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I had a pretty busy Sunday on July 15, 2018. I went carpooling with one friend to church where there was a Tye-Dye Sunday scheduled. By the time I got home from church I turned around and went carpooling with a different friend to this meetup that took place in Rockville.

CoderDojo is basically a global network that provides free computer programming clubs to young people. My friend thought it would be good for me to check this out, especially since I worked as an assistant facilitator with the Takoma Park chapter of Girls Who Code over the past year.

The Washington, DC chapter of CoderDojo meets at the Rockville Public Library in Rockville, Maryland. I had never stepped foot inside this building before but I have to admit that it’s very impressive.

There was an art show going on featuring art done by local youths. It brought back memories of the first time my elementary school art teacher had selected one of my art projects to be shown at the Anne Arundel County Art Show that was displayed at the since-demolished Harundale Mall.

The CoderDojo met in a room on the second floor of the library, which is a designated STEM center. That room had an array of all kinds of stuff that one would normally find in a makerspace (such as computers and robots) but there was some pretty cool STEM-themed art as well.

The meeting started off with a presentation about what computing was like back in the 1990s (when the Computer Internet revolution was just beginning). I enjoyed it because I remember those days like they happened yesterday. There was a mention of using modems attached to telephone wires in order to access the Internet at a blistering 9600 bps.

I enjoyed the presentation very much. Once that ended, the kids started to work on their own projects while parents and other adult volunteers went around helping the kids with their latest projects.

By the time that meetup ended it was closing time for the library. My friend and I were heading back towards the parking garage by cutting through Rockville Town Square when I shot this photo of some kids playing in the fountain.

I also discovered that there was an It’s Sugar store located in Rockville. I had previously visited It’s Sugar in Baltimore and Chinatown in Washington, DC and I managed to convince my friend to stop in the Rockville store for a brief visit, where I shot these photos.

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The day after the Fourth of July I had to travel to Rockville in order to run an errand on behalf of the boss at my day job. I decided to take the Metro to Rockville instead of driving because I know from previous experience that the Rockville-Bethesda area tends to be a total nightmare car commute during the week (especially during rush hour). The place where I needed to go happened to be located just a few blocks away from the Rockville Metro station so I thought it would be no big deal.

Except I made a wrong turn out of the station and I didn’t realize it until I reached St. Mary’s Catholic Church with its adjacent graveyard. This particular cemetery is famous for having the graves of a family of authors—F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife Zelda, and their daughter Scottie. They are buried alongside other members of the extended Fitzgerald family. I first took photos of this gravesite for this blog back in 2012 where I used my Canon EOS Digital Rebel DSLR camera. (I basically focused on F. Scott, Zelda, and Scottie’s joint grave where they are buried together.) I took more photos of the same gravesite in 2015 when I used my Droid Ultra smartphone. Compared to my previous photos, I noticed that someone had left offerings on the grave, including flowers, pens, and a bottle of Tanqueray gin. I also took photos of the graves of the extended Fitzgerald family members who were also buried there next to the most famous literary Fitzgeralds.

It’s now 2018 and I found myself back at the same gravesite with a new smartphone (a Samsung Galaxy J3). I took a new photo of the same grave with my new smartphone. The one thing I noticed is that, compared to my 2015 visit, there were far fewer offerings left at the grave. If you look closely enough towards the bottom edge of the photo below, you’ll see that someone had left offerings of a pen, a pencil, a button (huh?!?), and a purple guitar pick (say what?!?). Okay I can see the pen and pencil since the Fitzgeralds were writers and maybe I could understand the button since they all wore clothes with buttons on them throughout their lives. But a guitar pick?!? I had never heard of F. Scott, Zelda, or Scottie picking up a guitar or some other stringed instrument (such as an ukulele or a mandolin). I only knew all three as writers. Well, in any case, I took a new photo of the grave with my new smartphone camera for the heck of it.

I didn’t dawdle in that cemetery too long partly because I had previously visited it and partly because I was in Rockville on an errand that I needed to get done. Fortunately the building I needed to go to was within a short walking distance from the church and cemetery. The big downside is that the entire nation was under this horrible heatwave where the temperature went up to the high 90’s so making that short walk was like taking a walking tour of Hades.

Once I finished my errand I headed back to the Rockville Metro because it was just too hot to hang around the area too long. On my way back to the Metro station I saw this interesting circular sculpture that had writings in a variety of languages. I took a few photos of this sculpture then went back on the Metro towards home.

Once I reached the Metro station I decided to kill time waiting for the next Metro train by checking my phone. I happened to fire up my Twitter app when I learned about the sudden death of Ed Schultz, which was so shocking to me that I wrote this post about him and my memories of him (including the times when my tweets were aired on Schultz’s old MSNBC show).

