Kevin Standlee: Fandom Is My Way of Life|
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|Wednesday, September 20th, 2017|
This morning I left work at 11 AM to drive to Redwood Shores for my semi-annual dental check-up. (No problems.) This gave me the opportunity to have lunch at my favorite taqueria: El Metate in Belmont. (Good burritos at a fair price, and really great tortilla chips and salsa.) From there it was on to Fremont, where I finally paid my mechanic for the work he did on the Astro back in June. (He only got around to calling me with the final bill — $1200! — last week.) Then I went by Suju's Coffee in Fremont to buy a couple of pounds of whole-bean Columbian from them. (I don't come down to the Bay Area that often anymore, so I need to stock up when I'm here. Suju's was across the street from where I used to live in Fremont, and I like their coffee.) Then I refilled the forward tank on the Rolling Stone
at one of the less-expensive gas stations in south Fremont. I'd intended to spend the rest of the afternoon at my employer's Fremont warehouse, but I had an in-person meeting scheduled for 4:30 PM back over in Sunnyvale. I was dismayed to hear on the radio of an accident on westbound CA-237. Fortunately, it had mostly cleared by the time I got back over there, and I managed to make it back with less than 30 minutes to spare. Whew! And that was driving in "off peak" and "counter commute" directions.
I hope to be able to get away before Noon on Friday, if work permits. I've put in enough hours that I can do so, but it requires that the urgent stuff gets done. If I don't get away before Noon, it's almost inevitable that I won't get home that night and will be obliged to lay up somewhere along the way, thanks to the never-ending traffic in the Bay Area and Sacramento. Current Mood: exhausted
|Tuesday, September 19th, 2017|
|A Blast From the Past
Yesterday, I had called to my attention the list of what we would today call the finalists for the 1956 Hugo Awards. The historical listing on The Hugo Awards web site did not include finalists because we did not have a list of them, nor did any of the other historical archives on which we based our initial load of finalists/winners. So I spent some time between the end of work and heading off to BASFA entering the data. (And for the most part it appears faithfully reproducing typos in the original, some of which I've now corrected.) So we now have the 1956 Hugo Awards page
updated with finalist information.
It's important to realize that 1956 was only the third time the Hugo Awards had been presented. The 1954 Worldcon didn't present them after 1953 ran them. The Awards could easily have been a "one-off" thing had 1955 not decided to present them again, and 1956 continued them. However, in those far-off days, there wasn't a long document listing the rules for the Awards. The members didn't make the rules through the Business Meeting. It was all made up on the fly by the individual Worldcon committees, who as far as I can see could do as they pleased subject only to their own scruples and how they thought they'd be treated by their fellow fans. Thus you end up with variable-length finalist lists (and no indication of how a work/person made the short list), write-in votes, first-past-the-post voting, and (if rumors I recall reading can be trusted), cases where "close enough" was enough to generate a "tie." I don't know if that tie in Best Fanzine is "real" or not, and it's quite possible that we'll never know for sure.
As time has gone on, Worldcon's model for running the Hugo Awards has evolved considerable, to the model today where the rules are specified by the members through the WSFS Business Meeting, and the Administrators are expected to release just about every piece of information other than the raw ballots themselves. This is pretty consistent with an assumption that runs throughout the structure of WSFS, which is "I trust nobody but thee and me — and I'm none too sure of thee." We cede the bare minimum necessary to keep the organization running, and deeply distrust all central authority. This structure seems crazy to many people, and yet it has lasted for more than 75 years. Current Mood: thoughtful
|Monday, September 18th, 2017|
|2017 WSFS Business Meeting Videos Posted
Having finally reached a high enough bandwidth connection to do so, I have now posted the four official 2017 WSFS Business Meeting videos
to the Worldcon Events channel. These are the recordings taken by the WSFS videographer (Lisa Hayes), supplemented in a couple of places by cuts from the live-streaming video that Worldcon 75 shot when there were gaps in the official recording. These official recordings also omit everything outside of the meeting, skipping over recesses and other non-meeting time.
I would have pushed this out sooner, but since the Worldcon 75 live stream video was available, I elected to take my time getting the official recording edited together and making sure everything was in place. WSFS.org is also now similarly updated. Current Mood: accomplished
|Sunday, September 17th, 2017|
It having been roughly three months since the last time I spent a week in the Bay Area on board the Rolling Stone
, my travel-packing skills are a bit rusty. I didn't forget my razor this time, but as I was coming down the mountain, I remembered that I'd left my after-shave ointment (Cosmetic Lad by Lush) behind. That I could fix by stopping at the Lush store in Roseville, although I got away from Fernley so early that I had to kill a little time waiting for the mall to open.
