So, my big Star Trek vacation. I attended this con five years ago, and it had been impressive then, but this year was even more impressive. Over 100 guests (some major, some minor), and seating for 6000 in the main panel room. That may not seem like a lot - hell, the Corral here holds just as many people - but that's still up from the seating for 4000 attendees when I was there last. Total attendance was, supposedly, around 10,000. That's a lot of people to squish into the hotel's convention area, which is large, but contained to one section of the hotel.

Actually, now that I think about it, that's probably 10,000 attendees over five days. The con sold one day admission passes for the first time. Still, that's a ton of people for any con in general.

Everything kicked off on Wednesday and went on straight until Sunday. I'm so glad I had a room in the hotel. After a long day, you could just go back to your room and lie down.

I should note that I didn't get my new camera until Saturday, so there's a mix of pictures taken with my phone and with the camera. I should also warn you that this is a long post with several pictures.

Star Trek Las Vegas 50th anniversary convention )

Now I really want to re-watch all of the Star Trek shows, starting with TOS and ending with Enterprise. That's only what? 700+ episodes? Wait, should I include the animated series, too?
Still sorting through my photos from the Star Trek con, but in the meanwhile, here's some of the non-Star Trek things that also happened over the weekend.

Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. )

Back at the con, they have something called the Signers' Room where some of the guests can set up a table and sell their own photos and do autographs and selfies and generally just meet fans. I wandered in there to check it out and I walked by a table set up for Cas Anvar. He didn't have much set up yet and he wasn't there himself, but he had a sign showing the things he's been in. I noticed he's been in The Expanse and Assassin's Creed: Revelations (but no Star Treks) and moved on before I could really dwell on it.

But then it hit me as I left the room. Cas Anvar is in The Expanse? Wait, that name sounds kind of familiar now... So I dug out my phone and did a quick Google search. And what do you know. Cas Anvar plays Alex on The Expanse! I rushed back to the Signers' Room the first chance I got and Cas was there talking with people. Turns out he was there because he's the reason Kirstie Alley was attending the con. He knows her and talked to his agent and his agent talked to her agent and etc. He ended up getting a table because he has so many genre related things on his filmography.

Meeting Cas Anvar )

Oh yeah, I also bought an old school TARDIS key for my Fourth Doctor cosplay. So yeah, it was a multi-fandom weekend.
Man, I have a Star Trek hangover. That was a very busy five days. I'm ready to have a good night's sleep in my own bed.

But the convention was great fun! I sat in on a ton of panels, got a few autographs, saw some awesome costumes, and generally was grateful that I love yet another fandom that has stood the test of time. I seriously want to watch all of the episodes from every series from start to finish.

I need to organize myself, but then I'll have a general write-up. I will actually have non-crappy photos for once! My uncle, who also attended the con, gifted me with a new camera (thank you so much!), so I was able to snap some decent pics from our seats in the 14th row.

Sleep now, though...
- Off to Las Vegas for a Star Trek 50th Anniversary convention. The con actually started today, but it's just pre-registration, so things really don't get started until tomorrow. I thought they would ease into things, but they have guests panels starting tomorrow plus autographs and photo-ops. This con means business. ;-) Since I assumed nothing would be happening tomorrow, I bought tickets to Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. attraction at Treasure Island. So once I land in Vegas, I have to rush to the hotel, drop off my bags and/or check in, then book it over to the Strip. I'll do registration in the evening; hopefully that won't take long.

- In preparing for my trip, I decided to back up my phone just in case. I was prompted to do a software update, so I hit yes and did the download and install. Stupid phone decided to stall in the middle of the update so suddenly I didn't have a working phone. :-P This totally wasn't something I wanted to deal with a day before my vacation. Thankfully, there's an Apple store at the mall so I rushed over there to get help. One of the guys did something and the update finally took. Luckily, I had a back-up of my phone from when I was trying to install the update, so I didn't lose anything.

But this whole thing made me realize just how dependant I am on my phone. It's not just that all of my contacts are on it. I'm so used to using my phone as a watch that I had no idea what time it was when I got to the mall. Hell, I didn't even know what time it was to go back for my appointment with the Apple guys. It was so disconcerting not knowing the time of day at a glance. It's scary how much of your life is tied up with one device.

