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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in rwl's LiveJournal:

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    Friday, January 2nd, 2015
    11:36 pm
    My Back Pages #13
    My Back Pages #13, another mini-collection of some of my articles and essays, is online at the efanzines.com website.

    Issue #13 is not at all concerned with triskaidekaphobia and has essays involving long airport layovers, hexagonal pavilions, Korean food, hi-tech toilets, mountain tunnels, picture postcards, ragtime music, group dinners, old photographs, interplanetary missions, government mindsets, space movies, big windstorms, slippery slopes, jazz orchestras, art museums, buried treasure, micro universes, famous actors, and some very cold winter weather.

    Hope you will find it an enjoyable read.


    cover of My Back Pages #13
    Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
    11:55 pm
    for fans of Breaking Bad
    Better Call Saul is scheduled to debut on AMC in February.

    Here's the music video (by Junior Brown) of the theme song.

    Monday, August 11th, 2014
    9:56 pm
    My Back Pages #12
    My Back Pages #12, another mini-collection of some of my articles and essays, is online at the efanzines.com website.

    Issue #12 is influenced by the recent 2014 NASFiC, Detcon 1, and includes essays involving memorial plaques, painted guitars, aspiring musicians, swarming bats, presidential encounters, giant pecans, boat tours, sporting event recreations, scholarly researchers, dance music, friendly docents, unfinished projects, famous domiciles, violin concertos, protest songs, spectacular meltdowns, car breakdowns, signature images, wild daisies, ancient tombs, city walks, excessive gratuity charges, friends who are instigators, Viagra gelato, and some really good barbecue.

    Hope you will find it an enjoyable read.


    cover of My Back Pages #12
    Friday, January 24th, 2014
    9:06 pm
    My Back Pages #11
    My Back Pages #11, another mini-collection of some of my articles and essays, is online at the efanzines.com website.

    Issue #11 is another travel-themed issue, with essays involving oversized pecans, English philosophers, larger-than-life sports trophies, glass pyramids, pain medications, large and small watercraft, total immersion tours, successful marketing strategies, property taxes, strange legacies, failed revolutions, architectural makeovers, famous sculptures, iconic poses, great musicians, entertaining theatre productions, porcelain automatons, film crews, literary researchers, and some unseasonably warm winter weather.

    Hope you will find it an enjoyable read.



    cover of My Back Pages #11
    Sunday, July 14th, 2013
    11:43 pm
    My Back Pages #10
    My Back Pages #10, another mini-collection of some of my articles and essays, is online at the efanzines.com website.

    Issue #10 is an achievement and adventure themed issue, with essays involving spectacular mountains, healing waters, elderly singers, good appetites, signature images, luncheon seminars, climate models, Washington moments, traumatic events, insect invasions, speeding spaceships, site selections, wedding processions, mistaken identities, wild onions, distinctive buildings, planetarium shows, wobbly tables, city dreamscapes, and ruminant curses.

    Hope you will find it an enjoyable read.



    cover of My Back Pages #10
    Saturday, January 5th, 2013
    3:22 pm
    Mimosa 6 now online
    A mere 24 years after its original publication, an "electronic" version of the 6th issue of the fanzine Mimosa is now viewable at the Mimosa website.

    There's a lot of good writing on display, including the second of Sharon Farber's "Tales of Adventure and Medical Life" series and Harry Warner, Jr.'s amazement about the contents of his late neighbor's home in "The House on Summit Avenue". For the fan historian there are two articles: Dave Kyle's remembrance of the circumstances surrounding "The Great Exclusion Act of 1939" at the very first Worldcon, and a joint article (written as a one-act play) by Roger Sims and Howard Devore about "The Definitive Story of Numbered Fandoms".

    The real star of the issue, though, is Bruno Ogorelec's "Great Jumping Grandmothers - A Cautionary Tale of Female Emancipation" which offers evidence that being a science fiction fan is heriditary, over several generations. There's also a meaty letters column, including a long one from Mike Glicksohn (almost an article in itself) and a short note from Robert Bloch.

    And besides all this, there's even an article by me about my experiences in and observations about a small Kentucky place known as "Paradise".

