kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
Linda Deneroff has completed the minutes of the Westercon 70 Business Meeting and the updated for 2017-18 (thus for Westercon 71) version of the Westercon Bylaws & Standing Rules. We've updated the Westercon Business Page with the latest versions of the documents and "demoted" last year's information to the "Past Papers" version of the site.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
Because no substantive business other than the initial Westercon 72 presentation happened at the Westercon 70 Business Meeting, I did not rush to get it online. Also, we were using it to test settings on the P2 camera and with the Adobe Premiere software. Compile time was pretty good (about ten minutes for a six minute video), but the resultant file (750 MB) took many hours to upload. (My upload speed at home is only about 0.5 mbps.) On the other hand, the video quality seems pretty good. In addition, we're really happy with the audio quality, given that all we had was the inboard microphone since there were no microphones in the meeting room.

kevin_standlee: (SMOF Zone)
I was obliged to take over as Emergency Holographic Site Selection Administration in Tempe when Ben Yalow had to rush home due to an potential break-in at his house. (Fortunately, either it was a false alarm or the alarm scared the intruder off.) That meant that when the procedural motion "That the ballots be destroyed" passed (nominally the point where it's impossibly to challenge the results), it fell to me (as Business Meeting Chair) to tell me (as Site Selection Administrator) to deal with the destruction of the ballots.

As it happens, I simply didn't have time to deal with this and ended up carrying the ballots home with me. This afternoon, I finally had the time to feed the ballots into the shredder. Done.
kevin_standlee: (Confusion Ahead)
We set no alarms last night and I got almost a full eight hours of sleep. After a nice breakfast in the Tonopah Station Hotel restaurant, we set off for home about 10:45 AM. With only 200 miles to go, we knew we didn't have to rush. We congratulated ourselves for not making the mistake we made on the trip back from San Antonio, where an attempt to drive Las Vegas-Fernley in one day at the end of the trip nearly killed us.

Avoiding the 8 Ball )

About 3:45, we arrived home. The house was in one piece. The various wildfires (and a fire at the asphalt plant across the tracks from us) did not affect our home, thank goodness.

After nearly 1,700 miles driving over the past nine days, we were happy to be home. We unpacked some of the stuff from the minivan, restarted the house (I remembered to turn the water heater on this time) and got the swamp cooler and air conditioning systems running, and tried to relax. I do have to run out and get a few groceries for tonight and for tomorrow morning, which is an ordinary work day for me, but otherwise we're going to try and wind down.

While I'm sorry we couldn't also attend NASFiC this year, I can see that such a trip would have wiped us out. With nearly three weeks planned for the Worldcon trip (for which we set out in just under three weeks), we need some time to recover and prepare for Helsinki. We won't have the luxury of traveling with a minivan-load full of our gear, so we need to think carefully about how to pack.
kevin_standlee: (SMOF License)
I'm not counting the days spent in Tempe at Westercon toward the count of days on the road trip, so this was Day 4 on the road. We're on our way home, but it will take longer than on the way out because I need to be work at the Day Jobbe for the next three days in order to save vacation needed for other trips.

Our goal was to be out of the hotel and on the road by Noon today. It took a few minutes longer than that, and we had our first stop only a short distance away, where we had lunch at Waffle House. I indulged myself considerably, primarily because I know it will be a long time before I get another chance.

Our planned line of march was along US-60 to Wickenburg, then north on US-93 to Kingman. Somehow, shortly after we got off I-17 onto US-60, we missed a turn and ended up way off course, although we got back on the beam at AZ-101. We should have taken that right turn at Peoria, I guess.

It was very hot. The minvan's air conditioning, when we could use it (that is, when the engine temperature didn't go too high) could blunt the edge of the heat but could not keep it totally at bay. On the other hand, as we went higher and further north, things got slightly better.

