Picture of Today 10/21/15, To The Present

 

Here we are, Back To The Future!!

It’s the day I saw when I was a kid back in 1989, after anxiously in line for the awaited the sequel to the first Back to the Future movie. How excited I was, to not only join up again with Doc Brown and Marty McFly for another time traveling hijinx, but to take in new exciting vision of the future.

What an exciting day to look forward. Flying cars! Hoverboards! Instant Pizzas! Self lacing shoes! Cubs winning the World Series! Lawyers Abolished! Jaws 19!

Hardly anything we got right to this present day, but some kinda close and others incredibly distant. Still, here we are with somethings that would make even Doc Brown exclaim “Great Scott..” Smartphones! Facebook! Downloadable movies! Drones! Selfies! Wristband fitness monitors! Pumpkin Lattes!

I’m sure there’s more amazing things out there I haven’t thought of, and more to come. But it’s cool to see since 1989, that we have come to this point where a lot of past science fiction is now reality. 

Now, where did I put that sports alamanac?

Orion T

Recent Memories of the PAX 2015

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Last weekend, I played around at the PAX Prime convention..

There, a gathering of gamer geeks mingled with developers, creators and producers of digital interactive and physical tabletop games. The PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) Prime show remains the main one of its kind since 2004, as the event now branched more shows throughout the US and Australia. Still, the PAX Prime show remains popular here in downtown Seattle.

I took many pictures and notes of the three (out of four) days spent there. I have them featured on another site (strangerworlds.com) of which I contribute occasional entries on indie geek-culture. Here are some pictures below, with different notes. If you are further interested and would like more of my PAX coverage, click here for Part 1, and here for Part 2.

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Typical activity on the showroom floor. Just imagine loud booming sounds and the occasional gameplay mic commentary.

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Typical board game fun spread around the show. There is much to appreciate over a fully-developed game after a lengthy long to set-up.

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The largest and strangest of displays…promoting Magic:the Gathering, a game more addictive than crack (not that I tried and compared crack..I’m just assuming based on my long past MTG obsession).

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Über had a cool gimmick, where you may catch a ride in post-apocalyptic vehicles promoting the upcoming Mad Max game.

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Perhaps the most infamous of promotions at this PAX, for the hilariously adult card game, Cards Against Humanity. Stand in line for a lengthy time for exclusive cards placed inside terrible tasting Popsicles. And for a set, you must get all three.

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The walkway through an empty hall to get to that truck and kind-of hidden parts of the show. Worthwhile for the Exploding Kittens game signed by the creators, sold within.

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Classy gals got game!

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A giant Pikachu balloon reminds us that Pokemon will never die

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One of many colorful booths pimping out the expensive tech for rich nerds out there.

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One of many big screens for those who enjoy watching games in big screens..

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Got medical insurance?

Vault Boy from the Fallout game franchise gave this show a thumbs up!

So close, yet far away in distant lands..

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After an hour wait, me finally trying out the Oculus VR system for my first time. That was a very interesting experience, for my love of science fiction and where this may take us humans decades from now..and that’s not just in playing fancy video games..

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That’s all for here. I will likely be back for next year, and looking forward until then.

– Orion

Weekend Pic Fun at the NW Folklife Festival 2015

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Good times!!

The 2015 Pacific Northwest Folklife Festival brought much joy to the many festive folk attending in Seattle, this Memorial Day weekend. Much of this was in thanks to the monetary support from the visitors, business donors and merchants. Further support was also in part to volunteers, who also made this wonderful event possible. For me, it was just relaxing and sampling of new and exotic musical and dance talents (while tipping many in appreciation). There was something for everyone here, I felt. And for that, I had to see what everyone had.

I took some pictures with notes, featured below..

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Near the International Fountain, there was a drum (mostly) circle. Beats combined created a nice fusion, mostly of a constant tribal pattern calling many to the center to shake and dance wildly.

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Many got their motions on, some with fantastic visual attire and style.

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There were some big stages, where some larger acts took place. I was drawn to the jazzy stuff. This is M9, a Romani-style brass band, from the local area. I enjoyed their music.

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One of my favorite things about the Folklife Festival are the surprise sidewalk performances. You just have to be at the right place, at the right time to discover and enjoy something new and exciting. For this year, it was a mix of some Celtic (not sure) and country ho-down fun. I meant to ask more info on this group. I hope to see them again someday.

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I noticed many sidewalk performers had their dogs with them, which I think added a lot of charm to the overall atmosphere.

