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In a little over a week I pack my bags and head off to London for Loncon3, this year's Worldcon. Only one month left of summer and a lot of that will be eaten up with travel and there's so much that I wanted to get done.

For instance, the con report I kept putting off for the Peter Wingfield Fan Club Manchester Road Trip. Is it weird to keep having conventions for an actor who doesn't act anymore? Maybe, but it's a great chance to get together with friends and Peter still likes it, so sure, as long as it will fit into his schedule I bet we will keep doing them. Several times during the convention Peter kept making references to next time, so maybe in a couple of years when he's doing his residency we can sneak in another one.

At this con Valentine Pelka joined us and read passages from a novel he's working on. Writer Adam Whitlach is putting the final touches on a novelization of War of the World: Goliath, an animiated film in which Peter voices the lead. He and Peter read a bit of it and it sounds very good. We also had Skype calls with Mark Deklin (Peter's co-star from Riverworld, the club has sort of adopted him) and Eric Small who is the writer/producer/director of the 10,000 Days, a web series in which Peter played a pivotal role. There was so much going on, but in lieu of a real con report, I'll just leave this here.




I would like try to take pictures and write brief con reports from London, but what will probably happen is a few camera shots posted to Facebook and more detailed stuff when I get back.
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When [livejournal.com profile] hl_chronicles first announced the categories for the 20 years of Highlander challenges I immediately had two thoughts. That's a great idea. Too bad you can't vid that. But using [livejournal.com profile] killabeez as a sounding board, it dawned on me that I could do this by pulling together clips from Highlander, Peter Wingfield's later tv work and other source material.

The song, Times Will Change by Danish band Marvins Revolt, was the only one I considered. I liked the changing pace of the music and the lyrics are filled with urge to keep moving, grow stronger and survive. What could be more Methos than that?

Download link


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Picking back up with the PWFC con in Portland, Saturday was so crammed with con goodness that I had to split it into two parts. Here’s the rest for that day, including a couple of great panels, an outstanding concert and a new scene for Joe Dawson and Methos.

Sunday to follow soon.

Peter and Edan )

Sanctuary )

The concert - or the musical guys and Gillian’s wonderful talent )
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David Abramowitz’s panel with info on the Highlander remake )

The panel where Peter read stuff )

Auction and autographs )

And that’s it for tonight. It looks like I might be splitting the con report into four parts instead of three, so come back in a couple of days for more.
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I just realized that I’ve been back from the recent Peter Wingfield Fan Club convention in Portland for almost two weeks and still haven’t written up a con report so for the next few days I plan to rectify that situation. It was a wonderful time meeting up with friends and catching up with Peter. As GOH we had club perennial favorites David Abramowitz and Jim Byrnes and for the first time Gillian Horvath joined us. Lots of great info about Peter’s last few projects before med school, Highlander, Sanctuary and more.

Wednesday through Friday )

If you haven’t already been subjected to my con photos, you can find them here
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I just got back from the Peter Wingfield Fan Club con in Portland. It was absolutely fantastic and full of Sanctuary & Highlander goodness but the con report is going to have to wait until later after I've unpacked. Meanwhile, I do have links for the vids that I made for the con.

The first, Doctor Wingfield, is a montage of some of Peter's roles as a doctor on tv. [livejournal.com profile] ruamor asked me to make it as a nod to Peter's return to medical school and hiatus (or retirement?) from acting and I was very happy to oblige. This isn't on YouTube, but you can download it directly.

download Doctor Wingfield

We also had a vid show, dedicated to the memory of Harlene Finn who organized the first PWFC vid show at the con in Las Vegas several years ago. I was already working on this idea and decided to go ahead and premiere it at the con. I've heard more than one British actor comment on the fact that American television tends to typecast British actors as bad guys. Peter even mentioned this in an interview a few years ago. A decided to focus on some of his early work, mostly from the UK, where he is definitely a romantic lead, and contrast it with some of his 'bad guy' roles. A big thanks to [livejournal.com profile] franzeska for her excellent beta.

