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Fandom | Raging Technoholic
May
0

1960's Pool Party Weekend May 21-22

Summer is coming to San Diego, and nothing says summer like spending a weekend with old friends and new, sitting by the pool, enjoying a cocktail, and listening to the swank tunes of the 1960's!

A group of us here in San Diego that is known for putting on large Comic-Con, Halloween events, and the odd Zombie Bus, and Elvis night, decided to do something different and rather than battling the undead, or dressing up as the King we decided to do something a little different.

Our Mad Men weekend at the Pearl Hotel in San Diego is a two night event that promises to be a blast!

The Pearl Hotel is a fantastic newly remodeled 1960's hotel that epitomizes the look and feel of the 1960's, with 23 rooms, a heated salt water pool, and a fantastic bar, it's the ideal location for what we have in mind!

We have blocked out all of the rooms at the hotel, and are looking for a few good folks to join us, if this sounds like something that you want to do, just follow these few easy steps.

1: Contact The Pearl and tell them you're interested in getting a room for the May 21st-22nd Event


Pearl Hotel

www.thepearlsd.com

1410 Rosecrans Street
San Diego, CA 92106
(619) 226-6100

2: Let us know you're coming, drop me a line at kevin@x-sanguin.com!

3: Profit! 🙂

If you have any question, ideas, etc feel free to drop me a line!

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Apr
0

Zombies of Mass Destruction!

Want to go see Zombies of Mass Destruction for free TONIGHT?

Courtesy of the Gay / Lesbian Film festival I have a bunch of tickets to hand out to folks that want to go see the 10:00pm showing of this movie, all you have to do is show up and ask me for them!

HOW: I'll be at Ono Sushi tonight from about 7:00 till about 9:15 hanging out, getting my snack and drink on, and giving out tickets to the event.

WHERE: You can find information on Ono Sushi HERE

WHEN: You can get tickets from me from about 7:00 - 9:15, I'll be sitting at the bar, and probably be the only person wearing a Zombie Defense Network military jacket drinking a Jack Daniels.  I'll leave for the theater at about 9:15.

Hope to see you there, and you can message me on twitter @kworkman if you have any questions etc.

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Feb
0

Fallout: New Vegas

Whoo Hoo!  The trailer for the latest Fallout game just got posted!  Check it out!

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Nov
0

Shopping for your geek?


So, being a geek myself I never get stuck trying to come up with ideas to buy other geeks, I just ask myself what is it that I want, and then apply it to others, saves time, and it's almost 100% spot on.

So this year I decided to sit down and give folks who are less knowledgeable in the ways of the geek an insight into what their geek might want under the tree this year.   Obviously each geek is unique (just like everyone else) and have their own take on things, but the list below has some obviously geeky items, as well as a few that might truly impress your favorite propeller head.

COMPUTER GEEKS

First up are the computer geeks, now your geek might fall into several of these areas, but usually computers are a common element in any geek house.


Kingston 128GB SSD Solid State Drive

ssd

Ok, so here's the deal, for years now hard drives in mobile computers have sucked, we all knew it, but there wasn't much we could do about it until now.   By moving to a solid state disk you can take a four year old computer and make it seem like it's a brand new machine.   Great way to breathe some life into an older machine and not shell out $1200 for a entirely new notebook.

Make sure your geeks notebook takes "SATA" drives, and not "IDE" , type the model number into Google and find somewhere where it gives the specifications for that model, SATA=WIN  IDE=FAIL

Approximate Cost: $245

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO


G-Technology 1TB External Hard Drive

gtech

Yes you can find cheaper external drives, yes Best Buy has some really cheap ones that look just as good, but here's why I love G-Technology.  They answer the phone... no really, they have real people answer the phone in their technical support dept, and they know what they are talking about.  Your call is not being bounced off a satalite to India where someone is reading from a script and asking you if you also might want to switch phone carriers.

