September 2nd, 2009

SMOF Zone

Worldcon Vs. Comic-Con?

SF Signal has published one of their "Mind Melds" about What Worldcon and Comic-Con can learn from each other. Like Cheryl says, I think anyone proposing that Worldcon should settle down in one place so it can Get Big has missed the point. The Olympics have had similar arguments. It's very inefficient for the Olympics to be in a different place every four years; it would be much better if they picked one place and built a permanent Olympic facility. (Greece would be traditional, but I bet Sydney would work out better and be more comfortable.) But part of the point of moving around is to bring the event closer to different people. Comic-Con may be wonderful, but it's always in San Diego, and if you live in (say) Glasgow, it's always going to cost you a fortune to attend, whereas a Worldcon can be expected to sometimes come within relatively easy striking distance.

But what do I know? The last time I attended Comic-Con, it was merely 30,000 people.

That doesn't mean that I think Worldcon is Just Right. It isn't. If we could get it up to or beyond its historical peak attendance of about 8,000, it would work better as a convention without destroying the management paradigm Fandom developed for running it. And it would cost less per person and we could charge less for membership, too -- on the order of $100 less at the door than we currently charge.
Wig Wag

Well Done, Metra!

I just received a phone call from Sharon Austin, Metra's chief communications officer. My letter about the "photos are illegal" conductor was pushed up to her, and she called me to apologize and ask for more information, like could I identify the specific staff member (alas, I couldn't -- no name badge, and I don't remember which hat the man was wearing -- conductor or collector). She said that I did everything right, and that the technical term for what I was doing was "tourist." *smile* She says they'll figure out who the crew was on that train and at the very least remind them of what the rules actually are. According to her, Metra is in the process of re-doing their web site, and that they will have a photo policy that will be easier to find there once the revamp is done. I should also expect to get a written reply. We chatted amiably for about fifteen minutes, and she invited me to look her up the next time I'm in the Chicago area if I have the time.

All in all, I feel much better about the whole thing. This may well be a learning experience for the crew member in question. Assuming he's never done anything like this before, I'm not looking to get the guy fired. I just don't want him or his buddies hassling people who aren't doing anything wrong.
Giants Fanatic

Sleepless Week on Horizon

The week of September 14 is looking like one in which I won't get a lot of sleep or be terribly productive. For September 13, I have a jury duty notice -- I won't know until the night before whether I actually have to show up or not. September 15 is the group outing to Spamalot in San Jose. September 16 I have a ticket to the Giants-Rockies game (likely to have significant playoff implications) purchased with a gift card received from Holiday Inn as a premium for enough stays -- essentially I earned a game ticket by staying at the Holiday Inn Select for Anticipation. But that's two late nights in a row that week, which is likely to have me a little zombie-like that week. In retrospect, I probably should have used the gift card on a different game, but the number of significant home games left this season isn't large, and the prices of games against the Dodgers (previous weekend) are significantly higher than the midweek game I booked. Thanks to the gift card, I have a seat in lower box section 107 -- quite a premium seat roughly looking down on first base. I've never been in such a high-rent district before.