    I think the issue still holds up well, after all these years. I hope you'll find it an entertaining read.



    front cover of Mimosa #6 by Teddy Harvia

    Saturday, December 15th, 2012
    6:05 pm
    My Back Pages #9
    My Back Pages #9, another mini-collection of some of my articles and essays, is online at the efanzines.com website.

    Issue #9 pays homage to some of the famous #9s of the world, and has essays involving large and small Chinatowns, magnificent cathedrals, unusual wedding strategies, new kinds of metrics, expert craftsmanship, large sports trophies, tardy commuter buses, hotel lobbies, small fanzines, long road trips, un-dark skies, expensive food, cool breezes, spectacular views, scale models, tourist attractions, dangerous places, good beer, and many, many absent friends.

    Hope you will find it an enjoyable read.



    cover of My Back Pages #9
    Monday, December 3rd, 2012
    11:06 pm
    Remembering Roger
    Twenty years ago today my friend Roger Weddall died.

    Remembrance, from Mimosa 13, is here.
    Saturday, August 11th, 2012
    12:13 pm
    My Back Pages #8
    My Back Pages #8, another mini-collection of some of my articles and essays, is online at the efanzines.com website.

    Issue #8 was assembled in the dog days of a hot summer, with essays involving award-winning authors, capital cities, unhappy gamblers, excruciating meetings, victory laps, reunited roommates, science fictional road trips, human pinball machines, acrylic rockets, ocean views, famous astronauts, eye-glazing viewgraphs, malevolent-looking handguns, unusual culinary delicacies, aggressive salesladies, popular tourist attractions, good beer, favorite destinations, and absent friends.

    Hope you enjoy.



    cover of My Back Pages #8
    Friday, August 3rd, 2012
    12:02 am
    Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
    11:20 pm
    This really works!
    Here's a way to have microwave-steamed corn on the cob without having to husk it beforehand (and with no silk left on the cob).

    Tried it tonight, and it really works!
    Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
    7:50 pm
    Deja vu all over again
    So nwl and I were surveying the lobby of the Fairfield Inn at the Sevierville exit of I-40 in Tennessee on Sunday evening. (We were staying there on the way home from DeepSouthCon 50 in Huntsville.) There were big electric blower fans directing air up toward the ceiling, and the place had a slight damp odor.

    I asked the hotel's front desk attendant what had happened, and she rolled her eyes and gave an expansive wave of her arm toward all the chaos. "Someone in a fourth floor room did something very stupid a few days ago," she said. "They pulled the sprinkler head off, and the flood that resulted came down through the third and second floor rooms into the lobby."

    Those of you reading this who attended the 1997 Disclave convention might find this amusing, or maybe appalling. Or possibly even both.
    Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
    7:29 pm
    FIAWOL, or perilously close to it...
    It was the great Bob Tucker, who once said “I never found science fiction or fandom a way of life, but at times I probably came perilously close to it.”

    It was on May 9, 2002, that Los Angeles-area fan Matthew Tepper posted the following to an Internet newsgroup: “I have just returned from tonight’s LASFS meeting. Larry Niven announced that Bruce Pelz died this afternoon.” It was stunning news. Bruce’s friendship had been one of the constants through the decades I’d been actively a science fiction fan; he was someone I looked forward to seeing, more than anybody else, at Worldcons.

    Back at the end of the 1970s, it was Bruce’s presence that had helped to nourish my interest in the history of SF fandom. One of the reasons that nwl and I decided to publish Mimosa, a fanzine dedicated to fan history, was that Bruce and other fans that were active in the 1960s and before had enthralled us with entertaining and interesting stories about these past eras. In retrospect, we should have tried harder to get Bruce himself to write more about his decades in fandom -- Bruce only preserved one of his stories in print for us, about a 1963 visit to the home of Robert A. Heinlein when he spent the night in Heinlein’s Fallout Shelter.

