ConAdian '93

Leslie Fish's Filksongs

The Virtual Filksing

Convention Reviews

Personal Filk Projects

Other Cool Stuff

Hey, folks! Welcome to Eli's ConAdian Review and Creative 27-Hour Car Trip Entertainment!

I know my convention reviews tend to be fairly long. (Hi, Allison ;-). I suspect I'll be making a new record for this one --- right now, we're somewhere between Manitoba and Minnesota in Persis and Spencer's van.

Since this will be a 27 hour car trip, I think I'll do the equivalent of a very long diary entry, and just post it to the net for those who are interested in knowing about the con. Might you be wondering why am I going back with Spencer and Persis --- who live 8 hours away from me and have relatively little reason to go by Pittsburgh? It's a long story. I just couldn't pass up one of those interstellar SETI deals again. ;-) (SpencExpress Travel, Inc., of course.)

By the way --- Spencer ghostwrote one paragraph of this 15 page con review. If you can tell me which it is and how you know (asking Spencer doesn't count), you'll get the same prize Bill & Gretchen are giving for identifying the Domino Death ADAT track.

I very much enjoyed the con. I was almost entirely at the filking, which was run primarily by Dave Clement. I wonder if Canadian filkers just know how to run great filks; I thought they worked outstandingly. Dave Clement had actually never run filk programming before to the best of my knowledge. He did a truly outstanding job, and one that I would have expected from a seasoned filk chair rather than a programming newbie. Interestingly, I recall that the filk chairs for almost every WorldCon that I'm aware of felt relatively burned out and frazzled from the stress by con's end; Dave just seemed even more enthusiastic and energetic as time passed. Anyway, here's what I think Dave did right, and what I hope folks might be able to also possibly even apply from his work and ideas:

1. Dave Clement had a clear theme in his mind and a philosophy that he wanted to convey through the filking: the emphasis of musical sharing. Since I tend to very strongly stand by this philosophy --- as do almost all the filkers that I know --- it really clicked for me, and most other folks at the con. The philosophy permeated all of the programming. For example, instead of doing theme concerts ["Hey, you --- go sit in a chair and passively watch these people sing!"], Dave almost exclusively did thematical jams, in which many filkers joined in on and further enhanced the experience for all of us, etc., but by designating a core group, he kept it from degenerating into an open filk.

Most of the jams were primarily attended by filkers, who got into it in varying degrees. One conspicuous exception to this was the session on music about Anne McCaffrey's works. (She was GoH.) Most of the audience (meaning those not listed on the program as participants) were non-filkers. You should have seen the looks on their faces when the panel asked how many of them had written songs. The session was scheduled for 2 hours, but because con attendance was so low, there were a number of filkers with songs in this category who didn't attend; thus, the panelists ran out of material in about an hour. The session was saved, however, by a pair of filkers who had written a round about Anne McCaffrey's works, with four different verses about her different universes. They taught the round to the whole room and everyone really got into it.

On a more abstract level, cons which succeed for me to tend to have some unique property to them --- Contata, for example, had a very strong and interesting Jewish emphasis, etc. --- to distinguish them from the n zillion (OK, more like 10 or 20; call me prematurely jaded...) cons Iíve been to. Some cons work for me simply because they have such talented musicians (e.g., OVFF) that the experience will be a unique thrill every year regardless of what the programming is. It's very rare that a filk chair comes up with a philosophical underpinning for the con's programming; Dave did it, and it was a smashing success.

2. Related to the above, Elizabeth Clement (Dave's wife) ran a Filk Lounge. If I had to come up with the single most successful decision that enhanced the con experience, this was it. It was placed directly en route to most folks' hotel rooms and the filk rooms. In fact, many mundanes (and non-filkers) dropped by after hearing music from the filk lounge. It provided a place to leave instruments and music, but more importantly, it provided the rare, special, and critical sense of being a member of an independent community. For example, when a fan brought in a very enthusiastic newspaper article about filking at the con, we all ceased our activities and gathered around the lounge to read it. Fans posted announcements prolificly --- people interested in jamming posted notes, etc. Lots of munchies and food and beverages were available. A bunch of folks just spent a lot of time in the lounge enjoying the excellent conversations. And, most importantly, Elizabeth was around very frequently as our hostess, and through her extrovertedness, wit, and general friendliness, helped make the lounge be a simultaneously exciting and relaxing place to hang out.

