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I propose that we gather next year in Columbus, Ohio. I would be proud and honored to be the hometown coordinator for the event.

Now, if you are interested in coming to Columbus sometime next year, let me know what time of year would be best for you all to travel and we'll begin to narrow down a date. With this much advance notice, we should be able to work out a good time for the largest group of people possible.


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Wonderful. It sounds an excellent idea to me - maybe a little later than it was this year - early May would be ideal for us as we will need to be back for the ITT Convention, which will probably be in early June, although it's not yet been finalised.

Of course, we'd have to find a way to get there that doesn't involve rail since Columbus's Union Station was demolished in 1979 :-(

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Richard English
 
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JUNE! Then I could visit QSDS on the same trip. I'm not being selfish or anything... lol

Seriously this is just great. And could we please go visit the Air Force Museum. I've been there twice and still didn't see everything. Oh, and the gardens, oh those gardens. Also, there is that bead store, and of course that fabric store.

Whee! Columbus. yay!

However, you are going to HAVE to contact Amtrak and tell them to divert a train there just for us. Smile
 
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However, you are going to HAVE to contact Amtrak and tell them to divert a train there just for us. Smile

They'd need to do more than that - they'd have to build the track and station ;-(

Such a shame about the USA's railways - such a wonderful network at one time and now just a stump - and much of what's left is now freight only. It's not much of a consolation to realise that Canada's are even worse.

I don't know what's happening in the USA, but in the UK rail travel is growing year on year and is now back to levels last seen in the 1960s. Fortunately we didn't close quite such a high proportion of our lines and, indeed, more are now being built as I write.

Early June might be OK for me - but that's subject to the dates of the ITT Conference. This year we were away by 02 June.


Richard English
 
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Ok... late June was what I was thinking. Right about now. But that's just my selfish wish to drop in on something that isn't all that important.

Now, on a political note, we have had a series of administrations in the US that care more for the auto industry and for freight shipping than they do for passenger rail. Airlines get more government attention and assistance than passenger rail does. This is not only on a national basis, but on a local one. Light rail is a great way to move large numbers of people efficiently through a major metropolitan area, yet most of our major cities do not have good rail. Los Angeles was/is a case in point. They built a very expensive rail system, but only around the edges of the city, making it pretty much useless to the majority of commuters.

Rail in America is seen as a way to move freight: tons of consumer goods being delivered to consumers who already have too damn much.

(ok; off my soapbox; sorry)
 
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As a commuter, one of my main complaints is that the transport companies insist on cramming as many of us as possible on to their buses and trains with no regard for comfort. London buses, for example, can take around the same number of seated passengers as they did fifty years ago. However, the buses are much larger, and they now take an extra twenty or so standing passengers.

A couple of years ago, my local rail company introduced brand new rolling stock on my line. The old stock had five seated abreast (2 + 3, with a central aisle) but the new has only four. This leaves more room for people to stand, and is cited by them as an improvement!

So, instead of each carriage taking (say) 120 people, 100 sitting in relative comfort and 20 standing, they now take (say) 140, 80 sitting and 60 standing.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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As a commuter, one of my main complaints is that the transport companies insist on cramming as many of us as possible on to their buses and trains with no regard for comfort.

In fact that's not really true. People cram themselves onto the vehicles; they are not forced to get on (as is the case with cattle, with whom commuters are so often compared).

People choose to work in such a way as to need to commute at peak times. That is their choice and I exercised my own choice many years ago and opted out of commuting. Now, if I take the train I usually do so out of the rush hour, when it is a perfectly comfortable way to travel.

Public transport of any type, anywhere, is usually overloaded at peak times and any increase in capacity is soon swallowed up by increase in demand. London's public transport presently carries about 8 million people every day, most of them travelling in the rush hour; it's an amazing achievement that delays are the exception rather than the rule.

By the way, Arnie, I do hope you'll be able to make the 2008 gathering.

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Richard English
 
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Light rail is a great way to move large numbers of people efficiently through a major metropolitan area, yet most of our major cities do not have good rail.

Absolutely. And what happened in the USA was that the automobile companies bought out the trolley (light rail) companies in many cities and then simply closed them down.

We had light rail networks (trams) in many UK cities and they, too, were mainly closed down in the 1950s (although this wasn't a road transport industry buyout situation as most of the tram services were publicly owned).

Now many cities have had to re-invest in light rail services half a century on, at huge expense, when they'd have been far better served had they just kept the old trams and just updated them as and when it was necessary.


Richard English
 
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I am reminded of an old joke.

