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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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Wednesday, March 29th, 2017
7:16 pm
Pasta Night
Lisa drove us over to Lowe's after I got done with work today, where we had to return a part that we'd purchased but ended up not needing. On the way back home, we decided that we should take advantage of the $4.99 pasta special night at Rilasa Italian Restaurant. We went home (it was too early to have dinner anyway) and a bit later I drove us back over, where we both had the special. When you add in the extras (we both added shrimp) and tip, it was $20, but that still seems like a pretty good deal for pasta dinners for two people. Although the servings seemed small when we first were served, it turned out to be more than met the eye, and we were quite full by the time we got home.

We really should go for a walk, but we're both very tired, so we are calling it a very early day.

Current Mood: sleepy
Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
6:34 pm
His Lordship's Manor House
On Sunday morning when I was walking after breakfast, I got a good photo of a distinctive house that looks out over Fernley.

Lord of the ManorCollapse )

Even if Lisa and I had the resources to buy the land and build a house like that, we wouldn't; not there, at least. We like our house, and we like our view of the railroad tracks.

Current Mood: amused
Monday, March 27th, 2017
2:26 pm
Supplemental Shopping
Sunday afternoon, we decided to go ahead and make a second trip to Reno, this time with the insulated cool-bag so we could buy good cheese and other perishables. The deciding factor was that Cost Plus World Market was running a one-day sale on many thing we would normally get.

Bears Knows Whats He WantsCollapse )

We seem to be spending more time at home and, this past weekend notwithstanding, making fewer trips to Reno/Sparks of late. That may just have been an effect of the winter weather, but it also shows how much we have come to like our house.

Current Mood: relaxed
Sunday, March 26th, 2017
11:09 am
Timesink Ahead
After breakfast at the Wigwam this morning, I on the spur of the moment decided to walk down to the Fernley Fun Center to see if they had a new pinball machine. They did, and it's one of my probably top-10 favorites: Medieval Madness, in tip-top condition. I bought five credits ($2), and proceeded to play for at least an hour, winning at least as many games as I bought. I apparently haven't lost my touch, despite not having played in a long time.

Current Mood: amused
Saturday, March 25th, 2017
7:53 pm
Spring Shopping
We've not been going to Reno as much as we once did, and consequently when we do go in to do our shopping, we typically buy more at once. We had fairly elaborate plans for a day of grocery and other shopping in Reno today. With the Astro laid up in Fremont for repairs, Lisa got the Small Orange Pickup out to stretch its legs. When we refueled it at the Pilot station on the way out of Fernley, she said, "The last time we put gas in was in February."

Knowing that she hasn't used the pickup much, I said, "2016?"

"No," she replied, "2015." Yes, this was the first time the pickup had been refueled in more than two years.

The pickup ran just fine even though it hasn't run much of late, but when we got into Reno we realized we'd forgotten the insulated bags, and thus couldn't buy any perishable groceries. Consequently, after our first two stops for non-perishables, Lisa elected to cut the expedition short and take us home. We'll make another trip later. Nothing was critically urgent.

Current Mood: relaxed
Friday, March 24th, 2017
3:17 pm
Spoke Too Soon
Did I say it took 90 minutes to get Skype running on Lisa's computer? Let's make that more like 120 minutes. The version we installed that was supposed to make it stop asking for an update that it would then refuse to install did that, and after a reboot the computer's sound came back. However, Lisa discovered that it also wouldn't work for voice communication, which is of course the main point of having the program! More uninstall/reinstalls and we got a version running that (a) works as a voice communications program and (b) doesn't disable all of the other sounds on the computer. Unfortunately, it continues to ask you to update it every time it starts, and saying yes is pointless because it refuses to actually do the download. But otherwise, the program works.

