SMOF License

Oh, No, Not Another One

No, not another tick bite. The leg is getting better, although the edema in my right foot is still annoying. Keeping my leg elevated last night helped some. The pain is mostly gone except around the actual site of the bite.

I had today off from work as part of the use-it-or-lose it PTO regime, and so around Noon we went to Reno to do grocery shopping at Cost Plus World Market, WinCo Foods, and finally Raley's. After loading the groceries into the minivan and getting ready to go home, I spotted a problem.

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We really should get a new mini-spare, but Big O doesn't sell replacements for that kind of tire and says we need to go to the Chevrolet dealer and see if they can provide a replacement mini-spare for a 1987 Astro.

We also priced getting all four tires replaced on the Astro. While there seems to be more than sufficient tread on the tires, at the current rate it does seem like the left rear tire is due to fail, although it could of course just be a coincidence.

DisCon III Moves to December -- and Ignores the WSFS Constitution

As by now I assume most of the people who read my journal know, DisCon III, the 2021 Worldcon, has moved dates and will now run December 15-19, 2021. It will still be at the Omni Shoreham, but the originally-planned other hotel, the Marriott Wardman Park, went bankrupt and is permanently closed. Before reading further, I encourage people to read the linked article, which goes into extensive detail about why they are doing what they are doing. The December date is the earliest that they hold the convention during a time when they think it will be safe to do so and that the Omni had available space. Trying to hold the convention in August would probably not be safe, even if it was legal, and trying to go all-virtual if the large-events-ban orders were lifted by then would have scuppered the convention with massive cancellation fees from the Omni.

Personally, I'm much happier with a December Worldcon in person than in an all-virtual convention in August (if the meeting order was still in effect) or no Worldcon at all (which was quite plausible). It does, however, change my projected travel plans. I expect there to be an in-person Loscon (last weekend of November), and SMOFCon in Portugal is the following weekend, followed by Worldcon two weeks later. Lisa and I plan to take the train to Washington DC, cashing in many years of accumulated Amtrak points. While I do have enough accumulated time off that I could conceivably take an entire month off, I think it would be a bad idea to do so for various reasons. I did even work out a complicated travel plan that would have us drive to LA, then fly to Portugal and back to LA, then drive up the coast to the Bay Area to take the train on our planned trip. Our tentative train travel plan is a circle trip: Emeryville-Chicago, Chicago-DC, DC-New Orleans, New Orleans-Los Angeles, and LA-Emeryville, then drive home. We might spend Christmas in New Orleans. I don't have the family with whom I used to spend holidays, so it's not the hardship it is for some to have a major holiday period around Worldcon.

In any event, I've pretty much given up on traveling to Portugal for SMOFCon. It will save money and allow me to continue to be a team player. Besides, I don't really want to spend all of my PTO at once. I'm going to need it for Westercon 74 next year and likely another train trip to Chicago for next year's Worldcon.

Yes, I'm generally happy with DisCon III's decisions, but there is one decision buried in the fine print about which I and a number of others are not pleased.

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I think DisCon III should change their initial decision and reopen site selection filing until June 18, even if no other bid surfaces, to confirm that insofar as they are able to do so, even under the difficulties of a worldwide pandemic, they will continue to obey the rules of the organization whose membership is the World Science Fiction Society. To do otherwise is to do a disservice to the members of WSFS.
Conrunner Kevin

A Swell Time

The leg continues to improve, as the itching and rash are subsiding. I still apply lidocaine-aloe vera sunburn ointment a couple of times a day to make it less itchy. But I also still am getting fluid build-up in my leg, which means trying to keep the leg elevated as much as I can, which is very inconvenient for working and using the computer.
Conrunner Kevin

Walking Again

Today I took the final dose of antibiotics for the insect bite (now suspected to have been a tick rather than a spider based on the rash and other symptoms). While there continues to be a rash all over my lower right leg, it continues to fade. While the pain is still not gone, and I still have swelling/edema in the leg, I felt good enough for Lisa and me to walk the ~2 km round trip to the post office after lunch today.

