Daily Chance to do Good: HUGHCON!!!


If you’ve attended a science fiction convention in the past 20+ years on the east coast, your path is very likely to have crossed with this man’s..


…Yes, he travels with that chair.

…….Ok, not really.  But he totally could, and no one would  question it.

Why, you ask?

Because this gentleman  is Hugh Casey, one of the finest people you’ll ever find in (or out of) the world of science fiction fandom.  As his bio states, Hugh is…

A long-time con-goer, he’s been a member of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society (PSFS) since the early-’90’s, where he served, at various times, as President, Vice-President, and on the Board of Directors. He’s also served as Chairman and Vice-Chair for PHILCON, Philly’s regional SF con, as well as it’s head of programming for several years …. He is a filmmaker with his own production company, Parents Basement Productions, and his short films “Teddy’s Big Escape” and “Young Geeks In Love” can be found on YouTube. He is also a writer, director, actor, blogger, photographer, event manager and promoter, and more. He tries to live by Clarke’s Law, “Specialization is for insects”.

(His bio neglects to mention, of course, that Hugh was a Guest of Awesome at Pi-Con in 2010.  Perhaps no one has earned that title more than Hugh!)

Now, east coast fandom hasn’t seen as much of Hugh in the past few years because of his fight with, and now recovery from, cancer.  To help out with his financial needs, a bunch of his friends have organized…HUGHCON!!


“What izzit what izzit WHAT IZZIT???” you ask?

HUghCon is a fundraiser where all proceeds will go to Hugh!  Throughout the day/evening, attendees will be treated to the music of Philadelphia’s own Star Trek tribute band, The Roddenberries, as well as the musical tapestry that is This Way to the Egress!  (If you’re not familiar with them, there are some music links at the bottom of this post.)

Attendees will also have the opportunity to bid on some fantastic silent auction items such as a copy of the book Who Killed Amanda Palmer (signed by photographer Kyle Cassidy, writer Neil Gaiman, and musician Amanda Palmer!), a first edition of the board game Conquest of the Empire (unopened, circa 1984), a geektastic gift basket of goodies from the Pennsylvania Browncoats, and much more!  Book, jewelry, and garb vendors will be on hand for your gift buying needs, with a portion of those proceeds going to Hugh as well.


Admission for the event is $15 pre-sale ($16.20 with tax), $20 at the door. The best part of this event?  You can buy a ticket even if you can’t go to the event, and that money goes directly to Hugh!!  So even though I can’t go because of prior obligations and, ya know, Philly being 12 hours away, I’m delighted I could still purchase a ticket and help support this love-filled event for this fantastic man.

You should, too!  It’ll make you feel good!  🙂  Go HERE! http://hughcon.brownpapertickets.com/

For the most up-to-date information on HughCon, check out their Facebook event page – https://www.facebook.com/events/911674232296899/.

Thanks for reading.  Please share if you’re so inclined!  And, really, go take a peek at the FB page..there’s so much awesome being planned to support Hugh, one of the best people and brightest stars in fandom.  ❤

The Roddenberries music: https://soundcloud.com/the-roddenberries

This Way to the Egress music: http://thiswaytotheegress.com


daily chance to do good: help out one of the kindest people i know



I am working in the Live Animal Unit, having recently become a weekend manager.  Behind me, I hear the sounds of someone walking into the room, talking as he enters.

I turn to see who he’s talking to, and am surprised to find that he’s more or less talking to me.

I stop working and watch him move around the room, talking the whole time as he checks in on certain animals, fiddles with other stuff, grabs some things he needs, and leaves via the back entrance to the room.

I blink. I’m not sure who he is, if he was allowed to be in here, or what exactly just happened.

This is my first introduction to Anthony Paino.



It’s Memorial Day weekend, and one of our skunks in the Crazy Critters exhibit is having a grand mal seizure.

I seriously have no damned clue what to do.  I’ve crawled into the exhibit space and am cradling the unresponsive skunk.  His name is Classic, I’ve helped raise him from a baby, and he’s in shock.

I might be, too.

Ant runs up.  “I’ll go get a carrier.” He runs off do that.

Visitors are commenting on how nice it is that I’m keeping the skunk company.

I try to smile.

I’m so glad Ant is here to help me.



Our animal center’s coyote, Chinook, has gone to live in Maine, away from cities and concrete enclosures.  Ant has put together a trip to visit Chinook in his new home.  It is a frenetic adventure and of the four of us, only one will ever make this trip again.  More than once.  And that person is Ant, because he loves Chinook enough to drive into the wilds of Maine over and over again to check up on his friend.



Ant and I are walking to Starbuck’s to get a mocha before the museum opens for the day.  He is not someone that one would say needs coffee; he’s always animated, always seems to be moving.  But he’s introduced me to the joy that is Starbuck’s, and this quick walk down the street to get an overpriced mocha is maybe one of the best parts of my day, because he’s kind and friendly and makes me feel included in a way I generally don’t feel.


This is the Ant that lives in my head, in a snapshot of a world that no longer exists.  If you’ve ever visited the Academy of Natural Sciences up to about 2011 or so, you’ve probably encountered Ant in Dinosaur Hall, doing a natural history demonstration, working with the Women in Natural Sciences program, or handling one of the myriad small jobs a museum manager encounters every day on the job.

A few weeks ago, I learned that he’s been struggling a lot.  The doctors don’t know what’s wrong with him, but they suspect it’s a rare condition called chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) – his immune system is attacking his nerves, leaving him so weak he is struggling to do things as simple as eat, or stand up if he falls down.  You probably haven’t heard of this condition before, but it looks a little like MS..or stress.  Which is why his doctors are having a hard time actually diagnosing him.  His health has deteriorated over the past few years and he needs help.  A lot of help.

This is where you come in.  🙂

There’s a fundraiser for him here:  https://www.youcaring.com/anthony-paino-your-favorite-former-non-profit-naturalist-458373 You’ll see that the request is for money, and for other things as well.

Tis the season, of course, where we are inundated with pleas for help. And honestly, too many of us are a paycheck or two, or just one health crisis away, from needing help ourselves.  I’m boosting the signal for this request because Ant is truly one of the best, kindest, most dedicated people I’ve ever known.  I have zero doubt that he would do anything in his power to help his friends.  So we, his friends, are doing everything in our power to help him.

Because of Ant’s health, he’s been unemployed for too long.  We all know how terrifying hospital costs are even if you *do* have a job.

So.  This your daily chance to do good, y’all.  Even donating the cost of a Starbuck’s mocha would help.

If you can’t help?  Please consider boosting the signal.

Thank you.  With all of my heart, thank you.  ❤