kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
This was our final full day here in Iceland, and essentially the final day of the "vacation" part of the trip, as the remaining days are travel to get home, with two stopovers scheduled. Knowing our limitations, we scheduled nothing today, set no alarm, and stuck to Reykjavik.

Althing Gardens )

We were unable to find in any of the stores any rain jackets that were (a) our size, (b) our desired color and style, and (c) not Made in China. In fact, we only managed to get (a) and (b) to match once. There were way too many things with DESIGNED IN ICELAND in big type and "made in China" either hidden in small type or left off entirely, where you had to ask the staff, who would admit that despite the way the stores' signage suggested, the goods weren't really made in Iceland, or even within the EU economic zone. Annoying. It looks like we may have to go back up to Salem, Oregon, and have some coats custom-made from a place we know there.

We did, however, find a pair of work gloves that was not Chinese made and will come in handy moving wood when we get home. Nearly all heavy work gloves I can find in Fernley and environs are all Chinese.

More about Parliament Square )

We walked back to the hotel and had a "picnic lunch" in the room, eating up the last of our supplies purchased over the past few days. I was also a Very Bad Diabetic. Just across the street outside our hotel window there has been a Waffle Wagon every day. Today I broke down, went over there, and bought a chocolate-and-cream covered waffle, which I enjoyed over a coffee back in the room. (The hotel won't let you eat outside food in their common room.) It was excellent. I'm rather glad I won't get another chance to have another one now. Mind you, with over 33,000 steps walked in the past two days, I'd like to think I've earned a few indulgences.

Last Dinner )

After that big dinner, and especially the desserts, we took one last long walk around The Pond, and then up the hill to our hotel. We took a different route this time, which took us by the British Embassy (housed in the same building as the German Embassy), then past a cafe located in what a streetside plaque said was once called "Red Square" because the coffee-house was a center of Communist organization in past days. For what I expect is the final time, we climbed up to the top of the hill and returned to the hotel.

It has been an interesting four days here. We've booked our reservation for the prepaid return bus transfer to Keflavik Airport tomorrow at Noon, which will get us there a little earlier than strictly necessary, but we want extra time. Our return ticket is KEF-MSP on IcelandAir Saga class, then MSP-SEA on Alaska Airlines first class, all using Alaska Airlines miles. The first leg leaves KEF at 16:45. I checked with IcelandAir, and there's a direct KEF-SEA flight at 17:45 that has plenty of room in Saga class. However, over the phone, IcelandAir won't change the ticket because it was issued by Alaska. The Alaska agent with whom I spoke said they can't change the ticket either, despite the availability, due to the limitations on how many IcelandAir seats Alaska can sell. They both said that my only hope is to show up at the airport and see if the folks at check-in can see some sense and book us directly to Seattle, saving a great deal of hassle and transfer at MSP. Fingers crossed that is works.

There's a pretty good chance that I won't be online here again until we get to Seattle on Monday night, after a very long day in the air no matter how you slice it. Knowing that we could only get Saga class one direction, we deliberately scheduled it for the return trip. At this point in the trip, I really hope I am able to get some sleep on this portion of the trip, albeit not so much sleep that I'm ruined for returning to Pacific Time.

So long, Iceland. It's been fun. I don't know if I'll ever get to come here again, but I'm glad we came. I think I can see now why certain persons were trying to goad some of us into bidding to hold a NASFiC here.
kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
Today was our really big tourism day in Iceland: We booked a relatively comprehensive "Golden Circle" tour of some of the top scenic highlights of southwestern Iceland accessible in a single (long) day.

To the Geysir! )

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Shortly after 9 AM, our Extreme Iceland bus picked us up and our friendly driver headed out for a full long day of seeing the sights. This is probably just as well because today was Culture Day in Reykjavik and the city was very busy.

Geothermal Power Plant Tour )

After the power plant, we continued to our next stop, which involved a hike around a volcanic crater, followed by a preview of the larger waterfall we'd see after lunch.

Hiking the Crater )

Geysir was also our lunch stop, where Lisa and I got the lamb soup, which we like. (Some books complain that this is the main dish at too many places. We don't complain. It's filling and we've enjoyed every bowl of it that we've had so far.) From here it was on to the big waterfall.

Golden Falls )

After the falls, we made a short stop at the Efstidalur farm, where I indulged myself in one scoop of blueberry ice cream made from milk from the cows on the farm. From there, we continued for what turned out to be something of a research trip for the question raised by WSFS's action last week when we clarified that (in effect) Iceland is not part of North America for NASFiC purposes.

At the Rift Boundary )

Thingvellir was the final stop before we returned to Reykjavik. We were frankly a bit worn out by then, and were happy to get back to our hotel. With the city alive with Culture Day, we weren't inspired to go very far. We counted ourselves lucky to get a seat in Cafe Loki (just down the street from our hotel) and have another couple bowls of lamb soup before turning in for the evening.

