Liberty Con AAR

So, let me start by saying this was my fault, and what fault falls on someone else is because I apparently assume people know what my life has been like.

What I mean is, I didn’t check my con schedule before leaving home or in fact until I got my badge:surgery, massive auto-immune attack, preparations for renewal of vows and preparations for trip.  Also, trying to get other house ready for market (and someone stole our mailbox — no really — the only night in ages we didn’t have anyone sleeping over and JUST before the trip.  That was nifty too.  We still haven’t checked this morning, and I’m afraid of vandalism.

Anyway, through all this, I forgot to check the schedule.  I was booked …  I was massively overbooked.

To those of you who aren’t panelists, trust me when I say three panels are a full load, three panels in a row are an overload, and five panels are a killing load.

If you count signings and the baen road show, which usually DO count, I was booked for 10 to 12 hours straight.  Which might have been okay (not wonderful, but okay) if I hadn’t been post-op.  I’ve done that load before when college kids book me, who don’t realize I’m human.  But three months post op… no.  It just didn’t happen.  I was somewhere between half asleep and hallucinatory at the end of Saturday, which would have been okay, except I had two (I think) commitments on Sunday.

Anyway, that was the origin of yesterday’s post.

The only thing that upsets me about all this is that LC is the place I meet my friends and get to touch base in the flesh and not much of that happened, not even with Kate even though we slept together on Sunday afternoon (we took naps in my room.  She was on the sofa bed.  But the other way sounds much more risque.) And I wanted to talk to the inimitable Sabrina Chase about some publicity ideas, but I had no time/energy.

I have some pictures (thank you Doctor Mauser, who is a lovely man in person) and I didn’t realize I was that heavy.  No, seriously.  Part of it is the steroids that were used to combat the auto-immune, and where I gained three pounds a day (I swear.)

I’m sure LC didn’t help, since I was having sugar to keep awake.  (Paying for it.  Eczema on my KNEES!)

Anyway, other than massively overbooked Sarah, it was lots of fun, and next year Kate has to have two more books out so she can be on panels.

This is the double wedding!  Well, we renewed vows, but you get it, right?

This is the double wedding! Well, we renewed vows, but you get it, right?

Okay, then the evil legion of evil had a mini-meeting:

You know how the camera adds ten pounds?  There are ten cameras on me.

You know how the camera adds ten pounds? There are ten cameras on me.

Kate and I the evil too great to be contained into one body.  Since both of us are resolved to lose weight, we warn you it might infect other people.

Kate and I the evil too great to be contained into one body. Since both of us are resolved to lose weight, we warn you it might infect other people.

Larry couldn't be there, but someone sent a proxy (via acme.)  Puppy-Larry attended several panels and was incisive.  Then he found a kitten to cuddle.  Cats and dogs sleeping together...  you know the drill.

Larry couldn’t be there, but someone sent a proxy (via acme.) Puppy-Larry attended several panels and was incisive. Then he found a kitten to cuddle. Cats and dogs sleeping together… you know the drill.

283 responses to “Liberty Con AAR

  1. not even with Kate even though we slept together on Sunday afternoon (we took naps in my room. She was on the sofa bed. But the other way sounds much more risque.)

    It is never what happened but how you tell the story. The trick is knowing when to employ that fact (here is a good example) and when not to employ it (when writing news).

    • The trick is knowing when to employ that fact (here is a good example) and when not to employ it (when writing news).

      Somebody ought to remind the press of this.

      • Oh, they know it. The secret is the press has decided they are not in the news business. They are in the changing the world business.

        • In fairness, the world needs changing — that nappie is generating an awful stench. But I doubt the J-School grads running the “news business” have thought through all (hmmph! – any) of the implications of the changes they advocate.

          They are like the guy grateful his mugger left him carfare “because this is a bad neighborhood for you) when they should be outraged at the mugging.

          • People who go to J-School to “change the world” are the epitome of lazy and useless as far as I’m concerned.

            You want to change the world you should go out and change it instead of telling lies to convince other people to change it for you. You want to feed the hunger? I’ll have more respect for you if you buy a loaf of bread, a case of tuna, condiments, and a case of bottled water then make 48 tuna sandwiches and give 24 homeless people in the neighborhood around my office two sandwiches and a bottle of water than if you write 100 award winning stories in the AJC.

            The former feed 24 people. The latter feed your ego.

            • Liberals are enamored of the idea that words control reality. It’s why they keep changing the labels on things, because they think it will alter things. Then they get exasperated when it doesn’t work, and throw fits.

              Unfortunately, sometimes it DOES change the way people think of something, and it only encourages them.

            • Sorry, Herb. Occurs to nice people all the time in Colorado Springs (you may have read Sarah’s accounts of the homeless sit here.) You find bread and sandwiches and donated meals thrown down on the sidewalk all the time.

              • I know it occurs to people all the time. I’m saying I respect the people it occurs to much more than the J-School “I’m going to change the world types”.

                Yes, maybe 1 or 100 sandwiches you give get eaten because when they asked for money for food they meant money for drugs or booze. But that is on the 99 (or whatever the fraction is) and if just one person did eat the sandwich you changed the world. I suspect even with the non-eaters it will eventually for some.

                Plus, there are people who ask for food not money. We have a lot of homeless around my office and I’ve had them ask for part of my lunch or to go in to somewhere to buy them food (often because security will run them out if they try when you give them money).

                • The Journ-o-lists are particularly egregious because reliable reporting is essential to developing effective public policy and building public support for it. Agenda journalism misreports policy effects and misdirects public resources.

