Friday, February 19, 2016

Why Do We Keep Doing This? A panel at Sasquan about con runners.

Some of the answers the panelists gave were:
1. SMOFDOM is a virus.
2. It is the urge to do something.
3. It is a way to see you far-off friends.
4. Some people have an inability to nothing at a convention.
5. Working with people makes it easier to talk to them.
6. Ego-boo; people saying you did good
7. "And then there were none".
Conventions are all about the people who are running them. Usually detail oriented with a mix of extraverts and introverts who have the urge to do something because they can't sit around an event without helping out. They like talking to people, whether those people live nearby or across the country, a convention brings like-minded people together. And when fans get together they learn what expertise other fans bring to a project. A Chairman's job is to get the right people in the right places.
There was a time when various groups of Swedish fans were fighting. They overcame the feuding by working on a large project together: a Eurocon. That is a European wide SF convention, like Worldcon it moves around from year to year and the site is selected by a vote of an earlier Eurocon membership. So they had to find a way to work together on this large convention which meant they had to learn everybody's strengths and weakness. They had to overcome their differences and learn about each other.
Omaha could take a lesson from this, if we put aside our grievances for a moment and sat down with each other, we just might find a way to make the community strong and grow the number of fans doing things together. Because fandom is a fun village where everyone has a skill that others can use and enjoy. Everyone needs a little Ego-boo in their day.
The flip side of working together is fighting, feuding, and big bad word: Drama. And when it gets out of control fan groups break apart. It has happened before in Omaha. In the 1990s there were three SF conventions happening in the town and another in Lincoln. At the time none of them could draw enough of a crowd to cover their overhead. Facilities cost money, even if you only use local guests. They solved this by coming together into a single convention. Unlike Swedish fandom, they couldn't work together. They fell apart and left one of the fan groups to run the convention. Needless to say, those who were left soon burned out. Especially since they lived in Lincoln and tried to run the convention in Omaha. The logistics of that is too much for anyone.
Omaha has fans that don't know they are fans, don't know about conventions and how much fun they are, they haven't met the friends out here waiting for them. The only way we can introduce those closest fans to the community is to put aside the drama and work together to get a message of opportunity and fun out to them. I think this community can do this.

The panelists in Spokane did have one warning though. If you make a suggestion about something a con needs to do, you may find yourself running it. Of course that is a great way to break into being a con-runner.  
So what do you think?  Are there too many cons in Omaha today?  Is an area of fandom not being served?  Is there something you would like to see and would you be willing to work for it?  And if you are thinking about these questions at all, why are you not on a convention committee?

Friday, February 12, 2016

These are the voyages of the Imperial Klingon Vessel Raptor's Heart. This year's missions will take it to:

Denny's for a costumed summit with Omaha costumers (more on this in last week's blog, see you there).

We will then warp our way to Congregation ( at the Omaha Comfort Inn & Suites (72nd & Grover), with planned arrival time of April 22, 2016.  After assembling base camp, we be conducting a session of Klingon Speed Dating for the romantically inclined.  And an intelligence test for all Star Trek fans: Klingon Jeopardy.  Where contestants will come for a chance to win chocolate by answering trivia questions correctly but stay for the pain as they will be jolted with a pain stick if their answer question is false.  Watch for us in the Fan area as we will be transforming convention attendees into Imperial Klingons for photo opportunities. 

We then must make our way to Des Moines, Iowa.  The next weekend (April 29 through May 1st) is the annual Demicon convention ( ).   There we will again test the intelligence of attendees with Klingon Jeopardy.  Saturday afternoon we will render aid and assistance to a sister ship, the IKV Black Thunder, as they hold their annual Klingon Jail & Bail, a fund-raiser for the convention's charity.  Many prisoners will be apprehended at the bequest of their friends, meaning they filled out a warrant and paid the arresting fee (a donation for the charity).  Then dragged before the Klingon Magistrate for either incarceration, bail bonding (another donation for the charity), or performing a "stupid human trick"  Then the revenge game starts as the original arrestees swear out warrants for those who had them arrested to begin with.  There may even be an execution, there was last year.

In July, we will project a presence in Omaha again at O!Comicon (  Once more we will transform willing attendees into Imperial Klingons.  We shall also be involved in scouting missions throughout the convention to allow attendees additional photo opportunities.   We shall also be running our game show:  Klingon Jeopardy.  Tell me which do you prefer: chocolate or pain?   One of the announced guests for this year will be Jeffery Combs, who had 9 different characters in Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise.  As he was the first Honorary member of the Klingon Assault Group, we are going to have to plan something very  special for him.

