It’s complicated, but much against my will, I didn’t get any sleep on Saturday night. I spent much of Sunday watching myself do things, and even today. my head (while clear) is certainly in a lower gear than usual. With luck I’ll be at my usual level of coherence by tomorrow.

This weekend Starr and I watched some television programs on high-technology of the ancient world, most of it lost forever because some dictator or another felt it didn’t fit in his grand scheme. We mused that those in power over the centuries have rarely been fond of the intelligentsia, sometimes going so far as active bloody purges.

We wondered, is the animosity due to perceived threat – worry that the next revolution will come from that sector – or an insecure need to prove that the dictator’s might is greater than the thinker’s knowledge? Or might other factors be involved?

The only nation Starr and I could think of in which an enduring government has been established by (part-time, at least) scholars and philosophers is the United States; even those folks didn’t get everything right, and some would debate how well those high-minded ideals have survived the centuries. What other societies of that stripe did we miss?

The Last Days of Technicon 25

My Sunday Technicon experience was brief and poignant. Reluctantly awake by 10:00, and out of the Microtel by 11:00, I headed back to McBryde for a final time.

My plan was to leave Blacksburg by 1:00, thereby getting home around 6:30-7:00 and having time for dinner and decompression, so my time was brief and rushed. I got to catch up briefly with nanoreid, had my picture taken with ranchonmarsSkull plush, and won an awesome Thunderchild print from rattrap. (It’s based on a plastic model I designed and we built many years ago.)

I finally had a few seconds to stop into Spiel, where I talked to jsciv for the only time during actual con hours. Touched base with rubinpdf, too; I hear ashoemaker was there, but I didn’t see him, though I did see markush on the way out. Since auction pickup hadn’t yet started, shrewlet offered to collect the print for me so that I could get on the road, and as I left the auditorium where the auctions were held, it seemed like half the con called out goodbyes. Just a little tiny bit verklempt, I was.

I drove home on 460 rather than battle the interstates; I got a far more peaceful drive for my trouble. Faint rain misted my windshield most of the way back, but posed no driving hazard, though I more than once encountered the damned “I refuse to be passed by a Hyundai, even if I was 15 miles under the speed limit!” attitude. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was so bushed that I sat a couple inches lower in the car seat, making the hood seem to disappear behind the dash.

Finally, I made it home. Starr and Midori were most pleased to see me. I presented Starr with the custom art I commissioned from rainbowsaber, and heard happy squees for the rest of the evening.

Sleep came upon me with no trouble at all, that night; and thus endeth the story of a happy Technicon. I’m already looking forward to next year’s: Jerry’s a good man who knows a thing or two about making a con happen, and I’m already tagged to do my shtick again. And this time, I’m bringing Starr!

(Say, who’s FanGOH for 26? And who’s got pics online?)

TCon Saturday – The Crud Strikes Back

Saturday I woke at 8:30, thought to myself “no way, not on a night where I have to stay up ’till 2” and went back to sleep. I woke again at 10:30, went to sit up and was assaulted by nausea and headache. Not, “Oh, I feel like crap, oh well,” but “oh God I think I may need to run for the bathroom RIGHT NOW.” In the hopes that more rest would help, I rolled over until noon. Couldn’t put it off any longer at that point, and made it to McBryde in time for kittykatya and impink‘s Fragile Gravity ( panel. That was fun, especially when Barb had to change a DVD and Chris was forced to improvise for several minutes. I look forward to Book 3!

Well, you know you’re at a real con when two good events are going on at the same time, and much as I wanted to see the General Webcomics Panel, the Spin Doctor had a date at Filking 1025. (Tech uses 4-digit course numbers.) I contributed a couple lines to the weekend’s official filk, which we actually finished nice and early! What a concept! An impromptu rendition of “The Dragon and The Lady” followed (NSFW), with joking comments about the fact that the local fandom children are being raised on this stuff. To quote a song that Keith often covers, we’ll have a generation of well-rounded outcats.

I dropped by rattrap and drich‘s “First Ones” panel – they are the only attendees who’ve attended every Technicon. I’d prepared a button that read “Technicon Fourth One” (the best I could do). Lots of old memories flew around that panel; hard to believe the con’s 25 years old. I’m fairly sure that’s a Virginia fandom record, unless you count RoVaCon / Rising Star as one entity. Still, though, the pain, nausea, and light-headedness continued to build. Barb and others started telling me to Go Lie Down. I talked to Starr a bit – she was having appliance issues at the house right before she had to attend a wedding – and finally gave in and went back to the hotel.

Good news of the evening? While I was semi-comatose, colleenk gave birth to a little boy. Gratz to her and yubbie! (Unsurprisingly, this made the con accountant unavailable for the rest of the event.)

I really regret missing the Costume Call and southernsinger‘s performance. Every few years at Technicon, I seem to come down with something on Saturday; perhaps I need to start over-medicating the week before, or something. I wasn’t the only one, either: shrewlet had a rough day, and there were bleary eyes elsewhere at the con. However, with modern technology, it’s likely that the evening entertainment was all taped, and I’m hoping that someone posted pictures somewhere.