3. Also somewhat related to the above, I believe that cons which have successful filking tend to occur that way because the filk chair manages to convey a burning, passionate love for both music and filkers through the programming and the environment that they create or facilitate. Judith & Dave Hayman as well as Heather & Wayne Borean have done this with an enormous degree of success at FilKONtario, and it's quite possibly the most significant reason that FilKONtario is such a smashing success. Although Dave's feelings seem to be of a slightly different texture than the Haymans and the Boreans as a result of his intense musical background, they came through very clearly and really made a tremendous difference.

4. Winnipeg has an outstanding filk community who rarely, unfortunately, make it out of their region. Many filkers have heard of Dandelion Wine (and possibly Graham Leathers, who also has a tape from Dodeka, Delusions of Grandeur, which I strongly recommend), but very few have heard of Kylea Fulton, for example. Although I'd much rather see the Winnipeg folk out in the mainstream community, it was definitely an awesome experience to meet a dozen or so great musicians who I've never heard before.

In other words, yes, the con was definitely worth the nearly 60 hours spent in transport, and the week of school that I missed. The only commonly articulated problem was that there was too much good filk programming to do at the con. There was a lot of overlapping programming, and I know I missed a bunch of stuff I would have liked. Ditto, we had 3 filking rooms, as well as a filk programming room, and a filk con suite, while other areas --- such as science --- were crammed into tiny little rooms. I almost think we would have been better off using the filk con suite for filking in the evening, using the filk programming room for an alternate filk, and having one or two filk rooms elsewhere. (There was a 2 minute walk between the filking rooms and the filk con suite/programming rooms.) But that's fairly trivial.

Miscellaneous random stuff:

Petalwing & the Preservers: 1994 Winnipeg World Tour!

Dave came up with the ingenious idea of trying instabands: assign a random group of 4-5 people who had never played together to do a concert slot together. 20-30 people signed up, and got assigned by Dave to random filk groups. We each had a 20 minute concert slot to play a few songs. Most of us only used 10-15 minutes (20 minutes are a lot of songs) The purpose of this, if I recall, was to provide an easy way for filkers to meet each other and get into musical sharing in performance. And it was a total success --- granted, one group folded, two groups were combined, and many of us missed most of a nightly filk to practice, but these are problems which can be solved through refinement in future cons. I very much enjoyed it, and I truly hope that some cons that it would be appropriate for --- FilKONtario, for example --- consider a variant of it which solves the problems that occurred.

I also note that the instaband idea was initially done as a competition. Almost everyone objected to it when asked, and it was quickly changed to a showcase, as contests didn't fit in with the central theme of sharing music. I very much liked this decision, and I think it also reflects very highly on the filkers present at ConAdian.

Magic: The OTHER Addiction

Kathy had copies of Made by Magic available. Unfortunately, between her and the unofficial filk dealer at the con, there were only 45 copies available. Kathy's copies were sold within 48 hours of arriving at the con, with dozens of folks asking for copies afterwards. Larry Niven was the purchaser of the last copy; ask Kathy for the story. I was actually giving out Leonard's E-mail address to folks who randomly asked me in the hall if I knew how to buy a copy! ("Copies available from Only $16.00 plus your sleep and free time...")

Erin McKee, the woman who drew the lovely cover art for Made by Magic & Dave Clement/Dandelion Wine's tapes, was actually present at the con and the filk dead dog. I think she had the original artwork for sale with a minimum bid of $200 for Made by Magic; anyone know if it was sold? I've been told she also has a beautiful voice, but I don't think she sung anything.

Magic: The Gather-ing

ConAdian did their meet-the-guests party in the form of a Pernese Gather: they put some Pernish artwork on the walls, set up a stage, put some klah and bubbly/meat pies up in front, and even had some vendors to sell their fantasyish wares. I thought it was lovely, and very reminiscent of my first SCA event. They also had pernish entertainment --- dancers, a juggler (Ruth Anderson, who is also a filker), and a variety of filk musicians --- Kathy Mar and Dave Clement were on first, if I recall. Dave's concert was simply a smashing success. I was actually in tears when he did Drink Up The River --- not just because he sings it well, but it was an damned near spiritual experience watching a packed room of 150-200 people who couldn't give a flying fig about filk singing along and passionately, actively absorbing the music, clapping, and DANCING AROUND THE ROOM for a half hour. It's really a testament to how far filk has come. (Ditto, Kathy Mar was actually pouring tears throughout Dandelion Wine's performance of Drink Up the Driver, which I'm sure y'all know she wrote. Now that's a compliment!)

