Thursday, 28 February 2013

A Short Pause For A Post...

Currently out and about spending most of the day driving around for my Gran, so I'm writing this now in the car, in the stinking heat, and breathing in ash from the bush fire down the way. Just kidding, I've got the windows up and car air con on full, suck it ozone layer!

Not really much else to say at this time because every thing is pretty much full steam ahead on getting ready for Oz Comic-Con on March 9th, although I lately seem to spending more time driving then building *gulp* .. progress is still good I'm optimistic on getting the RGB pack ready for the con, my Eureka on the other hand is looking like a bust :/ oh well maybe some other time THE star turns up in Perth again I'll have the full gear.

Anyway gotta go, more driving to do :P

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Mixing Metaphors FTW!

I've just described centrelink as such, "It's like the left hand doesn't know what right hand is doing, and neither of them could find their arse with a compass and a map!" ... I think my work here is done.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Tuesday Night Live Gaming - Borderlands 2

Hey all, just letting you know we'll be streaming live gaming again tonight at 19:00 whilst we try and get Parthon finally through Borderlands 2 so then we can start playing the extras at some point! .. the url is so hopefully you'll watch and have a laugh as we prat around and get pwned.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Consumer Warning!

Wow... just wow. I ordered a name tag for my Eureka costume and it arrived today and it's just absolutely fucking horrible. To clarify I ordered a name tag with "S HAYNES" on the top line and "SHERIFF" underneath on a black with metallic gold plate. I knew it wouldn't be screen accurate but it'll do for the costume. However the piece of crap that I got a few things damn well wrong from what I ordered.

For starters, they dropped the initial. I don't know why maybe their engraving process doesn't like spaces... which is pretty weird for a NAME TAG! Then instead of “HAYNES” I instead got “Haynes”... okay maybe for some reason they thought “Jeez, those caps must be wrong, better just do in small letters instead.” It might be excusable if it weren’t for the fact that they got the “SHERIFF” underneath completely right! So these two combined errors just make the badge look terrible, but at least it’s on a gold bac..king... what the fuck... IT’S ON SILVER! It took me a little while because I was fuming about the name, but it’s on the wrong fucking colour as well making it three strikes for such a simple thrice be-damned name tag.

Needless to say I emailed them immediately; I would have called but the shop is in the eastern states and already closed. If I don’t get a response tomorrow I’m going to call them and demand my money back. So I’d personally recommend avoiding www(dot)nametagsandbadges(dot)com(dot)au, no I’m not even giving them the decency to have a url.

Top: Tag with flash, notice the silver
Middle: Take note of the awfulness compared to...
Bottom: The name tag from the show

Sunday, 24 February 2013

I Don’t Do It For ‘Them’...

Just finished working on constructing the boxes of the throwers of the Real Ghostbusters Proton Packs Jon and I are working on getting ready for Oz Comic-Con, and I’ve really been busting my arse planning and constructing these things essentially from scratch1. I was about to call it a day and just make a post about being tired and my back being achy from slaving over a cutting board for 2 days, but I remembered a bit of a conversation I had with my mother.

I can’t recall specifics, but I mentioned that I can’t wait to finish my Volstagg costume and wear it out so I can finally cut my hair back a bit and probably shave the beard (or at least keep it a lot shorter). She essentially said “why don’t you?”, and I said because that’s what Volstagg looks like. So I went into a little speech about why I put so much effort in and how the public won’t notice or care. I can’t recall the full speech but the TL:DR version was pretty much, “I don’t do it for them, I do it for me!”

It had just finished this build and the thought did strike me, no one really truly knows or even cares about how much we put into these costumes except for the people that make them, and I mean collectively. As a Ghostbuster I’m always asked such things as “Where did you buy that (referring to the Proton Pack)?” and get stunned faces when I say I built it, or worst still the people who want to pull at things and generally show no regard to my property2.

There is a good feeling of accomplishment whenever you finish something in a build, even if it’s totally completed. I was pretty proud of the technological terror I constructed, even though some parts of it was a nightmare to construct and plans had to be revised (I’m still noticing things that could be changed at some time in the future). I know that 99.999999999999999999% of the people I’ll ever meet will not know how much attention to detail I’ll have put into such things, but I’m also aware of all the errors and problems in the build3 which thankfully will also go unnoticed.

I suppose what I’m getting at is that for all the time and effort to do something like this, and with such regularity, you have to be invested in it more for pleasing yourself then to worry about pleasing others. Sure this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the attention, or better still do this to bring pleasure to others, but if you not ultimately having fun whilst you’re doing it then it’s going to be a miserable experience. I’ve had some incredibly good times in costume, I’ve also had some horrible or disheartening experiences in costume, and I hate to admit it but I’ve been very close on several occasions to just throwing it all in and never suiting up again, but I try now to do it for myself because when I stop gaining pleasure from this then I will be giving it all up.


1 – We’ve never been able to find thrower plans online, previous builders have been very secretive about them, so I essentially had to create blueprints from scratch using only the concept drawings from the production of the cartoon.
2 – Worst one was some little shit who yanked my thrower during a promotional hand-out at Perth, which nearly broke the hook and it never felt tightened again after that. Needless to say I wasn’t happy about that but I refrained from breaking the little fucker’s neck... regrettably.

3 – Any creator worth a damn knows the problems with his build, but essentially has to go forward to finish their project. It’s like movie nitpickers, they sometimes act like the filmmaker doesn’t know that they screwed something up without realising that generally they do know, and probably know more faults then they’ll ever spot, but they had to finish telling their story.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

I'm Rich!!!

Good news everyone, I got this sms today saying that I've been selected to receive a donation of $1,500,000 by Mr and Mrs Lohse! All I need to do is send my full names to their email address ...This is fantastic! I mean I've never meet or heard of this Mr or indeed Mrs Lohse, but I'm sure they must be nice people else they wouldn't be giving me all this money... I mean honestly, what have I got to lohse?

Friday, 22 February 2013

Jack off all trades...

