July 12th, 2014


HBO 29 -- Willow

Twenty-Ninth session: Willow (conclusion)
Momentary pause as the movie had to be rewound and reset. Then Willow is off to try for the wizard apprenticeship.

To tell you how little I knew about the film, for many years I thought Willow was the baby grown up to be Val Kilmer -- based on one of the posters I saw and maybe a TV ad. And there is a huge cast of little people. Apparently George Lucas used the working title Munchkins. Wikipedia had that information, but didn't talk about what has to be one of the top movie casts of little people. On the other hand, Wikipedia did mention that the princess and Val Kilmer got married, so maybe some of that heat between them wasn't just acting.

1988 is an odd time in developing special effects. Lucas did delay trying to make the film until technology would allow it, but it may have benefited from a few more years. Still, I liked it. It's a fun movie. Has an odd sense of geography (grin), but it's got those two wonderful brownies -- sort of We Fart In Your General Direction but somewhat more competent and wildly enthusiastic. Warwick Davis as Willow was amazing. And I recognized Jean Marsh of Upstairs, Downstairs as the evil queen.

The timing was just about perfect. I guess Mary let me have an extra 30 seconds to close out the movie. I was thinking of Tequila Sunrise on Monday, but it's 116 minutes -- might be a tad too long.


Yesterday the Wound Clinic called just as I was heading downtown to request if I could reschedule my appointment with the foot surgeon earlier. I called, but no dice. So I put in a call to the Wound Clinic to confirm what was going to happen. The nurse hadn't called me back when I had to leave today, so I left my cellphone on and the Bluetooth Borg implant in my ear. The phone rang just as I was getting onto Ottawa Avenue downtown.

I also saw the doctor in the hospital lobby. The standard treatment is thirty dives at HBO. We'll evaluate where we are and how effective the treatment has been. More could be ordered. But right now, Monday will be my last dive.

Anyway, I had to say goodbye to Mary -- she'll be off on Monday. And it always pays to let the staff know that they've done a great job.

Meanwhile, the construction detours keep expanding. I was just able to get around a lake of newly poured concrete in the middle of the intersection coming out of the Butterworth Hospital circle and make a 120° left hand turn to get down the hill -- the hole wasn't there yesterday.

Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil's Detcon Panels -- NEXT WEEKEND

NASFiC In Detroit

Repeat announcement on me attending Detcon1, the 2014 North American Science Fiction Convention, in just ONE WEEK. While I will be using a wheelchair to get around, I do have six panels and a reading.

The complete Detcon1 schedule can be found here.

Friday 18 July 2014

Michigan Voices 1: Short Readings - Joliet A - Literature
Fri Noon (1 hr.)

A group reading featuring Michigan authors.
Martin L. Shoemaker, Dr. Phil (Philip Edward Kaldon), Michael J. DeLuca, David Sklar.

The Good and Bad in Science Fiction - Nicolet A - Detention
Fri 7:00 PM (1 hr.)

Damon Knight said in 1959, "People turn to science fiction for a blend of two feelings---the roller coaster shock of fantasy and the instinctive feel of reality; the feeling that this might be true. If we forget either of these things, we start losing our audience. And I think we are forgetting one of them... I am talking about that sense of reality," suggesting too many stories were just "pleasant little intellectual games." Have things changed since then and how? If not, should they?
Chuck Von Nordheim mod, Dr. Phil (Philip Edward Kaldon), Carrie Patel.

Saturday 19 July 2014

Vehicles: Past, Present, Future - Ambassador Salon 2 - Science
Sat 11:00 AM (1 hr.)

Horses, steam, electric, gas and diesel, then back to electric again. What about hydrogen? Flux capacitors? Where's my flying car? Where do trains fit in?
Mike Substelny mod, Dr. Phil (Philip Edward Kaldon), Erik Kauppi, Matthew Alan Thyer, Emmy Jackson, Eric McGlohon.

RoboCop: Or There Will Be... Trouble - Nicolet A - Media
Sat 2:00 PM (1 hr.)

For some people, RoboCop is the best SF movie ever set in Detroit (despite being filmed just about everywhere else), and is often cited as one of the best films of 1987. The movie, now 27 years old, was followed by 2 sequels, tv shows, animated shows, comics, video games, and a 2014 remake. Our panel discusses the original RoboCop, its themes and its uses of the idea of the city of Detroit, and compares it to its sequels and the remake.
Pablo Vasquez mod, Alex von Thorn, Dr. Phil (Philip Edward Kaldon), Daniel O'Riordan, Margaret Yang.

Detention to Detcon1: Science! - Mackinac East - Science
Sat 6:00 PM (1 hr.)

How has science & technology changed, in the time between Detention & Detcon1? How has it changed our lives and enabled projects that simply couldn't be done before? What was supposed to advance, but didn't?
Erik Kauppi mod, John Wardale, Dr. Phil (Philip Edward Kaldon), Tobias S. Buckell.

Sunday 20 July 2014

Science Fiction and the Space Age - Nicolet B - Detention
Sun 10:00 AM (1 hr.)

At the time of Detention in 1959, the space age had barely started with the launch of Sputnik in 1957. But Science Fiction had already been around for decades. It's now 2014, and this weekend marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. How has our changing relationship with space influenced the genre since 1959?
Steven Shaviro mod, Chad Childers Martin L. Shoemaker, Dr. Phil (Philip Edward Kaldon).

Clarion 2004 + 10 - Mackinac West - Literature
Sun 11:00 AM (1 hr.)

Ten years ago one of the last Clarion workshops at MSU was held, before the workshop moved to San Diego. Instructors and students of that last class (and others) share their thoughts on the successes, failures, benefits from their Clarion experiences after 10 years.
Dr. Phil (Philip Edward Kaldon) (2004) mod, Al Bogdan (2004), Traci Castleberry (2005), Amelia Beamer (2004).

Ren Center 5th Floor (Click on map for larger.)

Ren Center 3rd Floor (Click on map for larger.)

Full floorplan can be found here.

Main hotel is full. You can find overflow space or still Register at the Detcon1 website.

Dr. Phil