Meeting # 4038, Jan 01, 2015 PDF Print E-mail

Matthew Tepper presiding

Karl Lembke, Scribe

Patron Saint Bruce Pelz, Christian McGuire

(Portions read at the meeting are highlighted like this.)

President Matthew Tepper called meeting #4038 to order at 8:00

Comments from the President

Welcome to the worst - I mean *first* day of the year. Thanks to past President Marty Cantor, to Michelle Pincus who has served many terms as registrar, and welcome to Ed Hooper, welcome back Debra Levin as Vice President and Karl Lembke as Scribe.  (The Treasurer stands for election in June.)

Edward Herrmann, actor, has passed. Among his roles was Herman Munster in Here Come the Munsters.

Queen’s New Years honors list included knighthoods and damehoods for Sir John Hurt and Dame Joan Collins.

Congratulations to Dame Kristen Scott Thomas created Dame for her contribution to acting. She is the sister of Matthew’s brother’s former wife.

Menace from last meeting were read.  Bill Green bid $1.50 name them “Humbug! I say these minutes are humbug!” They were so accepted.

We do have some money in the treasury:

You can’t spend any of it.


Feed the pig. Feed it early, feed it often. Coins, banknotes, checks, Kruggerand...

It has been noted that saints’ announcements have gotten pretty long. When remembering saints, let’s keep things short and sweet.

Patron Saint Dan Alderson

Scratch: He is a person, character, plotline out of many books, and we miss him.

Marty Cantor notes Dan Alderson invented a game, Space Wars, a 3-d four layer board with 64 spaces. We ran a move a week through APA-L and got together to game in person but that took week after week of sessions. There was only one board, but it was lost in a fire. It was a long game because you’d figure out what your move was, and then talk to other players because of treaties you had to observe or break.

Scratch asked if the directions to the game are available anywhere?  

Milt says he also invented topological diplomacy

CLJII:  Dan had quite a collection of collections. He had a small trailer beside his house, and rented a garage down the hill from the place which had his collection of comics from the late 50s on. His collection of Fawcett superhero comics lived in trailer. All of that was spared in the fire. along with the 3-d representation of the planet Toadland made in Legos. Stuff was sold to Harlan Ellison.  Dan was also a comic book character. Comic book characters never die. They only go to limbo.  (Hope his back is up to it.)

Marty added, if you read a lot of the stuff by Niven and Pournelle, you’ll find Dan. He also calculated the mechanics of the Alderson drive and Ringworld. In the real world, they still use his orbital work for sending rockets through the asteroid belt.

Joe Zeff: Jerry has always referred to Dan as the sane genius. One concept Dan never comprehended was being on time for anything.  If you saw Dan in his office during the daytime, it was for a specific appointment or because he was still there from the night before.

Patron Saint Dan Alderson was given three cheers and weep, wail!

Patron Saint Joe Zeff

Tom Safer appreciates interest and good comments on his programs. A nice guy and a good friend.

Debra Levin agrees he’s an all around nice guy, and enjoys talking about a variety of things.

Scratch: He’s a naval vet. He got to fire a bigger rifle than Scratch’s. During D&D games, he had a sense of wonder in his characters that would make him work.

Glenn Olson: first time I met Joe Zeff, had no idea who the guy with the sideburns was, this guy started talking about the world of computer help lines. Came back every meeting hoping for more. He rarely failed to deliver.

Scratch: one feature of his help line -- had to ask one customer “is it plugged in and turned on?”

Marcia Minsky: Why Joe is called the guy with the sideburns. The story I heard was Christian had named him because he couldn’t remember Joe’s name, and Joe’s sideburns are fairly long. During an auction, he referred to Joe as “the guy with the sideburns”.  Joe brought Maryann Canfield and Marcia into the club. He’s agreed to help with a certain aspect of Loscon 42.

Joe Zeff had a correction. Mutton chops don’t go down straight as his do. They spread out.

Christian was acting as substitute scribe and referred to him that way in the minutes because he didn’t know the name.

Patron Saint Joe Zeff was given three cheers and General Burnside Loves You.

Registrar Ed Hooper announced some guests.

