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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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Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
6:34 pm
There's No Place Like Home
I had to run into Sparks today to take the minivan to Big O Tires to have them rotate the tires and look at the brakes, which have been doing some squealing lately. On my way out of town, I went by the espresso drive-through where we posted my campaign sign yesterday, having depended on the owner's word that it was okay to post it on her fence.

The sign was gone. Again. This time it was piled up in the back of their lot. The owner wasn't there, and the people in the stand knew nothing about it, so I picked it up and put it back in the Astro and headed home, where I left it with Lisa, who, while I was gone to Sparks, posted it in one of the few spots where I think nobody is going to take it down.

Well-Traveled SignCollapse )

It was equally frustrating getting to down due to an accident on I-80, but I managed to get there before they closed. And even better, after rotating the tires and inspecting the brakes, they told me that there is plenty of brake shoe on them, and that the squeaking might be due to moisture from the recent rains. That, at least, was a relief.

Current Mood: relieved
Monday, May 21st, 2018
6:40 pm
More Lizards
After work today, Lisa and I went to Broeder's Espresso off main street to put up my larger campaign sign. Broeder's has recently moved in and reopened the drive-through espresso stand on Main Street, and the owner told me after we retrieved the sign (the city took it down because it was on their fence; none of us who had posted there realized it was city property) that I could put the sign there. I ordered a large sugar free mocha from them while Lisa got out rope and zip-ties and tied it to their fence. This time we're sure the fence is part of the private property in question because we watched the fence being built last year after the previous tenant moved out and the owners made improvements.

On the FenceCollapse )

Eventually Lisa got the sign secured and I got my coffee. I'll go get a photo of the sign when it's not pouring with rain.

Current Mood: accomplished
Sunday, May 20th, 2018
7:47 pm
Day on the Road
Today after breakfast, Lisa and I set out for Sacramento to visit my sister at the nursing home. Kelli's mailing address is my PO Box, so I needed to take her California Primary Ballot down to her and help her fill it in (my sister is severely dyslexic and needs help reading complex documents like the ballot) and mail it in. Lisa drove us down the mountain (after we did some errands in Reno/Sparks in support of the latest Home Improvement project) and I drove us home (after we stopped at Fry's Roseville for some electronics shopping not available in Reno). It's a doable day-trip (about 150 miles each way), but it leaves us tired.

Current Mood: tired
Saturday, May 19th, 2018
11:59 pm
Hello George
It's starting to warm up again, and that means that critters that lay low in cold weather are starting to stir. That includes the little sagebrush lizards that live around here. There are a few around our house, and we like having them around because they eat spiders and bugs. On Saturday, however, we had one get into the house, which we'd rather not have happen.

No Lizards in the House, PleaseCollapse )

We got a small box and a broom, and between Lisa and me, we shooed George into the box and took it outside. The moment the box opened, George shot out of it and ran back underneath the house. I'm sure there's lots of food for George there. Just don't come inside.

Current Mood: amused
Friday, May 18th, 2018
1:35 pm
Sign Retrieval
I got a call this morning from the fire chief letting me know that my sign had been brought to the fire station, and that the Mayor had told him that the fence on which it (and the others) was mounted was city property, and thus forbidden for hanging signs.

After we collected my sign from the fire station and thanked them for holding it for me, Lisa and I drove down to the 76 station to talk to the owner. He had been surprised as anyone when all of the signs came down, as he thought the fence on which we posted the signs belonged to his gas station. He was even more surprised when I told him that there was still one sign posted, albeit not on the short fence.

The Long and Short of ItCollapse )

I obviously have no intention of violating any regulations about posting signs. I'm law-abiding, really! In the meantime, the owner of the drive-through espresso stand down the road says that it's okay for me to put one of my signs along her fence with the other ones that people have posted, as long as (of course) I don't block her shop's signs. We'll probably take a crack at that tomorrow.