This tour was excellent, but we're so tired that we're not at our best for this. That's the problem with putting our touring post-Worldcon; however, Lisa says, and she's right, that I'm hopelessly preoccupied during the days running up to Worldcon and I can't relax until the convention is over. Therefore, unless we schedule the trips this way, I'm impossible to deal with because I can't concentrate on what we're doing. Not concentrating when walking around steep cliffs and slippery rocks is not a good idea.

We have one more full day here in Iceland before we begin the trip home, which may prove to be a different adventure, and not necessarily a fun one.
kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
Today was an unstructured day exploring Reykjavik. We had no idea what we would find.

Surprising Ourselves )

After our morning and early afternoon exploration, we got back on the bus. Joining us at that point were a German family heading back to the cruise ship we had seen earlier in the day. Lisa hit it off with them right away. We rode back to Hallgrímskirkja, bade the Germans bon voyage, and went back to the hotel for a break and a cup of tea for me and hot chocolate for Lisa in the hotel common room before making another walk downtown to explore more.

To the Center of Reykjavik )

Thanks to that huge lunch, Lisa and I were still not terribly hungry come 21:00, so we once again picked up some sandwich stuff and cold drinks (alas for no refrigerator in which to keep them; everything has to be eaten when purchased) for another "picnic dinner" in the hotel room.

Tomorrow is our big excursion: our "Golden Circle" tour, one of the must-not-miss parts of a trip to Iceland, or so everyone says. Fortunately we don't have to be up at the crack of dawn, especially given how early dawn is here at 66° North.
kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
We had an 8:45 AM flight out of Helsinki this morning, so after much too little sleep we lurched out of bed, completed our packing, checked out of the hotel, and got a train to the airport. We are very grateful to the extremely frequent airport trains, because we missed the first one we planned to catch, but there was another one coming along in just a few minutes, so it did not matter.

We're in Saga class for this trip (hooray for Alaska miles), so we had access to the lounge and therefore didn't have to buy breakfast. OTOH, my unfamiliarity with the airport cost us €5 because we didn't realize where to go to cash in the one tax-rebate purchase we made, and by the time we realized that the refund place was as the other end of the terminal, it was too late because the flight to Reykjavik was already boarding.

The flight itself was routine and comfortable, with complementary noise-canceling headsets (I forgot to bring mine, which was annoying on the trip out) and another breakfast. To save some standing in like at KEF, I pre-bought the FlyBus airport-to-city transfer tickets. By the time we got to baggage claim, our bags were waiting for us, and we walked outside and found the FlyBus. We got the front two seats for the 50 km drive to Reykjavik. At the bus terminal, we had to get out and wait for a mini-bus to collect us and take us to the stop near our hotel.

Easy to Find Landmark )

If you cannot handle stairs, never stay at this hotel. You need to negotiate stairs simply to get into the front lobby from street level, and there are no lifts. Normally for us this wouldn't be a problem, but Lisa's knee has been troubling her during this trip. She can walk on flat ground okay, but stairs give her trouble. And we have a lot of luggage. (Fortunately, our room was only on the second floor (of four), so I only had to carry luggage up one flight of stairs.)

As we expected, we were vastly early, but the hotel staff were nice and let us store our (substantial) luggage behind the counter. Tea/coffee/cocoa are available at all hours in the lobby (and you can take it back to your room), so we sat and had some tea while we repacked our bags and made plans for today. After putting most of our stuff behind the hotel counter, we set off to explore and kill time until 2 PM when our room would be ready.

Tiny Room and High Prices )

This is something of a letdown after the ten nights in an Executive Floor room at the Holiday Inn Convention Centre in Helsinki. I do really wish that IHG had properties here. But we'll make the best of it.

We Have Been Warned )

We'd been warned about the high prices in Iceland, and high they are. We'll be here four nights and most of five days, and we'll need to keep costs down where we can. Tonight we decided to just buy some groceries and eat them in our hotel room. There's no refrigerator, more's the pity, but Lisa had a can of tinned fish left over from Germany, I got some salami, and we made sandwiches. They don't allow outside food in the downstairs breakfast area, and as I said, the rooms are tiny, but we made the best of it, watching a train video that Lisa had on her computer.

Tomorrow we hope to take things relatively easy and not overwhelm ourselves. Aren't vacations supposed to be restful?
kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
After returning to the hotel with our purchases, Lisa and I stopped to have one of the sodas we bought and rest our feet. I checked messages and saw on Facebook that Kevin Roche and Andy Trembley were back in their hotel room as of only an hour earlier. I called Kevin and asked if they would like to meet for lunch, and they agreed, so we collected our things and headed back downtown.

A second reason for going back to the hotel was that I had a poster tube with the small vinyl WSFS banner (made by Sasquan) that hangs from the front of the Business Meeting table with me, and I wanted to mail it home rather than somehow try to fit it into my already overloaded luggage. The post office is downtown between the train station and the Sokos hotel where Kevin and Andy were staying, so this worked out well. The trains are running again, and there were no queues at the post office, so we managed to connect with K&A roughly on time to head off on a Viking Expedition.

