Month: April 2013

  • Please Don't Bring Merlin Back

    I'm growing very impatient with the Bring Merlin Back groupie thing. I joined to watch what's going on partly out of morbid curiosity, because I have a sociology degree heavily anchored with anthropology and psychology. I've never observed a live cult group before, although I've seen a few from a distance. And I have to say, this one comes as close as any to weird obsession. I have bets on that if someone instructs them to drink the koolaid, a few of them just might.

    In the real world, one fan does not hold the power to make a staff of hundreds of people do his or her bidding. The group leader ~seems~ to understand that millions more dollars would have to be dredged up and a number of lives would have to screech to a halt and go in reverse to get back to an intersect point where they could pick up where they left off. But the group leader also seems to epic fail to see that playing fan politics like this looks like a mental affliction gone wildly awry. To expect the world to behave this way because a very few people (compared to the entire fandom or world audience) 'work hard' to make it happen isn't much different from a toddler throwing a tantrum or a teenager manipulating relationships or an adult refusing to deal with reality.

    I'm not wanting to be mean. I love Merlin so much that I spent good money procuring all 5 seasons, plus a calendar and a t-shirt. There are other fans out there spending much more than I have, buying collectible toys and apparel and traveling to film sites and conventions. IF these kinds of things are what keeps a show from ending, then Merlin would never have ended. Its international success exceeded so many expectations, and most of us feel so lucky to have seen it or been a part of it. But c'mon. Investing one's emotional belief system into remolding a television show via a fan army of swooning believers isn't how the rest of us want it to go. I do NOT want Merlin back if it means a handful of fans become the boss of everyone who ever created Merlin, and I especially do NOT want those fans to be the boss of Bradley and Colin.

    I love the way Merlin ended. I bawled my eyes out, yes. I've seen a lot of Arthurs and Merlins come and go, and this creation was such beautifully crafted story about such a deep friendship, and how that friendship survived through thick and thin and eventually led to the United Kingdoms. We watched a core belief system rebirth through the seasons and in the end came down to a serving girl on a throne because of the utter kindness of her king. THAT is what Albion is all about. Albion is a dream that we are ALL equal, that we ALL matter, and that we treat each other with respect and courtesy, not drawing lines at status. Because Arthur had such good friends, he was a good king.

    I do not want obsessive fans to change that. Arthur dies in all the legends, and I think this version of his death is fantastically beautiful and symbolic. Everything in the last two episodes is very symbolic- Merlin stuck in the dark cave while the battle begins in the dark, brother and sister both dying by swords forged in the dragons' breath, an actual dragon being Arthur Pendragon's pall bearer, and much more. I wept not just for the death of Arthur, but for how absolutely beautifully done that entire last stand was executed in film, how wonderfully uplifting the entire series was, how much it has actually helped me in my personal life to believe in good things during rough times.

    I thank Bradley and Colin very much for being Arthur and Merlin. But I never want to see them do those roles again any other way. I vehemently do NOT want obsessed fans to change what is in MY head by bullying the market with faked email accounts and spamming. I'm sorry those fans need that to hang onto, and I do understand that sometimes we really do need something concrete when our lives need meaning. I don't want to make anyone feel like I am making fun of them, because I'm not. I have observed and not said anything for a long time. But as an American who has watched this 'international' group execute 'actions' to bring Merlin back before some of us have seen season 5 aired in our country (or even season 3 in some countries), I think they do the rest of us fans the discourtesy of not caring what WE want.

    I want Arthur to rest in peace for awhile now. I want to make up my own fantasies about him rising out of Avalon again to join Merlin. I want that sparkling effervescence of 'maybe'. I want to move on and become the sort of person who would also be noble and patient and true like the rest of the supporting characters in Merlin.