- All right, have to finish packing. Yes, I'm still packing.
I'm not playing Pokemon Go (mainly because I have a crap data plan and I can't afford to stay connected all the time), but it did inspire me to make this:


Funny thing is, I don't drink coffee or tea, so the cozy is kind of useless to me. But it does look nice on the cup I use to hold all of my pens.

I think I would tweak the design if I make another one. The circle in the middle of the Pokeball needs more black around it. I also had to adjust the pattern on the fly so the inside of the cozy is kind of untidy. I always forget that vertical rows in knitting are shorter than the horizontal rows, so you always need to have one or two extras rows vertically to make a design symmetrical.
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Title: Man's Best Friend (1/1)
Rating: G
Word Count: 496
Characters: Professor Marius (from "The Invisible Enemy")
Timeline: Set post-"The Invisible Enemy".
Summary: Professor Marius receives a mysterious package.
Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to the BBC.
A/N: Entry for [livejournal.com profile] who_contest's "Box" challenge.

This seemed like a gift, but Marius couldn't think of anyone on the station, or on Earth for that matter, who would be sending him something. )
Comic Con is in full swing, meaning lots of news and trailers are being released. I haven't been reading too much, for fear of spoilers, but I did watch the two new trailers for Justice League and Wonder Woman. And you know what? I'm actually excited to see these movies. Shocking, I know. Hope and optimism about DC Extended Universe movies.

In a radical, but welcomed, change of direction from Batman v Superman, the Justice League movie actually has a sense of humour:

Justice League trailer behind the cut )

The Wonder Woman trailer also looks like fun, though its tone is more serious than the Justice League one:

Wonder Woman trailer behind the cut )

And I have to say that the Wonder Woman theme is fabulous. The pounding drums is very primal and that suits Diana as a warrior.
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I saw Star Trek Beyond today and you know what? It wasn't that bad. I certainly enjoyed it more than Ghostbusters (not that Ghostbusters was really bad) and it was definitely much better than Star Trek Into Darkness. No re-hashing of old storylines here, thank you very much.

The theme of the movie certainly lives up to the spirit of exploration that's embedded in the heart of Star Trek, but it also slaps on some showy summer movie antics that made me roll my eyes. I will be so happy when the new Star Trek show premieres. The franchise needs to get back to telling smaller stories.

Spoilers for Star Trek Beyond )

I say Star Trek Beyond is a solid B. Maybe it was rushed so it could be released for the 50th anniversary, but at least we got something to celebrate the franchise.
- [livejournal.com profile] newnumber6 mentioned he was going to re-watch Sliders and that got me wanting to re-watch, too, so I got my hands on the first season. I probably haven't seen any of these episodes since they aired 20 years ago, but I could remember bits and pieces. Some of the CGI is a bit dodgy, but the premise is still a great one. It's a shame that there aren't more TV shows dealing with alternative worlds. The story possibilities are endless. It'd also be cheaper than a time travel show, as travel is regulated to one time period. So you can have an unfamiliar setting, but you can still have familiar landmarks and technology.

If someone decided to reboot Sliders, I actually wouldn't mind, but it would have to be done right. These days, I think a writer/producer would be inclined to add an overall arc and a big mysterious backstory, which is what brought down the show back in the day. I don't care about aliens who can also slide and an Earth Prime and Quinn being from another Earth that wasn't ours and having a secret brother. Keep it simple. The only arc that should matter is whether the characters find their way back home.

- I finally finished book five of The Expanse series. As the the library didn't have the ebook version, I had to read a hard copy and I swear I read slower when the words are on a page rather than a screen. I guess my eyes are more used to reading off of my phone. Thing is, I prefer reading The Expanse books on my phone as the actual books are thick tomes that don't travel very well in a backpack or a purse. But anyway... I'm caught up! Book six lands in November. It's crazy how they can put out a book every year, but since James S.A. Corey is actually two guys, I can see how the work can go faster.

All of The Expanse books are good, but Nemesis Games was really good. For once, the four POVs weren't split between Holden and three new characters. Every member of the Rocinante crew got to tell their portion of the story and it made the plot more compelling since you know these characters and you really worry when any of them are in trouble. I don't know if book six will follow the same formula. It'd be nice if it did, but that means the crew has to be split up again, and I'm not fond of the idea.

