Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Word With a Nerd Podcast - Episode One is Live

Go here to download the episode.

So it's finally happened, I've started my very own podcast... and yeah I'm nervous as all hell. I love what Eric and I was talking about, but again that's all subjective I suppose. I'm funnelling everything WWaN (yeah that's my thing for it) through my old Fanboy Crossing website, mostly because I do want it to become a home for a lot of the work I do and it's a brand I want to cultivate.

So why not here??? Well I want to keep this as a personal blog, free (technically) from having to be somewhat professional like on the other page... that being said I've got some old posts on there I really should delete are some point but I suppose it fills up the page. Hopefully within the next few months I'll throw up some older projects onto it, especially some of my photography work, and get it some exposure.

I'm also hoping that parlay any popularity from this into future projects, especially the documentary I've been gradually researching and working on for the last eighteen months. Anyway, I'm concentrating on making this entertaining and interesting so we'll see how we go!

EDIT: was a little late due to problem with scheduling .. fixed now!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Recast Aways

So my friend Jon has recently found our that his friend who he thought was a honest prop maker has just been called out on the RPF and other places for the heinous crime of 'recasting'. For those that aren't in the know, and lets face it probably don't care, 'recasting' in when someone buys an item, makes a mold from it (usually out of silicone) and makes several copies which they sell quite cheaply (and usually out of cheaper materials).

This typically infuriates the prop building communities because prop builders who usually sell their items try to recuperate the costs associated with building the prop to begin with (materials, time, etc) and usually using not so cheap materials to maintain quality control. The notion is of course that recasters don't have to invest heavily on the onset so even the minute charge they do sell is more profit then the original builder. Whilst there is some truth to that statement, there is some dodginess to some of the numbers but as you'll soon see there is a lot of moral and legal grey areas to deal with.

If you really want the TL:DR version go look for 'still untitled adam savage recasting' on YouTube... no I'm giving you the fucking link, especially if you're going to be lazy and not read any more on from here.

If you're still here, let me just say I do not endorse nor justify the recasters, especially as I know I'd go batshit insane if it happened to me, but a lesser talked about issue that may arise is problems with the original prop builds themselves. Now you can probably throw a stone at the RPF and GBfans and hit some thread about how evil and demonic the recasters are, and after you've retrieved your stone I think you'll be hard pressed to hit anything about things on the other side of the fence. No not the recasters side, they are pure evil remember, but the consumers side. Well probably not the consumers over in the states, they actually get their props unlike some of us... which is where I'm thinking I want to take this line of thought... If recasters are so bad, why do we buy from them???

I'd like to state for the record that I've been bit by "legitimate" prop builders before, several times in fact, and a trend does seem to present itself. There are some, not all (again, all absolutes are wrong), who whilst may be legitimised builders within a community have a problem with their products, and sometimes when that buyer is from out of the country there has been tendencies to ignore them because they are unable to drive over and punch their fucking teeth in... no I'm not bitter at the amount of times I've paid for an item from a seller in good standing and never been put on a waiting list to see a dozen names after me who then get their products first and when confronted go "oh jeez I'm sorry I didn't see you there but I'm sure happy to accept your money shucks and still not send you that item"... NOT. BITTER. AT. ALL.

Another little bit of bullshit about sellers is that they have a tendency to overprice their items. Sure I can get you want to get back some of your 'investment', except that you sometimes charge from some of the most ethereal things, like researching. Why is this imho bullshit? These things start off as a hobby right? you want an item and you research the hell out of it right? We all do (well most of us) but to turn around and put a number on after the fact is a little out of line I think. Why do I think that? Because I know what's it like to be obsessive about something, and you don't do it thinking about the bottom line, if you did you wouldn't be putting in THAT much effort into it if you're doing it for money. Don't get me wrong, there are those that claim they are doing it for the greater good of the community... well that's bullshit too as there are those that keep all those tiny little details to themselves so they can charge what they want for their 'accurate' item.

