Convention Log #67

November 1998

Last modified: 28 February 1999

Convention Log is a personalzine published occasionally for friends of R-Laurraine Tutihasi, who resides at 29217 Stonecrest Road, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90275-4936, 310-265-0766 (562-981-5485 at work), Internet:, web page Distributed through FAPA and available for the usual, subject to editorial whim. Letters, email, or phone calls of comment and contributions of artwork or other items of interest will be welcomed and will ensure you of a place on the mailing list.

Kattesminte Press publication #321. Copyright © 1998 by R-Laurraine Tutihasi.

News and Views Humour Con-Dor Westercon 51 Niagara Falls Letters Parting Words

News and Views

My attempt to manage time by joining FAPA has not met with wild success. It has been nearly a year since my last issue of this zine.

This past year, we attended two conventions: Con-Dor and Westercon. We went on a two-week vacation trip in September to Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Rochester, New York.

Work for me is largely unchanged. Mike was promoted to a staff manager position after his boss, who had the position before, retired at the end of August.

My big project for the year was my garden. A friend of mine helped me plan it. She had originally intended to plant it as well, but back trouble prevented her from doing this. I spent a few months locating a satisfactory landscaper that did not want to charge an arm and a leg. Because of the protracted search time, my garden was planted in the middle of an unusually hot summer. The plants have nearly all been stressed out, although many are tropical or semi-tropical and did not mind the heat. I will know in the spring exactly how all the plants fared. At the beginning of October, I invited friends to see my garden. I think it looks pretty good. It should look even better when the plants have grown.

As I hinted above, after a protracted rainy season brought on by El Niño, we suffered a long, hot summer brought on by La Niña. This area usually enjoys a fairly mild summer. Even with the unusual heat, we were usually cooler than most of the rest of the county. However, because of our computer room, our house gets too hot for cooling just by opening windows. This winter, I plan to get central air installed.

Speaking of computers, I am now the proud new owner of an iMac. It's a very nice machine. It has plenty of memory with the added RAM I bought. It is really fast. I currently have the fastest computer in the family.

At the end of the year, we acquired a new kitten. His name is Fluffy, and he is mostly black except for a few smoky patches. He was nine weeks old when he arrived here. We don't know exactly when his birthday is, but it was probably in October. He is very playful and quite intelligent. He is also very persistent and stubborn. He and Christopher Robin are having a rough time learning to get along with each other, but I think things will work out.

One local activity was a visit to Palomar Observatory. We met one fine July morning in Griffith Park for this field trip with FOTO (Friends Of The Observatory). The bus trip was three hours. After we got to the observatory, we had our lunch in the room with the Hale telescope. Then we heard a talk by astronomer Martin Schmidt. The acoustics were very bad in there, and I couldn't hear very well. I think I heard most of it, though. Mike got Schmidt's autograph on a Time magazine cover from years ago that featured his picture. Dr. Krupp, the directory of the Griffith Observatory, was so impressed by Mike's bringing the cover and accompanying article that he had Mike's picture taken with Dr. Schmidt. We also had a group photo taken before we entered the observatory. The latter was later published in the FOTO newsletter.

After the talk, we were allowed to walk up to the catwalk. They started moving the telescope around, and they even rotated the dome. It was eerie. At first, I thought the telescope was rotating; but, of course, that didn't make sense. I didn't really feel our own motion until I walked away from the dome wall. We also went outside after they stopped rotating the dome. There are two other smaller telecopes up there. Palomar is the place where Caltech is doing its asteroid search.

We went to the visitor's centre afterward. Mike bought a whole mess of souvenirs. Mike has complete coverage, including photos.

Accounts of longer trips are below.

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Practitioner Outtakes
Contributed by Mimi Tutihasi

BP is 170/100 while sitting on the right arm.

By palpitation, this area is easily and clearly visualized.

Patient is in today for her throat, she has had it for a day.

Patient is here with dysuria. She has a marital partner, she has never had one of these before.

Exercise while in warm moist water.

Had to swerve to hit a deer.

Pain occurring in the early morning hours on a nightly basis.

