Short Cuts Make Long Delays

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:16 pm
kevin_standlee: (Family)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
For reasons related to some property management, I need to so see my mother twice a year, in January and July. It has to be done in person. Today was my day for getting it done. Lisa didn't have to come along and elected to get extra sleep. I got started later than I would have liked, having told Mom I would be there at Noon. Instead, it was well past 1:30. She'd left me voicemail, but I didn't hear the call come in and didn't notice the message until I was already at her place and had to wait for about an hour for her to come back from the farmer's market, where she can gone, having given up on me.

Old Home Week )

After Mom got back from the farmers' market, we dealt with business, I gave her a list of all of the places I would be (and how to contact me) during the Europe trip, and we talked for a while. It was about 3:30 when I finally left. The idea that I could be home in time for a 6 PM San Jose Worldcon committee meeting call was fading fast.

Not a Short Cut at All )

My mother's house is less than 120 miles from my home. I left at about 3:30 and it took me more than five hours before I got home, albeit that I did stop several times, including long enough to buy some groceries in Reno that I figured Lisa would want.

I made a separate mistake of not putting on any sunscreen. My face is redder than usual tonight. I'll put ointment on it before I go to bed and hope I don't peel too badly.

Local Politics

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:01 pm
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
As is our wont, Lisa and I went to the local Fire Board meeting. The first part was nice: the district holding "badging" ceremonies for the newest fire-fighter to pass his probationary period, followed by the formal badging of the department's first-ever captains. They managed to figure out how to budget for three captains so that the Chief didn't have something like thirty direct reports (an untenable situation IMO). After the ceremonial stuff, which ended up delaying the start of real business for close to an hour, they got down to work. But the Main Event item was being presented by one of the more boring people I've met, and even though he admitted up front that he "talks in circles," the Chair of the meeting didn't tell him to get to the point when he rambled along. After nearly an hour of this rambling, abetted by the board members failing to stay on point themselves, and everyone simply repeating the arguments over and over again, Lisa and I gave up and went home. This is too bad because there were other things on the agenda about which we were interested, but at that point it looked as though they were going to be there all night arguing about whether to grant the local raceway a permit to hold a "fire lantern" festival.

My hours don't allow me to stay up late on weeknights. We walked home and I went to bed, possibly going to sleep faster by envisioning the ongoing drone of repetitive debate.

When I preside over the Business Meeting, if a speaker is going in circles, I've been known to intervene and say something like, "Could the member come to a point?"

It was the meeting-induced sleep that led to me not posting anything yesterday, which is a rarity for me because I do try to post something daily if I get a chance.

2017 WSFS Business Meeting Staff

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:21 am
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
Because some private correspondence shows me that not everyone with a concern about WSFS politics is aware of it, let me make it clear that the people managing the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting in Helsinki are:

Chair: Kevin Standlee
Deputy Chair: Donald Eastlake III
Secretary: Linda Deneroff
Timekeeper: Paul Dormer
Videographer: Lisa Hayes

WSFS Division Head: Michael Lee

I take no offense that not everyone knows I was chairing this year. I am, however, proud of my ongoing accomplishment, as this will be the fifth country in which I've presided over WSFS. (Scotland, USA, Canada, and Japan — the last pictured in my user icon here — are the earlier ones.) I don't think other past WSFS Chair has more than two countries under their belts. I hope to justify the Worldcon 75 committee's faith in my ability.

Westercon Business Page Updated

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:32 pm
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
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.

My Trip to Sacramento (Again)

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:03 pm
kevin_standlee: (Family)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
I needed to go see my sister at the nursing facility in Sacramento as I continue to sort out things on her behalf. In addition, there are some things Lisa and I want for the Worldcon trip that can't be easily had in Reno. So this morning, we set off for Sacramento. Neither of us had had a good night's sleep, in part because of the heat. Until we got near Truckee, there was a whole lot of smoke in the air, mostly I think from the Long Valley Fire north of Reno. The Farad Fire that closed I-80 for quite a while last week is reported as 100% contained, and the areas near the freeway are burned out by now.

We went to the Roseville Galleria (nearest Lush store) for the after-shave ointment I use and some "toothy tab" substitutes for toothpaste I prefer to use on long trips because it's neater than tubes of toothpaste. Then it was on to Fry's for some bits of electronics that Lisa and I wanted. By then we were already wilting from the heat, which wasn't more than a degree or two hotter than Fernley, but significantly more humid. I suggested lunch, but neither of us was very hungry. So we went to the nursing facility, which at least was cooler.

Errand of Telephone Mercy )

After spending time with my sister, Lisa and I were hungry, despite the heat, so we set off east, stopping at In-N-Out in Rocklin (we've given up on the Auburn location because it seems to always be over-crowded), ate burgers, and turned for home. We stopped only at Donner Summit for a rest break and just before home to get some milk and yogurt for my breakfast tomorrow.

The Summit Snow is Finally Gone. Well, Mostly )

It was pretty comfortable at the summit, but we needed to get home, so we pressed on. The house was, as expected, very hot and stuffy, but the overnight low is supposed to get down to 18°C tonight and once the sun went down it started cooling nicely. We have the fans and coolers running full-tilt. Once it's cool enough to do so, I must get some sleep. It's another busy week at the Day Jobbe, and a number of both Westercon and WSFS tasks, plus personal preparations for the Helsinki trip, are looming.

PoC

Jul. 16th, 2017 07:14 pm
summer_jackel: (Default)
[personal profile] summer_jackel
develop-your-oc

Which OC is a person of color?


