September 6th, 2005

Conrunner Kevin

This Dog is Dead

After dinner, Lisa and I went up to the Con Suite where the (or at least a) Dead Dog Party was going on. I spent the next 2-3 hours there talking with people, but about 11:30 I started nodding off and told Lisa, who was still enjoying herself, that I'd head on in.

Tom Veal has written a nice (and I think fair) report on CascadiaCon on his Stromata Blog, including praise for the convention newsletter, Fax Cascadia. Editor R’ykandar (Dara) Korra’ti came by the Con Suite on her way home, and I passed on both Tom's praise and my own. I've done newsletters at five conventions (two SiliCons, two BayCons, and an OryCon), and I know how much work it is. I think Dara and her team hit just the right balance of information and entertainment. I gave her a hug and told her that I thought she did great, and that it was a Worldcon-class effort and execution. Tom mentioned that Dara "ought to be conscripted for Worldcon publications." Actually, she has been, as she was one of the staff at Noreascon 4. Dara protests that she's a "one trick pony," but there's nothing wrong with doing a particular job very well.

Tom also observes, I think rightly, that regarding the overall running of the convention, there was "grumbling ... from people who are perhaps too close to con operations to have real perspective." The convention was not perfect, and I've commented on some of the things I've heard people say, and as Tom said, they were perhaps a bit ambitious. But the convention appears to be able to meet its bills, and a lot of people enjoyed themselves. I think congratulations are in order; possibly this is the foundation of a future greater effort for at least this branch of Seattle fandom.

And so I'm off to bed, and back to the Bay Area tomorrow, Alaska Airlines willing.
Conrunner Kevin

Finally, a Chance to Rest

I'm back home in Fremont. We got packed out of the room, got Lisa's stuff into her van -- she was traveling relatively heavy because she could -- and put me on the shuttle to the airport. There was a minor dispute with my hotel bill. The room charge, of course, was at the convention's expense, with me responsible only for my incidental charges such as internet access and the like. They'd charged me a minibar fee even though I'd never taken anything from the minibar (they removed this charge without question). Then they had $18/day plus tax for valet parking. Parking was supposed to be free for the first car registered to any given room. They said that the fee was because we'd parked in the valet spaces instead of the self-parking lot. I pointed out that the only reason Lisa's van was parked in the valet spaces was because their parking lot is designed in a brain-dead way that forces all vehicles to go through the low-clearance parking garage to get to the open-air parking spaces, which we could not do because it would have torn the top of the van off. The desk clerk said she could do nothing about it, and I decided not to argue, figuring that either CascadiaCon could reimburse me or I could just live with it. I did resolve to complain to the hotel later. When I got back to the room to finish packing, I got a call from the front desk. Upon further reflection, they decided to take the parking charge off the bill. Thank you, Hilton!

The flight back to Oakland was uneventful. Crowded, but uneventful. I'd volunteered to be bumped (I could have used the free ticket), but they didn't need it. I even managed to doze a bit on the flight down, which shows how tired I am, as I don't sleep easily on planes (trains, yes, buses and planes, no). Then it was just a matter of wrestling my luggage onto and off of the AirBART bus, then up to the BART train to Fremont, then into a taxi back to my apartment because the next bus home wouldn't be for another 45 minutes and I didn't really want to wait that long. (The cabbie didn't offer to handle my bags; you can be sure his tip was adjusted accordingly.) I still had a bit to do; I had to run over to the post office and restart mail delivery, and get something to eat; then, I did some minimal unpacking -- mostly the pieces of the exhibit about which I was most concerned about being in the luggage -- and checked my e-mail for the most urgent messages. After I take care of this journal entry, I think I'm going to bed early. While I had a great time at CascadiaCon, I'm really tired, and I have to work tomorrow, at the new office where I've never actually been before. I hope I can find the map I printed out last week.