Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chattanooga Times Free Press Article Thank you!

It all started innocently.  My friend came to see my collection that had been on display for some time.  Of course I underestimated him.  He thought more people should see this collection.  So he told people.  The only problem is that those people worked for new papers and radio shows etc. . . I quickly began getting calls and since then I have spent some time speaking with some people at some news papers.  

Today the first article ran, and I am humbled my the response I have gotten from it.  So thank you for all of the support You all have given me, and also thank you to the reporters and photographers who did such a good job writing and portraying this hobby that so many people enjoy.  The article could have easily took a negative slant on things, but instead it as made to be a plausible pop culture aspect.  So thank you to every one involved.

You can check out the article here!  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tour De Nerdfighting!

I love the Internet.  I love what it can do.  I love that independent creators can create content and grow that content.  That meaningful communities can develop among these personalities.  This weekend I was able to go to the "Tour de Nerdfighting" stop in Decatur Ga.  at Agnes Scott College, and participate in one of these communities

Nerdfigteria is the community that developed around Hank and John Green, who, on youtube are know as the Vlogbrothers.  Nerdfighteria has raised thousands of dollars for for needs worldwide.  They encourage people to be themselves.  Out of their community so many creative content makers have evolved.  

At face value The Tour De Nerdfighting 2012 is really John Green’s book tour for his newest release “The Fault in our Stars.”  Of course on the inside it is so much more.  Both vlogbrothers have gotten on a bus and  are touring the country with a show that is fantastic.  You get to hear john read from his books, you get to ask questions, You get to hear Hank play songs and even see some of the shticks like “Hank Sock,” But just as importantly you get to interact with the community.  The Nerdfighters are a ravenous group of people who follow hank and John Green and make up the aforementioned nerdfighteria.  The community is interesting in that every one is a friend regardless if you have met before or not.  going to a nerdfighter event is surreal in a way.  Every one greeting one another with the Nerdfighter Creed “DFTBA” (Don’t forget to be awesome.)  

Of course on this tour you also have the chance to take part in that nerdfighter giving by donating to the “This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation” which is a charity that helps families of terminally ill children.  This is such an important part of the community.  This community is why the internet is so important.  This is the good that the internet can do!  It can bring like minded people with no voice together into one semi organized community.  It is an amazing place.

so as They say in Nerdfighteria “Don’t forget to be Awesome!”     

Here are some pictures of the event.  Not great quality, but Its from an Iphone  from the balcony!


Hank Sock introducing John Green 

John and Hank

John Reading

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Discovering Yourself in "Paper Towns"

In preparation for John Green’s new book, “A Fault in Our Stars” , which comes out today, I have listened to “Paper Towns” on audio.  John Green has a flair for describing high school.  His imagery put be back 12 years to those heady days of sitting outside band rooms and making out in mini vans.  Paper Towns is a great example of how well he understands the Psyche of the high school senior.

“Paper Towns” pulls you into a world of high school ignorance, where kids are learning to be themselves.  Some of them only want the thrill having a girl friend while others are spending their time cheating on their current girlfriend in favor of a new one.  this may be teen fiction but John Green pulls no punches with what it is like to be a teenager.

The real thing that “Paper Towns” does is insight a feeling of discovery for the reader.  A discovery of ones self.  A feeling that there is more to ones self.  This is what Margo alludes to, and what our narrator  Quinton finds he is looking for too.  They try to discover themselves.

this book transports me back to high school.  I liked being invisible to some extent back then.  I had a posse of friends that were self proclaimed nerds and most of us were in band at one time or another.  We believed in one thing in those heady days, and that was each other.  That friendship was the most important thing.  And the adventures that Quinton and his friends had in this books strikes a chord with me.

If your looking for something to read that may be a little different than you are used to, give “Paper Towns” a look or any other John Green book a read.  If you are old like me and want to remember those heady teenage years take a look!  Its worth your time!     

In the mean time listen to John Green read from the pro log of the book:

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Coming of 5th edition

The last few years have been rough for the Dungeons and Dragons franchise. Already Diminishing sales in the RPG industry was one thing, but then to end up with a majorly fractured fan base that hurt. Dungeons and Dragons has been filled with controversy ever sense the 4th edition of the role playing game came out. It was a major change for the game. It was a major mechanical over haul and rethinking. In my opinion this wasn’t a bad idea, the problem is that they were dealing with a fan base that does not like change. So when they changed the system considerably products like Pathfinder filled the niche of players who did not want to change. This left fans split. Not only Fans but groups.

It was interesting that last year (2011) Mike Mearls announced that Monte Cook would be coming back to Wizards of the Coast to work on the Legends and Lore column. Monte, of course, was one of the designers of D&D 3rd edition and left wizards several years ago. In his columns he talked about the past present and future of the D&D game. Many fans became suspicious of this move. It seemed strange. there were murmurings in the fan community of something happening.