Current Mood: relieved
Thursday, May 17th, 2018
6:23 pm
Signed Up, Signed Out
The second NLCFPD sign was ready for collection at lunch today. I paid for both signs ($80, which brings my total campaign expenditures close to three digits) and Lisa and I walked down Main Street to post it. I felt a bit like a sandwich-board advertiser and I walked down the street, but I made sure that all of the passing motorists could see the sign. Every person who can remember my name helps.

Product PlacementCollapse )

So one sign came up but another came down. As we drove to the grocery store after work, I saw to my great dismay that all of the signs on or near the small fence near the 76 station, including mine (see here) were gone. Another larger sign on the larger fence to the right was still there. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that the small fence belongs either to the city or is within the state right of way, and thus all political signs were removed. I'll have to contact the city and the DOT tomorrow about this. According to the material I have, if the DOT removes signs, they take them to the nearest DOT yard, which in this case is just down Main Street. I'd call it walking distance, but the sign mounted on plywood is heavier than I'd prefer to lug it. It's annoying, though, considering that it represents half of my entire public campaign!

On the brighter side, this week's Mason Valley News & Leader-Courier includes the run-down on all of the Fire Board Candidates, including me. For some reason they mixed in one candidate from a different district among the NLCFPD candidates, though.

Current Mood: annoyed
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
5:08 pm
Wild Weather
Fernley gets only about 5 inches of rain per year, but has been known to get 20% of the annual total in a single storm. For a while I thought today might be one of those days. Although the day dawned fine, and Lisa and I got out for a short walk when I was able to take a few minutes away from work around 7:30 AM, soon thereafter a promised storm moved in. We had a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, and I happened to be out at the travel trailer with Lisa under the shelter when the hail started. Pea-size (fortunately not golf-ball-sized) hail raised an enormous racket on the roof. Lisa was worried that we might start seeing dents, but the pieces weren't big enough. On the weather radar, we saw that the red zone of one of the cells apparently went right over us.

Round TwoCollapse )

I got another break in the rain around 4 PM and took another shot at collecting my campaign sign. Unfortunately, there was a production error on it. These things happen; I've worked on signs myself. I told them I'd be back tomorrow afternoon. It's probably just as well. The winds were so high that if I'd carried the sign out with me, I might have been blown home.

Walking back home, I looked west, and while it's hard to be sure, I think it's possible that there's a new dusting of snow on the Pah Rah Mountains. It won't last, but it's a pretty wild mid-May. The current forecast calls for continued rain for the next several days. I currently have plans to go to Sacramento this weekend, but if things are as crazy as this, I'm not going to do it.

Current Mood: relaxed
Tuesday, May 15th, 2018
3:59 pm
Sign Delay
The second sign I delivered is delayed because my request to have it printed double-sided got mislaid. They were going to try and rush it back when I came by at 3:30 and spotted the mistake, but I told them that tomorrow would be okay. Besides, it had started raining and I didn't want to walk down to Hanneman's in the rain without my coat anyway.

Current Mood: relaxed
Monday, May 14th, 2018
4:28 pm
Signing Up
This morning, Lisa mounted the Fire Board sign to the piece of plywood I bought yesterday, and then drilled some holes in it and got out some zip ties for mounting the sign to a fence. After work today, I drove down to the gas station/deli whose owner said I could hang the sign on his fence and got it put up.

Well, It's One Most Sign Than the Other Candidates HaveCollapse )

Tomorrow I get the second sign from the sign shop and put it up at Hanneman's former car wash.

Yesterday afternoon, I went for a drive around Fernley's main roads to see if there were other areas I should be looking to try and post signs. I find that most of the signs are concentrated on Main Street, so that's where I'll focus. I hope this gets my name in front of people properly.

Current Mood: optimistic
Sunday, May 13th, 2018
5:03 pm
Signing In
Conveniently, there is a sign shop just a block away from my house. I took delivery on the first campaign sign for my run for the North Lyon County FPD on Friday.

