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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Kevin Standlee's LiveJournal:

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Friday, November 27th, 2015
8:16 pm
The Road to SMOFCon: Day 1
We originally were planning on getting an early start today for the first leg of the SMOFCon trip; however, various things conspired against us getting away from the house early. That was not a problem, though, as today's trip was relatively short: only 200 miles to Tonopah, where we are spending the night at the Tonopah Station Hotel, the proposed site of the Tonopah in 2012 Westercon Bid.

Kuma Bear Has Friends in TonopahCollapse )

The Road to TonopahCollapse )

Tower of PowerCollapse )

Well within the time expected, we arrived at the Tonopah Station hotel and checked in. Lisa rolled the dice in the chuck-a-luck cage: any triple would have resulted in our prepaid room reservation being refunded; alas, it was not to be this time. (We have another chance at a free room on the return trip.) The desk clerk said that they gave away four free nights last night.

What an Interesting Place for a Westercon....Collapse )

We had dinner in the hotel restaurant and then walked over to Scolari's grocery store (conveniently located next door across the parking lot) for a few more supplies including some stuff for breakfast tomorrow morning. Today was merely a prelude: tomorrow is more than 400 miles, as we drive from Tonopah to Las Vegas and then on to Williams, Arizona, and while the weather continues to look good, that's still a lot of driving, not all of which will be as fast as our drive today was. It is in our best interest to get going as early tomorrow as possible.

Current Mood: content
Thursday, November 26th, 2015
8:04 pm
Thanksgiving at Fernley House
We had a very quiet Thanksgiving at home this year, with Lisa cooking what she did last year.

Bring on the Thanksgiving DuckCollapse )

Surprisingly, my blood sugar was normal after that big meal, but I took an extra dose of metformin before having my pumpkin pie and half a glass of Strauss Farms eggnog. (Strauss eggnog is the best I've ever had; it's a good thing that it's hard to get, or I'd drink way too much of it.)

Tomorrow we set off for Tonopah, but we'll be able to pack somewhat at our leisure, inasmuch as it's a relatively short drive compared to some of the stretches we'll be doing on this trip. I have our shut-down-the-house checklist printed, along with our planned itinerary and also the material for the Probability & Statistics Seminar at SMOFCon ($20 buy-in, maximum 40 players, Saturday night after the Fannish Inquisition). Amazingly, the weather stretching out ahead of us looks to be mostly clear all the way to Texas: rain and snow before and after we pass through each place along the way, but pretty good while we are there. Projections more than a few days ahead aren't very good, though, and we did pack the chains in the minivan just in case.

Current Mood: thankful
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015
7:41 am
Blowing a Storm
Yesterday afternoon around lunch, Lisa and I were considering taking the Rolling Stone to go get the waste tanks emptied and then go get a last bit of groceries before Thanksgiving, when my phone sounded an Emergency Broadcast System warning tone. That was a National Weather Service issuing a Dust Storm Warning, warning people to avoid travel for the next few hours. Well, driving the RV in good weather is hard enough without a dust storm to contend with, so we stayed put.

Here Comes the StormCollapse )

After the worst of the wind had passed, Lisa and I did the local grocery shopping trip, but took the Astro, not the RV. (We'll see about dumping the tanks tomorrow or Thursday.) We did get snowed on, but none of it stuck, except to my hat. This morning, when I went to get more wood for the fireplace, there was a very light dusting of snow on the ground here and the snow line on the surrounding hills was noticeably lower. We're due for more light snow today, but then the weather clears, which is especially good for Friday when we start the first leg of the drive to SMOFCon.

Current Mood: cheerful
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015
1:36 pm
I Haven't Forgotten These Proposals
I am still considering submitting six changes to the Hugo Awards, deleting three categories and adding three, with the effect of transforming Semiprozine (with its complex and impenetrable definition) to Professional Magazine (semipro and professional magazines would compete in the same category), adding a Publisher category, and adding an Anthology/Collection category. I have relatively low expectations, because there will be people in favor of parts of these proposals but for whom it will only work if it is Perfect In Every Way. (Real-world proposals are rarely perfect.) However, it does cover a lot of material that has been troubling me for quite a while now.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Monday, November 23rd, 2015
5:05 pm
Woodbox Loaded
This afternoon after lunch, Lisa backed the trailer full of firewood along the fence line and handed me logs, which I stacked into the wood box. It shows how low we ran our supply that this did not completely fill the box, but at least we're not in danger of running out of wood as we were a few days ago.

Current Mood: accomplished
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015
4:56 pm
Supplies Laid In
Lisa and I went to Reno this morning. Before we left, I took a photo of the poor pathetic jack-o-lantern who is still sitting by our front door because neither Lisa nor I have taken the time to put him out of his misery.

Help! I"m melting!Collapse )

First stop was brunch at the Atlantis (which serves in this case for lunch and dinner as well, and surprisingly didn't send my blood sugar into the stratosphere). We walked over the skybridge to the convention center, where Wizard World Comic Con Reno was going on. We did not buy a ticket. We just walked to the pre-function area and back. Some nice costumes about, though. Having walked some of that big meal off, we set off for the actual grocery and gift shopping.

