Monday, December 22, 2008

Pssssttt....

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

I'm only taking a small amount of your computer time this posting to thank you for all your interest and support of the cafe press and my other Firefly Cargo Bay web shop. It's Browncoats that keep us flying and make that signal go a little bit further.

I'll be back to ramble on in January about all the comings and goings at FFCB, but for now, just a simple, heartfelt...

xie-xie!

Best Wishes to you and yours all throughout 2009

earthgirl

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Like Freebies?

It may be better to give than receive, but the receiving can be pretty shiny too. If you'd like a little extra Browncoat love, then head on over to Ma Cobb's Hat Shoppe and order a Very Cunning Hat for either yourself or as a gift for that special Browncoat in your life. If you do so through the month of December, you get shiny free Temporary Tattoos that look very familiar.

Yep, you can get some free shinys to give away, or keep for yourself just by getting one of the best gorram Browncoat symbols in the whole 'Verse. Come on- you know you want one! Now's a great time to go ahead and get one.

Let's face it- Browncoats are worth a little indulgence!

Until next time:
"How's it sit? Pretty cunning dontya think?"

They're Here!

The oh so shiny patches I have designed are now in the hold of the Cargo Bay! And not a moment too soon (if there is such a thing).

Both designs are fully embroidered and measure a big 3" in diameter. I think they're going to look very cunning on coats of brownish color!





Each patch is now on the bottom of the products page of the FireflyCargoBay ready for orders. Although I have not sorted and labeled/packaged them each all shiny-like yet, I will send any out right away that are ordered. I believe there's a major gift giving holiday coming up or something....

Until next time:
"Maybe I'm santa come down the chimney. Give presents to all the good boys and girls. Then again, maybe not."

Please note that the image of the Serenity Disc is a scan of the prototype. I do not have an image of the actual Serenity Disc patch at this time. i have the patch- just not the good picture. Xie-xie.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Terrifying Space Monkeys got Me!

HONESTLY!... Well...no.

Where the hell have *I* been?!?!?!? Nearly a whole month without posting! Where does that get fun? I'll tell you what's *not* fun- fiscal year end! I've been counting stock and printing reports and balancing books and crossing Is and dotting Ts.. no.. .wait.... But I've been buried in the prep work the accountant needs for weeks now it seems. Being a (mostly) one woman operation does get a little tricky sometimes.

Oh, but dear fellow Browncoats, I have not abandoned you ("No one's gettin' left!") I have been working behind the cortex to bring you lots of new shinys for 2009. Oh, such fun! In production now are two different 3" round embroidered patches. One is an image reminiscent of the Serenity logo (without the English word Serenity in it) and the other says "Big Damn Heroes Aim to Misbehave." I hope to have them in my hands before the year is out (2008 that is, not 2009!!!) I will post them here once I have them and they will immediately go into the Firefly Cargo Bay web site products page.

Speaking of the Products page, I have not yet heard back from my site designer. That page is getting way too full and takes *forever* to load (I know, and I feel your pain about it... and I'm on high speed!). I really wanted it streamlined with drop down menus and product categories. I'll keep you posted on what he says. Until then, please bare with me on it.

Some products will be leaving the secret compartments. They just aren't doing as well as they need to be to hold on to their place. Fear not, though, as I will drop nothing until after the holidays. I would like to mention that the Browncoat playing cards are currently in their second run of production, so I don't have any of those on hand at the moment. Two or so more weeks on those and they should be back in stock.

Other new products are in the works as well- new lanyards and coaster for Browncoats are just two of the shinys in the works. I am also expanding my filk related products lines as well. I'm heading to at least two filk cons this year, so that only makes sense. Those crazy wonderful filkers are just pulling me in!

And that brings up conventions! I'm eagerly looking forward to Conflikt in Seattle in January, as well as FKO in Toronto in April. I've also gotten confirmation of TWO table spots in Pittsburgh's Confluence Dealer Room. The other two shows, Dragon*Con and Polaris, have not yet opened their 09 Dealer applications, so I'm not official there yet. but I will be!! :)

I'm looking at other shows as well, but I have to remember that I have a family, too, so, you know... can't go every weekend. *frowny* Oh, yeah, and there's that money thing that all these hotels and airlines want whenever I do a show. *sigh* I hate that! BUT, on the bright side, I'm never ever going to make any more huge shipping errors like I did with D*C this year! So, hey, I learned something.

Well, now, does this catch us up to date? Please know that I haven't left you floating out in the black. I am working on new and fun things for your squee approval. Just keep flyin with me and we'll make 2009 very gorram shiny indeed!

Until next time:
"Well... Here I am."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

We're in!

It's official- the first convention that Firefly Cargo Bay will be attending is Conflikt in Seattle January 30- February 1, 2009. This is a filk con and I'm excited because both the filk and Browncoat communities are very large and active in the NW area. I haven't been to a con on the west coast since 2006 and the con-that-never-was, Flanvestion II (hello all Browncoat Backup Bash attendees!) I'm so psyched to go, I wish it was January already. My mother always says, "Don't wish your life away" but it's hard not to! I wanna go!

Apparently, they're psyched about me going, too. I received this in an email from the con comm: "Just peeked at your web pages, and I'm _really_ excited you want to come out to the west coast. " I like being different! :) I will have many new and exciting products at my first show of 09 as well as a lot of the shinys that I've hauled all over the place in 08. Both filk and Browncoat items will be offered.

So, if you're out in the north west part of the American 'verse, plan to come hear some awesome sci fi themed folk music and hang out with really really cool people, and pop into the dealers' room and say hi!

Until next time:
"Ladies and menfolk, we have ourselves a job."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dear Diary: Today I was captured by Hill Folk, Never to be Seen Again

...it was the best day ever.

Okay, I wasn't captured by hill folk, but I have been missing for a while. Bad blogger, bad bad!

I departed the country early in October to head to a Mighty Fine Shindig, The Browncoat Ball. Once I had found out months ago that Austin, Texas had won the 08 bid, I knew I was going. I had only been there once before (13 years ago, for 5 days) but fell in love with the town. Plus, now I have many Browncoat friends there, too- most important of them being the Bedlam Bards.

On this particular trip I even got to ditch my kids with their aunt and uncle and enjoy a weekend away with my fictious husband! We said goodbye to Thing One and Thing Two on Friday morning (Oct 10) and headed to the airport. Here, TSA provided me with an early morning security massage. Lucky me. (NOT!) But if that was the worst of what was to happen on the trip, I would be fine.

Flights were uneventful, which is the way I like them. We were in the hotel and settled just in time for the Ball's registration to start. So we registered, dropped of the donations for the raffle prizes and headed to find some dinner. We just wanted something fast, so we asked the concierge where we could get pizza. He directed us a few blocks away and when we got there we read : "New York Style Pizza!" In Texas. We decided to skip that and instead hit the corner pub we passed on the way there. Good choice. We sat outside to eat (In October!) and enjoyed the place immensely. If you're in Austin, check out the Hickory Street Bar and Grille. Go for the salad bar and the Shiner Bock!

After diner we returned to our room and changed for the cocktail hour(s). There we saw the Bards, and palm reading (Hi Joyce!) and fountains of chocolate and crafts and belly dancing (Hi April!) and about 75+ Browncoats. We ended up closing the place with Cedric and then heading to the hospitality suite. We talked out on the balcony (in OCtober!) and watched the excitement from 6th Street. We called it a night long before the partiers there did!

Saturday morning began the program tracks. The imaginary husband went off to learn knife throwing while I went into video editing. I learned some tips to make more fan videos, but was more flattered with what was shown on screen. Out of 5 videos run, 3 of them were mine! The next thing we attended was the filk circle. I tried to pass in "pick, pass or play" but was reprimanded by Cedric for not performing my sister's filked lyrics to the Bards' version of the Fruity Oaty Bar jingle. I said I didn't have them, but sure enough, they were pulled up on a Mac in the room from the email I sent Cedric a few weeks prior. Damn this new fangled technology!

We then had a small band of us going to the New York Style pizza place for lunch. The food was iffy but the company was first rate! We divided up after that and my fake husband and I found ourselves- quite by chance- in The Land Yacht It took us to Zilker's botanical gardens. This was a place that I absolutely adored on my last visit to Austin and I felt I had to go back. I have not included the link here, because I don't feel it is worth sharing. They've made a lot of changes in the past 13 years, and I don't think many of them are for the better. We left after only an hour and I prefer to remember the gardens as they were upon my first visit.

We returned to the hotel (via regular cab) and passed "The Original Taco Cabana", implying that there is more than one. Turns out its a whole chain of restaurants, negating each locations' claim of being "the original". At any rate, we decided to hit the roof top puddle, I mean pool (in October!). We opened the door to find the place filled with Barbie posers half our age. We left there too and just hung out until the Ball Proper (we had decided to skip the third session of programing).

At 7 pm we headed down to the Ball and saw all the pretties in their frofraw. Browncoats clean up very well and everyone looked very shiny as evidenced here. The food was fabulous, the string quartet was too loud, the desserts were to die for. We were lucky enough to snags seats at a table with the folks from Browncoat Fashions and others and had wonderful fun watching them take part in the Big Damn Heist. The dancing began with all 4 bards performing, which was quite the treat! The Brobdingnagian Bards performed their set. As usual, Marc and Andrew gave a great fun filled performance. I only found out later that it was their last performance ever together (big frowny face) but further discovered that they will each be pursuing solo careers (big happy face!)

The Bedlam Bards took the stage for the first of their sets and all had a great time. During the break more dancing ensued- this time of the disco variety! The Bards returned for another set and most of us closed the place at 2 am.

Sunday saw brunch with a good 1/3 of the crowd still in attendance. We were fortunate to be at a table with Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards (formerly, I guess at that point) and a whole group of lively funny 'Coats. Marc even treated us to some air auto harp!

