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Wed, Apr. 22nd, 2015, 09:43 am
PenguiCon, Agents of SHIELD/Age of Ultron, and LJ's Stupid Editor

Jayzus god, I've been trying for a full minute to get a stupid cursor in this editor. What's the point of upgrading your software, guys, if one of the most popular browsers in the world (Chrome) has to dick around with it to actually, y'know, function?

Sigh.

Anyway. A time between posts, I know -- but this time less than a month! Go me! (Speaking of which -- this morning's blood sugar: 106.)

For those of you who've been champing at the bit for Avengers: Age of Ultron (released this weekend in the UK and some other overseas markets, and next weekend here in the US), remember that the Agents of SHIELD TV show ties in with it. Given all the trailer footage we've seen, it's not likely to be very spoilery as such, but it is a part of the story, and AoS will continue with some elements of the story after.

Other stuff: This weekend I'm performing at PenguiCon in Southfield, MI. My set's at 4:00 pm Saturday. Also appearing: Mikey Mason! In all, there are over four hundred separate programming events, ranging from sf/fantasy lit to Maker and DIY to open-source computing to costuming to anime to music creation to urban farming. It should be a blast.

And how are all of you doing?

Fri, Mar. 27th, 2015, 08:45 am
New Concert, and First Patreon Song

Morning, all! Yesterday I posted a new concert up at my Bandcamp page -- my main set on Friday night at CapriCon 2015 last month. The mic was in the audience, so there's a lot of great background noise from the crowd. (Seriously. I promise you that, in this case, it's a feature, not a bug. And you can listen to the whole thing for free, streaming!)

And, a couple of days ago, I posted my first Patreon song. It's a parody of JoCo's song "Tom Cruise Crazy" called "Ted Cruz Crazy". Patrons above a certain level also got a free MP3 of my set at ConFusion in January, before anyone else can even get it. If you want to sign up for the next one (which I hope to finish over the weekend), my Patreon page is at https://www.patreon.com/filkertom. Thanks!

Fri, Mar. 20th, 2015, 01:31 pm
DAREDEVIL Motion Poster (Really? That's What They're Calling Preview Videos Now? Really?)

Also released yesterday, this awesome little teaser for the upcoming Netflix Daredevil show. Easter eggs everywhere -- sound effects, cast members, Avengers Tower just right of center, and check out Matt's reflection in the street puddle near the end.

Fri, Mar. 20th, 2015, 12:55 pm
New AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON TV spot

I've already watched this a dozen times since it was released yesterday. Nearly all-new footage, and exciting and dramatic and EVERYTHING.

All the things.

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015, 11:23 am
IT IS ALIVE: Diabetes, Patreon, and Just Missing LJ

Good lord, I'm doing LJ once every six months now. I really, really have to spend more time here.

I admit, it's just easier to post on FB. And many of my friends have migrated there. So it's been really easy to not visit LJ. Which isn't fair to LJ, or to all of you.

A lot of you are NOT on FB. And I miss you.

So... what's been happening? Well, you likely heard the biggest thing: my marginal diagnosis of type 2 diabetes went full-blown on FenCon weekend, and I ended up in the hospital for three days. Blood sugar somewhere over 600. (All possible praise for Tim Morgan, Sarah Brigdon, Tim and Russ Miller, and everybody else on the FenCon staff. They took care of me, and possibly even saved my life.) Fortunately, the hospital staff got me down to manageable levels, and I was able to soldier on to ConTraFlow in NOLA.

I now log everything I eat on My Fitness Pal. I've dropped Pepsi completely. And I've dropped salty snacks by 75-80%. Result: since the end of September, I've lost somewhere between 75 and 85 lbs. Blood sugar is well under control, I'm eating better, I feel better. Mind you, I'm still a 340-350-lbs. guy. But that beats the hell out of 425. And, while it might be difficult, getting down to 250 lbs. no longer seems impossible. I'm literally almost halfway there.

Getting my body chemistry working better has also done wonders for my head and my attitude. I'm actually spending four or five hours a day working on music again. I've spent a lot of time learning new mixing techniques, exploring my audio toys, and finding out that I am getting better at it.

I'm also writing more songs again. And I just launched a Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/filkertom), where you can support me on a by-song basis, i.e., I release a new song, you give me some money. I hope you'll check it out.