Nowhere Van )

We checked into the hotel and got the latest checkout I could get with my Spire class membership (1 PM), which I hope will be sufficient. I did a bit of work earlier in the week while I was nominally on vacation, which I hope I can offset sufficiently so I can work from the room tomorrow until 1 PM, after which we will drive to Las Vegas. That should be a relatively easy trip as it's only about 100 miles.

I'm pleased to find that this HIX has wired internet access, and glad I brought my small router. After a bit of fuss to get it connected, I tested speeds. While nowhere near the 999 mbps we once got at the Pallazo (one of the only good reasons I could think of for staying there, actually), it was still twice the speed of their wireless connection.

Now I need to start winding myself back onto my Central Time-based Day Jobbe schedule.
kevin_standlee: (Default)
I don't like leaving before the end of Westercon, but Day Jobbe interactions with my time off schedule oblige us to do so. We're packing up the hotel room and will leave sometime this morning. As a consolation, we will be able to get a meal at a Waffle House on the way out of Phoenix as we head north to Kingman.

It was a smallish Westercon, and we missed a lot of the Usual Suspects who couldn't make it because of weather, NASFiC, Worldcon, or even Eclipse. But we ended up having a fair bit of fun here, and thank the Westercon 70 committee for their work and for putting up with our requests.
kevin_standlee: (Match Game SF)
Westercon 70 was very good about giving us a good-sized room for a long time. We got the room from 6 PM with "curtain" at 8, a scheduled run from 8 to 10 PM, and an open ended move-out. As it happens, we needed it all.

I had moved the van closer to that side of the building last night to facilitate move-in, and borrowed a bell cart to move the kit from the van. It took two trips. Lisa had to leave things like the computers and sound board to cool off because they were painful to the touch after having baked out there for days. The hotel brought the tables that Westercon (following our request) had ordered, and we rearranged the room, strung the vinyl banners that Sasquan bought us, set up the tables and chairs the way we liked, and so forth. Lisa worked her usual magic on getting the sound equipment working. Judy Bemis once again did wonderful service running the Prize Table.

At 7:30, I went back to the room and changed into my game show host costume. Shortly after I got back to the Xavier Room, the audience started arriving. Lisa later counted the house, and we estimated that somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-10% of the estimated attendance of this year's Westercon came to our show, resulting in a roughly two-thirds full house.

Showtime! )

Tonight's show went really well. We (and I mean both me and Lisa) got lots of compliments from both returning and new audience members. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I was tired but happy and energized, as I always am after a good show. We had someone from TARDIS, the Arizona fan group who ran Match Game at Westercolt .45 in Phoenix twenty-five years ago and gave me a starter set of questions that formed the core of the show we do today, came up and expressed admiration of how we've polished the show and that we continue to give TARDIS credit.

Move out was more challenging than move in. We couldn't take the gear out of the (alarmed) rear door of the Xavier Room, and while the Astro was physically close to where we were, there were two locked doors (the ballroom lobby) between us and the van. Fortunately, when I got a bell cart to start moving out (while Lisa packed the tech gear away), hotel security helpfully unlocked the intervening doors for us, so we were able to make two runs over with the box of Tech, speakers, game gear, etc. without having to circle clear around the hotel.

After putting everything away, we made a relatively brief stop at Westercon 72's Victory Party, which was still going strong approaching midnight. We would have loved to stay longer, but we need to check out Tuesday morning, and we have a drive to Kingman, Arizona ahead of us. Our goal is to be on the road by Noon for the 200 mile drive to Kingman, in order to give me some chance of getting back on my "normal" work schedule so I can work from the hotel room on Wednesday.
kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
I couldn't say anything about it until they officially announced by distributing their PR 0, but Lisa, Kuma Bear, and I were selected as the Fan Guests of Honor of Westercon 72 in Layton (Salt Lake City) Utah for 2019. We are very honored to have been selected to be Westercon's guests.

