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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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Wednesday, January 16th, 2019
8:01 pm
Low Key Birthday
Neither Lisa nor I have been feeling at our best this week, but today was Lisa's birthday, and we did feel well enough to do to Reno for dinner. However, rather than going to one of the high-end restaurants as we initially contemplated, we had dinner at the Oyster Bar at the Sparks Nugget. Our server there remembered us, asked why we hadn't been there for so long, and lieu of a free dessert (after the shrimp pan roast, we were both quite full) comped our beverages, which was nice.

Although there is a blizzard warning up for the Sierra Nevada, and I-80 was actually closed at the California state line around the time we were heading for dinner, we only had to deal with rain on the drive to and from Sparks. Still, I did not like the feel of the road, and slowed down and did not fret about everyone else who wanted to drive at 70 MPH on rain-slickened roads.

Leaving the Nugget in Sparks, we drove to the Nugget in Fernley, where Lisa played a little bit on her favorite slot machines. Although she lost on one, she more than made it up on the second one, and quit while she was $11 ahead instead of $10 behind, so that's not so bad.

We really couldn't do a whole lot more than that because tomorrow is a work day for me, but I'm glad we got to do a little bit of something nice for Lisa's birthday.

I did not forget Lisa's birthday present. At Christopher Carson's suggestion, I got Lisa a copy of 100 Suns, which she told me was one of the best presents she's had in years.

Current Mood: content
Tuesday, January 15th, 2019
4:37 pm
I'm glad things were relatively slow on most fronts today, because it was not a good day for me today. Fortunately, it didn't affect Day Jobbe or dealing with officialdom. If I'm lucky, I'll get to bed early tonight and will be better tomorrow.

Current Mood: exhausted
Sunday, January 13th, 2019
7:26 pm
Another Flying Visit
The weather this weekend was so good that Lisa and I ran down to made a day visit to my sister in the nursing facility in Sacramento. She was happy to see me, and was looking fairly good. It looks like the candy basket we bought her for Christmas was put to good purpose. (She saved the wrapper from one of the candies she particularly liked.)

We visited for more than two hours, but eventually we had to head for home, including a stop to get some lunch, a visit to Fry's Electronics (getting things you can't get in Reno), and a somewhat unexpected stop at the newly-reopened Gold Run rest area on I-80 when Kelli's son (my nephew Shane) called, and rather than risk losing the signal while driving on east, we stayed put while he and I took care of some necessary arrangements.

We got home around 7 PM. I'm glad to have had a chance to go see Kelli, who needs us to come visit as often as we can. I'm also glad that I'm back in communication with another branch of the family who was unaware of where Kelli was being cared for and that can now go see her.

Current Mood: tired
Saturday, January 12th, 2019
6:55 pm
Strike While the Weather is Mild
With a break between storms (the weather was very good today), Lisa and I went into Reno to have Saturday Brunch at the Peppermill, then get our "city" shopping done. We didn't get everything done that we'd planned, because we started getting tired part-way through it and headed home, but we got what needed doing done.

Current Mood: accomplished
Friday, January 11th, 2019
1:12 pm
Ity Bity Travel Trailer
While walking to the fire station last night to attend the Fire Board meeting, I took a picture of the smallest travel trailer I've ever seen.

Tiny TrailerCollapse )

It's a cute little thing, but the kind of RV living Lisa and I have done requires something in which you can at times go off-grid rather than having to go from RV park to RV park. But it's probably a very light tow, easily towable by car rather than needing a truck.

Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, January 9th, 2019
5:17 pm
Government Training
Last night, I walked down to City Hall to attend training on Nevada Government Ethics and the Nevada Open Meeting Law. I was a little uneasy about attending, given that I'm not actually an elected or appointed official, only an unsuccessful candidate for office, but I needn't have worried. First of all, turnout was not huge, and secondly, the Mayor said (when I offered to pay for some of the pizza on offer inasmuch as I wasn't an actual local official) that it was fine and not to fret about it. (I really did want to help pay for it, given that the Mayor had bought the pizza out of his own pocket to entice more people to attend, but he turned it down.)

Government/Rules GeekeryCollapse )

While attending the training meant that I lost a couple of hours of sleep, I found it useful and educational. Now the question is whether I'll ever get to put any of it into practice.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Tuesday, January 8th, 2019
9:26 pm
Bear Rug
Last night after work, Lisa and I went over to Lowe's for parts for the latest home improvement project. We'd also just received a coupon good for $10 off any purchase of $50 or more, so Lisa said that we should get something she'd been considering for a while. After further consultation with Kuma Bear, she picked out the item.

Snug as a Bear in a...Collapse )

As I've mentioned, we don't have under-floor insulation. As an interim measure, this makes the bedroom a nicer place, especially on cold mornings.

Current Mood: happy
Monday, January 7th, 2019
5:08 pm
Snow Place Like Home
Last night as I went to get the last couple of sticks of wood for the fire before going to bed, I found that in the end, we did start getting snow after all.

