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Highlander

IPMS/USA Member
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Highlander last won the day on August 27 2018

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About Highlander

  • Rank
    Plastic Habit

Profile Information

  • FirstName
    David
  • LastName
    Downs
  • IPMS Number
    33423
  • Local Chapter
    Zia Scale Modelers
  • City
    Albuquerque
  • State
    NM
  • Gender
    Male

Recent Profile Visitors

683 profile views
  1. Dave Doyle, thanks for the quote on your force majeure clause. In general, force majeure applies if forces or events beyond the control of one or both parties cause one or both parties to be unable to fullfill their contractual obligation. One line of logic is that, if the Embassy Suites is open and local regulations permit the Embassy Suites full exercise of their contractual obligations, then IPMS would have to show that it is unable to fulfill its contractual obligations. That is doubtful. But it depends upon the specific wording of the clause and whether IPMS wants to hire lawyers. It also depends upon the goodwill of the ES, which, as related here, does not seem to exist. Our ES was willing to work with us and we have been impressed with their goodwill. Having worked the budget for our convention for almost two years, I am intimately familiar with our spending plan. Due to cash flow, we delayed spending until the last moment (with a buffer for various delays and catastrophies). Even though we had a good chunk of money from the Astronomical League, we did not project sufficient cash to purchase shirts, programs, bags, and other paraphernalia until about five weeks before the convention. It appears that the Nats cash flow allowed significant purchases further out than did ours. We had signed our contract with the ES about sixteen months before our convention. But, when the Wuhan appeared on the scene, we addressed the ramifications beginning in January and pulled the plug on our convention in mid-February. That limited both our exposure and freed the ES to book other events in July, if warranted. Having been there, I emphatically sympathize with San Marcos. They seem to be pinned and have to choose between the lesser of two financial and scheduling evils.
  2. The 2020 Astronomical League Convention (ALCON) was also to be held in Albuquerque this summer. It has been moved to 2021. But that was relatively easy. First, there had been no bidder for a 2021 convention, so the Astronomical League was very happy to fill that gap. Second, the Embassy Suites was cooperative, especially in light of the force majeure clause in the contract. Our exposure was $76K, but the exposure was the League's, not the local club's. And third, our financial analysis indicated that we would loose our shirt, pants, and cowboy hats if we pressed on. Registrations had simply stopped; vendors refused to commit, and speakers were bailing out. HST, I was the Registrar for ALCON, but have bowed out for 2021. Although about 80% of our registration team's preparatory work had been done, I wasn't willing to add another year to the already year and a half's work (hundreds of hours) which had blown my 2020 summer to shreds. Our club bailed out over two months ago; and it has become clear that we made the correct decision.
  3. Actually, you have to be able to explain your choice to someone ... the head category judge, for example. I offer that no two models are equal and that an experienced judge can note and cite differences between them. I have yet to see the perfect model. The challenge is not, IMHO, when discriminating between two very good models, but between 2 or 3 or 4 models with multiple problems. The best of best is relatively easy, the best of the worst is tough.
  4. Well, I guess this settles it. I suppose one could discern these traits from the models they constructed.
  5. The more things change..... I've followed this toxic topic for, literally, decades. It have seen the same voices voice the same opinions with something between the same vitriol and the same calm, reasoned discourse. I came to the conclusion, years ago, that IPMS is not now nor ever will be in the least interested in a GSB system because (1) NIH, (2) it's the way we've always done it, and (3) the "real" IPMS long-time modelers don't want it. Some who have supported it have been told, on the predecessor forum, in writing, "If you can't compete with the very best (us and/or me), then don't bother to show up and compete. Stop whining." So, long ago, I shut up. And have increasingly not shown up. I've previously stated that I can judge either way. I have and I will. I do the best I can under the judging rules. But, I do think that 1-2-3 devalues the very, very good model that is not quite a very, very, very good model -- in one category -- whilst in another category a just barely good enough model competing against entries with multiple serious flaws is recognized with the same 1st as a very, very, very, very good entry. I also think that often, in judging three or four, entries which, for all purposes are identical candidates for third place, that each really deserves some recognition. But, on a wing and a prayer, we have to convince ourselves that one is somewhat, somehow, probably, maybe better. (And, please, though I don't expect my request to be honored, don't come back with the not unusual, "If you can't stand the heat, then get out of judging" comment. I've heard it before.) Makes no sense to me, but that is the way it is. HST, over the last decade, I've begun voting on this topic with my wallet. Where I used to attend every IPMS Nats and Regional that I could, I now choose to instead attend various figure shows that also have categories for plastics. I enjoy them much more, the spirit is much more collegial and must less cutthroat, there is markedly less chest pounding, and I feel that if I didn't place (the most likely outcome) then my entry was clearly not competitive. So, I have morphed from a regular Nats/Regional attendee/entrant to an occasional IPMS Nats/Regional attendee who seldom enters and am now a regular figure show attendee who always enters. I could well be alone in my metamorphosis, but no matter. I'm happy with my evolution and now figure I have only about 1-2 Nats left in me. All in all, I'm burned out on the topic of judging; I've moved on. So, as to this topic and this survey, in the immortal words of Monte Walsh, "You don't have no idea how little I care."
  6. No kidding. While most are crystal clear, some can get quite convoluted ... and arbitrary. While judging at the last Nats, we had several discussions which boiled down to, "Why was that entry moved? And why wasn't that one?" With no real consensus.
  7. Off to a roaring start. The links are up on the Nats website and the link for the Mariott results in a message that the block has no rooms available. A phone call to the hotel results in information that, since the Nats are next year, reservations cannot be made on-line. P.S. A subsequent phone call indicated that the hotel cannot tell me if the room block is sold out. The Marriot web site indicates the room block is sold out. I was advised to call back tomorrow as Mariott reservations are closed for the night. They thought. Maybe.
  8. I really appreciate the transparency. Much better than keeping the dates for hotel registration close held, and then finding out that the block is sold out before one even knows that registration has opened.
  9. Round here, an employee must unlock the cabinet and take it up to the register ... in some stores. In others, the shelves are open and you can handle the can yourself. It is all about tagging combined with shoplifting.
  10. I know of several guys who always enter >20 models in local and regional contests. I know of one who entered in the upper 30's. And one who entered over 60 models. Depending upon the number of entries and entrants, that might not skew the mean that much. But the median gets moved up a couple of notches.
  11. Depending upon the nature of the distribution, the median is often the best measure of central tendency ... that is, is the single number that provides the best snapshot of the characteristic of the population being described. I'm guessing, with >2,700 entrants, the median is the best quick measure. How's that for being a smart ass? It is not often that I get to go back to the agonizing days of grad school math.
  12. The pearl effect on the scales is very nice. I'll have to remember it.
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