Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 26 2016 – Crashing the Parties of Life

In this episode, I play a song from Soul Asylum; I discuss my podcast setup; I talk about putting a costume together for Dragon*Con and my evolution as a congoer; I discuss having a good time in bad venues; I love to crash parties; small talk is not that hard; all your worst case scenarios for social situations are true and you’ll still be OK.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 26 2016

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for February 1 2016 – The Polite Conventions

In this episode I play a song from Valley Lodge; I discuss the problems in producing anything regularly; I catalog my failure to meet my writing goals; I talk about my queues of podcasts, comics, books and TV shows; I discuss the true seriousness of OCD and how no one is “a little bit OCD”; I point out what seems like a logical discrepancy with how the left treat the 99%/1% split and trans people; I talk about my dream schedule of SF and comic conventions to attend in 2016; I discuss my Creative Common license and whether it is polite to ask to use CC licensed work.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, February 1 2016

Links mentioned in this episode:

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 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 30, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #27”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 30, 2013.

This episode covers my time in the Portland OR area and my very pleasant interactions with PDX fandom.

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 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for February 6, 2012 – “Write Me, Flattr Me”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, circa February 6, 2012. This episode was recorded standing on a chilly and windy beach. I have two main topics – suggesting that podcasters and specifically podcasters of my circle should bum rush the Flattr system and talking about The Month of Letters Challenge, aka #LetterMo.

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.

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LetterMo 2012

LetterMo 2012

I was lucky enough to have made the acquaintance of Mary Robinette Kowal at Orycon 2006, when we were on several panels together. I’ve followed her ever since and noted with interest the project she began talking about a few weeks ago, The Month of Letters Challenge. It’s not unlike NaNoWriMo but the idea is to write and send a letter each mail day in the month of February. There are 24 mail days in the month, so 24 letters.

As it happens, for years I have had the idea of creating little collage postcards and mailing them to my friends. My idea was to do one each weekend and mail to a friend with whom I had fallen out of contact. The person I always thought should have been the first recipient was my friend Thomas Peake, who is now sadly the late great Thomas Peake. Thomas was always a guy for creating things, especially interesting physical artifacts. He taught me how to screen print t-shirts (some of which I still have and wear), he used to print up his own zines and the like. This idea appealed to me precisely because it was physical. Much of what I have done in the last decade is digital, electronic and ephemeral. I liked the idea of getting glue on my fingers and dropping in the post a little physical thing that will show up at someone’s house in their mailbox. It is old fashioned and nostalgic and the opposite of how we do things nowadays.

I had this idea maybe five years ago, but it wasn’t until Mary began posting her challenge to social networking sites that I began action. It was just enough of a shove to get me out of my inertial rut and moving. This is now underway. I mailed the first one today, to Mary herself. That seemed like a reasonable enough place to start. The next is going out tomorrow. I am tending to prepare them a day ahead, mainly because I want to keep a scan of them for myself. Part of the challenge is that you don’t write them ahead of time. You write one per day. I am, however, making the collages several days ahead of time and leaving them blank until time for the letter.

A wrinkle I decided to add is a QR code on each of them that points back to this post. If you were the recipient of one of these cards and reading this post, please leave me a quick comment below. It seems like a weird and interesting way to bridge the loop between the online and off, the slow deliberate postal system and the immediate global internet. I’m all for weird hybrids of interesting projects, especially the kind that helps keep me in touch with my friends.

Even if you don’t start on February 1st, if you want to join in either because you received a letter from someone (maybe me) or it just seems fun, please do. Start whenever you like, count off 24 mail days and get to it. Life is short, friends are too scarce and now is the only time we ever have. Off we go into the future, you and me and everyone. Let’s make it what we want of it.

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.

Recordings and SF Conventions

Tom Spurgeon points out that the panels he moderated at Heroes Con were recorded for posterity by the Dollar Bin guys. I’ve been listening to these and really appreciate them since I wanted to go to the convention this year and couldn’t. This brings up a point I’ve been meaning to blog about for years and keep forgetting to.

