Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2132nd Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3580, March 23, 2006.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:firstname.lastname@example.org
|L.A.con IV in 2006!||Nippon 2007 in 2007!||Salamander Press #2615|
Last Wednesday, my telephone line at the hospital went dead. There was no dial tone on the telephone, and when I tried to connect my computer to the Internet I got a message, "No dial tone detected. Please check phone line connection and try again." The hospital's maintenance staff tried to fix it for the next couple of days, but could not locate the problem. So from last Wednesday through now, I have been cut off from the telephone and my e.mail.
On Thursday afternoon, Rob Powell picked up my wheelchair from my hospital and took it to Continental Home Care in Glendale to have the correct brake extender fitted onto it. He returned it to me at the hospital about two hours later. I was in bed at the time and was not able to check it out until that evening. Fortunately, it works fine and is just what I needed all along. I can now lock and unlock both the right and left brakes of my wheelchair with my one good hand. I am not happy with having to pay $304.63 to get the new brake, though, since it was supposed to have been an integral part of my wheelchair in the first place.
Michael Burlake brought me to last week's LASFS meeting. There was a lot of foofaraw about the evening's "non-program" that "would not" be shown from an "officially blank" video disc, of the new Doctor Who TV series that had not been broadcast in the U.S. yet. I was looking forward to it after all the buildup, until it turned out to be the same "Dalek" episode which I had already seen at the Estrogen Zone meeting last July; good enough, but I am not such a Doctor Who fan that I wanted to see it again. Burlake & I left the meeting early, after getting the new issue of Locus from the club's library. Burlake said that if my telephone problems had not been fixed by the next evening, he would come back and try to repair it himself.
The March 2006 Locus has a Milestones news note on page 8 about the donation of my collection to the UCRiverside Library, but it could use some corrections. "FRED PATTEN of the Los Angeles Science Fiction [sic.] Society donated his collection of fanzines - 900 boxes, or about 80,000 items - to the Eaton Collection at the University of California, Riverside following a stroke in summer 2005." Aside from the misidentification of the LASFS as the 'Science Fiction Society" (a common mistake in newspaper reportage of the club, but Locus should know better), my collection was not of only fanzines. I would estimate that over 50% of it was of s-f books & magazines (including possibly the most extensive library anywhere of Furry novels, including what may be the only copy in North America outside of the NYPL of the 1941 edition of Robert van Genechten's modernization of the Reynard the Fox legend, in which Reynard rallies the heroic National Socialist animals to slaughter the sinister anti-Semitic rhinoceros merchants), anime video cassettes & DVDs, and other non-fanzine materials. And to quibble, my stroke was in March 2005 (a year ago last week), and March is not part of Summer that I ever heard of.
On Friday, the hospital's administration notified me that they were giving up on repairing my telephone line. They recommended calling the phone company to repair it, which would cost me $125. I asked to wait until Michael Burlake had a chance to look at it. He arrived that evening after dinner with a telephone lineman's equipment, spent about a half hour investigating the phone jack and wiring, and reported that there was a signal but it was disappearing before it could connect to my phone. To go any further he would have to look at the junction box where the telephone company's connections were in the hospital, but none of the night staff knew where that was. It was presumably in one of the rooms that was locked for the evening. Burlake finally attached my computer to its base, since he discovered that the hospital's staff had only put it loose on its base when they had set it up for me.
On Saturday, Rob Powell took me to the March Cartoon/Fantasy Organization meeting. We were lucky with the weather again. It was not raining when we left the hospital for Freehafer Hall; it apparently rained heavily during the meeting; and it had stopped by the time we returned to the hospital. This was Powell's last fannish event before leaving for a two-week trip to Tokyo with most of Tucson Furry fandom (led by Ted Sheppard, a rabid Samurai Pizza Cats fan), and the C/FOers had lots of advice about anime stores that he should visit. The program was the new format of two half-hour anime TV episodes at a time: Eden's Bowy #5 & #6, Mai Hime #13 & #14, Wild Arms: Twilight Venom #1 & #2 (an anime parody of spaghetti Westerns with Pokémon-like characters), and Samurai Deeper Kyo #1 & #2. During the Business Meeting I was asked to identify people in old C/FO photographs for the club's history CD-ROM. The feature was supposed to have been the next four episodes of the surrealistic King of Bandit Jing (#6 through #9), but we were just finishing #7 (Jing and amourous crow Kir help damsel Vermouth escape from villainous Pernod and get to the hidden realm of King Cointreau) when the power went out, forcing an early adjournment of the meeting. The power came back on while the C/FO's officers were trying to straighten up the clubhouse in the dark, but by then most of the attendees had left so we did not try to finish the meeting. It turned out that the power outage had also hit the hospital.
