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: 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 Normal™ 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 (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 (Goth)
Kirsten and I just had a serious discussion on which My Little Pony was our favorite.

Twilight Sparkle. Accept no substitutes.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Smiling)
Found the photo of me doing a pledge break. I think this was during my senior year of high school.

Yes, I'll take you money!

Also a found a few other fun shots. First, we have me, Kirsten, and The Master from Timecon '90

We obeyed him.

And two of me at Dead shows, first at Laguna Seca Raceway, May 9-10, 1987 (I really loved that hat)

Laguna Seca Dead Show

and from later that year, at Dylan & the Dead at the Anaheim Stadium, July 26th, 1987

Dylan, the Dead, and Doug
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: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
Submitted my ballot for the Hugo Awards.

Which means that if all my choices don't win it's obviously because the committee that controls the nominations is ignoring the will of the fans! This elite group (which makes scads of money off the Hugos) are destroying fandom! The are diluting our precious bodily fluids! Soylent Green is fans who are Slans

Is the SCI-FI CHANNEL trying to put themselves out of business?? !

(This post will make [ profile] kevin_standlee either laugh or weep. Bets, anyone?)
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
I had a few issues with the convention's programming department. Here's what I just sent them.

To all and sundry...

I'll start with the good stuff. All the panels I was on went very well and were well attended. Most of what I heard was positive. People had a good time. Before the con communication with the programming staff was handled well. But it could have been so much better.

Let's start with the lead time. Baycon has a core stable of panelists who show up year after year. Many of us can be relied on to speak on a wide variety of topics. The convention should know us by now. So why are we just getting invites and links for the form at the end of March? Contact these regulars *now* and get us involved in the process! Next year is the 30th anniversary, so I suspect that everyone want to make it special. Let your panelists help!

You could have at least the beginnings of a grid ready by early March. Let me know the theme of the con today, and I'll have six good panel ideas for you to use by next weekend. I know that others feel the same way. Which brings up another problem. The exceedingly short time between getting our schedules and the con. I got my schedule less than ten days before the event. Even though I'm home on disability, that was still a challenge to do proper research for my panels. If we have even a vague idea on what we're doing with more lead time, you'll have better-prepared panelists.

In this vein we come to the question of moderators. It seems like half - or more - of the panels had no listed moderator. I heard tales of panels where fifteen minutes were wasted while panelists bickered over who was going to be forced into the moderator role. This doesn't need to happen! You have veteran panelists, determine which of them are willing to moderate and note that. Ask the panelists for feedback on who should moderate. Even if you pick at random, the schedule should never go out without every panel having an assigned moderator. If a choice turns out to be a bad idea, then note that Person X shouldn't moderate again.

One thing that I'd really like to see is clearly-defined programming tracks. A science and technology track, a costuming track, literature track, etc. Assign each track a room, and you go a long way towards avoiding conflicting panels and events.

Finally, panelists need to be able to communicate with each other before the con. I had one panel where one panelist had a completely different view on what the panel was about, and brought an entire media presentation along that killed the discussion. Being able to talk among ourselves prior to the con would solve this problem.

I love Baycon and want it to improve.

I'm hoping for some feedback, but not hoping too hard.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Gaming - GURPS We Are Borg)
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Game Master)
Doug Berry has been wandering around SF/F fandom for close to 35 years. In that time, he has worked cons, been a frequent panelist at Baycon, run parties, and tormented ConOps. He will also argue anything at the drop of a hat. He lists his religion as Orthodox Baseball, Giants Synod. But what Doug is perhaps best known for is his perverse fascination with penguins.

He has been gaming since 1977, and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. After surviving cancer in the mid-90s, he resolved to get published. The results were minor credits in several books and two “name” projects: At Close Quarters (BITS) and GURPS Traveller: Ground Forces (Steve Jackson Games). Success in writing fiction (aside from his resume) continues to be elusive.

Doug is easily recognized by his ever-present Giants cap and the silly we-really-won-the-World-Series grin. Currently on disability due to a pronounced inability to breathe, Doug is making use of his time by working on several RPG settings.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Game Master)
How does this look to everyone?

This is me! )

Any suggestions for improvement?
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Megadeth and Beer)
I have been asked to be a program participant, and have accepted. Because Kirsten is no longer a staff member, she's my Guest of Guest this year.

These are the panels I'm suggesting )

Need to re-do the con bio. 250 words, any suggestions?

Obviously, we won't be staying on site. Money is too tight to justify paying for a room in a hotel that's ten minutes from home.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Megadeth and Beer)
Or at least into Coco's for a BASFA meeting. Even though we've been members for twenty years, we've rarely been able to attend meetings due to work and life issues. But the club generously donated money to us during the battle with EDD, and I felt I had to thank them in person.

Good seeing people, and just getting out of the house! I was rapidly going from James Stewart in Rear Window to Jack Nicholson in The Shining in terms of cabin fever. Also had an awesome French Dip. Simple sandwich, but you'd be amazed how many places can screw it up.

