July 4th, 2017

Match Game SF

Westercon 70 Day 3: Match Game SF

Westercon 70 was very good about giving us a good-sized room for a long time. We got the room from 6 PM with "curtain" at 8, a scheduled run from 8 to 10 PM, and an open ended move-out. As it happens, we needed it all.

I had moved the van closer to that side of the building last night to facilitate move-in, and borrowed a bell cart to move the kit from the van. It took two trips. Lisa had to leave things like the computers and sound board to cool off because they were painful to the touch after having baked out there for days. The hotel brought the tables that Westercon (following our request) had ordered, and we rearranged the room, strung the vinyl banners that Sasquan bought us, set up the tables and chairs the way we liked, and so forth. Lisa worked her usual magic on getting the sound equipment working. Judy Bemis once again did wonderful service running the Prize Table.

At 7:30, I went back to the room and changed into my game show host costume. Shortly after I got back to the Xavier Room, the audience started arriving. Lisa later counted the house, and we estimated that somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-10% of the estimated attendance of this year's Westercon came to our show, resulting in a roughly two-thirds full house.

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Tonight's show went really well. We (and I mean both me and Lisa) got lots of compliments from both returning and new audience members. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I was tired but happy and energized, as I always am after a good show. We had someone from TARDIS, the Arizona fan group who ran Match Game at Westercolt .45 in Phoenix twenty-five years ago and gave me a starter set of questions that formed the core of the show we do today, came up and expressed admiration of how we've polished the show and that we continue to give TARDIS credit.

Move out was more challenging than move in. We couldn't take the gear out of the (alarmed) rear door of the Xavier Room, and while the Astro was physically close to where we were, there were two locked doors (the ballroom lobby) between us and the van. Fortunately, when I got a bell cart to start moving out (while Lisa packed the tech gear away), hotel security helpfully unlocked the intervening doors for us, so we were able to make two runs over with the box of Tech, speakers, game gear, etc. without having to circle clear around the hotel.

After putting everything away, we made a relatively brief stop at Westercon 72's Victory Party, which was still going strong approaching midnight. We would have loved to stay longer, but we need to check out Tuesday morning, and we have a drive to Kingman, Arizona ahead of us. Our goal is to be on the road by Noon for the 200 mile drive to Kingman, in order to give me some chance of getting back on my "normal" work schedule so I can work from the hotel room on Wednesday.
Conrunner Kevin

Westercon 70 Day 4: Packing

I don't like leaving before the end of Westercon, but Day Jobbe interactions with my time off schedule oblige us to do so. We're packing up the hotel room and will leave sometime this morning. As a consolation, we will be able to get a meal at a Waffle House on the way out of Phoenix as we head north to Kingman.

It was a smallish Westercon, and we missed a lot of the Usual Suspects who couldn't make it because of weather, NASFiC, Worldcon, or even Eclipse. But we ended up having a fair bit of fun here, and thank the Westercon 70 committee for their work and for putting up with our requests.
SMOF License

Westercon 2017 Road Trip Day 4: Nothing to See Here

I'm not counting the days spent in Tempe at Westercon toward the count of days on the road trip, so this was Day 4 on the road. We're on our way home, but it will take longer than on the way out because I need to be work at the Day Jobbe for the next three days in order to save vacation needed for other trips.

Our goal was to be out of the hotel and on the road by Noon today. It took a few minutes longer than that, and we had our first stop only a short distance away, where we had lunch at Waffle House. I indulged myself considerably, primarily because I know it will be a long time before I get another chance.

Our planned line of march was along US-60 to Wickenburg, then north on US-93 to Kingman. Somehow, shortly after we got off I-17 onto US-60, we missed a turn and ended up way off course, although we got back on the beam at AZ-101. We should have taken that right turn at Peoria, I guess.

It was very hot. The minvan's air conditioning, when we could use it (that is, when the engine temperature didn't go too high) could blunt the edge of the heat but could not keep it totally at bay. On the other hand, as we went higher and further north, things got slightly better.

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We checked into the hotel and got the latest checkout I could get with my Spire class membership (1 PM), which I hope will be sufficient. I did a bit of work earlier in the week while I was nominally on vacation, which I hope I can offset sufficiently so I can work from the room tomorrow until 1 PM, after which we will drive to Las Vegas. That should be a relatively easy trip as it's only about 100 miles.

I'm pleased to find that this HIX has wired internet access, and glad I brought my small router. After a bit of fuss to get it connected, I tested speeds. While nowhere near the 999 mbps we once got at the Pallazo (one of the only good reasons I could think of for staying there, actually), it was still twice the speed of their wireless connection.

Now I need to start winding myself back onto my Central Time-based Day Jobbe schedule.