Live and Let Die
download
stream on YouTube
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It looks like the registration for this con is almost full, but it will be such a great little con, fewer than 100. After last Friday's Sanctuary ep I'm so excited that Gillian Horvath's going to join us. Definitely planning on asking her about writing for both Highlander and Sanctuary. Both shows seem to have a really tight cast and crew. I'm not sure if we're going to have a vid show or vid contest this time, but I've already started working on something.

And of course there will be Peter! Not the smallest con I've been to with Peter, but it's close.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

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Since I'm not going to be writing up a con report here (it's going to appear in two parts in the LFT - the PWFC newsletter) I decided to go ahead and make this video slideshow to share.

To download directly
http://www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/96rsbq

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Before I write the real con report, here's a taste of things from the vid contest.

This first two were an attempt to take similar footage and create two entirely different moods. In Holby City Dan Clifford was a notorious flirt, but his doomed relationship with his brother's wife brought showed a vulnerable side to his character.

Initially there was going to a category for vids with a Texas theme in the vid contest, but they only received mine. I decided to make something a bit meta - more about fans and Peter that Peter's work.





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I know folks probably think I'm going to post on my experiences with the Peter Wingfield Fan Club, Peter Wingfield and fangirly stuff, and I will later on, but after the amazing weekend in New York, what has left me truly awed is the absolute wonder I felt in watching the marathon itself. I cheered the runners from two points along the route. First at the 7 mile point and finally at the end of the route. The courage and determination in the face of each and every runner was beyond anything I could imagine. And the sheer number of runners was mind-boggling. Over 43,000 runners from all over the world, each one with his or her own motivation and goal for being there.

This morning at the airport there were runners and their family and friends everywhere I looked. Some wearing the marathon shirts, some still proudly wearing their medals. I got into a conversation with a young woman from South Carolina. When I mentioned that I had been at the marathon to cheer on a friend, she said that they all really appreciate it. She said that it makes a difference, really helps motivate to continue on when the spectators along the route cheer them on and clang the cow bells and call out their names. So hats off to the marathoners and to one runner in particular.



Really will write up my account of the weekend later.
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After my holiday travels I've come back to so much of Peter on tv that it's hard to keep up. First are his two appearances on Sanctuary.

From Sanctuary - Revelations Part 1


Great character with a bit of a steam-punkish look to him. Thought Peter did a great job. I've got a bunch of screencaps up from the second episode, too.

http://picasaweb.google.com/valoise/SanctuaryRevelationsPart2#

Then in flipping through the listings I found that SleuthTV is running all of his episodes from Cold Squad in the next week or so. Topping it all off is the start of 24 tonight. His character, Emmerson is on the second hour. Don't know exactly how long he'll last, but needless to say, my dvd recorder is going to be working overtime.
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Sunday
This was a long day and I put anything in my journal about the day, so I am really sorry if I miss something along the way. The morning began with showing the 2 winning song videos. Lee described what elements of the vid by Tes made it outstanding. One edit in it that I particularly like took a scene from one episode where Methos is bowing down and seamlessly blended it with a scene from another episode where he is rising from the same position.
http://tes-fic.livejournal.com/168398.html

My Way – the Director’s Cut (Peter asks questions of Jon)
All weekend the moderators for each panel had been fans, this was Peter’s turn as moderator; he talked to Jon about directing. Several of the things I remember were:


1. Good directors hired to work on TV need to do their homework. For example, when he was working as DP on Forever Knight they had a new director come on 8 episodes into the season one year. Jon asked him if he has watched the first 7 episodes and the guy said, “No.” Jon’s response was that to ask him if he would pick up a book and start it at chapter 8.

2. The work atmosphere on the set of 24 sounds like it would produce a good creative environment, one that fosters a sense of ownership of the product for everyone involved from producers to actors to crew. Everyone has a valuable role to play.


3. The best directors respect their actors and on 24 the cameras are always at ‘human level’. By that he means that they don’t go in for fancy angles or crane shots but shot at the level of the actors and try to keep things rolling in a way that lets the actors really get into the role. He contrasted this to the traditional way of shooting where the actors find their marks and say their lines. They then move to the next scene and do the same. Said it’s called ‘park and bark’ in the business.

