July 1st, 2010

High Speed Train

Doing Our Part

I didn't have time to include this when I checked in from the hotel Wednesday afternoon because we really needed to go get me fed, but before we turn in for the night, Lisa suggested I post this photo because I'm unlikely to remember to do so later. On the way south from Atascadero, we made a brief stop at the Gaviota Rest Area on US-101, stretching our legs and admiring the stark views of the rocks looming over the highway. Lisa took a picture of Kuma Bear and me showing off the sign we posted in the rear window.

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Lisa had suggested I make this sign, which I did for this trip. Yes, sure, we were driving in large part because have to transport a van full of stuff; however, Lisa noted that if there really was a proper High-Speed Rail system here, we probably would have taken the train and shipped our stuff ahead to meet us instead. Anyway, we hope people could see our sign of support and that we might get people thinking favorable thoughts about the project.

I'll keep that sign in the back once I get back, but I hope it doesn't get my window bashed in by the NIMBYs on the Peninsula, particularly the ones who voted for HSR but who now don't want it because they assumed that they'd only run the tracks Somewhere Else. (After all, you can only be Green if you make Other People sacrifice for you.)

Pitching In

After getting dinner, we drove to Smart & Final (there's one about two miles from the hotel) to get the "heavy" stuff (mostly drinks) for Thursday night's Tonopah party, then went back to the hotel, where we went and paid for the party room. (We're renting the space that is the Con Suite in the daytime.) We also discovered that due to a last-minute hotel mis-communication, the room we thought we were using was wrong, which means we'll have to hand-correct our pre-printed party fliers, but it's not the end of the world.

I realized that I'd forgotten to pack any of my usual Glucerna food bars. A check of the web found a Pavilions (part of the same family of grocery stores as Safeway) about 2 km from the hotel that was open until Midnight. Lisa seemed up to it, so just before 10 PM, we walked from the hotel to the grocery store, where we picked up some food bars and bananas. It's good to get some walking in — it turns out we logged more than 11K steps today! — because we certainly won't get enough walking done during the convention, being as busy as we're scheduled to be.

As we got back to the hotel, we found Dave Clark, who had just arrived and was unhappy to discover the Dealer's Room locked up even though he'd been promised he could move in until 11 PM. Fortunately, Chairman Christian McGuire came along and was able to get the room unlocked. Christian sat with Lisa and me in the Dealer's Room and we chatted while he ate his dinner and we waited for Dave to get checked in to the hotel and get his car moved around to where he could start moving his stuff in through the parking garage entrance to the hotel. Christian also let me in to the con office where we borrowed a hand cart so I could help move Dave's boxes, which saved him a couple of trips.

When I came back from the last load of books (leaving Dave to move his car out of the loading zone), Christian had apparently done the smart thing and gone to bed. But I still had the office's hand cart, and I wondered what to do with it. Fortunately, the hotel houseman who came to make sure the Dealer's Room doors were set up to close when we left was also able to get Security to unlock the Con Office so I could put the cart away. By then, Dave had come back from parking his car and we were able to close down the Dealer's Room.

I'm glad we were able to help out with the set-up in this way.
Conrunner Kevin

Tonopah Party

[Composed the following afternoon when I got back to the free wi-fi and had enough time to write something.]

The Tonopah in 2012 Westercon bid held its one and only bid party on Thursday night of Westercon 63. We rented the Con Suite for the night (and our thanks to hazelchaz for letting us use the Con Suite's ice chests and ice supply for our sodas), put up our signs over the Con Suite signs, brought in our own food and beverage, and opened just before 9 PM.

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