Independence Day 2017

As we have done every year, we are watching ID4 as a family. Last year I mentioned the story of how I made my children believe that this film was a documentary based on real events: ID-4. This year I cannot help but feel that if I were to tell my children that now for the first time, they would almost believe it again. 


That’s because there is far too much “Fake News” going around.  And that scares me. My example may seem far fetched, but is it?What if our history books get rewritten?  Or legitimate news articles get buried and erased from existence?  At what point will we as a species completely forget what is real or the truth? Stories handed down from generation to generation and then forgotten or lost. There’s nothing stopping this.

And so we watch on social media.  We watch and interact with one another.  We eat it up. And we yearn for the next story. We spark up conversations about hot topics and buzz words.  Have you heard the term “Flex for the gram”?  That’s what we all do on social media.  We portray the perfection of our lives that we want shown. We don’t share realism.  We share what we think others want to see.  We share our own “fake news”.  I’m guilty of this. I know I am.  I’ve also shared some unfunny and darker stories, but I’ve kept much of it private. I love sharing the adventures of my family.


Tonight as people celebrate Independence Day, my family and I are just hanging out.  A quick dinner in the backyard and the movie on in the theater room. Family time as we start the summer break. Watching this film is our tradition. Laughing at it and pointing out the flaws is so much fun.  On a side note- President Whitmore would be a better man to run the USA at this point in time… if he were real.

Customer Support


About a week ago I wrote about having a Spam issue with my blog: iOS Spam? I received numerous messages from friends and readers taking screen shots of the issue.  This was great for two reasons:

1. It showed me this was a problem with not just one or two people.

2. It showed me that I have diligent readers of my blog.

Immediately after posting that day’s blog, I contacted WordPress and told them the issue.  They responded quickly. At first they suggested my friends try rebooting their phones and using a different browser to read the blog.  Obviously, this tactic didn’t work and my blog continued to have pop up ads preventing readers.  So I contacted WordPress again.


This time they worked on resolving the issue on their end.  To much greater success. I don’t always commend companies or websites because oftentimes I’m just a little voice hardly worth hearing.  But I was rather impressed with how WordPress took the time to help me out and I had a direct responder who must’ve been assigned my case.  

Chrissie- You were very professional and prompt with the responses.  It may not seem like much, but I appreciated the time and courtesy you gave to me.

And to all of those who read my blog on a regular basis- thank you again!  I love writing every day.  I know that it’s usually nothing life changing or world altering, but it’s something I have grown to enjoy doing.  Having readership and excellent customer service just proves to me that I should still keep on writing.

iOS Spam?

Today’s blog post isn’t about anything.  It’s more a test to see if my posts are receiving iOS spam.  I’ve had two people tell me that when they try and read my blog posts that it connects to spam and is unreadable. One was from clicking the link on Twitter, the other was from my Facebook page- only when trying to read on an iPhone. But if you exit and go back, the spam is gone.

That sucks.  But in a era of cyber hackers and a-holes it doesn’t surprise me that even my little blog would get affected. Hopefully I can get WordPress to resolve this issue.  Or perhaps they already are.  

I wonder if this would fix it?


I don’t have much else to add today.  So if there’s ever an issue trying to read my posts, please let me know.  Because maybe the two other people who read them are having the same issues.

Memory Full…

Some of the most frustrating things in life are things that don’t exist.  Computer memory space for example.  I swear that within a year of buying a computer, the space gets filled.


No matter what size storage you have on any given device- it gets filled quickly.  We could have the largest storage on an iPad or iPhone, and it would get filled.  Same with videogame systems.  Our PS3 is maxed out, so is our Wii-U.  Both have been in our possession for years though- so that’s forgivable.  

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been working on managing the storage on all of our devices.  Removing defunct or useless apps.  I’ve deleted the kids’ old homework from years ago that isn’t needed anymore.  I’ve also been trashing numerous duplicate photos.  Even going as far as deleting all downloaded videos in hopes that our computer will run smoothly again.


I don’t know if our computer will run any faster.  I just know that I am able to find files easier now.  It’s as if we just click “save” without choosing a destination on the computer.  We have a 2tb external hard drive and it still has more than half of its storage available. But our 500gb computer is full.  I just want to yell at my family that they don’t need to save to the desktop or create numerous links on the desktop to various file folders. It does not make sense!  