Current Mood: annoyed
Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
5:41 pm
Skype is Rarely my Friend, at Least When Updating
Lisa's computer would no longer work with the very old version of Skype installed on it, nor would it download the newest version. After a lot of fussing about, I was able to download the full version of Skype to my computer, transfer it to her computer via USB, and she was able to install the new version. Whereupon all sound on her computer died except a Skype conversation. That means she couldn't hear voicemail greetings or voicemail, or any other Windows sound at all, even the Windows startup sound. Much troubleshooting ensued. Eventually, she was able to get sound running again by running Control Panel/Sounds and Audio Devices/Voice/Test Hardware... and running the Sound Hardware Test Wizard.

I think the Skype installer was trying to implement a setting in Windows 7 and later (but in XP) that mutes/reduces all other sound when it thinks you are using communications software like Skype. Since the setting isn't in XP, it ended up killing all sounds all the time (whether Skype was running or not) other than Skype, and not all of Skype to boot! You could talk and listen on Skype, but you couldn't hear it ring nor hear voicemail greetings, nor voicemail recorded for you.

This entire updating and installation of Skype took us about 90 minutes, which is about 80 minutes more than I think it should have taken. But it seems to be working now, except that every time you launch the program on her computer, it prompts you to update it. But it won't actually update if you say yes on that screen.

Current Mood: frustrated
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017
4:04 pm
Early to Rise, Early to Bed
Because of my current Day Jobbe schedule, I'm up at 5 AM daily. Consequently, I have to get to bed early as well. It's necessary, but I do hope it's not permanent.

Current Mood: sleepy
Tuesday, March 21st, 2017
4:00 pm
Fire Call
Two days ago, I heard fire engines running down Main Street, but that's not uncommon inasmuch as we're only two blocks north of Main. Then we heard more of them. And then some more. Lisa came in and said, "There's a house on fire across the street!"

Not Quite That Close, but Still Not NiceCollapse )

It would be tragic enough under the circumstances, but it turned out to be worse than just property damage. Lisa, talking to the person who lives in the yellow house seen in some of these photos, learned that an older woman who lived in the burned cottage had been pulled from the flames with severe third-degree burns. Comments on Facebook say that it was the woman's son and another passerby who pulled her out, but I do not have independent knowledge on that.

Send in the ChopperCollapse )

Comments on Facebook say that an oxygen cylinder exploded; however, I know nothing more about the cause of the fire, and FB comments are often worth what you pay for them. I may be able to learn more at the next fire board meeting.

Current Mood: somber
Monday, March 20th, 2017
7:34 pm
Not Today
As soon as I got off work today, I lay down for a "short nap." Three hours later, I woke back up and decided that the rest of today is cancelled. The drives between here and the Bay area are clearly taking more and more to accomplish. Glad I don't have to do them as often in the future.

Current Mood: exhausted
Sunday, March 19th, 2017
12:34 pm
Long Day for Me, Longer for Lisa
I got to sleep in a little bit on Saturday before heading over to the SFSFC board of directors meeting. After the meeting, I drove to Fremont to rendezvous with Lisa, who drove down from Fernley in the Astro. Thanks in part to some of the clocks in our house still being on standard time, Lisa got away from home later than she planned, which put us a bit behind schedule. After dropping the minivan with my mechanic, we got dinner and then set off for home in the Rolling Stone, with the usual stops at Lodi Junction to refuel and in Sacramento to visit my sister. We got home just before midnight. It was a 600 mile trip for Lisa.

Today got off to a good start with me parleying a win for the cost of my breakfast at the Wigwam Restaurant-Casino from a free-play coupon. There are things we have to do today, but none of them are terribly ambitious, which is good because neither of us feel that ambitious today.

Current Mood: tired
Saturday, March 18th, 2017
10:06 am
Meeting Day
Off to the SFSFC Board of Directors meeting. Then I meet up with Lisa (who is driving down from Nevada in the minivan). We'll drop the Astro with my mechanic and we'll then drive home in the Rolling Stone. A few weeks from now, we'll reverse the process to collect the minivan, which we hope will then be in better condition for the road trip to Tempe for Westercon this summer.