Better than RainCollapse )

This morning I measured the accumulation on the front porch: 4 cm. Not really that much, especially compared to the big fall in the Sierra that forced the closure for many hours overnight of Interstate 80 due to white-out conditions. I cleared the porch and sidewalks, which is sufficient for what we need here.

This snow isn't likely to stick around for long. The highs are up to about 5-8°C, and that means the snow started turning to slush and dripping off of the roof pretty quickly today. The current week-ahead forecast shows no more snow and only a hint of rain; however, conditions have been rather unsettled lately. I'm very glad I didn't have to go to California this weekend; however, I am going to need down there soon for a weekend, and I also have a week of work in the Bay Area planned in February. Fingers crossed that the weather windows let me through.

I'm not complaining, though. We need the snow in the mountains and we need our aquifers to refill.

Current Mood: sleepy
Sunday, January 6th, 2019
2:41 pm
Full Tanks, Full Wood Box
After breakfast at the Wigwam, I walked down to the Frontier Fun Center and bowled for the first time in weeks. (I'd blown such money as I had for such entertainment when I made the extra trip to San José to see Who's Holiday in December.) I'm obviously rusty, as my average was only 100 for three games, down from around 115.

Photos of Fernley's MountainsCollapse )

When I got home, I found that Lisa had been trying to call me, but I hadn't heard the phone ringing in the noise of the bowling lanes. Apparently there had been an emergency call out from the fire station for someone of approximately my description and happening only a short distance from the house. By the time she'd got to the described location, North Lyon County FPD had already transported the person into Reno/Sparks for treatment. She was worried about me until I came home.

There was a tiny dusting of snow on the porch when I got up this morning, but it cleared for most of the first half of the day. However, rain and snow are heading our way. As I write this, a 70-mile stretch of I-80 in the Sierra is closed due to white-out conditions. We may get some snow this evening. Lisa hitched up the utility trailer and we went to Big R and bought another pallet of 240 North Idaho Energy Logs and got them loaded into the wood box. After that, we took an empty propane bottle down to Hanneman Service to get refilled. We got lucky there, as the only person on duty was just about to head out on a road-service call, but refilled our bottle before going out to do the tow. Apologies to whoever's AAA rescue we delayed by a few minutes.

Time to hunker down in the warm indoors and let it snow.

Current Mood: tired
Saturday, January 5th, 2019
7:45 pm
Glad We Got to See It Once
On the way home from the 2017 Worldcon in Finland, we stopped in Iceland for a few nights. One of the days we were there, during our wandering around Reykjavik, we found among other things an utterly charming and quirky Japanese tea house called Kumiko along the waterfront.

Remember the OctopusCollapse )

As Lisa and I are making tentative plans for this year's Worldcon trip, we noticed that Icelandair has started flying from SFO again, and that their fares are good enough that we could contemplate stopping over again for two or three nights on the return. If we did, we said to ourselves, we'd definitely want to visit Kumiko again. So it was with great disappointment that we learned that Kumikio Iceland has closed permanently in September 2018. I guess I'm glad that we learned now instead of discovering the hard way when making the trek out to it should we decide to make that Icelandic stopover again.

Current Mood: disappointed
Friday, January 4th, 2019
3:47 pm
Measure Many Times Before Cutting
Fernley House is not insulated sufficiently to suit us. In particular, there is no under-floor insulation, and especially on the un-carpeted floor in the bedroom, it is very obvious how cold it is under the house. Lisa wants to get insulation and staple it under the floor. Today, we went over to Lowe's and had a look at what's on hand. We now have a bit better idea of what we'll need. Before actually buying anything, though, Lisa will need to kit up (coveralls, face mask, eye protection) and go down under the house again to measure the beams and find out which size of insulation rolls will fit best. We probably will then get one roll to test for ease of installation before taking the plunge to buy enough to insulate the rest.

Lisa has looked in the attic and is relieved to see that there is insulation up there. However, we might go get more and put another layer above the first one. It's not Manitoba-like cold here, or even Massachusetts, but it still gets cold enough that insulation looks like it would be a good investment in a house that was originally built by the Central Pacific railroad to house its workers and thus wasn't especially interested in things like insulation.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Thursday, January 3rd, 2019
6:19 pm
Taxing Matters
In 2018, I made and kept a resolution to keep track of all sales taxes I paid on every transaction. Using Quicken makes this easier, but it still takes effort. Because of this, I now know that I paid just under $1,000 in sales tax last year. However, it turns out that the "standard sales tax" deduction is apparently more than this, so it won't do me extra good on my income tax, even assuming that itemizing deductions is worth doing, which it rarely has been. Still, I'm glad to know how much I'm paying.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019
5:51 pm
Passing Heritage
This evening, a Union Pacific intermodal train was pulling in to Fernley siding to allow Amtrak to pass. It had an unusual unit on the lead, but because it takes so long for my phone to bring up the camera, I did not get a very good photo of it.

Remembering the WPCollapse )

Amtrak came through almost exactly on time, and just a couple of minutes after it passed, the intermodal train started back up and continued west.