The QueerTones: Live at ConAdian

On Friday night, I think we had a queer filk first...where do I begin? Well...over the big filk 20-30 person dinner, Joey Shoji had commented sillyly (I think) "Could you imagine Don't Use Your Penis for a Brain on a harp? <snicker>"

Don't use your... is a reggae-ish song by Romanovsky & Phillips (R & P) which goes like:

"Don't use your penis for a brain
as hard as it might be, you really must refrain...
I think Penises are wonderful
I like to play with them
Masturbation is loads of fun, and so is loving other men..."

Let's just say it's not exactly meant to be played by a harp. ;] I suddenly concluded that I'd just have to learn it on harp, and figured out how to retune a harp with Carson Gaspar's help to get the right chords. We did it (err, played the song) in the hallway of the Holiday Inn next to the filk lounge. Half a dozen people came over to see ó including Joey - but also a hotel employee who asked us to leave and sing it elsewhere. [Funny, when I spent a half hour solidifying some accompaniment to The Flowering Green in the hallways nobody asked me to leave. ;-]

So, we did. We went to an empty room, Joey brought his guitar, and they spent 2 hours doing R & P (I concluded that their other stuff wasn't playable by me on harp and sat down and listened instead; suffice it to say that a van with 8 people and luggage doesn't have room for a harp and a guitar ;-), with Joey's pretty okay guitar playing and Carson's beautiful voice. I think Mike Browne got it on tape. They were a major pleasure to listen to.

...and they're well-respected weird people, too.

Winnipeg is a pretty small place. Very cozy during the summer, when it's only in the 60's, rather than during the winter when it's in the 60's (below zero, that is). It's really cool, because the fannish community present was omnipresent --- not just a small 3,800 group of weirdoes in town.

One newspaper even advertised "Daily convention Coverage" for fans on their newspaper stands. On the way up, we (we := the Pittsburgh contingent) saw Lee & Tom Billings & Zack, who honked at us. After we nearly ran them off the road, they invited us to lunch in Grand Forks --- and we accepted! Ditto, we bumped (we := Spencer, Persis & myself on the way back) into Dave Clement & Co. on the way back from the dead dog to the States as they were going on vacation.

Conversation of the day:

{The Scene: A packed ConAdian filk jam. Bill Roper is singing his classic song The Destroyer. Kylea Fulton --- an AWESOME flautist at the con --- was sitting behind me doing this amazing flute work that I had never imagined done to the song --- I thought it had somewhat of a James Bond feel. The song finally ends.}

Me: "Kylea, I had never thought of a flute line like that working with that song; that's like TOTALLY cool!!!"

Kylea: "Oh, uh, I had actually never heard the song before, and was just improvising."

Uh, yeah...Now that's what I call a real musician. I think MEW has another sister now, too. ;)

Conversation of the other day: (this one's paraphrased)

{The Scene: A ConAdian panel on running filk programming. Discussion going on about how it's impossible to overlap programming without having anyone being disappointed.}

Judith & Dave Hayman: "At Toronto Trek, we really tried to avoid overlapping programming of interest to the same group of people. You just can't avoid it. For example, we put a panel on Klingon warfare at the same time as a panel on contradancing. Who would be interested in both English country dancing and Klingon warfare? Well, we actually got complaints on it."

Bill Roper: "You could always combine the two and try Klingon contradancing!"

Judith & Dave: "YES!!! That's going on next year's programming!"

Banned from Argo: the Hugo

There was another reason there was so much problems with overlapping program --- we really had a 2nd track of filk programming that wasn't on the schedule, about 4 hours long. Specifically, Kathy Mar and Lynn Gold had prepared proposals for music Hugos, and Spencer Love prepared a proposal combining elements of the two. Many filkers went to the WSFS meetings to help ensure that the proposal got driven through.

There was an amazing 10-15 minute debate. Every single speaker tried to talk unamplified --- and couldn't --- they had to get a mike out. Kathy Mar passed the mike, and you bet everyone could hear her clearly. Enough so that jokes went around that we should have sabotaged the amplification system, and only filkers --- with voice training and who can project --- would be heard.

Parenthetical Debate Note: Bill Roper is a DAMNED good speaker. If you're ever in a debate, get this guy on your side.