Patient really appears quite well, mildly demented as usual.

The last episode occurred twice.

Is concerned he might have something going on in his brain.

Father apparently suffered from recurrent sudden death syndrome.

Patient is Gravida III, para III with one child being a set of twins.

Recognizes strangers already.

Still has a persistent cough that is clear in color.

Atrophic testicles and the left one is absent.

He experienced severe pain during the night preventing him from sleeping on awakening this a.m.

Injury to right knee; discontinue playing tennis on that side.

Patient states pain is worse when his heart beats sometimes.

Patient is nursing; dad occasionally doing midnight feedings.

Has had a rash that mother took to the ER.

Patient complaining she has no problems.

Patient works 5 nights a week at Western State, complains of trouble sleeping at night.

Patient comes in with itching; has not changed soap, laundry detergent or underwear recently.

She has moved her dog internally.

Tape the toe to the other foot.

Single right testicle; left testicle is undescended and removed.

No nasal discharge; he is able to breathe at night and sleep through both nostrils.

Mother died age 51 of breast CA, also found to have colon CA 1 year later.

Continued pain in the right leg which she is now describing as tunnel vision.

Irritant vaginitis probably from bubble baths and nasal allergies.

Here with ears itching and painful, discussing nicotine patches for cigarette smoking and vaginal discharge.

Since the death of her husband their relationship has drastically changed.

Left breast mammogram; the patient has had prior hysterectomy on the right side.

She was asymptomatic concerning her breasts, she had never had any previously.

Removed ear plugs from nasal passages.

Kelly had a spontaneous vaginal delivery of Dr. Bell at the end of September.

She is living alone with a friend.

Her eyes are better but not completely gone.

The patient is married. His wife is about to have a spouse.

Patient had a C section at birth.

She gave birth to a 3 year old.

She was driving a truck and was rearended, she was in the passenger seat.

Family history of ovarian cancer in a prenatal grandmother.

Patient was offered a muscle spasm but she wishes to avoid these.

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San Diego, CA; 27 - 29 February 1998

Mike did the driving to San Diego. We stopped first at the McDonald's on Silver Spur, so I could get lunch. Mike just got fries.

Mike stopped at Oceanside to visit a photo shop selling a lot of Meade telescope stuff. We arrived at the Town and Country in the Mission Valley district of San Diego just before the first programme item I was interested in began. The hotel registration line was long. Jim Hay of San Diego and Dave Clark of the Bay Area were in line ahead of me, and we exchanged a few words. Mike and I stopped briefly at our hotel room before we went to the programme. It was about the use of magic in science fiction. Unfortunately, the panellists were not prepared; and the discussion was allowed to deteriorate.

Then we stopped at the dealers' room. We just looked. We returned to the car for the few things we hadn't managed to carry with us and took them to the room. We unpacked. We decided to explore the shopping centre nearby for dinner possibilities, but we didn't find anything we liked. We returned to the hotel to eat at the Lanai Room.

We returned to the room to change. Mike took a nap. While he was sleeping, I went through today's mail and threw out everything I didn't need.

Then we went to Regency dancing. We danced two dances and then went to the reception for the guests of honour -- Harry Turtledove and Mark Shepherd, the actor who plays Morn on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." We didn't talk to them, but we did talk to some other people -- Carolann Cranston and Sherwood Smith.

The next day didn't start the way I had planned. I woke up with a really bad sinus headache. It was so bad that I developed nausea. It was past ten before I was able to get up. We went the Lanai, so I get a bite to eat. I had to have something to eat to settle my stomach. I also took codeine, one of the few analgesics that seems to work on my sinus headaches without making me drowsy.

We went to the noon panels. Mike went to a panel called "Space Cadets." It was about space activism and featured Neal Hallford, Victor Koman, Sherwood Smith, and Harry Turtledove. I went to a slideshow presentation by Mark Shepherd. His slide show consisted of his photo mosaics accompanied by some of his music. After the presentation, I went up to the Pavilion Lounge on the top floor of the hotel building where we had our room to buy a cassette of his music. I also picked up a print of a picture he had drawn of Morn.

