Tekkoshocon 2014 News!

I’ve been rather critical of Tekkoshocon before, but this year we’ve decided to try it out again.  We’ve been told by folks that went last year that a lot of the things we complained about had been fixed; so we’ve decided to give it another shot after going to Baltimore’s Otakon last year.

But not only that, we’ve gone two steps further: I’m going to be hosting two panels at Tekko this year.  As it looks right now one panel, on Japanese History related to the anime/game series Sengoku Basara, will be Friday afternoon at 2pm in Panel Room 3.  The other panel on the History of the Three Kingdoms Era of China as related to the game series Dynasty Warriors will be held the same day (Friday) at 6pm in Panel Room 2.

I’ll let you all know as soon as I do if the times change.

We’ll be giving away door prizes at both panels as well, including books and computer games, and of course the chance to listen to me talk about two of my favorite subjects for an hour a piece.

So if you’re going to be at Tekkoshocon this year in early April, feel free to come on down and see either or both of my panels.

The door prizes alone are pretty nice, we’ve got some decent games to give away: Europa Universalis 3, Majesty 2, a few Uno games, a book on Ninjutsu in the Sengoku Basara panel, and who knows what else!

Oh I know what else; that’s right.  Anyway…

We’d love to see our adoring fans (maybe even both of you!) come on down to see us, especially if you’ll be there anyway.


Otakon 2013: Day Zero

Sorry for the lackluster update on this. We wound up being more than 2 hours behind schedule because of a huge accident on I-70. Then once the hectic day was over, we go back to the hotel to find…the wifi is not working. Only for us though.
Called down to the front desk and got this response, “I dunno…it’s working for me, it’s working for everyone else. I don’t know what’s wrong.”
Stay tuned for another update, hopefully tomorrow and hopefully not typed on a phone.

4th Anniversay

No, not of the site.  It’s my fourth anniversary with my fiancé.  Not that any of you care; I just thought I’d mention it.

We’ve come a long way since Day One four years ago.  I was toiling away as a the lowest-tenured Sergeant (a shift supervisory position) hoping that in ten years I might get promoted to Sergeant, if our post was able to stay far enough above water to keep from getting shut down (it wasn’t, BTW, I jumped ship and transferred about six months before they fired everyone but the Captain and brought in rookies at about half our pay).  She was still living at home with her parents and could only visit me in my apartment on weekends and looking for a job that wouldn’t interrupt her classes.  I came home every day to a domestic disturbance down the road, or a home invasion across the street, or a shooting at the other side of town.

Now, four years later…I’m a Lieutenant in charge of 3 posts, she’s throwing away job offers because they’re coming too often, and we own our own house…that we live in together!  And our house is in a nice, quiet neighborhood where the neighbors have actually walked over and introduced themselves.  My next door neighbor even gave us cucumbers as a welcome gift!  Sure it’s not a pie like in the movies, but I like cucumbers so I’m happy with the deal.

And in a few weeks I’m going on vacation, because I actually have paid vacation days, to Otakon in Baltimore.  I didn’t want to drive to, or in, Baltimore so I got tickets on a Greyhound and actually said to myself “Ninety-six dollar?  That’s not a bad deal, I’ll but them.”  Almost a hundred dollars and I just spent the money, because I have enough in the bank to comfortably do that.  Hell yeah!!  Sure beats when I rolled out of the service and found myself living on $18 a month, living with my mother and eating rice and BBQ sauce every day, occasionally treating myself to fourteen-cent packs of ramen.

And to think, my High School Guidance Counselor told me I was going to be a waste to society just because I didn’t want to go to college.  I have four college students or graduates working for me because I got a jump-start in employment and experience and climbed the ladder while they were raking in student loan debt.  Take that American Education System!


Update: I ficed a pivotal typo that change the whole tone of a line, like…into a nonsensical jumble.  Take that silly fingers!

Tekkoshocon X Review: Day 1

Well, Tekkoshocon 2012 is over and I’ve had a day to recover (and of course the site takes off while I’m away and can’t do anything).  It was a pretty…decisive, we’ll call it.

