Archive for May 2012

Poet At Large Reviews, Convention, CONduit22, Article Part 3, The costumes   Leave a comment

Mary Ellen Smith was the CONduit Costuming Guest of Honor this year and she wore several outstanding costumes for us to admire.   I was able to catch them all on film and present them here for you to admire.

Mary Ellen Smith Friday Night.

Mary Ellen Saturday Afternoon

Mary Ellen Saturday night

Mary Ellen Saturday Night

Mary Ellen Sunday Morning.

She is said to have lent her time and talents to over 3,000 costumes and was able to judge the Masquerade that I mentioned in the first part of my Convention in review.  The best I can put it is that the lady knows her stuff.

I have promised that I would list my favorite choices for costume in the hall.  I list them for you here.  I begin with the honorable mentions.  those who took the Time Lords seriously and came in the honorable Doctor’s guise.

Now for the count down…

All Children can be monsters some times but for this ankle biter it really shows.

Number 10 “The Cub”

I know not from where this costume comes but I had to take her picture.

Number 9 “Lovely Lady”

It’s been a while since I saw The Princess Bride but I knew this one at a glance.

Number 8 “Beware The Dred Pirate Roberts”

I really have to admire this one.

Number 7 “It’s Tony Stark”

Trying to be an individual when you have several thousand clones is hard, but this guy does it with style.

Number 6 “The Clone Trouper”

Few people have experienced a moment of insanity as colorful as number 5.

Number 5 “Gingham Rimmer”

Number four had to have spent hours painting his armor.

Number 4 “Battle Damaged Bounty Hunter”

This young lady had any Hercules at his knees.

Number 3 “Megara”

The detail of this costume was enough to keep you looking.

Number 2 “Steam Punk Pirate”

This lady who comes in at number 1 has the right idea and some wonderful finishing stitches.

Number 1 “The Humans form of The Living TARDIS”

Number 1 “It’s Bigger on The inside”

Number 1 “The Living TARDIS”

I loved all of the costumes and do wish that I could have listed all of the ones I liked.  There is so much in the world to love and I challenge each of you to seek it every day as I do.

From The Poet’s Mouth

Lyda Mae Dameron

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Poet At Large Reviews, Convention, CONduit 22, Article Part 2, Tim Russ   Leave a comment

Guest of Honor Tim Russ singing for CONduit goers on Sunday Morning.

CONduit’s Guest of Honor this year was Tim Russ.  The actor best know fro his role as Mr. Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager.  Tim Russ is a very versatile actor with a keen mind and a wicked sense of humor.  In his life he has acted Shakespeare to modern Sci-Fi and released an album where he both sings and plays guitar.  He has made guess appearances on many regular tv series, voiced for children’s cartoons, taken on the directors hat and become infamous for a one line appearance in the Mel Brooks film Space Balls.

I was able to ask Mr. Russ 3 questions in my short time at his autograph table.

Q: Is there any Sci-Fi or Fantasy that inspired you as a child?

A: War of the Worlds and The Time Machine all that H.G. Wells stuff.

Q: What is your favorite Non Star Trek role?

A: a Scientist on Freddie’s Nightmares, because it was a blast.

Q: What is your favorite Voyager Episode?

A: Future’s End One and Two.

Shortly after my asking these questions Mr. Russ gave a commentary on the Voyager episode Living Witness which was his first chance to be the director.  The episode gives a prospective of revisionist history.  A social problem that we face today with the Native Americans.  The actors of Voyager enjoyed the episode as a chance to play with extremes and be a darker version of the characters that we all love so much.

Mr. Russ gave several presentations and addresses to the crowds at the convention most of them packed.  He told stories of practical jokes he set up during the 7 years he portrayed the stern Vulcan character.  He explained it as a release of his own emotions so he could better control them for the camera.  When setting up one of his pranks he would often not tell anyone but the camera man.  Trying to insure that the high jinx was caught on film.  Some of these pranks can now be found on the internet sight YouTube.

For those who came early Sunday it was possible to catch a short concert by Mr. Russ and later a series of shorts called Frame of Mind which were directed by Mr. Russ and stared by many actors from the various Star Trek series’s were screened for those who wished to see them.  I have now purchased a copy of his album Then and Now and at some point in the future plan on buying the shorts.

Those who were able to be there for Mr. Russ’s time at the convention all feel very grateful to have met him.

Lyda Mae Dameron with Tim Russ after getting Autographs.

More on the Costumes of CONduit 22 tomorrow.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet at Large Reviews, Convention, CONduit 22, Article Part 1   Leave a comment

Kermit the Frog as The Fourth Doctor

Even Kermit Got into the act at CONduit 22 Timelords of CONduit. 

