gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
Subject to change.

Hey Kids, Let's Put On A Religion!

Friday 15:00 - 16:30, Synergy 1 (San Mateo Marriott)

Let's build a God, and a religion to go with it. The audience will help the panelists create a theology and talk about our concepts of divinity, morality, and authority.

Douglas Berry, Colin Fisk (M), Fr John Blaker, Tory Parker, Prof. David McGaffey

Dystopian Space Opera from Ancillary Justice to Rogue One

Sunday 13:00 - 14:30, Synergy 4 (San Mateo Marriott)

Loren Rhoads (M), Juliette Wade, Douglas Berry, Andrew Clark

Military Science Fiction

Sunday 17:30 - 19:00, Synergy 4 (San Mateo Marriott)

James Jones (M), J. L. Doty, Douglas Berry, Tory Parker, Michael Garcia

How To Build Your Own Death Cart Using Only A Parrot

Sunday 19:00 - 20:30, Connect 1 (San Mateo Marriott)

The Programming Ninjas respectfully decline to be held responsible for Doug Berry. He was like this when we got him.

Douglas Berry (M), Steven Mix
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
I, and at least one mobility aid, will be at Convolution. Here's my panels:

The Monsters of Doctor Who
Friday 15:00 - 16:30, Boardroom V

From the Cybermen to the Slitheen- we love them all! Join our panel of Whovian experts as they share their scariest Timelord terrors!

Doc of the Bay (M), Doug Berry

Geek Networking
Saturday 15:00 - 16:30, SandPebble B

How to make something of all these geeky folks you know!

Steven Savage (M), Doug Berry, Ms. Jennifer Carson, Nita, M. Todd Gallowglas

RPG Story Structure- Writing for Playing
Sunday 10:00 - 11:30, Parlor 2036

There's a difference between writing a story for it to be read, and writing one for it to be played through. Our panelists will help shed some light on how to best make your roleplay story playable.

R.L. King, Doug Berry (M), Colin Fisk

Given my broken foot and general health, I'm very happy that I only have one panel a day. Expect me to be planted somewhere mellow when I'm not involved in a panel.
gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
My schedule for Baycon. Note, as part of the Yak Mil Panel joke, you won't see me listed in the program book for two of my three panels. Trust me, I will be there.

Next Year in New Jeruslaem: Religion and Expansion Into Space
Saturday 13:00 - 14:30, Connect 4 (San Mateo Marriott)

Many religions have specific requirements, such as facing a holy site during prayer, or required pilgramages for the faithful. How do you do that when you are many AU or even light years from Earth? We will discuss both some of the troubles the religious will face, and how religions adapt.

ElizaBeth Gilligan, G. David Nordley, Tom Saidak, Randy Smith, David Gerrold

Domestic Sales Of Yak Milk

Sunday 08:00 - 09:00, Connect 4 (San Mateo Marriott)

Expert in the field Doug Berry presents his current research.

Douglas Berry

The Lost Solar System

Sunday 10:00 - 11:30, Connect 4 (San Mateo Marriott)

Before we started sending probes everywhere, we had a very different view of our solar system. Come discuss Martian canals and the Swamp-Men of Venus!

Jay Reynolds Freeman

And the usual reminder. Due to my stroke, I may not remember you. Even if I've known you for years. If I give you a blank look, please just re-introduce yourself and remind me how we know each other. That usually works.
gridlore: Doug with Kirsten, both in nice clothes for a wedding. (Me - with Kirsten)

Obscure Who references for the win.

Today is the 24th anniversary of my marriage to the ever-awesome [personal profile] kshandra. I am so lucky to have found her.

In other news, Kirsten and I have started pricing wheelchairs. The simple fact is that walking over long distances and extended periods is becoming increasingly difficult and painful for me. I can handle a shopping trip, but I'm actually dreading getting around at Baycon. I still walk a lot, I just want the fall back so I'm not spending all my spoons on dealing with the problems with my legs when I should be enjoying an event.

This is not something that Medicare will pay for as I've not gotten a doctor's order for it. But I feel that it will be good in the long run, as the cost of renting a chair every time I need one would soon outstrip the cost of just owning one.

I'm not looking for a mobility scooter for a couple of reasons. Cost is the first one. Second is I still have occasional balance issues that make me a little leery of  sitting on something that has me perched on a seat. This is why I use the recumbent bike at the YMCA. Finally, I want to stay as in shape as possible. Running a person-powered chair helps with that.