                  Pick any example you like — Head Start, AGW, Homelessness, Fill-In-the-Blanks — and “world-changing” journalism largely leads to changing the world for the worse.

                  • In part, it’s a hammer/nail problem. I.e. in order to give a man a fish, you have to take the time to catch or buy it, prepare it, find the person who needs it, think about utensils, and actually take it to them; conversely, in order to teach a man to fish, you must first learn to fish well AND learn to teach well, then find out where the fish are biting and find the person who wants to learn, and get them together.
                    But if your only skills and level of motivation are with words, maybe it’s easier to just tell other people to go, provide fish – and feel that you’ve done something.
                    (Obviously, in this crowd, NOT putting down wordsmithery – just the essential laziness of thinking it’s always enough, because Good Intentionz! and Feelz! )

            • “And I’d like to change the world.
              It’s easier than changing me ”

              “Shine” by Carbon Leaf.

            • But if you actually change the world, it might not need changing again next time you want your moral egoboo.

              Also, you do want your egoboo as cheap in terms of money and effort as possible.

              • So it really just comes down to being a form of moral masturbation, like that SocialistJournolistWho… who blatantly misrepresented Dr. Tim Hunt’s joke.

                According to a third-party EU official, and Sir Tim Hunt himself, she took words out the context, and concealed the fact that Hunt’s remarks were jokes at his own expense.
       After all, what value is finding cures for cancer compared to an SJW getting her egoboo?

                • You really wonder if these . . . creatures . . . have a sort of mental trophy room, where they can go smoke something and admire the scalps, heads, whatever of the people they’ve ruined.

          • But I doubt the J-School grads running the “news business” have thought…

            When I was matriculating in the school of engineering back in the Early Bronze Age (“Engineering Seminar 307B: Copper: Fad or Miracle Metal?”) we had a handy reference cascade for this – and as everyone knows, college students are infallible, so it must be truthious:

            Those who can’t hack a math major drop to one of the hard sciences; those who can’t hack the hard sciences drop to engineering; those who can’t hack engineering school drop to business school; those who can’t hack the school of business (“Accounting? I was told There Would Be No Math!”) drop to journalism school; and those who can’t hack the rigors of J-school (!) drop into one of the fuzzy humanities thingees, or (sadly, since this one should be a lot higher) teaching.

            We didn’t have as much of the *-studies stuff way back then, but I assume those would go in the fuzzy humanities group.

            Obviously there are really bright kids that only ever wanted to go to business school or J-school, there are people with the drive and determination to make things work that punch their card in college then blast off no matter what their major was, and I personally know really smart people whose passion for it left teaching as all they ever wanted to study and do. But for the general 19 year old college pinball student, bouncing from major to major as they “find themselves” amid the alcohol fueled noise and flashing lights, this seemed reasonably apt, and in my subsequent career adventures I’ve continued to derive a lot of predictive value from this, especially when I’ve needed to gauge how low I need to pitch technical presentations to executives.

            Bottom line: As a baseline the general population of J-school grads are not going to be crowding out at the right end of the bell curve, and so predicting they likely didn’t think things through is not really a bad bet at all.

            • As a teaching historian and writer (they told me there’s be no math in grad school. They LIED!!!), I resemble this statement.

            • I remember, back in the Clinton Administration, reading some news anchor or other “praising” Billy Jeff by declaring “He would have been a really good journalist.”

              Upon reflection as to just what attributes that required I came up with “the ability to quickly get a superficial grasp of any issue and speak authoritatively on the topic for a couple of minutes.” Journalism nowadays mostly entails fitting 60% or more of a given set of facts into an already established narrative.

              It is possible these are not the best talents to qualify for the presidency.

              • One of the most aggravating and yet truthful things in the book The Four Hour Work Week was Tim Ferris’ system to become an expert on a topic:

                1. Read the top three books on a topic.
                2. Give three presentations on it: at a business, a college, and for the general public.

                Bingo, instant expert. The sad thing is that pretty much will get you quoted in local or regional news as an expert which you can bootstrap to CNN, etc.

                I used to be mad about Ferris promoting but I realized the problem was we buy it.

            • Actually, elsewhere the cascade can be a bit different. In France or Belgium, for example, civil engineering is considered the top, then a pure math degree just after that, then a STEM degree, then continuing pretty much as you describe.
              In Germany or Israel, throttling of admissions based on supply/demand effectively makes medicine the hardest major to get admitted to. In Israel, one can start a math degree with a “psychometri” (=local equivalent of the SAT) that would not get you admitted to psychology (2nd hardest major to get admitted to, after medicine). And yes, while I will admit to sharing some of the same jaundiced views that STEM types have of psychology, I’ve met some pretty sharp Israeli practitioners as a result of such “entrance filtering”.

              • Yes, I did leave out Medicine (i.e. pre-Med or one of the biosciences) and Law (i.e. …umm… I dunno, maybe polisci? Do L-schools look at anything other than LSAT scores?) and joining the professoriate with a PhD as they are all postgrad-required thingees, and I was so done with school when I finally made it to my BS degree I never really looked into them.

              • I can see that. My classes (not 100 level) in psych, I slept through, shared a book and notes with my ex who also took the class for naptime, still passed in the top 25% of the class… and I actually *wanted* to learn practical things.

                What was *taught,* and to the best of my knowledge continues to be taught, is pop-psychology. You could learn as much from magazines.

                Frankly, it was more of a mallet to the head than an aid to learning. Taking a class, then having to *un*learn things that are inaccurate, useless, or just plain wrong, that is foolishness.

                • William O. B'Livion

                  > Frankly, it was more of a mallet to the head than an aid to learning.