After brunch we still had 2 hours before our shuttle took us to the airport. So the FH and I walked the 2 blocks to the Austin Capitol Building. We spent a nice time there and then stopped in the Visitor Center where we had a really nice time; enjoyed that a lot, actually. We also strolled down 6th street- not nearly as impressive on a Sunday afternoon as it is every night, I'm sure. But now we can at least say we've been there!

We found a shuttle waiting outside the hotel when we returned. It wasn't our scheduled one, but he said he'd take us anyway. So with that, our Austin mini vacation ended abruptly.

Xie-xie to the Austin Brwoncoats for putting on a really nice party (and there was no punching!) I hope for more shindigery with you very shiny 'Coats again! You've done the impossible, and that makes you mighty!

Until Next Time:
"I prefer our parties. The dress code is easier and plus I know all the steps"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Monkeys Have Landed!

Yes, that's right- there were monkeys. Some terrifying Space Monkeys got loose. And now they are in the Firefly Cargo Bay and ready to invade your personal part of the 'Verse.

Each set comes with a 6" tall rocket ship with opening top hatch and three different colored Space Monkeys. The Monkeys can be stored inside the "Ape-1" when not out causing havoc. All the little terrors are bendable and posable with magnetic hands and feet. They stick to the side of their ship, or anything else metal! Each Space Monkey is 3" tall.

The cost for the entire set is $18.00 plus shipping, and they are now available to send out into the 'Verse. The TERRIFYING SPACE MONKEYS can be found now at the bottom of the Products page of Firefly Cargo Bay .

You've been warned!

Until next time:
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On a Happier Note...

There's new shinys in the Firefly Cargo Bay!

Those of you who were at Dragon*Con and actually managed to find our little hovel in the wall surely saw these pretties:


These are Big Damn Bracelets made by FanGirl of FanDone . She has given me permission to sell her hand made bracelets which are so very pretty (too pretty for god to let them die!). Each one has three charms and color beads that relate to the character. Shown here, of course, is Wash's pieces with the firefly, "W" and Hawaiian shirt charms.

There is one for each of the nine Big Damn Heroes. All can be found at the bottom of the products page of the Firefly Cargo Bay's secret stash.

There will be more new items coming soon. I won't tell you what they are, but here's a hint:

Until Next Time:
"Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?"

You Call This Going Well?

Ladies and Menfolk, those of you who followed my saga with customs and brokerage to get my goods down to Atlanta for Dragon*Con can have sympathy for me when I tell you the following:

I received a bill from UPS Brokerage USA. Now *they* want $800.00 in duty and taxes from me? Why? Well, I shipped a crate from the US to Canada with good in it that originated in Honduras and China! (can you all hear me screaming from there?)

Yes, friends, after making us track down where Hanes and other companies that we bought products from out of the USA originally made said products, the UPS broker failed to tell anyone or put anywhere on the paperwork that the items in question were PURCHASED in the USA. So Uncle Sam thinks I owe him half of what the good in my crate are worth. A long fight is ahead of us.

$800.00? $800.00! Do you know how much stuff I have to sell to have $800.00 to just GIVE away? That's over a year's worth of sales in my cafe press shop (and that's if the months are really big sellers!) This all has to do with NAFTA, but someone please tell me who is getting the "FREE" in the free trade agreement?

You know, I'm very fortunate that FFCB isn't my means for support. If it was my only small business, we'd be under by now. Taxes and tariffs and fees would have sunk us this summer. How can a small business survive? Right now, we're just going to gear up for the administrative battle that awaits us with customs.

And what have I learned from this? Two things- One, my husband may be imaginary, but he's very tolerant and his income keeps my children housed, fed and clothed. And Two, we need a warehouse somewhere in the USA to never have to deal with rutting customs agents again!

Until Next Time:
"This has not been my best day ever"

Sunday, September 7, 2008

DRAGON*CON: IT'S ALL OVER :(

I was awake at 5 am on Tuesday, so I got up and ready. I told my sister goodbye and go back to sleep (her flight wasn't until 2 pm or something). From the time I stepped outside the hotel lobby (6:10), got the shuttle (the Link), tickets for my flight, through TSA, and at the gate was pretty much one hour (7:15). Impressive!

I've often complained about the fact that at the Toronto airport all the employees mumble and you can't understand a word any of them are saying. This is in no way a problem at Atlanta's airport. These people are L-O-U-D!!! I went to my gate and bought some milk to drink with my life force of cons; brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts! and then... I wait.

At one point 3 sailors, dressed in the stereotypical white pant suit with blue neckerchief, quickly walked through the hall. I wouldn't have been surprised if they stopped and suddenly broke into a number from On the Town! They didn't, and soon the rest of the cadets walked at a quick pace to catch up with the three leaders. There must have been at least 3 dozen of them and I think they were rushing to a connecting flight.

These were the only people I saw in costume, and after 4 days of seeing every costume imaginable- and some I'd never had thought of- seeing people in "street clothes" was odd. But my flight arrived (9:25) and we were off. During the 2 hour flight I did some more paper work, but then just tried to doze off. I think i did at one point too.

Upon landing I went to baggage claim and found my suitcase quickly. While waiting for it, around the carousel came a big blue bin. It was marked "costumes and props" and bore the sticker of the 501st Storm Trooper Brigade. I smiled, and kept an eye out for who claimed the bin. Turned out to be a smallish woman, who "normally" looked like a grade school teacher or something.

The new terminal at the Toronto airport is all shiny and new and corporate and not personal. But it is laid out easier for arriving people without all the confusion of those waiting for them standing in the way. We landed at 11:30 and my bus didn't arrive until 2:30. I grabbed an overpriced airport lunch and then headed to find my stop. The layout of the rest of the terminal, I discovered, is not so hot. They do not have the ground transport area labeled well at all. I ended up lugging 50 pounds of luggage back and forth over both ends of public transport. On both levels. Twice.

When I find my spot, there is a bench, in the shade, with a nice cool breeze. I have a 2 hour wait. I love my ipod! The rest of my travels I spend trying to get out of con mode and back into "mommy" mode. And so my trip to Geek Mecca comes to an end...until next year! (BIG smiley face!)

DRAGON*CON DAY FOUR (SEPT 1)

When I got up in the middle of the night, I had noticed the bill to check out slipped under our door. This was odd because we weren't leaving until Tuesday. I put it on the desk and went back to bed.

First stop in the morning was front desk to have them reactivate our keys and make sure we still had a room for the night. On our way to the M store, George Taki passed us on his way to check out. Or beam up, whichever. We had breakfast at the booth while I rearranged to (happily) fill in the hole that were made by us selling out of things. Yea!

I took the opportunity to walk around the dealers' room for the very first time that weekend. i spent an hour and a half doing so and came back about $100.00 lighter. (Yikes!) Did I then stay and work the booth? Nope! I had a lunch date with college friends of mine who recently moved to Georgia. (Hi Tim! Hi Joanna! Hi babies!)

At lunch we talked of many things and they asked lots of questions about Dragon*Con and such. Joanna said they used to make so much fun of Dragon*Con when she was growing up (she's originally from near Atlanta). Shortly thereafter I told her I saw the whole Sean Astin panel she said "Sean Astin was there?" Then turning quickly to Tim said, "We're going to Dragon*Con next year!" So much for making fun of it, eh? We had a very nice, albeit brief lunch visit (and a shout out to the two bestest twin nine month olds ANYWHERE!) and then they dropped me off at the hotel once again.

I was going to go back to the booth, but took the chance to get back into the Hyatt. The numbers were way down on Monday-- like the attendance at a "normal" convention, and getting to and fro was much easier. There' s a really cool illuminated Dragon*Con sign in the front of the Hyatt that I wanted to take a picture of. I had seen it in passing one of the other days, but Directionally Challenged me couldn't find it again. What I did find was two Bards hanging out in the Hyatt. I ended up talking to them for an hour, which was nice.

FINALLY, I got back to the booth and heard FanGirl's report of seeing Walter Koenig in the Starbucks and also discovering that all the people that were in the hotel lobby all weekend long had turned into suitcases! (There were so many people checking out that morning that concierge had the suitcases lined up around the lobby in an orderly fashion- at Dragon*Con, even suitcases stand in line!!)


The booth was very busy and the ladies held their own. I had begun counting up inventory to use as totals on the customs paperwork. I was not looking forward to dealing with THEM again! I tried to make everything as accurate and thorough as possible. I was also tidying up and packing up what I could while I did this.

At 5 pm there was a mass destruction of the Dealers' room. Half the boxes that were full at the beginning of the show were packed empty in the crate (yea!) We took the Bards' stuff to them and helped load up their truck (which they call Vera) and said good bye to them (big frowny face)- only until October and The Browncoat Ball. (huge happy face) Then back to the crate. It got packed up and sealed in. Then- I hit a wall. I was soooooooo tired. I had some difficulty finding the Freeman representative in the exhibit hall, and there was some miscommunication, but all the paperwork got to the right people. Eventually.

I told the ladies I was done making decisions and wherever they wanted to eat was fine by me. We ended up in FanGirl's hotel room (since hers was made up and ours never did get that way this day) and had yummy pizza room service. We were all tired and got punch drunk and silly. Massive giggles ensued. Such fun. After this, my sister and I rode to the 47th floor of the Marriott just cause we could. We weren't the only ones to do so and the rapid glass elevator ride was good fun. We, naturally went all the way to the bottom floor just cause we could. We took some lobby pictures and then shared a brief elevator ride and conversation with James Hong

We then went ot the room to pack our stuff and try to get some sleep. Before drifting off I looked at teh clock. It was 12:03. I said, "Hey, Mar'e" She replied wisely, "What?" I said, "Happy Birthday!" She laughed and said thank you. and then we pretty much dropped to sleep.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We now return you to your regularly scheduled hotel."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

DRAGON*CON DAY THREE (AUG 31)

As had become habit, on Sunday I woke up way early. In the time that I got up and got down to open the Dealer table, I had talked myself into going to the Sean Astin panel. I mean, the ladies had been doing so well without me already. (I can rationalize anything!). So, my sister went off to her photo op with Kevin Sorbo and I went in to open the booth. FanGirl appeared and I told her, "See ya!"