    I have been part of a number of fandoms, and while I appreciate that fan support can sometimes bring a show back long enough to bring a little closure, I also understand that sometimes a show really is simply over, at least in the real world. In my mind I carry on to my own amusement, as is should be. Stories give us something to occupy our thoughts while we get through mundane or difficult stuff, and stories can even help us with problem solving our own relationships and decision making. To turn a story into a production on demand taints the joy of those creating the story to begin with (after all, it WAS someone else's idea), and neglects the feeling of pride in their accomplishment.

    I would invite the fans who demand a different sort of closure to create and publish their own stories. Instead of just demanding that everyone else drop whatever they're doing to please them, grow up and put the work into it yourselves. Invest your own money, dedicate your own hours of labor, form your own teams and produce something wonderful for the rest of the world to read or watch. The whole Merlin and Arthur field is wide open, anyone can interpret it any way they want. But don't think you can dare to turn our Colin and Bradley into puppets that you pull the strings on. Not cool. They have so much potential to go on and do so much more, and I want to see them continue to excel in other work. Please accept that they are actors, not dolls, not the real characters, not enamored of themselves as the fans are. They are simply men who get paid to fill roles. And we love them, that's ok.

    I rarely cross post my stuff, but this one is going on multiple blogs I have strewn across the ethernet. Those of you wonderful lurkers who stalk all my stuff, sorry for the redundancy, but this feels important. Thank you for your time.


  • Lost Lexx Art

    Scott salvaged an old hard drive that crashed on us several years ago, was able to get a few Lexx things I thought were lost forever after I deleted everything. I made these back in 2006, I think, give or take a year. I sized them down to fit here. I originally created them to put onto t-shirts. A couple of lucky fans got t-shirts from me back then. My Lexx Over Vancouver wound up in England somewhere, don't remember the rest.






  • The Runelord


    There has been something going on this week that quite took my breath away when it first showed up in my facebook feed. I've been holding back and watching as the days have unfolded, afraid to watch, and in a minute I'll tell you why.
    David Farland is one of the authors who follows me on twitter and I have him in my author list at I have been thinking for a couple of months that I'd like to get his Million Dollar Outlines since I'm in the middle of preparing my own material, hopefully to publish later this year unless I flop on my face or something. I have bantered lightly a couple of times with him on his twitter, retweeted a few things because he says cool stuff, etc. I automatically list authors who follow me, but I crossed over and also followed David Farland on his facebook awhile back because I like him.
    So I was stunned when this scrolled through my facebook feed on my droid very early Thursday morning during one of my fairly common insomnia stints. This will click to the post.

    We have some experience in my family with head injury, so I held my breath over the next couple days' updates about surgery to remove Ben's skullcap for the swelling and stuff, along with multiple other injuries, but when this picture came through I lost it.

    I knew when that picture was posted on Sunday that Ben had squeaked past the most critical part and had been stabilized enough to dare hold onto some hope, but I also knew it was with the question- for what future?
    On Tuesday David announced A Book Bomb for Ben, where everyone with any kind of social media account passes along info on where to buy David's Books to help with the medical bills that are obviously going to overwhelm their family, which was very encouraging, and I started to breathe a little again. They also created a facebook page called Ben Wolverton Recovery as a central information page for people with questions. On that page is a link to Ben's Recovery Fund for people who would like to help in another way than buying a book. On Wednesday there was a t-shirt fund announced, along with other fundraising events.

    Today there is a link to a really nice article.
    Now I'll tell you why I had flashbacks and trouble dealing with this, because I certainly didn't jump on board commenting my support. I've been on the other side, and since I don't have the social skills to deal with the public very well in situations like that, I just couldn't. Here is my niece after she was hit by a car just before Christmas 2011, and it's one of the nicer pictures. I didn't see her the first 24 hours, and didn't take pix of her bandaged up, you can't see the staples in the back of her head. Her whole head was swelled up like a melon, and they did brain scans several times a day at first, and she went through several surgeries on a leg she nearly lost.