G-Technology also understand that heat kills hard drives and they do a damn good job of using the entire enclosure (the metal around the hard drive) as a big heat sink to pull the heat away from the drive.

This particular model sports USB, 400MB Fire Wire, 800MB Fire Wire, and eSata, which means it will plug into damn near anything.   If they need more space than this, your geek has a porn habit, and you should get them a Drobo.

Approximate Cost: $179

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO



Drobo

drobo

Behold the kick ass power of the Drobo.

What does the Drobo do you might ask?  The Drobo lets your geek store a crap ton of data in this nifty little box on hard drives and still keep it safe if one of the drives takes a crap.

The magic of the Drobo lets your geek use their existing drives, and even drives that are not the same sized, and all geeks have a ton of old drives laying around, so this lets them put them all in a nice little box and makes them look like one big drive to the computer, all the while ensuring that their precious collection of.... um..... wild life photos are kept safe.

Approximate Cost: $249

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO


Logitech Webcam Pro 9000

webcam

Yes, I know web cams have been around forever, why would my geek want a newer one?  Well this new generation of web cams sport HD video and a 16x9 aspect ratio just their their geeky HD TV's.   The logic sports a kick ass Carl Zeiss lens (Carl kicks lens ass) and auto focus.

Of note here, if your geek has a Mac, don't buy this since they have one built in, and Mac people we all weird if their computer parts don't color coordinate.

Approximate Cost: $65

Extra credit, buy two and then you and your geek can video chat... hot.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO


CREATIVE GEEKS

Your geek might be one of those creative types, may into photography, art, drawing etc.  I'v tried to put together a few unique ideas that will make your geek swoon with delight.

Lecia D-Lux 4 Digital Camera - Approx $699


lecia
This camera kicks all kinds of ass.

Yes, I know it's not a Nikon, or a Cannon, it's from some euro sounding company called Lecia, but trust me on this, Lecia has been around forever, and makes some kick ass camera that put out just amazing images.

This one is a 10mp (Trust me if your not doing prints more mega pixels doesn't mean better pictures, it just means you can see nose hairs) and takes video as well.   It's small enough to fit in the pocket, but put out images comparable to a $1,400 DSLR camera.

Approximate Cost: $699

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO



Wacom Intuos 4 Tablet - Approx $350


intuos1
If you have one of those creative geeks who loves to draw, paint, etc, then the Wacom tablet is for you.

I picked one of these up at Comic-Con two years ago and I love it.It allows you to draw on the surface just like you would with a pen, can detect what angle the pen is at, how much pressure your putting on it etc.  Fully compatible with Photoshop, Illustrator, and other applications that your geek uses.

These new ones even come with "on tablet" controls to change ink, pen type etc.

Approximate Cost: $350

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO



Final Cut Express 3.5 - Approx $150


finalcute
If your geek is the movie making type, or a up and coming YouTube star, and they want to kick up their game from iMovie, Final Cut Express could be the answer if they are on a Mac.

Final Cut Express is the little brother to Final Cut Pro (which I list later on).  It picks up where iMovie leaves off and opens up some truly professional editing tools for your geek to become famous with.  Note, this only works on a Mac, if they have a PC, have a look at Adobe Premier

Approximate Cost: $299

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO



GAMER GEEKS

OK, disclaimer here.  If your geek is a huge gamer there is a good chance they have one or all of these titles, so it's best to make sure if they already own it.  Also often these games come out for various systems such as XBOX, PS3, Wii, etc, so be sure to check which system they have as well.

Dragon Age - Origins

dao My friend Paul came over and was giddy to show me a game trailer for this thing, and I almost went out and bought a XBOX just to play the damn thing.  Really kick ass RPG, amazing graphics and game play and it's got FUCKING DRAGONS in it, how bad ass is that?

Check out the kick ass trailer here.

Remember find out if your geek has a XBOX or PS3 before buying.