I could go into a lot more detail, and maybe later I will, but right now this is just a hey-how-are-ya touching-base kinda thing. So... how are you? Those of you not on FB, what's been going on? I hope you're all well, or at least not all bad.

Tue, Sep. 16th, 2014, 01:16 pm
Streaming Concert Highlight

The Concert Window archive page for my concert is live, including the Van Getting Rear-Ended story and "Operation: Desert Storm", as well as some very nice reviews.

ETA: There was a reward promised to anyone who tipped at least $3. I just now (7:00-ish Wednesday night) sent out an email with that info to the nice people who did so. If you're one of them, and you haven't got that email from filkertom at yahoo, PLEASE email me at that address to let me know.

Sat, Sep. 13th, 2014, 08:19 pm
Love You Long Time

Have I really not been on LJ for six months!?

Yowzah. Well, hi, everyone. I've been doing all my social media-izing on Facebook, which is great except for the shitty stuff, and I realized I wanted to not only check in, but get you up to date.

I missed a few cons -- InCon, LibertyCon, GenCon -- because of money or lack thereof, but it's mostly been an excellent con summer. Highlight was DragonCon, which was pretty awesome, except for the attempts to negotiate the dealers' area. Yeesh.

A little bit of physical distress here and there, most recently a tooth pulled this past Tuesday. Otherwise, health mostly good.

The new-to-me van is still giving me trouble, but we've narrowed it down, and hope to have it all taken care of this coming week.

Upcoming conventions are all go: FenCon in TX, ConTraFlow in New Orleans, OVFF in Columbus (I'm up for two Pegasus Awards!), WindyCon in Chicago/Lombard, ChessieCon in Baltimore-ish.

And, tomorrow night, Sept. 14, I'm doing a live streaming concert. Should be fun. (I believe you have to have a free account at Concert Window to see it, but the concert itself is pay-what-you-want, minimum $1, I get 70%.)

I hope you're all doing okay...?

Tue, Mar. 18th, 2014, 11:26 am
Crowdfunding: Help Louis Adkins Get The Heck Out Of West Virginia

Our friend louisadkins is trying to escape WV for the relatively tame wilds of Washington state. Won't you help?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1649587.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Fri, Mar. 7th, 2014, 03:09 pm
Oh, Look -- Tom's 2014 Schedule

I haven't yet posted my schedule for 2014. Here 'tis, as of today. Anything marked with an asterisk (*) is not yet finalized but pretty darn likely.

March 14-16: Millennicon, Cincinnati, OH ( http://www.millennicon.org/ )
April 25-27: Midwest Media Expo*, Detroit, MI ( http://www.midwestmediaexpo.com/ )
May 2-4: PenguiCon*, Southfield, MI ( http://www.penguicon.org/ )
June 6-8: DucKon, Wheeling, IL ( http://www.duckon.org/ )
June 20-22: FuMPFest, Wheeling, IL ( http://fumpfest.com/ )
June 26-29: LibertyCon*, Chattanooga, TN ( http://www.libertycon.org/ )
July 4-6: InConJunction*, Indianapolis, IN ( http://www.inconjunction.org/ )
July 17-20: DetCon 1, Detroit, MI ( http://detcon1.org/ )
Aug. 1: private function
Aug. 14-17: Gen Con Indy*, Indianapolis, IN ( http://www.gencon.com/ )
Aug. 29-Sept. 1: Dragon Con*, Atlanta, GA ( http://www.dragoncon.org/ )
Sept. 26-28: FenCon*, Addison, TX ( http://www.fencon.org/ )
Oct. 3-5: ContraFlow, New Orleans, LA ( http://contraflowscifi.org/ )
Oct. 24-26: Ohio Valley Filk Festival, Columbus, OH ( http://www.ovff.org/ )
Nov. 14-16: WindyCon, Lombard, IL ( http://www.windycon.org/ )
Nov. 28-30: ChessieCon, Baltimore, MD ( http://chessiecon.org/ )

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1649183.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Tue, Mar. 4th, 2014, 10:14 am
Pay What You Want at My Bandcamp Page till 3/17/2014

Okay, money just got a little tighter than I like. (Current flavor of Straw That Broke The Camel's Back: glasses frames snapped.) And I'm not ready for any kind of Kickstarter yet. So: I have lowered the price of EVERY ALBUM AND LIVE SHOW at my Bandcamp site to "Pay What You Want".

