Convention Log #65

October 1995

Last modified: 10 August 2012


For those new to my Convention Logs, some words of explanation. These Logs are intended to be a report on events and observations, significant and sometimes not-so-significant, from my point-of-view. As this is the first Web version (all prior editions were printed and mailed individually), feedback and contributions are welcome.

  • News and Views
  • Westercon 48 and Other Points in the Northwest
  • Training Trip to Cincinnati
  • Letters
  • Parting Words

    News and Views

    Since my last issue of Convention Log, which was not and will not be published on the web, I have moved in with Mike Weasner and changed jobs. Mike and I decided to merge households back in February '95, but we put off the actual doing of it until August. We both owned condos. After discussion and consideration of the situation, we decided it would be easier to sell each condo separately instead of trying to sell both at the same time and buying a bigger place. My condo was sold at the end of October. We both had to put some stuff into storage, but all my books are at Mike's after we weeded out duplicates. It took us till this month to organize our books.

    In May, I received a call from a head hunter, asking me whether I was interested in interviewing for a FOCUS job. I wasn't terribly excited by the prospect, but I went anyway. I thought it would be good practice. I was really impressed by the Polk Company, and the job didn't sound that bad. I was especially impressed by the fact that the people at Polk seemed to place a great importance on making sure that any new hire fit in with the other people at work on a social basis. When I was offered the job, it was not easy to decide whether or not to accept. However, it would mean that I wouldn't have to drive to downtown LA, something I hated to do because of the traffic and parking problems. I also thought the work environment would be much better than the one with the City, which was steeped in politics. I was not wrong. The local Polk office is in Long Beach, and it is a much easier commute from Torrance than trying to get to downtown LA. Although the work is about as I expected, I really enjoy working with the people at Polk.

    Mike and I have done quite a bit together. We do most things together. At the end of June, we started a two-week trip extending into July. We went north to Washington and Oregon, partly to attend Westercon, the annual Western Regional Science Fiction Convention, in Portland. We used my parents' place in Bellingham, Washington, as the headquarters during the trip. They let us use one of their cars to get around. We also spent a night at my sister's in Tacoma, in order to break up our drive down to Portland from Bellingham. From Bellingham, we also visited one of Mike's brothers and his wife, who live in Lynnwood, north of Seattle. We also visited Mike's secretary from his Air Force days who now lives in Bellingham. In Portland, we visited a long-time penpal of mine. An extensive write-up of the trip is comes later in this issue.

    This issue also includes the report about my training trip to Cincinnati from Polk in September.

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    Westercon 48 and Other Points in the Northwest

    25 June - 8 July 1995, Portland and environs

    Our trip started Sunday, 25 June 1995. Mike met me inside the terminal at the airport. He ended up having two carry-ons to accommodate the things I wanted to take. My carry-on was Christopher Robin. It took us some time to check our luggage and to pay for Christopher Robin's ticket.

    The first flight stopped at San Francisco. Beverages were served on each leg. We also got cookies on the second leg. They were Scottish short bread with butter, which I have trouble digesting; so I ate only one and was wary even of that as it was eaten on a more or less empty stomach.

    In Seattle, Mike tried to get us on an earlier flight to Bellingham, but there was not enough room. We ate lunch at a cafeteria near the gates. I tried to get Christopher Robin to eat or drink but was unsuccessful.

    The flight to Bellingham was on a small plane that carried a maximum of nineteen passengers. It did not have a restroom. Because it was a prop, it was quite bumpy. Despite the Dramamine, I started to get airsick.

    Mother and Dad were at the gate when we landed. At first, we thought our luggage was missing; but it turned out it had taken the earlier flight.

    Mike called Jackie, his former secretary, and his brother Paul from Mother and Dad's place. Then we had dinner. After dinner, Mike and I went for a walk. Mike was really impressed with the houses in my parents' neighbourhood.

    We called my sister, Mimi, in the evening.

