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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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Friday, March 22nd, 2019
2:25 pm
Brr, Spring
We "celebrated" the first day of northern hemisphere spring in these parts by letting the fire go out in the fireplace for the first time in several months and unplugging a couple of the electric space heaters. Two days later, the cold and rain (but not snow, save on the peaks to the west) came back, and yesterday I gave in and rekindled the fire.

I had hoped to go see my sister this weekend, but the forecast says more snow over Donner Summit is coming, so I won't chance it. It is ironic that the only weekend in the past seven or eight weeks where the weather was clear and safe enough to make the trip back and forth to Sacramento was the one weekend I couldn't travel because I had to stay put so I could call in to the SFSFC Board of Directors meeting.

Current Mood: annoyed
Thursday, March 21st, 2019
3:43 pm
That's the Way the Cookie...
As I mentioned yesterday, Lisa and I had dinner at the Peppermill Hotel buffet, and as is our usual practice, we did a walk through the convention facilities on the second floor. Anyone who attended the 2011 Worldcon's Hugo Awards and/or Masquerade will remember the large ballroom, which is formally the Tuscany Events Center. As we made our loop, we found ourselves in a convention.

CookieConCollapse )

I was actually happy to see that this event's registration queues were not especially more sophisticated than what we do for most SF/F conventions, at least those that have pre-printed badges rather than print-on-demand registration, where you can use "bank teller" queuing.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Wednesday, March 20th, 2019
8:36 pm
Hat Standing
This afternoon, I took Lisa in to Reno to see her dentist for a routine cleaning. When they called her in, she turned to Kuma Bear and said, "Here, Bear, hold on to my hat for me."

Hey! It's Darks ins Heres!Collapse )

This was a routine appointment, after which we did a small bit of shopping and then had dinner at the Peppermill. After dinner, we walked through the Tuscany Events Center (where the 2011 Worldcon held its events), where a convention was going on. But more about that tomorrow, I think.

Current Mood: amused
Tuesday, March 19th, 2019
8:21 pm
Sock It To Me
After work today, Lisa and I drove over to Fallon, where they have a larger Big R store with a better selection of some things for which Lisa was working. She found a new shirt, and I was pleased to see that they had brought back the Darn Tough Vermont socks that I wear. None of those socks have yet to wear out, and I've been wearing them for years, but I have over the years lost a few of them, so I bought two pair, of the same pattern as most of those I already have. I currently have a sock parity error, though, with a singleton. However, by getting the same pattern for all of them, losing one more won't do any harm.

Current Mood: cheerful
Sunday, March 17th, 2019
7:14 pm
Last Load
This morning, after I came back from breakfast at the Wigwam (luck wasn't with me and I didn't win my breakfast on the free-play coupon) and bowling (my form seems to have returned after my wrist sprain as long as I wear my brace and use a lighter ball), I called Big R to see if they still had some Energy Logs. They had one pallet left, so Lisa hitched up the utility trailer and we puttered down to buy what we expect should be the final pallet of 240 logs for this season.

It's feeling quite spring-like here. We feel confident enough that the worst of winter is behind us that we put the snow shovel back into the garage.

Current Mood: contemplative
Saturday, March 16th, 2019
8:55 pm
Meeting Day
Today was the trimesterly SFSFC Board of Directors meeting. I'd originally planned to be down in the Bay Area to attend in person, but the bad weather last weekend scuppered that plan. However, I'm not the only director attending using Zoom video conferencing. (In fact, four of the directors participated remotely including me.) Zoom was more useful than just an ordinary conference call because it meant that I could share my screen when I was composing motions to let the other people attending see it. (I'm the corporate secretary.) SFSFC has multiple standing committees. Worldcon 76 is the largest one, but not the only one, and there are multiple future conventions, not just past ones. So it takes several hours to go through every report and deal with all of the business brought from the various committees. Afterwards, it's best if I get the minutes done right away while it's all fresh, which includes adding all of the financial and organizational reports from the committees and sending the draft out to the Board to make sure I got things the way everyone thought it went.

