January 15th, 2017
As some of you may or may not know, LJ is owned by a Russian news organization. In the last few months, all of LJ's servers have been moved within Russian borders. As a result of the risk of censorship or a Twit(ter) fit of pique causing availability issues, Quasar and I have relocated our blogs to Dreamwidth. We've enabled cross-posting, so everything we post there will appear here with backlinks. I'll continue reading my friends list here, she hasn't posted on her blog in over a year, so who knows what she'll do. ;-)
We were able to keep our LJ names, so here's our blogs:https://thewayne.dreamwidth.org/https://quasar273.dreamwidth.org/
The transfer process from LJ to DW is quite painless and pretty fast: create and verify your account, click on Help/Support, and the first entry was on importing from LJ to DW. You provide your name and password, select all the options, and it starts the transfer. Your LJ account is left intact: nothing is deleted. Both of our accounts are ten years old, I had almost 4,000 entries. It didn't take too long to finish. All comments came across with user names altered to show they were from LJ. I was quite happy with the end result. Apparently DW can also import from InsaneJournal, I've never blogged there, I assume the process is the same. The three platforms are based on the same code.
To enable cross-posting from DW to LJ, go to your Account Settings, Other Sites, and add your LJ information. You may want to set the Footer to Always to show people where you normally post from, you may or may not want to set the disable comments option. Personally I did not, though I did turn on the footer. I don't see any way to cross-post from LJ to DW.
There you have it. We'll hopefully see you in the summer!
December 1st, 2016
For those of you who provided a story for this year's zine, feel free to post them wherever you desire, And thank you again for writing one for the zine and allowing our folk the opportunity to read them first.
Don't forget I'd love to have a zine for 2017 attendees too -- any type of fanwork would be lovely; the theme suggestions are listed on the final page of 2016's, but you are not bound to any of them if you have something you'd like to offer that are different.
July 23rd, 2016
Two things. Well, three.
First, JJ states that the roll of Chekov WILL NOT be recast after Yelchin's death for future. I think that's a good call.
Second, Star Trek 4 has been confirmed.
Third, and finally, Chris Hemsworth will reprise his roll of James T.'s father in the next movie, the how has not yet been revealed.http://mashable.com/2016/07/20/anton-yelchin-wont-be-recast/
July 19th, 2016
This book got a mention in the Social Responsibilities panel, and I said I'd post my review. (I'll post it on yahoogroups once I actually join.)
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
(Non-fiction: social science/psychology/history/philosophy/everything)
Never before has optimism been so scientific. Or so mired in horror and gore.
This book is magnificent. So broad, so deep, so multi-angled. It's the history of human civilisation, as told through homicide, torture, war, oppression of women, duelling, cruelty to animals, religious atrocities, slavery, infanticide, capital punishment, slavery, genocide and a multitude of other cruelties.
All - every single one of which - has markedly declined from millennia ago, centuries ago, decades ago.
It's a melding of history, scientific methods of gathering historical data and measuring trends (how do you compare murder rates in today's bureaucratic culture to rates in pre-literate hunter-gatherer societies?), cognitive psychology, group psychology, evolutionary psychology, philosophy... And it ties all this together without becoming overly heavy.
A random sampling of questions and ideas which are considered:
Why does the US South have far higher rates of homicide than the North, while the North has figures closer to Europe?
Has the spread of democracy or capitalism been more influential in the decline of war?
Has religion played a significant role in the decline of violence?
How do ordinary citizens get swept up in government-driven genocide?
It meanders through how in both the US and Britain, the humane societies for animals led people to think we should maybe be nice to kids, too. Through the role literature has played in the emancipation of women and children. How good table manners were a cornerstone in developing human trust. How the path from entertainment to illegal to taboo to absurdity has eliminated many past cruelties from society.
This is the first audiobook I've ever listened to, and I recommend it in audio because it's enormous, and if I had to put down slash and cracked.com to pick up this great tome, I'd still be on page 80, like I am Guns, Germs & Steel. On my iPod while shovelling and painting and cleaning, I breezed through, utterly rivetted. But on the down side, audiobook isn't so great for underlining or post-it noting, and this definitely deserves both. Though then this review would 80 pages. Also, it's packed with graphs, so maybe you just want both.
