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Goodbye, The Expanse

Friday, January 28th, 2022 No comments

I don’t watch as much TV as I used to and I’m way behind of most of the stuff that I do watch. So it’s not that often that I get to see a series finale. Two weeks ago today, the finale of The Expanse aired. I saw it the night before because it was released on Amazon a little early.

I got into The Expanse right away when I started watching it. I know a lot of people say it takes a few episodes or that whole first season to get into. But you are rewarded for your patience. I kept saying it was the best TV show that nobody was watching, though over the last few seasons I found out more and more people I know were watching it than I realized. The characters, the acting, the writing, the special effects, etc were all top notch.

I remember being very disappointed when Syfy cancelled it after season 3 and so happy when Amazon Prime rescued it. I don’t know how true it is, but it sounded like Jeff Bezos made the decision himself because he was a fan.

My viewing of the show was erratic after it moved to Amazon. I didn’t see most of season 4 and all of season 5 until the weeks before season 6 debuted. I got to watch it week to week again for season 6. Even though it was only 6 episodes, I got used to having new episodes to watch on Friday. And now it’s sad that I don’t have new episodes to watch.

I’m going to miss following the crew of the Rocinante and the Belters and the Earthers and the Martians. I’m looking forward to rewatching the series again, maybe in a few years. I’m sure I’ll pick up on things I missed because of my erratic viewing of the show. I may even try to give to books another try. Reading that many books was a daunting task when the series was about to start. And since the show didn’t cover the last 3 books, there’s hope for more of the show in the future.

Right now I’m just trying to find something to fill the Expanse-sized void in my TV schedule. I don’t know if there’s any outer space show out right now that comes close, but I’ll be keeping my eyes open.

Thanksgiving 2021

Sunday, November 28th, 2021 No comments

Thanksgiving weekend is ending. It was a good weekend.

I worked maybe an hour on Thanksgiving and 2 or 3 hours on Friday. Monday – Wednesday were pretty light at work as well. I’ll be glad when I’m working full-time again and don’t have to work on the last 2 days of that week at least.

I had Thanksgiving with my friends Aaron and Josh in Tigard, who I’ve been spending more and more time with lately. They ordered a pre-cooked dinner from New Seasons and all they had to do was warm it up. It was delicious. We played Xbox games and played a Star Wars themed card game that’s a lot like Exploding Kittens. I played games on my own at home before and after. The only thing I didn’t get around to doing was resurrecting my tradition of working out early on Thanksgiving day. At one point I thought I would work out at home after I got back from Aaron’s but I should have known that wouldn’t happen.

Friday – Sunday, I was at home pretty much the whole time playing video games, watching TV and movies, reading a book, and making sure Reese was okay. It was a nice, relaxing weekend for the most part.

I am fortunate.

Rose City Comic Con 2021

Sunday, September 12th, 2021 No comments

This weekend was Rose City Comic Con. It was my first con since January 2020. Man if felt good to be at a con again.

There were times leading up to the con where I thought about not going because of the delta variant that’s been so devastating lately. I waited a while to buy my passes and I didn’t purchase tickets for photo ops until the night before. At one point I was thinking the con might be cancelled, but going into that final week I was pretty sure it would go on. PAX (which I decided to skip this year) and DragonCon weren’t cancelled, after all.

If was definitely different. Not as many people. Everyone in masks. It seems like there weren’t as many guests to begin with, but more than normal cancelled for various reasons leading up to it. By the time the con got here, there were only 3 people I was interested in meeting.

I had actually planned on being there for only a few hours each day instead of spending almost all day there like I would in a normal year. I figured there wouldn’t be as much to see and I would limit my possible exposure to covid.

I almost thought about skipping Friday, but I decided to get one of my photo ops this day, so I could squeeze in another photo op on Sunday. As I do sometimes, I drove on the first day and rode the train after that. I can’t remember how much I’ve talked about my health on here recently. I was pretty out of shape before than pandemic, but add on to that 18 months of not going anywhere and not eating badly. It was a struggle just getting around the con. I remember having to walk around pretty much the entire building at my last con and although I was tired, it wasn’t much of a struggle. This time, I had to take several breaks walking from the parking lot to the entrance. They were on opposite sides of the building. I only went to see one panel, Carl Weathers. I had to factor in a rest break when I decided when to head to the room it was in. And when I left for the Billy Boyd photo and when I left the con that day, I had to traverse the entire building 2 more times. My legs and back were killing me. I was so winded and sweaty. My heart felt like it was going to explode.