Zela, Seljai, Kaleb, Ebrin and Sylvie are people of color. If I was casting them, Kaleb, Sylvie and most of the Yrethtari are black, Zela, Ebrin and the Yllaii could be played by actors with brown skin, and for Seljai and the Ro I'd want to cast Asian actors, indigenous actors, or someone who is both. Valerai and the Kaishi are largely white.

Lial is a color (genetic blue) that does not exist in actual humans.

Hazy Days of Summer

Jul. 15th, 2017 11:17 pm
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
When I walked to the Wigwam restaurant for breakfast this morning, I could hardly see the Pah-Rah Mountains for all of the smoky haze.

Smoke in the Air )

There have been a lot of wildfires in the area, many of which are still burning, and smoke is in the air all the time. It leaves my eyes burning even when it's not obviously visible. When we drove to Reno today, we saw the burnt areas along I-80 between Fernley and Sparks from a large wildfire that raged through the area while we were down south.

Westercon 70 Business Meeting Video

Jul. 14th, 2017 04:10 pm
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
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.

License Renewed

Jul. 13th, 2017 07:14 pm
kevin_standlee: (SMOF License)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
I got the postcard reminding me that my driver's license was up for renewal the afternoon we left Fernley for Tempe. Had I been reading it (and the Nevada DMV website) closely enough, I would have realized that I could have renewed at the Tonopah DMV office — which is in the same building as the Tonopah Station Hotel where we spent that night. But I misread it as saying that I must bring a bunch of documents I do not carry around with me casually (birth certificate, house deed, social security card, tax records, etc.). That's only if I wanted a REAL-ID Act-compliant driver's license. Although I do have all of those documents (but it's a right hassle to pull them all together), I don't see the need for such an ID, because my US passport does just as well for all of the reasons stated for needing the super-duper ID card. Anyway, I skipped renewing at Tonopah, and after I got home, I read more closely and realized that I could just do a standard renewal without having to provide a dozen different additional documents.

This afternoon after my normal-these-days end of work (3 PM PT; an advantage of working Central Time Zone hours), I drove over to Fallon. Fernley doesn't have a DMV office; either you drive to Sparks or Fallon. We discovered by experimentation (apologies to Lisa, who was the experimental test subject) that waiting times at little Fallon are generally much shorter than those at the large office in Sparks. Sure enough, I had a five minute wait to pay my fee, hand over the form, and have my photo re-taken.

A sign of age: I now have the "must wear corrective lenses" endorsement, for I can no longer read the line of text without my glasses. Well, 51 years was a pretty good run, I guess.

I may have my new license before we leave for Europe, but it doesn't matter that much because I do have my passport (which I will of course need to even board the plane since the airlines sensibly won't let you on if they think they'd just have to carry you back on the next available flight), and we get back to the USA a week before my existing driving license expires. And I don't have any plans to drive a vehicle while in Germany/Finland/Iceland anyway.

Grinding Ballots

Jul. 12th, 2017 05:29 pm
kevin_standlee: (SMOF Zone)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
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.

Need More Sleep

Jul. 11th, 2017 05:41 pm
kevin_standlee: (Kreegah Bundalo)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
We're trying to take this week as easy as we can, recovering from the Westercon trip. We haven't even finished unpacking the minivan, because it has been so hot that you can burn your hand on the van's door handles.

I'd go to bed even earlier than usual, but it's too warm. Not as hot as Las Vegas, but the swamp cooler can do only so much to take the edge off of the 36°C days. Nights are pretty good, but until the sun hits the horizon, I can't open the bedroom window to let the relatively cool breezes in.

Summer is my least favorite time of year around here. Winter we can manage with heating. Spring and Autumn are generally quite nice. But Summer I could do without. I'm looking forward to spending three weeks of it in places where I'll need a pullover. I bought a new one just for this trip: it appears to be warm enough, but also lightweight on account of luggage space being at a premium.

Welcome (Home) to the Jungle

Jul. 10th, 2017 03:13 pm
kevin_standlee: (House)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
We were away for nine days. When we got back, we found that the bushes on the property had had an amazing growth spurt.

Turn Your Back and They Take Over )

I only wish plants that I want to grow would be as enthusiastic as these.

I may have got carried away...

Jul. 9th, 2017 11:02 pm
plonq: (OK...)
[personal profile] plonq
When we signed up for Spotify Premium a few weeks ago, I thought it would be nice to put together a put together a few play lists for when I am at work, or relaxing at home, working in the yard, plotting revenge, etc.

Instead, what I ended up doing was just dumping every song I could think of that I like, or might like at some point into a giant play list of 3000+ songs.

On the plus side, it means I can hit shuffle and have a personal radio station of just music that I like. The down side is that it's like having a personal university station, where Tommy Dorsey might cross-fade into Killing Joke.

Megamix

That said, I enjoy the eclectic mix. I don't need to worry about getting bored with Pantera when, likely as not, Michael Bublé will be on next.
kevin_standlee: (Confusion Ahead)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
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: (Confusion Ahead)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
I did not get the rest of my Goldfield and Tonopah photos uploaded until this morning, so here's some more about both.

Tonopah Hotel and Musuem )

I also have a couple of more Goldfield photos from yesterday.

Auto Graveyard and Striking Scenery )

I would describe Goldfield as "quirky." It has to be a challenging place to live, with nearly all services (such as the nearest gas station) 30 miles away in Tonopah, but it does seem to have some attractions, and there are still people who care about it, like those trying to restore the Goldfield Hotel to make it more of a tourist destination.

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