When I was a guest at Orycon 2006, on top of interviewing Cory Doctorow I was on a lot of panels. I recorded 5 of the 6 panels I was on. At this point, the only thing I’ve ever done with those recordings was to excerpt a snippet of my closing remarks on one panel in an episode of EGC. However, I do have them and could always do something with them later.

The act of recording them was a pain in the ass – not technically which was very easy – but permission-wise. Every single time, I’d put my Marantz in the center of the table and tell the panelists I was recording. Every single panelist was cool with it every single time. After all, we are there to speak publicly and on the record so why wouldn’t we be? Every single time, though, some bristling occurred from the audience. They always wanted to know what I was doing with the recordings and why I was taping the session. It might have to do with the Oregonian contrarian nature because on the Heroes Con sessions they announce they are taping and no one says a word against it. I hope I don’t seem elitist and like I’m pulling rank but it always bugged me to get push back from the people whose contributions were limited and who might not even be able to be picked up on mic when the panelists were all cool with it.

This did lead me to a way to get around all the painful negotiations and explanations. I think SF and comic conventions should explicitly declare themselves, their grounds and the events that occur during their time period as Creative Commons licensed NonCommercial/ShareAlike/Attribution. Anyone can record via audio or video or photograph anything in public convention space and publish under those terms. 90% of this happens anyway. Flickr is full of photos of any such event you can think of. It just makes it easier and standard how to deal with the issue of recordings. It’s in the best interest of the conventions to spread their mindshare about what makes their shindig unique and this reduces the friction of that. If the convention declares this licensing regime upfront then everyone understand the terms going in.The convention as a whole is on the record and no one should have any issues. It just makes it simpler, and it frees the pros and fans up to do creative work without lots of overhead, which creative work is what they do.

I love the idea of video fanzines published via podcasting mechanisms. It’s the same urge that led to the mimeographs of last century, just realized via a different technology. Let’s make this happen. If you work with a convention, talk about this at the organizational meetings. I’d love to see this adopted around the place.

EGC Clambake for May 20, 2007 – “Orycon Interviews Part Three”

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for May 20, 2007.

This is the third of the Orycon episodes. I play music from Tom Smith and have interviews with Debbie Cross, Jerry and Kathy Oltion, and representatives from Rose City Costumers, Camarilla, and Ansalon MUD.

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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.

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PlayPlay

Panel Rundown: The Myth of the Intelligent Machine

Place: Orycon 2006
Saturday, 6 PM
Panelists: Rick Lindsley, Michael A. Martin, Me
Moderator: David W. Goldman

This was one of those panels that has a stacked premise in the title, “The Myth of the Intelligent Machine.” That panel more or less as one rejected that stackedness. David G, with whom I had shared the panel on computers in SF literature, ran a very tight ship and moderated this one quite well. He had us as part of our introductory remarks state whether or not we felt a machine intelligence could be create that had parity with a human intelligence. My answer was resoundingly yes. I don’t remember what the overall definition of parity would be, but mine was that of an intelligence that given the same inputs would achieve the same range of outputs. Thus, a machine intelligence of me getting the feed of the panel through optical and auditory emulation should cover responses that I could plausibly make. The non-determinism of the human animal, and the possibility of these being different on different days was covered, but I pointed out that we take a narrow view when we look at the current sensory information being the inputs. I suggested that all the previous days are the input, and that if the machine intelligence was given the same information as I to make it have a bad day, it is only reasonable that it have responses from the grumpier end of the spectrum.

We talked about neural networks, the limits on learning and that sort of thing. I brought up the work by the guys (couldn’t remember which school they were from) who did backprop neural networks that had delays in them that were closer to those like human neurons, where the firing time was more like 0.1 s per neuron than the nearly instantaneousness of most AI systems. I saw some of the work that did picking speech out of audio with noise introduced, and the AI could pick things I found were inaudible. Someone in the audience corroborated this so I was glad I wasn’t misremembering it (or dreaming it altogether.)

