My Dragon*Con Schedule

Here are the things I’ll be doing at the upcoming Dragon*Con convention. I’m trying to get things together and have created Facebook events for them. I’m doing one live taping of Reality Break and then two of the three other panels are ones I suggested and am moderating. That’s a little heavier responsibility load in terms of making the wheels go so I’m trying to get it together up front. For those 98% of you already on Facebook, feel free to RSVP via the events and spread them around, especially to your Dragon*Con goer friends.

Podcasting Track Kick Off!

Friday, September 4 at 1 PM, Hilton 204

Panelists: Dave Slusher, Scott Sigler, Len Peralta, Veronica Belmont, George Hrab and moderated by Swoopy

Join some of your favorite podcasters as we take the temperature of the Podcasting world, and talk about some of our best moments of the past year.

Facebook Event for this panel


Podcasting Tips for Working Writers

Saturday, September 5 at 2:30 PM, Hilton 204

Panelists: Mur Lafferty, Dave Slusher, Michael Stackpole, Scott Sigler, Christiana Ellis, P.G. Holyfield

A discussion with authors and podcasters who have turned the art of the podcast novel into a formula for publishing success.   

Facebook Event for this panel


Reality Break – LIVE!

Sunday, September 6 at 10 PM, Hilton 204

Panelists: Dave Slusher, Keith R. A DeCandido

Come be in the audience for a live taping of the Reality Break podcast with author Keith R. A. DeCandido. He is currently the author of the Farscape comic books from Boom Studios. Keith has a bibliography longer than a yeti’s arm and there is a good chance than everyone at Dragon*Con has read something he has written.

Facebook Event for this panel   


Social Media Overload

Monday, September 7 at 1 PM, Hilton 204

Panelists: Dave Slusher (What? I’ll have to dragoon people to joine me if there are no others.)

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr – Are we still creating content or just floating along on the stream? Discuss the pros and cons of social networking as it pertains to podcasting.

Facebook Event for this panel

All in all, that’s a highly reasonable schedule. I’ve certainly done many more panels in a single convention. The biggest bummer about the way Dragon*Con is organized now is that there seems to be little or no overlap between programming tracks. I attended Dragon*Con as a science fiction guest every year from 1993 to 2000 and would love to be back on some of the SF panels again, but once I got slotted in as a Podcaster track guest that seemed to be it. I’m not a big enough fish to catch anyone’s attention across tracks, I guess. I’m just happy to be going and doing this one more time.

My Projects and Action Items from Balticon

I walked away from Balticon in May with a list of things to do. I had three primary ideas/ action items. I’ll lay them out as ideas. Anyone that wants to take these ideas and run with them, go for it. I’d much rather see them exist in the world than be a Dave ™ branded project that never happens.

1) Push the Creative Commons licensing of science fiction conventions events.

I’d like to see every discussion panel at the least be Creative Commons licensed , something like BY/NC/SA type. At Balticon, there were sessions getting recorded but it wasn’t every single one. It was pretty ad hoc. Thomas Gideon recorded and published one session we were on, but that wasn’t universal. There are panels I missed that I’d like to be able to hear. If the con can’t do it, I’d love to have an audience recording at the very least.

The discussions surrounding these are just stultifying. I went through it in 2006 when I recorded panels I was on at Orycon and I really got sick of negotiating with the panelists and crowd every single time. It’s a public event on the record in front of an audience. Make it CC licensed and let anyone do anything they want up to the limits of that license. Maybe authors doing readings would push back, as would filkers doing concerts and such. Let’s start somewhere and make every panel CC, please and we can work out the details of other forms of events later. Science Fiction cons with a heavy nerd liberty focus should take the lead on this and go for it.

2) Create an outreach program from podcasters to working published writers

This is actually happening now, taking the form of a panel at Dragon*Con. I hope it goes further and maybe becomes more formalized into things like workshops at the Nebula weekend or bigger SF cons, etc. Balticon had a big new media track and a big SF/fantasy literature track with a tiny amount of overlap between the two. It’s my belief that the two groups have an enormous amount to offer each other. The fiction podcasters have a tookit and new modes of interaction with ones work and ones audience to bear. Published working writers have access to the ways one can actually make money by writing. I’m sure that both groups would be stronger for interacting more and teaching each other what they know. I’d love to see higher professional standards in podcast fiction and more empowerment and ownership of the relationship with ones fans from the published writers.