                  Oh. Retrophrenology. Quite useful.

            • When I went to Virginia Tech in the early ’80s, the pecking order academically was engineering > hard science > math > business > everything else. There was an internal engineering pecking order, too. Chemical engineering > aerospace engineering > all other branches.

              • Joe Wooten

                At UT Austin (back in the stone knives and bearskins era) it was Chemical engineering>petroleum engineering>mechanical engineering>electrical engineering>civil engineering.

                Aerospace and nuclear engineering were sub departments of the Mechanical engineering department.

                • Joe Wooten

                  And computer science was a sub department of electrical engineering department.

            • Someone once pointed out that among congresscritters, 50% of Repubs and 90% of Dems are by original profession either lawyers or journalists.

              ….all is explained.

              • paladin3001

                Similar to here in Canada. Forget where I read it but the main reason is that being a lawyer or journalist doesn’t require the same level of maintaining field knowledge like engineering or other trades. Say you are an electrical engineer and go into politics and serve for 6 years and then try to return to your former career. That’s six years of catching up on before you can start working again. Where as a lawyer only has to keep their license active and can pick up right back where they left off.

                • And for the last six years they have been practicing regularly, lying in front of a room full of people with a straight face.

            • All the people I knew who failed P-chem went into psychology. I think you’re being unfair to engineers, here 🙂

          • Most of the time, it’s the “J-school graduates” that are stinking up the place to begin with.

        • Actually I thought they were in the entertainment business.

          • Nope. Yesterday, as part of our “Day One Launch” (Company split into two different companies to get around some of the regulations which being in two difference market spaces caused to apply to them, and yesterday was first day of split), they pretty much affirmed that changing the world was part of their business vision.

          • “News? ANYBODY can get news off the nets! I deal in infotainment-like journalistic art product!” — Phil Foglio, “Buck Godot, Zap Gun For Hire”.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      And the Puppy kickers finally have proof that Sarah is in bed with the Sad Puppy organizers. 😉

    • And to point out when people fail to follow that reasonable trick!

  2. Good grief! Anyone with a lick of experience ought to have known better than to so seriously over schedule anyone as you were. Heck, a body has to have a full secession break each for lunch and one for dinner every day, don’t they?

  3. Ouch, that kind of schedule can get rough. Get some good rest to recover.

  4. It was great meeting you too. Sorry my camera refused to cooperate during your leap into the future. I do have a shot of you sticking the landing….

    You were definitely overbooked. I know we didn’t get to spend too much time socializing, but it was a great time, and I need to work up my Con Report too.

    (ps. Mauser. I’m not Gray. 🙂

  5. Cats and dogs sleeping together… you know the drill.


    … is why Sad Puppies cannot be allowed.

  6. “Next year in Chattanooga!”

  7. Gee, what a marvelous way to organise a con: bring in guests from across the country, then massively over-schedule them so attendees can enjoy their hallucinating.

    I can imagine SJW cons deliberately doing this to dissident authors in hope of grabbing some out of context ramblings with which to discredit their ideological enemies. But then, I’m a SF/F reader: I can imagine lots of things, up to and including people turning into pillars of salt*.

    *Just what type of salt is more challenging: kosher, iodized, sea salt or rock salt or even Himalayan Pink — these are the kinds of issues with which I wrestle at night. Some folks wrestle with angels, I get twisted into pretzels over salt.

    (Sigh — is that an example of trying too hard just to make sure I get on the comments mailings without having to C4C?)

    • Some folks wrestle with angels, I get twisted into pretzels over salt.,/i>

      Just had to add that little extra tweak, dintcha? 🙂

    • Sadly, many cons are run by people without any common sense at all.

      • As someone who has run a state-sized organization with annual meeting, I submit that signing up to run anything of that nature requires an absolute lack of common sense.

        Though I did insist on issuing bibs at the formal pizza banquet, I suspect at least a dozen folks from the organizing committee would point out that hardly makes up for having a formal pizza banquet in the first place!

        • At the last academic conference I attended, I looked at the banquet choices, opted to skip, and ended up at a great Thai place instead. You are on the seacoast, during shrimp season, and you offer $65 rubber chicken and a cash bar? A pox upon your department. OTOH, the folks who said, “Eh, let’s go with meatloaf and/or simmered chicken and a buffet line for $10” get extra points.

          • Unless the speaker is a friend, I always skip those dinners. Why pay good money for khreppe food, when you can’t even read a good book meanwhiles?

            • I occasionally go when I need to be seen by certain Important People in my field (a form of paying homage to the guild masters). OTOH, since I may be about to lock myself out of the guildhall, I may just find out where the IDGAD* tenured faculty are going and follow along next time.

              *I Don’t Give A D–n

      • I am not about to disagree with your statement. Experience has proven it to be, sadly, all too true.

    • bring in guests from across the country, then massively over-schedule them so attendees can enjoy their hallucinating.

      See, it’s not in what happened, it’s how you tell it.

      Exhausted and on death’s door step Evil Space Princess – no fun.

      Tripping and hallucinating Evil Space Princess – I’m going to that con next year (actually, given where it is and size and the kind of folks it attracts I may give it a shot).

    • You know, most people who get inadvertently overscheduled will complain at the reg desk, and then the committee people usually gasp, blame the computer, and ask you to pick three panels of your choice. The other panels usually get staffed on the fly, or the other panelists just have a few more empty chairs and an apology to read from Concom.

      I’m starting to think we need somebody to be Sarah and the Hoyts’ pushy gofer, so they get somebody to complain for them instead of taking it stoically.

      • You saying she (they) need a Renfield?

