October 13th, 2005

Conrunner Kevin

We Didn't Start Late, Did We?

The latest issue of Locus arrived today. It includes their report on Interaction, and I was eager to see how they reviewed it. I was very happy with the report (and not just because they put my picture in it). They seemed to "get" the entire convention theme and spotted the stuff we did to support it in Events. They did criticize us for having kept the theme so secret that many members never actually understood it, but I can't blame them for that -- I didn't agree with the decision either, but did my best to work within the constraint. If some of the things in Events seemed a little over-the-top with the Spaceport Glasgow theme (such as my uniform and "This is your Captain Speaking" announcements), it was because I believed that we needed to pound on the theme in order to communicate it to people on account of not having had three years of advance publicity for it the way L.A.con IV will have with the Space Cadets. But I digress.

One thing, and it's a small one, troubled me slightly while complimenting us at the same time. The Masquerade review section started "Sunday night's masquerade, unlike Opening Ceremonies and the masquerades in 2003 and 2004, started on time." As far as I can tell, all five of Interaction's major events, including Opening Ceremonies, started on time or within two minutes of the advertised. Starting on time and running to time was a major goal in Events; the crew (some of whom read this LJ) will attest that it was somthing that Captain Standlee wouldn't stop talking about. I believe that a well-run event that starts when it is scheduled enhances the convention experience for everyone, cast, crew, and audience alike. As it happens, both Opening & Closing technically were two minutes "late," but that's because our cue was when the piper ended a particular sequence. That is, when he started into the last piece of the "set" we knew to be ready to go when the music stopped.

I didn't think two minutes would really be considered late, but maybe Locus was even tougher than I was on us. (That, by the way, was why the "This is your Captain Speaking" announcements were scheduled to be at Curtain - 2 minutes, or 19:58, rather than on the hour exactly. I wanted the introduction of the MC's to be at 20:00 on the dot, and I think we were pretty close.

It's possible that the sentence was meant to parse as: "...unlike [the 2003 and 2004] Opening Ceremonies and [the 2003 and 2004] Masquerades..." If so, then I understand.

Yes, I know I'm nit-picking. I set high standards for myself, and tend to focus on what went wrong and what could have been better. I have to work hard to focus on what went right, which was most of what we did.
Conrunner Kevin


My company, like many others, has produced over the years numerous pieces of merchandise, including shirts, caps, and other gewgaws including stuff like golf tees. A few bits of this stuff fall to me from time to time, and one of the most useful such items was a toiletry bag that held most of my personal items and unzipped to hang on a hook in the bathroom. I've had that kit for many years, and it's traveled as far as Australia and Glasgow with me. So imagine my annoyance when I went looking for it tonight and couldn't find it. I remember packing things into it in the hotel room in Naperville before I left on Wednesday, but I don't remember actually zipping it up and putting it into my (very full) luggage. Darn it, I must have left it hanging in the bathroom in my hotel room!

This is annoying, because I'm leaving for Oregon late Friday morning for the weekend, and I wanted that kit. I expect the hotel collected it when they turned the room. I'll call them in the morning to see if they have it. Assuming they do, I'll ask them to send it back to me, or even better, see if they'll give it to my co-worker who is arriving on Sunday night, and he can ship it back to me.

I do hope I get the kit back. There's nothing irreplaceable in it, but I'm used to using it, and having to restart these things is a hassle.

Fortunately for me, as I'm going to Oregon to be with Lisa for the weekend, most of the stuff in the kit is actually duplicated up there at the house in Mehama, so I'm not terribly inconvenienced. And I suppose it's a good thing that I had to turn around and travel again right after coming back from Chicago, as I might have gone several weeks -- probably until OryCon -- before realizing I didn't have my travel kit.
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