The Star Wars Togetherness

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I much enjoyed the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie.

It’s not a perfect movie, but it’s got all the stuff I ask for in a Star Wars movie; awesome visuals, big space and ground battles, dueling light sword wield wizards, interesting characters with great development and interaction, light humor, and a lot of answers to fictional questions.

The picture above (Rebel Pilot and Biker Scout) are of two dressed up persons in front of the Cinerama theater in downtown Seattle on Friday Night. I saw the movie yesterday, and was not dressed up (though I wish I was).

That’s all for now. May the Force be with you.

– Orion T

 

Picture of Today 9/172017, Rain Game

Football seems best on Sunday, more time for casual enjoyment and social gatherings among more sports fans. Today in Seattle, the local Seahawks played the San Francisco 49ers (Seahawks won 12-9). I missed much of the game but heard the 49ers played well and the Seahawks offense was a bit weak.

Meanwhile, the rain happened for much of the day. The drops weren’t heavy but were enough in giving the city a much-needed sprinkle, after the recent smoky weather. Every drop on my head felt good, and I look forward to more in the coming days.

-Orion T

Pictures of Today 8/27/2017, Flea Market Exploration

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This morning, I awoke to good feelings and a need to go outside and enjoy some good warm weather (with sympathies to those in Texas, who are dealing with a terrible hurricane and storm right now). And so I did, to the Capitol Hill area of Seattle for a morning walk.

There, a pleasant little flea market, known as the Cal Anderson Park Garage Sale. I saw many local looking people with tables, with their own stuff sprawled out for sale. I gazed over the nice variety of all one could ask for at a garage sale/flea market/swap meet or whatever you want to call it. For me, it was a glorious treasure hunt, with $40 dollars in my pocket to spend.

Such fun, and probably the best outside flea market I have been to in a long time. One reason being, the sellers were friendly and represented the best of the local Cap Hill eccentric vibe, leading to a lot of fun and special items being sold. Another reason is nearly everything being super cheap, and reflected more of the garage sale mentality promoted in its title.

See my phone pics below for more of my joys in flea market diving, with the last being a sampling of my treasures (I spent $34).

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Yesterday, Observing Tension and Community

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Recently was another day that best describes the ongoing situations that better define national social unrest tensions in 2017. This, by yesterdays headlines involving the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. White nationalist groups marched, and a counter protest happened. There was tragedy resulted from acts of hate, leading to terrible injuries and a horrific fatality.

A day later in Seattle, a different situation happened, and I was there for a couple of hours in the afternoon. A nationalist militia group Patriot Prayer (and other sympathizers including the Proud Boys nationalist group) gathered for something called a “Freedom Rally.” while they claim not to be associated with the White supremacy movement of the East, there are similarities with their rhetoric (in looking them up online): labelling those in favor of BLM, anti-Trump, progressives, immigrant defenders to some incorrect narrative of violent “Antifa” anarchy, while promoting their own version of religious and gun-toting freedom. Meanwhile, there are subtle roots of racism in the PP militia presentations, with the usual promotion of “All Lives Matter,” disregarding the message of Black Lives Matter with their own distorted narrative. They claim to bring something different to the table of social discussion which becomes lost when appearing in military gear, preaching hateful rhetoric, politically cheerleading for the alt-right and praise Trump for his controversial policies that alienate immigrants and Muslims.

But oddly, they shared the stage with those giving back harsh words to them, and the white nationalist sympathizing festering from the growing alt-right. Lots of loud speeches for Black Lives Matter, Indigenous people’s awareness, Bernie Sanders, anti-fascism, anti-capitalism, clarifying socialism, income inequality, anti-racism, and anti-Trump’ all drew loud cheers from the counter-protesters.

Meanwhile, the PP militia group held their area in the middle, mixed with independent media folk. The nationalist group used American flags as peripherals, which I found bothering because that assumes the US holds a special place its dominant white demographic, should any other groups of a different color or ethnicity, or non-Christian religion suddenly gather in military gear and taking advantage of open-carry protections. Such an imbalance suggests the American flag in regards to militias and accumulation of firearms, builds for white privilege.

Anyway, some of the members of the PP militia groups spoke as well, with some very passive aggressive speeches about tolerance and free speech. Such felt a bit silly, with many among them passing off fallacies, alternative facts, and hailing Trump as some lord and savior for conservative causes. Of course, those were met with heavy boos and shouts of “bullshit” It was all an amusing with the display of cooperative civility, allowing for this “Freedom Rally” and counter protesting to happen and keep itself in control, though there were a few troubling incidents resulting in arrests and police counter-measures.

Overall, those gathered around the PP militia were anything but those what social media haters would describe in general as the communist, mask wearing, violent, unemployed immigrants, or whatever else incorrect labeling is out there. Such is wrong in observation of the assembly of downtown Seattle natives I see every day, bearing every class, color, and ethnicities; all young and old, with visual styles suggesting many statuses and lifestyle choices. Most in part, pushing for an end to the threats of racism and fascism (many with signs and adornments expressing such).

