Meeting #3778, Jan 07, 2010 PDF Print E-mail

Menace of the LASFS

January 7, 2010

Robert Powell, Presiding

Karl Lembke, Scribe

"Hmmm. Charles Lee Scissorhands, II” – Karl Lembke

Meeting 3778 was ordered up 20:08:40.

Special Orders of Business

Dan O' Bannon passed at 63, after a 30-year battle with Crohn's disease. He came on the scene with Dark Star, worked on Alien and various other features, and wrote Return of the Living Dead.

We also have lost Jim Wilson, club member on the order of 50 years ago. He was Director for a while. He passed about a month ago, and word has finally reached the Emperor.

We had a moment of silence for Mr. Wilson.

The Menace were read and accepted as “Good riddance 2009”.

Old Business


New Business


Patron Saints

Dan Alderson

Scratch noted Dan Alderson was a mathematical genius who worked at JPL and had a low opinion of himself. His favorite words were Weep Wail. Joe Zeff helped him out a lot, and Scratch helped a bit. He's been immortalized in at least three stories. Mote in Gods Eye, Lucifer's Hammer, and Exiles to Glory, And it was his math genius that gave us such things as low orbits, transfer orbits, and so on. He wrote the software that makes the whole world orbit.

Milt Stevens: his best line ever was they're talking about having a self-denigration contest at LASFS, but I'd lose, of course.

CLJII: He busted us through the asteroid belt. That's why the first Star Trek movie was The Revenge of Dan Alderson. He has also been immortalized in comics, making him effectively immortal.

Kris wanted to say, aside form his real world achievements, she got to know him and game with him. He was a fun person to game with, and a nice human being

Joe Zeff: one thing Dan and friends used to do was pick street, drive down the street, turn right at every corner, and see how far they drove before getting back to where they started.

Hare: first experience with Dan: at a Halloween party, he came bouncing in with a cape on and a sword. Normally, quiet and reserved, when he wore that, he became quite animated.

CLJII: He was first treasurer for 1984 Loscon, despite beginning to have vision problems. He kept at the job until he became quite blind. And he was a staunch LASFS member. When he wasn't working, he was doing LASFS stuff, because that's the only place he fit in.

Dan Alderson was given three loud cheers and a toad with whom to hang around

Joe Zeff

CLJII: has known J Wellingtom Wimpy. Joe Zeff is no J Wellington Wimpy.

Hare: Why he's paired with Dan Alderson, when Dan was in his worst shape, Joe was his caretaker right to the end. That was not an easy job. He deserves an award for that

Scratch has known Zeff for a day or two. He has a marvelous sense of story. Heard and read some of his writing, and he's also a good game player when he has the inclination or opportunity. You never quite expect his characters and interpetation. For example, Simple Aimee McPherson. Aimee was attempting to help by healing a character. She put her heel on the character, and criticized the character's faults. She was granted the ability to perform a Critical Heel once a day, by laying on foot.

Jerry Pournelle called him trustworthy, a description he uses sparingly.

Kris said he has a remarkable memory.

Mary Ann said he brings new members into the club. Including some he's not related to.

Meep says Joe has a wicked and ingenious sense of humor, both in his writing and his gaming. He recalls a number of crocks on the notion of the Ring of Gaseous Form.

Frank Waller: had mistaken Matthew Tepper for Joe Zeff when he was new here.

Robert: Joe is prolific in his writings, and participates each year in the NaNoWriMo, 50 Kwords, in 30 days. 5 so far.

Marcia Minsky – Joe's my brother. She agrees with everything everyone else has said, and will keep him around a while longer.

Joe Zeff was given three loud cheers and a hamburger until Tuesday.

No old business

No new business

Committee Reports

The real Michelle Pincus announced Lesley Youngblood who found us by cruising the net for Anne McCaffrey fan sites.

CLJII had a second of science: this week, a new animal was discovered – the strawberry crab. It looks like a strawberry, and has dots the right color and size. And it's about strawberry size.

Kris wondered if we can expect strawberry crab shortcake as a menu item.

Sandy Cohen noted the Rover is apparently beginning to power up again, and they expect to be able to move it. It's not dead yet.