After that was all done, Lisa suggested we go out to dinner at the Nugget Oyster Bar in Sparks. We don't often go out on Saturday night, but fortunately while the Nugget was busy, we didn't have to wait for a table and we had our favorite shrimp pan roast without much of a delay. We also could then go to the Raley's in Sparks, which has some items we can't get at Fernley, before heading for home.

It was a longish day mostly spent on the computer, but I'm still pretty tired.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Friday, March 15th, 2019
6:55 pm
Not For Rent
This evening, as Lisa and I were going out to the car to go down and have dinner at the Black Bear Diner (Friday all-you-can-eat fish fry), a couple of people came walking along asking about renting the apartment at the top of the building. I had to disappoint them and explain that no, this isn't a building with multiple apartments in it; it's a single house. Mind you, that upper part was built with the apparent idea of renting it separately; however, it's not habitable because the plumbing broke to upstairs and there's no heat. We don't have the resources right now to repair it, but it's dandy for storing much stuff. It's also where I produce the material for Match Game SF. (For which we need more questions for this summer!)

Current Mood: cheerful
Thursday, March 14th, 2019
2:59 pm
Auction Returns
The auction house that disposed of the Wigwam collection is in Reno, so I arranged to pick up the items I won (saving shipping charges). Yesterday, Lisa and I went in and collected our three items, the most important of which was the framed print I mentioned a few days ago.

Bear of ApprovalCollapse )

After we got home, Lisa picked out a place to hang it where it will not get direct sunlight (which would cause it to fade, of course).

Railroad Art in PlaceCollapse )

I did pick up a couple of other things at auction.

Take Stock in NevadaCollapse )

We need to figure out how to properly frame the stock certificate in order to display it appropriately.

Current Mood: cheerful
Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
1:09 pm
Last Snow?
This morning, the view from the front porch showed that we're not quite done with winter here.

Is This The Last?Collapse )

When the sun came up, it got warm enough to melt most of this trace of snow. I wonder if this was the last snowfall for us this year. Not that I have to go far to see more snow, as the accumulation over Donner Summit means we may be seeing snowbanks at the summit until July.

Current Mood: impressed
Tuesday, March 12th, 2019
4:07 pm
Whipped by Wind
This afternoon we were hit by some pretty massive winds.

Take Cover!Collapse )

I don't have a wind gauge here, but I would suggest the winds did reach gale force at times.

Watch Out for Those TumbleweedsCollapse )

After a while, it started to rain briefly, and then snow blew in for a while. Air temperatures remained above freezing, but sideways snow blew through for a while before the wind slackened and the snow stopped. I'm glad I didn't to to Reno today to collect my auction winnings!

Current Mood: impressed
Monday, March 11th, 2019
3:19 pm
Alternative Fernleys
If the weather had been the way it was today on Sunday, I'd be in the Bay Area right now. All of yesterday's snow (and hail) is gone. Today's high was a balmy 14°C.

Lisa has started doing tidying, including going through boxes of papers and sorting things that can be discarded. It's still chilly, so any burnable paper goes into the fireplace.

One of the things she found was a bundled of information sheets on houses that were for sale in Fernley within our price range when Lisa first came to look here. There were a handful that would have been okay, including one that had a lot more land, but that one would have had a view of Interstate 80, not the railroad. There was one that seemed plausible, but the roof was in such poor condition that it would have made the work we had to do to shore up the kitchen floor here look cheap. In the end, while we always grouse about the extra $20K it cost us to buy it from the person who scooped it on account of the zoning scuppering our initial financing, we are happy with this house, even if it means we'll spend the rest of our lives working on one project or another.

Current Mood: contemplative
Sunday, March 10th, 2019
12:58 pm
Another Snow Scratch
This morning, as I struggled to wake up after the time change (and not enough sleep last night as I packed for the planned trip to the Bay Area), heard on the news that some of the Sierra ski resorts have announced that their ski season will last through early July this year. Yep, Independence Day skiiing! When I looked outside after first light, I could see that winter isn't done yet.

Snow on the StoneCollapse )

I went to breakfast at the Wigwam, and the snow continued to fall.