As I was driving home today from doing to some prop shopping with Jon, I realised that I don’t think I’ve ever truly mastered anything in my life but I have accumulated a lot of different skills in my lifetime. This honestly has gotten me thinking of late because I’ve somehow acquired a reputation of being a somewhat competent prop builder, without any kind of boasting or publicity on my part, and it sometimes feels like I’m living a lie. I do enjoy building stuff but I am nowhere near capable of building some of the things I’ve seen others build, especially in the time and budgets people do things in, however I think my strength comes in final looks to a degree (give me some pre-build props or kits and I’ll make build it and hopefully make it look good). That being said I’m trying to learn a whole load of different things, but I think I’ll always be a student in these regards.

When I went back to uni it was never to get a degree, that was never my intention from the start; probably because deep down I know degrees and certificates are worth less than the paper they are printed on. This was probably a bad thing as all I wanted to do was learn new things and gain new skills for my mental tool belt. As such sometimes Uni became aggravating at times because most, if not all, the theory classes are essentially the same bullshit, or just become bogged down by doing things I’m completely useless at (3D modelling is the bane of my existence). That being said, I’ve learned more things lately outside of uni, especially as my interest as turn away from those studies to a degree, and I’m finding out how to do things in my own way and at my own pace. Still no matter how much I do some of this stuff I feel like such a hack, especially when I get so many people wanting me to help them out with things... which I of course try and do to the best of my ability.

That being said I’m happy to have this (admittedly self-taught) capability of self-learning, and sometimes enjoy tackling new projects which stretch my abilities and my scope. I supposed I’ve learnt a hell of a lot, especially in the last 10 years... probably then in all of high school at least, and it’s mostly self-taught. My mind has expanded a lot recently as well, and I suppose that does come with a desire to use this abilities. It’s probably why I find myself getting frustrated when I’m unable to do certain things, like not having a job that allows me to use do things I have experience in, or feeling stifled in situations where no one listens to me (which has happened way too many times in my life, especially when it turns out I was right). Damn it I keep trying to be positive in this post but the aggravations keep surfacing.

So the TL:DR version is I’ve got a lot of skills in my head, admittedly nothing as useful as plumbing or rocket surgery, and sometimes it can be a little bit frustrated not putting them to use. I admit I use this blog as a means of stretching the writing muscle, especially as I’ve been blocked for a couple of years or so (which is great during essay writing time.. yeah me!), I just need to get back into some more creative writing, or at least work on some of the scripts I should do on to at some point.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Live Gaming Stream Tonight!

Hey all,

Instead of a blog today, I’m going to be pushing a weekly live gaming stream that my friend Parthon and I will be running at approximately 18:00 WST, which will probably run until 22:00 or maybe 23:00. We’ll be playing our on-going map on Terraria and providing commentary, or at least saying stupid things that make us laugh, throughout. I’ll be posting the feed via twitter and facebook, but m main channel is at where my previous efforts will be stored (the first episode is missing, due to me being an imbecile and setting it up wrong!). Hopefully you’ll have a look and stick around whilst we’re up to no good digging our way through the world, especially when I get into my dwarf mode!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Nearly missed it!

I've been so zarking busy all day collecting parts with Jon for our new Real Ghostbustes build for Oz Comic-Con, I almost forgot about the blog. Okay so I've not really been making much content of late, but I've been a little bit under the weather and feeling very blarg. Hopefully I'll feel up to writing some more of my perspective on the condensed history of the WA Ghostbusters but it'll probably have to wait until I'm mentally capable of doing so... that being said I've still yet to attempt some sleep tonight! Shheesh, it might just be a small blog week!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Beeing a Busy Bee!

Finally got out of the house for the first time since last Friday to go visit my friends Jon and Adam, where we played Halo 4: Spartan Ops. Gotta tell you, one of the later missions is so ridiculously hard it was an absolute miracle we got through in the end (we were playing Legendary difficulty mind). Still not feeling up to writing much, but I was supposed to be doing a live vidcast but got back home a tad too late. Oh well, hopefully will do so on Thursday and I’ll post the link and time on here before it happens.

Monday, 18 February 2013


Still feeling under the weather, although I did have a good two hours playing Halo 4 Spartan Ops online with my mate Adam, which was then followed aboutt 15 mintues afterwards by a coughing fit (plus a small amount of vomiting) leaving me with a headache (and bad taste in my mouth). If this doesn't improve within the next few days I'm booking an appointment for the Doc's. Feeling at little FML atm as well so it doesn't help.. I hope this passes soon, I want to be able to do things.

Sunday, 17 February 2013


Still feeling a little under the weather, and creatively I’m tapped out. I’m once again staring at a blank screen trying to think of something to say, but again I’m finding myself talking about not being able to talk. I’m just not feeling up to it. At least I’m keeping this promise, but I’m unsure how long this will last. That’s it I think I need to sleep off this miserable block.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Just a Quick One 5

Once again I’m making another quick one, I did write up something yesterday I just don’t have the heart to post at this time. I’ve spent most of the day working on the WA Ghostbusters website, which has been sadly neglected for a few months, with all the new photos from yesterday’s screening. It was an absolute blast (as always) but it was exhausting so I’m going to go finish up a few things and hopefully get an early night!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Coming to a Grassy Area by the Beach Near You!

So I’m just getting everything ready for the GB screening tonight, so there really isn’t much time to talk about stuff, although I’m sure I’ll somehow turn this into a monstrosity of a post. Feeling pretty pumped to be honest about the screening, it’s the first GB event of the year so it’s always feels somewhat refreshing to put the pack on again (ignoring the fact that I only had it on less than 2 months ago). I must admit it’s always a fun time hanging with the rest of the WAGB in uniform, especially all the love we get from the public, it honestly make the whole thing a great experience.

That being said it might be the only time putting on this particular pack this year, as for Oz Comic-Con and maybe Supanova I’m planning on wearing the cartoon or Real Ghostbusters style pack and uniform, which will be a lot lighter and will be a break from the regular gear. I doubt many people will notice the difference, but it’ll be fun to go in a different direction with the GB gear.