After Roseville, it was on to Sacramento to spend and hour visiting with my sister at the nursing home. It appears that all of the postcards I sent from Germany, Finland, and Iceland have now arrived. I sure hope the poster tube I sent from Helsinki with the small WSFS banner makes its way to me in Fernley before next year's Worldcon!
Something I'd been unable to locate while packing was my washcloth. My towel is on board the RV, but I couldn't find the washcloth. So in Fremont (where I also had dinner), I stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a new one. So of course when I was unpacking for the evening, I found the old cloth. I apparently had put it away in a cupboard in the RV where I usually don't store such things. Like the Cosmetic Lad, it's not a big deal, and there's nothing wrong with having a spare. Indeed, I wish that I'd packed a washcloth for our European trip. By now I should remember that most of the hotels in which we've stayed in Europe don't include a small washcloth among the standard bathroom linens, which is particularly strange when they only include bath gel instead of bars of soap. It's as though they assume their guests will be bringing their own washcloth. Travel shows you where there are different assumptions about things, I guess.
It was also a day of travel contrasts. It was chilly leaving Fernley, and quite literally freezing (as in 0°C) at Truckee. I had to run the heater for a while going over the top. But by the time I was at Roseville, it was warm, and by Sacramento, I had the air conditioning running. Definitely autumnal weather. That's fine with me, though; much better than the heat of summer. Current Mood: tired
|Saturday, September 16th, 2017|
|Packing for a Week Away
I haven't been in the Bay Area since June, and the Rolling Stone
has mostly sat parked in front of the house since then, so it was a bit dusty. (Not as much as if it had been out to Burning Man, but still....) So this morning, Lisa and I first took it over to Flying J and filled the tanks, then took it to Hanneman's Car Wash and gave it a quick rinse. This afternoon, I loaded it up with my clothing for this coming week when I'll be working at the Bay Area office. Aside from my computers and toiletries (they go out tomorrow morning before I leave), I'm ready to go. I'm a little rusty at RV living now that I don't have to do it every other week or three, but it should be okay. I'm glad to see that the weather will be good, with likely comfortable evenings. Because I have to be up so early to stick to my 6-to-3 work schedule, getting to bed early each evening is very important to me.
Lisa and I worked on a household project that had been put off for lots of reasons, but today's weather was perfect for working around the property. I also cut a bunch of bushes back along the fence line, so I don't have to put up with them snatching at my hat every time I walk down our sidewalk.
Lisa is sorry I have to go away for a week, but she did say it's easier to do some of the cleaning she wants to do when I'm not underfoot. Current Mood: accomplished
|Friday, September 15th, 2017|
There was a fundraising event at the Fire Station this evening, with food and games, but when we walked down there (expecting to buy dinner from the BBQ), the music they were playing was so loud that we were driven away. We also noticed that very few people were sitting in the seating area with the tables and chairs, which was right in the focus of the booming music. So instead of spending our money there, we walked back home and drove down to the Black Bear Diner and had dinner there. I also had $40 worth of free-play coupons (you had to spend $10 to get $40 in free play) at the Fernley Nugget casino. Lisa played her favorite machine, and we had a run of pretty good luck. Remember that you can't cash in the free-play coupons; however, when we were done playing through those, we had $42 in actual cash out, less the $10 it cost to get the free play coupons, so that's a nice little win for the evening.
It's definitely cooling off. We still have the windows open, but the fans aren't running. I'm happy to see the weather cooling off after this long hot summer. Current Mood: content
|Turning the Weather Corner
One way of saying, "Autumn is here" in Fernley: yesterday was the first day since we got home from Europe that I didn't run the swamp cooler on "cool" mode (i.e. evaporative cooling). We ran the fan for a while to move cooler outside air into the house, but otherwise didn't have to do anything else. Today it's about 10°C cooler than it was on Monday, which is a great relief.
