small favors, big dividends

13
May

Greetings, all. I’m on my second week of business travel in a row, adding little of value to a project in “The Arch City”. I’ve gotten to meet some people I talk to on the phone all the time in person, but honestly, it’s not been that useful a week, all told.

This happens.

I did, however, get to spend a nice evening out for dinner with my friends Elizabeth and Duncan who live in town and are awfully nice about entertaining me when I find myself spending a couple of nights in one of the Marriott properties out by the airport. I’ve thanked you guys profusely already, but I just want you to know how much I appreciate the gesture.

There’s nothing like having friends willing to entertain an intinerant business traveler when he’s stuck away from home, and going through some personal turmoil regarding his lot in work life.

My latest career move (which, you’ll recall, I took on around the first of the year) hasn’t exactly been what I’d hoped it would be. It’s frustrating for a lot of reasons, is eating up a lot of my brainspace with stuff it probably shouldn’t, and exascerbating some other things I thought I had under control. This week, being stuck away from home (for the second week in a row) away from my support system (who I’m afraid I’m already overstressing with my issues) has been really tough.

The simple act of a friend opening up their home and life to you for a couple of hours, sharing a nice meal and a couple of small personal accomplishments, really means a lot.

Seemingl small acts of kindness and hospitality can have remarkable effects on others. As someone who experienced the benefit of one of those small acts today, I just wanted to say thanks, and hope I get the chance to pay it forward soon.

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And we’ll shout it loud(ly)

08
May

Something hit the internets yesterday that’s too exciting not to share, so I’m sharing.

Remember the post of April 14 wherein I talked about making some neat things? Those neat things are now available for pre-order on bandcamp.

Behold, the latest record from The Blibbering Humdingers, Raised By Nerds:

The whole business is quite a lot of fun if you like nerdy and funny sorts of things, though if you’re visiting this site because of me, you might want to check out tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, which feature me, on, variously, bass guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, and ukulele.

Just thought I’d share….occasionally I get to make neat things, and I’m proud of the work, plus I can never thank Scott and Kirsten enough for dragging me along on their musical adventures.

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been a while

08
May

Yes, it’s been almost a month since I posted anything. I’ve been busy. And overwhelmed. And stressed. And engaging in copious business travel involving the wearing of suits on the subway when it’s 90 degrees outside. Not cool.

Life’s getting in the way. Pffft. I totally missed my traditional First of May and Star Wars Day posts, as well as a mention of Free Comic Book Day (which was pretty good this year). I also saw Avengers: Age of Ultron a couple of times, in preparation of my participation in the Expert Panel Review of the film at the Virginia Comicon this weekend. To get my specific thoughts on the film, you’ll have to show up, but TL;DR? Pretty damned good.

Otherwise, stuff is happening. Yes, Stuff.

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ravencon weekend

27
Apr

couple of great shows with the Blibbering Humdingers, getting to see some good friends (a couple of whom I met in real life for the first time), and not spending a whole bunch of money…I’m calling it a pretty good con.

That said, things felt a bit off this year at Ravencon – it looked like attendance was down, the hotel smelled kind of funny, and the atmosphere seemed really subdued and I dunno…mournful?

Maybe it was the impending move to Williamsburg, the brush with Gamergate drama, or the whole Hugo awards “sad puppy” thing*, or maybe it was personal, related to the the spurts of teenage drama that kept insinuating itself into the weekend, but there was a strangeness to the proceedings I couldn’t help noticing.

Anyway, I still got to spend time with my friends, and that’s what really matters. Games still got played, music got made, and relationships were kindled and rekindled. All in all…not too bad.

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* – a con acquaintence of mine, Gray Reinhart, was one of the nominees on the slate. Being not terribly versed in the controversy – hey, I’ve been busy! -, I congratulated him on his nominated story (which is pretty good), which led to an interesting conversation, and I kind of feel like I stepped in it a bit – sorry, Gray – my congrats were heartfelt and had nothing to do with politics.

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congrats, fred!

26
Apr

Today I heard the news from a fellow ‘Ville Newman Association alum that my friend and former campus minister, Ed Malesic, has been appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania by Pope Francis.

I’m really glad to see Fr. Ed in a position to serve a large community. He was my campus minister during several years of my education at Millersville University, as well as my friend, and (while he may not have realized it), a mentor. I really do admire, and yes, love this guy. To me, he represents everything that’s right with faith and religion in this world, adding tremendous depth and resonance to my spiritual journey during probably one of the hardest times in my life, for which I’ll always be grateful.