For those that are not in the know CONduit is a Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention held each May in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The usual location for this Convention is the Salt Lake City, Downtown, Radisson Hotel.  This last May 25th through 27th The hotel paid host to many who willingly dub themselves Geeks.  Many of them sporting costumes from Popular BBC series Doctor Who as the theme of this year’s convention (The Time Lords of CONduit) centers around the Main character of that series and his many incarnations over the last 50 years.  There were so many costumes of Varying types that I will have to take a few days to go through the 200 plus pictures I have before I can make my top ten costume list.  The panels available on writing and art were very helpful. There were also panels on every sort of fandom one can think of from Harry Potter to Stargate and more.

Game rooms were packed to late at night as player sought to play out an RPG round with friends or try out the latest offered by companies that manufacture the books, cards and miniatures that players so love to use.  One popular experience this year was the Artemis Bridge simulator witch allows a group of Local Area Network Computers to become the stations of a Star Trek style Starship Bridge.  Groups of seven or eight people are allowed to take on the roles of a captain and crew to run a mission controlled from from a Game Master’s computer.   Some time early Sunday morning Guest of Honor Tim Russ who is best known for his role as Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager spent two hours playing the simulator with convention goers  I will Tell you more on Mr. Russ and his wowing of fans in a future part of this Article.

On Friday Night they had the Ice Cream social with Mascot contest where attendees voted by placing pennies in tubs and the contestant with the heaviest tub won.   Following the mascot contest there was a Wookie calling contest.  I unfortunately I fell off the stage during the contest and ended up with a really nice wound on my shin.

Wound received during the Wookie Calling contest.

Many Authors were present at the convention to offer readers the chance to buy a book they may not have heard about.  Some authors such as Paul Gennesse, Dan Wells and David Farland even gave readings and Paul Genesse had a release part for his book The Secret Empire which I have previously reviewed for this Blog.  During the release party while fans enjoyed Pizza there was a exhibition fight between Mugo the Giant and No Tusks The Orc.  Both characters from one of Mr. Genesse’s stories.

Mungo the Giant and NoTusk the Orc from “The Secret Empire” Release party.

One other thing to note about this year’s CONduit was the rise in attendance by members of the 7th fleet Star Trek Fan club chapters and several other fan organizations.  Several years back these organizations were alienated by CONduit’s former chair committee  Though I have never been able to get a full answer as to why.  This year the convention went out of their way to invite the 7th Fleet and other Science Fiction fan clubs back to the convention.  We can only hope that this effort to reach out leads to better things for CONduit in the future.

From Left to Right, Commadore Richard Henline of the 7th Fleet, Admiral Dennis Hollinger of the 7th Fleet.

Saturday Night also played host the annual CONduit Masquerade.  This costume and performance contest brings out some of the best costume workmanship in the state.  The prize winners are things to really be in awe of.

Draculaura from “Monster High”

This Lovely Morticia Adams was well executed.

Both of these versions of Lynk from “The Legend of Zelda” video games took prizes.

These are but a few of the entries.  The most popular winner from the Masquerade was of course this pair.

“Professor you have a screw Loose.”

Steam Punk Wings at a full Stretch.

There is much more to be said about this year’s CONduit.  I will tell you more in my next entry.

From the Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, Book, Lost At The Con   Leave a comment

Lost at The Con by Bryan Young is an entertaining story.  It is however not for the easily offended as it has very adult situations and language.  The premiss that a political reporter could be sent to report on a Science Fiction Convention against his will is full of humor.  The fact that the main character is a very soused jerk that could use a wake up call makes the story in and of itself.  I have been to many Sci-Fi Conventions and I have seen all of the situations described in the book though I have not necessarily taken part in some of the seedier ones.   The story is written with a poetic though foul mouthed point of view that I found easy to enjoy even if I am a church going person.  I would recommend this book to all Science Fiction Fans and Convention Goers, though most definitely not to my favorite aunt who blushes at words that even rhyme with naughty ones.

For More on Bryan Young visit bigshinyrobot.com.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Upcoming Events:

I plan to be at the CONduit Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, This coming Friday the 25th though Sunday the 27th of May.  On Saturday at noon I will be on a panel called World Builders Syndrome Anonymous.  I plan to be dressed as a Neko with a Lavender wig and Black Tail and Ears for anyone who will be a t the convention and wishes to find me.

Poet At Large Reviews, Hotel, Hampton Inn, Portland, Oregon   Leave a comment

A business traveler in this age requires three things, good wi-fi, a comfy bed and quiet.  Add to that a well maintained Hot tub, a small fitness center, a decent breakfast, hard working maids, and a staff that is always smiles and is never surly, and you get the Hampton Inn at 3039 Northeast 181st Avenue in Portland, Oregon.  I have spent the last 2 weeks  here at the Hampton Inn.  We came here because my dear husband Floyd had to install some equipment at the Boeing Plant.  This means his employer is paying for the $139.00 a night room.