For those that don’t know I first started doing the Ghostbusters stuff in 2010, my first public appearance was at a small screening for some comedy show. I showed up in a badly dyed flightsuit with GB2 patch and name tag, shitty homemade belt, and my first pair of Ecto-goggles; which fortunately was enough to be recognised as a buster but I always regretted not having a pack at that time. After that I finally made some contacts locally (being Dave and Brenton), got my gear together (somewhat) and the first unofficial WAGB bust of Supanova that year. During the rest of the year the only other time I wore the get up was for a costume party, which I won... but only because the birthday girl didn’t know what I was but thought I was actually carrying an actual heavy metal pack on my back (she was 70 at the time).

Okay this is turning into my Ghostbusting memories post, so I’ll leave it at that as I think getting into the whole WAGB backstory should be for another time; especially as I still want to get stuff done tonight!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

On Valentine’s Day...

Whilst I’m not about to chalk this one up to be a ‘good’ Valentine’s Day, things went smooth enough with the Drama! of my life that I’m willing to call it a draw. I got a few things done that needed doing, some things went well whilst others are to be determined, but hopefully everything will go smoothly for tomorrow’s Ghostbusters screening, our first WAGB event of the year!

Let’s just say me and the Dreaded V-Day hasn’t been on the best of terms since... err, well my entire life. That is to say that I’ve never had an opportunity to celebrate the day, as I’ve been single for a long long time. That isn’t to say I haven’t wanted to celebrate it with someone, more that I’ve never been able to. I’d like to think I’m good at a few things in my life, asking a girl out isn’t one of them; in fact I’d probably say it’s the worst thing for me to try and do (after Sports, Gardening, and Brain Surgery... don’t ask). Doesn’t help that I have this uncanny ability to be attracted to women who clearly have no interest beyond being a friend, or many numerous, heartbreaking reasons I don’t wish to go into right now. Let’s just say I don’t particularly like the day because it does remind me that I’m alone and pathetic on a day when everyone is supposed to have someone. I even had a whole big rant thing typed up about how things leading up to VD have been pissing me off, and yet today hasn’t been so bad... considering how fucked up things got last night and I was tired and cranky and feeling very lonely. That’s probably about all I’m going to say on the subject, for fear of turning in a sobbing ball of loneliness.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Broken Down!

Not myself but one of my tires popped on the way home, it being one of the bastard nailed ones that I haven't been able to afford a replacement! I would say more but I'm running out of battery.

Oh and by the way, 'Axe Murdered' is now a verb!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Just a Quick One 4

Another quickie has I’ve spent all day running around, and all evening watching Wreck-It Ralph (again) with my friends Jon and Toby. I really don’t have much to say, and probably won’t have for most of this week as I’m gearing up for this Friday’s Ghostbuster screening at Scarborough. I got a few errands done today that I’m happy to have gotten out of the way, and I’m hoping to knock off a couple of things by the end of the week. After that it’s pretty much working on getting everything ready for Oz Comic-Con at the beginning of next month! Too much to do, and little time and money to do it in... story of my life really.

Monday, 11 February 2013


I suppose I’ve had to talk it about it sooner or later. I’ve taken to using the term ‘Drama!’ very recently due to some of the Drama! coming from Waicon the other week. Whilst I’ve stated a lot of what I thought about stuff on a previous blog post *insert url link here*, I’m not going over that again except that today I’ve been pointed out to a notorious figure with the Australian costuming community and their perpetually bad behaviour1. I don’t want to comment about that particular person but it does raise some interesting thoughts I want to talk about.

I may have stated before that I personally believe that Fandom and the many Fan Communities should be as open and welcoming as possible, that no one should be excluded despite their age, gender, sex, knowledge, etc we should all embrace each other despite our differences, or maybe because of them. I honestly truly believe we can become a community that transcends others in tolerance and acceptance if we do work hard enough. Well enough of the hippy crap, because the hard and fast truth is there is still going to be the ugly bad elements that haunt our community and cause no end of problems.

It seems that there are numerous stories popping up over the internet of people acting like jerks within fandom, mostly racial and sexist charged attacks, and I think this isn’t a new phenomenon but people are being more open about these jerks then every before. We’ve been given a platform to speak up and be heard over the jeering idiots who want to bring us down and I think it’s about time we put a stop to them. There will always be some sort of Drama! within the community, there is no way to stop it, but we can diminish it’s impact if we all pull together and maybe push out the undesirable elements to the further fringes, where hopefully they might be able to pull their heads out of their collective asses.

Strangely enough it’s relatively easy to achieve this as time as shown that ‘Social Darwinism’ is a contributing factor in the evolution of practically all social circles. It’s actually very simple, and you’ve probably all done it at some time or another, that when there is an individual that is an undesirable factor within any social element the group tends to try to disassociate with that person, sometimes without realising they are doing so. To put it even simpler, when someone acts like a jerk they tend to get invited to less and less social gatherings2 where their behaviour. There are of course always ramifications, but that’s maybe for another time.

This is not a call to actively ban or shun people from communities and gatherings; more a reminder that, for the most part, these things will eventually sort themselves out. Even after all the utterly detestable behaviour I’ve read about this one particular person, I’m still optimistic about our communities. Why? We are calling out this sort of behaviour; we aren’t just keeping quiet or just hoping it will go away. I’m a firm believer that the only way to combat bad speech is with more speech, not less speech. If you see some bullshit, you need to call attention to it.

That being said whilst we need to be vigilant towards these things, we need to still be tolerant with people (especially newer people to the community), teach them why what they are doing is wrong, sharing knowledge is better then condemning and/or ignoring someone. As for any continued misbehaviour? Well I think that’s up to the communities to decide, not for me, but for the most part they do seem to be self-policing.