This will be at least until St. Patrick's Day, and I will have a couple of new live shows and possibly something else released before then.

If you can help out, many thanks, and I hope you enjoy the music! If you just want to get some music free, now's the time.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1648992.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Mon, Mar. 3rd, 2014, 02:09 pm
And, to go with the Oscars....

The Razzies.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1648761.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Mon, Mar. 3rd, 2014, 07:39 am
Oscar Winners

Sounds as if it was actually a decent enough show.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1648461.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Mon, Feb. 24th, 2014, 10:03 am
Signal Boost for Blind Lemming Chiffon

Our buddy Blind Lemming Chiffon is in a bit of a rough patch right now. To help get through it, he has a bunch of nifty collectible books available on eBay. Won't you help?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1648289.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Mon, Feb. 24th, 2014, 09:31 am
Yep, Still Here

Lordie, I haven't posted on LJ/DW for two entire weeks. I guess I am finding FB easier. Sigh.

Hope you're all doing well. Nothing much to report, except I'll be updating my 2014 convention schedule this week (I have to get in touch with GenCon if I'm gonna make that happen). And I'm trying to have some new music, not merely new live shows, in the next month or so. We'll see.

And how are you?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1648076.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Mon, Feb. 10th, 2014, 06:18 pm
Heads Up, Hunker Down

More shitty weather coming soon, from Texas sweeping up into Virginia. Looks like more bitter cold and especially more snow. Stay alert, stay safe.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1647840.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Mon, Feb. 3rd, 2014, 11:07 am
Superb Owl Commercials

All right here. I highly recommend the lovely (and surprisingly controversial) Coca-Cola spot "America the Beautiful", the Budweiser one with the puppy, the SodaStream one for sheer prurience, the Jaguar one for your British bad guy fix, and the faux ad for Monsanto.

Which are your favorites?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1647486.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Sun, Feb. 2nd, 2014, 09:58 am
Superb Owl

There is, apparently, some sporting event or other today. I suspect it has something to do with Tom Riddle, as the organizers get very touchy when someone tries to actually use the name of the thing. Fortunately, a simple slide of one letter to the left produces Superb Owl, a much more glorious thing to celebrate.

What are your plans for this year's commercial-laden testosterone fest? I'm going to get a pizza this afternoon, work on music, play too much Marvel Puzzle Quest, and wait for the Captain America: The Winter Soldier teaser, for which there was a teaser the other day:



This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1647274.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Tue, Jan. 28th, 2014, 10:37 am
Farewell, Pete Seeger

Oh.

Oh.

There's an ache in my soul.

Something is lost.

There's a person-sized hole.

For ninety-four years, he was here.

Now he's gone,

But his life and his music live on
.

Crude, perhaps, as a chorus. But you can all sing it with me. And maybe come up with some verses to go with it.

For Pete.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1646880.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Fri, Jan. 17th, 2014, 03:36 pm
Legendary ConFusion!

Legendary ConFusion is going on right now at the Doubletree Hilton in Dearborn, MI (just west of the Southfield Freeway at Ford Road -- turn right at the Wendy's). Lots going on, lots of great people. Lots of great music. And me!
  • 2:00 pm - Songwriting Workshop (Windsor)
  • 3:00 pm - Mass Autograph Session 1 (Huron/Ontario/Erie)
  • 4:00 pm - FSM Gospel Magic Show (Fairlane)
  • 6:00 pm - Tom Smith in Concert (Michigan)
  • 9:00 pm - Super Heroes and Space Cowboys (Fairlane)
There's also an open filk at 10:00 pm, but I'm not sure I'll make it.

So who's gonna be there, or is there already?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1646729.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Fri, Jan. 10th, 2014, 11:35 am
ConFusion Next Weekend!

The ConFusion Programming Schedule is up, and I am in a daunting position. I can deal with 6:00 p.m. Saturday, that's fine. But whose bright idea was it that I go right after the Heather Dale Band (Heather, Ben Deschamps, probably S. J. Tucker, and who knows who else will show up)!? I'm doomed.

Or else we'll all have a great time. One of the two.