There Must be a Sun There SomewhereCollapse )

Shortly after I got home, I saw that chain controls had lifted; however, it's an eight-hour drive to the Bay Area for me in good conditions (including a stop in Sacramento to see my sister), and the Rolling Stone doesn't handle all that great even on dry pavement in good conditions. I therefore decided to cancel my planned coming week in the Bay Area. I'll have to rearrange two medical appointments (again), and at the moment, I am leaning toward putting them off until early May. I hope there's no snow on the pass then!

Silly Birds, You're Missing OutCollapse )

The snow did stop, and most of it has already melted as I write this, but I'm still happier not risking the trip over icy Interstate 80 today. I went out to the RV and unpacked most of what I'd already packed. I also feel better not making the trip because the time change exacerbates my having to get up earlier when I'm working down there anyway. In effect, I would have had to get up at 3 AM by my body clock, especially as I threw away all of the gradual adjustments I'd made over the past week by staying up until nearly midnight packing last night.

I did go ahead and walk down to the Frontier Fun Center and bowl a few games. I did better this week than last, after shifting to a slightly lighter ball to counteract the fact that my wrist still hurts. I continue to wear the wrist brace when bowling or when working on the computer, but I don't need to wear it all the time the way I did immediately after I injured it a few weeks ago.

Kelli called while I was bowling, so I was able to let her know not to expect me today. I'll make a special trip to Sacramento the next time a weather window opens on a weekend. When that will be, I don't know. It's been quite a winter.

Current Mood: tired
Saturday, March 9th, 2019
10:54 am
Auction Winner
The Wigwam Restaurant/Casino held a large collection of Native American artifacts and also a huge collection of other memorabilia, only a token of which was on display in the restaurant. The owners are in the process of selling most of it off in an auction of which today is day 3 of 5. (Link to today's auction, which should lead to the following two days as well.) To my disappointment, a collection of historical photos of the Fernley-Wadsworth area were not included, and the auction house had no information on what happened to them when they were removed from the restaurant. However, there was one item that had been on display behind the register at the restaurant that I found in their catalog: a framed print of the Fernley railroad depot as it would have appeared in its original location diagonally across the street from our house. At the time that this painting represents, our house would have been the much smaller Southern Pacific-built cottage occupied by an SP employee who we understand eventually bought it from the railroad and started expanding on it. The house would have been approximately in a straight line from the print's point of view behind the depot, more or less along the line of trees in the background.

I put in a bid for this print, and I won! In a few days (presumably after the final day of the auction because they'll want to consolidate purchases by each bidder) I should receive information on payment and collection. I hope they'll let me just come by the auction house (which is in Reno) so I can avoid the shipping charges.

Current Mood: pleased
Friday, March 8th, 2019
5:56 pm
Shifting Time
I am not by inclination a "morning person," but I'm forced to be one in order to coordinate my work hours with my co-workers in the Midwest (and Europe!). So time-change weekend exacerbates an already difficult situation. I've been setting my alarm fifteen minutes earlier each day for the past four days and trying to go to bed at least that much earlier each day. I really have been trying to "walk" my wake-up time even earlier, on account of I'd planned to be in the Bay Area next week, which means I have to be up an hour earlier than normal in order to commute to the office (even living out of the Rolling Stone, it takes a bunch of extra time).

OTOH, looking at the weather forecast for this weekend, it's looking more and more like driving over Donner is going to be a bad idea. Winter is hanging on a long time this year. But I'm not complaining, as having the lakes and aquifers full of water is a Good Thing.

Current Mood: tired
Thursday, March 7th, 2019
7:21 pm
It's a Gas
This afternoon we did one of the prep jobs for my planned trip to the Bay Area for a week working there next week. Yesterday we plugged the Rolling Stone into ground power to make sure the coach battery is fully charged. Today, I opened the propane bottle and Lisa checked to make sure the lines were running. I don't use the propane stove (what cooking I do I can do in the microwave oven at the office), but lighting it up gets propane flowing through the lines after many months of inactivity. After shutting down the stove, we tried getting the propane furnace running. As usual when it hasn't been used in a long time (about a year in this case), it took several attempts before the furnace would light off. On the third attempt, it caught and started producing warm air. I don't use the furnace that much (we've not yet had to refill the propane since we bought the RV), but on a cold morning, being able to reach up and turn it on without getting out of bed is a nice thing, as it generally only takes a few minutes for it to bring the inside of the RV up to a comfortable temperature.