1 – Do a Google search for ‘The Lily Files’ on Tumblr. This post isn’t about her or her actions, only my thoughts on such behaviour within the community.
2 – Strangely enough this even applies to gatherings of jerks! If one jerk is either too much of a jerk or not enough of a jerk, the other jerks will disassociate with said jerk.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Whoa boy this is late!

On my brand spanking new blogger app, so hopefully this won't go completely horrible but I've just realised I haven't made a post for today.

I've spent all day at my friend and fellow Ghostbuster Shawn's place working on getting some of the packs up and running for this Friday's screening at Scarborough. I'm fairly tired from being on the go all day so I'm going to keep this short.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Why I’m Gonna Wreck It!

So I’ve finally watched ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ this evening, and I must say I absolutely loved it. This movie had sorta become my personal white whale for a time there as every single time I had planned to go and watch things prevented me from seeing the damn thing, either money troubles, or planned events falling through, or someone needing a hand sucked up all my spare time, etc, etc. I started feeling like the last kid on the block to have seen the film, especially when everyone was raving about it or watching it multiple times.
Now I must state that at first I was completely sceptical, especially as it was a 3d movie produced by Disney... and a non-Pixar at that. I’ve not always had the greatest respect for the House of the Mouse, especially during the Michael Eisner years, but lately they seem to be hitting back with some fantastic work, although I think with the recent axing of Tron: Uprising some of my friends might disagree (to which I’ve not seen). When I read the base premise of ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ it felt like a cash-in on gamers, or a feeble attempt to be cool and ‘retro’, my pessimism for the sugar coated Disney crap of years gone left a sour taste in my mouth... that is until I saw the first trailer. Yes I admit I was amazed that they managed to put in so many game franchised characters in there, and my respect became more positive... but the sugar coated ‘we all live happily after all’ ending was looming, and I was still dubious. Then the reviews from gamers piled in from the states, all raving about it, and then I started wanting to see it. I had successfully avoided all spoilers, although the trailers made glimpses has to what the plot would be but didn’t spoil the movie at all (a first nowadays). It finally came out... and every single time I tried to watch it, it fell through. It was excruciating not being to watch it for so damn long, so I finally gave in and thought, “Fuck it, I’ll wait for Blu-Ray”. Well I finally did, and it was awesome. I’m not going to review it, I’m just not interested in doing so at this time, but I wanted to express how I felt watching it.
The one thing aspect I adored about this movie was it was heavily steeped in gamer culture from decades past, celebrating and referencing almost every genre created and paying homage to many great classic games and franchises. I suppose in an age of Super Smash Brothers Brawl, Marvel vs Capcom, and Sonic & Mario games this seems a tad old fashioned but seeing so many great characters converge was so fantastic, especially as they essentially are only antagonistic within the game areas. It’s very reminiscent of the ‘Sheep dog and Wolf’ Warner Bros cartoons which always start with Sam and Ralph (co-incidence?) arriving at work, chatting to each other like friends, clocking on and then finally proceeding to beat each other up before the whistle blows. I supposed I’ve always loved the gag that this ultimately was just a job for these guys, and at the end of the day there are no hard feelings. I suppose that’s how Ralph and Felix’s relationship ultimately is, although it’s easy to understand just how Ralph might finally become disillusioned after 30 years.
I knew this was probably going to happen, but I sympathised the hell out of Ralph as I see so much of myself in him. He’s a lonely misunderstood soul who only wants acceptance, but his nature seems to prevent this from happening all of the time. I’m a natural klutz who tries very hard to not break things whenever I do something, because it’s always bound to happen. I suppose that’s why I’ve always wanted to learn to fix and build things, it’s a way of undoing some of the damage I may inadvertently cause, which has lead to a current passion of prop building and costuming. I saw myself so much in Ralph, especially the parts about him talking about his loneliness... I’m lonely. If there is one thing I’m catastrophically bad at doing is trying to find someone, even if it’s just a simple date. I think the impending apocalypse on Feb 14th is on my mind as well at this point, but it seems that every girl I meet either a) has a boyfriend, b) is interested in someone else, and/or c) thinks of me only as a ‘friend’. I didn’t mean to go on this tangent but I think I need to get this out to some degree as this gets completely frustrating, especially as I’m completely shy and it takes me a tremendous amount of courage to ask someone out, but it’s followed by the inevitable rejection and then the almost crippling depression. Wow, I didn’t want to go there, but in the spirit of this blog I feel like I have to keep it in (despite how many times I’ve wanted to delete it). Maybe someday I’ll talk more but I’ll warn you now the spelling and grammar will be a lot worse as I’ll have downed a bottle of scotch first.
Wow... what a fucking downer, especially as I absolutely bloody loved the flick, even though its ending was almost has sugary as the racing world, it was satisfying... but I think it gave me a cavity. And I’ve almost forgotten the point I was originally going to make, but I think what I was going to say was that I think I’m okay with feeling so close to Ralph because ultimately he’s just a guy that is doing his job and he’s genuinely trying to do his best for others, even if it means having to sacrifice his own personal dreams and desires to do so, he’ll do the right thing.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Daily Discovery #1 – It may be a Plumb job, but it’s not for me.

Today I’m taking a page out of my friend Mandy’s facebook and start what may be a semi-regular topic, or I could just abandon it completely after this post so we’ll see what the future brings.

Either way, today I discovered something about myself that I suppose I’ve always suspected but never truly confirmed. I may in fact bare a striking resemblance to Mario Mario but I’ll never be a plumber. Why you may indeed be asking? Well today I was given the glorious task of replacing a seat and lid for my Gran’s toilet.

You see previously with my Grandad’s weak back and legs, it was decided to help aid him in going to the bathroom that he’ll get what essentially a raised toilet seat and a support frame, which I believe was rented to my grandparents by a pensioner care agency. Well with his passing it was obviously just a waste of money to keep this thing around because as frail as my Gran is, she didn’t need it and she needs to save some money now that her pension has been cut down. So anyway to install one of these things they have to remove the seat and lid, all well and good as the raised seat has one and it would block installation, except that they took the old seat and lid with them. The people who removed the new raiser said they would return with a replacement seat and lid, so it’s all good… except that this apparently was on Tuesday. So of course I find this out today when I was given the task of going down and replacing said toilet seat/lid (after a trip to Bunnings).

