Monthly Archives: January 2011

Twenty-Five Years Ago

Twenty-five years ago, I was early in my fourth semester at The University of New Mexico.  My first class of the day was, if I recall correctly, Macro Economics – which was held in The Kiva – a round lecture hall near the College of Education.  Since The Kiva was quite a ways from the College of Engineering, and my second class was also closer to that end of the campus, I traditionally went over to the terminal “pod” in the Computer Center, rather than to the one in the Engineering Annex where most of my friends hung out.

I was working on something, or possibly reading net news (for those too young to remember net news, think of it as a 1980’s version of a social network, but in text only), when one of my friends started a chat session from The Engineering Annex, mentioning early on hearing that the shuttle blew up.  At first I thought he was joking, but quickly confirmed that he was serious, and I was in shock.

Nineteen-years and two days earlier, I was less than one-year old.  So, I have no memory of the Apollo One fire (except for retrospectively as documented here), other than as history.  But I’d been following, at least in the background, most of the shuttle activity.  So hearing about the shuttle blowing up was quite a shock.

A few days later, I remember listening to the memorial service being broadcast on the local radio station as I drove to school (and for some reason I remember that that was one of the days I parked where I shouldn’t because I was late to a class – but I did move my car as soon as I could).

CONjecture Starting to Come Together

Well CONjecture 2011 is slowly starting to come together.  We’ve got one of the major missing pieces filled in – and this is the one that will let us start moving forward.  We will be signing our hotel contract this week.

CONjecture 2011 will be September 9-11, 2011 at the Marriott Mission Valley in San Diego, California.

I’ve got a number of my staff people already working towards our convention, including our Guest of Honor Liaison who is trying really hard to get in touch with our first choice Guest of Honor.  So we are hoping to have that taken care of soon.

But I still have a few big holes to fill.  Perhaps the biggest is I still need three key staff people: Con Suite, Publications and, in some way most importantly, Publicity.  I have had one recommendation on Con Suite – but I just need to convince them to do it again 6 months (+ a bit) from their usual time and 6 months (- a bit) from their next normal time, which first requires that I get a chance to talk to them.  But the other two I have no clue or leads on – and I have no ability to do the Publicity job, any more than I already do as con chair.

Even trying to do publications with chair would be bad news.  And even if I could do the copy editing and layout (which I might or might not be able to figure out with tools I have access to), dealing with the printing etc. might be too much to do that close to con.

But, such are the results of agreeing to chair a con 7 (or is it 6) weeks before World Fantasy in the same city (which has eaten a few of my people); and we’ve got a shallower pool of fans and con-runners here than I’d expect given the size of the city.

Busy Day

This looks like it is going to be a busy Sunday:

9:20 – Church

1:00 – SANSFiS (Parent organization of CONjecture, Anime Conji and World Fantasy 2011, and possibly others down the road)

3:00 – CONjecture 2011

5:00 – Church home group

At least the 1:00 and 3:00 meetings are at the same place, and I control the pace of the 3:00 meeting so we should be able to get home to get The Kid and get to home group.

And, Tara – just for added fun – has to work at 4:00am tomorrow, midnight Tuesday-Thursday and maybe at 4:00am on Friday.  At least I get to work my normal schedule.

Another Thing to Like About San Diego

At this moment, the most noticeable local college men’s basketball team, The San Diego State Aztecs, are undefeated.  On Saturday they will be taking that undefeated record into The Pit to face The University of New Mexico.  There is a higher than 0% likelihood that The Aztecs will get their first loss of the season to the Lobos.  (And without seeing the odds, but knowing the records of both teams and the reputation The Pit has as a strong home court advantage, I suspect that it is a significant likelihood.)

I am an alumni of New Mexico, and I have a license plate frame that tells the world this – or at least observant people looking at the back of my car.

At other times and places, I’d actually be somewhat worried that if UNM wins, my car could be targeted for vandalism just because of the frame.  But for the most part, San Diego is fairly laid back about its sports teams – and more so about its college sports teams.  So I suspect at the most if anyone sees my frame they may ask me if I saw the game (which I’m debating on doing provided it is on The MTN or another sports network), but won’t be personally mad at me, or my car.

Linux System Update

Over the weekend, after umpteen different trials of various mostly similar approaches, I was finally able to recover my Linux system.

Alas, when I was done I realized that my latest update was early November.  I’ve been trying to re-import my postings from Live Journal, but it is going slowly.  If I end up reposting something that I’d posted a month or more back, it is a result of the re-importation of the post.

Renovation Modern Hugo Survey

I just filled out my response to the current Renovation (as in this year’s Worldcon) survey on recent Best Novel Hugo Award winners.

I was interested to note that all of the books I’d read (Neuromancer, Ender’s Game, The Diamond Age, Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire,  and American Gods) I’ve actually listened to as audio books.  As I was typing this, I also clicked that my current audio book is a re-listen to Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire.

I am also pretty sure that the only one I may have actually read listened to before it would have been voted on was, again, Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire.

Today’s Incident in Tucson

In case you haven’t heard, a Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was having an open, outside, meeting with her constituents in a shopping center in Tucson was shot around noon local time. According to the reports I’ve read, several other people were shot and at least one person – a young child according to reports – was killed. Others, including the Giffords, are in critical condition.

Giffords is a Democrat who won reelection to her 3rd term by a fairly narrow margin against a Tea Party supported Republican. She also had had her offices in Tucson vandalized earlier last year.

Ron’s Ranting

If I Were NCAA Dictator

OK, I’m not much of a fan for sitting and watching the sporting events that most of the rest of the nation seems to enjoy – probably a bit too much. But I do like to at least keep some track of what goes on in college athletics, especially when it involves either The University of New Mexico, or some of the nearby colleges and universities (currently San Diego State, and to a lesser extent The University of San Diego – UCSD and San Marcos State don’t seem to have high profile athletic programs).

But, what I’ve seen leads me to have some ideas that I think would probably really improve college athletics – but would probably make the money behind it (TV networks, mostly) angry. So, I’m posting what I’d do if I were made “dictator” of the NCAA – i.e. I could set the rules, and make them stick without having to fight through a bunch of committees.

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New Year, Same Old Problem

About a week and a half ago (or maybe two weeks ago), I was able to get my linux box to properly display – by switching ports on the KVM. {Said KVM was an open-box discount at Fry’s, and has some other issues and may end up getting replaced sooner rather than later.} But then I started to do a long overdue update of many packages, including the kernel.

Something went wrong during the kernel update, and the computer locked up. When I tried to reboot it, it didn’t come up and complained about a missing kernel file.

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