All this being said, I've been in manufacturing and yes the first production line is the most costly, but as you as you recoup your cost you can decrease the item price and get in more costumers (do you honestly believe people would have still bought the PS3 if it stayed at $1000 all it's lifespan?). There are sellers that are only numerous generations of molds down the line and they are still overcharging for some of their product... or they pull the other dick move and do one off "limited runs". Now I get that you don't want to do it all the time, and I can't say I blame you, but when you only offer to make an item, one time for an extremely limited run, you can't say you're surprised when someone undercuts you in this regard. I'll explain to you why in the next paragraph.

Well then you must buy from recasters I here you think? and if you believe that I'm going to win Randi's Million. No I still don't try to buy from recasters, but I have done... and here is the dirty little secret why, recasters are always available to buy stock from and at an affordable price. My example is this; a couple of years ago I wanted to buy a shell to rebuild my Ghostbusters Proton Pack as my foam core one was just deteriorating and I didn't think it would survive another convention. I spent a good couple of months on GBfans trying to get a shell (my first attempt the previous year was one of those aforementioned "legitimate" sellers) and I was either getting the "limited run" problem or the "I can't send it to you because it's going to cost $700 in shipping because I apparently won't consider the much cheaper option option".

So I was looking at either nearly ONE AND HALF THOUSAND DOLLARS for a piece of fucking fibreglass, or.. well there was no "or" because the other sellers weren't selling or the guy that attempted to rip me off (or yes, he was still selling without any problem despite the outrage... if only I lived next door, they got their parts real quick). I finally resorted to ebay because it was honestly the only option short of making the pack from scratch (which I really didn't have time, tools or patience to try). I saw someone selling a shell on ebay for $300(I think) and $40 postage, a bit of a far cry from the $700 I couldn't possibly get it any cheaper... and I admit I did look at the blacklist on GBfans and couldn't find it (I find him eventually after the fact) so I bought the fucking thing... and in all honesty, I regret it and don't regret it almost equal parts.

This thing was fucking warped, it need A LOT of work done to it, it was bulk and possibly heavier because it was resin not fibreglass, so many issues with painting (mostly because I was an idiot and didn't clean it properly)... however it was easy to drill, it's stood up to some abuse and ultimately it's been my main Proton Pack now for 3 years and I don't see myself replacing it anytime soon.

To quote Norm Chan in the mentioned podcast, and if you made it this far here's a cookie, "I just want an Iron Man helmet". That unfortunately is the problem the prop makers must find the solution to, because it's ultimately supply and demand.... if you can't meet the demand and someone else can then you're going to loose. I say this as a prop builder myself, and it has been nearly a year since I touched a kit, everything I do now is pretty much hand build, but I also don't want to start selling casts of what I do either. That being said I'd like the think that if I get into this business then the stuff I would be selling would be at a fair price and available often enough to keep the interest, and I don't think I could do it in good conscious if neither of those two criteria were available.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Second Thoughts...

I found myself writing too damn much on facebook lately about things I've been passionate about, and I feel myself hitting those boundaries of hypocrisy that I don't like, especially as I've been pretty exhausted a lot lately and I know my mind is getting really hazy. To that point I've found myself with the other problem that I just don't find myself able to write, or at least I'll write up a massive diatribe of something then delete it five seconds later.

I think the problem stems that lately I feel like I'm the only one listening to my voice, and it disheartens me. I post something up on Facebook and I get a couple of 'likes' but no feedback, my latest Book Was Better episode got as close to no feedback or discussion to seem relevant and most of it was about how excited the upcoming one was. I've been busting my ass on trying to make an interesting podcast and talk with some truly awesome people, but I feel stymied by the overwhelming feeling that nobody will listen to it regardless of how much I push it... which is ultimately incredibly disheartening as I want it to be a stepping stone to my documentary. I don't even want to publish this entry itself as I hate feeling so damn self pitying... but it is a concern.

