Virtual Con Planning

I attended what I think will be the next-to-last planning meeting for SMOFCon 37¼, which will be on December 5. The various committee members took on various tasks; mine was to send out notices to the SMOFCON and SMOFS e-mail lists and to the JOF Facebook group reminding people how to submit questions for the three sets of Q&A sessions (Worldcon bids, seated Worldcons, and seated SMOFCons and bids). This led to me also including reminders of how to request a breakout room in the virtual con suite, how to register, and that the questionnaires turned in by the various bids/seated conventions can be downloaded from the scheduled items' event pages.

Then it was back to working on the SFSFC minutes and updating the SFSFC web site. Because we elect directors and officers at the November meeting, that means updating the director list. In addition, we adopted a small bylaw change — the first since 2012 — and so the bylaws page had to be updated as well. Also, we tentatively scheduled our meetings for 2021 (subject to change), so that page needed updating as well. It was a bunch of writing and checking pages, making sure I had dates right, and so forth, and it's rather tiring. Hope I didn't miss anything.


Today was the SFSFC Board of Directors meeting. I'm the Secretary (and was re-elected to another term today), which means that there's still some hours of work for me to do after today's meeting, as I need to not only finish the minutes and distribute them to the board members. There are some other corporate documents that need updating, plus the SFSFC web site. This adds up to several hours of fiddling around, and if I have the rest of the day available after a meeting, I can get it done that day, but today, I had other things that needed doing shortly after the meeting. Maybe tomorrow, but i also have a different fan group meeting tomorrow morning. We'll see how much work that meeting generates.
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As I had Friday off, Lisa and I risked another trip to Reno to do the rest of the shopping. Unlike the previous Friday run to Reno, which took close to eight hours, we were only in Reno about five hours, but it was still stressful and tiring. We filled up the minivan with lots of groceries. The goal is for us to be able to stay home for Thanksgiving and for at least the two weeks after that. We expect that people ignoring advice to stay isolated will engage in lots of super-spreader events that assure that many of their family they gathered with at Thanksgiving won't be here by next Thanksgiving.

As I've said before and will continue to say, to some extent I do not care if other people engage in suicidal behavior. What does bother me mightily is their insistence that their freedom includes the freedom to try and take me with them. If their idiocy didn't endanger my life and the lives of people about whom I care, I'd encourage the idiots to go forth and earn their Darwin Awards, doing their part to increase the aggregate intelligence of the human race.

Rainbow Day

Yesterday morning, I managed to get a short break to take a walk around the block. It had rained the night before and was threatening more rain, but nothing actually fell where I was walking. It was raining not that far away, though, as I saw when I rounded the block for home.

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It never did rain again. The storm dropped most of its power in the Sierra, where Interstate 80 was closed much of the night, and mostly petered out (except for cold wind) by the time it produced that rainbow.
Kevin and Lisa

Good News for Now

I forgot to mention because it was good news, but a few days ago, we got the call that the COVID-19 tests we took earlier this month came back negative. Of course, that doesn't mean we can let our guard down, especially given that we're surrounded by people who apparently think that "freedom" means "I have a constitutional right to kill anyone around me."
Conrunner Kevin

Computer Assembly

After getting the new Dell G7 working, on Sunday I disassembled my desk, cleaned, dusted, and vacuumed, and started putting things back together again. Challenges I face with the new machine is that there is no docking station and no remote-power-on, so the only way to turn it on is to open the case. Lisa watched me trying to figure it out and came up with an idea that is so far proving useful.

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This configuration will do for now until I get the proper monitor cables and when a new XPO computer turns up, at which point I'll have to rearrange things again. I'm glad to have a full-size, full-travel keyboard again.

Striking Early

We went to Reno as soon as we could this afternoon. We want to be fully stocked to last as long as we can after Thanksgiving for anything except maybe milk and some other perishables, and we can do without that if necessary. I have Friday off and could do a full-day trip then, but we're concerned that the longer we wait, the busier the stores will get. So we went today to get the largest amounts of stuff. If we think it prudent, we'll go again on Friday for the smaller shops and maybe to get even more stuff from the bigger stores. If it looks too busy on Friday, we'll skip it. We're worried that way too many people are going to participate in super-spreading events on Thanksgiving. We are not.

Mild Weekend

The weather turned less cold — today it got up close to 20°C and I've let the fire run down real low. Yesterday afternoon, Lisa and I (mostly Lisa; I held tools and stuff like that) worked on some outdoor house maintenance things. Real glamorous stuff: flushing out the holding tank on the RV, cleaning the gutters, etc. What fun. Lisa climbed onto the roof from the upstairs balcony and used the weed blower and a stick to clean out the gutter. She also found an unwelcome guest on the upstairs eves and knocked it off.

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Today I spent a lot of time getting the new computer configured and a new setup for the work area. This is the first post I've made on the new machine; the transfer of settings is going better than I expected. I'm really relieved that I was able to get all of my personal files off of the now-dead work machine before it failed. I'll write more about the new setup later. I can't make better arrangements until my employer gets around to replacing the dead work machine.
Conrunner Kevin

First New Computer in Twenty Years

I haven't bought a truly new computer for roughly twenty years. For most of that time, I've taken advantage of my employer surplusing my work machines when replacing them and letting me have them, usually wiped, although in a couple of cases they put a "clean" OS on them. This string of living on hand-me-downs has come to an end.

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I spent a large chunk of today starting to get this new computer running. I'm disappointed to see that docking stations are apparently not a thing anymore, as being able to use my laptop as a workstation but then undock it for when I go on the road was ideal. Instead, I have a USB 3 mini-dock that is supposed to be able to push everything (two monitors, ethernet, two USB 3 ports) through a single USB 3 port. I haven't finished putting that together yet and I'm writing this post on the old computer that's sitting on its dock. I'll need to pretty much completely disassemble the desk in order to take things apart and reassemble them with the new computer.

We're still not done, either, as the old computer could directly read the P2 cards that come out of the pro-grade Panasonic camera, but this new one certainly doesn't have a PC card slot as that's way too old-fashioned apparently. There are devices that will connect P2 cards to USB 3 ports (important due to the size of the files), but they're pricey. We'll see how things go the next time we're in a place where Lisa has actually filmed a WSFS Business Meeting and I have to quickly edit it into something practical to upload to YouTube.


I wish I'd taken my phone with me when I went out to fill the bird feeder this morning. The sun was rising, but because of clouds on the eastern horizon, there was a stripe of sunshine on the Pah Rah Mountains that I found very striking. Unfortunately, by the time I could fetch the phone and its camera, the clouds and light had shifted and it was too late.

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Speaking of clouds, a storm is moving this way, and the wind came up pretty heavy this afternoon. It was not a day for going outside, so Lisa put on her coveralls and went down into the crawlspace to install more wiring. When she replaced the defective telephone lines a few weeks ago, she ran the lines from the utility connection to the wiring closet. Today, she ran a phone line connection back into the living room to near where the original phone connection was. So we once again have a telephone in the living room. Nearly every call on the land line is a telemarketer, though.

There are more wires to go, and more insulation to do. Lisa will work on them as her energy permits. Crawling around under the house like that is very tiring. But we're glad she has the respirator and other protective gear for working there.