Mike went to a panel at one o'clock titled "Really Alien Aliens: Body" with Judy Lazar, William Stoddard, Dave Trowbridge, and Janine Ellen Young. The discussion was about the way to design an alien.

At two, I went to an interview of Harry Turtledove. Mike went to "Television Science Fiction before 'Star Trek'" with Jimmy Diggs, Jean Graham, Arthur Loy Holcomb , Penny Juday, and Fred Patten.

Then I went to the art show. Mark Shepherd had some artwork there. He said some of his artwork showed up in early episodes of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." When I returned to the room, Mike was also there catching up with his e-mail. I snacked, because I was finally feeling hunger for the first time today.

We left a little early for the next programme item, because I wanted to pick up a few books in the dealers' room. Bruce Pelz had recommended a few books I should have. The programme item was Penny Juday discussing her work on various Star Trek projects and other shows. She had slides and props to show us.

We returned to our room to rest up before dinner and the masquerade. I had overheard some people saying they'd had only three masquerade contestants signed up and were looking for people in hall costumes to participate. Either more people signed up or they did a good job of rounding people up. There were fourteen costumes presented. One was so outstanding that there was an "Oh!" from the audience when the contestant appeared. It was a Victorian costume with peacock feather ornamentation.

After the masquerade, we returned to our room to shed coats. Then we went to the Hawaii in 2000 bid party for Westercon. We are presupporting members already. I'm fairly confident they will win with only Phoenix running against them. We retired relatively early.

Sunday I felt much better than I had the day before. We packed up after we got up, took our stuff to our car, and went to breakfast. We'd arranged for an express checkout the day before, so we just left the keys in the room.

Then we attended a final programme item before leaving.

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Westercon 51

San Diego; 2 - 5 July 1998

I made the drive in about two and a half hours on Thursday, 2 July. The Marriott is not too far from the Town and Country. It's not the greatest venue for a convention. The hotel is not great. Mike waited with the car while I registered with the hotel. After we took our stuff to the room, we went back down to register with Westercon 51. The process did not take too long.

I was so out of it that I let Mike do the navigating. He made sure I checked in with the Hawaii bid people. Mike wanted to see Forry Ackerman do his thing. No one was in the room when we got there. Forry came in, and we chatted for a while until other people showed up. He didn't talk that long, and there weren't that many questions. We were in and out of the hucksters room in between things. I let Mike talk me into buying some videotapes of old TV shows.

Then we went to a panel about "The Internet and the Future of Commerce." Ctein and three others were it. Unfortunately, I missed part of it due to a spider that was distracting me. I finally stomped on it.

Then we had dinner at the Gratzi Grill downstairs. The selection isn't great, and the prices are on the high side. We had the special, which was grilled bass. It was good, but I paid for it with diarrhoea afterward.

We spent the rest of the evening at the Hawaii bid party. I helped greet people at the door. Mike had conversations with Forry Ackerman and Amy (Falkowitz) Bradley.

We retired fairly early.

On Friday, we got up in time to attend programming at noon. We had a few minutes to spare, so we first picked up the videotapes we had arranged to buy in the hucksters room. "Science in 'Star Trek'" featured Genny Dazzo as moderator with Bridget Landry and Mel Gilden on the panel. It turned into a fun discussion about how the pseudoscience in "Star Trek" had inspired some people to become scientists or inspired scientists and engineers to invent or design things similar to the ones used in the show.

The next panel was one of the most fascinating that I can remember at any con. "Real Criminal Profiling" was discussed by Nancy Smith, who is a professional, currently working with Los Angeles County. She hinted that she agreed with me about the O. J. Simpson case, so I feel vindicated. Part of her talk concerned the case, and she used me to model what the murderer had done.

We finally got to eat after that. We bought sandwiches that were available from a cart and brought them back to the room.

After we ate, we went to the art show, which was in a separate building across from the main hotel lobby.

At 17:00, we went to hear Marc Scott Zicree talk about his "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode, Far beyond the Stars, the one about Sisko dreaming that he was a science fiction writer during the fifties. He also showed the episode, which ran over; because the convention had problems setting up the projector. This was followed by another Star Trek panel, so it was okay.