Now just to clarify a couple of things, I’ve never installed or uninstalled a toilet seat in my life, nor in fact have I ever done anything plumbing related except replacing some tap bits (which for the most part I just stood and stared as my friend did most of the work). It was all good because I got Toilet Seat 101 from my Dad just before I was kicked off to run this errand whilst he was getting ready for work. Another thing to clarify is that I’m a bit of a germaphobe, but mostly when I’m dealing with other people’s things, coupled with the fact that I tend to get nauseas around faeces or implied faeces, unknown toilets aren’t a pleasant place for me. Now when I have to get my face close to a bowl to unscrew things to put the new lid on… I won’t say I was in Hell, but it wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience for me. This is not to sat that the toilet itself wasn’t clean or anything like that, and I’m guessing it was mostly psychological, but it was at that point I know I’ll never ever become a plumber except within the boundaries of a video game… or at least a video game that’s set in a kingdom of mushrooms.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Just a Quick One 3

No pun this time, I’ve got nothing.

Either way, I’ve been out practically all day working on costumes for Oz Comic-Con at the start of March, and there is still a ton of work to be done especially as there is a Ghostbusters screening on the 15th of February to prep for. I’m still getting over Waicon and my brain seems to be stuck in ‘Derp’ mode at this time, so I’m not going to write much more tonight.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Waicon Cosplay Saga

Just as a quick disclaimer, I was a volunteer at Waicon in the back corner running around at the Gamezone so I was away from the majority of the Drama! that was occurring with costuming and props. However these are my thoughts, feelings, and worries about the future about costuming, or cosplaying if you prefer, in and around Perth and future conventions.

So in case you didn’t know, weren’t there, or wasn’t around, there were apparently a lot of complains for cosplayers who were refused entry for various reasons by various staff or volunteers. These particular cosplayers have since been flooding the Waicon event page on Facebook expressing their disgust, leading to several heated arguments over the last couple of days. I’m personally on the fence for most part because I believe both sides have valid points but it does concern me about future events.

First I wish to discuss the ‘inappropriate’ costume topic. I’m a bit torn on this particular subject because on the one hand, as a costumer, I know what it’s like to obsess over details and trying to achieve a costume that has accuracy and looks the part, but I kinda have to agree with Waicon in preventing costumes that may be a little bit too ‘revealing’ from entering what is essentially an “All Ages” event. That being said there good reasons to debate these issues, for example the majority of the turn-aways seem to be of female who apparently were wearing too little (or at least the majority of complaints were from them), but I saw plenty of shirtless guys all over the con. I must admit as a single hetero male I’m all for girls in skimpy clothing jumping all over the place, and would much rather see that then the guys, but I have to abide by the ruling set by Waicon, ultimately it is their show and they have also have to abide by rules set for public decency and to try and keep it PG. I also believe that this is also a reflection of the anime/manga industry as a whole, but it’s also incredibly prevalent in western culture as well that it’s hypocritical to point the finger squarely at that. I’m personally all for people being able to dress up as their favourite character, even if said character is wearing on a bit of cloth and some bandaids, but I also believe it’s up to the costumer to maybe have a bit more decorum and think about how appropriate this may be for others. I suppose the simple test is do you want your child to be wearing the exact same thing? Probably not a great example but it might at least cause for some pause for reflection. 

Urgh I feel like such a prude, which believe me, I’m not. I do believe people should be allowed to wear what they want, when they want, wherever they want. I also have to acknowledge that there are still laws in place to prevent such things, as well and bylaws with the convention centre itself to go with the organisations ruling. Speaking of the convention centre’s own rules, this leads me to my next point…
I’m not sure how many are aware of this but the PCEC appears to have a ‘No Weapons’ policy. No I suppose what you are currently thinking is, “Sure, that makes sense, we don’t want people going in their with guns or knifes who want to deliberately harm someone?” until the guy with outrageous armour and bit spiky hair one-handed wielding a 7’ tall by 1’ wide sword made out of balsa is told he’s not allowed to take it into the pavilion due to the ‘No Weapon’ policy… wait what? Yeah, you heard it right, everyone that had a clearly fake sword wasn’t allowed to have this one the floor (but were allowed to have it in the Cosplay Competition). No you might this is probably reasonable because you wouldn’t want people fighting with them, which is a truly stupid mistake to make because if you think ANY prop builder wants to damage something that took them a lot of time and money to build just to hit things with, you are clearly deluded. It’s like saying you should take that expensive dinner set that’s been in the family for generations and start eating McDonalds off it daily.

Okay I got sidetracked (drink). Now the policy does state that it includes weapons that are real or fake, again probably reasonable because you really don’t want the cops shooting to death someone with a toy gun. You would also probably think this ruling would only affect objects that clearly look like a weapon? Come on, do you really think I’d bring it up if it was that easy? I can give you a very personal example for a friend of mine.

Now who here has played Portal? If you haven’t, shame on you. Otherwise you pretty much know what the Portal Gun is, what it does, and what it looks like. Okay stop saying “The Cake is a Lie” and focus. For those that don’t, I think the best description of a Portal Gun is that it looks nothing like any weapon that has ever been made in the history of mankind on this planet. Or in other words, NOT A WEAPON. So the night before the con, my friend Jon decided to make himself an Aperture Scientist costume very quickly ready to wear around the con. Now being a volunteer, and having knowledge from the previous year’s con at the PCEC, I knew about the law and told him that there is a distinct possibility that they might refuse it. Now I must state that I was probably about 33.333% paranoid about this, 33.333% knowing what happened last year, and about 33.333% hopeful someone wouldn’t have their head up their arse on this matter. Care to guess what happened? Well wrong because if he got let in I wouldn’t have a point. I must point out that I believe it was the PCEC security that prevented the Portal Gun’s entry, not a Waicon staff member, but either way Jon’s costume was pretty much ruined without the one recognisable prop.