Being once again kicked in the balls by a viral infection doesn't help matters, and my energy feels so incredibly low at the moment that any enthusiasm just seems to escape me. Hell I tried to load up a game on Steam yesterday and I just didn't want to play any of the hundred or so bloody things, not even some of my favourites. So I'm stuck in a rut playing Minecraft listening to podcasts, just repeating the same old pattern and I'm just not feeling the inspiration flowing like it was a couple of weeks ago... true a lot of that inspiration got beaten out of my from sheer exhaustion over the last week or so, but I hate being in this mindset.

TL:DR ... oh fuck it.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Recurring Themes

So here I sit, same as ever, try to work on several different damn things at once (and occasionally be distracted by Minecraft when I need to switch off for a while) and yet I see a recurring theme these last few days.

It is indeed possible that because I’ve been very focused on trying to get my podcast up and running, especially as I will hopefully lead to my documentary, that a lot of the issue surrounding sexism and fandom have been at the forefront of my brain. This has been exasperated somewhat by discussions around a few very recent events that have also brought this issue back to the public conscience. I find myself almost unknowingly type in length about these and other issues, particularly those I’ve researched, more and more and more of late than ever before.

Perhaps it’s the fact I’m just getting back into the routine of writing more productively. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m finally working on a project so dear to me that it is barely out of my thoughts for most of the last 18 months. Perhaps I should be writing more on my short story and not dicking around my blog or spending hours trying to make my podcast proposal just right. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...

Wow, that would have been a good way to finish this blog, but I think readers will acknowledge that is completely out of character for me. Unfortunately I feel like I have this overwhelming urge to type, but I don’t appear to have the focus that drives me to do some of the things I feel I should do. I’m hoping that with this podcast that some opportunities that have eluded me which suddenly become available for the first time, including a readership on this that will exceed the amount of digits on my feet and toes.


Sunday, 8 September 2013

Kill Your Coalition.

Well not in that sense, at least not yet, but it's been sometime for a while which has personally buggered the ever loving crap out of me and I think it ruins a lot of the democracy within this country. The idea that a major political party is allowed to combine with several minor parties in a deliberate bid to bolster their seats to mean undermines the entire process. If someone wants to vote for a particular party, I'm fine with that, even if some of the reasons for doing so I don't personally agree with (e.g. family preferences, how pretty the candidate is, etc.), however the notion that you voting for a party adds to a different parties tally seems weasely and undemocratic... and I'm aware that I'm probably the minority in this regard.

That being said, we are to believe that the Liberal Party won the Election, more or less. We know there is a coalition, although you rarely hear or see it referred to as such nowadays, and one was probably assume that the other parties don't really do much to account for their success... well you would be wrong. Now of course there are also those that say "Well no shit, the Libs couldn't get elected without all those taggers on!" and you would probably be right again, except that there is a history of the Coalition being defeated several times (including the first time is was officially formed I believe). However in the sake of interest and curiosity lets see just how the numbers would have effected the outcome if the Coalition didn't exist.

We are led to believe that the Liberals beat Labor 86-57, as indeed the Coalition did... but there is an interesting peculiarity in those statistics that I would love to point out. I'm looking at the Virtual Tally Room on the Australian Electoral Commision website (, which tells you who won what seat where per state. Lets break these numbers down

  • NSW = 19
  • VIC = 19
  • QLD = 7
  • WA = 3
  • SA = 5
  • TAS = 1
  • ACT = 2
  • NT =
  • TOTAL = 57
  • NSW = 29
  • VIC = 15
  • QLD = 20
  • WA = 12
  • SA = 6
  • TAS = 3
  • ACT = 0
  • NT = 1
  • TOTAL = 86
Pretty much a forgone conclusion wouldn't you think? HOWEVER they also list the separate parties tallies, so this is what happens when you look at Liberal alone.

