Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Through the Winchester Mystery House

I collected clothsprogs and Tom from the Fremont BART station about 1:15 and we high-tailed it down to the San Jose Doubletree. I dropped them off out front with their copious luggage and parked the van for a while, then wheeled in my ice chest. As it happens, Teddy and Tom were just finishing checking in, so I helped them roll their luggage up to their room. They were surprised at the size of the room. I explained that Red Lion Hotels (which the Doubletree originally was) tended to build oversize, and the accountants were unable to move the walls closer together, so they get a room that is the size a British mini-suite would be.

They came down to the second floor with me, where Con Suite move-in was in progress. I dropped my ice chest (and a two-liter bottle of Diet Pepsi as a minor contribution to the pile of drinks), then popped down to Con Ops, where I was to loan them a USB hub. Ops head Sarah Goodman was busy dealing with someone else, but I left the hub with Mo Starkey, who promised to give it to Sarah when she came up for air.

Then it was down to the lobby to meet up with the others going on the Winchester Mystery House tour. Arrangements had gone surprisingly well for a group of more than twenty people from all over converging on one spot at one time. We got sorted out into cars, and those of us who knew how to get there gave directions to the others, and off we went.

The group purchase tour of $22/each was a good bargain, as it got us both the main mansion tour and the behind-the-scenes tour (normally $28.95). We had a few minutes to look around the gift shop and minor displays before our group was called for the main mansion tour.

This was my third daylight tour and fourth time overall in the mansion. (I've been on one of the flashlight tours on Halloween.) Therefore, I hung to the back and let the folks who haven't been before have a better shot at the tour guide. We were a pretty large bunch. I asked him at one point if anyone had explained what convention our group was. He said yes, and that we weren't nearly the handful that say, a girl scout troop was. I said, "Sure, we're just whimsical, not malicious."

We did the usual tour, walking over a mile as they say (my pedometer agrees), then taking the additional tour where they take you into back areas and under the mansion as well, before finishing up on the mansion's front porch and filing into the gift shop where everyone had a chance to buy such tourist tat as suited them.

I unfortunately had not had a proper lunch, only some bananas and food bars, and could feel myself fading away. I really should have tried to get something around 2 PM, my usual lunch time, but we were busy dealing with pre-tour logistics. This lack of attention to my personal care would come back to haunt me worse than any putative ghosts of the Winchester house.

Just before we went into the tour, I realized that my mobile phone had broken earlier that day, shortly after I got the call from Teddy telling me they were waiting for me at Fremont. While I could hear things over the headset, the microphone no longer worked, and nothing worked on the handset. Worse, the phone started trying to dial some of its speed-dial numbers on its own. I turned the darn thing off. That had to be fixed, and soon.

I took the boys back to the hotel, but didn't stay, not wanting to pay another $3 for parking. Besides, I hadn't eaten and I had errands to run. Unfortunately, 6:30 PM isn't a great time to be on I-880 through Milpitas, and it was a long slow slog up to Auto Mall Parkway, where I got off to go to Office Depot to buy a replacement tape for my P-Touch machine and a stamp pad for use validating site selection ballots.

Then it was over to the Verizon Wireless store to talk to them about replacement options for my phone. Not surprisingly, they couldn't replace it with the same model except through a tedious process that would have left me waiting for a long time. Instead, as my phone was up for "free" replacement anyway, I opted for a new phone. I expressed a preference for a no-frills basic phone and got that for only about $35 (most of which was the cost of a carrying case because the new model didn't have the convenient belt clip that the old one had -- I'm going to miss that a lot). Of course, being a new phone, none of the chargers or accessories (except the headset) are compatible.

While waiting for them to try and transfer my address book from the old to the new phone, I looked at other models. I have a bit of buyer's regret in that there were other models that were only slightly more expensive that might have been more what I wanted. In any event, they were unable to transfer my address book, which means I'm going to have to transfer the numbers I want to retrieve one at a time. Darn it. And it happens that some of the handier little features on the old phone like "alarm one hour from now" aren't on the new phone. And why is it that they persist in moving the feature buttons around all the time? Oh, well, I'll adjust, I guess.

After a very tiring day, I got back home, where Cheryl has been slaving over a computer all day and probably will be for most of the weekend. Neither of us had eaten, so we went to Chipotle and bought some burritos. For all that I'd been walking around the Winchester House today, I had actually only put in about half my usual amount of walking, and did not go exercise after that burrito, with the result being a 224 blood sugar. 10:30 at night or now, a walk was in order. Cheryl tore herself away from work to accompany me on the loop to the train station and back. An hour later my blood sugar had dropped back down to the 140s, which was a little better, but still not great.

Conventions are not good for blood sugar management, and the convention doesn't actually start for me until tomorrow.
Tags: costumecon, diabetes

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