For those who want to participate and shop up at this panel, I’ve created a Facebook event and am trying to turn the wall for that event into a psudeo-community to discuss the panel and the ideas behind it. Feel free to spread it around, particularly into communities of writers who might be attending Dragon*Con. I’m trying my damnedest to be of service to the writing community, so having writers participate is pretty much the minimum to make this work.

3) Digital Divide Bridging Widget

This came out of a conversation with Emil Volchek and is the one I cannot possibly do myself. I want to create a device that one can put in urban areas to bridge the digitial divide. The idea is that you have a box with an ethernet port, a wifi card and a low power FM transmitter. There would exist a basic web service that would allow one to configure and manage this device, which would have a unique account and periodically check in with the service. On the box would be a minimal podcatcher and a minimal MP3 player. The box would get files down, and play them out via the low power FM transmitter.

You can get fancier with this, like allowing for certain shows played at certain times, restreaming of other feeds when there isn’t already a scheduled show playing, playing the X newest files in a rotation, etc. In essence, this would be taking the power of podcasting and putting it back out in a low tech manner accessible to those without computers, without internet and without MP3 players. Practically everyone has access to an AM/FM radio of some form or another.

Imagine downtown in some city with municipal wifi. With a power source and a little height, you are done. With a little bit of management, you have a neighborhood FM station. Assuming that you have at least one person connected enough to manage the device, they could also do a local interest podcast and subscribe to their own show and rebroadcast it over the FM. It takes a lot of the power we talk about for the infotopia and puts it where it matters, to the people whose lives might be affected by this. It also allows for a counterbalance to the Clear Channelization of radio. As stations were bought up and homogenized, the amount of local relevance on the radio diminished. By doing this, you can create hyperlocal radio and push it out to your neighborhood. Rock on!

I don’t know what such a beast would cost, but I’d think with an Arduino and some off the shelf components, it could be in the low hundreds. Assume that the transmitter doesn’t need to reach more than say a 1 mile radius or even smaller and it might be feasible to do. Any hardware hackers out there who want to tackle this project?

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for July 26, 2009 – “The Alan Bean of Podcasting”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for July 26, 2009. I play a song by Wolf Parade; I play a sponsorship announcement from Bob’s Institute of Time Control; I talk about vacationing in the North Carolina mountains and trying to refocus on what is important; about enthusiasm for and history of new media as it waxes and wanes; I talk about conventions I have and will attend; once again I take a dump on podcasting awards and then play some angry lo-fi punk from Pissed Jeans to seal the deal. Take that!

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

A Heroes Con Publicity Offer to All

I’m going to attend Heroes Con in Charlotte in 2 weeks. I’m willing to make this offer to any podcaster or anyone with stuff to promote. Send me your flyers, stickers, postcards or whatever promotional material you have. I’ll take it to the convention and put it on the freebies table there. If there are any left over, I’ll take them to Dragon*Con in September and again, if there are leftovers I’ll take them to XCon Myrtle Beach in October. This offer will remain open until I get too much stuff to carry, if that ever happens.

If you are interested in having your stuff toted around, drop me an email to dslusher at gmail.com and I’ll hook you up with shipping information. The only thing I ask of people who want to take me up on this deal is to get going on it sooner than later. The two days before the con I’ll have plenty of my own details to deal with. I need to get everything I’m going to take with me in hand by Wednesday June 17th.

This whole deal is in honor of Kreg Steppe of Technorama, who last year was good enough to go to a Kinkos near the convention center, pick up my Reality Break flyers and then distribute them around. Thanks, Kreg. I’m just trying to spread that kind of love around.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for April 6, 2009 – “Starting is Easy, Finishing is Hard”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for April 6, 2009. I play a song from Glass Eye; I talk about CREATE South and Balticon and Dragon*Con, about organizing a conference and what we are trying to do with CREATE South in Myrtle Beach; I play a solo song by Kathy McCarty, talk about my Kindle and my social media timeout; I close out with another Glass Eye song.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for November 23, 2008 – “Indie Band Survival Guide – Part 2”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for November 23, 2008. I play songs by Beatnik Turtle and present the second half of an interview I recorded at Dragon*Con with Jason Feehan and Randy Chertkow about their book the Indie Band Survival Guide. “I Don’t Want to Work Today” is my favorite Beatnik Turtle song!