I ran off to hear the bid presentations but missed the first one. It all came down to the people who couldn't afford to go to Hawaii voting for Phoenix. The voting turned out to be much closer than I had expected, but Hawaii won.

We had dinner at the Gratzi before we went to an "Avenger" party where episodes of said show and also some "Secret Agent" videos were shown. We stayed only through one tape before we left to see the rough cut of a short film titled These Few Weapons against Death. It turned out that I knew John Landsberg, who made the film. He had been one of the editors of Unearth back in the 1970s, which I subscribed to for its entire run of a couple of years. His story is fascinating, I think. He was going to medical school at the time he was editing the magazine. Later, he learned the craft of film while he was doing his residency. He is like a younger Harlan Ellison in his level of energy, but I'm afraid he's going to burn out like Harlan at some point. The film is a serious one about the nature of life and death. Through lucky happenstance, he was able to secure the talents of Barbara Babcock, currently a regular on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." Through her, he was also able to secure the talents of Jason ?, also a regular on the same TV series. This film has been highly regarded by film professional who have seen it. It is still a work in progress. He hopes to finish it in the next two years. I will be waiting for its release. We had a very interesting conversation with him after the showing.

Mike and I were getting tired at this point, so we retired without going to any parties.

The first program items we attended on Saturday were a Pathfinder slide show and a reading by David Brin. Mike went to the first, and I attended the latter. We had bumped into David Brin the day before and discovered that he is suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists.

David spent the first half of his hour just having a conversation. Then he read a few selections during the second half. I left before he was quite finished because I really needed to stop at a bathroom.

Then I met Mike for "Asteroids: Not with a Whimper but with a BANG!" This panel featured Jordin Kare, Ctein, and Greg Benford. I'm afraid I nodded off a bit during this.

Then we had lunch at the Gratzi. After that, we returned to the room.

At 15:00, we went to "Why You Should Read My New Fantasy Book" featuring William F. Wu, Sarah Wrench, James Clemens, and Dennis McKiernan. Dennis McKiernan moderated this panel very well. After introductions and a brief talk by each other, he had everyone do short readings. As a result, I later bought books by Wu and McKiernan. Then we went to see film previews, but they had apparently begun earlier than rescheduled. We tried to get into "The Aliens as Conqueror" in progress, but the room was overflowing.

We decided to rest until the parties began.

When we got to the Hawaii victory party, there was no one there. So we decided to check out some of the other parties for a while. We had a prolonged conversation with Ken Porter and Michael Mason at the LA Nasfic party. Ken had suffered a knife wound when he'd had al altercation with his nephew.

When we returned to the Hawaii party, there were more people. But the party was subdued, and our help was not really needed. We stayed for a short while and then retired for the night.

Sunday morning, we packed and checked out of the room before we did any conventioneering. The one thing we did was attend Joe Straczinsky's presentation on "Crusade," the sequel to "Babylon 5." He talked a little about "Crusade" and showed us some rough shots of A Call to Arms, the lead-in movie to the series. Then he showed us the entire Thirdspace, which will be airing in a couple of weeks.

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Trip to Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Rochester, NY

30 August - 11 September 1998

We left for our trip Sunday evening. Our ride to the airport was uneventful. The SuperShuttle got us there early, so we had a bit of a wait there. We both got stuff to drink. Mike got me a kitty Beanie Baby. I got my Avon order ready and mailed. The flights were smooth, too; but we didn't get as much sleep as I'd expected. We had a bit of a wait in DC for our second flight. I slept better on that, but that didn't make up for the lack on the first leg.

After we arrived Monday morning at Buffalo, we had no problems getting our luggage and rental car. The drive to Toronto was hard. I was very tired and sleepy. We made it to Mississauga, a suburb just west of Toronto, before I had to stop. We had brunch at a Holiday Inn. I called Michael T. Smith from there to let him know we were on our way. Mike drove the rest of the way. We both felt better after the stop. After we arrived at Michael's, however, we just wanted to sleep. His place was very hot. Although the weather was not too bad, his apartment seemed to be a heat sink. We slept until 18:00 and then went to eat at the Spirale Ristorante, an Italian restaurant.