We're Gonna Starve! )

After lunch, we bade K&A goodbye because we were aiming for one more hobby shop for Lisa to look for trains. It was a longer walk than I thought it would be, partially because I rather unnecessarily went up and down hills getting there. We didn't find anything Lisa wanted to get, but we found yet another person who described herself as a "con-goer" who had known about Worldcon but had not gone. We told her that Worldcon would be in Dublin in two years and she sounded interested.

Given our location, we took the opportunity to ride the Helsinki Metro. Because Cheryl's friend Otto gave us a lift from the ferry terminal when we arrived and our other trips didn't take us along the axis of the Metro, we'd never had a chance to sample it. This was more of a joy-ride, but when you've bought a multi-day unlimited transit pass, you have the ability to hop on and off systems like this.

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An afterthought from this morning: We had an interesting piece of equipment follow us down the tram tracks when we first set out for our first round of tourism and shopping.

A Tidy System is a Safe System )

After a brief recovery time in the hotel (and a final short grocery stop for a snack for tonight and for tomorrow morning), Lisa remembered something she had seen in Stockmann's department store downtown, so we made one final round trip downtown. I think we got good value from our transit pass.

Returning from the last trip, we threaded our way through the latest batch of tourists trying to figure out the elevators, Lisa took a bath, I composed journal entries, and we continued our packing. The alarm for tomorrow is set for 4:15 because we need to take an early train to get out to the airport for the flight to Iceland tomorrow.

We have had a wonderful time here in Helsinki. I would love to get a chance to come back here someday. Everyone was so good to us, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.
kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
Today was our final full day in Helsinki. We had no big tourist attractions left to visit. Lisa wanted to do some shopping, and she also was looking for us to track down a transportation oddity that she wanted to see.

Riding the Paternoster )

After our Adventure in Elevators, we had a "target of opportunity," in the form of a train hobby shop just a couple of doors down from the first stop. Lisa had a look through the store but did not find anything that caught her fancy.

Next was a search for an electronics store to which she had been referred in search of a particular kind of power outlet that the hardware store didn't know about. That turned out to be fruitless as well, but it was interesting to walk around and see new places.

As we were riding the #7 toward that electronics store, Lisa spotted a small appliance store and we rode back up the line to continue her search for an electric kettle not Made in China. This time, we succeeded!

Fine Czech Manufacture )

There are still a handful of Worldcon attendees staying in the Holiday Inn, and we saw a few of them in the lobby when we headed out this morning. However, now the hotel is mostly full of Chinese tour groups.

Elevator Clog )

We had to go back to the hotel to put away Lisa's newly-acquired kettle, which actually does fit in her luggage. (She says she can make it fit by putting some of her clothing inside the kettle, so the total additional cube doesn't increase that much.) That led to our final meal excursion of the trip, but that's another story.
kevin_standlee: (Worldcon 75)
With the trains (but not trams and other local transit) shut down on Tuesday, we were limited to Helsinki. However, that's not really that big a limit, and we had made our plans today to visit Suomenlinna, the former fortified island in Helsinki harbor that is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

Expecting to be walking a lot today, we sprung for the hotel breakfast buffet (not included in my points-based hotel nights). I think this was the right call, but as there were still Worldcon fans in the hotel, chatting and socializing slowed down our departure. (Also, I had slept in for a couple of hours this morning.)

A Day on the Island )

If you're interested in the full set of my photos from today's island-hop, I created a Suomenlinna album on my Flickr site.

Coming off the ferry, I was seduced into buying an a fruit-filled crepe from one of the vendors in the Market Square. I told myself that I'd already walked 12 km today and had earned this one; besides, it was the fruit-filled version and I didn't add the ice cream. I classed this purchase in the same way as my buying an elephant-ear pastry when in Seaside, Oregon.

Lisa and I walked back toward downtown through the Promenade area, eventually finding ourselves in Stockmans Department Store, where Lisa did a bunch of shopping but did not find anything she wanted to buy. Among other things, she was looking for an electric kettle that was not Made In China, even if it meant wiring a 220V European plug into our kitchen. Alas, this quest was unsuccessful.

Apparently while the train drivers strike ended at 1800 today, regular rail service will not resume until tomorrow, so we hopped on the #9 tram and started heading "home" to where we've spent the last eight nights. There we had an important but mundane errand: laundry. We dug out everything, packed it into the oversize zipper-locking plastic bag I brought partially for this purpose, and got back on the #9 to go to the S-Market and the 24 Pesula coin-laundry. We used the larger €18 washer to do everything in one load. An hour or so later, we had clean, dry laundry and a small number of additional groceries, and we set off back to the hotel.

At the hotel, we started the initial round of re-packing, putting away as we could the stuff that we will not need until we get home or at least until Iceland, and confirming to our own satisfaction that we aren't going to exceed our luggage capacity. If we bought too much, we have the option of buying another piece of luggage, which we can do because our homeward luggage allowance is more than our outbound, thanks to using points to fly in IcelandAir Saga class. Fingers are crossed, however, that we can make it all fit for the trip back.

