AER: Space City Con, 2013


Fuzzy, but it is Gowron.

ST:V Robert Picardo

Chekov passing our table.

AER: Space City Con, 2013

Three members (and a former) of IKV Melota drove the some 4 hours to attend/panel Space City Con Number Two. This was George Comit's second one. 2013 was much larger. This place was hopping! However, it was not ridiculously large as DFW cons have become. Dragen put us in a high traffic zone between the actors and the restrooms. It may sound funny, but it was perfect. Anybody and everybody had to walk by us to get to the autograph area. The actors/actresses had to walk past us to forage (etc.) so we got to casually say, "qapla" to all of them.

Gowron and Martok made several passes by our table talking to us and sometimes posing with our weapons for others to take pictures.

Gowron and Martok. Just saying it brings up thrills. Get these two guys together and whether in uniform or blue jeans, they are a blast. They can make autograph signing a comedy routine. Get them on stage and all Grethor breaks loose.
Dragen had not seen them before so I ran our table so that he could go bust a gut laughing with these guys. (Squeeze was on a mission.) They needed weapons so Dragen ran back to the table to acquire gear. He can now claim that they have both worked with his weapons.

Being larger, this con was split between two hotels. The fact that they were across the street from each other made this work. "Our" con was the sci-fi / cosplay section with the vendor tables and autographs. The "other" section was the gaming with tons of board, table top and video games.

Orion's Envy, our fourth time together.

We had two 6 foot tables with which to work; twice that of last year. We put it to good use with handouts, business cards, display items and videos being shown. Thanks to Dragen for supplying the laptop upon which the videos were shown. We had a lot on the tables and Squeeze was giving away candy and toys to the kids. It was quite fun, actually.
We were once again right next to the Mech Warriors. These guys are simply cool people with which to "work". Regrettably for Muerte and myself, but good for everybody, was the fact that this con was "hoppin'" such that we could not tip blades at all. They were very busy. Well, so were we.

It totally appeared odd until you remembered the conflict of booking, but all but one Star Trek club present was from Dallas. There was one fledgeling Houston ST club present so I give them credit. But, I only found out about them by accident. It appeared, and I stress the word, "appeared", that Houston could not supply their own Star Trek fans. However, I'm pretty sure that appearances are deceiving. They were probably all in Dallas.

This is a Ship's AER, but a lot is hard not to write in the first person.

This year's batch of Bloodwine base is a loss so I did not take any. I did continue tradition by taking Martok a bottle of something. This time, it was muscadine wine. The grapes came from Dragen's grandfather's property. Martok appreciated it and we discussed the difference between it and Bloodwine. We also discussed the inherent tartness of the wine. As with Bayoucon 2010 where Martok pointed me out as "the maker of a mean Bloodwine" in front of World+Dog. This time, Martok was at his table telling con folks about my brewing and again pointing me out. He is a lot of fun to be around, especially with Gowron near.

For well over a decade, we have not had any non-member martial artist willing to pick up a batleth. I have challenged a lot. However, most martial artists seemed to be only be concerned with their "dancing" and are afraid of actually getting hit. We finally found a group that competes internationally with swords, and was already trying to learn the batleth. Sword to Sword had cut their first batleths two weeks before and had a panel on how to use them. They were also kind enough to allow this old, fat and bald guy to attend and tip blades at the end of their panel.
This was fabulous. Dakao is 16 years my junior and a professional swordsman. I just happen to have more than two weeks experience. It was a glorious matchup. Five rounds with our padded batleths. Then, five rounds with their unpadded nylon batleths. I held my own. The pro knew that my experience would be dangerous. So he played with me to wear me out and that is what he would do each round. So my experience and his speed made a near draw. After the fighting was over, he did declare to his panel that I was "scary" and that he was playing me to even the odds. Next year, it won't be so easy.

I did a panel on how to manufacture our wood practice/tournament batleths. I had pre-cut various bats so that I was not actually using tools at the convention. I showed how to go from a paper template to a finished product. I compared padding styles. I stretched to showing how to do a mekleth.
Then, since only 4 people out of the room had seen one in action, I had arranged to fight Nathan from Sword to Sword. We started with our padded batleths and then moved to their nylons. This guy really is half my age. Again, experience countered youth to bring this to a draw.
Then, my real fun. I had asked to fight Nathan batleth to sword. I used one of their nylon batleths against his nylon Schlager (Zweihaender). This time, it was a little less than a draw (for me) as he really knows how to handle that huge sword. I did better than I expected so I feel confident taking a batleth up against a sword given that the most probable back alley fight won't be against an international Schlager champion.
Fighting both of these guys was glorious!
I truly thank them and I look forward to a repeat next year.

One of the local cuties asked to borrow my speakers in order to have a flash mob for the "Time Warp". Being a media brat, I knew that my speakers would not fulfill her mission so I assisted with identifying tables and locations that had enough wattage to fulfill her goal. She got permission (use) from some of those tables and permission from the Con Owner so that her flash mobs of Saturday and Sunday were dramatic successes.
When I arrived at Sunday's flash mob singing the lines from RHPS and knowing the "Callbacks", it was rather amusing to this older klingon. When the Time Warp was over, I was accosted by four darling young babe-ettes who wanted to know how I knew the music/dancing and where did I get the callback lines that they did not know. I told them, "Dahlins (spelled with an "h"), I WAS THERE when this movie was new. I was doing the Time Warp before your parents were old enough to get married."
Being older does not mean being a stick in the mud.