    It’s getting so that every time that I meet up with an old friend I haven’t seen in a long time, I feel I need to treasure the moment because there’s a chance there might not be another time. I had never thought that about Bruce, though -- he was a rock, a constant, someone whose presence I always took for granted. I cannot for sure even remember the very last time I spoke to him in person, though it was sometime during the 2001 Philadelphia Worldcon. It was probably when we went to dinner on the Saturday night of the convention; he was ailing from leg pain and moving very slowly. I remember that we shared about an hour’s worth of pleasant conversation, on topics ranging from places in the world we wanted to go back to (he was a world traveler in his final years) to what we thought would make good fan history projects in the future (including my still incomplete 1960s fan history). It was there that he told me the story that he later put into print for Mimosa.

    Bruce’s passing was truly the end of an era. He may not have found fandom a way of life, but from my view he did come close to it. Bruce will without doubt be remembered as one of the most important and most influential fans of all time, and certainly as one of the most active. The list of his activities and accomplishments is enormous, covering almost every activity imaginable from convention running to costuming to fanzine collecting to organizing. He was active in fandom in six different decades. But more than anything else, he was a good friend.

    I hope I am not the only one who will be remembering Bruce on the 10th anniversary of his passing. He was truly a fan for the ages. Ten years on, I am still missing him very much. I feel honored to have known him.

    Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
    11:33 pm
    My Back Pages #7
    My Back Pages #7, another mini-collection of some of my articles and essays, is online at the efanzines.com website.

    Issue #7 is structured as a personal journey, with essays involving long walks, barroom brawls, gamma rays, signature screams, album cover recreations, lucrative tourist attractions, singing subway attendants, famous paintings, skyscrapers old and new, conversations with strangers, strawberry shortcake, good and bad karma, foreign visitors, visits with foreigners, movie script ideas, and lots and lots of beer.

    Hope you enjoy.



    cover of My Back Pages #7
    Saturday, December 3rd, 2011
    4:09 pm
    My Back Pages #6
    My Back Pages #6, another mini-collection of some of my articles and essays, is online at the efanzines.com website.

    Issue #6 has been built to withstand some cold weather and features some of my articles and essays about experiences in (or leading up to) the cold weather months, involving gigantic sand dunes, unusual financial wizardry, wading flamingos, historical museums, fabulous beasts, cape-ified statues, entertaining musicals, deserving authors, notable fans and fan organizations, legendary composers, frightened housepets, historical artifacts, favorite buildings, crocheted sea creatures, thunder snow, and one truly awesome robot.

    Hope you enjoy.


    cover of My Back Pages #6
    Sunday, August 7th, 2011
    4:20 pm
    My Back Pages #5
    My Back Pages #5, another mini-collection of some of my articles and essays, is online at the efanzines.com website.

    This is a western-themed issue about conventions and absent friends, with essays involving talented writers, big blue bears, popular aquatic creatures, famous shrines, ceramic teapots, chocolate rockets, legendary fanzines, erroneous street maps, famous fan communities, unusual things to collect, fannish hijinks, language barriers, financial karma, unexpected silver linings, damaged suitcases, and far-reaching results of chance remarks.

    Hope you enjoy.


    cover of My Back Pages #5
    Sunday, July 24th, 2011
    11:51 pm
    Most entertaining pre-race invocation ever
    This happened last night, just prior to the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Lebanon, Tennessee.

    Sunday, June 26th, 2011
    10:03 pm
    Proposed WSFS Constitution amendment
    Note: this is in follow-up to the draft version of this proposed amendment that was posted here back in December.

    ---


    Proposed WSFS Constitutional Amendments to keep the Fanzine Hugo non-professional and limited to words on paper or video screen.

    (Note: strikeouts indicate proposed deletions and underlined text proposed additions.)

    3.3.12: Best Semiprozine. Any generally available non-professional periodical publication devoted to science fiction or fantasy which by the close of the previous calendar year has published four (4) or more issues (or the equivalent in other media), at least one (1) of which appeared in the previous calendar year, and which in the previous calendar year met at least two (2) one (1) of the following criteria:
    (1) had an average press run of at least one thousand (1000) copies per issue,
    (2) paid its contributors and/or staff in other than copies of the publication,
    (3) (2) provided at least half the income of any one person,
    (4) (3) had at least fifteen percent (15%) of its total space occupied by advertising,
    (5) (4) announced itself to be a semiprozine.
    Audio and video productions are excluded from this category.

