The Doodle Pad

District 9 is a Prize!

Generally speaking I'm not the luckiest guy in the world, but I have my moments. Last Thursday was one of them! Esteemed Vancouver blogger Miss604 in conjunction with the Vancouver Film School (VFS) ran a contest: Oscar-Nominated District 9 Prize Pack and yes, yours truly won!

Winning contests is cool all by itself. Winning a District 9 contest is icing on the cake. Along with Moon and Avatar, District 9 is one my picks for best science fiction movie of 2009. It takes skill to make ugly aliens sympathetic, and VFS alums Neill Blomkamp (director/writer) and Terri Tatchell (writer) proved they have it.

District 9 Prize Pack

What did I win? A small poster, a VFS InFocus newsletter featuring District 9, and the DVD; every single one of them autographed by Blomkamp and Tatchell!

Thank you Miss604 for the contest, thank you VFS for the prizes, thank you fate for picking me, and thank you Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tachell for such a great movie!

Eye Exam - Gotta Wear Shades

Temporary Sun GlassesToday was eye examination day. My chin had a lot of fun, it made friends with four different chin rests. My eyes weren't as impressed with all of its new machine friends; specifically, the one that shot compressed air.

Then there's the infamous eye dilation drops so the Doctor can get a good look at the back of your eyes. In spite of the discomfort the end result was cool, in a Discovery Channel kind of way. The pictures with the reddish circles looking sort of like sun spot activity took on a whole new meaning when the Doctor pointed out my macula, optic nerve, veins and arteries.

Even today's dull day was too bright for leaving without sun glasses. Not having a set, the office provided me with these stylish temporary shades!

Temporary Sun Glasses

The one piece design is quite clever, and these are definitely going into my costume prop box! Getting them was practically the coolest part of the day. No, second coolest. The coolest part was getting a clean bill of health!

Plans, Power, and BC Hydro's Full Court Press

BC Hydro Working What would you do if you didn't have any power? This is not an academic question for me as I sit here typing this. 5 days ago I received a letter from BC Hydro informing me I wouldn't have any power from 9am to 5pm on Sunday December 6th. Not a lot of warning considering how long they must have been planning this; I feel sorry for anyone who was planning a Christmas open house for today.

Except for the morning, my Sunday plans already involved being out of the apartment. I'm meeting friends for Dim Sum, hopefully finding a way to enjoy the nice weather, and going to a Christmas open house. So aside from getting up earlier than I'd like on a Sunday to grab a morning shower and taking the precaution of moving some fridge contents to a friends place, the power outage shouldn't hit me too bad.

The pre-Dim Sum morning plan was taking the laptop to a local cafe and killing some time, maybe even productively. My choice was a local cafe with nice owners . . . in the same block as me (which is to say, the block scheduled to lose power). Hey, they're in a commercial building, I thought if they choose to open they must be on a different power feed. Nope. Sometime after finishing my muffin and before finishing my coffee the power went off and I had to leave. I blame my poor choice on minimal sleep and no coffee. I'm not sure what's up with owners that open in spite of being informed of a power outage.

Continue reading Plans, Power, and BC Hydro's Full Court Press

BIFFmas Gift Exchange 2009

Table of GiftsThe Christmas season is upon us. Although the commercial trappings hit the stores before the Halloween ghouls finished their hauntings, I've managed to avoid the claptrap. It isn't that I'm anti-Christmas, I'm just anti-soul sucking, brainwashing, buy, buy, buy commercial bullshit.

Tonight was the first true event of the season for me, the BIFF gift exchange. Just a bunch of Science Fiction/Fantasy fans enjoying dinner, geeking out on their favourite subjects, and exchanging inexpensive gifts in a cut-throat (but fun) kind of way! The gift exchange was the kind where you can "steal" someone else's gift.

Continue reading BIFFmas Gift Exchange 2009

A Trip to the Barony of Lions Gate

Back in August I had the very great pleasure of seeing nobles petition for title and prestige, fighters defend a bridge against hostile invaders in (almost) epic battle, and devices built with designs not used since the 17th century. It was not a movie set, my podcasting co-host Colleen is active in the Barony of Lions Gate, the local branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). She invited Marina and I to be her guests at the event. Though I'm late in posting this, I couldn't let it pass without comment.

