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Kevin Standlee: Fandom Is My Way of Life
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Kevin Standlee's LiveJournal:

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Friday, December 15th, 2017
6:50 pm
Another Day, Another Trip to Reno
Because of how ugly looking the coolant in the engine was when we had the worry about leakage, I decided it would be a good idea to get a coolant flush and service on the Astro. As soon as I could get clear from work, Lisa and I went to Jiffy Lube in Sparks. They were backed up a bit, but that was okay, because we left it with them and then walked down the block and had dinner at Sizzler. I was a bit surprised that dinner for two at Sizzler cost more than for two people at the Peppermill (after local's discount).

The minivan now has fresh coolant, in time for our planned trip over the mountains tomorrow to go visit my sister in Sacramento and do some shopping for things not available in Reno.

Current Mood: accomplished
Thursday, December 14th, 2017
7:57 pm
Tree Shopping
We ran into Reno after work today to buy a Christmas tree. Not a big traditional one, but once again, a little living dwarf spruce. We initially got such tiny trees because we were living in the tiny space of Lisa's travel trailer, but since then we've continued trying to nurse the trees along for a second year or longer. We succeeded once. The hard part comes in summer, particularly when we go away for a week or so for Westercon, because there's not a lot of ways to keep the little tree watered. But we'll give it another try.

Current Mood: accomplished
Wednesday, December 13th, 2017
4:44 pm
It's a Gas!
Our radio scanner has both the local railroad and the local emergency-services dispatching frequencies, so we hear not only the railroads, but also fire calls for northern and central Lyon County. Most "fire" calls are actually medical calls ("difficulty breathing", "fallen and can't get up" and the like) or miscellaneous assistance ("stuck in bathtub" was one I heard this week). There are of course fire alarms (many are false alarms), and real fires (fortunately not too many of them) and vehicle accidents (too many of these). Today, however, as I write this, I'm listening to a developing incident in the Farm District Road area of Fernley. (This is where the city has sprawled, and I think most of the population of the city is out that direction along what was once US-40.)

According to what I hear on the radio, there is a major gas leak in the Farm District Road area. (One of the people commenting on the Facebook post I made said that construction workers hit a 2-inch gas line.) Homes in the area are being evacuated. People outside of the immediate evacuation area report a strong smell of gas. Besides the fire department, law enforcement and the local gas utility are on the scene. A local command post has been established.

The affected area is roughly 9 km from my house. That's as close as I want to be, too. I'm content to listen on the radio to hear what's happening. (Although I don't know their "tactical" frequency, only the dispatcher line, so I'm not hearing the full story. I do hear that this has pulled enough of the local fire department's resources that they've asked for mutual support from adjoining Washoe county to help cover any additional calls that hit the city while this is happening.

This does show how thinly stretched our fire department is, in no small part due to the reluctance of local voters to approve additional taxes for funding the department.

Update: About 17:00 local time, the command post announced that the scene was secure, the gas leak was capped, emergency services had been released, and they were terminating the command post. That was roughly 90 minutes after the post had been established, so good for everyone involved in getting the leak under control relatively quickly and without a fire.

Current Mood: worried
Tuesday, December 12th, 2017
4:07 pm
Hotel Web Sites
I had to change the reservation I made with points at Hyatt, but their web site couldn't do it, and said I should call them. I then called them and talked to their robot for a while before the robot decided that I needed to talk to a human agent. In an annoying case of systems not talking to each other, the automated system did not feed the reservation number and other relevant data that I'd already given the robot to the agent and I had to go through it again. To my relief, the human agent was able to make the requested change in less than a minute.

The IHG web site is much better about handling these sorts of changes, even when you book on points. The transaction I did with the middle nights of the stay in Helsinki opened up at the convention centre late in the process (originally I was going to have to change hotels at least once and maybe twice during the Helsinki stay) was particularly complicated, but their web site managed to handle it relatively easily. I was very grateful for that. While commuting from the Holiday Inn City Centre to the convention wouldn't have been too awful, just being able to step off the elevator from our 9th-floor room and into the room where the Business Meeting was happening was great luxury. And it cost 5K nights less than the downtown hotel to boot.

