Misfire

Sep. 26th, 2017 08:15 pm
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
We have something waiting for us at a store in Reno that is open 7 AM - 5 PM weekdays only. So this afternoon, shortly after knocking off work at 3 PM, we headed in to collect it. Only to discover a notice on the door announcing that they were closed from 3 PM today only. Phooey. We'll have to try again tomorrow, but this time I'll call before we leave Fernley to make sure they are actually there.

So we did a couple of grocery stops, then went to dinner at the Peppermill. Ordinarily we'd then go do some larger-scale shopping at Winco, but I was unaccountably tired, and Lisa drove us home. We can do the grocery shopping tomorrow after our return visit to Reno.
kevin_standlee: (WSFS Logo)
The small WSFS Banner that we have been hanging from the front of the Business Meeting head table since the 2015 Worldcon commissioned it has made it "home" to Fernley. I didn't want to fold it because it would get creased, and the poster tube wouldn't fit with my luggage. (I was within a few grams of the limit as it was.) So I mailed it from Helsinki on August 16, paying €32.90. It arrived in Fernley today, 40 days later. I was starting to worry. Of course we don't need it until next August, but I did want it to get here.

Also in storage with me is the Gavel of WSFS until I can do something to make its storage box more obvious. One of the reasons I think we lost the previous gavel was that its storage box was too plain looking and it was lost in the clutter.
kevin_standlee: (Wigwam)
I am so predictable in some ways. This morning I once again walked down to the Wigwam to have breakfast, which I enjoyed even more because I paid for it with the money I won from their casino the previous morning off a free-play coupon. Then I walked to the Frontier Fun Center and bought five games of pinball, proceeding to play a total of twelve, which is a pretty good win rate even by my standards.

Around the time I got home, Lisa was ready to start work on today's bout of home projects, which involved her putting herself in harm's way up on the roof on a necessary project that will make things better when it was done. My job was to fetch supplies and tools to her and to call 911 if she fell off the roof, which fortunately she did not. The roof work is perhaps 25% complete, and we'll do more as time, weather, and energy permit.

When we quit for the day, we had an early dinner and then went out for a walk. This is one of the best times of the year for that. The days aren't too short, but the weather is comfortable.
kevin_standlee: (House)
With Autumn's arrival, we have reached one of the windows on which we can work on the many tasks around the property at Fernley House where we neither freeze nor melt. The weather today was essentially perfect for working on some jobs that we've been avoiding all summer and about which I will write more later when the full project is concluded. But after roughly eight hours toiling away at it, Lisa and I were both tired, sore, and hungry, so we got cleaned up and went to the Black Bear Diner for dinner. After dinner, Lisa won $5 on her favorite slot machine, which she kindly gave to me to help pay for part of the dinner.

If we're not too sore tomorrow, we have more jobs to do. There are only a few weeks of good weather before it starts getting too cold and the days too short for us to get much done, so we have to make the most of what we have.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
I was indeed able to get away from Day Jobbe at 11 AM and head out of the Bay Area. Even then, I faced multiple slowdowns (caused by accidents) along I-680 and I-580 before escaping the Bay Area around Tracy. As usual, I stopped at Lodi Jct. for fuel at the Flying J, then in Sacramento to see my sister, before heading up the mountain. Although I'd used the air conditioning while driving through the Central Valley, after Auburn it wasn't needed, and for a while near the top I had the heat on. Summer may have only just ended, but when I stopped at Donner Summit, it was clear that Winter is coming.

Could Be a Donner Party-type Winter )

I stopped for dinner at Truckee, then drove straight for home. I arrived in Fernley around 8 PM, and was very glad to be there. Lisa helped me unload the Rolling Stone. She's been very busy this week while I was gone. She has put the portable swamp cooler away for the season and done a great deal of cleaning inside the house and tackled cutting down the pile of old pallets we'd accumulated in the side yard. This not only makes the house look much tidier, but those cut-down pallets are firewood, which Lisa needed as it's gone from hot enough to need the swamp cooler to cold enough to build a fire in the fireplace in just over a week.