I walked over to the Hyatt and went down the hall prepared to line up out the door and outside- it was only an hour until the panel after all. I rounded the corner in the hall and was floored to see the end of the line. It wasn't outside. It wasn't even to the door. I thought "This can't be right. It's SEAN ASTIN folks!" But I was right and got to sit inside on the top step. I had a nice conversation with the fellow in front of me who turned out to be a filk fan. Much fun was had while waiting. I ended up in the 5th row center for the panel. I enjoyed every second of it. He's a very charming intelligent man with lots of wonderful stories. He can be long winded, but none of us cared, as everything he was saying was interesting. (and, yes, I video taped the whole thing)

I returned to the booth when it was over and was told I had to go to the Firefly panel which they moved to the Marriott. I knew this couldn't be, because my sister wanted to go to the Andromeda panel and FanGirl wanted to attend the Last Unicorn panel. These were all at the same time. I was told that FanGirl would rather see the video I took at the Firefly panel than attend her own. So off I went.

When I got upstairs, I needed to hit the washroom first. There I found Mary from Browncoat Fashions with her crew in tow. I saw Baby Kaylee (absolutely adorable!). I wanted to take a picture, but I also knew I *had* to get in that Firefly line. On my way there, I saw a proud Canadian Browncoat exactly third in line for the panel (Hi Magie!). I stopped to talk to her and found out they had already closed the line to the panel. (Turns out this was not true- the sign that said "Firefly Line Ends Here" only told people where to line up- not that they weren't letting anyone else in- this worked out okay in the end though). I handed my video camera to Magie and gave her a brief tutorial on it. My deal was that I'd give her a copy of the other two panels (neither of which she'd been able to get into) if she'd tape this one for me. She happily agreed. I warned her that I had just videoed the entire hour of the Sean Astin panel and the battery was probably going to die half way through this one (I *knew* I should have bought a backup battery!)

I returned to the booth and informed the ladies of the current Firefly Panel situation. Then I sent them each on the way to the panels they wanted to see. I then womaned the booth by myself for the first time. Time just dragged! Every time there was a burst of sales or activity I thought for sure another 1/2 hour had passed. No such luck. 10 minutes at the most. Eventually my sister returned with happy stories from the Andromedia panel and the time went faster.

Soon it was 7pm and we were able to close the booth and head up to the Hard Rock Cafe to (hopefully) meet up with (and crash) the Browncoat Cruise Reunion group. We squeezed in past waiting people to look around for our group. Cedric spotted us and called to me. We went over and saw there was NO room to put two more people. I flitted around a bit and saw Baby Kaylee again- all smiles, while two of her older brothers - jayne and mal- slept soundly at the table. I waved to Dave again and talked with Cedric awhile. I was trying to see if the staff would accommodate us- I really wanted to just hang out and visit with Cedric and Hawke- something I rarely get to do, and we were all in a festive mood. Alas, it was not to be as there *were* people waiting to be seated, and there *was* no room for us, and we probably would have taken forever to get served. So I said goodbye to the shiny bunch (big frowny face).

We headed to the food court of the mall to get something fast until it dawned on me that it was Sunday- going on 8pm. The mall would be closed. So we just hit the McDonald's. After waiting in line for about 8 or 10 minutes and not seeing anyone move I said to my sister, "WHY are we waiting for McDONALD'S ?!??!?!" We went back to the Marriott and grabbed something from the M store. (awesome little addition to a hotel- every one should have one!). We turned on Dragon*Con TV and watched the bumpers and the start of the masquerade while l we ate and I did the daily books.

After a while (and a balanced ledger) we headed tot he Filk room in the Hyatt. Cedric was playing when we entered- as a matter of fact, that's what helped us find the room! I became a Bloggerazzi and video taped Cedric's new "browncoat" song (and now I owe him a quarter for usng his term "bloggerazzi"!) During the song, a washer fell from the strap of his instrument (insert all sorts of jokes here). It was hard to find in the swirly carpet pattern, and several audience members tried to help- some on their hands and knees, some bent over, some standing. It was to this scene that The Great Luke Ski entered the room. Whithout missing a beat he said, "Oh, good! I'm just in time for avant-garde Twister!" I love the quick wit of the filking community! When what was lost was found, someone else performed and a little while after, Hawke arrived and the boys played again. Things continued this way until shortly before 11:30, when they called a break to "maximize the capacity of seating"- that's geek speak for "rearrange the chairs". Carrie Dahlby would be in concert then.

During this break I needed to leave the room. A few people got into this loud passionate (and I'm convinced alcohol induced) argument about the Lord of the Rings movies. One chick was so convinced that Peter Jackson violate the works of Tolkien and would hear of nothing else. I'm not a confrontational person myself and didn't like to be forced to listen to this debacle. I pretty much bolted out the door when chicky babe (I do not have enough respect for this being to call her a woman) began a point by saying, "say to women are raped and one gets pregnant and the other one doesn't. The one that doesn't says 'well, that's over and there's no consequences so it's done now' but the other one-" I was gone by that time. Had I stayed violence would have ensued. What she finished with, or how she ever related that to LotR I have no idea and never care to know. Insert slow burn here.

I sat out in the hall and deleted some files for the video camera and happily eavesdropped on Cedric talking to someone about filk and the Bards' music. It was closer to 11:30, so I headed back in. The gorram argument was STILL going on! Fortunately chicky and her hapless target shut up when Carrie started her music. Guy number #2- the loudest- kept going for a few minutes. Grrr Arrgh! Carrie's concert was a lot of fun, and she was followed by Luke Ski and joined him on several songs. they closed with Grease Wars which I absolutely LOVE- naturally I video taped the whole thing (I'm an addict- I admit it!)

Luke Ski's concert ended at 1:30 am and we headed to bed.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Geek girls are either elfishly anorexic or completely overly boobular."

Friday, September 5, 2008

DRAGON*CON DAY TWO (Aug 30, 2008)

Once again, I woke up very early- like a kid on Christmas morning. Saturday was the day of the Dragon*Con Parade! I had some give aways for the marching Browncoats, but realized I left them in the dealer room. I couldn't get in there until 9:30 and the parade started at 10. That meant I would have to grab the bag of goodies and then hoof it all the way down to the parade muster grounds within a half an hour. That would be cutting it close, to say the least! Grrr Arrgghh!

Fortunately, they let dealers in at 9 so I had plenty of time to get down there. Once there, the Browncoats were easy to find, thanks to the 76th Independent Battalion flying a very shiny Browncoat Flag. I handed out the goodies to old and new Browncoat friends (Ni Hao all!). Then my sister and I found a spot on the parade route (while we left poor FanGirl to woman the booth all by herself). I ended up recording the whole parade, or most of it anyway- with special emphasis on the Browncoats, of course. DVD copies upon request.

After the parade we headed to the Hilton. FanGirl had asked us to sign her up for "The Serenity Sandwich" (a photo op with both Alan and Nathan.) After I got her ticket I looked down the hall in the direction of some slight commotion I heard. There I saw Kevin Sorbo walking down the hall. My sister had said she would have liked to see him that weekend- meaning go to one of his panels- and here he was walking down the hall, about to pass right between us. I began to tell her to get her camera out, but noticed she spotted him. She froze and inhaled all the available oxygen in the room. She silently watched him go by as I grinned- her first fan girl moment! And she handled it with great dignity (I was so proud *grin*)

We returned to the dealers' room (one of us was floating- guess which one!) We stayed there until it was time for FanGirl to get her "Serenity Sandwich". During this time, she called on the cell phone and asked to talk to me. She hatched a plot to buy my sister an early birthday present (she was turning 39- again- on Tuesday) of a photo op with Kevin Sorbo. She asked if I thought that would be okay, or would she be too nervous. Had it been me- I'da freaked out and been way too much of a mess to do it, but I'm not the gutsy one of the duo (no matter what you've heard!) So I said "Sure! Go for it!" and returned to the booth with a big grin on my face. When FanGirl returned, she present the gift and needless to say, it was received very well. Best. Birthday. Gift. Ever. (and much better than what I got her which was nothing-- I was doing my River imitation!)

We all worked the booth until it was time for my sister to get in line for the Big Damn Hero panel. I went with her to hand out the last of my free stickers, so FanGirl held down the fort once again. I left my video camera with my sister. She recorded the whole panel, so eventually, I'll get to see it. DVD copies available on request (see a theme developing there?)

I returned to the booth (and it was about time I actually worked some hours at my own gorram booth!) We closed at 7 and then went to dinner (yummy Italian food in HUGE portions!) While walking back from dinner I was chatty from being tired and the drinks at dinner. I had just finished telling an admittedly not-that-exciting story when the ladies turned to each other and smiled knowingly. Me, being clueless as usual said, "What? The story wasn't that good." The two of them both turned at me beaming. "Karen, " said FanGIrl, "NATHAN FILLION JUST WALKED RIGHT PAST US!" I stopped dead and turned around in disbelief to see his silhouette (surrounded by about 1/2 dozen people- over which he was towering) continuing up the street. I stood there shocked and totally disappointed in myself. HOW could I have not seen Nathan walking up the street right towards me?!?!? FanGirl told me "Your Mal-Dar is waaay off tonight!" *Sigh* Yes indeed. This incident totally negates my Burbank elevator story. I *love* my Burbank elevator story! I decided that I was simply respecting his privacy (by being totally oblivious to his presence.) That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

We returned to the room and I did the books for the day (I am on a business trip, remember?) I counted the numbers three times and got three different totals. I decided it was time to put them aside. I got dressed in my pretties and we hit the elevator. I was thrilled when someone next to me said, "That's a very nice Arwen necklace" (you may remember that I won it at the FKO Auction in April). Not only did I appreciate the compliment, but the fact that he knew it was "Awen's necklace!" -well, I knew I was in a place I belong. *warm happy* (and thank you to whomever you were that gave me that comment!)

