in the syndicated copies of the list, but in general this will make more information more easily accessible and it’s hard to see that as a bad idea.

What do you think? Is this an overdue adaptation to the way cons are run? Or does it open the door for problems?

Comment is invited. In the comment section below, on the Conventio.ning site, or if you’d prefer to talk privately, through the feedback page.

Who’s in charge?

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

Thanks to my NetFlix subscription, I’m finally caught up with Battlestar Galatactica though the end of Season Four. Starbuck has seemingly returned from the dead, Baltar’s trial has ended and four of the “Final Five” cylon models have been revealed. That last is particularly interesting since it seems as though they’ve all decided to stand with their human friends.

I’ve already had the misfortune of overhearing someone talking about the identity of model 12 and seeing as how this is the show’s final season anyhow, it’s going to be difficult to avoid hearing any more details, so I think I’ll be following this final season via SciFi’s episode streams.

One thing I find interesting though (and if you haven’t watched Season Four yet, this would be a good time to visit another part of the site) is the identity of the fleet’s president.

At the time of the Exodus from New Caprica, Baltar was the legal President, but was presumed dead or captured. Tom Zarek assumed the presidency, named Laura Roslin as his Vice President, and then stepped down in order that she could be President in return for being named as her Vice President.

When Baltar was captured along with the model 6 known as Caprica, he was charged with treason and put on trial. But (and here’s the part where if you haven’t seen the end of Season Four, you really might want to consider visiting another part of the site) thanks to Apollo’s moving speech, Baltar was acquitted. He’s now a free man.

So here’s the thing, Baltar was acquitted. The tribunal found him not guilty. Tom Zarek was only made President because of Baltar’s assumed death/capture. So Baltar’s not dead, he’s “escaped” from captivity, and he’s been cleared of all charges.

So shouldn’t Baltar be returned to the Presidency? (Acting President Roslin would then be returned to the Vice Presidental role she took over from Tom Zarek.)

Did Zarek’s accession to the presidency mean he was replacing Baltar? Or was he only an acting President? Sounds like an opening for more intrigue. 🙂