September 29th, 2008

Business Meeting

Parliamentary Observations on the Bailout Bill

By cooincidence, I tuned in to CSPAN while eating breakfast. (Yes, I know it was way too late in the morning, but I'd been immersed in other things and lost track of time.) As some of you know, the House rejected the Bailout Bill. I, like solarbird am amazed that the leadership let the vote go off without knowing they had the votes to pass it. I note that a majority of the Republicans voted against it, rejecting a plan from their own President's administration.

Here's some of the things that interested me, as a parliamentarian, in how the vote went:

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I may not know the House rules sufficiently well, but if I were one of the people pushing this proposal and if I thought I had a chance of getting it passed, I might have objected to the Reconsider being laid on the table, without actually moving it, with the idea that sometime later today or tomorrow moving reconsideration once I'd rounded up another fifteen or so votes to swing it my way.

Update, 12:30: Added a bit in #3 explaining a bit about tactically voting on the other side when you're going down in order to preserve the possibility of moving to Reconsider.
Kevin and Lisa

It's Official: Avoid Wells

I have my van in the shop with my trusted mechanic, who has been investigating some rough-running and the service-engine lights I got on the trip to Colorado, and looking over the work the Tire Factory did in Wells. On the former, he recommends a new distributor and throttle body, cost around $500 parts and labor totasl. The engine itself, which he installed about 55K miles ago, is sound, he says.

On the front-end/shocks work, he was scathing in his assessment of the rip-off artists in Wells, agreeing completely with what Lisa said about them. He says that he would have charged me about one-third what they did, and he wouldn't have neglected to do a wheel alignment, which you should do when you do that sort of work. He'll do the alignment now, and although I can get my tires rotated for free at America's Tire where I bought them, he'll go ahead and toss in the rotation for free since he has the van up on the rack anyway.

If you live in the Fremont area and want a good general mechanic who will treat you well and not rip you off, I cannot speak highly enough of Fremont Wheel & Brake. Don't let the name fool you -- Cory, the owner, does general repairs as well as specializing in wheel and brake work.

As far as Wells goes -- stop there for cheap gas between Reno and Salt Lake City, and not much else.
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On the Value of Worldcon

If you have any interest in Worldcon, and in particular if you've been involved in any of the discussions or complaints about Worldcon being too expensive or the "graying of fandom," I suggest you read an article Cheryl just posted on The Value of Worldcon discussing the issues in depth.

I hope that Worldcon bids thinking about what direction their Worldcon will take will read this and give serious thought to how they will market and plan their convention.
Conrunner Kevin

Still At Home

Don't expect me at BASFA tonight, as my van will be with my mechanic through tomorrow.

Addendum: I know how to get to the meeting by transit: Capitol from Fremont to Great America, VTA light rail to Lawrence, and either wait for a bus to take me to the corner where Coco's is, or walk the mile (given the wait for the bus and the transit time, I'd probably walk). But getting home is a problem if I don't know someone going my way is going to be there tonight.

FWIW, the return trip home by transit at the usual time a BASFA meeting ends requires seven transfers and would get me home at 6 AM tomorrow morning!

Update, 22:45: Per the comments below, I ended up being able to go after all.
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Pointless Arrow

To BASFA by Train

Having been offered a ride home from johno (for which many thanks), I decided to go ahead and go to BASFA tonight after all. I bought an $8 ticket on the Capitol online -- mainly to make sure that my Amtrak Guest Rewards number was properly credited -- and walked over to the Fremont Centerville train station at a few minutes before 6 PM to collect my ticket from the vending machine. (The new-generation machine works far better than the pile of junk they used to have.)

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This is yet another case, like yesterday, of being glad I know I can do this, but not expecting to have to do it very often.