Kevin Standlee: Fandom Is My Way of Life|
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
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|Saturday, May 18th, 2013|
|A Rose Grows in Fernley
It's a sign of how much working from home agrees with me that I slept in only an hour this morning, waking up before Amtrak's #5's normal pass of Fernley at 7:45. (It was two hours late this morning; I was there waving at it as it passed.) There was no reason to wake Lisa. I dealt with morning business over coffee and generally relaxed. After Amtrak's passage, I decided to walk down to the taco stand on Main Street
and get one of their breakfast burritos. As I was walking back, I saw Lisa standing on the front porch. She had woke up while I was away, had noticed that one of our local rabbits was nibbling on some greenery right outside our front gate, and went to get the camera to take a picture. The rabbit had moved on by the time she came back, but she took a picture of me coming home instead.( Photos behind cutCollapse )
Both Lisa and I are anxious to get moving to Oregon. Today we are running errands for things we need for the trip. Meanwhile, we've been making a list of things we'll purchase while we have an opportunity to stock up from stores that aren't in Nevada or the Bay Area and from the land of no sales tax. Current Mood: cheerful
|Friday, May 17th, 2013|
|Kickstart Sprint for Girl Genius
Studio Foglio is running a Kickstarter campaign
to raise enough money to print the next paper edition of Girl Genius
. I'm in at a relatively low level myself. (I do wish I had the money to drop on the pair of $10K one-of-a-kind support levels; we'd have Phil and Kaja & The Experiments as GoHs of FernleyCon.) Somewhat to I think everyone's surprise, the main goal funded in about one day, and here on Day 3 they're already edging up to stretch goal 3. But if you haven't yet pledged, don't let that stop you: don't we all want to see "Phil in his 'Mr. Hyde' personality, demonstrating the use of [their] astonishing new orange peeler"? Current Mood: pleased
|Thursday, May 16th, 2013|
Lisa had been driven to distraction by actions of others yesterday. (I may or may not choose to write about it later, but not in a public entry.) In an attempt to get her mind off of things, I got my coveralls and boots on and asked her to help me clear our yard of more wood debris.( What are you doing with that saw, Lisa?Collapse )
An early evening of sawing and hauling wood was good for both of us, for various reasons. Current Mood: accomplished
|Wednesday, May 15th, 2013|
|Tuesday, May 14th, 2013|
|No BayCon for Us
For the record, we aren't going to be going to BayCon this year because we expect to have to go to Oregon in the next few days to attend Lisa's father's funeral and that we'll probably be gone for about a week. Because we don't know the exact dates — we haven't heard from her family yet, and I would be surprised if arrangements have been even made yet — we can't make any firm plans, so the best thing we thought we could do was to cancel our plans for BayCon (and some hotel reservations) in order to maintain flexibility. Current Mood: Quiet
|Monday, May 13th, 2013|
|Licensed to SMOF
My Nevada license plates for the minivan were waiting for me when I got home on Saturday, and Lisa installed them before we headed to Reno for shopping yesterday.( Officially Licensed SMOFCollapse )
I doubt anyone will get it except when I'm parked at a convention or an SFSFC board meeting, of course. Current Mood: pleased
|Sunday, May 12th, 2013|
Lisa said today that for Mother's Day she wanted to go out to lunch. So I took her to a gas station and bought her a burger.( I'm still alive to tell the taleCollapse )
I was not able to call my mother on Mother's Day because she does not have a telephone; however, she called me as we were leaving Fernley to head to Reno this afternoon. Since I had my headset on, I was able to talk with her until my phone dropped the signal in a part of the Truckee River canyon near Lockwood. Mom called me again a couple of hours later as we were doing the last bit of shopping before heading home. I currently plan to go visit her on our way back from Westercon. Current Mood: cheerful
|Saturday, May 11th, 2013|
|Baseball, BASFA, and Daleks in the Cove
I got away from work early enough yesterday to head back over to Newark, drop my things at my hotel, and collect Eric Larson from his place to drive us over to BART, where we caught a train for San Francisco and walked to AT&T Park for the Giants-Braves game. There we joined BASFA members and co-workers of Dave Gallaher, who organized the outing and bought the tickets.( Not a bad seat in the houseCollapse )
It was a romp for the Giants, who had a spectacular fourth inning, sending eleven men to the plate and scoring six runs. It was nice to run off a big inning against an opponent rather than being the victim of one, as so often has been the case. It turned into an easy 8-2 victory against the league-leading Braves, particularly satisfying given how the Braves had shut down the Giants the previous evening.