Incidentally, if anyone wonders how this interacts with the Utah in 2019 NASFiC bid, especially considering that I've already been FGoH of a NASFiC (2005, SeaTac): As I understand it, the plan, consistent with past Westercon/Worldcons, is for the NASFiC, should Utah win that bid, to have a separate group of Guests of Honor in addition to Westercon's guests.

After lunch, we newly-minted Westercon Guests kitted up and set forth on an expedition under the leadership of Colonel Chinstrap.

Chinstrap and Company )

After a few hours about in costume, we changed back to "civvies" and had an early dinner at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant (which we not only like a lot, but is nearby) before getting ready for Match Game SF.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
This morning I was up early to help Worldcon 76 co-host the Westercon 70 Con Suite.

San Jose at Westercon 70

San Jose provided funding and additional food for the Con Suite this morning. Westercon 70 volunteers did the food prep, while those of us from the San Jose Worldcon talked about Worldcon to folks visiting the Con Suite this morning.

At Noon I headed off to chair the Westercon Business Meeting, where Lisa had already set up the camera. I'm not including the video here because I haven't had time to process and upload it. I hope to have an opportunity to do so in the next few days while traveling home. However, the only substantive business we had was receiving the initial report of the newly elected Westercon 72. There was no new Westercon Business. We barely made the (newly reduced) quorum of ten members. The meeting, including the Westercon 72 report, took six minutes.

After the meeting, Linda Deneroff helped Lisa and me tote the recording gear to the hotel room and then we went out to lunch at the Japanese restaurant conveniently located near the hotel, thus requiring very little walking in the blast-furnace heat.
kevin_standlee: (Pensive Kevin)
This morning after breakfast, Lisa carried the camera gear to the room where the Westercon Fannish Inquisition was to be held. She had been asked to record it. The room was relatively small, which is okay because only a few people attended, but also had no amplification, meaning that the recordings were limited to whatever the built-in microphone in the cameras could pick up. I ended up running the event, in part because my voice pitches well enough for the microphone.

There were only two participants in this particular Fannish Inquisition. the first was the Utah in 2019 Westercon Bid.

After the bid for 2019 it was time for questions for next year's Westercon in Denver.

These two presentations used up the entire hour, and there were no announcements from any bids for future years at this time. No Worldcon bidder/convention presentations were scheduled.

While the Inquisition was going on, Ben Yalow, Site Selection Administrator, got a phone call. He came to me as Lisa was packing equipment away and told me that because of the call he really needed to fly home right away and would I please take over as Emergency Holographic Site Selection Administrator. I agreed to do so, but asked him if he could get the table going today and after I helped Lisa get the gear back to the room I would come down straight away and take over.

After helping Lisa, I went to the Site Selection table and Ben briefed me on procedures. Judy Bemis, Linda Deneroff, and later Seth Breidbart volunteered to help me. After Ben gave me the gist of things, I told him, "Thank you. I relieve you, sir!" and when Ben started to dither over additional things, I said, "Go home, Ben!" He left. We all hope that the issue was not too awful serious. (It's not medical, but I think it best to wait to hear from him about what the issues way before saying much more.)

Plans of mine to spend most of today at the San Jose Worldcon table were obviously scuppered, as I needed to run Site Selection. However, we had other commitments as well. In particular, Kuma Bear was supposed to run an Art Show tour, with us helping him. Fortunately, Judy and Linda were able to run things while we did the tour and then went off to get some lunch. Kuma will write about the Art Show later.

Lisa and I had lunch at the Cornish Pasty bar a block from the hotel. The staff were friendly, the pasty was good, as was the scotch egg, but Lisa said the fries were too peppery, and we both agreed that the music was too loud and too distorted. Still, we were better off for having had lunch.

Running Site Selection is relatively easy when there aren't a lot of ballots being cast. As I said in a reply elsewhere, not only is this a small convention (I'm guessing fewer than 500 bodies on site), but a lot of the "usual suspects" who regularly attend Westercon aren't here due to various factors. This means that a higher-than-usual proportion of the membership are people who won't/can't attend conventions outside of commuting range. For them, a site in Utah might as well be on the Moon, so they're not going to take any notice of or participate in the election. So 42 votes is low, but not terribly surprising.