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, December 11th, 2017
5:39 pm
Making a Virtue of Necessity
Although I haven't stayed in Hyatt hotels very often, I did have just over 8000 Hyatt points, and they will expire if not used by the end of this year. (That could include booking a hotel room in 2018.) My first attempt was to use them at the Hyatt Place San Jose Downtown in late January during a Worldcon 76 division heads meeting planned for then. (The meeting will be in the Marriott, but I could tolerate walking back and forth from the Hyatt in return for my hotel cost being lower.) However, there must be something happening there, because there are no rooms at any price or points in that hotel that weekend.

Weather permitting, Lisa and I plan to go to Sacramento between now and Christmas to visit my sister. We also have some shopping we want to do in Sacramento; therefore, rather than do a down-and-back on the same day (which we can do but is tiring), our plan is to drive down there on Friday night and back on Saturday. I had originally planning on staying at a Holiday Inn Express not too far from the long-term-care facility; this would be the last time I got to use my IHG Spire status, as I'll drop back down to Platinum next year. (Staying at Spire is hard; the only reason I went up that high for 2016-17 was by dumping a bunch of credit card points into the account. However, this did make the Helsinki stay nicer because they upgraded us even though the entire eleven nights was on points.) But there is a Hyatt Place in Roseville, and I have therefore booked us in there for one night later this month. I'll have only about 50 points left in the account after that stay, so it's a very efficient use of the points.

Current Mood: accomplished
Sunday, December 10th, 2017
5:59 pm
Drip, Drip, Drip
This morning, after breakfast, I went to the Fernley Fun Center and bowled three games, managing 311 over the three games total. I think I should be able to do better than that. Had I known that there was a bowling center next door to the hotel where SMOFCon was being held, I would have tried to get Worldcon 76 to riff off our green-and-black shirts by trying to organize a SMOFCon Bowling on Friday night or Sunday morning.

When I got back home, Lisa suggested that we go over to Big R in Fallon (it's the larger store; Fernley is a satellite of it) and see if I could replace my stocking cap that I lost in Boston there. (We'd already bought a new Mag-Lite to replace the one that fell out of my pocket somewhere on the SMOFCon trip.) On the way over there, we stopped at Starbucks for me to buy a coffee for the road.

As we were coming out to the Astro, I said, "Is that puddle under the van from us?" Lisa had a look and said she thought it was, and that it was green, meaning leaking coolant. The Fallon trip was put on hold and we headed home, because Lisa said there was still coolant in the recovery tank; therefore, there should still be coolant in the radiator.

I watched the temperature gauge climb alarmingly as we carefully drove the 3 km home. However, after briefly touching the bottom of the yellow zone, it then quickly shot back down to normal level. We got home and Lisa investigated further. There was no further leakage. She postulated that there had been an air bubble in the radiator that caused the temperature spike, and when it burped, the temperature returned to normal. However, we needed to put more coolant into the engine, and with the sub-freezing weather here, we couldn't just put plain water into it.

We went to Pilot, refueled, and bought a container of pre-mixed coolant. I refilled the recovery tank, and we decided to head sort of toward Fallon to give the radiator a chance to digest it. Just outside of town, we stopped at one of the local casinos at a parking space with no existing leak marks, idled for a short time, then stopped the engine and waited for a couple of minutes. No more leakage. We headed on to Fallon.

In Fallon, we found some of the things for which we were looking, but not all of them. I bought a new stocking cap because I need a warm head covering in this weather, but I don't really like the lime green color. OTOH, it may help me be more visible when we go out for our evening walks. We also went to the Ace Hardware in Fallon and found a couple of other things. We further think we've figured out from where we bought the length of 3/8-inch flexible conduit for which Lisa has been trying to find fittings. To our annoyance, the store that sold us the conduit (Big R Fallon) does not appear to have any fitting that actually fit the conduit they sell! (They sell the 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch conduit and fittings for it, but not the smaller stuff, which is all special-order.)