The TV show needs to play catch-up, but if the producers don't want to make a book a season, then that's okay, too. It just means more of the plot will make it onto the screen. The series is chock full of things that shouldn't be overlooked.

- Looks like Space will be airing the new Star Trek series next year. Not to brag, but Canada will be the only place where it won't be behind a pay wall. Thank goodness for Canadian content. Now I won't have to watch the show through "alternative means".

- And Star Trek Beyond is out in theatres this weekend. I'm seeing mixed reviews, which is not great, but I'm still going to see it regardless. If I don't see it opening weekend, I'm totally going to get spoiled on the plot at the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas and I so don't want that to happen.
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- Happy Canada Day! Next year, the country will be 150 years old. That should be fun. I think the government has all sorts of stuff planned for the big 1-5-0.

- I needed something to read on my phone while at work so I decided to download The 100 since it was available and I'm vaguely interested in checking out the show. I was hoping it'd be like the show, with its cool sci fi premise and intense drama, but nope. It was your typical YA angst with a vague sci fi background. The plot is the same - 100 convicted teenaged criminals are sent down to a ruined Earth to see if it's habitable again - but instead of Lord of the Flies with mutated deer, the story focuses entirely on the relationship drama of the four main characters. Ugh. I don't care if so and so broke up with what's his face and what's her name can't date blah blah blah because they're from different tiers of the society. Give me 100 scared teens trying to survive on a post-apocalyptic planet or space station drama because it's falling to pieces. I mean, it's there, but there's not enough of it.

Shame, since the world building is actually quite good. It's clear that Kass Morgan gave everything quite a bit of thought. Like, the birth control law. You have to apply to have children and each family can only have one child and breaking that law is punishable by death. So no one has a sibling on the space station, which is what makes Bellamy an interesting character. He has an illegal younger sister. He has this bond that no one else has. Too bad he's saddled with a stupid romance (and a love triangle at that!). There are different kinds of love, you know. A story about a brother trying to protect his sister on a strange new planet is infinitely more compelling than a guy and a girl angst-ing over whether they should be together.

I think the next book has more sci fi elements, so maybe the rest of the series is less annoying. I'm probably better off watching the show (though I hear the show has made some dumb mistakes, too).

- Finally got around to seeing Finding Dory. I wouldn't say it's better than Finding Nemo, but it's not a tired sequel either. The writers didn't succumb to the urge to rehash old plot points or throw in old characters for no reason (though old characters do show up).

Spoilers for Finding Dory )

I totally didn't realize that most of the upcoming Pixar movies are sequels. There's only one original movie amongst the four that are in production. I don't know what that says about Pixar or Disney.
Title: The Wright Choice (1/1)
Rating: G
Word Count: 2,107
Characters: Ian, Barbara
Timeline: Set pre-Class.
Summary: Coal Hill School is now Coal Hill Academy and the new building on school grounds needs a name. Ian asks for a suggestion. He gets a response from an unexpected source.
Disclaimer: Everything belongs to the BBC.
A/N: Entry for [livejournal.com profile] who_contest's "Vacancy" challenge. When I saw these pictures online, I had the idea to write a fic around them. There is a great likelihood that Class will contradict what I've written here, but that's okay.

"This is what I wanted to show you. We had a meeting to name this building. There were a few suggestions, but there was only one that everyone agreed upon." )
This is going to be in Las Vegas when I'm in Las Vegas in August! Must get tickets now.

I had heard about the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. attraction that was in New York but I never imagined I'd actually be in a city where the attraction was set up. I'm a sucker for these things. So far I've done Star Trek: the Experience, Doctor Who Experience, and Harry Potter Studio Tour London. Time to add one more to the list. :-)

I'm in Vegas for a 50th anniversary Star Trek convention, but I can mix fandoms. I just have to find time in the con schedule to get down to the Strip. I had zero interest in visiting the Strip, but now I have a very compelling reason to go over there.

It's tempting to take my Melinda May cosplay, but it's also going to be summer in August in Las Vegas and the costume has a leather vest. Maybe I'll just settle for wearing a geeky Marvel t-shirt.
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- Second Fourth Doctor scarf commission is done! No more scarves for this year after this, Doctor Who or otherwise.