At 6 PM, we closed the polls. Seth Breidbart and I along with the Hatchers (the Utah bid team) went up to the Board Room where we had been told we could count ballots. Unfortunately, the room was locked and we were unable to find anyone who could get the room unlocked. Fortunately, the adjacent room (where the Inquisition was this morning and where the Business Meeting will be tomorrow) was just winding up its last panel, so once they cleared out, we could use it to do the counting.

Counting itself was pretty simple, with so few ballots. Linda Deneroff joined us and helped with the count. To my relief, the number of voter information sheets and the amount of money we received matched the number of votes cast. Sometimes there are more voter sheets than ballots, which is okay because that means someone paid for a vote and then didn't cast it, but the bad result is when you have more votes than voters, which doesn't happen often and fortunately didn't happen here.

Because Westercon rules don't require that the Business Meeting formally accept the results, I declared the election final, congratulated the winning Westercon 72 Committee, and gave them their voting fees and membership data. I then wrote up the results for the convention newsletter, thanked everyone for their help, and Linda and I carried the Site Selection gear back to my hotel room, where Lisa was taking a nap. The three of us went to dinner at the "Identikit Irish Pub-Restaurant" next to the hotel, which had decent food, and then we hit the parties.

Before heading to dinner, I had set one of the computers to processing the Fannish Inquisition videos. They were done when we came back from dinner, but they are huge and the bandwidth here at the hotel isn't that huge, so I set them to uploading. It took many hours to get those videos online.

After 11 PM, Lisa and I remembered that we wanted to go to CVS to get some more Diet Coke for me and chocolate milk for her. You'd think a four block walk at that time of the night wouldn't be so bad, but the heat was still very stifling, and it was very hard on both of us, Lisa worse than me. I hope we're able to get enough rest to be able to get our remaining responsibilities done tomorrow.

On Monday morning, I'm helping Worldcon 76 co-host the Con Suite from 10:30 to 12:30, although I need to leave early because I'm chairing the Westercon Business Meeting, which Lisa is recording. There is no business expected, so unless someone surprises us, it will be a very short meeting, with an initial report from Westercon 72 the only thing I'm expecting. We have the afternoon free (other than helping with Worldcon 76's table), but will need to get dinner early, because we have to set up for the 8 PM Match Game SF show. Fortunately, we have two hours for set up. Unfortunately, we need to move the gear in from the car in the blazing sun. I've moved the minivan closer to the room where the show will be, but it still it likely to be a strain on us.
kevin_standlee: (SMOF Zone)
To hardly anyone's surprise, the uncontested bid to host the 2019 Westercon in Layton (Salt Lake City), Utah won handily in the site selection that closed this afternoon in Tempe at Westercon 70. Turnout was very light, with 43 votes cast, 4 of which were for No Preference. Of the 39 ballots with a preference, they broke down as follows:

Utah 32
Tonopah NV 3
Reno NV 2
Hopland CA 1
"Both" 1

With 20 votes being needed to elect, Utah's bid won on the first ballot.

Site Selection Administrator Ben Yalow was called home on an emergency and had to leave Tempe this afternoon, but asked me to step in as Emergency Holographic Administrator. I was assisted by Judy Bemis, Linda Deneroff, and Seth Breidbart.

Westercon does not require official receipt of the results by the Business Meeting (unless there is a situation requiring action by the Business Meeting), and thus the results were considered official when certified by the Administrator. The newly seated Westercon 72 committee will be make a presentation at the Business Meeting on Monday at 12:30 PM at Westercon 70, will be selling memberships from their table tomorrow and Tuesday, and will host a victory party on Monday night.