Of course now we need to be thinking about scheduling having the fireplace chimney cleaned and laying in the first load of firewood. We don't need it yet, but it won't be that long. Current Mood: relaxed
|Sunday, September 10th, 2017|
I've completed the editing of the last two WSFS Business Meeting videos. Due to a number of gaps in the recordings we did, this was a lot more time-consuming as I filled the gaps with the material that Worldcon 75 shot (with their permission). It is of course tricky to find the spots where you can cut from one recording to the next, but I managed to make it work without being too jumpy, I think. The video generation is now grinding away on another computer. Next week when I'm at an internet connection with acceptable upload speed, I will upload the four files and post about it when they've made it to the Worldcon Events Channel. Current Mood: accomplished
|Saturday, September 9th, 2017|
|Back and Forth
I had to run into Reno today to do some errands that had backed up. Unfortunately, one of the errands was incomplete, so I'll have to do it again tomorrow, but I'll cope. I hope to have enough time tomorrow after I return to get the WSFS Business Meeting videos finished so that I'll have them ready to upload when I go down to the Bay Area (and decent upload bandwidth) next weekend. Current Mood: calm
|Friday, September 8th, 2017|
|Short Week, Long Days
It was a short work week, but for some reason it seemed extra-long to me. I'm glad the weekend is here. Although I'll be spending a bunch of it at the computer anyway, editing together the remaining WSFS Business Meeting videos now that I have permission to use some of the Worldcon 75 footage to fill in a couple of gaps in our recordings caused by technical issues with the camera. Current Mood: tired
|Thursday, September 7th, 2017|
|2017 Worldcon Fannish Inquisition Videos
I have finally managed to upload the eleven different Fannish Inquisition videos from Worldcon 75
that Lisa recorded. These presentations were also live-streamed on the Worldcon 75 channel, and an archive of it as one continuous item is there, but this playlist has each of the Worldcon, Worldcon bid, and NASFiC bid presentations as separate files. These are all creative-commons licensed, so you certainly can feel free to share these with anyone you think would be interested in them.
That was Lisa's longest day. We were at the Business Meeting at 9:00, an hour before it started in order to set up, and while I was done when we adjourned at 13:00, Lisa had to stick around for all of the inquisitioning as well. I was there as well, but Lisa had to work harder than I did that day. We were both tired and hungry after that was all done. Current Mood: accomplished
|Wednesday, September 6th, 2017|
|Friendly Dinner in Reno
were in Reno last night and tonight, having just come off of Burning Man. Lisa and I drove into Reno after I got off work (working 6 AM-3 PM has some advantages), collected them from their hotel, and took them out to dinner at the Peppermill Buffet. The manager asked us where we'd been. (Yes, that's how often we eat there.) We explained that we'd been in Europe for a few weeks, but were back home and were taking friends from out of down out to dinner, which was why we were sitting at a different (larger) table than our usual spot. We had a nice dinner, and everyone won (a very small amount) at the slot machines. I'm glad we got the opportunity to do this. Current Mood: cheerful
|Tuesday, September 5th, 2017|
My DSL upload speed here at home is abysmal. It takes hours to upload what should be pretty easy short videos. So don't expect the official recordings of the Business Meeting (which are much larger than the short Fannish Inquisition videos that are slowly going up to the Worldcon Events YouTube Channel) to post until later this month, when I can take advantage of better upload speeds when I go down and work for a week at the Bay Area office. Current Mood: tired
|Monday, September 4th, 2017|
|They Doth Protest Too Much Methinks
I (probably unwisely) tried to ask some of the people crowing over how the recent Dragon Awards are the Best Awards Evar and that The Hugo Awards are dead, dead, dead because of course the only Real Awards are the Dragons, etc., asking why they thought an award that allowed someone with a bit of internet savvy the ability to vote potentially hundreds of times was a good thing, and the amount of vitriol sent my way was, well, not surprising, really.
I'm sort of wondering if these people simply assume that everything
is corrupt and everyone
is on the take. They assumed, after all, that the Hugo Award results were rigged by a Secret Cabal. They don't care of their pet system is rigged or flawed, as long as they Get What They Want. It's sort of like the people who were quoted as saying they didn't care if the last American Presidential election was corrupted, because Their Guy Won, and that's all that matters.
In another response, someone made a crack about how I should study recent Hugo Award winners' sales. I would reply, "So what?" The Hugo Awards are not and never have been about "Which work sold more copies." If that's all that mattered, we'd just ask publishers to open their books about copies sold and give the trophy to whoever had the most sales, right? But I guess to some people, the only thing that matters is How Much Money Did You Make, and nothing else at all matters. To those people, for example, Worldcon is obviously worthless because none of us who work on it are Getting Paid, and if you aren't Getting Paid, it's worthless.