Fortunately, I woke up in possession of a far stabler head and stomach before my evening panels, and headed down to the Microtel conference room. Those panels… are a filtered entry.*grin*

My brain hurts

Eight hours of sleep…

… didn’t help a bit last night. I woke up this morning with a thickly fogged, achy head, which only a lot of liquid did anything for. I also had a bad dream last night that I threw panels for Technicon and nobody came 🙁 Or maybe they just sucked, I can’t remember the dream that well.

Starr has jumped right back into her work. Her co-workers attempts to take it easy on her first day back failed miserably – such is the nursing profession, I guess. We had a nice couple of hours last night before she succumbed to the lure of sleep.

I found a nice sentence on a link from Tobold’s blog about certain types of gamers, WoW hardcore raiders especially, that relates to my ‘poker deck’ post: “For some people it isn’t enough to have achieved something first, they must also make sure that nobody else gets there, or it tarnishes their leet shine.”

Brief updates

  • 09:17 Finding that eight solid hours of sleep beats emergency caffeination anytime. #

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Tail-chasing whee!

Starr had a rough night: discomfort, poor sleep, and more back-and-forth from her doctors on the probable cause. We had hopes that she’d be home by now, but that’s clearly not working out. Continued good thoughts, and maybe a phone call or three would help a whole lot right now.

Midori is still freaking, and I’ve been feeling a bit unwell the last few days myself (due to stress, no doubt). Last night I was supposed to send out some e-mail and phone calls to concerned family and friends, but I lost consciousness before I could wake the laptop.

In happy news, Collegiate BattleBots events will be airing on ESPN2 and ESPNU ( this summer. This is great news, but the sad thing is that I don’t think I have either of those on my channel lineup. I may have to get someone to do some ‘time-shifting’ for me.

Also, I have confirmation of my TCon timeslots, and I have the theme for my panels ready. I kinda like this one, and I hope some people show up!

Maybe it’s just hibernation…

I haven’t really slept well the last couple of nights. For the last week, Starr’s been constantly lightheaded and exhausted, napping through large chunks of the day. Sunday, she was running a pulse of 130. (What am I doing taking a pulse? I’m a Mac geek, not a doctor!)

She’s been to the doctor; nobody’s yet figured out what the problem is. It doesn’t seem to be immediately life-threatening, but at the same time, it’s really curtailing her activities. I believe she’d like her life back. Me, I’m just worried that we’ll find the problem and it will turn out to be life-threatening.

So, yeah. Not sleeping so well.

Start Me Up

Sometimes, people post things on the Internet that just plain make me feel glad to be living in a world where someone spent the time to make them up.

The “Lions In Kenya” and “Shirley Bassey Getting the Party Started” videos are two examples. Here’s another:

I successfully stayed up all night on Saturday night. We decided that our level 56-ers needed to hit 58 This Weekend, which we reached about 6 am. It was nice to know that I can still do that… a year of 10pm bedtimes had left me doubtful. Still, I had to down several Tums, as one of the tricks my body uses to try to get me to go to bed is surges of stomach acid. Also, I was kind of out of it the next day; so, I’ve learned from this that I can do it, but not easily.

Found a website that generates an automatically updated stat block I can use for my characters, like so…


Too bad that the servers are now far too overloaded with requests to actually function properly. (This one won’t update, it’s static.)

Local TV re-ran the Special Edition “Trouble With Tribbles” this weekend, so last night I dug out the “Trials And Tribble-ations” DS9 episode for Starr, who’d never seen it. Great fun! And then it hit me… there’s no way in heck that J.J. Abrams’ Lt. Uhura will be running around in that red minidress. Not in a 2008 feature film. I weep.

Clouds thinning by morning

Feeling much much better this morning. I have been trying to find an explanation for feeling so lousy last night… less caffeine, lingering crud from the weekend, full moon, etc etc… but I think that there’s no special explanation: I just felt bad. This is not satisfying to the logical part of my mind, but all the other possibilities just don’t ring true.

I think it helps that I did again wake before the alarm, though I had a bout of chills about 1/2 hour into my morning. I’m hoping that garbage goes away as the weather gets a little warmer.

My WoW backpack has 16 “item slots”, each of which holds anything from a rabbit’s foot to a 6-foot mage’s staff to an armored chestplate. These slots fill up insanely quickly – collecting additional bags ASAP is practically mandatory – so I’m disinclined to believe the “upcoming patch notes” that claim we’ll be seeing a “scaling” pack which starts at 10 slots and gets to 24 slots at level 70. 10 slots isn’t even enough for a newbie character.

(I love how, in loot-based fantasy gaming, the same pair of armored trousers somehow fit both a 3.5-foot tall gnome male, and an 8.5-foot tall tailed alien female. Imagine how easy clothes shopping would be if all clothing fit the moment you put it on!)

Since I’m WoW-gabbing this morning, here’s a great post on the official forums by a player who’s compiled a short history of Azeroth, giving players some background for a lot of those quests where something more seems to be going on. WoW lore’s pretty darn rich and full, even for a series of 4 video games. It may be no Silmarillion, but that’s a plus for some folks.


Pretty ‘meh’ day today. Today started with the “alarm in the middle of dreaming sleep” which can and did leave me shaky and slightly sick. Starr made me a nice breakfast, and I threw most of the morning ills off by the time I got to work, but it set the tone for the day. Very little today has gone properly, and I’ve been unable to finish almost anything I’ve started.

At least the weekend’s coming up. That’s gotta be a good thing!

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