        Think maybe she (they) could get by with an Igor?

      • As a con organizer who is truly, madly, deeply grateful for my panelists and presenters, I do list up front all the things I’d like them to do, as opposed to the 1 – 2 things I need them to do. It’s a one day con, after all. And so when they volunteer for above and beyond, I don’t stop to ask: are you sure you’re up for this? I make sure they get a good lunch, and that’s it.

        I’m going to be adding that query to the 3 page single-spaced color-coded Stuff to Do List. Thanks.

    • Libertarians are natural born slave drivers, RES, that’s why they loves them some Confederate Flags.

        • They didn’t believe in an eight-hour workday; they didn’t pay you; they didn’t much care if you got fed or slept… sounds like something that would have riled up that nice Mr. Lincoln to me…

          • While Wiki claims that the short-time movement started in England during the Industrial Revolution it also mentions the following:

            In the United States, Philadelphia carpenters went on strike in 1791 for the ten-hour day. By the 1830s, this had become a general demand. In 1835, workers in Philadelphia organized the first general strike in North America, led by Irish coal heavers. Their banners read, From 6 to 6, ten hours work and two hours for meals.

            A movement to legislate the eight-hour day didn’t begin to gain traction until after the late great unpleasantness.

          • Assuming you’re talking about antebellum slaveowners here: Of course they didn’t believe in the eight-hour workday, that’s a factory concept that has no meaning even on the modern farm. When it’s time to get the crops in, you work as long as you have light (I wonder if anyone’s done an analysis on the effects of portable electric lighting on food costs). They also cared if the slaves ate or slept. Slaves were a very valuable asset, it wouldn’t do to have them breaking down due to exhaustion or hunger. When Sherman marched through Georgia, his army was followed by hundreds of “contraband” for hundreds of miles. People don’t keep up with an army when they’re malnourished and exhausted. Slaves didn’t get paid, but the did receive room and board; which would be fine if the workers agreed to that compensation.

            There’s plenty of evil inherent in slavery, there’s no need to make crap up.

            • It’s concievable that I might have made that joke more clearly.

              On the other hand, since I thank God am not an SJW, I’m not gonna ask you whether you’re defending Libertarians or slavery… *g*

              • Jeff Gauch

                I’ve spent the last week fighting stupid on Facebook in the wake of the SCOTUS decisions. It’s possible I’m a little shell-shocked.

        • Old Man Panel, dat Old Man Panel,
          I must keep talkin’
          I can’t be walkin’
          Cuz Old Man Panel, he just keeps dronin’ along…

          Convention bookin’ panels fail,
          Twelve hours too much if you’re fit and hale,
          Sign, that book, and tell that tale.
          You get a little drunk,
          You’re in Facebook jail…

  8. OK, that does it. I’m going to LibertyCon ’16. Northern Germany and the Hanse can just wait for ’17.

  9. sabrinachase

    I wanna talk publicity too! And the Hunday breakfast was terrific, although I have profound doubts about being introduced to the City Cafe. Someone should set up a webcam that watches the dessert display. I haven’t seen so many delicious calories in so many condensed variations in my life.

    And you neglected to mention that Dr. Mauser caught your bouquet at the wedding 😀

    • I haven’t seen so many delicious calories in so many condensed variations in my life.

      You never saw desert case the Philadelphia’s Bookbinder’s restaurant, then. Mein Gott!!!!! The first time I walked into there I nearly went into diabetic shock just looking at that display of icings and berries, cakes and tarts, all calling my name, promising to fulfill my most secret desires.

      • Robert talking about his weight problems talked DIRECTLY to the South. “Everytime I go to the South, they have found something new and awesome to do with sugar and are like ‘look what I made with sugar.’ And I’m like ‘you aren’t helping, south.'”

        • YES. THIS.

          (So, weight loss…. I’m in. You don’t want to know what the scale and I said to each other this morning.)

        • He needs to go to Louisiana and see what they can do with crawfish and rice. Gain 10 pounds? No Problem! Gain 60 pounds, that’s easy, too. And then there are the things available in the French Quarter. The only things that would tempt me to move south again are the food and a new Ice Age — but those are hard to resist.

        • Not only that, we also have deep fried… pretty much everything, barbecue, make a tradition of bringing food to every occasion (up to and including gastric bypass surgery, I kid thee nix), many wonderful variations on what to do with potatoes (starch! makes sugar inside you, so you don’t have to eat it)…

          Now, if anyone needs some *help* working off those (lovely, tasty, delicious, wonderful) calories, we point them to an empty field that needs rocking, a house that needs painting, a garden that needs planting, hogs that need butchering… *grin*

          • Well, I was going to sell ’em a Lab mix myself, FOB (freight on balance). I’m having trouble getting my kids hired out; well, okay, I haven’t tried this year much. (I was working, a little, by the oldest’s age.)

        • So those of us who are blithely immune to the charms of the -oses, and get our temptation from savories: cheeses, charcuteries, and red wine are good to go?

          Works for me. Though I seem to recall this diner not far from Jamestown where you could get crab cakes and real German ‘slaw with bacon. Mmmmmm…

          Though for some reason when I was pregnant, I craved sweets so badly, it wasn’t safe to let me near a donut aisle.

          • I have a massive sweet tooth, especially for sweet coffee. It’s getting to the point where sugar is really not good for me. :o(
            Black coffee is the hardest.

            • I have the same problem with the massive sweet tooth. What I do is use mostly sucralose (Splenda), then add a little sugar to cover the slightly weird taste.