    Monday morning, I woke up at seven. Mike slept in for a while. I made a call to reserve two spots for the whale watch ride on Thursday of the following week. I also called my supervisor at work, the City of Los Angeles, to explain the reason I left an e-mail letter of resignation to the manager. I had received a job offer from the Polk Company in Long Beach just before I left for vacation. I had planned to talk to someone before I left as soon as I'd received a faxed confirmation of the job offer. Unfortunately, I was unable to find anyone between the time I received the fax and when I left work.

    I developed a muscle spasm on the left back muscle as I was getting dressed, so I also left a message at my sister's clinic in Tacoma to have Mimi call me. She called me back a little later. In the meantime, I had taken some aspirin. She recommended something stronger. Mike's former Air Force secretary, Jackie, gave me two of her Motrin tablets, which I cut in half. I experienced a minor allergic reaction, but my back also felt better.

    Jackie took us to Mann's, a restaurant on the bay. The food was quite good. Mike paid. She also took us to a park and drove us around town a bit. We had a nice visit.

    When we got back to Mother and Dad's place, Dad said I'd received a call from Beth King, my contact at the headhunter's. Actually, he said something a little different, got the name confused; but I was able to decipher the message. Beth just wanted to know whether I had received the letter from Polk.

    We had pork cutlets for dinner. Afterward, I washed my hair.

    On Tuesday, we drove down to Lynnwood to visit Mike's brother Paul and his wife Jan. They were very nice. They're into mice and all sorts of mouse things. For lunch, we went to a place called Red Robin. The Stretch and Sew store was nearby. I was able to see the swatches for the fall colours of double knit. There were two colours that looked good.

    I bought a book of patterns for swimsuits, leotards, and similar outfits.

    Then we went back to Paul and Jan's to talk. I got pretty tired toward the afternoon and asked Mike to drive on the way home. We got back before dark. I was pretty much exhausted.

    While combing Christopher Robin's hair, I strained my back again

    Wednesday, we got up early and left for Seattle and Tacoma. We arrived in Seattle at ten. We investigated the science centre but decided not to go in after all. We did go up into the Space Needle. It was fairly smoggy, but we managed to see the summit of Mount Rainier faintly above the smog. I bought postcards and souvenir lapel pins.

    Then we went to Pier 59, where we got lunch first then went to the aquarium. The aquarium was quite interesting, especially the mammalian exhibits. I took quite a few photos of the sea otters.

    We were too tired to do any more sightseeing, so we proceeded to Mimi's and got there about fifteen-thirty and called Mimi at work.

    We both ended up taking a nap.

    After Mimi got home, we went to a small Vietnamese-Thai restaurant. It was quite good. After we got back, I called my home phone for messages and found two from Dave Klaus, a friend, and Beth King. I returned both of them. I also wrote some post cards.

    Thursday was warmer and less clear but clear enough to go to Mount St. Helens. We couldn't see Mt. Rainier as we drove down. Even Mount St. Helens wasn't evident until we were fairly close. However, we could see it, though a bit hazy. We went to the same visitors centre as Mimi and I did last time. We ate lunch and went through the exhibits and bought some souvenirs. Then we drove back a bit to the place that had helicopter tours. The description of the tour sounded good. Mimi came to make up a large enough party; a minimum of three people was required. It was a spectacular ride. We almost flew into the crater. As a bonus, we saw herds of elk on the ground in the stream bed. I took a number of photos.

    After we got back to Tacoma, we had dinner at Tony Roma's. After we came back from dinner, we did laundry.

    Friday, I got up just as Mimi was leaving for work. Mike got up a little later. We packed everything into the car and headed for the road to Portland for Westercon 48. I drove the first hour or so until I got tired. Mike drove the rest of the way.

    The Janssen Beach Hotel didn't have any rooms ready yet, so we looked over the programme and had lunch. Then we got our room and moved in. While we were waiting for our room, we talked to Julie Dickinson from Palo Alto and two of her friends for a while.

    The first programme item we went to was about "Technospeak" with Dan Duval, Mike Moscoe, and Vernor Vinge. Each programme item was about an hour and a half. This first programme got a little dry, and I nodded off a bit. The second programme was a Steve Barnes reading. He read for about half an hour, then he answered questions. It was quite fascinating. Then we went to the bid presentations for 1997, where we bumped into Greg Brown and Jenny Montaire, who live nearby in La Center, Washington. I was hungry after that, so we skipped opening ceremonies in favour of dinner.

