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Archive for May, 2014

Of May Updates and Comic Con

May 29, 2014 1 comment

Hello, my dear readers (and new readers!).

Sadly, last month, I was not able to finish the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. I kept going, and managed to get some posts up for the last few letters except for Z, but ultimately, life got in the way. I wanted to end the challenge with a bang, and write a post called “Zero-Point Energy Generators and Other Internet Malarkey,” but a person I am very fond of visited me and my priorities changed.

The challenge was very fun, though, and it was a challenge to keep thinking of new ideas to write. I’m not really the kind of person that can keep writing a daily blog like that without succumbing to some kind of fatigue or dissatisfaction at the quality of the writing. Indeed, the hardest part of the challenge was, for me, hitting the publish button on a post that I put together in haste to get one out for the day.

I will still, at some point, be writing that post about zero-point energy generators. I also have plans to add a new page for book reviews that I want to start writing. Most of them will be for books that I find for Kindle on amazon.com by independent authors. I have recently discovered that world and, honestly, I am rather impressed by it. Some of the writing is not very good, but the stories usually make up for that. But I’ll write more about that later.

My fiction blog, Fictional Heuristics, has languished since March. Part of the reason is because April was a busy month, and the A-to-Z Challenge took priority. A large part of the reason is because I have been trying to run a campaign for State Representative. I have written previously about a survey I got from Americans for Prosperity, and since then, I have done much more work and have taken other surveys. As the summer really gets started I will be busy campaigning and learning more about this process. I have to be honest that it’s been very eye-opening. There are more groups working to lobby elected officials than I had realized, and each of them wields a great deal of power. It’s frankly rather worrisome, and I’m concerned about the state of our democracy.

In the interest of keeping things separated and organized, I have started another blog for my campaign, in which I have reblogged the post about the AFP survey with a small update. It’s pretty simple, and it’s called “Josh Derke for State Representative.” It’s a work in progress (and I haven’t had much time to work on it yet) so it doesn’t have a lot of content.

I’ve also got a Facebook page for my campaign (which is also a work in progress) that can be found here.

Anyway, the most interesting bit of news was that I attended the Motor City Comic Con. And, honestly, it was great! I got to meet William Shatner, who was a kind, warm person. I don’t know why, but I didn’t expect that. His panel was really neat as well, and he had some pretty great stories. He did kind of butcher science when he talked about the fact that we don’t really know anything about the universe, but his central point was, I would think, dead on: that we don’t really know what’s out there and we’re driven to discover.

So let’s get out there! (Preferably on the Enterprise.)

Anastasia wore a blue crew uniform from the original Star Trek with braids that show a rank of Commander. She got her model Enterprise signed by William Shatner. Source: The Detroit News

Shatner talked about a bit of the wisdom he’s learned about why cons are so popular: these stories we celebrate, from Doctor Who to Star Trek to Lord of the Rings (and all of the other shows that are too numerous to name) are our modern myths. I think that’s a very important observation.

We get together to explore our common ethos, and share our common myths. We revel in the stories and the heroes. The Doctor is a modern Odysseus on his own odyssey, as is James T. Kirk. And there’s something in this that speaks to something that all of humanity has in common: our use of stories to tell us about ourselves. So, at comic con, we get together to share these stories which we love with other people who love them. We meet the actors who are the heroes. We get their signatures and we take pictures with them because we make them part of us–part of our own stories. And, in this way, we become a part of the modern epics we celebrate.

John Barrowman was also a hoot, and his guest panel was hilarious. But you don’t have to take my word for it:

The thing I like about John Barrowman is that he doesn’t just shoo you through a line. He takes the time. He talks to you. He shook my hand (and I might have swooned a bit). He’s the kind of person that actually, genuinely cares about his fans and I find that so refreshing.

John Barrowman got up to dance with Katie Cassidy

John Barrowman got up to dance with Katie Cassidy

One of the things I really like about going to comic con is that I just love to see all of the passion of the people who attend. It’s great to talk to people, laugh with them, recount our favorite moments in Star Trek and Doctor Who. There were many cool costumes (and I took some pictures, but not nearly enough because I’m bad at that kind of thing) and a lot of cool displays.

These are droids from Star Wars, obviously, because LOOK! R2-D2! Some of them were built by http://www.astromech.net/

These are droids from Star Wars, obviously, because LOOK! R2-D2!
Some of them were built by http://www.astromech.net/

I thought that this guy had a really cool costume and I actually had the presence of mind to take a picture.

I thought that this guy had a really cool costume and I actually had the presence of mind to take a picture.

This is the uniform worn by Katee Sackhoff in Battlestar Galactica.

This is the uniform worn by Katee Sackhoff in Battlestar Galactica.

It even made noises!

It even made noises!

Come on, this is just cool.

Come on, this is just cool.

Bounty hunter, or baby sitter? That's for you to decide.

Bounty hunter, or baby sitter? That’s for you to decide.

The Mandalorian Mercs are a very cool group, as this picture shows. Find them at http://mercs.firespray.net/forum/index.php

The Mandalorian Mercs are a very cool group, as this picture shows. Find them at http://mercs.firespray.net/forum/index.php

And, finally, what kind of Con would it be without the 501st Legion?

Aptly named "Vader's Fist" in Star Wars, this group is pretty serious, both in warfare an in costuming. Very cool. http://www.501st.com/

Aptly named “Vader’s Fist” in Star Wars, this group is pretty serious, both in warfare an in costuming. Very cool.
http://www.501st.com/

Anyway, that’s it for tonight. I hope that I will be updating this blog more regularly again, but it’s summer and I have a million things to do. Plus, you know, summer. It’s actually nice and not cold outside. I keep hoping that my allergies won’t be bad this year and I can actually enjoy the outdoors, but maybe that’s a fool’s hope.

Thanks for stopping by!