The only bad thing was we had to bail early due to my damn travel tank. It's supposed to be good for four hours at 2 liters. After an hour, I was showing empty and getting nothing. We need to contact the supplier, I think this tank may have a leak.

But now that I don't have to get up at 0430 I definitely want to try to make more meetings. Even if they did auction me off for ten bucks. I come with accessories for Pete's sake!

The next great trip into the world is for a serious haircut.

In other news, the Giants beat the Texas Rangers 4-1, and now lead the World Series 5 games to 1. :)
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Danger Sick Mind)
"There are approximately 5 million hair follicles on the average human body. I don't need a suit, I'm already furry!"
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Different)
Thanks to [ profile] britgeekgrrl being utterly awesome, I now have a doublet. This one is very dark blue and black, with little blue highlights. Very nice, and it fits me nicely. Now that I have this piece, my mind turned to what I could do with it. This jacket is very sturdy and not ostentatious, the kind of thing someone of some means but still lives a little rough might wear. I also own a lovely black hooded cloak. It's far to thin to be authentic period, but it works very well with the jacket. So what to do....

Then it hit me. Magic cloak. That's the reason why it's so thin and light, it's not there to keep me warm, it does something. Which made the costume obvious.

A low/mid-level magic user. An adventurer. Rather than sitting at a desk pouring over spellbooks, he's out pillaging tombs, fighting fell beasts, and always searching for items of wonder and new spells. Unfashionably random and untamed to the more staid mages, but they are than willing to buy the things he finds in ruined cities.

Which brings us to what else I'm going to need. An authentic set of pants, leather or wool, and a period shirt to wear under the jacket. Good boots. A nice floppy hat. A cool staff. And a belt with various pouches for my potions, material components, and the like. If I can find one, a small leather-bound book and a belt case for it.. everyone needs a spell book! More likely I'd have two, one for my established spells, one for notes, which means adding a quill pen set to the ensemble. A nice magic ring and/or amulet. Maybe leather gauntlets. And a dagger. The first two items are going to be the expensive ones. Luckily, these fine folks seem to have just about everything I could wish for. Just a quick pass on this site shows I can get the big ticket items for right around $200 in total.

Obviously not something I'm putting together tomorrow, but I will have it ready for next year's Epic Sweep of Conventions!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Sleepy Kitten)
I didn't really have a last two days at the con, more like a last 1.5 days. I was an early adopter of this year's con crud release. This year's model seems to be a throat infection. Joy. All I did today was have a few final chats with people, check out a few things, and throttle Publications for getting my email address wrong in the newsletter. Part of the fun was the "hunt Doug" contest that was developed on the fly. Get a picture of me actually sitting on a panel, get a ribbon left over from years gone by. But people got into it. I now know how celebrities feel.

Did end up sitting in on two panels on Sunday. Refurbished History, the annual stealing from history panel, and Before I Kill You, Mr. Bond a panel about villains and their motivations and weaknesses. Both were fantastic.

But today I was just dead. We did manage one more swing through the dealers room, where I was mugged by this doublet at Pendragon Costumes...


Anyone have a spare $350?

I eventually left, and [ profile] kshandra remained to document the final moments of my ascent into legendary status. First came the hoax zine (PDF). Then came the Hiss&Purr. Where it turns out that I was actually in charge over EVERY ASPECT OF THE CONVENTION!!!!!

The final blow.

I deny everything. There's no paper trail. I want a lawyer!

So, the goodies.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Google)

  • My infamy as they guy who is on every panel is growing. The latest newsletter features a wanted poster. (PDF)

  • You'll also see the top ten reasons I've been missing so many panels. We had fun writing that.

  • It was [ profile] johnnyeponymous who misspelled "Marillion."

  • Today I had three actual scheduled events; Two Weeks A Year, My Ass, Really Long-Haul Trucking, and How to be a Good GM.

  • Between those, I wanted to attend Moon or Mars and listen. But Jay Freeman ordered me to sit on the panel.

  • I love it when I pit my high-school education against PhDs.

  • But the panel went very well, and I think my contributions were well-received.

  • In fact I got positive comments for all the events I've done so far.

  • Done with actual scheduled things, but there are two panels I'm going to crash tomorrow.

  • Very impressed with this year's art show. Had we the money, there were about four pieces I would have happily brought home.

  • The Dealer's Room is on tomorrow's agenda.

  • I was planning on hanging around for the parties, but after dinner with [ profile] kshandra and [ profile] murphymom I was feeling a little off and decided to call it a night.

  • It seems that I really need an on-site room so I can escape to rest when I need to do so.

  • But coming home i caught the Giants game. To my surprise, Buster Posey had been called up. How'd he do?

  • 3 for 4, 3 runs batted in. Nice debut.

  • Elsewhere, Roy Halladay pitched the Major Leagues' 20th perfect game against the Marlins.

  • Time for bed.


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

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