June 26th, 2006

Conrunner Kevin

Italian Submariners

(Because they "Dive, Dive, Dive!")

Australia was robbed. While there was no assurance of an Australian victory in extra time (or penalty kicks, should it have gone that far), that was an unjustified PK that decided the game in stoppage time. The Italians have learned the lesson that FIFA have been teaching people by ordering the referees to be so over-sensitive: dive like your lives depend upon it.

I am generally sympathetic to referees, having been an AYSO referee in my teens. (I played for a league-winning team, too, albeit no thanks to me.) But referees have gone overboard in this World Cup, and the players are playing to the referees. That "foul" that let the Italians win should have been a yellow card, all right -- to the Italian player who "sold" it.
Conrunner Kevin

Prisoner of the Sofa

The guy from Coit Carpets has arrived, and is very pleased at how I rearranged the apartment for cleaning of carpets. I'm now imprisoned on my sofa (hooray for wi-fi!) while he goes about his business and until the carpet dries out. Fortunately, this professional steam-cleaning tends to dry much faster than Rug-Doctor-style home units. I found this out the hard way a few years ago when I rented one to clean my then-housemate Michael Wallis's carpets. (I had been freeloading so much that I thought I should do something to help out like clean the carpets.) There was so much moisture in the carpet that some time later we found mushrooms growing out of the carpet in one dark corner of the room!
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Kevin Talking

House Arrest

The carpet cleaning went without incident. My neighbor agreed to park out back so that the cleaners could use both my parking space and his, which made it easier to get the "shiny black truck" parked where it needed to be. I commiserated with the Coit guy about Mexico's loss to Argentina in the World Cup, and he went about his business, bringing the steam-cleaning hose in through my bedroom window because that's the closest point to where he was able to park. Actually steaming the carpets may have taken only about fifteen minutes -- that equipment is very efficient. I signed off on the bill, he collected his stuff, I put the screen back in my bedroom window, and returned to the couch to let things dry.

The carpets have dried out a little bit, but will probably remain damp for the rest of the day. I have all of the windows open and fans going to try and keep the air moving through the house to dry things faster. Wouldn't you know that when I want a hot, dry day, I get a warm, humid one instead? Although the humidity might be local to the apartment, caused by all of the moisture in the carpet.

cherylmorgan reminds me I have it easy. In past years she has been the one dealing with the carpet guys, and we have done this earlier in the year, sometimes the week after Christmas when they often have a big sale because it's a slow week, which means it may be raining and cold instead. And that means the patio can't be used as temporary storage for chairs, file cabinets, coat trees, and the like. Of course, I'm still stuck here, mostly staying off the carpet, and I still have to move all of that stuff back inside before I go to BASFA tonight.
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Pensive Kevin

Toxic Memes

There is a discussion going on at the Emerald City weblog that I find interesting (and have added several comments myself) about the honesty of reviews. The reason I think it's interesting is because there is an analogy to the idea that reviewers are "liars" and must be on the take. That analogy, which I discuss here, is this horrible idea held by some people in convention-attending fandom, that conrunners are raking it in under the table. This belief, which is difficult to refute because any evidence to the contrary is dismissed as "you would say that, wouldn't you?" can drive people like me to say, "What's the use? Why should I continue to knock myself out and beggar myself to put together events for people who think I'm only doing so to line my pockets?"

Similarly, why should people like cherylmorgan keep working at publishing a magazine when people just accuse her of being bribed by publishers and "making a fortune" in Amazon.com commissions. (Both accusations should be laughable, incidentally but for the fact that people keep making them.)
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Manga Kevin

Fixing a Hole

Some of you reading this may be aware that Westercon this year was obliged to go through a parliamentary back flip -- and some might say some specious reasoning -- to allow the two bids running this year onto the ballot. That's because of a drafting error in the "Anti-Zone" motion that accidentally deleted the January 1 "Safety Valve" clause that lets bids from the excluded zone file if no bids file before then from the included zones.

The correction to this should be simple enough, and I've drafted an amendment to put the accidentally deleted sentence back into the bylaws, in this case adding the sentence at the beginning of Section 3.6, thus: (new text underlined)

3.6 Provisions When No Valid Bids Are Received

If no eligible bids are received by the January 1st of the year of the site-selection balloting, then all sites defined in section 3.1 shall be eligible, except as provided in section 3.3. If no valid bids are received by the deadline in section 3.5, then all sites defined in section 3.1 shall be eligible and the other site restrictions in this article shall be suspended.

Anyone going to the Westercon Business Meeting this year who might want to co-sponsor what I hope is a non-controversial technical amendment should contact me before Wednesday afternoon, as I hope to print the agendas that evening so I can put them in with the Match Game material Lisa will be carrying with her to San Diego.