On Monday, Golden State Hospital said that the phone company had reduced its price to repair my phone line to $55. I called Michael Burlake (who was in the midst of repairing phones for Union Pacific), and he recommended that I tell the phone company to go ahead, since the problem might involve replacing a lot of defective wiring which he would not have the personal equipment to do. So I am waiting now for SBC to do its thing and reconnect me to the world.
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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:
Oh, All Right!!! - (Lembke) You make L.A.con IV sound yummy! I certainly hope that I will be able to attend. I have made a hotel reservation for two, but I have not found anyone yet who is willing to be my caregiver for the whole con in exchange for a free hotel room. If I cannot find a reliable helper to push my wheelchair, get me out of bed & take me to the bathroom, etc. for the duration of the convention, I will probably have to cancel out.
Vanamonde #670 - (Hertz) The Paris bookshop, the all-Russian bookshop (also Russian DVDs, magazines and music CDs) about two miles from Freehafer Hall in the mini-mall at the intersection of Laurel Canyon Blvd. & Riverside Drive, probably has a selection of Russian New Year's & other greeting cards. (Look for the "Paris" sign in Cyrillic.) Well, I have not been there since several months before my stroke; I hope that it is still there.
Welcome to the Phl Castora International Aeroport - (Cantor) The N.C. Herald Sun's 25 Best Newspaper Headlines are truly hilarious, but their provinance is a bit vague. Are these your selection from the N.C. Herald Sun's headlines, or is this someone else's selection (maybe the newspaper's own - does it deliberately try to set up double entendre headlines)? Or is it the Herald Sun's selection of headlines from other newspapers around the world? ## Yes, I remember that the LASFS had attendances of 100+ just after we got our first clubhouse, and when this clubhouse was finally fixed up enough to be fully habitable, around 1978. But is that the most recent that we have had attendances that large, or have there been other special occasions like voting for Loscon chairpersons or Forry Award recipients? ## Anyone who would just sit under a fig tree when a hurricane or tsunami is coming deserves whatever happens to them. I would expect that both the person and the tree would be swept away so violently that the tree or its branches would not have time to fall on the person. ## The LASFS' pun fines predate my arrival in 1960.
Godzillla Verses #79 - (DeChancie) You make the Universal Serial Bus sound like a product of some technology similar to Doctor Who's TARDIS which can travel throughout time & space; or whatever technology is used in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. That might make an interesting s-f novel; a universe-spanning magical mystery tour. ## If the Estrogen Zone's Corman film festival showed The Little Shop of Horrors, A Bucket of Blood or any of the Poe-inspired features, it was after I left. I still remember The Raven as a delightful horror-comedy; I saw it several times when it came out. Maybe you can borrow the DVDs of the Corman movies that the Estrogen Zone showed. Are they from the LASFS' video library, or are they the Van Wagners' DVDs? ## If "Real Coca-Cola" has to contain cane sugar, then it has not been sold in the U.S. for the past 25 years, ever since the formula was switched to corn syrup instead. It is still made with cane sugar in Mexico, which is why many people prefer to drink Mexican bottled Coke. ## I never heard of Tom Tucker "Southern-Style" Mint Ginger-Ale, but I would like to try it. I prefer ginger beer to ginger ale, but I will drink the ale when I cannot get the beer, which is difficult to find on the West Coast outside of beverage-specialty stores. Is there any chance that L.A.con IV could get Mexican soft drinks for its Con Suite?