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I recently attended the second in what will be a monthly series of Copslay Life Drawing Nights at the Stone Branch School of Art in Rockville, Maryland. (I wasn’t able to attend the first event due to scheduling conflicts.)

The school is located on the second level of this shopping center that has this really awesome donut shop known as Duck Donuts.

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Like Krispy Kreme, Duck Donuts offers freshly baked warm donuts. But Duck Donuts takes it even further by offering donuts customized to your specifications. You fill out this checklist for each donut.

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Then they serve your customized donut in this box.

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I ordered a chocolate donut topped with crushed Oreos and a drizzle of hot fudge sauce. My donut tasted very excellent. This store also sells rubber ducks in addition to donuts.

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So I reached the Stone Branch School of Art. I found that it’s a really cool looking place. The next photo shows what the wall in one of the bathrooms looked like.

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There were all kinds of neat artifacts that were obviously meant for drawing and painting classes.

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I eventually reached the classroom where the cosplay drawing event took place. I saw a pair of artists doing some drawings of their own before the event began.

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There were snacks available, including this cupcake with writing on it that came from Comic Cupcakes.

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During breaks the models mingled among the artists while resting their bodies from striking poses in costumes.

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Here are the drawings I did that night.

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Intervention Con Day 1

Intervention Con Day 2

Usually the third day of a convention tends to be relatively truncated because it falls on a Sunday and many people are rushing to travel back home so they can return to their real lives the next day. There were still a few events that encouraged me to go back out to the Hilton Hotel in Rockville for the third day in a row. I attended this panel discussion featuring Intervention Con founder Oni Harstein (on the right in the photo below) on how to market your work online. I took a lot of notes at that panel.

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

Afterwards I attended this talk where Craig W. Cobalt (on the right in the photo below) talking with actor René Auberjonois (left). It was a really highly spirited discussion because not only had Auberjonois appeared on shows like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Benson, and Boston Legal but his acting career goes back decades. He gave a really fascinating account on his experiences working with the legendary Katharine Hepburn. He should write his memoirs about his long acting career because his talk was so fascinating. He even finished his talk by singing this brief song (“Les Poissons”) he sang when he was the voice of Chef Louis in the Disney movie The Little Mermaid.

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

After that presentation ended I stayed in the same room where I ate my lunch (which I brought with me from home) while listening to actress Alex Kingston (in pink ears below) speaking about her days as River Song on Doctor Who with Cat Smith (right side in below photo). She also gave a fascinating talk on what it was like to play River Song with three of the actors who portrayed the various regenerations of Doctor Who.

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

After that presentation ended I spent the rest of my time taking a few miscellaneous photographs.

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

The last photo I took at Intervention Con was this one of my program book and badge.

Intervention Con, Day 3, September 18, 2016

After I left Intervention Con I briefly stopped at the Micro Center store mainly because it was only located just a couple of blocks from the Hilton Hotel. I didn’t buy anything because I didn’t have much money left after that weekend. (I spent the bulk of my money on the weekend pass. I didn’t buy anything in the Artists Alley this time around because of a lack of cash.) I ended up having far less money at the end of the month than usual but it was worth it. I got a lot of good advice regarding how to market my arts and crafts on social media and I intend to try to use it. I loved all of the panels and workshops I attended. The only letdown was that, unlike the previous Intervention Cons I attended in 2013 and 2014, there were no vintage arcade games this time around. I was mildly disappointed because I had fond memories of playing such games as Tetris and Wizards of Wor and they were all on free play, which was fantastic. (You can see the photos of those vintage arcade games that I took at a previous Intervention Con right here.) I missed those vintage arcade games. Otherwise I loved Intervention Con and I would love to go again next year.

The next day I did this quick sketchbook drawing showing how I usually feel about going to an event like Intervention Con. (LOL!)

Sketchbook Drawing the Day After Intervention Con Ended

Intervention Con Day 1

Even though Intervention Con was held in a hotel I decided to commute back and forth from my home because it was cheaper. That was how I was able to spend Saturday morning attending a meeting of a new Job Club for people who are either unemployed, underemployed, or just aren’t working their dream jobs because they have to pay bills that I had a hand in forming. I’m not going to write more about this here because it’s one of those topics that really warrants a separate post.

After that meeting ended I returned home to eat lunch and pack dinner and drinks for this evening then I headed to the Hilton Hotel in Rockville. I arrived at the Twinbrook Metro station, which has free parking on the weekend (I only had to worry about paying parking fees that first night) then walk one block to the hotel.