Finally, Spencer mentions that he'll be posting on the Internet about the filk Hugo, but also adds the following:

(B.S. ---> Begin Spencer ;-)

The WSFS business meeting recommended that a "sitting WorldCon" which means Glasgow or Los Angeles or now San Antonio use their discretionary Hugo category to test the Music Hugo proposal. The WSFS business meeting has no power to actually enforce this. This was a relatively favorable outcome, since the long-time SMOFs felt that the wording needed some work but were quite surprised at the show of support from those outside the filk community. A test vote was 70 in favor of keeping it as a constitutional amendment and 80 in favor of converting it into a resolution (which passed nearly unanimously). You should have seen the look on the chairman's face when he realized he'd have to order that the votes be counted! He clearly expected the filkers to be clobbered. He dealt with it gracefully, though.

Lynn Gold's proposal was better worded, since it had been worked over by a WSFS parliamentarian, but it proposed creating two new Hugos, one for professional music, and one for filk. While this permits different qualifying rules, it was thought unworkable because of great resistance to adding new Hugo categories. The WSFS business meeting rejected three different proposals to reduce the number of Hugo award categories.

Kathy Mar proposed creating just one new award. It may be that the award will often be taken by movie soundtracks, but much of the science fiction community still has a bad opinion of filk. If there are good filksongs nominated, then the larger community will have a reason to give them a listen, and perhaps a groundswell for a separate amateur science fiction music award will develop in a future year. Just creating a music Hugo category is a useful and perhaps long overdue step.

The Glasgow contingent was very receptive, and though there won't be any decisions made until their meeting in November, it seems quite likely that they will implement the proposed test. Spencer will be getting together a working group to define the Hugo to be tested. If you want to participate or just get more information, he can be reached on the Internet as

(E.S. ---> End Spencer)

Golden Grahamies with Fish soup

I finally got to meet Graham Leathers in person. Well, sortof; I eavesdropped on a conversation between him and Andrea Yeomans for a while. This guy is just amazing in person. Excellent stage presence, a resonant singing and speaking voice, OUTSTANDING instrumental skills, and an energetic and lively performer. His tape just doesn't do him justice, although hearing him play a zillion instruments flawlessly on his tape is quite interesting. He also did some amazing balloon animals all over the filk lounge. (He also did one which got erect upon being...umm...stroked --- and I forget the name he made for it.)

And some awesome storytelling (ask him about the two truckloads of deer corpses and the Canadian government ;-). He's just a total riot --- there was actually one time he messed up a song at a filk, and then did a 3 minute comedy routine expanding upon his goof, and had me almost rolling on the floor. I encourage anyone here looking for a Guest of Honor or a Toastmaster for filking to seriously look into him. You won't regret it. I should nominate him for Interfilk; one second. OK; he's now been nominated; always keep a Spencer around.. ;-)


I've had a mad love affair with a harp for about a month, with Robert Stockton as my gracious teacher and harp-provider. I found it really funny being asked by people at the con for lessons and such, too, but that's another story.

Anyways, for the hell of it, two hours before I was going to leave the con (8:00 AM Monday), I asked Joey Shoji if he'd be willing to sing with my harp (and, yes, even with my playing it). He said yes!!! <gush> <gush several more times> After setting a new speed record to the Holiday Inn from the Convention Center to grab filk books, I spent the most incredible hour that I've ever had before at a con. I guess the best analogy would be to imagine soaring through heaven for an hour. It was an indescribably amazing experience. I still have Joey singing Dragonsong in my head. (Unlike the R & P sing, I made sure that didn't appear on anyone's tapes. Sorry, Spencer. ;-) [Gee...thanks a lot, Eli.;-8] Joey's voice, now that I think of it, probably goes very well with harps in general, 'cause he has such a lovely, pure, golden voice that tends to match the tone quality of harps as I've frequently heard them described. Judith, Kathy, MEW & David Kushner also spent some time with me & Sir Harpy, which I also very much enjoyed, but I don't think anything ever came close to what this felt like. Joey, if you're reading this on GEnie, thank you very much for the gift of your time.

How to get lost in Manitoba and enjoy every moment of it --- after breakfast

After staying up all night and being in heaven with Joey's voice, I went to the Holiday Inn lobby to meet the rest of the Pittsburghers from PARSEC to get the ride back to Pittsburgh. The 8:00 meeting time arrived, nobody was there. 9:00 passed. 10:00 passed. 10:30 passed. At 10:45, I was more than a little terrified out of my wits, and checked the voodoo board --- I apparently wasn't clear enough to the people who I went with that I switched hotels. As far as I can tell, while they're a great bunch of people, we miscommunicated about which hotel I was staying at, and since they couldn't find me at the one they checked, they just left me in Winnipeg, Canada with a credit card number left so I could take a bus home for $180 and somehow carry 60 pounds of stuff and harp from the bus station home [not!]!!! (refer to college student budget ;-) Suffice it to say I went somewhat non-linear at this moment, having not slept or eaten for at least 24 hours.