We have one more full day in Helsinki, but we need to not stay out so late, because the flight out on Thursday is much too early, requiring an early departure from the hotel to get to the airport sufficiently early.

One final note. Lisa was wearing a Worldcon 75 t-shirt while we were riding the tram back to the hotel. A woman sitting next to us with her daughter in a pushchair noticed the shirt and told us she had been to Worldcon and that it was her first-ever science fiction convention. She had been there with both her children, and the older one participated in Children's Programming. All of them enjoyed the convention immensely, and they hope to be able to come to Dublin in 2019. After all of the negative things I've heard from some people, I'm very happy to hear good experiences of people like this. We all were first-time attendees once, and I started my adventures in fandom at the largest Worldcon (by attendance) ever held, so I hope that many of the people who started with the largest Worldcon ever held in mainland Europe also have the positive feelings toward Worldcon that I have.
kevin_standlee: (To Trains)
Here I restart the numbering of the days in our Worldcon trip, not including the five days of Worldcon itself.

Lisa and I intended to go to the Finland Railway Museum originally on Tuesday so that we could sleep in today; however, the VR (Finnish Railways) drivers union had other ideas. They called a strike to start at 18:00 Monday through 18:00 Tuesday. Therefore, if we were to go up to Hyvinkää where the museum was located, we needed to do it Monday (and get back before 18:00) or Wednesday, the day before we leave Helsinki. We decided to do it Monday. However, that meant we were running on maybe four hours of sleep when we made our way over to Pasila this morning.

To the Trains! )

We continued on to the downtown shopping center and found what to us seemed like a bargain, in an all-you-can-eat sushi/Chinese buffet for €10.50. We ate our fill. I wish this place had been near Messukeskus!

Escaping the Strike )

We boarded our Helsinki-bound train and found a pair of facing seats. Fortunately, we were going counter-commute, and people had apparently also been making alternative plans because of the strike. Initially, we thought we might ride all the way into Helsinki and then after getting dinner ride back to the hotel on a tram (the trams/buses are unaffected by the strike), but both Lisa and I kept falling asleep on the train, and Lisa said we should just go back to the hotel and go to bed.

The Elevator of Doom )

Lisa fell into bed, and I admit I almost did so as well, but there were some groceries I wanted, so I took my tote bag and went back down to the lobby. Although most of the fans have moved out, the place is filling up again with tourist groups and tennis players (an ITF tournament is in town this week). I ran across some of us late stayers (including Dave Lally) in the lobby, and ended up sitting down and shooting the breeze for a lot longer than I intended before I walked down to Lidl for more supplies. By the same I got back from the store, I had some second wind and thus decided I'd better get these photos online, including the Finland Railway Museum album.

Tomorrow we're in Helsinki. We're considering our plans, which probably include going to Suomenlinna, which is accessible on local transit because the ferry is included in transit passes. However, I'm going to see about not setting an alarm tomorrow morning. We need a recovery day.
kevin_standlee: (Gavel of WSFS)
At the third and final Main Business Meeting on the last day of Worldcon 75, we considered (and ratified/adopted) six constitutional amendments, and for the most part we breezed right through them. In the process of doing so, I repeatedly allowed the introduction of motions to "suspend the rules, end all debate, and adopt the motion immediately" as ordinary motions to Suspend The Rules, requiring a two-thirds vote. This was wrong.

WSFS Standing Rule 5.5 reads, in part: "The motion for the Previous Question (also known as the motion to 'close debate,' 'call the question,' and 'vote now') shall not be in order when... either or both sides of the debate have yet to speak to a question." Previous Question requires a 2/3 vote ordinarily anyway, which is the same vote as Suspend the Rules. Therefore, this standing rule must be protecting a minority smaller than one-third. I think that this rule must be protecting a minority as small as a single individual present at the meeting (not absentees), because it says you can't end the debate unless at least one speaker from each side of the question has had the opportunity to speak. (It doesn't require that a speech actually happen, just that both sides get an opportunity to do so.)

In parliamentary law, there is a hierarchy of rights in the rules. For example, the majority has rights, which surprises at least one person I spoke to this past weekend, who looked at me with a confused, blank expression on his face when I told him that super-majorities of two-thirds generally have the right to not have their time wasted. Furthermore, some rules can't be suspended at all: a rule that protects absent members can't be suspended.

A rule protecting a minority of a given size cannot be suspended except by a larger majority. What that means is this:
A rule that protects the right of an individual member can only be suspended by unanimous consent.

This doesn't mean that there is an unlimited right to debate. If at least one other person has spoken to your side of the question (and the other side has had an opportunity to speak, regardless of whether they actually do so), the meeting can then vote (2/3) to shut off debate, and your right as an individual to speak can be overridden. But if your side hasn't spoken at all, you as an individual member have the right to stop the entire rest of the room from shutting down your side's debate until you get a shot at it.

