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My Worldcon Site Selection ballot went in the mail last week, with DC17 in first place. Many factors went into my vote, but the bottom line for me came down to the committee. The DC17 bid committee is gob-smackingly large, but that’s because it’s composed of bunches of next generation convention runners working with experienced oldpharts. I imprinted on a multi-generational fandom, developing close friendships with Walt Willis, Chuch Harris, James White, Vin¢ Clarke, and others when they were in their 60s and 70s and I was in my 30s and 40s. Now that I’m in my 60s, I love that my circle of friends has grown to include fans in their 20s and 30s as well as those in my age group and older.

That’s the personal side of it. From a fannish perspective, I’m glad (and relieved) to see the younger fans on the DC committee -- and those I’m working with on MidAmeriCon II -- eagerly learning about fannish traditions and sensibilities, and carrying the things I love about fandom forward into the future. And I'm glad to see the depth of experience present as well.

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I have a few minor nits, but the Wall Street Journal mostly got this article about convention naming terminology and practices right.

The article even mentions Fancyclopedia, and links to it on fanac.org.

Other terminology I never expected to see in the Wall Street Journal, let alone pretty much correctly used? "Relaxacons." I especially like the article's close:

"No matter the size of the gathering, con-goers are sure to find a convivial convergence of confederates."

Kudos to Ben Zimmer and his "Word on the Street" column.

Tripping Down Memory Lane

Thanks to benveniste, I've just digitized 320 slides including the 4 below. What a fun trip down memory lane.

(Clicking through takes you to a larger image. kaffyr, I'll give you the full res versions when I'm in Chicago next month. Oh, yeah, I ought to tell you, I'm hoping to celebrate #61 with you, dr_whuh, and that carnyjack guy who is no longer on LJ.)

Minicon20_1985_BobBerlienandtheWhiteWomen_DSC_4501_150dpi
Minicon 20, 1985. Bob Berlien & the White Women, Musician GoHs

Minicon20_1985_KathyRoutliffe_BobBerlienandtheWhiteWomenPerformance_DSC_4503_150dpi


Minicon20_1985_KathyRoutliffe_BobBerlienandtheWhiteWomenPerformance_DSC_4504_150dpi

Minicon20_1985_BobBerlien_DSC_4506_150dpi

A short story I obviously needed to read

Toad Words, by Ursula Vernon.

Recommended.

With a tip o'the link hat to ULTRAGOTHA on File 770.

Then and now...

...for values of then = 50 years ago and now = merely two.

1965: Rolling Stones (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

2013: Rolling Stones "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction at Glastonbury.

Mick Jagger was a month short of 70 for that Glastonbury performance. It shows in his voice, which is what sent me looking for the earlier footage. But the visuals, and the similarities and differences between the two performances -- in body language, in the audiences, in staging, and, well, everything -- is what has me intrigued and watching tonight.

I was alive for both, and present at neither. Thanks to the fact that we live in the future, I can watch both anytime I want, 24/7, on a large monitor while sitting in my office or pretty much anywhere at all on my phone.

14 miles WSW of Battle Creek...

...was the location of a magnitude 4.2 earthquake that happened in Michigan early Saturday afternoon. Mostly startling rather than damaging, from the bits I've read, but some folks won't be driving up their street for a bit.

Michigan earthquakes are rare enough that it's getting reported and tweeted about not just all over the country, but worldwide, too. Not what I was expecting to see when doing a late-night email and net pass. I'm surprised to read reports of it being felt from Toledo and Detroit to Chicago. That seems like a large distance for such a mild earthquake.

My favorite report so far came near the end of the article on the Battle Creek Enquirer website:

Pennfield resident Laura Otte said she initially thought a medical helicopter was flying over her home near Bailey Park.

But instead, she said, the sound intensified.

"The large mirror on the wall by my chair was shaking and sending bouncing reflections around the wall which told me this was something very different," Otte said on Facebook.

She went outside and asked her neighbor if he felt an earthquake. He calmly said yes and continued gardening, Otte said.

Great neighbor!

