filkertom: (Default)
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.

filkertom: (Default)
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?
filkertom: (Default)
May you all have a wonderful day filled with football and tryptophan.
filkertom: (science)
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.
filkertom: (Default)
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?
filkertom: (Default)
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
filkertom: (Default)
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?
filkertom: (Default)
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?
filkertom: (Default)
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.

FenCon

Oct. 4th, 2013 11:59 am
filkertom: (Default)
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?
filkertom: (Default)
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!
filkertom: (headdesk)
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.
filkertom: (ThumbsUp)
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.
filkertom: (Default)
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.
filkertom: (ThumbsUp)
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...?"
filkertom: (kermitflail)
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.
filkertom: (ThumbsUp)
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?

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