We headed to the Sheridan once again, for the Whedonverse track kinda claimed it as their own (mmwwhhhaa ha ha ha ha- so that's, you know, coming along. I've been working with a vocal coach.) This time they were a little more prepared for us with "cattle ropes" outside the grande ballroom. We were all there for the Mighty Fine Shindig. In line I spotted a Browncoat from Toronto (Hi Dave!) and ran over to give him a hug- then promptly ran back to my spot in line. We started filing in and because of the switchback pattern of the ropes I passed Dave again. I gave him a "line hug" as we passed each other. He got in before we could attempt the feat again.

The line was moving quickly and I was to be next in the door when the person letting people in held up a hand and said, "Just a sec." Instinctively I went "awwwww." (my sister said I was about to cry- well, gorram it! I was RIGHT THERE!) He said, "No worries, you're number 600. We just need to let the doorway clear a little more." I could see Cedric through the door, and Dave again, and several others I knew (or wanted to-- *ahem* I mean... oh, never mind.) Not long after, they let us in and we moved into the center of the room. Several photos were being taken of all the Browncoats dressed in character. One of my favorites was the BWAH! pose of the Mals:
I had a really great time at the shindig (although I could have done without the lights being turned way up, completely off and then messed with again. And when they finally left them alone I thought it was too dark- as my video will attest. Oh, and $4.00 for a Coke? Are you friggin kidding me? Hell, this is the city where they make the rutting stuff, it should be practically free!) By two a.m however, we departed and returned to our room. I once again added the day's numbers and they balanced to the penny (which always makes me happy when that happens.) At 3 a.m. I went to bed.

The parade had many great costumes- the giant Janye hat for example. But others stopped by the dealer booth or were spotted in one of the parts of the various hotels. The day's favorites for me were The Man in Black and Buttercup from the Princess Bride- done extremely well and "Eggar"- the guy whose body gets "put on like an Eggar suit" in "Men in Black" He looked like the guy, was dressed in the dirty tan overalls and attached rubber (?) cock roaches all over it and carried the shotgun. Priceless! We've decided we love the costumes you don't normally see, such as those mentioned. this also leads to the daily report of our words from the weekend:

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "There's always a Slave Leah."

DRAGON*CON DAY ONE (Aug 29, 2008)

Friday was the official start of Dragon*Con and I was up early-ish. We went to the hotel restaurant for the breakfast buffet. Pricey but very worth it. Tons of food, eggs, french toast, cottage cheese, fruit, cereals,, yogurts, and much more food than I could list here (or that you would care to read about.)

My sister and I went to the dealer's room to finish dressing the booth ("futzing"). The room opened at 1 pm and within the first 15 minutes there were 3 sales. After those, I abandoned the ladies to woman the booth for themselves. I had a VIP (very important panel) to get to. This was the Alan Tudyk/Nathan Fillion panel and the line was already out of the Hyatt and down the sidewalk and around two corners. I was worried that I wouldn't get in. I passed Cedric as he played and sang to entertain the waiting crowd. I got to the end of the line and asked a very nice lady if she would remember me and save my place while I passed out the free stickers that I had made to the people in line. Thankfully she agreed and I began with the people who had filed in behind us (Hi Artcat!). I had some doubt about making the stickers as they were a big expense and a ton of work, but after giving out less than a dozen of them I knew I made the right choice. People were honestly delighted with getting the free shinys and I loved hearing their reaction to my designs (and I was sure to put "COMPLIMENTS OF Firefly Cargo Bay" as not not invoke the wrath of any lawyers!) I got to the front of the line and still had stickers left. This was good, as it ensured (by the count of stickers vs the number of seats in the room) that I would get in to see the panel.

The two of them? One word: Hi-Larious! I had a fantastic time and was soooooo glad I got in to see them. I video taped the whole thing (copies available upon request). This was the only panel I considered my "must see" and I enjoyed every second of it. This is a crappy picture of the duo. The video has better images. (yea!) The panel had started late so I only got back to the booth at 4.

We stayed and womaned the table until 6 pm. Then my sister and I abandoned FanGirl so we could get to the Sheridan to line up for the Dr Horrible show. This is the first year the Sheridan is hosting events for Dragon*Con and by the stupefied looks on the faces of all the staff and security in the hotel, I know they didn't know what to do with us all. I'm sure they didn't expect that many people to show up for the event because they kept moving the line to different parts of the hotel to accommodate us all. Again, I had free stickers and was working my way from the back of the line to the front. With all the line moving, though, somehow I got turned around and ended up once again at the back of the line (?). No one got double stickers though. I might have walked through a star gate or something. The room in which Dr Horrible was held seated 1,500 people- and some got turned away at the door! Thankfully we weren't among them.

The show consisted of the original Dr Horrible being shown on a screen and actors, well, acting, on stage next to it. it was so well done with participants coming out into the audience and everything. Props to the Whedonverse track people for arranging this (especially since DH only debuted July 19!!). We had a blast and it was awesome to hear everyone singing along with the show. I video taped all but the last 2 minutes or so (my camera's battery died. I *knew* I should have bought a back up before D*C!!) DVD copies available upon request.

After the show let out, the two of us hoofed it back up the hill to the Hyatt to catch The Bedlam Bards concert. They were pretty much left off the bill and all advertising and schedules this year due to .... management problem which have hopefully now been fixed. This made them difficult to find and some people were telling us they didn't even know the Bards had attended this year. *big frowny face*. Because of these factors, the show was less well attended than usual. That did not stop the boys from putting on one heck of a good show (which you get from the Bards whether the audience is of one or one thousand). They got to play a little over an hour, and I helped serve as "Water Wench". Good to know that if my fictious husband ever leaves me, I have a fallback as a Bard Roadie!

Once the boys were done, "The Other B Bards from Austin" took the stage. They are more commonly known as The Brobdingnagian Bards(pronounced brob-din-nahg-EE-en). My sister asked if I wanted to stay for their show. I had heard some MP3s of their stuff, but never saw them live. The choice to stay there an extra hour was the best decision I made all day! If for nothing else than the fact of hearing "Bohemian Rhapsody" improved on recorder! Great performers, fun music of the celtic AND sci fi genres and just a great show. I video taped both of the Bards' concerts (DVD copies available upon request).

This made it nearly 11 pm, so once again we went to the Sheridan (it was easier this time as it was all down hill). We were going for the third consecutive showing of "Buffy Horror Picture Show". Once again, I had free stickers to give out in the line. But there was no line! In fact, the show was almost canceled due to low attendance. But near start time enough people had shown up. This was the Buffy episode "Once More with Feeling" with audience participation much like "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." But not nearly as organized. It seemed more like drunks screaming at the screen and ignoring the actors on stage. We should have skipped it and gone to the filk room instead. Ah well, I'll know for next year.

The show let out at 1:30 in the morning and my sister was a bit concerned about walking back to the Marriott by ourselves. I laughed at her and said, "This is Friday night at Dragon*Con- we will NOT be alone!" Sure enough, tons of people (and police) were milling about the entire space between the Sheridan and Marriott and Hyatt and Hilton hotel. We decided to depart from the crowd and got to bed around 2 am.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: When asked how we were going to get through the crowd in the Hyatt lobby: "When in doubt, follow the viking!" (it worked- he served as a great crowd clearer! and he didn't even know it!)

"You're coming with us!"

Ni Hao once again!

Yes, I am back from Dragon*Con and slowly readjusting to life outside the Geek Mecca. *sigh* Reality sucks.

ANYWAY! I know some of you have been waiting to hang on every word of my tales from Atlanta as to live vicariously through me. So, let me start off by answering your foremost question: YES! All the bull that customs put me through was forgotten by the end of day one! (I won't say it was "worth" it all- because nothing is worth the reaming they put us through, but I digress as I am known to do.)

DRAGON*CON ADVANCE DAY (THURS AUG 27, 2008)

I will skip the details of my travels to Atlanta, because I know you all want to get to the Browncoaty goodness of it all. So we begin with me and my sister and FanGirl outside the airport deciding what mode of transportation we would take to the Marriott. We decided a cab (because they have van taxis) when we hear, "Hey Browncoat!" Someone had spotted FanGirl's Can't Stop the Serenity shirt and called out. She asked if we knew how to get to the hotels. We told her she could join in our cab and that was fun. She then mentioned her costume was Kaylee. FanGirl took the opportunity to plug our booth by asking, "Do you have a parasol, because she sells them." The Browncoat said, "Well, I sort of do... maybe... are you the one I talked to over email?" I asked her name and when she told me I was delighted to find out that we had randomly run into someone who I've been emailing back and forth with for the past couple of weeks about parasols! (Hi, Beth!) What are the odds among 40,000+ people eh?

So, we got to the hotel (after a $40.00 cab ride- won't do that again. Good thing there were 4 of us!!) and had very little wait checking into the hotel. Robert Englund checked in right next to me. Cool. We moved out into a clearing and decided to stash our stuff and then find someplace to eat. Richard Hatch walked right past us. Not the scary one from "Survivor" but the cool one from (both) Battlestar Galactica(s). This was *very* nice, as I fell in love with him as Apollo in the 80s. And, no, I didn't squee.

We ended up in the food court of a mall that was right by the hotel. This worked out well as we were very hungry for food fast. During our mini meal, Cedric called and said he was in the hotel lobby. Huzzah! Impending Bard Hug!!