Today on January 9, 2011 Mike Mearls announced the coming of 5th edition less than four years after the release of 4th edition. It looks as though they want to take fan feedback into consideration, They are starting a massive play test project where players can get involved. They can suggest rules. It is a very different approach that has been used with the property for the last 40 years, where fans can participate in the creation of something new. It will be interesting to see the product that emerges.

Now for some friendly speculating and personal thoughts. I think there is a chance for another major fan backlash, but there is also a chance to develop something new that will appeal to all of the fan factions. If it were me, I would stick with the lower price point books like the ones they put out in the essential line. I liked the look and feel of this. also I think they should look at a very good intro product, more closely resembling the Pathfinder beginner box than anything to come out from D&D in the last 10 or so years. This will be a coo for them. I have a feeling they will go this direction though. I also think we will see a real “looking back“ feel , with the 40th anniversary of the property just around the corner.

One thing is for sure, it is going to be a fun couple of years watching, and perhaps participating in the evolution of this new 5th edition.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rewatching Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future

A few weeks ago I picked up the Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future DVD box set.  Mainly for a little nostalgia, but also to fill some holes in my 80s cartoons and children show collection.  I remember Captain power being a very hyped so so live action and CG affair that was essentially another 30 minute long toy commercial.  I went in to watching it with the idea that it was going to be a little hokie.  It was, BUT it worked, and the elements that were good were really good.

When you begin watching this your eyes make their way to the top gun haircuts and the overuse of rock quarries, but as you get into it you see a very ambitious show with good writing and really some state of the art special effects.  A lot of the effects were used for the first time in this show.  CG characters shared the screen with live actions characters.  This was one of the first TV shows to do this!  So in a way it was cutting edge.  

There was another cutting edge technology that made this show stand out.  As I said earlier this was meant to be a product to help promote a toy line of the same name.  The toys were about the same size of the GI Joes of the time with similar articulation.  Nothing real speacial in with he figures, but some of the other items WERE special.  These toys interacted with the TV show.  Within the program there are characters and vehicles with large computer generated lights on them.  these colorful lights would bounce a signal back to the toy and the child could be in the firefights along with the heroes, and the toy would keep score.  This was the big marketing gemic of the show.  Children would get the toy and then watch the show to play!  Genius really.

The show had some well known names attached to it as well.  Garry Goddard had worked with Mattel previously as the director of the Masters of the universe movie.  Actually there was a similar feel between the two shows.  Also J. Michael Straczynski wrote for the program.  He was already a well known name in children shows, and was establishing himself as a great chi-fi author as well.

As I watched the show I took notice of the costumes.  I remember as a child being pulled in by the (literally) shiny costumes that the heroes wore, and the bionic costumes of the bad guys.  Seeing them again I have a greater appreciation for these costumes.  They are well done and really are the heart of the show.  If you can get past the Power Rangers esque way the costumes appear for the heroes you’ll really enjoy them.

The show was gritty and was strangely character driven.  Digging into the pasts of many of the heroes.  While doing this they introduced people from their past, weaving an intricate story of the what happened to lead up to this point.  A very good portrait is painted as to what happened in the “Metal Wars.”  The characters we meet are all very real.

I recommend you taking a look at this cult show regardless if you are an 80s media fan or a sci-fi fan it is worth the look.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Clearing out my life

For me cleaning a room has always been an adventure. As a kid I would go in to clean my room and I rarely ever finished because I would find something that took my mind away from the task at hand. My mind would flutter off with a toy that I forgot I had or a comic book that I never finished reading. ADD can be given a lot of the credit for this!

This is something that still haunts me though, rooms full of my life often get cluttered and I am the only one that can go in. But I get lost. Of course, when I am successful I come out better for it. I begin to be productive again. I find a lot that I realize I don’t need anyway and am able to give it to people that would use it or I can try to get rid of it. and I also find some jewels that got lost between the cracks. Those are the best part of cleaning up.

I am currently writing this from a desk that 3 days ago I couldn't really access, so, I would say my most recent venture had been a success. I say all of this now on the second day of 2012 to say that a goal is to be more productive with projects such as video blogs and this blog. Every year for the past three years I have made some kind of goal and I have failed at my specific goal. This year I am not creating a specific goal, but instead a general “DO more”. Hopefully this cleaning and decluttering myself is a first step in this. I am taking a proactive stance at it this time.

So no more promises of “I’ll post about this soon” instead I am just going to do it. I am starting on this day and hopefully I will force myself to be more productive simply by being more productive. We’ll see how it works out.

Here’s to everyone’s new ventures in 2012!