June 24th, 2014


Banished: The Furnace of Death

As I've written before, shortly after we bought Fernley House, we had Steve from Marraccini Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning in to have a look at getting the furnace and hot water working. At the time, he looked at it and condemned it, showing Lisa that the heat exchanger was full of holes and therefore lighting it off conceivably could gas us to death. At that time we shut off our natural gas service until such time as we could afford to start repairing things. We aren't there yet, but we're into the next stage of the process, as Steve came by yesterday (after his successful mission to restore the swamp cooler in my upstairs office) to disconnect and remove the old furnace and the hot water heater. Herein are pictures of how it went.

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So it appears that when it came to the existing furnace, we had the choice between being gassed to death or dying in a fire. I'm glad we selected None of the Above, and to anyone who suggested that Steve was being alarmist so he could get us to pay him for work we didn't need, I submit these photos as a reason why Lisa trusts Steve completely.
Match Game SF

Match Game SF at Westercon 67

Late last night, I got word from Westercon 67 (after a few rounds of back-and-forth, including Westercon 67 Programming head Kate Hatcher calling Lisa to discuss the tech details of the show) that Match Game SF is scheduled for Friday night of Westercon, from 9 PM onward, in Salon B/C at the SLC Marriott Downtown. (Salon B/C is an air-walled partition of part of the Grand Ballroom and will be main programming space during the day.) That's the only show we'll do, but because we have the space for the rest of the night we can go as late as we want. Right now I'm in mind to play three games, take a short break, then play as many and three more depending on how things are going; however, we might only play two games initially before the break. (Experience shows us that when we plan to play a long run of games, we have to put a break in for everyone's sake: panelists, crew, and me alike.)

Because we're right after the scheduled time for the Masquerade, we will start late if the Masquerade runs late, because several of our panelists have commitments to the Masquerade.

We're running with none of our regular behind-the-scenes staff other than Lisa, and we've recruited several people from BASFA who are going and who have volunteered to help as production assistants, the announcer, and so forth. I'm not going to put them on the spot just yet particularly as we need to work out exact details, probably at the convention itself.

I have seen the questions that people have submitted (as comments on my message yesterday that I've not un-moderated), and thank you all! Keep sending in questions. It keeps things interesting for all of us.

Among our prizes we have memberships to the next two Westercons and a gift certificate to Cargo Cult Books in the Dealers' Room, plus our usual book packages and A Brand New Truck! (Well, "new" is a relative term, but it's never been actually used except to display it the last time it came up and didn't get won. And I'll note that it's actually the most valuable prize in the entire game. You'll have to be there to see it.)