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Highlander

IPMS/USA Member
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Highlander last won the day on February 6

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Profile Information

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

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  1. Even mo' later: In the other Con, cited above, I note that one who got a block room admitted to calling in early ... and recommended others do the same. I responded with a sarcastic - "That's one way to beat the system". The shameless reprobate actually responded with a -- "Thank you." They took it as a compliment! And, in another post, the poster provides information about their medical issues, the associated costs, and the need for a block room because it would save her money. And, in yet another event -- a chess tournament, one complainer states that transport should be provided from his room to the playing venue, in the same facility, because of a mobility issue. I conclude, from the room block chicanery across two Cons and a tournament, that people will do what it takes and demand whatever they can get ... without shame or embarrassment. After all, they got theirs. And want more. I feel a good more sympathy for the Con organizers.
  2. Just today, at high noon, went through a similar stampede with a room block being released by another Hilton property for a different Con. The room block of 100 rooms sold out in less than a minute. Those who did not get rooms experienced a myriad of issues with the website and with getting access to the link provided by the Con ... and, frankly, in believing that they had the leisure to try to get a room at 12:02 or :03 or :04 or later. There was a major difference. Absolutely no rooms in the room block were assigned before the Con organizers personally sent out the reservation link. At exactly high noon. The hotel front desk staff was unable to reserve rooms because the hotel staff did not have access to the room block. From the jillions of posts that are still flying about, a number of folks overtly admitted to trying to weasel their way in early and were peeved because the front desk informed them that they did not have access to the reserved room block. Not that it matters now for our Nats, but Hilton does have the mechanisms to keep room blocks intact before they are released. The issue could well have been the arrangements (i.e., software locks) that were not used for room block control. It interesting to note that claims, valid or not, of disabilities are now appearing. In short, "I'm disabled so you have to put me in the Con hotel". Even, "I'm attending with a disabled person, so you have to put us in the Con hotel." The organizers responded to the first claim of being disabled and announced that they were working to get that person a room at the Con rate. I wonder if they have opened Pandora's Box. Later: And another disability appeal. "I need a room at (the Con hotel)...." By one who admitted to attending without disability in the past. Even later: So now I eat crow. With the other Con, cited above, the Con organizers proclaimed that no room block rooms would be available until the very minute or release. However, folks are now bragging about calling in early on the morning that the Con room were released and getting a block room. And posting about their special need to be in the Con hotel .. like I'm bringing my child and therefore have to be in the Con hotel because it is convenient for us. And then recommending that route to others. For the special people, that is. I wonder how many of the 100 rooms were gone -- thus resulting in the remainder being sold out within a minute. The lesson being taught is to do whatever you can to grab a room in the room black and damn the rules and those that follow them. Ah, modern Americans. And, modern Boomers.
  3. Two points -- and an appeal for charity. First, I think you're spot on in observing that IPMS chapters are, in general, not IPMS chapters. A number struggle each year to find five club members who are IPMS members (in order to keep their charter) or have to pressure several members to join or renew in order to maintain their charter. Why? Because, IMHO, IPMS is of little to no interest to the average club member. The only contest that I know of where one has to be an IPMS member is the National Contest. Locals and regionals are open to all ... with maybe a dollar to two penalty for non-IPMS folks to participate. And, should a non-member want to go to Nats, the Nats organizers usually (or always?) provide a station where anyone can join IPMS and qualify to participate. Overall, organizers from local to Nats levels, have concluded that they need the fees and the entries that non-members provide to succeed financially and in the number and quality of entries. The non-members, figuratively, have the IPMS structure by los heuvos (or cajones, for non-Mexicanos). Let us segue into my observations about the "typical" local club member. My second point. My experience is that the "average" local club member is not an IPMS member. In fact, many local club members seldom build models; a number never build models. They often come to the local club for social reasons, not hobby reasons. Frequently, the club officers have to act to keep the club from being hijacked by the historians, the military aficionados, the military vehicle (1:1 scale) collectors, the guys trying to sell stuff, the lost souls, the vets who want to talk about how it was at 30,000 feet, the guys who want to show off their photographs of military hardware, the guys looking for volunteers for some air show, the CAF recruiters -- who have decided that this is a place where folks present little replicas of whatever it is that I am interested in, so it must be a place where I will have an audience for my particular niche interest. As God is my witness, a guy in our club showed up with a German WWII helmet one meeting and gave an unsolicited presentation on his collection of helmets and the variations in the webbing and chin straps in German helmetry. Not a figure model or model of any