The only thing more frustrating than having to move storage around is trying to re-connect to the internet when you get a new modem or the connection craps out. Or when you forget passwords.  Passwords are the worst.  But that’s a topic for another day.  I need to get back to moving files around now.  Wish my luck in the Matrix.

Before The Interwebs…

A little over twenty years ago, the Internet did not exist the way it does now.  It was a set of BBS dial ups that would disconnect if you had call alert. So the best times to go online was after midnight and before six am.  I had many a late night sharing useless info and code.  But that’s not my point today.


Nowadays we have YouTube and Facebook to share stupid videos and the strangest things that people do. But years ago, Friday night was spent gathered around my television watching a show titled “Weird TV”.  A collection of psychedelic imagery and the strange people of America.  Something that was hidden from view only to show up on late Friday night.  As I said, nowadays everything is shared instantly.  When I first began watching Weird TV, people attending The Burning Man festival were merely a few thousand. That was a good place for the strange and unusual to converge. Now it’s more like a frat party.


The other show I would watch with friends was Mystery Science Theater 3000. Which by the way, I swear was originally called Mystery Science Theater 2000- but I seem to be wrong.  I even owned a t-shirt with Crow on it. He’s my favorite of the robots.  When I worked at the movie theater, we would do private advanced screenings of films. Some friends and I would sit in the very back row and MST3K the films.  We had a blast, and most of the staff also enjoyed our humorous banter.  Recently, Netflix started up a re-boot of MST3K with Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt.  My two favorite celebrity nerds, only one of whom I’ve met and she beat me… at Munchkin.

Here we are on a Friday night, nearly a quarter century later: My plans include watching some Netflix with my wife and children. Probably going to finish another episode of MST3K. I don’t know where the time has gone, but I’m glad I still spend it with people I like.

3DS Mario Kart!

For the first time in about three years of conventions, we enjoyed some gaming time as a family.  Sort of.  Well, the three of us who came on this trip got to play together.


We always bring our Nintendo 3DS’s on road trips.  All of us own our own 3DS.  Each of my children saved up to buy their own.  (It was a good lesson for them to learn how to save money and budget for big ticket items.) At the conventions, we will sit behind our table for a bit of quiet time and do “Streetpasses”.  Or play a solo game of some sort.  We all love playing some videogames. This weekend my wife, son and I did something a bit different. We never took our devices to the show.


Instead, at the end of each day, we spent time playing Mario Kart 7 against each other.  It was a blast.  I hadn’t really played this version, although some of the races are similar to other Nintendo versions.  The best part was that we were pretty evenly matched.  And the smack talk is always fun.

Being entertained is what life is all about. Taking a break for a bit of fun on our trips is great.

SVCC 2.0 17 Panels

This is one of the few conventions that I really get out there and sit in on panels. At most cons, it’s usually actors telling a quip or story and laughing with the panel host. It often seems rehearsed, repetitive and fake.

But this convention was different. The people speaking at the panels were passionate and knowledgeable. Especially in their areas of expertise. It all began last night.


The first panel I went to was hosted by Seth Shostak of SETI. He was memorable and amusing in how he explained his vision for how we look for extraterrestrial life.  I learned a lot about where mankind has gone wrong (lack of funding much?) and where we should be looking to the skies in the future.


The second panel I went to was earlier today. It was about emerging technology. What was neat about this panel was the fact that it seemed like four friends were on stage. There was a venture capitalist, a board memeber at Spacex/Tesla, a member of NASA, and Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry (son of some guy who created that sci-fi series that wasn’t Star Wars…) The discussions were about the technology advancements and speculation on where mankind will go in our search into the stars.

The last panel I attended was titled “Droids and Death Stars: The Science of Star Wars”. It involved a panel of a founding member of the 501st Legion from California, a lady who is a psychologist that deals with PTSD victims, and another female panelist from NASA who also loves Star Wars. The two ladies in the panel surprised me in many ways.  First- the comparison of PTSD of the Star Wars universe that is often overlooked.  (Chewie needs a hug after his loss in the last film…) And the other lady was being a realist about how the spacecrafts really wouldn’t work well.  Even though she is a fan, she also has a better scientific grasp on how things should work.

There was far too much knowledge shared in the past 24 hours for me to write about.  But now I have some topics that I can discuss with my other nerd friends when we return home.

Convention Carny

My favorite part about the conventions we attend? Being a Convention Carny.  And we hit quite a few conventions.


We get to be there before the show opens.  Often setting up a day in advance or sometimes only hours before the public comes in. My wife and I learn the layout of the show floor by wandering around talking with other vendors and artists.