              • Took a little getting used to, helps that we have good coffee, but I just drink it black.
                Unless I get all sjw weepy, “but I WANTMYSWEETCOFFEE.” Then I fall off the wagon and pay for it. Fortunately the price is not too high… yet.

              • Mark Alger

                Not recommending, mind, just mentioning, but check out Agave nectar. It’s as sweet as advertised. A touch pricey.


      • The display case at Demels (or the Cafe Schwarzenberg. I stay away from Sacher.) Where all my good resolutions die, collapsing into a whimpery little heap beside the door.

    • He did? I thought it was Athena Blackburn!

    • I wanted to talk publicity too! I mean, you and I had a nice, what, 45 seconds to discuss it at one point?

      Next year, MUST remember that John Ringo may need no sleep, but I do… otherwise I’ll not make it to the Hunday breakfast again!

      • sabrinachase

        Was it that long? Fortunately we both have the West Coast high-speed burst conversation mode 🙂 We will just have to find another way. Maybe a googlechat or skype or something. There’s plotting and conniving to be done!

        • Ask three or four hard core raiders what voice chat they use for their raids, and use that while you’re typing.

          They’ll be able to point you at which version has the lowest demands on your computer system. I’d just suggest Teamspeak. (Without a headset. I hate those things!)

      • Amazing. This comment was posted by Dorothy at 2:12 pm and the email of it from WP arrived in my email at 10:10 pm. I received responses to it well before I received the comment!

        I’ve no idea whether to blame Hotmail of WP and so shall take the middle path and accuse the two of conspiracy!

    • I’m just glad there are no photos of that…. I was hoping there’d be no mentions either…. 🙂

      • sabrinachase

        Your check bounced 😀 Next time try cash. I also accept dancing boys and high-powered firearms.

  10. Since I no longer really have a home con, (It was Balticon for a while, but…) I may have to drag the wife and kid up thataway next year.

  11. Not to put too fine a point on it, but…
    Marriage/renewal ceremony followed by much celebration and one would hope at least a bit of canoodling.
    5:00 opening ceremony
    6:00 Keeping track of your money
    7:00 Short stories or novels
    8-10 Room party reception for Thursday’s event
    10:00 Alien minds
    11:00 readings
    12-2 How to write workshop
    2-4 Baen traveling slideshow (where Sarah had a speaking part on stage)
    4:00 Indie, is your book ready for prime time
    5:00 autograph session
    6:00 from here you’re not on the schedule. Part of it I expect was Toni taking her authors out to dinner. Which is nice, but still and all a working meal.
    11:00 Family feud Hoyt vs Williamson
    1:00 How to serve mythical creatures
    2:00 Cover design
    This is what you get for representing as a force of nature. I know Dan and Robert were bringing you food and caffeinated beverages that you had to eat while on a panel as there were no breaks other than ten minutes between sessions. As spread out as things were that ten minutes was barely enough time to get to the next event. You did step out of a couple panels briefly, one must assume to answer the call of nature.
    By Sunday morning your zombie impression was first rate. Dan and Robert were leading you by the hand.
    And might I add that through all of this you were polite, gracious, and ever helpful with your willingness to answer any and every question posed to you either during panels or in the hallways.

    • Salamagundi! That’s . . . yikes. Just yikes.

    • Next time… complain at the reg desk or at Ops! Complain until it gets fixed! If you don’t have time to complain, delegate a complainer!!!

      Seriously, it’s a convention program book, not the stone tablets from Sinai. The convention committee is well aware that it makes mistakes. Do not abet them in mistakes! Help them fix it by complaining!

      And yes, it looks like all facets of programming weren’t all being handled by the same person; this has that “subcommittees smashing their stuff together” look.

    • Sorry that’s too much of a schedule just for someone attending, much less someone up front…

      • And that was just Sarah’s piece of it. At most times there were at least six separate events going on simultaneously. I appreciate that the con wanted to offer something for everyone, but it quickly became a case of “what am I willing to not do to attend something else.”
        Did I mention the 1632 minicon that was held on top of Libertycon?
        Sarah is a sweetie and didn’t want to disappoint her fans, and I respect that, but she also stubbornly refuses to recognize her limits until she is well past them. I plan to do what I can to make sure that the PTB at Libertycon know that their scheduling overstressed a valued member of the LC community. Thinking at a minimum an ombudsman type to review the proposed schedule and verify the health status of all panel attendees a few weeks out. Burning out the main attractions of your con just does not seem a wise or prudent model to follow.

        • Em and I were blown away by panels starting at 10 and 11 pm.

          Speaking of Em, we finally got home about 4pm. The Atlanta airport was a treat with Em essentially unable to carry anything including herself, and me wrestling with a carry-on suitcase (had Em’s meds, all 30 something, so we couldn’t check it), my laptop case, and Nemo. I also forgot that Em probably shouldn’t have been in her usual window seat; getting her out was a treat.

          We didn’t get to meet nearly enough of the Huns, but we’ll have to see about 2016. I suspect that it depends on health issues. We’ll see what the orthopod has to say on Thursday.

        • Maybe someone ought to remind Sarah that she is The Evil Space Princess and not Harpo Marx:

          … as you grow older you’ll find …

    • Funny was watching Dan try to use a timer on Sarah to keep her from taking over the Alien Minds panel on Saturday morning.

        • Was that from first hand knowledge?

          • She kept reaching over and trying to turn it off. 🙂

            Incidentally, Sarah, while you said I looked a lot more tired this year (I can’t hide ANYTHING from people who are more observant than a rock), the difference in how you look compared to last year, healthwise, was striking. Even though you have had the complications since the surgery, the overall change in your face is considerable on the plus side. I hadn’t realized it when I saw you last year, but looking back, the pain that you were ignoring was showing up in your face, and a whole lot of that has washed away now.