I moved about in the outer circles, mingling with an otherwise chill atmosphere, occasional bursting in cheers and boos (depending on speaker and content). The conversations were friendly, with word exchanges about social change and the recent situation in Charlottesville, Virginia. Also, many funny comments about the silent PP militia man standing in the background on the stage, constantly chewing gum or tobacco for at least an hour.

So, another fun Sunday afternoon in Seattle, for which I glad I checked out. Such forums are always great staples of this city life, though can also be unpredictable. Yet, I feel these moments are worthwhile, in the peaceful interactions and learning more about each other.

– Orion T

The picture was taken from my phone around 3:00 pm, Sunday afternoon. I wished I took a better shot of the counter-protesting crowd surrounding then PP militia. Such was clearly a larger gathering, emphasizing the Seattle local response to nationalism and its disdain for the alt-right movements.

Pictures of May Day, An Hour of Calm

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Here, some pics of the May Day in Seattle..

And, before the protests march gathered and turned ugly because of the actions of a few anarchists. There was some music, playing, and much all around happiness to add to the very sunny weather.  Many had messages of a large variety of which there may be disagreements, but are still generally built on selfless desires for a better world.

But then the sky turned a little dark, and the eventually march turned ugly for many seeking protest through peaceful measures. Much of what frustrates me in coverage and reactions is how quick people are to label protesters and anti-establishment types as violent troublemakers. Yes, there are the few mixed in, but the grand majority are a peaceful bunch with messages toward passionate social awareness.  I feel much of the media fails to report such, so here’s a sampling of how May Day best represents the central Seattle city.

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Orion T, writer and local photographer who normally tries for a good weekend day off for relaxing, but will settle for an hour here and there when can..

Weekend Thoughts 11/29/15, A Needed Peace of the Season..

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Meanwhile in the Emerald City, the Holiday Season feels fresh once again.

Though this could be the same picture as what will happen during the following weeks. To the left is part of a very tall Christmas tree, which was present last year in this very spot, and probably the next. If not for some particular buildings in the backdrop, this deco could be easily mistaken for nearly any developed big city.

What makes the holiday season special is not the deco, but the people what they make of it. Not everyone may find the holiday symbolization as welcome. For example, the night before the above picture was Black Friday, a day infamous for shopping madness frenzy on “doorbuster’ deals; and also for tree lighting ceremonies and opening festivities. It was (and I think becoming) a day for civil unrest and social justice here in Seattle at least, as a massive Black Lives Matters protest developed in the midst of a crowded Westlake Center area. This was similar to last year’s Friday after Thanksgiving. There are many points of view on whether that was a good or bad outside additive to the holiday festivities, but such a happening brought this particular place and setting a somewhat distinct feel to it all.

Here was that tree in the background on that evening..

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The crowd was quite massive, with a mix of emotions on the invasive presence of the Black Lives Matters protesters with chants and signs calling for an end to police brutality, racial discrimination, and social injustice. Walking through the crowd I heard approving and disapproving voices (with dashes of racism as well). For me, my claustrophobia was developing, and thought my place was away from all this. Also, I was very hungry..

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Sadly, I missed out on the fireworks and big Christmas tree-lighting that happened shortly after. Meanwhile,  I felt reminded of recent words from Pope Francis in a recent speech to some Catholic churchgoers: “We are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war….It’s all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war”

And that brought me to thinking while I heard the fireworks boom in the distance, that perhaps the Holiday season does need some change. Should some consideration of what is not right in the world, have a damper on holiday festivities, or should we take time out ponder this incompleteness of our Holiday season?

I felt the reason for the BLM protest; a large group of people felt a disconnect with a dominant status quo on the long-running issues of racism and police brutality in the US, and perhaps that was reason enough to interrupt the joys of tree lighting and musical entertainment. Is it reason enough to interrupt the planned joys to the bigger crowd? That’s for the public to decide, if any change will gain support, or result in resistance. But either way, I felt what the Pope said to where we can’t quite celebrate the spirit of Christmas without considering the larger pictures outside our comfort zones (though he was referring more to the escalating war conflicts). War, injustice, starvation, and other signs of inhumanity..still out there.

So, I will be thinking of some good deeds I can do, perhaps giving and donating to the homeless and less fortunate (an issue I feel this city of Seattle needs to address more). I will read more on what else troubles humanity this Season, and consider what I can do to make a holiday season festive for those who truly need it more.

Meanwhile, we can’t all be magically happy with doorbuster deals and seasonal lights as we start the Holiday Season. I will continue to appreciate any wonderful displays of Christmas decoration, because otherwise the month is too cold. Perhaps, we people should collectively take more time to understand and show some compassion to the distraught toward the time of Christmas Day, even if their messages are not convenient to our liking. That extra warmth and additive in our traditions could go a long way, and make the next Christmas Seasons even more festive.

– 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