November 4th, 2005

Conrunner Kevin

Brave New OryCon

I got in to Portland last night, and Lisa collected me from a light rail station near the airport as is our usual practice. (Lisa does not like driving into airports these days, as she feels that if anyone is going to be stopped and have their car dismantled by Fatherland Security agents, it will be her.) After getting dinner, we headed downtown to the new OryCon hotel. We were able to find curbside parking (no charge after 7 PM) so we could go check in without the pressure of being parked in the hotels' forecourt. I'd said to go ahead and put me on a party floor, so I'm on the fourth floor near the elevators, which is okay with me. We then went to a Safeway a few blocks away and bought a small amount of groceries. Lisa has a small electric cooler -- it looks like an ice chest, but runs on 12V current, for which she also has an inverter so it can run on 110V AC -- so we can have milk and juice in the hotel room.

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This morning, we were able to have breakfast in the room thanks to Lisa's forethought on bringing the mini-fridge. Since mmy first panel isn't until 4 PM, there was no pressure to get up early, so we didn't. After breakfast, we went downstairs, where it appears the computer conference is still using the areas that would be obvious for convention registration and t-shirt sales (the area Lisa often volunteers to run). A queue of people stretched out of the con office on the ground floor. Again, I didn't see any place were I could be of use, and I'm not running a fan table of any sort here -- for the first time in a long time -- so instead of obsessing over where my table was and trying to get moved in, Lisa and I went back to the hotel room and played British Rails.

That carried us past noon, which gave me the change to get online and collect my e-mail. Lisa went off to see if they needed help with t-shirts, and came back a little later, having learned that OryCon this year has outsourced t-shirt sales, but that nobody seems to know where they will be. She points out that they're missing a lot by not being set up to sell shirts now, as this early period with a lot of people wandering around with little to do is a good time to sell lots of shirts. Watching someone else use the computer is boring, so she's going to go swimming, as the pool deck is only one floor down from us.

Learning to work in a new hotel when you've been using the same facility for many, many years is difficult. And having worked on so many conventions, I am not in the mood to criticize a case of new-hotel jitters. I think a lot of the dislocation I feel around here is because of that, and because everyone working on the con has the same "new facility" feeling. I presume everything will pull together soon. What I wonder is whether anyone will show up for my panel at 4 today.