Crystal Sheehan is in the house, despite normally working on Thursdays.

Board Member announcement:

No meeting in January.

Committee Reports

Programming (CLJII)

Tonight’s program is being set back to next week due to illness on the part of one of the presenters.

1/8/15: Eric Hoffman and Barbara Harmon talk about Kirk Allen, star of the Superman serial we’ve been seeing

1/15/15: Auction

1/22/15: No program scheduled

1/29/15: Krypton Radio surprise program.

Board meeting Feb 8, present Loscon bids.

FWEMS will be in February, Valentines tribute to Marthy Heyer, first men in the moon, riders to the stars, and once upon a horse.

Welcome back Tom Safer on TSPC.

Returns to animation for January, screening Robots on Jan. 17.

David Okamura did not report on science, since he wasn’t here.

CLJII observed the announcement that the probe going to Pluto is about to start looking.

Comet Lovejoy is in the vicinity. It should be at its brightest on January 7 or thereabouts.

Announcements, Regular or Time Bound

Tom Safer continued his pledge drive for the MPLC license. The cost is $357, of which which $235 has been raised.

President tepper announced since it’s January of the new year, those who pay annual dues can begin paying toward their $135 now.

No Old Business

No New Business


Milt Stevens finished The Windup Girl, a Hugo winner 5 years ago. This is Steampunk Noir. Very noir. Bangkok a couple of centuries from now after the Americans have released plagues on the world and started selling wheat that is resistant to the plague. Wind-ups are spring technology used in the post-petroleum world. Very well plotted, very interesting, but very dark.

Scratch commented that he didn’t recognize the title until he heard the description. The heroine has many good features.

Glenn Olson reviewed Night at the Museum 3, last performance of Robin Williams. Last public performance of Mickey Rooney, in a walk-on. Well worth seeing on the big screen.

Tom Safer: KUSC new years bash, and two of the guests: Joran Young, spike jones biographer; Barry Hanson, aka Dr Demento. Featured the song Dachshunds with Erections. (They can’t climb stairs.)

And the annual sobriety quiz.

CLJII: just read The Lost One, two bricks hidden between paper covers. You could use it to hold a bank vault door open. It’s the life of Peter Lorre, from Germany and Vienna to Hollywood and parts nearby. Very interesting at the beginning and end, but the chapter in the middle is a bit tedious.  (He and CLJII share a birthday.)  At first, having been typecast as a bad guy, he was thrilled to play Mr Moto, a hero for a change, but after eight films he tired of the role.  (He lost his Moto-vation?)

Also reading The Book of Gordon Dickson, a collection of short stories. Found a copy of the book, and is having a good time reading the stories.

The Aetna warning was issued.

Matthew fondly recalls from the 1968 Worldcon a room party with four drunks sitting around singing: The Andersons, Gordon Dickson, and Jerry Pournelle. (Science fiction is his hobby, but his main job’s having fun.)

Scratch: was finishing book Wood Sprites. Dug up Tinker, Elfhome, and W Rules, and finished reading Wood Sprites in the past week. All were enjoyable, but now has to wait a week to re-read the stories.


Joe Zeff read an article about the biggest taxicab in the world, in St Petersburg. It’s an Army surplus armored personnel carrier, disarmed, painted fire engine red for visibility. It is fully amphibious. The city is bisected by a river. There are times when the bridges are all lifted at once, and this is the only vehicle that can drive across the river.

Tom Safer heard on the radio, there’s a new law going into effect in New York: it will be illegal to pose for a photo with a lion, tiger, or other big cat. Selfies in particular will be outlawed.

Bill Green was reading an old magazine and found a mention of the 1956 Worldcon in Cleveland. Membership was $3. (Milt Stevens’ first worldcon.)

Milt asked if anyone else gets recorded messages about final notice about something they won’t identify.

Tom Safer had a duck report. The Oregon Ducks won the Rose Bowl, 59-20.

CLJII: earlier today Princess Cruise Line had a float in the Rose Parade, which had all the members of the TV series The Love Boat. The entire principal cast is still alive.

The Vice President asked people to police their areas and put up their chairs.

Adjournment: It was moved and seconded, and we adjourned at 9:04 PM

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