Geri Sullivan: Girl Homeowner

Replaced the upstairs toilet seat last night. The plastic hinges had broken, separating the lid from the seat. Turns out the plastic had grown brittle with age.

It got me thinking about how many toilet seats I've replaced in my life. None before first becoming a homeowner in 1980; none before moving into Toad Hall in 1983, as far as I can remember. Once for sure, probably twice during my 20 years there. I know I changed the toilet seat on the first floor here at Toad Woods a few or several years ago. I think I might have changed the upstairs seat at the same time, but that's a hazy possibility at most. This is the first time I remember replacement being due to broken hinges, certainly broken hinges where the lid comes off. Usually the seat itself gets scratched, paint chips, or the surface degrades such that it no longer seems or looks sanitary.

So four, maybe five, maybe even six seats in all. Not all that many given the 35 years we're talking about. If only all homeownership tasks were as trivial and infrequent.
The first hologram protest in history, according to the claims.

Take that, pepper spray!

With a tip o'the link hat to Bruce Townley.

Bonus Concert from Minicon!

I just returned to my room a while after the Hugo Nominations announcement from Sasquan. When I picked up email, I found an announcement from Concert Window that The Nate Bucklin Band concert had just gone live, and the email was from 15 minutes before I picked it up. So I'm now watching and listening to Nate's concert and enjoying seeing and hearing the rest of the band, too!

Live at Minicon 50....

...it's SisterTree opening for the Cats Laughing Reunion Concert!

Kudos to Corwin & Dee Brust, Beyond Conventions, Minicon 50, and all who worked on and supported the Kickstarter campaign to make this happen. So good!

Fanzines from Tynecon III: the Corflu

I picked up or was handed several fanzines and related publications in relation to this year's Corflu. Here's the list, somewhat organized and then re-organized during an edit after posting.

Received the Sunday before Corflu

Caroline Mullan and Brian Ameringen arranged Sunday brunch at a local pub on my behalf. Joseph Nicholas, Judith Hanna, and Rob Hansen all showed up bearing items they'd already done to have ready for Corflu.

The Night Is So Black That The Darkness Cooks from Joseph Nicholas. 10 pages A4.

Nonsense said the Numbat #2 from Judith Hanna. 6 pages A4.

Corrected to add: THEN: The Audio 2 audio cds from Rob Hansen, who digitized tapes supplied by Peter Weston.

Received at Corflu

Flipping Heck #3 from David Hicks. 10 pages A4, with thanks to Dave for numbering his pages.

Vibrator 2.0.14 from Graham Charnock. 18 pages A4.

TAFFWORLD (TAFF newsletter) from Jim Mowatt. 6 pages A4 including the ballot. Note: voting closes 23:59 on Tuesday 7th April 2015 (British Summer Time aka UTC+1). Here's the online ballot.

Wave Without a Shore #2 from Tom Becker. 4 pages A4, published at Corflu, just in time for the 5pm Saturday panel, "We Get the Fandom We Create" and discussed in its pages.

SAM #17 from Steve Stiles. 6 pages, US letter size.

Banana Wings #58 from Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer. 52 pages A5.

Nowhere Fan #3 from Christina Lake. 12 pages A5

Unreliable Narrator #3: Vienna Calling from Doug Bell. 16 pages A5

"Wolf for TAFF!" campaign flyer from Murray Moore. 2 pages US letter size.

Tynecon III: the Corflu publications

Tyne Capsule fanthology celebrating Gannetfandom. Edited & published Rob Jackson and distributed with the Corflu program book. 80 pages A4.

Programme Book edited by Graham Charnock. 34 pages plus covers A4. (Including an article "Rude Dancing" by yours truly.)

Pocket Programme from Doug Bell, Claire Brialey, Christina Lake, and Mark Plummer. 4 pages A5.

Restaurant and Pub Guide from Pat & Harry Bell. 3 pages A4.

"We Get the Fandom We Create" programme pre-reading from Geri Sullivan. 1 page A4. (Many thanks to Claire Brialey for editing and Rob Jackson for printing.)