One of my roommates noted this, took me to breakfast, and mostly brought me back to a state of rationality. Thanks, Kathy. I'd like to also thank Lynn, Margaret Bumby, Lee & Tom, Zack, Pete Grubbs, Chuck Vanderlinden, Judith & David, Spencer & Persis, Dave & Elizabeth, MEW and everyone else I've forgotten for their help and hugs; without them, I'd probably still be in Canada. ;-) I was absolutely humbled and flattered by the offers of help and transport I received. I'd also like to thank Spencer and Persis, who are dropping by Pittsburgh on their way back (and are also rather interesting to watch from the back seat, but that's another story. Hi, Spencer. ;-) [It's not like I'm going to read this on Genie, Eli... 8-]

Anyways, it became rather apparent from the above folks that I could make it back, and that another day at a WorldCon ain't exactly a tragic event, and I started having mucho fun again.

Dead dogs and dragons Inn Winnipeg

The Clements' household held a dead-dog after the con. I hear it was a great party. They certainly have a beautiful house (and household --- they're the second fannish household that I've had the pleasure to visit). I fear I just slept through most of it, as I was stone dead from the night before. They were certainly ungodly gracious hosts while I was awake. I was told that Ruth actually juggled a firestick, too. Kathy started writing a song ("These are the stairs that Ruth built...") about the house. I'd love to hear it if she ever finishes it.

The morning after, Spencer played some of the OVFF Pegasus tape that Love Song Productions has been working on. He didn't mention that he was going to play a tape. I initially ran over to the room assuming that Dave Clement had just picked up his guitar and started doing some more awesome music. I ran over, and saw a speaker where I thought I would see Dave --- now THAT is what I call good recording quality!

Ditto, since I seem to have become infamous for trashing new filk albums and songbooks for proofreading/editing (or lack of it thereof), Spencer very kindly offered me a proofing copy of the associated Pegasus songbook, which is being produced by M.A.S.S. F.I.L.C. This way, I had fun trashing it for an hour before a few hundred copies were printed. ;-) Just kidding -- I think it's pretty solid, or certainly will be after a few more typos/bugs are cleaned up.

Flying blindly into ConAdian

Speaking of new people, there was a new filker named Tabitha at the con. Was this the blind friend that Brett was referring to on the net before? Silly me for not making the association. Her singing voice reminded a bunch of us (Kathy, in particular) of what MEW sounded like at her first OVFF when she was Tabitha's age (which I think is 20). I think Lynn said that she was classically trained. She also has what was described as the most flirtatious guide dog in the world, although I don't recall who originated that sentiment. I hope we'll be seeing her at more cons (Tabitha, I mean, not just her dog. ;-). I unfortunately didn't get to talk with her for long. She mentioned that she also plays the harp, but I never got to hear her, unfortunately. I'm always awestruck by people such as herself and Dave Clement who are so talented that they learn instruments without even being able to see what they're doing. It must be a very challenging endeavor. Does anyone know if she writes songs, too?

Grubby performance workshops

Pete Grubbs did an awesome performance workshop. The only problem was that he only had an hour, and so many fascinating things to say. If he ever repeats it, I strongly encourage you to attend. Even if you're like myself and have little interest in performing, it's worth it just to understand the psychology of performance --- which affects everyone here, 'cause we're always on the other side at some point. Pete has a damned solid understanding of the process, and conveys it mindbogglingly well. He has several academic degrees, and I also think it really shows in his presentation.

"I'm British; what's your excuse?"

Unfortunately, there were very few members of the British filk community present. I only recall Kate, Smitty, Roger, and another man whose name I fear I forgot. [Hi, Rafe. ;-] British Filkers: if I may ask, is England in an economic depression, or was there a reason we got to see so few of you at the con? You were all very much missed.