Ideally I'd like to find a good, sturdy, lightweight folding model. Orange frame would be nice, but not vital. Looks like we can get a decent one for under $200. We're going to the Palo Alto Farmer's Market next weekend, we may do a little window shopping for chairs on that trip.

Speaking of Baycon, it would be nice to have my schedule.

Now, everyone go tell Kiri that she's awesome.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Glare of Sarcasm)

  • My apologies for mostly vanishing over the last week or so.

  • The letter from the government telling me that I can work again and all my benefits were going away just kicked my butt.

  • I was seriously non-functional for eight hours after reading that, and barely able to operate as an adult for the rest of the week.

  • But things have been done.

  • We filed all the paperwork for a reconsideration.

  • We've contacted a legal group for assistance.

  • We've spoken with my doctor.

  • Which also led to another melt-down when it turned out that none of my referrals had gone through.

  • Which should be fixed now.

  • But we did enjoy FogCon.

  • Remember FogCon? We went to FogCon before all this started.

  • Nice, relaxing event.

  • I got the entire Mars series autographed by Kim Stanley Robinson.

  • The non-awards banquet was good.

  • Saw some old friends we haven't encountered in too long.

  • Next up, BayCon, where I will be a panelist.

  • We've learned that we need to get a room on site so I can retreat and rest.

  • This drama has also played merry hell with my workout schedule.

  • I either forget to go to the Y, or am too stressed to go.

  • That changes now.

  • The YMCA is now on my calender. Three visits a week minimum. Monday night aqua-aerobics with [personal profile] kshandra.

  • The change in my energy level since I started working out has been amazing.

  • My writing continues to improve gradually.

  • Working on a couple of things I might submit for publication.

  • The writing group I attend through Santa Clara Adult Ed has been amazingly helpful.

  • I'll probably self-publish my novel through Amazon, just so I can saw I wrote a novel.

  • Y'all are buying it. yes?

  • Still want to get back into gaming.

  • Thought I had a couple of leads on a group, but they fell through.

  • Anybody interested in a regular gaming night in the South Bay?

  • 20 days to Opening Day for your 2014 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants!

  • Who have the Best Commercial Ever.


gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
That's "After Action Report" for you civies.

I personally had a great time. While adjusting to the New Normalâ„¢ is still a challenge, I think I did a good job of mixing doing things with down time. Next year, we spring for a hotel room though. Being able to get out of the noise and bustle for quiet alone time would have really helped on Sunday and Monday.

Sadly, I had to skip my last panel on Sunday due to an out-of-spoons error. But other than that, I did get to most of the items I wanted to see, enjoyed the art show and dealers room, and even signed a copy of Ground Forces! (Thanks, Bert!)

Thanks to everyone who read my previous post and took the time to reintroduce yourselves. You'll need to do it again at Convolution, more than likely. Health-wise, I did pretty well. My aphasia was mostly under control, proprioception was good until I got really tired, and so far I seem to have dodged the dread Con Bug. Extra thanks to those who fed us and/or bought me beer.

The hotel had done some major remodeling since last year. One new feature is a sort of snack bar/carryout place between the lobby of the Hyatt and the Convention Center. Really good fast food options and open most of the day. Since this was near where the hotel had put a temporary food stand during previous Baycons, I asked, and yes, the revenue from those tables had influenced the decision to install the new space.

One very cool thing was much of the lobby and ground floor area was given over to a temporary exhibit on the last days of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. All sorts of photos, artifacts, and reconstructions made for an interesting distraction. As usual, the hotel was running a staff contest for who could get the most con ribbons on their staff badges. I love how the Hyatt as embraced our weirdness.

So a good con. I may get back into volunteering again since I've got nothing but time. But one thing I learned this weekend; I need to get back on a regular walking plan. Also, contact my doctor about my feet.

Music exactly expresses how I felt this morning.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
I don't remember you.

Thanks to my stroke I have almost zero retention of names and faces these days, even with people that I've known for decades. Unless you are part of my daily life, I stand a really good chance of having a blank look when you say hi.

Even with a name I might have problems. So many people go by different names in different places, I might know you as Captain Skippy from Live Journal, but not remember that you're Bob in real life.

So I beg patience and help. This, along with the aphasia, are the two most annoying aspects of  surviving my stroke.