As the game went into the ninth, many people started leaving, as the result appeared to be a forgone conclusion, but those who left early missed the entrance in McCovey Cove of a peculiar object, even by the standards of the Cove.( Illuminate! Illuminate!Collapse )
Eric and I walked back up the Embarcadero, stopping to admire the LED light sculpture on the Bay Bridge (this being our first time in The City since it was installed) before heading off to BART. We were train-lucky, as a train going our way was approaching the station as we reached the bottom of the stairs.
Aside from a short delay due to a "police incident" at West Oakland (where the BART Police apparently removed a person or persons from the train), we had an uneventful ride back to Fremont. I dropped Eric off at his place and headed back to my hotel. Given that I'd been up since 5 AM, I was very grateful to get to bed.
Today, I "slept in" all of 90 minutes but took my time packing and getting on the road before driving home to Fernley. Typically, today's Giants game came on the air as I was leaving signal range of any of the team's radio network stations. This keeps happening to me, so I gave up and stumped up the $20 for the MLB At Bat app that allows my smartphone to bring in the game as long as I can get a cell phone signal, and I-80 is well-supplied with towers.
I got home to Fernley about 5 PM, and Lisa was of course glad to see me. I'm tired from all that driving. Today was National Train Day
, and I would have preferred to have been riding a train home than driving, but I need the van at home. Perhaps on another trip to the Bay Area for work I'll arrange to do it by train and leave the van at home with Lisa. Current Mood: tired
|Friday, May 10th, 2013|
|Taxation With Representation
This morning I read a newsletter from an online retailer complaining about the bill that has passed the Senate to require online and mail order retailers to collect and remit the sales taxes for sales outside their states. I can certainly understand the retailer's objection to the proposal (which I expect to see die in the House), but I found myself annoyed once again at invoking the Boston Tea Party as tax protestors, for the same reason that I'm annoyed with the Tea Partiers in US politics today. ( Feel free to skip talk of US politicsCollapse )
I guess I'm just annoyed at the profoundly anti-government tone that so many people seem to take when the government does something they don't like. To restate Ronald Regan my way, Government is not necessarily
the answer or
the problem. Current Mood: grumpy
|Thursday, May 9th, 2013|
|Bet On It: BASFA Ambasadorial Appointment
At this past Monday's BASFA meeting, when Chris Garcia announced that he'd published the "Handicapping the Hugos" issue of The Drink Tank
, I asked, "Will you also make book on the Awards?" Somewhat to my dismay, this led to a motion to, in light of my recent relocation to Nevada, appoint me as BASFA's Official Bookmaker. After some parliamentary fun and games, this morphed into a motion to appoint me "Ambassador to Amazonia," or at least the portion of it within the city limits of Fernley. (The regional Amazon distribution center is in Fernley, which is why some of you may have heard of it before I started writing about it.) This amended motion passed, so I have, for now, escaped potential accusations that I'm taking bets on the Hugo Awards. Current Mood: amused
|Wednesday, May 8th, 2013|
|Volunteering for Training
I have applied for this volunteer position with the city of Fernley's Depot Museum Collections Committee
, which was posted just after I became eligible for it by registering to vote in Fernley. I don't know if I'll get an appointment, or what exactly it will mean in terms of my commitment to the Fernley Depot Museum, but it does sound interesting, and I really do hope I can do something to help get the Depot Museum open, given how much expense and difficulty was involved in getting it moved and restored at its current site, and what a waste it is that it was this
close to actually opening before the Fernley Preservation Society apparently disbanded after it became clear that the negotiations with the city had fallen through. Current Mood: sleepy
|Tuesday, May 7th, 2013|
|Worldcon Site Scouting
Cheryl Morgan is in Finland