Recursive PhotoCollapse )

For whatever reason, the people organizing local candidate forums ignored the Fire Board candidates. I've seen no campaign information for any of the other six candidates, very likely for the same reason I can't put a lot of resources into it: the job pays nothing at all. It's very much like my other hobbies, particularly SF fandom.

I have one more sign on order, made to fit an existing empty metal frame in front of Hanneman's (now closed) Car Wash. (Their tow/repair/propane service is still open, but the owner told me that revenue wasn't even covering the water connection fees, so they shut it down.) The sign I'm holding above was originally going to go in front of the car wash until Lisa spotted the frame, but it needed a custom size as the frame is 34.5 inches square. In the meantime, I've secured permission from another business to post the above sign on their fence along with all of the other signs from candidates for city council, mayor, and county commissioner (all of which are somewhat higher stakes, and even the least of which pays a few thousand dollars per year).

This afternoon, Lisa and I went over to Lowe's and bought a small sheet of plywood, to which we will mount this foam-core sign lest it blow away in the high winds for which Fernley is prone (including today) before we go attach it to the fence over at the 76 Gas Station & Deli.

As a bonus, I found that the 76 has several cans of the Evil Dill Pickle Pringles that I like but that I can rarely find in stores. I think I'll buy the rest of their stock when I go over there to put up this sign tomorrow.

Current Mood: optimistic
Saturday, May 12th, 2018
10:22 am
Trademarks, Service Marks, Registration, and Such
I am not a lawyer, but as Chair of the WSFS Mark Protection Committee (MPC), the entity that works to protect the intellectual property of the World Science Fiction Society, I've had to become conversant with issues having to do with trade and service marks. In light of a question I was recently asked (no, I won't say where), here are the symbols you can use to indicate that what you're using is a trademark or service mark, and whether the mark is registered with the appropriate authority or not. Much of this is cribbed from other sources, such as this one and the Wikipedia article on the subject.

Trademark NeeperyCollapse )

Something you don't need to do, and indeed really shouldn't do because it's silly, is to use one of the mark symbols on every single usage of the mark. You don't go around writing, say, Coca-Cola® every time you say you bought a Coke®, and not even the Coca-Cola Company would say that you should, as long as you're using the words to describe their actual beverage. Similarly, don't go around writing Hugo Award® and Worldcon℠ over and over just to be cute. But conversely, don't use the WSFS marks to describe something they aren't, and also, use the Hugo Award Usage Guidelines and the actual Hugo Award logo when you want to illustrate something that talks about the Hugo Awards. Don't use random images you can find by doing a Google Image Search on "Hugo Award" just because you personally like that design better. (Those images are from artists whose logo proposals were not selected by the MPC when we developed the logo, and in theory are there to allow those artists to display their work as exposure for them.) Using non-official Hugo Award logos actually hurts the Hugo Awards and Worldcon by eroding our intellectual property and creating confusion. So when it comes to writing about the Hugo Awards, accept no substitutes!

Current Mood: thoughtful
Friday, May 11th, 2018
9:57 pm
Scratch One Con Appearance
I had planned to join David Clark at Biggest Little FurCon, a furry fandom convention happening this weekend (Thursday-Sunday) at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, promoting Worldcon 76. However, Dave called me at lunch today (I'd planned to come in this afternoon) and informed me that not only did Worldcon 76 not have a fan table, but the convention didn't have fan tables, and didn't seem to understand the concept. Under those circumstances, I saw no reason to spend $60 for a membership, since my main reason for going would be to explain what Worldcon was to the people there and hopefully convince some of them to come to San Jose this August. However, Lisa and I did go in to Reno this evening and meet up with Dave anyway, as we went to the Manhattan Deli at the Atlantis Hotel.

Current Mood: disappointed
Thursday, May 10th, 2018
3:39 pm
Getting Out of the House...and Back Into It Again
One of the convenient things here at Fernley House was that the front door to the house and the back door to the garage both used the same key. However, the front door handle has been becoming increasingly balky over the past year or so, and it has been getting to the point that I was starting to get worried, because you had to fiddle with it a lot to get it to open from the inside. In an emergency, that could be deadly. So last night, Lisa and I went to Lowe's to shop for new handles. To our relief, not all of them were Made in China.