I'm also broke, so if anyone wants to buy me food or a drink, I'll not say no.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
1. Military Uniforms From the Past to the Future on Friday at 2:00 PM in San Tomas.  [You are moderating.] (with G. David Nordley, Kay Tracy, Tory Parker)

Modern military uniforms draw design elements from uniforms of the past. Will future uniforms continue to follow old traditions? Join our panelists as they discuss uniforms used by real military units throughout history and those created in fiction and by fandom.

2. Rare Earth? So what, Who needs habitable planets? on Friday at 3:30 PM in Bayshore  (with G. David Nordley (M), Kay Tracy)

When making space colonies is but a few weeks work for tireless robots, will we even bother to terraform planets? How would a future of space colonies around nearby red dwarfs differ from planet-based science fiction?

3. Alternative Lifestyles and Sci-Fi/Fantasy on Sunday at 10:00 AM in Lawrence (with Deborah J. Ross, Lynx Crowe, Allison Lonsdale)

From Heinlein's line marriage to Ethan of Athos, a discussion of alternative lifestyles, chosen or otherwise.

4. Alternative History: Historical Fracture Points on Sunday at 8:00 PM in Bayshore (with David Friedman, Adrienne Gormley, Steve Frankel (M))

A discussion of where history could have gone the other way.  What if the Allies had landed at Calais?
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
Panel 1:  Fri 10/18  8:00 PM, 60 minutes.
Title: Animals That Should Not Be Uplifted
Precis:    Does the universe really need sentient banana slugs? Our panelists will discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks to granting sentience to a wide variety of Terran species.

I'm on this one with Larry Niven and Vernor Vinge.

**** You are MODERATOR of this panel.  Please see below.
Panel 2:  Sat 10/19  5:00 PM, 60 minutes.
Title: Historical Models and Military SF
Precis:    Do we really need to see another "Roman Empire in Space" or yet another rendition of the age of sail with vacuum? What other historical models, and figures can be used to make military SF fresh and interesting?

**** You are MODERATOR of this panel.  Please see below.
Panel 3:  Sun 10/20 11:00 AM, 60 minutes.
Title: Campaigns that Went Wrong: GM Horror Stories
Precis:    Have you ever broken the universe and had to reboot it? Did all your players run past your carefully placed clues and go straight off a cliff? Has a personality conflict driven players to quit the game en masse? GMs discuss worst-case scenarios and how to prevent or remediate them.

Panel 4:  Sun 10/20  1:00 PM, 60 minutes.
Title: Beyond Combat in Role-Playing Games
Precis:    Just because RPGs grew out of wargaming, and most game systems focus heavily on combat simulation, doesn't mean that games have to stay in a combat-heavy rut. There's plenty to drive a story and excite the characters other than Killing Things. Solving mysteries, negotiating, creating friendships, building organizations (a kingdom, a superhero team, an Explorers' League) maneuvering through intrigues, discovering new lands/people/technologies, and falling in love are all good adventures in their own right. Discuss which game systems and worlds make it easier to move beyond combat and explore other types of narrative.

**** You are MODERATOR of this panel.  Please see below.
Panel 5:  Sun 10/20  2:00 PM, 60 minutes.
Title: Pigs In Space: Capitalist Exploitation of Space for Fun and Profit
Precis:    Where governments run out of budget to go, sooner or later private industry will venture. There are many potential sources of profit; manufacturing processes that fight gravity down here will go a lot smoother and cheaper in free fall, for one thing. And what about mining on Luna and Mars? Discuss current capitalist efforts to make money in space, and how soon they'll get off the drawing board and out of the gravity well. What new directions will they take as our technology improves?
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Bosch)
So, about a month ago I had a stroke.

Seriously. I had a fucking stroke )

So, what does it all mean? )

So, that's the deal. Thanks to everyone for their continuing support. Kirsten has been an absolute Goddess through all of this. Treat her as such.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Thoughtful)
Folks, I am taking a year off from fandom. Between my insane work schedule and the need to get some things moving in my life, I simply cannot even think about taking part in fannish activities. So, for the next year, no conventions and very little on-line fan presence for me.

I'm posting this because I'm getting asked constantly if I'm going to Convolution. I'm not, for several reasons, and I'm worried a repeat of last year's Baycon will occur, where someone buys me a membership.

So to be clear, I'm not going to cons. I don't really want to go to cons. After 30 years I'm burned out. So please, please don't gift me memberships. This isn't a matter of money, it's a matter of energy and time.

(GAFIA = "Getting Away From It All")
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
... Carmen Sandiego Doug Berry?

