I met Michael the back in the early days of CONvergence. He was part of a group that brought in Gary Russell as one of our first guests of honor. Mike has always been passionate about Dr. Who, fandom, and conventions.
When I stepped down as a CONvergence director, Mike was elected to take my place and I couldn’t have been happier because I knew the convention would be in good hands.
He’s stepping away from the board of CONvergence this year but in the last several years, his interests in conventions have grown to the point he is currently helping with a Worldcon bid.
Mike can be a bit quiet until you get to know him but he certainly has his opinions and is willing to share them.
In the years that he has run the convention, I’ve seen him work tirelessly to make things better when he perceives a problem. He has taken the initiative time and again to fix problems that wouldn’t have been fixed had he not made the choice to act. He seems willing to commit whatever extra time it takes to make sure something gets done right.
At the convention, he has also served as a calming influence when tempers begin to flare.
I wouldn’t say he is the biggest Dr. Who fan I know but he is a big Dr. Who fan. For the last several years, he has been the “candyman” who brought new episodes over to our house. I know that on such evenings, my kids were a lot happier to see him than anyone else. In that way, he’s passed his love of the show on to a new generation.
I really enjoy talking to Mike when there is something that excites him. For someone who is so typically laid back, his personality completely changes and he lights up like a big kid. That reaction betrays the passion that is always just below the surface.
I know that Mike will continue to be involved with CONvergence as long as the convention is around. That’s a good thing because the con needs people like him.
You can find his blog at michaell.org.
I’ve known Windy more than half my life, I think. We met at the Renaissance Festival, helped form CONvergence, and have recently done a lot of theatrical collaborations. She is brash and self confident and filled with nearly limitless energy.
Windy and I are very similar and that means we’ve had some epic arguments over the years. It is a testament to our friendship that we have consistently managed to remain friends in spite of those arguments. Because I’m not kidding – they have been epic.
She is someone who is tenacious and will fight with all her might to achieve that which she has set out to do. Be it teaching, roller derby, dancing, singing, costuming, or being a mom, she doesn’t do things halfway. She jumps in with both feet and dares the cosmos to make her fail.
If you know Windy, you know that the cosmos would run and cower in the corner rather than cross her.
Her passion for life and for the things she does are always fun to watch. She’ll drag others along by sheer force of will. I’ve seen her come up with some crazy ideas and my typical response is “if anyone can make this happen, Windy can.”
And you know what? She always makes it happen.
If she’s afraid of failure, she never lets it show. Instead, she will focus her considerable talents on figuring out a way to get it done. If she does fail, she will never fail the same way again.
She also does an amazing Captain Kirk impression. I’m pretty sure Shatner himself would be impressed.
I’m pleased to have been able to call Windy a friend for so many years.
This week’s episode of Geeks Without God is with friend and CONvergence co-founder Christopher Jones. I don’t know how it came to pass that so many of the co-founders of the convention are not religious but it is entirely possible we were able to do what we did because we had Sunday mornings free.
I can’t take credit for that. Molly said that.
Anyway, Chris has been a professional comic book artist for his entire adult life and so we spent most of the episode talking about his career in the comic industry and he even told us about a very cool project that he’s got coming up.
I haven’t gotten to see enough of Chris since he and I left the CONvergence board. It was nice to have him in the house again. Enjoy the episode!
This week’s Geeks Without God has our friend Windy Bowlsby hanging out and talking about her marriage to a theist. That was the idea anyway. It turns out that they have everything worked out pretty well. Instead, things ended up talking about all sorts of crazy stuff including the definition of “accepted fan moniker.”
I’ve brought it up several times in the last few months so it seems fair to finally explain what the hell I mean and why I keep bringing it up.
Windy is actually the third member of the CONvergence “founding board” who has been on the podcast. I’m not sure how it happened that most of us are atheist/agnostics as that wasn’t something any of us ever talked about in the early days.
Nor is it something that we talked about with Windy. Maybe I’ll have to bring that up when we have Christopher Jones on next month!
Anyway, enjoy our conversation with Windy!