And now for the hypocrisy! As have been the case for several conventions lately, there is always someone who is selling toy firearms and swords, usually exactly like the ones that are denied entry within the convention themselves. Now this is not a finger point at them, they are legitimate vendors selling legitimate merchandise that is legal to own and possess, I’m also not having a go at Waicon for allowing such things, ultimately this is a business and I respect that. However, a cosplayer who spent time and money crafting something to perfect is denied their prop when anyone can just buy a cheap toy and wave it around with impunity? Okay, they are not supposed to take it out of the box, but when was the last time you saw a kid wait that long to play with a brand new toy?

This trend ultimately worries me. Why? One of my most popular costumes involves wearing a 15 kilo prop on my back that is THE most crucial part of my costume… and is sadly recognised as either a gun or a bomb by imbeciles. Yes I’m of course referring to my Proton Pack, without it I just look like a plumber… and not even a cool plumber that eats mushrooms. I’m petrified that I’m going to go to the PCEC is costume and be told “Sorry you can’t wear that thing in here, it’s a weapon.” And then what? Most, if not all, people recognise us as Ghostbusters because of the pack, they draw attention and is one of the most recognisable icons of the 80s. I’ve walked around the streets of the City Centre wearing that thing and get plenty of people coming up to ask for photos, none have demeaned I’m wearing a bomb. I’ve walked near Police whose reaction is typically delight, never “Put down the weapon”. I’ve walked through the streets of Perth in the yearly Telethon Christmas pageant, one of the most publicized events in the city, and no one ran away screaming because I was allegedly going to kill them; in fact I’ve never felt so much love from a crowd before in my life. I’ve taken my pack on as luggage on a plane, never one pulled aside for concealing an explosive inside. I even walked the streets of Melbourne, one of the biggest cities in the country, and to their own Exhibition Centre and have never had any trouble from their security. The idea that I will be prevented from taking in something that is clearly just a prop frightens me.

In fact I’ve just had a change of opinion. Fuck the regulations, let people do what they want. If they want to wear a skimpy bikini and wield a ridiculous sword, as long as it’s demonstrable to be part of the costume then LET THEM IN!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Do Word Counts Count?

I wrote this shortly after ‘One Road Leads to Home’, hoping to post this on Sunday but couldn’t due to technical difficulties. After a marathon ‘con report’ yesterday I decided to post this today instead and work on another entry for tomorrow.

After making a personal journal entry, I’m concerned about my word count on an entry by entry basis. At this time the majority of my writings take just over 1 page in volume (based on the bog standard A4 setting in Word, which I use to help my terrible spelling and grammar), and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. With this being a ‘stream of thought’ style blog, I tend to just get everything I’m thinking of out onto the page with little to no editing before posting (queue the Adam Savage “There’s ya problem” sound byte). Although I do like to break these entries into paragraphs, which do help to sort out what I’m talking about into sections and I personally hate seeing pages and pages of unbroken text, I am very mindful of the fact that these entries may be too long for the reader sometimes… especially when I’m trying very hard at failing to make a point.

One of the regular occurrences whilst writing these posts is that at this stage I’ve got plenty of space spare on the page, allowing me to a degree to just keep waffling on and on and on and on and… sorry, that was mean, but funny, but mean, but funny, but mean, but... okay I’m finished now. Usually what happens thought is that I’m either half way through making a point or getting my thoughts across when suddenly I’m getting close to the horrible line of <dramatic pause> PAGE BREAK </dramatic pause> (I certainly hope that tag doesn’t break anything) and I suddenly become very mindful of the fact that I’m going on a tad too long… or at least I’m afraid the reader is just going “GET ON WITH IT”. As an aside, I’m noticing this paragraph is getting rather silly, especially with all the references… like that one.

Anyway, I suppose I haven’t gotten any feedback on the word count, but I’m not sure if that is a blessing or a curse. I know it’s within my nature to become a little bit paranoid, and I do feel a little bit ashamed at the slight attention whoring on the first entry of the blog, but it does concern me sometimes. I mean when I think about these things my brain is going, “Are people actually enjoying what I’m writing about, or are they just humouring me?” I hope I’m being clear that this isn’t a call for attention, but just me being brutally honest here, well as much as I allow myself to be.

Oh shit I’m fast approaching the dreaded PAGE BREAK again, so I’d better wrap this up. Okay, I’m not really asking for feedback on this and yet I am…ARGH. Okay we’re slowly seeing the insanity a hack like myself goes through when attempting this writing thing. Honestly I’m enjoying doing this blog and I hope it’ll continue on for a while to come, albeit with some shorter entries to come. Oh and this is one of those entries I’m banking for a rainy day, so I’m either out of the house all day or I’m so blocked you’re seeing it...  I just hope I’m out, because that block is a pain to move.

Oh and by the way, SUCK IT PAGE BREAK!!! *blows a raspberry and flies to the moon*

Monday, 4 February 2013


Hehe, I don’t know, made me laugh… although I have no idea what the ‘wai’ in ‘waicon’ actually means, but I think in this case ignorance is somewhat blissful.

So anyway, an old tradition I had on the old blogs was to write a daily con report for everyday I attended, but alas most of those have been lost to the ether which is a shame as I would love to get back those reports in some form or another. One of the tragic ironies of volunteering for a convention is that so much stuff was going on, but sadly I was so extremely tired to write much of it down, although there was sadly very little things of note that would be report worthy (I didn’t meet any celebrities, get autographs, etc) but I think I should at least restart this tradition by presenting an overall reflection of my experiences with this convention.