Oh, and markbernstein is the Fan GOH! He gets inducted into that worthy office at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, then has his own concert at 3:00. And there's howardtayler and other artists doing stuff, and lots of Maker panels, and Anime all weekend (if you're up at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, they're running an ep of the marvelous Code Geass), and more writer panels than you can shake a Selectric at, and gaming, and costuming, and and and.

If, for whatever reason, you have never been to ConFusion, this is a really great year to start.

So, who's planning to be there?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1646493.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Sun, Jan. 5th, 2014, 06:39 pm
Snowmageddon? Snowpocalypse? Snow, You Know Nothing...?

As a reminder, I'm in extreme west Ypsilanti, MI, basically just south of the Ann Arbor/Ypsi border. At this writing, I have about 4" of snow on the porch. I just spoke with my sister, NW corner of Ann Arbor, and they've been shoveling all day -- sounds like at least a foot.

In other words, highly variable amounts of actual snowfall, but a decent amount no matter where you are. And the cold is comin' tomorrow.

I don't have to go anywhere, and I'm not planning to. As long as the power stays on, I'm great. And I've only had it go out for more than a few minutes twice since I moved in here five-and-a-half years ago. (I love underground power cables. The only time we have a serious outage is when the cables leading into the complex go down. Although there was the one time a transformer loudly blew, the next block over....)

How is it where you are, and how are you holding up? More importantly, do you need any assistance that someone online could provide?

ETA: A total of about 7" here. Shifting winds and who knows what other factors meant we (Ann Arbor/SE Michigan) got hit with between six and thirteen inches, depending on where you are. Thankfully, the same kids who took care of my porch last week just got done clearing it again, so I'm officially ready for any damn thing.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1646191.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Fri, Jan. 3rd, 2014, 02:21 pm
MORE!?

So, Happy Deep Freeze -- erm, New Year.

Much of the country is under a thick layer of snow and a worse layer of sub-zero wind chills. Here in Ann Arbor and environs, it got down to minus Too Effing Cold last night, with a wind chill of Jayzus God Put The Dog On My Feet. Tomorrow it's supposed to reach a balmy 29° F, and then in the evening we have a Winter Storm Watch predicting up to 12" of new white stuff, followed by yet another bitter cold snap. (The forecast high on tuesday is -2° F.)

Please bundle up, don't go out unless you have to, stay alert, stay safe, and check in.

How are you getting through this? (It's perfectly all right to get through it by being someplace warm. We promise not to hate you. Much.)

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1646023.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Tue, Dec. 31st, 2013, 10:24 pm
Reflections on 2013, and a Hope for a Better 2014

To sum up: 2013 was a rough year. For just about everybody.

Here we are at the cusp of the calendar -- one of those times when the entire world celebrates an arbitrary time of the year as an opportunity to, basically, reboot our lives. Start doing things differently. Become the change you seek.

Thing is, the world changes around you as well. And you can't always tell how or when it's going to do so.

One of the oddities of social media like Facebook that can sustain conversations -- and it's a feature, not a bug -- is you end up being more intimately connected with the lives of people you don't necessarily know that well. This is, no question, a good thing -- one of the best things about FB, in fact. But people tend to be more open about all aspects of their lives online, especially to their Friends (or on their relatively private Walls)... which results in those friends getting the bad with the good, the lows with the highs, and usually with little or no warning.

A lot of us had a rough, rough year.

Illness and injury. Financial trouble. Friends and family and pets dying. Car trouble, expensive home repair, lost jobs, lost homes, political arguments breaking up friendships and families, bullying, racism, misogyny... and that's just the personal stuff. Not counting our screwed-up government, religious fervor causing turmoil across the nation and around the world, climate change generating insanely destructive weather, our news medias' obsession with the utterly frivolous rather than stuff we actually need to know....

There has been much good this year as well... but sometimes it doesn't feel like it. It's hard to see the rising tide over the recurring storms.

So: Those of you who have had bad things happen, or are currently going through sour times... we feel for you, and we care. And those of us who can, will help how we can. You are not alone. Never, never alone.

Those of you who have had good things happen... well, that's just about all of us. And I know it's tough to remember that. I like the idea that's been floating around FB, of keeping a jar or pinboard or somethin' with little notes reminding you of every good thing that happens, so you can go back and go Yeah. It's certainly possible to do it online as well -- that's one of the few things a hashtag is good for.

