Preface: As we shelter-in-place to weather the spread of Covid-19, I was reminded of our family’s tragic history with a different type of outbreak, back in the 1920s. Your first thought might be the Spanish Flu, but that pandemic had largely passed by the time this happened.
This morning I had a conversation with my mom and my Aunt Dee about their Aunt Mamie, who died before either of them was born. The story that was passed down to them is that Aunt Mamie’s husband William had died from an illness that was passing through that region of South Georgia, in the summer of 1921.
Several years later Aunt Mamie pulled an old rug out of storage and took it outside and beat the dust out of it before setting it up in their front room. The rug had previously been in the old house that her husband William had died in. Not long after, Mamie took ill and died from the same illness in November of 1924 – more than 3 years after her husband.
I saw a few people posting a chain letter around Facebook designed to memorialize today for them to find again in the future. It was pretty good, but it was terse and general. I decided to make a custom version for my blog. So here goes.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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’.
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
In December I spent about 5 days up in the north San Francisco Bay area, up around Tiburon. I got some great shots.
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.
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.
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.
the video. Scroll down for my “making of” notes.
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.