NaBloPoMo Success Celebrated with New URL, Facebook Page, Self-High-Five

NaBloPoMo 2012 Badge

My NaBloPoMo 2012 Merit Badge

Congratulations to any and all bloggers of the universe who succeeded in their thirty-day posting spree for NaBloPoMo 2012. I’m two days late commemorating the completion of my own marathon because I wanted to use the final day to move one step closer to the end of our long, drawn-out vacation saga, which a lot of people abandoned as soon as Kansas returned to the forefront like a much-dreaded super-villain. As for yesterday, NaBloPoMo went likewise unmentioned because I was too partied out to celebrate anymore. I’m feeling much better now.

For the record, NaBloPoMo on Midlife Crisis Crossover remained on target and on schedule, with 31 posts in 30 days that broke down as follows:

vacation photos: 7
things about movies: 6
Things containing Thanksgiving or Black Friday: 4
Revolution recaps: 4
convention photos: 3
random photo collections: 1
Geek Demerits: 1
MCC Request Line: 1
family anecdote: 1
fiction: 1
political griping: 1
NaBloPoMo iambic pentameter: 1

When I began November, I somehow thought the results would be more random by the end. Too late to diversify now, I suppose.

About that bonus 31st post: I usually limit myself to one post per day, but two converging events demanded equal time within the same narrow time frame. I was glad to finish them both for the sake of the readers interested in each respective piece, but it was not the most pleasant experience of my November.

In addition to “Yay NaBloPoMo!”, we have two more MCC announcements:

1. I’ve taken the plunge and officially purchased the domain name, just to see what happens. and all contents should now redirect to The speed of DNS propagation to other ISPs as a result of the URL update may vary, so the site may act uncooperative for some readers for a short time. I’m told this should pass in a few days.

2. MCC now has its very own Facebook page! Readers who Like MCC on Facebook will enjoy numerous benefits, including but not limited to:

* Instant notice whenever new entries are published! (Twitter already does this for me, but my Facebook involvement trumps my Twitter use by a wide margin.)

* The ability to Like and/or comment on each MCC entry without using the Web-based WordPress Like button or comments section! (For those who prefer one set of tools over the other, now you have more options for validating or refuting me.)

* Access to exclusive MCC Facebook content! (Whatever form that may take. Stay tuned!)

* Another “Like” to throw on your Facebook “Like” pile! Who doesn’t need dozens more of those?

As always, thanks for reading and supporting. Questions and requests always welcome.

2012 Road Trip Photos #33: Underground Salt Museum, Part 3 of 3: Hollywood Under Glass

The curators of the Underground Salt Museum realize that visitors want their money’s worth for the experience. Staring at shelves filled with real film canisters and acid-free storage boxes isn’t the most stimulating visual aid to the average tourist. Either to drive home their mission statement or to dazzle and delight us, the tour ends with a collection of sample movie props that have been forwarded to Underground Vaults & Storage for permanent preservation. If American civilization ends and the next wave of settlers happens to be searching for clues as to the leisure-time predilections of their predecessors, the contents of this fortified entertainment bunker will tell them all they need to know about the movies and characters that meant the most to all of us, that transcended commerce and became High Art worth saving from oblivion.

They’ll also see the Mr. Freeze suit from Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin.

Mr. Freeze suit, Batman and Robin

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My Geek Demerits #5: No Alcohol

Bloody Mary, podium, convention

Convention photo: Bloody Mary at the podium.

[Being the fifth in an intermittent series covering assorted areas in which I feel resigned to live as a minority among geeks.]

Despite the fun my wife and I have had attending comic book and sci-fi conventions together, I’ve heard the best con-related stories happen after hours, whether at the scheduled night-owl events or at the nearest hotel bars after official programming is over. Casual encounters and chats in the convention hallways or between panels during daylight hours have their charm and keep the weekend lively, but the Internet keeps telling me that con parties are where the real geek gathering happens. Be there or be even squarer-than-square.

The last convention we attended made no secret that drinks are part and parcel of the community experience. The guests on stage and the more boisterous audience members traded comments back and forth about their plans that evening, about the drinks that left the most indelible impression on them, or about the previous night’s unforgettable rowdiness. In such settings, everyone’s an adult capable of making their own decisions and surrounded by like-minded folks out for a good time. The convention is an attractive draw in itself, but it’s also a great excuse for sharing hobbies and activities other than science fiction or comics. To a certain extent it beats the good old days, when everyone lived in isolation in separate states because they had no idea that anyone else on Earth was quite like them. There’s something to be said for engendering fellowship and the interconnectedness of “family”, so to speak.

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Yes, There’s a Scene During the “Rise of the Guardians” End Credits

For anyone who ever pined for a children’s version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Dreamworks has answered your odd prayer with Rise of the Guardians, an adaptation of an ongoing book series by Rolie Polie Olie creator and Academy Award-winning author/animator William Joyce, whose WikiPedia entry names a surprising number of other works in which he had a hand.

I don’t know how closely the movie hews to the books’ original premise, but the big-screen version is an all-star supergroup featuring the world’s most popular public-domain holiday icons — Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman (not, alas, the Neil Gaiman version), and impudent new recruit Jack Frost. Under the guiding light of the mysterious Man in the Moon, Our Heroes are tasked with preserving the precious beliefs of children worldwide who lend each icon their powers and make their respective holidays possible. The foe that unites them is the Boogeyman, who plots to dispel all that belief, render the Guardians moot, and divert the world’s thoughts unto himself so that he might rule with terror and nightmares. Presumably this radical shift in the status quo would leave the Gregorian calendar depressingly blank except for Halloween and Tax Day.