Despite the heat, we slept well that night, probably because we were so tired.

On Tuesday, we had breakfast at a restaurant near Michael's. We drove downtown to the Royal Ontario Museum after we converted some money in a bank in the same building as the restaurant. Unfortunately, we discovered that the gem and mineral exhibit was mostly in mothballs for renovation.

So we went directly to the zoo after that. With judicious use of the zoomobile, we did okay there. I had developed bursitis in my right hip just before the trip. We went straight from there to a Thai restaurant for dinner. My appetite was very good both today and yesterday.

After we got back to Michael's, Mike spent quite a bit of time online. I called my pen pal Roslyn Willis to get directions to her place in London.

The water in Michael's apartment was being shut off at 9:00 Wednesday morning, so we left before then.

On our drive to London, we saw a sign for Four Seasons Nudist Resort. We arrived in London about 11:15. We met Roslyn at her office. We converted more cash at a bank before going to a restaurant nearby. We had a leisurely lunch. I gave her the L. A. TheatreWorks tape I'd brought her. She presented us with some RCMP souvenirs: a hat for Mike and a teddy bear in a Mountie outfit for me. Afterward, she showed me her office and introduced me to a few officemates.

We left London then, because Mike had come down with a cold.

On our drive to Niagara Falls, we passed a town where there was a street named after Wayne Gretsky.

We had a little trouble finding the Cascade Inn in Niagara Falls, because I'd packed the AAA book with the address. We found a phone booth and looked it up in the phone book. After that, it wasn't too difficult.

I made reservations for dinner at the Skylon Tower after we unpacked. We took a stroll down to the falls before we went up the tower. Dinner was expensive, but this was a special occasion. We had drinks as well. After dinner, we went up to the observation deck to see the illuminations. It was cold up there. Afterward, we went to a drug store to get something for Mike's cold.

Thursday morning, we set out for our day at Niagara Falls. We bought tickets for the Double Deck Tour A, which included a round trip drive seeing various sights along the Niagara River and admission to the Maid of the Mist, Journey behind the Falls, and the Spanish Aero Car. The Spanish Aero Car at the whirlpool was our first stop. After the ride, we picked up another bus that took us past Niagara Glen and the Queenston Heights Park. We stopped for a while at the Niagara Parks Floral Clock . We drove past the Hydro Power Plants opposite the Robert Moses Power Plant. Then we stopped at the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture, where there is a Butterfly Conservatory. We had lunch first; then I went in. Mike wasn't interested. From there, we were driven to the Niagara Parks Greenhouse. After we took a walk around it, we crossed the street to see the Old Scow at the upper rapids. Since Table Rock, where the Journey behind the Falls is located, was just down the street, we walked. The raincoats provided are just thin plastic, similar to the material in the free gloves that come with hair colouring kits. The ones for the Journey behind the Falls were yellow. The walk takes us to tunnels behind the Horseshoe Falls. The last leg of the tour was to the Maid of the Mists boat ride. We were given blue raincoats there.

Mike was feeling very tired after all that, so we walked back to our hotel room. After a bit of a rest, he took a hot shower. He didn't feel like going out again, so we ordered pizza from Domino's for dinner.

Friday morning, we checked out of the Cascade Inn and crossed to the USA. We stopped first at the duty free shop. We discovered we hadn't spent enough on the right type of stuff to get any tax money back. Mike changed his Canadian money back to American.

On the American side, we took a look at the falls and had lunch. Then we drove to Buffalo, where we visited a model shop; but they didn't have the Disneyland TWA rocket model Mike has been looking for.

So we proceeded to Rochester. The Thruway was unchanged except for the service areas. They now have fast-food outlets instead of the food service restaurants.

When we reached Fairport, we had a little difficulty finding my friend Liz Lehmann's place; so we called her on Mike's cell phone.

I had thought we could take them out to dinner, but Liz and Dan, Liz's husband, had planned to make hot and sour soup. It was very good. I made a bunch of phone calls to try to plan out the week. Mike found out that he had to do something for work.