Friday – Setup

Most of this day seemed to revolve around sitting or driving around in my car. I picked up my co-conspirator friend Jon and we drove to our friend’s (and Gamezone manager) Adam’s temporary residence1 to go grab all the gear. Unfortunately when we arrived we were informed the truck that was supposed to picking up the large and heavy gaming rigs was going to be delayed by 2 hours. So it was decided that we would load up my car and my other co-conspirator friend Toby’s car with all the rest of the gaming gear so we can get it all to the PCEC (where the con was being held) and unload whilst we wait. We finally got to the PCEC after a, at times arduous, convoy as I didn’t know how to get into the back around of the PCEC to the loading bay, and offloaded all the equipment when we were informed that that truck was on it’s way to grab the rigs. I volunteered to drive back to the house and supervise the loading and rushed to get there to tell people what to do. We finally arrive back about 15 minutes late, but the truck didn’t arrive… the truck itself was running late. So we waited around in the car for almost an hour until it finally arrived, loaded it up and sent them packing.

The rest of the evening was spent procuring supplies for both Jon and me to finish fixing or completing our costumes ready for the next day. In fact I was so busy trying to get stuff done (including a part that I completely forgot about which I should have finished weeks ago but alas), that I went to bed at 2am... with a 6am alarm call…

Saturday - Day 1

I awake to find that Adam, Toby, AJ (another friend who I didn’t mention earlier who helped with the move) didn’t finish what should have been a very simple setup until late the previous night… apparently the truck that picked up the rigs took a couple more hours to get to the PCEC, delaying most of the setup, meaning things were still needed to be finished when I got there. Thankfully we had some awesome volunteers2, and extra tables and chairs arriving, and we managed to get everything ready for the influx of people into the gaming area… Then we ran out of AA batteries for a console and printer ink for registration applications. So I went and bought some batteries with the very little money that I had, because I couldn’t find anyone in the Waicon committee that would tell me how to get funds to get them, which would eventually come to bite me in the ass when my fuel almost ran out from all the extra trips I had to do (I filled up my car three days beforehand). I also eventually managed to get the extra 100 registration applications printed out by the co-ordinator at the PCEC, which thankfully lasted us until we stopped registration for the day (about 5 seconds after the last application was filled).

Most of the first half of the day was spent just keeping an eye on the crowd and helping out around the gamezone… until I had to start the tournaments!!! I must admit I had some of the most fun I’ve ever had a con, despite some of the headaches inherit with herding Gamers and physical toil it came with shouting over an entire con floor trying to announce things (we have no microphones or amplifiers). It was pretty exhausting trying to shout so everyone could hear me, especially as people had applied but didn’t turn up (or turned up incredibly late) and I still had to call their names out, then setting up each player going over the basic rules, but I did get to have a few minutes respite during gaming… or at least I would have if I didn’t become a focal point for people to latch onto for asking questions or just talk gaming. It honestly was fun but it did get really draining. When I wasn’t announcing I was helping with fielding answers for the Registration Desk to give the registers a chance to input everything or give me the lists of applicants for the tournaments.

After we finally finished the tournaments for the day, I was given about 20 minutes to walk the floor with (or more accurately by dragged around in a stupor by) Jon, where I was heartbroken to find a Derpy plushy that was $200 (which was approximately $200 dollars more then I have), which was thankfully(?) sold on the next day so I couldn’t pine for it. Saw and met an awesome Handsome Jack, who we are now grouping together with some other cosplayers as a Borderlands costume group for Supanova3. Ultimately I only had a small handful of pictures taken of my costume that day…

Oh yeah… I was dressed up as Big Macintosh from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.


That evening after a small pack down and closing up shop, we all filled into the theatre to watch the brilliant John Robertson perform live on stage his interactive show ‘The Dark Room’. If you don’t know what this is, stop reading NO NOT RIGHT NOW?!?! How would you know what to do? After I’ve finished with the instructions, go open up YouTube and yes on a separate browser window, I still want you here don’t I? Next, do a search for “The Dark Room”, when you see a face on a black background staring at you go watch it. When you get frustrated with [REDACTED] come back here and keep reading. Okay, you can go now… *whistles innocently whilst twiddles thumbs*… okay so you’re back and probably wanting to simultaneously kill me and (hopefully) laugh your ass off. Well imagine that but done live with 1,800 people, most of which were jumping and screaming to be picked, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic night of hilarity. It’s one of those “you really most experience this!” type of deals, but it possibly won’t be as big as that one at Waicon4.

I got back home and crashed pretty hard... to once again have to wake up at 6am.

Sunday - Day 2 and Pack Down

If anyone thinks that this day would have been a little bit easier (especially considering I wasn’t wearing shoes that were actively trying to kill me), then you’d probably be a tad wrong. I was still exhausted from the previous day and it was more of a job to keep the energy going. Right early I had to go get more stuff printed out, but after that I was helping once again with registration (mostly because I wasn’t sure I could stand guard at the door without keeling over and possibly knocking someone out), until the first tournament occurred. Now it probably wouldn’t have been that big a thing, but I practically ran all the Fighting Game tournaments, and to give some context I haven’t really played a whole lot of hardcore fighting games since Mortal Kombat 2 on the Mega Drive (except Super Smash Bros, but I don’t count that)5. So I’m tying to run these tournaments, whilst fielding questions about games I’ve never played, whilst trying to herd gamers, whilst experiencing technical difficulties, whilst trying to not collapse. After one really long tournament (at one point it looked like I had to try and get nearly 20 people to play on one console 2 at a time), I took a little break and went to my car for 10 minutes to decompress. I then practically didn’t rest until about 10pm(?)... and no I don’t count driving or waiting in my car resting (which some might, but I don’t as it wasn’t exactly restful).

Apart from the technical hiccups and some personal financial crisiseseseses involving fuel and parking, the rest of the day went really well, but I was thoroughly exhausted. I know I wrote something yesterday on my mobile but I really can’t recall anything but that my mobile internet and blogger hate each other’s guts, although I did find there out is a blogger app so I’m guessing they prefer you use that. The only I posted when I did was because a blog post I wrote a few days ago didn’t sync in my Dropbox on my other computer so I was unable to schedule a post of it (I don’t like accessing it with my laptop as it has a tendency to crash). My mental faculties also severely deteriorated by the end of the day due to sheer exhaustion and I found it difficult to put sentences together without stuttering or stumbling over words, it was actually somewhat distressing as I don’t think I’ve ever been that truly exhausted before.

