A happy and sweet Pesach to those who celebrate. May the seder not last too long, the food be good, the afikomen not be hidden in the borshch, and may the desserts be absolutely fantastic! I'm looking forward for the kosher for Passover flourless chocolate ganache torte I'm bringing to the seder tonight. The host and hostess are Sephardic in ancestry, so the food won't be the same as what I grew up with, but I don't mind - it's always been delicious! Plus, the hostess makes a kosher for Passover version of lasagne using matzah instead of lasagne sheets. She calls it "megimah" or "meginah."

For the first time in at least ten years, I'm going to a second seder, except this time I'm going to the synagogue where I go for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippuer services. It's reasonable and it should be fun.

GaFilk 2016, day 3

Good news: no hypoglycemic attack. That's due to me snacking before I left the hotel lat night to drive home.

After getting about 5 hours of sleep, I woke up to find that I couldn't convert the sport cute back into a cargo van. It took about five minutes to realize I had to get the big part of the back seat into proper position so that it would fold and flip. It turns out the back seat can move forward and backward. I didn't know that.

Breakfast and lunch were at the con suite.

I left Jewish penicillin for the one dealer who needs it along with the registration forms for 2017. Everyone signed up, so we're full for 2017.

The only part of the program I went to was the first part of the closing ceremonies. Everyone was thanked. I do not stay for the singing of the "camp song" because I start crying. Announcements were made about upcoming filk conventions. I made mention of the fact that for reasons to which I'm not privy, in all likelihood, this will be the last Concord (as of this date, the link takes you to the 2015 convention) ever. I explained how this convention had been going on for over 30 years and if people are able, they should go and make this last one a blast. I should note that it's been combined with another convention (Westercon, if I remember correctly) for several years. I'm sorry to see it go.

Some new albums have been added to the store, including Michael Longcor's latest, a newer CD from Ookla the Mok, and Glen Raphael's first CD (he was the Interfilk guest this year). I'll put up more information after I REST, probably Tuesday. I return to work tomorrow.

When I got home, my neighbor, whom I've been helping with some stuff, helped me unload the sport cute. After checking a few things, I'll be heading to bed as I will return to work in the morning. As far as I can tell, I did better this year than I did last year. Making costs was easier because I commuted to the convention instead of staying at the hotel (just a wee bit pricey). We'll see what happens next year. I hope things continue to improve. As far as the guests for 2017, let me suggest you go to the website starting in a few days and see.

GaFilk 2016, day 2, part 2

While people were heading to the banquet, a group of us went to Barbecue Kitchen. This establishment has become as traditional for Saturday dinner for some of us just as the Waffle House right next door has become a place for breakfast (although I didn't know that Barbecue Kitchen also serves breakfast). Nine days or so ago, I'd contacted Barbecue Kitchen and spoke to manager. It seems that on a recent Monday evening visit, I learned they serve a wonderful strawberry cobbler. I asked the manager if there was any way they could serve this wonderful cobbler this weekend and was told they would try but it was a definite possibility. It was on the menu, and it was absolutely delicious! When I was getting ready to leave, I asked which person was the manager and when she identified herself, I said, "I have two words for you - thank you." I explained that I'd known about the strawberry cobbler, at which point she said she'd talked to someone about it, and I told her that someone was me. Smiles and good flavoring all around.

Elizabeth Moon sang one song at the Super Secret Guest concert and then did a reading of a story whose title I did not get. She then answered questions from the audience. I've known for a long time she's a really nice person, and she proved that this evening. The session was very well received.

The Interfilk auction was its usual crazy self, although it seems as if there weren't that many items that went for voice bid. I only bid on two items that went to voice bid. One I won (36 of Jennifer Cooke's truffles); the other I was outbid because the other people were willing to go crazily higher than me (36 of Jennifer Cooke's sugar-free truffles). Well, it happens, but I do have truffles.

The Interfilk quilt raffle was done. While I didn't win (again!), this time the number was a whole heck of a lot closer, as in if I'd put in another $5 towards the raffle (I put in 20), I would have won the quilt. *sigh* I do not begrudge the winner, whose name I don't know as I didn't see who it was, hope springs eternal that I will eventually win one. Maybe in 2017.

Sunday is last day. The dealer's room closes at 4. I'm hoping to be completely unpacked by 5:30 and hopefully in bed before 7. I just hope I don't have another hypoglycemic attack, but I have glucose tablets near my bed just in case.

GaFilk 2016, day 2, part 1

A positive: the speed of the internet is fantastic! It's 25 times faster than what I get at home, and is averaging 37.5mb.

A negative: after getting home, I tried what wasleep at around 1 AM. At 3:30 AM, I realized I wasn't getting to sleep and guessed it had to be hypoglycemia. It was: my blood sugar reading was 38, which is way way way too low. After swallowing a sleeve of glucose tablets and the equivalent of a medium-sized baked potato, I was finally able to get to sleep and got about 2 hours. I got back to the hotel close to 9:30 AM and was able to eat something so that I could get my blood sugar to a level where I'd be comfortable. Thank goodness for the con suite ghoddess. She had foods I could eat which would help me get back to some semblance of normal.