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for November 11, 2008 – “Indie Band Survival Guide – Part 1”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for November 11, 2008. I play songs by Beatnik Turtle and present the first half of an interview I recorded at Dragon*Con with Jason Feehan and Randy Chertkow about their book the Indie Band Survival Guide.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

New Reality Break Episode featuring Tobias S. Buckell

I’ve recently published the most recent episode of the Reality Break Podcast, and this one is an interview I particularly liked, my chat with hard science fiction author Tobias S. Buckell. We sat down in a bar in a noisy hotel lobby at Dragon*Con and it actually sounds pretty decent. I’ve certainly gotten much worse field recordings from science fiction conventions.

I got to work in a few of my perennial favorite topics like J. G. Ballard and the Strauss and Howe book Generations. We also talked a lot about things that were in his book too, like the tech of floating cities, the steampunk in space opera settings and the unspoken colonialist assumptions in American science fiction. As always, check it out and let me know what you think.

New Reality Break Episode: Mur Lafferty

For those of you who don’t subscribe to my other podcast project, this is just a heads up. My interview with podiobook favorite Mur Lafferty that we recorded at this year’s Dragon*con has been posted at the Reality Break podcast site. If you are one of her many fans, you should check it out. It has a lot of in depth discussion of her novel Playing For Keeps in specific and the philosophy behind superheroics in general. Friends, I wasted most of my teen years doing the background reading for this here interview. It has all built to this point, so you should listen and be a part of it.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 14, 2008 – “Dragon*Con Wrap Up”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for Septemer 14, 2008. I play a song from Abney Park; I talk about my Dragon*Con experience; I play a song from Doctor Horrible and then boogie my nerd self into the con suite. This is a long show, so be forewarned citizens of the podosphere.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Dragon*Con Wrapup Part 1

Here’s my wrapup of this year’s trip to Dragon*Con. This is probably about the latest I can do it and have my friend brain cells intact enough to remember things. It might should go without saying that there is a looooong post warning, but I’ll try to spice it up with enough pictures to keep some visual interest. [On second thought, it’s out of control and I’m still on Friday so let’s break this down into parts.]

I left work shortly after lunchtime on Thursday. I needed to get going before 4 PM if I wanted to make it to the registration that night and avoid it on Friday. Although I had mostly packed the night before, there were just enough little details to handle that I kept failing to finish packing. It got to be around 3:45 PM and I was still fiddling around gathering minor things. I finally hit the point that I was willing to leave whether or not I had everything, just as long as the car was moving towards Atlanta.

Registration Line Around the Hyatt

I drove pretty solidly through from Myrtle Beach to Atlanta, other than a gas stop in Florence that inexplicably took freaking forever. I got to Atlanta around 9:30 PM, checked in to the Days Inn so that I could park there, and trotted directly over to the Hyatt for registration. Because there was a mixup with my guest status, I ended up buying a registration. That was less painful than you might expect, as the pre-registration was really the zoo.

After getting my badge, I went over the Hilton to see Derek and Swoopy setting up the podcasting and skeptic tracks room. I was willing to help but there really wasn’t much for me to do. Anything beyond one person trying to cable mixers is a complete mess. I did help Derek sound check a little and fix some feedback by walking around the skeptic room on the handheld mike while reprising the Casey Kasem routine.

I needed to find a Kinko’s to run off and cut some flyers, and both the Hilton and Marriott are supposed to have ones that are open until 11 PM. At 10 PM both were closed. Thanks FedEx, for buying Kinkos and screwing it all up. I went back to the hotel room, unloaded the car and found that there was a Kinkos at 100 Peachtree so I drove over there. Now, I used to drive an ice truck in Atlanta and I thought I knew the Five Points area acceptably. I had the hardest time getting to this damn joint because of all the one way streets. I ended up on Peachtree going south past it at one point, which ain’t the best part of ATL to be driving your Honda Civic around at midnight. At least I knew I was doing it wrong, and eventually got back to the Kinkos. Everyone was grumpy and it was much slower than I thought it should be, but thank you Kinkos lady for fixing the cuts of my flyers. I thought they were perfectly lined up so that a single cut down the center would be perfect, but they were a full 1/4″ off. WTF, Dave? She made extra cuts to make them perfect and didn’t even charge me, so that was very kind.

