Category: Aspiration

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Attack of the Cosplayers

I spent most of Comic-Con Day 3 shooting photos with the Fuji X-T1. With the Masquerade Ball in the evening, cosplayers descended on San Diego Convention Center in large numbers. As expected, July 11th was by far the busiest—bustling crowds were everywhere, Even at my trolley stop, there were more Conners waiting than the two previous days.

Riding in, I chatted with a Twentysomething, wearing an Apple Watch. I commented how much nicer is his wristband than mine. He asked how I like the timepiece, as he only had his for four days. Turns out, the former Marine who served for 5 years after joining at seventeen works at one of the local Apple Stores. I love go-to people. He had submitted a résumé online, but didn’t get a fast-enough response. So he hauled down to the mall and waited a half-hour to see the manager. Now that is how you get hired. 

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Comic-Con Heroes Enters the Public Domain

Timing is deliberate. As the big pop-culture convention starts here in San Diego, I release my ebook Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth into the public domain. You can grab the PDF here, or click on to Smashwords for more formats, including epub. I relinquish rights, believing the content remains evergreen valuable even if dated. The book published in September 2013.

During SDCC two years ago, I interviewed attendees, choosing one-dozen to profile. My contention about the convention: The fans are the stars, not hollywood, which gets the glory. The concept started from a recollection posted during Comic-Con 2010: “The Roles We Play“. Yesterday, I published a followup that I planned to title “The Roles They Play” but last-minute changed to “The Heroes Are Us“. 

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The Heroes Are Us

Tomorrow night begins my seventh sojourn to the greatest geekfest and pop-culture event on the planet. Imitator shows are everywhere this Century, but none commands character and class like the original. San Diego Comic-Con is an amazing amalgamation of hopes and aspirations—and the grandest storytelling—where, for four days and a Preview Night, tens of thousands of people can be themselves—fit in, rather than feel oddball—or be whom they would want to be by dressing up as beloved superheroes or villains and by adoring the storytellers and actors behind them.

The first, full three-day event took place from Aug. 1-3, 1970, at the U.S. Grand Hotel, with about 300 attendees and sci-fi luminaries, including Ray Bradbury and A.E. van Vogt. This week, 130,000 attendees will storm San Diego Convention Center to enter an alternate reality, where the social rules binding them everyday no longer apply. 

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My Summer Sojourn: OS X 10.11, OS 9

Due to a rather startling accident, my wife’s laptop is no longer among the electrically living. She will use my beloved Chromebook Pixel LS for a few months, while I step back into the Apple lifestyle to test El Capitan and iOS 9. Eight days after Apple released developer previews, I finally am getting around to installing them, on 13-inch MacBook Pro and iPad Air 2. Whoa, I dunno about the new font!

The Mac is a new purchase. Our cameras and computers are all insured, and late last week I filed the second claim in more than a dozen years (the first replaced a hard drive, for $250, after my daughter dropped her aluminum MacBook during finals week two years ago). I grudgingly picked the 2.7GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro with Retina Display, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD. 

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A Life Lesson

For three summers during high school, I participated in federal assistance program Upward Bound at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. My parents divorced when I was 13, and my then 31 year-old mother chose to raise four children alone. Jobs were scarce in Aroostook County during the early 1970s, and mom couldn’t earn enough. We were poor, by most American measures.

That circumstance and college plans qualified me to spend summers in Southern Maine and someday to attend a school like Bowdoin (I didn’t). The program has expanded such that if I were a high school student today, my UB participation would be at the University of Presque Isle branch rather than the one at Bowdoin. While closer to home (next town over), the benefits wouldn’t be as a great: Getting out of the County’s confines, experiencing life on such a prestigious college campus, watching Shakespeare at the Theater at Monmouth, or traveling—even for a day—to Boston.