LASFS Minutes ("Menace")
Meeting #3728 Jan 22, 2009 PDF Print E-mail

Menace of the LASFS

January 22, 2009

Michael Thorsen presiding,

Karl Lembke, Scribe

It's raining, it's drizzling, the LASFS is … er … sizzling!

Meeting 3728 was gavelled to carbonation at 20:12:15

Special Orders of Business

Charlie Jackson announced the passing of actress Susanna Foster (phantom of the opera opposite Boris Karloff).

*** Eric Hoffman announced the passing of Bob May, the robot of Lost in Space. He was the grandson of Chick Johnson, and started being involved in the live shows at age 2. He was an actor, stunt man, comedian, and warned Will Robinson of danger. He donated his time at the Gallifrey One charity auctions. “We couldn't stop him if we wanted to.”

He was a great person to have on a panel. Eric will relay the condolences of the LASFS.

For these worthies, we held a moment of silence.

The Menace were read and approved as “Farty red planet”.

Onward to New Business

We have a motion to allocate $200 for snacks etc. for the Forry Ackerman Memorial this coming Saturday. The motion carried, so we can pig out while we mourn. Refreshments will not include martinis.

Old Business (none)

Committee Reports:

Tadao announced the Memorial on the 24th starting at 1 PM.

Elayne announced it's time to pay dues.

Marcia Minsky announced memberships for Loscon are $30.

Milt Stevens is attempting a 2-page news zine, Ad Astra. Copies are on Elayne's Desk.

The Committee to Gouge was present, and did so.

Amazingly enough, the value of some pieces of cloth increased

Time Bound Announcements

Those interested in bidding for Loscon 37 should show up at the February 8 Board Meeting.

Mike Thorsen: tomorrow, being the 4th Friday of the month, don't show up to play games.

Tom Safer announced Feb 28, an all-day screening of films. We start at 1 PM, and end at 10. The theme will be madness in its various forms.

Cathy Beckstead announced the close-out meeting for Loscon 35, February 1, at 11 AM.

Marcia Minsky announced that at 12:30, we have the first Loscon 36 meeting.

Frank Waller has some slightly water damaged Life Magazines, and some some slightly undamaged ones. None of them are potato flavored. Free to a good home. (They wound up being adopted.)

Hare Hobbs noted an article about A&M Books in the Daily News. It's on the bulletin board. Go look at it.

Karen Anderson had something scientific to tell us about. Chemical and biomolecular engineers have developed chemically triggered nano-hands. Details are published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The grippers are 0.03 inches across. The list of authors and researchers apparently did not include Waldo F. Jones.


Anathem, set in a parallel earth where scientists have been segregated into monasteries where they can do the work they want. Neal Stephenson.

Tadao Tomomatsu reviewed a shop across from Dark Delicacies, Emerald Knights – a comic book store. They will support gaming on the upper floor.

Fannish Committee Reports



CLJII: This week is Fred Patten's last weekly contribution to APA-L. He just can't keep up the pace.

Tom Safer has something to say about tonight's program. (It exists.)

Firstly, his choir is performing at the Hall of Liberty on 2/8.

Scratch was wondering what it would take to extend his streak for historical (hysterical) purposes.

Jude-Marie Green, the creator of Abyss and Apex plugged it, and recommended that we nominate for Hugos.

Patron Saints

Rick Sneary

Len Moffatt didn't rise to say anything about him

Milt says he became most famous for a joke that got out of hand. AS a joke, in the late 40s, he started “South Gate in 58”. No way could it end up in South Gate. When Los Angeles wanted to bid for the Worldcon in 58, there was this ready-made slogan. Some negotiations were undertaken, and the convention hotel, the Alexandria Hotel in Downtown L.A. was ceded to South Gate for the duration of Labor Day weekend. There was a written Mayoral proclamation and everything.

CLJII noted that Rick Young, who thought well of Mr Sneary arranged for South Gate in 88 as a motto for that year's Loscon.

Matthew Tepper notes he was a sweet, kind, soft-spoken gentleman who was unfortunately in poor health. This did not prevent him from being active in fandom, mainly through writing. Because he was home-schooled, sometimes his spelling was unconventional. Fan editors agreed not to correct the spelling, because the errors were so charming. Rick would have preferred to be corrected, but it had become a Tradition.

Bill Ellern became acquainted with his name through his letters to a professional magazine. They treated him the way fan editors treated him.

Three cheers for St Rick Sneary, and South Gate is Fine in 2009.

