Wednesday, April 15, 2015

CyPhaCon: Dr. Trek, EIS, STC, Green Girl and my buds!

WOW. Can't believe that CyPhaCon is here already! But yes indeed— I'll see all you Cajuns THIS weekend, again, with a "Dr. Trek" show and a lot of friends in the guest line-up.

Both of the Lake Charles cons have had me almost every year since 2010, and it's a great corner off the Gulf, kinda midway  between Houston and New Orleans along I-10.  Treklander bud Jeff "Shran/Brunt/Weyoun" Combs is just one of the guests to be at Lake Charles with me: Mon capitan Vic Mignogna and fellow McCoy denizen Chuck Huber, my Star Trek Continues consultees, are also in the lineup as STC and anime guests—and I am pledged to help show them the town (or at least the eateries)!

Here's my own schedule— and yes, I'll be talking about the exciting, non-profit Enterprise in Space as well as leading a Trekland forum/panel.  We're starting off bright and "early" both days at 10 a.m., so I want to see you there! Tabling too—with info on all this plus sneak-peeks the next #LA2Vegas Trek Tour for 2016 with ME and Geek Nation Tours.

I'm also pleased to screen my buddy George Pappy's award-winning Susan Oliver bio-doc The Green Girl bigscreen (2:45 pm Saturday, Rosa Hart Theatre) and will have some Green Girl T's and DVDs at the table.

Most of all, it's a chance to bring back my late-night crowdfunder "Dr. Trek Show" fun in support of The Con of Wrath documentary, which we are starting to wrap up after a 2011 start.

That will be right after Saturday night's Fan Party at the Marriott con HQ hotel. If you want to "sign in" and help give me a head count for "Dr. Trek", please be sure to "check in" and sound off at the  Facebook event page—thanks!

Maybe, just two hours from Houston, we'll even find still more Survivors the 1982 Ultimate Fantasy aka "Con of Wrath"!  I'm always on the lookout.

Oh—and if you're a visual person, here's my weekend:

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I CAN dream, can't I?: Sir Pat and the smart blue shuttle

And yes—I have a backlog of vidchats and other topics to post here... but I just had to get this down:

I almost never dream anymore—or, at least, remember a dream. But I sure woke up with a vivid one this morning. Perhaps it was the memorial meetup last night for our friend John Couch... or just some well-placed drink or spice...

Somehow, in this dream, I was with a group of modern-day people who had basically developed what you'd call a "smart", modern-day Starfleet-style shuttlecraft — "smart" like Trigger, Tony or Silver of cowboy-heroes'-horses smart, in the Western serials of old: you whistle and they not only come a-runnin, they know just what to do to serve or save you. Or follow hand signals.

Except this "smart shuttlecraft" looked just like some kind of blue-ice plastic freezer chiller for your drink chest on location. (Hey! Don't ask me--it was just a dream).

And we had this on display at a downtown hotel somewhere—was it for a convention? who knows?— but I was left in charge of it for some reason, when the group left to go... eat? And so I parked it in the freight loading dock of the hotel's lower innards, off the street. Though it was crowded, the craft parked itself and avoided all bumps, of course. And as I walked away to grab my own lonely, short lunch... I was asked by a hotel employee if I could move it, because the hotel was setting up tables to have an employee buffet feed... in the loading dock ... and it was in the way.  (Dream, remember?)

Oh, and Sir Patrick Stewart (!!) was coming in, very humbly, to eat with the workers and say hello. So of course now it was REALLY in the way.

But as I turned around and was about to whistle for the shuttle to extricate itself and head toward me and the street exit, here comes Patrick striding up all by himself, in dressed-down blue-collar peasant garb and a canvas travel bag a-slung, smiles and says  "Hello, Larry!" We shook hands, he asked if I was staying to eat, and moved on to the card tables when I begged off.

And so at that I just went ahead, got in, told Blue Blocky Shuttle to leave, and fretted all through those close dock quarters until it did exit...cleanly... with nary a bump OR grind.