A teacher asks a pupil a question, who after answering correctly, is told: "No, you're right." In a word pedagogy. It must be a small comfort to us all that no matter what we say or think, we're wrong.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Richard.

You are talking nonsense. You may be able to afford to travel when you feel like it, or not at all. There is no such choice open to the vast majority of commuters.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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You are talking nonsense. You may be able to afford to travel when you feel like it, or not at all. There is no such choice open to the vast majority of commuters.

Nobody has to work in any particular job - not in a wealthy country like ours. Nobody is forced to commute.

You have chosen your career and place of work - you have the right to change it if you wish. And so do all other commuters. It obviously suits you to work where you do, in the job you choose, and your judgement presumably is that the job is worth the commuting. I had my share of commuting and decided that, good though the job was, I wasn't going to put up with the hassle of commuting and I found a job locally. It paid me less and I was worse off, even allowing for the lower travel costs. But my quality of life was better and I decided that the loss in earnings was amply compensated for by the lower degree of stress.

You may have decided differently but it is your decision. Nobody is forcing you to do the job you do. You could leave tomorrow and get another job - and need never commute again.

You could even do as I have done and become self-employed. Then you have even more choice about what you do and where you do it. Of course, you also have to forgo such things as a regular salary, and paid holidays. And I can promise you that there were times when I stayed awake for hours wondering how I was going to pay the household bills; that I can now afford the luxury of choosing when and where I work is the result of a great deal of hard work. But I made my choice and stuck with it. You have the same choice as did I and only you can make it.


Richard English
 
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Yes. Why didn't I see that? Instead of having to catch hideously overcrowded metros to get to my classes in time to teach I have the right to starve. It's all so clear now. Of course I could continue teaching if only someone would build a college on the wasteground at the end of my street.

Sorry for the sarcasm but even by recent standards, Richard, that's just utter self-deluded, nonsense.
 
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As is Arnie, you are making the assumption that the only job you can do is the one you are now doing.

You, too, could leave tomorrow and get another job or even work for yourself. Of course, you might not get such congenial employment or such a well-paid job. But leave you could and employment you could find. You commute to the job you do because the job is worth enough for you to put up with the commuting hassle.

And that is true of most who commute to work. If they were honest with themselves they would admit that they won't change their job because, in truth, commuting's not all that bad and the job's better than anything else they could get locally. So they decide to continue commuting rather than change. Of course, as do all commuters, they moan like anything about the rotten public transport - but if it were really as bad as they all claim they'd not put up with it.

To me the daily commuting grind was so bad that I elected to get a job locally - and that choice is open to all. It is not "...utter self-deluded, nonsense..." I am speaking of something I did and there's nothing stopping you, or anyone else, of taking the same chances that I took. In a free-market economy you have the right to try to sell your labour wherever you wish.


Richard English
 
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There are times Richard recently when you are really beginning to annoy me. Did I say self-deluded. Sorry. I meant sanctimonious.
 
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OH my...
Back to topic?
Columbus sounds great.
 
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Did I say self-deluded. Sorry. I meant sanctimonious.

That is probably more accurate.


Richard English
 
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Columbus sounds great

Excellent. Now we need to agree on a date and we can start making plans.

I will be crossing the Atlantic at least once in 2008 in any case but it would be nice to be able to combine several different activities in just the one crossing.


Richard English
 
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probably more accurate

Erm—you mean sanctimonious, as in "[f]eigning piety or righteousness: a solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg that looked like he was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity (Mark Twain)"?—well, OK then.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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We have a few vague date ranges suggested, then - May and June. Who else would like to weigh in on the discussion of when to get together in Columbus next year?

Bob? Arnie? Kalleh and Shu?


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~Dalai Lama
 
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Shu and Kalleh are definitely in...as long as the date works (I'll check my calendar tomorrow). We are also happy to help in any way, CW. How fun! Columbus is a great city, full of books, and there is much to do. Thank you for taking the lead in this, CW.

Richard, let's drop the everyone-has-a-choice-of-where-he-wants-to-work talk, okay? Thanks!
 
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It's always very hard for me to say as our academic calendar isn't published until September. May and June are unlikely though unless it coincides with half term in which case I'd possibly be able to make a day ot two, the problem then coming down to one of expense vs. short trip length and can I justify spending up to a grand on two days flying and a two day visit?

You should go ahead and plan without me and if I can fit in with the plan I will.

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Richard, let's drop the everyone-has-a-choice-of-where-he-wants-to-work talk, okay? Thanks!

