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Destination Dreamwidth

I've ported everything prior to this post over to Dreamwidth; I'm gerisullivan there, too. This is likely to be my last post here.

While I've been posting to LJ rarely of late, my intention is to try to figure out enough of how DreamWidth works to reach and follow a similar audience there. The first step was finding a theme that I could bear to read; the default from back when Dreamwidth was in beta was typographically appalling.

I won't be cross-posting to LJ from anywhere. I have been posting and reading more on Facebook since finally relenting and joining it in August 2015.

Yep, it's LJ's new TOS. At this point, I'm not interested in having to wonder if what I write might violate Russian law, especially since I don't read the language. They've made it both too rude and too risky to stay.

I also turned off automatic payments. Since I had a paid account, technically this account is mine until May 2018. I haven't yet decided whether I'm going to delete it before then. Probably, but probably not this week or even this month. I'm looking for a Mac-friendly archiving tool; I used one successfully during a TOS scare several years ago, much my quick look yesterday only turned up a PC tool and a more-complex-than-I'm-going-to-deal-with answer for Macs.

Onward! See you on the Funway....


'Tis the season...

replyhazy works at a place that has an ugly Christmas sweater party. She has decided to go "bigger and more horrible" this year. Earlier today, she wrote: "I have a hot glue gun. Don't try to stop me. The one thing that won't be attached to this sweater is good taste."

I love her attitude and hope she posts pictures!

Now on the FANAC YouTube channel...

Film #13.39 from the Transtemporal Institute for Fannish Studies: Know the Hotel Staff

Filmed in the months before MidAmeriCon, the 1976 Worldcon. Featuring Dean Gahlon, Denny Lien, Jim Young, and a kazoo orchestra best left unnamed.

Kudos to David Dyer-Bennet and to Joe Siclari and Edie Stern for getting this and other tapes from the Scott Imes Video Archive online!

Other videos recently added to the FANAC Fan History channel include Joe Haldeman singing Stan Long and other videos from MidAmeriCon, Noreascon 2 and 3, Aussiecon, the Hugo Ceremony from Suncon (Attn: kaffyr!), and more. So far, the only two I was present at when filmed were Outworlds Live! at Corflu IV (1987) and Ted White interviewing Walt Willis at MagiCon (1992).

One event totally blew me away: Science Fiction's 50th Anniversary Family Reunion at Noreascon 3 in 1989. It was brilliantly conceived and staged by Ellen Franklin. And, hey, coffeeem you're in it! (Starting at 1:03:40.)

As is SFWA's newest Grandmaster, Jane Yolen, back when she was "one of the middle-aged dinosaurs" (30:34-33:00). Highly recommended.
This post is primarily for residents of the Town of Wales who want to review past business and discussions that took place at Board of Selectmen (BOS) meetings regarding the 5 Main Street property and 5 Main Street Committee. I downloaded minutes from the Town website from August 8, 2014 through December 1, 2015 and extracted the sections pertaining to the property. Most of the boldface and other formatting did not survive the copying process. Any errors or omissions are inadvertent; the complete sets of minutes are available online. I found it interesting to read the minutes about the Old Stafford Road property sale and other BOS business from the last year and more.

BOS Meeting Minutes about 5 Main StreetCollapse )


Last Friday, even though she was out of the office, my doctor has her staff move my April 6th follow-up and physical appointment to Monday in light of the pneumonia diagnosis. I was okay with that, especially given how rotten I felt that day. The good news is that Friday turned out the worst. Saturday morning brought a surprisingly large improvement, and each day since has been modestly better.

The doctor's appointment went well. I'm clearly on the mend. She ordered a couple more lab tests, and we'll confirm that the newly-discovered thyroid nodule looks benign, as 95% of them are. She confirmed that my plan to take it easy through the end of the antibiotics is a good one even if I start feeling fabulous before Thursday morning. Right now, fabulous feels farther away than that.

I *was* pleasantly surprised to not be thoroughly wiped by the appointment...and still very grateful Elaine drove me to it. Yet I came home and napped for hours on the sofa after more yummy soup for lunch. And I'm feeling very tired; a week without CPAP is probably catching up with me. But I'm still not going to risk shoving anything remaining down into my lungs; that's the last thing I need.

The narrative that makes the most sense at this point is the one my doctor put forth: a lung infection of some sort caused the initial symptoms that landed me in the ER Sunday night. The pneumonia diagnosis made after the lateral lung x-rays was likely spot on, with the IV antibiotics getting enough of a head start on it that it didn't show on the CT scan 16+ hours later. They also did the job well enough that I started feeling oh, so much better Monday evening. My doctor said the antibiotics stay in the system 24-48 hours, which matches the timing of my getting home and suddenly feeling hit by a brick a few hours later.