Current Mood: cheerful
Tuesday, January 1st, 2019
2:11 pm
Hangover Without the High
I really did get to bed before midnight and was not awakened by fireworks or people shooting off guns to welcome the new year. (Lisa says she heard fireworks but didn't go out to look; too cold.) Lisa and I don't drink alcohol, and our excitement last night consisted of going out to dinner locally, playing slots for a little while, then coming home. But somehow this morning I woke up with a headache and feeling generally poorly. Not awful, just sort of achy. Well, at least there wasn't much to do today.

Current Mood: sick
Monday, December 31st, 2018
9:31 pm
Quiet NYE in Fernley
I had to work at Day Jobbe today. Fortunately, it was a very slow day, but someone on our team had to be on duty. Lisa and I had no big plans. We could, of course, have gone to Reno, but neither of us was in a big party sort of mood. We thought of going to the Black Bear Diner, but they closed early, which surprised us as I would have thought with all of the activity in the adjoining casino they would have stayed open late. We took advantage of the promotional coupon from the casino, and Lisa came out ahead — by forty cents. There was no point in us entering their New Year's Eve party draw, for the prize was a wheelbarrow full of various alcoholic beverages. We don't drink alcohol, and we already have a wheelbarrow. So we left and went over to the Silverado casino, where their restaurant was bustling, with specials for New Year's Eve and no set closing time. Dinner was good, but there wasn't much else to keep us there. We were home by 9:30 PM. Thanks to my work schedule, there's a good chance I'll be asleep when the new year begins here in a few hours. I'm not complaining. Lisa and I put most of our excitement into other parts of the calendar, and when I consider what 2019's Worldcon trip will cost (not to mention 2020!), it makes me less excited about "conventional" party times for us. I'm just as happy to come home and throw another log on the fire, especially with tonight's temperatures projected to go down to -10°C.

Current Mood: relaxed
Sunday, December 30th, 2018
3:53 pm
Sunday Drivers
After breakfast at the Wigwam this morning, Lisa and I went out for a drive, on account of today is likely to be on the only (relatively) warm day this week, with a high of as much as +10°C. We drove up toward Pyramid Lake out of Wadsworth to have a look at things.

Discovering the Elusive Evil Dill Pickle ChipsCollapse )

The paved road ends a bit north of Sutcliffe (we drove that way once in Lisa's 4WD pickup to explore the abandoned site of Flannigan, where land is cheap but water is dear), so it was time to head south again. We considered taking NV-445 (the Pyramid Highway) back down to Sparks and doing some grocery shopping, but Lisa was feeling tired (she'd been up since midnight, she told me) and so we headed home at that point, having had a pleasant day of sight-seeing. Someday we need to come up here on a weekday afternoon and visit the fish hatchery. Kuma Bear wants to see the "salmon trout" for which John C. Fremont originally named the river now called the Truckee when his expedition explored this area in 1844.

Current Mood: cheerful
Saturday, December 29th, 2018
9:13 pm
I'm feeling somewhat better today, but other than going out for a walk with Lisa after breakfast down to Big R and browsing (but not actually buying anything) and doing some household chores, I've had a quiet day. With all of our energy and resources mostly going into our major convention trips, the year-end holidays have for the past few years been times when we don't do a whole lot. Except eat well. I'm still boiling down the leftover Christmas duck to make soup, although it's close to the point where I can do the one part I dislike, which is getting the meat off of all of those tiny little duck bones.

Current Mood: peaceful
Friday, December 28th, 2018
4:49 pm
SMOFCon 36 Documents & Videos
SMOFCon 36 in Santa Rosa has come and gone, and at the convention's web site you can find under Programming links to presentations and handouts of many of the program items, program notes taken by volunteers, the filled out bidder/convention questionnaires for groups that participated in the Fannish Inquisition, and links to the videos that Lisa shot of SMOFCon / NASFiC / Worldcons / Bids there. However, besides the fact that some people are getting security-certificate warnings now that the site has "downgraded" on account of no longer taking people's details (after all, there are no membership sales to a convention in the past), it seems likely that eventually the web site itself will go away. SFSFC was the corporate parent of SMOFCon 36 (our third SMOFCon that we sponsored). Our own corporate website is of indefinite duration, so we've set up a SMOFCon 36 page to contain the programming documents, Inquisition questionnaire answers, and the links to the two playlists: one for SMOFCon bids and the other for Worldcon/NASFiCs and bids for same.

Current Mood: accomplished
Thursday, December 27th, 2018
2:59 pm
I really have no excuse for feeling sick. We've not been out that much or exerted ourselves much to speak of. But I keep getting the sniffles. And today, out of the blue (literally; the sky was clear), it started snowing. (Wind was blowing snow from the west.) Lisa is staying under covers (to stay warm), and I'm doing much of the same if I can.

Current Mood: sick
Wednesday, December 26th, 2018
9:55 am
As I mentioned yesterday, Lisa made and gave me a leather belt pouch for my mobile phone.

Belted UpCollapse )

I've been surprisingly lucky with the current phone. It popped out of the old holster several times in Iceland, and a few weeks ago did it again while I was crossing the street here in Fernley. Every time, it has landed on an edge or back, rather than on its face, and thus only has a few nicks rather than a shattered face-plate.

Current Mood: grateful
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