This blurry photo is me meeting Adam Savage from the MythBusters at W00stock...and then a whole bunch of people decided to photobomb it including Hans (the groundskeeper who mows around our beehives), Mr. Neil, Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi and Len Peralta.
If you have not been to a W00tstock and one is coming to your town--GO! It's put on by Paul & Storm and it advertises to be a three hour music and all around geek event, but the Twin Cities W00tstock went on for 5 hours. Each show has a roster of different guests with some regulars. Wil Wheaton reads from his books, Adam Savage told stories and sang I Will Survive in the voice of Gollum, the dudes from Mystery Science Theater 3000 sang and riffed some old educational movie shorts, the Science of Superheroes guy did a math demo--really a little of everything and fun.
Non Birding Bill and I hung out backstage a bit (NBB more than me because he was with his own kind). I must admit, my absolute favorite moment of the whole thing was Wil Wheaton asking me, "You're married to the THAC0 guy? I love that script!" I beamed with some major wifely pride.
This is me with Len Peralta (getting photobombed by Bill Corbett...who looks remarkably like Father Jack from the Father Ted tv series in this photo). Len spends the show onstage and creates an original poster for the show--it's different from town to town. If you order it and pay a little extra, he will even insert you in the poster.
Len is a FANTASTIC artist. He recently illustrated the Trace Beaulieu book Silly Rhymes for Belligerent Children. Above is one of my favorite rhymes for the book. I follow Len on Twitter so knew who he was and knew about his Geek A Week project--what he calls a one year art challenge to connect with 52 influential geeks from different disciplines (art, movies, TV, computing, science). He records a podcast and through the interview, designs a superhero or villain for the card. Paul and Storm write all the cool facts and geeks attributes for all the card backs. Some of the other cards include: the guys from Rifftrax & Cinematic Titanic, Grant Imahara (another Mythbuster) and Weird "Al" Yankovic" just to name a few.
When I met Len, he said, "Birdchick! I wanted to ask you to be a one of the cards but I saw the tag line on your blog was, 'To show the world that you can be a birder without being a geek' and thought you might be offended if I asked.
Non Birding Bill said, "That's really more of a goal that she fails at miserably."
Len later emailed me and we talked some more about it. He thinks of geeks something different than I do. He sees geeks as people who are passionate about a subject and felt birding wise, I was a good card candidate. So I did it. Here is the podcast and here is the front of the card:
I'm so relieved I'm not wearing a vest or a Tilley hat! I feel like I'm in some sort of odd brotherhood and I told Len that he should have a show where all of us dress up as our alter-egos and have a battle royale. Here is the back of the card:
I love everything about this--I love that the National Park I work for is mentioned in it, I love that my Swarovski spotting scope is my primary weapon--and I'm not wearing a vest! I don't think this is going to make any big splashes in the birding community, but anything that gets non birders to give birds a second thought is worth its weight in gold, so if someone sees this on Len's sight and thinks, "Yeah, bird watching, maybe I should try that, I'm all for it."
So, thank you, Len for being kind in your illustrations and thank you for including me in such a fun list of people. I feel like I'm in some sort of weird brotherhood or secret society.