We all got together and went to the dealer room to set up. Guess what? It was Oh. So. Easy. My crate was there (all banged up to hell, but the goods were still intact) and we started setting up. It took 3 hours (including futzing time) and it looked pretty shiny if I say so myself. Somehow we found space to display almost all of the good that the three of us had to peddle. It would turn out that we were tucked a little too far back in the aisle (which was an easy-to-miss aisle anyway) and Browncoats had trouble finding us. Only at a con could you give directions like, "When you get to the booth selling corsets, turn right and we're across from the guys offering leather shorts for sale."- and that STILL didn't narrow location down enough! Remember when I said, "If you can't find us, ya just ain't tryin'"? I take it all back- it's not you fault. Next year I hope to be able to get another aisle. With power.

Anyway! Back to the booth set up! Cedric was very helpful with his man parts (and, no, I'm not going to explain that any further than that. Let me just say that FanGirl figured she said the word "penis" more times in 2 hours with the Bards than she had in the last 2 years. Now there's an accomplishment of which the Bards can be proud!) But then the boys had to depart because they had to attend a Browncoat Wedding! Yes, really, two Browncoats got married at Dragon*Con and apparently it was a mighty fine shindig. I do not know if hats made out of trees and mulled wine was involved or not.

After we were pretty much ready to open, we left the lower levels and ran into Cedric in the lobby. We visited with him for a while and then made our way back to our room (on the 24th floor- no running stairs this con for me!) Finally we unpacked an moved in. Then to bed. Tomorrow was going to be my most busy day and I was psyched for it!

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Karen, don't lean on your booth" (it was on wheels and I was unconsciously and continually leaning on it as evidenced by the fact that the previous quote was said by Cedric, FanGirl AND my sister!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Still Flyin'!

I got confirmation from Freeman that my crate of shiny stuff is indeed in their hands today and should be waiting for me when I arrive in Atlanta for Dragon*Con Thursday morning. (oh, hey, that's tomorrow!!)

I'm glad to have all my stuff there, for sure. But as a bonus for those of you attending, because of the whole customs debacle both FanGirl at FanDone and Geek2Chic custom tees shipped in extra goodies to fill the booth. THAT means-- tons and tons of pretties for the Browncoats who choose to peruse the dealer room! I hope we have room for it now! We'll hang it all from the ceiling if we have to!

Since I'm departing for the deep south later this night, I will not be on the cortex for about a week. Rest assured that all reports will be documented here-- I hope they're all good reports! (After the customs fight, I've earned them!)

Until next time:
"Anyone we walk away from, right? I call this a win!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And We're In!

Got the call from the transport company today- the Firefly Cargo Bay items are on the US side and should be in Atlanta tomorrow! *sighs huge sigh of relief*

I am so worn out already, and I'm not even there yet!! All this hassle has left me feeling like the Reavers have had their way with me. But it all gets better from here,'eh? (I hope so anyway. Do you know the customs broker actually had *us* call the Hanes' manufacturing plant in Honduras to find out HOW *they* make their shirts?!?!?!) What we went through to get our stuff across can not be normal operations. It just can't be. No one would put up with that on a regular basis. What really kills me is two separate items. First, most of my suppliers are in the USA, so the stuff I got was already cleared to enter the country from other means before. And two, and this one hurts the most, The first customs broker was based in Detroit and after 3 days of answering his asinine questions we were passed to a broker in Buffalo. The one line in the email said, "textiles do not need to be cleared if coming across at the Buffalo station." or something like that. That didn't stop Buffalo guy from starting back at aquare one with all of the questions however.

ANYWAY! It's over and done with an me and my stuff WILL be at Dragon*Con- open for business in the Marriott Marquis International Ballroom starting at 1 pm on Friday. Come on by and say Ni Hao! (and if you leave us some cashy money that's okay too!)

*whew*

Until next time:
"Do we even care? Are we caring about that now?"

Friday, August 22, 2008

Never Again with Cows

I knew getting my stuff to Atlanta for Dragon*Con would be difficult. I had no idea it would be the rutting problem it has become!

Short version- my crate of stuff was supposed to be at Freeman's warehouse yesterday. Today we discover it hasn't even left Canada! It seems US Customs wants to know a few things about the items inside. Fair enough, we thought, until we heard the questions.

For instance, regarding the knitted jayne hats, they wanted to know where they came from. When we told them a woman knits them here, they wanted to know where the yarn came from. We said, Walmart. They said, "Where did they get it? What is the country of origin?" Um... isn't that Walmart's responsibility to find out? Apparently not. What else did they want to know? Well - My husband spent the day on the phone getting the addresses of fabric manufactures in Hong Kong who make the fabric used in making the flags that I buy and have silk screened. Never mind that I bought the flags from the "US Flag Company" (seriously)- the US Customs people want *us* to track down where THEY got the fabric to make the flags. Also, where the paper parasols came from and the address of the manufacturing plant in Honduras where Hanes makes their T-shirts. Never mind that I bought the T-shirts from Cafe Press which is based in the USA. An entire day. Taken from his real job, to spend on the phone calling overseas for bullshit. My suppliers are responsible for making sure their products came into the country legally, not me. US Customs doesn't seem to see that logic.

We're just a little business trying to survive. The US economy is not going to crumble by us sending $5000.00 worth of merchandise into the States from Canada. Hey, Customs, 95% of my suppliers are in the States. I bought all the supplies from the US and paid all duty and taxes on every last fucking item that I brought across the border from the States. Now, I'm taking the very same items back across the border and I really don't think it should be suspect as illegal or dangerous or contraband simply because it spent a few months in Canada. Guess what else, Customs., I'm bringing it into the States to sell and when I do that I HAVE TO COLLECT AND PAY 8% OF WHATEVER I CHARGE TO GEORGIA IN STATE TAXES. Yes, US, you are officially getting more of the money from any of my potential sales than I myself would be. Let's see, add that to the cost of the supplies that I paid to the US companies where I got the items and then take out the duty and taxes... Hey US, I'm actually PAYING YOU with these items.

That is, if you ever let me take them into the country at all.

Oh, and since the stuff was supposed to be at Freeman's Thursday and is still sitting at the border, Freeman is going to tack on a fee for the crate getting there past the deadline. That is (say it with me) if it ever gets there at all. Set up is Thursday. Even if it ships out Monday it'll only GET there Thursday. It might not be taken to the hotel until Friday. Did I mention Dragon*Con starts Friday?

So where are we at now? Well, Firefly Cargo Bay has a table in the Marriott Marquis International Hall. My sister has some stock with her that doesn't have to cross the border. I have a few items coming in my suitcase. The Bedlam Bards will have their cds and shirts and other items. Geek2Chic has sent 85 shirts down to the hotel for sale at my table. Fangirl from FanDone is bringing lots of shiny items to peddle. So, we'll have stuff, I just don't know how many items at this point. (And don't worry, I won't boost my prices to make up for all these extra fees Customs is causing me-- I know I can't possible break even at this point so I'm not gonna try.)

What will happen now...? Watch this space for updates.

Until next time:
"I'm a businessman, see. Roots in the community"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Well, That Makes More Sense!

We called the Dragon*Con dealer people and it turns out I'm not at booth #64 like it said in my letter. I'm at space number G4. It seems someone doesn't print very clearly and the G looked like a 6. It happens.

More D*C related stuff: There will be some Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog items for sale at the table. If you want them while you're there you'd best snag them when you see them. Once they're gone, they're gone forever! Cafe Press got a letter from Joss' lawyers saying, basically, cut it out, and pulled all designs related to DHSB. Quite officially too, which was surprising coming from Joss. He's always been supportive of the little guy and turns a blind eye to the freelance stuff. But I guess now that his own personal money is involved it's a different story.

I don't blame him or anything, and can understand that he wants to pay his crew and cast and all that and fair's fair. But he should know by now that people that love his work go all piratey and bootleg and yet still shell out every last dime they have for the official stuff when it's made available. We create a lot of "buzz" (as cafe press terms it) for his work and are a very creative bunch. So he should work with us instead of hushing us up.

I guess what it really comes down to is that I wouldn't mind being shut out in favor of the licensed merchandise if THE OFFICIAL STUFF DIDN'T SUCK SO HARD! It's really boring mediocre, first draft idea stuff and many of the designs and ideas on the sites on cafe press (and elsewhere) were much better.

I'm just sayin'.

Oh, and Adam Baldwin cancelled his appearance a D*C again this year.

So, I think that covers all my rants for the moment (I have a huge one with Canada Post right now, but it'd get banned from the internet if I printed in the language I want to use at the present time. Let's just say, that scene in "The Message" where Womack wants to light the postal clerk on fire? - I can relate!)

Until next time:
"Let's hope we got some funny hats, too"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

No One's Gettin' Left

Hello all!

We're back after 10+ days of no internet access. So... what did I miss?

I got my letter from Dragon*Con . Firefly Cargo Bay will be located at table #64 which helps not at all, as there is no 64 on the pdf of the dealer room map on the site. So many bugs to work out before the end of the month (yikes! less than 23 days away!!)

Other than that, I'm just going to spend the next few days catching up on what I didn't do without a computer and readying everything for the big D*C!

Until next time:
"Hey. Doctor. Glad to have you back now. On the ship."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

On the Raggedy Edge

PLEASE NOTE: Firefly Cargo Bay personnel will be flying under the Alliance radar and away from Cortex communications until August 6. Orders will be able to be taken at any time, but can not be processed until after that date. We apologize for the inconvenience and, beginning on the 6th, will promptly address all requests in the order they were received. xie-xie!

Until next time:
"Take me out into the black
Tell 'em I ain't comin' back!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Polaris: The Smoke has Cleared

Thank you to all who came out to have a gorram good time at Polaris 22 and congrats on surviving the Inferno...3 times!

Sales at the booth were steady and better than expected which is good and bad. The good is that the more sales I have the longer I can keep flyin and the more new, different and shiny merchandise I can make and offer. The bad is that some of my stock is really quite depleted. Not shiny.