kind was addressed. Such folk, the non-builders and the non-hobbyists, don't enter contests. Most of the occasional builders don't enter contests -- unless the contest is one put on by their club. Travel is not an option. They never have and never will attend or enter at a Nats. The bulk of the models in local and regional contests are entered by a minority of builders who are really, really into building. Sometimes they are fanatical about building -- entering over 25 entries -- entering over 30 entries -- the most I'm aware of was an entrant who put just short of 40 entries on the tables. Whether the folks addressed above are freeloaders ... or not ... is a live wire I choose not to touch. To my appeal for charity. I had a friend who. long ago, lived for several years in the UK. In a village far from any other American. He opined that the Brits and Yanks have a very different approach to hobbies. In short, he felt that Americans, who were relatively rich as hell at the time, had a number of interests and hobbies which they pursued, because they could afford to. Often their hobbies/interests were rather shallowly followed. He observed that the Brits typically had one hobby which they immersed themselves in. Because one hobby was all they could afford. And they pursued it intensely -- by American standards. I don't know if his observation was accurate, but it might explain why the Boys of IPMS Telford don't seem to have the same problems that persist within IPMS USA.
  4. Some observations on segregating members from non-members{ 1. I recall discussion of (and, at Las Vegas, I observed) the family Nats registration option where some families consisted of a large number of adult males. Which provided entry to the vendors room, if not being permitted to compete in the contest. 2. I have heard reports from friends who witnessed a few eager folks with money in hand entering the vendor room whilst the vendors were arriving an setting up and purchasing various shiny, sparkling items. The vendors could make an early sale or not. Some chose to make money. 3. Were I a vendor, which I am not, I would not be pleased by any action that might reduce the customer flow through the vendor room. I would have come to make money, not to support some IPMS nuance on who should and who should not be allowed to buy from me.
  5. Two points -- per the excerpts above. First, my experience is that, most often, people say "Why can't you just"... Which is a version of "Why can't somebody else do what I want done".... Second, I very much agree. Over time, I have concluded that the average IPMS member had not a clue how IPMS, the National Convention, or the National Contest work. That, BTW, is not a criticism ... there is no need for the average member to know. The average member needs to know just enough to register for the Nats and enter his entries. The issue, as I see it, is the members who have not a clue, but are energized to demand that damn near every thing be changed. Witness recent events.
  6. Four for me. With scenic stops and mandatory tourist stuff ... more like a week.
  7. Three days ... each way ... for me. In the middle of July. Through the Mid-West. With my wife wanting to stop to visit stuff all along both ways. (After Omaha, we were roaming along dirt roads through cornfields in southern Nebraska in 100+ degrees looking for local graveyards which contained her relatives' graves) So I am still undecided. Virginia will be worse.
  8. How about this. If you break it, then you will be able to fix it. You hope.
  9. One of the criticisms of the NCC and its supposed entrenchment is that it is entrenched because it did not adopt the changes I want made to the way I believe things are done Or that the NCC should stop doing things the way I think they are doing them ... even if they are not being done that way. Much of the discussion of the supposed failings of the previous NCC are based upon a lack of knowledge about the conduct of a National Contest and the former NCC's composition, processes, and procedures. Not to mention lack of knowledge of the rules, the categories, and guidance to entrants. There is the observation about leading horses to water and then watching them die of thirst. An example, presented over and over and over in these last months is the assertion that the former NCC decided the National Contest rules. And the assertion continues .... no matter how many times it has been pointed out that the EBoard approved every single rule.
  10. Just one of several, but the only one who attempted to sue ... as far as I know. Not the only one to have an infantile breakdown. Not the only one who attempted to dictate to the Nats and the NCC how his entry would be entered, located, supported, highlighted, judged, and reported. One of a small, but troublesome and time consuming minority. It seems that every year, an entrant shows up with an entry that takes a flatbed to move into the model room and then demands the electrical output of three medium nuclear reactors to power it. The bit about advance coordination seems to have been missed. Also sarcasm, and not at all by much.
  11. Found vehicles on the figures table.
  12. That entrant and his entry surface several times each Nats. In short, the entrant explains (demands) that his entry is so special that the rules cannot possibly apply to it, that it deserves prominence in display, that it has to be segregated so that the hoi polloi cannot get near it, and that, by its obvious magificance there should be a special seminar where the special entrant can wax endlessly about it. I can only imagine what the special entrant's reaction would be if he entered his work for the ages in an incorrect category and it was not judged. BTW, that was sarcasm. But not by much.
  13. Given what I see at each Nats in terms of entries in incorrect categories, coupled with the idea that the judges are the ones ultimately responsible for the final placement of the entries, there would be blood running in the aisles if one of the special entries by a special entrant was not judged. It would dwarf the current controversies.
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