Speaking of British people, there were fliers for Glasgow WorldCon...with Bob Kanefsky as the Filk Guest of Honor, brought in by those British dudes. Bob Kanefsky is thus the first WorldCon Filk Guest (of dishonor?). Speaking of Bob, I think his singing voice has improved tremendously; he was almost completely on-key at ConAdian, and sounded like a Real Vocalist for decent chunks. And he had some new and silly songs. I think it was MEW who commented that one of the problems he has with singing a song for the first time was that he has to deal with putting in a one minute pause after every verse for everyone to stop laughing --- after a song he sung at the con where that literally happened!

Talented Tapestries

Urban Tapestry (Debbie Ohi, Jodi Krangle and Allison Drury) attended their first WorldCon; yippee! They were very well-received, although their concert was overlapping with a guitar workshop. If you haven't already heard, they'll be an Interfilk guest for ConChord this October, and were very, very psyched about it. I finally met Allison's husband --- there was this Klingon warrior-guy complete with all the ridges and hair videotaping a concert she was in, and I later found out that I was talking with her husband...I wonder if he eats his Gak with Jalapenos...?

"Would you like to buy a matham, little fan...?"

The Interfilk auction raised $410 ConAdian. (sic) Pretty good for a small WorldCon --- ConFrancisco raised $380 American. Unfortunately, I missed the auction, but I heard that Kathleen Sloan & the Interfilk Wenches were quite amusing. Speaking of Kathleen, we got to meet her husband at the con; he's cool! [Also speaking of Kathleen, if you see her, ask her to do her rendition of Anne Prather's The song that weaves the generations through. Lovely, lovely song and interpretation, IMHO.]

Harry Hemp, filkdom's lovable cat-piss stained wall ornament, went to Spencer & Persis this year. (They're engaged already, and planning on getting married next May.) Larry & his wife-to-be sent a HILARIOUS letter with it explaining why they just couldn't accept it which was on display. Spencer & Persis kindly redonated Harry, too. ;-)

Miki and Mini-Con

I didn't know that Cheryl Miki was Dave Clement's daughter. I encourage you to catch her live if you ever can. Very, very energetic stage presence --- she's making music even when she's just waiting on stage! (She's part of Dandelion Wine, too.) [Dandelion Wine IS an awesome Winnipeg filk/folk group --- Dandelion Wine is NOT what happens to bad filkers... ;-]

Filk tapes that you won't see from Wail Songs or Dodeka

Every con I go to, we end up looking for songs off filk tapes with rousing songs like The Light Ship, Bring It Down, No High Ground and Drink Up The River to sing along with and stay awake as we near the end of the trip. I think I'll have to make a hack tape called "A Filking Good Drive" on my boom box for future trips with lots of energy-generating and focusing songs for car trips.

Speaking of tapes...

ConAdian actually had no filk huckster in the huckster room; some folks were interested in getting together an informal huckster system at no profit to said individuals, but the con's policy of throwing anyone out who hucksters outside of the (long sold-out) Dealer's room made this somewhat nonpursuable. This wasn't necessarily bad, however. I suspect I saved at least $100 on tapes that I didn't buy, for example. One filker was selling albums by...umm...mail order in the filk lounge. Dave Clement arranged to have Dandelion Wine & some other albums for sale by some non-filk dealers, who took a $1 cut on each album sold. Said non-filk dealers actually had their entire table paid for just from the money they got on filk sales! They also had some awesome "A filking good time" T-shirts for sale. Does anyone know if we'll still be able to buy them? They were really cool!

Speaking of speaking...

Would you believe that Dave Clement was once a computer hacker when he was younger, and now does computer-ish management, and has a computer which talks to him? I never would have guessed. So much for stereotypes...


Unfortunately, Crystal & Patrick Paul were not at the con. Much more unfortunately, the reason for this was because Patrick's cancer started coming back with a vengeance. Damn. Mike Rubin also indicated that ConAdian might be one of the last cons we'd get to see him at. Double Damn. [Mike Rubin, if I recall correctly, is setting the record for outliving anyone else in history with the particular cancer that attacked him.]

Assuming many other people have strong feelings on this, send me E-mail. I'd be more than glad to get a discussion group started of what we can do to before more of our community has to go through this and pursue any feasible ideas --- besides appreciating the gift of life while we still have it.

I actually think that this is it. Oh well. And there's about 10 hours left in the trip that I'll have to fill. I'd ask for suggestions, but I don't think I'll be posting this until after I return. ;-) If you've actually read my entire review send me E-mail, and I'll give you a special prize. (Spencer is disqualified, as he has those 10 hours to kill ;-) [I really ought to get the prize anyway, Eli... 8-]