randy_byers: (cap)
I'm one of Sarah Gulde's TAFF nominators, and because the voting deadline is coming right up, we are taking the unusual step of posting the PDF of the new issue of Chunga (#25) before we've mailed out the paper copies. If you haven't made up your mind about who to vote for yet, please download the PDF of the new issue, read Sarah's delightful article about the Nerd Camps she's organizing in Portland and then read my endorsement in Tanglewood. Then download the ballot using the link on this page and vote! Instructions for how to vote online can be found on the ballot. Pay close attention to the eligibility requirements, because not everybody can vote for TAFF. Good luck, Sarah!
randy_byers: (cap)
CP-TAFF-2014 We are approaching the deadline for voting in TAFF this year. It's April 22nd. I am one of the nominators of Curt Phillips, and I strongly encourage eligible voters to vote for Curt. (If you don't know what TAFF is, you probably aren't eligible to vote.)

If you want to know more about Curt and why he would make such a great TAFF delegate, I further encourage you to download the collection of his writing put together by his nominators and friends. Curt Phillips for TAFF! is now available at eFanzines. This is a fine collection of fan writing, and a good introduction to Curt. Please take a look, and please vote.

TAFF wrap

Aug. 19th, 2013 09:10 am
randy_byers: (shiffman)
Fan Fund Winners in 2013
Fan fund winners attending the TAFF party on Saturday: In the rear row are John D. Berry, Suzle, Victor Gonzalez, and myself. In the front are Ulrika O'Brien, Jerry Kaufman, Velma deSelby-Bowen, and Jim Mowatt. Local fan fund winners unable to attend: Wally Weber, Janice Murray, and Stu Shiffman.

Seattle did a pretty good job of keeping TAFF delegate Jim Mowatt hopping on his visit. On Thursday we had a pubmeet at the Burgundian in the Tangletown neighborhood. This was partly an exploratory expedition to see if the Burgundian would be a good place for our regular monthly pubmeet, and the answer turns out to be probably not. It's far too loud, although probably quieter on a Sunday. But on Thursday it was surprisingly busy, with one other large party other than our own, which I think topped out at thirteen people. Because of the noise you couldn't hear anybody except the person right next to you, so I mostly talked with Jerry and Ulrika, which was a perfectly fine way to spend my time. Jim got tips on his upcoming visit to New Orleans from Paul Carpentier, and before the pubmeet he told me tales of how he actually became a dodgy media fan after he got into general fandom, rather than the other way around.

On Friday Ulrika and Mary Kay Kare took Jim to a fair on Whidbey Island, where he got to see various prize farm animals. That evening I tried to take him to the Elysian, but we couldn't find any parking, not even in a paid lot. So we diverted to the Big Time (which was going to be the second stop anyway) and then to the Hilltop Ale House. It was great to get a further chance to talk to Jim solo, and amongst other things I learned that he has a son from a previous marriage, which I'd never heard about.

On Saturday Ulrika and Hal took Jim to various sights in Seattle and then handed him off to Jerry and Suzle, who took him out to Snoqualmie Falls in the foothills of the mountains. Even out there they couldn't see Mt Rainier, so Jim never did see it, alas. In the evening it was the party at our house, and I was happy to see quite a few people who hadn't met Jim yet. There was plenty of great beer brought by the assembled horde, and the usual yatter was amply provided as well. We did the traditional fan fund winner photo op, which is always fun. Jerry and Suzle wondered if they were the only TAFF-DUFF couple, and now I can't remember if we thought of any others. Around 2am it was down to five people, and I broke out the bottle of Black Tokyo Horizon -- a collaboration between BrewDog, Mikkeler, and Nogne -- that the Fishlifters gave to me a couple or so years back and that I'd been waiting for the proper moment to open. It was divine. Then it was time to catch a few hours sleep before I drove Jim to the airport at 6am.

It was great to spend time with Jim again a decade after I met him on my own TAFF trip in 2003. What goes around comes around, as they say. I learned quite a bit more about him this time around, and I promise not to repeat some of it. I do hope somebody will take him up on his desire to run the newszine at Eastercon sometime. The boy has some great ideas!

Happy trails, Jim. I look forward to reading your trip report.
randy_byers: (cap)

Jim Mowatt arrived in Seattle yesterday and was rescued from the airport by [livejournal.com profile] holyoutlaw and [livejournal.com profile] juliebata. After they had sightseeing adventures together, the four of us went out for dinner at The Gerald in Old Ballard (a neighborhood in Seattle). There we learned that everything on the menu had cheese in it, and that Jim doesn't eat cheese. But that's not all we learned! We also learned that Julie is a cheap drunk, and here she is looking more than a little bit squiffy. I dare say a good time was had by one and all.

Anybody who would care to join in the fun (and get squiffy) can join the party at the Burgundian this evening at 7:30. Pictures optional, but you must say cheese!

