January 29th, 2009

Conrunner Kevin

Hot Hot Hot

I have been following the Australian Open tennis coverage. (I don't generally follow tennis, but do watch the major tournaments when I can.) They certainly do make Melbourne look very good, and I wouldn't mind being there for the tournament. I did sign up for Tennis Channel's sweepstakes, which includes R/T airfare for two from the US to Australia, a tour of the McWilliams winery, and hotel and tickets for the first four days of next year's tournament. (You end up having to go home before the tournament ends, but not many people have the resources to spend the entire two weeks there unless they're working on the event in some way.)

OTOH, I'm not sure I'd be too thrilled being there in conditions like they were having for the past few days. The air temperatures have been in the Celsius mid-40s, which is ghastly enough, but the temperature on the courts themselves are worse. I saw a camera shot of a thermometer sitting on the Rod Laver Arena court that had gone off the end of the scale at 60 C. One of the commentators sitting in the arena had a little gadget that she pointed at things to take their temperature, and she pointed it at one of the seats at the arena -- 75 degrees! That's inhumanly hot!

I was amazed that it took them so long to recognize that the heat conditions had reached the danger zone and close the roof on the two arenas that have them and suspend play on the outside courts. Yes, I know it's supposed to be an outdoor tournament and that fitness and ability to play in the heat is part of the game, but temperatures that high are so dangerous that if they can't cool down the courts by closing the roof, they should suspend play entirely. They could have killed someone out there!

I wonder, if I won the sweepstakes, if they'd let me swap the travel for August-September 2010 instead of January? As it stands now, I'm not that sure whether I'll be able to make it to Aussiecon Four. Resources are tight, and airlines have raised the requirements for using frequent-travel miles on those long trips.
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Preview of New Fan Central

As posted in various other places, Further Confusion has put their "Welcome to the Fairmont" video online. FurCon is moving from the the Doubletree Hotel San Jose -- which for many years was Fan Central Station for SF genre conventions in the Bay Area -- to the Fairmont Hotel downtown San Jose. This was ConJose's headquarters hotel (as mentioned in the video), and is the hotel that the Westercon San Jose in 2011 bid is proposing and that SFSFC is using to host our World Fantasy Convention later this year. In case you haven't already seen it, here it is:

I know that I am very impressed at both FurCon for preparing this video and for the Fairmont in helping them make it. In my opinion, this bodes very well for the future outlook for genre conventions at the Fairmont, if the hotel is this eager for our business.