Thus, the motion as it was first made by John Pomeranz was correct, as it was to "suspend the rules and adopt by acclamation," which is to say unanimous consent. But in such a case, if even one member objected, the motion should have failed, and both sides of the question should have been given the opportunity to speak to the matter if they choose to do so. After that, the motion for the Previous Question (end debate, 2/3 required) would have been in order.

Please be mindful that I'm not saying we should have "sham debate" where people take the floor to say one or two words to just barely meet a technical requirement for debate. That's foolish. But it was wrong of me to allow a motion that protected individuals (a minority of one) to be passed on anything less than a unanimous vote.

Now, my mistake doesn't invalidate the actions of the meeting. Someone, anyone could have made a Point of Order about this. Nobody did, and thus the result stands. But I don't want to make that mistake again, and I want others to learn from my mistake so that it doesn't get repeated.
kevin_standlee: (Worldcon 75)
After returning from dinner, we found our way to the Rauhanasema for the Worldcon Chairs ("Old Pharts") Party. This building, located a few hundred meters south of the convention centre, was the site of several of the parties during the convention, but I'd never actually gotten down here before. I'm very glad that this was the site of the party.

How Nice of Them! )

Before Lisa and I left for the night, we got a look at the gifts that this year's Hugo losers got, courtesy of Worldcon 76.

Chocolate Can Get You Through Times of No Hugos Better than.... )

Just before midnight, Lisa and I said our goodbyes. Lisa said she had drank most of the milk in the mini-fridge, but the Lidl closes at 21:00. We considered taking the #9 tram down to the S-Market, but worried about getting there before it closed. Then we remembered that the one by Central Station is open 24 hours, and figured we should be able to use our convention transit passes one last time back and forth downtown. Then when we got into Pasila station, we saw that the little kiosk there was still open and that they had milk, so we just picked up a liter and saved ourselves a trip downtown and worry over whether our train passes would be good on the trains running after midnight.
kevin_standlee: (Worldcon 75)
I decided to go claim a seat in the Closing Ceremony early, because I was supposed to be there as one of the representatives of Worldcon 76 San Jose. (I had changed into my Worldcon 76 "bowling shirt" before lunch.)

Close it Down )

And so officially ended Worldcon 75. There was still a bit more to do. But first, Lisa and I needed to get dinner, which led to a separate unwanted adventure.

It's a Trap )

After our "ordeal" on the elevator, and after determining that the hotel restaurant had a one-hour wait, we decided to simply get on the train and go downtown, where we ate at the same Italian restaurant across from the train station at which we've eaten earlier. Robin Johnson was dining there and recommended the moosemeat with gnocci, which Lisa had. (She called it "interesting.") I had salmon over pasta with pesto sauce, which I enjoyed. After a good meal, we went back up to Pasila, where we had one more party to attend, and unlike most of the social functions at this convention that were something of a chore, this one would be a pleasure.
kevin_standlee: (Worldcon 75)
For the third year in a row, we had a WSFS Business Meeting on the final day of Worldcon. However, unlike the previous two years, the "overflow" business was far less contentious than what had come before. Consequently, I decided that I could lighten up a little bit and "dressed down" for the final meeting.

Meet the Entire Team )

Today's final meeting took around 30 minutes (out of the five hours scheduled), and every one of the relatively minor items remaining received ratification or first passage. We then adjourned sine die and Lisa packed up the camera gear. She was done, but I was not, because we still had the WSFS Mark Protection Committee meeting. The MPC meeting was nearly without a quorum (fifteen members, thus needing eight people), but we were able to make it work because Worldcon/NASFiC appointees serve "at the pleasure of the appointing authority," so I (in my Worldcon 76 San Jose WSFS Division Head role) could temporarily appoint someone at WC76's representative. (I'm an elected member, not the San Jose rep.) We got such work done as we had to do: I was re-elected Chair, Linda Deneroff was re-elected Secretary, and Bruce Farr was re-elected Treasurer. The rest of our business is done mostly through the committee's e-mail discussion list.

I found out later that the live streaming of the Business Meeting ended up also including the MPC meeting. I hope I didn't say anything embarrassing on a live mic. Note that I also used my new personal gavel to preside over the MPC meeting.

After the meeting, I carried all of the stuff (including the small WSFS banner) up to the hotel room, then went back down to find Lisa, and met up with Linda Deneroff in the Volunteer Lounge. We also picked up our volunteer t-shirts before we joined Linda and Elinor for our final lunch in the convention center. This also gave us a chance to use up the last of the "groats" (tokens issued to volunteers at the rate of €1 per hour worked, redeemable in convention centre food venues, Sales to Members, and selected vendors in the dealers' room.)

Rockets, Benches, and Hugo Trophies )

During lunch, I ran into con chair Jukka Halme, to whom I delivered the Gavel of WSFS for him to use later that afternoon. After lunch and a couple of hours of looking around the convention, Lisa went back to the Luna Society table and I went to the Closing Ceremony. But that's another story.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
For the third year in a row, we were unable to complete the entire WSFS agenda in three days of meetings and had to go into overtime. (Prior to that, the last time we had to use the "overflow" session was 1992.)