    We returned briefly to our room, partly because the Regency dance had been changed from the morning the next day to the evening of this day. I changed from jeans to a skirt. Then we went to a panel on "Science Fiction/Fantasy/Mystery Crossover" fiction with Marilyn Holt, Katharine Kerr, Irene Radford, Vol Ranger, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Romance was also part of the topic.

    Then we caught the tail end of the Regency dance. We did Vain Parting and Congress. After that we partied for a short while. We went to the parties for the two 1997 Westercon bids. We bought supporting memberships for Seattle. On our way to the Boston in 1998 party, we stopped to talk to Greg and Jenny. Mike got tired while we were at the party, probably in part because the rest of us were smoffing. I followed him back to the room a few minutes later.

    Saturday morning I woke up early to wash my hair. I woke up with a slight sinus headache. The room, although supposedly non-smoking, smelled as though someone'd been smoking here. I imagine that's why I had the headache.

    After Mike got up, we went to breakfast. After breakfast, we went to the dealers room. Mike bought a couple of things, and I bought one. My one purchase, however, cost more than his. Then we went to the area with the Westercon bid tables. Mike bought a membership in El Paso (1996). I notified them of my address change. We also took out pre-supporting memberships in San Diego (1998).

    Then we went to the other hotel for the Artist GoH presentation. It was essentially a show John Foster had developed for a planetarium.

    We returned to our hotel briefly to take care of site selection. Then we went back for the "Expanding New Universe," the presentation of the Science GoH. It was basically about the discoveries made using the Hubble telescope. Ray Villard's presentation was very entertaining. It was long, however, so we missed the beginning of a panel we had intended to go to. Instead, we decided to get some food. While we were eating, Julie Dickinson came by and talked with us for a while.

    Then we went our separate ways for different programme items. I went to "The Emergence of a 'Cognitive Elite'" with Steve Barnes, James P. Killus, Mike Moscoe, and Andy Nisbet on the panel. They got bogged down on the significance of intelligence and got pretty hot and heavy, a situation not helped by the temperature of the room. I stayed in the same room for a reading by Mel Gilden.

    Mike went to the GoH lecture by Vernor Vinge. He said most of the discussion was about his Fire upon the Deep. Vinge has sold a movie option and is also working as a consultant on the project. Mike also went to a discussion about "The Moon-based Telescope" with Ray Villard, Vernor Vinge, Melinda Huston, and Hugh Gregory.

    Then I returned to our room, where we had agreed to meet. I made tea and ate some snack food I had previously saved.

    At night, we went to the masquerade. It was okay. I was sorry that Kathy Sanders didn't win anything. The site selection results were announced; Seattle won handily. There were some good costumes, including a superhero wedding entry by Bridget Landry and company, a novice group calling themselves the Anarchy Players, and the More Fun Flower Power Rangers. Kathy's costume was based on cemetery headstones. The half-time entertainment was filk by Dr. Jane Robinson.

    After the masquerade, I ran into Somtow Sucharitkul. I asked him about a video release of Ill Met by Moonlight; he said it would be available in about six months. Then we went partying. We visited the Seattle bid party, which was celebrating its victory; they were sharing the party with a bid for Spokane in 1999. They had some interesting alcoholic punch, which I tasted. We also went to the El Paso party, the LACon party, the San Diego bid party, the Niagara Falls bid party, and the @! party.

    We decided to turn in early. On our way back to our room, we noticed a sign for a reading by Somtow the next night. It clashed with other programming we had been interested in. Oh, well.

    It was cloudy when I woke up Sunday morning. After breakfast, we discovered it was raining. Mike had an umbrella, but the other umbrella was in the car, so we had to retrieve it after we ate. I also discovered that I had left my raincoat at Mimi's. I called her, and we agreed that she could bring it to the SeaTac airport when we stop over there on Saturday.

    Then I went to the travelling panel on "Abuse Themes in Fantasy and Science Fiction" with Laurie Edison, Jane Hawkins, Mary Rosenblum, and Ctein. Mike went to a Star Trek club meeting, but the club never showed up.

