February 15th, 2006

UK to Ban Smoking

As reported in this BBC article, the British House of Commons has approved a measure to ban smoking in all indoor public places, including pubs, restaurants, and importantly, private clubs.  The private clubs restriction is important, because private clubs are big business, and if they could continue to allow smoking, it could really hurt the other businesses.  (I don't know enough about Britain to know just how exclusive the private clubs are, but I could easily see it being a legal loophole to defang the smoking ban.)

Go Britain!  Smokers have the right to poison themselves, but they don't have any right to poison the people that serve them or to force non-smokers to choose between being poisoned or not have a social life.  The idea seems to be catching on more and more; I've heard there's even a statewide smoking ban before the Illinois legislature, though I don't know the details (like if it includes bars, or allows a "private club" exemption).  Maybe in a few years, I will be able to experience the joy of live music without the torture of a smoke-induced headache somewhere other than a con or house concert.


I have a membership for FilKOntario, but at this point it is looking like I probably will not go.  This is because birder2 will be in Ecuador (it's kind of funny that I almost missed FKO last year because I went to Ecuador, and only got to go because the dates of my tour were changed at the last minute, and this year she is going there).  I could go by myself -- I can handle the drive -- but it is a very expensive con (3 nights in a very pricey hotel), and this year the Itty Bitty Canadian Dollar discount has pretty much gone away.  Without a job, I can't justify the $500 the trip would cost me.  (And if I do get a job between now and then, I would be lucky to be able to take the time off so soon after starting to go.)  This does kind of bum me out, especially in the light of having just had such a great musical experience at Cap, but it is the reality.

I'm telling you this because if I could share a room, it would bring the cost down far enough that I could do it.  Sharing a room is difficult for me because I have great difficulty sleeping, especially in the presence of any non-white noise like another person snoring.  Sharing a room with me is difficult for my roommate(s) because if I'm only tossing and turning for an hour before I get to sleep, it's a good night for me.  (Normally, I'd say also because I'll be stumbling back to the room very late at night, but at a filkcon I assume my roommate will be in the same boat.)  You can ask birder2 for a report on whether I snore once I finally get to sleep -- I don't know, I'm asleep at the time.  But if anyone has a room for all three nights (staying over Sunday night is mandatory; first because the dead dog is usually the best filk of the con, and second because there is no way I can drive home on a con Sunday) and is willing to consider putting up with me, please let me know (respond here or email me at my LJ address if you prefer); we can talk about it in detail and see if it makes sense.

Alternatively, if anyone has any brilliant advice on how I can sleep at a con, I'm willing to listen to suggestions.  Hearos earplugs AND a pillow over my head is enough sonic insulation that I can get to sleep with birder2 snoring, but it takes both, and she's not a world champion snorer.  Doxylamine succinate sleeping pills (that's what's in Nyquil to make you sleepy) don't do me any good; I haven't tried anything stronger.  (I don't want to use sleeping pills all the time, but I'm willing to use them at a con when I need to sleep in adverse conditions.)