Doing Our Part for the EconomyCollapse )

We did manage to get home and get the van unloaded before Lisa ran completely out of fuel, even though I stopped to gas up the minivan because gas at Fernley has come down to $3.05/gallon, which is forty cents/gallon cheaper than Reno/Sparks and even ten cents lower than USA Parkway.

Current Mood: accomplished
Saturday, November 21st, 2015
5:04 pm
Catching Up
I got home around 8 PM last night, including a long stop in Sacramento to visit and talk with my sister. Lisa had already gone to bed because her sleep schedule is very disrupted.

Digging Out of a Piled-Up To-Do ListCollapse )

By the time we got the minivan window replaced, Lisa's day was nearly done, so we headed back home. We have grocery shopping still to do in Reno/Sparks for Thanksgiving and to try and refill some of the canned food larder that is now somewhat depleted, so I reckon we'll have to go there again tomorrow, and we haven't actually unloaded the firewood. (I've pulled out enough wood to keep us warm tonight and tomorrow morning. The full unloading job is an hour or so of Lisa handing wood to me over the fence and me packing it into the wood box.) But the most urgent stuff is done, and we're feeling better. And I'm much happier doing these domestic chores than I was much of the past two weeks.

Current Mood: tired
Friday, November 20th, 2015
10:05 am
Homeward Bound
49 hours ought to be enough. I'm heading home.

Current Mood: tired
Thursday, November 19th, 2015
8:21 pm
Thinking of Home
I am very much looking forward to going home tomorrow. I hate these two-week Bay Area stints, but it had to be done, particularly with a two-week vacation coming up after Thanksgiving.

Current Mood: tired
Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
8:19 pm
I can still feel a twinge from the work done on my teeth yesterday (the jaw is still a little sore), but I'm mostly back to normal. Working too many hours to spend a whole lot of time on social media, though.

Current Mood: tired
Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
7:39 pm
When Three for Two Isn't a Bargain
This morning, after taking an early-morning conference call with the US East Coast, I struggled up to Redwood Shores (taking nearly an hour from Mountain View) for a long dental appointment with Dr. Anthony Ferrer. He is a good dentist who I heartily recommend, and if you decide to go see him, mention that I recommended you to him.

After a routine cleaning, Dr. Ferrer set out on the scheduled procedure for today: the replacement of two very old fillings. in my upper left rear and lower left rear molars. He looked again at the filling in my upper right rear molar and asked me if I had the time for him to replace it as well. All three are more than twenty years old (from long before I came to see him) and are wearing out badly. After confirming that this would stay within my $2000 annual dental coverage maximum, I said yes. Thus I spent the next several hours having old fillings drilled out and new ones installed. The drilling is no big deal (he's a deft touch with the needle), but keeping my jaw open that long is quite literally a pain. He gave me as many opportunities to rest as he could, including a break between the second and third filling, but nevertheless, by the time I was done, I felt like I'd had a baseball jammed into my mouth, and my jaw still aches seven hours later. Nevertheless, this was the right thing to do, as is minimized the total number of visits, and did important maintenance on my dental work.

Still, it's a good thing I worked most of Sunday and plan on longer hours tomorrow and Thursday, because that really blew a hole in the middle of my day. Fortunately, my current projects continue to be on schedule, with no active crisis of which I'm aware.

Current Mood: sore
Monday, November 16th, 2015
1:11 pm
I Sleep Pretty Well in the RV...
...I just usually don't get enough of it. Although this morning I woke up five minutes ahead of the alarm, so maybe that was enough sleep. It just doesn't feel like it at 1 PM.

Current Mood: tired
Sunday, November 15th, 2015
11:05 am
Rain on a Cold Sheet-Metal Roof
I checked out of the motel yesterday morning and went to Sunnyvale, where lisa_marli and I did some necessary banking paperwork for SFSFC. (There are certain documents where the bank must have the corporate secretary in person to sign papers, so Lisa took advantage of my being down here for a two-week stint to arrange for us to get the banking done this weekend.) We then headed over to the regular SFSFC Board of Directors meeting, held somewhat later in the day that usual.

Corporate StuffCollapse )

I am back in the RV for the remainder of my stay (through Friday), and I laid up in one of my usual locations for weekend nights. (The Security people have shown themselves unhappy with me staying in the company parking lot on weekends even when I am working, such as I am today.) Overnight, a storm moved in, and the rain bore down loudly on the Rolling Stone. That did not bother me, however, and it actually warmed up a little bit, after a week of overnight lows hovering around +5°C. I do have a furnace on board the RV, but to use it I need to open the propane bottle, which is outside the RV, and remember to close it before moving the vehicle, for safety, and thus I've been loathe to turn it on; instead I just huddle under the blankets, where it has been warm enough. However, getting up in the mornings has been a chilly experience.

Today I'm getting some Day Jobbe done — Security doesn't seem to fret over me being here in the daytime — on account of needing to spend a lot of time on Tuesday at the dentist and also wanting to leave for home as early as I can on Friday.