Gizmo announced five new planets have been discovered, “earth zone” planets.

No one from the Committee to Gouge was here.

Treasury: Pay dues. Annual dues may be paid now, and when Elayne is here, plastic will be accepted.

Marketing Committee: We finally have the correct address for the Zazzle website on the board. We'll be shortening the name, and getting more art. Also, continues. Next week, getting children to read; TV programming: remote control or or Empty V; 50 best movie robots. Come down and be in the audience. Starts at 6 PM, Thursday nights.

Time Bound Announcements

Ken Porter's memorial service will be Monday, at the House of Winston, 9501 S. Vermont Ave. Details are on the website.

No open gaming night tomorrow, but Second Sunday and Cinema Anime will be occurring as usual.

There is a convention at the LAX Marriott, Anime L.A. For info,

Marty Cantor announced the Second Sunday gaming begins at noon. Someone will set up a barbecue for burnables later.

Darnell Coleman announced the library is open, provoking a “Yes!” from a member in attendance.


Sandy Cohen reviewed Sherlock Holmes. It's probably the first steampunk Holmes. Any relationship to Conan Doyle's Holmes is coincidence, though Jude Law plays Watson closer to what Doyle wrote than many other actors.

Matthew Tepper reviewed a film from 5 years ago, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. He only felt half blind watching this, in spite of what his parents told him. The plot is hackneyed, retro, but in some ways beautiful and ingenious, but the decision to film the whole thing in soft focus sepia was not the best.

Milt Stevens, while the movie Pulp Fiction had no resemblance to any pulp fiction he's ever seen, the Sky Captain movie was pure pulp fiction.

Arlene Satin, while standing in line to see Sherlock Holmes, was in line with someone who worked on Avatar, and he compared it with Dances With Wolves. She enjoyed Sherlock Holmes, and part of the reason was the “bromance” between the characters. She loves the chemistry between Holmes and Watson.

Scratch notes one nice things about Sherlock Homes, it's done with wonderful scenery, period pieces, clothing, etc.

CLJII got to see a French film, called Le Schpountz. The movie stars Fernandel, a French comic, a combination of Bob Hope and Charlie Chaplin, and he's the Schpountz – a person who is absolutely convinced he's a fine actor for the Cinema, and this impression is impervious to reality. He turns out to be an excellent comedy actor and turns the tables on practical jokers who set him up in the movies.

Michelle Pincus reviewed Sherlock Holmes, and yes, it's a Holmes movie. This must be one of the adventures Watson never documented. The relationship between Holmes and Watson was great. Holmes was written as an action hero in the early stories.

Arlene did not mean “brokeback” by “bromance”.

Gizmo: IT was obvious Arthur Conan Doyle had spoken with people who had dealt with autism, and integrated that in to the detective environment.

Frank Waller commented that ACTO his mother, Holmes and Watson were gay. Well, they were occasionally jovial, but....

Fannish Committee Reports

Joe Zeff reported on putridity: registered at a website that sends surveys. Yesterday, filling out basic information, noticed a line for zip code, and was instructed, “be specific and fill out all details”.

Tim on the committee for the unification of LASFS domains will be talking to Scott Beckstead. He claims he's been too busy to do the task. The task will be finished after Anime L.A. Why is this important? We want to be able to put URLs on stuff, and we want a nice short URL to use. But that one is owned by Chaz. So we're trying to get it back.

Jerry Pournelle notes the Global Warming committee observes China is having the coldest winter on record, and England and Scotland are having their coldest winters in 100 years.

CLJII: Florida is so cold iguanas are seizing up and falling out of trees...


Fred Patten noted Kees Van Torn visited him yesterday. He just got into the US the day before, and he sends his greetings to the LASFS. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend the meeting. He was attending an electronics conference in Los Vegas – CEF before returning to Rotterdam.

CLJII reported he's in the middle of compiling version 8 of The List. The ultimate number is 6020. That involves watching 25 minutes of movie since age 5.

Karl contributed 449th unit of platelets to Red Cross.

And there's a movie, “Daybreakers”.

Arlene offered a motion, and so......

We adjourned at 21:20:59.

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