For myself... I'm doing okay. Not great, okay. I hope to be doing better. I do know that I'd be nowhere near as okay as I am right now without the help of a bunch of people, good and generous friends who lend their time and help in ways small and large. I love every single one of you; even if we occasionally carry on cranky at each other, it's only because we care.

We have to take care of each other. If we don't, what's the point?

May The Year of the Common Era 2014 be better for all of us.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1645635.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Wed, Dec. 25th, 2013, 04:43 pm
Happy Merry Whatever It Is You Celebrate Today If Anything

Hugs all around -- I love you all.

And there's even the gift of music!

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1645489.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Sun, Dec. 22nd, 2013, 11:12 am
A Lazy Sunday

For the most part, the forecasted Icepocalypse did not take place, at least not in Southeastern Michigan. A few places got a few inches of snow, there's a bit of a glaze of ice, but 'tain't nothin' like what they warned us about. So there will be a quick trip to Kroger today, to get my official French toast kit and some fresh fruit, and then the ol' Hunker Down For A Couple Of Days play.

How are you doin'?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1645105.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Fri, Dec. 20th, 2013, 08:55 am
Doofus Dynasty

Dunno why everybody's so shocked, shocked! that a 67-year-old duck call maker from the backwoods spouts racism and homophobia.

Nor am I surprised that Rush Limbaugh defends him on the grounds of FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

I'm not even piqued by the stance of the rest of his clan, that their fatigues-and-whittlin' Simple Country Honesty™ cannot possibly move forward without their patriarch.

However, I am slightly annoyed that Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) is jumping on the FREEDOM OF SPEECH! bandwagon. But then, he's only supposed to be one of the new breed of conservative intellectuals (which I'm sure we all remember from his Mr. Rogers-style SOTU rebuttal in 2009).

And I'm rather annoyed, and simultaneously bemused, at the FREEDOM OF SPEECH! outcry from the same people who boycotted the Dixie Chicks for saying they were embarrassed to be from the same state as Pres. Bush, the same folks who followed Ari Fleischer's despicable lead in warning people to "watch what you say".

Let's remind everyone, especially Jindal and Rushbo, of a little basic law: The First Amendment, guaranteeing freedom of speech, does indeed guarantee anyone the right to say anything (within the obvious limits of "fire" in a crowded theater, etc. Let's not cloud the argument with bullshit). This even extends to outright lies -- goodness knows enough of them have gone unchallenged.

And it guarantees that the government cannot legally suppress your speech.

It does not guarantee you an audience.

And, if you are a representative of a private company -- in this case, the A&E Network -- it does not guarantee you a job if you say shit that said company thinks is damaging to their image.

You'd think that someone who started from nothing and built his hand-carved duck calls into a fairly big corporation and a reality TV show would have people to mention these things to him. At least someone in his immediate family.

Ah well. I'm gonna continue to stay off his lawn.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1644858.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Wed, Dec. 11th, 2013, 01:48 pm
AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Spoiler Thread

Haven't done one of these for awhile, but I just finished watching last night's ep, and WOW.

What do y'all think?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1644746.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Tue, Dec. 10th, 2013, 09:25 am
New FREE* Concert - WindyCon 2013

As usual, pay-what-you-want.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1644325.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Thu, Dec. 5th, 2013, 05:03 pm
Farewell, Nelson Mandela

Incredible sadness.

Not many people can be said to have changed the world, especially for the better. Nelson Mandela was one of them. Rest well, sir, and thank you.



This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1644249.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Mon, Dec. 2nd, 2013, 08:53 am
Cyber Monday

At my BandCamp site, you can get 60% off between now and the end of the year with the discount code "cm2013lj". I'll also be putting up some pay-what-you-want concerts over the next few days, so shop early and often. ;)

What's goin' on in your neck of the woods?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1643805.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Thu, Nov. 28th, 2013, 10:41 am
Happy Thanksgivukkah

May you all have a wonderful day filled with football and tryptophan.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1643720.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Sat, Nov. 23rd, 2013, 05:37 pm
DOCTOR WHO: DAY OF THE DOCTOR Discussion Thread

Spoilers, sweetie.