    3.3.13 Best Fan Audio or Video Production. Any generally available non-professional audio or video production devoted to science fiction, fantasy, or related subjects which by the close of the previous calendar year has had four (4) or more episodes or podcasts, at least one (1) of which appeared in the previous calendar year.

    3.3.13 3.3.14: Best Fanzine. Any generally available non-professional periodical publication devoted to science fiction, fantasy, or related subjects which by the close of the previous calendar year has published four (4) or more issues (or the equivalent in other media), at least one (1) of which appeared in the previous calendar year, and which does not qualify as a semiprozine. Audio and video productions are excluded from this category, as are publications that pay their contributors and/or staff monetarily.


    ---

    Explanation of proposed changes:

    The “Best Fanzine” paragraph has an additional sentence at the end that specifically excludes any publication that is “professional” (i.e., monetarily pays contributors and/or staff workers) and also excludes any audio or video production (e.g.., audio podcasts, videocasts and other video productions, YouTube series, recordings of filk songs, etc.). This change defines fanzine as a non-professional production that is meant to be read (i.e., words on paper and/or words on a video screen). For the purpose of this proposed change, “non-professional” is defined as only monetary payments FROM the publication to contributors and/or staff; monetary payments TO the publication (e.g., from subscribers and/or advertisers) do not necessarily result in the publication being defined as a “professional” one. There is also the addition of the word “periodical” as a descriptor of “publication” and a deletion of the parenthetical “or the equivalent in other media”. These changes reinforce the concept that a fanzine is a production that is published in discrete, individual issues (similar to a magazine); the intention of these two changes is that blogs and websites would be excluded from eligibility in this category.

    A new Hugo category is proposed in the “Best Fan Audio or Video Production” paragraph. This would specifically include the podcasts, videocasts, etc. that are excluded by the changes proposed for the “Best Fanzine” category. The wording that defines this proposed new category parallels the language for “Best Fanzine”.

    The “Best Semiprozine” paragraph also has an additional sentence at the end that specifically excludes any audio or video production, in the same manner as described in the proposed changes for the “Best Fanzine” category. Semi-professional productions of this nature would be eligible either in the new “Best Fan Audio or Video Production” category, the existing “Best Dramatic Production, Long Form” category, or the existing “Best Dramatic Production, Short Form” category. There is also the addition of the word “periodical” as a descriptor of “publication” and a deletion of the parenthetical “or the equivalent in other media”; the reasoning for these proposed changes is the same as described in the proposed changes for the “Best Fanzine” category. Additionally, the second criteria that defines a Semiprozine is deleted; it is no longer needed, as it is incorporated into the proposed change to the “Best Fanzine” category.

    ---

    This proposed amendment was previewed at the 2011 Midwestcon this past weekend and has been signed by 10 members of Renovation, the 2011 World Science Fiction Convention. Support by additional members of Renovation is welcome, and should be conveyed to the WSFS Business Meeting recording secretary. (I am not sure who that is, but if you express this support in an email to Kevin Standlee it will be passed on to the full Business Meeting.)

    Please note that expressions of support are not enough to enact these changes. There is a very specific procedure, and for this to happen, supporters of this amendment must be present at the WSFS Business Meetings (and there will be more than one of them) at Renovation.
    Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
    7:58 pm
    My Back Pages #4
    My Back Pages #4, another mini-collection of some of my articles and essays, is online at the efanzines.com website.

    This is a summer-themed issue, with essays involving famous bulls, gargantuan lawn ornaments, favorite buildings, ornery babushkas, unruly sheepdogs, human lemmings, legendary musicians, unusual ceiling fans, memorable conventions, larger-than-life superheroes, different kinds of cathedrals, and absent friends.

    Hope you enjoy.


    cover of My Back Pages #4
    Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
    7:38 pm
    The Best Superbowl Commercial Ever
    My choice is this one, which aired during the 2000 Superbowl then was pulled soon afterwards.

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