After a long morning of shopping for hardware and other things, we returned home. Lisa went to bed (she continues to try and migrate her sleep schedule forward) and I worked on one of the WSFS projects I have on my plate. I'm still behind, and Worldcon 76 is poorer for it, but I'll see what I can do this coming week.

Current Mood: relaxed
Saturday, December 9th, 2017
7:23 pm
Fireworks in Fernley
I had to run a bunch of errands into Reno today, including one that couldn't be easily postponed. Lisa's sleep schedule is very much out of phase, so I left her to sleep while I made the foray into Reno. I did not enjoy fighting the crowds for the various errands I had, none of which were really holiday shopping. But after hours of running from shop to store, I made it home in one piece.

Today was the annual Christmas Parade in Fernley, which I missed because I was in Reno. But I got out of town before I was effectively trapped in the house, because the parade has in the past formed up on Front Street right in front of our house. By the time I got home, the parade was over, but I did manage to get in to see the inside of a building I've wanted to see ever since I moved to Fernley.

Open Night at the DepotCollapse )

After my brief look inside the depot, I drove to the Fernley Out-of-Town Park for the promised fireworks.

Boom TodayCollapse )

There were a couple of points in the fireworks show where I don't think things went as planned, with some detonations way too close to the ground. I didn't get them on camera, and I hope nobody got hurt.

After what I (and many others) thought was the finale, I made for the exit, only to be surprised by a few additional launches.

On the way home, I found out what the source of sirens before the show was: a multi-car pile-up in front of the Fernley Nugget on US-50A that must have happened only minutes after I passed through on my way to the fireworks. Cars were being diverted through the Nugget's parking lot while they cleaned up the mess, but big rigs on US-50A were pulled over and idling to wait for the road to reopen.

I got none of my planned fannish tasks done today. I hope I have time tomorrow, but Lisa and I may need to go back to Reno for additional shopping.

Current Mood: cheerful
Friday, December 8th, 2017
5:41 pm
Slow Recovery
I got about ten hours sleep last night, which helped quite a bit. I need to take it easy this weekend and continue to try and recover from this cold. However, there is also stuff for WSFS and Worldcon 76 that needs to get done this weekend.

An early draft of my travel plans had Lisa and me running down to Sacramento this weekend to visit my sister and deliver her Christmas present. However, you really don't want to be going into a nursing home with a bunch of people with respiratory problems while you have a cold. Maybe next weekend.

Current Mood: cold
Thursday, December 7th, 2017
3:13 pm
The Revenge of the SMOFS
One of my co-workers, during our daily conference call yesterday, asked if I was sick. I said I didn't feel sick, but I apparently sounded so. Today I am sick, and from the messages on the SMOFCon e-mail list, a fair number of other attendees have all come down with colds. This seems nearly inevitable. I tried; I washed my hands regularly, used hand sanitizer, etc., but all of these people in a close space, with at least one person sick (and maybe not even knowing it) leads to mixing of viruses.

Lots of hot soup and early bed-time is indicated, I think.

Last night, after I'd already gone to bed and was asleep, Lisa came in to wake me up and tell me that there had been a power failure. She didn't want me to be gasping for breath on my non-working CPAP machine. The UPS for the computers was sounding the alarm. I got up, shut down all of the computers in an orderly way, and put more wood on the fire. Some investigation online (my smartphone still had charge) showed that a goodly chunk of Fernley was offline. Lisa went out and explored, and reported later that the Fernley Nugget casino had also lost power. NVEngergy projected that power would be restored by 1 AM. I went back to bed. Around 11 PM, I was re-awakened by the sound of my CPAP machine coming back on as power was restored. So it wasn't a long outage, and no harm came of it. And since our wood stove does not depend on electricity to run (like a pellet stove would), we didn't lose heat, either.