And that's it. As they say... they lived happily ever after when they woke up.

Friday, April 3, 2015

RIP my friend and legal guide, John Couch

I have to take a minute and say this here, even though he was hardly a Treklander—before or behind the cameras,  merchandise or fandom...

But it's been  tough to deal with the passing of John Couch, one of our first touchstones in L.A. over these 20 years, via former TNG/DS9/VGR script coordinator turned actor's rep Lolita Fatjo; other Trek names in his circle are Eric Stillwell and DS9 guest actor (among many) Jim Metsker. He came here to pursue acting, as so many, do--wound up at Ralph Edwards Productions, and after taking a law degree in the 1990s he became their VP for business and legal affairs, and taught many law students and bar preppers.

But I remember John as a not just a wonderful, kind, quick-witted friend on the quiet side … from not just parties and get-togethers, but to our lunches near his Ralph Edwards office, across from the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, and sponsoring me into Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters after Charlie Washburn's passing, where he was a board member and longtime Ralph Edwards rep… to a patient legal ear through all the various family bumps or project repping…and finally, a reassuring force helping launch my documentary, The Con of Wrath—now, not to be there as it comes home.

Even though I must try to find a new "legal consultant," there's no way to replace a patient friend and advisor like that. Especially one who will answer a panicked call at 8 am on a Saturday in L.A. when the very first day of the shoot in Houston has a legal bombshell tossed at it!

Oh, and did I say John was one of about three in all of L.A. to give me a yell when my OU Sooners had a big win--or a big loss. He was really a basefall fan... his beloved SF Giants... but he knew what we all give up a bit to come here. "Congrats on your Sooners," he'd email or tell me.

Cancer sucks. Ten-month cancer is the worst.

But here's to all the good times, good memories, good freindship, John. Missing you much...but your legacy lives on in all those you touched.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

UK peeps–catch EIS and me via Skype at FCD next week

Hey, if Leonard Nimoy can do it, why can't I?  

I'm talking about my first-ever convention appearance by Skype video!— at next weekend's First Contact Day con in the U.K. at Space Center Leicester, chiefly to talk about Enterprise in Space. I will always be grateful to have seen Nimoy make history with his first Skye appearance at Away Mission Tampa only just a year ago, a nod to his declining health (see photo below)—but promoter Wil Ross at FCD used the same tactic to overcome startup budgets and "have" me this year after all.

Leoanrd at his first Skype appearance
Not only that, but this is amazing: Wil, co-promoter David Limburg and everyone at FCD fell in love with the idea of Enterprise in Space, and really wanted me there to talk about it for UK fans—but late in the game, budgets were just not there for  live trip...and thus the Skype idea. Brilliant!

The convention, of course, is pinned to the day in 2161 when Zephram Cochrane will make his first experimental warp flight, and break the light barrier. And attract passing Vulcans who initiate humanity's First Contact. Of course.

But the FCD guys are so committed to our non-profit crowdfunded mission—an homage to positive future science fiction and fact that puts 100+ student projects into orbit in 2019—that they have committed volunteers to crew a booth all weekend for EIS and take crew sign-ups and offer info.

What's more, print-on-demand vendor Fantasia Memorabilia is also boosting EIS (and sponsoring National Space Society) by donating as well all the proceeds from site-printed EIS T-shirts, mugs, caps, etc,  that weekend. Wow!

This has to be unprecedented—a convention providing staffing and a vendor donating some sales profits in a commitment to help a non-profit project that otherwise is not even on-site—at least, live.

So come on, Britfolk—get your butts there this weekend (only 20-some tickets still available, try online special) and talk to Amy & company at the EIS booth, all weekend.  And then show your status after you sign up for virtual crew membership  by getting some EIS gear—on sale there, before it is here!—that thanks to Wendy at Fantasia Memorabilia will also benefit EIS, a 501c3 non-profit for any Yanks there. It won't be deductible to the UK fans, of course, but hey— it's always good to mention.