Gail Selinger

Marty Cantor raised his umbrella to tell us Gail was going with Frank Gasperik when Marty first got to the club. Gail decides to learn something about a topic, and she goes all the way. If you're watching a program on History Channel, or National Geographic Channel, about Pirates, she will probably be interviewed on it. She used to be a school teacher, and lives in the valley. She's a very nice person.

Matthew Tepper added that he knew Gail before she was a blonde. She was indeed a school teacher in New York City public schools. It's a tough job, and she's tough when needed. She's sweet and charming with her friends. Currently, she writes romance novels, which she publishes online.

Scratch was around he when she was with Frank. She put up with Frank. She's a saint.

Gail Selinger was given three cheers, and a month with an arrr in it.

We adjourned at 21:16:08.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 01 February 2009 )
Meeting #3727 Jan 15, 2009 PDF Print E-mail


Menace of the LASFS



January 15, 2009



Michael Thorsen presiding, Karl Lembke, Scribe




Meeting 3727 was gavelled to order at 20:08:33



Meeting #3726 Jan 08, 2009 PDF Print E-mail

Menace of the LASFS

January 8, 2009

Michael Thorsen presiding,Karl Lembke, Scribe


OK, guys, did you feel the earthquake?

Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 June 2015 )
Meeting 3726, Jan 8 2009 PDF Print E-mail

January 8, 2009

Michael Thorsen presiding,

Karl Lembke, Scribe

OK, guys, did you feel the earthquake?


Meeting 3726 was gavelled to order at 20:10:27

Special Orders of Business

We note the passing of Pat Hingle (Commissioner Gordon of the recent movies), and Bob Wilkins, TV horror show host from the Bay Area.

The Menace were read and approved as Klaatu barada stinko.

Guests Michelle announced that we have guests.

Anita Nunez, who heard about us from a friend in college, more than 12 years ago, and

The family of Gloria McMillan, Chris McMillan, Bob McMillan

Patron Saints

Bruce Pelz, Sacred Elephant and Pillar of the LASFS.

Hare Hobbs called Bruce was the last of the Omni-fans. Also, if you've read Silverlock by Myers Myers, he's one of the people who put the songs and poems therein to music. He chaired many conventions, and was noted for doing them very well. He was also noted for gouging the members of the club for money. And he had a great sense of humor

Scratch: Bruce had the distinction of being a collector of collections.

Ed Hooper: He had the patience of a saint. He'd listen to people ranting and raving, and not kill them.

Charlie Jackson: Bruce was a man of eclectic tastes, and an omnivorous fact accumulator. When he thought of a joke that required knowing Flanders and Swann and Pokemon, Bruce got it. Bruce was a member of the Epitome of Evil, Ltd. He was the smiling one. That makes him a comic book character. Comic book characters never die, they just go into limbo until a new editor comes along. Bruce is also the inspiration for the Brontosaurus and Toad character, Bruce E. Phant

Tadao Tomomatsu first met Bruce as a dealer, and then again at the club. He recalled Tadao from years before. He was the great translator, able to translate a reference at a moment's notice. And he had a unique perspective on things.

Joe Zeff: Among others of his talents, he had a fine talent for matching people with books they'd enjoy reading. After he retired, he sold books here, and introduced him to the Amelia Peabody mystery series.

Karen Anderson: If there was an organization or activity in fandom that was the least bit interesting, he'd get in to it. He also created organizations for things he was interested in, including the Organization of Erudite Bastards.

Charlie Jackson: He not only joined the Los Angeles Socializing and Feasting Society, he became the rat bastard treasurer.

Joe Zeff: He collected ribbons. Including, at one convention, “The Ribbon Bruce Pelz Won't Get”

Marty Massoglia: Once, in a trivia team contest, opposing team thought they were very hot, until, on the first fannish question, Bruce buzzed in with the correct answer, “I did.”

Bill Ellern: Bruce was a great one to talk to to get your head straightened out. He'd listen, and have a bit of useful advice.

John Hertz: The best single remark about Bruce yet heard was, “He had a fruitful imagination” A remarkable quantity of the things Bruce dreamed up came to pass.

Bruce Pelz was given three cheers, and a round-the-world cruise.


Saint Christian McGuire:

Ed Hooper noted he's been known as the rocking chair, because of the way he rocks back and forth. He also put himself on the line for a decade running Gallifrey One.

