News Archive 14
1/4/2018 - Ranger-L
- Betamountain.org is back
- Thanks DanF, Maria
- I missed John Rawlins on the list??
- All of my @betamountain.org email correspondences are AFK
- My kids like G.R.
- There is a podcast (series6podcast.com)
- My wife is cool
- I have a lot of work to do getting the old material into the new site.
Some of you are aware of the following as I've been looking around for material and people over the last four weeks and I emailed out over the last email addresses I had, but today I'm formally announcing the return of Betamountain.org!
I'm not sure who is still on the list right now, lurking or otherwise, fan or creator, as I've been uncovering apparently I missed John Rawlins joining the list around 2008, but here is the last 14 years and then my last four weeks to the day yesterday:
History of the World Part XXIV
In 1997 I got out of the Navy, met my future wife, was enrolled in college,we married in 1999 and I started betamountain.org that December. It looks like we had a fundraiser from the group to get the domain, I recall that Network Solutions domain costs were steep back then. (THANK YOU!).
The site ran for a few years under me, I waffled control, Kat took it over for a time, I came back, Lee took it over, I came back, Xander took it over around 2003. Fiona and I had our first child and our lives took a turn as we started that journey.
This part of the story I'm foggy on and feel free to fill me in (I hope Xander can himself). Xander overhauled the site (BM2.0) and launched it, he brought a good look to the site and things were moving forward. The first set of remastered DVDs appeared, items were updated and then the last apparent update was July 10, 2004. The WayBack seems to have good captures of the site up until April\May 2007 and then appears to be the time that the domain slipped off and into squatting.
My memory holds that Xander had something come up in real life and it was certainly more important than the site. Over the years I'd type in the URL and see various squatting pages. I've always maintained a webserver out of the house with my own domain, so I put the last backup I had of the site on that box, gave it a subdomain and there it sat for many, many years. Back to Xander for a moment: I hope everything turned out all right.
When the domain went away, I lost the rabbibob @ betamountain.org address as well and it looks like I fell off list. I can see in my gmail where I was on this list with this account, a huge gap, then back on in 2011. I've swapped two or three computers along the way and somewhere I think I have my bm.org emails archived. The loss is that all my correspondences with the Creators outside of the list (re: Robert, whom I emailed my last known address that I had for him and it came back undeliverable last week.) were via that email address. Some time in 2012 I missed the listserv "are you still alive, if so click this" message and I fell off again until last month. I'm curious how many fell off via that keep alive.
2005 - we welcome our son into the world. That journey gets a whole lot more interesting!
2008 - I get my DVD set. I was part of a "365" picture project, before "selfies" were a thing. In fact, like parents joining Facebook, once selfies became a major thing, that project lost its fun. The point is that I still cared enough to share with that group the love I had for the series.
What I know now (2017): I found John Rawlins' site, which popped up when the DVDs came out and it reads that he joined the mailing list. If he's still here: Hi! If he's not here, then he'll miss the fact that his writing brought me around not only to Buzzwang, but to Mothmoose as well. Honestly, I never had a problem with the Kiwi kids: those I somehow understood why they were there.
But I'm skipping around.
Let's just move right up to roughly September 2017. I can't remember how I found it, but one day I found The Series 6 Podcast. Two gentlemen are reviewing the show episode by episode. The show is PG-13 at times and they're not pulling any punches, but they're having a fun time with it. I practically fall over myself as I subscribe and start listening. I let Dan know about it.
Sir Dan is a saint. I maintain that Dan has always been responsive over the years, either in knowledge or humor for a reply to a question here or there. Sometimes I'm absurd due to a whim and, yeah, in a "I wonder if this person is who I'm looking for, let me run it by Dan" and I find that it can't be that person I was thinking of because this person passed away. In 83 B.C. Anywho - I've moved to the stage of life that I know that we're all just people and while I still get an "oh wow" feeling when I see a reply to an email or a tweet, I'm not that start struck person from fifteen years ago. I appreciate the interactions in a different way and "thank you" goes out.
Full Start - A New Generation
I start watching some of the episodes again. My kids were introduced to the show earlier on and my daughter comes into the room and starts singing "No Guts, No Glory". She is fourteen. She is a young lady and while she is her dad's geek daughter, she's a teenager and image right now is everything to her. Again, she's singing the theme to a 30 year old cartoon. I corresponded with Tom DeHaven last month and relayed that "Rainmaker" was the first ep I shared with her, mainly because of Amy. I got a good return from him that I shared with Erin: this was the episode that he wrote for his daughters and was special to him in that way. The level of neat things beneath the show are just endless.