ETA: Link fixed. Stupid link.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1643469.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Thu, Nov. 21st, 2013, 08:26 pm
GoldieBlox at the Super Bowl

Intuit is sponsoring a contest, Small Business Big Game, wherein a small business can win television commercial time on the broadcast of the Super Bowl. GoldieBlox, an awesome company that makes engineering toys for girls, is in the Final Four. You can see their video (and the other three in the running) here, and vote once per day on every web-accessing device you have. Check it out, won't you? Even if you prefer one of the other companies, it's great exposure for deserving small businesses.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1643198.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Mon, Nov. 18th, 2013, 02:41 pm
IT IS... ALIVE

Sorry I haven't updated here for, jeez, almost two weeks. I'm fine, just spending most of my social time on Facebook. I'll post more often here, I promise.

Meantime, how is everybody? Get through the storms yesterday okay? Everything on track for a decent Thanksgiving?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1642871.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Wed, Nov. 6th, 2013, 09:20 pm
More Crowdfunding: The First Poll

Lots of great information on FB today, and I want more from my friends on LJ. Here's a little poll about my potential crowdfunding project.

Or projects.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/J79357C

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1642689.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Tue, Nov. 5th, 2013, 09:07 pm
Speculating on a Potential Crowdfunding Project

This is probably a really good time to ask you all about a possible crowdfunding project.

First off, understand that this would be for three purposes: reprinting some CDs that I've run out of or nearly out of (e.g., The Last Hero On Earth and Homecoming: MarCon 2005); getting some spiffy new printings of some of the ones I've been burning myself, complete with actual covers 'n' stuff; and paying for some personal stuff that I need -- dental work, auto repair (or even replacement), that sort of thing. (That precludes Kickstarter, by the way, which doesn't allow fundraising for personal causes. The likeliest site would be Indiegogo or GoFundMe, but I have a few to check out.)

I need to be right up front about that. Neither I nor the economy is what it was six years ago; I'm no longer able to just squeak out a living at filk, not like I did. SocSecDis just about pays my regular bills; my food and any extras are covered by online sales and conventions. I'm not suffering, but I'm sure not flush -- it's the old every-time-I-get-money-in-it-goes-out game, with a side of one-bit-hit-could-leave-me-in-deep-trouble.

My original thought was to basically write at least one album's worth of songs in January and February, say, a dozen, with an initial goal of $5,000. That would cover the reprints of the two albums I'm thinking, the production of the new album itself, the dental work, and a new set of tires for Cashmere (the "new" van, the goldish one -- it definitely earned a name on the trip out west. Ran like a dream).

Stretch goals would include another song every $1,000 or so. Add-ons would include downloads of other albums, house concerts (where I come to you), maybe a personalized song (assuming I don't have any others in the fire), stuff like that. And the resulting cash would give me a buffer.

Leslie even suggested I run an online game for a few people. I have to think about that, but OOOOOOH it sounds great.

Lexi wants me to come out with a song book. I've been puttering at that for ten years; maybe this is the time to spend a month finishing the damn thing.

So. Thoughts? Are those levels reasonable, at least as talking points while I think through the details? Am I being a jerk about this, getting you guys to fund my dental work?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1642404.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Sat, Nov. 2nd, 2013, 08:44 pm
Ender's Game (SPOILER ALERT)

Yesterday I posted this on Facebook....Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1642047.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Mon, Oct. 28th, 2013, 07:23 pm
Home Again, Home Again

Home at last from the Great Adventure. Quite wonderful adventure, really -- FenCon was excellent, spending a week with my mom and NOT sightseeing was restful, ConChord was great, and the travel itself was awesome (although there were a few mountain roads that kinda freaked me out).

Da Big Finale, of course, was OVFF, and I think this year's unofficial theme was The Summer Of Love, because we were pretty much all over each other with hugs and affection and support all weekend. The music was pretty great, too, and Alexander James Adams, S.J. Tucker, and Betsy Tinney -- collectively Tricky Pixie -- finished on Sunday with one of the absolute best concerts I've ever attended.

Now I catch up with my sleep, a few TV episodes I have to watch, and getting ready for WindyCon next weekend. I think I'll try to finally get to Gravity either Tuesday or Thursday.

And how's by you?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1641748.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Fri, Oct. 18th, 2013, 11:31 am
Ted Cruz Crazy

Good morning! Here, have a song. From an idea by Bruce Adelsohn. Thanks to Zander Nyrond and Blind Lemming Chiffon for suggesting lyrical tweaks.