  12. Randy Wilde

    who don’t realize I’m human.

  13. I was nice running into you Sunday night and Monday morning.

    I think Persian Winged Bull smoked over Hickory Dryad would be very good.

    • Oh, I love that idea! I should have been taking notes while we were doing that panel. Also, do you think we embarrassed Chris enough? LOL

      • My favorite suggestion was Unicorn-kebabs on its own horn.

        Followed by Robert’s contentions that the human half of half-human creatures would change the flavor in interesting ways.

      • Insectress

        No. But truly embarrassing him would have required an X-rated panel.

  14. I thought the Internet was largely powered by cute cat pictures (or is that filled?) so I that yesterday’s post was completely acceptable.

    • Cat pictures are *so* 20th century… the modern internet runs on video clips of cute baby bats.

      • The Other Sean

        I’m not sure how they do it, but about once a year a bat makes it into my house. Yesterday evening was that night. I cornered the bat on a binder, then carried the binder outside and shook the bat off.

      • sabrinachase

        You really need to keep up. It’s sloths now. Baby sloths being given baths and then hung up to dry, like laundry. I will admit the bats are cute, though.

      • I defy you to show me such a thing.

        • ASCII and ye shall receive:

          Does a credible Jean-Michel Jarre imitation, too…

          • Funny looking bat. He is cute though.

          • Our last trip to the vet, the assistant brought a four week old baby raccoon into the lobby. Fits in the palm of her hand and purrs.

            • *envy*
              My dad got to go rob a raccoon nest when he was a kid… they weren’t in the area by the time I was big enough to consider it. I know the males get big and mean, but aaaaawwww!

              • If you haven’t already, acquire and read Sterling North’s Rascal to you children.

                Like the Little House books, it is a delight they will eventually share with their children.

                It is impossible to believe such a boy wouldn’t be under the iron hand of Child Protective Services today, but the intelligence, maturity and responsibility he demonstrates throughout the book is a severe condemnation of modern child-rearing philosophies.

                Wiki says an anime production, Araiguma Rasukaru, of 52 episodes was produced, but no edition of it seems available in the US.

                • YouTube apparently offers some episodes of the anime,

                  dubbed into what I believe to be Italian.

                • The Rascal anime was a little too successful, as it started a fad for importing raccoons into Japan as pets and then of releasing the un-neutered, long-living raccoons into the wild. This has been pretty bad for wooden Japanese temples and bridges made out of certain kinds of Japanese wood (raccoons like to gnaw on ’em) and for tanukis and certain other species of Japanese wildlife (raccoons are a little bit better at reproducing in big numbers than their distant tanuki relatives).

                  • You would have thought, after the Australian experience with rabbits, that someone would learn. This is one of those places where I do find it hard to stick to libertarian principles.

              • snelson134

                My understanding is that squirrels are much less cute….

    • William O. B'Livion

      Porn. We built it for porn, and that was largely what funded it’s expansion.

  15. ” I apparently assume people know what my life has been like.” – Perhaps they do – and assume from the evidence that you can regularly do the impossible!

  16. You both look happy – and lovely. Congratulations!

    If you want to lose weight for health reasons, fine. I’m with you.

    Sometimes it’s not worth the effort.

    Someone said on a blog post the other day that women over forty have the metabolism of a turtle. I can attest to that. And turtles don’t move very fast (that’s me).

    • Um…. I think I have the metabolism of a very small snail. I could survive a year on two lettuce leaves.

      • fynbospress

        The metabolism maybe… but I still have the hunger of an elephant. You looked lovely anyway, and when I’m not sitting in a laundromat, I will be doing more internet on the treadmill desk.

        • yeah, I need to do that too. That’s the plan.

        • I’m getting back into walking every morning. I did make it to the gym today, although after about half an hour I hit a wall. Something about four hours of sleep last night (woke up fretting about lesson plans.)

          Oh, yeah, totally off topic but the book cover reminded me: apparently there’s a play based on _The Little World of Don Camillo_ that’s making the rounds in Austria. Seems to be popular.

        • reddragonhawk

          This. You and your hubby both looked super happy. Screw the weight.

      • “Lechuga y pechuga” is all my niece, the fashion designer is allowed to eat. She has my body type, but has to be fashion-skinny in her chosen profession – to be believable.

        Her models are much taller, and half her weight as it is, and look like dressed bones – dressed SKINNY bones.

        My bones are twice the size of theirs – and I have no idea what my mother did differently – I have four younger sisters with an inch less measured around their wrist bones than what I measure. And lest you think it was growing up in Mexico, one was born in the States (same nutrition as me), and the other almost.

        It’s not fair! I want skinny bones.

        • My problem seems to be the hormonal mess of the last 20 years. When the house sells and we have money for copays, I’m going to get a hormonal profile done and see what can be done.

        • You won’t when the osteoporosis starts to kick in. Then every bit helps.

          • I’m not in the major danger group – small thin white women who smoked. No one has ever called me small. I tried cigarettes as a teen for a short while (it was cool at camp), didn’t like the way my hair smelled. People in my family often control their weight by smoking as soon as they’ve had their allowed caloreis. Ugh.

        • It’s not fair! I want skinny bones.

          No you don’t. I’ve been thin-boned all my life, and with the big M started edging into dangerous territory. If you start out with more, you last longer.

          • Our cat who lived longest was Pixel. Pixel in his prime was as broad as two cats put together. His nickname was The Vast Cat.