OK, I know we’ve been talking about CONvergence a lot. We really like the convention. So this episode is about our favorite moments at the convention. I think the episode is fun to listen to but no matter what, it was fun to record. That has to count for something, right?
Actually, there are some fun stories that came out of the convention and we somehow managed to remember a few of them!
In the second of two live episodes recorded at CONvergence, we finally got to talk with outspoken atheist PZ Myers. I wanted to talk to him about evolution because he is a professor of evolutionary biology and a vocal opponent of creationists the world over. My question to him was fairly simple: what is the best evidence you can use to get a creationist to think about their beliefs?
I had no illusions that one could completely eradicate years of indoctrination with a single well-chosen piece of evidence. I just wanted to know how you could start the ball rolling.
Of course the answer isn’t nearly as easy as the question. I knew that.
Still, PZ helped us work through some of the ways those of us who know evolution is true can begin to educate those who do not. It was great to have PZ on the show and I hope we can chat with him again soon!
OK, those National Park Rangers just don’t want to let tourists have any fun! I mean, why are we going to Death Valley National Park if not to engage in science experiments that…don’t work?
Turns out that you can’t just fry an egg on the pavement. It isn’t quite that hot. You could do it if you have a frying pan and the video that is inspiring all of this failed egg frying even mentions that it doesn’t work without one but facts are unimportant when you are trying to do science!
Cleaning up after yourself is also, apparently, unimportant. Better to just leave eggshells and unfried eggs all over the place because you were too stupid to follow directions.
The message here is clear: don’t tell people how to do cool science experiments because they will probably just fuck it up.
Boy do I have a lot going on at the convention this weekend. While I have no idea why anyone would be interested in tracking me around the con, just in case you have an interest in stalking (or avoiding) me, here’s what I’ll be up to at the convention.
Thursday, July 4th
6:00 PM – The Mark Time Radio Show. I’ve been a voice actor on this show for um…about ten years? This year’s show is an expanded version of “The Sword in the Couch,” which was featured at the first Big Fun Radio Funtime show.
7:00 PM – Opening Ceremonies. I wrote and directed the Opening sketch and I’m pretty happy with it. All I can say about the sketch is that it is going to be awesome. It s also filled to overflowing with amazing talent. I also contributed a little bit of writing to the rest of Opening Ceremonies and rumor has it I might be helping out with at least one bit.
9:00 PM – Super Spy Smackdown. I will be the Master of Ceremonies for an epic battle between the greatest super spies ever assembled. Comedy commentary will be provided by a team of experts including Tim Uren, Joseph Scrimshaw, Dawn Krosnowski, Kelvin Hatle, Caroline Symcox and Christopher Jones. As always, Melissa Kaercher will be running the tech.
11:00 PM – Vilification Tennis takes over the Fearless Comedy Room Party in room 224!
Well CONvergence is almost here and even though we geeked out about the convention a couple of weeks ago, we decided we wanted to do it a little more. This week we talk about stuff like the costumes that we’ll be wearing (OK – the costumes Nick and Molly will be wearing) and we tell some fun stories from past conventions.
The con is coming up in just a couple of days so if you are as excited about it as we are, this episode is a great way to whet your appetite.
Oh that’s great Cardinal! I’m glad to see that a high-ranking member of the Catholic Church finally realizes that the Church has no right to make moral judgements for those individuals who aren’t Catholic and you’d stay out of the political arena and…wait a minute.
No. That’s not what he thinks at all. He wants gay people to know that sex is only OK if you are trying to produce offspring so while it is totally OK to be gay, you can’t actually have sex or be married or anything like that. Gay people are totally entitled to friendship, though.
He also wants gay people to know that the Catholic Church is not anti “anybody.” They don’t hate gay people. They just want to make sure that gay people know they aren’t permitted to sexual fulfillment the way straight people are.
So basically, the difference between gay guys having male friends who are gay and me having male friends who are gay is a lifetime of unresolved sexual tension? I bring this up an awful lot but you know what? If that is really what god wants for gay people, god is a dick.
How about you work on improving that message, Cardinal?