My current plans don't have me needing to be in the Bay Area again until November. However, if that late-Summer snowstorm is a harbinger of the kind of winter we're going to have, I might not be driving across again until next spring!
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
This morning I left work at 11 AM to drive to Redwood Shores for my semi-annual dental check-up. (No problems.) This gave me the opportunity to have lunch at my favorite taqueria: El Metate in Belmont. (Good burritos at a fair price, and really great tortilla chips and salsa.) From there it was on to Fremont, where I finally paid my mechanic for the work he did on the Astro back in June. (He only got around to calling me with the final bill — $1200! — last week.) Then I went by Suju's Coffee in Fremont to buy a couple of pounds of whole-bean Columbian from them. (I don't come down to the Bay Area that often anymore, so I need to stock up when I'm here. Suju's was across the street from where I used to live in Fremont, and I like their coffee.) Then I refilled the forward tank on the Rolling Stone at one of the less-expensive gas stations in south Fremont. I'd intended to spend the rest of the afternoon at my employer's Fremont warehouse, but I had an in-person meeting scheduled for 4:30 PM back over in Sunnyvale. I was dismayed to hear on the radio of an accident on westbound CA-237. Fortunately, it had mostly cleared by the time I got back over there, and I managed to make it back with less than 30 minutes to spare. Whew! And that was driving in "off peak" and "counter commute" directions.

I hope to be able to get away before Noon on Friday, if work permits. I've put in enough hours that I can do so, but it requires that the urgent stuff gets done. If I don't get away before Noon, it's almost inevitable that I won't get home that night and will be obliged to lay up somewhere along the way, thanks to the never-ending traffic in the Bay Area and Sacramento.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
Yesterday, I had called to my attention the list of what we would today call the finalists for the 1956 Hugo Awards. The historical listing on The Hugo Awards web site did not include finalists because we did not have a list of them, nor did any of the other historical archives on which we based our initial load of finalists/winners. So I spent some time between the end of work and heading off to BASFA entering the data. (And for the most part it appears faithfully reproducing typos in the original, some of which I've now corrected.) So we now have the 1956 Hugo Awards page updated with finalist information.

It's important to realize that 1956 was only the third time the Hugo Awards had been presented. The 1954 Worldcon didn't present them after 1953 ran them. The Awards could easily have been a "one-off" thing had 1955 not decided to present them again, and 1956 continued them. However, in those far-off days, there wasn't a long document listing the rules for the Awards. The members didn't make the rules through the Business Meeting. It was all made up on the fly by the individual Worldcon committees, who as far as I can see could do as they pleased subject only to their own scruples and how they thought they'd be treated by their fellow fans. Thus you end up with variable-length finalist lists (and no indication of how a work/person made the short list), write-in votes, first-past-the-post voting, and (if rumors I recall reading can be trusted), cases where "close enough" was enough to generate a "tie." I don't know if that tie in Best Fanzine is "real" or not, and it's quite possible that we'll never know for sure.

As time has gone on, Worldcon's model for running the Hugo Awards has evolved considerable, to the model today where the rules are specified by the members through the WSFS Business Meeting, and the Administrators are expected to release just about every piece of information other than the raw ballots themselves. This is pretty consistent with an assumption that runs throughout the structure of WSFS, which is "I trust nobody but thee and me — and I'm none too sure of thee." We cede the bare minimum necessary to keep the organization running, and deeply distrust all central authority. This structure seems crazy to many people, and yet it has lasted for more than 75 years.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
Having finally reached a high enough bandwidth connection to do so, I have now posted the four official 2017 WSFS Business Meeting videos to the Worldcon Events channel. These are the recordings taken by the WSFS videographer (Lisa Hayes), supplemented in a couple of places by cuts from the live-streaming video that Worldcon 75 shot when there were gaps in the official recording. These official recordings also omit everything outside of the meeting, skipping over recesses and other non-meeting time.

I would have pushed this out sooner, but since the Worldcon 75 live stream video was available, I elected to take my time getting the official recording edited together and making sure everything was in place. WSFS.org is also now similarly updated.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
It having been roughly three months since the last time I spent a week in the Bay Area on board the Rolling Stone, my travel-packing skills are a bit rusty. I didn't forget my razor this time, but as I was coming down the mountain, I remembered that I'd left my after-shave ointment (Cosmetic Lad by Lush) behind. That I could fix by stopping at the Lush store in Roseville, although I got away from Fernley so early that I had to kill a little time waiting for the mall to open.

