Monthly Archives: September 2002

3<sup>2</sup>/5<sup>2</sup> = 7<sup>2</sup>

The math may not be accurate, but the statement is true, nonetheless (as long as you read your dates in American style, anyway).

They shouldn’t have

Diane and Jeffrey both got me things I wanted for my birthday, but I suspect they really shouldn’t have. Jeffrey gave me Iron Chef: The Official Book, and Diane got me a subscription to the Sunday New York Times. Both will keep me busy for many happy hours (and the subscription will require an increase in the household pencil budget, especially at the eraser end!).

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I didn't know they had *that* kind of ad on the radio!

The play was good; at the end, we stood and applauded (but only about 20% of the audience did likewise). And we even stuck around for the discussion afterwards. I would recommend it, even if the Merc didn’t.

On Sunday, we went knife shopping. Al, it’s your fault — I was happy with my dull knives until you started talking about your Global knife and I bought one. Then another. Then a sharpener. Yesterday’s purchase was a set of steak knives (which we mostly use to cut oranges) to replace the “never need sharpening” cheapies we had, and which had dulled over the years. We now have a set of Henckels steak knives…and I’m steeling them after each use. Sheesh.

We also tried to watch the first episode of Firefly, which we’d Tivo’d on Friday. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to check to see if there was a baseball game before the episode…and there was, and it ran long, so we only got the first 30 minutes of the show. It was still cute and showed promise — it is an unabashed Western in space (down to the music, and the barroom brawl to start the first episode); we’ll Tivo next week’s episode and see if it’s worth continuing to watch.

And I think we’re in the market for a widescreen TV. I’d love to get a plasma screen, but we watch too much 4:3 stuff for that to be a good idea (plasmas burn in over time, and 4:3 stuff causes uneven wear). The Samsung 507 DLP projection HDTV is awfully tempting….

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Where does the time go?

It’s been weeks since I wrote a meaningful blog entry; today isn’t going to be the day, either, but I want to get back into the habit of writing regularly, so this will have to do.

Some random synapses are still firing, though….

We watched the first episode of the new season of Enterprise on Wednesday and enjoyed it. I was startled by Ho Shi’s new look when she dropped out of the duct, though — who does she think she is, Captain Kirk?

Last night, we were treated to a power failure around dinnertime; luckily, we’d already planned to go out to eat, so it didn’t actually interrupt cooking. And after dinner, we went out for a little walk and saw the Minuteman contrail in the sky; we didn’t catch it in time to see any colors, but it was still beautiful in black-and-white.

The weekend looks busy, with our first San Jose Rep show of the season, as well as the grand reopening of the Los Gatos Town Plaza, and Jeffrey’s first Bar Mitzvah tutoring session with the Cantor. Oh, and Sukkot begins tonight, and we’re on Oneg duty.

Shabbat Shalom and Hag Sameach!

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The problem with Yom Kippur is, of course, overeating

Not during the fast itself, I hasten to add — but before and after. At least it’s a problem for us; we have a big dinner before Kol Nidre, and then a big break-the-fast after the holiday is over. And the next day (today), I’ve gained a pound or two.

It happens every year, too. Good thing I can eat what I want the other days of the year!

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One Year Ago…

I had set my alarm early to call in to an all-day IBM meeting on the East Coast (normally, I would have gone there in person, but travel money was tight).

I dialed into the conference bridge, and after giving my password, the first thing I heard was someone saying “and they’ve bombed the Pentagon, too.”

My first instinct was to go to the Top Stories page on the New York Times’ website. But it didn’t respond. I tried CNN; it didn’t respond either.

So I turned on the TV, and a minute later, walked back to the phone and told the people in the (TV-less) conference room that I’d just seen one of the towers of the World Trade Center collapse.

Somehow, we actually tried to get through the first presentation, but no one’s mind was really on the subject. And after that, the call and meeting just sort of ended; there were more important things to think about.

Today…

I’m at a three-day IBM meeting on the East Coast. In four minutes, we’ll observe a moment of silence for those who were murdered one year ago today.

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Something of a Worldcon Report

I wanted to wait to update my weblog until I
could write up
a full report on ConJosé,
which explains the lack of updates for the past 11 days. And I still
don’t have time to do a full report, but the memories are fading, so
this will have to do.