The hotel offers a breakfast that allows even someone like me with food allergies a nice enough selection of food that I have not gotten completely sick of waffles.  They even put out breakfast on the go bags that have a muffin a piece of fruit and a cereal bar for those in a hurry.  You can get coffee, Tea or cocoa any time of day in the lobby.  This includes caffeine free herbal  teas.  The tea with honey was a great help for my husband while he had a sore throat.  In these environmentally conscious times the hotel uses compostable plastic wear Known as Tater Ware at breakfast time whenever possible and paper cups that are part recycled and compostable.

The staff puts out fresh cookies and a snack in the evening.  The snack may be chips and salsa or mini corn dogs and mozzarella sticks.  Mostly stuff I can’t eat but the cookies are really good.   I am told I can request that they put something else out for me but I am so use to having to fend for my own snacks or bring my own to a dinner party that it was not a problem.

The maids have always been nice and had very big smiles.  They do their work quickly and efficiently and are very nice about asking to come in and if I would like them to vacuum today or let me have quiet.  My only problem has been that they don’t speak enough English to understand my complements.  I will also note that so far as I know the only thing to come up as missing during my stay was a single sock, which I’m sure was eaten by the Coin-Op Dryer in the visitor’s laundry.  While one should always take precautions with their treasures when traveling.  I do believe the maids here to be honest women.

I do however wish that the rooms had slightly larger trash cans though, since I eat most of my meals here in my room.  It has a microwave that works even if it has a dial to work it instead of a digital control panel and there is a small fridge that I don’t thing would keep anything frozen but it keeps everything else nicely cool.

The hot tub, pool and fitness center have been a God send for me since I am still recovering from spine surgery a year later.  A spin on a stationary bike and a soak in a nice hot whirlpool can really make me feel better.  Plus I do my best thinking at those times.

The ladies at the desk have always been quick to help and very nice to talk with. and the maintenance man was very quick to respond when my TV remote would not work.

I have stayed at hotels that really sucked including a few where instead of giving you bars of soap and bottles of shampoo they put anti-bacterial hand soap dispensers in the shower.  Really harsh soap that dried out all your skin and hair.   By comparecen this one has been a million times better.  It may not be a five star hotel but it has been one of the best places I have ever stayed.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, App, i-Phone GPS Navi   Leave a comment

While on this trip to Portland my husband and I have had the chance to try out the GPS Navi program on his company provided i-Phone.  this App has been helpful but not 100% successful in finding what we were looking for.  The app will pull up an address from dexknows.com and guide you too it but when we tried to go to Mount St Helen’s it took us to the Monument business offices instead of the Visitor’s Center.  Not entirely sure why that happened, but the road took us 15 miles shy of out target.  we never saw the mountain at all and the only coverage the phone had  once we passed the business office was emergency calls only.  We only found out what had happened from an old fashioned tourist map handed out at a general store across the street since the business office which is closed on Sat was of no help.

We also tried to find a seafood restaurant called the Soggy Dollar only to find it was no longer in existace even though it’s still on record as being there.   Then there is a mater of a point me moad that some times informs you that you are driving sideways and It can be so hard to read at times that you can’t figure out what lane to take in an exit even in extream zoom.

We are better off with the app in unfamiliar territory than nothing but there is room for improvement.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, Resturant, Sheri’s in Portland Oregon   Leave a comment

I report to you from Portland Oregon.  My first dinning experience here was very disappointing.  Sheri’s gives you all the choices of Pie you might like but they can’t even keep the condiment policy on their sandwiches consistent.  The waitress assured me that my BLT would come without Mayo, but it gets to the table and before I have finished my fries I find the offending mayo clearly on my wheat bread.  I order my sandwiches dry because Mayo often has Paprika in it.  a substance that I am very deathly allergic to.  I have to carry an EpiPen for a reason.

Though they did manage to not put a tomato on my husbands sandwich, and he just does not like them.

They take the now inedible sandwich back to fix it and my husband has finished his meal before I see another sandwich.  The replacement comes without mayo and on sourdough not wheat, plus they have not given me a pickle with the replacement.  I complain about the bread and they try to take the plate but at this point I am starving.  I would eat tar if I could gain sustenance from it.  So I tell them to box the offending sandwich and I am going to leave.  They knock off all of two bucks for a dining experience I am not going to repete at their establishment ever.

From The Poet’s Mouth

Lyda Mae Dameron