After Roseville, it was on to Sacramento to spend and hour visiting with my sister at the nursing home. It appears that all of the postcards I sent from Germany, Finland, and Iceland have now arrived. I sure hope the poster tube I sent from Helsinki with the small WSFS banner makes its way to me in Fernley before next year's Worldcon!

Something I'd been unable to locate while packing was my washcloth. My towel is on board the RV, but I couldn't find the washcloth. So in Fremont (where I also had dinner), I stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a new one. So of course when I was unpacking for the evening, I found the old cloth. I apparently had put it away in a cupboard in the RV where I usually don't store such things. Like the Cosmetic Lad, it's not a big deal, and there's nothing wrong with having a spare. Indeed, I wish that I'd packed a washcloth for our European trip. By now I should remember that most of the hotels in which we've stayed in Europe don't include a small washcloth among the standard bathroom linens, which is particularly strange when they only include bath gel instead of bars of soap. It's as though they assume their guests will be bringing their own washcloth. Travel shows you where there are different assumptions about things, I guess.

It was also a day of travel contrasts. It was chilly leaving Fernley, and quite literally freezing (as in 0°C) at Truckee. I had to run the heater for a while going over the top. But by the time I was at Roseville, it was warm, and by Sacramento, I had the air conditioning running. Definitely autumnal weather. That's fine with me, though; much better than the heat of summer.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
I haven't been in the Bay Area since June, and the Rolling Stone has mostly sat parked in front of the house since then, so it was a bit dusty. (Not as much as if it had been out to Burning Man, but still....) So this morning, Lisa and I first took it over to Flying J and filled the tanks, then took it to Hanneman's Car Wash and gave it a quick rinse. This afternoon, I loaded it up with my clothing for this coming week when I'll be working at the Bay Area office. Aside from my computers and toiletries (they go out tomorrow morning before I leave), I'm ready to go. I'm a little rusty at RV living now that I don't have to do it every other week or three, but it should be okay. I'm glad to see that the weather will be good, with likely comfortable evenings. Because I have to be up so early to stick to my 6-to-3 work schedule, getting to bed early each evening is very important to me.

Lisa and I worked on a household project that had been put off for lots of reasons, but today's weather was perfect for working around the property. I also cut a bunch of bushes back along the fence line, so I don't have to put up with them snatching at my hat every time I walk down our sidewalk.

Lisa is sorry I have to go away for a week, but she did say it's easier to do some of the cleaning she wants to do when I'm not underfoot.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
There was a fundraising event at the Fire Station this evening, with food and games, but when we walked down there (expecting to buy dinner from the BBQ), the music they were playing was so loud that we were driven away. We also noticed that very few people were sitting in the seating area with the tables and chairs, which was right in the focus of the booming music. So instead of spending our money there, we walked back home and drove down to the Black Bear Diner and had dinner there. I also had $40 worth of free-play coupons (you had to spend $10 to get $40 in free play) at the Fernley Nugget casino. Lisa played her favorite machine, and we had a run of pretty good luck. Remember that you can't cash in the free-play coupons; however, when we were done playing through those, we had $42 in actual cash out, less the $10 it cost to get the free play coupons, so that's a nice little win for the evening.

It's definitely cooling off. We still have the windows open, but the fans aren't running. I'm happy to see the weather cooling off after this long hot summer.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
One way of saying, "Autumn is here" in Fernley: yesterday was the first day since we got home from Europe that I didn't run the swamp cooler on "cool" mode (i.e. evaporative cooling). We ran the fan for a while to move cooler outside air into the house, but otherwise didn't have to do anything else. Today it's about 10°C cooler than it was on Monday, which is a great relief.

