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04/23/17: Another Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention has come and gone, and as usual, my wallet is a little lighter and my bookshelf a little heavier. The cool thing is two of the prizes of this year's haul I didn't even pay for! One was the fat Fredric Brown book you see in the middle of the picture. The reason I didn't pay for is at the show was that I paid for it over a year ago! It was published by this tiny press in Michigan that specializes in high-end volumes, and the first printing didn't meet the publisher's standards, so the entire run was destroyed! It took him a while to find another printer, but the results look to be worth the wait. I'm itching to start reading!
     The other treasure has an even better story. At last years show, I was browsing a table of paperbacks and saw one titled Johnny Havoc, written by John Jakes, who is better known for historical novels. I thought the cover blurb was hilarious, and the guy behind the table agreed with me, so I bought it. I read part of it that night, then went back the next day to try to find the rest of the series. According to the 'net, there were four books in the series, but I could only find three.
     So this year, I find myself at the same guy's table. He looks up at me and says, "Hey, you came back! I have something for you." He digs in a box behind the table and hands me a copy of the fourth Johnny Havoc book, Making it Big, and he wouldn't even take any money for it!
     Over the course of my four days there, I chatted with (and bought books from) many of the book sellers and authors I've spoken to in past years. I saw a really good movie, Gambling Ship, with Cary Grant and Benita Hume, and I sat in on some panels. I didn't stick around for any of the auctions this year, but there was one item from Friday's auction that caught my eye. It was a copy of Top Notch Magazine from 1913, over one hundred years ago, and the cover intrigued me. It was up for auction near the end of the night, and I didn't want to stay, but as the weekend wore on, I grew to regret that decision. I decided on Sunday to see if I could find that issue in the dealer room. I checked every dealer selling original pulps, and found the copy at the very last table next to the door. And at what I thought was a reasonable price, too.
     A few of the dealers said I should try to go to Pulpfest in July, which will be held for the first time in Pittsburgh. I doubt I can afford to go, but I certainly will be at Windy City next year.

04/15/17: I don't usually click on a link to a video when I'm meandering around the web. In fact, if I click a link on a news site and find that the link is to a video, I just close the browser tab without watching. I do this partly because I don't usually have my speakers on (I have a buzz in the speakers and it's not been important enough to me to figure out what causes it), partly because I have FlashBlock in my browser to prevent ads from auto-playing and many times the video won't even play right, but primarily because I don't want to sit through a bunch of nonsense to get the information I'm looking for. Many of the "news" articles I used to try to view (and most of the "informational" videos I've seen on YouTube) start with a commercial I can't skip, then has someone I don't care about introduce themselves and the site they're working for before telling me that I'm about to find out what I am about to see, before telling me what I clicked the link to know. I can usually read a news article or a tech tip in less time than the introduction, and I can link to a particularly useful text article easier than to the middle of a video.
     So I was surprised when a news article pointed me to a video and I actualy watched the entire thing. The article was about an 18 year old college student who was interested in old computers, who had an opportunity to buy an IBM mainframe. That intrigued me enough to click the link, which turned out to be a video to a presentation he gave at a convention. I figured I'd watch a couple of minutes and move on, but I was strangely captivated by his story. He got a little technical, but I know enough to be able to follow what he was talking about, and in the end, I was very impressed by this young man. Watch the video yourself and see if you don't have the same reaction.
     And a later article says he has since landed a job at IBM because of this. Good for him.

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