    I know from her experience that even a slight amount of brain trauma has far reaching consequences, and that the network of family and friends is affected for a very long time after the injury, sometimes the rest of their lives. I also know the stress and strain that comes with hanging around hospitals for endless hours and days, the follow up surgeries and checkups months afterward, the physical and emotional therapy that comes with brain trauma, etc. She still has no memory of the accident.
    So because of that, I can imagine a little bit of what it's like for Ben's family. Ben has a VERY long road ahead of him if he makes it out of the hospital, as does David Farland and all their loved ones. This is something they'll be dealing with long after the book bomb is over, long after things go back to 'normal' on facebook. Updates disappear so quickly in social media, I wanted to make something that helps me find it more easily if I want to go back to it and follow Ben's recovery process, and I'm sharing that in case other people would like that, too. This is the latest picture of Ben from Wednesday.

    If you are a fan of David Farland's books and would like to send him a message, you can leave comments at the above links, and if you would like to help personally you can also go through the above links to buy his books and donate directly to the recovery fund. Learn more about David Farland at Dave Wolverton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and find him on facebook by clicking the picture below.


  • The Dead Do Not Snark

    I was named honorary "Snarkalec" several weeks ago and temporarily added to one of their member twitter lists after I hacked their logo onto Kai and joined in a live tweet Syfy watch party. Although I'm not an official member, here are a few links that are fun to check out. You can grab this pic with a highlight rollover for cut and paste.
    This entry can also be found at Lexx- wallpapers, icons, pix 
  • early monthly update April

    First of all, let's just see where my head's at.

    Easter weekend was cool because the weather actually got kind of nice. I can't get over the camera quality in my droid. I might never go back to a regular camera. Spent some time outside with the chickens. We were all relieved to get out.

    This was my first video upload onto youtube from my droid. happy 

    The groundcover is popping out.

    I was able to open windows and my house was filled with the scent of hyacinths blooming. They grow wild around here.

    March was a pretty rough month after a really rough winter. I tend not to talk about my stuff while I'm in it, prefer to curl up in solitude, so anyone who actually knows me is probably surprised I managed to stay kinda public through a lupus flare up affecting my nervous system, and even now nearing the end of some pretty rigorous physical therapy. I built my first Lexx fan site in full blown illness and no one ever knew I crawled through my nights practically wearing sunglasses while I worked on my coding. I confess I have a little more trouble nowadays staying that dedicated, so my Lexx film study went on hold. Didn't help that photobucket's new beta flipped my way of mass posting pix upside down.
    My chickens had it rough, too!  In all the years we've lived here, we've never had a parasite problem with our chickens. Not sure what the crap, but they got a big bad mite infestation in their nests this winter and were eaten alive while the mites chewed their feathers to the nubs around the oil glands above their tails and the vent area where their skin is moister. It looked like we took an electric razor to them and buzzed their bottoms bald. This happened so quickly that it was mind blowing and very surprising. So we got the chicken house and pen all cleaned out and dusted real good, and their poor feathers are trying to grow back. Feathers don't grow continuously like hair does, so we may have to wait till they molt to see if the damage is repairable. Some of them are getting some fluff back, but the pin feathers were just destroyed. How To Protect Your Chickens From Mites - BackYard Chicken This isn't the best video for assessing mites, but you can see what I mean, and this is after treatment and some recovery, so you didn't see how bad it got.

    We didn't have a big to do for Easter, but I went ahead and made yummy food. This is glazed ham and candied butternut squash.

    Kinda needing to assess where I'm at now since I started this blog back up, kind of surreal being so detached during my not feeling well stuff. My widget box on the left side of the main page (you can't see it on individual post pages) says I've gotten over 7000 clicks just inside the box since I installed it. My sitemeter says I've had 6900 extra views on top of initial main page hits, but it doesn't count redundancy, like people visiting more than once in one day or even week. My Xanga tracker shows me that stuff, though, some of you are pretty dedicated. heart Actually, Xanga says I've already got over 2000 hits just this week so far, so my site meter numbers must be extremely conservative.