I am not going to comment just yet about the announcement from DisCon III postponing the 2021 Worldcon to mid-December. As a staff member (Business Meeting Parliamentarian), I had a one-day advance notice of the announcement. However, I worked more than 10 hours on Day Jobbe today, and what little spare time I had was used updating the web site with the new dates and pointing to DC3's announcement, so I have no energy left to comment. But comment I will when I get a chance.
Conrunner Kevin

Avoiding the Itch

Still getting better a tiny bit at a time. The rash on my leg continues to improve slightly, but it still itches. I don't have any of the cortisone ointment that [personal profile] lindadee suggested, but I do have sunburn ointment with lidocaine and aloe vera, and that does keep the itching somewhat at bay.

After one cold, wet day where I restarted the fireplace, it has warmed up a bit again. This allows me to go back to wearing shorts. Those of you who came by our table at Norwescon were able to chuckle at the sight of me in floral shorts (actually swim trunks), which were the only ones I could find that fit me the last time I shopped for shorts. I don't wear them often, but it helps my leg because not having cloth rubbing on the bite rash reduces the irritation.
Conrunner Kevin

One Day at a Time

I took pictures again today, but there's only a little bit of change since yesterday of my legs. If you're curious, the latest pictures are here and here.

I can walk much better now, but my right leg does continue to itch badly. The rash may be subsiding slightly. I have no other ill effects, and I can still feel my feet, so I'll keep soldiering on and hoping that the antibiotics will continue to do their job and I can get by with just continuing to apply topical anti-itch ointment.
Conrunner Kevin

Not Much Change

Today's report is that not much has changed, but it's not getting any worse, and there was sufficiently less pain today that I felt comfortable walking (with a bit of a limp) to the Wigwam and getting at take-away breakfast.

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One suggestion in the comments has been that this is possibly a tick bite, which makes Lyme Disease a possibility. They did not take a blood test or a lab culture to test for it; however, checking the CDC web site on this subject, the suggested treatment is exactly the same type of antibiotics I was prescribed. Also, I'm not showing any of the other symptoms other than the rash, so I remain cautiously optimistic.
Kreegah Bundalo

Slight Improvement

I guess that it's a good thing that I'm just sitting here at my computer all weekend at virtual Norwescon 43, given the need to rest and (I hope) let my leg recover.

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I continue to have pain in my leg, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was three days ago. I shan't be running any races soon, but at least I can get from room to room in the house.
Tonopah Westercon

Tonopah at Virtual Norwescon

I'm at (Virtual) Norwescon 43 this weekend, staffing a Club Booth (as their online platform, Airmeet, styles it) for Westercon 74 Tonopah along with [personal profile] lindadee.

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The Airmeet platform that Norwescon is using appears to me to be reasonably good for programming on what Airmeet styles as "stages." The booths -- used by fan groups and dealers alike -- are less good. As far as I could tell, hardly anyone comes into them, and as more than one person has said, you can't even talk to your neighbors.

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We've been asked repeatedly if we'll do Westercon 74 online. The answer has been on our website since before the pandemic: we're going to equip one room with the necessary hardware to do a "hybrid" program with both in-person and remote attendees (including program participants), but we are not going to try and reproduce every aspect of the in-person convention online, and we never intended to do so. We said we'd use the significant A/V and internet connectivity built in to the Tonopah Convention Center so that non-attending members (even supporting members) could participate in a part of it, and that was part of our campaign in 2019, before anyone had ever heard of COVID.

I guess it's just as well that I'm doing this from home, because with the timing of that spider bite, I would have been already on the road when the infection hit and things would have probably become much more unpleasant.
Conrunner Kevin

Less Swelling, More Inflammation

Things with the Big Bite are both better and worse today.

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Lisa suggests that the swelling is from the infection, which the antibiotics may be tackling, while the redness is from the insect venom itself, which is inflaming the skin but not otherwise doing a lot of harm, sort of like a rash from poison oak. If so, that's encouraging.

Oh, and yes, I can still feel my toes and my feet, especially my soles, and there are no sores or any signs of damage. I'm very attached to my legs, and I want to stay attached to them!