June 30th, 2006

Manga Kevin

Minutes on the Clock are Closer Than They Appear

I'm supposed to be up between 3 and 3:30 this morning. It's almost 12:30 AM and I still haven't got to bed yet. Match Game last second stuff, troubleshooting Lisa's computer, and quite a few odds and ends that needed tying up, not to mention packing! Writing up all of it would take more time than I can spare, but it certainly was a busy night!

It's very nearly at the point where it's not worth going to bed, but if I try right about now, maybe the three hours of sleep will help.
Manga Kevin

Westercon, Day 0, Travel: Home to San Diego

This is a backdated entry describing my travel from Fremont to San Diego. Since it's backdated, it's not supposed to show up in people's friends-list feeds; therefore, you have nobody to blame but yourself if you're annoyed by the length, so I'm not putting cut tags on it.

I was up at 0300 after going to bed 90 minutes later. I drove to BART, took a train to Coliseum, and managed to get on an AirBART bus that was so full that other people were left behind.

Oakland Airport was a zoo, with the security queue stretched clear past Alaska Airlines baggage claim. It moved faster than I expected. I got airside early enough to have a quick breakfast at 360 Gourmet Burrito. My flight to LAX was boarding as I arrived at the gate. They let me move to an unoccupied exit row, and I had an easy flight that arrived exactly on schedule.

The transfer at LAX was a little tight, but worked out perfectly. Again, just as I arrived, they started boarding the plane for the flight to San Diego, an Brasilia EMB-120 -- twin turboprops, 1-2 seating. Again, the flight was uneventful.

After claiming my bags, I went to the curb and found the city bus stop clearly signed (unlike some other airports through which I've traveled). When the bus arrived, I asked if I could buy a day pass ($5). The driver said no, he could only sell the $2.25 cash fare; however, he asked me if I was going to light rail, and when I said yes, he told me he wouldn't charge me a fare and I could just go pay the $5 day-tripper to the ticket machines. This is a good attitude from the driver, but a poor design from the system. You should always be able to buy a day pass from the first point you contact the transit system, but unfortunately too many systems fail to do this and make you pay a cash fare (which you can't claim as credit toward the day pass cost) to go to a place where you can buy the day pass.

Anyway, I rode the bus to America Plaza station, bought a day pass, and presently boarded a light rail train. My luggage is heavy -- I had to repack to get it under the 50 pound limit by putting heavier things into a second bag -- and lugging it up the steep stairs of the old U2 LRV is difficult even for me. Transferring at Old Town to the newer low-floor equipment was much easier, once I got my bag out of the first train -- it's a cross-platform transfer.

At Rio Vista station, I exited the train and walked down the long ramp to the hotel. It is warm and muggy here. I was very early -- at least two hours earlier than expected.

Although it was early, the hotel front desk gave me a room on the fourth floor (I'd volunteered to be part of the Party Zone buffer). I took quite a while unpacking all of the stuff I'd brought. Just as I was unpacking the last of it, I got a call telling me they were sorry, but they'd given me the wrong room. My room is the one across the hall, and it wasn't ready yet. My room -- one of the few connecting rooms on the floor -- is needed by one of the parties. (I later learned this was Kevin Roche and Andy Trembley's room to which it would connect.) However, they told me that I could keep using the room, take a shower, etc. until my actual room was ready. And, since I was just moving across the hall, it wasn't quite as difficult to relocate as it would have been to totally strike the room and repack for travel.

I cleaned up and rested for a while, and prepared to relocate. Unfortunately, I was unable to take a nap the way I wanted to do so due to the room confusion. After moving across the hall, I took the old keys back to the front desk. To my surprise, Lisa was here. I didn't expect her for some time. Turns out she had arrived almost the same time I did, but she didn't hear my radio call, and wasn't expecting me until about then.

We had a bit of a confusion here, because I'd been running on nearly no sleep and needed to eat lunch, and reacted the way I often do when on low blood sugar. We got her van parked and the stuff from the van moved up to the room, then we to have lunch. I over-reacted and ate far too much, leading to a 205 blood sugar reading. Normally I would make this a cause for immediate exercise, but I desperately needed some sleep or I would have been hopeless for tonight's ball game. I lay down and got a 90 minute nap.

Overall, I consider the travel to have been about as good as could have been expected. Obviously, the hotel confusion was the payback for having had perfect connections on travel.
Giants Fanatic

Westercon, Day 0: Travel

I'm at the Marriott Mission Valley, home of this year's Westercon in San Diego. I had 90 minutes sleep last night and a 90 minute nap this afternoon. I'd love to type up my copious notes of my travel to here, but don't have time, as we need to see about finding out tickets for tonight's Padres-Giants baseball game.

My actual traveling to the hotel could not have gone better. Things got strange once I got to the hotel.

I hope to write more later. After all, I've paid for the day (Noon to Noon) of internet access on the hotels' wired service, so I'd better get some use from it!