Current Mood: sick
Wednesday, December 6th, 2017
7:24 pm
Icing the Walk
It has been pretty cold here, with temperatures only just above freezing during the day. This afternoon, after filling the travel trailer's water tank, I ended up getting water on the sidewalk that runs the length of the property while I drained the hose. A little while later, Lisa came into the house and informed me that there was now a bunch of ice on the sidewalk. I didn't expect that. The outside air temperature was maybe about +5°C, but the sidewalk (which isn't getting that much direct sunlight at this time of year) must have been below freezing, so a film of ice formed on it. Fortunately, we still have the ice-melt left over from last winter, so we spread some of it on the walk and it's once again safe to walk the length of our property.

Current Mood: relieved
Tuesday, December 5th, 2017
6:16 pm
Hunkered Down
We're having a cold spell here, with the temps barely poking above freezing. There's no moisture in the air, and no sign of it in the forecast, but it's pretty cold by our standards. I'm burning wood at a fast pace just to take the edge off, and even then I've had times when my fingers started getting numb today.

There was a lot of work piled up just from three days off, and I didn't get it all done. I'll try again tomorrow. And that means that some of the things I've promised to do after SMOFCon in fandom aren't getting done yet, either. I'm still very tired from the trip, and hope that I can get to bed early tonight (which also helps beat the cold).

Current Mood: tired
Monday, December 4th, 2017
10:42 pm
Return from SMOFCon: Coals to Newcastle
I wish I'd given more thought on Sunday about that rack of poker chips, because while I did get them home (thus generating the title of this message, given the foolishness of carrying poker chips to Nevada), I damaged the case. Had I considered it earlier on Sunday, I could probably have found a relatively inexpensive piece of luggage into which the chip case could go, padded by some clothing, and all would have been well.

I got over to Logan Airport relatively early (and traffic wasn't nearly as bad as I expected for 8 AM on a Monday morning), then bought a luggage strap to wrap around the chip case to try and make sure it would stay shut while checked as a bag on its own. In retrospect, Had I gotten tape myself and just wrapped the box up, that would have been better. The holding strap may have caused the damage, because that case (which weighed more than the rest of my luggage by itself but is not large) was probably put at the bottom of a pile, and the strap put pressure on the sides of the case. More about that later. I paid $35 for the second bag (plus $15 for the luggage strap), which is cheaper than $100 for an over-50-pound bag.

The flight itself was not too awful, although it was completely full. I'm glad I had an aisle and was in the back of the plane, so I could get up without having to climb over people. I'm also glad it was a 757 that hasn't been converted to all-entertainment-through-your-mobile device. Although the pilot had elected to not turn on From the Flight Deck, I did enjoy the selection of movies. I finally got to see Wonder Woman (wow, I see what the fuss was about!), and I also watched the animated Batman & Harley Quinn (which I found amusing) and two documentaries that I also enjoyed.

I had a long connection at SFO that gave me plenty of time to get lunch. And then dinner, because I was still hungry. This was a bad idea, as my blood sugar reading told me an hour later. Bad Kevin.

The flight from SFO to RNO was a short one (only about 30 minutes in the air) on a CRJ-200. I claimed my bags (last off the belt, but with such a small plane, that's still not much of a wait).

Cracked the CaseCollapse )

Lisa was very glad to see me when I got home. I told her that many people had asked after her at SMOFCon, and explained that she would only have come by ground, and that I could not have taken another two weeks off to do so.

I did have a very good time at SMOFCon, and I thank the committee again for their work organizing it. Now I must get some sleep and get back on my normal schedule, because tomorrow is a new work week, and there are both weekly and monthly reports that are due at the Day Jobbe.