On the first day of Intervention Con the weather was warm outside (it went up into the low 80’s) but some of the hotel conference rooms were a bit chilly because they had the air conditioning way up high. I solved that problem by wearing my Rainbow Dash hoodie. It also has the additional benefit of helping with blending in with the cosplayers who were there at that convention. Here’s a rare selfie below.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

It was a pretty funky outfit since I wore a long-sleeved hoodie with a pair of summer shorts. (LOL!) I didn’t arrive at the convention until around 3 p.m. The first workshop I went to was called “Button down for WHAT?!”, which was devoted to making buttons. It was hosted by Stephanie Byrd of the local button making firm Red Fish Rue Fish. Each participant could make one button for free.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

The needed supplies to make a button were already provided so all one needed is his/her imagination.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

I decided to do the legendary Goat Man as a baby, which I previously wrote about here. I did this initial pencil drawing.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Then I colored it and provided the lettering using colored pencils.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Once I was done I took it to this button making machine where it was made into a button.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

After I finished making my button I immediately headed over to this workshop on “Thriving Artists” that was given by Rob Balder. I learned a few helpful hints (like how you’re more likely to have a successful Patreon page if you have a popular YouTube channel and how self-education is very important and there are a lot of free college level courses online that one can take without having to go thousands of dollars into debt). That workshop also had this excellent quote from the late tennis star Arthur Ashe that goes:

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

After going to two workshops in a row, I decided to just take it easy. I ate the dinner I brought with me in the hotel lobby at this table that had plugs and USB ports available for charging various electronic devices. I charged my smartphone while I ate my dinner. Afterwards I walked around the convention. I headed into the video room for a few minutes. I played a couple of video games myself (mainly the classic arcade games that were loaded on to this X-Box) but I mostly took photos and looked at other people playing games.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

I spent the majority of my free time in the Artists Alley.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

There were tables in the Artists Alley where the celebrities were there at various times to sign autographed photos and pose for photographs. I took all my photos of these celebrities from afar because I was too cash-strapped to pay for the privilege of meeting with my favorite celebrities. The prices of the signed photos ranged anywhere (depending on how popular this celebrity is) from $5-$55. If one also wanted to pose for a photograph with his/her favorite celebrity, those fees not only cost extra but they ranged from $20-$55. I managed to take this faraway photo of an autograph/photo session featuring Gigi Edgley of Farscape and Alex Kingston of Doctor Who.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

There was a live Internet radio broadcast at Intervention Con.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016 Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

A person dressed as Boba Fett stalked the lobby of the Hilton Hotel.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

I attended “The Social Media: BEST and WORST” panel with Mary Ratliff, M. Sieiro Garcia, and Steven Archer. They discussed some of the excesses of some people on social media and they provided advice on how to protect your personal identity online. (The best advice they gave was to sign up for a free Google Voice number that would be tied in to your personal phone but you wouldn’t have to give out your private number. Instead you could publicly give out your Google Voice number and if you start getting harassing messages you can ditch that particular Google Voice number.)

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

I went to one more panel on “The Comical Side of Elections Season” where Joe Wos shared his memories of working with Pat Paulsen during the times he ran for President as a satiric act. He also mentioned other hilarious campaigns, such as Howard the Duck (which I actually reviewed this past summer).

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

He has a version of this presentation that you can listen online right here. I highly recommended it because it is really interesting.

I grew tired after that last panel so I decided to head home. On my way out the door I took one last photo of this cosplayer.

Intervention Con, Day 2, September 17, 2016

Intervention Con Day 3

I recently attended Intervention Con for the first time since 2014. (Last year I opted to attend the 60th anniversary of the Enchanted Forest celebration that was held at Clark’s Elioak Farm that was scheduled at the same weekend. I wanted to go because it was both the 60th anniversary and the fact that the last of the attractions were moved from its former location—now known as the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center—to the farm. Even though it was of those “chance of a lifetime” events, it was so hot and humid on that day—which is typical August weather in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area—that I found myself wishing that I had opted for Intervention Con instead because it was held in an air conditioned hotel. I vowed that in the future I would only go to Clark’s Elioak Farm in the spring and fall because the summer is usually too hot and humid to enjoy anything.) This year I really wanted to go because there were not only a few panels that I was interested in attending but there were also some interesting guests who were going to be there as well.

Even though Intervention was being held at the Hilton Hotel in Rockville, Maryland, I ended up commuting from my home to the hotel while bringing my own food and drinks to save money. I found out that the hotel is located near the Twinbrook Metro station so I parked there instead of paying the hotel’s $15 per day fee for using its parking lot. (Yes, this particular hotel actually charges a parking fee.) The first night I had to pay $8.50 because I didn’t ride Metro. (It’s normally around $5 for those who ride the Metro.) It was still cheaper than what the hotel was charging.

As I was walking from the Metro parking garage to the hotel, I noticed this building that’s right next to the parking garage that has these really cool trompe l’oeil paintings on its warehouse doors.

