Programming started at Noon, and I was in one of those panels, the Introduction to the WSFS Business Meeting. There was a really good turnout, mostly of people who had never attended the Business Meeting and of them mostly first-time Worldcon attendees. We showed the Business Meeting Basics video and answered as many questions about the process as we could in our 45 minute time slot.
After that panel, I switched into my WSFS captain's uniform and Lisa and I grabbed a quick bite of lunch from the concession stand on the convention center concourse. The registration queue was overflowing, despite there being lots of reg stations and the process time being pretty short. There just were too many people in too short a period of time. Those of us who registered yesterday sighed with relief for having avoided the crush.
Lisa and I went to the Bobbie DuFault Memorial panel, where many people shared their memories of the woman who was the driving force behind bringing Worldcon to the Pacific Northwest for the first time since 1961. Although Bobbie got to see her bid win two years ago, she tragically died two weeks later.
Directly after this was the Opening Ceremonies. Lisa decided to skip this, but I did attend. A Native American story-teller opened the ceremony with a traditional song (which also is in the form of a blessing) and told several traditional stories of the native peoples of the area, before Sasquan chair Sally Wohrle entered and gave introductory remarks, then introduced the vice chairs, followed by the Guests of Honor and the TAFF delegate. A particular highlight of this was the introduction of special guest astronaut Kjell Lindgren, who appeared in a pre-recorded video from the International Space Station.
After the Guests, Sally invited everyone to form a procession onto Spokane Riverfront Park for "First Night" and that was the ceremony.
I noticed something that had been left out, however, and worked my way forward against the flow of traffic. I reminded Sally of something official she'd forgotten to do, and Sally went back up on stage, and, using Bobbie DuFault's brass gavel, officially convened the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention.
While I had been at the Opening Ceremonies, Lisa had the new camera out and shot this "walkaround" footage of the Exhibits and Dealers Room areas:
Lisa tells me that the word got out that someone from the press was wandering around unattended, and when they finally caught up with the "unattended" press person, it turned out to be Lisa. "Oh, that's okay; she's one of ours." was the comment.
I wanted to get out to First Night, but I had to get over to the room where the Business Meeting will be where Lisa was working with Tech. She discovered to our dismay that the platform from which we'd expected to film is simply too wobbly. Every step you take on the stage at the back of the room would jar the cameras terribly. Lisa will have to improvise something else tomorrow morning when we get into the room at 9 AM in its actual configuration. (Because the air wall between 300AB is in place tonight for dances but is supposed to be down tomorrow morning, we won't know for sure what things will be like until we get there in the morning.
I also discovered to my dismay that my mi-fi unit doesn't have sufficient cell phone connectivity to work in that room. This may negatively impact our ability to get WSFS Business Meeting segments uploaded in a timely manner tomorrow. We'll see what we can do, but we're a prisoner of bandwidth limitations on the various networks available to us. Moreover, I'm now worried that I won't be able to get a signal from the Hugo Awards ceremony, which is critical because the convention center's free wi-fi network does not extend into the INB Theatre. I hope to get that tested sometime tomorrow.
lindadee called and asked if Lisa and I wanted to get dinner. We walked to the sushi place not far from the convention center. The sky looked very menacing, with heavy cloud and ash turning the sun a dull red.90 minutes seemed like plenty of time to eat and get back for the 7 PM WSFS Mark Protection Committee Meeting. Unfortunately, the service at the restaurant was overwhelmed by the load, at least half of whom appeared to be people from the convention. We were fifteen minutes late back to the MPC meeting, which couldn't start without us.
There were few surprises from the WSFS Mark Protection Committee meeting, as we'd dealt with most business by e-mail in advance and our report is already online with the other WSFS papers. I did learn that there will be people who are not happy with the proposed Agenda that spreads business out over the final four days of Worldcon, including postponing the two Hugo-nominating-related proposals until Sunday, and that there will be an attempt by them to impose very short debate time limits in order to "power through" the business on Friday only. So that suggests to me that tomorrow's Preliminary Business Meeting will be even more action-packed, in a parliamentary sense, than I expected.
Following recent practice, this year's Hugo Award trophy base design was revealed at the Opening Ceremonies and is now on display in the Hugo Awards exhibit. I took this quick picture this evening after the MPC meeting and hope to get a better picture for use on the official Hugo Awards web site tomorrow.
I called it an early night. We have a long day tomorrow for which I have the alarm set for 6 AM, so it's no parties for me tonight. The sacrifices we make for our fandom.