See you from the big screen in Leicester, gang! And thank all the folk there who are making this a truly unique moment for conventions' charitable instincts and logistics. 

If this Skype thing catches on, then hey…. well, still not as personable as rubbing elbows and groaning puns in person, but it has its moments…especially of restart-ups and wayfarawayers.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Awww, I miss my Seattle buds: no ECCC for me this year

One of the great joys the past few years here in TREKLAND, as the global genre landscape has evolved, has been getting out to a far wider swath of conventions than in years past—even to the big comic-cons… like Seattle's Emerald City Comic-Con.

And that's why, as some have already asked me, I'm bummed about not being there today as ECCC returns in all its booming, downtown-Seattle glory. I initially had a convention conflict this year, but as it turns out I'm using the break to go check in with my mom who's about on the same latitude as Seattle, over in northwest Montana.

Yeah, ECCC has been a destination for me in various guises ever since 2010—a first dip into a universe where I never saw myself. (I'm not a comics guy, right?)

But ECCC was my first-ever exposure with "tweet-ups" that year—thank you, Shannon and Matt of Seattle Geekly!—as well as the birth in 2012 of what's come to be called our "Dr. Trek Show"—the crowdfunder meetup for "The Con of Wrath." In the process I've watched ECCC explode, catch up with old friends, and grown a whole colony of new Trekland fans and supporters, and my thanks to all—and, yeah, I'm bummed to miss you guys this year at the Six Arms for our last-stand Sunday afterglow tradition. All Trek Seattle has been been a ton of fun AND very supportive as the documentary made micro-budget progress—and more on that coming, too.

Same goes for all my friends and followers in Seattle, and those in and out of ECCC who came by the table when I had one, much less our annual "Trekland: Between the Cracks" and other panels.
So 2015 is a break in my Seattle string. But this year is going to be different overall—fewer cons, and more new work— a lot of hard brainwork development and a continuation of what I started last year... but all for good reason. 

All the more reason why I'm gonna miss being in Seattle this weekend! But, here's to the good times—and a moment from each of our main 2012, 2013 and 2014 meetup groups ... and here's to hoping the big 5-0 anniversary year of 2016 in Trekland gets things back on track.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Family wishes for Leonard memorial gift donations

Not mine, but forwarded to me—Marietta, near Atlanta, GA
Since Friday, life for me has been an overwhelming mix of feeling and fielding. 

I have tried to share my reflections on Leonard Nimoy in media everywhere —Twitter, Facebook, podcasts like a special The Ready Room, television like Sky News in UK/Europe, radio (Boston's WXTK) — everywhere, except right here on my own blog. 

But it's coming.

Meanwhile, in a telling way, you know where my head was from my very first tweet:

And many more followed.

For now, let me share the family's wishes for those wanting to make donations or memorial gifts in Leonard's name:

Everychild Foundation
PO Box 1808
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
COPD Foundation
20F Street NW, Suite 200-A
Washington, DC 20001 
Beit T'Shuvah Treatment Center
8831 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034 
Bay-Nimoy Early Childhood Center at Temple Israel of Hollywood
7300 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Saturday, February 28, 2015

RIP, Leonard Nimoy: So many talents—but Spock's #1

FInal Vegas Khhaaan Trek convention appearance, August 2011

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

De-Day 2015: I'm an actor, not a doctor! OR a cowboy.

If it's January 20, it must be my annual, personal tribute —as it has since this blog began—to my guy, Jackson DeForest Kelley, who would have been 95 today. Wow.

Don't need to say much more than what I've said in past years... aside from the groundswell of Kelley fandom that seems to be shaping up everywhere (perhaps, not coincidentally, since THIS first happened).

In any case, I'll just drop this year's edition here. You're welcome.

De with Susan Hayward, getting out of the haybarns and hitchin' posts for once, co-starring with her and Bette Davis in 1966's Where Love Has Gone (and thanks, once again, Sue Keenan):