    The Westercon business meeting followed. Most of it was silliness. One serious point was brought up, and it was referred to a committee.

    A bit later, there was a chocolate tasting. Of the things offered, I had a large piece of chocolate cake.

    After that, we went to the shopping centre across the street. I needed money and Sudafed. While we were there, I also bought some snack food. Mike also got money.

    After that, we went to a reading by William Wu, but he didn't show up. I don't think he was at the convention. We stayed in the room, because Amy Thomson's reading followed. Her work was good; she read the first two chapters of her upcoming novel, The Color of Distance. I plan to get it when it comes out.

    Then we went to a panel on "Biotechnology: Building Better People" with Jo Clayton, Dan Duval, Norman Hartman, T. Jackson King, Donna McMahon, and one other.

    Then Mike and I split up again. I went to a reading by Somtow. We were in the room next to a "Babylon 5" gathering, so he moved us poolside. He read a very good story called "Dragon Fin Soup." Mike saw a play called "The Abbot's Kitchen: a Play by Lionel Fanthorpe."

    We met up again at "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" apparently based on a British show.

    We had dinner before we went to Australia's 1999 bid party, where I had promised to help. I ladled drinks as I had at the Winnipeg worldcon the previous year. The attendance was far lighter than at worldcon. Mike left before the party closed. So did I, but the party was virtually ended by then.

    I had a little trouble getting up Monday morning, but we made it to breakfast at the usual time. We got to our first panel okay. It was a presentation by Marsha Goldoft about "Epidemics Past and Future." In answer to a question I asked, she indicated that dormant diseases from ancient times may not be a danger to us because of the sophisticated defences people have developed against more modern diseases.

    Then we went to "Cultural Differences in Fandom" with Sarah Goodman, Jerry Kaufman, and Stu Shiffman. It was basically about different fannish cultures. Towards the end, however, the discussion shifted to minority representation in fandom. After the panel ended officially, some of us continued the discussion in the Fanzine Lounge.

    Mike and I were tired. Mike was also cold, so we came back to our room to recuperate. We ended up sleeping away the time until we left for my penpal, Pat DeLude's home. Her husband's directions had been good, and we had no trouble getting there. We had a nice visit with them, including a pizza dinner.

    After we got back, I washed my hair.

    I had a room service breakfast Tuesday morning, before we checked out about eight. We drove north until we turned west along the Columbia River. The morning was cloudy, so we didn't stop very much for pictures. We stopped at a rest stop near the mouth of the river. We had a view of the bridge that crosses the river at that point. We turned north when we reached the coast. At one point, we had a very nice view of the ocean. We stopped for lunch at a Dairy Queen in Raymond. A while later, the sun started to come out. By the time we reached Shelton, where we had reserved a room for the night, it was a very sunny day. We ate at a Dairy Queen again. The restaurant next to the hotel was closed. We checked out another place, but it was really smoky inside. The other restaurants we saw all seemed to have bars, so we figured they'd all be smoky. Mike discovered, though, that Dairy Queen is apparently headquartered in Minneapolis.

    On the way back from the Dairy Queen, we stopped by a mini mart and picked up some muffins I could eat the next day for breakfast.

    Wednesday morning, Mike checked out the restaurant next to the hotel. It was too smoky, so he got me a decaf, and I ate the muffins we had bought yesterday. Then we started on our drive north. We made a few scenic stops, including Discovery Bay. We went to Sequim around lunchtime. I wanted to see the lighthouse where Jeni Burr had worked when she was in the Coast Guard. It turned out there was a scenic drive that included a view of the lighthouse. Actually, we left the scenic drive for a while for the best view of the lighthouse and also lunch at the 3 Crabs Restaurant. Farther on the drive, we went past a bed and breakfast place that featured a view of the lighthouse. The actual lighthouse is a six-mile hike on a spit of land, and we didn't have time for that. Maybe we can do that on our next trip up here.

    Then we backtracked a bit to continue to Port Townsend. We reached there just as one ferry had pulled out. We had about an hour to wait until the next one. It was a fairly short ride on a relatively small boat.

    The ferry took us to Keystone on Whidbey Island. We continued our drive from there, stopping briefly at Point Deception for the view.