I did sell out of the Companion Fans, but I saw this coming. When Monday rolled around our favorite UPS driver dropped off a box of 2 dozen of them from my suppler ready for painting. That's the good. The not so good is that they are not exactly like my first batch. :( Oh, they're nice and all that- the fabric patterns are different- not ugly or anything just different. That' really not a major problem, but I liked my very first type the very best and now I don't even have one (I sold my display.) It's okay... I'll get over it.

What I didn't see coming is a total sell out of my stock of Kaylee-Esque parasols! Wow! How shiny was that? So instantly I plopped my self down to order more from my supplier so I could paint them up for Dragon*Con . Word of advice; never try to order white paper parasols in high wedding season! Three suppliers- all out. "Check back in September" I was told. Major downer....

On the upside,one of those parasols went to a Kaylee who was entered in the masquerade. Here she is in full shininess!

Also on the up-ness was the addition of new Browncoat and Dr. Who shirts provided by Geek2Chic Custom Tees. These were very well received (as well they should be because they are pretties!) and as you read this the team is hard at work printing lots more for Dragon*Con. You really need to come check out all the new shinys!

There was lots more in the crates of the Firefly Cargo Bay booth. Ma Cobb dropped off some more of her very cunning hats (of which we sold out) and some new Mini Jayne hats (of which we also sold out). She's knitting her little fingers to the bone to have more for the big D*C, so don't worry- we'll have them for you! (That's one of hers on the little girl in the above picture) And we'll also have some Itty Bitty Jayne hats that fit perfectly on little goslings that can be juggled! They also serve as nice pins if you don't happen to be one of those people who juggle geese.

July's product of the month was premired at Polaris too. I now have in the shop "Very Fine Badger Hats". That's right, now all you businessmen with roots in the community can wear your own very fine hat like Badger. I did. All weekend! They are offered for $10.00 plus shipping and are now in the Firefly Cargo Bay on the products page. Here's a peek:

So, there you are- all caught up on what's going on here. I'll be reorganizing the stock we have and making room for the new stuff in the next couple of weeks to make sure it all gets to Dragon*Con. I hope to see you there!

Until next time:
"I may not be a fancy gentleman like yourself with your very fine hat, but I do business. We're here for business."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Your Mouth is Talkin'...

...you might want to look to that.

I spoke to soon in my last post. Polaris needed to do the dealer shuffle and have moved my tentative table location. Firefly Cargo Bay will now be found at location X2 in the dealer room on the 11-13 of July.

Stop by and see us! I've set up a test booth here and I think we have room for all the shinys. PLUS word has come in that there may even be some "guest shinys" so you really don't want to miss it if you're anywhere near Toronto.

Until next time:
"Easy as lyin'!"

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Countdown to Polaris

Ni Hao!

Well, now that the yearly Can't Stop the Serenity showing here in Toronto is behind us until 2009, it is time for the Firefly Cargo Bay to look towards our next show . We have gotten word that our booth is located at table B7. That means you walk into the main doors of the dealer room, head straight for the back wall and turn right. We'll be a few tables down the aisle on the left side. You'll be able to spot us pretty easily- -we'll be the only booth with five variations of the Browncoat Flag !

If this location changes, I will certainly post it here. I will do the same for any other changes or updates that may take place between now and July 11th when the show opens.

NOW: I have not forgotten about the "one new product a month" goal for 2008. I do have new products to put on the Firefly Cargo Bay website to fall in line with that, I just haven't been able to get pictures of them up yet!

Let's recap the year so far (if I can remember all the new shinys)
January: the Companion Fan
February: the Kaylee-esque parasol
March: Black Market Beagle Bobble Heads
April: the Bedlam Bards' cd "On the Drift"
May brought both the Done the Impossible dvd and cd

And then June when whooshing by. Although I do not have them up on the site yet, I will spoil the surprise for you (surprise? I didn't mention anything for a whole month!)

The latest product(s) in the Firefly Cargo Bay are keychains! One has a little mutant guy saying "Grrr Arrggh", another has the "chain of command" line from Jayne on it, and another looks like a little Wash shirt! All are available for $2.00 (plus shipping) each. As for what they look like... well, I do have to get them out for Polaris, so I'l lbe sure to photograph them then!

And, then that brings us to July's new product!

Nope, no spoilers here! If you want to see it early, you'll just have to come out to Polaris and find me in the dealer room!

Until next time:
"Well, that makes you sort of a tease then!"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Serenity Forever- Equality Now!

Just a shout out to all who attended a Can't Stop the Serenity screening to benefit Equality Now in *any* city world wide. Our local Toronto event was, once again a big success (they ran out of tickets!!) I was proud to be able to sponsor the day in part and found my donation of the 4X6 Browncoat Flags for the goody bags came in handy at auction time- people were waving them to indicate that they wanted to bid! (That was my master plan all along- HA!)

The one-and-only-in-the-whole-'Verse item I donated for the auction fetched a shiny $350.00- and that's in Canadian funds so it's worth more than in US money (lol)! I made Mr. Bandito- the winning bidder- swear to me that he would not put it up on ebay or anything, so you'll have to wait until I get my pictures before you see it. I was very proud of its performance and wondered allowed what I could donate next year to top it. I was told I'd have to bring Nathan Fillion himself! Boy, would THAT be fun to try!!!

So a brief post here just to say a big thank you. The TO BCs are still counting all the cashy money, so we don't have a total yet on what our part was in the world wide effort. I know locally we topped last year's efforts. Watch the main Can't Stop the Serenity board for all the participating city's take.

I will post more when I shift gears. CStS is now behind us and I need to get my gorram buttocks in order for Polaris. Firefly Cargo Bay will be in the dealers' room with lots of shiny wares... some never seen anywhere before! Come check us out on July 11- 13 in Toronto . Browncoats will be a plenty!

Until next time:
"Yep. That went well."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

"Day" is a Vestigial Mode of Time Measurement Based on Solar Cycles

It isn't applicable....

Is it June already? How did that happen? Well, May went whooshing by and I didn't even tell you about May's new product. Sorry, I was greatly distracted by some Penguins (congratulations Detroit.)

Without any further delay I will announce TWO new products that if you don't already own, your life as a Browncoat is incomplete. Trust me- these are must haves!

First product up features the Bedlam Bards, and Michelle Dockrey, and Emerald Rose, and Rob Kuhlman and many many more. It is, of course, the soundtrack cd to the documentary "Done the Impossible: The Fans' Tale of Serenity;" Lots of great vocal and instrumental music is featured on this cd by a wide range of talented Firefly loving musicians.

And speaking of "Done the Impossible", now also available in the Cargo Bay is the dvd of the fantastic documentary chronicling the fans' devotion to Firefly and how "Serenity" came about. It features interviews with not only fans, but cast members, creators and crew involved in the Firefly show. Tons of bonus features and "easter eggs" are included as well.

So, there you go, the latest shiny wares that are now available in the secret stash of the Firefly Cargo Bay. The link to the shop is over at the left there, so go check 'em out.

And I'll try to be much prompter in announcing the new product for June. It shouldn't be too difficult now that hockey season is over- I'm not a baseball fan.

Until next time:
"They don't seem to be playing by any civilized rules."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We're Just Happy to be Doin' Good Works!

Well, ladies and menfolk, check your calendars and you'll see that we are indeed less than one month away from the 2008 Can't Stop the Serenity worldwide screenings and you need to go!! As expected, I am a sponsor for my local screening in Toronto. This year I have donated a only-one-in-the-whole-'Verse custom made woven throw featuring the ship Serenity and the show's theme lyrics. It was quite the challenge to let it go, I must say, and I hope it brings in tons of cashy money for Equality Now.

I'm also happy to say that Firefly Cargo Bay is not limiting it's shiny wares to the auctions and give aways to just Toronto. Merchandise from the shop will be available at screening in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Charlotte, North Carolina and Austin, Texas. Take your coin to these screenings and bid on the auctions or buy the raffle tickets and you too may walk way from the Big Damn Movie with some wares from Firefly Cargo Bay.

Even if you're not near any of those cities, you should see if there's a screening in your local area. It's not just a movie, it's an event! And if you're organizing a screening and you'd like some shiny stuff for your attendees, drop me a request at earthgirl@kos.net.

See you in the theater!!

Until next time:
"Day. A vestigial mode of time measurement based on solar cycles. It isn't applicable."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Out to the Black Again

Polaris has cashed my payment check, so Firefly Cargo Bay officially has a spot in the dealer room for this year's sci fi con. Come on out and stop by. Lots of shiny stuff will be there, including some EXCLUSIVE items that won't be available anywhere else.

I know several local Browncoats who have already confirmed their attendance as well, so get your membership and join us for a gorram great time July 11-13, 2008 in Toronto at the airport Doubletree hotel!

Until next time:
"Up until the punching, it was a really nice party."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

April's New Product

I was continuing in my "one new product every month" for 2008, and realized I hadn't TOLD anyone what it was! Tragic Space Dementia is to blame!

So, January's was The Companion Fan and February brought us The Kaylee-esque Parasol. March roared in with Black Market Beagle Bobbleheads

In April, I thought it was very fitting, since we were doing Bards Without Borders, to introduce "On the Drift: Music Inspired by Firefly and Serenity" cds by the Bedlam Bards as the New Product of the Month. The cds are being offered for $15.00 plus shipping and will also be available at any shows I attend in the dealer room. Visit Firefly Cargo Bay secret stash website to pick up your copy, or visit the bedlam bards' main web page too (link to the left there)

The May product of the month will be announced shortly- but before June, I promise!!

Until next time:
"This is all part of your tragic Space Dementia. Makes you all paranoid and crochety. Breaks the heart."

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Honest Jobs

When you're a little operation like Firefly Cargo Bay is, you take jobs when they come. You tend to stay away from the big alliance make work and such.