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Another favorite sidewalk performance. I was hoping to get a name, but couldn’t hold out until the full act was over to ask. The steel drum (I think) produced a cool Caribbean beat when tapped, combined with the stepping of the speaker he sat on it. The effect was a hypnotic awesome rhythm.

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Some fantastic locking and popping happened here. Loved this, as these sick moves brought me back to my early years on the streets of San Francisco.

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Not sure what dancing this is. There was some fiddle music from the stage at this time, and the line moved all around.

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Not all was music. Some fun came from people finding their own ways to share the delight.

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Anthony Briscoe and his band Down North brought some serious fire to the Saturday Night, fuming with a combo of rock, R&B, and soul.

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I didn’t catch the name of the guest guitarist who Anthony brought on stage for one jam, but daaamn, he was good.

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More drums!

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More dancin!

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Festivals are not complete without some crazy food choices.

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Not that it ever really gets hot here in Seattle, but the trees make for great shade and atmosphere.

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Overall, a lot of cheer from many. I was happy to be a part of all this. Thanks again to the PNW Folklife Festival and all involved, for making this happen.

– Orion T

Pictures of Today 5/22/15, Living the Folklife..

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The Northwest Folklife Festival kicks off this Memorial Day weekend with groovy vibes and solid rhythms.

This Friday evening, I dropped by the ol Seattle Center park for this annual tradition. The festival is free to all and run as a non-profit event, since 1972. It’s made possible by donations big and small by many supporters. Here, you can listen to many folk beats from many musicians on stage, or just hanging out by a tree. Many ethnic variations involving different styles of dance, vocals, and instruments are proudly presented. Listeners are encouraged to groove, and perhaps dance with the soulful sounds.

I highly recommend attending for anyone looking to chill and enjoy some cool jams with other like-minded spirits. Though, I also encourage visitors to bring whatever loose change and dollars they happen to have. Though you will find company backed stage performances, there are also many more small acts in between, and throughout the park area. You may enjoy them, and smile; perhaps even dance and cheer to these wonderful performers mere footsteps away. If so, show some appreciation and drop them some of that cash down. Becoming part of that action is what keeps the NW Folklife Festival fun.

You may also visit the many food and merch stands scattered about. For more info on the Festival, visit nwfolklife.org.

I will be back tomorrow, and likely on some grass for much of the day, enjoying this Folklife. If you see me, come and say hello. I promise to return the favor. I might even buy you some roasted corn on the cob.

Meanwhile, here are a few other pics of today’s Folklife opening day…

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-Orion T

Pictures of Saturday 4/25/15, Seattle Center Daze..

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I did some local exploring around the Space Needle.That was my spontaneous little adventure in the later daylight end for yesterday. Here are some pics…

004 copyThe rooftop view, a nice day for fluffy clouds and a good walk..

018 copyThe monorail through the local Experience Music Project museum..

019Up and above..

017 copyA new playground here. The paint is fresh. The playground will be open to the public next month sometime…

007 copySame playground but from a different fence. I may have filtered it a bit too much in the Photoshop touch up edit, but I really liked the lines. I wanted to make sure you noticed..

013 copyThe same playground from another closed off entrance.. It’s a little crazy, and seems dangerous.

011A little more about that..

025 copyAnother look at the Space Needle, from a mid-Spring point of view…

024 copyA little birdie hopping around..

032 copyThe John T Williams Honor Pole, carved by his brother (Rick L. Williams) to honor John and his long family generations of carving. John T. Williams was the seventh generation Nitinaht carver of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. He died in 2010, from multiple gunshot wounds fired from a Seattle police officer. For more on that story, click here. Thanks to donations and public support, this totem pole remains close to the Space Needle, for all to appreciate.

051 copyThat is all for now. I depart the Seattle Center, and walk through the Bill and Melinda Gates Visitor Center. There is much else of visual interest around here. However, I will save that adventure for another day..

– Orion T

Outside Memories of the 2015 Sakura-Con..

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I love these fandom gatherings.

Recently, I joined among the many in colorful costumes for the celebration of an interesting sub-culture. Here, together to celebrate their love for the Japanese anime/manga; including related games, art and lit. The  grand show inside (of which I was unable to attend) was the great Sakura-Con, held annually in Seattle’s downtown convention center. The outside show in the back park area stretching some blocks, is a fan driven compliment to the event.

I spent good time outside the event in the back park area, there to meet up with old visiting friends. While around, I had great fun, cheering on the celebrated icons of Japan’s contributions to pop-culture, and learned much on the new popular trends of today’s “otaku” faire.