Approximate Cost: $65

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO



Uncharted 2: Among the Thieves

uc2
The second game that Paul wanted to show me was this, Uncharted 2.  Evidently it has some of the best story writing anyone has seen in a game in a long fucking time. It's compelling, interesting, and the game play really kicks the lamas ass as well.  It's been compared to playing inside of a movie.

Check out the even more kick ass trailer here.

This is for PS3 only

Approximate Cost: $50

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO



Left 4 Dead 2

l4d2 You can't go wrong with zombies, and this game kicks so much ass, it kicks it's own ass! The game can be different every time you play due to the way it was created.  Play with a group or play on your own, this is probably the best zombie video game to date.There are few things more geeky that mixing zombies and video games, so this is a sure fire winner.

Probably has one of the best video game trailers of all time, click here to check it out

Approximate Cost: $50

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO




Sci- Fi Movie Geek

2009 was an amazing year for science fiction movies, and I might even so on record as saying it was one of the best ever.


Moon

moon
The entire movie has just one person in it, Sam Rockwell, and he pulls off an amazing performance as the sole astronaut on a moon base.

Directed by David Bowie's son (yes that David Bowie) it was one of the best Sci-Fi movies I have ever soon, well done, not cheesy, and really original.  Get it on Blue-Ray if your geek has a Blue-Ray player.

Approximate Cost: $50


CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO



District 9

d9
This was honestly one of the best sci-fi movies that I have ever seen.  It's currently tied for first place with Blade Runner in my book, and really is not only an amazing sci-fi movie, but a scathing look at social issues .

The look and feel of the movie is incredible visceral and has an element of realism that is not often seen in sci-fi movies.   Be sure to get this on Blue-Ray if your geek has it, and I for one am picking up the two disk set.

Approximate Cost: $50


CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO



Mobility Geek

It's no secret that I recently decided to go 100% mobile with my computer setup.  I realized I was only using my notebook, and have decided to make the move to try and make all of my tech/geek stuff as mobile as possible.  These are a few of the tools that will help keep your geek on the move.

MiFi Mobile Access Point

mifi
This  is amazingly bad ass.  It's a mobile WiFi hotspot that uses the cellular network to reach the internet.  There is one button that turns it on and off.  When you turn it on, suddenly your computer, phone, etc all see a WiFi hotspot that you can use.

Since it just uses your regular WiFi connection there are no crazy drivers that fuck up your machine, and you can share it with up to 4 other people so that you can all be on-line at the same time.   Battery lasts about 3 hours in normal use I have found, and if you're near a plug you can go forever.

Approximate Cost: NA / It's free with a contract

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO



Amazon Kindle

kindle

ONE OF THE MOST BAD ASS THINGS TO HAVE EVER BEEN MADE FOR GEEKS

No, I'm not kidding.

For someone on the go, or hell just sitting at home this thing is amazing.  It's an ebook reader that is connected wireless to your Amazon account, so you can buy books and such over the air.

Not only are the books cheaper on the Kindle you can get them RIGHT NOW, when you buy a book on the Kindle it's downloaded to your device in about 5 seconds.   No more running into the crappy airport book stores and paying list price for something, you just click, and you have your book in seconds.

Did I also mention that the wireless service is over the cellular network and FREE FOR LIFE?  Yeah pretty bad ass.

The other bad ass thing about these are, when you purchase a book you buy the right to own the book, so if you loose your Kindle, just down load it again for free!   Need to make room because you filled it up with 2,000 books?  Just delete some knowing you can always download them again.

The screen looks like paper, so it doesn't wear your eyes out, and you can control the font size, so if your vision is not up to reading the tiny print of books, hit a button and suddenly the text of the entire book is huge.

The Amish are jealous of this one, and your geeks friends will be too.

Approximate Cost: $250

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO



Flip Video Camera

flip
Since I'm a video geek, I get a ton of people asking me what's the best camera to get to take home movies and such, which one has he best picture, features etc.

I tell them "The best camera, is the one you have with you"

The problem with big expensive cameras is they are just that, big and expensive, so people don't lug them around all the time, or if they do, they are afraid something will happen to it etc.

