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: (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)
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: (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.)
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
Day 2 included the first (preliminary) WSFS Business Meeting, which meant a lot of work and stress for both Lisa and me. But fortunately, the worst case scenarios did not come to pass, and we (barely) managed to complete the business we had to get done, although not everything that we would have preferred to get done.

Our biggest fear going in to today's meeting was that we would have more people wanting to attend than the room capacity of 240 seats. Unlike every other item at this convention, where you can turn people way, the WSFS Business Meeting cannot refuse admission to any attending member who wants to attend. Had we overflowed the room, a contingency plan with Programming would have been activated that would have allowed every member who wished to participate a chance to do so, but would have been massively disruptive and expensive. I think we were very fortunate that only around 100 people attended, so there was plenty of room. I fielded a complaint from someone griping that we were using a room that was too big for such a small turnout, and when I tried to explain that we have to try to use rooms that are "too large" due to not being able to turn people way, he just looked sort of blankly at me. Most people just don't get that the WSFS BM is really the only required program item at the entire convention, and that every member is guaranteed attendance, and that you can never really tell how many people are going to show up.

I don't know the exact attendance count. The total of the one counted vote we did won't tell you that, because not everyone votes on such things, and calling for abstentions is meaningless. (Because people who don't answer when you call for abstentions have abstained just as much as those who do answer.) I'm pretty sure it was more than 100 but less than 150. We'll know later when the sign-in sheets are tallied.

Business Meeting Team )

As has been our practice since 2015, we started by showing the WSFS Business Meeting Basics video. But before I called the meeting to order, Lisa wanted to make an announcement and presentation.

Springing a Surprise on the Chairman )

I was very surprised and flattered at the gift and the applause from the meeting.

I wrote earlier today about a summary of how the Business Meeting went. I had the time to do this because immediately following the Business Meeting and in the same room was the Fannish Inquisition, which Lisa was also recording. I was sitting over to one side writing that report while bids for future Worldcons talked about their plans. Lisa logged several more hours than I did today, and when we went back to the hotel room after the Inquisition ended just before 15:00, she sent me out to get some lunch while she got some rest and made lunch out of some of the supplies we had cached in the hotel room.

After sitting with Ron Oakes and Mike Willmoth in the food court for lunch, I walked with Cheryl over to the Green Room, where she and I prepared for our respective panels. At 17:00 I was on a panel about different SF/F genre awards around the world. Unlike many of the panels here, this one was not over-subscribed and nobody was turned away from the discussion. We had panelists from Germany, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, and me. It went pretty well, and the audience seemed to like it.

Even though it was early, I knew I wouldn't have the time or energy to go off-site, and the food court restaurants close too early. (In some cases because they're running out of food as we're eating and drinking them out of stock.) Cheryl (who I met as she came out of her panel) and I got food, and we were joined by Susan de Guardiola, who will be the third member of the Hugo Awards Web Site CoverItLive coverage team tomorrow night as we bring you live coverage of the 2017 Hugo Awards Ceremony.

After dinner, I headed up to my room for a little while to cool off for a bit. Lisa had gone on to have dinner with Chris Carson and his friends (making use of their convention-supplied transit passes to go downtown on the train). I then put on my San Jose "bowling shirt" (many San Jose committee members are wearing matching bowling-league-style shirts this weekend to show a "brand identity" for Worldcon 76) and went down to the Winter Garden to help our convention set up our party.

Worldcon 76 at Worldcon 75 )

I may end up with my picture in Locus because they took a group photo of all of us who were there in our San Jose team shirts.

A Present from Kansas City )

I spent a lot of time talking with many people at the party about a lot of things, although admittedly much of it was WSFS Business, but around 23:00, Lisa and I headed back to the hotel room. We still have to be up early to be at the Business Meeting room for 9:00, but we now have much less worry about overflowing that room.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
Here's a relatively quick summary of what happened at today's Preliminary Business Meeting. You'll need to refer to the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting Agenda to understand what's happening.

Standing Rule Changes:

A.1. No Candidate Regions: PASSED, takes effect immediately
A.2. No Vanishing Business: REFERRED TO COMMITTEE to report tomorrow due to a dispute over wording
A.3. Debate Time Streamlining: PASSED, takes effect immediately (and thank goodness it passed, because we never would have been able to complete the base agenda otherwise)
A.4. Electronic Documents are a Thing: REJECTED
A.5. Butt Out (officially bans smoking): PASSED

Note that "smoking" is undefined. Whether it includes e-cigarettes would be up to the individual meeting. However, in practice, all facilities prohibit smoking anyway. This rule would only apply in the unlikely event that the venue permitted it.

