The meeting could have gone worse, but it certainly could have been better. We found a lot of annoying typographical errors in the agenda papers, most of which stemmed from re-using the same document as last year without correcting relative references and updating to the current year. (The flip side of the ease and consistency of using last year's papers as the starting point for the current year.) We also ended up leaving off one of the new proposals -- to add a new Hugo Award category for Graphic Novels -- entirely. (It being the head table staff's mistake -- none of us caught it when we were proofing the agenda -- there's no penalty to the motion's sponsor.)
As seems inevitable, all of the substantive proposals had piles of technical issues raised on them. All three of them were referred to ad hoc technical committees with instructions to, in effect, "do something today before 1 PM," the meeting having the space until then, and the meeting not going to last that long. But it didn't help that we got into recursive discussions over the makeup of these technical committees. (It's not really worth the electrons to explain why.)
About 45 minutes in to the meeting, Lisa was going to ask for a very brief pause so she could change memory cards on the camera. She looked at the display and saw, to her horror, that it hadn't recorded anything. While she was setting up the meeting, one of the people there was being so insistent that she drop everything and put her name on the sign-up sheet that she got flustered. Thanks to his elbow-jiggling, when she thought she'd started recording, she'd actually stopped recording, with the result being that today's effort was wasted. Furiously angry, she packed up her gear and left.
This may sound trivial, but it was very important to Lisa. Shooting this video was her primary interest in attending the convention, and it was a missing piece of video equipment that caused her to incur hundreds of miles of back-tracking to retrieve it on her way down from Oregon. Yes, we'll get the Main Meeting tomorrow, and we may be able to get a copy of the video from one of the other people shooting, but she was very unhappy.
After the Preliminary Meeting adjourned, I loaned my computer to Pat McMurray, WSFS Secretary, so he could take the results of the ad hoc technical committees and set up tomorrow's agenda. I then headed back to the hotel, where Lisa was cooling off from her frustration. We went and got sandwiches, and after lunch, walked back to the convention center, where I was booked to sit at the fan table for a couple of hours.
I spent my booked time behind the San Jose in 2011 Westercon bid table, where I'm pleased to say that I sold three pre-supports and two friends of the bid, which is excellent showing for a Westercon bid, I think. Pat McMurray came around and returned the laptop he'd borrowed from me, and Deb Geisler and Jim Mann came to me at different times to explain the Match Game SF issues and what they're going to try to do to fix them.
Fred Moulton also came by, and he volunteered to sit behind the bid table so Lisa and I could get a chance to see the dealers' room and exhibits. We knew that Glenn Glazer would be back to close things down by about 6, especially as he'd left his pack, and people had been dropping off things for him.
Lisa and I looked through the Dealer's Room. Lisa bought a "poison ring" from dinogrl's table. She suggests that she could store Splenda tablets in the ring's secret compartment. Lisa then took us by one of the other book dealers and asked if they still had a book she'd seen earlier. He said he'd sold the last one. We ended up buying four others instead. And we spend an enjoyable few minutes chatting with Phil and Kaja Foglio and wishing Phil good luck on his Hugo Award nomination. I certainly hope he wins.
We also looked through the exhibits, and were pleased to see that the Technology of Reading exhibit, including the Mimeograph, was working nicely. I guess we should have brought the camera and taken pictures, but my pack was already heavy enough, and getting heavier by the minute with the books we'd bought. I was starting to fade out, so we went back by the bid table to confirm that Fred was doing okay, and walked back to the hotel. On the way, we met Glenn Glazer, who was about to call me to tell me that he was heading back to the table. I explained that Fred had taken over for me, and there was much relief all around.
After setting aside out heavy bags, we went out for dinner. Passing by Bubba Gump's Shrimp Company, we found Fred Moulton, freed from his volunteer duty at the table, looking and the menu, and we joined him for dinner.
You get a lot of food at Bubba Gump's, so Lisa and I walked clear down the 16th Street Mall to Union Station and looked around the place. Lisa was particularly pleased at how many fans she saw up and down the mall, noting in particular how in past years all we ever heard was "It's too far to walk anywhere!" contrasting with people being out and about walking everywhere here and being cheerful about it. Also on the walk back, we chanced upon Randy Smith, who donated the mimeograph to the exhibit, and he thanked me again for providing transport.
It's a good thing we walked; my blood sugar was about 147 even so, but it would have been worse otherwise.
Now I need to sign off here and go over to the Sheraton, where I have a panel at 10 PM on "Things Not to Do at an SF Convention," and of course the bank of parties to attend. We also want to check out the revised space into which we are apparently moved and redo our plans accordingly.