Here's the summary of what happened at the Third and Final Main Business Meeting. As yesterday, you'll need to refer to the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting Agenda to understand what's happening. Anything not mentioned either happened previously or was not considered yet. If a vote count is not listed, it means it was either by unanimous consent or by a show of hands.

Constitutional Amendments Passed on From Last Year. Ratified items take effect at end of current Worldcon and first apply to next year.

C.8. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 1. RATIFIED
C.9. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 2. RATIFIED
C.10. Universal Suffrage. RATIFIED

New Constitutional Amendments

D.1. What Our Marks Really Are. After making a minor correction clarifying that it applies to all WSFS-sanctioned conventions, not just Worldcon, this was RATIFIED.
D.2. The Reasonable Amendment. RATIFIED
D.3. Make Room! Make Room! RATIFIED

There was no debate to speak of on any of these six items. All "debate" time was taken up with people asking questions about the effect of them. Some of the questions frustrated me greatly, especially when people were asking if the rule would require [insert absurd thing here] and I had to point out that the existing rule is substantially the same and doesn't require that, so the amendment that makes a minor tweak to the rule certainly would not do so.

After only about thirty minutes (out of the five hours allocated due to the potential for another year of long discussion), the 2017 WSFS Business meeting ADJOURNED SINE DIE, meaning that we were done for this year. I'll post an overall summary later when I get a chance.

The WSFS Mark Protection Committee met at 10:50 for about half an hour. We had difficulty making quorum because one member had already left for the airport, one had forgotten that there was a meeting at all, and another assumed that the Final BM would last much longer than it did. I think that next time, we will schedule the WSFS MPC meeting as "Not Before XX," which means that we might have a dead spot, and if we run long before it, people who show up at XX have to wait, but we will definitely not start before XX.

And so we are done. We took down the WSFS banner from the front of the head table and I packed it in my poster tube. Tomorrow I need to go to the post office and mail it home (along with other posters Lisa acquired here from the nuclear power plant tour). It will take me quite a while to process all of what happened here and update the WSFS/Worldcon/Hugo Award web sites, but I'm very happy that we did not have to turn anyone way and that we managed to get through the whole agenda without an overflow error. Thank you to everyone who made it work and who made me look better up on the head table.
kevin_standlee: (WSFS Logo)
Here's the video from the gathering of past, present, and future Worldcon chairs at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki. Note the newest member of the gathering, James Bacon. Worldcon 2019 Dublin was officially seated only a few minutes before this photo shoot.



My thanks to Lisa Hayes for taking this video. It turns out to be quite helpful to do the video when we're trying to identify everyone!

In case you're curious, the screen off to the right in this video is the CART: the real-time transcription of the WSFS Business Meeting, which was held in this same room before and after we rearranged it for the photo shoot. The World Science Fiction Society banner produced by Sasquan in 2015 is on the front of the table behind the front row of seated Worldcon chairs. We would have preferred to have it in front of the front row, but it was actually tied to the table and thus difficult to move on short notice.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
During the "Friends Don't Let Friends Run Worldcons" panel, the plaque that was presented during the Hugo Awards last night was brought in because Kent Bloom and Mary Morman, as part of the Worldcon History Project, were taking responsibility for it.

Official Notice from Guinness Book )

I think this is a pretty cool thing, and I'm happy that Worldcon 75 was able to arrange with Guinness Book to get this presentation done here at Helsinki.
kevin_standlee: (Worldcon 75)
Today's WSFS Business Meeting took four hours including the first half-hour of Site Selection business and half an hour of Worldcon Chairs Photo. I'm pleased that this part worked out, and that we got the chairs reorganized in time to call the meeting back to order at 11:00 for the roughly 2 1/2 hour Second Main Business Meeting.

Lisa took photos and video of the former Worldcon Chairs gathering. I'm uploading the video to the YouTube Worldcon Events channel as I type this, so it should be online soon. I'll post the photos as well as soon as I can find the time.

Lisa and I had lunch with Linda Deneroff and Elanor Busby in the food court, which also gave us an opportunity to spend the "groats" (tokens for hours worked as a volunteer, redeemable in most of the convention center food outlets). Lisa went off on her own while I spent the afternoon in two separate back-to-back panels with overlapping subjects: "How to Start a Worldcon Bid" and "Friends Don't Let Friends Run Worldcons."

By the time my last panel was done, we were already reaching dinner time. Lisa and I met up with Linda and Elanor again. I suggested going downtown, but Linda told me that a bad storm was moving in, making it a bad idea to go off-site. We managed to get a table in the restaurant. Shortly thereafter, the threatened storm (which apparently had moved here from central Europe, where there were people reported killed by it in Poland) arrived, blowing open the door next to our table, and sending the large gathering of fans on the patio running for cover.

What a Mess )

After dinner, we borrowed umbrellas from the hotel (which it turned out we didn't need) and took the #9 tram back down to the S-Market (which has a better selection than the Lidl within walking distance). Linda came with us in order to get out of the hotel for a while.