I took some pictures with two cameras. The sunny weather was perfect for that, adding vividness to the amazing array of colorful attires. Here below, with notes:

Photo Apr 04, 12 11 42 PMDressed as characters from an anime/manga TV show, Cardcaptor Sakura.

Photo Apr 06, 5 57 16 PMA giant handmade Pokemon creature, made by the mohawked person in the back. Many cheered on this giant creature.

Photo Apr 04, 2 17 58 PMLink and a fairy (from a later game I think, of which I have yet to play)..from the Legend of Zelda series

Photo Apr 05, 7 26 39 PMWaLuigi, brother to Wario. Not sure who the other us.

Photo Apr 05, 7 29 05 PMVegeta and Piccolo perform the fusion dance. I am not a big fan of Dragonball Z, yet have been enough of the fandom to pick up on this stuff.

Photo Apr 05, 7 27 05 PMGodzilla!!

Photo Apr 04, 5 02 52 PMFrom the worlds of the Walter Robot studios, of which I know very little. I know for sure, this make-up job is awesome.

Photo Apr 07, 7 10 25 AMJokers and Harley Quinns. They are not of the Japanese culture origins, but they fit well as the anime/manga altpop culture welcomes all fantasy, sci-fi, superhero, etc genres of creative storytelling.

Photo Apr 07, 7 14 27 AMNot sure who she is from but that makeup job and costume detail is phenomenal.

Photo Apr 07, 12 40 52 PMVash the Stampede and Wolfwood, crossplayed from the classic Trigun anime series. This brings love and peace to my heart, to see fans bring life to one of my fav series of years ago.

Photo Apr 07, 7 12 09 AMThese players are from the Yu-Gi-Oh game and anime franchise. Well done!

Photo Apr 05, 7 39 06 PMI think she is from a newer show called RWBY. Not sure, but nice detail.

Photo Apr 05, 7 30 48 PMAn odd traditional game played every year here during the show. This involves a large circle, where those inside the circle kick around a bottle. The bottle points to someone in the circle, signalling for a walk and a hug to that person. That person replaces and fronts to the middle of the circle, to repeat the circle. There are some various chants and songs that sometimes happen.

Photo Apr 04, 1 18 17 PMCharacters from the long-running One Piece anime/manga series. The fandom of this was so huge, that a separate gathering far in the back of the park happened; where fans put on their own cosplay show.

Photo Apr 04, 2 04 58 PM Photo Apr 04, 2 03 10 PMA small portion of a massive League of Legends gathering (based on a very popular video game). The fandom and dedication to this astounds me.

Photo Apr 05, 7 34 17 PMSome fun under a bridge, which I helped with for a friend (in the bunny suit). Here, many enjoyed a hop scotch game for to promote her Android dating/social meet-up app, Cuddli..

Photo Apr 04, 2 10 14 PMAnother character from League of Legends, I think. I like this shot.

Photo Apr 05, 7 40 55 PMA wild Pokemon spotted!

Photo Apr 07, 7 06 34 AMFrom the anime series, RWBY. Note: Monty Oum, the animator and creator of RWBY and many short films I admired, passed away last year at the age of 33. His work lives on with the fans.

Photo Apr 05, 7 36 01 PMNot sure on this series..but I like the craftsmanship.

Photo Apr 04, 4 59 19 PMA lady adorned with many Moogles (from the Final Fantasy video games). I hope they are clingy, and not dead..heheh.

Photo Apr 06, 5 51 20 PMLara Croft, as portrayed in a recent and very gritty retcon of the Tomb Raider game franchise.

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Well, that’s all for now. I had a huge blast for the one day of three  (I only had the time for, and why I didn’t go for a pass to the grander show inside). I give a huge thanks to all those who shared the joys of their fandoms, with the cosplay and cheers. Good times shared, are the best times.

– Orion T

Memories of an Emerald City Comic Con (2015)

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I love a good comic convention, and any geek-out gathering of a similar nature. For me, it’s all about my comic/graphic novel appreciations, and all the connecting fantasy and science fiction driven art. To be among the creatives, and to converse with them is a complex joy that never ends for me.

I also enjoy the thrill of a good hunt, to peek through the exhibit floors.Through the aisles I explore the artist alleys, company booths, dealer tables, and demo stops. I take much with me. All including (but not limited to) my personal favorite things to take home are: sketches, cheap loose figures, vintage magazines, bargain comics (including graphic novels, trade paperbacks), special edition exclusives, free swag, samples, and the occasional new thing an exhibitor successfully pitched .