Hare: Christian seems to be one of the main ones to take up Bruce's job of chairing cons. He chaired many, including the last Worldcon. He's one of several to take over the job of gouging the LASFS. He's almost as important to LASFS as half a Bruce.

Tadao: Christian is a go-getter. He goes charging through. He'll stay up hours on end to make sure stuff gets done. At 3AM, when he's had one drink too many, take away his cell phone.

Zeff: When Christian was new to LASFS, he jumped in to help. He even took over for the scribe. Three times, he had to refer to Joe, but didn't know his name. That's how Joe became “The Guy With The Sideburns”. He's fan GOH at this year's Loscon.

Charlie Jackson: For years, Christian partnered with Shawn Lyon, and the pair were known as Aslan. There's no truth to rumor that Shawn's recent disappearance has anything to do with the extra weight Christian has put on.

George Mulligan. He's a hell of a nice guy.

John Hertz: Because of him that Hertz considers himself a member of Christian fandom.

Hare: Before he became President for a while, he was Science Monitor. Christian has always done well at keeping track of interesting things to know.

Christian was given three rousing cheers and a bridge to bain.

The Committee to Gouge did not operate.

Onward to New Business (none), Old Business (none)

Time Bound Announcements

Marty Massoglia announced the half-price sale next week. Cards may be found on the table.

Darnell Coleman announced Tony Curtis will be at the Northridge Borders this weekend.

Karen Anderson announced that the Ingmar Bergman production of The Magic Flute will show at the Egyptian Tuesday evening

Committee Reports


Elayne says it's a new year. Give money.

Charlie Jackson reminded one and all that if the deadbolt is thrown, turn the knob to pull it back in. Leaving it out damages lock, door, frame. We also have a library, with a collection of videos for LASFS members to borrow. Remember to bring them back. No program tonight or next week.

Mike Thorsen: Tomorrow night, no open house, this being the start of 2009, we're curtailing lightly attended things. Open house is 1st and 3rd Fridays.

Matthew Tepper announced Gruppo Sub Conscious will be performing at Hallenbeck General Store tomorrow.

Mike Thorsen announced Cinema Anime, the board meeting, and Second Sunday – We've had the front repaved. Please don't park there. We need to give it time to set. After Sunday, it should be OK. After they remove the rope, it should be OK.

Once again, we've had some rearrangements to scheduled monthly events. If you showed up Sunday to attend TRIPE, sorry. Tripe is now First Saturday of odd-numbered months. Estrogen Zone is first Saturday of even-numbered months.

Science report: Karen Anderson read to us about Gamma Ray Bursts. The NASA Swift satellite noticed the burst, and within minutes two optical scopes had turned to observe it. In less than 15 minutes, a low-resolution spectrophotometer at Keck observatory determined the burst was 11 billion light years away. Thanks to the intensity of the burst, scientists were able to learn about the molecular composition of the gas in early stellar nurseries.


Charlie Jackson reviewed cartoon on the Toon and Disney channels: ”Phineas and Ferb” a series about two brothers trying to come up with stuff to do during summer vacation. Perry the Platypus is featured as a secret agent. The counterplot involves an older sister who tries to rat them out to their mother. The cartoons are surprisingly funny. They're on at least 5 hours a day between the two channels.

Michelle Pincus found a nifty book: The Pirate Primer. It's a dictionary giving historical, movie, and literary references for pirate talk. Matthew Tepper asked, what's the first listing under “R” – Actually, it's not arranged like that. But chapter 15 is “Arrgh”.

Thorsen asked, do they explain all the permutations of the meaning of the word “Parlay”? Actually, I'm told it's more of a guideline.

She also reviewed The Curious Tale of Benjamin Button. [book][graphic novel] It's not long enough, but it's very well done.

Scott Beckstead reviewed the BCS all star game. The game was pretty ordinary. However, the technology used to broadcast it in 3-D is neat. A company called 3ality has the technology for cameras that capture 3D in real time. Tonight, the game was broadcast to some 90 theaters.

Fannish Committee Reports



David Wong: Star Trek is a prequel to original series. Some liberties were taken with details. Word is out, Disney has green-lighted a prequel to 20000 Leagues Under the Sea.

We adjourned at 21:00:30

Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 June 2015 )
Meeting #3725 Jan 01, 2009 PDF Print E-mail

January 1, 2009

Michael Thorsen presiding,

Karl Lembke, Scribe


Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind,

We'll meet to drink the kool-aid dear, for auld lang syne.


Meeting 3725 was gavelled to order at 20:10:46, by Matthew Tepper as the most senior former president in attendance. Both veeps and the registrar were absent, and the Board members in attendance were busy.


