Meeting #2735, Jan 11 1990 PDF Print E-mail


 by Matthew B. Tepper, Not-Seagate

"tap, Tap, TAP!" went the gavel, as Brucifer called us to order at 20:12. First call was for guests, and Galen introduced us to Mark Burton, Nannette Bolles, and Jim Bostrom. Minutes were read, and with the nitpick of the spelling of Dori Sahagian's name, were approved as waltzed. President Pelz read the Treasurer's report, and toted us up to $33,553.62, including $487.60 in the newly-enhanced Video Fund.

Leigh Strother-Vien announced that she would soon be taking over as LASFS Librarian, an appointment Bruce said was approved by the Board. Leigh will be instituting a few guidelines to improve the Library's operations. First-Leigh, your LASFS membership card will be needed for all check-outs. (Bruce said you can get these from the Treasurers.) Second-Leigh, signs denoting the check-out period (four weeks) and fine (25¢) will be posted in the Library itself. Third-Leigh, there will be a physical inventory of the Library, which will probably be closed down for a week. And last-Leigh, she had found a lost pair of gloves. See her if they're yours.

Galen announced the latest De Prof, free for scrounging at the table in the back.

Committee Reports opened with Francis Hamit, speaking for Surrealism. Entrepreneur of the month goes to a drug dealer who was selling drywall as cocaine; should we get him for drugs or for fraud? Jerry Pournelle wrote a coke-user's slogan in big letters on the whiteboard: "My other car is up my nose." Ed Green wasn't here, so we lacked a military report.

Mark Poliner declared himself the Stupidity Committee, and told of a vagrant in Florida who wanted to spend a night in prison, so went out and slugged a cop and got five years. Bruce Pelz said he was reminded of Damon Runyon's "The Cop and the Anthem" -- or is that O. Henry?

Dr. Pournelle asked and got a few minutes to tell us of a newly-proposed space vehicle called the SSX: Space Ship eXperimental. It's a squat, roughly egglike vehicle with a circle of thrusters, and no need for the expensive boosters that put NASA's shuttles into orbit. It takes off and lands like a traditional SF-style rocketship. The Shuttle was designed to use a standing army of NASA employees, but the SSX needs a much smaller team. It's miserly on fuel: Nine tickets to Australia would get buy you a ticket to the Moon. One launch costs less than $3 million, so this might be the ideal way to build permanent space stations and a lunar base. Once we're established on the Moon, water supplies might prove less of a problem, since Moon rocks were recently shown to contain hydrogen. (That almost sounds easier than getting it from Hoover Dam!)

Test pilots have the right stuff to fly this bird, as it uses differential throttling for steering (read: flying by the seat of your pants). Dr. Pournelle is only one of several military and aerospace experts backing this plan; Tom Clancy is another. In all, Dr. Pournelle feels the Vice President has been treated unfairly by the media. He said that Mr. Quayle has been backing some solid ideas for our space program, and suggested that we write him letters of support, care of the White House.

Announcements: Hare Hobbs reported that Microillusion declared bankruptcy, so LASFS' own David Joiner's computer game, "A Faery Tale," may not be available much longer.

Rick Foss said that Robin Schindler's apartment building has been condemned, so she's looking for a housemate and a place to rent. Rick also has information on Holland, European tours, and lodging in the Hague. If you're going to Confiction, see him.

Marty Cantor had some software left over from the box he bought at LASFS auction, mostly Amiga, with some Mac and MS-DOS. Greg Bilan announced an animation program at Cal State Northridge.

Frank Waller said he was Mudd no more, and proudly announced that he has found a job as a garbageman in Glendale. Is that picking up or delivering, Frank?

Francis Hamit said he'll be calling people up to confirm their participation in the First Aid and CPR classes. Also, he is Press Coordinator for NASFiC, and is looking for fresh victims volunteers. Ha-ha, Sam Martinez seemed willing to give it a try!

At this point, President Pelz said he felt honor-bound to lead a round of cheers for that week's saint: himself! The club obliged with three elephantine "hooray"s.

Reviews: Rick Foss is now reviewing books for the Los Angeles Reader, and hopes to share his reviews with us a week before they appear. First off is Explorers of the Amazon, about the mad conquistador Aguirre who led a dwindling expedition through the Amazon in 1560. The reason the expedition was dwindling was that he was killing the men off himself. And, wouldn't you know, he kept a diary? Rick found it interesting for the way it looks at a deranged mind. Perhaps the author should visit LASFS.

Francis Hamit told us of a book called Divine Invasion: The Life of Philip K. Dick. It's authorized by Dick's estate. Dick was a great writer, but his personal life was a mess. Francis wasn't sure he liked the book, but seemed moved by it all the same. "Don't read this if you idolize writers," he said; "you shouldn't idolize them anyway." His review copy will be donated to the LASFS Library.

Announcements and Reviews Mixed Together: Tom Safer enjoyed "Driving Miss Daisy." Charles Lee Jackson II said LASFS member Susan Potter is now a caterer for a posh restaurant in San Francisco. George Mulligan didn't have a car for sale this week, but he did have an 8" floppy drive and a LaserJet toner cartridge.

President Pelz said the year's programs are beginning to gel, though there was none tonight. One meeting will feature an old LASFS favorite, a fannish version of a TV game show. Misty Johnstone wanted to know if there was any interest in more of her UFO programs, and received a round of applause. We adjourned at 21:07 for a short auction.

There now, wasn't that painless? 

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