Current Mood: tired
Sunday, December 3rd, 2017
11:06 pm
SMOFCon Is Great -- I'm Glad It Only Happens Once a Year
Getting only four hours sleep last night was not very good for me, but I managed somehow. But I did end up missing all of the morning programming I'd intended to attend. I did however attend a session designed to jump-start a discussion of the "Fannish Inquisition" of bidders and seated conventions at SMOFCon. Despite the Inquisition on Saturday night lasting 2 1/2 hours, there apparently was at least one person complaining that it wasn't long enough, and that the Probability & Statistics Seminar was being used to hurt the Inquisition or something like that. Presumably that person thinks we should have stayed in that overheated ballroom until 2 AM or something. And Ghod Forbid that people might want to leave the Inquisition to start eating the ice cream provided by one of the bids; that's has nothing to do with convention running either.

Final SessionCollapse )

After closing, I went out to dinner with a group of SMOFS (of course) to The Salty Pig restaurant near Copley Place, not too far from the hotel. They had excellent smoked meats and cheese (sort of like Barcelona) and Italian food. I enjoyed it, but I was still hungry, so as we walked back through the mall to the hotel I bought some nice sugar-free chocolates. I'm glad I did not buy more than I did, because I probably would have made myself sick if I'd tried to eat more than that when we got back to the con suite.

I hung around for several hours talking with people before deciding that I did need to pack and get ready to get some sleep. My flight tomorrow (which alas appears to be packed to the rafters) is at about 10:30 AM, so it's not quite as dire as the trip out. However, unless I can figure out a way to repackage the case of poker chips in such a way that I can treat it as a second piece of checked luggage (rather than as part of my first checked bag), it's going to cost me an extra $100 (rather than $35) to get it home because even after taking out my CPAP and other items, my first checked bag is going to end up weighing between 50 and 70 pounds.

SMOFCon is a fairly intense experience. I enjoy it a great deal. Many of my friends and colleagues in SF/F convention running attend, and I get to socialize far more than I can at Worldcon, because most of us are so busy with working on the convention itself. However, I seem to get more exhausted with SMOFCon's three days than Worldcon's five sometimes. Santa Rosa next year might be a little easier because it won't be such a long way to travel.

Current Mood: exhausted
3:12 am
2018 SMOF Series of Poker
SMOFCon 35 (unlike the previous Boston SMOFCon), provided space for the by-now-traditional Probability & Statistics Seminar (i.e. Texas Hold-Em poker tournament). 25 members participated. There were some very exciting hands and bad beats, including what I called "television hands" that would have made the broadcast of a televised tournament, such as the hand where a player was all-in with only one card to go an only two outs (the two remaining 9s in the deck) and the last card was a 9 to save him from elimination.

The winner of the 2018 SMOFCon tournament: Mike Beneviste. Congratulations!

Now I have to figure out how to fit 30 pounds of poker chips into my 50 pound luggage allowance. I think I'll be wearing home onto the plane a couple of pieces of cold-weather gear that were in my checked luggage coming out, and that I'll have to carry-on my CPAP machine instead of putting it my checked bag.

Current Mood: exhausted
Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
11:59 pm
No Escape
Saturday at SMOFCon was quite busy for me as usual (except for about an hour in the afternoon where I got a chance to go lie down for a little while). The WSFS Mark Protection Committee (technically, the Board of Directors of Worldcon Intellectual Property, because we were dealing with some European WSFS service mark issues) held a rare non-Worldcon in-person meeting this afternoon to deal with some pressing business and because SMOFcon is about the only place we can get a quorum other than Worldcon itself. The only time we could get enough members together was 5:30. Because several of us had 6:15 dinner reservations, it concentrated our minds greatly and we managed get the necessary discussion and decisions done in under 20 minutes.

Linda Deneroff had thoughtfully made a reservation for dinner for six at Legal Sea Foods in Copley Place, and I was very happy with the fried plaice with jasmine rice and sauteed mushrooms. They even got us out of there in time for us to get back over to the Back Bay Hilton in time for the Fannish Inquisition. There, the 2018 and 2019 Worldcons made a joint announcement.