July 13th, 2016
Here is the times I got from folks. If someone has confirmed they are picking you up, or someone is willing to do pick ups at specific times, we had best confirm it (if you can confirm on one of the posts, then I can figure out who *I* need to pick up). Same if you are willing/planning to wait for someone else's arrival after your own to go together.
Airport Arrival Schedule Thursday 12:50 Terri 1:40 Elayna 2:00 Wyomingnot 2:50 Clever Manka 4:20 Alex 5:05 Karita 5:15 Laura* 7:00 Colleen 11:00 Saklani 11:08 Emu 11:30 Glass Houses* Driving in -- earliest would likely be noon: Franzeska* 3:30 Katbear* 6:00 Wayne/Russet 6:15 Kadymae* 7:00 Barbana/Marie* 11:00 Gloriana* * People With Cars
July 12th, 2016
I will be bringing, barring a horrible oven incident, two batches of cookies. Both chocolate chip oatmeal, one with macadamia nuts and one without. NO RAISINS. If you have a nut allergy, I cannot guarantee the ones without nuts: you are on your own. We'll be happy to spot for you, and you can hand an Epipen to Quasar: she trained to be a paramedic.
If I can, I'll also be making and bringing madelines, two favors: lemon and orange. I was thinking about dipping them in chocolate, but I don't think that's going to happen.
July 11th, 2016
Temps will be ranging from 106 (tomorrow) to 11 on Friday back down to 106 on Monday in Henderson near our hotel. Night lows will be in the low 80s. It will be breezy, with the winds picking up Thursday and Friday; generally the wind comes up in the afternoon, though if it's a becomes a major thing, it could be windy all the time. The humidity should stay in the 8-15% range, so the Heat Index is more like 100 degrees to 106. It's a couple degrees cooler up on the Strip/Airport than our location.
For those of you going to Mt. Charleston on Monday, temps there are expected in the low 70s.
You should still bring a light sweater or long sleeves for the function space, shopping and restaurants, as the AC will be active everywhere. SPF 30 if you're going to be out in direct sun -- even if you're just in a car if it's 30 minutes or more. And water, take water with you if you go out. Dehydration, especially with this kind of humidity is rampant.
If you plan to swim, Vegas pools rely only on the sun to heat, so they will be cold.
Traffic and Crowds.
No major conventions or concerts this weekend, but there is an international one starting Sat (7000 attendees expected), so there may be an uptick at the airport as you are coming in. Lots of tourists, of course, and McCarran is the 9th busiest in the country. We've not had the TSA line nightmares some of the other airports have, but they do still recommend getting there at least 2 hours ahead of your flight.
Being at the height of our tourist season, travel on the Strip sucks. If you are driving, find the route that puts you on Las Vegas BLVD the shortest amount of time. Figure that you cannot turn right off the blvd anywhere along the Strip (Tropicana to Sahara), as even when the light is green, there will then be pedestrians crossing the street and keeping you from your turn. If you plan to take in the lights of the casino, don't do it at peak hours (9-midnight), or make sure your driver doesn't care and maintains focuses vigilance on the other vehicles and pedestrians. Hitting pedestrians -- even the ones asking for it -- is a no no.
If you are walking the Strip, be alert for any and everything. Crime is usually a target of opportunity, so don't be one. Don't walk even around our hotel at night alone (after midnight), and don't have bags, purses or anything else easy to grab. Don't walk near the curb and definitely not on the street unless the cops have directed you there (or the street is closed). The police presence is heightened weekend end evenings along the Strip.