Cool trompe l'oeil near Twinbrook Metro station on the way to #Interventioncon

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

I arrived at the hotel and paid for a weekend pass. I began to relax once I got my badge as I remembered why I love Intervention Con so much. It’s small compared to something like Otakon or Awesome Con but it’s way more laid back and I don’t have to wait in a long line for at least a half-an-hour in order to ensure that I would get a seat for a certain panel. I spent some time just taking a bunch of photographs of the convention and the hotel in general.

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

The first panel I attended was this one that was given by Jason Cranford Teague on “Children of the (Digital) Revolution.” It was a fun retrospective on how the various technology has changed since the 1970’s, especially with the size of cell phones and computers. I chuckled when he showed a photo of a rotary phone because I grew up with one in my house. (That phone was hooked up to only one line that everyone in the household had to share. There were no such thing as Caller ID or voicemail. There were answering machines but they were so expensive when I was growing up that only businesses had them.)

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

I attended my first presentation that was given by one of the convention’s celebrity guests. Dwight Schultz (left) talked with Ben Taylor on his days as an actor on shows like The A-Team and the various Star Trek series (The Next Generation, Voyager, and First Contact). It was quite an entertaining talk.

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

After that presentation ended I had an hour to kill before my next event. I went to the hotel lobby where I sat at this table that actually had plugs and USB ports where guests could charge their phones and other mobile devices. I ate the dinner that I brought with me while I was recharging my phone.  I glanced over at a group of people just a few feet away and I recognized one of them. It was René Auberjonois, who appeared in such TV shows as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Boston Legal. He started to wheel his suitcase in my direction so I grabbed my smartphone, zoomed in on him (he was at least 10 feet away from where I was ) and snapped this photo.

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

After I took that photo like a paparazzi I finished eating my dinner then walked over to the main event for that evening. Thomas Dolby of “She Blinded Me With Science” fame gave a multimedia presentation about his music and technology career on the first night of Intervention Con.

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

It was an amazing presentation where he started with singing his first major hit, “She Blinded Me With Science,” then he went on to talk about his days as a major pop star when he worked alongside people like Stevie Wonder and David Bowie. Then he talked about what he did since he left the music business, when he became the founder of a technology company that came out with the first ringtones for cell phones back in the 1990’s. He’s currently living in Baltimore where he’s a professor at Johns Hopkins University and the artistic director of Program in Sound on Film at the Station North Arts District. He gave such a fascinating presentation that even just trying to write about what he said wouldn’t do it justice. It’s just as well because Thomas Dolby said that his memoir will be coming out in a few months. I’d love to read it, especially if it’s as entertaining and interesting as his presentation at Intervention Con. He finished his presentation with a live performance of his other 1980’s hit, “Hyperactive.”

After the Dolby event I went to one more event before I called it a night. I went to this panel on “Horror: Folklore and Fairytale: How Tales of the Past Influence the Narratives of Today” that was given by Michelle Sonnier and Melissa Braus. It was a really interesting talk on how much of an effect that folklores and fairytales have on pop culture. (The most obvious example is Disney frequently using the stories written by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen for its animated feature films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Frozen.)

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

One of the presenters had her book on display. She was selling copies of that book at her booth in the Artists Alley throughout the convention.

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

After that last panel ended I drove back home for the evening.

Intervention Con Day 2

Intervention Con Day 3

Santa Claus

Since late September I’ve been spending each Tuesday waking up at the crack of dawn so I could drive around the notoriously slow and clogged Capital Beltway so I could arrive at Bethesda by 8:15 a.m. I was working a part-time temp job that lasted only one hour per week. December 8 was the last day that I had to show up for the job. Without going into too many details, I’m just going to say that it was the kind of job where I basically liked it because it actually utilized my knowledge of digital photography and I also liked my co-worker. The downside is that there was so much behind-the-scenes drama involving the organization we both contracted for that we really weren’t able to do as an effective job as we could’ve done. On top of it, I didn’t get my first paycheck from the organization until after we were working for 8 weeks and the breakdown was that I got paid for little more than $5.93 per hour. That crappy paycheck was the last straw for me (the gas money alone ate up the majority of my paycheck) and I’ve decided not to accept any further work from that organization. (If I hadn’t foolishly signed a contract on my first day at that job requiring me to stay in the job until it officially ended on December 8 or I got fired—whichever came first—I would’ve quit long before my job officially ended.)

Since it was a warm and pleasant December day I decided to have a little fun after my job officially ended forever. I looked up the Roadside America website and I decided to check out a couple of off-beat places that were located in nearby Rockville since I was in the area anyway.

First I checked out something called the Museum of Outdated Technology, which is located inside the MCHS Thrift Store, which is a fundraiser for the Montgomery County Humane Society.

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It took me a while to find the Museum of Outdated Technology. It’s basically located in the very back of the store along a few walls. It was definitely worth the effort because the museum consisted of several shelves full of pop culture kitsch that was released between circa 1950-1990.