There were a handful of good panels, a couple of great ones, and a few bad ones.  We’ll hit everything in sequence, but first let’s discuss what Tekkoshocon is, for those who don’t know.

Tekkoshocon is a Japanese and English portmanteau of Tekkosho (Steel Mill) and Con (abbreviation of Convention), since it is held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

It’s a fairly small anime convention as far as conventions go, with a high water mark of 4,300 people in 2011.  Compare that to Baltimore’s Otaku Convention which had 31,348 people in 2011!

But here’s the summarized highlights, I’ll cover a new day each day this week.


We weren’t really interested in much happening Thursday morning, but we had a pretty full schedule for Thursday evening.  We got to the Wyndham, where the convention was being held around 2 in the afternoon.

We hit a panel about making video games, being run by a flash game developer.  It was good stuff, informational, sadly most of the stuff he went over I’d already researched on my own.  But it was nice to see an actual developer divvy up the details on what to do, how to do it, and he even used an awesome new term, Nerd Wrangling, which should totally be on Urban Dictionary soon.

We roamed about for a bit and went to a Legend of Zelda-related panel that my fiancé missed out on for the most part, since she’s never really played one of the games.  I missed out on the grander scheme of it, because I’ve only played part of the series…I missed out on Ocarina of Time and the likes, since I never had an N64, and I never played any of the handheld versions or such.  Needless to say it was interesting panel, nonetheless.

Next we went to a panel held by David Fielding, it was called Acting 101.  David Fielding is the face and voice of Zordon, the guy in the tube who commanded the Power Rangers during the first season or so.

We roamed through the artist alley and decided to get dinner, since we had a couple of hours to kill before the panels we were really waiting for came to fruition.  But right before we did, we paused for a bathroom break.  I walked into the men’s room and walked passed a bald gentleman.  I undid my pants and glanced to the side to realize…I was peeing beside David Fielding.

Imaging pissing next to that!

I peed next to Zordon!

I watched the Power Rangers pretty heartily when I was a kid when it first came out, but after a year or so I fell out of it.  Needless to say it is a huge part of Nerd Culture and took up a big part of my thoughts when I was a kid, so peeing next to Zordon was a token fanboy moment for me.  I managed to keep my composure, though, and didn’t spazz out and start talking to him at the urinal, or anything creepy like that.

Then came the evening panels and we went to a panel called “OMG!  WTF did I just watch?”

Here is where shit started hitting fans.  The two people running the panel showed up about 5 minutes before it was supposed to start.  And they had tech problems when they finally showed up.

We were all finally let in about ten minutes late, to find they were still not operational.  There were two panelists, completely aloof to how cords and cables worked, two Tekko staffers, and a Tekko Tech staffer.  None of the five of them could get anything to work.  apparently they were trying to run a DVD off of a DVD player, but it wouldn’t sync up with the projector the con was utilizing.

Finally a guy about a row behind me walked up to them and said, “Why don’t you just get a laptop and run it from there.”

He was met by blank stares from the panelists and the associated staffers.  Suddenly the tech staffer jumped on his radio and called for a laptop.  Lo and behold, they bring down a laptop…we are now twenty minutes late for the panel to start.

They put the DVD in and everything works…almost!  Again we have 5 people trying to figure out how to work this laptop, including a tech staffer, and once again the hero a row behind me groans and walks to the front of the room.

He makes a subtle motion with his hand and everyone backs away.  Two keystrokes and a click and everything is working.

Now, thirty minutes late, the panel finally starts.  It was a good panel once it started, though; very funny stuff and run by a man dressed like Rainbow Dash with a Jay Leno-quality chin.

Finally it was over to Anime Mythbusters to test events that happen in Anime and see if they are physically possible, or at least mildly plausible.  That was interesting, education, and entertaining, so it was a success.

And then we went home and got a short turn around of sleep, because Friday started at 10:30 in the morning…