Mike slept late Saturday morning. His cold was still bothering him quite a bit. About noon, we left for Strasenburgh planetarium, where some RSFFAns were going to attend a show to commemorate RSFFA's twenty-fifth anniversary. RSFFA is the Rochester Science Fact and Fiction Association. There were about ten of us. Afterward, Mike and I went to the museum. A lot of the exhibits were the same ones I remembered. We did that fairly quickly, and we returned to Liz's. I let Mike get some more rest before leaving for the RSFFA dinner. Liz came with us. There were about thirty people at the Raj Mahal restaurant. I hadn't met most of the people before. However, I enjoyed a number of interesting conversations. I took pictures. Ed Kawasaki took some group pictures.

Sunday morning, we drove to Corning to see the glass museum. It was much changed, and the part I remembered most was closed for renovation. However, we did get to see two glass demonstrations. There was also a lot of pretty glass objects to look at.

The weather turned distinctly warmer and more humid.

We took Liz and Dan out to dinner at a restaurant in Schoen Place in Pittsford. We had Wahl's ice cream afterward.

At 0:30, during a violent thunder and lightning storm, the power went out.

The power was still out Monday morning. However, when we called the Strong Museum, they said they were open. We had lunch there before we saw the exhibits. Unfortunately, the exhibits I was most interested in, such as the ray guns and other science fictional toys, seemed to be unavailable due to remodelling of the exhibits. Most of the things available were dolls and trains. It was still interesting.

The power was still out in the evening, so Dan and Liz used their grill to make dinner. Afterward, we played some games.

Tuesday, Dan left on a business trip very early in the day. The power returned about 9:30.

Mike and I had lunch with Dr. Jordan, my optometrist, in Schoen Place at a restaurant called the Coal Tower. We met him at his office, which has been expanded.

Then I drove around Pittsford and Webster, the suburbs where my family used to live. The Thomases still live across the street in Pittsford, but I didn't try ringing their bell. A lot of branches and some trees had fallen down during the storm. The only difference I could see about our Candlewood house was all the grown trees. Also the areas that had been fields were now covered with houses.

It was about the same in Webster. I found Proietti's Italian restaurant, but the shopping centre it was in was very run down. There was a newer bigger shopping centre across the street.

We drove back to Pittsford, where we were meeting Mary Manchester for dinner. Since we got to Pittsford Plaza early, we went to the Barnes and Nobles. It's the biggest one I've ever seen. Mike found some Trek books, which, for some reason, reach the West Coast later, to buy. We met Mary approaching the restaurant from the opposite side. Benucci's is where the Vineyard used to be. It's a much less homey place, but the food is okay. We talked for a long time after we ate.

My watch battery died while we were eating.

For lunch Wednesday, we got together with Dr. Foster, my dentist. He treated us to lunch at a golf club restaurant.

We had to return to Liz's place, so Mike could receive a work-related phone call. I fell asleep downstairs for a while; I had slept badly due to a sinus headache.

By the time I woke up, it was past the time I had intended to leave for dinner with Lillian Levitt, a former co-worker at Xerox. I needed to stop at a watch store to get a new battery for my watch. We arrived a little late at Perkin's Pancake restaurant to meet Lillian. We had a pleasant if brief dinner with her. She didn't want to drive after dark.

Thursday, the weather finally improved. We got off to a late start to the George Eastman House. Liz gave me free passes for the museum. When we got there, a docent tour had just started; so we tagged on at the end. After a tour of the exhibit area and house, the docent also led a garden tour. After the tour, we went through the upstairs exhibits and the photo exhibits.

Then we went to the Genesee Country Village after taking some wrong turns. I had hoped to get lunch there, but the concession stands were closed. We arrived there with only a couple of hours of viewing time before the place closed. We didn't see everything, but it was still interesting.

After we got back, we took Liz and Dan out for dinner at the Phoenix Restaurant. It served Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai food.

After we got back from dinner, we talked for a while. After Dan and Mike retired, Liz and I kept talking until 2:00.