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2012 Road Trip Photos #32: Underground Salt Museum, Part 2 of 3: To Preserve Man

In addition to their service as a simple salt mine, the subterranean chambers of the Underground Salt Museum provide a stable temperature, humidity, and overall salt-heavy atmosphere ideal for slowing the biodegradation process and preventing everyday objects from crumbling into dust. To prove the point, one of their museum exhibits is a stand filled with vintage garbage, looking just as freshly disgusting as it did when Don Draper’s contemporaries first threw it all away decades ago.

trash preservation, Underground Salt Museum

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“Revolution” 11/26/2012 (spoilers): Mustache Dad vs. the Cape

NBC, Revolution, Matheson, Monroe“It’s been a long trip.”

Charlie summarizes the series to date with five simple words during the long-awaited family reunion that comprises this week’s fall-finale episode of Revolution, “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” (title taken from another Led Zeppelin track, because last week’s tribute episode demanded an encore). After a 760-mile walk from Wrigley Field in Chicago to Independence Hall in Philadelphia for the sake of her brother Danny, she’s calm and resolute all throughout, even when everyone but Miles is naturally taken captive in the first ten minutes. Blame Miles for putting his trust in an ineffective friend named Kip (special guest Glynn Turman — ex-Mayor Royce from The Wire!) who’s useless against the brute competence of Major Neville’s henchmen. Everyone is spirited away so they can be bait in Neville’s obvious trap for Miles.

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Starbase Indy Photos, Part 3 of 3: Costumes! (and other objects in space)

Let’s face it: costumes are the real reason to attend a sci-fi convention. Celebrities are okay. Talented writers and artists are nice to meet if they’re not terrible people. Panels, Q&As, and fan club meetings are great opportunities for great minds to hang out together. There’s also something to be said for wandering the dealers’ room for new hobbyist purchases, whether new items you’ve never seen or vintage collectibles you could never afford. My wife and I even attended an interesting lecture on nineteenth-century forensics, which drew comparisons between the original Sherlock Holmes stories and later historical developments in the field.

When it comes to Internet recaps, though, costumes are the main attraction. They celebrate our favorite characters, they showcase the creativity and inspiration of dedicated fans, they enliven the dullest moments of any convention, and they help distract us from garish hotel carpeting.

Among the best of this year’s bunch: a pink samurai, hanging out for a moment here with one of Indianapolis’ own Naptown Roller Girls.

samurai, Starbase Indy 2012

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Starbase Indy 2012 Photos, Part 2 of 3: Ezri Dax, the Real Astronaut, and the Hippie Space Chick

Despite the focus of Part One on Klingons extraordinaire Robert O’Reilly and J. G. Hertzler, they weren’t the only unforgettable personalities appearing at this year’s Starbase Indy convention. For Trek fans who’d attended previous cons (and therefore already had the chance to meet each Klingon warrior), the headliner would be Nicole DeBoer, making her first Indianapolis appearance. She’s known to us as Ezri Dax, a season-seven regular from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, who had big shoes to fill when Terry Farrell’s Jadzia Dax exited the series.

Nicole DeBoer, Ezri Dax, Star Trek, Deep Space Nine, Starbase Indy 2012

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Starbase Indy 2012 Photos, Part 1 of 3: The Day the Klingons Sang

As if Black Friday weren’t busy enough, my wife and I attended the seventeenth iteration of Starbase Indy on Friday and Saturday. This fan-run Star Trek convention is a longtime Thanksgiving weekend event that she and I have done several times (see previous entry). The convention cordially welcomes actors and fans from other shows and universes as well, but Trek still commands center stage.

Two of this year’s guests approached their Saturday Q&A with an unusual flourish. Fans of Star Trek: the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine will remember Robert O’Reilly as Chancellor Gowron, ruler of the Klingon Empire and frenemy of Worf. Don’t let his now-genial features fool you. Once upon a time, Gowron’s gaze was penetrating and frightening. Today his voice is no less stentorian.

Robert O'Reilly, Gowron, Star Trek

J. G. Hertzler was DS9’s General Martok, a longtime ally of Worf, key player in the Dominion War, and successor to Gowron upon his death at Worf’s hands. As with O’Reilly, Hertzler could still be heard at the back of an auditorium even when his microphone malfunctioned.

J. G. Hertzler, Martok, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

O’Reilly and Hertzler shared a Q&A on Saturday in style. With the remarkable assistance of makeup artist John Paladin, the dastardly duo spent a few hours donning familiar faces and uniforms that the fans haven’t seen in a very long time.

Gowron, Martok, Star Trek, Starbase Indy 2012

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My Quiet Black Friday Road Trip Without Stampedes or Duels

The following photo was taken outside an Indianapolis store on Black Friday around 9 a.m. At far left in the background is a strip mall; at far right, a Best Buy.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Castleton Square, Black Friday 2012

If your answer was, “There are empty parking spaces,” you win! Congrats on spotting the unoccupied tarmac in the upper-right corner. I owe you one imaginary cookie with your choice of pretend toppings.

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