Somewhere late in the panel, I decided that machine representation of human level intelligence by any definition you want was provably possible. If you accept the premise that with sufficient computing power an atom can be modeled exactly, and accept that interactions between atoms and molecules and the quantum level can be modeled eventually then as an outside boundary, the me sitting in that room could be modeled brute force by modeling that volume of space that I occupied. It would require more computing power than exists on earth presently to model any single atom I’m sure, but if you accept those premises then you have to accept the possibility of human intelligence being emulated somewhere well past the singularity.

I remember Rick and Michael both having plenty of (humanly) intelligent things to say and being quite interesting, but sadly I can’t remember specifics anymore. David as I said did a fine job, and overall this was quite a good panel. Lots of audience interaction and lots of smart things said in the crowd.

Orycon Panel Writeups

I have thus far gotten zero feedback on any of my Orycon stuff – not the podcast interviews nor the panel writeups. Nonetheless, I’m going to push through and try to finish up the remaining three panel recaps today. I should have closed those out weeks ago before the fine details faded from my memory but that’s the way these things always go. I have tapes I could go back and refer to, but I believe that’s more work than I’m willing to put into it.

EGC Clambake for November 30, 2006

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for November 30, 2006.

This is the first of the Orycon episodes. I tell a little about my background with the convention; I play some Xmas Solstice music from the HP Lovecraft Historical Society; I play interviews with James Fiscus about the Endeavour Award, Vincent Vaughn about the Greater Portland Costuming Society and Conrad Larsen about bookselling; I play a song from the Xenozoic Tales CD and then it’s off to the dead dog party.

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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.

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PlayPlay

Panel Rundown: Computing Science Fiction

Place: Orycon 2006
Friday, 3 PM
Panelists: L. Pierce Ludke, Frank Hayes, David W. Goldman (Michael Ehart scheduled, couldn’t make it)
Moderator: Me

[Enough time has elapsed that my memory is starting to get shaky. Correct me if you catch a technical inaccuracy. I might correct some if this from listening to the recording of it later. ]

This was my first panel of the convention, and this one caused a slight panic attack. When I checked in and got my guest packet a little after noon, I found out to my surprise that I was moderating this particular panel in 3 hours. I had received an email with all my programming and the moderators were supposed to be in bold but that formatting was lost in the copy I got. As I got acclimated to the con, I was thinking on this topic and about an hour before the panel I made some serious notes about issues, topics and writers we could bring up. I approach these very similar to the way I approach my interviews, which in both cases are being steward of a conversation. In the interview its me and another person or two, in the panel it is me, all the other panelists and all the people in the room.

We had opening statements and then discussed the history of computer in science fiction, from the days before its invention through the era up to the mini-computer. I asked at one point how intimately intertwined the visions of the malevolent computer taking control of us all (“Etaoin Shrdlu”, “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”) were with the anxieties of the cold war and the fear that we were losing control of our specifically human aspects. Frank brought up “A Logic Named Joe” which coincidentally is a piece I’ve been wanting to talk about in my podcast since I heard it on Spaceship Radio a few months back. Pierce brought up “Nine Billion Names of God”, David brought up Asimovian AI, and as we also got a mix of communications mixed in, I brought up my favorite story on the topic, Damon Knight’s “I See You.”

As the panel went on, we brought things forward in the literature up to the cyberpunks and talked about their particular relationship to technology. Neal Stephenson and William Gibson and Bruce Sterling were of course mentioned. I asked about who in the room used Second Life and floated the idea (that I don’t necessarily agree with) that it is a proto-manifestation of Stephenson’s Metaverse. I mentioned my relationship with cheap technology (Uplifting although I never used that term) and how I find the most important idea in the whole cyberpunk canon Gibson’s “The street finds its own uses for things.” As an example, I shot the panel and audience with my CVS camcorder.