The Flip camera takes good video, is brain dead simple, and fits in your pocket.  You can't beat it for the price, and it does 720P video, and you just plug it into your computer.

Ideal for home movies.... if you know what I mean.

Approximate Cost: $129

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO



Podcasting/On-Line Video Geek

Maybe your geek is trying to become internet famous, maybe they want to host their own news show, either way here are some cheap ways to get them on-line and still put on a quality show for the masses.

Flashmic

flashmic
If your geek is going down the audio podcasting route and maybe wants to take the show on the road, this thing is amazing.  Not cheap, but it's a professional microphone that records to a solid state card.  There are no cables, or wireless options to figure out, you just turn it on and go.

Ideal for man on the street interviews and locations where you need to be able to fit your entire studio into your pocket.

All around fantastic product.

Approximate Cost: $999

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO



Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera

kodak
Ok, this is a bit more than the flip camera, but not by much.  It can even do 1080P video, but chances are your geek isn't going to need to use that option.

What sets this camera apart from the flip is the fact that it can take external audio, why is that important you might ask?   Because using the mic on the camera sounds like ass.

People are often willing to watch crappy video, but they are not willing to listen to crappy audio, by having an external audio port on this camera you can attach a quality microphone to it, and sound like a pro!

Approximate Cost: $199

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO



AZDEN  Lavaliere Mic

lav
This is an ideal mic to go with the Kodak video camera above.  Small discreet and 10x better audio that what you would get out of the mic on the camera.

These things are delicate so best to start out on the cheaper side and work your way up to the ones that are 100's of dollars, maybe they can use their new found internet fame to buy one of those.

Approximate Cost: $24

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
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Aug
0

Thoughts on comping tickets to our events

So I always seem to get questions from people asking me about comped tickets to the events that we do. Sometimes these questions are leading, like as in what do I have to do to get a free ticket, other times they are concerned that people are abusing the system by getting in for free, and others are just pain irritated for various reasons.

I'll do my best to explain my thinking, I won't pull any punches, I won't throw any spin on it, I'll just give you how my mind works, and then you can decide for yourself if there is a method to the madness.

The goals of throwing our events is ensure that our guests have a good time, that we don't loose our ass on costs and that we pave the way for future events/projects. 

It sounds simple enough, but often times, people loose sight of what the end goals are and focus to much on the immediate issues that are bothering them, it means putting aside the ego and focusing on the long term plan.

So key factors in the case of a large event like X-Sanguin you have to look at how many people does the venue hold, how many tickets do you think you can sell, and what's your bar minimum. 

Lets say the venue holds 1000, and your bar guarantee is $15,000, assuming that you can sell enough tickets to cover your event costs (if you can't you have no business getting doing an event that sized) but not enough to sell out, now your presented with a decision.

Do you say "I don't see why anyone should get in for free! Everyone pays!" and run the risk of doing fine on ticket sales and not making your bar tab, or do you suck it up and take a long term view of the goals of selling tickets, and not loosing your ass on the bar tab?

It's that last part that can really bug people, humans really can have problems seeing others getting something for free, esp if they don't know them, or even worse, they don't like them, but often times in situations like this it is a necessary step to success. 

So when considering who we are going to comp tickets out to, most of them fall into one of these categories:

Above and Beyond
This person did something for the group that went above and beyond what anyone would normally do to help out. Maybe they donated hours of their time, or helped move equipment on their days off etc. They earned them with their blood sweat and tears.

The Peer
This is someone or a group of people that do similar events, or include you and your group in their projects. Doing big events can be a stressful difficult experience and it's always good to compare notes, etc with your peers.

The Super Connector
These people are social hubs for large groups of friends, that look to them for "What are we doing", by comping out these people you count on a large drag effect of their friends buying tickets to attend the event. 

They might still buy their tickets, but by giving them tickets, you cater to their ego, so that they are more inclined to tell their friends about it, and make sure they know that they got their tickets for free. Their ego becomes your allie in this situation.

