filkertom: (Default)
Our friend Louis Adkins is trying to escape WV for the relatively tame wilds of Washington state. Won't you help?
filkertom: (Default)
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/ )
filkertom: (Default)
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.
filkertom: (Default)
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?
filkertom: (Default)
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?
filkertom: (enoughalready)
More shitty weather coming soon, from Texas sweeping up into Virginia. Looks like more bitter cold and especially more snow. Stay alert, stay safe.
filkertom: (Default)
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?

Superb Owl

Feb. 2nd, 2014 09:58 am
filkertom: (Default)
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:

filkertom: (i_has_a_sad)
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.
filkertom: (Default)
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?
filkertom: (Default)
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 [profile] 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 [profile] 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?
filkertom: (enoughalready)
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.

MORE!?

Jan. 3rd, 2014 02:21 pm
filkertom: (Default)
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.)
filkertom: (Default)
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.
filkertom: (Default)
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'?
filkertom: (whodoyouthink)
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.
filkertom: (doom)
Haven't done one of these for awhile, but I just finished watching last night's ep, and WOW.

What do y'all think?

March 2014

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