Returning from our shopping errand, Lisa turned in, while I went downstairs and met Linda. I was able to show her where the ATM is located in the convention center, and pick up issue 7 of the newsletter with the Business Meeting report I submitted this afternoon. (Turns out that I made a mistake — I'd forgotten that one of the items I reported as coming up tomorrow had already been killed by being postponed indefinitely.)

Linda and I walked through the Winter Garden, where the Dublin 2019: An Irish Worldcon victory party was in full (and very loud) swing. Neither Linda nor I had any stamina left, and I fear that I'm finally starting to get some sort of con crud despite trying to use hand sanitizer and drink lots of water. We both headed for our respective hotel rooms.

There is a bunch of "housekeeping" I need to do, but just getting the video files off of Lisa's camera and starting the upload of the Worldcon Chairs Photo is proving to be about all I can manager. I must get more sleep. There's one last Business Meeting tomorrow, followed by the Closing Ceremonies. I'm really glad that we're not leaving Helsinki for a few days and that we're staying here in the same hotel. I'm not sure I could face doing move-out tomorrow or even the next day.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
Here's the summary of what happened at the First Main Business Meeting. As yesterday, you'll need to refer to the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting Agenda to understand what's happening. Anything not mentioned either happened previously or was not considered yet. If a vote count is not listed, it means it was either by unanimous consent or by a show of hands.

Constitutional Amendments Passed on From Last Year. Ratified items take effect at end of current Worldcon and first apply to next year.

C.1. Best Series (as amended by C.1.1. RATIFIED, 51-39.
C.4. Three Stage Voting (3SV): FAILED, 45-41.
C.5. Motion to Suspend E Pluribus Hugo for one year: FAILED
C.6. EPH+: FAILED
C.7. Defining North America: RATIFIED
(Item C.12 was moved up on the agenda by a 2/3 vote)
C.12. Motion to suspend 5 and 6 for one year: FAILED

At that point the meeting adjourned, so we once again will go to an "overflow" meeting on the final day of the convention, starting at 10:00.

Constitutional Amendments Passed on From Last Year. Ratified items take effect at end of current Worldcon and first apply to next year.

C.8. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 1. (8 min)
C.9. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 2. (8 min)
C.10. Universal Suffrage. (8 min)

New Constitutional Amendments

D.1. What Our Marks Really Are. (4 min)
D.2. The Reasonable Amendment. (4 min)
D.3. Make Room! Make Room! (6 min)
D.5. Requiring Electronic Payments (This was killed by being postponed indefinitely at the Preliminary Business Meeting.

(The three Hugo Category splits/revisions were referred to the Hugo Award Study Committee and will not be considered this year.)

Once we get past C.10, the meeting can adjourn sine die without considering any of the remaining new proposals.

The WSFS Mark Protection Committee will meet about 15 minutes after the final adjournment of the Sunday Business Meeting.
kevin_standlee: (Kuma Bear)
On Friday, I actually did have a few hours of "spare" time after the Business Meeting, so after I changed out of my suit into my San Jose shirt and Lisa put away the recording gear, we went down and joined Linda Deneroff, then took the train downtown and had lunch because the food court restaurants had queues out the doors.

What's That? Smells Like Fish! )

While I was writing up Business Meeting summaries and getting ready for the Hugo Awards, Lisa took the tram down to the S-Market and the hardware store we found the other day and did some more hardware and grocery shopping for us. The minibar fridge is small, so we can't buy very far ahead.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Trophy)
Worldcon 75 elected to present the 2017 Hugo Awards on the third night of the convention, which in this case was Friday. So this evening it was time for the Hugo Awards web site's annual live coverage of the Hugo Awards Ceremony.

Meet the Team )

Susan de Guardiola did stellar work doing advance research on the finalists and taking scads of photos. When Cheryl rejoined us before the ceremony (just after we kicked off the "pre-show" on CoverItLive), she brought additional photos. Susan provided photos and posted the finalists in each category. I posted the winner in each category (which is a great time-saver; this live coverage is harder than you might think it is). Cheryl moderated comments, provided descriptions of what was happening, and did her usual great job of telling us how the event was unfolding.

Now there are some people who question the utility of mere "text-only" coverage of events like this now that video-streaming has become more common. However, tonight, I think the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee got their $200 worth. (That was the cost of upgrading our CoverItLive account to the level necessary to support such a large event.) That's because for whatever reason, the live video stream that Worldcon 75 intended to provide (and they've generally been pretty good at producing such streams, such as the one they're providing of the WSFS Business Meeting) failed to work. There were "casual" streams such as one produced by a fan in the audience, but the official video feed from the convention failed to materialize. As with the time that the UStream feed was shut down by a 'bot, our CoverItLive event attracted a lot of attention from the "refugees" who had gone to the YouTube site.

