Of styro-stuffing, set-building, and starting to feel like home

When we toured the house in Utah that we’ve wound up renting, the first glimpse of the basement – an area as big as the living room upstairs, but in a decidedly unfinished state without even so much as drywall in most places – there was talk of contractors coming and going for the first several weeks that we were there until the room was done.

Having come from a house that had, for several years, had bare concrete floors, I took one look and said we’d take it as-is. I saw exposed beams and rafters from which lights could be hung, places where a camera or two could be mounted, unfinished walls where I could put acoustic foam to make the space a better recording studio, and the floor was nothing new to me. I saw the studio that this space could be. Read More

Review: Flynn’s Retrocade

When we last left the Little Green Men and their Big Green Dad, they were searching for a new “arcade home” in northern Utah, and they encountered… disappointment.

This weekend, however, was a different story. The kids’ mother was off work, she wanted to spend some time with them, and having last taken them to a mostly-out-of-order “arcade” that reeked of a dive bar in decline, I thought maybe I’d better scout out the next place by myself to make sure it was appropriate. This particular voyage of discovery took me about an hour north of our temporary home base in Lehi to the small town of Roy, Utah… home of Flynn’s Retrocade. Read More

50 Shades of Shada

As is generally well known now, what was intended to be the six-part season closer of Doctor Who’s 1979-80 season, Douglas Adams’ Shada, had completed all of its location filming and roughly 2/3 of its studio filming when studio workers at the BBC went on strike, halting production of Doctor Who and most everything else in production at the time. In an attempt to sow a little bit of anti-union discord, the BBC – despite having the ability to complete production on Shada and get it ready to air – opted to not finish the show, blaming the strike for the truncated season and the never-broadcast story. (Incoming producer John Nathan-Turner, who took over in 1980, made a push for completing Shada as well, either as a movie-length special or as part of his own first season as showrunner, only to be stonewalled by the BBC brass, which needed to show to remain incomplete and unairable just to make its point. JN-T did eventually give the viewing public its first taste of Shada by including excerpts from it as “all new footage” of the fourth Doctor in 1983’s The Five Doctors, in which Tom Baker otherwise declined to participate.)

Since then, finishing Shada in one form or another has become a bit of a cottage industry. Read More

Review: The Atomic Arcade

I looked up lots of things about the Salt Lake City area months before moving there: schools, housing prices, utility prices, jobs, restaurants, retro arcades.

Retro arcades? Well, yes. I’d think you would have to be completely new to the blog to know that Fayetteville, Arkansas’ own Arkadia Retrocade was quite rightly regarded by the entire family as “the happiest place on Earth”. Before or after the divorce, if we needed a stiff shot of undistilled happy, we headed up I-49 to Fayetteville to visit Arkadia’s vast collection of working vintage arcade video games, where you pay five bucks at the door and get a great big dose of happy.

Both of my boys have been weaned on the classics of the ’80s – Little C is a Q*Bert and Ms. Pac-Man fan, while E is a fan of more elaborate console quests like Super Mario and Legend Of Zelda. Finding a good family-friendly retro arcade along the lines of Arkadia on our new turf is seriously a top priority. I’ve heard a lot about Flynn’s Retrocade in Roy, Utah, but that’s further away from our current home base than Fayetteville was from Alma – it’s at least an hour’s drive north, closer to Ogden than to Salt Lake City. Much closer than that is The Atomic Arcade in Holladay, just slightly east from Salt Lake City. Online reviews were a muddled mix of positive and negative. My overall impression from a brief visit with my kids tended very much toward the negative. Read More

Heroes and Trek and Icons and Trek

Greetings from Utah! I know it’s been a while since any blogging took place here, but things have been…busy. And crazy. The last blog entry here was in May. That was before the move to Utah…and sadly, it’s still before I’ve found even so much as a semi-permanent address in Utah. Me and the kids and the critters are now in week three in a hotel room – a very expensive proposition to be sure, and one that’s undoubtedly more expensive than finding a place. Other factors, however, have fought against landing even so much as a tiny apartment, so here we remain for at least another day or two. (I hope that’s all it is.) The room contains two queen size beds, a bathroom, and a television. It also now contains two bored kids and five cooped-up cats and one confused lazy dog. This is a recipe for a pressure-cooker environment in which everyone gets sick of everyone else rapidly. One of the few saving graces: we’ve discovered southern Utah TV station KCSG, a flagship station for the Heroes & Icons Network. Read More

Attack of the Blipverts

Ah, the imprecise voodoo of advertising on the web. Too much, and you lose people. Too little, and your site is running at a loss financially and then people lose you because you can’t afford to keep the domain name locked down or exceed your site’s monthly bandwidth or… you get the idea.

And then there’s the current trend, which is to have something which detects ad blockers and throws up a smoke screen to keep you from making use of a site, either partially or fully. I’m not installing anything like that here, ever. I hate that shit.

Still, I have been forming partnerships here and there to bring some new advertisers and affiliate programs to the site. This keeps all the eggs out of one basket (which proved disastrous when Amazon kicked all of its Arkansas affiliates to the curb about 10 years ago), diversifies what’s on offer (while still keeping it very much in theLogBook’s wheelhouse), and hopefully, will eventually add up to the site being financially self-sustaining again in the near future. Read More

The future of job searching…

…is basically like creating a profile on a dating site earlier this decade.

I applied for a graphic design job which required – REQUIRED! – me to post a “passion video”. Fortunately they described what they meant – sorry, I charge extra for doing O faces on camera – and then I realized…oh wait. I’m doing this during a break at my present job. Um…how to do this without attracting attention? Read More

Whatever happened to the man of the funky future?

PRESS PLAY ON TAPEIt’s been well over a year since I appeared on the (apparently, and very sadly, now-dormant) MarkWHO42 podcast, talking about upcoming book projects, including a book that would be all about ’70s sci-fi, fantasy and superhero shows in the United States, and another book that would cover British telefantasy series (that really turned out to be heavily weighted toward the same decade, covering the likes of Space: 1999, UFO, Blake’s 7, Sky, Raven, and so on). Mark Baumgarden and his cohorts (including international man of mystery Christian Basel, who is now heavily involved in the rapidly-expanding Krypton Radio podcasting network) were enormously enthused about the latter book, and it was a really fun show for me. (I could detour here into how much I wish I had a co-host for my own podcasting ventures sometimes, but that could take up a whole other blog entry.)

So…where are those books? Read More