I can't blame the hospital for trusting the CT results; it's a better diagnostic tool for pneumonia than the xrays, and I didn't have any of the coughing that so often accompanies the disease. Well, not until Thursday night, that is....

This past Tuesday afternoon, Andy Duncan returned a phone call from David Hartwell. After concluding their business, the conversation, as Andy put it, "roamed free." I am so very, very thankful that Andy shared the meat of that conversation with the rest of us.
No shit, here I was. Much Mac neepery & a bit of Samsung madness aheadCollapse )

The external SSD is astonishingly, ridiculously small and light. 2.09" x 2.8" x 0.36" tall at its widest point. The 4" USB cable weighs at least twice what the drive weighs.

Reading further in the User Guide, I note are only 3 bullets under the "Keep Away from Children, Infants, and Pets" safety warning. The last one is especially worth noting. After noting that there is a choking risk due to small parts, and advising that if a child is using the product to instruct said child on how to use the product correctly (and to monitor correct usage), the final bullet states:

• Do not stab any part of the body such as eyes or ears with the product, and do not put the product in the mouth.

And on that note, I'm going to post go to bed. Without stabbing anything or anybody. Not deliberately, at least.


2015 Nights Away From Home Meme

Travel bumped back up last year after bottoming out at a mere 43 nights gone in 2014). The generosity of the Corflu Fifty carriend me across the Pond for the first time since 2002. Escaping the horrors of last year's winter for 19 days in March and early April would have been splendid under any circumstances, but to spend those days with friends all over England was utterly divine. Thank you all so much.

A mad dash around the Midwest in July found me staying overnight in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. I passed through ten states, stayed in eight cities, was gone for 12 nights, and drove over 3,000 miles. Eep. Fun, though. Then December found me on another road trip, this time south to Virginia, delivering 14 boxes of video tapes from the Scott Imes Video Archive to be digitized before MidAmeriCon II this summer. Once I was there, I headed further south to North Carolina for an utterly lovely working mini-vacation on North Carolina's Outer Banks. I lived in North Carolina from 1974-76 and have been wanting to visit it again ever since I moved east in 2004.

In all, I was gone from Toad Woods 66 nights, or 18% of 2015, which means I was home 82% of the year. The second digits in each number flipped compared to 2014 when I was gone 12% and home 88%. But that was the low point over the 5 years I've been keeping track. As long as I'm home at least 75% of the time, I'm happy to be traveling more.

Fourteen human visitors and one canine were here for a total of 32 nights. That was grand!

FYI, I spent a few hours in the Toronto airport in both March and April as part of my Corflu Fifty travels, but neither was an overnight stay.

2015 Overnights Away From Toad Woods Details behind the cutCollapse )

Science-fiction Conventions Chatter about 2015 realities and 2016 hopes behind the cutCollapse )

Overnight Visitors at Toad Woods Friends from IL, MI, MN, NH,& NYCollapse )

Hope you'll all come back soon, and often, too. It's sheer delight sharing the Zeppelin Hangar with you!

Links to past meme reports

Recipe: Egg & Mussel Salad

Teresa Nielsen Hayden and I tossed around several possibilities and came up with a recipe using the cooked mussel meat I'd found at the grocery store. It went over very well when I served it on Christmas Day.

All quantities are estimates, well, except for the number of hard-boiled eggs I used. I'm confident that the recipe is very forgiving when it comes to the amounts of the ingredients.


Egg & Mussel Salad
by Teresa Nielsen Hayden & Geri Sullivan

4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped up as if for egg salad

2.5-3 oz cooked mussel meat (unseasoned) – lightly chop mussels (halved or quartered at most; you can easily leave some whole)

About 1/3 cup homemade mayonnaise (I used Alton Brown's recipe, and also pasteurized the eggs — see below for links to both)

Penzey's Singapore seasoning blend to taste – I probably used 1.5–2 teaspoons

1-2 teaspoons capers, or to taste – lightly chopped (halved, not minced)

About 2 oz pitted black olives to taste, roughly chopped up

1 Shallot, thinly sliced and chopped

Ground pepper, to taste (I used Trader Joe's Rainbow Peppercorns)

Add Singapore Seasoning blend to mayonnaise. Stir in thoroughly.

Mix everything together using a large spoon or spatula. If time permits, refrigerate for a few hours so flavors can blend.

I served it as an appetizer along with baguette slices and cucumber slices cut thickly enough to serve as the base (about 1/8" thick). Cocktail rye and crackers would likely also work well.


Homemade Mayonnaise by Alton Brown.

(GeriNote: I double the recipe and use a KitchenAid mixer for all of the whisking.)


How to Pasteurize Eggs

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!


Geri 2014
Geri Sullivan

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