Passive Influencer
These people for some reason inspire others to attend the event, not by direct action, or promoting, but by some other means. Often times they people that are considered famous, creative, extremely attractive, etc. 

New Attendee
In the business world this would be called "Customer Acquisition", and often times businesses know that they will have to take it on the chin to get that person as a customer for that first sale, but after that, they will see the value in their product and become a loyal customer. It's a similar case here, I would much rather give a ticket to someone who would never normally buy one, but who would buy one the next year if they had fun at the event. Again, it's taking a long term view of your goals.

Silly Inspiration
Ok, I'll admit it, sometimes you just do it because you want to bring a little fun into the world and be unpredictable. On Twitter I sent out "This was a triumph, I'm making a note here huge success". To which I had about 15 responses asking me what was up, did I win a contest etc, and then I got one response of "Its' hard to overstate my satisfaction".

Yes, it's the end theme song from portal, and someone got it, there is a case of silly inspiration, oh and the guy that figured out that the numbers on the dog tags are earth's jump coordinates for BSG. 🙂

How to fail at getting free tickets
So there you have it, those are the basic categories that people fall into that we give out comped tickets to. Sure there are exceptions, there always are, but now having seen all of that, I'll tell you how NOT to get a free ticket to the event.

Then open scene from the movie the Godfather is really an amazing piece of cinema and a powerful moment in the film that sets the mood for the rest of the movie.

In the scene Marlin Brando is sitting in his office on with a few of his men, and on the other side of the desk is Amerigo Bonasera, a undertaker in the Italian community. 

He starts off by telling Don Corleone (Marlin Brando) how his daughter, a fine girl, with upstanding morals, was led astray to go on a date with a boy who tried to take advantage of her, and when she fought back the boy savaged her face. Amerigo Bonasera is asking for justice for his daughter, justice that the police can't give him, since they only gave the boy 4 months in jail.

The reason he is asking this, is that tradition holds that on the day of his daughters wedding, no Sicilian father can refuse a request.

After thinking a moment, the Godfather looks at Amerigo Bonasera and the conversation goes something like this.... 

DON CORLEONE
Bonasera, we know each other for
years, but this is the first time
you come to me for help. I don't
remember the last time you invited
me to your house for coffee...even
though our wives are friends.

BONASERA
What do you want of me? I'll give
you anything you want, but do what
I ask!

DON CORLEONE
And what is that Bonasera?

BONASERA whispers into the DON's ear.

DON CORLEONE
No. You ask for too much.

BONASERA
I ask for Justice.

DON CORLEONE
The Court gave you justice.

BONASERA
An eye for an eye!

DON CORLEONE
But your daughter is still alive.

BONASERA
Then make them suffer as she
suffers. How much shall I pay you.

Both HAGEN and SONNY react.

DON CORLEONE
You never think to protect yourself
with real friends. You think it's
enough to be an American. All
right, the Police protects you,
there are Courts of Law, so you
don't need a friend like me.
But now you come to me and say Don
Corleone, you must give me justice.
And you don't ask in respect or
friendship. And you don't think to
call me Godfather; instead you come
to my house on the day my daughter
is to be married and you ask me to
do murder...for money.

BONASERA
America has been good to me...

DON CORLEONE
Then take the justice from the
judge, the bitter with the sweet,
Bonasera. But if you come to me
with your friendship, your loyalty,
then your enemies become my enemies,
and then, believe me, they would
fear you...

Slowly, Bonasera bows his head and murmurs.

BONASERA
Be my friend.

DON CORLEONE
Good. From me you'll get Justice.

BONASERA
Godfather.

DON CORLEONE
Some day, and that day may never
come, I would like to call upon you
to do me a service in return.

In other words, now that Amerigo Bonasera in in trouble, he is coming to Don Corleone for help, but never came in true friendship before, but had he, he would not need to be asking for justice, for it would have already been done. Now however, after granting his request, since he did not come in friendship before, he is now indebted to Don Corleone.