I agree.

I have made my point, perfectly politely I suggest, and I will say no more on the topic - unless someone wishes to castigate me for my honestly held views.


Richard English
 
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I would prefer late June, but at this point have one unknown in my calendar for Summer 2008: a family reunion, which I am helping to organize, but which will be held at my brother's farm in Upstate New York. However, as he is getting married this weekend, my co-conspirator cousins and I who are organizing the event thought we'd let the newlyweds get settled in for a couple of weeks before we started bombarding them with questions about which 2008 summer weekend we will hold that reunion. So, if the two events happen to collide, it'll be "Goodbye Columbus" for me.

But late June is always best with my work schedule--end of fiscal year, lots of projects finished, big cats away using up their vacation time.

Wordmatic
 
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My June is wide open...but, Bob, I'd really like you to come! Columbus is the home of books! Would the summer be possible? Could you name a few dates?
 
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It's literally impossible for me to even suggest dates until our term calendar is published in August or September. The only extended periods of holiday that I get are the Easter break, the Christmas break and the Summer break. The last one is usually out because I'm working Summer school. If I come during that break it doesn't cost me just the six or seven hundred travelling expenses there's also £2000 in lost earnings. There are the three half term breaks but they are a week each and run into the two days flying, two days visit problem. I don't know what to suggest. Naturally I'd love to visit but in practical terms I'm restricted to Easter and Christmas.
 
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Well, let's wait until your schedule comes out then. The rest of us seem to have a little more freedom to plan, am I correct? We'd love to have you come again, Bob.
 
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Easter Sunday is April 27 in 2008 - so it's just about as late as it can be.

How long do your Easter breaks tend to run either side, Bob?


Richard English
 
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We usually have two weeks BUT there is a rumour that this year our Easter Break WON'T include the actual bank holiday and will in fact be before Easter. (I know because there is talk of us having to work an extra day somewhere to make up for the Bank Holiday falling outside the break.)

I might be able to find that out for sure later today.
 
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our Easter Break WON'T include the actual bank holiday and will in fact be before Easter.

That would surely be a positive pain in the proverbial posterior ;-(


Richard English
 
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Orthodox Easter is April 27; Western Easter is March 23, 2008. The latest Easter ever comes is April 24, a sad fact I've known since childhood, as my birthday is April 26 and I was disappointed to learn that it could never, ever be on my birthday.

We get nothing for Easter, not the Monday, not Good Friday. Anyone wanting to take off for a religious holiday has to take vacation time. Well, except for Christmas--we call that time off "winter break," as it has nothing whatever to do with a religious holiday!
 
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Orthodox Easter is April 27; Western Easter is March 23, 2008.

Whoops. I had to check as it's not yet found its way into Outlook and I must have chosen the wrong Easter from the (surprisingly long) list of Easter events.

That makes it even less likely that Easter will fit in with the majority, judging by the preference there seems to be for May/June. But we'll see. I should be able to make it whenever it is.


Richard English
 
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Columbus is the home of books!


It is?

I think the Easter time frame is not a bad idea . . . but let's let things bubble for a while before setting a date.


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~Dalai Lama
 
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Probably not, CW, but we did go to a lot of book stores when we were there...and loved them all!
 
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If Easter is March 23 then it would definitely be too early for me. We want to go to Canada in May, so late April would be the earliest we could manage if we are to combine the trips.


Richard English
 
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I'm thinking we should wait to set a date until folks like Bob have time to see what their schedules will be in 2008. I'd like to plan to allow as many different folks as possible to come.

We can certainly spend time visiting/touring the greatest library system in the US while you're here, and we could also visit the quirky bookstores we took Shu and Kalleh to . . . as well as the topiary garden of "Sunday Afternoon on the Grand Jatte". Another great site I recommend we visit is the home of James Thurber, author, cartoonist. My son is a docent there, and could even lead our tour himself! We also have a nice (if small) art museum, several stunning park areas nearby, and the Airforce Museum (about an hour away) . . . and an A-B factory, too!


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~Dalai Lama
 
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. and an A-B factory, too!

Into every life a little rain must fall.

I hope there's beer in the area as well as Dudweiser...


Richard English
 
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If this year so far is any indication, I'll be too busy to attend. My job is seasonal, and when things grow, I work my tuchas off! Also, Sunflower has just taken a new job, and we don't know how flexible her new boss will be. Sooooo, next year, y'all will just have to come to the west coast!
 
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next year, y'all will just have to come to the west coast!