One more scarf behind the cut )

- I had some leftover yarn from knitting both scarves, so I decided to use some of it up to make this:


I wouldn't say I designed it, since I was just following the pattern from doctorwhoscarf.com, but I did adapt the pattern to make a 1/4 sized bookmark. I used US 1 needles, so the stitches are pretty tight, but it makes for a sturdy bookmark.

- I got "The Invasion of Time" DVD from my library over the weekend and I was sort of off-put by the season 15 scarf. It's noticeably different from the original, so my brain kept going "Wrong! Wrong!" through all six episodes. I wonder why they knit a new scarf for season 15. I guess the original was probably looking a little tatty so maybe they wanted to give it a break?
- So yesterday, I got access to a procurement system at work. The only reason this is noteworthy is because it's the same system I used way back when I first started working for the company about eight years ago. It was so weird being back in it. Nothing has changed. I remember hating the system, but actually, it doesn't seem so bad. It's probably because I have more experience with these things now. It's not that all different from a system I used extensively on a previous project.

- The commute is the only good thing about being back at work. I finished two books, Cibola Burn (book four in The Expanse series) and Needled to Death (book two in a knitting themed cozy mystery series), in about a week and one was like 500 pages long. Okay, so I was sneakily reading both books while at work when I had nothing to do, but still. I enjoyed Cibola Burn more, obviously, since it's not a piece of fluff like the mystery was. I can't wait to read the next book in The Expanse series. My usual complaint about the series is how the narrative is usually split between four POVs and three are usually characters we've never met before so it takes longer for you to care about them, but book five is told from the POVs of the Roci crew, so I'm really eager to see how the writers handle the inner narratives for Alex, Amos, and Naomi.

Knitting mystery was something I downloaded because I knew I would finish Cibola Burn before the end of the week and I needed something to read to bridge the gap to the weekend. I'm not sure I'll keep going with this series. It's, well, boring. The mystery is dull, the characters are either forced or bland, and the dialogue doesn't feel natural at all. Funny, considering this is set in the real world but The Expanse is in the future and the dialogue there totally makes more sense. The only vaguely interesting thing in the mystery is the knitting. The main character's knitting woes are familiar woes if you're a knitter. The only thing I didn't believe was how her second project ever was a sleeveless sweater and her third was a sweater knit in the round. She's a beginner! Who jumps to sweaters and knitting in the round after making one chunky scarf?!? Anyway...

- Finished knitting my second Fourth Doctor scarf commission. I just need to put on the tassels and then block the whole thing. Even unblocked and with no tassels, the thing is about as long as the scarf that I knit for myself. Good thing the recipient is a tall guy. His scarf will probably end up being 13 feet once it's complete.

- I'm ready to take a break from knitting for a bit so I can rest my wrists and fingers and shoulders, but somehow I keep finding projects that I want to make. Like, I was looking at how to knit Osgood's scarf from "The Day of the Doctor". Why do I need another multi-coloured scarf? I don't even have any plans to cosplay as her. My sister also keeps trying to get me into sock knitting; as a birthday gift she got me KnitPick's Time Traveller Felici yarn, which is basically a self-striping sock yarn in the Fourth Doctor's scarf colours (minus brown, probably to avoid copyright infringement or a licensing fee). So it's super tempting to learn how to knit socks. And, I'm trying to knit Jessica's grey infinity scarf from Jessica Jones. Too many projects and not enough hours in the day to do them. ;-)
Title: Thrust Vector (1/1)
Rating: G
Word Count: 572
Characters: Clara, Twelve
Timeline: Pre-"The Girl Who Died"; no spoilers.
Summary: Clara tries to get her bearings in zero gravity.
Disclaimer: It's all owned by the BBC. I just play in their world.
A/N: Entry for [livejournal.com profile] who_contest's "Signs" challenge.

Suddenly, what should have been the floor was now a wall. Clara's head started to spin and she felt the remains of her lunch gurgle within her stomach. )
- First week back at work. I didn't do anything for the first two days because, as usual, nothing was set up properly. Oh well, at least I got paid to sit around. Things should pick up next week now that I have access to everything. And I don't mean to speak ill of my co-workers, but after poking around the reports and files I used to handle, I have a vague feeling that nothing was done correctly after I left. Probably because no one had time to maintain everything. See, this is why they should have kept me on. I would have kept everyone organized.