That's a very long winded way of saying that when coming to me and asking for a comp ticket, and following it up with "I'll help you promote, etc" your probably irritating me. 

The person is usually trying to trade on our friendship and now that they need something they are offing to help in some small way. Where as if they had been offering to help all along, they would not need to ask, for it would have already been given in friendship.

So there you have it, there are tons of other factors that could come up, but that should give you an idea on how my mind works when it comes to comped tickets.

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Mar
0

How putting on X-Sanguin is like a scene from Men in Black

So, to make a long story short, we are holding X-Sanguin at another venue this year.

abbeyatbalboapark1Yeah, not my first choice either, but the venue that we usually use is booked with a wedding the night of our event, to say we were a little disappointed is an understatement, however sometimes that's just how things go, and you have to  roll the hard six.

So back in December we were talking about finding another place to host the event, and just so you know there are lots of issues around doing this since whatever venue we use has has to meet a bunch of criteria:

  • Within 3-5 miles of the convention center
  • Able to host at least 700 people
  • Not be a "box"
  • Not have an existing event planned for that Saturday Night
  • Etc.

Now you might think "But there are tons of places in the Gaslamp that you could do an event like that at, it should be easy!" While your right about there being a bunch of places that fit that criteria the issue that always pokes it's ugly head  out is that we need to do whats known as a "buy out", in other words, we want to control the door, and only let our guests in.

The problem that this creates is that the venue has to turn away their regulars since we are only letting our ticketed guests in, so to do that you have to make it worth their while, since they are risking their regular patrons getting mad going somewhere else and not coming back.   So if on a Saturday night during top tourist seasons they normally do say 20K at the bar, they are going to want 40K to make it worth their while.  No, that's not a joke, I have had people tell me anywhere from 40k - 60K for a buyout if you can believe that.

As you can imagine this complicates matters, since well, I don't have 40K to give them.

So, suffice to say, it's a difficult process to find a new venue in any situation where we have to be near downtown.   So as we are in the process of finding a new location my partner (business not sexytime) Shawn started to get really concerned since we still have no venue for the event, and it's March.  So I had to remind him that there are always problems, and not to worry etc.

Then it struck me, that I have become numb to this type of stuff over the years.   It's never easy to put something like this on, and there are ALWAYS 10 things that could prevent a huge event from happening, it's like that scene in Men in Black where the character of J (Will Smith) is yelling at K (Tommy Lee Jones) that they can't fool around anymore since there is an alien battle ship about to blow up the planet, to which K responds "There is always some alien battle ship about to destroy the planet, or an intergalactic plague about to take over, or an invasion about to happen, and the only thing that keeps this world going is that people never know!"

Over the years issues like "we don't have a venue" or "The DJ's equipment is not compatible with the PA", or even "They now want twice the bar guarantee" always comes out of no where, and I guess I have just grown to expect it.   If doing these events were easy, everyone would do them, and if at the fist sign of a problem, or what looks like a critical issue, you give up, nothing would ever happen, since your bound to run into problems like that in any large endevor.

Sometimes I think people convince themselves that "If it was meant to be, it would just happens" and you could tell yourself no greater lie.  Any large project that looks difficult is going to be just that, difficult.   Problems will come up, last min critial "the world is about to end" problems are always going to be there, you just have to make a concious choice that your not going to throw up your hands at the first sign of trouble.

Having said all of that, we did find a new venue, and the person that we are working with is named.... "The Turk", I am sure this is setting me up for an interesting chapter in my memoris with a name like that.

Sneak Peek at new venue... shhhhh

Sneak Peek at new venue... shhhhh

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Mar
Mar
0

My secret identity is Kevin, my super hero persona is "Battle Panda"

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Mar
0

R2D2 at Wonder Con 2009

The most amazing R2D2 I have never seen. The guy came over our booth and said Hi.

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Mar
0

Wonder Con Day 3

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