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  I spent the weekend in Huntsville, Alabama attending the 50th DeepSouthCon. It's a traveling convention; this year the bid committee wanted it in Huntsville to commemorate the very first DeepSouthCon (which wasn't called DeepSouthCon and was only barely a con, but whatever). It turned out to be a marvelous convention, plenty of old time fans and some younger ones. It was held at an Embassy Suites which meant more space for room parties. The hotel was very comfortable; the free breakfast was very popular and there were an amazing number of fans eating even at 8 am. The con suite had real food, alcohol, and, for the brave, swill.

  I helped out with the CONtraflow (New Orleans area convention) room parties on Friday and Saturday nights. CONtraflow is bidding for the 2015 DSC (which will be voted on next year), and is in pre-bid mode for WorldCon in New Orleans for 2018. We offered food both nights: jambalaya, boudan, rum balls, Sazerac cookies; plus bourbon milk punch. On Saturday night, I got to play "bead lady", handing out beads to people as they came in. We learned that people can get very excited about a string of plastic beads, though I suspect a few were helped along by the alcohol they had already comsumed!

  Another easy task was taking along a stack of bookmarks to advertise Jim Hines' new book "Libriomancer" coming out in August. He put out a request for people who might be willing to take along some bookmarks to put out at various upcoming cons. I liked the excerpt I had already read and loved the tagline: "A good library is both church and armory...", so I offered to take a stack. Now I'm looking forward to reading the book.
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And now that Live Journal will let me post again, I can wish an almost belated Happy Birthday to supergee. Hope your day was a good one!
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It's that time of year again when I start reading various LJ postings or blogs or websites of people planning for WorldCon and I start poking out my lower lip wishing I were going, too. I just realized that I'm feeling like a kid who hears "all" the other neighborhood kids talking about going off to summer camp when she can't go herself.

She's been to summer camp before so she knows it's not perfect---mosquitoes can get into the cabins and bite so you will be scratching all week and the food's not all that great. But there are great times, too, making silly useless crafts and taking hikes that include that really neat creek that has a sandy bed so you can walk along barefoot and feel the cool water rushing around your ankles.

So she just has to content herself this year with waiting impatiently until the other kids get home and tell her all about it---the good times and the bad. And she'll just hope that next year will be the year she gets to go again.

(We will ignore the fact that the other kids can report while they're still there---this is my slightly altered childhood I'm reliving here which took place long, long before the intertubies were around.)
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It's that time of year again to wish supergee a happy birthday. Here's hoping your special day is a good one.
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The wind blew, the waters rose, the levees broke---and the waters rose and rose. And the people died. From drowning; from the heat; from medical conditions untreated. It's a good day to remember those whose didn't survive as well the ones who survived the evacuations only to die from the stress of upheaval. And so many who lived but lost everything. Some came home, some never will.

I live just north of Baton Rouge, which is the biggest major city near New Orleans. After the storm, we were almost overwhelmed by the evacuees; some estimates say 200,000 came. Traffic which was bad before became unbelievable. Stores were packed. Every high school and church gym, every municipal auditorium was a shelter full of evacuees. At the library, we had crowds of people to use the computers trying to find out if their house was underwater, trying to get some help from FEMA.

We tried to do what we could. Because so many had arrived with nothing, local churches and other agencies tried to provide them with basic toiletries---toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, etc. I tried to buy some to send, only to find the local Wal-Mart stripped bare and the lines stretching into the aisles. For weeks, helicopters buzzed overhead---taking people out? Taking rescue workers or National Guard in?

At one of the Mardi Gras parades the next year, sign on floats read "FEMA---Fix Everything, My Ass" and "Show us your tits---we'll send you your beads in 4-6 weeks."

I've never lived in New Orleans, but I love it. I understand why people wouldn't live anywhere else; I can sympathize with those who don't want to return.
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Happy Birthday to smofbabe! Hope your special day is a good one.
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Or maybe the week. I'm working the reference desk when a patron comes up and asks if we carry a particular CD book on learning Spanish. She thinks the author's name is Martha Stone. I do a thorough search, can't seem to find anything with that author on that subject. I take her over to the CD books section to see if we have any on learning Spanish in at present. She mentions that the book is supposed to be really good and it costs a hundred dollars or so.

The light comes on and I ask her if it's "Rosetta Stone" she's thinking of. It is and I very carefully do not laugh as I explain that's a software program, which we don't carry.

It's little moments like this that mean there's never a dull moment here at the library.
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I join in the chorus to wish Ms Le Guin a happy birthday and thank her for all the many wonderful and mind-blowing books she's written over the years. I can still remember the thrill of reading The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed back in my college days. It reminded me science fiction could make you think while it entertained you.
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Fighting with a new computer system at work means I'm late in wishing supergee a happy birthday! Hope it was a good one.
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I finally saw the new Star Trek movie Friday. I'm glad I went ahead and read as many spoiler-filled reviews as I did---it kept me from muttering at the screen quite as much as I would have otherwise.

Not to say that I disliked it---on the whole I did like it; I just wish it hadn't been quite so scientifically illiterate. (Characters who travel through a black hole?) I figure if I notice the science gaffes; they're pretty bad.

And I am wondering how the time-line change explains Chekov being ten years older than he should have been. In fact, the whole crew were too close in age; though at least McCoy was allowed to be closer to the age he should have been.

The product placement bit annoyed me; though it made me laugh when I realized where I had come across something like that before. In The Starcrossed , Ben Bova's fictionalized version of his experiences working on "The Starlost", the hapless science adviser is sitting in on a meeting with a potential sponsor of the show. The sponsor wants their product used in the show. When the adviser tries to point out that the show is taking place hundreds of years in the future, the sponsor's response is something on the order of, "Great! The audience will think our stuff is so good, people will still be using it!"

But as I said, I did mostly like it; I thought the actors did a good job of playing characters that I first met over 40 years ago. If there's another movie; I'll go see it; I'm interested to see how they'll move thing forward in this new universe.
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