  • NSW = 22 (Slightly less then before, but still strong)
  • VIC = 14 (Again, only one less, still very strong)
  • QLD = 0 (Yes, that is a zero, I haven't left a digit off the front)
  • WA = 12 (Yeah, I live in a Liberal state... doesn't feel very liberal)
  • SA = 6 (Equal, same as WA)
  • TAS - 3 (Equal again)
  • ACT = 0 (No change)
  • NT = 0 (okay, only slightly less again but statistically unimportant)
  • TOTAL = 57
Wait, what? That's exactly the same number of seats as the ALP?!? Well it turns out the "Liberal National Party" contributed all 20 seats from QLD and the Nationals Party (the one that joined the Libs to form the Coalition) only scored a total of 8. Keep in mind that to win either side needed 76 seats, although it can be argued that without the Nationals help then they wouldn't have one the election (also please note that 1 seat in the Coalition went to the "Country Liberals (NT)" Party for that are keep a tally).

Now I'm not entirely privy to the politics in the other states (particularly QLD), so I don't know how much of the other side knows who exactly they are voting for when it comes to voting for the other parties that aren't Liberal. It just all seems quite disingenuous, and believe me I'd have the same opinions if it were on the other side as well. The idea that the voting public voting for one party to have it being tallied to another just doesn't seem right, it seems that our morals are being manipulated for someone else's desires.

If the National party wanted to join in with the Liberal party, that's fine I suppose but then it should be one entity, not one version here and another version there, and you do hear people go "I don't like the Liberals, I'm voting National!" and you want to facepalm so badly but you fear you'll crack your skull.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

On Voting Today...

So yeah, I just came back from voting and I'm still mixed in my thoughts in this. Whilst I must say as much as it's probably still bothersome, I prefer the old paper and ballet box method of voting as opposed to touch screen alternatives... I've read enough of those shenanigans over in the US, and whilst I love technology this just seems to be too open to corruption or exploitation. That being said it's also a society that find itself incapable from punching a hole in a card, so I'm guessing voting "1" might be a little extreme, let alone the rest of the numbers... I imagine it would go something like, "Whut do you mean we 'ave to count to '7'? I don't 'ave dat there many fingers on ma hand!" before running off to make out with their cousin in a barn. I apologise to my American readers, I love your country but Jeebus some of your education standards need to be raised (and not in a "No child left behind" manner either).

So anyway I think I voted in good conscious, which doesn't say much as I ultimately didn't have much choice in the matter as most of the parties  I would have liked to have voted for weren't on my ballot. The thing that really got me annoyed was that we hold all our polling events at public schools, and obviously they allow the various political parties to post their campaign posters to be visible to the voters as they walk in (to then be confronted by the pamphlet wavers which do bug me). However this wasn't the annoying part, although somewhat tedious it's something we probably have to endure as its a way of the parties getting themselves exposure (as opposed to the months of constant media noise, numerous print and TV adverts, and Rupert Morduck constantly telling us who we have to vote for), however today just made me a tad angry.

As I approached the school, I noticed that all along the wired fencing was campaign posters for one of the major parties we shall call A (those on my twitter and facebook know which one, but for this point I'm keeping the party obscured), with little to no sign or mention of the other major party we shall call B. Now I can be fairly certain that the district I'm in is probably one of those annoying ones were the candidate is in a 'safe' seat, and that my vote ultimately has no sway in any regard to this, and this is quite possibly why these posters are heavy handed. I must admit ignorance at this point in that I don't recall which party holds the seat in my district, it's partly that I didn't find out and partly because I don't really care... at least I'm being honest here. Anyway there was a huge presence of A there, numerous volunteers, lots of people handing out pamphlets, etc; however there was hardly any presence of B there! I didn't see any volunteers, no pamphlets, barely any signs, not even a B representative trying to butter up the crowd. And this bothered me.