But there's this place called Dragon*Con, where the geeks inherit the earth (well, at least downtown Atlanta Georgia for labor day weekend anyway). Its siren song has been beaconing me for a year or two now, and in 2008 not only have I given in, but I will be partaking in the mass frenzy of the dealer hall. Scroll down here under 'dealer' to see that we're all official and gonna be there among 40,000 of our newest closest friends. I'm psyched! What I want to see most is Adam Baldwin up close, um uh, no...was that out loud? What I want to see most is the parade on Saturday where the streets between the 4 host hotels become Nerdvanna with the costumed participants displaying their finery. The Browncoats turned out in good numbers last year from what I heard and this year the 76th Independent Battalion will be sporting shiny Browncoat flags that they got from somewhere *wink*

As for other trips out to the black, I've gotten notification that Polaris has received my paperwork application to be int he dealers' room, but they have not cashed my check yet. So Firefly Cargo Bay is still tentatively setting up shop in Polaris' dealer room. I make nothing official until cash has been exchanged. (That's the way of the Companion after all)

Until next time:
"Since I can't find honest work, I might as well become a petty thief like you!"

Saturday, April 26, 2008

If You Can't Walk, You Crawl

Well, I can walk, but if someone wants to carry me anyway....

Ever since FilKONtario, I've been following vixy and Tony's blogs and in one post, vixy mentioned that she is "walking" to all the Filk cons. I thought this was a great idea and decided to track my walking progress and direct it to the Browncoat Ball.

Now, vixy has a pedometer and I do not. But I do have a treadmill which keeps track of how many miles I've, well, tread. I thought that would work just fine, so I calculated how many miles I've walked since I got the machine. It was 96 miles, which sounds pretty impressive to me since I have only owned the thing for less than a month.

BUT when you look on a map, 96 miles doesn't even get me half way to Toronto. It's 1724 (and some) miles from my place to Austin Texas. At three miles a day it would take me 574 (and some) days to get there! Not very inspiring for a workout regiment. So I decided to work it another way. I counted the days remaining until the Browncoat Ball and figured out where I would get to in that time.

I will only be in Detroit in the middle of October at this rate! Very uninspiring when your goal is still 6 States away! I've gone back to other methods of motivation for the treadmill! I should get a pedometer- I walk a lot more off the treadmill than I do on it.

Until next time:
"A man walks down the street in a hat like that, people know he's not afraid of anything."

Monday, April 21, 2008

See Me Do the Happy Dance!

At loooooooong last I can finally and officially report that MY WEBSITE IS UP AND RUNNING! *happy dance*happy dance*

Now, it's still got some adjustments to be made and there are certainly some long over due updates that need to be added, but the bulk of it is there and working. most importantly (well, from a fangirl's point of view that she wants to keep flying) is that the shopping cart section is working.

So, check it out and bookmark it, as I have a lot more stuff to add on to the shop (Independent Flags in 4 sizes-- and some with star color options too!- for example)

Let me know what you think of the site and keep an eye out for updates-
www.fireflycargobay.com

until next time:
"Well then, this is a day I'm glad to be me."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Little People Serenity

Turns out YouTube rejected my Fisher Price Little People Version of Serenity. The video was too long. So I will re edit it into two parts and that should cut it down enough to repost it.

More waiting- sorry. I hope it will be worth it! :)

EDITED: YouTube now has them up and available for viewing. They are not set to the original music as I indented, but I divided them as best I could to keep the integrity of the original. That means, those of you who saw it at Bards Without Borders are the *only* ones so far to see it in its entirety and original edit. Aren't you special?

Here's the link to part one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNhlunBZoFU

Until next time:
"We gotta go to the crappy town where I'm a hero!"

Monday, Monday

So, unfortunately the morning of Monday April 7 came around. One of the reasons Marianne and I didn't force ourselves to bed the night before was sleep would make the morning arrive faster. And Monday morning meant we both had to go back to our respective realities.

But, here it was in front of us. We took our time getting up, as check out wasn't until 1 pm. We knew the Bards were meeting Dave in the A&W across the road around 10 ish, so we headed over there around 9:30. Did you know they have a fairly decent breakfast? I got a yummy french toast for only 5 bucks. Much better than the out of season fruit and burnt pancakes I had at the hotel for $18.00!

While I was eating, my cell phone rang. It was Cedric and he wanted to make sure they got to see me before they headed out for the day and I left too. I told him we were at the A&W and he said, "That's where we're meeting Dave." I said I knew that and that's why I was there! So in short order, we had breakfast with the Bards.

Dave showed up and we all headed back to the lobby (Cedric needed to grab something before they headed out on their Niagara Falls excursion). Filkers were all hustling and bustling about or just hanging out. So, getting caught in conversations, it was well past 11 before the bards were on their way to the Falls. Marianne and I hung out in the lobby, because Mark (my fictitious husband- according to cedric) would be there any minute.

An hour later he showed up (the hotel was on DIXIE road dear, not DIXON road!) So we took Marianne to the bus stop and then headed home. Back to momma-ville. Back to making lunches and doing laundry. Back to tidying up toys and helping with homework.

*Sigh*. How many days until next year's FilKONtario?

Until next time:
"Let's slide right past the part where you explain exactly what that means"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

So... What Happened Sunday?

I'm not really sure-- it's all quite the blur...

I know we didn't choose the hotels' breakfast buffet, though! Marianne had the lemon pound cake she brought with her and I downed a couple of those Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts that you can't get here in Canada (hey, the border guy didn't stop her from bringin' 'em in, so...!) Then we went up to the con suite since it was open to check out what was going on there. Nothing was.

We didn't do all that much until the dealers' room opened again. We hung out there most of the day. Not very busy, but that's to be expected on a Sunday of a con. At one point the Bards came in with a Browncoat from Buffalo and one from Hamilton (hi laura! hi kim!). Seems there was a bit of a mix up and they thought the Bards' concert was Sunday, not Saturday! What did they get for missing all the fun? A private concert in the Bards' hotel room. Who? Me? Jealous? Well, duh!

Not much else exciting happened that day that I can remember now (a week later). I know at one point someone walked in carrying a quilt. Marianne asked if that was the one from the silent auction and he said it was, and that he won. This instantly reminded me that I, too, had placed a bid on an item and I completely forgot to check on it. There was only 1/2 hour remaining to pick up auction items, so I dashed off to the main hall. The item on which I had bit was still sitting on the table. As I got closer, I saw that my name was the one highlighted in orange. I won the auction, I won the auction! What did I garner for myself? Well, if you'll forgive the non-Firefly fandom point, I got me this:
So happy me! :)

So anyway, around 3ish I started packing up little things and this snowballed into Marianne and I closing down shop completely. The Bards, Joyce, Dave, Laura and Kim all kept us company and we made arrangements to go to dinner- since we missed the chance of Friday. When all the stuff was stashed in our room, we met in the lobby and headed back to Kelssey's.

Already there were comcons and filk guests. More attendees showed up after we were there, and later we discovered Urban Tapestry and vixy and Tony were on the other side of the restaurant! It was the unofficial filk dining hall! We had a very nice dinner with the crew (despite the wadded up straw paper throwing incident-- I will not say who was all involved!!) and talked about a lot of things. My citizenship was discussed as I am still US citizen but a Permanent Resident of Canada. Cedric asked, "But where do your loyalties lie?" Without a breath I said, "With the Browncoats." Silly question!

After dinner we returned to the hotel and missed saying goodbye to Laura and Kim. Dave left in the parking lot and I eavesdropped on his and the Bards' plan to meet in the morning at the A&W for breakfast. I'm selfish that way ;). We were killing time in the gift shop until the room for the dead penguin filk opened. I bought my daughters' the obligatory gift: a small plush maple leaf on a key chain that plays "Oh Canada" when you squeeze it. I kid you not! I got one for each of my girls and they absolutely love them!

We got ourselves settled in the same seats we had the previous night, under the "Statler and Waldorf" section of the room, as someone so aptly put it! The Bards came in a little while later and I snagged Hawke so he could sign Marianne's copy of his new cd (now available here: http://cdbaby.com/cd/hawke ). I was surprised that even when he was done, he took up a seat next to me and not in the filk circle. Not that I minded or anything, but I figured he'd want to join in with the other musicians. Turns out he likes the smaller filk circles and spent the night in the "audience".

This was an awesome night of music. Cedric did the sparrow song- and no one wanted to follow him! Someone even said, "You sucked the energy right out of the room with that one!" (it was said as a compliment, but as I type it, it doesn't look like it. But it was). Someone else took "I Am the Walrus" and made it "I Am the Carpenter" using imagery from "Alice in Wonderland". Tony put down his laptop and stopped blogging to pick up the guitar a few times- one with vixy on Seanan McGuire's "Evil Laugh" (my laugh is an evil laugh! Ha! ha! ha! ha! Die!). Another favorite was "Mordor Bound" to the Simon and Garfunlkle classic "Homeward Bound." And someone even did "I'm Going to Go Back there Someday" acapella. I love any place with two Muppet references in the same night!

There were so many good tunes that night I can't possibly remember them all. Hawke called it a night before midnight and Cedric exited after a rousing gypsy violin number (which had the ladies dancing- and falling- by the bar) around 12 or so. Marianne and I kept saying, "We should go to bed" but never left our seats. Finally, around 1:30, logic took over and we bid farewell to our first FilKONtario. We both decided we're going back next year!

The next post- Back to Reality!

Until then:
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle."

And the FKO Report Continues...

When we last left our fearless crew of Browncoats at FilKONtario 2008, they had just enjoyed vixy and Tony's concert, ending with "Mal's Song". As vixy said, "I think we'll get lynched if we don't do this song!" Do you know how awesome it is to hear 150 people singing "..you can't take the sky from me..." at the top of their lungs. Oh. So. Shiny.