We all had a good time at the con, so much so that
all three of us have attending memberships (despite the probable
conflict with school) for the next three Worldcons:

We’re also presupporting the
Charlotte bid for the
2005 NASFiC and the Melbourne in ’10 Worldcon bid; Jeffrey’s in favor of
the LA in 2006 Worldcon bid (it’s really for Anaheim, two blocks from
Disneyland), but I haven’t made up my mind yet.

I enjoyed seeing old friends (some of whom, I’m afraid, look quite a bit
older than the last time I saw them), though I didn’t really have a
chance to talk at length with many of them.

The huckster’s room was, as always, dangerous — more so this time than
usual, since Jeffrey was hunting for books, too, and because we didn’t
have to worry about fitting what we bought into our luggage; I’d never
been to a Worldcon within driving distance before. So Jeffrey bought 16
Star Trek books and a few comics, and I picked up another 16 books
myself. It might have been more if I’d remembered to bring a cloth bag
from the car — I had to stop for fear of having the plastic bags the
dealers gave us tear apart under the strain! 32 books, that’s not too
many….

I didn’t actually purchase all of the books I got; the con was giving
away books from time to time, and I picked up a reprint of Wilmar
Shiras’s Children of the Atom. And I got a copy of Heinlein’s
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls as a thank-you for donating
blood (and the refreshments and atmosphere were a lot better than they
are at work, too!).

I bought two of my books as a result of being accosted by the
Filthy Pro who wrote them; he
overheard me mention Heinlein and said I’d enjoy Jumping off the
Planet
and Bouncing off the Moon…and he’s probably right.
And if not, at least I have signed copies of both books.

I picked up The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge, and was lucky
enough to get him to sign it (and also sign the story he contributed to
the con’s restaurant guide) — I just wish I’d had a chance to finish it
before leaving on my current trip, but I couldn’t see carrying such a
large book when I only had two stories left to read, even if one of them
was this year’s Hugo Novella winner.

Other than the huckster room, I’d say that the highlight of the con was
the Lux Radio Theater of the Air live broadcast of “The Adventures of
Luke Skywalker”. This was a presentation of Star Wars: A New
Hope
as if it had been done as a 1940’s radio drama; the actors read
their parts in the style of famous stars of the era — as an example,
Darth Vader was played by Bela Lugosi. Great fun!

As far as the other big events go, we didn’t get to the Masquerade until
it was almost over
(we
saw the last two costumes). We left the Hugos right after Best Dramatic
Presentation was awarded to Lord of the Rings (which we still
haven’t seen). And we missed the opening ceremonies completely, though
we did make it to the closing ceremony, where we heard Rubber
Duckie
performed as a Gregorian chant — in Latin, as well as in
English.

We did make it to the big Patrick Stewart special
presentation, which was held in a half-empty auditorium; they did such a
good job of warning people to get there early that many people opted
out! Stewart gave a good show, though, and he brought a new (and not
yet complete) trailer for Star Trek: Nemesis (it’s supposed to be
shown just before the first show of the new season of
Enterprise). He also brought some footage from X-Men 2
which was edited together and set to the music of Mars, from The Planets
— if the movie lives up to that footage, it’ll be worth seeing. And he
also told us that he was planning to produce and star in a remake of
The Lion in Winter, which sounds like it might be good.

We only made it to a few other panels — I enjoyed some of the
technology speculation (especially the panels were Vernor Vinge was a
participant). Jeffrey and Diane went to a story improv panel, where the
panellists took turns creating a story (and trying to make the next
person’s job difficult), but I missed that in favor of a tech panel.
It’s hard to get to everything when there are 15 or more tracks in
parallel!

We didn’t get to the Art Show until late on Monday, when a lot of the
work was already gone; we didn’t get to any films; we didn’t get to any
filks; we hardly even got to any parties (the perils of driving home
each night…). But it was still a good con, and I’m looking forward to
the next one!

Hmmm…Potlatch is nearby, and it’s after the Bar Mitzvah….

[PS: The first version of this writeup got lost due to server problems...and I didn't realize what had happened until after closing my browser. *sigh*]

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