Ted Cruz Crazy
Words: © by Tom Smith
Music: "Tom Cruise Crazy" by Jonathan Coulton

Music video for the original song:



Ted Cruz is so in love with freedom
At least all his people tell him so
Hates the poor and doesn't want to feed 'em,
Thinks Obamacare just has to go,
But a functioning government sucked out his compassion,
Good thing he's not Canadian anymore

Ted Cruz is Ted Cruz crazy
Just be glad it's him not you
If you had Ted Cruz's ego
You might be Ted Cruz crazy too
You'd flash your big white phony smile
You'd break Congress's rules
(alternate: "You'd dominate the news")
And you'd be the only man on Earth
Who didn't hate Ted Cruz
Oh no, you wouldn't despise Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz is always getting odder
He knows he'll never be that sane again
And when Ted Cruz looks for cannon fodder
He sees the welfare queens and union men
He knows someday he'll have to play
A very subtle race card,
He reads "Green Eggs and Ham" and gets it wrong

Ted Cruz is Ted Cruz crazy
Just be glad it's him not you
If you had Ted Cruz's viewpoint
You might be Ted Cruz crazy too
You'd threaten the economy
While your colleagues drink their booze
And you'd be the only man on Earth
Who could even stand Ted Cruz
Oh yeah, you wouldn't loathe Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz thinks somewhere there's a place for him
But he's not of this world anymore...

Somewhere in his White House playset
Poor Ted Cruz sits staring at the wall
A voice speaks in his head, and he obeys it
He never fails to heed its call
There are millions who know his name
Everybody hates him
Guess he's just not making himself clear...

Ted Cruz is Ted Cruz crazy
Just be glad it's him not you
If you had Ted Cruz's ambitions,
You might be Ted Cruz crazy too
You'd stomp and scramble over folks
Who have much more to lose
And you'd be the only man on Earth
Who didn't despise Ted Cruz
Oh no, you wouldn't much like Ted Cruz.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1641537.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Fri, Oct. 4th, 2013, 11:59 am
FenCon

Yesterday was the longest single driving day of my life. Seventeen hours in the car, starting at 7:00 a.m. Central and going until midnight. But at the end of the road was FenCon.

A bunch of friends were there -- Tim, Russ, Tim, Rhonda -- along with some other nice folks, who whisked me and my stuff up to my room. And I already saw Heather Dale and Ben Deschamps.

Today I have the GOH luncheon, where I hope to not make an ass of myself in front of Cory Doctorow and Sandy Petersen. I also have a concert at 9:00, to be immediately followed by some awesome kinda gaming session w/Mr. Doctorow and Mr. Petersen. (I have brought my Zombie Dice and my primary gaming bag, the crisp pretty new Crown Royale bag I found at GenCon two years ago. I have the rules to RQ, D20, T&T, C&S, and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying on my iPad, along with Puzzle Quest, Dungeon Raid, and my current favorite, Giant Boulder of Death. My gamer cred is not only intact, it's gettin' kinda full of itself.)

I have an Interview the GOH panel at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, the mass autograph session at 1:00, another concert at 3:00, Scooterball w/Teresa Nielsen Hayden at 6:00, and a caberet slot sometime after 8:30.

And then, Sunday morning at 11:00, I moderate (if that is the correct term) Whose Line Is It Anyway?

So, yeah, kind of a busy weekend.

What are you up to?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1641464.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Wed, Oct. 2nd, 2013, 11:40 am
Hey, Kids! New Album

Release The Unreleased is a bunch of things I've written and recorded over the past few years, including a few commissioned songs, a couple of FuMP releases, a couple of traditional Irish drinking songs... it's an eclectic mix.

I'll have the lyrics, graphics for the CD label and the inserts and such, up as quickly as I can -- I hope tonight, certainly something by Friday -- but you can go listen to, and download, the whole album for free right now. (It's another pay-what-you-want deal.) (Subscribers -- don't pay. It's already in your folder, along with something else I think you'll like.) I hope you enjoy it!

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1640997.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Sun, Sep. 29th, 2013, 11:38 am
The ACA, Again

I certainly don't expect a lot of my politically-right-leaning friends to read this exhaustive article in the Daily Kos about how the Republican party has fought against the Affordable Care Act with lies, disinformation, and more lies; I expect even fewer to think about it. But I thought it was worth it to at least have the information out here, where you can find it.