    And believe it or not, Lexx fans, this isn't my highest traffic blog. winky If I combined all my blogs hits it would be pretty impressive.
    Does this matter? Not really, but I use it as incentive to keep going and to assess what sorts of things I maybe should be concentrating on. Remember, I'm the one who deleted all the old Lexx stuff in the first place, never told anyone how sick I was, and I assumed when I came back that no one cared and that was all in the past. Apparently a lot of you do care, and the past is swirling all around us into the future. It helps to see those numbers when my days get rough, because it's easy to assume 'no one' reads something if numbers are low (and easier to forget that these things can be read in the future, it doesn't all have to be immediate). Believe it or not, I actually considered shutting down again last week, or at the very least just walking away (it was a fleeting hour in the dark of a very bad night). It's hard work keeping up 5+ blogs and writing for other people on top of it, plus other stuff I'm doing, but you know what? I think that is the key to getting through hard stuff, staying busy. That I have people supporting me with traffic is icing on the cake, and it does help a person feel better. But if I weren't a puny person, I'd be doing all this anyway just because I love blogging, and the numbers wouldn't mean a thing to me. I have 8 years of blogs tucked away in private.
    I want to make a couple comments on stuff I've seen recently on twitter regarding numbers.
    One woman decided to shut down her paid for blog because readers (apparently to her mind) didn't appreciate that they didn't have to put up with ads, and she wasn't getting the feedback and traffic she was expecting to get in return for what she was paying out. You know what? Blog for YOU. Pay to remove the ads for YOU. I'm talking to all you bloggers. If you don't get traffic and that's what you want to see, dang, pay for the traffic to get it started, start networking. There is no magic. Sometimes you have to work to be seen in the crowd. You might be a boring person, but there are way more boring people than me on twitter and blogs that have more followers than me because they dedicate the time to networking, and I don't think boring has as much to do with it as simply just taking people on your journey with you. Share your world because you want to. It's ridiculous to fuss at your readers for not being better cheerleaders. They have lives and stuff, too.
    Then I read a story about a guy who had been on twitter for four years, made over 10,000 tweets, and had less than 20 followers the whole time. He finally decided to shut his twitter account down, had tried everything, like retweeting funny or interesting stuff, couldn't ever seem to get more followers. I think the guy's mistake may have been that he wasn't original. YOU are the only person on the planet that can say the stuff from the point of view that is your head. What do YOU think about things? What makes you laugh and cry? What do you think is cool? And again, share because you want to. If it's only about numbers while you repaste other people's stuff, you lose the game. You have to care about your readers caring about you, not just pull their strings to get reactions. If you don't enjoy entertaining people off the top of your head with your stuff and you think it's too much work, maybe tweeting and blogging isn't your thing. Kind of like people on American Idol who can't carry a tune, sometimes you just have to realize that no matter how much you love something, not everyone else has to appreciate that you love it. Doesn't mean you can't walk around singing at the top of your lungs or tweeting your eyeballs out, just don't take nonresponse as a signal to quit.
    Another guy I follow on twitter gets those little weekly or monthly activity reports that show up in his feed for everyone to see. This last week he had 22 retweets, 6 new followers, and 15 mentions. What most of his followers may not realize is that he cross tweets over at least 3 accounts that he owns while pretending to be other people. Then he live tweets a tv show that he rewatches that has been over for a couple of years, but his tweets are random action alerts, rarely snarky, rarely emotionally involved. You know what? People must love it because he has a LOT of followers compared to me. Why? Because he also contributes real content to movie review sites, interacts well with people all over the world, and gets excited about other people's stuff. He's interesting in probably a very different way than he thinks he's interesting. His personna amuses me, I like him, nerd to the max. If something doesn't go right, he just creates another account and keeps working away. You have to admire and respect that kind of dedication.
    And still another guy I follow on twitter does almost nothing but build legos. Every day he shares a pic of a new lego thing he constructs with his young son, and dang if he's not talking to people all over the world about legos. I'm not a legos person, but because of the ocassional interesting picture or little story about his kid, I've begun noticing all kinds of really cool lego stuff from conventions and lego obsessed builders. There are some really talented people out there.
    Stay busy. Keep blogging or tweeting or whatever it is you do. Do it because you want to. Numbers are nice, and it's a fun game trying to bump them up, but never let numbers tell you what you are doing is dumb or unwanted. It may be that you just aren't being seen by the right audience, or that you haven't figured out how to network yet. Don't limit yourself to one media and reject the rest. This world is too big for that. Also, use your numbers wisely. Stat reports like this one are a great way for me to gauge how well I'm still managing during a sick spell. It's not about traffic as much as it is about my weaker productivity.
    Watch your trending, compare it to same time year before, assess yourself and your content, do experiments to see where you can tweak your traffic. NEVER use traffic stats as a one-time only assessment tool to shut down your stuff. Time and traffic are fluid, numbers go up and down, and it might have a lot more to do with weather and the time of year than you think. I've noticed for years that my worst traffic is usually between spring break and Memorial Day.
    Ok, back to real life. My commissioned Lexx art t-shirt is supposed to get finished up pretty soon. It's a huge job, two artists are working on it, it's pricey, and I can't wait to be a show off in it. cool 
    Also got a nice gift for my coming soon grandbabies from a really sweet actress-entrepreneur in England after I got silly and told her she'd be rewarded for talking to me on twitter with a promo on my silly survey blog. Click this pic if you want to see where they came from.
    I'm hoping that my energy level is picking back up for real and that I'll be getting busier on my blogs again soon. If it hadn't been for twitter I think I would have just croaked off in a corner, so thanx to everyone on twitter who tolerated my weird facebook crossposting at one in the morning kind of stuff. Honestly, droid has changed the way I handle life, certainly makes it easier to get through tough nights now. I never want to bother people with middle of the night phone calls, and blogging about stuff only makes it more depressing, but get me rocking twitter on a droid and the night just flies by. There are so many awesome funny and creative people out there, and it's nice to find I'm not alone in the wee hours. And sometimes I get lucky and a someone famous retweets me or follows me back. It's a fun twitter game. laughing 
    Ok, guys, I'm off to make some cookies. I haven't had a cookie in a long time.