The Newman house at the ‘Ville really was home for me, providing comfort, friendship, support, and regular Wednesday dinner, and Fr. Ed was at the center of that. I’m pretty sure I thanked him in person at some point, either at MU, or the couple of times we visited him during his time at Holy Infant in York Haven, but if I never did, I’ll do so now – thanks, Fred.

Today, 20 years after the fact, I’m no longer comfortable calling myself Catholic, finding Unitarian Universalism to be my spiritual home, though Fr. Ed has, and always will be, one of my models for spiritual life. I don’t know if he realizes how important he is to me and my faith-ish development, but more than anyone else, he’s the guy. If Pope Francis (who I think is generally pretty great) recognizes Ed as the model of the kind of leader he wants for The Church, my confidence in the institution that I grew up in, and have had some pretty complicated issues with as an adult, I think the Church is definitely moving in the right direction, even though I no longer find a home there.

So anyway, I think the community in the Diocese of Greensburg are in for a treat; they’re getting a great leader who will provide decent and thoughtful service and guidance. His first remarks to the Diocese are pretty much perfect. I hope everyone there finds him as inspiring as I continue to do, even decades beyond the time he was my spiritual adviser.

Congratulations, and thanks again.

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ravencon 2015

23
Apr

If you’re not doing anything this weekend, and happen to be within spitting distance of Richmond, come on down to RavenCon, my hometown sci-fi convention!


There’s plenty to do, from gaming to shopping to hobnobbing with with authors and artists both famous and up-and-coming, and of course…music.

Once again, I’ll be sitting in with The Blibbering Humdingers for (at least) two shows, headlining Saturday night’s entertainment lineup (we go on at 11pm), also featuring Devo Spice and Danny Birt, and closing out the convention with another set at 2pm on Sunday.

Again, come on out and we’ll happily entertain you with wizard rock and other nerdmusik. I just might be wearing a kilt on stage, and who knows, we might play some of the new stuff!

Anyway, just thought you’d like to know, and because we like playing for enthusiastic audiences, and my bandmates like to buy food with the money you spend on their merchandise!

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i want to believe

21
Apr

Yes, I know it’s fake (we all got it straight from Joss’s mouth). I’m almost sad about this, because this forty seconds or so gets Spider-Man right in a way that five films and two different Spider-Men didn’t. We can only hope that when Marvel films finally does introduce Spider-Man, it’s at least this good:



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Herb Trimpe

14
Apr

I found out today that artist Herb Trimpe passed away. Perhaps you’ve not heard the name before, but you’ve probably heard of The Incredible Hulk, who Trimpe worked on for most of the 1970s, establishing many of the character’s iconic elements, Wolverine, a character first drawn by Trimpe (who he also co-created with Len Wein and John Romita), and GI:Joe, the long-running action toy line, defined in large part by Marvel Comics’ seminal 151 issue run in the 1980s, whose first issues were drawn by Trimpe (and more than anything else, was the book that hooked me on comics in the first place).

I had the honor of meeting Mr. Trimpe a couple of times at VA Comicon events, where I found him to be gracious, charming, and a hell of storyteller, comfortably holding court with the fans sharing tales about working in Marvel’s “bullpen” with Stan Lee and the rest (although he did most of his work at home) during the “silver age”, much to the delight of all the fans and admirers present. He also signed a couple of my early GI:JOE issues, which hold places of particular honor in my collection. I’d tried several times to get a couple of pages of his original art (really good stuff), but always got outbid.

It’s always a shame when we lose one of the greats; especially someone as consistently great and prolific (if not as well-known) as Herb Trimpe. This is just my small attempt to bring these things to light.

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back to the real world

14
Apr

Had a great long weekend playing rock star. The band was tight, the headliners were gracious, the venues were excellent, and the audience was appreciative. Couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Plus we layed down tracks for half-a-dozen songs for the next record. One more item struck from the bucket list.

Now I go back to the mundane and sometimes frustrating life of an IT project manager. Oh well.

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this weekend…the tour

09
Apr

If you happen to be in or around North Carolina this weekend, why not swing by The Cary Theater on Friday night or The Green Bean Coffeehouse in Greensboro on Sunday for some live music?

I’ll be sitting in on bass with The Blibbering Humdingers for both shows, opening for wizard rock pioneers Harry and the Potters, which, if you know anything about the genre, is a big honking deal.

I’m looking forward to it because we always have a lot of fun doing this, and it’s my first real break from work since I started this job, which is long overdue. See you out there!

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