Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Remote Meetings

I must have been really worn out when I went to bed last night, because I didn't wake up until 9:30 AM, five hours later than usual.

Late in the morning, I did an interview via Zoom with Cheryl for her radio program. She has been interviewing people to ask them how they're handling the pandemic restrictions where they are. We'd done this once a few days ago, but I'd goofed up the audio settings on my computer, so we needed to do it again.

Between the end of that two-person meeting and the start of the SFSFC Board of Directors meeting (also a Zoom conference), we had a police action in the railroad yard across the street.

Police Action

I went on to the porch and saw parked in the rail yard six law enforcement vehicles: four Lyon County Sheriff's Department and two Nevada State police. (The black car in the foreground is an abandoned vehicle. The city of Fernley has marked it up to eventually be towed away, but I wouldn't expect it to be a high priority at this time.)

See the Union Pacific locomotive in the background? That's a mid-train helper from what I think was another "no-fitter" 14,000-foot-long train that was going by. The officers waited for the train to pass before getting closer to the brown boxcar that was the subject of their interest.

Police Action

This is the closest I could zoom with the camera phone (4x). There appeared to be a shape under the boxcar. I was thinking the worst: that maybe someone had been on the tracks and been hit by a train or fell off a moving train and rolled under the boxcar.

Getting out the older Sony camera (an actual standalone camera, not part of a phone), I could use the 20x optical zoom. Although it has fewer pixels than the camera phone, it gets a better picture. There appears to have been a homeless man sleeping under the boxcar. You can zoom and see that he's sitting up in this photo.

Police Action

With the aid of binoculars, I could see him moving around.

Police Action

After a while, the State Police left, as did one of the sheriff's patrol units. After that, eventually the guy got up and walked away, although for some reason it looked to me like the deputies kept his backpack. I assume they simply "rousted" him and told him to move along, but I know nothing more, and nothing came up on the radio scanner.

Actually, this guy is possibly lucky to be alive. It was very possible that BNSF could come along during the night, enter the "house tracks" from the east end (opposite end from where this photo was taken) and started pulling cars out of the yard. While it's possible he would have been missed by the undercarriage of the boxcar, it's also possible that he might have been killed by it.

Lisa and I could spend no more time watching the mini-drama with the trains, because there was an SFSFC board meeting to attend, and Lisa wanted to be there as part of the Westercon 74 Tonopah committee report.

Technically, this meeting was held at our corporate office, but all attendees except the director whose home is the corporate office participated by Zoom conference call. For some people (like me), remote meetings are old hat. Others haven't participated in any of them and there were a few bugs to work out. Existing bugs also had to be worked out, such as my lack of upload bandwidth that caused things to get unstable when I shared my screen to show the marked-up map of the Tonopah Convention Center.

Other than the mostly-online part of the meeting, things went smoothly, although of course the COVID-19 pandemic is on everyone's minds and has affected us all. SFSFC is acting as CoNZealand's agent for the US, which meant we discussed impacts on us and what we're doing to assist them. The CostumeCon 39 Committee was hit indirectly, as their Chair was in Montreal at what was about to be CC 38 when the convention was abruptly canceled due to an order from the Quebec premier cancelling all large gatherings. For the Tonopah committee, I reported that I've been staying in contact with my opposite number at Westercon 73, Sally Wohrle, regarding developments affecting their convention currently scheduled for this July 2-5. There's a lot of breath-holding going on. We also dealt with a matter of parliamentary housekeeping, as we revised the resolution creating the Westercon 74 committee to formally call it the Westercon 74 committee. The original resolution adopted last year could be interpreted to mean it was only the bid committee, which was certainly not the intent, so we fixed it.

Other than that and another piece of housekeeping dealing with one of our bank accounts, there wasn't a lot of explicit action at this meeting. It was almost entirely receiving reports and discussing how our four currently operating committees are carrying out their charged functions. Now I have to spend more time than the meeting itself pulling all of those reports into the meeting minutes and creating a draft set of minutes for the directors to review, which I hope to get done tomorrow. It's not like I'm going anywhere.
Tags: costumecon, sfsfc, westercon, worldcon

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