Another Comic expo has come and gone here and my feet are still kind of recovering. The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo was a blast this year. While it might have been missing some of the draw that it had last year it far exceeded last years in terms of planning. Not a really exciting thing but when you try to shove 50,000 people into a hall all huddled around to meet the nine principle members of Star Trek:TNG and Stan Lee and still sell tickets at the door it becomes a mess fast. The fire marshall shut the place down both on Saturday and from what I hear on Sunday last year as well.
This year they had more space, sold tickets for specific days and still packed in 60,000 people. Stan Lee was back as were cast members of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead,Castle, X-Files, Carrie Fisher & Ian McDermid, Richard Dean Andersen, Christina Lokken, Wil Wheaton, John Carpenter to name a few.
We bought weekend passes this year so we could take our time, look around, take pictures, sit in panels and still do the photo ops. Unfortunately they moved stuff around this year and I totally missed the gaming section. I saw the table top gaming but the video gaming I somehow...missed. I usually like to hang out and watch for a while usually in amazement...aaaah to be young and have reflexes again.
I noticed the costumes seem to have gotten better for the most part, lots of Steampunk and Doctor who. There were a large number of superheroes but what surprised me the most was thge amount of Finns from Adventure Time. Granted its a pretty easy thing to put together and they were selling the hats but I would say 30% of the teenage girls were Finn'd out.
There was one disturbing element to the show this year...Raccoon Mario. This dude was everywhere we were, go to a photo shoot , there he was, head to the autographs, he was there, check out the minecraft stuff with the kids, he was there. I thought I had ditched him when I went to the washroom but nope...the bastard came in as I was leaving. Fricking Racoon Mario! That reminds me...Furry's or Furries or whatever they call themselves creep me out.
So here are the pictures or the best ones we took and maybe a video of Stan Lee at his panel.
I created an album on imgur.com for the rest...take a look http://soupachunk.imgur.com/all/
Last year we had the 9 Principle characters/actors from Star Trek: TNG and that was nucking futz. They had something like 50,000 people a day show up and the fire department cam and stopped people from going in. I am not sure how you can top last year but this year I bought a 3 day pass and plan to take my time, explore and soak it all in.
The kids have Friday off as well so I am bringing the Timbits and Mrs. Soup
Can't wait! I'll post pics next week!
So a couple months back we had a Corporate Trainer come up to "train" us. Basically they are lessons in common sense and it drives me crazy. The one point that stuck out in everyones mind is this notion of Above the Line and Below the line. It has to do with how we talk and behave and whether we talk in a positve or negative tone.
As a supervisor I get reprimanded for my negative tone even when something sucks so terribly it cannot be ignored or excused. I am expected all day to stay Above the Line. Drives me fucking nuts. Anyhow, like anything under pressure I need to vent so from time to time I am going to do that. Sometimes it may be about work, sometimes about the stupid, idiotic things I see people do everyday. I don't expect anyone to read this but its going to be nice to get it off my chest.
Today's is Angled Parking
I was at the mall and most of the parking in one area is setup as angled parking. The concept is quite easy and makes perfect sense. You drive in one direction with the back of the cars pointed towards you to make it easier to park and to leave.
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Why is it then that 8 out of 10 people driving cars in the goddamn parking lot today drive the wrong way down these things? Not only that but then they try to park in a space and they have to do a 17 point turn to make it into the space! Even then the ass end of their huge SUV with the family stickers is blocking the person next to them so they can't fricking leave.
Ok I feel a little better now...
It has finally come together! A year of planning, 2 years of building and a summer of finishing and I am so close to done I can almost taste the popcorn. Back in 2009 I had a goal, I was going to start and finish the basement by my daughters 10th birthday which is this December. It was the holder of all junk and crap for a number of years and I had a dream of a home theatre room, Projector, theatre seats, popcorn maker, beverage center. I spent a year fiddling with a plan and design that I was going to do. I didn't spend all year on it...a morning over coffee here a night sitting at the computer here and came up with a plan. Drew it up in cad, did a little 3D perspective on it, plunked it into Revit (I was learning it at the time), played around some more until I figured I had it nailed.
Just about 2 years ago Mrs. Soup and I started laying the subfloor and once that was done I spent nearly every weekend I had framing it all out. It took about 3 months to get it all done. I had to make a few design changes and tweaks along the way but all in all it maintained the spirit. The bathroom was the worst as I had to build a platform for the shower as it wouldn't fit beside where the builder roughed in the toilet drain. It actually all came to a halt shortly after that as life just got in the way.
However, during the summer of 2010 I started on the electrical, which led to the telephone and data cables. While I was doing that I might as well do all the speaker wire and hey I need light in here, so I should install the lights but wait I need to install the dropped ceiling first. I kept going around and around for months but last fall I had it done and was ready for drywall.
Again life got in the way and while I had managed to get most of the drywall into the basement putting it up was going slow. I spent on average one weekend day a month putting it up. I found a number of mistakes/oversights I had made along the way and those would slow me down from time to time.
I also had the bathroom plumbing to contend with. While all the plumbing is leak free I have come to the conclusion that by far it was the worst part of the project. While I enjoyed all the framing and electrical/data work I cannot see myself taking on plumbing as second career.
I bought a cheap drywall lift and once I had the ceiling in place I sold it. I had it for 4 months and in the end it cost me less than 50$. Best 50$ I spent on that project. I will never again use ad-hoc tee's to lift drywall into place. I had created a few nooks and crannies that I left until last. The archway and the angles it created were some of the last things to finish.
Once those were complete I had to hand it over to the professionals. I found through my attempts at our previous house that mudding and taping is an art form and I am not an artist. After a 14 hour day he had the whole first coat on and it was taking shape
At the end of the week he was done, the ceiling was textured and Mrs. Soup was ready to paint.
She spent the entire weekend down there happy as a clam painting away. Due to the lack of artistic ability as noted above I wasn't allowed to help.
After she was all done I had to lower the dropped the ceiling back down, I installed the shower, we installed the bathroom floor and the carpet came. We immediately started trimming the walls and installing the doors. Mrs. Soup started moving into her new "office" almost immediately.
I also got a little ahead of myself and started installing the speakers. Unfortunately when the projector and screen arrived they had sent the wrong mount for the projector. I had to wait another week to get the proper one. This was possibly the longest week of my life. I spent the time installing the screen and the floating Ikea cabinets. I also had time to bring the beverage center and the other cabinets downstairs as well for what will be the snack area of the theatre room.
After 10 days and a battle with Canada Post I got the new mount. It took Mrs. Soup and I about an hour to install it but it was so worth the wait!
There are some touchups I still have to do, and we have some tiling in the bathroom to finish but the only thing we are missing right now are the seats.They are on order and coming in the next few weeks so in the meantime I have camp chairs down there right now. Not uncomfortable and they have cupholders.
So this is my new setup for movies and gaming
Projector - Panasonic PT-AE7000U
Elunevision Studio 92" Reference Screen 16x9
Onkyo TXNR515 7.2 network receiver
Matched pairs of Polk Audio Speakers for all 8 channels
Harmony 1 remote to control it all