I walked across the street to the Landmark Diner and got a burger after that, mainly because it was right there and open. I had thought about heading to other better late night restaurants but the proximity and ease sold me. It was OK. The dude sitting across from my table appeared to be a big time rapper or music mogul. He was highly blinged up with rings and medallions, and at least a dozen dudes came by to give him their obeisance. I didn’t recognize him but then I wouldn’t. In retrospect I should have snapped a phone cam picture of him just to identify who he was. He must have been somebody. After this, bed.

Friday morning, I got up and read some books for a while. Sad to admit, although I had two book interviews to conduct I didn’t have either of them significantly read. It was a lot like cramming for finals. I read a big chunk of Playing For Keeps, got ready and headed over to the convention. I made the executive call to leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign all weekend because I didn’t want maids farting with my equipment. That turns out to have been the right call, although by Monday morning it was a disaster area.

I’ve spent 14 years of my life in Georgia, the bulk of that in Atlanta and that whole time I’ve been active in science fiction and comic book fandom. Despite that, the very first person I ran into was Ryan Karetas – my coworker and the guy who sat the next desk over from me at the office in Myrtle Beach for a long time. For all of the weekend, I spent a fair bit of time fiddling around with leaving flyers on tables, putting out stickers and such. Anytime you have an agenda of doing this, there is a lot of jockeying at the table. I try to be ethical about it, but when some guy has 17 stacks of the same flyer at 8 inch intervals, I tend to combine them and using the extra space for myself. By the last day, it’s a free for all of Lord of the Flies proportions.

I attended the first two sessions of the podcasting track and shot a little video of each with my very first camcorder. The second one was on shooting video, which I was obviously newly interested in. I asked a question about using some of this info towards indie documentaries. After the panel, Rhett Aultman caught up to me and was interested in talking to me more about what I want to do. He was meeting friends at the Marriott anyway, so I and his wife (parter?) Amy and him all went an hung out for a long time talking about the ins and outs of making documentaries. It was highly useful and I was very glad of it. The con was off to a great and roaring start.

I forget what I did for the rest of the afternoon. Surely it involved fliers of some sort, and back to the hotel room for reading and probably some basic scoping out of dealers rooms and such. At 10 PM I had a session on the podcasting track at the Hilton where I’d do a live interview of Mur Lafferty. However, Evo Terra was throwing a podcaster party in their suite in the Hyatt at the same time. Mur and I decided to go over to the party before, hang out for a while and then come back. There were several potentials for mishaps here, involving pre-interview cocktails and elevator rides. We actually got to the party relatively easily, partly through the efforts of one of Mur’s hometown friends who completely big balled his way onto a service elevator with us trailing behind. We hung out for a while and I left to go back to the Hilton around 9:20 PM since I had a camcorder to set up, equipment to check out and such. I walked into the elevator area as the bell rung. I hopped on a half-empty car with zero wait, and there were no stops between us and the ground floor lobby. In 20+ years of Atlanta SF conventions, I’ve never had a ride like that at 9 PM during a con night.

Me and Mur Share A Laugh

I went over to the Hilton, set up and got everything ready. It got to be close to time, and maybe 5 minutes until 10 PM I got a text message from Mur that said only “Elevator hell”. Uh oh. I had everything ready to go and we had a small audience – about as small as you can get and still have an audience – but I told a few stories and basically vamped for a few minutes until Mur got there. We took a minute for composure as we had a whole hour to get a 30-45 minute interview done. Then we turned on the machines and the magic happened. The interview was great and I have it on both audio and video. It will be posted to the Reality Break Podcast feed this weekend.

After the interview, I schlepped all of my stuff back to the Days Inn and unloaded it all, called home and then went back to the podcaster party. Because I had no function booked on Saturday but an interview at 10:30 AM on Sunday, I had already prepared for Friday as a party night and Saturday as a relatively well behaved quiet evening. With that in mind, I settled in for an evening of revelry. I ended up running into Jason and Randy from Beatnik Turtle on the balcony of the party. They are also the authors of the The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician, a book about which I had been getting emails from their publicist anyway. I had been planning on replying after the convention when I was less busy, and now here were the dudes right in front of me! We set up an interview for Sunday at noon right after the other one I had scheduled in the same spot, so I was able to knock out two without moving my equipment. Sweet luck!