Resolutions:

B.1. Eligibility: your name: PASSED, extending the work's Hugo Eligibility for one year
B.2. Hugo Award Study Committee: Alternative version B.2.1. PASSED. Vincent Docherty to chair.
B.3. Provision of Convention Publications to Members: Alternative version B.3.1 PASSED.

Constitutional Amendments and Business Passed On
This is mostly setting debate time limits.

C.1. Best Series. Debate Time 10 min. Amendment C.1.1 Debate time 4 min in addition to the 10 min
C.2. December is Good Enough: Debate time 8 min.
C.3. Two Years is Enough: Debate time 8 min.
C.4. Three Stage Voting (3SV): Debate time 20 min.
C.5. Motion to Suspend E Pluribus Hugo for one year: Debate time 10 min. POSTPONED to Saturday.
C.6. EPH+. Debate time 20 min. (Amendment C.6.1 debate time 5 min allocated from the 20 min.)
C.7. Defining North America. Debate time 4 min.
C.8. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 1. Debate time 8 min.
C.9. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 2. Debate time 8 min.
C.10. Universal Suffrage. Debate time 8 min.
C.11. Young Adult Award. Debate time 20 min. Amendment C.11.1 Clean up amendment. Debate time 4 min in addition to the 20 min.
C.12. Motion to suspend 5 and 6 for one year. Debate time 10 min. POSTPONED to Saturday.

New Constitutional Amendments

D.1. What Our Marks Really Are. Debate time 4 min.
D.2. The Reasonable Amendment. Debate time 4 min.
D.3. Make Room! Make Room! Debate time 6 min.
D.4. Name That Award (Naming the YA Award). Debate time 16 min. SCHEDULED to come up after C.11 and only if C.11 ratified, with the assumption that nominations for the name will come up then, with voting on the proposals the next day.
D.5. Requiring Electronic Payments. KILLED by postpone indefinitely.
D.6/D.7/D.8 (Hugo Category Change proposals). REFERRED to Hugo Award Study Committee. HASC to report to Friday meeting with a recommendation. Expect HASC to recommend that the proposals all be sent back to HASC for further study.

No Committee Reports were received. We ran completely out of time. Nominations were received for the WSFS Mark Protection Committee; election for the 3 positions (4 candidates) will be at the start of the Friday meeting. Committee reports are included in the agenda.
kevin_standlee: (Worldcon 75)
Worldcon 75 is up and running at a flat-out run. There are thousands of members on site already. I was surprised at how well the registration queues ran, but also worried about the huge queues in the halls of people trying to get into programming rooms. There is nowhere near enough programming space for the number of people wanting to attend panels.

Welcome to Worldcon )

After breakfast, Lisa and I and Don Eastlake (WSFS Deputy Chair) went to check out Room 208 where the WSFS Business Meeting was to be. The room was... suboptimal.

Room Reset )

My biggest worry is not having enough room. There are by my count just over 230 seats in this room. The rated capacity is 280 people, which means we have a bit of standing room possible. But we can't exceed that, and we can't turn people away. Every attending WSFS member has to have the right to attend. If we get over capacity, we'll have to suspend the meeting, work with Programming, and make enormous and expensive changes. I have to hope that we don't go into overflow, because it's going to be a real mess otherwise.

Opening Ceremony )

After the Opening Ceremony, I chased down the Gavel of WSFS, which I need for my WSFS functions, then went off to the panel and meeting on which I was scheduled. That was a panel about getting the most out of the Business Meeting. I've been on this panel and variants of it for years. We had more people at this one than at the last four combined, most of whom had never attended it. I had a lot of fun demonstrating how bits of the Business Meeting worked.

After the panel, I swam through the packed hallways to the WSFS Mark Protection Committee meeting. There are 15 MPC members, and we were lucky that 8 members made it to the meeting so we actually had a quorum. The meeting was, however, relatively short before we adjourned so that Linda Deneroff could head off to the Ghost Tour for which she'd signed up.

Errands and a bit of tram-spotting )

Lisa was still feeling ill and had gone to bed early when I got back to the hotel. I went off to find dinner. Coming across Linda Deneroff, who also wanted dinner, we first checked out the locations in the convention center, but they were all closed, and all of the functions were shutting down. The hotel restaurant was overloaded. I suggested we try downtown Helsinki, so we headed there. Having the transit passes helps. Frequent trains and a five-minute train ride make this even easier. Linda and I had a pasta dinner, and I brought leftovers back to the hotel room in case Lisa wanted to have anything, but she was asleep, so I put it in the 'fridge, which is now full.