right now, and is offering to search out answers to any questions you might have about the place in regarding their Worldcon bid. As the ballot for the 2015 Worldcon (including the Helsinki bid) was recently released, now is a good time for sending Cheryl questions before you make up your mind for whom to cast your Worldcon site selection ballot this year. Current Mood: chipper
|Monday, May 6th, 2013|
|Doing the Math
I've been asked why I'm doing this hotel-stay thing instead of renting a "cheap apartment." Well, to start with, "cheap apartment" and "Bay Area" are pretty much mutually exclusive terms. (Go search Craigslist if you are not familiar with Bay Area housing costs.) Second, I'm now only in the Bay Area about two weeks (between ten and twelve nights) per month, not including special events like BayCon. My previous apartment cost me about $33/day. If I can continue to get the $41 (net after taxes) room rate I'm currently getting, as long as I spend no more than 24 nights per month in the Bay Area, I'm money ahead. Finally, by no longer spending the majority of my time in California, I've established residency in Nevada, and if I'm reading the rules correctly, I now only have to pay income tax for the days I'm actually working in California. For now, I'm continuing to have full resident income taxes withheld because I was legally resident in the state until the end of April of this year and need to have an actual 540NR California non-resident/part-year-resident tax return behind me to figure out the real impact of this, but it seems like it should cut my California income tax in half in the long run.( You Get What You Pay ForCollapse ) Current Mood: thoughful
|Sunday, May 5th, 2013|
This is my first "visit" to the Bay Area under the new work/life plan and after vacating the old apartment in San José. I'm checked in to the EZ-8 Motel Newark
, which has the benefit of being quite inexpensive by Bay Area standards. It's clean. There's a refrigerator, but no microwave oven, and "cooking is prohibited in rooms." The internet access is available
but not free; however, I can bridge my smartphone, which has unlimited bandwidth, so that's not really a problem. I wish I'd remembered my swimsuit, as there is a small hot tub, and it's convenient to my room; I could use the relaxation. (Maybe next trip.) The location is not convenient to transit; if I have to stay down here and not be tied to my car, I'll have to stay in some place like the EZ-8 on North First Street (a block from where my apartment was), but that's about $10/night more. Location, location, location.
My only significant complaint is a dearth of power outlets. It's about as bad as the British hotel rooms in which I've stayed. Even with a six-foot extension cord and eight-foot power cord, I can just barely reach my CPAP machine from the outlet nearest the bed. (I'll need to get a longer extension cord for the next stay, I guess.)
And, thanks to it being the ESPN Sunday Night game and my having got away from Fernley a couple of hours earlier than usual, I got to see the Giants-Dodgers game, which, since we don't have cable or satellite at Fernley House, is a treat for me.
I am amused that one of my fellow travelers at this hotel has a "My Other Vehicle is a TARDIS" license plate bracket on his/her car. Current Mood: tired
|Friday, May 3rd, 2013|
|Fernley Wildlife Refuge
With spring we have more of the local and migratory wildlife stirring more often. This morning, when I opened the front door to go take a short walk before going to work, I saw this in the vacant lot to the east of Fernley House:( Bunnies!Collapse )
Later in the afternoon, some of the quail that have moved in next door made an appearance.( Birdies!Collapse )
Both of these photos were taken from my front porch, albeit with a zoom on the camera. I like our little wildlife refuge. I've been considering leaving some carrots for the rabbits. Current Mood: quiet
|Thursday, May 2nd, 2013|
|Step by Step
The studio apartment built on top of Fernley House can be accessed in two ways: an internal stairwell between it and the family room, and an external set of stairs with an outside deck. (Alas, the deck is not well placed for train-watching, being on the east rather than north side of the building.) We took the IKEA desk upstairs via the outside stairs, and Lisa warned me that a step near the top was cracked and starting to fail. I agreed with Lisa's suggestion that fixing this failing step was a priority, particularly as it was something we could do ourselves.