As we hung out and had a few drinks, a hilarious incident occurred. I’m not going to talk about it here in specifics, because it led to me writing a song that Beatnik Turtle will record and that Ewan Spence kindly sanity checked for Scotsman correctness. Keep watching the skies, maybe we’ll have a podosphere premiere of the song on an upcoming episode of the podcast. The evening was fun and I talked to a number of people that I already knew and people that were new to me. I kept drinking and hanging out and chatting with people so long that I literally closed down the party. I helped Evo and Sheila clean up a little and then it was off to my little room for sleep.

Part 2 coming soon …

Dragon*Con Wrapup Coming

I really need to do a big wrapup of my Dragon*Con experience really soon, or else I’ll start forgetting details. I had much fun this year, my first since 2002, and would like to capture some of that in a permanent form on here. I plan on making a big linky, photo-riddled post but that takes time. I also have a backlog of new media to create and for a variety of reasons, mostly related to exhaustion and my inability to keep my eyes open, I FAILED to do this weekend.

I have interviews galore, for both the EGC podcast and for Reality Break. I’m also way overdue for making a blogger roundup post at Grand Strand Bloggers and I need to start working on next spring’s CREATE South. I’m not sure how it is that my hobbies can lead to being so incredibly busy but they do. I just had a vacation and I need another! Keep watching this space, netizens, and I’ll try to get all of that out very soon.

Top Shelf Comix

I don’t remember seeing their booth but surely Top Shelf Comix was displaying at Dragon*Con. One of the principals lives in Marietta, so it seems ridiculous not to. It’s that time of the year when Top Shelf has their big blowout sale, and are selling a number of their graphic novels at discounts and 97 of them for $3! Wowza. They ask for a $30 minimum order, which only seems fair when you are buying stuff this cheap. I’ve got a shopping cart full of Eddie Campbell stuff myself and will fire that up later today when I’ve had a chance to ruminate on what else I want to add. Check them out, it’s all good stuff.

Off To Dragon*Con

This afternoon I’ll be making the drive from Myrtle Beach to Atlanta for Dragon*Con. My deep hope is to get registered tonight so that I do not have to mess with that at all on Friday. I have a live taping of Reality Break with Mur Lafferty at 10 PM Friday night and my talk on “Why Podcasting Matters” at 8:30 PM on Sunday night. Right now it looks like Saturday will be my “me” day, the day where I take my want lists and dig through long boxes looking for elusive back issues. I have learned that even when I have a professional agenda, it is nice to carve out a little chunk of time to be a fanboy. It’s why I got involved in all this in the first place.

I have a few Reality Break interviews scheduled through the con. I might also be doing some pickup interviews, either for Reality Break or EGC podcast. I’ll have my trusty Marantz with me most of the time. It’s possible I’ll be doing some stuff for the offical Dragon*Con podcast but I’m not sure on that. I’m up for anything.

One of the things that just happened yesterday is that I volunteered to be Darusha Wehm’s proxy at the Parsec awards. If her podcast of Beautiful Red wins, I’ll accept her award and either read her statement or put her on speakerphone at the mic. The latter is of course preferred.

All in all it should be a fun time. If you are at the con, come to one of my program events or catch me in the hall or pick up some of my swag from the groaning giveaway table. It’ll be a fun time and I hope to see you there, all of you.

Mur Lafferty Live Interview at Dragon*Con

I have an hour slot to record at Dragon*Con, which will be Friday at 10 PM. I just posted over on the Reality Break site that I’ve booked Mur Lafferty to be the guest for the live Reality Break episode. The plan is to do both a Reality Break and an EGC clambake episode in the allotted time. First priority is to get the Mur interview conducted and in the can. With whatever time remains, I plan to record EGC. If you’ll be at Dragon*Con, come and hang out with us. I’ll be taking a few questions from the floor so you too can participate. It will be a party, kids. I’ll be giving away a couple of EGC stuff packages, stickers and what have you. I’m not sure if Mur will be bringing swag, but it will be a fun geeky time at this fun geeky convention.