Sad, really. Current Mood: melancholy
|Sunday, September 3rd, 2017|
|Uploading the Fannish Inquistion Videos
I'm aware that Worldcon 75 did live-stream the 2017 Worldcon Fannish Inquisition, but we also shot WSFS video, and I've started the process of uploading the 11 separate videos to the Worldcon Events channel. Alas, my home internet connection's upload speed is abysmal, so it may take a long time before the video actually uploads. At the current pace, they won't be online for at least another 24 hours. Current Mood: annoyed
|Saturday, September 2nd, 2017|
|2 Down, 2 To Go
I spent a bunch of today editing WSFS Business Meeting videos. I have two of them done, and two left to go. There's some missing footage due to technical issues with the small camera. (That's one reason Lisa says she'll never record another Business Meeting using that camera again; it's much more difficult to use than the big P2 camera that we'll have in San Jose.) I'm hunting around for footage I can use to bridge the two gaps. Conversely, there is at least one segment missing from the live-streaming coverage from Worldcon 75. Between all of the recordings, we should manage to eventually cobble together complete coverage.
When I have all four videos completed, I will upload them to the Worldcon Events Channel. Current Mood: accomplished
|Thursday, August 31st, 2017|
|Beating the Heat
An early draft of my schedule for this year (before I moved to nearly all work-from-home) had me working in the Bay Area this week or next week. (As it happens, I do plan to do a week there later in September because I have a dentist appointment in Redwood Shores and am loathe to give up on my dentist of many years.) I am very happy that I did not have to be down there. Hard as it is to believe, it's actually hotter in the Bay Area today and for the next few days than it is here in Fernley.
While the heat is slightly less, we do have much smoke and haze from the many wildfires continuing to burn throughout California and Nevada. I was quite concerned to hear about a big fire near Oroville, and relieved to see that it's not threatening my father and other members of his side of the family who live in hills east of Oroville.
As long as the highs stay below about 35°C, the swamp cooler here seems to cope with the heat. Above that, it starts to get more difficult, and my brain slows down in the heat. Not that I'm yet 100% recovered from the Worldcon trip, which is why there still isn't a bunch of things done that should have been done by now. Current Mood: sick
|Wednesday, August 30th, 2017|
|Fan About the House
Lisa and I continue to try and recover. She's a few days behind me, but we both keep coughing. When we're feeling ambitious, we go for a walk around the block or down the street. Otherwise, it's just a slow recovery. I'm glad we took that trip, but it took a whole lot out of us. We hope we're recovered somewhat by this weekend, because there are some projects here at Fernley House that need our attention. Current Mood: tired
|Tuesday, August 29th, 2017|
Neither Lisa nor I am recovering well from the European trip. We both still have a bad cough and that keeps us from sleeping well (even with cough medication). I'm sure my co-workers in Iowa, Oregon, and Texas are happy that we all work from home, so I can't infect them with whatever I have. I do have (barely) enough energy to do the Day Jobbe, and that's about it.
We had some unexpected rain this afternoon. I'm glad to get it along with the most-all-day overcast that cut down the heat, but I hope it's not causing trouble north of here at Black Rock City. That playa is of course an ancient lake bed, and it doesn't take much to turn it from dust into mud. Current Mood: sick
|Monday, August 28th, 2017|
|Sit Down, Lisa
Over the years, as Menlo got rid of surplus office chairs, I tended to accumulate them. They had dents and tears, but they worked. However, over the years they have eventually worn out, and just before we left for Europe, Lisa's ex-Menlo chair finally broke. In fact, it broke right under Lisa, throwing her to the floor, which was a bit scary. All that Lisa has left is an old office chair I bought many years ago in Yuba City when I was still living with my grandparents in Sutter, and it's nearly worn out as well. So today after work, we went into Reno/Sparks, first for a medical appointment for Lisa, and then to look into getting her a new, nice office chair. We found ourselves at Affordable Office Furniture & Supplies
, where the owner was very nice to us and showed us a selection of chairs. Lisa found one that she liked. She turned it over to look at the manufacturing information, and found that this model is assembled in the USA from a mixture of US and Canadian parts. That sold her, and we ordered one for her. It's not cheap, and it will take three weeks or so for the custom order, but it looks like it should last for a long time and be very comfortable.
As I mentioned to the owner the old chair Lisa is using, I remembered and said from where I purchased it (Feather River Office Machines in Yuba City, long since out of business), and the owner pointed out that he has another store in Yuba City. We got to talking, and he knew all of the places around there: Sutter, where I lived for many years, Challenge, my hometown, and Chico, where I went to college.
WSFS tie-in: The Gavel of WSFS we used for many years (from 1993 until it got lost between Chicago and San Antonio) was also purchased at FROM in Yuba City. The one we have now is nicer, thought. Current Mood: accomplished