At peak, we had more than 1300 people watching our coverage, and I think that it may be the best show we've done yet. Besides being the place to go when the video streaming fails, CoverItLive uses a lot less bandwidth than video streaming, and thus people who have lower-bandwidth connections can watch it without being overwhelmed by the amount of data. Bandwidth out for us was not a problem, though. Wireless connectivity in the convention center is excellent, and we were also given access to the separate "press" wi-fi so we didn't have to compete with all of the people in the audience using social media during the event.

Cheryl and I had invitations to the post-Hugo party. Indeed, as Worldcon 76 was co-hosting the event with George R.R. Martin, we'd been encouraged to come down and work a shift. However, Cheryl is staying at the airport (and the trains don't run all night), and I have to be up earlier than most for the Business Meeting. (Yes, others attending have to be up early as well, but I'm one of those who needs to be there an hour before the meeting starts to do setup.) Furthermore, there had been something of a confusion over the delivery of certain boxes of WSFS papers that should have gone to 208 (Business Meeting) instead of the Hugo Backstage, so I said goodnight to Susan and Cheryl and moved a cart of boxes over to 208. And I got out of the hall just in time; they turned off the lights just as I was leaving!

You can see the 2017 Hugo Awards results here. We'll also clean up the Hugo Awards web site and get pictures of this year's trophy online soon — I hope tomorrow. We were not provided with photos in advance, nor did we get the detailed results until right after the ceremony, so we haven't had time to do more than the basic work on the site, and I need to get some rest, because the Business Meeting tomorrow is scheduled for four hours.

I am very grateful to Cheryl Morgan for sorting out our base from which we did our coverage, to Susan for the color commentary, photos, and analysis, and to everyone on the Worldcon 75 committee who came together to make our coverage of this year's Hugo Awards Ceremony a success. Thank you all!
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
Here's the summary of what happened at the First Main Business Meeting. As yesterday, you'll need to refer to the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting Agenda to understand what's happening. Anything not mentioned either happened yesterday or was not considered yet. If a vote count is not listed, it means it was either by unanimous consent or by a show of hands.

Standing Rule Changes:

A.2. No Vanishing Business: Revised version allowing items to be withdrawn up to two weeks before the final deadline for submitting new business PASSED and takes effect next year.

Constitutional Amendments. Ratified items take effect at end of current Worldcon and first apply to next year.

C.1. Best Series. POSTPONED to Saturday.
C.2. December is Good Enough: RATIFIED.
C.3. Two Years is Enough: RATIFIED (but includes grandfather clause that effectively means it does not apply until 2019 Worldcon.
C.11. Young Adult Award. Blank award name and provision related to it struck out of the proposal. The new award RATIFIED 65-27 and will be first presented (as the "Award for Best Young Adult Book" without a further specific name) in 2018.
D.4. Naming the YA Award. New proposal, moved up in the agenda by order of the Preliminary Meeting. "Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book" PASSED and sent to 2018 for ratification. The new YA category is not currently named "Lodestar." If this proposal is ratified next year, future YA Awards will be called "Lodestar."

D.6/D.7/D.8 (Hugo Category Change proposals). REFERRED to Hugo Award Study Committee. Will not be considered this year. Committee to report next year with recommendations.

That's where we ran out of time. Therefore, the remaining items for discussion on Saturday are, and in this order:

C.1. Best Series (10 min)
C.4. Three Stage Voting (3SV) (20 min)
C.5. Motion to Suspend E Pluribus Hugo for one year (10 min)
C.6. EPH+. (20 min) (Amendment C.6.1 debate time 5 min allocated from the 20 min.)
C.7. Defining North America. (4 min)
C.8. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 1. (8 min)
C.9. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 2. (8 min)
C.10. Universal Suffrage. (8 min)
C.12. Motion to suspend 5 and 6 for one year. (10 min)

New Constitutional Amendments

D.1. What Our Marks Really Are. (4 min)
D.2. The Reasonable Amendment. (4 min)
D.3. Make Room! Make Room! (6 min)

The Mark Protection Committee reported. The three incumbent members (John Coxon, Linda Deneroff, and Dave McCarty) were re-elected to three-year terms.

The Nitpicking & Flyspecking Committee and Worldcon Runners Editorial Guide Committees reported and their members re-appointed.

The Long List Committee was continued as previously constituted.

IMPORTANT SCHEDULE NOTE

The Saturday Business Meeting convenes at 10:00 for Site Selection business, but other substantive business will not start until 11:00. However, there will be a report distributed in writing by this year's Hugo Award Administrator at 10:00 that people will probably want to read before voting on proposals coming up on Saturday. I therefore recommend that people interested in the substantive Hugo Award business but not in Site Selection come by between 9:30 and 10:00 and collect the report, then come back for 11:00.

After Site Selection for 2019 and Question Time for 2018 and 2020, the meeting will recess, and the Worldcon Chairs Photo will happen as fast as we can rearrange chairs. Not before 11:00 the meeting will reconvene for the Second Main Business Meeting. We are scheduled from 11:00-13:45 for this meeting. Anything not resolved on Saturday will hold over until Sunday, where was have 10:00-15:00 set aside. (Yes, I know some of you are leaving. There's nothing I can do about that.)

August 2017

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