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The only thing about the museum is that much of it is obstructed by boxes and counters (such as in the next picture) so it’s difficult to get a close look at much of the items on display. I’m sure it’s done in order to deter people from touching (or even stealing) the items. I wish there was a better way of organizing where the items could be protected while giving people a chance to have a close-up view of them. Putting them behind locked glass cabinets might be a solution.

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Aside from the Museum of Outdated Technology, the MCHS Thrift Store is your typical thrift store where one can purchase a variety of used items—ranging from books to clothes to toys—for a very low price. Plus the proceeds from the thrift shop goes to the Montgomery County Humane Society. Since I went to that store in December, the store had a variety of Christmas decorations for sale like the ones in the picture below.

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There were a variety of items, such as this Chinese language version of the soundtrack from Pinocchio.

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Then there’s this book, which had me thinking what was the publisher thinking when it decided that Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly would make a swell children’s book author.

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Once I left that store, I decided to check out Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, which is the oldest Catholic church in Rockville that’s still in use.

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Outside the entrance to the church’s graveyard was a nativity scene (which was appropriate given the fact that I was at that church in December).

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Here’s a closeup of that nativity scene. The interesting thing is the absence of the baby Jesus lying in a manger. I have a feeling that the church doesn’t include that infant until the days closest to Christmas. It’s similar to what my mother used to do when she used to put up the nativity scene in our home when I was a child. She wouldn’t put out the three wise men until January 6 since, according to tradition, that was when the three kings would finally arrive to the stable to give the baby gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Although she did put out the baby Jesus in the manger while she put up the nativity scene. While the church’s nativity scene didn’t have the baby Jesus but it had the three wise men. Go figure.

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The graveyard lies in the back of the church and one can tell that the church was once a little country church because the office buildings seem to clash with the historic tombstones.

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The graveyard is most famous for being the final resting place of the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife Zelda, and their only child, nicknamed Scottie (but she’s buried under her full name of Frances Scott Fitzgerald Smith). I previously visited those graves back in 2012. Here is what those graves look like when I took this shot with my Canon DSLR Digital Rebel camera.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Family Plot

And here are those same graves taken three years later with the camera that’s in my Droid Ultra smartphone.

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You can read the back tombstone much easier in the recent photo than in the earlier photo. This goes to show the great strides that digital photography (especially in smartphones) have taken in recent years. I took some more photos of the Fitzgerald family gravesite, especially since some people left some interesting gifts behind recently.

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The three Fitzgeralds are buried alongside other relatives of F. Scott’s.

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This post is about the third and final day of Intervention Con 2014 that took place in Rockville. For my posts on the previous two days, see:

Intervention Con, Day 1

Intervention Con, Day 2

I’ve been to enough of these types of conventions in the past (such as Otakon, Katsucon, and Anime USA) to know that the third day tends to be pretty truncated because everyone is focused on packing up and checking out of their hotel rooms so they can catch the next flight out of town. The entire convention tends to shut down between 2-4 p.m. I usually don’t go to the last day of a con unless there’s a topic that I’m really interested in.

I decided to go on the last day because there were two topics that I was interested in. One was an 11 a.m. discussion on “Should I Care About Social Media?” and the other was a 1 p.m. panel with the intriguing title of “Blogging For Fun and Profit.” I also decided to leave behind the crochet project that I was currently working on because the con was going to be over by 4 and I wasn’t going to stay very long.

However I was out late last night at the con so I had a hard time getting going the following morning. I ended up missing the social media panel but I made every effort to arrive early enough that I could make it to the blogging panel. I arrived at the Hilton Hotel and I leisurely walked along the hallway. Near the area of the hotel where Intervention Con was held, I saw that one of the conference rooms was rented by a church known as the House of Divine Glory. I saw that the doors were opened and I noticed that this church service was held in a room that had a funky psychedelic Volkswagen Bus. Seriously!

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

I arrived at the front tables where I found this flyer announcing some last-minute changes regarding the blogging panel. The organizers flipped the times of the charity auction and the blogging panel without any prior notices whatsoever. I didn’t know about the time changes until after I arrived. What was worse was that the blogging panel now started earlier so I had suddenly gone from arriving early so I can make it to the panel with enough time to spare to being a half-an-hour late to the panel. To say that I found it annoying was a total understatement!

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

So I sprinted to the panel only to find that I had missed half of it. I still found it informative even though I would’ve loved to have been there for the whole thing. The one thing I found fascinating is the issue of whether a blog should allow comments or not. Apparently, according to those panelists, there have been a trend of getting away of allowing comments because of the problems with the trolls and spammers. The panelists made the point that the newspapers tend to limit which letters to the editor ultimately makes it to publication. So the rationale was why allow anyone to comment in your personal blog if it’s going to allow trolls to hurl insults at you.

