Life Before Plague

RELAX.

When I was a kid I had my tonsils removed. It was a pretty awful experience because surgery in the 70s was less refined, so the first few days of recovery were miserable. Plus, the hospital folks lied to me about getting to eat as much ice cream as I wanted after the operation. It wasn’t ice cream at all! It was banana-flavored popsicles, and they only had a few.

But the worst thing about the experience was the long recovery at home, because the television commercials taunted me with delicious pizzas and burgers and steaks that I was weeks away from being able to eat.

That’s kind of what it’s been like for the past few days with all these wonderful old commercials depicting Life Before Plague; images of a fallen world where zany things happened to entire families at restaurants filled with singing animals.

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Rare 1980s Sci-Fi Con Documentary

Note: I never imagined I would be posting TWO “rare sci-fi convention” videos within weeks of each other, but here we are! So here’s the story…

In the fall of 2019 I mentioned to my friend Whit Norris that I was planning a side project to save some of my old home videos from VHS to digital format. Of special interest was the preservation of footage from of one of Atlanta’s two PBS affiliates, WGTV Channel 8, at the science fiction convention Dixie Trek back in the mid-1980s (here’s where I uploaded that other footage).

As Whit understood what I intended to do his eyes lit up and he said “I have a tape that you need to see. We shot video at some conventions back in the 80s.”

Keep reading to learn more about this star-studded vintage video…

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Rare 1980s Sci-Fi Con Footage

Note: this resided in my VHS collection for 33 years before I finally transferred it into a digital format in December of 2019. I am tremendously happy to share it with the world today and am hoping that people will share the video to wax nostalgic about Atlanta’s con 1980s con scene.

As far as I can tell this is the only “full” version of GPTV’s DixieTrek footage on YouTube. Two other YouTubers have uploaded segments from this broadcast, with much better video and audio quality. Sadly, we did not have cable television so my footage was captured using an over-the-air antenna.

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My Game of Thrones Ending

This post covers what I expected for the Game of Thrones Ending and was written between airings of episodes 3 and 4 of Game of Thrones, Season 8. We just watched the Battle of Winterfell three days ago and I’m completely aware that what I’m doing is Monday morning quarterbacking, but it’s just for fun, so please read it with that in mind :)

Well we have three episodes left to go in the final season of Game of Thrones. Three nights ago the world watched the Battle of Winterfell unfold and I dare say that many of us were astonished to see the Night King’s army shattered – the long-heralded Winter was apparently just a one night stand.

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Social Media Life Raft

Our journey down this social media river together has been so wonderful and interesting and challenging and… it started off like a big rafting party, and when all our energy was spent we just took in the scenery, but now that we’ve been drifting down this river with each other for so long we have started to realize that we’re all on a stupid LIFE RAFT together, just trying to SURVIVE. We’ve floated past trillions of memes and funny videos and we now FINALLY realize that ANYTHING can be mashed up into ANYTHING ELSE and now we’re just trying to preserve our drinking water so we don’t have to start drinking each others’ digital pee and the people we used to LOVE seeing post funny stuff have jumped over the side of the life raft and are now hanging onto that little rope that runs around the side of the raft and are judging whether they have the strength to swim to shore and JUST ONE MORE tiresome homemade April Fool’s joke by one of the people on the raft indicating that they plan on getting married to a sewing machine or whatever will convince the people in the water to say “screw it” and let go of the rope, never to receive digital karma again.

Sue Ransom was a Bad Ass

Tonight our friend Dawn Turner shared the sad news that our friend Ransom had lost her battle with cancer. Her first name was Susan, and I occasionally remember her being called Sue Ransom, but we only EVER called her “Ransom”.

She was cool as shit and we always got along really well. When we worked on an episodic back in the 1990s she and I would often tag up after lunch to talk, sitting in the dark on set Continue reading Sue Ransom was a Bad Ass

Review of AnachroCon 2019

On Friday I drove over to the airport Hilton near Hartsfield-Jackson to purchase a weekend pass to AnachroCon (www.anachrocon.org), a small historical fiction convention held in the Atlanta metro area every year since 2009. 

An Outsider’s History of AnachroCon

AnachroCon was launched around the time that the Steampunk Movement hit (around 2009 to 2012), and like most cons it enjoyed its moment in the spotlight.

For more on trends in fandom read ‘20 Years of Cosplay Trends at Dragon Con’.

October 2017

From the outset, the convention’s stated focus was “steampunk, historical reenactment, time travel, and other related genres” – but still, it’s no secret there was always a very special love for Steampunk.

I’ve probably attended 4 or 5 AnachroCons – my bona fides in Steampunk were established back in 2007 when I assisted the infamous space pirate Captain Drew with the design, production, and promotion of Continue reading Review of AnachroCon 2019

A Day in San Francisco

In December I spent about 5 days up in the north San Francisco Bay area, up around Tiburon. I got some great shots.

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Safe harbor. . . #tiburon

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My favorite part of the trip was a walk I made up to Old St. Hilary’s Chapel, a former Catholic church overlooking Tiburon and the bay below.

Here’s a short I made of the chapel.

Breakfast in San Francisco

On my last day in the Bay Area I decided to travel around San Francisco proper, taking in some new experiences. I first grabbed a decent east coast style breakfast at Hollywood Café just down from where I had stayed at Hotel Zoe, a decent enough place to stay if you find yourself down at Fisherman’s Wharf.

After breakfast I stumbled onto the Powell/Mason Cable Car turnaround and decided to purchase a bus/trolley pass for the day (which would come in handy later).

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The Boxer Shorts Rebellion

The thing you JUST DON’T TELL PEOPLE is that you made a terrible mistake and bought five new pairs of boxers ONE SIZE TOO LARGE and that today’s AWESOME LOOKING BLUE MADRAS boxers have been slipping WAY DOWN INSIDE of your britches, trying to slide DOWN TO YOUR KNEES through two different pants legs, which just means that they are BUNCHING UP AT YOUR CROTCH in a most unusual manner.

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Making the Denim Arcade Demo Reel

More than a year ago my friends John, Andy, Wade, and Becky discussed getting me to work with them on a promo video for their 80s tribute band Denim Arcade (denimarcade.com).  In early 2018 they secured studio time to record a medley of 4 songs representing the range of styles they play.

Here’s the video. Scroll down for my “making of” notes.

Released at Midnight at the beginning of 2019

Footage Challenges

The (seemingly simple) concept for the video was to give bar owners the feel of a live Denim Arcade show. But my edit was hamstrung by the fragmentary nature of footage collection.

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