December 2nd, 2005

Conrunner Kevin


I'm now in Portland, posting this entry using the free wireless available at PDX. OAK airport now has airport-wide wireless, but it costs $9.95/day. I also figured that spending a few minutes checking e-mail beats hanging around baggage claim for 10-20 minutes waiting for bags to arrive.

I'll be here through Monday, attending SMOFCon 23, the convention for conrunners, at the Red Lion Hotel Portland Convention Center. This is the first time I've stayed in a Red Lion hotel for a long time. Back before Doubletree took over and rebranded a bunch of the properties, I seemed to be spending close to a month per year in Red Lions, and I'm still a Platinum member of their frequent-stay program (grandfathered in when Red Lion and WestCoast Hotels merged).

Because I worked from home yesterday, I realized rather late that I didn't have a power supply for my laptop computer. (I use a docking station at home.) But then, while I was packing, I realized further that the power supply for the docking station appears to be the same specification as the one for the laptop. The plugs match, at least. Assuming this works, and assuming that the wireless service at the hotel works, I should be online throughout the weekend.
Conrunner Kevin

That'll Teach Me a Lesson

Usually, when I book a hotel room through a web form, I print the confirmation page. For whatever reason, I did not do so for SMOFCon and the Red Lion Portland Convention Center. Unfortunately, when I got here, they told me there was no reservation in my name, and the reservation number I gave them "wasn't one of theirs."

The desk clerk said, "There are several Red Lion hotels in Portland; maybe you're booked into one of them."

I said, "I know there are lots of Red Lions, but this in the only one hosting the SMOFCon connrunning conference."

They found nothing, and the Con Suite wasn't open yet, so I decided to sit down in the hotel lobby and wait for someone from the con to turn up. Fortunately, I hadn't waited long when Patty Wells arrived. After having to deal with the OryCon problems, this one was easy. Eventually they found that my reservation was off by one day -- I had it arriving yesterday and leaving Sunday, instead of arriving today and leaving Monday. I could well have made that error at booking time, but not having a printed copy, I don't know one way or another. Because I didn't arrive yesterday, I "no-showed," and they cancelled my reservation. The person from the hotel reset my room reservation and said I wouldn't be charged for the no-show. I hope that's the case.

As I mentioned in a previous comment, the room I'm in runs cold. The hotel warned me about this, but I went ahead and accepted a second-floor room rather than have to wait for something else to become available elsewhere. And if I feel slightly cold, other people are likely going to consider it icebox-like. I hope it's not too bad for Lisa!

Now I need to go get a small snack, as Lisa will be here in about 90 minutes or so, when we should get lunch.
  • Current Mood
    cold cold
Conrunner Kevin

Splitting Best Novel Hugo?

According to this entry on the Emerald City blog, an entry on the Locusmag blog suggests splitting the Hugo Award for Best Novel into best SF and best Fantasy Novel. Cheryl heaps scorn upon this proposal for good reasons, and I mostly agree with her and amplify on this in my comments to her blog entry.

The key reason it's unlikely to happen anytime soon is that the regular attendees of the Business Meeting are very likely to "spike" the subject by an Objection to Consideration if it's proposed. Any proposal that can't get at least one-third of the attendees present willing to vote to debate dies a quick death, and the WSFS BM regulars have shown a tendency to kill a lot of proposals without a hearing. Some have decried this practice, complaining that they're not being given a fair hearing; however, I think it's the right way to go. Deliberative assemblies have rights as a whole, and one of them is not having their time wasted with proposals that have the support of small minorities.
Conrunner Kevin

Live from SMOFCon: Friday Afternoon

The wireless access here works in the lobby, in my hotel room, and in the function room where I am now. The opening 2 PM panel, a continuation of the 2-Year Worldcon Timeline workshop held at last year's SMOFCon, has been postponed due to the panel materials not being ready yet. Patty Wells, who is running Programming, says that new time will be announced at the Icebreaker tonight, because it is an important subject.

As is the way of these things, most of the people seem to be hanging around in the Con Suite, except for those of us who are in this room where the postponed program item is.

Here in a few minutes, Vince Docherty will host a panel on "Lessons Learned from This Year's Worldcon."
Conrunner Kevin

SMOFCon: Interaction Recap

Vince Docherty talking about how Interaction ran was a popular panel, and ran 90 minutes instead of the scheduled 60, but that was partially because the topic was so popular and partly because the L.A.con IV space allocation workshop scheduled for 4 PM has nothing scheduled after it and "yielded" the time. The room is wall-to-wall -- about 50 people -- for the L.A.con IV space allocation.
Conrunner Kevin


We used the facilities plans for the space that L.A.con IV will be using for planning space allocation for "Hypotheticon" -- rather than trying to tie things directly to L.A.con IV. There was some nice outside-the-box thinking (it will be interesting to see if any of it turns up in Anaheim next August), but also a lot of wheel reinvention by people in the audience that I would have thought would know better.

With panels running a full hour late, we now have less than two hours before the 8 PM ice-breaker. We hope to be able to hop on light rail over the river and eat across the river, but I doubt we'll actually make it back in time.
Conrunner Kevin

The Perils of Poker

The function space in the Red Lion Portland Convention Center is not amenable to taking over a small out-of-the-way room for playing of Dealer's Choice (or the planned Texas Hold-Em Tournament), unlike last year's SMOFCon site. We only have the one function room, and it's in use for the social mixer. So the situation is a bit up in the air right now, and I hope we'll be able to use the one and only function room after the social/mixer and tomorrow night after the Fannish Inquisition.

I made a nice printed sign-up sheet for the tournament, and then I forgot to print it out befofe leaving Fremont. I'm told there is a mini business center in the lobby. Whether it has a printer is an open question.