Lesson of Joe: Leaping Before You Look

Tonight I was reminded of a lesson my friend Joe Connolly taught me back when he was Propmaster of the long-forgotten Aaron Spelling series “Savannah”. That fabulous, opulent saga of murder and intrigue by the rich and powerful was actually being produced out of the drafty old storefront of a disused lumber yard more than half an hour north of Atlanta’s state capital . It was so far out of the way that I sometimes wondered if the owner (referred to by some as “Secret Squirrel”) was actually paying Aaron Spelling Continue reading Lesson of Joe: Leaping Before You Look

Revolutionary Retro-Illumination Guide #1

5 Lights Living Room Dining Room Perforated Metal Lampshade Ceiling Light

With the arrival of functional, mainstream LED lighting I think a lot of us have become fascinated with the new range of illumination solutions. More than once I have found myself stuck on the lighting aisle of my local home repair store, mesmerized by all the options. Back in 2016 I had my first close encounter with retro LED lightbulbs at a hipster lighting store in Continue reading Revolutionary Retro-Illumination Guide #1

Google Stops Chasing Waterfalls

Google Maps is bad at naming rivers

At some point it seems that Google Maps stopped chasing waterfalls and in the process stopped sticking to the rivers and lakes (and streams) that they’re used to and pretty much gave up on naming a variety of watercourses. You’ll never guess where I had to turn to to get the information that Google couldn’t supply. Continue reading Google Stops Chasing Waterfalls

20 Years of Cosplay Trends at Dragon Con

A graph showing the popularity of costuming groups at Dragon Con from 1997 to 2017

While writing my post What Happened to Klingon Cosplay? I went off on a bit of a tangent on the rise and fall of various cosplay groups as seen at Dragon Con. I decided that this attempt at recording our collective nerd history was so interesting that it deserved its own post.

Star Trek peaked in the 80s and 90s and had entered into its decline by the early 2000s, with Star Wars easily shouldering past to take the lead by the time the new films began to hit. The Lord of the Rings trilogy gave quite a chase and was wildly (wildly) popular, but the much younger Harry Potter series blew past them both to Continue reading 20 Years of Cosplay Trends at Dragon Con

What Happened to Klingon Cosplay?

T'Kuvma, a "new" style Klingon and the first villain of Star Trek Discovery

A dispute about the new Star Trek show Discovery has recently bubbled up online, with several of my younger adult friends stomping their feet, gnashing their teeth, and waggling their tiny fists in the air in an expression of their dislike for the new series. Their complaints range from a repudiation of the darker, more warlike tone of the new series to the fact that CBS has elected to stick the first Star Trek series to air in 12 years behind an ill-advised pay wall in a bid to emulate HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Perhaps the most audacious, unforgivable thing they feel has been done with this new show is the reinvention of the Klingon race (using archival Trek material). It’s almost (but not entirely unlike) the way that Gene Roddenberry allowed makeup artist Fred Phillips to depict the Klingons in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (STTMP), based on drawings by costume designer Robert Fletcher. Turns out that depicting the Klingons has been a bit of Continue reading What Happened to Klingon Cosplay?

BeltLine Creator Launching Post-Apocalyptic Pub “Aftercar” in Atlanta

2017 Wasteland Weekend Cards and Drinks Photo by Thomas Kerns

A few weeks ago my photographer friend Thomas Kerns returned from the end of the world with his camera bursting with images from Wasteland Weekend, the world’s largest full-immersion post-apocalyptic festival. As I was looking through photos of people living the Mad Max Fury Road experience, I was reminded of an obscure posting I’d read earlier in the summer: the visionary who dreamed up the Atlanta BeltLine was going to launch a post-apoc Continue reading BeltLine Creator Launching Post-Apocalyptic Pub “Aftercar” in Atlanta

The Funeral Service of JL Parker

Miss Cindy's famous Blue Truck.

This past Saturday morning we met down near Forsyth, Georgia, to celebrate the life of JL Parker, who passed on September 27th, 2017. I have written down my memories of the funeral services for those who could not be there, and for posterity.

 

An Unexpected Surprise

As I exited the highway I noticed that my car’s low fuel indicator had come on during the drive down to the funeral. I couldn’t help but think back to a time when JL’s crew had kindly filled my tank on one of those occasions when I was young and dumb and had coasted on fumes to set.

As I coasted down the final quarter mile to the church on Saturday I was surprised to see a big tractor trailer rig emblazoned with the TEAMSTERS logo. It was an impressive honor from the union that JL had belonged to for so much of his career in the motion picture industry.

And then, as I began to turn into the driveway, I saw the Blue Truck. Continue reading The Funeral Service of JL Parker

A Middle-Ager’s Guide to Riding Rollercoasters at Six Flags

The rollercoaster Goliath towering over the trees at the entrance to Six Flags Over Georgia

This weekend our movie industry union picked up the tab for a “family day” at Six Flags and several thousand members took advantage of the opportunity. We got to have the park to ourselves before regular park hours began, which meant that lines were practically Continue reading A Middle-Ager’s Guide to Riding Rollercoasters at Six Flags

Dragon Con Turns 31 – Is It Too Big Now?

This aging dragon has certainly grown!

Just look at that graph!

It’s based on data I found on a Dragon Con wiki, which explains that its data was collected from snapshots of the Dragon Con website as preserved on the Internet Archives. I also used numbers from the Wikipedia article on Dragon Con to fill in the graph. Attendance figures for some years differ from those listed in the history section of the current version of the Dragon Con website, but I believe these numbers are close enough to deliver a good approximation of the growth this convention has experienced over the past 31 years. Continue reading Dragon Con Turns 31 – Is It Too Big Now?

How to Turn Off Automatic Sound on Facebook Videos

Did you recently receive this rather helpful message from Facebook’s mobile app?

“We’re always working to make Facebook a better place to watch videos. That’s why videos now play with sound on automatically. Use the volume icon on any video to make the sound right for you.”

Well it popped up on my screen and I sure do wish that I had clicked on that “Learn More” button because it might have spared me from what started happening about 4 days later: every freaking video I scrolled across began Continue reading How to Turn Off Automatic Sound on Facebook Videos