December 6th, 2019


Winter Road Trip Day 10: SMOFCon Friday

This morning, after putting in the last few hours of the work week, Lisa's friend Nan (they were neighbors back in Lisa's hometown, Los Alamos; Nan now lives in Albuquerque) collected us from the hotel to take us out to brunch.

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We had a lovely time over a long breakfast before returning to the Hyatt, where Lisa and I then took a short walk to a nearby grocery store, where I found more dangerous food.

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I had to scratch all of the program items I intended to attend on Friday at SMOFCon because I had to spend the morning making sure that my Dell computer would work with the conference microphone that Ron Oakes loaned me and that I had the Zoom conference call set up correctly for the WSFS MPC meeting scheduled for this afternoon, and that my other computer was set up correctly for other uses. It took quite a while. I even carried everything down to the conference room where we were meeting to make sure the wi-fi actually worked there, which it did.

Lisa loaned me one of her extension cords and power strips, while Rick Kovalicik loaned us a roll of gaffer tape to safely tape down the cord in the Boardroom. I took all of my equipment down to the room and started setting up about 4:10 for a 5 PM meeting, and would have been completely ready if one of the computers hadn't decided that it needed to be rebooted and spent more than ten minutes digesting updates and rebooting itself. I guess it's relatively fortunate that Donald Eastlake III, WSFS MPC chair, was running late as he was delayed driving back from Santa Fe where he'd had lunch with George RR Martin. In the end, the MPC meeting lasted an hour as scheduled; it just started 30 minutes late.

The MPC doesn't hold many in-person meetings other than at Worldcon, usually because we can't get a quorum anywhere else (ten of the fifteen members are at SMOFCon), and usually because there isn't a lot happening that we need to discuss. There have been a number of hot issues troubling WSFS this year since Worldcon, though, and it was useful to have everyone in a meeting. Zoom helped as well, as Jo Van Eckeren joined remotely from New Zealand. We'll have more to say about the results of this meeting at a later date.

After the meeting, Lisa and I walked with Linda D to a different sushi place than last night. It was pretty good, and I wasn't hungry as we walked back, but that might have been because my meeting was on the "poster session" SMOFCon was holding.

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We lasted until around 10:45, when things started to slow down. We took down our posters, stored them in the van, and went back to the room. I'd hoped to be in bed before midnight, but the computer has been giving me fits and it took more than an hour to connect to any usable wi-fi network. The free network won't connect in the hotel. The front desk told me to connect to the premium network and they'd take it off the bill. I hope they actually do it.

Anyway, Saturday (unlike Sunday), we have nothing scheduled until mid-afternoon, so I'm not setting an alarm and not worrying about breakfast. I'm not sure if I'll get a Saturday entry posted until later, as it's nearly all go for us from Saturday afternoon until the wee hours of Sunday morning, followed by panels and other commitments on Sunday mornings. Time to get some sleep, I think.