    We reached Bellingham just before eighteen hundred and had dinner. I called Mimi later. I also made a picnic lunch for the next day's whale watch outing.

    Thursday started out fine. It was overcast, but there was every promise of later sunshine. By the time we got to Bellingham Harbor, the sun was out. However, the sun never conquered all the clouds and was eventually overcome.

    On the nature side, also, luck was not on our side. Although we saw harbour seals, minke whales, bald eagles, and numerous other types of birds, we never saw any orcas. The ship's pilot looked for them everywhere but never succeeded in finding them.

    On the other hand, on our drive back, we saw a doe and fawn sitting together on a lawn.

    We had dinner after we returned to Mother and Dad's. I called home to check for messages and found one from my supervisor, telling me I had to work forty hours my last week. I left a message on his machine telling him I would work four nine-hour days and one four-hour day.

    After dinner, we did our laundry. Mother also had me try on my new pair of navy slacks. She also gave me a tan sweater that my aunt Sadako had owned.

    Friday, Mike and I drove to Snoqualmie Falls. It was a bit different from the way I remembered it. We hiked down to the bottom. Then we had lunch.

    I finished reading Bujold's Mirror Dance.

    For dinner, Mike treated us to dinner at the Olive Garden. We saw several deer on the drive both to and from the restaurant.

    Later, I washed my hair and did as much packing as I could do before morning.

    I woke up very early Saturday morning to feed Christopher Robin. I went back to sleep until about seven. The day dawned sunny here though apparently not in Seattle or Los Angeles.

    Everything seemed to be going well until we got to the Bellingham Airport. We got told first that Christopher Robin might not be allowed in the aeroplane cabin. After the plane came in, we talked to the pilot. He said it was against regulations to have Christopher Robin in the cabin. The United Express people arranged a shuttle bus for us to Seatac. I called Mimi there and told her what was going on. We were booked on a later flight to LA.

    At Seatac, we barely made contact with Mimi. She was about to leave to feed more money into the parking meter. I got my raincoat from her. I was too upset to eat lunch. I just had a drink.

    The flight to LA turned out to be a dinner flight. By that time, I was rested enough to eat, although my back was bothering me quite a bit.

    At LAX, Mike helped me into a cab. I talked the cab driver into bringing my suitcase upstairs to my condo and tipped him very generously.

    Mike called from his Supershuttle to make sure I made it okay. I called Mother to let her know I was okay.

    I did a little unpacking and sorted my mail. Then I went to sleep early. It was really hot, and I felt very tired.

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    Training Trip to Cincinnati

    10 - 15 September 1995

    Mike drove me to the airport. I had him drop me off at the ticket area. Both Amy and Ross, two of my co-workers travelling with me, had their significant others accompany them to the gate. I got a candy bar, since I had run out of time to eat lunch. We got a snack and dinner on the plane. I slept or read most of the rest of the time. I finished reading F. Paul Wilson's The Tery that I'd been carrying around for a while.

    After landing in Cincinnati, we waited forever for our luggage. It appeared that Amy's and Cecilia's, another co-worker from Long Beach, had gotten lost, so we reported that. Then we discovered that they had come down on a different carousel.

    Embassy Suites in Covington, Kentucky, is quite nice for a suite hotel. There are TVs in both the living room and the bedroom. After getting myself a soft drink, I called home to let Mike know I'd arrived at last. Christopher Robin apparently misses me.

    I read for quite a while before I finally turned in.

    Monday morning, I went down to breakfast before everyone else and had eaten before I saw Amy waiting in the central atrium. My stomach was unsettled, so I returned to the room for a while then rejoined them in the dining room.

    We had problems getting a cab to take us to Polk, but there was a shuttle. Marilyn Macke met us at Polk and was our guide for most of the day. She introduced us around before taking us to a conference room, where we spent most of the day. The instruction was interesting but the room was quite cold. Amy had apparently not brought a jacket or sweater, but Cecelia lent her one.

    For lunch, Marilyn took us to Skyline Chili. I had the bowl of chili. It was rather soupy, but it tasted just fine. It got a bit hot at times, so the soft drink was very helpful.