I also take home some interesting memories, and fun sights. I love taking pictures of people and happenings, to treasure the shows further. Every convention over the last 20 years (lost count of how many of these now), has had something special. I often meet someone new, or see some interesting gathering. I meet an admired creator, or listen to the words of some interesting celebrity to the realms of geek. This is all great fun.

Here are some wonderful memories of this Emerald City Comic Con (my third attended) for 2015.

IMG_3905The gathering of Spider-Man and related Marvel Comics cosplayers. Among them were many Deadpools, and some Spider-Gwens (a new character to the Marvel Universe, long story), and a classic Electro (a personal fav to my childhood cartoon viewing).

IMG_3894I noticed an abundance of loose action figure toys. Much of which I feel somewhat amused, that an appreciation of plastic detailing and articulated mobility could still be a fun novelty, in my grown-up years.

IMG_3945Paul Tobin (writer) and Colleen Cloover (artist), of the Bandette comics; a personal favorite (and highly recommended) series of a whimsical super-hero thief. Both a married couple hosting their own booth, and a joy to meet.

IMG_3940Long Vo and Joe Ng, at the Udon Booth. Both, drawing two video game favorites; Mega Man and Akuma (Street Fighter). I cam back at short times a bit later to see what they were up to. Both very friendly, and put much love into their work

IMG_3951Christopher Pike, and Harry Mudd cosplay; from the Classic Star Trek series.

Photo Mar 29, 12 19 10 PMI love seeing comic book covers of different areas on display and in boxes. There is an awesome nostalgic beauty to all this.

IMG_3910-0DC Comics “Bombshell” versions of Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Harley Quinn, and Batwoman. All brought to life, from a series of variant comic covers showing the heroines with vintage pulp cover twists. Well done.

Photo Mar 29, 1 40 54 PMAlana and Marko cosplayers, from the Saga comics series. Saga (by Fiona Staple and Brian K. Vaughan) is the best sci-fantasy comic series currently released on the shelves now.

IMG_3930A vintage Batman playset still in the box. Will Batman save Robin in time, or will the Joker have the last laugh?

IMG_3947Jim Mahfood, an admired artist over my last two decades of comic reading. He is the perfect match for the new Tank Girl series coming out. He also drew me a cool Batman sketch.

IMG_3936And here, are the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Seattle is safe for now!

IMG_3880Doctor Doom vs. Judge Dredd. Place your bets!

IMG_3899They let me go, after showing them the droids they were looking for.

IMG_3924Sailor Scouts, crossplayin

Photo Mar 28, 11 15 37 AMThe Gundam Wing 1/100 Endless Waltz model kits. Not shown is my favorite, Duo Maxwell and his Deathscythe Hell Custom.

Photo Mar 30, 7 32 42 AMA new Mega Man figure coming from Bluefin toys. Multi-articulated with LED lights, and pop-out compartments. This was originally promoted as a Kickstarter campaign for fans, now with all goals met.

Photo Mar 30, 7 29 13 AMThe Image Comics booth, once again standing tall as my favorite current comics publisher.

Photo Mar 28, 8 19 50 PMSome of the later stage cosplayers showcased that Saturday weekend night. There were many groups, with incredible detail and craftsmanship. The Troll from World of Warcraft (fifth from the left) I think won best in show.

IMG_3871On the last day and outside the convention, lucky fans got an up close performance from the D20 Brass Band. Many cheered to the Legend of Zelda theme, and other classic tunes.

IMG_3903Gotta love the some of the really geeky merch. I was seriously considering buying that Chewbacca robe in the top right corner.

Photo Mar 28, 10 36 48 AMRob McDaniel at work, sculpting with clay one of this amazing creatures. For the show, his work is inside the fantasy anthology series, Monsterpedia.

21923_10153111978863159_1712772259610341081_nMy obtained sketches on small trading card sized boards, from the show. From the top and left…Leonardo by Albert Nguyen, Batman by Jim Mahfood, Miniature Man by Steven Butler, random lady sketch by Enfu (local Seattle Artist), from the upcoming Faster Than Light augmented reality comics by Brian Haberlin (Anomaly) Inspector Belgique by Colleen Cloover (from Bandette), and Gyro Gearloose by Don Rosa!

IMG_3939Well, that’s all for now, with Gender Bender taking us out.

Until the next Con (probably San Diego in the summer)..

– Orion T