Glitter Gulch Bargains (auction)
If you’re hoping for a long report on the auction, you’ll be disappointed – it’s something that you’ve just got to be there to experience. I did buy one thing (a journal with a cover from the Book of Kells) but got outbid a lot. From the HLWW con in Vancouver I had bought David’s camera and had 3 hard cover books with dust jackets made, 1 for me, 1 for PEACE and 1 for Project Edan. I got a lot of the signatures I needed at Indylander and David auctioned off the Project Edan book in Vegas. I was very happy to see that it went for more that I bought the camera for.



Buffet
Lunch brought it own surprises. We had a buffet, which was excellent, but there was also a surprise. All 4 GOH ate lunch with us and fans were selected to sit with them. The fans were chosen several ways. The con committee, volunteers?, some Project Edan donors, and fans chosen by the luck of the draw. There may of been other criteria, too, but everyone had a shot and several newbies were surprised to be included.

I was at Jon’s table and we kept the poor man talking so much I’m afraid his lunch must have gotten cold. But he was having a great time and so were we. It’s easy to get him talking about his profession and he has lots of stories to tell. A long and very funny story about the winning his Emmy for Best Director on 24 was great. But probably best of all, he said that he does workshops for film students and I mentioned that Celena, a newbie at our table, was a film student. He jumped at the chance to talk to her about the industry and how best to break into a career in film. His passion for working with budding filmmakers was very evident.

Autograph session
Since I worked at the Saturday autograph session, this was my day to get things signed. I was among the last to go and except for Jim’s table where Dail joined us, it was just me and Vonda with each of the GOHs.

There’s No Business Like Show Business (Peter and David)
The final panel was about the War of the Worlds animated movie. David wrote it and is the producer and the animation is being done in Malaysia. Apparently the Malaysians want to break into the animation industry and are using this film as a show piece of what they can do. They are producing highly detailed schematics of all the ships and battle vehicles and laying the design groundwork necessary to potentially broaden the scope of the movie into an animated series. David mentioned that they would like to have it picked up by Spike or SciFi. Both of them said that they have seen the drawings and production still and that are amazing. It will combine hand-drawn and CGI work.

David said that what he was striving for was more than an action or sf story; he wrote a story with strong characters and themes. One thing that David said at one point during the weekend was that when he is working, his friends will be working. So he found great roles for Peter and Adrian and Lizzie and Jim.

When asked about doing the voice work, Peter said that in many ways it was similar to the work he did for the BBC radio series, The Archers. He wasn’t entirely sure how to approach it, but David told him to just be himself; that isn’t how Peter normally approaches his work. There was a great story about a love scene between the chracters voiced by Peter and Lizzie. For animation voice work the actors normally go in alone to do their lines. For this particular scene they were in the recording studio together. During the love scene she ‘really got into her role’, so much so that she and Peter were doing their lines facing away from each other, eyes closed. The crew in the control booth were flabbergasted. David’s daughter was there in the control booth and he couldn’t even look at her. In fact, David kept turning away and blushing as he was telling us the story, it was that steamy. It remains to be seen how much of this makes into the final project.


Closing ceremonies and aftermath
Closing ceremonies were kept brief, we were running late and the GOHs had flights to catch. Peter had a Project Edan check for Kate Weber of UNICEF and was happy to announce that we had met our goal of $100,000 by the end of 2008. This is a rather amazing amount for such a small club to have raised in only 5 years. He also talked about a new UNICEF initiaive called Believe in Zero. Check out the web site for ways that you can help. http://ibelieveinzero.org/

Peter then had 2 more announcements: he had signed up to do HLWW9 in LA and the next PWFC con would be in San Antonio in 2010.