The Utah for 2019 Committee will continue with their NASFiC bid to jointly host the 2019 NASFiC along with Westercon 72, assuming that the unopposed Dublin in 2019 Worldcon bid wins its bid to host Worldcon 77.
kevin_standlee: (Kevin Standlee)
Westercon 70 started today. It's oddly disconcerting having a convention run Saturday-Tuesday, but that's what happens when the convention dates need to "bridge" through Independence Day.

Worldcon San Jose is Here )

Westercon 70 is donating a complete set of one of their GoH's books (Gini Koch) as a Bonus Round prize for Match Game SF, and I collected those this afternoon as well and put them with our other material.

It's very, very hot here. At one point I went to the minivan to collect some things, and realized that we'd left the bag of chocolate covered raisins that I'd bought in Beatty in the bottom of the ice chest. Even though we're parked as much in the shade as possible and it is an insulated container, the heat was just too much for what is now a congealed mass of melted chocolate with raisins embedded in it. Oh well.

After the dealer's room closed, David Clark joined Lisa, Linda Deneroff, and me for dinner at the nearby My Big Fat Greek Restaurant, where Lisa and I ate many times during the previous Tempe Westercon and that we both like quite a bit. It also has the advantage of only being one block away from the hotel, which means a lot when trying to move around in this stifling heat.

After dinner, Lisa and I made a brief visit to the parties, particularly the Utah Westercon bid party, but we were both very tired and turned in early. Tomorrow we have the Fannish Inquisition (Lisa has been asked to record it and I'll post it to YouTube as soon as I can). In the afternoon, Kuma Bear has been asked to host one of the Art Show tours (at 2 PM). Those are our only commitments tomorrow.

It looks like a fair number of Westercon's Usual Suspects are not going to be here in Tempe. Some are staying away for weather-related reasons, while others have their schedules cramped by the fact that NASFiC is the following weekend. Lisa and I have attending memberships to Puerto Rico but can't attend. In fact, we'll still be on the road in Las Vegas, but I'll be working at the Day Jobbe, when NASFiC starts.

Incidentally, during Opening Ceremonies here at Westercon, we were told there were about 600 members at the start of the convention.
kevin_standlee: (Confusion Ahead)
Today turned out to be longer driving both in time and distance than planned, but it worked out in the end. We'd initially planned to grab some breakfast sandwiches from Starbucks and get on the road, but all of the stores the Starbucks app showed near us in either Laughlin or across the river in Bullhead City were kiosks in casinos or grocery stores and didn't have the full selection of stuff. With no 'fridge in our room, we couldn't stock our own supplies, so we had breakfast at the Claim Jumper in the Golden Nugget. This was nice enough (the waterfall next to the restaurant was nice), but cost us time. In retrospect, we should have checked: there was a Black Bear Diner in Bullhead City, and we probably would have had a better breakfast there, besides being able to collect a new passport stamp.

After breakfast, we set off across the river and through Bullhead City and what did we find? A standalone Starbucks! We stopped there anyway because it was adjacent to Lowe's and Lisa wanted a couple of things from there. We went into the Starbucks for me to get a coffee for the road. It turns out that the full store (the only one in the area) had only opened yesterday.

Next, on a whim we took a side road that took us partway up the hills onto the Oatman Highway, an early segment of old US-66 and one of the first ones ever cut off when they started cleaning up the road. We didn't go all the way up to Oatman, but even the part we drove seemed a bit hairy to me, with lots of twists and turns. Eventually we ended up down on I-40 for a short segment before we ducked off onto the road for Lake Havasu City.

Welcome to London (Bridge) )

There was a custom t-shirt shop in the English Village from which Lisa commissioned a shirt. The guy said it would take him about an hour, so we drove up to have fish and chips — at the Lake Havasu City Black Bear diner, filling #23 in our passport book.

