Monthly Archives: August 2006

2000 movies? Moi?

I check my referer log occasionally (well, actually the version of it produced by sitemeter); tonight, I noticed that one of my referrals came from an a9 search for the term “2000 movies”.  I was curious, so I reproduced the search, and found that one of my blog entries from December 26, 2000, titled “Movies, Movies, Movies” was the second result in the a9 search (powered by Windows Live).

I think they have a bit of tuning to do on their algorithms.

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Part of my history is gone

On a tip from a friend at work, I took a little detour en route to work this morning and drove by what used to be the main IBM site in San Jose.  Building 028, the former home of IBM Research in San Jose, and a place I spent many busy (and sometimes happy) hours before moving out here, was partially missing.

Hitachi, which now owns the campus, doesn’t need it all for their operations; instead, they’re going to develop a good chunk of it for residential and commercial use.  Building 028 is in that chunk, and so it’s being devoured (and, I hope, recycled).

While I never had an office in 028, I’ll still miss it.

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Back to school!

School started for Jeff today, which meant that we all had to get up early.  So far, so good.

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Today’s Cingular/Motorola V551 tip

If your phone gets confused and thinks you have voicemail when you don’t:

  1. Call yourself from another phone
  2. Leave a voicemail
  3. Retrieve the voicemail from your cellphone
  4. Delete the voicemail with “7″
  5. Exit the system with “*”

Worked for me!  Thanks to the Cingular forums for the tip.  BTW, the only way I know to unlock the phone is to call Cingular and ask them to do it.

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Worldcon Retrospective

We’re home after a long lunch at Knott’s Berry Farm (next time, I’ll have to tell the waitress that we’re in a hurry) and a longer drive (about 6 hours from Knott’s to Lunardi’s).

Today, the only Worldcon program item I went to was the Book Raffle; I didn’t win, but I didn’t have as many losing tickets as Seth Breidbart, who had 989 losers (and 11 winners).

Diane and Jeff went to the Battlestar Galactica panel, which sounded like it was much more interesting than the raffle. We also upgraded our support of the Australia in 2010 bid to Firend level. And I took advantage of some booksellers (yeah, right) and bought a ton of Poul Anderson books so that I’ll be more ready for the next Chocolate for Trivia program I attend.
I suspect the Dead Pluto party is still going strong in what used to be the Con Suite; I was very impressed by the Con Suite at LACon. It was open 24/7; it had decent munchies and drinks the whole time (as well as enough fruit and carbs to get an impecunious fan through breakfast); it had plenty of seating (I’m not sure how many rooms it covered, but it included two suites and all the bedrooms between, and might have extended farther than that at times); and it had free books (courtesy of LASFS). And because it had all of these features, it also had lots of people and good conversations…so many, that I never even made it to the fanzine lounge.

Definitely a good con; I wonder how long it’ll be before LA bids again?

I also wonder how long it’ll be before our next Worldcon; we don’t know yet whether we’ll be able to make it to Yokohama for Nippon 2007. It’ll depend on Jeff’s school schedule next year — time to start lobbying, I guess.

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Scooped!

I was pleased to see the official newszine had a special edition out right after the Hugo ceremony ended, giving the winners and the complete voting tally (in 4-point type, alas…).  The official announcement of the site selection winner was in this morning’s first issue, about 10 hours after we’d published it in the hoaxzine.

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Harlan at work

We were wandering around the party floor this evening and popped into the Chicago party, where they were playing the blues at high volume. Suddenly, the music quieted, and there was a voice, louder than the music had been, explaining that the music was too loud for people to have decent conversations. I looked, and the badge attached to the voice had the name “Harlan” on it. (In the interest of plausible deniability, I won’t mention the last name, but it’s the one you think it is.) Moments later, he was out of the room and down the hall.

A few minutes later, we left and walked over to the Con Suite, where the story was already being told. News travels fast….

