August 19th, 2007

Hugo Trophy

Preparations Continue

I've received the informational e-mail from the organizer of this year's pre-Hugo Awards reception, along with a follow-up thanking L.A.con IV with coming through with some last-minute grant money to make sure there's more than minimal refreshments at the reception. The Hugo ceremony will be at 6 PM local time, not the more traditional 8 PM.

(Thinking as a conrunner, I am guessing, with no inside information, that this early start may be a function of convention center hall rental costs, which may also explain why all programming shuts down at 6 PM daily. I know that in 2005, we were sweating out getting out of the Armadillo by midnight, and that means completely out, not just the audience. Had we missed the midnight move-out, we were liable for an additional half-day rent on the hall, which in retrospect we could have afforded but which would have been wasted money anyway. We did get out in time.)

johnnyeponymous has given me his Hugo Award acceptance speeches (one for each category), so I no longer have to threaten to embarrass him on stage if he wins. I've printed two copies of each speech, one for me to read and one to give to the translator as I go on stage. Chris is considered by most (including himself) to be a long-shot to win, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be prepared in case he does.

Meanwhile, I continue to pack things that can be packed now, like my WSFS uniform hat and some of the uniform attachments. As the pile of "Worldcon only" things continues to grow, I'm starting to think about changing post-Worldcon travel strategy. As it stands now, I'm taking a large bag (32x20x12 inches) and a medium-large (32x16x12) bag. The plan was for Lisa and me to put our Worldcon-only stuff in the medium bag and either ship that back to the USA or -- if Intercontinental Grand/Holiday Inn obliges us -- store it somewhere for a couple of weeks. I would then keep my rest-of-trip stuff in the large bag. But there is so much stuff piled now that I foresee being "Worldcon only," such as my WSFS uniform, business suit, dress shirt and shoes, ties, WSFS business meeting material, and so forth, that I may reverse that and have the large bag be the Worldcon-only stuff and use the smaller of the two as my travel-around-the-country bag.

The only drawback to this plan is that the medium bag is really worn quite badly. This will be the fourth continent it has visited, and it's not in the greatest of shape. But on the other hand, a smaller bag may be easier to lug onto and off of trains, even though the "medium" bag is only four inches narrower than the "large" bag.

I have a smaller bag (26x15x10), but I don't think I can easily carry enough in it for the two-plus weeks of intra-Japan travel, especially as the CPAP machine takes up a fair bit of volume in the bag. I may take it along with me to Oregon and make the final decision up there when we do the final repacking on the 26th.

Papa [SMOF]'s Got a Brand New Bag

Anyone who has seen me at a convention in the past ten years has probably seen my carrying an over-the-shoulder soft-sided briefcase made by Land's End. This bag has been through a lot, but it has been reaching the end of its days. I've been having to resort to lots of duct tape to keep it from falling completely apart, and the metal D-rings where the shoulder strap connects to the bag are down to only about 1 mm or so thickness and were certainly going to fail soon.

Unfortunately, Land's End doesn't make that exact style of bag any more -- if they did, I would simply replace like-for-like -- so, after one false start where I ended up ordering a bag that was much too small, I ended up with a new case, which arrived (just in time for the Japan trip) this past week.

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So while I have a new, clean, sturdy bag, I'm uneasy about how well it will work. Mind you, part of this is that I've been using that old bag and an identically-designed one before that for roughly fifteen years now, and it's going to be a difficult mental switch to get used to finding things in different places.