A change to the WSFS Constitution ratified in Helsinki opened up the possibility of holding Retrospective Hugo Awards for years where no Worldcon was held. Worldcon 76 (2018 San José) and Dublin 2019 jointly announced that they would be holding, respectively, the 1943 (for works published in 1942) and 1944 (for works published in 1943) Retro-Hugo Awards. There was a great video displaying a sample of works published in those two years.

For some reason, SMOFCon 35 decided to not trouble with recording the Fannish Inquisition. I tried to record some of the joint announcement, but besides how wobbly a camera-phone recording is, I have only about 6 minutes of record time on my phone. If any of it turns out, I'll post it later.

I found myself up at the head of the room as one of the directors of CanSMOF, as the Montreal group is bidding to hold the 2020 SMOFCon in the downtown area of Montreal. This site will be decided in 2019, so this is mainly an initial statement of intent to bid.

SFSFC's SMOFCon bid was accepted by acclamation. SMOFCon 36 will be at the Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa in Santa Rosa, California November 30 thru December 2, 2018.

I did not take further notes or take any other recordings. The rest of the Fannish Inquisition happened, with future Worldcons and bids making presentations and fielding bids. I'll have to leave it to others to report about them. Once the Inquisition ended at 10:30, we had a poker tournament to run.

Current Mood: tired
Friday, December 1st, 2017
11:59 pm
Release the SMOFS
Today was the first day of SMOFCon, but I had no specific commitments, so I elected to sleep in to make up for the lost sleep it cost me to fly to Boston in the first place. David Clark (with whom I'm splitting a hotel room), Linda Deneroff, and I ventured out mid-morning to find breakfast (the hotel breakfast being too expensive for us when there are reasonable alternatives). After one false start caused by reading the map the wrong way around, we went to Thornton's Restaurant a short walk from the Back Bay Hilton, where we all had good breakfasts at a fair price.

Somewhere between last night and today, I seem to have lost my cold-weather stocking cap, which is annoying but not critical.

I spent a good chunk of today just hanging around talking to people, which is a major part of SMOFCon, of course. Linda (who is deputy division head of WSFS for Worldcon 76 under me) and I met with Dave McCarty, the 2018 Hugo Administrator, to discuss some of the logistics for administering the coming year's Hugo Awards. Dave and I then had a separate discussion about the Hugo Awards web site, as he is Chair of the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee (of which I'm a member) that manages the Hugo site as well as the Worldcon.org, WSFS.org, and NASFiC.org sites. It appears that we've had a glitch in e-mail handling at TheHugoAwards.org that we're working on correcting.

Most of the afternoon was taken up with a Worldcon 76 general staff meeting, this being one of the places where we can get a lot of the people together. Unlike the meeting in Scottsdale, this was more of a "get as many people as we can in one place and then we can talk over things in smaller groups as needed" as opposed to the more structured meetings.

A group of us went out to dinner at the Summer Shack right next door to the Hilton, at which I had some excellent crab cakes and, upon Deb Geisler's advice, the shells and cheese side dish. Well worth it. Then we came back to the hotel for the ice-breaker, which was a hilarious game where people came up with the most outlandish possible solutions for conrunning scenarios. (I won a small prize for my suggestion of the application of high explosives to one of the problems.) After that there were several possible things to do.

Old Game, New ScenariosCollapse )

The Utah NASFiC bid and Santa Rosa SMOFCon bids jointly hosted a meet-and-greet session that I wanted to attend, but the SMOFCon game took up so much time that things were breaking up by the time I got there, so I went back down to the hospitality suite and hung around until the word came down that it was closing time. I guess I'm still closer to living on West Coast time. I'm glad I don't have any early-morning commitments on Saturday, so there's still a chance to sleep in a little bit. That's particularly important because Saturday night is first the Fannish Inquisition and after that the traditional Probability & Statistics Seminar, which I, as the tournament director, have to attend to the bitter end even if I crash out in the early rounds.

Am I having a good time? Yes, definitely. SMOFCon is generally one of the high points of the year for me, and so far, this year is no exception.