Auction takings

ATOM 2000 (second edition) and The Millennium ATOM (first edition). Collections of Arthur Thomspon art published by Ken Cheslin, 2000. 102 and 116 A4 pages plus covers respectively. I dropped out of bidding, then Nigel Rowe continued bidding on my behalf, gifting them to me and starting a an auction-livening trend.

SPANG BLAH #19 published by jan howard finder 1978. 16 pages US letter size, all Jim Barker art, originally intended to be a cartoon duel with Phil Foglio. "A bargain of Barker," indeed! Tucked inside: a half-page flyer for Novacon 9 West (in Albany, NY).

In sum: 142 pages in 12 publications new in time for Corflu, 122 pages in 5 publications published by the convention, and luggage'n'budget-constrained 234.5 pages in 3 publications bought at auction. 504.5 pages all told, including covers! No wonder I haven't finished (and, indeed, have barely started) reading it all yet!

Link: Dave Kyle at 96

Dave Kyle originally planned to celebrate his 96th Valentine's birthday at Boskone, but was among those who cancelled shortly before the blizzard-bound convention.

This past Saturday, friends celebrated his birthday, and Bill Burns took a splendid photo of Dave. He gave me permission to share the link as well as his description of meeting Dave 50 years ago this Easter and the help Dave gave him during Bill's 1967 trip to North America.

Bill wrote:

I first met Dave at the 1965 Birmingham Eastercon, then saw him again at Great Yarmouth the next year. At the 1967 Eastercon in Bristol I mentioned to Dave that I would be spending the summer in the USA on a student charter, with a 99 days for 99 dollars unlimited travel Greyhound bus pass. I was 19 at the time and it sounded like a good idea, especially as I could visit my brother in Canada and also get to the Worldcon.

Dave immediately gave me his phone number in Potsdam, told me to call him collect when I arrived in New York, and said he would then arrange with fans across the country to host me as I travelled. And he did.

Along the way I stayed with Dave and Ruth in Potsdam for a few days, and said that I would like to visit Expo 67, the World's Fair in Montreal that year. We checked the bus schedules, and there was one Greyhound a day to and from Montreal - the outbound and return buses crossed in Potsdam at 4am. So Dave dropped me off at the bus station in the middle of the night, I spent a full day in Montreal and took the next bus back, and he picked me up at the bus station in Potsdam at 4am the next day.

The end of my trip was NyCon3. I arrived in Manhattan directly from three days and nights on the bus from California, spent the first night of the con in a room with a bunch of Canadian fans, then Dave offered me the couch in the living room of his hotel suite for the rest of the con. He also got me on a radio show call-in late one night, following which we went out for ice cream.

Two days after the con I was back home in Manchester, ready for my final year at Leeds University. I've never forgotten Dave's many kindnesses and would do anything to help him now.

My 60-year-old, sleep-deprived eyes....

...just scored a ZERO on the online Farnsworth Munsell 100 Hue Test.

BTW, zero is the perfect score. Age has caught up with my eyes in other ways, but not with hue, apparently.

Either that, or the online test is bollocks, as the tetrachromacy test that's making the rounds following the whole dress color excitement appears to be.

I note with disappointment that the Farnsworth Munsell 100 Hue Test is sadly lacking in llamas.

Linky Monday

My hovercraft is full of eels - A multilingual celebration -- with a tip o'the link hat to coth, who I will see in just 19 days! (The languages are listed in the "show more" part of the description.)

And how is it that I don't have THIS?!?

And for the place I'm likely to spend not-insignificant portions of my week? That'd be pretty much everything that will help me properly and usefully configure MySQL Community Server. pnh, you may be my only hope.

(Mail seems to be working. MailStewardPro, not so much. Not yet, that is; I'm confident it will. It would be already, if I had so much as two clues to rub together. Instead, the syntax errors and getting only 82,399 messages archived when the count is known to be over 380,000...well, I'm entertained by some of the absurdities pointing at how much I don't yet know.)

Onward!

The end of an era?

