July 5th, 2016

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Missing the 4th At the Hatch Shell, But It Looked Weird This Year

I admit, I've always been spoiled by the 4th of July with the Boston Pops on the Charles River by the Hatch Shell. I grew up going, and sailing at Community Boating during the day (except when July 4 fell on Friday or Saturday).

When we moved to DC, we tried the National Mall once or twice. Way too hot and the show was not really designed for the audience -- it was designed for the TV cameras doing "A Capital Fourth" on WETA. Among other things, they made no effort to ime the fireworks to the music. It was just "bam!" lots of pretty but random stuff while the performance kept going.

This year, since we were home because of the weather (which happily was not as bad as it could have been) and Aaron out at the movies we decided to watch A Capital Fourth on WETA. It was OK. But they show almost no fire works. And again, there is no effort to synch the fire works with the performance.

Then Becky discovered that the Pops were on CBS. But it looks like they changed things radically to fit with TV. We watched about half an hour from 9:30-10, then gave up.

Unfortunately, the fire works around here are just not very good and are waaaaaay too crowded. Need to find some small town nearby that does a traditional marching band set and modest display. I'm a sucker for a good traditional marching band medly on the 4th.

But it was a pleasant day. Happy post-July 4th.
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Conterpoint was fun.

Spent the weekend at Conterpoint, this year's rotating North East Filk convention. As usual, it was a very fun time and I will not try to name everyone I saw because I will surely leave people out.

Becky and I missed open filking Friday and pretty much crashed the first 24 hours of the con. Because it has been that kind of week and we both really needed the sleep. Did have a very nice filk circle on Saturday night led by Brenda Sutton. Moved over to the larger circle when the smaller circle started to wind down, but wilted around 2 a.m.

The most intriguing part of the con for me was the proposal from madfilkentist to consolidate the 3 convention committees/organizations and have one annual location with a much larger concom pool. I agree with this proposal. The old reasons for the rotation system are largely historical, and the hope that three different organizations in three locations would grow three strong local filk communities has not really panned out. I think we ought to give continuity a try for awhile and see how that goes.

The ideal geographic location would be in the NYC metro area, which is hideously expensive (as jonbaker pointed out, that's what a population of 8 million people does to the surrounding economy). The largest and most organized club is Massfilc, which also has 501(c)(3) status. The cheapest hotels near metro areas are in the South Jersey and Baltimore areas -- closest to the Conterpoint concom. Southern Jersery is more attractive by reason of central geography, but it has no one on the ground in the region.

So it looks like a potentially good idea, but it will need some discussion. OTOH, the sooner we can settle it, the better. Massfilc needs to get its convention committee together and hotel search under way and everything attendant to announcing the con at Contata in 2017.

For me, the best part of the con was getting to have a good, sit down conversation with Bill and Brenda Sutton. I haven't actually seen them since GaFilk in 2009 (although we have stayed in touch via FB). They recently went to SCA 50th year, and have gone all ga-ga about joining the SCA. So nice to see people more sensible than gorgeousgary :-) Alas, they will not be at Pennsic.

All in all, it was a fun con, very much like a relaxacon with fairly minimal programming. Hopefully we will make it to Contata next year.