Bear Has All He Can Eat in the Heat )

After lunch, I dropped a London Bridge postcard into the mail for Kelli at the nearby post office and we headed back to the bridge. Originally we were going to walk across the bridge, but the heat was too much for us, so we simply drove across to the island and back, just to say that we'd done so. We then returned to the Village, collected Lisa's shirt, and left for Tempe.

The heat was sufficiently intense and the minivan old enough that we couldn't run the air conditioning at full (or sometimes at all) when climbing hills or when otherwise working the engine hard. Lisa was driving and kept an eye on the temperature, letting me know when to turn the AC on or off.

Any Shade is Welcome )

At Quartsite we joined eastbound I-10. Lisa kept our speed down in order to spare enough power to run the air conditioning. She drove most of the day, except for a short period when she needed a break and had me drive. We made a final driver change at a familiar-sounding place.

Driving in Circles )

Lisa drove us into Phoenix. By now, it was around 7:30 PM. Arizona doesn't observe daylight savings time, and that's a good thing as far as we are concerned. The worst of the Getaway Day rush hour was gone, and we faced no slowdowns across Phoenix, arriving at the Mission Palms Hotel in Tempe around 8 PM or so. Arriving this early meant we were able to obtain one of the relatively few hotel self-parking spaces. We don't plan to move the van again until we leave on Tuesday. We also could move our things into the hotel in the dark. It was 37°C this evening, warmer than the high temperatures back in Fernley, but again, tolerable out of the direct sun. After getting our personal bags into the hotel, we walked to the CVS store a few blocks away and got some yogurt, milk, and cereal, as this hotel room has a mini-fridge. Finally, we borrowed a bell cart and moved a large load of stuff from the van into the hotel room. There's still more stuff out there, but we won't need it until we do Match Game SF on Monday night.

Fortunately, we have no early commitments to Westercon on Saturday, the first day of the convention. We picked up our membership badges this evening, but could find nothing else going on when we came back from CVS. Tomorrow I have nothing before 1 PM. I think I will not set an alarm for Saturday morning.
kevin_standlee: (Atomic Vegas)
Today was the longest driving leg of the trip planned: about 300 miles, although the actual mileage was closer to 350 in the end.

Where we Ended up )

We got away from Tonopah in good time, leaving around 8 AM. Being able to get yogurts from Scolari's grocery store next door and store them in the room 'fridge to have for breakfast made for a relatively quick start.

Checking Out the Goldfield Subway Station )

After Goldfield, we made for Beatty, where we stopped at Eddieworld, an oasis in the Nevada desert where one must resist the urge to spend too much money on candy, nuts, fruit, and jerky. We managed to escape with only minor damage. I also got a postcard for Kelli, and immediately dispatched it to her. She's stuck in that nursing home, and I try to send her cards from along the way on our trips.

Alien Travel Center )

I mentioned yesterday that we had errands to run in Las Vegas "to boot." That actually was to be taken literally. Lisa left her moccasin-boots that go with one of her outfits behind, and she's been meaning to get another pair anyway, so we went looking for them. The first place we tried in Las Vegas at which Google pointed us no longer carries boots, but pointed us in the right direction (which turned out to be a shop on Fremont Street). But we were on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, and it was well past time for lunch. So where do we go when we want to have lunch in Las Vegas? Well, the Black Bear Diner, of course! We collected our 23rd BBD in their "passport" promotion, and we were really happy to get out of the heat. The AC in the minivan doesn't work well in city driving, you see, and it was around 40°C in Las Vegas today. After lunch, we refueled the minivan and worked our way downtown, which took quite a while due to heavy traffic.

This Errand Was Not Bootless )

After about four hours in Vegas, we were happy to get moving again, particularly when traffic cleared sufficiently that we could get moving fast enough to turn the air conditioning back on as we headed south on I-515/US-95/US-93.

After crossing Railroad Pass, we turned south on US-95. We made a brief stop to have a closer look at at solar thermal power plant (Nevada Solar One, if my Google-fu isn't failing me). But as we pulled back out on the road, we were troubled by a clattering sound that had been annoying us on the whole trip. We stopped again and finally figured out what had been causing this. Some of the rubber trim along the roof line had come loose and was flapping in the slipstream. Lisa started to get the trim back into place, and I had an idea.