- The project moved buildings in the interim, so now I have to commute downtown, but it does give me more time to read. I finished a book yesterday and I'm already a third of the way through the fourth book in The Expanse series. I didn't think I would get to Cibola Burn so quickly, but when I saw that it was available, I had to download the ebook from the library. Sometimes I have nothing to do at work, so it's nice to have a book on my phone so I can sneakily pass the time. Plus, I don't have to lug around a brick of a book in my backpack.

- The Star Trek con I'm attending in August announced Scott Bakula as a guest and it's a big deal since he doesn't do a lot of cons. And I get his autograph for free! It's complimentary with my ticket package. So I have to decide what he should sign; like, do I buy a photo there or do I bring something from home that's free? I didn't love Star Trek Enterprise, but when the man is literally giving away his pricey autograph, you can't turn it down. Maybe I'll find a Quantum Leap photo. ;-) I loved him in that show.

- With the major TV shows done for the season, it's nice to have the evenings free. I'm catching up on DVDs and whatnot. My library got a bunch of new Doctor Who DVDs in, so I'm slowly making my way through them. And I saw today that they finally released "The Underwater Menace" on DVD. This is probably old news, but it was new to me. I guess that means all of the existing episodes have finally been released to the public.

- Speaking of Doctor Who, filming for season ten starts in two weeks. Of course, we won't see the bulk of their efforts until some time next year. Damn you, sporting events, getting in the way of new episodes!
Aw crap. I ran out of yarn on the second to last stripe on my Fourth Doctor scarf commission. :-P Now I have to buy another ball of yarn just to finish off the stripe. It wouldn't be so bad if the stripe was really big, like over 20 rows, but nope, the dang thing is only 8 rows and I'm halfway through. I thought I had bought enough, but I guess not. And I was on track to finish the scarf by the weekend, putting the whole project time under a month.

Ugh, shipping to Canada is such crap. Why does the Canadian dollar have to suck so much right now?
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- Compared to last year's finale of The Flash, this year definitely had higher stakes. But the show keeps going back to one thing:

Spoilers for The Flash 2x23, "The Race of His Life" )

- Arrow also had its finale. One more year of flashbacks to go. Can't wait until the show can devote the entire 45 minutes to the main storyline in the present.

Spoilers for Arrow 4x23, "Schism" )

I now eagerly await the mega crossover. I have high hopes that will be really good, but I will settle for okay as long as they have a lot of geeky comic book moments.
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- Totally not a surprise, but the CW is planning a massive crossover for all of the Berlanti-verse shows. A four night event of super heroics. Cue the ice cream gif:


Wild speculation about the mega crossover )

If this crossover happens around episode 8, then that coincides with Arrow's 100th episode and this would be a fine way to celebrate.

- As for Legends of Tomorrow, which had its season finale this week...

Spoilers for Legends of Tomorrow 1x16, "Legendary" )

The CW just needs another DC superhero show on Friday and then DC would have total domination over the schedule. Something for next next season maybe?
- So, that's how they ended Castle?

Spoilers for Castle 8x22, "Crossfire" )

It's funny, but I think this is the first time I was glad that a network cancelled a show. How often do you hear that?

- Damn you, The Flash!

Spoilers for The Flash 2x22, "Invincible" )

- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had their finale. After all of the hype...

Spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3x21 and 3x22, "Absolution" and "Ascension" )

- I finished an awesome book the other day. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. If his name sounds kind of familiar, it's because he's the showrunner/head writer for the Doctor Who spin-off Class. He's the only reason I'm willing to give Class a chance.

Short review for The Rest of Us Just Live Here; no spoilers )

- I also had time to finish the first book in a cozy mystery series (let Wikipedia explain what a cozy mystery is). I usually have no interest in these things since they are absolute fluff, but then I discovered a series that has a knitting theme. A knitting theme! So I had to check it out. Now, I get why cozy mysteries are popular, they're fun and breezy and there's very little violence, but the writing is not great. I had a hard time keeping all of the characters straight because they were so generic. And of course, the main character meets a guy she just can't stand, but darn it if he's handsome and polite and always helping her out. Ugh. I thought the knitting element would be the saving grace, but it's really not. There were knitting patterns at the back, which was kind of cool. I may inflict this series on my book club. I'm sure my friends will enjoy it more.

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