Anyway this is now officially my long post, running in on just four pages long, and if you’ve made it this far you probably deserve a medal. If you haven’t, you’re probably still cursing at John Robertson, so it’s all good.


1 - Which in context is about a 45-60 minute drive away from my house, plus the roughly 15 minute detour to grab Jon, makes for one long ass drive, especially twice in one day and at 9pm after a exhausting 10-hour day with little sleep, little food, and some hydration… I’m lucky to get home in one piece, shame about the other drivers.
2 - Whose names I sadly never learned but would have promptly forgotten anyway due to my horrendous memory for such things, and yes I feel like a bit of a schmuck.
3 -  I think that’s officially my third costume group, or at least I’m counting it as such because of the member variances… well for now as both Jon, Toby and myself are members of all three at this time, we can always add more.
4 – For that don’t know, John Robertson was the official presenter for the Madman Cosplay Competion for both Waicon and Supanova, and is quite rightly regarded as the best presenter of these shows in the country (hell possibly the world), but this Waicon is to be his last as he is moving to England to further his stand-up career. The crowd at Waicon absolutely adores him, so it’s was a somewhat more emotional and involved crowd then you’ll ever see anywhere. Hell the ‘Dark Room’ concept evolved from as a random gag in his stand-up performance the previous year. I don’t envy his replacement for the cosplay shows, he’s going to be missed hard.
5 – Compounded by the fact that the group that was supposed to turn up to run said fighting game tournaments… didn’t. We still had their equipment, but I wasn’t technically proficient in their usage or troubleshoot, nor do I know the games that were in fact running.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Blogging via mobile... attempt 1!

Okay so I'm attempting to blog via my mobile as I'm currently stuck at least 45 minutes away from my computer and I'm waiting to off load my car after Waicon. This is kinda difficult as my mobile and apparently don't like each other very much and I'm actually typing only be usage of its text predictor... So any spelling or grammar mistakes can be easily blamedvon that for a change and not because I don't know how to write... Probably shouldn't have shared that... Anyway, I'm completely knackered after a full wee area... In fact I was hosting most of the tournaments throughout today, despite a complete lack of sleep, energy and mental capacity. Needles to say I got a little bit silly from time to time. Anyway, I'd better make this short my mobile is about as drained as I am.kend of volunteering at the gaming

Saturday, 2 February 2013

One Road Leads to Home

I’ve just arrived back home after a long walk back from the train station and I felt compelled to write about it. Just to clarify a few things, my home is roughly about a 10-15 minute walk downhill followed by a 30-45 minute walk uphill from the train station, so this something I try to avoid as the uphill part kills me (hence the short post on 30/01, but I’m writing this the same day... so I don’t have an excuse, except that I want to bank a blog piece for the weekend). Another thing I would like to clarify is that except for a short period of two years, I’ve lived in this house with my parents since 1988, so most of my childhood memories are firmly engrained within the area... as I’m about to write about.

I’ve just got finished a journey, one I have rarely attempted since I was in high school, walking from my grandparents back home. I visited my Gran after attending an orientation in the city, both as a break from the long journey but to say hello and keep her company now that my Grandad has passed away. By the time I left my Grandparents it had gone dark and a cooler breeze was blowing, a much better time to walk home this time of the year, and something I wouldn’t be allowed to do as a kid.  I remember the way like the back of my hand, its path practically etched into memory so that the dark wouldn’t be an issue to navigate my way around.

At one point I came to my old primary school and it’s big ovals with steep ridges which I didn’t feel like climbing, especially after all the steep hills I’ve already walked up. I had a choice; Turn to Page 86 and Go Left (a longer walk but less steep), Turn to Page 27 and Go Right (towards the Shops which would have been closed else it probably would have been a no brainer to my 14 year old self), or Turn the Next Page and Go Over the Oval and Through the School. My feet and legs were telling me to turn left, my stomach was telling me to turn right, but I turned the page and went forward.

During the 90s I have walked this way hundreds and hundreds of times, and so much of that school has changed, but I still feel nostalgic whenever I walk near it. It kind of hit me the hardest seeing a piece of play equipment that was installed not long after I attended  the school just old and worn, and brown due to the bore water discolouring it after so many years (much like parts of the school). It struck me hard seeing how the replacement slide looked exactly like the rest of the equipment even though it wasn’t part of the original set*. It’s also a sad sign of times that most of the school now is fenced off, although I’m still undecided if this is to keep them out or to keep them in. I still feel sad that the old wooden play set of my youth got torn down many years ago. Even as a teenager it was a fun place to hang out and chat with friends.

As I finally passed the school and started walking home, for the first time it really struck me just how ingrained the particular part of the journey was to me. Even though I spent roughly four years there, I walked back and forth down the same two roads every single time I was at that school, and always on the exact same side, both ways, and I still walk that way every single time. I reflected on just how much that area has changed in the last 20 years, particularly in the last decade where I have spent less and less time in the area, and yet I was practically walking on autopilot. As I was walking I suddenly realised something I never thought about at that time; a while back I had a dream wherein I was walking home from somewhere and it was the exact same path I was walking. All the houses surrounded me was different but similar enough to gain my baring, but the front garden of my house was ripped up like it was being renovated, so I pretty much turn around and walked away. I think the reason that dream remains so vivid was this familiarity got stuck in my head where all the rest of my dreams exist only in the ether. Oh and when I got home it was the way I left it.


* - The original slide was a shorter but wider set of rollers that looked terrifying, causing many school rumours about it eating students, or at least fingers getting trapped, which I think added to the fun when you finally got brave enough to try it. I honestly don’t know why it was removed but part of me still wants to believe the impossibly small enough gaps trapped someone’s arm one day like the devilish device that it was. It got replaced with a boring plastic yellow ‘safe’ slide and its appeal vanished immediately.