Current Mood: busy
Friday, March 17th, 2017
7:28 pm
2020 NASFiC Bidding
An afterthought about the 2020 NASFiC: Assuming that Dublin wins their 2019 Worldcon bid and New Zealand wins its 2020 Worldcon bid, we will have an interesting case regarding the 2020 NASFiC election. The 2020 NASFiC will be selected in 2019, and the 2019 NASFiC, not the Worldcon, will administer the election. Only members of the 2019 NASFiC will be eligible to vote on the 2020 NASFiC site. Members of the 2019 Worldcon will not be eligible to vote unless they also join the 2019 NASFiC as at least a supporting member. I am trying to make this clear because, based on the past times a NASFiC has selected a NASFiC, it's likely that Worldcon members will think that they are eligible when they are not, and some of them are going to get testy about it.

Anyone bidding for the 2019 NASFiC should consider that they'll be running one official WSFS voting function: 2020 NASFiC Site Selection. There are no Awards. There is no Business Meeting. But there will be Site Selection. Bear this in mind if you consider throwing your hat in the ring to host the 2019 NASFiC.

Current Mood: thoughful
7:22 pm
2019 NASFiC Bidding
NASFiC is held when the Worldcon is held outside of North America. (Not just the USA.) For example, this year's Worldcon is in Finland, which is not in North America. Therefore, the 2017 NASFiC will be in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As you can see, NASFiC does not have to be held on the North American mainland. It can be held anywhere within North America, which includes Central America, and also the Caribbean, Bermuda, the Bahamas. Hawaii is not currently explicitly listed as being included within the NASFiC definition. "North America" is somewhat ambiguous around the edge cases, and there's a pending constitutional amendment that would restore the de facto definition that existed before we deleted the zone definitions from the WSFS Constitution.

Assuming that the Dublin in 2019 Worldcon bid wins its (unopposed) election, there will be a need for a 2019 NASFiC. By WSFS rules, the Worldcon (or NASFiC, if there is one) one year before the convention year will hold the NASFiC election. In this case, it means that the 2018 Worldcon, Worldcon 76 San Jose, will run the 2019 NASFiC election.

Any site in North America more than 500 miles from San Jose, California will be eligible to host the 2019 NASFiC. That effectively means that no place in California or Nevada is eligible. The 500 mile circle around San Jose does allow places like Portland OR, Salt Lake City UT, and Phoenix AZ to bid. Of course, any place farther away than that is also eligible.

NASFiC does not have a date restriction, other than it has to be in the year for which they are bidding. Unlike Worldcon, NASFiC doesn't administer awards, and therefore it has even fewer practical limitations on how early in the year it can be held. This year's NASFiC is the weekend after Westercon.

Combined with the rules for Westercon bidding (see my previous post), it is technically possible for a site to bid for and host both Westercon and NASFiC simultaneously. The elections take place at different times and places and are run by different groups. (Westercon is selected two years in advance and voted at Westercon. NASFiC is selected one year in advance and voted at — in 2019's case — at Worldcon.) However, any site in North American west of 104° west longitude and also more than 500 miles from San Jose is eligible to host both.

There are of course many places in North America east of 104° west longitude, and they are all eligible to host NASFiC but not Westercon. There's never been an official NASFiC outside of the USA (Puerto Rico is part of the USA, folks, and don't forget it!), but sites in Canada, Mexico, and the elsewhere are all eligible as well.

To my knowledge, no group has ever actually tried to bid for both Westercon and NASFiC, but that's only due to the practical issues such a bid might encounter, not due to any restriction in the rules of either Westercon or WSFS.

Current Mood: thoughful
7:04 pm
Where (and When) Can You Hold a Westercon?
Because no bids filed by the end of December 2016 to hold the 2019 Westercon, any site on the North American continent west of 104° west longitude, or in Hawaii, is eligible to bid to hold the 2019 Westercon. That includes even the two seated Westercons. There is no restriction prohibiting a seated Westercon from bidding to hold a future Westercon. There are some other restrictions that apply up until the December 31 prior to the election, but if nobody files a bid by December 31, all sites become fair game.