Bids are open for Wordcraft 2009!


Richard English
 
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Just putting this up for discussion.

I now have some provisional dates for next years annual leave. There is a possibility that some might change and also a possibility that I might be tied up with other work for some of them. This is the information as I have it at the moment though.


Autumn term break 22/11/07 – 26/07/11*
Christmas break 24/12/07 – 04/01/08
Spring term break 11/02/08 – 15/02/08*
Easter break 21/03/08 – 04/04/08
Summer term break 26/05/08 – 30/05/08*

The long Summer break dates are still in contract dispute and I'll probably be working away for most of it anyway.

As I've said in other posts the ones marked * are too short to justify the time and cost of the flight for what would end up as a two day visit and Christmas will be impossible so that just leaves Easter break as a possibility for me. As it's so early this year, that might cause problems for other people. I'd really like to attend but if it's going to mean that other people can't I've had my go this year and wouldn't want to deprive anyone else of a chance to visit.

So those are my dates.

What about other people?
 
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I want to go to Canada at the beginning of May so late April/early May (when I can go to Canada afterwards) or mid to late May (after I've been to Canada) would be best for me. I don't really want to make two transatlantic flights (x 2 people) so close together if I can avoid it. Apart from the cost there's the upset to my business.

So maybe your slots at the end of May might fit, Bob.


Richard English
 
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I'm just a bit reluctant to spend £500+ on a trip that would be two days flying, one day jet lag and two days visiting.

As I've said before though if there are a lot of people who want to go on a different date I'll sit this one out, albeit a bit reluctantly, and save up for the next one.
 
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Someone needs to make a decision and I reckon that's the privilege of the organiser - so it's over to you CW!


Richard English
 
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Originally posted by Richard English:
Someone needs to make a decision and I reckon that's the privilege of the organiser - so it's over to you CW!


That's a touch unfair. It's forcing the decision onto someone wh doesn't want to disappoint anybody. We should at the very least wait until everyone has had their say on dates.
 
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Inevitably some will be disappointed and I know from long experience that most people will not come forward with data in good time. In the end someone has to make a decision based on the best available data and that someone should be the person who's doing the organising. If no decision is made then nothing will happen and there'll be no Wordcraft 2008.

Remember, with a few exceptions such as your having to wait for your dates, most people will by now have a good idea whether or not they want to attend and which dates are likely to suit. But many will hold off from saying anything until they know when the dates are to be. Delay will serve no real purpose; there are only about 9 months to go and people's diaries fill up, which is why most conference dates are announced at least a year in advance.

Delaying will only help those who haven't yet joined the site or who have been away from it for over a month. It would be unfair to the majority to delay to suit the minority.


Richard English
 
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Richard, so far the only ones who have weighed in with actual preferred dates are you and me and a semi-serious suggestion from jo whose health problems might now preclude her visiting anyway.

Don't you think it would be polite to wait for at least a few more responses? As it stands you are asking CW to choose between a visit from you and a vist from me. I wouldn't want anyone to put me in that kind of position.
 
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I have suggested early or late May; Jo, June; Shu and Kalleh are happy to fit in; Wordmatic would prefer late June; Asa reckons he'll be too busy to get there. Nobody else has responded.

So you're right insofar as we've had few bids - but everyone has had a chance and CW's posting was made nearly a month ago.

Could this posting be a call for people to express their interest and preferred dates so that CW can firm something up?

Maybe the answer is to post a poll (except I haven't managed to work out how to do it):

Will you be coming to Wordcraft 2008 in Columbus yes/no
My preferred date is early May/mid May/late May/early June/mid June

The last two gatherings were most successful and could only have been bettered had we had just a few more attendees. So let's try to make Wordcraft 2008 even bigger.


Richard English
 
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I've created a poll as suggested by Richard. It's at http://wordcraft.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/28160389...841076674#6841076674

I've added a "don't know" as we are still several months away from the suggested meeting and some people may not be able to plan so far in advance. I've also added "other" and "N/A" to the choices for dates. The poll system insists that you reply to both questions.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Many thanks, Arnie.

I agree that we are still some time away - but 9 - 10 months is still not long enough for some people's diaries!


Richard English
 
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I'm your "no" Arnie. In present circumstances/ phase of life, being away from home for a couple of days is a rare possibility & I save it for a trip to see my old mum. Should you decide to hold a future get-together in the NY or Philly I'll certainly pop in.
 
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That's a shame.

I'll post my preference when I find out about my Canada commitments. I am awaiting an email right now.


Richard English
 
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