The next day I had planned to do my normal cosplay photography stuff. Luckily, the train dropped me off right next to the Premium Pass entrance. I wish I had known about that entrance the day before. I got a few cosplay photos, but I was too tired to do more. I didn’t even walk around the show floor like I normally do. I got a photo with George Takei, but decided to skip his panel because I was so tired.

Sometime Saturday night I decided to skip Sunday. I had a headache, my chest was hurting a little, and my body was sore. I ended up missing panels with Billy Boyd and members of The Boys cast. I also missed the photo op I had paid for with Jack Quaid. I hope he comes to Portland again soon.

Even though it was tough on me, it was great being at a con again. I’m looking forward to the next one. In the meantime, I really have to focus on my health. I’m sure I’ve said that before, but I mean it this time. I’ve already been working with a trainer. It’s mostly diet that’s dragging my down.

Summer Olympics 2021

Sunday, August 15th, 2021 No comments

The Summer Olympics ended last weekend. They were delayed a year because of the coronavirus. As much as I thought they should have been cancelled this year because of the coronavirus situation in Japan, I was excited by the time they finally arrived. But once they started, I wasn’t all that into it. I hate to think my interest in the Olympics is slowly waning over time. I started this blog 17 years ago this month right before the summer Olympics and even mentioned them in one of my first entries. Ah, that was the year I watched every show NBC hyped up during the Olympics like Hawaii, LAX, and Medical Investigation. They were all cancelled. However, we also got LOST on ABC a few weeks later. But I digress.

Maybe part of the reason I wasn’t into the Olympics as much as I wanted to be was because I wasn’t watching primetime coverage. I usually had a stream on while I was working during the day and I watched whatever was playing at the time. I wasn’t going out of my way to watch anything in particular and I’m sure the most popular events were in primetime on NBC. I didn’t get to see any diving, gymnastics, track, or swimming that I usually enjoy other than brief recaps. I didn’t see any rugby at all, which I really enjoyed watching in 2016. I did get to see a lot of volleyball (indoor and beach), tennis, and water polo.

The time difference is usually issue. There were a couple of times at least when I was watching something and then realized I already had heard the outcome of the earlier in the day. The competitions did feel different. I think it may have been because spectators weren’t allowed in the stands. I didn’t get to hear the personal stories of many of the athletes, which makes the events more exciting. Maybe not having gamily members in the stands contributed to that or maybe all of that was in primetime on NBC

I’m glad there’s only 3 years until the next Summer Olympics and in 7 years they will be in L.A. I hope to attend the LA games. I’ve never been into the Winter Olympics as much, but maybe I’ll try to watch them in a February

Christmas 2020

Thursday, December 31st, 2020 No comments

Christmas was last Friday. It was another day in quarantine with not much happening.

I worked half a day. I streamed Overwatch for a few hours after work. I had Chinese takeout and watched Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max. The food was good, but the movie wasn’t nearly as good as the first one.

Hoping for better times next year. And snow.

What did I get for Christmas and my birthday this year.
  • a map of Portland neighborhoods poster
  • lots of fish food
  • fish cards and stickers
  • a bristlr worm trap
  • star wars card deck
  • an exercise ball
  • a pack of Reese’s trees
  • Star Trek: Picard Season 1
  • Overwatch Monopoly
  • Wakanda Forever board game
  • Star Trek Five-Year Mission board game
  • I treated myself to an Oculus Quest 2, an Xbox Series X, and a PlayStation 5, though the PS5 won’t be here for another couple of weeks.

    I’m at a point where I’m tired of hearing about how rough this year has been. Hopefully this will be one of the last times I mention it. Everyone can go into the new year with a new outlook and attitude

    There were many positives this year: finally getting a new job, making health a priority, getting to see Xander again, getting into a streaming habit, taking part in all the virtual events with PDX Gaymers, helping elect a new president elected, getting new gadgets, spending so much time with the dogs, and so on.

    As soon as the pandemic hit, I decided I wasn’t going to stress over that list of goals I set last year. It’s okay if I wasn’t productive as I wanted to be. I did meet a few of them I think. I’m not going to bother setting any for next year. Hopefully before the end of the year we’ll be able to start having game nights or going to happy hours again.

    Time will tell.

    Unfortunately, I had to work today and I’m working a half day tomorrow. Tonight, I finished a book to meet my book goal for the year. Now I plan to play video games, watch TV, and chat with friends while enjoying the most expensive bottle of wine I’ve ever bought.

    As always, have a great year and take care of each other!

    Wizard World Portland 2020

    Friday, January 31st, 2020 No comments

    This past weekend Wizard World Comic Con came to town. I didn’t realize it until the 1st day, but I hadn’t been to a Wizard World Comic Con since 2014. Something’s always coming up. They think they changed the time of year a few times and maybe it was cancelled one year, but I’m glad it’s back in January.