Barony of Lions Gate battle

Continue reading A Trip to the Barony of Lions Gate

Awesome Prize Bag Belated Thank You

Is there an expiry date on saying thank you? I hope not. Back in August, local blogger Kimli of delicious juice dot com ran a contest, and I won!

Personally delivered to my door was the following surprise pack of awesome and silly.

Prize Bag Contents

Continue reading Awesome Prize Bag Belated Thank You

Unseen Lanterns - Illuminares 2009

Walking at night in a totally dark city park isn't usually a comfortable experience, unless it's John Hendry Park (Trout Lake @ Victoria Drive) during Illuminares. The Illuminares Lantern Procession by the Public Dreams Society is one of the coolest events in metro Vancouver (there's many pictures on Flickr that prove the point: Flickr Search: Illuminares). Not only is there a procession of creativity, imagination and ingenuity in the form of amazing glowing objects there's dancers, swords fighters, wish fairies, stilt walkers, and other manner performers.

This year a bunch of Science Fiction/Fantasy groups banded together for Illuminares.

Sci-Fi Group at Illuminares 2009
Photo by Marina Antunes

Continue reading Unseen Lanterns - Illuminares 2009

The Vancouver Sun Sunday Film Series at the Park

I've often complained, and even blogged, that the movie going experience in Vancouver is unenlightened. Which is to say though the movies may be enjoyable the theatre going experience can be bland. Happily, there are some exceptions.

The Vancouver Sun and Park Theatre run the Sunday Film Series. These events are at the unusual time of 10am and the ticket price includes a bagel or muffin with coffee or tea. There's also a guest speaker.

Now sometimes getting up Sunday after a great Saturday night can be painful, and sometimes the guest speaker doesn't add much, and bagels with cream cheese and cheap coffee aren't hard to find. But this event in the lobby of the venerable Park Theatre has a comfortable Sunday morning vibe I quite enjoy. Compared with fast-food feel and cattle car atmosphere of many theatres, it's downright civilized. And watching a movie in the morning and then having almost the entire day ahead of you is downright cool.

Sadly, the Sunday Film Series doesn't seem to be on a regular schedule. I rely on my movie podcasting co-host Marina and the Vancouver Movie Fans Meetup Group to keep me informed of upcoming movies.

Our last Movie Meetup Sunday Series outing was 500 Days of Summer last Sunday (My thoughts on 500 Days of Summer).

Vancouver Movie Meetup folks
Vancouver Movie Meetup peeps at the Vancouver Sun Sunday Film Series
(I could have shaved, but I might have been late!)

Continue reading The Vancouver Sun Sunday Film Series at the Park

Postcard TLC

Is this not an awesome postcard? Thank you Kimli, may your scooter eat Kawasaki Ninjas alive!

Dale's Spaceland Postcard

Continue reading Postcard TLC

BookCamp Vancouver Registration is Open!

Ok, I've already been in trouble for not posting about BookCamp Vancouver, I'm not going to compound the trouble by not passing along this announcement that registration is open!

Mark your calendars for October 16th:

BookCamp VancouverBookCamp Vancouver is a user-generated unconference that brings print publishers, educators, community builders and the tech community together – for free! BookCamp Vancouver is an opportunity to explore the present and future of books and book-like technologies. It’s open to anyone interested in the publishing industry and the potential dynamics of the reader/creator/publisher relationship.

Join us for a day of sharing new ideas, radical notions and engaging conversation! We’ll consider the future of the Book as an object; examine its ongoing role as a delivery mechanism for stories, information and entertainment; and examine how publishers can leverage themselves for success in the digital age.

Participants and self-selected guests will choose the agenda for the day, forming breakup groups to discuss and potentially create future book technologies, workflows, and grand schemes. Lend your passion and expertise to Bookcamp Vancouver by volunteering to facilitate a session.

Our plan is for this to be a day of talking and doing – of rolling up the proverbial shirt sleeves and tinkering with the publishing mechanism. We’re inviting authors, typographers, designers, printers, technologists, booksellers, literary agents, publishers and geeks of every stripe to come along and consider if and how technology can transform and perhaps improve on The Book.

Continue reading BookCamp Vancouver Registration is Open!

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