Perhaps. MailSteward Pro is 59030 messages into archiving all of my Eudora mailboxes into its database. Thanks for the pointer, pnh! I started by testing the free version of MailSteward on a select number of mailboxes. It archived something in the neighborhood of 34,000 messages and gave me access to 15,001 of those, as the free trial indicated it would. The search functionality is considerably more robust than what I'm used to, but I poked at it enough to determine that I'm likely to be able to learn how to use it well enough for my needs. So I downloaded MySQL server, installed it, opened Terminal and typed in the easiest of the commands indicated, then followed help screens to launch the server and then the program. Setting the server to archive large attachments will wait for another day.

Back over in a copy of Eudora on another computer, I'm paring back the files I'll attempt to put through Eudora Mailbox Cleaner and then import into Mac Mail. So far, I've gone from 2.54GB in my mail folder to 634.7MB, and from 733 mailboxes to 340. I'm not done yet. But there, at the very top of my fredcritter mailbox, I found the following:

11/3/95, 2:42am

To: falh@maroon.tc.umn.edu
From: gfs@toad-hall.com (Geri Sullivan)
Subject: Eudora
Cc:
Bcc:

Hi, Fred! This is my first attempt at using Eudora to send mail. I have some configuration questions for you -- or at least expect I will have after researching what I can find in balloon help and the like. Whee!

So, the modem is up and running. I've connected to Winternet at 28.8, and done an AOL session at 9600 (I seem to remember that they had special software for 14.4 modems, and the listing of available options jumped from 19-something to 57-something, no "38,400bps," which is what the 28.8 apparently really runs at.

This is fun and only somewhat bewildering. I had email from Winternet saying that the "toad-hall" registration is done and will be effective "tomorrow." But I won't broadcast the information until I see for myself that it works.

Thanks, bunches and tons, for the modem. I still think I'm gonna cry.

More later, no doubt.

Love,
Geri


I've put off moving away from Eudora for years. My first real attempt, following all of the advice and pointers I could gather, ended in a hard fail over this past Thanksgiving weekend. The imported mailboxes and numbers looked right on the surface, so I just kept updating them before proofreading. Not only were the number of messages "off" in several cases, many of the message inside were pure garbage. Horrors.

But I have to change. Eudora doesn't run on Yosemite, and Yosemite is what I'm running on my "new" 17" MacBook Pro. The one built in October 2011, IIRC, and bought refurbished from Apple long after they discontinued selling new 17" MacBooks. The one coming with me on my Corflu Fifty trip across the Pond. So here I am, giving the move another shot, deleting as much cruft and just plain stuff that belongs in an easily-searched archive rather than in Mail, whose search function is reportedly pathetic compared to Eudora's. Stuff like email Fred and I exchanged 19+ years ago.

Wish me luck! I do have a back-up plan in mind, but I really, really, really don't want to have to use it.

Amusement du jour

The Alps of MIT have their own TripAdvisor page. When they disappear, it will, too. I hope it garners more reviews before then!

Super cool thing du jour

Scroll down through the Ten Treasures from the Dead Media Museum Sure, the article is cool, but the goshwow is down at the bottom of the page.

Twenty years ago, Bruce Sterling started the Dead Media Project. Tom Whitwell "best of" collection from 20 years of the Dead Media project, published as an ebook and free in most formats. Complete with a list of aromas in Piesse's Smell Organ....

(And what is Pergulaire, anyway? Storax? Pois De Senteur, Balsam of Tolu, Arome, Portugal (the scent, not the country), and Syringa? New Mown Hay, now that one I've got.)

I must now somehow come up with more self-discipline than I know I have by walking away from search engines as well as the 1,147-page PDF and going to bed. Wish me luck!

Kickstarter for Nate Bucklin's new album

Jeff Schalles just announced that the Kickstarter for Nate Bucklin's new album, My Favorite Whirlwind has gone live! Note that it is a short window, only two weeks until it closes.

I'm in!

221.3 gallons

That's how much oil was added to my 275 gallon tank today, just in time to ensure I have ample oil in the tank to deal with the sub-zero temperatures forecast for the next couple of nights. Win.

That was supposed to be 3 TO 6 inches...