As we closed out, I posited Charles Stross as the natural heir to this kind of situation, and floated some of his ideas from Accellerando as evidence.

Bottom Line: Fun panel, fun topic. I worried that Pierce didn’t speak enough and tried to explicitly bring her in a little more often. It was stressful because I wasn’t prepared to moderate until 5 minutes before, but it all went well. I liked this mix of people. Frank’s heavily sardonic and sarcastic manner provided the bass notes in this band. Turned out way better than I was expecting.

Panel Rundown: Computer Viruses Then and Now

Place: Orycon 2006
Saturday, 5 PM
Panelists: Ben Yalow, Frank Hayes, Michael Ehart, Me
Moderator: Michael Pearce

So I’ll be honest about this panel. There was nothing wrong with it, it was a fine panel but it was a subject that I just ain’t that worked up about. I ended up hanging out with Michael the moderator at other points in the con, and I really like him. He’s a crazy cat, but that’s a selling point. We exchanged lists of our favorite webcomics over a table in the hospitality suite later in the con.

There was a guy in the audience who worked for Microsoft that was de facto sixth panelist. I’m pretty sure he talked a lot more than I did, but then he had more to say than I did. My contributions boiled down to a couple of overall points. Don’t plug your computer straight into a broadband device, pay the $20 for a SoHo router and then disable Universal Plug and Play. I don’t think that the proliferation of viruses on Windows vs other platforms is solely the result of installed base percentages but mainly to do with the separation of privilege. Any OS that you must run as Administrator to make it work is guaranteed to have more problems.

We discussed some problems of all major desktop OS types, and as I was the youngest participant you can imagine we went back into the history of some older viruses and worms. It was touched upon that there is no OS without problems, so the thing to do is mitigate damage and reduce risk. Backup, backup, backup! Organize your disk partitions so that all the data that matters to you (photos, documents, quicken files, etc) are in a common root folder and can be easily scooped up. Ben rightly pointed out that some app vendors (Quicken in particular) defy this by putting their data files all the hell over the place. Override defaults and put them to your own data directory if possible.

In retrospect, the thing that happened about 40 minutes in where we discussed practical advice, that should have happened much earlier. Even though I have worked quite hard to de-Microsoft my life, there was a little much anti-Microsoft stuff in here for my taste. It seemed like the needs of the audience were getting met, and there was much room for their input so in the end everyone got what they needed. I was sitting next to Ben Yalow and his fabulous sweater. I don’t know if he remembers me from time to time, but Ben is one of those guys I meet somewhere about every five years. I remember him, but then he’s more memorable than I.

Bottom Line: I think the panel was OK and did what it was supposed to, I tried to participate and help but I didn’t have that much input to put in. Would love to hear from people in the seats what they got out of it.

What’s in Your Duffel Bag?

Since Dom asked, I’ll pull a Thomas Pynchon and write out some big honking lists of stuff to serve as characterization.

I had two bags at Orycon that were almost always with me. This might seem like a ridiculous amount of stuff for a weekend trip (and this doesn’t include the suitcase with clothes) but I was trying to be ready to be simultaneously well-prepared program participant and panelist; freelance interviewer/audio guy podcaster; and SF fan having a good time amongst his peeps. I might amend this list a little if I find new stuff unpacking.

First, the backpack:

14″ iBook (my main laptop for the last 2.5 years)
OEM charger for same
Cheap multi-card reader (essential for managing the CF cards I use in the Marantz)
Multi-USB cable, the kind with swappable plugs
iBook to VGA adapter
mobiBLU cube
USB cable for mobiBLU
spare in ear headphones
several SD cards
Kodak EZ Share digital camera
CVS Camcorder
Books (the Andelman biography of Will Eisner and a recent Bruce Sterling)
New issue of MAKE Magazine
Altoids (essential for interviewing people all day without grossing them out)
Seemingly non-working Lexar MP3 player
Miscellaneous bric-a-brac that has accreted in the bottom of the pack, paper clips and bits of crap