And so it was over. Dinner with friends and then gathering with a few people in the sports bar were nice and low key. I always hate heading off to the airport alone after a con, so I was happy to share a cab with Dayl on Monday morning. This was a fantastic con. Ree, the con committee, and all the volunteers worked together to bring off a weekend crammed with activties.
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Just Another Roll of the Dice (Peter, David, Jon)
It seemed like the unofficial theme of the con was the changng world of media and that was the focus of this panel. High quality hd cameras are a fraction of the cost of traditional cameras, but other production costs are still high and there are new questions about how to fund programs.

Because of Tivo and digital recorders that automatically edit out commercials people often don’t see commercials at all. On top of that, it is increasing hard for advertisers to hit their target audience; people watch programs whenever it’s convenient and not when the advertisers expect them to be viewing. All of this makes it increasingly hard to finance broadcast television through advertising. Increasingly sponsors are promised product placement in very unsubtle ways that interfere with the story. For instance, Jon said that on 24 the producers promised a car company that their product would be prominently featured during the show, but the stipulations were very hard to include and move the story forward. The car logo had to appear for a certain amount of time, a bad guy couldn’t drive the car, the car couldn’t be in a wreck, and so forth.


Autograph session
This was one of volunteer tasks. There was some scrambling around to get people organized, but most got their things signed on Saturday with only a small group left for Sunday.

The Big Gamble (Jon)
Jon talked about his career from film school in Ottawa where he studio radio/tv broadcasting though his early career as cameraman and director of photography. He learned a lot from watching directors work, both what to do and what not to do. I asked him if they used any consultants on 24, particularly in their approach to national security issues. He said that while they do have fact checkers, they don’t have regular or full-time consultants although sometimes they get information from writer Vince Flynn, seems to know more than he should about these things. This led him to tell us about visiting Washington, DC where they met with various people and were invited to visit the real conter-terrorism unit. He found it strange and interesting that the inside of the facility looked just CTU on24. The show was older than the real CTU by a few years, was this life imitating art?


An Evening at Jim’s (concert)
This was one of my volunteer jobs, R. J. and I checked badges as people came in. Once the concert started John Farris took over for us. He spent the rest of the concert there at the door looking like a bouncer – turns out he has worked as a bouncer in the past.

Peter started the concert and he was great. I hadn’t heard him sing in person, only on dvds from other cons, and he was great, his voice very strong and he really got into his performance. This was the first time he has played the guitar in public and I know he was nervous. He played Babylon by David Gray and really nailed it; his face broke into a wide smile when he finished. He played two more songs and was great.

It was Jim’s turn next. I had heard him play one other time, but he was even better in Vegas. He played several songs and then David came up. Always a powerful singer he sang two songs, including a do-wop duet with Jim.

Next it was Jon’s turn. He doesn’t act, sing or play an instrument, but he still found an excellent way to entertain us: he played a clip from one of Peter’s appearances on 24. This was from the show where Peter’s character, Emmerson, has his first scenes together with Jack Bauer. Can’t say much about it, but Peter was great. He has the ability to really pour himself into a character and make each one unique. And let me tell you, he does menacing extremely well.

Jim back out and rocked the house and gave us an encore of Johnny-Be-Good.
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This is actually going to be divided up into 5 parts instead of 4 - so much happened on Saturday that I'm going to split it up.

Saturday


Methos Rocks: But does he tell the truth? (Peter and David)
The first panel on Saturday started out strong and set the pace for the day; my biggest regret was that I didn’t enter anything in my con journal until early in the evening and I know I forgot some of the details.

The fan questions were good and when someone asked David about the experience of writing for the Highlander characters, he said that he felt like he channeled them as he wrote. While he was talking Peter stated that he had never heard David talk like this about writing Highlander.

I asked them if any of the fan questions submitted for the Methos Rocks dvd had surprised them since they have both been to so many cons and talked to so many fans. The answer was no, they were no real surprises although there were questions they just incomprehensible and questions that were outside the bounds of what they could or should consider. In preparing for the dvd they chose the questions and then David drafted replies. In the process of filming Peter adlibbed some of his responses (which was to be expected) and David slipped in some extra questions that he hadn’t told Peter would be in there. The question about Methos’ first sexual experience was one of those.