A few dos and don'ts. Yes, many slot machines are now penny slots, but there is still usually at least a 40 cent minimum play. Yes, you can still play pennys and get free drinks (they will be cheap brands and watered down). Most slots do not accept coins, and most casinos no longer take coin for bills. They do take ATM cards in their kiosks, but be aware that many charge fees from $4-6 per transaction. If you going to gamble and you take a purse/bag, do not put it by it's strap along the back of your chair (same with restaurants). Keep it between your feet so you can feel it, or on your lap. Again, and easy target of opportunity. If you play any of the table games, keep your chips in front of you, basically between your arms. People standing/sitting next to you could be good enough to swipe a couple from the end of a stack. If you win a reasonable amount and need to cash in (ticket or chips), try to find a kiosk (if ticket) that doesn't have much of a line or crowd nearby -- basically you don't want someone else figuring out you've just pocketed a bunch of $100 bills. Do not get on an elevator alone after cashing, or go out to the parking garage alone if someone else has witnessed your win and makes a big deal out of it. (I don't really recommend going in and out of casinos alone, especially late at night) just as a rule. (Late night here is after 1a). If you win over $1200 from a single payout (generally this would happen at a max play slot machine), you've just earned yourself a 1099 form that gets forwarded to the IRS. You can have the casino take the taxes directly out of your winnings, but you will still need to file. (If you gambling even semi-regularly, and have a casino card for here or elsewhere in the country, you can get an win/loss earnings statement from the casino you have a card for, and any losses listed there can be used to offset your 1099 winnings, so I never have them take the taxes out myself, and just deal with it on my 1040.) You can cash out over $1200 with multiple tickets and not have to worry about the income being reported, it's just on a "single spin" (which could be a spin that gets you free games and the aggregate of those free games totals over $1200 that's still considered the single spin). It's also actually $119X dollars that kicks in the reporting, but I don't remember the actual amount.
The area our hotel in is nice, upscale and generally considered safe. But violent crime is on an uptick here, armed robberies of convenience stores and the like, or arguments that end in shootings, so just be very careful, especially if you are out after midnight. As far as protests and activists, our demonstrations have basically been peaceful, but Hillary and Trump do call out the loonies (Hillary is due back the 19th); right now more people are turning out for bringing the Raiders to Vegas rallies than Black Lives Matter, but we have been having some marches. All of them (occasional union protest) are usually on or near the Strip or downtown, not down in Henderson near us.
If anyone has any specific questions about Vegas, the hotel or the area, please email me directly, or go ahead and post to the list. If I don't know the answer, one of the other locals might.
The polling has ended.
Panels that didn't make the cut are the DCU Movie panel, Dead Like Lincoln, and Rare Pairs. I imagine we could make time in the DCU on tv panel to discuss BvsS and Suicide Squad if folks want, and the Dead Like Lincoln and Rare pairs fit with the recs panel if you squint.
The Charles and Erik panel will take the Dead Like Lincoln slot (Sun @ 2)
Why/How We Get Involved in Certain Fandoms will take the Sat @ 3 slot, with the Bad Boys panel shifting to Friday at 10 -- first panel of the con. If the folks who proposed the panels disagree with the times, please make a suggestion as to when you'd prefer it to be and I'll see about moving things, although someone has to be first each day ... Kadymae, if there is a panel on Friday you really, really wanted to attend, I will also consider shifting something to Sat or Sun when you can make it. A note to how I schedule: I try to put the fandom specific panels to either side of the break, and then as the last of the day, so that folks who don't care to attend can have a longer time slot to go offsite or something.
I also seem to remember that folks asked to shift the lunch break to 1p instead of noon, which I will be doing. This way we'll have three panels before the break and four afterward.
July 10th, 2016
I have not heard from the following people regarding their badges (or if I did, I didn't note it, sorry). If I don't hear from you tomorrow, I will assume you are bringing your own. I will, however, make sure I have this year's generic badge that you can use if you do not remember to bring one.
Regarding badge holders, I have both 2 x 3 and 3 x 4 holders, plus some odd sized ones that will be available, along with a myriad of lanyards if you need one.
You ladies below normally bring your own, but I didn't want to assume ...
My apologies Barbana. My notes say you provided a file to me for your badge, but I do not have it. Could you please send again, or email me with when you sent it and to which email so I might search again?
July 8th, 2016
Here is the arrival schedule so far. If everyone flying in could post their expected arrival information, I'll plug it in. If you are getting a car/driving in, please let me know that too, along with when you're expecting to arrive. (I do realize I don't have my own info in yet; I need to know the hotel schedule as well as when some last minute SDCC stuff comes in, since I need to be packed for ComicCon mostly before I leave for Con*Strict. I'm hoping to get down there between 1 & 3; I'm about 45-60 minutes away depending on traffic.)
2:50 Clever Manka
5:15 Laura* Andrea
Driving in -- earliest would likely be noon: Franzeska*
* People With Cars