            • SheSellsSeashells

              We have two Maine Coons of identical height. The third dimension…differs slightly, as one of them weighs 12 pound and one weighed 30 in his prime. They are known as Fat Cat and Flat Cat.

            • The most nearly spherical of professional movie actors was Ernest Borgnine, who lived to the age of ninety-five.

          • William O. B'Livion

            Google “menopause bone density deadlifts”.

            Strong is sexy.

            • (Looks at the knee currently wrapped in an ace bandage and stabilized with a brace. Fights off yet another attempt by the heavy cat to walk on it)

              Maybe someday.

          • I’m well past M – and have the bones of an ox. I don’t mind that any more – I just don’t want them too well padded, a very difficult thing to achieve when illness keeps you from exercising, and none aerobic.

            And your appetite refuses to recognize your lifestyle.

            I manage, just, but starvation isn’t really a good way to live. And when you can’t look at a carb without putting on a pound, you’re sunk.

        • One benefit – less likely bone breakage.

  17. Clark E Myers

    Blame the con committee. There really should have been a speaker for the talent position among other ad hoc positions and extra duty.

    SMOF’s and C cubed and any number of other associations do have tribal knowledge. One of the many reasons the Sad Puppy fuss

    (and most especially Peter Grant is absolutely correct but there is a generational difference in language – and maybe thought – that might have been bridged – likely not now)

    is sad is the loss of the ability to work together for the common good. Fighting over the baton when it comes time to pass it along is inevitable but equally regrettable. There really has been a permanent traveling volunteer community for national level cons that perhaps needed a shaking up but not a discard with no gold watch.

    On the general topic of education and journalism we all know the problems there. We associate the problems with journalism schools which saves us worrying about the fact, and it is a fact, that the general infection of our schools applies as well to every discipline.

    Time was with a few exceptions test scores (and so whatever test scores are a proxy for) were reasonably uniform across a college campus. For what it’s worth this time has passed. Today the education majors as a class have the lowest overall test scores and teachers come from the bottom feeders among accredited colleges – e.g. in Denver teachers go to Metro State or State Normal School of Colorado, never University of Denver or Colorado College or University of Colorado. There was a period when education was a booming field and drew if not the best but as well as any other school. Now a bubble field – like e.g. legal education – with the decline and decay and also desperation among practitioners.

    My point is that today’s practitioners in the hard science fields went to the same schools and are infected by the same habits and mannerisms. I’m not going to give examples that might be traced to refer to specific people and places but the level of science today’s Post Doc’s are producing in terms of exaggerated claims for irreproducible results is appalling.

    And to come full circle the infection is there and it’s made all the worse (see Tim Hunt and Connie St. Louis – pick one to believe in) by the inability of people to work together.

    To the extent that Liberty Con is the property of Barflies and so excludes a lot of tribal knowledge then and to that extent bad things will happen. Good things too.

    • That’s kinda why I roped in the bell curve bit in my comment – I’m skipping past (whistling madly) where the whole student population’s curve has shifted, just observing that way back when the different schools tended to gather groupings clustering at different points on that cohort’s curve, and that to my eye you can pretty reliably predict where on the curve the J-school subpop tends to cluster.

      • At Flat State, the J-school and Ed School shared two-and-a-half floors of a building. Make of it what you will.

        • The Other Sean

          Where I got my degree, Criminal Justice and Education were combined into one school. I always found that a combination best not to comment upon.

          • That’s one of the things I missed — I think. I never went to a true “campus” except twice in my school years, and both of those were “abnormal”. The first was the Air Force Academy — men only when I attended. The second was the University of Nebraska at Omaha (also known as “SAC U”), but as a married student with a full-time job. Most of the rest was taken one to three courses at a time, or as military schools, or as correspondence. I really have no idea what “campus life” is like.

    • William O. B'Livion

      I went to the University of Misery for a few years. The J-students never *impressed* me with their intelligence. Some weren’t stupid, but that’s damning with faint praise.

      • Ever notice how many people mistake verbal acuity for intelligence? That’s like mistaking rectangles for squares.

        • I would guess that there’s a strong negative correlation. I know every time I get tongue-tied it’s because I’m thinking 20-50 words ahead of what I’m saying and three words try to come out the primary output modulator simultaneously in an attempt to keep up.

        • William O. B'Livion

          Most of them were poor to middlin’ writers.

          But then that’s what most newspapers want because (at least back then) most people were poor to middlin’ readers.

  18. It’s all part of some evil plot by Brandy to force the ELoE and myself to meet up at more cons than just this, since we barely got enough time together to say Boo, isn’t it?

    Okay, Laundromat run accomplished, now I just need to strip the bed and wash all the sheets and towels… *sigh*

  19. Sarah; your pictures made me happy. I just love the way your wedding/renewal of holy wows dresses go with the train in the background.

  20. All brides are beautiful: it is a law of nature; a transitive effect of Joy. Congratulations.

  21. About prednisone, it does that to a body (three pounds a day) on the same food you were eating before. It has other side-effects that can cause fatigue, paranoia, and hallucinations. (Yes, I have had them all). When I was finally weaned from prednisone and my body started to reset, I lost 50 pounds in six months. Hugs…

  22. Bit of a heads up, the Libertycon web site has a page to leave comments. You have to dig a bit, but it’s there.
    Tried to let them know I had a great time, but they really need to appoint a wellness officer on the con committee to check on the health of panel guests and use that information to measure against the work load they are scheduling them for. I was following the Hoyts’ panels because of my interest in indie and as research for an article I’m working on about beta readers, but I would not be surprised to find other featured authors with just as heavy a work load as Sarah had dumped on her.
    Must admit I used phrases such as “bordering on abuse” and “worked like a rented mule” in my comments.
    Be very interested in what sort of feedback results both to me directly and to Sarah.