HandledCollapse )

When we got home, Lisa made fairly short work of replacing both the failing front door knob (thereafter discarded because it's a wreck) and the garage door knob (retained in case we need a quick replacement because it's in better condition).

Something we didn't realize, but that makes these handles even better, is that you can't accidentally lock yourself out. If you open the door from the inside with the lock engaged, it not only opens, but unlocks itself automatically so you can get back inside. This means that if you have to exit quickly, you can do so without having to worry about the lock. This adds to our peace of mind.

Current Mood: accomplished
Wednesday, May 9th, 2018
6:03 pm
I've been offered a place where I can post a campaign sign that will be on private property but will be visible from the main street of Fernley. So I went down to a sign shop near my house an commissioned a sign. It should be ready next week, and it doesn't cost too much.

Current Mood: hopeful
Tuesday, May 8th, 2018
4:28 pm
I had some plans for my first full day at home, but I'm so wiped out that I think going to bed early is a better idea.

Current Mood: sleepy
Monday, May 7th, 2018
6:15 pm
Back in the (Home) Office, Finally
Thanks to the HIX Sacramento Auburn Blvd giving me a late check-out and having work waiting for me from our Asian operations when I got there last night, I logged more than seven hours before packing up and out of Sacramento for the relatively short (i.e. only 150 miles) trip home. Traffic was light and the weather was warming. There's still snow at Donner Summit rest area, but it's rapidly retreating.

As I was descending the east slope of Donner Summit on I-80, I caught a glint of sunlight off of a train across the valley. It was the eastbound California Zephyr slowly working its way down the mountain. Had I known I'd be out for four days on this trip, it would have been tempting to take the train, which would have been plausible. However, I did need a vehicle when I got to the Bay Area to do the errands with the post office and bank there, so it was probably for the best.

Having spent a good part of the past four days working in hotel room chairs, I find myself appreciating the office chair that Lisa bought me more and more. The multiple adjustments mean the chair was expensive, but I spend 10 hours a day or more in it and I don't get up out of feeling like I need a chiropractor.

Now to try and recover some of the sleep deficit accumulated over the past weekend.

Current Mood: tired
Sunday, May 6th, 2018
9:04 pm
StaffCon Concludes, and I Don't Get All the Way Home
Today was the final day of the Worldcon 76 "StaffCon," which started with a general session of reports from the division heads.

Slightly Smaller than SaturdayCollapse )

As a favor to me, we did the divisions for a change in reverse alphabetical order so I got to go first instead of last.

The session lasted, somewhat surprisingly, almost exactly to time, and we broke for lunch at 12:15. Initially I'd planned to leave immediately thereafter, but I did go ahead and go to lunch, which was possibly my undoing, because by the time I said my goodbyes and left San Jose, it was a lot later than I originally planned. By the time I got as far as Lodi Junction, I knew that trying to drive all the way home to Fernley could prove hazardous to my health. I checked and found that the Holiday Inn Express near my sister's nursing facility in Sacramento had a pretty good rate tonight (much better than I paid going the other way on Thursday night), so I booked in there and left a message for Lisa.

My sister telephoned me just after I checked in to my room because she knew I said I was coming by this afternoon and she was worried about me. I drove over and saw her (and also delivered a few things to her that I'd promised to pick up for her this weekend). She was happy that I'd bailed out rather than trying to tough it out and drive through. I used to do that back in my twenties making day trips from Chico to San Jose for con committee meetings. It was a bad idea back then (I had a few near misses back then), and a worse one now. Having had friends die from falling asleep at the wheel, I am more cautious than I once was.

It's just as well that I stopped and got online anyway, as some pieces of my employer that I support had questions for me this evening from Asia, so I'm already logging some time for this week. But soon I'll get some sleep before rising early and working from the hotel for as long as I can stay in the hotel Monday morning (probably Noon).