Next, the duffel bag:

Marantz PMD670 and shoulder strap
Charger for Marantz
Marantz AA battery adapter (8 required) for emergencies
3 Audio-Technica ATS35s lavalier microphones
2 1/4″ stereo to XLR adapters (required for the lavs)
2 12′ XLR mic cables
1 Radio Shack snowcone mic (same model I use in the regular podcast)
1 homemade mic cube
1 set of big over the ear headphones that are almost too broken to fit on the human head anymore
Assorted business card, pens and office supplies

I had considered and then abandoned a plan where I’d do the interviews with the snowcone mic for the interviewees and wear a lavalier mic for myself. I decided against that because then we might get weird sound differences between the two. Besides, by using the one mic and moving it back and forth, I could use DLR mono on my Marantz where it records two tracks, one regular and one attenuated by 20 dB. This way, if the regular channel gets overloaded and clips, you can use the other channel for that portion. Fiendish!

Overall it all worked and wasn’t that bulky to carry around. Switching from mic situation, which was lav for sit down interviews, snowcone for walking around, and internal condensor mic for panels, was the biggest drag. That, and continuously untangling cables despite having velcro cable wraps that should have kept it all together.

Back to Normal Life

I’ve been back home for almost 48 hours and I’m still a little tired and my voice still sounds like Tom Waits. Three days of solid talking, much of it in loud rooms, will do that to a person. I’m delighted I went to Orycon. I hadn’t really been planning on it until they invited me, so thanks to Bobbie Dufault for making the effort to reach out to me. With the holiday weekend, I want to do my writeup of all the panels I was on as well as do my first podcast episode with interviews from the con. The work never stops, it just moves from coast to coast.

Panel Rundown: The Great Writers Blog

Place: Orycon 2006
Sunday, 12 PM
Panelists: Cory Doctorow, Jay Lake, Mary Robinette Kowal
Moderator: Me

Jay and Mary were both people that I met as we sat down at the table and people that I liked quite a bit. I had a chance to talk to both in hallways later on and carry on the conversation a little further. At the absolute last minutes, as I was leaving the con Mary and I chatted about her growing up in North Carolina. I suggested she try to make Converge South next year, but she lives in Iceland so that’s a big issue for her. She’s got the same difficulties as I do in going to lots of cross-country cons, except hers is far longer international flights.

To be perfectly honest, this is the panel I feared the most as a moderator. That Cory is a blogger of repute and reach that swamps out the other three of us I thought might be an issue. To his enormous credit, he did not pull rank or in any way condescend to the other panelists or anyone in the room. I found that highly classy and egalitarian, treating us all as equal peers and partners in the blogosphere and the present conversation.

I did some audience calibration to begin this panel. I asked for shows of hands for a number of questions: who wants to blog but doesn’t know how; who blogs; who writes or wants to write professionally; who writes and blogs; who uses their writing as a topic in or as snippets of their blog. There were only three people out of maybe 40 or 50 that were in the “need to learn” camp so I asked them to reraise their hands for someone knowledgeable near them to volunteer to buddy up with them and talk to them after the panel to help them out. Then we began.

Because I’m not a working writer I laid back for several swatches of time in the discussion, doing traffic control but not really adding much. The one thing I really wanted to throw out there was the story of my work blogging rules of the road and how I had the discussion up front before I blogged the first thing about my present company. Because people can and do get fired over this, I felt that dominating the conversation for a few minutes might be a necessary evil. I contended that getting fired over blogging is stupid, and your first responsibilities are to the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Keeping you and your children fed is a higher priority than your post. As much as I love it and don’t want it removed from my life, I could live without blogging in a way that I couldn’t without food or shelter. Cory took exception to that and thinks I’m giving the act of self-expression short shrift but we have to agree to disagree on this. I think it’s the very definition of a higher level Maslowian act.