We see all the cool stuff and have extra time to talk to everyone prior to the tens of thousands attendees flooding in.  I try and keep my cool, but sometimes my inner nerd goes all Fan-Girl.  I’ve gotten giddy over the Batmobile, Delorean, and a slew of astromech robots (R2-D2 for those who didn’t know). This show? NASA gives me a bit of a chubby.


I’m 41. Dreams of being an astronaut have long since gone by the wayside. But it’s still fun to see where mankind is going. This weekend I’m planning on attending some of the panels about space and exploration.


The coolest thing for me though was seeing the WordPress booth.  I spoke with some of the staff there.  Most were hired for the show only, not really knowing anything about the app or the website.  I’m no genius when it comes to using this app- but I spoke with them about writing a daily blog.  They accepted my knowledge and in the end- looked me up.


For a moment I was a mini celebrity to about… three people. It felt good. I never expect to have thousands of followers. I write for the joy of it. 

Tomorrow is the busy day.  Saturday.  I’ll be my wife’s “Table Tart” and try to sell her handmade hats and cosplay ears. Mostly in between the guest panels. Come out and visit us at Ningen Headwear table B24 and say hello.  Or buy something.  We like that as well!

Don’t Panic.

It’s the night before my wife and drive to Silicon Valley Comic Con.  Panic has finally subsided and acceptance has come over us. (Well me anyways.) We will have the merchandise that we have- no time to muster any more.  Hopefully enough.  Hopefully lots of sales. Hopefully a ton of fun.

Not only do we have a con this weekend, but we come back home for one day then off to Calgary for another.  15 hours driving to our first location, then back another 15 hours.  Next week is only 10 hours from our home through the Rocky Mountains to the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo.


I love both of these conventions.  The SVCC has so much tech that my nerd brain can hardly contain its excitement.  Astronauts, robotics, vr, videogames, actors, gamers, artists… and the cast of Sesame Street?!?  But wait there’s more! Gary Fisher photo ops! (Carrie Fisher’s dog).  That last one is a bit much.  But after the success of “Grumpy Cat” at Stan Lee’s Comikaze it doesn’t surprise me.

This is the first year that my wife and I have decided not to bring our children to a few of the shows that we attend.  It feels strange.  It feels wrong. It also feels right. It’s going to save us money.  Plus my wife and I are really enjoying our time together lately.  We need those few days without teenagers in order to relax.

My mother has been kind enough to stay with our children while we are gone. Hopefully my mother survives. (My wife and I would like to do these trips more often.) Back to packing now. It’s an early start tomorrow for us to travel most of the way south to our destination.  Off to find my geeky t-shirts and download the SVCC app for this weekend.  

Can’t forget that my 3DS needs to be charged as well!

I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up

No, I’m not all elderly and decrepit, needing a button to call for help.  Maybe one day, but today is not that day.


Instead, I’m stuck in my theater room lounging on a beanbag chair.  I have become one with the furniture.  My lazy gene has taken over my body and kicked out the motivation gene.  I still have the ability to move, but only to adjust my comfort level.  

The last couple of days was a torrent of spring cleaning.  Both inside and outside of the house.  I’m really happy with the progress and all of the assistance I got from my family.  But today it came to a grinding halt.  All because of my Colecovision.


I wanted to play some of my old games on the big screen.  We don’t have a tv in the theater room- just a projector.  Unfortunately there was no way to connect the rf switch to our projector.  I tried to bypass this issue with an old vcr, running the rf switch into the “cable in” and using the RCA cables going out.  No such luck.  I’m sure there is a way to resolve this issue, but with my current collection of cables and wires, I was unable to play Zaxxon.  This made me sad.

I know there are downloads available on PlayStation or something.  I also know that there is a retro console available for purchase with all of those classic games built in and shown in hi-res.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that I am at a stage where I may indeed get rid of my Colecovision and my Intellivision.


After the disappointment kicked in, I opted to pull out Guitar Hero 3 and play a few rounds with my wife.  She was happy to beat me.  But when we stopped, I couldn’t get up.  My comfort level was too damn high!  She left and I had to call out to a child to come into the room to turn off the screen and stereo.  I was lucky enough that my iPhone was within reach so I could write my blog post today.

I can try and turtle-roll myself out of this beanbag chair and get started on my dinner.  Maybe a shower as well.  Unless someone wants to feed me…  I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.  The beanbag chair is like a warm hug entrapping me in its arms.