Posted in: Community Service, Conventions, Cosplay, Fan Club, Rant, Star Trek

FanX after-con report

Salt Lake Magazine interviewed me at FanX 2021
Salt Lake Magazine interviewed me at FanX 2021

FanX: The Salt Lake Comic Convention was held at the Salt Palace on September 16-18. In my duties as Commander-in-Chief of Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet, I helped man the charity booth that we were running at the con. The club was raising funds for the Best Friends Animal Society of Utah.

While I was there, I was able to get some additional photos for my online photo gallery. I was also able to obtain some new Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars autographs for my autograph collection. Spending time with Larry Nemecek and John Eaves was a highlight of the convention. I was even interviewed by Salt Lake Magazine in one of their FanX video reports. The video is posted below.

Salt Lake Magazine interview

Some of the additional good things included how most people were following the health guidelines. Watching the attendees from the booth I’d say that 99% of the people were wearing masks. Hopefully enough people will take steps to make the conventions next year a safer event. I also really loved the wider aisles that were mapped out on the vendors room floor. While the con was still crowded (I was told that more tickets were sold for 2021 than 2019) it wasn’t crazy sardine packed on the vendors floor. I really hope that FanX keeps the wider aisles for future years.

I’m going to go a little bit on a soapbox here. I really think that autograph prices are getting way too high. There were several guests that I ended up skipping because I didn’t want to pay that much for a signature on a photo. I think that managers hear the term “Comic Con” and automatically hike the prices up by 30-50%. It also bugs me that the autograph prices are not advertised before the con so I can budget ahead of time. The con website posts the photo op prices, but the autograph prices are always listed as TBA. When I show up and find out that someone wants $90 for an autograph that I didn’t plan for in advance, I turn it down. Speaking of photos, what is the deal with charging for a selfie? Yes an autograph creates a value on an item that can be resold, so I can understand a guest charging for that. But you can’t really re-sell a selfie. All of the selfie-style photos that I have posted on this website were obtained without extra payment. While they are kewl and I thank the guest for posing with me, I don’t see myself paying for a selfie. If I wanted to pay for a photo with a guest, I’d get a professional photo done. End of rant.

After not being able to attend a convention for two years, it was good to see my convention friends and geek out. There are a certain number of people that I only see at these events. It was good to see who had kept themselves safe. I hope that things will get better so we can continue to have more events and conventions. The new uniform worked great and I may pick up a few more from that manufacturer.

Here are some of the photos that were taken at the con.

Posted in: Community Service, Fan Club, Star Trek

My Star Trek Day interview on KRCL 90.9FM

The Treknologist plaque that I mentioned in the interview.

Wednesday, September 8 2021 was the 55th Anniversary of the Original Star Trek premier on NBC with the episode The Man Trap. Star Trek fans have been celebrating this date as Star Trek Day. There were several events that happened on this date including several series announcements for Star Trek: Prodigy, Star Trek: Picard (season three confirmed) and casting news for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

My friends from The Thermians from Utah Galaxy Quest fan club (hat tip to Frank and Roxanne) reached out to me to see if I wanted to be interviewed by Lara Jones the host of RadioACTive on Community Radio KRCL 90.9 FM. I had a great time talking by Zoom with Lara and we probably could have talked for several hours about Star Trek, Stargate, Star Wars and Doctor Who. But unfortunately I wasn’t the only guest scheduled for the hour long program.

Here is the link to the RadioACTive September 8th show notes with a recording of the interview. There is a brief introduction about Star Trek Day at the beginning followed by an interview regarding the Utah Greek Festival. Then the section with my interview starts around the 27:39 minute mark. After the interview I realized I mistakenly stated David Allen Stiers instead of David Ogden Stiers from MASH fame (I’m horrible with names). There is a little bit of electronic garble from the zoom connection, but other than that I thought the interview went pretty well. I was able to talk about Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet, what Star Trek meant to me and why am a Treknologist and she even mentioned this blog. Playing Star Trekkin by The Firm was a nice touch to wrap up the interview.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been interviewed. Back in the early 90’s a roommate was an intern at a local talk radio station and he got me on the air with a host to talk about Star Trek. I really hope I can find the tape recording of that interview as it now contains the voice of a friend who has long pasted on. I’ve been interviewed by magazines and local newspapers. Dan Pope of KTVX Ch 4 has interviewed me at FanX and I’ve been down to the Ch 4 studios for a cosplay special.

Thank you Lara Jones and KRCL 90.9FM for the opportunity to talk about Star Trek. I hope you all had a happy Star Trek Day. Live long and prosper.

Posted in: Community Service, Star Trek

A Green Girl in arrives the mail

Crystal Allen's autograph

In a previous blog post titled “Charity On Two Fronts” I talked about how Crystal Allen was running a GoFundMe page for her charity to cook meals for the medical staff and frontline workers who are helping with the pandemic.

Ms. Allen wanted to give back by preparing healthy home cooked meals for nurses, firefighters, paramedics and more. I thought this was a wonderful idea and sent in some money on the GoFundMe page. For those of you who don’t know, Ms. Allen is an actress that has appeared as the Orion, D’nesh, on the Star Trek: Enterprise episode, Bound. She also appeared in the Star Trek fan film, Of Gods and Men, directed by Tim Russ. She was willing to send autographed pictures of her character to anyone that donated $40 or more. Donating for a good cause was the primary reason for contributing, in my mind the autograph was just frosting on the cake.

I was having a bad day before I opened up the mailbox and discovered that my signed photo had arrived. Since this brightened up my day, I decided that I should post about it on the blog. Plus I also wanted to show to others that gifts for donating were arriving as promised. If you think that this type of charity event is a wonderful idea, I’d encourage you to send in a few dollars.

Posted in: Community Service, Role Playing Games, Star Trek

Charity on two fronts

Two RPG guidebooks for better play.

Today two things happened that made the season better. I received an unexpected surprise and I had the chance to give to a good charity.

If you recall from an earlier blog post, I talked about The Power of Gaming and how gamers on the RPG.net forums have been helping each other out by participating in a “Secret Satan” (a play on the Secret Santa name) gift exchange. Well apparently the copy of Mutant Crawl Classics wasn’t the only gift coming my way. A package arrived in the mail containing the two books shown in the photo above. The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guide and The Ultimate RPG Gameplay Guide both by James D’Amato. Also included in the package was a note that my “Secret Satan” had picked up extra copies of these books in anticipation of gifting to an RPGnetter and that there were two packages coming. Thank you for these gifts. One of my geek kids has already flipped through one of the books and was impressed by what she quickly saw. I plan to read through these books and I’ll write up a review for a future blog post.

Cyrstal Allen as D'nesh on Star Trek Enterprise.
Crystal Allen as D’nesh on Star Trek Enterprise.

Actress Crystal Allen has been in many different shows including Supernatural, Boston Legal, Star Trek Of Gods and Men (a fan film) and Star Trek: Enterprise. The photo above is her as the Orion Slave girl D’nesh. She has been doing something that I think is really wonderful. She has been making home-made meals for medical personnel, firefighters and first responders who have been serving us during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently she is running a GoFundMe page to raise $2,000 to cook healthy meals for these frontline warriors for the holidays. She’s even willing to send an autograph to supporters. I would have picked up her autograph at a convention anyway, but donating to a good charity inspired me to jump at this opportunity. If you are so inspired, click on the link and see if you can help Crystal reach her goal.