October 8th, 2006

Conrunner Kevin

Great Day in Sports: USA Rugby Wins Big

After figuring out where the rugby stadium was, I was able to secure a seat in the second row of the stands on the 10-meter line, which gave me a great close-up view of certain parts of the game; unfortunately for all of us in the stands, it seems like both teams choose to concentrate most of their play on the far side of the field in both halves.

The outcome of the game was never really in doubt. USA defeated Uruguay 33-7 to earn a space in next year's Rugby World Cup. Uruguay were outmatched. Even during a period when two USA players were sent to the sin bin for ten minutes, Uruguay were unable to score and in fact conceded points to the USA during the period when they were playing 15-on-13.

I noticed that Brian Vizard, who used to co-anchor the Fox Sports World rugby coverage, was doing what looked to be play-by-play above the stand where I was sitting. After the game, I went to the top row of the stands, where a tall person like me could look over the bar and catch his attention after he finished with the commentary. I told him how much I'd enjoyed his work with Fox, particularly the "Laws of the Game" segments that helped me learn the rules of rugby, and how disappointed I was when Fox gave up on everything except soccer. He thanked me and shook my hand. I unfortunately had nothing handy for autographing, or I would have asked for one.

I estimate at least a thousand people attended, some of whom were in the stands, but many of whom ringed the field, which is surrounded by only a waist-high fence. There were, unfortunately, no food concessions, so I was very hungry by the time the game ended. I went off and found food right away before returning to Silicon.
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Giants Fanatic

Great Day in Sports: Dodgers and Yankees Lose

As I was getting into the van, I heard the ninth inning of the Tigers-Yankees baseball game, with Detroit closing it out and eliminating the Yankees. I wanted so much to hear John Sterling call, "The Yankees lose! Theeeeee Yankees lose!"

And happy day, the Dodgers were also eliminated as they lost to the Mets. Cue Vin Scully with a line he actually did deliver once: "An embarrassing day for the Dodgers."

Although I picked as my optimal World Series A's-Padres, we now have a situation where I have nothing against any of the five remaining teams and just about any combination would be good. I'm not really a fan of any of them, but I'm also not an anti-fan of any of them. And I'll watch or listen to many of the games no matter what.
Conrunner Kevin

Saturday Evening at SiliCon

I didn't get to SiliCon today until 5:30 PM thanks to the rugby at Stanford, but eventually got the attention of the Registration desk sufficiently to actually buy a membership. If the membership numbers on the badges are not too full of holes, there are around 600 people attending.

I took my computer over the Fan Table lane and checked e-mail, but -- as is the way with these things -- people stopped to chat and I therefore did not do any LJ entries at the time; instead, I shut down the computer. I can write LJ entries anytime.

Tom Whitmore and David Clark sat down with me and we (naturally) smoffed on various subjects. We even had our pictures taken -- Worldcon Chairs on Display, I guess. After that I went to see the Masquerade, a small affair of 14 entries hosted by Fan Guest of Honor Craige Howlett. Craige was hampered somewhat by the lack of a lecturn on which to sit his notes. It was not until after the event when I was sitting out in the lower level foyer with bovil,kproche, and others that we noticed that there was a lecturn sitting over in a corner. Had we but known, a squad of fans could have rectified the MC's dilemma.

Alas, I forgot to take my camera -- I remembered it while I was on the Dumbarton Bridge on the way to Stanford, and wasn't going to head back to get it -- and have no costume photos. Apparently the Best in Show went to a fellow in a Browncoats costume who sang a version of I'm a Good Old Rebel. By coincidence, I'd just listened to the "Songs of the Civil War" CD last week, so I got it right away and told him so afterwards.

The costume that got the biggest laugh, though was one introduced as, "this costume is to die for." A woman came out dressed as a giant 20-sided die.

Among the 14 entries were several young fans. I complimented them on their costumes and stage presence afterwards.

Then it was up to the party floor. There were relatively few parties compared to BayCon, but they did include the loeg and basfa parties. As loud music and crowds are not really my scene, while relatively quiet and comfortable conversation is, I spent most of the evening at BASFA. Joining me was Raven O'Neill in her Incredibles costume and many people who passed through and engaged in fine fannish conversation.

Around 1:30 AM, as I started to realize how late it was and how far I was from home, Raven said she was heading back to her hotel room. I knew from talking with her that she had been economizing by staying at the Motel 6 down the street. While the distance wasn't that far, I offered to drive her back to her hotel and spare her having to walk down that street, including crossing the freeway exit ramp that has no way to trigger the lights for pedestrians, in spiky high heels. She accepted the offer and we headed out. After taking her back to the hotel, I headed home.

I'll be back for the last of SiliCon tomorrow, possibly in my WSFS uniform, but now I need a few hours of sleep.

Update, 9 Oct 10:45: Added link to masquerade photo, courtest of johno.
WSFS Captain 2

SiliCon Sunday

For today's last day of SiliCon, I wore my WSFS uniform. I remembered to bring my camera today. I forgot to pack the spare batteries. After I took a couple of photos of Raven O'Neill and she of me, I realized that the camera was saying, "My batteries are almost dead," so I had to put the camera away. Sorry about that.

I actually attended a panel: SF/SF, where editor Jean Martin and other instigators of this bi-weekly newszine of Bay Area fan activity talked about the 'zine. Turned out that nearly everyone in the panel had contributed something to the 'zine, if only (as in my case) a letter of comment -- so much so that when they had all of us who contributed come up for a group photo, it was a challenge to find someone who could actually take the photo!
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WSFS Captain 4

SiliCon Feedback Session

I atended the SiliCon feedback session. No blood was spilled.

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They don't have an attendance figure yet, and I understand the challenges in coming up with a figure. Trying to get an order of magnitude, I asked, "Was it more than 500 and less than 1000 people?" Co-chairman Chris Knight said, somewhat reservedly, "Yes, and probably toward the top end of that range." They don't have an exact figure because they distributed a lot of free passes as charity outreach, and those are being tracked differently than regular memberships. But that figure squares with my perception. Add another five hundred attendees and I think they'll be back at the fannish critical mass that existed here in the 1980s.
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