Wales is the current leader in the weather.gov snowfall total for Hampden county, and that's based on a broadcast media report from 9am Sunday. Then again, the only media we have in Wales is the community cable tv station, so who knows?

...HAMPDEN COUNTY...
WALES 9.0 905 AM 2/15 BROADCAST MEDIA
BRIMFIELD 7.0 856 AM 2/15 BROADCAST MEDIA
BLANDFORD 5.0 857 AM 2/15 HAM RADIO
CHESTER 4.5 855 AM 2/15 HAM RADIO
FEEDING HILLS 4.5 247 PM 2/15 GENERAL PUBLIC
SPRINGFIELD 4.5 1235 PM 2/15 TRAINED SPOTTER
WESTFIELD 4.5 841 AM 2/15 BROADCAST MEDIA
WILBRAHAM 3.5 838 AM 2/15 BROADCAST MEDIA
SOUTHWICK 3.5 854 AM 2/15 HAM RADIO
HAMPDEN 3.3 110 PM 2/15 TRAINED SPOTTER

The forecast going into the storm was 3-6 inches, not 3 PLUS 6 inches....

Here at Boskone, I declared Sunday to be Minnesota Day on behalf of all of the Minneapolis fans here. Helmuth editor Mark Richards (the NYC Mark Richards, that is) was kind enough to run the announcement I submitted:

Minneapolis fans at Boskone are declaring Sunday "Minnesota Day" in honor of the blizzard, and, of course Boskone GoH Steven K. Zoltan Brust. Felicia Herman and Geri Sullivan will be wearing their Minnesota Geek shirts featuring Steve's name as well as several of his fellow Scribblies, Fourth Street Fantasy Convention, (which Steve co-founded), Minicon (which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year complete with a Cats Laughing Reunion Concert featuring, um, Steve on drums), and many other names you're likely to recognize.

Back in the early 1980s, Boston folk musician and journalist Scott Alarik wrote "Minnesota's Got To Me." It's a fitting tune not just for Minnesota Day at Boskone, but also the blizzard, and the 75+" of snow that preceded it in the 3 weeks before Boskone. Here's a pertinent taste of the lyrics:

"People will say that there's hell to pay,
the whole long year around.
If the heat don't beat you, the mosquitoes eat 'ya,
ya slip in the mud and drown.
Before you know it, it's always snowin'
so deep you cannot see.
But once or twice, it's so damned nice,
it's just like heaven to me."

You can hear the whole song at [YouTube link] ... and maybe at Boskone's Dead Dog Sunday evening.

===

I didn't wait for the Dead Dog, singing it, oh, going on a dozen times or so from morning on, once with Steve, and 2-3 times with Felicia (but not 5). Fun.

An early Valentine for Stan fans

The Stan in question is Canadian folksinger Stan Rogers. A few weeks ago, I stumbled across and ordered One Warm Line: The Legacy of Stan Rogers. Friday night, I watched the 1989 CBC documentary for the first time. It won't be the last. The bonus tracks include footage of Stan & his band performing two live songs: Archie Fisher's "Witch of the Westmoreland" and Nigel Russell's "White Collar Holler." I saw Stan perform both at the Coffeehouse Extempore. Oh, the memories....

But even more than the music, I enjoyed the thoroughly Canadian approach to the documentary itself. It brings added insight to Stan's life more with maritime and farming footage than with images from his performances, much as there's an ample amount of the latter, too. There are interviews with his widow and mother as well as some brief comments from his brother, Garnet. And photos of his children, including his son, Nathan, who has a music career of his own. My favorite of the bonus track interviews is the first. I found myself hanging onto every word from poet Bill Howell, talking as he did about all-night conversations he and Stan had about writing and more.

The Kensington website linked above sells the DVD for $20 (plus postage) and has a streaming option for $2. When I ordered it, the only Amazon listing was for an overpriced copy from a third party seller. Tonight, the DVD is on Amazon for $14.99 with free shipping for Prime members, so that's an another option if you're an Amazon customer and want the documentary.