    We took a cab back to the hotel in the afternoon. The weather was pleasant all day.

    Marilyn Macke met us here during happy hour. I had a gin and tonic. Then she took us to the Boathouse, a rib restaurant in Cincinnati, for dinner. Cecelia was interested in wine, so Marilyn and I joined her in ordering a bottle of Sterling Chardonnay. It was quite good. I had the ribs, which were also good. Then I had strawberry shortcake and decaf for dessert. The dessert was huge. I just ate the strawberry portion.

    After returning to the hotel, I called Mike and then read for a while. I finished Nancy Kress's Beggars and Choosers. It wasn't quite as good as the prequel. I think it's a close call for the Hugo between this book and Bujold's.

    Tuesday morning, I had an omelet for breakfast. Today was less structured than yesterday. I also had to deal with a problem on the Mazda Regis system. It's probably a problem of long standing. Possibly the report had not been run for a long time, so the problem didn't show up. Ken Borowitz helped me with it.

    Marilyn Macke took us to the Main Street Brewery for lunch. We were accompanied by Ken Borowitz and Colleen Finley.

    We were late coming back to the hotel. Cecelia left for home that night.

    I called my aunt Itsu to find out about her surgery. Mother had got it wrong. Itsu just found out that she needs cataract surgery. It has not yet been scheduled. In fact, she goes in 9 October to find out about the procedure. Then the surgery will be scheduled. She needs surgery in both her eyes, but they will be done at different times.

    I turned on the TV to see the weather forecast and lucked out, as the weather was just being covered. I felt really tired, so I took a nap before dinner.

    I met Ross and Amy down in the lobby about 19:00. As we headed out, we felt rain; so we checked out the restaurant next to the hotel. However, the wait there was forty-five minutes, so we returned to the hotel. Lucky thing, as an electrical storm started a short while later. Amy just had a beverage. I had a cup of soup and an appetizer. Ross had a salad.

    After returning to the room, I called Mike. He's on call for jury duty now. Christopher Robin is misbehaving about his food.

    I went to bed quite early -- about 21:30.

    Wednesday morning it was just Ross and I for breakfast as Amy was flying to Detroit. I had another omelette, some fruit, and a danish.

    We spent the whole day with Ken Borowitz, except for lunch. Karen Fox and a whole mess of other people went to lunch with us to a pseudo-Mexican place in a building called Atrium Two. I brought back half of my rather large club sandwich.

    We took the hotel shuttle back to the hotel.

    I took a short nap before Dana Etter picked us up at 18:00. He and Mike Lawrence took us to Don Pablo's for dinner. Then we went to Riverfront Coliseum for a Reds/Marlins (Florida) game. The game was rather one-sided. It started to rain sometime during the seventh inning. I'm sure the Reds won anyway. After we had left our seats and were under the roof, the skies opened up. Dana drove us back to the hotel. The rain stopped shortly thereafter. Since we got back early, I called Mike. He's still on call, and I guess Christopher Robin misses me.

    Thursday we took the shuttle again to Polk. We spent the whole day with Ken, including lunch, which we had on the Kentucky side at a restaurant called Barleycorn's on a boat. I had a quesidilla appetizer.

    Ken drove us back to the hotel.

    I stayed in this evening and had the leftover's from yesterday's lunch. Later, I washed my hair. I also called Mike.

    I was up quite late reading.

    I felt more awake Friday despite having had less sleep. Perhaps I had had too much sleep before.

    We checked out of the hotel this morning before Ken picked us up. For lunch, we went to Wendy's. Then we went to the top of the Crewe Tower for a view of the city and surroundings. The visibility was excellent.

    After work, Ken drove us to the airport. Our flight was a bit bumpy but otherwise okay. The meal, though, was identical to the one we had had going out. The movie was Batman Forever, so I watched. I liked it better than the other Batman movies.

    Mike met me at the gate. It was great to be home. Christopher Robin was happy to have me home.

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    Letters

    Letters incorporate corrections for typos and similar errors. My replies are enclosed in double parentheses. To everyone who apologized for writing late, this issue is even later. However, I believe future issues will come out on a more timely basis, especially Web versions. Addresses, both e-mail and postal, have been removed from this Web version. If you would like your address specifically included if your letter is published, please indicate such.