I'm one of the imbeciles who believes that polling centres should be completely unbiased in these regards, yes allow the parties to have their banners, signs, and their pamphlets hander outers, but there should be a limit or at least one party should not be allowed to dominate an area. The fact that the majority of polling centres are held in PUBLIC SCHOOLS, concerns me more than anything. We pay through our taxes to maintain the public school system, so for me that automatically means that no one particular party should be allowed to even advertise there at all, but I suppose ultimately there isn’t any choice in the matter. The fact that one party feels that it’s their right to be so vigorous is cause enough for concern, but knowing that this is not only allowed but no one seemed to be bothered by it worries me.
I suppose because we have been in an uncertain political climate for so long, and that both sides just seem to spend most of the time being complete dicks to each other, it becomes hard to gauge who should be the one that ultimately leads us. I’m dreading that this country has decided it wants to move towards a more intolerant and backwards society that soon enough we’ll be walking with our fists dragging on the ground and grunting, whilst clobbering women over the heads to drag them back to our caves to watch Fox News. A gross exaggeration, but it made me giggle.

Friday, 6 September 2013

New Take On An Old Joke...

How can you tell when a Politician is lying? ... You read it on their twitter!!!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Electorally Conflicted

As the deadline looms closer to Saturday’s Federal Election, I find myself morally conflicted on who to vote for, as I assume a lot of people are as well. I’m hoping through the sheer act of typing all this out that I’ll somehow come to a magical conclusion, but I’m sceptical it’ll be that easy. On the one hand I don’t want to vote to any of the major political parties, neither of them have managed to sway me with their policies, on the other hand I really really REALLY can’t fucking stand Tony Abbott. You would think that it would be simple, Vote 1 Rudd right?

Well no, I don’t fully care for some of his views on things like the Carbon Tax and whilst the NBN would be an awesome thing, I believe there is still some issues about privacy and censorship that still need to be ironed out (like full privacy and no censorship... but I’m obviously living in a world of make believe if I think that’ll ever fucking happen), however his stance on Gay Marriage is a selling point... although if I think for a minute that the bill he says he is proposing will go through relatively unscathed then I’m definitely more delusional than I actually believe.

I also firmly believe that Abbott has got an incredibly strong chance of becoming PM, not because of his sound policies (which he has none), or strong economic plans (same again), or because he’s the man for the job (back to self delusion territory). No I think he appeals to the lowest common denominator; he’s a backwards, misogynistic homophobe (or catholic). Honestly this wouldn’t be enough to sway the votes in my humble opinion, but he’s got the full support by the Sith Lord Rupert Morduck, whose campaign has been mostly about destroying the public image of Labor, Gillard, and Rudd, mostly because trying to make Abbott seem like a decent human being was beyond even the power of the Dark Side of the Force.

So I’m torn. I usually give my vote to anyone but the major parties, and slowly work my way through backwards through all the other ones I can’t stand like One Nation, Christian Democrats (contradiction in terms), until I finally vote for the least detestable party... I think I vote for the Guns and Fisheries once, but I can’t remember. Although after the last election, I’m more worried now more than ever.

Last Federal Election was a tie and the PM seat was ultimately determined by the Independents in the House of Representative, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it clearly had a psychological impact on these last three years. During this time we’ve been constantly reminded that Gillard got in on a plea bargain... the hypocrisy is that this is obvious an Abbott tactic but the same would have been for him if HE had gotten in. During that same period the WA State Election was similarly deadlocked, and ultimately Colin Barnett got through, and some would say this was a bad thing (I’m one of them). He recently got re-elected back into office for no sensible reason beyond apparently I’m living in a state slightly over half filled with morons (or the fact that State Labor can’t get them themselves elected for love nor money), but it’s bothersome because this does seem like an indication of things to come.