ˇRábanos Radiactivos! #2131 - (me) This issue looks strange. All of the italization that I did of titles like Dick Tracy, Xanthan Gumm, F&SF, and Heat Guy J has been removed, and the blank space after the dist'n comments has been filled with Kevin & Kell and Ozy and Millie comic strips instead of Inherit the Earth. Kevin & Kell and Ozy and Millie are fine in their own right, but I thought that ˇRR! was going to continue printing Inherit the Earth until its backlog of strips caught up to the present. There are at least twenty more Inherit the Earth strips that have not been used here yet. What happened?
Toodequirtle #3 - (Castora) If global warming turns Rhode Island into a real island, that should make the truth in advertising advocates happy. ## Your comment about lawyers seems like a good opportunity to retell my oft-told story about the one time I overheard Melvin Belli (certainly one of the best lawyers, or at least the best-publicized lawyers, of the 1960s) talking with another lawyer. As they passed me, I heard Belli assuring the other lawyer, "Listen, you were lucky to get him off with life!" ## I believe that Isaac Asimov, in one of the "Foundation" stories in the late 1940s, was one of the first authors (in s-f, at least) to make the need for a toilet break the unexpected but very convincing reason why a character would have to cut short an hours-long hidden surveillance. It was shortly after then that adventure stories generally became realistic enough that stories in which characters never need to relieve themselves were no longer convincing. ## The original Colossus of Rhodes was supposedly built as an enormous lighthouse or marker at the entrance of the island's main harbor, so it was slightly off the island.
De Jueves #1470 - (Moffatt) I feel jealous that Apa L is able to get Schirmeister covers so easily, since Schirm never found the time to draw the "Theriopangram" that he promised me for Furrlough in the four or five years after I gave him the pangram to illustrate. Schirm apparently does better when he can draw whatever he feels like than when he is asked to illustrate something specific. ## The houses that were built in the vacant lots along my block during the decade just after World War II certainly smelled good, at least when the construction started and their wooden frames (of raw pine?) predominated. I did not care as much for the odors of fresh cement and plaster that took over as the houses were completed. ## Grahame always seemed to me to present an awfully conflicting picture of how anthropomorphized his animal characters were. The scene quoted here specifies that Moley is running about "in public" in his bare fur. How common was this, since the animals are invariably shown wearing clothes in the illustrations? He seems to have a normal human-type house underground at the start of this scene, but it turns almost impercetably into a normal dark, narrow mole's tunnel in the ground. Are the animal characters animal-sized or human-sized? They seem to be animal-sized in this scene, but later Toad dresses as a washerwoman and successfully disguises himself as human - plus he is able to drive a human motorcar and a locomotive - so they seem human there. Am I confused, or is Grahame inconsistent? ## I remember Curry's Mile-High Ice Cream cones, so high that the ice cream risked toppling over before you could eat it all! Do you remember Awful Fresh MacFarlane's? I think that there are still a few Big Boy hamburger restaurants around somewhere.
I Jaggedly Zigzag - (Gold) Congratulations on getting your own Wikipedia page, too. Probably a lot more LASFen deserve individual Wikipedia pages. They should all be cross-filed under the "Science fiction fans" entry, also. The "Science fiction fans" entry lists the separate entries of about 30 fans (including Mike Glyer, for example), but not all the fans who have individual Wikipedia pages. ## Thank you & Barry again for doing my taxes for me. I should ask the hospital's administration how the other patients' taxes are taken care of, since some of them do not have family or friends and do not seem competent enough to take care of their own taxes. ## I will have to wait until the next time that I go out in the rain to find out how well the poncho works. I took it with me to the C/FO meeting last Saturday, but never needed to use it. ## The scene between Eugénie and Louise took place inside a closed coach, and it is late in the novel; that is all that I remember. It has been over thirty years since I last reread The Count of Monte Cristo. ## It seems rather surprising that the hotel known as the Stardust in 1966 is still in business, considering how run-down it was then. It must have been very thoroughly renovated at least once in the forty years since then. ## I agree that I would find it difficult to think of Barstow, for example, as a coastal city. ## I still abbreviate "distribution" as "dist'n", rejecting the newer "disty" even more than I do "sci-fi".