    Jim Sutherland, 31 July 1995
    Got the April ish of your Log and was glad to read about you and Mike; you sound very happy. Hope things are working out well.
    I'm sure you have; but in case you haven't yet seen it, Apollo 13 is a fine movie, with the most convincing special effects in ages and the only film I've seen in a long time with *no* bad acting at all! Interestingly, it's also the first big-budget space film in decades that's not SF.

    Johnny Lowe, 6 August 1995
    Hi, I'll send a longer message shortly, but I wanted to thank you for sending your zine. Am I to the point, or what?

    Eric Lindsay, 7 August 1995
    Thanks for Convention Log, and best wishes to you and Mike. May you attend many conventions together. We don't seem to have much about smoking available down here this time. The tobacco companies just concluded a price war; but with over 50% of the price of packets being taxes, they have little room to move. Still having court cases for second hand smoke; but most public buildings are now smoke free, as are all public transport, airports, and internal and Australia/US plane flights. Not much chance of that happening on the Australia/Japan run, however.
    Jean and I will be over for Ditto in November, and I will be in Las Vegas for Comdex but not in LA.

    Rita Prince Winston, 14 August 1995
    My excuse for not having LoCced Convention Log yet is that I've been working six, even seven, days a week (although my new boss, Regina, is such a sweetheart that she keeps promising to give me some unofficial comp time someday "when the rush is over." I tell her the rush will never be over). ...
    Congratulations on the promotion. Congratulations2 on finding a romantic interest. I've seen the ads for Science Connection with the sketch of two mice nuzzling and contemplated joining.

    Tom Feller, 17 August 1995
    Thanks for the issue. Congrats on your relationship.
    I see Mississippi ranks toward the bottom of the country in deaths from smoking. Fortunately, this is a good thing, for a change.

    David Schlosser, 21 September 1995
    Having received CL #64 just last month, this LoC is a bit late; but so be it. First, congrats on the new relationship. But, second, I'm curious because you make no mention of Mike's friends, his hobbies/interests, etc. What things has he suggested you do? I don't know if it's just an oversight that you don't mention it or just that that hasn't occurred. Either way, it struck me as odd.
    As I said above, good luck.
    ((Most of Mike's friends are work-related, but he has a few friends from years back. Most of his interests and hobbies are the same as mine. Since I've been more socially active, I've suggested most of the activities we do together. However, among things coming from his end were a TRW Xmas party and a few dinners with friends of his.))

    Johnny Lowe, 27 October 1995
    I am the king of procrastinators -- I said I'd write back with a real honest-to-goodness LoC -- and I am. But I apologize for the response time. I just wrote another tardy letter a couple of days ago.
    I wish you well in your relationship with Mike. It's hard to meet someone sometimes, especially in Los Angeles.
    This is the first Con Log I've seen, and I like the potpourri of articles gathered from different sources, especially the one listing medical DAFFYNITIONS. The IQ Meets MQ was interesting as well, and unfortunately a bit revealing. I think I may be a bit low in ego-resiliency. (I think I communicate better in print than in person.)
    I read the piece about The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America with some interest, since I'd seen the book not that long ago and considered purchasing it. But I'm several books behind now!
    I'd like to show the smoking articles to my Mom; but it wouldn't do any good, I'm afraid. She's convinced we've got the entire planet rallied against her when it comes to smoking. The only thing good about her smoking is that I never had any kind of urge to smoke myself because of it.
    By the way, in your report of Con-Dor 3, you mentioned you bought a print for your friend, Mary, who was looking after your cat. Of course, you really meant that your cat was looking after Mary, don't you?
    Looking forward to your next issue.

    Parting Words

    When I was in Cincinnati, a crown that had been placed on a front tooth in the spring fell out. It made me think of the song about San Francisco but with the words changed. "I lost my tooth in Cincinnati." It scans. I was able to obtain the words to the song but haven't been able to complete the transformation.

    The next issue will follow shortly. The Gallifrey '96 and Con-Dor reports are already available here (see below).

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