Mary had some fascinating stories about how she has used her blog for her artistic endeavors and also how she deals with the blog/work membrane. Cory talked about a common theme of the weekend – the collapse of multi-faceted identities to a single point and the problems that can cause when your home life is public and it make cause friction with your work life and how blogging can be the mechanism for that collapse. Jay and Cory both talked about using their blogs as repositories for their work in progress and the materials thereof. There was discussion of the “personal brand” and lots of talk about whether to have separate blogs for different topics, whether to be pseudonymous or use one’s real name. We talked about the blog as a tool for engagement with ones audience and the Neil Gaiman approach of chatty blogging vs the Neal Stephenson opproach of conspicuous absence from the web and blogosphere.

At the end, Cory tried to teach me something about moderation that I was just too slow on the uptake to do effectively this time but that I’ll be doing every panel I ever moderate from here on out. When we ran low on time, we got all the people with pending questions to just all ask them one at a time. Then we went down the row and each panelist answered one of the questions on the floor. It worked like gangbusters once I finally understood what we were trying to do. I thought that each question would get a volunteer to answer it, which was upside down from the real thing. At the panel he moderated he did this (much more smoothly) and it worked very very well.

Bottom Line: I enjoyed this panel a lot, learned a lot, was enlightened with a dose of reinvigoration for the value of what we do, and hope my moderation was as good as the topic, panel and audience deserved.

Orycon Day 3

More panels, one I moderated and one on which I was along for the ride. Both were good, a little bit of profundity was talked at each. I said some smart things on both and also some dumb on both. In short, it was a lot like life. I’m in the wind down stage and checked out of the hotel and just ready to meet friends who will take me to dinner and then the airport.

I’m delighted I came, very edified and also exhausted and completely ready to hop on a plane and go home. There was an extremely high activity density, covering basically 8 AM to 2 AM on average with almost no slack time in between. I’m amazed at the number of people attending the con that I didn’t see once but that I’d have loved to. That’s my only regret. I also found that despite my program participant “status” here, I spent very little of my time in the pro path, mostly hanging with the fen. I don’t know what that means, if anything, but that’s how the game played out.

Soon there will be much slacktime and waiting time, and I’ll write up the thorough notes. If I can catch some wifi in Seatac, I’ll post some of it. Until then, I’m off the grid for a while. Keep the intarnets warm for me, compadres.

Orycon Day and Night 2

Things are going pretty swimmingly. I got to see a lot of my friends from the PDX last night, and even bridged the gap from conventioneers to mundanes by taking my friends around to room parties last night. I got to see my former vice-president of publishing for whom I worked hanging out at the Pirates of the Columbia party. That made the whole trip worth the price of admission.

All the panels yesterday went well, one moderated by me and two not. I also did something like 15 or 20 spontaneous interviews, as well as one pre-planned long one with Cory Doctorow. More details on all this later. I’ve got to get myself organized and ready for the noon panel today, packed up before it because of checkout time. Depending on the wifi situation between here and my final destination, I might get more posted today or I might do a data dump when I get home. I’ll try to write up a trip report tonight on my red-eyes while details are fresh.

Thanks to everyone at Orycon that took the time to talk to me. If my schwag handout rate is at all productive, some of y’all should be hitting this blog. In a lot of ways, this is possibly my most pleasant con experience ever.

Orycon Night 1

Dinner and drinks at Rock Bottom Brewery with Jon Groff, followed by a short stint of party hopping and then in bed pretty early for a convention. I slept from about midnight to 8 AM PST, which is pretty long for me. I went to the Pirates of the Columbia party, in which they had set up a tiki bar in one room and were playing Tiki Bar TV in the other. Most of the people were wearing eypatches, tri-corner hats, bandanas, puffy shirts, etc. I love it!

Now I’m just gearing up for my 10 AM panel, “RSS and the New News”, which is today’s moderation stint and my first one with Cory. I just checked the recording of yesterday’s panel and it sounded remarkably good. Not only could I hear all the people on the panel pretty clearly, I got a lot of the audience as well. We’ll keep this experiment going.