Nancye made a comment about how she was still waiting for her dvd. Several us made it know that we were also having problems. This opened up the whole can of worms about our customer service experiences with Legendary Heroes. One person asked why they couldn’t distribute though Amazon as well. David said that this kind of problem would be something Peter Davis would want to know about and he pulled out his cell phone and called him up. He explained about the problems and posed the question about Amazon. Then Peter Davis did something totally unexpected and told David to give us his email address so we could let him know what the problems were. David hung up and started to spell out the address and paused – many of started yelling, “Don’t do it!” He decided instead to have us send our complaints to Ree who would send them forward. Then he called Peter David back to let him know what we are going to do. What a guy!

There was a lot of talk about the possibility of more HL episodes or possibly little web episodes. David was mulling over how this could be financed and made commercially viable. I can’t remember the exact train of thought that led up to it, but David asked if fans would be willing to buy into the franchise with $25 or $50 a head to finance episodes. If they ever did turn a profit, then they would get a share of that.

As he was pondering how the true-to-Highlander sword fight scenes could be done for a webisode budget he started outlining a scene where Methos encounters an unknown immortal, the challenge is made, they screen would tighten up on clashing swords with offscreen dialogue, essentially the action happens offstage. Peter pointed out that this goes theater technique goes back to classic Greek theater.



PWFC Meeting & lunch
There was a club meeting, but Ree kept it short and I honestly don’t remember much about what we talked about. After the meeting I had lunch with Lisa Weston and we talked mostly about vidding. Since goes to Vividcon, a vidding con held in San Francisco, and has met one of my very favorite vidder, AbsoluteDestiny, whose Firefly/Serenity vid, Rodeohead, is the BEST vid I have ever seen. He doesn’t do Highlander fandom, but watching good vids of any fandom is always a learning experience for me.

Contemporary Blues and the Indy Music Market (Jim)
Jim talked about the his career and the musical influences that have been important to him. He has an upcoming tour of Canada and someone asked about the possibility of a US tour. He said something that I’ve heard him say before, that it is really had to tour without a corporate sponsor. In these bad economic times, that is especially true. His Canadian tours are often underwritten by grants. He also talked about how hard it is to break into cities with existing music scenes, such as Seattle. Recently he was invited to play at the taping of a radio show at the Paramount Theater there. This is a major venue and hopefully this will help him get booked into this major music market.


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FRIDAY

So Now That You’ve Found Sanctuary After 10,000 Days (Peter)
Peter’s first session gave him a chance to get us up to date on what he’s been working on lately and it also gave us a chance to ask questions. The interaction between GOH and fans was really great during all the panels during the weekend. There were a lot of new things to talk about and we were ready to find out more.

Peter talked about the challenges of working with green screen – not so different when interacting with other actors, kind of bizarre when reacting to creatures that were to CGI’d later. He also talked about how the atmosphere in Hollywood lately was a bit strained – the writer’s strike last year, the failure of to reach an agreement on the SAG contract and the downturn in the overall economy have created an environment in which fewer movies projects are moving forward. Instead of just expecting roles to come to them, established actors are actually auditioning for parts and actors like Harvey Keitel are actually doing series television. He also mentioned the exciting possibilities of new media such as web series; the problem remains how to make these undertakings profitible.

Sanctuary – the series started on the web before it was picked up by Sci Fi. The apparent goal is to make it profitable enough to take it back to the web. His episodes will be the last 2 of the season and his character will be a very old man, a friend of Dr. Magnus’s father who is played by Jim Byrnes.

10,000 Days – Peter and the other actors were only reimbursed for their mileage for driving out to the shooting location. This is a speculative venture by all involved, shot on a shoe string in the hopes of raising enough money to finish it. Only a minute of it will be finished with all the editing and CGI backgrounds and that small portion will be used to try and find money to do more. We saw a short piece about the series and it sounds like every associated with it is interested in breaking new ground with this innovated project.