I went back downstairs to see if there was anything interesting. There is almost no way of doing convention parties in the way we're accustomed to doing in North America, and there wasn't enven a "Fan Village" like London did. There was one large space in the hotel where New Zealand in 2020 was hosting a party at one end with Finnish Fandom hosting at the other end. I did not stay long. I have to be up early enough to be at Room 208 for 9 AM to make sure everything is set up properly.

As I said, the convention already has huge attendance. Goodness knows what's going to happen tomorrow.
kevin_standlee: (Default)
Lisa went on the Nuclear Power Plant tour today, so I was on my own. I ended up doing a lot more wandering around than I originally expected. (I logged more than 25K steps!) I had a great time, and I thank Cheryl Morgan (who has been here numerous times) for showing me some of the better places to go and see. I got full use of my transit pass, riding back and forth between downtown and the hotel on the trains and also getting some tram rides.

Come about 17:00, I returned to the hotel and changed into my business suit to attend a reception being hosted in the Worldcon members' honor at City Hall. They invited selected members of the convention (weighted apparently based on our participation in the convention as staff or programming participants) and hosted us in a large room in the city hall, which was originally a hotel during the imperial Russian period.

Feeling Welcomed )

After the reception, I returned to the hotel, where it was at last possible for pre-registered members to collect our credentials. Thanks to being personally recognized by Eemili Aro, I was able to collect not only my badge, but also Lisa's (she hadn't returned from the tour yet), and that's a relief. With more than 5,000 attending members already pre-registered, I didn't want to be in the queues on Wednesday.

Lisa got back late, and we made an effort to go downtown for dinner, but found nothing that both suited us and was open, so instead we bought some groceries and took them back to the hotel. The Holiday Inn helpfully had emptied the mini-bar so we could use it to store perishables.

Tomorrow, when the convention starts, we have no early commitments (unlike the other days of the convention), so we'll probably pay for the hotel breakfast buffet (not included in our free-with-points room). The other days, we won't have time for that. We're still considering our options.
kevin_standlee: (Go By Train)
This evening, we made plans to take Chris Carson out to dinner for his birthday. We were to meet at Japanese restaurant northwest of Helsinki Central train station. The most straightforward way to reach it would have been a bus ride from the convention center, but Lisa and I, having already purchased a day pass on the system, decided to ride the train downtown, then walk to the restaurant.

Spot the Bear )

After dinner, we once again could have taken a bus, but we preferred tram (Line 4) to Central Station. Line 7, which would have taken us straight to the convention center, is replaced by the 7x bus due to construction of Pasila Station. We'll take buses if we must, but we prefer rail transit even if it's not the shortest journey.

A Couple of Train Station Photos )

Four minutes after departure, we got off at Pasila. We'll be on the trains again tomorrow. We wish we'd done a bit more research over the cost of transit passes. A 1-day pass (which you can buy on board the trams and buses) is €9. A 2-day pass (which you must get from a ticket machine at a station) is €13.50 and is obviously a much better value. All Worldcon members will receive transit passes good for the convention days, but that does us no good on the "shoulder" days like today and tomorrow.

The restaurant? Well, I can't say as I recommend Umeshu. I've had much better. It wasn't bad, but I don't think it was all that great, either. But we enjoyed the company.

Between the past two days, I've logged more than 20K steps, but 3/4 of them were today, because of the semi-enforced idleness on board ship. My feet already hurt, and we're only at Worldcon day -2.

Now I hope I can get some sleep because we have to be up early to get Lisa back downtown for the 8 AM departure of the tour to the nuclear power plant.
kevin_standlee: (FinnCon)
Possibly because I had a nap yesterday afternoon, I woke up around 3 AM and dozed fitfully thereafter before giving up around 5 AM, showering, and going up to the deserted lounge where I got a tiny bit of online work done. I'm surprised that Finnlines doesn't open their cafe at 6 AM on the final morning at sea. Lisa and I were among the first in the queue for the "Sea Breakfast" (a somewhat cut-down but still generous buffet) in the main restaurant that opened at 7:30 AM as the ship approached Helsinki.