"Would a rubber mallet help?" I asked.

Lisa said, "Yes!"

Well, I happened to have one. Some years ago, I bought a rubber mallet to assemble IKEA furniture. I've taken to packing it in the "Business Meeting box" in case the Gavel of Westercon gets lot. We dug the mallet out the box, and Lisa used it to help hammer the trim back into place.

Laughlin at Last )

After getting a minimal setup established, we had dinner at the buffet. Note for next trip: don't eat at the buffet. We're spoiled by places like the Peppermill. We agreed that we would have had a better meal at the Fatburger franchise located inside the casino.

Tomorrow we drive to Lake Havasu City. After having been over London Bridge in London, we decided we should visit the original one in Arizona. Tomorrow night we should be at Tempe.
kevin_standlee: (Kuma Bear)
I realized yesterday that the plan for Lisa and me to convoy to Sparks to drop off the minivan for the brake work on Monday conflicted with an eye exam I have scheduled on Monday afternoon. So instead we did it this morning. It means they have it all day Monday even if they don't have time to work on it, but that's not a problem. I drove the Rolling Stone and Lisa followed me into Sparks.

After that, we went to the Peppermill buffet to celebrate Kuma Bear's 27th birthday (which was yesterday). I cashed all of our accumulated comps to pay for half of the cost of brunch. Saturday brunch is less expensive and over-the-top than Sunday, but there's not a whole lot on the Sunday menu in addition to Saturday that we'd want to eat anyway.

Brunch Bear )

After eating, we waddled around the Peppermill as is our wont, contemplating what sort of SF convention we could organize in the convention's space. We think the key issue is what does the Peppermill think about SF genre convention hospitality functions (i.e. room parties). If that is something we could manage, then the Peppermill's function space looks to me like we could run a fairly compact convention in the Westercon-sized range. No, we're not bidding for anything; it's just hard for us to be in convention space without thinking about planning events.

After we got home, we walked down to the fire station, where they were having a small open house, but it was nearly over when we got there, so we moved on and picked up our mail at the post office and came home, where a lie down from the huge meal this morning seems in order. No more meals are needed tonight. I'm just glad my blood sugar reading came in under 200.
kevin_standlee: (SMOF Zone)
The 2018 Westercon in Colorado has moved venues in conjunction with a significant reorganization that involved the convention's "franchise" to hold Westercon 71 transferred to a different non-profit group. They've moved to the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center, site of MileHiCon.

This of course has no effect on this year's Westercon in Tempe, Arizona, since each Westercon is independently organized.

The full details surrounding this change are moderately complex, and resulted in my adding four new footnotes to the Westercon History List, but if you are not interested in all of that SMOF-filled room stuff, you only need to know that the convention site is now the Hyatt Tech Center and the 2018 Denver Westercon is actually in Denver (barely) rather than one of its suburbs. (Short version of the details: original non-profit group broke up and dissolved; previously announced co-chair left; original hotel not happy with con suites and room parties; lots of rushing around getting things reorganized; some confusion over whether a Westercon has to get someone's permission to "transfer their flag" to another group; new non-profit took over the convention; new hotel found that understands "our" kind of convention.)

Some of you may have seen this announcement on The List That Must Not Be Named, which is nominally closed. I checked with the convention chair while cleaning up the history list and confirmed that this information could be announced in public before posting it to the Westercon web site.
kevin_standlee: (Match Game SF)
Westercon 70 in Tempe next month has confirmed that we'll be doing Match Game SF at Westercon this year. We're currently scheduled for one evening show on the final night of the convention, Monday, July 3. Panelists are still being arranged.