When I returned to my computer after watching the DVD on the TV in the living room, wandering around the web turned up another new-to-me discovery: From Coffeehouse to Concert Hall. How the heck did I miss this album when it was released in 1999, or through all the years that have passed since then? I now have 20 tracks of studio and live performances, none of which are on any of the other 5 Stan Rogers albums I own. My oh my.

And no matter how certain I am that surely decadentdave has long known and been familiar with both the documentary and album, I'll talk with him directly about both. Because none of my friends would have thought they'd be news to me, either.

Happy Valentine's, all. If you'll be at Boskone on the day, please be sure to stop by the MidAmeriCon II table and pick up a heart or three from me.

What's another foot between friends?

A hell of a lot of shoveling, that's what. Shoveling I haven't done yet; shoveling that will wait until tomorrow.

Arrgh.

Inch by inch

Snowfall total here at Toad Woods at 1am Wednesday: 20"

I thought I was going to top out at 18", then 19". Even at 20", that's still 10 fewer than friends in Framingham were clobbered with, but I can't say I got off easy. Just a bit easier than I might have....

Electricity hasn't flickered. (Knocking wood, and All That Jazz....) Ditto both for internet connectivity.

Primary shoveling is done except for the last 2 inches. Plow Guy has been by twice to clear the drive; it's in good shape. I still need to shovel out the path to the oil tank refill cap at the back of the house, and probably shovel plow chunks and other snow piled up around my mailbox. I didn't make it up the drive today to see, but it's a safe bet with this much snow.

BackDeckThruPatioDoor_20150127_144732

My back deck, Tuesday afternoon. Window crayon art by tnh, fredcritter, Gavi, and me.

KarenArt_Snow_20150127_144816

Ditto that about the deck. Window crayon art by minnehaha K.

SoftPeaks_20150127_145233

Whip until soft peaks form. Do not overwhip.

Pictures from February 2011 in my Toad Woods snapshot album (see pages 2 & 3) certainly help put Tuesday's storm into perspective.

Onward!

7am update

Snowfall total here at Toad Woods at 7am: 12"

Wind: present and gusting a bit, but not too noisy now.


Second pass of shoveling done an hour ago, when the total was 11". Snow is super-fluffy, super-light powder. Shoveling 8.5" was easier than shoveling 4" of our "typical" snow. It's of no use whatsoever in terms of building snow forts or sculpting snow frogs, but I'm okay with that. (I'm soooooo okay with that!)

We might be in for another 10-15 inches. Or maybe not. I don't know what time the National Weather Service starts counting "Daytime" accumulation. Ditto that for the Accuweather forecast.

Other data points: electricity is solid. Internet connectivity is solid. Knocking wood and hoping both remain so. But, yeah, this isn't the kind of snow that breaks trees or takes down power lines. Even a foot of it simply doesn't have the weight needed to do either. The winds will knock down a few branches that were already dead, but if National Grid loses power to a third of its customer base as they were anticipating yesterday, well, I'll reconsider switching suppliers. (National Grid had a huge rate jump a couple of months ago and ever since, multitudes of suppliers have been calling promising the sun, the moon, and the stars...or at least massive savings...if I switch. Most of them start out with a lie, telling me that Massachusetts just passed a law allowing me to chose my supplier when that law took effect in 1998. I haven't been inclined to do business with any of them.

Plow Guy came around 6:30 and did his first pass. I bet he was surprised to see my part freshly shoveled!

Plow Mountain has returned to my front yard. By the time this storm ends, it's likely to have grown into Plow Mountain Range.

Midnight update

Okay, it's past midnight. That's because I did the first pass of shoveling after measuring the total as the day ended. And other stuff.

Snowfall total here at Toad Woods at midnight: 2.5"

I don't have an anemometer (and don't have any kids around to turn them loose constructing a homemade version tomorrow), so my wind report is simply: noisy and brisk.

The Weather Underground station at Haynes Hill Road puts winds from the NE at 3.4 mph, gusting to 4.9. It's windier here. The station up in Brimfield has the wind a 2.9 mph with gusts to 26.2, and swinging from the SW to N to NNW. The gusts didn't seem that strong when I was out, but 15-20 mph for sure.

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