I start "stitching" photos again. We used to do this back in the day with ok quality screencaps from VHS tapes and manually in photoshop or GIMP. Now I'm exporting mpeg-2 frames out of the VOB files and using an image compositor to reassemble the images. Why? Some of it is an extension of my photography and the rest is that the show had these sweeping shots at times that beg to be seen in the full rather than in panning shots. Also, we've never gotten a really good single look at Zach's bionics. I'll have a link below and you can now see it from his initial strobe-like appearance in the show, but now in a side-by-side comparison.
The other crazy bit of this is that I'm since finding stitches that Sasha did, by hand, years before me... and did very well.
I get in contact with the podcasters. I start supplying the supplemental pictures for their podcasts to go along with their episodes (Ghost Station was a hit and I find out that Lance Strate is on Twitter). I start getting some cred with them. We chat and it ends up we're all east coast people and within months the same age, meaning we caught this at the same time in our lives and on pretty much the same TV stations. I go as far as guest hosting on Episode 9 "One Million Emotions" and while I hate the sound of my voice (you may too), I go on to mis-remember the EWC and second guess myself a couple of times on some items, and tell the short story that I "used to run this site called Betamountain.org". I'm sitting in my attic after midnight with a the adhoc recording studio, a space heater that looks like the metal from the Mangler, and I'm talking with these guys about the show. We have some fun. We laugh. We cry. No really, at one point the show comes to a complete halt because we can't stop laughing. I have the master audio and what you hear on the podcast is cut down so much that I think there is a minute of laughing\wheezing left on the cutting room floor. Yes, the episode really was 'the emotional electric chair.'
Future Note: I pointed Dan towards them right after I found them, one thing leads to another, and next thing we know he's on as a guest as well (see Ep 16.1).
You've all met Maria via Ranger-L. She found us (me and the @Galaxy_Rangers) on Twitter and through one tweet she typed out 'betamountain.org' which was of course turned into a linkable entity in her tweet. I've gone there many times over the years and silently cursed the squatters. This summer I finally through away the original domain purchase paperwork (or maybe I put it in a box somewhere...), the thing is gone, right? I click the link. I get a DNS error. The squatting page is no more, no one has the site in a nameserver anywhere on the internet. I check the whois: no one has the domain.
15 minutes later, I have the domain. I tell Fiona that I'm good for Christmas (dead serious too). Over the weekend I rebuild the webserver from scratch (not once, but twice) and decide that the thing I always wanted was for the site to be cross-referencable (word?). Unfortunately this means that I have to move off HTML. I got a kick out of AKK updating her site as well, pointing out the age old html. I found a message that I left in the .css file (beane.css) that had "I love Fiona" in the comments. She thinks I'm a geek. 19 years of being with this geek this year ;-)
BM.org Comes Home
As I said in the Dec 3rd post on the old site, BetaMountain is home (literally in some ways due to where it is hosted). If feels good. To be up front, I'm not sure what direction the site will go from here, things (links, scripts, etc) are broken, the place is a mess, but the site is here back under the rightful name! I'm very happy that it is back and it never felt right under any other name. There is a lot of work to be done and it'll be slow, but its now there to be done. So that you are all aware, I'm importing BM1.0 and parts of GRCD1 first, then I'll look at GRCD2. After that I'm going to be looking either towards things that have fallen into the Wayback Machine or fan-made material (or both). I've reached out to a few of the old site owners already for permission to use material and my goal is always keep attribution a part of the project. For people with active sites, I'll be working out linkages and such so that a search on BM.org will result in the traffic going to your sites (for example I started a test of categorizing character FanFic appearances in the fanfic from GRCD1. Want to see all the fanfic that Goose appeared in? It can all be in a list!).
The past four weeks have been a rollercoaster. The site, the podcast, getting back in touch with Ken Landgraf, new connections with Tom De Haven, Lance, etc. Within a week of the site being back up I received an email from a gentleman looking for cells and that he had seen some of the original art while sharing an office with Brad Fox (this person has a demo reel of movie effects that has his own work ranging from Pirates of the Caribbean to Iron Man to Harry Potter). Found Bill and Christian outside of the list since my return. The IRC channel is still there (not sure I can go that far with my time, but neat that is still there). All around cool stuff.
Thank you Maria. I'm not sure if I would have found it was available had you not popped up when you did. About Maria - she's brought back some of that wonderment and amazement of the show along with her. It's great to see that sort of passionate interest after 30 years. Babel fish be damned, I think we are all getting a great vibe from her and as AKK mentioned the language thing isn't a barrier!
Happy New Year List. I'm curious to see who else is still on here, the rabbit holes run deep and it's always good to see\hear from the group.
Take Karen (she's my wife), Mike (RB)