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Spellcheck: Att'n Pamela, Att'n Karen J.

Needed: the right and proper spelling & capitalization of Hippotopher/Hippotifer/you get the idea.

I've just had the delight of watching a couple of minutes of video with Jim Young interviewing Jon Singer, Bob Vardeman, and a small hippotifer at MidAmeriCon. Jon's interviewed as the head of the Bozos, Beaners, and Boogies Union, and the entire thing is charmingly bizarre, just as it should be.

So when DD-B or someone else makes a video snippet we can show, I want to make sure we spell all of the names correctly in the titles. :-)

Some recipes are just too simple

I believe minnehaha K. was the first person to sing the praises of homemade mayonnaise and the simplicity of making it. I certainly learned how to make homemade croutons from her and don't think I've bought packaged croutons since.

Tonight, thanks to the raksallad (shrimp salad) I'm taking to a Scandinavian potluck tomorrow, I've finally made my own mayo for the first time ever. Yep, pretty durned tasty stuff.

Alton Brown recipe, modified by using sunflower oil rather than safflower (’cause I forgot which one I had in my cupboard while shopping, and the only olive oil I have on hand is extra virgin. Something like 3 bottles of it, but there you go). Preparation modified thanks to the Kitchenaid mixer debgeisler gave me when she upgraded. I don't have an immersion mixer, and if I have a blender, it's been so long since I used it that I stopped looking after 3 likely cupboards because I'm just not sure there's one to be found. I do have a hand-me-down 1970s food processor that's been amazing the couple of times I've used it over the last 7 years or so, but I don't really have the hang of it yet.

Anyway, I picked the Alton Brown recipe both because I trust him and it called for hand whisking. But I read enough comments on various recipes and doubted not only that my wrist and arm was up to the task, but was also pretty doubtful that I could coordinate the whole thin stream of oil while whisking thing.

So I turned to the Kitchenaid, and it did a spiff job.

Now to chop the shrimp, and mix it with the Créme fraiche, freshly-made may, Dijon mustard, ketchup (really?!) and paprika. I'm going with Penzey's smoked paprikia, ’cause that just seeem right.

The recipe came from scandinaviafood.com after printing out several different shrimp salad recipes all alleging to be Scandinavian. (Every family's grandmothers have their favorites, no doubt.) But a close read of it doesn't show the mayo ever being added! I'm betting that's a error of omission rather than an error of listing an extra ingredient, especially after reading other recipes.

I'm going to serve the raksallad as an appetizer with cocktail rye, crackers, and cucumber slices as choices for carrier devices.

One of the recipes I'm not using specifically said that the mayo didn't have to be homemade, which only served to put the idea in my head. And the rest of the recipe is just too darned easy. I like these potlucks not only because they're leading me to regularly make things I've never made before, but also to learn new cooking techniques in the process. Hence, the homemade mayo.


Hope your weekend is as much fun as mine looks to be!

Happy Birthday, Don Fitch!

Happy 87th birthday to the wonderfully incomparable don_fitch! As we begin this month of giving thanks, I send thanks and glee to the universe and fandom for bringing you into my life a few decades back, and to you for adding so much delight to it through your friendship, sensibilities, and skills with a slip-sheeter. And so much more, oh, so much more.

Know that your 88th year spinning ’round the sun starts with as much love as I can possibly send through the electrons, with equal measures of respect and admiration accompanying it.

Hugo Awards ceremony video replay

The 2015 Hugo Awards ceremony is up and running on the Livestream.com website.

It's in 4 segments and includes the pre-show and post-show.

I've seen several comments about the UStream feed over the past few days. At this time, I don't know whether the video will eventually be posted there or not.


Geri Sullivan: Girl Homeowner

AKA: They'll let anybody own a house, whether they're fit to or not

Sunday evening: water flowing from hot water tap is first sorta warmish, then distinctly lacking in anything resembling heat.

Background: my boiler heats my water; I don't have a separate water heater.

I do various things: try another tap; go downstairs and peer at the silent boiler; shine a light and notice it appears to be seeping water onto the floor an a somewhat increased rate; turn the thermostat to heat and crank the temp up to 86 in an attempt to get the boiler to start up (*click* *click* *nothing*); and eventually go to bed, thanking the stars and calendar that it's August and who needs hot water anyway.

Monday: Call Boiler Guy. "This number is temporarily disconnected." Hmmm....that, combined with the fact that they didn't return repeated calls for a cleaning throughout the last utterly horrid heating season leads me to suspect they may be out of business.

Call place that delivers my oil, remembering a letter mentioning that they do cleanings now. Beside, it's Squier Oil. Of my Squiers. So, hey. Talk with Ed, the guy who worked with me to coordinate deliveries during aforementioned horrid heating season, when it was impossible to shovel a path to the fill cap. Mention need for cleaning, water on floor, furnace that won't come on. Arrange for Wednesday visit. Learn why a bit of seeping is better left alone. State that I think I'm beyond a bit of seeping. Learn a thing to try with the water valves, 'cause minerals sometimes build up and stop the auto-fill for the water.

Still no boiler action; still no hot water.

Leave for a couple of days. Stay with friendly cat in a lovely, comfortable home. It's good to have friends, especially friends who give you house keys for decades at a time. Answer phone call to schedule time for Wednesday visit; talk about some of the details with the scheduler. Shower. Ah, warm water is nice, especially in a house with central air. Make contingency plans about possibly needing to return.

Come home. Work. Clear out storage bins near boiler so new Boiler Guy(s) will be able to work. Attempt to sweep cobwebs from rafters. Tidy upstairs, well, at least somewhat. Faff around on FB and other, usual net destinations. Write and send funding request for Scott Imes Video Archive digitizing project.

Answer phone call confirming 10:30am appointment for boiler cleaning. Scheduler asks (in a confirming sort of tone), "And it doesn't come on when you push the reset button, right?"

Geri Sullivan, Girl Homeowner responds with a query of her own: "There's a reset button?"


Get off phone, go downstairs and stare at boiler. Notice little red button and the instruction next to it: "Push to Reset."

Well, okay. Push button. Boiler fires right up.

Something like 10-15 minutes later, it turns off. I go to kitchen tap, set it to hot, and let the water run. It takes a bit longer than usual, but hot (not just warmish, *hot*) water is soon running from the tap.

They're still coming at 10:30. The boiler rather desperately needs cleaning and there's still all that seeping water on the floor. But I have hot water. And I'll probably remember that my boiler has an easy-to-find, easy-to-use reset button.

They'll let anybody own a house. There aren't any qualifying tests demonstrating competencies for living in it, using the appliances correctly, or repairing anything.

Just like they'll let anybody join Facebook, whether or not they know if long, chatty posts are appropriate there. Apologies to friends seeing this in both places.*


*Yes, I joined Facebook. Really. After all these years of adamantly staying away it and everything. But I'm damned if I'm going to put the app on my phone. Not while they demand access to my frigging call history to install it. And other things....

Okay, okay, we all know I'm damned anyway. I'm on Facebook.
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.


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.)

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




A short story I obviously needed to read

Toad Words, by Ursula Vernon.


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.)


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

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.


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.


Geri 2014
Geri Sullivan

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