Anyway, some of the Browncoats went to buy the new vixy and Tony cd and commenced stalking them for autographs. Marianne and I went to the "new" room we were put in and the hotel staff asked where we wanted the chairs. This was odd because they were bringing in semi comfortable ones, when the room was already filled with padded leather swivel ones. Anyway, we told them to put them in a circle and then we moved one of the two long tables in the middle and made for an eating place. When people started showing up we got a rough count of how many would be eating with us and what everyone ate on pizza.

I then left to call for it, but had left coloring sheets and Wash'n'Wear paper dolls and scissors and photo boards to keep the troupes entertained:
The Pizza Pizza guy said it would be about 40 minutes, so after 30 I went to the lobby to wait for the delivery. At 40 minutes there was still no one. At 50 minutes someone joined me in the lobby to see where dinner was (hi Tom!). I asked if they were in there gnawing on the tables in hunger. I was reassured no one was.

By 7pm I was on my cell phone in the lobby trying to find this friggin' driver. They asked me my phone number and I told them I was calling on a different phone in the lobby. The Pizza Pizza operator then asked, "What city are you in?" I knew this was not going to go well! Durng a billion more questions the delivery guy walked in the door. I sort of mobbed him- gave him the money and then saw that Tom had the pizzas. How Tom got sucked into carrying the pizzas I'm not sure but he did a damned fine job! We all ate (finally) drank (thanks to the FKO con suite crew) and were merry (because we are a happy lot.)

By the time everyone had their fill (and Alex walked back in-- almost missed the meal, didn't ya!) it was going on 8 pm. Any schedule I had thought of was now completely out the window. So I asked which of the two activities I had planned would most people like to do. A third option was presented that I didn't even think of-- they wanted to be hypnotized by Cedric again! I apologized for not even considering that, but it did put Cedric on the spot. He rose to the occasion and had all of the room feeling the experience of being on Serenity in flight. I, being in charge of other things, had to opt out of taking part again, but everyone else said they really enjoyed it all.

Closer to nine I cornered the Bards into performing again like the original schedule had intended. We got private concert performances of "Fruity Oaty Bars', "The Ballad of Jayne" and "Leaf on the Wind" among others. We were only about 1/2 way into it when Marsha lamented that she had to go help with the auction but didn't want to leave the private concert. Cedric suggested we all go check out the auction. We all agreed.

The auction. WHAT can I say about the auction? I've been to auctions before. Never one like this one. They had "runners" who would take the items to members of the audience who wanted a better look. They also had "wenches". These were (mostly) women (but Tony helped out too) who would run from bidder to bidder, massaging their shoulders, and sitting on their laps and stroking their hair, trying to get them to bid higher. Once they did, the wenches would run to the second person in the bidding war and pamper them until *they* bid higher- then back to bidder #1. It made for a wild, funny and profitable night for the auction. There were other items that remained in the silent auction that continued into Sunday, but more about that later.

After the auction, most of the Browncoat crew said goodnight and went their way. Those of us who were in for the weekend however were just getting started. Marianne Dave and I went to the Celtic Filk circle in which Cedric was participating. It was fine, if not overly celtic (I don't consider the Rolling Stones to be a celtic band!) The stuff that was celtic was more of the slow melodic type and it was very nice, but not helping keep me awake. I suggested to my sister that we hit one of the other filk rooms or the con suite. It was then she noticed Cedric was packing up too. Great, I was going to look like a stalking fangirl.

About a dozen of us all had the same idea when we invaded the second filk room. Cedric scored a chair and two of the 3 members of Urban Tapestry literally sat at his feet. I no longer looked that much like a fangirl! :) During the night Cedric kept his word of singing "Sail the Sky" with UT. Debbie's beautiful flute solo in the instrumental break made me adore more a song I already love. This room had more of the music that kept us going for a long time. It was 2 am before Dave said his goodbyes and Marianne and I held on until 2:30. Cedric was still going strong, however.

On the way up to the room, we ran into Hawke in the hall coming out of the room in which we had our dinner. It seems there was another filk going on in there and he'd been there all night playing! Ah, the things you learn too late! But we'd had enough and headed up to our room and those night comfy beds that we neither had to share- or make!

More on the remaining day of the con in the next post.

Until next time:
"Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?"

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Few Videos of the 'Verse

You Tube has finished processing the videos I posted. Here's the links:

Motivated by Firefly:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2OsPGnrd_U#GU5U2spHI_4

and...
They're still working on The Fisher Price Little People Version of Serenity
I'm not surprised-- it's a long 'un after all!

Until next time:
"I think I might cry!"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

FKO: Day Two

This was the day- the day of Bards Without Borders! I wasn't nervous when I woke up, which, for those of you who know me, is really weird. Enthusiasm spills over and I talk way too much and end up physically vibrating! But I was fine this particular day, so we went down to the lobby for the restaurant's breakfast buffet. It was advertised as quite the bounty, but what they actually had was less than stellar. We did get to sit near the Bards (and we all behaved and didn't throw food!). This allowed us to overhear all the comments they got from people looking forward to their concert that day.

When we were finished we decided to head out and get the room for the events ready. The bill came and I almost fell out of the bench- it was our most expensive meal so far in the weekend! And our other two were lunch and dinner at Kelsey's!! Mental note- do not go back to the Delta hotel breakfast buffet!

We got into the room and the sun was shining right inside. I closed some of the curtains because they were making the light hit the table where the Bards would be sitting for their Q&A. They showed up and got situated and they had an audience of me, Joyce and Marianne. We talked for a while, then another couple came in, and then some more people (hi sue! Hi elizabeth!) and then some more people (hi marsha! dave! mike! laurie! and other's I don't know your names!) There were some good questions and Hawke answered in great detail. Cedric got a word or two in as well.

When the hour was wrapping up, Marianne and I went over to the dealer room to open up shop as Cedric took over for his hypnosis session. I had to sneak back into the room twice to get things (stealth-- there are other schools of thought.) When I returned for the remainder the whole session seemed to be going well. Comments from the audience confirmed this thought. By this time the room was boiling in the sun, so we kicked on the air conditioning (remember the comments in yesterday's post about SNOW!! Welcome to Spring in Canada!)

It was nearing the end of the hour and the concom people started dropping off the equipment for our video hour. Now, I'm a geek, but not a techno geek. I was so glad that there were 4 people setting up the a/v stuff. During this time the room filled up nicely and we were going to have a full crowd for the show. You know how I said I wasn't nervous before? This started changing when the video set up was not working and nothing was going right. Here sat a room full of people and I may have no means to entertain them. My heart was going faster and faster. I made some comment about having to resort to shadow puppets which got a little laughter. That eased the tension I felt a little, but not a lot. Then someone mentioned something about a back up system and thought's of Mal on Mr. Universe's planet dashed through my head.

In what seemed like the longest time ever, Sally returned with the back up system and got it all hooked up. We had showtime! (and I sighed the biggest sigh of relief *ever*!). My programing started off with a clip of the Bards performing "The Ballad of Joss" and after the line "... til all those crazy Browncoats rise again" I hear Hawke shout from a few rows back "AND WE WILL!" right in time with video Hawke! The clip ended and then I didn't know how to use the play station controls to choose the next clip. I pressed every button-- except the right one. Dave came up from behind, pressed the right one and the show continued. Good thing Dave was there throughout the weekend (hugs, Dave!!)

Next up was one of my Fisher Price Little People version of Firefly. Then the bootleg gag reel from the series. It was during this that some nasty squeezles must have chewed on the wires to the equipment- everything went white! I panicked! But that's one thing about being at sci fi themed cons- geeks everywhere! It took a simple thought of unplugging it and plugging it back in after the machine cooled down to get the show going again. I personally didn't lay a finger on the machine-- that's how inept I am at technical and a/v stuff. I 'd end up breaking it!

So the show continued with a fan vid of "Mal's Song" and other Serenifly stuff. My slideshow of "Motivated by Firefly" went over very well as did the world premiere of "The Fisher Price Little People Version of Serenity". We ended the program with the Canadian made parody "Mosquito". Lots of laughter was heard throughout the show and it made me very happy to have been there to witness that kind of feedback.

The group of Browncoats then gathered and went for an extended lunch. Marianne and I womanned the dealer room. Near 3 pm it was time for the Bards' concert in the main hall. They were pretty much ready at three even though the show didn't start for another 15 minutes. They did a"sound check" of "Whiskey in the Jar" that set the mood for the whole show. Not long into it though, Hawke broke hi sG string right on stage! (okay, actually it was a D string, which Tony - of vixy and Tony- pointed out, but that's not nearly as much fun to talk about.) While he adjusted his accouterments, Cedric played the funeral song from the episode "The Message." I have neaver heard them perform this before and I absolutely love Greg Edmonson's original on the soundtrack. So, naturally, it was at this time my con crud acted up and I had a coughing fit. Grr Arrgh! I hastily exited for the washroom until I could get it under control. (thank you sue for video taping the whole concert!!)

During a pause Cedric told the people who did not know what Firefly was to get in touch with one of us with loaner copies so that when the Bards came back, they'd know what the songs were about. Someone in the back called out, "Are you coming back?!" Cedric replied, "Ask Firefly Cargo Bay!" At this I called up, "Why don't you just *stay*?" Dave - the Bards' guide and personal bank for the weekend- was quick on the wit and answered from the side of the room "Because I can't afford it!"

The show went well but they had to trim their usual closer numbers. They ended with "Freedom Costs" and everyone joined in and shook the walls. It was great. Next up were the guests of honour, vixy and Tony. I knew I was staying for this concert too (as my poor sister dealt with the dealer table all by herself) because I knew not only "Mal's Song" but a few of Michelle's other tunes. Let me tell you, that duo took control of their set! I was pleased to see that the Browncoats that arrived to see the Bards stayed for this show as well. Immediately after it ended they all rushed to the dealers' room to buy the pair's new cd!

Next post- the evening of Bards Without Borders!
Until next time:
"Yep. That went well."