StaffCon is over (except for a few people staying over until tomorrow who are presumably doing the equivalent of the Dead Dog gathering tonight). It was a very productive gathering. We're entering the home stretch for Worldcon 76, and I'm looking forward to a great Worldcon this August in San Jose.

Current Mood: accomplished
12:18 am
Theatre Night
I had the opportunity on Saturday night to, along with David Clark and Linda D., to attend The People in the Picture, a musical being staged at 3Below Theatre (brought to you by the folks who ran the late lamented RetroDome).

Worldcon 76 and 3Below: A Good MatchCollapse )

As Linda, David, and I were walking over to the 3Below box office to collect our will-call tickets, David asked if we'd need some ID or something and I said that probably wouldn't be necessary. Shannon Guggenheim, part of the ownership team, was working the Box Office. As Shannon put it when I told her the story, "Yeah, it's okay; you're friends with the show's producers" as she issued us our tickets.

It was a wonderful show, which, as Ken Patterson describe accurately, "You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll laugh some more, and you'll cry some more." I was certainly tearing up at the finale, and that's a good thing.

On the way out, I stopped to thank both Scott and Shannon Guggenheim for their hard work, congratulate them on finding a new home for their theatre, and to say that while I'm not in the Bay Area anywhere near as often as I used to be that I'll try if possible to make their future live shows, because I can say truthfully that none of their productions has ever disappointed me and all of them have been fine entertainment.

The People in the Picture has one more weekend to run. If you can make it to San Jose, I heartily recommend that you try to attend this show. It ran on Broadway for a short run a few years ago and as Shannon put it when she introduced the show, after next weekend, it goes back into the vault and who knows when it will come back out again.

Current Mood: happy
Saturday, May 5th, 2018
11:58 pm
"StaffCon" for Worldcon 76 planning had over 100 people registered, using the same RegOnline system that the convention itself is using. Today was a chance to do a bit of a dry run of what on-site registration would be like, and to discover some bugs now while there is a chance to adjust them and make things better for the actual convention. After the initial morning session, there were numerous impromptu meetings (including a short WSFS division meeting with the four members of the division who are actually here), followed by groups touring the San Jose Convention Center. There's an event moving in today, so we couldn't get at everything, but everyone got a decently good look around before the lunch break. The break allowed people to spread out and find places to get lunch within a short distance of the convention center. There are many such places (far more than there were sixteen years ago).

Afternoon SessionCollapse )

The walkthrough of major logistical requirements of the divisions was very good, because it pointed out a number of gaps in planning, not excepting the WSFS division. Much better that we spot them now in May than in mid-August!

There were other planning sessions that I won't go into here because they covered some things that are not necessarily mature, but I would say it was a very useful and productive day, after which folks once again fanned out to find food. Downtown San Jose is hopping and loud with Cinco de Mayo revelers, but the group I was with managed to find a decent Japanese restaurant.

I've had a good time with this heavy-duty smoffing. I'm increasingly confident that we're going to have a really good Worldcon and will overcome the challenges that any Worldcon faces. Kevin Roche has assembled a good, motivated team of both seasoned Worldcon runners and more local convention-running fans who can be trusted to do the right things.

Current Mood: productive
11:50 pm
Cover Boy
Doug and Kirsten Berry joined Linda D. and I for breakfast at Peggy Sue's this morning before the opening session of "StaffCon" (the Worldcon 76 planning meeting). On our way back to the Marriott, I stopped and took pictures of two pieces of artwork on display near the Fairmont.

Bearly ArtCollapse )

A few weeks ago Doug and Kirsten wrote about wanting to install a cover for the roof air vent on the Free Trailer Beowulf, their home from home during Burning Man. Lisa, who already has one of these vents on her travel trailer, offered to buy them one, so we did last week. Today, after the walk-through of the San Jose Convention Center during StaffCon, I popped out to my van parked in the convention center garage and brought Doug their gift.

Doug VentingCollapse )

And that was just the first half of Saturday.

Current Mood: accomplished
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