Of course now we need to be thinking about scheduling having the fireplace chimney cleaned and laying in the first load of firewood. We don't need it yet, but it won't be that long.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
I've completed the editing of the last two WSFS Business Meeting videos. Due to a number of gaps in the recordings we did, this was a lot more time-consuming as I filled the gaps with the material that Worldcon 75 shot (with their permission). It is of course tricky to find the spots where you can cut from one recording to the next, but I managed to make it work without being too jumpy, I think. The video generation is now grinding away on another computer. Next week when I'm at an internet connection with acceptable upload speed, I will upload the four files and post about it when they've made it to the Worldcon Events Channel.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
I had to run into Reno today to do some errands that had backed up. Unfortunately, one of the errands was incomplete, so I'll have to do it again tomorrow, but I'll cope. I hope to have enough time tomorrow after I return to get the WSFS Business Meeting videos finished so that I'll have them ready to upload when I go down to the Bay Area (and decent upload bandwidth) next weekend.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
It was a short work week, but for some reason it seemed extra-long to me. I'm glad the weekend is here. Although I'll be spending a bunch of it at the computer anyway, editing together the remaining WSFS Business Meeting videos now that I have permission to use some of the Worldcon 75 footage to fill in a couple of gaps in our recordings caused by technical issues with the camera.
kevin_standlee: (WSFS Logo)
I have finally managed to upload the eleven different Fannish Inquisition videos from Worldcon 75 that Lisa recorded. These presentations were also live-streamed on the Worldcon 75 channel, and an archive of it as one continuous item is there, but this playlist has each of the Worldcon, Worldcon bid, and NASFiC bid presentations as separate files. These are all creative-commons licensed, so you certainly can feel free to share these with anyone you think would be interested in them.

That was Lisa's longest day. We were at the Business Meeting at 9:00, an hour before it started in order to set up, and while I was done when we adjourned at 13:00, Lisa had to stick around for all of the inquisitioning as well. I was there as well, but Lisa had to work harder than I did that day. We were both tired and hungry after that was all done.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
[personal profile] kshandra and [personal profile] gridlore were in Reno last night and tonight, having just come off of Burning Man. Lisa and I drove into Reno after I got off work (working 6 AM-3 PM has some advantages), collected them from their hotel, and took them out to dinner at the Peppermill Buffet. The manager asked us where we'd been. (Yes, that's how often we eat there.) We explained that we'd been in Europe for a few weeks, but were back home and were taking friends from out of down out to dinner, which was why we were sitting at a different (larger) table than our usual spot. We had a nice dinner, and everyone won (a very small amount) at the slot machines. I'm glad we got the opportunity to do this.
kevin_standlee: (Worldcon 75)
My DSL upload speed here at home is abysmal. It takes hours to upload what should be pretty easy short videos. So don't expect the official recordings of the Business Meeting (which are much larger than the short Fannish Inquisition videos that are slowly going up to the Worldcon Events YouTube Channel) to post until later this month, when I can take advantage of better upload speeds when I go down and work for a week at the Bay Area office.
kevin_standlee: (OMG Puppies)
I (probably unwisely) tried to ask some of the people crowing over how the recent Dragon Awards are the Best Awards Evar and that The Hugo Awards are dead, dead, dead because of course the only Real Awards are the Dragons, etc., asking why they thought an award that allowed someone with a bit of internet savvy the ability to vote potentially hundreds of times was a good thing, and the amount of vitriol sent my way was, well, not surprising, really.

I'm sort of wondering if these people simply assume that everything is corrupt and everyone is on the take. They assumed, after all, that the Hugo Award results were rigged by a Secret Cabal. They don't care of their pet system is rigged or flawed, as long as they Get What They Want. It's sort of like the people who were quoted as saying they didn't care if the last American Presidential election was corrupted, because Their Guy Won, and that's all that matters.

In another response, someone made a crack about how I should study recent Hugo Award winners' sales. I would reply, "So what?" The Hugo Awards are not and never have been about "Which work sold more copies." If that's all that mattered, we'd just ask publishers to open their books about copies sold and give the trophy to whoever had the most sales, right? But I guess to some people, the only thing that matters is How Much Money Did You Make, and nothing else at all matters. To those people, for example, Worldcon is obviously worthless because none of us who work on it are Getting Paid, and if you aren't Getting Paid, it's worthless.

Sad, really.
kevin_standlee: (Worldcon 75)
I'm aware that Worldcon 75 did live-stream the 2017 Worldcon Fannish Inquisition, but we also shot WSFS video, and I've started the process of uploading the 11 separate videos to the Worldcon Events channel. Alas, my home internet connection's upload speed is abysmal, so it may take a long time before the video actually uploads. At the current pace, they won't be online for at least another 24 hours.

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