Special Orders of Business

Marty Cantor noted that English fan, member of rat fandom, Leroy Kettle, was given the OBE some years ago. Now, Terry Pratchett has been knighted, and most important, the award was given during a period when he can still appreciate it. Terry is giving what he can to the fight against Alzheimer's, and challenging fans to match his donation, half a million pounds (sterling) to date.

In his turn, Charlie Jackson noted the passing of Donald Westlake, who wrote mysteries and was known to a fair number of LASFSians who read mysteries. He also wrote SF under a pseudonym.


The Menace from last week were read and accepted as “for once the LASFS members not only have nothing clever to say, but they know it”.


Guests In the absence of a Registrar, Elayne Pelz announced the existence of a guest. Dan Nichols was introduced by Ryan Nichols. They were assured the dangerous ones were usually plainly marked. Unfortunately, you have to be able to see vacuum ultraviolet to read the markings.


Patron Saints

Dan Alderson

Scratch recalled Dan as a sane mad scientist, great guy, whose favorite words were “weep wail”. He's missed.

Tom Safer recalled Dan as always here, even though he didn't say much, and he was important enough to have a parking space named after him.

Joe Zeff stated that Dan wrote down the Alderson Method for elections, which is easy to understand, if you're a computer programmer. Dan dictated one complex computer package to him after he lost his eyesight, and never got lost or got anything out of order, because he had everything organized so anyone could keep track of it, and he alphabetized variable names.

Jerry Pournelle notes Dan is the sane genius appearing in Lucifer's Hammer, though not under his own name. Also, a re-issue of Exile and Glory features Dan as a supporting character. He had lots to say to friends, but didn't speak in public much. The Alderson drive in Mote in God's Eye is named after him. Unfortunately, no one could talk him into taking better care of himself.

Marty Cantor said Dan was friendly with everybody. Professionally, in his community, he worked for JPL. He was the one who designed the Trajectory Monitoring package that was used by JPL. Jerry Pournelle amplified, saying Dan wrote a Fortran program that incorporated the celestial mechanics of the solar system. He did the equivalent of low-thrust trajectory tracking. To the best of his knowledge, all low-thrust trajectory craft still fly with at least a piece of Alderson's software in it.

Scratch added, “he had the ability to pick up an idea, mull it around, come back, and tell you the answer when you were least expecting it.”

Charlie Jackson added, “Dan's program was called Trajectory Monitor, or TRAM for short.” It's what got Voyager through the asteroid belt. Thus, when StarTrek I came out, fans called it “The revenge of Dan Alderson”.

Joe Zeff said Dan had a sense of humor and low self esteem. These once combined in a near-fatal way. He was in a car with Phil Castora and remarked, “I suppose we cold always hold a self-denigration contest. Of course, I'd lose.” Inducing that amount of laughter in the driver of a car at 64MPH is not safe.

Dan Alderson was given three cheers, and “weep, wail”.

Joe Zeff

Hare Hobbs recalled that when Dan Alderson was at his sickest from the effects of diabetes, Joe was Dan's caretaker.

Tom Safer appreciates how Joe has been a loyal and helpful cartoon fan, and has helped put a number of shows together.

Scratch has known Zeff for a few days, and when we were having D&D played here on Fridays, he'd run some of the most unique characters – some of which he can use in the class he teaches, others he doesn't dare.

Jerry Pournelle called him an imaginative person. He's reliable, he never promises what he can't deliver, and always delivers on what he promises.

Greg Barrett says, Joe is steadfast both as a member of the club and as a friend. He can't think of another member who is more so than Zeff. His friendship is something he cherishes.

Mike Thorsen has known Joe since joining the club. He's very imaginative, and has an incredible memory for tiny details and obscure trivia, which he loves to put into his stories and characters. He particularly enjoys trotting out references that no one recognizes. (Charlie Jackson is a challenge.)

Glenn Olson met Joe Zeff the first time he came to a meeting. Glenn thought Joe was actually a paid performer for the club, on account of his stupid computer user and other reports. He now misses them. He was furiously shushed by some in attendance, fortunately, without bloodshed.

Joe Zeff answered a question that had arisen earlier: His sacred object is the Sacred Sideburns.

He added that most times, he doesn't make the obscure references to stump people, but simply because they amuse him.

Joe Zeff was given three rousing cheers and a Civil War general.


There being no members of the Committee to Gouge around, there was no Gouge.