Discuss it to your heart's content. I will not join in. Please be polite, no personal attacks on other commenters -- we're all friends here.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1640841.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Sun, Sep. 29th, 2013, 10:28 am
Halloween Costumes

Christmas stuff at CostCo notwithstanding, it's getting closer to that most glorious time of the year: Halloween! When candy isn't fattening, scares aren't that scary, and everybody cosplays.

Anne steered me to a couple of costume sites I think you'll like.
  • First is Take Back Halloween, a resource guide for unusual and quick costuming and especially for breaking out of the "Sexy _____" mold (read their About page).
  • Second is Carbon Costume, another DIY costuming site with some innovative stuff going on. Some of their costumes are pretty pricey, though.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, Cosplay Tutorial covers everything from make-up to PVC, from wig-making to LEDs. NOT a quickie-costume site, but if you want to seriously get into cosplay it's an amazing resource.
  • Buzzfeed has a couple of surprisingly excellent pages for quick & easy costumes.
  • Lilluna.com's page has many excellent ideas.
  • And, last and least yet still great, the certifiably nutso costume ideas at Haunted In Hillsboro.
Any particular sites you like? Either how-to resource archives, or cosplayers you really enjoy.

ETA: several more sites.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1640463.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Wed, Sep. 25th, 2013, 04:16 pm
Kickstarter Boost: Tabletop Castles

Today's KS signal boost is a very cool tabletop-miniature accessory. Folding buildings, easily stored and transported, and strong enough to handle all the minis you want to put on top of 'em. Your very own siege display! Check it out at the Kickstarter page for Tabletop Castles.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1640328.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Wed, Sep. 25th, 2013, 06:07 am
AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Spoiler Thread

Go wild. For what it's worth, I thought it was excellent -- a natural progression from both Avengers and Iron Man 3. Clark Gregg is simply splendid. And did you notice the Special Thanks in the credits to Jim Steranko? That's from where we got Lola.

"... Gramsie...?"

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1640155.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Sat, Sep. 21st, 2013, 07:20 pm
ConClave Lives!

They took a break last year, to get their stuff together... and, this year, ConClave lives again! It's over at that very nice Doubletree we've been hangin' at in Dearborn, just off Ford Road and the Southfield Freeway, and the big GOH is author Allen Steele.

They've already got an extensive science track, lots of writing and SF-specific panels planned, gaming, anime, a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a Saturday night dance, and Uncle Richard's Trash Videos. Really, you can't go wrong. For much more info, click here.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1639789.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Fri, Sep. 20th, 2013, 07:18 pm
Okay, Time For The Formal Pitch: Anyone in Phoenix want to host a House Concert?

Ahem! Good friends: I'm going to be in the Phoenix, AZ area the weekend of Oct. 12. Is there anyone out there interested in hosting me in a house concert between, say, Thursday the 10th and Monday the 14th?

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1639540.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Thu, Sep. 19th, 2013, 11:46 am
ARRR

Once again, it be that grandest o' times, International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Avast, me hearties -- SING!



This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1639247.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Mon, Sep. 16th, 2013, 05:38 pm
Again

Thirteen dead in Washington, DC Navy Yard shooting.

Some of the dead were the much-vaunted good guys with guns: the security guards.

Maybe now we can have a discussion about reasonable gun control...?

Nah. Didn't think so.

I warn you, though: I am in no mood for bullshit. Mourn the dead, and otherwise shut up. We'll talk guns later this week.

Not today.

Thirteen dead.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1639119.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Wed, Sep. 11th, 2013, 09:43 am
It's the anniversary of That Day.

Twelve years ago, twenty men decided to take the lives of several thousand people in a most attention-getting way.

Our world has been fucked up ever since, and it's not getting any less fucked up the more we continue to encourage fear, bigotry, violence, and greed.

I don't think things are going to improve until we remember that our first priority as a species is... the preservation of ourselves as a species. Helping each other, loving each other, embracing the differences that make us unique, celebrating the commonalities that make us one.

Today is not a day to keep the flame of vengeance alive.

Today is a day to keep the flame of hope alive.

I love you all.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1638800.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

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