That panel brought back memories of when I had a previous blog that attracted the attention of a few trolls (which I could easily devote a separate post about) who left nasty comments and I also had the occasional comment spammer hawking things like diet pills that had absolutely nothing to do with the topic of the post I wrote. I ended up pulling the plug on that blog by deleting it in late 2008 because I grew tired of the trolls and I was scheduled to undergo a hip replacement and I knew that I was going to have a long recuperation and I really didn’t want to deal with abusive trolls. When I started this blog, I decided to moderate all comments so I could approve which ones could be posted. (I’m also grateful that WordPress.com uses Akismet which also weeds out comment spam. I’ve read a few of these comment spams a few times but I generally agree with those being completely blocked.) I also tend to close comments after a post has been online for about a month or so in order to make my moderating duties easier.

Anyway, getting back to Intervention Con, after the panel ended, there was an announcement that a special charity auction was going to be held in the same room where the proceeds would benefit the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). I originally had no intention of sticking around because I really couldn’t afford to bid on anything but then I learned that the same guy who had been cosplaying as Jesus throughout the entire weekend was going to be the emcee for the auction. I thought it would be worth it to stick around just for that. Here were some of the items that were available for the auction.

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

I had a feeling that having Jesus Christ emcee the auction would be ludicrously hilarious and I definitely was not disappointed.

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

The only sad part was that the auction was sparsely attended and there were quite a few items that went unsold. Even Jesus said that he’s going to tell the management that they should schedule the auction for a Saturday next year since there tends to be more people there. There’s a part of me who wondered whether the tanked economy had an affect as well. I know I’ve had a harder time selling my arts and crafts because of the economy and I came to that conclusion after encountering so many people at street craft shows who have told me “I’d love to buy something from you but money is tight because I’ve been laid off (or my spouse/parent/partner has been laid off) or my job is in jeopardy.”

During the auction my eyes glanced over to a wall in the room and I saw something I recognized from the previous night. I remembered that the same room was the one where the Drink and Draw Artist Jam took place. I made a quick drawing of an anthro female dog, took a photo of it, then left the con because I was very tired. I was surprised that the drawing still remained on the wall ledge where I had left it.

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

I took the fact that my drawing was still there as a sign of some kind (as to what kind of sign, I haven’t figured it out yet) and I decided to take the drawing. I ultimately brought it back home with me.

I took one last look at the Dealer’s Room but I found that half of the tables were empty and there were very few shoppers.

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

The Tau Radio Independent Broadcasting continued with their live broadcast from Intervention Con.

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

I took one last shot of Intervention Con before I decided to head home.

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Lately I’ve been saving on gas by making a point of combining trips as much as possible. I decided to check out Micro Center because the store is located just a block or so from the Hilton Hotel. I ended up not buying anything but I took a few shots of some of the cool statues that came from the 3D printers that the store sells.

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

The last photo in this post is of this really cool Mr. Potato Head that was based on Doctor Who.

Intervention Con, Day 3, August 24, 2014

By the way, check out this Washington Post story about Intervention Con.

Late last night I posted online my experiences with the first day of Intervention Con. This post is about my second day, which not only had more people attend (compared to the previous day) but there were more things for me to do.

The weather outside that day was nothing but non-stop rain, which made me glad that I was at an indoor convention.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Yesterday I started this crochet project during some downtime because I had thought about going to the Early Bird Stitch-n-Bitch that was scheduled for 9 a.m. on the second day. Except I didn’t make it because I overslept a little bit. I still brought my crochet project with me and I worked on it some more during downtimes. Of course I took some more photos, such as the next one of one of the official Intervention Con camera operators with his high-end equipment.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

The major bummer about oversleeping is that I not only missed the Early-Bird Stitch-n-Bitch but I also missed half of the documentary Plastic Galaxy, which is a fascinating look at the Star Wars toys, the original Kenner employees responsible for creating them, and the collectors. I’m sorry that I missed the first half and I was too broke to buy the DVD that was on sale in the Dealers Room. I’ll try to catch it online at some point.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

There were a few more cosplayers walking around but it seemed like the vast majority just wore casual clothes.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

And here’s a rare online picture of me with a Doctor Who cosplayer that someone else volunteered to take with my smartphone camera.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

At one point I ate the lunch that I brought with me then I attended a session on “Manga Studio 5: An Intro”. The leader of that panel was one of the leaders of the previous night’s panel on “Comics Rehab: Overcoming Creative Depression” that I attended and she promoted this one towards the end of the previous one. I decided to check it out because my potential future is in a constant state of flux and I wanted to know what software is out there. (I have a friend who’s practically an open source evangelist who frequently promotes the idea that open source applications are the solution to almost everything. I just wanted other opinions so I can think about things, which was why I attended the workshop.) Manga Studio 5 looks like a very interesting program even if it’s not open source. (The retail price is $50 but one can find that application online for far less.)