Current Mood: cheerful
Saturday, November 14th, 2015
6:59 am
Back Online
Everything went well yesterday. I can see why they want post-operative patients under the care of a friend, although it was nowhere near as heavy as when I had my wisdom teeth out 35 years ago. melchar and gil_liant ferried me back and forth between the motel in San Jose and the Palo Alto Medical Center and made sure I made it back to my motel room safely, for which my thanks. I called Lisa to let her know all went well, fell upon the food I'd stashed in the room to break my operationally-required 36-hour fast, and went to bed early.

Today I move out of the motel back into the RV for the remainder of this stay in the Bay Area (through next Friday) and head off to the regular SFSFC Board of Directors meeting. The rest of the weekend looks like lots of Day Jobbe from things people were trying to get me to do Friday morning.

Current Mood: cheerful
Friday, November 13th, 2015
11:11 am
Medical Silence
I am heading out soon for what should be a routine medical procedure (colonoscopy); however, as a consequence of it, expect me to be offline most of the rest of the day.

Current Mood: nervous
Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
7:18 am
Home (Weather) Front
Lisa called last night as I was setting up the Rolling Stone for the night to let me know that it had started snowing at Fernley. She said it was not the light dusting we got last week, either, but wet snow and starting to accumulate on the sidewalk. A bit more and she could build another Snow Bear, she said.

She says that between what wood we have in the wood box from last spring plus what we salvaged from the Union Pacific, we should be okay until I get home, but we'll have to go buy a pallet of firewood very soon thereafter. And the UP salvage lumber is full of nails (including "hidden" nails inside the boards) and cannot be sawed with power tools lest you risk a saw blade popping up in your face, so it's rather time-consuming for Lisa to reduce it to burnable-sized pieces.

Current Mood: optimistic
Monday, November 9th, 2015
4:52 pm
Rain, Glorious Rain
I came over to Fremont around 3 PM today to pay for the repairs to my minivan. It rained quite a bit this morning, then cleared for a while. As I pulled up to park near my mechanic's shop, I had the odd situation of seeing it rain fairly heavily directly in front of me, and not at all behind me. With the patchy conditions, the situation was picture-perfect.

Promise of More Rain?Collapse )

I paid for the work on my minivan. Cory-my-mechanic told me that he's prospectively ordered parts for a repair to my driver's side door, which I know needs fixing. We'll work out arrangements with him again sometime. I also plan to, when finances permit, have him replace the rear springs in the Rolling Stone and also redo the brakes. Maybe in January, assuming all goes well.

Current Mood: optimistic
Sunday, November 8th, 2015
4:25 pm
Weekend Warriors
Lisa left me a message when she got home to Fernley around midnight last night. Aside from needing to stop and take a nap in the back seat for a while around Tracy, she had no difficulty getting home. The storm is moving more slowly than originally predicted, and the rain didn't hit the Bay Area until mid-day today. However, if we had tried to make the trip today, Lisa would have needed chains to get back home, so it's a good thing we did things a day early.

We were thinking far enough ahead to pack the minivan's chains (which normally live in the garage in the summertime) in the Rolling Stone when we came down the hill. However, we forgot to put them in the minivan before Lisa headed home, so they'll stay with me. Oh, well, we were half right. And if snow were to get bad, Lisa could always drive the Big Orange Van, which is incredibly sure-footed.

With an extra day on my hands here in the Bay Area, I slept in for a little while, then dealt with some small optional errands I've been meaning to do for a while, then went into the office to get some work done and I hope get ahead of the game in anticipation of being offline much of Friday.

Current Mood: cheerful
Saturday, November 7th, 2015
6:06 pm
Minivan Secured
This morning I was up before dawn getting ready to hit the road. I had a full night's sleep, but Lisa had slept badly. While I hauled the last of my things out to the Rolling Stone, she cleaned frost from the windows, as it was well below freezing last night in Fernley. One nice thing about being up that early was being able to see the crescent moon in the sky with Venus/Mars/Jupiter.

Fernley to Fremont and Back in One DayCollapse )

I expect that Lisa will get home safely enough to night and will batten down the hatches for the storm expected to hit the Bay Area around midnight tonight and the Sierra Nevada a few hours later. I'm here in the Bay Area a day early, but I'll go into the office tomorrow. With luck, I'll get far enough ahead on projects due this week that I won't have any pressure on me on Friday when I have a long medical appointment that will take me offline from Noon.

Current Mood: relaxed
Friday, November 6th, 2015
10:57 am
Corrected Plans in Place
So: our chimney sweeping is now rescheduled to a week from Saturday. (We'll have to let the fire go out on Friday in order to cool down enough for cleaning, of course.) And around that time, Lisa should be able to talk to our plumber about completing the plumbing in the kitchen. We celebrated four years of owning Fernley house this month. It would be nice to have the kitchen sink and dishwasher working. I don't mind doing the dishes, but it's much easier with a full-size sink.

Today we work on refreshing the Rolling Stone for two more weeks in the Bay Area. Tomorrow, it's up and away far too early so we have a chance to get down there and get Lisa rolling homeward at a reasonable time.

Current Mood: accomplished
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