Norwescon 45 Wrap-Up

Norwescon 45 is done, I’m back at home, and have had a day to rest and do the usual day-after duties (unpack, laundry, and various post-con website updates and scheduling social media posts). Our second year back was a good one and went smoothly from everything I could see, and was particularly good for me on a personal level.

On Wednesday, during the evening pre-con volunteer party, I was awarded a Lifetime Member award, given to ConCom members in recognition of years of contributions and hard work. It was a really wonderful surprise — this was something I’d thought I might achieve someday, but certainly hadn’t been expecting it. As many of the existing Lifetime members noted, there’s no escape now! :) Long-time photographer Thom Walls also received Lifetime Status.

Me and Thom holding our Lifetime Member award plaques.

Thursday night marked the return of DJ Wüdi, as I let my alter-ego out for the Thursday night dance. The Thursday night dances may be the most sparsely attended, but I still had what I’d consider a good turnout, and those that were there seemed to be having a good time. I’d also had fun adapting the OBS graphics I’d created for my Twitch streams so that I could throw them up on the video wall behind me on stage, so I had a pretty good-looking setup as well. I snapped a quick pre-dance selfie, and hopefully one of the con photographers got some good shots of me and the full setup as things were going on. As usual, I recorded the full set and have it uploaded it to my MixCloud page.

Me in front of the video wall with my graphics on display.

And Friday, of course, was all about the Philip K. Dick Award ceremony. Two of the nominated authors were able to join us this year, and so the first official-ish (-ish because for this, I was just a member of the audience) part of the day was the “All About the Philip K. Dick Award” panel, where the nominees and award administrator Gordon Van Gelder discussed the award and its namesake. Later that evening, after my inaugural Lifetime Dinner (an annual invite-only event for Lifetime members, Guests of Honor, PKD nominees, and Norwescon Exec Team members; until Wednesday evening, I’d thought my invite was only due to my position as PKD ceremony coordinator) was the award ceremony itself.

Happily, the ceremony went just fine, and I didn’t fall on my face, set anything or anyone on fire, or otherwise embarrass myself or the convention. So I’d say that’s a success! Both attendees read from their works, the other readers read from the works of those nominees who couldn’t attend, and then the winner was announced — and it was one of the two attending authors, which is always a lot of fun. The only downside is that a technical glitch dropped the audio from the first six minutes of the video stream of the ceremony, which was the section where I was talking, so there’s no good recording of my first time doing this. But as far as potential issues go, that’s really not that big, if a little personally disappointing. We’re going to work on using subtitles to approximate what I said, and it’ll do well enough.

Award winner Kimberly Unger holding her award certificate.

Saturday and Sunday, then, were fairly unscheduled days for me…though, somehow, I managed to find a surprising number of things that needed doing or that I could assist with. But even with that, I did make sure to get naps, food, and plenty of time hanging out, socializing, and being silly with friends old and new. And eventually, the closing ceremonies rolled around, and mid-afternoon on Sunday saw me packed up and heading home.

Other highlights: Being gifted some adorable wee little 3D-printed gnomes from one friend and a “LOOTR” (Loyal Order of the Ribbon) pin from Dragoncon from another, seeing a number of friends I hadn’t seen in a long time, soaking my feet in the hot tub one evening (must remember my swimsuit next year), dancing a lot at the two dances I wasn’t DJing for, and generally reveling in my annual geek vacation.

Two small gnomes and a dragon hatching from an egg, all 3D printed in grey, but the gnomes have had their hats painted red.A small square purple enamel pin with a stylized black dragon and the letters “LOOTR” in fancy type.

It’s been a good weekend. And now it’s less than a year until Norwescon 46!

DJ Wüdi in 2020

One of the more personally entertaining bits of 2020 for me was resurrecting–to a certain extent, at least–my DJ Wüdi alter-ego. Aside from a few appearances at some Rodeo City Rollergirls derby matches in 2012, and a couple Thursday night dances for Norwescon, my DJing endeavors have been mostly a fond memory since I moved down to Seattle in 2001.

I’d been missing the DJing, and so at the start of 2020, I’d decided to start playing with using the game streaming service Twitch for broadcasting DJ sets, which I’d seen a few other DJs experimenting with. I got started, got a few weeks in…and then COVID hit. And suddenly there was an explosion of DJs showing up on Twitch, as clubs worldwide shut down and DJs and club goers scrambled to find a way to keep going, even if only from our homes.

So, as it turns out, in a sea of hundreds (at least) of DJs around the world using Twitch to broadcast sets, keep their friends and fans happy, and make a name for themselves…well, I’m one of them, but I can’t really say much more than that. Which is fine, as even pre-pandemic, this whole thing was basically a vanity hobby that I just wanted to do for fun. And in that respect, this project has been a resounding success! Some days it’s just me broadcasting to no-one, but some days there are a few people who pop in, and I even have a few regular listeners, so I’m happy with how it’s going.