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Looking forward to 2008

Tom Veal has written a detailed analysis of the 2008 Worldcon site selection results. I feel the need to correct him on one point: the “Denver Wins!” headline on the hoaxzine was not there because Seth (or the rest of us) thought it was an improbable result (we covered that in the item about the demolition of the Oasis Tower of the Marriott) — it was there because we knew the facts, and the best hoaxes are well-dusted with facts (see, for example, the runup to the Iraq War).

I can’t speak for everyone who voted for Denver, of course, but I can speak for seven voters who chose Denver (and may well choose Montreal for 2009) based entirely on the date of the convention. School in our part of California starts a week or more before Labor Day — even Kehillah has given in on that this year and is starting school next Tuesday. So a Labor Day con is at a disadvantage for us compared to one which is set during summer vacation. Of course, by 2008, Jeff will be in college, and we don’t know what that particular college’s schedule will be — but in any event, it’s likelier that he’ll start before Labor Day than afterwards.

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Three fen in a con #e

We spent much of today co-conspiring on a hoaxzine (PDF, 3.6MB) for LACon IV; we scooped the official newszine with the announcement of Denver’s victory for 2008 — it was especially enjoyable to hand a copy to a person who I cannot yet name who said it was good to see the announcement, since he was going to be FGoH there (he already knew, of course). I apologize for the absence of the logo from the zine, but I don’t have a scanner here, and it was hand-drawn.

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Enough of the shiny and new schtick!

When looking at the schedule for today, we’d planned to go to the Tai Chi session at 9am this morrning, and I also wanted to go to the Bad Astronomy panel immediately afterwards. But we chose not to set the alarm last night, and this morning, we suffered the natural consequences of that action.

So when we finally dragged ourselves out of bed around 8:15, we had to choose between breakfast and Tai Chi. Breakfast won; we drove to Tiffy’s (which was actually closer than Captain Kidd’s, so we could easily have walked). The breakfast at Tiffy’s is good, but the service is very slow; by the time we finished, the Bad Astronomy panel was but a memory.

We arrived back at the Convention Center a few minutes into the 11:30am panels; Jeff went to see Marina Sirtis, while Diane and I wandered the fan exhibit space and talked with Joe Siclari and Edie Stern at the FANAC table. Eventually, we wandered up to see the last few minutes of the session, followed by another hike, this time to Marri’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant (passing Tiffy’s along the way) for lunch. Jeff had pasta; Diane and I split an amazingly bready pizza.

We split up for the next two sessions; Jeff and Diane went to the panel on Batman (the live-action series) and “Being an Alien” (actors). I went to the Denver Mah Jongg party and lost $750 in Denver Mah Jongg money, but I made up for it at Trivia for Chocolate, where I finished third with 43 mints (some of which made it back to the room). Then I joined Jeff and Diane for “Star Trek Between the Cracks”, which had Larry Nemecek showing slides and suffering horrible computer and projector problems.

We wanted a good dinner, and we got one at Market Broiler at The Block in Orange; tasty salmon, salads, starches, and vegetables. Recommended.

Then it was party time. Many of the parties were holdovers from last night, including Denver, Columbus, and Chicago with their last bid parties and Kansas City, moving into the final year of their bid cycle. But there were new parties, as well.

The League of Evil Geniuses was a dark affair, and crowded. I wasn’t able to stop long enough to admire the gallery on the walls, but I did see that there were additions.

Westercon 60 will be at the Marriott in San Mateo (the hotel on 101 which looks used to look like a castle); they were having a Gnome-themed party (much like Denver).

Xerps in 2010 was in high gear; we got probed even before we got into the room, and the Skippy was flowing freely.

Japan had green tea and other goodies; I’d like to go to the con, but it’s not clear that school will cooperate for Jeff.

There were other parties, including the Friendly Scandanavians, but my energy ran out sooner than the hallways did. Some will be there again tomorrow night…as will I.

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