December 7th, 2014


Dispatches from SMOFCon, Day 3

The Probability & Statistics Seminar on Saturday night of SMOFCon went pretty well, with 23 of the 29 entrants actually showing up to play. We got going about 10:45 (roughly 20 minutes after the Fannish Inquisition ended). As is our usual practice, we played Level 1 as "once around" (that is, every player gets one chance to be dealer before the "blinds" increase) and thereafter levels were twenty minutes long.

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Because the P&S Tournament didn't end until after 2 AM and I didn't get to bed until around 3 AM, I slept in a bit and had no chance for breakfast of any sort. I made do with a mug of coffee and a cracker with cream cheese and elk picked up in the Con Suite, breakfast in which was being jointly sponsored by the Montreal, Helsinki, and Japan Worldcon bids.

During breakfast, I was tracked down by the Montreal bid. I long ago signed up as Bon Ami (Friend) of the Bid — I'm a director of the parent corporation and nominally a bid committee member — but the charge got mislaid before being rung up, so we dealt with it before I ran off to my first program item at 10 AM.

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There was no closing plenary session of which I was aware. After the last item ended, I took lindadee and Suzle to LAX, which is a short drive from the hotel, but not one that I'd ever done before, and after dropping them at the Alaska terminal for their flight to Seattle, I managed to get myself turned the wrong way and heading up CA-1 North instead of South, going some miles out of my way before I found a way to turn around and return to the hotel. On the bright side, when I got back, there was an even closer-to-ideal parking space in the garage than the one I got when we arrived, and this will help when we pack out on Monday morning.

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This was an enjoyable convention. SMOFCon is small enough that you can generally find anyone you're trying to find, and you can spend time talking things over in depth. Unlike Worldcon, most people aren't run off their feet. And sometimes you can just relax and enjoy yourself, like at the P&S Tournament.

Next year it's Fort Worth. Lisa is trying to figure out the logistics of us getting there. Driving is a long trip. Lisa doesn't want to fly there because she hates airports. Taking the train is a problem as the only feasible route is through Chicago. (She can't go through LA and the Sunset Limited route because San Antonio through which the train passes makes her physically ill, we've discovered, probably due to allergies.) We have a year to figure this out, I guess. For now, I've held on to both boxes of gaming chips so I don't have to worry about them going missing before we need them next December.