Approaching Our Destination )

We arrived about fifteen minutes early, and around 9:15, walk-on (i.e. without vehicles) passengers like us were allowed to disembark. Courtesy vans shuttled us to the terminal. Cheryl Morgan was there to meet us, with her friend Otto, who had kindly agreed to collect us and drive us to the hotel, saving us having to negotiate bus-metro-train connections with eight pieces of luggage. Cheryl also had helpfully obtained for me a SIM card for the mobile phone I had in 2014 at Loncon.

At the hotel, we were very early, but the front desk was very helpful and told us that the previous occupant had checked out and that housekeeping would do our room next. We waited in the lobby and Cheryl helped me activate my mobile phone. I now have a Finnish (+358) telephone number usable for the duration of our stay here. (Write to me directly if you need the number for some reason.) We bade Cheryl and Otto goodbye, and shortly thereafter, our room was ready for us.

Settling In )

We are pleased with the hotel room. I am very pleased with the internet connection. Not only do I get upgraded premium wi-fi, but there is a wired connection in the hotel room (and I brought a cable). The speed is 12-15 mbps both download and upload, which bodes well for us getting the official Business Meeting recordings online relatively quickly.

Today is not only move-in day, but also a "maintenance" day. Our plans called for us to get some laundry done. In addition, Lisa was looking for a hardware store because along the way, a screw had worked itself out of one of her pieces of luggage and she hoped to repair it. It turns out that we could get several errands done simultaneously.

While we were moving in, so was rain, and it was raining heavily by the time we had our laundry bagged up and ready to go. The hotel, however, helpfully provided us with loaner umbrellas! The #9 tram stops directly across from the hotel, and because it's a terminal loop, you don't have to worry about direction: all trams are going toward downtown. We bought a pair of day passes (€9 each) and rode the tram to Fleminginkatu. That put us at the S-Market (grocery store) which has a 24 Pasula coin laundry inside.

One Stop Shop: Laundry, Shopping, Hardware )

After completing our errands, we returned to the hotel, where Lisa attacked her luggage and power cords to affect repairs and alterations, while I painted my fingernails. I had vowed that this would be the first Worldcon in about ten where I didn't crack a fingernail, so I used the kit I'd packed in the hold luggage (lest I be tempted to try hijacking the airplane with a nail file), trimmed my nails, and coated them with clear nail-hardening solution.

So we're mostly settled in for the long haul through Worldcon and beyond. Tonight Lisa and I will be taking her friend Chris out to dinner for his birthday. Tomorrow Chris and Lisa head off to the Nuclear Power Plant tour, while I see what can be done on day -1 of Worldcon.
kevin_standlee: (FinnCon)
This trip on the Finnstar has been very nice. Comfortable bed in a cabin that is more efficiently arranged than our hotel room in Hamburg, good food — and I say this as someone who partakes of quality hotel buffets in Reno regularly — and good company with our fellow fans. It's been quite restful. Internet connectivity has been somewhat spotty (we knew that would be an issue), and consequently I haven't had bandwidth to put all of our photos so far online or to annotate them. I hope I manage to get that done, but experience shows that this is doubtful.

We're scheduled to arrive Helsinki tomorrow morning, disembarking about 9:30 AM. Our final meal at sea starts serving early due to the early arrival, so I anticipate getting to bed soon. Lisa and are both very happy that we arranged the trip this way. A couple of days of relatively enforced rest has been good for us. Like a vacation, even.
kevin_standlee: (FinnCon)
No time to really write about it now, and I hope I'll be able to get the photos online tomorrow while the ferry is at sea, but we had a good time in Hamburg for our one day here. We did have a miserable train trip from Hamburg to Lubeck and a complete waste of a first-class fare for which I'm going to ask DB for a partial refund, but we made it. Indeed, we got here 4 hours early, which is a bit of a waste, but we had dinner in the ferry terminal cafeteria and were there which Chris Carson and his traveling companion joined us. Soon thereafter, we had a bit of a mini-pre-Worldcon party going on with the people on their way to Worldcon, which continues as I type this in the lounge on board the Finnstar. (We have to wait for the cabins to be cleaned and prepared for us before we can go to them.)

I have wi-fi on the lounge deck of the ship, but probably not in our cabin. Don't know how much I'll be online during the trip yet. Tomorrow looks like a good day to rest. The ship's meal schedule is very civilized. Due the 0400 sailing, breakfast doesn't even start until 0930.

August 2017

S M T W T F S
   1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20212223242526
2728293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 22nd, 2017 05:09 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios