Stop at bank, get cash
Go inside bank to change $20 bills from ATM down to more usable small-denomination bills
Buy bananas, cashews for use as non-perishable snacks during BayCon
Buy roll of blue painter's tape
Stop at Sunnyvale post office to collect on call-slip to my PO Box received last Monday
While waiting in line for lunch, my phone rang. I got out of line and picked up the phone. It was one of my co-workers. While talking to her, the phone rang "second incoming call" but it rolled away before I could answer it. I tried calling it back, without luck. I checked my voice mail, and yes, it was Lisa, calling from a truck stop in Corning (California). (I later found that she hung around that phone for a while, but it must have been one of those doesn't-ring-on-incoming-calls phones.)
The call-slip turned out to be an Express Mail package from the Columbus Worldcon bid, asking me to take flyers and bookmarks to BayCon. I wish they'd contacted me by e-mail first; I would have told them that shipping things to my office, not my checked-once-a-week PO Box, is more efficient. Lucky for them that the Sunnyvale PO was between my office and BayCon.
I finally got to the Doubletree at about 3 PM. My first panel was at 5 PM. I was able to actually find a "front lot" parking space. (Now I'm trapped, if I want to keep it for the weekend. It's only Friday and already the lots are overflowing into the "back 40.") I got my luggage, including all of that Match Game stuff, moved into my hotel room.
I had dumped most of the game material into a large box that I happened to have sitting around. This was a mistake. I should have followed standard procedure and used Xerox-type paper boxes. They are of a standard size, stack easily, and moreover, when filled with the stuff I'm carrying, they would individually not be too heavy. However, the big box was heavy.
Checking in with Program Ops, I collected badges for me and Lisa. I figured that given that she didn't leave Corning until probably 1:30 or 2 PM, she probably would arrive while I was in a panel, given that I had panels at 5:30 and 7 PM. So I needed to carry my ham radio so she could call me when she got here.
I dropped a pile of Emerald City copies (and flyers for John Hertz's TAFF/DUFF benefit, and for the Lionel Fanthorpe write-alike contest) in the Fanzine Lounge, then took most of the rest of my flyers to the flyer table near Registration. (I later dropped the rest of the BASFA flyers under the door of they party room prior to their setup.) I also ran around posting as many copies of the Match Game flyers as I could.
My briefcase, loaded up with fanzines, flyers, tape, and whatnot, felt like an anvil, and even with the unseasonably cool weather we are having here, I felt very warm. Time pressed upon me, and I hadn't even had time to unpack my luggage or set up my computer.
I did manage to get to my 5:30 panel, which was entitled Civil Discussion -- Use it or Lose It...ALL with moderator Andrew Clark, Vickie Brewster, Laura Majerus, Brad Templeton, and Jerry Pournelle.
I introduced myself by saying that I was presumably on the panel because of my extensive experience chairing Worldcon Business Meetings. Jerry said that he'd last been to one of those in 1974 and they were the dullest things he's ever attended. I said, "They've gotten livelier since then."
"They'd have to, or they'd be dead!" he said forcefully.
Neither I nor the moderator wanted this to turn into an argument over the merits of the WSFS Business Meeting, so I let it drop. But I do reject that assertion that the BM is simply a boring talk fest. Those of us who are regulars have learned to appreciate the sometimes subtle humor and skill involved in the debate, not to mention the flat-out silly moments. I assume there are still people who come to one meeting and wonder, "What's the point? Why do they bother?" but I know I've heard people, including Worldcon regulars who had heard such horror stories of the Business Meeting boring people to death, who have attended one meeting and come away "hooked."
I only got to set through half of the panel because part-way through my radio crackled, and I excused myself and went outside and tried to answer what I thought was a call from Lisa. She didn't answer. I walked all over the parking lot; still nothing. Finally, I heard her again as she got close to the hotel. She'd called from coming down the Sunol grade, and I'd heard her at that distance, but once she hit the flats she couldn't hear my response. I hustled over to the entrance through which she'd be arriving, and when the Giant Orange Van stopped at the entry gate, I hopped inside. We finally found a parking spot somewhere around Sunnyvale -- or so it seemed -- and hauled in the first part of her luggage. However, we did not have time to make another trip out to the van, because it was almost time for my next panel.
My second panel was called Dinner Party from Hell, moderated by Hilary Ayer, and we were joined by Steaphen Fick. This turned into an impromptu "panel in the round" because the hotel was in the process of changing the room from theatre-style to being part of the ballroom used for the Meet the Guests later that evening. The head table and most of the chairs had been struck. We (and the audience) rescued chairs from the stacks and formed a circle.
The description of the panel said "Panelists come up with some dangerous combinations from history," but we very quickly opened it up to the audience and also to fictional characters. This was a fun little exercise, particularly when we ended it by asking everyone to invite one character to the party whom they thought would be good and interesting. I invited John Adams. Lisa invited Woodrow Wilson Smith, since Robert Heinlein was already taken.
Because the staff really wanted to finish striking the room, we cleared out early. Lisa and I headed back out to the van and collected the rest of her luggage. It was then time for dinner for both of us. I was loathe to give up my close-in parking space, so we just went to the Coffee Garden and had the dinner buffet, which is quick. The chicken enchiladas were nothing exciting -- not when I'd had a good burrito at El Metate in San Carlos earlier that day -- but the clam chowder was pretty good. Unfortunately, eating dinner when we did meant that we missed the Meet the Guests Reception.
After dinner, we headed back up to the room and finally got unpacked. I think that rather than trying to move the Match Game material around in the clumsy box, I'll use my rolling luggage, which has enough room on account of my clothing being unpacked and all, and is more maneuverable.
Lisa and I decided to change into our WSFS uniforms for the evening. She put on her "Captain's Yeoman" uniform (naval-style blouse with WSFS logo, short pleated skirt, all white). I put on the Captain's uniform, which you see in my user icon: white shirt and slacks, with the hat of course.
When I came out of the bathroom, I was surprised to see Lisa sporting a rocket pack. Or rather, a couple of shiny tubes with a clear plastic chamber mounted between the tubes, in which Kuma Bear, wearing his WSFS Armadillo casual shirt, was standing. It's a really nifty -looking back-pack, but I can't show you any pictures because I do not have a digital camera. (Later, many people took pictures. Perhaps I'll even find some of those pictures online someday.)
Many people throughout the evening, including Jerry Pournelle, asked, "Why is their a bear riding in the compartment? We gleefully told them all the answer, as originally devised by Lisa's friend Scott Sandford: "It's a BEAR-o-metric chamber."
We made a pass around the hotel, then played pinball in the BayCon Arcade for a while. Then it was off for a single pass through the parties, including BASFA and the League of Evil Geniuses (Second Unit), as well as Conzilla. The newsletter listed lots of other parties, but it seems obvious to me that they've ended up getting the Friday and Saturday night party listings merged together. We didn't stay long at many parties, as we were both getting tired, and time seemed to have passed very quickly. It was after Midnight when we made it back to the room.
After we turned in for the night, I set up my computer. We have free wired and wireless internet here, which is very nice, and thank you, BayCon, for arranging it for us. I can use the faster wired connection while in the room or the wireless around and about. That always assumes I have the time to write entries. Tomorrow, thankfully, I have no panels and can sleep in.
Sorry to inflict so much on y'all at once, but I needed to do the brain-dump before I forget it. I've tried to cut-tag some of it.