Convention Season

I’m thinking a lot about conventions lately. This is the first year where not only am I not going to Podcast Expo but I never for a second even considered going. I was scheduled to speak last year but when it came down not only was my day job so crushing at the time but it had been for months and I just couldn’t do it. I had to cancel a few weeks before the show, which was a crappy way to go about it and made me feel bad. However when it came to the actual missing of the show other than not being able to hang out with my friends, I was OK with not going. The extended to this year when I just never considered going at all. Nothing against the event but a combination of losing the scruffy charm of the Ontario CA conference center and just not having much interest in the “podcast industry” as a goal left me uninterested this year.

In contrast, since I have a reborn Reality Break on my hands, I’m trying to increase my attendance at science fiction and comic book conventions. That’s where I choose to put my energy and travel budget now rather than Podcast Expo. I’d rather go where my potential listeners and fans are. People generally have this idea of promoting their show at Podcast Expo but really that’s not a great place for promotion unless your goal is to get the attention primarily of other podcasters.

However because I’m ever less enthralled with getting on airplanes the cons I attend will skew heavily towards the southeast where I can drive to them. I missed Heroes Con but I will be attending Dragon*Con where I will be participating in the podcasting track and also doing interviews. I hope to make it to Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland this fall and do some interviews there too. I have an invitation to OryCon in Portland OR that I’m thinking hard about but is low probability. I’d love to do it as I have lots of friends out there but it’s just such a shlep to get there and back. When I went in 2006 I ended up losing most of one of my days with friends and sleeping in Ohare airport.

There is a new comic convention called XCon that will be starting up in Myrtle Beach this Halloween season. I’ll obviously go to that one. If people have suggestions of good cons for both promoting my work and getting new interview material recorded, let me know. The probability that I can go decreases with the square of the distance from the South Carolina coast but I’d love to know about them.

Pros and Cons

I’ve had to decline a heartbreaking number of invitations to come to conventions and/or conferences this year. In several cases, I was invited to speak or lead sessions and I just couldn’t do it. Being in a job situation without vacation contributed a lot, where I would have to not only pay my way plus lose several days pay. Being exhausted for a big chunk of the early part of the year also didn’t help, which led to me skipping some things that I could have driven to. Here’s a tally of things I have said no to, every one of which I wanted to attend:

That’s the downside. Here’s the upside: in the latter half of the year with a new lease on life, a new work situation, vacation days and a little more breathing room I’ll be attending more events.

Podcast Expo y’all know about. Converge South was a big blast last time. It’s where I met Amanda Congdon and Mario Librandi, first met Dan Conover and Janet Edens in person, got to hang with Ed Cone and buy Dave Winer breakfast right after he sold Weblogs.com. My video of the event is still out there. I expect to have a good time and will try to make a point to meet and say hi to Elizabeth Edwards, renew acquantances with the Greensboro blogging contingent, eat my body weight in BBQ at Hoggard’s house and generally pass a good time.

I’m also looking very forward to going to Orycon and participating in the programming. I hope to carry the Marantz with me and interview writers and other people there like a banshee the whole time I’m out there. I went to almost every Orycon when I lived out there, and I’ve returned for a few since. When I was telecommuting to Portland, I made it a point to schedule a work trip that coincided with the con (free flight for me). I’ve been back for one on my own dime, but this is the first in a few years. I’m happy to see that they’ve moved the con from Jantzen Beach to downtown. Jantzen Beach is nice and all, but it was a huge drag to try to do anything in downtown like go to Powell’s – particularly if you didn’t have a car. Since they have this great bustling and walkable downtown, it sucked to not be able to take advantage of it. Now you get it both – hang out at the con at the riverfront and also walk across the Morrison Street bridge to Montage (if it is still open), and so forth. I might even try to renew my favorite lunch jaunt – a bus ride down Burnside to Future Fantasy and gyros at Foti’s (again, if they are still open.) I used to do that every week or two and I miss it. Best of all, with any luck I get to see old friends like Jonny X, Mark Bourne, Mary Rosenblum and the whole PDX crowd.

So, all in all I’m looking forward to working a little more enjoyment and travel back in the mix. Doing nothing but working in your home office 70 hours a week is fun and all, but getting out and about and spending time with my friends and internet acquantiances is good. If you see me out and about, come talk to me!

Update: Added dates. Let’s hang out, PDX folks!