Current Mood: happy
Thursday, November 30th, 2017
6:47 pm
Hello Boston, It's Been a While
Specifically, I haven't been in Boston since the previous Boston SMOFCon, which was at the airport hotel and thus didn't even require going outside, just walking through the corridors. This year's SMOFCon is in Boston, but at the Back Bay Hilton, which required taking a Logan Express bus. The scheduled route should have taken us a couple of blocks from the hotel, but by the time we got to that point, the only people left on the bus were the four of us attending SMOFCon, including Westercon 72's chair (and NASFiC Utah in 2019 bid chair) Kate Hatcher, who uses a power wheelchair, and the driver very helpfully stopped for us right across the street from the hotel.

Aside from having to be up at 2 AM PT so I could be at Reno airport two hours before my 6 AM flight to SFO, all was well on this travel. I breezed through Terrorization and had enough time for breakfast before my flight. When the flight arrived at SFO gate 88, I found that the outbound flight to Boston was at gate 89, so there was no problem with the relatively short connection time. I had an empty seat next to me on both legs, which makes the trip much more tolerable, but these new United seats are hard on my back. Also, with the move to all in-flight entertainment going through your mobile device instead of through the plane, there's no more "From the Flight Deck," and to me, listening to the ATC traffic was one of the things I liked about flying on United.

I did manage to get about an hour of fitful sleep. (I don't sleep well sitting up.) I bet it will be easy to sleep tonight, though!
Wednesday, November 29th, 2017
6:16 pm
Where The Cops Were Going
Lisa and I went into Reno yesterday to look for plumbing bits to repair the shower. Instead, we are now contemplating a significant refit of the shower with a very nice-looking shower head assembly from Ferguson Plumbing, where they treated us very nicely and didn't condescend to Lisa the way some people do. The likely shower equipment is mostly metal (rather than plastic) and is made in the USA, they tell us, although it's not there in packaging, so we might not know for sure until and unless we order it. We've put off ordering until I come back from SMOFCon.

After dinner at the Peppermill, we had one grocery shopping trip to make, and we were heading north on I-580/US-395 toward when five Reno police cars zoomed past with full lights and sirens, then turned west on I-80 toward downtown. We continued on to our grocery shopping, and then Lisa drove us home. When I was getting ready for bed, I learned that the excitement was an active shooter situation in downtown Reno, with a guy up in a building possibly trying to emulate the Las Vegas shooter. In the end, the police shot and killed him, and it appears nobody else was seriously injured.

We were not downtown. Those of you who attended the 2011 Worldcon may be aware that the two casino-hotels near the convention center are far south of the current downtown. We don't go downtown that much anymore, having given most of our "allegiance" to the Peppermill.

I wish SMOFCon was at the Peppermill this weekend rather than at the Back Bay Hilton in Boston, because then I wouldn't be facing the prospect of having to be up at 2 AM to be able to get to the airport for my 6 AM flight to SFO and then on to Boston. At least it appears that the weather in Boston will be about the same temperatures as here in Fernley, with not much chance of precipitation. And I don't have to change planes at Denver or Chicago, only at SFO.

Current Mood: relieved
Tuesday, November 28th, 2017
8:46 pm
Supporting the Fire Department Toy Drive
Today at lunch, Lisa and I walked to the post office (as we often do) past the fire station. The fire department was conducting a Christmas toy drive for needy children. At Lisa's suggestion, after we collected the mail, we went into Family Dollar and bought a toy (taking care to find one that was mostly American-made), then donated it to the drive. It seemed like a good thing to do.

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, November 27th, 2017
5:31 pm
No Time for Plumbing
Lisa's patch job on the shower works, but it's inconvenient. In effect, you can only use it as a hand-held shower; there is no place you can hang it up to use as a fixed-head shower that doesn't cause water to spray over the top of the shower. Unfortunately, Day Jobbe commitments kept me at the computer until after 4 PM, which meant there was not enough time to go into Reno/Sparks to look for replacement parts from plumbing-supply companies instead of big-box stores. Maybe tomorrow.

Current Mood: tired
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