We need your questions! I know a number of you out there have been saying you've been coming up with SF/F/genre-related fill-in-the-blank questions (not trivia questions), but I haven't heard from any of you! You can post questions here if you like, or send them to me by e-mail. My address is kastandlee.
kevin_standlee: (SFSFC)
Off to the SFSFC Board of Directors meeting. Then I meet up with Lisa (who is driving down from Nevada in the minivan). We'll drop the Astro with my mechanic and we'll then drive home in the Rolling Stone. A few weeks from now, we'll reverse the process to collect the minivan, which we hope will then be in better condition for the road trip to Tempe for Westercon this summer.
kevin_standlee: (WSFS Logo)
NASFiC is held when the Worldcon is held outside of North America. (Not just the USA.) For example, this year's Worldcon is in Finland, which is not in North America. Therefore, the 2017 NASFiC will be in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As you can see, NASFiC does not have to be held on the North American mainland. It can be held anywhere within North America, which includes Central America, and also the Caribbean, Bermuda, the Bahamas. Hawaii is not currently explicitly listed as being included within the NASFiC definition. "North America" is somewhat ambiguous around the edge cases, and there's a pending constitutional amendment that would restore the de facto definition that existed before we deleted the zone definitions from the WSFS Constitution.

Assuming that the Dublin in 2019 Worldcon bid wins its (unopposed) election, there will be a need for a 2019 NASFiC. By WSFS rules, the Worldcon (or NASFiC, if there is one) one year before the convention year will hold the NASFiC election. In this case, it means that the 2018 Worldcon, Worldcon 76 San Jose, will run the 2019 NASFiC election.

Any site in North America more than 500 miles from San Jose, California will be eligible to host the 2019 NASFiC. That effectively means that no place in California or Nevada is eligible. The 500 mile circle around San Jose does allow places like Portland OR, Salt Lake City UT, and Phoenix AZ to bid. Of course, any place farther away than that is also eligible.

NASFiC does not have a date restriction, other than it has to be in the year for which they are bidding. Unlike Worldcon, NASFiC doesn't administer awards, and therefore it has even fewer practical limitations on how early in the year it can be held. This year's NASFiC is the weekend after Westercon.

Combined with the rules for Westercon bidding (see my previous post), it is technically possible for a site to bid for and host both Westercon and NASFiC simultaneously. The elections take place at different times and places and are run by different groups. (Westercon is selected two years in advance and voted at Westercon. NASFiC is selected one year in advance and voted at — in 2019's case — at Worldcon.) However, any site in North American west of 104° west longitude and also more than 500 miles from San Jose is eligible to host both.

There are of course many places in North America east of 104° west longitude, and they are all eligible to host NASFiC but not Westercon. There's never been an official NASFiC outside of the USA (Puerto Rico is part of the USA, folks, and don't forget it!), but sites in Canada, Mexico, and the elsewhere are all eligible as well.

To my knowledge, no group has ever actually tried to bid for both Westercon and NASFiC, but that's only due to the practical issues such a bid might encounter, not due to any restriction in the rules of either Westercon or WSFS.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
Because no bids filed by the end of December 2016 to hold the 2019 Westercon, any site on the North American continent west of 104° west longitude, or in Hawaii, is eligible to bid to hold the 2019 Westercon. That includes even the two seated Westercons. There is no restriction prohibiting a seated Westercon from bidding to hold a future Westercon. There are some other restrictions that apply up until the December 31 prior to the election, but if nobody files a bid by December 31, all sites become fair game.

If no bids file by April 15, site selection will proceed with nothing but write-in bids. The deadline for filing bidding papers to be eligible to win the bid as a write-in is the close of site selection balloting at Westercon 70 in Tempe this July. If no bids file bidding papers, or if no filed bid wins the voting, or if None of the Above wins, then the Westercon Business Meeting gets to decide where to hold Westercon two years hence. Again.

Note that while the Westercon Bylaws recommends that Westercon be held over the American Independence Day weekend, this is not required. It is merely a strong suggestion.

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