Oh, the con Facebook page has a video of the second Time Warp. Regrettably (luckily?), I'm up front where the camera gets a lot of me.

Saying, "I told you so" is usually a negative thing to remind a person of a bad decision. In this case, it would be a positive thing. Space City Con One I submitted the argument to the con owner that he really needs a local klingon group to assist him. I explained that he could rely on klingons to get things done. This year, a panelist was signed up to do a klingon language panel. That person was a no show. Dragen and I stepped up and did the panel showing that klingons can be relied upon to get things done. Though I did not speak to the con owner about this, I'm hoping that he remembers in a positive light that those klingon guys "had his back".

Dragen and I stepped up to do that klingon language panel. Dragen started with some information about pronunciation. After about 10 minutes I took over with language structure. I started by explaining how two guys that cannot speak the language wound up taking over a no-show. I took the audience from English, German, Russian and then finally to thlingon language structures so that they could see how the added complexity made for more useful structures with more powerful morphemes.
At the end, a person identified herself as a teacher. She stated that I did one Grethor of a substitute teaching job.
There was a german citizen present who complemented me on my German. He stated that he really did learn about Russian and thlingon. One of the panel questions thrown at me was about dialects. This gent explained to me why northern and southern German has such variance so I had a learning experience, too.
I'll call it a success since we had no walkouts or eggs thrown.

I encountered a certain "Lieutenant Lord Minnow, tai" who was very proud of being a very large fish in a very small pond. He and his other Houston area buddy were present and very much satisfied with having their two panels on the books at the con. In the course of the conversation with "Lord Minnow", he had no interest in raising the level of the pond. It was sadly funny as Lord Minnow was giving me advice on how to recruit, but he had apparently no useful experience at recruiting as he could only place his buddy and himself at a con in his own back yard. Based upon our conversation, there were also apparently no other Houston Guppies under his command.
Given that joining K.A.G. would have raised the water level of the pond, he was certainly not interested. Now, Lord Minnow becomes a competitor of sorts. His mere presence dilutes the "klingon pond" potentially attracting "followers" to his pond, while we could potentially lose those "recruits" that could raise the K.A.G. pond level. Even if he attracts none, he can easily distract from the K.A.G cause. Lord Minnow is a real problem.

The purpose of going to Space City Con for two years running is to recruit for a Houston KAG ship. So far, my personal project of "Project IKV Houston" is a failure. We had lots of good nibbles, so we thought. We even arranged to get those nibbles in the same room at the same time on Sunday to create the "Houston". That event was a flat no-show. My nibbles all slipped the hook.
I must report:
Project IKV Houston, failure Year Two.
Unless they eventually hit the KAG robo-app, I am not succeeding in my project.

As with the Oscars, I want to thank Dragen and Squeeze for humoring me in this project. Qlu, a former member, I thank for assisting us manning the table. I also thank Dakao and Nathan from Sword to Sword as they actually hung at our table a lot when they did not have their own work to do. The additional conversation to us and to the potential recruits was very appreciated.
This convention was well run. Big enough. Not too big. I truly hope to see more IKV Melota members attend next year. I really want to have Houstonians make their KAG ship.

Strength and Honor,
Captain Salek, Zantai
Project IKV Houston

There was some full sized stuff there!

The bridge from ST: Generations

Sylvester McCoy's Tardis. He was also present.

At the crack of dawn on federation stardate 07/31/2013 I boarded a federation transport (All Klingon vessels in the area were busy hunting Orion slavers) and departed the Terran city of Mansfield. Texas for the Space City Con held in Houston, Texas. The Con didn't actually start until stardate 08/02/2013, but we arrived early at a primitive human spaceport called NASA to watch the unveiling of the TOS Enterprise Galileo shuttlecraft. After checking into the motel, I decided to take some down time to relax and focus on one of my academic pursuits.
The party began Friday morning. I went down, took my station to represent KAG, The Empire, and the IKV Melota. First thing I saw was Chancellor Martok (JG Hertzler), and the first thing he saw was my Klingon Monopoly game. JG & Bob (Gowron & Martok) did all the advertising for it JG said, but had NEVER seen on until mine. Needless to say, I now (At the moment) have the only Klingon Monopoly in existence in the universe signed my the Chancellors of the Klingon Empire. SCORE!!! Salek and I did a panel on meet and greet the IKV Melota, took turns manning the table so we could go to panels if we choose.
Saturday I was able to go the the Gowron & Martok Q&A panel. If you have never seen them do a panel together, be prepared to laugh until your sides hurt; especially if they do the chicken joke. I was even honored to have Gowron use my tournament combat bat'leth as part of the panel. At the conclusion of the panel, the chancellors led in a death howl for the last remaining TOS Klingon, Mark Ansara. At 1800 on Saturday Salek did a panel on how to construct a tournament bat'leth, and a local martial arts instructor joined the panel to spar with Salek (I will let him tell that tail in his AER). Sunday involved checking out of the motel, Helping Salek run a Klingon language panel (Which we got stuck with kinda at the last minute), and heading home again.

Lt Cdr. Dragen, Vestai
IKV Melota


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