I stayed in the same room after that panel ended because I was interested in the panel following it which was titled “The ToonSeum and Creating a Museum Celebrating Your Passion!” It was given by an artist named Joe Wos who was the original founder of the ToonSeum, which is a museum dedicated to cartoons and comic books in Pittsburgh. I found his talk totally fascinating as he gave details about the challenges of trying to find space for such a museum and getting the funding in order to keep it in operation. I found his talk so interesting that I would definitely put the ToonSeum on my personal itinerary if I ever find myself in the Pittsburgh area again. (Come to think of it, I’ve been through Pittsburgh—usually when I was traveling to Ohio—but I’ve never actually stopped in that city. I need to rectify that one day.)

Joe Wos mentioned that his young daughter had her own table in the Artist’s Alley. I came across her table later, which had this amusing sign.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

The sign convinced me enough to shell out $2 for one of her small drawings. I have to say that she has a lot of potential. 🙂

I spent time in the Dealers Room perusing the various items on sale.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Here’s another shot of one of the two rooms that had video games available to play. I focused more on the vintage arcade games from the 1970’s and 1980’s (such as Super Mario Bros., Tron, and Wizard of Wor) than on the later console games.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Walt’s Cards & Board Gaming Room, named after one of the sponsors who provided the games for this room, was full of games and players.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

I had wanted to attend a panel on “Living the Dream: Planning a Sustainable Career.” I walked into an empty room that I thought that the panel was being held in. To pass time, I took out my crocheting and started to work on my latest project. Some guys came in and they started to talk about the joys and struggles of making a web series called Shotgun Mythos. It sounded really interesting even though it didn’t sound like the panel I had planned on attending. It wasn’t until about a half an hour into the presentation that I looked at my schedule and realized that I had walked in the wrong room! It was a workshop on “The ABCs of Creating a Web Series/Shotgun Mythos.” It was still an interesting workshop even though I had never heard of this web series before. (I should at least check out an episode online sometime in the future.)

I decided to head into another panel that I was interested in and, this time, I made sure that I found the right location before entering the room. Kelsey Wailes gave a demonstration on how she creates her Doctor Whooo owls. I took a few photos during the presentation.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Here’s an interesting story about the below photo. During my weekend at Intervention Con I had uploaded a few select photos on both my Twitter and Instagram accounts. A few minutes later I got a notification from Instagram that the Official Instagram of Doctor Who on BBC America had hit the “Like” button. Seriously, my modest photo was noticed by someone at BBC America. That was so awesome that I approached Kelsey after the panel was over and I told her about this. She was so thrilled when she heard this that she had me forward that photo to her Instagram account with the indication that BBC America had liked that photo. I don’t know if anything will come of that attention from BBC America but it’s pretty cool.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

By the way, if you like her art, you can not only check her out on Instagram but also on Deviantart, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Etsy.

After the workshop was over I ate the dinner that I brought with me. I also saw the sign leading to this special party that was only for designated Enablers, who are the special attendees who paid a higher admission fee than the basic admission fee that I paid. (The Enabler passes started at $15 above the basic admission and there were different levels of Enabler where the more money you paid, the more goodies you get.) One day, when my fortunes improve, Ill seriously consider being at least a low-level Enabler and I’ll be able to attend parties like the one indicated by the sign in the photo below.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

The Internet radio station Tau Radio Independent Broadcasting did live broadcasts from Intervention Con the entire weekend.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

I hung around the con while killing time alternating between playing video games and working on my latest crochet project. I patiently waited until the 8 p.m. magic hour arrived. There were subtle hints of what was happening on the second day of the con such as what I found at the water fountain below.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con was hosting the premiere of the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

I could’ve watched this same episode on my own TV at home but there’s something special about seeing the show in a large room with a bunch of other like-minded individuals.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

There were also people who even arrived totally dressed up for the occasion, which I would not have experienced had I sat home watching television alone. (Besides, given my current situation, I have plenty of other opportunities to watch TV at home alone so I didn’t mind seeing Doctor Who at Intervention Con.)

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

After the episode ended, there was supposed to be a general party but most of the people left immediately. I hung around because there was one last event I was curious about. It was called “Club 242 Presents Drink and Draw Artist Jam” and I was curious about it even though I left my drawing pad and pencils at home. (I didn’t realize it until after I arrived at the hotel.) But it was okay because the organizers provided paper and pens for those who didn’t bring their own. There was a lot of serious drawing going on while dance music played.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

There were a few people who opted to dance instead of drawing.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

I even shot a short video of the dancing mainly because someone was playing this techno dance music cover of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” that I only recognized because of the lyrics. The music part sounded pretty different from Madonna’s original version.