    • Got a very positive e-mail this morning from Derek Spraker representing Libertycon. They are well aware of what happened and promise to make every effort to see that it never happens again. The quickness of his response and the tone of it remind me why so many fen consider the Libertycon folks as family.
      Derek apparently tried to respond directly to this post here and has been consigned to moderation hell for some obscure wordpress reason. I’ll try to cut and paste here and see if that works.
      It’s under the “LibertyCon Info” menu item, listed as “Your Feedback”.

      This is something that was brought up to Brandy at the convention, and believe me we will be discussing panelist workloads at our upcoming meetings.

      Our current method is that our Director of Programming puts together a list of panels (requested as well as assigned), then emails each participant with a copy to get their approval and/or requests/suggestions. Granted this is a couple of months before the convention, so circumstances do change.

      Unfortunately we had a perfect storm situation in regards to Sarah in that she was recovering from health issues during the convention, and our Dir of Programming and his First Assistant were both unable to be at the convention (his mother passed away the day before). If they had been there, I’m very confident that Rich would have immediately dropped her from some of her panels when he saw the state that she was in. Rich and his staff are typically _very_ responsive to our guests, this year the staff was scrambling a bit with their absence. They did a phenomenal job, but I’m very sorry that Sarah ended up falling through the cracks over the weekend.

      That being said, and this is primarily to Sarah and other LibertyCon panelists, if you get to the convention and realize “Holy frak! They want what?!” feel free to tell us! It’s not a problem in the slightest to shuffle around a bit, since your health is far more important than you participating in a “Why Buffy is Better than Blade” style of panel. 🙂

      But don’t worry, panelist workloads will definitely be a topic for discussion for the Board. We love all of our panelists, and under no circumstances want to burn them out. We’d rather keep them around for many more years.

      • As I said, this was mostly my fault. I SHOULD have checked the schedule, but … well… it’s been crazy out here.
        And because it’s LC I didn’t want to just blow off panels. (Which I did at mile hi once, when they left me no time to eat.)

        • Shut up you silly Portagee you. No wonder you need a minder, which Dan and the boys do quite well for the most part. As your uncle (totally true, she adopted me at LC) I only put an oar in the water when it became obvious that a series of events conspired to twist everything out of hand. Not your fault, not Derek, Brandy, or any of the con committee’s faults, just chit happening and all at once. Given the excellent response from LC my intent has been satisfied. That kerfuffle won’t happen again. Which means something else is guaranteed to go TU instead. Having achieved relative status I will continue to keep an eye on you and point out when you appear to be over extending. Not that you’ll listen, but if you get too carried away I not only have contact information for Dan and the boys, but I can reach Cedar and Kate. And you know they will set your butt down and bring you to task if necessary.
          And I still maintain that even in zombie mode on Sunday you did a fine job. After all your team totally skunked that of Mad Mike. Means of course he’s gonna red shirt you in one of his next books.

  23. Birthday girl

    I don’t have any advice, medical or otherwise, but setting aside the lamentable consequences, Sarah, it sounds like you are so very popular that everyone wants a piece of you – good on you for that level of success! And I’m wishing you a speedy recovery on every level.

    I just finished my h**o voting. I just don’t have it in me to do the due diligence to complete the TV shows and the graphic stories. But I read and ranked everything else. Time for an adulterated ice tea … 🙂

  24. “(and someone stole our mailbox — no really”

    Having recently priced a new mailbox (I decided the snowplow smashed and restraightened one was still useable) I can sympathize… both with you and the thieves.

    • Friend had a problem with mailbox bashers. Built a nice brick pillar for it, with the mailbox on drill-stem pipe, and a layer of concrete around the actual mailbox, inside a very large mailbox. They found several broken and dented bats by the side of the road after that, but no one removed the actual box.

      He also had one up on a 20′ pole. It was for airmail. Farmers with too much time on their hands in winter . . .

      • 🙂 One wonders about broken hands.

      • Where I live, that’s actually illegal.

        • Breaking them or armoring up?

        • I’ve heard of folks ending up with the “improved” mailboxes in their laps.

          A work-around is to buy one of those really big mail boxes, and treat it kind of like a hanging flower box– if you put the support up tall enough, it won’t become the target, and it’s not an ice hazard.

          Not illegal where I grew up, but we were in a spot where a lot of people went into the ditch.

          • I plan on installing my mailbox hanging, have been planning on doing it for several years. Our normal snowplow driver is good, but whenever we get someone else, most of them are indistinguishable from teenage vandals. They attempt to see how many mail boxes, posts and supports they can break, just instead of a bat they use a high speed wall of snow.

    • Thank me later…

      I’m putting one of these in later this summer, with concrete base. If the snowplow manages to whack it, I’m going to have a little talk with the nice people at the county.

  25. Somewhere, there is a bewildered but happy ox:

    • He might very well become a regular, too. I mean, there will be deliveries… I need something that fits the ACME acronym, though. And it will be in Bowl of Red, which I hope to deliver at the end of this year.

      • The usual (erroneous) expansions are ‘A Company Making Everything’ or ‘American Company Manufacturing Everything’ but I suppose if there was a real expansion it would be far less serious. It might poke fun at itself with Absurd Company Making Errors, but more likely it would be either oddly mundane (but overwrought?), such as Asphalt and Concrete Mixing Empire, or utterly absurd, Asbestos Cruise Munching Eclaires.

        (And if the best thing I can do is shut up, please tell me.)