A couple of days later, we went to Lowe's and bought an 8-foot length of 2x6" pressure-treated lumber. (The steps are four feet wide and consist of a pair of 2x6s secured to the framework by wood screws.) Lowe's wouldn't cut pressure-treated lumber, but it wasn't too difficult for Lisa to cut the board in half this afternoon. Getting the old wood screws out was fairly difficult, however. First, we had to dig dirt and old paint out of the tops enough to get a screwdriver to fit. Second, eight of the twelve screws were awkwardly placed for using the electric drill. Third, even the four in the center wouldn't come out easily, and Lisa had to use an adapted socket wrench and a pair of Vice-grips to work the recalcitrant wood screws out. I stood by, carried away boards as they were removed, and retrieved the drill bit when it rolled off the step once.
Putting in the new boards, by comparison to the removal of the old ones, was a piece of cake. Interestingly, the unpainted pressure-treated new boards look about the same as the painted (but badly faded) old boards surrounding them. It's a good afternoon's work to get rid of of a step that could have failed under us or at least tripped us up. Current Mood: accomplished
|Wednesday, May 1st, 2013|
|My Papers Pliz
In yesterday's mail,
the magic piece of plastic that takes the place of human judgement
my Nevada driver's license arrived, allowing me to get rid of the temporary paper license and officially invalidating my California license.
Meanwhile, my attempt to "summerize" the fireplace (digging out ashes, vacuuming) came to naught when it turned cold enough today to oblige me to set a fire for a few hours to get the temperature in the living room back up above 20°C. Current Mood: blah
|Keep Those ____s Coming
Match Game questions have been arriving after my request last night
, and I thank you all for submitting them. It's likely I won't be able to use some of them, particularly if we are lucky enough to have the folks from The Game Show Show
on the panel (we're asking them), on account of at least one of the questions is almost exactly the same as one that they used in their rotation, but I still appreciate the questions being sent in. Also, some of what I've received will work as bonus round and sudden death questions, which are in a different format, and that's good, too, because those have been a little stale lately.
Bonus Round questions are in the form of "Star ___" and the contestant has to get an exact match with the single panelist's answer to win the bonus round prize. We modified the Super Match rules from the original show to make it more likely that most or all of the panelists will get selected in the Bonus Round, unlike the original show where Richard Dawson was selected nearly any time he was on the panel, on account of his uncanny ability to read contestants' minds. Current Mood: cheerful
|Tuesday, April 30th, 2013|
|Get Ready to Fill in the ____
As many of you know, we're planning on doing Match Game SF
at Westercon 66
this Independence Day Weekend in Sacramento. While we haven't done a show in almost two years and could re-use old material, it's always more fun (particularly for returning panelists) to hear new questions. So once again I turn to you, the readers of my LiveJournal, for help. We need more Match Game Questions!
Remember that Match Game
questions are not trivia questions. They are fill-in-the-blank questions where there is more than one possible answer, particularly if there are funny alternatives.( Sample QuestionsCollapse )
If you have GSN on your cable/satellite system, watch an episode of Match Game
to see how it works. We want questions with an SF/F-related theme, but in practice, it's often possible to rework questions from the historical show with an SF/F "skin."
If you don't have my e-mail, you can post possible questions as replies to this post. (I'll moderate replies on this post for that reason.) Alternatively, you can direct message me on LiveJournal, or use my LJ handle @livejournal.com. All of those will get to me. I'll credit your question on the show.
Thanks for your help! Current Mood: hopeful
|Monday, April 29th, 2013|
|The Best Time of the Year
Spring and Autumn are the best times to be here at Fernley House, particularly because we have no air conditioning and the heat is limited to wood burning and portable electric space heaters. But right now, the weather is perfect, and I had a pleasant day of getting my Day Jobbe done from my temporary office in the living room. Lisa assembled the IKEA desk upstairs and had me come make sure that the resultant U-shaped desk would have enough room for me to work when we someday have the upstairs office (originally a studio apartment) habitable again.
I only had to work an ordinary eight-hour day today, with no crazy deadlines, and combined with a "commute" of only a few meters, I'm feeling pretty chipper this afternoon. Now if only the SF Giants can snap out of this slump into which they've somehow drifted.... Current Mood: cheerful