We are also in the early planning stages of an event commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the show that started all this: Star Trek.  But more on those plans as they materialize.  Just know that you should keep September 24, 2016 available for a grand celebration, as only Klingons can.   

And following that we will again have activities at AnimeNebrasKon (, we are looking forward to invading their new facilities.

We will boldly go where no Klingon has gone before!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Two Fan Dinner Events this Month and Beyond

You have dinner with family and dinner with friends.  What about dinner with other fans, where you can keep the conversation on topics of interest to you and other fans, aka away from sports or Uncle Bob's political rants?  Well this February you will have two opportunities to get out of the cold and do just that.

On February 20th at the Red Robin on 14455 W. Maple Road, Omaha, NE (map) at 7:00 PM the Blue Box and Doctor Who - Omaha League of Fans will be hosting a diner and discussion of all things Whovian:  Dinner on Future Mars.   Dr. Who has been running since 1963 so it's fan base has all ages of devotees in it.  And people have lots of ideas about what just happened in the (fill in the blank) episode, radio play, or book.  There are lots of areas, topics, theories, or timey wimey things to talk about, so there is never a dull moment when fans of the series get together.  I urge you to check out this new group in the Omaha area for a dinner you won't soon forget.

The next weekend, the crew of the IKV Raptor's Heart will be hosting a costumed dining event:  It Is A Good Day To Dine.  While the Raptor's Heart is a Klingon group, this whole idea got started as a joint activity with the Omaha Honor Harrington fan club ship.  Then we thought it would be a great idea to open the event up to everyone as we are all interested in all the genres people like.  It does not matter what  you are interested in, you'll be welcome here.  Come to the Denny's Diner at 3509 S. 84th Street, Omaha, NE on Saturday Feb. 27th around 6:00 PM.  Wear your favorite costume (whatever genre it is), talk about your favorite genre topics (Star Trek, Star Wars, Honor Harrington,  Anime, etc.) and meet like minded people to share theories, tips and ideas with.

What else is going on this month in the Faniverse?

Got Gaming?  Tomorrow, Febr. 6th will see a game day sponsored by the good people of Nuke-Con:  Aftershock Critical Mass.  It will be held at Fremont High School, 1750 N Lincoln Ave, Fremont, NE, from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM.  Admission is $5, with a discount of $1 if you bring two  donatable canned food items. with their gaming schedule at:

Need more of the Doctor?  The monthly meeting of Doctor Who fan club of Nebraska -- TARDIS Travelers of Lincoln will also be on Febr. 6th.  If you go to the Loren Corey Eisley Public Library in Lincoln, Nebraska between Noon and 6:00 PM, you will get to meet some great folks who love to come together to watch some Doctor Who and talk all things Whovian.

Need to get your costumer on?  The Great Plains Costumers Guild is have an "All About The Muff" workshop on Saturday Febr. 13th from 1 to 5 PM at Bedouin Star, 800 Fort Crook Road South
Bellevue, NE 68005.  Join Guild Master Ashanti Scates, as she goes through the hows and whys of Muffs.  I encourage you to look this one up at:

Feel like you're living in the wrong millenarian?  The monthly business meeting for the Barony of Lonely Tower, a local affiliate of Society of Creative Anachronism, will be Monday Febr. 15th at DoSpace, 7205 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE 8114, at 7:00 PM.  This group has a wide variety of activities and I would encourage you again to check them out:

The Sexy Nerd Society is having Superhero Sandbox: The Many Faces of Deadpool this Monday Febr. 8th at 13th Street Brickhouse 2202 S 13th St, Omaha, Nebraska 68108 from 9:30 PM until 1:30 AM.  Join the party in honor, well I'll let them speak.  "In honor of the opening of the Deadpool movie at the end of this week, Superhero Sandbox is calling all Deadpools!! Come as your favorite Deadpool character or in your Deadpool gear! We shall order Tacos and Chimichangas! Also bring your nerf guns, plastic swords, and potty mouths!! Karaoke as always!!

If your group is having an activity this month that I have missed, then I missed hearing about it.  And probably a lot of other people as well.  Let's help each other get the word out about our wonderful activities.  Drop me a line about it for next month and see how many new avenues of information you can find and share that information with the rest of the community.  Let's grow the pie of active Omaha fans and make new, talented friends.