May 23rd, 2008

Kevin and Lisa

Slow Start

Because MARCON doesn't get going until late on Friday, and my own first commitment isn't until 7 PM this evening, we saw no need to set an alarm or worry about getting up early. Consequently, we didn't even wake up until 11 AM. After having spent five days sleeping in the "comfort" of the back of her pickup truck, Lisa found it difficult to sleep in a big comfy bed and was very restless. I was still probably running a bit on Pacific time notwithstanding a bit of time-shifting yesterday.

We will pull ourselves together soon and get out and explore around for lunch fairly soon, but as I'm paying for the internet on a 24-hour basis, I figured I'd better check my mail now. To my annoyance, I find that T-Mobile's connection here won't support the Cisco VPN software from my work, so I can't connect directly to the company network and get my e-mail. I can get at the mail from the web-mail connection, but it's still irritating. OTOH, now I can't be tempted to try and work on the job-related issue that someone left on my voice-mail yesterday (despite my voice-mail greeting saying "I'm on vacation until after Memorial Day").
Manga Kevin

Walking Around Columbus

After finally dragging ourselves out of bed, we headed out to find food. We went north along High Street and through the Short North Arts District. To our right was the Columbus Convention Center, which is built out over the railroad tracks and the freeway, both of which are depressed through this area. The Convention Center seems pretty big, and there are several hotels in the area other than the attached Hyatt. From my cursory survey, there seems little doubt that from a facilities standpoint, Columbus could have easily hosted a Worldcon. It probably would have been a bit like downtown San Jose, where if you turn one way you have forbidding-looking office towers, parking garages, and similar urban wasteland, but if you turn the other, you find a district full of shops, clubs, and restaurants, all quite walkable.

We continued up High Street, where we happened to come upon Rebecca Forstadt and her boyfriend Doug walking back the other way. After talking with them, we realized that we were off by one street for the North Market, a market area sort of like the marketplace next to the Pennsylvania Convention Center at MilPhil. We walked back to the market and had lunch there, Lisa buying a large chunk of freshly-baked focaccia bread and me getting lamb curry over basmati rice.

Then, needing to walk off the lunch, we headed down past the Nationwide Arena to the riverside park and up the river, looking at the replica of the Santa Maria moored there as well, before looping back up to street level and to the hotel. I found the weather just right, although I wish I'd brought my sunglasses.

Convention programming is just starting up, so in a few minutes we're going to head down and get familiar with the convention space before the opening ceremonies, which are at 7 PM.

Because the T-Mobile service is a 24-hour day, I may not log back in late tonight if today's time has expired -- I'll wait until tomorrow morning.
Manga Kevin

Opening Ceremonies

MARCon's Opening Ceremonies opened with a bang, or rather a lot of bangs, as in banging on a drum, as a drummer led a parade of different fan groups who are running fan tables at the convention. After that, Toastmaster Steven Brust opened by announcing, for the benefit of anyone who hadn't yet heard, about Robert Asprin's death and that Jody Lynn Nye and Bill Fawcett will consequently not be attending either. Trying to make the best of things, he went on to introduce the rest of the Guests of Honor, including me. None of us actually said or did anything other than wave to the audience, except for Alexander James, who sang the title cut from his new album (shipping in about three weeks).

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Brust also made an official announcement of the launch of the Reno in 2011 Worldcon bid. They have a table here at MARCon as well.

And that was about that. Things having broken up a little early, Lisa and I had a chance to go grab a bite of dinner in the food court located one flight of escalators down from the function space before going to an interview with Rebecca Forstadt, which was a relatively intimate affair, with only twenty or so people present.

Then we came upstairs so we could get a photo uploaded and an entry made before my internet time runs out for today. We'll head back out in a few minutes to be sociable.
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