I continue to watch the weather forecast for Sunday nervously. If the weather turns back into lots of snow and the chain controls don't lift, I'll have to scrub the trip, which would be inconvenient.

Current Mood: accomplished
Wednesday, March 6th, 2019
4:35 pm
Advance Plans
BASFA has picked out its next Baseball Night with the San Jose Giants, so I guess I need to schedule a week of working in the Bay Area over April 29-May 3. But this time I need to not leave the headlights of the Rolling Stone turned on when I park at Municipal Stadium.

Current Mood: cheerful
Tuesday, March 5th, 2019
2:40 pm
Defeating Drips
Yesterday was gloomy and damp, but not actually raining, so after work, I helped Lisa install something to control drips.

GutteredCollapse )

I held the ladder and passed tools to Lisa while she attached the pieces of the gutter to the house.

This section is mainly to keep water from dripping directly from the roof onto the large wood box. Rain returned today and so far the gutter seems to be doing its job.

Other Strange WeatherCollapse )

People who have lived in Fernley all their lives tell us this is one of the wettest winters they can remember. Lisa, who wanted to move here to get away from wet, gloomy winters, can't see spring arrive soon enough.

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, March 4th, 2019
4:12 pm
Brief Zephyr Restart
Yesterday, Amtrak attempted to restart full service on the California Zephyr, after a week where service was suspended between Sacramento and Reno. But the westbound train was dramatically late.

Westbound RestartCollapse )

Amtrak #5 normally passes our house around 7:45 PM. Yesterday, it passed us westbound at about the time that #6, its eastbound counterpart, normally passes our house around 4:45 PM. #6 was running late as well, but not as badly late, and was making its Reno station stop as #5 came through. Based on Amtrak's track-a-train map, the dispatcher held #5 at Clark siding (second siding east of Sparks) for #6. This is the "late trains get later" principle, in that #6 was only about an hour late and might be able to make up some of its time, but #5 was a lost cause. It would eventually limp into Emeryville at 2:49 AM the next morning, 10h39m late. Ouch!

Eastbound RestartCollapse )

Today's westbound train came through this afternoon also badly delayed, and the eastbound isn't even on the board, so I suspect they're short-turning the train at Reno again.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Sunday, March 3rd, 2019
2:39 pm
For the Birds
Yesterday morning started the same way many mornings this winter have started.

What, Again?Collapse )

During the afternoon, Lisa and I went down to Big R to buy more grit for the sidewalk and also some material for new rain gutters, as there is a section of roof with no rain gutter to which Lisa would like to make one, so that rain doesn't constantly drip on the wood box. While we were there, we also decided to buy something about which we've been thinking for quite a while now.

Here, BirdiesCollapse )

Now we just have to wait for the birds to discover it. Annoyingly, the flock of birds that had taken to gathering in the evergreen outside the bedroom window appears to have moved on. I'm sure eventually some of the birds will find the new feeder.

Current Mood: accomplished
Saturday, March 2nd, 2019
8:49 pm
See You in the Funny Papers
Our weekly local newspaper, the North Lyon County Leader-Courier/Mason Valley News (the paper's title has almost as many words as the combined papers have pages), had as this week's lead story the big public turnout at the Fernley City Council meeting for a public hearing on the creation of a redevelopment district. I know a bit about this photo, as I saw it being taken as I sat in the meeting.

Where's KevinCollapse )

Due to a potential technical irregularity in the way the notice of the meeting was served to all affected property owners (that's the "snafu" in the article title), action on creating the district was put off until a special meeting in April and a new notice sent out. Assuming there's enough of a weather window for me to get down to the Bay Area for a scheduled week I'm planning there, I will end up missing the special meeting, though, as well as the next Fire Board meeting.

Current Mood: thoughtful
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