Onward to New Business (none), New Business (none)


Committee Reports and Time Bound Announcements

Elayne Pelz announced that it's time to pay dues – monthly, annual, and otherwise.

Tom Safer announced TSPC this month taking place Saturday, January 17, at 10AM. There will be cartoons.

Joe Zeff announced that Loscon is getting closer by the week. The price of membership has gone up to $30.

Eric observed a bit of news – A company called VCI Entertainment has released the entire series, “Starlost”, probably to get it out of their warehouse before too many people got sick.

Mike Thorsen called Starlost the Post Classic Trek answer to B5. It has all of the grand intentions and none of the grand deliveries.

Greg Barrett announced Warner Brothers lost their suit over Watchmen. Fox owns the rights. The film will drift between lawyers for a while, and a deal may eventually be worked out. Thorsen added, at least the trailer was impressive.

CLJII reported on the program for the evening, a couple of Buster Keaton shorts from the 30s.



Matthew Tepper reviewed a parade float. Tournament of Roses parade included a float which was impressive and SF related. Honda America, 50th anniversary, a giant robot that was supine at the beginning of the parade and raised itself up to reveal that it was an Asimo robot. Since the theme was “hats off to entertainment”, Asimo removed his top hat, lowered it, and when it was down to chest level, fireworks erupted therefrom. They also had the hydrogen powered car as the pace car. Matthew noted he would not want to drive the car in Lakehurst New Jersey. Oh, the Humanity!!!

Jerry Pournelle corrected the feeble joke that emerged from Matthew's feeble brain.

Greg Barrett: On the Red Line, on the long tunnel between Hollywood and Highland and Studio City, there was flashed on the wall “subway flickers” a trailer for “Quarreling”. It was impressive, he's not sure how they did it, but they did it.

Mike Thorsen reviewed two items: He went the day before New Year's Eve to see The Day the Earth Stood Still. It has very cool effects! But they don't make up for the rest of the movie. There is no believability, and it's a complete departure from source material. It has nothing like the spirit, soul, and quality of positiveness that the original had. For example in the original movie, when power is shut off, news reports are remarking on things that didn't lose power – hospitals, plains in flight, etc. In the new movie, any time there's an attack or general shut-down, people just die. Thorsen was miffed. He tried to make up for it by seeing.....

The Spirit. Being unfamiliar with the source material, he liked the movie.

Eric noted that many Yahoo groups linked to reviews, including one with the headline, “Klaatu Barada Stinko”.

Safer reviewed some shorts (Matthew said, “No clothing reviews!”). They are the shorts included with Wall-E. Both are recommended.

A reviewer reviewed Bolt, saying the studio misrepresents the story. The story is about an animated dog trying to find its way home.

Charlie Jackson: The Ultimate Movie Quiz Book – It's not about trivia, but rather, about minutiae. This book goes on for hundreds of pages with the most inane, pointless quizzes about stuff in movies. They love to castigate writers for mistakes about their mistakes, but in the first quiz, the writers get a title wrong. They managed twelve mistakes in the first nine pages.

Ryan reviewed Iain Banks' Matter – It's super-cool. It features “shell worlds” – multi-layered habitable worlds of unknown antiquity, and a social hierarchy between inhabitants of the shells. In the novel, the relationships get overturned.

Jerry Pournelle warned the club away from the opera, “Doctor Atomic” by John Adams with Peter Sellers as librettist. Don't see this one. It's so bad, it got JP wondering if there was something wrong with him. They can't have spent so much money on something and have it so bad... Miss it if you can. Go see The Magic Flute instead.

Mary Ann Canfield reviewed the Party of Last Resort. It was a small group, maybe 10 people. Good food, good company, and good movies. A good time was had by all. Jerry Pournelle doesn't remember what happened at Larry Niven's party.

Mike Thorsen had to come in and fix problems with the video set-up.



Glenn Olson saw by the papers, a list of things to look forward to. Included in the list is, the one millionth word will be added to the English language.

Hare misced that he's usually missed the Thanksgiving LASFS meetings. This year, he got a ride to the meeting, and so attended every single meeting last year.

Tom Safer notes that in addition to the millionth word. A college has nominated a number of words and phrases that should be eliminated from the English language.

Charlie Jackson announced his Numbers for 2008. The total Feature Films – 200. Total films added up to 320, well short of 503.

The program this night is the Great Stone Face, starring one Joe Keaton, also known as Buster. And so we adjourned.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 June 2015 )
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