TAFF party

Jun. 3rd, 2013 12:51 pm
randy_byers: (cap)
Denys and I will be hosting a party for TAFF delegate Jim Mowatt on Saturday, August 17th. Mark your calendars and start brewing your beer.
randy_byers: (cap)
The deadline for voting in the TAFF race is tomorrow. If you haven't voted for Jim Mowatt yet, please do so immediately. Act without thinking!
randy_byers: (shiffman)
By now, many of you should have received copies of two Tiny TAFFzines from Jim Mowatt. If you haven't received them and would like to (and if you know what TAFF is), please drop me a line. I'm handling the North American mailing, but if you are in the UK I can pass word along to Jim, who is handling the European mailing.

Meanwhile, as one of Jim's nominators, I want to elaborate on why I think you should vote for him. I first heard of Jim when he was going by the nom d'art Jim Trash and was associated with the Leeds Group of fanzine fans in the sunset years of their last heyday. I met him on my TAFF trip in 2003 when I went to the Cambridge pubmeet at the Cambridge Blue, where I also met his lovely girlfriend, Carrie, who was studying at Cambridge at the time. When it arose in conversation that my next stop was Keighley, where I would be visiting D. West and others in Leeds fandom, Jim offered to give me a ride. Brilliant! I happily accepted.

It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for a drive. As we beetled up the expressway Jim told me about his interest in archery, and we geeked out about Agincourt and the longbow. Was that when I learned where the two fingered salute came from? (Well, legendarily anyway.) We gossiped about the romantic follies of our friends and fellow fans, and he played tapes of a British comedy duo, which I'm pretty sure was Flanders and Swann. It was a highly fannish road trip, all in all.

I think the next time I conversed with Jim (and Carrie) was in the virtual fan lounge at E Corflu Vitus in 2011, where we reminisced about our adventure that day. Jim was becoming more active in fanzines again, and soon he had teamed up with Nic Farey to help him produce the excellent genzine, BEAM. Jim also had his own fanzine, Pips, which he used to promote the TAFF races in 2011 and 2012, publishing interviews with the candidates.

So Jim seems to me an ideal candidate for TAFF. He is active in producing fanzines, which is the traditional qualification, and he has enough connections through fanzines and the social networks to have established interest in him on both sides of the Pond. I can personally attest to his fine geekish qualities and fannish sense of hospitality as well. He has been around long enough to demonstrate a commitment to our subculture that will repay our investment in him. He is exactly the kind of curious and internationally-minded soul who will benefit most from the expansion of his network that winning a fan fund trip will bring. I strongly urge you to vote for Jim Mowatt for TAFF. We will all benefit from it.

TAFF race

Oct. 5th, 2011 08:52 am
randy_byers: (cap)
So Warren Buff says in his platform that he'll attend the Eastercon whether he wins or loses, and to my mind that makes it a race between Kim Kofmel and Jacqueline Monahan. What am I missing? (See PDF of ballot.)
randy_byers: (cap)

[livejournal.com profile] strangedave and [livejournal.com profile] johncoxon

The TAFF-DUFF (TA-DU-FF?) party seemed to go well last night. Well, the reasons for the party seemed to have fun anyway.
randy_byers: (cap)
[livejournal.com profile] johncoxon at breakfast this morning: "It's a good thing that James Bacon is a force for Good, because if he were a force for Bad, Bad would be winning."

Meanwhile, I found [livejournal.com profile] strangedave at the airport yesterday, with his soul still drifting somewhere over the Pacific after the long journey from Perth to Seattle. We applied beer and food at Airways Brewery and The Dog and Pony, and he was sufficiently recovered this morning to observe that if an Earl was given an OBE, it would make him an earlobe.

TAFF-DUFF party at our house tonight. Wish you were here.
randy_byers: (cap)
So last night after Rise of the Planet of the Apes, [livejournal.com profile] johncoxon got to talking to me and [livejournal.com profile] holyoutlaw about cricket, of which he is apparently a great enthusiast. He told us that he would spare us a long dissertation. I told him that earlier in the year at Corflu I had been audience to a mighty discourse on cricket (illustrated with physical reenactments of various famous and infamous incidents) from [livejournal.com profile] grytpype_thynne.

"I didn't know he was a cricket fan!" John exclaimed. (John, in the mold of [livejournal.com profile] johnnyeponymous, is fond of exclamations and the word "awesome".)

"Next time you two get together, you should talk cricket," I said.

"Awesome!" John exclaimed.

An American bringing two British cricket fans together. That, my friends, is why we TAFF.
randy_byers: (cap)
The winner of the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund (TAFF) race this year is British fan John Coxon, who will be traveling around North America before attending the World Science Fiction Convention in Reno. He is arriving in Seattle on either August 8th or 9th, and he will be staying with me and D.

We're going to host a party for him on Saturday the 13th. You are all invited. TAFF exists to promote connections between fans on both sides of the Atlantic. Come meet John, who has made a big splash in fandom at the tender age of twenty-something, which probably means he comes equipped with all the latest apps, not to mention the hottest new flavors of marmite. Mmmmm, Szechuan marmite!