    I went Friday late afternoon and the 1st thing I noticed how short the lines to get in were and how few people were there overall compared to Rose City Comic Con and to the last time I attended. They weren’t using up nearly as much of the convention floor and were not using the big rooms for panels. It makes me wonder if Portland just can’t support 2 big conventions like this or if of Portland is just more loyal to the locally founded RCCC. Whatever the case, I hope Wizard World continues to come back.

    One thing I liked about this con compared to Rose City is that it felt far more laid back. You didn’t have as many people screaming orders and herding you the whole time. The celebrities seemed more accessible. I saw John Glover go watch the band play on the entertainment stage and he started dancing. The food court area was near the bathrooms everyone was using on the floor. Sometimes I would sit there and relax if I had a long break in my schedule. I saw people like Chandler Riggs, Sam Levine, Michael Rosenbaum, Erica Durance, and Laura Vandervoort go to the bathrooms that everyone else was using. No I didn’t bother them because I didn’t want to be creepy. I’m just used to the celebrities at cons being out of sight unless they were on a panel or doing an autograph signing or photo op and secreted off when they were done. There weren’t people or signs saying to not take photos of people at their tables and I feel like I could’ve gone up to anyone to say hi. I didn’t though.

    They had an entertainment stage at the entrance where they would have bands playing, karaoke, trivia, etc. I didn’t realize until after the first day that the person MCing the events and dancing around was Kato Kaelin, who gained notoriety during the OJ trial. I went to see panels featuring Chandler Riggs, Ross Marquand, Holly Marie Combs, Emily Swann, Smallville cast members Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, John Glover, Erica Durance, and Laura Vandervoort, and Craig Parker. I had my picture taken with Thomas Dekker and the Smallville cast. I ended up missing panels with Thomas Dekker, Sam Levine, and James Marsters so I get my Smallville cast photo done on Saturday so I could skip the last day of the con. There just wasn’t enough going on and I needed a rest.

    On Saturday night Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum did their Smallville Nights show that they have been doing in different cities. There’s no recording of any kind allowed at these. That apparently is the reason why Tom was convinced to do it. He’s more of an introvert and I don’t think he really likes conventions, but this allows him to be himself.
    There were a couple of times where Michael was goofing off and would get right in my face and yell, but it was all in fun. They told stories, acted out scenes from the show, and then would direct audience members in acting out those same scenes. I got picked to play Lana Lang in the graveyard scene in the pilot while someone else played Clark. I think Tom thought it would be funny for me to wear a wig, not realizing it wasn’t my first time in a wig. They all thought I looked good.

    I spent over $500 on Smallville experiences that weekend. I don’t regret it at all. The online communities around Smallville, Heroes, LOST, and other shows helped me get through hard times when I was feeling lonely and different back in Mississippi. I made many friends and continue to be friends with them to this day. I’ve met many in person, traveled with them, and we’ve stayed in each other’s homes. I don’t mind spending money to spend a little time with some of the cast members that helped make it possible.

    I had a lot of fun at Wizard World Portland this year. It was low key and I liked that. The first day I didn’t even take my DSLR with me. Once I saw how low key it was, I decided not to bring it the rest of the weekend. All of my pics and videos were made using my Pixel 4. It was nice not having to carry my big camera around and not feeling stressed to get as many good pictures as possible.

    ESPN Turned 40

    Monday, December 30th, 2019 No comments

    In early September, ESPN celebrated its 40th anniversary. I’ve hardly watched over the past 20 or so years, but in the 90s I watched it pretty religiously when I had access to it.

    I especially enjoyed SportsCenter. I loved the anchors like Chris Berman, Keith Olberman, and Dan Patrick. I thought it was amazing when they brought on Linda Cohn. There were days when I watched pretty much every airing of SportCenter, even when it was on for hours at a time and they were pretty much just repeating the same stories each episode.

    In addition to SportsCenter, I watched Baseball Tonight and a lot of Sunday night baseball games.

    I guess it was sometime during or after high school that I stopped watching ESPN. Every once in a while I would come across it and watch it for a few minutes before moving on or if there was a football game I really wanted tosee, I’d watch it on one of their stations. Sometimes I would put a game on just for background noise. I never got around to watching 30 for 30 like I promised myself I would. A few months ago I actually did start watching SportsCenter a few nights a week while I was in bed. That’s how I knew the anniversary was coming up. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Linda Cohn was still doing SportsCenter. My newfound interest in ESPN didn’t last long, however.