In 2020, I posted 38 sets (aiming for one a week, with occasional weeks off when I had other obligations that took priority). Most of the time, I just wing it, with no set plan, just grabbing whatever I feel like at the moment. Some weeks, though, I took the time to play with a particular idea, put a set of tracks together, set them in order, and plan and practice the transitions.

I also had fun working on evolving my Twitch display as the year went on. While I can’t do many of the fancier tricks that many DJs do, with “emote” graphics dancing across the screen (things like that are reserved for streamers who broadcast more regularly and have built up enough of an audience to actually work on earning money; I’m nowhere near that level), I do like where I’ve ended up.

Twitch screenshot

The cute little avatar version of me was originally artwork by Sharii, and I’ve set it so that the graphic on the t-shirt changes every 30 seconds. The background is a motion video loop, and can be swapped out with other loops. The text overlay is just a text file that I keep open and update as I go with whatever track is currently playing. At the top, the waveforms and decks are clipped out of the djay Pro AI window. And finally, of course, there’s that goofy guy in the middle of the screen generally making a fool of himself. :)

I broadcast on my Twitch channel, and then later (usually the next day) upload the audio recording of the mix to my MixCloud account for listening at any time, and organize the mixes into playlists. Once uploaded, I posts links to the mixes along with the final track lists to my DJ Wüdi blog.

Here’s one playlist with all 38 of my 2020 mixes…

…but if you just want to sample some of the highlights, here’s a playlist with just the “theme” weeks:

For 2021? I’m just going to keep going and see how long I can keep this project going. At the very least, I figure I’ll be going until we start emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and actually want to go places and do things with our Saturdays once it’s safe to do so again. In other words, I’m not planning on stopping anytime soon.

If you listen, thanks, and I hope you continue to do so, whether live on Twitch or later on MixCloud!

Have a couple hours to kill this Saturday before the evening revelries? Join my DJ alter-ego for Spüki Tünes with DJ Wüdi on Halloween Afternün!

1 p.m. (Pacific time) on my Twitch channel. Old classics, newer goofiness, and some stuff I just thought would fit in.

Use Your Phone as a Webcam with EpocCam

Need a webcam? Want to hook up a second webcam for multi-cam streaming? EpocCam from Kinoni lets you connect your phone to your computer as a second video input!

It works either wirelessly over WiFi or with a direct USB cable connection for lower latency.

I’ve only played with the iPhone version, but there looks to be an Android version as well, and they should both work with either Mac or PC computers. It’s slightly fiddly to set up, but I got it working:

  1. Install the EpocCam app on your phone.
  2. Install the driver from Kinoni’s website on your computer.
  3. Reboot.
  4. Launch the EpocCam app on your phone. It’ll show a “connecting” screen.
  5. Launch whatever app you want to use the video input.
  6. Go into the video settings and choose EpocCam as a source.
  7. Magic!

There’s a non-zero probability that I may be using this setup as part of my weekly DJ livestreaming on Twitch on Saturday mornings. Just saying. :)

DJ Wüdi on Twitch

DJing on Twitch

I tried a little experiment this morning with DJing live to my Twitch channel, and I don’t think it went terribly badly…so I’m thinking I may do this on a semi-regular basis.

Background: Like many, many people…I used to be a DJ. ;) Lately I’ve been missing it, so this is a way for me to start practicing again. I have no visions of getting back into clubs or anything along those lines (though it’s always a fun fantasy), but this should at least help scratch the itch a little bit.

I’m using djay Pro 2 and a Pioneer DDJ-400 mixer, and figured out how to use OBS (with some assistance from Loopback to route the audio stream from djay to OBS so I wasn’t just broadcasting whatever my computer’s internal mic could pick up) to stream to Twitch. I’m also recording the video and audio output locally, and will upload those to my YouTube and MixCloud accounts within a few days after broadcasting.

Here’s the video for my first attempt (the audio kicks in at about 45 seconds).

And here’s the audio on MixCloud.

In the future, I’ll figure out how to keep the Twitch chat channel up on a second screen so I can take requests as well (on the off chance people actually stop by to watch and listen live).

It’s an experiment, and I’m not sure how long I’ll keep doing it, but for now, at least, it should be fun to play with.

Old mashup from DJ Wüdi: Just Can’t Get Flexible in 1999 (Depeche Mode “Flexible” and “Just Can’t Get Enough” vs. Prince “1999”).

The only inspiration I can remember for these is that I like the source songs and I had the acapella for “1999”. I do like the way it came out.


New mashup from DJ Wüdi: Closer to Virginity (nine inch nails “Closer” vs. Madonna “Like a Virgin”).

Originally did this “live” when DJing back in the late ’90s by quick-fading between the tracks; this version is my first attempt at using Logic Pro X.