What: TAFF Party for John Coxon
When: 13 August 2011 at 8pm
Where: Our house (e-mail me if you need the address)
randy_byers: (2009-05-10)
Well, the social whirl has continued post-Worldcon with the arrival of the TAFF delegate, Steve Green. Friday was a small private party/BBQ that was very pleasant. Saturday I joined Steve and his tenders (Ulrika and Hal O'Brien), along with Luke McGuff and Dave O'Neill, for some roller derby at an arena in Kent. The Rat City Roller Girls were playing the Windy City All Stars. There was a warm-up match of local teams before that, then a match for little girls (or "brats," in the vernacular). The basic problem I had was that I didn't understand the point system, so it was difficult to follow the dramatics. There still seems to be a heavy element of exploitation/burlesque in this sport (à la professional wrestling), but there were a lot of young women in the crowd, so it clearly isn't aimed solely at pervy old men. One thing I noticed is that all the teams were almost completely white, except maybe for the little girl teams.

We had to leave the main match at halftime to go to a party for Steve at Jerry and Suzle's that had gotten underway without us. Fairly small, but a great group of folks. Andy Hooper claimed that I have a limp dick because I'm interested in Eastercon politics. Ha! That isn't why I have a limp dick! In other news, it sounds as though Victor is considering going to the Corflu in Winchester next year.

On Sunday I joined Steve and his tenders, along with Jerry, Suzle, John D. Berry, and Marilyn Holt, at the Big Time for a few pints and the usual bollocks. Steve has some interesting ideas about how to publish his TAFF report, but I guess I better keep mum about that for now.

Hal and Ulrika (mostly Hal) took some great photos from various of these events. We often joke about how many fan fund winners live in Seattle, but this is the first time that I know of that most of us have been captured in one photo. (Missing is another DUFF-winner, Janice Murray.)

The upshot of all this, on top of the Worldcon, is that I went to bed at 8pm last night, read for a little bit, and zonked out until the alarm went off at 6am. Man, did that feel good! Best sleep in ages. I feel so much better today than I have in days. The toe I stubbed on a brick on Sunday is feeling fine today, too, so it probably isn't broken after all. Huzzah!

Steve headed to the Bay Area yesterday. Treat him well down there!
randy_byers: (Default)
Earlier this year at Corflu Quire in Austin, Texas, one of the publications premiered was Steve Stiles’ TAFF report, Harrison Country, chronicling his TAFF trip of 1968, where amongst other things and mysteriously enough he apparently ended up on the Goon Show as played by Neddie Seagoon. This is the first full-length North American TAFF report completed since Len and June Moffatt published The Moffatt House Abroad in 1974. Yes, friends, that’s right, Harrison Country is the first completed North American TAFF report in over thirty years!!!!!

It’s a thing of beauty, too, with cover and interior artwork by Steve, including his legendary two-page Krazy Kat pastiche, "TEFF Tearaw Tales," plus Goon Show art by the resplendent Dave Hicks. The report opens a window on British fandom of almost forty years ago, only to splash cold sea water in their faces, much to their surprise. So climb aboard the charred remains of the Cutty Sark and sail to Harrison Country. You’ll laugh, you’ll croggle, and, above all, you’ll learn to avoid the VERGUZZ at all costs.

Harrison Country is available in North American for $7.00 (postage included) payable to Suzanne Tompkins, PO Box 25075, Seattle WA 98165, USA. E-mail: SuzleT at aol dot com. It is available in Britain and Europe for 3 pounds (plus 55p P&P) payable to Bridget Bradshaw, 103 Rustat Road, Cambridge, CB1 3QG, UK. Email taffbug at googlemail dot com. All proceeds go to TAFF, the TransAtlantic Fan Fund.

And in the meantime, please vote for Steve for the Best Fan Artist Hugo. Harrison Country is reason enough — as if you needed another reason!
randy_byers: (Default)
Well, kids, I'm very pleased to announce that another publication that will be debuting at Corflu Quire is Steve Stiles' TAFF report, Harrison Country, about his trip to the UK in 1968. I have the first copies in my hot, happy hands, stroking, stroking, stroking them. This is the first completed North American TAFF report since either Roy Tackett's in 1985 if you count his short account as a full report, or the Moffatts' in 1974 if you don't. It's a beauty, too, becoming more and more, um, eccentric as it proceeds through both narrative and compositional time. (Must've been the VURGUZZ.) It's full of great artwork, too, as you'd expect from somebody who goddamn bighod deserves a Hugo. The Krazy Kat pastiche newsletter that we reprinted in Chunga is included as an appendix.

This will be availabe to North Americans from Suzle (and from Jerry Kaufman and me at Corflu) for $6, and to Europeans from Bridget Bradshaw for 3 pounds (plus 55p for postage). If you are not from North America or Europe, drop me or Suzle a line, and we'll figure something out. All money goes to TAFF, of course.

I'm feeling a flood of printed matter building to break on Corflu. What are you bringing?

And way to go, Steve! You are showing the rest of us North American slackers the way! (You're next, [livejournal.com profile] akirlu.)


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