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My first tracker was installed in 2004 and broke several times before moving to a new server, which lost a few months of stats, and then Xanga moved to new servers and I lost more stats for more months before the page came back up, so I've lost a total of about two years' worth of stats. The second was installed 2-22-14 and is considered very conservative by business owners who use analytics, which itself is very conservative, estimates being that roughly one third to one half of hits by real live people aren't even counted, most likely due to javascript discrepancies. Actual hits on several posts here are in the thousands now, and the Lexx Index in the ten thousands. I've got pingbacks turned off, so spam isn't counted at all within the Xanga internal tracker, and most direct post hits can be correlated to my real time linking activity on twitter and other social media. When I did Google Analytics beta testing I got to see how search engine performance compares to tracking. I believe live feed linking sources to various social medias are key to a future where search engines are more about performance than cataloging, which has been confirmed to me by coders who create bot algorithms as I was beta testing I've fought hard through redundant age-old stacks to make my way to the google front lines again, so my Lexx work shows up faster on Chrome searches now. This has been a really interesting ride. At any rate, my point is, I can still go back 6 years on my original tracker and I can still see that in 2013 just before the last big blog server move, I was getting traffic like this (and since then, the tracker may have been abandoned, we can't tell). Click the thumbnail to see full size.

My original tracker also still lets me see the latest 500 visitors on a map. I once counted over 80 countries among the total visits. You guys are not alone. Click the map to see it better.

Besides Lexx, the most common search phrases that bring new visitors here are variations on 'huge spaceship'. The most seen post from a phrase search is How Big is the Lexx? My biggest Lexx referrer is Lexx Domain. Most of page views per person count comes from the Lexx tag on Tumblr. Visitors who stay the longest come through URLOpener and are pinged through the Google translator server in Mountain View, CA.

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April 2013
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