There was a bar that, for a fee, served booze so people could drink and draw. I didn’t drink any alcohol mainly because I had a half-an-hour commute in front of me but I drew some anthro female dog. (I was kind of influenced by these really cute Pinkie Cooper anthro dog fashion dolls that I saw on sale at Target. I ended up buying a couple for myself because they were so cute. I should write a separate blog post about these dolls at some point since I’ve had them for a while.) The biggest challenge was that it was getting late at night and I was pretty tired after a full day of being at Intervention Con. I drew a really quick sketch until I felt too tired to attempt another drawing.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

I decided to prop the drawing on one of the decorative ledges on the walls of the room where the party took place. I took a quick photo from that horizontal perspective but I was in a really tired mood and I didn’t think that it was among my better efforts so I decided to leave it on the ledge and left for home.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Last year I went to my first ever Intervention Con in Rockville. I was only able to afford one day because, having attended both Brony Con and Otakon, I was too low on funds to afford the entire weekend. I really enjoyed myself at that con because it was relatively small and intimate and I managed to meet all kinds of interesting people and attend some really cool panels and workshops.

This year I skipped Otakon (I basically contented myself with taking pictures of Otakon cosplayers outside the convention) so I could afford to attend a full weekend of Intervention Con. (Although I still had to commute to and from the Hilton—where Intervention Con was held—because money is still too tight for me to stay in the hotel. I also had to pack my own meals and drinks for the same reason. I was able to get this deal at the Hilton front desk where I could get a weekend parking pass—yes this particular Hilton Hotel charges for parking in its garage—for $18. I took it because the breakdown would be $6 per day, which is a relative bargain compared to the usual $15 per day on the weekday.) Because of the convention’s relatively intimate size, I felt comfortable enough with getting a full weekend pass since I knew I would be doing less waking than if it was held in a large facility like either of the convention centers in Baltimore and DC.

The first of the events started at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon but I didn’t arrive until later because the panels I was interested in were held later. I managed to arrive a little bit early so I could pick up my pass, which is pictured below.

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

I was also given my choice of these plastic balls and I picked the blue one. I never figured out the significance of these balls.

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

The setup at Intervention Con was pretty much the same as last year so I quickly remembered where everything was located.

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

I spent some of my free time playing video games, many of which were classic late 1970’s-early 1980’s video games that were put on Free Play the entire weekend.

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

I also spent some browsing the Dealer’s Room but I couldn’t afford to do much shopping. I managed to take this panoramic shot of the room.

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

The next two photos are of the Intervention Con table which had a variety of extra things for people who paid a little extra money in order to gain “Enabler” status. Among the goodies given to such generous people were hand-crocheted amigurumis that resembled the Intervention Con’s owl mascot.

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

I came across some workers putting the finishing touches on erecting a life-sized model of the Tardis from Doctor Who.

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

There were a few cosplayers at Intervention Con such as this woman in the photo below.

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

I also brought along my latest creative project with me to work on during some downtime. I was currently working on a crocheted piece. I had every ambition to attend the “Early Stitch and Bitch” that was scheduled for 9 a.m. the following morning and I wanted to start my crocheted project before attending this event.

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

The first workshop I attended was on “Designing Your First Book,” which I found pretty enlightening. (Every now and then I have fantasies of one day publishing my own e-book even though I haven’t thought of what I wanted to write about yet. LOL!) It started at 5 p.m. and ended at 6 so I ate the dinner that I brought with me.

At 7 p.m. I went to another panel that I was the most interested in attending, which was titled “Comics Rehab: Overcoming Creative Depression.” It focused on the challenges of retaining your creativity in the challenges of real life (such as depression). That workshop really resonated with me because there are times when I’ve had a hard time getting going on anything because I was dealing with the emotional fallout from both my hip surgery in September, 2011 followed by my husband’s walkout just three months later (and three days after Christmas) followed by revelations that he left me for a friend who also has severe mental health issues. I got some helpful tips (the most important one was to go out and be with friends if depression is too overwhelming—don’t stay home alone). Near the end of that panel, a man who cosplayed as Jesus sat down next to me.

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

The reason why Jesus arrived was because he was involved in the next panel that was taking place in the same room. I stuck around in that room where I was treated to a spectacle that was titled “Cosplay Candidate: The Political Game.” Basically four cosplayers were asked questions about politics and they gave pretty hilarious answers while they were sticking in character to the character that they were portraying. One of the participants, standing next to Jesus in the next photo, was known as King Drunk for obvious reasons.

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

So I sat in on this panel for a little while until I grew pretty tired around 8:30 p.m. and I decided to call it a day and drive home.

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

As I was walking towards the parking garage, I saw this guy playing the guitar near the Tardis.

Intervention Con, Day 1, August 22, 2014

So it was one day of Intervention Con down and two more days to go.

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