Notes from the Underground

September 2009

Table of Contents

Meeting Announcements

The September meeting will be held at Steve Dial’s house (Map of 6235 Cheena). The Video Party will be held at Carolyn O’Neal’s house (Map of 114 Beverly).

Editor’s Announcement

Because of postage costs, we are sending out newsletters electronically. For a hardcopy, email eekfrenzy@gmail.com. The PDF of each newsletter is also posted on the Several Unlimited website and on the Several Unlimited Yahoo group.

September Birthdays

Club News

Prez Mez September 2009

At our last meeting Sanjay Mediwala brought in his new toddler to meet the Several. I’m pretty sure that I won the ‘most embarrassing baby talk’ competition hands down--Soham is a really cute little boy.

Erika, Anita, Tom, and I managed to get to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to see their special multimedia exhibits “Genghis Khan” and “Diamonds.” “Genghis” impressed me most; I had no idea that he was such a pivotal figure in world history. (For one thing, the Mongols popularized the fork!) The exhibit included snippets of movies produced about the great Khan: the recent “Mongol” and the much-earlier “The Conqueror” with John Wayne. Erika says that the latter film is an easy one to miss.

Renfair is coming up. Let’s find out at the next meeting whether there’s a day when people would like to go.

Speaking of the next meeting: it’s time for Several elections. Yes, I am running for President again.

Over the past year I think we’ve had fewer excursions and special events. Real Life intervenes, or the excursion is too much of a commitment of time, energy, or money. This year I’d like to consider some smaller, low-energy get-togethers—such as simply eating out at a fun restaurant or playing board games at a member’s house. Not everyone would be interested but we could invite other local groups and maybe bring in fans that we know and meet, but not very often.

Several Unlimited Elections

Elections are here, and the roster and platforms from everyone is:

Dee Beetem

President

None supplied

Margaret McNickle

Vice President

Yeah, I'll do it.

Steve Dial

Secretary

I have been the secretary of Several Unlimited for fourteen (14) years. I shall be happy to continue doing this job.

Carolyn O’Neal

Treasurer

I am willing to run for treasurer again. I promise not to embezzle or otherwise steal the treasury.  I think my track record bears this out. A vote for me is a vote for an honest club.

Erika Frensley

Newsletter Editor

Yeah, I'll do it.

Texas Renaissance Festival

It is once again time to start planning for the Texas Renaissance Festival.  I shall be buying tickets the weekend of September 19 - 20. If ordered at that time, adult tickets are:

These are the prices listed on the web site, there is also a one dollar handling fee for each ticket, so the prices are really $13.00 and $17.00.

Opening weekend tickets can be used only on the opening weekend: October 10 - 11.

Let me know how many tickets you want and whether you want opening weekend tickets, any weekend tickets, or both.

Several Unlimited Fanfiction Archive

We would love to receive and post your fanfic in our web archive. We would love to receive electronic copies of them—send them to fanfic_archive@severalunlimited.com. We can scan hard copy too-- email us first before you send us anything on paper.


News and Reviews

Life Will Not Be Like Star Trek

http://www.troutman.org/humor/startrek.htmlhttp://www.troutman.org/humor/startrek.html

There are so many Star Trek(tm) spin-offs that it is easy to fool yourself into thinking that the Star Trek vision is an accurate vision of the future. Sadly, Star Trek does not take into account the stupidity, selfishness, and horniness of the average human being. Allow me to describe some of the more obvious errors in the Star Trek vision.

Medical Technology

On Star Trek, the doctors have handheld devices that instantly close any openings in the skin. Imagine that sort of device in the hands of your unscrupulous friends. They would sneak up behind you and seal your ass shut as a practical joke. The devices would be sold in novelty stores instead of medical outlets. All things considered, I'm happy that it's not easy to close other people's orifices.

Transporter

It would be great to be able to beam your molecules across space and then reassemble them. The only problem is that you have to trust your co-worker to operate the transporter. These are the same people who won't add paper to the photocopier or make a new pot of coffee after taking the last drop. I don't think they'll be double-checking the transporter coordinates. They'll be accidentally beaming people into walls, pets, and furniture. People will spend all their time apologizing for having inanimate objects protruding from parts of their bodies.

'Pay no attention to the knickknacks; I got beamed into a hutch yesterday.'

If I could beam things from one place to another, I'd never leave the house. I'd sit in a big comfy chair and just start beaming groceries, stereo equipment, cheerleaders, and anything else I wanted right into my house. I'm fairly certain I would abuse this power. If anybody came to arrest me, I'd beam them into space. If I wanted some paintings for my walls, I'd beam the contents of the Louvre over to my place, pick out the good stuff, and beam the rest into my neighbor's garage. If I were watching the news on television and didn't like what I heard, I would beam the anchorman into my living room during the commercial break, give him a vicious wedgie, and beam him back before anybody noticed. I'd never worry about 'keeping up with the Joneses,' because as soon as they got something nice, it would disappear right out of their hands. My neighbors would have to use milk crates for furniture. And that's only after I had all the milk crates I would ever need for the rest of my life. There's only one thing that could keep me from spending all my time wreaking havoc with the transporter: the holodeck.

Long-Range Sensors

If people had long-range sensors, they would rarely use them to scan for new signs of life. I think they would use them to avoid work. You could run a continuous scan for your boss and then quickly transport yourself out of the area when he came near. If your manager died in his office, you would know minutes before the authorities discovered him, and that means extra break time.

Vulcan Death Grip

Before all you Trekkies write to correct me, I know there is no such thing as a Vulcan Death Grip even in Star Trek. But I wish there were. That would have come in handy many times. It would be easy to make the Vulcan Death Grip look like an accident. 'I was just straightening his collar and he collapsed.' I think the only thing that keeps most people from randomly killing other citizens is the bloody mess it makes and the high likelihood of getting caught. With the Vulcan Death Grip, it would be clean and virtually undetectable. Everybody would be killing people left and right. You wouldn't be able to have a decent conversation at the office over the sound of dead co-workers hitting the carpet. The most common sounds in corporate America would be, 'I'm sorry I couldn't give you a bigger raise, but . . . erk!'

And that's why the future won't be like Star Trek.

Websites of the Month

Internet Review of Science Fiction

http://www.irosf.com/

The Internet Review of Science Fiction publishes articles, essays, interviews, reviews, and criticism to illuminate the most interesting and important work in the genres of science fiction and fantasy. They also publish elements that explore the history and culture of the genre, including convention reports, obituaries, and bibliographies.

Subscriptions are free for a limited time. Sign up at www.irosf.com.

Post It Note Stories

http://www.postitnotestories.com/

Short stories illustrated on Post It Notes… absolutely unique,and includes a fantastic Superman story:

Man Not Superman by Jonathan Goldstein

http://www.postitnotestories.com/2009/05/14/man-not-superman/

SupermanSuperman

How to Tell if your cat is plotting to kill you

http://www.catswhothrowupgrass.com/kill.php

For example:

cat kneading

And

cat sleeping on computer

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