  • Now that I've got that song stuck in your head, I can tell you that I've been fighting the worst cold/allergy attack/bronchial yuck I've had in a long time.

  • So bad that I've been using the codeine-laced cough syrup I got a while back.

  • Which is now gone. I haz a sad over this.

  • But things finally appear to be improving, slightly.

  • Other than that, been working.

  • I did get a comped membership to Baycon.

  • Unfortunately, with my work schedule and general ill-health, I was only able to make a few hours on Friday and Saturday.

  • Still good to get out and see people.

  • Niece Prime is making me feel like a slacker.

  • She puts her resume up on Craiglsit, and is getting hits immediately.

  • Already interviewed for one gig, and is out right now confirming a writing gig for a furniture shop.

  • Paid by piece, but still, getting paid to write!

  • Which only reminds me that I'm really not doing what I need to do to write.

  • So from now on, one hour - minimum! - of writing daily.

  • Even if it is complete and utter crap, get it down on paper/screen.

  • In addition I'm going to start carrying my note pad in my backpack.

  • Should I eventually sell something, I'm buying a corduroy jacket with leather patches on the arms.

  • To wear to my first Worldcon as a Hugo Nominee.

  • Also will need a bubble pipe.

  • Note to self: Make sure jacket will go well with either the Campbell Best New Writer tiara or the SIX TIME HUGO LOSER t-shirt.

  • Giants are doing.. okay. Over .500. but a lot of questions still to be answered.

  • I am out of beer. How did this happen?

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Danger Sick Mind)
[ profile] kshandra and I were taking part in a some sort of distance race through a post-apocalyptic landscape. We ended up in the ruins of some city where the ruins were dominated by a very disturbing statue of of Teddy Roosevelt. This city was the site of a weird blend of Worldcon and Burning Man. The last things I remember before I woke up was sitting in a wrecked car watching some event. [ profile] lysana came up to me to ask for two Star trek badge ribbons I had in my back pocket; as I gave them to her, I saw a long table with a bunch of children around it. I saw that about half the kids were not human. Then I woke up.

Strange, no?
gridlore: A Roman 20 sided die, made from green stone (Gaming - Roman d20)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Pay off everything. Cars, credit cards, debts. Use the remainder to set up a financial plan that would allow me to stay with Kaiser past the end of my COBRA coverage (I like all my doctors, damnit!)

OK, two fun things: Get all the Pathfinder books I need and some really cool dice. Seriously, dice made from Wooly Mammoth ivory? Want! The second thing is paying for the trip to the 2014 Worldcon in London with a couple of extra weeks to see Europe's high points.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Megadeth and Beer)

filk by Douglas E. Berry

ttto: Convoy by Wiiliam D. Fries, Jr. & Louis F. Davies, Jr.

All lyrics in parenthesis are to be spoken.

(Yeah, if everybody could settle down, I'm this year's chair,)
(Can you hear me in the back, Pigpen?)
(Ah yeah, thanks for that, Pigpen, we've got a lot to go through)
(By golly we got a lot to do in the next 14 months.)
(Yeah, it's a big job there Pigpen. But we definitely got a good group here.)
(Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a ConCom)

It was the dark of the moon on the sixth of June
In the hotel's all-night bar
Kevin and Andy with lampshades on
And Garcia posting blogs
We were drinking the news that our bid had won
Word had come from an ill-timed Tweet
I says Pigpen, you're in charge of guests
This con's going to be so sweet

Cause we got a little concom, workin' thru the night
Yeah we got a little concom, and everything is all right
Come on and join our concom, we've ribbons to give away
We're gonna run a big convention, come next Labor Day...

(Ah, yeah, Pigpen you got any ideas for Writer GOH?)
(OK, Al Bester would be great, but he's dead.)
(Maybe you should ask your second for ideas.)

By the time we got to New Year's Eve we had 85 vols in all
But FurNationFest is coming soon
And our numbers start to fall
Yeah them Furries' thick as bugs on a bumper
The attention was getting us miffed
So we sent Pigpen in as a fur-clad spy
And he came back thoroughly yiffed

Cause we got a great big concom, workin' thru the night
Yeah we got a great big concom, and everything is all right
Come on and join our concom, we've ribbons to give away
We're gonna run a huge convention, come next Labor Day...