I've been catching snippets of the concerts today but have been working hard to make costs (I did) and try to do better. It's a difficult job. Part of the problem this year is that our toastmistress does ASL for the concerts, and by being in the dealers' room, I can't see the shtick going on. In the past, I've actually seen a house concert where someone was acting as an interpreter for the artist and it was a mixture of serious and silly, which was wonderful. The concerts appeared to have gone over very well. I mean, Michael Longcor is going to give you something to remember! Glen Raphael was received very well. So was Judi Miller. I'm curious as to who did interpreting for her concert.

The 2x10's are happening right now. I'm hearing them, but there's more than just a bit of ambient noise to make it difficult to hear. After the dealer's room closes at 5, I'll be getting ready for BARBECUE KITCHEN!. There'll be another entry afterward.

GaFilk 2016, day 1

The new technology (chip reader for new credit cards) hates me! After spending half the night trying to get the danged thing to work, I gave up. Friday morning, I spent 20 minutes on the phone with Square and with the tech's help was able to get it to connect to the cell phone. Hold that thought . . .

After getting extra cash for the cash box, I headed to the hotel and started setting up. However, I realized I'm now probably going to have the replace the sport cute's battery (which had been looked at on January 2 - now it's being problematic). The wonderful person who's always helped us in the past, Mr. Harold, was there after he ate lunch and was able to help get things ready for the day. All the dealers inside the dealer's room were just about done in time for the opening of the dealer's room. For me, that's when the problems started because the new card reader refused to work with my cell phone (I knew it wouldn't work with the tablet, which I think I'm now going to have to replace). After two attempts, I finally got Square tech support on the phone, only to find out that the world phone is unable to update to a later version of Android to accept the card reader (it needs 4.4.4, I can only update to 4.4.2 - Oldsmobile anyone?). It means that either I have to buy a new phone or a new tablet. It's beginning to look like I'd be better off getting a new wi-fi tablet. What was worse was that the call, when finally received (on the third attempt), came during the handfasting ceremony held at GaFilk. I apologized to the bride and groom and wished them nothing buy joy and happiness until 120 years.

My one donation (so far) this year to Interfilk was a book entitled something like The Complete Idiot's Guide to Songwriting which, when I saw it at the Sandy Springs Library bookshop in December yelled out to me to buy it for Interfilk. We'll see how it goes. I ended up bidding on the two truffle packages, as I did last year. Also, filkferengi asked me if I'd like another flavored diffuser candle on the proviso that I make a donation to Interfilk, which I will do.

The evening concert was done by Rand and Erin Bellavia, he of Ookla the Mok. It was a nice concert. I left about half an hour after the concert after saying good night to people so that I could get home, put the insulin in the refrigerator, and to try to process the one charge I tried doing on the tablet, which is now not working at all. I'll have to explain to the customer later today that the tablet died and I need to re-do the charge (only $40-some). Well, it looks like I'm going to have to get a new tablet instead of a new phone, which would be cheaper for me.

The Interfilk guest, Glen Raphael, brought his first CD for me to sell for him. In addition, half of the former group "Copy Red Leader" brought down one of the group's CDs and two of her own. They're in limited quantity in the store. Our GoH, Michael Longcor, said he'd prefer selling his CDs at the con, which is fine. I'm left with the impression that he'd like to leave without taking any CDs home. I'm more than happy to do that. He also said that an album which was only available on cassette, "What's a Hoosier?," is going to be reissued on CD with two additional tracks. It's now a matter of waiting and seeing when this happens.

One surprise was seeing seanan_mcguire at the convention. I had not realized that she was coming. It's nice seeing her again.

More after Saturday morning and afternoon.
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

In accordance with Jewish tradition on December 25, I went to see the movie. Because of passes my mother had sent me, I got in for free and got a free soft drink. The showing was at 9:40 AM. There were about a dozen people in the cinema by the end of the movie. That's all I'll say on the matter.

Afterwards, I went to the food court down the strip mall from Oriental Pearl and bought dried beef chow fun from Hong Kong BBQ.

The Social Event of the Season 2015

To put it mildly, it was wonderful. We had about 16 people show, including two (to me) new people as well. The food was good. The funky ice cream was funky. The interaction between people was wonderful. The music was great. I ended up bringing two guitars (the Larrivee and the Seagull 12). They both got used. A good time was had by all.

The social event of the season!

We have a date. December 5, starting at 6:00 PM at the home of Signe and David Wegener. Our hosts will have a main course and everyone is asked to bring a side dish, a dessert, a beverage, whatever (but let's not have like we did a few years back with 22 desserts, OK?). If you need address, directions, RSVP information, drop me a note.