If no bids file by April 15, site selection will proceed with nothing but write-in bids. The deadline for filing bidding papers to be eligible to win the bid as a write-in is the close of site selection balloting at Westercon 70 in Tempe this July. If no bids file bidding papers, or if no filed bid wins the voting, or if None of the Above wins, then the Westercon Business Meeting gets to decide where to hold Westercon two years hence. Again.

Note that while the Westercon Bylaws recommends that Westercon be held over the American Independence Day weekend, this is not required. It is merely a strong suggestion.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Thursday, March 16th, 2017
5:23 pm
Westercon 2019 Bids: One Month Warning
If you are interested in bidding to host the 2019 Westercon, you have one month to go before the filing deadline of April 15, 2017. Because no bids filed before the first deadline, any site in Western North America (west of 104° west longitude, including points in both Mexico and Canada) or in Hawaii is eligible to host Westercon 72.

The interaction of site selection bidding for Westercon and NASFiC leads to some interesting possibilities. Because I've already answered some of the questions on this subject in individual queries, and because I'm the division manager over what will be 2019 NASFiC Site Selection should it become necessary (as seems likely now), I'll discuss this in a later post. Short version: a site can bid to host both Westercon and NASFiC if it is eligible to host both, although the bidding for each is separate and takes place at different places and times.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
5:47 pm
Hugo Disappointment
Although Lisa was not planning on nominating very much for this year's Hugo Awards, because she has not seen or read very much, she was nevertheless quite disappointed to receive today her copy of the 2017 Hugo Awards ballot, mailed with her progress report from Helsinki on February 13. I assume that Worldcon 75 did not make arrangements for mailing from the US as some past non-US Worldcons have done. In any case, it's too late. There is no way Lisa could have filled out a ballot and got it in the mail fast enough to make the deadline, which is Friday. And no, she won't fill out a ballot online, on principle. Besides, because she doesn't have e-mail, the only way she could have done an online ballot would have been to read her choices to me for me to fill in to a ballot on her behalf.

If the stats come back with an announcement that "there were no paper ballots," this mailing schedule might be the reason why.

Current Mood: disappointed
Monday, March 13th, 2017
8:40 am
Stuck On
This morning, after a pretty good night's sleep on board the Rolling Stone (a 300 mile drive after getting up much too early, exacerbated by the daylight-savings time change, made sleeping easy), I drove to the office, where I was horrified to discover that I could not turn the RV off. The key was stuck in the on position. It would move the other way, but not to the off position.

I struggled with the key for a while, but I didn't want to break the key or the ignition switch. Now is the time I sort of wished that I still had the gas tank issue. With one empty tank, I could have killed the engine by swapping to the empty tank, which isn't really a fix for the underlying issue but at least would have stopped the engine.

After a while, as I was getting increasingly worried, I finally stumbled onto the problem. The tilt-wheel mechanism. I shifted the angle of the wheel, and the key released. Whew!

Current Mood: relieved
Sunday, March 12th, 2017
8:06 am
And We're Off
While the eastern US is reeling from a late-winter storm, it suddenly feels like springtime here in Fernley. We let the fire go out a couple of days ago (for the first time this year; we've had a continuous fire in the fireplace for months). I actually had the front door open and the screen door in place to let in some fresh air yesterday afternoon. Should be good driving weather.

Current Mood: optimistic
Saturday, March 11th, 2017
9:42 pm
Good to Go
We refueled the RV today. I wish we had done so when I got back a month ago — gas has gone up 30 cents/gallon since then. The batteries have been charged, and Lisa vacuumed this afternoon. Tomorrow morning, I get up at an absurdly early hour (compounded by the DST change tonight) and drive to the Bay Area for a week down there.

I'll be making fewer Bay Area trips thanks to recent changes at the Day Jobbe, but Lisa did say that it will be easier for her to do some work on the living room she wants to do with me gone for a week because she doesn't like disturbing my work area. If we ever get the upstairs office fully habitable, she'll get the living room back.

Current Mood: tired
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