Again, I’m torn. Some of the minor parties I agree with, some I don’t. For example I’m feeling the need to vote Green because I’m hoping they might be a balancing force if Lord Tone gets into power, but some of their environmental policies don’t sit well with me (one touting a 100% carbon free environmental policy... which is just stupid when you think about it!) but their social policies I’m quite keen on, however I’ve read probably a little bit too much about environmental activism (and how much of it is just sheer bullshit) which honestly clouds my judgment. So I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind voting for the Secular Party but I can’t help but feel like I’m pissing my vote away, which I know isn’t logically true, but it feels like it. Wikileaks Party sounds like a fantastic idea, until they turned around and supported One Nation... pass. Similar things can be said about other parties like The Sex Party, The Nationals...

Wait what about the Nationals? They are part of a coalition with the Liberals, and I strongly believe this was one of the reasons that Johnny Howard was able to sustain his position for as long as he did. Why is that? Every seat that the Nationals win counts as a Liberal win, their combined totals allow them to potentially win the Election with Liberals naturally taking the top spot (which the National leader becoming Deputy PM, but who honestly cares a fuck about that position in politics). Sounds stupid doesn’t it, but apparently dems da rules. So whenever I heard people go. “I don’t like Liberal, I’m voting National!” it makes me want to facepalm so hard I fear I’ll crack my skull open.

Oh and then there is the Senate voting, which should be a lot easier... and because it kinda is, but don’t let that fool you. Voting into the power a third party can be a great balancer whenever the House of Representatives want to push through some bullshit onto the people, but it works both ways as it could possibly delay something beneficial too. That role for the longest time was taken care of by the Australian Democrats, whose slogan was “Keep the bastards honest”, but their power was demolished from the backlash of the GST.

Okay let’s back up a second. From what I remember John Howard throughout most of his political career has been wanting to introduce the Goods and Services Tax, but it become sometime akin to political poison when John Hewson used it in his bid to become PM in 1993, and ultimately lost to Paul Keating. When Jackboot Johnny got into power in 1996 it seems that it was always lurking the background somewhere, despite Jonny saying during a televised debate “No GST, never ever.” Then he finally brought it in after the 2000(?) election. Somehow the public perception became that the Australian Democrats were responsible for the GST in ways I don’t even want to go into. This ultimately led to a massive loss for the Australian Democrats in the 2004 election, but in the biggest “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???” moment in politics the Liberal Party got voted in leading the Senate AND the House of Representatives... which lead to the unopposed introduction to the “Work Choices” program, which I’m sure everyone remembers was a good thing </sarcasm>. The point here is DON’T VOTE FOR THE MAJOR PARTY! But I suppose it’s a moot point most of the time nowadays.

Ultimately I suppose I think it’s a great thing that we have to vote, we all have a direct way of expressing how we wish the country to proceed, but I instinctively don’t like politicians and I don’t like the bullshit that comes with it. I’m still torn on this, and I don’t think that feeling will go away even after I put my ballet in the box.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Collector Zone Toy and Hobby Fair

So one of the many reasons I haven't been on here much lately is because I've been prepping as a seller for the Collector Zone Toy and Hobby Fair... that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it. I do have this long ass rant that I didn't finish due to three hours of distractions, and now I don't have the right energy to work on it.. it's the vibe your honour.

Seriously though, I kinda want to make some extra cash (and a female parental unit wants me to get rid of a load of my stuff) so I bit the bullet and went through a load of my crap and got rid of a lot of it, well mostly a load of doubled comics, carded action figures and some other random cool stuff, but the books/movies barely moved (so not bothering next time).

The one thing I just realised just then is that one of things that kinda got me through that day, which btw I was dressed as Forbush Man and that costume isn't really forgiving in regards to heat dispersion, was seeing all my friends throughout the day .. and my mom bringing me water which kept me hydrated so that's a big thing.

I know it's kinda daft and silly but looking back it made that day pretty great. Sure it was at time a little bit depressing to stand around with no one wanting to buy stuff (I think I sold three $1 comics in the last hour) but I was just so happy to see my friends come and say hello and hang out a bit, it made an exhausting day really cool.