To make up for the late night, I slept in a little on Friday. After getting up, we had to pack up. First, I got some film and a post card ready for posting. Then we went to Mailboxes, Etc., to send a gift to Trisha Trout and souvenir glasses from Niagara Falls back home.

Then we finished packing. Liz and I had a little lunch. Then she showed us their little boat dock on the canal.

We left their house a little after 14:00. It took a couple of hours to get to the Buffalo airport, including a detour to gas up the rental car.

Our flights were uneventful, and I managed to sleep through most of them. We arrived on time at LAX. We had to wait a long time for the shuttle. We got back about 2:00.

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Letters incorporate corrections for typos and similar errors. My replies are enclosed in double parentheses.

I had some problems with my AOL program and lost a bunch of e-mail responses. I may also just be guilty of sloppy recordkeeping. This has been a hectic year. Consequently, I only have a few responses at hand.

Rita Prince Winston 18 June 1998 Apartment 3 548 Venice Boulevard Venice, CA 90291 Today I received Convention Log. ((She had a lot of comments about various things in the humour section of my zine. However, her letter is hand-written; and I just don't have the energy to retype it. Sorry. I just want to note that she had responded.)) # Teddy Harvia 8 July 1998 701 Regency Drive Hurst, TX 76054-2307
# Leslie David 15 July 1998 Hi Laurraine, First, I wanted to let you know that I did receive the Convention Log you sent me back in June; I was just slow in getting around to opening it. In the future to save postage, just e-mail me and I can read it on-line. Things here have been very busy. First, I think you know that I changed jobs back in March to work for a company that manufactures software for use in Association Management. I'm still here. My parents took us (my sister, brother-in-law, and the girls) on a four-day cruise to the Bahamas to celebrate their forty-fifth wedding anniversary and my mother's seventy-fifth birthday the week before Memorial Day. We went on The Big Red Boat (yes, the same boat that had to cancel a cruise because the Coast Guard said that they had not complied with safety regulations). My parents chose The Big Red Boat because it caters to families with small children, which would give my sister and brother-in-law a bit of a vacation too. Needless to say, I was one of very few single adults on board. The cruise was very nice. We stopped in Nassau and Port Lucaya, and you could do the usual -- shopping, beach, snorkelling, scuba diving, etc. We went to a dolphin sanctuary where you get to go in the water with the dolphins (and a trainer) and touch them. The dolphins that Ron Howard used in filming Cocoon are at this sanctuary; in fact, one of the two dolphins that came to visit with us was the one named Cocoon. It is such an awesome experience to have 450 pounds of dolphin swim up to you. They are such beautiful animals, and I've always liked their built-in grins. Touching them felt like touching my nylon running shorts when they're wet -- very firm, but almost a ribbed texture, too. I was hooked. UNEXCO has additional programs with the dolphins that you can do. One is an all-day programme where you work with the dolphins and their trainer, and another program allows you to scuba dive with the dolphins in the open sea. Abby wouldn't touch the dolphin and didn't want to go into the water but liked the idea of being left at the side of the pool even less, but Rebecca touched the dolphin. After the cruise, my sister, brother-in-law, and the girls were going to Disney World to, as Abby put it, "See Mickey's house." I flew back up to DC since I had to go back to work. ... This weekend I'm off to visit friends in Matthews County, down around Williamsburg. During the weekend, I will also squeeze in a meeting with another one of the people who responded to my ad. It should prove to be interesting. Other items of interest: I saw The Pretenders and The B52's at Merriweather Post Pavillion a few weeks back. My friend Elizabeth came up from Richmond for the show. It was excellent. Well, gotta go, I hope things are going well for you, Mike, and for Christopher Robin. He is a gorgeous kitty. Take care, Leslie

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Parting Words

Please feel to send things you think are interesting. The topics of interest to me are reviews of noteworthy books, movies, and similar things with the emphasis on noteworthy; language-related articles, humorous or otherwise; items about smoking and health; lawyer jokes and other humour; illos; and letters of comment. Original contributions from readers will be given preference over anonymous humour and reprints.

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