September 4th, 2007

Manga Kevin

Convention Over; Still Busy

Nippon 2007 officially ended shortly after 1300 local time when chairman Hiroke Inoue wielded the Gavel of WSFS for the final time before handing it over to Kent Bloom, chairman of Denvention Three. But of course the final afternoon is hectic as well, involving much of move-out. Lisa and I didn't participate in as much of that as we maybe should have done, as we were instead having our pictures taken in our WSFS uniforms, taking pictures of other people in their great costumes, and engaging in an orgy of sticker-book exchanges. In the end, I filled 110 of the 120 spaces in my sticker book filled, which is pretty cool. I think it's possible that this sticker book thing could catch on at American cons if someone wanted to try it and promote it a bit.

By then, we had gone too long without food, and so we popped over to the Queens Mall for lunch at "Garlic Jo's" where Gilroy Garlic Festival posters decorate the walls and "garlic and spicy tomato" pasta needed a fair bit of red pepper to have real taste. We then spent 90 minutes or so in the Cosmoworld amusement park whose Cosmo Wheel "Yokohama Eye" looms at us out our hotel window. We rode the Big Wheel, then the roller coaster that dives down through the pool, the log flume, and the spinning "Wild Mouse" style coaster. We ended up with a single ticket good for one top-class ride, which I put into the auction at the BASFA meeting later that evening.

Then it was off to help with the setup for the Old Pharts (Worldcon Chairs) party. We were there early, but the setup was mostly done by the time we got there. One thing they didn't have was enough ice. We checked the massive Dead Crane Dog Party going on down on the third floor of the Conference Center, but they were out of ice as well. Trying to hit the hotel ice machines was pointless. Lisa and I hit the machines on eight different floors and managed only a kilogram or two. So we popped down to World Porters, where ice was for sale at "only" JPY198 for 1.1 kg. Ouch! And it was so late that the supply of breakfast pasteries from Le Bon Pain was miniscule, too.

The spread at the Worldcon Chair's party was impressive, and we made a dinner of the sushi and other goodies present. The room filled up nicely, and when the newest inductee into the Former Worldcon Chairs' Club, Inoue-san, arrived, David Clark and I asked him to come into the main room for a presentation to him from SFSFC. Dave gave him a case of six San Jose McEnery Convention Center mugs (ex-ConJose) while I gave him a package of Cable Car pins (ex-ConFrancisco). Yes, this means that Dave and I gave Inoue-san presents representing each other's Worldcon.

Shortly after 2100, the BASFA regulars and semi-regulars and see-you-at-Worldcon types went out into the hallway and took over the elevator lobby -- the party being too full for such foolishness -- and convened what we contend was Meeting 892, and we have pictures to prove it. As the closest thing to a club officer handy, I presided.

The meeting took a bit longer than I expected, and things got contentious over the Rumor of the Week, leading to much payment of surplus vote fees. In the end, the club took in JPY4387, which, using about the same conversion rate as Bank of America charged me, nets BASFA USD39, and I wrote the club a check for that amount. Now I don't have to worry about having enough 100-yen coins for the rest of this trip, I reckon.

Tomorrow morning, we head off to Kamakura, so I'll be gone all day and away from computers even worst than during Worldcon. Tomorrow evening is rough. We have to repack everything into "rest of trip" and "send to Narita Holiday Inn for storage" and maybe find a way to do laundry.

I need another copy of me -- one to go travel and the other to write about it here. Finding time to write is difficult.
Manga Kevin

Culture Day

As soon as we can get our act together this morning, we're off to Kamakura for a day of wandering around the temples. But, being the way we are, we'll take the alternative train route to Ofuna -- the nearest JR station to us has trains every few minutes going there anyway -- and then take the Shonan Monorail to connect into the Enoden railway line back up to Hase before walking to see the Giant Buddha and other impressive sites.

No time to provide links and photos this morning, sorry. I've spent over an hour answering mail as it is.