(Ah, you want to repeat what you just told me, Pigpen?)
(Ah, hell no, Pigpen, I do not want to see pictures!)
(Yeah some things that happen at the Airport Hilton should stay at the
Airport Hilton.)
(Mercy's sakes you did not just post that to Facebook!)

Well we thundered down to our move in date
Like a rocket sled on rails
We tore up all of our hotel deals
As the lawyers told sad tales
By the time we hit the one month mark
The con was was running out of space
We had to rent a banquet hall
From the Sisters of Perpetual Grace

There's a dealer's hall and art and games
And Boffers with rattan clubs
Yeah them hotel rooms was full of fans
And sodas filled the tubs
Well we'd done our best
We went for broke
For two thousand screaming fans
And eleven longhaired body builders
Dressed as barbarians

(Ah, Chair? This is Security 1. You awake?)
(Yeah, ten-four Security.)
(Um, the barbarians just seized the breakfast buffet. They're going to
sacrifice an omelet to Crom.)
(Have you had one of those omelets? OK, OK... I'll be right down.)

Well we made it through to Saturday night
And everything was running fine
But the Masquerade was jam-packed
And just couldn't run on time
I says "Pigpen, it's past 1 AM
And we got 87 costumes to go."
So we shut 'er down, everyone had won
I says "Let them parties roll, ye-hah!"

Cause we got a mighty concom,, workin' thru the night
Yeah we got a mighty concom and everything is all right
Come on and join our concom, we've ribbons to give away
We're running a big convention, 'till the end of Labor Day...

(So Pigpen. Any ideas for GOH next year? CARD?)
(Yeah, maybe we oughta let somebody else handle guests next time).
(Well mercy sakes good buddy, we gotta start getting ready for tear down,)
(So keep the mundanes at bay and FIAWOL.)
(We'll catch you at the Dead Dog.)
(This here's the ex-Chair on the way to bed. We gone. bye bye.)

gridlore: A pile of a dozen hardback books (Books)
Had a blast at the 69th World Science Fiction Convention.

Read more... )

The drives up and back went off without too many problems. Taking US 50 was a good plan, as most of the time we had the road to ourselves and the climb into the Sierras is far more gradual than I-80. We also got to see one of the most awesome distance markers in the US

Now, the book. I really like the Ring of Fire series. I like the concept, I like the research that goes into detailing the effects of dropping a West Virginian mining town in Thuringia during the Thirty Years War. Some of the books are gripping, with political intrigues and conflict and well-drawn characters from both up-time and down-time. 1635: The Tangled Web isn't one of these books. It claims to be a "blended novel", a collection of different stories that make a whole. What it actually is a confusing mis-mash of numerous characters, endless expository text, and almost now action. Even the action points (like the kidnapping of an important abbot) happen off screen! I am never buying another book written by Virginia DeMarcie solo. She's decent with a co-author, but I cannot take 300 pages of endless talking!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Game Master)
Got the following ribbons. The first was the one from "Handicapped Services" (poor choice of name) that allowed me priority seating at the big events. It has the con logo with "I'm Special" at the bottom. Really, Renovation? "I'm Special"? Sheesh.

But onto the fun ones.

Go Giants!
"Eric in the Elevator" LJ: eric_in_elevatr
friends with Eric Z.
Self-Referential, Totally Meta-Ribbon
My Ribbon Is Better Than Yours
I Color Outside The Lines
Definitely Not In Kansas
Henry Potty Rocks!!
New Zealand in 2020
...Mr. Pants

Now, remember this heavily redacted post? The truth can now be told. We're starting a new convention.


Convultion will take place in November 2012. I'll most likely be working Con Ops. More news to come!
gridlore: Photo: penguin chick with its wings outstretched, captioned "Yay!" (Penguin - Yay!)
The unstoppable [ profile] johnnyeponymous wins the Hugo Award for Best Fanzine, and immediately qualifies for the 2012 Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

Video streaming by Ustream

I'm so freaking glad he won. This was his tenth nomination for either Best Fanzine or Best Fan Writer. The Drink Tank is Chris' baby. He earned this win.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Cobra Commander)

All the photos I'm taking at Worldcon can be seen here.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Baseball - Giants animation)
Worldcon slips into an alternate universe!

Yes, that's me in a Dodgers cap. No, I wasn't drunk. No, I didn't lose a bet. I was talking baseball with a Dodgers fan I see at various cons and thought it would be a funny picture.

Or I'm posting from an alternate dimension.

Got to see Dr. Demento live tonight, he is awesome.


gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

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