War of the Worlds – his character is the hero and the lead and not the kind of character he usually plays at all. In fact, he told David that he would feel comfortable playing just about any other character and David replied that’s why he wrote it for him. I’ll write more on this for the session on Sunday on the film.


Controversial Sources (Peter and David)
David started by asking us to tell him where we thought The Source went wrong but before anyone could ask a question he laid out all of the problems in far more detail than we ever could have done. After that he proceeded to describe his script, the one that Bill Panzer tossed out, that had very strong allusions to the Madonna and Child and to The One as asaviour. When Sharon Lowachee came up to mic to ask questions, she proceeded to take him apart, not just for movie as it was made but for the heavy-handed use of religious allegory in his proposed script. In doing so she introduced us all to the most fun word of the weekend – anvilicious. There were a lot of other questions and a few answers, but it was impressive that Peter and David trusted us enough to be involved in this very heated give and take.


Newbie Meeting
Bonita and I had prepared newbie gift bags with little booklets and candy and granola bars and Project Edan magnets. The location suggested by the hotel to have this meeting didn’t look promising at first (a long narrow bar in the middle of the casino) but it turned out to be a great spot. We mixed and mingled, had a bit to drink and made new friends and answered some questions. I know I enjoyed it and I hope the newbies did, too.

Meet and Greet and Carnival
The meet and greet was fantastic, perhaps the only disappointment was that Jim had to leave before he made it to our table. My table consisted entirely of newbies, except for me. Peter seemed to love that fact and when he found out Resh was from Hawaii, he talked to at length about the Hawaiian language and culture. This is one thing I do love about Peter – the fact that he is so fascinated by us, where we are from and what we do.

Peter kicked off the carnival by giving each of the tossing and throwing games a try. He was cute flicking those frogs! I meant to move around from game to game but ended up playing game after game of bingo. Didn’t win at all but had a good time trying.




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I think I'm going to do this in 4 parts, but there's no guarantees just how fast I'll get them posted.

The flight to Vegas was nice and uneventful, even arriving half an hour early. At the hotel I spotted PWFCers before I even got in line to check in. In quick succession I ran into two Marys, Terri, Bev, Lyn, Anita and Miss Vicki. Had lunch with some of the gang, hung out with Sharon & Bruce Gobioff and took a walk around the area before I met up with Dail, Mary G., Terri, and Sharon and Bruce for dinner. Dail, who lives in the area suggested The Steakhouse at Circus, Circus where the big tasty steaks and great service keep getting it voted as best Vegas steakhouse year after year.


I knew I was going to have all day on Thursday to do something, but the question was, what? Take a bus tour of Hoover Dam? Go out to the Grand Canyon? Ethel M.’s Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden? Walk up and down the strip? Harlene solved this problem for me – she was looking for someone to come along on a trip to Red Rock Canyon. Turned out to be a great option. We had a great time driving out there, got some good recommendations for an eating place frequented by locals (buffet at Red Rock Casino), and had time to talk and get to know each other better. We enjoyed the exhibits at the visitors’ center, the beautiful rock formations and managed to stay just ahead of a bus full of school kids for most of the time. The sky was an amazingly intense blue. I even got a cute little gift for the granddaughter.


Later that afternoon I made my way down to the con early registration area and started greeting old friends as they came in. We took turns posing for Dar as she shot some footage for the closing ceremonies video. I spent the rest of the time at dinner and hanging out with friends.

The actual con kicked off with a volunteer meeting at 11. I already knew that I was working with Bones with newbies and that Bev wanted me to help with autographs, but I also volunteered to help watch the door for the concert on Thursday. This brings us up to the start of the con and the video contest, the Wingnut Film Festival. There weren’t many vidders, but there were plenty of vids. Mine were beginner vids and it was both exciting and painful to wach. I’ve learned a lot since I made them and would make different choices in content and style if I did it over again. But the funny bits got laughs and they were all applauded. There were some great entries from other fans and hopefully this will be a regular feature for future PWFC events.

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I'll be posting a con report eventually, but right now, just a link to some pictures.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/valoise/sets/72157609402407609/

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