    Now that Disney+ is out, I have the bundle that also gives you ESPN+ and Hulu. I think I have access to the entire 30 for 30 catalog. I’ll be giving that a try starting in the new year and possibly slipping back into some regular SportsCenter viewing.

    Happy belated anniversary to ESPN. You were a big part of my childhood and will hopefully be a big part of my adulthood.

    Rose City Comic Con 2019

    Sunday, September 29th, 2019 No comments

    Two weekends ago was Rose City Comic Con. It’s one of my favorite events of the year. I was glad that this year it wasn’t the weekend following PAX, so I got a weekend off in between.

    I went all three days again, though I didn’t stay long on Friday. I was tired.

    I went to panels featuring Wallace Shawn, Cary Elwes, Chris Sarandon, Matthew Lewis, Jason Isaacs, Dan Fogler, Billie Piper, Christopher Eccelston (lots of people are saying this is the panel ever at this convention), Zachary Levi, and Wil Wheaton.

    I did photo ops with Jason Isaacs and Wil Wheaton.

    I was lucky enough to catch Kelly Sue DeConnick at her table this year. I got a selfie and tried to do the mandatory duck face, but it was hard for me to not smile while I was doing it.

    I bought a piece of artwork like I always do and I took pictures of a lot of cosplayers.

    There were some differences this year that I wasn’t a fan of. Construction outside meant that entry was different and one day we ended up walking around the entire building before we could get in. It was raining on the third day so thankfully they changed things up a bit. They cleared out the room after every panel, which meant you had to get in line each time if you wanted to see consecutive panels. The queuing procedure for photo ops was weird and sometimes it was hard to hear what was going on.

    Overall, I had a great time as always. Next year I hope I remember to pay the little bit extra to get fast pass tickets.

    Christmas 2018

    Saturday, December 29th, 2018 No comments

    Overall, this Christmas has been much better than last year. We actually decorated a tree this year, which we didn’t do last year. There were times when I wasn’t feeling the spirit much, but it always came back. One of the things that helped me get back into it was Overwatch’s Winter Wonderland event. The music, skins, and map decorations are so festive it’s hard not to feel happy, at least until the match starts.

    I won’t go into too much detail, but someone close to me is having a hard time and it has put a damper on my mood at times, but we can usually turn things around.

    I took a 2-week vacation from work and 1 week is now over. I think I think this is the longest vacation I’ve ever had professionally. So far I’ve done exactly what I planned: played lots of video games, watched a lot of TV, worked on my podcast websites, worked on projects at home, and spent time with friends. I listened to my Christmas mix all the way through this year, but I don’t think I heard “Last Christmas” at all, which is a shame.

    I know material things aren’t the most important part of this time of the year, but gifts are still one of my favorite parts of Christmas even though the excitement isn’t the same as it was when I was a kid. I always feel fortunate that people think about me. Here’s my haul this year:

    • Princess Mononoke on blu-ray
    • Marvel trivia box
    • Dancing Groot pop vinyl
    • Lucio and Junkrat pop vinyls
    • Jupiter’s Legacy Vol 1
    • Lunch bag for work
    • Card game and emoji toys (I regifted these)
    • Rainbow socks
    • Tardis fish tank ornament
    • Many Christmas cards (I’ve forgotten to mention these in previous years)
    • Some stuff I treated myself to:
      • Gloomhaven, Founders of Gloomhaven, and Spirit Island board games
      • a new car (post coming soon)
      • an Instant pot

    Overall, this has been a fairly good year. There were difficulties, but I think I got through them okay. Professionally, I was thrust into a leadership position around mid-year, and recently I got great feedback about how I’ve been doing. I think I surprised a lot of people. Health-wise, there have been ups and downs, but I’ve done well these past few weeks. I’m eating more home-cooked meals and less junk food. I think I’ll have a workout partner in January, so that should help keep me motivated.

    I’m so ready to take on 2019! I think some good changes are coming! I know that January 1 is just another day and it doesn’t mean that anything is going to change, but I think it’s a good opportunity to start over or make a course correction.

    As always I hope everyone has a happy holiday season and a great new year! Take care of each other!

    Goodbye Portlandia

    Saturday, March 31st, 2018 No comments

    Portlandia

    Last week I had to say goodbye to another long-running show that I really enjoyed watching.  I started watching Portlandia when I found out I was moving to Portland. Their second season was about to air on IFC.  They did a 8 seasons total. It wasn’t the funniest show around, but there was something funny in almost every episode. It didn’t just make fun of Portland. It made fun of modern life in general. As always, it was great seeing my city on TV. I even got to be an extra in one episode.  Check out the first sketch in Episode 7 for Season 3 or google ‘portlandia gay wedding’ if you want to see it.

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